Capitalism causes crises and wars: down with this deadly system!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
August 21, 2023

It’s summer but the summer holidays don’t make all of our problems go away. Climate change, economic crisis, war: everywhere you look it’s like we’re living in a disaster movie.

It’s one tragedy after another, from heatwaves to giant wildfires like those in Hawaii that have claimed over 100 lives in an American state, that is in the richest country in the world. In Canada and Spain, tens of thousands of people have lost everything and are forced to flee the advancing flames. These recurring disasters which keep getting worse show that capitalism is in a deadlock, that there is no way of solving the problems caused by the destructive anarchy of an economy driven by private profit.

To add to this, war tensions are escalating around the world. Not far from us, the war in Ukraine, which started a year and a half ago, is said to have caused at least half a million casualties. In response to Putin's violent acts, Zelensky is attempting a counteroffensive which, he has warned, will likely last for months. Western powers have promised him fighter jets, intensifying the war one step further. For them, the war can drag on and the death toll can rise, as long as it allows them to confront Putin and test their arsenal on the battlefield without losing their own population’s lives.

In Africa, in the Sahel region, where the population is already suffering from the violence of armed jihadist gangs, the crisis will likely worsen following the coup in Niger. French and American leaders hide behind ECOWAS, a coalition of neighboring African states, and threaten military intervention. These two powers are ready to do anything to defend the interests of their capitalists, each with their own timeline and according to their own rivalries.

Macron claims to be restoring "the rule of law in Niger." A blatant lie! What he can't stand is that those who planned the coup – who come from the same mold as the corrupt government they're replacing – act as if they’re defying him. These coup plotters, who cry out against French imperialism today, may very well reach an agreement tomorrow with French imperialism or its American rival. But no matter what calculations each side is making or what interests they are defending, the people of Niger are the hardest hit. They are suffering the consequences of the economic sanctions that are leading to price hikes and food and medication shortages. For the Nigerien population, one of the poorest in the world, that in itself is a death sentence.

Everywhere, imperialist powers are trying to get the world to line up in battle behind them. On August 18, Biden met with the leaders of Japan and South Korea and announced that they are strengthening their military cooperation and that the three countries will form a united front to protect "security in the region" against China and North Korea. US military forces are already present in the area, but by doing this, they remind the populations of Japan and South Korea that they must align with them.

Through this demonstration of force, the imperialists – led by the US – are preparing the world for a large-scale war in order to better ensure their dominance around the globe and stop China from gaining power. That’s the cost of keeping their world order in place with trade wars leading to all-out war.

They are trying to enrol the population in the name of freedom and democracy, but the population will be cannon fodder in a future war over their interests. We mustn’t fall for their lies!

That’s how Macron justifies the 413-billion-euro boost in military spending. France isn’t being bombed, but the working class is already paying for the war. While war economy profiteers, like Dassault, Thales, and other major business leaders, rub their hands and make record-breaking profits, the bare essentials are lacking in working-class neighborhoods. Not one cent should be spent on the dirty war they are preparing! We must take back the billions of profit made by merchants of death to meet the needs of the population!

That money is needed for housing for example. The fire that claimed three lives in a social housing apartment building in Ile-Saint-Denis, in the Paris suburbs, is a cruel reminder of this. Under the workers’ and residents’ control, the money from war profiteers would go towards building decent and affordable housing, to prevent other families from dying due to poor living conditions.

Our interests as workers are opposed to those of our exploiters. To prevent the world from descending into barbarism, it is against their dominance that we must wage war!