thoughts on the antiwar rallies

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Feb 17 19:36:16 MST 2003


Greg wrote:
> Part of the massive turnout and shift in consciousness, I believe, is due
> to the attacks on the living standards of the working class in the
> advanced industrial countries of Europe and North America.
>
> The connections might not have been fully made but the worsening of
> conditions has certainly been felt.


This is a vital point.

Back during the Vietnam War the working class in most of the imperialist
countries had just experienced a couple of decades of the postwar boom.
Vietnam could seem a kind of aberration and many ordinary workers could
think that times were pretty good.

This war, and the ones likely to follow, take place after a couple of
decades of economic stagnation in most of the imperialist world and
falling workers' living standards.  Making the links between imperialist
war and the wider capitalist socio-economic system is likely to find a
more receptive audience in the working class now than in the late
60s/early 70s.

We also now have a large section of the working class - basically most
workers under 40 - who  in their working lives have experienced little
but take-backs, the vulnerability of their jobs, wages and conditions
and so on.  Marxist arguments should be more convincing to more people.

Providing we go out and make them, and don't just get caught up
*exclusively* being the 'best builders' of peace marches.

Philip Ferguson

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