As the events of 1990s in the ex-Yugoslavia have shown, wars are an excellent method for spreading the unhampered rule of capital. Whether the excuse was nationalist ideology (in the case of local ruling classes), or the ideology of human rights (in the case of the NATO intervention), the military-industrial complex was the most effective factor in the preparation for the terrain of the neoliberal attack on the working class.
Antimilitarists were the ones who were always capable of realizing the true function of patriotic rhetoric and to resist and defend the idea of freedom and autonomy even in moments of the greatest nationalist hysteria. To many, since that hysteria has subsided today, it has become clear that the „traitors“ and deserters were the ones who showed the highest level of courage and responsibility in the time it was needed the most, when many were following the infantilizing trend of delegating personal responsibility to the State.
The wars in ex-Yugoslavia, as it is often said within the local population, „were expected by nobody“. Yet, the ruling class not only expected but also prepared for the wars. The outbreak of the wars far from spontaneous, people needed to be pushed into them by violence and propaganda. Therefore, experience has shown that bloody wars can break-out when the local population doesn’t expect them and refuses to believe they will happen until the last moment. We can see similar mechanisms in the events that are currently unfolding in the Ukraine.
This is why the antimilitarist struggle is important also in the moments when the majority still doesn’t believe in the possibility of war and while the „rule of law“ is still stable. It is this rule, the State, patriotic ideology and the military-industrial complex that reproduce all of the conditions that are needed for the supposedly „unexpected“ wars to break-out, wars that, in their very purpose, always entail a new attack on the working class and the suppression of social struggles against the rule of capital.
For this reason the struggle of Michalis Tolis and comrades from the Barefoot Battalion is of essential importance.
Anarchists from Belgrade, Zagreb and Mostar.