How COVID and Syria Conspiracy Theories Introduce Fascism to the Left. Part 2: The Red-Brown Media Spectrum

This segment of our series delves into the core of “red-brownism,” a perplexing and seemingly contradictory mix of ultra-nationalist and populist ideologies with blurred political lines between the left and right. This arena is where startling and bewildering ideologies emerge, yet for some, these ideologies form a deliberate strategy aimed at destabilizing liberal democracies from both the extreme right and the radical left. The endgame for many involved is a landscape filled with authoritarian, ethno-nationalist states marked by rigid borders and engaged in endless multipolar conflicts. This vision is appealing to outright fascists and white nationalists as it provides a foundation for realizing their extreme, violent ambitions. Opposition to this dystopian scenario comes not from a single-front liberal imperialism but through multifaceted, resilient networks of anti-fascist and anti-imperialist global solidarity.

Veterans Today: A Case Study in Chaos Veterans Today stands out as a peculiar example within this narrative, targeting U.S. veterans while openly aligning with Syrian, Russian, and Iranian intelligence. Despite its chaotic and conspiracy-laden content, the site maintains connections with figures from various intelligence communities. This mix of Holocaust denial, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and claims of negotiating hostage releases in Syria presents a bewildering front, seemingly aimed at recruiting intelligence assets from the West.

21st Century Wire: Continuing the Conspiratorial Legacy Patrick Henningsen’s 21st Century Wire, originating from the conspiratorial realms of InfoWars and other fringe media, perpetuates a wide array of conspiracy theories, from anti-vaccination rhetoric to alternative takes on mass shootings. The platform, which once criticized COVID-19 lockdowns and social-distancing measures, exemplifies the dangerous spread of misinformation under the guise of “alternative media.”

The Duginist Web The ecosystem surrounding Russian political figure Aleksandr Dugin promotes a “Fourth Political Theory” that claims to transcend traditional left-right politics, advocating instead for a multipolar world order. This network of blogs and think tanks serves as a conduit for Dugin’s ideology, spreading pro-Kremlin narratives and various conspiracies, including those about COVID-19, under a veneer of geopolitical analysis.

New Horizon Conference: A Spy-Front? The New Horizon conference, labeled by some as a spy-front, exemplifies the bizarre intersection of ideologically diverse participants, from Holocaust deniers to figures from the political left. This gathering illustrates the complex web of alliances and narratives that fuel the red-brown movement, with implications for the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories on a global scale.

Conclusion: The Red-Brown Threat to Internationalism As we explore the intricate and often disconcerting world of red-brownism, it becomes clear that this movement’s impact on the global information ecosystem is both significant and destructive. Through a mix of mis- and disinformation, these networks pose a serious challenge to the principles of justice and international solidarity, emphasizing the importance of grounding our movements in reality and the experiences of those most affected by these threats. This series aims to provide a foundation for understanding the complexities of this movement and the critical role of internationalist left in countering its destabilizing effects.

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