Beyond propaganda comparisons with Hong Kong protests, Party ideologists believe the United States will collapse as the Soviet Union did.
by Massimo Introvigne
“Double standards! The U.S. media hailed the protests in Hong Kong as legitimate, and now denounce those in Washington DC as an attack against democracy.” “Karma! The U.S. fueled the unrest in Hong Kong, and now sees the same unrest in Washington DC!” “Retribution! Nancy Pelosi called protests in Hong Kong ‘a beautiful sight,’ and now rioters have occupied her office.” These comments were posted time and again on social media, where there are both genuine supporters of the CCP and an army of trolls paid to post the Party’s propaganda.
This “spontaneous” reaction to the events in Washington DC was amplified by CCP propaganda media such as the Global Times, which conveniently ignored the difference between the social and political contexts in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
However, it would be a mistake to stop at this sort of cheap propaganda about Hong Kong. What is emerging in comments by Chinese journalists and bloggers who write in typical CCP jargon is also something different. We read that Donald Trump’s presidency was “the United States’ Gorbachev Era,” and that the end of the United States is at hand.
The CCP has devoted time and energy to study the demise of the Soviet Union, least the same mistakes be repeated in China. The conclusion, often presented by President Xi Jinping himself, is that the Soviet Union lost its soul when it started criticizing Stalin and even Lenin. “Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason, Xi said, was that their ideals and beliefs had been shaken. In the end, ‘the ruler’s flag over the city tower’ changed overnight. It’s a profound lesson for us! To dismiss the history of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Communist Party, to dismiss Lenin and Stalin, and to dismiss everything else is to engage in historic nihilism, and it confuses our thoughts and undermines the Party’s organizations on all levels.”
At the same time, the CCP believes that the police and army control on the territory of the Soviet Union and its satellite states slowly collapsed, allowing non-state actors (including religion) to grow and eventually destroy the system.
CCP theorists believe that the COVID-19 pandemic just accelerated what, according to Marxist ideology, is the unavoidable collapse of all democratic capitalist societies. They point out at economic and ethnic conflicts tearing apart American society. In Marxist theory, the end result may only be the demise of the democratic U.S. as we know them.
The CCP also believes that the American “ideals and beliefs have been shaken,” just as it happened in the Soviet Union: that there is no longer a national narrative and consensus uniting American citizens, with the results that “counter-powers” alternative to the state grow like tumors and are not kept in check by law enforcement, as evidenced by the late Washington DC riots. “The US system is degrading and showing signs of worsening as cancer,” the Global Times wrote on January 7.
In several Chinese social media, a long text published in 2019 under pseudonym has been republished, claiming that American diplomacy has now entered its fifth and final, declining stage. The author claims that there is no “new Cold War,” because in order to fight a Cold War a country should be largely united under a shared ideology, which is not the case for the United States today.
“The United States during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was in its prime of life, the author wrote. The United States is now in its twilight period. If the United States collapses suddenly like the Soviet Union, everyone must not be shocked or surprised. The collapse of a global empire like the United States will be similar to the Soviet Union in the process.”
Trump’s MAGA rhetoric, the author writes, was the “last wailing before death.” “Looking back at the history of the United States, it was like a child. From when he [non-gender-inclusive language in the original] was a teenager, he left his hometown and went outside to enter the world. When he was dying, he just wanted to exhaust the last bit of energy while remembering this. From the past, he staggered back to his hometown and walked to the cemetery he had dug beforehand. He jumped down, lay in it, and finally rested in peace.”