"It is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way," stated the neoliberal economist Friedrich von Hyek. "And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism."
Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, U.S. foreign policy applied Hayek's philosophy on a continentwide scale. The CIA installed dictatorships in virtually every corner of Latin America, from Chile to Brazil to Bolivia to Argentina. These regimes, and the atrocities they perpetrated, were modeled after the Jakarta Method--where Washington put a military regime in place in Indonesia that killed around a million people. The official rationale behind the genocide was that Indonesia's communist party had been planning to launch a coup of its own, which according to the regime could only be responded to with the extermination of not just all real or suspected communists, but all minority ethnic groups judged to be associated with communism.
Despite what liberals want to believe, every single one of these atrocities fit into the parameters of liberalism. As Mao said, liberalism stands for an unprincipled peace, where the status quo is upheld by any means necessary. The violence or alleged violence of imperialism's challengers is seen as wrong under this framework, while whatever brutality that defends the empire is seen as acceptable. This was why Washington implemented and expanded the Jakarta Method; it saw mass murder and the destruction of democracy as necessary costs in winning the Cold War, or in reaching any other given geopolitical goal.
Madeleine Albright said something to this effect when she remarked that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from U.S. sanctions were worthwhile for U.S. foreign policy success. Albright may have later claimed to no longer believe this sentiment, but there was clearly some cognitive dissonance in these attempts to reconcile human decency with support for the liberal international order. Albright still believes Washington has the right to decide who lives or dies in any given country. Liberals are always going to be unprincipled in their support for peace, in contrast to the communist position on peace that Mao explained: "We stand firmly for peace and against war. However, if the imperialists insist on unleashing another war, we should not be afraid of it."
Now that Washington has reacted to its imperial decline by launching a new cold war, one that poses an even greater risk of nuclear confrontation than the last one, communists should not be afraid of defending the masses from the threats posed by this war and its byproducts. One of these byproducts being an effort by NATO to nurture the resurgence of fascism in the 21st century, and thereby to wage a war on the masses via fascism's brutality.
In Ukraine, NATO and its liberal enablers are assisting the atrocities of the fascist regime that Washington installed in 2014. In addition to this regime's banning of communist organizing, pogroms, persecution of minorities, official government glorifications of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators who participated in the Holocaust, book bans, abolition of free speech, and torture of dissidents, the anti-Russian proxy war that it wages on NATO's behalf has included Nazi-esque war crimes. As journalist Russell Bentley has assessed regarding last month's discovery of mass graves surrounding the Donbass conflict, the U.S. is in every way complicit:
Vice-President Biden personally made six trips to Ukraine, half of them in 2014. This was during the heaviest attacks of the Ukrainian armed forces and the neo-nazi battalions against the people of Donbass, and Biden's visits preceded by only a few days or weeks, the worst crimes of the war. There can be no doubt these crimes were done not only with Biden's permission, but on his orders. These crimes include the murder of over 100 protestors and unarmed Berkut police by snipers at the Maidan in Kiev, the mass murder by burning to death scores of peaceful protestors in Odessa on May 2nd, the airstrike in Lugansk on June 2nd, and the false flag attack that murdered 298 innocent civilians on MH-17 on July 17th. From Nuland and Pyatt hand-picking the new, unelected Ukrainian government, to every legal, political, economic and military decision, Ukrainian lapdogs jumped every time their US masters said "jump". The orders were clear - suppress the uprising in Donbass by every means, legal or illegal, and the more brutal and ruthless, the better. And the attacks were brutal and ruthless, and now, Biden is back again.
Poland has been headed in the same direction, and within an eerily similar time scale; shortly after the Ukraine coup, Poland integrated paramilitaries into the army, solidifying the control of the far-right and escalating the country's tensions with Russia. The only thing stopping Poland's fascists from becoming as deadly as the ones in Ukraine is opportunity. Whereas the Ukrainian fascists have been able to perpetrate ethnic cleansing under the pretense of "defending from Russian aggression," in Poland the neo-Nazis are still having to wait for a war to grant them such opportunities.
But they are making do with the imperialist crises that have already been handed to them. As a humanitarian catastrophe grows for the migrants along the Polish-Belarusian border, Poland's President Andrzej Duda has visited the border in solidarity with the police and military to declare: "We have always been, we are and we will be part of a Europe based on Christian values, which are also the foundations of our tradition and culture." What does he mean by this? In addition to Poland's mistreating the migrants by refusing to treat them as refugees--which Belarus regards them as--the country is waging a war against its own people in the name of religion.
Poland continues to enforce "LGBT-free zones" in some areas, where the law officially states that LGBT people aren't welcome. As one bisexual man within these areas has clarified, it's essentially a license of impunity to commit hate crimes, which have been increasing: "The zones themselves don't have any legal power, they're mostly symbolic. [But] it encourages the opposite-minded people to speak out against us, and be more active."
The EU may be cutting off funding for the localities that enforce these zones, but NATO is stoking the fascistic flames that make such abuses possible. It's NATO that's providing the tools for Poland to hold joint military exercises with Ukraine. It's NATO that's destabilized the regions that the refugees are coming from, then exacerbated the refugee crisis by imposing sanctions on Belarus (which Poland's leaders ironically claim is to blame for the crisis). It's NATO that perpetuates the fabricated Soviet atrocity stories that the Ukrainian fascists are using as a rationale for their crimes, and that the Polish far-right also sees as a vindication of their crusade. It's NATO that's flooded Europe with Russophobic propaganda, providing the fascists with fuel for their militaristic rhetoric--and for the recent Polish Independence Day riot where extremists attacked the Russian embassy in Warsaw.
Poland's government may now be denouncing the antisemitic rallies that far-right groups held across the country this week, but every facet of the country's policies from recent years has helped cultivate the ideal environment for hate to grow. The same goes for the policies of the NATO countries, especially the United States; this week, the U.S. and Canada partnered with Ukraine to affirm their position as the only countries that oppose the proposed Russian UN resolution, which pledges to combat neo-Nazism. At the same time, virtually every other imperialist country abstained, declining to take sides in this question of whether the international community should seriously address the neo-Nazi problem.
This is because every level of the U.S. settler-colonial apparatus is intertwined with Ukraine's ethnic-cleansing operation. In addition to the Biden administration's increase in military aid to Ukraine, there's a pipeline for U.S. white supremacists to join Ukraine's proxy war. They use Ukraine as a playground for their fantasies of becoming military heroes for the white race.
This is the situation the imperialists seek to replicate within Belarus, Russia, and the other countries that are judged to need fascism in order to preserve Washington's geopolitical interests. Roman Protasevich, the Belarusian opposition figure who's been portrayed by the imperialist media as a heroic journalist, has been revealed to have fought with Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, the militia that's committed many of the recent atrocities against Jews and Romas. He parallels the Russian "anti-corruption" leader who's a well-known racist and is affiliated with a group comparable to the Proud Boys.
The imperialists have already succeeded at bringing fascism to power not just in Eastern Europe, but in Brazil, India, and numerous other peripheral countries, where genocides are currently taking place against disfavored ethnic or religious groups. The efforts to bring "democracy" to Russia and Belarus are merely covers for expanding this far-right bloc. Imagine if the equivalent of the Indian BJP's anti-Muslim extermination campaign were to take place in Russia. Or if the CIA were to succeed in putting the equivalent of Bolsonaro into power in Belarus. There's no limit to the atrocities that the imperialists will accept, so long as they're committed by a leader who advances their geopolitical interests and implements their neoliberal policies.
The more the capitalist reaction intensifies, the greater the stoking of belligerence against Washington's rivals, the greater the abandonment of human rights, and the greater the mobilization of the fascist militias. At some point, these most extreme elements of the reaction will have their opening for a coup in the heart of imperialism. January 6th was a trial run for this moment.