United States infowar
This article in the far-left magazine Jacobin comes up with conclusions in line with those of the alt-right:
The mythologies of our age in the West are not enforced by repressive theocratic regimes, but by the market command to be free, to be creative, to be flexible, to love what you do for even the most uninspiring of jobs. Work flexibility and freedom from ties to family duty and hierarchical institutions promised by the corporate-counterculture that reached its zenith in the 1990s has turned out to mean increased precarity and a race to the bottom in living standards. The promise of this vision has become, for those who can’t enter adulthood but are edging closer to natural infertility, a permanent CV-building career ladder leading to nowhere.
Trump’s courting of anti-abortion conservatives and the fervent anti-feminism of his online traditional wife-seeking male fans certainly suggest a worrying turn but we are still far from Gilead. The real material unfreedom women experience today is a product of the subordination of everything to the market, not to traditionalism. Indeed, the rightward turn represented by the emergence of the youthful Trumpian right may be in part a product of the failure of progressive movements to diagnose our new problems of loneliness and atomization with calls for more of the sixties — individual freedoms, self-expression, and non-conformism.
The recent Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale has been interpreted by commentators with remarkable uniformity, as a nightmare vision perfectly timed for a new patriarchal age of Trump. More recently the think pieces have taken an increasingly emphatic turn with headlines like “We Discuss the Handmaid’s Tale While We’re Still Allowed to Read” and even “The Handmaid’s Tale Gives More Proof That Men Are Monsters.”
#Gilead, a reference to the regime depicted in Atwood’s story, was used in response to images of an all-male panel at the White House debating maternity services. Women in handmaids’ robes and bonnets protested abortion restrictions under consideration at the Texas state capitol. At the Women’s March, protesters held signs that read, “Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again” and Atwood herself has said her work is a warning for the Trump age.
In the story, a religious coup has ushered a theocracy in to the United States where fertile women, stripped of their rights and reduced to reproductive chattel, are forced to bear children for their society. So what does this tale tell us about America in 2017?
US fertility rates are the lowest since records began in 1909 at about 1.85 births per woman. The US population, in other words, is no longer “naturally replacing” itself. Unlike the tale however, this is not due to ecological disaster. Today women’s long work hours combined with the continued burden of domestic work are causing increased levels of stress and ill health, with short maternity leave, expensive child care, and a low level of social prestige to the unpaid work of motherhood and domestic labor. Despite all of this Pew research shows that while birth rates may have collapsed the desire to have children has not, with the ideal in polls still remaining “two or more,” and 40 percent of American women nearing the end of their childbearing years having fewer children than they would like.
From CIW NEWS Contributor
Washington, DC, United States
United States (US) is estimated to have a population of 325.0 million with a growth rate during 2010-2015 of 0.8% pa.
At the same rate of change, in five years' time its population will increase by 13.2 million.