THE CLASS STRUGGLE paid for this evasion will not absolve us from the task of undertaking their solution. They are pressing upon us. The old International is dead. And unless we are willing to give up all hope of creating a new International based upon the international solidarity of the working class at all times and under all conditions, we must set about this work immediately and with a frankness that shall fully atone for the ambiguities and evasions of the past.
It is not a question of holding courts martial over traitors, nor of sitting in moral judgment over poor sinning souls. Recrimi nations are useless. The task before us is: to endeavor to attain cleansers of vision a: a basis for future action; The rock upon which the Second International was wrecked was the question of Nationalism. The international character of the Socialist movement had been so often proclaimed, that it was assumed without question or examination into its real meaning. But the great crisis proved that the Second International, instead of being a perfect union of the working class one and indivisible, was in reality, to most of its adherents, a mere confederation of national units to whom first allegiance was due in case of a conflict The first and most fundamental question, therefore, insistently demanding an answer at the hands of the Socialist movement, is the question of the doctrine of national defense. Another question brought forward by the war and demanding a clear and unequivocal answer is the question of the interest of the Socialist movement in the preservation of liberaLdemocratic institutions.
And a third question, not so important theoretically but of grave practical import to the Socialist movement of the immediate future, is the question of the organization and tactics of the new International, and its attitude toward a possible capitalistic international Such are the questions which confront the Socialist movement everywhere; and these are the quest ions which must be answered by the Socialist movement of this country if it is to participate intelligently and effectively in the rebuilding of the international Socialist movement.
THE CLASS STRUGGLE The general mental unpreparedness which wrecked the Second International was particularly marked in this country. An opportunistic leadership with limited outlook has kept the large masses of Socialists in this country in utter ignorance of the deeper currents of thought in the international Socialist movement. At the same time it discouraged all independent thinking, thereby destroying whatever chance there was of the movement in this country muddling through independently to some of the modes of thought indispensable to the modem Socialist move ment, and preventing any serious and independent consideration of American problems. As a result, there is practically no independent Socialist thought 1n this country, and the Socialist ideas elaborated abroad usually reach us only as soulless and meaningless formulae and often as mere reflexes of old world racial and nationalistic sympathies, animosities, and struggles.
It is, therefore, but natural that the great old world conflict should have had a most demoralizing efiect upon the American Socialist movement. Since the beginning of the great world conflict the Socialist movement of this country has presented a most pitiful spectacle. It has not only been unable to formulate a policy on the great questions involved, but has not even realized the gravity of the problem, and therefore naturally failed to make any serious attempt at its solution.
The bulk of theSocialists of American stock, whom the currents of European Socialistthoughts have hardly reached, are steeped in the vulgar pro ally ism generated in the stifling atmosphere of our export stimulated love of freedom and humanity.
From a sentimental point of view this does them credit. But in a great crisis like the present one, it is straight thinking and clearcut. Socialist action that counts, and not sentiment.
Opposed to this is the offensive and degrading pro Germnism of a large proportion of our membership and the party bureaucracy, who seek to cover up the sins of Germany and of Germany majority Socialists by the mantle of neutrality.
This part of the Socialist Party of this country was the only considerable body of American citizens who religiously followed