Imperialism & War

Imperialism & WarClausewitz, the German military theoretician, insisted that “war is a mere continuation of policy by other means”. This goes to the heart of the matter. War is merely an extension of the struggle between nations and classes by other means, and the struggle between nations is merely an extension of the competition between the major multinational corporations. 

Capitalism is riddled with war. In a constant struggle over the profits they have extracted from the labour of the working class, the various imperialist powers engage in various forms of armed conflict. The complete domination of US imperialism, which was euphemistically referred to as pax americana, means open conflict between the imperial powers is excluded. Yet, that doesn’t in any way exclude small wars. In fact, the past few years have seen millions of people displaced and dead in conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. 

As long as capitalism remains, as long as competition between multinational corporations remains, so will armed conflict. The Second International in its famous Stuttgart Resolution advocated the use of the crisis brought on by war to further the socialist revolution. That remains the attitude of Marxists to this day. We fight against imperialist wars, but we understand that the only way to finally rid humanity of the misery of war is to rid it of the capitalist system itself. 

The war now determines everything. It is the most decisive element in the equation of world politics. It is reshaping the map of international diplomacy and profoundly modifying the web of world relations established since 1945. Its reverberations will be felt for decades ahead.

The war that is being prepared by the USA is a blatant act of aggression against the Iraqi people. It has not a single atom of progressive content. All the arguments used to justify this monstrous war are false to the core. This war is not in the interests of anyone except the imperialists and the big oil companies that stand behind the White House clique. Let us unite to organise a massive campaign of agitation against the war, with demonstrations, pickets, leafleting and mass meetings in every workplace, school and college.

There are periods in history that represent a fundamental change in the whole world situation. We are now living in just such a period. Just over ten years have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union - ten years that seem to be a hundred years! For in that very short space of time the world has lived through a fundamental transformation.

As US imperialism prepares to go to war against Iraq, Jonathan Clyne looks back at the Vietnam War. He shows quite clearly the level of radicalisation that had developed among both the US soldiers fighting in Vietnam and the mass opposition that had developed back home among US workers and youth. As he says, "It was the American working class, those in uniform and those without, that more than anything else put an end to the war."

On March 30, 1982, in response to Argentina's deepening economic crisis, and the repression of General Galtieri's military-police dictatorship, the workers had taken to the streets of Buenos Aires. The regime was staring overthrow in the face. It responded by starting a war, one of the principal aims of which was to distract the attention of the masses.

It was quite amusing to hear the reports on the radio that a column of American tanks was advancing on Kandahar. Since this glorious advance only took place after Kandahar had surrendered, this must have been the most painless "triumphal advance" in the history of warfare! This little incident is a good example of the kind of surrealism that has characterised this campaign from the beginning. Predictably, the Americans are shouting victory as loud as they can. Despite all the triumphalism, the real situation becomes clear if we ask ourselves concretely what has been achieved?

The situation in Afghanistan after the dramatic fall of Kabul continues to give the British and Americans a headache. Washington is still trying to improvise a coherent strategy, making up its policy as it goes along. Bush's lackey, Tony Blair is having trouble keeping step. An update on the war by Alan Woods.

Opposition to globalisation has spread rapidly across the world, as more and more recognise the awesome power of the giant corporations that straddle the globe and the carnage they leave in their wake. From Seattle to Prague, from Nice to Quebec, hundreds of thousands of workers and youth have forcefully demonstrated against the World Trade Organisation and the various international summits that defend the power of global capitalism. But how can we effectively challenge the forces of imperialism and globalisation?

The recent bombing of Iraq is an act of imperialist insolence of the worst type. American imperialism has emerged as the most arrogant and ignorant imperialism that there has ever been. Never has there been a situation where one super power has dominated the whole world situation, as US imperialism does today. It is quite clear that they want to establish the “American century”. They are determined to put their stamp on all the developments that are taking place in the underdeveloped world.

60 years ago on September 3rd 1939 World War broke out for the second time in 25 years. The horrors of the trenches of Flanders and Mons were never supposed to be repeated again. The Great War of 1914-18 was meant to be the war to end all wars. 9 million had died. Yet only 21 years later a second and still more terrifying conflict erupted. Between 1939 and 1945 55 million were slaughtered and civilisation itself was brought to the very brink of extinction. Karl Marx's prediction that the future of humanity would be either "socialism or barbarism" appeared to be approaching a terrible conclusion.

In the second half of this century however, war appeared to be an aberration rather

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This article looks at the effects of the war in Kosovo on international relations, the perspectives for the opposition movement in Serbia, the situation in Kosovo and the relations between the KLA and NATO, and stresses the need for an independent working class internationalist policy.

NATO has not achieved a "victory" in Kosovo. It has not achieved its war aims. The TV and the press are attempting to convince public opinion that the bombing campaign has achieved its objectives. But as in all wars the first casualty is the truth itself. Anyone who wants to understand what is really happening must be careful not to be blown off track by the propaganda machine of the bourgeoisie.

History repeats itself, wrote Karl Marx. First as tragedy, then as farce. After the most inept military campaign since the Crimean War, we are now treated to the spectacle of the most ridiculous diplomatic bungling in history.

"Something must be done" is the understandable feeling of workers watching the harrowing scenes on our TV screens every evening. The sight of thousands of people herded into giant camps, the pictures of the displaced, the dispossessed and the dead, the screaming children, the helpless pensioners, the hungry and the diseased cannot but stir our emotions.

A detailed analysis of the causes and perspectives for the conflict in the Balkans from a socialist internationalist point of view. This article deals with the real reasons for imperialist intervention, the role of imperialism in the berak-up of Yugoslavia, the danger of an all-out war in the Balkans and it advances the slogan of the Socialist Federation of the Balkans as the only solution.