The destruction of monuments, the repression of disloyal residents, the expulsion of the unwanted, and even the “camp with barbed wire” – the situation around the Liberators’ monument was the perfect catalyst for politicians and public figures, who have long wanted to say all this nonsense out loud. Let’s try to look at this from a class perspective.
In his speech, the president of Latvia contrasts modern Russia with the conditional West as a battle between “dictatorship” and “democracy”. In the West there is freedom and universal values, while in the East there is tyranny and despotism.
This is in the president’s mind. But in reality, both in the West and in Russia, it is the same thing. And it’s called the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Don’t you believe it?
Is there freedom of speech in Latvia? – Of course there is! Only such freedom and such speech that does not contradict the policy of the ruling class and the hastily adopted laws (and in the law, as we know, the will of the ruling class expresses itself).
Is there censorship in Latvia? – Of course there is, and you can see it with the naked eye. Look at the famous Delfi website. But this is “proper censorship”; it protects society from misinformation. In addition, there is a much more powerful tool, self-censorship. When, without any prohibitions, people limit themselves, shutting their own mouths. Self-censorship is enforced by the constant pressure on the people who irritate the structures of power. All the while these people are not even close to violating bourgeois laws. But these are “wrong people,” and we can and must apply various methods to them.
Moreover, since recently, police brutality has been carried out under the slogan “Let us show the true power of democracy” (Rinkēvičs, May 10, 2022). Chauvinistic statements of the “right-wing” remain unpunished and are taken for granted in the current democratic government. Against the “wrong” people, the entire state machine is ready to work. These are values.
And they say in schools that the power of democracy is that everyone can speak out about anything, but that democracy cannot be overturned. In practice, it turns out that the power of democracy and the power of the baton are one and the same.
What about Russia? – All the same, only with the opposite sign. The same “freedom of speech,” the same “correct censorship,” the same pressure, etc. How could it be? After all, we have democracy, and there’s Mordor. And in fact Latvia looks in the mirror, only this mirror is a little bit crooked, that’s why she doesn’t recognize herself.
The task of the bourgeoisie, the current ruling class, is to convince people (the working class) that people in other countries are not like us at all, but much worse. And that is why we must forget about class differences (they do not talk about this out loud) and unite with local capitalists. It is not for nothing that such words as “vatniki”, “ukropi”, “orks”, etc. have entered into use. It’s inhumanizing, helping to commit horrible acts against others not like you.
But in all these chauvinistic passages, one important detail should be noted. Namely, it is not so much the Russian as the Soviet that is being called upon to get rid of. It seems that these notions are identical, but they are not. The ruling class, through the president, is trying to confuse the people. Just as, for example, the dictatorship of the minority, the bourgeoisie, is presented as a democracy. Now, the capitalists of any country are afraid of Soviet power because that is the power of the people, of the majority, of those who toil and do not take from the work of others. Even if the Soviets first appeared in the Russian Empire in 1905, as a form of workers’ organization they also appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Poland, in places where the contradictions between labor and capital were at a high level. There were real Soviets in Latvia in 1917-1919. This is no longer a national question, but a class one, which is not solved by demolishing monuments or deporting dissenters. Even a 100% ethnically pure Latvia will give you class contradictions, workers’ discontent and, as a consequence, class struggle.
A bad dream of the bourgeoisie of any country is to see workers, regardless of nationality, language, or skin color, become aware of their class interests and unite to fight for a better future instead of enmity.