The international crisis is escalating at the present time. The drive towards war is assuming irresistible dimensions. Elaborate preparations, hidden and open, are being made for a new showdown. Diplomatic and military preparations are going on in every country in Europe. There is only one way to prevent war and if it breaks out to end it, namely, by the overthrow of capitalism, the real cause from which war arises. Capitalism is a system based upon exploitation. Violence, repression and war are necessary to maintain that exploitation. The World Socialist Movement has always been striving for peace between nations. Its energies have been directed towards the elimination of the causes of war. You are really not against war if you are not for the overthrow of the system that produces war. You are not really for peace if you are not for the overthrow of the system which makes peace impossible. The first casualty of war is democracy. It must be obvious to anyone who is not politically naive, that no government undertaking or treaty has ever been kept for longer than it was expedient to do so.
The profit system is the cause of all wars today. The capitalist class owns all things, and it wants a market in which to sell them. Besides, the capitalist class has billions of dollars (profits) which it intends to invest in some other country in order to make more profits. And this is the cause of all capitalist wars. The capitalists all want to seize or hold, territory in foreign, undeveloped countries. They want to have a military in order to protect these foreign investments from the capitalists of other countries. Wars are caused by the competition of various national capitalist groups for new markets, new natural resources and new investments. The Socialist Party cannot agree with those who attribute the cause of war to the behaviour of this or that political leader.
Socialism will prevent wars because it means the ownership of the factories, mines, shops, lands and all other instruments of production and distribution by the workers who use them. It means the abolition of the profit system. You can make the whole world your world with a united working class. But you must have an educated, organised class.
The way to cure a disease is not to put salve upon the symptoms, but to remove the cause. The profit system is almost the only cause of war today. Discard the system and remove the cause of war. The profit system is the cause of nearly all the suffering poverty, sickness, crime, as well as war. It is the great enemy of the working people. Amidst the horrors of famine, poverty, crime and war there is one way out for the working class of every country. There is one way that means victory for the valuable workers of that country. That way means socialism (or industrial democracy as some call it).
So long as capitalists profit from privileged wealth, whilst the working people are crushed, there will always be wars for markets, mines, etc., which are required in order to maintain the privileged class's wealth. Never in history were the burdens and the terrors of war more horrible, than just now. We argue that the cause of war is a capitalist society.
Under capitalism, we have a world which is divided into rival and competing nations, which struggle with each other over the control of markets, trade routes and natural resources. It is this struggle which brings nations into armed conflict with each other because militarism is the violent extension of the economic policies of propertied interests. War cannot be isolated from the economical relationships of production or the general object of capitalist production, which is to advance the interests of those privileged class minorities who monopolise the whole process of production.
It follows that no worker of any country has any stake or interest in war, and we have always said that workers should never support war. Our stand since we were established has been to oppose every war. Armed with this understanding of the cause of war we are committed to working politically with workers of all countries to establish world socialism because that is where the interest of the working class lies. We have never participated in the hideous cause of capitalism at war.
We are saying that socialism is the only guarantee that war will not take place because it will completely remove the cause of war. But we are saying more than this. All the time capitalism exists, war will remain because the threat of military force, and its use, is a necessary instrument of vested economic interests.