World War One: an interimperialist war to redivide the world
Harpal Brar and Ella rule introduce this remarkable new pamphlet, produced by the CPGB-ML, on the causes and consequences of WW1.
The accompanying video and the book that it relates to should be compulsory viewing in every schoolroom up and down our country and throughout the world. If you are studying or writing about any topic related to the world war, you can’t afford not to watch this, and tell your classmates and contacts to do likewise.
The introduction focuses on the recent troubles in Ukraine, its history, the collapse of the Soviet Union that has led to the Ukrainian people’s current troubles, the imperial intrigues of the EU, NATO and USA, and the political physiognomy of the current ‘Ukrainian Government’ they have installed.
But the scope of the talk is far wider, covering the fundamental economics of monopoly capitalism that lead to its political and military drive for conquest and plunder, that shape our contemporary world – including the invasions and occupations of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Yugoslavia, etc.
These are the very same forces that led to the great conflagrations of WW1 and WW2 in which the great established imperial powers battled it out with the rising capitalist powers who sought a place at the imperialist banqueting table – demanding their ‘fair share’ of the slaves, colonies, plunder and booty. But since the ‘Berlin congress’ of 1884, the territories of the world had been completely divided, and the would be ‘upstart’ German colonialist could only gain territories at the expense of the old fat British and French colonialists.
Our imperialist masters are getting ready to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their (WW1) bloodbath, with great pomp and ceremony, while doing their best to obfuscate the facts of their barbarous wars, in which fully 100 million workers paid with their lives for the imperialist capitalists’ fabulous profits. This is the ideal of our capitalist rulers’ ‘division of labour.’
Let us, the international working class, ALSO remember – that it was a massive capitalist crisis of overproduction – as we are experiencing today – that led to the ‘great’ wars. And that a mighty internationalist proletarian movement arose from these wars, that showed, under the guidance of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, that it was possible to mutiny, in the trenches, in civil society, and in government. That it was possible to go beyond mutiny to revolution – to overthrow the rotten, senile, corrupt, and moribund system that enslaves the entire planet to the greed of a tiny clique of exploiting parasites.
The october revolution and the third international that grew from it it showed definitively that it is possible to defeat and overthrow the monarchs, princes, dukes, kings and Tsars; to defeat and overthrow the capitalist billionaires and their governments. To put in place a workers’ democracy in which “he who does not work – neither shall he eat.” To end exploitation of man by man and nation by nation. To end racism, sexism, and division of the working people along national and religious lines. To forge a great unity and build an economy that serves the people.
An important discussion of opportunism in the British working class movement ends the discussion. For in order to forge unity among working people in Britain, we must overcome the divisive forces that serve imperialism in the working class movement. We must break the ties that bind so much of our ‘progressive’ and ‘socialist’ / ‘anti-war’ movement to the Labour Party. Until we break the link with Labour, all talk of anti-war, imperialist and socialist progress is doomed to failure.
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Cde Harpal Brar, Chairman of the CPGB-ML delivered this keynote speech at the party’s recent celebration of the Great Socialist October Revolution of 1917.
He explains the historical significance of the October Revolution, the achievements of Soviet Socialism, and its ongoing relevance to workers in Britain.
He gives a detailed explanation of modern imperialism, its wars and its global capitalist economic overproduction crisis. The analysis given by Marx and Lenin not only explains these, the major problems that humanity – and in particular the working and toiling masses – are facing, but shows us the way forward to their solution. Capitalism cannot be reformed, regulated, moderated or otherwise made to serve the interests of working people. It must be overthrown!
We must discard all those parties who pretend otherwise, particularly the social democratic Labour Party, and its revisionist and trotskite hangers-on who act as agents of imperialism (misguided or malicious) in the working class movement. In this as in so many regards, October shows us the way!
Our job, Harpal emphasizes, is to make this Marxist-Leninist analysis truly popular, well known and understood, and to inject the spontaneous protest and resistance movements with clear scientific analysis that can sustain them and help them to direct their blows.
The October revolution has shown that working people, when united and organized around a correct understanding and a disciplined party, guided by such an analysis, are really able to achieve unity of action, to become an army of millions and tens of millions, which no capitalist power can resist.