Diem25 and groundhog day of Left’s mistakes

I cannot express my disappointment with the international political organization diem25, of which I was a member until recently. The organization, which positioned itself as a rethinking of leftist ideas, was unable to develop an adequate position with regard to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

After the horrific attack by imperialist Russia on democratic Ukraine, they are still continuing the rhetoric of blaming NATO and the EU. I have never been a big fan of NATO as a defense structure, but what diem25 are doing is pathetic political opportunism, an attempt to push their own narrative when it is extremely inappropriate. Can we imagine that the left of Europe during WWII would accuse Britain of having a close relationship with Poland and thereby provoking the escalation perpetrated by Nazi Germany? Such an absurdity is absolutely unthinkable. 

Meanwhile, Hitler’s rhetoric regarding the attack on Poland was extremely reminiscent of Putin’s rhetoric regarding Ukraine. Let’s compare:

“I decided to free the German borders from the elements of uncertainty, the constant threat of civil war. I will ensure that peace reigns on the eastern border, just like on our other border. To this end, I will take the necessary measures, so as not to contradict the proposals I made in the Reichstag for the whole world, that is, I will not fight against women and children. I have ordered my air force to be limited to attacks on military targets.”-Adolf Hitler

“At the same time, technologies, including defense technologies, are changing rapidly. Leadership in this field will continue to change hands, but the military development of the territories adjacent to our borders, if we allow it, will remain for decades to come, and maybe forever, and will create an ever-growing, absolutely unacceptable threat for Russia. ”-Vladimir Putin

While NATO’s non-interference policy is truly revolting, it is nothing more than a willingness to sacrifice a “weaker” friend to appease the aggressor. Diem25 is pushing for NATO to become even more inactive, to resolutely turn away from the bloody horror that Russia is openly perpetrating on a neighboring state. Can it be called leftist politics if the proposal is to sacrifice the more vulnerable one for the “general well being” of a club of the strong and wealthy ones? Such politics has nothing to do with the ideals of solidarity and mutual aid. It is the animalistic fear that pervades the European “left” and makes them humbly play along with the fascist expansion. Their declared concerns for minorities somehow goes hand in hand with ignoring agency and the right to self-determination of the Ukrainian people. After all, even if Ukraine is the initiating party in the development of relations between NATO and Ukraine, the European left will talk about the expansion of NATO to the east, as if the agency of a democratic Third World-like country is something completely fictitious. In the worldview of such “leftists”, all decisions belong to the few strongest players at the table, and all the rest are vassals and representatives of someone’s interests.

There is a joke that comes to mind about centrists that is popular in leftists spaces: that if one side is for genocides and the other is against, then the centrists will still prefer to find a position between them. In a way the same thing is happening with the “leftists” in a situation where Russia brutally invades, but the agenda requires them to stand exclusively between the parties, because we don’t like NATO either. In a situation like that, in addition to jokes about centrists, Dante’s poems come to mind:

“Commingled are they with that caitiff choir

Of Angels,

who have not rebellious been,

Nor faithful were to God, but were for self.

The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair;

Nor them the nethermore abyss receives,

For glory none the damned would have from them.”

We should also say that the main expert on the war in Ukraine for diem25 is Vladimir Ischchenko. Vladimir, like diem25, tends to take odious decisions from the point of view of ethics in the name of the neutrality of his position. One need only recall his formally neutral position in the earlier stage of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Moreover, that position was accompanied by a clear rhetorical leaning toward the direction of the pro-Russian left. As we have seen from the poetry above, in the world of Dante, perhaps, Vladimir and diem25 would have found each other in the same way as in reality.

It is worth noting that not all diem25 member parties uphold this position. Thus, our comrades from the Polish “Razem” showed solidarity with the Ukrainian people even before the start of a full-scale war and did not start relativistic demagoguery. Now, among all the leftist parties in European countries, they are one of the most active speakers regarding assistance to Ukraine and for that, we are very grateful to them. Today, however, the Razem have demonstrated truly impressive solidarity and left both the Diem25 and the Progressive International, which had an even more disgusting position about the Russian invasion. In the Polish left, Ukraine finds a close friend, while the Western left continues to shock with their ignorance and disregard.

The crisis situation, which sheds light on the ethical foundations of various positions, has shown who is who. I’m glad that my membership in that group has come to an end and nothing more ties me with them.

/Translated by Andrii Chuvatkin

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