War is a historical product of all class?societies, which points out exploitation as being their common character. The historical motive behind capitalist war is the existence of crises, linked with the antagonism between the social character of production and the private character of appropriation. Impossible to do away with those crises without abolishing those contradictions. By making war, the capitalist "solution" of crises ? war by capital against human labour ?, capital materializes on a world scale its very essence by attacking and destroying social labour ? living labour and fixed labour ? as well as the communist movement.

Therefore, in opposition to all capitalist parties (including "Marxist?Leninists") we support that war, wherever it may be, means war by worldwide capitalism against the proletariat (1). On the opposite side of our position, stands the justification of the system of wage?slavery, which tries to camouflage the world?wide contradiction between capital and labour as being nothing else but an opposition between the weak and the strong, between progressives and reactionaries, between nationalists and imperialists,...

The Iran/Irak war does not escape from the worldwide domination by the capitalist system, and just like all other wars, past and present, it is a war by capital in order to "resolve" its crises and its chronic anarchy, i.e. to maintain the system of wage?slavery.

During those 22 months of warfare, hundreds of factories and societies have been destroyed, thousands of workers have been massacred and executed (2). On top of that, the rise of commodity prices, of taxes, the increase in overtime?working, the drop of purchasing power have been organised for the sake of the mother?countries' interests, for the Arab nation, for the sake of Islam, against the "agression" by other imperialisms,... All this in order to mystify workers and to submit them to capitalist domination.

By this action, all imperialist parties and tendencies (including "Marxist?Leninists") have accomplished their function of camouflaging, by their analysis , "the Irakian agression against the anti?imperialist republic of Iran". This analysis is nothing else but whimpering about "the destruction of national economy" i.e. the economy of capital. They only wail about the "weakening of unity, because of war, between anti?imperialist nations" i.e. the unity of capital. For "Marxist.?Leninists", the causes which launched the war are "lack of democracy", of "political freedom", the lack of "popular?national power" and also the lack of a "workers' and peasants' state" and therefore only the realisation of these objectives, these "national?democratic" objectives, could possibly prevent war (3).

We state, in opposition to capitalist logic and practice, that the proletariat cannot realize its class?substance but by its historical practice, by its revolutionnary opposition to war. The workers' manifestations and strikes that are going on for five months in cities in Iran as well as in Irak, demonstrate the validity of this position (4). Workers of a cigarette factory in Suliamania have organised a 3?day strike against wage?cuts imposed in order to pay war?expenditures. Their slogan was "neither Saddarn, neither Khomeiny". This position means a historical refusal of the nation, and of its defence. Because of their revolutionary defeatist position, thousands of proletarians have been executed in Iran and Irak (5) as ennemies of the nation, as atheists, i.e.anti?islamics, as traitors,... Those historical events demonstrate the necessity for communists to organise themselves.

Because of the positions and the struggle of the proletarian movement, capitalism is trying to stop those movements, at one and the same time by trying to make peace, its peace, peace of capital, and by focusing the resumption of war against the strongholds of the workers'struggles. That is why today's resumption of the Iranian offensive has been focused on Bassorah, a high place of workers' struggle in Irak. Looking back on history, one can deduce this historical fact that, in all wars, capital tries to stop war in order to impede workers' defeatist struggles, while at the same time, resumption of hostilities means nothing else but the continuation of anti?workers' action. The attempt to stop the Iran/Irak war has become evident since Irak has started withdrawing its troops from Iranian territory, and this is because of workers' demonstrations and revolts. To justify the Iranian offensive which followed the withdrawal of Irakian troops, capital is using the defence of national interest against the communist movement which continues today in Irak as well as in Iran. Capital always tries to attack and to check class?movements, and that is why it links the ceasing of war, as well as its resumption, to the "victory of the Arab nation and the interest of the Islamic revolution" (quoting Saddam Hussein). That is how capital maintains the continuity of its anti?communist actions (6).

In a leaflet against war, written in March 1981, by a group of internationalist comrades in Irak, it is stated: "The bourgeois of both countries, Iran and Irak, in order to defend their class?interests, have made another move towards war, and this in the name of humanity, of the Arab nation, of self?determination, to defend the "wholy Muslim religion", and the Muslims driven out of Irak (...). They trample on their "human rights". And the bourgeois in Iran as well as in Irak, have well premeditated that war would destroy their factories, and their industrial centres, diminishing trade?activities,... knowing that, for them too, war would have catastrophic results. But if they make war for all that, essentially it is to defend their property. One should not neglect the fact that, apart from those material damages, world?wide bourgeoisie profits enormously from this war and its consequences. From day to day the proletariat's situation is getting worse because of rising prices, underconsumption, etc. On top of that, the blood being shed by war, is the proletariat's blood (7).

That is how capital, in order to stop its war, makes its peace. Peace is capitalism's arm, it uses peace in its practice to main?tain a favourable situation to continue capital's movement, i.e. maintain wage?slavery, check and recuperate proletarian action and transform revolutionary defeatism into pacifism. From this point of view, peace is linked with the wage?system, as much as war.

The proletariat's point of view is opposed to capitalist peace and war: it is the communist revolution for the destruction of the world?wide capitalist system.

July 1982.



(1) cf. war between Israel, PLO, Lebanon... the Falklands war, the war of Vietnam, Tchad, Somalia...

(2) war started on September 22nd, 1980

(3) "People of Irak, revolt, bring down the Baas?power (i.e. national?socialist?pan?arabian), in order to restore democracy" (quoting the "communist" party of Irak). This position, in defence of Iran, means nothing else but the defence of wage?slavery. From this bourgeois point of view, it is asking to stop war and to make peace while linking those claims to the fall of the Baas?party in power. The positions of the Toudeh?party (= people = CP of Iran) are exactly the same, i.e.the defence of their gods, the nation, the capital.

(4) For the last five months, workers have organised many demonstrations and strikes against war, in defence of their class?interests, in the cities of Bagdad, Bassorah, Mossoul, Suliamania,... This revolutionary position of the proletariat has been severely repressed by the capitalist authorities (use of helicopters, executions, massacres).

(5) In Irak only, 3000 proletarians have been executed, in one year, without including thousands of casualties on the front.

(6) Against the revolutionary action by the proletariat, the unions, as brave soldiers defending the nation's interests, have sent greet?ing telegrams from all important cities, and have renewed their fidelity to Saddam Hussein.

(7) "The capital, a quarterly reviewer says, keeps away from quarrels and uproar and is timid by nature. That is very true, however it is not all the truth. The capital hates the absence of profit or a minimum profit, as nature hates vacuum. Let the profit be good enough, the capital becomes courageous: 10 % sure and it is used everywhere, 20 % its gets hot, 50 % it is of great temerity, 100 % it tramples under foot all the human laws, 300 % there is not one crime it would not care to commit even at the risk of the potence. When disorder and discord give profit, it will encourage both of them; as a proof of that: smuggling and slave?trade."
(Trade unions and Strikes ? note 17, chapter XXXI ? THE CAPITAL, Marx).

CM1.3 War and peace against the proletariat