The Politics of War

Countries with a social structure which is traditionally leftist, i.e. distributive of wealth to a wide band of society, tend to opt for peace while those with a rightist social policy, namely the control of wealth through monopoly by pressure groups or restricted lobbies are traditionally more belligerent. This situation is carbon-copied today in the international community.

This has nothing to do with party politics, being instead connected with trends at a supra-national level. Regarding the map, we can see the main defenders of an unadulterated, liberal, monetarist policy (the USA, UK, Spain and Italy) being the main power blocks favouring a war and the countries with a traditionally collective social policy (Russia, China, Germany with its strong “Sozial” regime and France, with its state-interventionist policies) being against military conflict.

At the party politics level, the leftist parties defend peace, the rightist ones clamour for war, while the centre-left or right parties are caught in the middle, being split between their left and right wings. The Labour Party in the United Kingdom is a good example, Old Labour voting against a war against Iraq, and New Labour (Tony’s Cronies) being in favour.

The pattern is repeated throughout Europe, from France to Finland, from Poland to Portugal, where the right-wing government – PSD (Social Democrats)/PP (Conservatives) – has openly supported the aggressive stance adopted by the USA, the Prime Minister José Barroso rushing to sign a letter together with the UK, Denmark, France, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to this end, without even consulting his President or Parliament, while the real left – PCP (Communists), BE (Left Block) and PEV (Greens) pronounce themselves clearly against a war and the PS (Socialists) are caught in the middle, the members of this party trying to decide which side of the fence they stand on. The result is, as with all the centre-left parties in Europe, that the party is split down the middle.

This being the case, the European Socialist parties are these days socialist only in their name. They are a comfortable alternative to the extreme right-wing parties which manage to be elected from time to time when the marketing policy is right or in times of economic desperation, when the call to monopolise wealth in the hands of the few is appealing to the many who fear for their future.

It is in times of war that this trend comes to the fore on an international scale. The defenders of the political right, who wish to keep the reigns of power and wealth in the hands of a restricted group naturally favour a situation in which their power base (the steel lobbies, the energy lobbies and the weapons lobbies) can gain the wealth they need to keep the show on the road.

The wealth created by a war is too attractive to be ignored by such groups. However, the political left envisages war as a block to social mobility because the parties which belong in reality, and not only in name, to this area, base their values on concepts of discussion and not arbitrary decision, diplomacy and not hegemony, culture and friendship and not a culture of guns and bullying.

For this reason, it surprises nobody that the main defendants of war are the Bush administration (rightist to the point of Fascism), Italy (where Berlusconi’s administration is an open coalition which includes fascist parties), Spain (where Aznar’s PP is reminiscent of Franco’s regime), Portugal (whose Prime Minister Jose Barroso studied his post-graduation course in the USA) and the UK, where Prime Minister Blair has clearly demonstrated that his party is socialist with a small S.

Those who truly defend a New World Order, based upon the principles of equality and fraternity, namely the rest of the international community and the vast majority of the citizens of the world, are against the notion of war because this does nothing to further the notion that Mankind achieved anything by crossing the threshold of the twenty-first century.