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Question of Ukraine - Summary of the conclusions of assessment

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The summary and conclusions of the discussions over the assessment of question of Ukraine is based on the related articles and responses to critiques.

It is important to note that the approach to the war in Ukraine is slowly but surely drawing the demarcation line between Marxism Leninism and Liberalism, between the idealist abstractionist and dialectic approach. Marxist "teaching is not a dogma, but a guide to action, Marx and Engels always used to say, rightly ridiculing the learning and repetition by rote of 'formulas' which at best are only capable of outlining general tasks that are necessarily liable to be modified by the concrete economic and political conditions. It is essential to realize the incontestable truth that a Marxist must take cognizance of real life, of the concrete realities, and must not continue to cling to a theory of yesterday."(1) Practice of applying general principles and rules as prescription formulas for the determination of the tactics and stands to be taken in a given situation is a betrayal to the sole of Marxism and its dialectics. “In politics, in which sometimes extremely complicated—national and international—relationships have to be dealt with, but it would be absurd to concoct a recipe, or general rule that would serve in all cases. One must have the brains to analyze the situation in each separate case.” (2) “Marxism requires of us a strictly exact and objectively verifiable analysis of the relation of classes and of the concrete features peculiar to each historical situation.” (3) “Relations of classes” is not limited to the relations between the competing monopoly-capitalist classes, but in their direct relation to the working classes.

The political aims of monopoly capitalists in their relations and conflicts will always have an effect in the life and struggle of the working class.  “Concrete political aims must be set in concrete circumstances. All things are relative, all things flow, and all things change.” (4) In Ukraine case too, concrete situation requires a concrete assessment of this separate war. The approach to each and every war cannot be based on the generalization of “wars” and prescriptive application of to all. To consider the matter concretely does not mean to examine the “era “and apply the formula fits that “era”. To hold such a view “says Lenin, “is to reduce the whole thing to an absurdity and apply a ridiculous stereotype in place of a concrete analysis of each separate war.” (5)

“Marxist dialectical method forbids the employment of “ready-made schemes” and abstract formulas, The dialectical method demands, first, that we should consider things, not each by itself, but always in their interconnection with other things. (6) “Genuine dialectics,” Lenin wrote, proceeds “by means of a thorough, detailed analysis of a process in all its concreteness. The fundamental thesis of dialectics is: there is no such thing as abstract truth, truth is always concrete.” (7) Because the strategy, tactics and stands of Communists derive from the interests of the working class and of their struggle and are guided by Marx’s principle that “they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.” (8) In order not to err in policy, in order not to find itself in the position of idle dreamers, the party of the proletariat must not base its activities on abstract "principles of human reason," but on the concrete conditions of the material life of society.” (9)

Unfortunately, the overwhelming approach and determination of attitude to the issue of war In Ukraine has been based on an eclectic formula application at best, appeasing of US-NATO aggressive imperialism at worse. “For a Marxist,” says Lenin,” clarifying the nature of the war is a necessary preliminary for deciding the question of his attitude to it. But for such a clarification it is essential, first and foremost, to establish the objective conditions and concrete circumstances of the war in question. It is necessary to consider the war in the historical environment in which it is taking place, only then can one determine one’s attitude to it. Otherwise, the resulting interpretation will be not materialist but eclectic.” Depending on the historical circumstances, the relationship of classes, etc., the attitude to war must be different at different times(10)

War in Nazi-Ukraine backed by the warmongering aggressive imperialist US-NATO and invasion attempt by Russian imperialism is not a typical war defined and assessed by readymade prescriptions for all. As Lenin says it against the "prescription" assessments; “Wars are a supremely varied, diverse, complex thing. One cannot approach them with a general pattern", there must be a concrete analysis of every war. (11)

Conclusions of Assessment process;

1-Conclusions of analysis

a) “The United Nations Organization, from being a world organization of nations with equal rights, has changed into an instrument of a war of aggression. In reality, the United Nations Organization is now not so much a world organization as an organization for the Americans and treats American aggression as acceptable... The United Nations Organization has been transformed into an instrument of war, a means to unleash a new world war. The aggressive core of the United Nations Organization has formed the aggressive North Atlantic pact (12) History since 1950s and now, proves this fact without any room to claim otherwise.

b) Newly emerged economically and militarily powerful imperialist Russia and China alliance is not in a “loose” alliance as some claims -more like a wishful thinking than a concrete assessment. Their vital interest binds them together within this alliance. While China is becoming the number one in world economically, it is behind in military in “offensive” structure. Chinese military industry and development from the start always focused on “defence”, not “offence” China only recently started including its military production and structure with offensive aims, yet still short range. That’s why while China tails behind in general offensive military capabilities, but it leaves all the rest behind in “defensive” military capabilities. (Especially in decisive fields like satellite control and capture, GPS, Communication jamming) 

Russia, on the other hand has offensive together with defensive capabilities. That is why their alliance becomes an indestructible force in conventional warfare.  

Current characterization of Russia-China is not a “military aggressive”, “war mongering” imperialist. They do not have a “colonizer” history going back a century, contrary China was a colony for half a century and born out of a long and pricy “anti-imperialist war. At least currently, neither Russia’s, especially that of China’s economy is not “armament driven” but that of military industry driven US-NATO. China and Russia’s current interests are not in conformity with the war but in peace.

Stalin, 
who , in 1951, defined US-NATO as an aggressive pact, an instrument of war, a new world war was saying that “ The fact that aggressor nations, interested in a new war, being nations that prepare for war over a long time and accumulate forces for it, usually are, and are bound to be, better prepared for war than peace-loving nations which have no interest in a new war. That is natural and understandable. This is if you like, a law of history, which would be dangerous to ignore. (13)

Imperialism has remained to be reactionary and continues to be a source of aggression and aggressive warsHowever, that does not mean that each and every imperialist country in each and every given time is equally equipped for aggressive wars, and/or its interests always coincide with aggressiveness and wars.

Currently US-NATO comprises the block of (militarily) aggressive, warmongering imperialists. Russia and China (militarily) non-aggressive imperialist block. To overshadow this fact with memorized general theories and mix the “economic” and “military” contexts of it, would be a dangerous game played in the interests of (militarily) aggressive imperialists.

c)   c) Appeasement policy had been the Policy of non-aggressive Russia and China. With the US NATO encirclement practices that reached to Ukraine and “NATOization” of Ukraine, together with the escalation of attacks to Donbass where the Russian people comprises the majority, triggered the ending of this appeasement policy on the part of Russia. In a way it looks that the appeasement policy will not be returning to the scene for some time soon. US-NATO provocations with Japan reclaiming the Russian islands will make harder for Russia to turn back to appeasement policy. 

Similar
 aggressive, warmongering policy and practices of US-NATO in Southeast Asia and especially regarding Taiwan, pushing China to the corner to leave its’ appeasement policy. 

Dispersing the Russian military to the east, west and south, busying China with the issues of Southeast Asia and Taiwan is a strategy of US-NATO directed against the Russian-Chinese alliance, to weaken it, if not to break it.

The character of a war and its success depend chiefly upon the internal regime of the country that goes to war, that war is a reflection of the internal policy conducted by the given country before the war. “(14) Thus, war cannot be assessed without first understanding its connection with the policies preceding it, without a study of the policies pursued long before the war.

I do not think anyone has an illusion on the internal policy of US, and its manipulation, propagation, and manufacturing consent for its warmongering policy. US-NATO is trying to corner the Russia-China block to get the most concession out of them if not to make them economically dependent on its monopoly through coercion in various forms. “The character of the social contradictions and the way in which they are resolved depend on economic relations” says Fyodorov and co-writers. “The economic system ultimately determines all social, political, and ideological relations, including also the conditions for the emergence of wars.” (15)

That is true “the war is a continuation of politics” but throwing this generalization does not tell us the nature of “politics” that is being followed by each imperialist at each given time.  Bourgeois ideologists and opportunists try hard to conceal the link between politics and war. The politics of US-NATO has been war mongering since 1950s. With the same politics and provocations of US-NATO in Europe and Asia, the possibility of a world war is closing on and being escalated not by Russia-China, but by US-NATO.

 d) Ukraine in particular is not an issue of a “sovereign country”. Together with the fascist coup d’etat in 2014, it has become a vassal of US-NATO aggressive imperialism. “In the political sphere” says Lenin, “the imperialist war has demonstrated that from the imperialists’ standpoint it is sometimes much more advantageous to have as war ally a politically independent but financially dependent small nation...” (20) And in reference to the “defense of fatherland” for these type countries, he states; “Small countries, toocannot in imperialist wars, defend their fatherland.” (16) 

So those who correctly claims the war as an imperialist war yet speaks of a “sovereign small nation” with the right “to defend its fatherland” are far from being Leninists, but not far from betraying to it and to the dialectics of Marxism. 

 e   e) Cries for peace; The cries “for peace” is a hypocrisy of west and their liberals tailed by the “left” even by some so called ML left. They were all quite when the war was going on for the last eight years in Ukraine as a vassal of US-NATO imperialism. They try so hard to conceal this objective political situation, this imperialist reality. They are trying to dupe the laboring masses, divert their attention, and repeating hypocritical phrases about “peace for the small nation, even if it is a vassal of imperialism, neo-Nazi”, and continuing the massacres of communists and anti-fascists. They speak of “peace without annexations”, but in reality, the annexation has already made by US-NATO long ago. If any ML considers the Donbass region’s independence as “annexation” by Russia, that would be a denial of an oppressed, massacred minority nations right to self-determination. That would be a chauvinistic statement that justifies its own imperialist block of governments “annexation” and defending that annexation.   Lenin was defining the essence of this practice;

For exposure of annexations by one’s imperialist rivals is the direct concern, the direct business, of all venal journalists, all imperialists, including those that parade, as socialists…are simply helping their “own” imperialist bourgeoisie to dupe the people, embellish its imperialist aims. (17)  

And he was eloquently explaining;

The receipt of high monopoly profits by the capitalists ... makes it economically possible for them to bribe certain sections of the workers, and for a time a fairly considerable minority of them and win them to the side of the bourgeoisie of a given nation against all the others. The intensification of antagonisms between imperialist nations for the division of the world increases this urge. And so, there, is created that bond between imperialism and opportunism.

We must have no illusions about “optimism” of this kind. It is optimism in respect of opportunism; it is optimism which serves to conceal opportunism. (18)

That is why, it is not a coincidence that there are so many “assessments” in line with chauvinism and opportunism that either concludes the war as an anti-imperialist war – a war between Russia and Ukraine, or concludes as imperialist war – a war between US-NATO block and Russia-China- in words, yet still evaluates and makes statements in line with anti-imperialist war in its disguised form, and disregarding the militarily aggressive and non-aggressive necessary assessment for the interests of laboring masses and of their interests both in particular and in world general.

2- Conclusion of Evaluation

“We are revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, and we always start out from a correct scientific analysis of the economic and political situation and of the tendencies of its development. We repudiate all subjectivism and its arbitrariness in appraising the objective situation.”

“If we, as Marxists, repudiate subjectivism, it is not because we regard ourselves as the slaves of objective development. No, we regard ourselves as the active revolutionary instrument of history for accelerating the victory of the proletariat.” (19)

Mechanical equation and automatically labeling an assessment as “pro” this or that imperialist is not the deduction of any Marxist Leninist but that of a petty bourgeois, liberals.

In general, when Marxist Leninists supports capitalists against feudalism, that does not make them pro-capitalist, or when they support monopoly capitalists against the capitalists, that does not make them pro-imperialist, or when they declare that they prefer a populist bourgeois democracy against an autocratic fascist government form, that does not make them pro-bourgeois democracy, or when they support regimes like that of Iran in their resistance against the aggression of US-NATO imperialism, that does not make them pro-reactionary regimes, or when they welcome the defeat of US-NATO imperialists in Afghanistan, that does not make them pro-Taliban. These are mechanical equations made by liberals or by those who memorize the theories that fit their own stand, sloganize them, and use as a “formula” on each and every situation. It has nothing to do with the application of the dialectics of Marxism. All those stands are guided by and derived from the interests of the laboring masses and of their struggle with the acceleration of struggle in mind.  That is why there cannot be any correct assessment of a stand without taking the labouring people’s interests as the base to proceed from for the evaluation and determination. With some exceptions, almost all the statements disregard this necessity. They quote “class relations” but they only concentrate on the class relations between the conflicting, warring imperialists, totally disregarding the “class relations” between them and the laboring masses.

What were and are the issues and their significance as far as the interests of the laboring people and of their interests are concerned- in that given Ukraine particular and in general? What are the identified options for dealing with the issue on hand based on the interests of laboring masses in Ukraine particular and world in general? We haven’t seen any assessment other than few in which some touches the subject totally in line with the western interests- blaming Russia for all the terrible things before, now, and aftermath.

Being ignorant to the neo-Nazi formations, neo-Nazi laws banning the Russian language, massacres of communists and anti-fascists for eight years, and now saying that “let them decide their own fate” is a utopian statement which has no feet on the ground of realities  at best, neo-Nazi appeasing, and pleasing statement at worse, for it conceals the reality of ongoing civil war for eight year long, and expects that to stop miraculously by itself.  Anyone, -does not have to be a Marxist Leninist- with a sane mind looking at the recent history of US-NATO in its relation to the small countries can easily see the fallacy of that statement.

Thus, the interests of Ukrainian laboring people are identifiable with the destruction of neo-Nazi structure and neo-Nazi organizations, including but not limited to within the Government, army, and police. There was and is still no viable option that would and could serve the interests of Ukrainian laboring masses.

The interests of laboring masses Ukraine in particular and of world in general is aligned with a Ukraine without any NATO alliance in any form or shape – a neutral country with no foreign military personal.

We do not confuse the political aims of the war with its results, we do not judge and define the character of a war from its consequences, and we do not look at all historical events that had progressive consequences as just wars. And we are not under the illusion that the political aim of Russia is the same as the political aims of laboring masses. However, we cannot disregard the consequences of a war in relation to the interests of laboring masses and of their struggles. That is our fundamental guideline – even if the interests of general contradict the interests of particular which in this case both are inline.

Thus, we conclude that while condemning Russia’s imperialist and expansionist policies, we welcome Russia's intervention in stopping the continuing neo-Nazi attacks and massacres and (possibly) preventing Ukraine becoming a military base for the preparations of further and larger attacks by the US-NATO imperialism in the region.

Contrary to chauvinistic, opportunist and liberal claims;

The war in Ukraine has no resemblance to the 1st WW for it was a war between imperialist blocks where all the belligerent countries were militarily aggressive. But it has so much parallelism with 2nd WW including Nazism where there were non-aggressive and aggressive imperialists in belligerent countries.

(Update;) Stalin was saying that "the Second World War began not as a war with the U.S.S.R., but as a war between capitalist countries. Why? Firstly, because war with the U.S.S.R., as a socialist land, is more dangerous to capitalism than war between capitalist countries; for whereas war between capitalist countries puts in question only the supremacy of certain capitalist countries over others, war with the U.S.S.R. must certainly put in question the existence of capitalism itself. (21)

The war in Ukraine did not cause the “escalation” of armament it was already continuing to escalate every year.

The war in Ukraine did not make the bordering countries to participate or think about participating in NATO alliance, it was already in the works for long time. But, as Comrade Lana M points out, depending on the conclusion of this war, it may actually play a deterring role for the bordering countries participating in NATO – most likely with the increase popular resistance to such a decision due to the fear of Russian interference.

And in world general, seeing that US-NATO in the face of a war deserts any country for its own convenience, it may even effect Taiwan for its desire to play a role of US-NATO vassal against China, and look for peaceful solution to the problem.

Similarly, it may even effect Japan looking for peaceful solutions to Islands questions with Russia –most likely only with the resistance of Japanese people drawing lessons from the latest “desertion” of US of its allies.

It is too early to make a concrete assessment without seeing the end results, especially if the war will end soon with the results of de-Nazification and de-NATOization with peace accomplished and when Russia will move its military out of Ukraine.

In particular, consequences will have positive effects regardless. In general, it looks positive yet too early to make a concrete assessment.

Erdogan A
Marxist Leninist Group for Discussions

March 2022

Related Articles for the conclusion

First article
Imperialism - in Ukraine Particular

Second Article
Where rote is repeated, finds itself in the lap of Trotskyism - the approach to the war in Ukraine.

Third Article
Response to MLC-  On the assessment and conclusions regarding Ukraine question

Fourth Article
On the statement of “In Defence of Communism”; The stance of the communists towards the imperialist war in Ukraine

Notes

(1) Lenin-The Tasks of The Proletariat in Our Revolution

(2) Lenin, Left-wing Communism

(3) Lenin, Letters on Tactics

(4) Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution

(5) Lenin, A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism

(6) Maurice Cornforth, Materialism, and the Dialectical Method

(7) Lenin, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

(8) Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto

(9) History of Communist Party of The Soviet Union (B)

(10) Lenin, Lecture on the Proletariat, and the War”

(11) Lenin to Inessa Armand

(12) Stalin, Interview with "Pravda" Correspondent February 17, 1951,

(13) The Question of Peace and Security – Stalin

(14) Lenin, Address To The Second All-Russia Congress Of Communist Organisations Of The Peoples of The East

(15) Fyodorov, Byely, Koztov, Marxism-Leninism on War and Army

(16) Lenin To: G. Y. Zinoviev

(17) Lenin, Theses for an Appeal to the International Socialist Committee and All Socialist Parties

(18) Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, A Popular Outline

(19) Report by O.W. Kuusinen, From 13th Plenum of ECCI

(20)  Lenin, Theses for an Appeal to the International Socialist Committee and All Socialist Parties

(21) Stalin; Economic Problems of Socialism in the Soviet Union, 1952)

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