We’re on the verge of a pivotal breakthrough in the class struggle, & a major defeat for COINTELPRO

The implications of the RESTRICT act, the law banning use of numerous foreign technologies, are ones that vaguely but steadily shift the country closer towards a thorough crackdown on anti-imperialist sentiments. The act doesn’t outright ban speech that challenges Atlanticist, anti-China, pro-NATO narratives, it only provides the legal framework for a scenario where the state starts banning such ideas in practice. This cultivation of the conditions for an anti-democratic purge has a deeper motive, a motive which comes from fear.

Counterrevolution’s most convenient tool, & how it’s in danger of becoming useless

By outlawing the acts of interfering in elections or endangering U.S. citizens on behalf of a foreign government (which were already illegal by default); then explicitly naming China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela as Washington’s biggest adversaries; then providing a platform for xenophobic rhetoric from lawmakers; RESTRICT has created an environment where anti-imperialists are implicitly under threat from trumped up charges. The kinds of charges where the feds construe something like a political party voicing support for one of these countries as “facilitating foreign political interference” or engaging in “terrorism,” then apply the act’s penalties of an at least quarter-million-dollar fine and a 20-year prison sentence.

Our government is preparing for these kinds of intensifications of oppression because it’s close to losing its most convenient tool for combating revolutionary politics: the infiltration and co-optation of mass movements. This is the most convenient tool in the state’s counterinsurgency effort because it’s the one that provokes the least severe backlash. The public gets upset when it sees organizers made into political prisoners, or demonstrators massacred, or black liberation groups bombed. Not when the three-letter agencies back opportunist elements within the left whose role is to hold back revolutionary progress. That type of state activity is too hidden, too seemingly benign. 

The cultivation of a controlled opposition is insidious, as this element can pretend to be an entirely organic phenomenon. But we know it’s at least to a degree manufactured. The FBI has for decades been impersonating anarchists, Maoists, and the other sectarian strains that oppose existing socialism, principled anti-imperialism, and a Marxism which centers class. Anarchists and Maoists would claim this doesn’t reflect badly on their ideas, but the reality is that the feds have impersonated them not to undermine anarchism or Maoism. Rather to attack the idea which represents the most serious threat to capital: Marxism-Leninism. This is because these ideas already provide left-wing narrative weapons against the Leninist stance.

What the feds do is nurture the efforts by the petty-bourgeoisie’s left flank to dominate organizing spaces. These petty-bourgeois radicals can enter into this project of their own accord, as they have the innate incentive of maintaining their class status, but the feds have ways of helping their efforts. It starts with the academic institutions, which the three-letter agencies use as platforms for disseminating their anti-communist, pro-NATO view of the world to the youth through a predominantly “left” lens. Then when those most compatible with these ideas insert themselves into organizing and discourse spaces, the feds do all they can to assist them in attacking the class struggle and the anti-imperialist movement. Whether this assistance entails sending in COINTELPRO agents to wreck the revolutionary organizations these actors oppose; manipulating algorithms to censor anti-imperialist perspectives while promoting the imperialism-compatible left’s content; or manufacturing smear narratives that provide the opportunists with material to discredit those who challenge them.

If that scenario of a candidate for left opportunism going through an academic pipeline sounds hypothetical, there are cases of this actually happening. Vaush, the “left” streamer who does things like try to discredit Amnesty reports on Ukrainian war crimes and uphold the State Department’s narratives about the DPRK, had his origins in Humboldt State University, the California school that the State Department especially likes to use for recruitment. (It’s now called Cal Poly Humboldt, which it switched to as a precursor to when it drove its own students into homelessness for the sake of number expansion and profits.) Vaush and other left anti-communist actors get indirectly recruited, then used as anti-revolutionary weapons in the class war. They represent the iteration of the left that emerged after McCarthyism wiped out the communist movement, then the three-letter agencies used the Frankfurt School and movement infiltration to create the left as we know it today. 

When this element’s monopoly over our spaces has been sufficiently weakened, the situation in this country will come more to resemble that of the early 20th century, when the labor movement was a serious threat and communism was mainstream. Except now, under our conditions where class contradictions have reached extreme levels and U.S. imperialism is collapsing, the reemergence of a strong proletarian movement will pose an existential threat to the ruling class. The class struggle has an unprecedented opportunity for escalation, the growing backlash to a war in an era of economic crisis makes this apparent. What’s holding it back is that the avenues for class struggle are still controlled by forces which are hostile towards the anti-imperialist stance.

The tendency that’s made enemies with the imperialism-compatible left

There is a project within the U.S. communist movement that’s focused on taking away the influence that this element has, and thereby bringing an irreversible crisis for the ruling class. This project’s institutional presence mainly exists within several entities, the facts about which are naturally distorted by radical liberals in their social media propaganda campaigns. These entities are the Party of Communists USA, Midwestern Marx, the Center for Political Innovation (in its new form), and the Rage Against the War Machine coalition.

The PCUSA is the one that’s been most clearly and directly targeted by either COINTELPRO itself, or actors who’ve closely replicated COINTELPRO’s tactics. Last year, somebody hacked into the party’s website, then replaced all of its content with a document that claimed the party’s members had contacted federal agents and protected a child molester. Both claims were false. The person who contacted the FBI was discovered to have had the name “John Gould,” a name that no PCUSA member has. And the supposed child molester was an entirely fictitious individual, consistent with the classic COINTELPRO tactic of manufacturing whatever narrative necessary to make an abuse allegation appear credible. The actors behind this operation have since been paying to keep the site’s domain up, which is not a cheap thing to fund. And they’ve gotten payoff from this investment. Because to this day, those who oppose PCUSA’s goals continue to share the link to this document that’s been kept so easily accessible.

Why have such dedicated anti-communist wreckers, and ones with such extensive resources, decided to target the PCUSA? Because this is a party that’s been willing to sacrifice platforms and relationships with Democrats, and Democrat-adjacent forces, for the sake of principled anti-imperialism. It’s endorsed Russia’s Operation Z, calling the military campaign an anti-fascist war. In today’s tense environment, where the Ukrainian government is creating lists of individuals around the globe who it hopes for its supporters to assassinate, a party in the imperial center that goes this far in combating the Ukraine psyop is going to make serious enemies. These enemies of the anti-imperialist struggle, and the left opportunists who view serious anti-imperialism as a threat towards their status, are seeking to undermine the struggle’s success by waging a wider narrative war. A war whose central aim is not to discredit the arguments of the anti-imperialist stance—since these arguments can’t be honestly refuted—but to frustrate the anti-imperialist movement’s organizing efforts. They’re of course still trying to convince as many as possible that Russia is imperialist or fascist, but this propaganda simply can’t work on those who’ve already been sufficiently educated. At this point, their best option is to sow distrust and division within the anti-imperialist movement.

To do so, the idea they try to sell is that any issue with the serious anti-imperialist organizations, real or perceived, is sufficient reason for opposing them and everything they do. They say the analyses of Midwestern Marx can be automatically dismissed because those within its multi-tendency contributor team don’t all share the optimal ideological perspective, which isn’t the most solid argument. Midwestern Marx is a media source, not an organization, and as long as it’s not platforming fascists, it has the right to allow a diversity of views. For this reason, the overall impact it’s had on the communist movement is overwhelmingly a positive one, as it’s responsible for building a Marxist-Leninist YouTube platform which can be highly appealing to the average person should they come across it. Radical liberals say the CPI, one of the communist organizations within Rage Against the War Machine, continues to represent the same opportunistic and right deviationist force that it represented a year ago. I believed this until recently, then I learned that since Maupin’s relevance within the org was diminished, the CPI has shifted towards simply focusing on anti-imperialist activism and education. No longer does it cultivate the less serious environment it had in its old form, which resembled the LARP gatherings of Maoist ultras except they were flying the American flag. Its practice now truly has substance.

At this stage of the class struggle, where combating imperialism’s psyops and the Democratic Party’s influence over our spaces are essential steps, the contradictions within the anti-imperialist movement’s participants are the secondary issue. The primary issue is advancing the movement, which requires doing the coalition-building work to expand it beyond the left. That’s the value within RAWM: a willingness to bring anti-imperialist ideas to the people as a whole, rather than only one element of them. And to do so with a more radical platform than would be compatible with a project to tail liberals. If somebody doesn’t want to support the RAWM coalition because it includes Libertarians, that’s fine. But there’s a reason why pro-NATO voices have been trying so hard to discredit it. And Libertarians, as well as many others on the right who aren’t neocons or fascists, do have potential to come to the Marxist side. 

We know this because ever since the Democratic Party solidified the mainstream American left’s neocon foreign policy alignment by creating the Russiagate psyop, more Republicans than Democrats have been opposed to foreign intervention. The study which initially showed this was from 2019, during Trump’s presidency, so this switch is more than a regular instance of partisan mass flip-flopping. It’s an indication that even though the right obviously has yet to be brought beyond its backward ideas, the left has so thoroughly sold out to imperialism that it’s made even plenty of voters from Bush’s party compatible with the anti-imperialist movement. That 2019 survey showed if a Republican gets into office and continues the war against Russia, much of the Republican base could refuse to go along with it, and start to look for alternative affilitations.

The MAGA communists have recognized this reality about our conditions, then because they come from a right opportunist mindset, they’ve fetishized conservatives inverse to how the left opportunists fetishize liberals. The ideological tendency of the Marxist entities I’ve defended does not do this. The only element serious Marxists treat as exceptional are the workers, and that’s because of the unique role they have as the only ones with the capacity to shut down the economy. Marxists with the correct analysis of how to win the people fetishize not the right, not the left, not the gangs, not the lumpenproletariat, not any one color of people, none of the demographics who the different types of opportunists seek to create insular cults within. They simply seek to reach the people as a whole.

Marxists who truly want to win victory for the people act according to what the circumstances say is best for the revolution’s interests at a given moment. At this moment, the revolution’s best interests are in building a broad and unified anti-imperialist movement, one that breaks the state’s presently dominant counterinsurgency tools. When we’ve won this battle, we’ll need to overcome the next obstacle, which will be the project by the state to repress the communist movement. When we’ve made that project untenable, we’ll need to defeat the state after it’s resorted to its most desperate option, which is a full military crackdown and the weaponization of fascist militias. These ultras who we’re fighting with are tiny obstacles compared to those ones. We can absolutely bring about their defeat, then transition to the next stages within the struggle.


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