Against Capitalist War!
(La Oveja Negra, March 13, 2022)
In support of the internationalist statement issued by KRAS in Russia at the outset of the military assault on Ukraine, the group around ‘La Ovaja Negra’ (“the black sheep”) in Argentine published an excellent reply underlining the old adagium of the international workers’ movement: the proletarians of the world have no country to defend! We present this statement in the translation by Internationalist Perspective.
No war is easy to understand, no “geopolitical” situation is simple to grasp. Even less so when it is assumed that there are no social classes in the world: there are only countries, leaders and political ideologies. Thus, there are those who support and justify the massacres and the horror of war. There are those who forget or want to make people forget that wars are fought for money. As comrades in Russia point out at this moment, behind the war there are only the interests of those who hold political, economic and military power: “For us, workers, pensioners, students, it brings only suffering, blood and death. The siege of peaceful cities, the bombings, the killing of people have no justification.” (leaflet of the Section of the International Workers’ Association of the Russian Region KRAS-AIT) (1)
War makes explicit the horror of a society based on accumulation and profit. It is capitalist peace by other means. What is happening in Ukraine is added to the wars and invasions that unfortunately are nothing new (Palestine, Yemen, Syria) and to the millions of dead from hunger, misery, work, preventable diseases or suicide.
In conflict zones, there are also deaths and hardships due to bombings, lack of water, food, medicine, shelter and energy. Just as it also happens in refugee camps, in prisons, on the front lines. They recruit proletarians from different countries to massacre each other for the interests of their exploiters and rulers, for the interests of the bourgeoisie! They imprison those in Russia who oppose the war and manifest it publicly and collectively. They militarize and increase the intensity of labor while imposing more austerity measures. This is war! These are the wars against the proletariat!
War is the sphere of controlled destruction, of premeditated disaster, of the management and administration of death and misery. This competition is inherent to Capital. Proletarians fight, die and suffer the state of war in the name of one or another bloc, when we proletarians have no fatherland or nation to defend. As Marx pointed out: “The worker is neither French, nor English, nor German, for his nationality is labor, free slavery, the sale of himself and of his own labor. He is not governed by France, England or Germany, but by capital. The air of his land is neither French, nor English, nor German, but the air of the factory. The soil that is his, is neither French, nor English, nor German, but awaits him six feet under. Above ground, money is the industrialist’s homeland.” (2)
Despite everything, there are those who, determined to belong to or identify themselves with some capitalist, that is to say, murderous side, justify one war or another, one attack or another, one State or another. With stale arguments, be they Stalinist or liberal, fascist or anti-fascist, even anti-imperialist, they all concentrate on propping up exploitation and oppression: capitalism.
Of course, there are differences, just because they are all shit does not mean they are the same shit: Zelensky, Biden, Putin, NATO, Ukrainian neo-Nazis, Russian neo-Nazis. The leaders of states, their conflicts and alliances, their peace and wars, their developments and destructions, their sciences and religions, their humanitarian aids and security controls all serve only one interest: to maintain the dominance of social peace, which is nothing but the peace of the cemeteries.
There is not, nor was there, nor will there ever be “good” or “bad” bourgeois leaders, “good” or “bad” bourgeois parties; nor does it make sense to speak of “good” or “bad” nations or States. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, the interest of the bourgeois class is and will always be at war with the proletariat. Labor, exploitation, misery and war are the concrete forms of this interest.
In war and in peace we adjust ourselves “for the interests of the country”. But as we have been saying for decades and decades on all continents: the enemy is also “in our own country”, it is “our” bourgeoisie.
The revolutionary strength of the proletariat depends on its capacity to fight against the different bourgeois fractions, against the different forms of domination that Capital deploys. It is in this sense that in the face of every bourgeois war the revolutionaries stand in solidarity with their peers in other regions and, as they have done in the past, today raise and will always raise an internationalist and revolutionary slogan against war. These slogans may not currently have the necessary force to be a mass practice of the proletariat, but they are nonetheless a direction and perspective.
In peaceful and deathly Argentina, the governments lower the social wage for the good of the country, the false critics tell us that the problem is not the local bourgeoisie but the IMF. They speak to us of “people” as if in this land there were only national interests and no class interests. Thereby, they want to tame us and prepare us for even worse conditions, or even for war. In Ukraine, martial law has been decreed to repress all kinds of actions considered unpatriotic, unleashing in turn a violent campaign against people who shoplift or engage in looting. In the rest of the world, the worsening of living conditions as a result of the war has already begun. Both in the countries directly involved, in their neighbors in Europe, and in the rest of the world, it will be the proletariat who will pay the costs. When the “war” on the virus seemed to be over, another one has begun. A new justification to tighten our belts. In Argentina, during the first week of March, flour increased 52% in four days. Since the beginning of the conflict, the prices of the basic ingredients of the poor nutrition in this region have skyrocketed. And there are still those who think that they decide the course of the country because they vote every few years.
La Oveja Negra, March 13, 2022.
Source: ¡CONTRA LA GUERRA CAPITALISTA! (Vol. 11, Issue # 81)
Translation from Spanish: Internationalist Perspective, March 30, 2022.
2 Karl Marx: On F. List’s book: “The national system of the political economy” (1845)