Refusal of ‘left turn’ is the Kremlin’s mistake

By Sergei Udaltsov

Oct. 31: It is obvious that in recent years, against the backdrop of the development of the global capitalist crisis in many countries of the world, left-wing political forces have come back to power or, at least, have seriously strengthened their positions.

Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov
Photo: Pavel Kashaev, Pavel Kashaev/Global Look Press

A vivid example is the recently completed presidential elections in Brazil, the second round of which took place on Oct. 30. As you know, the legendary socialist politician, candidate from the Brazilian Federation of Hope socialist coalition, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, won in a bitter struggle, beating the incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro in the second round (50.85% for the winner, 49.15% for the loser).

At the same time, we recall that various left-wing forces also now dominate in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela. In fact, there are only three countries left on the South American continent where power is in the hands of right-wing politicians: Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. A very striking trend!

In general, it should be noted that in most countries that have a negative attitude towards the hegemony of U.S. imperialism, leftist sentiments are historically very strong. At a minimum, let’s not forget about China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, North Korea and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There are traditionally strong positions of the left in many European states, and in the United States in recent years, socialist politicians like Bernie Sanders have a high level of support.

Thus, if our country today claims to be the leader of the modern anti-colonial movement (which Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken about recently), and also expects to split the ranks of the collective West, then it would be extremely logical for Russia itself to start turning towards socialist transformation, to rally this anti-colonial movement on an ideological basis.

However, at the Valdai Forum held last week, President Putin, speaking, by the way, in front of a strongly ” left ” audience of foreign guests, did not quote Lenin at all, but “… of communist convictions, they believe that basically everything should be nationalized again, everything should be nationalized. <…> It is difficult to say how effective it is. <…> We don’t need any. We proceed from the fact that it is necessary to use the most effective tools for the development of the country, market principles.”

In the same way, Putin’s hierarchy of power reacts to the demands, initiatives and proposals of the Russian left-patriotic forces, which call for a “left turn” and a change in the course of our country’s development. These initiatives are being ignored and not talked about, which is especially evident now, when the problems during the implementation of the Special Military Operation require a full-fledged mobilization of the economy.

Even the quite patient leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov no longer restrains his emotions, speaking harshly on his Telegram channel about the policy of the authorities: “It would seem that if you were taken by the throat, if part of your finances were pocketed, then do not let the remaining funds flow to the West! But no. According to the forecast of the Central Bank, the outflow of capital from the Russian Federation in 2022 may amount to about $246 billion! If you add frozen reserves to this, you get over $546 billion! This is the amount of money lost for the country. With this money, it would be possible to equip the whole of Russia and help the regions that returned to their homeland. But for some reason these funds end up in the hands of those who declared a hybrid war on us, who supply weapons to the Bandera people in Ukraine, who shoot our guys. It’s completely absurd!”

It is characteristic that in the conditions of the special operation in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than eight months, the Kremlin categorically does not want to involve supporters of socialism in the processes of governing the country, while the official media, as a rule, ignore the socialist agenda, and representatives of the left opposition in Russia continue to be persecuted. That is, there are no signs that the Kremlin is ready to really shift its policy to the left.

In my opinion, in the current geopolitical situation, Vladimir Putin is making a mistake by refusing to carry out socialist reforms. Today, a huge number of people around the world who share leftist views and hate American imperialism cannot fully perceive Russia as a real leader in the world liberation movement, because they see that the Russian authorities, despite anti-American rhetoric, continue to adhere to the liberal-monetarist economic course and conduct an unfair policy within their country in the interests of big business and the oligarchy.

In other words, Russia is not yet able to offer its potential supporters around the world an ideologically justified image of the future, an alternative to the Western ideology of hoarding and consumption. This makes it very difficult to enlist the support of billions of supporters of socialism from around the world and allows the collective West to continue its anti-Russian policy quite effectively, guided by the principle of “divide and rule!”

At the same time, if Russia today proclaimed the beginning of the implementation of a modern socialist project based on the best achievements of the USSR and other progressive countries, if Russia proudly raised the red banner of anti-imperialist struggle over the world, then we would receive a whole “army” of ideological supporters all over the world, which would make it possible to build a new global socialist bloc much more effectively in opposition to the hegemony of the United States and its satellites. And this, of course, would significantly strengthen Russia’s position in the current hybrid war with the West.

However, the Russian authorities, in my opinion, are losing time and marking time, being hostages of their dogmatic right-wing conservative views, which doom our country to geopolitical loneliness. Therefore, the question of changing the course of Russia’s development today, without exaggeration, is becoming vital.

Translated by Melinda Butterfield

Source: Free Press

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