Marxism is about historical development. What facilitates the next given stage in society’s advancement, a Marxist supports. This is why Marx, Lenin, Mao, and other major Marxist figures have considered the American revolution of 1776 a positive event: because it was pivotal in transitioning society to the point where proletarian revolution became possible. And it’s why Marxists, if they correctly understand theory and their present conditions, are now supporting the transition from unipolarity to multipolarity.
Like the formation of the United States, the coming of multipolarity is not something that Marxists view as an event which represents the end point in historical development. The preservation of the United States is not essential to the fulfillment of proletarian revolution on this continent, which is only possible if the interests of the U.S. empire’s occupied internal colonies are represented during the revolutionary process. Likewise, the preservation of a multipolar order is not essential to the coming of full global workers revolution and the final defeat of the bourgeoisie. As the creation of the U.S. was only a step towards the ultimate goal, so is the rise of multipolarity.
This is because like how the British empire’s defeat was a crucial part in the progression towards socialism, as it set the precedent for future independence struggles, the U.S. empire’s defeat is a crucial part in the emergence of a global order where economic independence from imperialism is possible. Which means it’s also a crucial step towards socialism. Because more of the peripheral countries are coming to have the developmental and productive capacities to function on their own, without needing to compromise their autonomy by accepting the IMF’s predatory loans, the capital of the imperialist countries is being weakened.
These countries are becoming less able to extract neo-colonial profits from the peripheries, diminishing the element of bribed workers who imperialism depends on as its social base for preventing revolution in the core. Revolution is growing more likely in the rich countries. It’s also growing likelier in the poor countries, due to their becoming incrementally able to lift themselves out of poverty. As when the peripheral countries no longer have their development limited by debt and imperial extraction, the imperialists lose the ability to use their governments as instruments for reinforcing this extraction, and the revolutionary forces within them gain greater potential for victory.
This growing empowerment of the exploited countries, to the effect that ones like Ethiopia have already largely gained the ability to economically function of their own accord, is foremost because China has been providing these countries with the tools to gain economic independence from the imperialists. Because China is itself a semi-peripheral country that’s still trying to fully recover from its century of being plundered by the imperialists, it’s been in the PRC’s best interests to lift the exploited countries out of their vulnerable status, as economic strength for the entire formerly colonized world will make its own rise possible. China has decided to build within these countries the roads, electrical grids, and other prerequisites for their becoming too strong to be exploited by the imperialists. This is why the imperialists have been backing terrorist organizations like Ethiopia’s TPLF, and creating fabricated atrocity accounts or false flags to demonize governments like Ethiopia and Eritrea. Their goal is to destabilize these countries so that they won’t be able to keep building China’s network of peripheral development projects, a network which poses an existential threat towards neo-colonialism.
The other big factor behind the coming of multipolarity is Russia’s decision to militarily challenge the imperialists. The imperialists provoked Russia in the hope that this would backfire on the Russians, then it truly backfired on the Americans and the Europeans. Russia will not be destabilized by the sanctions, and it will continue to build the economic partnership with China that it’s strengthened during this last year since the war began.
This fortification of their ties has let China further its construction of an imperialism-independent trade network across the rest of Eurasia, and ultimately across the broader peripheral countries. Even more importantly, Russia’s decision to take the U.S. empire up on its Ukraine dare has sped up the weakening of the imperial power structure, making the globe better able to challenge this structure. Russia has been demilitarizing not just Ukraine, but NATO as well, bringing Washington’s global military occupation project closer to collapse. Russia has been bringing revolution closer to the imperialist countries, causing these countries to impose sanctions which impoverish their own people and then stopping the empire from regaining the extractive capacity necessary for reversing this economic weakening. Simply by bringing U.S. hegemony closer to its demise, Russia is bringing the bourgeoisie’s final defeat closer.
Because U.S. imperialism is the primary contradiction, that China and Russia are harming it is reason enough for communists to support them; to argue against the psyops that slander them, to hold demonstrations opposing the empire’s provocations against them, to educate oneself about the present geopolitical situation and keep one’s understanding on it up to date. These things are essential to our practice because they frustrate the empire’s ability to delay its own extinction, to slow down the transition towards multipolarity through hybrid war maneuvers. To maintain their new cold war, our ruling class needs to keep narrative control, especially over society’s radical elements. As long as imperialism’s psyops, and the geopolitical apathy that they instill, continue to prevail within our radical spaces, our liberation movements won’t pose a serious threat towards the state. To compromise on imperialism is to render one’s local and domestic struggles ultimately ineffectual, as one can’t fight the state while being imperialism-compatible.
Multipolarity is going to continue rising regardless of what happens in the imperial center. But to minimize the harm the empire will cause in reaction to its decline, we in the core must be serious about combating it. In our thinking and our practice, we must reach a synthesis between local struggle and geopolitics, where we balance advancing the liberation effort in our communities with fighting the global narrative war. As victory for anti-imperialism in this information war is how to break the structure that keeps our capitalist dictatorship in power.
When this dictatorship is overthrown, we’ll be able to replace multipolarity with the outcome that Marxists seek to bring about after the multipolar order has fully emerged. This is the outcome where the United States is abolished and replaced with post-colonial workers democracy, ending its imperial extraction in both its own borders and the neo-colonies. Such a revolution would speed up the victory of the workers in the other imperialist countries, whether through weakening their capital, or through a direct policy in which the new socialist state intervenes to liberate Canada.
In this scenario, multipolarity will no longer exist, because it will no longer have to exist. There won’t any longer be a competition between two geopolitical camps, as the imperialist camp will now be nonexistent. Therefore geopolitics itself will be extinct, because geopolitics was the game which the imperialists created. Now that they’re losing at their own game, their project is becoming untenable, and the game is on its way to ending. What will come after it is a new order of global cooperation, where all the world’s peoples are building socialism in peace with one another.
There are those who seek to dissuade us from adopting a geopolitically focused practice by claiming that when the U.S. empire is defeated, it won’t truly make a difference. That China and Russia will merely repeat the patterns of the U.S. empire after they’ve fully subdued Washington. This idea is a lie the imperialists are using to frustrate progress, via the assimilation of radical spaces to an imperialism-compatible stance. China and Russia are not equivalents to past U.S. imperial rivals like Japan, as they lack the socioeconomic relationship with the peripheral countries that would make them meet the criteria for being imperialist. This is for the same reason: that this relationship is not one where the country’s economy relies on super-profits created by exploiting neo-colonies.
Even capitalist Russia isn’t an equivalent to past bourgeois states that have been able to fortify their internal control at the same time that they’ve challenged the imperialists. Operation Z is not having the effect of strengthening the Russian bourgeoisie’s rule, but of hastening its defeat by the workers. As the conflict exacerbates the country’s capitalist contradictions, the communists have been growing in their influence, both because of the war and in correlation to it; the communists are who, from the start of the Ukraine crisis, helped pressure Putin into taking action and committing to an anti-imperialist foreign policy. This new influence puts them in a better place to take over when the decisive moment comes in Russia’s class struggle.
From a revolutionary perspective, multipolarity is not something to take an apathetic attitude towards. Nor is it something to view as the end goal. The end goal of communists is complete victory for all workers, and the coming of multipolarity is an indispensable chapter in the story of how we’ll get to that final victory.
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