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(en) Workers Solidarity #74 - War is the health of the state

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 20 Feb 2003 11:24:28 +0100 (CET)

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

Recent revelations in the Washington Post
regarding Bush's eagerness to engage in war on
Iraq only serve to prove what is morbidly obvious:
War is always in their sights. Six days after the
Trade Centre strikes in New York the Bush
Administration had already initiated plans to
take Iraq out. Is it just coincidence that Iraq has
the second largest oil reserves in the world? One
should not be shocked - such political behaviour
is de rigeur in a system, in a society, that places
the relentless quest for wealth and power above
the lives of the inhabitants of the planet.

Why is it that the casualties of war are rarely the rich
and powerful, but rather the working, often starving
masses? Why indeed is it, that wars are almost always
instigated, supported and prolonged by those in power -
the governments of the world, the corporations? The
reason is this: amongst other things, without the threat
and reality of war, fear could not be instilled in the
minds of the people and they would be impossible to
control - then would come the inevitable overthrow of
the state, and an end to the minority monopoly of power.

Perhaps we should say briefly what the State is. The
State is the combination and indeed culmination of the
different elements of repression (including the
government, the police and the army) that exist in every
country under various auspices, in order to control the
wealth and means of production and quell unrest and
resistance in the majority of the population. The
existence of the State necessitates the strict division of
people into bosses and workers, rulers and ruled. It
ensures that the wealth of the world remains in the
hands of a few.

Through fear-mongering, the State subdues the people as
they are taught to be terrified of alien power, terrorists
et al, even though it is their own governments as well as
foreign that they must hate and fight to eradicate.
Similarly, institutionalised racism prepares the people
for apathy when war breaks out. Immigration laws, as are
seen here in Fortress Europe, actually succeed in
dehumanising 'foreigners' so that when their respective
countries or neighbours are blown to pieces, they are
believed to deserve it.

Munitions funding is therefore justified - another
delightful attribute of the war machine. The lucrative
nature of the business that is the buying and selling of
weapons of mass destruction enriches greatly the
economies of almost every nation of the world, especially
those who purport to having national and international
security as a main priority - for example, 25% of US GDP
is created by the arms industry.

There are different kinds of wars, of course, each
assuming different modi operandi, but the eventual aim
and outcome of every war is the same. Civil wars are
first and foremost divisive of the working classes. One
need only look to Northern Ireland to see how well one
imperial master succeeded in damaging the unity of the
working people. Territorial wars involve the wielding of
power over weaker non-compliant neighbours or indeed
indigenous peoples, for example theethniccleansingby
the Turkish government of Kurds or the Israelis of
Palestinians. Closely related to this kind of war, in terms
of global support, are the Star Wars-esque international
wars, i.e. superpowers wreaking havoc on disobedient
states, for example the ongoing and now escalating war
on Iraq by the US.

The real reasons for most wars are covert, and rather
more pious and fictitious reasons, reminiscent of the
crusades, are perpetuated by mass media, itself owned
and controlled by the state and the capitalists. In a
recent article, Larry Everest* outlined succinctly the
usual motives of war, in particular the impending
devastation in Iraq - "This agenda encompasses many
strategic goals: monopolizing world energy resources,
maintaining military superiority over potential
adversaries, having open access to key global markets
and vast sources of raw materials, and creating the
conditions for the unchallenged exploitation of hundreds
of millions of labouring people worldwide."

Indeed, truly broken and divided people are easy to
manipulate and exploit; they can be placated with
minute pay increases and seeming concessions in
workplace conditions. Their cheap labour will go on to
fund and extend further wars, thus the process continues
ad infinitum until the working people of the world unite
and realise: there must be no war but the Class War, and
our only enemies are the State and the monsters it

*quoted in Z Magazine, August/September 2002

                                              Roisin Dubh

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