Neither Gaddafi nor NATO but on the side of the working class

The Libyan Crisis - Leaflet of Battaglia Comunista distributed in demonstrations against the war in Italy including that in Rome on April 9

The imperialist roots of the military operations on Libyan soil (for now) are more than obvious, as is the global crisis of capitalism. Safeguarding bourgeois interests and the preservation of the dominant system of exploitation and oppression is reducing our living conditions to unbearable levels.

The effects of the world capitalist crisis are hitting the economies of the Middle East and North Africa too. The energy and strategic interests of the leading imperialist powers are under threat. Behind the hypocritical “humanitarian” mask the recourse to arms (and what arms!) was inevitable. An even greater military escalation is possible. And what is developing in Libya - it has to be said as clearly as possible - is a civil war between tribes, between bourgeois factions fighting over the lucrative oil exports (second in the whole of Africa) (1), and in the presence of clear imperialist interests.

Another worry for imperialism (and for the wider world) regards the possible extension of the crisis to the entire Arabian peninsula (Yemen, Oman, Bahrain) if not to Saudi Arabia itself, which is currently the number one oil producer in the world and the main source of supply for the USA. At this point imperialism, and not just the USA, will not be able to behave with “humanity”!

Beyond different religious faiths (Sunni or Shia), the Arab bourgeoisie is claiming greater power in order to better dominate and control the Middle East, the key area for global energy. The two local imperialisms (which those who superficially claim to be anti-capitalist never call as such!), i.e Shiite Iran and Saudi Arabia, are militarily standing watch over the boiling cauldron of the whole area. This is a scenario which no imperialist power, whether already dominant or in a process of growing strength can ignore. Their own interests demand that everything must be kept under control whatever the cost.

In Libya after 40 years of a dictatorship which has doled out only a handful of dollars whilst appropriating for itself the mass of the “private” loot, the balance between Gaddafi and the other tribes has cracked. The management of the oil revenue is the real stake in the game, rather than the deceptive flags of democracy and freedom being waved in the protest movements by the masses of the unemployed, those reduced to poverty, often really starving, and without a future.

Our resolute NO to war is directly linked to the revival of the class struggle. But we need maximum clarity about a decisively anti-capitalist fight by turning the protests into a first defence against the attacks of capital. This will be the basis for the formation of the necessary awareness of the need to unite and organise with the objective of a wider economic and political struggle to decisively overcome this increasingly barbaric society All this under the leadership of the socialist programme which only the working class party (and not the false ones of the bourgeois left) can give.

And what of the masses of Libyan workers in general? Their liberation not only from the imperialist yoke but also from that imposed by their national bourgeoisie does not in fact depend on demands for liberty and democracy. These are manipulated and made use of by the bourgeoisie itself in their guise as “opponents” of the dictatorship. As always these demands make for the best ideological and political cover for carrying out the process of exploitation of the labour-force and an eventual change in imperialist allegiance. This infernal merry-go-round of internal and international interests can only be halted by the development of a concrete anti-capitalist struggle. For this we have to dispel false illusions:

Without the presence of a revolutionary vanguard organised at an international level, possessing the already prepared theoretical programme for communism, we will have more bloodbaths offered in sacrifice to capitalism and its profits, for which the masses of the working class East and West slave everywhere.

(1) Though Libya possesses only 2% of global oil reserves these equal 10% of the world’s “sweet light” crude. This is six times lower in sulphur content than the Saudi crude and given European laws on emissions it is desperately sought by European refineries. See