One for All

When I was in western France in May, I caught a ride with an anarchist out of La Rochelle. Populism had split Europe, and Trump was now splitting America. Allison and I were headed south toward Spain, trying to find somewhere warm. The man in the junker was white and Rastafari, a product of the European extreme left. His sentences poured, both angry and tired.

He asked me why I had come to Europe to escape the West.

“Europe doesn’t interest me,” he said. “The United States, Canada, that doesn’t interest me at all. Africa, Asia, India, that interests me.” He’d been in India for a long time and was going to Ethiopia soon. He offered us a joint from the console. “In India the people are happy. Their philosophy is beautiful. They don’t want. Now western media is there. Now the only thing they want is to be white. It’s fucked up.”

He asked about Trump, as all Europeans did. “I want him to win,” he said. “I think he’s good.”

I disagreed. Told him change was good, but there is a wrong kind of change.

“No, no. Trump, I’m serious, I want him to win. You want to know why? Because if he wins, maybe there will be a reaction. The youth will rise up and finally do something. It will mobilize the left, you know? It takes an extremist to do that.”

“The devil who awakens the world,” I said.

“Exactly. People think Rastas are nonviolent. We do care about one for all. But Bob Marley, for example, he spoke about violence all the time. We believe in necessary violence. Only when necessary. If Hillary Clinton wins, I’m just saying, nothing’s going to change. The same inequalities.

If she loses, there will be revolution.”

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