By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
America has become a downright surreal place during the twilight hours of our imperial decline. We can’t seem to finish one potentially apocalyptic cold war before starting another and the lesser evilism of our sham elections has reduced us to a pack of peasants bickering over which geriatric rapist should pretend to push us around for the next four years. But it doesn’t get much more batshit bizarre than the perverse dystopian spectacle of the most progressive city in America sicking an army of killer robots on the homeless.
I really do wish I was being hyperbolic with that last line. I wish hyperbole was even possible anymore. But in their ongoing efforts to clear the streets of unwashed vagrants, San Francisco, the city that gave us the Summer of Love and the butt of every corny right-wing joke for well over half a century, has officially approved the use of robots equipped for deadly force against its own citizenry.
In a vote of 8-3, San Francisco city supervisors approved this perverse “deadly force option” while consoling the Tesla driving Apple executives who have colonized that once freaky city and elected a ten-headed jackass to govern it that this new cyberpunk death squad would only be used in potentially life-threatening circumstances. But considering the San Francisco Police Department’s less than stellar track record for human rights and that America’s finest can and do regularly characterize an absurdly wide variety of shit as being potentially life threatening to justify their hyper-homicidal urges, these promises hardly inspire anything even remotely resembling hope.
Sadly, this is in no way, shape or form an anomaly. Across the country, the most progressive cities west of Amsterdam have all become the least equal places on earth to live in and have chosen to cleanse their tree lined streets of the homeless casualties of this twisted irony with a uniquely passive aggressive war on crime. California’s dear leader, Gavin Newsom has set the standard by sanctioning a statewide rampage of armed sweeps against tent cities while smiling beatifically for the cameras like a used car salesman and telling the watching world that it would be downright “uncompassionate” to allow these communities to exist unmolested by state intervention.
He’s used this same strange brand of cuddly authoritarian logic before to justify the creation of so called “Care Courts” allowing third parties, including law enforcement, to petition judges to order the treatment of those deemed by the state to be mentally ill on the threat of a conservatorship that would affectively remove their right to be considered a human being. Over on the other left coast in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has similarly ordered his thugs in blue to institute a new regime of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, once again, all in the name of social hygiene and compassionate grooming.
There is nothing particularly unusual about the continued growth of America’s insatiable police state but when this long march towards total tyranny is accompanied not by Trumpian dog whistle racism but the comforting social justice bromides of gentle people with flowers in their hair it begins to feel like the whole goddamn country has already been involuntarily institutionalized by a smiling master class of lute strumming Nurse Ratchets. It’s fucking creepy but this is American progressivism, and it always has been. Sit down around the fire my children, it’s time Auntie Nicky finally told you the whole truth and nothing but about modern liberalism, the western world’s answer to Santa Claus.