‘Controverses’: Internationalist Positions on the War in Ukraine

The following statement of the Forum for the Internationalist Communist Left is completed by an updated review list of internationalist statements and analyses produced both by political groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds and tongues. We recommend readers with a mastery of foreign languages, especially of Spanish and/or French, to consult it, as it provides a somewhat broader scope than the selection we present on this site in English. We also would like to encourage readers with language capabilities to contribute crafting proper English translations of the most interesting texts, that may appear both at Controverses and here.

The editor

Marx, “The National System of Political Economy” (1845):

The worker is neither French, nor English, nor German, [neither Ukrainian, nor Russian] for his nationality is labour, free slavery, the sale of himself and his own labor . He is not governed by France, England or Germany, [or Ukraine or Russia] but by capital. The air of his land is neither French, nor English, nor German, [neither Ukrainian, nor Russian], but the air of the factory. The soil that is his, is neither French, nor English, nor German, [neither Ukrainian, nor Russian] but awaits him six feet under. Above ground, money is the home of the industrialist’s homeland [regardless of nationality].

Beyond insistence or elements of analysis that are sometimes different, hereafter we bring together a set of clearly internationalist positions on the conflict in Ukraine in order to contribute to the reflection and commitment of our readers on a truly revolutionary ground … analyses that we consider very necessary to resist the dominant bludgeoning call for national unity and urging us by all means to defend the prevailing mortifying and binary nationalist ideology.

One of the frequent reproaches against the defense of an internationalist position in an imperialist conflict is to claim that it would be easy to defend in a non-belligerent country and untenable in a country at war. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by authentic revolutionary positions, both in Russia and Ukraine (article in French) and as proven by the historical example of the end of the First World War, well explained in this excellent video (23 minutes) (in English) showing in what and how the analyses, positions and practical perspectives [as] defended here concerning the war in Ukraine could [at the time] stop the butchery of the First World War and force the bourgeoisie to sign the armistice. Indeed, the end of this conflict was not the result of a military defeat but of the revolutionary uprising of workers and the desertion of soldiers on the front lines, particularly in Germany but also almost everywhere in Europe (and even in the world ).

Taking into account the seriousness of the international situation, the weaknesses and the dispersion of the internationalist-revolutionary milieu, it goes without saying that we will support any common position taken along the lines of the ones we have listed below. In fact, if there is indeed a paradox to underline on this level, it is that each of the groups below brandishes proletarian internationalism loud and clear – which is excellent… but they are withdrawn into themselves and quite incapable of speaking with one voice! The revolutionary-internationalist milieu more than needs a new Zimmerwald conference without any exclusions! However, we should point out several tentative efforts in this direction – efforts that need to be strengthened:

  1. The review of internationalist positions undertaken in this article – albeit not exhaustive (see below), is already impressive in itself by their number and by the extent of their geographical distribution throughout the world.

  2. With a few exceptions, they are almost all remarkably clear, both on the imperialist nature of the war in Ukraine and on the perspectives to be defended for the proletariat.

  3. Many organizations, groups and elements have taken the initiative to translate and publish positions taken by each other. Contacts have been made and the first collaborations have been established.

  4. A timid discussion-criticism on the respective positions and analyzes is emerging.

  5. More confidential but nevertheless significant, the need for a more common position taken by the whole of the internationalist milieu is put forward by several groups and elements.

  6. A concretization of common position statement, limited to three groups of the communist left and dated April 6, 2022 is to be welcomed. We hope it stimulates other broader initiatives. Broader, indeed, because this recent initiative is unfortunately tainted with a caricatural sectarianism which does not correspond to the stakes of the moment.

  7. Finally and above all, let us point out another realization of common concern, also dated April 6, 2022 and taken at the initiative of the ICT (Internationalist Communist Tendency): No War but the Class War – A Call for Action.

In addition to the clarity of its content, it is addressed, this time, to all the internationalist forces. We therefore fully subscribe to it. Therefore, we call on all the groups and elements that recognize themselves in such an initiative to address the ICT in order to coordinate all the forces making it possible to translate and disseminate this call as well as to carry out actions in the same spirit: public meetings, debates, concrete solidarity with the internationalists suffering the immediate consequences of this war, etc.

Controversies, April 9, 2002

Source: Ukraine: internationalist positions

(with an updated review of statements in French and Spanish)