Yugoslavia :

Manifesto against the war!

* * *

Two years of uninterrupted massacres in Yugoslavia show us the reality of this war: This is reality, this is what we submit to day after day, this is what we suffer in our flesh and blood, this is our misery!

This reality, with the cynical unfolding of bombings, massacres and persecutions shows evidently that this war is against the proletariat, against its interests and against its struggle. This war is a new episode in the already endless list of attacks by the worldwide capitalist State against the proletariat. This nth war is nothing but a genuine product of the capitalist world of exploitation.

And besides this reality which is impossible to ignore, there is also the discourse, the bullshit, the spectacle. Because each time capitalism openly shows its true nature, like today in former Yugoslavia, all the predominant myths have a single common denominator - the claim that capitalist horror is ccaused by phenomena allegedly external to the development of this society. The aim is to conceal reality, to keep the real game hidden so as to subjugate proletarians even more and to make them accept the unceasing sacrifices that this society feeds on. The aim is to hide the fact that capitalist society means nothing but war, famine and misery. This is why politicos and other journalists blame "incompetent leaders" or "dictators", "lack of development", "religious" or "ethnic" causes, "lack of democracy"... as we already said: bullshit, spectacle.

One of the real reasons for the launching of war in Yugoslavia is the need for the State to beat the proletariat, to subjugate it, to scatter it and to defeat its struggles. During the five years that preceded the outbreak of war, our class brothers and sisters in Yugoslavia, through their struggles, opposed a fierce resistance to the anti-worker measures that the State took in the face of the crisis that violently shakes capitalist society, here as everywhere else.

In the international context of crisis, the exacerbation of antagonisms between capitalist sharks becomes inevitable, and the worsening of inter-imperialist tension, the multiplication of centres of war as the "natural" ground where these antagonisms explode into the open - independently of the will of the various bourgeois factions - makes up our daily reality. War is going on here and now, and not only elsewhere or later on. Each capitalist faction permanently prepares for war, makes war. For instance by imposing social peace "at home" and by constantly introducing new attacks (redundancies, cuts in wages and benefits, speed-ups, discipline...) against our conditions of life and struggle.

This war in Yugoslavia is another step towards more generalised war through the "acceptance" (an "acceptance" that is being imposed by terror and permanent blackmail!) by all of war as the "natural" perspective for society in crisis. Here we refer to the proletarians in Europe and elsewhere who passively watch the progression of these massacres on their television screens. Since the crisis is "natural", so unemployment, misery, all kind of sacrifices also become "natural". You no longer protest, you start to accept ("things could be worse"!), you sacrifice yourself. And with this same logic, you will soon be ready to leave for the front!

This is not surprising since the majority of proletarians today, especially in Europe, remain prisoners of patriotism and other bourgeois ideological frameworks, prisoners of "pacifism", "anti-imperialism" or still "anti-fascism". This is not surprising either when we can see that the international proletariat today is not capable of affirming its revolutionary nature with its own communist project.

As long as we remain passive consumers and spectators of our own miserable lives, as long as we remain "useful idiots", everything can happen to us. We shouldn't be surprised then if tomorrow these good citizens start to kill each other for any reason you care to name! Neighbour against neighbour, workmate against workmate, proletarian against proletarian.

oOo

If we've emphasised here the tragic aspects of war in former Yugoslavia, it is not to weep over this situation, nor to try to move anybody about these sufferings or to rouse any indignation! Against humanism, against hypocritical lamentations, we want to shout that any opposition, any struggle against capitalist war can only become real on the condition of waging it here and now, starting from now, and not "later on, if..."; at the same time, it can only become real if we attack all bourgeois factions (and denounce all their ideologies!) and not such or such bourgeois politics in particular, pretending it to be worse than the others.

We are against all sides, against the Croat, Serb, Bosnian, Slovenian, Kosovar, against the "international community" (which is only another word for the gang of terrorist States that put us down and exploit us day after day!), French, American, Russian, German, Italian, British, Egyptian, Iranian,... whatever! We have no homeland! To be a patriot means to be a murderer!

And first of all we attack the bourgeois faction that directly faces us because in the struggle against "our own bourgeoisie", we practically assert our internationalism, the identity of interest and of struggle that we have in common with proletarians in Yugoslavia and elsewhere. Our internationalism does not mean "to do something for proletarians elsewhere", but it means to be part of the same struggle, to assert here as everywhere the community of interests and of struggle that we share with our class brothers and sisters everywhere. Revolutionary defeatism = to struggle for the defeat of "one's own bourgeoisie"!

The importance of this last point becomes even more clear when we notice the practical connivance (notwithstanding of course their speeches full of good intentions) between all the various factions of the worldwide capitalist State. Their various policies objectively end up in the generalised massacres of our fellow proletarians.

The role of the imperialist powers is clear, they are directly involved in the war in Yugoslavia: all bourgeois factions work perfectly together for the continuation of the massacres. Besides the role they played in the launching of the conflict by sanctioning the breaking up of Yugoslavia's national unity through their recognition of the independence of Slovenia and Croatia; besides the huge profits that they make, just like in any war, by selling arms; besides the usefulness of this war as a field for large-scale experiments: besides the hypocritical international blockade that above all cements national unity around the clique of governing bastards in Serbia itself; besides the very useful propaganda that this war allows them to make "at home", in defence of "the values of the free world", against "human madness",... we do not forget that these States also intervene directly (they massacre!), through the actions of NATO and the UN, under the hypocritical pretext of peace-keeping operations. If you want to make war, talk of peace! Like during the Gulf war!

We do not fight for "peace", we are not pacifists! Capitalist war and peace cannot be separated, and our struggle is antagonistic to both! In this anaesthetized society, the height of radicalism today is to "call for" the intervention of the UN to restore peace. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Down with the UN, down with the "angel-faced" killers! They are not neutral, they are our enemies and they deserve to be treated as such!

The humanitarian campaigns are nothing but a means of blackmail to reinforce the control over proletarians; moreover, it is in the name of peace, in the name of the peace agreements, in the name of the UN, that today proletarians in Bosnia-Hercegovina are forced to hand over their arms and to wait passively, like beasts, the hour of death when they'll be sent of to the abattoirs of the battlefields.

The peace treaties are nothing else but the sanctioning by the "international community" of what is going on on the battle fields. And what is going on, is nothing but deportations, malnutrition and famine, epidemics, systematic rapes,... in short, the eruption of State terror, and the UN is completely bound up with this, exactly as are the NGOs (as the president of Médecins Sans Frontières declared recently, when he admitted that the activities of his organisation made the campaigns of "ethnic cleansing" easier.) The NGOs are just puppets of the generals.

Communist action against capitalist war and peace !

The State represses all those who oppose sacrifices, social peace and respect for national interests... i.e. the rebels, the insubordinate and the agitators. And this is exactly what is happening, on a large scale, in former Yugoslavia, in all its ex-republics: the open and direct repression of all refractory elements. The state of war, the military polarisation of society allow for the suppression, with complete impunity, of all those who do not subscribe to patriotic and ideological values... that are being branded by both sides. Troublemakers are simply eliminated by the State.

The State always persecutes social agitators, all those who're opposed to it, to it's social peace and it's patriotic duty. It knows that it's domination of society is precarious since it bases itself essentially on the capacity to divide proletarians, to keep them locked up within bourgeois polarisations (this shows the importance of ideological mystifications), and to repress without mercy any manifestation of struggle against exploitation and against the State. Control of the State over society is not without its problems. In Belgrade for instance, in March '91, a demo organised by the "legal opposition" deviated from its initial objectives into classist clashes with the forces of order. About 100,000 proletarians, screaming "Milosevic = Saddam: send them to the desert!" headed for the city centre. A fraction of them, the most militant, attacked stores and banks, burning the "Serbian" and "Yugoslavian" national flags. The army had to intervene. It took them four days to re-establish law and order, to put down the proletarian defeatist actions.

We're not powerless: we are rich in the historical experience of our class, we reappropriate the collective memory of our struggles; this provides us with the classist framework for our own activities and saves us having to reproduce the same mistakes again and again. We also know that our struggle carries real perspectives, from life itself. Looking ahead, we want to destroy non-life, our misery, exploitation! This gives us our audacity!

Without having any illusions, given our scattered and isolated state, given the dominant atmosphere of sectarianism and suspicion towards all attempts to organise militancy and towards all attempts to bring to life a centralised direction in revolutionary activity, we can only aim at taking on the minimum level of the perspectives of struggle (denunciation of all nationalists, of the UN and all imperialist powers, circulation of information, direct support to all internationalist comrades, clarification and assumption of the aims and means of communist struggle...). We aim to achieve this in common with other comrades who act on the basis of internationalist communist activity against capitalist war and peace.

The writing and circulation, in different languages, of this manifesto allows us to centralise our activities, to get in touch with other revolutionaries, to strengthen the camp of those who defend with us the same internationalist perspectives, to express the needs of all proletarians who revolt against war and misery, and to reinforce, by the clarity of our perspectives for struggle and through our determination, the impact of our refusal.

To be a patriot is to be a murderer !

Down with all States !

For the worldwide communist revolution !

* Paris, September 1993 *

Internationalist Communist Group (ICG)

BP 54 - Saint-Gilles (BRU) 3 - 1060 Brussels - Belgium - icgcikg@yahoo.com