Ukraine War - A Pivot to World War

The war in Ukraine is the most serious European conflict since the Second World War and marks a tipping point towards world war. The real basis of this barbaric war is that it is an imperialist war for strategic position between the US and Russia. What makes this war more serious is that one of the major military powers is directly involved and it is in the heart of Europe. As we point out in our May Day statement, it has solidified the alliances for a wider conflict, most significantly driving a wedge between Germany and Russia and forcing Germany to agree to rearm. At the same time, we are being told that the virtues of parliamentary democracy, nationalism and sovereignty are worth dying for, as opposed to the dictatorships of Russia and China. This is the ideology which will be used to recruit us as cannon fodder for a wider war. It was for this that Biden, in his Warsaw speech in March, warned the Western allies to prepare for decades of war!

Last century’s two global wars produced massive destruction, devaluation of existing capital and tens of millions of deaths. These wars were not unpredictable interruptions in the otherwise smooth functioning of capitalism. Nor were they the result of a few mad leaders. They were the result of the normal functioning of capitalism. The system is driven down the path to war by its internal contradictions which lead to reduced profitability and fierce competition. The two main ways that capitalists combat this are by driving down workers’ wages, which is a short-term measure, and by devaluation of existing capital, the long-term solution. The latter was brought about twice in the last century, by world war. Of course, our rulers do not go to war to devalue their own capital. They go to war to destroy their enemies’ capital, to gain access to raw materials and to take strategic positions and markets which can increase their profitability. The result, however, is a general devaluation of capital, even in the victorious countries. The real choice today is either the overthrow of the capitalist system of production or the prospect of bombs raining down where you live — in short: revolution or war!

The only force able to overthrow capitalism is the combined strength of the global working class. The first step is to struggle for our own interests and not to take account of the so-called national interests. These only amount to the interests of the capitalist class who put profits before everything else. Already, wages are falling way behind inflation, a fall which is dramatic in some poorer countries, and this war is likely to push living standards further down. We are being told by the UK Chancellor, for example, that we must be prepared to accept sacrifices for our support for Ukraine! Not only should we not accept the sacrifices they try to impose on us, but we should not give support to either side in this war. Both sides consist of gangs of criminals (or ‘oligarchs’) fighting to control the exploitation of workers on one side or the other.

To the siren calls for nationalism coming from our rulers, our watchword must be “workers have no country.” The working class is international and workers have no quarrel with their class brothers and sisters in opposing countries. Our quarrel is with the international capitalist class which exploits our labour. We give the same response to the leftists who demand that we support one side or another in this imperialist war. They argue that one side is a victim or the lesser imperialist. But on both sides, the victims are the workers. There is no imperialist side worth supporting. Support for one side can only fuel division in our class. It undermines the only route to defeating this rotten system; the unity of the working class leading to a united fight against the whole system. The imperialist war should be turned into a class war for political power.

Let’s have an end to fighting for our own ruling class, whether the aggressor or the defender.

Let’s step up our own war, the war against the daily attacks on our livelihoods and living standards. This is the only war worth fighting. Those workers conscripted to fight should attempt to foment class war as far as possible and encourage fraternisation with soldiers on the opposing side.

Turn the imperialist war into a class war!

The ICT is launching an international initiative under the banner of “No War but the Class War” to bring together individuals and organisations who oppose all nationalisms and recognise that the only war worth fighting is the class war to end capitalism and its bloody imperialist conflicts. We aim to bring together today’s scattered revolutionary minorities and take the message of the need to fight back to the wider working class. Join us!

Documents for the “No War but the Class War” initiative can be found at:

The above article is taken from the current edition (No. 59) of Aurora, bulletin of the Communist Workers’ Organisation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Aurora (en)

Aurora is the broadsheet of the ICT for the interventions amongst the working class. It is published and distributed in several countries and languages. So far it has been distributed in UK, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Colombia.