Posted on August 8, 2023 by Il Grido del Popolo©️
Originally published on Resistentiam.com
Gordan Stoshevich, the founder and editor-in-chief of Il Grido Del Popolo, engages in a dialogue with Alena Ageeva from Resistentiam to discuss the prospects of the Balkan Left and many other world-relational issues.
RUSSIA’S WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE POST-YUGOSLAV POLITICAL SPACE
Alena Ageeva – At the beginning of our conversation, comrade Gordan, I would like to ask you to briefly characterize the balance of leftist forces in the Balkans in general. Did it change after the start of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, and if so, what is the reason for this?
Gordan Stoshevich – At the very beginning, I would like to thank you for your second invitation to an interview. It is an exceptional honor and pleasure for me to give another interview for your international website, which I personally appreciate. As for the attitude of different groups of society, including the left, to the position of the ruling elites who started the war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, they are divided. The position of the official governments of the countries participating in the NATO pact in the Balkans is that Ukraine, as a sovereign state, should be supported as much as possible in the war with Russia. On the other hand, large segments of the population of non-NATO countries, such as Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, declaratively oppose the Russian invasion, but in essence support the Kremlin’s imperialist actions. What is interesting is that the policy of official Belgrade completely coincides with the policy of the Serbian entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her line was voiced in his main speech on this topic by the President of the Republic of Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik; and it should be noted that, no matter how different Dodik’s policy towards Russia is from the policy of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, it has a common denominator in the form of their common vector – an emphasis on the idea of a “Serbian world.” An idea that is very similar to the idea of the “Russian world” that Russian politicians and ideologists talk about. Both are imperialistic in nature. As for the citizens of the post-Yugoslav republics, their positions were divided. In general, Slovenes, Croats and Bosnians are on the side of the Ukrainians, as well as those Montenegrins who see Serbia as a threat to Montenegrin sovereignty. While, for example, those who are historically connected with Serbia are undoubtedly on the side of the Russians, it has historically developed in Serbia that the vast majority of its citizens consider the Russians to be their brothers and support them in the war. At the same time, V. Putin, for example, is even more popular with them than the Serbian President Vučić. However, I am very concerned about the attitude of the citizens of Macedonia towards this issue. In almost 90% of cases, they support Russia and the Russian people, in contrast to the minority – the Albanian population, which fully supports Ukraine and Ukrainians. To clarify the paradox, let me explain: in the 2001 military conflict in Macedonia, where Albanian paramilitary rebels fought government security forces, only Ukraine offered concrete military assistance to the Macedonian government. Then a whole squadron of Mi-24 helicopters, four Su-25 fighters, as well as a fully equipped tank battalion of 31 T-72 tanks were sent, so that the poorly equipped Macedonian army had something to fight against Albanian separatists and terrorists . The citizens of Macedonia, in my opinion, have a short collective memory.
A. A. — Since February 2022, in many national left forces, there has been, as I call it, an “incident of the 2nd International”. This tendency consists in a demarcation, or, for the time being, only in the expansion and intensification of the divergences of different groups of the left forces over their attitude towards Russia’s official foreign military policy. Some leftists who approve of the actions of the Russian Federation, consciously or unconsciously, identify the anti-NATO rhetoric of the ruling elite in Russia with the fact that it supposedly has continuity with the Soviet period, regarding the opposition of the Soviet Union to imperialism. It is necessary to realize that the ruling elite in the Russian Federation is a bourgeois one, and pursues in its policy the goals of its class and benefits, which, in our opinion, are far from what it populist passes off as “the fight against North American hegemony in a unipolar world.” What do you think about it? Can you also briefly characterize the opinion of your closest political associates?
Gordan Stoshevich — Excellent question, comrade Ageeva. I will try to briefly explain the contradictions in the interpretation of the position of many modern anti-imperialists from the point of view of dialectical and historical materialism, which proceeds for me from the Leninist position that every nation has the right to self-determination, but excludes the justification of war, the division of parties into just and unjust . “The interests of the proletariat are higher than the right of nations to self-determination,” wrote Comrade Lenin, directly showing his understanding of the superiority of the class over the national. He also considered the division of the proletariat into nationalities, and especially into national states (republics), as belonging to a reactionary and bourgeois program that prevents the working class of all nations from uniting and merging into original class organizations. As Vladimir Ilyich argued in his writings, to achieve the latter goal, a strong centrally organized state is necessary, and “conscious workers must know the advantage of large states and the unification of large working masses for the implementation of the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
“By all dialectical parameters, this war is exclusively imperialist. A war unleashed by the Russian oligarchy and the authoritarian regime of the Kremlin. Today, many quasi-leftists want to identify it with the idea of restoring the Soviet Union, which, of course, is the largest attempt to revise history.”
By all dialectical parameters, this war is an exclusively imperialist war. A war unleashed by the Russian oligarchy and the authoritarian regime of the Kremlin. Today, many quasi-leftists want to identify it with the idea of restoring the Soviet Union, which, of course, is the largest attempt to revise history. Let’s just take a quick look at Putin’s view of history, which he presented in his keynote speech on February 21, announcing the recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk. This is the key to understanding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Does this aggression resemble the German occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938? To what extent has Putin’s views on history been influenced by the Russian conservative thinker Ivan Ilyin, who was an ardent opponent of the Soviet Union, and in exile supported German fascism, advocating the idea of a totalitarian state headed by an undisputed autocratic leader? Also, let’s see what Putin’s court philosopher Alexander Dugin means by “Russian truth”, and whether Putin’s ideal is imperial Russia, in which all non-Russian peoples are subjects of Moscow and serve the supreme Russian ruler in the way that the Chechen does today. leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is at the head of the Chechen people.
In my opinion, any dialectically literate left should know that the Leninist concept of self-determination of the people is completely at odds with Putin’s understanding of the past. Putin has a negative attitude towards Lenin and the Bolsheviks because his vision of Russia is different from the views of the Bolsheviks and Lenin. Putin constructs the past in a way that suits him, he actually abuses the past in order not to build the future. Putin’s attitude towards history, the Bolsheviks, Lenin and the October Revolution is in fact an abuse of the past itself and revisionism. And then the question arises, are the so-called leftists in the Balkans and in Italy also trying to redefine history by supporting the Putin regime in its aggression against Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls the “denazization of the Russian space”? Yes, sure. Because you cannot call yourself leftist and at the same time advocate the destruction of a sovereign state through the annexation of its territory. You also assert that Kosovo is an inseparable part of Serbia. It is time to make up our minds, and clearly and loudly say NO to all attempts by the bourgeois class to pit us in an imperialist war in the name of their interests. Because the invasion of Ukraine is a continuation of the reactionary policy of the Russian oligarchy, its rejection of the entire progressive legacy of the Russian revolution and the democratic principles laid down in the original foundation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Unfortunately, some parties that call themselves left, such as the left in Macedonia or similar ones in Serbia, cannot understand historical materialism. And, obviously, they will never understand, for the simple reason that both in the dialectic of ideas and in the dialectic of history, in fact, they represent a reactionary element that will be excluded by history itself from the sphere of social reality. I call these “Red Chetniks”.
ABOUT THE POLITICAL LEFT ORGANIZATION OF THE MODERN COUNTRIES OF THE BALKANS EUROPE
When we talk about the left in the Balkans, especially the systemic left, we have to take into account several things. First, after the collapse of socialism and the restoration of capitalism, what calls itself the political left is only a fragment of the interpretation of historical and dialectical materialism. Of course, with a referential reference to what is commonly called “liberal” today. It is something that would be excluded from the sphere of social reality in the dialectic of ideas and the dialectic of history. If we take a close look at all leftist parties from Slovenia to Macedonia, we see that they contain all the admixtures of political activity characteristic of the capitalist system of the world. When we talk about the left in the Balkans, especially the systemic left, we have to take into account several things. First, after the collapse of socialism and the restoration of capitalism, what calls itself the political left is only a fragment of the interpretation of historical and dialectical materialism. Of course, with a referential reference to what is commonly called “liberal” today. It is something that would be excluded from the sphere of social reality in the dialectic of ideas and the dialectic of history. If we take a close look at all leftist parties from Slovenia to Macedonia, we see that they contain all the admixtures of political activity characteristic of the capitalist system of the world. The Slovenian left came to power with technocrats led by Prime Minister Golob. The country’s president is an open propagandist for big business, as she headed the corporate communications department at Aktiva Group, then Slovenia’s largest private financial company.
In Croatia, the Radnička Front has dwindled to a single member of parliament, Katarina Peović, who, after intra-party turmoil, lacks political credibility among the party’s few supporters. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the left can be described as non-political organizations, only in an attempt to become parties, politically organized, but not yet able to pass the electoral threshold. While in Macedonia, things are quite different. Especially after the intra-party coup by a couple of right-wing people from the Levica. They succeeded in trying to change the course of the only political party in Macedonia that contained in its political settings the dialectic inherent in empirical knowledge based on scientific socialism. Previously, it was a party in which there were a couple of people (including me), armed with Marxist knowledge, politically and ideologically savvy and capable of carrying out actions and instructions in political activities. Unfortunately, the majority in Levica were politically illiterate, lacking dialectical and historical-materialistic experience. However, in our time, when in a capitalist state a powerful ruling class holds all the threads in its hands. Even leading to organizations separated from it, in our party a small group seized influence in the party with a political blitzkrieg in order to lead the rest of its members astray from the conscious socialist path outlined by us at the very beginning. To turn the party into an instrument of militant nationalists whose political narrative goes deep into the past, before the period when socialist thought began to develop in our society. The rhetoric used today by members of this party belongs exclusively to right-wing populism, which has been characteristic of the nationalist, in fact, fascist ideology since the beginning of the last century. Today this left party has nothing original, left, dialectical, not to mention Marxist, in its activities. It consists of supporters of traditional values, even Christian Democrats, mostly representatives of the dominant Macedonian people. They are first and foremost anti-Albanian fanatics who will eventually consign this party to the dustbin of history.
As for the relationship between the Levica and the Russian Federation, the fact that just a few days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the representatives of this party in the Macedonian Parliament officially met with the Russian Ambassador to Macedonia Sergey Bezdnikin, who was presented with a coin after the meeting, says a lot. with the image of the hero of the national liberation movement Gotset Delchev on the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. This only confirms that this party is the only official political entity that supports Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. That could be a big push in the ranks of the Macedonian electorate before the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. However, this cooperation will be hit hard by the closure of the Russian Cultural Center in Skopje, which will no longer function, as well as in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Bratislava and Bucharest. This was stated recently by the first person of Rossotrudnichestvo, Yevgeny Primakov, as part of the Kremlin’s plan to move part of its centers to Latin America so that Russia would increase its influence there.
A. A. — Can you and I once again go through the current progressive political forces of the former Yugoslavia by countries, noting trends and promising left-wing political directions in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia …? Is there anything in your opinion, Gordan, that inspires hope?
Gordan Stoshevich – I would be lying to you if I said that I am an optimist in this matter. You know, this is a specific geopolitical and geostrategic space in Europe. At the same time, it is a space inhabited by representatives of the peoples, which even Hegel, Marx and Engels characterized as a stubborn, regressive and reactionary element, which is difficult to instill revolutionary traits. Some characterize them as the ruins of peoples, the “dregs of history”, which most often, almost always, were on the wrong side of history – except for one time when they happened to simultaneously, having won a victory over fascism on their territory during the Second World War, proceed to a socialist revolution, for a certain period of time leading socialist construction. Therefore, it is difficult for us, from the point of view of dialectical and historical materialism, to speak here of serious progressive forces that can be any factor in political decision-making. Not only because of the current context of the time in which these political actors are located, but also because today, in the times of a monolithically built capitalist organization of the world, the system parties are committed to capital, no matter how much they deny it. The very fact that the institution of elections is based on pre-calculated calculations regarding the sharing of power with the capitalist parties, any progressive idea of political entities that will participate in these elections from the left will still be doomed to failure. It is difficult to expect that someone who has accepted the rules of the game of the bourgeoisie will use political means and methods within the existing capitalist system to do something not only for the working class, but for all the marginal groups they declaratively stand for. Proof of this is the Russian Communist Party of Gennady Zyuganov, who supports the military interventionism of the Putin regime. In Spain since 2019, the socialists of Pedro Sanchez and the Podemos alliance of Pablo Iglesias have been in power, and their attitude towards the war in Ukraine is in the spirit of the imperialist obligations of the NATO pact to end the war with the defeat of Russia, rather than against this imperialist war. In Italy and France, as well as in Germany, left-wing parties have little political influence to be a factor in determining the possible position of the state against the war in Ukraine. Although, for example, the German left party Die Linke, precisely because it is in opposition, declaratively opposes the Russian invasion.
In the Balkans, the situation is even worse when it comes to the political “power” wielded by the so-called leftist parties. I have already mentioned the Slovenian Levica party, which is part of the technocratic government of Robert Golob, and in whose political lexicon, as in the case of the Spanish Podemos when he was in opposition, it was often heard that they would initiate Slovenia’s withdrawal from the NATO pact if they came to power. However, today we have none of that. I also mentioned that in Croatia the Radnička Front split into several factions, eventually reducing to one person, in the person of MP Katarina Peovic, who does not enjoy the support of the rest.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, unfortunately, there is not a single serious political entity that could be called leftist, for the simple reason that the political scene there is deeply rooted in the idea of a “Serbian world”, which is no different from the Russian . The left, which is fragmentarily present in these former republics of socialist Yugoslavia, is only the left forces “in an attempt to take place” and nothing more, consisting of half-freaks, half-crazy ideologically stuck in the last century, who are waging a political struggle exclusively on social networks.
“It is difficult to expect that those who have accepted the rules of the game of the bourgeoisie will use political means and methods within the existing capitalist system to do something for the working class.”
Looking back at my country Macedonia, I want to note that in all respects it is a deeply driven country in which all political power belongs to a privileged caste, the heirs of the red bourgeoisie, which has been systematically destroying its people for thirty years. The Levica, of which I was a founder and member before I was kicked out by those who call themselves “children of the transition”, is taking part in this shameful bourgeois adventure, waving the national symbols of a non-existent country, church flags, and lamenting that supposedly all our neighbors took up arms against us and want to destroy us. That is why, while admiring the hordes of Putin and Kadyrov, united under the symbol “Z”, they also support the Iranian theocratic regime of Ayatollah Khamenei and yesterday’s fanatic and adventurer Kim Jong-un. Their ideological bias towards National Socialism is only the reaction of a nation that has long lost its identity, a nation that is slowly but surely dying, being a temporary fruit of the anti-fascist struggle and the socialist revolution.
A.A. – Are there any remnants of political Hoxhaism in contemporary Muslim Albania, whose conflict around Kosovo is escalating again, not without NATO’s help.
Gordan Stoshevich – Unfortunately, in Albania, as elsewhere in all post-socialist states, after the restoration of capitalism, there is a general revision of history and anti-communist hysteria. The geopolitical restructuring of forces in the Balkans within the framework of the imperialist system of the world gives the reactionary nationalist elements the opportunity to further strengthen their positions. Kosovo is only a side effect of this historical context, just like the separatist attempts to form the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo is only the result of what happened after the collapse of socialist Yugoslavia. Namely, the rise of nationalism and national chauvinism. In this space, unfortunately, there are no signs of progressive forces. There is no political thought consisting of the dialectic of unification against the national governments that for thirty years had the vassal status of the West.
REACTION AND RESISTANCE IN SOUTHERN EUROPE
A.A. – I know that you have experience of living in Italy. Are there tendencies of resistance among the left forces in response to the arrival of the post-fascists in political management – the team of Georgia Meloni, which gave a new influx of socio-political energy to the Italian ultra-right of the middle and grassroots levels? Are the Marxist circles known to you involved in resistance movements?
Gordan Stoshevich -Yes, for some time I lived and worked in Italy, although longer – in neighboring Slovenia. And in general, I know the Italian socio-political scene very well, I have been following it for a long time. I have many Italian friends who are involved in social and political activities in their country. Let’s face it. Italy has the longest and perhaps the most extensive history of anti-capitalist struggle of any other capitalist country in Europe. Let us recall at least two decades of the “year of lead” when, during the era of state terror, the Italian left was the most powerful organized political structure in the entire Western Hemisphere. However, in this great ideological conflict with the bourgeoisie, the Italian anarchists, communists and socialists paid too high a price, and it still influences the social conditions there today.
The Communist Party, founded by the great intellectual, philosopher, journalist and political idealist Antonio Gramsci, has unfortunately not existed since the 1980s. What we see today on the Italian left political spectrum are the scattered remnants of the largest communist party in the capitalist West, very ideologically divided among themselves, among which Marxism is spoken from time to time, however, often as a relic of history.
“The Italian left is in need of restructuring and returning to the original dialectical knowledge, to the roots of scientific Marxism. Today in Italy there is a great lack of such leaders as Garibaldi or Mazzini, and such as the great Gramsci.”
Today in Italy there is a great lack of such leaders as Garibaldi or Mazzini, and such as the great Gramsci. Intellectual giants capable of resisting the resurgence of the far right, even if they pay with their lives. The Italian left is in need of restructuring and returning to the original dialectical knowledge, to the roots of scientific Marxism.
As for Georgia Meloni, this phenomenon is also the result of many years of political crisis in the ranks of the Italian left. The rhetoric used today by the extreme right is part of the cheap populism that resonates with the reactionary masses, today, unfortunately, more and more right. Now, target groups such as factory workers believe more in the rhetoric that accompanies the political rallies of the extreme right than in the rhetoric of the left. The proof came during the pandemic period, when a large part of Italian workers opposed the restrictions and movement measures, as well as vaccination, especially in areas where local government structures were traditionally right-wing, for example, in Trieste. This was also facilitated by the fact that the extreme right “took care” of pensioners and the elderly who need help during the pandemic. Paradoxical things happened, given that in other periods of time it was the left that traditionally cared about the target groups. Political education and action plans for such target groups belonged by default to the left, namely the Italian Communist Party. Now, after the failed attempt by the Italian communists to come to power through a “historic compromise” with the Christian Democrats, the political vacuum that had arisen by that time, apparently, was used in time and rationally by the right and liberal forces, which positioned themselves politically in both houses of the Italian parliament. Both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. I, of course, analyze what happened in the case of the victory of Georgia Meloni. At the same time, paradoxically, today the left forces in Italy are represented by such popular politicians as the democrat Stefano Bonacchini, as a kind of successor to the Italian Social Democrats Massimo D’Alema, who actually inherited the Italian Communist Party after its dissolution on February 3, 1991. Many former communists have become liberals, centre-left or social democrats, using political terminology freed from the old Marxist narrative. These people changed not only the color of the party, but also the beliefs that guided them until they were defeated. The general secretary of the Communist Party, Marco Rizzo, whom I interviewed two years ago, said: “Forces that were once called ‘leftists’ have not only been defeated, but have gone over to the opposite camp with their flags in the wind.”
A.A. — Right now, not only in Italy, Gordan, but in almost every corner of the world, proto-fascist and nationalist tendencies are brewing. They can be traced in almost all European regions, not to mention Latin American and Central Asian. Do these tendencies affect representatives of the left forces in the Balkan countries?
Gordan Stoshevich — Unfortunately, whenever capitalism is in crisis, it generates a wave of reactionary forces, for example, authoritarian ones. Because almost always, when capitalism is in crisis, there is also a crisis of liberal democracy. At the same time, fascism is born. Thus, fascism is the fruit of liberal democracy, which in times of crisis cannot stabilize the capitalist system, where it is a necessary stabilizer. There, authoritarian tendencies are becoming increasingly stronger, where the security of capital is placed above the very freedom of citizens, which is the backbone of liberal democracy. And – yes, we are seeing this not only in Latin America or the countries of Central Asia, but also here, on the old continent, it would seem, the pillar of democracy. What we see today in Ukraine is the result of such a crisis of liberal democracy within the capitalist system of the world, on its periphery. However, the emergence of extreme right currents in the form of Ukrainian and Russian neo-Nazism on the periphery of capitalism is not a mere coincidence and the result of this crisis. This is the long-term devastation of the progressive forces of these societies, after the fall of socialism in them and the restoration of capitalism.
“Everything happens because of the inability to recognize the danger of liberal democracy, which, under the pretext of “democratization” of societies, produces an authoritarian oligarchic cartel with absolute power in its hands.”
Everything happens because of the inability to recognize the danger of liberal democracy, which, under the pretext of “democratization” of societies, produces an authoritarian kleptocratic-oligarchic cartel with absolute power in its hands. Far-right and authoritarian tendencies have become so powerful today that they simply cannot be resisted by the progressive forces of society, since they are no longer backed by the once powerful communist parties that would have given them shelter, education, and instructions for action. Behind them is a sector of capitalist NGOs that seeks to completely passiveize rebellion within its ranks.
The civil sector is nothing more than a classic defocusing of progressive forces in the fight against extreme right-wing tendencies, in whose authoritarian conditions Nazism-fascism is born. Therefore, today it is more than hypocritical to talk about Russian influence in the Balkans, while denying the influence of the West, which, under the guise of protecting human and civil rights, is extorting hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to suppress social and economic riots, so that they do not turn into political speeches. Take Macedonia as an example, there was a violent overthrow of the ruling nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE after twelve years of its obscure rule, of course, with the help of a foreign factor. That is why I was the only one from our party Levica who publicly opposed the so-called “colorful revolution” – for the sake of one regime being replaced by another at the behest of the international community. We have not seen a single serious attempt to express an insurrection of the masses. Therefore, there are practically no progressive forces that would respond in a timely manner to the extreme right tendencies in the Balkans. Especially in a country like Serbia, where Putin is more popular than the president himself. In a country where now a far-right extremist political factor in the opposition, such as Boško Obradovic’s Doors movement or Milica Durgevic-Stamenkovski’s Zavetnitsa party, is stepping up its militant rhetoric in the face of a decision on the status of Kosovo. Or maybe in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the first member of the Serb entity publicly advocates separatism and the collapse of the Dayton state.
A.A. — Speaking to you about the current political state of the Balkan countries, I cannot ignore the question of Greece. As I know from the Greek comrades, in the country, starting from 2020, from the beginning of the pandemic, various communist, socialist, trade union and anarcho-communist formations have been showing very constructive socio-political activity. The Greek left survived the great betrayal of Tsipras and then entered a complex existence under the repressive right-wing neo-liberalism in the person of President Mitsotakis. At the same time, according to our information, the Greek left activists are not now falling into a stupor and inertia there, as, for example, is observed in the left sector of the Russian political field. What can you say about the prospects of the left movement in Greece?
Gordan Stoshevich – Regarding the left political spectrum in Greece and the social activity of leftist organizations there, I can say that Greece, as an extremely capitalist country and an important member of the NATO pact in Europe, has always had the left vanguard in its socio-political environment as an extremely powerful corrector of society. And not only during the civil war and the fascist military dictatorship of the military junta generals in 1967-74, but also after that. I can freely compare Greece with Italy, Spain and Portugal, where the mobilization in the ranks of the left took place without the slightest hesitation in the fight against imperialism and capitalism. Our Greek comrades have a long history of military and combat activity, in contrast to the local, Balkan, organizations that bear a salon character. Greek anarcho-communist and communist groups have a rich history of acting against the ruling elites of this country.
I am of the opinion that it is necessary to link the Greek and Turkish left organizations – the representatives of the latter live in a country that its ruler wants to turn into a neo-Ottoman sultanate of the 21st century. I believe that they are connected, since both countries – together with Italy, by the way – form the backbone of the NATO military pact throughout the Mediterranean. I mean, they are the two most militarily powerful military forces of the top five countries on the old continent. As for cooperation between the Greek left organizations and those in the Balkans, then, of course, there are some attempts to connect and build close relations … But all this is only declarative, without the slightest seriousness in the approach to joint actions in accessible regions.
“Consolidation of the Greek and Turkish left organizations is necessary – representatives of the latter live in a country that the ruler wants to turn into a neo-Ottoman sultanate of the 21st century.”
As I said earlier, after the fall of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in the space of post-socialist countries, the political will was created for the complete de-communization of society by revising history. This created the conditions for complete depreciation, for the suppression of the revolutionary spirit and the revolt of the masses. Today in the successor countries of Socialist Yugoslavia, as well as in Albania and Bulgaria, you cannot gather a hundred people on May 1st to protest and rise against the capitalist oppressors and exploiters of the workers. Isn’t this a disaster? Therefore, I am convinced that in the near future it will not be possible to achieve success in the political struggle if the action is reduced only to partisan actions away from the eyes of the public, and – from the large masses of factory workers, whose right to rebellion is skillfully suppressed by capitalists and corrupt trade unions. And such parties as SYRIZA cannot lead large masses into battle, nor can the British Labor Party, because they are capitalist workers’ parties.
ON THE PROSPECTS OF THE LEFT LABOR MOVEMENT AND THE MODERN REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST
A.A. – What trends in the leftist political and labor movement in Europe and the world as a whole can be called promising today, capable of developing into a programmatic revolutionary strategy that generalizes the methods of struggle? What reasons do we still have to be, as someone well said, “pragmatic optimists”? As an experienced left-wing politician and progressive journalist, you certainly have wishes and recommendations for our international audience, scattered across dozens of countries.
Gordan Stoshevich – I must immediately disappoint you with my answer to your question. Namely, historical dialectical materialism has taught me all these years that the same things can repeat themselves cyclically only in nature, but this is impossible in social tendencies. Attempts to introduce the idea of communism as a utopia into the human consciousness through some intermediate phase like socialism have not borne fruit. It is impossible to talk about the scientific doctrine related to Marx’s theory of the interpretation of history and dialectics, without taking into account the concept of understanding the dialectics of nature, to which his colleague Engels paid much more attention. History has shown and proved by innumerable facts that part of this human civilization entered the revolution unprepared. We are witnessing that the October Revolution, like the revolution in Yugoslavia during the Second World War, as a result of the National Liberation War, was a dialectical and historical negation of the very concept of scientific Marxism, which in itself is a historical contradiction, because, as I said earlier, in society, everything happens differently than in nature.
Today, leftist tendencies are closely associated with the ruling class, but also with capital. Non-governmental organizations representing the ideas of the left spectrum of social action are very dependent on the money of big capital and therefore cannot pursue policies that are immune to the influence of the ruling elite. I tell you this from experience, knowing the local Balkan possibilities for mobilizing progressive forces. We are talking about big money coming from outside, which is primarily intended for various organizations, associations or think tanks involved in the implementation of left-wing politics in society.
Not to mention left-wing political parties. They are like closed exclusive clubs or sects. They have become privileged exclusive clubs incomprehensible to the masses. Today you cannot rely on populism and talk empty rhetoric about the destruction of capitalism, and here you are subject to a capitalist electoral system that allows bourgeois parties to transfer power to each other every four years. Therefore, I do not see any serious joint association, organization or joint action of the left parties or organizations in the interests of the working class, which they often resort to. On the contrary, over time, the extreme right will grow in strength as a reaction to a capitalist system that is clearly in crisis. And the left-wing salon will be fragmented to such an extent that it will eventually be melted down by the bourgeois parties or will be in danger of disappearing entirely from the political spectrum.
“The globalized information system creates an overall picture of the apparent reality of the modern world, while the real reality is somewhere behind the overall picture. Unfortunately, many leftists today who call themselves Marxists have fallen under the influence of a distorted perception of scientific Marxism, which preaches communism as the greatest civilizational achievement of mankind.”
A.A. – Bold, truthful, objective position, comrade. But still, I don’t want to end the interview on such a pessimistic note. May I ask the last question? What exactly motivates the modern scientific revolutionary against the background of objective pessimism? As my Israeli friend says: Revolutionaries are not romantics. Revolutionaries are pragmatists, betting on the 1%, rejecting the 99%. Do you have this 1% that you are betting on at the current moment? And can you reveal it to our audience?
Gordan Stoshevich – Uh, I hope you don’t mind that with my pessimistic thinking I try to encourage your readers all over the world to think. To comprehend, and also try to refute me that in practice it turns out that we, relying on a scientific basis, may be very wrong in theory. Now the question arises: what can happen in practice if capitalism finds itself in a crisis in the long run?. Given that capitalism is a self-sustaining living organism, and not an economic system or ideology, as many leftists claim today, the evolution of the collective consciousness cannot be unambiguously excluded from any revolution in the future. With the fact that a revolution like all the previous ones is less likely, because capitalism, like artificial intelligence, has managed to completely deconstruct all attempts to reanimate the main carrier of the revolution – the working class. The great leader of the October Revolution, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, said that “there are decades in which nothing happens, but there are weeks in which decades happen.” Now, I think we are in a period where nothing happens for decades, which is influenced by many factors. From the failure of the failed transition to communism, called real socialism, through the ruin of the global working class on a larger scale, to more and more massive propaganda through the media in order to divert people’s attention from their real enemy, corporate capital. It is enough to look at whose hands all the “free” media are today, and everything will become clear to you. Because, as the great Argentine and Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara once said, “We must destroy all newspapers, we cannot make a revolution with a free press. Newspapers are the tools of the oligarchy.”
However, what is especially important today is that in a globalized capitalist world it is extremely difficult to fight ignorance as a result of the collapse of the world’s education system, allowing oneself in the style of the great Che to say: “that the walls of the education system must collapse. Education should not be a privilege so that the children of those who have money can learn. And the first duty of every revolutionary is to get an education.” The globalized information system creates an overall picture of the apparent reality of the modern world, while the real reality is somewhere behind the overall picture. Unfortunately, many leftists today who call themselves Marxists have fallen under the influence of a distorted perception of scientific Marxism, which preaches communism as the greatest civilizational achievement of mankind. Just look at the manifestation of false socialism in China, where there is the most perfidious form of state capitalism, Keynesian. Even the proposal to the document of the political leadership of China called “China’s position on the political solution of the Ukrainian crisis” consists of twelve points, paragraph number 11 says: “Maintaining the stability of production and supply chains. All parties must seriously support the existing world economic system and oppose the use of the world economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes. A concerted effort is needed to mitigate the effects of the crisis and prevent it from undermining international cooperation in energy, finance, food trade and transport and undermining the global economic recovery.” We see that here, somewhat ironically, the importance of maintaining the existing economic system in the world is emphasized. If it wasn’t sad, it would be funny.
In the end, what I want to emphasize is the fact that we as revolutionary Marxists will have to stand for two things in the next couple of decades: a radical utopia or a revolution. In my opinion, the first is more likely.