Fight against a World War III: Build an International Movement of the Working Class and Youth Against Imperialism!

Fifteen years after the United States launched the “war on terror,” the entire world is being dragged into an ever-expanding maelstrom of imperialist violence. The invasions and interventions organized by US imperialism have devastated Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. NATO is engaged in a massive rearmament program in preparation for war with Russia. Africa is the target of relentless US and European neo-colonial machinations. Border disputes between neighboring states are provoking tensions and outright clashes in Eastern Europe, the Trans Caucasus, the Indian subcontinent and South America. In East Asia, the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” is embroiling the entire region in the United States’ confrontation with China. 
The “war on terror”—riddled with imperialist deceit and limitless hypocrisy—has traumatized, maimed and killed uncounted millions, and triggered the greatest refugee crisis since the end of World War II. Sixty million people have been driven from their countries. The hundreds of thousands who have made it to Europe, after desperate and life-threatening journeys, are being herded into detention centers, compelled to live in appalling conditions, and even stripped of their meager belongings. To undermine working class solidarity, the imperialist governments, the capitalist political parties and the media are promoting national chauvinism and racist bigotry. In the 1930s, the Jews were made the scapegoats of political reaction. Today, in North America, Europe and Australia, it is Muslims who are the victims of media vilification, state-sponsored discrimination and racism, and fascist violence.
For 15 years, the “war on terror” has involved crimes for which no government officials or military-intelligence personnel have been held accountable. International law is a dead letter, with the White House leading the way in asserting the “right” to kidnap, imprison, torture and assassinate its victims without legal due process. The pretext of fighting terror has served a critical political function within the imperialist countries. Terrorist acts, often involving individuals who had been under state surveillance, have been exploited to shred democratic rights. The lockdowns in Boston, Ferguson and other cities have amounted to dress rehearsals for martial law. All of France has now been placed under a “state of emergency” following the Paris attacks of November 2015. Intelligence agencies conduct unchecked spying, accumulating vast databases on tens of millions of people. Police brutality and killings are a daily reality in working class areas as the ruling class seeks to contain the explosive tensions produced by social inequality and prepares to answer opposition with permanent police state repression.
The “pivot to Asia” has militarized and destabilized the entire region and will drain vast resources from the United States. In numerous US strategic circles, however, it is dismissed as inadequate. The Chinese regime has pledged to finance the “One Belt, One Road” transport and energy networks through the former Soviet Central Asian republics, Russia and Eastern Europe, which would establish land and new maritime links to the resources of the Middle East and markets of Western Europe that are not at the mercy of the US military. While the realization of such ambitions depends upon a host of highly uncertain political, financial and technical factors, they are viewed in Washington as an existential threat.
The world stands on the brink of a catastrophic global conflict. The statements of heads of capitalist governments grow increasingly bellicose. The proxy wars in Ukraine and Syria have drawn NATO and Russia closer to a full-scale confrontation. Turkey, a NATO member, has already fired on Russian warplanes. At the start of 2016, a leading Swedish military commander, Major General Anders Brännström, issued the following warning to troops under his command: “The global situation we are experiencing … leads to the conclusion that we could be at war within a few years.” As in the years that preceded the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and World War II in 1939, political leaders and military planners are approaching the conclusion that a war between major powers is not a remote possibility, but, rather, highly probable and, perhaps, even inevitable.
At a certain point, such military fatalism becomes a significant contributing factor to the outbreak of war. As a specialist in international relations has recently written: “Once war is assumed to be unavoidable, the calculations of leaders and militaries change. The question is no longer whether there will or should be a war, but when the war can be fought most advantageously. Even those neither eager for nor optimistic about war may opt to fight when operating in the framework of inevitability.”
The war drive is a conspiracy of the capitalist elites, orchestrated by the highest levels of government, the military-intelligence apparatus, the corporate-financial oligarchy and a corrupted right-wing media, without even the pretext of democratic debate. Among the masses of working people throughout the world, there is an overwhelming desire for peace. There is, as yet, however, no organized international political movement opposing the reckless policies of the imperialist pyromaniacs.
But the drive to World War III must be stopped. A new international movement against war, uniting the great mass of working people and youth in opposition to capitalism and imperialism, must be built. The same capitalist crisis that produces the insanity of war also generates the impulse for social revolution. However, the growing anger and opposition of billions of people around the world—to war, social inequality and the assault on democratic rights—must be guided by a new political perspective and program.
With this statement, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) advances the following principles as the essential political foundations of an anti-war movement:
·           The struggle against war must be based on the working class, the great revolutionary force in society, uniting behind it all progressive elements in the population.
·           The new anti-war movement must be anti-capitalist and socialist, since there can be no serious struggle against war except in the fight to end the dictatorship of finance capital and the economic system that is the fundamental cause of militarism and war.
·           The new anti-war movement must therefore, of necessity, be completely and unequivocally independent of, and hostile to, all political parties and organizations of the capitalist class.
The new anti-war movement must, above all, be international, mobilizing the vast power of the working class in a unified global struggle against imperialism. The permanent war of the bourgeoisie must be answered with the perspective of permanent revolution by the working class, the strategic goal of which is the abolition of the nation-state system and the establishment of a world socialist federation. This will make possible the rational, planned development of global resources and, on this basis, the eradication of poverty and the raising of human culture to new heights./.

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