• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

In Sept. 1967, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union sent one of
its top strategists, Konstantin Katushev, to Prague. His mission was to
provide an oral briefing to Czech Communist Party bosses on Moscow’s
long-term strategy. Besides organizing for the fake collapse of the
Warsaw Pact to weaken NATO, Moscow’s plan called for exploiting a future
economic depression in the United States.

Soviet economists have long held to a theory of economic cycles that
predicts a depression every fifty to sixty years. According to Marxist
theory, an economic depression in the capitalist countries signifies an
opportunity for revolutionary action.

“Soviet and other communist economists keep a careful watch on the
American economic situation,” wrote KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in
1984. “The communist bloc will not repeat its error in failing to
exploit a slump as it did in 1929-32.”

A severe economic depression, in Marxist terms, would bring about a
“pre-revolutionary” situation in many capitalist countries. Given our
current social problems, an economic depression in America might lead to
a social explosion. The U.S. Constitution could then be overthrown by
Moscow’s clandestine network, provided Russia’s agents are properly

But what if a social explosion in this country resulted in a
patriotic revival? — a shift to the right rather than to the left?

According to defector Jan Sejna, who was present during Katushev’s
1967 visit to Prague, Katushev noted that America could “move to either
extreme.” But Katushev noted that if the American economy were seriously
disrupted, “the working and the lower middle classes will suffer the
consequences and they will turn on the society that has failed them.
They will be ready for revolution.”

There are two faint but discernible revolutionary impulses in
present-day America. One impulse is from the Marxist left, which has
been mistakenly presumed dead, and the other is from the populist
right. Both of these revolutionary impulses hate the present U.S.
establishment, which is regarded as illegitimate and tyrannical.

Looking at various far-left organizations and front groups, we find
there is more unity on the left, a longer history of professional
revolutionism, and a greater refinement of organizational skill. The
history of leftist groups — from the Weather Underground to the
anti-war movement in the 1960s — is a history that involves massive
infusions of cash from foreign communist sources. It is well known, for
example, that the Communist Party USA received millions of dollars
directly from Moscow. Many leaders of the communist movement in America
also received specialized training in Russia. More recently, the
Revolutionary Communist Party, whose spokesmen openly boast of their
role in the L.A. riots, probably received similar support from Beijing.

Among the revolutionists of the populist right we find there is much
less unity, a greater disparity of views, and almost no trace of either
professional revolutionism or a scientific approach to political power.
Such groups also lack foreign sources of support, either in funding or
training. One cannot help noticing that, in terms of political warfare,
the populist right has poor strategic sense. Feelings of outrage and
quotations from the Founding Fathers are not enough. One has to have
detailed knowledge and a strategy that will work.

In political contests, superior knowledge, organization and strategy
will always hold the advantage. It does not matter if you are a
minority of less than 1 percent. If you build a solid organization –
openly or clandestinely — and you attempt to manipulate the key
institutions that shape society, something will be gained. This has
been one of the accomplishments of Marxism in the 20th century. In
terms of a future social explosion or severe economic crisis, a
carefully contrived clandestine organization is likely to prove more
effective than an ad hoc mass of half-baked “patriots.”

Katushev believed that America’s left had other advantages, as well.
But he was met with skepticism from the Czech communists. The Czechs
thought America was a country with strong powers of resistance. If
America suffered a social explosion, they cautioned, America might
“swing violently to the right.”

Katushev had an interesting answer to the Czech concerns. “It’s more
likely,” he replied, “that a progressive regime will emerge (in America)
because, in spite of their power, the governing bureaucratic and
industrial elite, and the media, are fundamentally liberal in their
outlook and ashamed of their failure to solve basic problems.”

The psychological point here should not be missed. Whenever a
capitalist economy suffers a “market correction” after a period of
excess optimism, there are those who will blame the market, who will
blame capitalism, and who will thereby advance a socialist political
agenda. Liberal guilt then emerges to agree with the socialist
critique. This might spell the end of our economic freedom — and the
end of American prosperity. Once you put an end to economic freedom you
destroy the economy’s recuperative power. Once you destroy the
economy’s ability to recover, your dictatorship must institute more and
more crushing controls.

An interesting tidbit related to this has emerged from the strategic
writings of two colonels of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In a
book entitled “Unrestricted Warfare,” published in 1999 by Col. Qiao
Liang and Col. Wang Xiangsui, it says: “If the attacking side (i.e.,
China) secretly musters large amounts of capital without the enemy
nation being aware of this … and launches a sneak attack against its
financial markets, then after causing a financial crisis, buries a
computer virus and hacker detachment in the opponent’s computer system
in advance, while at the same time carrying out a network attack against
the enemy … financial-transaction network, telephone-communications
network and mass-media network … this will cause the enemy nation to
fall into social panic, street riots and a political crisis.”

From defector sources we know that Russian strategists have also
developed contingencies for economic sabotage against the West.
According to Joseph D. Douglass Jr., author of “Red Cocaine,” Moscow’s
strategy against America includes the penetration of U.S. banks through
illegal money-laundering operations. Such infiltration might lead to
the creation of a powerful economic time bomb within the U.S.

At present there is an emerging financial crisis in America. The
dollar has been weakening. If it gives way, the stock market might
fall. Perhaps adding a little push of its own, Russia has been
withholding precious metals from the world market, driving the prices of
platinum, palladium and rhodium skyward. Some auto manufacturers are
said to be panicking because of the metals shortages. The Defense
Logistics Agency, which loaned the U.S. Mint 200,000 ounces of platinum
in 1997, wants its metal returned because the agency cannot otherwise
meet its commitments for fiscal 2000.

Even more curious, there is talk that the Clinton administration has
misused the Exchange Stabilization Fund to artificially depress the
price of gold.

Whatever the future holds, recent events point in a sinister
direction. The Russians, Chinese and North Koreans have been mobilizing
their military forces in recent months. Russian economic measures
suggest that Moscow is anticipating some kind of military crisis. A few
days ago, President Putin of Russia called up an additional 20,000
reservists, even though the war in Chechnya is winding down. Many
Russian pre-war indicators remain high, and U.S. defense computers have
continued to suffer mysterious lapses. On Jan. 24 a significant part of
the U.S. intelligence computer network — at the NSA — blinked off for
three days. This was the third major failure of U.S. intelligence
computers in four weeks.

Do the strategists in Moscow and Beijing expect a severe economic
crisis in the near future? Or have they given us a little push, on
purpose, hoping to exploit an impending social explosion in America?

It is hard to know what is going to happen. America is a volatile
society and this is a presidential election year. Come to think of it,
of all the candidates now running, there is only one who might profit by
a severe economic downturn. He is a candidate that otherwise would not
stand a chance. Don’t miss this column on Thursday when I discuss the
unusual ideas of presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.