2020s >> 2020 >> no-1386-february-2020

50 Years Ago: Slaughter in Vietnam

Socialists look at war in a fundamentally different way from people with other political persuasions. We contend that war in the modern world is caused by the workings of capitalism with its struggles over trade, investments, oil and other resources.

The workers of the world have an identity of interests and have nothing at stake in the thieves’ quarrels of their masters. The working class owns no country. None of the resources are theirs; they have nothing to fight for and everything to gain by uniting to end the system that enslaves them and produces wars and other terrible problems.

Supporters of Trotskyism and the so-called Communist Party support war and take one side or the other, thus lending themselves to the shedding of working class blood for the profits of the capitalist class East or West.

In the case of Vietnam these people seek Victory for the Vietcong and line up behind the nationalist aspirations of developing Vietnamese capitalism.

If it could be shown that Vietnam was an exceptional incident to an otherwise peaceful and

Vietnam War protesters. 1967. Wichita, Kans, 1967

humane capitalism and if all that needed to be done was to end this war and all would be well in the world, all the talk and press comments about “this senseless war” might have some point. The fact is that no argument can be advanced condemning the war in Vietnam which would not be equally valid for the first and second world wars, for Korea and all other 73 conflicts that have taken place in the last twenty years. War is a normal condition of capitalism. An article in US. News and World Report (August 28, 1968) shows there have been no less than 128 wars since 1898 and that 57 per cent of these have taken place since the last world war. It must be clear from this that a particular war is an effect which cannot be dealt with in isolation. What we are confronting is a society that produces wars.

(Socialist Standard, February 1970)

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