2: IMPERIALISM AND WAR
The current economic crisis which affects the imperialist system in its totality, is a crisis of absolute overproduction of capital, with relation to the whole western capitalist zone. The means by which imperialism has always historically resolved its periodic crises of overproduction is war. In fact war first of all made it possible for all the victorious imperialist powers to expand their productive base, at the expense of the defeated, but above all war means destruction of capital, commodities and labor power, therefore allowing the resumption of the economic cycle for a fairly long time.
For imperialism in this phase, the recurrent drama of capitalist production, plays out once again: extended to a wider area, in order to expand its productive base.
In fact remaining “restricted” to the western zone, means the accumulation of increasingly devastating contradictions for imperialism: the concentration of capital increases at an accelerated pace, the rate of profit falls to extremely low levels, the productive base increasingly restricted, unemployment continually growing. The brief moments of seeming recovery are inevitably followed by increasingly more intense periods of recession, resulting actually in a process of permanent crisis (the development of the crisis in the past few years provides extensive illustrations).
This brings up for imperialism the always more urgent necessity of widening its influence. But this expansion can take place only in the space of Social Imperialism and leads inevitably to a direct conflict between the USA-USSR.
The partial conflicts, we are witnessing, waged by proxies in the Middle East and Africa are only the initial steps of this process.
This therefore, is the historical prospective which monopolist multinational capitalism offers to itself and to the revolutionary movement. Within this perspective, the proletariat is objectively bound to a frontal and decisive clash with imperialist domination, and its immediate strategy is set by the same historical perspective: either class war in the imperialist metropole or a third world imperialist war.
The various imperialist powers, cannot in fact, wage war if they do not have “peaceful and united” rear areas, which are able to sustain the harshness of the confrontation. Many examples can be cited of inter-imperialist wars which were ended as soon as even the threat of communist revolution appeared, and the diverse imperialists at first seen as mortal enemies joined together against the armed, insurgent proletariat. Two are enough: the Paris Commune and the October Revolution.
The lesson which Marx drew from the Commune:
“..That, after the most tremendous war of modern times, the conquering and the conquered hosts should fraternize for the common massacre of the proletariat – this unparalleled event does indicate, not, as Bismarck thinks, the final repression of a new society up heaving, but the crumbling into dust of bourgeois society. The highest heroic effort of which old society is still capable is national war; and this is now proved to be a mere governmental humbug, intended to defer the struggle of classes, and to be thrown aside as soon as that class struggle bursts out into civil war.”
Furthermore in the crisis which proceeds war, the balance of forces is strategically favorable for proletarian revolution. In fact the crisis generates intense social contradictions which result in violent class confrontation, and to the extent that this class confrontation deepens and develops, transforming into Class War, the bourgeoisie cannot operate on the terrain of imperialist war: the crisis becomes irreversible, simultaneously exacerbating even further the ongoing process of civil war.
This is the dialectic within which capitalist development is trapped.
We can therefore formulate the following generalization: in the crisis the slogan of the bourgeois is “block the process of civil war, transform it into imperialist war and thus defeat the revolution”; while that of the communists must necessarily be “develop the ongoing process of civil war and this block the imperialist war”.