From the November-December 2022 issue of News & Letters
Overseas Appeal from Japan
June 27, 2022
The war against Ukraine carried on by the Russian ruler Vladimir Putin is a brutal war of aggression aimed at exterminating Ukraine and incorporating it into “Great Russia.” Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been massacred, and more than a million people have been forcibly deported to the Russian Far East, Siberia, and elsewhere. We should never ever tolerate this barbarism of the century perpetrated by Putin, “today’s Hitler”!…
We call on workers the world over. Let us stir up a storm of antiwar struggle in every corner of the world to crush Putin’s war! Don’t isolate Ukrainian people battling the invaders! Let us fan the flames of antiwar struggle to besiege Putin the slaughterer and drive him away!…
His biggest miscalculation is that he did not imagine that Armed Forces and the toiling masses would unite to fight Russia so bravely, so strongly, raising their rallying cries, “Never give in to Russia!” “Don’t return the country to the Russian rule of thirty years ago!” Putin the petty-czar did not give the least thought to their deep resentment, kept alive among the Ukrainian masses against Russia as “the oppressor” (since Stalin), and their strong fighting spirit, so that he dug his own grave.…
Nonetheless, what are the so-called leftists of the world doing at this very moment when thousands of Ukrainian people are being sunk into seas of blood!
Some say both Putin and Zelensky are to blame, for the latter has brought in NATO. They are trying to impose “surrender” on Ukraine, now in a life-and-death battle….Others shamelessly say “Russia is just making a self-defensive response,” thereby degrading themselves as agents for Putin.
Not a single word of denunciation do they utter when the would-be czar Putin is devastating neighboring countries and massacring people. Those “leftists” who do not condemn it are unworthy to be called so.
We know that many conscientious leftists denounce Putin’s war and are fighting shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians. However, it is also a fact that not a small number of so-called leftists are showing anti-working-class responses as mentioned above.
They always say “We stand by the oppressed.” But they have no indignation against Putin, who is indiscriminately killing Ukrainians. Neither do they have the standpoint of “living together and suffering together” with Ukrainians exposed to outrageous gunfire. Rather, they recommend Ukrainians, who are fighting for their lives, to abandon resistance. They have revealed the arrogance and degeneration of the self-styled leftists who are defanged and live in peace in imperialist countries!
Lenin regards it as a “just war” when an invaded nation counterattacks a war of aggression by a “great power.” He encouraged the working class of the oppressed nation to resolutely war against invaders. Those who look on themselves as leftists must carry through his revolutionary spirit in today’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Many so-called leftists, who cannot face up to Putin’s war, thereby revealing their miserable state, retain the feeling that they should defend Russia, the country that was formerly the “Soviet Union,” in opposition to imperialist powers. This is because they have never carried out a serious confrontation at all with Stalinism….
Comrades. Let us denounce and break the degeneration of so-called leftists! Now is the time to resolutely create an international struggle to crush Putin’s war!…
We call on both Ukrainian and Russian working people to fight in solidarity with each other by reviving the great spirit of the soviet-based revolution in 1917-18, in which the proletariat, peasants and soldiers of both nations joined together.
Working people all over the world, envelop Putin the massacrer with the flame of anger! Create antiwar struggles to break through the crisis of a war erupting with Taiwan as a focus!…
We call on the world’s working people. Let us fight all out to break through the crisis of the outbreak of another world war! Fighting people all over the world, arise together with us!
—The Executive Committee for the 60th International Antiwar Assembly
Read the full appeal here: http://www.jrcl.org/english/e-AG2022.html
Message of solidarity
We welcome your call for working people all over the world to unite to crush Putin’s brutal war of aggression, which you correctly do not fear to label genocide. We welcome your firm solidarity with the Ukrainian people fighting the invasion. We join with your warning of the rising danger of a nuclear war and the clash between U.S.-Japan and China-Russia, all acting as militaristic forces of capitalist-imperialism. We recognize that these dangers call for humanity to abolish the whole global system of capitalism and the imperialism that is its natural outgrowth. We are in full solidarity with your opposition to the constitutional revision and strengthening of the U.S.-Japan military alliance.
Like you, we support growth of antiwar struggle around the world. We always strive to keep it unseparated from revolutionary struggle to abolish capitalism and replace it with a new human society, and oppose defense of or conciliation with capitalism or with particular capitalist governments, whether they are the states of the U.S., Russia, China or Japan, and even when it is part of the Left that conciliates these capitalist state powers.
The failure of much of today’s left to oppose Putin resolutely is in part due to the failure to recognize that the challenge of Stalinism was not only political but rather could only be met by making new beginnings in philosophy of revolution. Anti-Stalinism and theoretical comprehension of state-capitalism are a necessary first negation, which can only be completed by such new philosophical beginnings rooted in a return to Marx’s Humanism and its roots in the Hegelian dialectic. In this time of multiple, connected existential crises, the future of revolution and therefore the future of humanity depend on it.
Onward in solidarity toward the end of capitalism, imperialism, genocide, militarism, racism, narrow nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, and heterosexism, and toward revolution in permanence with the foundation of a society with totally new human relations!
—The National Editorial Board of News and Letters Committees, Aug. 1, 2022