Horror and indignation. There are no other words to describe the attacks which have struck the cities and towns of Ukraine. No cause can ever justify such monstrous acts.
Governments who rule the destinies of nations are but the tools of the moneyed interest. Their quarrels are dictated by avarice and lust of power on the part of the class to which they belong. The people who fight under their flags in the various armies do indeed imagine they are fighting the battles of their own country, but in what country has it ever happened that the people have profited by foreign conquest?
The influence which impels war today is the influence of capitalism. Every war now is a capitalist move for new markets, and it is move capitalism must make or perish. The mad scramble for wealth that this century has witnessed has resulted in lifting almost every country into the circle of competition for trade. Competition between capitalists drives them to seek newer foreign markets.
Modern wars, in the opinion of the Socialist Party, are caused by the conflict of nations for markets, sources of raw material, fields for investment, and spheres of influence. As long as the capitalist system remains, and with it those conditions which flow automatically from the operation of the capitalist system, recurring wars, are inevitable. Our party has always stated that it is impossible to prevent wars without abolishing the capitalist system which breeds war. It may be possible to delay war for a while, but eventually, it is impossible to prevent wars while this system, and its conflicts of rival nations, remain. Wars are caused by international economic conflicts, and not by the goodwill or bad will of some people?
That does not eliminate the possibility of incidental attacks being caused by the acts of this or that ruling group of one country or another, but fundamentally wars are caused by the efforts of all the capitalist powers to expand into other fields. The only way they can get them is by taking them away from some other power because the whole world has been divided up among a small group of competing powers. That is what leads to war, regardless of the will of the people. We do not maintain that the ruling groups of any nation really desired the war. We have stated many times that they would have been glad to have avoided it, but they could not avoid it and maintain the capitalist system in their country. Our party is unalterably opposed to all wars. We do not give any support to any war. We do not vote for it; we do not vote for any that promotes it; we do not speak for it; we do not write for it. We are in opposition to it. We write against it and we speak against it.
Is it the "fate" of humanity always to be at war? Will mankind always be divided into antagonistic camps, which, men call "their country, their fatherland"? And must they always slaughter one another with murderous weapons, murder, mutilate and burn, laying waste to beautiful towns and cities? Must the world always be one vast slaughter-house? Must the world always be one vast arsenal with each war yet greater and more terrible than the other? Yes! Always! as long as capitalism exists! So long as capitalism exists, so long as capitalism rules, so long as the state is in the hands of the capitalists, so long as the bosses hold power, then so long will there be wars! War is a vital necessity for the capitalist class.
Certainly, there is one war we endorse. The class war. The war to end wage-slavery, to end capitalism with its evils of misery and degradation, prostitution and crime. The war to end war. And until that war is ended we do not want peace—because such peace will be the peace of the beggar and the slave.
War will become a horrible memory of the past only with the termination of the system of wealth production for private gain — with the advent of socialism. As yet the dark forces of capitalism are stronger than socialism. Capitalism is the cause of war. To abolish war we must abolish capitalism. This is the whole crux of the matter.