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(en) WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? - leaflet handed out on yesterday's demo in London by the group NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR*

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 29 Sep 2002 20:56:38 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

War is good for forging national unity. War helps to both create new
nation states and submerge class and other conflicts in an existing
nation-state. Nationalism always tries to make the dispossesed and
exploited, who make up most of the population, identify with their
exploiters and so perpetuates this miserable society. War is good for
national liberation rackets who can use a war situation as a way of
bargaining with world powers in conflict with the local ruling powers
and each other. War is good for polarising arbitrary groups of human
beings into enemy camps, which allows various gangs of rulers to
exploit them more effectively. War is thus a boon for nationalist,
islamist, democratic, fascist, "communist"governments and would-be

War is good for mopping up the surplus population. In the last war
against Iraq only a handful of US and British troops were killed but up
to 200,000 Iraqi soldiers were massacred. Many of these were Kurds or
other people the regime wanted to punish, press ganged and put in the
front line. Both the Iraqi regime and the Allies collude in the wholesale
slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people surplus to the economies'
requirements. As the development of the world economy and
technology throws more people into permanent or semi-permanent
unemployment war provides a useful way of managing these
impoverished masses.

War is good for generating fear. Like the periodic moral panics over
refugees, gypsies, child abuse, the war on drugs, and the reporting of
violent crime, war is a way of terrorising the general population. War is
good for turning our fears into racism, further repression and
surveillance. War is good for making us feel happy with our lot and
accepting more sacrifices. War is good for suppressing class struggles
such as the firefighters? strike.

War is good for generating fatalism. Faced with the apparent
'inevitability' of warfare people adopt the view that nothing can be done
and despair of the possibility of collective struggle. This reinforces the
fatalism towards starvation and suffering and the fatalism about the
need to work and the inevitability of the economy. War is good for
religion. Religion is a way of reinforcing national identities. War is
good for god - religious rackets always profit from war. War is good for
charities and NGOs, who promote capitalist development in the name
of feeding the starving.

War is good for particular sectors of the economy, such as arms
production and the media. War is good for the economy in general.
Investment in armaments and other war preparations are often
undertaken as a policy of stimulating demand, as in the US now. And
it modernises and restructures sectors of the economy as obsolete plant
and infrastructure is blown to bits and reconstructed on a more
profitable basis. And it creates war refugees who'll work for almost
nothing. And it enables social spending to be cut without anyone
complaining too much. And we could go on...

War is good for justifying peace. In peace time millions of people are
killed and maimed each year in industrial "accidents" and journeys to
work. Even without these deaths and injuries capitalist society is the
denial of the possibility of a social humanity. Capital is the shattering of
the world into nations, classes, and individuals to aid a self-expanding
exploitation, mutating human creativity into waged-work. What we
need is a community of struggle (such as when workers take collective
action e.g. a strike) and a struggle for world human community. A
revolution centred on the proletariat, for a classless society beyond
economy. For a truly human life, for a life worth living.

Produced by the London nowarbutthwclasswar group.

c/o BM Cat, London, WC1N 3XX

E:Mail - nowar_buttheclasswar@yahoo.co.uk


We are a group of people, based in London, who have come together to
oppose the war on a class basis. We do so because only an opposition
based on the working class offers the possibility of superseding the
capitalist mode of production and thus permanently removing the threat of
war. We do not pretend to have all the answers, nor do we agree on
everything, but we take this as our basic standpoint. We meet regularly
for discussion, seeking to develop our understanding of the war and of
opposition to it, and to plan practical ways to express this opposition
through action. We are not linked to any existing political group, we do not
have a formal membership, we reject hierarchy, and we strive to reach
decisions by consensus.

If you want to contact us, find out more about us, or get involved,
email: nowar_buttheclasswar@yahoo.co.uk

Against War and Capitalism

The civilian death toll mounts in Afghanistan, to be added to the
thousands who died in New York. The refugee crisis grows daily, with
millions more facing starvation. Ground troops are sent in and we are
warned to expect a long drawn out bloody conflict. War certainly lays
bare the horrors of capitalism.

Anti-War Demonstrations

We are heartened by the fact that reasonably large, and growing anti-war
demonstrations have taken place both in this country and elsewhere. We
share the view that, despite the massive propaganda effort, only a
minority of people actively supports the war effort. The effects of the war
will be increasingly felt. The war is being used as a cover for the
deepening economic crisis but also contributes to it, leading to more
sackings, increasing racism, additional draconian laws and further cuts in
social spending. This will in turn lead to more and more opposition to the
war. The important question will be the form this opposition takes.


Over the last few years, since at least June 18th 1999, we have
witnessed the growth of a global anti-capitalist movement. Through a
series of international gatherings beginning with Seattle and most
recently at Genoa, this diverse movement succeeded in questioning the
viability of capitalism. Many commentators are now seeking to write off
this movement, suggesting that September 11th changes everything. But
war and capitalism are inseparable. Nation states and would-be states
(like al Qaida) fight each other for control of both resources and the right
to exploit our labour power. This is the normal mode of functioning of
capitalism â?? since the First World War barely a day has passed without
war being waged somewhere in the world. The struggle against the war
and the struggle to replace capitalism with a classless world human
community are the same.


The overwhelming urge for peace is an understandable response to the
war. The ideology of pacifism is, however, a completely reactionary basis
for opposition to the war. Most pacifists seek an alternative method to
resolve the conflict, the favourite being that bin Laden should be tried
before an international court, whilst others look to UN intervention. Even
if we ignore the often-tragic failure of such initiatives in the past, this can
at best lead only to capitalist peace. Capitalist peace means death by
starvation, lack of shelter or healthcare, by environmental poisoning, over
work, hopelessness and alienation, in short terror and death by other


The response of the left to the war is to drag out the tired old formula of
â?~anti-imperialismâ?? in which the USA is the imperial power to be
opposed. This in turn means giving support (â?~conditionalâ?? or
â?~criticalâ??, it matters not) to the barbarous misogynist pro-capitalist
regime of the Taliban. Not surprisingly this quickly develops into
anti-Americanism, which writes off an important section of the working
class as irredeemingly reactionary. The Stop the War coalition, formed by
the left, is a cross-class alliance with religious leaders, MPâ??s and other
enemies of the working class. That the left performs such a
counter-revolutionary role does not surprise us â?? they are after all the left
wing of capital. To the members of such groups, among whom we know
that there are decent people, we must pose the question: How can you
stomach such reactionary nonsense?

No War But The Class War

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