16 THE CLASS STRUGGLE Such ideas cannot be formulated by the dominant classes, for they are not in accordance with their interests. The new catchwords must of necessity be democratic. Among them the word solidarity, whose significance was only beginning to be learned when the war broke out, may be conspicuously effective.
War will never be ended by the devices of diplomats. The firm will of the people to peace is the only effective barrier against war, the only shield against the effects of the war propaganda upon public opinion.
Socialist Policy in Peace and War By Bounm Since the outbreak of the great European conflict, which has now turned into a world war, the atmosphere of the Socialist movement has been surcharged with all kinds of recriminations and accusations. These have centered particularly around the action of the German Socialists in supporting their government during the war and concluding a truce with the other political parties of Germany tor the duration of the war commonly known as the Bu rgirieden civic or internal peace.
This policy usually referred to as The Policy of August 4, because the first overt act thereunder was the voting of the war credits on August 4, 1914, has been charged with being the direct, some even say sole, cause of the downfall of the Second International, and the German Socialists have been roundly denounced as traitors for adopting it. It is assumed that this action was not only a departure from well settled policies, but in utter contravention of clearly defined principles of the International Socialist and Labor movement.
0n the other hand, it has been claimed that this action of the German Socialists land the action of lSocialists in other counries who have followed in their footsteps was ethically just ifiable and tactically correct, because war times require different policies than peace times. This is the well known docSOCIALIST POLICY IN PEACE AND WAR 17 trine of the suspension of the class struggle which has been assiduously preached in our thoroughfares since August, 1914, with the assistance of such beautiful and alluring picturesimiles as saving the ship, house on fire, etc. etc.
The accusation and the defense both proceed upon the assumption that the German Socialists acted from nationalistic motives in adopting the policy of August that hey sud denly discovered that blood was thicker than water, that they were Germans first and Socialists afterwards. And the controversy raged over the question whether or not: such a point of view is permissible in a Socialist.
This controversy is an important one, indeed a fundamental one. But it does not by any means exhaust the great questions raised by the Policy of August The question of nationalism in its blood is thicker than water form you may call it the cultural entity form, if you prefer that high falutin expression may be settled to our satisfaction without necessarily disposing of the Policy of August The trouble with the identification of the two lies in the basic assumption that on August 4, 1914, the German Socialists suddenly became nationalists. But such an assumption is contrary to all human experience. rIt is also contrary to the known facts. bear no particular love for the authors of the Policy of August But of this charge of having suddenly become nationalists en gras, or of having suddenly made the wholesale discovery that they had all along been blood is thicker than water or cultural nationalists, must acquit therm windbag like Scheidemann may, of course, have discovered under the stimulus of the great patriotic outburst and the beating of martial drums which followed the outbreak of the war, that he was a German first and a Socialist afterwards. And honest bourgeois radicals of somewhat heroic mould like Ludwig Franck, who strayed into our ranks because the sordidness of German postBismarckian bourgeois politics had no room for men of his type amay have made a somewhat similar discovery on a higher plane, amidst the great exaltation of spirit which undoubtedly seized certain elements of the German population