Today, even as the US and Russia are closer than ever to all out war, “Russiagate” has been largely forgotten. Those who haven’t forgotten it either take it for granted as true or take it for granted as a failed attempt by “the establishment” to dethrone Trump. This latter assumption is held by people with a wide range of political opinions on other issues, and shows how successful the psyop actually was. Furthermore, some on the “Left” assume that there is a legitimate, definitive separation between different “wings” of the American bourgeoisie and that they are simply both undesirable as rulers (so it is fine to see Trump as an “outsider” because the world outside of the one he’s challenged is also bad). On the other hand, many on the Right think that Trump was at one time a part of the ruling class but has now ascended above it, but still, for some reason, is not strong enough to refuse its coercion (hence the repeated acts imperialism in service of “neoconservative globalists” which Trump signed off on while president).
The truth is that Russiagate was part of a larger operation to filter as many Americans into different political cults as possible after the 2008 recession and to drive this spectrum of groups toward positions which will all behoove the State in the next major inter-imperialist conflict. Another side of this op was QAnon (many critical observers called Russiagate “liberal QAnon”) which, in criticizing the Russiagate narrative, I have already largely debunked. Getting into the nuances of QAnon lore is irrelevant and, in any case, would be inappropriate for a conclusion to a blog series which was originally meant to be a standalone essay. All I will mention is that Michael Flynn is now a leader of that movement and that its fingerprints, along with those of Russiagate, continue to influence the various “countercultural” political movements that have arisen in the faux-grassroots of America’s hollowed out civil society.
One month before Russia invaded Ukraine, I wrote about Flynn’s influence in the Q movement and his general rising celebrity on the “alternative” Right as a potential heir to Trump’s throne. As I point out there, at the same time that Flynn was becoming the Brigham Young of the Q movement, he was referring to it in private as “total nonsense” invented by “the Left” and the CIA to smear Trump’s base and confuse MAGA conservatives. This perfectly exemplifies what I believe the purpose of these various acts of psychological warfare to be: isolating a “center” that does not believe itself to care about politics through increasingly confusing disinformation campaigns that are peppered with actual facts and simultaneously steering both “the Left” and the organized Right to the same conclusion that this center ultimately endorses through its indifference. This conclusion is nothing less than support for whatever “establishment” figure, masquerading as an “anti-establishment” populist the bourgeoisie coughs up to manage its next era of desperate imperialist aggression against Russia, China, and the few remaining small nations that have not been completely laid to waste by “globalization” (Venezuela, Bolivia, DPRK, Iran etc) along with those that, even under brutal occupation or control by compradors, continue to resist (Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, and those who remain under the thumb of the State in the imperial core, such as black Americans, Latin American “illegal” immigrants, prisoners, the homeless, etc).
I have referred to the State’s activities in disseminating psyops like Russiagate, Qanon, and some I did not have time to mention, such as the top to bottom hoax of “Havana Syndrome” which has been blamed on Cuba in much the same way COVID-19 was initially blamed on China, as an attempt to “tighten the screws” in the imperial core. Similar “tightenings” seem to have taken place all over the world in the last several years. Consider the repeated purges and expansions of law enforcement powers in Turkey since 2016, which Erdogan justified in response to the attempted coup supposedly led by Fetullah Gulen. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversaw a historic purge of the Saudi Royal Family and government bureaucracy.
Then there is the observable escalation of Israel’s genocide, both physical and cultural, of the Palestinian people, which the settler-colonial entity’s old friend, Donald Trump, was more than happy to help them with.
Likewise, ever since 2019, massive uprisings have taken place all over the world. Many of these are either Color Revolutions or heavily steered by American NGOs despite having legitimate seeds of discontent. Just as many, however, appear to be legitimate uprisings against modern Western imperialism that are significant regardless of how successful they have been in fundamentally dissolving America’s power over their political and economic lives. There’s also instances such as the failed coups in Venezuela and Bolivia under Trump and the retreat of American forces from Afghanistan and the collapse of Kabul’s US-backed puppet government after two decades of brutal occupation.
Even within the United States, we’ve seen an increasing tension leading to the enormous uprising catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd in summer 2020 and a general ossification of the State bureaucracy and social life bother immediately before and after that explosion. The United States and the Western imperialist complex in general is now acting from a position of weakness rather than strength. Globalization has, for all intents and purposes, concluded. With the circulation of capital slowing significantly, a new world war between the largest bourgeois nations seems to have become a foregone conclusion.
I do not pretend that this study in-itself does much of anything to diffuse this situation; literature can only do so much to move the world forward no matter how educational or inspiring it is. Thus, I leave you with words Lenin wrote regarding the original “world war” over 100 years ago:
“The war cannot but evoke among the masses the most turbulent sentiments, which upset the usual sluggish state of mass mentality. Revolutionary tactics are impossible if they are not adjusted to these new turbulent sentiments.
What are the main currents of these turbulent sentiments? They are: (1) Horror and despair. Hence, a growth of religious feeling. Again the churches are crowded, the reactionaries joyfully declare. ‘Wherever there is suffering there is religion,’ says the arch-reactionary Barr s. He is right, too. (2) Hatred of the ‘enemy’, a sentiment that is carefully fostered by the bourgeoisie (not so much by the priests), and is of economic and political value only to the bourgeoisie. (3) Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie—the sentiment of all class-conscious workers who understand, on the one hand, that war is a ‘continuation of the politics’ of imperialism, which they counter by a ‘continuation’ of their hatred of their class enemy, and, on the other hand, that ‘a war against war’ is a banal phrase unless it means a revolution against their own government. Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie cannot be aroused unless their defeat is desired; one cannot be a sincere opponent of a civil (i.e., class) truce without arousing hatred of one’s own government and bourgeoisie!”