From Letters, Socialist Worker, No.1953, 28 May 2005.
Downloaded with thanks from the Socialist Worker Website.
Marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
What’s happening in Uzbekistan is exciting for the struggle for socialism.
Uzbekistan is the scene of the fourth revolt against authority in countries that used to be part of the USSR. The best known of these upheavals were in Georgia and especially Ukraine. It was possible to present the Georgian movement as achieving a pro-market victory for the West. The government was identified with the old Communist regime and the Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Uzbekistan is different. The regime of Islam Karimov is notorious for hardly having changed since Soviet times. But it took a decisive move away from Russia and now hosts a US base near Afghanistan. The US now appears to be embarrassed about this association. The Uzbekistan revolt cannot be seen as being pro-Western. Any revolt against Karimov must be seen as a revolt against his US backers.
No future movement in countries like Ukraine and Georgia can be painted as being pro-Western, as these regimes are in the Western sphere of influence. There will be people open to ideas which fit their situation better than the Bush and Blair school of elite democracy – socialist ideas.
Last updated: 29.3.2008