At this point in the decline of U.S. dominance, the only war that our imperial ruling elites have a true chance of winning is the war against the American people themselves. There’s no way the hegemon can reverse the transition towards multipolarity, and its failure to destabilize Russia via the Ukraine proxy war has made this more apparent than ever. Even as the hegemon has won places like Armenia and the Philippines towards assisting in its war operations, the overall trend of history has made it so that these countries can only share in the USA’s crises as a consequence of their betraying the anti-imperialist cause. The future is with China, Russia, Iran, and the other emerging great historical players in places like Africa and Latin America. To side with the forces that seek to make history go backward is to join with a futile project, one which dooms all who participate in it.
When the structure of international monopoly capital is in terminal contraction, the only way it can survive is by turning its warfare tools against the anti-imperialist forces within the USA’s own borders. One has long known this if they’ve become familiar with the realities of modern capitalism; but what the Ukraine conflict has shown is that the methods our ruling class has for waging this internal war are more insidious than they initially appear.
The state doesn’t just seek to weaponize the military, the police forces, and the fascist militias against revolutionaries; or to attack revolutionaries using the left-wing anti-communists which Parenti warned about. The state is also capable of assailing the sources of dissent using an ideological element, one much closer to the anti-imperialist movement than the left anti-communists are. This element is the “red libs,” who oppose anti-imperialist actions like Russia’s special military operation from a “Marxist” angle.
Ukraine has revealed a rift between the U.S. communists who embrace the pro-Russian stance, which is shared by existing socialist countries and by global anti-colonial movements; and the U.S. communists who’ve broken from this stance. The latter category effectively also includes the types of Marxists who join in on the narrative attacks against the pro-Russian orgs; because hurting solidarity among anti-imperialists via unprincipled criticisms means hurting the international struggle by extension.
The shared goal of the anti-communist anarchists, the Democratic Party, and the “red libs” is to undermine any version of the socialist movement which is capable of winning. Which can break from the circles the Democratic Party controls, align itself with the predominant global currents of anti-imperialism, and nurture the anti-imperialist impulses of the workers. This is why at the present stage in the struggle, the primary obstacles towards the success of the U.S. communist movement are Democratic Party infiltrators within Marxist spaces, and ultra-leftists more broadly. These are the main types of actors the state presently uses to wage counterinsurgency warfare against radical politics.
These Menshevik-type elements within contemporary American socialism, with their efforts to portray pro-Russian communists as fascists, provide crucial reinforcement for the broader psyops which the state uses against the anti-imperialist movement. The most widely platformed kinds of attacks against anti-imperialists within our discourse come from Democratic Party media agents, like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow; BreadTubers, who’ve at times been found to have a direct relationship with the psyop agents; and other types of liberal online personalities, like streamers and “progressive” commentators. These voices put forth the most widely viewed rhetorical attacks against U.S. hegemony’s domestic enemies: that the anti-imperialists are atrocity apologists, that they only talk about bad things when America does them, that they’re totally uncritical of all who oppose the USA.
These are the arguments against the anti-imperialist stance which most people are exposed to, since most people aren’t part of Marxist circles; more often they enter into broader “left-wing” circles, which are detached from the spaces where anti-imperialist knowledge gets regularly shared. Because of this highly removed relationship between them and anti-imperialism, it’s easy for these “left-wing” gatekeepers to convince their audience that anti-imperialists are marginal oddities who vindicate “horeshoe theory.”
That’s going to be the narrative basis for the coming repressive campaign against anti-imperialists, which has already begun with things like the Uhuru indictments; these attacks against freedom of expression and assembly are going to be justified by portraying the targets as secret right-wing agents.
With the political reorientation that the country has recently undergone; where Democrats and “leftists” have become the primary supporters of war efforts like the one against Russia; it’s the “progressive” ideological element which imperialism’s psyop agents are now mainly focused on. So the best way to keep the people passive amid the coming purge of anti-imperialists is by associating the repression’s victims with the right.
All the psyop agents need to do to get support for this purge from the average liberal or “leftist” is argue that there’s no difference between the anti-NATO organizers who are getting raided and indicted, and anti-trans demagogues like Trump or DeSantis. With the implication being that any workers who embrace the projects of these anti-NATO, pro-Russian formations are not the types of workers who deserve respect, but the hopelessly backwards, “basket of deplorables” workers that deserve nothing besides contempt.
This is how the liberal narrative managers have been marginalizing and vilifying all who oppose their pro-empire ideology since Russiagate began; as opposition towards the liberal order gets stronger and more organized, the liberals can only respond by classifying ever-larger sections of the people as enemies.
Even though the casual left-leaning media consumer can easily be convinced by these psyops narratives, the minority who enter into Marxist spaces require more sophisticated kinds of deception. They need to be told that the formations which share the pro-Russia stance are “opportunist,” “chauvinist,” and other discrediting labels which those studied in communist theory are familiar with. In Marxist circles, the rumor-mongering needs to be more specific and direct; whereas a streamer will only try to discredit a group by vaguely calling it a “cult,” the “Marxist” attackers of anti-imperialists will also put out fake stories about that group collaborating with fascists, or protecting predators, or contacting federal agents; the kinds of disinformation which movement infiltrators typically use to try to discredit someone.
It’s through these manipulation tactics that the bad actors within Marxist spaces can get Marxists to share the perceptions towards anti-imperialists which the liberal commentators propagate. In a social media environment where lies can effortlessly be used to replace facts; and suspicion about fascist infiltrators within the movement is intense; those who seek to defend international monopoly capital can sway socialists against their own movement’s biggest allies. We desperately need a coalition of organizers who are willing to defy the anti-Russian orthodoxy of the Democratic Party, and build an anti-imperialist movement that seriously threatens our ruling institutions. The goal of the ultra-leftists and liberal infiltrators within our movement is to dissuade all who may recognize this need against joining with that coalition.
This combination of psyop tactics; where the state has some psyop agents manipulating a mass audience and others manipulating a niche audience; is how our ruling elites are trying to weaken the position of the revolutionary movement as the next moments of escalation come closer. A time is approaching when everyone who substantially threatens the imperial structure gets targeted the same way Uhuru has; which may be followed by the state bombing such groups, like it did in Philadelphia in 1985. Resist the anti-solidarity psyops, and align yourself with these revolutionary forces; we need as many as possible to be on the right side of this conflict.
By Rainer Shea
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