by Workers World Party, published on Workers World, January 10, 2023
Billionaire Warren Buffett admitted in a 2006 interview that he and his fellow billionaires waged class war against the workers. The U.S. federal government, representing the interests of the U.S.-based imperialist ruling class, makes it a global war against all workers and poor people and most nations.
The U.S. rockets sent to the Kiev regime in Ukraine and the scabs hired to work in place of striking New York City nurses are weapons in this global class war.
Atop the news is the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. To grasp the extent of the corporate media’s lies about Ukraine, you must review recent U.S. war history. Washington has aimed at reconquering the countries of the Global South that had achieved some sovereignty while the Soviet Union existed.
U.S. strategy led to:
Two wars on Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, with bombs and sanctions that destroyed the infrastructure and killed a million people, dislocated millions more, promoted ethnic and religious civil war and left behind a social and environmental nightmare. Over 500,000 of those who died were children.
Wars in 1995 and 1999 broke multinational Yugoslavia into seven ministates, most now colonies of the U.S. and NATO imperialists.
A 2001 occupation of Afghanistan lasted to 2021, killed tens of thousands of people, wrecked the country and destabilized Central Asia. In Afghanistan, the U.S. left hunger, disease and murderous sanctions.
A 2011 NATO war destroyed a stable, prosperous Libya, murdered its leader and split it in two, while destabilizing North Africa and the Sahel region and forcing millions to risk perilous flight to Europe. Every year thousands of refugees drown in the Mediterranean Sea.
Wars of subversion
The U.S. facilitated the Saudi monarchy’s murder and starvation of Yemenis, armed the Israeli occupation and criminal war against Palestine and encouraged wars to divide Sudan and Ethiopia and rob resources across Africa. And used economic sanctions to impoverish Venezuela and Cuba. That’s class war.
Another 2011 U.S./NATO war on Syria ended with the country in ruins but the Damascus government intact. Russian assistance aided local resistance to set back Western schemes.
The relentless march of NATO militarism across Eastern Europe assaulted the borders of Russia. U.S. intervention in Ukraine used fascist elements to install an anti-Russian regime in Kiev in 2014, which waged war on its own eastern regions. The assault gave Moscow little choice but to intervene last year.
While this was happening, an equally relentless fleet of warships threatened war with socialist China, the one country capable of challenging U.S. imperialist world dominance. If Washington’s strategists have advised against a hot war with China, it has been because they advise first weakening Russia.
Despite these wars, which have cost the U.S. working class trillions of dollars, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been unable to impose a stable colonial puppet regime hardly anywhere. And they have only made life worse, more violent, less democratic, every place they have intervened. That’s class war.
The U.S. has made every effort to destabilize progressive governments in Latin American and Caribbean countries through sanctions and coups. In Venezuela they went so far as to handpick their own “president” Juan Guaidó, who has absolutely no support at home.
The war at home
While the Pentagon was committing mass murder abroad, capitalist globalization increased the exploitation of the working class at home. Workers received an ever smaller proportion of the wealth they produced.
Most productivity gains came from increasing the hours and intensity of the workday. Technology advances eliminated union jobs. Workers were forced to take gig jobs, where the rate of exploitation is even greater.
The first months of the COVID-19 pandemic brought awareness of the value of all workers to society: Every evening we cheered for health caregivers, supermarket clerks, messengers, delivery people, teachers.
And then these workers started to fight back and demand a bigger piece of the wealth they created. Amazon and Starbucks workers organized; nurses demonstrated for themselves and for their patients; and railroad workers dared to threaten a strike.
When the workers fought, the bosses, bankers and entrepreneurs, Warren Buffett’s class, answered by hiring union-busting firms, threatening firings, disrupting union votes; and when it came to a possible freight railroad strike, they got President Joe Biden to block it. That’s class war.
In the summer of 2020, mass demonstrations shouted to stop funding cops in response to the murder of George Floyd. It almost seemed police brutality was in retreat. But even after an electoral defeat for racist Donald Trump, the Biden administration expanded funding for cops just as it did for the Pentagon.
The latest report shows a record number, 1,196 killings by police in 2022, with the usual disproportionate number of police victims being people of color and/or people with disabilities. (mappingpoliceviolence.us) That’s class war.
Making reproductive rights illegal—as the Republican Party has pushed for—and the vicious attack on LGBTQ+ rights, promoting violent assaults, are also part of the war on the working class at home.
Buffett knew in 2006 that this class war exists. Our first task is to make sure our class knows it—and then to mobilize to fight back. This week in mid-January, to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who called out the war at home in 1967, we are marching in the streets against the U.S./NATO war in Ukraine. And we are marching in solidarity with striking nurses in New York City.
Our class must unite if we are to win. That too is class war.
*Featured Image: Marchers in NYC, Jan 14, MLK Actions, 2023. Src Twitter