Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Disastrous Effects of the Restoration of Capitalism - Ukraine

(Original Title) - Theses on Ukraine

The root cause of the crisis in Ukraine is to be found in the disastrous effects of the restoration of capitalism. The destruction of the planned economy was a tremendous setback not only from the point of view of the economy, but also from a social point of view.

From the ashes of the planned economy emerged a brutal capitalist regime, based on the large scale theft of state property by different gangs of crooks and Mafiosi, the oligarchs, which came to control the economy and as a result, the political system.

Mafia-style capitalism resulted in endemic instability with western imperialism taking advantage of the crisis in Russia to exert their influence over the Ukraine, unsettling the balance of power in the region for a whole period, thus creating the conditions for the present crisis.

Some of the oligarchs thought their interests were better served with an alliance with the West, others were aligned with Russia, but their overriding motivation was the maximisation of profit at any cost, through legal and, mostly, illegal means. On this basis it was impossible to establish even the semblance of a functioning bourgeois democracy. One corrupt and authoritarian bourgeois regime followed another.

At the end of 2013 the then president Yanukovich decided to suspend, at the last minute, the signing of an association agreement with the EU, and decided instead to sign a deal with Russia. Up until that point he had ruled in the interest of the oligarchs and followed an IMF inspired programme of further privatisation and austerity cuts, alienating popular support for his rule even in the South-East of Ukraine where most of his electoral base was.

The only reason he broke with the West was because he thought he could get a better deal from Russia. After the collapse of Stalinism, German capitalism followed a policy of expanding eastwards and was prepared to spend large sums of money to ensure its domination in the region. But in 2013, in the middle of the most severe crisis of capitalism in Europe, it was no longer so keen to spend the amount of money that would have been required to absorb into the EU Ukraine (which was facing a deep economic recession). Yanukovich tried to play the West against Russia and vice-versa in order to get the best deal.

His decision not to sign the treaty with the EU was the spark for the movement which became known as Euromaidan. The movement had a certain degree of mass support amongst those sections of the population (mainly the West and Centre of the country) which looked towards the West, with the illusion that somehow by linking up to the EU their living standards would rise or they would experience a repetition of the Polish “miracle”. This was a reactionary illusion, but one which was able to mobilise a section of society in protests against Yanukovich.

Complete story at - Theses on Ukraine

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