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The Border Fight and Calls for Secession

The Border Fight and Calls for Secession

We don't talk a terrible lot about the border on here. This is mostly because I find it to be a cut and dry issue: the enforcement of borders–the existence of borders–is violence. Nothing about them is beneficial to the good of humanity, nor the planet, and they exist as a tool of authority to keep certain people and profits within a space and others without. Enforcing this imaginary line frequently involves turning that line less than imaginary, which has very real impacts on people and the environment. My political beliefs aside, when you talk about borders in the context of prepping you are talking about immigration, and that shit gets racist real damn quick. I have no patience for it. Supposedly rational people have supposedly rational ideas about immigration and how it should be carried out but ultimately it always means that some people in need are turned away for reasons I don't care to hear. It's bullshit. Borders are bullshit. You will never hear me talk about immigration as a preparedness issue unless we suddenly have a whole nation of Nazis knocking at our door–which brings me to the subject of this letter.

You might not be aware, but over the course of the last year or so, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has turned the Texas border into a sadistic nightmare. Stretches of the Rio Grande have been blocked off with floating, rolling barriers strung with razor wire, impossible to traverse and exacerbating the danger of drowning. Other, landlocked stretches have been razor wired as well. And if you're not aware, razor wire is just what it sounds like–it's not barb wire's tough older brother–it is actual razors on a wire. The US military strategy for crossing a barrier of razor wire is literally for some poor sap to lay on it and for the rest of the troops to walk on the sap's back. These are area denial tactics with extreme prejudice. Hundreds of people die attempting to get into the United States each year, several due to Abbott's recent installations. Now, this is not to say that there isn't plenty of fuckery going on thanks to the Democrats on this front. We'll talk about Biden and the absolute mess of his coming legislation in a coming letter–because he's up to some real bullshit as well–but for now let's focus on Texas.

To bring us up to speed: Abbott has made the world's most nightmarish Wipeout course, and the federal government has sued to put a partial end to it; requesting that portions of the razor wire be removed so that the Border Patrol can effect the rescue of migrants in peril. This went up the chain to the Supreme Court, and the week before last, they ruled in a somewhat surprising manner*: in favor of the Biden administration. With Governor Abbott turning the border into a paramilitarized zone, a federal infringement like this was bound to stir up the wrong sorts. And it has. Abbott's response lit up the far right and right-wing governors across the country.

*It was astutely noted on the podcast Knowledge Fight that the Supreme Court, knowing the GOP will soon be back in power, is ruling in favor of the federal government because they will be the federal government in a year's time.


Even moderate members of the right want a secure border–by which I mean they want it locked down with essentially no immigration. The popularity of this position has meant that figures like Abbott can run roughshod over human rights to little material blowback. And you might remember that Biden's immigration policy was never actually good–he just slapped some rainbow stickers on the cages–so conditions on the border have been extremely rough. Despite Biden's republican-ness, folks on the right have been hammering on the border and immigration as an issue of dire national security for years–indeed, long before Biden ever took office but also pretty much only when a Dem is president. This has reached a fever pitch for no acute external reason. Cue the Supreme Court ruling, and we arrive at the issue before us: the supposed secession of Texas from the United States.

This isn't actually going to happen. This is not the start of a hot civil war. It's not the start of a cold one, either. What it is, though, is the further lurching of the entire American apparatus–both left and right–closer to that impassable chasm. The folks on the ostensible left are pushing for more federal power in order to stop Texas from doing what it's doing, while the folks on the right are getting aggro about not getting what they want (even though they actually are (see the coming letter about Biden's immigration deal)).

This all has resulted in Governor Abbott very publicly declaring that he will not be cowed to the will of Washington DC. He was swiftly joined by 25 other Republican governors, some going so far as to send their state's contingent of National Guard troops to the border to assist. In addition, some predictable civilians have brought caravans to Texas. These forces intend to continue to apply their vision of border security, federals be damned.

There is not as much practical fallout from this as you might expect. Guard troops have been at the border for a while now, and even troops from other states, as well. Where my concern comes in is the general increase in temperature in our metaphorical pot. The secession movement in Texas is becoming more organized, its supporters more outspoken. And as always, when you give people on the right an excuse to be this angry, people get violent. Last week, a man decapitated his father, a federal employee, and posted a video calling him a traitor to his country. He talked about the supposed crisis at the border and the far left before leaving for a nearby National Guard base, where he was arrested. And the thing is, even if this is the last beheading related to this incursion, the violence doesn't end here. The real violence is on the border itself.

What's Next

There is still the possibility that this all pops off, however remote. If it does, what happens after is anyone's guess. We'd be talking about conflict between states and the federal government and there's no telling what that leads to. No outcome is good. Which is where we are–a place without opportunity. If literally nothing further happens we have still seen state governments marshal forces to a foreign border in an effort to assist in the direct opposition of the federal government by way of ensuring that migrants are exposed to death traps. And without any further state or civilian intervention, either Biden or Abbott must succeed in their bid. Our best hope of those choices is the status quo, and the status quo is not good.

It's worth noting, as a coda, that at least one of the civilian caravans arrived at the border a few days ago. Men in hats and big trucks decamped in the night. They quickly set about holding baptisms for the caravan members, shouting that Christ is king, and that we need to take our borders back. A rally held just yesterday featured confederate and Christian nationalist flags. This amounting to, if nothing else, an excursion for these people to get together, talk about civil war, their own righteousness, and the scourge of white replacement. Folks on the far right are already talking about false flag attacks on migrants–planting the idea that if such an attack were to occur, it would be the fault of those on the left. Even if everyone just goes home, they are going home with dangerous ideas.