London: Terrorist Bombings and Imperialist Wars

More Workers Pay for the Crimes of Capitalism - Statement of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party

The International Bureau condemns unreservedly the appalling bombings in London on July 7th in which 55 have died and hundreds more have been injured. Indiscriminate murder is the thin end of the genocidal wedge. These bombings are not even the misguided actions of the powerless in the hope of making a better society. The victims were randomly selected by chance and, for the most part, were ordinary workers going to work.

Amongst them were Muslims, and, almost certainly, opponents of the war in Iraq but their identities and their views were of no interest to those who planned, and those who executed, this atrocity. Indeed the victims, like those in Palestine, like those in the World Trade Center on 9/11, like the 110,000 dead Iraqis since the US and British invasion, like the thousands of Afghanis who died when the Taliban was overthrown, are not conscious fighters in anyone's war. They are the victims of a system which is based on the anonymous exertion of imperialist force.

Terror is a weapon of Imperialism

The capitalist press in Britain has waged a concerted campaign to assert that the only motivation for the bombers was "evil". Early attempts to portray them simply as "cowards" (nearly every paper carried that word on July 8th) evaporated when it became clear that this was the first successful suicide bombing by British citizens in Britain. The horror of the attack itself has also helped to mask the fact that this was the consequence of the British participation in the invasion of Iraq. There is no other reason for it whatever lies Blair tells. And these lies only compound the ones he told us about Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction. The contingency plans which worked so effectively are direct proof that our government has been preparing for such an outrage since they devastated Iraq. The press have tried to make out that Blair, by playing the cheap-cut Churchill, has been the spokesman for Britain but in fact it is Blair's war that visited these outrages on London. When he proclaimed that "we will never give in" he only underlined the gulf between us and the ruling class. The "we" is them, the rich and the powerful, the beneficiaries of capitalism whilst the victims who will do the dying are us, the 2 million who demonstrated against the invasion of Iraq but who were democratically ignored. When Blair tells us that he will never let the terrorists destroy "our" way of life he means the green light has been given to the British state to increase its already considerable powers of repression. Increased surveillance, the introduction of ID cards and trials without jury only underline the point that the "we" and the "them" occupy two separate class bases.

There can be no doubt that the bombings are revenge attacks for the mayhem that international imperialism has been imposing on the Middle East and Central Asia for decades. Suicide bombings were originally the fruits of the hopelessness of the Palestinian struggle against Israel. The Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad found no shortage of recruits for their barbaric strategy. Now it has become the weapon of the Islamic fanatics everywhere who wish to impose a reactionary and obscurantist theocratic order on the world but who lack the military means to attack their real targets. In fact their relative weakness is the only way that they can be described as less imperialist than the US and British Governments. They have fewer resources and military might and thus indiscriminate terror is their prime imperialist weapon. Terror is a weapon of imperialism as the peoples of the Middle East already know. Whether it comes in the form of suicide bombings or Cruise missiles it remains terrorism. Those misguided people in the Stop the War movement who claim that the Iraqi resistance are "anti-imperialist" should also pause for thought. To be anti-imperialist means to be against the entire system in all its manifestations.

Let us make no mistake. The victims of US imperialism and Al Qaeda terror are the world working class everywhere. These are twin terrors of equal evil for us and they are seeking to divide us. The democratic totalitarian apparatus will stop at nothing to do this. The two minute silence throughout Britain at noon on Thursday 14th July was a clever political move since no-one wants to refuse to show respect for the victims of terror. No mention was made of the hundreds of thousands who have been victims of terror in Iraq, even though a score of children had been killed only the day before. This was no accident for the silence was part of the drive to turn every expression of humanitarian disgust with terror into support for Blair's supposedly democratic Britain.

Capitalist Deaths or the Death of Capitalism?

The London bombings were just one more episode in a bitter fight to control the resources of the planet. The real issue is the system of capitalist exploitation itself. Capitalism has created a world of relative abundance where no-one need starve or die for the lack of a 50p medicine but where 30,000 children die every day. A third of the world lives on less than a pound a day. The antagonistic social relations of capital mean that those who control the wealth (produced by the working class who are always the first victims of terror) of the planet will use every means they can (including military or individual terror) to prevent that wealth being distributed in anything like an equitable fashion. The British and US ruling elites are not in Iraq to extend democracy (their latest lying justification) but to control its oil. This wealthy minority will continue to exploit us until we have destroyed capitalism. The cycle of violence has no solution under this rotten and decaying system. In fact what we now have is a situation of permanent war in which those who do the dying are not only not consulted but totally ignored.

The only real life-affirming alternative is socialism (or communism). A society in which there will be no nationalities, no classes, no money, no starvation and no wars. Some may doubt this. They may believe that the Stalinism, which ruled Russia and Eastern Europe for half a century or more, was communism. If that were true then they would be right to reject it but this is the biggest lie of our time. Stalin killed more communists than any other leader in history. These included our political ancestors who lost their liberty and lives in the late 1920s and early 1930s. But we have not gone away, nor will we as long as capitalist exploitation exists. Today we know we have to regroup and organise. At first, this means we must develop an international political organisation to coordinate and guide the struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist state. But overthrowing capitalism alone cannot bring socialism. In the long run the vast majority of the working class will have to do it for itself. A new society, which depends on the active participation of the majority, cannot be built any other way. The alternative is to let our rulers (of all types) manipulate our fears and lead us down the road to complete barbarism.

17th July 2005, International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party