Russiagate, and the Ukraine psyop that succeeded it, have done fatal damage to the integrity and effectiveness of the communist movement in the United States. Because that damage is fatal, the left must be replaced by the communist movement as the vehicle through which our liberation movements are represented.
This is because using a combination of propaganda and political pressure, the U.S. empire has assimilated the American left into neoconservative ideology. And because the U.S. communist movement hasn’t yet fully separated itself from the opportunistic big tent category which calls itself “the left” in this country, this ideological influence has also come to impact the predominant currents within American communism. The only way communists can win is by fully getting rid of the Democratic Party’s influence over our movement.
The way that Russiagate had this corrosive effect on the left, and thereby turned the left opportunistic to such an extent that I can now broadly characterize it as such, was by manufacturing a new divide within America’s partisan polarization dichotomy. This divide was designed to shift the left far to the right on foreign policy, because it created the perception that if somebody doesn’t go along with U.S. imperialism’s cold war maneuvers against Russia, then they’re necessarily a reactionary. This idea was predicated on the assertion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and on the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump’s campaign had colluded with Russia to win. When the 2019 Mueller report failed to produce evidence for the latter claim, the media pivoted towards a new era of demonizing China, no longer seeing it as worthwhile to continue promoting the debunked story that Russia had hacked into the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
The DNC hacking story was a lie invented out of desperation. The empire’s psyop machine fabricated it in reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of emails which revealed that top Democratic officials had shared intent to exclude Bernie Sanders from the electoral process. With the anti-democratic nature of the bourgeois political system exposed, and the discontent of the younger generation over America’s oligarchy vindicated for all to see, the ruling class needed to find a way to regain narrative control. The solution they came to was to divert attention from the actual content of the DNC leaks, and towards the source that WikiLeaks had supposedly gotten the information from. This “source” was decided to be Russia, which is the secondary country that Washington’s new cold war strategy is directed at (the primary one being China), but at that moment was America’s most familiar foreign villain due to the Crimea annexation from two years prior.
Because Russia was now seen as waging war against American “democracy,” and Trump was seen as Russia’s instrument for inflicting damage within this strange conspiratorial mythology, the left was faced with a choice. The choice was to accept the hacking accounts and the Russiagate conspiracy, and thereby cede control to the Democratic Party establishment it had just been challenging; or to reject these narratives, and instead embrace the antiwar and Free Assange movements. The boundary of demarcation on this was clear, because accepting the Russian hacking claim meant also accepting the state’s attempt to discredit Assange by portraying him and WikiLeaks as Russian assets. Many on the left chose the latter option of starting on the path to revolutionary politics, but more of them chose the former option of embracing the Democratic Party.
The consequence of this opportunistic decision by most of the left was that after Biden won, he was enabled to continue provoking Russia without enough resistance for these provocations to be prevented from reaching their logical conclusion: a scenario where Russia was forced to intervene in Ukraine.
The vindication of the Russiagate skeptics in 2019 did damage towards the new cold war’s narratives, but not enough that the narrative managers couldn’t redirect their propaganda towards China without substantial success. The 2019 Hong Kong protests politically failed, yet they acted as an opportunity for the imperialists to propagate their fabricated accounts of a “Uyghur genocide.” Like how the atrocity stories about Assad had been internalized by the left’s opportunistic elements during the initial propaganda campaigns against Russia, the Xinjiang narrative was absorbed by these types of leftists as well. Going into the Ukraine proxy war, these two issues in particular represented dividing barriers in the left’s ideological conflict, able to predetermine who would support aid to Ukraine and who would resist the aid effort.
We’re now in a situation where the Democratic Party’s leadership, as well as the Democratic voters who remain loyal towards this leadership or even towards Sanders and the “Squad,” have been decisively brought into neoconservatism. This was partly true by 2019, when a survey showed that more Democrats than Republicans now supported military involvement in Afghanistan. Those pro-war Democrats were the Clintonites who made up the traditional petty-bourgeois Democrat voters, and the petty-bourgeois former Republican voters who the DNC decided to pivot towards in 2016. Four years later, this category of neocon Democrats has expanded to include the Berniecrats as well, because at this point Sanders and the other social democrat leaders, as well as the DSA, have made it abundantly clear that they align with the Democrats and their foreign policy. The Democratic Party, and the broader parts of the left that it controls by default, have been fully assimilated into the neocon orthodoxy. These forces collectively have a vested interest in defending the Ukraine psyop’s narratives from all who may challenge them.
In this situation, tailing the Democrats as a communist is especially opportunistic and self-sabotaging. A communist should never engage in tailism, or act like only one demographic (in this case liberals) is valuable to appeal to. But now that the Democrats have been entirely brought towards the neocon stance, exclusively trying to appeal to them can lead to only one thing: softening one’s anti-imperialism out of fear of alienating even one liberal, no matter how pro-war they are. Doing this limits the extent to which one can advance revolutionary politics. On the Ukraine question, it compels one to take the softly liberal stance of “I support neither NATO nor Russia.” Rather than the revolutionary stance of “I support Russia’s anti-fascist war, as it’s rescuing the Donbass people and advancing multipolarity.”
The rebuttal which these types of communists have made to this argument is that multipolarity is not the end goal of Marxists, since we seek revolution in the imperial center and the end of the USA as a global power. But because they point out this fact to justify not backing Operation Z, they’re telling the truth for the wrong reason. It’s possible for Marxists to support a military action that brings global workers revolution closer while pointing to the contradictions of the state behind this action, there is precedent for this. The opponents of Soviet revisionism largely took such a stance in regards to the USSR’s Afghanistan intervention, recognizing both the progressive impact of the military action and the ways in which the USSR wasn’t committed to class struggle. U.S. Marxists can do the same with the effort by Russia’s bourgeois state to defeat Ukrainian fascism and U.S. hegemony. In turn, we can be pro-Z without compromising the principles of class struggle which are instrumental for achieving revolution in the core.
And so long as we abandon the dogma that only liberals are worth reaching, we can build an effective movement while fully challenging imperialism’s narratives. If you have to abandon serious anti-imperialism to reach all of the people you want, your priorities are fundamentally flawed. Our goal should not be pleasing those who will never believe in class struggle or anti-imperialism. It should be to build an anti-imperialist coalition that’s ideologically broad, and therefore effective at damaging the U.S. empire. The stronger this coalition becomes, the weaker the structure of U.S. capital gets, and the more opportunities we have to win victory for the workers.
Lies Liberals Tell to Obscure Operation Z’s Anti-Fascist Nature, & Discourage Anti-Imperialist Struggle
How the Crisis This War is Causing Will End with Most Americans Supporting Russia
Ukraine War, Divided Left: “Social Patriots” and the “Anti-Imperialism of Fools”!