That ‘truth is the first casualty of war’ is the first lie amongst many that accompany the slaughter of our class. For war to happen requires truth to have been well buried long in advance. The biggest lie, from which stem all others, is that we, the working class, the fodder of both wage labour and war, have any interests in common with those who order us to fight.
From the Fatherland myth, to the ‘democratic values’ con, the idea that any Russian worker is equal to Putin through patriotism, or that any British worker, by using a ballot box alongside Johnson, shares the same power and influence would be laughable if it wasn’t so deadly. In either state concept the ‘social peace’ we are supposed to prize is the drudgery of work, poverty, vulnerability to hunger and homelessness, under the heel of the laws that protect property, profit and power.
The community of nations following the ‘national interest’ in the rules-based system is a thieves’ kitchen of speculating wheeler dealers: politicians, arms dealers, bankers, shareholders and profiteering planet wreckers protected by laws of their own making. Nothing we prize has been given to us, but wrung out of the rich by bloody class struggle and conceded to us to avert revolution and sustain the illusion of social peace. That ‘peace’ takes our eyes off the jackboot relentlessly hovering over our heads. The lie of freedom.
Freedom, as the old song goes, is another word for nothing left to lose. And yet it is what they call on us to defend on either side of their frontiers, when the prospect of new real estates in the form of fuel, land, investment and resources – including us – drop from the table of their rules-based international system. The sheep’s clothing falls off to reveal the wolves fighting over a new carcass. Carcasses, the bodies of workers, we who labour, in and out of uniform, people like us, are fooled or coerced to fertilise this new opportunity.
Then, as we can see from Yemen to Ukraine, the sickest lies of all come out. Witness Turkey, which fed ISIS and watched Kobani burn, now acting as honest broker, for humanitarian reasons – from lies to irony! To restrain our disgust and resistance and channel it into the dead-end of sympathy, they mesmerise us with the fictions of war crimes and illegal wars. ‘Banned’; ‘Defensive’ or immoral. Some weapons good, some weapons bad, some bombs virtuous chastisement, some bombs criminal. As if the real issue is a campaign for real war and not against it!
War is the crime! The causes and excuses, the lies! But there is another war, the real war, the class war. We don’t just die, we resist! Ukrainian farmers towing tanks away with tractors, 20,000 arrested protesting in Russian cities and then ‘fragging’, something not talked since the anti-war resistance in Vietnam: Soldiers killing their officers! Whilst sympathetic protest is growing, meaningful organised hostile resistance has yet to really develop. But those seeds, the seeds of class war, the real war to end them all, are also, if tragically, being sewn in fertile ground.