The Revolutionary Age A Chronicle and Interpretation of International Events Vol. I, No. 24 Iturday, March 29, f919 Price Cents Greetings to the Soviet Republic of Hungary!
HE proletariat of Hungary has taken all power in its own hands. Like a bolt from the blue the workers, soldiers and peasants of conquered Hungary proclaim their intervention in the arena of world politics and the diplomats of Capitalism are thrown into a flurry of mingled rage and fear. While the wires were still hot with the news of the resignation of Count Karolyi, president of the provisional government of Hungary, as a protest against the peace terms of the Paris Conference, came word of the complete triumph of revolutionary Socialism and the establishment of the second Soviet Republic in the world.
With little or no resistance, with no intervening period of Socialist compromise, the Hungarian Soviet Republic rises to power and in its initial proclamation ushers in the dictatorship of the proletariat. decrees the socialization of the large estates, mines, big industries, banks and lines of transportation, declares its oneness of purpose with the revolutionary proletariat of Russia and its readiness to form an armed alliance with the Federated Soviet Republic. All over the country Workmcn Peasants and Soldiers Councils are in action and take over the functions of govemment.
The despised and beaten workers. crushed by the laudlordism and industrial tyranny of their own bourgeoisie, held in bondage by Austria Hungary, forced into a disastrous war by German Austrian Imperialism, and finally faced with the woes of the conquered by the Entente, have arisen and in one historic gesture swept aside their chains, and set out upon the march towards human freedom. What dark perils lie athwart their path, what dangers lurk in the mists of the future, trouble them not. their feet are planted on the straight path and their faces are turned towards the new day. Encircled with hostile nations, worn out by the drain of war, financially bankrupt, staring starvation and industrial min in the face, the workers have assumed control and with heroic courage set about the gigantic task of remedying thc humediate evils, and, at the same time, constructing the new society of the workers which will eventually bring world order out of the present chaos created by Capitalism.
Against the successful acomplisluuent of this task the lungarian workers will find arrayed against them the whole power of the capitalist world. Within them selves they must find the power to consolidate and maintain their victory, save for the exception of rev olutionary Russia whose heroic audacity is their inspiration. To the Russian workers they have already appealed and Russia, who herself sent out such an appeal a few months ago only to be mocked by the echo of her own words, and who is still beset with foreign bayonets and internal reaction. hu answered.
The iron tread of seventy thousand workers marching in the rescue is Russia answer and the echo of that answer shakes the world.
Out (If dark Russia, in the midst of the world misery of war. rose the flaming torch of freedom. From the ignorant peasants. the dumb workers. and the driven soldiers of Czarist Russia came the first faint music of freedom song, and as the days passed on often the singers were choked with tears and often the notes became the strains of a funeral march, and sometimes it swelled into a crushing anthem of victory but always the song continued and nlwusy the ferrid I: otes of faith mingled in the refrain faith in the ability of the world proletariat to fulfill its historic mission. The dazzling flame of the torch and the wild beauty of the song, even in its most halting strains, caugdit the imagination of those who saw or heard.
And then came Germany to flare up in the white flame of revolt and then die down, till only the embers still glow. And Austria and Hungary.
But the charred embers in Hungary, glowing so faintly that it seemed the fire was dead, have burst into new flame and the lowering clouds are red with the reflection. Russia song of freedom is caught up by new voices and has quickencd into a marching chorus. The glowing embers in Germany are crackling with new life and the faint refrain of the song can be heard in the wind.
So the Hungarian workers set about their task and the eastern sky is brightening.
Already the two Soviet governments have issued an appeal to the workers of all countries to sweep away the old system. The bourgeois press tells of the spread of Ilolshevism throughout central Europe and the diplomats of Capitalism are turning this way and that to avert fresh outbreaks. But they are powerless. Every new move brings new connplicatioiy, every award of territory here, brings discontent and adds to the menace there.
The war has awakened the workers and the inability of the diplomats to arrive at a satisfactory settlement is causing restlessness among the masses. The war has been fought and won. and the peoples want peace and a return for their sacrifices and sufferings during the fighting. But the diplomats are unable to arrive at a settlement that will satisfy their imperialistic ambitions without causing fresh hardship among the masses, and discontent among the peoples has become an active danger to Capitalism. Capitalist Imperialism can only avert trouble by ceasing to be capitalist Im perialism and this is impossible while the present system exists.
While the annexations in the defeated countries are presenting such a problem the situation in the victorious countries is also becoming serious. Whether in the victorious or the vanquished countries, the workers have paid the hideous price of war and while the vanquished are being forced into rebellion by new hardships the victorious are far from contented at bcingforced to continue to bear the hardships they have already borne. In Australia the workers are seething, with discontent. News of mass demonstrations in the principal cities of the southcm Commonwealth. often culminating in clashes with the police, is filtering through the press. The industrial union movement is giuaking giant strides throughout the country and its spokesmen declare their determination to destroy the present System of society. he embers are smoldering and a breath may fan them into flame.
In Egypt the people are openly in revolt and while the movement is a nationalist reaction to foreign dominalion the Egyptian workers are ou the road to lean:int, that only economic freedom offers a solution to their sufferings. The rule of the conquerors in Egypt has met with continual opposition since. its inception and this opposition has tlamcd in rebellion when opportunity sccmcd nrnruhlc. but coming now it is symlmlicnl of the gcucml condition throughout the world.
Throughout Spain, for the second time within the present month, martial law has been proclaimed by the government in its frantic efforts to crush the insurgent workers and drive them back to the slave pens of industry. Continual clashes between the workers and the police, who are often augmented by troops, are reported and the determination of the working masses is evidenced by the fact that each defeat at the hands of the government forces is a call to further action.
Industrial unrest is raising its head in war swept Serbia. Finding the burden of victory unbeatable, the Serbian workers are seething with revolt. Lines of transportation are completely tied up save where military mobilization, for the moment, forces the workers to submit, unemployment is spreading over the country and the rumblings of the sympathetic strike by those at work, as a protest against the conditions of their brothers, are daily becoming louder and more distinct.
Within the countries of the Great Powers, themselves, the workers are massing for the assault on the citadel of Capitalism. Strike follows strike in quick succession, each defeat adding to the anger of the.
workers and each victory whetting their appetite for further triumphs. Cabinets and the ministries totter before the stirring of the masses. In England, through the agency of the reactionary leaders and the eleventh hour concessions of the government, a great strike of the three dominant labor organizations of the country has been narrowly averted, only to break out afresh in the form of a revolt against the leaders for their compromises. Dissatisfaction in the army grows as the delay in demobilization lengthens, while the discharged soldiers are disaffected at the growth of unemployment.
In France the workers, who in the first few daysof the armistice were content with minor reforms, are insistently demanding relief from their burdens. In the army unrest spreads like wild tire, bursting into isolated revolt. particularly in the divisions occupying conquered territory when they are called upon to suppress the workers in the interests of the foreign bourgoisic.
Europe is seething, unemployment and starvation stalk throughout the nations, every protest by the people masses meets with fierce and brutal repression, the cry for bread and work brings down on the workers the Black Hundreds of Capitalism, blood Hows in the streets of the industrial centers and the masses are forced back muttering among themselves, nursing their new wounds and resentment swells the throbbings of their hearts.
Europe is seething, the Peace Conference wrangles, and above it all rises revolutionary Russia new song of freedom and in the eastern sky the dawn comes creeping up. And now in Hungary, the home of the wandering gypsies, the dark and backward people have swung into line with Russia millions. Together they sing the new song. together they hold aloft the torch of human liberty, and together they call to the war wom peoples. And the masses. in their misery, turn towards the creeping light of dawn and pause to listen to the song, and turn again to gaze into the (It pths of their own sufferings. And yet again they half turn towards the east and hesitate.