By Alberto Fazolo
The European Parliament has passed a resolution that effectively equates Nazism and communism. It is a revisionist ideological operation, which also has geopolitical aims. Much has been written about the ideological aspects, much less about the geopolitical ones.
Geopolitics is a fascinating, exciting, sometimes enlightening, but almost never comprehensive discipline. If geopolitics is used as the only key for interpretation, it is rarely possible to interpret phenomena correctly. Without taking into account the ideological, religious and cultural spheres, it will never be possible to grasp phenomena in their complexity.
In recent decades in Western countries there has been a widespread replacement of the ideological sphere with the geopolitical one. In part this is related to the fall of the socialist bloc, but partly anticipated it: the repositioning and transformation of many political forces was well ahead of those events.
Without wishing to investigate the cause and effect links of that phase, one must note a fact: by focusing only on geopolitics, you are not able to grasp the complexity of events.
During the destabilization of the countries of the Socialist Bloc that took place between the 1980s and the early 1990s, there was a predominant ideological component. The change of register became apparent in 1999, the year in which the social democracies of Europe and the U.S. unleashed a war against Yugoslavia.
Although Milosevic’s Yugoslavia retained some element of socialism, it was certainly no longer Tito’s and did not represent an international hegemonic force. The war was made mainly for geopolitical reasons, because Yugoslavia was not willing to pander to Western expansionist projects.
The most striking case of substitution between ideology and geopolitics took place in 2013, when the EU (once again with the social democratic forces on the front line), the U.S. and NATO fomented a fascist coup in Ukraine. For pure geopolitical purposes in Europe, Nazi-style organizations were cleared, supported and put in power: an affront to all the victims of Nazi-fascism and a threat to peace.
As a rule, in this kind of operation the most fervent are the Social Democrats and the ex-communists, who must make an “act of faith” and certify their renunciation of ideology.
We have seen this in Yugoslavia, Ukraine and the European Parliament, where many leftists voted for the resolution against communism.
A similar discourse to that of ideology can be made with regard to Islamic fundamentalism, used and supported by Western countries for geopolitical operations. With a disconcerting naivety it was thought that Islamic fundamentalism was willing to serve the Western powers and then step aside. Only those who look at the world exclusively through the lens of geopolitics can make such a gross mistake. The wars in Afghanistan, the Caucasus and the Middle East, for example, remind us that reality is different.
The resolution is an attack against the communists, who are very weak in Europe today. They do not pose a threat to political and economic structures, they have no possibility of influencing the decision-making process. The strong powers have no interest in changing this situation.
The EU has renounced ideology in favor of geopolitics and can only move in that area. The resolution uses all the Nazi-like and revisionist rhetoric in vogue in the countries of the so-called “black belt,” that is, the band of encirclement around Russia in which the West has established hyper-reactionary or pro-Nazi governments.
It is a barrier that reaches from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea (plus other states along the Russian borders) and therefore includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine, which is not yet part of the EU. Almost all are countries in which communism has been banned and in which the collaborationist period with the Third Reich is rehabilitated.
A geopolitical clash is taking place between the EU and Russia, which has its own cyclical nature, sometimes very harsh and sometimes more subdued.
This on the one hand is characterized by an economic war (the most obvious manifestation of which are sanctions), and on the other by pressure from the “black belt.” However, this pressure is not limited to the geopolitical sphere (as the EU foolishly believes), but goes beyond to the ideological one. In fact, the people of the former USSR are not impassive to the return of the Nazis and form a square around the values of anti-fascism and historical memory.
This is the reason why in recent years in Russia (and beyond) there has been a mass adhesion to anti-fascist mobilizations and to the celebrations of the victory in the Second World War.
The anti-fascist ideal is the key element of Russian social cohesion and the consensus obtained by Putin (77 percent of the votes in the last presidential elections) is largely due to the fact that he knows how to interpret this sentiment.
The resolution argues that for Russia the “development of a democratic state will continue to be hindered as long as the government, political elite and political propaganda continue to cover up the crimes of the communist regime and exalt the totalitarian Soviet regime.” Later in the resolution it states that the European Parliament “is deeply concerned about the efforts of the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and to cover up the crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime […] and therefore invites the Commission to resolutely oppose these efforts.”
Ultimately the resolution is an attack on internal and international peace, both because it unfairly criminalizes a political force of paramount importance in European history, and because it seems to represent the prelude to new attempts at imperial penetration.
The EU shows that it has not understood so many things, including the fact that Russia will not be intimidated by a resolution and above all that using geopolitics alone will create short circuits. If for geopolitical purposes the EU rehabilitates fascism (as it is doing in the countries of the East, despite the contents of its own resolution), it commits a crime and an insult to historical memory. But above all, it is on the wrong side of the barricade. Wrong because it is the side of “evil” and wrong also because it is the losing side. History tells us and the communists are still ready to prove it.
The communists will never sacrifice ideology in exchange for geopolitics and will always be at the forefront of the struggle against fascism, revisionism and imperialism.
Alberto Fazolo is the author of “In Donbass non si passa” (“In Donbass, they shall not pass”)
Translated by Greg Butterfield