THE IN TDRNA IONALIS c5? bird International ll Halon Pmmckock in Uorbotc IIuwlna III IIclo by Coimgn nnohuok In from IIIs 312. Iean Vo Iiute. lf lves the Iélews hold by Loft WIIIu socialists III IIIIoI ofiarIIc Il us one of the clearest. catastrophe of the working class movement, has: never experienced in all. lts whistory. The collapse of the Internationale due. to the world war imply a surrench of interna. nthnent before the pawn of tensified nutionaIism. It is at the me time II collapse of tactics, of ethods of lighting, of the entire system which has been Incor poratcd. Into the social democracy and the working class: movement Ilu1ing the ics and the forms of organizain the transformation of the onary theory of Marxism doctrine of passive expectaIMPERIALIST DEVELOPMENT During» the period when capitalism s:dcv eloping into imperialism, was Iing new aims for itself and 7s energetically naming for the ug glo for world supremacy, this volopinent of the majority of the al Democracy Iemained unoberveda It allowed itself to be fooled by the dream of immediate social re forms and did nothing to increase the ower of the proletmint to fight gainst imperialism.
Hence the present catastrophe docs Iojt mean only that the pr oletmiat as, too weak to prevent the outbreak of war. It means that the methods the 91a of the second Inteinationwere not capable of increasing he spiritual and Iiiiiteiial power of etariat to e necessaIy ex hwtcwer of cherub ng classes. Therefox the world war must he a towing point in the history of the working class movement.
Withthe world war we have en tered into a new period of capitalism, the period of its intensive extension by force over the entire earth, accompanied by embittered struggles between nationalities and huge destruction of capital and men; a period therefore, of the heaviest oppression and suffering for the working classes.
But the masses are thereby driven to aspiration; they must raise them selves if they are not to be completely submerged.
énoo. Gomrn de Pan IélIook has long. ROLETARIAN VICTORY In great mass struggles, alongside of which former struggles and meth ods are merely child play, they must grapple with imperialism. This struggle for indispensable rights and liberties, for the most urgent ro forms, often for more lilo itself, against reaction and the oppression of the employing class, against war and povoI ty. can only end with the overthrow of imperialism and the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie. It will at the some time be the struggle for Socialism, for the emancipation of the Iproletarlnt.
Therefore with the present world war there also dawns a new period for Socialism.
For the new struggle our spiritual bearings must be taken anew. Lack of clear socialistic insight was one of the chief can es of the weakness of. the prolong hai when the war began. II. it knew neit er imperialism nor its own tactics, The fight against imperialism, tiffs most recent and most powerful form of capitalism, made demands upon the highest spiritual and material, moral and organizational, qualities of the proletariat. It could not succumb to stupid, impotent desperation; but it was not enough that it break. out into spontaneous actions against the unbearable pressure. If these are to lead anywhere and to gain new stages on the climb to power it is necessary that they be inspired with spiritual clarity in regard to the aims, the possibilities and the meaning of such actions. Theory must go hand in hand with practice, theory which transforms blind acts to conscious ones and spreads light over the path.
THE NEW SOLUTION Material force can only be broken by material force. But even theory becomes material force when it takes hold on the masses. Marx. The germs of this theory, this new spiritual weapon, were already at hand in the spiritual defeat of the former practice of imperialism and mass action. Now the world war has brought much new insight and has shaken minds out of the sleep of tradition.
Now is the time to gather together everything in the way of new ideas, new solutions, new propositions, to Ify them by means of discussion and thus to make them of service in the new struggle.
An immense number of new questions lie before us. First of all the question of imperialism, its economic roots, its connection with the export of capital, procuring ofrnw material, its effect upon politics, government and bureaucracy, its spiritual power upon the bourgeoisie. Then those questions which relate to the pro etariat, the causes of their weakness, their psychology and the phenomena of social imperialism and patriotism. Added to these are the. Self Deliverance of the Masses HE last days of the year were marked by chimes of bells. and great jubilation all over tho world. Children and ninnies were rejoicing over the birth of a saviour.
The working class should know that it is futile and silly to expect a deliverer from far off heavenly spheres.
The working class must take its Ileliverauce into its own hands. It must fight for its existence upon pain of being crushed by economic exploitation and political oppression.
Ever since private property ap peared and human society was sub divided in classes, intolerable hardships have:compelled the toilers to fight their oppressors and exploiters.
Marx did not invent the classes not the class struggle. He only investigated these phenomena in our modern capitalistic society. He revealed the essence of capitalism and studied the nature of the combatting classes under that system.
But he did not content himself with his theoretical discoveries; he turned them into practical action. He not only stated Capital comes out of unpaid labor, but he also called out. Proletarians of all countries unite to overthrow the capitalistic system of production. And as he theoretically demonstrated that there is and inevitably must be a deadly contrast between the owning class and the toiling class, a conticst that does not depend upon the will of either side but depends upon the historically developed conditions of production, he showed that practically this contrast can not be removed but by an Ir reconcilnble struggle of the proletarians against the capitalists. And this ntrugglo must be waged by the united efforts of the workers them)
selves. No saviour will come from heaven nor from the upper classes. no great leader or hero from out of their own midst can accomplish their deliverance.
That is the doctrine of Karl Marx, the great founder of the science of Socialism, and that was the theory and practice of the glorious First International.
It remained also the theory of the Second International: The principal part of the programs (preambles) of all existing Socialist and social democratic parties is built upon these conceptionSIof Marx. But the practice of all great parties of the Second International gradually deviated from this clear conception.
Why? Not because of the will of some leaders, but again as the result of the economic and historic develop ment.
III 1871 the, great struggle of the bourgeoisie for political power was finished. After 82 years of revolutionary wars the consolidation of the great national states of Central Europe was accomplished and the hourgeoisie, e. the personification of capital, became master of these national states and established its parliamentary form of government as the most suitable means of taking care of the interests of all groups of the upper as well as of the middle classes.
So even the working class, or at least the upper layers of the work ing class of all Central Europe, got some political rights and liberties: certain amount of freedom of speech, press and coalition. And It was a wise policy for the working close to use these rights and liberties by building up strong otganlzetione (economic spool: them; to prove them, to clar. socinl. questions of prolotariun tactics, thel significance and possibilities of parliamcnturianism, of mass actions, of labor union tactics, Iefouns and immediate demands, the significance and the future role of organization; also the questions of nationalism, of milltarism and colonial policies.
Upon many of these questions the old Socialism had settled answers, which had already crystallized into formulae but with the collapse of the second Internationale even its formulae have gone by the board. In the old rules and ideas of the preimpcriulistic era the proletariat can find no guides for its actions under new conditions. Nor can the socialdemocratic parties furnish it with a firm foothold. They have in the great majority surrendered to imperiulism; the conscious, active or passive, support of Win policies by the party and InboI union representatives has dug too deep to make possible a simple return to the old prebellum point of view.
OUR SPIRITUAL WEAPONS This support of imperialism in its most important and vital phrases characterizes those working class or ganizations, no matter how strongly they subscribe to the old socialist solutions and combat the most intimate effects of imperialism. For in this way they come into conflict with the necessarily revolutionary aims of the proletariat and are themselves forced into a difficult crisis of their own. Between those who would make of the social democracy u tool of imperialism and those who want to see it o. weapon of revolution no unity is possible any longer.
The task of elucidating those problems of offering solutions, of form ulating the proper direction for the new struggle, falls to those who have not allowed themselves to be misled by war conditions and who have hold fast to internationalism and the class struggle. In this their weapon will be Marxism. Marxism, regarded by the theoreticians of Socialism as the method to explain the past and the present and in their hands degraded more and more into a dry doctrine of mechanical fatalism, again is to come into its birthright as a theory of revolutionary acts. The philosophers have interpreted the world in a number of differing ways: the realléfi necessity is to alter it. As a live revolutionary method this sort of Marxism again becomes the most solid principle, the sharpest spiritual weapon of Socialism.
There is no more pressing task than this elucidation of the new problems. For it is a life and death question for the proletariat and hence for the entire development of humanity that it should see its way clear and bright before loading to new heights. And there are no questions of the future whose solution can be postponed until we can once more discuss them in peace and quietand political) with the purpose of improving the economic, sociul and pol itical conditions of the workers. By so doing the labor organizations all over the capitalistic world achieved the most remarkable results.
Why then did the Second lnterna tional fail and collapse?
Firstly: Because its legal method of action was conducive to overestlmotion of the importance of the formally established labor organiza«
tions and considered mainly or solely the interests of the skilled and enfrnnchised aristocracy of the working class, lenvingthe great mass of unskilled laborers to their fate.
Secondly: The peaceful and legal method of action rendered it neces: sary that most of the actual fighting was not done by the organized workers themselves, but was left to small groups of labor leaders, pari Iiamentary representatives and union officers, who day by day doing their petty Work in their respective departments, inevitably turned to bureaucrats. They gradually lost sight of the real goal of the labor move ment, viz. the overthrow of the cap italistic society, and looked only for immediate practical achievements within that society by accommodation of the labor movement to their re: spective national capitalisms.
Thirdly: Neither the bureaucrats of the labor movement, who were wholly absorbed in their narrow every day work, nor the organized masses whose action practically consists only in thc electioneering of their leaders, noticed the great change of situation accomplished by the economic and political development of the last two decades.
What are these chunges?
Firstly: The development of the technic of production constantly increases tho number of unskilled laborers and badly mixes up the dif nose. They are not capable of postponement. Even during the war and after its conclusion they form the.
most important and immediate vital questions for the working class of all nations.
WORKERS CHIEF ENEMY Not; merely the important question, which everywhere is the kernel of the object of struggle, whether and how the proletariat can emerge, hasten the end of the war and influence the terms of peace. At the conclusion of the war the immense economic shattering of the world will first be felt in its entirety, when, with the condition of general exhaustion, lack of capital and unemployment industry must be organized anew, when the fearful debts of all nations necessitate colossal taxes and state sociali sIn, the militarization of agricultuml ilrsuits, as the only way out of the Iiincial difficulties Then the probleb must be met with or without them y, but then the lack of theoretical insight will entail the most disastrous errors.
There lies the greatest task of our journal: by discussion and elucidation of these questions it will support the material struggle of the proletariat against imperialism. As an organ of discussion and elucidation it is at the same time an organ of battle the publisher and the contributors to the journal have the common will to give battle, the same point of view in. re gurd to these chief questions of the practice to be adopted at this time.
First of all the struggle against imperialism, the chief enemy of the proletariat. But this struggle ls only made possible by a simultaneous relentless struggle against all the elements of the former sociabdcmocracy, which would bind the proletariat to the chariot of imperialism; also the open imperialism which has become the mere agent of the bouiu geoisie, and that social patriotism of all shades which would gloss over undisputable antagonisms and would rob the proletariat of the sharpest weapons in its struggle against imperinlism, The reconstitution of the Third Internationale will only be made possible by an absolute break with social patriotism. With this knowledge we stand upon a same ground as the left wing of Zi mmerivn ld Conference. The principles put forth by this group of international socialists as their nim our journal will support by theoretical work; by the most intense struggle against social patriotism, by merciless analysis of the errors of the old revisionism and the radical socialism to pave the way for the new Internationale. If the prolethriat recognizes the weaknesses and mistakes of the old points of View, the practical collapse of which it is now suffering from, it will gain the foresight for the new struggle and the new Socialism. power and significance of the trade unions is constantly diminishing a though the absolute numbers of their membership may be growing.
Secondly: The combination of all important industries in the hands of II few all powerful trusts, practically controlling not only the entire production but also the political government of all capitalistic countries, makes it impossible to keep the traditional separation between economic and political action. No economic strife of the workers can be successful unless it involves the whole working class and so turns to political action.
Thirdly: Under the domination of financial capital practically all groups of the possessing classes are dependent upon the great bunks whose intcreste are imperative for the trust magnatea as well as for landed proprietors and middle classes. There is no possibility for the representatives of labor to achieve concessions by skillfully playing one group against another. No great political achieve ment can be accomplished by labor representatives unless the masses back it up by the whole weight of their vast numbers and their econUHIIC powei.
Revolutionary Socialists saw ll; long ago. They conceived that under the rule of imperialism mass action (unceasingly repeated demonstrations, parades, strikes) must be the principal means of strife of the working clues, if it does not want to be dcgroded to the level of beasts of four den.
Our comrades, nton Punnekock, Karl Radek, Rosa Luxemburg, Henriette Roland Holst, and dthers did all they could to spread this insight among the masses and establish a.
mental understanding which is the only possible organization of real fighting mosses.
But such mass action means the beginning of the git at final battle, La Lutte Finale, which is a. long period of extremely acute class war, where the working class will be defeated many times until it grows so strong morally and physically, as to rout Saturday, January 191 the ruling classes and conquer th stronghold the state.
In face of this situation the labor bureaucracy filled with awe th working class into avoiding actual light, for four a defeat should im peril tbe legnl labor organizations and their funds.
So the working class is now (11.
vidcd, powerless, despised. One part 01 it tho majority of the skilled and organized aristocrats of labor goes alpng with the bureaucratic labor leaders. Another part, disgusted and discouraged, falls in. dull indifference.
Only the third part mostly consisting of unskilled laborers is moved by misery, class instinct and revolutionary sentiment and faces the Bit. uatlon as it really is.
The aspirations of this third part are the beginningof the self deliveranccrof the working class.
But even this fighting part of the proletariat does not have a clear unden standing of the nature of imper ialism nor of the effective means and methods of fighting it. To bring this understanding and insight that is the task of the Socialist Propaganda League of America; To perform this task the members of the League must do what Marx told the Com munists of his time to do: They must participate in every mass movement and represent in it the future of the class movement. Fr. Rosin.
NOW FIX YOUR tion, to outdo all by building WHY YOU NEED OUR There is III; present in of industrial and political upon the dominant labor un clear conception of ciety is lacking; failing to ation.
accelerating speed, and wh the disposal of the capital scription of labor all will against a nationalistic com surplus value.
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ltalists see in this a chance for a more efficient and purposeful extension of their power and prolongation of their class domin We see the majority in control of the Socialist movement learning nothing from the events that occur with evertactics we of no avail against the juggernaut of Imperialism.
The tecnique ot industry is to be developed bbyond anything now obtaining; markets are to be sought and all the means at successful conquest of a constantly shrinking world market relatively speaking as compared to the ability to supply. Compulsory military service, greater military appropriations, conThis picture is not overdrawn.
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