Archivo rebelde es
01 01 05 06 1917 41
01 01 05 06 1917 41 black white

76 THE CLASS STRUGGLE to a bodyguard and protector of the Emperor, which not only in the August days of 1914 fell into the lying trap of the govemment, but even now, when the true character of this imperialistic war for conquest stands openly revealed still remain the voluntary prisoners of these capitalistic imperialistic enemies of the people, and frankly proclaim their shame from the housetops, made a split in the German Social Democracy, the pride of the International Social Democracy, inevitable. To the undying honor of Karl Liebknecht it will be remembered that he first found the courage to say openly in the Reichstag, and in the Prussian Diet, what many thousands felt and thought with him, nor has it ever been sufficiently appreciated, that comrades like Franz Mehring, Klara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Otto Ruehle, and others, from the first day of the war, bravely and unafraid, exposed the military camarillas of Germany and Austria as the real peace disrupters of Europe. It must not be overlooked that the caucus of the Social Democratic group, that met before the first Reichstag vote on the second, third and fourth of August, 1914, showed a minority of fourteen deputies who opposed a vote in favor of the first four billion dollar war loan. They refrained from open protest to preserve the outward unity of the Reichstag group that had become a dogma in the German movement. Even Hugo Haase, who as chairman of the Reichstag group, read the declaration of assent adopted in this canons before the assembled Reichstag, was a member of this minority group, and led the fight against the majority in the caucus. When the second war loan came up before the Reichstag Liebknecht voted against it, while fifteen of his colleagues demonstratively rose and left the hall as a protest against the loan. In the caucus meetings the number of these opponents to a governmental policy increased, and soon we found a new group in the Reichstag, the Socialdemocratic Labor Community (Sozialdemokratische Arbeitsgemeinschaft. which elected Hugo Haase and George Ledebour as their chair men, and were, being actively supported by Eduard Bernstein, who at first belonged to the members of the majority, but in a very short time broke loose from them and became one of the most energetic adherents of the opposition, THE CLASS STRUGGLE 77 Arthur Stadthagen, Emanuel Wurm, Geyer, Adolf Hoflmann, of the Prussian Diet, and Karl Kautsky, the editor of the Neue Zeit, the famous scientific weekly of the German Social Democracy. Karl Liebknecht and Otto Ruehle, who were excluded from the majority group for insuhordination, did not join the new group, but remained independent.
At first it seemed as if the strife that immediately broke out between the opposition headed by Haase, Kautsky, Ledebour, and the Gruppe Internationale (International Group) Liebknecht, Ruehle, Mehring, Luxemburg, Zetkin would create such bitter ness of feeling, that a united opposition against the majority group would be out of the question. The Socialdernokratische Arbeits Gemeinschaft had intimated, in its first declaration be fore the Reichs tag presented by Geyer, that it recognized the duty of fatherland defense, and had, in so doing, completely alienated the sympathies of all truly radical elements. Fortunately this grave mistake was rectified when this group sent two delegates to both the Zimmerwald and the Kienthal confer ences. Both of these conferences, representing the International Affiliation of those who had remained true to their Socialist principles, repudiated all wars of defense and of offense. As the manifestos published by these conferences, expressing the position of the determined opposition, were signed by both Lede bour and Adolf Hoffman the delegates of the open conflict between the two groups in Germany was avoided. Then too, the increasing antagonism between the majority and the minority groups in the Reichstag called out a more radical note from the members of the The abyss between the two groups became so wide that in the caster days of this year, the opposition was fused in a conference held at Gotha the city which in 1875 had given to Germany, when the Lassalle and Eisenach wings had united its first Social Democracy, into the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (Unabhangige Sozialdemocratische Partei Dcutschlands. Besides these two groups there is a third opposition organization headed by Julian Borchard which is, however, of slight importance.