the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Mar 28, 2022
The deadly and destructive war in Ukraine has only just begun. That’s what President Biden proclaimed in a major address in eastern Poland, near the border with Ukraine on March 26. Of course, this could all be part of an ongoing extortion and negotiation.
But taking Biden at his word, he is promising the Ukrainian people—as well as the Russian soldiers, most of whom are conscripts—years more of blood and destruction. “We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead,” said President Biden, specifying that “this battle will not be won in days or months, either.”
This war is not just in Ukraine. Biden also proclaimed economic war to crush the Russian economy. The Russian oligarchs will not take the brunt of this onslaught. No, it will be the Russian working class and poor. Most were already struggling to make ends meet before the war broke out. Biden’s economic war will make conditions that much worse.
And for what? Certainly the U.S. government is not supporting Ukraine in order to protect Ukrainian “democracy” from Russian “autocracy,” as Biden lied about in his speech. The Ukrainian government might formally have elections. But those elections are little more than a cover for the domination of the same kind of oligarchs and gangsters as the Russian government.
No, the U.S. government and military are supporting the Ukrainian fight in order to trap Russia in an endless war in order to weaken and bleed it. For Biden and the U.S. military, the Ukrainian people are just pawns, a way to get at Russia.
Yes, Putin is a dictator. He represents the Russian oligarchs. His regime tries to crush the Russian working class and poor. And the blood of the invasion and ongoing occupation of Ukraine is on his hands.
But this war is much more than the work of one dictator. It is a product of U.S. imperialist policy that has been aimed against Russia for decades.
In 1991, the bureaucrats at the head of the old Soviet Union—out for their own aggrandizement and enrichment—split that country into 15 separate countries. This split-up also broke apart the old Soviet economy, leading to an unprecedented economic collapse. The U.S. ruling class took advantage of this collapse by incorporating many of the former Soviet republics into the U.S. imperialist world order, one by one.
But the U.S. had a very different policy toward Russia, which was, by far, the biggest of the former Soviet republics. It was the rump of what was left of the old Soviet Union after the 1991 break-up. It had maintained a small amount of independence, due to the gigantic accomplishments set in motion by the workers revolution in 1917. But that revolution, which was isolated because revolutions in other countries had failed, was partially strangled and degenerated, to the advantage of the growing bureaucracy.
After the 1991 break-up, U.S. imperialism gradually surrounded Russia with military bases, troops and missiles—all aimed at Russia.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was meant to relieve that isolation somewhat by the usual methods of the Russian bureaucrats, through violence and extortion. But it backfired. The invasion dug a ditch of blood between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples and played directly into the hands of the U.S. imperialists, which brought in even more military might aimed at Russia.
So far, the leaders of both the U.S. and Russia have been careful to avoid a direct military confrontation. Most likely, this war is only just beginning. But no matter what happens, the policy of the U.S., the lone superpower, is taking the world one step closer to a global conflagration.
Workers in this country have every reason to oppose U.S. imperialist expansion in Ukraine and against Russia. For this policy serves the interests only of the big owners of the U.S. banks, oil companies, military contractors, and other big companies. These same big companies are using inflation against us, driving down workers’ wages and laying waste to our public schools and health care—all for their own profit and enrichment. They are the ones behind Biden, when he drags U.S. workers into their ever more disastrous and barbaric wars that threaten to engulf the entire world.
The working class in this country has nothing in common with these billionaires, these warmongering barbarians.