Mul­ti­po­la­rism is Neo-Kaut­sky­ism: on Real Den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on and its Enemies

Emory Douglas (1943 - ), Get Out of the Ghetto..., 1970
Lese­zeit63 min

Who are our enemies? Who are our fri­ends? This is a ques­ti­on of the first importance for the revo­lu­ti­on … To ensu­re that we will defi­ni­te­ly achie­ve suc­cess in our revo­lu­ti­on and will not lead the mas­ses astray, we must pay atten­ti­on to uniting with our real fri­ends in order to attack our real enemies. To distin­gu­ish real fri­ends from real enemies, we must make a gene­ral ana­ly­sis of the eco­no­mic sta­tus of the various clas­ses … and of their respec­ti­ve atti­tu­des towards the revolution.

Mao Zedong, »Ana­ly­sis of the Clas­ses in Chi­ne­se Socie­ty« (March 1926), Sel­ec­ted Works, Vol. I, p. 13.

Not­hing can be more con­temp­ti­ble than to sup­po­se Public RECORDS to be True.

Wil­liam Bla­ke, Anno­ta­ti­ons to An Apo­lo­gy for the Bible by R. Wat­son (1798)

What I’m try­ing to say is that mass media plus the deve­lo­p­ment of trans­por­ta­ti­on make it impos­si­ble for us to think of our­sel­ves in terms of sepa­ra­te enti­ties, as nati­ons. Do you rea­li­ze that it only took me appro­xi­m­ate­ly five hours to get from San Fran­cis­co to here? It only takes ten hours to get from here to Viet­nam. The ruling cir­cle no lon­ger even ack­now­led­ges wars; they call them ›poli­ce actions.‹ They call the riots of the Viet­na­me­se peo­p­le ›dome­stic dis­tur­ban­ce.‹ What I am say­ing is that the ruling cir­cle must rea­li­ze and accept the con­se­quen­ces of what they have done. They know that the­re is only one world, but they are deter­mi­ned to fol­low the logic of their exploitation.

Huey P. New­ton, Speech at Bos­ton Col­lege, Novem­ber 18th, 1970

The­re is no more pres­sing ques­ti­on for com­mu­nists today[1] than the assess­ment of the Rus­si­an Spe­cial Mili­ta­ry Ope­ra­ti­on (SMO) now ente­ring its second year. Our ans­wer not only deter­mi­nes our imme­dia­te poli­ti­cal acti­vi­ty but, even more cru­ci­al­ly, how we inter­pret the SMO is inva­ria­bly a ques­ti­on of how we inter­pret the struc­tu­re of the cur­rent world order. Inde­ed, as the fate of the Kom­mu­ni­sti­che Orga­ni­sa­ti­on (KO) has illus­tra­ted, the ques­ti­on of the SMO is sim­ply an acu­te form of the impe­ria­lism ques­ti­on: that is, what is the natu­re and cha­rac­ter of class socie­ty today?

While the­re are of cour­se a rich varie­ty of ans­wers to this ques­ti­on within the com­mu­nist move­ment, for the pur­po­se of this rough sketch we can speak of two broad camps: tho­se who see the SMO as pri­ma­ri­ly aggres­si­ve and reac­tion­a­ry, and tho­se who see it as pri­ma­ri­ly defen­si­ve and (at least poten­ti­al­ly) pro­gres­si­ve. In the Ger­man com­mu­nist move­ment, the KPD (or at least its lea­der­ship), MLPD, and KO (kom​mu​nis​ti​sche​.org) can be pla­ced in the first camp, the DKP, Frei­den­ker, and KO (kom​mu​nis​ti​sche​-orga​ni​sa​ti​on​.de) – as well as we in the FLZ – in the other. On the inter­na­tio­nal stage, the most signi­fi­cant repre­sen­ta­ti­ve of the first camp is the Greek Com­mu­nist Par­ty (KKE), of the second: the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of the Rus­si­an Fede­ra­ti­on (CPRF). Theo­re­ti­cal­ly, the first camp tends to inter­pret the war as an inter-impe­ria­list con­flict over sphe­res of inte­rests (e.g., through the lens of the KKE’s »Impe­ria­list Pyra­mid« theo­ry). The theo­re­ti­cal out­look of the second camp on this ques­ti­on is more diver­se, but I will argue here it tends to rely, impli­cit­ly or expli­cit­ly, on one form or ano­ther of Mul­ti­po­la­rism. This term is dif­fi­cult to defi­ne inso­far as it is less of a theo­ry per se than some­thing which func­tions, depen­ding on the con­text, as a slo­gan, a con­stel­la­ti­on of images and sug­ges­ti­ons, a brand or pos­tu­re.[2] We can none­thel­ess say that it ent­ails the belief that the world is now defi­ned by an inten­se strugg­le bet­ween the old impe­ria­list powers (gene­ral­ly con­cei­ved of as the rela­tively uni­fied tri­ad of Euro­pe and Japan under the lea­der­ship of the USA-NATO) and the ascen­dant Glo­bal South (inclu­ding Rus­sia). The strugg­le of the Glo­bal South, led by the BRICS, is in this world­view inher­ent­ly (»objec­tively«) pro­gres­si­ve, regard­less of the capi­ta­list or even overt­ly reac­tion­a­ry cha­rac­ter of the govern­ments them­sel­ves (inclu­ding Modi’s fascist Hin­dut­va regime). In more extre­me forms, the capi­ta­list natu­re of Chi­na, and inde­ed even the Rus­si­an fede­ra­ti­on, is cal­led into question.

Neither camp has yet to ela­bo­ra­te an ade­qua­te theo­re­ti­cal account of the modern world sys­tem or, con­se­quent­ly, a poli­ti­cal pro­gram which meets the demands of the cur­rent moment – for reasons I explain in more depth in my essay, »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis.« In the simp­lest terms, this is becau­se both ope­ra­te upon the basic, fla­wed assump­ti­on that the chief orga­niza­tio­nal prin­ci­ple of capi­tal is, to this day, ant­ago­ni­stic natio­nal blocs. Why such natio­nal blocs should be assu­med as the decisi­ve orga­niza­tio­nal prin­ci­ple of modern capi­tal, despi­te the momen­tous trans­for­ma­ti­ons in the struc­tu­re of glo­bal eco­no­mic rela­ti­ons over the past cen­tu­ry, is never argued for, but is sim­ply assu­med as self-evi­dent, or dog­ma­ti­cal­ly asser­ted through the mecha­ni­cal appli­ca­ti­on of Mar­xist texts from the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry, or earlier.

The text which has been most sor­ely abu­sed in this fashion is Lenin’s Impe­ria­lism: The Hig­hest Stage of Capi­ta­lism. Inde­ed, both camps fail to grasp the world today, becau­se both fail to app­re­cia­te the level of inte­gra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on at the hig­hest levels of the ruling class, which was radi­cal­ly trans­for­med by the strugg­le against, and ulti­ma­te defeat of the first glo­bal wave of socialist/​communist revo­lu­ti­on. Many have groun­ded or ratio­na­li­zed this theo­re­ti­cal blind­ness upon some­thing like the fol­lo­wing argu­ment: if one claims that all the capi­ta­list powers have been essen­ti­al­ly uni­fied under some form of coll­ec­ti­ve lea­der­ship or even mini­mal­ly a sort of Entente Cor­dia­le, that is, ipso fac­to, »Ultra-Impe­ria­lism,« and Ultra-Impe­ria­lism was a theo­ry of Kautsky’s which was refu­ted by Lenin, and the­r­e­fo­re it is wrong. Q.E.D.[3]

Such a maneu­ver tears Lenin’s cri­tique from its real his­to­ri­cal con­text, evacua­tes its con­tent, and inde­ed, posi­tively inverts its poli­ti­cal impli­ca­ti­ons. Ultra-impe­ria­lism, in the sen­se of Kautsky’s usa­ge, deno­ted a posi­ti­ve deve­lo­p­ment, a moment in a social-demo­cra­tic refor­mist fan­ta­sy of capitalism’s evo­lu­ti­on into socia­lism. He argued that finan­cia­liza­ti­on would lead to ever grea­ter coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween a smal­ler sum of car­tels, con­se­quent­ly les­sening the uneven­ness and con­tra­dic­tions in the eco­no­my – as oppo­sed to Lenin, who cor­rect­ly argued that it would, in fact, heigh­ten them. It is also worth stres­sing that Kautsky’s noti­on was inse­pa­ra­ble from the ongo­ing con­tem­po­ra­ry deba­te regar­ding the con­cept and slo­gan of »United Sta­tes of Euro­pe« con­cei­ved as a pro­gres­si­ve, inter­me­dia­ry out­co­me of popu­lar, anti-mon­ar­chi­cal, bour­geois revo­lu­ti­ons, abo­ve all in the most regres­si­ve Euro­pean mon­ar­chies of Rus­sia, Ger­ma­ny, and Austria.

For­mal­ly, the most direct par­al­lel of such a posi­ti­on is the (neo)liberal human rights inter­ven­tio­nist posi­ti­on, which sees the U.N. or even NATO as pro­gres­si­ve forces with a right and duty to eschew tra­di­tio­nal legal con­cepts of West­pha­li­an sove­reig­n­ty. While this posi­ti­on play­ed some useful role in ratio­na­li­zing NATO’s post cold-war ram­pa­ge through all remai­ning scraps of even par­ti­al­ly libe­ra­ted glo­bal ter­ri­to­ry, it was so laden with bad faith even at its first arti­cu­la­ti­on, and has beco­me so total­ly dis­credi­ted by the cyni­cism of its appli­ca­ti­on, that it can­not be trea­ted as a posi­ti­on that any serious good-faith interlo­cu­tor might hold. It func­tions now less as an actively held ideo­lo­gy and more as a sort of place-hol­der, a mali­cious smirk left on the NATO cocoon which the glo­bal ruling class has all but shuf­fled out of. We will expand upon this point below, it is suf­fi­ci­ent to note here that this is not a posi­ti­on with any cur­ren­cy among com­mu­nist, or even, any­mo­re, among­st the non-Mar­xist left.

When we look more clo­se­ly at the poli­ti­cal con­tent, rather than the super­fi­ci­al form, of the dis­pu­te bet­ween Kaut­sky and Lenin, howe­ver, we see that the dan­gers which Lenin saw in Kautsky’s posi­ti­on are today most acu­te­ly posed by Mul­ti­po­la­rism – and, inde­ed, that both ari­se out of a remar­kab­ly par­al­lel class basis. Kaut­sky­ite social-demo­cra­tic revi­sio­nism aro­se, his­to­ri­cal­ly, out of the con­flic­ted inte­rests of the pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie and upper stra­ta of the working clas­ses, or labor aris­to­cra­cy, in impe­ria­list nati­ons. Both clas­ses, in being sub­or­di­na­te to the capi­ta­list ruling class, are attrac­ted to the revo­lu­tio­na­ry poten­ti­al of the working clas­ses, and to the pro­s­pects of com­mu­nism which they offer. They are also, howe­ver, frigh­ten­ed of this class – frigh­ten­ed of losing their meager pri­vi­le­ges and sli­ding into it them­sel­ves, frigh­ten­ed of being punis­hed by the ruling class for asso­cia­ting with it, frigh­ten­ed, in their rela­ti­ve com­fort, by the dis­rup­ti­on and vola­ti­li­ty of revo­lu­ti­on its­elf, even when in the long run they would bene­fit from it. Frigh­ten­ed that, final­ly, the working class won’t win.

As a con­se­quence, the­se clas­ses have a ten­den­cy to revi­se, or per­vert, Mar­xism, which is sim­ply the most sci­en­ti­fic and lucid arti­cu­la­ti­on of the per­spec­ti­ve and pro­gram of the working clas­ses (viz. revo­lu­tio­na­ry com­mu­nism). This ten­den­cy is, natu­ral­ly, cul­ti­va­ted with gre­at ener­gy and effort by the ruling class its­elf. The par­ti­cu­lar strength of this ten­den­cy in the impe­ri­al core count­ries grew out of the ruling class’s abili­ty to use impe­ri­al super­pro­fits to this end. Kaut­sky­ites, yes­ter­day and today, thus natu­ral­ly seek to beau­ti­fy, ratio­na­li­ze, or mini­mal­ly, delay the over­throw of impe­ria­lism. To do this, they reject the mate­ria­list ana­ly­sis pre­sen­ted by Lenin, which show­ed that impe­ria­lism is an ine­vi­ta­ble and ine­ra­di­ca­ble out­growth of finan­cia­liza­ti­on and mono­po­liza­ti­on. As Lenin wrote:

The essence of the mat­ter is that Kaut­sky detaches the poli­tics of impe­ria­lism from its eco­no­mics, speaks of annexa­ti­ons as being a poli­cy ›pre­fer­red‹ by finan­ce capi­tal, and oppo­ses to it ano­ther bour­geois poli­cy which, he alleges, is pos­si­ble on this very same basis of finan­ce capi­tal. It fol­lows, then, that mono­po­lies in the eco­no­my are com­pa­ti­ble with non-mono­po­li­stic, non-vio­lent, non-annexa­tio­nist methods in poli­tics. It fol­lows, then, that the ter­ri­to­ri­al divi­si­on of the world, which was com­ple­ted during this very epoch of finan­ce capi­tal, and which con­sti­tu­tes the basis of the pre­sent pecu­li­ar forms of rival­ry bet­ween the big­gest capi­ta­list sta­tes, is com­pa­ti­ble with a non-impe­ria­list poli­cy. The result is a slur­ring-over and a blun­ting of the most pro­found con­tra­dic­tions of the latest stage of capi­ta­lism, ins­tead of an expo­sure of their depth; the result is bour­geois refor­mism ins­tead of Mar­xism.[4]

Thus the working clas­ses are drawn away from direct revo­lu­tio­na­ry con­fron­ta­ti­on with the impe­ria­list order, and begui­led into thin­king that impe­ria­lism is one pos­si­ble poli­cy of the bour­geoi­sie, among­st others, which can thus be reme­di­ed via refor­mist means within capi­ta­lism. Even worse, as Lenin notes, this allo­wed for the absurd noti­on that impe­ria­lism was, or at least could be, pro­gres­si­ve. Thus the working class are lul­led into play­ing the pawns of the pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie in the latter’s par­lia­men­ta­ry strugg­le for more pri­vi­le­ges, and away from their own, revo­lu­tio­na­ry and inter­na­tio­na­list program:

[…] the only objec­ti­ve, i.e., real, social signi­fi­can­ce of Kautsky’s ›theo­ry‹ is this: it is a most reac­tion­a­ry method of con­so­ling the mas­ses with hopes of per­ma­nent peace being pos­si­ble under capi­ta­lism, by dis­trac­ting their atten­ti­on from the sharp ant­ago­nisms and acu­te pro­blems of the pre­sent times, and direc­ting it towards illu­so­ry pro­s­pects of an ima­gi­na­ry ›ultra­im­pe­ria­lism‹ of the future. Decep­ti­on of the mas­ses – that is all the­re is in Kautsky’s ›Mar­xist‹ theo­ry.[5]

One hopes the par­al­lels with the Mul­ti­po­la­rist posi­ti­on are begin­ning to be clear now, but we will try to expli­cit­ly unpack them. Mul­ti­po­la­rism ari­ses out of and chief­ly attracts two clas­ses which while distinct in important ways, are objec­tively con­ver­ging.[6] One is the upward­ly mobi­le, com­pra­dor[7] midd­le-clas­ses of the south, to whom a por­ti­on of the pri­vi­le­ges once dis­pen­sed to the impe­ri­al pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie and labor-aris­to­cra­cy are being redis­tri­bu­ted in what might be con­side­red a sort of ratio­nal res­truc­tu­ring. The ideo­lo­gy ratio­na­li­zes their role and offers them a tool to paci­fy their own workers with natio­na­list fan­ta­sies of res­to­red digni­ty, and the vague pro­s­pect of even­tu­al socia­lism at some undis­c­lo­sed point in the future. The other class it attracts are pre­cis­e­ly tho­se down­ward­ly mobi­le midd­le clas­ses of the (soon to be for­mer) impe­ri­al core who­se pri­vi­le­ges are being redis­tri­bu­ted.[8] As I argued in »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis,« the deve­lo­p­ment descri­bed by Samir Amin as the tran­si­ti­on from Impe­ria­list Mono­po­ly Capi­ta­lism to Gene­ra­li­zed Mono­po­ly Capi­ta­lism or Huey P. New­ton as the emer­gence of Reac­tion­a­ry Inter­com­mu­na­lism, invol­ved a pro­cess in which, in estab­li­shing abso­lu­te dic­ta­tor­ship over the enti­re capi­ta­list world, the U.S. (and allied) ruling clas­ses under­went a radi­cal trans­for­ma­ti­on. As New­ton was alre­a­dy arguing by the end of the 1960s:

Using the dialec­ti­cal mate­ria­list method, we in the Black Pan­ther Par­ty saw that the United Sta­tes was no lon­ger a nati­on. It was some­thing else; it was more than a nati­on. It had not only expan­ded its ter­ri­to­ri­al boun­da­ries, but it had expan­ded all of its con­trols as well. We cal­led it an empire. Now at one time the world had an empire in which the con­di­ti­ons of rule were dif­fe­rent – the Roman Empire. The dif­fe­rence bet­ween the Roman and the Ame­ri­can empires is that other nati­ons were able to exist exter­nal to and inde­pen­dent of the Roman Empire becau­se their means of explo­ra­ti­ons, con­quest, and con­trol were all rela­tively limited.

But when we say ›empire‹ today, we mean pre­cis­e­ly what we say. An empire is a nati­on-sta­te that has trans­for­med its­elf into a power con­trol­ling all of the world’s lands and people.

We belie­ve that the­re are no more colo­nies or neo­co­lo­nies. If a peo­p­le is colo­ni­zed, it must be pos­si­ble for them to deco­lo­ni­ze and beco­me what they form­er­ly were. But what hap­pens when the raw mate­ri­als are extra­c­ted and labor is exploi­ted within a ter­ri­to­ry disper­sed over the enti­re glo­be? When the riches of the who­le earth are deple­ted and used to feed a gigan­tic indus­tri­al machi­ne in the imperialist’s home? Then the peo­p­le and the eco­no­my are so inte­gra­ted into the impe­ria­list empire that it is impos­si­ble to ›deco­lo­ni­ze,‹ to return to the for­mer con­di­ti­ons of existence.

If colo­nies can­not ›deco­lo­ni­ze‹ and return to their ori­gi­nal exis­tence as nati­ons, then nati­ons no lon­ger exist. And sin­ce the­re must be nati­ons for revo­lu­tio­na­ry natio­na­lism or inter­na­tio­na­lism to make sen­se, we deci­ded that we would have to call our­sel­ves some­thing new.

We say that the world today is a disper­sed coll­ec­tion of com­mu­ni­ties. A com­mu­ni­ty is dif­fe­rent from a nati­on. A com­mu­ni­ty is a small unit with a com­pre­hen­si­ve coll­ec­tion of insti­tu­ti­ons that ser­ve to exist a small group of peo­p­le. And we say fur­ther that the strugg­le in the world today is bet­ween the small cir­cle that admi­nis­ters and pro­fits from the empire of the United Sta­tes, and the peo­p­les of the world who want to deter­mi­ne their own destinies.

We call this situa­ti­on inter­com­mu­na­lism. We are now in the age of reac­tion­a­ry inter­com­mu­na­lism, in which a ruling cir­cle, a small group of peo­p­le, con­trol all other peo­p­le by using their tech­no­lo­gy.[9]

New­ton argued that the U.S., in trans­forming into such an empire, abo­lished the con­di­ti­ons for nati­onhood globally:

[…] nati­ons could not exist, for they did not have the cri­te­ria for nationhood.Their self-deter­mi­na­ti­on, eco­no­mic deter­mi­na­ti­on, and cul­tu­ral deter­mi­na­ti­on has been trans­for­med by the impe­ria­lists and the ruling cir­cle. They were no lon­ger nati­ons. We found that in order to be Inter­na­tio­na­lists we had to be also Natio­na­lists, or at least ack­now­ledge nati­onhood. Inter­na­tio­na­lism, if I under­stand the word, means the inter­re­la­ti­onship among a group of nati­ons. But sin­ce no nati­on exists, and sin­ce the United Sta­tes is in fact an empire, it is impos­si­ble for us to be Internationalists.

The­se trans­for­ma­ti­ons and phe­no­me­na requi­re us to call our­sel­ves ›inter­com­mu­na­lists‹ becau­se nati­ons have been trans­for­med into com­mu­ni­ties of the world. The Black Pan­ther Par­ty now dis­claims inter­na­tio­na­lism and sup­ports intercommunalism.

Marx and Lenin felt, with the infor­ma­ti­on they had, that when the non-sta­te final­ly came to be a rea­li­ty, it would be cau­sed or ushe­red in by the peo­p­le and by com­mu­nism. A stran­ge thing hap­pen­ed. The ruling reac­tion­a­ry cir­cle, through the con­se­quence of being impe­ria­lists, trans­for­med the world into what we call ›Reac­tion­a­ry Inter­com­mu­na­lism.‹ They laid sie­ge upon all the com­mu­ni­ties of the world, domi­na­ting the insti­tu­ti­ons to such an ext­ent that the peo­p­le were not ser­ved by the insti­tu­ti­ons in their own land. The Black Pan­ther Par­ty would like to rever­se that trend and lead the peo­p­le of the world into the age of ›Revo­lu­tio­na­ry Inter­com­mu­na­lism.‹ This would be the time when the peo­p­le sei­ze the means of pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­te the wealth and the tech­no­lo­gy in an ega­li­ta­ri­an way to the many com­mu­ni­ties of the world.

We see very litt­le dif­fe­rence in what hap­pens to a com­mu­ni­ty here in North Ame­ri­ca and what hap­pens to a com­mu­ni­ty in Viet­nam. We see very litt­le dif­fe­rence in what hap­pens, even cul­tu­ral­ly, to a Chi­ne­se com­mu­ni­ty in San Fran­cis­co and a Chi­ne­se com­mu­ni­ty in Hong Kong. We see very litt­le dif­fe­rence in what hap­pens to a Black com­mu­ni­ty in Har­lem and a Black com­mu­ni­ty in South Ame­ri­ca, a Black com­mu­ni­ty in Ango­la and one in Mozam­bi­que. We see very litt­le difference.

So, what has actual­ly hap­pen­ed, is that the non-sta­te has alre­a­dy been accom­plished, but it is reac­tion­a­ry.[10]

As I argue in »Impe­ria­lism Today is Con­spi­ra­cy Pra­xis,« this deve­lo­p­ment – the ulti­ma­te ascen­dance of the hig­hest levels of the Ame­ri­can ruling class[11] was pos­si­ble pre­cis­e­ly becau­se of the rea­li­ty of actual­ly exis­ting socia­lism its­elf. This was the even­tua­li­ty not con­side­red by Lenin,[12] when he rejec­ted theo­re­ti­cal­ly the pos­si­bi­li­ty of any sort of las­ting unity or peace among­st the capi­ta­list-impe­ria­list nati­ons: that the exis­ten­ti­al thre­at posed by a pro­lon­ged, par­ti­al divi­si­on of the world into a socia­list and capi­ta­list camp, would crea­te the con­di­ti­ons under which a real ›ultra-impe­ria­list‹ – or, in Amin’s terms, »coll­ec­ti­ve impe­ria­list« – unity could be for­ged. Many reco­gni­ze aspects of this trans­for­ma­ti­on, but fail to con­sider its impli­ca­ti­ons for the com­po­si­ti­on of that ruling class its­elf: though obvious­ly roo­ted over­whel­mingly in the U.S.A., in coming to rule the world, such a class’s cha­rac­ter neces­s­a­ri­ly tran­s­cen­ded its natio­nal limi­ta­ti­ons. This van­guard of the van­guard of the ruling class, as Mol­ly Klein has empha­si­zed, reinstal­led vir­tual­ly all the defea­ted fascists forces after WWII, but with new, cru­cial levers of con­trol over them, e.g., the mili­ta­ry occu­pa­ti­on of Ger­ma­ny, the M‑Fund and dis­ar­ma­ment in Japan. When the U.S.S.R was recon­que­r­ed the new Vla­so­vi­te »Rus­si­an Fede­ra­ti­on« was engi­nee­red to ensu­re no genui­ne­ly auto­no­mous natio­nal lea­der­ship could emer­ge. The ever sen­ti­men­tal pet­ty-bour­geois peren­ni­al­ly fail to grasp that the ruling class has no natio­na­list sen­ti­ments. In coming to con­trol the enti­re glo­be, the U.S. ruling class natu­ral­ly comes to be defi­ned by the offi­ci­al legal ter­ri­to­ry of their notio­nal government.

Nor did or does it have any sen­ti­men­tal invest­ment in the Ame­ri­can popu­la­ti­on – thus Newton’s astu­te empha­sis on the fun­da­men­tal par­al­lels bet­ween Ame­ri­can coun­ter­insur­gen­cy dome­sti­cal­ly and abroad. The­re is inde­ed com­pel­ling evi­dence that by the 1990s at the latest, that ruling cir­cle had com­mit­ted its­elf doing away with the com­mit­ments, obli­ga­ti­ons, and lia­bi­li­ties – abo­ve all embo­di­ed in a lar­ge and poten­ti­al­ly res­ti­ve labor aris­to­cra­cy – bound up with the very exis­tence of the »United Sta­tes,« its­elf. The poli­ti­cal, mili­ta­ry, and finan­cial ground­work for this con­trol­led demo­li­ti­on can be easi­ly iden­ti­fied befo­re it was, so to speak, for­mal­ly announ­ced with the Sep­tem­ber 11th attacks.

Yet many self-declared Mar­xists sim­ply can­not over­co­me their natio­na­list blin­ders here. On the one hand, they can see alre­a­dy with the pro­gram of neo­li­be­ra­lism the impe­ri­al ruling clas­ses working to demo­te »their own« labor aris­to­cra­ci­es, in part by the sel­ec­ti­ve disper­sal of even more mar­gi­nal »pri­vi­le­ges« abroad. Yet they refu­se to con­tem­p­la­te that the »Ame­ri­can« or »Ger­man« ruling class real­ly might have just as much con­tempt for Ame­ri­cans and Ger­mans as they have for the oppres­sed of the earth who they have alre­a­dy houn­ded, plun­de­red, and ens­laved. Mol­ly Klein has sug­gested insightful­ly that at least part of the expl­ana­ti­on is a sort of tra­gic, per­ver­se ego­tism: that the breast bea­ting of a cer­tain class about how ter­ri­bly pri­vi­le­ged they are belies a pro­found­ly nai­ve ove­re­sti­ma­ti­on of their own importance and value in the eyes of the rulers.

Yet the ruling class which emer­ged out of the cold war strugg­le, while U.S. led, was and is tru­ly glo­bal.[13] They did not sim­ply car­ry out coups abroad, but ass­as­si­na­ted »their own« pre­si­dent. They waged a coun­ter-insur­gen­cy against dome­stic resis­tance (espe­ci­al­ly the Pan­thers, but also their allies among­st, inter alia, pre­cis­e­ly the child­ren of the white labor-aris­to­cra­cy) based on simi­lar tech­ni­ques, inde­ed often with the same forces, as they employ­ed in Asia, Afri­ca, and South Ame­ri­ca. And they impo­sed neo­li­be­ral res­truc­tu­ring on even »their own « sup­po­sedly che­ris­hed white working clas­ses. What is essen­ti­al here is that »whiten­ess« is unders­tood mate­ri­al­ly, as a par­ti­cu­lar tech­no­lo­gy of class rule with a spe­ci­fic histo­ry and limi­ta­ti­ons – not an immu­ta­ble reality.

We should note here ano­ther remar­kab­le con­so­nan­ce in ruling class pra­xis, mir­rored by a pecu­la­ri­al dis­so­nan­ce in the under­stan­ding of so many so-cal­led Mar­xists. Pre­cis­e­ly tho­se who often iden­ti­fy with the pro­gram of Mul­ti­po­la­rism geo­po­li­ti­cal­ly tend to be among the qui­ckest to reject all forms of so-cal­led »iden­ti­ty poli­tics« dome­sti­cal­ly. They reco­gni­ze easi­ly how, in respon­se to the radi­cal strug­gles for racial, gen­der, and sexu­al libe­ra­ti­on car­ri­ed out in the core, the ruling class had to respond by with sophisti­ca­ted pro­grams of coop­ti­ons and con­ces­si­ons, mobi­li­zing tokens whe­re­ver pos­si­ble. Yet they fail to see how pre­cis­e­ly the same dyna­mic is play­ed out on the world stage: that empire could not sim­ply wipe out in its enti­re­ty the tre­men­dous ener­gy of the rising south, and that it, the­r­e­fo­re, stro­ve to offer a token ele­va­ti­on based on a sort of racia­li­zed fascist pseu­do-coll­ec­ti­vism. Ins­tead of gen­der pari­ty in wages, a few more fema­le CEOs; ins­tead of glo­bal com­mu­nism, more Chi­ne­se com­pa­nies in the For­tu­ne 500.

Iro­ni­cal­ly, then, the Mul­ti­po­la­rists and the libe­ral woke with whom they fre­quent­ly spar fall prey to a com­mon mista­ke: they unde­re­sti­ma­te the com­pe­tence and cogni­zan­ce of the ruling class[14], and fall for ruling class vic­to­ries which are mar­ke­ted to them as their own. We must address here brief­ly the equal­ly erro­n­eous, oppo­si­tie spe­ci­es of error, which Gramsci descri­bed as »the belief that ever­y­thing which exists is a ›trap‹ set by the strong for the weak, by the cun­ning for the poor in spi­rit.«[15] This is cha­rac­te­ristic of tho­se who see every deve­lo­p­ment as a pure emana­ti­on of an all powerful ruling class’s will, every vic­to­ry as dis­gu­i­sed sata­nic ruse. See, con­tra Mul­ti­po­la­rism, tho­se who see Klaus Schwab WEF Cli­ma­te Com­mu­nism cor­rupt­ing the poor noble lea­ders of the West; con­tra libe­ral wokeism, the racial and gen­der chau­vi­nists who try to undo the tre­men­dous con­tri­bu­ti­ons to Mar­xism made in par­ti­cu­lar by the gen­der, sexu­al, and racial strug­gles of the last cen­tu­ry, e.g. Jaco­bin. What must be con­stant­ly recal­led here is, as Marx insis­ted, that »Men make their own histo­ry, but they do not make it as they plea­se; they do not make it under self-sel­ec­ted cir­cum­s­tances, but under cir­cum­s­tances exis­ting alre­a­dy, given and trans­mit­ted from the past.«[16] The »woke« appro­pria­ti­on by the ruling class of pro­gres­si­ve social poli­ci­es does not mean that the­se poli­ces are the real secret desi­re of the ruling class – on the con­tra­ry, they are mini­mal con­ces­si­ons the ruling class had to make to the insup­pres­si­ble revo­lu­tio­na­ry strugg­le of the rele­vant oppres­sed clas­ses – though natu­ral­ly, obvious­ly, the ruling class does ever­y­thing in its power to warp such con­ces­si­ons, or even invert their poli­ti­cal con­tent when pos­si­ble. The cur­rent spec­ta­cu­lar, mana­ged, frau­du­lent ›rise of the south‹ is the best the ruling class could make of the momen­tous forces set into moti­on by the first cycle of revo­lu­tio­na­ry com­mu­nism-socia­lism-anti-impe­ria­lism-anti-fascism spark­ed by the Octo­ber revo­lu­ti­on. The role of libe­ral or social demo­cra­tic refor­mist forces dome­sti­cal­ly and mul­ti­po­lar forces glo­bal­ly are cha­rac­te­ri­zed equal­ly well by Newton’s ana­ly­sis of »endor­sed spo­kes­men« who the ruling class install in bet­ween the oppres­sed mas­ses and the revo­lu­tio­na­ry forces (the »impla­ca­ble,« in Newton’s ter­mi­no­lo­gy) who could other­wi­se orga­ni­ze them:

[…] the oppres­sor always pre­fers to deal with the less radi­cal, i.e., less dan­ge­rous, spo­kes­men for his sub­jects. He would pre­fer that his sub­jects had no spo­kes­men at all, or bet­ter yet, he wis­hes to speak for them hims­elf. Unable to do this prac­ti­cal­ly, he does the next best thing, and endor­ses spo­kes­men who will allow him to speak through them to the mas­ses. Para­mount among­st his impe­ra­ti­ves is to see to it that impla­ca­ble spo­kes­men are never allo­wed to com­mu­ni­ca­te their mes­sa­ge to the mas­ses. The are never allo­wed to com­mu­ni­ca­te their mes­sa­ge to the mas­ses. Their oppres­sor will resort to any means neces­sa­ry to silence the implacable.

The oppres­sor, the endor­sed spo­kes­men, and the impla­ca­ble form the three points of a tri­ang­le of death. The oppres­sor looks upon the endor­sed spo­kes­men as a tool to use against the impla­ca­ble to keep them pas­si­ve within the accep­ta­ble limits of the tac­tics he is capa­ble of con­tai­ning. The endor­sed spo­kes­men look upon the oppres­sor as a guar­di­an angel who can always be depen­ded upon to pro­tect them from the wrath of the impla­ca­ble, while he looks upon the impla­ca­ble as dan­ge­rous and irre­spon­si­ble mad­men who, by ange­ring the oppres­sor, will cer­tain­ly pro­vo­ke a blood bath in which they them­sel­ves might get washed aways. The impla­ca­ble view both the oppres­sors and the endor­sed lea­ders as his dead­ly enemies. If any­thing, he has a more pro­found hat­red for the endor­sed lea­ders than he has for the oppres­sor hims­elf, becau­se the impla­ca­ble know that they can deal with the oppres­sor only after they have dri­ven te endor­sed spo­kes­men off the sce­ne.[17]

Sin­ce the total recon­quest and ens­lavement of the form­er­ly socia­list world, the impe­ri­al ruling class has mop­ped up, one after ano­ther, con­ces­si­ons made under the con­di­ti­ons forced upon them by real­ly exis­ting socia­lism-com­mu­nism. Abroad, this has meant dis­mant­ling the con­stel­la­ti­on of third-world natio­na­list anti-colo­ni­al and adja­cent regimes – the glo­bal resi­due of Bandung. At home, this meant the com­ple­te demo­li­ti­on of social-demo­cra­tic com­pro­mi­se. One can hop­eful­ly detect, here again, the fun­da­men­tal unity and inter­re­la­ti­on – both sim­ply con­sti­tu­ted the pos­si­bi­li­ties »within« capi­ta­lism gene­ra­ted by the vast warp in the space-time of poli­ti­cal rea­li­ty gene­ra­ted by the red super­gi­ant of revo­lu­tio­na­ry socialism-communism.

Alre­a­dy with the neo­li­be­ral assault, the impe­ri­al ruling class made clear that it had no inten­ti­on of main­tai­ning the expen­si­ve and insub­or­di­na­te Wes­tern labor aris­to­cra­cy – and that assault was inde­ed par­ti­al­ly made pos­si­ble by the defeat of the glo­bal van­guard of socia­lism, the crus­hing of the cul­tu­ral revo­lu­ti­on, the re-ens­lavement of Chi­na, making East Asia a safe and via­ble base of ope­ra­ti­ons for a stream­li­ned sys­tem. Con­tem­po­ra­neous with this pro­gram alre­a­dy one can see the ruling class hard at work engi­nee­ring the capa­ci­ties and ideo­lo­gi­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­ons to pull off the extre­me­ly poli­ti­cal­ly dif­fi­cult agen­da which ari­ses natu­ral­ly as their con­sti­tu­ti­on as a class – what was pos­si­ble and neces­sa­ry for them. First the ›over­po­pu­la­ti­on‹ dis­cour­se of the Club of Rome, fol­lo­wed by cli­ma­te chan­ge, and argu­ab­ly most effec­tively advan­ced under the ban­ner of pandemia.

This pra­xis is, of cour­se, not very dif­fe­rent from that of Nazism 1.0: plun­der, ens­lavement, and geno­ci­de. It is per­haps not unsur­pri­sing that New­ton could so shar­ply and pre­sci­ent­ly grasp the shape of the pre­sent order, becau­se black Ame­ri­cans were at the blee­ding edge of this impe­ri­al pro­gram. As he obser­ved alre­a­dy in the 70s:

It has been esti­ma­ted that ten years from now only a small per­cen­ta­ge of the pre­sent work­force will be neces­sa­ry to run the indus­tries. Then what will hap­pen to your worker who is now making four dol­lars an hour? The working class will be nar­ro­wed down, the class of unem­ploya­bles will grow becau­se it will take more and more skills to ope­ra­te tho­se machi­nes and fewer peo­p­le. And as the­se peo­p­le beco­me unem­ploya­bles, they will beco­me more and more ali­en­ated; even socia­list com­pro­mi­ses will not be enough. You will then find an inte­gra­ti­on bet­ween the black unem­ploya­ble and the white racist hard hat who is not regu­lar­ly employ­ed and mad at the blacks who he thinks threa­ten his job.[18]

The exis­tence of the Black popu­la­ti­on in Ame­ri­ca after the over­throw of slavery, like the exis­tence of the Pal­es­ti­ni­ans after WWI, has posed a par­ti­cu­lar pro­blem for the ruling class. It has vacil­la­ted bet­ween a poli­cy of super-exploi­ting their labor (with the dan­ge­rous con­se­quence of fur­nis­hing pos­si­bi­li­ties for their self-orga­niza­ti­on as a class) and trea­ting them as a reser­ve army of labor ten­ding, in the extre­me, towards geno­ci­de. The lat­ter ten­den­cy had beco­me domi­nant in the peri­od of Newton’s ana­ly­sis, per­haps pre­cis­e­ly becau­se the Ame­ri­can Black popu­la­ti­on, more than any other, embo­dy the dialec­ti­cal com­ple­ment of America’s glo­bal pre­sence: »Ame­ri­ca« may be all over the »third world,« crus­hing libe­ra­ti­on; but the »third world« is all over Ame­ri­ca, resis­ting, dog­gedly under­mi­ning the ruling class at every turn. In the Black led Atti­ca Pri­son Rebel­li­on of 1971, they cal­led for Mao Zedong to repre­sent them in nego­tia­ti­ons with the aut­ho­ri­ties.[19] Even in the cur­rent gene­ra­liza­ti­on of the opio­id cri­sis we see how tech­ni­ques of popu­la­ti­on con­trol and geno­ci­de deve­lo­ped by the ruling class in the labo­ra­to­ry of the ghet­to are in incre­asing­ly deploy­ed against the once osten­si­bly privileged.

This is becau­se with the extre­me con­cen­tra­ti­on of the cur­rent ruling class, vir­tual­ly the enti­re glo­bal popu­la­ti­on is, evi­dent­ly, a pro­blem to them. It is evi­dent that among­st the top prio­ri­ties for the ruling class is to dra­ma­ti­cal­ly shrink and demo­te the for­mer labor-aris­to­cra­cy and midd­le clas­ses. New­ton fore­saw the foun­da­ti­ons of their dis­em­power­ment alre­a­dy too:

The con­cept of the black bour­geoi­sie is some­thing of an illu­si­on. It is a fan­ta­sy bour­geoi­sie, and this is true of most of the white bour­geoi­sie as well. The­re are very few con­trol­lers even in the white midd­le class. They can bare­ly keep their heads abo­ve water, they are pay­ing all the bills, living hand-to-mouth, and they have the extra expen­se of refu­sing to live like black peo­p­le. So they are not real­ly con­trol­ling any­thing; they are con­trol­led. In the same way, I do not reco­gni­ze the black bour­geoi­sie as dif­fe­rent from any other exploi­ted peo­p­le. They are living in a fan­ta­sy world, and the main thing is to instill con­scious­ness, to point out their real inte­rests, their objec­ti­ve and true inte­rests.[20]

Samir Amin remark­ed some­whe­re that the natio­na­list, pro­gres­si­ve third-world bour­geoi­sie, and the com­pra­dor bour­geoi­sie, are not two sepa­ra­te clas­ses, but two ten­den­ci­es within the same class. The for­mer ten­den­cy can be actua­li­zed only by a pro­ject dri­ven by the popu­lar clas­ses – the workers, peasants, and lumpenproletariat.

The Wes­tern labor-aris­to­cra­cy, pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie, and even the lower rungs of the bour­geoi­sie its­elf are evi­dent­ly super­fluous to the cur­rent ruling class van­guard. This stra­ta are to be demo­ted, plun­de­red, and to a sub­stan­ti­al degree era­di­ca­ted. After plun­de­ring and ens­la­ving the enti­re third and second worlds, whe­re, after­all, could one even expect the impe­ri­al ruling class to turn? This ques­ti­on, in and of its­elf, is an important logi­cal con­side­ra­ti­on which the mul­ti­po­la­rists sim­ply igno­re: what are the most via­ble pro­s­pects for the »wes­tern« ruling clas­ses? What poli­ti­cal-eco­no­mic-pro­gram­ma­tic invest­ment of their ener­gy could deli­ver them the most bene­fit which they don’t alre­a­dy curr­ent­ly enjoy, and eli­mi­na­te the grea­test thre­at to their power, in the cur­rent con­junc­tu­re? The idea of a »color revo­lu­ti­on«[21] in Chi­na or Rus­sia is very popu­lar in the alter­na­ti­ve media yet the con­cre­te rea­li­ty of what this could look like is rare­ly sket­ched out. This is per­haps becau­se to do so reve­als the stark fact that it is vir­tual­ly impos­si­ble to ima­gi­ne – in the real­ly exis­ting cur­rent cir­cum­s­tances – an arran­ge­ment whe­re the labor power and resour­ces of Rus­sia and Chi­na could be more opti­mal­ly exploi­ted in a poli­ti­cal­ly tenable fashion than they are now. One must recall that tho­se con­di­ti­ons of poli­ti­cal tenab­i­li­ty are boun­ded by the real his­to­ri­cal expe­ri­ence of socia­lism! In both sta­tes sub­stan­ti­al popu­lar legi­ti­ma­cy is a poli­ti­cal neces­si­ty; in both, much of it rests pre­cis­e­ly upon the ruling class’ abili­ty to pre­sent them­sel­ves as oppo­si­tio­nal forces to the west.

A brief note is wort­hwhile here on the lea­der­ship of the sup­po­sed rising Mul­ti­po­lar world. By the late 90s, we saw very near­ly what a stan­dard »color revo­lu­ti­on« type regime could look like in Rus­sia. But we should also note that this order was incre­di­bly unsta­ble. Bet­ween the near elec­tion of Zyu­ga­nov and the Rub­le Cri­sis, it beca­me clear that the glo­bal ruling class had gone too far, was too rapa­cious in Rus­sia. It ris­ked the return of socia­lism. In the­se con­di­ti­ons, con­ces­si­ons nee­ded to be made, and a relia­ble agent instal­led who could ensu­re the con­tin­ued sub­or­di­na­ti­on of Rus­si­ans to their ongo­ing plun­der and explo­ita­ti­on – Vla­di­mir Putin. Sin­ce this obvious fact somehow still mana­ges to escape so many, it is worth not­ing here that Putin, as mayor of St. Peters­burg in 1993, expli­cit­ly ensu­red Ger­man busi­ness repre­sen­ta­ti­ves in his belief that »poli­ti­cal« vio­lence which under­mi­ned mar­ket con­di­ti­ons was cri­mi­nal, while vio­lence which pro­tec­ted pri­va­te invest­ment was »neces­sa­ry.« He fur­ther stres­sed his sup­port for the imple­men­ta­ti­on of a Pino­chet style dic­ta­tor­ship by Yelt­sin to sol­ve Russia’s cur­rent poli­ti­cal pro­blems.[22] Is it not con­ceiva­ble a more sophisti­ca­ted solu­ti­on was found, with Putin as part of the pro­gram? When Yelt­sin assu­red Clin­ton about his hand-picked suc­ces­sor that »I am sure you will find him to be a high­ly qua­li­fied part­ner,« should we be so quick to doubt him?[23] Over the Urals, the capi­ta­list-roa­der bona fides of Xi Jing­ping, like his father befo­re him, hard­ly need ela­bo­ra­ti­on. What needs to be explai­ned, rather, is the vol­te face on Chi­na which so many Com­mu­nist Par­ties have taken with litt­le to no expli­cit, for­mal deba­te. Like some bizar­re memo­ry implant, the gene­ral reco­gni­ti­on of the utter perf­idy of the capi­ta­list regime instal­led with the back­ing of Nixon and Kis­sin­ger in Chi­na, which dis­ar­med the workers, vicious­ly punis­hed the red peasant women for their lea­der­ship in the Gre­at Pro­le­ta­ri­an Cul­tu­ral Revo­lu­ti­on with the fascist one-child poli­cy, and sup­port­ed the most noto­rious coun­ter-revo­lu­tio­na­ry forces abroad has somehow mel­ted away.[24]

Let us step back, for just a moment, from the comic book Göt­ter­däm­me­rung bet­ween nati­ons or natio­nal blocs, and con­sider that we live in a world with a ruling class so small, inte­gra­ted, and powerful that histo­ry fails to offer even the remo­test par­al­lels or pre­ce­dents. This is a ruling van­guard which emer­ged in par­ti­cu­lar out of the mas­si­ve empower­ment of the most covert, anti-demo­cra­tic sta­te machi­nery by the wes­tern capi­ta­list clas­ses as a neces­sa­ry respon­se to the genui­ne, exis­ten­ti­al thre­at of world com­mu­nism. Any doubts about their incre­di­ble coor­di­na­ti­on and disci­pli­ne can­not hold in the face of their lock­step appli­ca­ti­on of the Coro­na pro­gram, based upon the most utter­ly absurd, risi­ble pre­text. Never­mind that the cur­rent, sup­po­sedly exis­ten­ti­al con­flict in Ukrai­ne has hard­ly put a dent in trade bet­ween the sup­po­sed mor­tal enemies, or even mana­ged to halt the flow of Rus­si­an gas through Ukrai­ne its­elf! It is worth recal­ling here, inci­den­tal­ly, that Lenin did not reject the pos­si­bi­li­ty of an »inter-impe­ria­list« arran­ge­ment per se, but just the idea that it could form the basis of a las­ting peace:

[…] in the rea­li­ties of the capi­ta­list sys­tem, and not in the banal phi­lis­ti­ne fan­ta­sies of Eng­lish par­sons, or of the Ger­man ›Mar­xist‹, Kaut­sky, ›inter-impe­ria­list‹ or ›ultra-impe­ria­list‹ alli­ances, no mat­ter what form they may assu­me, whe­ther of one impe­ria­list coali­ti­on against ano­ther, or of a gene­ral alli­ance embra­cing all the impe­ria­list powers, are ine­vi­ta­b­ly not­hing more than a ›truce‹ in peri­ods bet­ween wars. Peaceful alli­ances prepa­re the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one con­di­ti­ons the other, pro­du­cing alter­na­ting forms of peaceful and non-peaceful strugg­le on one and the same basis of impe­ria­list con­nec­tions and rela­ti­ons within world eco­no­mics and world poli­tics. But in order to paci­fy the workers and to recon­ci­le them with the social-chau­vi­nists who have deser­ted to the side of the bour­geoi­sie, over-wise Kaut­sky sepa­ra­tes one link of a sin­gle chain from ano­ther, sepa­ra­tes the pre­sent peaceful (and ultra-impe­ria­list, nay, ultra-ultra-impe­ria­list) alli­ance of all the powers for the ›paci­fi­ca­ti­on‹ of Chi­na (remem­ber the sup­pres­si­on of the Boxer Rebel­li­on) from the non-peaceful con­flict of tomor­row, which will prepa­re the ground for ano­ther ›peaceful‹ gene­ral alli­ance for the par­ti­ti­on, say, of Tur­key, on the day after tomor­row, etc., etc. Ins­tead of show­ing the living con­nec­tion bet­ween peri­ods of impe­ria­list peace and peri­ods of impe­ria­list war, Kaut­sky pres­ents the workers with a lifel­ess abs­trac­tion in order to recon­ci­le them to their lifel­ess lea­ders.[25]

Of cour­se this cri­ti­cism as well is as direct­ly appli­ca­ble to the Mul­ti­po­la­rist pitch as to Kaut­sky­ite ultra­im­pe­ria­lism: even if one thinks that the BRICS are now »objec­tively« anti-impe­ria­list in their ascent over the West, one must ack­now­ledge that their mono­po­ly-capi­ta­list basis is incom­pa­ti­ble with the rosy visi­on of (what else can well call it?) ultra-impe­ria­list peace mar­ke­ted by the PRC as their Belt-and-Road initia­ti­ve. But the­re is a much more pro­found ques­ti­on to be asked here: even if one grants that any sort of ›ultra-impe­ria­list‹ peace could not actual­ly resol­ve, but only sup­press or defer the intrin­sic con­tra­dic­tions of impe­ria­list capi­ta­lism, why must one assu­me that tho­se con­tra­dic­tions, when they do burst forth, must take the form of con­tra­dic­tions bet­ween nati­ons, par­ti­cu­lar­ly when nati­ons have beco­me such irrele­vant husks in the real mate­ri­al com­po­si­ti­on of the glo­bal eco­no­my? Why do so many Mar­xist refu­se to even con­sider what other forms the­se ant­ago­nisms could take? A minu­te class now sits atop the vast, vola­ti­le, con­tra­dic­to­ry capi­ta­list world, in which any inter-impe­ria­list con­flict could gra­ve­ly jeo­par­di­ze the rule of each mem­ber of this excee­din­gly small and inte­gra­ted cli­que: is it impos­si­ble that they could not find ano­ther arran­ge­ment? That they could exch­an­ge inter-impe­ria­list con­flict, for the mutual­ly rein­for­cing, coor­di­na­ted joint intra-impe­ria­list explo­ita­ti­on and ( as a neces­sa­ry con­se­quence to attain it) war against »their own« popu­la­ti­ons? The very pra­xis that this would neces­si­ta­te would of cour­se amount to the self-aboli­ti­on of capi­ta­lism by impe­ria­list finan­ce capi­tal its­elf.[26]

As mate­ria­lists and Mar­xists[27] we would of cour­se then ask what poli­ti­cal pra­xis would this ent­ail, what real poli­ti­cal obs­ta­cles, pos­si­bi­li­ties, and pro­s­pects super­ve­ne here? As a sign­post from whe­re the cur­rent pro­gram appears to have real­ly taken off, it is worth quo­ting at length here from a remar­kab­ly pre­sci­ent artic­le which appeared in Sci­ence for the Peo­p­le Maga­zi­ne in 1975, ana­ly­zing the poli­ti­cal impli­ca­ti­ons of the Club of Rome’s over­po­pu­la­ti­on hysteria:

The shar­pe­ning con­flicts among dif­fe­rent capi­ta­list inte­rests are thus brin­ging about the need for an instru­ment of media­ti­on to assu­re that the over­all inte­rests of the capi­ta­list sys­tem are pro­tec­ted. Within the ›inter­na­tio­nal frame­work‹ of the Club of Rome, ›sta­tes­men, poli­cy makers and sci­en­tists‹ can deba­te and for­mu­la­te the gene­ral decis­i­ons which ›will beco­me a mat­ter of neces­si­ty (for capi­ta­lists) rather than being left to good will and pre­fe­rence‹ of ›nar­row natio­nal inte­rests‹. While each lar­ge cor­po­ra­ti­on and govern­ment is busy try­ing to for­mu­la­te the poli­cy which can best ser­ve its own par­ti­cu­lar inte­rests, each one must also beco­me awa­re that such poli­cy can­not be imple­men­ted if it is oppo­sed by the others. The Club of Rome appears to have appoin­ted its­elf, at least for the pre­sent, as the advan­ce plan­ning agen­cy for the capi­ta­list sys­tem as a whole.

In advan­ced capi­ta­list count­ries, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in the United Sta­tes, the myth of an open socie­ty with equal oppor­tu­ni­ty for advance­ment in an ever expan­ding eco­no­my – with pie in the sky – has been an important com­po­nent of an ideo­lo­gy which legi­ti­mi­zes exis­ting power rela­ti­onships. Ideo­lo­gi­cal per­sua­si­on, appro­pria­te­ly alter­na­ted with eco­no­mic coope­ra­ti­on and vio­lent repres­si­on, have secu­red the accep­tance of the ›Ame­ri­can sys­tem‹ by a lar­ge majo­ri­ty of peo­p­le in this coun­try. The suc­cess of ana­log­ous ope­ra­ti­ons in other count­ries, in spi­te of cul­tu­ral dif­fe­ren­ces, has been lar­ge­ly con­di­tio­ned by their degree of eco­no­mic deve­lo­p­ment. Thus, the appearance of demo­cra­cy under capi­ta­lism has been made pos­si­ble by the pro­mi­ses stem­ming from a boo­ming eco­no­my based on impe­ria­lism (with the con­se­quent lack of capi­ta­list deve­lo­p­ment and demo­cra­cy in lar­ge parts of the world). The assump­ti­on that increased pro­duc­tion through tech­no­lo­gi­cal advan­ce would sol­ve the ine­qua­li­ties of dis­tri­bu­ti­on under capi­ta­lism – the very foun­da­ti­on of capi­ta­list demo­cra­cy – has pro­ved fal­se and mis­lea­ding. Ine­qua­li­ties have never dis­ap­peared, even in the deve­lo­ped count­ries. Now in the­se count­ries eco­no­mic growth has come to a stop, with the result that unem­ploy­ment is soaring and real wages are drop­ping. A decli­ne in the stan­dard of living of most working peo­p­le appears ine­vi­ta­ble, which is bound to make the cur­rent ideo­lo­gy less and less cre­di­ble. Sin­ce the limits to growth argu­ments are pre­sen­ted as inde­pen­dent of social and poli­ti­cal sys­tems, they are incre­asing­ly being used to try to per­sua­de peo­p­le to accept a lower stan­dard of living, while con­vin­cing them that the pro­blems of capi­ta­lism are the ine­vi­ta­ble result of any indus­tria­li­zed socie­ty. It does not seem likely, howe­ver, that most working peo­p­le will be per­sua­ded by such argu­ments to accept a con­ti­nuous ero­si­on of their stan­dard of living and to give up their hopes of upward mobi­li­ty in an open socie­ty. Thus, the eco­no­mic fle­xi­bi­li­ty of the sys­tem and the social sup­port for it may well be waning. Hence, the need for more aut­ho­ri­ty and coer­ci­on to main­tain an incre­asing­ly rigid and hier­ar­chi­cal social order. The sta­bi­li­ty of the new social order will then depend on the pos­si­bi­li­ty of con­vin­cing at least the more pri­vi­le­ged sec­tors among the working peo­p­le – the midd­le clas­ses – that poli­ce repres­si­on and other aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an mea­su­res are unavo­ida­ble in order to save the sys­tem. Alt­hough the ›models of doom‹ argu­ments will not per­sua­de the poor to accept the­se new poli­ci­es of capi­ta­lism, the apo­ca­lyp­tic pro­jec­tions of the Club of Rome may be useful in secu­ring the cru­cial sup­port of the midd­le clas­ses in the deve­lo­ped count­ries for an aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an regime. This will be neces­sa­ry for capi­ta­list – rather than world – sur­vi­val. Of cour­se, in try­ing to bols­ter capi­ta­list aut­ho­ri­ty, the limits to growth argu­ments will be sup­ple­men­ted by many other ideo­lo­gi­cal and prac­ti­cal ingre­di­ents. Sexism, racism and other deep sea­ted and wide­spread social (and reli­gious) pre­ju­di­ces and fears will con­ti­nue to be used by pre­ca­pi­ta­list and capi­ta­list ruling groups to divi­de their enemies and to win the sup­port of tho­se who are caught in the midd­le, with ambi­va­lent inte­rests and alle­gi­ances. While the pre­sent eco­no­mic, social and poli­ti­cal dif­fe­ren­ces among and within nati­ons are lar­ge­ly the result of impe­ria­lism and une­qual capi­ta­list deve­lo­p­ment, other important cul­tu­ral dif­fe­ren­ces do exist. The pro­po­sals for tria­ge may be loo­ked upon as par­ti­cu­lar­ly hideous attempts to use all the­se dif­fe­ren­ces to pre­vent peo­p­le from under­stan­ding each other and their real pro­blems.[28]

The quan­ti­ta­ti­ve con­cen­tra­ti­on of the cur­rent ruling class appears to have pas­sed into a decisi­ve qua­li­ta­ti­ve trans­for­ma­ti­on at some point in the late 1960s or ear­ly 1970s, with the abso­lu­te ascen­dan­cy of the a cli­que drawn from the hig­hest cir­cles of indus­try, mili­ta­ry, intel­li­gence ser­vice, finan­ce, and orga­ni­zed crime who had been wel­ded tog­e­ther by WWII and then the Cold War – and empowered by the emer­gen­cy sus­pen­si­on of demo­cra­tic insti­tu­ti­ons both jus­ti­fied. Any num­ber of tel­ling moments sug­gest them­sel­ves as key sign­posts of this trans­for­ma­ti­on: the sus­pen­si­on of con­ver­ti­bi­li­ty of the US dol­lar to gold, signi­fy­ing the abso­lu­te sub­or­di­na­ti­on of America’s tria­dic allies (Euro­pe & Japan) to arbi­tra­ry dol­lar dic­ta­tor­ship, and inde­ed the who­le glo­be to the mili­ta­ry dic­ta­tor­ship neces­sa­ry to back it; the tri­al of the Gang of Four, signi­fy­ing the end of the cul­tu­ral revo­lu­ti­on and the cli­max of the first his­to­ric wave of socia­lism-com­mu­nism; one is even tempt­ed to go back all the way to 1963, to the JFK ass­as­si­na­ti­on, signi­fy­ing the Ame­ri­can-cum-Glo­bal Ruling class’s unwil­ling­ness to tole­ra­te even a modi­cum of demo­cra­tic input from the most reac­tion­a­ry, chau­vi­ni­stic, and com­pli­ant labor aris­to­cra­cy in the world. But argu­ab­ly most signi­fi­cant is in fact the publi­ca­ti­on of Limits to Growth in 1972. The first three moments were both neces­sa­ry and pos­si­ble becau­se of the real and pre­sent dan­ger of com­ple­te glo­bal revo­lu­ti­on – mani­fes­ted most acu­te­ly in deco­lo­niza­ti­on in the third world, cul­tu­ral revo­lu­ti­on in the second, and the radi­cal pro­test move­ments in the first. In the face of this over­whel­ming thre­at, all seg­ments of the pri­vi­le­ged clas­ses of the glo­be had to accept the pro­tec­tion of the US ruling cli­que, on its con­di­ti­ons. In this sen­se a direct ana­lo­gy can be made to the dyna­mic behind the fascist dic­ta­tor­ships of the inter­war peri­od, and one would not be remiss in cha­rac­te­ri­zing this deve­lo­p­ment as, essen­ti­al­ly, the recru­de­s­cence of fascism on a ful­ly glo­bal sca­le. It is thus fit­ting that the old hand­mai­den of ultra-right reac­tion, euge­nics, was ren­as­cent as well. Inde­ed, the signi­fi­can­ce, for our cur­rent argu­ment, of the Limits to Growth lies in the fact that it gives us some sen­se of the long term, com­pre­hen­si­ve plans of this class, which crysta­li­zed here as a con­se­quence of their peri­lous ascent.

With the defeat of socia­lism-com­mu­nism, the ruling class embark­ed on the final dis­mant­ling of the pro­gres­si­ve third world natio­na­list regimes and first world social demo­cra­cy, pre­vious­ly accept­ed as a stra­te­gic neces­si­ties. This has had the iro­nic effect of put­ting vir­tual­ly the enti­re glo­bal left into an objec­tively con­ser­va­ti­ve posi­ti­on sin­ce the 90s. With the ruling class on its world­wi­de Blitz­krieg, the shell sho­cked pro­gres­si­ve forces of the earth could hard­ly do more than adopt ad hoc sur­vi­val stra­te­gies, doing ever­y­thing pos­si­ble to cling into the­se last redoubts- geo­gra­phi­cal, poli­ti­cal, lin­gu­i­stic, cul­tu­ral. This respon­se was natu­ral, and jus­ti­fied for what it was, though it ulti­m­ate­ly fai­led. Worse still, as tho­se redoubts shrunk, as com­pro­mi­se after com­pro­mi­se set in, as only the most sor­did libe­ral husks remain scat­te­red on the other­wi­se ful­ly (re)Nazified glo­bal ter­rain, poli­ti­cal con­tent has come to mir­ror objec­ti­ve form. This func­tion­al­ly con­ser­va­ti­ve left is cha­rac­te­ri­zed per­fect­ly well by Marx’s descrip­ti­on of feu­dal socia­lism in the Mani­festo near­ly two cen­tu­ries ago:

[…] half lamen­ta­ti­on, half lam­poon; half an echo of the past, half men­ace of the future; at times, by its bit­ter, wit­ty and incisi­ve cri­ti­cism, striking the bour­geoi­sie to the very heart’s core; but always ludicrous in its effect, through total inca­pa­ci­ty to com­pre­hend the march of modern histo­ry.[29]

One can pic­tu­re here tho­se who­se only defen­se of their ›poli­ti­cal pro­gram‹ (which inva­ria­bly amounts to cheer­lea­ding on one or ano­ther ava­tar in the ruling class spec­ta­cle, be it Xi, Putin, Lula, etc.) is adum­bra­ting the various ways in which the US ruling class is even more rapa­cious or depra­ved than their cur­rent savi­or. The good cop which Chi­ne­se inves­tors or Rus­si­an mer­ce­na­ries can play in con­trast to their bad cop NATO foils is thus even ludicrous­ly cele­bra­ted by some so-cal­led com­mu­nist, as if this role wasn’t part of an inte­gra­ted and coor­di­na­ted sys­tem. It is essen­ti­al to app­re­cia­te that by all indi­ca­ti­ons the »US-led« ruling class has plan­ned to do away with the enti­ty cal­led the USA sin­ce the 90s (per­haps the­re has been high level dis­agree­ment on this). Mol­ly Klein has obser­ved that the Trump show in par­ti­cu­lar makes abso­lut­e­ly clear how serious the opti­on is on the table. This is at least par­ti­al­ly becau­se, dome­sti­cal­ly, the Ruling class had no inten­ti­on of kee­ping around the bal­loo­ning labor aris­to­cra­cy which aro­se as an unavo­ida­ble con­se­quence of Cold War poli­ti­cal neces­si­ties, and, inter­na­tio­nal­ly, it was rea­dy to jet­t­i­son any incon­ve­ni­ent rhe­to­ri­cal com­mit­ments to libe­ra­lism, civil rights, or demo­cra­cy bound up with its histo­ry. Here again we return to the remar­kab­le natio­na­list blin­ders of so many, who can­not pos­si­bly con­tem­p­la­te that the same ruling class which will tank »their own« com­pa­ny, for ins­tance, to advan­ce their own real per­so­nal inte­rests, might do the same with a coun­try. Nor that appa­rent fail­ure can be suc­cess. See, for exam­p­le, Iraq, whe­re the oh-so-cle­ver geo­po­li­ti­cal experts revel in the appa­rent fail­ure of the USA – as if the cur­rent anar­chy in West Asia wasn’t the goal of the Ame­ri­can assault, as if »fail­ure« wasn’t the most poli­ti­cal­ly via­ble framing within which the impe­ri­al ruling clas­ses core aims could be advan­ced.[30] ]What should a real Ame­ri­can vic­to­ry have ent­ail­ed, exact­ly, accor­ding to the­se mul­ti­po­lar experts? Are they real­ly so nai­ve as to belie­ve Ame­ri­ca wan­ted to install a model demo­cra­cy in the regi­on? But by the same token, do they think it would’ve been poli­ti­cal­ly via­ble, all the more so given the mar­ke­ting of the war, to impo­se an open dic­ta­tor­ship? At its root the­se wise guys fall prey to the same ridi­cu­lous ‘bumbling empire’ schtick of the very worst first world libe­rals and trots. The second one steps back and con­siders the objec­ti­ve inte­rests of the ruling class, the poli­ti­cal cons­traints in which they ope­ra­te, and their real capa­ci­ties to plan, stra­te­gi­ze, and pur­sue their goals: one must in fact con­clude that the cur­rent sta­te of affairs in Iraq pro­ba­b­ly very near­ly appro­xi­ma­tes what was inten­ded by the planners.

For the ruling class is infi­ni­te­si­mal­ly small; in impo­sing its will on the mas­ses it can hard­ly decla­re its aims open­ly. Rather, it must cea­se­l­ess­ly invert rea­li­ty, cast its own inte­rests as ours, cast ours as ene­my. It is not what it is, enab­led by the modern tele­coms grid spec­ta­cle to func­tion like a glo­bal Iago, end­less miring us in smo­ke and mir­rors. It ope­ra­tes by cas­ting the real figu­res and forces of histo­ry simul­ta­neous­ly in innu­me­ra­ble roles in dif­fe­rent gen­res of its cea­se­l­ess dis­ori­en­ting sto­rytel­ling. And evi­dent­ly this glo­bal Iago has geared up to cast the USA as a sort of glo­bal ISIS (Daesh). Like ISIS, the USA is now (still) play­ing the role of real, con­cre­te impe­ri­al war machi­ne direct­ly advan­cing ruling class inte­rests AND the role of car­toon super­vil­lain in the mul­ti­po­lar spec­ta­cle (this is, of cour­se, a sim­pli­fi­ca­ti­on – this is but one gen­re in the spec­ta­cle which is too mul­ti­va­lent and com­plex to try and com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly cha­rac­te­ri­ze here). Through this per­for­mance, forces which would other­wi­se be imme­dia­te­ly reco­gni­zed as trai­tors, ens­lavers, and enemies of »their own« peo­p­le – such as the ruling class in Rus­sia and Chi­na – are trans­fi­gu­red into noble and pro­gres­si­ve mul­ti­po­lar patriots.

Why all this? The dialec­ti­cal com­ple­ment of the extre­me con­cen­tra­ti­on and unity of the cur­rent ruling class is the cor­re­spon­ding poten­ti­al unity of vir­tual­ly the enti­re glo­bal popu­la­ti­on in its objec­ti­ve oppo­si­ti­on to this class. We tru­ly do live in a uni­po­lar world, uni­fied under the dic­ta­tor­ship of a small, ruling class coali­ti­on united by their shared inte­rests in exploi­ting us – and in not being over­thrown. The true nega­ti­on of this uni­po­la­ri­ty is the real unity of the working mas­ses around OUR shared inte­rests in over­thro­wing them.

When com­mu­nism first appeared as a true pos­si­bi­li­ty on the hori­zon, the ruling class was able to suc­cessful­ly forestall it via the inno­va­ti­on simul­ta­neous­ly ›within‹ and, as Marx and Lenin made clear, beyond/​out of capi­ta­lism which we call impe­ria­lism, mono­po­liza­ti­on, and finan­cia­liza­ti­on. One core ele­ment of this pra­xis was the mobi­liza­ti­on of pet­ty-bour­geoi­ses, social-demo­cra­tic refor­mists like Kaut­sky. As we dis­cus­sed abo­ve, Kautsky’s theo­ry of ultra-impe­ria­lism is a clas­sic exam­p­le of how the working class can be led astray by revisionism.

Ins­tead of com­bat­ting their own ruling class, many workers were lured into see­ing them (or por­ti­ons the­reof) as pos­si­ble agents of pro­gress.[31] In this respect it also hel­ped encou­ra­ge natio­nal chau­vi­nism and pro­vi­ded an eager­ly accept­ed ratio­na­liza­ti­on to tho­se upper seg­ments of the working class who could be bri­bed with impe­ri­al super pro­fits. It also ser­ved to obscu­re the fun­da­men­tal link bet­ween impe­ria­lism and capi­ta­lism, deny­ing the neces­si­ty of the lat­ter trans­forming into the for­mer at a cer­tain stage of finan­cia­liza­ti­on. It begui­led the working class into sub­or­di­na­ti­on to the toothl­ess, ›pious‹ oppo­si­ti­on of pet­ty-bourg mora­lists to (cer­tain ›forms‹ of) impe­ria­lism or its ›exces­ses‹, and pro­pa­ga­ting the fal­se, Un-Mar­xist noti­ons of non-impe­ria­list finan­cial or mono­po­ly capi­tal. For the working class the­se ide­as trans­la­ted into pas­si­ve sub­or­di­na­ti­on to the pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie, who only sought to levera­ge the working class to main­tain or extra­ct a few meager pri­vi­le­ges from the bour­geoi­sie. The ine­vi­ta­ble con­se­quen­ces: betra­y­al, fol­lo­wed by dis­il­lu­sionment, and the ina­bi­li­ty (for a time) for the working class to ful­fill its destiny.

Today, impe­ria­lism has rea­ched and inde­ed sur­pas­sed its limit, under­go­ing a sort of invo­lu­ti­on. In its broa­dest con­tours, this appears almost as a sort of ratio­nal res­truc­tu­ring of the glo­be. The ruling class now bare­ly con­ce­als its plans to era­di­ca­te lar­ge sec­tions of the glo­bal popu­la­ti­on, plun­der and ens­lave almost all the rest, and, in order to do so, redis­tri­bu­te a lea­ner packet of pri­vi­le­ges to a down­si­zed class or cas­te of over­se­ers, pre­su­ma­b­ly to be drawn lar­ge­ly from the down­ward­ly mobi­le bour­geoi­sie and pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie of the core, and the bour­geoi­sie and pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie of the ›rising‹ South (again, a deve­lo­p­ment that is real in form but fake in terms of con­tent, i.e. the pro­gres­si­ve poli­ti­co-eco­no­mic pro­gram with which that had always been asso­cia­ted). Beneath this con­ver­gence is an even more awe­so­me, epo­chal one: that of the vast majo­ri­ty of the popu­la­ti­on hither­to stra­ti­fied and set against each other by the natio­nal divi­si­on of the world and impe­ri­al divi­si­on of labor.

This is the grea­test peril to the ruling class, the grea­test chall­enge befo­re them: to lock into place the aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an con­trol grid befo­re the­se stra­ta reco­gni­ze and act upon their objec­ti­ve unity under com­mu­nist lea­der­ship. Per­haps the grea­test tool of the ruling class in pul­ling off this Gam­bit is multipolarism.

In the ›fal­ling‹ first world, whe­re utter­ly unpre­ce­den­ted pro­s­pects for orga­ni­zing open up every day, pet­ty-bour­geois intellec­tu­al would-be radi­cals , ins­tead of orga­ni­zing the revo­lu­tio­na­ry poten­ti­al of their most pro­xi­ma­te working popu­la­ti­on with truth and cla­ri­ty, hitch their wagons to ruling class agents in the most thre­ad­ba­re ›com­mu­nist‹ drag, be they Lula, Xi, or Putin. This has the con­se­quen­ces of 1) squan­de­ring their own poten­ti­al ener­gy, which could put into buil­ding revo­lu­tio­na­ry forces — even inde­ed mis­di­rec­ting that ener­gy into the sup­port of reac­tion; 2) ali­en­ating the majo­ri­ty of the poten­ti­al­ly orga­nizable working popu­la­ti­on, who will cer­tain­ly have no inte­rest in being fur­ther demo­ted to the sor­did con­di­ti­ons offe­red by such »com­mu­nism« (in fact com­mu­nism pro­mi­ses both MORE poli­ti­cal liber­ty and a BET­TER stan­dard of living than was enjoy­ed by the wes­tern labor aris­to­cra­ci­es at the height of social demo­cra­cy!), fur­ther delay­ing their reco­gni­ti­on of com­mu­nism as their pro­gram and 3) the most wret­ched and oppres­sed of the 1st world core, and con­se­quent­ly most poten­ti­al­ly revo­lu­tio­na­ry, are effec­tively sub­or­di­na­ted to the pet­ty-bour­geois poli­cy of pas­si­vi­ty at home and sup­port for reac­tion abroad (dres­sed up as pro­gress for them in the spec­ta­cle). Rather than fight their own ruling class, they are told Putin or Xi will do it for them. Final­ly and per­haps most important­ly, their poten­ti­al to link up and unite with the revo­lu­tio­na­ry forces abroad is utter­ly under­mi­ned, as they are actual­ly con­cre­te­ly alig­ning with the powers which disci­pli­ne and crush pro­gres­si­ve and/​or revo­lu­tio­na­ry forces (like the forces fight­ing in Don­bass) In the for­mer 2nd and 3rd world. Mul­ti­po­la­rism thus direct­ly mir­rors Kaut­sky­ite ultra-impe­ria­lism: a means by which the ruling class, through their pet­ty-bour­geois agents, dupe the working class into pas­si­vi­ty, natio­nal chau­vi­nism, and refor­mist fan­ta­sies of evo­lu­ti­on towards socia­lism wit­hout acu­te and con­cer­ted class war.

In the impe­ria­lism deba­te in Ger­ma­ny, Karl Liebknecht’s famous slo­gan – Der Haupt­feind steht in eige­nen Land, ene­my num­ber one is in your own coun­try – has cau­sed much con­s­ter­na­ti­on. This is becau­se, on the one hand, all good com­mu­nists reco­gni­ze that it repre­sen­ted the fun­da­men­tal­ly cor­rect posi­ti­on vis-a-vis the inter-impe­ria­list First World War, against the fatal natio­nal chau­vi­nism of the social Demo­crats. None­thel­ess, in the con­text of the cur­rent war, it has been deploy­ed by the pseu­do-lef­tist agents of NATO or ratio­na­li­zers of wes­tern impe­ria­lism, in order to equa­te Rus­sia and the West (or Ukrai­ne) and deny cate­go­ri­cal­ly that the­re is any pro­gres­si­ve con­tent or legi­ti­ma­cy in den­a­zi­fy­ing Ukrai­ne, or inde­ed the more gene­ral strugg­le of the South against the ongo­ing impe­ria­list orga­niza­ti­on of the glo­be. This appa­rent con­tra­dic­tion dis­ap­pears when one takes serious­ly that the nati­on, in the sen­se of what that term signi­fied in Liebknecht’s time, has cea­sed to exist as a poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mic rea­li­ty. The func­tion of appar­ent­ly con­flic­ting nati­ons today is much clo­ser to the role of par­ties in tra­di­tio­nal par­lia­men­ta­ry bour­geois demo­cra­ci­es. Such par­ties are real, they repre­sent real diver­gent inte­rests, fun­ding and other pri­vi­le­ges to disper­se, etc., the ant­ago­nisms bet­ween them can be incre­di­bly inten­se, even fatal for par­ti­ci­pan­ts. Yet in the Mar­xist tra­di­ti­on we have always unders­tood this con­flict as enti­re­ly cir­cum­scri­bed by the limits impo­sed by the ruling class – and that the illu­so­ry belief in the via­bi­li­ty of enac­ting fun­da­men­tal chan­ge via the par­lia­men­ta­ry strugg­le is one of the most essen­ti­al means by which the mas­ses are pacified.

In this moment of capitalism’s denouement, in the impo­si­ti­on of total, radi­cal glo­bal des­po­tism who­se out­lines we can glim­pse in the absurd and ter­ro­ristic Covid pro­gram, a sys­tem with a simi­lar logic and struc­tu­re as bour­geois demo­cra­cy is gene­ra­li­zed to the who­le glo­be: as the nati­on is in real terms era­di­ca­ted, it’s simu­la­cra is ele­va­ted by the spec­ta­cle as the Idée fixe of all poli­tics. Thus the revo­lu­tio­na­ry poten­ti­al of the mas­ses is sap­ped with chau­vi­nism and natio­na­list poli­ti­cal dead ends. It is high­ly indi­ca­ti­ve of our cur­rent malai­se that, across the poli­ti­cal spec­trum it has been incre­asing­ly obvious that natio­nal poli­ti­ci­ans are ever more total­ly and bra­zen­ly indif­fe­rent to the will of the popu­la­ti­on they sup­po­sedly ans­wer to. Inde­ed, in the space of just a few months we have seen both the Woke Green Fascism bran­ded Anna­le­na Baer­bock and the tra­di­tio­nal Right-Wing Popu­list Fascism bran­ded Gior­gia Melo­ni both decla­re that they will com­mit­ted to sup­port­ed the Ukrai­ne war in spi­te of the oppo­si­ti­on of their elec­to­ra­te. Yet still, vir­tual­ly no one can offer a via­ble alter­na­ti­ve to the hope­l­ess strugg­le over the lifel­ess husks of natio­nal poli­ti­cal institutions.

One must rei­te­ra­te again that the point here is not an over­sim­pli­fy­ing, sopho­m­oric reduc­tion­ism. Just as the cri­tique of par­lia­men­ta­ria­nism can­not be redu­ced to »both par­ties are the same,« so the cri­tique of the pre­vai­ling natio­na­list frame­work advan­ced here can­not be redu­ced to »all govern­ments are the same.« The various natio­nal pro­grams have just as much real poli­ti­cal con­tent as the pro­grams of genui­ne par­lia­men­ta­ry par­ties, and they can­not all be con­fla­ted. Within natio­nal bour­geois poli­tics, the­re is typi­cal­ly a right set up to win, and a left tas­ked to fail, betray, and dis­il­lu­si­on the natu­ral base of its poli­ci­es – the working mas­ses – who none­thel­ess ALSO exert their real will through it and genui­ne­ly exact cer­tain victories.

A com­pa­ra­ble task has been given to the lea­ders of the South today. What per­son of sound instincts can fail to sym­pa­thi­ze with the rhe­to­ric and pos­tu­re of the Rus­si­an Fede­ra­ti­on against ever more bra­zen return to open Nazism in the West? Yet all the same, no serious Mar­xist can pos­si­bly be for­gi­ven for ever belie­ving the Rus­si­an ruling class has any inten­ti­on on deli­ve­ring on this rhe­to­ric. Den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on is the revo­lu­tio­na­ry demand of the post-soviet mas­ses which the ruling class can’t sim­ply will out of exis­tence, and so they must try to co-opt, warp, invert in just the same way other pro­gres­si­ve demands have his­to­ri­cal­ly been taken up by the left in par­lia­men­ta­ry demo­cra­ci­es. To cri­tique the sys­tem-loy­al left wing poli­tics of bour­geois par­ties is not to cri­tique socia­lism or left wing poli­tics, but their appro­pria­ti­on and vitia­ti­on. Pre­cis­e­ly the same is also true with the pro­gres­si­ve con­tent – full deco­lo­niza­ti­on, full den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on, full glo­bal com­mu­nism – which mul­ti­po­la­rism acts as a refor­mist sub­sti­tu­te for.

The task of com­mu­nists is to enable the mas­ses to cla­ri­fy their revo­lu­tio­na­ry demands and to enact them them­sel­ves via their own revo­lu­tio­na­ry means, NOT to she­p­herd them back into the traps of the ruling class – be they Intra-natio­nal par­ties or inter­na­tio­nal blocs. The real task of Putin and his cli­que couldn’t have been made clea­rer than his decla­ra­ti­on, at the start of the SMO, that the task was to den­a­zi­fy AND decom­mu­ni­ze Ukrai­ne. Anyo­ne fami­li­ar with the relent­less anti-com­mu­nism of his dome­stic poli­ci­es should’ve know which was his real prio­ri­ty. But it is important to empha­si­ze that, all the more so sice the total Nazi­fi­ca­ti­on of the glo­be which has occur­red sin­ce the defeat of com­mu­nism – the­se two terms are simp­le straight­for­ward oppo­si­tes, no more radi­cal­ly, dia­me­tri­cal­ly oppo­sed than up and down, left and right, North and South. Real Decom­mu­niza­ti­on IS NAT­Ofi­ca­ti­on IS Nazi­fi­ca­ti­on. Real den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on and deNA­T­Ofi­ca­ti­on today must and will be com­mu­niza­ti­on and not­hing less.The radi­cal con­cen­tra­ti­on of the cur­rent ruling class and their auda­cious pro­gram of glo­bal fascist dic­ta­tor­ship have redu­ced this rela­ti­on to a pure, fric­tion­less vector.

The ori­gi­nal Nazi pro­gram of depo­pu­la­ti­on and plun­der in Rus­sia and the Ukrai­ne has alre­a­dy recom­men­ced, with only slight modi­fi­ca­ti­ons. Yet it is also occur­ring insi­de-out­side a spec­ta­cu­lar or far­ci­cal res­ta­ging of the same. It is essen­ti­al to par­se and app­re­cia­te the sta­cked func­tions here, the mul­ti­ple lay­ers of the spec­ta­cle. 9/11 was car­ri­ed out under the cover of mul­ti­ple real-fake-real mili­ta­ry exer­ci­s­es or »war games« car­ri­ed out in U.S. airspace. Most par­ti­ci­pan­ts were ful­fil­ling real goals for the real ope­ra­ti­on while belie­ving them­sel­ves to play­ing the fake or simu­la­ted role in the exer­ci­s­es. Important aspects of the Covid pro­gram appear to have been ham­me­red out in num­e­rous eli­te »Pan­de­mic Exer­ci­s­es,« like Johns Hop­kins’ Event 201. In Syria the con­flict bet­ween the U.S. and Syria was »fake« and »real.« Fake in that the U.S. Army and ISIS were two arms of the same exact ruling class. Real in that the real ter­ri­to­ry and real popu­la­ti­on of Syria was plun­de­red, slaugh­te­red, and pil­la­ged with real guns, bombs, and mer­ce­na­ries. In Ukrai­ne the pri­vi­le­ged, con­nec­ted, or useful are sipho­ned out of the coun­try or pro­tec­ted while the Ukrai­ni­an popu­la­ti­on – one of the most poten­ti­al­ly rebel­lious popu­la­ti­ons in the world, extre­me­ly cri­ti­cal of the Covid pro­gram like almost the enti­re post-soviet popu­la­ti­on – is sent to the most sen­se­l­ess, gro­tes­que death fight­ing their Rus­si­an brot­hers. For its part, the Rus­si­an lea­der­ship has evi­dent­ly done ever­y­thing in its power to forestall real Den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on or even the achie­ve­ment of mini­mal­ly com­pre­hen­si­ble war aims.[32] If the illu­si­ons about an »objec­tively« pro­gres­si­ve stance being forced by cir­cum­s­tance on the Rus­si­an ruling class were true, we would have, as a bare mini­mum, gene­ral mobi­liza­ti­on and the dome­stic social pro­gram (also offe­red to libe­ra­ted ter­ri­to­ry in Ukrai­ne) neces­sa­ry to pro­mo­te it.[33] We have seen not­hing of the sort, of cour­se, becau­se not­hing ter­ri­fies the ruling class – in Rus­sia, in Chi­na, in Euro­pe, Ame­ri­ca, or any­whe­re else – than the post-soviet mas­ses once again armed, mobi­li­zed, and real­ly on the march against Nazism – as they well should be!

As Hol­der­lin famously remark­ed, whe­re the dan­ger is, the­re grows the saving power as well. The sor­did­ness of our cur­rent moment is also the full­ness of its poten­ti­al, if only we were wil­ling to reco­gni­ze it. A recent remark of a com­ra­de struck me as indi­ca­ti­ve of how we’ve lost our visi­on: they said some­thing along the lines of this: ›after Nord Stream 2, any idi­ot can see the­re is no bene­fit for Ger­ma­ny in NATO.‹ The utter inco­he­rence of such a state­ment, for a com­mu­nist, can per­haps best be reve­a­led by coun­ter­po­sing an equal­ly (in)coherent state­ment, which is in fact no less absurd: ›after 9/11, any idi­ot can see the­re is no bene­fit for the USA in NATO.‹ One hop­eful­ly sees here how such phra­ses are in some sen­se true, but also poli­ti­cal­ly meanin­g­less. They betray a lap­se into the utter­ly blin­ke­red natio­nal frame­work of the pet­ty-bour­geois. And the rot­ten hope­l­ess­ness of this poli­tics could not be clea­rer than in the lame, absurd, Larou­chie-style demands, which have somehow infec­ted com­mu­nist poli­tics, cal­ling for Ger­ma­ny (or even the USA!) to give up its impe­ria­list poli­ci­es, and even join peaceful­ly with the rising South, per­haps even the Belt and Road Initia­ti­ve! This is real­ly the purest, most rank Kaut­sky­ism, which can only be for­gi­ven for not lul­ling the mas­ses into pas­si­vi­ty in so far as it is so risi­ble and imbe­ci­lic as to attract no one but the most utter­ly poli­ti­cal­ly use­l­ess pet­ty-bour­geois fools. As the midd­le clas­ses slide into the ranks of the mas­ses, we must not adul­tera­te com­mu­nism to fit their tepid revi­sio­nist tas­tes: we must sub­or­di­na­te them to the full, unequi­vo­cal revo­lu­tio­na­ry pro­gram of the masses.

Capi­ta­list Impe­ria­list Ger­ma­ny (or the USA) will never enter into genui­ne peaceful and fri­end­ly rela­ti­ons with any nati­on, other than tem­po­ra­ry alli­ances with fel­low rob­bers – this is Mar­xism-Leni­nism 101. Rhe­to­ri­cal calls for such sim­ply insult the intel­li­gence of the mas­ses. The­re has been exact­ly ONE peace-loving and peace-making Ger­man sta­te in histo­ry – the Ger­man Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic. It was the pro­duct of the only real den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on: com­mu­niza­ti­on. The com­pro­mi­ses made pos­si­ble with or within capi­ta­list impe­ria­lism by the mas­si­ve, world-alte­ring weight of real­ly exis­ting socia­lism-com­mu­nism (like, in the FRG, social demo­cra­cy and Ost­po­li­tik) are no lon­ger pos­si­ble with the era­di­ca­ti­on of socia­lism, and com­mu­nists must give up their illu­si­ons about this fact! We must stop fan­ta­sizing that the same geo-poli­ti­cal logic obta­ins as it did in the Cold War. The ruling class today intends to make no com­pro­mi­ses, and neither should we. In the cur­rent tran­si­ti­on the ruling class has demo­lished its own legi­ti­ma­cy and the ideo­lo­gi­cal foun­da­ti­ons of its poli­ti­cal hegem­o­ny as it stri­ves to build some­thing new. The moment could not be more ripe. Ever­yo­ne ever­y­whe­re is rea­dy for com­mu­nism right now – and ins­tead the com­mu­nists are try­ing to sell them the most sor­did, com­pro­mi­sed sub­or­di­na­ti­on to the Ruling class!

The gre­at Irish Revo­lu­tio­na­ry James Con­nol­ly reco­gni­zed that the real pro­gres­si­ve con­tent of anti-impe­ri­al Irish natio­na­lism could only, ulti­m­ate­ly, be ful­ly rea­li­zed by inter­na­tio­na­list revo­lu­tio­na­ry com­mu­nism. He wro­te new lyrics for the tune of a famous Irish rebel song of the 19th cen­tu­ry, a per­fect arti­fact of the pro­gres­si­ve pet­ty-bour­geois repu­bli­can natio­na­lism of that era, which expres­sed the hope that »Ire­land, long a pro­vin­ce, be a Nati­on once again.« As New­ton tea­ches us, today the­re are no nati­ons, but only pro­vin­ces of a sin­gle empire. The revo­lu­tio­na­ry pos­si­bi­li­ty to over­throw that empire has ripen­ed far bey­ond the uti­li­ty or via­bi­li­ty of any natio­nal frame­work for such a strugg­le, and will now only ser­ve to hin­der it. The pro­to-revo­lu­tio­na­ry-Inter-com­mu­na­list revi­sed lyrics pen­ned by Con­nol­ly ser­ve even today as a per­fect­ly appro­pria­te rejoin­der to the sor­did ruling class poli­tics hocked by the Multi-polarists:

Some men, faint-hear­ted, ever seek

Our pro­gram­me to retouch,

And will insist, whene’er they speak

That we demand too much.

’Tis pas­sing stran­ge, yet I declare

Such state­ments give me mirth,

For our demands most mode­ra­te are,

We only want the earth.

Our mas­ters all a god­ly crew,

Who­se hearts throb for the poor,

Their sym­pa­thies assu­re us, too,

If our demands were fewer.

Most gene­rous souls! But plea­se observe,

What they enjoy from birth

Is all we ever had the nerve

To ask, that is, the earth.

For labor long, with sighs and tears,

To its oppres­sors knelt.

But never yet, to aught save fears,

Did the heart of tyrant melt.

We need not kne­el, our cau­se is high

Of true men there’s no dearth

And our vic­to­rious ral­ly­ing cry

Shall be we want the earth.[34]


[1] Nor is the­re a grea­ter point of dis­cord and con­fu­si­on in both of the poli­ti­cal sphe­res stradd­led by the Freie Lin­ke Zukunft – the Coro­na pro­test move­ment on the one hand, the tra­di­tio­nal left on the other.

[2] Much like the term »Fascism,« which, as Mol­ly Klein once astu­te­ly obser­ved, »is not an essence. And its name is not a sci­en­ti­fic term. It is a SLO­GAN of a pro­gram, a pra­xis, of a ruling class fac­tion and its social cli­ents within libe­ral demo­cra­cy and it trans­forms libe­ral demo­cra­cy.« https://​twit​ter​.com/​R​e​d​K​a​h​i​n​a​/​s​t​a​t​u​s​/​1​1​2​9​4​4​8​0​4​3​6​2​6​0​1​6​769

[3] Now, as to the name, one may very well call the theo­ry which I advo­ca­te for »Ultra-Impe­ria­lism,« or »Super-Impe­ria­lism,« after Hob­son – as Lenin quip­ped, the Latin pre­fix does not add much. For what it is worth, it is pro­ba­b­ly clo­sest to Huey P. Newton’s theo­ry of Inter­com­mu­na­lism (See, in par­ti­cu­lar, the fol­lo­wing works by New­ton: Speech Deli­ver­ed at Bos­ton Col­lege: Novem­ber 18,1970, Black Capi­ta­lism Reana­ly­zed (1971) , Who Makes U.S. For­eign Poli­cy (1974),

Inter­com­mu­na­lism (1974)

[4] Lenin, Impe­ria­lism, 1963. p. 69. https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​l​e​n​i​n​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​1​6​/​i​m​p​-​h​s​c​/​i​m​p​e​r​i​a​l​i​s​m​.​pdf

[5] Lenin, Impe­ria­lism, 1963. p. 89. https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​l​e​n​i​n​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​1​6​/​i​m​p​-​h​s​c​/​i​m​p​e​r​i​a​l​i​s​m​.​pdf

[6] The Ruling Class pro­du­ce not­hing, not even their own ide­as. So while Mul­ti­po­la­rism, like Kaut­sky­ism befo­re it, fun­da­men­tal­ly advan­ces the inte­rests of the ruling class, it has an orga­nic basis and natu­ral reser­voir in par­ti­cu­lar stra­ta of the pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie and labor-aristocracy.

[7] Of cour­se, under the con­di­ti­ons of glo­bal empire – what New­ton cal­led reac­tion­a­ry inter­com­mu­na­lism – the very con­cept of ›com­pra­dor‹ beco­mes someone meanin­g­less, or per­haps red­un­dant. The term is used here, none­thel­ess, to rei­te­ra­te that, con­tra­ry to their claims, the­se clas­ses can in no way be seen as real­ly con­tri­bu­ting to a popu­lar pro­ject (natio­nal or communal).

[8] Mol­ly Klein sug­gests that the social base is even thin­ner: that the intellec­tu­als are sim­ply bought cheap now that this class is being squeezed, and real uni­ver­si­ties repla­ced by ngo think tanks, and the­re is no one hiring except Gates and the rest of the intel­li­gence and para-intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. This class as mana­gers and upper pro­fes­sio­nals was in fact lar­ge­ly auto­ma­ted out of exis­tence. Shrin­king rewards in the enter­tain­ment indus­try, jour­na­lism, law and medi­ci­ne. At the same time the actual­ly fal­ling rate of pro­fit means a shrin­king seg­ment of this class goes into small business.

[9] New­ton, 1974. https://​view​point​mag​.com/​2​0​1​8​/​0​6​/​1​1​/​i​n​t​e​r​c​o​m​m​u​n​a​l​i​s​m​-​1​9​74/

[10] New­ton, 1970. https://​aboli​ti​onno​tes​.org/​h​u​e​y​-​p​-​n​e​w​t​o​n​/​r​e​v​o​l​u​t​i​o​n​a​r​y​-​i​n​t​e​r​c​o​m​m​u​n​a​l​i​s​m​-​1​970

[11] What New­ton hel­pful­ly calls the »ruling cir­cle« to unsett­le some slop­py or ste­reo­ty­ped forms of thin­king, and to call our atten­ti­on to the ruling class van­guard, the lea­der­ship of this class which exerts uni­que, direct con­trol in this arran­ge­ment – and has some degree of auto­no­my, not unli­ke that which abso­lu­te mon­archs were able to gain by lever­aging the strugg­le bet­ween the fal­ling nobi­li­ty and rising bourgeoise.

[12] Tho­se nee­ding con­vin­cing that what Lenin’s was theo­re­ti­cal­ly wil­ling to enter­tain requi­red updating given the mas­si­ve trans­for­ma­ti­ons sin­ce his time need only con­sider his repea­ted jibe at the pos­si­bi­li­ty of ultra-impe­ria­lism by com­pa­ring it to labo­ra­to­ry pro­du­ced food, e.g., »deve­lo­p­ment is pro­cee­ding towards mono­po­lies, hence, towards a sin­gle world mono­po­ly, towards a sin­gle world trust. This is indis­pu­ta­ble, but it is also as com­ple­te­ly meanin­g­less as is the state­ment that ›deve­lo­p­ment is pro­cee­ding‹ towards the manu­fac­tu­re of food­s­tuffs in labo­ra­to­ries. In this sen­se the ›theo­ry‹ of ultra-impe­ria­lism is no less absurd than a ›theo­ry of ultra-agri­cul­tu­re‹ would be.« Lenin, Impe­ria­lism, 1963. p. 70. https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​l​e​n​i​n​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​9​1​6​/​i​m​p​-​h​s​c​/​i​m​p​e​r​i​a​l​i​s​m​.​pdf

[13] They are Reac­tion­a­ry Inter­com­mu­na­lists, in Newton’s ter­mi­no­lo­gy, which if clum­sy none­thel­ess helps fore­ground the dialec­ti­cal unity of the­se phe­no­me­na. The mir­ror image of the »left-wing« mul­ti­po­la­rist pet­ty bour­geoi­sie are the right-wing »anti-glo­ba­lists,« pet­ty-bour­geoi­sie, who are inves­ted in an equal­ly hope­l­ess gam­bit to soli­di­fy or re-estab­lish their pri­vi­le­ges via the main­ten­an­ce of »nati­ons« which have, objec­tively, long cea­sed to have any eco­no­mic rea­li­ty. It is inte­res­t­ing, and typi­cal of the cur­rent stage of the spec­ta­cle, that the­se two appar­ent­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry gen­res of pet­ty-bour­geois reac­tion are incre­asing­ly com­bi­ned – see, for exam­p­le, the absurd »Rage Against the War Machi­ne« op.

[14] As Klein puts it, they ove­re­sti­ma­te the real power of the ruling class but unde­re­sti­ma­te their com­pe­tence, attri­bu­ting all fail­ure, set back, or slow down to incompetence.

[15] Gramsci, Pri­son Note­book 14, as quo­ted in Mol­ly Klein’s indis­pensable cri­tique of Zizek: https://​alphons​ev​an​wor​den​.tumb​lr​.com

[16] https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​m​a​r​x​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​8​5​2​/​1​8​t​h​-​b​r​u​m​a​i​r​e​/​c​h​0​1​.​htm

[17] New­ton, »In Defen­se of Self Defen­se,« 1967. P 9 – 10. https://​archi​ve​.lib​.msu​.edu/​D​M​C​/​A​m​R​a​d​/​e​s​s​a​y​s​m​i​n​i​s​t​e​r​d​e​f​e​n​s​e​.​pdf

[18] New­ton, 1974.

[19] »A short time ago, the pri­soners at Atti­ca reques­ted the Black Pan­ther Par­ty to nego­tia­te with Nixon, Rocke­fel­ler and Oswald for their free­dom. The Black Pan­ther Par­ty at this time asks Chair­man Mao Tse-tung of the People’s Repu­blic of Chi­na to nego­tia­te with Pri­son War­den Nixon for the free­dom of the oppres­sed peo­p­les of the world (Essay & Peti­ti­on, Mas­sacre at Atti­ca, The Black Pan­ther Inter­com­mu­nal News Ser­vice, 1971).«

[20] New­ton, 1974.

[21] The Larou­chies in par­ti­cu­lar are hard at work evacua­ting this term of all mea­ning or content.

[22] https://​www​.nd​-aktu​ell​.de/​a​r​t​i​k​e​l​/​4​6​1​4​9​3​.​p​i​n​o​c​h​e​t​-​a​l​s​-​v​o​r​b​i​l​d​.​h​tml

[23]  https://​www​.rferl​.org/​a​/​p​u​t​i​n​-​s​-​a​-​s​o​l​i​d​-​m​a​n​-​d​e​c​l​a​s​s​i​f​i​e​d​-​m​e​m​o​s​-​o​f​f​e​r​-​w​i​n​d​o​w​-​i​n​t​o​-​y​e​l​t​s​i​n​-​c​l​i​n​t​o​n​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​n​s​h​i​p​/​2​9​4​6​2​3​1​7​.​h​tml

Much of this infor­ma­ti­on was ini­tital­ly unear­thed by Nova Shpa­ko­va, who­se account has exten­si­ve­ly docu­men­ted the capi­ta­list cha­rac­ter of the Rus­si­an and broa­der Post-Soviet ruling clas­ses, their betra­y­al and mani­pu­la­ti­on of their popu­la­ti­ons, and their ongo­ing con­ni­van­ce with the West. See their for­mer (unfort­u­na­te­ly hacked, but still a valuable resour­ce) and cur­rent accounts. 

[24] Though rep­le­te with ultra-left errors, Marc Gal­was here pres­ents infor­ma­ti­on which demo­lishes any attempt to inter­pret the Rus­si­an or Chi­ne­se ruling clas­ses as pro­gres­si­ve in any meaningful sen­se.‑1 – 2023-Sonderheft-Marc-Galwas.pdf Like­wi­se, Lula and his par­ties key role in coop­ting and mis­di­rec­ting the anti-glo­ba­liza­ti­on move­ment in the ser­vice of the impe­ri­al ruling class were alre­a­dy obvious in the ear­ly 2000s https://​www​.rupe​-india​.org/​3​5​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​s​.​h​tml

[25] Lenin, Impe­ria­lism, 89.

[26] As Marx pre­dic­ted in Capi­tal Volu­me III‑mohr/imperialism-today-is-conspiracy-praxis/#_ol4crioezadh, and New­ton dia­gno­sed as the reac­tion­a­ry world-state.

[27] I.e. peo­p­le who have read not just Capi­tal Vol. 1, but Marx’s poli­ti­cal and his­to­ri­cal wri­tin­gs as well- full of con­spi­ra­cy theo­ri­zing that they are.

[28] Sci­ence for the Peo­p­le Vol. 7, No. 3, May 1975, p. 14 – 19 & 34 – 37. http://​sci​ence​-for​-the​-peo​p​le​.org/​w​p​-​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​2​0​1​5​/​0​7​/​S​f​t​P​v​7​n​3​s​.​pdf

[29] https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​m​a​r​x​/​w​o​r​k​s​/​1​8​4​8​/​c​o​m​m​u​n​i​s​t​-​m​a​n​i​f​e​s​t​o​/​c​h​0​3​.​htm

[30] Mol­ly Klein has empha­si­zed the direct mili­ta­ry poli­ti­cal con­trol estab­lished around oil must be seen as an essen­ti­al pre­cur­sor the ruling class plans, alre­a­dy in moti­on, to blow up the US dol­lar. See: https://​twit​ter​.com/​R​e​d​K​a​h​i​n​a​/​s​t​a​t​u​s​/​1​5​3​0​0​6​2​8​7​6​4​4​1​9​8​5​024; https://​twit​ter​.com/​R​e​d​K​a​h​i​n​a​/​s​t​a​t​u​s​/​1​4​9​9​0​1​7​6​9​0​9​5​8​2​0​9​027; https://​twit​ter​.com/​R​e​d​K​a​h​i​n​a​/​s​t​a​t​u​s​/​1​5​6​7​8​8​0​5​1​0​3​8​6​3​5​6​226; https://​red​ka​hi​na​.sub​stack​.com

[31] In this case, a more peaceful world crea­ted by social-Demo­crat led impe­ria­lism, like Baerbock’s femi­nist Außen­po­li­tik today, one stage in a fan­ta­stic revo­lu­ti­on-free evo­lu­ti­on into socia­lism under the loving care of the exploi­ters themselves.

[32] See the com­men­ta­ry here https://​anti​-empire​.com/​g​u​e​s​t​-​a​u​t​h​o​r​/​m​a​r​k​o​_​m​a​r​j​a​n​o​v​i​__/

[33] In the most stark con­trast, the SMO appears now to be led by a sor­did pack of mer­ce­na­ries which the Rus­si­an lea­der­ship half denies owner­ship of. What a natio­nal reawakening!

[34] https://​www​.mar​xists​.org/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​/​c​o​n​n​o​l​l​y​/​1​9​0​7​/​x​x​/​w​e​w​n​e​r​t​h​.​htm

Cover Image: Emo­ry Dou­glas (1943 – ), Get Out of the Ghet­to…, 1970 (https://​www​.flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​m​e​d​i​e​v​a​l​k​a​r​l​/​4​5​2​9​7​9​7​0​301)

A Ger­man trans­la­ti­on can be found in Mag­Ma, too

7 thoughts on “Mul­ti­po­la­rism is Neo-Kaut­sky­ism: on Real Den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on and its Enemies

  1. Fal­len hier die Arti­kel vom Him­mel? Ihr habt weder nötig, ein Datum noch den Autor deut­lich und auf Anhieb erkenn­bar zu kenn­zeich­nen. Sehr vertrauenerweckend.


  2. Hm, T. Wolf schreibt Tex­te, die in Deutsch­land theo­re­tisch zu dem pas­sen, was teil­wei­se im »Erre­ger« ver­öf­fent­licht wird. Sei­ne Ver­wen­dung des Ter­mi­nus »Kom­mu­ni­sie­rung« lässt den Ein­fluß einer Ten­denz ver­mu­ten, die beson­ders in den Nuller Jah­ren euro­pa­weit in links­kom­mu­nis­ti­schen Intel­lek­tu­el­len­zir­keln ein­fluss­reich war. In Deutsch­land ins­be­son­de­re in dieser: 


    Nun macht die (dama­li­ge) Ver­flech­tung des Kos­mo­pro­let mit der pro-impe­ria­lis­ti­schen Wochen­zeit­schrift Jungle World, sowie das gute Ver­hält­nis (des Kos­mo­pro­let) mit der Redak­ti­on der eng­li­schen Zeit­schrift ´Auf­he­ben´, deren Chef-Theo­re­ti­ker John Dru­ry von der grie­chi­schen links­kom­mu­nis­ti­schen Grup­pe »Kin­der der Gale­rie« als Spit­zel ent­larvt wur­de, es etwas schwie­rig, zB das Kon­zept von Impe­ria­lis­mus als Ver­schwö­rung unab­hän­gig von der Reku­per­a­ti­on der situa­tio­nis­ti­schen Kri­tik (»Kom­mu­ni­sie­rung« und »Spek­ta­kel« sind aus ihr ent­nom­me­ne Begrif­fe) zu dis­ku­tie­ren und nicht gleich kon­kret über den im Raum ste­hen­den Ver­dacht zu spre­chen, dass hier eine kom­plet­te links­ra­di­ka­le Theo­rie­tra­di­ti­on unter »poli­zei­li­che« Regie genom­men wurde. 

    Geis­ter­bahn­fahrt – Gru­sel garan­tiert! Will jemand ein Ticket? –

    1. Ups, Kor­rek­tur: soll­te oben eigent­lich »T.Mohr« ste­hen, nicht »T.Wolf«; und natür­lich: MZW, nicht MLZ. Na, egal. Das nächs­te mal: Erst kor­ri­gie­ren, dann pos­ten! Ha, wie­der was gelernt.…

      Was gut ist, geht auch bes­ser! Selbst­kri­tik und Pro­gress – aber holla! 

      (viel­leicht auch ein­mal eine ein­ge­hen­de Bespre­chung; auf­ge­scho­ben ist nicht aufgehoben)


    2. Ein Wort­spiel mit Herrn Putins Begrif­fen Dekom­mu­ni­sie­rung und Ent­na­zi­fi­zie­rung ist sicher völ­lig ausgeschlossen?

      1. Du fragst, ob ein Wort­spiel des Autors augeschlos­sen ist? – Natür­lich nicht. Bei einer ein­ge­hen­den Text­ana­ly­se wäre aber der objek­ti­ve Dis­kurs­ef­fekt, der sich aus Kon­tex­tua­li­tä­ten ergibt, vor­ran­gig zu berück­sich­ti­gen. Der Wort­witz des schrei­ben­den Sub­jekts ist zufäl­lig und hat bei­spie­li­ge Funk­ti­on, anders: Das Wort­spiel macht die Begrif­fe nur hin­sicht­lich ihrer Über­de­ter­mi­na­ti­on trans­pa­ren­ter. Glei­ches gäl­te ja auch für die Reden­schrei­ber in Moskau.

        Aber unab­hän­gig davon noch der Voll­stän­dig­keit hal­ber ein Hin­weis auf einen Text der Grup­pe Auf­he­ben (die mit dem Kol­la­bo­ra­teur) für Leu­te mit Humor:


  3. »We must stop fan­ta­sizing that the same geo-poli­ti­cal logic obta­ins as it did in the Cold War. The ruling class today intends to make no com­pro­mi­ses, and neither should we. In the cur­rent tran­si­ti­on the ruling class has demo­lished its own legi­ti­ma­cy and the ideo­lo­gi­cal foun­da­ti­ons of its poli­ti­cal hegem­o­ny as it stri­ves to build some­thing new. The moment could not be more ripe. Ever­yo­ne ever­y­whe­re is rea­dy for com­mu­nism right now – and ins­tead the com­mu­nists are try­ing to sell them the most sor­did, com­pro­mi­sed sub­or­di­na­ti­on to the Ruling class!«

    Immer­hin, dem soll­te wider­spro­chen sein: Die wenigs­ten dürf­ten für den Kom­mu­nis­mus bereit sein. Und die, die sich gegen den ihnen ver­ord­ne­ten Geschichts­un­ter­richt über eine ver­gan­ge­ne Epo­che ein eige­nes Urteil erar­bei­tet haben, bedürf­ten, so scheint es , drin­gend und zunächst einer bes­se­ren Instumentalausbildung:


    …was neben­bei auch die Auf­nah­me­fä­hig­keit einer Kri­tik des Natio­na­lis­mus begüns­ti­gen sollte.

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