May Day 2022: Oppose Imperialist Militarism

Today is May 1, 2022 — May Day.

It’s workers’ day, working people’s day, working people’s international solidarity day. All divisive, sectarian, supremacist ideology and politics is opposed by the working people all around the world. On this day, this position is reiterated by the working people.

Today, this task – oppose divisive, sectarian, supremacist politics – is much urgent, much immediate, as imperialism is making onslaught in many forms, in direct and indirect ways, in concealed methods and forms, in lands after lands. Imperialism is today pushing one part of the people to oppose other parts. Imperialism is carrying out its nefarious act with nice slogans telling about its freedom and its democracy, slogans that hide class struggle, the struggle between the exploited and the exploiters. Imperialism is doing this dirty work by hiding the struggle between labor and capital.

But, the working people can’t be hoodwinked, can’t be confused, can’t be made pawn to capital; the working people can’t be pulled to the camp of capital; and today, imperialism, as the highest form, the most dangerous form of capital, can’t be ally of the working classes in no country. With long experience, expertise, enormous resources, command over natural and social sciences and over technology, owning the most powerful political-military-diplomatic-propaganda machine, having worldwide networks in many forms, imperialism today stands as the most dangerous class-force against all the peoples, all the working people of the world.

Today’s May Day, therefore, is the day to raise this slogan: Down with imperialism, oppose imperialism, oppose imperialist political-geopolitical-war machinations and acts, its war plans and wars in all forms: direct invasion and aggression, proxy war, subversion, psychological-ideological-political acts.

Opposing imperialism by the working class is an imperative, as this is the leading and most powerful class-force (i) defending the exploitative world order, and the exploitative political-economic systems in countries, (ii) subjugating and destructing life and ecological systems on the entire planet, (iii) backing exploiting-reactionary classes all over the world, (iv) expropriating all resources-all the commons that peoples own in continents and oceans, (v) waging wars in many forms, wasting resources by waging imperialist wars while peoples in lands pass deprived life, and pay for imperialism’s wars. Imperialism is the leading and guiding global political force opposing the working classes, and subjugating and slaughtering the working classes in different forms including the wars imperialism organizes in lands. Imperialism is the leading and guiding political force that organizes, backs and carries on conspiracies, provocations and activities against all political struggles the working peoples in lands organize for emancipation.

So, on this May Day, one of the slogans is: Down with imperialism, oppose all imperialist wars and machinations.

Today, with the background of imperialist war in Ukraine, war-residues and encumbrances over Europe and countries across oceans, with possibilities of expanding of fire-spewing war to countries in Europe, even spreading to some other continents, opposing imperialism, opposing imperialist war-armaments activities is one of the immediate and urgent tasks of the working people all over the world, as a dark cloud of continents-wide imperialist war is spreading its wings. The war-cloud is getting dense and darker, as imperialists are making full-throttled war preparation, which began much earlier than the Russian forces stepped into Ukraine, as imperialist legislative documents show.

Already peoples in countries have begun making payment for the on-going imperialist war in Ukraine. Now, the people of Europe are making the most of this payment. The war-payment by peoples is widening gradually. Imperialism is socializing the war-cost – putting the burden of war on entire societies. Report by The New York Times “Governments tighten grip on global food stocks, sending prices higher” (April 30, 2022), and the World Bank’s April Commodity Markets Outlook report are only two among a number of international reports on the issue released over the last few weeks that tell the looming precarious situation. The WB warns: Global energy prices are projected to rise dramatically, culminating in the biggest price jump in commodities in nearly half a century. Global energy prices that already have seen a dramatic surge due to the pandemic lockdowns in China and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, are expected to surge by 50.5% in 2022. Indermit Gill, the WB’s Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, said in a statement accompanying the report: “This amounts to the largest commodity shock we’ve experienced since the 1970s. As was the case then, the shock is being aggravated by a surge in restrictions in trade of food, fuel and fertilizers. A recent estimate by the Food and Agricultural Organization has found: The Ukraine crisis would push up to 12 million people into hunger worldwideThis is in part because, as the FAO estimates, one?third of Ukraine’s crops and agricultural land may not be harvested or cultivated this year, which will lead to a loss of one fifth of Ukraine’s wheat supply. Future harvests are in jeopardy also, as next season’s crop is unlikely to be planted amidst war-conditions. Simultaneously, sanctions on Russia, the world’s largest producer of wheat, have further reduced global supplies.

The question is: Who has imposed this war in Ukraine? Who has organized this war? Who is fuelling this war by supplying arms to the Ukraine proxy soldiers? Who is organizing trainings in other countries for the Ukraine foot soldiers? Since when was this war organized? No plan for such a war can be organized overnight.

On the opposite, the war industry is making profit. Armaments of billions of dollars have already been spent, and billions of dollars are in the pipeline. The war is now a daily business of the imperialist powers. The Frontier (Kolkata, India) comment “Arms Merchants’ Boon Day” is a small part of the full info on arms business backed by the Ukraine War: “Arms merchants are super-happy with a boon day while a NATO proxy – the ruling regime in Kiev – is playing a bloody game of war in Ukraine.” Lockheed Martin’s stock prices surged 25% since beginning of 2022, and Raytheon’s 17%. Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive of Italian defence group Leonardo, said in March its free cash flow would be more than double this year compared with 2021. Profumo expects NATO countries to ramp up military spending to reach 2% of GDP over time. This means increased profit.

Sanctions, now being used without precedent in the world history, by the imperialist camp are taking its toll from the peoples in countries the warring imperialist capitals control. It’s the people that will pay most, pay first in this sanction-war, which is itself a nullifying act of the market mechanism that the dominating capitals propagate, utter as its hymn.

The on-going imperialist fire-spewing war in Europe is being expanded gradually, and it’s apprehended that it’ll be expanded – geographically, and in terms of intensity, which means a more bloody war, a more destructive war, which is people are going to pay with more blood and life, livelihood. The New York Times report “Fears are mounting that Ukraine War will spill across borders” (April 28, 2022) is not a single report expressing this hunch of spill over of the war. A few more analyses having similar dread are there also. The NYT report said: “Now, the fear in Washington and European capitals is that the conflict may soon escalate into a wider war — spreading to neighboring states, to cyberspace and to NATO countries suddenly facing a Russian cutoff of gas. Over the long term, such an expansion could evolve into a more direct conflict between Washington and Moscow reminiscent of the Cold War, as each seeks to sap the other’s power.”

In ultimate analysis, it’s the working classes, it’s the labor that makes the payment, as only labor produces surplus value, and that value is appropriated first from labor.

Here, today, on this May Day, the working people’s slogan is: No to imperialist war; oppose all war activities, oppose all war allocations, oppose all sanctions, oppose all propaganda war.

Imperialism’s war venture is pushing behind the working peoples’ fundamental questions of wage, democratic rights, access to info., participation in all areas of planning and decision-making. There are attempts to organize imperialist war-jingoism.

The questions of wage, democratic rights, access to info., participation in all areas of planning and decision-making are political questions; and political questions are to be resolved with political struggles, not with adventurism, anarchism and terrorism. It shouldn’t be forgotten that adventurism, anarchism and terrorism are ultimately capitals’ ally, serve capital, serve powers of exploiting class dominance. Today’s May Day reminds the working classes to organize these political struggles for rights and wages.

This May Day reminds not to forget class struggle. The working classes have to intensify class struggle, and sharpen tools of class struggle, wherever possible – organize strikes, stoppages, mobilizations, publicity and press, discussions. Intensifying class struggle with the gathering cloud of continents-wide imperialist war in the background is a difficult and complex task; but, there’s no scope to forget and ignore this task; there’s no scope to ignore the dominating warring classes cheating and blooding peoples in countries.

Immortal martyrs of May, martyrs from the ranks of the working classes, martyrs from the people’s camp remain alive forever with these struggles against capital, against imperialist capital, against exploitation.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh. One of Farooque’s recent books is The Great October Revolution (Dhaka, 2022). Read other articles by Farooque.