1980s >> 1984 >> no-961-september-1984

50 Years Ago: No More War?

Twenty years ago a war commenced of a nature more devastating than any that had occurred before. So great was the feeling of horror aroused by the carnage and the barbarities committed at the time that there was general assurance that “never again” would such a thing happen—and ever since the governments have been preparing for even worse wars.

At present, in Europe and the East, nations are watching each other on the verge of flying at each other’s throats, moved by economic motives similar to those which set guns belching death and destruction in those old unhappy years.

The hollow farce of the League of Nations still plays its expensive and idle part in the game. One of its principal supporters. Viscount Cecil, speaking at Windermere on August 11th, said that “No one could feel security for peace at present. Every day new disturbances arose, rumours of war got about, and countries ; were preparing for the worst.” (The Observer, August 12th, 1934)

The way to prevent war is not by engaging in anti-war campaigns. These are quite useless, because they leave the causes of war untouched. The only preventative is to take away the urge to war: take away the profit motive. While private ownership of the means of existence remains, the making of profit is the object of the private owner. Abolish private ownership and substitute for it common ownership in the means of production and the profit motive disappears, taking with it the seeds of war, both internal and external.

Socialism is the only means to defeat the war-mongers.
(From an editorial, “No More War?”, Socialist Standard, September 1934.)