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The Socialist Party of Great Britain Why Socialists Oppose the Stop The War Coalition

Capitalism throughout its history and currently has turned the world into a vast battle-field. Today, all the major powers have extensive arsenals of ‘conventional’ and nuclear weapons. Wars occur when one or more sections of the capitalist class see their interests threatened by rival capitalists.

Oil and areas of strategic importance are high among the things over which the capitalist classes and their governments brainwash workers into killing and dying for.

Workers’ interests are the same the world over.
They own no countries, no oil or any other resources.
As wage-slaves in a profit-driven society, the interest of the working class
lies in ending capitalism, thereby getting rid of the cause of war
and many other social scourges, including poverty.

The Stop the War Alliance and those associated with them, despite these undeniable facts, continue to spread the fantastic nonsense that capitalism can exist without war. Starting with the American-led war on Iraq, they failed to Stop the War. Last year, they conducted a campaign to get the TROOPS OUT of Iraq. That also failed. Now, on the third anniversary, they are again making futile demands for the “immediate withdrawal of troops,” and this at the very time when thousands more British troops are going to Afghanistan, and Donald Rumsfeld talks of a “lengthy war against terrorism” and identifies Iran as the “leading state-sponsor of terrorism”.

It is easy to expose the war-mongering claptrap of Bush and Blair. But, when STWC write about Iraqi workers being “... able to decide for themselves how they want their own country to be governed”, their ignorance of capitalism is exposed. Workers have no country.

Where are the ten million anti-war protesters of 2003 now? An unending series of limited demands has done nothing but distract attention from the real issue and dissipate the enthusiasm of those who get involved.

The urgent need is for workers to be persuaded to abandon support
for capitalism and nationalism.
Plundering the world for oil and profits serves the capitalists,
not the workers.

The Shell oil company made £13 billion profit in 2005, up 30% on 2004. BP made £11 billion. Those who think they can STOP WAR and ignore capitalism should read TALIBAN– THE STORY OF THE AFGHAN WARLORDS by Ahmed Rashid.

The scramble for oil (and gas) and influence by the big powers in the Caspian has been likened to the Middle East in the 1920s. But Central Asia today is an even larger complex quagmire of competing interests. Big powers such as Russia, China and the USA, the neighbours Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey; the Central Asian states themselves and the most powerful players of all, the oil companies, compete in ... ‘THE NEW GREAT GAME’ (p145).

It is this ‘great game’ of gas and oil pipelines that motivates the war on terrorism. Terrorism and war against terrorism are interchangeable. As long as capitalism remains, it will continue to produce conflict, varying from individual acts of terrorism to gigantic armed struggles spreading over the oceans and continents.

Socialism will end war by removing the condition which causes it.
Socialism, the abolition of classes and the wages-system, can be achieved
only through class-conscious, democratic, political action.
The great need of our time therefore is to make Socialists.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain repeats a statement we issued on the outbreak of war in 1914:

Having no quarrel with the working class of any country, we extend to our fellow workers in all lands, the expression of our goodwill and socialist fraternity and pledge ourselves to work for the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of Socialism.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain, August 25th 1914
Workers of the World, Unite!

Instead of merely protesting against war and its horrors, we urge you to join us in working to get rid of the social and political system which inevitably causes wars.

The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.

1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e. land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce, and those who produce but do not possess.

3. That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.

5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.

8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.

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