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104

Are socialists pacifists? Aren’t some wars justified?

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terms
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notes

Birch, J. (2016). Are socialists pacifists? Aren’t some wars justified?. In Sunkara, B. The ABCs of Socialism. Verso, pp. 104-119

111

Why should workers in other countries ally themselves with those in the United States, in whose name they are bombed and occupied? To the extent that Americans buy into the nationalism that inevitably goes along with their government’s machinations abroad, they make the emergence of a class-based movement against oppression and exploitation impossible.

on US military interventions acting to weaken cross-border class solidarity

—p.111 by Jonah Birch 4 years, 4 months ago

Why should workers in other countries ally themselves with those in the United States, in whose name they are bombed and occupied? To the extent that Americans buy into the nationalism that inevitably goes along with their government’s machinations abroad, they make the emergence of a class-based movement against oppression and exploitation impossible.

on US military interventions acting to weaken cross-border class solidarity

—p.111 by Jonah Birch 4 years, 4 months ago
114

More fundamentally, it is important to be clear that our support for groups fighting against their oppression, at the hands of the US government or anyone else, does not mean that we’re always uncritical of these forces. One need only look at the growing levels of inequality and the increasing penetration of global capitalism in South Africa since the fall of apartheid, or in Vietnam since its liberation, to see that even victorious struggles need not produce a truly just outcome. Indeed, while expressing solidarity with movements challenging oppression, socialists must be willing to criticize those waging these struggles, whenever necessary—whether that criticism is made on political, strategic, or even moral grounds.

But neither do we treat all sides in a particular conflict as if they were the same. Above all, we oppose our own government’s role in propagating wars, or expanding its military and political influence, at the expense of the working classes of the world. As the German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht put it in a speech during World War I, we understand that “the main enemy is at home.”

—p.114 by Jonah Birch 4 years, 4 months ago

More fundamentally, it is important to be clear that our support for groups fighting against their oppression, at the hands of the US government or anyone else, does not mean that we’re always uncritical of these forces. One need only look at the growing levels of inequality and the increasing penetration of global capitalism in South Africa since the fall of apartheid, or in Vietnam since its liberation, to see that even victorious struggles need not produce a truly just outcome. Indeed, while expressing solidarity with movements challenging oppression, socialists must be willing to criticize those waging these struggles, whenever necessary—whether that criticism is made on political, strategic, or even moral grounds.

But neither do we treat all sides in a particular conflict as if they were the same. Above all, we oppose our own government’s role in propagating wars, or expanding its military and political influence, at the expense of the working classes of the world. As the German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht put it in a speech during World War I, we understand that “the main enemy is at home.”

—p.114 by Jonah Birch 4 years, 4 months ago

(noun) a painkilling drug or medicine

115

Although he is often depicted as an anodyne moralist, a precursor to multicultural liberalism, King was actually a visionary whose politics became increasing radical in tandem with the movement he led.

—p.115 by Jonah Birch
notable
4 years, 4 months ago

Although he is often depicted as an anodyne moralist, a precursor to multicultural liberalism, King was actually a visionary whose politics became increasing radical in tandem with the movement he led.

—p.115 by Jonah Birch
notable
4 years, 4 months ago