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War preparations between Ukraine and Russia – Show or reality?
The historical collapse of a model of management of the capitalist social relation, the one that had developed among others in Eastern Europe during several decades of counterrevolution, led to the dissolution and the disappearance of the USSR as an imperialist bloc. Since then, the proletariat in this region, as everywhere else in the world, had to undergo numerous new attacks against its survival conditions, but at the same time it also burned a certain number of illusions fuelled by the Western propaganda praising to the skies ad nauseam another model of management of capitalism considered to be more “human”, more “free”. This so much vaunted “world of peace and harmony”, this new Eden promised to the “useful idiots” at the time of the fall of the iron curtain that sealed the end of a “bipolarized world”, all these illusions get more and more smashed.
Rumours of war resound noisily in Europe again, cannons are loaded, fighter-bombers are packed with murderous bullets and bombs, missiles point their nuclear warheads at their future objectives: after wars that caused unrest locally and according to circumstances in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ossetia etc. during this last quarter of century, preconditions for a new war have been intensively maturing in the Ukraine now, a war much more extensive and with unimaginable international effects.
Since four months the Ukraine has been shaken by an important unrest emerging from the fertile soil of underlying contradictions that determine any class society and their concrete expressions: starvation wages, restructuring, layoffs, privatizations, cuts in social security that was a hangover from “the socialist era” etc. Of course these social movements (like all the struggles that develop nowadays) yet carry the seal of the lack of rupture with the managers of the social relation, as well as with their substitutes to come. Their political expression and consciousness seem to be so weak and false… But revolutionaries cannot just brush off the content of the events in a disdainful and patronizing manner.
Current struggles are framed and contained by various bourgeois factions: partisans of Euro-American “liberal” model, ultranationalists, and even far-right groups, or fascist ones… We were daily confronted with disgusting processions with false flags, flags of Western imperialist super-powers, Ukrainian national flags or even fascist ensigns… But let’s say that it’s not really very different from more “classical” and “traditional” bourgeois containments by Social Democrats who are professionals in the pacification of our struggles: unionists, leftists, Stalinists, worshippers of “direct democracy” and radical Islamists (for our proletarian brothers and sisters who struggle in areas with “predominantly Muslim population” and more particularly since the emergence of the “Arab spring”)…
Obviously the proletariat is yet far from emerging as a revolutionary force capable to affirm its historical program and its perspectives of overthrowing the capitalist social relation. Proletarians take to the street, they occupy squares, they besiege governmental buildings, they clash with repressive forces, they build barricades, they refuse pacifying propositions of opposition parties’ charlatans, they put forward (even “clumsily”) the question of self-defence and arming of the movement, they loot police’s weaponries etc. In spite of all that they don’t yet affirm themselves as a class in most cases and therefore as an organized and leading force, as an advanced part(y) of the proletariat…
Despite the bourgeois nature of various expressions and materializations issuing from the social movements, what the class of capitalists fears the most nowadays is an extension of the unrest to very metropolises of World’s super-powers. What would happen if similar events broke out in the Federation of Russia, Britain, USA or China? Capitalists would prefer to avoid, to say the least, this kind of “catastrophe” for the durability of their social dictatorship and they thus try to preventively channel all this whirlpool energy, all this social maelstrom into the ruts of war. And for this to be done, the Ukraine could become an ideal ground for the mobilization of war forces. And according to circumstances, the fate of the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea”, which has just been de facto annexed by the Federation of Russia, or even the conquest of the Eastern regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Kharkov…) which are in the grip of a new unrest, could constitute an interesting pretext, exactly like assassination attempt in Sarajevo became a pretext for WWI precisely 100 years ago…
And it’s neither the ceaseless “flurries of diplomatic activity” in Moscow, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Washington… in order to “de-escalate” the situation nor the “calls for peace” that can prevent the unavoidable to occur. In 1914 these same “flurries” already took place, “nobody wanted the war”, and yet some politico-military processes were put in motion and resulted in the world conflagration on August 2nd…
Once again capitalists get ready to send us to the massacre
This year 2014 the bourgeoisie commemorates the triggering off the First World War, while pretending that we are now living in a world of peace and harmony. Capitalism is at the same time facing its worst crisis of valorisation since the end of WW2 and its only alternative is once again the mass destruction of surplus productive forces: destruction of commodities, dead labour, but also of labour force commodities, thus of living labour, thus of proletarians… The only viable solution for capitalism (to subsequently boost a new cycle of valorisation) is therefore a generalized war. Its only major problem is how to mobilize the proletariat all over the world in order to recruit it in whatever ideological campaign to justify the massacres to come.
Present war drum roll announcing a military intervention of Russia in the Ukraine partakes in this ideological campaign. Especially since this region is a geostrategic issue of capitalists’ voracious appetites. Indeed, just to have a look at a map of the Eurasian continent is enough to realize that on the one hand there are European Union countries supplied to a considerable part with fossil energies (oil and gas) from Russia and its important fields in Siberia (this in order to not be dependent on the unstable Middle Eastern countries). On the other hand, the only present possibility for the Russian hydrocarbons to make their value and to find a buyer on the world market is to precisely export them towards the EU while essentially using oil and gas pipelines that cross the Ukraine.
Both camps of capitalist opposing vultures (Russia versus the EU, the USA and their military wing the NATO) need each other, and this should be a reason to “objectively” prevent a war that would ruin one or the other competing power, or even both at the same time. But these same conditions could also explain how both camps need to conquer its opponent and to dominate it, to corner either the vast sources of energy of Russia, or the Western creditworthy markets.
A war for gas? Absurd? The control on energy resources won’t probably be the essential element that will trigger off a war between Russia and the Ukraine but as in 1914 politico-military mechanisms are setting in motion, mechanisms that can easily get off the stranglehold of sorcerer’s apprentices who manages the world. And at this moment the question of oil and gas would become a central issue and could release all the murderous energies to slaughter once again millions of human beings on the altar of profit. As an example, only these last three decades we saw various bourgeois powers waging war (or supporting one or the other belligerent powers, or even several of them at the same time) in order to take control of zones of oil production of the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait,…) as well as the supplying roads (Persian Gulf,…). These wars made at least hundreds of thousands, if not two or three millions, of dead, without counting the innumerable “collateral damages” – victims of bombing with “depleted uranium” and other rubbish created by the genius of the capitalist progress.
Beyond the development of the nationalist, chauvinist and patriotic hysteria in both opposing camps, and besides the particular circumstances that nourish the present preparations of war between the Ukraine and Russia, we have to highlight a fundamental point: the speed with which all this crisis has grown. Indeed, a few days or weeks were enough to reveal all the contradictions accumulated since the end of the “bipolar world” (the USSR against the USA, the East against the West, “communism” against “capitalism” according to both sides’ propaganda), i.e. since a quarter of century. All contradictions coming from the non-resolution of the historical crisis inherent to capitalism (considered as what it is basically, that is to say a global social relation) and that it is carrying in its womb; crisis that resulted from the new cycle of valorisation developed on the ruins of the previous World War. As the capitalist order detests vacuum, since the collapse of one of both imperialist blocs was an expression of such a vacuum, “order” begins to be restored with the re-bipolarization of the world, so much needed to the competition between the different factions of capital but also to the implementation of the objective conditions for a new war. We can therefore claim that history is accelerating! Like the social movements that, since some years and stronger than before, challenge the social dictatorship of capital.
We must also recall here the fundamental essence of war. Since the capitalist mode of production exists and therefore rules the whole planet, all wars are bourgeois, capitalist; beyond the ideologies for which capital pretends to wage them, all wars are wars against the proletariat, they are counterrevolutionary wars.
Beyond the inter-imperialist rivalries, it is always the devalorisation, the fall in the rate of profit which leads to a generalized overproduction of commodities and therefore also an overpopulation, what is the reason for bourgeois war. Even if according to the bourgeoisie’s own consciousness, the issue of the war is especially about destroying the enemy, in reality its main goal has always been the same in the past as well as now: i.e. the massive destruction of human beings nowadays turned by capitalism into surplus commodities.
To wage its wars, the bourgeoisie must eliminate the proletariat as a class, that is to say as an active force, to dissolve it into the people, and then recruit these citizens among other citizens under any flag hiding the hideous face of capitalism: the flag of antifascism or fascism, in the name of progress or reaction, in the name of “democracy” or a “new order”, the flag of the conquest of a vital space or the national liberation, of the defence of civilized West or anti-colonialism,… It’s always in the name of peace, freedom, democracy, socialism… that cadavers are piling up, that civilians as well as militaries are mutilated with cluster bombs, or that they are dying in concentration camps.
Communist action against capitalist war and peace
No matter finally how the current crisis between the Ukraine and Russia will be resolved, because whatever it turns into – a local war, a regional war, or even a generalized war, or even if it doesn’t go further than the permanent war daily imposed by capitalism to the whole humanity, our reply is since centuries always and invariably the same. Internationalism is a proletarian answer to the bourgeois attacks and it means to break the social peace, the peace of capital, to develop our struggles there where we stand, against our direct exploiters everywhere in the world. We prepare our solution to the bourgeois crisis: the worldwide social revolution, while answering a blow for a blow to the deteriorations of our living conditions. It’s the only way to struggle against the bourgeois solution that is the generalized war.
And we would like here to criticize the pacifist and resigning positions articulated in some militant expressions formally claiming to belong to the camp of the anti-capitalist struggle which refuse “every annexation [that] accelerates the course to capitalist war”. And they put forward the overused argumentation, used by Social democracy one thousand times, and one thousand times denounced by revolutionaries, according to which “capitalist war is terrain which is particularly hostile to the emergence of the proletariat as a class for itself”. Of course, we don’t take delight in the preparations of a new war orgy, but faced with this ineluctable or even unavoidable capitalist necessity, we refuse to sink into puerile snivelling. Historically, the Social Democrats always adored and praised the “linear progress” of the social movement, without a hitch, without a rupture, “progress” that would lead us peacefully to the “big night” of the proletarian new Eden. But the reality of the capitalist hell shows us other ways and we call proletarians in struggle not to capitulate and not to tie themselves up in paralyzing illusions. On the contrary we call upon them to give a new impetus to their action thanks to the new material conditions produced by the war and so to assume their responsibilities in the face of the history and the humanity…
Because the triggering of the imperialist war, even a generalized one, doesn’t necessarily mean the definitive crushing of the proletariat. Indeed, historically, if the war in the first time means a relative crushing, it can then dialectically determine a re-emergence of the struggles all the more strong since it is the war that exposes the contradictions and the brutality immanent to the capitalist system. For the revolutionary proletarians the struggle against war directly means revolutionary defeatism.
The revolutionary defeatism turns its back on all pacifism even when it is disguised and radicalized, that is to say it refuses all positions not giving any concrete and precise instructions with a view to encouraging and acting violently for the defeat of “our” camp, “our” nation, “our” army, “our” bourgeoisie.
And it’s not the 50,000 pacifist demonstrators who recently paraded in Moscow, crying their horror of war and their love for peace, who will disturb the war preparations in any way. As long as the denunciation of the capitalist war remains limited only to claim a return to the previous period, to the peace (that can be nothing but the social peace so needed to the process of extraction of surplus value as a result of the obligation to go to work for us, modern slaves); as long as the dialectical links between the capitalist war and peace are not revealed and emphasized, all these pacifist demonstrations are only condemned to passively attend the imposition of even more terrorist social peace, the peace of graves…
Contrary to pacifist snivelling, the revolutionary defeatism means first of all no sacrifices in the name of interest of the nation, it means social struggles for working class living and working conditions, even when a war already sparked off and “our” bourgeoisie calls for national unity. On more advanced level it means to organize sabotage of the economy, the production, the weapons convoys… all the nationalist consensus, in parallel to organization of the obvious defeatist propaganda that has to shake the whole society up to the very foundations of the certainties enrooted in minds of all the “useful idiots”…
The revolutionary defeatism means to organise all actions aiming to undermine the morale of the troops as well as to prevent dispatching proletarians to the slaughter…
The revolutionary defeatism means to organise the most massive desertion and cease fire between proletarians in uniforms on both sides of the frontline, to leave distant fronts and to bring war, not between proletarians but between classes, i.e. class war, into centres of war super-powers…
The revolutionary defeatism means to encourage fraternisation, mutinies, turning the guns against the organizers of war carnage, i.e. “our” bourgeoisie and their lackeys…
The revolutionary defeatism means the most determined and offensive action with a view to turning the imperialist war into revolutionary war for the abolition of this class society based on starvation and war, revolutionary war for communism.
Obviously, the revolutionary defeatism can’t be conceived in only one camp. Anti-war sabotage, as we understand it, depends on the international nature of the proletariat and it is therefore aimed at our class all over the world. The revolutionary defeatism means the all-out struggle against “our” bourgeoisie in all camps, in all countries.
If the proletariat wants to definitively get rid of this slaughter, the one and only solution is to generalise actions of revolutionary defeatism. The development of struggle has its own requirements: it must break social cohesion not only in the units of the army but also in the whole society. For this we will have to put once and for all an end to nationalism while reaffirming loud and clear that proletarians have no interest in this war or in this dying world. We call for only one war, the war against our exploiters, no matter whether they are Ukrainian, Russian, American, German, English, French, Czech or whatever.
We call on proletarians to denounce the upcoming military intervention and to strongly oppose it through direct action, sabotage, generalized and insurrectional strike… Military adventures would be paid from pockets of working class! Thus no tightening of workers’ belts for bourgeois wars!
Wherever warplanes, warships and missiles come from, behind them there are always men and women –wage workers- who have to transport them to their destination, to fuel them… Only proletarians in struggle can and have to prevent the war machine to kill, the production machine to function…
Let’s develop new hotbeds of struggle, let’s consolidate those already existing; let’s apply the strike to armies, factories, mines, offices, schools… anywhere we suffer exploitation in this world of death and misery…
Against our own exploitative bourgeoisie, against our own warmongering State, in Russia, the Ukraine, USA, EU etc., let’s organize and develop revolutionary defeatism…
To be a patriot means to be a murderer! Down with all States!
Class solidarity with the revolutionary defeatists of all camps!
Let’s turn our guns against “our” generals, against “our own” bourgeoisie!
Let’s raise again the flag of the world communist revolution!
* March/April 2014 *