“The main enemy of every people is in its own country.” When Karl Liebknecht wrote this in May 1915, in a leaflet, he called for the international class struggle. He specifies that each people has its main enemy in its own country. He certainly does not say that the main enemy is only in our own country, much less in the only imperialist coalition of which this one is supposed to be a part of.
The tradition of Liebknecht, Luxemburg and Lenin is to determine a revolutionary policy at the international level. Lenin went furthest in this direction with the transformation of imperialist war into civil war. Using the theme of the “main enemy” to no longer start from the international interests of the proletariat, but from the supposed interests of a struggle whose only framework and only field would be “our own country” (for example, France), or the coalition encompassing it (for example, NATO), it is, in the name of internationalism, to fall back into chauvinism.
« Communists put forward and assert the interests independent of nationality and common to the whole proletariat. » (Marx, Manifesto). In the present war, what is the concrete expression of these interests? They focus on the defeat and the downfall of Putin.
The Ukrainians are dragged against their will into a national war of liberation against Putin. In the factories and the district of Obolon in Kyiv, they are fighting at this very moment, when these lines are written, with Molotov cocktails against the tanks of imperialism, here Russian imperialism. Demonstrations follow one another in Russia, despite the thousands and thousands of arrests. A slogan appears: Denazification is here, it is now. Trade unionists and supporters of Belarusian national independence, under the boot, are undoubtedly organizing clandestinely. The workers and unemployed of the great gas and oil region of Mengistau in Kazakhstan continue strikes, pickets and occupations of places for wages and against repression. On a global scale, Putin is at the center of the darkest reaction, that of the Wagner commandos, of Bashar el Assad, of the RN, of those like the Fillon, Ciotti and Zemmour in France, admired by Orban who has just suppressed the right to strike for teachers in Hungary. The downfall of Putin is the goal that any serious and concrete internationalist must put forward for all. It is an internationalist slogan.
Everyone can see that this is not the watchword of NATO, nor of American and German finance, which are seized with holy hesitation in the face of Russia’s exclusion from the Swift interbank system and which do not envisage in no way to expropriate the accounts of the oligarchs in the Swiss banks and the villas of the mafia on the Rivieras of Europe!
The internationalist prerequisite is not the fight against NATO, it is: OUT POUTINE. And that is solidarity with the Russian people. To make the question of NATO a prerequisite is the opposite of internationalism, it is to put a prerequisite to the national struggle of the Ukrainians and the heroic slogans of the Russian demonstrators.
It is not even, much less, to fight a main enemy who would be in our country. Because Anglo-Saxon finance does not want to expropriate the Russian oligarchs! And even less France. In France, the Deep State of the Fifth Republic breathes only neo-Gaullian nostalgia and “national independence” towards America. The “big” presidential candidates who call into question NATO, Zemmour and Le Pen on the one hand, Mélenchon on the other, are doing so in the name of French imperialism and its deadly/lethal nuclear force of dissuasion.
Of course, we have to fight NATO. But the way of this fight today is: OUT POUTINE. Out Putin, that means a new democratic union of the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Kazakh nations; it is the way to pose again the question of the democratic union of all the nations of Europe, what Trotsky designated in 1915 as the United Socialist States of Europe. The questioning of NATO must derive from the unconditional slogan: DOWN WITH WAR, DOWN WITH PUTIN.
Likewise, if one refuses to line up behind « our president » in the name of the Russian missile threat, one cannot do so by claiming that one is for « peace » in general – that is what what do all the imperialist heads of state say, Putin the first – nor “against NATO” which in the present reality is not the force which is bombing Ukraine, and even less for “non-aligned France”. Under the falsely internationalist phrase, the purest social-chauvinism!
The abstract internationalism that gargles with words like “in Ukraine, neither NATO nor Russia” is no more than a cover for social-chauvinism. Even the “revolutionary” generalities who are willing to concede that the Ukrainian resistance deserves support, while adding that we must be careful not to support “our” imperialism and issuing warnings against the rise of “nationalisms [?] », fall aside. Should we fear Ukrainian “nationalism” at the present time? His fight against Putin is that of any supporter of emancipation and the litanies on the “Ukrainian Nazis” come from 8 years of racist and colonialist propaganda. To be internationalist and revolutionary is to confront the question of power at the global level which today passes through: OUT POUTINE.
When someone is losing sight of the path of revolution, he embarks on the path of Sacred Union. Siding in Sacred Union with this or that imperialist bloc or fighting with the Russian and Ukrainian peoples to destroy the Putinian counter-revolution in progress, such is the real choice present for whoever wants to be worthy of Karl Liebknecht. Ours is done.
The editorial staff, 25-02-2022.