We must refuse the savagery of both terrorism and capitalism

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
August 21, 2017

Fourteen dead and 120 wounded in Barcelona and Cambrils last Thursday, 12 in London in March and June, 22 in Manchester in May, 5 in Stockholm in April, 12 in a Berlin Christmas market last December, 86 on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 14, 2016. Terrorist attacks, one after another and every time we are stunned by the horror, overwhelmed by emotion for broken lives. And every time, we hear the same hypocritical speeches from heads of state who claim to be defenders of liberty and peace against savagery.

But these attacks don’t come out of nowhere. They are a reminder of what is happening on a daily basis in Iraq and in Africa–18 people died in the most recent attack in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso–and they are retaliation for the war that the great powers are waging in the Middle East.

The attacks are hateful and savage but no more so than the bombings carried out on the towns of Mosul, Aleppo and Raqqa under the coalition led by the US. How many civilians, innocent children, women and men are buried under the rubble in the neighborhoods of these martyred cities?

The leaders of the great powers like to think of themselves as heroes but they are not above trampling on human lives to defend their domination and, above all, they are massively responsible for the chaos into which we are sinking.

Through their own maneuvering and dirty tricks, they have created the monsters that they decry today as dangers to humanity. Al-Qaeda was founded by Bin Laden, who was financed by the US in Afghanistan in their war against the Soviet Union. And Daesh is the rotten fruit of the Anglo-American war waged in Iraq since 2003.

A military victory over Daesh is quite likely. But then what? Imperialism doesn’t know how to build relationships between peoples, ethnicities or religions without using oppression. The history of the Middle-East is marked by the rivalries between the great powers for colonization and oil. They will not stop just because this or that armed group has been eliminated.

Imperialism is based on exploitation and violent theft. It feeds on inequality and poverty. It engenders and exacerbates rivalry between countries.

Trump has been very aggressive towards North Korea, threatening the 25 million inhabitants with “fire and fury”, even talking about using nuclear weapons. It is quite clear that following along with the policies of the great powers can only lead to catastrophe.

The world is now a powder keg. Imperialist rivalry between the US, Russia and China, the domination they all want to have over the poorer regions of the planet, create a more and more belligerent climate and no one can say where it will lead.

Today, the main victims of the chaos engendered by imperialism are Syrians, Sudanese, Malians, Afghans. Many of them are fleeing from the regions devastated by armed groups, poverty or the famine that ensues. Tomorrow, it could be us.

If the foundations of capitalism and the domination of imperialism are not called into question, the problems that humanity faces today will continue: the risk of generalized war, terrorism, economic and ecologic crises.

But humanity is not condemned to suffer a social order that is as unjust as it is inegalitarian and crazy. Another world is possible. A political party must defend this perspective; if not, the situation can only get worse.

Faced with the savagery of today’s society, there must be women and men in workplaces and in working-class areas to defend the prospect of changing society from top to bottom

To put an end to exploitation of the majority by a minority, capitalist property must be overthrown and the means of production must be publicly owned. The immense possibilities that are inherent in society could then be used for the benefit for all the people on the planet.