A spectre is haunting America — the spectre of “wokeism.” Seemingly out of nowhere, a mass “woke” hysteria of racial and gender grievance has come not only to dominate, but to define every single major institution in the country. Wokeness is so deeply ingrained in our body politic that even its detractors can easily underestimate the extent and nature of its influence.
In a popular discussion between Glenn Greenwald and Revolver’s Darren Beattie, Beattie suggests that there is an important relationship between wokeness and how the United States projects power internationally. According to this view, wokeness is not merely some extraneous ideological nuisance sitting on top of an otherwise non-woke military and national security apparatus. On the contrary, wokeness is more essentially connected to the specific manner in which the United States exercises its power and influence domestically and overseas:
Wokeness is the official ideology of the American Regime https://t.co/qO6QJCsIij
— Darren J. Beattie 🌐 (@DarrenJBeattie) October 20, 2021
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As explained above, when the US government wants to destabilize a target institution or regime it typically resorts to the following formula:
- identify and inflame ethnic or gender tensions in target regime
- leverage NGOs and civil-society groups to mobilize mass protests on basis of such tensions
- leverage local and international media to cover protests and further inflame tensions
As it so happens, an interesting example of precisely this formula appears in a recently published document discussing the capabilities and practices of Army special operations and psychological warfare units. The document in question is an unclassified white paper for 1st Special Forces Airborne Command (SFAC) titled “A Vision for 2021 and Beyond.” The SFAC motto “First to Observe, First to Influence, First to Compete,” sums up its primary purpose: influencing target populations through psychological operations and infiltrating local populations.
The Army’s special warfare teams boasts of being “masters of the art of resistance” who use a combination of Civil Affairs offices to work with civil society groups to legitimize or delegitimize preferred political groups, along with information warfare to make target populations desire to mobilize for or against the preferred political group.
From the SOC handbook:
As masters of the art of resistance, Army Special Operations Forces work with partners to anticipate, prepare for, and defeat threats ranging from insurgencies to occupying foreign powers. To accomplish this, Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations, and Special Forces conduct activities to support or defeat resistance movements.
The Special Forces Airborne Command is kind enough to present a hypothetical example of what their operations look like in action, in what is surely the most interesting part of the entire white paper.
Set in the fictional African nation of Naruvu, the vignette begins with civil affairs soldiers on their way to meet a local official noticing signs advertising a Chinese infrastructure project. Alarmed at the prospect of Chinese infrastructure development in a strategic port city, the soldiers transmit information about the building project to the Fort Bragg psychological warfare team, which then goes on to develop a plan to “converge SOF capabilities on the problem.” Their plan is as follows:
Relying on civil-economic information provided by the CMSE, the IWC’s approach empowered IWTF’s, in coordination with the JIIM, to enflame long-standing friction between Naruvian workers and Chinese corporations. Within days, protests supported by the CFT’s ODA, erupted around Chinese business headquarters and their embassy in Ajuba. Simultaneously, the IWC-led social media campaign illuminated the controversy to a global audience.
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Immediately we see key elements of the tried and true soft-power regime change playbook of the US government. Identify and inflame ethnic tensions, leverage civil society NGOS to effect mass protests, and use media assets (including social media) amplify said protests and grievances. Of course, no US government operation would be complete without either misattributing or mysteriously discovering incriminating weapons stashes.
One week later, Naruvian security forces discovered an illegal weapons cache which it traced back to a subsidiary of the construction company. To further investigate the matter, they partnered with 3rd SFG (A)’s Hard Target Defeat Company (HTD) to surveil the construction company’s headquarters. Enabled by the HTD, Naruvian security forces accessed the building and, while searching it, recovered blueprints for the proposed port facility.
Naruvu sent the recovered blueprints to DIA analysts who identified plans for concrete footings specifically designed for CSA-9 surface-to-air and DF-25 shore-to-ship missiles. These missiles, if emplaced in Naruvu, would challenge America’s air and sea lanes across the Atlantic. Armed with this information, the US Ambassador explained if China emplaced those weapons at the port, Naruvu would become a strategic target and potential war zone between great powers. China’s true intent illuminated, the Naruvian government seized the Chinese-purchased land.
One more victory for the good guys! While the vignette provided here is of course fictional, it reflects a very standard operating procedure for US government operations overseas. As Beattie mentioned in the interview with Greenwald above, we see a very similar pattern in terms of how the US and US-aligned interests identify and exacerbate ethnic and gender cleavages in China with Uyghurs, in Malaysia with Rohingya, and in Belarus, Ukraine and other Eastern European theaters with aggravation of gay rights and women rights issues.
Western media was sure to amplify and support women’s mass protest movements, for instance, in its recent spat with Russia-aligned geopolitical rival Belarus.
— euronews (@euronews) August 13, 2020
The @UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, @mbachelet, condemned the use of force by Belarusian security forces on largely peaceful protests against election results that saw President Alexander #Lukashenko extend his 26-year rule. Read more:https://t.co/RKWHNwo0qS
— Statecraft (@statecraftdaily) August 13, 2020
If the prominent use of women as demonstration props seems familiar, it’s because US-government and US-government linked Non-Governmental organizations (NGO)s have explicitly identified tactical “feminism” as a leverage point in undermining target regimes. Here’s one such acknowledgement from the German Marshall Fund, a key node in the State Department-linked NGO Axis:
First, the EU must end its geopoliticking in Belarus. Rather than pretending that its recent warming of ties with the Lukashenko regime has bolstered the country’s sovereignty, the EU must return to putting its fundamental values front and center. For as long as democracy and human rights are trampled by the government in Minsk, there can be no continued, much less deepened, political engagement.
Second, Europe must immediately demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Belarus. Thousands have fallen victim to political repression and police violence. They urgently need legal assistance, material and medical help, and rehabilitation. A generous solidarity package for Belarusian democrats, civil society, independent media, and engaged citizens should be launched instantly.
Third, the EU should strategically direct its assistance at Belarusian society. Long-term programs to support young people and students, European education, independent media, free entrepreneurship, women political engagement, civil-society development, and cross-border contacts are needed.
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Insofar as wokeness serves as an ideological vehicle with which to identify and inflame ethnic and gender grievances, it is tremendously useful — even integral — to America’s influence strategies overseas. In the wake of the twin disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public has little to no appetite for major boots-on-the-ground military operations. Partly out of political necessity, then, the United States is forced to lean yet more heavily on its alternative “soft power” option to achieve regime change and influence as described above. Why send boots on the ground at all when you can employ psychological warfare to inflame ethnic and sectarian tensions, leverage NGOs and civil society groups to incite massive protests based on those grievances, and call upon allies in international media to amplify the political unrest until you get what you want?
It would be one thing if this method were only deployed overseas against America’s adversaries. This is unfortunately far from the case. Some readers will recall that Revolver first gained national recognition for its reporting on “color revolutions.” To put it simply, Color Revolutions refer to a number of high profile events in Eastern Europe in which a combination of mass demonstrations, media leverage, NGO civil society mobilization, and law fare resulted in the overthrow or attempted overthrow of a political leader. Revolver famously argued that professionals within the American national security apparatus were using the same color revolution tactics against President Trump that they would typically use to target so-called authoritarian leaders overseas. We further observed that national security professionals weren’t simply using the same tactics against Trump as they would against target regimes overseas, but that many of the most prominent Trump opponents in the national security apparatus were actually color revolution professionals themselves.
A paradigmatic example of a color revolution is the Euromaidan demonstrations in Ukraine, in which demonstrators, with the backing of American funded NGOs and media, protested against and eventually overthrew Russia-aligned Ukrainian president Yanukovich. Interested readers are encouraged to watch the following video and note the similarity of these scenes to the Black Lives Matter riots that engulfed the United States in the lead up to the 2020 election.
The similarities between the scenes in Ukraine and Black Lives Matter protests in the United States are neither superficial nor coincidental. In fact, a Politico profile on the mastermind behind the Color Revolution model of exercising power and influence entertains the possibility that this specific model that leverages and mobilizes grievance groups might prove most consequential domestically, within the United States:
Yet for all his influence, Gene [Sharp]’s legacy remains in the balance. He died just a couple of days after his 90th birthday, at the house in East Boston that he struggled to keep watertight while doing some of his best work. For those in despair living under authoritarian governments, his work continues to be a light in the darkness, but recognition in the West is only just beginning to register. Through Occupy Wall Street, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, the new women’s movement and, increasingly, constitutional defenses against Trump administration policies, Gene’s work has been a rich resource. Now, as democratic freedoms once taken for granted in liberal democracies are under threat, Gene may yet find his greatest recognition in the country of his birth.
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As disturbing as it was to learn that many of the very same Color Revolution professionals in our national security apparatus used the same Color Revolution framework against Trump, the use and abuse of such methods domestically is likely far more extensive than the machinations of a handful of key state department and NGO operatives identified in Revolver’s investigative reports of 2020. In fact, 2020 was only the beginning of the new domestic war on terror, in which the full force of the United States national security apparatus has been weaponized politically against populists, patriots, Trump supporters, and even sincere left-wing critics of our corrupt Regime.
With the dramatic intensification of the domestic war on terror, we can expect a much more robust application of color revolution methods domestically in order to keep patriotic energies and mobilization in check. We know from the Special Forces Airborne Command document addressed earlier in this article that the military itself views color revolution-style operations very much within its purview. Newsweek recently reported on the shockingly under-explored revelation that the Pentagon operates a 60,000 strong secret army that includes special forces domestic operations:
The largest undercover force the world has ever known is the one created by the Pentagon over the past decade. Some 60,000 people now belong to this secret army, many working under masked identities and in low profile, all part of a broad program called “signature reduction.” The force, more than ten times the size of the clandestine elements of the CIA, carries out domestic and foreign assignments, both in military uniforms and under civilian cover, in real life and online, sometimes hiding in private businesses and consultancies, some of them household name companies.
It is important at this point to take stock of what we’ve learned. We see that America’s national security apparatus employs a particular method influence that involves identifying and amplifying demographic cleavages (principally ethnic, gender, class), mobilizing mass demonstrations on the basis of those cleavages, and leveraging civil society, legal NGOs and media to weaponize the demonstrations to achieve a certain political outcome. The national security apparatus employs this method overseas against alleged foreign adversaries, just as it does domestically—principally in order to attack and counter-act populist energies responsible for the election of Donald Trump.
While there is a lot that could be said about this reality, for our purposes here we are interested particularly in what this teaches us about wokeness. In short, we see that wokeness, which comes in handy in terms of identifying and inflaming gender and ethnic cleavages, is integral to a key mechanism by which the United States exercises power abroad and at home. This points toward an understanding of wokeness as far more deeply ingrained into the inner workings of the Globalist American Empire than is generally understood.
Readers might recall a recent Revolver News piece that explores several largely overlooked ways that wokeness operates within the broader American economy. The piece illustrates how wokeness is not some detachable burdensome lego that sits on top of an otherwise healthy and well functioning economy. Rather, wokeness has co-evolved with our legal structure, civil society structure and media in such a way that the tentacles of wokeness animate every aspect of corporate incentive structure. The incentives of wokeness (diversity, feminism) are so deeply ingrained at this point into how the American economy operates that one simply cannot understand how the American economy really works without understanding these incentives and interconnections.
Now, we see that wokeness is intertwined at a similarly essential level into how the United States projects power overseas and consolidates power domestically. This suggests that the task of defeating and replacing wokeness entails far more than simply changing the minds of various elements of the ruling class that embrace woke ideology. To fully, properly and sustainably uproot wokeness requires nothing less than a fundamental overhaul of major ecologies, networks, and incentive structures that undergird the current functioning of the Regime. It is a difficult task, but it is a necessary one if we ever hope to restore our nation to its former greatness—a restoration that can only occur on the basis of a full and sober understanding of the magnitude and nature of the problem.