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That the First World War happened was no surprise. The superpowers of the day had divided up the globe between them, and were coming into conflict with each other as they strove to expand, making it inevitable. Despite promises of peace, all sides had been feverishly spending unprecedented amounts on arming themselves.  When it came, the war was dressed up with the usual fancy words, being declared a fight for civilisation, for freedom, and for democracy, while of course the same governments mouthing these words were denying those very ideals to peoples they had colonised, and to their own populations, such as in England where women were still fighting for the right to vote.

Still today, 100 years after the event of Gallipoli, we can see that war is a permanent and inevitable condition of capitalism, driven by the struggle between various ruling classes, each seeking to dominate the world’s resources.  As always it is the ordinary worker who pays the cost, financially through their taxes to pay for the war machine, and in terms of death and injury both as soldiers and civilians.

The ever increasing production and spending on armaments and surveillance by the world’s powers is never going to result in peace, despite what our leaders say. They tell us it is necessary to protect our freedoms while removing the very freedoms they tell us they are protecting.  They tell us they are championing the cause of civilisation while burning to death untold numbers of innocents with their drone strikes, and sadistically and uselessly torturing others for years on end in prison cells, some we know about, and others unknown.

A lot of good meaning people who believe in peace mistakenly look to the State to end wars.  They vote, march, and sign petitions hoping they can force the leadership into diplomacy instead of war, but time and time again their hopes for a peaceful world are dashed, and will continue to be dashed as long as they look to the State for a solution, which, with the aid of a press that quickly falls in line, seemingly has no problem persuading a large proportion of the people that the wars they fight are just and necessary.

Instead of looking to the State to end war we need to tell the soldiers and their supporters, who believe that they are fighting in the name of freedom and justice, that their heroism is in vain and their actions only serve to further hatred, tyranny and misery.  To the workers in the arms factories we have to point out the products that they make now may well be used against them or their family on the battlefields that are continually springing up around the world. To those who lose loved ones in war we have to show who is really responsible for those tragic deaths.

Of course we will remember those brave people who died in Gallipoli, and all who have died in wars since, but the best way to serve their memory is to continue to work for social justice and the overthrow of the state, and ending the cycle of militarism and war, and to ensure that such a tragedy can never occur again.