Trump as a bonafide Russian agent of influence is difficult to comprehend because he did, after all, fill the office of the U.S. presidency for four years with all of its seemingly patriotic trappings. But at no point did he, or does he now, operate without self-conscious knowledge of his role vis-a-vis Putin and the Russians.
Now, millions of pro-Trump citizens in the U.S. continue to buy his KGB-inspired “big lie” that the November 2020 election was stolen from him. This is fueled by key GOP leaders who know better but have bought the lie because they perceive it will help them to do well in upcoming GOP primaries. What’s worse, perpetuating the “big lie” despite knowing it is a treacherous falsehood, or doing so because it, wittingly or unwittingly, advances the cause of Putin to destabilize and soften the U.S. internally?
Having successfully engineered the left-to-right paradigm shift on the U.S. political fringes in the 1970s, and adding in a newly-activated Christian right (never political before this) to create the “Reagan Revolution” of 1980, the Soviet KGB has been on a roll in the U.S. fringes since that period, resulting in the Trump campaign and the Jan. 6, 2021 violent sacking of the nation’s Capitol.
A central element for this was an assault on truth. The proliferation of cults almost always involved the same “m.o.” utilizing a personality or a belief system to which practical truth and reality were subordinated. By separating out large groups of people, including many ordinary folks not otherwise prone to such things, to submit to textbook mind-altering environments that resulted in pledges of fealty to obviously corrupt and lying individual leaders and bizarre belief systems was rampant.
So, following the KGB paradigm shift launched out of the Nixon detente in the early 1970s came a decade when the anti-war and civil rights movements were corrupted into a sea of cults that had one thing in common: truth was replaced with fantastical beliefs in the minds of true believers.
The Trump movement today is predicated on this same core fallacy, that it is a matter of personal choice or preference what truth is or is not. Foucault and postmodern thought provided faux-legitimate philosophical grounding for the rise of this institutional insanity. The KGB engineered it on the U.S. countercultural fringes and it was matched on the fringe right by operation of exactly the same formula among fundamentalist religious groups.
Amid this, the pro-labor “Old Left” veritably melted away during the 1970s. With “Operation Mop Up” being one factor, it was replaced with the mushrooming of truth-denying cults, organized around “religious” con artists in the midst of a rabid “sex, drugs and rock and roll” hedonistic frenzy. Countless among the youths, especially in urban ghettos, animated by the civil rights and anti-war movements a decade earlier died of drug overdoses, went mad with LSD overdoses, got locked up on drug charges, or saw their gay liberation or feminist aspirations plowed under by Foucault-inspired postmodern anarcho-hedonism and truth-denying.
The crushing McGovern defeat and “Mop Up” at one end of that era was bookended on the other by the assassination of gay activist Harvey Milk and the extermination of the KGB-run cult in Jonestown within two weeks of each other.
As remnants of “Old Left,” civil rights or liberal-thinking fringe institutions were obliterated, sadly, U.S. covert domestic agencies stupidly overlooked and even tacitly approved of much of this on fallacious grounds that it weakened perceived enemies to the establishment. So, observers were often confused over whether operations were orchestrated by the KGB, CIA, Stasi, Maoist or other covert agencies.
In the wake of the destruction on the fringe left grew new right cults, impotent environmentally-centered cults, persons left over who hadn’t died or gone nuts in the radical counterculture, and the religious right. All anti-truth, they fed into the Reagan momentum. Under Reagan, what qualified as a “coup” was engineered.
Reagan’s first big move upon being elected was to break the air traffic controllers strike, breaking the back of the labor movement that it’s never fully recovered from. Trumpism grew out of this.
(To be continued).
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]