By Espen S.
Note: The original article was published on February 27th. There have happened significant developments in the war since then, which the reader must take into account; yet we believe the main political conclusions of the article still hold true.
This is an attempt to draw some political conclusions, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on this war’s consequences for revolutionary organization in Norway. The following points must be considered as contributions in a debate [as opposed to authoritative truth claims –Ed.]:
1. Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a clear violation of the Ukrainians’ right to self-determination, and represents Russian imperialism’s attempt to maintain hegemony in Eastern Europe. We must take a stand for the Ukrainians’ right to self-government, for ordinary Russians protesting against the war, against Russian occupation in Ukraine as well as against further NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.
2. Russia’s invasion does not change the fact that the United States is still the main enemy of the people of the world. It is US imperialism that has the most military bases abroad, that has started the most wars, that has supported the most coups in oppressed countries, and that benefits most from the exploitation of both other countries and the internal colonies.
3. When we take a stand against Russian imperialism, it is not a stand for US imperialism. On the contrary, we maintain that it is our special duty as communists in Norway to fight against Norwegian and American imperialism. Karl Liebknecht’s slogan that the main enemy is in our own country is still correct.
4. The pro-American Norwegian bourgeoisie will continue to exploit the war for its own propaganda purposes. At the more open level, to increase support for Norwegian NATO membership and for «out of area» operations. But also as a «lightning conductor» to divert attention away from domestic political crises and dissatisfaction.
5. Germany’s closure of the Nord Stream 2 project, and the economic sanctions against Russia, cause EU countries to lose access to cheap Russian gas. This will, firstly, mean that electricity prices in Europe will rise in the short term, and will also facilitate increased Norwegian power exports. This will affect prices here at home, as Norway is fully integrated into the common European electricity market. It has also been reported that food prices will increase.
6. As a result of the inevitable increase of electricity and food prices, it is likely that the masses will defend their welfare and demand price controls. It is impossible to say exactly what form these demands will take, and what kind of combat methods will be used. We can expect the demands to start as spontaneous mass mobilizations, which will then be taken over by the reformist organizations and diverted into forms that are harmless to Capital. We can also expect that the most pro-American wing of the Norwegian bourgeoisie will use the price crisis to propagate a line of confrontation against Russia, of the type «win the war to end the crisis».
7. We must give our full support to the masses’ struggle to defend their living conditions, and work to elevate the struggle for price controls to a struggle for revolution and socialism. At the same time, we must wage an uncompromising fight against those who want to exploit the crisis as a pretext for increased incitement to war against Russia.
8. In the coming time, we should pay special attention to the following tasks:
- to expose US imperialism as the main enemy of the peoples of the world;
- to propagate against Norwegian participation in NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe;
- to show solidarity with activists and political prisoners in Russia who are fighting against the imperialism of their own country;
- to fight against anti-Russian chauvinism; to propagate against Norwegian membership in NATO;
- to bring out in the most pedagogical way possible that all war except people’s war is against the interests of our class;
- to organize people’s dissatisfaction with rising prices;
- to work to keep the reformists from gaining hegemony in the protests that are emerging;
- to raise the struggle against the consequences of market fluctuations into a revolutionary struggle against the capitalist system itself and for red power.
It was wrong to invade, so wrong but what is not being taken seriously comrades is the prevalence of fascism and support of superiority ethnic thinking within Ukraine. No socialist especially a committed communist would lend an iota of support to a nation that toys with fascism and shows it symbols constantly (azov batalliion, swastikas, banning of communist party). So I must ask why would we not put as much emphasis on the LACK OF FREEDOM WITHIN UKRAINE CAUSED NOT BY RUSSIA BUT BY RIGHT WING UKRAINIANS? ARE WE KIDDING OURSELVES? THEY HAVE BANNED THE COMMUNIST PARTY. EVEN IN AMERICA WHERECI LIVE THE COMMUNISTS ARE DOING WELL ALONG WITH SOCIALISTS. ONE SHOULD NOT WAIT UNTIL NAZIS SET UP DEATH CAMPS AND ALL TO OPPOSE THEM. THRY EXIST WITHIN MILITARY OF UKRAINE AS THEY DID IN NAZI GERMANY. WE ARE NOT SWP FOOLS WHO ARE NOT OFFENDED BY NAZIS AND FASCISTS. WE KNOW STREET FIGHTING ISNT THE BEST TACTIC AKA ANTIFA AND ITS EXTREME LIMITATIONS. BUT A MASS PARTY , LIKE YOURS , WHICH I HOOE TO BE MY PARTY AS WELL COULD DO MUCH IN CONDEMNING NAZISM, AND FASCISM AND THE AZOV BATALLIION. IT IS NOT SOME DEMOCRATIC EXTENSION OF EUROPE. RIGHT I GUESS NAZIS WITH SWASTIKAS AND ALL ARE SEEN BY SOME TODAY AS WELCOME IN EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY AND EVERYONE IS UNOFFENDED BY THEIR POLITICS AND DISGUSTING IDEALS. SAD, BECAUSE IN THE LONG RUN , THAT IS A AT LEAST A IMPORTANT A ISSUE AS PUTINS UNWISE , AGGRESSIVE AND YES IMPERIALIST (as Ukraine is IMPERIALIST too with no legal communist party!). We believe in revolution not keeping Europe comfortable with worthless fascism. Please address this. And of course the conservative stupid invasion, I’m against it. My hope is the communists in Russia gain , they were some of the few critics of the Putin war and how do you think they would feel about nazi azov battalions? Well they’d be righteously disgusted. Thry wouldn’t go to war , they’d be wise , unlike Putin. But they would make that part of taking points. You are the truest communists in Norway plea5make that a point, let us all oppose FASCISM, as well as IMPERIALISM. And heck while were at it we really have no need for capitalism. This is the Maoist way. Communism not a middle man management of something in between communist liberation from fascism and imperialism but liberation through learning and participation, no cults. We can oppose both imperialism and fascism, I’m not criticizing I’m hoping for positive input here.
You say Ukraine is an imperialist country. This is an incorrect understanding. It is more correct to view Ukraine as a semi-colony ruled by a comprador bourgeoisie allied to US (and EU) imperialism.
The conflict has two main contradictions:
Between Russian imperialism and the Ukrainian nation, and
between US imperialism and Russian imperialism.
It is the first one that plays the role of primary contradiction.
You’re right about the reactionary nature of the Zelensky government, but this does not negate the overall just nature of the Ukrainian resistance.
We must oppose Russian imperialism as well as the role of US and EU imperialism in the conflict. We must recognize that the Zelensky government primarily represents the interests of US imperialism, and not the real independence Ukrainian nation. And we must uphold those forces that are actively resisting the Russian invasion independently of US imperialism and the comprador government. The Ukrainian People have the right to self-determination, and it is right and just to resist imperialist invasion.