Monday, 3 March 2014

Ukraine Is Going To The Dogs - Part 2

In Part 1, I described the fact that WWI arose out of the fact that capitalism had outgrown national boundaries. An increasingly multinational, industrial capital, needed larger economic units to operate within. Europe needed a United States of Europe similar to the United States of America. Britain, as the global hegemon of the time, had every incentive to prevent the establishment of such a European super-state, on its borders, dominated by Germany, just as it had every incentive to prevent the establishment of a similar state, a century before, under French domination, and the US, as the rising power, had every reason to prevent it, and like SPECTRE in the Bond films, to see its two major rivals – Britain and Germany – do as much damage to each other as possible, by waiting until Germany was on the brink of victory before weighing in on the side of Britain.

In fact, when Trotsky based himself on Lenin's analysis, ahead of WWII, this also led him into error. Trotsky argued that Britain had no real interest in Europe, but if Hitler were to threaten Britain's colonies then they would immediately respond. But, the opposite was the case. Hitler made an open offer to Britain, via Lord Halifax, that if they gave him a free hand in Europe they could keep the Empire. Of course, the reality was that Britain and Hitler knew that the colonies would be useless under those conditions.

A large European state would quickly leave Britain trailing in the dust – a reality the Tory euroseptics do not seem still to have grasped. It was the development of industrial capital, not the control of markets and sources of supply that was the decisive factor, just as the town had subordinated the country to its needs, in the past century, by economic power not physical force.

And, with the US established as the global representative of big, industrial capital, which in its form of the multinational corporation, was footloose and dependent on no particular nation state, far from the drive being to simply carve up the world into different empires, the drive of the US was to abolish those empires completely. Roosevelt considered Churchill a gin soaked imperialist, and even offered to make an alliance with Stalin to break up the colonial empires, whose very protected markets and other monopolies now represented an impediment to the free flow of capital and labour to where it could be most profitably employed.

The real solution to the situation in the Ukraine is for the establishment of a United States of Europe, which would include Russia too. But, the obstacle to its establishment is the continuation of material conditions that cause the more backward sections of capital to cling to the nation state, and the failure of Marxists to develop the class consciousness of the working-class so that large masses of them remain dominated by ideas which are a throw back to previous times such as clericalism and nationalism. Those two ideologies have played a significant role in all these situations, providing a focus for the dominant influence by fascistic forces, whose organisation around these ideologies has given them far more social and political weight than their actual numbers merit.

The Liberals, including those that call themselves Marxists, look to superficial phenomena such as elections, and the votes that bourgeois democratic parties obtain, as though this appearance had any significance compared with the reality, for example, in Libya and increasingly in Iraq, that the streets are controlled by armed militias, representing various reactionary interests. The same is increasingly true of Ukraine.

No one can doubt the veracity of the thousands of people protesting for the removal of Yanukovitch. This was a man and a regime that seems to have engaged in opulence and corruption on the scale of French Kings. The idea that these protests were somehow a coup, or all the work of the CIA, EU etc is as ridiculous as when similar claims used to be made by the Stalinists, in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's. In fact, Yanukovitch seems to have been as much an embarrassment to the Kremlin as Saakashvili, in Georgia, was to the West. But, it would be equally naïve to believe that the CIA and others have not been involved in Ukraine.

Its open knowledge that large amounts of money was channelled to various groups to help promote the various “colour revolutions”, for example, just as money was given to groups in Serbia, and more practical support was given to the KLA, in Kosovo, in the same way that the overthrow of Gaddafi was brought about not by the people of Libya, but by massive bombing and the intervention of outside special forces.

In all these cases, it has been the actions of western imperialism, seeking strategic advantage against its Russian and Chinese competitors, that has created situations that have given the fascistic and other reactionary forces the headroom within which to operate. Just as was the case described by Trotsky in relation to the role of Russian imperialism and the Liberal interventionists in encouraging nationalistic forces to chance their arm, in the belief that someone would come to their aid, so that has been the effect of western intervention in the Balkans, Iraq, Libya etc.  At the same time, it is blatant hypocrisy now from Hague, Kerry and the other western imperialists to decry Russia for now doing exactly what they have done in all these instances over that period.  As they and the Liberal Interventionists have sowed, now are they reaping.

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