2 THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE Saturday, March 22, 1919 The Revolutionary Age Chronicle and Interpretation of lntemational Events LoustFnAmA. Editor Emuonn MACALPINE. Associat: Editor Contributing Editors SIN Kaunas Wants rent Joan REED Hounwrcn Lunwro Lona ISSUED EVERY SATURDAY By Loom Boston, Socialist Party Steiner, Business Manager 885 Washington St. Boston, Mass.
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The Reaction in Germany HF. majority Socialists in Germany, speaking through the Prussian Var Minister, Colonel Rein, are nnblushingly defending their policy of mere. suppression. These are the gentlemen who are. nlcnming the terror in Russta! The majority. ucialists, through the Ebert Scheidemann Government of the People Butchery. have concluded an alliance with the most sinister elements of the old reg ime against the Spartacan Communists and the Rev0 lution. The recent battles in the civil war have ended in a temporary victory for the Government. But a new revolution is developing: cnished. the Spar tacau Communists garner new energy and resources from their defeat. There is a new revolutionary movement preparing to establish a Soviet Republic. The Government. accordingly. is still considering incorporating the Soviet Congress as the lower chamber of the parli ament. llut this compromise must accelerate the demand for a real Soviet Government. And. while the Ebert Scheidemann Government uses murder and terror to crush the German Bolshevi they are trying to imprcss upon the Allies the idea that. unless Germany gets good tcrms. the Bolsheviki will conquer. It is characteristic of the Ebert gangsters to thus play the game of the old regime in all sorts of dark and uno us ways. The revolutionary proletariat in. 1y will yet act against this infamy.
Berne and the League HI. Berne Congress of the Great Betrayal. of the social patriots and petty bourgeois Socialists. approved of the League of Nations on the basis of Caritalism. They. of course. wanted the League to :bc democratic. a League of peoples. and not of gover mncnts. as if that aspiration meant anything or could he realized while Capitalism controls the world socially. ccouomically and politically. These socialpatrims imagine they can infiuencc events by words.
in (ad of by means of the class power of the revoltilionary proletariat. They will not influence the actual structure of the proposed League; but they will mobilize the unconscious masses in favor of a League that is a betrayal of the nmsses. a means of preventing the masses from engaging in the struggle for the conquest of power by tlu proletariat. The bourgeois League of Nations mnsl ncccssarily bc :1 countcr rcvolutinnary instrumcnt. ls is woven by the attitude toward Soviet Rus a of thc lig Five nations organizing;r it.
Then: rcnl uccd for a League of. but it must bc a League of Nations and not a Leagut rig aim!
the Nations :md a real League can be nothing else than a Length: of Socialist Soviet Nations. The mod erate Social in this as in all great sues, is petty bourgeois. pacifist and reformist. and directly counterrevolutionary.
Unkind and Stupid ill. llcrnc (ingress of counter rev)lutiou clcctcd a nmnission in go to Kits :1 to investigate liolshcvism. lint thc rcnch. vcrmnent has inst rc«
fused pasSports to this comm ssion of three. This is not only rcfllly unkind. but stupid. Here arc men willing to do the dirty work of Capitalism: here are men representing a Congress which. through Kaustky.
Eisner. limdcrson. liranting. Rzunsav Macdonald and Renamlcl. denounccd R1 hcvism as the ruin of Russia and the cucmv of So in: here are men who arc willing: to stnltifv Sm til it and mobilize the masses against llu lilll ll i» and the lit cnch Government refiiscs tlu I ports! The majority at the icrnc. nnnrrsa nhirh was snlid in its denunciation of the lolchcviki. lv clnrcd that thorn was no need of all investinaIi e l. the :vttitudo of the bourgeois reactionary: but thvy appointed the commission as in tho wovcrhi. and thou. aitI all. the ronort of this commi sinn might hc a means of fighting the Bob sheviki not alone in Russia. but, more important, in the nations and movements represented by these betray. of Socialism. But then bourgeois governments are proverbially stupid; they often don recognize their real friends, which in this case are the moderate Socialists.
The answer of the Soviet Government to this Socialist investigation commission was blistering: we will allow you to come to Russia and accord you the same courtesy that would accord a commission represent ing any bourgeois government. This should rouse a sense of shame: but the Socialist counter revolutonary moderate is dead to shame.
The Wrong Campaign is being realized that the bourgeois campaign in this country against llolshevism adopted wrong methods and has proven a miserable fizzle. Says the New York Eacniny Post of March I8: People have learned to shrug their shoulders about the Red Terror because newspapers that should have known better have poured crimson and vermillion over the original red. Insistence on the imbecile story of a communal ownership of women the product possibly of halfa dozen disordered anarchist minds in a single district in Russia has driven many people to regard everything printed against the Bolsheviki as lies. In the same editorial the Post. rmtkes this excellent point: Insistence must not be on the facts of the Red Terror, but the question whether the Red Terror is being used to build a new life or chaos. But if the bourgeois campaign does not consist of lies and exaggerations.
of what can it consist? The facts and the truth are with the Soviet Republic and the Bolsheviki; but the facts and the truth would arouse the sympathy and acceptance of the Anterican proletariat: the bourgeois campaign must be one of lies and slanders, or else collapse. But it nmst collapse anyway, since lies and slanders are bound to bring their own refutation. It a terrible dilemma for the ruling class.
In the Shops campaign against American Bolshevism has trinus and interesting developments. That there is a mighty Bolshevik upsurge among the masses is evident. The campaign clearly shows that the ruling class is impotent. ultimately. to tackle the Bolshevik problem. and will be crushed by it. The developments of this campaign reveal, not so much the material for immediate action perhaps. as the material out of vuhieh can be organized the iron battalions of the proletariat. by means of interpretation and clari fication.
The problem is. how to direct and organize this llolshevik upsurge in the masses? An indication is provided bv a letter to the Boston Herald of March 18, written evidently by a reactionary workman in the shop. The correspondent says: We in the factories feel the Bolshevism menace ill the vcrv air. It isn hazy or indefinite or academic. It real. organized and practical. The men are reading The Revolutionary Age as they eat their luncheon; they sing revolutionary songs at their work; they hoot and jccr as employers and visitors wall: through the build: ings: they circulate notices calling for a nation wide str e to free Mooney: they post on their benches circulars calling for freeing of the political prisonrrsz the have let it be known hv underground methods that labor will not take the fifth Liberty loan: they have cndorsed and financially sunported the Lawrence strike. in defiance of its repudiation by organized labor in Lawrence and by the secretary of labor; they openly announce their intention of forcing a revolution and taking ovi cnnlrul of industry. hc covrcspomlcnt then proceeds to offer suggestions or action iusl flu so :i ritators. But these are lltllllllllll llllll. lll ll stup. The important thing is: Agitation Mortality in the shops. in the flauls.
rollcr. ll whorl firs think as workers. know of groups of comrades in mills and shops who form small groups to finance agitation among their fellow world rs. One group has distributed ten thousand copies of Tlu lx rr ulmimmry Agc twice in their plant. and two thousand Rolslievik pamphlets.
This is being done in scores of places. and constitutes a splcudid means of agitatiion. ur agitation must converge on the mills and shops lu rc the vorkcrs are employed. They may not come to mcclings: they may not read leaflets distributed to thcm (in strcct corners or at their homes: but literature distributed in the shop interests thcm. arouses dis cussiou. is efiertivc The u nrkcrs must be taught to thinl in terms of the industry where they are employc. tl. nlc as prulclarians. The power of the proletariat lips in its control of indusl our agitation will never develop inlu acliun until can get the workers to down tools. march out of the plants. get other workt rs to n nut. go out into the strcets. and develop tho mulilicnl muss strikc (If the proletariat. mr llnlslm policy uvust. while emphasizing the ultimate implic inns. adjust itself to the requirements ul itvmcdiaic action: out of this inuncdiate action. if it. in in. ml with thc revolutionary tendency of the proletariat. will develop the larger action. this momcut. our of our ilmucdiatc luslcs is to amuse in. of assassination the proletariat the concept and the action of the political strike a strike in which the workers use their industrial mass action for political purposes. The proposed general strike to demand the release of Tom Mooney would be of a partial political character; it must be converted into a real political strike to release all political prisoners. We must get the industrial masses into action; we must concentrate our energy upon the mills. shops and mine preparing the final struggle.
Cottin Defence HE Anarchist who tried to kill Clemenceau, and wounded him Emile Cottin has been condemned to death by the French Government.
The condemnation is universally approved by those who equally approve of the government assassins in Germany, but who protest violently against the Red Terror in Russia.
The summary condemnation of Cottin is a clear act of class justice. He did not kill Clemenceau but he is immediately condemned to death. The assassin of Jean Jaures Vilain did kill Jaures; but he was not condemned to death; indeed, Vilain has not even been brought to trial. Almost simultaneously with the news that Cottin ha. been condemned to death comes the news that Vilain may he brought to trial soon. Is the French Government afraid of revelations, afraid that proof might be produced of the complicity of government agents in Joures assassination. Cottin act was an act of terror. The French Government has answered terror with terror. So be it. Ve do not object: it is the social war, the corrosive corruptionrof bourgeois society. But we do object to the Vll hypocrisy of using and approving the white terror of the bourgeoisie and condemning the red terror of the revolutionary proletariat. We do object to the smug moral attitudes bourgeois society assumes in the matter of terror. It is true, terror is terror; but it makes all the difference in the world whether the terror is used to preserve a corrupt and corrupting social system. or whether it is used as a brutal but necessary factor in destroying the old order and creat ingr the new.
The first statement of Cottin, printed elsewhere in this issue of The Revolutionary Age. is a valuable document in two aspects: the light it throws upon conditions in France. and the light it throws upon the psvrhology of the Anarchist.
Cottin recital of the French Government treatment of the Russian soldiers in France is terrible. It is a scathing indictment. a recital of the infamy that characterizes bourgeois reaction. Ve had suspected much. and heard a little, about the Russian soldiers in France: but the actual facts are more terrible than the rumors. The arrest of the Soldiers Soviet formed immediately after the March Revolution; the sec recy concerning the fate of thescemen, probably condemned to torture and death: the arressts and executions of individual revolutionary soldiers; the massacre of detachments of Russian soldiers who refused to fight: the campaign to induce them to go to Russia to fight their own people and their own comrades, for the counter revolution: the attacks made upon these soldiers by French troops to the. strains of the Marseillaise: the imprisonment at hard labor of the members of the Soviet for refusal to accept the proposal to send the soldiers to Russia to aid the Czecho Slovaks after Brest Litovsk; and. most infamous of all.
the rilr of 40. 000 of llirsr Russian soldiers to Africa or slows all this. and more. is an immemorial indictment of class brutality, of the cold, merciless reaction that controls France. This is the government that rcfu to ociatc with the Soviet Government, which it stigmatizes as assassins and barbarians These are terrible facts. And they must arouse protest and action in the class conscious proletarian.
To the Socialist. they are a call to awaken and organize the proletariat, to develop that mass action out of which revolutions arise, and which alone is an answer to the bourgeois terror. To Cottin. the Anarchist, however. they were a call to individual action. And, as his own statement indicates. not revolution but rcr cng was the ideological impulse of his deed. There was in his mind. of course. the idea of revolution: but revolution undcr emotional impulse had merged into rrz rngr. LT he feeling is emotionally conceivable.
considering the infamous acts of the government of Clemenceau: but it is not a revolutionary feeling. it is the feeling of a man emotionally broken down by the stress of oppression.
individual action may appear violently revolutionarv: but when the actual test of the revolution comes, when mass action is the order of the day. then the man of individual action becomes reactionary. cannot adapt himself. since his milirn is completely difiercnt from that of tho revolutionary proletariat in action. It is significant that. in Russia. virtually all the former terrorists. led by Savinknv and Burtsev. were and are still against the Bolshev. they are using the tactic. inst the members of the Soviet. ovcrnmrnt arc inmlacably vounteprevolutionc y.