Revolution or War n°7

(Biannual - February 2017)

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Communiqué on the Attack in Berlin, on the Russian Ambassador’s Murder in Turkey and on Aleppo : Where Does the Capitalist World Go To? And Where Does It Want to Precipitate Us?

(December 20th 2016)

Slaughters, massacres, and terror in Berlin and in Syria, the assassination of the Russian Ambassador in Turkey, these are the most recent acts [1] of war that strike the world. They multiply since the attacks in Paris of January 2015 and the extension of wars in the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, but also in Yemen. The Berlin attack directly hits German capitalism and it means that the German ruling class, in turn, is going to adapt more resolutely its whole state apparatus and its national capital to the new situation. Since the attacks in France, it is no longer only the populations of countries of capitalism’s historical periphery which are directly and systematically struck, but also the ones of the main powers of the capitalist world, namely America and Europe, that is to say essentially large masses of proletarians.

The proletarians must not allow themselves to be fooled by the discourse of national unity, of the struggle against terrorism and the defense of democracy and our “way of life”, lest they risk being dragged onto the terrain of imperialist war behind their bourgeois democratic state. These discourses will intensify this very day, particularly in Germany. Already, the “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” has been launched by all the media after the “Je suis Charlie”, “Brussels” or “Nice”. No illusion: the outcome would not be less war but more war; and above all, it would open directly the path towards generalized war in which crisis-ridden capitalism attempts to involve the whole of society.

To these events we must add the political upheavals that are occurring in the state apparatuses of the main imperialist powers: the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election to be sure, but also the end of the bipartisan system of governing in Western Europe (the alternation between mainstream center-left and center-right parties), the emergence of new forces – often called “populist” – with a new political language that is more aggressive, nationalist, racist… and which is contributing to a climate of war. All these facts, acts of war and political shake-ups, are ultimately the result of the inability of capital to overcome the immediate effects of the 2008 crisis and to “revive” the economy. The crisis now exerts such a pressure that it forces the different state apparatuses to adapt their political system to the new situation; including through the renewal of the political personnel freed from the old talking points of before 2015. It also forces the bourgeois classes of each country to intensify even more their economic, political and ideological attacks against the proletarians and their living and working conditions.

For the latter, the sacrifices caused by the preparation of the imperialist war can be added to the sacrifices tied to the economic crisis which has been ongoing for decades. Because who is going to pay for the increase in the size of the U.S. Navy from some 275 ships to about 350 announced by Trump? For the construction of three new aircraft carriers? Who is going to pay for the increase of the German defense budget from 1 to 2% of the GDP ? Who is going to pay for the French military expenses which are set to exceed the Russian military budget in 2017 [2] ? Everywhere, in Europe, in Asia… the military budgets are increasing when they are not ballooning like they are in China or Saudi Arabia, provoking in response their direct rivals to boost their own expenditure. Who is going to pay and who is already paying? In great part, if not exclusively, the international proletariat. And who is going to sacrifice their lives? Trump “would need to demonstrate why this is a top national priority [to push back China], and why ultimately Americans might be called to sacrifice their lives for it” (Asian Times, Harry Kazianis, Dec. 10th 2016). The outcome of all this is beyond any doubt if the international proletariat does not respond by rejecting any national unity, and through the development of its own class fight as well as, ultimately, through the destruction of capitalism which bears generalized misery and generalized war.

Many among the revolutionaries, in mails or meetings, think we exaggerate the danger of the situation when we evoke the fact that the bourgeoisie is today forced to take the path towards generalized war – by attributing to us the idea that war would be inescapable and is likely to start tomorrow morning, thereby conflating process with accomplished fact. They see in it a supposed postulate of the communist groups which remained faithful to the Marxist theory and which would predict at all times and in all places the threat of war and of capitalist catastrophe. For some even, nothing important is now changing in the situation and we have been fooled by the media campaigns. Faced with current facts, this criticism hardly hides the fear of the present and the yearning for the “return to before 2015”. It also expresses the refusal to glimpse the abyss which is opening up before our eyes. Worse still, it reveals a refusal of the responsibility to draw all the political consequences; starting with the militant commitment and our responsibilities in the fight for the regroupment of communists, today dispersed and isolated, into a Party which will be the political vanguard of the historical fight of the proletariat as exploited and revolutionary class.

The logic of the capitalist system is driving towards a generalized war which would impact all of humanity. Will this be the outcome? Proletarian revolution or generalized imperialist war, Socialism or Barbarism, such are the stakes of the historical confrontation between the classes that the bourgeoisie is forced today to provoke against the international proletariat.

The International Group of the Communist Left, December 20th 2016.

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Notes:

[1. The list of the attacks is long. The same day, a shooting occurred against an Islamic centre in Switzerland with 5 dead and the day before a murderous attacks in Jordan caused eight deaths around the city of Karak …

[2. The French weekly journal Le Point, Budget militaire : la France dépensera plus que la Russie en 2017, 12 décembre 2016 (http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/budget-militaire-la-france-depensera-plus-que-la-russie-en-2017—12-12-2016-2089696_24.php#xtmc=budget-militaire-2017&xtnp=1&xtcr=1).