This blog suggests reading of this text “War in Ukrain: Ten Lessons from Syria” published by Crimethinc that reports point of view, analysis, lessons and about what is to be done coming from a collective of Syrian exiles and their comrades.
This blogs would take part of a common debates that internationally is involving a new generation of sincere rebels against the monster capitalism ruler. During the Syrian massacre many young from Italy went in Syria to support the fight joining collective organized grassroot and people movement there, for example in supporting Rojava social experiment and when they returned back in Italy have been arrested by the Italy state like affiliated to some terrorist organization.
It is really difficult to determine an autonomous struggle in the mess of a war that is massacring people, storming an entire country and the middle east in a context amid capitalism powers from the west and from the east.
There is a right argument what the Syrian exiles and their comrades that they are pointing at our attention. A capitalism epoch is ended and it is entering into a general crisis that’s fragmenting the previous landscape, because the capitalism is governed by impersonal force of laws that applies constantly a revolution of its internal relationship. It is not a static model of the economical factor, but it is an historical global movement of economical factors that always transform its internal relationships with the accumulation of value at the global scale. This historical movement, called capitalism, is crumbling because it is not able anymore and like before to growth the capital surplus value. This crumbling is beginning from the heart of the beast: the West has been dominated the world market in the last 500 years.
This general crisis that has been accelerated in 2008 and now in the 2020 trashes all legacy ideologies we inherited from the past century. Nothing is linear and nothing shows an omogeneous composed movement in struggle against the capitalism world. Our lenses of the past are not able to focus contradictions are crumbling the order of the capitalism that’s an interlinked in a global chain of production and exploitation of the social value. It is based on a fierce and in army competition, it is not a global block of exploitation. The latest new theories about the globalization phase of capitalism (the Toni Negri’s Empire) are showing their false misunderstanding amid the current crisis is crushing the world and the exploited masses. It does not present anymore a chance to see who are the insurgent forces and the counter insurgent forces easily, it does not present anymore clear borders between who fights the imperialism order and where the global chain oppression acts.
In some way it was simpler to understand it in the past, where it would be our part of the fence. While the monster global chain of production of capitalistic value is crumbling, it is providing a chaos where antagonistic momentums move through the mess, and they are not pure and we would try to avoid indifference.
It is easy to see that about Syria and Ukraine contexts the landscape is a tangle of opposite ruling global interests, which forces are higher of the needs of oppressed people. It can induce a proposition of legacy vision of the past which inevitably carries at the tail of different capitalistic interest and to indifference about suffering people are crushed by the horror of the war and by an army invasion that will not let them free.
At the same time the history provided a lesson that is valid in a deterministic universe where human being is subjected to impersonal economy forces. Our conscience and our will can’t win if some independent factors outside from us and general wish do not happen. The same self activity of masses in an momentum of insurgency can flush in a low tide at the tail of impersonal economic forces, inevitably under the capitalism rules. The Russia revolution of the 1917, a powerful momentum of peasants and workers mass self activity, amid the global isolation context has been defeated. The Bolshevik revolutionaries felt down in avant-guard hope, thinking it could be possible to find out an alternative, about how to drive the rampant development of the productive forces emerging from the countryside and from the industrial development towards a socialism horizon instead of the growing of the capitalism society. They tried to compass needle in the right direction while waiting a favorable global context for the exploited masses internationalism and international insurgency. It is not about what is to be done in the past, but it is about the result. They failed, our hope failed, generation of partisans failed and the greatest momentum, that has born from the self activity (so no external consciousness determined it), lost the game.
In regard of what it would be done it is a false question, because it means the universe is not deterministic but that it is possible to exercise e free will. But the universe is deterministic, while the free will exercise is not possible by the human being.
The valuable effort of the Syrian exiles and comrades about the “Syrian lessons” and analysis about the Ukraine context is with statement about legacy vision about what is called the campism. In fact, while we would be glad about the decline of the west imperialism, of the European colonialist, capitalist and then imperialist states and the power of the United States, we cannot consider that actions-reactions of country states like Russia and China (even if under a pressure coming from the markets rules where the West is trying to keep its leadership) as less worse. They behaves exactly as emergent capitalism and they go to contend spaces where USA and EUs imperialism are leaving due to their initial decline in power. This landscape change is driven by a composed and more aggressive competition of ruling capitalistic forces in the global market. The crumbling of the global chain of exploitation, immediately do not open an easy insurgency, and the Russia moves in Syria properly because of the West imperialism in the area can’t dominate as few decades ago. USA (and all its west alley in West Europe) is not able to rule even if the infinite war in the middle east, the “war on terror”, the “desert storm”, the “shock and awe” and the “Obama’s war against the Arab springs”.
Then Russia presence is part of the factors that does not create more favorable conditions for a revolution, it realizes a full capitalistic defense of its own interest in a fierce competition into the global capitalistic market.
It is obvious if we look at just few weeks ago about the Kazakistan revolt of the beginning of the new years. In a scenario where the masses self activity has been unpublished and it surprised all the bosses, the White House statement has been a recommendation to the moderation of the different players involved into the conflict. Obviously it was a sudden insurgency against drastic worsening of living conditions that it would be temporarily better (the point of view of all the imperialisms) Russia forces would suppress the revolt, even if this hits the United States interests about the balance of power in the area where the Chevron has an important control over the Kazakistan’s oil resources. Biden in such case and all the west states argued that some islamic and dark insanity revolt was going on, accepting the Kazakistan government narrative. In such condition it was easy to see what is our part of the fence.
Instead while the ruling capitalistic order determined the mess in area like the Syria the risk is to be indifferent to the weak attempts of an insurgency of the exploited masses because we simply “do not find who support“. We are forced to be mad around a scenario where it is complex about what is our part of the fence, it is more simple, but wrong, to return to an useless campism. It brings insurgent forces and youth rebel energies of where we live or to align within everything is against the West imperialism (who cares if the USA receives a slap by Russia state) or to stay without any concern with a resistence that has no choice to be independent by the west ruling US and NATO forces.
The tragic issue is not above the faults result of the legacy theories and the way it sees the world, but about the indifference in front of the real drama exploited masses and exploited workers are undergoing.
That is the heart of the problem. For this purpose I can’t avoid to underline the vant-guard mistakes because it represents a false solution to the challenges and real difficulties that the new landscape of struggle has, it is in some way an escape from the real landscape. The vant-guard is part of the legacy theories as I wrote at the beginning, that shows its failure along the capitalism epoch.
The comrades’ text (which I consider part of useful lessons are needing a more deep friendly debate) provides a guide line for actions here not in Ukraine (or in Syria). The “here” makes the difference. These are points of some (I apologize for the terminology) anarchist-leninism “what is to be done” approach:
Express full support for Ukrainian popular resistance against the Russian invasion.
Prioritize support for self-organized groups defending emancipatory positions in Ukraine through donations, humanitarian aid, and publicizing their demands.
Support progressive anti-war and anti-regime forces in Russia and publicize their positions.
House Ukrainian exiles and organize events and infrastructure to make their voices heard.
Combat all pro-Putin discourse, especially on the left. The war in Ukraine offers a crucial opportunity to put a definitive end to campism and toxic masculinity.
Combat pro-NATO discourse by ideology. –
Refuse support to those in Ukraine and elsewhere who defend ultra-nationalist, xenophobic, and racist policies.
Permanent criticism and distrust of NATO’s actions in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Maintain pressure on governments via demonstrations, direct action, banners, forums, petitions, and other means in order to enforce the demands of self-organized actors on the ground.
My opinion is the first point and the last one are wrong dear comrades.
All we wish insurgent rebels in Syria and Ukraine can defeat material forces of ruling capitalism from the east and from the west, and I hope so as well. But we must consider what it is the current status of what is happening in Ukraine (and in Syria) that something we can give a definition of “proxy war”. If insurgent people struggle currently is isolated from an internationalism from below, it is because simply at the given moment such internationalism exists only in our wishes. Then it remain isolated and exposed to the Russia’s invasion and to the counter insurgency of the NATO and of the local Ukraine state.
If we would support those genuine forces are fighting against the Russia rockets and in an horizon where they would not be an indirect tool of the West imperialism, our part of the fence is to fight my Italy state is sending funds and military technologies and weapons to the Ukraine state, then stop to send weapons and funds for the war. It is clear that more aids (goods and weapons) are sent by the Italy state and more powerful will be the Ukraine military army (that is the state), and more easy will be to defeat the self action of the exploited masses by the local capitalistic forces. Then in our attempt to would stand up within people is suffering by the Russian rockets and Russia’s invasion and in the horizon of the workers and exploited people insurgency, I think it is our first point of action, otherwise everything is useless and dangerous.
Then we cannot avoid to have concerns about the Ukraine government is applying a martial law in the country and in the cities. It is true that Ukraine people must defend by the rockets, but the martial law is a military factor is removing spaces for any autonomous action (political and of self defence as well). Taking a gun offered by the state is not a spontaneous people in army where it is possible to behaves in autonomy from the local state and from the military command. In such condition and without any military preparation (a preparation that fascist militia did very well across years (before and post the Euromaidan) into the internal front into the Donbass. In such internal conflict (another proxy war where russian-speaker language people felt down), fascist militia have been trained by Russian Army at the Donbass side and fascists militia have been trained by the West a the Ukraine nationalist side. If a comrade expresses is vision about the Ukraine future that does not align with the ruling classes are governing the post Euromaidan, he or she for sure will be offered to join some of the more dangerous mission without any military training. It is not Rojava comrades where grassroots movement of Kurdish people did army camps training for west and Italy rebels joined the Rojava fight. As well, mostly important, it is for sure that the Ukraine state does not like civilians are escaping from the country and maybe it is possible alt right militias see them like deserters, non patriotic gestures. The Ukraine civilians are escaping from the war and from the Russia’s rockets is having a mass dimension that is part of our alternative in some way, independently what these people think about the NATO and the EU states. In fact, Ukraine refugees are arriving here and Ukraine women immigrant that already stays in Italy feel an anger towards the EU because they claim European states left them alone without any shield from the Putin’s bombs. We should not be afraid and our terrain here it is properly in a self action about the immigrants, helping civilians from Ukraine are waiting at the border (let them enter immediately and freely now without hesitation and without waiting for the covid-test and for the vaccination, provide housing for them and for all immigrants – not lager camps). I know European states use different policy about refugees from other proxy wars and based on their own specific interest. We should not remove our support just only because these people have a wrong vision about the West Europe, about the NATO. In the ’80 years Italian state was happy to welcoming Polish immigrants. The Italian state was happy to welcoming Albanian immigrants int ’90 years, but then almost quickly a racist campaign happened: “all Polish were thief, all Albanians were thief and so on“. If we stay since beginning, without giving a short breath before to suggest to return back with some handgun, the current anger could be a potential factor against the west capitalism and the west imperialism as well, but the global world crumbling must acts inside their experiences. About all refugees crisis the common main narrative of racisms from the below is “well, help them at their country! why do not fight their states at their home, instead of to escape from their homelands?“
It will be the same chorus now about Ukraine refuges in a few time if the war continues a long, while the mass escape is part of the crumbling and it is the more powerful devoid of conscience self activity action against the capitalistic war.
The self defense and autonomous action against the Russia capitalistic invasion lives also into the mass civilians escape. When the Central State wants to arm the people to defend the homeland, the mass civilians escape is the contemporary form of the farewell to arms, that potentially could sow our alternative. And it is possible the Zelenskyy central government will try to prevent men to do it in mass as every capitalistic state does facing a war: all men in capable of force must go to the arm, if they do not they are deserters punished by the martial law! This is not something of the past, it is present today into the new capitalistic epoch and landscape, do not forget.
If we try absolutely right now an action guide that’s part of our passion and our insurgent soul, without reasoning how is complex the terrain, that means resistance forms change as well, the last point of this “what is to be done” provided is the greater mistake result of the vant-guard attitude, we inherit from the legacy ideology of the past century. Dear comrades, how do we think, also from a tactics point of view, to “maintain pressure on governments via demonstrations, direct action, banners, forums, petitions, and other means in order to enforce the demands of self-organized actors on the ground“? Our governments are doing that. Of course they are not supporting anarchists are facing Russian aggression and their own Central State martail law. Is this the way how we would do the “permanent criticism and distrust of NATO’s actions in Ukraine and elsewhere“. Is it the manner we can do a campaign against NATO false humanitarian and pro democracy actions? Or do we think, for example that the Italy state, the French state, the German state can act in support of the self-activity of the mass struggle in a different condition? Do not look what we suppose to think and to do, we would look what normal workers, normal exploited people, normal racialized think about such demands. They will conclude that the West States are not doing because they are blackmailed by the NATO power, falling down into the path of Exit from NATO to take back the country state sovereignty from the NATO, that is exactly what some leftist –
and not only leftist but a whole new context of populism and Europe nationalism in Italy, France, etc. – anchored to the past is doing and failing to support a no war but at tail of what is supposed the lesser enemy, the capitalistic Russia.