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  • fa6c929d-ed0d-4f86-b320-746b8b9e16ba

    < Back WHEN THE POWERFUL CONTROL PUBLIC OPINION, ELECTIONS AREN'T REAL Caitlin Johnstone Jun 13, 2024 Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley) : I’ve been ignoring the US presidential race because the election is rigged. When someone says US presidential elections are rigged, there are a number of things they could mean by that. They could be claiming votes are actively tampered with to ensure a particular outcome, as Republicans commonly claimed in the 2020 election. But that isn’t the claim I’m putting forward here — even though the US does have the most dysfunctional elections out of any liberal democracy on earth. They could also be talking about how legalized corruption in the United States allows the wealthy to manipulate election outcomes and extract political loyalties via campaign donations . While certainly a well-established fact, that isn’t what I’m talking about here either. They could also be talking about the fact that it doesn’t matter who wins the election since the US president is only a figurehead who pretends to run a country that is actually ruled by unelected plutocrats and empire managers in secretive government agencies. Again this is absolutely true, but that’s not what I’m talking about in this particular essay. Actually, you could fix all the problems in the American voting system, and US presidential elections would still be rigged. You could fix campaign finance laws to the point where the wealthy are no longer able to use campaign donations to achieve desired political outcomes, and US presidential elections would still be rigged. You could give the US president all the actual government leadership powers you were led to believe he has as a schoolchild, and US presidential elections would still be rigged. US presidential elections would still be rigged because mainstream political opinion would still be shaped by the wealthy and powerful people who control the sources from which Americans have been trained to get their information. So long as the rich and powerful can manipulate public opinion at mass scale through the corporate media, through Hollywood, and through Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation, they can rig elections however they want. There’s a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that’s been going around social media for years which usually goes something like, “There will come a time when the rich own all the media, and it will be impossible for the public to make an informed opinion.” Unlike most cool quotes you’ll see attributed to Einstein on the internet, this one is based on something the renowned theoretical physicist actually did say — except he wasn’t forecasting something happening in the future, he was talking about something that had already happened when he wrote about it in 1949. In his essay “ Why Socialism ?”, Einstein wrote the following for Monthly Review (emphasis added): “The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights. ” It was true when Einstein wrote it 75 years ago, and it remains true today. It remains true today because Einstein wasn’t leveling his criticisms at the individual people and events of his time, but at the overarching societal systems which are still in place now. In a capitalist system, those who control the capital control what ideas and information will be ingested by most people. In a democratic system of government — even one with a rock solid voting system and no money allowed in politics — this will always give the wealthy the ability to rig elections by manipulating public opinion using propaganda. And they do . In addition to buying up entire media outlets and shareholder control over them, the wealthy pour money into shoring up narrative control by other means like think tanks , online information ops such as NewsGuard and Wikipedia , and the manipulation of algorithms by online megacorporations like Google. This gives them the ability to shape the worldview of a majority of the public, thereby ensuring elections will result in outcomes that bolster the status quo upon which the wealthy have built their fortunes. This is true throughout all US elections of significant consequence, not just presidential elections, and it is true throughout the entire western world, not just the United States. We are being psychologically manipulated at mass scale from childhood on, our minds continually shaped by people who use their wealth to dominate our shared narratives about how things are going, what’s happening in the world, and what should be done about it. We are taught about our world by deeply indoctrinated parents and deeply indoctrinated teachers who grew up in the same status quo-enforcing information environment as us, and our indoctrination continues through all the screens in our lives until our dying breath. You can fix everything else that’s wrong with your political system, but unless you also take away the ability of the capitalist class to psychologically manipulate the public into supporting a political status quo that has been artificially shaped by the powerful for the benefit of the powerful, nothing meaningful will change. The wars will continue, the oligarchy will continue, the inequality and injustice will continue, the exploitation and extraction will continue, the ecocide will continue. That’s why I always place emphasis on the importance of narrative control and how it’s happening — because that’s where all our other problems arise from, and because until we address that problem we won’t be able to address the others. Luckily, it is possible to address that problem. We ordinary people are at a disadvantage in that we can’t afford to buy up all the most influential outlets and platforms in our society to impose our political preferences like the plutocrats can, but we are at an advantage in that there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them — and in that we have truth and authenticity on our side. None of us can single-handedly stand against the imperial propaganda machine, but together we can all wage an information war with the goal of debunking imperial narratives and discrediting imperial propaganda in the eyes of the public. We can do this by using every platform and medium we can get our hands on to wake people up to the truth at every opportunity so that they can help join in the fight. The more people realize they’ve been deceived their whole lives about what’s going on in their society, the more people there are to help weaken the grip of imperial narrative control. All positive developments in human behavior are always preceded by an expansion of consciousness , whether you’re talking about humans as individuals or as a collective. This is no different. If you can seize every opportunity to help spread awareness of the truth and open up another pair of eyes to the reality of our situation, then you are using your energy to attack the empire at its weakest point in the most efficient way possible. Win or lose, if you dedicate your life to this fight, you can definitely say in the end that you gave it your all. Previous Next

  • d0a5e76c-bc35-4618-b45a-1ff81efbedcd

    < Back TAIWAN SLIDES TOWARD US-ENGINEERED UKRAINE-IZATION Brian Berletic Jun 13, 2024 The Western media continues to mislead the public over the true status of Taiwan and US efforts to undermine its own agreements with Beijing and violate its obligations under international law. Washington continues maneuvering its client regime in Taipei into a similarly catastrophic proxy war with the rest of China as Ukraine is in now with Russia. References: NEO - Taiwan Continues Toward US-Engineered “Ukraine-ization”: The Guardian - China warns of reprisals against Taiwan after president’s inauguration speech (May 22, 2024): US State Department - U.S. Relations With Taiwan: United Nations - Letter dated 26 September 2023 from the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General: Ministry of Justice (ROC) - Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (1947): CSIS - The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan (January 2023): RAND Corporation - Extending Russia, Competing from Advantageous Ground (2019): CNN - Taiwan’s new president calls on China to stop its ‘intimidation’ after being sworn into historic third term for ruling party (May 20, 2024): Global Times - China hits US defense companies, executives with countermeasures (May 22, 2024): Taipei Times - Japan complains about Chinese ambassador's comment on Taiwan (May 23, 2024): Wikileaks - TAIWAN'S NEW VICE PREMIER TSAI ING-WEN - BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION (Tsai Ing-Wen’s regular contact with USG, 2006): Wikileaks - CROSS-STRAIT NEGOTIATIONS: STATE OF PLAY THROUGH TAIWAN EYES (Joseph Wu’s association with the USG, 2007); Taiwan Foundation - About, Our Ideas (Joseph Wu as “vice president,” archived 2020): Wikileaks - AIT CHAIRMAN DISCUSSES U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS, BEEF WITH TAIWAN LEADERS (2009): Wikileaks - DIRECTOR'S FAREWELL CALL ON DPP CHAIR TSAI ING-WEN (Tsai Ing-Wen and Bikhim Hsiao “the Chinese are coming,” 2009): Wikileaks - COAST GUARD ASKS FOR USG INTERVENTION OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE (Taipei requires US assistance regarding Chinese maritime activities, 2005): WSJ - Taiwan Acknowledges Presence of U.S. Troops on Outlying Islands (March 19, 2024): Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024 - Lai Ching-te: Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024 Supporters (US government funding): Wilson Center Digital Archive - Joint Communique between the United States and China (1972): https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.o... Where to Find Brian's Work: Website: Telegram: Twitter: / brianjberletic Odysee (YouTube alternative): Rumble (YouTube alternative): Weibo: ไบรอัน แฟนคลับ (Facebook): / brianthaifanclub Line Group: Gab: VK (Facebook alternative): How to Support Brian's Work (and thank you!): Buy Me A Coffee: Patreon: / landdestroyer PromptPay: 0851547235 Cryptocurrency Donations: Ethereum (ETH): 0xee6ed93c3adc474450011e9af22939a0b9b312c7 BitCoin (BTC): 1AfGnbmHxA6cy9YKUSxysXvpJPyecpBKrr Monero (XMR): 845TCXx3pchSBXuDL7FHG679gbWD2wkHS6MJxuq7jFVsVFj7T6xsry747uhhGZUdkaRXbbrMfo5c8RnGfzGZ13KxQUdHVLR Previous Next

  • 85776d4c-e825-4418-862f-400403fcefc6

    < Back HOW AN ISRAELI COLONEL INVENTED THE 7 OCTOBER BURNED BABIES LIE The Electronic Intifada Jun 11, 2024 For additional information and context, read the accompanying article by David Sheen. Your gift supports The Electronic Intifada's independent journalism on Palestine: • Donate by credit card or PayPal via Network for Good: • Donate by credit card, ApplePay or US bank account via Kindful: Gifts are welcome from anywhere and are tax-deductible for US taxpayers as allowed by law. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐚𝐝𝐚 Visit our website for more reporting: Facebook: / electronicintifada Twitter: / intifada Instagram: / electronicintifada Soundcloud: / intifada Spotify: Apple Podcasts: #TheElectronicIntifada Previous Next

  • cf074755-40d6-4cad-bfe1-38a35d0fa2ee

    < Back THE RISE OF MULTIPOLARITY: TAKEAWAYS FROM THE ST. PETERSBURG INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM The Revolution Report Jun 13, 2024 SPIEF 2024 saw high-level political and business figures from around the multipolar world in attendance to discuss how anti-imperialist countries can better work together to achieve their development goals. There were numerous pavilions, workshops, lectures, and even a plenary session featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bolivian President Luis Arce, and Zimbabwean President Emmanuel Mnangagwa. A complete interview with Mnangagwa premieres this Saturday at 10:00 US Eastern Time and we'll show you a sneak peak during this livestream! 🎥💥 Link to our award-winning documentary "8 Years Before": ================================================================================= 🤝 Please support TheRevolutionReport on Patreon: ================================================================================= 📜 OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Check out TheRevolutionReport's Newsletter and political analyses there: ================================================================================= 📸 Follow our Telegram channel! ================================================================================= ⌨️ We are also on Instagram: ================================================================================= 🐦 Follow Donald and TheRevolutionReport on Twitter: @DonaldCourter @TheRevolutionR1 ================================================================================= Find us us on Vero and Rumble: Previous Next

  • 82ac32a5-aadb-466b-8dba-8c4a6e6fe21a

    < Back THE MULTIPOLAR WORLD BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE, NOT TO THE MASTERS Adam Bark Jun 13, 2024 It is at their dusk that empires demonstrate their most ruthless brutality. This historical law finds the most evident confirmation in today's crisis of imperialism, which increasingly defends its hegemony to the detriment of the popular classes. The origin of these changes and the conflicts that derive from them lies in the economic structures that regulate human activity and in the consequent division of the world into social classes that are fighting one another. With the vain myths of invisible hands in the best of all possible worlds gone, the intrinsic and terminal contradictions of capitalism seek to slow their inevitable collapse by resorting to expansion through brute force. With ever-increasing war fronts stretching from Ukraine to Gaza, the US-led Western bloc seeks to defend and expand its financial space. In the context of a general crisis of capitalism afflicted by overproduction, the Western ruling classes see their aims threatened by people fighting for self-determination and by the interest of the new emerging powers of the Multipolar World. From this it is clear that the clash between the old unipolar world and the new Multipolar World constitutes the main dialectical contradiction, or threat - for the less Marxian - of the current system. The epochal nature of this contradiction lies in the fact that the West, armed by its own dogmas deriving from the ideological superstructure of liberalism, is by definition the fullest expression of neoliberal tyranny. Acting to all intents and purposes as an aid to capital, liberalism is distinguished from other superstructures by the cult it dedicates to the individual, elevated to the subject of History. According to the principles of this philosophy, the individual must be "freed" from any collective and super-individual identity, such as ethnicity, value system, and family unit, seen as barriers to the expression of one's will. In its post-ideological evolution today, modern liberalism comes to conceive the liberation of the subject from his own nature, or in other words from himself, giving birth - for example - to the idea that biological sex is a factor relating to individual subjectivity. The consequence of all this is the proliferation of what Nietzsche called The Last Man , a society of consumers left atomized and uprooted to the graces of the anonymous excessive power of capitalist globalism. If it is true that capitalism today has no flags, it is equally true that only in the West has it achieved, through the help of the liberal superstructure, its most monstrous metamorphosis. This interpretation allows us to see the emergence of the multipolar dawn as a process intrinsically opposed to the interests of imperialist capitalism. The rebellion of the new emerging powers is a direct reaction to the project of total victory of Western liberal-totalitarianism, which, as described in the famous book by Francis Fukuyama, aspires to its own Washington-centric "End of History". And it is here, in the interests of the full implementation of the ideal of multipolarity itself, that we must subject these profound changes to meticulous analysis. Although it represents an improvement, it is undeniable that in the current phase the push for a Multipolar World derives mainly from the interest of the national bourgeoisies of the states in question. In them, we can observe, without almost any exception, a clash in the ranks of their financial elites, between those who propose a rapprochement with the Western sphere and those who instead support greater autonomy from unipolar control. It is no coincidence that this split is most evident in the state that has most radically decided to break relations with Washington: Putin's Russia. The beginning of the Special Operation marked a definitive break between the Russian state and the pro-Western wing of the ruling class. Among the many cases, the example of the oligarch Oleg Tinkov, founder of the Tinkoff Bank with assets of over 4 billion, stands out. Tinkov, convicted in the United States for having evaded over 200 million dollars, rediscovers himself as a champion of democracy by siding against "Putin's fascist regime" and renouncing his citizenship. Another gem comes from Mikhail Fridman, a billionaire banker who financed the Yeltsin government and the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as an opponent of Putin, who at the beginning of the conflict fled, coincidentally, to Israel. The British state, in fact, thanked him for having changed his coat without hesitation, removing sanctions from both oligarchs. Putin's actions represent a change of direction compared to twenty years of Westernisation imposed by the Russian oligarchy itself. The Kremlin's bold political choices have certainly irritated more than a few oligarchs, but despite the rifts, they find tacit consensus, if not support, even amongst the ruling class. This shows that Russian capitalists, like those of all the BRICS states, see in the new order a prospect of pacification between their respective employers and therefore a reorganization, not an overcoming, of the status quo. Multipolarity represents a fundamental stage in the fight for a more just world, but it cannot be the final one. If the material conditions that underlie the inhumane modern world remained unchanged, the current problems would manifest themselves in another form. Capitalism is the enemy of every people; its reorganization will not be enough to free humanity from its yoke. The idealism of those who, in the area of political antagonism, speak of an imminent multipolar utopia - a few years from now - is to be considered a counter-revolutionary chimera. The pure self-determination of peoples, free to develop and cooperate in peace and prosperity, is not in the plans of international finance, regardless of the poles in which it is distributed. Properly understood, multipolarity is not the hope of a new order, but rather that dynamic chaos that crumbles the old. A chaos that conceals within it an irrepressible creative force that allows people to dream of an alternative to the value, social, and economic models imposed by imperialism. Fidelity to this vision inevitably implies that we hope history reserves the same fate for every oligarch, whether unipolar or multipolar. Adam Bark is a political activist fighting for the Free Territory of Trieste. He has participated in several government political forums in Russia and has reported to the UN in Geneva for the Minority Forum 2023, carrying out his struggle both locally and institutionally. Republished from with thanks Translated from Italian by Nora Hoppe Previous Next

  • 826e486f-fc69-4a5b-823c-58a8bffd0629

    < Back MADURO'S SHARP-EYED COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SMASHED CORRUPTION Alvaro Enrique Saldivia Lopez Jun 6, 2024 PDVSA Punishes Treason to the Homeland and Corruption Tareck El Aisami, former Oil Minister of Venezuela, was recently incarcerated. El Aisami is being prosecuted for corruption, charged with the illegal sale of Venezuela's oil and derivatives to various foreign buyers for an estimated sum of $2 billion, for which he faces 30 years to life in prison. This was detailed by the Attorney General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, through a national TV broadcast on April 29, 2023. In the broadcast, the Attorney General played three audio recordings in which Samark López (the "financial operator" of El Aissami, involved in acts of corruption) is heard interacting with Leopoldo López and Julio Borges—two of the biggest US-sponsored far-right Monroeist terrorists and thieves of Venezuela's minority fascist remnants of the 19th-20th-century anti-Bolivarian oligarchies. In those recordings, far-right political actors Leopoldo López, Carlos Ocariz, and Julio Borges—who have stolen billions of US dollars from the Venezuelan state and working class through various publicly known plots—are heard conversing with “businessman” Samark López, accused by Bolivarian authorities of acting as a front-man for Tareck El Aissami. Life in prison is what they get for opportunistic traitors, sons of a trot! Life in prison for being guilty of killing thousands of proletarians in Venezuela that needed the healthcare, medical treatment, and other necessities they couldn't fulfill because of the billions these cowards stole from the Bolivarian state. The money we—the Venezuelan people—needed was stolen; all so they could pursue their bourgeoisie greed of living off stolen billions like plutocrats! Stolen billions from a revolutionary government building a socialist homeland. I’ll personally run for the constitutional assembly to collectively enable life sentences for all opportunistic traitors, moles, and spies! The Corruption Scheme: Some Details Attorney General Tarek William Saab presented other findings at a press conference. The Public Ministry obtained new revelations through the confessions of 67 detainees in this case. In his confession, Samark explained the two modalities applied from 2020 to 2022: Oil shipments to different companies included high commissions to contractors with links to the far-right US-sponsored political parties Primero Justicia (Julio Borges) and Voluntad Popular (Leopoldo López). The profits ranged from $120 to $140 million per shipment, depending on the oil price market at the time of the shipment. Tareck El Aisami, acting as a seller through PDVSA, sent oil and petroleum derivative products in naval shipments to foreign buyers, but PDVSA was only paid for the oil portion of the shipment. The petroleum derivative products were sent for free to the buyers, and the money obtained was distributed between the buyer and the corrupted members of the plot. Also, a commission was paid by the buyer to the corruption chain calculated on the oil portion of the shipment. Samark said that he and his team members only gave continuity to the illegal contracts; the Spanish contractors and the corruption methods originated during the administration of PDVSA ex-President Rafael Ramírez—another shameful traitor who stole billions before fleeing to Europe and currently hides in Italy—who left a sleeper cell. The Connections Between Tareck El Aissami, Samark, US Agents, and Their Fascist Pawns The head of the Public Ministry, Tarek William Saab, said that Samark López was also El Aissami's liaison with US officials such as James Story, who was the head of the United States Foreign Office for Venezuela based in Bogotá. Samark López had been prosecuted in the United States, first for drug trafficking and then for "violating US sanctions" against Venezuela. In the first instance, Samark López was the subject of sanctions by the US Treasury Department, and his assets were ordered to be confiscated in 2020. At the end of August 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the sentence issued by federal Judge Robert N. Scola that same year, which recited seizing the assets of the Venezuelan businessman. Samark López had been indicted in New York court for allegedly violating sanctions that froze his considerable wealth in the United States, including yachts, airplanes, luxury real estate in Miami, and a Citibank account that had $269 million. President Maduro’s Decisive Leadership in Counterespionage Samark was suspected by Venezuelan authorities of acting as a front-man for Tareck El Aissami. But the unexpected way in which Samark López got rid of the charges in the United States made it seem that this plot could be more complex, so the Venezuelan authorities, led by President Nicolás Maduro himself, decided to investigate thoroughly. Both Tareck El Aisami and Samark López wanted Washington not to touch their interests on US soil; in return, they became traitors, moles collaborating as puppet slaves to the rotten US empire. El Aissami served the Anglo-Zionist government as agent of change in Venezuela, through any means necessary. US Coup and Assassination Plot The complex plot suggests the largest infiltration of US agents in the Bolivarian government's structure in recent years. President Nicolás Maduro emphasized that he was personally responsible for finding the elements of this conspiracy that, in addition to economic, was political. The President expressed: "I can say with absolute knowledge of all these tests, that they involve barely 1% of what we have. I can guarantee that this investigation has provided convincing elements that a very corrupt mafia was set up that took advantage of the trust and power that was given to them, not only to steal and embezzle the country but to articulate a plan with the extremist right and the US government." He assured that what were presumptions, today are confirmed with evidence. The investigations revealed that those involved had been working together for two years. In this regard, Maduro stressed: "At least since January 2018 they were coordinating the conspiracy.” Maduro said that the 2019 failed coup executed by Leopoldo López’s far-right party Voluntad Popular with the support of the White House, including John Bolton and James Story. El Aissami and his group not only knew about the failed assassination attempt on President Nicolás Maduro in August 2018, the coup of April 30, 2019, “Operation Freedom,” and the 2020 “Operation Gideon,” an attempt to introduce US paramilitary to Venezuelan territory to assassinate President Maduro, but were involved in them as well. Others who were involved will soon face justice. The coercive measures against Venezuela, especially those concerning the execution of direct "sanctions" against Venezuelan officials (including Tareck El Aisami) since 2017, would have broken El Aissami and turned him into a valuable asset of the US's decaying hegemony, in favor of its interests. The leadership capabilities of President Nicolás Maduro are unquestionable. Being the only leftist president in LAC not to be overthrown this decade by the decadent US is one of many good reasons why I'll reelect him on July 28 with the immense majority of my Venezuelan comrades towards a multipolar post-capitalist 2030. ¡Hasta La Victoria Siempre! ¡Independencia y Patria Socialista! ¡Viviremos y Venceremos! Previous Next

  • 9b2e50f1-ebf4-4d83-a753-c529acd0358e

    < Back 2024'S INCOMPETENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES Cassie Sipe Jun 10, 2024 As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the landscape is dominated by familiar faces and predictable policies. The candidates of the uni-party are deeply entrenched in the establishment, while independent candidates are shut out of the process, turning away voters seeking substantial change. Here’s a closer look at the key figures and their stances: RFK Jr. and Jill Stein: Long-Shot, Third-Party Candidates Robert Francis Kennedy Jr., while bringing a recognizable name and a controversial presence due to his positions on vaccination policies, doesn’t fully break from the capitalist establishment. Despite his critiques, RFK Jr. does not present a comprehensive anti-imperialist stance. As a Zionist, he aligns with pro-Israel policies that support and enable the genocide of Palestinians. This makes him unlikely to challenge the military-industrial complex significantly, except regarding the Ukraine war. He argues that we should stop funding Ukraine and support Israel instead. His recent revelation that doctors discovered a brain worm died inside his head while eating his brain, and his decision to fly on Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express , are disqualifying factors for most voters. This, along with his inevitable lack of ballot access as an independent candidate, makes his candidacy nonviable. Jill Stein, a Jewish anti-genocide candidate known for her anti-war and environmental activism, offers clear opposition to imperialist military interventions. Despite her recent resurgence in popularity due to her support for the pro-Palestine campus protests in which she was arrested, her candidacy is overshadowed by structural barriers. As a Green Party candidate, it’s highly unlikely for her to secure ballot access in all 50 states, making her a non-viable contender. Furthermore, her overly supportive stance on COVID lockdowns, de-growth environmental policies, and the false allegations of her being a “ Russian stooge ” further diminish her appeal. Trump, The False Prophet Both candidates, prone to gaffes and representative of the geriatric elite class, do not break from the capitalist status quo. Despite their partisan differences, they share similarities in their approaches to the economy , foreign policy, COVID, and immigration , all of which prioritize the entrenched interests of our ruling class over the American working class. Despite his "America First" rhetoric, Trump maintained high military budgets and a strong U.S. presence abroad. Although he didn't start any wars, he attacked Syria under false pretenses just 2 ½ months into office. He also escalated weapon shipments to Ukraine, sending $1.5 billion despite Russian objections . Ironically, Trump was later impeached for pausing these shipments, which even Obama had refused to send, setting a precedent for Biden’s escalation before the Ukraine war. Earlier this year, as a Republican Party leader, Trump helped pass a Ukraine aid bill by convincing Republican holdouts to support it, despite previously opposing Ukraine aid. During his 2016 campaign, he called NATO “obsolete,” questioning its relevance and criticizing other members for not meeting defense spending obligations , insisting the U.S. unfairly bore most of the financial burden. Now, he calls for increased NATO funding while the U.S. is the largest Ukraine aid donor among NATO countries. He reportedly plans to demand NATO countries increase their funding to 3% of GDP , excluding money for Ukraine. Trump has also doubled down on Biden’s hawkish stance on Ukraine and Taiwan, suggesting to donors that he “would have bombed” Russia had China invaded during his presidency. Genocide Joe Then there’s Joe Biden, who ironically said “we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine” prior to his “Putin is losing the war in Iraq” remark , confusing Ukraine with Iraq, not dissimilar to how George W. Bush (responsible for the illegal invasion) condemned Putin's "wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq." Biden's tenure has seen significant foreign policy challenges. Biden supporters will argue he isn’t the decision-maker in the White House; he’s just the figurehead. This is true, yet with people like the White House puppet master Antony Blinken, (responsible for shaping foreign policy including for Israel’s genocidal po licies), and Victoria Nuland (the architect of Project Ukraine, who has since resigned) running the show, it isn’t any better. The Biden administration frequently engages in propaganda to distract from division within the administration and their foreign policy blunders. For example, the K-Pop band BTS was invited to the White House briefing room in an obvious publicity stunt aimed at millennials. Similarly, he invited pro-war Star Wars actor Mark Hamill to speak to the press. This, along with numerous cringe-worthy press briefings in which Biden officials doubled down on and excused Israel’s war crimes, are great examples of such propaganda attempts. Trump and Biden: Two Cheeks of the Same Backside It’s important to note that both Trump and Biden doubled down on authoritarian COVID-19 crackdowns and vaccine rollouts, thereby tanking the economy and assaulting the working class. Another similarity is how Biden, despite his woke and far-left policies, supported significant military spending and copied some of Trump’s immigration policies. Unfortunately, regardless of who wins, the economy will only further deteriorate for American workers. This is due to several factors, such as sanctions against the multipolar world, the destruction of Palestine and the war in Ukraine , which cause instability in global markets. Trump’s status as a convicted felon and Biden’s obvious struggles with dementia along with his son’s legal troubles further complicate their campaigns. One can understand the importance of keeping such people (who are better suited for a nursing home) out of the White House. A Grim and Pointless Election Most of the US doesn’t live in battleground states (states which could flip either way). Therefore, states in which the candidate's policies are in alignment with the views of their residents are unlikely to flip. For example, Biden is not going to win deep red Arkansas, and Trump will not win deep blue Washington state. In such states where the outcome is entirely predictable, it’s not necessary to vote at all, as the votes of battleground states matter more in determining the outcome, especially if they have a high amount of electoral college votes. Given such a bleak outlook, what’s the point in voting in this election at all? Especially when certain “ election irregularities ” which have been going on for decades are bound to resurface once again. The 2024 presidential race offers limited options for voters. With RFK Jr. and Jill Stein unable to break through the barriers of the mainstream bourgeois politics, and Trump and Biden firmly dedicated to the policies of the donor class , the prospects for peace and significant change remain slim to none. Previous Next

  • e26d871b-4ea4-47fa-a34e-a62d5f1b9463

    < Back IRAN'S ISLAMIC SOCIALISM Marius Trotter Jun 10, 2024 The recent (apparently accidental) death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, along with Iran’s prolific foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has prompted much speculation and discussion about what changes in Iran’s political power arrangement may occur. How will their deaths affect the nation of Iran itself? What are the prospects of the Resistance Axis against Zionism that Iran leads? As is often the case, the discussion in both the mainstream media and even many progressive/left media traffics in clichés and superficiality, even going so far as to make Chicken Little proclamations that the Islamic Republic will imminently fall due to the death of some of its leadership. This mistakes the true pillars of power in the Islamic Republic of Iran to be individual clerics and politicians (rather than the foundational institutions these leaders stand on). In this essay, I argue that Iran’s system has a deeply grassroots character built on mass working-class support, which makes its political system extremely difficult to dislodge, despite the best efforts of the US Pentagon and the CIA, the Zionist entity, the Gulf monarchies, and their Wahhabi/Salafi proxies. It can be argued that Iran is not only anti-imperialist but socialist; a rare model of Islamic socialism that has not existed elsewhere since Libya’s model of Islamic socialism was destroyed in 2011. How Iran’s Unique Economy Developed First, some historical context is necessary. In its 2,500 years of history, Iran/Persia has never had an economy that could be considered a free market. The state has always played a dominant role. From the ancient Persian Empire onwards, a powerful, centralized monarchy ran what could be considered a ‘palace economy’ whereby the great bulk of resources went to the king and his officials, who redistributed resources as they saw fit. In essence, the palace planned the economy (this system also existed in ancient Egypt, Babylonia, and China). This system had a nobility, but they never had the same power or status that the feudal nobility possessed in medieval Europe. The Persian emperor was so vastly wealthier than all the nobles put together that they were completely subordinate to him. The emperor was also obligated to protect the serfs from the worst abuses of the nobles, and “Debt Jubilees,” in which the emperor canceled the debts of peasants to their lords, were a tradition. Iran/Persia got its first exposure to the global capitalist system with the rise of the petroleum economy. Oil was discovered by British speculators in Abadan in 1901, and 13 years later British capitalists acquired effective control over all major oil production in Iran, a monopoly they held for 37 years via the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. For two-thirds of a century, Iran’s oil production was dominated by foreign imperialists: first the British until the 1950s and later the US from the 1950s until the 1979 revolution. Abadan oil fields As bad as this exploitation was, it was largely confined to this one industry. Since petroleum was fairly disconnected from the rest of Iran’s economy, foreign exploitation of that commodity did not have the same debilitating and deforming effect on the country’s overall economic development that, for example, the British cotton industry had in Egypt and India, which meddled deeply in those countries' food production. Iran was never formally colonized, meaning it kept much of its traditional economic structure and social cohesion intact. The Pahlavi Ancien Régime The Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s last monarch who reigned from 1941 to 1979, was a brutal US-backed autocrat. Nonetheless, some of his policies unwittingly set the stage for Iran’s revolutionary economic system today. Desiring to turn Iran into a great modern power, the Shah enacted a series of reforms between 1963 and 1978 that radically altered Iranian society, known as the “White Revolution” (white being the color of the monarchy). These included major land reforms in the countryside, where the rural estates of big landowners were broken up and redistributed as small plots to the peasantry. This completely upended the rural feudal order. The Shah did this not out of benevolence to the peasants but to break the power of the traditional landed nobility, who he compensated by granting them ownership of businesses in the major cities. The Shah handing out land deeds during 1963 land reform The Shah also reinvested some of Iran’s massive oil revenues into the country's manufacturing base outside the oil sector, kick-starting an industrial revolution in the country. He imposed trade barriers and tariffs to keep out foreign competitors and protect local Iranian industrial capitalists. Paved roads and railways connecting the major Iranian cities were built for the first time. Urbanization accelerated and the modern working class exploded in numbers (the urban population went from 7.2 million in 1960 to 18.2 million in 1979, which was 33% to 50% of the total population in two decades). Iran produced virtually no steel in 1960; by 1977, it was producing as much steel as Britain. But the fruits of this modernization and development in the 1960s-70s did not reach the overwhelming majority of Iranians, and this is what doomed the monarchy. In 1973, 85% of all private industry in Iran was owned by only 45 families. The Iranian capitalist class was tiny and completely dependent on the Shah for contracts and favors. The Shah preferred it this way, as he wanted to be sure no one amongst the Iranian bourgeoisie became potential rivals. Thus, the Iranian capitalists had no political independence from the monarchy. Iran’s middle class was somewhat larger, about 5% of the population, or around 2 million out of 40 million people total. Many were culturally liberal and adopted Western fashions and trends. But 95% of the Iranian people remained deeply exploited, impoverished, and highly religious workers, farmers, artisans, and small shopkeepers. They grew to resent the monarchy’s rampant corruption, the neglect of the urban and rural poor, the Shah’s alliance with Western imperialist powers, and disrespect for traditional religious and social norms. The Shah, obsessed with centralizing power around himself, had systematically weakened and reduced the size of two classes which had a vested interest in defending his regime, the landed nobility and the urban bourgeoisie. He also alienated much of the middle class with his refusal to make liberal political reforms and his personalized, autocratic rule. He wound up with millions of enemies and only a handful of allies. These tensions came to a boiling point in 1978-79, when the working-class majority, in alliance with nationalist-minded petit bourgeois and Islamic clergy, rose up in their millions against the monarchy. Demonstration during 1978-79 revolution Post-Revolution Economic Realignment Thus, the revolution in Iran quite swiftly destroyed the political power of the Iranian bourgeoisie, who were expropriated or fled the country when the monarchy collapsed. In 1979, state power passed from the hands of the monarchy which ruled in the interests of a handful of capitalists and aristocrats to a vanguard of Islamic clergy whose base of mass support rested on the impoverished working-class/peasant majority. The centrally-planned economy which was already in place was redirected in service of the Iranian people and nation as a whole instead of a small elite. While the Islamists, liberals, and Marxists who took part in the revolution against the Shah had different ideas regarding what path Iran would take following the deposing of the monarchy, there was significant cross-pollination in terms of their ideas. Shia populism, representing a dissident strand of Islam that had often been at odds with the wealthy and the powerful in the Muslim world over the centuries, had common ground with many aspects of socialist thought. A notable example of this was the political and religious development of Mahmoud Taleghani, a leading intellectual influence on the Iranian Islamic Revolution and a lieutenant of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Taleghani was imprisoned alongside Iranian Marxists under the Shah and frequently engaged in debates and discussions with them. While rejecting Marxism on the grounds that he found historical materialism incompatible with Islamic faith, he took their arguments seriously and socialism heavily influenced his ideas. In Taleghani’s famous book “Islam and Ownership,” he argued in favor of collective ownership of natural resources in the national interest, saying this was in line with Quranic teachings. Taleghani was even called ‘the Red Mullah’ for this reason. In the economic policies implemented by the leadership of the Islamic Revolution since 1979, conceptions of social justice, the uplifting of the poor, and an opposition to usurious financial speculation at odds with healthy national development have helped shape Iran’s economic institutions. Stay tuned for part 2 in this series: Iran's State Institutions Under Islamic Socialism Previous Next

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    < Back THE MEDIA SKEW PUBLIC PERCEPTION BY MANIPULATING PEOPLE'S ATTENTION Caitlin Johnstone Jun 9, 2024 Our perception of the world is dominated by the movements of our attention, which means that our perception of the world can be changed by manipulating those movements. Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley) : “ Israel Rescues 4 Hostages in Military Operation; Gazan Officials Say Scores Are Killed ,” reads a New York Times headline from Saturday. It’s a very odd-looking headline even if you don’t know anything about the propagandistic tactics being employed in it. The first half is very clear, while the second half is unintelligible and reads like some weird kind of riddle or word puzzle. The New York Times is performing these bizarre, cryptic linguistic gymnastics to discuss the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza which as of this writing has a reported death toll of 236. Right off the bat we can see something weird in this headline with the use of the word “scores” to describe the number of people reported killed in the massacre. The New York Times article itself says it was reported that “more than 200 people were killed in central Gaza,” so the correct quantifier for the headline would be “hundreds”, not “scores”. This would be like a headline saying “dozens” of people were killed on 9/11 instead of “thousands”; it would technically be correct since the number of people killed were mathematically speaking many many dozens, but it would give readers the wrong impression of the lethality of the incident. Next, notice the sudden switch mid-headline from active, certain voice to passive, doubtful voice. Four Israeli hostages were definitely rescued by Israel, while Gazan officials are alleging that scores were killed. Scores of what? Cats? Chickens? Israelis? Killed by what? Salmonella poisoning? Traffic accidents? Congolese militias? There’s no way to tell from the headline. The mass media in general and The New York Times in particular are notorious for their passive language “Palestinian child ceases breathing after encountering bullet” headlines when promoting Israeli information interests, but it really drives the point home when you see it switch from normal human language to something that sounds like a clue The Riddler would leave Batman within the very same headline. And what’s interesting is that nothing The New York Times editors did here is technically a lie. Every word they meticulously selected for their headline is technically true, but it is shaped in such a way that it draws the reader’s attention away from the fact that Israel just massacred hundreds of human beings. They could have just as easily written “Israel Kills Hundreds of Palestinians in Central Gaza Attack; 4 Hostages Rescued” and it would have been just as true, but then public attention would have been drawn in the opposite direction. The New York Times never, ever draws public attention in that direction; the slanting only ever goes one way. We saw something similar the other day from The New York Times when they reported that Israel has been torturing Palestinian prisoners by sodomizing them with hot metal rods — sometimes to death — but buried this information at the very bottom of the article, without mentioning a word of it in the headline or sub-headline. Here again, nobody can technically accuse The New York Times of lying; they didn’t report anything that wasn’t true or fail to report anything that was true. They just drastically underemphasized the real story in their report to direct their readers’ attention away from Israeli criminality. A lot of people who grow skeptical of the mass media correctly assume that these outlets are propaganda services for the US empire, but incorrectly assume that this means they must be lying all the time. In truth the imperial propaganda machine is much more sophisticated than this, and much more effective. Rather than making up whole-cloth lies and losing all credibility in the mainstream public, the mass media will generally rely on distortions like the above which skew public perception without actually technically lying. They’ll place emphasis in areas which benefit the empire, they’ll omit inconvenient facts, they’ll use tricky phrasing, they’ll uncritically report on the claims of favored government officials while saying the claims of unfavored government officials are made without evidence, they’ll mention convenient news stories over and over again, and they’ll report inconvenient stories only once before leaving them to get lost in the daily news churn. I actually cite the mass media quite a bit in my own work, because a lot of useful and truthful information about the criminality of the western empire comes out through outlets like The New York Times. It’s just that that information is deemphasized and quickly shuffled out of public attention by the propagandists who run those outlets, allowing them to technically tell the truth while still manipulating the overarching narrative about what’s going on in the world. The propagandists who edit outlets like The New York Times are able to skew public perception in favor of the empire because they understand that human experience is dominated by the movements of attention, so if they can manipulate those movements of attention, they can manipulate how people perceive the world. I once met someone who described attention as “the uncrowned king of consciousness,” and I recall those words often because of their accuracy. Attention is the uncrowned king of consciousness because its movements dictate how we will experience our world: what we will think about, notice, see, hear, or otherwise perceive, but we don’t tend to place much importance on it or recognize the extent to which our life is ruled by it. In reality there is little that is more crucial to our experience of life than the movements of our attention. It’s something so fundamental that two people walking across the exact same meadow at the exact same time will never have the same experience of it. One might experience a meadow with a pleasant breeze, a chirping bird in a tree, a grasshopper zipping across their path, and a sky of phenomenal beauty, while the other might experience the meadow as a distant and barely-noticed backdrop to their mental concerns for their future, their grievances about the past, their imaginary arguments with a family member, and a catchy song they’ve got stuck in their head. After someone dies people often talk about the things they did in life — their accomplishments, their legacy, how many children they raised, what they did for work — but really the kind of life someone lived has less to do with the things they did than the way their attention moved. The movements of their attention throughout their life really was their life, because it determined what their experience of their time on this world actually was. How present they were for it. How much beauty they experienced. How much mental energy they wasted on imaginary bullshit. What they noticed. What they missed. Our perception of the world is dominated by the movements of our attention, which means that our perception of the world can be changed by manipulating those movements. Propagandists understand this, so they spend their time doing things like telling us over and over again what a bad bad baddie Vladimir Putin is while just occasionally giving a single highly mitigated mention to an individual instance of Israeli criminality, or talking about October 7 over and over again while greatly deemphasizing the massacres Israel has been perpetrating on the Palestinians in Gaza every day since. This causes public attention to move in directions that benefit the information interests of the empire and away from directions that would harm those information interests, all without having to tell actual lies. People’s perception of the world is shaped by these skillful propagandists without their even being aware that it is happening. That’s what makes the propaganda of the western empire so much more effective than any other propaganda that has ever existed anywhere else: the inhabitants of the western empire have no idea they’re being propagandized. ___________________ My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley. Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Featured image via Adobe Stock. Previous Next

  • 0679fad8-5144-44b6-b8bd-9bf3d634c7be

    < Back PRESIDENT RAISI HAS DIED, BUT THE AXIS OF RESISTANCE LIVES ON! Proletarian writers Jun 12, 2024 On 19 May 2024, President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi of the Islamic Republic of Iran lost his life in a helicopter crash along with several companions, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. We in the CPGB-ML send our deep condolences to the heroic Iranian people on the occasion of this great tragedy, which is all the greater at because it comes at a time when Iran is working tirelessly to support the Palestinian people and the middle-eastern Axis of Resistance while refusing to allow the rabid zionist leaders of Israel to create a pretext for dragging US forces directly into a wider regional war . We are confident that the Axis of Resistance will continue unbowed despite this heavy blow. Reactions reveal the global divide This sudden tragedy was a truly painful blow for the Iranian people. After Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian were the foremost representatives of Iranian policy on the international stage. Both men were associated with Iran’s Principalist camp, which supports a strong anti-imperialist and internationalist policy abroad alongside greater welfare provisions at home. The reaction to the president’s untimely demise were a telling reflection of global contradictions. According to corporate western media, which were disgustingly jubilant over Raisi’s death, as were many supposedly progressive ‘alternative’ media, Raisi was a “dictator” and a “butcher” who oversaw thousands of executions (this is in fact a reference to the successful suppression of a rebellion by the CIA/Mossad-backed MEK terrorist cult in 1988). President Raisi was also routinely denounced for his government’s alleged “repression of women”. Little actual evidence has ever been presented for this claim beyond the existence of a now barely enforced mandatory headscarf law and the case of the unfortunate lady who had a fatal stroke in a police station (CCTV footage and independent coroners’ reports indicated no foul play). Perhaps even more rabid and vitriolic than the media were the self-identifying ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ organisations in the west, most of which routinely jettison any pretence of anti-imperialism as soon as Iran is mentioned. These charlatans were united in hysterically raging against the record of a lifelong internationalist, and they predictably centred their condemnation on talking points lifted directly from the imperialist media. On the other hand, the reaction from the non-imperialist world was overwhelmingly one of grief and sympathy for the people of Iran on the loss of an honest and sincere leader who devoted his life to promoting their welfare. Raisi was renowned for having actively supported the cause of the oppressed in Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and throughout the world. Even before the president’s death had been confirmed, President Vladimir Putin had offered Russian expertise to aid the rescue mission, which was searching for the president’s fallen helicopter. Russian experts are believed to be assisting in the investigation into what happened to the helicopter. Normally, in cases of police investigation, one looks for people with means, motive and opportunity. It is not hard to see where such lines of investigation would point, but it is clear that Iran has no intention of jumping to conclusions or being jostled into precipitous action. Meanwhile, condolences poured in from China to Venezuela for a man who tirelessly worked to undo the damage done by previous neoliberal ‘reformist’ governments. “The Chinese people have lost a great friend,” said China’s President Xi Jinping , adding: “President Raisi has made important contributions to maintaining Iran’s security and stability, promoting national development and prosperity, and also made active efforts to consolidate and develop the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.” President Raisi realigned Iran’s towards its natural allies in Moscow and Beijing, overseeing the country’s admission to the Brics and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ( SCO ) groups and ended previous administrations’ obsession with trying to build friendly relations with a relentlessly aggressive and hostile USA. Raisi was often described as being a “hardliner”, as opposed to the west-leaning “reformists” more palatable to US imperialism . Comrades who lived through the years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s ‘reforms’ in the USSR will understand very well what is meant by such weasel words. To the imperialists, any political leader promoting the interests of their own people, pursing a path of sovereignty and independence; any political leader trying to join their country with other oppressed and independent nations; any political leader refusing to be intimidated by the paper tigers and glass palaces of the decadent western financiers, is inevitable slammed as a ‘hardline’, ‘inflexible’ ‘dictator’. A political leader who is unprincipled, can be bought and is enraptured by the apparent glitz and glamour of the west is lauded as a ‘courageous’ and ‘revolutionary’ ‘reformist’. This is how words are separated from their meanings in the decaying days of senile capitalist rule. It is salutary to see how many so-called ‘anti-imperialist socialists’, and even many politicians within the oppressed world, struggle to grasp this reality. Imperialism does not care a jot about women’s headscarves, nor about secular governance, about human rights or the future of the planet. These are merely pretexts to hide the real issue, which is that Iran is a powerful, resource-rich country that refuses to submit control of its economy to imperialism and has pursued an unashamedly internationalist policy more fearlessly even than many socialist nations. President Raisi and Ayatollah Khamenei understood this very well, and that is why these two men were singled out for such a special degree of hatred by the imperialist media. A leading role in the Axis of Resistance Only a month before his death, President Raisi had proved his mettle once again by standing firm in the face of Israel’s criminal assassination of Iranian military leaders who were meeting at an Iranian embassy in Syria. The message he sent to the genocidal aggressors was clear: if you provoke us too far, we have the means to destroy your military machinery entirely. The triumphalism of the west may just be opportunistic schadenfreude. But, as in all things, the truth will out eventually. For the time being, it is clear that Iran will not let its hand be forced. Despite the horrific civilian casualties in Gaza, the war against zionism is currently being waged in such a way as to minimise the destruction of the region whilst maximising the damage to the zionist entity and its backers – militarily, economically, politically and in the court of world public opinion. We have no doubt that Iran’s strategic patience will ultimately bear fruit. The Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation launched by the fighters of Palestine on 7 October has highlighted the weakness of Israel and its backers on every front. This has begun a process that will end not only with the destruction of the Israeli state and the establishment of a free Palestine on the land from the river to the sea, but with the eviction of US imperialism from the entire middle-eastern region. Long live the Axis of Resistance!Long live the just and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people and the peoples of west Asia to free themselves from the stranglehold of monopoly capital! Previous Next

  • 8e03546e-fc49-46e0-9388-0d6185ee808e

    < Back THE INTEGRAL CRISIS OF THE STATE OF THE U.S.A. Carlos L. Garrido Jun 12, 2024 ​The Classical Marxist View of the State Today* we hear libertarians speak at length about the problems of ‘big government,’ which they often equate with socialism. The question of the state is, in their minds, reduced to a quantitative discussion. What matters is how much state ? Big state or small state? Small state good, big state bad. Silly as it may sound, assumptions such as these are pervasive in the American political horizon. It is a theoretical childishness that, while taken to the extreme by libertarians, is far from being limited to them. The idea of the state as an abstraction, as an entity that is ideally and substantially the same, with differences reducible to degrees (quantity) and accidental properties, has pervaded the vast majority of bourgeois political philosophy. The theorists of the “universal class” in civil society, i.e., the bourgeoisie, have considered the state they have fought for (in, for instance, feudal Europe) and the states they have created, as the state . They have always projected the particularities of their state into a universalized abstraction of the state in general, categorically bemusing the particular for the abstract universal. The bourgeois state is, in their hands, treated as the state qua state. While some of their best theorists, like Rousseau and Hegel, entertained a serious level of historical self-awareness with regard to this question, they still formulate a theory of the state that is abstract, i.e., disconnected from an awareness of the state’s interconnection with historically evolving modes of production (even though, in comparison with the others, it is much more concrete). The concrete understanding of the state would first be formulated by Marx and Engels in the middle of the 1840s, from texts like “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” to The German Ideology , The Poverty of Philosophy , and the Manifesto . In these works the modern state is understood as “the form of organization which the bourgeois necessarily adopt both for internal and external purposes, for the mutual guarantee of their property and interests”…“the real basis of the state” is the “material life of individuals… their mode of production and forms of intercourse, which mutually determine each other.” The question of the state qua state, or of an absolute idea of the state in general, is meaningless. The state is “a product of society at a particular stage of development.” The state does not exist as a transhistorical entity over and above human history. The state becomes a historical necessity, as Engels would write after Marx’s death, because “at a definite stage of economic development,” owing to and influencing the development of the monogamous family, private property, and the “cleavage of society into classes,” the state presents itself as the means of the economically dominant class keeping “class antagonisms in check.” The state is, Engels writes , The admission that society has involved itself in insoluble self-contradiction and is cleft into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to exorcise. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, shall not consume themselves and society in fruitless struggle, a power, apparently standing above society, has become necessary to moderate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of “order”; and this power, arisen out of society, but placing itself above it and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state. (229). As was further concretized with the experience of the Paris Commune in 1871, Marx and Engels in their writings came to understand that all state institutions (both the ideological and coercive ones) have to be made anew in each new form of life. The state exists as a concrete universal, that is, its universal existence is premised on its ability to take a variety of different particular forms in accordance with different historical contexts. It is not sufficient, for instance, for the working class to take up the ready-made state of the bourgeoisie and rule. The institutions themselves are crafted to reproduce the order of the ruling capitalist class. It is not enough to change what class is now to ‘rule’. For the working class to rule, for the dictatorship of the proletariat to function, the whole bourgeois state and its institutions have to be destroyed and replaced by a new working-class state and socialist institutions. The bourgeois state has to be dialectically sublated. This means that the state as an instrument of dictatorship and hegemony for the dominant class is sustained, but that the dominant class will now be (for the first time in the history of the state) the majority – workers, peasants, professionals, etc. In other words, the state (universal), has to be given a new particular form (dictatorship of the proletariat). As V. I. Lenin would later write in State and Revolution , where he masterfully and comprehensively outlines the views of Marx and Engels, “the supersession of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution. The abolition of the proletarian state, i.e., of the state in general, is impossible except through the process of “withering away".” The next major advancement in the Marxist theory of the state would arise from the imprisoned Italian Communist Party leader, Antonio Gramsci, who would develop the understanding of the emergence of the integral state. Far from being a break from the relationship of state and civil society expressed in the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin (as some “Gramscians” in the bourgeois academy hold), what Gramsci observed was a development in Europe (and eventually spreading elsewhere) where civil society would itself be integrated under the leadership of the state. This meant that the direct frontal attack that allowed the Bolshevik revolution to succeed in a peripheral country with no integral state could not be replicated in Europe. Instead of the war of maneuver taking primacy, the war of positions, that is, the battle for hegemony, the war for the hearts and minds of the people (the subaltern) would be primary. Consent, not coercion, was the dominant form through which the European states sustained the dominant order. Coercion, i.e., the armed bodies of men of the state which Lenin tells us about, or the repressive state apparatuses Althusser would later on, was, of course, always in the background ready to show itself wherever consent dwindled, and people started rocking the boat. But in general, the fabric which sustains the dominant order was consent – i.e., the hegemony of the ruling class, exerted and sustained through their ideological institutions. The crisis of capitalism would not only be understood in the traditional terms of Marxist political economy, as the crisis of overproduction where we see, on the basis of the contradictory value production at the foundation of the cell-form of the form of life, the “manifestation of all the contradictions of bourgeois economy.” A sign of the system in crisis is also seen in the collapse of the hegemony so central to reproducing the existing state of affairs. It is when a crisis of legitimacy ensues (usually, of course, a product of the objective economic developments of the general crisis-prone system), when people’s trust in the ruling institutions and ideas dwindle, that the ruling order is shaken to its core. It is these moments, when the people are no longer willing to continue on in the old way, where objectively revolutionary conditions can be said to be present. It is this crisis of legitimacy, this dwindling of hegemony in the American integral state, that I wish to explore here. How can the American state be said to be in crisis? What does this mean for the U.S. socialist left? Why have we failed? How can we succeed? All of these are central questions in my work, and I will try to address them briefly below. The Crisis of Legitimacy in the U.S. The principal question for any socialist movement today, be it in the U.S. or outside, is where it stands on issues of war and peace – what will be its position regarding American imperialism? As the great W. E. B. Dubois had long ago noted , “the government of the United States and the forces in control of government regard peace as dangerous.” The foundation of American society, as it exists under the tyranny of capital, is war. They have built up a grand machinery of lies, pumping out through all mediums the twisted facts and invented realities needed to support their topsy-turvy narrative of world events – and thereby, obtain consent for their crimes. The famous phrase of Nazi ideologue Joseph Goebbels applies aptly to the U.S. state, “truth is the mortal enemy of lies, and by extension, the greatest enemy of the state.” They have slaughtered people and allowed whole populations to face the meat grinder of war to defend the right of accumulation for the owners of big capital – the monopoly-finance capitalist class. To defend the ‘rights’ of those who have pillaged the world for centuries. Those who make a killing out of killing. Who trade in the annihilation of life for profit. As everyone knows, wherever there is oppression and immiseration there will be, sooner or later, resistance. This is a universal law of all human societies fractured by class antagonisms. It is this dialectic of class struggles which pushes humanity forward, often producing the births of whole new social systems from the ashes of a previous one. But these moments of societal renewal, where a new class comes into a position of power and creates a world in its own image, are not guaranteed – even if the conditions for producing it are. There is always the possibility, as Marx and Engels had long ago noted, of a general societal dissolution. To put it in terms fitting with the contradictions of the capitalist mode of life, it isn’t only socialism which stands as a possibility within the embryo of capitalism, equally capable of actualizing itself is, as Rosa Luxemburg long ago noted, barbarism. The human element, what in traditional communist literature is called the subjective factor or the subjective conditions, are indispensable. It does not matter how bad things get, how clearly revolutionary the objective conditions are, without the subjective factor all is nil. It is the organized masses, led by the most conscious within their ranks, that make, out of the objectively revolutionary conditions, the revolutions. For Lenin and the communist tradition, objectively revolutionary conditions require the presence of a few key factors: 1- the worsening of the masses’ living conditions, 2- their inability to go on in the old way, 3- their willingness to act (and not just passively accept dissatisfaction), and 4- a crisis in the ruling class itself, where even they cannot continue on in the old way. These objective conditions are present, and intensifying daily, in American society. I chronicle them in detail in my book, The Purity Fetish and the Crisis of Western Marxism . We are faced with the first generations in American history to live lives worse than their parents. Precarity has become a general reality for working people, the majority of whom are a lost paycheck away from joining the 600 thousand homeless wandering around in a country with 33 times more empty homes than homeless people. Debt slavery has also become, in our highly financialized capitalism, a generalized reality drowning most working-class Americans. Hundreds of thousands die yearly for lacking the financial means to access medical services or overdosing on opioid drugs pushed by the medico-pharmaceutical industrial complex in cahoots with the government, the universities, and NGOs. Social decay is evident as former industrial powerhouse cities are plagued by zombified humans and rusted remains of the industries that once were the basis of decent working-class communities. The American dream has become a joke for working-class people who have more and more come to realize what the comedic-critic George Carlin once said: it’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. But the American people are waking up. All around the country militant union struggles are being waged like we haven’t seen in many decades. Workers are coming to see themselves more and more as a class, one that produces the fruits society enjoys, but which is impoverished and indebted by parasitic capitalist overlords and the politician class that represents them. Across the country concepts like the ‘deep state,’ the ‘swamp,’ ‘the globalists,’ and others have been popularized to describe the oligarchic forces that control the state and all institutions without the slightest semblance of democratic accountability. While these terms are somewhat foreign to the Marxist lexicon, the concepts they represent are not. What is the globalism dissenting workers speak off of not imperialism? What is it if not the need of the capitalist class to export capital abroad to have cheap resources handy and cheap labor to superexploit? How are these conditions created today if not through dollar hegemony and international financial organizations such as the IMF and World Bank, who debt trap countries of the global south and impose structural adjustment programs on them that guarantee privatization of public property, austerity for the people, deregulations for the Western multinationals coming in to loot, and liberalization, all under the auspices of ‘free markets.’ We must recall Lenin’s question – free for whom? To do what? What is the deep state, for instance, if not the dictatorship of the capitalist class, in whose development any semblance of democratic accountability fades away? While not using the term deep state, key Marxist thinkers in the 20th century, such as Georg Lukács, would describe the development of the deep state in the following manner: Whoever pursues the historical development of capitalist society knows that the power of elected public bodies continuously declines in comparison to its military and civilian bureaucrats working under "official secrecy.'' Working people, therefore, are expressing various forms of dissent in the only language and conceptual framework available to them. What communists should do is help give these varied forms of dissent the systematic coherence and direction only the Marxist worldview can provide – not, as most of the institutional left does, shame workers for not using the right terms and being ‘backwards’ with regard to fringe social issues. But the crisis of the American state is not limited to the conditions it has put its people into, and the dissent, on the basis of this, that the public expresses. It is also seen in the fact that the U.S. state, which is fundamentally the heart of capitalist imperialism, is seeing its global hegemony crumble right before its very eyes. China has become the epicenter of the world economy – a non-imperialist great power, as Hugo Chavez once called them. Russia is developing into one of the most impressive productive economies in the world, and has been able to successfully fight off the Western encroachment and proxy war while strengthening its economy and military and weakening NATO (for instance, look at the spiral of deindustrialization Germany, the economic powerhouse in Europe, has been subjected to after their going along with the U.S.’s sanctioning of Russia and after Mr. Biden’s blowing up of the Nordstream Pipelines – the main energy source of their industries). The genocide carried out against the Palestinians couldn’t be a clearer indication that the almost global approval the West received for its crimes in previous eras is now gone. The world is watching as the U.S. funds and equips the Zio-nazi state’s genocide. All across the globe the device on people’s pockets have allowed them to follow the chronicling of Israel’s colonial savagery. While the fact that it has continued for more than seven months shows that in some important ways U.S. imperialism still reigns, the mass discontent it is created in the global majority is objectively intensifying the process of its decline – and this decline, conjoined with the rise of BRICS+ and the emerging multipolar world order, is visible right before our very eyes. But these conditions, although functioning as the prime matter for building a revolutionary movement, are not enough. Why is that? I turn to Lenin, who says that “it is not every revolutionary situation that gives rise to a revolution; revolution arises only out of a situation in which the above-mentioned objective changes are accompanied by a subjective change, namely, the ability of the revolutionary class to take revolutionary mass action strong enough to break (or dislocate) the old government, which never, not even in a period of crisis, ‘falls’, if it is not toppled over.” Repeating the Failure: The Crisis of the Activist Left in the U.S. Like Sisyphus, the left of the last two decades seems condemned to roll the rock up simply to see it fall… rinsing and repeating continuously every few years. Since the protest movement against the invasion of Iraq, to Occupy Wall Street, to the Bernie Movement, to the Black Lives Matter Protests, to the current protests against the Zionist Genocide, the left has seen itself condemned to pull hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions, into the streets to express anger with whatever injustice is latched onto, only to then, after a few weeks or months, have everything return to square one. I genuinely hope that the protest for a permanent ceasefire breaks this trend. But if we are honest with ourselves, what fruit has borne out of the last two decades of protests? Did the Iraq protests stop the invasion and further destruction of the middle east? Did the occupy wall street protests stop financial speculation and overthrow the 1 percent? Did the Bernie movement win political power and bring with it the much-promised political revolution? Did the BLM protests actually challenge policing, the prison industrial complex, and the system which has made them necessary? The answer is not only No. The answer is, besides not achieving their desired ends, they have often accomplished quite the contrary. Movements such as Bernie’s and BLM, whatever still remains of it, were clearly just absorbed into the liberal, frankly most dominant, wing of the ruling class. They became what I’ve called a controlled form of counter hegemony, presenting a veneer of radicality on what is essentially a bourgeois politics that serves to reinforce the status quo with radical sounding language. Giving up is, of course, not an option. The necessity for struggle is in the air. What do we do then? The Need for Self-Criticism I think we must start with being open to self-critique. Far too often even the attempt at doing so will receive backlash from those who are more comfortable with continuing the failures. Marxism is to dogma as water is to oil. If one is present the other cannot be, or at least not for long. If the tactics of the past have not worked, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and ask: why have the working masses not been won over to our side? Why have all the movements we’ve led this century ended in disappointment? It is okay to fail, but what is insane is to continue to fail in the same way while expecting a different outcome. When questions such as these are tackled by the dominant left, the blame is almost always placed upon working people. Working people are not enlightened enough, too brute to realize how bourgeois ideology manipulates them, etc. While components of the narrative are true, the question is, so what? What is the point of communists if not precisely to piers through that, to win the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people – to rearticulate the rational kernels of the spontaneous common sense they’ve developed within the bourgeois order towards socialism, either producing active militants in the process or the sympathetic mass which it leads. In my view, the chunk of the blame for our failures lies on the left itself. On its middle-class composition and the purity fetish outlook it operates with. Professional-Managerial Composition of the Left Therefore, while we find objectively revolutionary conditions in the U.S., we have a deep crisis in the subjective factor, that is, a poverty of revolutionary organizations and their worldviews. Most of the organizations of the socialist left are governed by the professional managerial class, what in the time of Marx and Engels was simply called the intelligentsia. What were supposed to be working-class organizations, vehicles for the conquest of political power by this class, have become centers of petty-bourgeois radicalism, as Gus Hall used to say. This analysis is not new, many theorists have pointed out how, since the late 1970s, along with the State Department's attack on communists and socialists in the labor unions, and its promotion, through programs such as the Congress for Cultural Freedom, of a compatible anti-communist left, the working-class left has been destroyed and replaced by middle-class "radical recuperators," as Gabriel Rockhill calls them. The U.S. State Department, as I show in my work, has been effective in creating a "controlled counter-hegemonic left," a left that speaks radically but in substance always allies itself with imperialism. This is far from a condemnation of intellectuals in general, but the reality is that, as it currently exists in the U.S., the dominance of the professional managerial class within socialist organizations is deeply alienating to workers, who are less concerned with their middle-class moralism than with surviving in a declining society. The Purity Fetish and the Three Central Forms it Takes On an ideological level, I have shown that this middle-class left suffers from the purity fetish, a worldview that makes them relate to the world on the basis of purity as a condition for support. If something doesn't live up to the pure ideas that exist in their heads, it's rejected and condemned. In essence, it is the absence of a dialectical materialist worldview, a flight from a reality governed by movement, contradictions, and interconnectedness, and toward a pure and lofty ideal safe from desecration by the meanness of reality. This purity fetish, I argue in my work, takes three central forms in the United States: 1) Because a bloc of conservative workers are too imperfect or "backward" for the American left, they are considered baskets of deplorables or agents of a "fascist threat." Instead of raising the consciousness of the so-called backward section of the working population, the purity fetish left condemns them, effectively removing about 30-40% of American workers from the possibility of being organized. This is a ridiculous position which divorces socialists from those working in the pressure points of capital. The purity fetish left, therefore, eschews the task of winning over workers irrespective of the ideas they hold. In doing so, they simply sing to the choir, i.e., the most liberal sections of the middle classes that already agree with them on all the social issues they consider themselves to be enlightened on. 2) The second form that the purity fetish takes is a continuation of the way it is generally present in the tradition of Western Marxism, which has always rejected actually existing socialism because it does not live up to the ideal of socialism in their heads. In doing so, they have often become the leftist parrots of empire, failing to recognize how socialism is to be built , that is, how the process of socialist development occurs under the extreme pressures of imperialist hybrid warfare in a world still dominated by global capital. In its acceptance of capitalist myths about socialism, this left acquiesces to the lie that socialism has always failed, and arrogantly posits itself as the first who will make it work. Instead of debunking the McCarthyite lies with which the ruling class has fed the people, this left accepts them. 3) The third form of the purity fetish is the prevalence of what Georgi Dimitrov called national nihilism: the total rejection of our national past because of its impurities. A large part of the American left sees socialism as synonymous with the destruction of America. Bombastic ultra-left slogans dominate the discourse of many of the left-wing organizers, who treat the history of the United States in a metaphysical way, blind to how the country is a totality in motion, pregnant with contradictions, with histories of slavery, genocide, imperialism, but also with histories of abolitionist struggles, workers' struggles, anti-imperialist and socialist struggles. It is a history that produces imperialists and looters, but also produced Dubois, King, Henry Winston, and other champions of the people’s struggle against capital, empire, and racism. This purity fetish left forgets that socialism does not exist in the abstract, that it must be concretized in the conditions and history of the peoples who have won the struggle for political power. As Dimitrov put it, it must be socialist in content and national in form. Or, as it is stated in the great José Carlos Mariátegui’s work , socialism cannot be a “carbon copy, it must be a heroic creation. We have to give life, with our own reality, in our own language, to socialism.” Socialism, especially in its early stages, must always have the specific characteristics of the history of the people: in China it is called socialism with Chinese characteristics, in Venezuela Bolivarian socialism, in Bolivia it means embedding socialism within the indigenous traditions of communalism. etc. Kim Il Sung once wrote “What assets do we have for carrying on the revolution if the history of our people’s struggle is denied.” This is effectively what the national nihilists, rooted in the purity fetish outlook, do. Their national nihilism, contrary to their intentions, leads them into a liberal tinted American exceptionalism, which holds that while all countries have had to give their socialist content a national form, the U.S., in its supposedly uniquely evil history, is the exception. Like German guilt pride, it is a way of expressing supremacism through guilt. To put it in philosophical terms, there cannot be – contrary to the tradition of Western philosophy – abstract universals devoid of the specific forms they take in various contexts. On the contrary, as the Hegelian and Marxist traditions (both rooted in dialectical worldviews) maintain, the universal can only be actual when it is concretized through the particular. In other words, if we don't take the rational progressive kernels of our national past and use them to fight for socialism, we will not only be doomed to misinterpret U.S. history, but we will fail, as we have, to connect with our people and successfully develop a socialist struggle in our context. In every instance, the purity fetish of the middle-class left forbids them not only from properly understanding the world, but from changing it. It is no coincidence that the part of the world in which Marxist theoreticians find everything too impure to support is also the one that has failed, even under the most objectively fertile conditions, to produce a successful and meaningful revolutionary movement. Conclusion In short, conditions in the U.S. are objectively revolutionary. But the subjective factor is in deep crisis. Processes of social change cannot succeed if these two conditions are not united. For the U.S. left to succeed, it must re-centralize itself in the working masses and dispel its purity fetish outlook, replacing it with the dialectical materialist worldview – the best working tool and sharpest weapon, as Engels pointed out, that Marxism offers the proletariat. It needs a party of the people guided by this outlook, what has been traditionally called a communist party. Although some might bear that name today and tarnish it with decades of fighting for the liberal wing of the ruling class, the substance of what a communist party stands for, what it provides the class struggle, is indispensable for our advancement. It is the only force that can unite the people against the endless wars of empire that not only lead to the deaths of millions around the world, but also to the immiseration of our people and cities, who live under a state that always has money for war, but never any to invest in the people. Only when the people actually come into a position of power and create a society of, by, and for working people, can this fate change. For this we need a communist party, a people’s party. Notes * This was a presentation given at the National Autonomous University of Mexico City for the International Seminar on Law and the State in Marxist Thought. ​Author Carlos L. Garrido is a Cuban American philosophy instructor at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is the director of the Midwestern Marx Institute and the author of The Purity Fetish and the Crisis of Western Marxism (2023), Marxism and the Dialectical Materialist Worldview (2022), and the forthcoming Hegel, Marxism, and Dialectics (2024). He has written for dozens of scholarly and popular publications around the world and runs various live-broadcast shows for the Midwestern Marx Institute YouTube . You can subscribe to his Philosophy in Crisis Substack HERE Previous Next

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    < Back ZIONISM CANNOT BE NEGOTIATED WITH – IT MUST BE DEFEATED! Ranjeet Brar Feb 6, 2024 The following article is a response to the scurrilous attacks on our party that have been printed in the Daily Telegraph and the Jewish Chronicle . ***** Dr Ranjeet Brar is a lifelong campaigner against racism , against fascism and against zionism . He has been arrested four times as a direct result of his support for the anti-zionist, anti-imperialist struggle of the Palestinian people. In singling him out again, Britain’s pro-zionist mainstream media are playing their part in a concerted attack on his professional status and medical practice – and therefore also upon the communities he serves. The timing of these events is not accidental. Our rulers’ support for zionist Israel is coming under the greatest pressure it has ever faced, and their ability to shore up the economic, diplomatic and PR holes in their project is rapidly declining. The crisis of legitimacy for British politicians and media has been markedly exacerbated by their unashamedly pro-Israel stance in recent months. When ‘democratic’ means of diverting and confusing the public have failed, repression is the only means left for silencing inconvenient truths. The United Nations ’ International Court of Justice recently ruled that Israel is likely to be committing genocide in Palestine. It has awarded provisional measures and ordered Israel to ensure that it stops the commissioning of genocide. Israeli ‘defence’ minister Yoav Gallant, who famously justified the genocide in Gaza by stating on television that “we are fighting against human animals”, labelled the ICJ as “antisemitic”. Presumably the Israeli judge was also guilty of ‘ antisemitism ’? Our party puts Israel’s current crimes in historical context , and Ranjeet has openly and publicly defended Palestine , the Palestinians and their right to exist. Previous Next

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