David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the US, will give a lecture titled “Imperialism and the World Wars of the Twentieth Century: Historical Lessons and Present Dangers” in Toronto this Saturday, November 15.
In the first half of the twentieth century, geopolitical tensions and inter-imperialist conflicts erupted in two major wars, which between them killed close to 100 million people. One hundred years after the beginning of World War One, the entire world is once again a powder keg. Innumerable conflicts exist that could set off a global conflagration and plunge humanity into a new and even greater catastrophe.
The Obama administration is now engaged in a new war in the Middle East, using the crimes of ISIS as a pretext for targeting Syria and asserting unbridled control over the world’s most important oil-exporting region. At the same time, the US and its allies in Europe have followed the coup in Ukraine with direct sanctions and threats against Russia, the second largest nuclear-armed power.
Canada’s Conservative government has fully committed Canada to US militarism and intrigues around the world. Canada has helped stoke the conflict against Russia, deploying planes to Eastern Europe. It has joined the new US war in the Middle East and is deeply involved in the US “Pivot to Asia,” which is aimed at isolating and strategically encircling China.
By lining up with Washington, the Canadian bourgeoisie seeks to advance its own imperialist interests. In his speech marking the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Prime Minister Harper celebrated the slaughter on the grounds that it had won Canada a “place at the table” of great nations, i.e., a say and a share in the postwar, imperialist re-division of the world.
North’s lecture will be a major intellectual event. In the fight against war, it is necessary to study the lessons of history and learn from the experiences of past struggles. We strongly urge Toronto-area WSWS readers and all workers, students and youth who want to understand and fight for the socialist alternative to war, austerity and repression to attend Saturday’s lecture.
Saturday, November 15, at 3PM
University of Toronto
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Room 2211
252 Bloor Street West
(near the St. George Subway Station)