Category Archives: the Soviet Union

John F. Kennedy and America’s Lost Patriotic Heritage

Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe….

President Kennedy, 1961 Inaugural Address

Where China and Russia are currently leading a new paradigm of cooperation and development around a multipolar alliance, it is too easily forgotten that America itself had once embodied this anti-colonial spirit under the foreign policy vision of John F. Kennedy. Even though the young leader died in office before the full effect of his grand vision could take hold, it is worth revisiting his fight and stated intention for a post-colonial world governed by win-win cooperation. This exercise is especially important now that we are coming to the anniversary of the murder of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

FDR’s Death and the Emergence of the New Rome

America didn’t become an imperial “dumb giant” after WWII without a major fight.

With FDR’s death, the USA began acting more and more like an empire abroad and a racist police state under McCarthyism within its own borders. During this time, those allies of FDR who were committed to Roosevelt’s anti colonial post war vision, rallied around former Vice President Henry Wallace’s 1948 Presidential bid with the Progressive Party of America. When this effort failed, an outright police state took over and those same fascists who had sponsored WWII took control of the reins of power.

These “economic royalists” enjoyed full control as puppet President Harry S. Truman giggled as he dropped bombs on a defeated Japan and happily supported America’s new role as the re-conquistador of nations who sought independence after WWII. While it can’t be argued that the politically naïve President Eisenhower had some redeeming qualities, for the most part, his eight year administration was run by the Dulles brothers and Wall Street, and it was only on January 17, 1961 that he made any serious effort to speak openly about the military industrial complex that had grown like a cancer under his watch.

A New Hope Emerges in 1961

It was no secret who the outgoing President was warning. Three days after his address, a young John F. Kennedy was inaugurated 35th president of the United States to the great hope of many anti-fascists in America and abroad.

It is too often overlooked today, but JFK’s anti-colonial position was not a secret during his decade as a Senator and Congressman. Even though his family pedigree was stained with mafia and JP Morgan ties to his treacherous father “Papa Joe”, John Kennedy was made of sturdier stuff.

Touring Asia and the Middle East in the 1950s, a young Senator Kennedy expressed his sensitivity to the plight of the Arab world and problem of US imperialism when he said:

Our intervention in behalf of England’s oil investments in Iran, directed more at the preservation of interests outside Iran than at Iran’s own development…. Our failure to deal effectively after three years with the terrible human tragedy of the more than 700,000 Arab refugees [Palestinians], these are things that have failed to sit well with Arab desires and make empty the promises of the Voice of America….

Later, speaking in a 1960 speech regarding ending colonialism in Africa, JFK expressed his understanding of Africa’s demand for genuine independence saying:

Call it nationalism, call it anti-colonialism, Africa is going through a revolution…. Africans want a higher standard of living. Seventy-five percent of the population now lives by subsistence agriculture. They want an opportunity to manage and benefit directly from the resources in, on, and under their land…. The African peoples believe that the science, technology, and education available in the modern world can overcome their struggle for existence, that their poverty, squalor, ignorance, and disease can be conquered…. [The] balance of power is shifting … into the hands of the two-thirds of the world’s people who want to share what the one-third has already taken for granted….

JFK Battles the Deep State

Wall Street’s Dulles Brothers who, together ran the CIA and the State Department, had made several major efforts to sabotage Kennedy’s “new frontiers” initiative  that gripped the imaginations of young and old alike. Kennedy’s program was driven by large scale infrastructure at home and advanced scientific and technological progress in the Developing sector abroad. Attempting to break that trajectory, Allen Dulles had prepared the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba months before Kennedy entered the scene which was a near disaster for the world. Just days before Kennedy’s inauguration, Allan Dulles ensured that a pro-Kennedy ally who had just recently gained power in the Congo named Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in cold blood knowing that JFK would be blamed, and every effort was made to back up the French fascists trying to stop the Algerian independence movement behind JFK’s back. Both the Cuban invasion and the assassination of Lumumba have been blamed on Kennedy to this day.

In response to this treachery, JFK made the bold move of firing CIA director Allan Dulles, and two Wall Street-connected CIA directors on November 29, 1961 saying that he would soon “splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

Recognizing the insanity of the zero sum Cold Warriors who could only look at the world through the perversity of a Hobbesian lens of “each against all”, JFK not only stood alone against the entire array of war-hungry Joint Chiefs calling for war with Russia during the infamous “13 day showdown” (and parodied by Kubrick’s brilliant Dr. Strangelove), but also took the advice of Generals MacArthur, and Charles de Gaulle who warned him to avoid all entrapments of a “land war in Vietnam”. On this point, JFK introduced NSAM 263 in October 1963 to begin a full withdrawal from Southeast Asia.

JFK’s June 10, 1963 speech What Kind of Peace Do We Seek?  showcased his resistance to the imperialists in America.

What was especially intolerable was that JFK began challenging the fixed rules of the zero sum Cold War game itself when he announced a new mission to put a man on the moon “within the decade”. This would have been tolerable if the effort was kept within a geopolitical ideology of “competition against the evil commies”. But JFK knew better and called for a US-Russia partnership to jointly develop advanced technologies together making the space program a project for human peace. This little known strategic vision, announced in a September 20, 1963 UN speech, shows how an arms race in space, which today threatens the earth, could have been avoided and the Cold War itself done away with decades before the Soviet Union collapsed:

JFK’s efforts to build bridges with Russia were of vital importance as they resulted in the passage of the test ban treaty on August 5, 1963, and hopes were awoken for an early end to the Cold War through the mutual development of the poorest parts of the world. This was “International New Deal” strategy which patriots like Henry Wallace and Paul Robeson had fought for from 1946-1959.

Across Africa, Asia and other former colonies, JFK had worked hard to build relationships with Pan African leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, as well as Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru and South Vietnamese President Diem to provide American assistance for the construction of great infrastructure projects like the Akosombo Dam in Ghana, nuclear power in Egypt and Vietnam and steel industries in India. Today the Akosombo Dam stands with a plaque dedicated to the “martyred John F. Kennedy”. As historian Anton Chaitkin proves in his incredible 2013 opus JFK vs the Empire, this didn’t happen without a major fight with the JP Morgan controlled steel barons who artificially raised the price of steel in order to make these projects financially impossible.

How would these projects be funded? Certainly, Kennedy’s industrial tax credit was a major help, but when it became clear that Wall Street banks, and the Federal Reserve were obstructing the flow of credit for long term development, JFK introduced Bill 11110 to begin issuing silver-backed currency through the Treasury rather than the private central banking system on June 4, 1963 which would have liberated America from private central banking for the first time since 1913.

The Plot to Kill Kennedy

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison famously played by Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone’s 1992 JFK did more than many people today realize in exposing the networks that ran JFK’s murder and subsequent cover-up. Without going into detail of the multiple bullets that killed Kennedy from several directions (especially the lethal head shot which obviously struck him FROM THE FRONT as showcased in the Zapruder film which had been suppressed for several years), let’s look at some lesser known evidence discovered by Garrison.

In his 1991 book On the Trail of the Assassins, Garrison wrote of an international assassination bureau named Permindex and the World Trade Organization on whose boards sat CIA asset Clay Shaw (the figure played by Tommy Lee Jones in the Stone biopic). Garrison wrote:

The CIA- which apparently had been conducting its own foreign policy for some time- had begun a project in Italy as far back as the early 1950s. The organization, named the Centro Mondiale Commerciale had initially been formed in Montreal, then moved to Rome in 1961. Among the members of its board of directors, we learned, was one Clay Shaw from New Orleans.

Garrison cited French researcher Paris Flammonde when he described it as “a shell of superficiality… composed of channels through which money flowed back and forth without anyone knowing the sources or the destination of these liquid assets.

Garrison pointed out that Permindex had been kicked out of Italy, Switzerland and France for good reasons:

As for Permindex… it had, among other things, secretly financed the opposition of the French Secret Army Organization (OAS) to President de Gaulle’s support for independence for Algeria, including its reputed assassination attempts on de Gaulle.

After naming the other pro-fascist members- many of whom were connected to European royal families and banks, Garrison then pointed to the WTC owner “One of the major stockholders of the Centro was a Major Louis M. Bloomfield, a Montreal resident… and former agent with the Office of Strategic Services, out of which the United States had formed the CIA.”

Bloomfield and the Royal Birth of the Anti-Growth Movement

Since both the World Trade Center and Permindex were owned by Bloomfield, his role in this story cannot be overlooked and takes us straight to the heart of the agenda to kill Kennedy.

Not only did Bloomfield play a key role working alongside Rhodes Scholars in Canada such as Justice Minister Davie Fulton in order to stop continental water projects advocated by JFK and Canadian pro-development leaders like John Diefenbaker, Premier Daniel Johnson and BC Premier WAC Bennett, but he also played a leading role as a founding member of the 1001 Club alongside other upper level managers of the oligarchy like Maurice Strong, Peter Munk (of Barrick Gold), and media Mogul Conrad Black. For those who may not be aware, the 1001 Club was a special Trust set up under Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Prince Philip Mountbatten to finance the new ecology movement as the foundation for a new global imperialism today being pushed under the framework of Cop 25 and the Green New Deal.

Philip and Bernhard were not only co-founders of the World Wildlife Fund in 1961, but were supporters of the anti-technological growth Morges Manifesto which the WWF credits as the start of the modern green movement. Bloomfield served as Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund while Prince Philip was President, and later gave the baton over to Maurice Strong. The Morges Manifesto was the first attempt to place the blame for humanity’s ills on the yearning for scientific and technological progress itself rather than the imperial traditions of inbred oligarchs.

A co-author of the Morges Manifesto and co-founder of the WWF was Sir Julian Huxley. Huxley was a leading eugenicist who laid out the intention for the new imperial movement that JFK rebelled valiantly against in his 1946 UNESCO founding manifesto when he said “even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”  The fact that dark skinned people are the most ruthlessly affected by de-carbonization schemes and “appropriate technologies” like expensively inefficient windmills and solar panels today is not a coincidence.

Open vs. Closed System Paradigms

So WHY would those founders of the ecology movement, which is today pushing a global green one world government, have wished to see President Kennedy murdered?

If I said it was because they want depopulation or world government, it would be too simple.

It were better said that JFK was self-consciously unleashing the innate powers of creative reason as a governing principle of political economy. He believed in an anti-oligarchical view of humanity as made in the living image of God and said as much repeatedly. He believed that the human mind could conquer all challenges that both nature, vice and ignorance can throw at us. JFK didn’t see the world through a zero sum lens, nor did he believe in the Malthusian “limits to growth” paradigm which his killers promulgated after his death. In fact JFK argued against Malthusianism by name.

Today, those Green New Dealing technocratic zombies pervasive across the western deep state are horrified to witness the reawakening of JFK’s spirit in the leadership of powerful statesmen like China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin who have created a new paradigm of cooperation, war avoidance, and infrastructure projects under the growing New Silk Road, Polar Silk Road as well as ambitious space projects which are quickly bringing the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies into the sphere of our economic activity.

It should also be noted that for all of his problems, the embattled President Trump has become the first American president since JFK to seriously challenge the Deep State and attempt to return the republic towards a saner non-interventionist heritage. Kennedy’s revenge can best be achieved if the American people do everything possible to support the fight against this Malthusian cancer and push for America’s participation in that new paradigm before an economic meltdown throws America into a new Dark Age.

• The author of this paper gave an extended lecture on this topic. For those who wish to investigate this important matter further, they are invited to watch “Montreal’s Permindex and the Deep State Plot to Kill JFK” below:

The post John F. Kennedy and America’s Lost Patriotic Heritage first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“Totalitarian” Anti-Communism: Loaded Language Straight Out of CIA, Neo-Con Playbook

ORIENTATION

Forms of language manipulation

As most of us know, verbal language is both a tool and a weapon. Verbal language allows our species to talk about the past and the future. It allows us to label mental and physical illnesses and provides us with diagnosis and prognosis. It allows us to communicate more precisely than we can with non-verbal language, whether about the world or our internal states. But language can also be used to control and manipulate. There are at least nine forms of language manipulation:

  • Loading the language with “virtue and vice” words which narrows thinking.
  • Euphemisms mask the emotional content of an experience by sanitizing the language. For example, the military specializes in this by calling prisoners of war “detainees” or murdered soldiers “collateral damage” .
  • “Weasel” words are commonly used in advertising and “slanting” is a regular staple in newsrooms.
  • Reification is common in economic analysis when we hear that “money talks” “money walks”, and “economies grow”.
  • Other forms of language manipulation are “equivocation,” “jargon”, “vagueness” and “ambiguity”.

Vice and Virtue Political Words

The subject of this article is the use of the word “totalitarian” as a loaded vice word.  It is used mostly in international political contexts by liberals and conservatives in Yankeedom to distinguish their political system from those of their perceived enemies. Totalitarianism has been used to describe Nazism and Communism, both separately or together.

“Totalitarian” is trotted out by neocons and the CIA when they are presenting to the public their views on Russia, China, North Korea or Venezuela. This continues despite the fact that the term has been criticized by social scientists in the 1960s and is 60 years out of date. In a 1948 article, Arthur Hill listed the following characteristics of totalitarianism:

  • Abolition of the right to freedom of speech, assembly and religious worship;
  • Elimination of all political parties other than the ruling party;
  • Subordination of all economic and social life to structural control of the single party bureaucracy;
  • Liquidation of free enterprise;
  • Destruction of all independent trade unions and creation of labor organizations servile to the totalitarian state;
  • Establishment of concentration camps and the use of slave labor;
  • Utter disregard for an independent judicial system;
  • Social demagogy around race and class;
  • Expansion of the military;
  • Reduction of parliamentary bodies to rubber stamp status;
  • Establishment of a system of nationwide espionage and secret police, censorship of the press and media;
  • Disregard for the rights of other nations and desregard of treaties; and,
  • Maintenance and encouragement of fifth columns abroad.

Another vice word is “dictatorship” which is regularly attributed to the heads of socialist governments, even when these socialist leaders have been elected by democratic processes. Both “totalitarian” and ‘dictatorship” are emotionally loaded “vice” words designed to narrow political thinking into an “either – or” choice between a vice word (dictatorship, totalitarian) and a virtue word “democracy”. A vice word is one in which it is impossible to think or act neutrally. So, no intelligent political person would say they are for totalitarian government or dictatorship.

On the other hand, these days everybody loves the word “democracy”. This has certainly not been the case historically. Democracy had been associated with “mob rule” and among conservatives, behind closed doors, it still is. Liberals were not much better. They were dragged kicking and screaming into using the word democracy at the end of the 19th century when working class white men got the vote. Nevertheless, the word democracy today is a virtue word. It is tantamount to committing political suicide by publicly stating you are against democracy. The CIA even names one of its international programs to overthrow socialist governments “National Endowment for Democracy”. In this article I will focus on the history of the use of the word “totalitarianism”. In my next article I will write about the history of the use of the words “dictatorship” and “democracy”.

Why should you care?

Using loaded language in politics supports narrowing the thinking process to heroes and villains, gods and devils, dictators or democrats. Working-class people do not initiate what these words mean, or in what contexts they are used. However, working class people circulate these words unconsciously when they talk about politics to others. Working-class people also internalize these words and this narrows the span of how they think about political processes. The purpose of this article and the next one is to challenge you to try purging from your vocabulary the words totalitarian dictatorship or democracy. Chances are very good that you are being played by the Yankee anti-communist campaign.

Overview of the history of the use of the word “totalitarian”

Most of this article will be based on a book Totalitarianism: The Inner History of the Cold War by Abbott Gleason (1995). He tells the story of the use of totalitarianism from its use in the 1930s to the 1980s. The early years of its use was limited to fascism. After Stalin’s pact with Hitler it was used to describe both fascism and communism. Then there was a hiatus in the use of the term totalitarian when the USSR became an ally. However, after World War II through the 1980s, the term totalitarian was used by Yankees and Europeans to refer to the Soviet Union and any other socialist countries.

THEORIES OF TOTALITARIANISM IN THE 1930s

Early theories of totalitarianism were economic in origin and only about fascism. For Franz Neumann, the totalitarian phase of Nazism was strictly confined to the first two years of rule. He used the term totalitarian to describe the all-powerful state that he believed to be one of the two central elements of fascism. Besides the state, the other element of fascism was monopoly capitalism. Fascism was understood as a development that came out of political liberalism and decaying capitalism, not primarily an attack on them. Neumann thought that capitalism rather than racism and romanticism explained the rise of Hitler. For Max Lerner, fascism and Nazism derived from inflation and middle-class fears of proletarianization. Roosevelt used the term totalitarianism infrequently and when he did, he usually referred to Germany and Italy. For the Soviet Union, fascism was understood as a manifestation of capitalist society in its imperialistic stage. Nazism and Soviet Communism appeared in these theories as the most extreme opposites. However, by 1937-1938 many academics came to regard the similarities between Nazism and Stalinism as more striking than their differences.

The United States itself was not immune to the charge of being called totalitarian by conservatives who were against FDR. Emil Lengyel, in his book, The New Deal in Europe, (1934), included US economic policies as similar to Russia, Germany and Italy. For conservatives such as Herbert Hoover, FDR was a totalitarian liberal. American isolationists argued Roosevelt’s domestically aggressive policies contained the real danger of totalitarianism

Following his committee’s vindication of Trotsky, John Dewey accepted the term totalitarian to describe Russia, and for this he was subjected to a sustained campaign of vilification by communists. He stressed totalitarianism in his book Freedom and Culture, (1939) less than two months after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact. With the signing of the pact in August 1939, all but a few far-left activists accepted the new terminology and called both Russia and Germany totalitarian.

TOTALITARIANISM IN EARLY WORLD WAR II

From the time the United States entered World War II until the end of the war, the United States backed off its characterization of the Soviet Union as totalitarian. Why? Because if the US was allied with the Soviet Union, the war could not be described as a war against totalitarianism. The events of 1941 — Germany’s attack on the USSR — halted a great deal of the talk of totalitarianism being of both the left and right. The imagined confrontation of totalitarian dictators with western capitalism (called democracies) would be shattered. Almost overnight the term greatly diminished as the United States and the Soviet Union fought on the same side. After the war, with Germany defeated, totalitarianism was used to characterize only the Soviet Union.

TOTALITARIANISM IN THE LATE 1940s

Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism, (1951)

Lack of specificity in what makes a totalitarian country

Hannah Arendt began to write Origins of Totalitarianism, in reaction to the realization of the scale of the death camps and the systemization of the killings of the Jews. Up until now, those writing on totalitarianism thought its roots were in the 20th century. There was some sense it was connected to nationalism, technology and racism. However, all these characteristics were also present in countries like the United States and Britain that were thought not to be totalitarian. Hannah Arendt’s book begins in 1945 and was the first book to suggest that the origins of totalitarianism originated in the 19th century.  Arendt’s own candidates for totalitarianism were the rise of mass society, psychological loneliness, Durkheim’s anomie and what she called the fanaticism of the marginalized. The “mob” for Arendt was a small section of the population, roughly equivalent to Marx’s lumpenproletariat. It consisted of declassed rootless, desperate individuals who could be recruited for criminal activity. This perception of masses was a conservative one, right out of the playbook of Le Bon and Tarde. Yet, all these conditions were also present in the US, England and France. There are no characteristics unique to Germany and Russia.

She also claimed there was a relationship between 19th century imperialism and racism. The problem was that countries that are considered non-totalitarian (US, Britain and to a lesser extent, France) were all imperialist or racist. Secondly, Russia at the time of the Tsar, was not an imperialist country, though anti-Semitism was very prevalent.

Arendt also thought that totalitarianism had a great deal to do with nationalism. The problem is she didn’t specify what kind of nationalism it was. Her attempt to link Pan Germanism with Pan Slavism breaks down because the 19th century Russian intelligentsia was not Pan-Slavic.  With a few exceptions, they were Western European modernizers. Even if Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism did provide the ideological roots of commonalities of Russia and Germany, it was a different kind of nationalism than in Western Europe. In Hans Kohn’s typology, Germany and Russia were ethnic, rather than civic nationalists. Arendt’s basic paradigm of the nation state was post-revolutionary France which qualifies as civic nationalism. When we consider that most of Europe, and particularly Germany and the Austro-Hungarian part of Germany (with which she is most concerned), had belonged to states that could not be thought of as civic nationalist.

Lastly, by 1948 she came to believe it was the systematic reliance of terror, institutionalized in the concentration camp that linked Russia to Germany. This ignores the concentration camps set up in United States for the Japanese.

The sloppiness of her study

There are many problems with Arendt’s study other than the fact she could name characteristics that were unique to Germany and Russia and not found in the West. In the first place, she had not studied Germany and Russia equally. This meant she was in no position to compare their similarities and differences systemically. She knew far more about Germany than Russia. She began her book with the Nazi’s and it was only three years into her writing that she tried to expand her book to include Russia. Secondly, her characterization of the Nazis and the USSR was confusing because it was not a strict comparison between fascism and communism. The term totalitarian did not even include other fascist countries such as Italy or Spain.

In addition, she failed to state the differences between Russia and Germany in terms of their politics and economic systems. Just because Hitler and Stalin were both heavy-handed leaders does not mean the political systems were the same. For one thing, Hitler was appointed whereas Stalin rose from within the Communist party. Furthermore, she failed to account for the differences in the economic system. Germany was a capitalist society; Russia was a state socialist society. Those differences are huge.

Lastly her definition of totalitarianism was too strident. Neither Germany or Russia came close to fulfilling all her criteria. Despite all these criticisms The  Origins of Totalitarianism is one of the first books that turns up in a search of the subject of totalitarianism. We can only wonder which Cold War critics keep this book in the educated public’s eye despite its many problems.

The Cold War Begins

In the summer of 1945, after the Allied victory in Europe, there was alarm over Soviet maneuvers in occupied Germany and Eastern Europe. It was then that the word totalitarianism resurfaced.  With the Communist coup of Czechoslovakia in 1948, there was a belief in a Communist blueprint or master plan for world conquest. The reinvigoration of totalitarian exclusively to the USSR served to switch powerful anti-German sentiments in the United States into the growing anti-communist movement. In 1950, the McCarran Internal Security Act barred totalitarians – Communists – from entering the United States.

Left-wing reaction

Burnham’s Managerial Revolution

Even before the end of World War II, left-wing criticism of the Soviet Union came from Trotskyist James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution, (1941). In this book, Burnham claimed the Russian experience had demonstrated that the elimination of private property was not necessarily a step towards socialism. For Burnham, both the Soviet Union and the Western capitalists were both moving towards a managerial ruling class.

Orwell’s 1984, (1949)

As far back as 1943, Orwell realized that England was lacking in concentration camp literature, including secret police forces, censorship of opinion, torture and frame-up trials. He delivered all this in his book 1984. Orwell liked Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution and his depiction of permanent struggle between super states for world dominion. Orwell drew from and was influenced by the book We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, a soviet novelist, in his writing of 1984. Orwell argued that his book was not an attack on socialism. In fact, Orwell says his intention was to show that totalitarianism was possible since the setting for his book was England.

In the magazine The New Leader, writers such Max Nomad, Victor Serge, Paul Goodman, John Dewey, and Sidney Hook argued that the Soviet Union had so dishonored socialism that it could be compared to Germany. In 1947 there was a split on the American Left over the Soviet Union that continued to deepen and become increasingly bitter. The split between the Popular Front left and the emerging Cold War left occurred roughly in the same year. Sidney Hook became one of the most fanatical and relentless opponents of totalitarianism. This is documented in Mary Sperling McAuliffe’s book Crisis on the Left: Cold War Politics and American Liberals 1947-1954, (published 1978).

Conservative liberal reaction

Jacob Talmon’s Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, (1952)

Talmon takes aim at Soviet politics rather than Germany. He studied Jacobin dictatorships during the French Revolution at the same time the Moscow trials were reaching a climax in 1938. He then made a connection between the Jacobin and the Bolsheviks, taking the roots of totalitarianism to the end of the 18th century implicating the Enlightenment itself. Even Rousseau was seen as a precursor of totalitarianism. Talmon saw the French Revolution as a political, religious revival which covered Europe with its apostles, militants and martyrs. He was a supporter of de Tocqueville’s attempt to explain the threat of democratic despotism, as totalitarian liberalism. He contrasted that to his own pluralistic liberalism.

Right-wing reaction

Von Hayek, Lasky Niebuhr

The right-wingers were already moving towards demonizing the USSR before World War II ended. As far back as 1944, Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom (1944) placed totalitarianism front and center. For Von Hayek, economic planning leads to totalitarianism. All collectivism was totalitarian. Von Hayek was very ambitious historically, tracing the roots of totalitarianism through Marx to Auguste Comte. The appearance of Von Hayek’s book was a great help to Yankee conservatives in setting the political agenda of postwar intellectual debates. Hayek helped support the publication of Karl Popper’s Cold War liberal book, Open Society and Its Enemies, (1945).

Conservatives wanted to use totalitarianism to paint with broad brush-strokes, attacking not only communism, but even socialism and liberalism. Some questioned the status of the New Deal itself. Neo-cons such as Melvin Lasky and Irving Kristol were part of this wave. Anti-communists organized themselves as the Americans for Democratic Action. Notice the use of virtue word “democratic” in this title. Historically, conservatives equated democracy with “mob rule.” This new wave of conservative anti-communism included the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

Irving Kristol

Irving Kristol, writing in the New Leader at the end of WWII was Involved in Cold War liberal journals such as Commentary, the Reporter and Encounter. Neo-conservatives began to speculate about the origins of totalitarianism to a larger public, by-passing the academic totalitarian theorists. Kristol produced a typology even grander than Jacob Talmon’s indictment of the Enlightenment. He aimed to explain the difference geographically, between Anglo-American pragmatic liberalism and the continental tendency of fanaticism and revolutions.

TOTALITARIANISM IN THE 1950s

Schlesinger’s the Vital Center

In 1948 Arthur Schlesinger Jr. began his book, The Vital Center, (1949), one of the manifestos of Cold War liberalism. The book’s chief concern is communism, not Nazism. He claims that sentimental progressives have been duped by totalitarianism. For Schlesinger, totalitarianism arises when anxious 20th century human beings seeks to escape their anxiety (referring to Fromm’s Escape from Freedom) by throwing themselves into a totalitarian whole, a night in which all cows are black. Unlike previous tyrannies, which left much of the social structure intact, totalitarianism pulverizes the social structure. He stresses the importance of keeping social forms of voluntary groups from being atomized. A rich associative life can be had away from politics. He accepts a very passive version of democracy, a lack of appeal to those irrational sentiments once mobilized by religion and now by totalitarianism.

Why such a weak democracy? The notion of a popular, meaningful political life is totally illusory. Schlesinger’s totalitarian masses are plunged into a deep trance-like political apathy which he calls bureaucratic collectivism. He claims “we” must give the lonely masses a sense of individual human function away from politics. He accepts the separation between those engaged in political life and the great mass of society. His book marked a new kind of pessimism about human nature. He excluded all communist sympathizers.

Congress for Cultural Freedom

In 1950 the Congress for Cultural Freedom was constituted in Berlin to provide further organization and inspiration for the anti-Communist left in Europe. Its principle organizer was Melvin Lasky. The CIA funded their original meeting in Berlin and within three years, through Lasky, was supporting the Congress itself. The purpose of the founders was to combat the idea that respected, serious writers could be neutral in the Cold War. James Burnham, Sidney Hook and Arthur Koestler, all former leftists, went to the most extreme in depicting their own commitment to the West.

The Sovietologists in the United States

After 1945, “Russian Studies” departments developed. They were aided by Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller. The “sovietologists” had centers at Columbia University, Harvard, UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. There was both open and some secret collaboration among foundations, universities, the CIA, the FBI and the State Department to develop Soviet Studies and keep it free of pro-Soviet personnel.

Carl Friedrich — professor of government at Harvard — organized a conference on totalitarianism which included Adam Ulam, Erik Erikson, David Riesman, and former radicals like Bertram Wolfe. Following the conference, Friedrich recruited Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Soviet specialist from Harvard’s government department as a collaborator. One fruit of their collaboration was a book called Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, (1956). For a while it was the most influential and authoritative treatment of totalitarianism ever written, a careful scrutinization of Nazi and Soviet politics and economics. The concept of totalitarianism also became a staple of college textbooks and sometimes books for high school students, However, by the 1960s there began a rebellion in academia against the totalitarian model.

 TOTALITARIANISM IN THE 1960s

The tide began to change in 1960 when political scientist Robert Tucker pointed out three problems with the totalitarian model:

  • Cross-culturally the comparisons were too narrow. Besides Russia, Germany and Italy needed to be included.
  • Historically the comparisons were static. In the case of Russia, a distinction needs to be made between Russia under Stalin, Russia under Lenin and Russia under Khrushchev.
  • Brzezinski’s and Friedrich’s model could not explain change in the Soviet Union. Later, Chalmers Johnson edited a book called Change in Communist Systems which supported Tucker’s points.

Up until now political scientists were content to compare dictatorships with other dictatorships while treating industrial capitalist systems as if they were a different species. But political scientist Jerry Hough challenged the totalitarian model directly. Using a method he called “institutional pluralism” he provided a functional analysis of communist societies free from Cold War ideology. He asked what do communist and industrial capitalist societies have in common in terms of bureaucracies.

In summing up the attack on American sovietologists, comparative politics scholar Fainsod in his book How the Soviet Union is Governed (1979) he says:

The study of communism has become so pervaded with the values prevalent in the United States that we have not an objective and accurate knowledge of communism, but rather an ideologically distorted image. Not only our theories, but the concepts we employ – totalitarianism – are value laden. (p. 133)

TOTALITARIANISM IN THE 1970s

Leonard Shapiro

Meanwhile, on the right, neo-conservatives had been furious with what they felt was Nixon and Kissinger’s appeasement of the Soviet Union. Most neoconservatives hated Hough’s comparative politics because it neutralized the Soviet Union, presenting it as a state like any other state, instead of the demonical monster that it was imagined as being.

In his book The Origins of Soviet Autocracy British scholar, Leonard Shapiro argued that unlike Tucker’s claim, the origins of totalitarianism in Russia do not begin with Stalin, but with Lenin. Shapiro treated the Bolshevik seizure of power as a coup rather than a democratic revolution. He did not think that Trotsky or Bukharin offered any serious alternative.

Challenging Shapiro, based on his political biography of Bukharin, Steven Cohen argued that Bolshevism had a far greater evolutionary possibility that could have  been realized had Bukharin rather than Trotsky won the power struggle against Stalin after Lenin died, but whether one sided with Trotsky or Bukharin, Bolshevism and Stalinism were very different. The differences between Bukharin and Trotsky were minimal compared to their differences with Stalin. It was the fault of the totalitarian theorists that Bolshevism and Stalinism became blurred. The Bolshevik Party was more open and, in some ways, democratic than had been generally admitted. Cohen used the work of Alexander Rabinowitch’s Bolsheviks Come to Power (1976) to document his points.

Sheila Fitzpatrick

More conservative than Cohen, political scientist Sheila Fitzpatrick was not interested in saving Lenin from complicity in Stalin’s crimes. She thought that the Civil War gave the new regime a baptism by fire that the Bolsheviks wanted. She argued that what Cohen ignored is the terroristic aspect on the Russian population. Because of “The Terror” of Stalin’s reign, parents talked differently to their children, writers wrote differently, workers and managers talked to one another differently, and millions perished.

 Neocons

With the decline of the US economy after 1970, the ebbing of the left activism of the 1960s and the rise of religious fundamentalism in the late 70s, neo-conservatives saw their ship coming in. These neo-cons showed great respect for dissident intellectuals of Eastern Europe — Havel, Kolakowsky and Solzhenitsyn — and had significant ties to anti-Communist Western European intellectuals such as Karl Bracher, Jacob Talmon, and Raymond Aron. However, it wasn’t until the election of Reagan that the neoconservatives both inside and outside government began a sustained drive for hands-on political influence. It was these neo-cons who reintroduced “totalitarianism” into the US political vocabulary.

The Separation of “Authoritarian” from Totalitarianism as a way to justify cavorting with military dictatorships

The Soviet Union had to be understood as totalitarian for ideological purposes, but were all countries with centralized power, with limits on capitalists’ governments, “totalitarian”? That depends on the politics of the country. If the country has a victorious Leninist party in power, then the country is labeled totalitarian regardless of how democratic the political process was. But if the country has a right-wing military in power, no matter how many characteristics of totalitarian they have, they will be called something else, “authoritarian.”

Instrumental in the revised typology of totalitarianism was Jeanne Kirkpatrick. She accepted Friedrich and Brzezinski’s model and added Talmon’s stress on totalitarian liberalism. In her essay, Dictatorships and Double Standards, her most important innovation was to introduce a distinction between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Her attitude towards traditional nondemocratic regimes was Burkean. This means that traditional autocrats, unlike totalitarians, leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power and status. The religious system and traditions are left alone. They do not disturb habitual rhythms of work and leisure, where people live or family dynamics. The totalitarian regime, on the other hand, draws on resources of modern technology and wipes out these traditions.  The authoritarian regime stems from a lack of political or economic development, not the presence of modern transport and communications systems that totalitarians possess.

Why the distinction between authoritarian vs totalitarian rule? As much as neocons want to think of the political world of nations in black and white systems of rule, the reality of international relations makes this impossible. The political world consists of a spectrum of rule going from more liberal to more authoritarian. It is inevitable that countries of industrial capitalist governments must form alliances with countries who have more heavy-handed rulers because they do not have complete control over world affairs. If the political world today requires alliances, how would it look if geopolitical alliances were with countries that were classified as totalitarian?

“Authoritarian” was a way to distinguish between right-wing dictatorships that for reasons of convenience or necessity the United States should support. These must be distinguished from left-wing ones that were dangerous to western capitalist interests and so are classified as totalitarian. So, the United States could classify alliances with theocracies like Saudi Arabia or Egypt as “authoritarian”, even though they may have more characteristics that are totalitarian. Conversely, Venezuela will be classified as totalitarian, even though in practice it has one of the highest rated democratic processes in the world.

Modernization theory as propaganda to deny core countries’ creation of right-wing states

Among other claims, World-Systems theory claims that there is one single world-capitalist system with a core, periphery and semi-periphery, and these differences are based on technology, economic, political and military power. In addition to the invisible hand of capitalism there is also an invisible fist. In order to make sure the labor and land markets in the peripheral countries remain cheap, international capitalists cannot afford to have political rulers in the periphery of the system in power who have their own ideas of how to organize their economy. This is one reason why Lumumba and Qaddafi were murdered. Therefore, it pays for capitalists to throw guns and money at dictators who will keep foreign markets open, continue to develop commercial crops, keep unions from forming and assassinating any leftist troublemakers.  It is these countries that are called “emerging democracies” at best, and “authoritarian” at worst.

Modernization theory is the systematic repression and denial of the notion that military dictatorships are a creature of oppressive international power plays on the part of core-capitalist countries to keep peripheral countries dependent on the international institutions like the World Bank or the IMF. Peripheral countries are treated as isolated specimens that are undergoing internal development. Instead of these states being largely the creatures of neo-colonialism, they are treated as pre-modern authoritarian societies that only need to be exposed to western European political institutions in order to straighten up and fly right toward the path of democracy which is already happily charted by Western Europe and the United States.

•  First published in Planning Beyond Capitalism

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The False Flag Poisoning of Alexei Navalny, AKA “Russia’s Trump”

On August 20th, Russian opposition figure and self-styled “anti-corruption” activist Alexei Navalny fell seriously ill while in mid-flight from Tomsk, Siberia to the Russian capital. The Moscow-bound plane was abruptly re-routed to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk where the anti-Kremlin politician was subsequently hospitalized for suspected poisoning and placed in a medically-induced coma. Two days later, Navalny was airlifted to Germany in an evacuation arranged by a Berlin-based “human rights” NGO at the request of Pussy Riot spokesman Pyotr Verzilov. His transport on a medically-equipped plane with German specialists was permitted by the Russian authorities who now stand accused of culpability in the alleged attack, all in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

While the Russian doctors in Omsk (who saved Navalny’s life) maintain they did not find any evidence of chemical weapons substances in his system, upon examination the German government quickly announced that its military lab had discovered “unequivocal evidence” Navalny was poisoned by a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent and demanded an explanation from the Kremlin — without providing any of said evidence to Moscow or the public, of course. Despite being the supposed victim of an extremely deadly military-grade nerve agent, three weeks later Navalny came out his comatose state and off ventilation, defiantly vowing a return to Russia. Was he ever tested for COVID-19? At this point it seems more likely than this propaganda stunt we are expected to believe.

It is unconvincing precisely because it follows a pattern of improbable events questionably attributed to the Kremlin. As many have noted, the incident strikingly resembles the alleged March 2018 poisoning in Salisbury, England of disgraced former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, visiting from Moscow which caused a similar diplomatic row. Skripal, who had been a double agent for MI6 and served ten years imprisonment for high treason, was exiled to the UK after his sentence in a spy-swap between Russia and Britain in 2010. While residing in southern England, Skripal was reportedly in close contact with a security consultant who worked for the author of the salacious but fabricated dossier on U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — and may have even been the source of its unverified contents.

Skripal and his daughter were discovered unconscious on a park bench, but were said to have been initially contaminated hours earlier by the extremely fast-acting substance applied to the door handle of his residence. Similarly, Alexei Navalny is said to have been contaminated by a water bottle in his hotel room, not in the tea he drank at the Tomsk Bogashevo airport cafe before boarding his flight as originally believed. How is the elapsed time in both of these cases possible? The toxin in Navalny’s case was also not discovered until examination in Germany, meaning a bottle laced with a chemical warfare agent was transported all the way to Berlin? None of those who came to Navalny’s aid or treated him suffered any noxious effects, unlike the Skripals where multiple police officers at least showed minor symptoms. Still, both Navalny and the Skripals fully recovered from their supposed exposure to an extremely lethal toxin considered even more deadly than sarin or VX gas. After their release from the hospital, the Skripals immediately went into hiding which has left the enormous questions surrounding the incident still unresolved two years later. However, the damage was already done as the UK government immediately blamed Moscow and more than 100 Russian diplomats were expelled by Britain and its Western allies.

Months later in June 2018, two British nationals were the victims of an accidental poisoning (one fatally) after they discovered a discarded but unopened perfume bottle containing the same poisonous agent. Then that September, Scotland Yard released CCTV footage of two Russian men alleged to be GRU military intelligence agents in Salisbury at the time of the attack. However, no verifiable evidence was ever provided by the British government showing that the two were responsible, though it was conveniently claimed that the would-be culprits clumsily left vestiges of the fatal chemical agent in their hotel room. So, not only is Russian intelligence incapable of carrying out successful assassinations, but carelessly unable to cover their tracks? The premise was already absurd enough but made even more fanciful by Britain’s refusal to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention in providing Moscow with requested samples of the toxin which purportedly poisoned the treasonous ex-spook and his daughter. Thus far in the Navalny case, Germany is following the same script.

What a coincidence that the attack comes just as Nord Stream 2, the second line of the massive natural gas pipeline under construction from Russia to Germany opposed by the U.S. and several NATO allies, is near completion. Suddenly, the diplomatic fall-out has put the controversial project in limbo, with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German government under pressure from Washington to withdraw from the project which would increase Russian influence on Europe’s energy infrastructure and rival the U.S.’s costlier exports. As pointed out by Die Linke’s Dietmar Bartsch, where were the calls to halt the purchase of Saudi oil imports after the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi? It is clear that the Anglo-Americans are simply desperate to halt the resurgence of Moscow on the international stage, threatening their German counterparts with sanctions as the final sections of the pipeline conveying Russian gas across the Baltic Sea is being constructed. The attack on Navalny could not occur at a more auspicious time for the Atlanticists and a worse time for Moscow.

The notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to assassinate an opposition figure who holds a minuscule 2% support amongst the population, far behind other opponents nonexistent to Western media but the one who just so happens to be favored by Washington, is contrary to any reason or common sense. Not to mention, at the exact moment it would jeopardize a project essential to Russia’s economic growth and frugality, as the pipeline would link Moscow with Western Europe bypassing neighboring transit countries such as the Ukraine (also opposed to Nord Stream 2) which have costly transit fees. Is it really the Russian government who stands to massively benefit from this fiasco? The answer to “cui bono?” could not be more clear: U.S., Saudi and Emirati oil and gas interests, not the Kremlin. Russia was also recently the first nation to develop a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with its Sputnik V registered in August, an international competition that has been heavily politicized by Washington which is eager to cast aspersions on Moscow’s accomplishment. Meanwhile, Germany is also the one Western European country where Washington’s anti-Russian propaganda is falling flat, as recent polls consistently show that the vast majority of Germans don’t see Russia as a threat, likely a result of their high rate of media literacy.

Despite Navalny’s recovery, there are already calls to legislate a ‘Navalny Act’ as a follow-up to the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 under the Obama Administration which sanctioned Russian officials accused of being responsible for the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, an unscrupulous Russian tax lawyer who helped dodgy international financiers like the US-born British tycoon William Browder commit massive tax evasion in Russia. Magnitsky died under mysterious circumstances while in custody awaiting trial for facilitating Browder’s skullduggery and suffering from poor health, with the Russian prison officials first accused of depriving him of medical treatment and then allegedly beating and torturing him to death. The fascinating 2016 documentary The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes explores the case from the perspective of Westernized Putin critic and filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, who through the course of his investigation unexpectedly discovers that the mainstream media narrative of Magnitsky’s death was a fiction concocted by Browder. Suddenly, Nekrasov’s entire perspective on Russia comes into question and the film takes on a metanarrative of the nature of propaganda itself.

What we are being told about Navalny is likely another fairy tale like the implausible story forged by Mr. Browder about the death of the auditor he hired to enrich himself exploiting Russia’s tax loopholes. Incredibly, the American-born investor is the grandson of Earl Browder, the leader of the Communist Party USA during its heyday until his expulsion at the end of World War II. When the wartime US-Soviet alliance fell apart and the Cold War began, the elder Browder proved more loyal to American imperialism than the communist movement and presided over the liquidation of the CPUSA until it was reestablished with his dismissal as General Secretary. Having grown up in a Russian-speaking family, decades later his grandson decided to cash in on the collapse of the former Soviet Union through various investment ventures as manager of the hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management. When Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin and numerous oligarchs went into exile or landed themselves in prison, Bill Browder was forced to flee the country after defrauding the Russian government of millions with the help of the late Mr. Magnitsky.

One of those banished oligarchs, billionaire media tycoon Boris Berezovsky, also died under dubious circumstances in the UK when he was found hanging in his apartment bathroom in Berkshire, England in 2013. Like Magnitsky, Putin and the Russian government were suspected of involvement in Berezovsky’s death by the media without a shred of evidence, even though his suspicious purported “suicide” actually came shortly after expressing a written willingness to return to Russia and reconcile with Putin — which almost certainly would have been a stroke of good luck for Russian counter-intelligence and a threat to the West, not the Kremlin. Berezovsky had been close with a former agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB, the KGB’s successor), Alexander Litvinenko, a defector renowned for claiming he had been ordered by Putin to assassinate Berezovsky and subsequently lived in the UK as a consultant for British intelligence until his own polonium poisoning in 2006, the first of a series of episodes framing Moscow. Consistently, however, in every one of these cases it is never the Kremlin which stands to gain.

There is a reason Putin consistently polls over 70% in favorability with the Russian people and that is his directing the country away from Western domination under the ruinous neoliberal economic policies of his corrupt and inebriated predecessor Boris Yeltsin which auctioned off the former state-owned assets to foreign investors such as Browder and oligarchs like Berezovsky. Meanwhile, Navalny has a level of support well under 5%, with recent polls placing him behind the Communist Party’s Pavel Grudinin and the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. While Navalny’s own rhetoric has shifted over the years, he has controversially maintained his own cozy relationship with ethnic nationalists who make up a significant amount of his right-wing populist base, even co-organizing annual marches dominated by racist skinheads.

Navalny infamously coined the slogan “Stop Feeding the Caucasus!” advocated by xenophobic nationalists calling for the defunding and secession of the Muslim-majority North Caucasus from Russia, while making frequent Islamophobic statements and stoking anti-immigrant sentiments against Central Asians. You would never know this reading Western media who have completely sanitized Navalny’s politics (if they ever address them at all), while they remain obsessed with the perceived ingratiation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin even though the former’s politics have far more in common with Navalny than the Russian President. Given the U.S. support for far right nationalists in the 2014 anti-Russian coup d’etat in Ukraine, Washington has no qualms about backing fascists to undermine Moscow.

In 1831, Russia’s most famous and revered poet, Alexander Pushkin, composed “To the Slanderers of Russia”, a patriotic ode in response to members of the French parliament who were advocating for a military intervention to assist the Polish uprising against the Russian Empire. Pushkin asserted that the Polish uprising was an inter-slavic “ancient, domestic dispute”, while the Poles considered it an issue of national independence which their European allies were eager to exploit against Moscow. For the great Russian writer, the Polish alliance with the tyrant and invader Napoleon was unforgivable. He also reportedly communicated to General Alexander von Benckendorff, the chief of the Tsarist secret police assigned to censor and surveil him, that the Europeans were still bitter over the failed French invasion of Russia in 1812 and had not yet attacked with weapons but were doing so with “daily mad slander.”

Fast forward nearly 200 years later and little has changed in Russia-West relations. The only thing that has arguably transformed is Russia’s standing on the world stage following the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 and the Soviet Union almost 75 years later, the latter of which was masterminded by a Polish-born National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose Russophobic worldview was a product of the deep-seated “ancient, domestic dispute” Pushkin wrote of a century earlier. Contrary to the Western portrayal of the resurgence of Moscow in the new millennia under Vladimir Putin as neo-tsarist expansionism, post-Soviet Russia is actually a relatively weak capitalist state that has found itself a target of regime change by the West which seeks the colonization and balkanization of Eastern Europe.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused a spike in oil prices that generated huge profits for Chevron and ExxonMobil, but also had the unintended consequence of benefiting Russia’s state-run oil industry just as Putin was re-nationalizing its energy assets and banishing financial criminals like Browder and Berezovsky. While its strength and influence has certainly been restored, its foreign investments remain low even in the Ukraine where Moscow has been accused of territorial expansion with the so-called “annexation” of Crimea, where the mostly Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainian population actually voted to join its neighbor in a referendum. Russia may no longer be an empire (or communist), but yet it remains in the crosshairs of Western imperialism, whose political leaders and subservient corporate media are still conducting the “mad slander” that Pushkin opined.

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America’s “Good” Wars

Germany

On December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.

Even within the most avowed Leftist anti-war activist there exists a belief that the Second World War was fully justified in stopping Hitler’s Nazis. They claim it was a just war for freedom and to halt the Holocaust. The position of the World Socialist Party was that we considered it little different from any other war for capitalist interests and as such deserving our condemnation and opposition. Over the years ample evidence has been produced vindicating the stance taken by the WSPUS although not widely disseminated by the media or academia. In recent years America has been engaged in a number of unpopular military conflicts, Vietnam and Iraq being just two, and those wars are compared to America’s archetypal “just war,” World War II, in which Good Ol’ Uncle Sam supposedly went to war for no other reason than to fight dictatorship and injustice.

The reality was that for the United States the war in Europe and then its own entry provided the capitalist class with magnificent booty. It was not because Roosevelt’s New Deal that the Great Depression ended but by the literal blood sacrifice of workers. The usual manner of correcting economic slumps is through wide-spread unemployment that lowers wages, causes bankruptcies of the less competitive companies, and facilitates the take-over of devalued plant and equipment by larger corporations. This reorganization of capitalist production on the basis of cheaper labor and cheaper materials all around, allows the surviving, enlarged and more “efficient” capitalists to renew production at rates of profit, productivity and growth even greater than before the downward dive in the “business cycle.” Prior to the “war effort,” this process was underway but had not gotten the economy going again. However, the riches plundered in times of war—the take-over and re-organization of conquered nations’ entire material wealth, equipment, cheap labor, factories, and infrastructure—are vastly more profitable than is the process of domestic bankruptcies and economic rebuilding at home.

As FDR said, the model he followed had already been proven effective in Communist Russia, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany under those “command economies”. Throughout the 1930’s and prior to US entry into World War Two, American corporations largely increased production in Nazi Germany. Coca-Cola, GM, Ford, Standard Oil of NJ/Exxon, Du Pont, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, General Electric, Goodrich, Stinger, Eastman Kodak, IBM, ITT, and several other Capitalist enterprises expanded their operations in Germany, becoming extremely profitable thanks to the economic boom caused by Hitler’s rearmament program. Other US corporations invested hundreds of millions of dollars in fascist Italy. American law firms, investment companies, and banks were also actively and profitably involved in America’s investment expansion in fascist countries, among them the banks J. P. Morgan and Dillon, Read and Co., as well as the renowned Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Coca-Cola’s German subsidiary, for example, increased its sales from 243,000 cases in 1934 to 4.5 million cases by 1939. This success had a lot to do with the fact that, as the Hitler-admiring and -imitating national manager Max Keith explained, the caffeinated soft drink revealed itself to be a functional alternative to beer as a refreshment for Germany’s workers, who were being driven ‘to work harder [and] faster.’ In Hitler’s Third Reich, where labour unions and working-class political parties had been banned, the workers “were little more than serfs forbidden not only to strike, but to change jobs,’ and their wages ‘were deliberately set quite low.” Hence the higher profits in general for all American capitalists in Germany. IBM’s hugely profitable German subsidiary supplied the Nazi’s with the new technology necessary to automate production as well as to identify and track Jews. When in 1939 war in Europe came it provided further new opportunities for the American capitalist class to profit through production and sale of armaments and military equipment for the warring nations. Programs FDR set up to finance the purchase of American weapons and ammunition by the cash-strapped British provided London with virtually unlimited credits. In fact, American workers paid off much of the resulting accumulated national debt by means of direct and indirect regressive taxes such as the ”Victory Tax.” Again, the Capitalists pulled in huge “publicly financed” profits, while low-income workers paid the price through reduction of their personal consumption (remember “Spam”), and reduction of their war-taxed real income.

America’s ruling class was divided with respect to the handling of foreign affairs. In the 1930s, the US military had no plans, and did not prepare plans, to fight a war against Nazi Germany. On the other hand, they did have plans for war against Great Britain, Canada, Mexico – and Japan. As late as the 1930s, the US military still had plans for war against Britain and an invasion of the Canadian Dominion, the latter including plans for the bombing of cities and the use of poison gas.

The owners and top managers of many American corporations – including Ford, General Motors, IBM, ITT, and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of New Jersey, now known as Exxon – liked Hitler a lot; one of them – William Knudsen of General Motors – even glorified the German Führer as “the miracle of the 20th century.” The reason: in preparation for war, the Führer had been arming Germany to the teeth, and the numerous German branch plants of US corporations had profited handsomely from that country’s “armament boom” by producing trucks, tanks and planes in sites such as GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim and Ford’s big plant in Cologne, the Ford-Werke; and the likes of Exxon and Texaco had been making plenty of money by supplying the fuel Hitler’s panzers would need to roll all the way to Warsaw in 1939, to Paris in 1940, and (almost) to Moscow in 1941. No wonder the managers and owners of these corporations helped to celebrate Germany’s victories against Poland and France at a big party in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on June 26, 1940!

America’s “captains of industry” like Henry Ford also appreciated the way Hitler repressed the German unions, outlawing the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, and imprisoning their members. Dachau, Germany’s first concentration camp, was set up in 1933 to cage political prisoners. The American right-wing  wished they could mete out the same kind of treatment to America’s own union leaders and “reds,” still numerous and influential in the 1930s and early 1940s.

American companies eagerly took advantage of Hitler’s dismemberment of workers organisations’ and cut labour costs drastically. In Nazi Germany, real wages indeed declined rapidly, while profits increased correspondingly, but there were no labour problems worth mentioning, for any attempt to organize a strike immediately triggered an armed response by the Gestapo, resulting in arrests and dismissals. The Ford-Werke, for example, reduced labour costs from fifteen percent of business volume in 1933 to only eleven per cent in 1938. GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim near Mainz fared even better. Its share of the German automobile market grew from 35 per cent in 1933 to more than 50 per cent in 1935, and the GM subsidiary, which had lost money in the early 1930s, became extremely profitable thanks to the economic boom caused by Hitler’s rearmament program. The chairman of GM, Alfred P. Sloan, publicly justified doing business in Hitler’s Germany by pointing to the highly profitable nature of GM’s operations under the Third Reich. IBM’s German subsidiary, Dehomag, provided the Nazis with the punch-card machine — forerunner of the computer — required to automate production in the country, and in doing so IBM-Germany made plenty of money. In 1933, the year Hitler came to power, Dehomag made a profit of one million dollars, and during the early Hitler years the German branch plant paid IBM in the US some 4.5 million dollars in dividends. By 1938, still in “full Depression”, annual earnings were about 2.3 million ReichMarks, a 16 per cent return on net assets. In 1939 Dehomag’s profits increased spectacularly again to about four million RM. Texaco profited greatly from sales to Nazi Germany, and not surprisingly its chairman, Torkild Rieber, became yet another powerful American entrepreneur who admired Hitler. A member of the German secret service reported that he was “absolutely pro-German” and “a sincere admirer of the Führer.” Rieber also became a personal friend of Göring. Texaco helped the Nazis stockpile fuel. In addition, as the war in Europe got underway, large quantities of diesel fuel, lubricating oil, and other petroleum products were shipped to Germany not only by Texaco but also by Standard Oil, mostly via Spanish ports. (The German Navy, incidentally, was provided with fuel by the Texas oilman William Rhodes Davis.) In the 1930s Standard Oil had helped IG Farben develop synthetic fuel as an alternative to regular oil, of which Germany had to import every single drop.

The last thing those men wanted was for Roosevelt to involve the US in the war on the side of Germany’s enemies. They were “isolationists” (or “non-interventionists”) and so, in the summer of 1940, was the majority of the American public: a Gallup Poll, taken in September 1940, showed that 88 percent of Americans wanted to stay out of the war that was raging in Europe. Not surprisingly, then, there was no sign whatsoever that Roosevelt might want to restrict trade with Germany, let alone embark on an anti-Hitler crusade. In fact, during the presidential election campaign in the fall 1940, he solemnly promised that “[our] boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

That Hitler has crushed France and other democratic countries was of no concern to the US corporate types who did business with Hitler; in fact, they felt that Europe’s future belonged to fascism, especially Germany’s variety of fascism, Nazism, rather than to democracy. The chairman of General Motors, Alfred P. Sloan, declared at that time that it was a good thing that in Europe the democracies were giving way “to an alternative [i.e. fascist] system with strong, intelligent, and aggressive leaders who made the people work longer and harder and who had the instinct of gangsters – all of them good qualities”.

While many big corporations were engaged in profitable business with Nazi Germany, others happened to be making plenty of profit by doing business with Great Britain.  Britain was desperately in need of all sorts of equipment to continue its struggle against Nazi Germany, and needed to purchase much of it in the US, but was unable to make the cash payments required by America’s existing “Cash-and-Carry” legislation. However, Roosevelt made it possible for US corporations to take advantage of this enormous “window of opportunity” when, on March 11, 1941, he introduced his famous Lend-Lease program, providing Britain with virtually unlimited credit to purchase trucks, planes, and other martial hardware in the US. The Lend-Lease exports to Britain were to generate windfall profits, not only on account of the huge volume of business involved but also because these exports featured inflated prices and fraudulent practices such as double billing.

A segment of Corporate America thus began to sympathize with Great Britain. Some started to favour a US entry into the war on the side of the British; they became known as the “interventionists.” Of course, many, if not most, big American corporations made money through business with both Nazi Germany and Britain and, as the Roosevelt administration itself was henceforth preparing for possible war, multiplying military expenditures and ordering all sorts of equipment, they also started to make more and more money by supplying America’s own armed forces with all sorts of martial material.

But one thing that all the capitalists in the United States could agree on, regardless of where their sympathies and interests lay was this: the war in Europe was wonderful for business. They also agreed that the longer this war lasted, the better it would be for all of them. Corporate America neither wanted Hitler to lose this war nor to win it. With the exception of the most fervent pro-British interventionists, they further agreed that there was no pressing need for the US to become actively involved in this war, and certainly not to go to war against Germany. Most hoped that the war in Europe would drag on as long as possible, so that the big corporations could continue to profit from supplying equipment to the Germans, the British and to America herself. Henry Ford thus “expressed the hope that neither the Allies nor the Axis would win [the war],” and suggested that the United States should supply both sides with “the tools to keep on fighting until they both collapse.” Ford practised what he preached, and arranged for his factories in the US, in Britain, in Germany, and in occupied France to crank out equipment for all belligerents.The war may have been hell for most people, but for American capitalists such as Henry Ford it was heaven. Ford-France, for example — not a flourishing firm before the war — became very profitable after 1940 thanks to its unconditional collaboration with the Germans; in 1941 it registered earnings of 58 million francs. Ford’s subsidiary in France used its profits in 1941 to build a tank factory in Oran, Algeria; this plant allegedly provided Rommel’s Africa Corps with the hardware needed to advance all the way to El Alamein.

It cannot be denied that on account of Lend-Lease exports to Britain, relations between America and Germany were definitely deteriorating, and a series of incidents between German submarines and US Navy destroyers escorting freighters bound for Britain lead to a crisis that has become known as the “undeclared naval war.” But even that episode did not lead to active American involvement in the war in Europe. America was profiting handsomely from the status quo, and was simply not interested in a crusade against Nazi Germany. Although the Japanese  attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 wasn’t such a big surprise,  a few days later, on December 11, Hitler declared war on the United States and that was completely unexpected. Germany had nothing to do with the attack in Hawaii and had not even been aware of the Japanese plans, so FDR did not consider asking Congress to declare war on Nazi Germany at the same time as Japan. Why declare war on America? Thwarted in the Eastern Front Hitler anticipated that a German declaration of war on the American enemy of his Japanese friends, even though not required under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty, (under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty Japan, Germany, and Italy undertook to assist each other when one of the three contracting powers was attacked by another country, but not when one of them attacked another country) would induce Tokyo to reciprocate with a declaration of war on the Soviet enemy of Germany. Japan had already previously invaded the Soviet Union and been repulsed but the bulk of its army was stationed in northern China. Hitler wanted to draw the Russians into a two-front war. The Japanese, however, proved less accommodating to Hitler’s grand plans. The US did not voluntarily go to war against Germany, but were forced into that war because of Hitler’s own actions. Humanitarian considerations played no role whatsoever in the decision which led to America’s participation in World War II against Germany.

Japan

Ask most Americans why the United States got into World War II, and they will talk about Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941. Ask why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and many Americans will struggle for an answer, perhaps suggesting that the Japanese people were aggressive militarists who wanted to take over the world. Ask if the United States provoked the Japanese, and they will probably say that the Americans did nothing: we were just minding our own business when those crazy Japanese, completely without justification, mounted a sneak attack, catching us totally by surprise at Pearl Harbour. Don’t bother to ask the typical American what U.S. economic warfare had to do with provoking the Japanese to mount their attack, because they simply won’t know.

In the 1930s the US, as one of the world’s leading industrial powers, was constantly looking out for sources of inexpensive raw materials such as rubber and oil, as well as for markets for its finished products. Already at the end of the nineteenth century, America had consistently pursued its interests in this respect by extending its economic and sometimes even direct political influence across oceans and continents. This aggressive, “imperialist” policy – pursued ruthlessly by presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, a cousin of FDR – had led to American control over former Spanish colonies such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, and also over the hitherto independent island nation of Hawaii.  America had thus also developed into a major power in the Pacific Ocean and in the Far East.

However, the US faced the competition there of an aggressive rival industrial power, one that was even more needy for oil and similar raw materials, and also for markets for its finished products. That competitor was Japan which sought to realize its own imperialist ambitions in China and in resource-rich Southeast Asia and, like the US, did not hesitate to use violence in the process, for example, waging ruthless war on China. Japan, as an expanding industrial nation, required access to raw materials and energy. In the Great Depression, as trade dried up and unemployment grew, an ultra-nationalist clique within the Japanese military sought to secure the markets and raw materials Japan so desperately wanted. For a time there were two competing strategies to capture oil: the Strike North route to acquire the USSR’s and the Strike South route to capture the Dutch East Indies, one being mainly land-based and army-dominated, the other mostly naval. 1938 saw the defeat of an attempted Japanese invasion of the USSR, (which brought General Zhukov to prominence). Therefore Japanese diplomacy became centred upon the views of the naval commanders.

What bothered the United States was not how the Japanese treated the Chinese or Koreans but that the Japanese intention was to turn that part of the world into what they called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; i.e., an exclusive economic zone with no room for the American to trade (albeit Japan was prepared to make major concessions, such as “sharing” China with the US.) America was to be squeezed out of the lucrative Far Eastern market. By the summer of 1941, Japan had further increased its zone of influence in the Far East; e.g., by occupying the rubber-rich French colony of Indochina and, desperate above all for oil, was obviously vying to occupy the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. The American capitalist class was virtually unanimous in favour of a war against Japan but public opinion was strongly against American involvement in any foreign war. Roosevelt’s solution was to provoke Japan into an overt act of war against the United States to rally behind the Stars and Stripes. FDR’s Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s noted: “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into … firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.”  In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials. Under this authority,  exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants were restricted. The  Roosevelt administration froze all Japanese assets in the United States. In collaboration with the British and the Dutch, the US imposed severe economic sanctions on Japan, including an embargo on vital oil products and steel. Washington demanded Japan’s withdrawal from China. Roosevelt obligingly arranged for such a war, not because of Tokyo’s unprovoked aggression and horrible war crimes in China, but because American corporations wanted a share of the luscious big “pie” of Far Eastern resources and markets.

Japan was certainly not averse to attacking others and had been busy creating an Asian empire. And the United States and Japan were certainly not living in harmonious friendship. But what could bring the Japanese to launch an attack on America? Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda in a communication to Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura on July 31: 

Commercial and economic relations between Japan and third countries, led by England and the United States, are gradually becoming so horribly strained that we cannot endure it much longer. Consequently, our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure the raw materials of the South Seas.

PM Konoe set about arranging a meeting with Roosevelt in a last ditch attempt to restore trade relations and avoid war in the Pacific. While FDR initially welcomed Konoe’s planned visit, his inner circle, as they had for decades, viewed Japan as untrustworthy and vulnerable, and steadfastly opposed the idea of a Pacific summit. Hull, Hornbeck, Stimson and others shared the view of senior military officials that a successful summit could have disastrous consequences for America’s strategic position in Asia. A negotiated end to the war in China and the prompt withdrawal of Japanese forces would be the core of any agreement and this, military officials argued, America must avoid. In October 1941, Hayes Kroner, chief of the British Empire Section for the War Department General Staff, informed Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, as follows “At this stage in the execution of our national strategic plan, cessation of hostilities in China…would be highly detrimental to our interests.” By early November, Tojo and Togo overcame substantial cabinet opposition to continued negotiations and won approval for talks based on two proposal. In Proposal “A” Tokyo pledged to immediately withdraw forces from Indochina, remove troops from all of China except Hainan Islans and the far north and respect the Open Door. Japan also agreed to not automatically support Berlin in the event of a German-American war. Proposal “B” sought only a limited agreement in which Japan pledged to refrain from further offensive operations in return for normalized trade relations and a US promise not to take such actions as may hinder efforts for peace by both Japan and China.

When President Franklin Roosevelt visited Pearl Harbor on July 28, 1934, seven years before the Japanese attack, the Japanese military expressed apprehension. General Kunishiga Tanaka wrote in the Japan Advertiser, objecting to the build-up of the American fleet in Hawaii and the creation of additional bases in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. “It makes us think a major disturbance is purposely being encouraged in the Pacific.” In March 1935, Roosevelt gave Pan Am Airways a permit to build runways on Wake Island, Midway Island, and Guam. Japanese military commanders announced that they were disturbed and viewed these runways as a threat. The U.S. Navy spent the next few years working up plans for war with Japan, the March 8, 1939, version of which described “an offensive war of long duration” that would destroy the military and disrupt the economic life of Japan.

As early as 1932 the United States had been talking with China about providing airplanes, pilots, and training for its war with Japan. In November 1940, Roosevelt loaned China one hundred million dollars for war with Japan, and after consulting with the British, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau made plans to send the Chinese bombers with U.S. crews to use in bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities. On December 21, 1940, two weeks shy of a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, China’s Minister of Finance T.V. Soong and Colonel Claire Chennault, a retired U.S. Army flier who was working for the Chinese and had been urging them to use American pilots to bomb Tokyo since at least 1937, met in Henry Morgenthau’s dining room to plan the firebombing of Japan. Morgenthau said he could get men released from duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps if the Chinese could pay them $1,000 per month. Soong agreed. On May 24, 1941, the New York Times reported on U.S. training of the Chinese air force, and the provision of “numerous fighting and bombing planes” to China by the United States. “Bombing of Japanese Cities is Expected” read the sub-headline. By July, the Joint Army-Navy Board had approved a plan called JB 355 to firebomb Japan. A front corporation would buy American planes to be flown by American volunteers trained. Roosevelt approved, and his China expert Lauchlin Currie, in the words of Nicholson Baker, “wired Madame Chaing Kai-Shek and Claire Chennault a letter that fairly begged for interception by Japanese spies.” Whether or not that was the entire point, this was the letter: “I am very happy to be able to report today the President directed that sixty-six bombers be made available to China this year with twenty-four to be delivered immediately. He also approved a Chinese pilot training program here. Details through normal channels. Warm regards.”

In the eyes of the Japanese press they were being corralled:  “First there was the creation of a superbase at Singapore, heavily reinforced by British and Empire troops. From this hub a great wheel was built up and linked with American bases to form a great ring sweeping in a great area southwards and westwards from the Philippines through Malaya and Burma…” 

On November 15th, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall briefed the media on something we do not remember as “the Marshall Plan.” In fact, we don’t remember it at all. “We are preparing an offensive war against Japan,” Marshall said.

The idea that it was a defensive war because an innocent imperial outpost in the middle of the Pacific was attacked out of the clear blue sky is a myth that deserves to be buried.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as an ideal foreign policy. In international politics there is no policy which will suit all times and all circumstances. There is none which can be carried out to give a guarantee of enduring peace. After every outbreak of war historians and journalists look back to this or that turning point, and say that if only a certain government had acted differently, with more foresight, the war would not have happened. This kind of reasoning rests on assumptions that are not justified. It assumes that a government is a free agent, able to follow any policy that the international situation may seem to call for. It ignores the forces behind the government which determine the government’s attitude and limit its freedom of action; the electorates that have to be considered, but more importantly commercial, industrial and financial groups whose demands on foreign policy are coloured by their trading and other interests, such as the so-called “isolationists” versus the “interventionists” in American relations. The view taken by the “wise-after-the-event” historians assumes, too, that if one government gave a certain lead in international affairs other governments would react in a simple practicable way, determined either by fear of opposing a strong group of super-powers or by mutual desire to maintain world peace. Another problem is also that political leaders all too often ignore their own intelligence reports when they don’t fit with their political goals. Those goals reflect ideological and electoral concerns such as the need to appear to be acting in strong and determined ways – to be more assertive protectors of “freedom” than their competitors in the opposition party. This works to make presidents and prime ministers prone to opportunism and short-sightedness.

Capitalism forces all governments to compete in the world market and to strive for aims which cannot be satisfied. The rivalry between Japan and the US was unavoidable. In order to solve the insoluble problems of its own industries and financial organisations every nation, great or small, is demanding something which the other nations cannot afford to yield. And the whole problem is complicated by the sectional interests within each country, each trying to influence foreign policy. Alongside all this is the fact that the propertied class in all countries fears “subversive” influences and leans towards other governments which look like firm bulwarks for the defence of property; hence the readiness of influential circles in Britain and America to make an accommodation with the Nazis.

Those who talk as if the only problem of the British government was to prevent the German capitalists from re-establishing German power, also forget that in the 1920s the problem appeared to be that of preventing the French capitalists from dominating Europe and the Mediterranean. The policy of helping to re-establish Germany was at that time supported by British and American business interests, whose markets were in Germany and by bankers who had loaned millions of pounds to Germany. For American capitalists the British Empire was also a perceived threat, not Germany (even in 1923 the Scottish radical John McLean anticipated an Anglo-American war, “The war with America is rapidly rushing upon us”.)

When the Stalin-Hitler Pact was signed the Socialist Party pointed out at the time  “it seems certain that now Russia and Germany are neighbours, both intent on dominating Eastern Europe and the Balkans, they will find each other dangerous friends, liable to turn into enemies at any moment.”  and by 1941 that view was proven. Germany’s growing need of war materials and, perhaps, the assumption that a war against “Godless Bolshevism” might appeal to right-wing circles in Britain as it most definitely did in the U.S.A. justified Barbarossa in Nazi eyes.

Two recent books about Second World War have been published. In Unpatriotic History of the Second World War James Heartfield rejects the view of World War II as a supposed struggle against evil dictatorships. Instead Heartfield amasses evidence to demonstrate that the real underlying concerns of the elites who directed the war on both sides related much more to their economic, strategic, and imperial interests. What had formerly been trading wars had by 1939-1945 turned into armed competition over the spoils of exploitation on a world scale. Churchill openly declared his admiration for Mussolini and that he was fighting to defend the British Empire. This was a war over markets and access to raw materials as the post-war settlement over spheres of influence made clear. The plight of German Jews was never an issue nor was Poland, demonstrated by the fact that Britain and France had ignored the simultaneous invasion by Russian troops of Poland’s eastern flank. Once the fighting was over, Stalin held 52 per cent of Polish territory, and Hitler 48 per cent. This was not a People’s War but a war against people.

This contrasts with A People’s History of the Second World War by Donny Gluckstein who argues that the Second World War was an inter-imperialist conflict to re-divide the world amongst imperialist powers, but that unlike ,the First World War, it was still “a war worth fighting” as a means ” to end the scourge of fascism and Nazism” thus  concluding that workers were right to die supporting it.

The lesson of all this is that, while the forces driving to international conflict and war remain, there are no means of making the world safe for peace. Pacts and alliances, Leagues of Nations, United Nations, International Courts and so on, may possibly control minor disputes and delay the major ones, but they have not succeeded and will not succeed in preventing war. World peace, like the abolition of property, is something only to be achieved through socialism.

Former US president Jimmy Carter referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.” Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. The US has also invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. It has overthrown — or attempted to overthrow — dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people’s liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike.

When things are no longer produced for profit, but for the use of those who make them, then there will no longer be any necessity for a capitalist army. When millions of workers are set free from making munitions and provisions of warfare, then they will be able to turn their attention to building themselves better houses, producing more and better food for their families, and they will enjoy the leisure, the comfort, the culture and the education which are now the privileges of the exploiters. The continuous struggle for socialism is the World Socialist Party’s peace policy.

Many support the concept of a “good war” and the Second World War is often cited as a case in point. The United States fought that war against Nazi racial theories with a racially segregated army. It fought the war for freedom and democracy having passed Executive Order 9066 interning more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process. Before the war the United States regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face certain death in Europe.

The World Socialist Party has a most clear and positive attitude to war. We are opposed to all wars, whether they be major and world-wide, or minor and localized. Our opposition to all war has been consistent from the time of our origin. Our opposition to war is an opposition distinct from all others. It is not an opposition based upon religious beliefs; and although we are opposed to war on social and humanitarian grounds, our opposition is not limited to a humanitarian approach — it goes much further. The socialist opposition to war results from our analysis and opposition to capitalism; the realization that this system is the cause of war; further, that the working class are living under a system that can never be made to operate in their interests; that war is inevitable under capitalism, and that the two go hand in hand and should be completely opposed by the workers at all times until they are both finally eliminated, one with the other.

The World Socialist Party’s answer is that we can uproot the cause of war by organizing to uproot the capitalist system. Workers have more than the necessary numbers to vote capitalism out and socialism in, as proposed by the World Socialist Party. This new social system, the working people alone can bring into being, thus forever putting an end to wars, and establishing the society of human solidarity based on freedom, peace and abundance.

To conclude: Sentiment and emotion for a fine cause are laudable. But without a sound premise and defined goal, they can only end in failure and despair. The crying need of our time is not marches and demonstrations for limited and impossible to attain objectives, but determined, unrelenting action to awaken the working class to the imperative need for a socialist reconstruction of society, and to enlighten them on the principles and program for accomplishing that social change in a peaceful manner.

To quote scripture, Isaiah saw in prophetic vision a time when nations should war no more—when swords should be transformed into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. The fulfillment of the prophecy only awaits socialism and the solution of the economic problems we all face. All else is futile and hopeless.

Sources:1

  1. Mickey Z. June 6 Is D(isinformation) Day: The “Good War” Lie, June 3, 2013.

    The Socialist Party, Great Britain.  How can Hitlerism be destroyed? February 1940.

    Dr.  Jacques R. Pauwels.  “Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America“, December 11, 2011; and “Profits über Alles! American Corporations and Hitler“, June 7, 2019.

    David Swanson. Pearl Harbour:  A Successful War Lie, December 7, 2010.

The post America's "Good" Wars first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Marxism is a humanism

It is many years ago that Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay, which was, in fact, the preface to his magnum opus, The Critique of Dialectical Reason, the title of which was “The Search for Method”.

A significant transformation from his critique of Heidegger, Being and Nothingness, Sartre attempted to liberate European Marxism from its captivity in Russian party ideology and restore its historicity.1

Contrary to liberal interpretations Sartre was not an advocate of either neo-Marxism or post-Marxism. If anything, and this can be seen well in his writings on colonialism, Sartre was arguing for a return to Marx as a historian and not only a political activist.2 His distancing from the French Communist Party was not, in fact, a rejection of communism or Marxism but an insistence — actually consistent with Lenin — that the Russian Revolution produced a communist party for Russia and not for the world. It was incumbent on every revolution to create its own communist party in the consciousness of concrete historical conditions—conditions, which in France were obviously different from those in Russia.

The most important moment in Sartre’s essay is an anecdote that on its face has little to do with Marxism, class struggle or any other conventional political context. He relates a story about a woman who explains that she is filled with love. She is so saturated with love that she has yet to find any partner who is worthy of her, who knows how to appreciate her love — to love her with the immensity of her own love. Sartre writes that this love, about which she speaks; these complaints that she has not yet found someone worthy of her love are self-deception. He says that the only love that is real is that love which is actually lived. This implies in the end that one can question whether “love” is the right term for the lived experience in question, but there is no meaning to love that has no consequences in action.

This meant that the question of whether the PCF was really representing the working class in France or representing something else; e.g., the interests of the Russian communist bureaucracy in the working class in France, was not a theoretical question but an empirical one. It was not a denial of communism in the Soviet Union for Russian and other Soviet citizens. However, it was a refusal to confuse the concrete conditions of the Soviet Union — abstractly – theoretically — with those prevailing in post-WWII France.

In that sense Sartre was far closer to Fidel Castro’s view of communism as class struggle always situated in very specific historical contexts, which, of course, were changed by the struggle itself — a process he then attempted to explain in The Critique of Dialectical Reason. There is a strong liberal school that insists that Castro’s communism was insincere or not truly international because of his disputes with both the Soviet Union and China. However, Castro was very clear that he did not live in Russia or China.

In the Soviet Union, communism was a strategy for industrialisation and thus economic and political independence from the Western financial elite to which the Romanovs had indebted the country. In the West; i.e., in Germany and France the class struggle was for the humanity of the working class. For Castro class struggle did not mean forced industrialisation of Cuba. On the contrary he argued that since Cuba’s economic advantages lay in uniquely favourable agricultural productivity, the first priority of the revolution was food security combined with food export in return for goods that are needed but too expensive to produce domestically. Of course, the economic model of the US and Europe was (and still is) giving glass beads and old guns in return for valuable commodities.3 Therefore class struggle also meant finding the fairest terms of trade and not re-inventing the wheel.

The practical conditions under which a revolution became possible in China were truly “Marxist” — from the historical standpoint — but they only became communist once it was possible for the revolutionaries to act with some security. Before 1500, China- and not England(!)—was the workshop of the world. The collapse of the ancien regime after the Opium Wars left a country whose people could no longer rely on any state to protect them, let alone serve their needs. The most pressing need was obviously to create the conditions for the then overwhelmingly rural population to feed itself. The subsequent land reform, ending the extortionate rents paid to largely absentee landlords, enforced by the 8th Route Army was practical revolution even before theories emerged to define the government of the Chinese Communist Party.4

Again this is entirely consistent with Lenin’s observations and attitude.5 Lenin too did not announce a revolution he knew could not succeed. He led a revolution of the possible. Since a revolution is not a finished product like a simple coup d’état in which one group of masters replaces another, Lenin could not foresee the future and did not try. Instead efforts went to make the future day by day. The fact that the Soviet Union would have to fight foreign intervention for some five years and later have virtually its entire economic accomplishment destroyed by the West in WWII did not permit much leeway for contemplation. On the contrary it forced the establishment and perpetuation of a wartime bureaucracy that became a burden once Western invasions were finally repelled.6

There is every reason to believe that Mao acted the same way—conceiving and fighting a revolution into a civil war based on immediately establishing the possible and the necessary. The civil war was not won by party debates but by peasants who had gained the stake for which they were willing to risk their lives. There seems to be a kind of universal contempt for peasants among those who live in towns and cities, especially if they do not work with their hands. Part of this tension is aggravated by the conditions of industrialisation under which peasants were deprived of their land and forced into labour camps (also called factory towns). There they became dependent on cheap food unless they still had family connections to the land.

The manipulation of this antagonism between rural and urban populations is aggravated by the intellectual and social formations that emerge in towns or cities—which are often opposed to traditional (and in the Western peninsula, ecclesiastical, especially since the Church was and is also a major landowner) formations. Or to put it simply, the clergy dominates the peasant and the worker is dominated by the factory organisation. Business adventurers; i.e., capitalists, exhibited at best indifference toward religion. Later it was recognised that this created an ideological vacuum into which the first communist organisations were able to move. The French Revolution had stimulated numerous attempts to secularise religion.7  Many of the pre-Marxian communist organisations were formed as lodges or fraternities modelled on the orders of the Church (or anti-clerical Freemasonry) they were to replace. Such organisations were not only secular alternatives they were also attempts to acknowledge the intangible elements of struggle, what is known in Roman Catholicism as “spirituality”.

In reaction to the intensified organisation of industrial labour, a parallel movement among the theologians of capital (economists and engineers) developed. On one hand Auguste Comte published his work proposing a “religion of science”, Positivism.8  Then as the 19th century came to a close, amidst the greatest economic depression to date, the business corporation adopted and modified the ideological tools of the Church. This was acknowledged in the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum.9  Although this encyclical is usually considered a sign that the Roman Catholic Church (and hence Christendom) was adopting modern humanism, nothing could be further from the truth. The papacy was simply catching up with industrial capitalism and beginning to develop the defence of its economic (and political power) for the 20th century. Together the Church and the corporation would fight for the “hearts and minds” of those they had neglected so long. Corporations would learn to be more like churches and the Church would align itself more closely with Business.

There are two basic myths of love– at least in Western culture, in which Marxism is clearly rooted. The first is love as praxis, the daily creation of the good for real human beings, which is complemented by struggle since there is no single universal way to create the good and it cannot be created alone. The second is love as an ideal directed inward and enforced by obedience and servility until death.

Christianity in the West has taught the latter. If the Church is the “bride of Christ” then, anti-communism is the harlot. The adulterous spouse of white supremacy is nihilistic, like the Christian dogmatic system from which it derives. The struggle in revolutionary praxis includes the struggle to free oneself from the abstraction and inward obsessions of obedience and servility captured as the love of some “god”– especially the tortured and murdered god of the Greco-Christian tradition.

Love in praxis is what Marxist humanism tries to describe. Liberation and love for real human beings are not ideals but ways of acting in the world. They are not simply intentions directed toward passive recipients but the creations of struggle and thus they are not very effectively bureaucratised, to say the least. Sartre’s Marxism was not opportunistic or vulgar pragmatism but based on a sincere understanding of historical materialism. Fidel Castro insisted that democracy was not to be measured by mere procedures but, most importantly, results.

Today we are faced with a global struggle in which the ruling class is imposing on the world’s real human population, procedures defined as medical, based on a conception of “health” that is as empty as Christianity’s promise of “salvation”.  This should be no surprise. The merger of Church and Business has made it possible for the fear of sin and damnation to be fully secularised, packaged in sickness even the Virgin is too weak to heal. We are told that our obedience and servility is for the good of all. However, neither that good, nor those all, actually exist. Like Sartre’s infinitely loving woman for whom no love need be lived, our rulers like their progenitors in Christendom, hold infinite health and safety but alas, none of us are worthy of it. Yet instead of rejecting their manifest insincerity, their base motives, and their actual violence to us, we cling to that abstract faith of our fathers and mothers. Does this not reflect our own learned and deepest fear to love in struggle for life those with whom we are joined in struggle? Are we simply proving with our fear that we are afraid in the face of those who would rule us to struggle to be truly, real human beings?

  1. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness (1958), Critique of Dialectical Reason (1976), The Search for Method (1960).
  2. Jean-Paul Sartre, Der Kolonialismus ist ein System in Articles, Speeches, Interviews 1947-1967, German edition of Collected Works, 1988.
  3. Lee Lockwood, Castro’s Cuba, Cuba’s Fidel, 1969.
  4. Lucie Bianco, Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915-1949 (1971).
  5. Concisely formulated in V. Lenin, Left-wing Communism: An infantile disorder, 1920.
  6. See also Mosche Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System, 1985.
  7. Jules Michelet, L’Histoire de Revolution francaise, 1969.
  8. Sartre argues that Comte’s “cult of humanity” leads to a closed system of humanism, and to fascism. (“Existentialism is a humanism”, 1946) An in fact Comte’s positivism was an element of the ideological basis for military governments throughout Latin America; e.g., Brazil.
  9. Pope Leo XIII, 1891.

Some Italian Thinkers are now resisting Lies about the Soviet Union and WW II

Lying about world history is one of the main weapons of the Western imperialists, through which they are managing to maintain their control of the world.

European and North American countries are inventing and spreading a twisted narrative about almost all essential historic events, be they colonialism, crusades, or genocides committed by the Western expansionism in all corners of the globe.

One of the vilest fabrications has been those which were unleashed against the young Soviet Union, a country that emerged from the ruins of the civil war fueled by the European, North American, and Japanese imperialist interests. Foreign armies and local violent gangs were destroying countless cities and villages, robbing, raping, and murdering local people. But determined acts to restore order and elevate the Soviet Union from its knees, dramatically improving lives of tens of millions, was termed in a derogatory way as “Stalinism”. The label of brutality was soon skillfully attached to it.

Next came the Great Patriotic War (for the Soviets), or what is also known as the Second World War.

The West miscalculated, hoping that Nazi Germany would easily destroy the Soviet Union, and with it, the most determined Communist revolution on earth.

But Germany had, obviously, much bigger goals. While brutalizing Soviet lands, it also began committing crimes against humanity all over Europe, doing precisely what it used to do in its African colonies, decades earlier, which was, basically, exterminating entire nations and races.

While the United States first hesitated to intervene (some of its most powerful individuals like Henry Ford were openly cooperating with the German Nazis), the European nations basically collapsed like the houses of cards.

Then, the unthinkable took place: indignant, injured but powerful, enormous the Soviet Union stood up, raised, literally from ashes. Kursk and Stalingrad fought as no cities ever fought before, and neither did Leningrad, withstanding 900 years of blockade. There, surrender was not an option: people preferred to eat glue and plywood, fighting hunger, as long as fascist boots were not allowed to step on the pavement of their stunningly beautiful city.

In Leningrad, almost all men were dead before the siege was lifted. Women went to the front, including my grandmother, and they, almost with bare hands repelled the mightiest army on earth.

They did it for their city. And for the entire world. They fought for humanity, as Russia did so many times in the past, and they won, at a tremendous cost of more than 25 million soldiers, civilians, men, women, and children.

Then, Soviet divisions rolled Eastwards, liberating Auschwitz, Prague, planting the red Soviet flag on top of Reichstag in Berlin.

The world was saved, liberated. By Soviet people and Soviet steel.

The end of a monstrous war! Entire Soviet cities in ruins. Villages burned to ashes.

But a new war, a Cold War, a true war against colonialism, for the liberation of Africa and Asia was already beginning! And the internationalist war against racism and slavery.

No such narrative could ever be allowed to circulate in the West, in its colonies and client states! Stalin, Soviet Union, anti-colonialist struggle – all had to be smeared, dragged through the dirt!

*****

That smearing campaign first against the Soviet Union and then against Russia was conducted all over Europe, and it gained tremendous proportions.

Mass media has been spreading lies, and so were schools and universities.

The foulest manipulations were those belittling decisive role of the USSR in the victory against Nazi Germany. But Western propaganda outlets also skillfully and harmfully re-wrote the entire history of the Soviet Union, portraying it in the most nihilist and depressing ways, totally omitting tremendous successes of the first Communist country, as well as its heroic role in the fight against the global Western colonialism and imperialism.

*****

Since the end of WWII, Italy has been in the center of the ideological battle, at least when it comes to Europe.

With its powerful Communist Party, almost all great Italian thinkers and artists were either members or at least closely affiliated with the Left. Partisans who used to fight fascism were clearly part of the Left.

Would it not be for the brutal interference in Italy’s domestic politics by the U.S. and U.K., the Italian Communist Party would have easily won the elections, democratically, right during the post-war period.

Relations between the Italian and Soviet/Russian people were always excellent: both nations inspired and influenced each other greatly, particularly when it comes to arts and ideology.

However, like in the rest of Europe, the mainstream media, the propaganda injected by the Anglo-Saxon polemicists and their local counterparts, had a huge impact and eventually damaged great ties and understanding between two nations.

Especially after destructions of the Soviet Union, Italian Left began experiencing a long period of profound crises and confusion.

Anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda started finding fertile ground even in such historical bastions of the Italian Left like Bologna.

*****

With the arrival of the 5 Star Movement and the radical, traditional Left-wing fractions concealed inside it, the millions of Italian citizens began waking up from their ideological lethargy.

I witnessed it when speaking at the legendary Sapienza University in Rome, shoulder to shoulder with professor Luciano Vasapollo, a great thinker and former political prisoner.

I was impressed by young Italian filmmakers, returning to Rome from Donbas, arranging countless political happenings in support of Russia.

Rome was boiling. People forgotten by history were resurfacing, while the young generation was joining them. My friend Alessandro Bianchi and his increasingly powerful magazine, L’Antidiplomatico, were bravely standing by Venezuela and Cuba but also by Russia and China.

Still, Mr. Bianchi kept repeating:

These days, very few Italians understand what happened during WWII. It is a tragedy, real tragedy…

And then, recently, L’Antidiplomatico informed me that it will be publishing, in order to celebrate the April 25 and May 9 anniversaries, an essential book put together by the Soviet Information Bureau, by the academics, with notes and inside information by Joseph Stalin. It was fired right after the end of WWII: “Falsifiers of History. Historic Information.” (In Russian: “Fal’sifikatory istorii. Istoriceskaja spravka.”)

Now in Italian, the book will be called Contro la falsificazione della storia ieri e oggi (Fabrizio Poggi: Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today).

The powerful editorial work of Mr. Poggi is unveiling the truth and counter-attacking the Western Anti-Soviet propaganda.

Throughout this work, “The Anglo-American claims about the alleged Berlin-Moscow union against the ‘western democracies’ and a “secret pact between the USSR and Hitler to divide all of Eastern Europe” were clearly dismantled. The falsity of the rhetoric which is repeatedly used today in virtually all Western countries is exposed here, step by step.

Ale Bianchi, the publisher, explains:

The translation presented here is preceded by an introduction, edited by Poggi himself, which mentions the main issues of the period before the Second World War: Polish-German relations, the role of France and Great Britain and their relations with the USSR, Munich Conference, etc., all used by Western propagandists to advance the theory of “equal responsibility” of Nazi Germany and the USSR for the outbreak of the Second World War.

I asked Mr. Bianchi about the main purpose of launching the book in Italy, and he answered without hesitation:

To defeat the anti-Soviet propaganda and also propaganda related to the Second World War.

*****

In many ways, Fabrizio Poggi’s “Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today”, is not just a book. It is a movement, which will consist of discussions, lectures, interviews.

Top Italian intellectuals will, no doubt, participate. Many essential topics will be revisited. The truth will be revealed.

This could be a new chapter in cooperation between the Italian and Russian thinkers and progressive leaders in their common struggle for a better world!

• First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook (a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

Message to My Young Readers in Hong Kong

For months, this has been a story that I want to share with young readers in Hong Kong. Now it seems to be the really appropriate time when the ideological battle between the West and China is raging, and as a result of it, Hong Kong and the entire world is suffering.

I want to say that none of it is new, that the West already destabilized so many countries and territories, brainwashed tens of millions of young people.

I know, because in the past, I was one of them. If I weren’t, it would be impossible to understand what is now happening in Hong Kong.

*****

I was born in Leningrad, a beautiful city in the Soviet Union. Now it is called St. Petersburg, and the country is Russia. Mom is half Russian, half Chinese, artist, and architect. My childhood was split between Leningrad and Pilsen, an industrial city known for its beer, at the Western extreme of what used to be Czechoslovakia. Dad was a nuclear scientist.

Two cities were different. Both represented something essential in the Communist planning, a system that you were taught, by the Western propagandists, to hate.

Leningrad is one of the most stunning cities in the world, with some of the greatest museums, opera and ballet theatres, public spaces. In the past, it used to be the Russian capital.

Pilsen is tiny, with only 180.000 inhabitants. But when I was a kid, it counted with several excellent libraries, art cinemas, an opera house, avant-garde theatres, art galleries, research zoo, with things that could not be, as I realized later (when it was too late), found even in the U.S. cities of one million.

Both cities, a big and a small, had excellent public transportation, vast parks, and forests coming to its outskirts, as well as elegant cafes. Pilsen had countless free tennis facilities, football stadiums, even badminton courts.

Life was good, meaningful. It was rich. Not rich in terms of money, but rich culturally, intellectually, and health-wise. To be young was fun, with knowledge free and easily accessible, with the culture at every corner, and sports for everyone. The pace was slow: plenty of time to think, learn, analyze.

But, it was also the height of the Cold War.

We were young, rebellious, and easy to manipulate. We were never satisfied with what we were given. We took for granted everything. At night, we were glued to our radio receivers, listening to the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other broadcasting services aiming at discrediting socialism and all countries which were fighting against Western imperialism.

Czech socialist industrial conglomerates were building, in solidarity, entire factories, from steel to sugar mills, in Asian, Middle East, and Africa. But we saw no glory in this because Western propaganda outlets were simply ridiculing such undertakings.

Our cinemas were showing masterpieces of Italian, French, Soviet, Japanese cinema. But we were told to demand junk from the U.S.

Music offering was great, from live to recorded. Almost all music was actually available, although with some delay, in local stores or even on stage. What was not sold in our stores was nihilist rubbish. But that was precisely what we were told to desire. And we did desire it, and copied it with religious reverence, on our tape recorders. If something was not available, the Western media outlets were shouting that it is a gross violation of free speech.

They knew, and they still know now, how to manipulate young brains.

At some point, we were converted into young pessimists, criticizing everything in our countries, without comparing, without even a tiny bit of objectivity.

Does it sound familiar?

We were told, and we repeated: everything in the Soviet Union or Czechoslovakia was bad. Everything in the West was great. Yes, it was like some fundamentalist religion or mass-madness. Hardly anyone was immune. Actually, we were infected, we were sick, turned into idiots.

We were using public, socialist facilities, from libraries to theatres, subsidized cafes, to glorify West and smear our own nations. This is how we were indoctrinated, by Western radio and television stations, and by publications smuggled into the countries.

In those days, plastic shopping bags from the West became the status symbols! You know, those bags that you get in some cheap supermarkets or department stores.

When I think about it at a distance of several decades, I can hardly believe it: young educated boys and girls, proudly walking down the streets, exhibiting cheap plastic shopping bags, for which they paid a serious amount of money. Because they came from the West. Because they were symbolizing consumerism! Because we were told that consumerism is good.

*****

We were told that we should desire freedom. Western-style freedom.

We were instructed to “fight for freedom.”

In many ways, we were much freer than the West. I realized it when I first arrived in New York and saw how badly educated were local kids of my age, how shallow was their knowledge of the world. How little culture there was in regular mid-sized North American cities.

We wanted — we demanded designer jeans. We were longing for Western music labels in the center of our LPs. It was not about the essence or the message. It was form over substance.

Our food was tastier, ecologically produced. But we wanted colorful Western packaging. We demanded chemicals.

We were constantly angry, agitated, confrontational. We were antagonizing our families.

We were young, but we felt old.

I published my first book of poetry, then left, slammed the door behind me, went to New York.

And soon after, I realized that I was fooled!

*****

This is a very simplified version of my story. Space is limited.

But I am glad I can share it with my Hong Kong readers, and, of course, with my young readers all over China.

Two wonderful countries which used to be my home were betrayed, literally sold for nothing, for pairs of designer jeans, and plastic shopping bags.

West celebrated! Months after the collapse of the socialist system, both countries were literally robbed of everything by Western companies. People lost their homes and jobs, and internationalism was deterred. Proud socialist companies got privatized and, in many cases, liquidated. Theatres and art cinemas were converted into cheap second-hand clothes markets.

In Russia, life expectancy dropped to African sub-Saharan levels.

Czechoslovakia was broken into two parts.

Now, decades later, both Russia and Czechia are wealthy again. Russia has many elements of a socialist system with central planning.

But I miss my two countries as they used to be, and all surveys show that the majority of people there miss them too. I also feel guilty, day and night, for allowing myself to be indoctrinated, to be used, and in a way to betray.

After seeing the world, I understand that what happened to both the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, also happened to many other parts of the world. And right now, the West is aiming at China, by using Hong Kong.

Whenever in China, whenever in Hong Kong, I keep repeating: please do not follow our terrible example. Defend your nation! Do not sell it, metaphorically, for some filthy plastic shopping bags. Do not do something that you would regret for the rest of your lives!

• First published by China Daily Hong Kong

Beware the hijacking of U.S. Protests into a “Color Revolution”

The May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota shocked the world and set off mass protests against racism and police brutality in dozens of cities from the mid-western United States to the European Union, all in the midst of a global pandemic. In the Twin Cities, what began as spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations against the local police quickly transformed into vandalism, arson and looting after the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants by law enforcement against the protesters, while the initial incitement for the riots was likely the work of apparent agent provocateurs among the marchers. Within days, the unrest had spread to cities across the country including the nation’s capital, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the slavery-era Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy the military and National Guard on American soil, federal powers not used since the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King case.

The debate over the catalyst for the uprising into its period of lawlessness has drawn a range of theories. The suspicious placement of pallets of bricks in the proximity of numerous protest sites have spurred rumors of sabotage by everything from white supremacist groups to “Antifa” to law enforcement itself. Predictably, liberal hawks such as Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, made ludicrous assertions suggesting “Russian agents” were behind the unrest, a continuation of the narrative that the Kremlin has been behind inflaming racial tensions in the U.S. that began during the 2016 election. While Democrats like Rice and Senator Kamala Harris of California have revived an old trope dating back to the Civil Rights movement of Moscow exploiting racial divisions in the U.S., Trump and the GOP have similarly resurrected the ‘outside agitators’ myth attributed to segregationists of the same era. Hypocritically, many of those claiming to be in support of the protests have denounced the latter theory while endorsing the former, when both equally show contempt for the legitimate grievances of the demonstrators and deny their agency. However, both false notions overlook the more likely hidden factors at play attempting to hijack the movement for its own purposes.

Believe it or not, there could be a kernel of truth in accusations coming mostly from the political right as to the possible role of the notorious liberal billionaire investor and “philanthropist” George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (OSF). Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision. The Hungarian business magnate’s institute, like other NGOs involved in U.S. regime change operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is largely a front for the CIA to shield itself while destabilizing U.S. adversaries, the spy agency’s preferred modus operandi since the exposure of its illicit activities in previous decades by the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee in the 1970s. In the post-Soviet world, nations across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond have become well acquainted with the political disruptions of the international financier and his network. In particular, governments that have leaned toward warm relations with Moscow during the incumbency of President Vladimir Putin have found themselves the victims of his machinations.

Under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Soros made a killing off the mass privatization of the former state-run assets in the Eastern Bloc, as journalist Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine:

George Soros’s philanthropic work in Eastern Europe — including his funding of (Harvard economist and economic advisor Jeffrey) Sachs’s travels through the region — has not been immune to controversy. There is no doubt that Soros was committed to the cause of democratization in the Eastern Bloc, but he also had clear economic interests in the kind of economic reform accompanying that democratization. As the world’s most powerful currency trader, he stood to benefit greatly when countries implemented convertible currencies and lift capital controls, and when state companies were put on the auction block, he was one of the potential buyers.

 In contrast, the Putin administration over a period of two decades has since restored the Russian economy through the re-nationalization of its oil and gas industry. Its two energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, are state-controlled companies serving as the basis of the state machinery‘s reassertion of control over the Russian financial system, a move that has gotten Mr. Putin branded a “dictator” by the West. As a result, most of the notorious Russian oligarchs enriched overnight during the extreme free market policies of the 1990s have since left the country, now that such rapid accumulation of wealth to the rest of the nation’s detriment is no longer permitted. While economic inequality in Russia may persist, it is nowhere near that of the Yeltsin era where the average life expectancy was reduced by a full decade.

In the last decade, the United States has gotten its own taste of the incitement and agitations that have previously fallen upon governments across the global south. Instead, domestically the CIA cutouts in the non-profit industrial complex have played a pivotal counterrevolutionary role in co-opting and ultimately derailing such uprisings meant to bring systemic change to the U.S. political system. In late 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district against the deepening global economic inequality following the Great Recession and the protests quickly spread to other cities and continents. In just a few months, the sit-in was expelled from Lower Manhattan and the anti-capitalist movement itself largely was diverted towards reformism and away from its original radical intentions. It was also revealed the origins of OWS and its marketing campaign were traced to Adbusters, a media foundation that was the recipient of grants from the Democratic Party-connected Tides Foundation, a progressive policy center which receives significant endowments from none other than George Soros and the OSF.

Emerging just two years later, the roots of Black Lives Matter were not just in community organizing but partially took inspiration from the Occupy movement. Unfortunately, the similarities between them were not limited to a shared lack of clarity in their demands but facing the same dilemma of being absorbed into the system. While OWS was quickly suppressed after hopeful beginnings, the BLM leadership became career-oriented apparatchiks of the Democratic Party and left grass-roots organizing behind. Through the non-profit industrial complex, the Democratic Party has mastered bringing various social movements under its management on behalf of Wall Street in order to funnel public funds into private control through various foundations. Along with the Ford Foundation which has given BLM enormous $100 million grants, Soros and the OSF have been one of the principal offenders. Still, many who correctly identify right-wing protests such as the Tea Party movement and the recent ‘anti-lockdown’ demonstrations as the work of astro-turfing by the Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation seldom apply the same scrutiny to seemingly authentic progressive movements assimilated by corporate America.

One figure who mysteriously appeared on the scene in the early days of OWS connected to Soros was the Serbian political activist Srđa Popović, the founder of Otpor! (“resistance” in Serbian) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) political organizations which led the protests in 2000 which ousted the democratically-elected President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, known as the “Bulldozer Revolution.” Not long after Popović’s consulting of activists in Zuccotti Park, Wikileaks documents revealed the Belgrade-born organizer’s significant ties to U.S. intelligence through the global intelligence platform Stratfor (known as the “shadow CIA”), exposing the real motives behind his involvement in U.S. politics of outwardly supporting OWS while trying to sabotage the popular movement. Since their role as instruments of U.S. regime change in Serbia, Otpor! and CANVAS have received financial support from CIA intermediaries such as the NED, OSF, Freedom House and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the Boston-based Albert Einstein Institute founded by the American political scientist, Gene Sharp.

Despite ostensibly professing to use the same civil disobedience methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp‘s manual for “non-violent resistance” entitled From Dictatorship to Democracy has been the blueprint used by political organizations around the world that have only served the interests of Western imperialism. Beginning with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia, the successful formula which ousted Milošević spread to other Central Asian and Eastern European nations overthrowing governments which resisted NATO expansion and the European Union’s draconian austerity in favor of economic ties with Moscow. These were widely referred to in the media as ‘Color Revolutions’ and included the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its 2014 Maidan coup d’état follow-up, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, among others.

Subsequently, Srđa Popović and CANVAS also lent their expertise in Egypt during the predecessor to its Arab Spring in the April 6 Youth Movement which appropriated Otpor!’s raised fist logo as its emblem. In preparation for the organization of anti-government demonstrations, the activists pored over Gene Sharp’s work in coordination with Otpor! whose fingerprints can be found all over the Arab Spring uprisings which began as protests to remove unpopular leaders in Egypt and Tunisia but were carefully reeled in to preserve the despotic Western-friendly systems that had put them to power initially. Where Sharp’s “non-violent” template failed, countries with U.S. adversaries in power such as Libya and Syria saw their protests rapidly morph into a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and a terrorist proxy war with catastrophic consequences. This recipe has also been exported to Latin America in attempts to remove the Bolivarian government in Venezuela, with self-declared ‘interim president’ and opposition leader Juan Guaido having received training from CANVAS.

While the right seems to have a bizarre misconception that the parasitic hedge fund tycoon is somehow a communist, there is an equal misunderstanding on the pseudo-left where it has become a recurring joke and subject of mockery to naively deny Soros’s undeniable influence on world affairs and domestic protest movements. Less certain, however, are the claims from conservatives that Soros is a supporter of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a domestic terrorist organization, a dangerous premise given the movement consists of a very loose-knit and decentralized network of activists and hardly comprises a real organization. Various autonomous chapters and groups across the U.S. may self-identify as such, but there is no single official party or formal organization with any leadership hierarchy. While the original Antifa movement in the 1930s Weimar Republic was part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), the current manifestation in the U.S. has a synonymous association with black bloc anarchism (even inverting the colors of the original red and black flag), though it is really made up of a variety of amateurish political tendencies.

Amidst the ongoing nationwide George Floyd protests, the demonstrations in Seattle, Washington culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in the Northwestern city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). In response, Trump doubled down on his threats to quash protests with the use of the military while blaming “anarchists” in “Antifa” for the unrecognized commune occupying six city blocks around an abandoned police precinct. Anyone who has paid close attention to the war in Syria for the last nine years will find this highly ironic, given the U.S. military support for another infamous “autonomous zone” of Kurdish nationalists in Northern Syria’s Rojava federation. The Kurdish sub-region and de facto self-governing territory purports to be a “libertarian socialist direct democracy” style of government and has been the subject of romanticized praise by the Western pseudo-left despite the fact that the autonomous administration’s paramilitary wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were until recently a cat’s paw for American imperialism as part of the U.S.-founded coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Not coincidentally, many of those who use the Antifa vexillum are enthusiastic supporters of and even volunteer mercenaries fighting with the YPG/SDF in an ‘International Freedom Battalion’ which claims to be the inheritors of the legacy of the International Brigades which volunteered to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, these cosplayers forgot that the original International Brigades were set up by the Communist International, not the Pentagon. Meanwhile, despite their purported “anti-fascism”, there are no such conscripts to be found defending the Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine against literal Nazis in the War in Donbass where the real front line against fascism has been. Instead, they fight alongside a Zionist and imperial proxy to help establish an ethno-nation state while the U.S. loots Syria’s oil.

Prior to Trump’s decision last October to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria which preceded a Turkish invasion, Ankara and the U.S. repeatedly butted heads over Washington’s decision to incorporate the Kurds into the SDF, since the YPG is widely acknowledged an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant and cult-like political group regarded as a terrorist organization that has been at war with Turkey for over forty years. It is also no secret that jailed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s theories of “democratic confederalism” are heavily influenced by the pro-Zionist Jewish-American anarchist theorist, Murray Bookchin. So when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Trump that there were links between the U.S. protests and the PKK, there was a tiny but core accuracy in his exaggerated claim. As Malcolm X said, “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad.”

The George Floyd protests, like previous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, certainly began spontaneously, nor does any of this discount the legitimate issue of ending the militarization of U.S. law enforcement which disproportionately victimizes black Americans. Nevertheless, time and again we have seen how bona fide social movements become political footballs or quickly go to their graves. Like BLM, it is practically inevitable the protests will become a partisan tool for the Democratic Party in the coming 2020 election when it has no concrete political articulations of its own, even if it does bring substantive change to domestic policing. In January, Trump was impeached for temporarily withholding security aid to the Ukraine and Democrats advocated his removal because he is regarded as insufficiently hawkish toward Moscow. Since 2016, they have actively diverted all opposition to Trump into their own reactionary anti-Russia campaign and soft-coup attempt in the interests of the military- intelligence community, a shared agenda with Soros. When all of corporate America, the media, and even the NED have publicly declared their support for a movement, it is no longer just about its original cause of getting justice for Mr. Floyd, whose funeral became a virtual campaign rally for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden. It is too early to say determinedly whether what is taking place in the U.S. is indeed a ‘Color Revolution’, but by the time we realize it, it may too late.

Anti-Communism is a Fundamentalist Religion now followed by Millions

150 years ago, on April 21, 1870, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, alias Lenin, was born. According to many, he was the greatest revolutionary of all times, a man who gave birth to both internationalism and anti-imperialism.

It is time to “revisit Communism”. It is also time to ask some basic, essential questions:

How is it possible that a system so logical, progressive, and so superior to what is, up till now, governing the world, failed to permanently overthrow the nihilism and brutality of capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonialism?

*****

Without any doubt, you have been told many horrifying things about Communism, especially if you have been living in the West, or in one of the countries that are fully under the control of the centres of anti-Communism: Washington, London or Paris.

You have been forced to read, again and again, about “Stalinism”, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the Khmer Rouge genocide. You have, again and again, been served an elaborate cocktail of half-truths, outright fabrications, as well as twisted interpretations of the world history.

The chances are you have never been to Russia, China or Cambodia; you haven’t done any serious research there.

You have been told that Cambodia is the best example of savage Communism. You never realized that Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge extremists were fully supported by the United States, and not by the Soviet Union and never foolheartedly by China; that they were never actually really “Communist” (I did a detailed in-country research, and even Pol Pot’s personal guards told me that they had no idea about Communism, and only reacted to the monstrous U.S. carpet bombing of the Cambodian countryside, and to the capital’s collaboration with the West). In that period, most people died as a result of precisely that carpet-bombing by the USAF B-52’s, and as a result of a famine. And the famine came after millions of peasants were displaced by the savagery of the bombing, and by the unexploded substances left in the fields, all over the countryside.

It never occurred to you, that one survey after another, conducted in Russia, still shows that the majority of the people there would like to have the Communist Soviet Union back. And even in the former Soviet Muslim-majority states, including Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan, a tremendous majority of the people I encountered there remembered the Soviet Union era as some golden age.

And the so-called Soviet occupation of Afghanistan? I have worked, filmed and reported there, on three occasions, relatively recently. Outraged by the on-going Western occupation of their country, countless Afghan people told me stories, illustrating the contrast between their tolerant, progressive and optimistic socialist era, and the present-day horror, during which their country has sunk to the lowest level in Asia, according to both UNDP and the WHO. I worked in Kabul, Jalalabad, Herat, Bagram; the same stories, and the same nostalgia for the Soviet teachers, nurses, engineers.

Showered by the relentless Western propaganda, one never really realized how popular the Communist Party of China is in its own country, and how the Communist ideology is supported in Vietnam, Laos and North Korea.

If one goes to their friendly local bookstore in North America, Europe or even in Hong Kong, not to speak of Australia, the chances are is that all one will find there would be tomes written by anti-Communist Chinese or Russian ‘dissidents’, people that have been living off Western grants, receiving countless awards so they can spend all their energy on smearing Communism, and glorifying anti-revolution. Writers such as Svetlana Alexievich, who received the Nobel Prize for literature, for spitting on the graves of the Soviet soldiers who died defending Afghan socialism.

Films one would be allowed to watch, on commercial film channels, would not be any different than the books one had been encouraged to read.

Anti-Communism in the West and in its colonies, is a tremendous industry. It is easily the greatest and on-going propaganda campaign in the history of the world. Its metastasis has been spreading even into the core of the Communist and socialist countries themselves.

All of that is because the Western imperialist countries know perfectly well that their empire can only survive if Communism collapses.

It is because the very essence of Communism is the perpetual struggle against imperialism.

False but very effective slogans, like bugs, that are being implanted into one’s brains. They are repeated constantly, sometimes hundreds of times a day, without one even noticing: “Communism is dead!” you have been told. “It is outdated, boring.” “China is not Communist, anymore.” “Communism is grey. Life under communism is controlled, and it is monotonous”.  “People under Communism have no freedom, and no liberties.”

The opposite is the truth. Building, selfishly and enthusiastically, a new and better society for the people, is definitely more satisfactory (and “more fun”), than rotting in the constant agony of fear: worrying about mortgages, student loans, and medical emergencies. Competing with others, stepping on others, and even ruining other human beings. Living empty, sad, selfish lives.

*****

Absurdly, paradoxically, Western propaganda constantly accuses Communism of violence. But Communism is the biggest adversary of the most violent system on Earth, which is Western colonialism/ imperialism. Hundreds of millions of human beings have already vanished as a result of it, throughout the centuries. Hundreds of advanced cultures have been ruined. Entire continents have been plundered.

Before Soviet Communism, before the USSR itself, there was no true and powerful opposition to Western imperialism. Colonialism and imperialism were taken for granted; they were “the world order”.

The Soviet Union and China helped to de-colonize the world. Cuba and North Korea, two Communist countries, fought bravely and successfully, and brought independence to Africa (something that the West has never forgotten nor forgiven).

But fighting for freedom and for the end of colonialism is not violence; it is defence, resistance and a struggle for independence.

As a rule, Communism does not attack. It defends itself, and it defends countries that are being brutalised. In my future work, I will address two “exceptions”; and explain two cases which are constantly misinterpreted by right-wing propaganda: Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

But back to the so-called “Communist violence”.

My friend and comrade, the legendary Russian intellectual and professor, Aleksandr Buzgalin, wrote in his recent work, “Lenin: Theory as Practice, Practice as Creativity (to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of V.I. Ulyanov-Lenin):

There is a principle at work here: it is not the socialist revolution that provokes mass violence, but the bourgeois counter-revolution, that begins when capital realises that it is losing its property and power. In response to the generally peaceful and in many cases legitimate victory of the left, capital unleashes savage, barbaric violence. The left is then faced with the question of whether to answer this violence or not. If you go to war, then from that point the laws of war apply, and hundreds of thousands are sent to their deaths, planned in advance, so that millions might be victorious. That is the logic of war.

The revolution was carried through. It was victorious. In the broader perspective, the victors were not so much the Bolsheviks as the Soviets, in which the majority supported the Bolsheviks’ position. The revolution was substantially peaceful, prevailing almost without bloodshed. The fiercest fighting occurred in Moscow, where those killed on both sides numbered a few thousand. Beyond that, the picture was of a “triumphal procession of Soviet power” (this heading in Soviet textbooks was no accident). In the winter of 1917-1918 the relationship of forces saw half a million members of the workers’ militia, the Red Guard, pitted against a few tens of thousand White Guard members in the south of Russia. Everything was quiet until the counter-revolution received vast sums of money from the Triple Alliance (primarily from Germany) as well as from the Entente, and all these imperialist countries launched aggression against the young Soviet power.

This is a brilliant take by Aleksandr Buzgalin. I have addressed this topic on many occasions but never so coherently. And this applies to countless examples all over the world where the West first provoked and brutally antagonized socialist or communist countries, then accused them of cruelty, and finally “liberated” them in the name of freedom and democracy, literally raping the will of their people. All this just so European and North American imperialism would survive and thrive.

Let’s recall just a few examples: the USSR, 1965 Indonesia, 1973 Chile, 2019 Bolivia. The biggest attempt to date: to divert, destabilize and overthrow the enormously successful Chinese system. But there are, of course, countless other examples, in all corners of the globe.

*****

Ron Unz, the publisher of The Unz Review, wrote in his report “American Pravda: Our Coronavirus Catastrophe as Bio-warfare Blowback?”, recalling his thoughts, in 1999, when China protested about the NATO bombing of its Embassy in Belgrade:

But when I considered that the Chinese government was still stubbornly denying the reality of its massacre of the protesting students in Tiananmen Square a decade earlier, I concluded that unreasonable behavior by PRC officials was only to be expected….

Such at least were my thoughts on that matter more than two decades ago. But in the years that followed, my understanding of the world and of many pivotal events of modern history underwent the sweeping transformations that I have described in my American Pravda series. And some of my 1990s assumptions were among them.

Consider, for example, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which every June 4th still evokes an annual wave of harsh condemnations in the news and opinion pages of our leading national newspapers. I had never originally doubted those facts, but a year or two ago I happened to come across a short article by journalist Jay Matthews entitled “The Myth of Tiananmen” that completely upended that apparent reality.

According to Matthews the infamous massacre had likely never happened, but was merely a media artifact produced by confused Western reporters and dishonest propaganda, a mistaken belief that had quickly become embedded in our standard media storyline, endlessly repeated by so many ignorant journalists that they all eventually believed it to be true. Instead, as near as could be determined, the protesting students had all left Tiananmen Square peacefully, just as the Chinese government had always maintained. Indeed, leading newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post had occasionally acknowledged these facts over the years, but usually buried those scanty admissions so deep in their stories that few ever noticed. Meanwhile, the bulk of the mainstream media had fallen for an apparent hoax.

Matthews himself had been the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Washington Post, personally covering the protests at the time, and his article appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, our most prestigious venue for media criticism.

On top of it, what Western mainstream media was describing as a group of “freedom fighters” and “pro-democracy movement”, had a substantial number of radicals in its ranks, even outright racists, that were protesting against the presence of black Africans on Chinese university campuses. They demanded a ban on their relationships with the Chinese women. And they were fully supported and at least partially funded by the West, simply because of their savage, aggressive, fundamentalist anti-Communism.

The Chinese government does not even want to touch this subject, anymore. They feel that, faced with massive Western propaganda, they cannot get through with their take on the story; in brief, that they have lost the narrative.

Now fast-forward to 2019 and 2020. Hong Kong. Again, what we are witnessing there is outrageous and extremist anti-Communism. Fascist protesters that are marching, destroying public property, and attacking the Police, all under U.S, U.K and German banners, are hailed by the Western mass media as “pro-democracy activists”. They are physically attacking the supporters of Beijing. They are paid, they are glorified. I have talked to them on many occasions. They are fully, thoroughly brainwashed. They know nothing about facts. They deny the crimes committed by the British and the U.S. colonialists. They admire everything Western, and they despise their own country.

The West has been told to view them as “revolutionaries”. And it promotes them as revolutionaries, all over the world!

Another group unleashed against the Communist China, are the Uyghurs. Many of these people have joined terrorist organizations in Idlib, Syria, in Indonesia, and elsewhere. Or more precisely, they were injected there. The reason? To harden them on the battlefields, so that they could one day return to China, and try to break Communism, as well as the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), the most internationalist mammoth project on Earth. I have covered their activities in Syria, Indonesia, Turkey and elsewhere. I have written extensively about the atrocities they have been committing. But the anti-Communist propaganda is often too massive and too “professional”. It manufactures a “bullet-proof narrative”. It portrays the Uyghurs as the victims!

*****

Ask the common men and women of the streets of London, Paris or New York, what they know about Stalin’s era, or the famines in the early years of the USSR, or in Communist China?

99.99% know nothing. Where these famines took place, or why. But they are absolutely certain that they took place. No doubts, whatsoever. No doubts that they happened “because of Communism”. Westerners are intellectually obedient, like sheep. Most of them do not question the propaganda unleashed by their regime. Are they really “free”?

The famine in the Soviet Union actually took place because the young revolutionary country was totally devastated by the Western and Japanese invasions, which tried to break and plunder the country. British, French, U.S., Czech, Polish, German, Japanese invasions, to name just a few.

But ask, for instance, the Czechs, how much they know about their Legions that controlled the Trans-Siberian railroad on their way from Europe to Vladivostok. Plundering, rape, and mass killing. I tried. I asked in Prague and Pilsen. They thought I was a lunatic. The Legions are portrayed as heroic in their history books. A bullet-proof narrative. No doubts there.

And “Stalinism”? This author is planning to write much more on this subject. But here, just in brief: What kind of country did Stalin really inherit? It was a country thoroughly plundered by foreign invaders, a country devastated by civil war. A country where the anti-revolutionary forces have been, until recently, financed by the U.K., France, U.S. and others. As a result of this brutal civil war unleashed from abroad, criminal gangs roamed all over the vast lands, and inside cities.

From the beginning, the Russian Communists wanted peace, the brotherhood of nations, and peaceful development for its people. I wrote in 2017, in my book Great October Socialist Revolution. Impact on the World and Birth of Internationalism:

The revolutionaries wanted to end all wars immediately. Russian soldiers left their trenches, and embraced their enemies. “We are all brothers!” they shouted. “We were forced to fight each other by ruthless monarchs, priests and businessmen. We should battle real enemies, not each other! Proletariat of the world, Unite!” But the Western officers and commanders were determined: they forced their men back to the trenches, accusing them of treason, pushing them to the battlefields.

Most significantly, the countless foreign invasions were overwhelming of both several major Russian cities and the countryside. As always throughout the previous centuries, the Europeans never thought twice before putting their military boots on Russian soil. In a way, Russia was treated and perceived as a ‘barbaric’ nation that could be attacked, colonized and plundered at will and without much justification, not unlike all those countless unfortunate nations all over the world: located in South America and Central Asia, in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Many Russians looked like whites, like Europeans, but to the Westerners, they were never “white enough”, never really part of the culture of the conquerors and plunderers. Russia always had its own soul, its way of thinking and feeling, its distinct manner of acting and reacting.

In my book, I revisited the subversion tactics of Western imperialism and militant anti-Communism:

The essence and strategy of Western imperialist subversion is essentially very simple: identify all strong and weak points of the country that you are attempting to murder, and try to comprehend its ideology. Study and learn all about its progressive leadership: its plans, and all that the revolution is trying to do for the people: like giving them freedom, equal rights, improved life expectancy, high standards of education, medical care, housing, infrastructure, arts and overall a decent quality of life. Then, attack where it hurts the most: use direct interventions, sabotage, terrorist assaults, or sponsor extremist and even religious fundamentalist groups, in order to spread fear and insecurity to slow down the process of social change and economic growth. Hit so hard that at some point, the democratic revolutionary system will have to react, simply in order to protect its people, their achievements, and even their bare lives. Wherever the West tries to destroy a socialist country, be it Nicaragua or Afghanistan in the 80’s, it first targets hospitals and schools, in order to demolish the great social achievements of the government, and to spread hopelessness among the population. Then it hits even harder, to trigger a strong government reaction, and then immediately declare: “You see, this is the real face of socialism or communism! You want a revolution? Fine: what you get in the package will be this: oppression, political trials, gulags, a lack of freedom, and even some brutal executions!” Use widely, weapons like disinformation and negative propaganda, so the revolution in a progressive but cruelly terrorized country would never have a chance to really influence the rest of the world, and even at home it will begin to suffer after being put under too much pressure…

… Such hideous tactics of the West, deeply injured the Soviet Union before WWII, but it failed to destroy the country.

*****

The Chinese famine took place partially because during the Japanese occupation, the Imperial Army disrupted the food chain supplies, as well as the system of farming, which had been formed and developed throughout thousands of years. Japan was interested in only one thing: how to feed its troops that were occupying a massive part of Asia.

In both cases, Western propaganda made people believe that the real cause for the loss of lives in Russia and China was Communism! The brainwashing has been so successful that even in Russia and China, millions of people have been fully indoctrinated by these countlessly repeated lies coming out of the West.

But ask in London whether people know anything about the fact that under the British occupation of India, tens of millions of people died from starvation; victims of the famines triggered by London, for many reasons, one of them being an attempt to lower the population. Over 50 million Indian people, cumulatively, died in these famines, between 1769 to 1943, in British administered India.

Should we, as a result, ban the British political system? I am convinced that we should! But that is usually not what the people of the world, including the victims of the British colonialist barbarity, are demanding.

So, back to the British or French public. What do they know about their past, and even about their neo-colonialist present? They only know what they have been ordered to believe. In brief: they know nothing. Zero. Only fairytales. But they are convinced that they are well informed. And that they have the right to lecture the world.

They know absolutely nothing about the USSR and about China. They have no clue about why North Korea and Cuba are being continuously demonized (as mentioned above, they both, hand in hand, liberated Africa from Western colonialism).

I have lived and worked all over Africa for years, made films, and written countless essays. The Cuban and North Korean involvement, enormously positive, internationalist and undoubtedly Communist, from Namibia and Angola, from Egypt to Mauritius, has been very well documented. But say it in a Parisian café or a London pub and jaws will drop. Blank stares, emptiness.

Even that “Anti-Communist left” consisting of anarcho-syndicalists and Trotskyists (really mostly British and U.S. brands of pseudo revolutionaries), knows nothing, or wants to know nothing, about true revolutionary Communism.

*****

On 23 April, 2020, Brasil de Fato quoted the Venezuelan Vice-Minister Carlos Ron:

It is very interesting in North American culture, to believe in “manifest destiny”, to think that they have a messianic mission. They believe that their mission is to end communism in Latin America, so they will overthrow Venezuela, Cuba and everything that is red, because all that is red is communist.

In Indonesia, an entire failed, miserable and depressing religious state is based on anti-Communist dogma. Nobody clearly understands there why they are anti-communist, but the more they are ignorant about the subject, the more aggressively they act; banning all Communist concepts and lexicon, building anti-Communist ‘museums’, and producing anti-Communist films. After killing millions of Communists on behalf of the West, anti-Communism has become the essence of their existence. In the past they even used to ban the Chinese and Russian languages. All just to silence the past, when President Sukarno and the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia), before the US-backed 1965 coup, were building a great, progressive, socialist and non-aligned nation.

In fact, in much of Southeast Asia, perhaps the most grotesquely turbo-capitalist part of the world, Communism has been banned, or at least demonized. The result: confused, consumerist, religious and dismal nations. Communist Vietnam is the shining star, but it is never portrayed as such, definitely not abroad.

*****

Let us celebrate the 150th birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin!

Let us celebrate it by revisiting history, and the present.

The most brutal political system is Western imperialism, colonialism. It has already murdered hundreds of millions of people all over the world. This fact should be repeated again and again.

The goal of Western propaganda has always been to equate Communism and Fascism, the two most antagonistic systems in history in the world. It was the Soviet Communist system, which smashed Nazism to pieces, saving the world, at an enormous cost of approximately 25 million human lives.

Only Western imperialism can be compared to German Nazism. The two are made of the same stuff.

To me, to many of us, Communism means the perpetual struggle against Western interventionism, colonialism.

In this terrible moment in human history, it is important to clearly understand this reality.

If Communism were to be defeated, it would be the end of the struggle for freedom. Only the powerful, centralized, ideologically-sound Communist system can fight and liberate the human race from colonialist shackles, from savage capitalism, and an nihilist empty existence.

Propagandists tell you insane lies, that Communism is outdated and boring. Don’t believe them: it is the most upbeat, still young, and optimistic arrangement of the world. And unlike imperialism and capitalism, Communism is constantly evolving. Not in Europe or North America, but in the rest of the world.

Just look at the West and its colonies. Look at the misery and deprivation brought on humanity by the Western oppressive dictatorial regime.

Happy birthday, Comrade Lenin!

The struggle continues!

• First published by NEO – a journal of the Russian Academy of Social Sciences

The Soviet Victory over Nazism 75 Years Ago and Covid-19

How could the Great Patriotic War in which the Soviet people (including many members of my own family) lost at least 25 million lives, have anything in common with the latest outbreak of the novel coronavirus?

You think this is an absolutely insane question?

However, before you dismiss it, think twice. There are similarities how they are being portrayed. There is a dangerous, even deadly, pattern.

The storylines of both monumental events have been shamelessly kidnapped and perverted by Western propaganda!

Those people and countries that fought hard and heroically have lost the narrative. At the same time, those who negotiated to twist and to delay their involvement have managed to re-write history and to even give themselves the credit for ‘saving the world’.

The greatest sacrifice in human history, that made by the Soviet people who fought for the survival of mankind, defeated Nazism, and later helped to de-colonize the world, has been belittled by the professional masters of disinformation in London, Paris and New York. The Soviet Union, itself, was first smeared, its history rewritten in hostile foreign countries (to the extent that even the Soviet people themselves began doubting their own past and present), its internationalist duty discounted and dragged through mud. In the end and mostly as a result of such intellectual aggressions, a tremendous country and the bulwark of anti-imperialism, suddenly collapsed.

No shots were fired, except in Afghanistan, which was virtually sacrificed by the West. It has been converted into a playground of radicals and religious fundamentalists. In the end it broke the spine of the Soviet Union, the country that had been skillfully maneuvered into the conflict by Washington, and which, against all practical sense, decided to rush to the rescue of the Afghan people.

This last chapter of Soviet history has been twisted and perverted, too, in Washington and London.

In fact, everything pure, heroic and positive that the Soviet Union represented, was spat on.

The anti-Soviet, and even anti-Russian narrative has become absolutely bulletproof.

Manipulative documentary films, books, school curriculums in Europe and North America; they all pass off as facts in simple propaganda gigs, without offering any evidence. Very often, they take historic events and data, twist them, turn them around, and repeat the consequent fabrications again, again and again.

There are thousands of mass media outlets participating in the project. It definitely works. Such an approach is effective. Deadly effective.

*****

China is now being beaten with the same stick as the Soviet Union and Russia.

The most populous, successful, and enthusiastic Socialist country still does not fully comprehend what is being done to it. China is trying to be a good world citizen. It does its best to show kindness and solidarity. And yet, the more positive its deeds, the more it gets antagonized, accused of selfishness and malignancy.

The Western propaganda apparatus is now determinedly smearing the Chinese revolution, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Chinese system. Tiananmen Square ‘events’, which were invented by thoroughly hostile Western mass media outlets, are used as proof of China’s “evilness”. Present-day Hong Kong events, a direct attack on China and interference in its internal affairs, are turned upside down. Beijing is being portrayed as the aggressor, not as the victim!

Newspapers like The New York Times or The Independent have absolutely nothing good to say about the socially most successful country on Earth.

That is quite an impressive show of one-sidedness.

Then comes COVID-19.

Before Western propaganda got involved, kicking into top gear, people in all corners of the world were tremendously impressed with the rapid and determined response of the Chinese system. China isolated one province, quarantined it, and defeated the pandemic within a few weeks. Almost immediately, it began helping the rest of the world.

The Chinese government, Chinese scientists, and the Chinese population in general, had no idea what were they up against. They were all alone, facing the new virus. Intuitively, in a socialist way, they mobilized, won the battle and defeated the pandemic with minimum losses and in the shortest possible time.

While several Chinese officials and scientists believed that the virus was injected into China by the United States, Beijing decided to adopt a conciliatory tone, suggesting there should be cooperation, instead of confrontation.

That is the Chinese, but not Western way.

The Western approach towards the COVID-19 from Italy, UK, Spain to the United States across the Atlantic Ocean, has been grotesque, inconsistent, disorganized and for the common people, deadly. In short, it has been a total fiasco.

Therefore, using its traditional methods, Western propaganda system began doing what it does the best: attacking those who are fighting for the survival of the world. Attacking relentlessly, aggressively and often, vulgarly.

If the numbers were to be compared, the entire affair would look ridiculous, even grotesque. The West would soon run out of arguments. The same if the Chinese and Western general approaches were placed next to each other and analyzed.

But they are not. What is done in Europe and North America is not really reporting or comparing facts. Instead, it is a constant flow of an ideological, propagandist narrative, of disinformation, full of sarcasm, double speak and mud.

The discourses of the U.S. politicians are increasingly racist, perverse and full of spite. When it comes to China, Western leaders lie, they present no proof, but in this ‘game’, all the above is obviously allowed. One after another, they get on the proverbial podium and spit at China: all of them do – Trump, Pompeo, Navarro, Rubio, and others.

The better China does, the more they shout and spit.

The better the Soviet Union did, the louder the accusations against it were, the more brutal the insults.

Now China says loudly and clearly: “We have pulled almost everyone out of poverty. We are a real Socialist country with Chinese characteristics, governed by the Communist Party of China. We are helping the struggling part of the world through the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). We fought hard and defeated the new and terrible pandemic.”

Western ideologues shout back: “No, you are not helping anyone. You are selfish. You are not even socialist. You misinformed us about the pandemic.”

The problem is the Western regime owns and controls incomparably more media outlets than do China and Russia combined. And both the Russian and Chinese media outlets, including this magazine – New Eastern Outlook – are constantly censored and blocked in the Western countries, on-line and otherwise. It goes without saying that the Western propaganda is the biggest, and the mightiest disinformation system on the planet.

In the meantime, tens of thousands are dying from the COVID-19, but now especially from the economic and social manipulation, in Europe, North America and their client states in the poor parts of the world.

The contrast is tremendous, if one is allowed to the see that contrast.

It is obvious which system is better for humanity, but the more obvious it gets, the more disinformation blurs the picture; the compliments of the Western media outlets and ‘educational’ institutions.

While all this is going on, people in the West are increasingly complacent, sheepish, and indifferent.

In his recent interview for the RT, the legendary German film director, Werner Herzog, brought up some essential and relevant philosophical points:

The atrocities carried out by the Nazis were the result of a lockstep narrative of “demonization” which replaced facts.

Industrialized mass murder’ only possible when people stop questioning narratives.

It is not so much what is factually happening, it’s who owns the narrative. And we have to be very, very careful and watchful about looking at the media. What are the media doing? Is there some sort of almost collective brainwashing going on or not? … [W]e have to be quite vigilant and we should think on our own.

What we are witnessing or participating in is a horrific, ideological battle. Not just for China, not just for Russia and for the memory of those who gave their lives for the survival of our human race.

Right now, everything is at stake. Perhaps the very essence of mankind.

It is still possible to win. Partially, because Western propaganda, while effective, is not necessarily innovative. It is relatively primitive. It can be exposed. While it repeats its lies, relentlessly and religiously, we have to repeat that the lies are lies, and offer proof.

Let us do it with determination, and in full voice.

Therefore:

75 years ago, it was the Soviet Union who defeated Nazi Germany, and saved the world, at an unimaginably high cost!

And:

It was China, which was first hit by the novel coronavirus. And it was China, which defeated it rapidly and with tremendous socialist determination!

• First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences