Gaza and the War Addiction of the Imperialist Class

We are in a pivotal moment in the global anti-war movement. Not since the Iraq war and the start of the so-called “global war on terror” have we seen so many people actively engaged in direct action, political education, boycotts and sustained protest. 

Rarely, if ever, has the racism and brutality of the imperialist core been so exposed. The US and EU stand with Israel while they openly call for, plan, and execute ethnic cleansing and genocide. They talk about “European values” and Israel being a like-minded partner, while they slaughter tens of thousands of civilians, over a third of them children. The US and central NATO powers talk about urging Israel to reduce civilian casualties while they funnel endless boat- and plane-loads of arms and bombs into the carnage. 

The West has performed a calculation in which the entire mass of Palestinian life has no value. In fact that’s not accurate, the calculation is that a displaced, dismembered or dead Palestinian is worth more to capitalism than a healthy one in their own home. While the whole world is in the streets screaming that the genocide must stop, the imperialists are adding up how much profit can be made from selling the bomb that murders the Palestinian and destroys their home. How much will be the return on the investment in developing and exploiting the expropriated land where the Palestinian once lived. How can they repeat this ethno-genocide more efficiently and more profitably again in the future. 

This is how global capitalism was built. Repeated genocides, theft, and exploitation. This is what built our infrastructure, our industries, in the West. The quality of life of an average European stands in direct relation to the low life expectancy of a citizen of the global South. The “garden” that High Representative Josep Borrell likes to talk about is nothing more than the amassed evidence of a monumental crime – the genocidal pillage and plunder of what he likes to call “the jungle”. 

There is a genocide unfolding right before our eyes in Gaza and the leaders of the so-called “rules-based international order” tell us that it isn’t happening, that Israel has a right to defend itself from Palestinian women and children, and that they don’t care what the International Court of Justice thinks. In Ukraine, half a million working class men and women will likely have been fed into that meat grinder of a war that Western leaders promise is a battle for freedom and democracy by the conflict’s end. These very same leaders are facilitating the genocide in Gaza and are not even bothering to come up with a political narrative: it’s simply a case of “they attacked us; exterminate them all”. 

There is a moment, a window of clarity opening up before us. The empire has no clothes and the world can see them for the greedy and bloodthirsty monsters they are. It is our job in the anti-war movement to take this moment and make sure that people stay engaged and tuned in to the reality of the capitalist system. Ukraine and Gaza, the sanctions on Iran and Syria, the renewed attacks on Yemen – these are all part of the same project: the advancement of Western imperialism and the imperialist class’ war addiction. Access to cheap resources, cheap nature, and cheap lives for US-centred global capital. And we need to be clear about this: if the left is putting forward arguments favourable to US strategic interests, about  
“intra-imperialist” conflict for example, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot before we get to the fight. Know your enemy, and know yourself. 

We know that things cannot return to normal after this. If and when the Israelis and their backers stop this assault on Gaza, we cannot sit back and say job done. The reality is that the war planners and the arms industry have never been so busy. Global defence spending hit a record $2.2tn in 2023, and they are gearing up to set another record in 2024. We must step up education, action, and solidarity, to fight back against the advance of militarism and this world-ending death cult called capitalism.