the Poor For
An Analysis of Major
An Introduction to War
The cause of war, in the developed state, is and always has been a lust of wealth. It is motivated by those who feel more confident in taking from others by force rather than creating for themselves by labor. In the most ancient states, developed in every continent, war is a dominating theme of all rulers and governors. The politician, ancient or modern, has only wanted to expand their power, to encroach upon neighboring territory, and make themselves perpetual rulers. This political ruler always must concede some of the spoils of war to the military leader who organized the battle efforts, at least for the sustenance of the soldiers.
War has been an effort to gain massive amounts of wealth. And not wealth that can be used to make the common people self-sufficient, but only vast quantities that can be hoarded up by the few. The war becomes an investment: there is an estimated return, based on the commerce of an area, and there is an estimated cost, based on the wages of the troops. Just like investing in a company or in trade, war is something funded by a few, directed by the few, and done for the profits of the few. The governments of the modern world have found new ways of concealing the motivations for war. But, it is still very easy to see that war is declared so that the poor sacrifice their blood for the profits of the rich.
A Short History as Proof
Spaniards in 1521 declared victory over the Aztec Empire of Mexico, which they then either massacred, sold into slavery, pillaged, or a combination of these. [*1] But this empire of American Natives, likewise, had waged war on the people of its surrounding villages, to enslave them. [*2] The Aztecs had justified this position on self-defense, just as the Romans conquered foreign lands and enslaved foreign peoples, to cut off the routes of invasion to Rome. [*3] The Spanish couldn't have made this justification, since their people were thousands of miles away from the reaches of the most aggressive soldiers of the Aztecs. Something between religion, political ambition, and wealth were the main motivating forces in this conquest.
A similar attitude was adopted by the Spanish who had conquered the Incan Empire in 1532, where soldiers enslaved countless people to be forced laborers for wealthy landowners. [*4] Spain itself, though, was originally conquered much earlier by Muslim "conquistadors," between the period roughly of 700 and 1400. [*5] It was the typical style of these Islam armies in Spain to enslave men, women, and children, often being sold as either sex slaves or slaughtered mercilessly outright. [*6] The Catholic armies of Spain, which were to follow these Islamic invaders, behaved in an identical way: war for the purpose of taking land and turning people into forced labor. After expelling Muslims from Spain, the Spanish Catholics went further -- like the Romans or the Aztecs, they went to the homeland of these invaders, Morocco, and enslaved its people for more than 300 years. [*7]
In 1847, France declared that members of its priesthood had been imprisoned in Vietnam. [*8] In actually, they were members of the wealthy, land-owning, Capitalist class, who during this time owned more than 1/3rd of Spain's capital, with similar estimates in France. [*9] The history books published by France will show pictures of priests, begging for water in the prisons of Native Vietnam, but they often forget that these were the biggest, criminal dealers of opium and narcotics in all of Southeast Asia. [*10] French troops responded by indiscriminately massacring the people of Vietnam, in 1847, a trend that would continue for more than a century. [*11]
Like its other conflicts, France threw its poor into the army not so that it could protect its people, but so that it could protect the biggest of rich slaveowners -- although, in this case, it just so happened that they were Catholic slaveowners, which was the argument France presented in this war. Even into the Vietnam War of the 1960's, Catholic ministers were guilty of kidnapping members of the Vietnamese publicly -- most notoriously, children. [*12] During the American involvement in Vietnam, much claim was made about "fighting Communists." Little journalism paid attention to the wholesale exploitation of the people, especially since this was being done by wealthy, moneyed interests. The war was fought to maintain a slavery that existed for more than a century.
This French Empire has been spread throughout Africa, to make way for trading posts to exploit indigenous labor and resources. [*13] Likewise, the French army made itself severely felt in China, so that its traders could dominate and control the local population and wealth. [*14] India, which was abused and virtually enslaved by the British, also had its turn in being dominated by the French and the Dutch. [*15] This kind of exchange occurred in Madagascar, where France in twice, in 1883 and 1894, both times to secure property rights for the wealthy French, in particular, the rights to the mines and industry. [*16] Under the pretenses of protecting the people, France launched a war against Algeria in 1920, violently repressing any independence activity. Again, this was not done for any interest of the people, but for the newly acquired industries in the area. [*17]
The Ottoman Empire, which represents one of the largest of the Middle East empires, conquered parts of Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and most of the coastal areas of the Middle East. The wealth from taxation and pillaging was divided between the family of the Sultan, and a family of aristocrats united not by blood but by possession of wealth and a desire to expand it. [*18] Their wealth came not only from the possession of land, but from the wholesale slavery and sale of conquered peoples. [*19] This was a typical attribute of the holy wars launched by Muhammad and the followers of Islam: in one victory, Allah's prophet beheaded the men, sold the children, and kept the women as sex slaves. [*20] [*21]
In 1505, Poland adopted the act of Nihil novi, or the "nobles' democracy." The law established the political power and dominance of the entrenched, land-owning class of aristocrats and nobility. [*22] Increasing political dominance in Poland led to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, an elective monarchy, in 1569. This was due to Lithuania feeling threaten by the armies of Russia. For several years, between 1370 and 1375, armies of Lithuania had completely pillaged and massacred villages throughout Russia. [*23] Russia launched a retaliation war from 1492 to 1494, led by Ivan the III, where the Russian monarchy was able to gain significant concessions in land and wealth. [*24] This history continued with Russian expansionist policies entering into the Second War (1500-1503), the Third War, (1507-1508) the Fourth War, (1512-1522) and the Fifth War (1534-1537) with Lithuania.
To aid Lithuania, Poland established an alliance with the small nation, forming virtually a single nation. This was in 1569, but by 1575, Polish-Lithuanian troops were raiding villages in Russia, sometimes the exact same ones from two centuries earlier, with the intent of rape and pillage. [*25] 1605, the wealthy, landed aristocracy pushed the government to push as close as possible to Moscow, Russia's capital. This was not a war of independence, but one fought with mercenaries and calculated specifically by the nobility to be profitable. [*26]
At about this time, from 1600 to 1611, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was also trying to conquer Sweden. [*27] The monarch of Polish-Lithuania believed that he had some ancestral right to the Swedish throne, and he regarded it as such when writing his nation's policy. Only earlier, it was Poland suffered attacks from the money-hungry mercenaries of a foreign nation, this time Turks who came with the intent of pillage and conquest in the years of 1498 to 1500. [*28] After the Polish-Muscovite War of 1605-1618, Russia slowly gained more and more dominance over the daily lives of Polish subjects. It was one of the most guarded of possessions under Russia's Tzar, and even Stalin and the Bolsheviks held it as a material possession to be used and abused. [*29]
In Spain, the instigation of war to dominate the colony of Morocco led to Tragic Week -- a wholesale insurrection of the poor who were now burning down the property of the rich who had propelled them into war. Such rioters were considered anti-Catholic, typically, because of their willingness to burn down property owned by the Catholic Church [*30] [*31] [*32] -- even though many of these participants admitted faith in Catholicism. [*33] It was not only a reaction against the inherent corruption of the church. It was largely a reaction of the poor against the rich -- it was a reaction of those who were being sacrificed in wars so that the wealthy could possess distant colonies and incredible wealth. These campaigns were continued in 1920 with the Rif War, fought virtually on the exact same terms as the earlier war to suppress the sentiment of independence among the colonized people. [*34]
The USS Maine was stocked with American sailors who wanted to defend their nation. At the same time, in 1898, it was also stocked with a massive, timed bomb inside, most likely placed by authorities. [*35] Very conveniently, the bomb was placed in the secure area where massive armaments were kept. An invasion surplus of ammunition exploded when this bomb detonated -- as the ship sat just outside a harbor of Cuba. [*36] [*37] A military investigation at the time, conducted by Del Paral and De Salas, found overwhelming evidence that a Spanish mine could not have detonated the ammunition bunker of the ship. [*38] The United States, in response, conducted its own study, where it fabricated facts and ignored others, claiming that Spain was responsible. [*39] It was not very long before this was used as a pretense for the invasion of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and and Guam.
The year 1898 was not altogether very different than 1846, and the Spanish-American War was little more than a copy of the prototype, the Mexican-American War. Instead of sending a battleship to the harbor of the enemy, the US Army sent one of its military units into Mexican territory -- under the unsupported and ridiculous claim that the territory belonged to the United States. The military unit was treated like an invader and defeated, with this event being called the Thornton Affair. [*40]
This was the justification of the war. In 1846, the US Army sends its troops to their deaths as "a matter of principle" -- that is, the Imperialist principle of seizing land of neighbors by force. This tactic was so perfectly realized a second time during the Spanish-American War; except politicians didn't wait for the Spanish to fire, so they slaughtered their own troops themselves. Both events led to mass quantities of land being handed over to a very few, and the wealthy supporters of the United States seeing dividends on their investment.
In 1936, the Fascist power of Italy occupied Ethiopia and parts of Northeast Africa. This resulted in pillaging, looting, and the domination of the land by wealthy, landed Italians, even if it meant killing thousands of poor, native farmers. [*41] The fascist seizure of Poland and France, by Germany, likewise was motivated by the resources that would be available to the wealthy and powerful: ore, land, and forced labor. Similarly, Japan's Fascism led it to seek out oil and metal by conquering nearby nations, including killing millions or hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians. Typically, the justifications used resembled that of the USS Maine -- Fascists would kill their own people, like US President Polk and Wilson, such as the burning of the German Parliament to justify military expansion.
It would be unfair to state that the World Wars of Europe were a sudden outgrowth of competing, world powers. The truth is that this was just the result of years and years of war leading up to it. Spain, having been spared from World War 1, developed a rich, arms-producing, Capitalist class. Threatened by revolution, Spain's generals revolted against the elected government, launching the Spanish Civil War. They were funded by the wealthiest landowner in all of Spain: the Catholic Church. [*42] The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 marks the ambition of the French King to dominate and control Denmark as a dictatorship over a powerless colony. Just as with Napoleon's invasion from the early 1800's, the Germans are able to repel the French Imperialists, who marched to battle solely to defend privilege and the land-owning class. [*43]
The Germans imposed a $1 billion fine on France, and also seized the territory of Alsace-Lorraine. [*44] World War 1 started similarly: after France had built death camps for Moroccans and executed thousands, [*45] they were "upset" about Austrians marching troops into Serbia to suppress terrorists -- much as the United States government has recently justified its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These were allegedly "measures to prevent terrorism," but no such illusion is maintained by the governments of the world; this has not led them to seek independence or self-sufficiency in either of these countries, though, keeping them as dominated colonies, just as Cuba, [*46] the Philippines, [*47] [*48] and Guam [*49] were or are kept by the United States.
World War 1 concluded with France seizing the territory of Alsace-Lorraine back, and, instead of imposing a fine of $1 billion, imposed a fine of $37 billion. [*50] This led up to World War 2, where Germany invaded Poland, and upon a declaration of war from France, invaded France. It could have been led by French zeal or German passion -- these wars could have come from the Franco traditions of the West or the Celtic traditions of the East. In either way, they were launched for profit, for the sake of acquiring resources and land, people to tax, workers to exploit, and consumers to abuse.
If we were to take the situation of the Vietnam War, waged between 1955 and 1975, we already know the actual slavery and kidnapping imposed by US troops. But what about the Vietnamese Communists, who were fighting for their independence from the United States, in as gallant and honorable a fashion as the US who had rebelled against Britain? After establishing its authoritarian government, the Viet Cong act just like it was a foreign Imperialist. Workers are exploited, slavery continues, and the land is owned by a very few. Even today, these are the conditions that prevail in the so-called "Communist society."
In one factory in Vietnam, 77% of the workers suffer from respiratory problems because of unsafe equipment. [*51] In the capital, Hanoi, an explosion at an unsafe factory in 2010 killed two workers. [*52] According to one study based in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, "current exposure levels for both chemical solvents and formaldehyde in the wooden furniture industry in the countries within the South East Asian region were higher than the Permissible Exposure Levels (PEL)." [*53] One fourteen year old, child laborer in Vietnam was "being branded with hot irons, had solvents poured in his wounds and had his teeth pulled out with pliers..." [*54] It is questionable whether conditions imposed on children in Vietnamese, Catholic churches were not much different.
The Korean War is another example of massive powers intervening in an underdeveloped nation. Though it was fought by the United States on one side and China on the other side, they both had the same, mutual interest in their domination of Southeast Asia. In South Korea, the so-called "free Korea," one will typically find: "company-hired private security forces and company-organised goons to attack the striking workers with nunchakus, pipes and other artillery, but the police allow them in and work together with them..." [*55]
It is difficult to understand the working conditions in North Korea, since inspections and freedom of speech are not allowed. One worker, in 2010, tried to communicate to someone in South Korea their living and working conditions -- and this laborer was executed by firing squad for it. [*56] Whether it was the America-supported side, or the China-supported side, it was all for the purpose of dominating the workforce, exploiting the people, and making a very few rich.
In 1953, the United States worked with British forces to lead a military coup over Iran. Together, they were able to overthrow a democratically-elected president, Mohammad Mosaddegh, and replaced him with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a "shah," or Islamic dictatorship. According to one report from Agence France-Presse, the United States "did not hesitate to use underhand methods to get rid of a democratically elected government to suit its own economic and strategic interests." [*57] It was for control of oil, the domination of a subjugated workforce, and the power of the land that this uprising was launched. It replaced a representative republic with a violent and totalitarian theocracy, just so that domestic investors would feel safer with their foreign investments.
In 1989, the United States invaded Panama, alleging reports of American citizens in this country being abused by the local law -- the same exact premise of the Mexican-American War of 1846, and the Spanish-American War of 1898, both of which were completely fabricated. It was later revealed by the LA Times that those who were abused by Panama's police force were actually American intelligence agencies that were paid to commit terrorism and agitation in the nation, so as to cause a war. [*58] The purpose of the invasion was to capture Norriega, an American agent who was receiving more than $100,000 a year from intelligence agencies, [*59] as well as being pardoned by such forces for drug trafficking. [*60]
But when Norriega wasn't cooperating with US interests, the government made charges that it could support: Norriega was a large drug trafficker. The United States was so certain of this, because this was the government that had been employing the drug-dealer. [*61] Furthermore, president George Bush asserted that he had a right to land in Panama, because it was the "will of the Panamanian people." [*62] He was, of course, referring to a deal he struck with Panama's former military dictator, Omar Torrijos, to allow US investors to exploit and dominate Panama's working people. The justification for war? Human abuse, drug trafficking, and dictatorship. Of course, the human abuse was committed by American troops, the drug trafficking was known because it was the US who was buying, [*63] and the dictatorship was supported and built by US forces to guarantee American, commercial dominance.
In 2002, the United States and Spain gave military, commercial, and political support to a coup in Venezuela to overthrow the Socialist president, Huge Chavez. [*60] That is to say, the two powers that have completely dominated and exploited Venezuela for three centuries or more, the US and Spain, were ready to rush in to defend their interests. Oil, land, and starving workings who beg to labor. To the United States and Europe, this was a powerful enough motive to sacrifice the poor so that the rich could be secure in their possession. In typical American fashion, the US coup abolished the elected parliament and the court system, establishing one ruler in every possible sphere of social life -- such as the scene from the American-supported coup in Iran.
The Iraq War, like all of the other wars, was a "war fought for human rights." According to the view of American politicians, it is impossible for there to be human rights violations except where the land, the people, or the resources are considered valuable. Despite the wide and deep array of evidence of human rights abuses in China, the idea of a war to dispose their dictator is never even murmured -- though another war, based on the same pretenses with less evidence, has succeeded for years. But, more than anything, it was a war for profits. Halliburton, one of the large US companies, was selling and buying with the enemy during the conflict, [*65] as well as receiving vast amounts of exclusive contracts. These are offers for military development, where one single company is given a monopoly on US dollars. [*66] Halliburton also was awarded millions for the construction of the prison cells in Guantanamo Bay. [*67]
There is No Resistance to War, Without Resistance to Capitalism
This is all derived from a much earlier principle, that all authority and power tends to be bought by the privileged class, whether they are feudal barons, capitalists, the upper caste, or an all-dominating church of priests. The exclusive principle of nations and race, which are so wonderful for drawing up borders and declaring war, comes with the exclusive principle of property and wealth, which is wonderful for keeping the poor dominated and controlled by the rich.
If we are to resist the absolute atrocities caused by war, we must realize what causes the war -- what drives nations to throw millions of the poor and hungry into an open slaughter with each other. And in every case, there is some claim to property and right. There is always a demand for the wealth of the other nation, whether it is land as colonies, people as subjugated laborers, or the material resources that can be carried back home. This is the greatest cause of wars today, and if we are going to stop this wholesale murder, then we are going to have to stop Capitalism.
*1. "Essays and Research on Indigenous Mexico," by John P. Schmal, SomosPrimes.com.