Against nationalism, corruption, privatisation and war

 

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Members of the Russian community in London protesting against war

The continuing political and economic crisis in Ukraine is taking a dangerous military turn.

Left Unity takes the position that there can only be a political solution to this crisis and that neither foreign military intervention nor foreign political and economic intervention provide the answers to Ukraine’s complex problems.

Whether under the flag of US, NATO, Russia or the European Union, military intervention only ever makes the situation many times worse. So it is in Ukraine. The West’s hypocrisy in condemning Russia for breaking international law is breathtaking: nevertheless, Russian troops hold no solution to the crisis.

As Ukraine experiences a deep economic crisis, it also has to be clear that neo-liberal economic policies – with the swingeing privatisation and austerity that will accompany them – will only exacerbate tensions and conflicts within the country, which will find a nationalist expression rather than confronting the real problems facing all Ukrainian citizens.

For decades, internationally, neo-liberal economic policies have contributed to inter-community conflict and social division and Ukraine will be no exception. The Ukrainian people had some success fighting privatisation in the 1990s and this can happen again. Economic policies which will meet the needs of all communities within Ukraine must be supported as a matter of urgency.

The only beneficiaries of neo-liberal policies will be capitalist interests outside of Ukraine and far right and fascist forces which are resurgent within Ukraine. Already these reactionary movements have used the crisis to increase their political weight even at a governmental level.

Political corruption has been rife at the top of political life in Ukraine, rightly provoking an outpouring of popular revulsion but this cannot be used as the justification for attacks and scape-goating of any community. There are oligarchs in all parts of the political elite controlling the overwhelming majority of the country’s wealth.

The demands of the Ukrainian people for transparency and democracy in Ukrainian political life must be respected and implemented. All peoples of Ukraine must have their full human rights guaranteed including freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate together with equality of citizenship and language rights and respect for the autonomy of communities under the constitution. There can be no second class citizens in any country.

  • No foreign intervention in Ukraine – whether political, economic or military
  • Democracy and equality for all the people of Ukraine.

 


13 comments

13 responses to “Against nationalism, corruption, privatisation and war”

  1. Noel Kennedy says:

    It is said that this could be the start of world war 3! I hope it is the start of the first continuing war against the oligarchs globally and that the people of every country are released from their grasp.We may have to fight for that solution! People before Profit! Not the other way around. Power to the people!

  2. John Tummon says:

    Neither of the two sides is primarily interested in the peoples who live in Ukraine and live in a country that should be rich but in which only the workers and small businessmen pay taxes while the rich don’t pay anything at all. That’s the sovereignty Hague and the EU are defending.

    We’ll know today by the tenor of Kerry’s speech in Kiev whether he is backing down from his bellicose speeches ever since protesters hit the streets in Kiev (see Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” for the USA’s previous in this sort of situation) or is striving for an “Ich bin ein Berliner” moment that could lead to a nuclear face-off.

    Ukraine’s new government is not one arising from honour, but from a simple coup against an agreement which three EU reps were party to, backed by a rebellion against the elected President, led initially by middle class liberals but then taken over by a far right that got its own weaponry from who knows who. The right wing party Svoboda has several government posts in the new Kiev dictatorship – Oleksandr Sych, Andriy Mokhnyk and Ihor Shvaika.

    Yet the EU and its bosses in the Pentagon are now courting this government based on a coup and backed by unconstitutional political violence because they fancy expanding their business empire, their military alliance and their political organisation right up to the Kremlin door. Hypocrites! No doubt they will continue to cite the 1994 agreement on Ukraine that was negotiated in 1991 by another beneficiary of a coup – the drunkard Yeltsin. Mmm!! – what a compelling piece of paper that is on which to launch whatever these hypocrites have the bottle to throw at the 2nd biggest nuclear power on the planet.

    Lined up against these hypocrites is a Russian leader on the machismo drug who encourages and endorses all sorts of abuses against his own people, especially if they are gay, to the Left or involved in a band. He rubs shoulders with the Russian equivalent of the Hells Angels – the Night Wolves – who are going to act as the means of intimidating the non-Russians throughout eastern Ukraine and are far more numerous, well-armed and organised than the Angels ever were.

    Yanukovych violated his own constitution on numerous occasions.

    Like all nationalists, Putin is a scoundrel.

    Here is Paul Mason, explaining why the West lacks the bottle to do anything apart from cutting off its nose to spite its face – i.e. cutting its imports of gas from Russia and having to find another source before this deepens the recession:

    http://blogs.channel4.com/paul-mason…onomic-war/441

    The west will do nothing but ordinary people in all sorts of places will no doubt suffer; we just don’t know who will be the main victims yet.

    That is what you get by having a hypocritical bunch of representatives of a bloated western plutocracy putting the possibility of advancing western business interests above everything else, especially principle. Now they are prancing and pouting before the cameras as they gather in Brussels.

    ‘Jaw Jaw’ has been discredited by the hypocrisy of the EU negotiators changing tack dramatically in order to back a coup they thought gave their desire for expansion an even better chance. Their bluff has been called. The current Ukrainian government is illegitimate by any international standard so its sovereign rights are just a whiff of propaganda. Putin is using his supporters in Ukraine just as they did theirs in and around Kiev. The moral high ground is so far above any power involved in this that the whole thing stinks.

    So, yes, a plague on both sides and let’s work again to do what achieved the mass public opinion against war over Syria late last year, although I seriously doubt even Kerry will push that again.

  3. merlin europe says:

    I didn’t like the violence that took place during the face-off on the square. However, I thought that whoever it was that gave the order to use snipers with live ammunition, would have instantly lost legitimacy. And here I do have Yanukovych in mind especially.

    But as for the legitimacy of the current government: it was nominated according the constitution by the acting president, after which the Parliament accepted it according to the constitution. So by Ukrainian constitution, this is a legitimate government, as unfortunate as it is. I don’t like Svoboda one bit (the Klitschko faction UDAR is suspect also)! But neither do I like a good many Conservative ministers in Cameron’s government. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a legitimate one, although if we had the same kind of government, I would see it as a disaster. I hate nationalism, it is the reason for all major wars since 18th century.

    Otherwise, I fully second John Tummon above, what he said.

  4. Bazza says:

    Ukraine needs a democratic socialist Govt – one which unites the working people in the Russian speaking areas and Ukranian speaking areas. Need a peaceful and political solution – a tripartite agreement: Ukraine on its own term has a trade agreement with the EC, on its own terms has a trade agreement with Russia, and maintains its independence. What may be going on here is nationalism v internationalism and I think everyone here is with internationalism.

  5. Stuart Inman says:

    I don’t entirely agree with this assessment of Putin:
    “Lined up against these hypocrites is a Russian leader on the machismo drug who encourages and endorses all sorts of abuses against his own people, especially if they are gay, to the Left or involved in a band. He rubs shoulders with the Russian equivalent of the Hells Angels – the Night Wolves – who are going to act as the means of intimidating the non-Russians throughout eastern Ukraine and are far more numerous, well-armed and organised than the Angels ever were.
    Yanukovych violated his own constitution on numerous occasions.
    Like all nationalists, Putin is a scoundrel.”

    He IS a scoundrel, but a much cleverer one than the statement above suggests. He is a manipulator. If you like, he plays chess while other leaders play tiddlywinks. He is also something of a conjuror and most people are watching him perform his latest trick. A few see that he is misdirecting with his right hand while his left is doing something else. Hardly anybody notices that he also has an assistant in the crowd who has just picked their pocket.

    I have no idea whether he is genuinely anti-gay, but he is unscrupulous enough to use anti-gay feeling to bolster a mood in Russia that increases his support.

    I DO agree with the larger part of that quote and we have to realise how dangerous Putin is, not as the person who will start Armageddon, that would not be in his interests, but as the one real player who can manipulate the world to his – and his Russia’s – advantage.

  6. Jason Dore says:

    Stuart Inman places too much emphasis on Putin knowing what he is doing. As in most things, this is a mess over which nobody has control.

  7. VN Gelis says:

    Obama saved Putins bacon after the ‘good’ oligarch Yanukovich was deposed, repaying him in kind for saving his bacon over Syria.
    Now by bringing in the IMF they will both seek to crush the Ukrainian masses.

    We had musical chairs before by both wings of the Ukrainian oligarchy that usurped political power in the 2000 decade.Yanukovich ruled with the leader of the Soros inspired ‘Orange Revolution’ which didn’t bring about the desired effect of a capitalist paradise.

    Putin stated he will increase the gas price for the Ukraine (ie take away the subsidy) and that Yanukovich is politically dead.
    It isn’t like E Europe, but an organic part of the old ex-USSR.
    Ukraine cannot join the EU without massive dislocation, economic convulsions and destruction of much of the industrialised infrastructure. If the EU goes for its throat, it will see massive population movements west and Germany will suffer severely for up till now it controlled influxes quite strictly.

    This was after all the reason why Germany cut a deal many years ago with Putin (according to his autobiography) millions of Russians would have moved into the EU when Russia defaulted and Germany rushed to buy its oil and gas, provisionally stabilising the country. Does the EU now have the resources to do the same for the Ukraine when it is mired in economic meltdown in its southern periphery?

    There is a severe difference between the nationalism of the Ukraine and the nationalism of Russia just as there is between the nationalism of the Irish and the English due to history. If they are all placed on an even keel then the conflicts in the Ukraine will never be understood…

    • marcus Nestor says:

      No one has offered Ukraine EU membership or even anything like it, or has at any time to date.. That Russia moved to “head off EU membership” is one of the fraudulent memes floating around among the ignorant, the dishonest, the exploited and the casually interested

  8. John Tummon says:

    Play the 2nd vid down on this page to hear a phone call which indicates that it was right wingers in the new Kiev coalition, not Yanukovich, who ordered snipers to kill both riot police and Ukraniain protesters:

    http://rt.com/news/ashton-maidan-snipers-estonia-946/

    Black Ops at the heart of the west’s attempts to support the Coalition!

    Even the Daily Mail believes this leak is valid and that both the Ukrainian government and EU don’t want to investigate this:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573923/Estonian-Foreign-Ministry-confirms-authenticity-leaked-phone-call-discussing-Kiev-snipers-shot-protesters-possibly-hired-Ukraines-new-leaders.html

  9. M. Jones says:

    Comrades

    This statement is nowhere near enough – it fails to point out the actions of the US/EU in financing and organising the Maidan protesters and the political parties involved. It fails to cover the conspiracy to install the current Government in Kiev or the fact that the US/EU was happy to promote fascists and criminals into government positions by means of provocations per the phone call referred to above see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8. Finally there is nothing about the dangers of having fascists in Government positions and armed fascist gangs able to operate in the streets of Kiev, Lviv and other Ukrainian cities with the intent to attack Jews, Russian speakers, other minorities in Ukraine and of course the left. postings on the Left Unity website can so far only be described as naive at best when it comes to events in Ukraine – we need a clear analysis please.

  10. marcus Nestor says:

    If Russia supported and staged a coup d’état in N.Ireland, installed a “real NRA” temporary emergency “president” then threatened sanctions and even war when you Brits moved to clear them out..what would you lot be saying about that? This is Fake-Left, state twaddle…all of it..The US and the EU destabilized and overthrew the govt of Ukraine with the worst most reactionary scum available to them. The FACT IS, if the US and their EU stooges had not overthrown the elected govt of Ukraine, the Ukranian people would be preparing for normal elections in 2015 and living their lives out, as best they could – without foreign intervention. Its preposterous to equivocate the actions of Russia here with the actions of the coup plotters, especially when THEY KNEW FULL WELL RUSSIA WOULD REACT RATIONALLY TO PROTECT ITS VITAL NATIONAL INTERESTS, which it is doing and which the coup plotter certainly intended and prepared for..How could they claim otherwise..The rest of the Left (and the world) is not so cynical and dishonest as you stooges though..

  11. marcus Nestor says:

    If Russia supported and staged a coup d’état in N.Ireland, installed a “real IRA ”temporary emergency president”, before elections to be held, “very soon, as soon as possible, probably” and then threatened sanctions and even war when Brits and the rest of the US/NATO apparatus moved to clear them out..what would you lot be saying about that? .The US and the EU destabilized and overthrew the govt of Ukraine and formed and arguably illegal government with the worst most reactionary scum available to them. Whatever actions the Rada took after the Putsch it was done after violently seizing the government and Killing or chasing the opposition out..Any vote held under those conditions is a sham vote..That the US is insisting its legal is not at all suprising given its long record of manufacturing, supporting and collaborating with illegal and tyrannical governments as in Chile, Iran, Guetemala and many other places. The FACT IS, if the US and the EU had not overthrown the elected govt of Ukraine, the Ukranian people would be preparing for normal elections in 2015 and living their lives out, as best they could – without foreign intervention. Its preposterous to equivocate the actions of Russia here with the actions of the coup plotters, especially when they knew full well Russia would react rationally to protect its vital national interests, which it is doing and which the coup plotters certainly intended and prepared for..How could they claim otherwise..The rest of the Left (and the world) is not so cynical and dishonest as this..


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