WHAT IS WAR?
Fighting between considerable bodies of armed men (not necessarily between states: it may be, for example, between tribes).
2. WHAT IS CIVIL WAR?
War within the same state.
3. WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS WAR OF PACIFISTS AND THAT OF MARXIST-LENINISTS?
Firstly, pacifists condemn all wars.
Marxist-Leninists are fully conscious of the human suffering caused by war, strive to prevent the outbreak of a Third World War, and work to establish a social system which will make war impossible. Nevertheless, they distinguish between 'just' wars (which they support) and 'unjust' wars (which they oppose).
"Socialists cannot, without ceasing
to be Socialists, be opposed to all wars".
(V. I. Lenin: 'Pacifism and the Workers', in: 'War and the Workers'; London; 1940; p. 29).
"An oppressed class which does
not strive to learn to use arms, to acquire arms, deserves to be treated
like slaves. . . . What will proletarian women do . . .? Only curse all
war and everything military, only demand disarmament? The women of an oppressed
class that is really revolutionary will never consent to play such a shameful
role. They will say to their sons: 'You will soon be a man. You will be
given a gun. Take it and learn to use it. The proletarians need this
knowledge, not to shoot your brothers, the workers of other countries .
. ., but to fight poverty and war, not by means of good intentions, but
by vanquishing the bourgeoisie and disarming it".
(V. I. Lenin: 'Pacifism and the Workers', in: 'War and the Workers'; London; 1940; p. 34-35).
5. ON WHAT BASIS DO MARXIST-LENINISTS
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN JUST AND UNJUST WARS?
By analysing the effect which the victory of each belligerent in a war would have on the development of society. If its victory would exert a progressive influence upon the development of society, that belligerent is fighting a just war. If its victory would exert a reactionary influence upon the development of society, that belligerent is fighting an unjust war. Since the dominant feature of the contemporary world is imperialism, monopoly capitalism, a non-imperialist state of any kind which is involved in war with an imperialist state is fighting a just war, since its war effort weakens world imperialism, while the imperialist belligerent state is fighting an unjust war, since its war effort strengthens world imperialism. A war may be just on one side and unjust on the other, or it may be unjust on both sides.
6. WHAT IS AN IMPERIALIST WAR?
A war between rival imperialist powers (or blocs includng imperialist powers) for the redivision of the world.
7. WHAT IS THE CHARACTER OF AN
Since the victory of either side would merely strengthen one imperialist group at the expense of another, and would not weaken world imperialism as a whole, it is unjust on both sides.
8. WHAT IS A WAR OF NATIONAL
The war of an oppressed nation to secure its freedom from the domination of an oppressing nation (today almost always an imperialist power).
9. WHAT IS THE CHARACTER OF A
WAR OF NATIONAL LIBERATION?
Since imperialism is the principal oppressing force in the contemporary world, the victory of the oppressed nation would weaken world imperialism, while the victory of the oppressing nation would strengthen world imperialism. A war of national liberation is, therefore, just on the part of the oppressed nation, unjust on the part of the oppressing nation.
10. WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE FIRST WORLD WAR OF 1914-18?
It was an imperialist war, unjust on both sides.
11. WERE THERE, NEVERTHELESS,
JUST, PROGRESSIVE ELEMENTS WITHIN THE FIRST WORLD WAR?
Yes. If it were possible to consider it in isolation from the imperialist war as a whole, the war of Serbia against Austria- Hungary could be regarded as a just war of liberation. But this just element was completely overshadowed because it lay within the framework of the unjust imperialist war.
12. WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE WAR OF INTERVENTION AGAINST SOVIET RUSSIA OF 1918-22?
It was an attempt by a number of imperialist powers to overthrow the rule of the working class in Soviet Russia, and so was a just war on the part of Soviet Russia and an unjust war on the part of the intervening imperialist states.
13. WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR OF 1931-39?
Since China was a semi-feudal, non-imperialist state, while Japan was an imperialist state, it was a just war on the part of China and an unjust war on the part of Japan.
14. WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE SECOND WORLD WAR UP TO JUNE 1941?
It was, like the First World War, an imperialist war between two groups of imperialist powers for the redivision of the world. The fact that the German imperalists ruled through a fascist dictatorship, while the British imperialists ruled through 'parliamentary democracy', was quite irrelevant to the basic character of the war as an imperialist war, unjust on both sides.
15. WERE THERE, NEVERTHELESS,
JUST, PROGRESSIVE ELEMENTS WITHIN THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE PERIOD PRIOR
TO JUNE 1941?
Yes. Poland was a capitalist state, but not an imperialist state. So, if Poland's war against Germany could be considered in isolation from the war as a whole, it could be considered as a just war. Furthermore, the resistance movements of the peoples of the countries occupied by German and Italian imperialism (if they could be considered in isolation from the war as a whole) could also be regarded as just wars. But, as in the First World War, these just, progressive elements were overshadowed because they lay within the framework of the unjust imperialist war.
16. WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE SECOND WORLD WAR AFTER JUNE 1941?
Following the German attack on the Soviet Union -- then a socialist state -- in June 1941, the Soviet war against Germany (if it could be considered in isolation) would be considered a just war on the part of the Soviet Union and an unjust war on the part of German imperialism This just, progressive element combined with the other just, progressive elements listed in the answer to Question 15, overshadow the unjust, imperialist elements which still remained. Thus, from June 1941, the fundamental character of the Second World War changed and it became, overall, a just war on the part of the United Nations and an unjust war on the part the Axis Powers.
17. WAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF
THE MIDDLE EAST WAR OF 1967?
Israel is a state set up the imperialist powers in the Middle East, armed and dominated by United States imperialism. It is an arm of US imperialism in the Middle East. The Arab states are not imperialist states and most of them were not, in 1967, arms of imperialism. Consequently, the war was a just war on the part of the Arab states and an unjust war on the part of Israel.
18. DOES THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE
OF IMPERIALISM MAKE WAR INEVITABLE?
Capitalist (including imperialist) economies develop at uneven rates. Consequently, a division of the world which reflects the economic needs of imperialist powers for markets, sources of raw materials, etc., at one period ceases to reflect these economic needs at a later period, Thus, the economic needs of some ('have-not') imperialist powers force them to try to seize markets, sources of war materials, etc., from the 'have' imperialist powers. Imperialist wars to redivide the world are periodically inevitable. Only by the destruction of imperialism can wars cease to be inevitable.
19. WHAT IS THE STRATEGY OF MARXIST-LENINISTS
WHOSE COUNTRY IS INVOLVED IN AN UNJUST WAR?
To strive to transform the unjust war into a civil war for the overthrow of 'their' imperialists.
20. DOES NOT SUCH A STRATEGY
AID THE ENEMY?
Yes. But military defeats for 'one's own' imperialists weaken them and so assist in their revolutionary overthrow. And Marxist-Leninists 'on the other side' are simultaneously striving for military defeats for 'their' imperialists, In Lenin's words:
22. WHAT IS SOCIAL-CHAUVINISM?
Lenin coined a number of political terms based on the name adopted by many 'socialist' parties at the beginning of the 20th century -- 'Social-democratic'. Thus Lenin nicknamed a self- styled 'socialist' who was in reality a chauvinist, a 'social- chauvinist'.
23. WHAT IS GUERILLA WARFARE?
A type of warfare appropriate for weaker, more poorly armed forces when facing a more powerful enemy. It consists of harassing and weakening the enemy forces by surprise 'hit and run' attacks by small units, which, as far as possible, avoid direct confrontation with those forces. Guerilla warfare is the typical type of warfare carried on by an army of national liberation in the first phase of a war of national liberation. The strategy is to build up one's forces by such guerilla warfare until they are strong enough to go over to regular warfare and achieve victory.
24. DESPITE INITIAL SUPERIOITY IN ARMS, AN IMPERIALIST COUNTRY INVOLVED IN A WAR OF NATIONAL LIBERATION FACES GRAVE DISADVANTAGES. WHAT ARE THESE?
1) Lenin: "Socialism & War":
"A collection of V. I. Lenin's three articles on war and peace;Ö "The War
Programme of the Proletarian Revolution" from V. I. Lenin, Selected Works,
English edition, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. I, Part 2; and "Bourgeois Pacifism
and Socialist Pacifism" from V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Lawrence and
Wishart, London, 1936, Vol. V."; OR Find
2) V. I. Lenin: "Appeal to the
Soldiers of All the Belligerent Countries"; May 4, 1917; Collected
Works, Moscow, 1964; Vol. 24, pp. 186-88. OR:
3) V. I. Lenin: "British Pacifism
And the Dislike of Theory"; 1915; Collected Works, Moscow, 1964; Vol. 21,
pp. 260-65. OR:
4) V. I. Lenin: "Bourgeois Pacifism
& Socialist Pacifism": "Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, London,
1936, Vol. V." OR
5) V.I.Lenin: "Draft Resolution of the Left Wing at Zimmerwald"; Collected Works, Moscow, 1964; Vol. 21, pp. 345-48.
On inevitability of War in
6) V. Stalin: "Economic Problems Of Socialism In The U.S.S.R." ; Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1972.
On Stalinís Assessment of the inevitable and coming Second World War:
7) V. Stalin: Report To The Eighteenth Congress Of The C.P.S.U.(B.) On The Work Of The Central Committee 1939": "Works"; Volume 14; London 1978; Red Star Press; especially section 1: "The Soviet Union & International Affairs"; pp355-372. OR: http://gate.cruzio.com/~marx2mao/Stalin/REC39.html
8) A Good compilation if it can
be obtained, is contained in:
Dona Torr: "Marxism, Nationality & War"; in 2 volumes covering 1848-1922; London Lawrence & Wishart; 1940.