Article from the July 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

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THE FACT that the war on Iraq was a blatant war for oil and profit has lead many to question the nature of the system we live under. Capitalism is a system driven by the goal of profit and where the interests of a wealthy capitalist minority are constantly before the basic necessities of the vast majority of people on our planet.

By Cillian Gillespie

A graphic example of this is seen with the obscene amount of money that is spent on arms each year, amounting to $1 trillion. This could provide each family on our planet with an extra $1,000 annually or $150 per person. In the US moment while Bush has spent $87 billion on the cost of the occupation 30 million Americans are regarded as being "food insecure".

It is not only through arms expenditure that we see the brutality of capitalism the statistics speak for themselves. Each year almost a sixth of the worlds population goes hungry and more than six million children die as a result of malnutrition. This is not suprising, in places like sub Saharan Africa almost half the population lives on less than a dollar a day.

The so-called "war on terror" that is being waged by the Bush administration is nothing more than an attempt to assert the dominance of US imperialism on a world scale also expose the nature of the profit system. This means maximising profits for corporate America while thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So what is the alternative to capitalism and the wars and poverty it creates? Socialist Youth stands for a socialist society where its wealth is democratically owned, controlled and planned by the majority of those who create it. On this basis much of the wastage of capitalism such as the arms trade and the $1 trillion spent on advertisement annually.

We believe that young people have a crucial role to play in bringing such a society into existence. The role that young people played last year in the anti-war movement through the walkouts and strikes by school students completely exposes the myth we are hopelessly apathetic.

Socialist Youth during the summer will be campaigning on a whole range of issues particularly the continuing occupation of Iraq. We urge all young people to join and get active with us in the coming months and help build a socialist movement that is capable ridding the world of the evils of capitalism.

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