Posted on the United National Antiwar Coalition
July 13, 2022
by Alan Freeman, published on The Valdai Discussion Club, July 4, 2022
If anyone tries to justify a monstrous and unnecessary human sacrifice on the grounds that it’s for the best, then they are measuring ‘good’ in dollars instead of bodies, and they’re not part of the left, because the left stands for humans, not property, Valdai Club expert Alan Freeman writes.
Let’s think about the left’s place in the current events, and hope to shed light on what being ‘on the left’ actually means today, and why it is relevant to peace.
I’ll start with the trillion-dollar question: if NATO won, if the DPR and LPR forces surrendered, and if the Russian Army was driven back to the border, would the world be a better or a worse place?
This is a practical question. It can’t be resolved with abstract ideals or theories such as whether Ukraine has a sacred right to rule over the Russian speakers of the Donbass, or whether Russia is imperialist, any more than Palestinian rights can be settled by referring to the historical origins of the People of the Book.
The lives of millions, perhaps billions, are at stake. If the Russian army leaves Ukraine, they will all suffer and many will die. If your ideals tell you this is a good thing – if like Madeleine Albright, you can look upon the deaths of half a million children and say ‘it was worth it’, then your ideals are wrong.
And if your theory tells you to arm Ukraine to the teeth and give its fascists free reign to cleanse it of Russian influence, you’re free to say that (which is a lot more freedom than I get for opposing you), but you’re not part of the left.
Because if anyone tries to justify a monstrous and unnecessary human sacrifice on the grounds that it’s for the best, then they are measuring ‘good’ in dollars instead of bodies, and they’re not part of the left, because the left stands for humans, not property.
What will happen if the Russian army leaves?
First, there will be a bloody racial cleansing of a third of Ukraine’s territory where fourteen million Russian speakers live. You don’t need any elaborate analysis to see this; just look at what’s been happening for the past eight years when the Donbass has been under continuous military attack for no greater crime that demanding autonomy and standing up to murderers.
This is not the work of a handful of rightists; it is baked into the concept of nation which Ukraine’s rulers adhere to and NATO supports. Stripped of elegant excuses, this holds that being ethnically Russian is incompatible with Ukrainian nationality. This is a thoroughly racist notion; Azov merely enforces it by killing and torturing those who oppose it, for which they once got nods and winks but now get acclaim as national heroes.
That’s also why this war is not just an invasion but a Civil War. And this was inevitable given the national concept. Imagine if the USA were to ban Spanish. Or suppose Canada banned French, not even outside Quebec but in Quebec itself. The country would fall apart before you could blink.Continue reading