124 THE CLASS STRUGGLE Stedman and John Work, felt that the time had not yet come to take decisive action on this question, on a matter that in importance overshadowed all other questions a thousandfold. They preferred to wait for developments in Russia, to see whether or not the Bolcheviki would be maintained in power. After all where is the wisdom of compromising onesself for a course whose stability is by no means assured, which tomorrow may have become a dead issue?
How very differently the European Socialist parties have acted. The national convention of the Swiss Social Democ racy that met at the end of November sent heartiest greetings to the Russian revolutionary government, assured it of its solidarity and indorsed its program. The British Socialist Party, the Independent Labor Party of Great Britain, the French party, the Social Democratic parties of the three Scandinavian countries, the minority and the majority parties in Germany, the Socialist movement of Austria, the Italian Social Democracy, and even the Labor Party of Great Britain, dcclared their solidarity, in one way or another, with the Bolshevist government. In a word: all parties formerly aﬂiliated with the International, even those whose social patriotic inclinations made them obviously sympathetic to the overthrown Kerensky government, sent messages of sympathy and solidarity to the courageous comrades in Russia all, that is, except the Socialist Party and, of course, the hopelessly sterile Socialist Labor Party. Arm in arm the two American Socialist organizations, or rather their Executives, have sternly called the Socialist world back into its bounds. They prefer to play safe, and, like respectable business concerns, virtuously decline to undertake anything that smacks of adventure.
Now, to be sure, we may expect an ofﬁcial declaration of our leaders at any moment. For, in the meantime, the high est official of the United States has uttered words of highest appreciation for the revolutionists of Russia. Under the circumstances it is not likely that the opportunistic Politicians that make up our Executive Committee will hesitate much CURRENT AFFAIRS 125 longer, especially since he party membership is clamoring more and more urgently and unanimously for a declaration of sympathy. Our leading elements recognize this and will draw the consequences.
But it would be a mistake to assume that our National Executive postponed decisive action because it feared the consequences of a declaration of solidarity with our Russian comrades. Though our Executive Committee has never been remarkable for its courage, it could and would have found some way, some safe form of expression. What really prevented a declaration was honest distaste for the Bolshevist tactics.
These people were so uncompromisingly revolutionary, so little respectable. so ridiculously proletarian. It must be admitted that the Bolshevist government, under the leadership of Lenin, Trotzky, Kameneﬁ, Zinovietz, not only brought its plan of action into the fullest accord with socialist theory, but that they have thought out and planned their activity down to the minutest detail. But the iron consistency with which they have carried out their resolutions, the infallibility with which their plans become action. are so different from the habit of coining high sounding phrases without going out of one way to carry them out. In a word, our leaders are wholly out of symathy with the Bolsheviki it could not be otherwise.
In the new epoch of severe social struggles into which the world is evolving, the Socialist movement of the world, and certainly that of the United States, will sorely need the socialist clearness, the revolutionary determination, the proletarian fearlessness and consistency of the Bolsheviki.
Spirit and tactics of the third International will be permeated with the spirit of the Bolsheviki, or it will cease to be. The new election of the National Executive that is already under way gives to the Socialists of the United States the opportunity to do their bit in preparing the Socialist movement to cope with the problems that are awaiting it.
As the Magazine goes to press the National Executive Committee is heard from. The declaration comes too late to have the inﬂuence that should be exerted by such an important appeal of our Party.