No 1444 5th May 2014
Topsy-turvy lies from Kiev’s Washington-pushed coup-installed Nazi government to provoke yet more civil war, underlines the urgent need to re-establish revolutionary Marxist understanding in the world. Above all at present should be the call for the defeat by any possible means, of this foul degeneracy including by Russian resistance. But Marxist understanding needs to make clear that this implies absolutely no support for Putin’s oligarch dominated Bonapartism and idiot anti-communist greater Russian nationalism which needs toppling as soon as the main threat of US world war fascism can be seen off. East Ukrainian popular resistance is even stirring revived communist notions but they will not get anywhere without fully understanding the disastrous legacy of Stalinist revisionism. The struggle for Leninist open polemics grows more urgent
Every day the evidence piles up higher of a world imperialist system that has gone totally rotten with demented fascist aggression.
The latest burning alive of trade unionists in Ukraine’s Odessa by baseball bat, knife and gun-toting Right Sector fascist gangs from Kiev, celebrated and congratulated for their foul murder by the reactionary criminal oligarch (and western darling) Yulia Timoshenko, is now on a par with the 1930s Nazi violence in Germany.
The total support of the West, which has engineered the second “Orange revolution” and its now daily beatings and intimidation, laughably declared to be “democracy”, is the real story behind this degeneracy.
No daily accusations of a government “killing its own people” are poured out, as they were against Gaddafi or Assad to stoke up the blitzkrieg atmosphere there.
Washington-dominated capitalism is desperately squirming and stampeding the whole world into deadly and barbaric war and civil war destruction to escape its epochal political failure and the historic economic catastrophe of its profit making system.
The sick and degenerate Big Lie war propaganda has reached a new level of deranged insanity with its latest accusations that the Russia “wants World War Three” over the Ukraine.
Exactly the opposite, it is Western imperialism, led by the increasingly torturing, massacring, death-squad and terror drone-running Washington top-dog ruling class, which is deliberately pushing the world into all-out war devastation, and forcing the situation in Ukraine towards civil war mayhem or worse.
This is just the latest in a deluge of genocidal chaos imposed across the world.
For at least 15 years the murderous US ruling class and its sidekicks like Britain, have “re-educated” the world into accepting killing, torture, blanket bombing, blitzing and blasting non-stop war as the “norm”, ending for good the soft-headed post-war “boom” illusions promulgated by generations of Labourites (and the fake-“lefts”), that capitalism had entered a new phase of peaceful prosperity and gradual reformist (welfare) improvements for all, through “left pressure” and “Stop the War” containment.
But the real story is the re-emergence of capitalism’s true underlying fascist nature, (the hidden face of bourgeois dictatorship) ready to carry out any depravity necessary to maintain its power and privileges.
Half a dozen scapegoated and falsely-demonised “rogue states” or alleged “totalitarian” victim after victim have already been “punished” and destroyed, on a barbaric scale on the flimsiest of pretexts, lies, stunted-up “incidents” and alleged “massacres” and “atrocities”, all wildly exaggerated, misrepresented, with deliberately misdirected responsibility alleged, or just non-existent fabrications like the infamous Gulf of Tonkin attack that started the Vietnam war, the Recak “massacre” excuse to blitzkrieg Serbia or the fantasy WMDs in Iraq.
A string of US and NATO blitzkriegs, slaughter and repressions has already destroyed large parts of Serbia, leaving an ethnically cleansed Albanian mafia drug-running hellhole in Kosovo, has slaughtered thousands in Sierra Leone, and pulverised the entire complex infrastructure, culture and economy of Iraq, killing and terrorising millions, and leaving a continuing mess of sectarian slaughter, daily mass bombings, fear and hate.
It has pounded huge swathes of benighted Afghanistan for a decade, now bombed even further down into feudal backwardness than it was already.
Tens of thousands of innocent people have been blown apart, hundreds of thousands maimed, tortured, bereaved, starved and shattered, millions dispossessed, driven from their homes, terrified, traumatised and ripped apart.
Western high-tech blitzkrieg and sinister “special forces” operations have destroyed forty years of progress and equitable investment in the advanced and civilised society of Libya, leaving a festering mess of destroyed infrastructure and racist warlordism.
A desert of destruction has been created from the equally cultured and civilised Syria with a deliberately manipulated, covertly-provoked, media-inflamed and externally-funded sectarian civil war of appalling horrors and all-round atrocities, all then hand-wringingly reported with lakes of crocodile tears, blaming everything solely on the demonised victim regime – to thus “justify” even more hate-campaigning and blitzkrieg “punishment” to further inflame the sectarian disaster.
Tens of thousand are starving in a once perfectly viable country, with the lives of half the population, nine million people, utterly destroyed by this calculated and deliberate externally induced mayhem, ethnic cleansing, terrorising, and massacre, and the terrible and desperate state fight to survive.
Alongside there has been massive devastation and killing wrought throughout Africa (the Congo, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, Central African Republic reduced to brutal primitiveness) all instigated, provoked and pushed with arms, money, covert interventions, “special operations” and CIA interference on top of endless commercial and trading skulduggery and the poisoning influence of capitalist corporate rapacity (literally poisoning in some cases like the Nigerian delta) .
On top is the endless persecution and attempted slow genocide of the 8 million strong Palestinian nation by the Nazi-Jewish occupiers of their country, routinely blitzing, shelling, killing and beating them with the most monstrous inhumane weaponry like white phosphorus, as well as maintaining the most barbaric siege imprisonment of Gaza, and constantly extending the colonialist occupation (illegal even by capitalist stooge UN decree) of even the small part of their own land (occupied continuously for 1500 years) which remains after 70 years of land theft.
All this warmongering from Serbia onwards – (or earlier even if including Thatcher’s colonialist foray over Argentina’s Malvinas Islands in the 1980s and the first Gulf War etc and the 10-year follow on siege of Iraq, itself killing half a million children) – comes in various guises, with assorted “justifications” and “reasons for intervention”, under the outrageous and hypocritical pretence that capitalism could remotely care less about the fate of the masses of ordinary people in the world (other than to work them into the ground); that it wants to install “the rule of law” and “democracy” despite toppling one legitimate government after another (Cairo and Kiev the latest, Honduras recently in Latin America and Venezuela being attempted, after dozens in post-war history eg Iran’s Mossadeq, Congo’s CIA assassinated Lumumba, Sukarno in Indonesia with a million massacred, removal of Haiti’s Aristide); or that it wants to “defend self-determination rights” (as long as those match imperialism’s wishes and only when it suits them for disruption and war provocation, around the Albanian mafia in Kosovo for example, or Tibetan anti-Chinese workers state feudalist primitivism, but not when it is Crimean Russian speakers against Kiev Nazism etc, colonised and exploited Puerto Ricans etc etc).
It is the most monstrous deadly humbug.
Currently the war pressure is being wound up with demented idiot “official investigations” against the North Korean revisionist workers state from the almost wholly US stooged United Nations, taking lurid fantasy horror-stories to new hate-firing extremes of grotesque Big Lie demonisation (ludicrous “drowning babies” fabrications in a country which equally ludicrously is painted as comprising virtually nothing but “concentration camps”, – all this echoing the “babies tipped out of incubators” proven-lie black propaganda accusations against Iraq in the first Gulf War, or WMD for the second).
Meanwhile endless terrorising and intimidating “military exercises” by tens of thousands of US troops, nuclear armed US carriers and South Korean live-armed naval vessels are held right on Pyongyang’s border, even as Russia’s military exercises near the Ukraine are being condemned as “intolerable bullying pressure and provocation”.
Hypocrisy could not be more glaring.
The same vessels also form part of a gigantic US and Japanese air, missile and sea military nuclear buildup around China, on an unprecedentedly deadly scale which grows ever more threatening.
In the Middle East mass state slaughter of protesters on an astonishingly new scale by the Western-backed Egyptian military judges is held up as “restoring democracy” (after a massacring and illegal coup deposing a legal president); counter-revolutionary murderous violence by the rich and privileged against the (just-recently) legally elected “left” reformist Maduro presidency in Venezuela is painted by bourgeois politicians and press as “reasonable protest”.
Africa is a festering mess of horrors, massacres and Western invasion from Mali to Somalia, the Central African Republic to the Congo, all spurred on and instigated by monopoly capitalist exploitation interests, and covered over with twisted lies.
Throughout Europe the foulest of hate-filled chauvinism, racism and Nazi worship is being stirred once again, lavishly publicised by the capitalist media from the endless “he’s just a funny chap” TV time given to the British UKIP, to the Fronte National in France, hate campaigners in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, chauvinism in Switzerland, and more. A clutch of nasty restorationist Nazis already running various East European former workers states and broken away fragments of the former Soviet Union, like Nazi-SS worshiping Latvia and Lithuania, Pilsudski (a 1930s Nazi dictator) loving Poland and assorted neo-fascists and racist scapegoaters in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
But all these supposedly separate incidents have a common thread; the desperate crisis of an outmoded capitalist system.
The class domination and exploitation of 800 years of capitalist rule and forced-pace technological progress has not only exhausted itself historically but is dragging the world into disaster.
As the EPSR (alone against fake-“left” complacency and derision) has constantly warned the working class, capitalism has run into its greatest ever catastrophic meltdown, the unavoidable and inescapable result of the contradictions of the private profit system.
Like cholesterol in its arteries the monopoly capitalist system is choked completely with the “surplus” capital it cannot help but accumulate (while billions of workers suffer ever greater desperate penury, want and starvation).
There is no longer any opportunity for making a usable profit for nearly all of it.
The greed ridden ruling class is in a vortex of collapse from which there is no escape while its profit demands continue; it is driving ever greater trade and currency war antagonisms which increasingly erupt in inter-imperialist tensions (as between the US and the EU (Germany) over Ukraine for example and over Serbia, and Iraq, before that).
A world system which did not demand a “profit” on production, but carried it out on a practical socialist basis would eliminate this tearing contradiction overnight allowing production to be tailored and thought out for mass needs (as the Soviet union and other workers states brilliantly began to achieve throughout the twentieth century, with full employment, housing education and medical care for all and brilliant cultural and scientific achievements (Bolshoi ballet, Prokofiev, first man in space, numerous patents etc etc etc).
But the rich and powerful ruling class is not about to hand everything over peacefully.
So it has only one other way to get out of the economic abyss – by destroying the great mountains of “unwanted” capital it has accumulated and the ever larger heaps of credit and paper dollars piled-up since the 1970s by which it has tried stave off now long overdue crisis collapse).
As any fool knows, it cannot go on indefinitely.
That means total war devastation, as twice in the twentieth century, wiping out housing, roads, railways, harbours, and above all factories farms and raw materials on a mass scale, not just whole cities at a time but entire countries (starting with Soviet Russia and China in 1937-1945 for example, and ending with all of Germany and Japan), wiping out major rivals in the ever more cutthroat international trade and currency wars at the same time.
Simultaneously war serves to suppress the ever deepening hostility and rebellion against its worldwide exploitation tyranny from the multi-billions held in near slavery throughout the colonially (neo-colonially) dominated Third World, and increasing numbers of the metropolitan working class being driven back down to similar conditions by “austerity”.
But still the entire spectrum of fake-“lefts” fails to say anything coherent about this total slide into warmongering degeneracy, about the unstoppable, intractable capitalist crisis failure driving it and the urgent and daily more important lesson that only a revolutionary overturn of the whole system can save things.
They none of them challenge with any confidence the gigantic fraud of an “upturn” or “recovery” in the shattered world economy, which broke wide open in 2008 and has only staggered onwards by the greatest economic confidence trick in history, Quantitative Easing money printing, and the imposition of massive cuts and brutal permanent austerity, - a cheap conjuring illusion that solves nothing and is unstoppably heading for an even bigger economic armageddon.
The “lefts” episodic limited “analyses”, one incident at a time (Ukraine civil war provocations separate to Syria’s destruction, Venezuela counter revolution unconnected to repression of Egypt’s giant Arab Spring rebellion and the Nazi-NATO Libyan blitzing, etc etc) do nothing to draw together the economic crisis collapse and the gigantic war and destruction turmoil it is leading to, into a single picture.
What the world’s benighted and tyrannised masses crucially need is much deeper grasp and explanation for all these interconnected upheavals showing their underlying cause from of a failing world capitalist order and its contradiction riddled production for private profit system, now heading for Third World War.
Instead of drawing out the crucial lessons that the working class and masses throughout the world need, by building revolutionary parties around an open polemical struggle for scientifically re-established understanding of the class struggle, educating the working class everywhere in the need for a total class war to end this obsolete and bankrupt system, they continue to promulgate all the old delusions in “democracy”, and “anti-war protest”, “steady gains” and “left pressure”, which have hoodwinked workers for two hundred years.
Most of all, despite their posturing self-promotion as “revolutionary” braves, these dozens of Trotskyist and Revisionist “left” groups (and “greens” and anarchists) all evade pitching the question of the need to establish the dictatorship of the working class to take the means of production from the greed-ridden hands of the ruling class into common ownership and then to keep it, against inevitable violent and brutal counter-revolts.
That is the only way that planned and rational socialism can be built, to develop a fair society with places and opportunities for all and to end forever the contradictions of production for private profit which inexorably lead over and over again to Slump and war crises, every time more degenerate and deadly than the last.
The latest fascist slaughter provocations in Ukraine, including the foul and deliberate burning to death of anti-Kiev trade unionists in Odessa by Right Sector Nazi gangs, openly egged on and supported by the Western politicians and media, confirms the rapid degeneration now underway.
The latest Big Lie inversions, laying responsibility for this imperialist war provocation on Russia gives even Adolf Hitler a run for ranting “blame the victim” chutzpah aggressiveness, the words appropriately put into the mouth of the tinpot bespectacled little Nazi non-entity Arseny Yatseniuk now claiming to be “the Ukrainian Prime Minister” after the illegal putsch in Kiev which brought down the legally elected government two months ago.
Everyone knows that this slimy little Quisling and his crew of crop-haired thugs and outright swastika worshiping “ministers” are nothing but puppets dancing to a Washington tune (which has poured $5bn of subversion money in the Ukraine for the last two decades).
Their entire neatly organised and colour-coordinated “Orange revolution”, and now the aggressively directed “Ukrainian state” sallies into Eastern Ukraine to suppress trade unions, put down the Russian language and impose IMF austerity for intensified profiteering on the entire country, are completely choreographed by the CIA and US embassy “diplomats”.
It was no coincidence these latest Nazi “military” incursions, including deliberate shootings trying to provoke the Eastern Ukrainian rebellion, (and Russia nationalism behind it) into war, all came after the boss of the CIA just happened to be in Kiev two weeks ago (whatever for?!?!?!?), and were followed through and pushed further after vice-President Joe Biden visited a week later (again - how is it his business anyway????).
But the West’s crazed plans have run into yet more of the world rebellion that its crisis turn to degenerate war intimidation have been triggering everywhere though the Third World in widespread “insurgency” and “terrorism” etc, and even mass spontaneous revolts like the Cairo “Arab Spring” of early 2011 (now twisted and subverted into counter-revolutionary restoration of the US-backed and funded military).
This latest spontaneous eastern Ukrainian revolt against the new Nazis has set imperialism back on its heels, driving it to new extremes of Big Lie propaganda which are so crude that they increasingly expose even further the true Nazi nature of imperialism itself in the process.
The Obama presidency, the British Tories (and craven “loyal” Labourite class-collaborating treachery) and to some extent the Germans too have all demonstrated clearly the underlying and increasingly overt fascist character of all capitalist imperialism, (not just the peculiar fascist groups themselves) by recognising the joke “government” in the first place with its five open Hitler-worshipping ministers and overall reactionary character), and now by issuing a stream of pompous and demented “warnings” to Moscow, which make 1930s Nazi aggression propaganda look like a model of rationality.
But this vile bluster, like Hitlerism before and all open fascism, despite its deadly enough viciousness is a sign of weakness because of the failing grip of imperialism on the world and the desperation of its underlying catastrophic crisis.
In Ukraine it is being driven to ever greater nonsensical levels as the installed stooges have run into greater and greater mass resistance on the ground, looking more and more sickeningly impotent, as even the most pro-Western correspondents are admitting:
Ukraine’s police and security forces are helpless in the face of a pro-Russia takeover of government buildings in the east and are in some cases co-operating with the separatists, the interim president said.
Oleksandr Turchynov, addressing a meeting of regional governors, said his priority was to stop the agitation spreading to other parts of Ukraine. He also reiterated Kiev’s fear of Russia beginning a land war and said Ukraine’s armed forces had been put on full military readiness.
Those forces will conduct military exercises in central Kiev on Wednesday night, the government said, following a new warning by Turchinov about the threat of a Russian invasion.
A statement on the government website warned residents that “columns of military hardware will move through the city”.
The beleaguered government’s slim hold on law and order in the east was further undermined on Wednesday as pro-Russian separatists seized control of state buildings in Horlivka, almost unopposed.
The city of almost 300,000 people sits just north of Donetsk, where mainly Russian-speaking separatists have declared a “People’s Republic” and plan a referendum on secession on 11 May.
“They’ve taken them: the government administration and police,” a police official in Donetsk told Reuters.
On Tuesday, 3,000 activists – some in masks and military fatigues – stormed the regional government headquarters in the eastern city of Luhansk. Police supposedly guarding the building let the crowd inside.
“I will be frank: today, security forces are unable to quickly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control,” Turchynov told the governors. “The security bodies … are unable to carry out their duties of protecting citizens. They are helpless in those matters. Moreover, some of those units are either helping or co-operating with terrorist organisations.”
The pro-Russians, who the Kiev government calls terrorists, now control buildings in about a dozen cities in eastern Ukraine. The unwillingness of security structures to defend public buildings from separatist occupation has been a theme in eastern Ukraine since early April. Supporters of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” have taken over a string of city halls and police stations. An armed unit from Crimea – led by an alleged Russian colonel – has also established a de facto military capital in the town of Slavyansk.
But in recent days Kiev’s tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk on Tuesday, riot police stood passively in a courtyard, kettled in by separatists armed with bats and hammers. “The regional leadership does not control its police force,” Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev, told Reuters. “The local police did nothing.”
On Monday in Donetsk, another contingent of police in riot gear looked on as people taking part in a peaceful pro-unity rally were attacked by pro-Russian separatists with iron rods. Fourteen people needed hospital treatment, with two were seriously injured. The separatists also took five hostages, supporters of the city’s Shakhtar Donetsk football team who had formed a protective cordon at the front of the rally. The five were taken to an office near Donetsk’s occupied regional administration. They were eventually released on Tuesday.
Later on Tuesday, seven or eight police officers stood outside the office where the hostages had been kept. The scene was peaceful. A few feet away volunteers from the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, dressed in military fatigues, guarded the entrance. They wore orange and black ribbons, the symbols of the “republic’s” anti-Kiev revolution. The two groups appeared to be on friendly terms.
Asked if the police had gone over to the separatists, the captain in charge, Yevgeny, said: “Among the police there are different opinions. Obviously our job is to uphold the law and apply it neutrally.”
The “republic” has announced its own referendum on the region’s future, to be held on 11 May. “I don’t make any secret of the fact that I’m for a referendum,” Yevgeny added. Another police officer chipped in: “We’ll take part. Personally I’m for Russia.”
The police were reluctant to talk about the bloody events of the previous night, when they failed to protect civilians from attack. But one officer who was there said: “This situation is all Kiev’s fault. They say we in the east are slaves, half-humans. They revere people like Stepan Bandera [the second world war Ukrainian nationalist leader] who shot our brothers. We are normal citizens like everyone else.”
Standing next to their patrol car, the officers reeled off a list of grievances. These included low pay – $200-$250 (£120) a month. (One police officer, Svetlana, said: “I’m supposed to give my life for this. Who is going to come to my mother afterwards and say “thanks for your daughter?”) They also complained that a mistrustful Kiev had confiscated their service revolvers three weeks ago. “I can’t exactly defend myself,” Yevgeny said, showing off his empty holster.
The captain said he was one of 400 Donetsk region police officers sent to the capital to deal with demonstrations against the now ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, which began last November. The experience had left him bitterly disillusioned. He had nothing but contempt for the new government, part-formed from the protest movement, he said. Other officers who had not been in Kiev repeated claims made by Russian TV that the Maidan protesters, whose demonstrations led to Yanukovych’s fall, were paid “narco-maniacs”, and unemployed “fascists”.
The police even had sympathy for pro-Russian gunmen in Slavyansk, who are holding 40 people prisoner, including seven European military observers. One officer said: “Kiev started all this by arresting our activists. They [in Slavyansk] are merely defending their rights.”
The US embassy in Kiev said on Tuesday the abduction of the observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the attack on demonstrators by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk on Monday were acts of terrorism.
“There is no place for these examples of inhuman behaviour in a modern, democratic society. This is terrorism, pure and simple,” it said in a statement.
Serhiy Taruta, the new governor sent by Kiev to head the Donetsk region, admits that the police and security services in the east are not doing their job. His officials attribute this to what they call “post-Maidan syndrome”.
For the time being this minor defeat for the West’s provocations may usefully hold up its skulduggery in Ukraine and even send some shock waves through the whole of East Europe, with every tinpot little SS-loving capitalist restorationist in the former workers states, from Poland to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia now beginning to seriously panic at what spontaneous peoples’ movement might have been unleashed, even as NATO slyly moves thousands of troops onto their territories (and thus threateningly closer to the Bonapartist Putin’s Russia).
Defeats, even partially, for imperialism are a crucial element in helping transforming world understanding to open up the revolutionary opportunities to the world working class to finally overturn capitalism and put and end to its foul and rapidly degenerating aggressive destructiveness.
On a grander scale it is even possibly a further milestone in the world wide setbacks and humiliations for the “New American Century” plans to be imposed by the Pentagon’s “endless war” against ”terrorism” and “rogue states” which Obama, far from stopping after Bush, has ratcheted up even more, with wider scale drone assassination, continuing torture and escalated domestic repression and surveillance, the Libyan blitzkrieg and the Syrian destruction.
After last summers’ US imperialist failure to manoeuvre world public opinion behind another nazi-NATO blitzkrieg, adding Syria to the list of countries utterly brutally pulverised into backward devastation for the sake of “freedom” allegedly, from Serbia to Libya via Afghanistan and Iraq, this reflects the war weariness and dismay of large sections of the American and European populations.
But while the upheavals and occupations in the east of Ukraine have temporarily blocked (part of) Washington’s takeover, it remains to be seen if Moscow Bonarpartism can (or will) stand firm enough to sustain the anti-fascist “separatists”, as it did over Crimea, and help defeat the coup fascists.
Marxist-Leninist understanding calls for just such a defeat, in fact any defeat, of the main imperialist warmongers.
But it also says it is crucially important to make clear that such a call implies no support whatsoever for the philistine anti-communist Putinism, whose oligarch dominated Bonapartism needs overturning as soon as there is a breathing space for the working class to take it on.
No such Leninist dialectical understanding is emerging at all from any of the great swamp of fake “left” parties and the pretensions to be “revolutionaries”.
Either they have capitulated to the Western propaganda onslaught and effectively, in one guise or another, are supporting the fascist takeover in Kiev and the demonisation of the opposition to it, or like assorted revisionists, revert to old style defencism, backing the Russian intervention not only without making clear at all that the oligarch restoration is itself part of the problem facing the working class, but in the most absurd museum-Stalinist cases like the Lalkar/Proletarian, celebrating Putin’s Russia as if it were still an extension of the Soviet Union.
Neither gives the working class the revolutionary Marxist leadership it requires, around a total world perspective for the fight to end all capitalism through a revolutionary struggle to establish (or re-establish) the dictatorship of the proletariat.
That alone can stop this degeneracy, and with such perspectives there is nothing but confusion and misleadership.
The crudest of the Trots, have already shown their true class colours over Ukraine once more by supporting the demonstrators in Kiev from early on with the crudest “rank and file” philistine impressionism as “just being a popular revolt against Yanukovitch oligarch corruption”.
They ignore the obvious pro-Western, reactionary and fascist allied nature of the movement, or excuse it with the specious nonsense that it has been “hijacked” or “infiltrated” with “some Nazis”.
This is exactly what they said over the alleged “popular rebellion” in Libya and Syria, where they ignored all the glaring signals of the reactionary nature of the movements – like monarchist flag waving and loud and clear calls for “NATO to come and bomb the regime” – from the first days, as well as the wider picture of the balance of class forces in the world, Gaddafi and Assad’s’ clear anti-imperialist form, and the desperate need of capitalism to head off the genuine Arab Spring in populous Egypt alongside both these countries.
It is what they said over Kosovo, supporting the Albanian mafia takeover which capitalism used as its excuse to start this great warmongering round.
For Ukraine, the western intriguing has been glaring.
And if it has “suddenly” become reactionary (“suddenly” only for the blinkered Trotskyists, blinded by petty bourgeois prejudice from seeing the obvious) why don’t these salt-of-the-earth allegedly “ordinary people” now break with the new government and its overt fascist ministries, backed by a stream of open and covert EU and US right-wing supporters such as John McCain and NATO????
Why do they want to call in the West and cement links with the European Union??
Because this is total gobshyte perhaps????
The obviously manipulated nature of the “rebellion”, its massive Western media and political support (and in fact covert organisation and funding over two decades – admitted to be $5bn by the US recently via assorted NGOs) and its clear purpose to carry forwards Western NATO aggression as part of a worldwide onslaught, – all this is completely ignored because the class instincts of the Trotskyists put them square onside with imperialism.
So too is the clear purpose of taking capitalist intimidation and military threat right to the edge of Russia, to consolidate the counter-revolution and push forwards the further break-up of all remaining Soviet coherence and societal structure,
Tattered and ineffectual as such remnants are under Putin’s idiot anti-communism and the dire continuing revisionist stupidity of what remains of the Russian CP, the more aggressive wing of the capitalist ruling class still sees the continuing threads of soviet attitudes as a threat, and wants to see Russia much further smashed-up and fragmented along the lines of the Balkanisation of Yugoslavia, with even Putin’s nationalism toppled and more obviously pro-capitalist oligarch rule established (under the pretence of “democracy”).
That their fears are well founded is demonstrated by the reaction their intriguing has itself created, with stirred-up nostalgic pro-communism in eastern Ukraine showing its potential to turn revolutionary once more, as demonstrated by the civic building seizures and occupations, popular demonstrations against the Kiev police and military – willing to risk being shot in order to block the military by standing directly in front of their guns (the kind of heroism that would instantly have been made into an iconic poster if it had been a pro-Western demonstration in Tian an Men or Lhasa, say, or Havana) – and the increasingly vociferous insistence that “things were better in Soviet times” which even the bourgeois press is having to report here and there.
This is having a potentially huge impact on the world class struggle, directly in Ukraine itself, where it threatens to stymie and block the reactionaries in Kiev and their scummy fascist “authority” and more widely in its impact on Russia in general where large sections of the working class increasingly hanker after the cooperation and coherence of soviet times.
But it is most devastating of all on the international class struggle where the liquidation of the Soviet Union was temporarily one of the greatest propaganda triumphs yet for capitalist imperialism, reinforcing the 24/7 propaganda onslaught throughout society that “communism did not work” and that life was a “totalitarian nightmare” where the workers were “living a life of terrified grey repression and exploitation from which they have at last escaped.”
So why would anyone ever want to go back to it??
As the EPSR has long declared (EPSR Perspectives 2001):
A return to a planned socialist economy there would certainly eliminate at a stroke the theoretical problem for international working-class understanding, of decades of still unresolved anti-communist and anti-Soviet brainwashing having been apparently crowned with Gorbachev’s deliberate suicidal self-destruction.
The stirrings in Ukraine (and recent demonstrations in Bosnian former Yugoslavia, are a long way off any such fulfilment yet, and will require the rebuilding not of the flawed Stalinism which the nostalgia is calling for (since it was Stalinist errors and philosophical retreats which led to the liquidation of the USSR in the first place) but of Leninist revolutionary perspectives.
But even the limited perspectives and mingled Russian nationalism swirling around at present and the street action around it, is raising a million questions inside Ukraine and worldwide, none of which the Trotskyists want to discuss either, having spent the entire history of the Soviet Union pouring out as much poison about it as capitalism itself (and even worse since 1989), calling for its downfall under the fraudulent guise of the impossible “political revolution against Stalinist errors” which could only ever have been, and was proved to be, counter-revolution.
This crude Trotskyism, has been too obviously a capitulation to the obvious backing of the Western powers for the “Orange revolution” for the slightly more sophisticated (if equally anti-communist) fake-”left” who have taken a “wash their hands of everything” like the Weekly Worker CPGB which even polemicises with some of the more off-the-wall groups (in its issue 1006) attacking:
moronic, argument from Liam Mac Uaid of Socialist Resistance that the Crimean situation was “roughly analogous” to the north of Ireland or Israel. That is, the Russian-speakers are a settler population not entitled to the right to self-determination because they are an ‘oppressor people’. So a “defeat for Russian imperialism in Ukraine” would be a “victory for that [Ukrainian] mass movement” and in fact “the Russian working class” - even if it comes at the hands of the western-backed Kiev government, presumably.
By a perverted but logical extension, this argument is now being put forward for the entire Ukraine - please step forward Martin Thomas of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in the latest issue of Solidarity (April 8). Arguing that responsibility for the current crises “mostly” lies with “Russian imperialism” and “not democratic protest”, Thomas goes on to say that, because Ukraine is a “nation historically oppressed by Russia”, its right to national self-determination automatically trumps those of the ethnic Russians or Russophones. Yes, he generously adds, Russians living in Ukraine “should enjoy democratic minority rights”, but for him “their rights cannot cancel the right to self-determination of the whole Ukrainian nation” - as apparently the “immediate threat” to Ukrainian “political self-determination” comes from Russia “invading” Crimea, “massing” troops on Ukraine’s border, “fomenting” small coups in east-Ukrainian cities and demanding Ukraine fit its constitution to Russian wishes.
This Russophobic drivel from the AWL and SR almost perfectly mirrors the propaganda that comes out of the White House or Downing Street - a narrative that portrays an ‘expansionist’ Russia as the villain of the piece, aggressively set upon a “Crimean Anschluss” or worse. But such attempts to demonise Russia or Putin are entirely one-sided. The orange-brown ‘revolution’ in Kiev, enthusiastically backed by the west, and an extremely ugly resurgent Ukrainian nationalism are just as much to blame for the crisis - if not more so. It was hardly an accident that the very first acts of the new Kiev government after it had booted out Viktor Yanukovych (despite coming to a ‘compromise’ deal with him only the day before) were to strip Russian of its official language status, move to outlaw the Communist Party of Ukraine and appoint six members of far-right and fascist groups to the most senior positions in the new cabinet - including minister of defence, commander of the national defence and security council, deputy prime minister, prosecutor-general, and so on.
Similarly, we have had little time for the hypocritical cant about the exceptionally authoritarian (even ‘totalitarian’) or corrupt nature of the Yanukovych administration. On what objective or rational basis was his government any less ‘legitimate’ or more ‘corrupt’ than previous Ukrainian governments - or today’s, headed by the shady Oleksandr Turchynov? At the end of the day, Yanukovych was elected in a reasonably free and fair election, with the support of large sections of a Russophone population that had suddenly felt disenfranchised by the central authorities in Kiev - for good reason, not just because of an outbreak of Russian nationalism.
But this fish in a barrel argument between fake-“lefts”is only a sly cover for the WW’s own disowning of the situation, which mobilises a battery of sophistry and contorted academic argument over “self-determination” to wash its hands of the only important question, the defeat of the imperialist skulduggery and aggression. It tries to pretend it is fly to the Western involvement but then steers away from the real question, of defeat for imperialism finishing up with a hopeless “Stop the War” type social-pacifist protest:
We communists unequivocally denounce the imperialist campaign for sanctions against Russia - the Ukrainian masses, not high-ranking officials in Moscow or the oligarchs, would end up the losers. Rather, we seek to expose the hypocrisy and machinations of the western governments, which are adding fuel to the nationalist fire by egging on the regime in Kiev and peddling absurd fairy tales about the Kremlin being hell-bent on conquest or Putin being the new Hitler. Silly and dangerous.
For us, the real fact on the ground is that the Ukrainian peoples are interpenetrated - and the same essentially goes for the army and the state machine as a whole. You are not dealing with ethnic population centres that can be tidily divided up everywhere. Therefore we fight for a solution that cuts across the rival nationalisms at play in Ukraine and beyond, while insisting on the right to self-determination on a genuinely democratic and internationalist basis, which respects minority rights. We do not think the ‘pro-Ukrainian’ far right is better than the ‘pro-Russian’ far right, that Ukrainian nationalism is more progressive than Russian nationalism (or vice-versa) or that the Ukrainian oligarchs are more enlightened than Russian oligarchs - least of all that the Kiev government or western imperialism is the ‘lesser evil’, compared to so-called “Russian imperialism”.
Despite the “bold” posturing meaninglessness of its “unequivocallies” (and note the “we communists” self-aggrandising) this is not “fighting” for a solution at all but avoiding the only real fight; the struggle to defeat imperialism.
That means defeat for Washington not Moscow; as Lenin always argued strongly, every situation has to be assessed concretely, in detail, and in this situation Russian restorationist Bonapartism most clearly is “the lesser evil”, for all that its oligarch domination has imperialist pretensions, (with its gross foul and murderous “anti-terrorism” war against Chechnya for example).
The onslaught is not analogous to the inter-imperialist conflicts which triggered the First World War when the Bolsheviks made clear from the beginning this was nothing but a “fight between thieves to re-divide the world’s colonialist spoils” and that the working class could not support either side, (and should make civil war on their own ruling class wherever they were).
The Weekly Worker argument is a deliberate misrepresentation; the world has moved since 1918 and is now dominated by one single overwhelming imperialist power, the end point of capitalist monopolisation tendencies, namely the US.
In fact it goes even further with its supposed “even-handedness” in the last paragraph which in “generously” “admitting” that Russia “not the greater evil” practically implies things could reasonably be seen that way.
Raising this “neither Washington nor Moscow” line (the old Socialist Workers Party Trotskyist anti-Soviet sitting-on-the-wall slogan which the SWP is also reviving currently) and combining it with some academic allegedly overriding principles about self-determination, is just sleight of hand which avoids the main issue.
Deep down this reflects all the old anti-workers state sentiment which is at the heart of the Trotskyist middle class politics (and the crypto-Trotksyist line of the once revisionist Weekly Worker) and a fear of the revived communist feelings that might be unlocked.
But calling for a defeat like this most certainly is not to imply any support for Putinism whatsoever, which the muddled analysis from Stalinist revisionism is doing, taking a defencist line which leaves Putinism and its Russian nationalism essentially uncriticised, at best with a few side swipes about Putin or none at all, and certainly no discussion of the need to rebuild revolutionary understanding within Russia as well as in Ukraine. None of them get any further than this Seamus Milne view in the Guardian:
So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.
The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.
No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin’s absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.
But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary “green men” (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?
Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its protégés in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin’s oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia’s counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.
The museum-Stalinists like Lalkar/Proletarian are even more embedded in this pro-Soviet nostalgia, talking about Putin’s Russia as if it were virtually a direct continuation of the Soviet Union, not even mentioning its oligarch capitalist nature and Putin’s avowed declarations against communism.
This stems entirely from a long abandonment of the struggle for theory, and complete resistance to polemic, for fear that the many mistakes of the Third International will be exposed all the way back to the philosophical retreats of Stalin’s CP in the 1930s which eventually led to the long decay of revisionist leadership in Moscow and the eventual liquidation of the USSR’s workers state.
Stunningly, despite much huffing and puffing about the Khruschev period, (laying the blame for all the errors of revisionism here) Putin gets none of these broadsides despite running a full on capitalist state far beyond the revisionist flawed Soviet Union of the 1950s.
Instead over the latest developments, Lalkar/Proletarian goes along completely with current Russian nationalism, trumpeting that “Crimea goes home” and larding their account with eulogistic phrases about “Moscow’s authority” and its “championing” of the Syrian cause (around which they have also a completely ossified Stalinist view.
But local Russian nationalist illusions in joining Putin’s Russia, with its bonapartist balancing act between the oligarch gangster-billionaires now running the country’s restored capitalist economy and the nostalgic remnants of Soviet social and organisational attitudes still persisting (in very tattered form), could be as misplaced as those of the Serbs in Slobodan Milosevic whose opportunist revisionist nationalism collapsed ideologically in the teeth of the ferocious NATO onslaught in 1999,
Milosevic failed completely to lead any kind of firm battle, even though the well armed, militarily dug-in and well-trained Serbian army could have inflicted severe damage on the NATO ground forces at the time, a significant defeat if not all out victory for the heavily outnumbered Serbian population, facing a nineteen nation onslaught.
Even if Putin’s greater Russian nationalism sees its own interests sufficiently at stake to keep backing the East Ukrainian revolt, to the point of military intervention, it solves nothing for the working class in Donetsk or anywhere else.
To start with the rule of the billionaire oligarchs, is as much continuing exploitation as working for any rapacious Western corporation.
And the class instincts of these gangsters lies on a continuum with all the other major capitalists in the world, always looking for the best path for their own self-enrichment.
They tolerated Putin’s state centralisation and limited disciplining in order to keep control of the former Soviet Union after ten years of “restoration” plundering had brought it to near collapse and with it the prospect of a revived working class movement driven by desperation to turn back towards revolutionary notions.
By insisting on some state control, maintaining a few of the social conditions of the past, Putin has helped head that off temporarily.
But already some of the oligarchs have been transferring money away from Moscow and their loyalties could rapidly disappear along with their funds.
Putin’s Bonapartist semi-reformism, and its preposterous bone-headed illusions of competing capitalist state to capitalist state with US imperialism, is anyway itself highly vulnerable to the increasingly vicious international trade-war climate, and all the more so for an economy which holds its own in the capitalist markets only because of a distorted and one sided mineral sales economy.
On the oil issue alone, which is far from the totality of the capitalist crisis, and only a small part of it (the “war for oil” shallowness that the fake-“lefts” all advanced – but have now forgotten – as the supposed “explanation” of the crisis) Russia is vulnerable: the US Empire is working overtime to ensure its own oil resources through domestic fracking, cutting it loose from all overseas dependencies, and besides oncoming further lurches in the world capitalist Slump disaster will at some point potentially wipe out much of the Russian sales - and what then? Russian capitalist aims cannot compete in a world already too full of jostling cutthroat rivalries.
Relying on locally revived class nostalgia for a return of Stalin as the Lalkar/Proletarian suggests is disastrous:
Moreover, the number of Soviet flags, hammers and sickles, and portraits of JV Stalin that are evident in nearly every demonstration, along with the central place assumed by the defence of Lenin monuments, shows that strong sentiment exists among the masses not only for reunification with Russia, but also for the reconstitution of the USSR as a fraternal socialist union of working people of all nationalities.
In what way does that deal with the revolutionary questions posed for the entire population of Russia, the rest of the world or even for the western end of Ukraine, apparently of no interest to the CPGB-ML????
A few flags for the old revisionism are not the revival of Leninist revolutionary theory, which is the only way out of the gigantic crisis facing the world, of onrushing further economic collapse and intensified drive to war.
If the Soviet Union liquidated before, then what is to prevent the same happening all over again (which is a question that Lalkar-Proletarian will not be raising anyway since they entirely ignore the need to end the oligarch rule, or propose any way in which it might be brought about.)
This nostalgic wishful thinking is a complete evasion by the revisionists of the real questions that need to be gone through worldwide of why the Soviet Union “failed” (or rather gave-up a still viable workers state), and exactly what “failure” there was.
Like workers everywhere what the Ukrainians need is the broadest and historic international view of the world class struggle and all the factors at work as the imperialist crisis unfolds, most particularly focusing on the overwhelmingly dominant driving force pushing the world to destruction, the American empire.
Only firm proletarian control – dictatorship of the majority – - to suppress the bourgeoisie’s dictatorship of the tiny minority, can stop this plunge to disaster.
The fake-“left” not only avoid the question, they oppose such understanding, promulgating endless notions of “democracy” useless social-pacifist“ peace struggle and specious “anti-leadership” anarchism (conveniently filling the vacuum with their own leadership views).
They furthermore shut down all the open discussion in the working class that can begin to revive the Leninist understanding and science which the working class needs.
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