Revolution or War n°23

(January 2023)

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Capitalist War and Crisis as Factors of the Class Struggle

The war in Ukraine is becoming more and more entrenched. It continues in an escalation of massive destruction and massacres. For the time being, there is no material fact that can indicate the outcome, let alone the end. This war is on top of all the catastrophes caused by capitalism and those, even more dramatic and massive, that capital is preparing and announcing. It is thus easy to add up these catastrophes without any real link and even less “hierarchy” between them. According to this view, each of these catastrophes one would have its specific cause, each one its solution, each one requiring a particular mobilization and struggle, for those who call not to suffer them without reacting. Among all the dramatic and destructive consequences that the survival of capitalism implies, global warming and the deterioration of the environment are, without any doubt, as much a mortal danger for humanity as the threat of a generalized atomic war. It is interesting to note that the struggle for ecology, the defense of the environment, etc., is advocated by almost all bourgeois, capitalist political and social forces; especially by the left and leftist forces. On the other hand, it is also interesting to note that no bourgeois political force, neither of the left nor the right, defends the struggle against war, whether it is the imperialist war in Ukraine today, or the march to generalized war of which the former is an expression. Of course, we cannot be surprised that no bourgeois political force defends the principle of proletarian internationalism on the occasion of this war nor on the occasion of any other imperialist war.

The communists of today, that is to say the organizations, groups and militants claiming the international Communist Left and its struggles, from the historical ones within the Communist International until those of today, do not deny that capitalism is destroying the planet. But they know that the supposed struggle for the defense of the environment is doomed to impotence as such and, above all, to become a dead end for the proletarians who would let themselves be dragged into it. Indeed, like any supposed particular struggle such as anti-racism, feminism, etc., it does not provide the ground and the conditions leading to the destruction of capitalism; and by not designating the particular subject of these struggles, apart from the “people” or those with good intentions, it can only lead to the ground of inter-classism and, therefore, of collaboration between the classes. That is to say, to hand over the initiative and the control of these supposed struggles to the capitalist class, the very one that is the cause and the factor of the disease. Is it not the capitalist states that are restarting coal-fired power stations and fighting over fossil fuel resources, gas in particular, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine?

On the other hand, communists know that the struggle against imperialist war provides the terrain and the conditions for the struggle for the destruction of capitalism and that it designates very clearly the revolutionary subject of this struggle, the exploited class, the international proletariat, because the perspective of generalized war produced by the capitalist crisis itself reveals the class antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat. Indeed, to the attacks against the living conditions of the wage-workers, of the proletarians, that the bourgeoisie imposes because of the crisis, are added the further direct and massive attacks, necessitated by the war in Ukraine and the march to the generalized war. Contrary to the supposed struggle for the defense of the environment, the struggle against the effects of the crisis and of the war provides the terrain of the confrontation between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

One can, as a proletarian in a collective struggle, fight against the effects of the crisis and of the war, against the various sacrifices that are imposed on us, and will be imposed on us more and more. In this way, proletarian struggles slow down and will slow down the march to generalized war, just as they push back or limit the attacks due to the crisis on the one hand; and, on the other hand, they can open the way to the revolutionary response, to the destruction of capital, starting with its state, and to the establishment of communism, a society without commodities, without money, without division of labor, without exploitation, without classes therefore, and thus in which production of social wealth is directed towards satisfying needs and not generating profit. “Communism as the positive transcendence of private property (…) is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature.” [1]

This is the object of our fight, of our organized regroupment and of our struggle so that the international proletariat can give itself its politico-historical leadership, its world party. This party will carry loudly and clearly the demand of proletarian insurrection and dictatorship, prerequisites for the establishment of communism, and will indicate the way and the means to attain them.

December 28th 2022



[1. K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Progress Publishers, Moscow 1959.