Russian Tensions

February 2023 Forums General discussion Russian Tensions

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    An interesting slant on developments: “Putin and OPEC Join Forces to DESTROY the Liberal Globalist Order”. The basic thesis is that a new commodities-based world order with Putin and others at its head is coming into conflict with and threatening to bring down the current currency-based or financial world order controlled by a cabal of western states

    Here’s the clip if you can access FB

    Relatedly there’s this link too:


    But the US government is going to lift some of its sanctions against Venezuela to buy petroleum from them and authorize some American refineries to increase their production. Venezuela has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, and also they have found oil in Haiti according to the researchers the reserve is larger than Venezuela, and the whole Caribean basin has petroleum


    I must confess that I am surprised at the extent that the US-led capitalist bloc is prepared to go to weaken capitalist Russia — besides imposing pain on ordinary people, they are sacrificing the “neo-liberal world order” by abandoning free trade and disrupting the international payments system. It doesn’t make ordinary capitalist profit-making sense. They are imposing pain on themselves too.

    I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it has to do with the US capitalist state wanting to maintain its world domination. I say reluctantly because this is what the “anti-imperialist” left say. But they seem to be correct on this point, even if their support for any capitalist state opposing US imperialism is wrong.

    Can anyone think of some other explanation for the capitalist West apparently acting irrationally from a capitalist profit-seeking point of view?


    And risking nuclear war is also irrational from every point of view, isn’t it? But they’re doing it.


    ALB – Perhaps the US empire is a bit like the old Austro-Hungarian empire and sabre rattling because of perceived internal weakness and by the humiliation of Afghanistan? Let’s just hope that it doesn’t lead to the same catastrophic ending!


    “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it has to do with the US capitalist state wanting to maintain its world domination.”

    Welcome to the party. Took you long enough.


    I have a very interesting document — a study by the leftist Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko entitled ‘The Ukrainian Left during and after the Maidan protests.’ It is a study requested by the Die Linke delegation in the European Parliament. It covers the whole period from the overthrow of Yanukovych to the present war. I tried to upload it to the WSPUS website but was unable to, probably because the file is too big (a PDF file of 128 pages). I’ll email it to anyone on request (


    Thanks for sending me a copy but what has happened to Ishchenko? Has he been rounded up or forced into exile?

    Young Master Smeet

    Interesting, even intriguing, thesis. That it’s a conflict between two different models of capitalism — classical Western-style capitalism and “political capitalism” where the ruling capitalist class use the state to further their own personal interests (and so have an interest in extending the state’s borders and so a bigger state to feed upon).

    I am not sure it works as an explanation of Russian expansionism. There are obviously geo-political and economic factors involved too.

    And Putin as a Bonapartist like Louis Napoleon in France in the 1850s and 1860s?

    Stephen says Ishchenko has moved to Germany. A wise move as the regime in Kiev is unlikely to look favourably on the view that the war there is a conflict between two different models of capitalism.

    Bijou Drains

    My two penny’s worth is that the current situation is a very violent version of the situation that occurred re Brexit. The US capitalist class is not a homogenous entity and different sections have different objectives. As tax is a levy on capital, some sections of the capitalist class prefer spending on some areas of the state, others prefer different types of expenditure and others don’t want to spend anything.

    Small capitalists, that generally have home based markets don’t want to be taxed to pay for armaments and war weapons, when it doesn’t favour them (or like the Brexiteers, who don’t see the need for the cost of European regulation when they don’t trade in continental Europe). Other sections of the big capital (and also multinational) Capitalist Class, have a desire for expansion, in this case being Eastern Europe, and see the growing power of China (coupled with their acolytes Russia, Syria, Iran, et al) as a big threat. So spending on defence (aka attack) suits their situation.

    The Democrats are currently the Party of Big Capital, the section of capital who are happy to spend on defence, big infrastructure, worker welfare (to a point), and expansion in the East, because it increases their profitability. The Trumpian Republicans and their ilk, are now in the thrall of Small Capital (despite their claims to the contrary), who make their money within the North American markets.

    The MAGA movement, generally and ironically, would like a return to the US being a very much North American and South American, protectionist economy (going back to the 1920’s and 30’s. In contrast those who finance the Democrats see the US state as being the collective vehicle (financed by tax on general capital) created to ensure that the US multinationals continue to be top dog (following on the path of the 1940-onwards with the Marshall Plan, etc.)

    I also think that this section of the US and European Capitalist Class have been emboldened by the outcome of the Ukrainian War. The big bad wolf in recent years has been the threat of a growing Russian military threat. In reality the Russian Military threat appear to be far less of a threat (in conventional terms) than was previously thought.

    In terms of military hardware, for example, much of the recently developed Russian equipment has shown to be less potent than was “originally advertised”. The Russian main battle tank The T-90 has performed far less well than predicted. There are reports of the loss of 29 Russian T-90s (26 T-90A: 12 destroyed, 2 abandoned, 12 captured and 3 T-90M/MS: 1 destroyed, 1 abandoned, 1 captured). Taking into account that these figures may well be inaccurate, this must be balanced with the fact that the Ukrainians have shown several examples of what appear to be captured T-90s.

    This compares very poorly to the performance of other main battle tanks such as the Challenger 2, the M1 Abrahms and the French Leclerc. The “hawks” may think that they still have the upper hand, at least in terms of equipment. (The performance of Russian aircraft appears to be similarly underwhelming).

    They also may be starting to think that the highly praised Chinese military hardware may of a similar quality (Hence the hawkish response to Chinese expansionist policies).

    Of course a similar dynamic is going on within the Russian capitalist class. Those sections of Russia’s Capitalist Class, who made their money in the international trade area will be less than happy that their nice little racket is being disrupted and long for a return to the Vodka Cola years.

    The Putin party in contrast, like sharks in the sea, originally sensed the US-Western European alliance at a weak point, following the Afghanistan withdrawal. The knives may well be out as the Putin Party and those billionaires who made their money trading with the west, begin to create common cause.

    Of course the Working Class of either side have as much interest in the wellbeing of each side in the debate as the slaves of the American South had in a dispute between the plantation owners who enslaved them.

    Looking at the ongoing slaughter of workers, the whole Leninist concept of Imperialism is of course some kind of sick joke, which has the punch line that we should support the Capitalist class of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Syria, in order to weaken the ruling class of the US, the UK, the EU, Japan, et al.

    To quote Shakespeare “a plague o’ both your houses”

    Young Master Smeet

    In some ways his analysis is hopeful, because it would mean that Putin has already kind of got what he wants via breaking Russia from the global system: maybe a frozen conflict might ensue (which would be a return to the status que pre-war, with the battle lines just moved a bit).

    Also, the thesis is kind of proven by the seizure of oligarch assets: the lesson is, if you don’t control a territory and its state, your wealth is at risk.


    Was the Russian Military a Steamroller? From World War II to Today

    Joseph Stalin supposedly claimed that “quantity has a quality all its own,” justifying a cannon-fodder mentality and immense casualties. The problem is, Stalin never actually said that, but it fits our stereotype about the Russian military so neatly that everyone believes he did.

    When it comes to war, Russia is commonly perceived as favouring quantity over quality and winning mainly by overwhelming its opponents with hordes of poorly trained soldiers. You can hardly find any account of Russia’s wars that does not use terms like “hordes,” “masses,” and even “Neolithic swarms.” Quantity, it is believed, made quality almost irrelevant.

    German generals propagated the myth of a Red Army comprised of faceless masses of troops, motivated only by NKVD rifles at their backs and winning only through sheer force of numbers. Many Western histories accept this view, and it is standard fare in Hollywood, notably in the 2001 Enemy at the Gates. The story was also standard fare during the Cold War when the intelligence community frequently overestimated the quantitative side of Soviet capabilities while belittling its quality

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