This coming Sunday, on May 1 at 1:00 pm US Eastern Daylight Time, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) will celebrate May Day with an online rally. Featuring speeches by leaders of the Fourth International from all over the world, its central purpose will be to build a global anti-war movement of working people, students and youth against the expanding tide of imperialist militarism that threatens the destruction of the planet. Among the speakers will be Jerry White, the 2016 presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States.
We live in an age of perpetual war. The “War on Terror”—justified with lies and limitless hypocrisy—is now approaching its fifteenth anniversary. It has resulted in the deaths of more than one million people in the Middle East and Central Asia. Countless millions have been made homeless refugees. Far from ending terror, the regional wars instigated by the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen have led to an ever-expanding wave of violence, personal insecurity and global instability.
The neo-colonial interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia are but the harbinger of even more bloody Great Power confrontations.
The United States, determined to preserve its position as the global hegemon, is escalating confrontations simultaneously with Russia and China. The states bordering Russia are being stocked with military gear, backed by NATO forces.
The Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” is embroiling the entire region in the efforts of the US to encircle China. Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter traveled to the Philippines to personally oversee war games in the South China Sea and the deployment of US planes, helicopters, Special Forces units and aircraft carriers to bolster Washington’s network of military alliances.
Both Russia and China, whose governments represent the capitalist interests of their own nationalist and chauvinist ruling cliques, respond to these threats with retaliatory actions that can result in all-out war. The barely averted clash between Russian war planes and US military vessels in the Baltic Sea earlier this month is a serious warning: in a highly volatile situation, one misstep can very rapidly spiral out of control.
As in the era of World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45), all the imperialist powers are participating in the drive for a new “re-division” of the world. Germany is again rearming and expanding its military operations. The Japanese ruling class is determined to throw off the restraints on military operations imposed after its defeat in World War II. The danger of a third imperialist world war, fought with nuclear weapons, is greater than at any time since 1945.
The leaders of world imperialism admit that they are engaged in a ruthless struggle for global power with potentially catastrophic consequences.
In an interview with the newspaper Handelsblatt, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier acknowledged that world geopolitical relations are highly volatile. The “old order has not yet been replaced by a new one,” Steinmeier said. “This struggle for influence and hegemony is not taking place in a peaceful seminar environment, but is exploding violently.”
The disputes over political, territorial, financial and commercial interests, embedded in the capitalist system and its nation-state political framework, are leading to world war. Even if they hope to prevent a descent into a nuclear Armageddon, the imperialist governments cannot control the consequences of their own recklessness, let alone override the logic of imperialism.
The leaders of world imperialism are formulating their war strategies behind the backs of the people. They do not want their military plans and timetables disrupted by public debate and mass protests.
In the United States, the capitalist parties and media are keeping the issue of war out of the 2016 campaign debates. The Democratic Party is preparing to nominate Hillary Clinton, an exponent of “regime-change” wars and a mouthpiece for the most ruthless elements in the CIA and Pentagon. As for the Republican Party contenders, they joke about the use of nuclear weapons as if they were toys. It is in the hands of such war-mongering sadists that the American weapons of planetary destruction will be placed after the November elections.
Among the masses of working people and youth in every country there is deep and untapped hostility to war, connected to growing anger over inequality, the attacks on democratic rights and the relentless assault on the interests of the working class.
The anger and opposition of billions of people around the world requires a new strategy. The ICFI insists that the fight against war must mobilize the international working class on the basis of an anti-capitalist and socialist program.
The purpose of the International Online May Day rally is to develop, encourage and inspire a movement of the international working class to stop the on-going wars and prevent their escalation into a catastrophe that threatens the future of human civilization.
We call on all readers of the WSWS to join the May Day Online Rally!
Register today! Tell your friends and co-workers. Promote the rally on Facebook and other social media. Help make this year’s rally a powerful expression of international working class solidarity against imperialist war!
For more information and to register, visit internationalmayday.org.