Above: from a protest against Cop City
The new cold warriors lost before they started their fight with China and Russia. From a national interest perspective—which isn’t synonymous with an imperialist interest perspective—one of the major strategic mistakes Washington has made is to try to resist the transition to a post-American world. It caused the USA to sacrifice its own economy’s wellbeing with costly sanctions, make government spending even more disproportionately concentrated in the military while social inequality continues going up, and made much of the globe too alienated to want to help the country. As a consequence, the people in the imperial center, and in its decaying client imperialist states, have undergone a further decline in living standards since the 2008 crisis.
The only ones who’ve benefited from the new cold war are corporations like BlackRock, which has been able to effectively buy what remains of Ukraine through the promise of rebuilding it. The profits these opportunists have gained represent the consolidation of wealth inside an American sphere of influence whose wealth is terminally declining. That NATO has become more powerful due to the Ukraine conflict means nothing when this expanded power exists only in the imperial countries, and their Nazi-sympathizing eastern European regimes. The countries that have declined to join Washington’s war against Russia collectively represent over 80 percent of the globe’s population. This means important economic players like Brazil, India, and Indonesia will increasingly become less neutral. And do so in the opposite way that Washington wants them to. That’s why the next maneuver the neocon think tanks are telling us Washington will carry out is a campaign of hybrid warfare against BRICs as a whole, and against the “swing states” in the great-power competition.
These strategists in maintaining neo-colonial exploitation are planning to do this not because it’s the next step towards victory, but because it’s the last resort for imperialism after losing the proxy war with Russia. This great expansion of Washington’s hybrid warfare is to be correlated with a major escalation in U.S.-China tensions, as the Eurasia Group think tank explains. The implication being that some new geopolitical catalyst event, equivalent to Covid in its ability to sway mass opinion, will create enormous new support for militarism. An American false flag in Taiwan, or a psyop about China “invading” through supposed illegal mass immigration, are the kinds of tactics they could use. (The latter psyop is already being promoted across social media, along with a revival of the Uyghur genocide hoax.) The problem with any future efforts to manufacture consent for war with China, and by extension with the “swing states,” is that Ukraine has created a long-term skepticism of what the State Department says.
Support for aid to Ukraine has been going down since last fall. As it logically should be, given that the fall was when it started becoming clear this war was not going to be the easy task it was sold as. We’ve seen another instance of when the empire’s propaganda narratives become untenable, like when the Iraqi insurgents kept threatening the U.S. occupation despite the military’s assertions about no such threat existing. And after over two decades of constant war, the idea that our government transferred its main conflict location from Afghanistan to Ukraine upsets a great deal of society. Our ruling class has scammed us, telling us we need to sacrifice our material wellbeing for the benefit of “democracy” and “sovereignty” when we all know our government is neither democratic domestically nor committed to respecting sovereignty abroad.
The only Americans who seriously invest themselves in the new cold war, apart from the ruling class or the feds, are the kinds of insularly focused individuals who operate within NATO-glorifying Twitter and Reddit communities. Not the kinds of people who are representative of our society as a whole, especially the working class. Those among the majority of the country that’s been experiencing serious effects from the war’s inflation are focused on the ways that our government is harming its own people. Not on the supposed misdeeds of Washington’s geopolitical challengers. Police executions of unarmed people; the building of a massive training ground for cops; the war that companies are waging against workers rights; these are the things that have been able to bring the people to unrest and organized mobilization. They’re what the people have clear reasons to care about.
When Lenin warned that we can’t rely on spontaneous outbursts of mass outrage to defeat the state, his advice to Marxists was to ideologically train the people. To lift as many of them as possible up to the level of learned cadre members. The main way we need to apply this advice is by making developing radicals aware that until we’ve sufficiently combated U.S. hegemony, we won’t be able to win domestically. The reason why our class contradictions in the imperialist countries are becoming untenable is because this hegemony is being threatened more than ever; because of the disappearing ability of our ruling class to export the effects of our crisis of overproduction to the peripheral countries. What does this say to those who seek to win the class war? It says the biggest factor in which class wins is whether U.S. hegemony gets weakened, enough that imperialism’s capacity to hold back revolution in the core gets taken away.
There’s no doubt that multipolarity is to continue to rise. The formerly colonized world, now including Brazil under Lula, is joining with the PRC in building an alternative global economy which can develop independently from Washington. Yet multipolarity is not the end goal of communists, only an indispensable step towards proletarian victory. Which is why to get this victory, we can’t act like countering imperialism’s psyops isn’t the biggest way we can damage the capitalist state at this stage in the class conflict. To neglect geopolitics, and pretend there’s no way we can have an impact on the wars our government wages, would be chauvinism that makes our own struggle’s success impossible. We can have an impact on these events, we only need to make imperialism’s narratives too widely rejected for its global operations to remain tenable.
The governments of the imperialist countries, particularly the USA and the UK, are acting concerned about losing the information war. That’s why Washington has been using its hybrid warfare agents in London to escalate the Ukraine conflict. Why they’re sending depleted Uranium to the country, creating long-term health crises for the communities they’re trying to “protect.” The imperialists can’t admit defeat, can’t make it look like they’re bluffing about remaining confident in Ukraine’s victory even though they absolutely are. We have to make the ramifications of this defeat as damaging as we can.