Militarism and decadence

War, militarism and imperialist blocs in the decadence of capitalism, Part 2

In the first part of this article we pointed out the utterly irrational character of war in the period of the decadence of capitalism. Whereas last century, despite the destruction and massacre they brought about, wars consti­tuted a means for taking capitalist production forward by facilitating the conquest of the world market and stimulating the development of the productive forces of society as a whole, wars in the 20th century are simply the most ex­treme expression of the barbarism into which capitalism's decadence plunges social life. 

War, militarism and imperialist blocs in the decadence of capitalism, Part 1

The formidable armada being deployed by the Western bloc in the Persian Gulf (see the editorial in International Review n°51) has been a brutal reminder of the real nature of the capitalist system, a system which, since its entry into decadence at the beginning of the century, has led to the grow­ing militarisation of the whole of society, which has sterilised or destroyed a considerable proportion of human labour, and which has turned the planet into a vast powder keg.

At a time when the main governments of the world are making great speeches about arms reductions or even disarmament, what’s going on in the Middle East clearly gives the lie to any illusions about the ‘easing’ of military tensions, and illustrates in a striking manner one of the major components in today’s imperialist rivalries: the offensive of the American bloc, which is aimed at pushing forward the encirclement of the Russian bloc, and which in the first place involves bringing Iran to heel. These events, in which there has been a high level of cooperation between the naval forces of the main Western bloc countries, also underlines the fact that the sharpening of economic rivalries between these same countries doesn’t at all stand in the way of their solidarity as members of the same imperialist bloc. It also shows that the climate of war covering the whole planet doesn’t only take the form of military tensions between the two great blocs but also of confrontations between certain countries linked to the same bloc, as is the case with the Iran-Iraq conflict in which the latter country is being backed by the main Western countries.

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