Land is power. Controlling it gives one strategic military vantage points, the ability to decide who can and can’t move within the range of it, control over the distribution of food and water, and as is becoming increasingly relevant in America, access to the resources needed for surviving a disaster scenario. This is why as U.S. imperialism continues to decline, capital continues to contract, and the climate crisis gets worse, we’re seeing the settler colonists on this continent cling to the Native land they occupy with more and more paranoia over losing it.
This subconscious fear from the colonizers about losing these territories to the people they’ve stolen it from has come out in incidents like the armed occupations of federal land by ranchers; the aggressive statements defending colonization from reactionary politicians; and more generally belligerent actions like the January 6th attack. The minority of the whites on this land who have a clear material stake in continuing the colonial occupation, the ones who aren’t in the majority of the U.S. population which is too poor to even buy a house, are preemptively reacting to the potential near future decolonial revolt. These primarily petty bourgeois individuals, whose class strata makes up the bulk of the Capitol Hill rioters and the core of the Trump voters, are terrified that their parasitic project for imperial extraction can’t sustain itself much longer. That the gargantuan contradictions within this social order which was founded on forcibly annexing an entire continent will soon become too unwieldy, and the system will lose its foundations.
The way these reactionaries voice this fear is not by articulating the colonial reality of our conditions, but by panicking about a supposed siege upon the country from nebulous enemies. Their prepper pundits fearmonger about hack attacks on the electrical grid from Washington’s rivals, a breakdown of society that’s supposedly caused by the deterioration of “culture,” violence from criminals, rioters who’ve been incited by the lying leftist media. The actual causes behind our society’s growing instability aren’t named, but that instability is acknowledged, and the reactionaries assume conditions are necessarily going to get worse. Because how could you expect anything else when you believe our unsustainable capitalist, colonialist, and imperialist order is the only alternative to the surely even worse system of communism? Capitalism is a death cult, one whose followers will keep fighting over the system’s diminishing returns even as the system destroys humanity’s natural habitat.
The colonists are preparing for a scenario where the global empire that their settler state has built fully collapses, where capitalism completes its implosion, and where all that they have left is the land they refuse to give back to the tribes. They can’t give up this land, and expect their status as benefactors of imperialism to continue. Especially not after the collapse of U.S. hegemony, currently accelerating amid the failure of Washington’s Ukraine proxy war, has left Washington without sufficient access to global markets. When China gets enough economic leverage, the global class struggle has intensified enough to bring a new wave of revolutions to the exploited countries, and the U.S. neo-colonies have for the most part freed themselves from Washington’s grip, the foundations of the U.S. economy will fully fall out. This breakdown will manifest in the dollar’s collapse and a newfound scarcity of cheap consumables for Americans, already in its early stages with our inflation crisis.
At that stage, when all else has failed for the U.S. empire, the only way the empire and its petty-bourgeois social base can survive will be by leaning into their annexed land holdings. The reactionaries who own large amounts of land will hoard their resources, cutting nonwhite communities off from water, food supply chains, and power should they get the opportunity to do so. Such a genocidal war is being prepared for by the fascist militias, which these upper strata whites are gravitating towards. They hope to sacrifice what they see as society’s expendables, so that they’ll have a chance for holding on to the imperialist spoils they’ll still have following the empire’s external collapse. A collapse which will inevitably precipitate the unraveling of the empire internally.
These maneuvers towards depriving U.S. imperialism’s internal colonies of precious resources after the collapse, which will go along with vigilante campaigns to terrorize these communities, come from a desperate fear. The fear that when capital has become utterly weakened—an event which precedes proletarian revolution—the colonized peoples will rally the communist movement and successfully rise up. When the U.S. has lost the capital strength which buffers it against revolution, and descends into an economically hollowed out failed state like Ukraine, it will be more vulnerable than ever to getting overthrown. Which is why the fascists aim to preempt this event by carrying out an ever deadlier terror campaign against the colonized, while making plans for replacing the endangered U.S. settler state with new, breakaway settler states. The secessionist, white nationalist, and smaller scale fascist land sovereignty movements are about creating such backup plans for continuing settlerism. If the U.S. won’t survive, at least the petty-bourgeois settlers may be able to hold on to their luxuries by forming more manageable little projects for colonial extraction.
By little, I’m still talking about huge amounts of land. Texas alone is bigger than France or Germany, and most of the other U.S. states dwarf Israel even after a century of Zionist land grabs. The land the colonists control is their great strength, that’s why they were (and still are) so enamored with the idea of “manifest destiny.” If the supposed superior nation seizes a vast chunk of the world’s land, it will be in place to carry out its imperialist crimes with impunity, protected by the great wealth which a region’s worth of land represents. Hitler understood this, and was inspired by the U.S. settlers to attempt his own project for colonizing Eurasia. The U.S. colonists are like the Nazis, except they long ago succeeded at what the Nazis failed to do.
The flaw in their scheme is that a civilization built on theft from other civilizations can’t last. It will eventually eat itself, as this country is now doing with its neoliberal measures for intensifying internal exploitation. The expansion of U.S. imperialism into a global scale was the thing that kept the country from breaking up after the 19th century, providing the settler social base with long-lasting imperialist spoils and keeping capital strong enough for revolution to be staved off. Now that those global extractive benefits are drying up, the empire’s core is coming apart.
The further along the collapse gets, the more aggressive the reactionaries will become. They’ll intensify the insurgency they’ve started with their recent mass shootings. They’ll try to make sure that people of color, LGBT people, communists, and their other targets can’t go outside without living in fear of getting picked off. We must equip and train ourselves for defending our communities from the menace that these cowards seek to spread. They’re fighting for the preservation of a dying order, hoping to bring enough bloodshed that the masses get intimidated into not taking action. If we build the defense networks for protecting ourselves, we’ll be able to fight off the weakening colonial structure and liberate the continent.—————————————————————————
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