On the Russian (and American?) invasion of Ukraine

Creato: 04 Marzo 2022 Ultima modifica: 04 Marzo 2022
Scritto da Istituto Onorato Damen Visite: 421

Contemporary imperialism is the most criminal form of racketeering there has ever been in the history of capitalism, and this war confirms it.

A new communist and internationalist party is needed to stop the war.

ap22063587790912 ucraina kievIn our time, every war, even if disguised as a war of religion or national liberation, as a "humanitarian" war for the defense of human rights and respect for international law, and so on, is always a moment of that permanent imperialist war that has been raging for decades throughout the world, sowing death, hunger and destruction.

So was the one that just ended in Afghanistan, so are the ongoing ones in the Middle East, those in Africa and Asia, and so is this latest one that just began with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Putin says he was forced to do so to defend the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass from the "genocide" perpetrated by the Kiev army.

In fact, as George Bush did at the time of the American invasion of Afghanistan, Putin could say to his associates, "Let's not make a mistake. This is for oil. It is always for oil."[i] And - we add - for gas and for the currency with which these are exchanged.

"Today," Marco D'Eramo wrote back in 2014, "Putin's Russia and "the West" [i.e., the U.S. - ed. ] share an identical vision based on the search for profit and power: in all but one point, namely, to whom profit and power should go. "[ii]


Sharing and Conflict

It is therefore a scenario of both sharing and conflict, from which derives such a tangle of interests that it is not always easy to distinguish where the sharing ends and the conflict begins.

Certainly, in this umpteenth war, the United States, Russia and China have a shared interest in preventing the EU from having a common foreign policy and a common army, so as to be able to compete with them on the geo-strategic world stage on equal terms.

On the level of immediate benefit, there is undoubtedly sharing at least between Russia and the USA so that on the world market a price of gas and oil is formed as high as possible, being Russia and America producing and exporting countries.

Sharing ceases, however, when it comes to determining whether on the international market that price should be quoted in dollars, or in euros, rubles, yuan or any other currency.

To date, most of the oil and gas extracted in the world is sold through the dollar. This "gives" the United States an enormous financial income.

For some time now, however, Russia has begun to sell a good portion of its energy products in exchange for euros, rubles, yuan or special account currencies; China is also doing the same with its goods.

The use of the dollar is shrinking and therefore the resulting income is also declining. And it would have been even more reduced if the North stream 2 had come into operation. Thanks to it, in fact, another 55 billion cubic meters per year would have come directly from Russia to Germany, without passing through Ukraine, all paid in euro. It is for this reason that the US tried to block its construction in every way without succeeding[iii]. But just when it was about to start operating, the White House, through NATO, lit a fuse in the already burning Ukrainian powder keg. It suggests that it is imminent the acceptance in the Atlantic Alliance of Kiev after Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Romania etc.. The tension with Russia skyrockets and begins a real tour de force, especially from the German and French, to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, the price of gas and oil, already on the rise for other reasons, reaches quotations not seen in at least a decade.

But just when the diplomatic effort seems to be crowned with success, the ineffable NATO secretary, the Norwegian Stoltenberg (at a guess, Norway is the third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia), declares Urbi et Orbi that, if Russia had invaded Ukraine, NATO troops would not have intervened to help it.

The benefit of Washington and Moscow

After a few days, Russia, surprising everyone[iv] except the White House, begins the invasion.

In just one day, the price of gas rose by 12.7%, reaching 927 euros per cubic meter; after a few days, Germany was in fact forced to postpone sine die the start-up of that North Stream 2 so disliked by America, which could not do better: it obtained what it wanted practically gratis et amore Dei. The other side of the medal - there is always another side of the medal - is that this war could give a strong acceleration to the integration process of the European Union, so hated by America.

And Russia? Has it fallen into the trap set by NATO or has it also moved with a view to its own precise advantage?

According to experts, thanks to the non-opening of North stream 2, the price of gas could reach 2000 euros per cubic meter. If this were the case, Russia would only collect from Europe the same amount of euros as today by selling half of the gas it sells now, to divert the surplus to China.

Moreover, barring a total and unlikely military defeat, it will definitively annex the self-proclaimed independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, that is, the most industrialized and wealthy area of the Donbass. In short, even for Moscow, while taking into account the negative effects of sanctions, which are normally more harmful to those who impose them than to those who suffer them, there could be a good haul. Here too, of course, there is a downside. It runs the risk, once closed all the doors to the West, to find itself without any possibility to free itself from the coils of the Chinese dragon.


A tacit agreement?

Nonetheless, putting all the pros and cons on the scales, it cannot be ruled out that some kind of agreement, more or less tacit, has been reached between the Kremlin and the White House, at the expense of the EU and Ukraine itself, which risks ending up in a pile of rubble. Time will clarify everything.

In a world where profit, and therefore money, the universal despot in whom it is embodied, dominates unchallenged, even that which apparently seems impossible becomes possible. Shakespeare had already understood this when he made Timon of Athens say to money: "You visible god, who fuses impossible things together and forces them to kiss![v] In his presence there is no life, even the most precious, that cannot be sacrificed, no object or thing that cannot be destroyed, no beauty that cannot be scarred and annihilated. Nothing is worth it and everything is worth it, even a kiss between the most bitter enemies.

In any case, agreement or no agreement, in the last instance, it is the proletariat, the whole proletariat, the Ukrainian proletariat as well as the European one, the Russian one as well as the American one, the Chinese one and the one of the whole world, that will pay for it.

To the delight of the war industry, military spending increases and automatically social spending is reduced. The price of gas and oil increases, the oil companies make staggering extra profits (in recent months, only in Italy Enel has increased its profits by 33%), but wages are cut by the inflation that follows. Not to mention the young proletarians forced to act as cannon fodder on the war fronts, and the immense suffering and deprivation that are inflicted on civilian populations.

Whichever way you look at it, economic, human, civil, the proletariat and all those who live by their work and not by profits and various rents, have only to lose from the war. To oppose it and to remove the dictatorship of profit from which it derives is really an unavoidable necessity. All the more because if the dictatorship of money remains, assuming that the war in Ukraine will cease, other fronts and more virulent will open, as punctually happened after the USA withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Nor can we exclude - given the strong instability of the current inter-imperialist balances and the ongoing clash for their redefinition, with the United States in decline and China on the rise - that it will become widespread, putting the survival of humanity itself at risk.


We need a new communist and internationalist party

The proletariat, however, is in a state of total political, ideological and organizational disarmament, so it is easier for it to remain entangled in the logic of imperialist war following this or that fraction of the international bourgeoisie than to stand up against the war and the causes that cause it. It is necessary to take note that so many changes have taken place in the organization and in the international division of labor that it is simply impossible to overcome so much subalternity by remaining anchored to the same theoretical and organizational framework that was that of the Third International. It must be clearly stated: the path that in 1917 led to the October Revolution in Russia is unrepeatable in its specific terms, capitalist development itself having overcome many of its peculiar presuppositions.

It is necessary to take note of it and to proceed to a new systematization of all the elements inherent to the condition of the modern proletariat, and from there to identify the paths along which to develop the process of building a new communist party on a world scale, without which the same watchword "revolutionary defeatism" - despite all its compelling relevance - is destined to remain devoid of any meaning.

translated by deepl.com

[i]                                       San Francisco Chronicle, November 2 2001.

[ii]                                      Marco D'Eramo, Page 99, February 25, 2014; quoted from Gianfranco Greco, Ukraine, cronaca di una deriva annunciata, to which we refer.

[iii]                                     See Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, Libya: the world captive of permanent imperialist war.

[iv]            And, for what it may be worth in our small way, so are we.

[v]                                     W. Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (ca. 1605-1608), quoted in K. Marx, I manoscritti economico-filosofici (1844), Einaudi, Turin 1962, p. 153.