The 50 Years Ago column from the January 2001 issue of the Socialist Standard
Militarism, the worship of arms and armaments, the glorification of battles and destruction, has not a separate existence of its own, it is merely the instrument of those who wield power in the countries of the world. Capitalist trade rivalries create antagonism and the government responsible for administering capitalism in each country responds to it by organising the military forces and preparing for war. But the people of the world do not readily accept this doctrine of the necessity of war, and they have to be tricked and goaded and frightened into a more receptive state of mind. So after being told for many years that the enemy of peace was the alleged warlike nature of the German people, the Western Governments, along with their own fantastic increases of armaments, are setting about re-arming Germany. But the Germans, like the rest of humanity, are lukewarm about it and, as Mr. Kenneth Ames writing from Germany tells us in the Daily Mail (24/11/50) they “must be roused.” “Western Allied officials here stress that the German nation must be aroused to some sense of imminent danger and talked over to the idea of re-armament before it will be possible to provide Western Europe with anything more than a small force of mercenaries.”
. . . The human race looks forward apprehensively to a new world war in which “protective” armaments of a size and power never before known may be set in motion. Well may we all wish to be protected from our protectors; but it will not be done by “Communist” Peace Conferences, or by United Nations debates and interventions. Only by destroying capitalism which engenders war, and replacing it by Socialism in which the human race will have no need to engage in fratricidal conflict will the world be rid of capitalism’s handmaiden militarism.
(From editorial, Socialist Standard, January 1951)