[Marxism] How It Came To National Oppression

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 2 18:26:04 MDT 2014


A follow up on the NYT article.

Clay, Duane & Co. practice their own version of Geo-strategic "chessboard"
reductionism.  In their version, there are only two nations, the Ukrainian
and the Russian, where the Russian always oppresses the Ukrainian.  That's
basically all there is to this "concept".

But everybody knows that, without the forceful and hysterical intervention
of US (and to a lesser extent, EU) imperialism, essentially threatening
Russia with war, and in fact implementing a "New Cold War" against Russia
that I predict will continue to gather momentum for reasons of US
imperialism that have nothing to do with Ukraine - without this who doubts
Russian armed forces would have invaded already, occupied at least the
Eastern half of the country, if not also toppling the Kiev regime itself?
The historic oppression of Ukraine by Russian imperialism would have
continued.

Hence the circumstances now existent in Donbas can only be understood when
we abandon Clays' selective fantasy chessboard for reality.  And it
wouldn't be the first time that Anglo-American imperialism, past masters of
divide and conquer on etho-religious lines, would have had a hand in the
promotion of the same, but in a reversal of terms, in Ukraine as well.  As
Louis offhandedly reminds us in "Saudi Arabia joins the Axis of
Resistence", "As is so often the case with those more interested in writing
propaganda than serious political analysis, Greaves has nothing to say
about the oppression of Sunnis that led to the fall of Mosul and large
swaths of Iraq".

However, Louis fails to mention how such a situation came about: Under the
auspices of the US occupation of Iraq, in other words, as the conscious
result of a different application of US imperialism.  Previously the
"Sunnis" had oppressed the "Shia" under the Saddam Hussein regime.  Hence
the reversal of the terms of national oppression is possible, and quite
likely when it is effected in close connection with US imperialist
intervention in one form or another.

That despite the pious wishes of the NYT Editors expressed in the article
on Slaviansk.   No doubt the US may *want* an "ethnic peace" that preserves
Ukraine's territory for the US's anti-Russian "new Cold War" purposes,
immediately to erect a new Iron Curtain between Russia and the EU by
driving a wedge into the growing economic and social interdependency
between the two (something objectively progressive, btw, but a catastrophe
for US hegemony over Western Europe).  Its "stretch" goal is the
disintegration of the existing Russian Federation into more bite-sized,
digestible pieces.  But don't confuse US intervention with US "control" - I
present the case of the state of Israel, without a doubt deeply bound up
with US imperialism, yet it can't "control" Netanyahoo into not creating
the huge embarrassment of a "Western"-sponsored massacre in Gaza, and at a
most inconvenient time.  The interventions of the "West" create the
situation; but the situation has its own dynamics and effectivities.

The US and EU exercise even less "control" in Ukraine than with Israel.
The unilateral US anti-Russian drive means Putin has nothing to lose
fomenting trouble across the Ukraine-Russian border in order to promote the
breakup of the existing Ukraine multinational state for Russian
imperialism's own geopolitical purposes.  Putinism has and will then
dialectically promote its "opposite" in an essentially fascist West Ukraine
ultra-nationalism (some seemed to have missed that point in the Azov
Brigade article - what's the difference between Azov and Duginism?
Essentially nothing, both are reactionary revanchists), all under condition
of an ongoing US intervention.  That, boys and girls, is how the
"chessboard" can generate mass facts on the ground among ordinary people.
We will only continue to be its victims without understanding ALL of it,
not just those pieces convenient for ultra-"Leftist" talking points about
democratic revolution mechanically reproduced out of the Arab Spring.  For
some, "democratic revolution" and "national self-determination" equals
"payback time" against the "Moskals".

As in Iraq, some nasty, and now heavily armed, political forces have been
unleashed and empowered in Ukraine. The fascist genie is being let out of
the bottle, not being stuffed back in as in the postwar or with the
Austrian Freedom Party (but perhaps not as in Hungary today).  A flippantly
dismissive complacency backgrounding a crazy ultra-"Leftism" is most
inappropriate here.

-Matt



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