l0 THE CLASS STRUGGLE thereby offending our prospective customers regard being had to the fact that as matters then stood the Central Empires were as likely to be our customer as the members of the Entente.
As long as our trade was not interfered with we remained neutral. When such interference was threatened, as in the case of the first submarine campaign resulting in the destruction of the Lusitania, we protested. And no sooner were our selfish interests protected by proper concessions, we relapsed into our indifierence. But now that these concessions have been withdrawn and the enormous export trade which we have enjoyed during the past two and a half years because of our neutrality are seriously threatened, we have suddenly awakened to the solemn duty resting upon us to come to the defense of the democracy, the civilization, and the other beautiful things which are menaced by German barbarism and inhumanity.
The hypocricy of President Wilson and our capitalist class, of which he is the spokesman, is not exceptional. On the contrary it is typical of capitalism everywhere. There is no hope for democracy in this quarter.
The hope of democracy lies in the awakening of the classconsciousness of the working class in the realization by the working class, among other things, of the fact that capitalist wars are not its wars, and that in order to be able to successfully carry on the fight for true democracy, political as well as industrial, it must fight capitalist war with all the means at its command.
We are not pacifists. We are ready to fight injustice. We are ready to fight for our ideals. We are ready to fight for the interests of the working class. But we are not ready to shoot each other in a family quarrel of the ruling classes nor in order to settle the division of the world among our masters. In this country particularly and at this moment, we refuse to fight for the unrestricted right of our capitalists to grow fat on the woes of mankind, and for the unlimited opportunity of our capitalists to coin dollars out of the mangled bodies of what should be the flower of European civilization.
But in refining to participate in capitalist wars we do not remain neutral.
THE CLASS STRUGGLE ll Unlike the capitalist class and its smug representatives, we are not indifierent to the great struggle and its outcome. We are deeply interested in its progress, and even more so. 1n its results. For we do not merely desire a cessation of the frightful slaughter. We are not peace at any price men. We know. that a true and lasting peace can be founded only on the principles of justice and freedom which neither of the warring Sides cares anything about, and which will surely be trampled under by the victorious side, whichever it should happen to be. This. can only be avoided if the war is not permitted to run its capitalism course: if thr conclusion of peace is exacted by the pressure of the toning masses of each country upon their respective governments. Only in such a. case can a real and lasting peace be organized, for then the toiling masses which have meted the peace will also prescribe the terms upon which it is to be concluded.
The latest events in some of the waning countries have shown that the masses are becoming astir that they no longer follow blindly in the path laid out for them by their ruling classes. This is the Socialist opportunity. Here lies our work. to direct. the himger lashed masses into intelligent and constructiye revolution ary action. Not to permit the anger of the sufiering masses to spend itself in blind fury, but to use the forces of revolt thus let loose toward the abolition of all obstacles to a just and lasung pace and the reorganization of society. The termination of the war and the organization of the future peace must both be the result of an intelligent appreciation by the toiling masses of the forces which brought about this war, and of their own true interests which are opposed to this as well as all wars.
This can only come from a trueunderstanding of the greatest of all historic struggles, of the Class Struggle. We must therefore bend all our energies to bring home to the toiling masses the full import of this struggle. We must show them the two nations within each nation, and help them to a realization of the fact that fundamentally each of these two nations the capitalist as well as the working class nation is international. in character and scope. Only then will they realize that the capitalist wars of the present era, like the dynastic wars of old, are mere family quar