The Parapolitical Hypothesis


Smashing the whole system, “striking at hidden nests, connections, connivances, and plans,” requires actionable knowledge of the mechanisms with which resistance is destroyed. Whereas communist revolution is the product of proletarian class consciousness, conspiracy is the product of bourgeois class consciousness. Understanding the latter makes possible the former.

In 1972 Walter Rodney, describing the development of class society in West Africa, observed that “secret societies arose… and they permitted knowledge, power and wealth to pass into the hands of the elders and ultimately to the elders of particular lineages.” Through secret societies old men controlled land allocation and marriages, thus establishing themselves as a privileged economic stratum. The tendency of the dominant class to collude is therefore not unique to the bourgeoisie, but the development of capitalism and the need to liquidate resistance to accumulation precipitated the super-accentuation of this tendency. As capital expands incessantly, so, too, do the collusive forces that exist to maintain it.

The ascension of the subjugated classes through communist revolution required the bourgeoisie to act as a unified force but also intensified the frictions between segments of it. These trajectories and contradictions are of central importance to the construction of a real history of capitalism in the 20th century. Here, we begin in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

In Germany, following ceremonial trials of the most identifiable leaders, American funds poured in to reconstruct it as one of the economic motors of the capitalist world. The capital flight program initiated by Martin Bormann in August 1944, which entailed the movement of billions of dollars worth of gold, diamonds, and other assets, many of which were looted from Holocaust
victims, to firms in Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal and from there to Argentina and North America through the existing corporate networks of I.G. Farben, Thyssen AG, and Siemens, all of which were entangled with American finance, created the foundation for the West German economic recovery as stolen wealth flowed back in. Plundered treasures and gold sequestered in the Philippines were excavated by OSS operatives and recycled into recovering Japanese industries owned by reinstated militarists. Korean War production contracts completed the recovery of both countries. In Europe and Japan stolen wealth was reconstituted into political action funds at the disposal of anticommunist forces. $10 million in Axis funds were used to sway the 1948 Italian election. The Liberal Democratic Party, in a deal brokered by Richard Nixon, gained control of the $35 billion M-Fund, made up of stolen gold and funds from organized crime.

Concomitantly, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Axis gold was dispersed throughout the global finance grid, especially the Wall Street firms from which OSS operatives had originally been drawn and the Vatican, at the urging of John J. McCloy, who as High Commissioner for Germany pardoned and commuted the sentences of important Nazi industrialists and mass murderers. Sheltering the Black Eagle Trust involved not only the overworld finance giants but the expansive network of proprietary entities operated by the CIA that were enmeshed in global capital flows, not the least of which were the Southeast Asian narcotics trade and the French Connection. The traffick of Turkish heroin through Marseille and the protection of Corsican organized crime served to suppress militant Communist dock workers, and later the Turkish heroin trade financed Gladio operations against Kurdish communist guerrillas. Spanish Gladio, which fought with communist and anarchist militants as well as Catalan and Basque nationalists, was connected to drug movements through the Canary Islands. Through the World Commerce Corporation, Civil Air Transport, and Sea Supply Inc., all of which were financed by the Black Eagle Trust, the CIA transported opium to support Kuomintang forces in Thailand and Burma, with funds having been moved through Miami- and Caribbean-based banks connected to Meyer Lansky.

Lansky, and his associates Luciano and Genovese, cooperated with the Office of Naval Intelligence to protect the New York docks from strikes between 1942 and 1945. Following the invasion of Sicily mafia power structures, suppressed during the Fascist moment, were reconstituted as a component of the new bourgeois organism comprised of the Christian Democratic party, Southern
landowners, and Northern industry. William Donovan, through the World Commerce Corporation and drug trafficker Frank Coppola, armed the bandit Salvatore Giuliano to massacre Communist workers in Sicily. The Marseille heroin laboratories on which French Connection relied were founded by Gestapo collaborator Auguste Ricord using capital he looted from Holocaust victims. Profits were laundered through the Vatican Bank, a crucial clearinghouse for mafia funds and anticommunist operations originally formed to manage an $80 million payoff from the Fascist state and invest tax revenue from German Catholics granted by the Nazis. The web of ratlines from Italy and the Balkans to Spain and Portugal then Latin America formed the earliest basis for transcontinental Gladio operations.

The thousands of Nazi party cells set up to resist the occupation of Germany were, along with the formal Nazi intelligence system of Reinhard Gehlen, brought into the new OSS web, first as a mechanism to intimidate Communist and Social Democrat legislators and later as strategy of tension units. The pattern of cells and arms caches was replicated throughout Europe. Between the training of former Wehrmacht and SS officers as guerrilla units in 1952 and the ascendance of Licio Gelli, a torturer and murderer of Communist partisans who fled to Argentina, to the secretaryship of P2 in 1964 Gladio was a pan-European network woven into the larger anti-Soviet system. Units were moved into Berlin during the 1953 riots and into Hungary during the 1956 paroxysm. The intensification of proletarian and peasant struggles in Italy and Latin America and the retirement of Gehlen led to the shifting of operative focus south. Neofascist assets were moved by the CIA and the Vatican through ratlines previously arranged by the CIC and the Vatican. Suppressing the anti-colonial tide required the dispersal of mercenaries through a network of transcontinental firms founded by former Nazis, preeminently the Paladin Group and Aginter Press, alongside Cuban exiles connected to CIA finance and drug trafficking, to organize a new web of Latin American assets. The Latin American terror units formed to inherit Gladio became enmeshed in or were originally drawn from the pre-existing drug traffick, and, with the French Connection by then long eliminated and the Golden Triangle heroin supply purged by Communist revolution, these units became the basis for the Iran-Contra superoperation.

Iran-Contra, despite the theatrical legislative restrictions, represented a striking harmony within the bourgeois state in contrast to the violent frictions that produced the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers and King. In the latter cases, reactionaries aligned with the defense industry, independent oil companies, organized crime, and the FBI and CIA, all of whom resented the “betrayal” at Bay of Pigs and were unwilling to concede Vietnam and jeopardize their interests in Southeast Asia, colluded to remove Kennedy and the internationalist vision of counter-insurgent capital modernization he represented. The hellish brutality of the war in Vietnam and the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese people, as well as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China, served as rallying points for the global anti-imperialist struggle which, in the form of the Black Panther Party most prominently, extended to America and to American soldiers in Vietnam. The Black Panther Party cultivated a close relationship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Students for a Democratic Society participated in the Venceremos Brigade to assist the Cuban Revolution, and soldiers and sailors in Vietnam influenced by the Black Panthers and the Young Lords mutinied, refused combat, and fragged their commanding officers.

The flowering unity of revolutionary militants in America and in its military with Communists in China, Korea, Vietnam, and Laos, and the proliferation of guerrilla cells across the world, threatened imperialism concretely and resulted in not only massive repression but the reunification of the American bourgeoisie. The opening-up of China introduced onto the world market a labor force roughly equal in size to that of all the industrial nations combined, and thanks to Maoist developmental mobilization, the labor force was healthy and educated. Profitability was restored to the world capitalism system with the massive relocation of industrial production to China and the proletarian base of the radical labor movement was liquidated. For a time, the reunified American bourgeoisie was strategically contiguous with the Chinese state.

Mujahideen fighters received arms from both the CIA and China as they exhausted the military and economic capacity of the decaying Soviet state. The invasion of Kampuchea similarly strained the young socialist Vietnam, and as a direct result, it would reform and open up a few years later, as did Laos. The stagnant Eastern Bloc states became testing grounds for the color revolution, which would replace the crude military-business coup as the primary instrument of imperialism. Decades of conservative, revisionist leadership left the people unable to organize in resistance to the controlled demolition of their nations, and reactionary tendencies absorbed the resulting anger.

Iran-Contra, understood as the continuation and culmination of the intelligence networks developed prior to it, encompassed not only the exchanges between the military-private network and Israeli arms dealers, Iran, and the contras, but the arming of the mujahideen in collaboration with China, the color revolutions in the Eastern Bloc, the stripping of the Soviet Union, the bombing of Yugoslavia, and the formation of a new global drug connection of Latin American cocaine and Afghan heroin. The centerpiece of the superoperation was the purchase of Soviet oil and gas infrastructure in 1991, in which Richard Secord and Afghan mujahideen including Osama bin Laden played a role, and Project Hammer, a series of financial maneuvers using Black Eagle Trust funds that destabilized the ruble and allowed for the theft of the Soviet gold reserves and flight of between $500 billion and $1 trillion of capital, primarily through CIA channels.

The global grid of proprietary banks established to serve as the financial basis of American imperialism in the post-war world assumed control over multiple regional money-laundering, drug, and arms trafficking networks which were assembled into an intelligence-directed intra-economy. Iran-Contra and the shift to private networks mirrored the larger shift in the imperial core from corporate liberalism and industrial class compromise to “neoliberalism” dominated by the FIRE sectors and the asset-owning, apolitical petit-bourgeois. The movement of vast amounts of money through intentionally impenetrable channels anticipated the financialization process that occurred as world capitalism retrenched in the 1970s.

Situating the chain of superoperations in the larger history of capitalism requires breaking with the understanding of conspiracies as ailments afflicting bourgeois states. The CIA and FBI were themselves “nationalized” forms of the private intelligence networks which had previously been used against Communists and labor organizers, much as how police forces were “nationalized” watch organizations and slavecatchers. Nearly every noteworthy conspiracy researcher in America today is informationally useful but politically useless. They hold the belief that through investigation the “legitimate state” can be restored and the mysterious forces that have corrupted it swept away. This view, which is foundational to both the liberal and conservative outlooks, represents what can be called the reactionary theory of conspiracy. A revolutionary theory of conspiracy would entail researching conflicts within the bourgeoisie and their operations to crush popular resistance not as muckraking but as military intelligence.

Smashing the whole system, “striking at hidden nests, connections, connivances, and plans,” requires actionable knowledge of the mechanisms with which resistance is destroyed. Whereas communist revolution is the product of proletarian class consciousness, conspiracy is the product of bourgeois class consciousness. Understanding the latter makes possible the former.

Black Web, Red Tide

Ukraine: Partisans and Collaborators

The Hypocrite’s War

Overworld and Underworld