Campaigns, marches, protests, and demonstrations have failed to end wars. The fact is that all modern wars are the result of the rivalry and competition of the ruling classes of the respective nations of the world for the markets and resources of the globe. When the anti-war activists attack 'militarism' and yet uphold the capitalist system, they are fighting an effect while defending the cause. As long as the peace movements refuse, or are unwilling, to admit the cardinal point that capitalism with its production for profit and private ownership of production is the cause of war, they will find themselves fighting endless reforms or effects under capitalism which never lead to a solution but only to frustration and despair. The only road to permanent peace lies in the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by genuine socialism under which goods will be produced for use and the means of wealth production will be socially owned. Militarism is part and parcel of a capitalist system based on profit-motivated production.
President Woodrow Wilson clearly stated this truth in 1919, when he said:
"Why my fellow citizens is there any man here, or any woman -- let me say, is there any child here -- who does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?"
This truth was stated quite frankly in a United States Navy document inserted in 1947, edition of the Congressional Record:
"Realistically, all wars have been for economic reasons. To make them politically palatable, ideological issues have always been invoked."
General Leonard Wood, speaking to capitalists before the Lake Mohunk Conference in 1915, said: "We soldiers and sailors are merely your trained servants. You create wars, we try to terminate them. Nine out of ten wars are based on trade." (emphasis ours.)
"We will move this year a step toward our ultimate goal - the elimination of all nuclear weapons from this earth." So said Jimmy Carter on his Inauguration in 1977. Well, we are still waiting and rather than the elimination of those nuclear weapons we are witnessing their modernisation and upgrading.
The many antiwar movements will come to naught unless they quickly learn that capitalism is the cause of war. They must listen to and heed the case of the Socialist Party.
It should be obvious that without the participation of the working class in the economy or in the military services, no war would be possible. But unfortunately, the working class is disorganised. In every country in the world, it is so fragmented as to be powerless. It's up to us to stop wars by building not just a renewed peace movement, but a deeper one for a fundamental change to a new society. We can build a world of peace, plenty, and freedom, or tolerate the destruction of civilisation. Our choice is one of taking action to build that better world or of being passive and inactive while the capitalist despotic destroyers end the world for themselves and us. Our "war" is the class war, and the enemy we face is the capitalist class. The causes of war that existed under capitalism will no longer exist under socialism and only with socialism can permanent peace become a reality instead of just a dream as at present. We believe that it is inescapable that the only way to end wars is a fundamental change to an entirely new social system. By establishing socialism, society would be free of the ruling-class motives and economic drives that impel them to dominate other nations and expand that domination. We would have instead a rational, democratically planned economic system that could function harmoniously on a worldwide scale, eliminating the need for militarism generally, including nuclear arms, and creating a stable, secure, and lasting world peace. Nationalism is a great aid to the capitalist class, so it is probable that they will continue to spend millions to enhance it. Our only hope for a peaceful and humane world is for the workers of all nations to overcome their divisive nationalism, and unite and organize to create a world without borders, armies and wars.
We have been under the direction of men and women in government who were supposedly our "best minds." And what a sorry mess has been made of things. We have suffered the misery of wars and recessions. Billions still live in abject poverty in the midst of actual and potentially greater abundance. Our political leaders have failed us in the past so why should we expect that they won’t fail us again? The fact is, it is not "leaders" who cause war; war is caused by economic competition, by the international struggle for foreign markets and sources of raw materials. Capitalist nations must export or die.
If this world is to have a future -- if the perilous arms race is to be halted and nuclear war averted -- the capitalist cause of war must be uprooted. Let no prejudices, no false loyalties to outmoded institutions, prevent you from accepting this irrefutable logic. All of us have an inescapable obligation to future life on this planet. That obligation is to reorganise our society in such a way as to eliminate war-breeding competition and replace it with peaceful cooperation and fraternity. This means we must each of us begin now to educate ourselves so that we may understand and educate others. Peace is possible. But it requires that the working class to unite politically to outlaw private ownership at the ballot box. Peace is possible but not until production for sale and private profit is supplanted by production for use. Only then will there be cooperation to raise the cultures and living standards of all peoples. And only then will the burden of fear be lifted.
The Socialist Party answer is that the cause of war in the modern world is to be found in the inevitable economic rivalries among dominant, competitive capitalist groups in capitalist society, having world domination as their objective. The Socialist Party's answer is that we can uproot the cause of war by organising to uproot the capitalist system. Workers have more than the necessary numbers to vote capitalism out and socialism in, as proposed by the Socialist Party. We would then have social ownership of the industries, under the democratic management of the workers themselves. There would be no markets and no commerce that would have to be protected by armed force. There would be no cause for war. We would have Socialism, not the phony socialism of government ownership, not the bureaucratic state despotism that once existed in the Soviet Union, but a genuine socialist society, resting on the basis of economic freedom. This new social system that the workers alone can bring into being, can forever put an end to war by establishing the society of human brotherhood based on freedom, peace, and abundance.