[Marxism] Chris Ford’s introduction to Ivan Maistrenko’s “Borot’bism” | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 12 14:59:38 MDT 2014

This is the introduction to Ivan Maistrenko’s “Borot’bism: A Chapter in 
the History of the Ukrainian Revolution”. Maistrenko was a veteran of 
the Ukrainian Revolution of 1919-1920 who eventually joined the 
Trotskyist movement. In referring to the Ukrainian revolution, I choose 
my words carefully. Although it occurred around the same time as the 
Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks did not lead it. In fact they mostly 
functioned as a bureaucratic obstacle, sadly anticipating the Kremlin’s 
repeated miscues in Germany a few years later. The more I read about 
this period, the more I am convinced that there were no “heroic days” of 
the Comintern. When I joined the Trotskyist movement, I was 
indoctrinated into believing that the rise of Stalin was a kind of fall 
from paradise. In reality, the world would have been much better off it 
there had been no Comintern and that revolutionary parties had been 
allowed to learn from their own mistakes rather than having mistakes 
imposed upon them from afar. The details in Fords’ article overlaps to a 
considerable degree with those in Zbigniew Kowalewski’s “For the 
independence of Soviet Ukraine” 
Reading these two articles is mandatory for those trying to come to 
grips with the tangled history of Russia, the Ukraine and the socialist 
movement. For those content to repeat RT.com’s talking points, it is 
probably too late for you—god save your miserable soul.


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