RUSSIA’S Stalinist leader, President Putin, addressing a business forum in Leningrad on Sunday, told the assembled capitalist leaders that the IMF and the World Trade Organisation were ‘archaic, undemocratic and inflexible.’
Speaking to his audience of capitalist wolves he demanded that they turn into their opposite, from bloody beasts of prey to vegetarians, and create ‘a new architecture of international economic relations based on trust and mutually beneficial integration.’
Filled with bourgeois democratic illusions but raised up by the power of Russia’s nationalised oil and gas industries, he lectured them that ‘Structures that were made, taking account of a small number of active members’ – meaning the imperialist powers – ‘look archaic, undemocratic and inflexible.’ .
He went on to state that ‘today, the protectionism that the WTO is called on to combat is frequently coming from the economies that created the structure.’
Putin went on to propose the creation of ‘regional Eurasian free trade organisations’ that would draw on the experience of the World Trade Organisation.
To sweeten the message, he announced investment deals worth $13.5 billion involving Russian private companies, and a ‘partnership’ with the Russian state-owned gas and oil industries.
However, the capitalist world continues to be ruled by the bankers and the capitalists.
What is today called globalisation is the drive of the bankers and bosses to shift their industries out of the metropolitan capitalist states to different parts of Asia, from China to Sri Lanka, so as to be able to exploit the cheapest labour power, and destroy the trade unions and the organised working class at home.
This has been accompanied by a massive drive to reorder the world according to the specifications of the imperialist powers, witness the war in Iraq, the penetration into the gas bearing regions of central Asia, and the current drive to surround Russia with NATO members and bases.
What the British imperialists have learnt to their cost in Siberia, is that since they have not got the military power to protect their investments, they were easily humiliated by the Russian workers state, when Putin decided that if Russia was not to become a semi-colony of the US, the state must own the country’s natural resources.
The renewed strength of the Russian workers state, however much it has degenerated, the growing economic power of the Chinese workers state, and capitalist India, does not mean that imperialism under pressure is going to democratically substitute ‘fairness and justice’ for super-exploitation and mass murder.
Precisely the opposite is the case. With the capitalist crisis deepening, imperialism is preparing for a new re-division of the world that will make the previous efforts from 1914-18 and 1939-45 seem to be very tame affairs indeed.
Putin would be well advised to use the advantages that the nationalised oil and gas industry have given Russia to greatly strengthen its defences, and to find allies amongst the workers of the world and the oppressed nations, to prepare for the inevitable showdown that is on the way with imperialism.
Putin, however will follow along the Stalin trail. In the 1930s Stalin claimed that the Bolshevik policy of world revolution ‘was a joke’, and sought to ally the USSR first with Hitler, and then with the Western powers, at the cost of 40 million dead and many more millions wounded. Putin will seek to ally himself with one or another of the imperialist blocs.
Meanwhile, he urges the bankers and the bosses to be democratic and peaceable, while at home he balances between the requirements of the new bourgeoisie that has emerged from the Stalinist bureaucracy and the working class.
This is a very precarious balance, since the new bourgeoisie is an imperialist fifth column just waiting for a favourable opportunity to disclose itself.
There is only one way forward for Russian and Soviet workers. They must organise a political revolution to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy, expropriate the new bourgeoisie and reconstitute the USSR by revolutionary means, as part of the advance of the world socialist revolution. It is the world socialist revolution that will destroy capitalism and imperialism.