Colombian paramilitary members
In Discourses on Colonialism, Aimé Césaire wrote that “At the end of capitalism, which is eager to outlive its day, there is Hitler. at the end of formal humanism and philosophic renunciation, there is Hitler.” Today’s communists must pay attention to this quote, because it could save our lives. If Hitler is what comes at the end of capitalism, what’s coming is a repeat of Hitler’s purges, which killed not just millions of Jews and Romas but nearly 100% of the communists in Nazi-controlled areas.
These new purges are going to take place throughout every corner of the capitalist world, aside from the parts where the resistance manages to carve out refuges. And they’ve already begun in the places where the bourgeoisie are most frantic to wage war. In the shadow of the mass exterminations within Latin America’s 20th century U.S.-installed dictatorships, and of the political genocide that Colombia has since undergone where thousands have been killed for their communist affiliations, Colombian police have killed over fifty protesters throughout this year’s anti-austerity demonstrations. These and other dissidents, disproportionately African and indigenous ones, have beenkilled or disappeared. And these are only the political murders that are hardest for the country’s narco-regime to downplay; since 2016, over 400 human rights defenders have been killed in Colombia, with the paramilitaries largely doing the dirty work in disappearing these and other undesirables. This purge is being aided by capitalism’s intensifying crises, with Colombian paramilitaries taking advantage of the pandemic lockdown to kill activists. The fact that this crackdown’s scorched-earth strategy is designed by a self-identified neo-Nazi proves Césaire‘s Hitler prediction right.
Despite Washington’s optical limitations on aid to Colombian law enforcement this year in response to international outcry over the country’s police abuses, the U.S. is perpetuating the purge in key ways. By continuing to refuse to take the main FARC branch off the terrorist watch list despite this branch cooperating with the peace deal, Washington is inflaming Colombia’s civil war. By continuing to aid Israel, Washington is enabling a key source for Colombia’s military technologies. And by continuing to exploit Colombia as a neo-colony, Washington is keeping the country in the conditions that perpetuate settler-colonialism, paramilitarism, and state violence.
Across Washington’s other fronts for warfare, the globe’s crises are being exploited for terror and extermination in the same ways. In Ukraine, where a fascist regime has ruled since 2014 following the U.S. coup, the outlawing of communist organizing and the governmental promotion of fabricated Soviet atrocity stories have gone along with a parallel extermination campaign. This month, journalist Russel Bentley described the regime’s atrocities, and the horrific conditions that have made them possible:
I recently witnessed the exhumation of human remains from a mass grave that contains over 200 bodies. It was a profound and profoundly disturbing experience. Each body in this grave represents an unnecessary and unjust death, a murder, and each of these over 200 murders can never be forgotten or forgiven. There is a message that cries out from these bones that must be heard and understood, and acted upon by all good people in the world. Otherwise, history will repeat itself, and again, the killers and the killing will continue, and more mass graves will be filled. After seven years of war, a war that continues to this day, these 200 bodies are being exhumed from the mass grave that the war forced them into back in summer 2014, during the heaviest attacks and siege by the Ukrainian "punishers" against the people of Lugansk. In those terrible days and nights of constant shelling and ever-present danger, there was no water or electricity, no safe place to process the bodies, no chance at all for a regular funeral.
History is repeating itself because the imperialists have strategically designed events to make things unfold in this way. By refusing to even condemn the Ukrainian regime’s open glorification of Nazi collaborators (this year the Biden administration completely sidestepped the matter following a march to commemorate Ukrainian Holocaust perpetrators), Washington has let the fascists operate with total impunity. As Ukraine’s severe corruption from extreme neoliberal shock policies, along with the country’s costly participation in Washington’s anti-Russian proxy war, have combined to turn Ukraine into a failed state, the fascists have been empowered even more. They’ve been able to send in their militias to target Jews, Romas, the LGBT community, ethnic Russians, and political dissidents, taking advantage of the power vacuum that’s appeared amid the breakdown of social structures.
It’s the same tactic the Nazis used in Poland: create a lawless environment, then swoop in with the death squads. In a power vacuum, the oppressors can carry out violence with impunity. This is why destabilizing states is such a common tactic for the imperialists, especially during the recent decades of imperial decline; with the failures of the “nation-building” insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rise of multipolarity and class struggle, Washington has increasingly come to view the destruction of states as its only route towards holding onto hegemony. Or rather a new definition of “hegemony” where global civilization has largely collapsed at the hands of the imperialists, leaving the rich countries and the corporations that rule them the only remaining rulers of a burning planet.
This is the dystopian vision that the imperialists have for most of the world, including (in the long term) countries like China. Washington wants its backing of Uyghur separatist terrorists to bring about the Balkanization of China via the establishment of an ethno-state called “East Turkestan” in Xinjiang, and the creation of an anti-communist proxy war mirroring the proxy war in Ukraine. The imperialists have similar visions for Iran, as indicated by Washington’s backing of the Iranian terrorist group the MEK. They’ll no doubt apply this kind of destabilization project to Russia, if it ever becomes remotely feasible there. NATO’s media appendages have already been covertly meddlingin Russia to sow instability, correlating with Washington’s narrative backing of the fascist Russian “anti-corruption” leader Navalny.
They’ve already succeeded at destabilizing the horn of Africa. They continue their destabilization of Syria via ever-tightening sanctions against the country. They’re destabilizing anti-imperialist Latin American countries like Nicaragua, Cuba, and Bolivia via coups, proxies, and mercenaries. They’ve manufactured a political crisis via assassination in Haiti with the goal of preemptive counterrevolution. They’re perpetuating violence in Colombia, and in a Brazil that’s led by the CIA-tied Bolsonaro. Through their “humanitarian” NGOs, they’re backing the Hindutva fascist regime in India, which is perpetrating genocide against Muslims while enabling vigilantes to massacrestriking farmers with impunity. Afghanistan, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Yemen continue to suffer humanitarian crises due to Washington’s differing uses of blockades and warfare as applied to these countries.
The imperialists aim to replicate these horrors in the strongholds of multi-polarity. This is the future they want for places like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Belarus, all of whom Washington is sanctioning to the effect of vastly exacerbating the pandemic. Human cost is irrelevant to Washington’s goal to hold onto power.
“Racial terror, violence, and genocide, is and always has been the point of the Western (and American) project,” writes the Hampton Institute’s Joshua Briond. “It is built into the fabric of the of the West—it is all Euro-American’s have ever known, culturally and politically. And they will, as we have seen, continue their terror and violence because the political economy is sustained on such; until the entire project is brought to a halt. The global capitalist political economy is predicated on and sustained through racialized violence…What we are seeing now, and have been seeing for the last four years is simply a declining empire doing anything and everything it can to maintain its tight (but loosening) grip on its own people—as well as the rest of the world. As evidenced by not just the uprisings and rebellions happening across the country and the world at-large, but the failed coup d’etat attempts—namely in Venezuela and Bolivia.”
If the imperialists don’t succeed at turning Washington’s rival superpowers into failed states stalked by imperialist terror forces, they’ll apply this treatment to the countries which profit from imperialism. The United States is well along in this process. The severe neoliberal shock policies that have skyrocketed inequality, the deliberate negligence that’s made likely close to a million Americans die from Covid, the militarization and Israelification of police, the militarization of border policies and the construction of the abusive migrant camps, the emergence of far-right vigilantes that have been murdering racial justice protesters with impunity—it’s all part of the inward turn of imperialism. The unmasking of the ugliest parts of colonialism and capitalism. These realities can only lead Briond to conclude: “The empire lives. For now. And Hitler is not dead.”
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