• 22 jun 2022

    The war in Ukraine and the famine

The war in Ukraine and the famine

The working class has its combat program, it must be implemented!

Masses 666 – editorial, June 12th, 2022

Imperialism’s spokesmen say that the “war is pushing the world towards widespread hunger and solving this issue is everyone’s obligation.” In reality, there is no such thing as “everyone’s obligation”. The bourgeoisie is the class responsible for the war and its consequences. And, for that very reason, there is no way to solve the aforementioned “food catastrophe”.

Capitalism has reached a point of development of the world’s productive forces that has made it capable of solving misery and hunger. However, the opposite occurs. Instead of moving towards overcoming them, it aggravates them. This contradiction highlights the structural character of misery and hunger in capitalism.

According to information, 1.6 billion people in the world do not eat enough. And, of this gigantic contingent, approximately 440 million starve.

The explanation given by analysts about the worsening  of the masses existence conditions in recent years boils down to the health catastrophe of Covid-19 and, now, to the war in Ukraine. In an article devoted to this issue, The Economist magazine concluded that “Putin should not use food as a weapon.”

It is noted that the series of data exposed by the writer is essentially aimed at supporting the United States and its European allies. But, if we analyze the process that led the Russian government to intervene militarily in Ukraine, it will be seen that the responsibility lies with imperialism, which had previously been using NATO to surround the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and then Russia.

Evidently, the war has had an impact on the price of fuel and food, therefore, on the lives of the oppressed majority. In the case of fuels, the terrifying effects of economic sanctions dictated by the United States to Russia are more than visible. As for the price of food, Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of grain and fertilizer. The blockade of the port of Odessa and the mines scattered in the waters of the Black Sea undoubtedly reduce Ukrainian exports. But part of the price increase had already been happening since the Pandemic. War only appears as a powerful aggravating factor.

Food insufficiency and hunger, which affect millions, have always accompanied capitalism. The Economist itself states that, before reaching 1.6 billion hungry, the contingent totaled 440 million. The leap is noticeable, but it only reflects the worsening of structural hunger, originated from the economic and social contradictions of capitalism.

Events such as Covid, war, drought, etc. expose the structural character of misery and hunger, since it highlights the state of barbarism that seemed natural. The jump from 440 million to 1.6 billion, in a short time, is an indicator that the contradictions of decaying capitalism tend to sacrifice the world masses, on a large scale and at an uncontrollable pace; and that the bourgeoisie cannot protect the exploited in the face of constant catastrophes.

Only the working class and other workers can take into their own hands the defense of their existence and that of all humanity. The organizational regression suffered by the proletariat around the world – caused by its ideological and political disarm, mainly after the Second World War, and, more recently, since the crisis of the 1970s, which culminated in the collapse of the USSR in 1991 – has its present in the form of a crisis of revolutionary leadership in the current conditions of social barbarism impulse.

The exploited have no other way than to resort to class struggle. Its program of demands against capitalist exploitation, poverty, misery and hunger, elaborated long ago by its Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard, remains in force. It is about applying it in the struggle against capitalist barbarism. As for the war, there will be no progressive solution, depending on imperialism and the policy of national oppression, exercised by the Russian restorationist government and oligarchy.

The world’s powerful productive forces can and must be put at the service of eliminating misery and hunger. For this, they have to be made compatible with the end of capitalist private property, and the construction of social ownership of the means of production and distribution.

The deep setbacks suffered by the revolutionary movement did not and do not nullify the objective conditions of the need to resume the path of proletarian revolutions. Confronting the plague of hunger, however, requires the reconstruction of Leninist parties. It demands the reconstruction of the World Party of the Socialist Revolution, the Fourth International.