Russian Imperialism and Other Disputes

Last updated: 19 February 2019

We reproduce below a selection of documents from recent debates within the IBT, primarily revolving around Russia's role in the imperialist world order. In 2014, the IBT adopted an erroneous position that Russia is not imperialist, which was reflected in our press and website and argued in public by all IBT comrades. That position was corrected in October 2018 after several members left the organization, so we take this opportunity to fill out the background to our new position that Russia should now be considered an imperialist power.

Some names have been edited for consistency and some information pertaining to individuals has been redacted. The terms “Imp” and “Nimp” are used in several of the documents to refer respectively to those who hold that Russia is imperialist (now the line of the IBT) and those who believe it is non-imperialist. We may add documents to this collection from time to time.

The grouping that left the IBT in early October 2018 are now calling themselves the “Bolshevik Tendency,” a farcical maneuver that will only invite derision of our shared revolutionary tradition, which they claim to defend.

Resignations from the IBT and change of line on Russia

“Statement Dissolving PRG/BT Fusion”
Resignation letter sent to IBT, 2 October 2018

A Note on the World Situation
IBT statement, 19 October 2018

Letters to Comrades in East Asia
Sent in June and September 2018, published 12 January 2019

A Letter to Former Members of the IBT
Sent 2 January 2019

Imperialist Rivalries Escalate: Russia—Capital Export & Global Power
1917 No.41, first published 19 February 2019

Imperialists Tear Ukraine Apart
1917 No.41, extract from 17 May 2014 internal document

Debate on Russian imperialism, 2013-2017

Commentary on “Is Russia Imperialist?”
Josh Decker & Barbara Dorn, 19 June 2013

Twenty Points on the Imperialism Discussion
Bill Logan, 18 September 2013

What is Russia doing in Syria?
Barbara Dorn, 26 February 2014

Observations on the Leninist Theory of Imperialism
Josh Decker, 17 March 2014 (excerpts)

Reply to Roxie on Russian Investment
Barbara Dorn, 20 March 2014

Dots for Joining
Bill Logan, 23 March 2014

Problems with Russian FDI in the CIS
David Watts, 25 March 2014

Russia’s Emergence as an Imperialist Power
Josh Decker, 27 March 2014, data updated 2017

FDI Figures and a Grain of Salt
Josh Decker, 27 March 2014

On the Uneven Development of Nimpism
Bill Logan, 8 April 2014

Reply to Tom on Petro-State FDI
Josh Decker, 9 April 2014

Counting Trees, or Leninism vs. Empiricism
Barbara Dorn, 11 April 2014

Response to the majority position on the current crisis in Ukraine
Barbara Dorn & Josh Decker, 17 May 2014

Imperialism, Tsarist Russia & WWI: Understanding the ‘Weakest Link’
Agreed by both sides in the dispute and published 22 March 2017

Presentation on Amendment to the T&P
Josh Decker, IBT international conference, April 2017

Debate on military blocs, 2017

Turkey and the Tactic of the Military Bloc
Adaire Hannah & Barbara Dorn, 27 March 2017

Notes for Discussion on Turkey 2016 Coup
Barbara Dorn, IBT international conference, April 2017