The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

A Bigger War Is on the Horizon

Dec 11, 2023

What follows is the editorial that appeared on the front of all SPARK’s workplace newsletters, during the week of November 14, 2023.

After a brief cease-fire, Israel has resumed the war in Gaza. Hamas terrorists had killed over 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. Then the Israeli government unleashed their terror campaign, firing missiles and dropping bombs on hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings in Gaza, killing over 13,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children. At the same time, Israel has exchanged fire with Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

The U.S. government is in this war. The U.S. has armed Israel to the teeth with military aid. The U.S. uses Israel as its policeman in the region, to ensure access to Middle East oil and profits for U.S. corporations. The U.S. sent two naval task forces and Marines to join all the other U.S. navy, air force and special forces in the region. Within days, the U.S. forces had engaged in fighting with militias in Syria and Iraq. The situation in the Middle East is a tinderbox that could explode into a wider war.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine continues. That war is now almost two years old. More than one hundred thousand have died, soldiers and civilians, Ukrainians and Russians. The U.S. is also in this war, backing Ukraine to weaken Russia. The U.S. and its NATO allies supply the weapons to Ukraine. The Ukrainians supply the deaths.

Other regional wars continue around the world. There is a war in Afghanistan, a legacy of the U.S. invasion in 2001. When U.S. forces left Afghanistan after 20 years, they left behind chaos and destruction and the seeds of another war. There is a war in Yemen that has gone on for a decade. Over a million people have died. Wars also continue today in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. Behind the scenes of most of these wars are the major world powers, including the U.S.

In the last 10 years, the number of wars around the world has gone up by 70%. According to the United Nations, today the number of wars worldwide is the highest since World War Two. The wars we see today are very much like the regional wars that led directly to World War Two and World War One. That is something we can’t ignore. We can’t put our heads in the sand. We have to see what is coming. The warning signs of another world war are there. Today, the U.S. government is steadily increasing its military budget. Many other governments are doing the same. What are they preparing for, if not for war, a bigger war than the ones being fought today, a world war. World War One killed about 22 million people, half of them civilians. World War Two killed 85 million people—3% of the entire world’s population. Much of Europe, Russia and Japan was destroyed.

That is the future that we may be facing today. And if there is another world war, people here will not escape it. The U.S. is the world’s biggest economic and military power. The U.S. government is already directly or indirectly involved in most of the wars going on around the world today. If there is another world war, this country will be right in the middle of it. There will be no escape.

But why do we even have wars in the first place? World wars come from the competition between capitalists for more profits. Capitalists from every country fight over the world’s resources and the profits produced by workers’ labor. They use their own governments to go against the capitalists of other countries. If they can’t settle things peacefully, then they are ready and willing to go to war to gain their advantage. The longer capitalism has gone on, the more deadly their wars have been. The wars of the 20th century were the most murderous in human history. A third world war would be even worse.

But we do not have to accept this kind of future. The ordinary people, the working people of the world, have no reason to go to war. We have no reason to kill each other. Working people can live together in peace.

To change our future, we will have to get rid of the system that produces war. The working class has every reason to do that. The working class has the power to do that. The working class of the world has the power to build a better society, free from those barbarians and war-mongers who are leading humanity to the brink of destruction.