It can be hard to make sense of the world today, but once again, I think ‘Team America World Police’ offers great wisdom for our democracy.
Seriously though, it seems that our politics are now unarguably an extension of the 19th and 20th century Russian revolutionary disinformation which springs from Russian Tsarists (who spread fascism, Aryanism, and Anti-Semitism); and their conflicts with Russian Bolsheviks (who spread communism, Marxism, and anti-capitalism). Russia seemed to control ‘both sides’ of extremist political discourse in the run up to World War II and it seems they may do so again.
It seems this ‘dialectic’ of left – right political extremity and conspiracism was then introduced into American culture by Russian espionage networks which influenced the French Popular Front and were related to top Soviet propagandist, Willi Munzenberg who had been a key figure in portraying the Nazis as having created the Reichstag fire of 1933 as a ‘false flag’. (As it turns out, the case of Sacco and Vanzetti was also fomented by Russia earlier in the 1920’s, and was also directly connected to Munzenberg and efforts to produce anti-American sentiment abroad.)
Munzenberg’s ‘fake news’ legacy is especially apparent in the ‘antifascist propaganda’ of once-blacklisted, now-venerated Hollywood legend Orson Welles who was mentored politically by one of Munzenberg’s deputies (Louis Dolivet — a known Russian intelligence agent) and had collaborated directly with figures close to the Cambridge Five spy network to produce ‘anti-American’ propaganda. Welles was deeply involved in two of the biggest hoaxes in American history which can be linked to Stalinist antifascism as promoted by Munzenberg: the 1938 ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast, and the (posthumous) 2001 Nostradamus online media hoax, which centered on themes introduced in the works of British author Erika Cheetham and the Orson Welles-starring film ‘The Man Who Saw Tomorrow‘.
After being financed by Dolivet in Europe and another Russian OGPU asset involved in film: Michael Olian, Welles only came back to American film as a result of the efforts of former NRA President Charlton Heston to incorporate Welles in ‘Touch of Evil’ (1958).
While Welles’ legacy in left wing propaganda seems tied to Stalinist antifascism – inspiring the likes of Michael Moore — conversely and yet complementarily, Charlton Heston has become a venerated figure in the so-called ‘Culture War’ by right wing conspiracists and provocateurs who are tied to Russia like Alex Jones and David Duke.
Heston also hosted a 1991 US television sequel to Orson Welles’ film called ‘Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow’ which continued to emphasize Islam as a threat, and like Welles, Charlton Heston carried on an antifascist theme in his films until death. (Please note that the concept of Muslim terror (via Islamic movements in Chechnya, Dagestan and the Caucasus) was evident in the apparently staged 1999 Moscow apartment bombings, and formed a core component of Vladimir Putin’s direct entreaties to US President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. )
Why would Russia promote our political extremes for so long than for any reason other than to divide us and make us destroy our own political ‘center’; or at least ‘soften us up’ and diminish our resolve to achieve diplomatic and military victories? Why would they try to make the US attack Islam? Did they do this before to the Nazis and the Jews?
As far as the popular alienation of political centrism and classical liberalism, there must be a reason the Russians hate American centrist liberalism and will do anything to destroy it in a strategic and philosophical sense (see Alexander Dugin).
There must be a reason Russians so steadfastly attack neoliberal – neoconservative centrists like John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson, or even John F. Kennedy. Such figures must be perceived as a threat, or the Russians wouldn’t invest such staggering efforts to produce disinformation against them.
The evidence suggests that any popular politician who threatens to unify the US through a strong centrist policy coupled with a strong military focus will be targeted by Russia. Seemingly anyone who exacerbates divisions along the contours of these Communist-Fascist extremes will be promoted in the social space. Sadly, this may mean that classical political liberalists and neoliberalists (and neoconservatives) will need to stake out the rational-realist center despite how unpopular this will be with the polarized (and well-networked) politics of our society; or potentially how vulnerable this would make them to Russian disinformation schemes.
As a run-up to the first year summation of this blog however, I think Gary from ‘Team America World Police’ (2004) put it best in the extraordinarily offensive climactic speech (albeit edited for present circumstances):
Real Americans are liberals! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid liberals.
And Russian Military Intelligence, Leon Trotsky, Bernie Sanders, Michael Avenatti, Michael Moore, John Hogue, Pussy Riot, Madonna, Anthony Bourdain, Jim Carrey, Larry Flynt, BLM, and Antifa are communists.
And the Russian Secret Police, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Putin, Russian Orthodoxy, the NRA, John Milius, James Randi, Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Ted Nugent, the Alt Right, Russia-inspired Antisemites, and Neo-Nazis are fascists.
Communists don’t like fascists, because commies get fucked by fascists. But liberals also fuck fascists — fascists who just want to shit on everything.
Communists may think they can deal with fascists their way. But the only thing that can fuck a fascist is a liberal, with some balls.
The problem with liberals is that they fuck too much or when it isn’t appropriate — and it takes a communist to show them that. But sometimes, communists can be so full of shit that they become fascists themselves… because according to horseshoe theory, communists are only an inch and half away from fascists.
I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know that if you don’t let us fuck these fascists, we’re going to have our liberalism and communism all covered in shit!
(For what it’s worth, I think Banksy (the character) is certainly among the communists; but I’m unsure about Steve Lazarides (the man). He may just be an asshole.)