Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Ukraine: Where does the Left Stand?

with 30 comments

‘Right-Sector’ in Ukraine.

The conflict in Ukraine is too serious to make facile judgements.

Apart from condemning state and all brutality what can we offer?

The left in Europe cannot honestly say that they have an answer.

The ingrained tendency to play fantasy Premier league political  football in these conditions has so far not been much in evidence.

True the Nouveau Parti anticaptialiste has published an interview titled, describing the crisis as  “Une révolte de masse d’Ukrainiens pour la démocratie»

But the information in the NPA piece  belies the headline.

Zakhar Popovych represents a small group, Left Opposition. It has published a Manifesto,

“Our hope is that the protest movement, spurred to action by social injustice, might ultimately eradicate the root causes of this injustice. We believe that the cause of most social problems is the oligarchy that formed as a result of unbridled capitalism and corruption. It is important to limit the egotistic interests of our oligarchs, instead of relying on the help of Russia or the IMF, with the consequent national dependence. We believe that it is harmful to add our voices to the demands for Euro-integration; instead, we need to clearly delineate the changes necessary to support the interests of ordinary citizens, especially hired labourers. On several occasions, we cite the progressive experiences of a few European states that have taken similar measures.”

But the representative of the group, interviewed by the NPA, admits that the far-right and nationalists have effectively corned them. He underlines the presence of the neo-Nazis. Hard-right groups are leading the battles. Nobody else gives much evidence of a left presence in the protests.

An autonomist site (Timothy Eastman) carries this information,

Sascha: There are lots of Nationalists here, including Nazis. They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.

Mira: The two biggest groups are Svoboda and Pravy Sektor (Right Sector). The defense forces aren’t 100% Pravy but a large percentage is.

S: Svoboda is more legal as a group, but they also have an illegal militant faction. Pravy Sektor is more illegal, but they want to usurp Svoboda.

M: There’s a lot of infighting between Pravy and Svoboda. They worked together during the violence but now everything is calm so there’s time to focus on each other. Pravy and Svoboda both take donations and they have lots of money. Recently Pravy has all these new uniforms, military fatigues.
One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!

S: A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.

S: Nazi groups are also trying to mimic leftists, to try to ingratiate themselves. They use anarchist vocabulary, words like “autonomous.” One group of the ugliest Nazis is now doing this by calling themselves “Autonomous Resistance.” They’ve had lots of success with this tactic.
They attract some Anarchists who think they’re changing the Nazis, but really the Nazis are changing them.” They’re becoming more nationalistic, they have more more anti-feminist views, etc. Now is when Anarchists need to speak out and be louder.

stormfrontwolfsangel

Two symbols that could be found at EuroMaidan. The Celtic Cross (l) is a common symbol representing white supremacy. The Wolfsangel(r) was a symbol used by several divisions of the SS during World War II and now represents Neo-Nazism.

S: There’s a whole spectrum of Nationalists represented. They divide themselves into groups with their own symbols. They want support so they don’t use Nazi or fascist symbols so much. They use symbols that are recognizable to other fascistic people, but look innocuous to anyone else. For example there is a special eagle symbol. It’s drawn a certain way, it doesn’t look like anything unless you know the meaning.
No one has any idea how this could turn out, what form a new government could take. The fascist groups don’t have common aims, they know what they’re opposed to, and that they’re opposed to each other, but they don’t all want the same things. If Pravy has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.

M: People have these chants: “Glory Ukraine,” “Glory to Heroes,” “Death to Enemies.” But who are these heroes, who are these enemies? I don’t think they have any idea. “Ukraine Above All” is one, just like they used to chant in Germany.

Perhaps the last word should go to Zakhar Popovych,

” Malheureusement le scénario le plus probable est la mise en place d’un régime de droite, autoritaire et nationaliste.”

Unfortunately the most probable scenario is that a right-wing nationalist and authoritarian regime will be placed in power.

Updates: This article claims to refute evidence that there is a fascist component (it describes this as ‘fringe’) in the Ukrainian movement.  KYIV’S EUROMAIDAN IS A LIBERATIONIST AND NOT EXTREMIST MASS ACTION OF CIVIC DISOBEDIENCE.

No doubt there are many political forces in play in the Ukrainian movements. It would have been more convincing if it did not make such an exaggerated claim about the “liberation” goals of the protest, and addressed the actual nature of a key political force (and party), Svoboda.

On this see l’Humanité “Ukraine: le parti Svoboda est fasciste”.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

30 Responses

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  1. The Ukrainian Communist Party (with some support in the east, but not much in the west) has come out in favour of federalising the country. The alternative, they believe, is the Yugoslav scenario. Given the strongly-entrenched divisions in Ukraine, if the country is to hold together at all, federalisation probably would be the only alternative to civil war. But only the Ukrainians can sort the place out. “We”, the Western left, have nothing to offer. Nor should “we” try. What we can do is try to understand and make sense of the situation there.

    Francis

    February 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

  2. One answer or general approach:
    http://tinyurl.com/o4kfjn3

    Danny O'Dare

    February 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  3. Reblogged this on oogenhand.

    oogenhand

    February 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

  4. It’s all turning out quite nicely for the EU isn’t it? Their investment in various rightist pro-EU groups has made parts of Ukraine ungovernable in the short-term and so in the long-term made it conceivable that large segments of the country will be ensnared in its economic orbit (more cheap labour to fatten profit margins, more markets for capital to slosh around into to maximise short-term returns etc.)

    Paul Simon

    February 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

  5. Here is an example of left wishful thinking, “Despite the relatively small size and disorganization of the revolutionary left in Ukraine–one estimate puts it at no more that a few hundred people–its involvement can be decisive for the future of the struggle. In addition to the pressing need to combat the right in the here and now, the Maidan movement will be a definitive reference point for generations of Ukrainians, so what the left does will resonate into the future, whatever the immediate outcome.”

    Socialist Worker (USA): http://socialistworker.org/2014/02/05/whats-at-stake-in-ukraine

    Andrew Coates

    February 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

  6. It would be interesting to find out from somebody who knows the ground how far any forces in Ukraine are really “pro-EU” and not just using this a flag for their nationalist hatred.

    This by the way Francis, is something that affects “us” and “we” have something to say.

    I doubt very much if they are genuinely pro-EU.

    Though as the Weekly Worker article Danny points to says, many people in the Ukraine like the idea of freedom of movement and the social legislation.

    They are not, nevertheless, the political forces in play.

    Andrew Coates

    February 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

  7. “Nazi groups are also trying to mimic leftists, to try to ingratiate themselves. They use anarchist vocabulary, words like “autonomous.” One group of the ugliest Nazis is now doing this by calling themselves “Autonomous Resistance.” They’ve had lots of success with this tactic”

    That’s nothing particular to the current situation in Ukraine. It’s been going on in (in particular: eastern) Germany for a decade or so. I haven’t noticed any pictures yet of Ukrainian fascists marching with banners of Che Guevara (=national liberation) yet, though.

    Paul Simon: not sure how “the EU” have been financing “rightist” groups, but Klitchko’s “Punch” party is basically an invention of the German Christian Democrats/their Konrad Adenauer Foundation. More interesting is how quickly Timoschenko has been abandoned after Germany pushing her as the (again) future leader of Ukraine for years. Klitchko, who lives in Germany, was probably Plan B, but the speed at which Plan A has been left to rot in jail with her bad back (and the way in which she is notable by her absence from any reports on Ukraine in the German media, where as 1 year ago you couldn’t get away from her plaitted hair and ‘innocent’ thieving face even if you tried) is pretty amazing.

    That Svoboda are genuine outright fascists is indisputable, I reckon.

    “People have these chants: “Glory Ukraine,” “Glory to Heroes,” “Death to Enemies.” But who are these heroes, who are these enemies? I don’t think they have any idea. “Ukraine Above All” is one, just like they used to chant in Germany.”

    Well: these slogans (including “Ukraine Above All” are from the Whites post-Revolution and from those who fought together with the Nazis, specifically supporting fascism, not just being against Stalin and his Russian empire; and the Waffen SS against the Soviet Union. And who are the heroes? I’ve seen enough press pictures with demonstrators carrying photographs of such SS-Nazi leaders in the past few days, which suggest they do know who their heroes and enemies are. Though comparing the current Ukrainian govt. to Stalin/to “communists” is a joke. Blaming “the Jews” would be a bit ridiculous though, considering the tiny number who still live in Ukraine (which doesn’t rule out that happening, but any pogroms which might result would be very unimpressive from the far right’s perspective).

    dagmar

    February 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm

  8. I agree that this is too serious to make “facile judgements” – especially for us in the UK. However, I’m worried that the Putin line of denouncing the protestors as in thrall to the far-right, is being too readily accepted at face value by the western left; here’s a more informed view:
    https://maidantranslations.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/maidan-as-it-is-extreme-right-wing-euromaidan-or-glory-to-ukraine/

    Jim Denham

    February 22, 2014 at 4:17 am

  9. I consciously resist the tendency, obvious given my background, to think in terms of immediately recoiling from Ukrainian nationalists Jim.

    Particularly as Putin is also a nationalist.

    But this is pretty unconvincing,

    “And for like the millionth time: no, the slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine’ is not about the extreme nationalism!! It is about normal people trying to find their long forgotten dignity. It is about the search, I would venture, for self-respect that has been almost eradicated after so many years of being at first homo soveticus and then suffering for over two decades from crippling corruption and human rights abuse. But I give it to you, ‘Glory to Ukraine’ at least in its English rendition does sound cheesy. The slogan is more palatable in Ukrainian, I think…”

    Dagmar is surely right about the general political background.

    Andrew Coates

    February 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

  10. There’s a “lovely” interview, being distributed by the German SWPers, who currently call themselves the “network” “marx21” in the Party “Die Linke” where the person being interviewed, a Russian (presumably some kind of (maybe IST-affiliated?) ‘Trot’) says that she has a major problem with describing the far-right demonstrators as “fascists” as those who do that misunderstand the meaning of the word “fascist” and the movement it represents. Fascism is about smashing the working class, about smashing working class power; in Ukraine there is no organised working class movement and there is no working class power, ergo there can be no “fascism”. At the same time she gushes about the most far-right protesters being the “bravest”, hardest, most courageous, etc. in Kiev so obviously the have her immense respect, and the respect of everyone else at “Maidan”.

    I’ve only read an extract, but the extract was fairly long, but still only that. As it was published in a publication of, shall I say, sometimes dubious providence, the Junge Welt (though it has basically a “plague on all their houses” line over Ukraine, with some soft-Putinism, out of ‘ostalgia’ grounds), I’ll look for the complete interview/article as published by “marx21” and then blog the link here in the comments.

    dagmar

    February 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  11. Oh, here it is:

    http://marx21.de/content/view/2067/32/

    I haven’t got time for a translation now, but a he’ll (Ilya Budraitskis) be speaking at “marx21’s” equivalent of “Marxism”, along with other members of her organisation, the Rossiyskoye Socialisticheskoye Dvizheniye, RSD, “Russian Socialist Movement”, I assume he’s from the IST.

    The entire interview isn’t in total quite as ridiculous as these extracts suggest, but publishing such an interview uncommented either means they haven’t got their own “line” to counter it with or just can’t be bothered…(or they agree with the sentements as given).

    Welche politischen Kräfte sind dort aktiv?

    Es gibt dort sehr viel politische Agitation und zwar fast nur von rechten und rechtsextremen Gruppen. Das reicht von den marktliberalen Oppositionsparteien bis zum außerparlamentarischen, ultra-nationalistischen „Rechten Sektor“.

    Was ist der „Rechte Sektor“?

    Ein Bündnis verschiedener ultra-rechter Gruppen, die militärische Strukturen aufbauen. Darunter sind kampferfahrene Ultra-Fanklubs des Fußballvereins Dynamo Kiew.

    Wie reagieren die Demonstranten auf die Ultra-Rechten?

    Überwiegend positiv. Aber nicht, weil viele ihre Ideologie unterstützen, sondern weil sie objektiv die mutigsten und buchstäblich kämpferischsten Teile der Bewegung sind. Keiner geht so offensiv gegen die Polizei vor, wie die Ultra-Rechten. Andere sehen sie aber auch als Extremisten, die ein schlechtes Licht auf die Bewegung werfen.

    Eine der drei großen Oppositionsparteien ist „Svoboda“ …

    … die stärkste rechtsradikale Partei in der Ukraine mit 10 Prozent bei den letzten Wahlen. Ihr Aufstieg wurde unter anderem möglich, weil der frühere Präsident Wiktor Juschtschenko bis 2010 stark auf Nationalismus gesetzt hatte.

    Was bedeutet das?

    Jutschtschenko hat zum Beispiel gesagt, dass die ukrainischen Mitglieder der SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg Patrioten gewesen seien, die gegen die Fremdherrschaft der Sowjetunion gekämpft hätten.

    Wie bitte?

    Das ist nur verständlich, wenn man den ukrainischen Nationalismus berücksichtigt. In der Ukraine stehen etwa 20 Statuen von Stepan Bandera, dem bekanntesten Anführer dieser SS-Einheiten. Diese ultra-rechte Interpretation des Begriffs „Nationalismus“ reich in der Ukraine in den politischen Mainstream hinein. Das ist die Grundlage für den Erfolg rechtsradikaler Parteien wie Svoboda, die jetzt eine Hauptrolle auf dem Maidan spielen.

    Ist die Bewegung also faschistisch?

    Ich finde, wenigstens deutsche Linke, die mit dem Begriff „faschistisch“ um sich werfen, sollten die Geschichte des Faschismus ein bisschen kennen.

    Wie meinst du das …??

    Der Faschismus entstand nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg als Gegenbewegung zu starken kommunistisch-revolutionären Arbeiterbewegungen in großen Teilen Europas. Faschisten hatten das ausdrückliche Ziel, diese Arbeiterbewegungen zu zerschlagen und die Herrschaft des Kapitals zu sichern, weil der liberale Staat das nicht garantieren konnte. In Italien und Deutschland konnten sie die Macht ergreifen, in anderen Ländern nicht.

    Und heute …

    … gibt es in der Ukraine 2014 weder eine große Arbeiterbewegung, noch eine faschistische Bewegung für ihre Zerschlagung, noch einen Staat, dem das Kapital misstraut. Es geht also weder darum, die Arbeiterklasse an die Macht zu bringen, noch darum, die Arbeiterbewegung physisch zu vernichten.

    dagmar

    February 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

  12. Oh, and on Timoschenko. Shortly after I wrote she is significant by her absense from reports (in Germany) on the current situation, it seems it was announced she is to be released. But in the German media that – so far – merits only a tiny footnote. German resident and German “Order of Merit” holder, and supposedly non-Ukrainian (but German) speaker Klitchko is still being pushed as the next Ukrainian president in Germany, though also maybe less confidently than was the case a few weeks ago.

    dagmar

    February 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

  13. There is also this, for those unwilling to condemn of the right-wing Maidan movement, which apparently includes some members of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty,: https://www.facebook.com/EuroMaydanTranslations?ref=stream

    This is a typical example of their “good source of contemporaneous information.”

    Sample of the comments, “Queridos amigos, mirad estos rostros tan inteligentes y bondadosos que reflejan la pureza del alma. Son los mejores hijos del pueblo ucraniano que han fallecido por nuestra libertad, brutalmente aniquilados por Yanukovich – un dictador sangriento y esclavo de Putin.”

    Beloved friends, I see in your faces so good and intelligent, the reflection of the purity of the soul, the best sons of the Ukrainian people, who have fought for our liberty, brutally put down by Yanukovitch – a blood-drenched dictator and slave of Putin.”

    There’s plenty from the coyly named “right sector” too: http://maidantranslations.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/right-sector-yanukovychs-statement-is-simple-hypocrisy-automaidan-only-immediate-resignation-acceptable/

    Andrew Coates

    February 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm

  14. Defining the threat of fascism in terms of its capacity to destroy, physically, the workers’ movement (” die Arbeiterbewegung physisch zu vernichten) has echoes of the Third period.

    And why not bring back this later definition of fascism, after they have got over this binge on the rhetoric of class against class?

    It is “the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” (Georgi Dimitrov 1935 http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1935/08_02.htm#s2 ).

    As the Ukraine is not imperialist it cannot possibly experience domestic fascism…..

    Andrew Coates

    February 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

  15. “… echoes of the Third period.”. Indeed.

    I note that Timoschenko has been released from her prison/hospital, is on a plane to Kiev, and has announced she will run for president.

    Hang on, wasn’t there some horrible, debilitating illness she is suffering from, which the nasty, uncaring previous Ukrainian president/government refused to let her ‘get treated in Berlin’?

    Seems Klitchko got the ‘Berlin treatment’ instead, and her illness may have cleared up rapidly, rather like Ernest Saunders’? Shocker.

    On the streets of Berlin (well on my street) the current talk (well, 5 mins ago) is whether Klitchko will be the new president, or maybe “that woman with the funny hair” will be it. How short their memories are.

    dagmar

    February 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

  16. dagmar

    February 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

  17. This is interesting,

    From Roar Mag, (thanks DoD)

    “The Autonomous Workers’ Union. revolutionary syndicalist Denis ”

    “Since 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, who had initially been just a puppet of powerful oligarchs, has become an ambitious businessman himself. His elder son has accumulated vast powers; “The Family” occupied important positions in the government, monopolized control over capital flows, and started fighting with Rinat Akhmetov, Dmitry Firtash and other oligarchs who had been their sponsors previously. Naturally, the traditional oligarchic clans didn’t like this, so the current protest has also an elite dimension.”

    “Denis: As far as I understand it, there’s only one demand that is shared by virtually every person active in Maidan: get rid of Yanukovych. That is indeed the gathering point which can unify all social strata and political camps present there. Of course, most people would say that they don’t want to stop at that, that they want total purge of all government structures so that some “new people” could come and so on. If we look closer, we’ll see a vast spectre of different viewpoints, often mutually contradictory. So, I think you’re right that the opposition is capitalising on the fact that currently all hatred is focused specifically on Yanukovych.”
    Vratislav: Media commentators initially described those original November protesters as being politically liberal, standing for democratic pluralism, multi-culturalism, etc. Do you agree with this description?

    Denis: Definitely not multi-culturalism! I think today everybody is already aware about the role of the far-right in the protests. They are not as ubiquitous as one may think but the fact is that their ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). For example, just recently Vitali Klitschko (who is the most liberal of all the three opposition leaders) has proclaimed a campaign called “Don’t be afraid, you’re a Ukrainian!” Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy instead of the creeping monopolization of power by one party, as the thing look now. But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media. Mind you, the same things are going on in the opposite camp: social networks of the riot police officers in the internet are full of the same shit.

    The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, “economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists who had joined the protests even though their own political programme had always included critique of the EU’s “liberal fascism”. Actually, the very name “Right Sector” originated after one of such violent clashes. The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through .”

    On Europe

    The “far right groups, which initially had to hide their traditional attitude to the “liberal decaying EU” in order to infiltrate the protests, now openly state that they don’t care about the EU and only want a regime change. This sentiment is accepted in the wide circles of the protesters.”

    http://roarmag.org/2014/02/euromaidan-protests-ukraine-contradictions/

    Andrew Coates

    February 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

  18. This by Timothy Snyder (the author of Bloodlands), is worth looking at.

    It is a sustained attempt to defend Maidan and accuse Russia of misleading propaganda against them by calling them Nazis, which we, poor naive European leftists, accept because our folk memory of the Second World War.

    But the idea that Maidan has a big far-right component is not seriously looked at. That is making the running is hardly to be denied.

    It is hardly contradictory to denounce both Russian and Ukrainian ultra-nationalism.

    The former is outlined below,

    “The course of the protest has very much been influenced by the presence of a rival project, based in Moscow, called the Eurasian Union. This is an international commercial and political union that does not yet exist but that is to come into being in January 2015. The Eurasian Union, unlike the European Union, is not based on the principles of the equality and democracy of member states, the rule of law, or human rights.

    On the contrary, it is a hierarchical organization, which by its nature seems unlikely to admit any members that are democracies with the rule of law and human rights. Any democracy within the Eurasian Union would pose a threat to Putin’s rule in Russia. Putin wants Ukraine in his Eurasian Union, which means that Ukraine must be authoritarian, which means that the Maidan must be crushed.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?insrc=hpss

    Andrew Coates

    February 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm

  19. When the drone supporting left make statements like, “Where do the left stand?”, we on the actual left read this as “What position should imperialism take on this issue?”. The comments above from the more notorious drone supporting leftists more than make this crystal clear.

    Well imperialism doesn’t take a position at all, it attempts, as it does everywhere (see Venezuela for example) to affect events directly. So the coup against the current elected government is in part, an imperialist plot. I would calculate that your boys want to split the Ukraine into 2, set up NATO in the Western bit and install a sophisticated missile system, the imperialists telling the new Ukraine that you can’t trust your new neighbours (the old Eastern Ukraine). Imperialism and the drone supporting left are as happy as Larry. And while all this is going on they will still rabbit on about democracy!

    The imperialists already have ready made rulers in waiting in the Ukrainian oligarchs, natural allies of imperialists and drone supporting leftists.

    I suspect they will hope to pay off and marginalise the far right when they have had use of them, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

    The motto of the drone supporting left – You can have freedom and democracy but woe betide if it isn’t the on the basis that we set out!

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    February 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  20. Incidentally, on what position should the left take. I believe we should allow the ruling class here to fall into the trap of supporting the Kiev protesters/rioters/criminals/freedom fighters – pick your favourite. And then we on the left should advise people in the UK to be inspired by these protesters and rise up against the criminal coalition government of millionaires currently in power.

    We should say to people, be inspired by those in the Ukraine who don’t wait for politicians to solve their problems but take things into their own hands. Erect barricades, attack the cops, end austerity now by force! Arm yourself and take to the streets!

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    February 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  21. Complete confusion from the Fourth International:Ukrainians fighting for a better society
    Sunday 23 February 2014, by Ilya Boudraïtskis.

    “Would you say the movement is fascist then?

    I think that’s a simplification …

    What do you mean?

    Fascism arose in the post-World War One period in response to crush a militant and revolutionary workers movement across Europe. Fascists played the role of smashing the workers movement and saving capitalism in places where the democratic state could not. This was the case in both Germany and Italy.

    And today?

    Today there is neither revolutionary workers movement nor a Fascist movement intent on smashing it. Also, there isn’t a crisis of liberal democracy and mistrust between the capitalist class and the state that would push the former to put their faith in Fascism, at least not yet.

    What is the nature of the movement then?

    At Maiden, there are people fighting from different oppressed groups in society: workers, unemployed, the poor and students. They oppose the state and the elites. The term fascism doesn’t apply because the class composition of the parties is quite distinct.

    But there are Fascists at Maiden?

    Clearly. The ideology of the “Right Sector” is fascist. And this group is attempting to establish its hegemony within the movement. So far, however, it hasn’t worked because the core of the movement has nothing to do with fascism.

    What is it about then?

    It’s hard to define. This movement is the product of a post-Soviet society in which class consciousness and protest had been virtually eradicated. This means protest movements can be extremely heterogeneous and can transform ideologically very quickly – to the left as well as the right.

    How did the Maiden protest develop into its current form?

    At the moment it has a nationalistic, anti-communist character. This is because the right is best placed and organised to intervene in the movement and because of the disastrous role played by the Ukrainian Communist Party.

    The Communist Party got 13 percent at the last election?

    Yes. Subsequently, their priority has been to establish themselves within Yanukovych’s Regime. For example, they voted for the anti-demonstration laws. Without their vote the laws wouldn’t have passed. Unfortunately most Ukrainians associate the “left wing” entirely with the Communist Party.”

    http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3291

    So it’s an anti-communist, anti-left movement, with more than a few fascists – in fact the shock troops on the ground – and later in the interview it’s admitted that some oligarchs are involved, but it’s for a “better society”.

    Andrew Coates

    February 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

  22. Yes, thats the same ‘comrade’ who will be at the German SWP’s summer school.

    dagmar

    February 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

  23. The ‘taz’ seems to have discovered, finally, the existance of the “Right Sector” at the Maidan.

    http://taz.de/Nationalisten-in-der-Ukraine/!133706/

    “…That doesn’t mean the fighters from the “Right Sector” are loved by those living on the Maidan. “They’re nationalists. We mustn’t allow them to come to power” says an activist from Sporosche to the ‘taz’, one who has been on the Maidan since the first hours [of protests]. His blackened hands suggest this is believable.

    One activist says: “They don’t even ask us. Them up there, Julia Tymoschenko and those from the “Right Sector” believe they can divide power between themselves. But they’ve forgotten us. We’re staying here. If even our leaders now start building themselves beautiful palaces and arrange ministerships for themselves without talking to us. we’ll fight against them as well.””

    In other news: Tymoschenko claims – via her lawyer – that she never said she wanted to run for the presidency (maybe she’s going to grab her cash and run?). Oh, and she is going to come to Germany for treatment. Having once met her personal doctor – “an arrogant shit” (one might say) when it comes to dealing with non-private patients at least – and therefore knowing somewhat his ward and the conditions of that hospital – I can assume she’ll be able to jump the waiting list and will probably be staying in a nearby hotel and not in a currently-being-renovated 1980s GDR tower block (state of the art at the time, but has been severely run down since reunification). Maybe she won’t return to Kiev after all…

    dagmar

    February 25, 2014 at 1:58 am

  24. “So it’s an anti-communist, anti-left movement, with more than a few fascists – in fact the shock troops on the ground – and later in the interview it’s admitted that some oligarchs are involved, but it’s for a “better society”
    I don’t see why these features should be logically contradictory in an inchoate mass movement aimed at overthrowing an autocratic ruler. Since you have yourself offered no analysis apart from the need to “avoid facile judgments” (admittedly a welcome development for this blog) you aren’t really in much of a position to criticize others. .

    puss wallgreen

    February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  25. Perhaps you would care to offer some criticisms yourself?

    Andrew Coates

    February 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm

  26. Not really, I’m hundreds of miles away and don’t really know much about it.. But I am not the one who is questioning the assessments of those who do.

    puss wallgreen

    February 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  27. So Pussy, you have nothing to say.

    Please stay that way.

    Andrew Coates

    February 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  28. Since I am not a Trotskyist I do not feel compelled to shoot my mouth off about topics of which I know little. I merely pointed out that there is nothing logically self-contradictory about the positions advanced by the USFI supporter, and in terms of capturing the complexity of the situation they don’t seem that different from the Mark Ames piece you describe as “very important”. Still, perhaps you and your fellow Decents have spent so long smearing progressive mass movements in the West on the basis that they contain the odd nutjob that you genuinely can’t decide about this one – let’s make it simple for you, why don’t you just find out what position David Duke has taken and say the opposite?

    puss wallgreen

    February 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

  29. Reblogged this on fortunereramakoni.

    Fortune Rera-Makoni

    February 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  30. “Fellow decents” – are you perhaps a friend of Socialism in one Bedroom?

    Well, at least one star to burnish an otherwise empty CV.

    Andrew Coates

    February 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm


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