On Marxism in America, the Communist China Threat, Unconventional Warfare and Hong Kong: Joshua Philipp

By Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Senior Editor
Jan Jekielek is a Senior Editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, "American Thought Leaders." Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, & international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as Website Chief Editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film "Finding Manny."
August 3, 2019 Updated: August 30, 2019

How does communist ideology manifest in the current political landscape? How did Marx and his followers endeavor to rewrite history?

What are some major misconceptions people have about socialism and communism, and the end results of these ideologies?

What are the origins of Antifa? And what is the purpose of the violence they frequently engage in?

And where does political correctness originally come from?

In this special episode with a studio audience in Laguna Beach, California, we sit down with The Epoch Times’ award-winning investigative reporter and senior editor Joshua Philipp. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted and asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and cyber security, especially in the context Chinese Communist Party.

We discuss Marxist revisionist history, the end goals of communism, Antifa violence, and the spread of political correctness. We also examine the Chinese Communist Party’s global ambitions and its extensive influence and warfare operations in the US and around the world.

Jan Jekielek: Joshua Philipp, wonderful to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Joshua Philipp: Pleasure being on. Thanks for having me.

Mr. Jekielek: Josh, just moments ago I was speaking with someone in the room who has been a journalist for over 25 years, actually quite a prominent one I might add. And she was telling me how sometimes you can actually write something in your Twitter feed or even in an article that is simply a factual statement, kind of what journalists are supposed to do, and you can be attacked, you can be vilified by a whole large group of people, especially on Twitter. And I think this kind of speaks to a lot of the issues we want to cover today. So I wanted to start with that, and tell us a little bit about how this can happen.

Mr. Philipp: So this ties very strongly into one of the main lines of what socialism is. What is communism? What is socialism? Keep in mind the terms were both used mostly interchangeably until Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 … Basically, by the time of Karl Marx, the ideas of socialism were dead. Now, the idea of communism, socialism can be traced back to the first mention of communism and the Cercle social around 1790 during the French Revolution. First Revolutionary Socialist, [Francois-Noel] “Gracchus” Babeuf, right, leading up to League of the Outlaws, League of the Just, Communist League, and so on. When it reached Marx, the time of Marx, socialism could not hold up logical debate when it came to sociology and economy. It was dead in terms of any practical application.

But what Marx did was [he] took the ideas of socialism, and first off he said that the intellectuals are the bourgeois class, and you don’t have to debate them because they represent what we’re trying to destroy. Two, he created this whole kind of revision of history, which rewrote the entire story of human history as one of the oppressor versus oppressed, the struggle against the oppressors, and within every facet of social classes. He also talked about how … he proposed this whole concept of the evolution of civilization, talking about the five stages of civilization. … primitive communism, the agrarian society and capitalism, socialism, communism–socialism and communism not existing at that time, and capitalism being a very new thing that was coming around with the Industrial Revolution. Socialism, as we can understand it, is basically the system used to, say, organize society to achieve the goals of communism. Communism is the envisioned goal that it would achieve. But he said since we can’t imagine what the future will look like, we can’t say what communism is. And so you don’t need to discuss it. You don’t need to debate it. You don’t need to bring it up. You don’t need to try to justify it. In order to see what it looks like, we first need to destroy all preexisting institutions. We need to wipe everything out, and then we’ll see what it looks like.

Socialism, also, because of that theory, took many different forms, many of which were in conflict with each other. And so you have a lot of socialists who have different ideas on how to reorganize society–how to seize the means of production, how to seize wealth from people, seize the basic freedoms of individuals and to use that consolidated power to destroy morality, traditions, beliefs, social structures, you name it, right? Communism isn’t just an economic theory. It says very clearly in the Communist Manifesto, communism destroys all religion and all morality. It is about destroying all previously existing institutions. And so Marx made it so debate, logical debate was no longer part of communism. And, in fact, you should not engage in logical debate because people who represent these ideas are the part of the bourgeois class to be destroyed. And there are many revisions of that same theory. The Frankfurt School had this whole idea … repressive tolerance.

Mr. Jekielek: Doesn’t sound like a real thing to me.

Mr. Philipp: No it wasn’t. The Frankfurt School came up with this theory that basically you should tolerate. The left can be tolerant, you can talk about tolerance. But you should not tolerate things that challenge the move towards the goals of communism because … it’s the ends justify the means. You don’t need to tolerate people who stand against what we’re trying to accomplish. And so you label all them fascist or whatever, you don’t need to talk with them. You also had Lenin’s concept of partisanship. The idea that society should only be divided into two extremes, right? And that you need to choose one side or the other, and there could be no middle ground.

And even in the basic ideas of communism, which we could say would be dialectical materialism, there are two different theories. One, Marx took from the Hegelian dialectic, the idea that conflict leads forward. In other words, if you believe that society is evolving towards communism, how do you speed up evolution if you’re an atheist system–Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest? You increase antagonisms, you increase the conflict between different groups of society. You want them to fight each other. You don’t want them to talk and debate and get along like you would with traditional dialectics, like the Socratic dialectic. You want people to fight. You want them to compete. You want them to struggle because that is what creates the struggle, the survival of the fittest, that advances society toward the goals of the communism. And Marx took that and made it into his concept of dialectical materialism, which is based on identify, invert, and eliminate the middle. You can manufacture a communist idea by simply inverting any value in society, any tradition in society, any belief in society, creating movements around the inversion and using it to agitate the incumbent idea.

Mr. Jekielek: I don’t know if everyone here caught this, but I think you’ve given us three different ways, if I counted correctly, as to why a simple concept that’s factual or a factual observation could be attacked immediately without a rational basis. And I think you also started talking about why it is that traditional values are under assault whenever socialism is being manifested. Can you go a bit deeper into that?

Mr. Philipp: Well, communism is, it’s not amoral, it is anti-moral. It is a system that doesn’t just look to say, we don’t believe in anything, whatever—which you could say some forms of liberalism might hold that, you know, I do what I want, you do what you want. I don’t care what you say. Funny enough, I’d say a lot of the modern conservatives embody that when it comes to libertarianism, right? It can be amoral in some sense, but it’s a sense of tolerating other people’s lifestyles and not treading on them, basically.

Communism is anti-moral. It’s this idea that I do what I want, and if you don’t acknowledge it, if you don’t believe in what I want you to believe, then you’re the bad guy. Right? This goes back to … I don’t know if you want to get into the early origins of communism, but it was based a lot in this whole naturist concept. It was really popular during the Enlightenment, and, you know, especially in the French Revolution folks and these guys. … It was a belief, right? You have to remember they were rebelling, not just against kings, they were rebelling against the Catholic Church. It was an anti-religious rebellion, not just one like in the United States, where it was against the tyranny of the king. And so it was this idea that man is of nature. And so anything that emerges from human nature is therefore righteous. And so if anything that emerges from human nature is righteous, any desire you have, any whim you have, then anything that restrains that is unrighteous. So morality is evil by their interpretation. It’s a morality of immorality, right? Good is evil and evil is good from the traditional standpoint. And this is why in today’s society we have it, so that people unknowingly embody that. They think that they are being moral. They think they’re fighting for the oppressed classes when they go and attack people who believe in tradition, when they go and attack people who still believe in, say, religion and traditional values because they think people having morals that oppose what they want are the ones who are bad.

Mr. Jekielek: So as you’re speaking right now, I’m thinking of … probably a lot of people are thinking of Antifa. So how does Antifa fit into this?

Mr. Philipp: So Antifa, we can trace it back to pre-Nazi Germany, Antifaschistische Aktion, right? At the time, we had three different groups. There were the Nazi Brownshirts, Mussolini’s Blackshirts, and they had Antifa who was acting on behalf of the First International of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Jekielek: The communists.

Mr. Philipp: Yeah, they were backed by the Soviets. So, basically, they believe that communism would emerge from a advanced capitalist society, which at the time would have been … either Britain or Germany. And so the movement in Germany was a major battle for them to try to bring this about. So the Soviet Union, right, the communists there were backing, the KPD, the Communist Party of Germany.

Mr. Jekielek: Against the Nazis.

Mr. Philipp: Against the Nazis. Of course, if we want to trace it back, Mussolini and Hitler were both socialists as well, just of a different interpretation on how to achieve it. It was the National Socialists and Mussolini was one of the most popular socialists in Europe before all this. If you read their policies, it was about free health care and fighting against the 1 percent who Hitler named as the Jewish people, and turning people to struggle against them and uniting them in that struggle. And it’s the same basic narrative. They always identify a small portion of society who you say, they’re the source of all your problems, and they’re the ones you need to struggle against, and they’re the ones you need to take our stolen money back from to rebuild our society. Every communist party, every communist system does this. We see it today with even the Democratic Parties, it moves toward socialism with its attacks on the 1 percent or white males and things like this.

Mr. Jekielek: So back in the day, basically, the Antifa were struggling for the Soviet Union against the Nazi socialists. And how does that come to today?

Mr. Philipp: Well, it was an interesting situation in that Antifaschistische Aktion, Antifa, they actually ended up driving a lot of people to vote for him because … what they did was, is they actually labeled the Social Democrats, right, people talk about Democratic Socialists, they called them Nazis. And so they were attacking them. They frightened people, and they pushed so hard and were so violent that a lot of the people who were technically, as you say, more middle-of-the-line ended up moving towards Hitler because they were so terrified of this.

These days Antifa acts as more of the armed wing of the Democratic Party, unfortunately. And they carry out what I would call political terrorism. What they do is they demonstrate, and this ties into the online censorship that we’re talking about also. It’s political terrorism. And how does that work? You make examples of people. You want to say, don’t state your opinion. Don’t state your values because this is what can happen to you. Don’t go on the street and protest. Don’t go out and call for your rights. Don’t send your kids to go holding a church protest against abortion, or something like that, because we will attack you. We will slander you. We will show you on every news outlet in the country. We will make you the enemy, and we will destroy your jobs, your reputation, your families, and so on. They make examples out of people. And it’s meant to send a message to the general public to make them too afraid to stand up for what they believe in and say what they believe in.

Mr. Jekielek: When we think about a society where groups like Antifa or other groups that are using, let’s call it political correctness, to just silence a lot of voices, I think there’s probably a lot of people in the room who are maybe a bit quiet about their views because they know they might get lambasted. First of all, what are the long-term implications? We promised we would talk about this. What are the long-term implications of that if that were to stay.

Mr. Philipp: Let’s start with the origins of political correctness, which was 1967, Mao Zedong. It was during, I think, the Cultural Revolution. And the idea was that if you support the policies of the state, you are politically correct, and if you oppose them, you will be defamed, you will be attacked, you will be killed. It’s a political moral system, and it’s one that can change based on political policy, whatever they want to achieve at any given moment. Whether you support the current narrative determines whether or not you’re politically correct. And if we look at it now with current politics or a lot of things that in terms of where the left is going, it would have been considered crazy 20 years ago. That now if you don’t say publicly you support or you choose not to, you’re going to get attacked. It’s because the policies change.

And the way they operate is that they like to create policies and different agendas, and they latch those onto, say, different oppressed groups or the groups they label as oppressed. And so they say that if you oppose my policy, if you oppose my goals, then you hate these people, then you represent everything we’re trying to stop. If you don’t support the Green New Deal, then you support global warming and destruction of nature and these things, right? You’re labeled as believing in the worst part of what they claim that their thing opposes. Even though in very rational terms, you can say, well, I don’t think it would work. I don’t think it makes practical sense, or my values go against it. It doesn’t mean that I hate you. Right?

Mr. Jekielek: But you’re not allowed to say that.

Mr. Philipp: You’re not allowed to say that. Of course, this whole idea of political correctness goes back further. During the French Revolution they had similar–and of course communism, as I mentioned, goes back to the French Revolution in terms of the main ideas–they had a similar system under the Law of Suspects. And they said that those who accuse us are themselves accused. If you were even suspected of opposing the party, right, the whole system they had, you would be killed, you’d have your head chopped off on a guillotine. And people back then and said, oh, this is just like the Reign of Tiberius in Rome and so on. It goes back a bit further, but I’d say the main line of what we saw under communism was very unique because it was something that blanketed all of society and really looked at a person’s basic beliefs and was based on a new manufactured moral system based on communist policy.

Mr. Jekielek: So, arguably, we’re … is it the most capitalist country on earth? I’m not sure, but I’m sure some people would argue that. How’s it possible we can apply this system here?

Mr. Philipp: So the word capitalism is very badly maligned, and different groups claim to oppose it for different reasons. There’s some great writings by a man named Ludwig von Mises. He wrote a great book called “Planned Chaos” where he talks about this whole idea that everybody likes to blame things on capitalism, but most of the things they’re blaming come from the interventionist systems that are based in socialism. Do you want to talk about big corporations and these types of things, the whole collectivist system, like publicly owned companies and these things, or legal protections, beyond the average citizen, look at the socialist interventionist policies and the corporate reforms. If you want to look at what capitalism really is–the ability of average people to engage in free trade, the ability of an average person to go and start their own business and try to build their own life–something rooted in the Declaration of Independence, right? Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. In your pursuit of happiness, you should be able to try to gain wealth. You should be able to try to become prosperous in what you do.

And Ludwig von Mises also talked about how really the free market is … the greatest democratic system because people vote with their dollar. Companies have an incentive to try to create the best services and the lowest prices. Because people just go to your competitor if they don’t like it. If they don’t agree with what you’re saying anymore, they’re just not going to buy it from you anymore.

Mr. Philipp: And so communism cannot exist within this system, and I think where a lot of millennials get communism wrong, or socialism wrong is this belief that [communism] somehow gets rid of the greed. It gets rid of the debt systems, which a lot of it comes from the centralized banking programs, which communism advocates also. It doesn’t get rid of it. Socialism is what Lenin called the state capitalist monopoly. It’s what they called the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is, by definition, a dictatorship. It is, by definition, a totalitarian system. And it, by definition, does not get rid of the massive centralized factories and businesses. It’s where the government seizes control of them. By saying that it gets rid of capitalism, it doesn’t mean it gets rid of the parts of capitalism a lot of people don’t like. It means it takes those and puts them under state control. And so the average person is just not allowed to engage in it anymore. Communism does not get rid of the things a lot of people believe they oppose. It solidifies them. It makes them permanent in society.

And if … we get into the interventionist policies … a lot of modern socialists, they’re like, oh well, government is our greatest protector against oligarchy and these things. Socialism leads to oligarchy in almost every case. Because as soon as you start having government subsidizing different industries, as soon as you have government regulating and creating really tight regulations that make it difficult for businesses to start in different industries, then that’s when you have monopoly. That’s when you have certain companies that grow so big and can operate without needing to make a profit. But individual companies and individual businesses can no longer possibly compete with that.

Mr. Jekielek: I want to talk a little bit about how these young people—we’ve seen these polls that tell us that a lot of young people, millennials and so forth, are liking socialism. They like some socialist policies and so forth. How has that come about? And how are these anticapitalist ideologues so prevalent in our society? Or at least that’s what we’re hearing.

Mr. Philipp: If you were to ask me, I think a lot of them mean well, but they are misled. They have been educated in a system that … re-brands the entire American story. They didn’t just do this in the United States. They did it in all countries where socialism is spread. They turn you against your founding stories. They turn you against the values of your society. They turn you against the beliefs and religions of your society. They tell you … “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” They tell you that your parents and grandparents were part of this old way of thinking that the world is moving away from. They destroyed the family. And so you have a lot of these young kids who grew up in broken homes and never had good role models or people showing them how to navigate banks and debt and these kinds of things. We’re in a system where a lot of kids have gotten head over heels in college debt because, again, interventionist policies is the whole state subsidized loans and these things. … They have no need for people to ever pay off their debts. They don’t care if people are in debt for the rest of their lives because it’s federal debt, right? The schools don’t care if kids can pay for school or not because the government subsidizes it.

Again, the problems that a lot of them see are caused by socialism, but they don’t understand they were caused by socialism. And they’ve been fed this entire revisionist story of how society works, of how economies work, about how business works … what values are in houses and even the role of what government should play in society. They no longer understand it. And so when … a party comes along and says, we understand you, we want to help you, you’ve been wronged. And you’ve been taken advantage of. And we want to defend your rights and take back what was taken from you, they align with it. But I believe that if they understood the real story, if they were able to see the true picture of what’s been done, I don’t think they would support it.

Mr. Jekielek: How is it that the education system could teach people things of this nature so thoroughly as you’re describing?

Mr. Philipp: There’s many factors to it. One was Fabian Society, different Soviet movements, communist movements. Fabian Society had this idea of nonviolent communist revolution, of infiltrating societies, getting into the newspapers and the intellectual classes, and spreading ideas through society. There was the Frankfurt School, right, and Columbia University. It was originally the school of Marxist studies, and they also spread all these new systems of academia. They have things like Critical Theory, this entire revisionist history, again, of all of society, of the oppressor against the oppressed. You had Soviet subversion during the time of the Soviet Union, right? If you are a member of the Communist Party, it meant that you were loyal to the Soviet Union. They had the First Comintern and so on, which was training individuals to go infiltrate different parts of society, start guerrilla movements in those–

Mr. Jekielek: Here in America, you mean?

Mr. Philipp: In America, yeah. Soviet subversion, ideological subversion, these things. They were intentionally doing this. And so a lot of the education in this country was subverted by these groups. A lot of our institutions were subverted by these groups. And kids were educated–whole generations were educated with these ideas. Their entire concept of history, their entire concept of interactions of humankind is based in socialism and communism. They’re not learning anything of value a lot of times. All they’re learning is how to struggle. All they’re learning is how to fight for the Communist Movement. And so their entire character is just saturated with this stuff.

Mr. Jekielek: So let’s talk a little bit about a more modern version of subversion coming out of communist China. You actually did some landmark reporting about ten years ago in the New York area around a particular political candidate. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about what actually happened at that time. There was a candidate running for the mayor of New York, potentially. And then how, basically, communist subversion fits into this.

Mr. Philipp: So in 2008, I had been reporting for The Epoch Times for about two years. At that time, I was just sending an article in once a week. I lived in San Diego and was doing local reporting. And then I got offered a summer internship in 2008 to come to the New York office and kind of do some real reporting, I guess you could say. And I was assigned to investigate a very bizarre series of events in one of the largest Chinese communities in New York, which is Flushing, Queens. What was happening was hundreds of individuals, Chinese individuals, were physically beating, cursing, spitting on, attacking, threatening to kill other members of the Chinese community. The members of the community they were targeting were mostly practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Gong. It was also democracy activists … there were some house Christians also, and people who were calling for the end of the Communist Party.

A lot of people who were there said that these individuals attacking them were being sent by the consulates and they were all spies. And at the time, my idea of espionage was like James Bond-type stuff. I wouldn’t think of some guy in a ratty shirt, sweat stains, and wagging his arms around, as being a spy. I had no concept of these things. And eventually, I saw something else interesting is that similar incidents, attacks targeting the exact same groups, attacks mobilized in the exact same way, started up in other parts of the world. So it was New York, San Francisco, France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, a few other places. Identical in nature.

And then I started noticing other things, which is a lot of the people who were launching the attacks were holding banners and had megaphones, which had the names of Chinese Tongs on the side. And what are Chinese Tongs? They’re Chinese fraternal organizations that basically work as the unofficial governments of the Chinese communities. This goes back to, just briefly, this goes back to the older structure of Chinese society, which basically you didn’t have in traditional China. You didn’t have government below the county level. County magistrate was the lowest level. And beneath that you had family organizations, fraternal organizations, union-type, guilds, and these types of things that worked as the bottom-up structures of say social order. These organizations … when Chinese immigrated to other countries, they maintain those same structures, which is why Chinatowns are such unique places, and why they’re so hard for people on the outside to really understand.

So these organizations, I found out, were some of the main targets of a program the Chinese Communist Party had launched called the United Front. It was being launched in a department called the United Front Department. They called it United Front work, and they were sending people from the consulate to go and approach these Tong leaders and say, offer them different incentives. How many members do you have? We’ll give you better incentives with more members if you align yourselves with the goals of the Communist Party. And through this United Front work, they were basically making the overseas consulates in every country of the world, the say local government offices of these Chinese communities. And so they were creating, they were extending the power of the Chinese Communist Party in foreign countries. I unintentionally uncovered that. And I also found out that beneath a lot of the Tongs were the triads, the mafia, and this is, of course, better known now. The Chinese Communist Party uses the triads for its strong-arm tactics.

Mr. Jekielek: Like in Hong Kong right now.

Mr. Philipp: Yeah. You have guys like the White Wolf. I think he’s in either Hong Kong or Taiwan. Chang An-lo I think his name is, who launches attacks against people trying to protest against the Chinese Communist Party

In New York the main branch was called the Fuk Ching gang. They’re one of the largest transnational organized crime groups in the world. They were well-known in the ’90s because they had a big human trafficking operation. They had a big ship called the Golden Venture that ran aground off the coast, and a lot of people died. These guys are human traffickers, drug traffickers, prostitution rings, gambling rings, counterfeit goods, you name it. And they operate under one of the Tongs called the Fukien American Association. And that was one of the main Tongs that was involved in these attacks. Through my reporting on this I found that they were also trying to back a local politician and that according to many people I spoke with, the Chinese Communist Party at the time was trying to groom different people in different positions in the United States and try to get deeper into our systems.

The main person they were talking with was a man named John Liu who at the time was a city council member. He later became New York City controller. He later ran for mayor. And at one of their meetings … they were talking about where they wanted to put him, they wanted to make him president. He told them something along the lines that, I’ll do whatever you require. He was eventually investigated—we’d like to believe through our reporting, what we exposed about him because he was getting close to … He went to the trip to China with one of the individuals who was a front runner of the United Front department, an individual tied to the overseas Chinese Affairs Office, which was one of the proxy offices of that department. And they took him and gave him this award and did this big shining thing, and he started aligning very closely with them.

The FBI launched an investigation into him. I was at the court, I was at the trials for this, I was covering them, and they said they would’ve gotten him, they believe they would’ve gotten him, but The New York Times wrote a story during the investigation, which blew the lid on the FBI investigation, and so they had to prematurely end it. They weren’t able to finish their investigation, but they still charged two individuals who were on his campaign. One was Jenny Hou, and it just so happened that Jenny Hou was the daughter of one of the heads of the Tongs. Her father was head of the … the Beijing Association. And the other individual they charged was a man named Oliver Pan. And Oliver Pan was one of the main guys with the Fukien American Association. Both of them were found guilty of trying to get straw donors for John Liu, and that ended his mayoral campaign. I won an award for that by the way.

Mr. Jekielek: I was thinking to myself, you know, new reporter fresh from San Diego, facing one of the largest transnational gangs. What were you thinking?

Mr. Philipp: It was very intense. … I often had death threats. There were many times where I was surrounded by individuals threatening to kill me. Some of the reporting was very bizarre. People I was talking to were really afraid. I remember one individual, he said, meet me on the corner of, you know, X street in the middle of Chinatown. A car is going to flash its lights three times and jump in, and we’ll drive to a safe location. I’ll tell you everything. I had another individual … he could’ve lost his job for talking to me. Took me on a tour of the whole community and basically told me all of the criminal activity that was taking place behind closed doors. It was a very shocking experience. I went through a very rough train of thought at that time.

And so, another story, one of my contacts, he was a house Christian and a democracy activist, and he was talking with me. And he was told by these individuals, they hired a hitman to chop off one of his hands, and they also slashed the tires of his car to try to discourage him. I had another woman who was from Taiwan, which is not directly under Communist Party control, say that she was told by these individuals that they could make her disappear. This system, they regard not just Chinese nationals as part of the system, but even second- and third-generation Chinese. And they threaten them. They threaten their families. And those who go along with it, they try to recruit as spies and so on to infiltrate different parts of the society. But I went through a very rough state during that time, right? I did have to really reflect on it and say, well, is this worth dying for? And I realized, I had a thought that if I were to give up in the face of threats, I would be telling them that death threats work. And I couldn’t do that. And also that the things I was encountering were so serious because they had to deal with the infiltration of our political systems. They had to do with the infiltration of our different institutions of businesses and so on, that if nobody exposed it then who would? If I didn’t expose it, then who would? And so I did it because I felt I had to do it.

Mr. Jekielek: Wow. Josh, how deep is the Chinese Communist Party subversion of America right now in your view?

Mr. Philipp: The Chinese Communist Party represents one of the major forms of subversion in the United States. And I’d say there are probably four threads, four major threads of subversion. I’d say our financial system, the residual organizations leftover from Soviet subversion, different movements they started which took on lives of their own, Fabian Society/Frankfurt School-type stuff, and the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party represents the most organized one. It is one very much in spirit of what we saw during the time of the Soviet Union, only being done in a way that people don’t seem to notice, being done in a way that nobody is paying attention to. And it’s frightening. And then just pulling no punches. It’s a very frightening picture when you see it.

There’s the overseas Chinese Affairs Office, which they recently folded just into the United Front department, which basically controls all the Chinese communities in the country and a lot of other countries–Canada, Australia, Europe, you name it. In fact, actually, they’re being heavily exposed in Australia–there’s been some great reporting in Australia on these organizations. There’s the overseas Chinese Students and Scholars Association which are funded by the consulates, controlled by the consulates. And they groom them to enter different parts of our society.

The Tongs, some of them have tens of thousands of members, something like that, hundreds of thousands, although I don’t know how accurate some of their numbers are because they get money incentives for saying they have higher numbers. In just about every part of our society, there’s oil worker Tongs, there’s technology worker Tongs, there’s student Tongs, there’s police Tongs, you name it. And these are organizations the Communist Party is trying to get a hold of. And once they get a hold of them, any person within their network needs to serve favors for other members and so on. They can all be used as part of this network.

The overseas Chinese Students and Scholars Associations, they try to get them into different U.S. departments, different key-targeted businesses and so on. There’s direct front companies operating in the U.S. In fact, I know of a major one in New Jersey, and what they do is they outsource IT work for major companies. And I’ve been told that a lot of people there–in fact, I know a former employee that … a lot of people there are former or current Chinese military. I mean many, many things. There’s the Confucius Institutes getting into our universities. There’s overseas investment programs. When you get into the deeper levels of state-directed espionage, you have project 863 for state-directed theft and competition with key parts of our economy. You have the Torch Program to grow people–they say either return to China or serve in place. It’s growing people within different key industries, and now they’re getting them to return to China with their knowledge or having them remain to continue spying.

There’s the Committee of 100, which is a group they subvert top high-level society politics and things like this–very well-spoken, nice-seeming individuals who are acting under certain goals a lot of times. There’s journalists, there’s major newspapers in the U.S. running paid propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party under, I think, they call it China Watch, right? They have a few different names, but The New York Times is running these paid Chinese inserts, for example, Chinese propaganda right to your doorstep, basically. And the list goes on and on. The picture of it, the full picture is frightening.

Mr. Jekielek: Josh, a company that’s been really in the limelight, in not a good way, has been Huawei. Everyone’s very familiar with Huawei and with the idea that 5G is coming. And Huawei has the jumpstart to the tune of billions of dollars and years of research and so forth. How big is the threat of Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party dictating 5G standards for the world to America and the rest of the world?

Mr. Philipp: So if you want to talk about specifically 5G, China’s 5G capabilities are not as advanced as they like to make them seem. But you need a lot of infrastructure to make 5G work, and theirs requires a whole lot more infrastructure than say the United States would need. But when you’re dealing with 5G you’re dealing with saturated emission technology, basically, things that can emit certain electromagnetic frequency that can saturate environments. And so people say it presents a cyberthreat because it can say, saturate a Wi-Fi network and so on. But there’s also the bigger concern of what health risks that poses.

There was a Chinese military doctrine called the “Assassin’s Mace” program, which if you get into the real picture of Chinese military outside of the whole, you know, rockets and jets and these things, the real Chinese military strategy, then you’re talking about “Assassin’s Mace” program. And they’ve talked about using electronic war–Basically, it’s a strategy meant to disable the things that make America’s military powerful. If you hit the GPS, you destroy our targeting systems and communication systems, for example. If you were to say, set off an EMP and wipe out the electric grid … we would have some pretty serious issues. I won’t get into what that would look like, but pretty much death-of-a-nation-type issues… it could be. Yeah, they talk about this. They propose it directly as part of their strategy. When it comes to things like electronic warfare and 5G, they were doing experiments on animals and the way that, you know, microwave weapons and stuff like that, the way it would affect organic structures. So testing how it would affect an animals’ eyeballs and these kinds of things. I won’t get too graphic, but they have worked on ways to weaponize systems like this. They’re very open with how they’ve weaponized it.

But when we talk about Huawei, I’d say it goes beyond just the military stance. Because Huawei isn’t just a normal company, it’s one of the backbones of exporting the China model. So when the Chinese Communist Party goes to different countries, of course it has the One Belt, One Road initiative, they’re trying to sell it in the U.S., they’re trying to sell … to Europe overall. But that’s just part of the picture. They’ve already done it in a lot of Latin America, they’ve already done it in a lot of Asia, and they’ve already done it in a lot of Africa. They go into these countries, they get them into debt traps, so they can never pay off their debts. China builds all this infrastructure, and then they default into debts, and China then owns it. And then, in addition to that, they often give China all these different long-term contracts for oil or raw goods. Basically, they get into very bad deals, a lot of times through corruption. I’ve been told that one of the ways they operate is if a Chinese official goes to one of these countries, say they have $20 million–$1 million is for the program, $19 million is for bribes. And so you have politicians basically selling out their countries for these programs.

But once they build this infrastructure through companies like Huawei, they’re not just building normal infrastructure like we think. They’re building things like the social credit system, they’re building things like the Skynet system. These are technologies of high-tech tyranny, social credit system being their program to monitor every single individual in society, to monitor every person they’re interacting with, every friend they have, who their family members are, every purchase they make online, every activity they have. They are even now doing like facial recognition software in schools and such to look at facial expressions, to judge your internal thoughts. And you’re given a citizen score based on this.

Mr. Jekielek: So this is basically political correctness taken to a level where they can study your micro facial movements and so forth to make sure your thought is correct, right?

Mr. Philipp: Basically. Yeah. And you’re given a citizen score based on this, and your freedom or oppression in that society is based on that citizen score. And it is political correctness. It’s the idea of whether or not you align yourself with socialist policies. It could be that, say you’re a Muslim and you don’t buy alcohol, then you get your rating docked because you’re holding onto religion. Or you’re just a normal Chinese citizen and you buy too much alcohol then you get your citizen rating docked because you’re not a good worker or something like that. It’s a very terrible system that they’re implementing in many parts of the world right now. In fact, Darwin, Australia, they’re even implementing a little bit of this right now.

Mr. Jekielek: So with respect to 5G, it’s been described, and I thought this was very interesting, 5G isn’t a network for humans, 5G is actually a network for machines to communicate with each other at these very, very high speeds. I’m thinking about the implications of Huawei. Okay, let me backtrack one sec. We didn’t cover this. What is the relationship between Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party, question one. And question two, what are the implications of Huawei controlling the machine communication system of the world?

Mr. Philipp: When we talk about China in terms of business, a lot of people think China is a country with free markets and these things which is totally wrong. Basically, 1989 came about, and what happened in 1989? You have the fall of the Berlin Wall, and you have the Tiananmen Square Massacre, right? Communism seemed like it was ending in the world. Chinese students gathered in the streets to call for democracy and change in power. Communism began falling in other parts of the world. The Communist Party massacred these people, right, and kept its system.

What they did afterwards though is they did the economic reforms. And so, basically, before that all companies were under control of the military. They created a new department called the State Council, and the State Council is like the masquerade of a normal government. It’s still under control of the Communist Party. And they took all these military-controlled companies and put them under the State Council. It was just a sleight of hand. They didn’t change anything. And they allow for some free market for the average citizen to start small businesses and these things.

But once you grow to a certain size–well, first off, you’re regulated through government policy still. You’re still fully under control of government policy. They can still take your company at any time and fold it into one of these big state-run industries. And also getting promoted in these things ties into the whole political correctness system because how do you rise in power anyway in a communist society? It’s through political correctness. It’s through demonstrating adherence to Communist Party doctrine, which could mean participating in human rights abuses, participating in whatever social movement they have at that time. But they also have it so any company over, say 50, with more than 50 employees needs to have a Communist Party liaison. If you grow to a certain size, every single person in that company and its leadership need to become Communist Party members. There’s no such thing as a free company in China.

And when you talk about the idea of China controlling the electronic systems all over the world … now let’s look at a case study of this. So we know that China is stealing intellectual property from the West. When people think about it, usually the one image they have would be the five Chinese hackers who were indicted under the Obama Administration in 2015. Those five individuals were from Unit 61398. They’ve reformed it since then. I’ll go over the former structures. 61398 was one of 22 operational bureaus under the General Staff Third Department. The General Staff Department was the war-fighting branch of the Chinese military. This was not just a military operation. This was not just a government operation. It was a war-fighting operation, right? The Third Department was a Signals Intelligence Agency. Next to it were the Second Department and the Fourth Department. The Fourth Department was Electronics Intelligence Agency, and the Second Department was the Human Intelligence Agency, and they worked together, right? This was not just a few individuals launching a small operation. This was a full-scale warfare operation. They reformed that now. Now it’s under the Strategic Support Force.

When it comes to what Obama did at that time, right, he indicted them. He met with Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, and they agreed to no longer launch cyberattacks to steal intellectual property. And China, of course, did a sleight of hand, too, in terms of narrative control, where they said, oh, well, America spies on us too. Look at Snowden, which came out right at that time. Look at Snowden and the NSA and all these things. It was two different arguments. You’re talking about state espionage, which is generally tolerated versus state espionage to rob independent companies to feed those products back into state-run companies to power an economy directed by the state. It’s absolutely different.

But regardless of that, after they signed the paper saying, we will no longer launch cyberattacks for economic gain. What did they do? They use China Telecom and begin diverting U.S. internet traffic from targeted companies back to China. And so instead of hacking them, they divert their traffic, and everything’s going through Chinese servers, right? And then they created different laws. They created things like the National Security Law, which requires by Chinese law that all data is secure and controllable. All data needs to be visible by the Communist Party. You cannot have a company and have your data not visible to the CCP. There’s no such thing as data on Huawei networks and these things, and not having it be accessible to Communist Party members, the system, basically. If China were to control the international electronic systems, those systems would be under Chinese law and mandated, all that would need to be visible and controlled by the Communist Party.

Mr. Jekielek: Josh, we’re going to have to wrap up in a little bit. This is going to be one of the longer American Thought Leaders episodes because we’re going to do a Q&A with the audience in a moment. But I wanted to ask you a little bit about this “The Dead End of Communism” series that’s actually one of the flagships series of editorials that we’ve done recently. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about it, and some things that relate to everything we’ve talked about.

Mr. Philipp: So after Trump got elected in 2016, The Epoch Times launched a new editorial series called “The Dead End of Communism.” And this was–I wasn’t the one who started it, but I wrote a lot of content for it. This series was to show people that communism is not just some economic theory, it’s not just an economic system. It’s something that impacts morality. It’s a belief. It’s a revision of history. It’s a new system of values, and it has had a massive destructive toll on human society since its emergence. Communism over the last 100 years has killed somewhere between 100 million and 150 million people. Now, those systems were communist in goal but socialist in terms of government systems. Socialism is the political system that communism manifests in. Communism is the ideology that guides it and the end goal that they envision. Of course, the “Black Book of Communism” says 100 million. More recent estimates put it at 150 million dead by this ideology. Communism is the system of state slavery. It is not about liberating the people. If it liberates people from anything … they believe that participating in the free market is slavery, they believe that a woman being married is slavery, they believe that children being raised by their parents is slavery. And so if humankind is already enslaved by these traditional values and systems that have always existed, what does it mean? What is the difference between taking that and giving it to the people, putting it under the control of the Communist Party system. So it doesn’t free anyone. It puts them under the control of the state. That is what they call liberation.

And I think if people are just told these basic facts and are told how communism warped history, how it totally warped the concepts of the history of our world, how it warped human morality, how it destroyed the family, how it attacks our values and our cultures and our traditions and everything that we believe in, to wipe that out and say it’s one of the “olds” to be destroyed, to bring about the goals of communism. I think when people see communism for what it is, they will be horrified by it, they will be disgusted by it, and they will never want to associate with it. But people are not being shown that side of communism. And so the series was meant to do that. And since then we’ve written the second, I wasn’t part of this one, we wrote a second editorial series called “How the Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World,” which also exposes the full history of the communist system. And also talks about it from the, say, metaphysical perspective because communism isn’t just a normal political system. It’s something that has almost a spiritual base to it. And so exposing that side to it, one that you almost never hear about, was the focus of that series.

Audience Q&A

Audience Question: What is Donald Trump’s position on China? And how are we going to emerge from all of this that we’ve just been discussing?

Mr. Philipp: Right. So even though I think everything I said is pretty frightening, I should say that I have never been more hopeful, not just for what’s happening with China and the U.S. position on China in terms of where things are heading, but also with this battle in our society right now between freedom and socialism. Because I think that is the real nature of this battle we’re seeing right now. It’s not a battle of political ideologies. It’s a battle between socialist tyranny, the absolute dominance of all of society by socialism, or the ideas of freedom that I think America is based in, and people I would hope can start to remember what that means.

But you asked about China, specifically. So when it came to the Chinese Communist Party, I was not very hopeful that anything could be done, basically. Right now the Chinese Communist Party’s main systems of warfare are based around deception and unconventional tactics. You have the “Unrestricted Warfare” doctrine, and you have the “Three Warfare’s” concept–psychological warfare, media warfare, legal warfare. You have this concept that looks at what are the goals of war and how can we achieve those goals through nonmilitary means. And so it takes every single facet of a society and weaponizes every facet of that society to use them as tools, because it’s a communist system, they control everything, to direct them for different goals of the Communist Party. Business, investment, education, all become weapons to achieve those goals.

But at the same time, the Chinese Communist Party is not as strong as it appears to be. Internally, you have massive protests against it. Our Chinese edition frequently reports on this. You have millions of people protesting on a regular basis against the Chinese Communist Party. You have the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party’s main system of control which is fear, can no longer hold sway over Chinese people. They no longer fear it. You have people who no longer believe in the idea of communism, and the one factor they have left is that “the Communist Party can make me wealthy, can make me comfortable.” And, basically, the–great book on this–“Death by China” by Peter Navarro, for example, talking about Chinese Communist Party’s various systems of economic currency manipulation. They have programs for it–economic warfare targeting the GDP of a country, business warfare targeting individual businesses, transaction warfare targeting methods of transaction, like internet, like Alibaba, and that kind of stuff.

What is the hope when facing this? Well, Trump came out of left field. I don’t think even they saw it coming. And he said, if you continue violating these things, we will sanction you. We will put tariffs on you. And if you don’t clean up your act, if you don’t take down your firewall, we’re going to keep them up. The Communist Party is in a place where it has collapsed on either side of it. It either deals with the fact that–now the tariffs are one thing. The bigger picture is that companies are leaving China. It’s too expensive to operate there, and the benefits of operating there were already going away. They’re leaving China. Does the Chinese Communist Party sit by and let them leave? Does it agree to this what Trump put forth, which will basically end the tyranny of the Communist Party. It can no longer engage in theft. It can no longer keep up the firewall. It can no longer forbid foreign investment. It needs to, basically, get rid of a lot of the core systems of the communist system or lose this market. And so social stability is a huge issue for him right now. Trump is being extremely effective in this.

Audience Question: Which is the bigger threat to America right now? China or Iran?

Mr. Philipp: I would say China is the bigger threat, but Iran is also a major threat. And Iran is a threat in ways that maybe most of us may not be aware. So, of course, when we think of Iranian threats, we think of the Iranian military, we think of nuclear weapons development. The picture that’s often overlooked is one that China has a huge part to play in Iran. China has been basically supporting the Iranian regime, and there are different, say, corrupt political policies that have allowed that to take place as well. But one of the biggest things Iran is involved with is subversion and financing terrorist movements around the world. People may not be aware, but Iran has massive influence in Latin America. They have control of political parties in Latin America. If you go into countries like Peru, you have, I think, Hezbollah has official political parties.
Josh Philipp: They have terrorist training camps in different parts of Latin America. When it comes to the drug trade, of course we know that they grow all these drugs in the Middle East, but how do they make it to Latin America? How do they make it to America? It goes through these networks, through this subversion, this whole system of subversion, all these different networks. And so you have drug money being used to bribe politicians. You have bribed politicians turning their backs to allow for the drug trade. It is a system that has perpetuated itself. It feeds corruption and then uses corruption to continue corrupting the society. I would say that the major effects of Iran are in the drug trade. It is in the system of international terrorism, and it’s in the system of spreading these very radical ideas that are, I’d say, just like communism, also a pretty serious threat to the world.

Jan Jekielek: That sounds incredibly frightening. Why is China a worse threat then?

Mr. Philipp: China’s a worse threat because it’s not recognized as a threat by too many people, I think. And because its networks of subversion are not being uprooted almost at all right now.

Audience Question: America is like a pendulum–swings in one direction more towards tradition, traditional values, in the other direction towards socialism. Which way are we heading right now?

Mr. Philipp: If you were to ask me, I’d say for a long time we had entrenched political systems, both of which had some degrees of corruption. The Democrats and Republicans both had their issues. Socialism is something outside of this altogether. It is not part of the pendulum, I’d say. The Democratic Socialists of America, I wrote a story about this recently, gained control of the Democratic Party through the grassroots. And I think even the Democratic Party is struggling with how to deal with this because there are studies in terms of say swing voters, which was recently leaked, right, showed that swing voters don’t support socialism. Basically campaigning on socialism is a losing proposition for them even though a lot of their policies are based in it.

And at the same time, the ideas of socialism only work when people don’t know the agendas, when they don’t know the objectives. Socialist, communist leaders have always talked about hiding their true agendas. And in terms of the idea of the pendulum and right and left, I would say that the entire concept of right and left … it’s not real. It’s not the dichotomy that America’s based in. And people in this country, they speak different languages when it comes to understanding right and left. If you were to ask a lot of liberals, they interpret right and left only as fascism on the far right and communism on the far left. And fascism and communism are both based in socialism. It’s not something that encompasses all of society that you only choose between one of two absolutely tyrannical systems–systems that are based in the same basic ideology, that are based in the same systems of class struggle and hatred and government controlling every part of your life. That is not a spectrum of society that represents everyone in any way.

A lot of conservatives say that it’s a structure of government power where they place communism on the far left … basically, socialism, communism, fascism, all the tyrannical systems and anarchy on the far right. But even that does not encompass the ideas of socialism. Because anarchy, if we go back to its origins, was also part of the whole communist movement. It goes back to, I think it was William Godwin, I believe it was. He was a radical atheist. He was the father of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. And he proposed this whole idea of intentional communism, or … personal anarchy to achieve intentional communism. And if you understand what communism is, it makes sense. You bypass the system of socialism by internally destroying within yourself your belief in morality, your belief in tradition, your belief in family, your belief in recognizing hierarchy. A person can wipe out their morals and values and achieve what communism aims to achieve internally. That was the basis of anarchy.

And leading up to even late 1800s and early 1900s, of course, the anarchists and the communists were working very closely together. We see it again now with these anarcho–you know, of course, bombing of Wall Street and that kind of stuff, the terrorist attacks done by anarchist groups. And we see it now, of course, with the groups like Antifa, these anarcho-communists. If we want to talk about the true origins of right and left, it gets into more religious stuff. But I would say that it is more a structure of values, that there are people who believe in tradition and traditional values and these things, and there are people who believe in moving away from that or destroying that. And I don’t believe society is going that way. I believe society, if anything, is turning back to tradition. And there’s an interesting wave of that right now. There’s almost a global awakening around this right now, that it’s not limited to the United States. And at the same time we see socialism dying. So I believe this is the pattern we’re on right now.

Audience Question: How do the protests in Hong Kong play into all of this?

Mr. Philipp:  So right now in Hong Kong there are around–I think I’ve heard estimates about 20 million–

Mr. Jekielek: Two.

Mr. Philipp: I’m sorry, two million. It’s 20 times larger than the Umbrella Revolution. Two million people. It’s 20 times larger. Now what happened during the Umbrella Revolution? Chinese students came out and protested on the streets, and they were calling against this whole policy that was going to allow the Chinese Communist Party to allegedly be able to determine who leads Hong Kong. The Communist Party and the Hong Kong government declared that these groups were not recognized in any way. They were out there illegally, and they did not concede to them even a drop. What has happened with the current protests? Again, 20 times larger, two million people. Within one week Hong Kong conceded to their demands, and the Communist Party is not getting involved. If the Chinese Communist Party does get involved, it will take the form of subversion, which means that they’ll have, say, their own people get sent out and cause violence, which would allow them to crush it violently. But at this point, the Chinese people, they know all these games. They know how it’s played. They’re not going to fall for it, and they’re sick of it. It’s not going to work at this point. I think the Chinese Communist Party knows that.

Their biggest fear now is that these protests are spreading to Taiwan, and they’re terrified this is going to spread into mainland China. This is a wave that they are very afraid of I believe.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

American Thought Leaders is an Epoch Times show available on Facebook and YouTube.

Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Senior Editor
Jan Jekielek is a Senior Editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, "American Thought Leaders." Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, & international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as Website Chief Editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film "Finding Manny."