Remembering war

Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:34

Originally written: 11 November 2007

Remember, or think about, war. Think about horror.

It is not difficult to do that, because 89 years after “The War To End All Wars,” war is still a plague upon us.

Every year people set aside one day to think about war. And the next day, they have not changed, they still support war. Many say that war is horrible. Most people believe that war is necessary. Very, very, few people decide to do what is necessary to end war.

Most blame politicians, or religion, or terrorists, or dictators, or any number of things. But few are willing to blame the cause. Considering society honestly and rationally, and considering that society is not something which just happened today, but has a long history, one finds that the cause of war, today, is capitalism.

For most, that is not easy to understand.

Until people understand how capitalism causes war, until people take the time to understand, people will blame anything but the cause. And that is a guarantee of war.

The annual slaughter of more than 100,000 human beings — children, women, men, grandparents, husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, children — is not bad enough to convince people to spend the time it takes to understand the case against capitalism. And so, next year people will wring their hands and blame the wrong things. And people will do it forever, until people such as you decide that war is disgusting enough to understand its cause.

War is not caused by the politicians. Politicians of the Right, the Left, and the Centre have all permitted war to continue. Good politicians and bad politicians have permitted war to continue. They permit war, and declare wars, because under capitalism they have little choice.

War is not caused by religion. The wars supposedly caused by religion have very earthly, very economic, causes. The religious, and almost everyone else, have often lost sight of those causes.

War is not caused by megalomaniacs or dictators, although both are willing handmaidens to war.

War is not caused — at the root — by anything but economics. Currently the economic structure is capitalism. Capitalism causes war because capitalists in each nation — or those seeking to be the ruling capitalists of those nations — act naturally in their own interests to protect or gain whatever they need to profit. Capitalists want trade routes, raw resources, and markets. Capitalism convinces us to kill each other, to get trade routes, raw resources, and markets for the capitalists.

Capitalists also want peace, but the social structure capitalists require — capitalism — cannot function without war. When diplomacy and economic weapons do not work, war is the next logical step according to the logic of capitalism. That logic is inherent in capitalism. As long as people permit capitalism to continue, capitalism’s logic will produce war. War is not really a choice under capitalism. It is a necessity. People want capitalism to stop doing what capitalism must do. People have failed, and will fail forever, as long as they try to stop capitalism from producing war.

The vast majority supports war and all its horror. Most say they do not, but they do not do what they must if they want to end war. The excuses are many. All the excuses in the world have permitted capitalism to continue, and permitted capitalism to continue war.

Until you join the movement to end capitalism — the world socialism movement — consider yourself a supporter of war.

Black and white in a world of grays? Yes, because accepting gray means war.
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