Against Imperialist Massacres: No War but the Class War!

Capitalist class rule sits atop a mountain of corpses. Syria continues to be a battleground for imperialist interests scrambling to gain a foothold in the region, as well as a potential site for the start of a Third World War.

That conflict so far has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people, the sacrificial lambs of the rival imperialisms in their struggle to maintain their profits at the expense of our world-wide working class. It is that embedded dynamic of capitalism which drives the hostilities between different nation-states. This struggle for control of the planet has only intensified with the economic crisis for which they have no solution.

When the Soviet Union’s bloc collapsed the triumphant powers poured out tripe about a bright new future – the end of history, no less. Contrary to that nonsense, imperialist rivalries have produced an escalation in open wars with the big powers adding their own military might to that of their regional proxies. It is clear that the big three - USA, Russia and China - are no longer content with “sabre-rattling”. The escalating military conflicts, primarily in a huge arc from Yemen to Ukraine, as well as the rise of xenophobic nationalism everywhere, increasingly point towards preparations for a more general global conflagration.

Neither pacifism nor preferred states

In response to this deepening crisis, June will see a series of meetings to launch a revolutionary alternative to the bosses’ war drive. The meetings will mark the re-emergence of a platform for struggle under the slogan of “No War But The Class War” (NWBCW).

The purpose of the initiative has nothing in common with the rag bag of liberal, left and religious interests that cluster around the likes of the Stop the War Coalition (StWC).

For the StWC, and similar offshoots, neither the real causes of war nor the real solution can ever be addressed. Stage villain politicians such as Bush or Blair, or now Trump, are presented by them as the source of the problem. Other politicians, such as Corbyn, will be praised as the hope for humanity. Such coalitions can never afford to “call out” global capitalism as the root of the current bloodshed. Even when some of the leftist participants have some recognition of that reality their desire to cobble together popular fronts obliges them to hide any such understanding in favour of cross-class unity. That unity is not based on the working class but deliberately constructed to include elements who, for example, see religious identity as the starting point for political understanding.

While being happy to accommodate pacifist understandings of both humanist and religious varieties the craft of StWC means that their “broad church” fosters other pernicious poisons. Under the guise of bogus “anti-imperialism” or support for slogans such as national liberation these coalitions of confusion are breeding grounds for ideas that are diametrically opposed to efforts to strengthen a revolutionary understanding.

One strand of these counter-revolutionary constructs revolves around the meaning of modern imperialism. For those seeking to unify working class resistance, Imperialism is the global reality of fully evolved capitalism. Every part of the world and all the national states are irrevocably enmeshed in that framework. Working class revolution is the only remedy to a world of exploitation and increasing barbarism. That view is totally alien to the StWC’s and their followers.

Particularly fed by groups of leftists is the myth that somehow some existing nation states are “lesser evils”. Elements such as the CPGB-ML, blatantly call for support for the Assad regime in Syria and its Russian state sponsor as part of their “anti-Imperialist” camp. Of course, they are not alone. Many others on the left present endless bizarre justifications to support other Stalinist fossils such as North Korea or Cuba.

There is also a further strand which has also ensnared some Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists. In Europe, there has been a growth in the nationalist arguments around “small nations”, particularly Catalonia and Scotland. Such nationalisms, in equal measure with the arguments to retain the status quo, certainly serve to weaken working class Internationalism. Thankfully, to date, only limited state violence has resulted from these inter-bourgeois conflicts and full scale war has not developed. The experience around the issue of an independent Kurdish state has had far more tragic consequences.

From Britain and elsewhere, liberals of many persuasions and even, sadly, some self-styled anarchists have rallied to the various militias fighting as part of the project headed by Ocalan’s PKK [1]. It is no consolation whatsoever that the weakness of their political understanding has led not just to cheerleading from afar but to avowed anarchists volunteering for slaughter in the bloodbath at the heart of the Syria, Turkey, Iraq triangle. It is an appalling small scale replication of the ruling class’s strategy for preparing workers for the horrors of war. Against all the siren calls around anti-fascism, defence of democracy or the rights of small nations, workers have to remember that “the main enemy is at home”.

The internationalist response

Our analysis is straightforward, whether within each nation or in conflicts between states and blocs – the epoch of any progressive element of capitalism has long passed. Those who look for a progressive element in the conflicts between factions of capital will be sorely disappointed. Internationalists affirm that the way to put an end to imperialist carnage is not to line up for any side, but for the world working class to organise ourselves in our own interests and fight against our exploiters.

We appeal for active support for these initial meetings and NWBCW’s subsequent development. Our call is addressed to all who believe that working class revolution is the only path to destroying capitalism’s recurring drives to war and that working class Internationalism is incompatible with support for any existing or would-be national states. “Workers have no country. You cannot take from them what they have not got.” (Marx)

Workers of the World Unite!

No War but the Class War!

Communist Workers’ Organisation

28 May 2018


[1] For more on Rojava see and

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


In light of the growing instability and danger of inter imperialist war its good to see an initiative such as the NWBCW. The threat from the USA imposition of tarrifs combined with the growing threat of a regional war in the middle east shows also that workers internationalism needs to be resurected before the tide of war breaks over our heads.

Firstly, I think it is an excellent initiative which goes to the the root of the matter, revolution rather than endless patching up an abusive relationship.

Secondly, it seems to be a turn towards a much more imminent settlement of the question.

"The ground is now being prepared for the ‘final solution’ to the crisis: war – large-scale, world war. There isn’t a set of progressive policies which can alter this course.”

IIRC, previously the CWO talked about light years to revolution, there seemed to be some reticence about the inevitability of a third world war as the only outcome apart from revolution.

No doubt the threat of disaster to the extent of the destruction of humanity has long been recognised by the marxist camp, but I do wonder what time scales are involved in the endgame for the current crisis, because I still tend to think that we are unlikely to see a massive turnaround in a few years, even if it is impossible to discount such a development.

Stevein, we totally agree. Whether barbarism continues its drip by drip extraction of blood from the planet in the short term or if we are on the cusp of new preparations for a global imperialist war sometime down the road the initiative is an attempt to get the working class together to prepare our response.

Stevein, we totally agree. Whether barbarism continues its drip by drip extraction of blood from the planet in the short term or if we are on the cusp of new preparations for a global imperialist war sometime down the road the initiative is an attempt to get the working class together to prepare our response.