Millions oppose war -- Let's organize to end it


Millions oppose war -- Let's organize to end it
By Robert Nordlander
From The Weekly People
August 8, 1970

Demonstrations against the war being waged by American capitalism in Vietnam have failed to end the war. In fact, since the demonstrations began earnest in 1965 the war has become an Indochina war with the commitment of U.S. troops and military "advisers" Laos and Cambodia. It should now apparent that sentiment against the declared and therefore unconstitutional war in Indochina is not enough to end that war, just as antiwar sentiments expressed by the sages of history from Jesus to Bertrand Russell have not been able to banish the curse of warfare from this planet.

The truth of the matter is that demonstrations to arouse antiwar sentiment are unnecessary since it already ists everywhere in this world. No Anerican auto worker in Detroit is lusting to kill his Russian counterpart in Moscow. No Russian physicist is thirsting for the blood of his colleagues in America. Yet the possibility exists that their respective ruling classes will succeed in commiting the workers of America and the workers of the Soviet Union to the mutual self-slaughter of nuclear war.

If it is true that the useful producers of the world do not wish to engage in war and its savagery, the question that inevitably arises is why do we have war and the constant threat of war and mutual extinction hanging over our heads? The answer to that question lies in the fact that wars are the result of the rivalry and competition of the ruling classes of the respective nations of the world for the markets and resources of the globe. President Woodrow Wilson clearly stated this truth to a St. Louis audience on Sept. 5, 1919, when he said:

"Why my fellow citizens is there any man here, or any woman -- let me say, is there any child here -- who does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?"

Of course, all wars have to be presented as great moral crusades to the people who are expected to endure the suffering. This truth was stated quite frankly in a United States Navy document inserted in the April 5, 1947, edition of the Congressional Record:

"Realistically, all wars have been for economic reasons. To make them politically palatable, ideological issues have always been invoked."

It should be obvious that without the participation of the working class in the economy or in the military services, no war would be possible. But unfortunately, the working class is disorganised. In every country in the world, it is so fragmented as to be powerless. They are therefore obliged to obey their rulers or face death, jail, or starvation. That is the penalty workers pay for their failure to realize their potential for self-liberation through the right kind of organization.

There is a solution to their problem. It lies in the program of Socialist Industrial Unionism proposed by the Socialist Labor Party of America. This program must be embraced and carried out by the American working class, and subsequently by the workers of the other industrialized nations -- including the Soviet Union. When they do so, and only then, their desire to live in peace can be fulfilled.