Editorial no. 1
Wandering around on a sunny day in 2015 in England, or maybe the US, or at least a handful of European countries, you might have believed the west had won. Won what, I don’t know. Seven years of austerity had left its mark as poverty worsened in the UK, the Flint water crisis had been going on for a year, and Syriza and the IMF were doing battle over Grexit; Syria was in ruins, Libya had reintroduced slavery, and although ISIS were bombing cities we’d soon forget about them anyway. World Spirit still seemed to be on our side. America’s hegemony seemed secure and Europe was content to follow it onwards and upwards; Francis Fukuyama hadn’t yet reneged on the End of History that celebrated the triumph of the US and its hegemons over the Soviet Union; David Cameron’s promise of a referendum to silence the Eurosceptic wing of his party seemed like a minor speedbump on the far horizon; and Hillary Clinton was sure to take the White House – when, certain of her success, her supporters embraced every opportunity to have Donald Trump plastered on TVs across America to drive home her victory. Plainly speaking, liberalism was taking the final steps of its slow death.
While the US was able to operate with little international resistance at the de facto End of History, its new monopoly over Latin America and the Middle-East intensified its own contradictions and these almost thirty years after the Soviet Union’s collapse have accelerated the US’ race towards oblivion. Yet the will to go on as before had never been stronger. And so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that a fascist was elected to the US government immediately after the most popular president in recent history. Obama was unable to solve the fundamental contradictions of capitalism: the contradiction between the ever-expanding concentration wealth, the inability to pass basic healthcare reforms and deadening wages, all while continuing to scapegoat minorities and deporting record numbers of people.
As those contradictions now reach breaking point, the US has turned to fascism to eliminate what humanity was left there; as Andrea Pitzer writes, children are being put into concentration camps but Democrats still seek to escalate tensions with Russia. As global mistrust of the US government reaches new heights with Trump, its foreign policy is still held as sacrosanct – even as it turns its sights on Venezuela.
It is the task of Ebb Magazine to raise class consciousness, to recognise that the increasing concentration of wealth is possible only through the poverty and devastation of the working class, to recognise that – at some point – it becomes necessary to ask, ‘What would it take for people to believe that the UK, US, and Europe aren’t the “good guys”?’ When wee see photos of British soldiers holding the severed heads of resistance fighters in Malaya in 1945? When, in 2019, British politicians openly defend the use of British concentration camps in the Boer war? Countless coups and wars waged by the US – the Bay of Pigs, the Korean War (in which, to quote the head of the strategic air command of the US Air Force, they ‘eventually burned every town in North Korea’), or the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, the second invasion of Iraq?
These have all since been uniformly recognised as atrocities, yet in the next breath Maduro is vilified and the west is called to action by even its sceptics. The point to ask this question past decades ago.