How to Support Ukraine’s Liberation War without Taking Side in the Inter-Imperialist Rivalry?

A fraternal criticism on a new LIT-CI statement and its polemic against the PTS/FT

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 20 February 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

Contents

 

Introduction

Great Power rivalry: a negligible fact?

Denying the imperialist character of Russia

Supporting Western imperialist sanctions?

Criticising FT/PTS for pacifism is correct but …

Conclusions

 

* * * * *

 

Introduction

 

The International Secretariat of LIT-CI, an international Trotskyist organization based in Latin America, has recently published a lengthy statement on the Ukraine War. Essentially, the document is a polemic against the PTS/FT, another Latin America-based Trotskyist organization, whose largest section is the PTS in Argentina but which has also sections in some European countries. [1] It was written against the background of an ongoing debate which is taking place between the U.S. sections of the two organisations, and to which did also contribute. [2]

It is hardly surprising that the comrades of LIT-CI focus their document on the Ukraine War since they correctly recognize that this is one of the key events in the current world situation. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and its section in Russia – Socialist Tendency – have sided with the Ukraine’s war of national defence against Putin’s invasion from the very beginning. While we lend no political support for the bourgeois Zelensky government, we call for material support – including military aid – for the Ukrainian resistance. At the same time, we emphasise the dual character of the conflict and the necessity for socialists to oppose both camps in the inter-imperialist rivalry between Russia and NATO. Hence, we advocate an internationalist and anti-imperialist position which we summarise in the slogan: “Defend the Ukraine against Putin’s invasion! Against Russian and against NATO imperialism![3]

We therefore strongly welcome the fact that LIT-CI has been one of the few Trotskyist organisations which has also sided with the Ukrainian people. This has been the basis for issuing a joint statement [4] as well as joint solidarity activities in support of the Ukrainian people. [5]

In contrast, the comrades of FT refuse supporting the Ukrainian people. They denounce the war as “reactionary on both sides” and shamefully call for mass protests … against any military support for the Ukraine.

The LIT-CI statement correctly denounces the FT for such a position which “in practice favors the side of the conquering military, that is, Putin’s side.” They conclude that “when the TF cries “No to War,” in general, it capitulates to Putin through the sterile path of pacifism.” Furthermore, the comrades rightly emphasize that “is not admissible to equate the interests and policies of the Kremlin, the oppressor country, with those of Ukraine, the oppressed country.” Like the RCIT, they say that “revolutionaries must fight for the military victory of Ukraine, the oppressed and invaded nation. And we must do this without giving any political support for Zelensky and NATO.” Consequently, they support, like us, the Ukraine’s desire to get weapons from wherever possible.

 

Great Power rivalry: a negligible fact?

 

While the statement reiterates LIT-CI’s correct position of supporting the just war of liberation of the Ukrainian people, it also reflects serious political weaknesses of this organisation in terms of analysis and tactics. These mistakes undermine the political strength of comrades’ defence of the Ukraine and make their position vulnerable for attacks of their opponents. Furthermore, these problems involve the danger that LIT-CI might take a social-imperialist position in conflicts between Great Powers.

An essential problem in the field of LIT-CI’s analysis of the Ukraine War is its limited angle. They fail to recognise the dual character of the conflict. As we elaborated in a number of documents, the conflict involves both the Ukraine’s just war of national defence as well as the inter-imperialist rivalry between the Western powers and Russia. The comrades of LIT-CI effectively ignore the second element and recognise only on the first.

However, as a matter of fact the historic period we are living in, and which started with the Great Recession in 2008, is characterised by an accelerating rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers (U.S., China, Western Europe, Russia and Japan) against the background of the decay of capitalism. [6] The problem in LIT-CI’s analysis is that the comrades are not able to understand the fundamental nature of such inter-imperialist rivalry and, consequently, they ignore the global dimension of the Ukraine. For them, the rivalry between the Great Powers in this conflict does not exist or is only a negligible fact. [7]

A “psychological” reason for such an approach might be that the comrades fear that recognising the element of inter-imperialist rivalry in the current conflict might undermine their position of support for the Ukraine. However, such a concern is unsubstantiated. The task of Marxists is to distinguish between the just war of the Ukraine (which must be supported) and the inter-imperialist conflict (in which one must oppose all Great Powers). The Trotskyists faced similar types of conflicts in the 1930s and 1940 when they supported – in the midst of inter-imperialist conflicts – Ethiopia against Italy in 1935-36 or China against Japan in 1937-45. As the LIT-CI statement itself correctly notes, the Fourth International continued to side with the national liberation war of the Chinese people even when war broke out between the U.S. and Japan in 1941 with U.S. aiding the Chinese resistance against the Japanese invaders. [8]

Hence, we repeat, revolutionaries have no reason to drop their support for the Ukrainian people by recognising the existence of a reactionary conflict between the U.S., Western Europe and Russia. They rather need to combine revolutionary defensism of the Ukrainian people against Putin’s invasion with revolutionary defeatism in the conflict between NATO and Russia.

By ignoring the important conflict between the Great Powers, the LIT-CI comrades undermine the credibility of their position and make it vulnerable to criticism from forces – like the FT/PTS – which denounce the Ukraine War as a “proxy war”. [9]

 

Denying the imperialist character of Russia

 

However, LIT-CI’s ignorance of the element of Great Power rivalry is rooted not primarily in any “psychological” mistakes but in their fundamental view of imperialism today. Basically, they deny – ironically like their opponents of the FT/PTS – the imperialist character of Russia and China. Hence, they deny that the conflict between the U.S. and Western Europe vs Russia (or China) is an inter-imperialist rivalry. As we show in another document, the leaders of LIT-CI claim that Russia (and China) are not imperialist states but are rather “dependent on imperialism”, i.e. that these are semi-colonial countries like Brazil, Argentina or India. [10]

This is utter nonsense since both Russia as well as China have become imperialist Great Powers in their own rights. We will not elaborate our analysis of these two states and refer interested readers to our respective works. [11]

From their wrong analysis of Russia as an “dependent” (and not an imperialist) state, the LIT-CI leaders draw the logical conclusion that in case of a direct military conflict between NATO and Russia, they would defend the latter. Such they stated after the beginning of the Ukraine War: “This [the Ukraine War, Ed.] is not a NATO military invasion of Russian territory. In that case, we would undoubtedly position ourselves in defense of Russia, both because it is an economy dependent on imperialism and because it has been invaded.[12]

Hence, the LIT-CI leaders tend to trivialise the element of Great Power rivalry in the global conflict related with the current Ukraine War because they want to avoid drawing the conclusions of their own (wrong) analysis of “non-imperialist” Russia – an analysis which would push them towards a pro-Russian position. As we have said, this is a mistake in the current conflict. However, it implies great dangers for the future since it is only a question of time until there will be a direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia. Will LIT-CI then join the camp of “dependent” Russia and defend it against the U.S. and Western Europe as it promised in the above-mentioned quote? Obviously, this would be a social-imperialist capitulation to the Putin regime. We strongly hope that the comrades will refrain from such conclusions, but it would be the inevitable logic of their denial of Russia’s imperialist nature.

 

Supporting Western imperialist sanctions?

 

Unfortunately, this is not the only serious problem in LIT-CI’s position. While they claim that Russia is a “dependent” country, they, at the same time, absurdly support Western sanctions against Russia. “Furthermore, we must demand from all governments, imperialist or not, the complete severance of diplomatic and trade relations, i.e. an end to investments, exports and imports with Russia. (…) The assets of Gazprom and Russian banks abroad must be expropriated. The assets of Russian companies and oligarchs in other countries must be expropriated.[13]

In their new statement, the LIT-CI leadership again critically mentions the “soft” character of Western sanctions against Russia but utter no word that they would oppose such sanctions. Given their record, this means that they continue supporting sanctions of imperialist powers against a supposedly “dependent” country!

As we did show in several documents, such support is completely wrong and in total contradiction to the long-standing tradition of Trotskyism. The founder of the Fourth International emphasized that “economic sanctions, if real, lead to military sanctions, to war.[14] He therefore insisted that Marxists must break with all those who lend support to such sanctions of this or that imperialist power. “The struggle against war, properly understood and executed, presupposes the uncompromising hostility of the proletariat and its organizations, always and everywhere, toward its own and every other imperialist bourgeoisie. Yet among the announced adherents of the London Bureau congress are to be found such notorious supporters of the League of Nations (i.e., imperialist) "sanctions" as the Italian Socialist Party, which is presumably to organize a common struggle against war with opponents of these "sanctions," such as the British ILP claims to be. A prerequisite for the proletarian struggle against war is not unity between pro-"sanctionists" and anti-"sanctionists" but the ruthless separation of them.” [15]

LIT-CI’ support for imperialist sanctions completely violates the principles of the Fourth International! Of course, while Trotskyists oppose such sanctions, they support – in case of a reactionary war like Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine – boycott actions by the organisations of the working class. However, the Fourth International always differentiated between workers and imperialist sanctions. One serves the interests of the oppressed, the other serves the imperialist bourgeoisie.

Such wrote the U.S. Trotskyists during the Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935: “The Workers Party calls for the defense of the Ethiopian peoples against Italian aggression. (…) It is the independent sanctions of the working class, its own boycotts, strikes, defense funds, mass demonstrations that can aid the battles of the Ethiopian peoples", not the sanctions of finance-capital and its puppet states.[16]

No argument should be necessary to convince a revolutionary socialist that it is impossible for a Socialist party to be neutral in a war between an imperialist robber country and a semi-colonial people. We must call upon the workers to do all they can to defeat the imperialist power because the interests of the international working class demands the defeat of any imperialist power attempting to enslave a backward people. This does not mean that we should agitate to have our own capitalist government place an embargo on Italy. In a case where war is involved the working class must play its role independently of the capitalist government. We can have no faith whatever in any motives of a government representing the capitalist class. We would be bitterly opposed to having our “own” government declare war on Italy because we know that it would do so only to protect its own imperialist interests and not to help Ethiopia.[17]

It is a serious mistake of LIT-CI that they are not aware of the class difference between imperialist sanctions and workers sanctions and openly support sanctions of the U.S. and Western Europe against Russia!

 

Criticising FT/PTS for pacifism is correct but …

 

Another inner contradiction of LIT-CI’s policy in the Ukraine War is its approach to pacifism. As we quoted above, the comrades correctly criticise the FT/PTS for its pacifist slogans. At the same time, it can not go unmentioned that LIT-CI itself has a record of raising pacifist slogans. As we did show in another article, it has repeatedly called the U.S. and Russia for “nuclear disarmament”. [18]

Again, this is in total contradiction with the Marxist method. Socialists do not call the imperialist powers to “disarm” as this can only create illusions in the ability of capitalism to transform into a “peaceful” world order. As Trotsky explained, such an approach is typical of petty-bourgeois pacifism but not Marxism!

The pretense of "disarmament" has and can have nothing in common with the prevention of war. The program of "disarmament" only signifies an attempt – up to now only on paper – to reduce in peacetime the expense of this or that kind of armaments. It is above all a question of military technique and the imperialist coffers. The arsenals, the munitions factories, the laboratories, and finally, what is most important, capitalist industry as a whole preserve all their force in all the "disarmament programs." But states do not fight because they are armed. On the contrary, they forge arms when they have to fight. In case of war, all the peace limitations will fall aside like so much chaff…. It is pure charlatanism to attempt to distinguish between defensive and offensive machine guns, tanks, aeroplanes. American policy is dictated in this also by the particular interests of American militarism, the most terrible of all. War is not a game which is conducted according to conventional rules. War demands and creates all the weapons which can most successfully annihilate the enemy. Petty-bourgeois pacifism, which sees in a 10 percent, or 33 percent, or 50 percent disarmament proposal the "first step" towards prevention of war, is more dangerous than all the explosives and asphyxiating gases. Melinite and yperite can do their work only because the masses of people are poisoned in peacetime by the fumes of pacifism.[19]

 

Conclusions

 

We shall conclude this article by repeating that we strongly appreciate the LIT-CI comrades’ political and practical support of the national liberation war of the Ukrainian people. However, their policy contains important mistakes and inner contradictions which undermine their own position of support for the Ukraine and make it vulnerable for criticism by centrist opponents of the support for the Ukraine. Furthermore, these defects in their analysis and tactics provoke the danger that LIT-CI might take a social-imperialist position in support of Russia or China in a future war with Western powers.

We therefore urge the comrades to quickly correct these mistakes. Concretely, the comrades in LIT-CI should discuss and change their positions on the following issues:

1) Correct your wrong assessment of Russia and China as “non-imperialist” states which would be “dependent on imperialism”. Recognise that these have become imperialist Great Powers in their own rights.

2) Recognise that the inter-imperialist rivalry between the Great Powers (U.S., China, Western Europe, Russia and Japan) is a key feature of the current historic period and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

3) In all conflicts between Great Powers, base your policy on the principles of revolutionary defeatism as elaborated by Lenin and Trotsky. No support for any imperialist state!

4) Recognise that the inter-imperialist rivalry between NATO and Russia is an important element in the current Ukraine War. Combine support for liberation war of the Ukrainian people with revolutionary defeatism in the conflict between NATO and Russia.

5) No support for imperialist sanctions like the current policy of NATO against Russia! But yes to workers sanctions against Putin’s war and his imperialist-militarist machinery!

6) Stop advocating the policy of pacifism such as calling U.S. and Russia for “nuclear disarmament”.



[1] LIT-CI: On the Slogans “No to War” and “Not One Tank for Ukraine”. Pacifism works against the Ukrainian people and strengthens Putin and the European and American imperialists. 19 February 2023, https://litci.org/en/on-the-slogans-no-to-war-and-not-one-tank-for-ukraine/. All quotes are from this statement if not indicated otherwise.

[2] Michael Pröbsting: Ukraine War: Once More on Military Aid and Inter-Imperialist Rivalry. A critical contribution to a debate among Trotskyists in the U.S., 7 January 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-once-more-on-military-aid-and-inter-imperialist-rivalry-rsop-dc-srs-ft-lit/; by the same author: Ukraine War: A Mistaken Polemic. Reply to a critique of the FT/PTS of LIT-CI’s defence of the Ukraine, 13 September 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-a-mistaken-polemic/

[3] We refer readers to a special page on our website where more than 150 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/

[5] See on this various reports on our website, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/international-workers-aid/.

[6] 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/.

[7] We have analysed the Great Power rivalry in the context of the Ukraine War in a number of documents. See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Less Than 9%. Many Western corporations continue to make business with Russia despite the official sanction policy, 11 February 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/western-corporations-continue-to-make-business-with-russia/; by the same author: Western Boycott of Western Sanctions? A new report reveals that Western exports to Russia have increased in the past months despite the official policy of boycott, 20 August 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/western-boycott-of-western-sanctions/; A Peculiar and Explosive Combination. Notes on the current world situation, 6 October 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/world-situation-notes-10-2022/; The G-7 Oil Price Cap: A New Stage in the Great Power Rivalry. The Cold War between the Western powers and their Eastern rivals points towards escalation, 7 September 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-g-7-oil-price-cap-a-new-stage-in-the-great-power-rivalry/; Russia: A Mirror of the Future. Notes on Russia’s role in the current world situation, the global class struggle and revolutionary regroupment, 5 November 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/russia-a-mirror-of-the-future/.

[8] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: A Marxist Slogan and its Caricature. On the social-imperialist distortion of the slogan “The Main Enemy Is At Home” in the context of the Ukraine War and the Taiwan Strait Crisis, 17 August 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-marxist-slogan-the-main-enemy-is-at-home-and-its-social-imperialist-distortion/; by the same author: The Ukraine War and the Second Sino-Japanese War: A Historical Analogy. The dual tactic of Marxists in the Ukraine War today draws on the approach of their predecessors in the war between China and Japan in 1937-41, 10 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-second-sino-japanese-war-a-historical-analogy/

[9] For an extensive critique of the position of FT/PTS on the Ukraine War see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: No to Workers Boycott against Russia but Yes to Boycotting the Ukraine? On the support of the PTS/FT for boycott actions against arms shipments for the Ukraine, 26 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/pts-ft-workers-sanctions-against-ukraine/.

[10] For the relevant quotes see LIT-CI: Statement on the U.S.-NATO-Russia-Ukraine Conflict 5 February 2022, https://litci.org/en/statement-about-the-usa-nato-russia-ukraine-conflict/. For a critique see Michael Pröbsting: Is Russia “Dependent on Western Imperialism”? Critical remarks on the LIT-CI statement on the current NATO-Russia conflict, 14 February 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/critical-remarks-on-lit-ci-statement-on-the-current-nato-russia-conflict/.

[11] 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/.

For our analysis of capitalism in China and its transformation into a Great Power see e.g. the 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 by the same author: “Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy”, an essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; China: An Imperialist Power … Or Not Yet? A Theoretical Question with Very Practical Consequences! Continuing the Debate with Esteban Mercatante and the PTS/FT on China’s class character and consequences for the revolutionary strategy, 22 January 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-imperialist-power-or-not-yet/; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4; How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism-2/; Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism/; China’s Emergence as an Imperialist Power (Article in the US journal 'New Politics'), in: “New Politics”, Summer 2014 (Vol:XV-1, Whole #: 57). See many more RCIT documents at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[12] For the relevant quotes see Eduardo Almeida: El estalinismo, la crisis del orden mundial y la invasión rusa, LIT-CI, marzo 7, 2022, https://litci.org/es/el-estalinismo-la-crisis-del-orden-mundial-y-la-invasion-rusa/; Alejandro Iturbe, a leader of LIT-CI: Controversy over the “No to War” in Ukraine slogan, marzo 17, 2022, https://litci.org/en/controversy-over-the-no-to-war-in-ukraine-slogan/. For a critique see Michael Pröbsting: LIT-CI “Would Undoubtedly Defend Russia”. Recent articles of LIT-CI reveal a dangerous step towards social-imperialism, 29 March 2022, www.thecommunists.net, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/lit-ci-would-undoubtedly-defend-russia/

[13] For the relevant quotes see Daniel Sugasti: Ukrainian resistance thwarted a quick Russian victory, LIT-CI, 30.5.2022 https://litci.org/en/67439-2/. For a critique see Michael Pröbsting: Ukraine War: Supporting Western Sanctions Is Impermissible for Socialists! Support for the Ukrainian resistance must be combined with consistent anti-imperialism (a comradely critique of LIT-CI), 1 June 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-supporting-western-sanctions-is-impermissible-for-socialists/; see also by the same author: Ukraine War: Revolutionary Defensism and Non-Revolutionary Defensism. A comradely critique of LIT-CI which falsely combines its defence of the Ukraine with support for Western imperialist sanctions against Russia, 15 July 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-revolutionary-defensism-and-non-revolutionary-defensism/

[14] Leon Trotsky: Once Again: The ILP (1936), in: Trotsky in: Writings 1935-36, p. 198

[15] Leon Trotsky: Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau (1936), in: Documents of the Fourth International, New York 1973, p. 99

[16] Workers Party: Revolutionary Policy Alone Can Defeat Imperialist War, Statement of the National Committee of the WP(U.S.), in: New Militant, Vol. I No. 41, 5 October 1935, p. 1, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/themilitant/1935/index.htm

[17] Socialists and the Italian-Ethiopian Conflict, Socialist Appeal, October 1935, Vol. 2, No. 1, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistappeal/vol02/no01/ethiopia.htm

[18] For the relevant quotes see LIT-CI: Chamado internacional da LIT-QI e da UIT-QI, 13.3.2022, https://litci.org/pt/2022/03/13/66363-2/; for a critique see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Shall Socialists Call for “Nuclear Disarmament”? A comradely critique of a pacifist slogan raised by LIT-CI, 2 October 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/shall-socialists-call-for-nuclear-disarmament/

[19] Leon Trotsky: Declaration to the Antiwar Congress at Amsterdam (1932), in: Writings 1932, pp. 151-152

¿Cómo apoyar la guerra de liberación de Ucrania sin tomar partido en la rivalidad interimperialista?

Una crítica fraterna a un nuevo comunicado de la LIT-CI y su polémica contra el PTS/FT

Por Michael Pröbsting, Secretario Internacional de la Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCRI), 20 de febrero de 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

Contenido

 

Introducción

Rivalidad entre grandes potencias: ¿un hecho insignificante?

Negando el carácter imperialista de Rusia

¿Apoyando las sanciones imperialistas occidentales?

Criticar a la FT/PTS por pacifismo es correcto, pero…

Conclusiones

 

* * * * *

 

Introducción

 

El Secretariado Internacional de la LIT-CI, una organización trotskista internacional con sede en América Latina, ha publicado recientemente una extensa declaración sobre la Guerra de Ucrania. Esencialmente, el documento es una polémica contra el PTS/FT, otra organización trotskista radicada en América Latina, cuya sección más grande es el PTS en Argentina pero que también tiene secciones en algunos países europeos. [1] Fue escrito en el contexto de un debate en curso que está teniendo lugar entre las secciones estadounidenses de las dos organizaciones, y al que también contribuyó. [2]

No es de extrañar que los compañeros de la LIT-CI centren su documento en la Guerra de Ucrania, ya que reconocen correctamente que este es uno de los eventos clave en la situación mundial actual. La Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCRI) y su sección en Rusia, Tendencia Socialista, se han puesto del lado de la guerra de defensa nacional de Ucrania contra la invasión de Putin desde el principio. Si bien no brindamos apoyo político al gobierno burgués de Zelensky, pedimos apoyo material, incluida ayuda militar, para la resistencia ucraniana. Al mismo tiempo, enfatizamos el carácter dual del conflicto y la necesidad de que los socialistas se opongan a ambos campos en la rivalidad interimperialista entre Rusia y la OTAN. De ahí que defendamos una posición internacionalista y antiimperialista que resumimos en el lema: “¡Defender Ucrania contra la invasión de Putin! ¡Contra Rusia y contra el imperialismo de la OTAN![3]

Por lo tanto, acogemos con gran satisfacción el hecho de que la LIT-CI haya sido una de las pocas organizaciones trotskistas que también se ha puesto del lado del pueblo ucraniano. Esta ha sido la base para emitir una declaración conjunta, [4] así como actividades conjuntas de solidaridad en apoyo del pueblo ucraniano. [5]

Por el contrario, los compañeros de la FT se niegan a apoyar al pueblo ucraniano. Denuncian la guerra como “reaccionaria de ambos lados” y llaman vergonzosamente a protestas masivas… contra cualquier apoyo militar a Ucrania.

La declaración de la LIT-CI denuncia correctamente a la FT por tal posición que “en la práctica favorece al lado de los militares conquistadores, es decir, al lado de Putin”. Concluyen que “cuando la FT grita “No a la guerra”, en general, capitula ante Putin por la vía estéril del pacifismo”. Además, los compañeros enfatizan con razón que “no es admisible equiparar los intereses y políticas del Kremlin, el país opresor, con los de Ucrania, el país oprimido”. Al igual que la CCRI, dicen que “los revolucionarios deben luchar por la victoria militar de Ucrania, la nación oprimida e invadida. Y debemos hacer esto sin dar ningún apoyo político a Zelensky y la OTAN”. En consecuencia, apoyan, como nosotros, el deseo de Ucrania de obtener armas de donde sea posible.

 

Rivalidad entre grandes potencias: ¿un hecho insignificante?

 

Si bien la declaración reitera la posición correcta de la LIT-CI de apoyar la guerra justa de liberación del pueblo ucraniano, también refleja serias debilidades políticas de esta organización en términos de análisis y tácticas. Estos errores socavan la fuerza política de la defensa de Ucrania por parte de los camaradas y hacen que su posición sea vulnerable a los ataques de sus oponentes. Además, estos problemas implican el peligro de que la LIT-CI pueda tomar una posición socialimperialista en los conflictos entre Grandes Potencias.

Un problema esencial en el campo del análisis de la Guerra de Ucrania por parte de LIT-CI es su ángulo limitado. No reconocen el carácter dual del conflicto. Como elaboramos en varios documentos, el conflicto involucra tanto la guerra justa de defensa nacional de Ucrania como la rivalidad interimperialista entre las potencias occidentales y Rusia. Los compañeros de la LIT-CI ignoran efectivamente el segundo elemento y reconocen sólo el primero.

Sin embargo, de hecho, el período histórico que estamos viviendo, y que comenzó con la Gran Recesión en 2008, se caracteriza por una rivalidad acelerada entre las Grandes Potencias imperialistas (EE.UU., China, Europa Occidental, Rusia y Japón) contra los antecedentes de la decadencia del capitalismo. [6] El problema en el análisis de la LIT-CI es que los compañeros no son capaces de comprender la naturaleza fundamental de tal rivalidad interimperialista y, en consecuencia, ignoran la dimensión global de Ucrania. Para ellos, la rivalidad entre las Grandes Potencias en este conflicto no existe o es solo un hecho insignificante. [7]

Una razón “psicológica” para tal enfoque podría ser que los camaradas temen que reconocer el elemento de rivalidad interimperialista en el conflicto actual podría socavar su posición de apoyo a Ucrania. Sin embargo, tal preocupación no tiene fundamento. La tarea de los marxistas es distinguir entre la guerra justa de Ucrania (que hay que apoyar) y el conflicto interimperialista (en el que hay que oponerse a todas las Grandes Potencias). Los trotskistas enfrentaron tipos de conflictos similares en las décadas de 1930 y 1940 cuando apoyaron, en medio de conflictos interimperialistas, a Etiopía contra Italia en 1935-1936 o China contra Japón en 1937-1945. Como señala correctamente la propia declaración de LIT-CI, la Cuarta Internacional siguió estando del lado de la guerra de liberación nacional del pueblo chino incluso cuando estalló la guerra entre EE. UU. y Japón en 1941 con EE. UU. ayudando a la resistencia china contra los invasores japoneses. [8]

Por lo tanto, repetimos, los revolucionarios no tienen motivos para dejar de apoyar al pueblo ucraniano al reconocer la existencia de un conflicto reaccionario entre Estados Unidos, Europa Occidental y Rusia. Más bien necesitan combinar el defensismo revolucionario del pueblo ucraniano contra la invasión de Putin con el derrotismo revolucionario en el conflicto entre la OTAN y Rusia.

Al ignorar el importante conflicto entre las grandes potencias, los camaradas de la LIT-CI socavan la credibilidad de su posición y la hacen vulnerable a las críticas de fuerzas, como la FT/PTS, que denuncian la Guerra de Ucrania como una “guerra de proxies”. [9]

 

Negando el carácter imperialista de Rusia

 

Sin embargo, la ignorancia de la LIT-CI del elemento de la rivalidad entre las grandes potencias no se basa principalmente en ningún error "psicológico", sino en su visión fundamental del imperialismo actual. Básicamente, niegan, irónicamente al igual que sus oponentes de la FT/PTS, el carácter imperialista de Rusia y China. Por lo tanto, niegan que el conflicto entre EE. UU. y Europa Occidental contra Rusia (o China) sea una rivalidad interimperialista. Como mostramos en otro documento, los líderes de la LIT-CI afirman que Rusia (y China) no son estados imperialistas sino “dependientes del imperialismo”, es decir, que se trata de países semicoloniales como Brasil, Argentina o India. [10]

Esto es una completa tontería ya que tanto Rusia como China se han convertido en grandes potencias imperialistas por derecho propio. No elaboraremos nuestro análisis de estos dos estados y referiremos a los lectores interesados a nuestros respectivos trabajos. [11]

De su análisis erróneo de Rusia como un estado “dependiente” (y no imperialista), los líderes de la LIT-CI sacan la conclusión lógica de que, en caso de un conflicto militar directo entre la OTAN y Rusia, defenderían a esta última. Así lo declararon después del comienzo de la Guerra de Ucrania: “Esto [la Guerra de Ucrania, Ed.] no es una invasión militar de la OTAN al territorio ruso. En ese caso, sin duda nos posicionaríamos en defensa de Rusia, tanto porque es una economía dependiente del imperialismo como porque ha sido invadida”. [12]

Por lo tanto, los líderes de la LIT-CI tienden a trivializar el elemento de la rivalidad de las grandes potencias en el conflicto global relacionado con la actual Guerra de Ucrania porque quieren evitar sacar las conclusiones de su propio (erróneo) análisis de la Rusia “no imperialista”, un análisis que los empujaría hacia una posición prorrusa. Como hemos dicho, esto es un error en el conflicto actual. Sin embargo, implica grandes peligros para el futuro ya que solo es cuestión de tiempo que se produzca un enfrentamiento militar directo entre la OTAN y Rusia. ¿Se unirá entonces la LIT-CI al campo de la Rusia “dependiente” y la defenderá contra los EE. UU. y Europa occidental como prometió en la cita mencionada anteriormente? Obviamente, esto sería una capitulación socialimperialista ante el régimen de Putin. Esperamos firmemente que los camaradas se abstengan de tales conclusiones, pero sería la lógica inevitable de su negación de la naturaleza imperialista de Rusia.

 

¿Apoyando las sanciones imperialistas occidentales?

 

Desafortunadamente, este no es el único problema grave en la posición de la LIT-CI. Si bien afirman que Rusia es un país “dependiente”, al mismo tiempo apoyan absurdamente las sanciones occidentales contra Rusia. “Además, debemos exigir a todos los gobiernos, imperialistas o no, la ruptura total de las relaciones diplomáticas y comerciales, es decir, el fin de las inversiones, exportaciones e importaciones con Rusia. (…) Los activos de Gazprom y de los bancos rusos en el extranjero deben ser expropiados. Los activos de las empresas rusas y los oligarcas en otros países deben ser expropiados”. [13]

En su nueva declaración, los líderes de la LIT-CI nuevamente mencionan críticamente el carácter "suave" de las sanciones occidentales contra Rusia, pero no dicen una palabra de que se opondrán a tales sanciones. ¡Dado su historial, esto significa que continúan apoyando las sanciones de las potencias imperialistas contra un país supuestamente “dependiente”!

Como mostramos en varios documentos, tal apoyo es completamente erróneo y en total contradicción con la larga tradición del trotskismo. El fundador de la Cuarta Internacional enfatizó que “Las sanciones económicas, si son verdade­ras, conducen a las sanciones militares, a la guerra”. [14] Por lo tanto, insistió en que los marxistas deben romper con todos aquellos que prestan apoyo a tales sanciones de tal o cual potencia imperialista. “La lucha contra la guerra, debidamente entendida y ejecutada, presupone la hostilidad intransigente del proletariado y sus organizaciones, siempre y en todas partes, hacia sí mismo y hacia cualquier otra burguesía imperialista. Sin embargo, entre los adherentes anunciados del congreso del Buró de Londres se encuentran partidarios tan notorios de las "sanciones" de la Sociedad de Naciones (es decir, imperialistas) como el Partido Socialista Italiano, que presumiblemente organizará una lucha común contra la guerra con los opositores de estas "sanciones", como pretende ser la ILP británica. Un requisito previo para la lucha del proletariado contra la guerra no es la unidad entre los pro-"sancionadores" y los anti-"sancionadores", sino la separación despiadada de ellos”. [15]

¡El apoyo de la LIT-CI a las sanciones imperialistas viola completamente los principios de la Cuarta Internacional! Por supuesto, mientras los trotskistas se oponen a tales sanciones, apoyan, en caso de una guerra reaccionaria como la invasión de Ucrania por parte de Putin, las acciones de boicot de las organizaciones de la clase obrera. Sin embargo, la Cuarta Internacional siempre diferenció entre sanciones obreras e imperialistas. Uno sirve a los intereses de los oprimidos, el otro sirve a la burguesía imperialista.

Tales escribieron los trotskistas estadounidenses durante la guerra ítalo-etíope en 1935: “El Partido de los Trabajadores llama a la defensa de los pueblos etíopes contra la agresión italiana. (…) Son las sanciones independientes de la clase obrera, sus propios boicots, huelgas, fondos de defensa, manifestaciones masivas las que pueden ayudar a las batallas de los pueblos etíopes”, no las sanciones del capital financiero y sus estados títeres”. [16]

Ningún argumento debería ser necesario para convencer a un socialista revolucionario de que es imposible que un partido socialista sea neutral en una guerra entre un país ladrón imperialista y un pueblo semicolonial. Debemos llamar a los trabajadores a hacer todo lo posible para derrotar a la potencia imperialista porque los intereses de la clase obrera internacional exigen la derrota de cualquier potencia imperialista que intente esclavizar a un pueblo atrasado. Esto no significa que debamos agitarnos para que nuestro propio gobierno capitalista imponga un embargo a Italia. En caso de guerra, la clase obrera debe desempeñar su papel independientemente del gobierno capitalista. No podemos tener ninguna fe en ningún motivo de un gobierno que represente a la clase capitalista. Nos opondríamos amargamente a que nuestro “propio” gobierno declarara la guerra a Italia porque sabemos que lo haría solo para proteger sus propios intereses imperialistas y no para ayudar a Etiopía”. [17]

¡Es un grave error de la LIT-CI que no son conscientes de la diferencia de clase entre las sanciones imperialistas y las sanciones a los trabajadores y apoyan abiertamente las sanciones de los EE. UU. y Europa Occidental contra Rusia!

 

Criticar a la FT/PTS por pacifismo es correcto, pero…

 

Otra contradicción interna de la política de LIT-CI en la guerra de Ucrania es su enfoque del pacifismo. Como citamos anteriormente, los camaradas critican correctamente a la FT/PTS por sus consignas pacifistas. Al mismo tiempo, no puede dejar de mencionarse que la propia LIT-CI tiene antecedentes de levantar consignas pacifistas. Como mostramos en otro artículo, ha llamado repetidamente a los EE. UU. y Rusia por el " desmantelamiento de todo armamento nuclear ". [18]

Nuevamente, esto está en total contradicción con el método marxista. Los socialistas no llaman a las potencias imperialistas a “desarmarse”, ya que esto solo puede crear ilusiones sobre la capacidad del capitalismo para transformarse en un orden mundial “pacífico”. Como explicó Trotsky, este enfoque es típico del pacifismo pequeñoburgués, ¡pero no del marxismo!

Con la pretensión del “desarme” no se evita ni se puede evitar la guerra. El programa de “desarme” no es más que un intento - hasta ahora concretado sólo en el papel- de reducir en época de paz los costos de tal o cual armamento. Es sobre todo una cuestión de técnica militar y del estado en que se hallan las arcas imperialistas. Ni los arsenales, ni las fábricas de municiones, ni los laboratorios, ni finalmente - lo más importante- la industria capitalista de conjunto, se debilitan en lo más mínimo con los “programas de desarme”. Los estados no pelean porque están armados. Por el contrario, fabrican armas cuando tienen que pelear. En el caso de que estalle la guerra desaparecerán todas las limitaciones de la época de paz...Es pura charlatanería tratar de diferenciar entre los fusiles, tanques o aeroplanos ofensivos o defensivos. También allí la política norteamericana está determinada por los intereses específicos del imperialismo norteamericano, el más terrible de todos. La guerra no es un juego que se desarrolla según las guerras convencionales. La guerra exige y crea las armas que mejor pueden aniquilar al enemigo. El pacifismo pequeñoburgués, que, en un diez por ciento, un treinta y tres por ciento o un cincuenta por ciento considera la propuesta de desarme como el “primer paso” hacia la posibilidad de impedir la guerra, es más peligroso que todos los explosivos y los gases asfixiantes. La melinita y la hiperita pueden cumplir su cometido sólo porque durante la paz las masas populares se envenenan con los vahos del pacifismo.[19]

 

Conclusiones

 

Concluiremos este artículo repitiendo que apreciamos mucho el apoyo político y práctico de los camaradas de la LIT-CI a la guerra de liberación nacional del pueblo ucraniano. Sin embargo, su política contiene errores importantes y contradicciones internas que socavan su propia posición de apoyo a Ucrania y la hacen vulnerable a las críticas de los opositores centristas a su apoyo. Además, estos defectos en sus análisis y tácticas provocan el peligro de que la LIT-CI tome una posición socialimperialista en apoyo de Rusia o China en una futura guerra con las potencias occidentales.

Por lo tanto, instamos a los camaradas a corregir rápidamente estos errores. Concretamente, los compañeros de la LIT-CI deberían discutir y cambiar sus posiciones sobre los siguientes temas:

1) Corregir su evaluación errónea de Rusia y China como estados "no imperialistas" que serían "dependientes del imperialismo". Reconocer que estos se han convertido en Grandes Potencias imperialistas por derecho propio.

2) Reconocer que la rivalidad interimperialista entre las Grandes Potencias (EE. UU., China, Europa Occidental, Rusia y Japón) es una característica clave del período histórico actual y seguirá siéndolo en el futuro previsible.

3) En todos los conflictos entre Grandes Potencias, base su política en los principios del derrotismo revolucionario elaborados por Lenin y Trotsky. ¡Ningún apoyo a ningún estado imperialista!

4) Reconocer que la rivalidad interimperialista entre la OTAN y Rusia es un elemento importante en la actual Guerra de Ucrania. Combinar el apoyo a la guerra de liberación del pueblo ucraniano con el derrotismo revolucionario en el conflicto entre la OTAN y Rusia.

5) ¡Ningún apoyo a las sanciones imperialistas como la actual política de la OTAN contra Rusia! ¡Pero sí a las sanciones obreras contra la guerra de Putin y su maquinaria imperialista-militarista!

6) Dejar de defender la política de pacifismo como llamar a EE. UU. y Rusia por el "desarme nuclear".

 



[1] LIT-CI: Sobre las consignas “No a la guerra” y “ni un tanque para Ucrania”. El pacifismo contra los ucranianos que fortalece a Putin y a los imperialistas europeos y norteamericanos, 15 de febrero de 2023, https://litci.org/es/sobre-las-consignas-no-a-la-guerra-y-ni-un-tanque-para-ucrania/. Todas las citas son de esta declaración al menos que se indique de otra forma.

[2] Michael Pröbsting: Guerra de Ucrania: una vez más sobre la ayuda militar y la rivalidad interimperialista. Una contribución crítica a un debate entre trotskistas en los EE. UU., 7 de enero de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-once-more-on-military-aid-and-inter-imperialist-rivalry-rsop-dc-srs-ft-lit/#anker_1; por el mismo autor: Guerra de Ucrania: una polémica equivocada. Respuesta a una crítica del FT/PTS hacia la defensa de Ucrania por parte de LIT-CI, 13 de septiembre de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-a-mistaken-polemic/#anker_2

[3] Remitimos a los lectores a una página especial en nuestro sitio web donde se compilan más de 150 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

[4] Guerra de Ucrania: Declaración Conjunta. Llamamos a una gran campaña internacional de apoyo y solidaridad con la resistencia ucraniana. ¡Por la derrota de la invasión del ejército ruso! No a la OTAN, 13 de marzo de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/joint-statement-on-ukraine-war-13-3-2022/#anker_1; ver también: https://uit-ci.org/index.php/2022/03/13/ucrania-llamamiento-internacional-de-diversas-organizaciones/.

[5] Ver sobre esto en varios reportes en nuestro sitio web: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/international-workers-aid/

[6] La CCRI se ha ocupado en numerosas ocasiones de la rivalidad interimperialista de las Grandes Potencias. Ver, p. ej., 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; ver también nuestro libro por Michael Pröbsting: 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/; ver también los siguientes trabajos 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, vea las siguientes sub-páginas: 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/

[7] Hemos analizado la rivalidad entre las grandes potencias en el contexto de la Guerra de Ucrania en varios documentos. Véase, por ejemplo. Michael Probsting: Less Than 9%. Many Western corporations continue to make business with Russia despite the official sanction policy, 11 February 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/western-corporations-continue-to-make-business-with-russia/; por el mismo autor: Western Boycott of Western Sanctions? A new report reveals that Western exports to Russia have increased in the past months despite the official policy of boycott, 20 August 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/western-boycott-of-western-sanctions/; Una combinación peculiar y explosiva

Notas sobre la situación mundial actual, 6 de octubre de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/world-situation-notes-10-2022/#anker_1; The G-7 Oil Price Cap: A New Stage in the Great Power Rivalry. The Cold War between the Western powers and their Eastern rivals points towards escalation, 7 September 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-g-7-oil-price-cap-a-new-stage-in-the-great-power-rivalry/; Rusia: un espejo del futuro. Notas sobre el papel de Rusia en la situación mundial actual, la lucha de clases global y el reagrupamiento revolucionario, 5 de noviembre de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/russia-a-mirror-of-the-future/#anker_1.

[8] Ver sobre esto p. ej., en Michael Pröbsting: Una consigna marxista y su caricatura. Sobre la tergiversación socialimperialista de la consigna “El principal enemigo está en casa” en el contexto de la Guerra de Ucrania y la Crisis del Estrecho de Taiwán, 17 de agosto de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-marxist-slogan-the-main-enemy-is-at-home-and-its-social-imperialist-distortion/#anker_2; por el mismo autor: La guerra en Ucrania y la segunda guerra chino-japonesa: una analogía histórica. La táctica dual de los marxistas en la actual Guerra en Ucrania se basa en el enfoque de sus predecesores en la guerra entre China y Japón en 1937-1941, 10 de marzo de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-second-sino-japanese-war-a-historical-analogy/#anker_1;

[9] Para una crítica extensa de la posición de FT/PTS en la Guerra de Ucrania, véase, p. Michael Probsting: ¿No al boicot obrero contra Rusia, pero sí al boicot a Ucrania? Sobre el apoyo del PTS/FT a las acciones de boicot contra los envíos de armas a Ucrania, 26 de marzo de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/pts-ft-workers-sanctions-against-ukraine/#anker_3.

[10] Para las citas relevantes ver LIT-CI: Declaración de la LIT-CI ante el conflicto Estados Unidos (OTAN)-Rusia-Ucrania, 4 de febrero de 2022, https://litci.org/es/declaracion-de-la-lit-ci-ante-el-conflicto-estados-unidos-otan-rusia-ucrania/. Para una crítica, ver Michael Pröbsting: ¿Es Rusia “dependiente del imperialismo occidental”? Comentarios críticos a la declaración de LIT-CI sobre el actual conflicto OTAN-Rusia, 14 de febrero de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/critical-remarks-on-lit-ci-statement-on-the-current-nato-russia-conflict/#anker_2.

[11] El RCIT 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 por el 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/; 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/. Vea varios otros documentos de la CCRI sobre este tema en una sub-página especial en el sitio web de la CCRI: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.
Para nuestro análisis del capitalismo en China y su transformación en una gran potencia, véase, p. el libro ya mencionado de Michael Pröbsting: Anti-imperialismo en la Era de la Rivalidad de las Grandes Potencias; ver también, del mismo autor, “Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy”, an essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020,
https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; China: una potencia imperialista… ¿o todavía no? ¡Una cuestión teórica con consecuencias muy prácticas! Continuando el Debate con Esteban Mercatante y el PTS/FT sobre el carácter de clase de China y sus consecuencias para la estrategia revolucionaria, 22 de enero de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-imperialist-power-or-not-yet/#anker_1; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), en: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4; ¿Cómo es posible que algunos marxistas sigan dudando de que China se ha vuelto capitalista? (Una crítica del PTS/FT). Un análisis del carácter capitalista de las empresas estatales de China y sus consecuencias políticas, 18 de septiembre de 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/pts-ft-y-imperialismo-chino-2/; Incapaces de ver el bosque por ver los árboles. El empirismo ecléctico y la falla del PTS/FT en reconocer el carácter imperialista de China, 13 de agosto de 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/pts-ft-y-imperialismo-chino/; China’s Emergence as an Imperialist Power (Artículo en la revista estadounidense 'New Politics'), en: “New Politics”, Summer 2014 (Vol:XV-1, Whole #: 57). Vea muchos más documentos de la CCRI en una subpágina especial en el sitio web de la CCRI: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/

[12] Para las citas relevantes ver Eduardo Almeida: El estalinismo, la crisis del orden mundial y la invasión rusa, LIT-CI, marzo 7, 2022, https://litci.org/es/el-estalinismo-la-crisis-del-orden-mundial-y-la-invasion-rusa/; Alejandro Iturbe, un líder de la LII-CI: Polémica | Sobre la consigna “No a la guerra” en Ucrania, 13 de marzo de 2022, https://litci.org/es/sobre-la-consigna-no-a-la-guerra-en-ucrania/; Para una crítica ver Michael Pröbsting: La LIT-CI “Defendería sin dudar a Rusia”. Recientes artículos de la LIT-CI revelan un peligroso paso hacia el socialimperialismo, 29 de marzo de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/lit-ci-would-undoubtedly-defend-russia/#anker_2;

[13] Para las citas relevantes ver Daniel Sugasti: La resistencia ucraniana frustró una rápida victoria rusa, 24 de mayo de 2022, https://litci.org/es/la-resistencia-ucraniana-frustro-una-rapida-victoria-rusa/; Para una crítica ver Michael Pröbsting: Guerra de Ucrania: ¡Apoyar las sanciones occidentales es inadmisible para los socialistas! El apoyo a la resistencia ucraniana debe combinarse con un antiimperialismo consecuente (una crítica de camaradería a la LIT-CI), 1 de junio de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-supporting-western-sanctions-is-impermissible-for-socialists/#anker_2; véase también del mismo autor: Guerra de Ucrania: defensismo revolucionario y defensismo no revolucionario

Una crítica de camaradería a la LIT-CI que combina falsamente su defensa de Ucrania con el apoyo a las sanciones imperialistas occidentales contra Rusia, 15 de julio de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/ukraine-war-revolutionary-defensism-and-non-revolutionary-defensism/#anker_1

[14] León Trotsky: Una vez más, acerca del ILP (1935), https://ceip.org.ar/Una-vez-mas-acerca-del-ILP     

[15] Leon Trotsky: Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau (1936), in: Documents of the Fourth International, New York 1973, p. 99

[16] Workers Party: Revolutionary Policy Alone Can Defeat Imperialist War, Statement of the National Committee of the WP(U.S.), in: New Militant, Vol. I No. 41, 5 October 1935, p. 1, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/themilitant/1935/index.htm

[17] Socialists and the Italian-Ethiopian Conflict, Socialist Appeal, October 1935, Vol. 2, No. 1, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistappeal/vol02/no01/ethiopia.htm

[18] Para las citas relevantes ver LIT-CI: Ucrania | Llamamiento internacional de la LIT-CI y la UIT-CI, 13.3.2022, https://litci.org/es/ucrania-llamamiento-internacional-de-la-lit-ci-y-la-uit-ci/; para conocer una crítica, vea, por ejemplo, Michael Pröbsting: ¿Deberían los socialistas pedir el “desarme nuclear”? Una crítica camaraderil a una consigna pacifista enarbolada por la LIT-CI, 2 de octubre de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/shall-socialists-call-for-nuclear-disarmament/#anker_1

[19] León Trotsky: Declaración al Congreso Contra la Guerra de Amsterdam (1932), https://ceip.org.ar/Declaracion-al-Congreso-Contra-la-Guerra

Como apoiar a Guerra de Libertação da Ucrânia sem tomar partido na Rivalidade Inter-Imperialista?

Uma crítica fraterna a uma nova declaração LIT-QI e sua polêmica contra o PTS/FT

Por Michael Pröbsting, Secretário Internacional da Corrente Comunista Revolucionária Internacional (CCRI/RCIT), 20 de fevereiro de 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

Conteúdo

 

Introdução

Rivalidade das Grandes Potências: um fato insignificante?

Negando o caráter imperialista da Rússia

Apoiando as sanções imperialistas ocidentais?

Criticar o FT/PTS por pacifismo é correto, mas ...

Conclusões

 

* * * * *

 

Introdução

 

A Secretaria Internacional da LIT-QI, uma organização trotskista internacional com sede na América Latina, publicou recentemente uma longa declaração sobre a Guerra da Ucrânia. Essencialmente, o documento é uma polêmica contra o PTS/FT, outra organização trotskista com sede na América Latina, cuja maior seção é o PTS na Argentina, mas que também tem seções em alguns países europeus. 1 Foi escrito no contexto de um debate contínuo que está ocorrendo entre as seções americanas das duas organizações, e para o qual também contribuiu. 2

Não é surpreendente que os camaradas da LIT-QI concentrem seu documento na Guerra da Ucrânia, pois eles reconhecem corretamente que este é um dos principais eventos na atual situação mundial. A Corrente Comunista Revolucionária Internacional (CCRI) e sua seção na Rússia - Tendência Socialista - estiveram ao lado da guerra de defesa nacional da Ucrânia contra a invasão de Putin desde o início. Enquanto não damos apoio político ao governo burguês Zelensky, pedimos apoio material - incluindo ajuda militar - para a resistência ucraniana. Ao mesmo tempo, enfatizamos o caráter duplo do conflito e a necessidade de os socialistas se oporem a ambos os campos na rivalidade inter-imperialista entre a Rússia e a OTAN. Por isso, defendemos uma posição internacionalista e anti-imperialista que resumimos no slogan: "Defender a Ucrânia contra a invasão de Putin! Contra a Rússia e contra o imperialismo da OTAN"! 3

Portanto, saudamos fortemente o fato de que a LIT-QI tem sido uma das poucas organizações trotskistas que também tem estado do lado do povo ucraniano. Esta tem sido a base para a emissão de uma declaração conjunta 4 bem como de atividades conjuntas de solidariedade em apoio ao povo ucraniano. 5

Em contraste, os camaradas da FT se recusam a apoiar o povo ucraniano. Eles denunciam a guerra como "reacionária de ambos os lados" e pedem vergonhosamente protestos em massa ... contra qualquer apoio militar para a Ucrânia.

A declaração da LIT-QI denuncia corretamente a FT por tal posição que "na prática favorece o lado dos militares conquistadores, ou seja, o lado de Putin". Eles concluem que "quando a FT grita "Não à Guerra", em geral, ela capitula a Putin através do caminho estéril do pacifismo". Além disso, os camaradas enfatizam corretamente que "não é admissível equiparar os interesses e políticas do Kremlin, o país opressor, com os da Ucrânia, o país oprimido". Como a CCRI, eles dizem que "os revolucionários devem lutar pela vitória militar da Ucrânia, a nação oprimida e invadida". E devemos fazê-lo sem dar nenhum apoio político a Zelensky e à OTAN". Conseqüentemente, eles apoiam, como nós, o desejo da Ucrânia de obter armas de onde quer que seja possível.

 

Rivalidade das Grandes Potências: um fato insignificante?

 

Embora a declaração reitere a posição correta da LIT-QI de apoiar a justa guerra de libertação do povo ucraniano, ela também reflete sérias fraquezas políticas desta organização em termos de análise e táticas. Estes erros minam a força política de defesa dos camaradas da Ucrânia e tornam sua posição vulnerável a ataques de seus oponentes. Além disso, estes problemas envolvem o perigo de que a LIT-QI possa tomar uma posição social-imperialista nos conflitos entre as Grandes Potências.

Um problema essencial no campo da análise da LIT-QI sobre a Guerra da Ucrânia é seu ângulo limitado. Eles não reconhecem o caráter duplo do conflito. Como elaboramos em vários documentos, o conflito envolve tanto a justa guerra de defesa nacional da Ucrânia quanto a rivalidade inter-imperialista entre as potências ocidentais e a Rússia. Os camaradas da LIT-QI efetivamente ignoram o segundo elemento e reconhecem apenas no primeiro.

Entretanto, de fato, o período histórico em que vivemos, e que começou com a Grande Recessão em 2008, é caracterizado por uma rivalidade acelerada entre as Grandes Potências imperialistas (EUA, China, Europa Ocidental, Rússia e Japão) no contexto da decadência do capitalismo. 6 O problema na análise da LIT-QI é que os camaradas não são capazes de entender a natureza fundamental de tal rivalidade inter-imperialista e, conseqüentemente, ignoram a dimensão global da Ucrânia. Para eles, a rivalidade entre as Grandes Potências neste conflito não existe ou é apenas um fato insignificante. 7

Uma razão "psicológica" para tal abordagem pode ser que os camaradas temam que o reconhecimento do elemento de rivalidade inter-imperialista no atual conflito possa minar sua posição de apoio à Ucrânia. Entretanto, tal preocupação é infundada. A tarefa dos marxistas é distinguir entre a justa guerra da Ucrânia (que deve ser apoiada) e o conflito inter-imperialista (no qual se deve opor todas as Grandes Potências). Os trotskistas enfrentaram tipos similares de conflitos nos anos 30 e 40 quando apoiaram - no meio de conflitos inter-imperialistas - a Etiópia contra a Itália em 1935-36 ou a China contra o Japão em 1937-45. Como a própria declaração da LIT-QI observa corretamente, a Quarta Internacional continuou ao lado da guerra de libertação nacional do povo chinês, mesmo quando a guerra eclodiu entre os EUA e o Japão em 1941, com a ajuda dos EUA à resistência chinesa contra os invasores japoneses. 8

Assim, repetimos, os revolucionários não têm motivos para abandonar seu apoio ao povo ucraniano, reconhecendo a existência de um conflito reacionário entre os Estados Unidos, a Europa Ocidental e a Rússia. Eles precisam mais combinar o defensismo revolucionário do povo ucraniano contra a invasão de Putin com o derrotismo revolucionário no conflito entre a OTAN e a Rússia.

Ao ignorar o importante conflito entre as Grandes Potências, os camaradas da LIT-QI minam a credibilidade de sua posição e a tornam vulnerável às críticas de forças - como a FT/PTS - que denunciam a Guerra da Ucrânia como uma "guerra por procuração". 9

 

Negando o caráter imperialista da Rússia

 

Entretanto, a ignorância da LIT-QI sobre o elemento da rivalidade entre as grandes potências não está enraizada principalmente em nenhum erro "psicológico", mas em sua visão fundamental do imperialismo de hoje. Basicamente, eles negam - ironicamente como seus adversários do FT/PTS - o caráter imperialista da Rússia e da China. Assim, eles negam que o conflito entre os EUA e a Europa Ocidental contra a Rússia (ou a China) é uma rivalidade inter-imperialista. Como mostramos em outro documento, os líderes da LIT-QI afirmam que a Rússia (e a China) não são Estados imperialistas, mas sim "dependentes do imperialismo", ou seja, que são países semicoloniais como o Brasil, a Argentina ou a Índia. 10

Isto é um completo absurdo, pois tanto a Rússia quanto a China se tornaram grandes potências imperialistas em seus próprios direitos. Não vamos elaborar nossa análise desses dois Estados e encaminhar os leitores interessados para nossas respectivas obras. 11

De sua análise errada da Rússia como um Estado "dependente" (e não imperialista), os líderes da LIT-QI extraem a conclusão lógica de que, no caso de um conflito militar direto entre a OTAN e a Rússia, eles defenderiam esta última. Assim eles afirmaram após o início da Guerra da Ucrânia: "Esta [a Guerra da Ucrânia, Ed.] não é uma invasão militar da OTAN em território russo. Nesse caso, sem dúvida, nos posicionaríamos em defesa da Rússia, tanto por ser uma economia dependente do imperialismo, quanto por ter sido invadida". 12

Assim, os líderes da LIT-QI tendem a banalizar o elemento de rivalidade das Grandes Potências no conflito global relacionado com a atual Guerra da Ucrânia, porque querem evitar tirar as conclusões de sua própria análise (errada) da Rússia "não-imperialista" - uma análise que os empurraria para uma posição pró-russa. Como já dissemos, isto é um erro no atual conflito. Entretanto, implica em grandes perigos para o futuro, pois é apenas uma questão de tempo até que haja um confronto militar direto entre a OTAN e a Rússia. Será que a LIT-QI então se juntará ao campo da Rússia "dependente" e a defenderá contra os EUA e a Europa Ocidental, como prometeu na citação acima mencionada? Obviamente, isto seria uma capitulação social-imperialista para o regime de Putin. Esperamos firmemente que os camaradas se abstenham de tais conclusões, mas seria a lógica inevitável de sua negação da natureza imperialista da Rússia.

 

Apoiando as sanções imperialistas ocidentais?

 

Infelizmente, este não é o único problema sério na posição da LIT-QI. Enquanto afirmam que a Rússia é um país "dependente", eles, ao mesmo tempo, apoiam absurdamente as sanções ocidentais contra a Rússia. "Além disso, devemos exigir de todos os governos, imperialistas ou não, a completa ruptura das relações diplomáticas e comerciais, ou seja, o fim dos investimentos, exportações e importações com a Rússia". (...) Os ativos da Gazprom e dos bancos russos no exterior devem ser expropriados. Os ativos de empresas e oligarcas russas em outros paíse