Tuesday, February 07, 2012



Jan. 31 — These are dangerous times. The political and diplomatic maneuvering that precedes military action is growing, with the U.S. government in the forefront of trying to round up support for new imperialist interventions.

We in the United States have a special obligation to stay the hands of the war hawks, because the Pentagon, in our name and sucking up our money, is the most aggressive and destructive force in the world today.

That's why Workers World Party is in complete solidarity with all the anti-war actions that are demanding: No war on Iran! No intervention in Syria! U.S.-NATO out of Libya! End the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq now! Bring U.S. troops and special ops home from Korea, Guantanamo, Pakistan, Somalia and everywhere else!

But taking action to oppose imperialist wars and occupations is not an issue for the anti-war movement alone. Everyone in the United States who is suffering from or just worrying about the deep economic problems affecting the millions here needs to understand that the war threats are intimately connected with imperialist plunder abroad and capitalist exploitation at home.

Moreover, it is only when the war-makers in Washington fear a massive response to their lethal decisions that we can hope to pull them back from the brink.

It is clear from the many anti-war and anti-imperialist demands of those attracted to the Occupy movement that such a consciousness is growing in this country.

So we are in a race for time. Which will come first — another war or the explosive growth of anti-war sentiment among the people, especially the working class and oppressed?

Capitalist economic crisis fuels war drive

The deepening capitalist economic crisis is fueling an increasingly belligerent foreign policy by all the imperialist powers. The "scramble for Africa" that happened toward the end of the 19th century, when the European capitalists raced each other to grab the most territory on that great continent, is being repeated today — but now it is a struggle to recolonize countries in Asia and Africa that had, by the 1960s, won some measure of independence, aided by the existence of a bloc of socialist countries.

In today's scramble, the U.S. has blasted its way into Iraq and Afghanistan, with the British ruling class tagging along for their cut of the pie. The European imperialists and the U.S. collaborated on hammering down the Gadhafi government in Libya — like Iraq, a country that had used its oil revenues to greatly raise the standard of living of most of the people.

Now the U.S., Britain and France are hauling out their big guns — literally and figuratively — to try and get United Nations cover for an attack on Syria. As we write, the foreign ministers of all three imperialist countries are in New York putting pressure on Russia and China, which have veto power in the UN. Security Council. These two only abstained on the Libya vote early last year. The imperialists used the resolution allowing a "no-fly zone" over Libya as cover for an intensive bombing campaign that lasted more than six months and finally brought down the government of that North African country. Obviously, to them no-fly doesn't apply to their bomb-laden planes and drones.

China and Russia have said they don't want to make that mistake again. It takes an outright veto to block a resolution supported by the other three permanent members of the Security Council — the U.S., Britain and France. We hope that this time these two countries will do just that and emphatically vote no.

The irony is that the imperialists, the U.S. first and foremost, are pushing military solutions because they, in fact, are growing weaker economically. The capitalist system that has fattened off super-exploitation of the developing world is now choking on the highly efficient, high-tech global economy it has created.

This crisis brings to the fore a fundamental contradiction of capitalism that Karl Marx unraveled when it was still in its early stages. Capitalist competition drives forward technological innovation, which at first makes more profits for the owners because they can shed labor. But eventually the process overwhelms the markets for their products — workers have no money to buy the greater and greater quantities of goods produced! — and a crisis occurs. The privately owned profit system is at war with the socialized character of the productive process.

Today's crisis is worldwide and reflects the global character of the capitalist economy and the labor market. It will not yield to politicians' promises or some tinkering with credit or taxes or currencies.

The impasse the system is in can intensify all of capitalism's ugliest features: xenophobia, as seen in the vicious crusade against immigrants; racism, which deepens the immense suffering of the oppressed communities even if a few individuals are allowed to advance; jingoism and "America first" bombast against other countries, most notably China at this
time, concealing who the real enemies of the working class are.

It is U.S. corporations, and the banks behind them, that decide to move their operations to low-wage countries in search of even greater profits, even though they already possess the greatest riches in human history. Unfortunately, some union leaders are misdirecting the anger of their members against China at this time. That only feeds into the divide-and-conquer strategy of the boss class, which has an international outlook. It is time for U.S. labor leaders to also think globally and strengthen solidarity with workers around the world.

Solidarity and unity needed to fight the capitalist system

But political reaction can also arouse the instincts of solidarity and unity of all the workers and oppressed — instincts they need to fight the system. It is beginning to happen. Black, white, Latino/a, Asian, Native and Arab together are helping each other resist evictions, walk the picket lines and occupy public spaces in protest over poverty and injustice.
People here celebrated the struggles of the Egyptians in Tahrir Square. The Egyptians in turn cheered on the Wisconsin sit-in at the Capitol building and sent pizzas, via cell phone, to Occupy Wall Street.

Class struggles are growing in Europe as workers there fight back against the austerity measures imposed by banks and bureaucrats.

Decades ago, Longshore union workers in the U.S. refused to load apartheid South African ships and cargo destined for U.S.-sup-ported dictatorships in Central America.

This kind of solidarity is a direct challenge to the empire builders who would rip up our pensions, our jobs, our health care and other social services in their mad profit-driven attempts to control the world.

We must work to ensure that the anti-war movement deepens its roots among the people, especially the most oppressed, and becomes one with the class struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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