21 THE CLASS STRUGGLE 20 THE CLASS STRUGGLE come into power. The old, semi feudal, noble, landowning class is overthrown. In its place stand the new rulers, the modern, capitalist bourgeoisie.
But the second step will inevitably follow: the transformation of the fatherland of the Gutschkoff Miljukoff into the fatherland of the proletariat.
How did it happen that the Imperialists won the victory, although they were anything but revolutionary? The answer is plain. Everything points to a compromise between the ruling classes. The revolution was not yet strong enough to overthrow the capitalist system; it has only effected a shifting of the elements within the bourgeoisie as a whole, has placed the more progressive wing at the helm, by pushing aside the reactionary nobility.
But the revolution is steadily growing. Even now, while these lines are being written, there exist in Petrograd two governments, one, that of the Imperialist bourgeoisie, which was jubilantly greeted by the bourgeois classes of the other allied nations; the other, the governmental machine of the proletariat, the workingmen and soldiers council, The struggle between the working class and the Imperialists is Inevitable. Even the reforms that have been proclaimed by the provisional government were concessions made out of fear of the threats of the proletariat. But the liberal government will not be in a position to fulfill the programme that has been forced upon it. The high cost of all necessaries of life and the growing burden of taxation can be decreased to a measurable degree only by the liquidation of the war, by confiscation, by the anullment of state debts, by taxation of the possessing classes, by fixing hours of labor and wages, by organizing public works, etc.
But Miljukoff and his class must pay the debts they have incurred to the English, the French and the American bankers.
They must defend the principle of private property, must continue the policy of usurpation, a policy that is suicidal at the present stage of complete disorganization. So the new government is staggering toward bankruptcy, to clear the way for the pro letariat.
But the conquest of political power by the proletariat will, under the existing circumstances, no longer mean a bourgeois revolution, in which the proletariat plays the role of the broom of history. The proletariat must henceforth lay a dictatorial hand upon production, and that is the beginning of the end of the capitalist system. lasting victory of the Russian proletariat is, however, inconceivable without the support of the west European proletariat.
And this support is fully guaranteed by the present international situation. To be sure, the Russian Revolution has its specific abnormalities. But it is, as a product of the world war, only a part of the coming world revolution of the proletariat, whose first step it represents.
Wars and revolutions are the locomotives of history, one of our Socialist teachers once said. And the present war was destined to produce the revolution. The ruin of all national economy and with it the greatest conceivable concentration of capital, the formation of gigantic units of production, the adoption of state capitalism, the advance of great masses upon the scene of history and the unbearable sufferings of these masses. The oppression of the people and its armament all of these conflicts must find their solution in a gigantic catastrophe.
More than 100 years ago, when the French bourgeoisie had cut off the head of its king, it lighted the torch of revolution in Europe. This was the signal for a whole series of capitalist revolutions. To day the bourgeoisie stands at its grave. It has become the citadel of reaction. And the proletariat has come to destroy its social order.
The call to arms to this great upheaval is the Russian Revolution. Well may the ruling classes tremble before a communist revolution. The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains; it has a world to gain.