Ukraine: nationalism, capitalism and human misery

The situation in Ukraine is alarming and seriously worrying for the prospects for peace in Europe and beyond.

The military intervention by Russian forces is, most frequently, being reported and analysed by the media as the crazed action of a megalomaniac and empire builder. The reality is, of course, much more complex.

The actions of the European Union, NATO, the United States and the government of Ukraine have contributed to this situation every bit as much as Putin’s government.

The conflict is being driven by competition between two capitalist blocs for Ukraine’s markets, natural resources and infrastructure. 

Neither will admit to that publicly. Instead, they, and their apologists, deliberately distract and confuse public understanding with talk of ‘defending democracy’, ‘self-defence’, the ‘freedom to choose alliances’ or ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘reclaiming national territory’.

The Russian air strikes and missile attacks together with the, almost decade long, armed attacks by the Ukrainian government against the Donbas region and their collaboration with neo-Nazi gangs has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and military alike and untold human misery.

Our support must be with the progressive forces in both countries who struggle against the twin evils of nationalism and capitalism and with all those opposed to this war.

To fully understand developments in Ukraine they must be seen and analysed in a class context, The European Union, NATO and Russian nationalism are predatory and deeply reactionary forces. We are currently seeing the consequences of that being played out across Ukraine at the cost of the lives of ordinary people and of the armed forces of both states. 

Unless there is an immediate military de-escalation, the closure of military bases on foreign soil, a return home of all troops and the dissolution of offensive military alliances like NATO, then ordinary people, Ukrainian and Russian alike, will be sucked further into the meat grinder of imperialist war.

Nationalism and competing capitalist interests are currently tearing Ukraine apart. The ‘winner’ will take the spoils of war. The losers, of those who survive, will be the ordinary working people of Ukraine and Russia, of Europe and beyond. 

The imperative for progressive people everywhere is to expose the true class nature of this conflict and redouble our efforts to overcome capitalism and nationalism as we strive to build a just and peaceful socialist society.

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