For a workers united front to defeat fascism in Ukraine


The coup in Ukraine on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 which brought to power a fascist coalition backed primarily by US imperialism, is part of a world trend towards fascism as a desperate measure by imperialism-capitalism to maintain its control. The coups in Mali, Central African Republic, the massacres of anti-regime protestors in Sudan, the civil war in CAR, the coup in Egypt, the support of imperialism for the butcher Assad and the support of imperialism for the bourgeois opposition there, the building up to an attempted coup in Venezuela,  are all expressions of the same trend.

International factors

US imperialism is facing strong challenge on home soil- the very worker base that it depends upon to act as means to terrorise the masses of the world, has been severely weakened. In fact only 19% of the US masses support the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress and Senate. Recently the Independent Labour Party won 24 out of 26 seats in a local election in Lorain County in Ohio. This reflects that the US masses is not only rejecting the Democrats and the Republicans but is beginning to realise that they need to win political power to advance their interests. These are the factors that prevent US imperialism from a direct mass deployment of troops as they did in 2003 in Iraq. In fact the US military is wanting to downscale their army and increase their reliance on mercenaries and drones. This is because they realize that an armed mass that is wanting to organize to take political power into their own hands, poses a major threat to the rule of capitalism, not only in the USA but threatens the world system of exploitation.

Internationally, the puppets of imperialism and the parliamentary structures have been exposed to a large extent. Virtually every country has the masses on the march against their own regimes. Over the past 3 years, despite heroic struggles of the masses, nowhere have the masses succeeded in establishing working class power. Thus imperialism has realised that in order for them to maintain capitalist control, seeing that their puppet rulers are largely discredited, they have to increasingly depend on brute force. Thus massacres of anti-capitalist and anti-regime protests, are on the increase. This part of a deliberate policy of imperialism. This is the context of the Marikana massacre, the massacres of the masses in Egypt, Sudan, CAR, Syria, etc.

But the rise of fascism is not inevitable. The masses are resisting it and need to take urgent measures in our common fight against it and the world capitalist system.

US imperialism is the major force behind the fascist coup in Ukraine

Around the 6th Feb 2014 a telephone conversation between US assistant secretary to the EU and Asia, Victoria Nuland, and the US ambassador to Ukraine, was leaked. Nuland openly supported the very forces that have come to power in the coup of the 22nd Feb, namely the party of Yatsenyuk  and convicted thief Yulia Tymoshenko (Fatherland party), the Strike party (UDAR – Ukrainian Democratic alliance for reform) of boxer Vitalie Klitscho and the fascist party (Svoboda) of Oleh Tyahnybok (which is affiliated to the French fascist party of the National Front). The fascist forces in Kiev had an ample supply of arms which we conclude could only have come through the support of US imperialism. Over the past few months Republican McCain and other US officials have made trips to Ukraine and even addressed crowds of capitalist and fascist supporters. While US imperialism is busy cutting food stamp programmes to the US worker, Nuland was busy handing out bread to the facist supporters in the main square in Kiev. Nuland, in her conversation, with ambassador Pyatt, openly criticized the EU (‘Fuck the EU’) which reflects that the coup was not only about wanting to establish a fascist iron rule over the Ukrainian masses but also about US imperialism extending its sphere of influence at the expense of German and French imperialism. (German imperialism, through its control over Gazprom and Russian banks, are the indirect controllers of the Russian regime).

How the left assisted the rise of fascism

The RCIT (Revolutionary Communist International Tendency)  issued a leaflet on the 18.12.2013, calling for neither support for Brussels now Moscow and calling for militant trade unions to be formed when the main task of the day was to defeat the fascists. What was called for was a united front with the working class base of the Yanokovitch regime in defence committees to physically defeat the fascists. This meant forming a bloc with the Yanokovitch regime to defeat the fascists without giving it political support. Thus demands could have been placed such as for the mobilisation and arming of all the workers, the bussing in of workers from the industrial east to defeat the fascists. The Yanokovitch regime would have been further exposed and the way forward to unity in action with the working class base of the regime would have been prepared. But what the RCIT and others who promoted the ‘ sit-on-the-fence’ approach did, was to disarm workers politically and physically. This follows from their labelling of the Russian regime as imperialist, whereas it is a semi-colonial regime under the thumb of German imperialism. The Yanokovitch regime was a semi-colonial regime, with limited bourgeois democratic rights, coming  under attack from an imperialist-backed fascist coup. What was needed was defence committees against fascism but what the RCIT did was to promote union structures, thus diverting the masses from the main task of defeat of the fascists, in fact the masses were demobilised at the very time that the fascists were mobilised.

In calling for workers committees at every workplace along with the formation of self defence committees there, the way would have been prepared not only for the fascists to be defeated but also for the setting up of a workers’ government.

By calling for no support for either side, the RCIT raised the same argument as the Stalinists in Germany in the early 1930’s that allowed the Nazi party to come to power (the Stalinists refused to form a workers united front with the Social Democrats against the Nazi party- and with the working class divided, Hitler came to power in 1933). When Trotsky was released from jail in 1917 and the Kornilov counter-revolution threatened, he went straight to his former jailers to propose an action bloc against the fascist Kornilov- in so doing, he united the Russian workers from the Social Revolutionaries , Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, against the counter-revolution and in the process exposed the Social Revolutionary and Menshevik leaders who hesitated in taking decisive measures against the counter-revolution.

The RCIT bows to bourgeois illusions when they write in the same statement of 18.12.2013 that

‘We do not exclude in advance the possibility that a massive crackdown of the movement by the Yanukovych regime might change the character of the demonstrations and transform them into legitimate democratic resistance. But this is not currently the case’

They say that if the Yanokovitch regime really cracks down on the fascists, they would oppose this- apparently fascists have rights too, according to the RCIT. No, we cannot put the fascists on the same footing as the masses. We cannot make bourgeois rights sacrosanct when faced with counter-revolution. The fascists don’t ask your rights before they shoot you down, why should they be given bourgeois protection just as the imperialists demand for these protections for the killers on their payroll so that they can go on with the bloody work unhindered.

The Way forward- a workers united front against fascism

The situation is still fluid, the coup regime has yet to consolidate its grip over the terror apparatus of the state. We call for a united front with the Ukraine Communist party and all worker organizations to organize workers and soldiers committees in every area and in all factories mines and workplaces, and for committees of self-defence as part of these committees, to defend working class organizations including the Ukrainian Communist party against the fascists while preparing the ground to disperse the coup govt. Unban the Ukrainian Communist Party, lift all the restrictions against language and culture and all steps by the coup regime.  Forward to a workers’ govt based on grassroots committee. Forward to a revolutionary working class party in Ukraine, the region and internationally.

Short note on Venezuela

The central task is to defeat the fascist attacks that the bourgeoisie have launched- these are the same bourgeoisie that have grown rich under the Bolivarian regime. Secondly it is important to expose the true bourgeois nature of the Bolivarian regime.

Thus we call for the formation of a workers united front with the base of the PSUV to defeat the fascists. Workers committees need to be set up in the food and all other sectors so that these can be seized and placed under workers’ control. The food stocks that the capitalists are hiding should be seized and handed over under workers control, for the use of the masses- this is the way to end the fake price hikes. We should call for these steps but we are sure that the Maduro regime will be found wanting, coming up short in this programme and their true bourgeois character exposed. This programme we propose will pave the way not only for the defeat of the fascists but for the setting up of a workers’ government under the direct control of the masses. We cannot allow the fascists to defeat the masses in Venezuela.

The failure of the world’s left to defeat the fascist regime of Assad, is being felt around the world. Urgent steps need to be taken to also support the Syrian masses against the internal capitalist foes as well as the Assad regime.

WIVP 26.2.2014