Conclusion: Humanity vs CIA Terrorism
In reviewing the history and scope of CIA terrorism, it may be tempting to fall back into a kind of persistent conspiratorialism, either rejecting outright the notion that such a group could be so lethal and influential or succumbing to paranoid helplessness in the face of what seems like insurmountable power. It is important to distinguish between the terrorism of the CIA and that of any number of groups labeled as such by the United States. The CIA derives its power and influence specifically because operates along side and in support of the dominant system of power today: US-led imperialism. Like CIA terrorism, no part of the globe has been left untouched by the nefarious, ultimately self-interested influence of US-centered capital. From Albania to Vietnam to Nicaragua and Libya, along with most of Africa, Latin America and Asia, the CIA is part and parcel of a larger system bent on dominating the economic lives of the masses of people. Operating through any number of PR-friendly fronts, nominally independent states and shadowy armed groups, the CIA network is responsible for countless numbers of deaths, both through the direct and structural violence carried out under the current system.
Notwithstanding every connotation that comes with nominal communists or the histories of ‘actually existing socialisms,’ if one takes the term ‘International Communism’ to mean the masses united in struggle against oppression and exploitation, the continuing actions by the CIA long after the political disintegration of the Soviet Union and co-option of the ‘People’s Republic’ of China are coherent.
Wherever possible the CIA network, in line with the overall goals of capital, has worked to disunite and disempower those in the Third World. Where the people have gained a measure of power through the state, or when a recalcitrant state acts as a bulwark against capital either within its own sovereign territory or regionally, such countries become targets for covert ops and terrorism aiming for regime change. The CIA works to install and support local ruling classes as ‘legitimate’ political representatives, so as to strip away power from the people, both in everyday domestic functions of economics and internationally in their ability to act in solidarity through multi-national mediums.
As a result of CIA sponsored terrorism over the past six and a half decades, capital has increased in power relative to that of the broad masses. Correspondingly, the world is at a state of never -before seen poverty. Around 21,000 children die each day of starvation. (137) A child dies every 8 seconds from drinking unsanitary water. (138) Diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS still ravage whole regions. Various forms of traditional oppressions are preserved and supported into the modern world. Whole biospheres have been erased, species driven to extinction and the earth quickly approaching (if not having already reached) a tipping point for ecological and metabolic disruption resulting in a mass extinction. The power of the state through surveillance and military technology is at never before seen levels and increasing. Countries like the United States and Israel continue to maintain stockpiles of nuclear weapons and continuously developing new applications for weapons of mass destruction. Sex slavery continues, usually involving the predation of Third World females and children. People around the world are criminalized and subject to additional dangers as they search for economic opportunities in countries other than the one they were born.
Though CIA-sponsored terror may directly touch some or many at any given time, the larger end it served has far larger consequences for all. This notion has been succinctly expressed in the slogan, ‘Socialism or Barbarism.’ (139) According to this view, humanity has two choices: socialism, the path of mutual cooperation and struggle against oppression; or barbarism, the retention and logical exacerbation of all oppression indefinitely.
In 1918, Rosa Luxemburg, a German Communist, commented of the struggle for socialism:
“The establishment of the socialist order of society is the mightiest task which has ever fallen to a class and to a revolution in the history of the world. This task requires a complete transformation of the state and a complete overthrow of the economic and social foundations of society.[…]
“The essence of socialist society consists in the fact that the great laboring mass ceases to be a dominated mass, but rather, makes the entire political and economic life its own life and gives that life a conscious, free, and autonomous direction. […]
“The proletarian revolution requires no terror for its aims; it hates and despises killing. It does not need these weapons because it does not combat individuals but institutions, because it does not enter the arena with naïve illusions whose disappointment it would seek to revenge. It is not the desperate attempt of a minority to mold the world forcibly according to its ideal, but the action of the great massive millions of the people, destined to fulfill a historic mission and to transform historical necessity into reality. […]
“It is sheer insanity to believe that capitalists would goodhumoredly obey the socialist verdict of a parliament or of a national assembly, that they would calmly renounce property, profit, the right to exploit. All ruling classes fought to the end, with tenacious energy, to preserve their privileges. […]
“The imperialist capitalist class, as last offspring of the caste of exploiters, outdoes all its predecessors in brutality, in open cynicism and treachery.[…]
“The violence of the bourgeois counterrevolution must be confronted with the revolutionary violence of the proletariat. Against the attacks, insinuations, and rumors of the bourgeoisie must stand the inflexible clarity of purpose, vigilance, and ever ready activity of the proletarian mass. Against the threatened dangers of the counter-revolution, the arming of the people and disarming of the ruling classes. Against the parliamentary obstructionist maneuvers of the bourgeoisie, the active organization of the mass of workers and soldiers. Against the omnipresence, the thousand means of power of bourgeois society, the concentrated, compact, and fully developed power of the working class.[…]
“The fight for socialism is the mightiest civil war in world history, and the proletarian revolution must procure the necessary tools for this civil war; it must learn to use them – to struggle and to win.
“Such arming of the solid mass of laboring people with all political power for the tasks of the revolution- that is the dictatorship of the proletariat and therefore true democracy.” (140)
Insofar far as there could be said to be one, the way forward lies in the building of independent power through which genuine social reforms against oppression can be carried out, and in international support for such struggles. Significantly, CIA operations have been carried out most successfully from the margins of proletarian struggle or otherwise adversarial power. Thus it is imperative that every theater of social struggle against capital itself be treated as a center, operating both on the principles of self-reliance and internationalism: not hinging one’s own struggle on the outcome of other’s though never ceasing in offering or receiving direct and indirect aid. There needs to be a rapprochement between popular resistance and more established Third World social democracies. In doing so, international political space for local social reform can be created, along with solidarity against international counter-revolution on the part of capital. Moreover, the notion of seizing state power along the boundaries of the ‘post-colonial’ state may be unnecessary and self-limiting. The goal is to seize state power where possible to carry out reform against the power of capital, to extend such people’s power and to transcend capitalist-imperialism and other systems of oppression. To wit, initial pockets of socialism and with it the creation of new state-power formations may arise in isolated regions, border areas, or in pockets of slums surrounding more affluent areas of Third World cities, and may eventually be consolidated into new administrative regions irrespective of previous borders. As well, real reform must be carried out. ‘Seizing power’ is differentiated from previous revolutions and coups in that power is placed in the hands of the many at the expense of those who have traditionally benefited from their oppression (capital and its local agents). The functions of traditional and emergent privilege must be stymied. Of course, this is only a beginning. In the end, either the barbarianism spawned by capitalist-imperialism or the socialism of a liberated masses will prevail.
The CIA terrorist network was created by the US to counter the growing wave of proletarian struggle during the 20th century. Though it would be far too generous to give the CIA full credit for the ‘success’ of capital during the Cold War and since, it is clear that capital has increased its dominance over the world since the CIA’s founding. As well, capital has brought humanity to the brink of inhuman barbarity. Though opportunities still exist to forgo this destination, i.e. the exits of socialism may still remain before us, we may be speeding past them at a rate in which they might quickly be behind us.
The CIA terror network and the social relations they protect can be overcome. The struggle is hardly easy nor is the path straight or even charted. However, the more we know not just about the enemy but also about ourselves, the options available to us, our true potentials and limitations in the struggle, and how we might apply lessons of such past struggles, the better equipped we are to forge ahead into a better world.
137. Shah, Anup. “Today, around 21,000 children died around the world.”Global Issues . 24 Sept. 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/715/today-21000-children-died-around-the-world>.
138. “Water Facts.” Food and Water Watch. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/interesting-water-facts/>.
139. John, Bellamy Foster, and Clark Brett. “Empire of Barbarism :: Monthly Review.” Monthly Review, An Independent Socialist Magazine. N.p., 1 Dec. 2004. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <http://monthlyreview.org/2004/12/01/empire-of-barbarism>.
Hugo, Chavez. “Speech Delivered at the 16th World Federation of Democratic Youth.” Marxism Leninism Today. N.p., 13 Aug. 2005. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <http://mltoday.com/subject-areas/socialism-today/hugo-chavez-speech-delivered-at-the-16th-world-youth-festiva-188.html>.
140. Not surprisingly, Rosa Luxemburg was killed as part of a wave of reactionary terror just over a month after this was published.
Rosa, Luxemburg. “What Does the Spartacus League Want?.” Marxists Internet Archive. N.p., 14 Dec. 1918. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/12/14.htm>.