Sunday, November 21, 2021

To Be Against War


Every annual Remembrance Day politicians shed crocodile tears for the dead and the sacrifice they made for Queen and Country.  

The fact is, it is not really politicians who cause wars. They are caused by economic competition, by the international struggle for foreign markets, trade routes and sources of raw materials. The  Socialist Party explains that the cause of war in the modern world is to be found in the inevitable economic rivalries among dominant, competitive capitalist groups in capitalist society.

Peace is possible but not until production for sale and private profit is supplanted by production for use. The Socialist Party proposes that we put an end to the cause of war by organising to uproot the capitalist system. The workers in the developed nations have more than the necessary numbers to vote capitalism out and socialism in, a genuinely socialist society, resting on the basis of economic freedom. This new social system the workers alone can bring into being, thus forever putting an end to wars, and establishing the society of human brotherhood based on freedom, peace and abundance. Only one thing can prevent the chaos toward which the world is heading. That is the establishment of genuine world socialism. There is no acceptable alternative. We must establish a society in which private ownership of the means of life will be replaced by social ownership and democratic control; in which production for sale and the profit of a few will be replaced by production for the benefit and use of all.  Poverty, insecurity, unemployment will be eliminated. War-breeding struggles for markets will be a thing of the past. Totalitarianism will be impossible. Everyone will lead a full life, contributing his or her fair share of the work and receiving his or her fair share of the total social product. We shall have laid the material and economic foundation for social harmony, peace, plenty and liberty, on the basis of international human brotherhood. 

The problems that make living so difficult today -- problems of poverty, slums, unemployment, crime, water shortages, air and water pollution and many more -- have been with us for a long time, a very long time. These problems are not peculiar to the country where you dwell  They exist in varying degrees in every nation. Every politician who runs for office promises to do something to alleviate or eliminate these evils. Despite these promises, and despite the reform efforts, these problems have defied solutions. The basic cause of our problems is the capitalist system under which we live. Capitalism today is an outmoded decadent social system. It has been so for a long time.

The  Socialist Party does not accuse individuals of deliberate efforts to engineer wars. Instead, we say the capitalist class generally, will do whatever they believe is necessary to protect, strengthen and preserve the capitalist system, the system that in the final analysis is the cause of war. For it is the economic facts and factors that control leaders and their actions -- leaders rarely control events, or at any event not for long.

 "I claim not," said Abraham Lincoln, "to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."

Similarly, Napoleon remarked, “I found all the elements ready at hand to found an empire. Europe was weary of anarchy, they wanted to make an end of it. If I had not come probably someone else would have done like me . . .”

Conflicts are propelled by forces beyond the immediate control of individuals, regardless of the prior hopes and intent of individuals, leading to a termination of the precise nature of which even the most far-visioned cannot perceive at this moment.

We believe that the working class must, at last, come to understand that the competitive capitalist system of private ownership of the land and plants of production, means of transportation, mines, etc., is, in fact, the basic cause of the present state of world anarchy, and of wars, declared and undeclared. To avoid future wars, therefore, the capitalist cause must be abolished. Society must be reorganised on socialist lines, replacing private (and state) ownership and competition with social ownership and cooperation. We must make the factories, communications, mines, transport, and all the other means of social production the common property of society so that we can produce things to satisfy human needs instead of for the profit of the few. Only then can the competitive, war-breeding struggle for international markets, spheres of influence and sources of raw materials be ended. Only then will the nations of the world have an economic foundation for lasting cooperation, harmony and peace.

Socialism -- genuine socialism -- is literally the hope of humanity.

 The Socialist Party has devoted all its years to the collective study of the social question, offers a programme to accomplish this change to socialism peacefully. In the name of sanity, we urge you to study our principles and to help us bring to birth a society in which all of humanity can live in peace and freedom.

Sympathy and emotion for a good cause are laudable. But without a sound premise and attainable goal, they can only lead to failure and despair. The crying need of our time is not protest marches for limited and impossible objectives, but determined, unrelenting action to awaken the working class to the imperative need for a socialist reconstruction of society, and to enlighten them on the principles and programme for accomplishing that social change in a peaceful, civilised manner. At this late hour on the social clock, it is the only way to strike a decisive blow for peace and freedom for the workers of all nations. All else is futile and hopeless.

Militarism is part and parcel of a capitalist system based on profit-motivated production, the private ownership of the economy by a tiny capitalist minority, and the exploitation of working people. It is the means by which the capitalist minority enforces their political and economic will both at home and abroad. Accordingly, an effective antidote to militarism can only be fashioned by a working-class movement that organises workers to effect a basic transformation of society. This is the programme of the Socialist Party - to organise workers into mass organizations capable of wresting control over society from the capitalist minority and of creating a worker-controlled economy that will serve our collective needs and free us once and for all from the unspeakable horrors of militarism.

1 comment:

Mr. Magoo said...