From Asia to Ukraine, capitalism means war… it’s time to overthrow it!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
August 8, 2022

When Nancy Pelosi, president of the Chamber of Representatives, journeyed to Taiwan on the 3rd of August, it increased tension between China and the USA. The Chinese authorities, who consider the island to be an integral part of their territory, reacted by launching military exercises around Taiwan, deploying several dozen military vessels and aircraft and firing missiles.

China’s action was limited to a show of strength but they’re not the only ones flexing their muscles in that part of the world. For years, the US and its allies, including France, have regularly organized large military manoeuvres. The persistent sound of jackboots is worrying.

Faced with China’s position, the US portrays itself as a defender of Taiwanese democracy. That’s an outright lie! The current regime is the heir to the dregs of the old, corrupt state apparatus that fled Mao Zedong’s troops in 1949 and found refuge on the small island. They set up a dictatorship that ferociously repressed all opposition for the following 40 years. Because they had the military and economic support of American imperialism, international authorities considered them to be the sole representatives of China for a long time.

The Maoist regime was also a dictatorship but that’s not what brought the leaders in Washington to break off all relations. They just couldn’t forgive Mao for coming to power against their wishes, particularly since he relied on a popular uprising in the peasantry to do so, which gave his regime the means to refuse US tutelage.

Later, the US changed its attitude because it needed China to help stop the Vietnam war in which American troops were bogged down. In 1971, the doors to the UN were opened to the Chinese leaders and the Taiwanese leaders driven out. To establish its authority, imperialism is quite accustomed to manœuvres that not only uses oppositions existing between states but even provokes them.

When China began to open up economically, Western capitalists were able to invest and thus take part in the exploitation of Chinese workers, making the most of the dictatorial regime. But imperialism’s fundamental hostility towards a state that it does not completely control had not disappeared. Heightened by the aggravation of the economic crisis, the current increase in tension could lead to military confrontation.

Imperialism has multiplied the hotbeds of tension and transformed the whole world into a powder keg. The inhabitants of Gaza in the Middle East have already suffered 15 years of a terrible economic embargo and are now being subjected again to deadly Israeli bombings. In order to have an ally in the region, American imperialism has given its unwavering support to Israeli leaders and their policy of dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians, forcing the peoples of the region, Israeli and Arab alike, to live in a permanent state of war.

In Eastern Europe, Ukraine has become the bloody theatre of the tug of war between the great Western powers, US at the head, and Russia. Putin, Biden and the other leaders of the NATO countries are waging war with the lives of the Ukrainian and Russian populations.

The imperialist system is based on domination, exploitation and the search for profit by a privileged minority that dominates society. Today, many populations across the planet are plunged into barbaric wars by that system.

Here in France, the population is not being killed by bombs. Workers have to defend their very existence against inflation, against the attacks by capitalists and the governments who serve them. To do this, to oppose a future that inevitably includes worsening crises and wars that become more widespread, the workers must refuse to leave their fate in the hands of the ruling classes and their government.

Down with imperialism and its diplomatic and military manoeuvres to brainwash workers and populations and set them against one another! Long live the workers’ fight to overthrow capitalism. That fight is the only hope mankind has to avoid catastrophe.

Nathalie ARTHAUD