Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

August 30, 2010

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES AND PROSPECTS - Part 2 , By Darrell Rankin, September 1-15, 2010 issue of People's Voice









http://www.peoplesvoice.ca/articleprint63/11%29_NUCLEAR_DISARMAMENT__PRINCIPLES,_PRACTICES_AND_PROSPECTS_-_Part_2.html



(The following article is from the September 1-15, 2010 issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)


By Darrell Rankin

The neo-conservative drive to war, under Bush and today, has been intimately tied to the most openly reactionary and racist measures in U.S. and Canadian domestic politics. The war drive in the Middle East and Asia, which is heating up in Iran and North Korea, could easily involve the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. or Israel.

The spread of neocon wars or imperialism's use of nuclear weapons would have important political fallout. Not least this could include dictatorial rule in some or all imperialist countries and the deepening of serious inter-imperialist rivalries. These wars need close examination.

The neo-conservative forces who rose to prominence in U.S. ruling circles under Bush still hold powerful positions in that country. The most reactionary sections of the U.S. ruling circles (the military-industrial-media complex, oil, finance) are the most important source of the war danger. These sections or circles give the neocons their authority.

President Obama is in power. But on several issues such as Iran and North Korea he is being influenced by the most dangerous sections of U.S. imperialism. It is important to recognize the split in the U.S. ruling circles between those who oppose and support the neocon drive to war.

The U.S. is not unique as an imperialist country. A similar split exists in the ruling circles of almost every imperialist country. The pro-peace forces must take full advantage of this split. Today blocking imperialism's military agenda involves both building awareness about the source of the war danger, imperialism as a whole, and rejecting the appeasement of neocon forces in imperialist countries. The neocons must be isolated and made powerless.

The neocon strategy was and is to use a fascist foreign policy to crush democracy in the U.S. and its allies. Their most important agenda is to divide the world's working class, using the war to deepen anti-Arab and anti-Asian racism. The Nazis used anti-Semitism to divide the working class and all other democratic movements.

Bush's first neocon war in Afghanistan actually coincided with a historic meeting of the world's two main trade union movements, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The September 2001 meeting was the first to take place since the historic split in the global trade union movement in 1945. The two movements agreed on a common day of action against the World Trade Organization's policies.

There is also an important underlying economic push behind the neocons' political agenda for these wars. For U.S. corporations, it is increasingly hard to resist plundering the oil and other resources of the Middle East and Central Asia. This is the most commonly understood reason for the wars of George Bush. U.S. imperialism is pursuing the so-called Washington consensus on global free trade adopted in 1991 by other, violent means.

An aspect of the economic push is the deepening rivalry between blocs of imperialist states for the re-division of the world. The U.S. pursued these wars as a way to shore up its declining positions in the imperialist division of the world.

These are all serious sources of imperialism's war drive that have led us to where we are today.

The world's trade unions are closer to united action against imperialism, despite neocon war and racism and a slowing of progress since 2001. The economic problems of the imperialist countries continue to deepen. These countries are failing to cooperate on adequate solutions and are more ready to loot poorly defended resources.

Some important questions flow from the new realities. Can imperialism's drive to war be stopped? Can imperialism increase its respect for international law, especially the United Nations Charter, and can it reverse the new, dangerous military doctrines that prevail throughout the NATO military alliance? Can imperialism be pressured to reduce military spending and abolish nuclear weapons?

The answer to all of these questions is yes, but it will require unity and action. It is becoming increasingly important to halt imperialism's smaller wars of occupation and to achieve meaningful disarmament. It is through such struggles that a new, truly devastating inter-imperialist war may be prevented.

Perhaps more of the most reactionary circles are concluding imperialism cannot continue to rule in the same way. They have started a few wars and stoked tensions. They have succeeded in creating the new, dangerous military doctrines in NATO and in most NATO countries, changes that have wedded imperialism to nuclear weapons even more firmly. So far this side of imperialism is prevailing.

These changes are happening not just because socialism has been overthrown in the Soviet Union. Imperialist countries are very arrogant, but growing militarism and the threat of nuclear annihilation are intimately connected to the great problems that have arisen under capitalism and which it is incapable of resolving.

Humanity must address the impoverishment and starvation of hundreds of millions of people, the uncontrolled climate crisis and the huge burden of the arms race and the wars of occupation. As long as imperialism has nuclear weapons, the threat of nuclear annihilation by imperialism will be the most dangerous obstacle blocking the resolution of these problems.

Before it is overthrown, imperialism is unlikely to resolve any of the big problems confronting humanity, including the abolition of nuclear weapons. Humanity cannot allow a worsening of impoverishment, racism, national oppression, and the massive dislocations of people, refugees from wars and economic and climate catastrophes - not only in our continent but through out the world. Identifying and blocking imperialism as the main source of the war danger is crucial if the world's peoples are to prevail and resolve all these great problems.

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