July 5, I919 the capitalist class against the working class, since world power means power over the proletariat.
But the dominant Socialism acc epted the war as a war for democracy as if democracy under the conditions of Imperialism is not directly counter revolutionary! It justified the war as a war for national independence as if Imperialism is not necessarily determined upon annihilating the independence of nations!
Nationalism, social patriotism, and socialImperialism determined the policy of the domi nant Socialism, and not the proletarian class struggle and Socialism. The coming of Socialism was made dependent upon the predatory war and Imperialism, upon the international proletariat cutting each other throats in the struggles of the ruling class!
The Second International on the whole merged in the opposed imperialistic ranks.
This collapse of the International was not an accident, nor simply an expression of the betrayal. by individuals. It was the inevitable consequence of the whole tendency and policy of the dominant Socialism as an organized movement.
The Socialism which developed as an organized movement after the collapse of the revolutionary First International was moderv ate, petty bourgeois Socialism. It was a Socialism adapting itself to the conditions of national development, abandoning in practice the militant idea of revolutionizing the old world.
This moderate Socialism initiated the era of constructive social reforms. accepted the bourgeois state as the basis of its activity and strengthened that state. Its goal became, constructive reforms and cabinet portfolios the co operation of classes, the policy of openly or tacitly declaring that the coming of Socialism was the concern of all the classes, instead of emphasizing the Marxian policy that the construction of the Socialist system is the task of the revolutionary proletariat alone.
In accepting social reformism, the co operation of classes, and the bourgeois parliamentary state as the basis of its action, moderate Socialism was prepared to share responsibility with the bourgeoisie in the control of the capitalist state, even to the extent of defending the bourgeoisie against the working class and its revolutionary mass movements. The counter revolutionary tendency of the dominant Socialism finally reveals itself in open war against Socialism during the proletarian revolution, as in Russia, Germany and Austria Hungary.
The dominant moderate Socialism was initiated by the formation of the Social Democratic Party in Germany. This party united on the basis of the Gotha Program, in which fundamental revolutionary Socialism was abandoned. It evaded completely the task of the conquest of power, which Marx, in his Criticism of the Gotha Program, characterized as follows: Between the capitalistic society and the communistic, lies the period bf the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. This corresponds to a political transition period, in which the state cannot be anything else than the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Evading the actual problems of the revolu tionary struggle, the dominant Socialism of the Second International developed into a peaceful movement of organization, of trades union struggles, of co operation with the middle class, of legislation and bourgeois State Capitalism as means of introducing Socialism.
There was a joint movement that affected the thought and practice of Socialism; on the one hand, the organization of the skilled workers into trade unions, which secured certain THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE concessions and became a semi privileged caste; and, on the other, the decay of the class of small producers, crushed under the iron tread of the concentration of industry and the accumulation of capital. As one moved upward, and the other downward, they met, formed a juncture, and united to use the state to improve their conditions. The dominant Socialism expressed this unity, developing a policy of legislative reforms and State Capitalism, making the revolutionary ass struggle a parliamentary process.
This development meant, obviously. the abandonment of fundamental Socialism. It meant working on the basis of the bourgeois parliamentary state, instead of the struggle to destroy that state. it meant the co operation of classes for State Capitalism, instead of the uncompromising proletarian struggle for Socialism. Government ownership, the objective of the middle class, was the policy of moderate Socialism. Instead of the revolutionary theory of the necessity of conquering Capitalism, the official theory and practice was now that of modifying Capitalism, of a gradual peaceful growing into Socialism by means of legislative reforms. In the words of Jean Iaurcs: we shall carry on our reform work to a complete transformation of the existing order.
But Imperialism exposed the final futility of this policy. Imperialism unites the non pro letarian classes, by means of State Capitalism, for international conquest and spoilation. The small capitalists, middle class and the aristocracy of labor, which previously acted against concentrated industry, now compromise and unite with concentrated industry and finance capital in Imperialism. The small capitalists accept the domination of finance capital. being allowed to participate in the adventures and the fabulous profits of Imperialism, upon which now depends the whole of trade and industry; the middle class invests in monopolistic enterprises, an income class whose in come depends upon finance capital, its members securing positions of superintendence, its technicians and intellectuals being exported to undeveloped lands in process of develop ment; while the workers of) the privileged unions are assured steady employment and comparatively high wages through the profits that come from the savage exploitation of colonial peoples. All these non proletarian social groups accept Imperialism, their liberal and progressive ideas becoming factors in the promotion of Imperialism, manufacturing the democratic ideology of Imperialism with which to seduce the masses. Imperialism requires the centralized state, capable of uniting all the forces of capital, of unifying the industrial process through state control and regulation, of maintaining class peace. of mobilizing the whole national power in the struggles of Imperialism. State Capitalism is the form of expression of Imperialism, precisely that State Capitalism promoted by moderate, petty bourgeois Socialism. What the parliamentary policy of the dominant moderate 50cialism accomplished was to buttress the capi talist state, to promote State Capitalism to strengthen Imperialism!
The dominant Socialism was part and Parcel of the national liberal movement, but this movement, under the compulsion of events, merged in Imperialism. The dominant Socialism accepted capitalistic democracy as the basis for the realization of Socialism, but this democracy merges in Imperialism. The world war was waged by means of this de mocracy. The dominant Socialism based itself upon the middle class and the aristocracy of labor. but these have compromised with Imperialism, being bribed by a share in the spoils of Imperialism. Upon the declaration of war, accordingly, the dominant moderat.
Socialism accepted the war and united with th.
imperialistic state.
Upon the advent of Imperialism, Capitalism emerged into a new enrich an epoch requiring new and more agressive proletarian tatics. Tactical differences in the Socialist movement almost immediately came to a head: The concentration of industry, together with the subserviency of parliaments to the imperialistic mandates and the transfer of thetr vital functions to the executive organ of govern ment. developed the concept of industrial unionism in the United States and the concept. of mass action in Europe. The struggle against the dominant moderate Socialism became a struggle against its perversion of parliamentarlsm, against its conception of the state. against its alliance with non proletarian social groups, and against its acceptance of State Capitalism. Imperialism made mandatory a reconstruction of the Socialist movement, the formulation of a practice in accord with its revolutionary fundamentals. But the representatives of moderate Socialism refused to broaden their tactics, to adapt themselves to the new conditions. The consequence was a miserable collapse under the test of the war and the proletarian revolution, the betrayal of Socialism and the proletariat.
The dominant Socialism justified its acceptance of the war on the plea that a revolution did not materialize, that the masses abandoned Socialism.
This was conscious subterfuge. When the economic and political crisis did develop potential revolutionary action in the proletariat, the dominant Socialism immediately assumed an attitude against the Revolution. The proletariat was urged not to make a revolution.
The dominant Socialism united with the capitalist governments to prevent a revolution.
The Russian Revolution was the first act of the proletariat against the war and Imperialism.
But while the masses made the Revolution in Russia, the bourgeoisie usurped power and organized the regulationbourgeois parliamentary republic. This was the first stage of the Revolution. Against this bourgeois republic organ ized the forces of the proletarian Revolution.
Moderate Socialism in Russia, represented by the Mensheviki and the Social Revolutionists, acted against the proletarian revolution. It united with the Cadets, the party of bourgeois Imperialism, in a coalition government of bourgeois democracy. It placed its faith in the war against German militarism, in national ideals, in parliamenetary democracy and the co operation of classes.
But the proletariat, urging on the poorer peasantry, conquered power. It accomplished a proletarian revolution by means of the B01shevik policy of all power to the Soviets, organizing the new transitional. state of pro«
letarian dictatorship. Moderate Socialism, even after its theory that a proletarian revolution was impossible had been shattered by life itself.
acted against the proletagian revolution and mobilized the counter revolutionary forces against the Soviet Republic, assisted by the moderate Socialism of Germany and the Allies.
Apologists maintained that the attitude of moderate Socialism in Russia was determined not by a fundamental policy, butby its con»
ccptionthat, Russia not being a fully developed capitalist country, it was premature to make a proletarian revolution and historically impose sible to realize Socialism.
This was a typical nationalistic attitude, since the proletarian revolution in Russia could not persist as a national revolution, but was compelled by its very cenditions to struggle for the (Continued on Page 8)