It’s time to vote against the war mongers, the war profiteers and the governments who want us to march to their drum!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
March 28, 2022

A month ago, the Ukrainian people had no idea what was going to happen to their lives. How could they have imagined that bombs would destroy entire towns, that millions of people would have to flee the country or that those old enough to fight would be holding guns. And yet that is what has happened. Everything changed in just a few days and the tragedy unfolding only a few thousand kilometers from France is now part of our daily life.

There’s no war yet in France. But war speculators and profiteers are already pushing prices up. And there’s a war-like atmosphere, developed by both government and the media. The war in the Ukraine is a taste of what world leaders hold in store for us. The war isn’t going to make us forget the difficulties of our everyday life, it’s going to make them worse.

The war in the Ukraine has upset the capitalist world economy and has changed not only the balance of power between the Western world and Russia but also within the Western world itself. Renault has had to leave the Russian automobile market even if it was its second largest market. And that will have an effect on its sales war with Stellantis PSA, Volkswagen and other car manufacturers.

The embargo on Russian gas that is being set up means that Germany, the dominant European industrial power, is having to completely revise its energy supplies. And that’s reshuffling the cards among European powers.

Meanwhile, the United States are leading NATO’s crusade against Putin and are using the war in Ukraine to compel all NATO governments to do what the US wants. And they’re putting pressure on the ex-USSR countries and China to sever ties with Russia.

And on top of all this, all countries are re-arming! While there’s no way of knowing how the international situation will evolve, one thing is sure: our leaders are sharpening their knives.

A hundred years ago, a whole generation experienced the bloodbath of the First World War. The following generation found itself on the battlefields of the Second World War. Then there were colonial wars, in Vietnam and Algeria. In reality, wars have never ceased, as witnessed by the disasters in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Based on wage slavery, the capitalist system leads inevitably to war. War is part of capitalism. And while it is a tragedy for populations, it is big business for trusts. The petroleum and arms company profits are a sickening illustration of this.

Workers and the poor are taught to be resigned to all this. And, since there are no real workers’ political parties, no traditions of class war and organization, the working class is not, for now, in a position to overthrow the system. And yet only the working class can do it. So those who are exploited will have to rediscover the past when the workers’ movement represented a real force and the hope of change for all humanity.

In the coming elections, nothing good can come out of the ballot box for workers or for the immense majority of the population. Candidates promising miracles or claiming to have the “solution” within the system are no more than liars. And they’re careful not to say that, no matter who is elected, the capitalists will be in charge and they’ll drive society to war. Many workers instinctively know that they are being lied to and that’s why abstention is so high. But if you abstain, you stay silent.

Elections are a deception but those being exploited really can use their voting slip to show that they are not deceived. They can vote to say no to war and to those who profit from it, and they can express their confidence that the working class can bring about a different organization of society, freed from exploitation and wars. It’s a minority vote and it’s against the trend but why not? It’s for all those who want to say this that I am a candidate.

Nathalie ARTHAUD