1960s >> 1969 >> no-780-august-1969

50 Years Ago: Peace – Competition
 – War

On the day the Press was gushing and frothing over the spectacular peace-signing business (June 30, 1919) the Daily News published an editorial on the matter:


 And is there anyone who looks to Japan and the Far East without large and vague apprehensions? Or Westward across the Atlantic without wondering what the future has in store there and realising, however dimly, that if the United States is compelled to forsake its historic pacifism for militarism it is sea power which will be its capital concern?


The idea of setting up America with her gigantic naval programme as a pacifist nation is truly comical. In the last 25 years America has been at war with Spain, the Phillipines, China and Germany, to say nothing of the murderous slaughter of American working men in the various strikes.


As the Socialist Party has all along pointed out, the wars of civilised countries, since the birth of the capitalist system, have been caused through the struggle between sections of the world’s capitalist class for the trade routes, raw materials, markets and the like. As long as there is commodity production, buying and selling, with the consequent competition among buyers and sellers and the enslavement of the producing class, wars are of the very essence of things. Lasting peace can only arrive when the private ownership of the means of living has been abolished and common ownership has emerged from the ruins.


(From an article by G. McClatchie in the Socialist Standard, August 1919.)