Sunday, March 23, 2014

Maidan today: no fascists in sight

The most useful service the US Socialist Workers Party and its international collaborators have provided concerning events in Ukraine is to send a team of worker-correspondents from The Militant there for first-hand reports.

The first report can be read here.

One of the most remarkable facts the story provides is this: workers from all over Ukraine are still encamped in the Maidan square.  They continue to organize food and medical work in tents set up near the burned Trade Unions House.

As a former coal miner told the reporting team, “While we watch Russia.... we also watch the politicians of the new government. Most of them are not much different from those who fled.”

All the petty bourgeois right and left, from Lyndon LaRouche to Workers World Party, have proclaimed the triumph of fascism in Kiev.  But self-organized workers occupy Maidan, as they have for the last three months.  There are no government-directed fascist street-fighting units sweeping them off the streets. 

Actual fascists are denouncing the mass mobilizations that caused Yanukvich to flee.

A friend on Facebook commented earlier today:

Interesting facts on some real fascists denouncing the so-called "neo-nazi coup" in Ukraine:

"The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin’s major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.

"...Glazyev’s book Genocide: Russia and the New World Order claims that the sinister forces of the “new world order” conspired against Russia in the 1990s to bring about economic policies that amounted to “genocide.” This book was published in English by Lyndon LaRouche’s magazine Executive Intelligence Review with a preface by LaRouche. Today Executive Intelligence Review echoes Kremlin propaganda, spreading the word in English that Ukrainian protesters have carried out a Nazi coup and started a civil war."

Mention of Carl Schmitt send me back to the pages devoted to him in Georg Lukac's book The Destruction of Reason [1962]; a scan of the Schmitt pages can be found here.

Dugin had this to say several months ago about the protestors in Ukraine:
....First of all, all these groups hate Russia and the Russian president. This hate makes them comrades. And the left wing liberal groups are not less extremist than the neo-Nazi groups. We tend to think that they are liberal, but this is horribly wrong. We find especially in Eastern Europe and Russia very often that the Homosexual-Lobby and the ultranationalist and neo-Nazi groups are allies. Also the Homosexual lobby has very extremist ideas about how to deform, re-educate and influence the society. We shouldn´t forget this. The gay and lesbian lobby is not less dangerous for any society than neo-Nazis."

A responsibility of communists explaining events in Ukraine to fellow workers is not to ape the rhetoric and rationalizations of Russia's capitalist leaders and their publicists (like Dugin), using facts and spin of "fascism triumphant" promoted by the Putin regime to further Moscow's centuries-old domination of Ukraine.

In all questions of analysis, it is important to work from facts and not preconceptions.  Jack Barnes said something similar pertaining to the U.S class struggle:
...It is important to be concrete about where we find ourselves today along the long-term curve of capitalist development worldwide, as well as in class politics in the United States. Otherwise, we will speak in formulas, instead of presenting a sharp, clear analysis, a communist program. We won’t be able to accurately explain what we need to do now to build a proletarian party in this country. This dialectic between the international program and national terrain of communists’ march toward state power applies to party building everywhere in the world. But nowhere are the consequences of failing to act on that class reality more damaging to revolutionary prospects and proletarian integrity than in the strongest bastion of world imperialism, the U.S.A. In the closing paragraphs of the draft political report before this convention, we address this question directly. Thinking and acting along proletarian internationalist lines, we say, is and will remain not only a special responsibility but a special challenge for revolutionists who live and work in the United States: [We] carry out our political activity not only in the wealthiest country on earth, but in one that has not experienced war on its own soil since 1865. It is a country in which there have been bloody class battles and proletarian social movements, but there has never been a revolutionary situation or workers’ insurrection. It is a country that has seen genocidal treatment of native populations and organized murderous violence over decades by reactionary outfits such as the Ku Klux Klan, as well as systematic brutality by cops, National Guardsmen, and employer goons—but has experienced only limited combat in the streets and on the picket lines between fascist gangs and defense guards of labor and the oppressed.[22]

 Along the road to a revolutionary situation, the working class in the United States, together with its broad political vanguard, will go through all these combat experiences. Each of them will take concrete forms, not identical to what has happened anywhere else or ever before in history. There will be unique combinations. Certain stages of class politics will be truncated and combined, others extended. Some will be accelerated, “with a truly American speed,” to use Trotsky’s phrase.[23] But communist workers in the United States will experience all these forms of political struggle before the revolutionary battle for power is posed. The working class in this country will face efforts by the capitalist rulers, their government, and ultrarightist forces to smash the labor movement. Bonapartist regimes, whether installed with electoral cover or through open military coups, will use the power of the imperialist state and heightened levels of demagogy against organizations of workers and farmers. In order to maintain capitalist rule, the propertied families of the bourgeoisie will accept methods they themselves fear and seek to avoid in more tranquil times. They will promote the rise of fascist demagogues and movements, including their most virulent form: national socialist organizations that seek a mass base among the insecure middle classes and layers of demoralized workers by combining radical, anticapitalist verbiage with appeals to the most reactionary—and deadly—nationalist, racist, anti-Semitic, and antiwoman prejudices and superstitions."

"Capitalism’s Long Hot Winter Has Begun" - (

The Militant's invaluable first-hand reporting from Maidan concludes with this paragraph, more concrete and useful today than any statements by Putin's supporters among the US left today.

“I hope that these events and the Maidan will help change the consciousness of the workers, get them more involved,” said Anya Tchaikovska, who used to work in a bus and construction equipment depot and has been volunteering for the last four months to help coordinate food supplies. “If workers’ demands are not met, there will have to be another Maidan,” she said. 

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