I note with interest:
Respect is asking voters to use the European and GLA elections on June 10 as a referendum on the war and occupation with Iraq. A vote for Respect will be a clear vote against the war and occupation.
So, lets be clear, will every vote that does not go to Respect (or the Greens, lest we forget) will be a vote in support of the war? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I doubt the Respect crew will stop saying a majority are against the war even if they get the sort of pitiful vote most fringe candidates obtain.
As I've said before, many times, though, the Stop the War crowd are not in fact about stopping the war. They want it waging, except they are riding the side of the "Resistance" (password 'Pie and Peas'). They support the effort to bomb and maim the Yanks out of Iraq.
I don't, I want to Stop the War, full stop. up to, and including, a peace under American occupation. I do this because I understand that chaos and mayhem weaken the working class, lead to misery and thousands of deaths well beyond thos immediately obliterated by violence, and ultimately bring a self-fulfilling cycle of pain and destruction.
So, the question becomes, my dear reader - am I actually a pacifist?
Ultra-left communists, obviously, are not pacifists, they believe in the class war, in the battle between classes which to abdicate is to allow the ongoing horrors of capitalism to continue to be inflicted upon the working class.
The Socialist Party, is not a pacifist organisation. It is committed to using the capture of political power, including control of the armed forces ensuing therefrom, to end capitalism. Yet, it also opposes all capitalist wars, as a waste of working class blood in disputes which are not of fundamental concern to them.
But, am I a pacifist? Well, I cannot say that, like a true Christian, I would believe it right to allow oneself to die rather than fight back. Indeed, I cannot rule out killing another human being as a legitimate action in situations of personal defence.
If I do not reject utterly the occaisional necessity of violence, I cannot be a pacifist. Surely? Perhaps, but I would strongly, though, reject organised violence. That qualitative shift that goes from personal self defence, spur of the moment driven by absolute necessity of living, and the instigation of pre-meditated murder and systematic violence. David Rodin, in his book War and Self Defense, succesfully, IMNSHO, breaks the link between self-defence and the modern theory of Just War.
I'd go further, War has a Darwinian logic, recognised by Clausewitz that once begun all sacrifices are rendered null if you are unprepared to make the sacrifices (up to and including of principles) required for victory. Further, that the social systems, types of organisation, men and women who prosper, in war are driven by that evolutionary logic to behaviours and structures which are inimicable to Socialism - inimicable to democracy, discussion, patience and understanding.
Socialism requires that we resist war, as such, even at other costs to nation or even democracy, rather than face the certainty ruin and reaction which war breeds. that is my view, and that is why I feel that I must call myself a pacifist, because I cannot think of supporting even a war for socialism.
I continue to support the socialist party, because I believe it provides the only possibility of bringing about socialism by peaceful means.
Peacefully if we may, peacefully because we must.