Monthly Archives: May 2014

Neo-Stalinism at its mealy-mouthed worst

This from a report of the discussion at the recent so-called revolutionary regroupment conference between Socialist Resistance, Workers Power, ISN, RS21 (both recent SWP splinters) and the Anti-Capitalist Initiative (whatever anti-capitalism is):

Ukraine

I find this the most difficult of the four debates to encapsulate. This is because for the best of reasons – to allow as many people as possible to speak – throughout the day initial speakers from the organisations were given five minutes to speak and speakers from the floor three minutes. However, in the case of Ukraine we were dealing with a highly complex and evolving situation and it was very difficult for speakers to develop their points fully in the allocated time. Personally, I could only make real sense of the debate by reading what was in the conference documents as well as listening to what was said.

Essentially, I would say that everyone in the room agreed that there was a need to oppose Russian imperialism but that the emphasis must be on resisting all interventions by British/EU/US imperialism. There was complete rejection of the view, expressed for by example by Eamonn McCann, that in this conflict we should support Russia. Again there was a range of views expressed, irrespective which organisations speakers belonged to with only WP pursuing a party line. To me, it seemed that WP were downplaying the role of Russian imperialism or at least this was the case with their verbal contributions as against what they produced in writing. However, I did find myself in agreement with WP’s perspective that if a proper referendum was held in the Crimea the outcome would still be that an overwhelming

majority would vote to become part of Russia and that there might be a similar outcome in other parts of Eastern Ukraine.

In my assessment, other speakers differed in their analysis of the Maidan movement with regard to whether it represented a popular movement which was hijacked by the nationalists and fascists or whether the movement was entirely reactionary from the very start. Where there was some agreement was on the need to learn from socialists on the ground in Ukraine and Russia who oppose war, Putin’s expansionist plans and the presence of fascists in the current government of Ukraine. This was something that seemed to me to be missing from WP’s analysis. Essentially, our task must be to act in solidarity with these socialists and anti-war activists whilst recognising that our main responsibility is to campaign against EU/NATO intervention.

Oh dear.  It’s Syria all over again.  Oh yes we support the Ukrainians as we supported the Syrians but our main priority is to support Assad or Putin against the West.  This is the same logic that saw these same people marching shoulder to shoulder with the Stalinist Stop the War Coalition alongside Assad’s thugs in London or outside the US Embassy in support of Gadaffi’s desire to flatten Benghazi unopposed.  The StWC somehow managed to turn a movement of three million people into 200 pathetic Putin apologists and this revolutionary regroupment is without doubt part of that scenario if these are the kind of positions they are going to come out with.  These are the people who lauded the US Congress and UK Parliaments as the beating hearts of anti-imperialism when they voted to abandon the Syrian people to their bloody fate.