Friday, February 9, 2018

By Accusing Their Opponents Of Being Russian Agents, Establishment Dems Are Making Discourse Totalitarian

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The paradigm of McCarthyism the establishment has created reflects how an entrenched system reacts to its own demise. As objections to the status quo mount, and as the ruling class loses control, dissent becomes less and less tolerated. At this point, the struggle between ideologies has heightened so much that almost no one can publicly voice dissenting views without being accused of working for Russia.

This attack strategy is directly descended from the paranoia of the cold war era, when civil rights supporters, socialists, and opponents of war were maligned as Russian agents. It’s been normalized through incessant media propaganda, where images of Russian spies and trolls have been drilled into the national psyche. Its effect is that anyone with an online following who criticizes the Democratic Party establishment, promotes independent journalism, or speaks out against the Russia and Syria war campaigns will almost certainly be accused of being a Kremlin troll. “In its capacity to exclude dissent,” writes Jackson Lears about the new McCarthyism, “it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.”
The purpose of this campaign is shown in the pro-imperialist and government circles its supporting narratives have originated from. The charges that Russia has hacked Democratic Party emails and voting machines, and that Russia bought ads on social media, come from highly untrustworthy U.S. intelligence officials who haven’t provided proof for their claims. All of the media’s current Russia narratives can be traced to neoconservative think tanks, like Bill Kristol’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. 
These figures’ motives are easy to guess, and were explicitly described last year by neocon senator Eric Swalwell in a Fox News interview: to replace Putin with a Yeltsin-like leader who’s submissive to U.S. interests, or at least to bully Putin into acting as that leader. This mission of theirs is born out of determination to advance American hegemony, and they don’t seem to care if World War III is started in the process. The Syrian regime change attempt these anti-Russian aggressions serve to advance recently resulted in tragedy, as U.S.-backed Kurdish forces massacred over a hundred people in in an unprovoked attack this week. This further exacerbated the push toward war between major world powers.
As the new cold war campaign has graduated into a serious nuclear standoff, with the U.S. preparing for a “preemptive strike” from Russia this month, we’re now in a fittingly totalitarian state. President Trump is about to hold an impractical and cartoonishly fascist military parade. Google, Twitter, and Facebook have set upalgorithms to intensely police dissenting voices, with Zuckerberg making Orwellian announcements about new censorship measures every week. Around a hundred people were killed by U.S. police in the first month of 2018 alone, while the president’s favorite pundits frequently use rhetoric that resembles calls for a police state. The takeover by corporations and military power continues, as the military budget was just raised by $160 billion and the Trump administration dismantles environmental and worker protections.
The factions of this oligarchy are pushing in often contradictory directions and advancing conflicting narratives. But their shared goal is to marginalize and punish free thought out of existence. The plutocrats who control this system don’t care which of these factions wins, as long as this goal of theirs is served.
And the enormous censorship against dissenting voices from social media companies and governments is just the beginning. Last year the FBI contacted the magazine CounterPunch to tell them that they’d published articles from a “Russian troll” writer named Alice Donovan. CounterPunch did their own investigation of Donovan, and found that while there’s indeed strong evidence Donovan is a fictitious online character created by anonymous people, there was also no proof this character originated from the Russian government.
There was no point to the FBI’s publicly characterizing Alice Donovan as a Kremlin tool, other than to begin setting precedent for treating all dissenting journalists as Russian agents. The McCarthyite accusations that get leveled each day against dissenting voices now have a backup in law enforcement.
We dissenters are still here, and we’re still fighting to create a world free from the power of this mindless, soulless military and corporate machine. We can avoid becoming invisible by redoubling our efforts to spread the truth, and by collaborating between each others’ organizations and websites. We can do damage to corporate power by holding mass strikes, like the ones that happened in Germany this month, so that the system will be destabilized. Remember that the state’s main goal is to make us surrender.

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