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Thursday, February 5, 2015

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The Need For Anti-Militarism


WHEN THE LEADERS SPEAK OF PEACE
The common folk know
That war is coming.
When the leaders curse war
The mobilization order is already written out.
- Bertolt Brecht: A German War Primer 
The dark cloud of war and militarism once again looms over Europe. The entire continent has become a victim of warmongering at a rapid pace since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the Charlie Hebdo incident. The Russian is coming, and ISIS is around every corner! Those in power play victims of these menacing outside forces - and seek to victimize us. At every moment, the media, the politicians and the army generals try to equate their interests in war with ours. It is the shared European ideal we must defend against the Oriental existential threat. It is the blood and soil of our European brethren which have to be protected at all cost. The people of Europe has heard this call before - will they be fooled again?

The only fear of those in power, is that you do not fear. That is why they are so desperate right now. That is why they are so desperate to label those with dissenting opinions as apologists and propagandists for some sinister outside force. To speak out against the warmongers is now an act of "running errands for Putin" in most mainstream political discourse. But what has Putin's, and Russia's "errand" been? That their country shouldn't be militarily surrounded by the U.S and NATO. Such a brazen display of right-wing chauvinistic Russian nationalism! That the Russians even dare speak out for their supposed "right" to be free of military encirclement is in itself an act of aggression! The only appropriate response is for the U.S. and NATO to increase militarization of Russian borders! Any aggressive - or defensive - response from Russians when faced with this fact is of course an ex post facto legitimization of the justness these actions.

In Ukraine, we are told to stand up for the self-determination of nations. "We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small," Barack Obama bravely read from the teleprompter at the latest SOTU. But the talk of self-determination "supported" by U.S. government is phony and dishonest. As Lenin reminds us:
A thousand times the imperialists have “renounced all thought” of annexations and of the financial strangulation of weak nations. But should we not compare these renunciations with the facts, which show that any one of the big banks of Germany, England, France and the United States does hold small nations “in subjection”? - V.I Lenin: Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism
It is this hypocrisy which spits in the eye of every genuine national liberation movement. This hypocrisy is not a product of ignorance - it's a genuine affirmation of the West's own perceived supremacy and impunity. Where were the Western leaders who denounced the IMF, as it is looting the Ukrainian economy and victimizing its citizens right now? Where were those who cry for the national integrity of Ukraine when the son of Joe Biden became the lawyer of a major Ukrainian energy firm? Where were those who cried out for the self-determination of the Ukrainians when the IMF appointed non-Ukrainian shadow bankers as important ministers of the new Ukrainian government? And, what expression of self-determination is it to deliberately bomb your own civilian population?

What the bourgeoisie want is to obscure their class rule. They hide it behind a rhetoric of ethnic, cultural and national identity, an identity that is constantly portrayed as under attack and up to dispute. Eleven French cartoonists were shoot by French-born terrorists, and all of a sudden, our entire European identity is in question. If that is enough to turn our civilization to shreds - then one must wonder where our self-perceived supremacy stems from? It certainly doesn't seem to be the strength and staying-power of our ideals - but with our truncheons, our guns and our bombs it is quite a different scenario. Right now, Sweden, Finland and other parts of Europe are under intense pressure to join NATO - militarization is in full effect all across the world. We are arming ourselves against an enemy at such a pace that we are inevitably going to invent one.

What should be the response of the people toward the warmongers? Our duty is clear - do not give the war-profiteers, the militarists and the imperialists even one inch. Our task - just like Liebknecht's and Lenin's in WWI - is to denounce the militarism of our own governments because they are opposed to our interests - and are directly insulting our interests. To argue that the poor and exploited of one country should take up arms to kill the poor and exploited of another country is a shameful thing. Karl Liebknecht said it best:
How long should the gamblers of imperialism abuse the patience of the people? Enough and more than enough slaughter! Down with the war instigators here and abroad! - Karl Liebknecht: The Main Enemy Is At Home 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lenin on Annexations

With hypocritical accusations thrown left and right regarding annexations still in the air, I was struck by Lenin's comments on the topic, almost a 100 years old, from Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism
'“All countries must renounce all thought of annexations... of the economic subjection of any people whatsoever....” What magnanimity! A thousand times the imperialists have “renounced all thought” of annexations and of the financial strangulation of weak nations. But should we not compare these renunciations with the facts, which show that any one of the big banks of Germany, England, France and the United States does hold small nations “in subjection”?   Can the present bourgeois government of a wealthy country really renounce annexations and the economic subjugation of alien peoples when millions and millions have been invested in the railways and other enterprises of weak nations? 
Who is really fighting annexations, etc.? Those who bandy magnanimous phrases, which, objectively, have the same significance as the Christian holy water sprinkled on the crowned and capitalist robbers? Or those who explain to the workers the impossibility of eliminating annexations and financial strangulation without overthrowing the imperialist bourgeoisie and its governments?"