"Owners of the World"

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By ELIZIÁRIO ANDRADE*

The current war is not limited to Ukrainian territory, it is spreading to all capitalist societies

Hegel's metaphor: "Where you see the tree, you don't see the forest", is a thought of the dialectical totality of the real world that converted to the historical materiality of the dialectical method of Marx and Engels, helps us in the objective investigation of the fact that impacts, at the moment, the apparent and fractional sensibilities and perceptions of bourgeois societies and hegemonic imperialism: the nature and meanings of the war in Ukraine as an expression of the aggravation of larger conflicts that are yet to come, which can only be explained from the general context of the imperialist and structural crisis of capital.

As a whole, this process has as a backdrop the displacement of the previous pole of western imperialist capitalist bourgeois hegemony, which was expanding and is now being contained by the new axis of political, economic, scientific and military power led by Russia and China. on a global scale.

Certainly, we are facing a transition that will not be peaceful or linear, but rather marked by phases of serious and threatening conflicts of global relevance, at times controlled by unstable moments in the relations between the conflicts of imperialist interests in dispute, at times oriented towards resolving impasses by force, through wars. These are facts that can lead humanity to a more overwhelming and destructive state of war on a global scale; a possibility that will always be avoided due to its inevitable catastrophic result that will affect all domains of the world and national economy, as well as the survival of the human species itself. But not even this scenario is capable of curbing the logic of capital and its objective interests, as they are always uncontrollable and irrational within their production and reproduction process in a social and economic order subjected to the self-defeating logic of survival and renewal of the system.

Therefore, the refined non-observance of the concrete dialectic dynamics within the movement of contemporary contradictions of the crisis, to know in which world bourgeois societies are immersed, can leave us blind or limited in understanding the set of relationships and interests between Nation-States and big capital in the capitalist world in its structural crisis; considering that this war in Ukraine in particular represents just one fact that culminates and exacerbates the quantitative and qualitative development of the contradictions of the totality of other ongoing conflicts between the powers of the world subjected to the aegis of the imperturbable logic of the total social reproduction of capital.

Throughout Eastern Europe – in the context of geopolitical disputes – the existing contradiction is laid bare in all its depth. The hypocrisy, the political cynicism of the liberal and neoliberal bourgeoisie comes to the surface in an astonishing and shameless way; a bourgeoisie that demonizes its enemies through its propaganda machines, dissolving the facts and its real determinations to re-present them as images of war and meaningless, as if it were a fragmented and incomprehensible reality. These protagonists cover themselves with glass walls to shout their false world of “human rights” to four corners, the world is divided between good and evil, the most fanatical medieval beliefs are resorted to, and we are faced with a confrontation between God and Satan, calling everyone to join in a crusade of the soldiers of God (USA-European Union and its armed arms: NATO and NATO) against the infidels who dare to challenge the hegemony of the capitalist world hegemonized by North American imperialism and its European vassals.

Therefore, we must not deceive ourselves, as it has been the financial-neoliberal capital, driven by monopolies and multinational corporations, the IMF, banks and various financial agencies, led by the US and its smaller partners in the European Union that have always been behind this strategy. of wanting to occupy and control this entire region of Eastern Europe, including entering through Russia itself since the end of the Soviet Union. This was an expansion strategy put in motion by US imperialism since 1991, in favor of big capital that had already been putting this plan in motion through several wars that relied on the violent and brutal armed arms of NATO.

At the same time, the doctrine of the devastating neoliberal shock was adopted to dismantle the entire framework of the foundations of the Russian State in favor of plundering international finance capital. And at the same time, the advance on the previous zone of influence of the USSR to occupy it, placing puppet governments and inserting these countries in the world circulation of financial capital. So it was with the war in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Moldova. Kazakhstan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen. There was no pretense, the main objective was to impose “global hegemony”, always seen by its North American ideologues as a “broad spectrum” domination, as if they were the new “owners of the world”.

And it couldn't be any different, because that's why China and Russia have come to be seen as enemies, obstacles to be overcome, defeated or subjugated because of the challenges they embody and manifest, sometimes in a disguised way, sometimes in a explicitly and objectively as promoters of the creation of a new hegemonic pole in the world. All this began to scare the “owners of the world”, especially in early 2022, with the ultimatum Russian that demands, in a non-negotiable way, the remaking of the current NATO borders, with the objective of pushing the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance with its atomic weapons and military bases to limits far from the Russian borders. And, as if that were not enough, on January 7, 2022, a document appeared – in the form of a manifesto – signed by Russia and China that panicked those who thought they could continue surfing in turbulent waves, but dominated by northern imperialism. -American and European.

The explanation of the need to redefine the parameters and power relations for the construction of a new correlation of forces and influence between European countries and Russia, actually expressed new economic and political interests of the Russian State and its capitalist oligarch base . The need for guarantees by the Russian State and nation, in more favorable conditions of power in that country, became non-negotiable. Guarantees and protection, regardless of the false war media campaigns, have become legitimate and legal claims in the context of NATO's advance in regions sensitive to Russia's defense.

Therefore, we have to admit that Russia's claim is legal and is supported by the agreements signed in the Istanbul Declaration – 1999 and the Astana Declaration in 2010, which, among other things, recognize that no State can build armed conditions for its security at the expense of the insecurity of others. In addition to the “verbal” commitment announced between the government of the USSR and the USA, when Germany was reunified and the NATO non-expansion agreement on the former Soviet republics.

Likewise, we must also understand that NATO is not an association of equal countries with common rights, but rather an armed, hierarchical, warmongering federation of countries under the command and hegemony of the USA, which converts other nations into objects that are found subjected to a relationship of vassalage: obedience and loyalty to fight and destroy governments and states that do not submit to the dictates of their hegemonic political and economic interests.

For this reason, Russia, with the endorsement of China, no longer maintains a backward position that it had had since 1991, when the USA still reigned in a “unipolar” way and did not have the means to face the North American “empire”. Thus, in a fearless way, it began to play the role of challenging this hegemony as protagonists in the construction of a new hegemony of capitalist power in the world. For this reason, Russia, faced with the imposing arrogance of US imperialism, was led, as a last resort, to intervene militarily in Ukraine.

This means that Russia has abandoned the defensive and collaborative attitude with the US, when it could do nothing against NATO and NATO action during the invasion of Yugoslavia, where more than 150 people died as a result of imperialist expansion in the eastern region. , always with the aim of subjugating the governments and nations that were part of the Soviet Union and its zone of influence. In addition to the direct use of wars, they have always resorted to economic sabotage, political conspiracies, “color revolutions”, such as the one that occurred in Georgia in 2008 and the coup in Ukraine in 2014. In this process, the looting of neoliberal capitalism over Eastern Europe was very extensive and profound, causing the dismantling of the state economy and the destruction of the workers' historic achievements, forged since the Socialist Revolution of 1917.

On the other hand, all of this takes place in Russia's internal reality, which is under the control of state capital, associated with financial oligarchies that support Putin's nationalist government and its political cadres who direct state policies today; and, despite fighting to some extent devastating and barbaric neoliberalism, it does not renounce the model of capitalist exploitation maintained in the country with authoritarianism that suffocates and represses workers' struggles and opposition social and political movements, although many of them are influenced and financed by neoliberalism and the NATO bloc.

Thus, we have a picture of a historical and strategic reality of this conflict marked, on the one hand by the actions of the decadent US imperialism with its vassal allies of the European States and, on the other hand, the resurgence of the maintenance of Russian power, which is not only military, but also scientific, technological and economic. And which holds the largest sources of commodities in the world: gas, oil, metals and various minerals, in addition to agriculture: being the second largest exporter of wheat in the world. Power further strengthened by the strategic relationship with China in all fields, mainly military, economic and technological. Thus forming a new pole of dispute in the capitalist world, intensifying the intercapitalist contradictions within NATO itself, which faces particular interests of different capitals within the imperialist alliance hegemonized by the USA; like the German and French bourgeoisie that seek to develop and expand their businesses based on new relationships with China and Russia. For this reason, they are no longer so forceful in relation to the hegemonic restrictions and impositions of US foreign policy, in the economic field and in international business.

Aware of this movement of contradictions, US imperialism – through a desperate effort – seeks to undermine and block the economic relations between the German bourgeoisie and other European nations with the Russian and Chinese oligarch bourgeoisie that strongly influence the State and the internal macroeconomic policy and external. Everything goes in this game, from destructive economic sanctions to blackmail and military threats. Even more so because violence and wars became common expedients in market relations.

Because, in the current logic of capital that reaches its historical limits of contradictions, the competition of capitalism seeks to beat its competitors, not only through “natural” market competition – but also through physical and material annihilation and through sabotage, of the judicial and even prison power of opponents represented by nations, companies, parties and individuals. It is at this point that we find ourselves, and from which we must understand the determinations of real life, which moves the political and military actions of these two poles in the dispute in the world.

If we disregard such constraints, we will fail to understand that the Russian military intervention action in Ukraine today is more a defensive reaction and recovery of lost territory, in the post-Soviet phase and the siege to which it was subjected. This is not a voluntary and isolated action, but rather a calculated and corroborated with its main ally, China, with which it has been building a new path for changing the “axis of power”, with the strategic objective of overthrowing the USA. and its allies that continue as the hegemonic flagship in the capitalist world.

This new strategy begins with Russian intervention in Syria, blocking the NATO axis, which tried to conquer that region with the use of mercenaries and professional terrorists, to then advance through Iran and finally dominate the entire Middle East, finally expelling , the Russians in the region. The failure of this plan, like that of the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, marks a new phase of US imperialist expansion that now finds itself hooked with its own internal political and economic crisis and unable to continue marching along the same lines as before. .

The beginning of a new social, economic, scientific and military correlation seems to emerge within the framework of this crisis, however, it is within these transformations that humanity is at risk, in the face of the wounded and challenged beast of North American imperialism, since capital is faced with its own ghosts and limits of reproduction, with an international market saturated and driven to want to resolve its contradictions and limits through military and repressive means in the face of political, interstate economic inflection towards a new power center of economic and military strength.

For this reason, the war in Ukraine, with the military intervention of the Russian State, although apparently manifesting itself as an attempt at occupation and conscious expansionism, does not reveal the truth in its entirety, since the ties between these two peoples are historical. and profound, whether in the field of culture, language, customs and traditions. Furthermore, it is good to remember that the workers and the majority of the people during the civil war (1017-1921) were united with the Russians in defense of the Revolution and in the fight against counterrevolutionary forces.

With the formation of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became one of the 15 republics with self-determination of peoples proposed and put into practice by Lenin. The republic of Donbass, which had been of enormous industrial importance since the Tsarist Empire, became not only an industrial base, but also a great granary of agricultural production for the USSR, which still had enormous reserves of coal along with Donetsk. With the end of the Soviet Union, the loss of Russian influence over these and other republics expresses the disaster of the USSR's own self-dissolution in its process of crisis and generalized collapse of its economy and hegemony over these republics.

As a consolation, the cold war victorious capitalist and imperialist countries, led by the US, made vain promises not to expand their power over these republics through NATO and NATO. But, as economic and political interests are not contained and limited in their expansion by mere moral commitments, worded or written agreements - but rather in the face of the correlation of political and material power - they advance on these republics mainly from the 1990s, taking advantage of the moment of complete economic, political and military weakness of the Russian state.

In this state of fragility, the claims and protests of the Russian governments were not taken into account, but rather disdained and ignored. The republics of the former USSR were almost all absorbed by NATO and the European Union, excluding Russia from what they would call a “common European home”, which was nothing less than a euphemism for the imperialist expansion of Western capitalism. Well, they sought to build total isolation from Russia in the economic, political and military spheres, imposing an overwhelming geopolitics of power and influence.

Since 1999, Russia has risen from the rubble like a phoenix, slowly trying to rise and regain the reins of economic, political and military control; rebuild its influence on the republics of the former USSR, particularly on Ukraine and Belarus, which have an enormous and decisive geostrategic and security role for Russia, which has been cornered and under siege since 1991.

Faced with this reality, this country seeks to reposition itself in the geostrategic chess game of influence and power over Ukraine, which represents a decisive frontier for Russia's strategic security; remembering that it was through this Ukrainian border that Napoleon and Hitler penetrated that country with their armies to reach Moscow. Facts that marked, in a tragic and epic way, the memory of the people of that nation, which during the Second World War saw approximately 27 million Russians die in the military offensive of Nazi Germany. Therefore, the limit of the so-called red line for the expansion of NATO is not a metaphorical, figurative expression of a military language, but the need for objective, material and historical defense of a people that suffered in an unimaginable way the pains caused by the ideology and Nazi-fascist political and military action, engendered in the crisis of capitalism at that time.

Analyzing, therefore, the current conflict in Eastern Europe from a historical point of view and the inter-imperialist disputes for hegemony in the world, it seems to me a great political mistake, to feed the idea of ​​the false “Russian invasion” that seeks to recompose itself to build its defense against their historical executioners who, deep down, rooted for the defeat of the USSR in the second world war. In fact, unlike the invasions and wars of occupation and destruction of nations perpetrated by the USA, like the most recent ones such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, this is a legitimate action of defense and prevention against the fury of imperialism. western. Note that what was proposed by Russia in the Minsk treaty, endorsed by the UN, was an attempt to stop the war and create in Ukraine a status of neutral, demilitarized country, preserving its autonomy and free of foreign military bases, ensuring a security situation for the defense of Russia and Eastern Europe.

Thus, this country did not set out to extinguish Ukraine's self-determination as a nation-state. It is an uncontested way of reacting to the expansion of NATO and its destructive military force that seeks to conclude its expansion process, controlling once and for all the former republics of Russian influence that still remain on the geopolitical chessboard to complete its isolation in this Eurasian region. Therefore, I understand that it is a mistake to interpret this Russian intervention in Ukraine as an expression of an expansionist or neocolonialist policy as it occurred in the context of the cold war that ceased to exist, since the world no longer counts on the existence of economies that are opposed by logic antagonistic forces of production and accumulation of socially produced wealth. All of them are intertwined in an expanded dynamic of production, commercialization and financial activities that controls the market and industrial production.

In this way, equating the recent decision and action of the Russian State with the typical invasions of Western imperialism, commanded by the USA and its European partners – which seek to divide up the new zones of influence among themselves and operate, in a second moment, the economic and destructive looting of the resources from energy sources and minerals – can only convince us if we completely abstract the nature of these historical facts, the economic interests of the bourgeoisie that pervade these States, or disregard the contradictions arising from politics and the universe of cultural, ethnic and scale differences of values. And likewise, we would also have to deny the reality that since the fall of the USSR, Ukraine has been leaning towards the West, strengthening in the State apparatus the presence of various elements representing social forces and parties of a neo-Nazi political-ideological nature. , who have been openly active in Ukraine since 1914.

A large part of these neo-Nazi and nationalist political forces are inserted and well installed both in the institutionality of the social order set up after EuroMaidan, and in the army itself where several battalions of neo-Nazi fanatics and criminals were formed, such as the most famous known as the AZOV battalion. Added to this is the so-called “Direct Sector”, led by Pravyy, ultranationalist, reactionaries such as the Syoboda party of former President Poroshenko, who are largely influenced by the mythical neo-Nazi figure of Stepan Bandeira who collaborated with the German Nazis to defeat the Russians in the war of extermination. And more recently, President Zelensky approved the erection of a sculpture in Kiev Square in honor of this Nazi figure considered a national hero. In that sequence, he also appointed neo-Nazi leader Dmitro Yarosh as a special adviser to the head of Ukraine's armed forces.

All these forces seized power in Ukraine in 2014 and installed a regime of terror, persecution and murder against not only Russians but also against socialists, communists, intellectuals and even progressive centrist liberals; culminating in the outlawing of the communist party in Ukraine or any other movement that publicly confesses its leftist and socialist ideals.

The behavior of the international bourgeoisie in the face of these facts has always been marked by cynicism, cover-up of crimes and torture promoted by ultranationalist and neo-Nazi gangs oriented and financed by the CIA. The hypocrisy is such that its true internal and external sponsors and promoters, such as NATO, who shout the discourse of self-determination, democracy, freedoms and in favor of “human rights”, but which have never managed to cover up the traces of crime and terror in the several invasions perpetrated in the world and in the articulations of bloody coups to install dictatorships in various parts of the world. They act openly, turning a blind eye to the neo-fascist and Nazi character of these political and partisan forces that develop within Ukrainian society marked by intolerance, hatred, racism and the extermination of those who think differently from their doctrines.

The impunity of the crimes committed is supported and covered up by the institutions, parties, police, parliament and armies of the Ukrainian State with the consent and subordination of US imperialism. The most tragic event, covered up by the media, controlled by media corporations, was the massacre at the union building in Odessa, located on the shores of the Black Sea. In this city, the tragedy perpetrated by neo-Nazi and nationalist militia gangs with the backing of the police was indescribable. Dozens of anti-fascist activists, workers, socialists who were taking refuge in a workers' union building were burned alive and many shot with bullets from rifles with telephoto lenses. Painful historical testimony of what this government and the Ukrainian State and its mercenary bourgeoisie, oligarchs, which together with NATO has financed and prepared neo-Nazi paramilitary organizations, represent.

All of them are responsible for the execution of numerous crimes, with emphasis on the Right Sector and other fascist militias, which were never the subject of headlines accusing them of heinous crimes committed against their opponents. The major media never denounced or revealed the crimes against “human rights” and life.

The responsibility for the crimes and barbarities that have been committed, in the name of “freedom” and “democracy” in Ukraine and in other countries destroyed by NATO, is part of a great tragic reality, deliberately concealed and smothered by the masters who control and dominate the media of the capitalist world. This, forming a global complicity around these crimes, which have the consent of NATO. Operated through various international US and European intelligence agencies.

The way forward for the workers and the majority of the people lies beyond these facts and the horrendous reality fostered and created by the Western imperialist ruling classes under the direction of the US, along with their European partners who share in the division of the spoils of the natural wealth of various nations and those generated by those who live from work. Workers, at the international level, must build a line of class political autonomy in this confrontation.

This is because, even though we cannot equate the Russian intervention in Ukraine with the invasions that US imperialism and its European allies have carried out throughout its history, we cannot lose sight of what Valéria L. Ribeiro calls attention to precisely: “Russia, although acting within a framework of imperialism marked by the affirmation of the United States, is not outside the capitalist system nor is it proposing another form of social organization. It acts as a capitalist state, within a capitalist order, seeking to maintain the structural conditions of its economy and society. In this sense, it acts by resorting to violence in the invasion of Ukraine, as we have seen in recent weeks, to resist yes, and to confront the American empire, but also to sustain its national economy”.[1]

In this way, both the US and its European vassals fight and act in favor of oligarchic and capitalist interests within the framework of the international market dispute and in their own internal economic and social relations. For this very reason, the current conflict of war between the USA, NATO, EU and Russia in Ukraine represents countries or union of countries that are not peaceful, nor referenced in ethical, moral and cultural standards centered on peace. This war and its atrocities, which excites and frightens everyone, is a class war, in favor of defending the interests of the ruling classes of each nation in conflict. Therefore, it is not up to the working class and the majority of the people to shed blood or support the interests of their masters who always want to impose themselves as “owners of the world” and the human condition.

But it is not enough to publish declarations of political, ideological and doctrinal principles as a strategic political demarcation within the framework of this conflict and others determined within the capitalist world in crisis. It is necessary to articulate and build broad international movements to the left that are able to confront and expose the hypocrisy and falsehoods perpetrated through the capitalist media that acts as a watchdog of the dominant social order. Otherwise, the international workers' movement will remain largely absent, ideologically massacred by the war machinery of the written, open and virtual media.

Fighting for peace without a new horizon of human sociability and relations between peoples based on cooperation and solidarity will not lead to any transformation of this civilizing model based on violence and war of conquests and appropriation of territories, natural and financial wealth. The current war is not limited to Ukrainian territory, it is spreading to all capitalist societies through various facets of an increasingly unequal world marked by overexploitation and oppression at all levels of social and human relations. It's time for the righteous to rise up to take the fate of history and their lives into their own hands.

* Eliziário Andrade is a professor of history at UNEB.

 

Note


[1] “Contemporary imperialism”. In: the earth is round.

 

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