Re: Counterpunch: Slavoj Zizek Does His Christopher Hitchens Impression


Mark Baugher
 


Trotsky was writing when Ukraine was still part of the USSR and the concept an independent, socialist Ukraine was not the pipedream it appears to be today, That said, I very much doubt Trotsky, were he alive today, would have retreated from that dream to align himself with those "seeking to sell the Ukrainian people to one imperialism or another in return for a promise of fictitious independence”, with those who “continue to place hope in one of the fractions of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie as the leader of the national struggle for emancipation.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/04/ukraine.html and https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/07/ukraine.htm
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Thanks. What a mess of historical factors backdropped those writings you cite. There was a Greater Ukraine that spanned three countries occupied by related people and included Galacia and Carpathia Ukraine. Maybe others, I don't know. Greater Ukraine contained Ukrainians along with Jews, Poles, and Hungarians. Hitler had apparently just handed Carpathia-Ukraine over to Hungary, but I haven't gone back to review Trotsky's reference on that. Soviet Ukraine was smaller overall than today's Ukraine. Soviet Ukraine was suffering under Soviet policies and had undergone a cycle of land privatization, collectivization and re-privatization (to some extent) over the previous 17 years. The "Little Russians" in the Ukraine also suffered lower status. Moreover, things were changing fast and about to change completely: The articles were written months before Hitler and Stalin partitioned Poland with USSR taking Galacia for Ukraine.

Soviet Ukraine was post-capitalist, however, and I can't imagine that Trotsky would entertain the restitution of capitalism in Ukraine, right on the doorstep of the USSR. Particularly with the degenerated workers state facing a dangerous Germany. Near-term proletarian revolution was a realistic expectation, moreover, and certainly not something in the rear-view window as it is today.

Mark

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