Against the Capitalist Crisis, For the Class War!

As another example of the kind of activity that No War but the Class War committees are involved in, we reproduce here a translation of a flyer distributed by NWBCW Korea in response to the two-week nationwide general strike back in July that demanded the resignation of President Yoon Suk-Yeol.

The Deepening Capitalist Crisis and the Declaration of "Class War" by the Yoon Suk-Yeol Regime

Throughout the ongoing economic crisis, climate crisis, pandemic, and war in Ukraine, the ruling class the world over has imposed untold suffering and exploitation on the working class. The current crisis is nothing new. Capitalism has already been in a deep crisis for a long time, and a series of crises have become a global disaster, which is further deepening the systemic crisis. The proletariat around the world is facing a sharp decline in living standards, a severe cost of living crisis.

The situation is no different in South Korea. From the beginning of his administration, the Yoon Suk-Yeol regime has been at war with the working class in an attempt to suppress construction unions, restrict freedom of assembly, demonstrations, and worsen all kinds of labor laws. While a series of crises and catastrophes have caused workers' real wages to fall and the gap between rich and poor to widen, the capitalist regime has been preoccupied with shifting the blame onto the working class through tax cuts for the rich, deregulating big business, pushing for privatisation, cutting welfare, creating more temporary workers, extending working hours, and attempting to weaken the Serious Accident Punishment Act.(1)

Yoon’s regime is attacking the working class indiscriminately, in a way that the previous regime, which was already symbol of labor repression, never did. Capital, the regime, and the anti-labor media united and launched a mean offensive against workers who had no place to retreat. They believe that now is the best time to weaken the class power of organized workers and ensure division within the class, and push workers as much as possible to make concessions and increase exploitation. This is not because the Yoon government is composed mostly of anti-labour, pro-capital conservatives, but because it started out with a deep crisis deepened by capitalism. It is also a problem that cannot be fundamentally solved, because no matter what capitalist regime comes into power, the solution must be found within the declining capitalist system.

The Capitalist System is the Cause of Wars and Crises

Capitalism constantly brings about wars. The operation of the capitalist system inevitably leads to a competitive struggle to appropriate the surplus value produced by the working class around the world, that is, an imperialist scramble. The system is in a deeper, insoluble crisis of falling profit rates with no solution other than massive devaluation of the value of capital through destruction by war. The world's ruling class never stops exploiting the proletariat for profit, even as it destroys their lives by waging war to avert crises, instead imposing sacrifice and death on the working class in the name of national interest and overcoming the crisis. Capitalism's descent into war and barbarism is the result of the work of the profit-seeking system. This is not simply a problem of bad leaders or policies, it is clearly a problem of the capitalist system itself.

Yoon's regime is also a capitalist dictatorship that was born out of the demands of capital to defend the capitalist system in crisis and expand the pursuit of profit, and violently enforces the demands of capital on the working class. The Yoon administration is not only serving the interests of South Korean capital, but also the demands of the global bourgeoisie by strengthening its alliance with the US and Japanese imperialist powers, fomenting war crises in East Asia and the Korean Peninsula, and intervening in imperialist wars by supplying artillery shells to Ukraine. This has led to active advocacy for the release of contaminated Fukushima waters for Japanese capital and the ruling class.

In this way, the world ruling class, including the Yoon Suk-Yeol regime, is forcing the working class to pay for the capitalist crisis and imperialist wars. Not only should we not accept the sacrifices they impose, but also we should not support either side in the war. This is because all capitalist regimes, whether aggressor or defender, are ruling classes competing and fighting for control over the exploitation of workers. We must recognise that, for the working class, the only war worth fighting is the class war against the exploiters, a class war against the ruling class.

The Working Class fight back!

The crisis of capitalism not only continues to attack the living standards of the working class, but also increasingly threatens the future of life on Earth through war and ecological destruction. All these disasters confirm that the very existence of the capitalist system, including the Yoon regime, is incompatible with the survival of the working class and humanity, and with the existence of life on earth. So the real alternative we face is war or revolution. The only solution is the revolutionary overthrow the capitalist system to replace it with a socialised society where the means of production are no longer in the hands of capitalists or the state, and where production and distribution are in harmony with humanity and nature.

Although the struggles of the world's working class are currently defensive and have not been able to develop into an international class struggle, waves of struggle are expanding on a global scale, and struggles over more general working class issues, such as the struggle over the cost of living, are developing. The mass struggle of workers in Europe and the strikes in the US and South America, the struggle of workers in Iran – all these movements have opened up the possibility that the global working class could wake up from its deep slumber, regain its confidence, recover its long-lost class identity and fight back.

Whenever workers have refused to pay for the capitalist crisis, capital has not hesitated to attack the working class. The regime of Yoon Suk-Yeol has also declared a class war and launched an attack on the working class in response to the deepening economic crisis. Now, Korean workers must launch a counter-attack. Without a major counter-attack by the working class, the attack of the capitalist class cannot be stopped, and even basic rights and the right to live are under threat. Since all the current crises are capital-induced crises, we, the working class must resolutely refuse to accept wage sacrifices.

  • Workers in crisis, workers whose futures are in jeopardy, and everyone else must fight back with a massive struggle for the right to live.
  • We must organize a real mass strike through class solidarity from below, not a formal general strike organised by the bureaucracy of the unions.
  • We must fight against the capitalist regime by working class means, recognizing that elections cannot change anything, not opposition coalitions with bourgeois political parties and mass mobilization for general elections.
  • Recognising that the only war worth fighting for is the class war, a war against the exploiters, we must fight in solidarity across regions, sectors, borders and internationally.
  • To do this, the working class must fight back by forming independent strike committees, mass assemblies and councils of workers.

As long as the capitalist system persists, we will never escape the shackles of economic crisis, war and massacres, ecological destruction, and worker exploitation. If we do not struggle today, we will be begging tomorrow. Today's general strike, and the struggle to oust Yoon Suk-Yeol's regime, must become a "class war" to overthrow the capitalist system.

All-out struggle for the right to live! Strengthen class solidarity! Spread the struggle from below! Build strike committees!

Against the capitalist crisis, threats to the right to live, and labor repression – for class war to overthrow the capitalist regime!

Against imperialist wars, ecological destruction – for the rejection of workers' sacrifices, for the class war, not imperialist war!

No War but the Class War!

15 July 2023

No War but the Class War Korea Committee

It's been a year and four months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Like other imperialist wars in the past, this war calls for internationalist solidarity and action by the working class of the world.

In the midst of the devastation of imperialist war in Ukraine, internationalists of the world, despite their differences of opinion, are all firmly committed to the principles of proletarian internationalism. These internationalist currents issued statements, held meetings, and launched joint responses based on the premise that "workers have no country."

We launched international action under the banner of "NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR" with internationalists who recognise that the only war worth fighting is the "class war" to end the imperialist war. This action aims to bring together today's scattered internationalists, convey the need for a counter-attack by the wider working class, and act together on the principle of internationalism.

Main Principles:

  • Support neither side in the imperialist war.
  • Only the international class struggle to overthrow the capitalist system can end the imperialist war, not through a peace treaty between the ruling classes.
  • The class struggle must be brought to the fore to counter the economic and political assaults of the present and future wars on the working class.
  • Class warfare can be expanded and developed through the self-organized struggle of the working class, through the establishment of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers' councils.
  • We fight for a socialized society in which the means of production are no longer in the hands of capitalists or the state, a world association of free producers.



(1) Labor legislation which aims to prevent serious accidents at work.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023