[Marxism] NATO, Jim Foley and Honduras.

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 28 17:17:06 MDT 2016

On 4/28/16 7:08 PM, Prashad, Vijay wrote:
> Lou,
> I guess the difference here is in the timescales. If you take a short
> timescale - which begins in 2013, then perhaps your view of the events is
> correct. And I¹m not getting into the weeds here.
> If you take a longer timescale - one that begins in 1986 or thereabouts -
> then the question of NATO¹s eastward expansion is germane to the very
> dangerous confrontations that are taking place not only in Ukraine but
> also in Romania and in the Baltic Sea. It is the case that there are NATO
> members that have a close, even fraternal, relations with Moscow and its
> leadership. However, these hardly determine NATO policy.
> Warmly, Vijay.

My timescale goes back to 1917 when Ukraine had its own revolution led 
by non-Bolshevik socialists. I am too swamped by other reading projects 
to have had time to read Stephen Velychenko's new book "Painting 
Imperialism and Nationalism Red: The Ukrainian Marxist Critique of 
Russian Communist Rule in Ukraine, 1918-1925" but it is essential reading.

 From the book:

In the early twentieth century, the people we now call Ukrainians were 
much like other peoples in the world. Most were rural, did not live in 
independent national states, and had little influence on politics. 
Ukraine, like Poland, was not on any political map of Europe. There were 
eight Ukrainian provinces in the Russian empire, all centrally 
administered units with common characteristics that distinguished them 
from Russian territories. Like Ireland in the United Kingdom between 
1801 and 1918, they retained regional particularities that allow them to 
be classified as a “mixed settler” colony. Ukrainian peasants spoke 
Ukrainian and did not practice land repartition. In 1900 the numerically 
small but economically powerful Polish nobility still dominated the 
three western provinces of Kyiv, Volyn, and Podillia.

The first significant Russian settlement into Ukrainian territories, 
comprising merchants, administrators, and soldiers, dated from the 
eighteenth century. Massive settlement of Russian migrant workers, began 
in the late nineteenth century. By 1900 approximately 2 million Russian 
speakers, most of whom were Russian, were concentrated in Kharkiv and 
Katerynoslav provinces. This averaged 10 per cent of the total 
population of the Ukrainian provinces. Declared Russians constituted 33 
per cent of Ukraine’s total urban population, 43 per cent of the 
population in its eight largest cities, and 52 per cent in its four 
largest cities. Between 40 and 50 per cent of government administrators 
were Russian speakers. There was no controlled border between the 
Ukrainian and Russian provinces to hinder Russian inmigration as there 
was between the Duchy of Finland and Russian provinces. No border and a 
century of direct rule by Saint Petersburg, during which time education, 
administration, the print media, and high culture were all in Russian, 
meant that Russian settlers had no sense of themselves as immigrants or 
colonists. They did not become an immigrant minority whose social 
mobility depended on learning a foreign language and assimilating into 
the host community. Nonetheless, the Ministry of the Interior in the 
1897 census clearly identified Ukrainians (Malorossy) as the “native 
[korennoe]” population in Kharkiv province and Russians (Velikorussov) 
as the “immigrant population [prishlym naseleniem].”1


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