Ukraine: we shouldn’t get behind Biden or Macron

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
October 3, 2022

After more than 200 days’ fighting, Putin could declare no military victories so he staged referendums and then the annexation of four regions in the South East of Ukraine. From Biden to Macron, imperialist leaders consider that Putin has made himself guilty of “cynicism” and “escalation” through what he has done.

As far as cynicism is concerned, the imperialist powers are no better than Putin. They weep over the infringed rights of the Ukrainian people while continuing to trample quite happily on the rights of numerous peoples from Iraq to Palestine, in the Sahel and in Yemen.

The escalation of the war is not to be found in Putin’s rantings but in the oh so material resources, arms, trainers, counsellors, etc. that the imperialist countries have supplied.

The most powerful imperialist, the US, has a long and bloody history in this domain: direct or indirect support for South-American dictatorships, financing of coups d’état, the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq… The American state has never hesitated to trample on the rights of individuals and peoples in order to maintain the domination of its capitalists and their interests across the globe.

The lesser powers do the same thing. When Macron claims to protect peoples, he’s always protecting the profits of the major French conglomerates such as TotalEnergies, Bolloré, Dassault etc.

Putin’s methods are brutal and criminal. He claims to be ensuring the safety of the Russian people when what he’s really doing is protecting the interests of the top ranks of Russian bureaucracy and oligarchs who got rich by grabbing whole segments of the economy when the USSR fell apart.

And Zelensky is nothing but the other side of the same coin: he claims to be working for the rights of Ukrainians but he’s working for a group of privileged bureaucrats and oligarchs who did the same as the Russian ones.

He has the imperialist camp, led by the US, behind him. They are using the opportunity to advance their pawns. They are warring with Russia through a third party, using Ukrainian lives and without having to justify the death of their soldiers to their own population. And they’re also making arms dealers happy because they can test their deadly weapons on the battlefield.

The imperialist leaders, from Biden to Macron, are using their political propaganda to make us accept as inevitable not only the war, no matter what form it takes and even if it spreads, but also any consequent sacrifices.

Last August, Macron stated clearly that we must accept “to pay the price of freedom”. Since then, he’s been giving all the bills to the workers! He’s taken measures against the unemployed and now he’s attacking retirement pensions. Economy minister Le Maire has explained that, with the crisis getting worse and the need to finance schools and hospitals, we have to accept to work harder and longer. For now, workers here are not in danger of dying in bombardments but they could die at work or of poverty while unemployed or in retirement. Many workers are going to lose their job before they are 64 or 65 years old and they’ll be driven into poverty, or have to live on minimum welfare.

Macron is single-minded, his aim is to help capitalists to maintain and exacerbate exploitation, here and everywhere else on the planet so that they can continue to accumulate profits. And we should trust his government in the face of war when problems are a matter of life or death? French imperialism, whose filthy war against Algerian independence left one million dead only sixty years ago, has never stopped its military interventions in Africa. Said to be in the name of peace, security and the war against terrorism, the true objectives are to maintain the regions concerned within France’s sphere of influence. And we should believe Macron when he claims today that he is speaking on behalf of the rights of the Ukrainian people?

As long as capitalists run society and the law of profit rules, barbarity, exploitation and war will remain the order of the day around the globe. As long as competition and the capitalist economic war dominate, all workers and poor classes will live under the threat of one day seeing economic war or local conflicts set the whole world ablaze and turn them into cannon fodder.

We mustn’t leave our fate in the hands of people who are irresponsible, who are crisis makers and war profiteers!

Nathalie Arthaud