There is a point of vulnerability within our social system that the working class movement needs to take advantage of. This is the potential that the coming of the social media age, along with the living standards crisis the Ukraine proxy war has exacerbated, are creating for the disruption of imperialism’s narratives. If you’ve paid attention to the rise of social media censorship since the 2016 election, and to the emphasis that national security reports have been putting on narrative control when it comes to mitigating potential domestic revolts, you’ve been aware of this for a while. The subtext behind the calls for internet restriction from intelligence agents, assessments from Pentagon strategic scholars about how the flow of information must be controlled, and recent indictments of communists for “foreign interference” is that the survival of the American state depends on imperialism’s psyops being sufficiently defended. I’ve covered this many times, it’s not news to those who’ve closely followed the American anti-imperialist struggle.
What I’ve recently discovered about this fragility within our social order is that it’s part of a civilizational collapse process. A process that parallels the one the Roman empire underwent, that looks a particular way when it unfolds within our conditions, and that can only be reversed by abandoning the capitalist road.
There’s a reason why U.S. imperialism’s strategists are so intent on balkanizing Russia and China. It’s because they see, through a basic knowledge of history, that dividing up states is how to destroy their global influence. As the sanctions fail, and this idea of fracturing Eurasia gets revealed as unrealistic, this knowledge is also producing a growing anxiety: that such a balkanized fate will come not to the USA’s geopolitical challengers, but to the USA itself. That’s the outcome the Democratic Party is trying to avoid by using intensified state repression to target insurrectionists.
This divide between the two bourgeois ideological camps over whether incidents like January 6th should be considered civil disobedience or treason is related to their divide over whether or not the Ukraine proxy war is worth pursuing. The Democrats want to commit to the proxy war because they see the project to balkanize Eurasia as worthwhile. They still think expending great amount of resources on trying to maintain U.S. hegemony is a profitable investment. Those on the right, especially of the libertarian type who aren’t invested in the culture war, have a different calculus. They see how futile the effort to reverse multipolarity’s rise is, and they don’t want their tax dollars going to this effort. As our crisis develops, and the liberal goal of preventing class conflict grows less viable, those from this strain increasingly align with the pro-balkanization side. This is at least true for those among them who’ve been drawn towards movements like the California secessionist movement, or towards the more radical and militant kinds of separatism.
Socialism is the only way to stop this balkanization scenario from becoming realized and permanent. Because a country that’s ruled by an exploiting class, and that must intensify this exploitation due to economic unraveling, can’t hold itself together. The acceleration of America’s descent into conditions that resemble the neo-colonies, where ever more of the population gets forced into ever deeper poverty, is directly related to the country’s progressively getting cut off from external extraction. The country can only remain stable by displacing its crises onto the countries it exploits. That’s the purpose of imperialism. Imperialism’s decline can bring either a collapse of our society, or a strengthening of our society as it transitions to its next stage of development in property relations.
Without socialism, the continent will become divided into a series of fascist breakaway states. The decline will be so severe that many areas won’t even be controlled by states anymore. They’ll be anarchic zones where slave trades can thrive, like in Libya after the imperialists bombed it and made it into a nation at war with itself. Another comparison is Yugoslavia, because there the imperialists fractured the country and installed ultra-nationalist leaders within the new splinter states. That’s what fascism’s final form in America will look like, at least if we don’t replace this dying socioeconomic system with a new one in time. We’re getting to the point where it’s no longer in the best interests of the capitalist ruling class to try to keep together this increasingly tumultuous country in its full form. Ultimately it will be pertinent for the elites to break up what we now call the United States, so that they can apply a combination of the Yugoslavia model and the Libya model. Because the latter model has allowed for outside capitalist countries to divide up the land and take its resources, which would happen in America if this domestic balkanization plan were to be completed.
As this project gets started, the appeal we’re going to hear is that regressing into a new feudalism is simply in our best interests given the dire circumstances. It will be an extension of the pitch for neoliberalism, which has been a partial re-feudalization of capitalist society that became implemented in response to the falling rate of profit. So will be the case for the balkanization of America, except in a more extreme form. The truth is that none of this engineered collapse has to happen. We can unify the continent via proletarian revolution. Proletarian revolution is the route towards avoiding collapse because if capitalism continues, it will eat itself. It’s already eating itself, its diminishing returns compelling the bourgeoisie to bring back child labor so profits can be kept up. This is what the “great reset” is about: sacrificing the people’s quality of life for the sake of maintaining an increasingly deficient machine. We’re seeing this with the project by the Federal Reserve, in collusion with the big banks and corporations, to harm living standards so that employers can gain more leverage over the workers.
The liberal wing of the ruling class doesn’t want to recognize that their plan for destabilizing and balkanizing Eurasia isn’t realistic. So the liberals will continue to act like it is for as long as this can sustain the Ukraine weapons flow. The unavoidable trend is towards a scenario where such a destructive treatment gets instead applied to the empire’s center, according to the “imperial boomerang” effect where an oppressor country’s evils ultimately get brought upon its own people. This is what the “Israelification” of America is about. This is what the “third world-ization” of America is about. There’s a way to reverse this process and build a new society, the solution is apparent from looking at the successes of existing socialism.
As our industry has been destroyed, China’s has exploded, and that’s come with all the traits of social stability which socialism has been able to bring to the PRC. Socialism in America wouldn’t look the same, as we have to bring sovereignty to the First Nations. What it will have in common with China is a state that exists to advance the interests of the working class, and that therefore can rectify the effects of our destructive neoliberal policies. After which the state will be able to wither away, since under socialism the state is only a temporary tool for rectifying class contradictions. While these contradictions lessen, so will the centralization of power, as we’ve seen in socialist Korea.
These are the conclusions that the people living under our conditions come to when they access the educational material which gives them this perspective. That’s why this material is so dangerous at the moment: it has the potential to bring an explosion in revolutionary consciousness. The way the war machine’s narrative managers want us to interpret our conditions is by embracing a narrative of xenophobic blame and resentment. They don’t want us to see the ways our system has failed, or to look at the working alternatives to this system. Only to blame Washington’s rivals for our crisis, while the military machine worsens that crisis under the pretext of countering these alleged bad actors. The cycle of lies and structural violence will end when we’ve brought anti-imperialist education to the people, and mobilized them to assert their material interests.
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.