Federazione dei comunisti anarchici
Cremona, 19-20 June 2004
Motion on CONFLICTS AND ANTI-MILITARISM
(approved at the 6th Congress of the FdCA - Cremona, 20 June 2004)
1. The contradictions of international capitalism have taken a strategic turn since the end of the 20th century, with:
1.1 the transformation of vast areas previously controlled by Soviet imperialism into markets, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Middle East to Central Asia;
1.2 the imbalance which has come about in the military arena in favour of the USA, with the collapse of the Red Army (1989, withdrawal from Afghanistan…);
1.3 the rapid reduction of manoeuvrability (economic and military) on the international scene for the national bourgeoisies of these areas which have been forced to re-position themselves within the new imperialist contradictions;
1.4 the use of international capitalism's financial institutions to create relationships of an imperialist nature between the USA, the G8 countries and these areas in a classic division of the world into spheres of influence.
2. The temporary results of these contradictions show that:
2.1 access in those areas to substantial energy resources such as oil, gas and water, together with access to the ports and corridors (either already existing, in construction or in development) required for their transportation to the West (Black Sea, Mediterranean), to the East (the industrial areas of south-eastern China), to the North (Russia) and to the South (Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean) is tied to levels of strength and is not guaranteed by market mechanisms;
2.2 competition for the control of these territories, which are governed by nationalist or ethnic-religious elites, has become fierce and is no longer manageable simply by financing one or other of the various elites through technology and arms according to market laws and the imperialist interests at stake (USA, Russia, China and regional powers like Israel, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Iran and until recently, Iraq);
2.3 the definitive destabilization of those areas, no longer linked to the balance of interests of the USA, USSR and the regional powers, has encouraged the establishment of armed Islamic elites (previously used and supported in order to remove the Soviet threat/presence) who have gradually become a new threat to any competitor in the area, both from an economic and military point of view;
2.4 the problems of command over those areas which are vital for the control of raw materials have moved from the commercial level to the military and the answer could only have been military given the sequence of acts of war which began with the 1st Gulf War in 1991 and continued through the New York and Washington attacks up to the US-led attacks on Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq in 2003;
2.5 the political inconsistency of the European Union in protecting its interests in the area and the crisis within NATO as a multi-lateral alliance have favoured the birth of a new Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis (perhaps also Madrid) which, with its opposition to the attack on Iraq, could eventually become the basis for a strategic alliance capable of re-drawing the present inter-imperialist map.
3. The geo-political conditions and strategic relevance of those areas which are rich in resources, through which trade corridors run or which contain important access points for imperialist interests, therefore require that these areas be either occupied or militarily controlled. Thus:
3.1 the invasion of Iraq is only the latest military episode of a world war which was sparked off at the dawn of the 21st century by the conflicting interests of the great powers and rampant regional elites;
3.2 the economic control of resources, deposits and trade routes is at stake;
3.3 also at stake is the political and ideological subjugation of dominant bourgeoisies and population masses in developing countries or very poor countries;
3.4 in the continuing process of decomposition and destabilization of the current geo-political scene in the Middle East and Central Asia, military intervention is designed to block the development of any political, economic or religious powers which could harm Anglo-American capitalist interests;
3.5 the war's remunerative mechanism with regard to the economy of the US (in particular) and the world (in general) will be short-lived, as so-called military Keynesianism is by no means a solution to the problems of the endemic crisis in the world economy;
3.6 for a country with an annual military budget of over $350 million, some hard choices will have to be made (technologically and numerically); the future of the US armed forces and US strategy will need to form a central part of national interests; technological innovations (like the "star wars" programme) will be preferred to or used alongside a re-launching of conventional arms and levels of troop deployments which will make the Cold War years the safest since World War II; military and security services will also be externalized and privatized and will no longer be the prerogative of the State alone;
3.7 the establishment of a state of permanent war must be seen together with the exhaustion of the capitalist globalization offensive through the globalization of markets and finance, the planet-wide spread of precariousness and flexibility in the labour market, the privatization of collective social and environmental wealth, achieved with the no-less violent arms of exploitation and slavery;
3.8 capitalist domination hand in hand with militarism hits hardest those people who are already heavily exploited; it establishes new nationalisms and serves to finance fiercer religious fundamentalism;
3.9 capital-militarism sows repression within States and expects the various movements to believe in the fairy tale of a war on terrorism; it forces single states to adopt a war economy which is founded on restrictive budget policies accompanied by policies designed to weaken salaries; there follows a reduction of demand and therefore of consumption, which can only be compensated for with difficulty through an increase of aggregate demand due to sterile military Keynesianism or to tax reductions.
4. Faced with the growing military occupation of civilian society (both physically and media-based) and with the spread of an aberrant conviction of a "state of necessity" for a military presence in every corner of the world in order to guarantee security (sic!), we must encourage the spread of a vigorous anti-militarist consciousness. Faced with the growth and globalization of military alliances, we must seek to ensure the growth and continued political activity of an equally global movement which is strongly anti-militarist and anti-war. This movement must unmask and denounce the firm link between militarism and capitalism. The FdCA will therefore base and develop its tactics on the following strategic lines:
4.1 Wars always break out as a result of a clash between huge economic interests and geo-political power. Any reasons which may be given for war (anti-terrorism, humanitarian, nationalist, ethnic, religious, tribal, etc.) only serve to hide the true stakes and sow the seeds of hatred with the aim of setting the weaker, poorer classes against each other.
4.2 Nationalism and ethnic or religious affiliation are the ideologies used ever more frequently by national States (often developing countries or "high poor" countries) and by economic-military power castes in order to obtain consensus for their protectionist economic policies. These policies are designed to protect niche markets or the control of resources and strategic corridors as an integral part of the globalization process, paid for at great cost by the working classes. Accordingly, fighting nationalism means fighting capitalism.
4.3 Militarism and the militarization of society are forms of social control which go hand in hand with nationalist ideologies. They constitute the global market for the arms trade. They open the way for imperialist interests. Fighting against militarism means fighting against capitalism.
4.4 Anti-terrorist or "humanitarian" military interventions against various dictators and castes, or in support of warring national interests, do not lead to liberation or democracy but to a state of endemic war. Armies and military bases are semi-permanently based in war zones and in nearby countries, in order to protect the economic interests of international capitalism. Alongside this we see the growth in the hypocritical market of "humanitarian aid" and "reconstruction" with all the speculation, money-laundering and abuse of civilians that this entails. Fighting against military intervention means fighting against capitalism.
5. The anti-militarist struggle is part and parcel of the general anti-capitalist struggle. Accordingly, in its mobilizations against war, the FdCA places the strongest possible emphasis on the struggle against the dominant classes of any country; we do not place one people over another, neither do we promote the emancipation and liberation of any one people (taken to include all its classes) if this serves to perpetuate the class domination of a new national bourgeoisie over the usual exploited masses. On this basis the FdCA intends to act:
5.1 within the non-violent pacifist movement, to seek an end to war everywhere, for peace, against increases in military spending, for peaceful humanitarian assistance and international solidarity, for assistance to and a welcome for refugees and deserters, for the withdrawal of all armies, for disarmament in general and the de-militarization of society, for an emphasis on civilian society, so that peace can serve to bring a new return to the class struggle, because fighting for peace means fighting against capitalism;
5.2 within the global pacifist movement, to seek to give it a federalist, horizontal and anti-authoritarian character with, in particular, the increasing use of committees against the war and against military bases, watchdog bodies on the militarization of society, in order that the global pacifist movement move towards anti-capitalism and a rejection of militarism (both institutional and that expressed by elitist minorities within society and within the movements);
5.3 within the social, political, labour and cultural movements which fight against globalization and for peace, so that they firmly oppose all freedom-killing measures disguised as anti-terrorism which force civilian society to accept "more security for less freedom" and place into the hands of governments the power to use the enemy without (who is far away, but brought much closer thanks to the media) in order to create an equally militarized home front, not only for support (military bases, security services, "cleansed" information), but also as a frontline against the "enemy" within (migrants, anti-militarist pacifists, anti-globalization activists, syndicalists against the war, and the various organizations involved);
5.4 within the anti-racist movement in order to express our strong opposition and our determined response to the attempts to spark off a clash of religions through a cultural fight influenced by secularism; we must fight the commonly-held belief that ethnic and religious identity represents the culmination of the individual's human, social and political experience and that of organized society; we must show it is possible to live together and we must promote class unity, demonstrating the uselessness of religion, if we wish everyone to be treated as citizens and to be free as individuals independent of their geographical origins, if we wish to promote the global dimension of the exploited, independently of the religion they profess; we must win the right to freedom of and from religion, in every country of the world;
5.5 within a movement where we women are active in expressing their aversion to any use of women's bodies for militarist purposes, from ethnic rape to martyrization, to "liberation" as a form of war booty; we must unmask the profound male chauvinism which is rooted in militarist ideology and in relationships dominated by the state of war, ready to liberate oppressed women by bombing their houses and their family intimacy and to treat male prisoners as female objects in order to render them passive through torture and sexual abuse; there will be no liberation of women or of men without any real guarantee of parity in the workplace, in public life or in private life;
5.6 within the anti-militarist movement in order to imbue it with certain unequivocal watchwords: ceasefire; stop the spread of war; de-militarize; multilateral disarmament; aid and solidarity for refugees; self-determination for women and men; restoration of political, social, labour, religious and cultural rights; international solidarity for the support of the exploited classes.
Unanimously approved by the 6th Congress
Cremona, 20th June 2004
FEDERAZIONE DEI COMUNISTI ANARCHICI