Thursday, November 12, 2015

The one "tragic flaw" of the Donbass uprising--the first national uprising against the oligarchic counter-revolution, which has been raging in the East for more than 30 years

El Murid shared on his blog and FB page an excerpt from his forthcoming book. His main thesis is that, in reaction and response to the seizure of power and regime change in Ukraine, which brought together Western  geopolitics, its long strategy, oligarchs and fascism, the south-east of Ukraine spontaneously attempted a people's uprising and revolution (hence also the otherwise seemingly oddly named "people's republics"). However, this uprising was or is now defeated, El Murid observes and then lists or singles out the following reasons or causes of this first major anti-liberal and anti-oligarchic people's uprising in Russia and in the whole former East (October of 1993 in Moscow was more of a coup and anti-coup struggle than any broader uprising):

1. the lack of formulated, clear political goals, programs, and strategy
2. to this, I would add, also the lack of any proper political organization of the uprising (the role of Boroday was to make sure that none of this would happen in the first place; and speaking of the post-perestroika communists reminds me more of Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek's concept of the "party of modest progress within the limits of standing prohibitions" ("the law") than of anything which once used to make communism a "real political force" (see the first lines of The Manifesto).
3. since in these matters, timing is often everything, as they say, El Murid is right to point out that the expectation of the people of Donbass that Russia would help them out and repeat the Crimean scenario, was paradoxically self-defeating for, in anticipation, the were waiting far more than they mobilized, not to mention trying to take the initiative or act with sufficient decisiveness in mobilizing society and people's power, which the crisis demanded.

Donetsk, like Kiev and Moscow, was waiting together with Kurginyan to see Strelkov and his men finished off in besieged Slavyansk, while Vostok and Oplot were busy guarding and protecting oligarchs' property and assets in the city.

4. the oligarchic character of Russia's political and economic power, which, by its character and interests, has been antagonistic to any such people's uprising.

In part, El Murid says in the conclusion of his excerpt the following:

Ожидать от Владимира Путина, олицетворяющего и представлющего клептократическое олигархическое государство, поддержки восставшего народа против представителей точно такого же клептократического соседнего государства, столь же нелепо. Путин, как и вся правящая элита Украины и России, является смертельным врагом любых движений и течений, посмевших встать против существующего порядка вещей - даже если они и не помышляют о "странном", а лишь посмели иметь свое мнение и отстаивать его вооруженным путём, пусть даже в целях самозащиты и самообороны.
Восставший Донбасс (я понимаю под этим определением именно восставший народ, а не бандформирования олигархов Донбасса, маскирующиеся под его вывеской), не отдавая (а точнее, не желая отдавать) себе отчет во враждебном отношении к себе со стороны российского высшего руководства и правящей в России элиты, так и не смог сформулировать цели, которые могли превратить его в субъект событий.
Возвращаясь к началу главы и к определению социального субъекта, можно сделать следующий вывод: народное восстание на Донбассе, хотя и являлось реальным социальным субъектом, так и не сумело сформулировать свои цели и вытекающие из них задачи, а значит - не имело шансов на развитие. Не имея возможности развиваться, оно застыло в том виде, в котором возникло, и не смогло приспособиться к быстро меняющимся условиям войны. Очень быстро - в считанные месяцы - восстание оказалось парализованным. В такой ситуации любое восстание обречено на поражение. Что и произошло на Донбассе.
This brings me to my thoughts and my thoughts on the thoughts presented above. Strelkov, Mozgovoy, Ischenko, Bednov and others were, indeed, spontaneously or miraculously emerged leaders and voices of the people's uprising. The whole Minsk deal is based on the premise and imperative of closing not only the project of Novorossiya, but especially of this very people's uprising. Thus, when Putin was speaking of the desired prospect of "normalization," the word "normalization" is really here just a cipher for the expressed desire and program of closing off (or killing off) the people's uprising.

In this regard, if one cardinal (however understandable and perhaps inevitable) "mistake" or "blunder" is to be singled out and emphasized on the part of the aborted or terminated people's uprising and hence also on the part of people like Strelkov and Mozgovoy, then it was the utter neglect of and indifference to the question of political power and its organization on the part of Strelkov (the utter neglect was put aside in cases of utter military necessity and in cases needed to ensure necessary discipline and order) and his associates and the similar limitation on the part of Mozgovoy, though, in the case of Mozgovoy, one cannot speak of utter indifference or neglect. Mozgovoy did understand what was the key political question, but, as with Strelkov, his resources and possibilities were very constrained and, like Strelkov, had no political organization by his side except for his relatively small brigade.

The uprising (or the revolution) suffered from the trust in the paternal trusteeship and good will of Russian post-communist and anti-communist oligarchy, which could not help seeing in Ukraine's fascist oligarchs its "respected partners." The uprising failed because it failed to mobilize the people and, failing to mobilize the people and society, the uprising also failed to seize and use political power. It was enough for people like Boroday or Pushilin to show up, and the question of power in relation to the declared people's republics was stolen and forgotten.

People believed and trusted that by showing up as a people at the referendum on May 11, the main work would have been done. And I don't think that they can be blamed for thinking and hoping so.

In a word, the people failed to (re)establish a functioning system of the soviets (and not only in the towns, but also in the factories), and the uprising did not form a united political organization which would also give and secure to the uprising its form, spirit and accountability. And for this to happen people needed to get better and faster organized, and for this to happen, besides Strelkov, the military commander, and Mozgovoy, the voice and the visionary of the uprising, there also needed to be at least few political leaders and organizers whose caliber and skills would match those of Strelkov or Mozgovoy. But these did not show up.

As it turned out, if, several generations back, the communists were the undisputed masters of the art and science of revolution, their children an grandchildren (many of whom disowned them), learned nothing that was worth learning from their grandfathers. Society of fresh, new blank slates exacted its price--and just something to remember--blank slates are and can be programmed only from the outside. By definition.

In March-May of 2014, political power in eastern Ukraine was up there for a grasp by the people (or by Moscow). People were mainly waiting for Moscow to make the move, but by the end of April of 2014, if not earlier, Moscow decided and said to the junta: "Please, you move and take the power back. In exchange, we will call you partners and even legitimate ones."

In this regard, pro-oligarchic battalions Vostok and Plot played both objectively and subjectively an anti-revolutionary, counter-revolutionary role.

Revolution that does not know how to properly and fast enough mobilize and organize (its) power is like an army which tries to meet exigencies of war without having hardly any order or discipline, not to mention mobilization.

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