Russia and the Ukraine crisis

The Euro Asian project in conflict with the Triad imperialist policies

Point de vue

samedi 12 avril 2014   |   Samir Amin
Lecture .

Dans cette contribution en anglais intitulée « Le projet Euro-asiatique en conflit avec les politiques impérialistes de la triade » (« The Euro Asian Project in Conflict with the Triad Imperialist Policies »), l’économiste marxiste Samir Amin expose sa vision de la situation en Ukraine.

1.The current global stage is dominated by the attempt of historical centres of imperialism (US, Western and central Europe, Japan –then after called “the Triad”) to maintain their exclusive control over the Planet through a combination of :

a- so called neo liberal economic globalization policies allowing financial transnational capital of the Triad to decide alone on all issues to their exclusive interests.

b- the military control of the Planet by US and its subordinate allies (Nato and Japan) in order to annihilate any attempt of any country out of the Triad to move out of their yoke.

In that respect all countries of the World out of the Triad are enemies or potential enemies. Except those who accept a complete submission to the economic and political strategy of the Triad. Such as the two new “democratic republics” of Saudi Arabia and Qatar ! The so called “international community” to which the western medias refer continuously is indeed reduced to the G7 plus Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Any other country, even when its government is currently aligned, is a potential enemy since the peoples of those countries may reject that submission.

2.In that frame Russia is “an enemy”.

Whatever might be our assessment of what was the Soviet Union (“socialist” or something else), the Triad fought it simply because it was an attempt to develop independently of dominant imperialism/capitalism.

After the breakdown of the Soviet System, some people (in Russia in particular) thought that the “West” would not antagonise a “capitalist Russia”. Just as Germany and Japan had “lost the war but won the peace”. They forgot that the Western powers supported the reconstruction of the former fascist countries precisely to face the challenge of the independent policies of the Soviet Union. Now, this challenge having disappeared the target of the Triad is to destroy the capacity of Russia to resist to a complete submission.

3.The current development of the Ukraine tragedy illustrates the reality of the strategic target of the Triad.

The Triad organized in Kiev what ought to be called a “Euro/Nazi putsch ”. Yes they needed to achieve their target (separating the historical twin sister nations –the Russian and the Ukrainian), the support of local Nazis.

The rhetoric of the Western medias, claiming that the policies of the Triad aim at promoting democracy, is simply a lie. Nowhere the Triad has promoted democracy. On the contrary these policies have systematically been supporting the most anti democratic (in some case “fascist”) local forces. Quasi fascist in the former Yugoslavia –in Croatia and Kosovo-, as well as in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, Hungary for instance. Eastern Europe has been “integrated” in the European Union not as equal partners, but as “semi colonies” of Western and Central European major capitalist/imperialist powers. The relation between West and East in the European system is somehow similar to that which rules the relations between the US and Latin America ! In counties of the South the Triad supported the extreme anti democratic forces such as, for instance, political ultra reactionary Islam, and with their complicity, destroyed these societies : the cases of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya illustrate these targets of the Triad imperialist project.

4.Therefore the policy of Russia (as developed by the administration of Putin) to resist the project of colonisation of Ukraine (and of other countries of the former Soviet Union , in Transcaucasia and Central Asia) must be supported. The Baltic States experience should not be repeated. The target of constructing a “Euro Asian” community, independent from the Triad and its European subordinate partner, is also to be supported.

But this Russian positive “international policy” is bound to fail if it is not supported by the Russian people. And this support cannot be won on the exclusive basis of “nationalism”, even a positive progressive –not chauvinistic- brand of “nationalism”, a fortiori by a “chauvinistic” Russian rhetoric. Fascism in Ukraine cannot be challenged by Russian fascism. It can be won only if the internal economic and social policy pursued promotes the interests of the majority of the working people.

What do I mean by “people’s oriented” policy favouring the working classes ?

Do I mean “socialism”, or even a nostalgia of the Soviet system ? This is not the place to re assess the soviet experience, in a few lines ! I shall only summarize my views in a few sentences. The Russian authentic socialist revolution produced a State socialism which was the only possible first step toward socialism ; after Stalin that State socialism moved towards becoming State capitalism (explaining the difference between the two concepts is important but not the subject of this short paper). As of 1991 State capitalism was dismantled and replaced by “normal” capitalism based on private property which, as in all countries of contemporary capitalism, is basically the property of financial monopolies, owned by the oligarchy (similar, not different from the oligarchies running capitalism in the Triad), many coming out of the former Nomenklatura, some new comers.

The explosion of creative authentic democratic practices initiated by the Russian revolution was then after tamed and replaced by an autocratic pattern of management of the society, albeit granting social rights to the working classes. This system led to massive depolitisation and was not protected from despotic, and even criminal deviations. The new pattern of savage capitalism is based on the continuation of depolitisation and the non respect of democratic rights.

Such a system rules not only Russia, but all the other former Soviet republics. Differences relate to the practise of the so called “western” electoral democracy, more effective in Ukraine, for instance than in Russia. Nonetheless this pattern of rule is not “democracy” but a farce compared to bourgeois democracy as it functioned at previous stages of capitalist development, including in the “traditional democracies” of the West, since real power is now restricted to the ruling of monopolies operating to their exclusive benefits.

A people’s oriented policy implies therefore moving away, as much as possible, from the “liberal” recipes and the electoral mascarade associated with it, which claims to give legitimacy to regressive social policies. I would suggest setting up in its place a brand of new State capitalism with social dimension (I say social, not socialist). That system opens the road to eventual advances toward a socialisation of the management of the economy, therefore authentic new advances toward an invention of democracy responding to the challenges of a modern economy.

It is only if Russia moves along such lines that the current conflict between on the one hand the intended independent international policy of Moscow and on the other hand the pursuing of a reactionary social internal policy can be given a positive outcome. Such a move is needed and possible : fragments of the political ruling class could align on such a programme if popular mobilisation and action promote it. To the extent that similar advances would also be carried out in Ukraine, Transcaucasia and Central Asia, an authentic community of Euro Asian nations can be established and become a powerful actor in the reconstruction of the World system.

5.The remaining of the Russian State power within the strict limits of the neo liberal recipe annihilates the chances of success of an independent foreign policy, and the chances of Russia becoming a really emerging country acting as an important international actor.

Neo liberalism cannot produce for Russia but a tragic economic and social regression, a pattern of “lumpen development” and a growing subordinate status in the global imperialist order. Russia would provide to the Triad oil, gas and some other natural resources ; its industries would be reduced to the status of sub contracting to the benefit of Western financial monopolies.

In such a position, not very far from that of Russia to day in the global system, attempts to act independently in the international area will remain fragile to the extreme, threathened by “sanctions” which will invigorate the disastrous alignment of the ruling economic oligarchy on the demands of dominant Triad’s monopolies. The current out flow of “Russian capital” associated with the Ukraine crisis illustrates the danger. Re-establishing a State control over the movements of capital is the only effective response to that danger.

Further readings :

Samir Amin, The implosion of capitalism ; Pluto and MR Press, London and NY, 2014

Samir Amin, What “radical” means in the 21 st century ; Review of Radical Political Economy, vol 45, n°3, 2013.

Samir Amin, The Democratic fraud ; Monthly Review, NY, vol 63, n°5, oct 2011

Samir Amin, Unity and Diversity in the movement to socialism ; Monthly Review, to appear in the June 2014 issue.

Samir Amin, Russia in the global system ; translated from Arabic into Russian by Said Gafourov.


Blog de Samir Amin :


A lire également