No War but the Class War: Statement from NWBCW Miami


We publish here the founding statement of NWBCW Miami. You can follow their activities: @MiamiNwbcw.

Submitted by Internationali… on January 23, 2024

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear outgrowth of a decaying economic system, whose ever frequent crises oblige states to seek out scarce profits by going to war. Predictably, the ruling class has mobilized all its media and other propaganda apparatuses to drag workers the whole world over into a bloody conflict from which we have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Whether in Russia, or in Ukraine and NATO member countries, our exploiters—those who eat and live luxuriously off the wealth that our work creates—expect us to hurl ourselves into the meatgrinder of war for their personal benefit.

The Russian state, acting on behalf of the interests of its exploiting class, is desperate to reclaim land and wealth which it has lost since the collapse of the Soviet Union. NATO, on the other hand, is clearly attempting to draw the Ukrainian state further into its sphere of influence, precisely to corner the Russian state, while it bleeds its prime regional adversary with punishing sanctions in an increasingly unwinnable war. In the background of all the typical chit-chatter about the subject from media talking heads, imperialist blocs are solidifying, and while EU states rally behind the US, Russia turns to China.

While the war in Ukraine represents an escalation in the drive to generalized war, it is not the only military battleground right now. In Syria, Yemen and Palestine, workers are being manipulated with nationalist ideological poison to slaughter one another for the exclusive benefit of their exploiters. In their search for profits, raw materials and cheap labor-power, capitalists call on workers to fight and die for the good of the Nation—for the political regime of capitalism in a given geographic area.

Alongside military conflict, we are in a class war with our exploiters, who have callously and negligently sacrificed living and working conditions for profitability. Through deep cuts to social spending, workers were forced to pay for the 2008 financial crash. Yet, the global economy has never quite recovered. Even before the pandemic, billions of dollars were being pumped into financial markets every day to keep them afloat and, even then, another recession was thought to be on the horizon. The pandemic was only the trigger of that eventual downswing. Now, under the cover of restructuring, we are once again expected to pay for the crisis. Across workplaces, we are seeing wages falling behind inflation, mass firings, precarity, pension and benefit cuts, and various other assaults on our class. Meanwhile at home we face rising food and fuel prices, higher rents, more bills, and more taxes. All the while the rich grow richer. And the war, as it upsets supply chains further, will make that situation even worse.

To top it all, there is the impending climate crisis. Floods, fires,and extreme weather events are gradually making whole swathes of the planet uninhabitable. The ruling class continues to treat the planet like their private backyard with little consideration for the biodiversity and environmental underpinnings of life on earth. And, let’s face it, the capitalist conditions which created Covid-19 and allowed it to spread, killing millions, are still in place. The threat of future pandemics looms large.

War, poverty, crisis, and disease are creating whole generations of people scarred by a system tending towards barbarism: refugees, friends, and families of those fallen ill, maimed and killed, the unemployed and the homeless. The suffering of humanity under this system is palpable and only intensifying.

This is a war on multiple fronts against all workers, and what is at stake is nothing less than the future of humanity. But working people are not powerless; we can resist. By fighting to defend our living and working conditions, we can sow the seeds of a wider movement which recognizes that capitalism—the current system of production characterized by the existence of private property, wage-labor, money, and states—is the source of the problem. In this context, we must pose the question of overcoming capitalism, and the possibility of creating a society where production is organized for need, rather than profit—a global commonwealth encompassing all humankind in which states and borders have disappeared, and, instead, the independent organs created by the working class in its fight to overthrow the previous system can collectively deliberate and address the problems now facing humanity.

Likewise, the scattered anti-war actions that have been reported so far—protests in Russia, soldiers disobeying their orders in Ukraine, refusals to handle shipments by dockers in the UK and Italy, sabotage by railway workers in Belarus—need to take on an autonomous working-class perspective to be truly anti-war, otherwise, they will be ripe for manipulation by one of the warring capitalist powers. Support for Russia or Ukraine in this conflict means support for war. The only way to end this nightmare is not for workers to line up on one side of it, but to fraternize across borders to bring down the war machine.

This is why we say, emphatically: no war but the class war! The ruling classes are already waging their war on us and the planet. If they want more war and bloodletting, let them march on the battlefields themselves, rifles in hand, and fight it out amongst themselves. The working people of the world must not allow ourselves to become cannon fodder for their wars. Rather, it is up to us—the great majority without whom everything grinds to a halt—to stop our rulers’ war plans and create the alternative.

8 April 2023


Inspired by this statement from the Liverpool NWBCW Committee.