Russians and Sanctions

Lesezeit6 min


Back in the Middle Ages, there was a proverb among European bankers: »War increases credit.« It was meant that if a country participates in hostilities, this will generate an increase in economic activity. This is exactly what we are seeing in Russia, and the sanctions imposed against the Kremlin provided an additional incentive to the explosive growth of production.

After the collapse of Yeltsin’s capitalist reforms, which ended in default in 1998, the Russian oligarchy that had emerged and consolidated its position realized that it was impossible to build its future only on rental income from the export of oil and gas, metals and other raw materials, and it was necessary to ensure the appropriation of surplus value, created by the proletariat. Gradually, reindustrialization began, which was accompanied by a revival of the Russian working class.

Over time, the Kremlin began to realize that economics is not a story about multi-​colored pieces of paper, metal circles and charges on bank computer triggers, but quite the opposite – economics is about the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of various kinds of material goods and services. Intensive state financing of production began — agriculture, many industries, transport and communications. At the same time, Vladimir Putin was convinced that the private sector supposedly managed production better.

The sanctions imposed against Russia, and then the start of the Special Military Operation, sharply accelerated the process of import substitution, which is intensified by the explosive growth of military orders. A situation arose when the country began to experience an acute and comprehensive labor shortage. As a result, there is virtually no unemployment in Russia (less than 3 percent), enterprises lure workers from each other, and the earnings of the working class are growing.

The sanctions have very little impact on the quality of life of Russians, except that it has become more difficult to purchase spare parts for expensive cars, and imported fruits (bananas, oranges) have become noticeably more expensive. Those who previously ate black caviar continue to eat it, and those who previously ate pasta now begin to add meat to it.

At the same time, it’s not for me to tell you that the quality of life of the poor in Europe has deteriorated greatly, and most sectors of the European economy are in crisis, and the prospects for getting out of it are bleak.

Russian budget policy is counter-​cyclical which means that the economic policy is oriented not towards anticrisis measures but to further development. At the same time, Russia remains a capitalist country with a Bonapartist regime, which, having successfully dealt with fiscal policy, is not yet able to restore order with monetary policy, and this liberal line is being pursued by the Bank of Russia quite consciously.

Politics and war

One needs to understand that Ukrainians and Russians are one people not in a political sense, but in the fact that, according to the information of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov, 58 percent of Ukrainian citizens have close relatives living in Russia. Therefore, the Russians were very well aware of what was happening in Ukraine, where the Nazis seized power as a result of a coup in 2014. Russians have a very developed historical, class memory of the war and hatred of Nazism — during the Second World War, 30 million citizens of the USSR died (only the Chinese, whose historical memory is even more developed, died more).

The Russians understood that since 2014 there has been a class civil war in Ukraine. The cream of the cream of the Ukrainian nation, the best that the Ukrainian land has ever produced, the miners and metallurgists of Donbass clashed in a fierce battle with the declassed Nazi-​Bandera lumpen hired by the Ukrainian oligarchy under the flags of the Kiev putschists. Both sides — the oligarchy and the working class – found allies. Which ones they could: the Ukrainian oligarchy — NATO, the Ukrainian workers — the Kremlin. As a result, NATO countries are being drawn into an armed conflict with Russia against the will of European workers.

At the same time, Ukrainian workers had no illusions regarding the Kremlin regime; it was simply that the position of the working class under the Bonapartist regime was immeasurably better than under the Nazi regime. In Russia, the working class has realized that a new phase of the same Civil War is now underway, where the Kremlin is an ally of the Ukrainian workers (a complete analogy with the Spanish Civil War of 1936 – 1939). As a result, a class bloc of the working class with the Kremlin Bonapartists arose.

But why are we talking about Ukrainian-​Nazism? Why do we believe that if the Kyiv putschists win, the transnational Masters of Life will establish Nazi regimes in Europe?

Anti-​fascist propaganda, which at one time played a very important role in mobilizing humanity against Hitler’s barbarity, has, like everything else in the world, a shadow side. Accusatory pathos, of course, was necessary; the presentation of Nazism as an infernal evil corresponded to the essence of the phenomenon. However, under the influence of the »demonic image« that has developed in the public consciousness, we began to lose the ability to distinguish between everyday manifestations of that very Nazi ideology.

Many believe that Nazism completely changes human nature. Meanwhile, even during World War II, the Nazis did not grow a horn in the middle of their foreheads. Today, too, it is often impossible to identify a Nazi by external signs.

Nazism becomes the »prose of life«, manifests itself in social relations, conflicts between people and groups of people. Well, for example, in public calls to hang Russian speakers in Ukraine or Orthodox Christians in Croatia (»Moskalyaku to Gilyak!«, »Serb to Willow!«), terrorist murders (Daria Dugina), extrajudicial arrests and torture (Misha and Sasha Kononovich).

Both the Ustasha of Pavelich and the leaders of the OUN-​UPA (with their terrible calls »Ni katsapa, ni zhida, ni lyaha«) have now been completely rehabilitated in their homeland, and are included in the pantheons of national heroes. Berlin and Rome support this ideology as an important element of the ongoing program of rehabilitation of fascism. In fact, after Europe accepted the glorification of Melnik and Pavelic, it is somehow awkward not to justify Mussolini. Compared to the Ukrainian and Croatian cannibals, he seems almost a moderate politician. And Hitler seems not such a monster. This ideological turnaround in European public opinion is just a matter of time.

Today it must be stated: many of those who were not fascists during the »Revolution of Dignity« have become fascists in four years. The Ukronazis tied them all up with blood and corruption. Anyone judged by the fairest and impartial court with the best lawyers — everyone should go to prison for 10 years — from participation in a coup d’état and dispersal of the constitutional court and complicity in massacres to banal embezzlement.

It is important for us to learn lessons from 1933 (when Hitler came to power) and 1938 (when the Munich Agreement came to fruition). In 1933, fascism did not manifest itself immediately. Hitler’s first government was a coalition and quite moderate, as it is now in Ukraine. Von Papen served as vice-​chancellor, trying, in his words, to limit Nazi »excesses.« No one in 1933 or even in 1938 could imagine the monstrous consequences of the Nazis coming to power.

Those who call themselves liberals are apparently convinced that democracy is forever. They do not assume that the people who run the world consider democracy to be a temporary measure. It’s more convenient for them and cheaper. In a short segment of history.

And we must remember: of course, we live in cursed times, but the history of mankind does not end with cursed times …

Said Gafurov is Associate Professor at Moscow State Linguistic University

Image: Expositions of the Museum of Architecture and Design in Yekaterinburg. Coins and plates of the Yekaterinburg Copper Yard (CC BY-​SA 4.0 Deed Vyacheslav Bukharov)

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