The success of Washington’s project to annihilate the Nord Stream pipeline, and to thereby make Germany lack a material incentive not to back the Ukraine proxy war, has shown the limits of multipolarity as an asset for the anti-imperialist cause. Multipolarity can get the effort to defeat the U.S. empire far, but not far enough that defeats like the Nord Stream story can no longer happen. Russia had already managed to construct a piece of infrastructure that negated Washington’s economic leverage over Germany. Then through one explosion, Washington reversed this progress. Even though this has backfired on the empire by providing anti-imperialists with the story documenting Washington’s crime, the reality is that there’s not sufficient political will to repair the pipeline. No doubt in part because everyone knows that if they restore it, the U.S. will only destroy it again.
That’s the main obstacle we face to progress at this stage: the shift in the global power balance hasn’t taken away the USA’s military equipment, the equipment that was used to destroy Nord Stream. It’s made Washington no longer able to use this equipment as extensively as it used to, since Washington now can’t carry out interventions which are equivalent to the Iraq invasion or the Libya bombing campaign. The countries that have the same status which Iraq and Libya had, such as Syria or Ethiopia, are at this stage not vulnerable to attacks of that scale. The Afghanistan and Iraq invasions cost the U.S. government the ability to narratively justify ground invasions to the American public, then Russia and China’s increased influence on the UN Security Council made it unable to carry out a repeat of its air invasion of Libya. The only countries the U.S. can invade now are the most vulnerable ones, like Haiti. The U.S. is making plans to invade Mexico eventually, but that will only happen if America comes to have a regime even more irrational and short-sighted than the Trump administration was, because such an action would accelerate the empire’s destruction even more.
The most dangerous tool that anti-imperialists have yet to take away from the empire is terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks that are motivated by a desperate desire to regain its influence, which continues to overall be diminishing. But still attacks that are capable of holding back, or in Nord Stream’s case reversing, the construction of infrastructure which advances multipolarity. We’re seeing this in Afghanistan, where Washington’s terrorist proxy force ISIS-K is exacerbating the damage from the U.S. sanctions by waging a war against Chinese investment projects. ISIS-K claims its motive is to “avenge” the Uyghurs, but we all know that’s not its real motive, because the Uyghur genocide story has been debunked for years. What it truly aims to do is protect U.S. strategic interests by preventing the construction of substantial BRI infrastructure within Afghanistan, which would represent an instrumental step in China’s mission to rebuild the Silk Road. Afghanistan is in a geographically pivotal location. And the U.S. empire’s combination of economic warfare and proxy warfare continues to delay Afghanistan’s fulfilling its unique potential for furthering multipolarity.
Until the United States undergoes revolution, it will keep being able to stop the globe’s people from completely reaching freedom from imperial control. The legacies of colonialism, and of the destruction Washington’s wars have brought to places like Afghanistan, will remain at least partly in place. Which will mean much of the population remains impoverished, hungry, without access to water, and increasingly vulnerable to the climate crisis. That’s the limitation on multipolarity: it can only save so many people. The opportunists criticize multipolarity, but they do so from a position that fundamentally endorses the concept of U.S. hegemony, as they vilify all steps Washington’s rivals take to expand their influence. The right way to criticize multipolarity is by pointing out how it’s not the end goal for a communist, it’s only one necessary step, a step which we must follow up with the next steps.
The next step, the one that can further diminish U.S. power, is carrying out proletarian revolutions within the countries Washington still holds control over. Proletarian revolutions which lead to more complete breaks from Washington than Vietnam’s has, as becoming socialist has not yet stopped Vietnam from embracing the USA’s “rules-based” international order. The revolutionary theory that can reliably make a country antagonistic towards imperialism is Juche, whose model of national self-reliance can be universally applied.
As the British Juche activist Dermot Hudson has said in response to liberal attempts to discredit the Juche idea: “Juche means that man is the master and can decide everything. It means that the popular masses are the masters of the revolution and construction. Yes, Juche does mean independence, but why should this be seen as something negative? I always find it contradictory and strange that some big countries like to complain about the nationalism of small countries. I am sure many Scottish people will agree with me. Juche embraces both national and international tasks. It has spread beyond the borders of the DPRK and is studied in many countries throughout the world. There are over 1,000 Juche Idea Study Groups in different countries.”
To fully defeat U.S. imperialism, there will have to be proletarian revolutions in all capitalist countries, including the U.S. itself. The German working class, for one example, clearly has no recourse other than to overthrow their bourgeois dictatorship and establish Juche socialism. Germany’s ruling social fascist party has fully complied with Washington’s commands following the Nord Stream attack, sending tanks to Ukraine and explicitly declaring Germany is at war with Russia. At the same time, the workers continue to be harmed by the sanctions blowback, and by their government’s using money for arms when it could be spent on bettering the people. The equivalent applies to the rest of Europe. The U.S. empire intends to sacrifice the region’s workers to get a better chance at destroying Russia and China, and the region’s governments are for the most part doing nothing to defend these workers from this cruel scheme.
Macron’s recent statement about how France must shift away from dependence on Washington should not be trusted. The U.S. satellite states have conflicting interests with the American bully all the time, yet still obey its wishes in the end out of bourgeois self-interest. And if France does break from Washington, this development’s revolutionary benefits will lie entirely in how it creates a new inter-imperialist rivalry, which heightens contradictions and weakens imperialism. France will still be a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, like how Russia still is even though it’s broken from U.S. control. A French break from the U.S. will accelerate the decline of the dollar, which would limit the effectiveness of the sanctiona. But it still wouldn’t end imperialism. The only way the workers in the imperialist countries can gain victory, and free places like Afghanistan from economic hell in the process, is by carrying out workers revolutions. By not waiting for history to bring them victory on its own, but asserting their agency over history.
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