In war you respect the enemy

The first rule of peace:
Respect your enemies

An essay to the American anti-war movement

Midnight Notes, P.O.Box 204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, USA [Original English version]


The passions which can make people inclined to peace among themselves are fear in general, and especially fear of violent death; furthermore the desire for the things necessary for a happy life and finally the hope of actually obtaining them through effort.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) [Ger. Reclam, p. 118]

1. Introduction

In the United States, the anti-intervention and war movement has fledged and will have a lot to do in the near future. The most pressing issue for them is the current threat of war against Iraq. The question is: can the antiwar movement do its job effectively and successfully?

The vote in Congress shows that it is not completely sidelined at the moment. Between a quarter and a third of the congressmen voted on October 9th against a "war power" for George W. Bush. However, in order to be able to express a majority position in this country [the USA], the anti-war movement needs new arguments, new respect (in the sense of "taking another look") for its opponents, a deeper understanding of why they are acting this way, as well as a realistic assessment of their weaknesses. The anti-war movement's old arguments do not seem to convince the majority of US citizens, and their lack of curiosity about opponents and their mindset tarnishes their sense of strategy.

2. Blunt arguments

As the Iraq war was being prepared, the antiwar movement put forward a number of arguments in support of its opposition to the position of the Bush administration. Here are the two most important ones: first, an invasion of Iraq will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians (in addition to the hundreds of thousands killed, directly or indirectly, by the sanctions in the past decade), and that is immoral. Second, such an invasion (even with the approval of the UN) violates the important principle of national sovereignty and threatens the world to revert to a Hobbesian "state of nature" in which nations wage war against other nations on the grounds that they please not how the others treated their people. But none of these arguments has really been convincing so far. Why not?

The first argument is correct. It is true that under the conditions of today's warfare, a US attack on Iraq would result in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians - especially given the way the US military wages war to avoid its own deaths from enemy fire comes. It is also true that these deaths are immoral, as it is a war crime for a government to intentionally kill civilians.

But correct arguments are not necessarily victorious arguments, even if logicians tell us otherwise. Fully sensible people can agree that it is immoral to kill innocent Iraqi civilians. Or you may conclude that it is even more immoral for Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party to stay in power, as it could possibly claim even more Iraqi and non-Iraqi deaths (including US civilians). At the moment, it looks like in the minds of many moral and reasonable (and also immoral and unreasonable) people in the United States, the last argument stands out from the first.

Arguing with "national sovereignty" also poses problems. It is true that national sovereignty is an important political asset, especially since decolonization. Governments of Third World countries have rightly invoked this principle. They wanted to criticize old and new colonial powers, who always like to interfere in their internal affairs and try to bring about "regime change" for the benefit of the imperialists. It is very likely that many people in the anti-war movement have already taken part in protests against interventions by the USA, England or France in the Third World and are open to this argument.

But the same people are also staunch defenders of human rights, which contradicts an absolute principle of "national sovereignty." In general, antiwar activists do not believe that governments that violate the human rights of their people or prepare to threaten the human rights of people outside their territory should enjoy sovereignty. So any use of this argument tends to split the movement within. We saw that in the NATO-Kosovo war and the US war in Afghanistan. For example, defending the Taliban's national sovereignty was certainly not easy to swallow for feminists in the antiwar movement. So this argument is even weaker than the first because it doesn't convince people outside the movement and it divides the movement from within.

So this means that we need to find new arguments that both punctuate the arguments of our opponents and do not divide the movement from within. But why has the anti-war movement remained so inadequate in its argumentation? In our view, this is because the antiwar movement has no respect for its opponents in the Bush administration and does not yet fully understand the basic logic that the government is forced to follow in its actions. She only sees a president who doesn't know the grammar, a secretive vice-president, a defense minister who behaves like Dr. Strangelove [1], and a Lady Macbeth brand national security advisor. And from that she draws the conclusion that these are just lackeys of a right-wing conspiracy lubricated by the oil industry. The biggest mistake in any fight, however, is not taking your opponents seriously. This wisdom is especially true when the other side is winning!

3. Oil, war and neoliberalism

Communism is said to have collapsed in 1989, but many object that the post-World War II political economy - Keynesianism - collapsed a decade before 1989 and was replaced by what was first called Thatcherism, or Reaganism, and later then neoliberalism and / or globalization. This system claimed that the basic institution of modern society should be the market, not the state, and that the best form of all social relations is the form of commodities. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist bloc, this conception of social life experienced a great propaganda triumph. More importantly, it set in motion a remarkable shift (under the name of structural adjustment programs) in the economic policies of most Third World countries, opening them up to foreign investment, tariff cuts, and the free movement of money across their borders. Finally, it undermined the guarantees of survival (old-age insurance, unemployment benefits, health care, free education, etc.) that the working class in Western Europe and North America had won in a century of struggle. (Midnight Notes 1992, note in the draft. see especially »The new enclosures«)

The early 1990s were a remarkable period of triumph for neoliberalism and globalization. Economic policy on the planet had never before been so uniform, and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) were given the financial and legal power to give the governments of the planet to comply with the rules of the neoliberal world economy to force.

Until July 1997, the supporters of this political economy seemed invincible. Then the "Asian Crisis" struck. Since then there has been a breathtaking U-turn. Neoliberalism was challenged in even less time than it took for its triumphs. We don't need to go into detail here about the recent bubble burst, recessions, financial system collapses, dramatic devaluations, and fiasco. They represent an international crisis of neoliberalism and globalization - and not only because the globalization boom of the 1990s came to an end in a very short time in the "loss" of trillions of dollars.

At first, these phenomena of the crisis indicated a serious ideological defeat. Because exactly at the time of this collapse an international anti-globalization movement took to the streets in the big cities of the planet to challenge the institutions of the neoliberal order (Yuen et al., 2001). This opposition movement, which arose in the period after the Cold War, expressed - especially after the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle in 1999 - a powerful criticism of the system, the truth of which literally materialized before the eyes of the world at the moment it was spoken.

In addition, the fraudulent nature of neoliberal capitalism was revealed in the so-called scandals involving Enron, Arthur Anderson, Tyco, WorldCom, etc., and thus showed that the corporate masters, the "masters of the world", understood the neoliberal gospel of deregulation as a license had to defraud their workers and, far more worrying to the system, their investors.

Equally problematic was the fact that in the 1990s this neoliberal regime was unable to raise the wages and incomes of a crucial section of the US proletariat and the "middle classes" in the Third World. Neoliberalism is often referred to as a one-fifth society: one only has to dramatically increase the incomes of at least one fifth of the population of a country or the world, then one can force the remaining four fifths to participate. What is true of this cynical wisdom remains to be seen. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it became more and more apparent that neoliberalism could not even do that.

It is true that the twenty-year trend of falling wages was reversed in the USA in 1997, and average wages even rose slightly in the following two years. It was the first time since the 1960s that wages rose for several years in a row (Caffentzis 2001 ## link). But in 2000 that growth stalled and wages have stagnated ever since. A similar problem emerged in Africa, Latin America and, after 1997, much of Asia (with the exception of China): the "middle classes" were decimated. This failure of neoliberalism was particularly evident in the freezing of bank accounts in Argentina, which reversed the income gains of one fifth of the local society and made these people sworn enemies of neoliberalism.

When a system goes into crisis, the strategists of the ruling classes often have something else up their sleeves. But not always. In the case of neoliberalism / globalization, there is, at least for now, no alternative system that they can pull up their sleeves. The system must be preserved, otherwise ...

Bush's 2000 election coup made it clear that there were very powerful forces in the world (from the US Supreme Court to key corporate executives) willing to accept an illegitimate government at the heart of the system, if only the group to put Bush in a position to deal with the crisis.

At this point the antiwar movement should pause for a moment. The Bush administration does not come to power in times when business is normal, but in the midst of a systemic crisis that goes far beyond an economic dent.

The Bush administration's answer to the crisis of liberalism is simple: war. In the eighties and nineties, a sophisticated control of trade, capital transfers and the flow of money was established. What was not established, however, was an institution of violence to enforce the rules of neoliberalism. The UN was not a suitable instrument for this task, as the main players (the permanent members of the Security Council) were not a united group of states capable, let alone willing, to enforce the rules of neoliberalism. And no international force of armed men and women with a worldwide monopoly of violence appeared on the horizon of history. Efforts like that of Clinton and Gore to create such a force - one that the US government could control behind the scenes of formal equality of nations involved - were out of the question for the most powerful faction of the US ruling class. The suspicion of these Clinton attempts formed the backdrop for the extraordinary hatred expressed in the 1998 impeachment proceedings and the 2000 election coup. It was feared that the Clinton people could actually, at least on a formal level, give up the imperial role of the USA in the 21st century with the stroke of a pen.

Bush administration supporters often described this role by analogy with the role of the British Empire in the 19th century world system. The then international gold standard and free trade (then called economic liberalism) required the hegemony of a state that ensured that the rules of the system were followed. That state was Great Britain. A central ideological problem of both the old and the new liberalism is its self-portrayal as an autonomous, self-regulating system, which it is not. He needs someone to enforce order. Because individuals and governments, especially when they are in crisis or are among the constant losers, are tempted to break the rules. The only state that, according to this logic, could play the role of the British Empire in the 21st century is the United States. (A detailed description of this argument can be found at Ferguson, 2001; a discussion of the military aspects of the US role in this scenario Armstrong, 2002.)

Of course, history is overdetermined (i.e., most events in history have a multitude of causes) and "it is no accident" that Iraq has become the first major test case for this policy. After all, Iraq is a member of OPEC and has the second largest confirmed oil reserves in the world. His fate is therefore of vital interest to everyone involved in the oil business. The Bush family, Vice President Cheney, and National Security Advisor Rice all had and still have very close ties to oil. They are familiar with the problems of the oil industry and understand that the oil companies would like the world to be the way it was before the oil fields were nationalized around the world in the early 1970s. A quick "regime change" in Iraq and the subsequent privatization of the oil fields imposed by the USA would certainly help to turn the clock back to before 1970 - and not just in Iraq. [Note: see »The recolonization of the oil fields«]

Increasing the oil companies' direct profits is important, but it is not the main reason that makes Iraq the primary object of the Bush administration's new policy. Petroleum and natural gas are goods that are fundamental to the functioning of global industry, from plastics to chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers to fuel for automobiles and power plants. Whoever controls this commodity, its price and the profits it generates, has a great influence on the entire capitalist system. However, oil is a special commodity. It is exempt from the rules of neoliberalism. The WTO rules do not apply to oil. And OPEC, a self-proclaimed, if not entirely successful, oligopoly, is tolerated at a time when the "free market" is supposed to determine the prices of all goods, especially basic ones. How can it be that OPEC today controls around 80 percent of the "confirmed oil reserves" and thus violates the higher rules of the neoliberal game? No wonder neoliberalism is in crisis.

This unique peculiarity of OPEC is reinforced by the special character of its main political figures (alongside the Iraqi Ba'ath regime): in Iran, the desperate Islamic clergy; in Saudi Arabia a ruling class that is split into a globalization and an Islamic faction; in Venezuela, the Chavez populist government; in Ecuador, a government nearly captured by indigenous rebellion; in Libya Ghaddafi (do you have to say more?); in Algeria a government that was just able to suppress an Islamist revolution; and in Nigeria and Indonesia "democratic" governments with questionable legitimacy that could collapse at any moment. From the point of view of thousands of capitalists who give a huge share of "their" added value to the OPEC governments through their purchases of oil and gas, this list represents a "gallery of rogue states". With this composition, OPEC is hardly an institution for supply a neoliberal world with energy.

OPEC was not always a political or economic problem, however. In the 1960s and early 1970s, OPEC was a relatively docile organization, and nationalizations and monopoly prices were still acceptable elements of accepted Keynesian politics. Iran was under the rule of the Shah, the Ba'athists had just lost their Nasserist zeal, Ghaddafi was still at the beginning of his career, Venezuela was a tame neo-colony, Indonesia was ruled by the communist killer Suharto, Nigeria was under the control of General Gowan, and the Islamic fundamentalism of the Saudi monarchy was seen as an old-fashioned facade behind which billions of "petrodollars" could flow back into the US and European economies (Midnight Notes 1992).

But that was then, and now is today. In the view of the Bush administration, OPEC must either be destroyed or transformed so that the foundations of a neoliberal world can be laid that would be able to overcome the crisis and actually control the planet's energy sources. The Bush administration is putting all possible pressure on OPEC members. In Venezuela, there was a US-backed coup in April 2002 against the Chavez government, the leading hawk of OPEC pricing policy. He failed. In August 2002 it was Saudi Arabia's turn. The RAND Corporation issued a report that the Saudi monarchy is the "real enemy" in the Middle East and should be threatened with invasion if it does not stop supporting anti-American and anti-Israeli groups. However, as its war plans unfolded, the Bush administration withdrew this verbal threat.

Iraq is certainly the weak link in OPEC. He lost two wars that he started himself. From a legal point of view, he is subject to a strict regime of reparations payments, he does not control his airspace and cannot even import freely, but has to have UN officials approve every single item that he wants to buy on the free market. He is ideologically and economically on the ground.

An Iraqi government sponsored by the US and committed to neoliberalism would certainly be in a position to undermine OPEC from within or, after its exit, from outside. Such a transformation would enable massive investments in the energy sector as an alternative to the spectacular failure of the high-tech sector, which has blown hundreds of billions of dollars. In an attempt to restore profitability, the more "traditional" oil-related sectors will be given priority over the uncertain computer and biotechnology sectors today.

There is another reason Iraq has the dubious honor of being the first test case for US hegemony: weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein's regime has always been keen to invest in industrial development, which in the past has also been used to develop chemical and biological weapons. These weapons were used extensively in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The Bush administration has established a doctrine about Iraq that, if generalized, would look something like this:

  1. Almost every technologically advanced production process can be used to manufacture "weapons of mass destruction."
  2. Any such production process that is not directly controlled by a multinational corporation (MNC) headquartered in the USA (or Japan or Western Europe) can be used by a government to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.
  3. No government that is not on a US government-approved list must have the capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

Therefore, outside of this list, there must be no government, democratically elected or not, whose advanced technology is not controlled by an acceptable MNC.

The bottom line is that the US government has taken on the role of forever monitoring and vetoing all forms of industrial development around the world. Autonomous industrial development on the part of any government without control by an accepted MNC is not envisaged. Thus this "war on terrorism" doctrine becomes the basis for the military control of the economic development policy of every government on the planet.

Such a doctrine naturally has enormous consequences, even if it initially only affects the regime of Saddam Hussein (and any successors). Because even if Saddam Hussein could remove any doubts that there are currently no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Iraq, that would still not satisfy the Bush doctrine. The very existence of industrial capacity in Iraq that is not owned and controlled by MNC and that could be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction violates this doctrine.

This doctrine shows that the struggle now unfolding over Iraq is not just about oil. Rather, it is about the form of global industrial development over the next few decades. The combination of restoring oil-based accumulation with the enforcement of the Bush Doctrine of Global Industrial Development ensures that our "bacon-gasoline-commuter" way of life in the US (and increasingly Western Europe) will lead to endless wars.

4. An anti-war strategy

Given the overdetermination of the current situation, an antiwar movement must seek arguments and allies that not only deal with Iraq, but direct its attention to the policies of the Bush administration as a whole. What are their weaknesses? They come on two levels: money and people, and both are related to the military.

There is no telling how many regions of the world will be driven into such a crisis in the next few years, into such a chronically bad and untenable situation that the people in these regions will be tempted to break the rules of the neoliberal game. The Bush administration was therefore careful to avoid creating the impression that the US was the military force to save neoliberalism at the last minute. Instead of locating the rule violators using the terms of neoliberal economy, they are presented as a threat to the security of US citizens. The US names its enemies using moral categories such as "evil", "degenerate" [rogue], "terrorist" and "failed".

According to the political criminology found in the speeches by Bush and his advisors, there are different types and categories of enemies. First there are the states of the "axis of evil" Iraq, Iran and North Korea as well as the "degenerate states" [commonly translated as "rogue states"; in »rogue«, however, the degeneracy, failure or even loneliness resonates, which especially in D. after 1945 and 1989 gives us extra pause for thought; d.Ü.] like Cuba, Libya and earlier Sudan. The category of "failed" states with Sierra Leone and Somalia is very open, as much depends on how you define "failed". For example, is Haiti or Argentina now a "failed state"? Finally, there are the unspecified "forty or fifty states" that (more or less actively) give shelter to international terrorists. This definition of the enemy in the endless war against "terrorism" and states with a potential to manufacture weapons of mass destruction is open and can encompass over a third of the nation states on this planet.

With communism it was relatively clear what constituted the enemy. They were states ruled by a Communist Party and you could calculate the financial needs in the event of a conflict. While the Bush administration's project outlined above requires a significant increase in military investment, the imponderables of the neoliberal order make it impossible to predict how large that increase will be.

At the moment, the 2003 budget has $ 372 billion for the military. This means that the US has returned to the ten-year average of 370 billion in the Reagan-Bush era (1982-1991) in real terms (O'Hanlon, 2002: 2). But how high will the military budget for 2007 be? At the moment, 406 billion dollars are earmarked for this (in 2002 dollars) (O'Hanlon, 2002: 2). But how should we take seriously a five-year projection that depends on such vague variables as "failed states", "degenerate states" etc. - or, in our reading, on those states and peoples who, out of necessity or pleasure have broken the rules of the neoliberal order.

This uncertainty is a fundamental weakness of the Bush administration's policy. Without a doubt, there is a possibility that Iraq could be pillaged by capturing its oil fields and paying the cost of the adventure. Perhaps it was the possibility of such looting that convinced many people in the United States that invasion was acceptable. But in most future uses of the doctrine, such pillage will not be possible. As a result, the future of education, social security, health care, agriculture and ecology will be held hostage to the open-ended requirements of the supremacy role. Many will not want to participate.

The second weakness of the Bush administration's policy lies in the assumption that US soldiers will not suffer casualties in the coming wars of neoliberalism. This assumption is part of the social contract that underlies life in America today - if we wage war on foreign soil, you will not die there - and is often called "Vietnam Syndrome". It was one of the strangest US working class victories of the 20th century. Having over a quarter of a million soldiers deployed outside of U.S. territory after the end of the Cold War was only possible because the government kept its end of the treaty (O'Hanlon, 2002: 8). Since 1989, few US troops have been killed by enemy fire in Panama, during the Gulf War, in Somalia, Haiti, Kosovo and Afghanistan, because mostly only a few have been exposed to direct enemy fire.

Today we are obviously in a time similar to the time of imperialism and the struggle for Africa at the end of the 19th century, when European armies with machine guns, far-reaching artillery and gunboats could sail up the rivers, poorly armed peoples in Africa, Oceania and Asia attacked, slaughtered them and conquered their lands with almost no loss of their own. It was only after the Second World War that the colonized rebels were able to achieve a kind of technological and strategic "parity" with the colonial powers, as we can see from the two Vietnam wars for independence (first from the French, then from the USA). Today the US military is so technologically superior to its adversaries that it can conduct its activities without loss of enemy fire as long as it does not have to occupy a specific territory. But that is exactly what US forces will have to do to bring about the "regime changes" that US foreign policy requires. The example of the Palestinian revolt against the Israeli occupation should teach us that even the best-equipped armies in the world have to suffer regular casualties when they occupy a hostile population.

The fate of thousands of US Gulf War veterans chronically ill by their own army points to another aspect of war casualties: a military machine that does not take prisoners with the enemy inevitably causes deaths among its own soldiers. The reason for this is quite simple. In order to protect against an attack by the enemy, one can either anticipate it or react to it in an extremely short time. If you take them to the extreme, either option can lead to your own losses.

The actions that are necessary to prepare for future threats ultimately lead to a logic that accepts a small risk of own losses in order to be able to counter a blow from the enemy. But the anticipation of possible threats leads to the multiplication of anticipatory actions. As a result, the small, individual risks of anticipation will multiply until your own losses become a certainty. For example, vaccinations to protect against attacks with biological weapons lead to the death of soldiers, etc. Or if the time to react to a threat from the enemy must be reduced to a minimum, then the ability to establish the true identity or source of the perceived threat is reduced by the same amount. This inevitably leads to losses through "friendly fire". The military machine may become the greatest enemy of your own troops if the threats multiply and response times are further reduced.

The US's new supremacy in the war for neoliberalism and globalization will therefore call into question the assumption that US troops will remain without losses of their own. In order to be able to guarantee that the oil fields will be privatized and that a "regime change" will lead to the dissolution or conversion of OPEC, the US military must occupy Iraq for a long time. Moreover, under Powell's doctrine of overwhelming force, the action of a military machine can become the greatest enemy of its own troops. It is these factors, and not the invasion itself, that will result in major casualties among US soldiers and a violation of the social contract that provides for "no loss of one's own." The antiwar movement must clearly warn the US working class of this danger.

More worrying than this is the increasing violation of contractually guaranteed rights of workers, who will inevitably be the first victims of this militarization. This trend started in the Reagan era and intensified under the Clinton administration (Caffentzis, 2001). This trend is often referred to as a "crisis of civil liberties". But if we look at the rise in prison numbers, the attack on habeas corpus, the end of welfare and the draconian changes in immigration policy, we see that a new era of non-contract semi-slave labor was introduced in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend was strengthened by the Bush administration by attacking the contractually guaranteed rights of workers under the label "war on terrorism". The mass arrests after September 11th without charge, the denial of legal counsel or trial of "terrorist prisoners," the use of Taft-Hartley [Labor Relations Act of 1947, which allows the government, among other things, in the case of Labor disputes to impose an 80-day "cooling off" period] on the dockworkers on the west coast and much more show the direction the Bush administration is taking: the extreme restriction of contractual freedoms.

Inevitably, this restriction of rights will inevitably lead to an increase in sickness and death among US citizens. To compensate for the war costs and the tax cuts, everything from access to health care to occupational safety and environmental protection to intervention against environmental pollution will be reduced or even eliminated. Although the US media is already tamed, these facts are being reprinted with increasing regularity. The deaths that inevitably result from it should be counted as war losses.

We believe the antiwar movement should stress that the invasion of Iraq is part of a general strategy of endless war that is putting the lives, liberty and property of the US people at risk in order to secure an economic system that continues to deepen Will be in crisis.We think that if this political direction is taken, we can lay the foundations for a real change in the political debate and sentiment in this country. (And lest we misunderstand each other: the antiwar movement should always endeavor to make the US people aware that this endless war to preserve capitalism around the world will claim countless victims.)

5. Conclusion: don't worry!

The Bush administration's policies are not the product of madmen. Rather, it is a desperate attempt to use military means to save a world economic system that is doomed to failure. Many people in South and Central America, Africa and Asia no longer have any hope of finding a place for themselves in this system and are trying to create a livelihood for themselves outside the boundaries of neoliberalism. The same threatens to happen here in the US. It is this possibility, and not the machinations of al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein, that is giving the Bush administration sleepless nights.

And now it is time to learn from the wisdom of an enemy philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, the defender of the absolute state. In the opening quote, Hobbes locates the source of peace in three passions: fear, desire and hope. The Bush administration has used fear effectively to stifle any opposition. She rightly claims that the first human right is not to be killed. She called for a power of attorney to defend this right and bring peace to the world by the sword. Bush often referred to the ashes of the towers of the World Trade Center in order to gain "war power against Iraq" because that fear is real. However, it is no accident that the Bush administration spokesmen have forgotten the other passions that lead to peace - desire and hope.

They know that they cannot even rhetorically appeal to these passions without sparking laughter across the planet. That is how bankrupt their economic and social system is. And that is the Bush administration's greatest weakness: it cannot win on the basis of fear of death alone.

Because of this, our movement cannot engage with the Bush administration in such a way that it sets fear against fear, or even reinforces the fear that the government is betting on. We can't beat them in this game. Of course, it is our duty as citizens to criticize the mistakes and exaggerations of the bureaucracy that endanger people in the US or abroad, and, as far as we have useful evidence, past, present and future ties of the US government with al Qaeda and Saddam To reveal Hussein's regime. But as long as we fail to address the other passions for peace, we are as bankrupt as the Bush administration and its supporters.

Therefore, the antiwar movement should address the desires and hopes of the US population, from general health care to a healthy environment. In the same way, we also have to introduce the demands of the anti-globalization movement of the nineties into our demonstrations, forums and programs, and especially the wisdom of the slogan "This planet is not for sale", in other words: Stop privatizing the gifts of this planet and his story. We are happy to work out the details, at the moment it depends on the overall direction.

Finally, a historical example in support of our thesis: The most effective response to the threat of nuclear horror in the 1950s was not the anti-nuclear movement, but the black revolution in the United States and the global anti-colonial movement. Blacks in the US and colonized in the rest of the world made it clear that B52 bombers and hydrogen bombs did not help liberate them and that they did not feel like waiting. They declared that their liberation as citizens was a basic condition for "the desire for the things necessary for a happy life and, finally, the hope of actually obtaining them through effort." And only that could lead to peace. Indeed, the cause of most of the wars of the past twenty years is that these desires and hopes have been thwarted by the imposition of a neoliberal economic order.


Armstrong, David. 2002. Dick Cheney's Song of America. Harper's Magazine (October): 76-83.

Caffentzis, George. 2001. From Capitalist Crisis to Proletarian Slavery: An Introduction to the U.S. Class Struggle, 1973-1998. In (Midnight Notes 2001).

Ferguson, Niall. 2001. The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World 1700-2000. New York: Basic Books.

Midnight Notes. 1992. Midnight Oil: Work Energy War, 1973-1992. New York: Autonomodia. [The articles from Midnight Oil in TheKla 10 are in German Zerowork, TheKla 12 Work, entropy, apocalypse, TheKla 14 Oil change and TheKla 17 Midnight Oil. Work, energy, war published, most of them are still available. In the Wildcat archive: "The new enclosures" and "The recolonization of the oil fields"]

O'Hanlon, Michael E. 2002. Defense Policy Choices for the Bush Administration. Second edition. Washington, D.C .: Brookings Institution Press.

Yuen, Eddie, et al. 2001. The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization. New York: Soft Skull Press.


[1] Note: The protagonist in Stanley Kubrick's anti-war film «Dr. Strange, or How I Learned to Love the Bomb «.