Militarism and War
May 4, 2014
The inherent economic processes of modern capitalism – the process of monopolization at home and the export of capital abroad – give rise to violence and domination in politics. The very foundation of the capitalist-imperialist system – the social relations of subjugation and exploitation of the oppressed nations and classes, rests on violence and war.
It is well known that the history of the rise of capitalist-imperialism is the history of conquering the colonies through fire and sword. In the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. imperialism entered the scramble for colonies and economic territory by grabbing the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico through war. For decades, the U.S. marines openly made the law in Latin America while the U.S. companies plundered the wealth of the continent.
U.S. imperialism, at the end of WW II, emerged from the war at the head of the camp of capitalism. But faced with the worldwide growth of the camp of socialist countries and the ever-rising tide of national liberation, U.S. imperialism initiated the most ferocious counter-revolutionary campaign, stepping into the shoes of Hitler.
Under the banner of “containing” communism, U.S. imperialism militarized the entire world, launched wars against the national liberation movements and prepared for nuclear war against the socialist countries.
Since the end of World War II alone, U.S. imperialism has launched hundreds of armed interventions against the peoples and their movements for national liberation – in Korea, in Lebanon, in the Dominican Republic, in the Congo, in Vietnam, in El Salvador and Nicaragua, etc., etc.
In addition, U.S. imperialism has deployed its armies on every continent and filled the oceans with its warships. It has established its network of military bases over the entire globe. Over 500 U.S. military bases have been established on the soil of 100 countries. Such bases put the peoples under the thumb of military-colonial occupation, trampling on the sovereignty of countries and the dignity of the peoples in the Philippines and Puerto Rico, in Korea, etc. More than 100,000 troops are deployed in Europe as the “frontline” of defense of U.S. capitalism. So too, in Asia, the U.S. relies on the “forward-deployment” of 100,000 U.S. troops to project the strategic and economic interests of U.S. capital. In the Middle East, tens of thousands of U.S. troops, including a large war flotilla and nuclear-armed subs, are kept “combat ready.”
Yet, the Obama administration is not satisfied with this arsenal of mass destruction. Obama is carrying forwards a further buildup and “modernization” of U.S. military forces, including building a new generation of nuclear weapons, a series of new high tech weapons systems including nuclear submarines, battleships, new bombers, counter-insurgency forces, etc., etc.
In addition to strengthening its own military machine, U.S. imperialism is strengthening a world-wide network of alliances and pacts and drawing reactionary governments into the Pentagon's war strategy.
The Obama administration is continuing to push for “the enlargement of NATO to include nations with democratic values and free market economies” and to extend the operations of this aggressive military alliance “to deal with the geopolitical problems of the Middle East and Eurasia.”
In addition, U.S. imperialism keeps extending its alliances through the Middle East, “pre-positioning” armaments in the Arab countries and carrying on joint operations with various local armies, further militarizing the Israeli state as its watchdog in the region, etc.
Similarly, the Pentagon is working to integrate the armies of Latin America into the command structure of the Pentagon, using the so-called “war on drugs” to set up new counter-insurgency bases and deploy its own “advisers” on the continent.
In Asia, the Obama administration is strengthening its military alliance with South Korea, instigating the rearming of Japan, sending new weapons systems to Taiwan, establishing new bases in the Philippines, etc.
U.S. imperialism remains the main prop for reactionary and fascist regimes throughout the world. Since colonialism is based on the subjugation of the peoples, imperialism invariably attaches itself to and gives strength to the reactionary classes and social stratum. While imperialism finds it useful in many cases to maintain the fiction of the formal political independence of various countries, the reality is that not only the economic lifelines of these countries remain in the hands of foreign capitalists but also the political, military, cultural and other aspects of the life of the people.
Under the neo-colonial system, U.S. imperialism carries out its expoitation of the peoples through an alliance with the internal capitalist and landlord classes. Representatives of the local exploiters are sent to Washington for political and military training and returned to their “native” land to rule on behalf of the U.S. multinational corporations. Such regimes rely on U.S. military aid and training to maintain their countries as “safe havens” for U.S. corporate investments.
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In fact, the movement against militarism and war is one of the profound currents of the class struggle in the U.S. Every generation of Americans has come out to oppose aggressive wars launched by the capitalist government, come out against the war in Vietnam, against the counter-insurgency wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, against the Gulf War, the war in Yugoslavia, etc., etc.
In the present period, activists are involved in many fronts of struggle against the government's aggressive foreign policy. There is a big movement underway demanding the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. There are struggles against U.S. aid to Israel, against U.S. intervention in Iraq, against expansion of the wars to Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. There are growing struggles which fight against the guargantuan military budgets, for nuclear disarmament and for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. There is the struggle to close down Guantanamo Bay and to end the entire program of “extraordinary renditions.” There is the struggle to close down the infamous School of the Americas. There are struggles against U.S. intervention in Colombia, Mexico and throughout Latin America. There are on-going movements in friendship and solidarity with the people of Cuba and other people oppressed and attacked by U.S. imperialism.
How can we push forward these on-going struggles against militarism and war and how can we win permanent victory? We say that as a starting point we should strive to: 1) unite the many currents of anti-militarist, anti-war struggle into one common front; 2) organize our movement on the basis of its own aims and agenda so that it is a pro-active rather than a reactive movement; and 3) build the anti-war movement as part of the independent movement of the working class and people, build it in opposition to and struggle against the capitalist class and the imperialist system which are the source of war and militarism.
In other words, we say let us build up a broad, popular front against war and militarism which fights for a democratic foreign policy – for the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces stationed abroad, for an end to all aggressive military alliances and pacts, for an end to U.S. interference and intervention against other countries and people.