Kultural Marxism: Evidence of Venezuela’s Attempt to Influence American Elections
The New York Times’ recent decision to publish Samuel Moyn’s article The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme is 100 Years Old was an incredibly dangerous example of false reporting.
Moyn is correct in that there are a number of dank and dark holes of hate on the internet that share half-baked conspiracy theories about the Frankfurt School. Cultural Marxism as a plot by academics associated with the New School for Social Reach in New York to undermine and degenerate American culture is indeed a cruel slander “that exists only in the realm of myth.”
Moyn is wrong, however, in denying the existence of an international convergence of actors who have the intention to undermine a natural, organic national culture via the coordinated dissemination of politically charged media. There is a genuine coordinated effort to alter American’s political values, attitudes, beliefs and behavior by foreign state actors with an interest in affecting the tenor of American political discourse as well as the outcomes of United States’ elections. Rather than relying upon innuendo and idealism — as is the epistemology of Cultural Marxism — the existence of Kultural Marxism can be proven by investigating social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Because these empirically-verifiable activities can be connected to non-U.S. actors; because it mobilizes Marxist/Socialist/Communist imagery and thought; as the theory informing their propagandistic practice is heavily influenced by the writings of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci; and as the person that is the titular director of the operation, Nicolas Maduro, was recently endorsed by the Venezuelan Communist Party I’ve decided to refer to this coordinated effort as Kultural Marxism.
This article defines Kultural Marxism and provides examples of the coordinated inauthentic behavior networks (CIBN) that help promote such content. Then it will relate these activities to concerns about the 2016 and 2018 elections in the United States.
What Kultural Marxism is Not
Kultural Marxism is mere Tweets by heads of states alluding to Communist revolutionaries of the past, such a Nicolas Maduro tweeting about Leon Trotsky or the former president of Venezuela’s ally, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tweeting praises about the Black Panther Party. By itself, that is just regular political speech in a modern medium.
Kultural Marxism is about the networks of coordinated inauthentic behavior -like those of Russia’s Internet Research Agency and the accounts originating in Iran that were recently shut down by Facebook.
Where can you find Kultural Marxism?
As a project executed by a fluctuating coalition of Latin American governments led by Venezuela and Cuba in collaboration with Russia and sundry Communist parties around the world Kultural Marxism produces and promotes media content that has the goal of altering the political attitudes, values and ultimately the behaviors of Americans.
Kultural Marxism’s trace is not relegated to the “digital world” but is also connected to real life.
Kultural Marxism’s “real world” activity matches traditional Marxist organizing principles by Socialist parties in America during the Popular Front period (1934–1939) — front organizations unite political activists around social justice ideals while the leadership largely pursues their own goals.
It’s evident in people to people trips, like the one pictured to the left. It’s evident in historically evolving relationships — such as that of ex- Portugeuse Worker’s Party (Socialist) alderman and World Social Forum Founder Chico Walker, transitioning to become a member of the advisory board of Wikileaks, which has been linked to Russian Intelligence services.
It’s evident in associations, such as that of the International Organization for a Participatory Society, whose members’ published views — such as Noam Chomsky, Michael Albert and Greg Wilpert — are frequently found to be shared by CIBN on social media.
It’s evident in other places as well, which I will touch on briefly before closing this article.
For the simple reason that the former sorts of traces are easier to investigate and make sound claims — this article will focus primarily on the digital traces left by Kultural Marxists.
The definition I provide for Kultural Marxism is two fold:
(1) Content that serves to accelerate an atmosphere of political polarization. Operationalized in the context of the United States, it seeks to delegitimize the institutions of U.S. government as corrupt or administered by criminals; it supports the belief that voting is not an effective means for achieveding political change; and that collective, revolutionary violence is instead required.
(2) Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Networks structured to disseminate this content by circumventing rules established by social media platforms to prevent exactly this form of spamming.
What do Kultural Marxist pages, sock puppet accounts and groups share?
They primarily recirculate the following:
(1) Articles by TeleSUR English, VenezuelaAnalysis, RT, FortRuss, Counterpunch, WSWS, The Real News Network, Mint Press News and Democracy Now.
(2) Memes published by the 200+Marxist/Socialist/Communist Pages.
(3) Mainstream news articles that reinforce their particular narrative.
(4) Links to low level content, like Boredom Gone, to appear more “real”.
In other words — Kultural Marxism as the astroturfing of political sentiment across the internet to increase their likelihood of placement in a person’s news feed by Facebook or Google’s Algorithm.
Spreading Counter-Hegemony: Nicolas Maduro, TeleSUR and Kultural Marxism
While the Cuban government certainly plays a large role in the Kultural Marxist mission — TeleSUR Vice-president Orlando Perez even graduated from the University of Havana’s School of Journalism — it is Veneuzuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, that is the chief executive of this media organization.
As illustrated previously, this is that has international media partnerships with other State- administered news organizations — such as Russia, China, and Qatar. Calling the news agency a propaganda network, Argentina and Ecuador recently decided not to contribute and host their channels on the normal news stations.
This makes sense as according to their own founding and publicly available operational documents, TeleSUR is not just a “news” company but an organization whose goal is to create a “counterhegemonic” subjectivity and a “new world”. As I’ve wrote about in other Medium articles — the relationship between something approximating reality and what they report is sometimes quite tenuous.
What is a coordinated inauthentic behavior network?
It’s a series of behaviors that are only possible through. There are multiple motivates for coordinated inauthentic behavior. One significant motivator is money, hence why can be motivated either by money, hence why contests
Here I’ll define some terms.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Astroturfed Party Pages
As the Social Media algorithm factors in regional differences in deciding what to present to people, it’s an effective tactic to astroturf Facebook Pages for Geography. Reviewing Facebook, you will see numerous Communist and Social party pages connected to different cities, regions and states that have few people in it, and with little engagement by natives of those areas. Above shows Italian and Indian Communists like activity going on in North Carolina.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Astroturfed Movement Pages
Besides just political parties, the coordinated inauthnetic behavior network run by Kultural Marxists also likes content shared by “social movements” or Marxist education centers (Marx-Engles-Lenin Institute). Whether it’s defunct organizations like the one above or real 501(C) 3 organizations like The Hampton Institute doesn’t matter.
Coordinated Inauthentic behavior: Astroturfed Pages for SEO
Facebook groups whose sole or primary activity is posting digital media content that is intended to increase it’s algorithmic value. As the organizations aligned with the purported mission of the page have terms associated .
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Astroturfed Pages for Saturation
Non-political party groups, with names chosen for SEO and as they in some way relate to the general thrust of Kultural Marxism’s goals, also are created so that content can be shared into multiple groups. As is evident from the above, this is often at the same time to increase the likelihood of trending. Also evident from the above is how the purpose is to encourage conflict (No War But Class War; Storm is Coming; Take Your Country Back) as well as a radical re-interpretation of politics (Uniting Ideologies and Advocates for Direct Democracy).
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Emailing Articles
Sanghashetty Sanghashetty and I have never had a conversation, but since becoming friends with him to better understand the behavior of the accounts in the coordinated inauthentic behavior network — I now receive daily one or two emails every day of different Indian articles that usually focus on Maoist activity there.
The number of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) members — mostly in Kerala — recirculating information through
Coordinate Inauthentic Behavior: Fake Fan Groups
Like TeleSUR Aggregate and TeleSUR Play, Fan de TeleSUR solely exists to republish content and thereby raise its algorithmic value and likelihood of showing up in people’s feeds. As I already showed in the article linked above, there are literally dozens of fake Friends of TeleSUR accounts. While I attempted to gain access to all of thm, most would not admit me. So what activity goes on in there is beyond me.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Multiple Accounts
There are a number of other “news” sites that Kultural Marxists use to try to exploit Facebook and Google’s algorithm. While there is at times differening content in them, most of them simply recirculate articles by TeleSUR English, VenezuelaAnalysis, RT, FortRuss, Counterpunch, WSWS, The Real News Network, Mint Press News and Democracy Now.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Impersonation of Historical Figures
There is a spirit haunting Facebook, the spirit of dead Latin American revolutionaries!
Despite being buried Che, Mao, Minh, Chavez, and Fidel all ‘vive’ online. There are literally thousands of accounts such as these operated by perhaps a dozen or so people. They share a mix or “Marxist” content and virulently anti-semitic content — which I’m not going to repost here.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Massive Tagging of People
Another coordinated inauthentic behavior network tactic is for sock puppet accounts like this to tag lots of people in posts.
Genuine accounts, such as the authors of articles posted on the World Socialist WebSite, also do this frequently on their personal accounts. The goal, again, is to increase the likelihood of content appearing at the top of the Social Media feed.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Fake Political Party Pages
I’ve not yet done a thorough investigation as to how many fake Facebook pages may exist for real groups,
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Groups that Just Repost Content
After befriending an account of someone involved in the Kultural Marxist coordinated inauthentic behavior network, I started to receive a number of invitations to other groups in languages that neither I nor, presumable, that Naxalite above knows.
Only able to speak English and Spanish, the potential number of these groups are significant.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Meme Pages Circulating Marxist Messages
There are over 200 English-langauge Marxism, Socialism and Communism related Meme Pages currently on Facebook. In order to raise their algorithmic ranking, these pages frequently share each others memes. While the type of political “debate” that goes on within these groups is worthy of investigation — it’s outside the scope of this article.
That said, based on my current observations, not all are within the Kultural Marxist distribution network being described — however many of them likely are.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Websites the Just Share Links
Web pages like this iteration of Hands Off Venezuelaare identical to several other websites, such as Whistle Blower Defense, Just Say No to Hate,Social Mediocre. What do they do? Just repost and repost the same articles.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Websites Made on Behalf of U.S. Politicians
The coordinated inauthentic behavior on social media network and on websites isn’t just limited to shared media produced by Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and fifth columnists in the United States and Canada — they also support real American political candidates such as Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein.
What the connection between Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein and these networks are, are currently unknown.
What are the some of the notable characteristics of the sock puppet accounts?
Besides simply liking and sharing content by the aforemention outlets, Kultural Marxist accounts that are a part of the coordinated inauthentic behavior network typically have one or multiple of the following characteristics:
Under 100 friends
Over 3,000 friends
Photos of Che Guevara as their profile picture
Photos of New Age styled images
No photos of themselves
One or two photos that appear to be several years old
I included the above gif of Mr. Jahi sharing TeleSUR English not just to highlight the lack of natural engagement with the content, but also because it gives context to the below hypothesis — Kultural Marxist networks are reason behind the NPC meme.
Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior: Are Kultural Marxists “NPCs”?
The Atlantic is not a Kultural Marxist outlet nor is author of the article The Racist History of Portland associated with their clique. However it does fall within their purview — mainstream news articles that reinforce the image of America that they want to promote.
If you look at the people that are sharing the article, you can see the above for yourself.
However something else struck me about this — Mr. Jahi’s comments.
It made me wonder — is it possible that the NPC meme craze began, in part, because of operators within the Kultural Marxist network? It’s too soon to say for sure, but what is clear — is that Mr. Jahi is not a real person.
What is the typical behavior of accounts questioned about who they are and what their purpose is?
- Immediately block me.
2. Not respond to the contact.
3. Admit to being part of a troll operation.
4. Refuse to provide a real name.
5. Provide a link to a secondary, real account after ice-breaking banter and then quickly block once I explain the purpose of my communication.
6. Not respond in English (despite the fact that they are sharing English language media).
7. Respond in the most broken of English in a way that doesn’t relate in any way to what was said.
Where are the coordinated inauthentic behavior networks located?
Not the United States.
From Venezuela; Nicaragua; Cuba; Syria; Kerala, India; Malaysia; Thailand and Russia primarily. In places where there is either a sizable communist party, with the exception of Vietnam and China.
How Big is the Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Network?
Given that the two fake accounts above show there at seven trillion likes between them, that this is part of a larger network with thousands of accounts — we’re talking about a massive amount of fake activity with the overarching goal to encourage Americans to adopt Leftist or anti-systemic political positions.
While those engaged in the sort of behavior prohibited by Facebook’s Community Standards like to focus, disingenuously, on the idea that efforts to stop this is censorship, the reality is that such activity requires a lot of computer processing and storage space and lessens the quality of Facebook use.
Evidence of Kultural Marxism In The Streets
Mubarik Adams tried and failed to apply illegal tactics typically used by Antifa to deplatform Steve Bannon and David Frum.
What he doesn’t state is that member of Hands Off Venezuela were also there and that this is an organization managed in part by the Venezuela State to act as a fifth column in the countries were circles were formed.
There are numerous questions and investigations that stem from such connections — but as I said the purpose of this is just to review some of the components of Kultural Marxism in the Digital Realm.
Is there Evidence of Kultural Marxism has Influenced Voter Turnout?
Above one Kultural Marxist Group reposts another’s “Do No Vote” message.
Elsewhere a Communist party called Red Guards (another Maoist organization) in Austin advocates on Facebook for people not to vote.
In pages and groups with a similar anti-capitalist bent — though of a conspiratorial, anti-semitic nature— there are similar posts about how voting is immoral or unethical which are also engaged with via coordinated inauthentic behavior.
Based on mere observations — the amount of “do not vote” messages from Kultural Marxist outlets during the 2018 election was significant. However a further analysis of it’s extent and the relationship between content and effect is required before any conclusions can be made.
What is the Demonstrable Extent and Impact of Kultural Marxism Network?
If after reading all this you’re thinking to yourself: “That’s a lot of screen shots, but what’s the bigger picture, what does it all really mean?” then you have the same curiosity as me.
To find this out requires time and resources that I currently don’t have. I’m currently awaiting the decision of the Social Science One Research Committee to determine whether or not I can research these issues with their assistance.
I will be updating on Medium after I learn their choice, and in the meantime make sure to follow me here or on Facebook!