Part VI: The lessons from World War II
What are some of the main lessons that we should draw at this time, on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II?
Both the world wars of the 20th century emerged from the intensifying contradictions among the imperialist powers for control of markets, resources and spheres of influence. The imperialist powers used masses of people in their own countries and in other countries as cannon-fodder for their own greed and drive for profits. But in both wars, the inter-imperialist fight was presented by the monopoly bourgeoisie of the contending states as a fight for democracy and for the defence of their homelands.
The main obstacle to inter-imperialist wars and the accompanying devastation has been revolution and socialism. In World War I, the outbreak of the socialist revolution in Russia was a decisive factor in the ending of the War. In World War II, the might of the socialist Soviet Union was the main factor in the defeat of the Axis powers. The Soviet Union was the heart of the great anti-fascist front of the world’s peoples. The Soviet Union, together with the crores of people who fought wars of resistance in defence of their homelands, were not fighting for markets or for profits, but for their lives and for liberty. The role of the Soviet Union ensured that at the end of the War the world could not be parceled out again among the predatory imperialist powers as happened after WWI. It ensured that the War ended in the victory of national liberation and democracy in many countries.
In the last 75 years, it is US imperialism that has assumed the mantle of the leading aggressive power in the world. It has inflicted more harm and devastation on the world’s peoples, whether in the name of fighting communism or fighting Islamic terrorism, than all the atrocities committed by the Axis powers put together. A new world war, with even more devastating consequences than the previous ones, is a definite possibility.
Preventing a new world war in today’s conditions means exposing and opposing the designs of US imperialism. It means refusing to participate in imperialist wars and intrigues. Once again, a great front of the world’s peoples against imperialist aggression and war, and for the defence of the sovereignty of nations, must be forged.
The working class and communists in each country must play a leading role in preventing US imperialism, its allies and rival powers from dragging the world into a new war. This means working tirelessly to build unity among all democratic and peace-loving forces against imperialist aggression in any form. It means opposing the military and strategic alliances of one’s own bourgeoisie with US imperialism. It also means working for the victory of revolution and socialism in one’s own country as the only way to break the imperialist chain and work towards a lasting solution to the problem of imperialist war and oppression.
For further reading:
The Soviet Union and International – Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the CPSU (B) (Delivered March 10, 1939), J.V. Stalin, Collected Works, Volume 14
Falsificators of History (An Historical Note): Text of a Communique – February 1, 1948
Soviet Information Bureau, Moscow https://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/