Democracy Reified by Climate Crisis Activism
Our democracy does not exist separate from our country’s colonial transgressions. Colonialism brought rise to our current economic system: capitalism. Considering that capitalism is a child of colonialism, it logically suffers the same issues of colonialism: racism, sexism, ableism, and specism. Our democracy is entangled in this capitalism, meaning it is entangled with racism, sexism, ableism, and specism.
For a democracy to hold place, it at its core needs to be anti-colonialist and in doing so, be anti- racism/ sexism/ ableism/ specism. Because the United States democratic history is so sorely founded off of the spoils of colonialism and exploitation of slaves, the vestiges of colonialism still exist today, and sure enough the exploitation of people of color.
To name a quick example: the prison industrial complex. People of color are being overly policed and targeted to point of mass incarceration, and mass disenfranchisement. What democracy could the United States possibly claim if many of its citizens are being unfairly and inhumanely prosecuted and subsequently removed from the voting pool? I would also like to note how convenient it is the same people who are being systematically targeted are the same ones who are being systematically silenced. The United States current political status does not resemble democracy.
But what does?
Democracy needs to be at its core anti-colonialist. One route to achieve anti-colonialism might mean climate crisis activism. Climate crisis activism at its core opposes colonialism as it advocates reduce, reuse, and recycle. To reduce, reuse, and recycle, citizens and corporations alike would be combating many of our society’s colonialist plagues: over-consumption, hyper- disposability, and mass exploitation.
It is possible that in the process of fighting the climate crisis, we unite, we decolonize, we empower. Evidence of this is in making, many climate activist grassroots organizations are being established, global strikes and non-violent direct actions are taking place.
Global outrage activates people to plead governments, to topple governments, and even for both to work together. United against a common threat such as the climate crisis, new ideological transformations can take place: an anti-colonialist democracy can be in the horizon.
Decolonize our democracy: fight the climate emergency.