Thursday, August 29, 2019

Don’t Let The MSM Paint The Hong Kong Protesters As Heroes. They’re Violent Far-Right Provocateurs.

When people praise the anti-Beijing Hong Kong protests, it’s typically vague as to which forms of Chinese oppression that they believe are being rightly resisted. The supposedly heinous extradition bill-which was proposed in response to a case where a man murdered his girlfriend and wasn’t allowed to be prosecuted because he had committed the crime outside of Hong Kong-isn’t even on the table anymore. So which specific Chinese transgressions are now provoking the continued efforts at insurrection in Hong Kong?

Despite the vague claims that China is suppressing “democracy,” the reality is that the problems in Hong Kong are due not to too much Beijing influence in the island but too little. The island’s government is run by a capitalist kleptocratic oligarchy that’s carried out damaging policies like the deliberate increases in real estate prices, and there's no substance to the claim that China is in any way exerting its influence to make life worse for Hong Kong’s residents.

Since the grievances of the protesters are based in legitimate hardships, their intentions are theoretically good. But Hong Kong’s U.S.-funded political advocacy groups and Western propaganda outlets have propagated the idea that China is to blame for the island’s decline in living standards, which has persuaded many people in Hong Kong to side with the colonialist, anti-socialist agenda of the anti-Beijing protests. As a result, these protesters have become dangerous disruptors who carry out aggressive violence to advance their right-wing goals.

As the staff of Fight Back News wrote this month, “The Hong Kong protests are an attack on socialism.” They explain that:

The Hong Kong protests are absolutely not driven by or in the interests of the working class, whether in Hong Kong or mainland China. For one, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU) has come out strongly against these protests. As one of the largest labor organizations in the region, the Federation represents 410,000 workers in transportation, logistics, manufacturing, infrastructure, construction and other major industries. Many of their 251 affiliated unions have actively campaigned against the protesters' calls for a ‘general strike’.

Nor have working-class neighborhoods in Hong Kong joined in the months of rioting and unrest. An NPR investigation published on August 14 looked at the North Point district, one of the city’s largest working-class neighborhoods, and interviewed construction worker Xiao Yongli. Along with his neighbors, many of whom are migrant workers, Xiao warned protesters against coming into their community.

The protests serve the interests both of Hong Kong’s billionaires (who would be in better standing if China’s authority were entirely gone from the island), and of the U.S./NATO empire (which has been using its political advocacy organizations in Hong Kong to undermine China’s authority since the start of Hong Kong’s break from Britain’s authority). It’s undeniable that the protesters are aligned with this imperialist agenda; the Civil Human Rights Front, a core organizer of the protests that has ties to the CIA front group the National Endowment for Democracy, supports one vocal faction that openly advocates for outside intervention from the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan in order to “liberate” Hong Kong.

The anti-Beijing protesters are advancing this repugnant agenda through the use of right-wing iconography and propaganda, as is reinforced by the Civil Human Rights Front’s use of the far-right slogan “Reclaim Hong Kong! Revolution in our time!” The protesters have reflected these kinds of appeals to fascistic Western chauvinism by calling upon Donald Trump to “liberate Hong Kong,” by waving British and American flags, by displaying the American far-right symbol Pepe the frog, and by deploying racist slurs against Han Chinese.
Like has been the case with past U.S.-manufactured “color revolutions,” the Hong Kong protesters have also been using their U.S. funding to carry out violent protests. Commentator Thomas Hon Wing Polin recounted last month that:

Today, July 1, is the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunification with China. On the auspicious occasion, a 1,500-strong mob of young Thugs for Democracy are laying siege to the local Legislative Council, battering down its reinforced-glass doors with homemade weapons (photos below). Police anti-riot squads are treating them with kid gloves, like misbehaving toddlers.

Meanwhile, during official HKSAR Establishment Day ceremonies, embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged to be more “understanding” and “accommodating” towards young HKers. In future policy-making, she said, the government would take greater account of their views and aspirations. Lam’s promise echoed the one made just two days earlier by her No. 2, chief secretary Matthew Cheung.

This is how the U.S. empire is gaslighting those who challenge its narratives about Hong Kong. These and other violent actions from the protesters have been done with the intent of provoking the police into responding with force, which can then be used to vilify China’s police and win sympathy for the protests. Even though the far-right protesters and their capitalist backers are the ones instigating the violence, they’re convincing people that China is the one to see as the villain.

In the typical fashion of a modern American media psy-op, headlines throughout the American press have been exploiting this narrative about Chinese repression by invoking another powerful image within the mythos of Western propaganda: Tiananmen Square. The New York Times, the Washington PostNewsweekForeign Policy, and other Western outlets have been frequently warning about a “second Tiananmen” soon happening in response to the noble efforts of Hong Kong’s “pro-democracy” protesters. 

And like was the case during the events in Tiananmen Square thirty years ago, the violence has been blamed on the police when the U.S.-backed protesters have in fact been the instigators. As Hon Wing Polin observed, the police anti-riot squads have been treating the protesters “with kid gloves, like misbehaving toddlers.” The same was roughly the case in Tiananmen Square, despite the decades-long U.S. effort to falsely portray the event as a Chinese-created “massacre.”

If the protesters and their backers in the Civil Human Rights Front get their wish for a U.S./NATO intervention in Hong Kong, they should be prepared to handle the consequences of a potential war between the U.S. and China. In such a conflict, the U.S. would meet its match after so confidently bullying the People’s Republic of China; on China’s side in the war, there would be a rising country with vast military power, and on America’s side there would be a rapidly declining empire which has spread its resources so thin that it’s estimated to be unable to win a war against China and its allies. Going forward, the U.S. shouldn’t act too recklessly in its aggressions, or it might get what it wishes for.

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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:

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

To Survive The Climate Crisis, We Must Look To History’s Anti-Colonial Struggles

Poster from Grenade Media
With this month’s burning of the Amazon as a result of the actions of the fascist Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, the first world has gotten a glimpse of the horrors that the world’s poor and indigenous people have long been experiencing at the hands of capitalism and colonialism. Because the Amazon’s existence is crucial for preventing climate apocalypse, the world outside of the region’s indigenous community now feels threatened by the consequences of profit-motivated white supremacy.

Essentially, this assault on the climate is an act of colonialist violence against the entire world. The global capitalist class, which has welcomed Bolsonaro’s neoliberal presidency, is turning the earth into one big sacrifice zone. Climate change is going to create what a recent U.N. report has described as “climate apartheid,” where the world’s entire population aside from an insulated global elite are pushed into poverty or made into refugees amid the environmental collapse. As the middle classes within the core imperialist nations become part of the victimized population in this emerging dystopia, they will experience the same loss of stability and dignity that the colonized people have.

What do we do now that this is happening to us? We build social movements in the same vein as those of the indigenous leaders who’ve liberated their people. This will require us to unlearn the cultural conditioning that capitalism has instilled in us which prevents us from seeking out radical solutions. One aspect of this conditioning is green capitalism, a narrative that teaches people to believe that reforming capitalism will solve the environmental crisis. In this quote, artist Hiroyuki Hamada laments the ways that green capitalism, through its purveyors in pro-capitalist NGOs and the mainstream media, convinces society to stay complacent as capitalism kills the planet:

What’s infuriating about manipulations by Non Profit Industrial Complex is that they harvest good will of the people, especially young people. They target those who were not given skills and knowledge to truly think for themselves by institutions which are designed to serve the ruling class. Capitalism operates systematically and structurally like a cage to raise domesticated animals. Those organizations and their projects which operate under false slogans of humanity in order to prop up the hierarchy of money and violence are fast becoming some of the most crucial elements of the invisible cage of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.

To transcend this false view of the relationship between capitalism and the environment, we’ll need to be skeptical of green capitalist climate “solutions” that are being pushed in the media-like the Democratic Party’s corporatist Green New Deal and the capitalist energy initiatives that Greta Thunberg’s powerful promoters want to carry out-and help movements that seek to implement an ecosocialist revolution.

Where are these movements? They’re not to be found within the leadership of Extinction Rebellion, which claims that the solution to climate change is a return to the Keynesianism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the other mainstream left-leaning figures who propose this reiteration of the New Deal, these leaders are advancing the ambitions of the capitalists who want to use climate change to make more money. Entities like the tech startup We Don’t Have Time, which has used Thunberg’s climate crusade to boost its brand, aim to exploit the climate crisis by facilitating profit-motivated “green” initiatives and by selling their products and services.

Is this the future that we want? Corporations carrying through a “green” marketing gambit while the planet is crushed by the unsustainable industrialism that capitalism entails? If we want survival, if we want vitality, we’ll stop believing the false promises of the corporatocracy and rise up against capitalism and colonialism.

“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness,” concluded the Burkina Faso Marxist revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara. “In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.”

There are institutions in America that are working to apply Sankara’s solutions to our current crisis. The Black Alliance for Peace is fighting imperialism through a combination of acting in the realms of antiwar organizing and social justice; the Party for Socialism and Liberation is building power for principled socialism while organizing protests against America’s illegal interventions in countries like Venezuela; the Socialist General Defense Committee is teaching marginalized groups how to become armed and trained so that they can protect themselves from right-wing violence. These are just a few of the organizations that I recommend becoming involved in because of their alignment with the cause of liberating oppressed people from capitalism and imperialism.

What distinguishes these groups from the pro-capitalist reformism of the mainstream climate movement is that they intend to defeat the system that’s killing us. They understand, like the leaders of history’s successful anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist revolutions have, that the people can’t be freed unless the capitalist and colonialist power structures are upended.

We in the core imperialist nations can apply this revolutionary logic to our own situation by working towards decolonizing the epicenters of colonialism. Though advancing our agenda through the electoral process isn’t without value, we ultimately shouldn’t recognize the United States government or the other capitalist states as legitimate. We should resist the pressure to vote for Democrats because they’re our “only viable option,” and instead build power for the socialist and anti-imperialist strains which are working independently from capitalist entities. By learning to operate outside of the ideological constraints that the capitalist class has created, we’ll gain the power to free ourselves.

The prospect of an American socialist revolution isn’t a wild fantasy. It’s a scenario that’s been speculated about by the leaders of successful socialist revolutions who’ve wondered how capitalism can be defeated within the central colonizer nations. Che Guevera said that “I envy you. You North Americans are very lucky. You are fighting the most important fight of all—you live in the belly of the beast.” Even as America is being overwhelmed by rising fascism amid an accelerating climate collapse, we have the potential to strike at capitalism from the very center of imperial control.

Look at how 200 million people in India carried out a strike this year under the banner of communism. Look at how the Venezuelan people have spent the last generation bringing a socialist revolution to power while successfully resisting U.S. imperialism. Look at the resiliency and growing power of China’s socialist revolution. The global capitalist order is under threat, and the climate crisis needs to be what provokes us into launching these kinds of uprisings within the colonizer nations.

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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:

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Thought Police Of The New Cold War

The recent decline of American global power, and the subsequent onset of the U.S./NATO empire’s 21st century cold war with Russia and China, have made the flow of information throughout the capitalist world a lot less free than it was before. When this great power conflict started in the early 2010s, censorship and state propaganda had already been intensified throughout the War on Terror. But the emergence of the current alliance between Russia, China, and their partners against the United States created the necessity for the Western ruling class to expand its list of enemies, and in the process to expand its tools for controlling the minds of the public.

In this heightened new era of warfare, America’s list of enemies has grown to include not just Russia and China, but a large amount of the nations that they’re allied with. North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria are the empire’s four other highest level enemies, since the empire has a strong need to replace all of their governments. The mid-level enemies are Cuba, Lebanon, and Yemen, which are currently the targets of strategic economic and/or military warfare instead of the targets of outright regime change operations. Bolivia and Nicaragua are the low level adversaries because of their willingness to challenge capitalism and imperialism. All of these countries are part of the same group of powers whose interests don’t align with those of the Western empire, so the propaganda and censorship practices within the core imperialist nations have tended to treat them like one entity.

An example of this intersection between the information warfare operations against these countries is the Western media’s simultaneous efforts to vilify Russia and Syria. During moments like last year’s controversy over whether or not Bashar al-Assad had committed a chemical attack in Douma, pro-war propagandists have claimed that “Russian bots” and “Russian propaganda” are behind the arguments that “Assad apologists” use. 

These kinds of slogans were often repeated in the media’s attemptsthroughout April 2018 to discredit the critics of the official Syria narrative, so much that the war propagandists were sometimes caught using their tropes too loosely. At one point, the UK government and The Guardian claimed that the Twitter profiles Ian56 and PartisanGirl were automated Russian government accounts when in fact these accounts were both provenly run by real people.

Such blatant factual errors in the war propaganda machine’s messaging are rarely considered by the people who believe its narratives, because these narratives are portrayed as the truthful counters to a supposed onslaught of enemy propaganda. The story that the Western empire tells is one of a clash of civilizations, where the people of the West must be constantly vigilant for the deceptions from foreign disinformation agents.

The events of the last week have again shown how this Western information war is focused not just on one country, but on the entire anti-NATO alliance. In response to messages from Chinese Twitter accounts that objected to the Western narratives about the Hong Kong protests, Twitter has suspended over 900 of these accounts, followed by a suspension of 200,000 accounts that Twitter “believes” were associated with the Chinese government and by Google’s shuttering of 200 China-linked YouTube accounts. The reporting on these incidents from the Western media, which has labeled the content of the accounts as “misinformation,” might be how the media will also spin another recent major censorship action: Twitter’s suspension of the English language account of Nicolas Maduro. (So far the media has ignored this latest censorship story, likely because it would be hard to portray positively.)

The examples go on of U.S.-led efforts to silence the representatives and supporters of the countries on the enemies list. This year alone, Twitter has removed thousands of accounts linked to the Iranian government, as well as taken down hundreds of accounts linked to Venezuela amid the start of the Trump administration’s coup attempt. Similar incidents of online censorship have been intensifying for several years, and they’ve also involved FacebookYouTubeGoogle, and even supposedly open platforms like Medium; last month, Medium permanently removed all of my articles because I had caused “reputational harm” to the Syria regime change front group the White Helmets. 

The website A Closer Look On Syria has assessed Medium’s attack against me to be a notable incident in the recent progression of online narrative policing, listing it as one example of a “totalitarian media regime” of censorship and propaganda that’s emerged during the new cold war.

To create this regime, the corporations, think tanks, and government officials behind it have needed to reconcile a narrative contradiction that their efforts have caused. This is the contradiction between the idea that Western capitalist democracy is free and open, and the idea that speech needs to be policed by a circle of oligarchic censors. To justify itself in the face of this dissonance, the totalitarian media regime has redefined what we’re supposed to see as legitimate political speech, treating the ideology and interests of the U.S./NATO corporatocracy as the only things that deserve respect.

Russian social media involvement is treated like an outrage, while Israel’s far more impactful English language social media influencing program is seen as legitimate. The president of Venezuela isn’t allowed to make tweets that will resonate with the American public, while the U.S. government is legally able to insert covert propaganda into the media that Americans consume every day. The public image of the anti-socialist protests in Hong Kong is protected through social media censorship, while socialist websites in the U.S. have their viewership numbers systematically brought down by Google’s manipulated search engine algorithms.

This eagerness among Western elites to abandon the principles of democracy-and therefore to negate the values of “freedom” and “liberty” that the West has used to claim its superiority over the civilizations that it’s conquered-is rationalized through the logic that Western capitalism and imperialism are innately superior, whether or not they’re democratic. Last year, when Facebook picked two U.S. government-funded organizations that specialize in foreign propaganda and regime change operations to fight “malicious propaganda,” the default assumption was that Washington/NATO entities were the ones which could be trusted to protect the truth.

Without a radical transformation of how our economic and political systems work, this crackdown against a free Internet won’t be able to be reversed. By its nature, the online censorship that’s taking place is being carried out throughout autocratic means, because it’s built upon the power structure of surveillance capitalism. And surveillance capitalism is a system that’s inherently undemocratic, and that very effectively exploits and manipulates the sentiments of the people. “This antidemocratic and anti-egalitarian juggernaut is best described as a market-driven coup from above,” Shoshana Zuboff has written in her book from this year The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. “An overthrow of the people concealed as the Trojan horse of digital technology. On the strength of its annexation of human experience, this coup achieves exclusive concentrations of knowledge and power that sustain privileged influence over the division of learning in society.”

The thought police of the new cold war gains its legitimacy both from the double standard that the Washington political class applies to the countries which are targeted by the Western empire, and from the capitalist logic that puts the needs of the market above the needs of the people. Until we can defeat capitalism and imperialism and move towards a free and egalitarian online model, the best we can do to resist these attacks on the free press is to help the independent journalism community.

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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:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Communist Movement, Not The Democratic Party, Is What Can Defeat Fascism

The dangers of a fascistic shift are now so palpable that the only people who can’t see them are the ones who directly align themselves with the Trump administration and its ultra right-wing allies. American society is going through the same process of escalating human rights abuses against refugees in detention centers that Germany went through in the years that preceded the Holocaust. The targeted migrants in 1920s Germany were Jews, and the ones of our time are Hispanics. And like was the case with Germany’s debate over how to treat the refugees, there are many people who refuse to entertain the idea that the detention centers are concentration camps, and who are ideologically aiding the progression towards worse atrocities.

Yet even among many of the people who are alarmed at these developments, there’s a continued sense of duty to align themselves with the Democratic Party-and therefore a continued state of denial about the crisis that we’re facing. History has shown that the unwillingness to step outside of the means for dissent that the capitalist class allows is what enables the rise of fascism. This is the reality that the American left needs to acknowledge, and that represents the most immediately compelling argument for becoming truly radical and joining the communist movement. Here are the distinctions between the Democrats and the anti-capitalist left as they relate to resisting fascism.

The Democrats will support the fascists at crucial moments. The communists will fight the fascists no matter what.

The Democratic Party has its early 20th century German parallel in the Centre Party and the Social Democratic Party, which enabled the rise of the Nazis in different ways. In 1919, the majority Social Democratic government put down that year’s anti-capitalist Spartacist uprising by assassinating German Communist Party leader Rosa Luxemburg. Ten years later, the anti-fascist resistance group the Red Front was banned by the governing social democrats. After the social democrats had suppressed these strains of the opposition to the
fascist movement, the Centre Party’s members of parliament voted for the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers.

The similarities to today are obvious. Last year, the same Democrats who’ve denounced Trump as an authoritarian voted to give Trump vast warrantless spying powers; House and Senate Democrats have reliably voted to fund military budget expansion bills, which Trump has used to get the funding for sending troops to tear gas migrant families on the southern border; Democrats have been working with the Trump administration to provide the resources for the persecution of undocumented immigrants, which Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib recently defended by claiming that all we need to do to prevent future human rights violations within the migrant detention camps are “accountability” and “more training” for the immigration officers.

What the supporters of the “leftist” Democrats must recognize is that the problem comes not just from the centrist Democrats, but from all the politicians who align themselves with the capitalist and imperialist Democratic Party. Tlaib, one of the four Democratic congresswomen who’ve been affectionately nicknamed “The Squad” by progressives, has enabled the systems of capitalist and imperialist violence. Tlaib and her fellow Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley have all failed to oppose the Trump administration’s regime change attempt in Venezuela this year. The same is true for Sanders, whose record includes many incidents of support for imperialist policies. Even the supposed anti-imperialist Tulsi Gabbard has been complicit in the Zionist colonial project, with her having voted for a resolution from this summer which misrepresented and harshly condemned the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.

All of these actions need to be scrutinized, both because supporting imperialism is always unacceptable and because an unwillingness to oppose all of the reactionary right’s destructive policies helps facilitate the slide into fascism. The policy failures of Sanders and the other “leftist” Democrats also reflects upon Sanders’ unnecessary support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, wherein the candidate was nominated who proved to be a weak opponent against Trump. The “leftist” wing will no doubt fall behind the next establishment Democrat candidate after the DNC again rigs the primary in 2020, resulting in Trump’s re-election.

The fascists will win if they’re up against opponents who are tied in with the capitalist and imperialist systems that enable fascism, and who bend to the will of the reactionaries in between rhetorical objections to their agenda. Antifa and its ideological allies in the anti-capitalist movement see the futility of working within capitalist institutions like the Democratic Party. They’re focused on building the independent institutions that can mount a resistance to the capitalist order, and to the deadly police state and fascist paramilitaries that are causing harm to vulnerable groups. As the socialist Chris Hedges has written about the need for building these radical institutions:

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.

Democrats want to disarm the poor and the marginalized. Communists want to give them the tools to protect themselves.

This month, the black activist Killer Mike said in response to the gun control proposals of Democrats Kamala Harris and Cory Booker that “I don’t trust black leadership that wants to de-arm black people.” He’s right to be disturbed. With the intention of stopping mass shootings, Democrats conventionally seek gun control policies that would widely prohibit firearm ownership. But in our socially and economically unequal society, these laws would primarily take guns away from the people who need them the most for self-defense: the poor and nonwhites. Should these Democrats succeed, they’ll effectively be perpetrating an act of violence against society’s threatened groups.

The Hispanic community in El Paso, as well as the nationwide members of armed left-wing groups like the Socialist Rifle Associationand the Civil Defense Corps, have been becoming armed and trained for good reason. Shootings like the ones in El Paso and Christchurch have made violence from racist vigilantes into a prime fear among the groups who are targeted by the far-right. That Democrats would try to disarm these groups at a time when they’re under growing threat from violence shows just how unfit the Democratic Party is to lead the opposition to fascism.

What further demonstrates the Democrats’ complicity in this rising fascistic violence is that while they try to prohibit armed self-defense among the threatened groups, they support ICE, don’t support prison abolition or an alternative to policing, and vote for the funding of the military. They’ve rationalized their enablement of these institutions for state violence and their simultaneous attacks on the self-protection abilities of the marginalized through the same line of reasoning that Tlaib used last month: the belief that America’s inherently racist and violent law enforcement institutions can be fixed through reforms, and that it’s therefore unnecessary for the targets of state violence to defend themselves.

This centrist, ruling class-aligned attitude towards gun ownership has had dire consequences for societies in the past. Throughout the 1920s, the Centre Party and Social Democratic leaders enacted partial bans on firearms. This had unintended consequences when Hitler’s paramilitary forces were able to become armed despite the control laws, and when many people were left unable to defend themselves during the Third Reich’s onslaught of racial, religious and political persecution.

In the history of the Third Reich and its preceding events, the only factions that consistently defended the threatened groups and the principles of democracy were the radical anti-capitalist strains. The communists, the anarchists, and their ideological allies in Germany’s anti-fascist movement supported the right of poor people and minorities to bear arms, with the Communist Party of Germany having proclaimed in 1930 that they were “the only anti-fascist party.” The Communist Party had shown this by forming a paramilitary and propaganda wing of their organization called the Red Front Fighters League, which went into the streets to defend the public from the armed assemblies of the fascists.

Unlike the social democrats, the communists saw the rise of the Nazis as the symptom of capitalism in crisis. And they tried to create a system which wouldn’t enable reactionary politics like capitalism does.

Capitalism, which allows for fascism to rise, is supported by the Democrats. Communists have a pathway to ending capitalism.

At their worst, the Democrats are neoliberals who want to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, further deregulate Wall Street, and cut social services. At their best, they want to expand regulations and social services while keeping the structures of capitalism and imperialism in place. The Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party represents the latter category, which is ultimately helping facilitate the rise of fascism as much as the former.

At a time when the United States government is moving towards presidential dictatorship, when the capitalist class is using military force and making alliances with the extreme right to combat growing working class mobilization, and when climate change is accelerating, whatever reforms that politicians like Sanders can make will not be enough to alleviate the crisis we face. The power of the capitalist state won’t be overcome by a “leftist” leadership that supports America’s law enforcement institutions and enables militarism and empire. The violent momentum of the fascist forces which seek to take over America won’t be countered by pro-capitalist politicians who want to take away the self-defense tools of the poor and the marginalized. An adequate reduction in carbon emissions won’t be reached by trying to reform capitalism, as Ocasio-Cortez wants to do with her watered-down and pro-corporate “Green New Deal.”

This is because social democracy, which is the ideology of the Sanders wing, isn’t the enemy of fascism but rather its natural enabler. As Joseph Stalin wrote in his 1924 work Concerning the International Situation:

It is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy. There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie.

What should give us hope is that as history repeats itself, both the bad and the good are once again presenting themselves. While both pre-Hitler Germany and modern America have fascists and their liberal enablers, our time has also seen the rise of modern versions of the Red Front Fighters League. We have armed socialist organizations like the SRA, which are supported by anti-capitalist parties like the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Party of Communists USA.

These far-left vanguard groups serve as crucial allies for the activists and organizations which aren’t militant or communist, but which are still helping combat the attacks on democracy; the American Civil Liberty Union’s recent blockage of the Trump administration’s attempt to put the citizenship question in the 2020 census is one which wouldn’t be as effectual without the presence of the reliable anti-fascists.

We must fight for the end of imperialism and colonialism, which entails defending socialist countries like China and the DPRK from U.S. propaganda. We must oppose capitalism not just in the rhetorical way that Democratic Party branches like the Democratic Socialists of America do, but with a commitment to not supporting pro-capitalist politicians and policies. We must educate, agitate, and organize with the end of capitalism in mind, because the consequence for moderation on the left will be the victory for the darkest forces in politics.

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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: