Nothing demonstrates the destructive waste of the capitalist system more than the work of vast numbers of people in the arms industries and in the armed forces. On a world scale, many millions of people are involved both directly and indirectly in war machines. As well as the numbers in the armed services every branch of industry, manufacture, communications and transport has been used to mine and process every kind of material for the production of the missiles, fighter aircraft, bombers, warships, tanks, guns, bombs, shells, bullets and much more, all of which make up the military in capitalist states.
In itself, the use of armed forces together with people in industry and manufacture for armaments production and the use of materials, represents a great waste but the purpose of war resources is to inflict death and destruction, which leads to further waste. This results in a socially insane circle of destruction which accumulates. We shall never know how many people were killed as a result of war since the beginning of the 20th Century. With each contestant inflating their enemies numbers whilst minimising their own, official figures are unreliable.
War objectives include the destruction of industrial, chemical and manufacturing installations with their machinery and equipment. Targets also include communications systems such as railways, roads, bridges, ports, power facilities and communication networks. Towns and cities have become prime targets. Creating terror, causing destruction and killing civilians have become acceptable battle tactics.
War happens in the modern world between rival capitalist states in pursuit of strategic economic objectives. These include an ability to maintain trade from a position of strength, access to and control of important materials (such as oil), access to and control of important trade routes, the retention and expansion of economic and political spheres of influence. These objectives of war are an extension of the economic objectives of capitalist production, which are to maintain a monopoly of ownership and control of the production process and an ability to trade, as a basis for the accumulation of capital. Therefore, because modern war is inherent in the national economic rivalries of the capitalist system, it can be rightly said to represent a vast waste of human and material resources, together with bringing about unimaginable misery and suffering. This waste and destruction would not happen in a system in which all humanity shared a common interest in co-operating to produce for their mutual needs. In a world socialist system, the material assets of the entire planet would be for the benefit of all people.
In reality, however, all fight for the interests of a handful of magnates. In almost all the wars of recent decades, as in former times, both sides considered themselves the attacked. Whether defence or the necessity of a strategic position is alleged as the cause of war, whether treaties must be violated or similar reasons play a part – in the long run everything has its origin in business interests. For the simple but decisive reason that trade is the heart’s blood of a nation-state.
Every belligerent state contends:
1. That it is conducting a defensive war and is fighting for the just cause.
2. That it is conducting a fight for the freedom and civilization of all peoples.
3. That it is striving for a lasting peace.
4. That it is bending all efforts and will fight until the enemy has been conclusively beaten.'
5. That it will be the victor, beyond a doubt.
6. That it is forging ahead victoriously and has only slight losses to record.
7. That the bombs of its hit only the military institutions of the enemy and always with great success.
8. That its pilots and its artillery are far better than the pilots and artillery of the enemy.
9. That at this very moment, it is planning great measures which promise absolute success.
10. That the good Lord is on its side.
And every belligerent state further contends:
1. That the enemy wanted the war and was preparing for it long ago.
2. That the enemy began the war and attacked “us”.
3. That the enemy is conducting a war of conquest and wants to dominate the world.
4. That the enemy is trampling underfoot the rights of the people.
5. That the enemy has violated the neutrality of the small states and threatens the neutrality of other small states.
6. That the enemy is conducting the war with barbarous means.
7. That the enemy uses outlawed weapons
8. That the enemy is misusing the Red Cross.
9. That the enemy mistreats prisoners of war.
10. That the enemy violates women, murders and plunders.
11. That the military courts of the enemy are a mockery of the law.
12. That the enemy kills prisoners of war
13. That the enemy bombards open cities, kills women and children, but does not do “us” the slightest military damage thereby.
14. That the attack of the enemy is always nipped in the bud or else is beaten back with great losses for the enemy.
15. That the enemy is using chemical or biological bombs.
16. That the enemy is a pirate on the high seas.
17. That the enemy is needlessly preventing neutral trade.
18. That the reports of the enemy are lies through and through, and calumnies to boot.
19. That the enemy is trying to influence the neutrals by means of lies, threats and bribery.
20. That the enemy is egging the neutral states on to war – to their greatest misfortune.
21. That the enemy is suffering from a lack of money, rising living costs, industrial crises.
22. That the war loans and credits of the enemy are subscribed only by means of deception.
23. That epidemics are ravaging the enemy.
24. That strikes and domestic disturbances are the rule in the land of the enemy.
25. That the enemy’s ministers and generals are resigning.
26. That the enemy is war-weary.
This list could on and on. What people find nn their nation’s media, is all the same thing everywhere, the same methods everywhere, the same “technique” for the deception of “its” people, everywhere.
A just war is impossible, just as impossible as a “just” struggle between thieves for the division of their loot.