October 2, 2020 | 4 minutes read

No Cold War!

We do not believe that the US – nor the other imperialists – can be convinced to “Step Back” as the No Cold War letter calls for. Imperialist war is an economic imperative, and only the revolutionary struggle can put a stop to it.

No Cold War!

Red Fightback has signed the No Cold War statement, as an expression of our internationalist & anti-imperialist solidarity. We have a few criticisms of the statement itself, but the principles behind it we uphold resolutely. The statement is reproduced here for reference, and our dissent is stated below. We offer these critiques not to divide the opposition to the “New Cold War against China”, but in the interests of a greater unity on the other side of our disagreement.

A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity

We note the increasingly aggressive statements and actions being taken by the US government in regard to China. These constitute a threat to world peace and are an obstacle to humanity successfully dealing with extremely serious common issues which confront it such as climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development.
We therefore believe that any New Cold War would run entirely counter to the interests of humanity. Instead we stand in favour of maximum global cooperation in order to tackle the enormous challenges we face as a species.
We therefore call upon the US to step back from this threat of a Cold War and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in including: withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement; withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accords; and its increasing disengagement from UN bodies. The US should also stop pressuring other countries to adopt such dangerous positions.
We support China and the US basing their relations on mutual dialogue and centring on the common issues which unite humanity.

Critique

This statement is idealistic in many regards. Red Fightback recognises the present geopolitical situation as a deadly return to the era of capitalist breakdown and inter-imperialist competition that caused the World Wars. The collective imperialism of the USA, Europe and Japan, under the leadership of the USA, which has characterised the “post-War” period of Neocolonialism and Globalisation, no longer yields sufficient profit to maintain its own stability, and the imperialists are once again at each others’ throats. The US seeks to retain the global dollar empire while marginalising, excluding and ultimately subjugating the EU, Britain and Japan to it. The other imperialists desire this empire for themselves.

The prior “Cold War” was in reality a war of aggression against the Soviet bloc — a manifestation of capitalist counterrevolution on a world scale — complemented by devastating and genocidal “Hot Wars” on peoples’ movements, national liberation struggles and revolutions throughout the countries of the peripheries. At the time of the last “Cold War”, the world was divided into three camps – the Soviet bloc, the imperialists, and the countries of the peripheries whose class & national interests aligned with the Soviets & anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle, but whose economies (& comparador bourgeoisies) remained aligned with and subjugated to the imperialists. This was a bipolar world, with the Cold War an explicit consequence of the irreconcilable contradictions between Communism/Anti-Imperialism and Capitalism/Imperialism. This is not the world we inhabit today. We are living in the era of multipolarity, a complex web of interdependencies between economies with variously antagonistic, non-antagonistic or unified interests on all sides. The reinvigoration of inter-imperialist competition, which was not present during the last “Cold War”, makes the present juncture far more dangerous.

This is not simply a united global Capitalism against an isolated Communism. We can see this at work in the war on Iran – with the US’ unilateral violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“Iran Deal”), reapplication of sanctions, assassinations and seizure of oil tankers. This is directly against the imperialist interests of the EU, who had built up a sizeable economic relationship with Iran following the JCPOA. Indeed, this is not a new division, though it continues to escalate to new heights – we mustn’t forget that in the year prior to the Iraq war, Saddam Hussein had begun selling Iraq’s oil in Euros in place of Dollars. Nor can we ignore the fact that, on its first day of trading - 4th January 1999, the Euro was worth US$1.18. The NATO bombing campaign on Yugoslavia – Operation Allied Force – took place from March to June. A single Euro would be worth less than US$0.99 by the end of January 2000 – the benefits of switching away from the Dollar wiped out. The EU imperialists, whose profits are significantly bolstered by the penetration by German, British & French capital into what was once the Eastern Bloc, and the exploitation of migrant labourers, were greatly disadvantaged by the military destruction of the industries and populations that they had planned to accumulate.

The Atlantic rift, with the EU, Britain and the US positioning to benefit from each others’ downfall, means the War on China is also a war between imperialists for who gets the spoils. The US’ strategy of attempting to defeat China in order to maintain global hegemony is pushing the EU increasingly into a deeper economic entanglement with China which is by all analyses predatory.  We therefore feel the framing of this as a “New Cold War” is overly simplistic, to the point of being misleading.

The crisis in imperialism has been further exacerbated by the failure of the strategy adopted by NATO and the US, devised by Henry Kissinger, against China. The strategy of economic partnership intent on liberalising and ultimately overthrowing the Communist Party of China, bringing about a total restoration of Capitalism and the consequent looting and ravaging of China’s assets and peoples as was done to the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, has resolutely failed. This strategy was a “Cold War” strategy, and what we believe we are presently witnessing is the culmination of the Cold War on China, and the transformation of this strategy into what can only become a War of Annihilation.

We do not believe that the US – nor the other imperialists – can be convinced to “Step Back” as the No Cold War letter calls for. Imperialist war is an economic imperative, and only the revolutionary overthrow of the imperialists can put a stop to it. The reason that “Stop the War Coalition” has never Stopped a War since its founding is because it fails to grasp that imperialist war is unavoidable so long as the opposition is limited to a struggle within the bounds set by capitalism. We support any and all opposition to imperialist militarism – hence our signature of this letter – but Red Fightback will never deviate from our founding principle: the absolute necessity of revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle.