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Marxists in the imperial center who are serious about winning power must understand two things: that we have the ability and responsibility to disrupt our government’s global war machinations, and that doing so is essential for defeating the state we live under.
That we can sabotage the war machine became clear to me prior to when I became a Marxist. As soon as I saw that the American government was responding to the rise of a new great-power competition and the mass discontent from the financial crisis by intensifying its online censorship, I knew that the act of anti-imperialist informational warfare has meaningful impact. If efforts to raise anti-imperialist consciousness didn’t have the potential to render the war machine dysfunctional, the state wouldn’t have been putting so much effort into silencing dissent throughout the last decade. The Democratic Party, the arbiter of the state’s liberal public relations wing, constructed a great conspiracy narrative—Russiagate—to justify a vast campaign of online censorship. A campaign that began following the 2016 election, the catastrophe which exposed the decay of the American political order.
By that point, the empire had been developing a psyop about Russian “aggression” against Ukraine for several years, and the professional liars in the U.S. intelligence community had invented a story about Russia “hacking the DNC.” This story was spun to divert attention from WikiLeaks’ revelations about our political system’s anti-democratic nature, as shown in the DNC’s efforts to sabotage the Sanders campaign. The parts of the Sanders movement which were predisposed towards revolutionary politics headed towards the Free Assange movement, and then largely towards the communist movement. The parts that were biased towards reformism embraced the lie about “Russian interference,” making them compatible with the Russiagate psyop and then ultimately the Ukraine psyop.
The goal of us revolutionaries must be to take away the influence of those Democratic Party agents, who maintain their power over organizing spaces by enforcing a pro-imperialist orthodoxy. They seek to perpetuate a dynamic where if you support Russia’s anti-fascist war, or promote universal anti-imperialist theories like Juche, or even do the bare anti-imperialist minimum by defending countries like Syria and China, then you’ll be cast out. This gatekeeping and cancellation dynamic is the initial layer in the state’s counterinsurgency effort, which cultivates an imperialism-compatible left via COINTELPRO. It’s when I realized this that I comprehended the true importance of adopting a principled anti-imperialist stance and practice. Because when we on the revolutionary side have sufficiently diminished the influence of the imperialism-compatible left, the class struggle will escalate, because the state will have lost its surface-level means of defense against revolutionary politics.
This task of making our social movements anti-imperialist has already been achieved in part via last month’s Rage Against the War Machine rally. This event introduced anti-imperialist ideas to the mainstream population, and thereby made the pro-imperialist left no longer hold a monopoly over organizing. The consciousness has shifted, and there are new prospects for bringing the broader elements of society who aren’t yet part of organizing spaces into the anti-imperialist struggle. The key is building a coalition that’s focused around these ideas, which ANSWER’s March 18th rally will provide another opportunity for. Namely because it will help build and unify the coalition’s left flank, as ANSWER is run by the PSL and PSL is working with PCUSA (one of the communist orgs that organized a demonstration in conjunction with RAWM). This means PSL’s members are gaining more of the experience and knowledge in anti-imperialism to be able to lead the struggle in the long-term. As well as building a working relationship with the PCUSA, which is one of the only communist parties in the country that’s endorsed Russia’s anti-fascist war.
This coalition can only be effective if it combats the imperialist activities that are the most relevant and threatening in the midst of our present circumstances. In the Bush era, defending countries like Cuba was more subversive than it is now, because at that point the empire was attacking them with more force. Now its biggest targets are Russia and China. This has come at the cost of the empire’s ability to continue attacking Latin America as intensely as it used to, as the sanctions on Russia and China have made Washington too economically isolated to afford not to coexist with the Global South. This is only a strategic retreat. Should Washington’s efforts to destabilize Eurasia succeed, it will be able to redouble its attacks on those other targets.
Even though the empire has made a smart decision by limiting its assaults upon Latin America for the moment, it still can’t win the geopolitical chess game. Its sanctions have proven so ineffective that the IMF is now predicting Russia’s economy will grow, making it implausible that Russia will collapse or that China will thereby be rendered vulnerable. Because this war that Washington provoked in Ukraine has failed to produce the Eurasian unraveling which it gambled for, it’s now left with a situation where the USA and its imperial allies are suffering economic doom. All while Russia and China use the accelerated decline in U.S. hegemony which the war has brought to advance the BRI, and build an economic network which works in alternative to that of the IMF.
Neo-colonialism can only continue to be made more untenable, that’s the inevitable outcome when the peripheral countries are given the opportunity to develop. Thanks to the leadership of the PRC, Russia, Iran, and the smaller countries that challenge U.S. hegemony, the continued rise of multipolarity is guaranteed. The only missing step is the coming of a new wave of revolutions, which multipolarity makes more likely but which it’s our responsibility to help bring about.
This task of ours can’t be carried out if we don’t embrace a principled anti-imperialist practice. This is both because we in the core can speed up the coming of multipolarity by interfering with the militarism and sanctions the USA uses to delay multipolarity’s full emergence; and because no workers revolution can succeed if it isn’t international in character. That’s why ANSWER’s decision to include the abolition of AFRICOM as one of its demands is an encouraging development, and represents an improvement upon RAWM in terms of how our movement relates to Africa in particular. It’s important to be specific about how we want the empire to cease its occupations of the formerly colonized world. Both because that makes us in explicit solidarity with colonialism’s victims, and because institutions like AFRICOM are instrumental in waging Washington’s new cold war. When Africa is freed from the war machine, China will be better able to aid the continent’s infrastructural advancement, and the neo-colonial setup which our government depends on will be further weakened.
The history of modern imperialism has shown revolution in the core can’t come until neo-colonialism has been sufficiently combated, which requires ending U.S. hegemony. Imperial extraction is how the core’s state has managed to stay strong for as long as it has. When we’ve made the empire weak enough, we’ll gain the leverage to defeat it. And through the act of fighting it in a serious fashion, we’ll have made our movement more unified and intelligent.
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