[Marxism] Stalinist-Trotskyist bromance

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Nov 4 13:28:05 MST 2014

One of the things I find so disturbing is the growing affinity between a 
part of the left that has its roots in the Trotskyist movement and the 
Novorossiya project in Donbass and Crimea. It involves people like Roger 
Annis in Canada, Renfrey Clark in Australia, as well as currents 
associated with John Rees's Counterfire, et al.

Today I was reminded of how much of an affinity there is between 
neo-Stalinism and ortho-Trotskyism when an interview with "Colonel 
Cassad" cropped up on CounterPunch. An interview with the guy who blogs 
as Colonel Cassad was conducted by Jo and Dylan Murphy, members of Peter 
Taaffe's Socialist Party in Britain. This is the mothership of Socialist 
Alternative in the USA. They god his name assbackwards: "An Interview 
with Rozhin Boris"--it is actually Boris Rozhin.

Anyhow, Rozhin is a passionate fan of Joseph Stalin as this article from 
GlobalVoices indicates:

If this is the case, 32-year-old Sevastopol native Boris Rozhin is 
bucking the trend. Rozhin, who runs the popular blog Colonel Cassad, is 
unrepentant in his admiration for the Soviet Union, particularly its 
military achievements in the Second World War. Rozhin is also 
unapologetic about his admiration for Joseph Stalin, whom he credits 
with winning the war and accomplishing the Soviet Union's rapid economic 
growth in the 20th century. His blog carries the half-ironic subtitle, 
“The Mouthpiece of Totalitarian Propaganda.” The biggest influence on 
his writing, Rozhin claims, are his communist beliefs, which “incline 
[him] towards class and dialectical conclusions when analyzing one event 
or another.”


The interview is filled with the usual bullshit you get from Borotba, 
Boris Kagarlitsky and other mouthpieces of a Great Russian chauvinism 
that hearkens back to Stalin's riding roughshod over lesser nationalities.

This final exchange between the ortho-Trots and Colonel Cassad is enough 
to induce projectile vomiting:

Q: The war in Eastern Ukraine has led to an influx of foreign volunteers 
going to fight for the self-defence militias of Lugansk and Donetsk. 
According to a report in August by Paula Slier of Russia Today a brigade 
of international volunteers is to be formed called ‘United Continent’. 
Do you think parallels can be drawn between this force and the 
International Brigades that fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil 
War in the 1930s?

A: First you need to understand that the major part of the army of 
Novorossia are local residents. Volunteers from Russia make up about 
10-15 % of the militia. 1-2% of the volunteers who serve in the militias 
come from other countries – the US, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, 
Brazil, Colombia, Serbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia 
and a number of other countries. The main motivation of these people is 
to fight against fascism. With the increase in the number of left-wing 
and communist units in the armed forces of Novorossia (especially in the 
mechanized brigade, known as the “ghost” Alexey think-tank, which openly 
advocated the elimination of large capital), this analogy with the 
International Brigades has become even more apparent. It is understood 
that, in combat units there are people across the political and 
ideological views – in one battalion can be found Christian believers 
(Orthodox, or Mormons), and atheists, communists, and anarchists. The 
fight against Ukrainian fascism has drawn these seemingly polar 
ideological and political currents together. It is therefore to 
strengthen the Armed Forces of Novorossia that Lenin portraits can 
peacefully coexist with icons. One commander who does not love 
communists, can still raise people in an attack with screaming, “For the 
Homeland! For Stalin! “. For many in the the Russian Federation and 
Europe – this is not just a war, this is our Spain 1936-1938. The 
present bloody war reflects the profound contradictions of the 
contemporary global capitalist world.

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