This War is a Class War!

The imminent invasion of Iraq is not just a war on the people there. Like all wars in capitalism’s imperialist epoch this war is part of the way the system reproduces itself. The imperialist powers in 1914 started the modern epoch by going to war not only to solve their own economic problems but also to try to prevent the rising working class from ending the system of class privilege and exploitation. The situation is no different today. The US and UK ruling class hope to dragoon us behind their war banner and to abandon all our attempts to fight for a decent existence. War creates a sense of powerlessness. If we cannot stop them (and pacifist demonstrations and candlelit vigils won’t be enough to do that) then what is the point of struggling for better wages or working conditions? This is precisely what they want us to think.

This is why we salute those workers who have fought against the war by fighting for their own interests. The firefighters have refused to be cowed by the poisonous press campaign against them. The simple fact is that the state which is prepared to spend £3.2 billions (and that’s just for starters) to invade Iraq is not prepared to give firefighters £8 an hour. The unions unsurprising cancellation of the firefighters strikes “to allow for negotiations” is a climbdown which betrays the firefighters and gives the green light for war. The British state would have had to think twice (as the Chief of Defence Staff General Boyce admitted) about using troops to cover the strikes whilst a quarter of its armed forces were in the Middle East.

We also salute the two Glasgow train drivers who refused to transport ammunition to the Glen Douglas military base, the largest NATO weapons store in Europe. Nor should we forget the US dockers who cost the US $2 billions a day with their strike last September. thye too had to put up with the “unpatriotic” jibes which were much stronger in the US around the anniversary of September 11th. Bush forced them back to work by using the full power of the state claiming that they were “endangering American security”. In fact he put our case for us:

These ports load the ships that carry supplies to our men and women in uniform. These ports also receive parts and materials used by our defence contractors to complete projects and maintain military equipment.

In other words, we have the capacity in our own hands to stop the war machine. We make the commodities, and the weapons, and we transport them. If we collectively strike against war production we can sabotage their efforts to destroy humanity. For make no mistake, that is what their greed will bring us to. This war will not end with the collapse of the Baghdad regime. It will be just the first of many, as first revenge attacks spring up from all around the Middle East, and then the divisions amongst the leading imperialist powers will deepen (see accompanying article).

Human society is at a cross roads. Either the capitalist gangsters destroy us barbarism or, as they fight to control the planet, we fight for a world without frontiers, without money and without classes or standing armies. This is not a utopian vision. Workers throughout history have put an end to war. The Vietnam War ended in the killing of officers (“fragging”) and the social disintegration of the “Great Society”. The First World War came to an end once the working class could stand it no more. Whilst strikes and mutinies occurred in the British and French armies in 1917, it was the workers’ revolution in Russia which spread to Germany and Austria by November 1918, that finally ended the slaughter.

The lesson is clear. Only by putting an end to capitalism and its rapacious drive for profit will we be able to put an end to war. We have a world to lose - if we leave the ruling class to decide our fate...

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.