[Marxism] UKRAINE: Excuse Me Mister: How Far Is It From Simferopol To Grozny?

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Fri May 23 13:22:55 MDT 2014

Posted in direct response to the Tahrir-ICN article in the subject line
cited by Louis (with typos corrected):


I can only agree with the moral thrust of articles such as this. It is
important to combat the recrudescence of (for lack of a better word, since
the phenomenon is broader than this) “neo-Stalinism”, this time though,
rubbing shoulders directly with conscious reactionaries of the most
retrograde sort.

The photo of Zizek was particularly repulsive, especially considering his
latest article on Ukraine, which was not bad for Zizek, except that he too
ends it with a rejection of geo-political (and I would add, economic)
analysis as (I paraphrase) “having nothing to do with liberatory projects”.
Dovetailing therefore with the apparent thrust of this article, on the same

Hence agreement here comes with a critical conditional: Is ALL geopolitical
analysis “obtuse geopolitical analysis”? When is it not “obtuse”? IOW, what
is the place of objective geo-political and economic analysis in a
revolutionary movement?

I have been raising this issue consistently for some time since it emerged
with the Libyan and Syrian Arab Springs, and unfortunately the issue has
become rather glaring with respect to Ukraine events. The issue is the
general abandonment of ANY substantial perspective on US or EU imperialism.

Attempts to raise a perspective on this in context are met with varying
degrees of irritation or dismissal by those whose perspective is completely
aligned with this article., At best it may be met with homilies about how
we all agree that US/EU imperialism is of course “bad”, lets move on. Or
that all imperialisms are “the same”, equally bad, which is false on its

This silence has been particularly egregious with respect to Ukraine,
“having observed a stubborn refusal to acknowledge”, or make substantial
sense of, very clear evidence of direct intervention of US and EU
imperialism, both over the long term and more immediately. US intervention
in particular is intimately bound up with the role of the fascists, in
creating an unintended stage for the fascists to act. In an aside, it must
be pointed out that the fascists or far right alone did not “lead” Maidan;
it is led by the *broad right*, from neoliberals/neocons all the way to the
actual fascists forming a defacto, if unintended, bloc (because the fascist
role IS an embarrassment to the US/EU imperialists, if not to Putin).

I really, honestly don’t understand this attitude. My best explanation is
that some do not want to “resemble” our troglodyte opponents, fear of
mixing banners and so forth. These are legitimate practical political
concerns – we DON’T want to mix our banners with them. But we won’t avoid
doing so by abandoning geo-political analysis – to them!

Instead, we need to appropriate such analysis FROM their control, and
render it, precisely, non-obtuse, by converting it into a guide to show the
way to a real concrete solidarity, beyond abstract moral stances, with the
revolutions, uprisings and mass movements taking place outside our own
countries. After all, how can we feel shame at our privileges, and at our
own historic failures that have in fact left the Arab Spring and the people
of Ukraine in the lurch, and at the same time, refuse to criticize, in
concrete relation to events, the very imperialism that is the objective
basis of those very same privileges and failures???

Do you see the problem here?


More information about the Marxism mailing list