On Capitalism and War

For revolution and a new worker’s state

Introduction to Red Forum on the 1st of May 2017

1. War is older than capitalism, but capitalism’s need for growth creates new wars.

By OLDER we mean for instance during slave society, such as ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt, and during feudal times, with kings and big landowners. Wars existed then as well.

But the new aspect of capitalism is that all of production serves the purpose of building more capital. Few invest into production under capitalism without seeking to profit from it. They also can’t just put the money in the bank, as money loses value over time if it’s not invested and pays off. That means that they have to invest capital, creating more capital. This is the core of capitalist production, and it wasn’t like that before capitalism.

Capital accumulation – collecting more capital – happens by selling commodities on the market. Competition in the market creates winners and losers. The winners can gain huge influence in parts of, or all of, the market, and form monopolies. They can then end free competition in a national market. Once they have used up the possibilities of growth in that market, they have to expand abroad. These monopolies need to expand and establish themselves in other countries.

The monopolies have for a hundred years held power over the states in the most important capitalist countries. And they use that state power to make room in other countries. First through colonialism, then through neo-colonialism. The fight for colonies, resources, influence and markets forces wars between the capitalist states. This was the key reason behind the First and Second World Wars – and behind the wars of today, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

2. The highest stage of capitalism is imperialism, which has to include war.

Lenin showed us that as the monopolies take power over the states and markets, capitalism changes from its infancy to its adulthood. He called this imperialism. His thesis was that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism – the final and rotting phase.

Imperialism necessarily creates war. First and foremost for two reasons:

First off, to export capital – that is, to invest capital from rich, imperialist countries, in natural resources, industrial goods and labor from the poor Third World. Through investing capital in cheap commodities there – and labor being the most important commodity – they can accumulate more capital when they sell these goods at higher prices here. That is how they easily gain huge profits, by buying cheap and selling expensive. Without capital export, capital would ”rot”. Capital which stands still rots and breaks down. To live and grow, to be capital-as-capital, it needs to be constantly reinvested. If money is removed from circulation, it ceases to be money, and capital shrinks – while the capital of the competitors grows. That is why the capitalists are DESPERATE to export capital, they are totally dependant on it to be able to survive competition.

Second off, to gain political power – that is, imperialist influence in the Third World is a preresquisite for imperialist capital export. If the states of the Third World free themselves and establish their own industry, if they stop selling their workers as cheap labor to Western corporations – the growth will stagnate and seize for the Western corporations. With political power, the imperialists can secure their companies access to natural resources and cheap labor. They can secure access to oil and gas. They can freeze out their competitors, or demand higher prices of them. They can prevent their ”own” semi-colonies from being inspired to break loose. They can stop social services for the poorest, they can stop national independence and de-colonization, and they can brutally suppress the fight for New Democracy and socialism.

We find examples of this all over the world, from Chile in South America, to Angola in Africa, to the internal North American colonies of Indians, Latinos and Black folks, to Indonesia, India, China, Korea, etc.

We find examples of this imperialism in the Philippines, when the USA with war took over the country as a colony from Spain in 1902, after killing 200.000 Filipinos. We find it when the USA killed two million Vietnamese in the 60’s and 70’s to prevent the country from breaking with Western imperialism. We find it in 2017, when the USA and NATO have contributed to keeping alive the war in Syria, which has cost the lives of over half a million people.

All fantasies about imperialism leading to a peaceful, homogenous world capitalism have been destroyed by the 20th Century – as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, etc. These show that the new millennium will remain the same, until the fall of capitalist imperialism.

3. We are against the capitalists’ wars, but we are FOR rightful war!

There are not only unjust wars for capital and power, but also just wars. There are just wars for national and social liberation. There are just wars against fascist military juntas, against colonial powers, and against capitalism.

Mao Zedong said it like this:

”We are for the abolition of war, we do not want war. But war can only be abolished through war. Those who seek to abolish guns must first pick up the gun.”

Not only do we communists seek the abolition of war – we think that this is completely possible and realistic. In a communist society, where power is in the hands of the masses instead of state and capital, those in power have no interest in war. When the masses themselves hold power, it is like that. The masses of the world have everything to gain from peace – as long as we are free.

But as long as the masses of the world live in chains; as long as children work in factories to sow clothes for luxury use in the West; as long as the sick and the poor are laughed at and discarded by the state and capital; as long as the labor of the proletariat is robbed by a class of parasites – then we are FOR the just, protracted people’s war against this barbaric, inhuman, illogical system.

Not only that – communists must dedicate themselves to making this a reality. If not us, then who? Is this something that we should put wholly on the shoulders of those who have picked up the gun in desperate self-defense in the world’s poorest countries?

Who others than the revolutionaries of this country can establish socialism in this country? The Norwegian state presents itself as a bird of peace, but it really is a vicious hawk which preys on the poor people of the world. In bed with USA-imperialism, Norwegian state and capital robs and kills in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Are there any others who can stop this? Who, then?

Socialism does not grow on its own. It doesn’t fall from Heaven like a gift from God. It can only be created by the proletariat establishing red power and a new worker’s state. Only with power in its hands, our class can tear production from the hands of the bourgeoisie, establish people’s communes, and begin the long march towards a classless world community under communism.

In order for this to happen, we need a strong and hardened struggle organization; a struggling Communist Party. And this is the main purpose of Serve the People; to establish this Party of a new type.

Thank you for your time. Have a good 1st of May! Red Front, comrades!

Source: https://tjen-folket.no/Sentralt/view/12351

C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.