War of the rich against the poor. By Victor Shapinov

War of the rich against the poor. By Victor Shapinov

Blaming internal problems on an external enemy: the mechanism is old, but, Ukrainian authorities are convinced, still effective. If Adolf Hitler saw discontent with his own regime as a worldwide “Jewish-Bolshevik” conspiracy, then the nationalist leaders in Kiev want to label all the discontented as agents of Putin and the FSB [Federal Security Service, Russian intelligence agency]. And it is not just about the so-called «pro-Russian» protests (in which the majority of participants were in fact for regional autonomy and the rights of the Russian language, against the excesses of nationalists), but those disgruntled with the regime’s social and economic policy as well.

The plan of the Russian authorities has changed, says Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, «from political instability and separatist ideology to social and economic destabilization.»

«And those who participated in the rallies for Novorossia, who declared ‘Let’s join Russia,’ are already beginning to talk about pensions, salaries, and social problems. The same faces — FSB agents, sent here decades ago,” emphasizes the prime minister.

A similar statement was made by the Secretary of National Security and Defense Andrei Paruby, so that we are not dealing with a single statement, but with a certain political line of those in power. Here are the Kremlin’s plans, according to Paruby: «We have information that in the near term (some of their analysts say September-October), a new attempt to destabilize the situation in eight southern and eastern regions of Ukraine is planned. They hope that unpopular reforms that have to be made by the Ukrainian government will lead to social unrest and growth of dissent, which may become a new breeding ground for destabilization.»

By declaring disadvantaged citizens as foreign agents ahead of time, Yatsenuk openly declares war against the poor in the interests of the rich. Recently he proposed, in his own words, «the most ambitious privatization program in 23 years.»

When speaking at the Maidan against the Yanukovych regime’s corruption, the neoliberals and ultra-nationalists, it turns out, were only unhappy with the extent of theft. They were not satisfied with Yanukovych’s slow attack on the socio-economic interests of working people. Now Yanukovych is gone and the new regime goes on the attack against the poor.

In the same “hate speech,” Yatsenyuk compared state-owned property with the rebels in Donbass: «I believe that any state-owned companies, holdings, and other vermin which was created, are ineffective companies that focus only on looting funds received under state guarantees.» The word «vermin» has firmly entered the lexicon of the prime minister; he applies the same term to the «separatists» and un-privatized part of the national wealth.

Yatsenyuk’s language equalizing state property and «terrorist» insurgents shows that Ukraine is not waging a «war of the West and the East,» of Ukrainians and Russian, but a class war of the rich against the poor.

The social block formed on the Maidan, led by the oligarchy and including nationalist intellectuals, the «middle class» and petty proprieters infected with Western ideology, clearly defines its class enemy: «Donetsk is a beast of burden». This «class racism» against the working majority of the southeast rallies a rather broad social stratum, from those who support the neo-Nazis to the “man on the street” in Kiev, to back policies in the interests of billionaires like Kolomoisky and Poroshenko.

Contrary to the illusions of Ukrainian and Russian nationalists, the People’s Republics are not a civilizational or geopolitical enemy for Kiev, but a class enemy. Ideological tinsel — Nazi runes on the one hand, icons and banners on the other — prevent them from seeing the «earthly» meaning: a war of the rich against the poor, where ideology is designed only to confuse and hide the truth of the social struggle.

People who naively equalize the Kiev regime and its opponents on the grounds that «there and there are nationalists» completely ignore the social background of the conflict. They do not want to see that ALL of the Ukrainian oligarchy is on the side of Kiev, and the Kiev junta are enemies of the hardworking people of Donetsk and Lugansk. They do not want to see that Kiev offers large-scale privatization, while the Donbass — though timidly — declares nationalization. They do not want to see which side is supported by rich imperialist countries headed by the United States, and on which side are the sympathies of the «Third World» and anti-imperialists. In general, these people, sometimes even calling themselves leftists, are completely unable to apply the social and class analysis bequeathed by Marx, preferring instead to remain in the world of ideologies, in the world of «false consciousness.»


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