[Marxism] Stephen F. Cohen is not the man he used to be

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 3 10:05:19 MDT 2014

On 5/3/14 11:43 AM, turbulo at aol.com wrote:
> I don't believe Cohen ever said that the Kievan rebellion was "instigated" by the West,
> only that they took full advantage of it to futher their designs.

Cohen says that the Ukrainians had "legitimate grievances". This formula 
can be found in anything that John Rees has written about Ukraine or 
Syria as well. It is strictly a pro forma cover-your-ass statement 
sugar-coating designed to make the real message palatable, namely that 
the world is divided between imperialist and anti-imperialist blocs. The 
Sam Marcy estate should sue Rees for plagiarism (and the CPGB while they 
are at it.)

> What is your explanation for the fact that Poland, the Czech Republic and other eastern European
> countries have been brought into NATO? Or the fact that Washington is now attempting to conclude
> military and trade alliances against China in Asia (the "pivot toward Asia) despite the fact that China
> is even more open to foreign investment than Russia, and unions there are brutally repressed?
> What is your analysis? Is your dismissal of geopolitics a declaration of your determination to
> be oblivious to them?

Eastern European nations probably signed up for NATO because Russian 
tanks invaded them in the past using the same kinds of excuses found in 
Counterfire and the Weakly Worker. It follows the same logic as the 
Irish nationalists seeking alliances with the Kaiser in WWI and then 
with Hitler.

Nothing has changed in the Ukraine over the past 90 years unfortunately. 
In 1918 they sought ties with the West since the Bolsheviks, like the 
Czars before them, saw Ukraine in exactly the same way that China saw 
Tibet or Xinjiang. Or, for that matter, the way that the US saw Cuba or 
Puerto Rico.

If the Euromaidan politicians were so gung-ho to join NATO, they would 
have done so when Orange Revolution politicians like Yushchenko or 
Tymoshenko were heads of state. For that matter, when Yanukovych was in 
power, they never voted against bills that kept Ukraine unaligned. This 
hysteria about NATO is manufactured. It is an attempt to turn the victim 
into the criminal, as Malcolm X once put it. Lenin equated Ukraine with 
Ireland under British rule. In 1920 the Ukrainians had a legislature 
that Christian Rakovsky deemed unacceptable. It was dissolved because 
the Ukrainians were not a “real nation”, the same garbage heard from the 
Maoist Alain Badiou. Despite all the left rhetoric, those who follow the 
Kremlin are no different from Stalin. If Lenin hadn’t died, he would 
have launched a fight against Stalin over the treatment of Ukraine. It 
was the Great Russian chauvinism of Stalin’s secret faction that was the 
initial symptom of bureaucratic degeneration.

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