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A. Rudzienski

Kerensky: At It Again

Hatches New Scheme for Re-Establishing Empire

(September 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 39, 26 September 1949, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The international tension between the United States and Stalin’s Russia provokes reactions from various political groups in Stalin-occupied Europe. The “Committee of Liberty for Russia,” headed by the same Kerensky who was overthrown by the revolution of October 1917, organized a meeting not so long ago at Carnegie Hall in New York in which various delegates from Eastern Europe participated, principally the members of the “Peasant International” over which Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, former prime minister of Poland, presides.

The agreement between Kerensky’s committee and Mikolajczyk’s Peasant International is based on the recognition by Kerensky of independence for the Balts (Lithuanians, Estonians, Finns, Latvians), for the Balkan peoples, and for Poland, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia. On the other hand, the “delegates” of these countries have recognized the Ukrainians and White Russians as integral peoples of Russia, and for this reason, members of Kerensky’s future Russian Republic.

Kerensky Hatches New Version of Russian Empire

The resolution adopted by this alliance defines the future pattern of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe in the following fashion:

“Since aggressive communism expands its dictatorship even more in Europe and Asia, and in an open fashion divides the world into the nations who still enjoy liberty and independence, and the others who live under the yoke of the communist minorities ... we resolve in the name of the nations subjugated by communism to collaborate together for the liberation of our countries, seeking to solve all the differences that could divide us, by our own efforts, abstaining from raising any divisive questions, be they political or national, until the moment of liberation from the yoke of the common communist enemy ...”

The press of the Polish Right has commented sharply on Mikolajczyk’s arbitrary action, in giving the Russians a free hand on the Ukrainian and White Russian question, thereby renouncing the Polish territories outside of the present Russian-Polish frontier. Besides, according to this press, Kerensky widens and expands the frontiers of the Russian empire to the Western frontier of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. That is, he goes far beyond the limits of the Stalinist domain, since the recognition by Kerensky of a joint federation composed of the Russians, Balts, Balkan peoples, Poles and Czechs, signifies nothing else than the maintenance of Russian influence over these peoples.

By virtue of such a political program of a Eurasian federation of the Central European peoples linked with Russia, the right of self-determination so magnanimously recognized by Kerensky and his Russian Committee remains rather platonic. Besides, the “representatives” of the Central European peoples have agreed not to raise differences between Kerensky’s “Russian Democrats” and themselves. When the Polish press brought the danger to the attention of the representatives of Ukrainian nationalism, the latter did not assign it any importance, dismissing the role played by Dr. Dobrianski as the representative of the UPA. The Ukrainians are divided into the nationalist camp of Bandera-Melnyk, the Democratic camp of UNDO (Dr. Lewyckyj), the radicals (populists) and Socialists (Kotovych), the part played by the UPA (Ukrainian partisans) being unacknowledged.

Is it unrealistic to say that this agreement was probably inspired by some American politicians who want to hand Central Eastern Europe over to “Russian democracy” (Kerensky’s restoration)?

Socialists Want to Crack “Prison of Nations”

Polish policy, the Rightists as well as the PPS, opposes the concepts of a “democratic” Russian empire, the program of the inter-seas federation (between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic seas) which would also include Byelo-Russia and the Ukraine.

The Ukrainians present different versions of a program calling for a “Great Ukraine” as the leading member of the bloc of nations oppressed by Stalin, but this must be left for another article.

From the point of view of revolutionary Marxists, the right of self-determination also includes the right of the Ukrainians and Byelo-Russians to separate from the Stalinist empire and from Greater Russia.

The separation of the Ukraine and White Russia from Russia is the fundamental key to anti-Stalinist revolutionary policy in Central Eastern Europe. It provides the basis on which tp destroy the “prison of nations,” into which Stalin transformed Russia.

On the other hand, the liberation of the peoples of Europe requires the radical and sweeping destruction of the two principal imperialisms of the European continent, the German and Russian. Since the German empire was destroyed in the course of the Second World War, there remains the task of completely and finally destroying Russian imperialism. Only when these two imperialisms have been destroyed for good will the European peoples have the perspective of national and social liberty. Then the moment will arrive to form the Socialist United States of Europe. Clearly, there is one further condition, the destruction of American imperialism, which is now preparing to intervene in Europe through such intermediaries as Kerensky, Adenauer, or a Schumacher.

The peoples of Eastern Europe fear Russian imperialism as much as the French, Belgian, or Dutch people feared German imperialism. A federation of these peoples in an alliance against Russian imperialism is conceivable as a transitional measure. Tito is trying to raise precisely this banner against Stalin in the Balkans. But this program of an “Inter-Sea Federation” seems to us very difficult to realize within the system of two world imperialisms, who now divide the European continent into two spheres of influence. The program of Kerensky-Mikolajczyk also excludes it in a Europe dominated by the Americans.

Patchwork Schemes and Reactionary Dreams

Only the Socialist United States of Europe, before the victory of the socialist camp in the United States, can assure the liberty of all the peoples, big and small, since a single economic organization of Europe would redder superfluous the national oppression of any member of the federation. All the other programs are reactionary, patchwork schemes germinated in the black cabinets of the bureaucracy or in some politically decapitated heads (Kerensky) who have been dead for some time.

World socialism opposes all the patchwork schemes and compromises an integral and thoroughgoing program of liberation for the peoples and the complete emancipation of the laboring masses. These patchwork schemes and reactionary dreams can only be realized if world socialism is unable to fulfill its program of proletarian and human liberation.

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