Defend Ukranian sovereignty! Oppose bosses racist boycott, sanctions & scapegoating of Russia!
Editorial Statement, Call to Action:
As the U.S. capitalist class and their government assault our wages and living standards with inflation and war, they simultaneously attempt to deceive us about the causes of their crisis - greed and profit. They say rising gas prices are caused by "the Russians" or "Putin." Some say our only respite comes in supporting a U.S. military intervention in the current conflict in Eastern Europe. They attempt to recruit us to this xenophobic campaign by garnering our support for their "closing of operations in Russia" or "cutting financial ties" with Russian businesses and businesspeople, while isolationist capitalists ask, "Who cares about Ukraine?"
The truth is that the U.S. capitalist class, and their imperialist government, are only interested in advancing their own financial interests abroad and/or domestically. The humanitarian overtures of the interventionists are hypocritical. The dismissive tone of the isolationists appeals to blunt, short-term self-interest. "What have the Ukrainians done for us lately? We need to take care of 'us,'" they smugly ask. We must oppose the racism and imperialism of the capitalist hawks, the disinterest of the isolationists, and reject the Russian rulers' apologia, by advancing loud and clear our own independent working-class foreign policy, alongside our everyday fights for cost-of-living adjustments and job conditions. Capitalism is international, as our solidarity must also be.
Capitalism as a world economic system, like those before it, had a beginning and will have an end. While its basis of exploiting labor for profit led to enormous scientific developments, from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, capitalism also created and expanded the modern-day working class worldwide. Thus, workers and small farmers who produce everything societies consume, while remaining exploited and oppressed, will naturally realize their strength in numbers and take economic and political power, to create a new society that overtime will abolish class-divided society.
This was the thesis advanced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the founders of the modern day revolutionary working-class movement, which was born in the nineteenth century, during a time when capitalism was nearing the end of its progressive stage. They discovered the long trajectory of human social development – i.e., social evolution – just as Darwin discovered the long trajectory of biological development: organic evolution.
From hunter-gatherers to feudal kings and queens, from colonial powers to capitalist empires, the transitional class-rule of the exploited workers and small producers (socialism) is the next stage of human development; this new system, which will exist for decades, will wither away class divisions, as workers liberate production and culture for the benefit of all humanity (communism). The move from capitalism (capitalist rule) to socialism (workers power) occurred in several countries during the twentieth century; several survive.
While the Russian revolution (1917), in which the workers took power, was degenerated by Stalin's anti-working-class policies (1924-29) the Bolshevik spirit of Vladimir Lenin was revived and redeemed by the liberating Cuban Revolution of 1959, which followed Lenin's path and thus stands today as a shining example of workers power and internationalism. Witnessing the humility of Cuba's government, and the advanced cultural development of its population, one can see the beginnings of withering class divisions in the island socialist republic, despite embargo by the United States empire.
The foreign policy of capitalist countries like the United States and its "allies" can only advance the class interests of the ruling capitalist families. Imperialism, as Lenin taught us, is capitalism's logical conclusion. Much like how a monopolistic corporation must perpetually be at war with competitors big and small, capitalist countries have to compete with other capitalist countries for market access worldwide. Thus, in order to survive as capitalist powers, blocs of capitalist countries must be in permanent conflict with one another.
This background of the historic and political roots of capitalism, as a global economic system, helps us understand the situation in Eastern Europe and not get dragged into the gutter of capitalist politics: While capitalism had a rough time re-establishing in Russia after the fall of the Stalinist Soviet Union in 1991, the capitalist rulers in Russia have since firmly re-established class-rule and are now embarked on an imperialist foreign policy against their rival capitalist powers – the U.S. and its NATO, EU "partners." Both camps, who are advancing their own imperial interests, can be thought of in the same way Vladimir Lenin described the two main camps of the First Imperialist World War:
"The war of 1914-18 was imperialist (that is, an annexationist, predatory war of plunder) on the part of both sides; it was a war for the division of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies and spheres of influence, of finance capital." – Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916 Preface to German and French editions
As working people, we are bombarded by two propagandistic sides of one and the same coin. On one side, the chauvinist line advanced by the ruling wing of the U.S. boss-class, and their managers, calling for sanctions and "No Fly Zones" in Ukraine. On the other side, lies and slanders of the Russian rulers advanced by their 'radical' middle-class journalists and apologists, describing the Ukrainian government as "Neo-Nazi," while ignoring Russia's unique historical development as a formidable capitalist country with a complicated socialist past.
Putin recently blamed Lenin (correctly!) for granting self-determination to Ukrainians and other oppressed nations shortly after the glorious Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which established the first successful working-class government in human history. Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the revolutionary party he founded and built, led the old Communist International of those days towards advancing the "national struggle" of oppressed nations, by differentiating between "the nationalism of oppressed nations" and "the nationalism of the oppressor nations." Putin reveres Stalin's overturn of Lenin's policies, most notably negated by Stalin's signing of a pact with Adolf Hitler, known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop or "Hitler-Stalin" pact.
The historically oppressed Ukranian people will defeat the hostile invasion of their land, as a nation who's tasted freedom shall never be bonded again. Then, the Russian people will rise against Putin as they've already begun to. As workers in America – "the belly of the beast" – we must demand that U.S. troops and nuclear weapons get out of Europe, while giving all our political support to the struggle for Ukranian sovereignty and the Russian working-class' struggle against Putin, which means unconditionally opposing all U.S. sanctions, boycotts and interventions, which can only serve to strengthen Russia's capitalist rulers.