by Humberto Rodrigues
After 200 days, the war in Ukraine is an expression of the return of major wars of indirect confrontation between major military powers in the Cold War; the growing decline of American imperialism and the worldwide wave of popular protests against inflation, united by the repercussions of Western sanctions on Russia, but above all, inflation fueled by the incessant drive of capital (which uses war as an alibi) to increase the rate of exploitation on labour, increasing the price of goods and devaluing wages. In some countries, the fight against inflationary extortion, that is, the economic struggle of popular resistance against capitalists, combines objectively and already subjectively with the anti-imperialist and internationalist struggle against NATO.
The character of the war
In Ukraine we do not support ‘peace’ imposed by the terror of Kiev’s bombs on the oppressed peoples of the Donbass. We do not advocate an end to hostilities without the Denazification and Demilitarization of Ukraine, full of fascist mercenaries, criminal biological weapons laboratories, and NATO weapons. We defend the defensive war of Russia and the workers and soldiers of the Donbass people’s republics against NATO expansion and NATO-Nazi puppets. For us Russia’s is a military and energy power but not an imperialist country. For Marxists, imperialism is the expansionist policy of financial capital, a policy that is not preponderant in Russia’s relationship with other peoples. Russia was the victim of this policy, especially in the 1990s, during the “shock therapy” of privatizations and dilapidation of the material bases of the former USSR. After then, under Putin’s rule, Moscow has been trying to break from being the victim of imperialist economic and military expansionism, as expressed in the current conflict, in the military field and also in the war against sanctions.
For the last six months Russia has been carrying out a war to free the Russian and Russian-speaking people of eastern Ukraine, who are oppressed by Nazis armed by imperialism. This initiative by Moscow came after three decades of NATO’s expansion to its borders. In this expansion, imperialism incorporated into its control the government of Europe’s largest country, Ukraine, which has a huge border with Russia. For the Russians of Ukraine, the delay of this initiative from Moscow cost the lives of almost 15,000 people.
The return of the great symmetrical wars
The beginning of such a war was due to at least two factors: the failure of the instruments of “economic dissuasion” by the US and the EU (which is another sign of the decline of the power of imperialism, from an economic point of view) and the emergence of a military force capable, albeit indirectly, of facing the entire Western world. As Russian military doctor and analyst Vasily Kashin reports, the sum of the various Ukrainian military formations reaches 700,000 people, while, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, he estimated the Russian force in Ukraine at 167,000 people.
The West has turbocharged Ukraine and in fact treating the country as an effective member of NATO. Western imperialism recreated Nazism, previously against the USSR and now against Russia, in its mercenary form. The Pentagon directly sponsored the dirty war with 46 biological weapons labs against Russia. In addition to resorting to all this, after eight years of state terrorism against the oppressed populations of the people’s republics of Donbass and in cities like Odessa, the Ukrainian military aircraft reequipped by NATO has been using terrorist attacks that threaten to blow up Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and have already murdered Dugin’s daughter. Despite all this and the superiority of Ukraine’s troops, Russia has conquered 25% of Ukraine’s territory. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, after Russia. It had a total area of 603,000 square kilometers. The region liberated by Russia from Ukro-Nazi rule that will probably give way to a union of popular republics, a new country that will have a larger area than England, or Greece or Bulgaria. The best farmland in Europe is in Ukraine, and the most industrialized region with important reserves of coal and iron from Ukraine is eastern Ukraine, the Donbass. Notwithstanding as well that the western part of Ukraine was integrated into NATO, in these six months the Donbass was integrated into the Russian Federation and established trade relations with several countries of the Eurasian bloc.
Imperialist decay and strengthening of the Eurasian neo-mercantilist bloc
But this war of restraint on the part of Russia is also possible currently thanks to the decline of American imperialism and its deep internal political crisis. The U.S. has failed to do in Syria what it did in Libya and Iraq, thanks to anti-imperialist intervention by a coalition of forces from oppressed countries such as Iran, through its Revolutionary Guard, and the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas supported by Tehran, Russia, and Syria itself. After 20 years of occupation, the U.S. had to withdraw from Afghanistan defeated socially and politically. In what it considers their own backyard, Latin America, Washington and the CIA have lost five consecutive elections. In the last two years, in Bolivia, Honduras, Chile, Peru and even Colombia, a ‘partner’ of NATO where the Pentagon has military bases, Washington’s candidates have lost to left-wing candidates without the U.S. being able to avoid such results through coups such as the lawfare that arrested Lula to bring victory to Bolsonaro in 2018 and overruled the victory of Evo Morales, in 2019. By the way, the most recent attempts at coups d’état through hybrid warfare maneuvers made in CIA, like that of Bolivia, have come to be short-lived, or have been rapidly aborted by Russian intervention, as in Belarus (2020) and Kazakhstan (2022).
The War in Ukraine marks the return to the era of “great” wars that use the entire arsenal developed by major military powers, and the return of the nuclear threat, as has not occurred since Gorbachev’s rise to the Kremlin, while the USSR was consumed in Afghanistan. The return of this mode of war is another sign of the end of the thirty-year era of the world order of dominance of American imperialism after the end of the USSR. After 1991 and until now, the inter-state conflicts were characterized by a sharp imbalance of power, technologically asymmetric wars carried out by military interventions of imperialism against semicolonial peoples at extreme military disadvantage in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Haiti, Libya…
Among the main differences between the current War in Ukraine and the wars of the last 80 years, and the post-WWII asymmetric wars, is that the current war takes place while Imperialism, that is, the expansionist policy of financial capital, is losing control of the world market to Eurasian mercantilism. The main characteristics of mercantilism were: accumulation of precious metals, incentive to manufacture, state intervention in the economy, favorable trade balance and protectionism. The types of mercantilism are commercial and industrial. The new mercantilism use globalization to transport commodities across the earth like never before. International interdependencies have increased greatly in the last 40 years. And almost no people can dispense today with exchanges with China, in the export of Chinese manufacturing, converted into a world manufacturing plant by the imperialist financialization itself. Without understanding this, is it not possible to understand the contradiction that there is a Western Boycott of Western sanctions (RCIT).? Contrary to what the West and its right-wing and left-wing spokesmen think, who thought Russian military superiority would be offset by economic sanctions, Russia proved stronger, and the dialectics of the new Cold War strengthened economic ties with China and the entire Eurasian bloc. And in addition, much of Western capital was forced to sabotage the sanctions policy. Since April,
“exports to Russia have steadily increased. In June, the last month for which we have comprehensive data, the dollar value of exports to Russia across the broad sample was 47% higher than the April low, with most of that increase attributable to the EU27, Switzerland, Korea, and Japan – all of which are ostensibly participating in the sanctions. Last week, China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) revealed that the dollar value of the country’s exports to Russia in July had risen 35% compared to June. For the first time since the invasion began, Chinese exports to Russia were worth more than the monthly average from September 2021 to February 2022. Taiwan’s customs services report that exports to Russia in July were 36% higher than in June, while Korean data shows that exports to Russia increased by 61%. For the three countries, the value of exports in July was about 80% higher in July than the March-April average. The exception so far is Turkey, where exports in July fell slightly compared to June, although Turkish exports to Russia remain about 40% above the pre-invasion average.”The Squeeze on Russia Is Loosening, https://theovershoot.co/p/the-squeeze-on-russia-is-loosening
All this shows that world capitalism cannot not only dispense with China, but cannot dispense with Russia. And overall, it is not possible to block the Russia-China hub and its allies for the human and natural resources that the Eurasian bloc concentrates, and that explains the fear of the boomerang effect that sanctions have caused in Western economies. The sabotage of sanctions is being carried out by imperialist allies such as Japan and South Korea, who are true U.S. military colonies, and by regional powers that usually play double games like India, Turkey, or even loyal Saudi Arabia.
By maintaining the sanctions, even partially, the German government has been reversing its effects with the highest energy inflation of all time, of 35% between August 2021 and August 2022 , forcing the Germans to suffer economic shortages only comparable to the payment of war debts imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. (https://br.investing.com/news/economic-indicators/inflacao-na-alemanha-atinge-maxima-de-quase-50-anos-em-agosto-1031579?utm_source=responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily_Digest&utm_term=Editorial_DailyDigest_V3_BR_783988&utm_content=subnews_headline)
In other words, because of its vassaldom to the US, far more than that of Merkel herself, the current German social democratic government imposed on the German population a humiliation only comparable to that which imperialist revenge forced Germany to suffer after the first world war. US imperialism is exporting the immediate payment of its decay to its European allies. Boris Johnson predicted Putin’s fall on March 1. Where’s Johnson today? In addition to this British prime minister, due to his position in the face of the war fell also Mario Draghi of Italy, Marija Golubeva of Latvia and Kiril Petkov of Bulgaria.
Russia is generating a trade surplus of $1 billion a day from the sale of oil and gas. In 2022, so far, Russia has already achieved a record surplus of nearly $300 billion, more than double the year before the war. The international stock market is convulsed, devaluing nervously and bitcoins have plummeted. Despite the sanctions Russia has strengthened its trade ties with China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, Saudi Arabia. Putin’s popularity reached 83%, higher than that of any of his opponents.
The second question that those who believe Russia is an imperialist country cannot answer is: are the NATO bloc and the Eurasian bloc equally imperialist, because the NATO bloc (the members of the G-7, supposedly the seven richest countries on the planet), cannot maintain anti-Russia sanctions and sabotage them, instead of expanding negotiations among themselves if they are economically powerful countries for it? Why doesn’t the West have the autonomy to mutually agree? I suspect that the limitations of the RCIT lie in some factors: they do not understand the character of imperialism today, do not recognize the global arbitrage of labor and capital of the time of Western financialization combined with Eastern industrialization, nor do they know how to use the law of unequal and combined development to make a concrete analysis of the concrete situation.
The consequences of these first six months of war are:
1. The liberation of the Russian people from NATO’s Ukronazis
2. The conquest by the Eurasian bloc of a territory larger than that of England outside NATO’s area of control;
3. The dialectics of the Cold War to further solidify the single anti-imperialist front on all terrains;
4. Anti-Russian sanctions failed, in 2022 it was the Russian currency that was most valued and a year in which several transactions began to replace the dollar. Inflation reached 15% in Russia and then began to ebb while in the US and EU it skyrocketed. Germany that would cheapen its energy supply with the Nordstream 2 pipeline is being the victim of the highest inflation since the 1920s, energy inflation only from July to August reached 35% compared to the month of August 2021.
5. Putin did not fall, he increased his popularity as never before and several rulers who cheered for his downfall, such as that of England, Italy and Lithuania were down;
6. outside the European theater of operations there was retreat of imperialist oppression on countries such as Iran and Venezuela;
7. As decaying imperialism cannot control several parts of the world simultaneously and is focused on the race for Europe, it has abandoned its Latin American backyard and its preferred right-wing candidates lost the elections to leftist governments in Chile, Honduras, Peru, Colombia and should lose in Brazil.
8. Ms Pelosi’s provocation in Taiwan accelerated the pace of China’s reaction to preparation for the third war, technological autonomy in the semiconductor war, reduction of US treasury bonds in Chinese hands. China is no longer the largest Holder of U.S. debt after its total fell below $1 trillion for the first time in 12 years Japan became the largest holder of U.S. debt securities, even reducing its stock: “Japan, which reduced its U.S. debt stock to $1.212 trillion in May, from $1.218 trillion in April, is now the largest holder abroad.”; abortion of chinese industrial plant construction projects in the USA.
The spring of inflation rebellions
During the current war was born another conflict of world and proletarian proportions, broader and growing, the spring of the population of various nations of the earth against inflation arising from the sanctions imposed on Russia and its allies by Western imperialism, which immediately caused the price of gas, oil and food to rise across the globe. 26 countries have at least 50% of their wheat exports from Ukraine or Russia. But as Michel Fakhiri’s recent report presented to the UN (recorded by Bert Schouwenburg of the Morning Star), the current global food shortage crisis was born in 2015, and therefore before the war and the pandemic, it is caused by the accumulation and financial speculation practiced by capital in the food business, where “the gains were in the order of 1 billion dollars every two days. In 2021, multinational Cargill made nearly $4 billion in net income, its largest surplus in its 156-year history.” (The UN recognizes the depth of the food crisis, and capitalism is to blame, https://revistaopera.com.br/2022/09/02/a-onu-reconhece-a-profundidade-da-crise-alimentar-e-o-capitalismo-e-o-culpado/). The current extraordinary cycle of capital accumulation is based on an extraordinary growth of world hunger.
Against this inflation, in various parts of the world mass protests shake regimes that have transferred to their peoples the inflationary costs of imperialist sanctions against Russia. Germany, Bangladesh, France, Indonesia, England, Italy, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Serbia, in many countries spontaneous demonstrations against inflation and many of them against NATO erupt.
The need of the world party of revolution at this time
We need to build an international party defending oppressed peoples against imperialism and defending all workers against the inflationary crisis manipulated by capitalists around the world.
All the major wars of the last two centuries have untied revolutionary waves from the breaking of the capitalist balance in the relationship between states. The Prussian Franco war provoked the Commune of Paris; the first world war provoked the Bolshevik revolution and the creation of the USSR; World War II provoked the revolutionary wave that overthrew capital in 1/3 of the planet.
In 1945, the capitalist balance was restored only between the imperialist states under American hegemony as a need for “antagonisti’c cooperation” (to use an expression of August Thalheimer) against the USSR, the new workers states and the bourgeois nationalism of semicolonial countries. In 1975, with the fall of Saigon and the American withdrawal from Vietnam, a cycle of territorial reduction of capitalism ended, as witnessed by the revolutionary situations of Iran, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, whose revolutionary processes did not give rise to new workers states. In the last 50 years imperialist financialization has restabilized the balance between states under US hegemony, which was strengthened after the fall of the USSR in 1991.
With the social counterrevolution in the workers states between 1989 and 1991 the tendency to capitalist territorial reduction was reversed, leaving the United States as the only global power. The situation of imperialist-capitalist equilibrium has never been stronger than in this period, especially in the 1990s. In 2008, with the global economic crisis, which was centered first on the U.S. and then the European Union, which are in reflux within the world market, a new phase of imperialist imbalance began, which at first was artificially contained by a wave of coups promoted by the CIA. Neo-mercantilist, constituted from the inheritance of the most extensive and populated workers states of the past. It is at this stage that the current war in Ukraine takes place and the prospect of a third world war opens up.
Revolutionaries must prepare for the trend of a new war that has indeed begun, by taking sides with the nations oppressed and attacked by imperialism and the unconditional defense of existing workers states such as Cuba and North Korea, which translates politically at this time into supporting Russia’s defensive war in Eastern Europe and rejecting imperialist provocations against China. Therefore, we are not pacifists in front of the warring blocks.
It is possible that the current situation evolves, matures for the third world war in current, chronological times, or in historical times in the medium term.
As Nancy Pelosi’s provocation against China has shown, the internal contradictions of American imperialism, threatened by civil war, can accelerate the chronological times of the historical trend to the third world war.
However, we are not impressionists like the Posadists who fell into an immediate view of the war, who renounced the construction of proletarian internationalism in favor of bourgeois nationalism and Stalinism, we know that only an eruption of the proletariat can prevent a new world war. However, if this war is not avoided, we must be prepared to take advantage of the fall of the interspersed capitalist equilibrium to advance beyond the neomercantilist capitalist bloc that today is driven by the creation of a single anti-imperialist front of oppressed bourgeois states and workers states. We believe that the world proletariat and oppressed peoples of all the world should take advantage of the Intra-bourgeois fissures to impose their own program to change reality.
If we can better understand this reality, establish the necessary tasks in the face of the demands of class struggle for the end of NATO and against inflation, imperialism, and capitalism we can overcome the current stage of an embryo of “international propaganda society” (Leon Trotsky) in the process of regrouping and establishing a program to build the world party of the socialist revolution that the current stage of class struggle requires.