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CIA Created the Western Left as a Soft Power Tool for Regime Change

By Keaten Mansfield3/5/2022
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Why is the Western left so often a fifth column of Western imperialism? History shows us the involvement of intelligence agencies in the development of their ideology and organizations.

The “New Left,” born out of the hippie era and social justice movements of the 1960’s, has been a disaster for the socialist cause.

When the Communist Party USA was founded in 1919, it quickly became a political force to be reckoned with. Through the formation of unemployment councils and independent labor unions, CPUSA’s membership skyrocketed. Henry Wallace, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Vice President, had a relatively friendly relationship with the Communist Party.

The early American left understood the importance of populism. It understood the need to win as many people as possible to socialist politics through programs designed to raise the standard of living and quality of life. Through this, the Party quickly became a formidable political force.

The United States government realized the potential of the Communist Party and decided to first act with hard power. The House Un-American Activities Committee and the McCarthy era was a horrific time of political repression for communists in the United States. American communist leaders such as Foster, Browder, and Hall faced imprisonment for their political standing, often from legal technicalities to ensure their conviction.

Eventually, the McCarthy era came to an end as the Senator drank himself to death. Despite the harsh repression, McCarthy failed to destroy the communist movement, and for many, this only strengthened their faith in the revolutionary ideology.

Out of this period came the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom. Designed to appear as a grassroots socialist movement, the CCF pioneered the “anti-communist left.”

Ideological split of the Western left vs. Eastern left

The CCF ran with the narrative of “anti-authoritarianism,” saying that, because the USSR, China, and other socialist countries did not have the same type of social liberalism as the United States, American socialists must oppose them. In 1966 it was revealed the CIA had been funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and the organization dissolved over a decade later. The CIA’s role behind the CCF and a myriad of other organizations and public figures associated with the “anti-authoritarian left” is well-documented in the book The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters by Frances Stonor Saunders.

Although the CCF hasn’t been active for over 40 years, the sentiments and ideology is alive and well. The phenomenon of Youtube political commentators, collectively known as BreadTube, have carried on the so called anti-authoritarian leftism. According to Google Trends, only in the US, UK, and France is the anarchist book Conquest of Bread searched for more than the communist State and Revolution. In the rest of the world, especially the Global South, ‘the State and Revolution’ enjoys by far the most popularity.

A year ago, the journalist and Director of the Center for Political Innovation, Caleb Maupin, wrote and published a book explaining this trend in the west. BreadTube Serves Imperialism was a massive success among anti-war socialists.

Leaked doc linking BreadTuber to Royal Institution

Recently, leaked documents linked the BreadTube personality known as Abigail Thorn (Philosophy Tube) to the British Crown through the UK’s Royal Institution.

This issue has become a serious matter in the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine as Vaush, the most well known face of BreadTube, has pushed the pro-NATO narrative. With hundreds of thousands of young people interested in politics turning to figures such as Vaush, it has caused much of the so-called left-wing to be pro-imperialist.

From turning on leaders such as Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, to supporting NATO expansion into Ukraine to combat the “evil Russkies,” the left has gone from a mass movement of economic populism to an internet sect of war-mongers hiding behind a Red Flag and pushing capitalist culture on the global south.

The Western left must return to a message of hope and economic prosperity if it is serious about seeing a transformation of the United States to a socialist economy, until then, the left will remain a tool for imperialism and culture war.

* Featured image: screenshot from a promotional video by a chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America declaring their support for Rojava, a term used for the US-funded Kurdish rebels in Syria fighting against the Syrian government. Many radical liberals, antifa members, and anarchists from the US have gone to join the Kurdish YPG, which is funded by the US government, which fulfills the agenda of America and the Zionist regime to dissolve the Syrian government due to its crucial role in supplying arms to the Islamic Resistance Axis in Lebanon and Gaza.

This article was originally published on BasiraPress.

Keaten Mansfield is an author, full time analyst, and organizer for the Center for Political Innovation, as well as a guest commentator for PressTV. Born in the American Heartland, much of Mansfield’s work centers around the conditions of rural workers and farmers and kindling the Christian Socialist tradition.