Saturday, January 29, 2022

Blacking out the internet as the U.S. empire carries out its extermination campaign

Death is the only future that the U.S. empire can imagine. Death for a large chunk of humanity, and for the planet that’s being ravaged by the economic system the empire props up. In the face of the contradictions that capitalism is creating, and with the emergence of a multi-polar order where imperialism’s influence is waning, our ruling class sees destruction as its one hope for survival. Their calculation is that civilization itself must be sacrificed if this is what it takes to stop revolution. Obliterate the world, and the world can’t rise up to make the imperialists answer for their crimes.

The first ones the imperialists are targeting in this extermination are those who, from a geopolitical perspective, are judged to be the most expendable. This is what the imperialists did during the previous era of great power competition, when Washington installed dictatorships throughout the Global South which killed millions in order to counterbalance Soviet influence. As the U.S. faces a rising China, Russia, and Iran, it’s engineering a mass killing wave that could ultimately be greater than the last. Because so far this one isn’t primarily based in mass purges—though those are becoming more prevalent in terror states like Colombia—but in the manufacturings of humanitarian crises. The empire is creating these by destabilizing increasingly vast swaths of the Global South, as well as northern proxy war battle fronts like Ukraine. The deaths that come from this engineered chaos fortify capital amid its waning imperial grip, at least by the estimates of the figures behind these destabilization campaigns.

It’s in Yemen where these strategies of destroying the state, and of systematically killing off the undesirables, have been combined. Which shows just how dishonest and hypocritical the U.S. liberal class is, since Biden promised to end the war in Yemen just a year ago. The Biden administration has continued to treat Yemen as a ground for proxy war against Iran, and has consequently facilitated some of the conflict’s most heinous atrocities yet.

Within Yemen, the U.S.-led Saudi coalition has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, rivaled only by other recent imperialist-engineered famines like the one in Ethiopia. Four million Yemenis have been uprooted from their homes, hundreds of thousands live in famine conditions, five million are on the edge of total famine, and twenty million are in need of humanitarian assistance—which the imperialist coalition’s blockade is preventing from being provided. This is a genocide, of the same nature as the one Washington perpetrated against the Koreans when it killed around a quarter of the population in the northern Korean Peninsula. Like was the case then, the empire is targeting civilian living centers and infrastructure, a war crime-infused approach that’s also analogous to Israel’s U.S.-backed siege against Gaza.

And like has been the case for the genocides against the Koreans, the Vietnamese, and the Palestinians, the genocide against the Yemenis is a collective punishment for the given nation trying to assert itself against imperial subjugation. The Koreans built a socialist republic to counter the U.S.-installed dictatorship in the South, so they were physically burned en masse. The same was done to the Vietnamese, and for the same act of disobedience. The Palestinians are trying to free themselves from apartheid, so they’re being incrementally pushed towards what Israel hopes will effectively be extinction. And Yemen’s Houthi rebels are trying to overthrow their country’s U.S. puppet government to mount a resistance against imperialism and Zionism, so they’re being given the same treatment. When imperial collapse gets severe enough, the U.S. will no doubt commit these kinds of atrocities against the oppressed peoples within its own borders—an extermination campaign which will merely be a revival of the colonial genocides that the U.S. was created by.

In the internet age, where the empire’s military intelligentsia has come to place an unprecedented emphasis on controlling the flow of information, these tactics can best be gotten away with by cutting the victims off from their means for reporting the atrocities. Which is exactly what the coalition did during its latest wave of massacres in Yemen. This month, the coalition carried out airstrikes against a telecommunications building, causing a nationwide internet outage that’s further destroyed the people’s livelihoods, sabotaged aid delivery, and taken away the ability of the people to share their struggles amid the coalition’s other war crimes: the striking of a detention center, and the killing of at least 70 people as over 130 more have been injured.

Shutting down the internet is nothing new for the empire and its proxies. Israel has used sabotage of online access in its war against Palestine, last year Colombia experienced suspicious internet outages during the time when the neo-colonial regime was committing atrocities against protesters, and Washington’s fascist ally India has perpetrated the longest ever internet shutdown under a democracy in its colonization of Kashmir. As for the internet shutdowns carried out by dictatorships, Africa’s dictators use this weapon against dissent at the highest rates. And the fact that the U.S. militarily supports three-fourths of the world’s dictators, with many of these autocrats being in African neo-colonies like Uganda, shows the purpose of the suppression: retaining imperial control.

During an era where U.S. hegemony is rapidly crumbling by the Pentagon’s own assessment, and where the empire has consequently come to prioritize informational warfare more than ever, the more direct internet sabotage that the empire just carried out in Yemen makes sense. The imperialists are more desperate than ever to fulfill their desired mass sacrifice, and they see the social media age as posing narrative risks to this goal. 

In 2020, when the pandemic was intensifying the empire’s propaganda war against China and geopolitical tensions had already been rising for a decade, NATO sponsored a report which concluded that whoever controls the narrative will be most likely to win this century’s wars. It placed cognitive warfare—the fight for control over people’s minds—as now being equally important to sea, land, air, and cyber warfare. This and other recent military statements have repeated the sentiment that swaying the masses within any given strategic area will be instrumental towards military victory. Lose the narrative battle, they imply, and the remaining imperial holdings could be lost entirely.

Depriving Yemenis of their voice during the recent horrors has stopped their stories from immediately reaching social media, but it’s also reinforced the empire’s loss of the minds within Yemen itself. The Houthis are on the verge of winning this war, something a guerrilla force can’t do without gaining sufficient backing from the masses. This was how the Taliban overcame the United States: by offering the people any alternative—even a brutally theocratic alternative—to the incomprehensibly cruel rule of the CIA’s death squads. The empire’s extreme violence, which it’s intensifying under the belief that this will reverse its decline, is the very thing that’s diminishing its control. When the revolutionaries within the U.S. are fighting off the empire’s internal forces of violent counterrevolution, it may be this dynamic that allows the final blow to be struck against humanity’s greatest evil.


If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

The vast anti-Russian psyop campaign that’s brought us to the brink of nuclear war

There’s an absurdity to humanity’s current predicament of standing on the brink of World War III. This is that the decisive factor behind why the U.S. and Russia are close to war has not been the geopolitical struggles, the economic competition, or the imperialist military encirclement around Russia, but the strange and insipid tools that the imperialists have used to bring these factors to the present point. Their sabotage of the international balance wouldn’t have been possible without the paranoid, conspiratorial, and consequently goofy propaganda campaigns that Washington has carried out throughout the last decade’s new cold war.

To make sense of the present tensions, we need to delve into these wild stories, why they’ve been so influential, and where they’re leading us.

Neocons give rise to a special American obsession with conquering Russia

The historical precedent for today’s anti-Russian psychological operations is initially obvious: Cold War anti-communism. The notions about the Reds infiltrating Hollywood, aiming to invade the United States, and being analogous to movie monsters like The Blob established Russians as the enemy. More importantly, these paranoid mass persuasion campaigns got Americans to abandon their sense of self-awareness when it comes to these kinds of issues; it should be self-evidently ridiculous to uncritically accept that Americans are under threat from some all-encompassing foreign enemy, especially since Americans are the ones who are constantly meddling in the affairs of other countries. The manipulative nature of the propaganda is too transparent. But the Cold War’s ideology of aggressive nationalism negated this potential for self-reflection, letting Americans be sure in their embrace of an absurd worldview.

Anti-communism was integral to these manipulations. Yet when it’s come to Russia, the jingoism and xenophobia have persisted beyond when the country stopped being socialist. As Eric Zuesse has observed:

Though the billionaires succeeded, during the first Cold War — the one that was nominally against communism — at fooling the public to think they were aiming ultimately to conquer communism, George Herbert Walker Bush made clear, on the night of 24 February 1990, privately to the leaders of the U.S. aristocracy’s foreign allies, that the actual goal was world-conquest, and so the Cold War would now secretly continue on the U.S. side, even after ending on the U.S.S.R. side. When GHW Bush did that, the heritage of U.S. Senator Jackson became no longer the formerly claimed one, of ‘anti-communism’, but was, clearly now and henceforth, anti-Russian. And that’s what it is today — not only in the Democratic Party, and not only in the Republican Party, and not only in the United States, but throughout the entire U.S. alliance.

And this is what we are seeing today, in all of the U.S.-and-allied propaganda-media. America is always ‘the injured party’ against ‘the aggressors’; and, so, one after another, such as in Iraq, and in Libya, and in Syria, and in Iran, and in Yemen, and in China, all allies (or even merely friends) of Russia are ‘the aggressors’ and are ‘dictatorships’ and are ‘threats to America’, and only the U.S. side represents ‘democracy’.

Now Americans apply the same attitude from the Cold War to any given modern country that’s disobedient towards the empire—whether north Korea, China, Iran, or the current primary propaganda target Russia. The typical sentiments towards these countries share a pathological focus on portraying them as the villains of the world—as aggressors, human rights abusers, enemies of “democracy,” and generally untrustworthy. It doesn’t matter how little substance is attached to these perceptions. They’re not meant to be carefully considered analyses, they’re meant to be cultural mantras, as essential to the U.S. empire’s mythology as the 4th of July or Thanksgiving.

This is at least the general, cruder version of the worldview that the neocons have instilled within the U.S. population. It stems from a more coherent, strategically focused set of teachings which became solidified within the Washington orthodoxy in reaction to U.S. imperialism’s decline. Even prior to 9/11, and to the subsequent collapse of U.S. hegemony, the neocon thought leaders were making the case for their military adventurist agenda by warning of a coming slide in Washington’s influence. The neocon Project for the New American Century’s 2000 report on “rebuilding America’s defenses,” which is infamous for its suggestion that an attack on U.S. soil would help rally support for greater military spending, concludes that “even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself. Paradoxically, as American power and influence are at their apogee, American military forces limp toward exhaustion, unable to meet the demands of their many and varied missions, including preparing for tomorrow’s battlefield.”

Since then, as the U.S. has reached the same point of rapid onset collapse as all previous empires—ironically set off by the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions that the neocons pushed through—their cult of Russophobia has proportionately grown. The issues with U.S. military logistics and control that the Project identifies have been blamed on international scapegoats, primarily the Russians and the Chinese. American Russophobia has been modified to go deeper than anti-communism, though associating Putin with a hammer and sickle is a favorite tactic for today’s liberals. The neocons have gotten those within the NATO propaganda bubble to direct their fear and hostility in tandem with the geopolitical aims the empire has for Eurasia, namely: imperialist coups in Russia and Kazakhstan, and the subduing of China. Paranoia about Marxism taking over has evolved into a simple fear of the other, not necessarily dependent on the economic ideology of the other. What matters is that the other threatens imperial control.

This persistence of xenophobic militarism, irrespective of socioeconomic ideology, reflects the effectiveness with which the left has been brought into the new cold war’s mentality.

War hysteria, racism, & McCarthyism on all ends of the U.S. political spectrum

To be technically accurate, the U.S. left didn’t need to be brought over to the new cold war, because neoconservatism originated within the U.S. left itself. The founding members of the neoconservative movement were originally part of the Cold War era’s Trotskyist faction. Ideologies don’t appear out of nowhere, they evolve out of previous tendencies. And for neoconservatism, the parent tendency was the intensely sectarian, virulently anti-Soviet faction of “Marxists” who naturally found a significant foothold in the Cold War era’s “left” intelligentsia. Christopher Hitchens, whose hyperbolic anti-Sovietism from a Trotskyist perspective led to him defending the Iraq invasion, is one example of this infamous “trot to neocon” pipeline.

Today’s versions of Hitchens bash Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Chavismo Venezuela, Lukashenko’s Belarus, Assad’s Syria, the DPRK, and every other anti-imperialist country under the pretense of wanting to be “principled” in their critiques of “authoritarianism.” “Democratic socialist” groups like Jacobin and the DSA have gone so far as to facilitate platforms which vilify U.S. regime change targets like Nicaragua and Cuba, platforms which have been hosted by actual imperialist regime change agents. In this environment, there’s no room for an authentic anti-imperialist movement. Even explicitly fascist U.S.-backed movements around the globe, like Ukraine’s Euromaidan and the recent ultra-nationalist terrorist insurgency in Kazakhstan, get the tacic approval of the primary “leftist” figures. So imperialist fearmongering can thrive unchecked across the whole U.S. ideological spectrum.

So was apparent when it was the liberals, many of whom had formerly been anti-war, that led the new campaign to demonize Russia following the 2016 election. Integral to their embrace of militarism and xenophobia was a partisan-motivated trust in intelligence agencies, which led to the figures within these agencies proliferating the worst kinds of reactionary garbage; during the “Russiagate” hysteria, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed that Slavs are genetically specialized towards lying and cheating.

This and the other angles of attack that liberals utilized during Russiagate’s first years, from homophobic depictions of Trump with Putin to demagogic imagery of Red Square bearing down upon the White House to unhinged statements about the U.S. having been “invaded,” solidified the neocon orthodoxy among Democrats—to the point where the Democratic Party was rehabilitating the image of George W. Bush, portraying him as representing a nostalgic era. It was this utilization of the U.S. empire’s two-party oligopoly that perfectly carried through the foreign policy goals of the neocons. With Trump’s opposition continuously denouncing him as a Russian agent, he became willing to go even further in antagonizing Russia than Obama had. He expanded sanctions on Russia, armed Ukraine’s belligerently anti-Russian fascist regime, approved expanding NATO into Montenegro, struck Syria multiple times to the effect of inflaming tensions with Russia, and sabotaged U.S.-Russia nuclear arms agreements.

The consequence was the cultivation of nuclear tensions more dangerous than they had been during the most frightening moments of the previous cold war. Atomic scientists have assessed the conditions of the last several years to be as such; since 2018’s second big Syria strike and subsequent nuclear treaty dissolution, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have judged humanity to be increasingly close to “midnight”—the point where the species could become extinct. The scientists assessed that in 2018 we were two minutes to midnight in their “doomsday clock,” in 2019 they said we were again two minutes close, and in both 2020 and 2021 they said that we were 100 seconds close. That their 100 seconds assessment was unprecedented prior to 2020 speaks to just how dire of a situation the U.S. empire has created. And when the scientists soon come out with their 2022 clock update, it wouldn’t be surprising if the number gets even lower.

This is the insanity of the Russophobic and Sinophobic ideology that the neocons have fully inculcated liberals with. Even when a president was willing to bring humanity closer than ever to nuclear war to be “tough on Russia,” liberals continued to declare that that president was suspiciously lenient. A war zealousness this strong naturally carried through into how liberals, and the “respectable” Republican elites who they came to proudly align with during the Trump era, viewed anti-imperialists. 

Anti-war, pro-worker, and social justice movements were targeted with censorship as part of the social media crackdown that the Democrats pressured the tech companies to carry out. Jill Stein, Julian Assange, and other figures were decried as Russian assets. Political rhetoric was debased by attacking every challenge to the CIA/CNN narratives as the work of Russian propaganda. This paranoia—born out of uncritical acceptance of the flawed reports intelligence agencies put forth in 2016 which “proved” that Wikileaks got the DNC emails from “Russian hackers”—intensified again around the 2020 election. The intelligence agencies preemptively claimed that Russia, China, and Iran were influencing the electoral process. When the January 6th attack happened, this narrative precedent was used to rationalize a new wave of censorship against anti-imperialists, with Palestinians in particular having experienced social media crackdowns following the riot.

As the Biden administration consolidated power following January 6th, enacting a counterterrorism program designed to target social movements more so than violent white supremacists, the U.S. was more ready than ever for the current war campaign.

A reaction from an empire in turmoil

There’s no stopping the demented determination of the U.S. empire’s drive towards greater escalations with Russia. Even after Ukraine’s government has come out with the conclusion that Russia won’t invade, and that such an invasion would be too logistically impractical for any rational state to carry out, Washington is intent on enacting further sanctions while adding troops to its existing military presence within Ukraine. The Kiev regime, being the fascist U.S. puppet state that it is, has of course provided narrative wiggle room to justify Washington’s provocations. Kiev claims that Russia instead plans to “destabilize” Ukraine, whatever this means. Combined with the recent vague assertions—sourced from predictably anonymous intelligence figures—that Russia has nonetheless considered an invasion, this gives the public throughout the imperialist bloc enough propaganda to keep the war fever going.

This consent manufacturing campaign has been effective enough, judging by how the Biden administration has been comfortable with under-delivering on social spending while further inflating the military budget. Even during a pandemic and a depression, the U.S. ruling class is secure enough in the power of its war propaganda to let militarism’s excesses continue unrestrained. And the media is more eager than ever to sell this war effort. Just like when it uncritically reported the CIA’s Iraq WMD lies, the New York Times has applied zero scrutiny to the anonymous claims of an imminent Russian invasion. And during Blinken’s press conference on Ukraine, the assembled journalists have revealed their haste to drive forward a U.S. intervention; one of the questions they asked was “Why are you wasting time on talks and on documents with Russia?” The implication being that Washington should be confronting Russia immediately, instead of engaging in even a superficial ceremony of diplomacy.

The red flags for a scenario like this, where the empire is close to rushing into world war head on, have been here for at least the last decade. When the U.S. pivoted its “War on Terror” towards “great-power competition”; when it officially legalized covert CIA propaganda being directed towards its own citizens in the 2012 NDAA; when it systematically sabotaged its own tools for diplomacy in favor of adventurist military maneuvers; when its military intelligenstia put out a report declaring that Washington must respond to its geopolitical decline by expanding the justifications for waging war; when it platformed warmongering bigotry within its supposedly enlightened and progressive media outlets; it’s all led up to this point.

That lifting of the previous cold war’s ban on domestic psyops has enabled an unprecedented fusion between the media and the intelligence centers, to the point of there having emerged a revolving door for former spooks within the corporate news networks. In this environment, of course the press conferences will now have journalists egging on the government to go to war; the CIA and the media are now one and the same. And in the Pentagon’s 2017 report about how to handle imperial decline, the doctrine behind this wild enthusiasm for war was laid down. The report recommends that Washington embrace a more nakedly imperialist foreign policy than ever:

While as a rule, U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals, the post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action… Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.

Now that Washington’s coup attempt in Kazakhstan has failed, the empire is applying this plan for desperate, scorched-earth destruction. If even Ukraine doesn’t expect Russia to invade, Washington and its most loyal satellite states aren’t sending in troops out of genuine concern over “Russian aggression.” They’re reacting to the fact that Kazakhstan, which is one of the most important countries for Washington to gain as an ally in the new cold war, will remain aligned with Russia and China. Kiev has led the charge in demonizing Russia for assisting Kazakhstan’s government in defending from the terrorists that Washington just sent into Kazakhstan; Ukraine has prohibited calling Russia’s forces within Kazakhstan “peacekeepers,” pushing the classification of them as “interventionists.” So Washington is now leveraging Ukraine’s status as the Eurasian epicenter for Russophobic zealotry by pivoting NATO involvement into eastern Europe.

The imperialists have stated, and now manifested, their strategy for trying to retain control amid Washington’s geopolitical decline: accelerate military buildup and adopt an unprecedentedly trigger-happy foreign policy. It’s why Biden has further increased the military budget, even as the society within the U.S. empire’s borders crumbles under severe social neglect. The imperialists are throwing everything into this war effort. And the only thing that can compensate for the internal contradictions they’ve fostered is a massive, fanatical campaign of hatred and lies.


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.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Anti-Chinese propaganda, Christian nationalism, & the foundations for a right-wing terror campaign

Using the USA’s rising anti-Chinese sentiment as their ideological unifier, Christian nationalists are partnering with reactionary militias and imperialist agents to build a growing fascist movement. One that, if it doesn’t fulfill its goals for regime change abroad, is still likely to carry out a successful version of its January 6th coup attempt at home.

This is the advantage that fascists have within the imperialist countries compared to in the countries the imperialists seek to dominate: a more substantial material and social base. A society that benefits from the exploitation of the Global South naturally cultivates a bigger proportion of petty bourgeois—the class that’s instrumental in bringing fascism to power. So whereas fascism so often has to be imposed upon a peripheral country by imperialist meddling, in the imperialist countries the fascist takeover comes entirely from the bourgeois “democratic” system itself. In countries like Indonesia, Argentina, and Chile, the fascists have had to have the CIA install them. In Spain, Germany, Italy, and (in terms of the 21st century) Poland, the fascists have taken over simply by climbing up the corrupt political ladder of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

These are the dynamics that today’s U.S. theocratic fascists are doing their utmost to exploit. And what gives them an extra benefit is that U.S. imperialism is rapidly declining, which makes the bourgeoisie desperate for a way to retain power and win back Washington’s waning global hegemony. It’s the Christian far-right that’s provided these solutions, or what the ruling class hopes will turn out to be the solutions.

This is shown by how for the last five years, the central figure within the bourgeois media’s anti-Chinese propaganda echo chamber has been Adrian Zenz. A German Christian fundamentalist who’s affiliated with the far-right Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Zenz believes that the rapture is coming, and that the only way to gain God’s favor in time is by embracing physical discipline of children, rejecting LGBT rights, and blanketly denying women abortion rights. His apocalyptic Biblical doctrine goes so far as to say that capitalism’s collapse is inevitable within the next several decades (which ironically makes his views closer to reality), and that this will be the catalyst for the coming of the Antichrist and the war which ends the world. These are the types of beliefs that infamously cause millions of U.S. evangelicals to support Israel and all of its genocidal actions, just because Israel’s existence is considered integral to the fulfillment of the prophecy from the Book of Revelations.

Zenz and his camp believe they’re in a desperate war for the destruction (and in their minds therefore the redemption) of the earth. So someone like him would likely have no qualms with lying to fulfill his political goals, since he sees winning the war as essential for saving humanity. And Zenz has acted on this dangerous fanaticism by putting forth pseudo-academic reports, lacking in peer review or standard statistical scope, that make baseless claims about the events in Xinjiang. His assertions of mass sterilization, forced labor, the detention of millions, and other ethnic cleansing acts within China’s response to the threat of Uyghur terrorism are central to the U.S./NATO sphere’s official views about Xinjiang. No scrutiny whatsoever has been applied to his misleading statements throughout this propaganda campaign, because the empire needs people like him to justify its war on China. The masses are being led into sharing the fascist view towards China, which portrays China as the world’s greatest evil that must be combated like a virus.

With the pandemic disinformation campaign of the Epoch Times, the other biggest part of this movement, the fascists have been able to literalize this “virus” caricature about Chinese people and Asians in general. The paper is the propaganda outlet for Falun Gong, the religious cult that embraces evangelical-style apocalyptic ideology—and that unsurprisingly has a primary base in the imperialist geopolitical wedge province Taiwan. Throughout the pandemic, Falun Gong has been aggressively distributing its narratives about China. When Covid-19 initially exploded in the U.S., free copies of the Epoch Times’ pandemic issue were left on the doorsteps of as many Americans as possible, promoting the paper’s Big Lie: that China is to blame for every single death from the pandemic. This concept has since been utilized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which counts each Covid-19 death as being attributable to communism.

It’s through this ideological basis of Sinophobic atrocity propaganda and racist pandemic disinformation, propagated by figures who have little concern about whether they’re exacerbating the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes, that the Christian nationalists are growing their influence. We see this in groups like the Christian Defense Coalition, which the Christian rightist group Prayers and Action describes as “a national ministry committed to challenging Christians to live their faith out in the public square.” Its director, Reverend Patrick Mahoney, showed what this means when he posed with heavily armored Hong Kong “protesters” last year. 

January 6th proved how irresponsible it is to give the CIA-backed rioters in Hong Kong and elsewhere perceived credibility by calling them protesters; the Capitol Hill rioters used the same tactics of violence and intimidation that the anti-communist Hong Kong radicals had recently used to terrorize their own community. As one commenter said in response to Mahoney’s photo with the rioters: “Now we understand who convert the HK talents university students to be the monsters. You are accountable for that.” They linked to a story about the “protesters” manufacturing petrol bombs, which assisted them in their campaigns to assault and terrorize mainland Chinese people and anyone else they suspected to oppose their pro-imperialist separatist agenda.

This network of regime change agitation and U.S. ultra-nationalism has a violent aspect, going beyond January 6th. Its aim is to import the right-wing terrorist tactics that the empire has used in its Hong Kong riots, and in its instigations of Uyghur separatist terrorist attacks throughout Xinjiang. The bourgeois Uyghur groups within the U.S. that Washington has been backing are leading the charge in this effort to stir up ethnic violence. Last year, members of the Uyghur American Association harassed demonstrators who were protesting against Asian hate, calling from their cars to “wipe out China” and aggressively promoting the propaganda about a Xinjiang genocide. (For context of how inappropriate this was, the demonstrations were in response to last spring’s mass shooting which targeted Asians.) The UAA is tied to Altay Defense, a rabidly Sinophobic and ultra-nationalist organization that’s training their American Uyghur nationalist members in arms.

What do they plan to do with these weapons? Since there’s no sign that more Uyghur separatist terrorist attacks are on the horizon within China following the success of the Xinjiang deradicalization program, they won’t get their desired ethnic civil war in central Eurasia. But they might one day become part of the next reactionary coup that the fascists try to carry out within U.S. borders, and that could easily be extended into a broader right-wing terror effort. Groups like the Patriot Front, with its follow-up marches on the Capitol and its promotions of crypto-Nazi ideas, are laying the groundwork for this new wave of assault. With every bit of fuel that’s added to the fire of Sinophobia and new cold war hysteria, the fascists get more likely to carry these violent aims to fruition.


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, January 21, 2022

As class conflict intensifies, imperial decline pushes capitalism into a corner

During late-stage capitalism—the era where capitalism has stopped being a revolutionary force and started being reactionary—the bourgeoisie function within a perpetually contracting range of options. During the mid-19th century, when the bourgeoisie were fresh off from defeating the feudal ruling class, their system was vibrant and continuing to grow. But no sooner had they achieved this than was Marx able to observe that the rate of profit has a tendency to fall. His conclusion was that because capitalism is centered around accumulation—with capitalists constantly needing to reinvest the surplus value from labor back into the productive forces—the system comes to demand too much of itself. Productivity runs up against limits, despite the bourgeoisie needing ever more productivity to make their investments pay off.

It was after World War II that this concept would be proven most dramatically. In 1946, the U.S. rate of profit by current cost measures was around 26%. In 2019, this had been cut in half, with there being a consistent decline in profits throughout all of the decades in between. Even though profit margins have since come to surpass late 2019 levels, this has come at the cost of a vast acceleration of late-stage capitalism’s contradictions. The elite publication the Wall Street Journal admits that this jump in profits has occurred not despite the pandemic, but because of it, and that it’s the largest firms that have fared best. Monopoly, austerity, privatization, the neglect of the most vulnerable, and other facets of crisis capitalism are why the rich have gotten trillions of dollars richer throughout the last two years. This has provoked the U.S. proletariat into its biggest revolt in decades.

Over 4 million workers, around 3% of the U.S. workforce, are now on strike in some form or another. They’re primarily from the industries that have suffered the most abuses of their employees during the pandemic: healthcare, social assistance, transportation, food service, housing, utilities. These have been the essential workers, yet they’ve been treated the worst, with workers from companies like Kroger unable to afford groceries and Amazon workers dying during tornadoes because of the company’s forcing them to work despite the danger. In response to the broader, more banal types of worker abuses, where people get paid a minimum wage that’s far too low to keep up with today’s increasingly inflated living costs, record numbers of U.S. workers have quit their jobs during the last half-year alone. The mega-corporations are now struggling to find new employees as around 11 million job positions remain open. The proletariat—which ever more falls under the definition of the “precariat” or the lumpen—increasingly judges working to be against its own interests due to how severe the exploitation levels have gotten.

This development is pivotal in the route towards revolution, because only the proletariat has the economic leverage needed to reverse the power dynamic. If the lumpen stopped working, the economy would merely be deprived of the underground markets. If the proletariat stopped working, there would be no economy. And we’re getting closer to that point.

Where is this leading? Not towards a repeat of the New Deal. The bourgeoisie now lack the maneuverability to implement social democracy. With the rate of profit being deeply deficient compared to its earlier state, neoliberalism is the only model that can keep the system afloat. Biden won’t be the new FDR, he’ll double down on unchecked capitalism and fortify the repressive state—as he’s been doing with his enabling of the further militarization of police, and with his government’s failure to implement a social benefits expansion.

What the bourgeoisie are doing is destroying the potential for a release valve for the rising class tensions. If the masses won’t be given relief, and if neoliberalism will continue to bear down upon them during the same time that global warming is estimated to further expand inequality, they’ll mobilize in ever greater numbers. Whether this mobilization takes the form of protests even larger than the record ones we saw in 2020, or further mass quittings, or more drastic types of revolt, the ruling class is therefore not going to find relief either. As the years and decades go on, there will be an upswell of class conflict that gets bigger the more they try to ignore the demands of the masses.

There are means for suppressing this kind of revolt. The imperialists tried and tested them during the Cold War, when the CIA installed military dictatorships in Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries which carried out mass murder campaigns against those involved in the labor movement. In Indonesia, where the killings were the most numerous and where communist affiliations are still illegal, this repressive approach—called the “Jakarta Method”—has succeeded at neutralizing class struggle. But Indonesia is just one piece in the global class war, and its story of (for the moment) total wipeout of communist organizing won’t necessarily be repeated in the imperialist countries. Regimes like the one in Indonesia are only able to exist because imperialism has been strong enough to prop them up. And when imperialism reaches the end of its current process of collapse, the proletariat will have far more leverage.

This is already happening with the rise of China, and of its multipolar world order. During the last year, China’s GDP per capita surpassed the global average. This has occurred around the same time that China, and the other socialist countries, have beaten back the pandemic almost incomparably better than the failed state the USA has. China has even managed to do this while finally eliminating extreme poverty, going against the capitalist world’s trend where tens of millions have been pushed into extreme poverty during the last two years. China’s example of Marxism-Leninism is also reversing neo-colonial inequities. It’s providing countries like Ethiopia with the development tools to stand on their own feet economically, further showing the world that socialism is the route to prosperity. At the same time, the imperialist countries are accelerating their war on the working class, both in the imperial center and worldwide; the IMF has exploited the pandemic to impose additional austerity, privatization, and wage cuts onto 81 countries.

The bourgeoisie must resort ever more to these destructive policies, because intensifying exploitation is the only way to keep capitalism functioning during the age of imperial decline. They must in turn invest ever more into militarism, repression, and surveillance to counter the social instability which comes from this engineered destitution. Even if these measures ultimately produce a fascist purge in the imperial center, bringing home the empire’s methods for neo-colonial anti-communist terror, the ruling class will orchestrate these murders amid unprecedented desperation and uncertainty. 

The imperialists got away with the Jakarta Method because it was a way to foist capitalism’s worst evils onto the exploited world. But with the collapse of imperialism, which has forced the bourgeoisie to import the exploited world’s conditions into the imperial center, this dynamic is losing its economic foundations. The masses in the center increasingly have an incentive to gain revolutionary consciousness, to act in solidarity with the victims of imperialism instead of ignoring their subjugation. This is because they’re increasingly being subjugated themselves.

Capital’s contraction is shrinking the social base needed for capitalism to continue existing, rendering imperialism’s traditional tools for survival obsolete. Revolutionary release valves, and the foisting of capitalist violence onto the exploited world, are becoming less viable, with the bourgeoisie’s only alternative being ever greater inequality and repression. As Mao predicted, over 90 percent of the global population will ultimately rise up against imperialism. With the decline of the U.S. empire, this unification against the oppressor grows closer.


If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Settler psychology & the deliberate ignorance of racism’s structural nature

This is part three in a series on settlerism. See Part One for how settlerism impacts activist spaces, and Part Two for how it obfuscates the definition of “immigrant” vs “settler.”

Myopia is the essence of reactionary thinking. As described in Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism, appeals to the reactionary mindset always encourage anti-intellectualism: “Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (‘When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun’) to the frequent use of such expressions as ‘degenerate intellectuals,’ ‘eggheads,’ ‘effete snobs,’ ‘universities are a nest of reds.’” This is the logical conclusion of the settler-colonial mindset, as the basis of settlerism is to deliberately ignore the nature of societal structures. To be aggressively disinterested in examining who has the power and resources, and why they do.

If it’s never considered that “America” only exists due to the theft of indigenous land, that the country’s great wealth exists due to free African labor which still hasn't been compensated, that the U.S. is the center of exploitation of the Global South, or that these realities shape the country’s racial politics, the alternatives to the present inequities won’t be considered either. Conversely, when you recognize these realities, it becomes easy to imagine what such alternatives will look like. Viewing the United States as an inextricably settler-colonial country, and as the center of global imperialism, makes it seem natural that for the working class to be liberated, decolonization must happen. With decolonization meaning the abolition of the United States and its colonial borders, allowing for the correction of land relations. This meaning the returning of jurisdiction over all of the land to the tribes, like has already happened in the eastern half of Oklahoma during the last couple years of indigenous struggles.

When land relations are returned to their state where the indigenous First Nations decide what happens to the land, billions of people will be liberated, with the benefactors located both around the globe and within what’s currently called the “United States.” The only ones who would stand to lose are the overwhelmingly settler bourgeoisie in the imperial center, and the labor aristocrats who act as their footsoldiers in the police forces and the petty bourgeois militias. As Mao predicted, over 90 percent of the world’s population will ultimately rise up against imperialism. Those remaining few are largely the settlers whose wealth is tied into the continuation of the colonial occupation, the settler state’s ongoing refusal to pay reparations to the Africans or end the racist carceral state state, and the exploitation of the Global South.

Since a post-colonial continent would have to be socialist (given that capitalism leaves a route for colonial rule to continue in economic forms), neo-colonialism would no longer be part of how our society garners wealth. We would be able to build society off of our own labor, instead of meagerly benefiting from the crumbs of imperial plunder as the wealthy exploit both us and the global proletariat. Imperialism would be abolished both externally and internally, freeing the proletariat on both this continent, and throughout the world where imperialism is unraveling, to collectively develop civilization. Dismantle imperialism from within, and so much is solved.

But the settler mindset seeks to prevent this scenario by encouraging us to remain myopic, and therefore to reject these collectivist solutions in favor of reactionary individualism. This is our version of the individualistic thinking that Ho Chi Minh described as being poisonous for revolutionary thought, and that he said capitalism makes prevalent even in exploited countries like Vietnam: 

Born and brought up in the old society, we all carry within ourselves, to varying extent, traces of that society in our thinking and habits. The worst and most dangerous vestige of the old society is individualism. Individualism runs counter to revolutionary morality. The last remaining trace of it will develop at the first opportunity, smother revolutionary virtues and prevent us from wholeheartedly struggling for the revolutionary cause. Individualism is something very deceitful and perfidious, it skillfully induces one to backslide. And everybody knows that it is easier to backslide than to progress. That is why it is very dangerous. To shake off the bad vestiges of the old society and to cultivate revolutionary virtues, we must study hard, and educate and reform ourselves in order to progress continuously. Otherwise we shall retrogress and lag behind, and shall eventually be rejected by the forward-moving society.

Settlerism makes this obstacle doubly insidious and hard to overcome. It ingrains individualism into every corner of our lives, conditioning us to be blind towards the structural realities which perpetuate violence. Fascism is naturally what comes of this mindset. The kind of fascism that aggressively reinforces the erasure, annexationism, and racial chauvinism which settler-colonialism is based around. From the “Back the Blue” movement, to the fixation on a gun culture whose purpose is to arm rich whites, our manifestations of fascism makes bare the violence that’s below the surface of the settler-colonial arrangement. In recent years, as our capitalist crises have intensified, Amerikkkan fascism has been metasizing into additional forms: the antisemitic QAnon conspiracy, the effort to portray the 2020 election as having been stolen, Sinophobia, the denialistic attitude towards Covid-19, the ultra-nationalist marches on the Capitol, the glorification of the reactionary vigilante murderer Kyle Rittenhouse.

All of these trends play into settler individualism and entitlement. They form a funhouse mirror image of the world, designed to rationalize the continued existence of the U.S. empire in the face of its mounting contradictions. The reactionaries believe there’s a vast Chinese-tied conspiracy to disenfranchise white voters, destroy their “freedoms” through pandemic measures, and incite racial tensions directed at law enforcement, with our only hope being militarized police and armed vigilantes. The deliberate disregard for the pandemic has the deepest historical significance; the Europeans could only steal the continent due to their weaponization of foreign diseases against the Natives, and the fact that Natives are now dying from Covid-19 at far higher rates than whites is making history repeat itself. 

The conspiracy beliefs driving this new wave of mass deaths are nonsense with a purpose: to negate the material realities of our conditions, and rouse settler Amerikkka towards participating in fascist paramilitarism. The reactionaries seek to take the deep ties to individualism that settler-colonialism has created within our culture, and use it to produce an upswell of ur-fascism.

Liberalism is incapable of stopping this growing fascist upsurge, because it’s based in the same rejection of systemic analysis. It foists the blame for racism, the pandemic, and other social ills onto individuals, ignoring that settler-colonialism and capitalism are the sources of our crises. Liberals take the kind of position that Frantz Fanon ridicules in Black Skin, White Masks, which critiques the individualized explanation for racism put forth by the psychoanalyst Octave Mannoni. The case Fanon and Mannoni argue over is apartheid South Africa, but the same dynamics of racial injustice and settler bigotry apply to today’s United States:

Monsieur Mannoni believes that the poor Whites in South Africa hate Blacks irrespective of economics...we could retort that this shift of the white proletariat’s aggressiveness onto the black proletariat is basically a result of South Africa’s economic structure. What is South Africa? A powder keg where 2,530,300 Whites cudgel and impound 13 million Blacks. If these poor whites hate Blacks it’s not, as Monsieur Mannoni implies, because “racialism is the work of petty officials, small traders and colonials, who have toiled much without great success.” No, it’s because the structure of South Africa is a racist structure

It’s through adopting Fanon’s Marxist analysis of racism that we can overcome blindness towards the contradictions which surround us, and which pervade our own consciousness due to us all being shaped by our conditions. The ur-fascist, and the liberal by extension, seeks to sabotage their own intelligence by refusing to examine societal structures. The revolutionary ruthlessly investigates these structures, and looks for how they themselves have been influenced by the individualism these structures perpetuate. It’s through this process that we can thwart the ur-fascists, who want to keep colonial oppression in place forever by wiping out the very knowledge of what colonialism is.


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.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The U.S. isn’t a nation of immigrants, so the U.S. must be abolished for socialism to come

This is part of a series on settlerism. See Part One for an examination of how settlerism impacts activist spaces.

The idea that socialism on this continent would need to be centered around patriotism for Amerikkka, and be represented by modified versions of Amerikkka's associated symbols, is based around the myth that the United States is a “nation of immigrants.” When one dissects this myth, it becomes clear why the “patriotic socialism” argument as it’s applied to Amerikkka is incurably reactionary. And why it’s appropriate to spell the country’s last name with those three Ks.

Why is the U.S. not a nation of immigrants? Because there’s a difference between immigrants and settlers, with the country’s settler-colonial nature making it unable to even claim to be a nation. Whereas immigrants come to function within the nations that they travel to, settlers actively replace those nations with new identities. This phenomenon is not the same as when foreigners don’t assimilate, which reactionaries falsely portray as an act of cultural erasure. It means when foreigners forcibly replace the indigenous cultures and systems they’ve come into contact with, and materially benefit from this erasure. This is what Americanism is about. As is the case for Zionism, the Australian anti-Aboriginal genocide, the Moroccan settler project in Western Sahara, and every other manifestation of settler-colonialism around the globe.

No matter how many times Amerikkkans say they’ve built a nation out of this process, it won’t be true, because nations require a shared history and a driving interest among the population. And the settlers are fundamentally different from the colonized in these areas. Whites here haven’t experienced chattel slavery, ethnic cleansing, the theft of their ancestal homelands, and the other types of violence which U.S. imperialism reserves particularly for the colonized. And the whites here whose ancestors were oppressed, like the Irish and the Italians, have long been allowed to fully assimilate and become white. The African, Chicano, and Native nations were never given this luxury, and they never will be. For as long as the United States exists, they’ll remain oppressed nations.

This goes for the idealistic fantasy scenario of the country being redeemed, where the United States gets reformed into something the Amerikkkan “socialist patriots” imagine to be communist. Until jurisdiction over the stolen territories is fully returned to the tribes, allowing these tribes to sort out the land management aspect of socialist development, whatever “socialism” that exists here will take on a revisionist form. It would be revisionist because it would go against the approach towards self-determination that Lenin assessed was instrumental to the success of Marx and Engels’ theory:

In the Irish question, too, Marx and Engels pursued a consistently proletarian policy, which really educated the masses in a spirit of democracy and socialism. Only such a policy could have saved both Ireland and England half a century of delay in introducing the necessary reforms, and prevented these reforms from being mutilated by the Liberals to please the reactionaries. The policy of Marx and Engels on the Irish question serves as a splendid example of the attitude the proletariat of the oppressor nations should adopt towards national movements, an example which has lost none of its immense practical importance. It serves as a warning against that "servile haste" with which the philistines of all countries, colours and languages hurry to label as "utopian" the idea of altering the frontiers of states that were established by the violence and privileges of the landlords and bourgeoisie of one nation. If the Irish and English proletariat had not accepted Marx's policy and had not made the secession of Ireland their slogan, this would have been the worst sort of opportunism, a neglect of their duties as democrats and socialists, and a concession to English reaction and the English bourgeoisie.

The same argument is now being made by those claiming socialism is compatible with U.S. patriotism. They say the idea of abolishing colonial borders and returning all land to the jurisdiction of the tribes is utopian. Yet they ignore not only this historical example of Marxists supporting the secession of a colonized nation, but the currently working example of such a measure on this continent. Since 2020, half of the settler state of “Oklahoma” has been effectively nonexistent, with the tribes there now holding full control over their original territories within the state’s perimeter. This hasn’t produced a collapse of governance within the area, as the colonial chauvinists claim would happen under full decolonization. The Natives have been able to effectively manage it, even though whites remain the majority demographic throughout the lands the Natives now control.

This shows that the fact that Natives are a small minority of the population on this continent—which the chauvinists consistently bring up to argue for colonialism’s continuation—is irrelevant as to whether the tribes would again be able to govern all of their lands. This obsession with numbers and demographics is misleadingly arbitrary, as are all the other arguments the chauvinists use against full decolonization—from their fearmongering about the Natives becoming the new oppressive occupiers, to their historically inaccurate narrative that the tribes already stole the land from each other, to their odd strawman about “where all the whites would go.” No one has been removed from the eastern half of “Oklahoma” based on their race since the area was decolonized. And if any deportations happen here after anti-colonial revolution, they’ll be done to settlers who’ve committed counterrevolutionary terrorism, not be based around blood quantums.

The effort to “save America,” whether it takes the form of white nationalist propaganda or “patriotic socialist” rhetoric, is incompatible with this scenario where white supremacy can be purged from our society. Even the most tame version of “America” would leave room for settlerism, and all of its forms of violence, to continue. It’s akin to trying to create a socialist Israel, rather than joining with the Palestinian resistance’s goal to end the occupation, abolish the settler state, and create a socialist Palestine from the river to the sea. The Israeli left, which parallels the U.S. left in its defanged nature, essentially takes this wildly contradictory position. The position that the colonial occupation would be acceptable if only it provided “socialism” for the settlers. Such an idea immediately brings “National Socialism” to mind.

Anti-Zionist Tikva Honig-Parnass has described the Israeli left as such:

What I would like to emphasize here, because it has implications for the present, is the role that left Zionist intellectuals, academics, and publicists had—and still have today—in articulating the main narrative of Zionism and legitimizing the Zionist colonial project. Claiming to possess the “scientific“ or the moral authority, they have justified the most terrible violations of human rights committed by all Israeli governments—left and right alike. The pre-state Zionist Labor movement created the false theory of “constructive socialism,” which was a local version of nationalist socialism. It called for the collaboration of labor and bourgeoisie—the “productive forces of society”—which contribute to the “collective” interests of state and society.

Reading this as someone in Amerikkka is like looking into a mirror. The U.S. “patriotic socialists” even use the same appeals towards “unity” among the proletariat to argue for why colonial chauvinism should be nurtured by communists, rather than repudiated. According to their revisionist view of Marxism, abolishing colonialism—an instrumental part of capitalism—would simply be too divisive.

The very opportunism that Lenin was relieved didn’t prevail within the socialist movement’s handling of the Irish question is now manifesting, except in regards to the colonial question on this continent. Amerikkka’s modern equivalents of the English reaction—the U.S. fiscal-military state, the carceral system, the racist police, the corporations that ruin indigenous land—are the benefactors of the U.S. socialist movement’s susceptibility to reactionary thinking. The movement is being divided between those who seek to build a post-colonial society, and those seeking to preserve settlerism. Which lets the wheels of reaction continue unchallenged.

Ending the myth that the U.S. is a “nation of immigrants” is instrumental towards rooting out these reactionary ideas, as the colonial chauvinist position takes root in the obfuscation of what settlerism is. It portrays settlers as synonymous with immigrants, ignoring the socioeconomic role that the term “settler” entails. Immigrants can become settlers, as has happened to the whites on this continent by default due to their role within our white supremacist society. This dynamic of parasitism and subjugation can only end with the abolition of the settler state.


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.