Why Ban the Atom Bomb?

In various places in the London streets the inscription “Ban the Atom Bomb” can be seen chalked up on walls and buildings. Seemingly so sensible, a little reflection shows how foolish it really is.


The organisation whose members chalk it up makes no mention of putting a ban on bombing planes not carrying atom bombs but loaded with those terrible block-busters that caused such terrible havoc and destruction in the recent world war. Hundreds of thousands of lives were destroyed by them in big cities of Britain and the Continent of Europe.


No mention of putting a ban on battleships with their terrible 15in. or 16in. shells. They weigh over a ton, and are about ten feet long. They too can cause a large number of casualties. Why not include a ban on submarines, with those terrible torpedoes. Thirty-six years ago through the sinking of the liner “Lusitania” by a German “U-boat,” hundreds of lives were lost, including members of the working class who formed the crew.


Other weapons could be listed which can cause great loss of life, such as destroyers, gas, flame throwers, tanks, machine guns, rifles, etc. No protest is made against the use of those weapons.


Modern wars are not fought over such issues as democracy, or the spread of Communism. Communism does not prevail in any part of the world. It does not prevail in Russia, nor in China, or Korea. Wars are fought over such issues as who shall have control over the oil wells in Persia and the pipe lines running to Haifa.


More bones of contention between the victorious robber powers of the recent war are. Shall Russia have control of the Dardanelles? Shall Britain continue to dominate the Suez Canal? and who shall have the lion’s share of the rubber plantations and tin mines of Malaya? Shall America continue to dominate the Panama Canal and so levy heavy shipping tolls on those companies that are compelled to use it, the alternative for those shipping companies being to make the long journey round Cape Horn.


War can solve no working class problems. The effects of war are wholly evil. Capitalism gives rise to war and Socialism is completely opposed to capitalism and to its wars and what they represent. To get rid of capitalism and to establish Socialism is the task of the working class of the world. They must understand what Socialism is, and organise politically to bring it into existence. No leaders or groups of leaders can do the job for them, but the working class alone. So instead of wasting our time on slogans such as “ Ban the Atom bomb ” we have a slogan instead.


“Don’t die for Capitalism, live and work for Socialism.”


Nat Posner