Below, we reproduce the intervention of comrade Andrei Rumata at the founding conference of the Ukrainian Socialist League.
We live in a capitalist world where the law of profit reigns in society and in people’s heads. Today, any sane person who has not yet broken with the perception of the real world will not deny that the stratification of society into classes, in modern capitalism, continues to exist to this day. As you know, the main opposing classes in the capitalist formation are: the dominant exploiting bourgeoisie, on the one hand, and the oppressed working class, creator of all material wealth, on the other. The struggle of these classes gave rise to different theoretical, ideological and political interpretations of the world. But if the aim of bourgeois interpretations was to justify its privileges and its exploitation in every possible way, then the working class found its desire to free itself from exploitation and understanding of the world in a scientific teaching: Marxism.
The Ukraine of the 21st century is one of the links in the chain of world capitalism and endures all the pains and adversities of bourgeois exploitation, which means that the Ukrainian working class also needs Marxism.
The history of Marxism, first of all, is the history of the struggle of the working class against its oppression, its trampled rights and, ultimately, for its domination, as the guarantor of just labor relations in society. Domination, as it is supposed, is always expressed in politics, which means that the aim of Marxism is to ensure that the true workers’ party, which expresses the interests of the working majority in society, is able to enforce these interests at the political and legislative level. But if the slave class demands to assert its political power, it is not to dominate others, but to destroy and abolish any domination and exploitation of man over man, and this means the elimination of class society.
Of course, Marxism is not safe from distortions and perversions, and the history of the USSR is proof of this. The Soviet Union was a monstrous deformation of socialist ideas and relations, as well as of Marxism itself, under a totalitarian slab of bureaucratic power. But at the same time, the tragic mistakes of the past show and teach what isolation leads to in the struggle for socialism. The cause of the emancipation of the working class is the lot of the workers of the whole world! Internationalism is a fundamental and irreplaceable condition on which the Ukrainian Socialist League is founded, as part of the International Socialist League and the fourth international.
Another of the most important objectives of the Marxist party is the establishment of a true people’s democracy, which can only be realized under socialist relations. How is socialist democracy expressed? In the first place, it is a public dialogue, whose participants are labor collectives, unions, owners of the socialized means of production. The slogan “all power to independent unions” should be the first step towards the realization of democracy for the working masses. Democratic dialogue can and should be expressed in the development of a national economic plan. Without it, a planned economy is a dead instrument since it cannot exist without democracy and workers’ discussion. Socialist democracy is a planned economy.
The main task of the Ukrainian Socialist League (USL) is not only to conquer political power, but to help the entire working class of Ukraine to rise up and establish its true democratic democracy.
The tasks of the moment in Ukraine
According to the Ukrainian Constitution (Article 5), the people are the main bearers of sovereignty and the only source of power in the country. The USL, in turn, wants to emphasize its support for this position, as the workers represent almost two-thirds – and perhaps more – of the country’s population: it is their interests that are relevant to Ukrainian Marxists! One of the urgent tasks of the USL is to raise the political consciousness of the working masses towards a historic mission, for the sake of establishing a real democracy. To be more specific, we see this incubation in the independent workers´ unions, our support will be aimed in that direction.
Right now, with great regret, a war is being fought in Ukraine. As supporters of internationalism, Marxists cannot admit this war, which responds essentially to the geopolitical interests of big capital and the oligarchy. Only the Ukrainian working class can achieve national independence from all aggressors from abroad!
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the immediate prospects for the socio-economic processes in Ukraine, which has long been a semi-colony for other countries in the international capitalist division of labor. The International Monetary Fund has long demanded that Ukraine introduce a land market and lift the ban on selling productive land. The land market will be launched on July 1, 2021. What does this mean from a Marxist point of view? This means that capitalist contradictions will grow, land ownership will be centralized in a few hands, and most people will lose almost all productive ownership – and I will point out that Ukraine is a predominantly agrarian country – thus falling into the proletariat. The working class will grow and the claims of a democratically planned economy along with it.
Many of the bourgeois politicians call for Ukrainian land to be closed to foreign capital until 2024, when a referendum will have to be passed, but foreign capital is already here in the form of productive forces and loans. Can anyone think that they will not find loopholes in the new laws for their own benefit? Absolutely nobody! The IMF fought for the land market in Ukraine to privatize and foreignize it and it will not halt its march to this goal!
The Ukrainian working class needs Marxism, just as the Ukrainian working class is necessary for the international interests of the workers of all countries, for the sake of a better future for all, where there is no place for exploitation, discrimination, hunger and lies, and freedom, equality and fraternity reign for all the peoples of the Earth.