Hereafter we present two internationalist statements that have been released or circulated at the occasion of this year’s May 1st:
1. War, Poverty, Crisis and Disease: The True Face of the Capitalist System
by ‘No War but the Class War’ Liverpool. Dating from the end of March, this leaflet has again been brought to attention at the occasion of May 1st, documenting the approach by the internationalist action committees that, among others, have been called for by the ICT. In addition, the setup of these committees is explained by “What Are We Fighting For?”
2. Russia, Ukraine, NATO: Pimps of Death
is an anonymous leaflet that attempts to situate the war in Ukraine, denouncing all imperialist rivals who clash in and over Ukraine and highlighting the latest evolution – the current exacerbation of the barbarism of this war.
War, Poverty, Crisis and Disease:
The True Face of the Capitalist System
(No War but the Class War, Liverpool, March 31, 2022)
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is bringing the world ever closer to its boiling point. Once again the working class across the world are being asked to take sides in a conflict from which we have nothing to gain and everything to lose. On the one hand Russia, attempting to reclaim what it has lost since the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand NATO, attempting to draw Ukraine further into its sphere of influence. In the background, imperialist line-ups are solidifying, with the EU states rallying behind the US, and Russia turning to China.
While the war in Ukraine represents an escalation in the drive to generalised war, it is not the only battleground right now. Whether it’s Syria, Yemen or Palestine, the capitalist class are pitting workers against each other across the world. All in search for financial revenues, raw materials and cheap labour-power. Nationalism – that ideological weapon of divide and rule – calls us to kill and die for a cause which is not ours.
Alongside military conflict, we are in the midst of a class war with our living and working conditions as the sacrifice on the altar of profitability. Through austerity we were forced to pay for the 2008 financial crash. But the global economy has never quite recovered. Even before the pandemic properly arrived, billions were being pumped into markets every day to keep them afloat and another recession was being predicted. The pandemic was only the spark that lit the flame. Now under the cover of restructuring, we are once again expected to pay for the crisis.
Across workplaces we are seeing wages falling behind inflation, sackings, fire-and-rehire, pension and benefit cuts, and various other assaults on our class. Meanwhile at home we face food and fuel price rises, higher rents, more bills and more taxes.
All the while the rich grow richer. And the war, as it upsets supply chains even further, will make the situation even worse.
Finally, let’s not forget the climate crisis. Floods, fires and extreme weather events are gradually making whole swathes of the planet uninhabitable. The ruling class continues to treat the planet like their private backyard with little consideration for the biodiversity and environmental underpinnings of life on earth. And, let’s face it, the capitalist conditions which created Covid19 and allowed it to spread, killing millions, are still in place. The threat of future pandemics looms large.
War, poverty, crisis and disease are creating whole generations of people scarred by a system tending towards barbarism: refugees, friends and families of those fallen ill, maimed and killed, the unemployed and the homeless.
This is a war on multiple fronts against all workers and the future of humanity. But we can resist. Attempts to defend our living and working conditions can sow the seeds of a wider movement which recognises that capitalism – the current system of production characterised by the existence of private property, wage-labour, money and states – is the source of the problem. We have to pose the social question and the possibility of creating a society where production is according to need, not profit, a global commonwealth where states and borders have disappeared, where independent organs created by the working class can begin to collectively address the problems facing humanity.
Likewise, the scattered anti-war actions that have been reported so far – protests in Russia, soldiers disobeying their orders in Ukraine, refusals to handle shipments by dockers in the UK and Italy, sabotage by railway workers in Belarus – need to take on the working class perspective to be truly anti-war, lest they get instrumentalised by one side or the other. Support for Russia or Ukraine in this conflict means support for war. The only way to end this nightmare is for workers to fraternise across borders and bring down the war machine. Don’t buy into nationalist propaganda!
This is why we say no war but the class war. The ruling classes are already waging their war on us and the planet. It’s up to the workers of the world – the great majority without whom everything grinds to a halt – to create the alternative.
No War but the Class War, Liverpool, March 31, 2022.
What Are We Fighting For?
NWBCW Liverpool aims to bring the internationalist message to local struggles. We see ourselves in the tradition of previous attempts to oppose capitalist wars from a working class perspective. As our point of departure, we adopt the following NWBCW statement drafted back in 2018-9. If you broadly agree with it, get in touch. We would encourage other internationalists around the world to also set up NWBCW groups in your workplaces and neighbourhoods.
Worldwide capitalism is in a long term and deepening crisis which is taking us down the road to generalised war. There are more than 60 local wars going on today. Every one of those destroys the lives of our working class sisters and brothers while different gangs of bosses struggle for control. Most of these wars are between the clients of the key imperialist powers. They are proxy imperialist wars which together with open trade wars are harbingers of a wider global conflict. The drive to war is an outcome of the operation of the capitalist system itself. It is not the result of a few mad or bad capitalist leaders and only the overthrow of the capitalist system can prevent war. The real alternative we face is war or revolution.
Supporters of No War but the Class War (NWBCW) are aiming for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the working class and the creation of a new global system of production. We are for a system based on common ownership to directly satisfy everyone’s needs. This will be controlled democratically by the working class via a global system of workers’ councils. Production for profit and the system of nation states and borders will be eliminated. In the process capitalism’s degradation of the planet will be reversed and humanity will be able to plan for sustainable development.
To achieve this we need to organise ourselves on a global scale and spread the understanding of both the need to create a new society and consciousness of how to achieve it. The working class itself needs to create an international political organisation of revolutionaries for this task.
The necessary starting point is to step up the defence of our own interests and reject ruling class agendas including the wars they ask us to support. All these wars are imperialist wars in the interests of sections of capital. NWBCW exists to oppose war on the basis of class, not just against one section of the ruling class but against the whole rotten system which offers the world’s workers death, destruction and misery whether slowly by poverty, disease and disaster or at the faster tempo of war.
Workers have no country! So-called “national liberation” or “anti-imperialist” wars are simply imperialist wars in disguise! We make no common front with any of the bosses’ puppets on the capitalist Left like the parliamentary parties and trade unions and their hangers on in the pseudo-revolutionary swamp. They are all embedded in the bosses’ system and support it in peace and in war.
No War but the Class War! Let us step up and generalise class struggle as our response to bourgeois warmongering and austerity!
NWBCW is an organisation of groups and individuals who support the political positions above. We invite others who support these positions to join NWBCW to help us produce and distribute propaganda and carry out interventions in the class struggle for “No War but the Class War”.