Neither American, Russian, European nor Chinese imperialism
Es geht durch die Welt ein Geflüster
Arbeiter, hörst du es nicht?
Das sind die Stimmen der Kriegsminister
Arbeiter, hörst du sie nicht?
Es flüstern die Kohle- und Stahlproduzenten
Es flüstert die chemische Kriegsproduktion
Es flüstert von allen Kontinenten […]
Heimlicher Aufmarsch, Erich Weinert
Over the recent months there has been a steady buildup of tension on the border between the Ukraine and Russia. Already for months, the United States has been warning for the buildup of Russian troops near to the Ukrainian-Russian border. Back in December the Russian ministers denied this buildup had anything to do with the situation in the Ukraine and said it was only part of a regular drill.Russia denies looking for pretext to invade Ukraine , https://apnews.com/article/russia-officials-ukraine-invasion-f58cbbd7eca51cccf74ebd4be68484e8 By now we know this is not true. Putin is making demands towards the Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He wants to keep a puffer between Russia and the NATO-states and the Ukraine – by many Russian nationalists deemed a part of Russia – should remain part of that puffer. Because of this, Putin demands that the Ukraine will not join NATO and that both the US and Europe stop trying to gain influenceImportant note here is that Russia lost its influence in the Ukraine after the 2014 uprising, when pro-Russian predident Janoekovytsj was overthrown. in the countries bordering to Russia.Russia demands US, NATO response next week on Ukraine, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/14/russia-demands-us-nato-response-next-week-on-ukraine
In the mean time in the West, the media bombards the public about the looming threat from the East – images of Russian tanks and infantry drills. This information is now used as a pretext to legitimate weapons sales and deliveries to the Ukraine.US sends first shipment of military aid to Ukraine amid standoff with Russia, https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/22/us-sends-first-shipment-of-military-aid-to-ukraine-amid-standoff-with-russia Sure the weapons industry will be pleased that there is another smoldering conflict on the horizon to which it can deliver the goods – European countries France and Germany being both in the top five arms exporters in the world.As for the European Union, the military industry is a relatively large economic sector with Germany and France. See for more info SIRPI, International arms transfers (2021), … Continue reading
Reasons for tension?
Why is the tension currently growing? For this there are a couple of factors. The first is the general imperialist tendency of states. With the declining global influence of the United States under the Trump-administration (not due to a vision of social justice, but more because of a lack of delicacy), other states see chance to step upon the stage, and to try and expand theirs. This has been most visible in the Syrian Civil War, where both Turkey and Russia tried to side track the US, and in the end stepped up their influence in the region. After that followed a series of similar attempts in which Turkey mingled itself in the conflict in Libya with the help of proxy-forcesProxyforces: troops that fight in the interest of a country but are not clearly marked as troops from that country. Because of this countries can wage informal wars and try to bypass international … Continue reading and Russia tried to sidestep France (a strong partner of the United States) in its former colony Mali by sending military advisers and mercenaries to gain influence.Mali: Russian military advisers arrive amid Western pullback, https://www.dw.com/en/mali-russian-military-advisers-arrive-amid-western-pullback/a-60363317 Something similar Russia did also in the Republic of Congo.Russia to send military specialists to Congo Republic: Kremlin, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-congo-security-idUSKCN1SU1OZ
In the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, another cold conflict was warmed up to shift the status quo: that of the Nagorno-Karabach-region. This time the Turkish state supported the war efforts of Azerbaijan to effectively side track their neighbor and longtime adversary Armenia. Just like in the Ukraine now, in Azerbaijan the prospect of new arms sales lurks – especially that of the new Turkish combat drones for which they seek a market.What’s Turkey’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/10/30/whats-turkeys-role-in-the-nagorno-karabakh-conflictUkraine buys more armed drones from turkey than disclosed and angers Russia, … Continue reading And, like in Syria, again it is not the United States who brokered a peace-deal, but Russia did.
Next to these few examples there is also a shift taking place in the pacific. China is trying to put up the pressure on Taiwan and Japan and the other way around France rolls out plansFrances defence strategy in the indo-pacific, https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/frances-defense-strategy-in-the-indo-pacific and the UK are joining forces with Australia and the US through the new AUKUS-projectAUKUS: trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, announced on 15 September 2021 for the Indo-Pacific region. Under the pact, the US and the UK will help … Continue reading to give counter-pressure against China to prevent the loss of Western-influence in South-East-Asia. Especially under the new Biden-administration the US has stepped up their efforts to reestablish their global influence, which of course is cause for new tensions now that a new balance was forming.
Besides the decline of US-influence, another reason for the increase of war efforts is the clear internal problems within some of the before mentioned warmongers. Turkey is in the middle of a very grim economic recession, with an inflation of over 36% in December 2021, also raising discontent with the regime of Erdoğan. And the ruling party in Russia also has interest to divert the attention to conflicts outside of its borders with the opposition increasing protests in January 2021.
Not just military strife
Next to the summed up international military interventions, there is also a list of economic and political interventions. Russia has closed the gas-valve to Europe, creating a steep rising of the price of natural gas. Trying to destabilize the European energy supply and possibly politically. The last also is attempted with a steady stream of misinformation and information which has Russian interests.Of course a side-node must be made here, that the attempt to influence European public opinion is already happening by the United States since the Second World War – through economic programs, news … Continue reading
As for Turkey, it attempted multiple times the last couple of years to use the refugee-crisis in the aftermath of the Syrian Civil War as leverage. The Turkish government said to would not play border guard for Europe anymore if it keeps meddling in its internal and external affairs – for instance the critiquing of repression of the opposition in the country or its invasion into Syria (and especially the Kurdish-led regions).
China on the other hand has the last decade mostly tried to expand its economic influence. It has invested hugely in infrastructure projects on the African continentThe Quiet China-Africa Revolution: Chinese Investment. While loans take the lion’s share of the focus, Chinese FDI in Africa has also been growing at a rapid clip, … Continue reading, and also in Central Asia it is trying to gain a foothold. China for instance managed to secure its economic interests in Azerbaijan, through which it wants to build its Belt and Road Initiative (the new Silk Road) trying to make a central hub out of the country, which would give China an extra economic route towards Europe and also influence in a region traditionally dominated by Russia.
Not just interstate interventions
Besides all the tensions between states, there is something else going on, and that is of great importance for any revolutionary prospects. After the fall of the Soviet-Union, Russia founded the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) as a counter-power to NATO. This organization now for the first time actively intervened in a popular uprising against one of its member states. The uprising against the despotic regime of Tokayev and his political father Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan of January 2022, was met with brutal force from both the Kazakhstan state, which, with the risk of being toppled, then got military support from the CSTO-members.Member states of the CSTO are Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.The deployment of troops in Kazakhstan was in some member states however met with opposition, because for some countries similar uprisings had brought toppled regimes which now was tried to be … Continue reading The troops in Kazakhstan however mainly come from Russia, which wants to prevent the region slipping from its influence.We must not think this is only a quality of the ‚East‘. During the 2011 uprising in Greece, there was talk of deploying the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) to put down the … Continue reading A similar prospect loomed for the uprising in Belarus in 2020 and 2021, where the Russian state heavily supported the regime of Lukashenko financiallyHow Russian money keeps Belarus afloat, https://www.dw.com/en/how-russian-money-keeps-belarus-afloat/a-58680063 to keep it upright, but also threatened to send in troops if necessary.Protestors pack Belarus capital, Russia offers Lukashenko military help, https://www.france24.com/en/20200817-protestors-pack-belarus-capital-russia-offers-lukashenko-military-help
Russia wants to achieve two goals with these interventions. The first is to prevent the loss of heavily dependent puppet-regimes, and second it tries to prevent potentially successful uprisings to inspire people in Russia itself.
The question is, what is there in these tensions to gain for the common people? In fact, really little. In the end these conflicts serve the interests of the ruling and economic classes. They pit people on both sides of the border against one another, although on both sides the common people won’t gain anything from it, but the risk of losing their people as cannon fodder or their homes which turn into battle fields. Secondly we run the risk of spending our energy in fighting wars that aren’t in our interest, instead of fighting for our own interests and the prospects of overcoming the current social order. As CrimethInc. wrote: “Our hope is that revolutionary movements will break out on both sides of every border. Escalations in state violence are calculated to […] substitute war for revolution.”Against all wars, against all governments, against all oppression, https://crimethinc.com/posters/against-all-wars
It is our responsibility to prevent these wars from happening and to help ferment the revolutions on all sides of the border so that we can work towards a liberated world, where we can do away with capitalism and oppression and install self-administrated communes that one day might confederate into a commune of communes. It is up to us to keep in sight what our interests are and what are theirs and how we tip the scales so that it points to ours. And for this we must not let ourselves be blinded by the sheer propaganda from any of the imperialist powers and vest our energies into social movements for revolutionary change.
While many liberals are blind for Western imperialism and are blatantly ignoring or even supporting NATO, a large mistake by some factions of the left, is that they deem imperialism only a feature of the United States. The US has an unquestionable record of imperialist efforts. This record is so well documented that I haven’t even given it much attention here. It is an undeniable fact. As proven above however, imperialist efforts are a statist feature not limited to the US. Although the fear for the East is constantly being fueled by Western powers, in the East its the same the other way around. Nontheless, here some aforementioned leftist factions seem to turn a blind eye. Firstly, they neglect the fact that
Russia, China and Turkey are capitalist powers which seek to gain influence – influence that is not in the interest of the working class living in these regions, nor in that of those threatened by their wars. It is time these apologists face reality and accept that there is no communismCommunism: a society structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production, selfmanagement and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. to be found in Russia or China. Secondly, they indirectly neglect the agency of the people in these specific regions and their interests to free themselves from the tyrannies they live under and their possibility to create something whole new in the process. In these fabricated conflicts it is not in the interest of us common people to the choose the sides of any nation state.
With the growing social unrest worldwide, the challenge ahead of us, is not to let us be blinded by the nationalist wars that potentially divides us. They want us to believe that we have different interests on both sides of the border, but in fact we all are looking for a safe place to live and our needs secured. While rejecting any form of imperialism we also need to keep into account the racist stereotypes in that have enabled decades of western imperialism.Therefore, this call goes to the people from both west and east, north and south. Let us not be fooled by the warmongering nationalism of state leaders and work towards a world without them.
Towards a brother- and sisterhood of peoples and a world without borders and militarism!
Fußnoten u. Quellen
|↑1||Russia denies looking for pretext to invade Ukraine , https://apnews.com/article/russia-officials-ukraine-invasion-f58cbbd7eca51cccf74ebd4be68484e8|
|↑2||Important note here is that Russia lost its influence in the Ukraine after the 2014 uprising, when pro-Russian predident Janoekovytsj was overthrown.|
|↑3||Russia demands US, NATO response next week on Ukraine, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/14/russia-demands-us-nato-response-next-week-on-ukraine|
|↑4||US sends first shipment of military aid to Ukraine amid standoff with Russia, https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/22/us-sends-first-shipment-of-military-aid-to-ukraine-amid-standoff-with-russia|
|↑5||As for the European Union, the military industry is a relatively large economic sector with Germany and France. See for more info SIRPI, International arms transfers (2021), https://www.sipri.org/research/armament-and-disarmament/arms-and-military-expenditure/international-arms-transfers and a very thourough report on the relation of European weapons trade and displacement look at the report by the Transnational Institute called ‚Smoking Guns‘ (2021): https://www.tni.org/en/publication/smoking-guns (EN)(DE)(FR)(ES)|
|↑6||Proxyforces: troops that fight in the interest of a country but are not clearly marked as troops from that country. Because of this countries can wage informal wars and try to bypass international war-law.|
|↑7||Mali: Russian military advisers arrive amid Western pullback, https://www.dw.com/en/mali-russian-military-advisers-arrive-amid-western-pullback/a-60363317|
|↑8||Russia to send military specialists to Congo Republic: Kremlin, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-congo-security-idUSKCN1SU1OZ|
|↑9||What’s Turkey’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/10/30/whats-turkeys-role-in-the-nagorno-karabakh-conflict|
|↑10||Ukraine buys more armed drones from turkey than disclosed and angers Russia, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-03/ukraine-buys-more-armed-drones-from-turkey-than-disclosed-and-angers-russia|
|↑11||Frances defence strategy in the indo-pacific, https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/frances-defense-strategy-in-the-indo-pacific|
|↑12||AUKUS: trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, announced on 15 September 2021 for the Indo-Pacific region. Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AUKUS|
|↑13||Of course a side-node must be made here, that the attempt to influence European public opinion is already happening by the United States since the Second World War – through economic programs, news and popular culture.|
|↑14||The Quiet China-Africa Revolution: Chinese Investment. While loans take the lion’s share of the focus, Chinese FDI in Africa has also been growing at a rapid clip, https://thediplomat.com/2021/11/the-quiet-china-africa-revolution-chinese-investment|
|↑15||Member states of the CSTO are Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.|
|↑16||The deployment of troops in Kazakhstan was in some member states however met with opposition, because for some countries similar uprisings had brought toppled regimes which now was tried to be prevented by the CSTO.|
|↑17||We must not think this is only a quality of the ‚East‘. During the 2011 uprising in Greece, there was talk of deploying the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) to put down the anti-austerity movement. It has never become clear if this was really the case, but this force did act outside of Europe to ‚restore order‘, like Afghanistan and Haïti.|
|↑18||How Russian money keeps Belarus afloat, https://www.dw.com/en/how-russian-money-keeps-belarus-afloat/a-58680063|
|↑19||Protestors pack Belarus capital, Russia offers Lukashenko military help, https://www.france24.com/en/20200817-protestors-pack-belarus-capital-russia-offers-lukashenko-military-help|
|↑20||Against all wars, against all governments, against all oppression, https://crimethinc.com/posters/against-all-wars|
|↑21||Communism: a society structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production, selfmanagement and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.|