Against the war or against war?
As Bush and Blair are threateningly concentrating troops in and around the Middle East and heartlessly urging others to join in the massacre of innocent Iraqi lives, millions of people around the globe are daily demonstrating their disgust at the savage effort.
Many people have come to realise that the war is not so much against Saddam Hussein “the evil”, but that in reality it is an attempt to annex the region and control its rich oilfields. Socialists in the World Socialist Movement have always maintained that capitalists will always put their profits first and peoples lives second. And it is this insatiable thirst for profit that may not stop the Bush-Blair camp from regional war in spite of the global outcry.
Our TV screens have shown us emotional scenes of tearful friends, relatives and loved ones of poor American soldiers off to die in the war. Yet Bush and his gang remain stone-cold. This shows the callous intransigence of the profit-motivated warlords.
We must point out, at this juncture, that on the side of the amorphous anti-war forces include others like French, German, and Belgian capitalists (represented by their governments) who oppose war in Iraq not necessarily because of the destructions of human lives, but primarily because they are conveniently protecting or enhancing their oil business interest in the Middle East. They could also have taken up arms against Iraq (as they did in the early 1990s) if it suited their profit concerns.
Therefore, we note here that this massive show of solidarity, though expedient, stands the risk of being bankrupt if a certain link is allowed to go missing. The mass action we are witnessing is a spontaneity that is only representative of the reformist culture that has so far dominated mankind’s search for a solution to the evils plaguing our planet.
The link that we must not let slip through our fingers is therefore the need to resolve to think up a better method of tackling the real cause of our problems in a way that will ensure a lasting solution. This is definitely not an easy task as it calls first for an understanding of the a real cause of all our woes including war; and secondly, for the willingness to implement the conclusions of our research.
For us in the World Socialist Movement, ownership and control of the world’s resources is at the heart of the problems confronting mankind. These resources, which include land (which contains oil, the source of the current threat of war), factories, transport and communication systems, etc are exclusively owned by a very small group of individuals. This negligible minority determine the use of resources in a way that ensures that all the benefits thereof come to them while the overwhelming majority of the human kind are left with virtually nothing. This majority only possess their ability to work, which they are forced to sell to the minority who own and control the resources, for a relative pittance. As a result, these masses have little or no access to the products of their labour, which the minority of owners appropriates and sell at a profit. This unequal relation to the resources in the products of labour (goods and services) is the real cause of the problems of our society.
But there is another aspect to this ownership and control. It is the fierce competition that exists between different groups within the minority of owners to outclass each other in their sordid greed for more profit. This leads to wars, which unfortunately are fought by the poor ownerless majority. This case of Iraq presents a typical example. Different factions of the world’s capitalists are locked in a battle to entrench or even seize and control the oilfields in the Middle East. In the war – if it happens – the capitalists will remain safe in their fortresses while poor American, European and in fact others from all over the world are going to slaughter each other and their children, mothers and wives for nothing, absolutely nothing.
If we understand the current Bush and co vs mankind (the capitalist system) in this perspective, we can now decide whether or not we want a change for a better, civilised and sane world; whether we want to help wipe off this sacrilegious blot on the human landscape. This is where socialism comes in.
The alternative state of affairs that socialists have thoughtfully put forward and are working towards its attainment is for the resources of the world to be communally and democratically owned. This is the only way of eliminating the present class-based society along with its problems all of which are class-rooted. Since, in this socialist society, everyone will have an equal say in the ownership, use and control of the resources, so will each willingly contribute their efforts in transforming the resources into useful and usable products; and everyone will have a free and equal access to the products of labour in accordance to their needs.
This humane system is possible and can be attained through a collective involvement of each and everyone co-operating willing. And that is the link we must not let slip through our fingers as we protest against the barbarous invasion of Iraq by the world’s capitalists.