Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Economic Collapse Is Going To Get A Lot Worse

The United States and the other core imperialist countries haven’t had socialist revolutions because the masses within them have been kept complacent. They’ve directly or indirectly benefited from the exploitation of colonized peoples, enjoying relative economic advantages despite their being subordinate to the capitalist class. Even as inequality has increased in the last generation or so, this has let the system keep them from taking action. They’ve been told that they need to be loyal to their country, that they can get ahead if they try, that capitalism gives them a better lifestyle than socialism would.

What happens when the comforts of the American people are taken away? As the country passes into the greatest economic unraveling in a century, the system is being confronted with the possibility that a consciousness shift will happen.

To create this shift, we’ll need to accept that the system isn’t going to take us out of our hardship. We won’t get back the decades-low official unemployment levels from earlier this year, or the relative prosperity of the 1990s, or the large American middle class of the mid-20th century. Our living standards, which have been declining for decades under neoliberalism, are going to keep going down.

This is why the Trump White House is still trying to convince people that things will turn around, claiming that the economy will recover rapidly after the quarantines end. In reality, this is far from the worst that conditions will get, and right now they’re far worse than the government admits they are. Around forty million Americans are unemployed, which is almost double the official figure. This makes the nationwide unemployment rate well over 20%, which represents a tipping point for the death of the economy.

In an environment where small businesses are getting rapidly trapped in liquidation and bankruptcy, local business owners are largely not going to revive their operations. And the big companies that have laid off many of their workers largely aren’t going to hire those workers back, simply for the reason that they can greatly cut down on costs by hiring far fewer workers than they did before the virus. If they can keep their operations going now, they’ll be able to continue with this arrangement.

The owners of these big corporate monopolies are pretty much the only ones who will come out of this crisis richer. The workers and the growing masses of unemployed people will be left with nothing but a band-aid stimulus check, and whatever social services they can gain will no doubt be cut by a government that’s eager to impose more austerity. The tech companies that have won out from the pandemic need to maintain a relatively tiny workforce to continue functioning, meaning tens of millions of people will remain out of work so that the CEOs of companies like Google and Amazon can maximize profits.

In this restructured version of neoliberalism, those lucky enough to find work will more likely than before have to participate in the “gig economy.” Service jobs like home delivery and housecleaning, the remaining retail jobs, and other lower-wage work opportunities will become more normalized. The alternatives to these things will be homelessness, a criminal lifestyle, or a desperate attempt to live off of welfare.

This situation has already become the reality for at least half of the country’s population, since around 50% of Americans are poor by the modern definition. But as the factors for economic collapse converge, the record household debt that these lower class Americans have accumulated will become even less manageable. There won’t come a time when the opportunities from before the crash reappear for these struggling households, because a depression has come that will likely extend beyond the 2020s.

Big tech has consolidated the job market. Deglobalization is making for a post-pandemic outcome where commerce and trade will be more tightly restricted. A new housing bubble is taking effect, exacerbated by a repeat of the disastrous financial lending schemes that produced the last crash. These crises are creating more developments that will harm the economy long-term, like a collapse in prices for oil and other major industrial commodities, a risk of mass defaults and bankruptcies because of unsustainable mass household debt, and a massive increase in fiscal deficits.

It’s all leading to capitalist societies finding themselves in poverty and disrepair when they confront the crisis that will come from climate change: rising sea levels, intensifying storms, heat waves, severe droughts, abnormal fires, increasing agricultural dysfunctionality, food chain collapses, viruses that are intensified by the shifts in the weather and the degradation of ecosystems. These things aren’t five or ten years in the future, they’re present right now, and they’re impacting us more all the time. The system isn’t going to save us from these things. It will use the military to try to maintain order, leave us to fend for ourselves, and let the rich retreat to their secluded doomsday shelters near the poles or in the American heartland.

This is the role the system has given you as a lower class person: a statistic, one thay can either end up as a servant for the upper class or become another liability to be cast aside. The capitalist class doesn’t care what happens to you; they’ve been crunching the numbers about how many of you will die from Covid-19 if they reopen the economy early. And they’ll take the same approach when the question becomes how many of you will die if left without aid during the climate crisis. You’re only useful to them as far as you can increase their profits. Otherwise you’re completely dispensable.

If this sounds sad, remember that it’s a reality which colonized and Third World people have had to face for centuries. Gazans have long been surrounded by poverty and state violence, Chileans have been living under extreme economic inequality since the U.S.-installed Pinochet dictatorship did its damage, and indigenous peoples on several continents have been experiencing genocide for generations. Naturally, these victims of colonialism and imperialism have long been much more engaged in revolutionary struggle than First Worlders have, and in numerous countries they’ve installed socialist or anti-colonial governments. We’ll need to reach their level of commitment in order to win our own battle for liberation.

Like the colonized and exploited peoples of Cuba did before they carried out a socialist revolution, we have to build a mass movement that can bring down the capitalist state. We must expand organizations which have the goals of decolonizing America and creating a socialist worker-run democracy. We must organize within our communities towards carrying out out civil disobedience and equipping revolutionaries for combat. We must abandon the colonial chauvinist, pro-bourgeois ideas that kept us tethered to the system, then take example from past Marxist-Leninists in how to take the system down.

And to abandon these ideas, we’ll first need to give up hope that we stand something to gain by being loyal to our country or defending capitalism. The material rewards that we’ve enjoyed from participating in the system are disappearing, and being replaced with a new reality that resembles the Third World. Don’t hesitate to disobey the system’s rules, because the system has nothing to offer you in return for your compliance.
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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, April 28, 2020

The Fascistic Restructuring Of American Capitalism

Since the United States became the main world power in the 1940s, opening corporations up to the countries the U.S. empire would come to exploit in the following decades, working class people in America have filled a role more disposable than had previously been the case. Labor could be easily extracted by U.S. corporations from the Third World, because capitalism was now centered around the largest empire in world history. But now the economic order is changing, and the U.S. capitalist class is needing to adapt.

Neoliberalism and the petrodollar are how U.S.-led globalization has survived in the last half-century

In his book Against Empire, Michael Parenti concluded about the economic arrangement of recent generations that “Designed to leave the world’s economic destiny at the mercy of bankers and multinational corporations, Globalization is a logical extension of imperialism, a victory of empire over republic, international finance capital over democracy.”

When the value of labor from American workers was reduced and corporate interests were global rather than national, the corporatocracy could afford to deindustrialize the imperial core. Millions of U.S. jobs were moved to lower wage countries through free trade deals like NAFTA. In the 1970s, a neoliberal shock doctrine began to be imposed upon exploited countries like Chile, and neoliberalism was soon brought to the U.S. and the other imperial powers. By the end of the 20th century, both the Third World and the First World had been thoroughly transformed by the new paradigm of privatization, austerity, deregulation, and a shifting of the tax burden onto the poor.

Neoliberalism was the way for the corporations to maintain rising profits in a world where the mid-century welfare states had become detrimental to the capitalist class. Spending on the Vietnam War had sent the U.S. into a recession that was making corporate profits drop, exacerbated by the quadrupling of oil prices that was brought on by the 1973 oil embargo.

The embargo, which was a response by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries to Washington’s support for Israel, demonstrated the need for U.S. imperialism to adapt. The capitalist class preserved U.S.-led globalization amid this crisis both by implementing neoliberalism, and by placing a new level of importance on the petrodollar system. The U.S. made a deal with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries, one where they deposited oil profits to Western banks in exchange for Washington sending U.S. companies to westernize Saudi Arabia.

Under this global economic model, the 1% enjoyed a mostly steady uptick in profits for several decades. But at some point it had to come back down.

Boom and bust

After the 2008 crash, the power of the big banks was further consolidated, making the financial system more concentrated and unstable than it had been before. New financial bubbles appearedaround the globe as all of the lending schemes that had led to the previous crash continued. When the Covid-19 crash came, it correlatedwith a new housing crisis that was already in progress, making the Federal Reserve powerless to stop it from turning into a recession. Now most investors are saying that the current downturn will be worse than the last one, and tens of thousands of U.S. capitalists have lost their statuses as millionaires.

The petrodollar system has been growing unstable as well. Since the creation of the petrodollar, Iran’s U.S.-installed Shah has been overthrown by an anti-imperialist government that’s abandoned the U.S. dollar in international trade. The Chavista revolution has made Washington lose Venezuela as a petrodollar asset as well. This is why Washington continues to escalate its efforts towards regime change in these two countries: they add to the great losses that the petrodollar is experiencing amid the current crisis.

Last week, the price of crude oil briefly dropped to below zero. This is partly the result of the ill-timed recent increases in oil production from the Saudi-Russian oil price war, which has been heating up at the same time that Covid-19 has shut down world economies and decreased demand for oil. Despite the attempts from U.S. oil companies to maneuver the situation, the American oil industry is especially vulnerable to rapid price drops, as is the U.S. dollar itself. Market reporter Jamie Redman writes:

Experts say that the continued sell-off shows the oil problems are not going away and the severe issues could ultimately destroy the U.S. dollar. Since 1944, the USD has been propped up by the petro-dollar scheme and with oil prices below zero, the dollar could easily collapse. Free market advocates, gold bugs, and cryptocurrency proponents have always said that today’s monetary system was immoral and manipulated. Of all the countries in the world, U.S. leaders have been some of the worst manipulators in history and the nation’s super-powers may be coming to an end.

This goes along with the crisis being faced by Washington’s key middle eastern economic asset Saudi Arabia, which former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel says is “facing the perfect storm — weak oil prices, pandemic, and quagmire in Yemen.” If the currency system and global economic leverage that U.S.-led globalization depends on are crumbling, what does this mean for the continued viability of neoliberalism?

It means that neoliberalism-which has long had the destabilizing effect of exacerbating wealth inequality-is becoming more of a liability for the capitalist class. The U.S., whose capacity for internal economic productivity has been diminished by decades of deindustrialization and a twelve-year-long state of recession, is now committing economic suicide by shutting down its economy with no meaningful measures to protect the public welfare.

China can quarantine its population for months and economically bounce back, because it has a planned economy with a strong social safety net. But the U.S. is now doomed to a continued series of downturns in the coming months and years, with unemployment sure to remain very high however soon the quarantine measures end. It doesn’t help that the U.S. is preparing to default on debts owed to China, which could further harm the U.S. economy.

All of this is a recipe for rising lower class discontent and a continued growth in labor struggles. It also reduces the economic power of the capitalist class. The American workers, who were more expendable when the U.S. corporatocracy could reach further out, are now more essential for the system to function. This is why Trump is rushing to get all of the laid off people back to work.

There’s a perfect storm to be faced not just for the Saudis, but for the U.S. and the other countries which have embraced neoliberalism and economically tied themselves to Western imperialism. America’s recent economic chaos and governmental ineptitude to respond to the pandemic has proven the U.S. is a failed state, and similar situations are arising for partnered powers like Brazil and the U.K. Around the world, the contradictions of capitalism are heightening.

Economic nationalism, further monopolization, and a sinister opportunity for big tech

Trump’s “America First” economic approach is becoming more accepted among the U.S. ruling class as the cold war with China escalates. Bloomberg reports that “Businesses are reassessing China’s role in global supply chains, and by the time this virus burns out, many of them will have started planning to relocate at least some of their production elsewhere. Deglobalization is accelerating.” This embrace of isolationism within the corporatocracy, the political establishment, and the military elite is the latest part of how American imperialism is turning inward.

In this situation where the U.S. empire is in decline and looking towards nationalism over globalization, the biggest corporations are trying to reshape the economy best to their advantage. A consolidation of economic power is going on within the imperial core, one where the 0.01% are growing richer than ever while almost everyone else becomes poorer.
If a number of financial institutions go down like Lehman Brothers went down in 2008, they’ll be replaced by BlackRock, the private contractor that’s been tasked with managing the Federal Reserve’s bailout slush fund. BlackRock is bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Deutsche Bank combined, and because of the Covid-19 crash it’s become the operating system of the U.S. treasury. BlackRock is also a major Trump donor. This political and economic power grab represents “the Wall Street-ization of the Fed,” as the journalist Pepe Escobar has called what’s happening to the financial system.

It’s a scheme that will both make BlackRock a supreme financial power over the United States, and make plutocrats like Jeff Bezos come out on top by injecting a market stimulus which is increasing the market value of Amazon and other monopolies. Bezos in particular has opportunities to profit from the turmoil of the coming months and years, because Amazon provides technology for the military/intelligence complex. And intelligence agencies and the military are going to need more resources as they seek to further fortify the national security state.

Bill Gates, whose Covid-19 philanthropy has worked to solidify billionaire control over public health, stands to benefit from the pandemic in more ominous ways. Gates’ multi-billion dollar project to create and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine isn’t motivated by a pure humanitarian desire; part of the endgame of his mass produced vaccination campaign is a new digital mass surveillance system, as he’s explicitly stated in one recent talk: “Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, who’s a vaccinated person…So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.” This is a prospect for the long term. In the short term other facets of big pharma, like the notoriously corrupt company BioPort, are profiting greatly from Covid-19.

Gates’ vision for a vast, high-tech tracking network is where the demand for artificial intelligence-driven mass surveillance comes in. Last year, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence-which has ties to the CIA and to top Trump donor Sheldon Adelson-called for the U.S. to adopt a mass surveillance system far more extreme than that of any other country. A desire to compete with Chinese technology was the NSCAI’s main rationale for advocating for the implementation of a new national infrastructure, one where interconnected AI systems monitor everyone’s daily activities. The commission stated that surveillance represents “one of the ‘first-and-best customers’ for AI,” and that “having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure.”

The companies helping to bring us towards these “smart cities” are Google, Palantir, and the other Silicon Valley tech giants that have ties with the NSCAI. They’re already facilitating the transition into their ideal post-Covid-19 scenario, as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin, and Oracle are advising the White House in its project to reopen the economy.
Now we can get a sense of what the ruling class plans to replace neoliberal globalization with. The NSCIA’s ultimate goals are to overhaul traditional car ownership and normalize self-driving cars, to move beyond in-person shopping so that all shopping is done online, and to do away with paper money and make currency entirely take the form of digital wallets. It’s no wonder why they’re aiming for a replacement of the American currency system, since the U.S. dollar is losing its value.

If these changes accompany a universal basic income, as many billionaires have begun to propose implementing, capitalism in the U.S. will move beyond the old neoliberal model and (the ruling class hopes) reach a stable new equilibrium. The future these oligarchs and corporate giants want is one where living standards are improved enough for workers and poor people to stop organizing, and where dissension is kept in check by intensive surveillance and a militarized police state. This is the repressive, extremely unequal, and globally isolated version of American capitalism that’s going to follow the country’s era as a hegemonic power.
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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:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Lenin’s Revolutionary Model Shows Us The Way Forward As Class Conflict Grows

The mass unemployment from Covid-19, along with neoliberal capitalism’s horrendous neglect of people’s economic and medical needs, is provoking the biggest resurgence of the U.S. labor movement in a generation. Tenants who can’t afford to pay rent have been organizing mass rent strikes, and workers across the country are successfully protesting. This comes after worker struggles have been intensifying around the world in recent years, and after anti-capitalist protest movements have been sweeping the globe. The backlash to the capitalist world’s extreme inequality is growing.

But as proles in the United States in particular, what exactly is our endgame? What vision do we need to work towards as we go about fighting for our rights? If we really want freedom from the corporations that are destroying our livelihoods, we won’t organize for the benefit of the Democratic Socialists of America, or the Green Party, or the other organizations that don’t seek to establish a workers state. Our energy needs to be focused around building an institutional structure that’s capable of overthrowing the United States government, and replacing it with a system of proletarian democracy which functions within a decolonized land.

This goal is the Pan-American interpretation of the model for revolution that was put forth by Lenin, one of the greatest proletarian liberation heroes of the last century. Leninism calls not just for creating a worker-run democracy, but also for returning sovereignty to the indigenous nations, as reflected by Lenin’s statement: “The article of our programme (on the self-determination of nations) cannot be interpreted to mean anything but political self-determination, i.e., the right to secede and form a separate state.”

If we’re going to carry out a revolution of this nature, we shouldn’t approach our work as if we were merely running electoral campaigns or trying to get legislation passed, as the reformist groups are doing. We’re trying to destroy the authority of the U.S. government, and this will require us to take on militancy and counterinsurgency strategies.

This will entail the members of the movement getting equipped for various types of combat, necessitating activities like arms training, efforts to learn how to fight hand-to-hand, and physical fitness routines. This will entail efforts to educate our fellow poor and working people about revolutionary theory, about and the need for a movement in the vein of Lenin, Mao, Castro, and the other communists who’ve successfully overthrown capitalist governments. This will entail work to build the parties that can carry out our goals; the Party for Socialism and Liberation is the main Marxist-Leninist party at the moment, and I recommend joining it if you’re not involved with another party already.

If we’re disciplined about doing these things, the outbreaks of class anger that we’re seeing right now will evolve into a cohesive movement that can actually defeat the capitalist state. The American left is growing in strength. But its energy is largely being diverted towards “progressive” campaigns that result in the insurgent candidate endorsing the neoliberal candidate, or towards experiments in the historically ineffectual revolutionary model of anarchism. If a political strain is anti-Leninist, it’s opposed to the idea of exploited and colonized people taking control of their own state apparatus, and therefore towards the idea of creating a reliable means for these oppressed populations to empower and defend themselves.

Beyond embracing communism, we need to embrace a scientific approach towards carrying out a revolution, one that lets us recognize how to overcome the obstacles we face. As Lenin wrote, “left-wing communism” is “an infantile disorder,” one that makes people reject pragmatism over idealism. In our current context, overcoming the mentality of left-communism means standing in solidarity with the existing socialist nations of Laos, Vietnam, China, Cuba, and the DPRK rather than siding against them for perceived ideological flaws in their ruling parties. With the latter three countries being under escalating attacks from imperialism, supporting them is as important as opposing settler-colonialism or capitalism. Because capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism are all part of the same structure of oppression.

In other words, the country’s proletarian movement needs to transcend the left and unify around the ideologically separate strain of communism. To fully make this evolution in thinking, one needs to unlearn a lot of colonial chauvinist beliefs, as well as read through the works of revolutionary thinkers like FanonParenti, and Sakai. Doing this work to educate oneself is a crucial part of revolutionary militancy.

From the militancy element comes the counterinsurgency element. When you’re equipped intellectually, physically, and organizationally for the tasks ahead, you’ll be able to adequately do your part in taking down the system. Committing to dialectical materialism-which is the Marxist practice of assessing the present conditions to find out how to go forward-is beneficial not just in guiding you towards the correct political lines, but in helping you make the right decisions at a given moment.

For an example of how to apply dialectical materialism, the best actions to take in the current moment are to participate in the general strikes, bring people into the movement, and build entities like the PSL; now is not the right time to try to start a guerilla war. As the master counterinsurgency leader Mao said: “If we tried to go on the offensive when the masses are not yet awakened, that would be adventurism. If we insisted on leading the masses to do anything against their will, we would certainly fail. If we did not advance when the masses demand advance, that would be Right opportunism.”

Inevitably, though, our conditions will change, and so will our tasks. The collapse of the economy has just begun, with the unemployment wave acting as the trigger for a financial unraveling larger than the one from 2008. Civil unrest is already being anticipated by the centers of power, so it’s very plausible that a protest movement like the gilets jaunes will break out in America after the quarantine period ends. When that movement emerges, we’ll need to seize upon it to further grow the Leninist faction.

As this unrest continues, we’ll get opportunities to actually start seizing territory and resources away from the capitalist class. The general strike is how we take away the economic leverage away from the bosses, at least for a certain amount of time and to the extent that workers can participate; next should come blockading streets and occupying buildings. If we make the street unrest intense and sustained enough, we might even be able to make the political and business class retreat from certain urban areas, as last year’s anti-austerity protests in Ecuador made happen within the country’s capital city.

Beyond these wrecking-type tactics will come the counterinsurgency actions that the movement’s members ought to now be training for. To seize control of the state, we’ll need to permanently occupy centers of government, which could entail storming these centers along with the wealthy enclaves that surround them. If this sounds fantastical, India’s communist militias have made it their strategy to overthrow local governments and occupy chunks of land which were formerly controlled by Modi’s fascist regime. This dynamic of military seizures is how proletarian revolutions have historically worked.

To get to that point, we’ll first need to build the necessary popular support, organizational structure, and physical and educational strength among movement members. If we don’t have these tools, we’ll be crushed. The stresses and hardships we’re experiencing during this crisis must be made into the catalysts for our journey into revolutionary militancy. We only need to look to Lenin’s teachings to start finding out which actions we’ll need to take.
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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, April 21, 2020

America’s Increasingly Apparent Role In Spreading Covid-19

The political and media class in the United States is doing all it can to inculcate the public with the idea that China is to blame for Covid-19. With over forty thousand Americans dead from the virus, this narrative has tremendous propaganda power. But the more information is revealed about the details surrounding the origins of the virus, the more vulnerable Washington’s narrative becomes. And the more the U.S. itself becomes in danger of a worldwide backlash in response to its increasingly apparent role in the virus’ spread.

The initial evidence that the virus was transported from the U.S. to China

Last month, former international journalist Thomas Hong Wing Polin wrote that “It is now virtually certain that COVID-19 was brought to Wuhan by American troops taking part in the city’s World Military Games last October.” The reasons he listed for this were that the U.S. contingent had stayed less than 300 meters away from the seafood market where the virus supposedly began, that five of the U.S. troops developed a fever during their visit to China, that 42 employees of the Oriental Hotel were ultimately diagnosed with Covid-19, and that these troops had trained at Fort Detrick (which is the U.S. military viral lab that got closed down by the CDC last July for deficiencies).

This string of coincidences caused enough raised eyebrows that when Mike Pompeo called Chinese State Councillor for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi about Covid-19, reportedly to ask that the Chinese not publicize what they had found about the virus, Yang’s reply was: “We await your solemn explanation, especially about Patient Zero.” While the Chinese government has tried to stay away from bioweapons accusations, this suspicion that U.S. troops had brought the contagion to China has been articulated by other Chinese officials.

As I’ve discussed, there’s also scientific evidence that the virus originated outside of China; the strains of the virus from Italy and Iran which have been genetically sequenced show that they couldn’t have come from China. The U.S. is therefore the only place where these strains could have originated, since the U.S. is known to hold the “tree trunk” of all of the varieties.

This conclusion is agreed upon by a top Taiwanese virologist, who observed in a televised presentation from February that the strains of the virus infecting Taiwan are only matched by the strains from Australia and the U.S.-and that since Taiwan wasn’t infected by Australians, it could have only come there from the U.S. This passage from a February Taiwan research paper also doesn’t conflict with the hypothesis that the U.S. military brought Covid-19 to China:

It is possible that SARS-CoV-2 in the Hua Nan market had been transmitted from other places, or at least, that Hua Nan market did not host the original source of SARS-CoV-2. As the first identified infected patients had no link to the market, it is possible that infected humans transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to workers or sellers in the market, after which it rapidly circulated there.

Growing worldwide openness towards the possibility that Washington is to blame

All of these details have been decried as “misinformation” by the U.S. media, tellingly without any real attempts to address the information that goes behind the arguments for the virus having originated in the U.S.; the very idea of it is categorized as fake news, and China, Russia, and Iran, are accused of spreading falsehoods when they say anything that contradicts Washington’s narratives. These reflexive responses to China’s statements about the issue, as well as the bipartisan campaign to scapegoat China for Covid-19, show how desperate the American ruling class is to control the discussion about where the virus came from.

While the aspects of this discussion that the Western media covers will only get as far as “did it come from a Chinese biolab or not,” there continues to be an effort to investigate how this clearly U.S.-tied virus spread around the globe. Part of what’s making the “yankee virus” idea more believable is that the accusations about China being responsible for the outbreak keep falling apart. Despite hysterical recent claims from the U.S. media about the virus having escaped from a Wuhan laboratory, it’s obvious that evidence for this is lacking, and the World Health Organization agrees with China’s statement that there’s no evidence.

Trump’s defunding of the WHO due to its refusal to appease Washington has made it harder for the international community to stand behind the anti-Chinese narratives that the U.S. keeps spinning about Covid-19. Added to Washington’s recently increased sanctions against populations that are suffering from the pandemic, ongoing warfare operations within impoverished regions, and unparalleled mismanagement of the virus, Trump’s WHO move isn’t the only reason why the U.S. is being discredited on the world stage. Naturally, more countries are coming to align with China due to its humanitarian efforts.

With this shift in geopolitical allegiances taking place, every new hint that the U.S. is the real culprit has the potential to create blowback for Washington. Last month, it was revealed that the U.S. Center for Disease Control knew about Covid-19 in September of last year, which was enough to prompt more online speculation that the virus was indeed brought to China during the war games. This was followed by the revelation from earlier this month that a U.S. intelligence report had warned about the pandemic as early as November, which the Trump administration has responded to with claims about China having initially covered up the virus. It’s now clear that this same accusation is applicable to the U.S. government.

Additionally, Israel said this month that it was warned about Covid-19 by U.S. intelligence in November. As Kevin Barret of Press TV has written about the deeply suspicious implications of this news:

This confirms what ABC News reported earlier this week [about Israel’s foreknowledge] and, of course, the Trump administration denied it. You’re not supposed to believe anything until it’s been denied maybe twice or three times. So we’ll have to wait for a couple more denials before we can be sure that this is true. But assuming it is — and we’ve got these different sources now telling us that this is true — this is quite mind-blowing, because China did not become aware of this problem until December 31st. So if US intelligence knew that there was a potentially catastrophic pandemic developing in Wuhan, China, in November, it means US intelligence knows what’s happening in Wuhan, China, better than the Chinese do. And the only reason that that would be the case would be if the US had planted the virus there.

Just in this last week, yet another one of these suspicious stories has appeared: Cambridge University scientists have found that there’s no way Covid-19’s origins lie within the city of Wuhan. This finding was initially reported on by Russia’s state media network RT, showing that Washington’s largest adversaries in the current information war are eager to expose any inconsistencies which will appear in U.S. narratives about the virus. And in the coming months and years, plenty more of these inconsistencies are no doubt going to surface.

A struggle over the narrative amid ever-escalating cold war tensions

The U.S. campaign to scapegoat China is about leveraging the narrative so that Washington’s global hegemony can be defended. China’s rise threatens to irreversibly shrink the power of American imperialism, so China must be attacked at every opportunity.

For the last ten years, since Obama’s “pivot to Asia” ramped up tensions with China, the U.S. has tried to take down the PRC by waging hybrid asymmetrical warfare. Washington has used sanctions, manufactured terrorism within China, U.S.-funded reactionary protests in Hong Kong, and all the necessary propaganda campaigns to weaken the country’s position. But this effort to exploit Covid-19 for hybrid warfare purposes is backfiring. Trump’s international belligerence is making the U.S. more isolated, and honest investigations into the virus are fostering the (very plausible) hypothesis that Washington spread Covid-19 as a means for biological warfare.

The U.S., finding itself increasingly cornered, is looking to resort to more drastic measures. Washington has been carrying out war provocations in the South China Sea throughout the last month, and this week the U.S. sent warships into disputed parts of the sea. Cold war tensions are heating up, and the U.S. has no intentions of de-escalating. It’s even made clear that it views open war with China as inevitable.

How Washington plans to respond to the fallout from future Covid-19 revelations is clear: increased censorship, intense campaigns of war propaganda, and efforts to disempower anti-imperialists by consolidating the control of the corporate/intelligence/military complex. In a 2018 Pentagon report titled “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,” this was stated to be the goal of the American ruling class.

The report said that to prepare for a total war scenario amid the rising tensions with Russia and China, there will need to be a restructuring of “America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base,” which the report says creates the “platform and systems” upon which “our Warfighter depends.” It said the same about the country’s “R&D organizations” and “academic institutions.” The solution, it said, is to carry out “the seamless integration of multiple elements of national power — diplomacy, information, economics, finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military.”

Such a shift has happened in the last two months as the Trump White House has been coordinating a media campaign to demonize China, as the government has been shielding large corporations from the financial losses of Covid-19, as the military and the intelligence agencies have been heading the U.S. government’s overall response to the pandemic, and as the White House has used the pandemic to transfer more resources to the Pentagon and the border patrol.

The American capitalist class has been preparing for a situation like this one for a long time, and they’re mobilizing all of their available tools in order to maintain internal control and move forward with their war operations. But will this be enough to counter the blowback from America’s role in spreading the virus? Or to maintain business as usual amid an accelerating collapse for U.S. imperialism? We’ll have to see.
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A Cultural Revolution Is Crucial For Overcoming The Effects Of Capitalism And Imperialism

To help find why a communist party still rules in China while socialism collapsed in Russia a generation ago, I’ll examine the differing cultural and historical factors that caused these two countries to take such variant political paths.

A major reason why the USSR collapsed while the People’s Republic of China has remained is that the USSR abandoned many facets of its earlier structure as a workers state during the Khrushchev era, while the PRC has kept its socialist governmental structure. In this case of how the historical paths of these two countries diverged, the key comparison to make is the one between the Khrushchev reforms and China’s Deng reforms.

When they moved to incorporate more private business into their countries, Nikita Khrushchev and Deng Xiaoping were both responding to the economic obstacles and outside political threats that they faced as leaders of socialist states. The basic aims of both of them were to spur economic development, and to make peace with the hostile capitalist world. But Khrushchev executed this in a way that weakened the structure of the Soviet Union’s proletarian democracy, and there were historical factors that enabled Khrushchev to restore capitalism to the extent that he did. These factors pertain to the very culture of Russian society at that time.

The USSR’s workers state was so vulnerable to being dismantled by capitalist interests because Stalin and the other preceding Soviet leaders hadn’t sufficiently carried out a cultural revolution within Russia. Stalin largely relied on sections within the Soviet bureaucracy to keep the anti-communist forces in check, rather than unleashing a mass movement to uproot anti-communism within the broader institutional and cultural structures.

Mao, in contrast, carried out a cultural revolution that involved a nationwide sociopolitical movement. He had his supporters purge the remnants of capitalist and traditional society within China, which made the country after Mao’s death much less compatible with the kind of capitalist restoration that Khrushchev carried out. Mao recognized that in order to create a good environment for socialism to survive, society had to be changed on a more fundamental level than was the case for post-revolutionary Russia.

Upon observing this, it can be argued that socialism collapsed in Russia-while China, the DPRK, Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos are still run by communist parties-because Russia was unable to shake off the cultural aspects of the Czar era that made its society less compatible with communism. This may be because Czarist Russia was an imperialist power, while all of these surviving socialist countries were being subjugated by imperialism prior to their socialist revolutions.

While there are legitimate criticisms to make of Stalin, he alone can’t be blamed for the corrosion that occurred within Russia’s socialist experiment. He was one individual, and there were numerous factors beyond his control. Even decades after the 1917 Russian revolution, there were many obstacles towards communism embedded in Russian society, ones that ran too deep for Stalin to foresee where they would lead.

If a socialist revolution were to happen in the United States or any other imperialist country, it would need to be followed by a cultural revolution on the same level that Mao carried out. This is why decolonization, not just communism, is essential for revolutionaries in the U.S. to work towards. The counter-revolutionary effects of capitalism and imperialism will need to be thoroughly worked against, even after the U.S. government itself has been overthrown.
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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: