:92 THE CLASS STRUGGLE land into German slavery. They may be forced to stand by and see them carried off into slavery by force majore. But they cannot sign a deed selling them into slavery.
But here something quite unexpected happened. Something which neither Trotzky nor anybody else did or could expect.
The German Government actually marched into an undefended country, making war upon a people that had thrown away their arms! And the German proletariat, led by Scheidemann Co. stood by and said nothing. Nay, the German Social Democratic Party actually hastened to shake the Bolsheviki, with whom they had tried to ﬂirt before, when such a course seemed useful to the German Government.
No wonder the latest Bolshevist proclamation issued while the German army was marching into the interior of Russia, strangling Russia and the Russian Revolution, brands the German workers and their leaders as Cains and Judas and calls down curses upon their heads.
As we go to press the Bolsheviki are still nominally in power in Russia. In reality the German bayonet reigns supreme in what was not so long ago Revolutionary Russia. The curtain has fallen upon the Second Act of that terrible drama known as The Russian Revolution amid general gloom and despondency.
Will it stay down! Has History written ﬁnis to. that great historical phenomenon? Or will there be a third, a brighter Act!
It is well to remember that it is always darkest before dawn.
Perhaps the very extraordinary character of the gloom of the situation presages the approach of a brighter day. Perhaps the very extraordinary character of the crime of the German Government and of the shame of the German Government Socialists will stir the German proletariat into revolt against both, thereby saving the Russian Revolution and democracy for the world.
I93 Self Determination of Nations and Self Defense By KARL LIEBKNECHT But, since we have been unable to prevent the war, since it has come in spite of us, and our country is facing invasitm, shall we leave our country defenseless? Shall we deliver it into the hands of the enemy? Does not Socialism demand the right of nations to determine their own destinies? Does it not mean that every people is justiﬁed, nay more, in duty bound, to protect its liberties, its independence? When the house is on ﬁre, shall we not ﬁrst try to put out the blaze before stopping to ascertain the incendiary?
These arguments have been repeated, again and again in defense of the attitude of the Social Democracy, in Germany and in France. And even in the neutral countries they have played an important part in the discussions.
But there is one thing that the ﬁreman on the burning house has forgotten: that in the mouth of a Socialist the phraze defending one fatherland cannot mean playing the role of cannon fodder under the command of an imperialistic bourgeoisie.
Is an invasion really the horror of all horrors, before which all class conﬂict within the country must subside as though spellbound by some supernatural witchcraft? Has not the history of modern capitalist society shown that in the eyes of capitalist society, foreign invasion is by no means the unmitigated terror as which it is generally painted; that on the contrary it is a measure to which the bourgeoisie has frequently and gladly resorted as an eﬂective weapon against the enemy within?
Did not the Bourbons and the aristocrats of France invite foreign invasion against the Jacobites? Did not the Austrian counter revolution in 1849 call out the French invasion against Rome, the Russian against Budapest? Did not the Party of Law and Order in France, in 1850, openly threaten an invasion of the Cossacks in order to bring the National Assembly to terms?