[Marxism] Reply to comments on Ukraine language and nation

Joseph Green jgreen at communistvoice.org
Sun Apr 5 15:04:47 MDT 2015

Basilevsky's book I don't know. But I took a look at NewCold
War.org. "A prelude to pleading the Crimea case, Part two, March 1, 2015"
by "Pavel" referred to the return of Crimean Tatars to Crimea, beginning
in the 1960s, as "deporting released Nazi collaborators to the peninsula
in an attempt to speed up its re-population program". 

This article refers earlier to the deportation of Tatars from Crimea, but
without condemning it: Pavel only regrets the result of thinning the labor
forcef! Indeed the deportation of the Tatars doesn't even deserve a whole
sentence, just a clause. Here is what he says: "The mild climate of Crimea
gave it natural agricultural advantages but with the Tatar population
deported under Stalin rule, the required workforce was not available on
the peninsula itself."

Indeed, since the Tatars are described simpy as Nazi collaborators, Pavel
presumably backed the mass deportaton as a good thing. He's just a little
shy to say that too openly: the blush of shame which shows that he knows
that he is apologizing for oppression.  And there is no horrified
refutation of him at NewColdWar.org. No, this is the miserable fascist
standpoint which comes through on this website. 

Roger Annis writes:

> His accuser says there was no drought in Ukraine in 1932-33, as
> Alexander allegedly claims, but I don't know. I do know that the famine
> of those years struck vast areas of the Soviet Union and is attributable
> to the reckless policy of forced collectivisation applied by the
> leadership
>of the country.

So Roger doesn't seem to be sure whether there was famine in Ukraine. He
doesn't want to deny it, but he won't directly come out and affirm it
either. He knows there was famine elsewhere in the Soviet Union, due to a
"reckless" policy of forced collectivization, but was it also in Ukraine?
Incredible. Maybe Ukrainians should ignore this question themselves until
Roger decides, and maybe they should also ignore the mass deportations of
peasants in vast areas elsewhere in the Soviet Union. Meanwhile he
characterizes the famine elsewhere in the Soviet Union and the policy of
forced collectivization as just a question of recklessness, without
assigning any class significance to it. He doesn't see that the course of
this famine and the policy of forced collectization, which included mass
deportations, was a manifestation of class oppression by the Stalinist

Of course, he may be arguing that, whether the famine occurred in Ukraine
or not, the famine wasn't national oppression, because it occurred
elsewhere in the Soviet Union too. But why is class oppression acceptable?

But in a way, it's all consistent. You see, if it's all right to deport
Tatars and other small nationalities, if this isn't such a big deal, then
it would be gross discrimination not to also accept the deportation of 
large numbers of other people as well. 

It can also be noted that the local branch of the CPSU, a party that had
become a party of the oppressive ruling bourgeoisie, reorganized as the
Communist Party of Ukraine, and made a point of denouncing the
independence of Ukraine. I wrote in an article on Ukraine, referring to
what I could tell of the CPU's policy:

"The CP of Ukraine is nostalgic for the old system, doesn't recognize any
of the crimes of Stalinism, and won't discuss the great purges or the
famines or the mass deportations of entire nationalities. It also is still
a capitalist party, as was the CPSU, but now includes private businessmen
as well as those connected to state enterprises. Many of the parties
descended from the CPSU in other former republics of the Soviet Union
embraced local nationalism, but the CPU's 1995 program opposed the
existence of Ukraine as an independent country. The CPU supported Russian
nationalism instead, and looked to reuniting the countries that had
separated after the collapse of the USSR. The Donbas and Crimean sections
of the party seemed to be the most fervent Russian nationalist sections of
the CPU. But in general, one of the ways this nationalism might be
expressed was through talk of the unity of the Eastern Slavs, the
traditions of whose civilization it holds to be expressed by the part of
Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate (as
opposed to the Kyiv Patriarchate). So here are "communists" who back the
Orthodox Church, so long as it is the supposed true Russian church. (See
Andrew Wilson, "Reinventing the Ukrainian Left: Assessing Adaptability and
Change, 1991-2000", in The Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 80, #1,
Jan., 2002, pp. 29, 35, 52.)


So it's not that no one, perish the thought, denounced Ukrainian
independence until the current events. The CPU was always waiting in the

-- Joseph Green

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