How COVID and Syria Conspiracy Theories Introduce Fascism to the Left Part 3: The Red-Brown Media Spectrum

The first part of this series introduced the main concepts and context of red-brownism, examining instances of its right-leaning manifestations. The second installment delved into the tumultuous realm of pure red-brownism, while the third installment explores how the red-brown and fascistic media ecosystems infiltrate leftist domains. This segment is likely the most contentious and complex to articulate, emphasizing the critical nature of its discourse. Given the existential threat posed by information warfare, linked to the potential for catastrophic military conflict, navigating the complexities of red-brownism is crucial.

The ecosystem adjacent to left-aligned red-brownism often establishes links to the right through mechanisms like authoritarian ultra-nationalism, anti-Zionism, populism, and opposition to US centrism, the Democratic Party, or liberalism at large. This strategy enables the integration of red-brown rhetoric and figures into wider circles identifying with leftist ideologies. For instance, while some fascists view the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a bastion of ethno-nationalism resisting external influence, certain authoritarian Marxist-Leninists perceive it as a beacon of anti-imperialist communist resilience. Despite differing motivations, such groups may find themselves sharing resources and temporarily aligning goals. Much of this synergy is facilitated by Marcyism, which advocates for unwavering support of any state that nominally opposes the West, ostensibly to prevent aiding imperialist suppression of global socialism. This ideology has been criticized for enabling imperialist entities to exploit these critiques for their own purposes, invisibilizing the potential for nuanced analysis and the grassroots movements battling fascism and imperialism.

Marcyism, initially Trotskyist in nature, has gained traction across a wide spectrum of the socialist left, particularly among those justifying authoritarian communist regimes. This has led to an influx of red-brown fascist and far-right populist alliances, inadvertently or deliberately. Examples include unwavering denial of Assad’s war crimes as a stance against US intelligence propaganda, inadvertently facilitating Holocaust revisionism. This phenomenon extends to media outlets that, while not overtly fascist, play a role in legitimating problematic stances and enabling fascists to leverage their content, thus broadening fascist recruitment pathways. These outlets often repackage far-right narratives with left-leaning aesthetics, significantly exposing leftists to fascist ideologies under the guise of familiar leftist terminology. Notable figures such as Oliver Stone have endorsed such media platforms, indicating their influence within certain circles.

Global Research, founded by Michel Chossudovsky, emerged as a pivotal platform for various anti-establishment perspectives. However, its openness to diverse critiques soon attracted scrutiny for harboring antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and controversial stances, leading to academic disassociation. Despite this, the platform has continued to propagate controversial views, such as anti-vaccination rhetoric and the Irish Slave myth. Its alignment with figures and networks indicative of red-brown syndication has drawn attention from researchers and investigative journalists, highlighting its role in disseminating contentious narratives.

Similarly, The Grayzone has critiqued US imperialism without equally addressing the imperial actions of other nations like Russia or China, suggesting a reluctance to criticize allies perceived as opposing the US. This bias has been attributed to connections with red-brown and Kremlin-linked figures, reflecting a complex web of alliances and ideological alignments. The Grayzone’s reporting, particularly on Syria, has been criticized for relying on sources with questionable credibility and for echoing state-media narratives, underscoring the challenges of distinguishing between legitimate critique and facilitation of fascist or authoritarian agendas.

The interconnectedness of these platforms with state and non-state actors reveals a dense landscape of media manipulation, where the lines between factual critique, ideological propaganda, and outright disinformation blur. This network’s influence extends from niche online communities to the highest levels of government and media, underscoring the pervasive nature of red-brownism and the imperative to critically assess the sources and content of political discourse. The proliferation of these ideologies poses significant challenges to leftist movements, necessitating a vigilant and discerning approach to media consumption and ideological alignment.

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