Russia-Ukrain crisis: war is capitalisms way of life

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joan
Some more comments on Mizar's

Some more comments on Mizar's views.

Mizar wrote (# 52)
"So the leftists, who decided to repeat the anti-war slogans of the First World War..."
1) For the sake of clarity, let's recall that the ICC does not consider itself part of "the left" or "the leftists", but considers them, on the basis of the historical experience of the working class, as enemies of the working class and of communism.
(See Basic Positions "All factions of the bourgeoisie are equally reactionary. All the so-called 'workers', 'Socialist' and 'Communist' parties (now ex-'Communists'), the leftist organisations (Trotskyists, Maoists and ex-Maoists, official anarchists) constitute the left of capitalism's political apparatus."
2)It is not clear to me whether "the leftists", i.e. Stalinists, Trotskyists, Maoists, ex-Maoists, official anarchists today "repeat the anti-war slogans of the First World War".
I'm almost sure they don't, also because they didn't do it during WW 2 (or "the Great Patriotic War" (as they called it in the "Soviet Union")).
I certainly have not made a thorough study of the views of "the leftists" in relation to the current war in Ukraine also because (to put it very mildly) it would surprise me that they would now suddenly, after all these years and years of taking sides with some capitalist and imperialist camp, take proletarian-internationalist standpoints.(Note 1)
Mizar wrote (# 53)
"... in 1914, at least one of the warring countries had a revolutionary proletariat and a revolutionary party. Today there is no such country."
When I read that for the first time, I think : "We are talking about the Russia, or rather the Russian empire (which at that time also included Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, part of Poland, Finland, etc.).
Yes, I completely agree."

And even if one reads it second or third time, one cannot but agree with "Today there is no such country."
For instance, one should not be under the illusion that in the present war in Ukraine the soldiers of one or the other army will turn their weapons against their officers, that the soldiers of the Russian and Ukrainian army will fraternise, not even during an "Easter truce" (as happened in 1914 with the "Christmas truce" between German and British soldiers).
And this despite reports (how reliable?) of despondency, lack of fighting spirit, even outright refusal of orders by the soldiers of the Russian army, even desertions and perhaps mutinies.
And that is not likely to change in the short term or even the medium term.

But was the Russian empire in 1914 a country with a revolutionary proletariat?
Of course, it was true that the proletariat in the Russian empire was (most probably) the only proletariat that had experience with workers' councils, and the revolutionary movement of 1905-1907 was a kind of "general repetition " for 1917.
And there was indeed a revival of the workers' struggle in the Russian empire from 1912 onwards.
On 20-23 July 1914, so very shortly before the outbreak of WW 1, the French president Poincaré was confronted with a massive strike and barricades in Saint-Petersburg.
But...also in the Russian empire in 1914 the workers and peasants went in large majority “obediently " to the front, just like in the German empire, in France, in Austria-Hungary, etc.
This is not a reproach, not a denigration, not an accusation, but simply an observation.

Was there a revolutionary party in 1914? Were the Bolsheviks then that revolutionary party?
I think it is reasonable to say that the Bolsheviks, politically and organisationally, educated and steeled by the harsh school of tsarism, were better armed than proletarian revolutionary groups elsewhere in the world.
But in 1914 the Bolsheviks and those who would become Bolsheviks were scattered in different places in Europe and even in the world with, of course, the extensive Russian empire itself, Switzerland, France, Scandinavia, the USA, etc.
There was for instance a difficult connection between the bolsheviks in the Russian empire and Lenin and the small group around him in Switzerland.
Lenin had to conclude that in 1914 and even in 1917 the Bolsheviks were only a small group.
Still in April 1917 they were a minority in many soviets, also in Petrogad and Moscow.
The proletarian revolution is by definition international.
And it is known that it was only in 1915 with Zimmerwald and 1916 with Kienthal that an international regrouping of the proletarian internationalists started and then very laboriously, in constant struggle against centrists and social-pacifists.
And as we know, it was only in November 1917 (October Revolution) that the working class could seize power in a state, and it was only in November 1918 that a powerful revolutionary movement emerged in the German empire.
And it was only in 1919, when WW1 had already been ended by the governments for fear of the expansion of the revolutionary-proletarian movement, that the 3rd or Communist International was founded.

Mizar wrote (# 52) :
"The defeat Russia will lead not to the proletarian revolution, but to the victory of the compradores, and as a result, to the following degradation of the country and the proletariat.
The victory of Russia will lead to the fall of the fascist regime in Ukraine which is in the interests of the working class, to the weakening of the West imperialism, which is in the interests of the working class too.
"

There is nothing wrong, nothing anti-proletarian, in foreseeing the consequences of the victory of one side or the other in an imperialist war.
This is what Anton Pannekoek (1914) and Herman Gorter (1918), both co-founders of the Social-Democratic Party (SDP) in the Netherlands, did in contributions to the party organ, "De Tribune".
But this examination of the various possible developments of a war did not mean for them a choice for or against one of the two camps.
For them, it did not detract from fighting the two imperialist camps equally fiercely.
This was different from the position of co-founder of the SDP and chief editor of "De Tribune", Willem van Ravesteyn, who more or less implicitly opted for the Entente (UK, France, Russian Empire, later also USA, etc.) and thus for Germany's defeat. If I have understood correctly, SDP chairman David Wijnkoop also did so, albeit less explicitly.

Mizar probably also disagrees with the statement made by a communist militant who was one of the first to experience fascism at first hand (fortunately not fatally, but "only" limited to prison and exile on islands), Amadeo Bordiga : "Anti-fascism is the worst product of fascism.”
And this is because, at least as I understand it, fascism/Nazism is sufficiently known to be an enemy of the working class struggle, of the struggle for communism, while "anti-fascism" does a much better job of disguising its anti-proletarian and anti-communist character.In this sense it is more treacherous and therefore more dangerous than fascism / Nazism.
How many politically sincere militants have been politically sacrificed in the name of "anti-fascism" (minority of "Bilan",LCI (Hennaut),many of the "German-Dutch Left",etc.,etc.)? ?
How many proletarians have died in the name of "anti-fascism" (n the so-called Spanish Civil War 1936-1939,in WW 2, etc., etc.)?
Probably Mizar will dismiss this statement of Bordiga as an expression of the "leftist childhood disease".
(See Lenin , "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder,1920)
But this does not detract from its correctness.
Regarding the source of this quote.
I have searched for it diligently, but unfortunately I have not found when this statement dates from, in which context it was made.

Note 1

I have one example of the selective "proletarian internationalism" and selective "revolutionary defeatism" of a section of "the left", namely of the 4th International (tendency Mandel).

"Revolutionary defeatism or counter-revolutionary defeatism ?26 March 2022 Daniel Tanuro

NPA site (France)

"Does revolutionary defeatism apply in the case of the war in Ukraine ? Yes and no. It applies to the Russian side, because the war started by Putin is clearly a war of imperialist aggression. Its aim is to violently break the right to self-determination of the oppressed Ukrainian people."

"But the situation is very different on the Ukrainian side. The war here is not imperialist, it is a war of self-defence. It is aimed at protecting the Ukrainian people in their right to exist as an autonomous nation, as a nation that governs itself and chooses its own leaders."

"The vast majority of the Ukrainian people are mobilising and organising themselves to resist aggression in a thousand different ways.This resistance is not only legitimate, but also takes the form of self-organisation, in which the working class plays a leading role. To argue for defeatism here is not revolutionary, but counter-revolutionary defeatism. The task of revolutionary socialists in this situation is to participate in popular resistance by giving it a social, democratic and internationalist orientation (for example, against hatred of the Russian)."

(translated from French by Deeple translate and bolded by me)

And to be clear, although it sounds very different from Mizar's position, I do not agree with this selective "revolutionary defeatism" either.

 

 

d-man
This was Lenin's text, that I

This was Lenin's text, that I referenced earlier, that rejects draft-dodging: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/04b.htm

Lenin wrote:
Boycott war—that is a silly catch-phrase. Communists must take part in every war, even the most reactionary.

also here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/nov/15.htm

Quote:
Revolutionary action must include demonstrations and mass strikes, but under no circumstances refusal of military service. On the contrary, not refusal to take up arms, but turning these arms against one’s own bourgeoisie is the only action that can correspond to the tasks of the proletariat

Only in Ukraine is there supposedly a draft call, but it doesn't seem plausible that these all went into the regular army (which would translate into an increase of the Ukrainian army up to a million soldiers). I guess they were called rather to form something like a home guard (Dad's Army), or local militia. In such case (of irregular militia), would Lenin's demand still be valid? I think at least the autonomist/anarchists would find joining militia actually even a much more permissible option (than joining the "bourgeois army").

 

joan
Some more comments on the

Some more comments on the contributions of Mizar

Mizar wrote # 53 :

"In 1914 we see two imperialist blocks of roughly equal strength - today there are the dominant imperialist West on one side and a strange conglomerate of very different forces on the opposite side . This camp includes formally "red" China, capitalist Russian Federation, clerical Iran, left regimes of Latin America and other states of anti-imperialist orientation (DPRK, Syria, Belarus).
I would suggest that the opposition to Western imperialism of this amorphous force has nothing to do with an inter-imperialist struggle - just because these countries are simply incomparable in terms of their military, financial or technological power with their enemy. 
Some of these countries including modern Russia can be called 'sub-imperialist' but nothing more."

Mizar is apparently not,still not, convinced that in the decadence phase of world capitalism all states and small states are (or must be) imperialist today, each on his or her own level, of course (except perhaps, to stay in Europe, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Vatican City and the monksmountain Athos).
And that inevitable imperialist character is there, regardless of their "military, financial or technological power".
To stick to some of the states Mizar mentions :
-Formally "red" China: regularly threatens to annex Taiwan, there are regular conflicts in "its" seas with other states.
- Clerical Iran supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.
(pure idealism ?, "anti-imperialism" ?)
-Left regimes of Latin America
I don't know if Mizar is also referring to Cuba, but one of the states that abstained from the UNO vote on 2 March 2022 (against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and in favour of Russia's immediate withdrawal from Ukraine) was Cuba.
As early as 1976, when it was still part of the 'Eastern Bloc', this country sent soldiers to support the MPLA 'national liberation movement' in Angola on the side of the SWAPO (Namibia), the ANC (South Africa) and the FLNC (Congo-Kinshasa) against the other "national liberation movements" FNLA and UNITA, which fought together with the FLEC (Cabinda) and were supported by South Africa.
(MPLA,SWAPO,ANC,FNLC,FNLA,UNITA and FLEC : all "national liberation movements")
- "DPRK", these letters stand for North Korea,the country that regularly flaunts and threatens with its missiles and nuclear weapons.

Mizar wrote # 54
"...in Ukraine the communism is ALREADY (!!!) forbidden and persecuted, but in the Russian Federation it is not YET (!!!) forbidden and not persecuted.
After the defeat of Ukrainian regime Ukrainian communists will have an opportunity to work openly, whereas under the Ukrainian regime the communists will never have it.What will you choose, you left gentlemen ? Will you support the Ukrainian communists or will you not support them?"

Of course I am not asking for a ban on communism.
But perhaps Mizar has forgotten for a moment that communists can also work semi-illegally, illegally and clandestinely.
They have proven this extensively, starting with the Bund der Kommunisten (1847-1852) via the activities of several communist parties during the international revolutionary wave of 1917-1923, the activities of (a part of) the "Italian Fraction", the group around Marc Chirik, the RKD-CR, the MLLF and the Communistenbond Spartacus in the Netherlands, all during WW 2 to very limited, very temporarily even the ICC with its section in Spain under the Franco regime (1975).
I am not talking here about the “heroic”"anti-fascist resistance"with very many completely needless deaths(“martyrs”) by the different “Communist Parties” in WW 2 (in Italy, France, Yugoslavia, Albania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, etc.), but about the proletarian internationalism of the real communists.
Such a semi-legal, illegal and clandestine operation is of course "less agreeable"(Note 1) and more difficult than a legal or at least "“tolerated" existence.
But 1) communists do not control their being illegal or not, they do not determine it themselves.
2) communists cannot make their positions (of which proletarian internationalism,=which in the decadence of world capitalism means being equally strong against all imperialisms, is the most important),depend on whether their activities are permitted or not in a given country.

Mizar wrote # 62

Your position is clear: the one just have to learn the commandments and surahs of the classics. One of the surahs says: "in the decline phase of capitalism all states are (or must be) imperialist, therefore all wars are imperialist." So you don't have to think and analyse, classics did it for you. The position is convient but not Marxist, Marxism has nothing to do with dogmatism.
In the same 1914 Lenin wrote:

 

"But our attitude towards war is fundamentally different from that of the bourgeois pacifists (supporters and advocates of peace) and of the Anarchists....We Marxists differ from both the pacifists and the Anarchists in that we deem it necessary historically (from the standpoint of Marx’s dialectical materialism) to study each war separately. In history there have been numerous wars which, in spite of all the horrors, atrocities, distress and suffering that inevitably accompany all wars, were progressive, i.e., benefited the development of mankind by helping to destroy the exceptionally harmful and reactionary institutions (for example, autocracy or serfdom), the most barbarous despotisms in Europe (Turkish and Russian)." (set in bold by me)

So let's study today's  war separately.”

So Mizar starts with the criticism that I (and probably others, including the ICC) limit themselves to repeating "the classics" and then gives an extensive quote of one of the classics of classics, Lenin.
And whether by accident or not, whether out of "nonchalance" or not, he gives this quote without any mention of the source, just like the Maoists and Stalinists do : "Stalin said ..." or "Chairman Mao said ...". The mere fact that it was ever said by Stalin or Mao or another great leader is proof that what follows is completely correct, in fact does not tolerate any contradiction, just like with most religious people for whom the fact that the quote comes from the Bible or the Koran or another holy book is proof in itself that it is completely correct.

I (and probably others, including the ICC) only repeat the "classics"?
This while certainly the ICC, subjects the views of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and so many other great revolutionaries to a very critical examination.
Just as these revolutionaries themselves did with the views of their predecessors and contemporaries, without taking into account the status of almost saints they often had.
E.g. Marx versus Hegel, Feuerbach and Weitling.
E.g. Lenin against Plekhanov, the "father of Marxism in Russia".
E.g. Luxemburg against the leaders of the 2nd International and even against Marx and Engels, whom these leaders invoked in connection with Poland's struggle for independence.

But now to the point :
Mizar quotes Lenin :
"We Marxists differ from both the pacifists and the Anarchists in that we deem it necessary historically (from the standpoint of Marx's dialectical materialism) to study each war separately."

"Study each war separately" means, in my view, first of all, not to look at a war in the decadence phase of capitalism as a war in the rise phase of world capitalism.

So it means that in the ascending phase of world capitalism the working class could support one particular camp in one particular war.

In the decadence phase of world capitalism, however, the working class can no longer support any particular camp in any particular war, except of course...the working class in the class struggle, in the civil war between the working class and the bourgeoisie.

And that is not something that I or the ICC or even great revolutionaries like Lenin or Luxemburg or Herman Gorter or Anton Pannekoek or Amadeo Bordiga or Marc Chirik came up with.

No, it is something that comes from the experience of the working class itself, with its blood, sweat and tears experienced, in numerous wars and conflicts around the world.

Mizar quotes Lenin :

"In history there have been numerous wars which, in spite of all the horrors, atrocities, distress and suffering that inevitably accompany all wars, were progressive, i.e., benefited the development of mankind by helping to destroy the exceptionally harmful and reactionary institutions (for example, autocracy or serfdom), the most barbarous despotisms in Europe (Turkish and Russian)."

Indeed, in the ascendant phase of world capitalism there were such progressive wars.

And a good example is the American Civil War of 1861-1865,in which the Northerners were supported by important sections of the working class, by Marx and by the 1st International (Workingmen Association (IWMA)).

And this despite the atrocities, certainly also on the Northern side, which partly explains the rancour of many in the South against the North that still exists today.(Note 2)

See in this context the article,worth reading at least ,"The American Civil War and the struggle for working class unity" and the appendix "Joseph Weydemeyer: leader of the 'Marx party' in the US" ICConline - 2019 " July 2019 https://en.internationalism.org/content/16709/american-civil-war-and-str...,

I think it is important to note that the article was written by a close sympathiser of the ICC, but certainly not an uncritical, slavish follower of all the ICC's views (if there were any).

 

Again :

That is all for now.

Not that this says everything about the views expressed by Mizar.
Certainly not.

I will try to continue as soon as possible.

 

Note 1

"The" English conditions, so to speak, these freer forms of class rule, [in the event of an Entente victory from 1917 onwards, etc.] are more agreeable to the workers, the other [in the event of a Centralist victory](Gremany,Austria-Hungary ,Ottoman empire,etc)] because of the heavy pressure, are more likely to resist. From the revolutionary point of view, therefore, the latter are more fruitful. Of course, the working class cannot therefore desire or want the latter, because it wants a reduction of pressure; it will not take the position that it wants German victory. But it would be wrong to say that the most agreeable thing would also be the most favourable for the revolutionary development towards socialism."
signature A. P. = Anton Pannekoek, cofounder of the SDP in 1909.
"Possibilities of war. (Submitted). "De Tribune",Wednesday, November 25, 1914 8th Annual No. 16, Organ of the Soc-Dem. Party (S.D.P.). Soc-Dem. Organ
(set in bold by me)

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) from Dutch

Note 2

Forumteam # 49

“Mizar says that imperialist wars are different. There are different fighting forces: progressive, less progressive and not progressive at all.”, but he does not give any explanation for his thesis. Does he mean that Russia is a more progressive nation than Ukraine?

In the 19th century the workers’ movement could support certain regimes as being “progressive”. Marx and Engels made a distinction between progressive regimes and reactionary regimes. In so far as certain wars created better conditions for the unification of the world working class struggle, Marx and Engels even supported such wars. Very well known is their support for the war of the Northern Union  against the Southern Confederacy in the US.” (set in bold by me)

joan
I apologise for not being

I apologise for not being able to thoroughly read the contributions of d-man and others 
and possibly formulate a reaction to them.
The same applies to various articles and texts on the ICC website.

There is a correspondent on the Discussion Forum who is currently "giving me a lot of work".
But I think it is useful work.

So to the others, hopefully until soon or, occasionally, in between.

joan
Following on from the

Following on from the previous post.

I consider the contributions on the appropriateness of slogans or order words in connection with an imperialist war and more specifically this war (this conflict) to be important

.E.g. "The main enemy stands in his own country !" ("Der Hauptfeind steht im eigenen Land !"

(Karl Liebknect,leaflet mai 1915))or "The defeat of one's own government is the lesser evil"(Lenin,when ?) or also "revolutionary defeatism".

joan
Another comment on the

Another comment on the contributions of Mizar

Mizar wrote :
"I have written: 1) The open split of the world imperialism is good.
What situation would you prefer: a sole world domination of the Western imperialist bloc, i.e. a sort of a global Iron Heel?

Or a situation when a certain country challenges the supremacy of the Iron Heel?

I would prefer the second because the split and the competition between imperialist states leads to their weakening."

Why not "prefer" a situation in which there is "a sole world domination of the Western imperialist bloc, i.e. a sort of a global Iron Heel" ?
Why not? Then we would only have to deal with one and only known enemy with one and only known strategy.
Isn't that "to prefer" to a situation with two enemies as during the two world wars or as during the "Cold War" (1945-1991) or as now with a jumble of all kinds of big and small enemies, with big powers and all kinds of medium and small "powers" with very constantly changing coalitions?
But all this is only a completely hypothetical "thought exercise", because in this phase of decadence and also of decomposition of world capitalism there is no longer the discipline of the blocs, the "centrifugal movement" is dominant and "every man for himself" reigns.

Mizar wrote :
"the split and the competition between imperialist states leads to their weakening".

I think this idea is only plausible if one assumes again that in the decadence of world capitalism all imperialisms should NOT be fought equally.
This is how I understand Mizar's position on Ukraine.
However, doesn't the historical experience of the working class in the international revolutionary wave of 1917-1923, precisely also in the "independent" states that separated from the ex-tsarist empire, thus precisely also with Ukraine, give an answer to what is "preferable"?
What is "preferable", what is best for the workers' struggle and for the proletarian revolution and even for the construction of communism?
Is one "strong" imperialism or are a few "strong" imperialisms (such as the German empire, Austria-Hungary or the Russian empire) not "preferable" to a jumble of all kinds of "weak" imperialisms ?
All the new "independent" states and small states permanently contest and "redistribute" each other's territory,with permanently new frontiers ,with also all the consequences for the organisation of the working class,

E.g. the communist parties of Poland, of Ukraine, of Western Ukraine also known as the Communist Party of Eastern Galicia.

Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, etc. were then themselves, one by one, also imperialist or at least the plaything of an imperialism.
But as said above : the working class and its communist minorities may "prefer" certain prefer certain situations, but are not always able to maintain or to carry them through.

All this raises another question : what is Mizar's position on the fact that world capitalism had an ascending or flourishing phase (until about 1914), but that since then we have been in the descending or decaying phase of world capitalism (decadence) , and that this change of phase has brought about a whole series of changes in the ways in which the working class struggles?
To remember :Ascending phase : trade unions, mass parties, coalitions with fractions of the bourgeoisie and small bourgeois struggles possible, both on the "micro" level (town councils, parliaments) and on the "macro" level (supporting certain fractions of the bourgeoisie in certain wars).
Descending phase : workers' councils, mass strikes,only small (in relation to the social democratic mass parties) comm. minorities, no coalition with fractions of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie more possible , only perspective : proletarian worldrevolution,dictatorship of the proletariat, communism)
The ICC has devoted a whole series of articles and even a pamphlet to the question of the decline of capitalism.

(Note 1)

Another question has also been asked : what does Mizar think of the proletarian internationalist position, equally opposed to all imperialisms, adopted by various communist groups (mentioned already before) in WW 2 ?
(Note 2)

Note 1
-- Pamphlet: The Decadence of Capitalism
-- Articles in Theory and practice /Themes for reflection and discussion among others
-Understanding capitalism's decadence (8 articles 1987-1990)
-Rejecting the notion of decadence... (3 articles 1994)
-Decadence theory and historical materialism (5 articles 2004-2005)
-The Decadence of Capitalism (13 articles 2008-2012)

[Note 2
# 58
"I also have my doubts whether Mizar agrees with the proletarian internationalist position that several groups also took in WW 2 : the group with Marc Chirik (Fraction Française de la Gauche Comm.International-GCF),the RKD-CR (refugees from Austria in France), the MLLF with Sneevliet and the Communistenbond Spartacus in the Netherlands,the Stinas group in Greece,etc."

joan
"Dossier Ukraine",meetings & sympathisers' views, Cahiers marxis

1) On the French-speaking part of the ICC website, I see that a Dossier spécial "Guerre en Ukraine"(special dossier”War in Ukraine") has been compiled
(by analogy with the "dossier covid-19")

That is a good thing.
This dossier will probably also appear on the website in other languages.

Thanks for that.
(I made the proposal to compile such a dossier (# 20), but the fact that this dossier is now there, will in all probably not be exclusively and directly related to it)

2) I see different texts about the discussions during the public meetings on Ukraine and about the position of the ICC on the war in Ukraine by sympathisers.(Note)
Very interesting.

I read in the article "Who can put an end to capitalist wars and barbarism?" World Revolution 392 - Spring 2022
"And in contrast to the interpretation of the war by the comrades of Cahiers du Marxisme Vivant at one of the meetings in France, we don't think that simple economic explanations, the hunt for profit in the short term, can explain the real origin and dynamic of imperialist conflict in an historic epoch when economic motives are increasingly dominated by military and strategic necessities."

Can anyone tell me what kind of publication, what kind of group this is, where this group stands for?
Can anyone provide me with a website or blog of this group?

I have looked on the internet, but apart from an address I could not find anything.

Thanks in advance for the information.

Note
Besides the above mentioned article also :
- “Some impressions of the ICC meetings of the 5th and 6th of March 2022". 

ICConline - 2022 " April 2022
- “Brief position statement on the war in Ukraine” ICConline Monday, 11 April, 2022
ICConline Monday, 11 April, 2022

 

d-man
joan wrote: Can anyone

joan wrote:
Can anyone provide me with a website or blog of this group?

I have looked on the internet, but apart from an address I could not find anything.

journal in the South of France founded in 1991 by ex-militants (principally S.V., F.G., no longer alive) of the bordigist PCI. One can assume they did not create a website, and remain focused on printing physical copies.

joan
cahiers du marxisme vivant

Many thanks, d-man for your quick and clear info on "Cahiers du marxisme vivant".

 

You refer to S.V. and F.G.

While looking on the Internet for "Cahiers du marxime vivant", I quickly came upon the name Suzanne Voute (pseudonyms :Frédéric, Frédérique), which is not unknown to me, on the website of "Le Maitron" (French-language website).

She was also (briefly) a "compagnon de route" of Marc Chirik and Robert Salama (Mousso).

On the website of "Le Maitron" I also read

From 1991 until her death, she animated - together with excluded people” (excluded by the PCI-Le Prolétaire)”such as François Gambini - a small discussion circle constituted around the journal Les Cahiers du marxisme vivant, issue 1 of which came out shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

(translated from French wit Deeple translate and set in bold by me)

François Gambini = initials F.G.

 

Since both have deceased, I think we can be more " free" about their identities.

 

Many thanks again.

 

More info : see "Le Maitron"

joan
Article "United States,

Article "United States, Russia, European Union, Ukraine... all states are responsible for the war!"

 ICConline - 2022 March 2022 https://en.internationalism.org/content/17158/united-states-russia-europ...

 

Very good title ("... all states are responsible for the war!") which immediately goes against the idea that there is one (main) enemy, one (main) aggressor (to choose : Putin-Russia or NATO).

 

Article very clarifying, especially also about the role of the USA since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc (Iraq-Kuwait, Afghanistan,...)

Also about how the entrapment of Russia by the USA is (also) part of the struggle against China (previously threatening the sea routes for China, now also making land transport from China to Europe unstable)

How the politics of the "democratic" and "moderate" president Biden is a continuation of the politics of the republican and "extremist", "brutal" president Trump.

The role of the so-called "European Union" is also well clarified.

 

Criticism :

The role of Ukraine itself could have been explained even more clearly.

Especially since there is such a contradictory image of on the one hand Ukraine, going from innocent victim of aggression, but as one nation courageously resisting the mighty, brutal, murderous invader (a bit like "poor little Belgium" in WW 1) (more or less the “explanation”of the "west" (USA, EU, etc.) to on the other hand an outpost of fascism/nazism and a mere pawn of NATO (more or less the "explanation" of Putin and his faithful).

joan
The war in Ukraine and Trotskyism

Since its passage into the bourgeois camp, Trotskyism has never missed an opportunity to attack the consciousness of the working class by pushing proletarians to take the side of one imperialist camp against another during the conflicts that have followed one another since the Second World War. Their position in the face of the military chaos in Ukraine confirms this once again. These watchdogs of capitalism oscillate between openly warmongering positions, calling for support for one of the warring camps, and others, apparently more “subtle” and “radical”, but still justifying the continuation of barbaric militarism. The lies and mystifications of Trotskyism are a real poison for the working class, intended to disorientate it by posing as a form of Marxism!” (set in bold by me)

How right those words are!
It is the beginning of a rather short, but very clear article in the ICC press,
"Trotskyism: beating the drums of imperialist war "World Revolution 392 - Spring 2022
Submitted by ICConline on 14 April, 2022 - 11:39
 https://en.internationalism.org/content/17171/trotskyism-beating-drums-i...

(Note 1)

Very good is the exposure, in their own words, of the "internationalism" and "revolutionary defeatism" of the Trotskyists.(Note 2)

Also very useful is to once again go against the so-called "right of self-determination of peoples"(for anyone (Ukraine,people of Donbass, etc.).

The article speaks of "a weakness in Lenin's position on imperialism" (in relation to the position of Rosa Luxemburg) and clearly states

"the error of the Bolsheviks and the Communist International, who lived directly through the transition from the ascendant period of capitalism to its decadent one, without having drawn all the implications, is understandable. But, after a century of wars of aggression by any country against any other (Iraq against Kuwait, Iran against Iraq, etc.), to peddle the same position is pure mystification!"

 

Given that "the lies and mystifications of Trotskyism" "a real poison for the working class, intended to disorientate it by posing as a form of Marxism" are not limited to one country or only a few countries, the article deserves to be translated into even more languages.

(This optionally with reference to the associates of the NAP (member "4th International",tendency Mandel),LO (member and probably most influential group of the "Internationalist Communist Union",etc.) in other states).

 

 

Note 1

It dates back (originally) to 27 March 2022 and appeared earlier in French (hence the French examples (NAP and LO)), but it had slipped my attention.

"Le Trotskyism, grand rabatteur de l'impérialisme, recruteur de chair à canon" ("The Trotskyism, the great beater of imperialism, recruiter of cannon fodder")

 Révolution internationale n°493 - avril juin 2022

https://fr.internationalism.org/content/10741/trotskisme-grand-rabatteur...

The article is also included in the "Dossier spécial "Guerre en Ukraine"".

Note 2

I know that there are differences of opinion about the appropriateness of "revolutionary defeatism" in the current war or the current period.

I hope to deal with that later, in this or another thread.

 

 

This contribution is posted both in

Russia-Ukraine crisis: war is capitalism's way of life” and in

Trotsky and Trotskyism - How Trotskyism was integrated into the Left of Capital”

 

d-man
Apropos the exchange of Mizar

Apropos the exchange of Mizar and (mostly) Joan; has it been noted already that Mizar's position (that an open split in world imperialism is good) does contain an acceptance of the view that Russia (and China etc.) is an imperialist state too? This is not a position that is shared widely on the so-called pro-Russia Left (as by their definition Russia is not an imperialist state), and so Mizar's position is somewhat distinct. As to Mizar's second position, that a defeat of fascism in Ukraine is good, in one sense the issue of fascism is a "distraction" or weak argument even for Mizar himself, as he gave additional "objective" reasons why the outcome of a defeat of Russia would be worse (such as eg the prevention of Russia's economic development). The issue of fascism, it can be argued, is a pitfall or distraction also in the sense, that even were Ukraine a fascist country, then this still doesn't justify supporting Russia's anti-fascist operation (Bordiga recognised Germany/Italy as fascist, but that certainly didn't make him support the Allies). However, I don't think that Bordiga was agnostic about the issue of fascism, and so we can discuss the issue of a fascist Ukraine as a legitimate "theoretical" issue, even if it doesn't matter for our immediate "practical" position. I mean, it would be silly to avoid the issue. So to return to my suggestion that fascism need not have a dictator... 

joan wrote:
But there were other (more or less "independent") participants in the "Berlin-Rome-Tokyo" axis, were they also fascist states ?
We are talking here about Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Serbia, Vichy-France, Finland, Iraq, the Japanese satellite states Thailand, ex-French Indochina, Manchukwo, Mengjiang (Mongolia) and Wang Jingwei (China) and the neutral, but sympathetic to the Axis powers, states Spain, Iran and Monaco.
I don't know if it is interesting and important enough to go into that at the moment.

Pilsudski's Poland was called fascist by the Communists (eg by Thalheimer, or by Ukrainian Communists). Trotsky also called it fascism, but with reservations:

Quote:
The question “fascism or Bonapartism?” has engendered certain differences on the subject of the Pilsudski regime among our Polish comrades. The very possibility of such differences testifies best to the fact that we are dealing not with inflexible logical categories but with living social formations which represent extremely pronounced peculiarities in different countries and at different stages. ...

It is methodologically false to form an image of some “ideal” fascism and to oppose it to this real fascist regime which has grown up, with all its peculiarities and contradictions, upon the terrain of the relationship of classes and nationalities in the Polish state. Will Pilsudski be able to lead the action of destruction of the proletarian organizations to the very end? – and the logic of the situation drives him inevitably on this path – that does not depend upon the formal definition of “fascism as such,” but upon the true relationship of forces, the dynamics of the political processes taking place in the masses, the strategy of the proletarian vanguard, finally, the course of events in Western Europe and above all in France. History may successfully inscribe the fact that Polish fascism was overthrown and reduced to dust before it succeeded in finding for itself a “totalitarian” form of expression.

I can mention the example of Pilsudski in support for my claim, because although he was regarded and is remembered as a dictator, to my own surprise he formally wasn't the head of state (neither prime minister nor president).

 

joan
Some remarks on the

Some remarks on the contribution of d-man #83

 

D-man wrote :

Mizar's position (that an open split in world imperialism is good) does contain an acceptance of the view that Russia (and China etc.) is an imperialist state too?

This is not a position that is shared widely on the so-called pro-Russia Left (as by their definition Russia is not an imperialist state)”

 

Despite the fact that I have thoroughly read and re-read Mizar's contributions (a precondition for making founded comments on them), I (too) am still not entirely clear as to whether or not Mizar considers Russia an imperialist state.
I will read his contributions again and try to find out.

D-man, maybe you would like to tell me who the so-called pro-Russia Left is (with their definition Russia is not an imperialist state).
Which groups, which websites, which publications ?

d-man wrote :
"Bordiga recognised Germany/Italy as fascist, but that certainly didn't make him support the Allies".
Other proletarian internationalists also saw in the period 1922-1945
Hitler-Germany and Mussolini-Italy as fascist states, without that leading them to support the Allies during WW 2.
I am thinking here of :
- a part of the so called Italian Fraction (without Vercesi),
- the French Fraction of the Communist Left (FFGC)-GCF(with Marc Chirik),
- the RKD-CR (refugees from Austria in France),
- the MLL-Front(around Sneevliet) and the Communist League Spartacus (both in the Netherlands),
- the GTM (with Eiffel) in Mexico,
- Paul Mattick in the USA
and others.

d-man wrote ;
"However, I don't think that Bordiga was agnostic about the issue of fascism".
Is this a reference to Bordiga's statement "Anti-fascism is the worst product of fascism.", which I quoted in my post # 72 ?
(Unfortunally still haven't found out when exactly it dates from)

d-man wrote :
"Pilsudski's Poland was called fascist by the Communists (eg by Thalheimer, or by Ukrainian Communists).
Trotsky also called it fascism, but with reservations"
.
The history of Poland is very interesting, especially the national question, and not only because of the position of Rosa Luxemburg and the SDKPiL (against the formation of a Polish state).
Poland is currently hosting many (most?) war refugees (women and children) from Ukraine.
But Poland and Ukraine also have a history of mutual enmity.
- Please a clarification.
When did Thallheimer (KPD) and the Ukrainian communists call Pilsudski's Poland fascist ?
Were they communists when they made those statements or were they already Stalinists ?
With this question I also think of the earlier mentioned "Schlageter-line" of the KPD, stimulated by the 3rd International (Ruth Fischer, Radek, and others ) in 1923.

(# 65 )

d-man
joan wrote: I (too) am still

joan wrote:
I (too) am still not entirely clear as to whether or not Mizar considers Russia an imperialist state.

I think he does, as it follows from Mizar's statement about a (new open) split in world imperialism:

Mizar wrote:
I would prefer the second because the split and the competition between imperialist states leads to their weakening.

_

joan wrote:
with their definition Russia is not an imperialist state).
Which groups, which websites, which publications ?

I don't know if it's relevant to name them. Anyway, it seems Mizar's position is distinct from them also in another regard, namely that for them the turn toward open international divisions is not "good", whereas for Mizar it is.

Quote:
"However, I don't think that Bordiga was agnostic about the issue of fascism".
Is this a reference to Bordiga's statement "Anti-fascism is the worst product of fascism.", which I quoted in my post # 72 ?

No. It's in defense of our "distraction" (in the eyes of some) about the definition of fascism. As it's said (not only by Mizar) that Ukrainian state is fascist, then if we (or the ICC) would remain agnostic on that issue, this would show a theoretical weakness which was foreign to Bordiga himself. 

joan wrote:
Poland and Ukraine also have a history of mutual enmity.
- Please a clarification.
When did Thallheimer (KPD) and the Ukrainian communists call Pilsudski's Poland fascist ?
Were they communists when they made those statements or were they already Stalinists ?

I named them Communists (with capital letter), in 1928/1930, and, distinct from them, I named also Trotsky. The Ukrainian Communists by the way did mention the national oppression by Poland.

For me Poland can serve just as another example (next to Japan) of a fascist country without dictator (it seems Pilsudski really didn't concern himself with the governance of internal affairs). In my definition of fascism, a dictator is not a required criteria. Therefore Ukraine's apparent lack of a dictator, by itself doesn't yet mean that it cannot be considered to be a fascist country.

joan
One of the recent messages

One of the recent messages about Ukraine :
More Ukrainians are now returning to Ukraine than are leaving (flights).

And then the journalist on duty added :" That is a bright spot".

What cynicism!

There can be many reasons for those who fled abroad, often with great difficulty,
to return now, in spite of everything.
There will be a very understandable and very human concern for those who, more or less voluntarily, stayed behind (parents and grandparents, as well as relatives and friends in the army).
There can be a sense of unease at having to constantly receive help from private individuals and governments in other countries.
and governments abroad.
There will be concern and curiosity about how their home, their street, their village or town, their region look like after weeks and weeks of war.
There will be homesickness.
And there may be other reasons.
But in my opinion, it is first and foremost about nationalism, about the idea
"
We, Ukrainians will win!"or even "We, Ukrainians have already won!"
("
Because the Russians have already retreated to the east of Ukraine"),
to the idea "
No matter how friendly they are in other countries, we can't be better anywhere than in our own fatherland, nowhere is life better, and if we have to die anyway,it would be better in and for our fatherland, our sacred Ukraine!"
And thus not to the idea of "We try to survive this war and if necessary , we can live and work in an other country, like so many have had to do,displaced by wars, racism, climate change, etc."

From a proletarian and internationalist standpoint, the fact
that more Ukrainians are currently returning to Ukraine than are fleeing the country,
is not at all a "bright spot".
On the contrary ! .

 

 

joan
Note 

Note 
In previous post there is much more in bold than I wanted.
But the machine apparently has a will of its own, stronger than mine.

joan
Russia imperialist ?Bordiga on fascism

D-man wrote:

"joan wrote: 

It is still not entirely clear to me (either) whether Mizar considers Russia an imperialist state or not.

I think so, because it follows from Mizar's statement about a (new open) split in world imperialism:

Mizar wrote: 

I would prefer the second, because the split and competition between imperialist states leads to their weakening."

 

Mizar wrote #40 (Mizar's very first contribution in this thread)

"On one side is the Russian Federation, quite an imperialist centre..."

That's obvious.

The question "Does Mizar see both camps in this conflict as imperialist ? " seems to be answered by that.

Because he may not see Ukraine itself as an imperialist state (but as a fascist state, etc.), but as a tool of NATO, of Western imperialism.

And the question has been answered in a positive way.

And that in itself is quite a step forward from those who see either Russia or Ukraine as non-imperialist (or at least as a plaything in the hands of one or more imperialisms).

 

But... he seems to contradict or "relativise" this again by what he says in #53

"... today there is the dominant imperialist West on one side and a strange conglomeration of very different forces on the other . This camp includes the formally "red" China, the capitalist Russian Federation, the clerical Iran, the leftist regimes of Latin America and other anti-imperialist states (DPRK, Syria, Belarus).

I would suggest that the resistance to Western imperialism of this amorphous force has nothing to do with an inter-imperialist struggle - simply because these countries are simply incomparable to their enemy in terms of their military, financial or technological power. 

Some of these countries, including modern Russia, can be called 'sub-imperialist', but nothing more."

(set in bold by me)

 

 

Quote: 

"I do not think, however, that Bordiga was agnostic on the question of fascism".

Is this a reference to Bordiga's statement "Anti-fascism is the worst product of fascism.", which I quoted in my post # 72 ?”

No. It is in defence of our "distraction" (in the eyes of some) about the definition of fascism. Since it is said (not only by Mizar) that the Ukrainian state is fascist, if we (or the ICC) were to remain agnostic on that issue, it would show a theoretical weakness that was foreign to Bordiga himself.” 

 

The fact that Ukraine is or is not a fascist state is important (certainly for its inhabitants), but it has no decisive importance for the attitude of proletarian internationalists towards both camps in an imperialist conflict which (in the decline of world capitalism) they must even strongly reject and expose.

This certainly (again) does not say everything on this issue.

And I am very much inclined to agree with what d-man says:

If it is said (not only by Mizar) that the Ukrainian state is fascist, then if we (or the ICC) were to remain agnostic on that issue, this would show a theoretical weakness…"

 

I am, to be honest, not so "close" to Bordiga's views on fascism.

I do know that he presented a report on fascism at the 4th Congress of the Comm. Inetnational in 1922, but I have not read it thoroughly.

 

 

See https://www.marxists.org/archive/bordiga/works/1922/bordiga02.htm

Amadeo Bordiga 1922 ,Fourth Congress of the Communist International ,Report on Fascism

November 16, 1922

Source: Published in Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/472-toward-the-united-front), pp. 403-423

 

So far for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joan
Ukraine 1905 and 1917-1923 ?

Here are some thoughts, largely written already some time ago (possibly before the war broke out all over Ukraine), but not forwarded.

Maybe they are interesting, also for a good understanding of the current events.

Excuse me for being a bit pessimistic here.

Or is it realism after all?

 

Ukraine also evokes in me images of radical and massive workers' struggle.

I think of the important industrial area (coal mines) of the Donbas and of the port city of Odessa.

There is of course the example of the port city of Odessa and the mutiny on the armoured cruiser Potemkim in 1905.

Although I cannot immediately find more information about it, I find it hard to imagine that, besides during the revolutionary events of 1905, Ukraine did not also play a very important role during the international revolutionary wave of the world proletariat in 1917-1923.

Perhaps other comrades can provide that information.

 

Probably the importance of Ukraine with the Donbas, with the port city of Odessa, as an important industrial area and also as a granary played a major role in the "negotiations"(Note 1) of what would become the Brest-Litovsk Treaty in March 1918 between Soviet Russia and the "Centrals" (here mainly the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

As I said, when I hear the name Ukraine, rightly or wrongly, I also think of radical and massive workers' struggles in the past, especially in the international revolutionary wave of 1917-1923.

But I ask myself the question, perhaps somewhat bluntly, what is the use of that past today?

And I fear that the answer is: very little or nothing.

And this because so much has changed since then, so much has been destroyed by Nazism, much more by Stalinism and more recently by the democracies.

 

"Pithy detail : the "model worker" Stachanov, who gave his name to "stachanovism" was a miner from the Donbas.

 

Note 1

I put negotiations here between quotation marks because it was a very unequal relationship between the exhausted, starving Soviet Russia on the one hand and the German Empire on the other, which, at least in relation to Soviet Russia, still had a very strong position at that time.

joan
Mikhail Popov ?

I come back to what d-man wrote in post # 47

Quote :

"I too leave potential in-depth reply to Mizar's posts to others (and pending Forumteam's decision on it), and just observe that one particular line strongly reminds me of the thinking of the "anti-revisionist" (anti-Krushchev) Mikhail Popov, whose position, if I understand it, is that not only Ukraine, but the US is fascist (due to its foreign policy). His recent video interview got +1 million views; one of his theoretical points (he's a professor, Hegel-lecturer), in his support for Russia's action, is eg that "materialists" attach no special significance to (bourgeois) rights (meaning, like violation of borders I suppose)."

 

There appear to be very many people with the name Mikhail Popov.

Is the information below about the man you mean?

"Mikhail Vasilyevich Popov (Russian: Михаил Васильевич Попов; born February 24, 1945[1] in Tambov Oblast)[2] is a Soviet Russian scholar in the field of philosophy and economics. Doktor Nauk in Philosophical Sciences (1989),[3] professor at St. Petersburg State University,[3] member of the Petrovskaya Academy of Sciences and Arts,[3] he is a popularizer of Marxism and socialism.[4]

He was a member of the Komsomol,[4] lived in Leningrad (since 1946),[3][1] graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of St. Petersburg State University in 1968,[3] and received the degree of candidate for the post of master of science in 1971.

In 1971 he received the degree of candidate. 2] In 1995 he received the title of professor.

From 1971, he worked at St. Petersburg State University.[3]

Popov is the author of 9 monographs and more than 300 works.[2]

Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1967.[4] He was an assistant to Oleg Shein.[5]"

(Source : Wikipedia)

-------------------------------

"Counter-revolution in the USSR. Professor Mikhail Popov.

https://www.youtube.com ' watch

Counter-Revolution in the USSR Mikhail Vasilyevich Popov, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor of St. Petersburg"

-------------------------------

"US uses anti-Russian propaganda to mask its own problems - Russian Security Council

Moscow is the target of a well-planned comprehensive, diversified operation according to the concept of "hybrid war" most favoured by the West, Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov noted

MOSCOW, 16 February. /TASS/. The United States needs a hostile media campaign against Russia to divert attention from its own problems and reassert its grip on slipping world domination, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Mikhail Popov told the government-published Rossiyskaya Gazeta in an interview..."

(set in bold by me) TASS = State Press Agency of Russia

So this Mikhail Popov is not just "the first guy", not just one of many professors or one of many writers or journalists, but, if I understand correctly, a high to very high government official.

 

It is very regrettable that it has to be said, but it is even more serious than already thought if Mizar shares very many views with this man.

d-man
joan wrote:

joan wrote:

Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Mikhail Popov told the government-published Rossiyskaya Gazeta in an interview..."

(set in bold by me) TASS = State Press Agency of Russia

So this Mikhail Popov is not just "the first guy", not just one of many professors or one of many writers or journalists, but, if I understand correctly, a high to very high government official.

It's just the first guy (that you found on wikipedia). The Security Council member is someone else.

Prof. Popov wrote a book on soviets (councils), in which he defends soviets as important and relevant for revolution today (a didactic short English-dubbed video here).

By the way, he made an appeal-video to Ukrainian workers to form soviets now, during this conflict (as to this being difficult, he retorted that also in Russia 1917 workers had formed soviets, despite being in the middle of war).

 

joan
Mikhail Vasilyevich Popov

Thanks again, d-man, for the quick and clarifying answer.

 

So, It is about Mikhail Vasilyevich Popov, the professor,born 1945.

 

I was actually "taken in” again, because if Mikhail Popov, the professor and Mikhail Popov, the Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, were one and the same person, it would most probably have been mentioned on Wikipedia.

I will watch the didactic short English-dubbed video as soon as possible, hoping to become a little more informed about the views of this Mikhail Popov.

D-man wrote:

"By the way, he made an appeal-video to Ukrainian workers to form soviets now, during this conflict (as to this being difficult, he retorted that also in Russia 1917 workers had formed soviets, despite being in the middle of war)."

I have to let that sink in. Maybe I will comment on it later.

 

So my conclusion about Mizar's positions was also wrong.

Apologies Mizar.

joan
Internationalist Comm. Persp.(Korea)& others

Can someone give some more info about the group "Internationalist Communist Perspective" (ICP) from South Korea (Note 1), which declared itself in agreement with the "Joint statement of groups of the international communist left about the war in Ukraine" ?

 

Is it the same group as “International Communist Perspective” ?

(See  ICConline - 2017 » September 2017 “Statement on the war tensions around North Korea from International Communist Perspective (South Korea)”

Is it a continuation of the “Socialist Political Alliance “(SPA)

or the ”Left Communist Group” (LCG) (Note 2) ?

Note 1

It is somewhat unfortunate that the abbreviation ICP in English is identical to the abbreviation for the various "International Communist Parties" ("bordigists"). So yet another ICP, albeit of course with a full name that is different and with a different attitude to other parts of the Communist Left than that of the "bordigist" ICPs.

 

Note 2

See about the “Socialist Political Alliance”.

ICConline, January 2007

” International Conference of revolutionary Marxism” in Korea

Report on the conference in Korea”, October 2006

In June 2006, the ICC received an invitation from the Socialist Political Alliance, a group based in South Korea which identifies itself with the tradition of the Communist Left, to take part in an "International Conference of Revolutionary Marxists", to be held in the towns of Seoul and Ulsan during October of the same year. We had been in contact with the SPA for about a year,...”

 

ICConline – 2008  » July/August '08

On the “candlelight demonstrations” in South Korea”

The article which we are publishing below has been sent to us by a comrade of the "Left Communist Group" (LCG), previously known as the "Socialist Political Alliance" which our readers will remember organised the Marxist Conference held in October 2006 in Seoul and Ulsan.”  (set in bold by me)

–  ICConline – 2009  » March 2009

Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol dissolves to join the International Communist Current”

It was thus that our last international congress, for the first time in a quarter century, was able to welcome the delegations of different groups that stood clearly on internationalist class positions (OPOP from Brazil, the SPA from Korea, EKS from Turkey, and the Internasyonalismo group from the Philippines[1], although the latter was unable to be present physically).” 

–  ICConline – 2012  » July 2012 Homage to Il Jae Lee”

“ In 2002 he became active in the Socialist Political Alliance, a new group which was beginning to introduce the ideas of the Communist Left into Korea.” 

(set in bold by me)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I also saw the article "Internationalism and the War in Ukraine".

CWO 23 April 2022 leftcom.org

from which the following quote :

“These episodes from the past are the inspiration of the Communist Left organisations of today, none of whom have been found wanting in taking an internationalist line on the war, whatever other disagreements exist between them. Not only ourselves(2), but others like the International Communist Party (in all its variants), the International Communist Current, as well as smaller organisations like the Internationalist Group of the Communist Left (Canada/France) and Internationalist Communist Perspective (South Korea), have all issued statements, held meetings, and made analyses based on the premise that “workers have no country”. The latter two have responded positively to our “Call for Action”(3) to create “No War but the Class War” (NWBCW) committees wherever feasible, as has Controverses in Belgium, who have also helpfully made a compilation of organisations and their internationalist statements up until 14 April. These can be read at leftcommunism.org.” (set in bold and italics by me).

No comments at the moment.

 

This post (question and quote from the CWO) could perhaps also have been placed in the thread "Who is allowed to oppose war ?".

joan
"danger of fascism today ?"

I know, fascism is not the (original) theme of this thread.

But
- There is the position of participant Mizar that Ukraine is a fascist or Nazi state.

(# 40, 43, 53, 54, 62 )

- There is an short article “Élection présidentielle en France

Montée de l’extrême-droite en Europe: Existe-t-il un danger fasciste aujourd’hui? (2005)on the ICC site in French on the occasion of the presidential elections in France, with a duel between the president in office, Emmanuel Macron and the candidate of the "Rassemblement National", Marine Le Pen, with a reference to an earlier article (2002, resumed in 2005)
"Rise of the extreme right in Europe : is there a fascist danger today ?" ("Montée de l'extrême-droite en Europe : Existe-t-il un danger fasciste aujourd'hui ?")
International Review 110, but not reproduced in English on the ICC website.

- There is a relatively extensive article "Is there a danger of fascism today?”
 World Revolution no.356, September/October 2012
https://en.internationalism.org/forum/1056/jk1921/5154/there-danger-fasc...
(Based on the presentation to the public meeting of the ICC in Paris on 30 June 2012, written to introduce and stimulate the discussion)

- In connection with that article, there is a thread with the same title on the Discussion Forum, with an interesting discussion and some critical remarks on the article (5 participants).
https://en.internationalism.org/forum/1056/jk1921/5154/there-danger-fasc...
 

baboon
If the theme of this

If the theme of this discussion is now “Ukrainian fascism” or fascism in general then this restrictive framework is bound to detract from a thread on a major imperialist war that is an enormous attack on and a great danger to the working class. Ukraine is not a fascist state but an expression of imperialism in decomposition that also involves some extreme, active and organised right-wing elements. How did the “nation state” of Ukraine emerge from the collapse of Russia?

The meltdown and explosion of the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in 1986 was a highly portentous metaphor  for the coming collapse of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact bloc as well as the wider consequences there from, not least the entry of capitalism into its final stage of decomposition.

The explosion followed a long and increasingly dangerous line of both nuclear disasters and nuclear tests releasing volumes of deadly radioactivity into the atmosphere and thus back to earth. Denied by the Russians for days, the Chernobyl explosion was a big one (see https://en.internationalism.org/content/16667/book-review-manual-surviva...) : billions and billions of radioactive particles were thrown out at an angle into the clouds above forming a vast, identifiable swirl over the skies of Europe that lasted for days. It poured with rain over most of Europe at this time, the “best” vector for these particles to “earth” into the ground or into any plant, animal or human body that lived on or just below its surface. Much of the research into the increase in cancer rates after the “accident” is confusing, deliberately misleading and, very likely given its form, greatly underestimated by the bourgeoisie. What didn’t come down from the original explosion went into the upper atmosphere around the world and continues to drift down under gravitational pull. The loss of control by the bourgeoisie, its frantic attempts at realignments and its complete contempt for the lives of the working class is evidenced by the subsequent detachment of Ukraine from the Soviet Union as an important indicator the coming “New World Order”.

As Russia moved into full-blown collapse and echoing the “detachment” of Russian territory to the west from the influence of Moscow, large chunks of south-eastern Russia were being taken over, quite peaceably, by soft power and large numbers of people sent by China across the Manchurian border which actually provided a stabilising force to a region virtually abandoned by the Kremlin. It wasn’t until these forces threatened to take over the port of Vladivostok that the Russian authorities were forced to act. This whole period of the collapse of the Soviet Union was a seminal period for capitalism where in Russia itself, as the ICC has noted, the Russian Mafia became a source of national stability and elements of the latter went over to Ukrainian nationalism. And into this situation, almost immediately after the explosion at Chernobyl, US imperialism poured vast resources into detaching Ukraine from Russia.

Mizar’s position on the war above is, where it doesn’t appear to be supporting Russia against the “fascist” Ukrainian regime, is confusing. This “split” in world imperialism (i.e., the war between Russia and Ukraine) is positive for Mizar for the working class to exploit but when, from the imperialist war of 1914 has there ever not been a “split” in world imperialism – that’s the nature of imperialism.

The roots of this current war lie not in Ukrainian fascism, 2016, 2012, 2006, etc., etc., but first of all in decadence and then in the collapse of the Russian economy and its bloc in 1989. It is a pure expression and acceleration of capitalist decomposition in a war that is becoming more fraught, dangerous and more extensive.
 

joan
Ukr.fascism,other thread,Chernobyl,China,roots this war

1)

Baboon wrote (# 95)
"If the theme of this discussion is now "Ukrainian fascism" or fascism in general then this restrictive framework is bound to detract from a thread on a major imperialist war that is an enormous attack on and a great danger to the working class."
I agree with Baboon that the theme of "Ukrainian fascism" or fascism in general (Germany from 1933,Italy from 1922,Japan 1930s and WW2,Pilsudski,etc.,etc) is a deviation or distraction from the proper theme, the current imperialist war in Ukraine.
I apologise for having contributed to a large extent to this deviation or distraction.
I think it is a good idea to take the subject "Ukrainian fascism" or "fascism in general" out of this thread and discuss it in a separate thread.
(By analogy with what Link did with the thread" Who is allowed to oppose the war ?" (I think the subject is the relation between possibly a correct internationalist position and a behaviour unworthy of communist militants).
Baboon made a proposal for a separate thread earlier (#64).
"The lists of historical issues relating to the war are many and varied and could, perhaps, be the basis for another thread; but here we should use this discussion to focus more on the major questions around the war."
But I am willing to leave the initiative of starting a new thread to paricipant Mizar who brought up the subject of fascism with his position that Ukraine is a fascist state.
It is a lesson that we should be more swift in thinking about a new thread if it deviates too far from the original theme or if a certain sub-topic threatens to become a topic or even the topic.
(Also taking into account one of the "Main rules of the forum" "Participants are asked to avoid creating an excessive number of new threads around the same or similar topics. If necessary, the Forum Team will merge threads which are dealing with the same basic issues."
Forum Team ,28 August, 2021 #1 , The Rules of the Forum )
The phenomenon of fascism is in itself an important and probably inevitable theme, given the many similarities or apparent similarities between today and the years 1930 to 1945.
(See the many texts of the ICC on this matter, and probably also many discussions on the Discussion Forum).
But as said : better in a separate thread.
2)
"Meltdown and explosion of the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in 1986”
(then still in the "Soviet Union", today in Ukraine)
Did Baboon or any other participant in the discussion (myself ?) already mention the Chernobyl nuclear disaster earlier in this thread ?
I can't immediately remember or find the topic.
3)
"As Russia moved into full-blown collapse and echoing the "detachment" of Russian territory to the west from the influence of Moscow, large chunks of south-eastern Russia were being taken over, quite peaceably, by soft power and large numbers of people sent by China across the Manchurian border which actually provided a stabilising force to a region virtually abandoned by the Kremlin. It wasn't until these forces threatened to take over the port of Vladivostok that the Russian authorities were forced to act." (set in bold by me)
These facts were totally unknown to me. Also interesting for the relationship between Russia and China (ally of Russia against the USA and the West?)
Thanks for this info.
4) Baboon wrote :
"The roots of this current war lie not in Ukrainian fascism, 2016, 2012, 2006, etc., etc., but first of all in decadence and then in the collapse of the Russian economy and its bloc in 1989." 
I agree.

 

Maybe soon more substantive comments about this war.

 

d-man
Quote: ...theme of this

Quote:
...theme of this discussion is now “Ukrainian fascism” or fascism in general then this restrictive framework is bound to detract from a thread on a major imperialist war that is an enormous attack on and a great danger to the working class.

Has the media been downplaying the importance of this topic then in your opinion? I think the media has been quite focusing its attention on it, even many weeks prior to it (see the date when you started this thread: 16 January). Some pundits seem a bit disappointed that so far Russia's military operation has been underwhelming (to them), as they expected something more "spectacular". Foreign embassies' staff seem already to prepare for return to Ukraine.

I would repeat my earlier (31 March) "naive" comment:

Quote:
Is there not a risk of being swept up in the war-hype narrative (with its exciting grand geopolitical analyses, about a new world order, etc.), like a distraction (even just for simple electoral reasons), from the real concerns workers have (ie attack on living standards)? I don't know how true this sentiment is, but at least I believe this general idea is actually pretty common now.

 

joan
Chernobyl

Meanwhile, I "discovered" that Chernobyl is already mentioned in # 68 of Baboon. So that question has already been answered.

joan
An addition

An addition

"Ukraine Fascism" or "fascism in general" is a diversion or deviation from the actual, original theme, the imperialist war in Ukraine.
This all the more because whether Ukraine is a fascist state or not does not make any substantial difference to the proletarian-internationalist position towards all imperialisms of all states.(Note 1)
All camps, both Russia and Ukraine and all their respective "allies" and "friends" (Note 2), must be fought just as fiercely, there is no "lesser evil" that could be supported.
Just as this made no substantial difference in WW2 to the real proletarian internationalists who have similarly addressed the workers and workers in military uniform of all states (as far as their often very limited capabilities permitted).

Some quotes to illustrate this.

Probably the clearest is the “Manifesto of the communist left to the proletarians of Europe” (1944)

Manifesto from 'Bulletin international de discussion de la Gauche Communiste Italienne' #6, June 1944. https://libcom.org/library/manifesto-communist-left-proletarians-europe-1944

The manifesto was drafted and distributed in cooperation between the Italian, French and Belgian fractions.

(Il manifesto fu steso e diffuso in collaborazione fra la frazione italiana, francese e belga) http://www.leftcom.org/it/articles/1944-06-01/manifesto-della-sinistra-comunista-ai-proletari-d-europa

Addressing, amongst others, the following :

      1. Workers of Germany!” (With reference, in the following address, to 1918,Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg)

      2. Workers, Labourers in Germany!” (To the many "foreign" workers in Germany)

      3. French workers!” (With reference to the strikes in 1936 with “your just and legitimate class demands” and to the Commune of Paris in 1871)

      4. Workers of Russia!” (With reference to  1917 and “your Bolshevik Party and Lenin” en ook “You no longer defend the Soviet constitution of 1917, but the "socialist" fatherland. You no longer have comrades like Lenin and his co-workers, but jackbooted, be-medalled generals just as in all the capitalist countries – the symbol of bloody militarism, the slayers of the proletariat.

You are told that there is no capitalism in Russia, but your exploitation is the same as the rest of the proletariat, and your labour power disappears into the abyss of the war and into the treasuries of international capitalism.(...)Your class party has disappeared, your Soviets are eliminated, your unions are barracks, your links with the international proletariat are broken.

Comrades, workers of Russia!

Among you, as everywhere else, capitalism sows ruin and misery. The proletarian masses of Europe like you in 1917 await the favourable moment to rise up against the frightful conditions of existence imposed by the war. Like you, they direct themselves against all those responsible for this terrible insanity whether they be fascists, democrats or Russian.” 

      1. English and American soldiers!”

      2. Workers of Europe! (“The whole band of riffraff in the service of high finance, from Hitler to Churchill, from Laval to Petain, from Stalin to Roosevelt, from Mussolini to Bonomi, is in collaboration with the bourgeois state to preach order, work, discipline, fatherland – in the perpetuation of your enslavement.)

Workers and soldiers of all countries!”

See also :

At the same time, both Fraction and Nucleus had un­dertaken contacts and discussions with other revolu­tionary elements, and especially with German and Austrian refugees, the “Revolutionäre Kommunisten Deutschlands” (RKD), who had emerged from Trot­skyism. With them, the French Nucleus in particular was to conduct direct propaganda against the war ad­dressed to the workers and soldiers of all nationalities, including the German workers in uniform.”Marc, Part 1: From the Revolution of October 1917 to World War II” International Review no.65 - 2nd quarter 1991)

– “...the small groups of communists who denounced this fraud at the time were then, and are still, slandered as agents of fascism – a slander that was more than once translated into murderous deeds, such as the assassination by Stalinist hit-squads of Aquaviva and Atti, two militants of the Internationalist Communist Party in Italy; Marc himself had a very close shave with the Stalinist killers in France, after a raid where the Stalinists found internationalist leaflets written in French and German and addressed to the soldiers of both camps.The revolutionary movement and the Second World War” Interview with Marc Chirik, 1985 International Review 158 - Spring 2017)

Vercesi’s activity [Vercesi was a participant in the "Coalizione Antifascista" in Brussels in 1944, in the name of the Italian Fraction and provisional delegate of the Croce Rossa Italiana]was all the more antithetical to the tradition of the Italian Left in that the Fraction ,and especially the French nucleus, had since 1943 been developing a whole of open intervention against the war.Posters denouncing the imperialist war and all the military fronts were stuck up in several French towns.Leaflets published in German,English,Italian and French were thrown into the military trains going off to the front...The RKD en CR were also intervening in the same way…” Note (16 )

Note 16 A leaflet against the war by the Italian and French Fractions was published in the Bulletin Internationale de Discussion no 6 June 1944;the joint leaflet with the RKD-CR in no 8.

The Italian Communist Left 1926-45”,ICC,1992,p.156

Note 1

This is also what Edgar already said (# 44)

“ Even if Ukraine was a "Nazi" state - of which it is clearly not - revolutionaries have made it clear that an internationalist position must be taken.”

Note 2

Allies and friends in quotation marks because alliances and friendships between states are so volatile in this phase of decomposition of world capitalism.

joan
"Technical notes " to the previous post.

- The bullet points were not placed by me.
- The quote starting with "Vercesi's activity" has a lot more in bold than I did.
If anyone knows solutions ("tricks") to avoid such things, they are very welcome.
Thanks in advance.

joan
"Technical notes " to the previous post.

- The bullet points were not placed by me.
- The quote starting with "Vercesi's activity" has a lot more in bold than I did.
If anyone knows solutions ("tricks") to avoid such things, they are very welcome.
Thanks in advance.

joan
I see that the post

I see that the post "technical notes" has been posted twice.
That was obviously not the intention.
Sorry for that.

Mizar
An old woman who came out to

An old woman who came out to the Ukrainian nationalists with a red flag. She mistook them for a Russian soldiers. The old woman who became a symbol of pro-Russian Ukraine.
 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v1WHh84mFQ

Raising the Soviet flag on Donbass Prizrak Brigade, Communist militiaman raises the Soviet flag on freed Debaltsevo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySKAzZdb84o

Monument to Lenin restored in Genichesk

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/aloban75/31446988/4344665/4344665_origin...
 
 Would it be correct to equalize Ukraine and Russia because there is  a certain number of of right-wingers who are fighting in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation ?
 
 We must be consistent and make a comprehensive comparative analysis of the objects of study, must not we?

Are you going to analyze the ratio and the degree of the expression of right and left views in both belligerent armies?

Are there many left-wing fighters with Soviet “badges” fighting on the side of the Ukronazis ?

Are you going to  mention  that there is a huge number of military personnel and civilians in Donbass and Russia who shares socialist, communist, internationalist  views and ideology, who fights under the red banner and with Soviet "badges"?

No? Because this will go against the concept: “No difference between Russia and Ukraine”?

What sort  of fascism is when  you can openly adhere to communist views, openly spread communist ideology  and  wear Soviet badges?

A wrong sort of fascism in Russia, don't you think?

Many, of course, should argue that the presence of Soviet "badges" is a speculation on Soviet symbols.

I agree with this, but only in part.

The question is: who is speculating and why?

Russian and Donbass authorities or  the defenders of Donbass who are going to fight against Ukro-nazism under the red banner and socialist slogans?

An interesting question, isn't it?

Since you are so diligently tying to equalize Russia and Ukraine, be consistent: show us at least one red banner from the other side. Show us the Ukrainian military, who are hoisting the red banner near  the flag of Ukraine, or going to fight against the "Russian invaders" under the same red banner. You won't find it on the other side.

Why no one is speculatiing on Soviet symbols in Ukraine?

Maybe because  Ukraine have  zero tolerance for everything that is communist?

Perhaps the reason for the “speculation” of Russian authorities on Soviet symbols is the need to reckon with the views of citizens, with a  sympathy for their Soviet past and for the communist idea, which are quite strong among the masses, despite the 30-year anti-Soviet rhetoric?
Perhaps because the working people of Russia still have  elementary civil rights and freedoms that are necessary for organizing the struggle against bourgeois reaction and for spreading the socialist idea among the masses?

"We are not Anarchists, and it is not at all a matter of indifference to us what kind of political regime exists in any given country: whether a bourgeois dictatorship in the form of bourgeois democracy, even with democratic rights and liberties greatly curtailed, or a bourgeois dictatorship in its open, fascist form...Now the working masses in a number of capitalist countries are faced with the necessity of making a definite choice, and of making it today, not between proletarian dictatorship and bourgeois democracy , but between bourgeois democracy and fascism."  https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1935/unity.htm

To wish the defeat of  Russia in this war, and of all those progressive forces that are still strong enough in Russian society, to wish  the victory of an openly fascist regime in Ukraine - that is how you see the  internationalist position ?

joan
Photo Zimmerwald 1915 ?

Article also included in the special dossier "War in Ukraine" in French and Dutch)."Zimmerwald Conference An indispensable reference for the defence of internationalism"

Quote :

Organisational: the betrayal of the majority of the old parties demanded that the minority of internationalists had to work as an organised fraction, to work either for the expulsion of the traitors or, when this proved impossible, as it did in the majority of cases, to fight to win over the maximum number of healthy elements and to prepare the ground for a new party, a new International. This demanded a relentless battle against centrism and opportunism, against the ideological influence of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. Thus the Zimmerwald left in particular was the driving force behind the formation of the Third International in 1919.”(“Zimmerwald Conference An indispensable reference for the defence of internationalism” ,ICC website (set in bold by me)

It is probably in this line of thought that accompanying the article at various places (Note 1), a photo was placed, not of Zimmerwald 1915, but of the 2nd congress of the Third International in 1920 (Moscow or possibly Petrograd).(Note 2)
The photo accompanying the article in Révolution Internationale 493 (France), p.4, is a special case.
Here, there is no photo of the 2nd congress of the 3rd Int. in 1920, but there is one of another meeting, I think of the youth conference in Bern, also in 1915. (I do not recognize any of the photographed people)
 

In contrast to the women's conference, also held in Bern in 1915, this youth conference can also be seen as a (small) step towards the establishment of the 3rd International, especially in the field of organisation (new international youth organisation) and publication (new own organ).

.

It would be a good thing if this "contradiction" between article and pictures were mentioned on the website and in the next issues of the publications.

 

Note 1
-Worldrevolution 393 (UK), p.4, article "Zimmerwald Conference An indispensable reference for the defence of internationalism"
-Internationalisme 376 (Belgium), p.4, article "De Conferentie van Zimmerwald Een onontbeerlijke referentie voor de verdediging van het internationalisme” and French "Conférence de Zimmerwald Une référence indispensable pour la défense de l'internationalisme" ) & Wereldrevolutie 151 (Netherlands)
-Website in Italian: announcement of public meeting 4 May
RIUNIONE PUBBLICA ONLINE MERCOLEDI 4 MAGGIO
LA GUERRA IMPERIALISTA IN UCRAINA E I COMPITI DEI RIVOLUZIONARI
-website in Dutch, article "De Conferentie van Zimmerwald Een onontbeerlijke referentie voor de verdediging van het internationalisme”

-Révolution Internationale 493 (France),p.4, article "Conférence de Zimmerwald Une référence indispensable pour la défense de l'internationalisme"

 

Note 2
There are probably no photos of the Zimmerwald conference either, given the (semi-)clandestine character of the conference (disguised as a meeting of ornithologists) and given the fact that taking photos back then was a lot more cumbersome than it was later with a small camera and certainly than it is today with the smartphone.
If one would like to illustrate an article about Zimmerwald 1915 with a picture that directly refers to the place of meeting, there are photos of the hotel in Zimmerwald, Hotel und Pension Beau Séjour, where the conference took place.
There are also photos of the Hotel Bären, where the 1916 conference in Kiental (Kienthal) took place.

 

joan
Mizar asks many, many

Mizar asks many, many questions. (# 103)

 

A few counter-questions

(not necessarily in order of importance).

 

1) Who has not noticed that the old woman in the you tube film is not simply carrying a red flag (symbol of the workers' struggle and of communism), but the flag of the former capitalist and imperialist state, the so-called "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" (USSR), also known as "Soviet Union" ?

 

Consciously or unconsciously, therefore, she identifies itself with Stalinism, which, by trying to equate itself with communism, was and is one of the biggest lies in the history of mankind, and which is also responsible for the murder of a huge number of fighters of the October Revolution, in addition to very many "ordinary" workers.

This does not diminish the courage and determination of the old woman towards the Ukrainian nationalists, from whom she eventually also refused help, most probably food.

But it is a courage and a determination that deserves a better cause than the defence of Stalinism.

 

2) The video of the soldier planting the flag of the so-called USSR on the chimney reminds me of the famous, but multiple falsified photo of the soldier of the "Red Army" planting the flag of the so-called "Soviet Union" on the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Firstly, the photo was not taken during the fighting on 1 May 1945, but only on 9 May, when the fighting was over.

Secondly, smoke was added to the photo to give the impression that the fighting was still going on.

Thirdly, the photo had to be retouched, because the soldier with the flag was wearing several watches on his arm, which indicated theft from the German population, something which, of course, contradicted the image of the heroic, disinterested, honorable, ... fighters of the "Red Army" who were absolutely not guilty of looting, murder, rape, etc against the people of Germany (Note)

 

Who gains anything by exchanging the symbol of one capitalist state (Ukraine) for the symbol of another capitalist state (the so-called "Soviet Union")?

The world proletariat ?

 

3) If Stalinism was so fantastic, so liberating, so happy for the working class, why did the working class revolt en masse against the Stalinist regime with its class demands in Berlin and many other places in the so-called "Deutsche Demokratische Republik" in June 1953 and in Hungary in 1956 and in Poland in 1956, 1970, 1976 and 1980 ?

All "fake news" ? All machinations of NATO and Nazis ?

 

4) Is everyone who carries a red flag or a communist symbol (e.g. hammer and sickle) a communist , in other words, a proleterian internationalist ?

If only that were true !

Then the communist revolution would not be far away.

But unfortunately also the real enemies of the working class and certainly of the proletarian world revolution that it carries, adorn themselves with these symbols, from all kinds of social-democrats, all kinds of Stalinists, all kinds of Trotskyists to all kinds of parasitic groups and individuals.

And it would also be very stupid of the ruling class and its conscious or unconscious lackeys not to do so.

 

5) What other proletarian internationalist answer is possible to the imperialist war in Ukraine on both sides than that of the ICC and some other groups ?

 

So many other questions could be asked.

But for now I will leave it at that.

 

Note

 

"As we have seen, the Trotskyists responded to the war by betraying internationalism and supporting Russian imperialism which unequivocally demonstrated its nature as a capitalist power. However, at the end of the war, the majority of Trotskyites welcomed the progress of the Red Army in Eastern Europe and Germany as a great victory for socialism! In reality, the Red Army, like all the other armies in the conflict, scratched out every possibility of prolonged resistance that opposed the war. And the Stalinian army was even the most experienced and the most capable of disarming and massacring the prolétariat. Here, for example, is what the propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg, a Stalinist hyena, said about the German workers in the early 1940s:

- "If the German workers made a revolution and approached the Red Army as brothers they would be shot like dogs" (quoted in "Invading Socialist Soctety" by the Johnson-Forest tendency, September 1947)"

(set in bold by me)

Source : Pamphlet (brochure) Trotskyism against the working class

1. " Part 2: THE COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY TACTICS OF THE TROTSKISTS

1- Trotskyism and the Second World War

(Le trotskysme contre la classe ouvrière

  1.  » 2ème partie : LA TACTIQUE CONTRE-REVOLUTIONNAIRE DES TROTSKISTES

1- Le trotskisme et la deuxième guerre mondiale)

joan
Small addition

Small addition
The quote about Ilya Ehrenburg can be found on the ICC website in French.
Enter in the search bar : ehrenburg

KT
China/Taiwan

In trying to separate the necessary but nonetheless secondary (debate on fascism, Trotskyism, etc); from the immediate unfolding tragedy in eastern Europe and its underlying, historic dynamic, this discussion might also consider a further aspect of the ICC’s analysis of the situation:

Under the rubric of “China is the ultimate objective of American strategy”, the ICC writes:

However, the manoeuvres of the American bourgeoisie are not aimed solely or primarily at Russia. The confrontation between the United States and China today determines global imperialist relations. By creating a situation of chaos in Ukraine, Washington has above all sought to fetter China's advance towards Europe blocking, for a still indefinite period, the "silk roads" which were to pass through the countries of Europe from the east. After threatening China's sea lanes in the Indo-Pacific region with, among other things, the creation of the AUKUS alliance in 2021, Biden has just created a huge divide in Europe, preventing China from transporting its goods by land.

The United States has also succeeded in showing China's impotence in playing the role of reliable partner on the international scene since it has no other choice but to support Russia in a very weak way. In this sense, the American offensive that we are witnessing is part of its more global strategy of containment of China. United States, Russia, European Union, Ukraine... all states are responsible for the war!, (ICC Online, March 2022, my emphasis).

In luring Russia into a dangerous Ukranian quagmire on its doorstep (whatever short-term and limited strategic advances the Kremlin may claim or actually achieve) the US, in addition to the elements outlined in the quote above, is demonstrating to China what may lie in store should it act on its increasingly bellicose claims to the island of Taiwan, 100 miles from its mainland.

This orientation was reinforced at the time of writing in a communique following the meeting of the UK and Japanese Prime Ministers in London: Mr [Boris] Johnson said: "We in the UK recognise that our security in Europe is indivisible from the security, our collective security, in the Asia-Pacific, in the Indo-Pacific region. And there is direct read across from the actions of autocratic, coercive powers in Europe, to what may happen in east Asia. And that's why we want to work more closely together." UK and Japan sign military agreement amid Russia concerns, BBC News website, 05,05, 2022

The specific historic, strategic, political and economic (microchip production) significance of Taiwan is beyond the scope of this post.

Mizar
You like to use  historical

You like to use  historical analogies. OK, but do it at least correctly.

Why do you take the Lenin's position of 1914-1915 but not his later position of 1917:

"We shall fight, we are fighting against Kornilov, just as Kerensky’s troops do, but we do not support Kerensky. On the contrary, we expose his weakness. There is the difference. It is rather a subtle difference, but it is highly essential.and must not be forgotten.

What, then, constitutes our change of tactics after the Kornilov revolt?

We are changing the form of our struggle against Kerensky. Without in the least relaxing our hostility towards him, without taking back a single word said against him, without renouncing the task of overthrowing him, we say that we must take into account the present situation. We shall not overthrow Kerensky right now. We shall approach the task of fighting against him in a different way, namely, we shall point out to the people (who are fighting against Kornilov) Kerensky’s weakness and vacillation. That has been done in the past as well. Now, however, it has become the all-important thing and this constitutes the change....

It would be wrong to think that we have moved farther away from the task of the proletariat winning power. No.   We have come very close to it, not directly, but from the side. At the moment we must campaign not so much directly against Kerensky, as indirectly against him, namely, by demanding a more and more active, truly revolutionary war against Kornilov. The development of this war alone can lead us to power.... Now is the time for action; the war against Kornilov must be conducted in a revolutionary way, by drawing the masses in, by arousing them, by inflaming them (Kerensky is afraid of the masses, afraid of the people)."

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/aug/30.htm
 
 You do not have to support the Putin regime. It’s enough just not to interfere with it when this  regime is doing for you a part of your  work .

The point is that some leftists cannot understand the method of dialectical thinking. In particular, they do not understand that there are no categorical imperatives in political matters. For example, he who beleaves that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk  is not the result of the TEMPORARY COINCIDENCE of interests of the bourgeoisie (Kaiser's Germany) and tyhe proletariat (Soviet Russia) but the betrayal of  Lenin, understand nothing in dialectics. It is  clear that in particular and temporary questions the position of the Communists in one way or another coincides with the position of various bourgeois groups.

KT
Mizar wrote:

Mizar wrote:

“Why do you take the Lenin's position of 1914-1915 but not his later position of 1917?”: (# 108, above).

There is good reason to quote Lenin from 1914 – a time when the proletariat was dragooned into an inter-imperialist slaughter – rather than from 1917 when it was forming its workers and soldiers councils all over Russia, preparing to smash the bourgeois state. Today the proletariat is not reacting in a unified and widespread manner directly against the inter-bourgeois slaughter in Eastern Europe or elsewhere. There are no soviets; there is no Bolshevik Party, regrettably.

Regarding the Kornilov/Kerensky ‘example’:

“To fight Kornilov was a decisive test for the proletariat and Bolshevism throughout Russia. The class passed the test splendidly and was soon to use its increased confidence in the October insurrection. But nobody spoke at the time of ‘military blocs' with Kerensky as the Trotskyists do today….” The Kornilov Coup, August 1917: Military blocs or autonomous class struggle?, World Revolution No 13, 1977.

Mizar writes :” You do not have to support the Putin regime. It’s enough just not to interfere with it when this  regime is doing for you a part of your  work .(# 108, ibid).

But the world is no longer divided between ‘reactionary’ and ‘progressive’ states as it was in Marx’s day. Two world wars and the unification of the bourgeoisie against the Russian revolution of 1917 are just some examples of this reality. Quoted many times, Rosa Luxemburg’s 1916 statement remains both true and crystal clear: “Imperialism is not the creation of any one or of any group of states. It is the product of a particular stage of ripeness in the world development of capital, an innately international condition, an indivisible whole, that is recognisable only in all its relations, and from which no nation can hold aloof at will”.

Today, the Putin clique in the Kremlin is not doing ‘our-work’, it is not defending proletarian interests but merely attempting to defend those of the thoroughly capitalist nation state of Russia against imperialist rivals. In the face of this, the proletariat and its political minorities cannot passively stand aside, “not interfere”. On the contrary…

joan
I fully agree with KT's

I fully agree with KT's contribution # 109.

(I had already written something in the draft in the same sentence.But as already mentioned, it usually takes me longer to formulate a response.Probably a perfectionist trait, which is not always an advantage).

 

 

d-man
Mizar wrote: You do not have

Mizar wrote:
You do not have to support the Putin regime. It’s enough just not to interfere with it when this  regime is doing for you a part of your  work .

As to the nature of "interfere", maybe it's not safe to discuss this even, for people in Russia and Ukraine. What I repeat, is my guess, that it is possible that most of the active fighting force is from the Donbass population itself (as they have a high mobilization), and not Russian forces (which has not mobilized, though the British press likes to speculate that Putin might call for a mobilization on 9 May). What "interfere" meant I think at the time of Lenin and the WWI situation, is turning the armed soldiers against the own officers/government. That is why Lenin rejected draft dodging, and I think he would reject fleeing abroad. Perhaps one might counter my point, by arguing that today's (non-mobilized) Russian workers can arm themselves, namely by breaking into weapons storage places throughout Russia. It is possible to do that, I suppose. But the situation is different from Lenin's time, because Russia itself is not in a state of war.

I think Ukraine/Donbass is (or continues to be) in a state of (civil) war, and their population is called to arms, so they are closer to the situation of Lenin's time and his way to "interfere". Let's for the sake of argument (about how to interfere) assume that this is primarily a Ukrainian crisis, and that it is primarily up to the Ukrainian working class, that is going through this "tragedy", to defend their interests. Should they "interfere" through the path of turning their weapons against their leaders (whether in Kiev or Donetsk/Lugansk)? If no, then certainly it cannot be expected of workers outside Ukraine (whether in Russia or NATO countries) that they do apply Lenin's demand (of turning weapons against their government), whereas we don't expect this even of Ukrainian workers, who are (at least much more closely) in the practical situation that existed in the time Lenin was proposing his demands (ie countries with general mobilization of workers).

joan
There is a good chance that

There is a good chance that Mizar will again throw in the reproach :

"Your position is clear: the one just have to learn the commandments and surahs of the classics. One of the surahs says: "in the decline phase of capitalism all states are (or must be) imperialist, therefore all wars are imperialist." So you don't have to think and analyse, classics did it for you. The position is convient but not Marxist, Marxism has nothing to do with dogmatism." (# 62)

Nevertheless, here are some excerpts from the basic positions of the ICC, printed on almost every publication of the organisation :

" Since the beginning of the 20th century, all wars are imperialist wars, part of the deadly struggle between states large and small to conquer or retain a place in the international arena. These wars bring nothing to humanity but death and destruction on an ever-increasing scale. The working class can only respond to them through its international solidarity and by struggling against the bourgeoisie in all countries (...)

All the tactics of 'popular fronts', 'anti-fascist fronts' and 'united fronts', which mix up the interests of the proletariat with those of a faction of the bourgeoisie, serve only to smother and derail the struggle of the proletariat."

And also a quote from the ICC Platform, which elaborates and explains these basic positions a little further :

"...the proletariat still has to make an immense effort to provide itself with the means to overthrow capitalism. As products of this effort and as active factors in it, the revolutionary currents and elements which have appeared since the beginning of this reawakening of the class, bear an enormous responsibility for the development and outcome of this struggle. In order to take up this responsibility, they must organise themselves on the basis of the class positions which have been definitively laid down by the historical experience of the proletariat and which must guide all their activity and intervention within the class."

(set in bold by me)

The class positions or class boundaries, expressed in the Basic Positions and the Platform of the ICC, are thus not the invention of unworldly theorists or chamber scholars.

I think there is enough material in the ICC publications on the issues of war, imperialism, fascism and anti-fascism.

But of course one has to read them, reread them and ...want to read them.

One should seriously try to think about them, seriously try to understand them.

Remember : nobody is born a communist.

 

There are also possibilities (admittedly always too little, always too short) to discuss these points of view (apart from this discussion forum) like the public meetings (with a predetermined theme) and permanences (also called discussion meetings) organised by ICC (without a predetermined theme, but first and foremost dealing with the questions and concerns of the participants).

If at all possible, use these possibilities!

 

As soon as possible more content on Mizar's remarks and on the subject of this thread,the imperialist war in Ukraine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joan
Mizar wrote (# 108)

Mizar wrote (# 108)

You do not have to support the Putin regime. It’s enough just not to interfere with it when this  regime is doing for you a part of your  work.”

That was well answered in # 109.

Today, the Putin clique in the Kremlin is not doing ‘our-work’, it is not defending proletarian interests but merely attempting to defend those of the thoroughly capitalist nation state of Russia against imperialist rivals.

I would like to add the following.

Doing for you a part of your  work” could still apply in connection with the American Civil War of 1861-1865 (Note1) and also in connection with the German unification, the placing of several German states and territories under one authority in 1870-1871.
Even though I do not know whether Marx and/or Engels used the term "doing our job" then.
But today, in the phase of decadence of world capitalism, no one else is doing "our work", the work of the working class.
More valid than ever is "The liberation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself."

Considering,

That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves,...”  (The International Working Men's Association 1864,General Rules. Written: October, 1871 https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1864/10/27b.htm (Note 2)

Note 1 See  “The American Civil War and the struggle for working class unity” with the attachment Joseph Weydemeyer: leader of the ‘Marx party’ in the US” https://en.internationalism.org/content/16709/american-civil-war-and-str... -  ICConline – 2019  » July 2019

Note 2 See also : “In Erwägung,

daß die Emanzipation der Arbeiterklasse durch die Arbeiterklasse selbst erobert werden muß;…” Karl Marx, Provisorische Statuten der Internationalen Arbeiter-Assoziation Oktober 1864 Geschrieben zwischen dem 21. und 27. Oktober 1864. Nach: Address and provisional rules of the Working Men’s International Association, London 1864. Aus dem Englischen. Karl Marx u. Friedrich Engels, Werke, Bd.16, 1962, Berlin/DDR. S.14-16. https://www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/marx-engels/1864/10/statuten.htm

and “Wir haben bei der Gründung der Internationalen ausdrücklich den Schlachtruf formuliert: Die Befreiung der Arbeiterklasse muß das Werk der Arbeiterklasse selbst sein. Wir können also nicht zusammengehn mit Leuten, die es offen aussprechen, daß die Arbeiter zu ungebildet sind, sich selbst zu befreien und erst von oben herab befreit werden müssen durch philanthropische Groß- und Kleinbürger.”  ( "We explicitly formulated the battle cry at the founding of the International: The liberation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself. So we cannot go along with people who openly say that the workers are too ignorant to liberate themselves and must first be liberated from above by philanthropic bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie".)

Seitenzahlen verweisen auf:

  

Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels - Werke. (Karl) Dietz Verlag, Berlin. Band 19, 4. Auflage 1973, unveränderter Nachdruck der 1. Auflage 1962, Berlin/DDR. S. 150-166.

Korrektur:

  

1

Erstellt:

  

18.07.1999

Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels Zirkularbrief an Bebel, Liebknecht, Bracke u.a. Geschrieben am 17./18. September 1879. http://www.mlwerke.de/me/me19/me19_150.htm

-------------------------------

The layout is not as I wanted it to be again (Too many words in bold, too many spaces)

But of course it is the content that counts.

joan
speech Putin 9 May 2022

What to think of the speech of "generalissimus" Putin at the parade in Moscow on "Liberation Day", 9 May ?

Many of the speculations of the bourgeois media have not come true :
- no official declaration of war on Ukraine (an official declaration of war would mean that it is no longer just a "special military operation") (Note 1)
- no statement about the deployment of any kind of nuclear weapons
- no (additional) call/order to reservists
- no definitive declaration of victory in (parts of) the Donbas
- no official incorporation of the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk into Russia
- no definitive declaration of victory in Mariupol
- no ultimatum to Ukraine

The promise of support for the families of the victims seems important to me.
So even Putin has to admit that in a war, also this war, also on his own side, people get killed and the longer the war drags on, the more people get killed.
The parade itself is a simultaneously frightening and ridiculous spectacle, just like most, if not all, military parades.
It is also very reminiscent of the (military) parades of Nazi Germany.
A common, but perhaps only superficial or "empirical" characteristic between Nazi-and Putin-Russia seems to me also to be the contradiction between different goals of the regime.
In Nazi Germany, on the one hand, there was the necessity to use all means to win the war (since June 1941 on two fronts) and, on the other hand, the wish to use very many means (both material and personnel) for the detection, deportation and extermination of Jews and others. In Putin-Russia, on the one hand, there is the necessity to use all means for the victory in Ukraine, but, on the other hand, there is also the wish to set up a very large display of material and personnel on the Red Square and in many other places in the "Russian Federation".
There is also the constant mixing of the "Soviet past" and the Russian Tsarist past. This is also expressed in the symbols: on the one hand red flags, hammer and sickles, stars (Note 2) and on the other hand, although officially a republic, the coat of arms of the Tsars, a double-headed eagle complete with three crowns, sceptre, imperial apple and St. George with the dragon.
Another aspect is the falsification of history by the number of deaths from the so-called "Soviet Union" during WW 2 (or "The Great Patriotic War" in Stalinist jargon) (about 27 million)and so also Georgians, Armenians, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Uzbeks,...and of course Ukrainians.For Putin and his regime they all become Russians. (Remark of a expert of Russian affairs whose name escapes me)
But for an ex-KGB man one case of history falsification more or less does not matter.
Note 1
Why would he do that? Are wars still officially declared today, as for example in WW 1 and (at least partially) in WW 2?
That is part of the cover-up of the fact of war. Nowadays one only speaks of ministers of national defence or simply defence and no longer, clear and simple, of ministers of war.
In a number of states this name change happened not so long ago.
E.g. Denmark only in 1950 and the UK even in 1964.
(Compare Belgium 1920,Finland 1922,France Sept 1944,Italy 1946)
Note 2
Seeing these symbols is something that apparently always makes some people happy, no matter in what context they see them or by whom they are misused.

d-man
The "work" that Mizar is

The "work" that Mizar is referring to is destroying a fascist militia. Is it in the proletarians' interest to destroy fascists? If yes, that doesn't mean the proletariat has to support bourgeois forces that have the same goal. Let's expand the logic in this particular debate to one's stance in politics in general. For example, is it in the proletarians's interest when a hospital, a railway, etc. is build (ie development of the forces of production)? Is in the interest of the proletarians when the bourgeois state imposes measures in the name of fighting a pandemic? Or what if the state jails some horrible criminals that were hurting proletarians? The reasoning is common in general to people I think (and not anything unique to war, or to Mizar, or even to Leftists): don't cheerlead the bourgeoisie, but don't interfere. Before we rush to categorize or qualify who are in the good club of persons that oppose something (in this case a military operation), let's ask first what does it even mean to oppose (or to interfere with) anything, let alone a war, concretely, in action and in argument? Mizar's word about simply declaring "fatwas" is maybe not conducive to discussion, but there are problems with simplifying slogans (from different situations, like eg WWI).

baboon
I think that the general

I think that the general tendency of d-man’s posts above is not to develop any clarity on the war in Ukraine but to obscure it and make it more difficult to understand. There have been a few meanders in his positions above but his position has, as far as I can see, been consistent since the beginning in repeating the line from Moscow that Russia is not involved in a war and in the ex-Ukrainian enclaves held by Russian separatists, there is the possibility of class war to the point of workers’ soviets emerging, i.e., there is some proletarian content to be defended in these areas. This and the idea that Russia is not involved in an imperialist war can be nothing but a source of confusion and an attack on revolutionary positions and this is the context for d-man’s ideas of the weakness of “simplifying slogans” from World War One.
In the present circumstances the prospect of proletarian resistance to the war is generally weak to non-existent and this is even more so the case in spots under separatist or nationalist control in the war itself.
The ICC has proposed that the US administration, within its imperialist strategy, has consciously lured Moscow into a trap in a similar way it acted against Saddam in the first Gulf War drawing Putin’s regime into a costly “quagmire". In the weeks since this proposition was made nothing has happened on the ground to contradict it; in fact events have if anything validated such an analysis: the gradual build-up of more sophisticated weaponry supplied to Ukraine by the US or with the latter’s say-so, the completely over the top and increasingly shrill warnings to China to “stay out of it” from Washington despite China clearly not wanting to get directly involved along with the unprecedented use of US intelligence "eyes on the ground" given to Ukrainian forces in order to bring the maximum damage to Russian capabilities.
 

d-man
In order to develop clarity

In order to develop clarity on the war in Ukraine, it's perhaps needless to say, one should try to pushback against the news coverage from the Western bourgeois media. This is evident, but it's not so easy to do, even for seasoned experts on imperialism and its propaganda.

baboon wrote:
general tendency of d-man’s posts above is not to develop any clarity on the war in Ukraine but to obscure it and make it more difficult to understand. There have been a few meanders in his positions above but

I pointed out such facts eg that there have been official talks between Ukraine and Russia, or that there is no mobilisation in Russia as of yet (contrary to what is claimed in one of the ICC's initial statements btw). Even if these were rather superficial observations, I don't think that they obscure.

Quote:
his position has, as far as I can see, been consistent since the beginning in repeating the line from Moscow that Russia is not involved in a war and in the ex-Ukrainian enclaves held by Russian separatists, there is the possibility of class war to the point of workers’ soviets emerging, i.e., there is some proletarian content to be defended in these areas. This and the idea that Russia is not involved in an imperialist war can be nothing but a source of confusion and an attack on revolutionary positions and this is the context for d-man’s ideas of the weakness of “simplifying slogans” from World War One.
In the present circumstances the prospect of proletarian resistance to the war is generally weak to non-existent and this is even more so the case in spots under separatist or nationalist control in the war itself

Okay, I see what you refer to. Well, I don't think even Russia itself denies that it intervened in an existing war. It precisely claims, that the war has been going since 2014, and now it decided to intervene by a military operation. That's the "line from Moscow", but as I pointed out, it's also that of everyone, including the ICC, who did recognise that a war has existed in the Ukraine (since 2014). That the present conflict is a continuation of an existing war is seen by the very lines of the battlefield, which are still those same ones near Donetsk (and the landmass north of Crimea, as a buffer to secure Crimea). If our disagreement were just about me being pedantic about language, than it in fact hardly matters whether you prefer to call Russia's deployment of force a war or a military operation. But I gave reasons for the choice of language beyond mere language sensibilities, eg the fact is Russia is not in a state of war, despite a claimed Ukrainian incursion on Russian's own territory as early as on 23 February (compare the examples I gave earlier, about 9/11 attacks on US where NATO invoked article 5 in the war on terror, declarations of "state of emergency", etc.).

As to the potential for workers's soviets emerging, I was not at all referring only to the ex-Ukrainian enclaves. My point was just to note that in fact a call for the formation of soviets had been made to the Ukrainian workers (under Kiev's control), by a Russian "Marxist-Leninist". Though it comes from a source we wouldn't expect it from, and though we don't expect it will be followed, nevertheless it is not wrong to try it, even in circumstance of war. (I myself have noted that the Ukrainian proletariat was so weak or apathetic since 2014 that it couldn't stop the war all these years in the Donbass, so I agree with you the prospect is slim). But it's also true that there are examples of the proletariat forming soviets in the middle of war, as the mentioned 1917 soviets, or also the Paris Commune.

joan
I need as soon as possible

I need as soon as possible thoroughly to reread the very interesting discussion between Baboon (#116) and d-man (#117).

There are several different points of interest therein
For the moment, I just want to add something to what d-man says at the end of his post #117

Quote :
"...there are examples of the proletariat forming soviets in the middle of war, as mentioned 1917, but also the Paris Commune."
For those who are a bit familiar with the history since 1870 it is known that indeed from different wars revolutionary proletarian uprisings arose (to put it perhaps a bit simplistically) from the Franco-German war of 1870-1871 the Paris Commune , from the Russo-Japanese war the revolutionary events of 1905-1907 and from WW 1 the international revolutionary wave of 1917-1923 , that the ruling class by the uprisings of workers and workers in uniform(soldiers and sailors) was forced to end WW 1 "prematurely". (The rapid succession of events, 9 November ("November Revolution" (workers' and soldiers' councils also in the German capital Berlin) and 11 November (armistice on all fronts) actually speaks for itself.)
But this "automatism" (from war proletarian revolution comes) did not hold anymore for WW 2, in spite of all the expectations of very many revolutionaries of the proletariat of various tendencies (German-Dutch Left,Italian Left). (Note 1)
I thought that even perhaps the most lucid and most with both feet on the ground group of the time, namely the communist left in France from 1942 (group with Marc Chirik) had this expectation.
They all expected and hoped (actually against their better judgement) that there would be a kind of repetition of 1917-1923 and then of course in a for the working class "strongly improved version".
There were also strikes and uprisings by the working class during WW2 (e.g. the best known being the February strike in 1942 in the Netherlands and the workers’uprising in Italy in 1943,but there were also strikes or workers’ revolts in Belgium, the UK, Germany,perhaps Vietnam, etc.).
But neither WW2, nor any imperialist war or imperialist conflict in the following period (Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Latin America, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia, etc., etc.) produced a revolutionary movement of the working class.
Despite the experience still during Marx's lifetime of the Paris Commune of 1871, Marx's view was apparently that a revolutionary proletarian movement would not emerge from a war, but rather from the workers' struggle in "peacetime".
If any comrade can support this view of Marx with one or more quotes, they are very welcome,of course.
Despite the apparent advantage of a situation of war, namely that a part of the working class is already armed and familiar with armed struggle, I think that not only WW 2, has already shown that a situation of war, with large parts of the population in military uniform, is not the best base or starting point for the development of a revolutionary upsurge of the working class.
In the case of WW2, the bourgeoisie, with its machiavellian consciousness, did everything in its power to prevent a "repetition" of its nightmare,the period 1917-1923 and this not only in its preparation but also during the war itself and in its conclusion.
But already WW 1 and 1917-1923 seem to confirm that a war situation does not offer the best conditions for a revolutionary movement of the working class.
There was the death and mutilation of many class fighters (didn't Rosa Luxemburg in the "Junius" brochure speak about "the flower of the proletariat" that perished on the battlefields ? ), the additional and reinforced division of the working class into several states during and immediately after the war (creation of several new states with new frontiers), the hate campaigns, the arming not only of more or less class-conscious workers, but also and more effectively (because without scruples) of others (Freikorps, Fasci di combattimenti in Italy), the relative "ease" with which a large part of the revolutionary mood was nullified by the halt of the war, etc.
The degeneration of the revolution in Russia was also, in my opinion, to a very large extent reinforced and accelerated by the military struggle,by the military manners,by the years of civil war.
This was, of course, not a "free choice" of the Bolsheviks, earlier quite the contrary.Consider, for example, in 1918, the "choice" for the treaty of Brest-Litovsk (including the loss of Ukraine (and its granary, coal, etc.)) instead of a "revolutionary people's war" (guerrilla warfare against the armies of the "Centrals") as proposed by Bucharin and others.

(I refer again to the position of the "Italian Fraction" (Vercesi) in 1938 on the Kronstadt 1921 uprising (Note 2))
So, concretely today, I think that a revolutionary proletarian movement ultimately is more likely to emerge from the defence struggle of the working class in areas "at peace" than from workers in uniform,than from a situation of war.
To be clear : in the Paris Commune, the revolutionary struggle in 1905 and the international revolutionary wave of 1917-23, there was always a coincidence, a conjunction of workers' struggles and uprisings within the armed forces, and without the workers' struggles in factories and in the streets, the mutinies of soldiers and sailors would probably have been suppressed very quickly. In his book "The Russian Revolution" Trotsky describes how the insurgent soldiers sought their salvation at the workers.And thiswas also the case for the insurgent sailors of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. (It is somewhat unfortunate expressed by me, but it can be clarified with quotes from the literature on both Petrograd 1917 and Germany 1918).

Quote :
" My point was just to note that in fact a call for the formation of soviets had been made to the Ukrainian workers (under Kiev's control), by a Russian "Marxist-Leninist"."
I would like to know where this is mentioned, in which post, which Russian "Marxist-Leninist" it concerns. To be honest, I am not very familiar with Russian "Marxist-Leninists", i.e. all kinds of Stalinists.
Note 1
I think that the founding of the PCInt ("Battaglia Comunista") in 1943-1945 is also part of this (See also the thread "Who is allowed to oppose war?", #18).
Note 2
"The Italian Comm. Left 1927-'45". ICC, 1992
p.138 "It would have been better to have lost Kronstadt than to have kept it from the geographical point of view when substantially this victory could have one result : altering the very basis and substance of the action carried out by the proletariat ...it would have been a thousand times better to have taken on the state with the certitude of being beaten than to have stayed in power by inflicting a defeat on proletarian principles.” (Octobre, no 2), March 1938 "La question de l' Etat".

d-man
joan wrote: But this

joan wrote:
But this "automatism" (from war proletarian revolution comes) did not hold anymore for WW 2, in spite of all the expectations of very many revolutionaries of the proletariat of various tendencies  ...
But neither WW2, nor any imperialist war or imperialist conflict in the following period (Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Latin America, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia, etc., etc.) produced a revolutionary movement of the working class.
...
Despite the apparent advantage of a situation of war, namely that a part of the working class is already armed and familiar with armed struggle, I think that not only WW 2, has already shown that a situation of war, with large parts of the population in military uniform, is not the best base or starting point for the development of a revolutionary upsurge of the working class.

I'm sure there's a text by the ICC on the differences between WWI and WW2, but just quickly, a likely significant difference of WW2 is the complete defeat/occupation (of the defeated countries). Whereas in Russia/Germany 1917/19, there was a peace treaty, and their soldiers hadn't all been defeated/captured yet (so they were still on the streets, armed). In WW1 there was also the peculiar situation, when 2 countries on both sides suffered a defeat (ie Russia and Germany). For comparison to such scenario, imagine in WW2, if Germany had first defeated Britain, signed a peace treaty but not occupied it, and thereafter Germany were defeated (by the Soviets/US); in such a case I think a revolution would have been more likely in Britain.

As to Ukraine today, I think if Ukrainian forces will not be fully defeated and Zelensky would sign a peace treaty with  Russia, he would face a serious prospect of revolt by the Ukrainian armed forces. 

My comment on repeating simplistic slogans, refers eg to Lenin's slogan of converting the imperialist war into a civil war. I claimed that that slogan assumed the situation of general mobilization. Now such a situation is absent in Russia. However, such a form of opposition to/method of "interfering" against war, namely turning arms against the own government, now in Ukraine/Russia was not even seriously considered by the ICC, and I interpret your last post joan, also as rather rejecting such a slogan/concrete method.

joan wrote:
I would like to know where this is mentioned, in which post, which Russian "Marxist-Leninist" it concerns.

Popov is who I had in mind.

 

joan
d-man wrote :

d-man wrote :
"I'm sure there's a text by the ICC on the differences between WWI and WW2,...”
It would be good if we could find that text.
I am searching for it.

Quote :
"...a likely significant difference of WW2 is the complete defeat/occupation (of the defeated countries).
Whereas in Russia/Germany 1917/19, there was a peace treaty, and their soldiers hadn't all been defeated/captured yet (so they were still on the streets, armed)."

That is exactly what I mean by the Machiavellian conscious conclusion or termination of WW 2 by the bourgeoisie , a lesson they had learned from WW 1.
In order to avoid a "repeat" of the rev. situation in Germany 1918-1919, many prisoners of war were made and were kept for years, often very far from Germany (UK, USA) and Russia (where many German prisoners of war did not survive).German prisoners of war were also "put to work" in the Belgian coal mines.Europe and especially Germany and even the capital Berlin was split up in several military zones, all with occupying troops.There were even plans (among others the Morgenthau plan (named after the USA - Minister of Finance) to definitively divide Germany into two or more different smaller states, to place industry and mining under international control and to reduce the rest of Germany to a purely agricultural area. These plans caused many Germans to die of hunger and disease after the war.Eventually these plans (probably also within the framework of the "Cold War") were shelved.On the "Soviet" side, entire factories in Germany were dismantled and transferred to the "Soviet Union" as "compensation" for the suffering suffered during WW2.

Quote :
"For comparison to such scenario, imagine in WW2, if Germany had first defeated Britain, signed a peace treaty but not occupied it, and thereafter Germany were defeated (by the Soviets/US); in such a case I think a revolution would have been more likely in Britain."
I don't know if there is much sense in going into this hypothesis of a revolution, a proletarian revolution to be precisely, in that periode?
There was a fairly strong Nazi-friendly mood in Britain's upper echelons, so an agreement between the UK and Nazi-Germany would not have been surprising.
But I don't think Britain in 1939-1945 had much revolutionary-proletarian potential.There was the debacle of the 1926 general strike,there was still the great influence of the trade unions (enemies par excellence of rev.),also in Britain the working class was from the 1930s onwards in the grip of “anti-fascism” (see also the impact of the "Spanish civil war") and,last but not least, worldwide it was a period of counter-revolution culminating in an imperialist world war, the second of its kind already.
And even if there had been a proletarian revolution in Britain it would have been suppressed very quickly either by British or colonial troops or by starvation as a result of a closure of the relatively easily closed off island that is Britain.
This apart from the fundamental fact that a prol. revolution must by definition be international and that in that period there was little if any chance of expansion to other countries (unlike in the period 1917-1920, a period in which there were rev. movements or at least massive strikes in the Russian empire,Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Spain, etc.,etc)

(continued as soon as possible)

d-man
Armenia example

As to a post-ww2 example, of a war with mobilization of the population (supposedly in Armenia), a defeat of the country, but not fully occupied, let's look at the outcome of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Of course one expects there would be protests:

Quote:
Shortly after the news about the signing the ceasefire agreement broke in the early hours of 10 November violent protests erupted in Armenia against Nikol Pashinyan, claiming he was a "traitor" for having accepted the peace deal.[241] Protesters also seized the parliament building by breaking a metal door, and pulled the President of the National Assembly of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan from a car and beat him.[242][243] Throughout November, numerous Armenian officials resigned from their posts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020%E2%80%932021_Armenian_protests

A strike was called on 22 December that included support from the subway workers, Yerevan State University members and 17 opposition parties, again calling for the Pashinyan's resignation. The protests grew in size as the opposition set up tents in Republic Square. While there were arrests made, the protests were peaceful. Thousands of protesters marched in the streets of Yerevan in support of the opposition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Armenian_political_crisis

The 2021 Armenian political crisis was an alleged military coup attempt by the Armed Forces of Armenia led by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Onik Gasparyan against the government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

And see also;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Armenian_protests

Admittedly, we didn't see armed people in the street, forming councils in Armenia. I haven't looked at the extent of the general mobilization during the war, but a quick glance tells me about 15,000 servicemen fought on the Armenian side (about 3 million population). So I would say, this was a limited war, in terms of drafting people. If more people had been mobilized in Armenia, perhaps it would have resulted in more "spectacular" protests, resembling revolution.

--

The resentment at the war outcome remained so strong in Germany, even after the crushing of the Spartacist uprising, that a revolt was considered likely (against signing of the Versailles treaty). Such a "second revolution" in Germany was apparently prevented by the special efforts of Emil Barth (the former leader of the Revolutionary Stewards), see his final chapter here: https://libcom.org/article/aus-der-werkstatt-der-deutschen-revolution-emil-barth

This resentment over the war outcome is also the context of Radek's Schlageter line that you mentioned joan. It's also the context of the left SR revolt/civil war launched against the Bolsheviks.

joan
d-man wrote (# 119) :

d-man wrote (# 119) :

As to Ukraine today, I think if Ukrainian forces will not be fully defeated and Zelensky would sign a peace treaty with  Russia, he would face a serious prospect of revolt by the Ukrainian armed forces.”

Again, I do not know if it is very useful to go deep into this possibility.
Because even if there would be a revolt by the Ukrainian armed forces, the question has to be asked :
what does the working class inside and outside Ukraine have to gain from it?
First of all, there would be a revolt (if I understood correctly) because the armed forces, unlike Zelinsky, want to continue fighting, because they want to continue the imperialist war.
(They themselves, of course, will not see this war as an imperialist war, but that is not the point).
Secondly, this revolt would not coincide with a working class revolt (as was the case in Russia 1917 and Germany 1918).
And if it did merge with it, it would be for the wrong reasons, namely to continue the imperialist war against the "treason" of Zelinsky.
If the working class or many workers were to be drawn into such a revolt, that would actually be even worse than a revolt of the armed forces alone.

That is quite a major difference when both in the Russian Empire in 1917 and in Germany (the German Empire) the soldiers and sailors revolted just because the war continued or threatened to continue (sailors' revolt in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel October-November 1918), because there was no peace or armistice.(Note 1 )

Note 1

At the Paris Commune of 1871, it was indeed the case that convinced French patriots against Prussian imperialism and militarism became in a very short time internationalist prol.fighters (which many had often been before the Franco-German war (members of the First International).

The internationalism of the Paris Commune is demonstrated by the election of a "German" (in fact a Jewish Hungarian (from Austria-Hungary)) as minister of labour, industry, trade and finance (Leo Frankel) of a Pole as commander of the defence forces (Dombrowski) and by the active commitment to the Commune of the Russian Marxist avant-la-lettre Elisabeth Dimitrieff, of many Italians, Belgians, etc.

But first, the existence of this short-lived "workers state" was an exception (which confirms the rule ?).

Secondly, and more importantly, this experience took place in the ascendant phase of capitalism.

I do not think that the Franco-German war of 1870-1871 can be considered by the communists as an imperialist war in the sense of WW 1 and WW 2.

(continued so soon als possible)

joan
My contribution that became

My contribution that became Post #122 was written, just not yet sent, before I read #121 of d-man.

joan
I read # 121 rather cursorily

I read # 121 rather cursorily (I did not read the references (Wikipedia and Emile Barth)).

But I also ask here in connection with Armenia after 2020,with Germany after WW 1 (after the Versailles Treaty) and Russia in 1918 (after the Brest-Litovsk Treaty) the same question I asked in connection with the hypothesis of a revolt of the armed forces in Ukraine after a "treacherous" peace with Russia :

what does the working class (...) have to gain from it?

Of course we have to take such situations of a military revolt into account.

joan
sanctions and boycotts

This is not an answer or reaction to earlier contributions.

But I notice, unless I have missed a lot, that until now relatively little has been said about the mutual sanctions and boycotts in connection with the war in Ukraine and what impact they are having on the working class, both in Ukraine and in Russia, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world.

Of course, this issue is not completely new.
It was already there in the 1930s, when the "working class movement" (social democracy, Stalinists, Trotskyists, official anarchists) called for sanctions against and a boycott of the fascist states, first and foremost Nazi Germany.

d-man
joan wrote: I asked in

joan wrote:
I asked in connection with the hypothesis of a revolt of the armed forces in Ukraine after a "treacherous" peace with Russia : what does the working class (...) have to gain from it?

I'm casually/"coldly" talking about the possible prospects of the current event, and I evaluate how possible it would be for a "revolutionary" situation to arise. This is something the ICC itself too always does, stressing how the bourgeoisie consciously acts in order to prevent a workers' revolt. So in response to your and baboon's post apparent worry, I can assure you it's not necessary to attribute to me any excitement/illusions about revolution around the corner. But I think it's realistic to assume, that the Kiev government itself is counting with the prospect of a revolt against them, were they to sign a peace treaty. And one could also seek how such a prospect on the Russian side is taken into account by the Russian government in setting out its way of action (and by the Western bourgeoisie, trying to incite a popular overthrow of Putin, and a color revolution need not be liberal, but could come from a hardline-nationalist side).

On the other hand, it's the task of revolutionaries, not just to analyze or predict, but also to actively intervene. So eg forumteam asked me whether I support the slogan of converting the imperialist war into civil war; KT implored Mizar that the working class needs to "interfere" against the war, etc. If this appeal to active engagement is serious, and not just pacifist illusions, etc. then I understand it means the ICC is calling for revolution. And here I'm the one who is seen as less excited about prospect of revolution, because I point out how the situation is different from Lenin's time.

Quote:
But I notice, unless I have missed a lot, that until now relatively little has been said about the mutual sanctions and boycotts in connection with the war in Ukraine and what impact they are having on the working class, both in Ukraine and in Russia, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world.

I think people understand that the economic situation for the working class was already worsening, before and for reasons unconnected to the Ukraine war, and that the Western bourgeoisie is trying to divert attention and shift blame for the economic situation to Putin. Sanctions have, or war in general has, negative impacts on the economic position of the working class, and that's why I earlier asked if we should understand opposition to war as really being based on any fundamental anti-war "principle", and not rather based on simple economic distress (such as inflation in Russia February 1917).

joan
refusals against ships by dockworkers

With sanctions and boycotts (# 125) I also meant refusals by dockworkers to unload Russian ships in solidarity with the Ukrainian workers / people.
This would have already happened in the port of Rotterdam and also in Sweden (around 30 April).
I don't know whether these were spontaneous actions of the workers themselves or set up by the trade unions.
Probably more specific information about these actions can be found on the internet and in newspapers.
Important question : should we applaud and support such actions ?
Should we see it as an authentic class action, as an expression of class consciousness and class solidarity ?
I don't think such actions should be supported today.
Because although I do not doubt the good intentions, the sincere indignation of the dockers, they choose one of the two camps in this imperialist war.
As stated in the ICC international leaflet of 28/2/2022 :
"The only solidarity consists in denouncing ALL the capitalist states, ALL the parties that call for rallying behind this or that national flag, ALL those who lure us with the illusion of peace and "good relations" between peoples. And the only solidarity that can have a real impact is the development of massive and conscious workers' struggles everywhere in the world. And in particular, these struggles must become conscious of the fact that they constitute a preparation for the overthrow of the system responsible for the wars and all the barbarity that increasingly threatens humanity: the capitalist system." (set in bold by me)
Of course, such refusals are not really new.
I am thinking of refusals to load weapons for Poland during the Polish-Russian war in 1920, of refusals to unload and/or load ships of Mussolini-Italy and Hitler-Germany in the 1930s.(Note 1)

I will try to respond to other contributions in this thread as soon as possible.

Note 1
The refusal to unload and/or load Italian and German ships in the 1930s was entirely in the context of the "anti-fascist struggle", in which the "socialist" trade unions were also in the vanguard, the same trade unions that had organised the recruitment of the cannon fodder and the repression of "troublesome" (= strike-prepared, class-conscious) workers in WW1.
And the refusal of Polish ships during the Polish-Russian war of 1919-1921 was part of a wrong, essentially bourgeois (following the French revolution and Napoleon) conception of revolution, namely carrying it out at the point of the bayonets.Because many workers in Poland sided with the newly created Polish republic against the Red Army, soviet Russia failed in its plan to make a corridor to Germany and the working class there. The choice of the workers in Poland for their "own state" was also caused by years of Bolshevik propaganda in favour of the "right of self-determination of peoples", meant as a counterweight to the "Greater Russia" ideology (the official ideology of Tsarism), which made many non-Russian workers suspicious of their class brothers and sisters of Russian "ethnicity" and also of the "Russian Social-Democratic Workers’Party" (RSDWP).

d-man
joan wrote: With sanctions

joan wrote:
With sanctions and boycotts (# 125) I also meant refusals by dockworkers to unload Russian ships in solidarity with the Ukrainian workers / people....
Should we see it as an authentic class action, as an expression of class consciousness and class solidarity ?
I don't think such actions should be supported today.

I think there was an article by the ICT on this, pointing out it was part of the Western war effort (supported by trade unions), but now I don't see it on their site, hmm... Here's only a little passage:

Quote:
CWO comrades replied that unfortunately the Merseyside boycott of Russian goods, like others in the UK and around Europe, were actually led by trade unions, as ever identifying with the national capital, and “doing the bosses work for them”. They were not independent class actions against both sides in this war.

I hold it's even true for positive humanitarian aid, that it can functions as part of imperialist policy, as cover for intrigues, as ideological propaganda, as power leverage, etc. Think eg of the aide convoy into Venezuela by the Western-backed Guaido. I hinted also at the encouragement of refugee reception, so it's not true that refugee acceptance is always a humanistic indication of neutral internationalism.

joan
refusals against ships by dockworkers (2)

Ukraine/Russia: War and Sanctions are Hitting Hard, But Not the Oligarchs (On Either Side) CB Battaglia Comunista
19 April 2022 Sunday, May 15, 2022

https://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2022-05-15/ukrainerussia-war-and-san...

To d-man

Perhaps this was the article you were looking for,

although I don't immediately see a reference in the article to refusals by workers as part of the Western war effort (supported by trade unions).

But maybe I didn't read it properly.

 

At first sight, very interesting reading.

To be added to the list : texts to be (re)read thoroughly.

d-man
Quote: Perhaps this was the

Quote:
Perhaps this was the article you were looking for,

No, it was more than a few days ago already when I saw it. The ICC put out an article with a similar message, I think.

But aside from sanctions on Russia by Western trade unions (which perhaps we still easily agree, as to their lack of proletarian political independence), I mentioned the issue of positive humanitarian aid (including to refugees). To judge this issue, we can maybe look back to the case of Ottorino Perrone (aka Vercesi), who was a representative of the Italian Red Cross:

ICT wrote:
he made his next error of judgement which was to join an “Anti-fascist Committee” in Brussels as a representative of the Italian Red Cross. He later maintained this was for humanitarian purposes only but to many of his former comrades he looked to have simply sided with the victors in the imperialist war.

Now, take the perspective of the Russian side. Would we condemn a comrade in Russia if they were to join an aid organisation to help people in Donbass (or refugees going to Russia)? If yes, then must we not also condemn such humanitarian actions by comrades in Western Europe? Does it matter whether the aid organisation is the neutral Red Cross, or a private non-governmental, purely workers' organisation?

joan
revolutionary situation ?

d-man wrote (# 126 ) :

Quote : “On the other hand, it's the task of revolutionaries, not just to analyze or predict, but also to actively intervene(...) If this appeal to active engagement is serious, and not just pacifist illusions, etc. then I understand it means the ICC is calling for revolution. And here I'm the one who is seen as less excited about prospect of revolution, because I point out how the situation is different from Lenin's time.”

1) One has to be careful not to fall into the mistake of the CWO which, in relation to Poland 1980, titled "Revolution now !"
The ICC strongly criticised this position and the CWO later also recognised that it was wrong in its call at that time.
The mass strike in Poland in 1980 was a high point in the workers' struggle, a crowning moment in the international wave of workers' struggles of 1978-1980, but unfortunately it did not resonate sufficiently, was not understood sufficiently by the rest of the working class, especially in Western Europe (despite the efforts of, certainly, the ICC to make this important experience known and understood internationally).
The bourgeoisie, both in Poland and the Eastern Bloc and in Western Europe and the rest of the world, apparently understood the situation better and did everything possible to curb this threat.
And today in Ukraine there is not even a sign of massive, radical and autonomous workers struggle.

2)The ICC is a proletarian-revolutionary organisation. But this does not mean that it considers the proletarian world revolution possible immediately, today or tomorrow.
(This in contrast to e.g. Bakunin and other "revolutionary anarchists" who consider the revolution (whatever they mean by that) always and everywhere possible, because (almost) exclusively dependent on "the will of the people, of the masses.)
And with that the ICC finds itself in the tradition of Marx and Engels, who after their misjudgement of the situation in 1848-49 (prol.rev.possible) committed themselves to the slow, peaceful organization of the working class (without ever renouncing their past and without ever discounting the possibility and necessity of a prol. worldrev in the future and also in the tradition of Lenin and other bolsheviks who in July 1917 put the brakes on an uprising in Petrogad because they considered the chances unfavourable, but later in the same year did everything possible so that the working class would take full control of the pol. power in its own hands, which resulted in the Octoberrev.
I think d-man also agrees with this.
Of course the situation today is different from Lenin's time.

joan
1)Russia-Sweden 2) Arctic

Following the requests for accession to NATO by Finland and Sweden, as an unexpected and certainly unintended for Russia consequence of the war in Ukraine.

 

1) The relationship between Finland and Russia /"Soviet Union" is fairly well known.

There is even the term "finlandisation" in political parlance that describes a part of this relationship.

Finland currently has a common border with Russia of 1340 km.

The relationshop between Sweden and Russia is much less known,

although Sweden and Russia / the Russian empire also fought many wars against each other (15-19th century).(Note 1)

If I am not mistaken, Sankt- Petersburg (capital of Russia until 1918) was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great on territory conquered after a war against Sweden. (Note 2)

There is also a constant use / abuse of history in the current war in Ukraine.

E.g. by Russia not only with a reference to WW 2 and Nazism, but also with references to the historical "trinity" of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as the cradle of the “Great Russian culture and civilisation”.

I ask myself, does the history of the relationship between Sweden and Russia and the various Russian-Swedish wars still play an important role today or could it start to play an important role? (Note 3)

 

2) The Arctic belongs to the territory of Russia, to the current NATO member states Norway, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, the USA, Canada and to the candidate NATO member states Finland and Sweden.

The melting of the polar ice due to climate change and the consequent creation of new waterways can (not to say will) have important consequences for these states.

In the current war for Ukraine, the Black Sea is very important (narrow passage to the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by Ukraine, Russia, the NATO member states Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the aspirant to the NATO since 2008 Georgia.

With the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO (in addition to the other NATO member states along the Baltic Sea) Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Germany) and thus with the control over and even the possibility of closing off the Baltic Sea, will the Arctic not gain much more importance, especially for Russia, as a trade route, but also as a military route and area for possible (military) conflicts?

 

Note 1

Sweden had the reputation of a peaceful, neutral country.

But this was different in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was a European superpower, involved in numerous wars and possessing a small number of modest "overseas territories" in Africa, North America and Asia.

From 1814 it has not waged war, but did play a dubious role in WW2 (iron ore to Nazi Germany, German troops could cross Sweden to invade Norway and Norwegian members of the resistance could be arrested in Sweden).

 

Note 2

Curious, but this German name was until the beginning of WW 1, the official name of the capital of tsarist Russia.

So it is not at all surprising that at the beginning of WW 1 it was changed into the more Russian sounding Petrograd (under which name the city also experienced the revolutionary events of 1917).

 

Note 3

We should not overestimate the importance of the use/abuse of history, but certainly not underestimate it either.

A few (rather random) examples from a very long series :

-Very well known is the insult Huns for the Germans in WW1

(The only historical basis for this insult could be that a number of Germanic tribes joined the Huns.)

-In WW 1 or even in WW 2 the German propaganda towards the USA used the fact that British troops had burned down the White House during the war of 1812 between the UK and the USA.

-Various army units in Nazi Germany, especially Waffen SS units, referred in a positive sense to the (distant) past:

Wiking, Prinz Eugen, Florian Geyer, Hohenstaufen, Frundsberg, Götz von Berlichingen, Skanderbeg, etc.

Such a reference is, by the way, common among army units in all countries, which often refer to a "glorious and heroic" past in their flags, their insignia, their denominations.

Proletarian and communist organisations are also often "guilty" of such historical references in their denominations (e.g. Spartakusbund) and there is nothing against that in itself, as long as they are historically justified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joan
"encirclement" of Russia,also in the Arctic

Small addition to # 132, point 2
In case it is not yet clear :
also in the Arctic there is an "encirclement" of Russia.
Reason enough for Putin and his faithful to get nervous, to feel threatened.
So plenty of grounds for Russia's nationalistic propaganda.

joan
fraternisations, class resistance against the war

Report on imperialist tensions (May 2022) Signification and impact of the war in Ukraine”

What impact on the working class?

In conclusion, we must understand that the conditions of war between the first and second world wars on the one hand and those of today on the other are fundamentally different and, consequently, also the perspectives for the proletariat. If the slide into barbarism in Ukraine is destructive and brutal, the meaning of such conflicts is also more difficult for the working class to grasp. Whereas fraternisations became technically and politically possible during the First World War - with workers still able to communicate across the trenches - today there is no such potential. Nor are there hundreds of thousands of people massed together on the fronts, with possibilities for discussion, mass reactions against their superiors and revolt.

So we cannot expect any class reaction on the war front at the moment, even if Russian soldiers may desert or refuse to be conscripted for Ukraine. Today, the working class does not have the capacity to offer class resistance against the imperialist war - neither in Ukraine, nor in Russia - nor at this moment in the West. As for the more general perspectives for the development of the class struggle today, these are addressed in the report on the situation of the class struggle. 09.05.2022” International Review 2022 » nr 168

 

Translated from French (the text did not yet appear in English) and set in bold by me.

Some thoughts and questions hereby.

Quote :
"Whereas fraternisations became technically and politically possible during the First World War - with workers still able to communicate across the trenches - today there is no such potential."
- For fraternisations one also needs two sides, like in WW 1 with Germans and British/French/Belgians (Western Front) or with Germans/Members of the Austro-Hungarian Army and members of the Russian Army(Eastern Front).
- At the moment there is the (understandable) hatred of Ukrainians against soldiers of the Russian army (or even against the population of Russia) and maybe there is also a hatred of Russians, especially of Russian soldiers against the "Ukrainian Nazis, who continue to resist tooth and nail against the liberators of the Ukrainian people" (the official explanation of the Kremlin (Putin), fuelled by the experiences in Ukraine itself).
But is this hatred so different from the inflated hatred that existed during WW 1 between Germans and Russians, between Germans and the British, between Germans and the French, etc.? (Note 1)
- In a certain sense, fraternisations between members of the Ukrainian and Russian armies could be much easier than during WW 1, because today in Ukraine both sides speak the same language (Russian) or at least a very similar one is spoken or understood.
However, the element of language does not determine fraternisation or mutual understanding and solidarity between proletarians and revolutionaries who speak and understand different languages, and if it did, the cause of world revolution would be in a very bad shape.
(Note 2)
Quote :
"So we cannot expect any class reaction on the war front at the moment, even if Russian soldiers may desert or refuse to be conscripted for Ukraine. Today, the working class does not have the capacity to offer class resistance against the imperialist war - neither in Ukraine, nor in Russia - nor at this moment in the West."
– Shouldn't desertions and refuses against conscription for the war in Ukraine also come from two sides ?
So not only on the Russian side, but also on the Ukrainian side ?
– And should they not be massive, collective and thus normally also conscious and well thought-out to be a real class reaction ?
That they will also come on the Ukrainian side is in the short (and probably even middle) term very unlikely, especially since Ukraine is today in one way or another part of a "coalition" led by the USA and Ukraine is “allowed” to do the dirty work for this "coalition", i.e. to "teach Russia a lesson", "put in its place".
Russia, on the other hand, stands alone, apart from some "allies" and states that want to remain "neutral".
I am also thinking here, taking into account all the very big differences, of the situation in Russia in 1918-1919, in which the desertions and the unwillingness to fight of the Russian army, at the same time as the German army was still fairly firmly standing, led to the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in which Russia had to make heavy concessions to the Centrals.
- There is talk of the capacity of the working class at this time (perhaps better said the non-capacity of the working class) for class resistance against the imperialist war.
Can we make meaningful predictions about the capacity of the working class, given e.g. also in WW 1 a proletarian uprising, let alone an international revolutionary wave as in 1917-1923 was seen by many, also many past and/or future revolutionaries as very unlikely or even impossible / utopian ?
If I understand correctly, Lenin expected from the beginning of WW 1 a proletarian revolution as a consequence of the world war, but he too was mistaken about the right time, he was "pessimistic" about it in the sense that he and "the older people" would probably not live to see it.

Note 1
- There is the "pet name" Huns, mentioned by me earlier, which was used by British propaganda to describe the Germans,with reference to the warlike, arsonist reputation of this Mongolian tribe, led by Attilla (wrongly said by me earlier led by Dzengis Khan
- Between Frenchmen and Germans there was the "hereditary enmity",especially around Alsace-Lorraine.

- On the German side there was the expression "Jeder Schritt ein Brit, jeder Stoss ein Franzose, jeder Schuss ein Russ."
Translated: “Every step a British,every punch (of the bayonet) a Frenchmen,every shot a Russian.”
Or "Every step,every punch (of the bayonet) ,every shot a died British, Frenchmen or Russian."
Note 2
I am thinking here of the fragment in the film "Reds" about the life of the USA journalist and later communist John Reed, in which he is asked to speak at a workers' meeting in a factory in Russia in 1917 and his speech in English is spontaneously translated into Russian by a worker who had still lived and worked in the USA (as there were many then).
Note 3

Lecture on the 1905 Revolution[6]

We of the older generation may not live to see the decisive battles of this coming revolution. But I can, I believe, express the confident hope that the youth which is working so splendidly in the socialist movement of Switzerland, and of the whole world, will be fortunate enough not only to fight, but also to win, in the coming proletarian revolution.(set in bold by me)

[6] The Lecture on the 1905 Revolution was delivered in German on January 9 (22), 1917 at a meeting of young workers in the Zurich People’s House. Lenin began working on the lecture in the closing days of 1916. Published: First published in Pravda No. 18, January 22, 1925. Written in German before January 9 (22), 1917. Signed: N. Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 23, pages 236-253.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/jan/09.htm#fwV23E103

d-man
joan wrote: For

joan wrote:
For fraternisations one also needs two sides

In that ICC passage I would not (or less) have stressed that the difference (with conditions of world wars) lies in the possibility for fraternisation between 2 sides. I'd stressed rather it lies in the possibility of revolt against the own side. The ICC text notes eg the absence of mobilisation on Russia's side.

joan wrote:
There is talk of the capacity of the working class at this time (perhaps better said the non-capacity of the working class) for class resistance against the imperialist war.
Can we make meaningful predictions about the capacity of the working class, given e.g. also in WW 1 a proletarian uprising, let alone an international revolutionary wave as in 1917-1923 was seen by many, also many past and/or future revolutionaries as very unlikely or even impossible / utopian ?

The claim about a lack of capacity was I think justified with the preceding point (ie difference with the conditions of war in the WW1).

Even the bourgeoisie prior to WW1 understood that revolution would follow war. And during the darkest period of the war Kautsky in 1916 predicted the Russian revolution.

But I expect that the ICC will see the resistance of the proletariat today to come from the economic distress.

Just to return to another previous argument in the thread; if one doesn't see anti-war capacity (due to differences in conditions of war, like eg lack of mobilisation), then one can't claim to be upholding Lenin's old slogan of "turning the imperialist war into a civil war". Forumteam once pressed my whether I believe the slogan applies today. It wasn't and still isn't clear to me, what Forumteam's position on this is, but KT's post #55 (addressed to Mizar) assumed that the ICC's position today is "calling on workers to ‘turn the imperialist war into a civil war’; to ‘Turn your guns against your officers’?" Perhaps KT (and maybe also baboon) is wrong, and the ICC's position actually doesn't apply that slogan today, due to differences in conditions.

joan
history relationship Russia-Sweden

As if I were at my beck and call...

in connection with # 132

Quote

"I ask myself, does the history of the relationship between Sweden and Russia and the various Russian-Swedish wars still play an important role today or could it start to play an important role? "

 

See "The Guardian", of today Jun 10, 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/putin-compares-himself-to-...

Some quotes from "The Guardian" article

Putin compares himself to Peter the Great in quest to take back Russian lands” (Title)

President draws parallel with tsar who waged war on Sweden and says campaign in Ukraine stems from ‘basic values’”

Peter the Great waged the great northern war for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned [what was Russia’s],” the Russian president said on Thursday after a visiting an exhibition dedicated to the tsar.”

Peter the Great, an autocratic moderniser admired by liberal and conservative Russians alike, ruled for 43 years and gave his name to a new capital, St Petersburg [Note]– Putin’s home town – that he ordered built on land he conquered from Sweden.

It was a project that cost the lives of tens of thousands of serfs, conscripted as forced labourers to build Peter’s “window to Europe” in the swamps of the Baltic Sea coast.

Before Putin’s visit to the exhibition, state television aired a documentary praising Peter the Great as a tough military leader, greatly expanding Russian territory at the expense of Sweden and the Ottoman empire with the modernised army and navy he built.”

 

Note

This contradicts Wikipedia in different languages :

- "The city was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703 on the site of a captured Swedish fortress, and was named after apostle Saint Peter." (Wikipedia English)

-"Contrairement à ce qui est souvent supposé, le nom de la ville n'est pas donné par Pierre le Grand mais par son saint patron, l'apôtre Simon Pierre." (Wikipedia French)

 

-"Anders als oft angenommen, hat Peter der Große die Stadt nicht nach sich selbst benannt, sondern nach seinem Schutzheiligen, dem Apostel Simon Petrus." ( Wikipedia German)

But that's only a detail, of course, as the name giver and patron saint of Tsar Peter the Great was, as mentioned, Saint Peter.

joan
prisoners of war of both sides

In connection with the Russia-Sweden relationship and the foundation of Saint-Petersburg I was reading :

"The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; several Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov"(28) (set in bold by me).

28. "Consulate General of Sweden - Sweden and Saint Petersburg". Swedenabroad.com. 17 October 2005. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2009.

(Wikipedia, Saint-Petersburg)

The issue of prisoners of war (their treatment or mistreatment up to and including immediate or slow killing) is important in any war.

And that not only for those directly involved (the prisoners of war, their families, their guards (possibly torturers and murderers)), but also years and decades later in the perception of inhabitants of other states.

And it is no different in this war for Ukraine, with e.g. the members of the Azov battalion captured by Russia after the siege of the Azov steel factory in Mariupol (widely reported in the media).

I know little about members of the Russian army captured by Ukraine.

 

d-man
prisoners of war may do forced labor

Regarding prisoners of war, as Joan and I were talking about "forced labor" (on the Trotskyism thread), I just mention here that according to the Geneva Convention, forced labor is permissible for prisoners of war.

joan
labour of prisoners of war

Thanks d-man for the info.
Of course the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war (POW) was not yet there in the time of Peter the Great.
It was only started after WW 1 and the first rules were there only in 1929 (extensively updated in 1949, so years after WW 2). (Note 1)
And it all comes down to how one interprets the matter, whether the victors of the moment, those who took the other prisoners of war, can or want to control their feelings of revenge towards the defeated.
During WW 2 or in connection with it (Note 2) there was
- The detention for years and the forced labour of POW of the German army in the "Soviet Union", maybe also in the UK and in the USA.
- The employment by the nazi-regime of POW of the "Soviet Army" in the coalmines in Belgium during WW 2 and the employment of POW of the German army in the same coalmines after WW 2.
- The employment of POW (voluntarily ?) of the German army in the life threatening work of clearing mines after WW 2, e.g. in the Netherlands, e.g. in Denmark. (Note 3)
Note 1

"The Third Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War was first adopted in 1929, but significantly revised at the 1949 conference."
"Third Geneva Convention of 1949, abbreviated GCIII
Official : Geneva convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. "
"Section 3 (Articles 49-57) covers the type of labour that a prisoner of war may be compelled to do, taking such factors as rank, age, and sex into consideration, and that which because it is unhealthy or dangerous can only be done by prisoners of war who volunteer for such work. It goes into details about such things as the accommodation, medical facilities, and that even if the prisoner of war works for a private person the military authority remains responsible for them. Rates of pay for work done are covered by Article 62 in the next section.
Section 4 (Articles 58-68) covers the financial resources of prisoners of war."
(Wikipedia English)

Note 2
In the current war in Ukraine there are often references to WW2, both (mostly) by Putin and his entourage (official discourse : The goal of this special military operation is the "denazification" of Ukraine.” ,but also on the Ukrainian side "Putin is (the new) Hitler."
Note 3
See about the mine clearance in Denmark by POW of the German army, mostly weakened teenagers, just after the end of WW 2, the film "Land of mine", Danish: "Under sandet" from 2015.

 

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joan
Ukraine,EU ,war,...

11 June 2022 : visit of the President of the European Commission of the so-called "European Union"(EU), Ursula Von der Leyden to Kiev
As known Ukraine wanted / wants to become a member of the EU.
But, according to the terms of accession(?) (Note 1), a country at war cannot become a member of the EU.
Was that one of the reasons for Putin and his faithful to start a war in Ukraine, was that part of the calculations of the Putin clique ?
But one can argue against that : there was already war in Ukraine, especially since 2014 in the Donbas , so what has changed ?
But the fighting in the Donbas could have been considered by the EU as a limited domestic problem,like Northern Ireland and the IRA for the UK and the Basque Country and ETA for Spain.
For, as we know, the bourgeoisie can be very "flexible", very "creative" in the application of its own rules.
There is also the Czech Republic, for example.
That country became a member of the EU, despite the fact that it did not comply with certain rules concerning human rights.
See the very violent expulsion of Germans/German speakers (Sudeten Germans) after WW2, prepared by the Beneš decrees.

Note 1
I have searched for the EU accession conditions, but I have not found them.
Maybe I did not look hard enough.

 

joan
important topics related to "Ukraine"

There are several important topics related to "Ukraine".

Unfortunately, at the moment I do not have the time to elaborate on them.

I hope to have a little more time to elaborate on it soon.

Listed not necessarily in order of importance

1) KRAS and declaration of solidarity by ICT

KRAS( internationalist group in Russia,also internationalist position on the war in Ukraine) = victim of (ex)anarchists who made names and addresses of KRAS-militants public, thus making them extra vulnerable to police and nationalist gangs.

See :

https://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2022-06-13/about-anarchists-who-forg...

https://aitrus.info/node/5974

Again about "anarchists" who forget the principles /

(also on https://arbeidersstemmen.wordpress.com/2022/06/13/oorlog-in-oekraine-ver...

Just to show the "quality" of this site/blog : "arbeidersstemmen"/"Arbeiterstimmen" Fredo Corvo is about Gaizka("Nuevo Curso") fully in agreement with the IGCL ("War or Revolution") against the ICC !)

2) general strike in Italy,May 20, 2022, against war in Ukraine, but also in Yemen, Syria,... "promoted by all the base/rank and file trade unions"and  also supported by ICP, Firenze (Il Partito) (?)

See : -https://www.international-communist-party.org/English/TheCPart/TCP_043.h....

(Also on https://arbeiterstimmen.wordpress.com/2022/05/23/italien-20-mai-streik-g...

On arbeiterstimmen/arbeidersstemmen/fredo corvo see warning at 1)

3) Slogans and methods from WW1 applicable to war in Ukraine ?

- "Turn the imperialist war into a civil war" (Lenin and group bolsheviks around him, 1914)

-”The main enemy is in the own country" (Karl Liebknecht, Spartakusbund)

-”The defeat of one's own government is the lesser of two evils" (Lenin and group bolsheviks around him)

-Fraternisation between soldiers

-weapons turned against own officers

-soldiers' councils

4) Are there any "revolutionary situations" possible / foreseeable in the present war ? (d-man) ?

 

 

 

 

 

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