Saturday, August 06, 2016

How to remember the A-Bombs

Each year on August the 6th, the world remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of the nearly 100,000 humans who perished at Nagasaki, only 250 were military personnel.

Was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a gruesome experiment? A callous scheme designed to discover the respective merits of different kinds of atomic bombs when used against densely-populated industrial centres? Was the atomic bombing a practical demonstration of American technical superiority in warfare to warn the Russian rulers against expansion which might further encroach upon American spheres of influence? Whatever may have been the reasons, nothing can excuse the incineration of children at play and the slaughter of tens of thousands of their mothers and fathers. Nuclear weapons are monstrous. War in any form is monstrous.

The cause of modern war is world capitalism, the profit system. Socialists are opposed to war, whether nuclear or “conventional" weapons are used. Socialists want no part of this nightmare world. The solution, however, does not lie in the banning of a specific kind of weapon. Weapons are only necessary in a world of capitalist competition. The real enemy is the social system that breeds it. It is the Socialist Party who refuses to lend its support to anti- nuclear war campaigns that have stood out consistently against all wars, declaring them not to be worth the shedding of a single drop of working class blood. Socialist opposition to nationalism and capitalist butchery is anchored firmly to a coherent analysis of society. 

Workers have no country and therefore none to die for. Capitalism minus nuclear weapons would not solve the problem of war; a world based on the common ownership of the means of wealth production, alone, will do that.


Anonymous said...

Capitalism is not the cause of war. Plenty of capitalist countries find it possible to abstain from war. When was there a war on the South American continent? Even African armies spend most of their efforts slaughtering their own populations. These are all capitalist countries. The capitalist way to win markets is to produce a cheaper and better product. To gain raw materials by showing that you can exploit them more effectively than your capitalist rival. At the point of a gun is gangsterism not capitalism. You can read thru Marx's Capital 'til your eyes ache and you will not find the cause of war in there.

ajohnstone said...

We do not exclude civil wars from definition of war. Not often this blog agrees with the Papal See but we do concur with his view that "The pope added then that the current violence was over economic and political interests rather than religion. “There is war for money,” he said. “There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples..."

In saying that capitalism is the source of modern wars socialists do not mean that capitalist wars are deliberately plotted by individual capitalists or groups for the purpose of making money, even though some individuals may do this. Normally it would be more accurate to say that governments, in trying to handle the problems and antagonisms created by capitalism, turn to war when other means fail. In the last resort capitalist trade struggles lead to war, the object of which is to acquire or defend markets and territories rich in mineral and other resources and in exploitable populations. Investment of capital in foreign countries has been a typical form taken by expanding capitalism, or imperialism, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is closely linked with the search for raw materials and markets, and the exploitation of colonial populations. Governments direct their efforts to maintaining these foreign investments and shape their foreign policies and arms programmes accordingly. We can see that the rivalries of capitalism are still leading to wars.

I am sure i don't require to remind you of what one ex-military leader once said;
"I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service as a member of our country's most agile military force - the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."

As for Marx and his attitude towards war, he indeed associated some wars with capitalism and actually supported some as progressive...Crimea, for instance and the Northern States against the Slave States. We are not incumbent to justify our attitude in today's world by adopting Marx's position of the 19th C.