Communist Youth Organization

The Youth Branch of The Workers’ Communist Party of Iran

Chia Barsen: How to remember World War I

How to remember World War I

One day, in a better world, Remembrance Day will have a different meaning. Today it is a memorial day observed by Commonwealth Nations for those who died in WWI. Memorial Day is a day when nationalism is glorified all over the Commonwealth Nations. It is a day when the Western bourgeoisie government representatives stand over the graves of the soldiers of the WWI that died for Imperialism’s colonial division of the world and pretends to honour them. The Commonwealth soldiers, mostly young men, who were brainwashed with the ideas of “freedom”, were sent off to war to kill the soldiers on the other side that had their heads filled with the similar propaganda. Ironically WWI which had 37 million casualties was once called the war to end all wars, and now, nearly 100 years later, bourgeoisie continues its plunder of the world. 

WWI was not the last war, and since then wars have gotten more global and more destructive and hundreds of times more expensive. The reason is simply that capitalism needs war to survive. War is a powerful way for capitalism to open new markets and to displace the accumulated surplus in order to avoid a crisis. War allows bourgeois governments to install leaders in different countries to support the expanding needs of their domestic markets. War is also used as a tool by the bourgeois to crush the working class movement and to rob them of their hard fought for wages, benefits, and social services. For example today many Western governments are using the high deficits as an excuse to cut wages, pensions and social services that include health care and education. The high deficit that exists in many Western nations was in part created by expensive wars: the plan is simple, spend billions in war to create a large deficit, and then use the deficit to attack the working class.

Also war itself, via the military industrial complex, is a market to sell arms. Each year the United States’ industrial military complex sells 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of arms. This is the result of years of compound growth of these arms corporations that need war to sell their products. Without these wars, these corporations, that are large enough to be the GDP of a country, will go bankrupt.

Today nationalism and patriotism are used in important ways by the bourgeoisie to brainwash the masses to accept military interventions. Nationalism is used to paint an image of “the other” to justify the working people of one country to attack and kill the working people of another country only for the sake of corporate profit and bourgeois regional interests. The words “freedom” and “democracy” are used to create a picture of how surgical military strikes will create a better looking country.

War has always been imposed on the working people by the bourgeois. Now, almost 100 years after the First World War, the working people know that their bourgeois governments are representing different interests to their own. The Queen of England and the Cameron government standing side by side putting poppies upon the graves of the soldiers that died in WWI are the same class of butchers that sent these soldiers to die for the sake of profit and world division nearly 100 years ago. These are the same people that are responsible for sending people to war today.

The only way to end all wars is to end capitalism as a system that propagates war. As long as capitalism exists wars will continue and will only get larger and more destructive. One day perhaps, the people that died in WWI will be honoured by the true history of the world: the history of class struggle, the millions that died in a war for the interest of the few.

Chia Barsen

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