maandag 31 augustus 2015

Is Russia imperialist?

The criteria used to suggest that Russia would be 'imperialist' are exclusively of a military nature; namely the fact the country has possession of nuclear arms and waged two ruthless wars against Chechnya. But military forces and aggression are not necessarily that which defines a country as imperialist.

Like Lenin already stated "imperialism is capitalism on that stage of development, in which the dominion of the monopolies and finance capitalism comes about, the export of capital has received a huge significance, the division of the world between international trusts has begun, and the partition of the entire territories of the globe between the biggest capitalist powers has been completed" (Imperialism as highest stage - 1916 - p 109-110). The dominion over the entire world by a handful of imperialists forms the biggest obstacle for the economic development and social progress of the less developed nations. The constant struggle of the imperialist powers to get access to markets, resources and cheap labour, leads towards a continuous return of imperialist wars in order to create assets and to protect it abroad.    

Russia, after the Soviet-Union, has never intervened outside the territory of the former Soviet-Union, except a very limited intervention in former Yugoslavia halfway the '90's, when the Russians acted as 'good cops' for the NATO. Moscow has waged two ruthless wars in Chechnya to squash the right on self-determination (the right of secession) of the oppressed Chechens (a right which we support by the way). However, more not-imperialist countries oppress minorities within their state-borders, for example the Tamils in Myanmar (Burma). Russia also fought for South-Ossetia during a war against Georgia; a country which is supported by the USA. During this war between two non-imperialist capitalist countries in 2008 only revolutionary defeatism was the correct position: The class interests of both the workers of Georgia as well as those of Russia had an interest in the overthrow of their own respective capitalist rulers by a socialist revolution.

Resurrected after the capitalist contra-revolution of 1991-1992, Russia after the Soviet-Union represents a historical unique and unknown phenomenon. Because the Russian industrial development primary took place in the collectivized economy of a workers state, contemporary Russia does not entirely fit the profile of the long established capitalist countries. The Russian economy, strengthened by the high prices for fossil fuels during most part of the last decennium, has largely recovered from the black hole it fell in after the capitalist 'shock-therapy' of the '90's. However, it does not have the economy of an imperialist power. Russia's new capitalist rulers have a large industrial basis and a huge infrastructure in a country with vast natural resources. However, her industry is significantly short in comparison to other developed capitalist countries in regard to technics and product quality. No branch of the Russian industrial production can compete with that of the international market, except its arnament industry (which is largely inherited from the Soviet Union). In contradiction to the imperialist countries, which are characterized by the export of capital, Russia exports natural resources, not capital. Russia's economy strongly depends on its oil- and gas sectors, which in 2013 was responsible for 16% of the GNP, 52% of the federal Government revenue and over 70% of the export. What must go through for 'investments' across borders, usually takes shape as flight of capital to imperialist centers or tax paradises.

Parts of the ruling class of the BRD seek for an alliance with Russia in an effort to realize that what they see as Germany's 'natural' role as ruler over Eurasia. But 'Atlanticists' such as Chancellor Angela Merkel do take a less bellicose attitude towards Russia than Washington does. However, until today the rulers of the USA and BRD have maintained their alliance to reduce or minimize Russian influence in the other countries of the former Soviet-Union. As a consequence the by the BRD dominated EU together with Washington have maintained their sanctions against Russia because of Russia's actions in Ukraine.  

The existing imperialists, with the USA on the forefront, keep on repulsing Russia out of their club. The imperialist NATO-alliance is extended to and with Eastern Europe (in the case of Estonia and Latvia right up to Russia's borders), the USA intensifies the spread of tanks and other heavy material in the region and for the first time since the end of the Cold War, NATO discusses a strengthening of its nuclear deterrents. US-imperialism also has sponsored colour 'revolutions' to install pro-Washington regimes in different former Republics of the Soviet-Union. The by the USA supported coup in Ukraine last year, which led to the installation of a fascist infected and extremely anti-Russian regime, is the most recent example. 
If we call upon all soldiers of all belligerents in Ukraine to 'turn their rifles around' against their own capitalist rulers: i.e. should our position be one of revolutionary defeatism? This was Lenin his position during the First World War, an inter-imperialist war, fought for the redistribution of the world among the imperialist powers. 

In sharp contrast the current conflict in Ukraine is the direct result of US-imperialist machinations; a civil war. Activists in the Eastern part of the country, which is ethnic mixed, but mostly speaks Russian, insurrected, because the ultra-nationalist regime threatened their national rights. The Kyev regime reacted with the mobilization of the army and neo-Nazist voluntary battalions - that bombarded cities, kill innocent civilians, destroy hospitals and industrial installations. It must be emphasized that although the rebels in Eastern Ukraine are supported by Russia, Moscow is not interested to annex Eastern Ukraine. In contradiction to the repeated assertions of Kyev and its imperialist patrons, that the Russian army invaded, Putin has clearly avoided a direct war with the Kyev-regime. 

Revolutionary socialists must take a clear position in this conflict: The interests of the working class - in Ukraine, Russia and on a global scale - lie in the defense of the population of Eastern Ukraine and their right on national self-determination. The fact that from a military position we are on the side of the 'pro-Russian' forces in Eastern Ukraine, does not mean we support the leaders of the nationalist rebellions or the Putin-regime (in no way, shape or form). Our defense of the people of Eastern Ukraine, is located in the extension of the approach of Lenin, who emphasized that the right on self-determination is essential for the suppression of national antagonism, thus opening the conditions in which the workers of different nations will get a chance to see that their 'own' capitalist ruling class is the enemy, not each other. 


Succesfull Anticapitalist Demonstration in Waren-Münitz (East Germany)

A great action which can be preamble for a new revolutionary spirit in the autonomous NS-movement in Germany

Last Saturday, 22th of August, the AN and Unabhängige Kamerad-schaften, among them AG Nord-Ost, Nationale Sozialisten Müritz and the Kollektiv 56 marched on the streets in the city of Waren-Müritz (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) for a loud and clear anti-capitalist protest. Around one hundred persons (mostly from the region itself) followed the call, which had "Stop exploitation - Defeat Capitalism!" as its slogan. Among them also several comrades, who participated on behalf of the ACN/AKN. Their report:

Around noon a Black Block - not seen for a long time in the BRD - (the slogans on the banners also pointed out a sincere anti-capitalist mindset) marched towards the city centre. Directly behind the Black Block a sound truck followed, from which the crew intercepted the intermittent silences with a heavy dose of NSHC and NS-rap music, a convenient way to reach out to the audience (especially the youth). We noticed straight away the discipline of the participants of the demonstration. All of them stuck to the political theme of the demonstration, also in regard to the slogans. (Mainly <<A-Anti-Anticapitalista>>, <<Wer hat uns verraten? Sozialdemokraten!>>, <<DGB: Arbeiterverräter!>>, <<Arbeit, Freiheit, Recht und Brot! Nationaler Sozialismus bis in den Tod!>> was called). Also the smoke- and alcohol prohibition was strictly followed. The environment was also held into account with regard to trash. (This is quite different in West-Germany!)

Halfway during the manifestation an interim meeting was held in the workers neighborhood Papenburg, characterized by its typical DDR-Plattenbau. Speakers of the AN, Unabhängige Kameradschaften and NPD sought contact with the locals. The most remarkable was made by comrade MZ. In his speech he gave a passionate plea for an united anti-capitalist front from both the 'left' and 'right', in which he frequently fell back on the revolutionary rhetoric of the Kampfzeit. Quotation: "Both these energies (those of 'socialism' and 'nationalism') should not clash with each other, but need to merge together (fuse)." To the leftwing he called to fight together (from both the 'left' and 'right') against the system (in a so-called pincer-movement). Also he recognized the bourgeois class-state in his speech, as well as the necessity 'to engage into the class struggle (from the side of the exploited and the oppressed). In a link to Dr. Goebbels he ended with:  ,,Durch den Klassenkampf hin zur Volksgemeinschaft!”[1] It goes without saying that these kinds of statements are exceptional within both the very reactionary ‘Nationaler Widerstand’ and also within the 'Autonomous Nationalism' of the BRD. One can imagine hearing these kind of revolutionary statements were quite a relief to us!

Until the end not much of the counter-mobilization the Antifa had announced was to be seen. Some doubtful elements did their best to hiss the anti-capitalist demonstrators by means of a 'colorful' parade, whistles and a single banner. We'd like to remember these Gütmenschen (and the present Antifa) to the well-known statement of Max Horkheimer: He who does not speak about capitalism, is to remain silent about fascism!" Because: Antifascism is before all anticapitalism! Fascism is merely a symptom of the disease, which is called capitalism. Who wants to fight fascism, needs to fight first and foremost capitalism: without capitalism, there is no fascism!

The atmosphere of the almost four hours long demonstration was very militant, it made a militant impression, the anti-capitalist was profoundly there, while the enthusiasm of the protestors remained to the end. Internally some critical comments were made: - (In general) too little activists to create a Black Block at any circumstance - A more suited place for an anti-capitalist demonstration (than Waren-Münitz). Further: To realize a truly anti-capitalist character during future demonstrations it is essential that party-political influences are consistently excluded, including the physical presence of NPD-bosses. The propagated revolutionary direction clashes with the still remaining influences of parliamentarism and party politics. Capitalism cannot be destroyed within a parliamentary context. Therefore 'democratic' reformism needs to be fought at all times. Also it uncritically following of the ridiculous order of the coppers to remain silent during the passing of some kind of event in the city centre should also be viewed in the same context. Rightly, this led to some discontent and disagreements between the chanting comrades and the bosses who tried to forbid them to do so.  Widerstand lässt sich nicht verbieten!?' Or does it? 

Apart from these negatives, we first of all need to see this day as a test-case for future demonstrations with the same revolutionary direction. We have every confidence that this AN-movement in the near future will develop itself further in a consistent anti-capitalist sense and militant manner.