‘Stop The War’ (sic) backs Putin

February 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm (ex-SWP, John Rees, Lindsey German, posted by JD, reactionay "anti-imperialism", Russia, stalinism, Stop The War)

By Chris Ford (via Facebook):

So Stop the War are off the fence and jumped into bed with the ultra-Stalinist campaign ‘Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine’ –
I note that it is holding a joint protest at the USA Embassy under the ironic slogan of ‘Peace for the Donbas’.

This from a campaign who supported the annexation of Crimea, support the war in Ukraine as ‘anti-imperialist’, refuse to call for a ceasefire, support restoring by arms a Tsarist colonial state of ‘Novorossiya’, branded all of us who supported an appeal from the Ukrainian miners union as ‘a bunch of scabs’, and generally spend all of their time spreading smears lies and intimidation against anyone who engages in sane or rational disagreement with them.

My question to comrades who are anti-Stalinist who are in StW – what now?



  1. Steven Johnston said,

    Are this shower still plodding on? They’ve had their day and that was 2003 when they failed to stop the Iraq war.

    The Morning Star loves them so that means anyone with a brain should hate them.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Are you sure that you really ‘hate’ every person or entity that the Morning Star ‘loves’? Or do you not have a brain either?

  2. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    Stop the War support a War. Disnae sound right. I suppose a war is ok as long as you support it. Maybe they should be called Start the War.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      The primary internationalist task of the left in an imperialist power, especially one that is part of the globally-dominant imperialist bloc, is to oppose and undermine the war-making of that power and that bloc, including that of its clients like the Kiev regime. It is, unsurprisingly, the most aggressive element within that imperialist bloc, particularly the United Snakes, that has been encouraging the Kiev regime in its aggression against a section of what is nominally its own population.

  3. Steven Johnston said,

    Stop the War is a futile movement, as there will always be war under capitalism. If they were socialists they would surely want to stop capitalism by replacing it with socialism. Then they will (hopefully!) end war.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      I guess socialists and communists inside the United Snakes should not have organized and otherwise acted against the U.S. wars in Korea and Southeast Asia. And, since there will always be exploitation and racism under capitalism, we should not support workers’ struggles to defend and improve their conditions, or struggles against racial discrimination.

      I know there are ‘socialists’ who take those positions. Are you one of those, comrade Johnston?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        I’m one of those, like Marx, who believe in socialism and not but.
        No one was fighting for socialism in Korea or Southeast Asia.
        The only way to end racism or improve the lot of the working class is to move from capitalism to socialism. I know there are ‘socialists’ who disagree with this, are you one of those Aaron? I think we should be told.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Certainly, ending capitalism would (and, I hope, will) help weaken racism, particularly in its institutionalized aspect. But the fight against capitalism, particularly imperialist capitalism, can improve, or slow down the deterioration of, the condition of workers, particularly the workers, mainly in the oppressed nations, who actually produce the global social surplus, even before socialism is achieved.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    More via Chris Ford:

    On the Essence of Modern Russia
    By Tatyana Shavshukova
    Of the Russian social-democratic group “Left Socialist Action”

    Following the publication of an article by Maxim Kantor, who considers that Russia is post-modernist Fascism (or that there is post-modernist Fascism in Russia), we have been discussing the nature of power in modern Russia. There were two main positions – that Russia is already …a fascist power, or it is not yet but is pursuing this course.
    The majority of us consider that Russia has a strongly conservative regime with components of Fascism and even Nazism. It may become fascist tomorrow, but still is not. It has such features of power as: Bonapartism, authoritarianism, adventurism in foreign policy, mythologisation, imperialism and chauvinism

    Why is this? The Modern Russian state was born as a reaction to a revolution, well-known as “perestroika”. The beginning of “perestroika” had most attributes of a revolutionary situation: mass activity, the inability for the power to operate as before and the unwillingness of people to live as before. We can discuss, what was the essence of the Soviet Union, but for members of our organisation it is clear, that in the USSR there was not socialism as described by Karl Marx. Most of us consider, that it there was state capitalism in the Soviet Union. But not the state capitalism, rising from private capitalism, which precedes socialism, but early state capitalism, which assists in industrialisation. So we consider that “perestroika” was a bourgeois-democratic revolution.

    The real power in Russia belongs only to Putin. Democratic institutions are declarative but do not function. Our “sovereign democracy” means only that it does not matter for the power, what the rest of the world think of its crimes. A clear example of the adventurism in Russian foreign policy is the occupation of Crimea and support of the Luhansk and Donetsk “peoples republics”. It has cost a lot of money, it has caused international sanctions, it has taken many people’s life’s. One of ideological myths used for it, is the myth of the “Russian world”. It is not the only myth; we can find a lot of others.
    Russian foreign policy is imperialist in its character; it aims to keep the post-soviet countries under the influence of Russia.

    Chauvinism can also be found in domestic policy. In summer 2013, after a worker from Dagestan (a Russian citizen) killed one man in Moscow, police organised a round-up of migrants, those from Asian countries. There were organised real concentration camps to keep them in.

    The regime is also strongly conservative in its social and economic policy. It supports private property, while its owners stay loyal to the power. The Russian state defines itself as a “social state”, but cuts the support of education, medicine and other aspects of the social sphere. Education and medicine become are no longer free to citizens.

    Why Russia is not yet fascist? The repressions are not so strong and extensive to define the regime fascist. But this may change in any day. We do not understand how some socialists in Europe have sympathy for the Russian state; it would appear that it is the far-right politicians who truly ‘understand Putin’. Socialists can only be opposed to this power and support the workers struggle for our rights.

    Tatyana Shavshukova, of the Russian social-democratic group “Left Socialist Action”

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Perestroika was the beginning of capitalist counterrevolution in the USSR. It was only “revolutionary” in the way that neoliberalism is “revolutionary”, but far more important because it had to eliminate qualitatively more extensive social property than is found even under social-democratic capitalism.

      In fact, what happened in Russia under Yeltsin, the heir and continuator of Perestroika, was far more like fascist counter-revolution than anything that has happened under Putin.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        LOL…Lenin and his Bolsheviks did not usher in socialism in the USSR, all they did was introduce state capitalism. But what elements of Perestroika are/were you opposed to? The people living in the USSR certainly weren’t.
        But to go back into the history of the USSR, which of the 15 points the Kronstadt mutineers made do you disagree with?
        Russia under Yeltsin was a fascist counter revolution? What are you on about! So Yeltsin abolished elections? Imprisoned Jews, gypsies, communists etc and set up concentration camps?

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Yeltsin’s counter-revolution, particularly his October, 1993 self-coup, had many of the characteristics of fascism, including in the armed attack on the parliament, the banning of opposition parties and groups, including especially defenders of the Soviet system, and the suppression of independent media. It’s interesting how that major coup, that provided the conditions for the looting of Soviet collective property by imperialist capital, has been whited out of most discussion of modern Russian history.


        BTW, there is nothing about fascism that requires racial or ethnic discrimination, and certainly not discrimination particularly against Jews and Roma, while many societies, e.g. ‘Israel’, that institutionally and violently practice such discrimination, maintain bourgeois-democratic rights for the oppressor population.

        Regarding Kronstadt, there were serious problems with the Bolsheviks’ response to that uprising, as there were with their reaction to the Makhno movement, though there is also no doubt that right-wing elements played a big role in the leadership of the Kronstadt uprising and that they would have used their control of that base to open the way for an invasion from the West.

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    “early state capitalism, which assists in industrialisation”
    Rose by any other name…it’s just capitalism and the state variety is not very efficient at that.
    Is anybody seriously suggesting that private capitalism does not assist in industrialisation!

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Compare China to India, or Russia to Turkey, to see the difference. This is not to say that more rapid industrialization is necessarily a good thing for humanity and the planet.

  6. Andrew Coates said,

    And on Facebook from Jim M.

    “Fascists, neo-Confederates, and U.S. Communists in Moscow
    Posted on February 10, 2015 by valdinoci

    Three Way Fight is reporting that the International Action Center (founded as a front group for the crypto-Trotskyist sect the Workers World Party) recently attended a Moscow conference along with Far Right groups like the white nationalist League of the South and the Eurasian Youth Union, a fascist Duginist group.”


  7. matthewblott said,

    What now? Well they’re not supporting Islamic State I suppose although thinking about it I’m really not 100 per cent certain?

  8. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    The article by the M/Star is madness on an unimaginable scale. Communism is detested by muslims which is contrary to the fact that the will of allah prevails on everthing that happens on the planet. Communists are supposed to learn from history. It seems they have not studded islam and have forgotten the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Actually, communism, in its Soviet, Maoist and ultra-left variants, was very influential in Muslim countries, from Indonesia to Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iran to Syria to parts of North Africa, and was only defeated by a combined effort of Western imperialism and well-financed political Islam. Of course, the unprincipled struggles between various ‘communist’ groups and their opportunist errors, like the popular-frontist support for Sukarno in Indonesia, didn’t help.

  9. Steven Johnston said,

    I’m no fan of the USSR but technically it was not an invasion, the government in Afghanistan I believe asked them for military support. But yes, they should not have gone in as the war killed millions.
    But I agree that Islam is a very right-wing and reactionary religion. There seems little that is progressive about it. Why the Morning Star is following this crazy “war on muslims” line is beyond me. As there is no such war.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      The war in Afghanistan was started by the CIA’s arming and financing, along with super-rich Arab Islamists like Osama bin Laden, of a counter-revolutionary insurrection-cum-invasion against a pro-Soviet leftist government. The Soviet military intervention came afterwards.

  10. Jim Denham said,

  11. Steven Johnston said,

    I am guessing that Aaron (not his real name!), is a lover of the DPRK, so he must be either a member of the NCP or one of Harpal Brar’s lot. Is he Dermot Hudson?
    If he is I’d love to know in what way health care in the DPRK puts the NHS to shame! But I accept that is going off topic.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      I have been known to personal and political acquaintances as ‘Aaron’ for most of my adult life, even though I never adopted the name legally. (Before the post-9/11 ‘Homeland Security’ self-coup, I was even able to have that as my name on my drivers’ license!)

      I know very little about the DPRK, although I certainly would have supported it against the U.S. imperialist attacks that began in 1945 and culminated in the war of 1950-53. But what is the NCP and who are Harpal Brar and Dermot Hudson? I suppose I could google them, but why bother?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Aaron, if you live in the US and supported the USSR then you certainly had the better deal that those that lived in the USSR and wanted to escape to the US.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Living in the U.S. with the privileges of citizenship and those of white skin, I also had a better deal than most of the non-white people, particularly those without imperialist-country citizenship, whose exploitation and expropriation provided the basis for the privileges people like me have enjoyed. I also had the opportunity, which I have had no desire to accept, of taking advantage of my Jewish parentage and participating in the rip-off of the Palestinian people by the Zionist colonial project.

      • Jim Denham said,

        You’re a guilt-ridden, racially sick liberal-turned wadical, aren’t you Aaron. You’d fit in well over here with the crack-pots and apologists of something like ‘Counterfire’.

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