The primary source of fascism, and the one that will remain the primary source regardless of which party wins next year’s election, is now the Democratic Party; or rather the Democratic Party, and the other institutions which finance capital uses as its main political tools. The Democrats, along with the intelligence agencies, the DOJ, the legacy media, and big tech, are what represent the biggest threat towards revolutionary politics at this stage. That’s because they’re the ones which have come to have the most backing from finance capital, the biggest kind of capital and the type of capital that fascism represents the interests of.
Finance capital seeks to launch many new wars—both abroad and at home
The perilous error the “left” is making is to act like finance capital represents a trivial kind of threat compared to industrial capital, which during the MAGA era has come to primarily back the Republican Party. For that reason, the threat the Republican Party represents is a different kind; a kind that’s absolutely dangerous, yet frighteningly still isn’t as big as the threat the Democrats now pose. Acting like finance capital represents a trivial threat is one way that many leftists avoid confronting finance capital’s role as the prime purveyor of fascism; otherwise, they act like there’s no distinction between finance and industrial capital, and like this topic is therefore not even worth thinking about.
The consequence of this error is that finance capital and its institutional agents are being enabled to persecute the Uhuru org—and thereby create a precedent for repressing the rest of the anti-imperialist movement—without sufficient backlash. The media has to be purposefully ignoring the Uhuru case, because this would be too significant for the news not to cover under normal circumstances; the narrative managers are refusing to bring attention to Uhuru for fear that if the entire country knew of it, there would be a national debate. A debate over whether the intelligence agencies, and the pro-NATO liberals who align with them, should be trusted.
Now that the world has been made outraged by Canada and Ukraine’s honoring of a World War II Nazi fighter, the ability of the narrative managers to win battles over ideas has become even weaker than it was already. Over this summer, we saw Ukraine’s counter-offensive fail, then saw public support for Ukraine shrink too much for the old routine of easily passed Ukraine aid packages remain sustainable. The empire is getting ready to discard Ukraine; which would otherwise be benign, since the empire has always abandoned its disposable allies. Except it isn’t enough for international monopoly capital that this latest war has brought up oil and arms profits; the Ukraine conflict has still represented an overall loss for the empire.
This proxy war with Russia wasn’t mainly about making money, it was mainly about trying to destabilize Russia so that Washington could strategically weaken China. For Washington’s proxy war to have not just failed to do this; but also accelerated the internal capitalist crises of the imperialist countries while furthering the BRI, BRICS, and de-dollarization; means Washington’s geopolitical gamble has backfired in a catastrophic way.
The empire is needing to prepare new wars; ones that can’t realistically bring back unipolar hegemony, so can at best let the ruling elites implement their capitalist survival plan of degrowing the economy. The military buildup around China is still happening, and more recently with central Africa’s anti-imperialist coups, the empire has had to make Africa into a new prime location for regime change psyops. As Washington has again been driving towards a new intervention in Haiti, it’s also been working to bring conflict back to the Balkans, and it’s already succeeding at instigating new conflicts in the Caucasus region. War in Mexico could also be coming, as we’ll likely see the Democrats unite with the Republicans on invading Mexico after Ukraine has to be fully abandoned.
These wars are going to require an additional war: a war against the American people, waged in its first stage through repression like the Uhuru indictments. And it’s all dependent on finance capital maintaining a certain cultural paradigm; one which keeps war, repression, and austerity possible amid growing popular dissatisfaction with capitalism. This is the cultural paradigm where supporting the Democrats, or at least compromising with them, is seen as essential for protecting the rights of socially disadvantaged groups.
During the era of the Bernie Sanders movement, the liberal elites tried to defend this cultural paradigm by attacking everyone who was planning not to capitulate to the Clinton campaign. In the following years, as these voters refused to give up their stance and brought previously reformost-minded people (like me) towards their stance, the agents of finance capital adopted better strategies for controlling the left. That element of the left which won’t vote for a Democratic presidential candidate under any circumstances is never going away; the best option of the ruling elites is to create controlled opposition groups, ones that can divert this element towards ineffectual types of “radicalism.”
If the “vote blue no matter who” camp has lost the argument, as it definitely has at least within Marxist spaces, then finance capital must present an “alternative” to the Democrats that’s designed to be unable to win. That way, the war on dissent (and whatever global wars come next) can proceed without successful resistance towards them.
The anti-solidarity practices that benefit finance capital’s schemes
The nature of this key obstacle towards working class victory was demonstrated this last month, when the Party for Socialism and Liberation responded to a liberal pro-Ukraine demonstration by displaying signs next to the rally calling for the U.S. to get out of Africa. Without knowing about everything else the PSL has done (such as disavowing Russia’s anti-fascist action to appease liberals, attacking the Rage Against the War Machine coalition, coming out against multipolarity, and other liberal tailist activities), this looks more defensible; it’s good in itself to protest the U.S. occupation of Africa. When you consider the context in which PSL was doing this, though; as well as the org’s history of fighting against both multipolarity and pro-multipolar political formations; it becomes apparent that this was part of an insidious effort to influence radical politics in a negative way. To further a truncated type of “Marxism” that’s ultimately compatible with the liberal order.
Even if the reasoning of the organizers was as simple as “let’s counter the pro-war statements of the liberals with a statement ridiculing the USA,” that they lacked the ideological training to recognize the importance of defending Russia in that situation is still symptomatic of a profound problem within PSL; as well as within the broader left. How hard is it to counter chauvinistic hatred towards Russia with a statement that the Russian people are actually friends of the American people? And if you want to bring Africa into a conversation like this one, how hard is it to give Russia praise for the ways it’s continued to assist anti-colonial struggles?
The effect the PSL’s action had was to work towards separating Russia from Africa, at least in the minds of those who get influenced by the org’s statements. The idea PSL has implicitly put forth is that Russia, and its fight against U.S. imperialism, are separable from the struggles of imperialism’s other victims.
That’s a troubling sign, because it means whatever ties PSL has built with anti-imperialist countries, it’s done so with the mentality that these countries don’t need Russia and don’t need to be supporting Russia in turn. If PSL represents this anti-solidarity agenda on a global scale, is it truly a good thing that PSL has established a relationship with Cuba?
The org’s leader, Brian Becker, has outright stated that he doesn’t want the residents of the imperial center to work towards furthering the transition to multipolarity; and accelerating that transition is the most immediately practical way to end the empire’s ability to place countries like Cuba under inhumanely effective sanctions. There’s a lack of respect for the interests of countries like Cuba on PSL’s part; a lack of respect that creates an inescapable contradiction within the org’s “anti-imperialism.”
When we recognize that the role of PSL and the other formations like it is to create wedges in the global resistance towards international monopoly capital, it becomes clear that PSL’s practice of running third party candidates doesn’t make it revolutionary. Just because PSL’s leadership doesn’t advocate for voting Democrat in presidential races, like CPUSA’s leadership does, doesn’t mean it hasn’t come to act as a propagator of imperialism-compatible leftism. PSL aims not to consistently combat our ruling institutions, but to present itself as a “socialist” version of the Democratic Party. Like the Democrats, PSL prioritizes identity over class in its rhetoric; it also disavows Russia because being pro-Russia is seen by liberals as a “right-wing” position. Yet supposedly it’s a radical org, since it accompanies these practices with reiterations of Marxist theory.
The Uhuru indictments, and the urgent peril they represent for the future of radical politics in this country, have shown why this soft type of Marxism is not enough to bring us to victory. Because it’s becoming apparent that if we let ourselves be guided by these passive and unprincipled orgs, the state will succeed at prosecuting Uhuru, and at setting the precedents required for a purge against dissent.
For an example of how this weak practice is helping the state, think of the implications of the reasoning which PSL demonstrates in its effort to separate Russia from Africa. Within this logic, formations and countries which liberals consider untouchable (like RAWM or Russia) don’t deserve solidarity. Therefore, we should also work to separate Uhuru from Russia. We also should work to separate Uhuru from the organizations within the RAWM that Uhuru has allied with, such as Caleb Maupin’s Center for Political Innovation. And if Uhuru can’t be successfully pressured into giving up these alliances; or can’t be presented as separate from Russia and CPI; then we should avoid saying positive things about Uhuru, for risk of damaging our credibility as “leftists.”
That’s the cynical and opportunistic logic these “left” orgs are operating according to. And it’s apparent in how whereas PSL has only ever talked about Uhuru a couple times, in statements that it had to make so as not to look like it totally lacks solidarity with Uhuru, pro-Russian communists like Maupin are defending Uhuru more as time goes on. There’s a lack of incentive for left opportunists to put the appropriate amount of effort into defending Uhuru, because Uhuru’s existence in itself represents a threat to these opportunists.
Uhuru is an example of an org successfully building a mass base, while not conforming to the liberal tailist practice that the conventional left views as crucial. Its ideas of building relationships with any force around the globe which shares its opposition to the U.S. colonial order; and of accepting help from any domestic groups that are willing to assist it; are dangerous ideas. Dangerous in a way that the ideas put forth by PSL, CPUSA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and this country’s other established socialist orgs are not.
Whereas these orgs only proclaim themselves to be Leninist, Uhuru and the communists within RAWM authentically put Leninism into practice. What makes Uhuru in particular dangerous towards the compatible left is that by being a Black nationalist org, it embodies the values of social justice that the compatible left claims to represent, while showing those values aren’t mutually exclusive with seriously combating U.S. hegemony.
The essential concern of the agents of finance capital is not whether you as a left-leaning person will vote blue, because you can refuse to vote blue and still help reinforce the Democratic Party’s organizing monopoly. Their essential concern is whether you choose to reinforce a cowardly type of “leftism” that makes socialism and anti-imperialism subordinate to liberalism; that allows for compromises in one’s anti-imperialist practice, if these compromises help you appeal to more liberals. There are more ways to commit this crime against the revolution than voting for a Democrat.
Like the Democrats, the actors that have invested themselves in this practice claim their political brand is the sole option for socially disadvantaged groups, and that to reject this brand is to betray these groups. Such manipulative arguments can be made ineffectual among Marxists, as easily as we’ve taken power away from the vote blue arguments. We simply need to make it clear that finance capital is where fascism is represented; and that therefore we should consistently combat the Democratic Party’s pro-imperialist ideas, rather than copying the Democrat organizing model.
By Rainer Shea
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