Left anti-communism’s goal: to sabotage the emergence of a vanguard by miseducating baby leftists

Left anti-communism, the phenomenon where political actors attack existing and historical socialist projects from a supposedly anti-capitalist perspective, appears only in a specific series of contexts. The contexts where these actors have opportunities to dissuade developing leftists away from joining the Marxist-Leninist movement. When somebody who dislikes capitalism enters into an academic institution, explores leftist social media spheres or organizing scenes, and seeks to find anti-capitalist commentary sources, the left anti-communists are trying to win that person over to their cause. This is the cause of standing in opposition towards the path which can win workers victory, while blocking guilt over this by still considering oneself to be fighting against capitalism.

The realm these actors operate within is fundamentally one that’s tied to the material interests of imperialism. To be able to afford the lifestyle that allows somebody the opportunities to make pro-imperialist arguments in these public forums, and to make these arguments in such a well-formulated fashion, you need to be benefiting from imperial extraction to the extent that this has decisively swayed your worldview. You don’t see the majority of Americans, who are working class people, inserting themselves into our centers of discourse to defend imperialism’s lies. At this stage in the decline of the U.S. empire, neoliberal austerity has ruined the living standards of most people in the core, and in accordance with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs their foremost priority is to survive. Not to advance the arguments used to justify NATO policies. 

This goal is bizarre from the perspective of somebody who’s selling their labor to the bourgeoisie, and who’s being exploited by this socioeconomic relationship enough that it’s making them suffer. The proletariat’s primary material interests are in the overthrow of the present social order, not in the preservation of this order via wars which perpetuate neo-colonial robbery.

When you understand this marginal position the left anti-communists hold in our society, where they represent not the average person but an extremely particular social subset, the strange ways they act make sense. When somebody sees enough benefits from imperialism that they can afford to invest in the discourse, of course they’ll be who you constantly see when political questions get discussed. And of course they’ll have the time and incentive to absorb, in great detail, the talking points that NATO’s public relations managers use to deflect from imperialism’s crimes and deceptions. For the conversations that left anti-communism involves to even take place, there have to be quite unique surrounding circumstances. Circumstances that allow for the insular and elitist intellectualism which bourgeois, pro-imperialist ideas depend on.

When a political actor is above all interested in reinforcing these ideas, rather than in liberating the globe’s people from capital and empire, they can’t adopt the “leftist” or “communist” labels in any other way than a shallow and vapid way. “Leftism” and “Marxism” are nothing more than personal branding labels for these types, these days in a literal sense because social media is all about building one’s personal brand. To be serious about Marxism, one needs to do more than simply call themselves a Marxist. One needs to act like a Marxist. When one has been shaped by imperialism’s cultural hegemony, the hammer and sickle is entirely ornamental, unless they decide to give up the pro-imperialist ideas they were indoctrinated with from childhood. 

Because capitalism will co-opt absolutely everything it can, this shallow “leftism” and “Marxism” has itself become an industry. Personalities build careers using the aesthetics of Marxism, while only engaging in Marxist analysis insofar as they can use it to critique capitalism on the most surface level. Not to the extent where they promote Marxism’s practical solution to capitalism, which is the overthrow of the bourgeois state so that a workers state replaces it. And certainly not to the extent where they use Marxism’s analysis on imperialism to expose Washington’s psyops against its geopolitical target countries. Those ideas are genuinely revolutionary, and are therefore ignored or attacked by these superficially “socialist” actors. Within this sphere where brands are what’s most important, of course serious revolutionary thought and practice will never be a priority. To truly challenge the imperial power structure would be to give up one’s potential to act as an opportunist within the empire’s internal political landscape.

The more that our power struggle escalates, both in terms of geopolitical conflict and in terms of class conflict, the clearer these opportunists make their intentions. The big boundary of demarcation that’s emerged since Russia began its anti-fascist war a year ago has been the divide between those who recognize its character as anti-fascist, and those who defend NATO’s view of the conflict. The latter camp claim to merely be concerned about “nuance,” but if that were true then they wouldn’t be embracing the ahistorical narrative from imperial academia about Russia being a “fascist state.” Russia is nothing more than an average bourgeois state, lacking in the particular traits that define fascism. This impulse to hyperbolize the nature of Russia’s contradictions is about a desire to capitulate to U.S. foreign policy narratives, which at present are being led by the Democratic Party. An organization that the aesthetic left is organizationally tied to, even if this left often claims to represent an opposition towards it.

There’s a reason why Korea’s socialist republic has stated its support for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine: because it’s quite easy for communists to reconcile a state being bourgeois, with that state taking an action that’s objectively positive in its effect. Or at least Operation Z is objectively positive from an anti-fascist and anti-imperialist perspective. It was the only feasible way to prevent Ukraine’s planned genocide of the Donbass people, and the operation’s impacts have represented a net gain for the anti-imperialist struggle. The expansion of NATO, militarization of Europe, and Ukrainization of America’s discourse that the conflict has brought are nothing more than the empire consolidating its internal influence, while gaining no new influence outside the countries which benefit from imperial extraction. 

On a global scale, the empire has lost great amounts of power because of the operation, and this process is far from complete. Russia and China have been brought closer together, letting the PRC expand its project to build a global economic network (the BRI) that will render neo-colonialism untenable. Militarism and self-destructive sanctions have accelerated the decay of the exploiter countries, intensifying their capitalist contradictions and bringing them closer to revolution. The plan of the imperialists was for this sacrifice to pay off with the destabilization of Eurasia, but because the sanctions have failed to make Russia collapse, that payoff will never come. More likely we’ll see a Soviet restoration, brought closer by Z’s acceleration of Russia’s internal class struggle. Russia’s bourgeois class character isn’t the primary contradiction, the primary contradiction is U.S. hegemony. But Z has advanced the efforts to address both.

The unraveling of U.S. hegemony is hastening, and unprecedented possibilities are opening up for victories within the global workers fight. The communist movement, the authentic communist movement that’s serious about winning power, has more potential each day to overthrow the empire. The anti-communist left, and its adjacent elements within the U.S. communist movement which seek to appease the Democratic Party, may prove to be momentary hindrances towards this movement’s progress. What we need to do at this moment is fight to throw off its influence. This week’s Rage Against the War Machine demonstration will be a major opportunity to advance this goal, and afterward, we must keep finding ways to make anti-imperialism mainstream. These left opportunist elements seek to claim ownership over the revolutionary movements, to establish the perception that they’re the only ones who can act as a vanguard in our growing class conflict. In reality, they’re the ones who stand against the emergence of a vanguard.


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