Commentaries on current events, political economy, and the Communist movement from a Marxist-Leninist perspective.
Zigedy highly recommends the Marxist-Leninist website, MLToday.com, where many of his longer articles appear.
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Friday, October 6, 2017
A Chapter in a Declining Empire
not yet anesthetized by the anti-Russia hysteria, should read Robert
Rise of the New McCarthyism.
The estimable Parry argues for similarities between today’s
overheated political antics and those of an earlier time. He likens
the relentless Russia-baiting of 2017 with the red-baiting of the
post-war period often identified with Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy.
that is not quite right. Labelling the post-war delirium,
characterizing the anti-Communist frenzy of the period as
“McCarthyism” places far too much weight on that sole figure.
True, Joe McCarthy exploited the climate, pushing the absurdity of
the times to even more absurd levels. Yet we overlook the causes of
the poisoned atmosphere just as surely as we would if we labelled
this moment we live in as “Maddowism,” after the woman committed
to exploiting the mania for ratings, after Rachel Maddow’s prodding
anti-Russian sentiment to ever greater heights.
fever, like that of 1919 in the US, 1920-22 in Italy, the 1930s
throughout Europe, 1946 and 2003 in the US, and again today in the
US, is usually driven by crises-- threats or perceived threats to the
system. It reflects weaknesses or vulnerabilities resulting from
economic distress or international conflict. Whether the threat is
real or perceived, identifiable or mythical, ruling classes use a
crescendo of fear and alarm to foster an atmosphere of conformity and
and after World War I, the Bolshevik revolution frightened the US
ruling class into its first “Red scare,” an orgy of war-induced
patriotism and media-crazed fear of mythical Red barbarity, an orgy
resulting in mass arrests and deportations.
the victory of the Soviet Union, the expansion of socialism, the
intensifying struggles for national liberation, and a domestic left
third-party challenge to two-party hegemony spurred the ruling class
to spark a second Red scare. A critical mass of consensus was quickly
achieved, persisting throughout the Cold War. Thus, it is misleading
to say, as Parry does, that “...the 1950s version was driven by
Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end,
maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as ‘un-American’ and
as Communism’s ‘fellow travelers.’”
fact, except for the “fellow travelers,” most of the
non-Communist left and most liberals gleefully joined the red-baiting
hunting party for “subversives.” Those who didn’t
enthusiastically join the mob did little or nothing to diminish the
campaign. Certainly, when the purges began to target the moderate
anti-Communists, liberal voices did pathetically stir.
those familiar with the history of Cold War US repression are not
surprised by liberal complicity in the anti-Russia madness today. It
should be no surprise that the liberals and the petty-bourgeois left
betray the truth, make common cause with the forces of hate,
distrust, and prejudice. In times of crisis, that’s what they too
of a few notable voices, liberal/left intellectuals are buying the
anti-Russia frenzy. Despite the fact that US security services have
an unbroken record of lies and manipulations, they are today
manufactured to be the saviors of US “democracy.” The
entertainment industry has cast “deep throat” Mark Felt-- a
crazed, disgruntled FBI official, bitter because he didn’t inherit
the directorship from J. Edgar Hoover-- as the hero of the Watergate
debacle. Industry moguls stretch credulity to portray him as the
courageous forerunner of the sleazy James Comey.
quickly the liberals have forgotten the shame of 2003, when a ruling
class-induced frenzy of lies and distortions prompted an unprovoked
US invasion of a sovereign country. Have the scoundrels fabricating
“evidence” against Iraq left or have they been removed from the
State Department, the CIA, the FBI, etc.? Or are they still there,
now busy spinning lies against Russia?
and the weasel-left should heed Parry’s warning: “Arguably, if
fascism or totalitarianism comes to the United States, it is more
likely to arrive in the guise of “protecting democracy” from
Russia or another foreign adversary than from a reality-TV clown like
Donald Trump.” Apart from flirting with war, the new consensus
against Putin and Russia further erodes the remaining vestiges of
democratic life in the US. Fear has brought us an Orwellian
destruction of privacy and freedom, along with a murderous foreign
policy and, now, a shamefully uncritical conformity.
by Other Means
“The New McCarthyism” is an inaccurate description of our times,
what would be more suitable? Perhaps “The New Cold War” would be
more appropriate since US aggression is both global and endless. The
US is conducting war or war-like actions in Africa, the Middle East,
South America, the Caribbean, and in Asia. Any and every country that
fails to accept US global leadership becomes a target for US
constitutes a desperate attempt on the part of US elites to maintain
their place at the top of the hierarchy of imperialism, their
ultimate mastery over all global affairs.
the arrogant declaration of victory in the Cold War and the
presumption of global governance, matters begin to fall apart for the
champions of US global dominance. Former clients like Al Qaeda, the
Taliban, and Saddam Hussein began to defy US hegemony. States like
Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador choose paths independent of the US
template for the global economy. Other states like Yugoslavia, Cuba,
and DPRKorea refused to acknowledge that socialist economic relations
were outlawed in the post-Soviet era. Still other states like Iran,
post-Yeltsin Russia, Libya, and Syria reject US interference in their
and their neighbors’ affairs. And, of course, the world’s largest
economy (PPP)-- PRChina-- does not accept a subordinate role in global
short, the US role as self-appointed world policeman has been
answered with far-from-servile acceptance by the world’s people.
US response to resistance has been violence. Uncountable deaths and
injuries from invasion, occupation, and remotely-mounted attacks have
been visited upon combatants and civilians alike. The stability of
numerous countries has been disrupted, usually under the cynical
banner of human rights. Over the last two decades or so, US
imperialism has restructured its aggression, relying more and more on
surrogates, drones, and economic aggression, but with the same deadly
cabal of liberal interventionists has refined and expanded the tactic
of imposing international sanctions, a particularly brutal, but
seemingly high-minded form of aggression.
should not deceive ourselves. International sanctions may masquerade
as a mechanism of civil enforcement, but they are, in fact, acts of
war-- war by other means. The current world balance of forces allows
the US to cajole, intimidate or manipulate UN member states to
endorse strangling the economies of US adversaries under the guise of
UN sanctions. The UN virtually rubber stamps the US initiatives to
cut the lifelines of countries, organizations, even corporations that
dare to ignore US dictates Similarly, the EU and NATO act as sanction lapdogs.. The consequences of sanctions can be just
as destructive, as death-dealing, as overt military aggression.
Shamefully, even Russia and PRC-- the victims of sanctions-- have
collaborated on these sanctions in recent years, an opportunistic
approach meant to ingratiate themselves with US leaders.
the same time, no UN economic sanctions have been imposed upon the serial human rights violator, the apartheid state of Israel-- merely
calls, resolutions, and condemnations.
a toxic atmosphere of incredulous “sonic” attacks charged to
Cuban authorities, provocative claims of Russian government meddling
in everything from the electric grid to Facebook, allegations of
Venezuelan drug trafficking, suspicions of Chinese espionage, and the
many other marks of induced paranoia, the fight for truth is the only
escape, the only response to the ugly throes of a diseased, embattled
empire. Most assuredly, the empire is in decline, though most of its
citizens are unaware, sheltered by a thick curtain of deceit.