2000s >> 2003 >> no-1184-april-2003

Our peace policy

It requires no crystal ball, no advanced degree in foreign affairs, to observe that the “healthy competition” of capitalist rivalry has become more vicious and ruthless recently. The increase in US military expenditure this year is greater than any previous year ever, signalling not only that there are profits to be had, but that they will be fought over. The current US-led military campaign for control of Iraq’s oil is just part of a wider game plan for the Western corporate elite.

The foolish and the fearful might delude themselves that this new weaponry might never be used, that it is defensive. The reality is that the US arsenal of the 21st Century is being built for use, and the reasons for its use are increasing with new challengers, armed with their own weapons of mass destruction, fast arriving on the scene. It is only a matter of time before capitalism turns very nasty and threatens to blow us all up. The ticking of this potential time-bomb is all too audible to those whose fingers are not placed tightly in their ears. The world is a dangerous place

All of the major parties have “defence” policies which are really war policies. Even if they are opposed to an attack on Iraq, as the Liberal Democrats were, they are more than ready to give a nod to a different war elsewhere. Or, to be blunt about it, they all have strategies for killing large numbers of people. That is what they are doing when they ask you to vote for their “defence” policy: choose their strategy for murdering people you have never even met in preference to that of the next party. To vote for these parties is to become a willing accomplice in the preparations for mass murder. The current and absurd deterrence strategy is best described by the dictum, “If you want peace prepare for war”. That is the policy accepted by most of the parties aiming to run capitalism. It is like saying if you want virginity among teenagers build brothels in the schools. You do not achieve peace by preparing for its opposite: if you prepare for war there will be a war.

Nobody should be taken in for one minute by the Labour Party lie that they are, by acting pre-emptively against Saddam, presenting a more peaceful policy. On the contrary, theirs is an alternative war policy—a policy dependent on conventional methods of mass murder, while at the same time remaining in loyal alliance with the NATO nuclear murder gang. It is like a gang of muggers saying that in the future they will give up using knives and will rely on beating up the same people with wooden sticks. But at the same time they will remind their victims that their friends in the bigger gang still have knives. If anyone sides with the warmongers of New Labour in the belief that conventional weapons are about decent warfare they should go and talk to the conscript soldiers of Iran and Iraq, or the victims of the Falklands war.

Wars are not the result of workers in Iraq, Russia or China falling out with workers in the USA. Most of the British workers who unthinkingly accept Labour’s line that “we must defend ourselves effectively” do not have any enemies in Moscow or Baghdad or Beijing or Pyongyang. Most workers in Britain have never met an Iraqi, let alone fallen out with one sufficiently to want to blow them up. Most Iraqis have never met an American. If you repeat a lie often enough people may begin to believe it and so they keep telling us that we must be defended against Iraq and other errant Islamic countries. After a while “Iraqis” are seen as monstrous, threatening, inhumane begins, blind followers of a mad dictator fit only to be killed. And to many Moslem workers, indoctrinated by the same lies from their owning class, workers in the West are perceived similarly as a wicked enemy, often a satanic enemy. What you must never forget – because then you have been finally brainwashed – is that there is nobody out there you need to kill and there are no enemies out there with a grievance against you. War is not about our interests, but those of the bosses who rob us so that they can be rich and powerful. War is about the competition between capitalists. If we are to die it will be for them. Ponder that as the masters of war ask for your support in the coming weeks.

Capitalism is the cause of war in the modern world. The Socialist Party is unequivocally opposed to the world-wide capitalists system. We are opposed to it in the Middle East as much as in Britain, Africa or the USA. The rivalry over profits, trade routes, markets and raw materials which is generated by capitalism makes war inevitable. It follows from this that you cannot simply oppose war unless you are out to end capitalism. Sadly, all too many workers, who are sincere in their belief that war is an outrage, nevertheless unwittingly support capitalism’s conflicts by simply voting for capitalist politicians at election time, by remaining within political parties which are out to defend the capitalist system in its various forms and guises. It is futile to try to remove an effect without removing its cause. Thus campaigning against war now, whilst not objecting to capitalism, simply means that you will be out again protesting when the next war breaks out.

Workers have no country. Nationalism is based on the lie that workers have their own country; that the British have an obligation to Britain and likewise with the workers of the USA and Iraq. Workers who do not own or control Britain have no obligation to the bosses who do own and control it. Our sole interest is in co-operating with our fellow workers across the world who similarly have no country. Why should we die defending what is not ours and which we will never benefit from? On the contrary, our object is to obtain what is not now the possession of our class – the earth and its natural and industrial resources. The only war that need concern us is the class war between the parasites who possess and the workers who produce over the ownership and control of the Earth’s resources. But to win we need not initiate the violence which is characteristic of capitalism’s wars.

What we advocate is a war on war to be waged on the battlefield of ideas—for the hearts and minds of the world’s people. And once we unite there will be no force that will stop us taking the Earth into our common possession.

Socialism will allow humanity to co-exist in peace. There is nothing natural about war. Are we born with a desire to kill people who speak a different language or who have a different skin hue? No! In fact, peaceful co-operation is more fitting for human beings, who are potentially rational beings. Once we live in a world of common ownership and democratic control of resources there will simply be no reason to kill one another. No Empires to build or markets to expand or profits to increase. Socialism will be a social system in which war will be pointless. Peace will be the norm. There will be no socialism without socialists to bring it about, just as there will be no capitalism or war without workers to support such insanity.

Stop and think the next time you hear Bush and Blair present their case for this war, the next time you read a tabloid headline supporting the government line and praising “our boys”. Think of the peace which could come about and think of the screams which are the human sound effects of war, and for your own sake, think hard!

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