After the Fascist Pogrom in Odessa: Advance the Struggle against the Counterrevolution in the Ukraine!

Commemoration for the Fallen Fighters in the Struggle against the Counterrevolution! All Out for the International Day of Antifascist Solidarity on 8 May!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 6.5.2014, www.thecommunists.net

 

1.            The recent massacre of forty antifascists in Odessa, killed in a trade union headquarters set ablaze by a fascist mob, is just another alarming development in the growing counterrevolutionary danger in the Ukraine. This fascist pogrom further demonstrates the desperate measures to which the right-wing regime in Kiev will resort to smash the spreading uprising of workers and youth in the eastern and southern Ukraine.

2.            The RCIT salutes the antifascists who died in Odessa as well as those who perished in the eastern Ukraine in the just struggle against the counterrevolutionary regime in Kiev. We send our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The RCIT repeats that it is the duty of socialists in the Ukraine and internationally to support the uprising in the Ukraine against the right-wing regime, while at the same time giving no support to Russian imperialism.

3.            The antifascist pogrom in Odessa demonstrates once again the reactionary character of the Maidan movement. Naturally, we do not maintain that all those who participated in the protests at Maidan Square were fascists. But, from its beginning, this movement rallied around reactionary goals (joining the imperialist EU) and was controlled by right-wing parties, including the fascist Svoboda and Pravy Sector parties. As a result, when these forces successfully overthrew the Yanukovych government, the new right-wing regime immediately subordinated itself entirely to US and EU imperialism. In addition, the fascist forces, Svoboda and Pravy Sektor, hold eight out of the twenty-seven governmental portfolios, and account for four out of twenty-four regional governorships.

4.            All this illustrates just how scandalous was the support given by numerous centrist forces to the Maidan movement – support which paved the way for the strengthening of the fascist pogromists and which, therefore, makes the following centrist organizations complicit in a political crime: the Mandelite Fourth International, Peter Taffee’s CWI, the Cliffite SWP/IST, the ISO [USA], and the Morenoite LIT-FI. The UIT-FI even outdid the irresponsibility of the others by hailing the Maidan movement and its victory against the Yanukovych government as a “democratic movement” or even as a “democratic revolution.” The future revolutionary Workers’ International, which in our opinion will be the Fifth International, has to be build without the participation of and against such centrists who support the counterrevolution.

5.            These political crimes of centrism once again emphasize how illusionary was, is, and will continue to be, the building of a joint pluralistic Left Unity Party or even a “reconstructed Fourth International” which purports to unite those who support the counterrevolution with those who are waging a life and death struggle against such reaction. The new International must be built by authentic revolutionary forces which will fuse with fresh forces of the advanced and militant sectors of the working class and youth.

6.            The socialist Ukrainian organization Borotba, who lost comrades in the Odessa pogrom, has called for an international day of antifascist solidarity on 8 May. The RCIT fully supports this initiative and calls all socialist and democratic forces to join in antifascist actions on this day.

* Victory to the popular uprising in the eastern Ukraine! For full autonomy rights for the Russian-speaking regions!

* Build workers’ and popular councils and militias to defeat the reactionary regime and its armed forces!

* Down with the reactionary, pro-Western imperialist regime in Kiev which includes fascist forces!

* Down with US/EU imperialist expansion towards the East! No to Russian imperialism!

* Expropriate all oligarchs! For the nationalization of industry and the banks under workers’ control!

* Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent workers’ republic in the Ukraine which guarantees full and equal rights to all national groups!

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

Appendix:

 

We refer readers also to the RCIT’s past statements on the Ukraine crisis:

RCIT: Counterrevolution and Mass Resistance in the Ukraine, 17.4.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/mass-resistance-in-ukraine/

Joint Statement of the RCIT and the Movement to Socialism (MAS, Russia): Ukraine: Rivalry between Imperialist Powers escalates after Right-Wing Coup: Stop the Imperialist Saber-Rattling! 2.3.2014

MAS: Ukraine/Russia: The victory over the imperialist colonialism is impossible without the proletarian revolution! http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/mas-declaration-5-3-2014/

RCIT and MAS: Right-Wing Forces Take Power in the Ukraine: Mobilize the Working Class against the New Government! 25.2.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/right-wing-coup-in-ukraine/

MAS: No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!, 22.2.2014 http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-to-terror-of-bandera-fascists-stop.html

RCIT: “Ukraine: Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent Workers’ Republic!” 18.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/ukraine-neither-brussels-nor-moscow/

 

For an outline of our approach to the complex issues of progressive struggles and imperialist interference see:

Michael Pröbsting: Liberation struggles and imperialist interference. The failure of sectarian “anti-imperialism” in the West: Some general considerations from the Marxist point of view and the example of the democratic revolution in Libya in 2011, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/liberation-struggle-and-imperialism/

 

On imperialism in general and Western imperialism in particular we refer readers to:

Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South – Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism (The book has 448 pages and includes 139 Tables and Figures.). You can find more details about the book and how to order it on our website www.great-robberyof-the-south.net. The RCIT has published a summary of the book on its website at http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-summary/

 

On Russian imperialism:

Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/

Michael Pröbsting: Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers. A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis, 28 March 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-china-and-russia/

 

Counterrevolution and Mass Resistance in the Ukraine

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 17.4.2014, www.thecommunists.net

 

1.            The looming civil war in the east of the Ukraine, the result of the popular uprising in the region, opens a new facet to the deep political crisis which is shaking the country since November 2013. These new developments can only be understood, and accurate tactical conclusions can only be drawn, if one recognizes the overall context. Thus, the RCIT reaffirms its analysis of exacerbation of inter-imperialist rivalry between the great imperialist powers: the US/EU on the one hand and Russia (and China) on the other. The Maidan movement was, and the new regime in Kiev is, a proxy of US and EU imperialism in order to expand its influence to the east. At the same time, the Yanukovych government was an instrument of Russian imperialism. We also reaffirm our refusal to give any support to the reactionary Maidan Movement while, at the same time, giving no support to the reactionary Yanukovych government. After the overthrow of Yanukovych’s government, the RCIT stated its defense of the national rights of the Russian-speaking population in the east and south, without giving any support to Russian imperialism. While the mass uprising of sectors of the Russian-speaking population in the east contains contradictory elements, its democratic resistance against the looming oppression by the pro-Western, pro-IMF, Russophobic and right-wing and fascist regime in Kiev is its dominant character. Therefore, the RCIT supports the popular rebellion in the east and calls for its victory against the Kiev-loyalist military forces. At the same time, revolutionaries should fight inside this movement against reactionary, pro-Russian imperialist and chauvinist forces. The overall perspective has to be the formation of democratically controlled action councils and workers militias in order to advance the struggle for a workers’ government.

 

The Offensive of US/EU Imperialism and the Counter-Offensive of Russian Imperialism

 

2.            The general background to the developments in the Ukraine in the last half year is the heightening of inter-imperialist rivalry between the great imperialist powers, the US/EU on the one hand and Russia (and China) on the other. Both the US/EU and Russia are struggling for hegemony in the Ukraine. After the overthrow of the Yanukovych government and the imposition of a right-wing regime, US and EU imperialism gained an advantage. In its countermove, the Putin regime struck back by annexing Crimea and placing immense pressure on the Ukraine via its debt obligations to Russia and the natural gas it imports from her.

3.            Western governments and media portray Russia as an aggressive Great Power that wants to subjugate the Ukraine. Indeed, Russia is an emerging great imperialist power which has clearly demonstrated its own reactionary character, for example, by its war of extermination against the Chechen people. Nevertheless the Western governments and media are a model of imperialist hypocrisy. Wasn’t it the West that continued to collaborate closely with Russia during and following its Chechen wars from 1994?! Furthermore, haven’t US and EU imperialism been waging classic colonial wars in Afghanistan since 2001 (with the help of Russia) let alone the more devastating one in Iraq (2003–2011), wars in which hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed?! And is it not obvious that it is precisely NATO and the EU which are permanently trying to expand their areas of influence towards the East?! A particular bizarre case of Western hypocrisy is NATO’s protest about Russian troops stationed … in Russia of all places, along its own eastern border! On the other hand, it is quite natural for these Western hypocrites that US and EU warships, combat aircraft, and ground troops operate thousands of kilometers away from their home countries in Central Europe, the Baltic States, and the Black Sea, close to Russia’s border! It is a central task for socialists living in the Western and Eastern imperialist countries to counter the reactionary and chauvinist offensive of their respective ruling classes.

 

A Balance Sheet of the Maidan Movement

 

4.            From the beginning of the political crisis in the Ukraine, the RCIT has closely followed developments there and has expressed its views in a number of statements. Here, we will only elaborate the main conclusions about this key theatre of political events during the past few months. As we have pointed out from the start, the political crisis of the Ukraine originated as a conflict between different factions of oligarchs, whose respective orientations reflected the ongoing rivalry between US/EU imperialism on the one hand and Russian imperialism on the other for influence in the country. This is why the RCIT supported neither side in this conflict, but instead called for independent, working class mobilizations.

5.            Obviously the Yanukovych government represented the interests of a group of oligarchs with a pro-Russian orientation. However, at no time did the Maidan movement display a progressive, democratic nature. Rather, the movement was founded, top-down by pro-Western parties, on the very day that President Yanukovych refused to sign the association agreement with the EU. While undoubtedly the movement contained some liberal, middle class elements hoping for more democracy, as a whole it was dominated from start to finish by an unstable coalition of two right-wing conservative parties (Fatherland and UDAR), the fascist Svoboda party, and the Neo-Nazis of the Pravy Sektor. These reactionary elements attacked progressive and trade union forces as soon as the latter openly intervened with flags and banners.

6.            In sum, the Maidan movement differed in a number of ways from a democratic mass movement with a non-revolutionary leadership like those which have arisen in other countries: (1) it came into being as a movement supporting a reactionary goal (joining the imperialist EU) instead of, for example, one fighting for democratic rights against a dictatorship; (2) from its emergence until its accession to power, the movement was tightly controlled by a small group of reactionary leaders (including fascists); and (3) the only time the masses identifying with the movement refused to follow its leadership was when the Pravy Sektor Nazis called for the cancellation of the compromise with the Yanukovych government. For these reasons, the RCIT maintains that the dominant character of the Maidan movement was not the desire for democratic rights (while this certainly played an important role among some sectors of the movement); rather we see this movement as having been a reactionary tool which fought for a reactionary goal (joining the EU) and for the interests of a pro-Western sector of the ruling class as well as those of Western imperialism.

7.            For these reasons, we consider as politically criminal the support exhibited for the Maidan movement, as a kind of legitimate democratic struggle, by most of the larger centrist organizations (e.g., the Mandelite Fourth International, Peter Taffee’s CWI, the Cliffite SWP/IST, the ISO [USA], and the Morenoite LIT-FI). These centrists have again demonstrated their capitulation to Western imperialism and have to be characterized as pro-Western social-imperialist Leftists. Once again, we witness how the lack of coherent Marxist methodology and analysis inevitably leads to centrist confusion and vacillations and ultimately into the camp of counter-revolution.

 

On the Overthrow in Kiev and the New Right-Wing Regime

 

8.            The overthrow itself was the result of the Pravy Sektor’s military initiative following their rejection of the compromise which the other three parties of the Maidan movement signed with the Yanukovych government. The rapid growth of fascist forces should serve as an alarm for workers’ movements both in the Ukraine and throughout Europe in general. For the first time since 1945, fascists entered a European government. However, it would be inaccurate to denounce the present government in Kiev as a “fascist government.” Rather, it is a pro-Western coalition government composed of right-wing conservative parties and fascists, the latter being a minority: Svoboda and Pravy Sektor hold eight out of the twenty-seven governmental portfolios, and account for four out of twenty-four regional governorships.

 

The Mass Resistance against the Right-Wing Regime in the East

 

9.            By threatening to abolish Russian as an official language in the Ukraine, the new right-wing government immediately demonstrated that it constitutes a threat for the large portion of the Ukrainian population whose native language is Russian. (According to recent polls, this includes about 43–46% of the country’s total population, who actually are the majority of the population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.) In addition, following the overthrow, the Communist Party was outlawed in several regions, and left-wing and trade union organizations were attacked by the fascists. Under these conditions, the RCIT called for mass mobilizations and the formation of armed self-defense units to fight back against the fascist threat. We call for the right of self-determination for national minorities, including the right of secession. The RCIT supported from the beginning the resistance of the Russian-speaking population and the formation of self-defense movements in the south and east of the Ukraine against the fascists and the new right-wing government.

10.          We therefore support the popular rebellion of the workers and poor in the east. Activists have occupied a number of buildings in nine cities in the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv Oblast. This movement has a contradictory nature but, overall, it is predominantly democratic, which becomes obvious if one compares it with the Maidan movement:

i) The uprising in the east is overwhelmingly proletarian in its class composition in contrast to the Maidan movement. The latter was dominated by the middle class, university students, and rural people from the western Ukraine. The current uprising in the east, on the other hand, is dominated by workers and working class youth. They are now receiving support from organized contingents of the Donbass miners – the heart of the Ukrainian working class.

ii) The uprising in the east is much more spontaneous than the Maidan movement was, and is thus a more authentic expression of the popular will. While the Maidan movement was tightly controlled by the Fatherland party, UDAR, the fascist Svoboda, and the Neo-Nazi Pravy Sector, the current uprising in the east is not controlled by any party. The parties which have traditionally been strong in the affected regions – the Party of the Regions and the Communist Party – have hardly any influence in the movement.

iii) The uprising in the east was launched as a struggle for democratic rights – against the discrimination of the Russian language and against the dominance by the right-wing regime in Kiev, which included fascists. By contrast, the Maidan movement began based on the demand that the Ukraine join the imperialist European Union.

iv) The powerful influence of fascist forces in the Maidan movement ensured that socialist and progressive forces were beaten and expelled as soon as they openly intervened. Contrary to this, socialist forces like Borotba and others are openly intervening in the proletarian uprising in the east and have achieved an influential in the movement. In addition, demands raised in several declarations include anti-capitalist demands, like the nationalization of the industry.

11.          Recognizing the fundamentally democratic and progressive character of the uprising in the east must not cause socialists to overlook the contradictory and reactionary elements participating in this movement (in contrast to various Stalinists and pro-Russian social-imperialist leftists). The spontaneous nature of the movement also has the negative consequence that the working class cannot democratically control the movement and its local leaders. As a result, various adventurer and chauvinist bonsai warlords are able to take leading positions in the movement. The movement also contains Great Russian chauvinist and semi-fascist elements, albeit they do not dominate the movement as was the case in the Maidan movement. In addition, openly pro-Russian imperialist forces and agents are trying to influence the movement. The RCIT repeats that Ukraine’s subjugation to Russia is in no way better than its subjugation to Western imperialism.

12.          The democratic uprising in the east is another validation of RCIT’s position that every democratic and national movement has to be thoroughly studied, and must not automatically be viewed simply as a proxy in the intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry. In a world dominated by imperialist monopolies and states, it is unavoidable that these great powers will try to utilize national and democratic struggles to advance their influence. However, one has to analyze concretely whether or not a given movement has become totally subordinate to and a proxy of an imperialist power. Given that the development of movements is determined by the living laws of class struggle, they can naturally also change their character. If, for example, Russian troops would invade the Eastern Ukraine, the local uprising would lose its popular character and become a proxy of Russian imperialism. In such a situation, revolutionaries could no longer support the rebellion.

 

Crimea, Russians and the Tatars

 

13.          Applying the Leninist policy on national self-determination, the RCIT defends the right of the people of Crimea to secede from the Ukraine and join Russia. While, given the presence of Russian soldiers, the referendum which was held was certainly not conducted under democratic conditions, there is no doubt that it reflected the authentic desire of the Russian majority of the Crimea to join Russia.

14.          At the same time, Marxists must defend the right of self-determination for the national minority of the Crimean Tatars. The Tatars were formerly the majority in Crimea, but suffered systematic oppression and expulsion by the Tsarist Empire. For example, about 100,000 Tatars were expelled after the Crimean War (1853–56). At the same time, the Tsarist regime encouraged systematic settlement of Russian colonialists in the Crimea. As a result, the Tatars became a minority in Crimea in the later 19th century. In 1897, they constituted 34.1% of the Crimean population and, by 1921, only 25.9%. In 1944, the Stalin regime collectively deported the Crimean Tatars to Central Asia. Today, about 300,000 Tatars live in the Crimea.

15.          Following the recent Russian annexation of the Crimea, the Tatars can once again expect new oppressive measures against them. According to the Moscow Times, Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev wants the “Tatars to vacate part of the land where they now live in exchange for new territory elsewhere in the region” (The Moscow Times 19 March 2014). This is understandably perceived by the Tatars as a threat for new expulsions, to which the official leaders of the Crimean Tatars have responded with demands for full autonomy and a referendum on this issue. Not surprisingly, these demands have already been rejected by the pro-Russian Crimean government. The RCIT unconditionally supports the struggle for full and equal national rights for the Crimean Tatars, without giving the slightest political support to their bourgeois leadership.

 

Perspectives and Tasks

 

16.          The focus of the class struggle is currently in the eastern part of the Ukraine. Revolutionaries should support the popular rebellion in the east and call for its victory against the Kiev-loyalist military forces. The central task is to transform the movement from one which is focused on the occupation and defense of buildings to regular mass assemblies in places of work and neighborhoods. From these assemblies, action councils should be formed which will elect and control delegates. On such a basis, the movement should call a democratic congress to coordinate the resistance and to form the basis for a workers’ government. Equally, such democratic mass organs should control the workers’ and popular militias.

17.          It is equally central that revolutionaries fight inside this movement against reactionary, pro-Russian imperialist and chauvinist forces. These forces are reactionary henchmen of Russian imperialism. While the Maidan slogan “Glory to the Ukraine” is reactionary, hailing Russian imperialism and its President Putin is no more progressive. This is particularly true given the history of the Ukrainian nation which for centuries has been characterized by systematic oppression by Greater Russian chauvinism – first under Tsarism until 1917 and subsequently, from the early 1930s onwards, by Stalinism. The popular uprising in the east must be transformed into an independent working class movement which expels all chauvinist and semi-fascist elements.

18.          Socialists should advocate complete equality for the Russian-language in the Ukraine and full autonomy and the right of self-government for the Russian-speaking provinces. While we defend the right of self-determination, including the right of secession, all indicators show that the huge majority of the population in the eastern part of the country does not desire such separation but rather more autonomous rights. Hence, revolutionaries should oppose the breaking up of the Ukraine and the annexation of its eastern provinces to Russia. Under current conditions, calling for the annexation of the east to Russia is simply propaganda for Russian imperialism. It is equally important that socialists struggle against Greater Russian animosity against the population of western Ukraine – even when such animosity disguises itself as “anti-fascism.”

19.          The democratic and national struggle in the east of the Ukraine has to be combined with the social struggle against the oligarchs and the Kiev regime. The Ukrainian working class will face continuous attacks by the new right-wing government, which has already announced a 50% rise in the price of gasoline effective as of 1 May, as dictated by the IMF. The government is also planning to lay off many public sector workers. These economic attacks against the workers will be exacerbated by Russia’s decision to raise the price of natural gas exported to the Ukraine. All this demonstrates how vital it is that the struggle against the looming fascist threat and for the defense of the rights of the Russian-speaking population of the Ukraine must be combined with mobilizations against these social attacks. Ukrainian socialists must link this struggle with a call for an immediate break with the IMF, NATO, and the EU as well as the nationalization of the country’s industry and financial sector under workers’ control. The goal has to be the overthrow of the present government and the formation of a workers’ government. To fight for the implementation of such a program, it is absolutely incumbent upon Ukrainian workers to establish an independent, revolutionary workers’ party.

 

 

* Victory to the popular uprising in the eastern Ukraine! For full autonomy rights for the Russian-speaking regions!

 

* Build workers’ and popular councils and militias to defeat the reactionary regime and its armed forces!

 

* Down with the reactionary, pro-Western imperialist regime in Kiev which includes fascist forces!

 

* Down with US/EU imperialist expansion towards the East! No to Russian imperialism!

 

* Expropriate all oligarchs! For the nationalization of industry and the banks under workers’ control!

 

* Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent workers’ republic in the Ukraine which guarantees full and equal rights to all national groups!

 

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

Appendix:

 

We refer readers also to the RCIT’s past statements on the Ukraine crisis:

Joint Statement of the RCIT and the Movement to Socialism (MAS, Russia): Ukraine: Rivalry between Imperialist Powers escalates after Right-Wing Coup: Stop the Imperialist Saber-Rattling! 2.3.2014

MAS: Ukraine/Russia: The victory over the imperialist colonialism is impossible without the proletarian revolution! http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/mas-declaration-5-3-2014/

RCIT and MAS: Right-Wing Forces Take Power in the Ukraine: Mobilize the Working Class against the New Government! 25.2.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/right-wing-coup-in-ukraine/

MAS: No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!, 22.2.2014 http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-to-terror-of-bandera-fascists-stop.html

RCIT: “Ukraine: Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent Workers’ Republic!” 18.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/ukraine-neither-brussels-nor-moscow/

 

For an outline of our approach to the complex issues of progressive struggles and imperialist interference see:

Michael Pröbsting: Liberation struggles and imperialist interference. The failure of sectarian “anti-imperialism” in the West: Some general considerations from the Marxist point of view and the example of the democratic revolution in Libya in 2011, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/liberation-struggle-and-imperialism/

 

On imperialism in general and Western imperialism in particular we refer readers to:

Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South – Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism (The book has 448 pages and includes 139 Tables and Figures.). You can find more details about the book and how to order it on our website www.great-robberyof-the-south.net. The RCIT has published a summary of the book on its website at http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-summary/

 

On Russian imperialism:

Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/

Michael Pröbsting: Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers. A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis, 28 March 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-china-and-russia/

 

Russia continues its Repression against Migrants

By the Editors of the Bulletin "Movement to Socialism“ (MAS), 22.3.2014, http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.com; The RCIT collaborates with the MAS, www.thecommunists.net

 

While the Russian government is busy "protecting" the rights of Russians in the Ukraine, the imperial secret police in Russia itself continues to repeatedly round up migrants.

 

Such, for example, did the police, the riot police and the secret service FSB conduct another "preventive raid" in the central market of Kaliningrad on March 22. They arrested 243 foreign citizens. However, according to the police department, only one (!) citizen of Uzbekistan of those arrested was identified as hiding from the investigation.

 

You can imagine what a howl would have raised by the Russian Foreign Ministry, if , for example, the Security Service of Ukraine together with the fascist “Pravy Sector” or the “National Guard” would have acted in such a way! What would they have said if they would have arrested 240 Russian citizens in Kiev as a "preventive measure".

 

However, such a policy of typical of Ukraine fascism has been the norm in Russia since a long time. Lawlessness and repression, especially against migrants, have become an integral part of the policy of the Russian regime.

 

This is a translation of an article which appeared originally in Russian language on the MAS website at http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/03/blog-post.html

 

Russia: Stop the Attacks on Migrant Workers Rights!

The Marxist position on migration

By the Editors of the Bulletin "Movement to Socialism“ (MAS), 13.2.2014, http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.com (The RCIT collaborates with the MAS)

 

The Russian authorities continue their policy of social genocide against migrant workers. Time and again, the Duma (Parliament) of the Russian Federation has passed laws restricting the labor rights of foreign workers. Currently, the Duma is considering legislation that would amend the country’s Labor Code. Among other things, the proposed amendments would require employers to dismiss foreign workers when their temporary or permanent residence permit expires or in the event that such a permit is either cancelled or not presented to the authorities within a month of its having being issued.

In this way, all migrant workers are actually turned into laborers working on the basis of fixed-term contracts. This is in contrast to citizens of Russia who, in accordance with the labor laws of the state, as a general rule are employed under unlimited-term employment contracts. In this way, the bourgeois-bureaucratic regime continues in its attempts to drive a wedge between the two components of the working class in Russia: Russians and non-indigenous migrants. This is done to perpetuate the status of migrants as "second class" workers, separating them from privileged employees, turning them into a caste of pariahs.

The Russian regime consciously and intentionally nurtures the growth of nationalist, racist, and xenophobic attitudes among both the citizens of Russia and the migrants. When the working class is fragmented into warring sectors on the basis of ethnicity and privilege, it is most conveniently turned into an object for both capitalist exploitation and state oppression.

The Marxist position on the issue of migration has no relation whatsoever to abstract humanism. Marxist politics are class-based, and strive for a clear understanding of the dialectical relationship between classes. The ultimate goal of socialists – the destruction of bourgeois society – involves both strategic and tactical objectives which are defined and executed in the context of the various phases and areas of revolutionary activity, together with the specific ways and means of the revolutionary struggle.

For capitalism, particularly in its imperialist stage, the migration of labor is in essence the same as the international flow of capital, and is inextricably linked with it. Any attempts to restrict or prohibit migration, to "close the borders," are merely calls for a reactionary utopia. It is only natural that the predominant flow of migrating labor is from the poor, semi-colonial countries to richer and imperialist centers.

Migrants are economically, socially, and politically powerless. The low cost of the reproduction of migrant labor power is, for the capitalists, a huge boon for increasing the rate of accumulation of surplus value – i.e., profits. In addition, by reducing the price of labor in the national labor markets, migrant workers objectively fill the role of strikebreakers for capitalists. Combined with racial, national, and cultural differences of migrant workers, the inherent role of migrants as scabs is vital to the capitalist’s splitting of the working class. Thus, labor migration is beneficial to the bourgeoisie, both economically and politically. Modern economies, including Russia’s, are in principle no longer possible without the use of migrant labor. Migrant workers have become part of a big army of the working class in Russia.

For us, Russian Bolshevik-Leninists, the primary strategic objective is the destruction of the Russian bourgeois-bureaucratic state and the expropriation of the entire class of Russian capitalists and its lackeys, whose interests are served by the ruling regime and its replacement by those who truly oppose it. We have no allies among the bourgeoisie. For us, the so-called parliamentary opposition composed of liberal bourgeoisie elements is the same as the enemy in power – the oligarchs. We rely only on one class – the class of wage earners – the working class, the proletariat.

The realization of our goals is not possible without, among other things, first achieving the unity of the working class in its struggle against the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois state. Such unity can only be achieved on the basis of voluntary mutuality and equality, mobilized towards a general, organized class struggle. This, in turn, is not possible without a consistent advocacy of internationalism and the struggle against racism and nationalism and for full and complete equality of democratic rights for migrant workers.

Therefore, our revolutionary Bolshevik struggle against the oppression of migrant workers is based on the following principles:

1. Without exceptions all migrants in the territory of Russia should be legalized. Without exception, all migrant workers must be granted full citizenship rights.

2. All special legislation pertaining to migrants should immediately be lifted.

3. All persons who are currently in custody for the violation of immigration laws should immediately be released.

4. Any discrimination – particularly labor-related discrimination – against migrants must be recognized by law to be a criminal offense.

5. The most commonly used languages of migrants should be given the status of state languages.

6. Migrant workers should be legally granted the right to form defense groups to protect themselves from racist, nationalistic, and fascistic aggression.

7. The state border should be opened to all who want to work in Russia.

The racial and national oppression of migrants is a necessary component of capitalism. Therefore, such oppression cannot be completely eradicated without overthrowing capitalist society by means of a proletarian and multinational socialist revolution.

Workers of Russian citizenship and migrant workers must not succumb to provocations by the racist Russian regime. Workers of Russian citizenship and migrant workers are class brothers and sisters who have common enemies – the capitalist-serving bureaucracies and the bourgeoisie of all nations, states, and races. The workers of Russia and the world have a common historical mission – the destruction of capitalism and the overthrow of the capitalist states. Workers of Russian citizenship and migrant workers need to jointly fight to achieve equal rights and opportunities for all workers. To do so, they need to be united in professional and revolutionary organizations.

Workers have no fatherland. The only fatherland of workers is their class – the proletariat. Workers of all countries, unite!

Ukraine/Russia: The victory over the imperialist colonialism is impossible without the proletarian revolution!

Statement of the Editors of the Bulletin "Movement to Socialism“, 5.3.2014, http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.com and www.thecommunists.net

 

In response to the recent events in the Ukraine, the Russian Trotskyist bulletin "Movement to Socialism" states the following.

 

Russian Communist-Internationalists have always been consistent in their unconditional support for the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian imperialism. This absoluteness means that we do not make our support for this right conditional of the character and actions of the Ukraine authorities nor on the methods and forms of struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression.

 

As part of the aggressor state, we recognize the right of the Ukraine people to oppose Russian imperialism under any slogans, including under nationalist. This does not mean that we support nationalism in any form, but it does mean that the task of fighting Ukrainian nationalism is exclusively the task of the working class in the Ukraine.

 

Our task as Russian Communist-Internationalists is to fight against Great Russian chauvinism and imperial hegemony. Trotskyists are consistent supporters of proletarian internationalism, especially the Leninist principle of revolutionary defeatism, asserting that the main enemy of the working class is the bourgeoisie of its own country.

 

However proletarian internationalism is not reduced to mere defeatism. Another important principle of proletarian internationalism is the transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war, the leadership role of the working class and the revolutionary proletarian organization in the national liberation struggle and the necessity of the world proletarian revolution for the final destruction of imperialism.

 

The opposition of the Ukrainian people against Russian imperialist aggression will by itself not guarantee that the Ukraine becomes colonialized by Western European and North American imperialist predators. The national liberation struggle can not win if you do not turn it into an anti-imperialist revolution. The anti-imperialist revolution can not win if you do not turn it into a proletarian revolution. Proletarian revolution, which begins in a single country, will not win if it does not grow into a worldwide working-class revolution.

 

Workers of all countries, unite!

Long live the world socialist revolution!

Ukraine: Rivalry between Imperialist Powers escalates after Right-Wing Coup: Stop the Imperialist Saber-Rattling!

Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Movement to Socialism (MAS, Russia), 2.3.2014, www.thecommunists.net and www.nuevomas.blogspot.com

 

1.            On the background of the February 22 right-wing coup in the Ukraine, the rivalry between the imperialist powers has dangerously escalated. Now in power is a right-wing coalition – the so-called “Euro-Maidan” movement – composed of pro-Western conservative parties and fascist forces. This coalition overthrew the former government of Viktor Yanukovych who acted as a lackey of most Ukraine oligarchs as well as of Russian imperialism, and who ruled with increasingly authoritarian methods.

2.            The new government of Oleksandr Turchynov is similarly playing the marionette on a string for an important sector of the Ukraine oligarchs, as well as for US and EU imperialism. Turchynov’s government abolished Russian as an official language in the Crimea and the eastern parts of the country, and has banned the Communist party (KPU) in several regions or the Ukraine.

3.            We in the RCIT and MAS reaffirm the positions which we have elaborated in past statements. The conflict between the right-wing “Euro-Maidan” coalition and the former government of Viktor Yanukovych was and is a conflict between two reactionary camps. Class conscious workers cannot support either of these camps. The right-wing coup represents a victory for US and EU imperialism and a setback for their Russian rival.

4.            Following the right-wing coup, the main tasks of socialists in the Ukraine are to:

i) Defend the Russian-speaking minority against discrimination.

ii) Oppose the repression of the KPU and other political forces.

iii) Prepare and organize the working class to fight against the massive social attacks that lay ahead, attacks being planned by the new government in the service of the imperialist banks and monopolies.

To achieve these tasks, socialists must take a leading role in convening mass assemblies and coordinating actions, as well as organizing workers’ militias against any attacks by fascists or the police forces of the new government.

5.            At the same time, the RCIT and the MAS denounce the saber-rattling by the Putin regime. The Russian president has been granted the authority to use the country’s armed forces in the Ukraine as pro-Russian militias continue their seizure of state buildings in the country’s southeastern region of Crimea. The Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, voted overwhelmingly to back a proposal to use "the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country." According to Ukrainian sources, Russia has already deployed 6,000 troops in the Crimea. These latest developments are nothing but the implementation of an aggressive, imperialist policy by Russia under the pretext of defending the Russian-speaking majority in Crimea. The present military maneuvers and the deployment of Russian forces in Crimea is the continuation of the Russia’s imperialist policies of the past by other means. They by no means constitute “fraternal aid for their Russian brother and sisters.

6.            Equally, we denounce the reactionary saber-rattling by the Western imperialist powers. Under present conditions, the new Ukrainian regime is not an independent actor, but only the marionette of Obama, Merkel, and Hollande. In any military conflict between the Ukraine and Russia, the Ukrainian state would represent the Western imperialist powers. Hence, socialists in the Ukraine, Russia, and internationally should not support either of these two imperialist camps.

7.            In addition, while we resolutely defend the rights of the Russian-speaking minority, we no less equally defend the rights of the Crimean Tatars who were brutally displaced by Stalin’s regime in 1944. The Tatars constitute a minority in Crimea only due to their displacement by the reactionary Stalinist bureaucracy 70 years ago. We uncompromisingly defend their rights to return to their homeland, use their national language, and fully exercise their cultural rights without facing discrimination.

8.            The most urgent task before us is to rally advanced sectors of the working class in the Ukraine, Russia, and the Western imperialist countries and unite them behind an internationalist, class struggle and anti-imperialist program. To organize the struggle for working class power, true socialists must build a revolutionary party in the tradition of Lenin and Trotsky. The RCIT and MAS call for revolutionaries in the Ukraine to unite in a Bolshevik organization based on an internationalist and communist program.

* Down with the right-wing government of Turchynov! Organize the working class against the social attacks ahead!

* For workers militias to defeat the fascists! Defend the rights of the Russian-speaking minorities! Defend the KPU and other forces against the fascists and state repression!

* Defend the rights of the Crimea Tatars!

* Down with the military provocations and threats of Russian imperialism! Down with the imperialist interference of US and EU imperialism!

* For a workers’ government based on working class councils and militias! Neither Brussels nor Moscow – for an independent, red Ukraine!

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT and Editors of the Bulletin "Movement to Socialism” (MAS)

 

For a more detailed analysis of the situation in the Ukraine we refer readers to:

RCIT and MAS: Right-Wing Forces Take Power in the Ukraine: Mobilize the Working Class against the New Government! 25.2.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/right-wing-coup-in-ukraine/

MAS: No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!, 22.2.2014

English: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-to-terror-of-bandera-fascists-stop.html

Russian: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/mas-www.html

Spanish: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-terror-fascista-bandera-detener.html

RCIT: “Ukraine: Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent Workers’ Republic!” 18.12.2013 which has been published in several languages:

English: http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/ukraine-neither-brussels-nor-moscow/

Russian: http://www.thecommunists.net/home/%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9/ukraine-statement/

German: http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/ukraine-weder-bruessel-noch-moskau/

 

Right-Wing Forces Take Power in the Ukraine: Mobilize the Working Class against the New Government!

Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Movement to Socialism (MAS, Russia), 25.2.2014, www.thecommunists.net and www.nuevomas.blogspot.com

 

1.            A coalition of pro-EU right-wing and fascist parties has overthrown the government of President Viktor Yanukovych. This represents a clear victory for EU imperialism and a setback for Russian imperialism which traditionally has massive influence in the Ukraine. In addition, this right-wing victory goes hand-in-hand with a substantial strengthening of fascist forces like the Svoboda party of Oleg Tyagnibok, the “Pravy Sektor,” (Right Sector) and others.

2.            The right-wing forces and fascists have already started by banning the Communist Party (KPU) in a number of regions. (See MAS: No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!, 22.2.2014, http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-to-terror-of-bandera-fascists-stop.html) On February 23, the parliament abolished the “Law on Regional Languages” which entitled any local language spoken by at least 10% of the population of that region to be declared an official language within that region. Thus the right-wing nationalists have once again made Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels. This is an attack on the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the East and Southeast regions of the Ukraine.

3.            Western media, as well as numerous left-liberal, reformist, and centrist forces, have depicted the “Maidan” opposition as a democratic and progressive force. From the beginning of this protest movement, this has been completely untrue. The protests were initiated by the pro-EU right-wing parties (the Fatherland Party of Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Yulia Tymoshenko and the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform led by Vitali Klitschko) and the fascists. Their immediate goal was to force President Yanukovych’s to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, which meant nothing but intensified colonialization of the Ukraine by EU imperialism. There has always been a strong presence of openly fascist forces in the Ukraine, and the Maidan protests have always been under the control of these fascist forces and other right-wing parties (while, of course, being rivals of one other).

4.            At the same time, revolutionaries clearly could not support the reactionary government of President Yanukovych. The latter was a government of super-rich capitalists (the so-called oligarchs) and collaborated closely with Russian imperialism.

5.            For these reasons the RCIT stated in its resolution from December 18 2013: “The RCIT maintains that class conscious workers and socialists must support neither the pro-EU nor the pro-Russian faction of the capitalist class. The present mobilizations don’t represent an independent organization of workers and youth to advance their interests, but rather the attempt of the right-wing and fascist faction of the bourgeoisie to bring down the equally reactionary Yanukovych government.” (See RCIT: Ukraine: Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent Workers’ Republic! 18.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/ukraine-neither-brussels-nor-moscow/)

6.            We note that various socialist and anarcho-syndicalist organizations – like Borotba or the Autonomous Workers’ Union – in the Ukraine correctly refused to support either of the two reactionary camps. At the same time, others did support the right-wing-led Maidan protests (like the "Vpered" group of the Mandelite “Fourth International” headed by Ilya Budraitskis, and the so-called “Left Opposition Collective”). On the other hand, the Stalinist KPU and others supported the reactionary Yanukovych government. Various international centrist forces have also supported the Maidan protests as a “progressive” and “democratic” movement (e.g., the CWI, IMT, the Morenoite LIT-CI, various Cliffite groups like the ISO [USA] or the British RS21). Such support once more emphasizes how, without correct revolutionary communist theory and a program derived from such, left-wing groups are doomed to vacillate in the class struggle and to accommodate themselves to bourgeois forces.

7.            The central task now is to mobilize the workers’ movement against the new right-wing government and their pro-EU agenda, without making any accommodations to Russian imperialism or the old pro-Yanukovych regime. It is urgent to call for mass assemblies in workplaces and neighborhoods so the working class can discuss its next steps and elect delegates. These delegates should meet for an emergency congress to agree upon a plan to fight against the coming attacks of the new right-wing government. Socialists must explain that accession to the EU will bring about rapid increases in prices (+40% for gas) and massive attacks on social security. They must call for the workers’ movement to form defense squads to fight against the fascists. They have to argue for a Ukraine in which no national and ethnic group is discriminated against in its national rights (for example, using its language in public administration and in schools). They must call for a Ukraine in which the economy is no longer controlled by oligarchs and in which the large banks and enterprises are nationalized and placed under control of the workers. In short, socialists should fight for a workers’ government based on working class councils and militias. The task of such a government is to transform the Ukraine into an independent workers’ republic which is neither a colony of Brussels or Moscow.

8.            This task can be only be achieved by an organized struggle of the working class, led by a revolutionary party in the tradition of Lenin and Trotsky. The RCIT and MAS call for revolutionaries in the Ukraine to unite in a Bolshevik organization based on an internationalist and communist program.

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT and Editors of the Bulletin "Movement to Socialism” (MAS)

 

For a more detailed analysis of the situation in the Ukraine we refer readers to the RCIT resolution “Ukraine: Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent Workers’ Republic!” 18.12.2013 which has been published in several languages:

English: http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/ukraine-neither-brussels-nor-moscow/

Russian: http://www.thecommunists.net/home/%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9/ukraine-statement/

German: http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/ukraine-weder-bruessel-noch-moskau/

See also the MAS-Statement: No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!, 22.2.2014

English: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-to-terror-of-bandera-fascists-stop.html

Russian: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/mas-www.html

Spanish: http://www.nuevomas.blogspot.co.at/2014/02/no-terror-fascista-bandera-detener.html

No to the Terror of the Bandera-Fascists! Stop the Repression against the Communists of Ukraine!

Statement by the editors of the bulletin "Movement to Socialism» (MAS), 22.12.2014, www.nuevomas.blogspot.com

 

During the present crisis of the Ukrainian bourgeois state various Nazi, fascist, pro-Bandera and other right-wing nationalist organizations have unleashed a wave of white terror against the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU).

 

Fascist gangs are attacking the offices of the Communist Party, steal office equipment and party documents – including lists of party members. In several regions of Ukraine Communist Party is officially banned. Fascist vandals are destroying monuments of Lenin.

 

Trotskyists in Russia have always denounced the Communist Party not only as a Stalinist organization, but also as an accomplice of the colonial policy of Russian imperialism in Ukraine. However, faced with today's fascist terror, we express our full and unconditional solidarity with the Ukrainian Communists and call the world proletariat and all communists and socialists to support their comrades in Ukraine.

 

Fascism will not win! Workers of all countries, unite!