War! What for?
By The Socialist Party of North America
“I do not know of a war for the last 300 years that was caused by a soldier or a soldier’s
ambition. All wars have economic causes. Without a single exception, all wars are wars for
trade. They are caused by bankers, merchants and business men.”
(The late Frederick Dent
Grant of the United States Army
at the Chicago Peace Congress 1909).
“General Sherman has said ‘War is hell’. As business men are the cause of wars, it may be
well to say that business is hell.”
(Admiral Swinburn of the United States Navy).
The answer is given us in plain terms by capitalist authorities themselves. Wars are caused by
conflicting commercial interests. But how do these commercial conflicts arise?
In all countries to-day, whatever may be the outward forms of their governments, whether
supposedly ruled by President, Czar, or King, the real rulers are those who control the
industrial resources of the nations. These are Jews, Gentiles, Agnostic, Mahomedan or
Christian. They are men of every creed and nationality.
On the other hand, we have the despoiled workers of every nation, whose only resource is to
sell their labor of brain and hand for starvation wages.
To-day, under scientific production, by the aid of machinery, the workers produce in an
abundance, which dwarfs the miserable pittance they receive.
But each and every capitalist’s wealth is first in a form which he has no personal use. It is
therefore necessary for him to take it on the world’s market to exchange for money, this fetich
of modern society, the possession of which gives lordship to its owner.
As the laborers have not been paid sufficient to buy back that which they have created, it is
necessary for the capitalists to conquer new markets in order to dispose of the vast amount of
commodities wrung by pain, labor and broken health of the despoiled, despised workers.
Since nearly every country of the world have taken on the capitalist method of production,
and are producing far in excess of the miserable consumption of its workers, they are faced
with revolution from the starving and discontented populace from within, or the alternative of
war without, which to the capitalists is far preferable, since it will use the heaped up spoils of
labor, and also many of the workers, now so cheap and plentiful.
The interests of the world’s workers is revolution; a revolution to abolish the capitalist
method of production for profits to the few with misery to the many, and the inauguration of a
system of world wide co-operation for the benefit of all who labor.
Therefore our motto is now, as it is at all times: “WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS”. And in face of the present
crisis we might add: “WORKERS OF THE WORLD DON’T FIGHT! YOU HAVE
NOTHING TO PROTECT BUT YOUR POVERTY. YOU HAVE YOUR LIMBS TO