The recent period has seen a new stage in this development. As the World Socialist Web Site wrote in 2003, the protests, by virtue of their size and their global character, represented a major historical event. The mobilizations "have exposed the deep and unbridgeable political, social and moral chasm that separates the ruling elites and their media propagandists from the people," we said.
The middle-class "left" reacted to the mass response to an anti-war appeal by seeking to quickly shut the protests down. After the invasion in March 2003, they worked to channel oppositional sentiment behind the Democratic Party in successive elections, culminating in the election of Obama in 2008.
The class orientation of an organization finds its clearest expression in foreign policy. The corollary to support for imperialism is hostility to the independent organization of the working class in every country.
The objective significance of the 2003 demonstrations retains its force today. The past two years have seen an immense intensification of the class struggle, as governments around the world respond to the capitalist crisis with brutal austerity measures carried out in the interests of the corporate-financial elite.
Opposition to war can be carried forward only as an explicitly working class movement, one that sees militarism and the war on the working class as two sides of the same class policy, two products of the bankruptcy of the capitalist system.