“No political movement in the US exists to stop the Deep State from suppressing the content and ideology of Black Agenda Report or even Black Lives Matter as agents of the Kremlin.”
The corporate media paid only scant attention to recent protests in Russia led by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. It was reported that tens of thousands of Russianstook to the streets in late July to protest a proposed raise in the pension retirement age for both men and women. One would have suspected that Russiagate crusaders s would have jumped at the opportunity to exploit the protests as an opportunity to denounce “Putin’s Russia.” However, the corporate media did no such thing. That’s because the leaders of Russiagate in the US and Western ruling class don’t give a damn about democracy or the people. Their main objectives are war and austerity.
Furthermore, protests gave little for Russiagate loyalists to exploit. Protesters were not besieged by the state as would be expected from an “authoritarian” regime. Instead, Putin announced that he would listen to “all sides” of the issue. The Duma’s proposal to raise the retirement age for men to sixty-five and women to sixty-three comes amid several contradictions that have been developing in Russia for some time now. On the one hand, Russia has spent the last decade and a half crawling back from the disaster that was the fall of the Soviet Union. Over this period, Russia has raised the life expectancy and standard of livingfor millions of people to make up for the steep decline in living conditions that characterized the “shock therapy” austerity reforms of the Yeltsin era.
“The US ruling class’ addiction to Russiagate is not the product of some concern for ‘democracy’ or the condition of workers in Russia.”
However, Russia is no socialist paradise. Capitalism remains the dominant system in Russia despite the very real progress that has been made under Putin. But the US ruling class’ addiction to Russiagate is not the product of some concern for “democracy” or the condition of workers in Russia. Russiagate is the ideological bedrock of US imperialist aggression toward Russia. Putin has become the scapegoat that masks the insidious interests of US finance capital and the Deep State. These forces desperately want to intimidate Russian leaders into reviving the wholesale theft of the country that took place from 1991-2000.
The proof isn’t too difficult to find. US-imposed sanctions on Russiahave only intensified since the Russiagate narrative emerged over two years ago. If Russiagate enthusiasts were interested in “democracy,” they would demand an end to the sanctions and a scale back of the US military’s presence along the Russian border. Instead, Russiagate crusaders have gone “all in” with the FBI, CIA, and the Deep State to promote regime change in Russia. The conditions of workers in Russia mean nothing to those who saddle up behind the repressive agents of the Deep State. After all, the FBI and CIA have a long historyof infiltrating, suppressing, and murdering the leaders of working class movements in the US and all over the world.
“Russiagate crusaders have gone ‘all in’ with the FBI, CIA, and the Deep State to promote regime change in Russia.”
The Deep State directed its military apparatus against socialists and communists during the first Cold War. Unsurprisingly, Russiagate has been called “the New Cold War” by genuine leftists who have been condemned as “dupes of Russia” and “Putin’s puppets” by the ruling class. This time, however, the war is not directed against socialism and communism. Instead of a war between two social systems, the “New Cold War” is directed against any alternative political ideology that challenges US imperialism. What makes the “New Cold War” perhaps even more dangerous than the first is the fact that no political movement in the US exists to stop the Deep State from escalating a war against nuclear Russia or suppressing the content and ideology of Black Agenda Report or even Black Lives Matter activism as agents of the Kremlin.
Ideological confusion reigns supreme in the United States despite the very real crisis that plagues the system of imperialism. While most Americans care little about Russiagate, few are willing to actively oppose those that do. Crusaders of Russiagate mainly rest at the helm of the Democratic Party. Even the most stealthily Democratic Party-aligned activists such as Shaun Kinghave pledged their allegiance to the US spy agencies leading the “investigations” into Russian “collusion.” The lesser-evil politics of the Democratic Party have always been the more effective evil, but now they represent something even more dangerous than that. The Shaun King’s of the world have attached themselves to the hip of the most dangerous elements of the ruling class, especially when it comes to the questions of war and austerity.
“The Shaun King’s of the world have attached themselves to the hip of the most dangerous elements of the ruling class.”
Shaun King is an opportunist at heart. King is thus more than willing to pledge loyalty to the Deep State if it will help his career. He won’t help the struggling people, including Black people, understand Russiagate any more than the purely performative investigation being conducted by former FBI-head Robert Mueller will reveal Russian involvement in the 2016 election. However, there is a worldview that does help us understand the madness of Russiagate. That worldview is dialectical materialism. Dialectical materialism supposes that the material world is the root of all ideology and that the interconnected relationship between the two is in constant motion.
Said otherwise, ruling class political parties and their political ideologies change as the material world around them changes. Some changes are small, such as piecemeal reforms. Others are grand changes like those that revolutions are made of. Russiagate mania is a product of a profound crisis in the US political duopoly, a crisis which ultimately has its roots in the economic decline of capitalism. This is most acutely seen in the relationship between the expansion of the US military state and the falling US share in the global economy. As US capitalism has become weaker on the world stage, its lust for war has grown even more ravenous and uncontrollable. Every President since Jimmy Carter has placed the military further and further into the commanding heights of US capitalism itself in a desperate attempt to stabilize a crumbling empire.
“Russiagate mania is a product of a profound crisis in the US political duopoly, a crisis which ultimately has its roots in the economic decline of capitalism.”
The broader crisis of imperialism explains why people like Joy Anne Reid, Max Boot, and Shaun King would never be caught standing with the thousands of Russians saying “hands off” our pensions. These forces were perfectly fine with former President Barack Obama when he attempted to reach a “Grand Bargain”with the Republicans to gut Social Security and Medicare. The “big nasty tent”of Democrats, Republicans, and war profiteers fueling Russia-gate had little to say about Trump’s tax cuts beyond flimsy, tabloid coverage. Time and time again, Trump has been applauded or depicted as a minor annoyance when his proposed policies hurt the masses of people and condemned whenever he makes a gesture of diplomacy with Russia, Iran, or the DPRK.
Of course, the conditions of workers and oppressed people such as Black America are inextricably connected to the question of war and peace. Russia is dangerous to the United States because it is a growing capitalist power willing to defend the right to self-determination of Syria and the planet. For Putin and most Russians, this is both good for business and a worthy political goal. On this basis, Russia should be defended from the forces of Russiagate that seek to bring the country back under US control. A real left in the United States would reach out to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation to hear their perspective on the issue of pensions and retirement. That is what internationalism looks like in practice. The people living inside US empire do not have the right to determine how those targeted by US empire conduct or govern themselves.
“A real left in the United States would reach out to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.”
This becomes all the more relevant when one considers that Russiagate is an all-out, desperate siege on whatever “democracy” ever existed in the US and its imperial orbit. The Democratic Party and its corporate masters have all but handed the party to the US intelligence apparatus. Wall Street and the war profiteers are more comfortable with spooks in the driver seat. Trump is the odd man out no matter how much he tries to balance his service to the rich with his need to appear separate from his class. There is nothing he can do about Russiagate because his accidental election is what spurred its creation. Trump isn’t the biggest threat to US “democratic” institutions, but the attempt to use Russiagate to oust him certainly is.
Russia-gate is both a distraction and much more. While Black wealth approaches zero, economic and ecological collapse lingers, and US wars rage on all over the globe, the corporate media points the finger at Putin for the crisis of legitimacy afflicting the duopoly. Russiagate also serves as a tool of domestic and international counter-insurgency, the primary goal being to discredit any left-wing or anti-imperialist movement as “Russian collusion” and “fake news.” This means pointing the same guns directed at Russia at the left itself and doing so with the technology to blame entire countriesfor cyberwarfare conducted by the spook agencies themselves. Russiagate isn’t just about Putin or Russia, it is about the destruction of any legitimate political alternative to US hegemony, period.
“The Democratic Party and its corporate masters have all but handed the party to the US intelligence apparatus.”
US imperialism has reached a stage where war and austerity have become illegitimate to most of the planet, even if most people living inside the empire are taking longer to catch on. Russiagate is a desperate attempt to ameliorate irreconcilable economic and political contradictions of a dying system. The hysteria of this “New McCarthyism” threatens to swallow the very notion of “democracy” whole (in the bourgeois sense) no matter how many times the crusaders of Russiagate claim they are defending the greatest “democracy” in the world. Fascism in the US is looking less like Trumpian racism and more like the threat of direct rule of the spook agencies and its corporate masters under the banner of anti-Russian sentiments. And just like 20thcentury fascism, the 21stcentury variant will continue to target those people who dare to defend pensions, fight for socialism, and demand the prevention of a global war that threatens the existence of us all.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the forthcoming book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: The Fake News of US Empire (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at [email protected]