Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Milt Rosen, President, Progressive Labor Party

The Peace Movement

First Published: Challenge, Vol. II, No. 5, August 10, 1965
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Many militants in the peace movement are beginning to ask, 𔄘what will it take to stop the U. S. government’s war in Vietnam?” A certain amount of frustration and discouragement is beginning to creep into the ranks of the radical wing of the peace movement. This can be expected, as growing action by these forces is met by rising war action from the Johnson gang.

The second heaviest bombing of north Vietnam took place the day after 25,000 people marched on Washington, demanding that the “U.S. get out of Vietnam.” Only eleven days after this magnificent protest, U. S. marines invaded the Dominican Republic. In the recent period thousands of students and others have participated in the dynamic teach-in movement across the country. This week Johnson ordered a doubling of draft quotas and of U.S. forces in Vietnam.

In order to come up with a meaningful approach ro this burning question, it is imperative that we have as clear a picture of the short-term and long-term goals of the U.S. ruling class. We must try to see what the U.S. rulers view as their stakes in the battle.

A short-term objective, of course, is to defeat the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF). This would enable them to hold south Vietnam, and maintain it as an area of exploitation. More important for this present period, it would give them a continued base of operation against all of the liberation movements in Southeast Asia, and against the Peoples Republic of China. In addition, U.S. aggression, if successful in Vietnam, would act (they hope), as a deterrent against revolutions in Africa and Latin America. Thus, the most immediate antagonism is with the liberation movements.

The sharpest action at the moment is in Southeast Asia. South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, are all countries where liberation movements have developed to various stages. The loss of these areas for strategic, military and economic exploitation would be a disaster for U.S. imperialism.

One factor enabling the people in these countries to fight for, and to win, freedom is the existence of the Peoples Republic of China. Six hundred and fifty million Chinese are the best friends Asian liberation movements have. Socialism in China is a powerful stimulus to all who fight for freedom. Socialism in China eliminates from imperialism a vast potential for political and economic subjugation.

China provides three key problems for U.S. imperialism: It prevents U.S. imperialism from exploiting 650,000,000 people. China is a bulwark against U.S. imperialist aggression and encroachment of several hundred million people in Asia. Finally, China represents an outstanding force for the ideological and political defeat of imperialism and its stooges on a global scale.

The longer range goal of the U.S. is to reimpose feudalism on the people of China. They hope tc accomplish this by ringing China with a series of hostile countries and then bring it down with a reign of atomic terror. They aim to do this by defeating- the liberation movements in surrounding countries, and maintaining or installing reactionary cliques, such as the Ky gang, in Saigon.

By dominating Asia, Africa and Latin America, they feel they will have the economic, political and military leverage to maintain dominance over European imperialists, and to complete ideological and political penetration of the communist movement in Europe. South Vietnam, is, then, an integral and pivotal point in U.S. imperialism’s plan to dominate the world. If they are defeated there, it will be an important setback. If they should win it will encourage them further in their policy of world-wide aggression and control.

In addition to their need for world domination, U.S. monopolists are caught in another basic dilemma. Only World War II, with its fantastic military build-up of men and machines, temporarily “solved” the economic crisis of the thirties. Mass unemployment and unused productive capacity was momentarily halted. After World War II, several serious repressions ensued, again resulting in permanent mass unemployment and unused plant facilities. Full-blown depressions were only averted by converting the economy into a prop of the military machine. The Korean War developed at a moment of sharp economic downturn–when it appeared that even the then swollen “cold-war” budget couldn’t prevent a sharp cyclical crisis.

Despite years of ever-increasing military expenditures to spur a sick economy, unemployment and economic stagnation were manifestations of an economic system no longer adequate to meet the conditions of the people. Recently, McChesney Martin, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank, indicated the false character of the stock market “prosperity,” and predicted cyclical crisis was inherent in the deteriorating economic situation. This was characterized by continued outpouring of gold-dollar crisis, fantastic credit buying, and enormous interest payments made necessary by the colossal national debt and other aspects of deficit financing.

The enlargement of the war not only satisfies the perspective of world domination, but may temporarily give another ersatz stimulus to the economy. It also temporarily relieves, somewhat, the staggering unemployment among the youth, by the simple device ot putting hundreds of thousands in the army, and, of course, killing thousands of them off. In the meantime grumbling workers will have a few more jobs based on death and destruction. This time it may be their own.

Obviously, the stakes are enormous, the profit motive fantastic U.S. rulers are preparing NOW for war with China. They are preparing for war in Asia that might last for years, and that will include atomic weapons. U.S. rulers are committed, are deadly serious, about their plans for world domination. This is quite similar to the path and policies pursued by the Third Reich. German imperialists also needed maximum profits necessary for expansion and survival in a world of increased capitalist competition and rapid breakaways from imperialism. German imperialism was crushed by the people of the world led by the Soviet Union.

Given this situation the peace movement must gird itself for a long arduous struggle–a battle against a powerful enemy who will increasingly resort to the same barbarism at home as it does in Vietnam in order to achieve its all-encompassing aims. All peace fighters must see the development of a powerful peace movement in a stage-by-stage development. This requires a perspective to see where it is today and where and how it’s going to go tomorrow. Equipped with a clear and fundamental approach it will be able to sustain its forces, and will grow in numbers, vigor, and understanding. It can develop forces which will go all the way–daring to fight and beat U.S. imperialism, together with people all over the world.