Mary E. Marcy

Whose War is This?

(June 1914)

The International Socialist Review, Vol. 14. No. 12, June 1914, pp. 729–731.
Transcribed by Matthew Siegfried.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

WELL, the brave boys have gone into Mexico to silence those noisy kickers, who have so long objected to having their land taken away from them.

If they kill off a few thousand of them, perhaps the rest will decide they’d better be “good” and go to work on Hearst’s land or in some of the Rockefeller oil fields, or in one of the Guggenheim mines, as the capitalists in America want them to.

Then dear old Uncle S—— (I almost said “Uncle Sam”) – then dear old Uncle John D. can tell congress and the senate and President Wilson to hoist the red, white and blue over his new territory and “everybody will be happy.”

Things will be settled, because most everybody who knows what’s coming and lets out a kick, will be buried.

And William Hearst’s paid patriots can write yards of editorials on How We Saved Mexico. There will be no chance then for a comeback against Hearst by the people who have been defrauded of their land in Mexico. And it will be just as clear sailing for dear old Uncle John D. in Mexico as it is for him and his interests in Colorado now.

Of course the Mexicans will get nothing through a war with us. They have been fighting Huerta and the master class in Mexico to get back the lands that have been stolen from them, but after the American workingmen soldiers get through with them, those who are left may be willing to stand anything.

The boys who do the fighting will get nothing. Some of them will be killed and some of them will be crippled, but beyond that they will only have the glory of subduing the Mexican working class, so that the American master class may go over and grab up the rest of Mexico’s natural resources just as they have grabbed up everything from the working class in these United States. Subduing our Mexican brothers will merely give those who have so long robbed and exploited US the LEGAL right to so rob and exploit the Mexicans.

Some people say Hearst and Rockefeller ought to lead the troops into Mexico since nearly all the fuss is about Hearst’s ranches and Rockefeller’s oil wells down there. They think this is THEIR fight. But what’s the use of a millionaire going to war and risking his life and limbs when the army and navy is all ready to hand to be used in just such emergencies.

You can see the soldier boys marching down the streets to the tune of brass bands and waving American flags and strutting and boasting! They think they are actually going to fight Mexico because Huerta didn’t salute the flag as many times as we told him to. They think they are going to uphold the DIGNITY of the United States by killing a lot of poor Mexicans who have not the least idea of what all the trouble is about.

I wish all these boys would stop and consider who will be benefited by a war with Mexico. If the rebelling Mexican working class is permitted to defeat the rich landgrabbers IN MEXICO, they can defy the rich land-grabbers OUT of it and then they will redistribute the land back among the people who formerly held it. No matter WHICH side wins, the United States workers will gain NOTHING BY WAR WITH MEXICO.

If we FORCE the Mexican workers into peace – it will mean peaceful submission to the Rockefellers and Hearsts. It will mean that the capitalists in America may continue to hold the LANDS that have been stolen from the small land holders in Mexico.

The American capitalists have sufficient gray matter to let the working men do their fighting for them. They hire clever writers to grind out editorials about how we will take over Mexico and place it under the Stars and Stripes that the Mexicans may rejoice over the good fortune of being admitted to this glorious land of the FREEDOM to use MACHINE GUNS AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN!

Any WISE Mexican workingman would know that this merely means putting them out of the frying pan into the fire. He would prefer to be in Mexico at its WORST than in Colorado among the uniformed gunmen today. They don’t kill women and children in MEXICO. Such barbarity only happens in America, where the Rockefeller interests have LEGAL backing in anything they may choose to do to the working class.

The wars in Mexico and in Colorado are BOTH Standard Oil wars, to a very large extent. We ought to remember this when folks grow wildly patriotic.

Besides, why should you and I be patriotic? If we are working men or working women, we HAVE NO COUNTRY. We don’t even have a place to eat and sleep, unless we are able to find a boss to pay us wages; and when we are out of work, as we were this winter in every city in the United States, every “public-spirited” city and state official is out with guns and the fire hose to drive us off the face of the earth. Unless we have a job, we are driven from city to city, from state to state, from nation to nation by the everlasting chorus of “MOVE ON.” WE HAVE NO COUNTRY.

It wouldn’t get US anything if the U.S. army and navy whipped the whole earth. You and I would do the fighting and killing and dying and the American capitalist class would grab up the natural resources and then hire SOME of us at starvation wages in the MINES we had WON FOR THEM.

The working men and women of ALL countries are OUR countrymen. There are only two great classes in society. Those who OWN everything and those who WORK for these idle owners. The only man worth fighting is the man who ROBS us. The only CLASS worth fighting is the class that exploits the workers.

We should regard the capitalist as the only FOREIGNER. We regard every working man and woman as our countrymen. You work in a mine in Indiana. The man who owns that mine is an English aristocrat. My neighbor works in a brass foundry in Illinois. His boss is German and lives in Berlin. The capitalist who exploits my fellow worker is an American. Your interests and the interests of my neighbor and my fellow worker are identical. The interests of ALL workers are identical. Our only enemy is the capitalist class, the class that, under every flag, hires us for wages and retains for itself the things WE WORKERS PRODUCE.

American working men have no quarrel with Mexican working men. Their interests are OUR interests. We are both robbed by the capitalist class and the only way we can stop this robbery is by uniting under the banner of SOCIALISM.

We must unite to demand the collective ownership of the mines, the mills, the factories, railroads, land and oil wells. United we can abolish the present system of society and make the enormous tools of production the common property of all those who perform any useful service in society.

The CLASS WAR – the war of the propertyless and exploited working class against those who live off their labor – this is the ONLY WAR worthwhile.

This is the ONLY war that can benefit OUR class because it will give every working man and woman the right to work and to have the FULL VALUE OF HIS PRODUCT! The only war in which we should engage is the working class war, which will abolish Poverty from the face of the earth!

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Last updated on 31 May 2022