Marxism was always split by the cold war. It was founded at a time when 30% of the world’s population either ruled over nations that were to some extent enslaved, or were at least politically independent. That part of the world, particularly Europe, produced Marxism, which embodied the subjectivity of the European working class. The ideology was universal, meaning that it attracted labouring classes from those enslaved nations.
Eventually the European working class would have to choose its loyalties. Did they, a) support the rights of enslaved nations to be free, or b) did they side with their own empire’s attempts to suppress those rights?
At the 1907 Stuttgart congress a motion was put forward asking the congress not to “reject in principle every colonial policy” on the grounds that colonialism “could be a force for civilization” – the motion was defeated because of the votes of India and Russia, which had more votes allocated to them for their large populations.
Therefore the ‘socialist’ zeitgeist in the Anglo-American world was always destined to be split along pro-empire and anti-empire lines.
Were Nazis socialist? What do you call a party that identified as ‘socialist’ and ‘pro-worker’, but also believed that they would benefit from enslaving or massacring other nations? In short, who became the nominal ‘socialists’ who backed the aggression of their empire?
In Germany, they were the Nazis. One of the Nazi party’s predecessors, the German Socialist Party, was represented at the Second Socialist Internationale, where they supported the motion because “Europe needs colonies” according to their leader Eduard David.
The German Nazis believed in racial imperialism, with the White 30% of the world subjugating the non-White 70% of the world, which for Hitler included the Slavs. Similarly, the Japanese imperialists wanted to enslave the rest of Asia in the name of saving Asia from Europe!
The Nazis failed because the USSR resisted, and the Japanese failed because the Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese resisted. After WW2 the postcolonial world gained its freedom through struggle, which meant that for the US to maintain its financial hegemony, it would need to keep the postcolonial world poor so it would remain dependent on exporting primary commodities to the US.
Today this imperative still powers US foreign policy, which leads to the question, who are the modern Nazis? Can we identify people in the Anglo-American world today who call themselves ‘socialist’ and fully support the predatory aggression carried out by US and NATO? Back to the same question, who today are the nominal ‘socialists’ who back the aggression of their empire?
Today there’s a whole catalogue of self-styled Leftists, Marxists and Anarchists who EXPLICITLY support US aggression in the name of socialism, most prominently, Anarchist support for the US occupation of northern Syria, which is DIRECTLY responsible for keeping a postcolonial nation poor.
Millions of Syria are a lot hungrier than they would be if there were no sanctions, which the Kurdish separatists collaborating with the US occupation contribute towards by refusing to accept the Syrian lira for the oil and food crops from the areas they’ve seized – they now deal in dollars, euros and shekels.
Ironic how the Left (whatever that means) has effectively inherited the foreign policy of the Fascist Axis in WW2.
Bernie Sanders supported the agenda to break up of Yugoslavia, which was a German objective in WW2. Many Trotskyites supported the NATO invasion of Libya, which was once the target of fascist Italy’s ambitions to acquire an enslaved nation of their own. Other Trots supported the fascist take-over of Ukraine, putting them on the same side as people whose grandfathers put on SS uniforms and marched with the Nazis in their invasion of the USSR.
The ‘National Socialists’ in Germany were more than just ‘national’, they were imperial, they wanted their imperial nation to conquer and enslave other nations, believing this would be good for their workers. The only difference with the modern imperial Left is that they justify imperial aggression on the grounds that people in the postcolonial world must be saved from their despotic governments. Regardless, the geostrategy they serve is inherited from the Axis.
Meanwhile, there are people in the US who identify as literal Nazis but they’ve spoken out against every single act of US aggression in the 21st century. Therefore, when observing the evolution of international relations, the same ‘essence’ can re-appear or reincarnate itself in new ideological ‘forms’, but the world of forms can be illusory.