Anibal: In support of one side of imperialist capitalism. Michael Roberts and similar ideologues

Two sides of the war. Left: victim of Russian bombing. Right: victims of fascist militia of the Ukrain; probably conscientious objectors or deserters. Both sides: victims of imperialism. (From the editors)

A part of the bourgeois political left which claims to be an alternative to classical social democracy and the old Stalinism is taking sides in the war in Ukraine, in this case in favour of Ukrainian capital… and therefore of its various allies, from the USA to the EU, with NATO omnipresent.

In the face of this inter-imperialist conflict the alibis to support one side and at the same time not to be noticed one after the other in this left-wing mystifying media. And one could not miss Michael Roberts, who has been lamenting since Euromaidan the dismantling of Ukrainian state capitalism “in favour of capitalist interests”.
He adds in conclusion:
“Ukraine is caught between the interests of Western imperialism and Russian crony capitalism.”
Ukraine: trapped in a war zone” (Ukraine: trapped in a war zone)

For Roberts state capitalism is socialism, he defends it with fallacious arguments as the left-wing intelligentsia of the capitalist system tends to do.what is desirable for him is that the state accumulates the bulk of ownership over the means of production and there is “economic democracy”. In the end, the alleged alternative to social democracy and Stalinism unites what is most bourgeois and characteristic of both:

Michael Roberts on the role of state enterprises, the market and the law of value. Necessary communist critique.

Roberts and others like him have described China’s powerful capitalist economy as “non-imperialist”:

Carchedi and Roberts. Imperialism, China. Studies, Contributions and Derailments of Marxoacademism.

Claudio Katz and Michael Roberts on China’s economy.

Let us look at another recent text for a significant quote from Roberts’ conclusion:
“Ukraine has become a pawn in this confrontation between Western imperialism and Russian crony capitalism. It is suffering like all small states in geopolitical confrontations, such is the intertwining of politics and economics”. (Ukraine: The Economic Consequences of the War. By Michael Roberts)

A significant conclusion by Roberts:
Imperialism is limited to “the West”, Russia is just “crony capitalism”, the poor, and Ukraine, a small, suffering state. Now we know which side to choose! Thanks Roberts!

These kinds of Marxo-academist ideologues are specialists in surreptitiously sneaking in all kinds of bourgeois interests and causes. To support one side in the inter-imperialist war is to support capital against the proletariat.

Another such as Rolando Astarita has used all his efforts to defend “Ukraine and its right to self-determination”, on the basis of the Leninist theses of the “Ukraine and its right to self-determination”. on the basis of the Leninist theses that have caused so much misery to the proletariat: Reflections from a socialist approach on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Against this mystifying reasoning of bourgeois leftism, which is used to take sides in inter-imperialist wars, Herman Gorter, as an internationalist communist, clearly stated with rigour and critical lucidity in 1914:

“… imperialism is on the march with the aspiration of the most powerful states to extend their territories. Imperialism, although it may appear to be nationalist and at war only with its national proletariat, is in reality the unity of all the imperialist countries of the world which are contending for world domination; that is why it wages war as a totality against the world proletariat. And in order to respond to this joint action of world capital against the world proletariat, the latter must, for the first time, launch an action on an international scale.” (Herman Gorter. “Imperialism, World War and Social Democracy”. 1914: Chapter I. Imperialism and Chapter X. The Future).

Source in Spanish translation.

In English the text in its entirety.

What is at stake is to set in motion the internationalist revolutionary defeatism, the struggle against all sides and their bourgeoisies for the world revolution, confronting at the same time those who, speaking of socialism, lead us towards the defense of one side or towards the disabling rhetoric of democratic pacifism, as is the case of Iglesias and UP (Unidos Podemos) in Spain, who defend “a solution based on negotiation and diplomacy”. .to which the PCE adds the defense of an “integrated common European defense policy”… In other words, support for diplomacy and the militarism of EU capitalism.


Anibal. En apoyo  de  un bando  del capitalismo imperialista. Michel Roberts  e ideólogos  semejantes.

One Comment on “Anibal: In support of one side of imperialist capitalism. Michael Roberts and similar ideologues

  1. Pingback: Ukraine: Charles Reeve leans on Michael Roberts, Trotsky, and Lenin | Left wing communism

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