The Worker’s Struggle: The Site of Real Trade Unions?

Over the past few days, participants of Chto Delat’s e-mail platform have been debating two articles recently published at Рабочая борьба: Сайт настоящих профсоюзов The Worker’s Struggle: The Site of Real Trade Unions. In the first article, Рабочее движение и гражданское общество (“The Worker’s Movement and Civil Society”), well-known Russian Marxist political analyst and writer Boris Kagarlitsky argues:

По существу, рабочее движение оказалось пока первым и единственным действительным проявлением гражданского общества в современной России. Не искусственного, созданного на западные гранты или заседающего в муляжной Общественной палате, а реального, формирующегося снизу.

In essence, for now the worker’s movement has proved to be the first and the only real manifestation of civil society in contemporary Russia. [That is, it is a manifestation] not of the artificial [civil society] that is produced with the aid of western grants or for a member of the ersatz Public Chamber, but of the real [civil society] that forms at the grassroots.

Chto Delat’s e-mail debate centered on whether Kagarlitsky was right to ignore other manifestations — seemingly also grassroots — of Russian civil society, such as the movement against in-fill construction and other ruinous urban planning policies, the ecological movement, the movement against the draft and cruelty in the army, etc. Questions were also raised about the appropriateness of the adjective “western,” which seemed to imply that all aid and interest coming from “the west” was of the same nature.

Just as controversial among the members of the Chto Delat electronic community was another article on the same site, Россия не нуждается в миграционной подпитке (“Russia Doesn’t Need an Immmigration IV”) by Alexander Goryanin. Many saw symptoms of extreme rightism in passages such as the following:

Правда, половина из них очень быстро переключится на — в лучшем случае — изготовление паленой водки или самостроков Гуччи. Либо начнет торговать наркотиками, промышлять кражами и разбоем. Наши выгодополучатели, наверное, очень опечалены этим, но свой барыш важнее.

True, half of them [the immigrants] will quickly switch (in the best of cases) to the manufacture of bootleg vodka or Gucci knock-offs. Or they’ll start dealing narcotics or earn their living through theft and mugging. Our profit-seeking businessmen will likely be saddened by this fact, but their profits are more important.

России нужны не иноязычные «трудовые мигранты», России нужны репатрианты. Необходимо облегчать репатриацию, приняв специальный закон о возвращении, подобный израильскому закону 1952 года. Право на переезд в Россию следует признать за всяким, кто принадлежит к российскому суперэтносу. К этому суперэтносу помимо титульных народов России (то есть русских, карел, якутов, мордвы, кабардинцев, бурят и др.) должны быть отнесены украинцы и белорусы, потому что сегодня среди граждан России их вместе почти 4 млн; должен быть отнесен такой «бывший титульный» народ, как немцы, имевшие свою автономию на Волге и не по своей вине ее лишившиеся; отнесены потомки эмигрантов времен Гражданской войны и «перемещенных лиц» Второй мировой. Возможны еще несколько небольших категорий — например, выпускники российских вузов. Во всех остальных случаях переселение может быть разрешено лишь «особо ценным лицам» — разумная практика, принятая в ряде стран.

Russia doesn’t need non-Russian-speaking immigrants; it needs repatriates. We must make repatriation easier by passing a special law of return like the one that Israel adopted in 1952. We should give the right of entry to anyone who belongs to the Russian super-ethnos. Aside from the titular [republic-forming] peoples of Russia (Russians, Karelians, Yakuts, Mordvinians, Kabardinians, Buryats et al.), Ukrainians and Belorussian should be included in this super-ethnos because there are almost four million of them who are citizens of Russia. It should also include such former titular nations as the Germans, who had their own autonomous region on the Volga and were deprived of it through no fault of their own. The descendants of people who emigrated [from the Soviet Union] during the Civil War and of displaced peoples from WWII should be included. Several smaller categories might also be warranted, such as graduates of Russian institutions of higher learning. In all other instances, relocation should be permitted only to especially valuable persons, as is the practice in a number of countries.

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Filed under immigration, leftist movements, trade unions, Uncategorized

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