The Main Enemy is at Home!

Protest to end NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine

5 October 2023

The following text is a lightly edited version of remarks made by an IBT spokesperson to a rally in Toronto, Canada, on 1 October 2023, organized and endorsed by the IBT and other left organizations in Toronto. Audio available here:

We are pleased to have endorsed and helped build today’s protest demanding to “end NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine!” It is an important initiative that challenges the pro-war narrative promoted in the mainstream corporate press.

NATO is not interested in defending the Ukrainian people, or their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine is being used as a pawn in a reactionary war between NATO/Western imperialist powers and their Russian rival. Despite all the talk of “Russian aggression,” NATO is, in fact, the aggressor. The same Western imperialists are targeting China next, a deformed workers’ state that revolutionaries defend militarily against imperialism.

One of the most important political lessons to draw from this war is the understanding that our main enemy is not in Moscow, but in Ottawa. In imperialist countries like Canada, anti-imperialist militants will want to see the defeat of NATO, Canada and the Canadian ruling class in this war. As the great German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht said during World War I: “the main enemy is at home!”

While we are all here united to end the proxy war in Ukraine, we have different perspectives on how to achieve that. Some believe “peace negotiations” are the way forward. But NATO and its Kiev client are not interested in peace; they want war. As Marxists, we understand that a lasting and just peace is impossible under global capitalism and the imperialist world order upon which it rests. Ultimately, only socialism can get rid of poverty, oppression and war.

Others have demanded that “Canada get out of NATO.” This demand suggests that Canadian imperialism might be less predatory and more progressive if only it was outside the US-dominated NATO military alliance. It fosters left-nationalist illusions in Maple Leaf imperialism as somehow “nicer” and “kinder” than its American counterpart. This is not a perspective that we share.

This does not mean we favor Canada remaining in NATO; we are simply opposed to the entire NATO military alliance, with or without Canada, and we are opposed to Canadian imperialism with or without NATO.

The war in Ukraine demonstrates that imperialism once again threatens to plunge the world into a direct conflict between great powers. A third world war would be a nuclear war in which billions could potentially die. We must get rid of capitalism before it kills us. In order for the working class to become conscious of its historic role and mission of ridding the world of capitalism, a revolutionary communist party must be built to lead the way forward.

We encourage anyone interested in our organization, the IBT, to come check out our table, visit us online at, and continue discussing strategies for building an anti-imperialist movement to end NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine.

Related articles
Ukraine & the Left (1917 No.45)
Revolutionaries & Imperialist War: IBT study class (1917 No.45)