How the Powerful Get Away With It
What to learn from Roe vs Wade
Katherine joined me to explain how Roe versus Wade was overruled; how the far right has been mobilising using the extremist branches of Christianity to organise over the past few decades, inserting themselves into government, into education, into the courts, in order to grab onto power to enact their vision of ethno-Christian nationalism in the USA.
Katherine explains how the far right used the age-old divide and conquer tactic to gain control in the USA, and that they fell upon abortion as a polarizing issue during a meeting they held to establish how to get the public onside, and how to mobilise against the left and the culture that the left was introducing to the USA: progression, equality.
The systems driving the climate crisis—inequality, corruption, power—are part of the same problem which saw Roe vs Wade overruled on June 24th. And that system is being driven by the powerful. The people seeking to have power over others, the people seeking to enact their vision of the world is a part of the exact same paradigm of exploitation. This same Supreme court that overruled Roe versus Wade is also planning on stripping back environmental regulations, human and civil rights. The denigration of those rights directly correlates to the denigration and exploitation of the natural world, all in the name of profit and power.
The Supreme Court’s decision isn't about being pro-life. This is about being pro-power. Let this serve as yet more evidence that anyone with vested interests in grabbing and holding onto power will use any issue that they can in order to achieve their agenda.
This is such a devastating example of being aware of who is in power and what they are trying to achieve beyond what they say they are trying to achieve. This is a crucial lesson in the weaponisation of polarisation, and stark evidence of the system that plays into that very narrative. Leaders hide in the shadows behind the movements they create. We need to be naming names, pointing fingers, refusing to allow them to set the agenda.
They say it's about pro-life? We say no, it's power. They say economic growth is about stability? No, it's power.
Putin says his invasion of Ukraine is about Nazism. It's about power. Brexit wasn't pro-Britain. It was pro-power.
And don't believe fossil fuel companies when they say that they're investing in renewables because they're interested in the clean transition. They are interested in keeping their hegemonic grip on the energy industry.
Everything is pro-power.
Establishment lines are merely agendas to mask their bid for power. We have to stop letting them set the agenda and controlling the debate. The thing that comes to mind is a kind of verbal strike; not to say nothing, but to refuse to engage in the debate in the way that they set it out. The U.K has seen how powerful this can be in the form of Secretary General of the RMT Union, Mick Lynch. He has refused to engage with the establishment’s rhetoric, and their game, by refusing to let them reduce the worker’s strike to a problem of wages. His message is consistent: this is about power, this is about equality, this is about fairness.
It’s rare to see such messaging make it into the mainstream media, who have fuelled polarisation by presenting party lines as objective statements rather than working, as Katherine has done, to uncover the agendas hiding in those statements. Objective reporting is the pillar of a free and democratic press—but how objective can reporting be when the press is not free from the same power and economic structures which bend the rest of the world to their vision? Have we reached a stage where it is, in fact, dangerous to pretend objectivity exists? Presenting a dialogue between a pro-forced birth campaigner and a pro-choice citizen doesn’t represent “two sides” objectively. It hides the agenda of the powerful who are fanning the flames of a polarised debate to weaken democracy.
The systemised inequality and injustice of our world precludes objectivity; to pretend that our press can withstand the power imbalances which have a death-grip on the world negates their very utility.
Fossil fuel companies are an excellent example of this. These companies have known about climate change and have known about the destruction their industry has on the world for five decades—and they've hidden it. They hid the science, they hid the evidence. Why are they still allowed a seat at the table of public discourse? Why are their “solutions” and “transitions” and “commitments” heralded as progress? Every time a fossil fuel representative makes a claim, we should put an asterisk next to their name highlighting the five decades of lies and manipulation in the name of profits.
You can't have accountability without transparency and you can't have transparency without history.
We cannot fall for moral polarisation when an amoral group are grabbing for power. First it's power over, then it's power to. And those seduced by power don't give a damn about their neighbour, about their environment, about the natural world, because they think they have the right—God-given, perhaps—to do whatever they want.
We're not going to have our freedom to look after the world and make it a better place until we get our freedom from them. We've got to protect our social structures. We've got to protect our bodies. We've got to protect our world. We've got to protect our freedoms. Social progress is not just some inevitability engendered by time passing. Progress is fought for.
If we are not trying to claw forward into the future, we are slipping back into the past.
Get your claws out.
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.