J Posadas ON WAR makes a Marxist contribution to the basic causes and the world struggle to finish with war.
TO THE READER
This publication is obtainable in its entirety from the Scientific, Cultural and Political Editions’s email (see below).
The document is in two parts. The first contains two texts by J. Posadas ON WAR. Although these were written in 1972 and 1981, they have never been so relevant. The author, who died in 1981, wrote a very great number of texts on the subject, also obtainable on demand.
The second part contains articles written in 2014 by the posadiststoday.
- War preparations and the role of the Socialist Countries, J. Posadas, 22.3.1981
- War is not the end of the world: It is an atomic ‘charco’, J. Posadas, 20.09.1972
- Crimea, now Russian, revives old Workers-State forces, 20 April 2014 .
- The uprising in Crimea-Ukraine stimulates an anti-imperialist United Front, posadiststoday.com, 10 and 26 April 2014
- European Unity against NATO, the Troika and the Debt, posadiststoday.com, May 2014
Preface by the Editors:
“Capitalism is war, Socialism is peace”!
This publication ON WAR makes a Marxist contribution to the understanding of the basic causes of war, and the organisation of the world struggle to finish with war in this first part of the 21st Century.
The texts by J Posadas we publish here remain of a great actuality. Dated 1972, the first one shows how war gushes up from the nature of the capitalist system itself. The second, dated 1981, analyses that the Socialist countries had no need of war to make progress – their only need having been to organise to confront the war of the capitalist system against them, against the USSR mainly; this text shows also that the Workers States represent the start of a society superior to that of the capitalist world.
What remains of this today? With their best efforts to dismantle the Socialist camp, the imperialist powers of the capitalist system, USA and European Union (EU), have not stopped the progress of new revolutions, the rise of Revolutionary States in Latin America or the struggle of humanity to change the world and move towards Socialism. And they did not destroy the Soviet Union either.
This is why NATO did not self-destruct following the dismantlement of the Warsaw Pact. It turned itself instead into the police of the world, fomenting, taking part in, and supplying enormous military means to all the conflicts breaking out and spreading in today’s world. It is with new wars in mind that it concentrates its technological means, its armed forces and its weapons of mass destruction.
This year (2014) of the centenary of the First World War is full of pacifist speeches from the European governments. For the latter, war is an accident that gets mysteriously triggered, or a fateful result of human nature. None of them casts a light on the causes of that war, or on why the Second World War followed 20 years later. None explains why the same imperialist powers, now gathered in NATO, threaten humanity with a Third War even more murderous – and NATO having granted to itself the right to be first at using atomic weapons.
The war of today is no longer inter-capitalist, or to re-distribute empires. It is no longer the ‘cold war’ that raged against the Socialist countries, from Cuba to China and fundamentally aimed at the USSR. The war of today is the desperate war of an agonising capitalist system against the whole of humanity. The war of Israel on the Palestinians is symbolic of this.
With its enormous military power – supplied by its imperialist sponsors – and with its atomic arsenal, Israel still cannot crush the popular revolt, the resistance of the masses of Gaza and the West Bank. Those who see their legitimate defence in the massacre of civilian populations, and in the deliberate killing of hundreds of children as in Gaza – will not scruple to use every possible means, atomic included, to bailout what is left of the capitalist regime. This does not depend on the good will or ill-will of particular political leaders. It is dependent on the nature of the capitalist system.
The NATO military alliance does not stop at its 28 member States. It intervenes on all continents via multitudes of partnerships. It is through one of these that Israel derives impunity for its war crimes.
The NATO summit in Britain this year seeks to muster the maximum of its forces against the centrifugal European movements like Scottish nationalism in the UK. Seeking defence-guarantees for the biggest capitalist powers and multinationals, the summit’s agenda will focus on how to face up to the successive failures at the heart of this biggest war machine in history, as with ‘the Ukrainian crisis’.
Once again the alliance of the big capitalist powers views Russia as the main enemy who they accuse of “threatening peace and world security”. But this indicates also that the Soviet Union did not die with the “fall of the Berlin wall”. European and US capitalism cannot put up with the competition of Russia and China, and now, the so-called Russia “of Putin” rejects the capitalist bosom.
Russia did not “annex” Crimea, and it did not enter the East of Ukraine; the position is that the masses of those places feel nostalgia for the USSR and voted to return there. This is why NATO declares Russia to be “a threat”, and this is why this summit intends to speed up war preparations against Russia.
The debate on the warmongering nature of capitalism, and on the necessity of Socialism to get peace in the world, is fundamental for the Trade Union and political organisations of the working class in Europe, for the Peace Movements and for every progressive movement. Posadiststoday.com, 12.8.2014
AND THE ROLE
OF THE SOCIALIST COUNTRIES
J. Posadas, 22.3.1981
War is a consequence of the development of capitalist society. War does not come from arms production. In the matter of its causes, the part played by arms production is secondary because it is capitalism, itself, that needs war.
The great ‘splendour’ of the capitalist world has ended. There is a retreat, whilst the revolutionary process in Africa, Asia and Latin America advances uninterruptedly, irrepressibly. Countries that possess the least of everything come out with the greatest determination to progress. Wars are everywhere, but victorious wars defeat capitalist oppression and make the economy serve the populations. In those countries, private property used to prevail. Now they seek State ownership and the development of their economies through the State.
Many countries that used to be economically backward are now freeing themselves in this way. Although their populations continue to live in backward economies, they leap rapidly ahead in the cultural field. People hardly eat, or eat hardly any more than before, but they learn how to progress by observing how it is being made in the rest of the world.
War is a consequence of the system of private property. It is private property that leads to the crises that capitalism used to resolve by means of inter-capitalist wars. Now that there are Workers States, their influence has turned war into a system-against-system confrontation.
The wars of 1870-71, 1914 and 1939 were inter-capitalist wars. They were accompanied by occupations – as when German zones passed over to France and similar things happened in Belgium. There were no Workers States in 1870 and 1914, and war was clearly due to the inner contradictions of capitalism. Capitalism makes war when there is much more production than consumption and the markets do not exist to soak up the excess. War is inherent to capitalist production, to its system of production.
As they compete, the capitalists eliminate each other through war or by creating huge international trusts. Although Germany, Britain and the US have major consortiums in common, they still confront each other because competition persists between the capitalist countries.
There is no doubt that for capitalism, arms production and war preparations are vital necessities. Capitalism uses them both to compete against each other and put down the masses as well. In the war of 1870 between France and Germany, the French bourgeoisie let the Prussians troops enter France to help liquidate the Paris Commune.
War is not down to ill-will or bad people. This exists, but it does not decide. What determines war is the logic of production in the private property regime. Capitalism never stops making war. War is its life. This explains why war is never really an accident, or due to crises getting out of hands. War is the simple logic of the capitalist system. This is also why, of course, it is preparing for war once again.
Besides the big wars, there have always been ‘small’ big wars. In the name of world capitalism, US imperialism intervened in Indonesia1 to stop the Social-Democratic government of Sukarno taking progressive measures. First the US helped Dutch imperialism get rid of Sukarno, and then it got rid of Dutch imperialism. With that one war, the US stopped both Sukarno and its main competitor in the area; a small participation was granted to the Dutch afterwards, in case of uprisings. Here you have one example of capitalist war.
Another example is the war of Yankee imperialism against Cuba. Cuba was under Spanish domination until 1898, the year when Spain had to concede independence. The Yankees moved in, and replaced Spain. The Cuban masses went on struggling against Yankee imperialism which appropriated half of the island.
This is how the province of Guantanamo is still under US imperialist domination today. Here you have a sample of the most brutal, assassin and criminal means that capitalism uses to stop the world masses making objective progress.
It is for general war that the Yankee imperialists keep a military presence in Guantanamo. The base itself is of no economic value to them, and its military importance is limited. One atomic bomb and out with the Yankees in Guantanamo. They know this of course, but they don’t go away. Leaving would be too much of an admission of weakness; it would stimulate revolution in all the Latin American countries. The role of the US in Guantanamo is to keep an eye on the Latin American countries; the military strategic advantage is small, but it is useful to exert pressure against Cuba and ship arms around. Militarily, Guantanamo is of little historic value to the US: when the atomic confrontation starts, one atomic bomb will suffice to wipe it out.
Strategic places like Guantanamo used to be important, but this is no longer so. Broadly speaking, this applies to the all the navies as well, their remaining role being for general transport and the ferrying of atomic weapons. Although aviation retains an importance, it has also declined in importance. For most important today, and indeed determinant, is the relationship between the populations on a one hand, and the armies that enter their countries on the other. This relationship has become more decisive than all the warships and the warplanes. The Soviets know that they can count on the welcome of the populations. In war, the Soviets will receive bread and water; the Yankees will receive bullets and buckets of shit.
The capitalists make war when inter-capitalist competition fails to resolve their rivalries. Now that they face Workers States, they dare not throw themselves at each other as in the past. This leads them to impose on each other the most devastating levels of economic and commercial dismemberment, without using weapons. They prepare for war on the Workers States meanwhile, hoping that this will stop the progress of history.
War is inherent to capitalism, not to the Workers State
Whilst war is integrally part of capitalism, this is not true of the Workers States. The invasion of Vietnam2 by China does not amount to a Workers State making war on another.
The invasion of Vietnam is orchestrated by a counter- revolutionary camarilla3 in China. This is why the latter was not able to send many soldiers, its invasion was half-hearted and its retreat was made in haste4.
The Chinese leaders boasted of having “taught Vietnam a lesson”, but they had nothing to teach, and were themselves taught a lesson: the war on Vietnam was stimulating internal rebellion in China. Had this not been so, they would not have withdrawn so fast.
The Chinese leadership sent troops against Vietnam, but it became scared of the internal opposition this was stimulating in China. These Chinese leaders wanted to avoid above all a Soviet intervention that might start supporting the opposition in China, encouraging it, helping it to grow! The Yankees understood this. They told China to get out.
The crisis of capitalism is evident in production, finance, capital accumulation and capital exports, but it is also expressed in the ever increasing concentration of multinational capital. Marx and Kautsky described the inevitable war of capitalism decades in advance. They saw that war was not due to bad capitalists, although they are bad, but to the capitalist system. The Workers States do not need war. They are not governed by capital. The war of China against Vietnam was the deed of a counter-revolutionary camarilla in China, not of the Chinese Workers State.
Yugoslavia had many conflicts with the USSR’s leadership but the USSR never invaded it. We are told that imperialism gave guarantees of protection to Yugoslavia, but the reason why the USSR never invaded Yugoslavia is that the USSR’s Workers State structure was opposed to it.
During the Second World War, the US and Britain gave guarantees to Hitler should he wish to invade the USSR. Churchill secretly proposed to let the Germans invade the USSR, to crush both exhausted sides afterwards. The US rejected this, seeing the folly of the US and Britain drawing against them the united anger the European working class.
This example shows well how the capitalists must combine their internal contradictions with their antagonism towards the Workers States.
The Workers State has no need of war. When it develops a leadership with counter-revolutionary and bellicose traits – as in China – its aggression does not come from the Workers State but from its counter-revolutionary leadership. This happened under Stalin when he assassinated the entire Bolshevik leadership. That action was not needed by the structure of the Workers State but by its assassin leadership that had usurped the power of the working class.
To live and make progress, the Workers State needs the reverse of war. Indeed it cannot develop without logical relations prevailing in the population. Capitalism needs war because its system is based on profit-making, but the Workers State has no base in profit-making. To exist at all, the Workers State must not only develop production5, but science and culture as well. This is what the USSR instituted. This is why its progress in the scientific and cultural fields has been immense from the start, as well as in the economy.
Production for need creates superior social structures
Inversely to what happens in capitalism, the Workers States do not develop through the war of each against everyone. The Workers States do not need competition. The ultimate and logical necessity that unifies them is their comparable economies and social relations, their scientific discoveries and their cultural attainments. This is hindered by the limitations of leadership, but the progress of the Workers States has been immense since 1945. It ended unemployment and hunger.
The Workers State can only continue on the foundations left by the capitalist regime. The Workers State is on the way to create its own foundations, but this needs time. As it embarks upon the socialist road, it must start from where capitalism left off, in the economy, technology and social structures.
The Workers State makes improvements in social matters because these depend on political leadership, but its material base is pre-determined by inherited capitalist technologies. The Workers State is perfectly capable to surpassing those technologies, but it can only do it by creating more elevated social relations.
The way the Workers State creates more elevated social relations is by making the economy produce for human need. The more it does this, the more it leaves behind the social models it inherited from the capitalist system.
Capitalism cannot exist without making profits, but the Workers State cannot exist without making social development. The challenge is to leave behind the economic and social structures of the capitalist system.
The USSR has had only 60 years to learn how to surpass capitalism; this is short, particularly if you consider that it had to co-exist with capitalism throughout, i.e. dedicate some 50% of its resources to war instead of development. Had capitalism been liquidated 60 years ago, the ability of production to satisfy human need today would be overwhelming.
Capitalism started developing its technologies way back in feudalism, but the Workers States must start from the technologies of capitalism. The USSR had to develop in hardly any time at all. More, it had to do so under assassin leaderships and bureaucracies like those of Stalin and Khrushchev. These curtailed development, and sometimes even prevented it.
Khrushchev did his best to stop the development of China, amongst other things. He took China’s side against capitalism, but he did not want it to develop and become a competitor. It was not China’s economic or commercial development that he feared, but the competition of China’s social development. For China had become a world revolutionary focus in the world, well able to exert a strong influence back in the USSR.
If the Workers States do not make more headway today, it is for lack of the necessary leaderships. The USSR is the second most important country in the world, and in many aspects it is the first. It is superior to capitalist Germany in the technological and industrial fields.
The latest USSR’s achievements in space travel are outstanding. Its training of the Soyuz’ cosmonauts points to a high-grade industrial capacity; the latter does not focus on the production of consumer goods because it focuses on the production of goods that edify intelligence. In due time, this type of production will eliminate the other.
The way to finish with war is to finish with the capitalist system
Capitalism has had hundreds of years to develop, and its scientific structures started way back in the feudal regime. The Workers States, on the other hand, have had to do everything at once and very fast. This does not stop the USSR making a huge contribution to all kinds of endeavours useful to human development, like Space travel. In so doing, it beams confidence to the world. It reinforces the knowledge, and the certainty, that life on Earth will have to link up with the Cosmos in order to continue.
The necessity that forced the Workers States to live alongside the capitalist system kept the road to their full development blocked. They had no choice but to create the new leadership of history in such conditions. And what is more, to do it immediately after periods like those of Stalin and the 1939-45 war that destroyed half the world!
Capitalism is war, Socialism is peace. This is not a phrase, a maxim or a slogan. It is a logical conclusion. Capitalism generates war because it needs war in order to live. It is a fact that the Workers State needs peace in order to live. The leaderships of the Workers States do not proclaim this truth. They deaden this truth, but they cannot invalidate it. One proof of this is that China had to quit Vietnam, and another is that Vietnam did not seize the occasion to butcher the invading Chinese or retaliate against Chinese populations.
There was nothing to stop the Vietnamese sending planes to bomb in China, but they simply let the Chinese leave. They had no wish to attack China. Some of this reality lurks also behind the way the Chinese retreated, because in no way can the Chinese Workers State have the same criminal motives as imperialism. The Chinese leadership backed down for fear of a Soviet intervention, or rather, for fear of a Chinese internal opposition where the Soviet Union might start to play a role.
To assess the present state of capitalism, it is enough to look at capitalist Germany. The right to a job is one of the greatest conquests of humanity. Even in capitalism, a job is considered a right before being an obligation. Capitalism must provide work. This has been accompanied by other rights, like the right to vote, to be elected, to be protected by the law and to be involved in the leadership of society. Germany however has two and a half million workers with no political rights, not even at municipal level. These foreign workers have no rights, and their children born and living in Germany do not automatically qualify for citizenship. Such is the capitalist system. There is nothing comparable in the Workers States.
The Workers States had only a few years to get started
Private property is thousands of years old. It sprouted one system after another, but its property regime remained unchanged, from one system to the other – from slavery to feudalism, from feudalism to capitalism. It was only the system of production that changed. As capitalism pulled away from feudalism, it stood for ‘the right to universal suffrage’. Why then are the foreign workers still not allowed to vote in capitalist Germany? Two and a half million workers without the right to vote, and why shouldn’t their children vote?
The Workers States are the representation of a superior society. Their leaderships may not be fair, or up to the task, but they still represent the necessity of the Workers State. As leaderships, they may not have the necessary capacity and policies, but one must not forget that this is the first time the working class has attempted to lead society.
The USSR showcases the security that has accompanied the first attempt at building Socialism. The Soviet masses had to put up with Stalin and Hitler, and when Hitler got to power, world capitalism stimulated him against the USSR. The idea was to exhaust the USSR and Hitler, by making them confront each other. Capitalism thought the Soviet workers would rise against Stalin, but the Soviet workers reasoned: “First we will deal with Hitler, and then we will settle with Stalin”. This reasoning came from a confidence that can only be conferred by a Workers State. And this is why Hitler lost in the end. It is not the intervention of the United States that defeated Hitler.
It is the working class of the Soviet Union that defeated Hitler. In this, it was supported by the masses of the world that made a strong defence of the USSR against Nazism6. In the USSR, Stalin was subsequently shown the door, and history went on progressing.
Production for need is required – not ‘democratic liberties’
The Soviet Union became what it is today (1981) in spite of having started from nothing. This could only happen because it was creating a superior society: State ownership, planned production, the development of science and culture, and a powerful rise in the political level of society.
The USSR is not contradictory. It is a society that learns to lead itself. Since its inception, it made uninterrupted progress. You cannot say the same of Germany where two and a half million workers still have no political rights, on top of all the unemployment, housing shortage and rise in living costs. You cannot have democratic rights in that situation. So much for capitalist Germany’s constant bragging about ‘liberty’.
‘Democratic liberty’ is not a cornerstone in the USSR. Its cornerstone is State-owned property, economic planning and support for all the anti-capitalist struggles in the world. Soviet society rests upon these principles, and for these principles to shine as brightly as they should, Soviet democracy is also necessary. This is the role of Soviet democracy.
After the Second World War, capitalist Germany did not develop through a capacity of its own. World imperialism poured millions upon millions of dollars into it, to make it a showroom against the Workers States. This is the main reason why Germany developed as it did. It did not have the force to do it by itself. The Marshall Plan financed its transformation into a bastion to block the advance of the Workers States.
Today, Germany is an occupied country. The British, the French and the US are occupying it. Germany depends on French and British imperialism, and US imperialism above all. It has no democratic rights or military capabilities of its own.
Capitalist Germany is a subjected country, forced to keep the Workers States down, and its own independent economic development as well. Had it been allowed this independent development, it would have made another war by now.
The elimination of the capitalist system is the answer of course. This is the way to put an end to hunger, war, unemployment, the exploitation of the migrant workers, and that of the workers in every country. The way to finish with war is to finish with the capitalist system.
J. Posadas, 22.3.1981
WAR IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD: IT IS AN ATOMIC ‘CHARCO’*
J. POSADAS, 20.09.1972
The question of the atomic war is one of the overriding themes that dominate the preoccupation of the human beings, of the proletariat. This preoccupation, however, is not the same as fear. The concern is: How are we to face this? What will happen before, during and after? How will humanity behave?
In the matter of the atomic war, as in any other situation of calamity and class struggle, one must cling with great firmness to the class analyses, class conclusions and class experiences that put their entire trust in the proletariat and in humanity.
Although the atomic war petrifies the bourgeoisie, the latter will launch it all the same. The bourgeoisie senses that the atomic war is ‘curtains’ for it – and this cripples it with fear. In the United States and other countries, it makes shelters for itself hundreds of meters belowground, with cinemas, generators, bathrooms and domestic servants’ quarters. Bourgeois people may take refuge in there, but capitalist power will end, even if imperialism wins the war.
Imperialism winning the war would bring new conditions in history. Triumph and power would fall to military types who will oust the political leaders of private property. The retrogression will fling society back to the middle Ages, under a system of production inferior even to the middle Ages. The conditions will not exist to create a new form of property, and those in charge will have to fight in order not to be dispossessed. To live on, they will have to increase the use of science and technology, and today’s problems will return. There is no perspective for those people, even if they win the war.
We reiterate that we do not want the atomic war. The Bolshevik programme was against war. To those who asked the Bolsheviks why they were fighting, the Bolsheviks answered that their fight was “war against war”, to stop the oppression and the massacres of the class enemy. Did they have another option? Is there another option? Should someone discover another option, we will support it! But there is none. The atomic war is inevitable because imperialism is going to use all its weapons. Hence we prepare for it, counting on all the possible forces, like the 14 Workers States and 16 Revolutionary States that exist today.
As a class, the proletariat feels secure in history. It does not fear the atomic war. Its industrial and political preparation disposes it to revolutionary action, but it derives this disposition mainly from its role in society – regardless of Trade Union and political preparation. Through its function in the economy and in society, the proletariat sees that capitalism is unnecessary. The proletariat lives the daily reality of capitalism’s social role making no contribution to the human relations. Within itself, the proletariat feels that it is producing, reproducing and contributing usefully, whether the capitalists stand over it or not. The proletariat sees its labour as part of human ingeniousness. It feels part of the intelligence that elaborates science and technology.
Although the proletariat realises that society depends upon it, it does not adopt the attitudes of superiority or arrogance to be found in the other social classes. In the other social classes, conservative and egoistical sentiments motivate their attitudes and social inclinations. The proletariat as a class cannot have such attitudes, motives or social inclinations, because it does not generate such sentiments.
The role that the proletariat plays in the economy guards it against conservatism and egoism. It knows that its effective labour is part of an endeavour that includes the technicians and scientists. It sees also that the capitalists operate right outside that endeavour, utilizing technology for themselves, just as they utilize science and human labour. The proletariat knows that society and production depend upon it, in a way that would not change if there were no capitalists. This is why those in power experience any Trade Union proposal as a power duality, a bid for power, a casting out of the capitalist.
Due to its function in society and the economy, the proletariat feels confident and secure. Production having become increasingly socialised, this inner confidence has grown over time into an unfettered communist consciousness. In Roman times, the proletariat played a role too, but not as a class. It is capitalist development and big industry that developed the proletariat as a class. Big capitalist industry and collective production have given rise to collective consciousness. Collective consciousness arises from the socialised process of capitalist production, where a collective form of participation became necessary.
The proletariat feels fundamentally part of this. In its historic class development, proletarian consciousness evolved through Workers Parties that eventually led to the Bolshevik Party. At the time of the First International – and later with the Socialist parties – partial and limited aspects of this consciousness emerged. With the triumph of the Russian Revolution, the proletariat came to full consciousness through Communist Parties aware now that progress demanded the transformation of society.
The structure of society as it stands, along with its relations of production and exchange, makes any new form of private property impossible. The centralisation of property has given rise to a great technical capacity where each new level of concentration generates more productivity. Matters have now reached the point where this great concentration and centralisation simply need planning. With planning, productivity will be a hundred times what it is now. The obstacle in the way is private property and competition – that is to say, the market.
The proletariat developed through those forms; and when Marxism arrived, it gave a consciousness that only the proletariat can have. The proletariat derives its ability from its function in society, as we said, but it derives it also from the Party8. The collective consciousness of the proletariat mounts from the established form of production up towards the Party. The Party then takes on the task of upholding it consciously and teaching it. The Party defends the historic notion and spreads the comprehension that the new society must start from the levels and structures attained in capitalism, i.e., from big and centralised production.
Human progress must start from the level of concentration and centralisation reached in capitalism. All it needs is a new form. What new form? The Workers State! And from the Workers State to Socialism! The proletariat is conscious; it feels secure. It does not fear catastrophes, economic mayhem or the destruction of the riches that humanity has produced. It feels like those who have nothing to lose. Its position in the economy clears its consciousness of egoistical conclusions.
The capitalists cannot live
outside accumulation and profit-making
Capitalist society has concentrated the means of production. This has brought about big industrial development, high technology and high productivity. Capitalism knows how to produce more, in less time and at the same costs. If this talent were applied to a collective society, production would triple at once. It is only that, in capitalism, property is concentrated through competition and through the capitalists’ implacable need to profit and accumulate. No capitalist can change this without going bankrupt. Any attempt at changing this breaks the M-C-M cycle (money-commodity-money). It is to keep this cycle going that the capitalists must preserve the existing social and economic order.
Capital has reached the point where it can no longer boost its own capacity to expand. It reacts by turning in upon itself, increasing it financial centralisation. This lessens the number of capitalists because competition liquidates them. Meanwhile, the Workers States continue to advance. They are plagued by a lack of means, of traditions and of preparation, but they can still resolve in 20 years what capitalism never did in 200. The proletariat takes stock. It will start from that level of attainment when it finally breaks the bureaucratic yoke.
The proletariat is confident and secure in the notion that anything and everything can be rebuilt. Where the proletariat stands, society stands too, for society depends upon it. The proletariat occupies a place at the heart of production where there are no sentiments of egoism, appropriation, competition, vanity or selfishness. These sentiments are those of private property. When private property has gone, those sentiments will go too. The proletariat enters the war with these characteristics.
The proletariat has the historic and actual experience of 14 Workers States and 16 Revolutionary States. The Revolutionary States are influenced by the proletariat through the concept of the Workers State – i.e. State-owned property and the collectivised economy. That is to say, the world at large views the proletariat in light of the Workers States. The irrepressible confidence of the proletariat stems from its feeling socially irreplaceable. The proletariat is unafraid; it has nothing to lose “but its chains”, as Marx says.
Through its function as a class, the proletariat already feels itself to be organising history. It has no world Party, but it knows itself to be the decisive factor of social organisation. You get a measure of this when you look at its behaviour. Its conduct in the Workers States is of a very fine order when you consider how it resists bureaucracy and takes great care not to harm the Workers State. This has been the conduct of the proletariat at every turn: in Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1958 and in Stettin & Dantzig (Poland) this year9.
The proletariat enters the war with this ability and knowledge. It has nothing to lose and everything to gain. From where it has stood in history and in the economy, it has grown the sort of confidence, resilience and determination that makes the rest of the population wish to follow it.
The atomic war is going to produce disarray, horror and shock. There will be a loss of reasoning in many people, but the proletariat will be the least affected. Those most affected will be the bourgeois whom you already see futureless and perspective-less, seeing nothing but death ahead. The bourgeois hope to secure their future by burying themselves 100 meters below the ground – where they will stay.
A preview of how the proletariat is going to enter the nuclear war shows already in the conduct of the masses of Vietnam, of the Middle East, and of anywhere indeed. The proletariat gives constant demonstrations that it does not let itself be bullied, wiped out or debilitated. It is going to enter the atomic war with the all vigour it displays in the class struggle. The Yankees have threatened to use atomic weapons against Vietnam, but the proletariat did not quake. It went on supporting Vietnam and encouraged it to fight on.
The mayhem and monstrous capitalist crimes that will mark the start of the nuclear war will be immediately followed by the proletariat moving into action. The proletariat will embark upon social reorganisation. It will draw together what is left of the world populations and make a ruling class with it. In that process, its intervention will focus on the liquidation of every remnant, if any, of capitalism and bureaucracy.
* * * *
The First World War produced the Soviet Workers State. In spite of Stalin’s best efforts to stop the extension of the Russian Revolution, the Second World War brought 8 more Workers States. There are now 14 Workers States and 16 Revolutionary States. The Third World War is the end of the capitalist system.
Mind that we do not seek the nuclear war. We do not reckon that such a war was the right way to get rid of the capitalist system, but this is how history has panned out. We just speak as we find. As far as we are concerned, we prepare to face this situation by treasuring every useful means that history creates along the way, determined to do everything and draw all the conclusions necessary for the construction of Socialism.
It is not that we are without feelings! From the most profound of our Communist emotions, we lament the tragedy which is coming to millions and millions of human beings. We are not those who are guilty or responsible for it. Capitalism is! Feeling this too, the proletariat is all the more determined not to feel intimidated.
The notion that the atomic war is going to crush so many millions of people fills us with appalling distress, but we do not feel responsible or guilty. Where we feel we have a responsibility, yes, is in proposing ways and means to help overcome the atomic ‘charco’ as fast as possible, and get Socialism under way.
At the start of, and during the atomic war, humanity will be penetrated by the collective sentiment of the proletariat – the very sentiment that helps the proletariat not to fear the atomic war and the consequences of capitalist barbarism. Observe how elevated the behaviour of humanity already is, in spite of finding itself without a class-and-mass revolutionary Party. It has mass parties, but they are not revolutionary.
Humanity is going to behave in the way made necessary by its need to face up. If someone could prove to us that postponing the Socialist Revolution by 20, 30 or 50 years could avoid the nuclear war, we would go along with the idea. The matter however stems from a historic necessity, not a number of years. The atomic war is inevitable. And it will be followed, immediately, during and afterwards, by the world triumph of the Socialist Revolution.
J. Posadas 20.09.1972
*The word ‘charco’ used by the author in its Argentinian version of Spanish has been left untranslated here for lack of a sufficiently evocative English world. The context of the author’s writings points to a traumatic quagmire, of a short duration. Editorial
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CRIMEA, NOW RUSSIAN, REVIVES OLD WORKERS-STATE FORCES
Posadiststoday, 20 April 2014
The Posadists in Britain salute the decision of the masses of Crimea to re-enter Russia, and Russia’s acceptance. With their new firmness, Russia and China have already allowed Syria to break the world chain of imperialist counter-revolutionary bombings marching towards Iran and Russia. Syria ushers in the stage when the US, NATO and the EU can no longer proceed Eastwards with impunity.
The new firmness of Russia and China has given to the masses of Crimea – as well as those in Donetsk, Jarkov, Lugansk, Sloviank, Mariupol and other parts of Eastern and Southern Ukraine – the force to mobilise against the neo-liberal, pro- imperialist and fascist coup in Kiev (21-22 Feb 2014). The masses of Crimea denied to the US, NATO and the EU the right to confiscate the Russian arsenal and bases in Crimea. By ensuring Russia kept hold of those assets, the masses of Crimea have acted with the consciousness of the coming war, and by taking the side of Russia in preparation for it. This conduct is a sign of what the world masses are going to do when imperialism launches the next world war.
The new firmness of Russia and China creates forces that dissuade those who seek ‘regime change’ elsewhere in the world, as in Venezuela. It encourages the tendency to defend and improve the ‘Bolivarian’ Revolution and the unification of Latin America. This gives hope to Maduro11 as he reiterates his proletarian determination to be based on the working class of his country “so that the bourgeoisie can never come back”.
What greatly defeats the US-backed coup in Venezuela is the support that the CELAC, ALBA UNASUR and MERCOSUR governments give to Venezuela (Brazil and Argentina included). Though dominated by imperialism, the recent OAS13 meeting rejected by 29 votes to 3 the US resolution to slap sanctions on the Maduro government – Peru and Chile joining in the majority.
In declaring People Republics in Donetsk and Lugansk, and in meeting around Lenin’s statues, in those places and beyond, the workers of the East and South of Ukraine (and of other parts in Ukraine as well) indicate their continued adherence to aspects of the Soviet Union. They also act in objective united front with the masses that fight world imperialism elsewhere, as in Palestine, Venezuela and Syria for instance.
The working class and masses of Ukraine, and those of Crimea in particular, reject vehemently the pro-fascist coup and government of Yatsenyuk and Turchynov in Kiev. The working class was never involved in the Maidan alongside its pro-European (EU-NATO) class enemies, and it is a denigration of the working class to say so. Even before the start of the Maidan demonstrations, the workers of the East were already getting ready to set up militias and Soviet forms, against fascist and imperialist encirclement and war.
The workers of Crimea re-entered Russia to give themselves the strength – which they cannot have alone – to defeat the ‘neo-liberal’ encirclement of Russia and Ukraine. They see that their foe is not just a coup in Kiev, but the atomic war preparations of world capitalism.
Down with the neo-fascist
and neo-liberal government in Kiev
Imperialism reacts to the workers’ resistance in Ukraine by sending more ‘special units’ and ‘trained advisers’ to the region. NATO wants “no Russian interference” but it reinforces its Eastern European and Baltic bases “over the seas, on the ground and up in the air”, as Kerry says. The fascist government in Kiev sends handpicked soldiers to the East of Ukraine with a savage determination to liquidate what it calls ‘terrorists’. Its fury to eliminate the Communists, the working class and Left organisations is exacerbated by the realisation that even its own (Ukrainian) soldiers repudiate it. World capitalism – that manipulates Kiev – is equally keen to crush the Ukrainian ‘rebels’ before their rebellion starts spreading in ex-Workers States, like Poland.
Today’s globalised world leaves no space for the development of an ‘independent Socialist Ukraine’, as some comrades pose. The struggle for Socialism anywhere forms part of the confrontation between capitalism and the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist forces gathering strength all over the world. This global necessity pushes Russia and the Putin leadership to base themselves on the support of populations that fight imperialism, like Crimea. No ‘Socialism’ in Ukraine can be expected outside the defeat of world imperialism.
Although the Putin leadership still talks to capitalism, it no longer looks there for a human face. It realises that war is coming, and that its salvation – which includes the salvation of bureaucratic and bourgeois interests – depends on its ability to welcome the support of the world masses.
Ukraine’s logical economic partner is Russia. Capitalism has nothing to offer there. The US-EU-NATO military patronage of the Kiev fascist government has important military capabilities, but these are undermined by the economic, financial, social and cultural degeneracy of world capitalism. J. Posadas foresees that in the coming war, finance-capital will crash terminally – before and during the war17.
The masses are supreme tacticians. As they side with the Putin leadership against Kiev and the Pentagon, they draw a wedge between the Putin leadership and the Ukrainian ‘oligarchs’. By welcoming Crimea into Russia, Putin separates himself from the oligarchs of Ukraine. In this process, the advanced workers of Ukraine, and of Russia itself, prepare not only to defeat the fascists once more, but world capitalism this time. They do it by uniting with Russia, or seeking to unite with it, and by reviving Lenin and the Workers State.
The Posadists call on the European and British Trade Unions, the Communist parties, the Socialist and Labour Lefts, the Trade Union Federations, the Left groups, communities and all the anti-war movements to create a European united front against the US and NATO’s encirclement of Russia & China; to denounce the coming world war that imperialism is preparing; to campaign for the expulsion of the US and NATO nuclear missiles from Britain and Europe; and to agree on a common anti-neo-liberal programme based on workers’ control and economic planning for the common good.
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THE UPRISING IN CRIMEA-UKRAINE STIMULATES AN ANTI-IMPERIALIST FRONT
Posadiststoday.com, 10 and 26 April 2014
The workers of Ukraine rejected without hesitation the pro- fascist and rightist coup in Kiev. They opposed indignantly the torching of the Trade Union Centres, the Western lies, the killings, the provocateurs and snipers, the pogroms against Communists, Russians and Jews, etc. They did not accept the repression of minorities and of the Russian language.
In the mines and the steelworks of the East and South of Ukraine, as well as in Crimea, in the ports and military bases like Sebastopol, the workers, the Communists and their families voted massively to separate their areas from fascism and Western neo-liberal asset stripping. In Crimea, they voted unanimously19 for their reintegration into Russia – and Russia accepted them. It was not Putin who organised the vote, and no Russian soldier imposed it. The Crimean masses are convinced and act under the command of their own consciousness. It is a denigration of the working class and masses to say that they must be led, that they cannot lead themselves or act unanimously in defence of their own interest, which is the common good.
It was as part of the USSR that the people of Crimea, of Ukraine and of Russia crushed the German and local Nazis at Stalingrad (1943). This victory allowed the continuation of the Soviet Workers State and the creation of 8 more Workers States. There is a knowledge of all this in the way the masses of Crimea stopped the Russian military bases falling to the Kiev fascists, and therefore to NATO and US imperialism. In the face of the war of capitalism, this was a revolutionary action.
In the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, People’s Republics have been set up, with the leading role of many sectors of the working class. Their behaviour shows they want to choose their governors, throw out the Nazi-fascists Kiev’s appointed ones, and encourage the Russian leaders to count upon them.
Their collective feelings are clear as they meet around Lenin’s statues, drawing therefore on Bolshevik traditions and the lessons of the last war when they helped to smash Nazism. Now they want to continue this fight by struggling against the neo-liberal and fascist menace of the EU, the US and NATO imperialists. Their vibrant sympathy for Russia harks back to the Soviet Workers State, the economic and cultural superiority of the old USSR, and their joint victory against the Nazis – at the cost of 27 million dead.
The immediate and profound reaction of the Peoples’ Republics against the Kiev’s coup shows that the Ukrainian working class and masses have lived in readiness to stand up to NATO. They understood the significance of the NATO bombings moving towards them like a black cloud of death, from Yugoslavia to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Now the same masses press Russia to support them; they know that they have support in Russia where they seek to stimulate the leaders to count on them to win the war that imperialism is preparing. For this war is inevitable! Forces favourable to the Workers State and Socialism are appearing in the world, in readiness to defeat not just fascism this time, but the capitalist system altogether.
Behind its talks of ‘sanctions’ and ‘ceasefires’, capitalism increases its military and atomic preparations against Russia and China. US warships take position in the Black Sea, with first-strike-capability nuclear missiles for instance. In spite of this, US imperialism hesitates in hurling itself at Russia, as it craves to do. Its EU allies are unreliable, and it makes enemies of its allies in every partial war. France and Germany are reluctant to apply sanctions against Russia that will lower their ability to compete, against the United States included! Those who decide about world war hesitate, mostly in the US. This gives Syria and Iran time to draw closer to Russia and China.
The masses of the world stand in the way of war
The anti-war indignation of the world masses plays a role in containing US-EU imperialism and NATO. This became clearly observable in Britain about Syria; but what stands mostly in the way of world capitalism finding the right time, the right place and the right way to launch the atomic war, is the firmness of Russia and China. The latter have military agreements, and in spite of the limitations of their leaderships, they stand their ground, join forces and develop a world strategy.
The masses of Crimea as well as those of the Donbas and other parts of Ukraine shine a light on how humanity prepares to confront and defeat the atomic war of imperialism.
They look up to Russia. They see Russia as the tool with which to defeat capitalism and imperialism, and they intervene with intelligence and determination to help re-shape that tool.
The Kiev “anti-terrorist” operations to smash the workers in the East and South of Ukraine have failed21, although many workers are being shot. No imperialist objection to an army “killing its own people”22 this time! The weakness of the Ukrainian army is not just due to its soldiers refusing to shoot; it is due to the soldiers rejecting what they were sent to do. Many of them defect and pass over to the other side. In the atomic war, this is going to happen in all the capitalist armies.
It is not just the masses of Ukraine that oppose the colonial yoke of ‘neo-liberalism’, but those of Russia too, of the Middle East, of Africa and Latin America – and of everywhere in Europe against the Troika. De facto, all these mobilisations represent a world anti-imperialist united front.
The Posadists salute the decision of the Crimean masses to rejoin Russia, and Russia’s acceptance. This way, the working class of Ukraine – from the West to the East, from Kramatorsk to Mariupol – can inform the world that the anti-Nazi struggle is the same as the anti-NATO one; that Popular Republics need building everywhere in response to world war, along with anti-NATO and anti-imperialist United Fronts.
Let us then make the European United Front concrete:
- Britain out of Nato, Nato out of Britain!
- A European Conference of Trade Unions and Workers Parties to oppose NATO in the world and the Troika in Europe!
- European and world Conferences of Trade Unions and Workers Parties to oppose the Transatlantic (and Transpacific) Trade Treaties!
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EUROPEAN UNITY AGAINST NATO, THE TROIKA AND THE DEBT!
Posadiststoday.com, May 2014
The results of the European parliamentary elections show massive opposition to the European model presently in construction. Those building it are the main financial centres of the world, in common accord with the most powerful European bourgeoisies (like Germany, Britain, France); but the representatives of that project in the big coalition – S&D and EPP – lost millions of votes and many EMPs.
In these elections, the opposition was expressed in huge abstentions of more than 50%, particularly in Eastern Europe, or in the ‘euro-sceptic’ votes that did not fit any block. The increased votes for the radical left (GUE-NGL) indicate rising doubts as to the possibility to reform the model.
Results on the Left reflect the ascending curve of the struggle of the masses. Best results were in Greece, Spain and Portugal, in tune with the dogged fight of the populations there, against sackings, privatisations and the destruction of the productive forces – bitter fruits of the Pacts and Treaties between the big European powers.
In the last few years, the policies imposed by the financial centres have led to massive unemployment and growing misery. Misery in the conditions of life, and misery in the social relations, with sequels like the rise in violent criminality, large-scale drug and alcohol misuse, small employers’ suicides, etc., particularly in the most affected peripheral countries like Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
Ukraine and the permanent revolution in Europe
The world witnesses the clear incapacity of the European bourgeoisies to unify around any common policy and strategy.
World imperialism and NATO wrote the Ukrainian agenda and passed it on to Germany, France and the others; but these are not keen to open new conflicts beyond all those they already have on the continent, with their own masses.
As they fight the Nazi-fascist government in Kiev, the masses of Crimea, Odessa and Eastern Ukraine bring to this situation the best of their forces and the best of their ideas. They put Lenin – thought long dead and gone – back where they need him, like a banner to show the way to the peoples of Europe and those of the world. The masses of those areas may be predominantly of Russian origins, but this action proves that they do not defend Russian local or national interests.
As these fighters hold back the advance of the Kiev’s fascist army, they use barricades, Militias and the peoples in the streets. They stand as representatives of the best ever achieved by the masses of the European continent, namely: the First Socialist Revolution and the Rout and defeat of Nazism. This is going to influence immensely the masses of all countries, those of Greece, Italy and Spain in particular. The Trade Unions and the Communist parties are going to feel the need to move further leftwards.
The unfolding events in Ukraine concentrate decisive elements for the future of Europe. The capitalist crisis and its explosive internal contradictions figure amongst those elements, but so does the indelible mark that the October Revolution has etched upon the world: from the creation of the USSR and the other European Workers States, from the First Seven Years of the USSR and its most complete form of democracy, to the USSR’s crushing of Nazism and the extraordinary pull of the world revolution.
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