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international revolution of the proletariat, the war having initiated the epoch of the proletarian revolution.
The revolution in Germany decided the controversy. The first revolution was made by the masses, against the protests of the dominant moderate Socialism, represented by the Social Democratic. Party. As in Russia, the first stage of the Revolution realized a bourgois parliamentary republic, with power in the hands of the Social Democratic Party.
Against this bourgeois republic organized a new revolution, the proletarian revolution directed by the Spartacan Communists. And.
precisely as in Russia, the dominant moderate Socialism opposed the proletarian revolution, opposed all power to the Soviets, accepted parliamentary democracy and repudiated proletarian dictatorship.
The issue in Germany could not be obscured.
Germany was a fully developed industrial na tion, its economic conditions mature for the introduction of Socialism. In spite of dissimilar economic conditions in Germany and Russia, the dominant moderate Socialism pursued a similar counter revolutionary policy, and revolutionary Socialism a common policy, indicating the international character of revolutionary proletarian tactics.
There is, accordingly, a common policy that characterizes moderate Socialism, and that is its conceplion of the state. Moderate Socialism aflirms that the bourgeors, democratic para liamentary state is the necessary bass for the introduction of Socialism; accordingly, it con ceived the task of the revolution, in Germany and Russia, to be the construction of the democratic parliamentary state, after which the process of introducing Socialism by legislative reform measures could be initiated. Out of this conception of the state developed the counterrevolutionary policy of moderate Socialism: Revolutionary Socialism, on the contrary, in sists that the democratic parliamentary. state can never be the basis for the introduction of Socialism; that his necessary to destroy the parliamentary state, and construct a new state of the organized producers, which Will deprive the bourgeoisie of political power, and function as a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
The proletarian revolution in action. hasconclusively proven that moderate Socraism 15. 111capable of realizing the. objectives of Sacralism. Revolutionary Socrahsm alone is capable of mobilizing the proletariat for Soc1alismi for the conquest of the power of. the state, by means of revolutionary mass action and proletarian dictatorship.
The u stir e of revolutionary Socialism in the AmeficangSocialist Party, expressed in the Left Wing, is not a product Simply of European conditions. It is, in a fundamental sense.
the product of the experience of the American movement the Left Wing tendency in the Party having been invigorated. by the experience of the proletarian revolutionsnn Europe.
The dominant moderate Socralism of the International was equally the Socralism of the American Socialist Party.
The policy of moderate SOCialisrn in the Socialist Party comprised its policy in an attack upon the larger capitalists, the trusts, maintaining that all other diviSions in socrety. in cluding the lesser capitalists and the middle class, the petite bourgeomf are material for the Socialist struggle against Capitalism.
The moderate Socialism dominant in the Socialist Party asserted, in substance: Socialism is a struggle of all the people against the trusts and big capital, making the realizuation of So; cialism depend upon the unity of. the people, of. the workers, the small capitalists, the small Tm: REVOLUTIONARY AGE investors, the professions, in short. the official Socialist Party actually depended upOn the petite bourgeoisie for the realization of Socialism.
The concentration of industry in the United States gradually eliminated the small produc ers, which initiated the movement for government ownership of industry and for other re forms proposed to check the power of the phitocracy; and this bourgeois policy was the animating impulse of the practise of the Socialist Party.
This party, moreover, developed into an expression of the unions of the aristocracy of. abor, of the of The party refused to engage in the struggle against the reactionary unions, to organize a new labor movement of the militant proletariat.
While the concentration of industry and social developments generally conservatized the skilled workers, it developed the typical proletariat of unskilled labor, massed in the basic industries. This proletariat, expropriated of all property, denied access tothe of unions, required a labor movement of its own.
This impulse produced the concept of iiidustrial unionism, and the But the dominant moderate Socialism rejected indus trial unionism and openly or covertly acted against the Revolutionary industrial unionism, moreover, was a recognition of the fact that extraparliamentary action was necessary to accomplish the revolution, that the political state should be destroyed and a new proietarian state of the organized producers constructed in order to realize Socialism. But the Socialist Party not only repudiated the form of industrial unionism, it still more emphatically repudiated its revolutionary political implications. clinging to petty bourgeois parliamentarism and reformism.
United with the aristocracy of labor and the middle class, the dominant Socialism in the Socialist Party necessarily developed all the evils of the dominant Socialism of Europe, and, particularly, abandoning the immediate revolutionary task of reconstructing unionism, on the basis of which alone a militant mass Socialism could emerge.
It stultified working class political action.
by limiting political action to elections and participation in legislative reform activity. In every single case where the Socialist Party has elected public officials they have pursued a con sistent petty bourgeois policy, abandoning Socialism.
This was the official policy of the Party. Its representatives were petty bourgeois, moderate. hesitant. oblivious of the class struggle in its fundamental political and industrial implications. But the compulsion of life itself drew more and more proletarian masses in the party, who required simply the opportunity to initiate a revolutionary proletarian policy.
The war and the proletarian revolution in Russia provided the opportunity. The Socialist Party, under the impulse of its membership, adopted a militant declaration against the war.
But the oflicials of the party sabotaged this declaration. The official policy of the party on the war was a policy of petty bourgeois pacifism. The bureaucracy of the party was united with the bourgeois People Council, which accepted a Wilson Peace and betrayed those who rallied to the Council in opposition to the war.
This policy necessarily developed into a repudiation of the revolutionary Socialist position. When events developed the test of accepting or rejecting the revolutionary implications of the declaration against the war, the party bureaucracy immediately exposed its reactionary policy, by repudiating the policy of the Russian and German Communists. and reIllb 5» 1919 fusing affiliation with the Communist International of revolutionary Socialism.
PROBLEMS or AMERICAN SOCIALISM Imperialism is dominant in the United States, u hich is now a world power. It is developing a centralized, autocratic federal government, acquiring the financial and military reserves for zgression and wars of conquest. The war has aggrandized American Capitalism, instead of weakening it as in Europe. But world events will play upon and influence conditions in this country dynamically, the sweep of revolutionary proletarian ideas; materially, the coming constriction of world markets upon the resumption of competition. Now all mighty and supreme, Capitalism in the United States must meet crises in the days to come. These conditions modify our immediate task, but do not alter its general character; this is not the moment of revolution, but it is the moment of revolutionary struggle. American Capitalism is developing a brutal campaign of terrorism against the militant proletariat. American Capitalism is utterly incompetent on the problems of reconstruction that press down upon society. Its reconstruction program is simply to develop its power for aggression, to aggrandize itself in the markets of the world.
These conditions of Imperialism and of multiplied aggression will necessarily produce proletarian action against Capitalism. Strikes are developing which verge on revolutionary action, and in which the suggestion of proletarian dictatorship is apparent, the striker workers trying to usurp functions of municipal govern ment, as in Seattle and Winnipeg. The mass struggle of the proletariat is coming into being. minor phase of the awakening of labor is the trades nions organizing Labor Party.
in an effort conserve what they have secured as a privileged caste. Labor Party is not the instrument for the emancipation of the working class; its policy would in general be what is now the oflicial policy of the Socialist Party reforming Capitalism on the basis of the bourgeois parliamentary state. Laborisrn is as much a danger to the revolutionary proletariat as moderate, petty bourgeois Socialism. the two being expressions of an identical tendency and policy. There can be no compromise either with Laborism or the dominant moderate Socialism.
But there is a more vital tendency, the tendency of the workers to initiate mass strikes. strikes which are equally a revolt against the bureaucracy in the unions and against the employers. These strikes will constitute the determining feature of proletarian action in the days to come. Revolutionary Socialism must use these mass industrial revolts to broaden the strike, to make it general and militant; use the strike for political objectives, and, finally. develop the mass political strike against Capitalism and the state.
Revolutionary Socialism must base itself on the mass struggles of the proletariat, engage directly in these struggles whiie emphasizing the revolutionary purposes of Socialism and the proletarian movement. The ma. strikes of the American proletariat provide thematerial basis out of which to develop the concepts and action of revolutionary Socialism.
Our task is to encourage the militant mass movements in the of to split the old unions, to break the power of unions which are corrupted by Imperialism and betray the militant proletariat. The of in its dominant expression, is united with Imperi«
alism. bulwark of reaction, it must be exposed and its power for evil broken.
Our task, moreover, is to articulate and organize the mass of the unorganized industrial proletariat, which constitutes the basis for a militant Socialism. The struggle for the revo(Continued on page 14.