No To Capitalist War, Yes To Anarchist Revolution!

No to Capitalist War, Yes to Anarchist Revolution!

You are holding the first in a series of posters produced by the Federation of Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives of the Great Lakes Region (FRAC). We are anarchist revolutionaries who struggle to put militant grassroots action at the heart of social movements in our region and across North America. The impending war on Iraq and the ongoing "war on terrorism" threaten the lives and freedoms of millions. At the same time, they damage the prospects for building a revolutionary movement to challenge white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and the state. We oppose the war being forced down our throats by Bush and the rest of his lot.

This poster examines the root causes of the impending war, possible methods of resistance here in North America, and our vision of a free society. We encourage you to place it in a prominent place where its message can be seen by as wide a range of people as possible. At the end you will find contact information for FRAC; check us out if you like what you see.

Permanent War, Limitless Greed

They used to say, "War is the health of the State," and this is still true today, at least financially. The economy has been badly shaken since September 11, 2001, leaving huge numbers of people without work and no unemployment check to soften the blow. "Consumer confidence" is low, and company after company is declaring bankruptcy. It's no secret that the major corporations in the US, and their friends in Congress and the White House, hope a war will spur the economy to new heights, as happened in World War Two at the end of the Great Depression. War means money changing hands between governments, defense contractors, and other corporations. And this war in particular is connected to oil, which is especially convenient for the many North American corporations that have ties to the petroleum industry. Profits all around we are told, maybe even eventually for workers who, in the trickle down system may somehow find new, higher-paying jobs in an expanding economy.

At least as important as money (and connected to it in lots of ways) is power. Iraq has been thumbing its nose at the US and UN for over a decade, and the US has recently decided to call this defiance "terrorism". The word offers a convenient excuse to expand North American imperial control by making an example of Iraq: do what we tell you or we'll bomb your country to hell. Other countries (most likely North Korea is next) can look forward to similar treatment, as can popular movements of workers and oppressed people all over the world, including inside the US. If Bush and his friends have their way, permanent war will become the way of the future, guaranteeing the US both incredible power and a booming economy. That's the plan anyway.

But resistance to US-led global capitalism is on the upswing worldwide, and not always in positive forms. The US strategy of permanent war is risky: it could bring great benefits, but it also will anger poor people worldwide and thus help recruit for groups like al-Qaeda and Hamas, who are themselves enemies of freedom, just like Bush. There is no reason to support a tyrant like Hussein, and the coming war will most likely create other similar dictators, instead of eliminating them. And in the name of safety, incredible damage will be done to the natural environment through oil spills and fires, depleted uranium weapons, and the risk of releasing biological and chemical weapons. The war will likely make the world less safe and less free, more hungry and more sick.

In the US, war might "help the economy", but it will certainly result in bad news for working people everywhere: the worst news will be death, in the form of casualties of war. But there will also likely be higher prices, weaker unions (as if they weren't pro-business enough already), more unemployment in non-military areas of the economy, further cuts in the social safety net, and other signs of crisis. At the same time, we will witness the continuation and even expansion of the recent mass round-ups and detentions of immigrants. While the worst effects of war will be reserved for the people of Iraq, the negative consequences will be felt everywhere, even in places like Chicago, Cleveland, and Lansing, MI.

Resisting the War, Fighting the System

What to do about the coming war? We cannot stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq (or of Latin America, Africa and Asia, all eventual targets of Bush's permanent war) and be passive resisters. While going to protests can be reduced to a welcome diversion from our everyday existence, flowers, banners, and weak slogans are insufficient for the task of stopping the coming war.

In limiting itself to traditional demonstrations, the peace movement seems self-satisfied and disconnected, as if doing the right thing were merely a matter of public statements instead of action. We have to recognize the reality of what we're up against. Flowers cannot stop the billions of dollars spent on military support of regimes as bad as Hussein's (except they happen to be our friends, like Hussein used to be). Placards alone will not defeat the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act, and empty slogans haven't stopped the sanctions and bombing of Iraq over the last decade.

Instead, we should be building an anti-war movement that takes direct action to stop the coming war. Mass demonstrations, if they become militant, can show popular anger at the US. Graffiti and other street art can build awareness of dissent. Building and land occupations, strikes and workplace actions have the chance to take resistance to another level, both more militant and more popular. Direct action against the military, along with anti-war actions by soldiers themselves, can help expand both the resistance and mainstream awareness of it. Connections can be made to other struggles, around police brutality (the local face of the US superpower), welfare "reform" and anti-sweatshop campaigns (US economic control in miniature), ecological destruction (including attacks on water treatment plants and oil refineries), domestic violence (the macho violence of capitalist war reflected back into the home), and fighting other wars fueled by capitalist globalization (in Palestine, Colombia, Chiapas). Over time, a revolutionary movement can develop. Nothing is guaranteed, but the first steps can be the most important. If we construct a real alternative to both imperialist war and authoritarian dictatorship AND WE FIGHT TO WIN, Capitalism, Patriarchy, White Supremacy, and the State can be defeated.

For a Free Humanity, For Anarchy

We're tired of not having control over our own lives. Our existence in this capitalist system revolves around working to make ends meet. Since so much of our time is focused on work, we have little or no time for the things that are important to us: communicating with other people, spending time with our families, discussing what is going on in our own communities, and changing all the destructive things in our lives.

Women, children, and men, the majority of people here and worldwide, will remain tied down by the system until we rise up, destroy what is keeping us under control, and at the same time rebuild society. We aim to build a community of resistance, whose ultimate goal is a revolution. This involves large- and small-scale actions to destabilize the power structure, while simultaneously constructing the new world in the shell of the old. Taking over industries and resources, establishing popular militias against and in place of police and military, and building the power of oppressed and marginalized communities against white supremacy, patriarchy, and the state. The United States government and all other nation-states would be destroyed and replaced with true democracy and internationalism.

We fight for a world where we are free to run an orderly society, an order we create collectively. Assemblies and committees of everyday people can and should make the important decisions about community life, and can build federations with parallel groups in other areas to make decisions at a regional, continental, and global level. There will not be one person or group running the show; power will be spread and shared within and among communities. Freedom for all will be rooted in autonomy and justice for people of color, women, and queers. The words community, solidarity, and equality will actually mean something again. People will work together, help each other out, and accomplish things, for the benefit of a society that we build together.

Our hope for the world may not be perfect or free of violence, but capitalist war as we experience it today will no longer destroy the lives and happiness of millions. The machine of poverty and marginalization, the main means by which capitalism continues to grow, will be destroyed, because food, clothes, and housing, not to mention music, books and art, will be made and distributed because they are needed, not because they can make a profit. This future is not only possible but also necessary if humanity and the planet are to survive.

If you agree with us, get in touch!

Federation of Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives - Great Lakes Region

PO Box 4502
East Lansing, MI 48826

January 25, 2003