Working people need to take political power

April 11, 2022

Since the Vladimir Putin regime in Moscow began its murderous invasion of Ukraine, seeking to obliterate that country’s existence as an independent nation, the Socialist Workers Party has stepped up explaining that the U.S.-dominated imperialist world system is marching toward fascism and war.

“War is the end result of the ceaseless capitalist hunt for profits, markets, colonies, spheres of influence,” the SWP National Committee wrote in a 1945 statement issued after the U.S. rulers’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “No trust whatsoever can be placed in the ‘peace-loving’ declarations of the statesmen of capitalism.

“Only the utter wiping out of capitalist rule throughout the world can ensure that atomic explosives will never again be used for mass murder.”

Today the bloody hands of the dog-eat-dog capitalist system of exploitation and oppression extends its reach into every corner of the world. Rising conflicts between Washington, Moscow and Beijing, and the efforts of capitalist rulers from Germany to Australia to acquire ever larger weapons and military forces, point toward a future of both mounting class battles, struggles for national liberation and imperialist war.

As the stakes in this world for working people rise, a revolutionary working-class party turns more deeply to “the life, struggles, activity and politics of the only class that — when its organizations are mobilized in action in its own interests — can and will affect the course of history, including decisions on war and peace,” SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes writes in “The Working-Class Campaign Against Imperialism and War,” available in New International no. 7.

Today SWP members fight alongside fellow workers against bosses’ assaults on wages, for schedules that allow for a family life, safe working conditions and our dignity on the job. We join the picket lines of striking oil refinery workers at Chevron, build the United Mine Workers April 6 rally for striking miners at Warrior Met in Alabama and discuss with farmers and truckers how we can join together to combat the ruinous impact of soaring prices.

Everywhere we point to the need for workers to act on the interests we share in common with working people worldwide and place no trust in the capitalists who exploit us at home. Today that means defending Ukraine’s independence, calling for the defeat of Moscow’s war of conquest and demanding the U.S. imperialist rulers get all their troops and nuclear weapons out of Europe.

The SWP’s 1945 statement summoned workers to fight for a better world. “Let the cataclysmic horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki serve as a clarion call to the working class!” it said. “The workers must wrench the power from the hands of the blood-drenched capitalist criminals and take their destiny in their own hands.”

Fight to end war falls to the working class

The end of the Second World War did not bring peace as the capitalist rulers in Washington turned their full attention to using all weapons at their command to advance their new position as imperialist top dog. Innumerable bloody conflicts since then — from Washington’s wars in Korea and Vietnam, to Iraq and Afghanistan, to Moscow’s slaughter in Ukraine today — show their promises to bring peace were lies. The fight to end capitalist exploitation and with it the threat of nuclear destruction remains the task of working people worldwide.

Conscious of our own destiny, workers and our allies will have opportunities to build a leadership we need, one that can carry that struggle through to the end. Our capacities to do so were demonstrated in practice by working people in Cuba, who, led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, carried out the first socialist revolution in our lifetimes. They showed workers are capable of forging a leadership proven in battle, trusted by millions and armed with a program to unite the exploited and oppressed to take political power into our own hands.

Join SWP members campaigning against imperialism and war!