We publish here a contribution from comrades of Internationalist Communist Perspective in South Korea who have taken up the "No War but the Class War" initiative.
No War but the Class War!
Only the international class struggle to overthrow the capitalist system can stop the imperialist war.
Two months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. The United States and Western countries have imposed all-round sanctions against Russia, but Russia has not stopped its aggression. In the war, the European Union (EU) was the first to finance Ukraine's arms procurement, and Putin warned against the use of nuclear weapons. This war is unprecedented since World War II, and humanity as a whole is faced with a more generalized war crisis.
In 2006, the crisis of war also escalated on the Korean Peninsula, and at the first “Communist International Congress” held in Korea at that time, there was an “Internationalist Declaration Against the Threat of War”. The declaration made it clear that it is the worldwide struggle of the working class that can stop the “defence of internationalist principles” and the imperialist war.
We declare that it is the worldwide struggle of the workers that can forever put an end to the barbarism and imperialist wars and the threat of nuclear destruction that are swarming mankind under capitalism.
Fifteen years have passed since that declaration of internationalism. The danger of war on the Korean Peninsula persisted, the capitalist economic crisis intensified the imperialist clash, and another war in Europe was provoked. In this crisis, the international solidarity of the working class for the defence of proletarian internationalism and the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system, the cause of war, has become more and more important.
The long-standing capitalist crisis that has not been resolved since the collapse of the speculative bubble in 2008 has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, in the capitalist world, the threat of imperialist war is escalating amid the deepening economic crisis, the risk of infectious diseases, and the increase in environmental disasters, creating cracks everywhere. The war in Ukraine that occurred under these circumstances was not Putin's sudden action, but meant a new phase of the imperialist clash that was on the verge of a generalized war amid a prolonged economic crisis. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO continued to expand its influence into Eastern Europe, and Russia tried to regain the status of an imperialist power again. The war in Ukraine united NATO and the European Union (EU) around the United States and brought Russia into the arms of China, setting the stage for an extensive imperialist war.
All the damage of war for the interests of the ruling class fell miserably on the proletariat. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides have already been killed and hundreds of thousands of refugees have been driven into the streets. The war will cause further increases in energy and grain prices, exacerbating poverty and worsening living conditions for workers around the world. Those who benefit from this war that destroys the lives of the working class are the ruling class exploiting the working class. They make the working class die and kill each other through nationalist ideology and war propaganda machines for economic, political and military dominance and profit.
All wars today have the character of imperialist warfare, which has only brought suffering, death, and further destruction to mankind. In these wars, the result of the struggle for national liberation was not the weakening of imperialism, but the replacement of other imperialist forces. This proved that the so-called "national liberation struggle" is far from the "anti-imperialist struggle" because it forces the working class to choose one side of the ruling class or the other of imperialism to identify themselves with some of the ruling class.
In the midst of the deepening imperialist conflict, the position of internationalists against the nationalist ideology that still insists on defence of the motherland and national independence has not changed. It is proletarian internationalism to convert the “imperialist war into civil war” raised by revolutionaries in the First World imperialist genocide war. In 1917-18, the working class put an end to the imperialist genocide by forcing the bourgeoisie through revolutionary struggle. The same is true of the attitude of the working class to the war in Ukraine. It is to turn the imperialist war into a “class war” against the ruling class without taking sides in the war between the ruling classes, where the working class kill each other.
Supporting one side in an imperialist war is supporting the ruling class, and pacifism that refuses to turn an imperialist war into a class war neutralises the class struggle. There is only one way for the working class to escape from the crises of capitalism, suffering and the deadly threat of war. It is to reject all ruling ideologies, including nationalism, and fight in solidarity internationally for the common interests of the working class. It is to stop the imperialist war through international class struggle, recognising that the only war worth fighting for the workers is a class war, a war against the exploiters.
The war in Ukraine expresses the deep and old crisis of capitalism. Today, the war is not only taking place in Ukraine, but also local warfare in more than 60 regions. The crisis of mankind as a whole is progressing not only through war, but also through poverty, infectious diseases, and environmental destruction. We live in an increasingly dangerous world. War destroys the lives of the working class and families, but the ruling class fights for its own benefit. The race to war is a result of the operation of the capitalist system itself. It's not because of some bad leaders, it's a problem with the capitalist system. The working class now has no prospects without the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. Therefore, the real alternative we face is 'War or Revolution?' In order to fundamentally end the imperialist war that will lead to the destruction of mankind, it is necessary for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism through an international class war and to build a new system, a world community of freely united producers.
The working class must reject all the logic of war and peace led by the ruling class in the imperialist war and take a position of its own. In addition, it is necessary to clarify the internationalist position against the hypocrisy of all pacifist anti-war movements that are not associated with the movement to change the capitalist system, and against the support of “less bad” side of imperialism claimed by pseudo-socialists. We appeal to all workers who oppose the war, who are against capitalism and imperialism, to engage in the international class struggle to end the imperialist war under the slogan “No War but the Class War!”.
Even if the internationalist workers are a minority now and a revolutionary movement like 100 years ago does not exist, this movement will contribute to the revival of class struggle, the creation of working class' own methods, and the emergence of a new subject.
Let's end the imperialist war with the international class struggle to overthrow the capitalist system!
A society in which all exploitation, oppression and discrimination are fundamentally abolished! A socialized society where the means of production are no longer in the hands of capitalists or the state! Let's fight for a communist peaceful world where production and distribution are in harmony with humanity and nature!
No War but the Class War!
Peace through Revolution!
Internationalist Communist Perspective
13 April 2022