One World, One People 1/2

THE SOCIALIST PARTY of Great Britain pledges itself to keep the issue clear by expounding the CLASS STRUGGLE, and whilst placing on record its abhorrence of this latest manifestation of the callous, sordid, and mercenary nature of the international capitalist class, and declaring that no interests are at stake justifying the shedding of a single drop of working-class bloodHaving no quarrel with the working class of any country, we extend to our fellow workers of all lands the expression of our goodwill and socialist fraternity, and pledge ourselves to work for the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of Socialism.1914

The World Socialist Movement, as observers of international affairs and commentators on the way they impinge upon the lives of our fellow workers, we are well attuned to the machinations of the elites of powerful countries as they seek to promote their interests. Though it is no easy task for the uninitiated, we urge our fellow workers to be as vigilant as ever. To believe the arguments of the likes of Biden and Putin is to disarm yourself intellectually – for it is at times like the present when the media is dancing to the tunes of governments when the trumpets of patriotism and national chauvinism are sounding, that we need to be fighting the war of ideas with a little more gusto. Working people have nothing to fight for. The interests of their masters are not their interests. National prestige is not their prestige. When the capitalist class fully realises that they can no longer depend upon the working-class, when they find that the workers have, at last, come to comprehend their class position and that they have no reason for fighting in their master’s interests against those with whom they have no personal quarrel, the capitalist will see that it is impossible to appeal to patriotism then it will be impossible to make war. Militarism is an inevitable effect of capitalist domination and the struggle for markets and profit, and so long as the workers are ruled by a master class, so long will their masters use them as cannon fodder. The only solution to the question of militarism from the proletarian point of view is the abolition of capitalist exploitation. It is then our duty to concentrate our efforts upon socialism. The revolutionary socialist is the truest peace advocate.

The origin of war lies in class ownership of the means whereby the people live. The straightest road is the shortest road, and the only way to get rid of the evil of militarism is to get rid of capitalism. The solution to the ongoing insanity of war, we insist, remains the same. There is one world and we exist as one people in need of each other and with the same basic needs. There is far more that unites us than can ever divide us along cultural, nationalistic or language lines. Together we can create a civilisation worth living in, but before that happens we need the conscious cooperation of ordinary people across the world, united in one common cause – to create a world in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation, a world without frontiers, social classes or leaders and a world in which production is freed from the artificial constraints of profit and used for the good of humanity – world socialism.

Capitalism is the cause of modern war.

If we were living within a system of society based upon the common ownership and collective control of the means for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society, wars would be non-existent. For socialism is a system that would be worldwide, with no trading, buying and selling, but goods and services would be produced solely for use and not for profit. People would give to society according to their individual ability and take from society according to their needs. Such a society would unite the human race as a sociaI unit, with no economic contesting cIasses or national divisions.

War in the modern world has the potential for the destruction of the human race. It could be argued that this will never happen, but it cannot be denied that capitalism has produced nuclear weapons and the potential for total annihilation does exist. This ever-constant threat of humanity’s destruction, with which we all have to live, is sufficient reason for the workers of the world to organise for socialism and abolish capitalism – and to acquire the education, knowledge and desire to effect this change as quickly as possible.

The World Socialist Movement has the clearest and most positive attitude to war. We are opposed to all wars, whether they be major and worldwide, or minor and local. Our opposition to all war has been consistent. We do not oppose war in so-called peacetime and then switch our position when war is declared, jumping on the bandwagon of flag-waving patriotism. The World Socialist Movement, and its companion parties, state that all wars in the modern world are fought over private property issues, markets, trade routes, territorial rights, and spheres of influence. Modern war is really an extension of “business under capitalism” carried to an extreme of ultimate violence when the economic rivalries between the various national sections of the capitalist class can no longer be peacefully resolved or controlled. War is business as usual, but with the added ingredients of the mad slaughter of humanity fighting over the material interests and properties of a minority. The working class, as that section of society that is propertyless in the means of wealth production and distribution, has no interests at stake in supporting any war, at any time, for any reason.

Our opposition to war is an opposition distinct from all others. It is not an opposition based upon religious or moral beliefs, and although we are opposed to war on social and humanitarian grounds, our opposition is not limited to a humanitarian approach – it goes much further. The socialist opposition to war arises from our analysis of capitalism, the realisation that this system is the cause of war, further, that the working class are living under a system that can never be made to operate in their interests and that war is inevitable under capitalism, and that the two go hand-in-hand and should be completely opposed by the workers at all times until they are both finally eliminated, one with the other.

The governments of capitalist countries do not declare and support wars over idealistic stands on questions of democracy or dictatorships, but wars are declared and fought over private property issues. The wars of capitalism have never protected human rights, in truth they have harmed those rights, at times dismantled them. Diplomacy—one of the practised arts of the capitalist system—cannot be an affair of honour; it must function by double-crossing, concealment, treachery and lies. Russians and Ukrainians do battle with each other in their masters’ cause. It is an example of workers being so easily duped by the empty rhetoric of desperate politicians. When wars break out, humbug, and hypocrisy are the order of the day. The workers are called on to sacrifice themselves on the false pretext of fighting for false freedoms, for “right” against “wrong,” or because the aggressor is invading. And by that time, it is too late to examine the cause of wars because the workers are already enmeshed in it – killing and maiming at the behest of their leaders.

War is not a method that can be used to preserve democracy. Take political inventory today and you will find just as many, perhaps more, countries under military juntas, dictatorships, and countries with little or no democracy. If working people can be persuaded to support capitalism in peacetime then they can be convinced to support their respective ruling classes when war is declared. Without this support this system could not continue for one moment – wars would be impossible to prosecute – they would be non-existent. The working class are responsible for the production of all wealth under capitalism, and when they are called on to defend the wealth that they have produced, but do not own, they are ready for the supreme sacrifice, under the mistaken belief that they are fighting for ideals.

For who in their right mind would be prepared to go out and die, or be crippled, to defend the private property belonging to a small group in society that function as parasites in peacetime and provocateurs in war?

Fellow workers, we urge you to wake up while you are still in the land of the living. Whenever war is fought, for whatever superficial and false reasons and the World Socialist Movement is unequivocally opposed to the worldwide capitalist system. The rivalry over profits, trade routes, markets and raw materials which are 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 they have an obligation to their nation. Working people who do not own nor control anything have no obligation to those who do own and control it. Our sole interest is in cooperating with our fellow workers across the world. Why should we die defending what is not ours and which we will never benefit from? On the contrary, our objective is to obtain what is not now the possession of our class – the Earth and its resources. The only war that needs to concern us is the class war between the parasites who possess and the workers who produce.

What we advocate is a war upon 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 from taking the Earth into our common possession. 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. Whoever is declared the victor, one side is invariably the loser and it’s the world working class. War may be hell for us but it is heaven for many of our masters.