Time of crisis, time of war, time for proletarian mobilization.
Capitalism and war are inseparable. Capitalism inevitably gives rise to war. This social system, having long since reached its stage of senility, finds itself in a profound crisis. The economic crisis has lasted for decades now and keeps getting worse, eating into the profit margins of the ruling classes. The public health crisis due to Covid 19 has done nothing but further aggravate the situation, accelerating the economic crisis, though the ruling classes have done precious little to effectively counter it because production always comes first for them. At this stage, the various national bourgeoisies need war to counter the crisis of overproduction; to thwart competing bourgeoisies or eliminate them from the market; to ensnare the proletarians under their various national flags, pitting them against each other and hindering the international solidarity of the working class. “The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got” (Marx, Engels).
The economic crisis has turned into a military crisis, and capital seeks its rejuvenation in it, mainly by destroying living and dead labor alike: human beings that are, for the most part, no longer productive, and commodities that are now produced in such large surplus that the market can no longer absorb them. To avoid social revolts, the bourgeoisie was reduced to sustaining a part of the population that ceased to be productive.
Today, capitalism does not even manage to sustain them anymore. They must, therefore, be eliminated. In their millions. The casualties of the first two inter-imperialist wars – 20 million in the first (which become 65 million if the deaths due to the Spanish Flu are included), 80 million in the second – were enormous given the world’s population at the time, but they pale in comparison with the death toll a war would produce today. And we are not speaking of a nuclear war, since the bourgeoisie is not interested in destroying territories in a permanent manner and eliminating them from the market. Obviously, such a possibility cannot be ruled out completely. In a system as demented and wasteful as this one, which systematically destroys the planet because it puts profit above all else, something might get out of hand – thanks in no small part to the abundant presence of “artificially intelligent” systems that are, in reality, remarkably stupid, as we have already seen in finance, where stock market transactions are largely decided by algorithms.
When an economic crisis becomes a military crisis, the living conditions of the proletariat worsen immediately. The exorbitant rise in prices eats into its already meager wages, its working conditions deteriorate, its exploitation intensifies. The foremost enemy of the warring bourgeoisies is the proletariat. “The national governments are one as against the proletariat!” (Marx). If the gigantic proletariat – now fast asleep – were to awaken from its more than a decade-long slumber and start fighting for its interests and the interests of the entire human species, that is, for communism (for the destruction of this decaying social system before it drives the entire human species to extinction, and for the transition to a species social system), then all the national ruling classes would unite against their historical enemy. The workers of the world must not fall into the trap of the bourgeois propaganda spread by various sides in the war. It is not a matter of supporting this or that State at war, let alone of joining the partisan units that fight alongside regular armies. Nor is it a matter of remaining neutral or calling for peace; it is a matter of siding against all the ruling classes that send the proletarians to slaughter one another. In imperialist wars, there are no aggressors nor victims of aggression. The only victims are the proletariat and the planet.
In these difficult situations, the specialists of the prevailing thought, the ideologues, get down to work to lure the proletariat away from its historical tasks. On the contrary, the workers and the proletariat in general have to start defending their immediate living conditions, refuse to cede one inch of ground when it comes to the conditions of their lives, and avoid falling into the trap of war (with all the sacrifices it involves) or peace (impossible within this social system), both of which represent a dead end. They instead need to uncompromisingly oppose the war waged by the bourgeoisie while preparing for the class war.
More than a century ago, during the first imperialist war, the communists’ position was crystal clear: “Refusal to serve with the forces, anti-war strikes, etc., are sheer nonsense, the miserable and cowardly dream of an unarmed struggle against the armed bourgeoisie, vain yearning for the destruction of capitalism without a desperate civil war or a series of wars. It is the duty of every socialist to conduct propaganda of the class struggle, in the army as well; work directed towards turning a war of the nations into civil war is the only socialist activity in the era of an imperialist armed conflict of the bourgeoisie of all nations. Down with mawkishly sanctimonious and fatuous appeals for “peace at any price”! Let us raise high the banner of civil war! Imperialism sets at hazard the fate of European culture: this war will soon be followed by others, unless there are a series of successful revolutions. The story about this being the “last war” is a hollow and dangerous fabrication, a piece of philistine “mythology”. The proletarian banner of civil war will rally together, not only hundreds of thousands of class-conscious workers but millions of semi-proletarians and petty bourgeois, now deceived by chauvinism, but whom the horrors of war will not only intimidate and depress, but also enlighten, teach, arouse, organise, steel and prepare for the war against the bourgeoisie of their “own” country and “foreign” countries. And this will take place, if not today, then tomorrow, if not during the war, then after it, if not in this war then in the next one.” (Lenin, 1914, Sotsial-Demokrat n. 33).
Against the war of the imperialist bourgeoisie!
No support for any of the bourgeoisies at war!
For fraternization among the proletarians sent to slaughter!
Prepare the class war against the world bourgeoisie!
Proletarian mobilization in defense of living and working conditions (robust wage increases, guaranteed wages for the unemployed, drastic reduction to working hours for the same wages).
During World War I, German and British troops fraternized, refusing to fight.