2024 began in the same way as 2023 ended, to the sound of gunfires and bombs in Ukraine and Gaza. With the victims’ cries of despair, starting with those of the Palestinians in Gaza who endlessly count their dead and are left to face the cold and hunger.
In the Korean peninsula, 2024 began with North Korea firing 200 artillery shells at the maritime border between the two Koreas. Leader Kim Jong-un is often full of empty bluster. But it’s impossible not to worry when the China Sea has turned into an area of constant conflict between the United States and China, its economic rival to be destroyed.
How many other regions are being ravaged by armed conflicts, forcing millions of people into flight and starvation, as in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan?
The sounds of approaching war can be heard as far away as South America. In Guyana, a former British colony, Venezuela is challenging the United States and Great Britain for the right to grab Essequibo’s immense oil reserves.
There is no end in sight to horror, war and suffering which are all on the rise and threaten the planet with a new world war. Will it be triggered by the extension of Israel's war of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people? By a military clash between China and Taiwan? By an escalation of the war in Ukraine?
No one can tell, but the world’s leaders are driving us towards a worldwide conflict. And they are preparing for it, as attested by the martial tone of Macron’s New Year’s address that called the country to “rearm”. And this is not bluster – he has doubled the defense budget since 2017.
Waging war is part of what bourgeois leaders do. It’s an extension of the economic war in which their capitalist trusts engage to control raw materials and production chains and to secure their markets on a global scale. Whatever the justification given, all wars are the expression of economic rivalries to keep or conquer economic supremacy.
The hope for a future without war and exploitation rests entirely on the working class. It lies in the peoples who have never stopped fighting and revolting since exploitation and oppression began. Workers have repeatedly changed the course of history, through revolt and social revolution.
The only source of hope is for us, as workers, to become fully aware of our collective strength and our ability to change society.
Confronted with such a deranged and threatening world, it's easy to feel helpless, especially when struggling with so many daily hardships, as is the case for the overwhelming majority of workers. But the scourges that are tipping humanity into barbarism and the attacks on our living conditions have the same fundamental cause: the capitalist system which consists in accumulating as much private capital as possible through competition and the market economy.
The war-mongers are also those who are responsible for our daily exploitation, low wages and the plundering of the state coffers for the benefit of the capitalist class. They can decide to send us to the slaughter house for the interests of the bourgeoisie in the same way that they already force us to make sacrifices for the sake of profit.
Capitalists and their political lackeys have this power only because they monopolize the capital and means of production. But they don't make society run. Workers do!
We, the workers, the employees, the technicians are the ones who hold the manufacturing secrets for producing, building, planning out work, repairing, providing care, giving access to water and electricity… Even when it comes to waging war, the government depends on us. Who else but the workers can design, produce, transport and handle weapons? Without workers, there can be no war.
Let's work together so that 2024 sees the rebirth of the awareness that workers make up a social force and that they can and must wrest power from the hands of the bourgeoisie and its politicians. It's the only way to offer humanity a future!