THROUGHOUT this year, the nation will be commemorating the outbreak of the First World War.
While paying my respects to the fallen and the maimed in the hostilities, I have concluded that the due cause of the conflict was the warmongering of capitalism and imperialism.
History books to the contrary would cite the assassination of Austrian nobility in Sarajevo.
But this masked the facts that the major industrialised nations in Europe were in need of more global markets for the products which they had manufactured.
Among these nations, Germany was prominent having rapidly extended its industrial output following unification in the 19th century and was influenced by a strong imperialist fervour promoted by the Kaiser a close blood relative of King George V and an equally strong and emerging capitalist industrial base.
All that was required was to light the fuse which would bring about an outbreak of hostilities was the above assassination.
The tragedy that was yet to emerge was the mass slaughter of the working classes and peasantry of Europe which would only benefit the war profiteering capitalists and the Empire-building imperialists.
A study of profits made by British industry more than adequately exposes the capitalist excess profits .
But the question must inevitably arise who won the conflict? Again, history books would have us believe that the British Empire and the French were victorious.
To the contrary, following the War, British industry experienced a boom for about three or four years and then went into a long and protracted decline until the outbreak of the Second World War.
At no time, with the exception of the Baldwins (Tory politician) and armaments manufacturers did the capitalist/industrialist offer to pay back any excess profits arising from the war. Yet another example of imperialist/capitalist greed was the imposition of impossible reparations forced on Germany in the Peace Treaty of Versailles in 1919, especially by the French and British, despite appeals by the American President.
These impossible sanctions bankrupted Germany and in turn paved the way for Hitler and his National Socialists to gain power.
In conclusion, may I reiterate that capitalism and imperialism were the main causes and beneficiaries of the First World war, and the losers were the working classes and peasantry of Europe whose names are displayed on memorials in every city, town village and hamlet in the UK.