THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE Saturday, March 29, 1919 The Socialism of Revolutionary Struggle a stage in which free competition rapidly gives war to monopoly, with export and destruction of capital ie only means to prolong the present systerx tation. in a new form of autocracy: industrial rule of the money kings and monopomaterial and intellectual subjugation of. i new middle classes and so called independent capnzvlists under the control of an iron despotism.
lr this means brutal oppression of the workers, y as well as politically. the denial of. trikc, suppression of free speech. press and action, veduction of the standard of living; internally this means a series of wars for world exploitation and wanton destruction of proletarian life and proletarian organization.
In this gigantic struggle of imperialistic Capitalism, parts of the workers, the intellectual workers. the upper layers of skilled labor, the labor bureaucracy and other groups that lack understanding, confidence or courage, betray the working class. They become the worst enemies in the class struggle, especially so, if their social patriotism and social Imperialism is presented in a form of Socialism. and pseudo Marxian theory liable to deceive the rest of the workers.
The fight against social patriotism therefore In all its forms must be considered one of the foremost duties of revolutionary Socialism a o e The class struggle between the Proleariat and Captal has entered the period of revolutionary struggles for the overthrow of the ruling class. The problem before us is either a revolutionary reconstruction of society on communist principles or the common ruin of the contending classes.
As long as the bourgeoisie had to defend itself against the remnants of feudal classes, it represented progress against reaction, and whatever class conscious forces were already born in the new underlying working class had to support their exploiters in this struggle. As long as Capitalism represented the social and technical development necessary for the realization of the Socialist crnnmonwealth. the class struggle was an important part of this development and although tendi ng towards revolutionit formed a part of the existing social order recognized as such and using legal means based on bourgeors conceptions and bourgeois morals. As soon, however, as the cap italist class has fulfilled its historic mission of creator and organizer of social and technical, conditions for Socialism, it becomes thoroughly reactionary and the underlying class has to organize as a strictly independent revolutionary force. Society actually has reached a stage where it is split up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other Bourgeoisic and Proletariat. Imperialism is the period of overdevclopmcnt of Capitalism, is the period in which Capitalism can only maintain itself by wasting and destroying the wealth it creates. Imperialism is characterized by the production of means of production for the production of other means of production.
combined with the production of means to destroy the means of production.
The imperialistic form of expansion through ex port of capital is one of the manifestation of the tendency to waste and destruction. war is another form and monopoly its economic expression. e The new development of Capitalism into its ghest imperialistic form has a deciding influence on the forms and tactics of the proletarian class struggle.
The capitalist State, under the control of big: business.
reduces the influence of arliamcnt and rt pr cntativo bodies in general to a minimum. putting: the governmental power more and more in the hands of the Executive branches: president. governors. mayors committees and judges. The old methods of paranmentary diplomacy whereby labor supported one group of capitalists against another. skillfully mailipw lating in order to try to secure certain adv :tagcs for the workcrs. have become obsolete. lt is only the: power of tire wo rs tlicins cs that coun ml the power of the we in in the s ingtlustriallly and pol y nizcd :u tit Representatives onlv count in so far as they are backed up and controlled by these masses. Parliamentary ctinn thereby does not lose every importance but cl its character. It has only sitviil pro in comfort with and a part of tl The un of this mas iion is indns ll action in indus tries. supplemented by oral (lt nmitsl. llimlk. strikes of protest. political strikes. etc.
in order to become :1 rm olun. :rv factor. industrial action has to accept general or political purpos aiminc at the overthrow of the prrscnl of ploitation. In this it can co opcralc with and back uj THE development of capitalist society has reached By Rutgers (Writtcn as a pannihlet for the Socialist Propaganda League, now merged with the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party of New York City. other forms of mass lion and in such united action li the hope and sal ation of revolutionary SOCialism.
This unity, not as the result of some intellectual. FCllClllC but through necessity of facts and actions is on its way. and it is the duty of revolutionary Socialism to further such forms of organization that correspond with this process towards one general mass action of the roletari: th tactics and a program of plain, clear cut class. sucs, avithin the grasp of the average worker. Foremost in the mind of every worker is his will to improve his material conditions and fight against lowering his standard of living; This brings him in his industrial union into a fight for higher wages and shorter hours. lot it is easily to be seen, that his standard of living can be effected either directly or indirectly. He may increase his wages, but if the buying power of the increased wage is reduced by high prices or unemployment, he may be worse off than before, as was most convincingly demonstrated during the present war. This struggle must become part of the revolutionary struggle, will develop into the revolutionary struggle.
The fight for higher wages including the fight for a guarantee of such wages under all conditions of sickness, incapacity and unemployment, therefore has to be supplemented by such demands as: taxes on capital and income only, confiscation of war profits, reptidiation of national debts, etc. This means that even in the most elementary struggle to maintain life under the present system of exploitation, political action has to supplement economic action, even if this political action has to be backed up by industrial action.
It is most evident that the greatest and strongest foe of the working class is monopolistic and financial capital. Therefore, we should demand confiscation of monopolistic industries, confiscation of the banks, em, as the first act of a proletarian revolution.
This again is a political issue. for such a confiscation would effect the whole ea italist class, would be impossible as long as the capita ist State can rely upon its material and moral means of power to protect the capitalist interests.
We do Not demand State Capitalism. If the state takes over or controls certain industries in the interest of the capitalist class, this simply means strengthening Capitalism, strengthening the State, concentration of the capitalist forces against labor. It generally means more exploitation. more slavery, more misery, ard since thi. development on the part of the exploitcrs is the dirrcf result of their imperialistic tendencies, it also means: more Imperialism and more wars. The interest of the workers, therefore, are opposed to State Capit. and labor has to fight it and especially its tendenctes towards the suppression of freedom, suppression of the right to strike, suppression of democracy. But they have to use the most efficient ways of lighting. cannot prevent State Capitalism. as little as we could prevent other. forms of concentration, trusts. en md although we know that the present imperial it. form of concentration is not necessary for creating the economic conditions for Socialism. as were some of those previous forms of concentration, our fight does not try to turn back the wheel of history but seeks to increase our power to such an extent as to overcome the power of the capitalist class and the capitalist state. And whereas Big Business wants the nationalization of or state control of certain industrics in the interest of financial and monopolistic capital. we (lClllal confiscatinn of the very stronghold of our foe. confiscation of monopolistic industries and of the h: in order to bring them under the control oi the worn know the realization of Socialism. that the and the reorganization of society uplln llillhi basis. now depends upon the strength.
the ll ptn Sc and the courage of the workers only.
The ccono fight against the State as the most pmuc. coincides and becomes one with the inst the capitalist State as such. The. row lies llt UVCCll those workers who the Nate an institution above the classes. an in to be influenced democratically by the at. those who consider the State an instru ittllist class. a stronghold of our enemy. 1. deciding factor is whether we accept in :t dance with the class struggle or not. un is based soli and uncompromising truszgle all minor difl (lcr i: it it! a: The fact that equal rights are impossible in a society based on class dominion necessitates during the revolutionary period of actual transformation of the old society into the new, what Marx called the dictatorship of the proletariat. The power in the hands of the Soviets (councils of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers)
with the exclusion of bourgeois influences was the corresponding demand of the Russian prolctarian revolution, and only from the moment of realization of this demand dates the actual proletarian revolution in Russia. As long as classes are struggling for power.
democracy can only be a form of supremacy of one class over another. The very principle of their democracy in connection with their conception of the class struggle dictated our Russian comrades to discard the Constituent Assembly.
This is by no means a betrayal of democracy but the first step towards its realization, through the over throw of class dominion. Representing the ultimate interests of the working class, by far the most numerous and most important class in Society, it would be absurd and a violation of real democracy to back down in the stmggle because our enemies have succeeded to a large extent in poisoning and fooling our own comrades to betray their and our interests.
It is high time to consider in all countries the organization of councils of the working class as a nucleus round which all revolutionary forces may rally for the seizure of power. We are in favor of organised efforts and an organised form of society, we are in favor of law and order but it has to be our own order, not the bloody disorden which Capitalism styles as the only imaginable law and order.
The working class represents democracy because of the very fact that they are the ove whelming majority not only, but because the workers are the only class that counts in the reconstruction of a human society, and we stand for democracy within our own ranks because we know this to be the only way towards final victory. But we have the most perfect horror of and contempt for the hypocritical bourgeois democracy as well as for bourgeois disarmament and bourgeois internationalism.
We do not demand general disamiament under capitalist rule. we demand military strikes to prevent capitalist wars. We want to disarm in the service of capital, but we are willing to fight in the class war. Ve are opposed to imperialistic wars, and we know that any war on the part of the present capitalist states is bound to be imperialistic and reactionary. But we do not deny the right to India, China and other suppressed nations to use armed force in their strug gles against imperialistic oppression. On the contrary, we are willing to join in such a war against the exploitation side by side ith the Indians, Chinamen, etc.
supposing there is any reasonable chance for our joint efforts to overcome our masters. We know that the day isnot far distant when there will have to be waged a revolutionary war of the world proletariat against the capitalists of the world, and we welcome any co operation in this struggle. Ve specially welcome the co operation of the suppressed colonial nations, because we know that Capitalism at present only prolongs its bloody life through the support of capital in so called backward countries in the form of new instruments of enslavemcut and exploitation for the sake of capitalist civilization. The exploited in the countries of the robbers will have to join hands with the robbed countries in a war for democracy and world peace. Not a single man nor a single cent for the militarism of our toasters against the proletarians.
no matter whether it is asked for a standing army or for a so called citizens army or militia. But when forced in the armies of the bourgeoisie, make the best of it: Knowledge of military science and military practice may be valuable to anybody. are no pacifists, and when we ask abolition of the military service through military and general strikes we supple :neul this with the demand for armament of the people to defend their rights and for the overthrow of Capitalism. The proletariat. armed and experienced in this war. by forcing its demands through mass action. now that it l1. still the weapons in its possession, can overcome the capitalists and realize a Socialist society at least in cstern Europe. says Dr. ll. iorter in his imperialist thr World War and the Social Democrun.
The ital issue in practical actions and policies is the Social Revolution. Tactics must be based on this ct Mccption. This means a sr. al process in which the defeats will follow victories: tln duration of the pe riod cannot be estimated. lur one feature is clear above all other. the workers. have to count on their own pin :cr alone. they have to work out their own snlxntinn. uncompromisingly against all other classes.
united as these are by the new ideology of Imperialism.
The workers have to develop their own ideology of the Social lx cvohniml. their own tactics of mass action, their own weapons of labor strikes and labor revolts.