Thursday, 10 November 2011
From Mondays Morning Star
"Russian police seized a lorry in Moscow on Saturday containing Communist Party election material to an industrial region as part of its parliamentary election campaign.
A month-long campaign season for the December 4 poll officially began on Saturday.
A local representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) said that police had swooped on the lorry as it set off for Tula loaded with 84,000 copies of a newspaper outlining the party's electoral platform.
"I think they are looking for an excuse to exclude us from these elections," the activist said.
Tula police official Andrei Yartsev said that the incident may have had something to do with allegations that the CPRF has made false accusations against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia.
Another official who declined to give his name suggested that the CPRF may have committed a crime by seeking to deliver election material to Tula.
"We are now studying whether the Communists had the right to bring in this literature," the unnamed local official declared.
On the same day that the lorry was seized a squad of policemen toting machine guns broke up an impromptu CPRF open-air public meeting in central Moscow.
Security personnel barged in minutes after CPRF first secretary Gennady Zyuganov had begun addressing hundreds of citizens.
"They accused us of staging a demonstration," Mr Zyuganov said afterwards.
"This was no demonstration - we were handing out literature and material to all our country's citizens."
Russia's seven registered political parties - including the ruling United Russia, the Communist Party and Liberal Democratic Party - will be granted free air time on each of the main television channels and radio stations as part of the official campaign season.
However United Russia is expected to triumph in the State Duma elections for the third time running.
Polls suggest that the Communist Party is on track to gain about 13-17 per cent of the vote, cementing its position as the main opposition party.
Its campaign platform includes improved welfare services, intensified industrialisation efforts and a progressive revision of the tax system.
It is standing 595 candidates, 116 of whom are women. Sixty-nine of them are under 30 years old."*
I'm reposting this article as I think this story best illustrates a point I've been wanting to make for a long time. A lot of people on the left mostly but not exclusively younger progressives seem to have forgotten what the word Imperialism mean. If you follow a few blogs, BBS and comment threads you'll often see someone criticising western usually American (though to be fair other Western nations flex there muscle from time to time) domination and then equate that with all forms of Imperialism to the point where any nation group or political entity that opposes the west must be "Anti-Imperialist".
That is of course nonsense Empires often squabble with each other over access to client states all the time just look at the period of 1870-1918 in Europe if you need a graphic illustration. Anti Imperialism means you oppose all forms of Imperialism not just Imperialism from one nation or nations, thats actually closer to a form of intellectual racism, "its ok for x and y to do something so long as it stops z from taking part". Nations that I've seen time and again given the "anti-imperialist" title include Iran( lets forget the sponsorship of all those paramilitaries/Terrorist groups in Arab states that are hostile to it) China (because they ain't bullying there smaller Asian neighbours at all and have never invaded another nation purely to get what they want) and the Russian Federation (lets ignore the bloody war in Chechnya, or the repression in Dagestan to give two examples) What makes this even more stupid is that the Russian Federation justifies its hard line to rebellion as a crusade against Muslim flavoured terrorism, now where have we heard that before? try G.W. Bush the "arch Imperialist". Why is it when Americans invade territories and kill people including civilians in the War on Terror its ok and principled to jump down there throats for it but no one seems that interested in calling out Moscow for the same behaviour which is arguably worse?
The answer is it isn't ok its thoroughly reprehensible and is the kind of double think acceptable to "race realist" loonies. If you've ever praised Putin the RF China or any other nation for resisting Western interests solely because they wish to advance there own interests instead then unless your some sort of anti Yankee racist your extremely confused and need to get better heroes.
* You might be wondering why the paper chose to end the article on that little statistical titbit, well its because the Russian government and many former Soviet governments main attempts to dismiss or deride Communist parties in there nations is to claim there historical artefacts of little relevance to the new generation of nationals. Just watch a story on Russia Today that features the CPRF someone who smugly assert that its an old mans club.