The U.S. empire and its satellite states are fighting a war that their own strategists are aware can’t be won. General Mark Milley has broken from the Biden administration’s stance on Ukraine, and called for Washington to facilitate negotiations with Russia, because he’s aware that there’s no way the U.S. can at this point achieve its goals in the conflict. Its best option is to reach a compromise. Which the empire is too desperate to be willing to pursue for the time being, with the White House now trying to reassure its Kiev proxy regime in the fallout from Milley’s remarks. Washington would rather appease the strategically incompetent, war-obsessed junta that rules Ukraine than listen to the strategic calculations of its own military officials.
The practical realities Milley recognizes can’t be treated by the empire as real, or it will lose the narrative control that it’s gained among the population of the imperialist bloc. This mass cognitive control is key for our ruling class to stay in power amid the unraveling of the U.S. empire.
NATO’s failed geopolitical gamble in Eurasia
Every time the headlines claim the conflict has reached a “turning point,” it’s for propaganda purposes. It couldn’t be less reflective of reality. Russia has already maneuvered the situation to a point where its goals—those being the disabling of Ukraine’s military and the broader neutralization of the CIA’s proxy terror capacities within Ukraine—are headed for completion. When World Bank officials caution that the more optimistic predictions about Ukrainian recovery aren’t guaranteed, what they’re alluding to is the fact that Ukraine is not a sustainable tool for waging proxy warfare. It’s in many ways already been spent, its economy thoroughly looted as foreign capital imposes ever more neoliberal shock policies. When it gets fully used up likely sometime next year, it will be nothing more than a base for perpetual CIA terrorist activities. Activities that won’t succeed at destabilizing Eurasia.
Whereas Ukraine’s military is reaching exhaustion, carrying out largely exploratory operations and expanding the targets of its draft well beyond the optimal demographics, Russia has only used around a quarter of its potential ideal fighting forces. Russia’s drones and missiles are carrying out a highly effective campaign against Washington’s terror forces within the country. If Ukraine was expended so much by the Special Operation stage of Russia’s effort, there’s no way it can survive this escalation towards total war.
The bigger reason why the U.S. bloc will lose is that it’s become apparent Washington won’t get payoff for the geopolitical gamble it chose by provoking Russia into intervening. The success of its goals was staked in Russia suffering worse damage from the sanctions than what the U.S. and Europe would suffer from the sanctions blowback. Which, as the trends are going, won’t be the outcome. All Russia has needed to do to become headed for victory in the economic war is surpass Washington’s expectations for how well it would absorb the sanctions. As this relative resilience for the Russian side continues, NATO will be in a situation where its own economies have been damaged worse than the economy they aim to destroy. This is a fight to the death. Whichever side comes out less brutalized will be the one that’s allowed to define the direction of the 21st century.
When one remembers that Russia isn’t even the most powerful economy in the anti-U.S. bloc, with that title belonging to the rising China, it’s clear how impossible the odds are for Washington to win the geopolitical chess game. Eurasia, which is considered by imperialism’s strategists to be the central location in this chess board, has been irreversibly won by multipolarity. The “victories” that Ukraine gets, which are always won in the relatively unimportant realm of territory, are as impactful as when one chisels off a chip from a mountain.
Territory often isn’t the defining factor in which side of a conflict prevails, and especially in this conflict, it’s little more than symbolic. Russia regardless has secured around 20% of what used to be Ukraine, and annexed it. And the territorial gains by Ukraine are themselves products of Russia’s strategy, which is to trade short-term land losses for more time to finish demilitarizing its enemy. Kiev’s forces will be fully exhausted. The math of how much fighting capacity they have compared to Russia proves this. And the U.S. bloc will continue to find itself in worse shape than the Chinese bloc.
The imperialists hope to reverse China’s rise by having these attacks add up to something truly effective. But capturing a few more Donbass localities, which Russia may still win back in the end, won’t change the flow of history. The transition away from Pax Americana can’t be reversed in 2022, any more than the transition away from feudalism could be reversed in 1789.
The ruling class of the imperial center, faced with the cornering of the empire that its profits depend on, seeks to do the impossible under capitalism: bring the system towards a self-sustaining equilibrium. Capitalism constantly needs to displace its crises, which it does by always expanding into new markets. When it can’t do this, it becomes overrun with debt, trapped in economic stagnation, and made top-heavy by inequality, which comes from the bourgeoisie’s attempts at shifting the costs of these deficiencies onto the proletariat. These things are precisely what’s happening to the economies of the U.S. and Europe, and they’re happening at an accelerating pace.
The equivalent is happening in Russia, due to its more durable socialist economy having been dismantled by internal revisionism. But the greater severity of decline within the imperialist bloc, and the growing strength of China, ensure that whatever upheaval eventually comes to Russia won’t be a U.S. balkanization and regime change operation. It will be a new Russian proletarian revolution, and a restoration of the broader Soviet Union.
Our ruling class finds its influence increasingly isolated to the imperialist countries. Its psyops have failed across the Global South, its color revolution attempts since Euromaidan have been trending towards failure, and it can’t destabilize Eurasia. To maintain their status, the plutocrats who rule our society must use NATO’s warfare tools on different targets. Those targets are the peoples across the remaining neo-colonies, and the people within the core countries themselves.
Trying to hold on to neo-colonial extraction
With the election of Lula Da Silva as president of Brazil, the U.S. media has been doing all it can to convince us the country has gone back to normal. But what does “normal” mean under neo-colonialism? Since neo-colonialism’s inception, it’s meant cruel subjugation of the working class. In the age of climate crisis, Covid-19, advanced neoliberal austerity, and unprecedented global economic unraveling, it means a slow-motion campaign to sacrifice the people of the Global South for capital’s preservation. It means ongoing deterioration of living standards, to the effect that the population gets more vulnerable to the pandemic, to climatic disasters, and to the other sources of social murder.
These neo-colonial crimes against Brazilians will continue because Lula’s government doesn’t intend to confront the forces which are waging war against the working class. At least not without severe pressure from the bottom-up forces of class struggle, which are Brazil’s only true hope for freeing itself from imperial control. Even if Lula halts the destruction of the Amazon that Bolsonaro got so far in carrying out, the people will remain subject to the destructive powers of growing social inequality and ongoing ecological catastrophe. Lula’s last time as president was defined not just by imperial collaboration, in which he occupied Haiti for a decade, but by austerity policies. If gains are made for the Brazilian working class in the next several years, it will be because of successes by the proletarian movement to gain leverage over the government, and to build power of its own. Not because of Lula’s own credentials as an anti-imperialist, which are highly suspect. It wouldn’t be surprising if in the next few years, the U.S. again persuades Lula to send armed forces to Haiti, replacing Washington’s current occupation of the country.
This reality of a non-committal left government is present in Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, which have also come to have “left-leaning” governments only in the relative sense of the word. Latin America for the most part remains under neo-colonialism, led by centrist regimes that could open up their countries to new fascist takeovers as capitalism intensifies its war on the working class. Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia remain the most solidly anti-imperialist countries in the hemisphere, with Venezuela’s government lately heading in a less consistent direction on the question of defying Washington. In the face of twenty years of imperialist economic warfare and threats, as well as lack of solidarity with Venezuela’s revolution from many “leftist” Latin American leaders, Maduro has been embracing a policy of relative compromise with the imperialists. Venezuela remains an anti-imperialist country, but it’s taking on an additional side of appeasement to Washington. Which has prompted the Communist Party of Venezuela to form a coalition among the workers and peasants for building an alternative to Maduro in the next election.
Within this Latin American landscape of persistent contradictions, imperialism is seeking openings for fortifying or regaining control. The positive side of Lula is that he’s willing to incorporate Brazil into the multi-polar world, which is why the CIA has backed Bolsonarism over Lula’s faction of the Brazilian bourgeoisie. Should Brazil embrace China more in the coming years, it will become a target for U.S. destabilization operations, like a growing number of other Global South countries have after joining the BRI. The CIA could start stirring up right-wing paramilitary violence within Brazil with the goal of insurrection, mirroring what’s been happening in Bolivia since the 2020 reversal of the country’s neo-colonial U.S. coup.
Last year, Bolivia’s narco-bourgeoisie, which is aligned with the interests of the coup, organized a militia that seized a coca market in La Paz. They’ve since been running an illegal coca operation, in defiance of the government’s policy to protect coca for its indigenous spiritual significance. The police have been trying to shut down the operation, warring with the insurrectionists.
This is the kind of chaos that imperialism seeks to create in all the places where neo-colonial extraction is being threatened, and where multipolarity is being advanced. The last time Lula was in office, it ended in a CIA coup against him that made way for Bolsonaro’s rise. If he again proves unsatisfactory for serving imperialism’s interests, which the increased importance of geopolitics since then has made more likely, he’ll be targeted with either another coup attempt or a campaign to foment civil conflict within Brazil. Given the warm reception to Lula from the White House and the imperialist media, Washington’s current stance towards him is positive. But that could change any time, as imperialism has always been fickle in its support for individual leaders and Washington is becoming more willing to lash out.
Until a switch like that happens, where Washington’s goal becomes to destabilize the broad landmass of South America, imperialism’s intervention efforts in the hemisphere remain concentrated more so in Central America. The U.S. has deployed troops to prop up the Haitian neo-colonial regime amid the country’s growing social crises and class tensions. As global warming accelerates, Washington’s strategists intend to expand their military occupations across the rest of the neo-colonies, using the pretext of “humanitarian interventions” amid climatic crises.
This process can be considered the “Syrianization” of the broader Global South, both in its goal (military occupations) and in its method (exploiting the climate crisis). The U.S.-backed terrorists in Syria were able to start a civil war because of the country’s climate-exacerbated drought. This conflict allowed for the U.S. to gain an ongoing military foothold within the northeastern part of the country, even though Assad was never ousted. The imperialists aim to do the equivalent of this in every other country that’s at risk of being destabilized by global warming, using their proxy terrorist forces to exacerbate violence and polarization within the borders of these countries. Then Washington can establish military presences, whether or not this is welcome from the governments whose land Washington is operating on.
This isn’t a sustainable way to try to maintain imperialism. Because Syria’s government isn’t neo-colonial, the U.S. occupation can’t bring about extraction of the people’s labor. Only extraction of the people’s resources in the form of a campaign to loot the oil, which amounts to primitive accumulation. The occupation of Haiti is maintaining the core’s exploitation of the Haitian proletariat, but that can only last as long as these workers haven’t managed to carry out revolution. Which will happen at some point, as neo-colonialism’s growing contradictions ensure that the people won’t stand for their subjugation. If the U.S. is forced to contract its global military presence, which could happen when the dollar loses its reserve currency status, the people in Haiti and the other peripheral countries could use this opportunity to rise up. At that point, imperialism’s only way to minimize the spread of governments that oppose its interests will be to manufacture chaos, to turn all the peripheral countries into failed states.
This isn’t a practical goal. The failure of the CIA’s proxy terrorist organization the TPLF, which is growing desperate in its effort to overthrow the Ethiopian and Eitrean governments, shows a country is capable of beating back a destabilization op and continuing to grow stronger. With China’s aid, Ethiopia is rising beyond its vulnerable former state, coming to stand on its own feet economically and becoming an ever more influential power within the region. NATO can’t tear it apart, like it tore apart Libya a decade ago; the transition to multipolarity has put a constraint on Washington’s military intervention capacity, a constraint that will continue to tighten. Since the Movement for Socialism Party retook control in Bolivia, Bolivia has been another example of this anti-imperialist resilience. Like Ethiopia, it’s keeping its reactionary remnants isolated, and it’s building a better life for its people.
Even if imperialism did succeed at destabilizing most of the globe, this wouldn’t restore neo-colonialism. Neo-colonialism is dying. Our ruling class can only hope to maintain its status by redirecting its warfare tools, currently used on Eurasia and the Global South for the most part, towards the people of the exploiter countries.
NATO increasingly waging war against itself
When the pandemic began, NATO’s strategists expanded their psyop efforts to an unprecedented range. They used the Canadian people as mass experimental subjects in their cognitive warfare innovations, applying to Canadians the same propaganda techniques that were used in the war on Afghanistan. The objective of the ideas that were imposed upon the population was to dissuade potential unrest in the midst of the shock society was experiencing. The key factor was that this informational campaign was covert. Those exposed to it weren’t informed that the persuasive pieces of media they were encountering came from NATO. Which mirrors the way in which U.S. citizens have been targeted by psyops since great-power competition intensified around a decade ago.
With the repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013, the law which had officially banned covert governmental influence within the media, the U.S. public became even more awash in propaganda than they were during the first cold war. In the United States, there’s now not even a superficial legal restriction on the types of concealed government psyops that Canadians were targeted by. It’s this kind of warfare that NATO has already thoroughly imported into the imperialist countries. One where a population gets subjected to calculated mass communications, designed to persuade them to think and act according to the empire’s preferences.
The initial stage in the cognitive warfare against the NATO bloc’s own residents is one where society gets urged to be apathetic. The purpose of the Canadian cognitive operation was to dissuade revolt, an objective that became extended to the U.S. in reaction to the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising. The counterinsurgency against that moment’s black liberation effort was mainly focused on redirecting the outrage towards the police state, around facilitating a Democratic Party co-optation of the movement. This was a bigger part of the effort to frustrate revolutionary organizing than were the operations to wreck the revolutionary groups. By flooding the news and social media with ideas about the police being on the side of the protests, and about voting for a bourgeois party being the way to end the violence, the state managed to prevent the revolt from producing a substantial rise in revolutionary politics.
The secret board on combating “disinformation” that the Department of Homeland Security has created is tasked with the censorship equivalent of these pacification measures. The DHS, in collaboration with Ukrainian informational warfare assets, has focused on preventing the publication of facts that could frustrate NATO’s warfare efforts. The board’s suppression of reporting on the Biden family’s corrupt connections within Ukraine during the leadup to the 2020 election is one example.
The broader network of imperialist cognitive warfare has been carrying out this type of concealment in relation to the neo-Nazi presence among Ukraine’s armed forces. It’s been about minimizing international outrage over Washington’s backing fascist paramilitaries. To combat awareness of this and other issues with Kiev’s warfare methods, the strategy has taken on a more offensive form. NAFO, the Twitter troll farm created by a neo-Nazi paramilitary leader, has been trying to distract attention from posts documenting Ukrainian forces wearing Nazi iconography or committing war crimes. The participants in the disruption effort have appropriated memetic imagery in order to promote their ideas, which they put forth by jumping onto threads that include keywords related to the conflict.
At most, these efforts can maintain majority public support for Ukraine aid within the imperialist countries. They can’t suddenly make Washington’s psyops work across the peripheral countries, a goal which NAFO isn’t even trying to achieve. NATO’s cognitive warfare is only capable of being effective in the parts of the globe that have a material stake in maintaining imperial extraction, which represent a global minority. A minority that can’t keep capital strong based on its own economic strength, no matter how severe neoliberalism makes the exploitation of the core’s proletariat. To survive, imperialism needs neo-colonialism, which is all the time becoming a less reliable source for fortifying the core’s capital. Neo-colonialism is the highest stage of imperialism. When it gives out, the core’s bourgeoisie will only be able to function off of primitive accumulation, concentrated in the core countries themselves. And the workers will need to fully be converted into serfs, making for a restoration of feudalism.
The economy within these countries is one that has nothing to do besides contract. It’s already been getting increasingly anemic for the last half century, since capitalism declined to the point where the bourgeoisie had to start perpetually redistributing wealth upwards even within the core. With the inflation crisis that the Ukraine conflict has exacerbated, and the new depression that’s soon to follow it, this process has sped up. It’s now fully reached the Scandinavian welfare states, which are soon to be completely dismantled by far-right parties that have pivoted to the EU’s neoliberal orthodoxy. It’s reaching its final stage in the U.S. and the U.K., which long ago got to the level of austerity that the Nordic states are now in.
These places, despite the continued efforts by their capitalist classes to loot Ukraine, are now ironically not far from Ukraine’s hollowed out, corrupt kleptocracy. Their semblances of bourgeois “democracy” have been replaced by transparent corporate rule, and their battered working classes are getting squeezed out by wartime economic sacrifices.
The conversion of eastern Europe into a new neo-colonial region won’t return the imperialist bloc to prosperity. Its decay is irreversible, and can only accelerate. The super rich maintain an oligarchic grip over society, controlling the flow of information; the decisions of the state; and soon the neurological makeup of the people, should NATO’s brain scientists be successful in their recent innovation projects. But to keep up profits, they need to progressively destroy the functions that civilization depends on. They’ve deindustrialized the core, to the effect that China now has the means of production to compete with Washington. They’ve brought the climate to the verge of several tipping points, and created a biodiversity collapse. They’ve dismantled the social services and worker protections that would have let our society absorb the pandemic. They’ve heavily invested the state in militarism, to the effect that austerity is now being mandated by the ruling classes even within traditionally social democratic countries. Until these developments are addressed, we’ll continue to experience a social collapse, where ever more people get shoved into poverty and the poor continue to grow more destitute.
In this landscape, defending capital increasingly means waging violent class war within the core countries. Which entails the “Ukrainization” of the NATO sphere, both in terms of the public discourse (which has grown identical to the war fever within Ukraine), and to the ways the state relates to the people. In response to Ukraine losing the war, and to the Ukrainian economy getting practically cut in half, Zelensky is turning Ukraine into a “big Israel.” The Ukrainian National Guard, which is infamous for its atrocities from after the coup, is to be incorporated into daily life, mimicking the police state that Palestinians live under. This comes on top of the banning of the communist party, the criminalization of those who speak about Bandera’s participation in the Holocaust, the removal of the Russian language from public life, and the other measures to erase Ukraine’s history of socialist development and cultural ties with Russia. NATO’s proxy state has replaced this with a new national concept, one that’s exclusive to those who speak Ukrainian and that’s rooted in Bandera’s anti-communist efforts.
The imperialist countries are incrementally replicating this process. First by militarizing their law enforcement, then by fomenting fascist paramilitarism. This buildup of the state’s capacity for violence has gone along with a rise in governments that are excited to exact violence. Italy has elected a party that’s nostalgic for Mussolini. Sweden has elected a party that embraces white nationalism under a brand of romanticized old Nordic warrior culture. The U.S. Republican Party, at the same time that it’s carrying out a censorship campaign which mirrors Ukraine’s book bans, seeks to replace America’s history of oppression with a jingoistic religious caricature of what the United States is. When the liberals in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and elsewhere lose power, the vacuum will be filled by these kinds of ultra-nationalists. The U.S. bloc is headed for fascism, and Russian officials have been predicting as such in reaction to the spiral of destruction the Ukraine conflict has set off for the NATO countries.
As Ukraine’s forces continue to get ground down, and NATO’s warfare tactics in Ukraine are forced to transition more towards terroristic paramilitarism, Ukraine’s fascists will relocate their operations. They’ll commit terrorist attacks throughout North America and Europe, one of which was recently narrowly averted when Italian police captured Ukrainian Nazis who were plotting violence. Their efforts will be aided by the U.S. and U.K. intelligence centers, which have been coordinating with Ukraine’s state-backed terrorist groups. Eurasia can’t be subdued, and consequently neither can the peripheral countries. But the working class in the core countries can, at least for as long as these proletarians remain insufficiently armed, studied, and organized. To prevent revolution in these places, NATO must set its Nazi terror forces upon the communists throughout these countries, like it’s set these forces upon the communists in Ukraine.
To gauge how close our ruling class is to activating this fascist paramilitary aspect of its turnkey tyranny, pay attention to what’s happening in Germany. U.S. meddling has strong-armed the country into sacrificing its own economic interests by refusing crucial trade opportunities with Russia and China. This represents an expansion of Washington’s warfare operations into Europe, in a way that’s directed towards Washington’s fellow imperial powers.
The empire’s decline has gotten to a quite far stage, one where its range of influence has shrunken so much that it’s treating its closest NATO partners like unruly neo-colonies. In reaction to these circumstances, it’s engineering a repeat of Germany’s darkest chapter in history. Like how Germany’s social fascists cultivated the conditions for fascism a century ago by assassinating the country’s communist leaders, Germany’s social fascist Green Party is now taking actions which could create a new Reich. It’s re-militarizing Germany in preparation for another war with Russia, and it’s leading the country to a deindustrialized future by cutting off economic ties with Washington’s adversaries. A continuation of the German state’s turn away from democratic pretenses is the only way to sustain this process, because Germany’s people mostly oppose their government’s militaristic, anti-Russian policies.
To maintain these requirements for the preservation of U.S. capital, fascism will ultimately have to be restored. NATO is on its way to replicating the Euromaidan coup in Germany, in the other European countries, and in the U.S. itself. By the time the class struggle escalates to that point, communists will need to have already built up the institutions for resisting fascism. Or else revolutionary attempts in the core countries will fail, and fascism will prevail throughout the imperialist bloc until it finally destroys itself. Imperialism and fascism are going extinct in any case. The question is whether we’ll be able to make them go extinct decades sooner than otherwise, and avoid tens or hundreds of millions of dead bodies.
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