RUSSIAN LEFT AGAINST THE WAR
Vladimir Putin started this war. But we have been approaching it since long ago. The ruling class had stolen the voices of the people of our countries almost immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union. They kept imposing previously unseen inequality on us; they shot at and dispersed our elected parliaments, used ultra-right pogromists, waged fratricidal wars for years. The current catastrophe became the inevitable result of the choice, which was thrust upon our countries 30 years ago.
The states that arose on the ruins of the USSR from the very beginning were built as either beastly ethnocracies or comprador semi-colonies. People and resources were merely the objects of carving up among the local and foreign elites. The imperialist struggle was sewn into the genetic code of our societies. History has returned to what it began with: empires are carving up living peoples just like a century ago. For the past 30 years, there has been no alternative to this cannibalistic logic. Even leftists would always pick the lesser evil while choosing the imperialism whose lapdog they’d prefer to be. Are you for the US or Russia? For America or against America? For “western values” or against “Western imperialism?” This made the conflict virtually infinite.
Now we need to stop the war. But if the world will once again amount to nothing but institutionalized violence, the tragedy will repeat endlessly. We must have a program for peace, under which there will be no one oppressed, no one aggrieved, no one robbed of their voice. Such peace is incompatible with Vladimir Putin as well as the whole socio-political construction from which he had grown. We need a democratic, social peace project in Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the entire world. And only the left forces can offer it. The world needs a new “Zimmerwald!”[*]
We can’t do it ourselves from within our countries, Russia and Ukraine. We’re too weak and discouraged. Now is the time for international solidarity. Today, the left has the historical responsibility to introduce a project for democratic peace. We need an immediate international conference, which will offer concrete steps to get out of the dead-end into which the ruling classes had corralled us.
[*] The Zimmerwald Conference held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland on September 5-8, 1915, was where radical Socialists and Social Democrats met to discuss how the end of World War I could be achieved.
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