Revisionism and Opportunism Want to Suppress the Consciousness, Initiative and Unity of the Anti-War, Anti-Imperialist Movement
February 18, 2020 - In its work to build up the anti-war, anti-militarist movement, the Workers Party proceeds from two basic points: 1) the proponents and organizers of war are the various transnational groups of finance capital and the imperialist powers that support them, and 2) the only force capable of averting particular wars and abolishing imperialism is the working class and broad masses of the people.
Today, as the spontaneous movements against the so-called "war on terrorism" of U.S. imperialism arises and grows, the most powerful and precious thing is that the masses of people are coming into conscious political life and struggle.
The line of the Workers Party is to always work amongst and be with this colossal force of the working masses which is rising and will rise against war and militarism, and to orient the people onto the path of conscious struggle against the capitalist ruling class, the proponent and organizer of war.
The capitalist ruling class is the proponent and organizer of war precisely because the capitalist-imperialist system is founded and rests on the violent subjugation of whole nations and peoples. The American monopoly capitalists have established an empire that extends to the four corners of the earth, plundering the wealth and super-exploiting the labor of the peoples. The huge U.S. military machine follows the corporate flag.
The extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism at the present time is a result of the intense contradictions and all-around decay of the imperialist system. For the last 100+ years, the big capitalist powers in Europe and the U.S. have created colonial empires, based on exporting their capitalist system to other countries and dominating other nations.
This world imperialist system rests on military force and has continually imposed on the peoples two kinds of wars: 1) wars fought between rival capitalist powers over spheres of influence, economic territories and 2) wars waged by the imperialist powers to enslave the colonial peoples and suppress their just struggles for national liberation. U.S. imperialism alone has waged hundreds of wars against national liberation struggles in colonies and dependent countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
Both of these contradictions (between imperialism and the peoples, as well as the inter-imperialist contradictions) arise from the economic contradictions at the very base of present-day capitalism — from the drive of the monopolies to find new areas for the export of capital, to grab sources of raw materials, and to carve out economic territory and spheres of influence.
By the time the capitalist-imperialist system first arose in the late 19th and early 20th century, it was a logical result of the development and continuation of the main properties of capitalism — the concentration and centralization of production and capital. By that time, a handful of monopolies, linked with the big capitalist bankers, had come to dominate the entire economies of Western Europe and the U.S. The growth of monopolies lead to a "superabundance" of capital — capital which overflowed the brim of the home market. These supermonopolies extracted huge profits by intensifying the rate of exploitation at home, and overcame limited opportunities for capital's profitable investment by continually seeking new outlets abroad.
Through the establishment of and investment in foreign affiliates and loans, the U.S. ruling class grabs hundreds of billions in super-profits every year. This export of capital is a fundamental process of modern imperialism. The very social existence of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is bound up, not only with the exploitation of the American people, but also with the super-exploitation and plunder of the entire globe.
Through its branch plants and its banking networks, through loans, U.S. monopoly capital has come to own the land and the resources of the dependent and colonial countries and to super-exploit the labor of their workers. These social relations are the primary cause of the poverty and economic underdevelopment of the colonial and semi-colonial countries. Thus, after more than a century of "enjoying" the benefits of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism, the vast majority of people in the colonial and semi-colonial countries remain impoverished and economically dependent.
While violence and war always remain the bottom line of U.S. imperialism's export of capital, the capitalists try to hide this fact from the masses, to hide the real basis of their bipartisan war program. Today, the whole line of American imperialism is directed towards firefighting in the hope of preventing the great outbursts which are inevitable in the face of the grave economic, political, financial, military, ideological and moral crisis created by imperialism.
In the first place, the imperialists and their PR men portray the export of the capitalist-imperialist relations of domination and exploitation as a type of "aid" for the so-called "poor and backward" countries and turn truth on its head by extolling it as a path that will lead to "economic development and prosperity." In close connection to this deception, the imperialists and their PR men try to hide the real economic and strategic interests of the U.S. capitalist class behind racist and chauvinist "logic" which declares that some peoples are not yet ready for independence and self-determination and need to be "mentored" and "civilized" by the imperialist powers.
In the second place, the capitalist politicians in the U.S. talk endlessly about "negotiations" and "human rights" where U.S. imperialism has launched wars of aggression, until it is time to vote more money to "counter emerging threats" and continue U.S. imperialism's so-called "war against international terrorism." Thus, wherever U.S. imperialism is waging war it is talking about "peace." For three quarters of a century the U.S. government has armed and organized Israeli fascism in its war against the Palestinian nation. But still, the U.S. tries to present itself as the "honest broker" seeking peace. So too, even as the U.S. escalates its colonial war in Afghanistan, it keeps up an endless flow of propaganda about "dialogue and negotiations." The aim of these false peace plans and negotiations is to try to get people to give up their independence and instead accept neo-colonial arrangements which guarantee the interests of the imperialist power responsible for launching the war of aggression.
The U.S. government has employed such counter-revolutionary dual tactics from the very beginning of its war against Iraq. Even before the "official" start of the war in March 2003, the U.S. government combined open war threats with repeated calls for "negotiations," "weapons inspections," etc. The facts show that these tactics were used in tandem with the single objective of putting Iraq under the thumb of U.S. imperialism. The Pentagon has subsequently admitted that for months before the war, while the press was filled with talk of "negotiated solutions," the repeated bombing campaigns against Iraq were the first salvoes of the war. As for the "weapons inspectors," they have confessed to being spies reporting to the U.S. military. In the U.S., the "softer" tactic of "negotiations" helped to hold the opposition at bay, to create the illusion that war could be avoided even while carrying the chauvinism and imperialist aims of the warmakers into the anti-war movement.
Thus, the neocolonial strategy for extinguishing the Iraqi national liberation struggle is now to try to "lend legitimacy" to the occupation by training Iraqi forces and paying international troops even while maintaining enough U.S. forces for backup and "logistical, air support." All in order to guarantee "vital U.S. interests" including access to Iraq's "superior resources of potential wealth."
Today, while U.S. imperialism is working to destroy and recolonize the various peoples targeted in its war program, from the Philippines to Colombia to Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and Haiti, etc., it is working hard to both bribe and bully various capitalist powers to join its “international coalition.” But underneath the facade of “unity,” the contradictions and rivalries amongst the various capitalist and imperialist powers keep breaking out and getting more intense.
While declaring that every country and state must put its economy at the disposal of the big international monopolies and bankers and have its political system "approved" by U.S. imperialism, the U.S. has been strengthening the aggressive NATO alliance and extending its scope of operations to include not only guarding Eastern Europe and the Balkans from rival imperialist powers, but also to project the interests of Western imperialism around the world. Since shortly after WWII, NATO has been U.S. imperialism's key way to maintain its domination of Europe, the center of world capitalism.
The growing economic importance of Asia is intensifying imperialist rivalries in the region and again U.S. imperialism's strategy relies on the "forward deployment" of 100,000 U.S. troops in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and elsewhere. In Africa, U.S. and European imperialism have been setting up new expeditionary armies and again imposing open colonialism, famine and disintegration on the African peoples. U.S. imperialism, intent on shoring up its strategic colonial base, is imposing the neo-liberal economic program of privatization and foreign take-over of the Western Hemisphere. To enforce this neo-liberalism, U.S. imperialism is integrating the armies of Latin America within the Pentagon's command structure and using the phony "war on drugs" as a means to establish new bases and launch wars.
In short, the capitalist-imperialist system stands in contradiction with all of humanity. And indeed, people are outraged at the return to colonialism going on today. More and more people are coming forward to oppose each and every aggressive step taken by U.S. imperialism. More and more people are coming forward to support the liberation movements of the oppressed peoples and to support the stands of governments which defend the sovereignty of countries and the rights of the people.
In order to undermine the only reliable basis of the anti-war movement — the consciousness and independent organization of the working class and people themselves — the capitalists rely on the revisionists and opportunists to campaign for the capitalist class by maintaining that imperialist war is merely a policy which originates in the "backward thinking" of a few capitalists, and that in opposition to these capitalist "hawks" there is a larger section of capitalist "doves" who are in favor of peace, disarmament, non-intervention, etc. In order to execute these campaigns, the opportunists must lie about the real content of the imperialist schemes for "negotiations," "human rights," "disarmament," and try to hide the war crimes of the U.S. government from the people. The practical program of the opportunists demands that the masses give up their anti-imperialist slogans and positions, give up any independent organizations in order to electioneer and lobby for the very capitalist politicians who are prosecuting the wars. Time and time again, the anti-war activists have seen their independent political organizations liquidated by the opportunists in order to promote the candidacies of various Democratic party hacks.
Isolating opportunism and its alliance with the Democrats is an inseparable part of developing an independent political movement and defeating the parties of war and imperialism.
The Workers Party calls upon all class conscious workers and anti-war activists to break completely with the politics of the capitalist class and to take the question of war and peace into their hands by joining with the Workers Party to build up the revolutionary, anti-imperialist alternative in the workplaces, communities and schools. Such groups must take it upon their shoulders to alert and arouse the broad masses, to lay bare the cause of war in the capitalist-imperialist system, to expose both the Republican and Democratic Parties as parties of war and militarism, and to launch repeated political campaigns designed to bring ever-wider sections of the people into the struggle against the capitalist class and its war program.
Reprint from Volume 34 Issue #2 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A