The “Manifesto for Peace”, Pacifism and European Imperialism

About the so-called “Uprising for Peace” against the Ukraine War and the policy of Sarah Wagenknecht, Oskar Lafontaine and Alice Schwarzer

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28 February 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

Last Saturday, 25 February, a large demonstration of about 20-30,000 people took place in Berlin under the slogan “Uprising for Peace”. This event in Germany’s capital was initiated by Sarah Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer who, two weeks earlier, had published a “Manifesto for Peace”. [1]

This Manifesto basically opposes the deliveries of arms to the Ukraine and calls for peace and negotiations. Sarah Wagenknecht is a long-time Stalinist and leader of the LINKE while Alice Schwarzer is an (Islamophobic and elitist) icon of bourgeois feminism in Germany. Among the 69 initial signers of this document are various former politicians, artists and intellectuals, one army general, a few trade unionists and businesspeople, etc. Most of them have a political background in the reformist, green and pacifist milieu, however, there are also conservatives among them. In short, it is a classic popular front of reformist and bourgeois forces.

The petition attracted substantial support as it got about 700,000 signatures within two weeks. However, one must not ignore the massive political weakness of this Manifesto. While it denounces Putin’s invasion, it does not state any support for the Ukrainian people. Moreover, it does not even express any opposition against the landgrab by Russian imperialism. [2] It limits itself to call for a ceasefire and negotiations and warns against the danger of a “World War III”.

 

Reactionary character

 

The demonstration in Berlin was a large and contradictory event. There is no doubt that a significant part of the demonstrators was motivated by sincere protest against the pro-NATO and imperialist-militarist policy of the German government (a coalition of the social democratic, Green and bourgeois-liberal party) which has resulted in dramatic rise of living costs. Naturally, socialists need to engage in a serious dialogue with such honest pacifists.

However, it is equally important to see the utterly reactionary features of such pacifism. Bourgeois pacifism in general is a shameful slave holder ideology as it keeps the oppressed peaceful and therefore impotent to liberate themselves. It is totally utopian to imagine that any significant progressive change in a class society can be accomplished by peaceful means. Never in history have the oppressors voluntarily relinquished power and wealth to the oppressed. They won’t do it now nor in the future. Hence, pacifism disarms the oppressed and represents, consequently, a dangerous political obstacle for the liberation struggle. It is the shamefully ideology of those who are begging for more blows when they get beaten up. Such an approach can never be the ideology of a class or a people fighting for liberation!

In the current situation, such pacifism is particularly harmful as we are not talking about a reactionary war on both sides but about a just war of national defence by the Ukrainian people. Without modern weapons, the Ukrainian people would find it much more difficult and would have to sacrifice many more people in order to live in freedom.

Of course, the RCIT differentiates in the assessment of pacifist protest depending on where, i.e. in which context, such activities take place. In the Ukraine, pacifism is totally reactionary as it would surrender the country to the invaders. This is, by the way, the reason why there hardly exists any pacifists in this country because everyone understands the treacherous nature of such a capitulationist ideology in the current situation!

The situation is fundamentally different in Russia. Here, pacifist protests have objectively a more progressive character. True, they share the fundamental ideological weakness of pacifism. But even with such petty-bourgeois illusions, raising the slogan of peace against the warmonger regime of Putin is fundamentally a progressive act. Such activities create problems for Russian imperialism, and we therefore welcome such protests. We are in solidarity with such peace activists in Russia as the regime suppresses them brutally and threatens them with draconic, life-endangering attacks.

In the Western imperialist metropolises, things are a bit contradictory. It is true that NATO tries to exploit the Ukraine to advance its interest against the Russian rival. Hence, the RCIT considers it as correct to oppose armament in NATO countries as well as sanctions which are an instrument of Great Power chauvinism.

Nevertheless, pacifism in Western Europe or in the U.S. in the context of the Ukraine War is fundamentally reactionary since it refuses to support a semi-colonial country which has become victim of Russian imperialism. [3] Calling for an end of military aid – as the “Manifesto for Peace” and likeminded initiatives do – is reactionary as it weakens the means of resistance of an oppressed people. A ceasefire or a peace treaty under the current conditions leaves about 1/5 of the country in Putin’s hands. Authentic socialists can never support such a reactionary outcome of the war!

 

Pacifism as an ideology of the privileged

 

Furthermore, it should not go unmentioned that pacifism in the rich countries has an additional reactionary character in the following sense. In general, these countries have not faced brutal national oppression for 100 or more years. The period 1940-44 was a brief exception when Nazi-Germany occupied Europe but even here the non-Jewish population in the rich countries in Western and Norther Europe faced much less brutality compared to Eastern Europe and the USSR. At the same time, these European countries, the U.S: and Japan were engaged in numerous colonial wars and barbaric occupations of other people.

Pacifists from the middle class or the labour aristocracy in Western countries have no idea how it is to live under draconic foreign domination. Their prime concern is how the war in the Ukraine might affect their living costs or how much Great Power tensions could endanger their relatively well-funded live in the metropolises. It is even doubtful if those pacifists would even raise an eyebrow, not to speak about protest on the street, if they would not have to fear for the comfortability of their lives.

We have seen this in the past decades. These kind of pacifists and reformists marched in the 1980s against the Cold War or at the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 which had the potential to have global effects on the world economy (oil production and trade in the Middle East). But how many of them did raise a finger against wars far away which have no effects to their material welfare?! Where were big marches for peace by these reformists, Stalinists and pacifists when Russia waged it’s two wars against the Chechen people (1994-96 and 1999-2009), [4] or against the Syrian people (since 2015), [5] during the Balkan Wars 1991-95, [6] or when Israel (with U.S.) support slaughtered the Palestinian people in four Gaza Wars since 2008/09?! [7] Did not enough people die in these conflicts to galvanise the conscience of the pacifists, reformists and Stalinists?! Of course, all this is mixed with and worsened by intrinsic pro-Putinist or semi-Putinist sympathies of many of these forces. [8]

 

Right-Wing “Peace” Demonstration in Paris

 

We should also add that opposition against NATO can emerge from a progressive as well as from a reactionary point of view. Those who oppose NATO because they want to aid its rivals – Russia and Chinese imperialism – are “anti-imperialists” in words only but pro-Eastern social-imperialists in deeds. And those who advocate the interests of their imperialist nation without an alliance with other Western states, are simply national imperialists and are also not less reactionary than pro-NATO imperialists.

It is symbolic that last Saturday – at the same time as the “Uprising for Peace” demonstration in Berlin – another demonstration took place in Paris. Marching behind a large banner “Pour la paix” (For Peace”), the demonstrators protested against France's NATO membership and its continued military aid for the Ukraine. This demonstration, was organized by the extreme right-wing Les Patriotes party, led by Florian Philippot, who personally attended the rally in Paris. Between 2012 and 2017, Philippot was the deputy leader of Le Pen’s Front National. [9]

Likewise, there are a several leading figures in the right-wing AfD in Germany who sympathise with the Wagenknecht’s and Schwarzer’s “Manifesto for Peace”. In short, we see that, taken by itself, pacifist and anti-NATO protests can have very different meaning. It depends on who initiates such actions and in which context. If such protests are directed against a reactionary war and if they are not controlled and dominated by right-wing forces, such demonstrations can play a progressive role. However, under different circumstances, they can also play an utterly reactionary role.

For all these reasons, the RCIT has always forcefully denounced pacifism and we do even more so in the current situation of the Ukraine War. Together with our comrades in Socialist Tendency (the RCIT Section in Russia), we have always supported the Ukraine’s war of national defence (including its right to get weapons). At the same time, we have opposed all forms of Great Power chauvinism (e.g. sanctions, armament). We have summarised our internationalist and anti-imperialist program in the slogan: “Defend the Ukraine against Putin’s invasion! Against Russian and against NATO imperialism![10]

 

A political alternative for German and European imperialism

 

A critical review of the Wagenknecht’s and Schwarzer’s “Peace” initiative would be incomplete without pointing to another important issue. The whole rationale behind this document is not limited to a call for peace. It is also related with an alternative concept which these bourgeois-populist forces do propose for German and European capitalism.

This has been stated very clear by Oskar Lafontaine in an interview which was published a few days before the demonstration in Berlin. Lafontaine is a former social democratic minister and leader of the LINKE. He is also one of the 69 initial signers of the “Manifesto for Peace” and, in addition, he happens to be the husband of Sarah Wagenknecht – one of its two initiators. In other words, he is a highly representative figure of this “peace” movement.

In this interview, Lafontaine repeats the above-stated arguments “for peace”, against support for the Ukraine, etc. What is however more interesting is the political strategy which Lafontaine combines with such demands. Basically, he advocates an end of Germany’s and Europe’s alliance with the Washington. Instead, the European powers should pursue their independent foreign policy and act as a separate imperialist power which deals with other Great Powers on a case-by-case basis.

The Federal Republic (Germany, Ed.) must recognize that it has other interests than the United States and, of course, also others than China or Russia. And to enforce it, it has to find allies. That is why I still believe that Germany and France must work together in order to give European interests weight in a multipolar world. The US has managed to build a new Washington-London-Warsaw-Kiev axis that has shifted the balance in NATO. [11]

He added: “When we recognize that Germany and France must work together in order to assert the interests of Germany, France and Europe in the world, and when we recognize the structural problem of the new Washington-London-Warsaw-Kiev axis and the associated need of change, then we have to convey that culturally.“ [12]

In this interview, Lafontaine presents similar arguments which he stated already in an article published a few months ago. In this article, he characterized Germany as “a vassal” of Washington and insisted on the need for an “independent  European foreign and security policy.“ „Europe needs to detach itself from the United States and play a mediating role between the rival world powers. Together, Germany and France have the potential to develop an independent European foreign and security policy. [13]

As we can see, Lafontaine and his collaborators combine a bourgeois-pacifist policy in the Ukraine War with a long-term strategy to build the European Union – with Germany and France as the core – as an independent imperialist Great Power. Such a political, economic and military power bloc could pursue the interests of European imperialism independent of Washington, Moscow and Beijing.

All this confirms that opposition to Western aid for the Ukraine or pacifism in general have, in itself, nothing to do with “anti-imperialism”. In the current situation, such a policy is rather advocated by reformist, Stalinist and pacifist forces (Wagenknecht, Lafontaine, Schwarzer) as well as right-wing populists (Philippot) with the common goal to advance the interests of Europe resp. national states like Germany and France as independent imperialist powers.

The RCIT reiterates that socialists have no reason to support one or the other imperialist alliance, one or the other national imperialist state. Authentic socialists have no side to choose in the Great Power rivalry. [14] They should combat any illusions in all forms of pro-imperialist pacifism. Likewise, they have to emphasize the necessity to combine opposition against all imperialist Great Powers (U.S., China, Russia, Western Europe and Japan) with support for the liberation struggle of oppressed people (Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, etc.)

 



[2] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in Russia and its rise to an imperialist power. The most important ones are several pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: The Peculiar Features of Russian Imperialism. A Study of Russia’s Monopolies, Capital Export and Super-Exploitation in the Light of Marxist Theory, 10 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-peculiar-features-of-russian-imperialism/; by the same author: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014 (this pamphlet contains a document written in 2001 in which we established for the first time our characterisation of Russia as imperialist), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/; see also these essays by the same author: Russia: An Imperialist Power or a “Non-Hegemonic Empire in Gestation”? A reply to the Argentinean economist Claudio Katz, in: New Politics, 11 August 2022, at https://newpol.org/russia-an-imperialist-power-or-a-non-hegemonic-empire-in-gestation-a-reply-to-the-argentinean-economist-claudio-katz-an-essay-with-8-tables/; Russian Imperialism and Its Monopolies, in: New Politics Vol. XVIII No. 4, Whole Number 72, Winter 2022, https://newpol.org/issue_post/russian-imperialism-and-its-monopolies/; Once Again on Russian Imperialism (Reply to Critics). A rebuttal of a theory which claims that Russia is not an imperialist state but would be rather “comparable to Brazil and Iran”, 30 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/once-again-on-russian-imperialism-reply-to-critics/. See various other RCIT documents on this issue at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[3] For a political and economic analysis of the Ukraine see e.g. the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: Ukraine: A Capitalist Semi-Colony. On the exploitation and deformation of Ukraine’s economy by imperialist monopolies and oligarchs since capitalist restoration in 1991, January 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/ukraine-a-capitalist-semi-colony/

[4] See e.g. RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! Open Letter to the Oppressed Chechen People, February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/solidarity-with-the-liberation-struggle-of-the-chechen-people/; Where does the RCIT Stand on Russia's Occupation of Chechnya? https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/russia-and-chechnya/; Chechnya: Rally against the Murder of Mamikhan Umarov by the Russian Security Service, 7 July 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/chechnya-rally-against-the-murder-of-mamikhan-umarov-by-the-russian-security-service/

[5] See e.g. RCIT: Defend the Syrian Revolution against Russian Imperialism! Stop the US, UK and French Air Strikes! Smash the Assad Dictatorship! 9.10.2015, https://rcitarchive.wordpress.com/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-syria-against-russia/; Rally on the 11th Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution 2011, 20 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rally-on-11th-anniversary-of-syrian-revolution-20-3-2022/. The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed on a special sub-section of this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/

[6] See on this e.g. Almedina Gunić: Bosnia: Never forget Srebrenica - learn the lessons for today! August 2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bosnia-war/; Balkan wars: A peace to end all peace? 30 September 1995, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/archive-documents-from-the-lrci-and-lfi/#anker_32; Michael Pröbsting: Are the Bosnian Muslims a Nation? March 1994, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/bosnian-muslim-nation/;

[7] We have published numerous statements during the four Gaza Wars. The documents on the Fourth Gaza War in May 2021 – including those of our Argentinean comrades from “Convergencia Socialista” – are compiled on a special sub-page: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/the-fourth-gaza-war-has-begun/. For statements and reports about solidarity activities see https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/ and https://rcitarchive.wordpress.com/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/.

[8] See on this e.g. two pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: Putin’s Poodles (Apologies to All Dogs). The pro-Russian Stalinist parties and their arguments in the current NATO-Russia Conflict, 9 February 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/nato-russia-conflict-stalinism-as-putin-s-poodles/; Servants of Two Masters. Stalinism and the New Cold War between Imperialist Great Powers in East and West, 10 July 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/; see also by the same author: “Multi-Polar World Order” = Multi-Imperialism. A Marxist Critique of a concept advocated by Putin, Xi, Stalinism and the “Progressive International” (Lula, Sanders, Varoufakis), 24 February 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/multi-polar-world-order-is-multi-imperialism/

[9] Des manifestations anti-OTAN frappent la France, 26.2.2023, https://news-24.fr/des-manifestations-anti-otan-frappent-la-france/; see also Countercurrents Collective: Anti-NATO, Anti-EU, Anti-War, Protest Rallies Hit Germany, France, Italy, 27/02/2023, https://countercurrents.org/2023/02/anti-nato-anti-eu-anti-war-protest-rallies-hit-germany-france-italy/?swcfpc=1  

[10] We refer readers to a special page on our website where more than 160 RCIT documents on the Ukraine War and the current NATO-Russia conflict are compiled: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/compilation-of-documents-on-nato-russia-conflict/. In particular we refer to the RCIT Manifesto: Ukraine War: A Turning Point of World Historic Significance. Socialists must combine the revolutionary defense of the Ukraine against Putin’s invasion with the internationalist struggle against Russian as well as NATO and EU imperialism, 1 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/manifesto-ukraine-war-a-turning-point-of-world-historic-significance/; see also: Manifesto on the First Anniversary of the Ukraine War. Victory to the heroic Ukrainian people! Defeat Russian imperialism! No support whatsoever for NATO imperialism! 10 February 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/manifesto-on-first-anniversary-of-ukraine-war/

[11] Florian Rötzer: "Das Gewicht in der Nato wurde verschoben". Warum Frankreich und Deutschland zusammengehen müssen, um europäische Interessen zu vertreten. Interview mit Oskar Lafontaine über den Ukraine-Krieg, geopolitische Interessen, Informationskrieg und das geschwundene Mitgefühl. 19 February 2023, https://www.telepolis.de/features/Das-Gewicht-in-der-Nato-wurde-verschoben-7520525.html?seite=all (The translation is ours.)

[12] Ibid

[13] Oskar Lafontaine: Deutschland handelt im Ukraine-Krieg als Vasall der USA. Der Krieg in der Ukraine und das Elend der deutschen Außenpolitik: Europa braucht eine eigenständige Sicherheitspolitik. Eine Fundamentalkritik an der Ampel, 30.08.2022, https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/politik-gesellschaft/oskar-lafontaine-deutschland-handelt-im-ukraine-krieg-als-vasall-der-usa-li.261471 (The translation is ours.)

[14] The RCIT has dealt on numerous occasions with the inter-imperialist rivalry of the Great Powers. See e.g. RCIT: World Perspectives 2021-22: Entering a Pre-Revolutionary Global Situation, 22 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2021-22/; see also our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; see also the following works by the same author: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues, 23 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/us-china-alaska-meeting-shows-continuation-of-inter-imperialist-cold-war/; Servants of Two Masters. Stalinism and the New Cold War between Imperialist Great Powers in East and West, 10 July 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/; for more works on this issue see these sub-pages: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/.

El “Manifiesto por la Paz”, el Pacifismo y el Imperialismo Europeo

Sobre el llamado “Levantamiento por la Paz” contra la Guerra de Ucrania y la política de Sarah Wagenknecht, Oskar Lafontaine y Alice Schwarzer

Por Michael Pröbsting, Secretario Internacional de la Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCRI), 28 de febrero de 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

El pasado sábado 25 de febrero tuvo lugar en Berlín una gran manifestación de entre 20.000 y 30.000 personas bajo el lema “Levantamiento por la paz”. Este evento en la capital de Alemania fue iniciado por Sarah Wagenknecht y Alice Schwarzer quienes, dos semanas antes, habían publicado un “Manifiesto por la Paz”. [1]

Este Manifiesto básicamente se opone a las entregas de armas a Ucrania y llama a la paz y las negociaciones. Sarah Wagenknecht es estalinista desde hace mucho tiempo y líder de LINKE, mientras que Alice Schwarzer es un ícono (islamofóbico y elitista) del feminismo burgués en Alemania. Entre los 69 firmantes iniciales de este documento se encuentran varios ex políticos, artistas e intelectuales, un general del ejército, algunos sindicalistas y empresarios, etc. La mayoría tiene antecedentes políticos en el medio reformista, verde y pacifista, sin embargo, hay también conservadores entre ellos. En definitiva, es un clásico frente popular de fuerzas reformistas y burguesas.

La petición atrajo un apoyo sustancial ya que obtuvo alrededor de 700.000 firmas en dos semanas. Sin embargo, uno no debe ignorar la enorme debilidad política de este Manifiesto. Si bien denuncia la invasión de Putin, no declara ningún apoyo al pueblo ucraniano. Además, ni siquiera expresa oposición alguna contra la apropiación de tierras por parte del imperialismo ruso. [2] Se limita a pedir un alto el fuego y negociaciones y advierte del peligro de una “Tercera Guerra Mundial”.

 

Carácter reaccionario

 

La manifestación en Berlín fue un evento grande y contradictorio. No hay duda de que una parte significativa de los manifestantes estuvo motivada por una protesta sincera contra la política pro-OTAN e imperialista-militarista del gobierno alemán (una coalición del partido socialdemócrata, verde y liberal-burgués) que ha resultado en dramáticos aumento de los costos de vida. Naturalmente, los socialistas deben entablar un diálogo serio con pacifistas tan honestos.

Sin embargo, es igualmente importante ver las características completamente reaccionarias de tal pacifismo. El pacifismo burgués en general es una vergonzosa ideología esclavista, ya que mantiene a los oprimidos en paz y, por lo tanto, impotentes para liberarse. Es totalmente utópico imaginar que cualquier cambio progresivo significativo en una sociedad de clases pueda lograrse por medios pacíficos. Nunca en la historia los opresores han cedido voluntariamente el poder y la riqueza a los oprimidos. No lo harán ahora ni en el futuro. Por lo tanto, el pacifismo desarma a los oprimidos y representa, en consecuencia, un peligroso obstáculo político para la lucha de liberación. Es la vergonzosa ideología de los que piden más golpes cuando los golpean. ¡Tal enfoque nunca puede ser la ideología de una clase o de un pueblo que lucha por la liberación!

En la situación actual, tal pacifismo es particularmente dañino ya que no estamos hablando de una guerra reaccionaria en ambos lados sino de una guerra justa de defensa nacional por parte del pueblo ucraniano. Sin las armas modernas, al pueblo ucraniano le resultaría mucho más difícil y tendría que sacrificar a muchas más personas para poder vivir en libertad.

Por supuesto, la CCRI diferencia en la valoración de la protesta pacifista según dónde, es decir, en qué contexto, se desarrollan dichas actividades. En Ucrania, el pacifismo es totalmente reaccionario ya que entregaría el país a los invasores. ¡Esta es, por cierto, la razón por la que apenas existen pacifistas en este país porque todos entienden la naturaleza traicionera de tal ideología capitulacionista en la situación actual!

La situación es fundamentalmente diferente en Rusia. Aquí, las protestas pacifistas tienen objetivamente un carácter más progresista. Es cierto que comparten la debilidad ideológica fundamental del pacifismo. Pero incluso con tales ilusiones pequeñoburguesas, enarbolar la consigna de la paz contra el régimen belicista de Putin es fundamentalmente un acto progresista. Tales actividades crean problemas para el imperialismo ruso y, por lo tanto, damos la bienvenida a tales protestas. Nos solidarizamos con estos activistas por la paz en Rusia, ya que el régimen los reprime brutalmente y los amenaza con ataques draconianos que ponen en peligro sus vidas.

En las metrópolis imperialistas occidentales, las cosas son un poco contradictorias. Es cierto que la OTAN intenta explotar a Ucrania para avanzar sus intereses contra el rival ruso. Por lo tanto, la CCRI considera correcto oponerse al armamento en los países de la OTAN, así como a las sanciones que son un instrumento del chovinismo de las grandes potencias.

Sin embargo, el pacifismo en Europa Occidental o en los EE.UU. en el contexto de la Guerra de Ucrania es fundamentalmente reaccionario ya que se niega a apoyar a un país semicolonial que se ha convertido en víctima del imperialismo ruso. [3] Pedir el fin de la ayuda militar –como lo hacen el “Manifiesto por la Paz” e iniciativas afines– es reaccionario, ya que debilita los medios de resistencia de un pueblo oprimido. Un alto el fuego o un tratado de paz en las condiciones actuales deja alrededor de 1/5 del país en manos de Putin. ¡Los auténticos socialistas nunca podrán apoyar una resolución tan reaccionaria de la guerra!

 

El pacifismo como ideología de los privilegiados

 

Además, no debe pasarse por alto que el pacifismo en los países ricos tiene un carácter reaccionario adicional en el siguiente sentido. En general, estos países no han enfrentado una opresión nacional brutal durante 100 años o más. El período 1940-1944 fue una breve excepción cuando la Alemania nazi ocupó Europa, pero incluso aquí la población no judía en los países ricos del oeste y el norte de Europa enfrentó mucha menos brutalidad en comparación con Europa del Este y la URSS. Al mismo tiempo, estos países europeos, EE. UU. y Japón estaban involucrados en numerosas guerras coloniales y ocupaciones bárbaras de otros pueblos.

Los pacifistas de la clase media o la aristocracia laboral en los países occidentales no tienen idea de cómo es vivir bajo una dominación extranjera draconiana. Su principal preocupación es cómo la guerra en Ucrania podría afectar sus costos de vida o cuánto las tensiones de las grandes potencias podrían poner en peligro su vida relativamente bien financiada en las metrópolis. Incluso es dudoso que esos pacifistas levantaran siquiera una ceja, por no hablar de la protesta en la calle, si no tuvieran que temer por la comodidad de sus vidas.

Lo hemos visto en las últimas décadas. Este tipo de pacifistas y reformistas marcharon en la década de 1980 contra la Guerra Fría o al comienzo de la Guerra de Irak en 2003, que tenía el potencial de tener efectos globales en la economía mundial (producción y comercio de petróleo en el Medio Oriente). ¡¿Pero cuántos de ellos levantaron un dedo contra guerras lejanas que no tienen efectos en su bienestar material?! ¿Dónde hubo grandes marchas por la paz de estos reformistas, estalinistas y pacifistas cuando Rusia libró sus dos guerras contra el pueblo checheno (1994-1996 y 1999-2009), [4] o contra el pueblo sirio (desde 2015), [5] durante las guerras de los Balcanes 1991-1995, [6] o cuando el apoyo de Israel (con EE. UU.) masacró al pueblo palestino en cuatro guerras de Gaza desde 2008/2009? [7] ¿No murió suficiente gente en estos conflictos para galvanizar la conciencia de los pacifistas, reformistas y estalinistas? Por supuesto, todo esto está mezclado y empeorado por las simpatías intrínsecamente pro-putinistas o semi-putinistas de muchas de estas fuerzas. [8]

 

Manifestación derechista por la “paz” en París

 

También deberíamos añadir que la oposición a la OTAN puede surgir tanto desde un punto de vista progresista como reaccionario. Aquellos que se oponen a la OTAN porque quieren ayudar a sus rivales, Rusia y el imperialismo chino, son “antiimperialistas” solo de palabra, pero socialimperialistas proorientales en los hechos. Y aquellos que defienden los intereses de su nación imperialista sin una alianza con otros estados occidentales, son simplemente imperialistas nacionales y tampoco son menos reaccionarios que los imperialistas pro-OTAN.

Es simbólico que el sábado pasado, al mismo tiempo que la manifestación “Levantamiento por la paz” en Berlín, se haya realizado otra manifestación en París. Marchando detrás de una gran pancarta "Pour la paix" ("Por la paz"), los manifestantes protestaron contra la membresía de Francia en la OTAN y su continua ayuda militar a Ucrania. Esta manifestación, fue organizada por el partido de extrema derecha Les Patriotes, encabezado por Florian Philippot, quien asistió personalmente a la concentración en París. Entre 2012 y 2017, Philippot fue el líder adjunto del Frente Nacional de Le Pen. [9]

Del mismo modo, hay varias figuras destacadas en la AfD de derecha en Alemania que simpatizan con el “Manifiesto por la paz” de Wagenknecht y Schwarzer. En resumen, vemos que, en sí mismas, las protestas pacifistas y anti-OTAN pueden tener un significado muy diferente. Depende de quién inicia tales acciones y en qué contexto. Si tales protestas están dirigidas contra una guerra reaccionaria y si no están controladas y dominadas por fuerzas de derecha, tales manifestaciones pueden desempeñar un papel progresista. Sin embargo, bajo diferentes circunstancias, también pueden desempeñar un papel totalmente reaccionario.

Por todo ello, la CCRI siempre ha denunciado con contundencia el pacifismo y lo hacemos aún más en la situación actual de la Guerra de Ucrania. Junto con nuestros camaradas de Tendencia Socialista (la Sección de la CCRI en Rusia), siempre hemos apoyado la guerra de defensa nacional de Ucrania (incluido su derecho a obtener armas). Al mismo tiempo, nos hemos opuesto a todas las formas de chovinismo de Gran Potencia (por ejemplo, sanciones, armamento). Hemos resumido nuestro programa internacionalista y antiimperialista en la consigna: “¡Defendamos a Ucrania contra la invasión de Putin! ¡Contra Rusia y contra el imperialismo de la OTAN![10]

 

Una alternativa política para el imperialismo alemán y europeo

 

Una revisión crítica de la iniciativa “Paz” de Wagenknecht y Schwarzer estaría incompleta sin señalar otro tema importante. Toda la lógica detrás de este documento no se limita a un llamado a la paz. También se relaciona con un concepto alternativo que estas fuerzas populistas-burguesas sí proponen para el capitalismo alemán y europeo.

Así lo ha dejado muy claro Oskar Lafontaine en una entrevista que se publicó pocos días antes de la manifestación de Berlín. Lafontaine es un exministro socialdemócrata y líder de LINKE. También es uno de los 69 firmantes iniciales del “Manifiesto por la Paz” y, además, resulta ser el marido de Sarah Wagenknecht, una de sus dos iniciadoras. En otras palabras, es una figura muy representativa de este movimiento de “paz”.

En esta entrevista, Lafontaine repite los argumentos anteriores “a favor de la paz”, en contra del apoyo a Ucrania, etc. Sin embargo, lo que es más interesante es la estrategia política que Lafontaine combina con tales demandas. Básicamente, aboga por el fin de la alianza de Alemania y Europa con Washington. En cambio, las potencias europeas deberían seguir su política exterior independiente y actuar como una potencia imperialista separada que trata con otras grandes potencias caso por caso.

La República Federal (Alemania, Ed.) debe reconocer que tiene otros intereses además de los Estados Unidos y, por supuesto, también otros que China o Rusia. Y para hacerlo cumplir, tiene que encontrar aliados. Por eso sigo creyendo que Alemania y Francia deben trabajar juntas para dar peso a los intereses europeos en un mundo multipolar. Estados Unidos ha logrado construir un nuevo eje Washington-Londres-Varsovia-Kiev que ha cambiado el equilibrio en la OTAN.” [11]

Agregó: “Cuando reconocemos que Alemania y Francia deben trabajar juntos para hacer valer los intereses de Alemania, Francia y Europa en el mundo, y cuando reconocemos el problema estructural del nuevo eje Washington-Londres-Varsovia-Kiev y la necesidad asociada de cambio, entonces tenemos que transmitir eso culturalmente.” [12]

En esta entrevista, Lafontaine presenta argumentos similares a los que ya expuso en un artículo publicado hace unos meses. En este artículo caracterizó a Alemania como “vasallo” de Washington e insistió en la necesidad de una “política exterior y de seguridad europea dependiente”. “Europa necesita despegarse de los Estados Unidos y desempeñar un papel de mediador entre las potencias mundiales rivales. Juntos, Alemania y Francia tienen el potencial para desarrollar una política exterior y de seguridad europea independiente.” [13]

Como podemos ver, Lafontaine y sus colaboradores combinan una política pacifista-burguesa en la Guerra de Ucrania con una estrategia a largo plazo para construir la Unión Europea -con Alemania y Francia como núcleo- como una Gran Potencia imperialista independiente. Tal bloque de poder político, económico y militar podría perseguir los intereses del imperialismo europeo independientemente de Washington, Moscú y Beijing.

Todo esto confirma que la oposición a la ayuda occidental a Ucrania o el pacifismo en general no tienen, en sí mismos, nada que ver con el “antiimperialismo”. En la situación actual, esta política es defendida más bien por fuerzas reformistas, estalinistas y pacifistas (Wagenknecht, Lafontaine, Schwarzer), así como por populistas de derecha (Philippot), con el objetivo común de promover los intereses de Europa, respectivamente. Estados nacionales como Alemania y Francia como potencias imperialistas independientes.

La CCRI reitera que los socialistas no tienen por qué apoyar a una u otra alianza imperialista, a uno u otro estado nacional imperialista. Los socialistas auténticos no tienen bando que elegir en la rivalidad de las grandes potencias. [14] Deben combatir cualquier ilusión en todas las formas de pacifismo proimperialista. Asimismo, deben enfatizar la necesidad de combinar la oposición contra todas las Grandes Potencias imperialistas (Estados Unidos, China, Rusia, Europa Occidental y Japón) con el apoyo a la lucha de liberación de los pueblos oprimidos (Ucrania, Siria, Palestina, etc.)

 



[2] La CCRI ha publicado numerosos documentos sobre el capitalismo en Rusia y su ascenso a potencia imperialista. Los más importantes son varios folletos de Michael Pröbsting: Las características peculiares del imperialismo ruso. Un estudio de los monopolios, la exportación de capital y la superexplotación de Rusia a la luz de la teoría marxista, 10 de agosto de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-peculiar-features-of-russian-imperialism/#anker_7; por el mismo autor: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014 (este folleto contiene un documento escrito en 2001 en el que establecimos por primera vez nuestra caracterización de Rusia como imperialista), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/; ver también estos ensayos del mismo autor: Rusia: ¿Potencia imperialista o “imperio no hegemónico en gestación”? Una respuesta al economista argentino Claudio Katz, 20 de julio de 2022, https://periodistasunidos.com.mx/2022/10/rusia-potencia-imperialista-o-imperio-no-hegemonico-en-gestacion/; El imperialismo ruso y sus monopolios, 4 de septiembre de 2022, https://periodistasunidos.com.mx/2022/09/el-imperialismo-ruso-y-sus-monopolios/; Once Again on Russian Imperialism (Reply to Critics). A rebuttal of a theory which claims that Russia is not an imperialist state but would be rather “comparable to Brazil and Iran”, 30 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/once-again-on-russian-imperialism-reply-to-critics/. Consulte otros documentos de la CCRI sobre este tema en una subpágina especial en el sitio web de la CCRI: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[3] Para un análisis político y económico de Ucrania, véase, p. el folleto de Michael Pröbsting: Ucrania: una semicolonia capitalista

Sobre la explotación y deformación de la economía de Ucrania por parte de los monopolios imperialistas y los oligarcas desde la restauración capitalista en 1991, enero de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/ukraine-a-capitalist-semi-colony/#anker_9

[4] Ver, p. RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! Open Letter to the Oppressed Chechen People, febrero de 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/solidarity-with-the-liberation-struggle-of-the-chechen-people/; Where does the RCIT Stand on Russia's Occupation of Chechnya? https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/russia-and-chechnya/; Chechnya: Rally against the Murder of Mamikhan Umarov by the Russian Security Service, 7 de julio de 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/chechnya-rally-against-the-murder-of-mamikhan-umarov-by-the-russian-security-service/

[5] Ver, p. Defend the Syrian Revolution against Russian Imperialism! Stop the US, UK and French Air Strikes! Smash the Assad Dictatorship! 9.10.2015, https://rcitarchive.wordpress.com/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-syria-against-russia/; Rally on the 11th Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution 2011, 20 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rally-on-11th-anniversary-of-syrian-revolution-20-3-2022/. La CCRI ha publicado una serie de folletos, declaraciones y artículos sobre la revolución siria a los que se puede acceder en una subsección especial de este sitio web: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/

[6] Ver sobre esto en, p. Almedina Gunić: Bosnia: Never forget Srebrenica - learn the lessons for today! August 2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bosnia-war/; Balkan wars: A peace to end all peace? 30 September 1995, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/archive-documents-from-the-lrci-and-lfi/#anker_32; Michael Pröbsting: Are the Bosnian Muslims a Nation? March 1994, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/bosnian-muslim-nation/

[7] Hemos publicado numerosas declaraciones durante las cuatro guerras de Gaza. Los documentos sobre la Cuarta Guerra de Gaza en mayo de 2021, incluidos los de nuestros compañeros argentinos de “Convergencia Socialista”, están recopilados en una subpágina especial: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/the-fourth-gaza-war-has-begun/. Para declaraciones e informes sobre actividades solidarias ver https://rcitarchive.wordpress.com/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/.

[8] Ver en esto, p. dos folletos de Michael Pröbsting: Putin’s Poodles (Apologies to All Dogs). The pro-Russian Stalinist parties and their arguments in the current NATO-Russia Conflict, 9 February 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/nato-russia-conflict-stalinism-as-putin-s-poodles/; Siervos de dos amos. El estalinismo y la nueva guerra fría entre las grandes potencias imperialistas de Oriente y Occidente, 10 de julio de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/#anker_9; ver también del mismo autor: “Orden Mundial Multipolar” = Multiimperialismo. Una crítica marxista a un concepto propugnado por Putin, Xi, el estalinismo y la “Internacional Progresista” (Lula, Sanders, Varoufakis), 24 de febrero de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/multi-polar-world-order-is-multi-imperialism/#anker_1

[9] Des manifestations anti-OTAN frappent la France, 26.2.2023, https://news-24.fr/des-manifestations-anti-otan-frappent-la-france/; ver también Countercurrents Collective: Anti-NATO, Anti-EU, Anti-War, Protest Rallies Hit Germany, France, Italy, 27/02/2023, https://countercurrents.org/2023/02/anti-nato-anti-eu-anti-war-protest-rallies-hit-germany-france-italy/?swcfpc=1

[10] Remitimos a los lectores a una página especial en nuestro sitio web donde se compilan más de 160 documentos de la CCRI sobre la guerra de Ucrania y el conflicto actual entre la OTAN y Rusia: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/compilation-of-documents-on-nato-russia-conflict/. En particular nos referimos al Manifiesto de la CCRI: Guerra de Ucrania: un punto de inflexión de importancia histórica mundial. Los socialistas deben combinar la defensa revolucionaria de Ucrania contra la invasión de Putin con la lucha internacionalista contra el imperialismo ruso, la OTAN y la UE., 1 de marzo de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/manifesto-ukraine-war-a-turning-point-of-world-historic-significance/#anker_3; ver también: Manifiesto en el Primer Aniversario de la Guerra de Ucrania. ¡Victoria al heroico pueblo ucraniano! ¡Derrotar al imperialismo ruso! ¡Ningún apoyo al imperialismo de la OTAN!, 10 de febrero de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/manifesto-on-first-anniversary-of-ukraine-war/#anker_4

[11] Florian Rötzer: "Das Gewicht in der Nato wurde verschoben". Warum Frankreich und Deutschland zusammengehen müssen, um europäische Interessen zu vertreten. Interview mit Oskar Lafontaine über den Ukraine-Krieg, geopolitische Interessen, Informationskrieg und das geschwundene Mitgefühl. 19 February 2023, https://www.telepolis.de/features/Das-Gewicht-in-der-Nato-wurde-verschoben-7520525.html?seite=all (Traducción hecha por nosotros)

[12] Ibid

[13] Oskar Lafontaine: Deutschland handelt im Ukraine-Krieg als Vasall der USA. Der Krieg in der Ukraine und das Elend der deutschen Außenpolitik: Europa braucht eine eigenständige Sicherheitspolitik. Eine Fundamentalkritik an der Ampel, 30.08.2022, https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/politik-gesellschaft/oskar-lafontaine-deutschland-handelt-im-ukraine-krieg-als-vasall-der-usa-li.261471 (Traducción hecha por nosotros)

[14] La CCRI se ha ocupado en numerosas ocasiones de la rivalidad interimperialista de las Grandes Potencias. Véase, por ejemplo: Perspectivas mundiales 2021-22: Entrando en una situación global prerrevolucionaria, 22 de agosto de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2021-22/#anker_1; véase también nuestro libro de Michael Pröbsting: LIBRO: Anti-imperialismo en la Era de la Rivalidad de las Grandes Potencias. Los factores detrás de la Rivalidad acelerada entre los E.U, China, Rusia, la U.E y Japón. Una crítica del análisis de la izquierda y una semblanza de la Perspectiva Marxista, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/libro-anti-imperialismo-en-la-era-de-la-rivalidad-de-las-grandes-potencias/; Véanse también las siguientes obras del mismo autor: "Una pelea bastante buena". Encuentro EE.UU.-China en Alaska: Continúa la Guerra Fría Interimperialista, 23 de marzo de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/encuentro-ee-uu-china-en-alaska-continua-la-guerra-fr%C3%ADa-interimperialista/; Siervos de dos amos. El estalinismo y la nueva guerra fría entre las grandes potencias imperialistas de Oriente y Occidente, 10 de julio de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/#anker_9; para más trabajos sobre este tema, consulte estas subpáginas: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/ y https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/

“평화를 위한 반란”: 평화주의와 유럽 제국주의

- 독일 좌파당 등의 우크라 무기 지원 반대 유럽 독자 제국주의 추진 논리에 대하여

 

미하엘 프뢰브스팅, 혁명적 공산주의인터내셔널 (RCIT) 국제서기, 2023 2 28, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

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한국어 The “Manifesto for Peace”, Pacifism
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지난 주말 베를린에서는 평화를 위한 반란'라는 슬로건 아래 2~3 명의 대규모 시위가 벌어졌다. 독일의 수도에서 열린 시위는 좌파당 국회의원 자라 바겐크네히트와 페미니스트 알리체 슈바르처의 발의로 조직됐다. 사람은 시위를 준비하는 과정에서 <평화를 위한 선언>이라는 제목의 국회청원서를 발표했다.[1]

<선언> 기본적으로 우크라이나 무기 전달에 반대하며 평화와 협상을 요구한다. 바겐크네히트는 알려진 스탈린주의자로서 좌파당 지도부의 일원이며, 슈바르처는 이슬람 혐오주의로 유명한 독일 부르주아 페미니즘의 아이콘이다. 청원서의 초동 서명자 69 가운데는 전현직 정치인, 예술가와 지식인, 장성, 노조 지도자와 사업가 다양한 인사들이 포함되어 있다. 그들 대부분은 정치적 배경으로 개량주의 당들, 녹색당, 평화주의 단체 등과 연결되어 있지만, 보수파도 일부 있다. 간단히 말해서, 청원운동은 고전적인 인민전선, 개량주의 세력과 부르주아 세력의 통일전선이다.

청원은 2 만에 70 가까이 서명을 받는 상당한 지지를 끌어 모았다. 그러나 평화 선언의 심대한 정치적 약점에 감아서는 된다. 선언은 푸틴의 침략을 비난하면서도 우크라이나 인민에 대한 지지는 일절 밝히지 않고 있다. 더욱이 러시아 제국주의에 의한 점령과 영토 병합에 대한 어떠한 반대도 표명하지 않고 있다.[2] 휴전 협상 요구에 국한해 있고, "3 세계대전" 위험에 대해 경고하고 있을 뿐이다.

 

반동적 성격

베를린 시위는 내적으로 모순적인 이벤트였다. 시위자들의 상당 부분이 생계비 급증을 초래한 독일 정부 (사민주의/ 녹색/ 부르주아-자유주의의 연립) 나토 · 제국주의-군국주의 정책에 대한 항의의 진정성을 가지고 시위에 나선 사람들이라는 것은 의심의 여지가 없다. 당연히 사회주의자들은 그런 정직한 평화주의자들과 진지한 대화에 힘쓰는 것이 필요하다.

그러나 그러한 평화주의의 완전히 반동적인 측면들을 간과하지 않은 것이 똑같이 중요하다. 부르주아 평화주의 일반은 정신적·물리적으로 무장해제를 조장하여 피억압자가 스스로를 해방시킬 능력을 무력화하는 이바지하고 있다는 점에서 음험한 노예소유주 이데올로기다. 계급 사회에서의 어떤 의미 있는 진보적 변화도 평화적 수단으로 이루지 못하며 이룬 적이 없다는 점에서 이것이