War, fascism and revolution: Boris Kagarlitsky on why Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine

Boris Kagarlitsky Long Retreat

The following is a chapter, titled “War, hunger and economic restructuring”, from Russian sociologist and anti-war Marxist Boris Kagarlitsky’s forthcoming book, The Long Retreat: Strategies to Reverse the Decline of the Left.

As readers of LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal will be aware, Kagarlitsky is currently being held in a Russian jail and faces the prospect of five years’ prison for speaking out against Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. With his final court appeal to be heard on June 5, LINKS encourages our readers to sign the global petition call for the release of Kagarlitsky and all Russian anti-war political prisoners

LINKS is extremely grateful to Pluto Press for allowing us to publish this chapter as a means to both publicise Kagarlitsky’s forthcoming book and help further raise the profile of his case. Copyright © Pluto Press 2024. 


At the opening of the New Testament book of Revelations, the end of the world is heralded by the four horsemen of the apocalypse, symbolising sickness, hunger, war and death. Unfortunately, the twilight of the neoliberal epoch has corresponded in detail to these ancient prophecies. The COVID pandemic has not yet ended, and in Europe a major war has unfolded, between Russia and Ukraine.

Previously, there had been no large-scale wars between states in Europe since 1945. The series of armed conflicts in the Balkans sparked by the disintegration of Yugoslavia had the character of internecine strife, despite being extremely bloody and accompanied by intervention from the West. Developing according to the same logic were the conflicts on the post-Soviet expanse, including the revolt in south-eastern Ukraine in 2014 that led to the separation of Donetsk and Lugansk, and also the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Even the wars that occurred outside Europe did not, for the most part, take the form of clashes between national states. After the drawn-out war between Iran and Iraq, these conflicts either involved efforts by the coalition of the West to deal out punishment to one or another regime in Asia, or amounted to civil wars accompanied by foreign interventions.

The impossible happened

For decades the world lived with the idea that although as in the past wars were possible, such developments occurred exclusively on the periphery of the capitalist system, and did not directly affect its centre. But thanks to the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the formation of new oligarchic regimes on its ruins, peripheral capitalism became firmly implanted in Eastern Europe, in direct geographic proximity to the countries of the system’s core.

Nevertheless, the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine that broke out in 2022 and that rapidly took on the features of a global stand-off, with almost all the world’s countries being drawn into it directly or indirectly, did not appear from nowhere and was not the exclusive result of reckless ambitions on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The situation matured over a lengthy period, and not only on the political level.

Analysing the changes that have occurred in the early twenty-first century, the American sociologist William Robinson notes that the dismantling of the welfare state and the cuts to the corresponding items of state spending have been accompanied by a redistribution of funding in favour of the organs of coercion (not only the military, but the police as well). Not only has the structure of budgets changed, but economic processes have been set in train that Robinson describes as “militarized accumulation and accumulation by repression”. Needless to say, the development of this process has been uneven. The ending of the Cold War was accompanied by dramatic cuts to military spending, something that had considerable significance for the neoliberal project, leading as it did to mass lay-offs of workers in sectors where jobs had earlier been well-paid and secure. This enabled a transformation of the labour market, involving the spread of precarious terms of employment and the establishing of a system of “flexible” labour relations that served the interests of capital. At the same time as purely military spending was being cut, however, various police and security structures grew rapidly. Both state-run and private, these structures required re-equipping and reorganising to take advantage of new technology. In most states the coercive apparatus took on an increasing function of repression and control. Meanwhile, the 1991 Gulf War showed that disarmament was merely a temporary stage in the development of the coercive bloc. The “War on Terror” (in the West) and the need to suppress separatism (in Russia) provided the ideological basis for new increases in military spending in the early 2000s. Although large-scale production of heavy weapons in many countries had been curtailed, spending on the forces of repression increased or remained extremely high throughout. 

The growth of military outlays, Robinson explains, was being covered by borrowing on the international financial markets.

The money is then spent to finance the circuits of militarized accumulation and paid back to the original lenders with interest. This process that fuses financial and militarized accumulation becomes abundantly clear when we consider that the interest payments alone on the debt incurred to prosecute the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is estimated to exceed $7.5 trillion by 2050.1

In this respect the processes taking place in Putin’s Russia, involving a clear trend to steadily increasing state outlays on the organs of coercion, along with growth in the number of personnel employed by these structures and an expansion of their intervention in various aspects of life, have not been an exception to the general rule. Rather, and as has often been the case in Russian history, they have represented a marked or even extreme manifestation of the general tendency. A no less important trend in the new epoch has been the privatisation of violence, as the state, while formally retaining its monopoly on the use of coercive methods to carry out political tasks, has at the same time subcontracted increasing numbers of technical functions to private business—starting with private prisons and finishing up with private military companies. At first these private military firms, set up with state support, mostly acted in close association with transnational commercial companies on foreign territory (this was the case both with the Russian “Private Military Company Wagner” and with analogous American, South African, Israeli and even Indian organisations). Following the outbreak of the Ukraine war in 2022, however, units of the Wagner organisation started to be employed alongside the regular army. Wagner head Evgeny Prigozhin was permitted to enter penal colonies and recruit convicted criminals who after military service with the firm would be set free, bypassing the existing legal procedures. 

Robinson continues:

The more state policy is oriented toward war and repression, the more opportunities are opened up for transnational capital accumulation; the more the political and corporate agents of transnational capital seek to influence state policy in this direction, the more political systems and capitalist culture becomes fascistic.2

A well-known theatrical saying, attributed to Anton Chekhov, states that if there is a gun hanging on a wall of the set in the first act, it will inevitably be fired in one of the acts that follow. The economic logic of capitalism tends in the same direction, especially since the walls of all the participants in the drama are already hung with weapons. The “gun” was eventually fired in 2022.

World war on a local territory

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia developed over a lengthy period, and has had nothing to do with the ideological predilections of the elites in these two states. Although what was happening seemed initially like a tragicomic disagreement over how to interpret history, the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, and how to divide up the flock between the Moscow and Kyiv patriarchates of the Orthodox church, the actual roots of the conflict lay in the area of corporate interests and the economy. The presence of these serious interests was responsible for the acuteness that cultural disagreements time and again assumed, as well as for the absurdity of the ideological rationalisations put forward by the two sides. The struggle to make use of what remained of the Soviet infrastructure acquired by the ruling classes of the two states, the competition on the grain market, and the attempts by Russian and Western capital to seize hold of the most profitable sectors of the Ukrainian economy, that was chronically short of investment, all created a field for numerous clashes and for complicated intrigues. The mutual accusations and constant whipping up of tensions, however, did not prevent the two sides from cooperating with one another. Even after the political crisis that shook the Ukrainian political system in 2014, leading to a violent change of government in Kyiv, to a rebellion in the south-east of the country and to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the conflict did not expand into a genuine war. In supporting the people’s republics that were proclaimed in Donetsk and Lugansk, the Kremlin rulers were mainly concerned to ensure that the protests by dissatisfied citizens in south-eastern Ukraine against the new authorities in Kyiv did not turn into a social revolution. The radical-minded leaders of the revolt were almost all killed or excluded from the leadership of the movement.

The massive attack on the territory of Ukraine that began on 24 February 2022, and that was termed by Russian President Vladimir Putin a “special military operation”, had been predicted by military experts but nevertheless came as a surprise to Russian society. The conflict between Moscow and Kyiv had turned into a constant background to the relations between the two governments, and the periodic flare-ups had not led to anything. The launching of military operations, however, always comes at a distinct historical moment when at least one of the contending sides considers the situation favourable and military action necessary. The fact that all sides in the conflict would only lose from a war was clear from the outset, causing many analysts to remain certain that armed hostilities could be avoided or kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, events once again confirmed the prophecy of Engels, who explained how control over a situation can come to be lost as a crisis grows more acute: “It is enough for the first shot to ring out, and the reins fall from the hands of the riders and the horses bolt. . .”3

The outbreak of a large war between European states came as a shock to public opinion throughout the world, and aroused justified indignation at the actions of the Russian leadership. Nevertheless, the widespread idea that the war resulted from the folly of a specific individual—Russian President Vladimir Putin—reflected, at most, only part of the truth.

The reason for the war has to be sought not in bilateral Russian-Ukrainian relations, or even in Russia’s relations with the notorious “collective West”. The actions of the Russian leadership, though completely irrational and criminal, were provoked by a rapidly deepening internal crisis within Russia, a crisis that in turn was linked closely to the crisis of the world-system of neoliberal capitalism into which Russia was tightly integrated. The fact that such mechanisms were not understood even by the politicians who took the decisions, not to speak of ordinary people who had been turned into zombies by propaganda, does not alter their prime importance. This objective logic was more cruel and lethal the less the participants in the events were conscious of it, at least during the initial stage. The scale of the problems was fully revealed only in the second week of the war, when the clash between Russia and the West led to the country being excluded from the logistic chains and economic ties of the world-system. Here it became evident how dependent the Russian economy was, since without interacting with world markets Russia was unable not just to ensure its own reproduction, but also to maintain the fighting capacity of its army.

The aggressiveness of the Kremlin leadership was thus predetermined by its desperate and fruitless attempts to escape from the country’s growing internal political crisis. At the same time, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the war that broke out in 2022 was a consequence and one of the manifestations of the global socio-economic crisis that had resulted from the exhaustion of the possibilities of the neoliberal model of capitalism.

It was no accident that the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict took place against a background of increased tensions between China and Taiwan, of a popular revolt in Iran and of a whole series of other local conflicts in diverse parts of the world. The stresses in China-Taiwan relations were growing rapidly at the same time as at the other end of Eurasia, Russian and Ukrainian forces were beginning to exchange artillery salvoes. Conceivably, it was the successful resistance by Ukrainian forces to the Russian army that had invaded their territory that convinced Beijing of the undesirability of repeating this experience in an attempt to annex Taiwan.

What began as a mistake then took on the form of a catastrophe. The war that broke out in 2022 revealed the complete unpreparedness of Russia for such a conflict (which, incidentally, also applied to other wars, defeat in which precipitated reforms and revolutions in Russia—as with the Crimean war of 1843–1856, the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War). The number of troops once again proved insufficient, the armaments were obsolete, and weapons production depended on electronic components supplied from countries that had adhered to the enemy camp.

The impacts of the unsuccessful military campaign, the plan for which had been based on an underestimate by Russian bureaucrats of the strength of the Ukrainian army and of the readiness of the people to resist, were soon multiplied by the economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia. The calculation in Moscow that a blitzkrieg would destroy the Ukrainian state and its armed forces in the space of three days proved illusory. The sanctions in turn not only disorganised the Russian economy and brought a sharp fall in output, but also exacerbated the disproportions in the global market. As a result, Putin after seven months of war was forced to declare a mobilisation, trying desperately to supplement the thinned-out armed forces with new recruits. The result, however, was merely to provoke an explosion of discontent and the mass flight from the country of men of call-up age.

The destruction caused to Ukraine by the war, and the economic losses borne by Russia as a result of the sanctions that followed, have reached such dimensions that it is pointless to talk of either of the states involved in the conflict experiencing a recovery on the basis of market methods. The decline in private demand has been so great that the only hope lies in an organised distribution of resources and a planned coordination of work on a national and international scale.

Nevertheless, it is not only the countries directly involved in the fighting that have been affected by these events. At the very beginning of the war the British Marxist Joseph Choonara wrote on the pages of the journal International Socialism that the consequences of the Russian invasion went “far beyond the immediate geopolitical implications for the region”.4 Western writers have noted mainly the economic problems that bear directly on the European consumer (rising prices, the financial losses of firms operating in Eastern European markets, and so forth). Meanwhile, the catastrophe that has resulted from the adventurist actions of the Putin regime in Russia has marked the beginning of far more massive tectonic shifts affecting not just the countries directly involved in the war, but the entire world. In essence, the drama of 2022 repeated on the micro-scale the tragedy of the First World War, demonstrating starkly that in history situations of a similar character, arising from actions of a similar type, are reproduced again and again.

The lessons of the First World War

Explaining to his supporters the significance of the First World War, the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George spoke in 1915 of “seismic disturbances in which nations leap forward or fall backward generations in a single bound”.5 For all their seeming unexpectedness, such cataclysms are in fact the natural results of earlier processes, the sum of accumulated contradictions that for decades no-one sought to resolve or was able to do so within the framework of the existing order.

Politicians are now beginning to behave as though they had gone out of their minds. In this regard the decision by President Putin to attack Ukraine, while lacking the accumulated resources to cover military needs, the strength that would guarantee overwhelming superiority on the battlefield, and the economic possibility of resisting the inevitable Western sanctions, can stand as a classic example of such madness, even more dramatic than the fit of insanity that seized the politicians and monarchs of the Old World in June 1914. In neither case, however, was the transformation accidental. It should be remembered, meanwhile, that just a few weeks before the catastrophe all these people had the reputation of being completely rational and experienced political actors.

Wars never begin by chance; they are prepared over the long term, and the conflicts that give rise to them mature not only on the political but also on the economic and even social levels. Nevertheless, the states that are drawn into these events have a record of being caught off guard not only by the actions of their adversaries and partners, but even by their own.

Historians of diplomacy, describing the moods in the ruling circles of Austria-Hungary and the German Empire in June 1914 after the murder of the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, note that at first “total confusion reigned in Vienna”, whereas the government in Berlin demanded harsh actions.6 After a few weeks, when it had become clear that Britain would not remain neutral, the German government became conscious of the scale of the coming war. “The picture immediately changed; in Berlin they were close to panic.”7 The Austrians, however, had issued an ultimatum to Serbia, and could no longer retreat. The Russian government also “felt uncertain”, but could see no alternative to mobilising its forces.8 German diplomats in their turn reported that the demands of Austria-Hungary had “caught the Serbian government completely by surprise”.9 Events, however, were now rolling forward irresistibly. Berlin reacted to the Russian mobilisation by declaring war, impelled by the “internal political situation”, since if military operations were launched “under the slogan of a war with tsarism” it would be easier to cope with possible opposition from the social democrats.10

As can be seen, the decisions adopted by all the participants in the process were not consistent stages in the realisation of some earlier-developed strategy or plan. On the one hand, these decisions were the inevitable outcomes of preceding steps by the same governments, while on the other, the rulers themselves did not take full account of where their actions would lead.

What the diplomatic historians fail to discuss is the fact that everything was occurring against the background of a growing economic crisis, of increasingly acute social conflicts and of the obvious failure by the ruling classes to work out any program for implementing overdue social reforms. Faced with a growing avalanche of problems and amid an unmanageable crisis, conservative governments inevitably begin reacting with panicked aggression, trying to solve internal problems using foreign policy mechanisms, and socioeconomic problems through military-political actions. The struggle to expand the territories under their control is not only a means of distracting their populations from the crisis and of achieving national consolidation against foreign foes, but also an attempt to obtain additional resources, to restore socioeconomic equilibrium, and to export their problems abroad.

During a period of crisis the disproportions of market exchange become especially painful, and the need to concentrate resources, including at the expense of neighbours, particularly acute. Long-smouldering conflicts become more severe, and the behaviour of the various sides grows unexpectedly aggressive. The brief time available for making decisions, together with the stressful situations created by an increasing cascade of problems, multiplies the risk of mistakes at a time when even experienced politicians and state figures are beginning to make gross errors. A sense appears that the members of the elites have suddenly and collectively grown stupid—something that could readily be observed in the events that led up to the First World War. In such circumstances, foreign policy moves not only become mixed up with attempts to solve domestic political issues, but also come to be viewed as the best method for dealing with them.

The American scholars Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis argue convincingly that the growing incidence of trade wars and international conflicts, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and into the twenty-first, has been closely associated with an exacerbation of social contradictions and economic disproportions within the main countries that have been drawn into these clashes. The strengthened exploitation of these countries’ own populations, together with the reliance on cheap labour that characterises liberal models of capitalism, forces corporations and governments to seek access to foreign markets, the volume of which is in turn limited. Competition for the remaining markets grows more acute: “Over the past several decades, demand for goods and services has therefore become the world’s scarcest and most valuable resource.”11 Internal disproportions in the economies of leading countries lead to an overaccumulation of capital and to the clash of imperialist interests described early in the twentieth century by John A. Hobson, Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg. As early as 1887 Friedrich Engels predicted that “a world war of unprecedented scale and intensity” was approaching, a war that over three or four years would bring about economic devastation and the collapse of empires. Crowns, he foresaw, would “fall by the dozens onto the pavements,” and no-one would be found to pick them up.12 This devastation, even while it drove society backwards and deprived it of a number of social conquests, would nevertheless create the conditions for socialist revolution.

This prediction of Engels was confirmed, even if only in part, during the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917 (which in turn was only part of a global revolutionary wave that affected Germany, Hungary, Mexico, and to some degree China and Türkiye. In precisely similar fashion, the combination of an epidemic, a war and a social crisis has now shaken the foundations of states in Eastern Europe. It was not by chance that even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, mass protests broke out in Kazakhstan, where the authorities were compelled, albeit not for long, to import troops from allied states. In Canada, Australia and New Zealand public order was disturbed when opponents of the COVID restrictions staged protests, forming “Freedom Convoys”. The government of China threatened to attack Taiwan, and soon afterwards, disturbances erupted in Iran. The point was not simply that people refused to be reconciled to the oppressive laws that had been imposed on them, while governments were unwilling to live in peace. Above all, it was that the accustomed order of things, after being in place for thirty or forty years, had broken down irretrievably.

When they heighten conflicts in the hope of solving them through the use of force, however, the ruling classes of warring states or of countries drawn into conflicts merely create new social and economic disparities, even greater than those they were trying to overcome.

It is quite obvious that both in 1914 and in 2022 it was the hope of being able to wage a small victorious war, that would enhance the authority of the government and act as a sort of inoculation against revolution, that prompted the rulers to engage in military adventures. If some of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin have seemed completely irrational, it should not be forgotten that even the madness that often afflicts dictators who have stayed in power for many years does not appear of its own accord, but develops as a side-effect of the functioning of the system. Different social systems, cultures and political practices give rise to different manias.

“It has long been recognised,” Lenin wrote in 1915, “that wars with all the horrors and miseries that they bring with them perform a more or less important service in that they pitilessly reveal, unmask and destroy a great deal that is rotten, antiquated and moribund in human institutions.”13 On this level, the Bolshevik leader considered, the war that had begun in Europe had performed an “undoubted service” by revealing how opportunistic, corrupt and shameless the earlier leaderships of the workers’ parties had become.14 A very similar situation was to be observed in Russia in 2022, where the leaders of the “opposition” parties in the Duma and even a certain number of left activists succumbed to chauvinist moods, applauding the military efforts of “its” state in bombarding Kyiv and Kharkov.

In 1914 the left forces found leaders who took a clear antiwar position. In the State Duma the Bolshevik and Menshevik fractions spoke out jointly against the unleashing of armed conflict. Lenin immediately denounced all those who supported the war as social chauvinists whose ideology represented “a complete betrayal of all socialist convictions.”15 No less categorical was the leader of the left wing of the Mensheviks Yuly Martov, who declared: “The Social Democracy will either be resolutely internationalist in its thinking and politics, or it will depart ignominiously from the historical scene.”16

Nevertheless the voices of Lenin, Martov and Rosa Luxemburg, speaking out against the war, were drowned in the chorus of militarist declarations. The opponents of war and aggression everywhere finished up in a minority. They were subjected to persecution and repression, and were denounced as foreign agents. Everywhere, the leaders of the left parties supported their governments, calling on workers to go to the front. The vote by the German social democracy for war credits became a pivotal moment, rendering impossible any serious anti-war mobilisation in society as a whole. The same happened in France: “When the voting for war credits took place in the Palace of Deputies, not a single socialist deputy spoke out in protest at the war.”17 Things in Russia were no better. The left-wing Menshevik N.N. Sukhanov wrote later about the first days of the war,

. . .when the patriotic upsurge was, it seemed, universal; when patriotic intoxication or a defencist way of thinking appeared to seize all without exception, when even among socialists one never met people who correctly grasped the significance of the war or tsarist Russia’s place within it.18

As the historian Mikhail Krom notes, the position of social democratic politicians who held ministerial posts (for example, Emile Vandervelde in Belgium and Jules Guesde in France) assumed a readiness by the bourgeoisie to make corresponding concessions to ensure class peace and the unity of the nation:

Although the left wing of the international social democracy (including the Bolsheviks headed by Lenin) condemned this step by the leaders of the European socialists, viewing it as “treachery” and “opportunism”, there was a kind of logic in the leaders’ behaviour. Apart from the fact that in the conditions of war hysteria, voicing pacifist and internationalist positions would have placed the party and its chiefs in a dangerous situation (thus, on 31 July 1914, as the war was about to begin, the famous orator, socialist and pacifist Jean Jaurès died from a gunshot fired by a nationalist), reaching an agreement with the government made achieving concrete results in improving the position of workers a completely realistic prospect. Hence immediately after the end of the First World War the earlier-mentioned leader of the Belgian socialists Emile Vandervelde and his comrades managed to win universal manhood suffrage (with limited suffrage for women) and the eight-hour working day.”19

By contrast, Russian Duma leaders in 2022, while laying claim to the role of a “left opposition”, supported the “Special Military Operation” against Ukraine, without having obtained concessions or even promises from the authorities.

Opportunist support for the military efforts of a government might be depicted as a wise attempt to orient toward popular moods, but as the events of the First World War showed, these moods are liable not only to change, but to change in the most radical fashion. Once the masses see the light, of course, they do not blame themselves, but the politicians who deceived them. It is precisely the individuals who shouted patriotic slogans the loudest who come to be perceived by the people as bearing guilt for what has occurred.

After the assassination in Sarajevo, it took two years of bloodshed and suffering for mass consciousness to be completely altered, and for the militarist enthusiasm to evaporate. Replacing it was a wave of anger and hatred, directed inward against the governments of the warring countries. In Russia, the revolutionary agitation became more and more convincing amid military failures combined with the progressive disintegration of the economy. To a significant degree the Russian events of 2022 displayed the same dynamic, though now with a quite different tempo. Few had been surprised when the leaders of the official Duma parties, kept in any case on a short leash by the Putin administration, spoke out predictably in support of the war, trying to outshine the pro-government United Russia with their enthusiasm. But even among the more radical members of the “left-patriotic opposition”, significant numbers were prepared to support the military operation. When the failures of the Russian army became obvious, however, anti-war sentiments in society began growing rapidly, showing the depth of public mistrust of the government’s policies. A crucial point was reached when Vladimir Putin decided to declare a general mobilisation. Even among the layers of the population that shortly before had supported the authorities and the military actions against Ukraine, Putin’s move provoked a sharp outburst of discontent. 

The readiness to try to solve problems, both foreign and domestic, through military action had the same sources as the government’s inability to cope with the pandemic except by resorting to the large-scale use of quarantines, bans and police measures. As in the early twentieth century, conservative and self-seeking elites that were concerned only with accumulating capital had led humanity to upheavals that threatened the elites’ own dominance. Nevertheless, the significance of war as a factor in social change cannot be reduced to its effect in radicalising the masses, creating crises in government and feeding moods of protest within society. By destroying the international ties that allow the capitalist market to function not only on a global but also—and this is especially important—on a national level, war creates the need for a new organisation of the economy. This is a need that even the ruling classes sense and are compelled to recognise.

In all of the major antagonists, the First World War gave rise to the large-scale state intervention that came to be known as “war socialism”. For an economy, as M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky observed in 1915, a large-scale war creates “completely new conditions, that have nothing in common with the normal conditions of the capitalist system.” To ward off collapse, it becomes necessary to “resort to methods alien to the capitalist system and which it finds unacceptable under normal economic conditions. It becomes necessary to use planning methods to distribute the national product, and to replace the free play of economic forces that is characteristic of capitalism with subordination of the economic whole to a single, deliberate regulatory will.”20

The ruling circles in Germany had begun to do this as early as the first year of the war, when they established the Military Industrial Council. After varying periods, the other countries participating in the war also followed the path of government centralisation, planning and regulation. The breaking of economic links, the need to do without imports, and the growth of unemployment all required prompt solutions.

The military developments of 2022, from their first weeks, placed the principle of private property in question, forcing all sides in the conflict either to undertake nationalisations and confiscations or to threaten them. The Ukrainian government nationalised companies with ties to Russian capital, including Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta, Motor Sich and AvtorKrAz. The gas blockade of Western Europe begun by Russia in 2022 enabled a growth of state intervention in the energy sector. Once the Russian government started demanding that Western countries pay in rubles for supplies of energy carriers, the European states began reducing their purchases, while at the same time trying to optimise their consumption of oil and gas. This needed to be centralised and coordinated at the state level, renouncing the use of market principles in energy matters. The European Commission received the right to make joint purchases of gas and other resources for the entire European Union. Earlier, a similar decision had been taken with relation to vaccines during the pandemic. From centralised purchases, centralised and planned distribution necessarily follows. The way in which events developed thus objectively expedited the introduction of a whole series of measures from the arsenal of socialist planning. At the same time the Russian government, encountering a technological blockade, announced it would cease to observe the norms of intellectual property. 

Germany nationalised a number of firms linked to Russian capital, while the property of oligarchs close to Putin was confiscated throughout. In Russia itself, however, the authorities both in 1915–1916 and in 2022 showed a reluctance to take similar steps in a timely fashion. Dictated above all by a fear of change and by a refusal of the ruling groups to sacrifice their short-term interests, this reluctance exacerbated the process of economic collapse.

“War socialism” and the myth of self-sufficiency

Twice in the twentieth century, world war led to massive disruptions and to the disintegration of economic ties and logistical chains, harming the economies even of countries that had not been drawn directly into the armed conflict. The Russian-Ukrainian war of 2022 set off the same process, despite not being fought on a global scale. The effect concerned, however, became possible precisely because socio-economic development had entered a fateful stage of systemic crisis. Rapid price rises, along with shortages of raw materials and components for industrial products, had emerged on a world scale even before the first shots rang out on the Russian-Ukrainian border. For lack of microprocessors, factories in Russia and many other countries had begun shutting down production or experiencing breaks in the rhythm of their operations as early as the summer of 2021. The military conflict simply completed this process, lending it an irreversible character. 

The wave of sanctions that poured onto Russia after full-scale military operations began in Ukraine revived the theoretical concepts of economic self-sufficiency that had characterised the mercantilism of the late seventeenth century. It is curious that these views were often backed up with references to research performed by members of the school of world-system analysis, and especially to Samir Amin’s concept of “de-linking”. Significantly, these ideas were interpreted not in a Marxist but in a mercantilist spirit. While Amin understood by “de-linking” the ability of a national economy to minimise its export of capital and to ensure development through internal accumulation (ideally, through the nationalisation of large corporations), in Russia’s case the term was applied to attempts to secure economic self-sufficiency through autarchy—that is, the breaking of technological, productive and cultural ties to the outside world. This rupture in no way contributed either to the modernisation of the economy, or to freeing it from external dependency. Unlike in the Stalinist period, when the USSR pursued industrialisation by importing technologies and equipment that were advanced for the time, and by using them to create its own machine-building complex, what was now involved was the production of consumer goods corresponding to the standards of forty or fifty years earlier, since producing more advanced models was impossible under conditions where sanctions blockaded the importing of crucial modern components. The well-known economist Branko Milanović described what was occurring as “technically regressive import substitution”, noting that even if successful, this policy would lead to the archaisation of production, the de-skilling of labour power, and a strengthening of dependency on the world market at the subsequent stage of development.21

To the superficial observer, the events of 2020–2022 may have seemed like a spontaneous and even absurd breakdown of normal life, a collapse of the pillars of the civilised world. Nevertheless, these events had their own logic and consistency. It was simply that this logic lay outside the bounds of philistine ideas of normal life—including the concepts of economists and politicians who championed the ideas and interests of the ruling classes. The underlying basis of the processes concerned was the crisis and gradual disintegration of the system of neoliberal capitalism, a process that had in fact already begun during the Great Recession of 2008–2010. On the surface, the situation had been stabilised with the help of emergency financial measures, but these had not only failed to resolve any of the contradictions that were present, but to the contrary, had rendered them still more acute. COVID and war were thrusting the global and national economic systems in one and the same direction, reflecting an identical fundamental problem: the system was simply incapable of maintaining its equilibrium, lacking available resources and suffering breakdowns whenever challenges appeared that were outside the realm of the banal and everyday. 

The destruction of logistical chains that had been created under the conditions of the globalised market, and that had been organised to suit transnational companies, began during the period of the Great Recession even before the appearance of COVID. The pandemic and the 2022 war merely accelerated these processes, showing that returning to the starting point even after the health and political circumstances had changed would not be simple. New productive and commercial links had begun forming spontaneously, and these also had a temporary and unstable character, posing the question of the planned reconstruction of networks of economic collaboration. For this work to be performed successfully, however, it was essential to go beyond the bounds of the economic logic that had been formulated on the basis of seeking immediate and short-term profit. In other words, a fundamental break was required both with neoliberalism and with the key economic principles of capitalism.

In essence, the conflict in Ukraine had become a crucially important stimulus for the realisation, in Western countries and on a global scale, of the changes that earlier had been proposed within the framework of implementing a “Green New Deal”, but that in fact were tied up with military necessity.22 Nevertheless, the inevitable growth of the state presence in the economy does not automatically signify either a transition to socialism, or even that these measures will be comprehensive, effective and in the interests of society. The reconstruction of economic life cannot be successful and consistent in the absence of political and social changes, which in turn require that new people and forces come to power. Consequently, the events of 2022 once again confirmed that the left has a chance of gaining power when the old elites have not only exhausted their potential, but have also brought matters to an obvious breakdown, when the question is no longer one of constructing a new world, but of restoring at least the minimum necessary conditions for social reproduction.

Fascism in the epoch of post-modernism

An ideological peculiarity of the conflict that broke out between Russia and Ukraine in 2022 was that both sides were declaring their opponents to be fascists. Putin and his propaganda cited the activity of the numerous ultraright nationalist groups in Ukraine, some of which had indeed been integrated into the state apparatus of coercion. The Russian propaganda also referred to the cult in the neighbouring country of the Ukrainian nationalist and collaborator with the Nazis, Stepan Bandera. This was despite the fact that Putin himself regularly named Ivan Ilyin, who held similar pro-fascist views, as his favourite philosopher. Left-radical activists and groups were being subjected to analogous repressions in both states, while nationalist rhetoric featuring a hefty dose of open racism poured through the internet channels of the warring sides. Meanwhile the Ukrainian authorities, in documenting war crimes carried out by the occupation forces, stressed that such treatment of peaceful citizens had been characteristic of the Nazi occupiers during the years from 1941 to 1944.

Appearing repeatedly on the internet was a photo showing how, in the puppet Donetsk People’s Republic, a decoration for participating in the de-nazification of Ukraine had been awarded to the commander of a local militia unit, members of which showed up for the ceremony in uniforms bearing Nazi patches. The nostalgic torchlit processions with portraits of Stepan Bandera and other collaborationists that have been featured on Russian television to prove the need to struggle against “Ukronazis” have been shown simultaneously with the cheerful depiction of analogous scenes in Russia itself. There, the symbolism of the so-called “special operation” and the numerous ceremonies have revealed an obvious and conscious reliance on the aesthetics of the Third Reich, while the propaganda texts have been written in the style of the Nazi Volkische Beobachter of 1939–1945, using the same arguments and terms.

The spread of nationalist rhetoric in Russia and Ukraine was an important element in the cultural preparation for the slaughter that has shaken both states. Militarised right-wing radical groups in Ukraine have benefited from sponsorship by the Jewish oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskyi, but this individual also sponsored the victorious presidential campaign of Volodymyr Zelenskyi, on whom hopes were initially pinned for a turn to more democratic development of the state and for the establishing of equality between languages and cultures. These hopes finished up being betrayed, and overcoming the schism within the country will be the work of many more years, despite the consolidation brought about by the resistance to the Russian occupation.

In Ukraine the need to resist the foreign threat has, despite the ideological efforts of the right-wing nationalists, objectively enabled the cohesion of Ukrainian society at least on the everyday level. In Russia the trend observed has been quite the reverse. However much the television shrieks about consolidation, society has experienced a deepening split, caused among other factors by the eclectic attempts of the authorities to combine nostalgia for the Soviet past (including the ideology of friendship between peoples) with misanthropic rhetoric of total annihilation. The mass discontent grew dramatically once Vladimir Putin declared mobilisation. Ordinary citizens, responding with uniform indifference both to the appeals from the authorities to put an end to “ukronazism” and to the reports on opposition internet channels on the miseries being experienced by the Ukrainian people, unexpectedly felt that attempts were being made to drag them into a deadly and pointless adventure.

The Kremlin propaganda declares unambiguously that the very existence of Ukrainian statehood and Ukrainian identity represents an existential threat to Russia, and has therefore to be done away with. Everything Ukrainian is declared to be fascist by definition, and all those who admit to this identity, to be fascists subject to physical extermination. It is clearly stipulated that in the first place, it is only Russians who have the right to decide who precisely is a “Nazi” (and consequently, should be physically liquidated), while the right to speak in the name of “Russians” belongs solely to authorised propagandists and state bureaucrats, while the rest of the national population has no voice. If they dare to object in some way they are declared “traitors”, “foreign agents”, non-Russians” or “Nazi collaborators”. It is indicative that in this case the idea of genuine “Russianness” coincides fully with the concepts of German Aryan identity adopted in the Third Reich.

The paradox is that the fascisation of public discourse has proceeded under the slogans of anti-fascism. On the level of political culture the Russian authorities stress their adherence to “traditional values” and even to archaism, trying to revive the age-old traditions of tsarism and Byzantinism, but at the same time the bureaucrats do not avoid making references to the great achievements of the USSR. Waving the red Soviet flag as a symbol of the “Great Victory of 1945”, they have continued demolishing Soviet monuments and purging the education system of any traces of the Communist heritage, while simultaneously transforming nostalgia for the territorial unity and might of the fallen Union into a basis for their own claims on the territory of neighbouring post-Soviet states.

This inconsistency does, however, have its own logic. An eclectically aggressive postmodernism has triumphed. Whatever might be said about the Soviet or, for that matter, imperial heritage, Russia’s ruling elite has been formed by three decades of neoliberal and globalised capitalism. Its sources of income are tied to the world markets for raw materials, and a complete lack of interest in the social development, science, culture and industry of the country itself serves to explain the catastrophic results that befell the elite’s military adventure in the first weeks after the beginning of hostilities. None of this has been remotely like an attempt to construct rational, well-established institutions of totalitarianism; to the contrary, corruption and window-dressing have triumphed, while the state media-propaganda machine has been turned into a profitable sector generating huge wealth for the top figures who have been drawn into it. At the same time any meaningful work, even including the preparation of the army and navy for war, has been pushed onto the sidelines.

David Harvey links the postmodernist thought-games and combining of images with “the masking of the social effects of the economic politics of privilege”. Even before the epoch of Ronald Reagan this saw the rise of rhetoric that sought to justify “homelessness, unemployment, increasing impoverishment, disempowerment and the rest by appeals to supposedly traditional values”.23

In this sense, the ideological ploys set in motion in Putin’s Russia by the deft hand of presidential advisor Vladislav Surikov have in no way reflected a desire to return to the past, either imperial or Soviet, but instead a desire to keep up with the times and to match Western trends. Putin, for all his love of the archaic, has consolidated his power over Russia by being above all a figure of the twenty-first century. That is to say, he is a figure of the epoch of postmodernism, when an integrated worldview is replaced by an unsystematic pastiche of ideas, of fragmentary concepts, and of arbitrarily assembled images. Further, he is a pragmatist with no firm principles apart from a conviction of his and the elite’s complete lack of responsibility to the people under their control (something which, by the way, was impossible and unacceptable for monarchs in the seventeenth century). Meanwhile, the president himself and the elite circles around him are products of the social and cultural degradation of late Soviet society, together with the degradation of late capitalism. In this sense, too, Russia is not a tragic exception but on the contrary, part of the general current of ideological evolution of modern bourgeois society.

The classical fascism of the period from the 1920s to the 1940s was not simply an ideology, but a complex system within which an eclectic combination of elitist and egalitarian slogans, of anticommunism and of criticism of bourgeois democracy, served the goals of the totalitarian-corporatist reorganisation of capitalism within the framework of the national state. Fascism was closely associated with the anti-crisis restoration of national industry, on the basis of government regulation of the economy and under the auspices of large capital integrated tightly with a well-ordered bureaucracy.

Resting on a Gramscian analysis of the crisis that followed the ending of the First World War, Roger Simon notes that even though the ideological and political hegemony of the capitalist elites was shaken by these events, the workers’ movement “was unable to build an alliance with the different social forces capable of presenting an effective challenge to the ruling groups”.24 In Italy this ideological and political vacuum was filled by fascism. Far better than the moderate leaders of the social democracy, Benito Mussolini managed to sense the character of the moment, and to present slogans that expressed the rejection of the established institutions. “In these conditions fascism found a mass basis in the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie who had become much more politically active as a result of the war.”25 Unlike the left, however, fascism did not offer a socialist and democratic transformation of society, but the preservation and in part, administrative reorganisation of the old economic order in a new ideological packaging—populist and antidemocratic, combining a portion of the dissatisfied masses with part of the ruling class, that was now incapable of running the country in the old fashion.

A fascist or Nazi project as comprehensive as this is impossible in the twenty-first century, because the classical industrial system on the basis of which twentieth-century fascism arose no longer exists, while the neoliberal market system has long since become the fundamental mechanism for reproducing the elite, not only in the field of business but also in that of state administration.

The cultural logic of late capitalism does not presume the integration of society, but its fragmentation. This fragmentation, however, is in direct contradiction with the traditions of civil society, of institutionally organised pluralism based on the horizontal solidarity of classes and social groups counterposed to the state and large capital. Precisely for this reason, individual elements of fascist ideology and practice are capable—in complete accordance with the aesthetic of post-modernism, that has its sources in the same social processes—of being employed in the most diverse contexts, though always with reactionary aims.

Elements of fascisation may be observed even in long-established and still robust liberal democracies, from Austria to France, where right-wing populism, though not simply a modern form of fascism, makes free use of ideological instruments from the fascist arsenal. This is still more evident in countries such as Ukraine, where a weak state has been combined with a fierce struggle between oligarchic groups capable of fielding their own independent coercive forces, or Russia, where the authoritarian might of the raw materials oligarchy seeks to overcome its crisis through employing totalitarian ideology and practice.

Nevertheless, the very fact that both neoliberalism and postmodernism are logically beginning to take on the characteristic forms of postfascism indicates that the present epoch is drawing to a close. While making use of totalitarian ideology and rhetoric, the system is not in any state to construct a workable totalitarian machine that corresponds to these principles, either in the sphere of administration, or in that of production and exchange. As a result, the military confrontation that began in 2022 is merely among the symptoms of a crisis from which an escape needs to be sought along the road of recreating the mechanisms of democratic solidarity.

Reconfiguring the structures of capitalism

Among the secrets of wars, which destroy productive capacity and inflict losses on business while at the same time stimulating economic development, is that their causes need to be sought not in the concrete interests of various investors, trying to seize assets or win orders (though both of these take place), but in the general logic of the system. The reasons behind wars, that is, lie not only in the contradictions between the different sides in the process, but also in the uneven and contradictory nature of the very process of capital accumulation.

The Russian-Ukrainian war of 2022, or more precisely its global economic consequences, should be seen not just as fitting perfectly into the general trend of the structural reconfiguring of capitalism, something that began spontaneously back in 2018–2020, but also as a mechanism that in a relatively brief historical time-span permits the given tasks to be carried out. This connection was captured very precisely by the ecologist Svetlana Krakovskaya when she stated: “Human-caused climate change and the war on Ukraine have common roots—the use of hydrocarbon fuels and our dependence on them.”26 The point, of course, is not that the dependence of Western Europe on Russian gas created the conditions for launching the war (though the people in Putin’s entourage overestimated this dependency and accordingly, underestimated the readiness of the West to support Ukraine). Far more important is the fact that the war created the opportunity to introduce, at an accelerated rate, changes that were already overdue but that were being implemented only with difficulty. The rejection by Western countries of Russian oil and with some qualifications, of gas was not simply a tough and logical (though economically costly) answer to Putin’s policies with regard to the neighbouring state, but also quickened the process of structural changes that had already been set in train before the war.

The restructuring of energy supplies would provide the opportunity to install new technologies on a massive scale, unleashing a new cycle of economic growth. What was important in this case was not how “environmentally sound” these technologies were in themselves, but the fact that they would help overcome a drawn-out stagnation. Whether the results of this process would correspond to the goals and tasks of those who initiated it was a different matter. So too were the questions of whether the transformation would proceed exclusively in the interests of capital, and of whether it would act as the pretext for a new round of social struggles in which the preservation of the bourgeois economic system as such might be at stake.

Unfortunately for the ruling classes, and even for new political forces that might be capable of taking control of the state in a period of historical shocks, armed conflict sets in motion elemental processes that are both destructive and creative, and that in any case cannot be regulated by familiar methods. As Trotsky noted, a war “cannot be ended at will after it has provided the revolutionary impulse expected of it, like a historical moor who has done his work.”27 The whirlpool of the crisis sucks in society and the economy. The relationship of forces in society, in economic management and in the bureaucracy changes, and new interest groups appear that lay claim to influence and power. At times, these are uninterested in solving the problems of which they themselves are by-products. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely the depth of the crisis, the tragic nature of the events and the scale of the destruction (all of which demand correspondingly massive efforts to restore production and normal social life) that have the effect of radicalising the changes, creating the conditions for the ascent to power of forces that shortly before were on the sidelines of the political process or that had no organisational embodiment whatever, but that were capable of implementing necessary changes in the most consistent and decisive fashion.

The restructuring that has fallen due within the framework of the world-system can be carried out by various means, at various rates and by different social groups. In essence, a war also poses the question of who will pay for the changes, and who will finish up benefiting from them. Inasmuch as the war gives birth to its own elemental processes, creates new interests and alters the relationship of forces, those who gain from it are by no means always the same people who were present at the sources of the conflict.

War and revolution

The connection between wars and revolutions was already obvious in the nineteenth century, when in France the events of the Franco-Prussian War led to the fall of the Second Empire, and then to the emergence of the Paris Commune. Still more evident was this connection in the cases of the Russian Revolution of 1905, which followed on the Russo-Japanese War, and of the Revolution of 1917, which unfolded against the background of the defeat of the Russian army in the First World War. Coming soon after was the November 1918 revolution in Germany. In mass consciousness, the idea arose that lost wars inevitably set off revolutionary explosions, or at any rate led to serious reforms (here we may recall the link between the Crimean War and the abolition of serfdom in Russia, and perestroika in the USSR, which began with the situation in which the Soviet army was hopelessly bogged down in Afghanistan). Not everything, however, is as simple as it appears at first glance. Lev Trotsky wrote tellingly of this, noting at one point: “Defeats disorganise and demoralise the ruling reaction, but at the same time war disorganises the life of all society, and above all of the working class.”28 It may be said that wars, and especially lost wars, create the need for changes and the possibility of bringing them about. The scale, direction and success of the changes, however, depend on the maturity of the political forces that take part in this process, and not just on their ability to interact with the spontaneous movement of society, but also on the degree to which their efforts conduce to social consolidation and the strengthening of solidarity, while preparing the way for practical solutions under conditions of acute crisis.

Wars shake up society, and impel millions of people to take part actively in events, even if ordinary citizens previously have had neither the urge nor the need to do this. Precisely for this reason, military conflicts often act as catalysts for revolutionary changes. But just as it would be naïve to think that these changes will proceed spontaneously in the direction we need, there is no sense in complaining if a catastrophe that suddenly descends on us has caught us unprepared. Preparing in advance for such events is impossible in principle.

The official version of Marxism that held sway in the Soviet Union not only depicted revolution as an instantaneous or very brief historical event, the essence of which would be the seizure of power by a vanguard party, but also presented it as the natural result of lengthy preparatory work conducted by that party on the basis of a conscious plan drawn up in advance. The armed people, flooding into the corridors of the palaces and ministries, would comprise the striking backdrop before which a quite different drama would be played out. The weapons would be celebrated, but it would be politics that steered the course. The dogmatic ideology declared the necessary condition of victory to be the presence of the “subjective factor”, in the form of already accumulated experience, mature leaders and an organised party headed by them and prepared to immediately take control of the state. In essence, such a view of the transformation of society assumes that all revolutions are made “from above”, even if the initial impulse emerges “from below” in the form of popular disturbances, uprisings or conspiracies by military officers. If you do not possess such a political instrument, constructed in advance, or if it is insufficiently strong, then it is better not to meddle in events. Instead, the best course is to wait dutifully for the happy moment when everything is just as required by the theory.

The actual history of revolutions, however, has little in common with this schema. The masses of the population, who have entered unexpectedly (often, even to their own astonishment) onto the political stage are not in the least inclined to promptly leave it in order to make way for professional revolutionaries armed with a scientific ideology. Meanwhile, the revolutionaries themselves are never prepared in advance for the role they intend to play. Of course, they may at times imagine themselves as leaders who for some reason lack mass support. This support either remains to be won through persistent propaganda for the revolutionaries’ ideas, or it will come of its own accord under the influence of experience. The fact that the masses, on acquiring new experience, begin to arrive at their own conclusions is viewed at best as something accidental and destined to be short-lived. The more that socialist and communist parties have sought to act in accordance with plans devised in advance or with ready-made theories, the more they have finished up, once they encounter genuine revolutionary events, in the position of the generals who as the familiar adage has it, always prepare for the last war.

Genuinely successful revolutionary parties have invariably been the products of revolution, taking shape under the impacts of revolution, and to the degree to which a new political culture and practice has been formed. This is why all victorious revolutions have been “incorrect” from the point of view of theory. The social democrats made this criticism of the Bolsheviks, while the Soviet communists and their followers were unable to understand the Yugoslav, Chinese or Cuban revolutions.

If, however, revolution cannot be imagined or planned in advance, and if a revolutionary party constructed according to ready-made models from the past proves completely useless and even harmful at the moment when the masses begin to act, it does not follow from this that preparations cannot be made for large-scale social upheavals. The point is simply that these preparations must not consist of copying ready-made organisational models or of repeating familiar slogans, but of working within the current social agenda. Mass politics cannot develop in isolation from mass consciousness, and it will not always be the case that millions of people understand, immediately and adequately, the meaning of the tasks before them. The reason for which radical intellectuals and political activists even exist lies in their anticipatory work of understanding the tasks that are coming due, and of formulating demands accordingly.

  • 1

    Robinson W. The Global Police State. London: Pluto Press, 2020, p. 77.

  • 2

     Ibid., p. 78.

  • 3

    Engels F. Izbrannye voennye proizvedeniya. Moscow: Voenizdat, 1956, p. 695.

  • 4

    International Socialism, Spring 2022, no. 174, p. 24.

  • 5

    The Times, 27.1915, p. 3.

  • 6

    V.P. Potemkin (ed.), Istoriya diplomatii. Moscow: Politizdat, 1945. Vol. 2, p. 246.

  • 7

    Ibid., p. 258.

  • 8

    Ibid.

  • 9

    Faynberg I. 1914-y. Dokumental’nyy pamflet. Moscow: MTP, 1934, p. 52.

  • 10

    Istoriya diplomatii, vol. 2, p. 261.

  • 11

    Klein M.C. and M. Pettis. Trade Wars are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace. Yale University Press, 2020, p. 225.

  • 12

    Engels F. Izbrannye voennye proizvedeniya, pp. 611–612.

  • 13

    Lenin V.I. Polnoe sobranie sochineniy, vol. 26, p. 212.

  • 14

    See: ibid.

  • 15

    Ibid., p. 319.

  • 16

    Quoted in: Urilov I.Kh. Yu. I. Martov. Politik i istorik. Moscow: Nauka, 1997, p. 200.

  • 17

    Istoriya Vtorogo Internatsionala. Moscow: Nauka, 1966, vol. 2, p. 407.

  • 18

    Sukhanov N.N. Zapiski o revolyutsii. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1991, vol. 1, p. 51.

  • 19

    Krom M. Patriotizm ili Dym otechestva. St Petersburg: Izdatel’stvo Evropeyskogo universiteta v Sankt-Peterburge, 2020, p. 116.

  • 20

    M.I. Tugan-Baranovskiy (ed.), Velikaya voyna. Sbornik statey. Petrograd: Izdanie yuridicheskogo knizhnogo sklada “Pravo”, 1915, p. 276.

  • 21

    Milanović B. The novelty of technologically regressive import substitution. Globalinequality, 30 April 2022: https://glineq.blogspot.com/2022/04/the-novelty-of-technologically.html?m=1. Accessed 16 May 2022.

  • 22

    On the ties between the Green New Deal and the mobilisational economy that arose out of the military events, see: Hart-Landsberg M., The Planning and Politics of Transformation: World War II Lessons for a Green New Deal. New Politics, Vol. XVIII, no. 4 (Winter 2022), and by the same author: The Green New Deal and the State: Lessons from World War II. Against the Current, no. 207 (July-August 2020).

  • 23

    Kharvi D. Sostoyanie postmoderna. Issledovanie istokov kul’turnykh izmeneniy / D. Kharvi —“Vysshaya Shkola Ekonomiki (VShE)”, 1989, p. 268. English edition: Harvey D. The Condition of Postmodernity. An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Cambridge (Mass.) and Oxford: Blackwell, 1992, p. 336.

  • 24

    Simon R. Op. cit., p. 39.

  • 25

     Ibid.

  • 26

    Das Denknetz, no. 11, April 2022, p. 7.

  • 27

    Cited in: Sarabeev V. Trotskiy, Stalin, kommunizm. St Petersburg: Piter, 2021, p. 34.

  • 28

    Cited ibid., p. 34.