The Western media has spent the last few weeks working hard to provoke a war with Russia. The United States and other NATO members are supplying Ukraine with “deadly weapons”, mobilizing their own troops and preparing – in the words of a senior US military officer – “the greatest war Europe since the Second World War”. Under these conditions, it was only a matter of time before International point of view joins the chorus of warmongers.
On January 20, the international mouthpiece of the pseudo-left issued a statement that didn’t even bother to hide imperialist war propaganda behind a pseudo-socialist veil. Under the misleading title “Time for international solidarity against war”, anonymous “Ukrainian socialists” called on the “international left” to “condemn the imperialist policy of the Russian government”.
A statement of this type could also have been written by the CIA in Langley, Virginia, by the BND (Germany’s foreign spy agency) in Berlin, or by MI6 in London. It leaves no doubt that International point of view has both feet on the side of NATO and its Ukrainian puppets in the military confrontation with Russia.
Emphasizing that American hegemony is in decline, the authors note with regret: “Unfortunately, the decline of American imperialism has not been accompanied by the emergence of a more democratic world order, but by the rise of other imperialist predators, fundamentalist and nationalist movements.” (Emphasis in original)
“In these circumstances,” they conclude, “the international left, accustomed to fighting only against Western imperialism, should reconsider its strategy.” The “imperialist thief” that must now be fought is “Russian imperialism, which is now trying to get the United States to redistribute spheres of influence in the world”.
The statement calls for the overthrow of Putin’s regime in Russia: “Only a revolution in Russia and the overthrow of Putin’s regime can bring stability, peace and security to post-Soviet countries.” What is meant by this is a so-called “color revolution” like the one the US and its allies have staged in many countries in order to bring a softer pro-imperialist regime to power. International point of view does not say a word about the program and the class character of the desired revolution; it speaks neither of a socialist revolution nor of a proletarian revolution and has hitherto always supported such color revolutions.
International point of view also advocates a purely bourgeois program for Ukraine. The goal is a capitalist Ukraine under imperialist auspices. The statement states: “We aspire to a peaceful and neutral Ukraine, but for this the Kremlin must end its aggressive imperialist policy, and Ukraine must receive more serious security guarantees than the Budapest Memorandum…”
In the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, the United States, Britain and Russia guaranteed Ukraine secure borders in exchange for Kiev giving up nuclear weapons.
International point of view even promises the Ukrainian workers that the imperialist superpowers will protect their interests if the “progressive movements” of these countries – that is, themselves – put pressure on them. “Having no illusions about the policy of Western governments in the service of big capital and about their own goals”, they write, “we believe that the interests of Ukrainian workers can only be taken into account by them under the pressure from progressive movements and public opinion”. of these countries.
This after millions of people in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and many other countries lost their livelihoods or their lives because they were “liberated” and “protected” by the United States and their NATO allies!
As a first step, International point of view demands that Western troops be stationed in Ukraine: “The first step should be the introduction of a UN peacekeeping contingent in the Donbass. We are aware of the problems of existing peacekeeping missions and recall that sometimes blue helmets have not prevented massive violence. But in the current Ukrainian circumstances, this is a necessary forced step.
The WSWS is not surprised that International point of view joins the cabal of warmongers. We even expected it. We have published numerous controversies against individuals such as Gilbert Achcar, Rohini Hensman, Juan Cole and organizations such as the French NPA, the German Left Party, the Spanish Podemos and the American DSA, who claim to be “leftist”. and engage in pro-imperialist actions. war propaganda.
In early 2016, the International Committee of the Fourth International issued the statement “Socialism and the Struggle Against War”, which devoted an entire section to the “pseudo-left agencies of imperialism”. He explained their political role, examined their social base and refuted their assertion that Russia and China are imperialist powers.
The pseudo-left is made up of a privileged layer of the middle class that became radicalized in the 1960s and 1970s and then flourished thanks to rising stock prices and relentless attacks on the working class. “The protracted stock market boom has enabled imperialism to recruit from among the upper middle class strata a new devoted constituency. These forces – and the political organizations that express their interests – have done everything in their power not only to suppress opposition to the war, but also to justify the predatory operations of imperialism,” the statement explained.
The pseudo-left’s portrayal of China and Russia as “imperialist” serves two purposes, the ICFI statement explains:
First, it relativizes, and therefore diminishes, the central and decisive global counter-revolutionary role of American, European and Japanese imperialism. This facilitates active pseudo-left collaboration with the United States in regime change operations such as in Syria, where the Assad regime has been backed by Russia. Second, and more importantly, the designation of China and Russia as imperialists – and therefore, by implication, as colonial powers repressing ethnic, national, linguistic and religious minorities – sanctions pseudo-left support for the uprisings of “national liberation” supported by imperialism. and “color revolutions” within the borders of existing states.
The ICFI advocates the overthrow of the capitalist regime in Russia and China. But it pursues this goal within the framework of the strategy of world socialist revolution. The overthrow of Putin’s regime is the task of the working class and not of the imperialists and their local accomplices. The collapse of Russia following an imperialist offensive would lead to its break-up into numerous puppet states which would be colonies of the great imperialist powers.
What happened to Yugoslavia in the 1990s will be repeated on a larger and even bloodier scale. At the time, many pseudo-leftists hailed the brutal struggles of nationalist gangster cliques vying for the remnants of Yugoslavia and hanging on the wires of rival great powers as “struggles for national self-determination”. It was nothing. What remains is a national patchwork of impoverished, powerless and completely dependent states.
The reactionary character of Putin’s regime stems precisely from the fact that he continued the work begun by his Stalinist predecessors: the rejection of the international socialist program of the October Revolution, capitalist restoration and the looting of state property. of the Soviet Union by a handful of oligarchs and its opening up to international financial capital. For this reason, Putin and his predecessors, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, were first celebrated emphatically in the West. The German Bundestag even honored Putin with a standing ovation in 2001 when he gave a speech there in German.
The pseudo-left also shared this euphoria. The latest book by Ernest Mandel, the longtime leader of the United Secretariat who publishes International point of view, was a hymn of praise to Gorbachev. Tariq Ali, another prominent member of this trend, dedicated one of his books to Boris Yeltsin, who bombed his own parliament, dissolved the Soviet Union and personally chose Putin as his successor.
But the further NATO advanced into Eastern Europe and into the territory of the former Soviet Union, the more Putin became an obstacle. Even the Russian oligarchs, whose interests he represents, have their own national interests. But Putin’s regime, which fears the working class far more than the imperialist powers, has no answer to the growing threat of war. It oscillates between diplomatic maneuvers and military swordplay, which further increases the danger of a third world war – and with it the annihilation of humanity.
NATO member states, driven by growing resistance to social inequality and their deadly pandemic policy, are consciously accepting such a catastrophe and continuing their preparations for war. They are supported in this by the pseudo-left, which is deeply integrated into the bourgeois power apparatus.
The outbreak of a war with terrible consequences can only be prevented by the development of a global anti-war movement within the working class. This requires building a new political leadership in the working class. International point of view NATO’s support for NATO’s war preparations once again highlights the deep rift between the pseudo-left and the International Committee of the Fourth International.
The ICFI and its sections, the Socialist Equality Parties, are today the only international socialist tendency worthy of the name. Building sections of the ICFI, including in Russia and Ukraine, is the most urgent task in the fight against the threat of war.