A.Holberg, 15.5.2014: On H.Dworczak’s 10-Theses on the Ukraine


 On H.Dworczak’s 10-Theses on the Ukraine

 1.    H.D. is right when he says that the rebellion against the Janukowitsch regime was legitimate. However, we now have to deal with the outcomes. As everything in life, things are contradictory, but there is no doubt that from rather early on the main trend was a take-over of much of the Euro-Maidan movement by ulta-nationalist and even openly fascist forces. Even the minute leftist forces present there were unable to act openly on the basis of their real positions, however misguided and opportunistic these may have been.

2.    The federalist and, finally, separatist movement first in Crimea and since then across the Russophone eastern regions of the Ukraine were, and still are, primarily reactions to the ultranationalist tendencies of the new regime in the Ukraine. However, we do not need to question the „legitimacy“ of people’s will to separate from others. We have to accept that everybody has the right to separate from someone unless this means violating the rights of others. Given this we have to support the right of the national minorities in the Ukraine to self-determination, be that in the form of a federation, an independent state or becoming part of another state. This is why we have to support the right of the majority of the Crimean population to joint the Russian Federation. This does of course not mean that it is our duty to call for separation. We just have to defend the right to do so even if we do not think that this is the best solution. And the presence of Russian armed forces on the Crimea was, by the way, the only way this right could have been realised. Without those forces we would have seen the same bloody repression now being seen in the eastern parts of the Ukraine. Given this reality, it is interesting to think about what plans capitalist/imperialist Russia might have, but it is a secondary issue in comparison to the wish of the local population on the Crimea and in other parts of the Ukraine.

3.    While we have to do whatever we can to strengthen the working class as a political factor in Ukraine and Russia, our politics have to start from the reality on the ground. This reality is that, on one hand, we have a Ukrainian regime that incorporates organised fascist forces that is denying the right of national self-determination to the minorities of the country. On the other hand, we have right now the Russian minority claiming exactly this right. Although there are certainly right-wing (and maybe even fascist) forces inside these the pro-Russian camp, on the whole their character is much less reactionary than the character of the Ukrainian regime. This means that we have to side with them. This is not to say that we can give „political“ support to (politically) non-proletarian forces, of course, since our first obligation is to fight for socialism. If it didn’t sound so pathetic (given our weakness and the fact that, especially within the left, there’s such a lot of people who wouldn’t even know how to handle a gun), I would call for „military“ support. So let’s call it „critical support“, although we should never be uncritical even with respect to proletarian political forces (I always add „political“ since the social position is a necessary but far from sufficient basis for formulating a Marxist position).

4.    As the proletarian left at present doesn’t constitute something which could realistically be called a third „force“ it also is wrong to argue in favour of neutrality between Russia and „the West“ („neither Washington/Brussels nor Moscow“). Russian imperialism was and is basically a regional one concerning at best its geographical glacis, while „Western“ imperialism has been and is global. Again we have to give „critical support“ to „Moscow“, albeit a mostly social-reactionary entity. After all, the main danger in today’s world is centered in Brussels, Berlin, London, Paris and Washington. Equidistance between both, while totally correct on a very abstract theoretical basis, becomes wrong when applied in praxis at present. This is all the more so when we see the constant strengthening of right-wing populist and even fascist forces in many states of the EU, where we happen to live.