The Western Socialist
Vol. 34 - No. 259
No. 5, 1967
What should we do about Vietnam?
We should place on record our abhorrence at the terrible slaughter. We have done this.
What else should we do?
Should we organize street parades with placards reading "Save Vietnam," "Stop the Carnage," "No More War?" Should we petition parliament, write horrified letters to the press, warn of returning brinkmanship? Should we clamor at the gates of embassies, rage against the Russian government, storm against the U.S. government?
We would say Yes, we should do these things — if they will do any good. But we have seen a lot of Vietnams in. our day, big ones and little ones, terrible and destructive ones, all accompanied or preceded by protests such as these.
Who can forget the two world wars and the numerous lesser ones: Korea, Algeria, the Congo, Cyprus, Suez, Hungary — to mention only a few of recent years. They all brought enraged multitudes into the streets. Did the protests prevent a war, stop a war, or keep a shot from being fired. We are not aware that this happened.
But we have witnessed the spectacle of protest movements melt away disheartened by the empty results of struggle and sacrifice. And we have seen protest movements become divided as to the identity of the war-maker to be condemned and even to declare that a war must be fought to subdue an aggressor as many thousands did during the days of Hitler.
These activities are not helpful to the cause of peace. Governments are not impressed by them, but find them often useful in furthering their own brands of pressure politics.
The cause of peace can be served by first finding the cause of war, then attacking the cause. Blood will pour until this thought reaches the millions. Active membership in the Socialist Party is the one means of speeding the coming of permanent peace.
Statement by General Executive Committee, SPC