Should we be prepared to fight to preserve Ukrainian independence? The fact that at least a large minority of the workers in that country were themselves so dissatisfied and given over to nationalist sentiment. Instead of being united to maintain Ukraine as it was, they were anxious to set up autonomous regions or to join Russia. Semi-fascist movements and tendencies were also making big headway in Ukraine. Going to war to force Russian capitalism to keep out of Ukraine, and to force many unwilling populations to remain in, is not work for socialists. It is to play the part of tools of rival imperialisms. “National defence,” “national independence,” “protection of national interests” are phrases used by capitalists to set the workers against each other in the interests solely of the national groups of capitalists.
To know how war is to end it is necessary to know how wars begin. Cause and cure go hand in hand. You can’t humanise war. If you could it would not be war. While we have wars we must have inhumanity. And we must have wars until socialism. The only power that can stand between the people and the inhumanity of war is the organised working class of the world. The main fact is that wars are a product of the clashing economic interest of various property owners in different parts of the world who struggle for markets, trade routes, sources of supply of raw materials, and so forth. While private property with its clashing sectional interest remains war in all its barbarity and will always cast its dark shadow,
Capitalism is a war-prone society. An armed truce that is all “peace” can amount to under capitalism will always be broken from time to time, as on this occasion, by the destruction and slaughter of real war. To end war capitalism must be ended. Capitalism is a system in that built-in to it is perpetual conflict between rival states over markets, raw material sources, trade routes and investment outlets, for the profit-seeking capitalist corporations they exist to protect. You can’t have capitalism without wars, the threat of war and preparations for war. War isn’t some sort of exceptional aberration for capitalism. Just as recession is an unavoidable part of the economics of capitalism so war is a normal consequence of the international political tensions inherent within capitalism.
When all the avenues of trickery, double-dealing, or “diplomacy,” have failed to bring about a satisfactory division of the spoils, one side or the other plays its trump card—armed force—and the workers are called on to lay down their lives in the interests of their respective masters. capitalist powers stand little chance of waging war successfully without the support of practically the whole population ; for, apart from the huge armies engaged in the actual fighting, the arms and munitions have to be produced and transported, and the troops fed and clothed; smooth working is therefore essential. This necessary support is forthcoming only because the workers do not realise their slave position, but believe they have interests in common with the capitalists; this belief being assiduously fostered by the whole of the press and the professional politicians.
The Socialist Party’s attitude is clear and definite. Those who do not own the country cannot have it taken from them, and even a complete victory by one capitalist power over another, resulting in the complete subjugation of the vanquished state, would not benefit the workers of the victorious country, and would only mean a change of masters for the workers in the defeated country.
Capitalists live solely and entirely upon the robbery of the working class.. The working class will organise itself to expropriate those who live parasitically upon it. It will link itself with the workers of every country, to achieve this internationally, when the workers understand their class-interests. We must unite to establish a world community without frontiers where all the resources of the planet would be at the disposal of all the people of the planet. Then we could use them to end world poverty, hunger and preventable disease once and for all and rapidly move towards applying the principle “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”, ensuring that no man, woman or child anywhere on Earth goes without adequate food, healthcare, housing or other amenities.
Let us urge you not to waste your time with futile anti-war movements, but to join with us in working for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, confident that the ending of the system will end the danger of war.