The Necessity for an Anti-War Government
Hyde Park anti-war rally, February 15, 2003
February 15 was the 15th anniversary of the massive 2-million march in London, 2003, as part of so many worldwide actions on that day to say No to War. Ever since the “war on terror” had been declared by George W Bush and Tony Blair in the wake of 9/11, the movement had been growing to demand “No War on Iraq”.
It was in its statement for this demonstration that RCPB(ML) gave its call: Organise Now for an Anti-War Government! and pointed out that the aim of the people’s movement against war is to bring into being a world without war, a world in which it is the people’s will which prevails. It said that the people have the democratic right to decide in favour of peace and for the interests of humanity.
The Party’s statement said: “Only the working class and peoples of the world have the ability to stop the warmongers and open humanity’s path to social progress. Only they have the ability to prevent international instability and avert a cataclysmic world war. Only they have the ability to resolve society’s problems and end the anti-social offensive against the working people of this country and the merciless exploitation of the peoples of the world.”
The statement, in declaring that the drive to war was “Not In Our Name!” continued: “The working class must lead the people in fighting for an anti-war government in Britain now. Such a programme would ensure that the warmongers are defeated, war is outlawed, and the path to democratic renewal is opened up. Therefore RCPB(ML) calls for the people themselves to organise for an anti-war government that represents their desire for peace and social progress. A government committed to peace and progress, not war and reaction, would:
“Outlaw any and all British involvement in wars of aggression and renounce the use of force in settling international affairs;
- “Outlaw any and all British involvement in wars of aggression and renounce the use of force in settling international affairs;
- “Accept the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries;
- “Recognise the sovereignty and equality of all nations;
- “Adopt a foreign policy independent of the United States;
- “Remove all British troops from foreign soil;
- “End the militarisation of the economy;
- “Pay reparations for all the crimes of British imperialism and colonialism.”
The Call to Bring into Being an Anti-War Government
The working class and people of Britain have a fine history of opposition to warmongering, not only of that of Britain’s ruling elites, but as internationalists who stand with the working people of all countries. The British working class took a stand against the slaughter of the First World War despite social-democratic betrayal; it took a stand against the intervention in Russia after the October Revolution, and took up the fight against Nazi fascism when the British government was for appeasement, and again when it attacked the Soviet Union, the then homeland of the working class and proletarian internationalism. It has been for global denuclearisation and against the nuclear blackmail of the big powers.
In assessing how to move forward to achieving the aim of the anti-war movement for an anti-war government in a profound sense, what must be taken into consideration is the fact that society is saddled with old forms of political representation and political institutions. The fact that Blair could override the people’s insistence that if Britain went to war it would not be in their name is one of the outstanding examples of this fact. In other words, new forms in which people take decisions in their own name must be found, in opposition to the situation where they hand over their decision-making power to others who then betray their interests, who have the power to deny the people’s rights, or at the very best are forced to compromise those rights and interests, or are prevented from upholding them, by virtue of the political forms which ensure that private interests in the form of state powers are represented and enforced, not the will of the people.
The conclusion can be drawn therefore that it is neither poverty and misery that is the fuel of war, nor the arming of “dictatorships” abroad. It is to put the cart before the horse. The stand of ananti-war government, based on internationalist principles and established by the people themselves, would be to end British intervention abroad, end the arms trade for reactionary ends, abrogate those treaties which are unequal and in favour of exploitation, oppose spurious pretexts for war and intervention such as the so-called “right to protect”, and remove US bases themselves from Britain.
The conception of an anti-war government is one which encompasses all aspects of society – for instance, its economic base, which must be based not on militarisation and austerity and the imposition of the social irresponsibility of private interests, but on identifying the needs of all the collectives of the people, and thereby establishing anti-austerity on a new basis.
People cannot have illusions about the powers-that-be. It is the people who are the guarantors of peace, and must take the fight to bring into being an anti-war government into their own hands. We call on everyone to join in this movement, and to settle scores with the warmongers, to avert the danger of war, put an end to the militarisation of the economy, and fight for peace as part of fighting for the renewal of society, empowering the working class and people, defending the rights of all and establishing the institutions of the New.