Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!
FROM THE COMING ISSUE #51 OF THE MAGAZINE RED SUN:
UNITE AND ARM THE PEOPLES UNDER PROLETARIAN LEADERSHIP AGAINST ALL THE IMPERIALISTS AND THEIR WARS OF PLUNDER AND REDIVISION!
The present sharpening of the interimperialist contradiction expresses the sharpening of the general and final crisis of imperialism. The need of the imperialist monopolies to carry out a new redivision of the world, the crisis of bourgeois democracy and the reactionarization and fascistization of the reactionary states show that the bloodsuckers and their whole system are hopelessly sinking, while the international proletariat and the peoples of the world fight and resist this old order and are overcoming the splitting and the setbacks caused by the general counterrevolutionary offensive and the revisionist betrayal.
The current intensification of the conflict between the Yankee, Chinese and Russian superpowers for world hegemony does not change the principal contradiction in the world, which continues to be the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples. Nor does it change the fundamental role of the class struggle, of the contradiction proletariat-bourgeoisie. On the contrary, the imperialist wars emphasize even more that only with a firm proletarian class position and with the scientific ideology of the proletariat – Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism – is it possible to understand what is now happening in order to be able to end the genocidal wars and the imperialist exploitation and oppression. And, as the events in Ukraine confirm, just like in any oppressed nation, it is more and more clear that the only class capable of leading and bringing to its conclusion the struggle for national liberation – against all and each one of the imperialist exploiters – is the proletariat, that under the leadership of its Communist Party must unite, mobilize and arm all the classes of the people against the handful of imperialists and their local lackeys.
The imperialist aggression and the threat of a new world war sharpen the struggle between Marxism and revisionism in the ranks of the communists and revolutionaries: in all the countries, oppressed and imperialist, the question of the armed struggle and the universal validity of the people’s war are inevitably put on the agenda. Likewise, the crisis of bourgeois democracy, the reactionarization of the reactionary states and the growing popular rejection of parliamentarism are putting the boycott of the elections as strategy of the proletariat on the agenda in all the countries. The imperialist war inevitably radicalizes the masses and separates the wheat from the chaff in the ranks of our class.
The new redivision of the world and the proxy war in Ukraine
In the current intensification of the conflict between the three superpowers, Yankee imperialism – the giant with clay feet – continues to be the most aggressive and warmongering one, desperately struggling to maintain its position as hegemonic and sole gendarme while facing the rapid advances of the Chinese superpower and the obstacle that the nuclear superpower Russia constitutes. After the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism, the Yankee imperialists aimed to dominate Russia as if it were an oppressed country: to turn it into a semicolony and exploit it with the help of a Russian bourgeoisie subjected to the Yankees and their allies. But, in spite of its deep economic and political weakness, Russia still maintained its character as an imperialist power and a nuclear superpower, with a monopolist bourgeoisie that had discarded the state monopoly capitalism of the revisionist USSR, but that had not abandoned its striving for world imperialist hegemony. After Yeltsin came Putin, the representative of this imperialist bourgeoisie, with a long-term politics for the defense of Russian imperialism aiming to retake its lost empire.
Yankee imperialism, along with the European powers, mainly Germany, advanced towards the East. Through the military force of the NATO and with the European Union as the political tool, the Western imperialists took control of the former semicolonies of Soviet social-imperialism in Eastern Europe. With the help of the country-selling bourgeoisies of these countries (many of them former members of the revisionist bureaucracy), and mobilizing the same fascist and “liberal” forces that they had employed during World War II (at that time against socialism), they carrie
d out coups and “revolutions” choreographed from Washington, installed their puppet regimes, their armed forces and their nuclear weapons. They fomented the old national contradictions to set masses against masses, and launched their genocidal war against Yugoslavia. Thus began the period of unbridled exploitation of these countries by the Yankee, German and other monopolies, and at the same time they carried out the military encirclement of Russia.
It is no coincidence that this process has led to its present sharpening specifically in Ukraine, a country on Russia’s border and with a long history of interimperialist conflict – and of national resistance. As a nation oppressed by Czarism and other imperialists, at the start of the last century Ukraine developed a strong national liberation movement. Under the leadership of the proletariat, one part of this movement united with the proletariat and people of Russia, swept away Czarism, liberating the nation from imperialist exploitation, constituting it as a part of the socialist Soviet Union and building socialism with the full support and active and heroic participation of the broad working masses of Ukraine. Other nationalist factions, under bourgeois leadership, sold themselves to the imperialists and carried out the white terror against socialism and the revolutionary masses. Since then, the Yankee and German imperialists have fomented and armed such reactionary groups in Ukraine, among them the Ukrainian Nazis led by the genocidal Nazi Stepan Bandera, today officially named as “national hero” by the state of Ukraine.
After the revisionist coup in the USSR in 1956 and the restoration of capitalism, Ukraine once again became an oppressed nation, this time as a semicolony exploited by social-imperialism in the name of the “international division of labour” put forward by the revisionists. Since then, because of the lack of proletarian leadership, factions of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie have been able to manipulate the just resistance of the people against Russian imperialism to serve the chauvinist, anti-communist and country-selling reaction. Similarly, Russian imperialism today takes advantage of the proud history of socialism and the Great Patriotic War against fascism to legitimize its bourgeois dictatorship and promote its imperialist expansion among the masses.
Although there is a just struggle of the people of Ukraine against imperialism and its local lackeys – and this struggle was also expressed within the protests on the Maidan in 2014 and within the struggle of the new republics in Donetsk and Luhansk – this just struggle is being used by the Yankee, Russian and German imperialists to set masses against masses and mobilize them as cannon fodder in the present interimperialist proxy war. The state of Ukraine, its present regime and its armed forces cannot represent the people of Ukraine, nor can they carry out the real struggle for national liberation; they do not represent anything more than the country-selling bourgeoisie, no matter if they sell themselves to Russian imperialism or Yankee imperialism or to any other power or superpower. Consequently, what the proletariat of Ukraine needs is to organize with self-determination, independence and self-sustenance, mobilizing, leading and arming the people without selling itself to any imperialist power or superpower. Without such organization, every attempt to make a “united front” with the bourgeoisie against the invaders can only result in tailing after the country-selling bourgeoisie and its imperialist masters.
War for the booty and for world hegemony
What motives do the different imperialist powers and superpowers have to get involved in Ukraine? There are direct economic interests, i.e. the imperialist exploitation of the working class of Ukraine and of the country’s natural resources. Just like in other countries in Eastern Europe, the arrival of NATO and the European Union in Ukraine, especially with the coup of 2014, meant opening the country for imperialist investment; the export of capital by Yankee imperialism and the European powers, mainly Germany. In 2021, the State Department of the United States summarized it like this:
"Ukraine offers a large consumer market, a highly educated and cost-competitive work force [which means that salaries are very low –note from SR], and abundant natural resources. The government continues to advance legislation to capitalize on this potential. In March 2020, parliament passed a law to lift the decades-old moratorium on the sale of agricultural land, effective July 1, 2021. The World Bank projects that the establishment of the agricultural land market could attract $5 billion in investment. [...] On March 30, 2021, the Rada lifted a block on large privatizations and is looking at ways to facilitate the privatization process. [...] To attract foreign investment the government adopted a new law in early 2021 granting considerable financial and operational incentives to companies that make large investments in Ukraine." (https://www.state.gov/reports/2021-investment-climate-statements/ukraine/)
During the last three decades, hundreds of big foreign companies have established themselves in Ukraine, mainly in its western part, and the biggest investors are the German car manufacturing companies. This is to say, that the present conflict is a struggle for the booty, for the right to exploit the country. Although the sanctions against Russia have a high price not only for Russia but for the other imperialists as well, and in the end we know that it is the proletariat and the people who have to pay, it is obvious that they are willing to sacrifice some of their profits in the short term because they expect to gain more later.
But more important in the present situation is the strategic motive: for the Yankee and Russian imperialists, the present conflict is not only a fight for the right to exploit Ukraine, but one more step in the new redivision of the world, a part of the preparations for a new world war for world hegemony. For Yankee imperialism, the real threat to their hegemony is not Russia but China. To be able to confront China, militarily and economically, it is indispensable to cut Russia out of the equation, i.e. weaken it, neutralize it or destroy it. At the same time, the bourgeoisies of the Western European powers, principally Germany, are more and more aware of the weakening of the Yankee empire, and they are increasingly considering other alliances that might serve their ambitions of turning themselves into superpowers better. Consequently, to isolate Russia and be prepared for the great struggle for world hegemony, it is urgent for the Yankees to consolidate their alliances with the European powers. The present Russian invasion of Ukraine, provoked by NATO’s encirclement of Russia, serves precisely these goals.
In February 2022, the U.S. “think tank” Atlantic Council published an article titled “Washington Must Prepare for War with Both Russia and China”. In a report from last year the same organization said that “the single most important challenge facing the United States and the democratic world in the twenty-first century is the rise of... China.” Leon Panetta, former CIA director and former US Secretary of Defense, recently admitted that the war in Ukraine is a “proxy war” of the United States. And the pronouncements from the representatives of the Yankee armed forces reveal the current thinking of the Yankee superpower:
"Amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Frank Kendall, US Secretary of the Air Force, highlighted the US foreign policy behind its military deployment, at the Air Force Association’s Annual Air Warfare Symposium, ‘Russia and other threats will not be discounted. But China, with both regional and global ambitions, the resources to pursue them, will be our greatest national security challenge’. He pointed to seven ‘operational imperatives’ that he believes are necessary for the forces to address possible conflicts, including an ‘invasion’ of Taiwan." (https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/03/21/is-the-ukraine-war-a-prelude-to-a-more-protracted-global-war/)
We now see very clearly that the three superpowers and a big part of their allies are willing to unleash a new world war, an immense slaughter of millions, in order to try to rescue their dying imperialist system. At this moment, Yankee imperialism, still the strongest superpower but getting weaker and weaker, is the main driving force in inciting a world war; it is logical that it prefers to do so before it loses even more of its economic and military power (and its allies). The Chinese and Russian imperialists, although they too inevitably aim for a confrontation over hegemony, seem to prefer postponing such a war a bit more, focusing now more on interimperialist collusion; on “friendly” redivision of the booty under the slogan of the “multipolar world”, while they continue to strengthen their armament.
The proletariat and the peoples combat and resist
In the midst of the accelerated reactionarization of the reactionary states, the intensified repression and the desperate and vulgar war-mongering campaigns, the masses of the people in the whole world are advancing powerfully in their rejection of the old order of exploitation and oppression and its wars of plunder and genocide. These last few years, in the imperialist countries as well as the oppressed nations, we have seen a wave of strikes and mobilizations not only for economic demands, but also more and more against the whole old order.
Although the reactionaries can indeed mobilize some sectors of the population in support of their wars, they have encountered a popular resistance they did not expect: see the strong opposition in Russia against the invasion of Ukraine, and in the U.S. a new generation of revolutionary and progressive anti-imperialist activists. Even in the Nordic countries, in spite of the deeply ingrained social-chauvinism and subservience to the Yankee superpower, the current campaign to join the NATO is facing more and more popular resistance. In Athens, Greece, thousands mobilized on March 4th in a powerful demonstration against the Russian invasion and against the NATO, stating among other things that it is an “inter-imperialist war in which the workers are told to choose between rival gangs of robbers”. In April, railway workers in Greece refused to transport NATO military vehicles from the port of Alexandra Pulis to Ukraine, and other activists threw paint at the vehicles. On March 6th, more than 5000 people marched in London, England against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and against NATO’s expansion and a series of similar mobilizations have taken place in several cities in the U.S. as well.
This is only to mention a few examples; thousands of similar protests have taken place on all continents, showing that the broad working masses of the world do not let themselves be fooled by the war-mongering of imperialism and reaction. And this in spite of the dark work of the revisionists and opportunists, who in all the countries do what they can to promote the imperialist war with slogans of “socialism” and “democracy”.
The role of revisionism
All the gangs of imperialists in the world utilize and foster revisionist groups and parties to divert the struggles of the masses and to try to prevent the rise and advance of revolutionary movements and movements of national liberation led by the proletariat. This should not surprise anyone, because to serve and embellish imperialism – in the name of “socialism” or even with “revolutionary” and “anti-imperialist” words – is the essence of revisionism. Today it is confirmed with great clarity that all kinds of revisionists – may they be parliamentarian, “libertarian”, pro-Russian, pro-Chinese or pro-Yankees – are social-chauvinists; socialists in words but pro-imperialists in practice. Their politics is well summarized in what Lenin said in his report on the opportunism at the International Socialist Congress of Stuttgart in 1907: "On the colonial question an opportunist majority was formed in the Commission, and the following monstrous phrase appeared in the draft resolution: ‘The Congress does not in principle and for all time reject all colonial policy, which, under a socialist regime, may have a civilising effect.’ In reality this proposition was tantamount to a direct retreat towards bourgeois policy and a bourgeois world outlook that justifies colonial wars and atrocities."
Consequently we now see how the revisionists more or less openly take position for one or another superpower and fulfill their reactionary task of promoting the new redivision of the world and the imperialist war, even using the same hoax used by the opportunists of the II International; the supposed “defense of the fatherland”. The revisionists of the parliamentarian kind, among them the social democrats and the present successors of the old parties linked to Soviet social-imperialism, are characterized by being totally submitted to the ruling big bourgeoisie of their respective countries. Therefore, their position concerning the superpowers and the imperialist contention tends to tail after the position of their bourgeoisie. So we see for example how the revisionist parties in countries allied with Yankee imperialism and the NATO in many cases have openly supported NATO’s aggressions and invasions in Afghanistan, Libya and other places, justifying them precisely with the hoax of “having a civilizing effect”, now formulated as “humanitarian intervention”, “for democracy” etc. Similarly, the “Communist Party of the Russian Federation” loyally serves the Putin regime and Russian imperialism, and supports its imperialist wars.
Other revisionist groups, like some of the pro-Russian and pro-Chinese ones in the Western countries, go against their own bourgeoisie, but only to submit to the imperialist bourgeoisie of other powers or superpowers. Likewise we see “leftist” organizations in Russia (and in Ukraine) that oppose Russian imperialism and promote Yankee or German imperialism. What they all have in common is that they have abandoned Marxism and revolution, and consequently all they have left is to look for a “good imperialism” or the “lesser evil” that supposedly could create “better conditions” for the “peaceful transition” to socialism. This is precisely what the Chinese and Russian imperialists are spreading: the thesis of the “multipolar world”, which is a direct continuation of Kautsky’s revisionist thesis of “ultraimperialism” and Khrushchev’s “peaceful coexistence”; in reality it is nothing more than a dark and impossible dream of a stable and permanent imperialism.
Because one of the central tasks of the revisionists is precisely to divert, contain and mobilize those sectors of the people that tend to be anti-imperialists, these revisionists have to hide their pro-imperialist politics behind pacifist propaganda; for example, they are not against the NATO and its wars of plunders, but before the masses they “criticize” them or oppose certain aspects of the aforementioned wars. And when – as we see now – the masses’ opposition to imperialism and its wars grows, in spite of the social-chauvinists’ efforts, they have to adapt and focus more on their pacifist chatter; see the example of Podemos in Spain, that now proposes calling a “peace meeting” instead of the NATO summit. In this way they can also look for support from less war-mongering factions of the bourgeoisie, focusing more on inter-imperialist collusion in order to avoid revolution, on “friendly” redivision of the booty and the “stability” of the imperialist system.
Facing the popular opposition to all the imperialists and their wars, some revisionists insist that they too of course are for combatting all the superpowers, but that it is necessary to make “tactical alliances” with one or another of them. In reality, they are distorting what Chairman Mao said about the anti-imperialist united front, totally denying the experiences of the anti-japanese front, including the fascist and country-selling character of bourgeois “nationalists” like Chiang Kai-shek, and all the experiences since World War II of the regimes of bureaucrat capitalism. And, principally, they are denying the concrete conditions: to pose such a “front” of the proletariat and people of Ukraine with the big bourgeoisie represented by Zelensky’s regime – when there is no organized, armed and independent proletarian movement – only means submitting to a handful of reactionaries directly controlled by Yankee imperialism.
The movement of the masses and the tasks of the communists
“But the question is, facing these plans, the main thing is not simply to unmask them, but to prepare against them; and there is only one way to do it, to prepare through the people’s war; Chairman Mao told us: one must prepare and prepare right now against an imperialist war and especially against a nuclear war. How will we respond? Only with people’s war, there is no other way; this is the main thing. Unmasking them is a part of making a propaganda campaign that shows their sinister and macabre plans for great genocide before the world, but this can never stop a war. Stalin said it clearly; these campaigns never stop a war, the only thing that works if we want to prevent a war is to develop the revolution. As the Chairman taught us: either the revolution prevents the world war or the world war sparks the revolution.”
We have already seen that the masses of the people in the world are mobilizing more and more against the imperialist war; the problem today in the majority of the countries is that they lack the proletarian leadership to unite and arm the masses and confront the wars of plunder with revolutionary war. This poses even more urgently the task of constituting or reconstituting the Communist Parties in each country, and the present situation emphasizes even more what Chairman Gonzalo stated, that these inevitably must be militarized Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Parties that firmly apply self-determination, independence and self-sustainment.
The process of constituting or reconstituting the vanguards of the class must take place in the midst of the class struggle, and presently the communists and revolutionaries have to participate actively and forcefully in the popular protests – aiming to lead them – against all the imperialists and their genocidal plans. They must implacably combat the influence of the revisionists and bring the ideology and politics of the proletariat to the masses in order to prepare ourselves against the imperialist war; to do everything to prevent the war, knowing that only with the revolution, only with the people’s war, can we prevent the wars permanently.
"We certainly should grasp our own destiny in our own hands. We should rid our ranks of all impotent thinking. All views that overestimate the strength of the enemy and underestimate the strength of the people are wrong. If everyone makes strenuous efforts, we, together with all the democratic forces of the world, can surely defeat the imperialist plan of enslavement, prevent the outbreak of a third world war, overthrow all reactionary regimes and win lasting peace for mankind. We are soberly aware that on our way forward there will still be all kinds of obstacles and difficulties and that we should be prepared to deal with the maximum resistance and desperate struggle by all our enemies, domestic and foreign. But so long as we can grasp the science of Marxism-Leninism, have confidence in the masses, stand closely together with the masses and lead them forward, we shall be fully able to surmount any obstacle and overcome any difficulty. Our strength will be invincible. This is the historic epoch in which world capitalism and imperialism are going down to their doom and world socialism and people's democracy are marching to victory. The dawn is ahead, we must exert ourselves."