Socialist Fight No 17 Editorial: National Chauvinism, war hysteria and new forces 2/8/14

05/08/2014 by socialistfight










The pro-Maidan Ukraine Socialist Solidarity rallies for US and EU imperialism against the working class of Southeast Ukraine who face the brunt of the IMF/EU imposed austerity



The second half of 2014 promises to be a momentous period in the development of the global economic, military and political crisis of global Imperialism. The fallout from the US subprime mortgage and Lehman collapse of 2007/8 is still working itself out in wars and in the consciousness of the middle classes and working class globally.

The debt crisis revealed by the collapse has not gone away but has only been temporarily overcome by extending more credit preparing a bigger explosion; the burden of fictitious capital is the driving force of revolution and counter-revolution today.

Hence the need for global finance capital to increase the rate of exploitation of the working class in the metropolitan countries and rob the semi-colonial world. Today Iran, Russia and China are the prime targets for attack and breakup. Austerity without end and mass slaughter are now the name of the game in every country with Greece, Ukraine and Gaza showing the future of us all.

Increasing portents of WWIII

Form the attack on Libya in early 2011 by the USA and NATO via its proxy-army in Benghazi to the war against Syria and now Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza increasing portents of WWIII are emerging. The USA is evermore bellicose in the Ukraine, dragging far more cautious continental members of the EU in its wake. The shooting down of the Boeing 777 flight MH17 Malaysian aircraft on 17 July coincided with the invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground troops. This follows hotly on the heels of the spectacular advance by the ISIS jihadist militia into Iraq in early to mid June. This group are a mercenary army of US imperialism, trained by Israel and funded by the Saudis.

The sell-by date of puppet dictators is very short now. Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki was only installed by the USA in 2006 but already they must get rid of him because of his allegiance with Iran, Saddam Hussein likewise installed by the CIA lasted from 1979 to 2003. Assad, Bin Laden, Yanukovich, Gaddafi and many others were at also at some point agents of imperialist policy and were safe as long as they posed no threat to Israel or the US. But now the desperate search for increased investment opportunities to combat the falling profit rates of US transnationals finance houses and corporations meant they had to go.

The enormous debt burdens of corporations consist of fictitious capital which can only be redeemed by increasing the super-exploitations of the working class worldwide, we insist. Hence the ever-increasing moves towards dictatorship under the guise of Islamophobia and the war on terror etc. So it appears that the rhythms of the 21st century and the dynamic life of puppets are also really short, as our statement on Iraq on p. 26 observes.

But, some might argue, these are far away events and we can best get on with our own war against austerity if we are practical leftists and not worry too much about all this. We say that without a hope for overthrowing capitalism itself on a global scale we are left with the hope that foreign wars will glean more of the booty of Empire for the British working class. This narrow, nationalistic syndicalist outlook is the basis for the British jobs for British worker outlook, it is the basis for the rise of the national chauvinist UKIP and it is the basis eventually for the rise of fascism.

Contrary to the left reformist Owen Jones, there cannot be a “UKIP of the Left”, there is no populist leftist version of anti-immigrant sentiments that can be turned to the advantage of the working class; No to EU, Yes to Democracy promoted by the Communist party of Britain/Morning Star, the RMT, the Socialist Party and its National Shop Stewards Network is a complete dead end and only assists the right wing with its shamefaced chauvinism.

Trotskyists are internationalists

Trotskyists are internationalists not only because we care deeply about the fate of the victim of the Maidan fascists or the ISIS jihadists or the Zionist mass murders. We are internationalists because we know you cannot fight the domestic class struggle effectively without a global perspective of world revolution. Our Eight Indices of US-led World Imperialism article on p. 21 spells out the global reach of US-led Imperialism and the deadly threat it posed for every human being on the planet; it is the main enemy of all humanity.

Left groups that call themselves Trotskyists have gradually abandoned this perspective over the years but it still comes as a shock to see that quantity transformed into the quality of deep reaction amongst the vast majority that claim the banner of revolutionary Trotskyism by identifying Russia and the Southeast Ukraine as the main enemy in what could become the Sarajevo of the 21st century.

The article on p. 13, American SWP supports US imperialism tells the sorry tale of the degeneration of the US SWP, once the pride of the world Trotskyist movement, personally tutored by Trotsky himself in its great inspiring militant trade union work in the Teamsters union in the Twin Cities in the 1930s and in defence of the Soviet Union against the Shachtmanite backsliders. And it is a tale that applies to so many others in slightly different but in no less degenerate ways.



We have named them and shamed them in past issues of Socialist Fight like issue No 7, p. 23 in articles like Those that Howled along with the Wolves berating those that sought the overthrow of Gaddafi in lockstep with the USA and NATO. [1] It is enough to note the Rogues’ Gallery that support Chris Ford’s Ukraine Socialist Solidarity campaign, since joined by the Alliance for Workers Liberty (never found wanting when John Bull or Uncle Sam needed a “Trotskyist” defender). The supporters of this national chauvinist endeavour are listed as: the Labour Representation Committee, Revolutionary Socialism 21, A World To Win, and Socialist Resistance (Fourth International).[2]

New forces emerge

Today the crisis in Ukraine has brought some surprising developments; some of those named in SF No. 7 have reversed their position on Libya and Syria over Ukraine and, implicitly at least, begun to fight US-led Imperialism as the main enemy, although they still have the “conflict of two imperialism” fence-sitting politics. It is heartening to see this and to see new forces also coming on the scene to take up the cudgels on behalf of the working class and oppressed of the planet.

Here we see one of the vilest charges laid against the defenders of NovoRússia; we and they are Stalinists or capitulators to Stalinism. Gerry Downing was victim of this in the WRP Workers Press when they insisted that “Stalinism is the most counter-revolutionary force on the planet” back in 1987. No, he insisted then, as part of a tiny minority, Imperialism is the font of all counter-revolution, Stalinism was merely their alienated representative in the deformed and degenerated workers’ state. He still holds that view.

Because of necessity the Ukraine Communist Party has had to fight the fascists in Ukraine because they want to kill everything associated with the working class and the Russian Revolution. And the UCP are a workers’ party, a bourgeois workers’, but nevertheless part of the workers’ movement like Lenin characterised the British Labour party in 1920 and Trotsky did until his assassination in 1940.

The Maidan fascists wave the flags of Nazism and carry the portrait of Stepan Bandera

So the Statues of Lenin tumble in the West but the Eastern Ukrainians defend them with their red flags flying and their hammer and sickle emblems. The Maidan fascists wave the flags of Nazism and carry the portrait of Stepan Bandera. In April 2013 it was reported that “Unidentified people have destroyed a monument to Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera and his associates in the west Ukrainian city of Rudki, in the Lvov region (north west Ukraine). In the past month, five monuments to Stepan Bandera and other nationalist leaders have been destroyed in the Lvov region”. Our footnote to Eddie Dempsey’s account of the London Ukraine events of 9 July on p. 16 tells us why:

When the Germans invaded the USSR in June 1941 and captured the East Galician capital of Lvov, Bandera’s lieutenants issued a declaration of independence in his name. They further promised to work closely with Hitler and then helped to launch a pogrom that killed four thousand Lvov Jews in a few days, using weapons ranging from guns to metal poles. “We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet,” a Banderist pamphlet proclaimed to Ukrainian Jews. But whatever their disappointment with the Germans, the Banderists never disagreed with their Jewish policy in Ukraine, which eventually killed over 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews.” [3]

That footnote gives us more of the reasons for the split in the country: “On January 22, 2010 Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko honoured Stepan Bandera by posthumously bestowing on him the state honour, “Hero of Ukraine”. President Viktor Yanukovych annulled the decree in January 2011 after a long legal and political struggle. So the corrupt oligarch Yushchenko, propelled to power by the 2004 Orange Revolution, favours Bandera’s heritage but the equally corrupt oligarch Yanukovych rejected this and was tolerant of Lenin’s statues.

Not much to choose between the two morally except when it came to their supporters, one side has developed a mass fascist movement from the Euro-Maidan and the other side contains the organised working class, including the Stalinist party with its corrupt leadership, which is part of the workers’ movement with a working class membership and following, still looking to the Russian Revolution in some distorted way as an inspiration. It is to these latter we pitch all our efforts and support, therein lies the prospect of revolution.



The bogus “Left Opposition”

The very silly alchemic notion of “de-Nazifying” the Kiev government that the “Left Opposition” in Kiev propose is only a cover for the exasperated petty bourgeoisie as they capitulate to Imperialism and to fascism itself.

And whilst the pro-Maidan forces look to the Left Opposition for the future Brighid Ó Duinn on p. 17 demolished their pretentions to leftism we look to Borotba as the genuine forces of the struggle, albeit with political differences and unresolved issues not fought out yet. But we are unhesitatingly with them in the Anti Imperialist United Front.

John McDonnell MP, Chair of the LRC and prominent left MP has fronted Chris Ford’s Ukraine Socialist Solidarity campaign, hosting a meeting in the House of Commons on 9 July as recorded on pp. 14-15. The USSC has never condemned the killing of 500-plus civilians in NovoRússia, the driving from their homes of more than 100,000 refugees and the assassinations and torture meted out to their opponents by the fascists who now dominate the National Guard in the Ukraine army.

Disgracefully we cannot even get an agreement from LRC leading members to send a letter of condolences to the family and comrades of Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Kovshun, the secretary of the primary party organization of the Communist Party of Ukraine in the village of Glinky who was tortured and murdered by fascists at a checkpoint near the village Luzhky on 23 July.

It is clear that although the Imperialist attack on Libya at the start of 2011 brought about a split in the far left the national chauvinism over Ukraine represents a far more serious capitation to war hysteria by the deranged petty bourgeoisie in the above organisations. But a new, more class conscious and determined fighting layer is beginning to emerge in Britain and internationally to face up to their responsibilities on behalf of the class internationally. In them we place our faith for the building of a new revolutionary international to win the world revolution.


[1] Socialist Fight No. 7,


[3] Who Was Stepan Bandera?, by Norman J.W. Goda,



WRP Explosion

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