The Great March

… If the slogan of that antiwar movement, “No Blood for Oil,” seemed too great a simplification, it was not for all of that mistaken. There can be no doubt that something like racial extractivism, the intensified appropriation of cheap resources backed by force of arms, has become the raison d’état of global but still US-centered settler capital intent on countervailing the erosion of industrial profits. This truth obtains for the Oceti Sakowin and Wet’suwet’en nations no less than it does in the Straits of Hormuz or the Niger Delta. This provides us something like a logic for imperial action, for the ceaseless violence of the global north against the south, necessarily in coordination with the electoral cycle precisely because state and capital in this scenario need each other ever more explicitly. And this in turn helps set an agenda for uprising.

An opposition movement will need to seek passage between, on the one side, an automatic anti-imperialism which imagines US war-making as something like the sadism of a wounded leviathan; and on the other side, that curious left version of anti-anti-imperialism which has at least on occasion been a façade concealing sympathy for Zionism. The former limits itself to the terrain of the political at best and moralism at worst, and is persistently drawn into defending deadly nationalisms. The latter neglects the degree to which global capital is necessarily a colonial project, not as a matter of some residual habit of the settler mind but as an ongoing structure of accumulation . ..

What matters is that the coming wave of violence, cynically calibrated for oil abroad and votes at home, will drive ever more refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, adding to the vast numbers already driven forth before the unholy trinity of war, drought, and climate collapse. The roads to Russia and the rich Gulf states are largely closed. Many head already to Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, the absorption zones of Europe, often en route to wealthier states. Many more now will. This human flow, it must be understood, this is the great march that has been set in motion with bombs over Baghdad, this year’s and the last and the last and the last. They will arrive at frontier after frontier, increasingly militarized within an ascending xenophobia as national zeal rises not just on the right but the left. They deserve from us an uncompromising internationalism, a refusal of all borders, and something more than another march.

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Foto: Stefan Paulus

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