Editorial from the July 1938 issue of the Socialist Standard
War-Fever is in the air again. A seamen's leader wants the British navy to bombard some city in rebel Spain as revenge for the bombing of British ships trading in Republican ports. British Chambers of Commerce ask the Government to take a drastic line against Germany for her repudiation of loans made by British investors to Austria. Labour leaders want us to be prepared to go to war to prevent the Germans in Czechoslovakia from following their desire to be incorporated in Hitler Germany. Others want us to go to war to prevent one bloodthirsty gang of dictators—the Chinese group round Chiang-Kai-Shek—from being thrown out by their Japanese prototypes. All very heroic—assuming, of course, that the mouth-fighters are not proposing to leave the real fighting to others—but all very silly, as if the last Great War had never happened to teach them that war is waged by rival capitalist groups about their interests, not ours. No matter how the warmongers try to gloss over the facts, the truth remains that all these wars and prospective wars are fought for capitalist purposes, not to secure the establishment of some ideal of democracy, nationalism or anything else.
The workers are asked to make the supreme sacrifice in the name of patriotism, but if the people who own this country were threatened with the sacrifice of their property they would rush into the arms of Franco, Hitler, Mussolini or any other destroyer of human liberties to safeguard their possessions.