Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I went home up north for a while, and so have been afk.

I missed the big demo on Saturday, I was busy meeting up with a mate I'd not seen for a while. Anyway, whilst I would agree it is futile for a socialist in London who is a member of a tiny party without parliamentary or council representation of any stripe to actually make comments on the war in Israel/Palestine (there is a comment on the Party's blog here), I do think there is something needful to be done. That is, to counter the support from equally impotent, but still vocal supporters of the war in this country and many similar. By whom, chiefly, I mean the "No justice, no peace" crowd - glibly chanting away and pushing others to their death from the comfort of their armchairs.

But first, back to class. The is a, if you will, hard edged class-centric way of posing the matter. The strength of the working class comes not simply through raw numbers, and certainly not through military might. Our strength is creative, we make, maintain and remake the world around us - and will use that ability to build socialism. The more of us there are to do the building, the lighter the work and the greater our strength to get our way.

War runs contrary to all of that. It destroys our work and our ability to work. It destroys the fruits of our labour. It destroys us. By disrupting daily life, causing unemployment, by cutting back democracy, by taking our time, energy, inclinations and thought processes and turning them towards destruction rather than creation, war, warfare and militarism undermine our consciousness as a class and our existence as a class.

It promotes plebian rather than proletarian politics - so much of Gaza is now unemployed that there is no working class strength left, only numbers, only the bitter will to fight and be killed. Hamas and Israel both as provocateurs and agents have brought this about to suit their own ends. Israelis are being pulled from their work to serve as reservists, while the national economy is put through more strain and its coffers are drained by dropping $BigNumber bombs.

The war undermines the working class in Gaza and in Israel. The immediate object must be peace: for its own sake, whatever political settlement is required. Those who take sides, or call for the victory of one side or another, and who give succor, encouragement and the prospect of international intervention on one side or another, are directly attacking the workers of Israel and Palestine.

Within our means, within our limited capacity, we can influence at least that much - take the argument on, and maybe stop the ludicrous corpse counting, hand wringing and its concommitant macho bullshitter rrrrevolutionary violence posturing. Getting the international strength of the workers behind a peace first is incredibly difficult, but expressed in terms of solidarity with the workers of both those states it would do more good than the endless tit-for-tat game of siding with the ruling class of either state.

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