Putin’s purpose for the invasion of Ukraine was of furthering Russia’s imperialistic ambitions. Little different from Tsarist Russia’s expansionist policies. We think there is nothing particularly unusual about the method Putin chose; he is merely typical of the long line of atrocities which have been inflicted by one capitalist power after another in their respective endeavours to monopolise markets and extend their spheres of influence and plunder resources. Needless to say, in these adventures, it has been the working class who have done the fighting; it is working-class lives which have been thus offered up as sacrifices in the interests of international capitalism. The war in Ukraine reminds us that we are living with globalised capitalism. The war is of a global nature and not just a domestic war. Tragically most workers still look to a beneficial national government for the amelioration of their conditions. However, as long as the social conditions of capitalism exist, and minority ownership of the means of production and distribution, competition to be the minority will all too often turn to war. Be it the benevolent liberal democratic state with a mixed economy, a free-market economy or a government of nationalized industry free of foreign influence, this has ever been the case. World socialism will destroy the social conditions that create poverty and war.
Organisations that seek to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty do not touch the root of the matter it is merely trifling with the effects of a particular system of society known as capitalism. Once again we see how capitalism cannot develop an effective means of preventing war. The mission of the Socialist Party, however, is to lay bare the general trend of capitalist development; to point out unceasingly that, so long as the system lasts, warfare and its accompanying atrocities will be repeated; that they are effects which spring from the very roots of the capitalist system, because they are grounded in the soil of competitive rivalry for world's markets, trade routes, etc. The only remedy is to remove the cause, capitalism, and replace it with the world cooperative commonwealth, where poverty will give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.
When governments and political commentators urge the workers of the world to do all that is possible to apply a boycott of all things Russian until its troops are completely withdrawn from Ukraine they are only confusing the issue by suggesting impossible things as remedies for a rotten system. Fancy the workers, of the countries referred to boycotting Russian goods. The workers will always endeavour to obtain the best value for their money. It is one of the guiding principles of the capitalist system to strive for the best value obtainable in the ordinary course of exchange—i.e., buying and selling. If applies equally to the workers as it does to the capitalist. The worker receives wages and expends them to the very best advantage—i.e., in the purchase of the best value in the shape of the necessaries of life. It matters not to working people whether the goods they buy are Russian or Chinese — they seek the best value for money. Such pious sentiments melt in the air when they come into contact with the force of the exchange economy.
The Socialist Party tell the workers that they must overthrow the system which makes possible the misery and suffering to their class, which causes wars and the horrors arising from it, famines, atrocities, starvation in the midst of plenty, and all the countless evils which beset the worker to-day. Further,it claims to have found the remedy. We say it consists of ceaselessly striving to acquire an understanding of the forces at work, and the economic laws which govern the capitalist system.
The Socialist Party declares that no interest is at stake in this conflict which justifies the shedding of a single drop of working-class blood, and it extends its fraternal greetings to the workers of all countries and calls upon them to unite in the greater struggle for the establishment of socialism, a system of society in which the ever-increasing poverty, misery, terror and bloodshed of capitalism shall be forever banished from the planet. Our goal is clearly the creation of a new class-free, frontier-free, money-free society of common ownership; a society we call ‘socialism’. And our strategy for achieving this goal is for more and more of our fellow workers to understand and consciously aim for this new form of society until the point of critical mass is reached where replacing capitalism with socialism is a real, concrete task for the working class.
Fellow workers, as a counter-blast to confusion, get down to the solid work of understanding your class position, which socialist knowledge alone makes clear. “Who would be free, must strike the blow.” Put not your trust in people of any party who are going to get freedom for you.