Li Fu-jen

Conference at San Francisco Will Not
Ensure Future Peace for the People

(5 May 1945)

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 18, 5 May 1945, pp. 1 & 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

At the San Francisco conference of the “United Nations” which opened last week with pious speeches on the need for world peace, the statesmen of the imperialist powers, together with the representatives of the Kremlin, are carrying a stage further their plans for division of the world and domination of its peoples., San Francisco continues the work begun last year at the Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods conferences.

With unbounded hypocrisy and cynicism, scribblers of every political hue are busy “selling” the conference to the war-weary peoples as a bright hope of future peace. Neither the delegates nor the reporters believe this.

Reporter Jonathan Stout, writing in the April 28 Social-Democratic New Leader, stated that:

“... on three occasions within the first two days after we arrived, I heard with amazement delegates make the most optimistic statements about the future of the conference, and then, in private, and off the record, have had them tell me that they were hoping against hope the conference would not lay an egg.”

Stout then told this revealing story:

“A writer of a nationally- known syndicated column was more plain-spoken. He said he had not yet seen anything to lighten, but a great deal to deepen, his pessimism as to any really effective postwar peace organization, ‘Is’ that the story you’ve written?’ I asked. ‘Oh no,’ he replied, ‘I don’t dare write that story.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Because,’ he answered, ‘the people don’t want to hear that story. The people so desperately want to hear that the San Francisco conference has succeeded that I cannot tell them how badly things have begun.’”

Aim to Deceive

The columnist would have been accurate had he stated that he was writing as he did BECAUSE THE IMPERIALIST MANAGERS OF THE CONFERENCE WANT TO DECEIVE THE PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THAT THEY ARE REALLY WORKING FOR PEACE AND THAT PEACE IS POSSIBLE UNDER CAPITALISM. Also, that he was writing as he did because the big- business controlled press, which deceives the people day in and day out, demands it.

The world security organization which is expected to result from the San Francisco conference can be nothing more than a revamped League of Nations. The Dumbarton Oaks proposals which the conference is expected to adopt envisage the creation, not of an organization to preserve peace, but of a political instrument of the Big Powers. Its purpose, like that of the League of Nations, will be to confirm the victorious powers in the spoils of war and to impose “peace by force” (Roosevelt’s formula) on the rest of the world.

The unspoken slogan of the statesmen dominating the San Francisco conference is not “Peace on Earth!” but “Woe to the Conquered!” They are bent on dismembering Germany, destroying its economic life, enslaving its people. They intend to Balkanize Europe and fasten the chains of servitude on the teeming multitudes of Asia. They plan to wage bloody war on any people who like the Greeks rise against capitalist oppression and exploitation.

As two terrible world wars have by now amply demonstrated, peace is impossible in a world of imperialist rivalries. At best, it is an uneasy interlude between wars, an interlude marked by a series of little wars.

League of Nations

The League of Nations did everything but preserve peace. During the 21 [1] years between the close of World War I and the outbreak of World War II, more than a dozen wars were fought. In each instance the imperialist powers were the prime movers. The Turko-Greek war was instigated by Britain after the close of World War I, to further British policy in the Near East. The “peace-loving” British imperialists meanwhile warred on the people of Iraq and the tribes of India’s northwest frontier.

More wars followed in quick succession. Britain, France and the United States carried on undeclared war against the Bolshevik regime in Russia. France and Spain fought the Riffs in North Africa. Japan invaded Manchuria. The Italian imperialists conquered Abyssinia. Japan moved into China.

This was the “peace” that existed between the two world wars. Political muddleheads are fond of referring to the “failure” of the League of Nations to prevent or stop wars. They imply that there was some flaw in the League organization. These muddle- heads deceive the people. They seek to create the impression that the League was created to preserve peace. In reality it was merely an instrument of the Big Powers, intended to serve their predatory interests. It served these interests and was discarded when its usefulness was outlived. Lenin called the League the “Thieves’ Kitchen.”

Another “Thieves’ Kitchen” is now being constructed at San Francisco by the cynical imperialists and their Moscow ally. It will differ but slightly, and mainly in its external features, from the League. It is to be called the “United Nations.” Its executive body will be a “Security Council.” It will revive the useless International Court of Justice and an Economic and Social Council will replace the impotent International Labor Office of the League.

“Peace by Force”

The one really new feature of this revamped edition of the League is the proposed Military Staff Committee which is to be the instrument for imposing “peace by force.” It will consist of the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent dominating members of the Security Council, namely, U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, China and (“in due course”) France.

Against whom is “peace by force” to be directed? Germany and Japan will be unable to make war. Is it not clear that the Security Council will loose the horrors of war against small nations, against subjected colonial peoples who dare to challenge the oppression of the big imperialist powers? And who will restrain the Big Powers if they decide to make war on each other?

The hollowness of the whole arrangement as an instrument of peace can be seen in the proviso that the Security Council may take no action to restrain any state from warlike action where the matter at issue is a dispute “arising out of matters which by international law are solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the state concerned.”

Thus the British imperialists will be left free to bomb and blast the rebellious people of India, as they have done in the past. That’s Britain’s domestic concern. International “law” says so. The American imperialists will be equally free to make war on the people of Puerto Rico or the Philippines if they dare to rise up to gain their independence.

At Yalta, the Big Three agreed to amend the Dumbarton Oaks plan so as to make any effective action by the Security Council impossible without the unanimous consent of the Big Powers who are to dominate the Council. Thus any power may veto action – even where it is the plain aggressor. The United States could make war on China, for example, and then block by its own veto any action by the Security Council.

Such is the real character of this proposed “peace” organization!

The most fruitful source of future great wars is the growing rivalries and antagonism of the Big Powers, obvious! even now, and the united hatred of the capitalist states for the Soviet Union. No “peace” organization the imperialist statesmen and their Moscow accomplice can devise will be able to prevent the growth of these rivalries and antagonisms, and their ultimate explosion in war. Mankind can end the ever-present threat to peace only by abolishing the capitalist system that breeds war. There is no other way.

* * *

Note by MIA

1. In the printed version “31 years”.

Last updated on 7 November 2018