UKRAINE 2022 – R.S.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not a world war, but it is a global war.

In the crisis, restructuring has broken down

[translator’s note: this text was originally published by Des Nouvelles du Front on March 23rd, 2022. the original french text can be found here: . if you find any errors please contact at . thank you]

Each phase of the capitalist mode of production includes its military form, the relation of exploitation as class struggle is as much economic as it is political and military. In the real subsumption of labor under capital, all wars oppose not only two enemies pursuing antagonistic goals, but above all two enemies constituted and constructed by the polarization of the same contradiction, each one representing a pole and each one having in itself the existence and the necessity of the other.

Currently, since the crisis of 2008 of the mode of production, as restructured in the 1970s and 1980s, the contradiction to be resolved globally is that of the disconnection between the valorization of capital and the reproduction of labor power, which was the very principle of the globalization of accumulation. It is a question of re-articulating the accumulation of capital and the reproduction of global labor power. There will be no going back to national or even bloc forms of accumulation. In the confrontation between the United States, the European Union, China and Russia, the issue is to know which bloc, through the rivalries and alliances between these four powers, will be able to impose a model that is hierarchical but globally livable for the “defeated”.

Capital never produces by itself solutions to its contradictions, nor in the only competitive confrontation between powers. At the base there is always exploitation, which makes this confrontation meaningful only through the confrontation with the proletariat. It is the defeated class struggle and the modalities and “social inventions” necessary to overcome it that draw the characteristics of a restructuring. The real subsumption is always in the process of becoming fn1. But, at present, neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China, nor Europe represent a restructuring to come, the game, up to the war between these powers, is only the manifest existence of the contradiction to be solved and the contradiction crosses them, reproducing its terms in each of them. For all of them, the contradiction is on the table as the nature of the State and the relation between the valorization and the reproduction of labor power on a global scale. But the restructuring has broken down.

If the question is now being asked so violently, it is because we have reached the limit of all the “whatever it takes” and all the “largesse” of the Central Banks. In the crisis of 2008, the disconnection of the dynamics of globalization has become its hindrance, sections I and II of reproduction no longer articulate, the crisis of over-accumulation has become identical to the crisis of under-consumption, the equilibrium of under-investment that had maintained the rate of profit collapses in monetary mismanagement and inflation reinforcing the disconnection. If we consider disconnection as the essence and the dynamics of globalization over the last thirty years, then it is a world that has entered into crisis and must renew itself. This world was the world of American globalization.

The crisis of American globalization

This world, by the nature of restructured capital as fluidity of reproduction in accordance with the extraction of surplus value in its relative mode, was necessarily that of globalization. This was confirmed in 1990 with the collapse of the USSR and the Eastern bloc. The denationalization of the central States and the end of internationalization, i.e. the relations between “integrated national systems”, were also the end of the workers’ identity, of which the USSR was the state and geopolitical representation: i.e. the crystallization of a world structure of the class struggle (whatever we may think of it).

By separating the valorization and circulation of capital from the reproduction of labor power, globalization broke up the areas of coherent reproduction within national and regional boundaries. This rupture created a world disorder that had to be continuously regulated by violence that assimilated military operations as well as police operations. From the disappearance of the USSR, the American regulation of disorder has been its permanent management, indifferent to a stable shaping of the social. The United States did not seek to conquer the world, but to regulate disorder through a system other than that of competition between states. This often translated into targeted massacres as regulatory acts, with the end of the distinction between war and peace, a distinction that presupposed a local management of “social peace”. It was the “global war on terrorism”: global and, by nature, interminable.

“Ideally” states were to be mere governors of provinces. Local autonomous warlords were allowed to engage in a few local wars of conquest, reconquest or balkanization (ex-Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, the Near and Middle East – including Israel -, Colombia, Central America, Mexico, Indonesia) with occasional alliances with all sorts of mafia networks, the only global branch of capital that wields both financial capital and permanent local violence.

“Ideally,” violence was to be the continuation of the economy by other means, without political mediation except for various degrees of “hit-and-run” interventions, “forced peacemaking missions,” police missions, humanitarian missions (favoring the entrenchment of a market economy). In all cases, there were no negotiations to establish “a livable life for the defeated”. Locally, complex conflict subsystems (multiple adversaries) could be formed that did not require the intervention of a “leader”.

“Ideally”, it was a question of affirming a priori the globalism of American interests by deconstructing national sovereignties and the logics of territorial proximity, of recomposing productive, national, political, religious or ideological elements into transnational functional branches over which the “natural leadership” of the United States is exercised, this also applied to the European Union. The aim was to eliminate states or social movements, hostile guerrillas or those blocking the market, the flow of goods and capital, the “liberation” of the workforce. On the one hand, economic and military globalization, regulated by the United States from the end of the 1980s, was “balkanization” by destroying all national sovereignties or regulations, and on the other hand, a form of “de-balkanization”, of reunification of this world by the construction of unified economic spaces according to non-sovereign logics. American globalization had combined two strategies: “Clintonian enlargement” and the “civilizational ghettoization” of the Republican right.

For the United States, it was also a question of getting out of alliances with a defined territoriality; this was the moment of the “obsolescence of NATO” and of the partnership with Russia. NATO became a new offensive alliance against insecurity probabilities, without a predetermined area. It was not an alliance of the United States with the “sovereign Russian state”, it was Russia and its surroundings that became a “border of enlargement” in the American sense of “border”. In the words of the agreement: “Nato militarily assists the democratization and expansion of the liberal capitalist economy in Russia and its periphery”.

Until the “ideal” collapsed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the unavoidable necessity of engagement on the ground followed by occupations. In the Arab countries around the Mediterranean, the proletarian and interclass revolts have signified the bankruptcy of a capitalist class built as a clientelist oligarchy merging with the repressive apparatuses of the State, transforming into rent-producing activities any production or service that can enter the flow of the global valorization of capital. In whole areas like Central Asia, Central America, or Africa, bourgeoisie, bureaucracy, mafias, police and army cut out monopolies, managing foreign investments and activities that could be articulated with global valorization and creating a constant gap between the mass of available liberated labor and its absorption as labor force.

A mode of exploitation of labor power on a global scale, of capital valorization, has run out of steam and is collapsing in its exacerbation.

The identity, in the current crisis, between crisis of overaccumulation and crisis of underconsumption means that the disconnection between capital valorization and reproduction of labor power has become a problem. In this identity of the crisis, the disconnection that was functional in one phase of the mode of production becomes contradictory to its own continuation. This is true both at the level of the global architecture of realization, making the United States the consumer of last resort, and at the level, equally important and perhaps more so for the future, of the “national” development of “emerging capitalisms.”

The relationship between economy and violence had been simplified by the creation of nation-states from the 17th to the 19th century and then by the East/West bipolarity, during the first phase of real subsumption. The American management of the disorder of globalization, which consists in deconstructing national sovereignties and the logic of neighborhood, has created a proliferating, uncontrollable, entropic situation.

The whole geography of the global reproduction of capital and its zoning en abyme is disintegrating. What used to be the system is no longer the system: austerity, lowering wages below the value of labor power, no longer feed the assignments on a future valorization of financialized capital that feeds itself with the “money printing press.” We won’t go back, but globalization can take another turn that is currently undefinable and that could only be a function of new modalities of valorization, i.e. of the relation of exploitation.

This disconnection was a global system. In the collapse of this system (a chaotic situation where chaos is no longer regulated) the necessity of a reconfiguration of the world cycle of capital supplanting the current globalization emerges. A renationalization of economies that goes beyond / preserves globalization, a definancialization of productive capital, new modalities of integration of the reproduction of labor power in the proper cycle of capital, are for the time being only questions and hypotheses.

The restructurings of the capitalist mode of production never follow a plan, but are constructed in the internal confrontations of the world capitalist class and above all in the confrontation with the proletariat. The fraction of the capitalist class that can impose itself on the others and create a livable hierarchy for the whole world class is the one that resolves and reconfigures the relation of exploitation. The internal struggles of the capitalist class, nationally and globally, up to the war which is only the continuation of it, have no meaning other than to find the best solution for the renewal of exploitation for the whole of capital.

Putin is not alone

If a nation demonstrates for centuries its will to exist and to constitute itself as a state entity, all attempts to stifle in one way or another such a development can only introduce a chaotic dimension into the overall process of universal history “ (M.Khvylovy, quoted by Zbigniew Kowalewski, L’Ukraine, réveil d’un peuple, reprise d’une mémoire.”, Herodotus magazine, Les Marches de la Russie, 1989)fn2

Crisis of American globalization: this crisis is fixed at the world level on two main cysts: Russia and China, and on a third, regional level: Iran. It should be noted that in these three cases, the State dominates the economy and has not achieved the existence of a separate State. In Russia, the State is not the State of the capitalist class, its general board of directors, but it is the capitalist class (the oligarchs) which is the capitalist class of the State. The Soviet bureaucracy has not yet completed, even after the collapse of the USSR, its long march towards being an ordinary capitalist class rid of its revolutionary origins. As far as the European Union is concerned, for the United States and Russia, it is only a matter of maintaining its divisions; it is no longer a central issue or a potential rival, even if it plays an important role in the war in Ukraine. This is firstly because of the territorial continuity it offers to Ukraine with the transit of military aid, but also because of the internal political dissensions between States and within States, which the war has suddenly highlighted with regard to the relationship with Russia. The loss of geopolitical centrality is due to its inability to be a unique power, but the geopolitical issue is that it does not represent any term of the contradiction to be overcome. Neither great sovereign power, nor spearhead of globalization, neither the one nor the other, because the E.U. has remained halfway through the restructuring of exploitation initiated in the 1970s, despite all the efforts of Sarkozy, Hollande, Macron, Schröder, Major, Johnson (without going back to Thatcher…).

But if this crisis crystallizes in the confrontation of the “West” with these two cysts, it is first of all because this globalization has become counterproductive for itself: its own limits and contradictions are facing it in its relation to what, in the crisis, emerges and constitutes itself as its Other. The “West” and Russia had no inner essence that would lead them to define themselves as poles of the same contradiction of globalization as it exists, at most certain predispositions that come from their hierarchical position in the system; it is the relation between the terms of the contradiction that gradually produces its crystallization and confers on each term a national existence through which the contradiction becomes geopolitical.

In the confrontation between the United States (West) and Russia, but also Iran, Turkey, etc., and China, at yet another level, the possible solutions to the global reconfiguration of exploitation are at stake. No State (no protagonist) represents a single term, but in each one a term plays the role of dominant of the relation.

The current crisis has revealed the absolute identity between the overaccumulation of capital and the underconsumption of workers as a general process of the crises of this mode of production. Poverty has become a problem. If this crisis has been able to take the form of this identity and reveal it, it is because the reproduction of labor power had been the object, as we have said, of a double disconnection. On the one hand, a disconnection between the valorization of capital and the reproduction of labor power, and on the other, a disconnection between worker consumption and the wage as income.

These questions are now on the table: the nature of the State; the relation between the valorization of capital and the reproduction of labor power; the modes of mobilization of this labor power by capital; the modalities of the wage relation in the relations between employment/unemployment/precariousness; the relations between wage/income/credit. The fall in the rate of profit is always conjunctural, circumstantial, determined, both historically and locally.

At a completely different level of scale and conflictuality than the ongoing war in Ukraine with the direct and global confrontation between the terms at stake in the bankruptcy of globalization, in Greece, after the 2008 riots, the class struggle was already bringing to light, in the modalities specific to Greece, the contradictions and impasses of the mode of valorization and accumulation of capital that had just entered into crisis.

The terms of the contradictions that could be caricatured in Greece as the preservation of the financial system on the one hand, and the reproduction of labor power by capital itself on the other, were only dead moments, each term having only to reproach the other for being what it was. Each remained locked into the very terms of the crisis and endlessly repeated its particular role. Syriza’s relationship to the European institutions, however, had formalized the specific contradictions of the current crisis. In the name of the capitalist mode of production, Tsipras had told Draghi that it could no longer work. It is in this sense and in this sense only that the six-month confrontation between the “populist radical left” and the wise and venerable institutions of Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington was a real confrontation. The contradictions were there, expressed, the terms polarized, but without a massive confrontation with the proletariat they are lifeless, doomed to caricature themselves. The terms were reflected only in one of its poles, capital, and manifested only the appearance of the problem.

In the same way, the war in Ukraine means that the questions are still there but that they have changed scale, that the metastases are worldwide and that, for the time being, no capitalist solution can unify the resolution of the problems posed. History is made up of moments, situations, events that synthesize contradictions that until then led their own lives. The contradictions do not lose their specificity but they meet, interpenetrate. The Russian invasion in Ukraine is this kind of event. The principle is unique, it is the crisis of globalization as fundamentally a crisis of disconnection, but the manifestations are multiple, each in its own order, characteristics and dimensions. Everything coagulates: class struggle, political crisis of politics, geopolitical confrontations.

What is at stake since 2008 is a reconfiguration of globalization through the States and their national organization of existence and influence. We are living through a necessary “national moment”, which is not the “solution”, it is a moment of the crisis and only an indication of the perspective. It will be necessary to pass “momentarily (?)” by the reinforcement of States or State blocks, where from Russia the importance of Ukraine without which it is not a State economically, politically, ideologically. Without Ukraine Russia does not exist as a state and has never existed fn3. To weigh and play its role in the reconfiguration of globalization, of which it now represents one of the blocking poles both geopolitically and structurally (conceptually), Russia must escape the curse of the rentier State while preserving the essential part of its supply of foreign currency and the feeding of its budget. This is a difficult equation, if not impossible to solve except by throwing all its military weight behind it (but as Napoleon said: “You can do everything with bayonets, except sit on them”).

We must quote at length Thomas Gomart (Director of the French Institute of International Relations – IFRI) who draws a relevant panorama of the current global game that violence is accelerating.

“This is a pivotal crisis for the international system because it affects the balance of power not only in Europe, but also in Eurasia, from Brest to Vladivostok. For Russia, Ukraine is one theater among others. The cycle of Western interventions ended in Kabul in August 2021 with the American rout. In the Security Council, Russia’s action is not condemned by China, India or the United Arab Emirates. Let us note in passing that these two countries are France’s “strategic partners” in the Indo-Pacific region. More profoundly, the rapprochement between China and Russia can only accelerate as Western sanctions against Moscow are implemented. By wanting to annex Ukraine, Russia has an increasingly obvious need for China as an economic, financial and technological alternative. The new phase is opened by a European invasion war, sadly classic, but undoubtedly heralds competing geo-economic coalitions, as well as a global reorganization of maritime, financial and data flows.”

“There is an acceleration of the struggle for global supremacy between the United States and China. Thanks to Russia, the latter can force Washington to have two open fronts: the China Sea and the Black Sea-Baltic Sea. (…) During the Cold War, the economies of the socialist bloc and the capitalist countries had few relations. Today, they are intensely connected primarily with China but also with Russia. Hence the importance of controlling the maritime borders of this continental bloc. The greatest tension is at the junction between Europe and the area between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea (Baltic countries, Moldavia, Ukraine, Georgia) bordering Russia. On the Pacific side, the China Sea, Taiwan, the Koreas and Japan are the areas of friction. (…) The challenge is to control the world’s production apparatus in a context of increasing environmental constraints and accelerated globalization. (Le Monde dated March 3, 2022).”

The analysis is accurate but unprincipled. What “upsets the balance of forces” are the terms of the blockage of accumulation on a global scale. Everything is said in these few lines except the contradiction of globalization as a totality that makes it exist and particularizes its terms nationally. The terms of the confrontation are not sui generis, it is by the nature of the totality that the terms are particularized. Within the crisis of American globalization, the Westphalian reality of inter-state relations returns, but only as a moment of the internal crisis of globalization. In contrast to Westphalian confrontations, it is now the totality that is primary and polarizes nationally while crossing each of its poles. Everything is redefined: “illiberalism” in Orban’s Hungary and Poland has received its absolution, there are no more oligarchs in Ukraine, the “fascist” militias of Maidan in 2014 have turned into glorious patriotic defensive self-organizations and the television buffoon into an icon of democracy, even Israel, the state of unabashed colonization and institutional apartheid, the one that accumulates the most UN condemnations is promoted to the rank of “mediator.”

Without the result being predetermined, what appears to be certain is that every State, as the general representative of its capitalist class, which wants to play a role in the coming reconfiguration of globalization, must constitute itself as a great sovereign power on a national space with a relatively coherent reproduction, even if the reconfiguration of globalization cannot be the return of internationalization but a still indeterminable mix which will have to reconnect, not necessarily nationally, the valorization of capital and the reproduction of labor power. Since 2004 and the enlargement of NATO to Russia’s borders (which followed the unilateral intervention of the United States in Iraq), then 2008 with the annexation of part of Georgia, Russia has been playing its part in this reconfiguration. To use Clausewitz’s terminology, this game is made up of multiple commitments fn4. Whether in Syria, Libya, in many Sahelian countries, in the confrontation with Nato on its borders (we will not try to find out who started not to keep its commitments), whether with the annexation of Crimea, the police intervention in Belorussia then military intervention in Kazakhstan, the recognition of the separatist republics of Eastern Ukraine, the maintenance of a latent war in the whole of Donbass and now the invasion of Ukraine, in the multiple commitments, the final objective is a political one. This objective is linked to so many conditions and considerations that the objective can no longer be achieved by a single large-scale act, but only by a large number of more or less large acts which constitute a whole. Each of these particular undertakings is a part of a whole and has a special objective which connects it to this whole. The particular commitments are knowable only from the common causes from which they arise.

The invasion of Ukraine is only one particular engagement, but it represents, to continue speaking as Clausewitz: the “culmination of the offensive”. But “the offensive” is a continuous weakening of the adversary as he advances, each advance moves him away from his bases, the “defensive form of war” is by itself stronger than the “offensive form”: “The defensive is the strongest form of warfare” (Clausewitz, op.cit., p.400-401). The invasion of Ukraine is this “culminating point”, at first sight, on the military ground, with the trampling of the Russian army, but first and foremost in relation to the political goal. The “culmination of the offensive” through the “multiple commitments” in the search for the political goal: to be a term in front of the West of the crystallization of the poles of the contradiction in which the globalization is stuck and by there to play in the big game of its reconfiguration. In any case, Russia will lose; it will only vassalize a territory that has been destroyed and emptied of a quarter of its population.

The West bet on the strategy not of tactical retreat (Kutousov against Napoleon; Mac Arthur against the Russians and then the Chinese in Korea; many examples show that this strategy does not necessarily need the depth of Russian space) but of “political retreat”: let it go. With the previously soothing declarations of Biden, Macron, the Secretary General of NATO, the West “lured” (quotation marks, because it was not very difficult: when you want to make someone fall, you have to push him to the side where he is already leaning) Russia into a trap that is not “deadly” (especially not) but anemic, devitalizing fn5. In all the Parliaments one ovates Zelinsky standing up in videoconference, one even copies his khaki hooded sweatshirt, but he knows that he is only a pawn and it is very rare that a pawn arrives to queen before a bishop or a rook swallows it, sometimes a horse in ambush. Unanimously, before applauding its “resistance” (carefully maintained within certain limits fn6, all Western leaders pressured Ukraine to accept the Minsk agreements (2014) which provided for a revision of the constitution and representation of the secessionist regions. The West aims at the establishment of a kind of “stalemate” exhausting for Russia and of uncertain duration, as for Ukrainians, becoming a kind of sum of collateral damage. The realization of the objective, initially “limited” (Ukraine), has now, for Russia, no chance of “success” without touching the Baltic States and/or Poland. The more the enemy advances, the more it loses its bases, the more its political goal must be widened until it reaches positions that were not its own and that it cannot support and assume. Russia can only hope and wait for the Chinese buoy but, as in any alliance, the one who dominates it adores its companions especially when they are weakened (China had very good relations with Ukraine, Le Monde of 1/3/22).

We know Clausewitz’s famous formula: “War is politics pursued by other means”, but this formula is not exactly the one used in the text: “We know, of course, that only political relations between governments and nations give rise to war (Clausewitz remains in a Westphalian conception of war although, in passing, he points out somewhere that the occupation of a nation can only be successful and maintained if the occupying power has an echo in the internal conflicts of the occupied nation, nda), but we generally imagine that these relations cease with the war and that a completely different situation, subject to its own laws and to them alone, is then established. On the contrary, we affirm that war is nothing more than the continuation of political relations, with the addition of other means. We say that new means are added to it, to affirm at the same time that war itself does not make these political relations cease, that it does not transform them into something quite different, but that they continue to exist in their essence, whatever means they use, and that the main threads which run through the events of war and to which they are attached are only the lineaments of a policy which continues through war until peace.” (Clausewitz, op.cit., p.703). The internal logic of politics for Clausewitz (1780-1831) is the overcoming, the resorption, of conflicts as generated by the social relations of “civil society”, politics resolves a conflictuality of which it is always dependent. He is in all respects a contemporary of Hegel even if his dialectic between the “pure concept of war” and the “real war” (the two parts of De la Guerre) has nothing to do with the Hegelian self-realization of the concept but refers rather, with Machiavelli, to the circumstantial search for the realization of a necessity in the hazards of conjunctures.

War represents the supreme moment of conflicts, their paroxysm, without however being of another nature than them: decisive moment of the totality of the social, political, economic, cultural, ideological conflicts, including by being a rewriting of the class struggle from which it comes, war gathers them in the “element of rupture” (Clausewitz) of the organized violence.

Things would be very simple if conflicts and wars directly expressed the contradictions at stake in the accumulation of capital and in the mode of production in general. But all this exists only through all the mediations of the reproduction of capital, including its national structures and their history. States exist as necessary in the capitalist mode of production in the genesis of which they were constituted (17th and 18th centuries until England synthesized all the elements of the genesis of capital as a mode of production – see Marx, Le Capital, éd.Sociales, t.3, p.193). States, as such, pursue their own goals and this pursuit belongs entirely to the reproduction and restructurings of the capitalist mode of production, which is not an entity reproducing itself without all its determinations, which are not self-determinations of the concept but which make things exist in reality.

One can always say, and it is not false, that proletarians do not have to choose their exploiters and, in any case, they do not have the choice. But, like anyone else, they live, exist, and are produced in this mode of production which defines them, and they think, act according to the set of social relations which define them. It may be that, because of their particular situation in these social relations, they find themselves engaged in a conjuncture that leads them to abolish them and that they alone are in this situation. But, at present, if the “restructuring” can only pass by the class struggle, capital, in the contradiction such as it is presented, has already as it were pre-empted under the form nation (sovereignty, populism, citizenship), the “politics” of the proletariat. The dice are loaded and the balls are stuffed.

The crisis of globalization is turning everywhere (center and periphery) into a political crisis (one cannot leave this aside by saying that what counts is the economic interests because these have a “form”). In restructured capital, at the base of this political crisis, there is the disappearance of the worker’s identity which has totally destabilized the whole political functioning of the democratic state, consubstantial to the recognition of a real social cleavage and its pacification. Currently, the class struggle (including central and peripheral supernumeraries) is marked by the division between nation and globalization in the form of a socio-political cleavage whose theme of inequalities and the legitimacy of the State has become the core. The crisis of globalization is, for the time being, passing through more or less nationalist popular movements on the themes of income distribution, national sovereignty, the family, values, citizenship.

Concerning more precisely Ukraine, those who consider nationalism as simply a deviation or a manipulation of the working class don’t consider this one as a class of this mode of production but as being by essence in conformity, even with contingent “occultations”, to its “must-be”. “Duty-to-be” of which they are, it is their reason of being, the permanent representatives, invariant but always frustrated until the next one.

Russia has found itself representing ideologically, politically, culturally and, in the affirmation of its confrontation with the West, the pole of the demand for national sovereignty in the face of Western globalization, even to the point of foreseeing and anticipating a fragile reorganization of its production, its foreign exchange reserves, and its system of payments in an independent manner. This is why it has crystallized multiple and diverse friendships throughout the world. Putin is not alone, he represents in an increasingly unilateral way a pole of contradiction to be overcome. On January 28, in Madrid, the sovereignist and far-right parties met, there was Marine Le Pen, but also Victor Orban, the Czech Prime Minister and the Polish Prime Minister who is the only one explicitly critical of Russia. We know all the cuddles of Chevènement, Mélenchon, Salvini, Bepe Grillo, Schröder, Zemmour, Le Pen (who has not finished paying back the Russian loan), Vox in Spain, AFD in Germany etc., etc. towards Putin, but we must add, in the United States itself, those of Trump and a star presenter of Fox News. For the time being, we will no longer be able to enjoy the magnificent exhibitions at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which Bernard Arnault, thanks to his oligarchic investments and his friendships with Château Yquem, used to treat us to from the reserves of Russian collectors. But no more Chateau Yquem, Macron warned us that for the “defense of our values” we would have to tighten our belts and ride our scooters.


March 23rd, 2022

[fn1]  “The real submission of labor to capital is accompanied by a complete revolution (which continues and is constantly renewed, cf. the Communist Manifesto) of the mode of production, of the productivity of labor and of the relations between capitalists and workers. (Marx, An Unpublished Chapter of Capital, ed. 10/18, p.218).
[fn2]  M.Khvylovy was a writer and Ukrainian Bolshevik activist since 1917, he died by suicide in 1933.
[fn3]  We will not dwell here on the millenary history of these relations, always conflicting and always intertwined between Ukraine and Russia during which one dominates the other before the other dominates the one. It is “amusing” to recall that the term of Russia comes from the Greek (Byzantium) Rossiia by which was designated the Ruthenian State formed in the 10th century around Kiev. After the conquest of Ruthenia by Lithuania (14th century), the Moscow princes took over the term and the former Ruthenia was progressively called Ukraine which means “the borders”. Let us add that the relations imposed by Russia on Ukraine during the whole Soviet period forge, from different motivations, a strong common national interest beyond class divisions (see Herodotus, op. cit). Finally, a small wink to Makhno who, during his interview with Lenin (July 1918), about the “anarchist-communists of Ukraine”, adds to Lenin’s address: “or of the “south of Russia”, since you, communist-bolsheviks, try to avoid the word Ukraine” (Makhno, Memoirs, quoted in Ni Dieu ni maître, éd. de Delphes, p.460).
[fn4]  In this paragraph, we take up certain themes from the chapter L’engagement en général in Clausewitz De la Guerre, ed. de Minuit 1998, pp.242-243.
[fn5]  End of January 2022, Germany still refuses to deliver arms to Ukraine.
[fn6]  A conventional Nato air intervention over Ukraine would have transferred to Russia the option of the impossible switch to nuclear power. But this was not at all the Western strategy of political“defensive retreat”. One could say that the existence of strategic nuclear weapons endorses and gives material existence to the Clauswitzian dialectic between the “pure concept” of war (annihilation of the enemy) and the “real war” (pursuit of politics).