On Peace and War in Bosnia

Not a person nor a penny for the bosses' wars or their peace

Proletarians of all countries!

At last the capitalist powers have finished partitioning Yugoslavia and brought an end to the war which they themselves had fostered.

In fact socialism never existed in Yugoslavia. It was only state capitalism that finally broke apart under the impact of the economic crisis. And it was the crisis that pushed the bourgeoisie in the richest republics to separate from the federation. They wanted to keep the wealth they robbed from their own working class instead of sharing it with the ruling class in the poorest republics: the supposed ethnic-religious hatreds didn't enter into it.

These were nurtured by the bourgeoisie as a cover for their own disgraceful manoeuvres and led to the proletariat being slaughtered for these petty bosses' interests.

The various mini-republics were encouraged to secede by the European powers who stood to gain economically (exploitation of local labour power at the cheapest wage rates) and politico-militarily. From Germany to the US, from Russia to Italy, some more, some less, they all share responsibility for the war. And now, with the usual hypocrisy these imperialist powers, the USA at the helm, are imposing a 'peace' which must first of all safeguard their own interests and, less importantly, the interests of the small but rapacious Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian etc. capitalist class.


The dispatch of NATO troops is not a humanitarian mission. It is the way to enforce the terms of the pax-imperialista on the small and medium local bosses in the Balkans. For the working class in the area it means post- war reconstruction according to the designs of the great powers. The governments who are sending troops to Bosnia are the very ones who at home are overseeing a constant drop in wages, cutting social services and pensionsall in the name of making savings.

Workers of all countries!

So long as capitalism exists any 'peace' will only mean the preparation for a new war. This is especially true today when capitalism is shaken by a deep crisis of global proportions. Wars - up to now local, but for how long? - are one capitalist response to the crisis. We all know what the other response means, especially at work: ever-lower wages, growing job insecurity, bosses with massive powers.

Therefore it stands to reason that war and militarism can only be opposed by a struggle against the capitalist system which generates all of this.

It is about time that we turned back to the old working class maxims which have long been betrayed and ignored by decades of reformism, Stalinism (passed off as communism) and nationalist stupidity:

War on War!
Not a person nor a penny for the bosses' wars and their hypocritical peace!
International solidarity with all the exploited!
For a working class fight back!
For the abolition of wage labour!

The internationalists who have always defended the theoretical and practical legacy of the revolutionary workers' movement now call on the frontline forces of the proletariat to link up internationally to the network of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party. The intensification of imperialism's military operations demands that the march towards the workers' international party be speedily renewed. This is the essential instrument for keeping the struggle on course and guiding the international working class politically towards its emancipation.

IBRP, January 1996