WAR ON WAR!
DECLARATION OF INTERNATIONALISTS AGAINST THE WAR IN UKRAINE


Introduction

The declaration presented below was published during the “Crimean crisis” by class militants and movement groups from the Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia, Israel, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. Its internationalist spirit created a big echo and gained sympathy for it within the radical circles of the international working class' movement. The list of the organizations which signed the declaration has become much longer, the majority of those joining are anarchist/anarcho-syndicalist or “left communist” groups from Western Europe, North and South America. But neither its internationalism “by principle” nor the enthusiasm produced by the latter can remove the deficiencies of the declaration, which are the objects of criticism of this short introduction.

For the authors of the declaration, Putin's “Crimean adventure” is just an “implementation of long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations” and the diverting of attention from “growing workers' socio-economic problems”. For us it seems that there's much more about it and the essential processes are going on in a much deeper level. The moments mentioned above – the reality of which we are not questioning – are mere forms of appearance of these deeper processes.

From the beginning of the new millenium, Russia has been restored slowly but surely as an autonomous imperialist force within the capitalist world order. The “free competition” of the Yeltsin era (privatization, wars between gangs, economic fragmentation) in which the “enlightened” bourgeoisie, which had recently hatched out from the egg of the soviet system, was feeling like celebrating a festival, finally turned out to be its danse macabre. Khodorkovsky's sublime bourgeois ideas of liberty – which meant a total uncertainty of existence for the masses of the working class – were easily defeated by the much more prosaic, but well-known for ages and therefore predictable dictatorship of the organs of state security. Confronted with the rough economic fact of growing price of oil, the representatives of the ideology of formal democracy could choose: either bowing to an economy centralized by the state or passing to emigration or to jail.

The world-wide political significance of the events in the Ukraine is based on the fact that these were the first “large-scale” attempt of the “reborn” Russian imperialism to match its strength against the Western imperialist bloc. In the global conflicts of interests of capital no state can remain “neutral”. Ukraine – if only because of its geographic place – found itself at a crossroads: either the “West” or Moscow. Everyone in the Ukraine was aware of this dilemma – which makes sense only within the logic of the capitalist world order, but within that it is forced and inescapable –, and the majority has taken its choice – this or that way. But also the masters of the Russian state were forced to decide. The fall of their vassal in Kiev made it clear: either they intervene, or they must stare the military bases of NATO down on the other side of the South-Western border within a very short time. They chose the first option, and the scared reactions of the Ukrainian, Western European and US bourgeoisie showed it from the outset that their calculations had been right. Russia's economic and military potential was enough for them to annex the Crimea with the cynical show of a referendum and without armed struggle. And they immediately came down with their police forces on the few protesters who went to the streets of Moscow and Petersburg spontaneously, not being mobilized by the bourgeois political opposition. It's probable that during all this the leading functionaries and the bourgeoisie felt themselves “strong” and “powerful”. Still they are roaming in “the empire of necessities”, their politics are dictated by the needs of capital. Therefore – contrary to the call of the declaration – one must not resist only the war but its cause: capital. Protesting against the war remains powerless and suffers defeat if it leaves untouched those social relationships which make wars necessary.

It seems that for the authors of the declaration, the concept of “nation” is nothing else than a simple bourgeois ideological deception. Unfortunately, also in this question they don't stand on a solid materialist basis. Nation, in spite of all its ideological content, is nevertheless an existing entity: it's a material product of the bourgeois revolution. Nation is the congregation of citizens, the “political community” endowed with the rights of citizens. No negation “by principle” makes this entity non-existing, only its practical negation and abolition, i. e. the proletarian revolution which puts an end to bourgeois society and capital together with its state and therefore its citizenship and citizens' rights. Internationalism doesn't mean throwing aside a bourgeois economic-political category but the effort directed towards its abolition together with capitalist production which has created and which reproduces it.

Almost hundred years ago the Zimmerwald “center” defended a position consonant with that of the present declaration. The program of the “left” put forward “the transformation of the imperialist war into a revolutionary war”. Perhaps the authors of the declaration didn't call for “revolutionary defeatism” because they don't consider those forms of consciousness which are dominant for the moment among the working class suited to adopt it. But the unfavorable situation cannot be an excuse for pushing aside the historical program. Instead of contrasting – in a politically impotent manner – the war effort with the effort towards surviving within the bourgeois society, it would have been better to show also in this case why imperialist rivalry is necessary in capitalism and for capitalism, and why communist revolution and only communist revolution is able to put an end to all war conflicts by abolishing their principal cause, the reigning capitalist mode of production.

Barricade Collective, spring of 2014.

WAR ON WAR! DECLARATION OF INTERNATIONALISTS AGAINST THE WAR IN UKRAINE

WAR ON WAR!

NOT A SINGLE DROP A BLOOD FOR THE “NATION”!








The power struggle between oligarchic clans in Ukraine threatens to escalate into an international armed conflict. Russian capitalism intends to use redistribution of Ukrainian state power in order to implement their long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine where it has strong economic, financial and political interests.

On the background of the next round of the impending economic crisis in Russia, the regime is trying to stoking Russian nationalism to divert attention from the growing workers' socio-economic problems: poverty wages and pensions, dismantling of available health care, education and other social services. In the thunder of the nationalist and militant rhetoric it is easier to complete the formation of a corporate, authoritarian state based on reactionary conservative values and repressive policies.

In Ukraine, the acute economic and political crisis has led to increased confrontation between "old" and "new" oligarchic clans, and the first used including ultra-rightist and ultra-nationalist formations for making a state coup in Kiev. The political elite of Crimea and eastern Ukraine does not intend to share their power and property with the next in turn Kiev rulers and trying to rely on help from the Russian government. Both sides resorted to rampant nationalist hysteria: respectively, Ukrainian and Russian. There are armed clashes, bloodshed. The Western powers have their own interests and aspirations, and their intervention in the conflict could lead to World War III.

Warring cliques of bosses force, as usual, force to fight for their interests us, ordinary people: wage workers, unemployed, students, pensioners... Making us drunkards of nationalist drug, they set us against each other, causing us forget about our real needs and interests: we don`t and can`t care about their "nations" where we are now concerned more vital and pressing problems – how to make ends meet in the system which they found to enslave and oppress us.

We will not succumb to nationalist intoxication. To hell with their state and “nations”, their flags and offices! This is not our war, and we should not go on it, paying with our blood their palaces, bank accounts and the pleasure to sit in soft chairs of authorities. And if the bosses in Moscow, Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Simferopol, Washington and Brussels start this war, our duty is to resist it by all available means!

NO WAR BETWEEN “NATIONS” – NO PEACE BETWEEN CLASSES!

KRAS, Russian section of the International Workers Association
Internationalists of Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Israel, Lithuania, Romania, Poland
Anarchist Federation of Moldova
Fraction of the Revolutionary Socialists (Ukraine)

Declaration was supported by:

Workers Solidarity Alliance (North America)
Internationalist from USA, Ireland, Netherlands
Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative of Romania
Libertarians of Barcelona
Left Communists and Internationalists from Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela
Workers-Communist Initiative (France)
Leicester group of Anarchist Federation (Britain)
French-speaking Anarchist Federation (FAF)
International of Anarchist Federations (IFA)
Union of workers and precarious of Clermont-Ferrand CNT-AIT (France)
World Revolution” (Croatia)
A Libertarian Socialist (Egypt)
libcom.org group
World in Common network
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Anarchist fraction of Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda (World Anational Association)
Bristol group of Anarchist Federation (Britain)
Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists (MASA, Croatia)
Hamid Moradei (libcom.org/tags/hamid-moradei)
Peak of social action” (Athens, Greece)
Anarchist Federation – South-East England Regional Network