[Marxism] Groundhog's Day in Ukraine

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 12 11:28:39 MDT 2014


I am working right now on editing the scanned/OCR copy of Chris Ford's 
introduction to Ivan Maistrenko's "Borot'bism". Maistrenko was a 
Ukrainian Trotskyist.

I just came across these two paragraphs and was reminded of how little 
has changed since 1919. If the Bolsheviks fucked up big-time, it is all 
the more disconcerting to see self-described Marxists like Kagarlitsky 
and Annis making the same kinds of mistakes. Ford:

For the Bolsheviks, socialism could not be developed in a single, 
isolated, backward country such as Russia without the aid of the more 
developed countries of Europe. Their project was predicated on extending 
the revolution westward. The entire approach of socialism-from-above in 
Ukraine contributed to undermining the very perspective on which the 
October Revolution was based.

In the summer of 1919 Bolshevik rule in Ukraine disintegrated, changing 
the correlation of power between the Red Army and the Russian Volunteer 
Army, and resulting in its occupation of large areas of Ukraine. The 
appalling policies and practices of the western backed 'Emergency 
Government' of General Denikin with its pogroms; repression and 
chauvinism are well recorded. They provide an indictment of the Russian 
liberal intellectuals who headed its Political Center. Barely 
distinguishable in their nationalism from the conservatives and 
militarists, their main objective was the preservation of the "one, 
indivisible Russia" and the restoration of Russia as a 'great power'.



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