Yet again we saw this morning the ruthless killing of innocent people as they went about their daily lives. Marxists condemn such acts of terror, in the same way that they condemn the killing of thousands of people in Syria and other war-torn countries. The point is: what can be done to put an end to this barbarism?
As I saw the news about the bomb attack at Brussels airport and later in the metro the following came into mind:
1) Our solidarity goes first and foremost to the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels. It reveals that no amount of security (police and military) can stop the barbarous and cowardly attacks of this morning. Despite the presence of elite military troops in the airport since November last year and increased police surveillance at the entrance to airports and the metro those are impossible to secure. A generalised lock down as this morning would paralyse the whole city and its economy. The city would cease to function.
2) So long as the Middle East is the festering wound that it is, this will continue. "Our" western governments are responsible for the mess in the Middle East, believing they could walk into countries, overthrow regimes, bomb them to pieces and then everything would return to normal. They have had the opposite effect. And by doing nothing to solve the alienation of immigrant and third and fourth generation youth, nothing to eradicate racism, joblessness, poverty and so on, while at the same time bombing Middle Eastern countries, they have created fertile ground in which fundamentalists can go fishing. This will continue.
3) These latest bomb attacks will also be used to justify more repressive laws - in the name of fighting terrorism of course . Half of the 18 antiterrorist measures announced by the Belgian government after the Paris attacks in November, threaten ALL the citizens, starting with the workers organisations and progressive groups. This was already denounced by important unions, lawyers groups and magistrates. Schengen will be put under even more pressure. They will add to the already fragile state of the European Union, increasing tensions between member states and also within each country.
4) They will be used to cover over the barbarism perpetrated against refugees on Greek and other borders. In order to brutalise the refugees they must be equated with crime, violence against women, and general lawlessness. Once the propaganda machine has achieved that, then all kinds of barbaric practices can be justified. Families can be left to rot in the mud, die in their thousands as they flee the war which was created by "Europe" in the first place.
5) The right-wing parties everywhere will attempt to use these attacks to their advantage. In times of heightened class struggle, such as in France and Belgium, this kind of thing is useful to distract attention away from the real causes of the present crisis we are living through. Everywhere there are class tensions. The youth in particular is turning against the capitalist system. It will not be long before the whole working class moves across the whole of Europe.
6) The attacks will also be used to justify further bombing of Syria, adding to the already serious refugee crisis. Refugees keep coming and they will not stop, as what was once home has turned into a living hell. They have no alternative but to keep massing on the EU's borders.
7) This barbarism is also sinking into the consciousness of millions of workers and youth, in particular of the very young. They see a world with no future, of growing unemployment, constant attacks on all the gains of the past, on education, healthcare, housing, decent jobs, wages... combined with wars around the world.
8) There is no way of solving this so long as what determines the policies of all governments is maximising profit for the few. The system cannot be fixed or tampered with. It must go. The alternative doesn't bare thinking about!
9) The many struggles of workers and youth around the world for a better life, for jobs, housing, healthcare... have to be brought together as one and focussed on one thing: eradicating this system, roots and all, and laying the foundations for a new society, socialism. It is not a utopia; it is the only concrete alternative to the present barbarism.