Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The World’s Colonized And Exploited People Can Free Themselves By Following The Example Of Juche

A revolution against capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism can only succeed when it properly equips itself to overcome these forces. The revolution’s members must correctly assess the strengths and capabilities of their enemies, then give themselves the tools they’ll need for survival and victory. The tools I’ll be recommending throughout this essay are necessary for countering the forces which the exploiting classes currently possess.

These forces consist of the unsurpassed military apparatus of the United States, the additional military power of Washington’s closest allies, the increasingly militarized police forces of the world’s capitalist states, the instruments of censorship within the core imperialist countries, and the propaganda and surveillance network of the U.S./NATO empire. They also consist of the paramilitaries of fascist governments and private corporations, the economic leverage that’s wielded by the global capitalist class, and the economic sanctions that the U.S. is imposing on all of the globe’s anti-imperialist countries.

The American empire may be in decline, but these things continue to be very relevant threats to oppressed and exploited people, and the nations that stand against global capitalism continue to have to defend themselves from imperialist aggression. Right now Washington is sending navy ships to Venezuela, and Brazil and Colombia have joined the U.S. in increasing their military presences throughout Latin America. The U.S. regime change machine has also started on a new plan for a coup in Venezuela, one that involves getting the IMF to withhold Covid-19 aid from Venezuela’s people until the country’s socialist leadership agrees to step down.

Such is one example of how the global capitalist class can use economic warfare, political meddling, and military force to advance their interests, both around the globe and within the imperial core. All impoverished, proletarian, and colonized people are under siege from the imperialists. So to defeat them, we’ll need to take example from the nation that’s retained its self-determination and socialist development despite enduring genocide, nuclear threats, and brutal sactions: the DPRK.

The DPRK has waged its resistance to the imperialists through a playbook called Juche. In the following sections I’ll explain how Juche has saved the northern half of Korea from capitalist and imperial control, and how all socialist and anti-colonial revolutionaries can apply Juche to their own struggles.

Juche and Songun: committing to sufficient military strength in the face of imperialist threats

Socialist Korea’s governmental structure is based upon Songun, the doctrine that first prioritizes the military. As a result, the DPRK’s defenses are too great for even the modern United States to want to invade it. In addition to the country’s nuclear defenses, it has a system where citizens volunteer to become armed and trained, making the country into a socialist fortress where “Working with hammer and sickle in one hand and rifle in the other” is a popular saying.

The country’s people have been so willing to embrace Songun because within living memory, their society has experienced the most extreme imperialist violence imaginable; around a fourth of the DPRK’s people were killed by the U.S. during the Korean War, which Washington provoked by having its puppet dictator in the south threaten to invade the north. These events motivated the survivors of the genocide to follow the defensive military guidance that would soon be provided to them through Songun.

After the country’s first leader Kim Il Sung formulated the Juche ideology, it was necessary for his son Kim Jong Il to make Songun into an interpretation of Juche’s teachings, because Songun provided the outline the country needed for maintaining its military strength amid a new paradigm of imperialist aggression. The DPRK has been under constant nuclear threat since the Korean War, and the U.S. has used the capitalist southern half of Korea as a hosting place for military bases, war games, and nuclear missiles. Yet Washington has never dared attack the DPRK again, because Songun has oriented its people around taking the steps needed for ensuring their own survival.

As Kim Jong Un said about Songun in his 2013 lecture on the doctrine:

Its most important requirement is that the army should be developed into the army of the Party and the leader, into an invincible revolutionary army capable of defeating any enemy however formidable, by attaching importance to military affairs and directing primary efforts to building up the army. If the masses are to carve out their destiny and accomplish the cause of socialism amid a sharp confrontation with the imperialists and the constant threat of war, they must, before anything else, firmly hold up and strengthen the arms of the revolution. It is a serious lesson taught by the history of the world socialist movement that when the arms of the revolution are weak or waver, they can defend neither the destiny of the masses nor socialism.

Songun’s reasoning has been vindicated again and again throughout the history of socialist resistance to imperialism. In 1961, when the U.S. worked with an armed group of anti-communist Cuban exiles to try to invade Cuba, Castro’s forces successfully defended his new revolution. To avoid the possibility that the U.S. would try to invade socialist Cuba again, Castro called upon the Soviet Union to use their nuclear missiles as a deterrent.

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which scared the imperialists into not recolonizing Cuba, was the result of Cubs’s revolutionaries applying the same logic behind Songun: that the revolution must be defended by all means necessary. Cuba and the DPRK’s stories have been echoed by communist Vietnam’s defeat of the 1965 invasion from Washington, and by Venezuela’s current show of strong military force amid the growing imperialist threats against it.

Songun’s idea that socialist revolutions must be prepared for war in order to survive hasn’t just been reflected by these stories of military resistance from revolutions that are already in power. It’s been reflected by the history of how revolutionary groups have overcome state repression and taken control of their governments. The Bolsheviks needed to fight off the regrouped anti-communist forces which immediately tried to slaughter the revolutionaries in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian revolution. To create a socialist Cuba, Che Guevara and other revolutionary militants had to fight off the forces of the capitalist dictator Batista. Now India’s Maoists are having to band together in guerrilla warfare in order to take territory away from the country’s fascist government.

There are self-described socialists who say that arming and training socialist organizations isn’t necessary. But they only say this because they have an ideological agenda which opposes the fundamental goal of socialist revolution, which is to overthrow the capitalist state and replace it with a proletarian-run democracy. The “democratic socialists” in the Bernie Sanders strain, as well as the Marxist figures who believe reforming the system will achieve the goals of socialism, aren’t going to support the idea of countering capitalist power through military means. Many of those in these strains, particularly the “democratic socialists,” even support imperialist warfare against nations like the DPRK and Palestine.

What these strains advocate for is not socialist revolution, but a modification of capitalist and imperialist exploitation. Juche and Songun sweep away their deceptive claims about how socialist revolution can happen without a military aspect.

While we organize towards revolution, we need to apply the lesson that the people of the DPRK have learned: the capitalists and the imperialists will use any amount of violence necessary to crush you, so you must be ready to defend yourself. As Vladimir Lenin wrote:

The dictatorship of the proletariat means a persistent struggle- bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative- against the forces and traditions of the old society. The force of habit in millions and tens of millions is a most formidable force. Without a party of iron that has been tempered in the struggle, a party enjoying the confidence of all honest people in the class in question, a party capable of watching and influencing the mood of the masses, such a struggle cannot be waged successfully.

Juche and Marxism-Leninism: committing to a scientific approach towards building socialism

Why does the DPRK put so much of its resources towards militarily defending the continued existence of its state apparatus? What are the country’s people getting out of the “military first” governing approach which is Songun? Unlike the United States, which invests great amounts of resources in its military for the purpose of defending and expanding the interests of the capitalist class, the DPRK’s military exists to fortify a socialist system which advances the interests of the masses.

The DPRK’s constitution states that all citizens have a right to healthcare, food, employment, housing, education, and leisure. Guided by Juche, the governing Workers Party of Korea has fulfilled these goals as best is possible under the DPRK’s material circumstances. All while doing away with taxes, the country has provided a free healthcare system that the World Health Organization describes as “the envy of the developing world,” completely eliminated homelessness, provided every citizen with food for free, given all working citizens paid leave and government-supplied accomodation at health resorts, and achieved a nearly 100 percent literacy rate.

By all of these measures of living standards, the conditions of DPRK citizens are far superior to those of Americans. The people-oriented nature of the Juche system as opposed to the capitalist system is also reflected in that the DPRK’s workplaces are organized around the Taean model, which places the highest managerial authority in the hands of elected party committees. Not only does the bourgeoisie lack real power over business in the DPRK, but it lacks any power over the structure of government; all political candidates are chosen in mass meetings, and they’re put in power through elections that take place every five years and that are monitored for reliability by foreign observers.

Through this electoral system, the proletariat acts as the country’s supreme guiding force, with Kim Jong Un being merely a military commander who has no authority over the state. Consider this along with the fact that the country’s constitution protects freedom of speech, assembly, and demonstration, and it’s evident that Juche has created the maximum amount of prosperity and personal liberty that’s possible within a country which is under constant siege from imperialism.

As one Juche-oriented Facebook page has assessed: “Take full responsibility for and protect people’s future and spare nothing for the promotion of their welfare — this is the political doctrine and principle of the DPRK Government.”

The country’s conditions could be better, but only if capitalism and imperialism were removed from the picture. For now, the circumstances make many imperfections persist. Even after the famine of the 1990s has been moved past, numerous factors exist which constrain the country’s people, and which can’t be alleviated by any actions from the government. U.S. sanctions on the country limit its people’s access to farming equipment, screws and nails, medical equipment, and water purifiers. This blockage of resources has put hundreds of thousands of Korean children into malnutrition, and humanitarian aid to this vulnerable part of the population is also restricted by the embargo.

Yet along with the implementation of Songun, which mainly rose to prominence after the DPRK lost its ally the USSR, the DPRK has navigated its more economically isolated post-Soviet situation by adapting to the current economic paradigm. The country has undergone China-style reforms where private business has become more incorporated within it, and this has brought tens of billions of dollars into its economy annually. Like is the case for China’s pro-market reforms, this decision was based upon the scientific approach towards building socialism.

As Kim Jong Il wrote in Socialism is a Science:

Although socialism is an inevitable stage of historical development and socialist society is the most progressive one which conforms with man’s independent nature, socialism will never be realized spontaneously. In order to realize socialism, we must prepare the revolutionary forces capable of doing this and evolve a correct method of struggle. Unless the revolutionary forces and the method of struggle are prepared, the desire for independence of the popular masses who aspire after socialism will remain a mere wish.

These reforms have been passed as a result of the democratic will of socialist Korea’s masses, and they’ve introduced private companies that can provide higher wages for the workers than the state-run enterprises. So they represent an example of how a socialist project can be strengthened by adapting to the present conditions, rather than clinging to notions of abolishing capitalism all in one move.

For this reason, Juche doesn’t place utopian ideals above pragmatism, anymore than it asks the DPRK’s people to view the society they live in as perfect. It calls for the people to bring society towards socialism and then communism by scientifically assessing their circumstances, and by taking the actions that will further the goal of revolution. Whether these actions consist of working to ensure a strong military, or creating a workers state, or adapting to the world’s economic conditions, they’re going to be correct as long as the revolutionary party succeeds in scientifically assessing the conditions present.

This is how scientific socialism, or Marxism-Leninism, is worked towards under the Juche model. A delegate for the Korean Friendship Association explains here why this shows Juche and Marxism-Leninism are one and the same:

The Juche idea is a new and original philosophical idea that clarifies the man-centered philosophical principle. But it does not mean that the Juche idea has nothing common with Marxism-Leninism or the former denies the latter. The basic principles of Marxism-Leninism are the truth. The Juche idea has a close connection with Marxism-Leninism with commonness in its mission and class ideal. In other words, the Juche idea inherits the mission and class principle of Marxism-Leninism. The Juche idea approves the truthfulness of Marxism-Leninism and regards it as its presupposition.

Juche and human-centeredness: committing to the ideal of improving humanity’s circumstances

Kim Jong Il wrote in Socialism is a Science that “bourgeois reactionaries do not regard man as the most precious being, but as a means for material production and an insignificant being who possesses only labour power, which is bought and sold as a commodity. They also consider him a powerless being dominated by money, not as a powerful being who shapes his destiny through his own efforts.”

His statement explains the way that capitalism views human beings: as commodities that should be exploited if necessary, and that supposedly have a “human nature” which predisposes them towards selfishness. But Juche deconstructs this dark and cynical view of humanity, and calls for treating the masses as a noble force that’s capable of driving the socialist revolution forward. As Kim Jong Il also wrote, “The Juche idea raised the fundamental question of philosophy by regarding man as the main factor, and elucidated the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything.”

This belief underlies the three principles of Juche, as outlined in Kim Jong Il’s On the Juche Idea:

-The independent stance, which in the Juche ideology means independence in politics, self-sufficiency in economy, and self-reliance in defense.

-The creative method, which means that all problems that arise in the revolution are to be solved by the creativity of the masses and therefore by a scientific approach towards socialism.

-The precedence of ideological consciousness over all other work, meaning that those who wish to carry out revolution must make sure they’ve been sufficiently educated in revolutionary theory and political knowledge.

When you view human beings not as inherently greedy and cruel, but as a socially cooperative species that can be guided towards moving past exploitative systems, it becomes apparent that all of these revolutionary principles can be adopted by the masses of any country. Human nature doesn’t predispose societies to uphold unjust systems with class hierarchy, so these systems can be defeated by appealing to people’s desire for mutual cooperation. Kim Jong Il articulated this optimistic view of humanity by saying that “Considering man in social relations the Juche idea cast a new light on his essential features. It expounded that man is a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness, and thus gave a perfect philosophical elucidation of man.”

If humanity has the power to move beyond being controlled by money, socialist revolutionaries will always have the potential to defeat capitalism and the evils it creates. This vindicates the efforts of all the world’s socialist and anti-colonial revolutionaries, no matter how great their obstacles are.

In the realm of geopolitical conflict, the socialists will keep taking advantage of their increasingly favorable circumstances. Venezuela almost certainly won’t be lost to a coup, because the Chavistas have control over the military and their military is prepared for an invasion. The DPRK, along with the other small Marxist-Leninist states Cuba and Laos, will no doubt survive any future capitalist sabotage due to their strength in defense and their economic success. And China will overcome Washington’s hybrid warfare against it, all while continuing to take economic and military leverage away from the collapsing U.S. empire. So largely by acting in line with Juche’s ideals of military strength and economic pragmatism, these socialist nations will come out on top against the imperialists.

In the realm of revolutionary struggle within capitalist countries, socialists and anti-colonialists must proceed by applying Juche’s lessons to their organizing and mobilizing efforts. We need to work towards building a revolutionary party and overthrowing the bourgeois state while prioritizing our knowledge of communist theory. And while pursuing all of the practical tools that our circumstances make it necessary for us to acquire-whether those tools are weapons training, a civil disobedience action plan, or a community aid network.

By working along the lines of the DPRK, and by extension along the lines of the other surviving socialist states, we’ll put ourselves in a position to defeat capitalist power in the coming years of U.S. imperial collapse and global economic meltdown. A vast revolutionary crisis is upon us. And the DPRK and Juche show us a way to steer it towards unprecedented worldwide victories for socialism.

It’s for this reason that in 2018, Doctor of History Aleksey Maslov said the following about how history will view the main upholder of Juche Kim Jong Un, and about the future that Juche has worldwide:

Kim Jong-un has an idea. It is a good history. Moon Jae-in [President of the Republic of Korea ― Rossa Primavera News Agency] lacks any idea. He has an idea of standard economic development; he is not a revolutionary. However, the world needs revolutionaries. Mark my word, someday people will name their children Kim Jong-un or Jong-un. He will become an icon, like Che Guevara.

Revolutionaries like Kim and Guevara have shown us how to conduct ourselves in our struggles. Let’s work to make more of humanity share in the benefits from their project.
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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

As The U.S. Empire Declines, Its War Operations Are Becoming More Desperate

A generation ago, Umberto Eco wrote an essay titled “Ur-Fascism,” where he applied the emotional characteristics of fascist movements to predict what fascism would look like when it next rose in the United States. Eco concluded that among aspects of fascism like a desire for tradition, a culture of militant hierarchy, and a contempt for nonconformity, there was a uniquely fascist view of war, one that’s increasingly come to apply to American militarism. Eco wrote that fascists embrace a paradigm of eternal warfare, one where enemies both external and internal must and can constantly be beaten back. And as he described, this mentality of unshakable confidence in one’s own military might is unpragmatic and ultimately self-defeating:

By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

Like all of the other ways Eco accurately envisioned what Trump-era politics would be like, this quote is becoming an increasingly good representation of American foreign policy. When Trump assassinates an Iranian general under the fabricated rationale that he had been planning to blow up the U.S. embassy, or goes right back to Iran warmongering after war with Iran is averted, or carries out a bombing campaign that reintroduces the possibility of such a war, he’s risking war with a country that’s militarily powerful enough to devastate the U.S. army. But he and the neocons who support such provocations against Iran are all the while acting confident that it will turn out fine for the U.S., because their default attitude is to treat enemies as weaker than is actually the case.

The same applies to how the U.S. has been approaching all of its other adversaries since the beginning of the 2010s. This was when Obama began a “pivot to Asia,” where the U.S. expands its military presence in the southwestern Pacific in order to counter China’s rise. It was a preparation for the era of escalating cold war tensions with China that’s since appeared, and it was accompanied by the start of proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine that have set off rising nuclear tensions with Russia. The Washington imperialists started a great-power conflict in reaction to the decline of U.S. influence, which itself was a consequence of the U.S. empire’s self-detrimental invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

When Trump took the job of leading this great-power conflict, he and his administration exacerbated all the reminiscently fascist aspects of America’s recent foreign policy approach: an abandonment of diplomacy, a paranoid and hyperbolic rhetoric about the supposed threat that the designated enemies pose, a refusal to consider that belligerent behavior will further harm American power.

Trump fired missiles at Syria, expanded the sanctions against Russia, and armed anti-Russian forces in Ukraine. He threatened the DPRK with nuclear annihilation while imposing more crushing sanctions against its people. He used familiar WMD accusations against Iran to justify ever more inhumane Iran sanctions, in addition to the other ways he’s antagonized the country. He started a trade war with China while escalating the proxy war against China’s internal stability, and while continuing the military buildup in China’s surrounding regions.

Building upon the Obama administration’s absurd claim that Venezuela poses a “national security threat” to the U.S., the Trump administration has also concocted a series of narratives that it uses to justify its destabilization campaigns and military threats against the country. After the Red-baiting tactics and the disinformation about Maduro being a “dictator,” the White House has fabricated a series of drug-related crimes and used them to indict Venezuela’s top leadership. Now they’re accusing Maduro’s government of a “narco-terrorist” plot to flood the U.S. with cocaine, and they’re sending navy ships to Venezuela as part of a new plan for overthrowing the Chavistas.

Like the anti-Russia sanctions, the pronouncement from Washington that Juan Guaido is the true president of Venezuela, or the drone murder of General Soleimani, these actions are ultimately helping make the U.S. more isolated and ineffectual. To further its current Venezuela regime change project, Washington is tightening sanctions and cutting Venezuelans off from the resources they need amid the Covid-19 crisis. Washington is also increasing its resource blockade against the people of Iran, and it hasn’t halted any of its other sanctions. In response to this atrocity, eight countries have called upon the U.N. to make the U.S. halt its economic warfare operations, and America’s reputation will no doubt be further harmed by its actions during this pandemic.

Like is the case for the idea of an invasion of Iran, which would require bringing back the draft, invading Venezuela isn’t a very safe option at this point in America’s imperial decline. It would require a military commitment on the same level as Iraq, and it would cause far more damage to America’s global influence and military capabilities. Being mired in Middle Eastern conflicts that have arisen because of its reactive late-stage imperialist war campaigns from the last two decades, the U.S. doesn’t want to further spread its resources by trying to militarily overthrow another government. This notably wasn’t the case only nine years ago, when the U.S. invaded and overthrew Gaddafi.

With this phase in the decline of U.S. imperialism, American militarism more than ever matches Eco’s depiction of fascist militarism. Trump’s America is obsessed with military might, stamping out socialism, and crushing its enemies, yet largely as a result of Washington’s own belligerence the country is rapidly losing its former power. China, Russia, Iran, the DPRK, Assad, and Chavez are portrayed as weak compared to America, yet with each year they and their allies gain more of an upper hand.

This does not mean the U.S. and the other fascist countries are no longer a threat to the world’s colonized and exploited people. In the coming years, these countries will use all available tools for fulfilling fascism’s ultimate goal, which is to protect capitalist interests. They’ll continue to carry out genocide for the sake of corporate power, enact police terror against the populace, increase wealth inequality through privatization and austerity, and carry out coups and invasions at every opportunity. The extent of their remaining reach was demonstrated with last year’s U.S. coup in Bolivia, where the new fascist government is ethnically cleansing indigenous people, privatizing essential services, and opening the country’s lithium up to corporate oligarchs like Elon Musk.

Yet when Eco proclaimed that all fascist governments are destined to lose wars, he didn’t mean that they’re incapable of succeeding in any attempts at conquest. He meant that their hubris makes them inevitably prone to getting into some conflicts that they can’t win. Such is the nature of all empires, which are bound to win many wars but are also bound to lose others. Even in the first several decades after World War II, when the U.S. empire was reaching its height, it experienced two great defeats by failing to keep the DPRK and Vietnam from remaining communist.

In those moments, we saw American militarism take on the desperate nature that would ultimately come to define it. The communists of Vietnam and the DPRK had both made the fascists lose. This is why in an address to the leadership of socialist Korea, the Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver said that “the BPP joins hands with the 40 million Korean people in our common struggle against our common enemy- the fascist, imperialist United States government and ruling class. Comrade Kim Il Sung is the most relevant strategist in the struggle against U.S. fascism and imperialism in the world today and he has put the correct tactical line for the universal destruction of fascism and imperialism in our time.”

To replace the system of the fascists, we must stand in solidarity with those resisting imperialism while working towards socialist and anti-colonial revolution. In this effort, it’s still useful to apply the resistance strategy that Kim Il Sung put forth, which is Songun. Songun is a doctrine of “military first,” stating that in order for the revolution to protect itself from the inevitable violent attacks of the imperialists, an armed and trained proletariat must exist unconditionally.

This practice of sufficiently arming and training the revolution’s members should therefore be followed by all who resist capitalism and imperialism, from those within the Chavista movement’s militia to the members of the revolutionary organizations in the United States. In addition to building the movements and institutions for socialist and anti-colonial revolution, we must equip ourselves for when the fascists turn their war against us.
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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Lies The U.S. Is Using To Blame China For Covid-19

Above is a picture of a member of Hong Kong’s pro-U.S. fascist movement. Their sign is a response to Covid-19
Above is a picture of a member of Hong Kong’s pro-U.S. fascist movement. Their sign is a response to Covid-19
The Washington imperialists and the corporate media are manipulating the narrative around Covid-19 in the same ways that they’ve controlled discourse around the comparably dramatic crisis of 9/11. Just like how the Bush White House immediately concluded (based upon still dubiousevidence) that Osama Bin Laden was the one who had directed the attacks in order to justify starting the war in Afghanistan, and like how the Bush team campaigned to associate Saddam Hussein with 9/11 to justify invading Iraq, Covid-19 is being weaponized as a war propaganda tool. And now the designated enemies are China, Iran, Russia, and the other countries which threaten U.S. hegemony.

As was also the case after 9/11, the imperialist narrative managers are using McCarthyism, censorship, and intensive demonization of the designated enemies to hide the growing amount of evidence that the U.S. is connected to the crisis.

The evidence is in favor of the virus having originated in the U.S., not China

Like how the CIA conspired with Saudi Arabia to cover up details about 9/11 which contradicted the official Washington narrative, or how the media has ignored the evidence of Mossad foreknowledge of 9/11, the U.S. State Department and major media outlets are working to conceal and deflect from the questions about America’s potential responsibility for the virus.

There have been many events in the last year that suggest the U.S. brought the virus to China, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute in Fort Detrick was closed down in July 2019. Then in October, a team of U.S. troopers who had trained near Fort Detrick traveled to Wuhan, staying a mere 300 meters from the seafood market where the seafood market where the first cluster of cases were detected (though this market isn’t likely to be the first place where the virus could have been brought in, since the troops were at a distance from it). If these troops were deliberately sent there to proliferate the virus, it wouldn’t be unprecedented in U.S. warfare; Washington has a history of transferring viruses to use as diplomatic cargo for secret military programs.

These coincidences, while not necessarily compelling evidence for the bioweapon hypothesis on their own, are accompanied by solid evidence that Covid-19 started in the United States. As Larry Romanoff has written, “the genome varieties of the virus in Iran and Italy have been sequenced and declared to have no part of the variety that infected China and must, by definition, have originated elsewhere. It would seem the only possibility for origination would be the US because only that country has the ‘tree trunk’ of all the varieties.” Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University, has helped support the hypothesized link between the U.S. troops and the original Wuhan outbreak by concluding that “The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace.”

But enough with my hesitant language about how it’s supposedly still unclear whether the virus came from America. Chinese spokesman Zhao Lijian has formally accused Washington of bringing the virus to China, saying “When did patient zero begin in U.S? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!” Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali has made a similar statement about Covid-19’s origins: “Instead of leveling false accusations against China and Iran, U.S. officials should respond to international demands regarding its role in creating and spreading the coronavirus and the continuation of its crimes against the Iranian people by keeping in place the economic sanctions.”

Was Covid-19 engineered in an American laboratory? While a recent study has provided evidence against this, bioweapons don’t even have to be artificially created-just look at all of the already existing diseases that U.S. biowarfare operations have brought to Cuba. And even if the virus came from the U.S. to China by accident, it’s certain that China is not the country where the virus came from.

Painting China’s response to the virus as “incompetent” and “authoritarian”

Anti-Chinese propaganda often takes the form of the Western media observing benign events in China or minor slip-ups in Chinese policy, and twisting them into outrage stories. So was the case for the imperialist propaganda machine’s representation of the story of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who mistakenly spread a false message on WeChat and was subsequently warned about it by Chinese authorities. The government then paid tribute to Li for helping combat the virus and retracted their warning against him after his death, but disingenuous pundits used the incident to score rhetorical points in the information war against China.

The government’s response to Wenliang didn’t have to do with his public revelation of the virus, which was done only a day before the government decided to officially announce that the virus was a problem. Yet it’s been suggested that his decision to speak up about the virus conflicted with the agenda of the government, and that the government had targeted him for his whistleblowing.

This ridiculous distortion of events was used to justify the Western media’s deeply unfair overall portrayal of the Chinese response to the virus, as represented by this paragraph from a recent Vice article:

China initially ignored the outbreak that first surfaced in Wuhan in early December, silencing doctors who tried to raise the alarm before eventually enacting a draconian and restrictive lockdown that impacted 50 million people.

Vice, which is one of the outlets that’s been known to promote content under the direct guidance of the U.S. government in recent years, is here engaging in a subtle ploy to associate China’s response to the virus with “authoritarianism.” China’s “draconian restrictive lockdown,” which is another way to say “quarantine,” was entirely necessary and in line with how most other governments have handled the virus. But Vice’s phrasing is meant to reinforce the narratives that China had failed to respond to the virus quick enough, and that the actions it took against the virus were oppressive and sinister.

The underlying message, which is that those quarantined by China’s government were put in an unusually miserable and repressive state compared to the other quarantined populations around the world, is absurd. Thanks to Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, China’s people have had access to universal healthcare during this crisis. They’ve been in a country that’s virtually eradicated poverty. They’ve been able to contact police officers who go shopping for families in need of assistance during the quarantine. This contrasts capitalist countries like the United States, where the gutted and highly privatized healthcare system is being overwhelmed, the people who’ve lost their jobs during the quarantine are already largely in financial hardship due to neoliberalism, and the police have continued to act as a terrorizing force which frequently shoots innocent people.

Another claim the Vice article makes is that “even the slightest reference to coronavirus or the government’s response was erased” as a result of China’s censorship. This is also misleading. Most of what the censors deleted was people referring to the military games in regards to the virus, likely as a measure for keeping the public from jumping to conclusions too early about America’s potential role in the crisis. They did not go after posts that referenced the severity of the crisis, but rather material that could be harmful to international relations.

This week, the U.S. propaganda machine expanded upon these claims by alleging that China lied about the extent of the virus. Unsurprisingly, the intelligence agents who are cited as sources for this revelation are anonymous. And the Bloomberg reporters who helped break this story didn’t even see the report behind it, instead having the details outlined to them by these mysterious officials. There was no evidence to back up their claims; all they did was craft another headline that reflects the other baseless insinuations from imperialist propagandists.

These charges and mischaracterizations distract from the enormously effective efforts of the CPC in combating the virus. Because of the party’s rapid construction of medical centers and sustained widespread quarantine, the disease has recently been close to obliterated within the country. China has also provided medical resources to numerous countries, a humanitarian act which the mentioned Vice article somehow tries to spin as a bad thing.

The CPC responded as best as was possible for it to, and keeping a spreading pandemic within a country’s border is essentially beyond the powers of any state. So China can’t be accused of letting the virus spread throughout an unnecessary amount of its people (as the U.S. government can certainly be accused of). Nor can China reasonably be accused of “letting” the virus spread globally.

Using McCarthyism and censorship to shut down those who challenge the warmongering claims

Pandemics create a scary kind of political psychology. Similarly to the mass fears of terrorism throughout the last two decades, when people feel threatened by a disease they become hostile towards those who step out of the defined parameters for keeping society safe. While those urging people to disregard all of the Covid-19 safety advice are engaging in dangerous misinformation, this fringe and extreme position is being conflated with voicing dissenting views about where the virus came from and which country is responsible.

Headlines about pro-China Covid-19 content being “foreign disinformation” are promoting the perception that it’s wrong to ask the questions I’ve posed throughout this article, or to point out the falsehoods of Western reporting on China’s handling of the virus. It’s making dialogue about the issue harder to have, and it’s giving leverage to the oligarchic censorship engines within the U.S./NATO empire.

Facebook has been deleting posts about the virus to a far more thorough extent than has been the case for China’s censors. At the same time, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the BBC, and other entities have joined in on a project called the Trusted News Initiative. TNI partner Noel Curran has said about the project’s goal that “There is a tide of misinformation and bad information, driven mainly through online social platforms, which is threatening to undermine public trust and cause further anxiety for people. This initiative underlines the role of public service media in tackling misinformation head-on and delivering accurate content that audiences can safely rely on.”

It’s an extension of the McCarthyism, censorship, and stigmatization of supposed “fake news” that’s dominated Western politics in recent years. Media hysteria about “Russian interference” after the 2016 election facilitated an unprecedented series of censorship measures from corporations and governments, rationalized by a desire to protect trust in institutions. Amid the last decade’s growing backlash to neoliberalism, the ruling class has been waging a war on dissenting journalism and socialist politics. Now is another opportunity to silence and shame those who challenge imperialist and capitalist narratives.

An example of the emerging hostile atmosphere towards dissent can be found in a recent graphic from Counter Hate UK, which advises people to respond to “Coronavirus misinformation” with the following measures: “Report misinformation to platforms,” “[don’t] reply, share, or quote misinformation,” and “spread official advice” to “drown out fake news.”

This is the psychological weapon that the U.S./NATO empire is using to keep itself on the path of war escalations and internal repression: instilling people with the fear that if they challenge anything the centers of power tell them about the virus, they’ll endanger society. But we need critical thinking and open dissent more than ever during this time. The capitalist ruling class is neglecting the needs of the masses while using the crisis to exacerbate inequality, and we poor and working people need to fight back. We must challenge the narratives which enable the imperialist war campaigns against China and other countries, and we must work to intensify the class struggle.
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