The appearance of Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms on the streets of Crimea and the reaction to this of the West and the new Ukrainian government has brought
On its part the
In this clash between western and Russian imperialism we cannot support either side. We are opposed to the intervention of any NATO or European Union state in
The imperialist powers have been attempting to use the current crisis to shape the future
There is no deliberate push for war in either
There is no progressive imperialism
In contemporary capitalism imperialism is a system of economic and geopolitical competition among the leading powers.
Many people who sincerely oppose war and social injustice are pulled to support what they see as either the progressiveness of the West (chiefly in the guise of the “modernising” EU) or of
For some only the West can be imperialist, for others only
We have to reject both these positions. Of course the clear internationalist slogan “the main enemy is at home” applies, but this is in no way equivalent to painting any imperialist power in conflict with the ruling class of our own state in progressive colours.
The IS Tendency’s tradition of socialism from below, whose slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow” helped socialists to keep their bearings during the Cold War, has never been more relevant.
Two main nationalisms
Two main nationalisms are currently dividing people in
The anti-Russian nationalism that is strongest in western
It must also be remembered that the Crimean Tatars (around 12 percent of the Crimean population) were exiled to
On the other side, many of the millions of Russian speakers identify with
The waving of nationalist flags in western
Putin is not an antifascist force
The presence of fascist ministers in the new Ukrainian government is a blow to those fighting for social change and greater democracy. It was however a result of the significant role the fascists played in the Maidan occupation. That was possible because the left is historically weak in
Nevertheless, those who claim Yanukovych’s overthrow was a “fascist coup” are parroting
The presence of fascists in the government in no way justifies Vladimir Putin’s intervention in
It is absurd to imply that he is fighting fascism. In Russia Putin makes use of extreme right politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky and turns a blind eye to the activities of fascist groups.
And with the weakness of the left in
For the West on the other hand the fascist ministers are no barrier for them to support the new government. And Western politicians were prepared to meet, and speak on the same platform with fascist leaders at Maidan.
Attacks on workers and the fightback
In addition to the attacks on workers by Ukrainian politicians serving the interests of the oligarchs, the imperialist powers are now adding their own pressure from outside on the living standards of ordinary people in
There is widespread opposition to oligarchic rule in both the west and the east of
The best hope for the future lies in workers uniting in protests and strikes against all oligarchs, at the same time overcoming the nationalisms that are providing support for the imperialist war games. The explosion of anger in Maidan against Yanukoyvich had its roots in opposition to poverty, austerity and privatisation imposed on the people of
This may seem a distant aim at present but the example of
The Coordination of the IS Tendency
9 March 2014