28 THE CLASS STRUGGLE quarrels of the capitalist class and, therefore, matters of supreme indifference to the working class. The Socialist agrees with the anarchist that the entire matter is a capitalist family quarrel. He therefore agrees with the anarchist that the workers who understand their real interest could not possibly take sides in this capitalist quarrel so as to help either side by lining up with either of the capitalist political parties dividing on that issue. But he does not profess any indifference on the question at issue. He frankly says that he is for free trade, because that policy is in line with a course of development most «favorable to the ultimate interests of the working class. He therefore writes free trade in his political platform. But he refuses to give up his independence of action politically in order to secure free trade. To the charge of impracticalness and dogmatism he replies by saying that he considers it the height of folly to give up the chief means of working class emancipation in order to obtain one of the tiles which would be useful in building the edifice of the future, and by pointing to the fact that the capitalist elements and parties which have at one time insisted that the welfare of the human race depended on free trade have cast that beautiful doctrine off like a suit of old clothes when the economic wind began to blow from a different direction. t: Such were the main currents of thought and the principal poli cies of the Labor Movement in times of peace. And the same they remain during war times. The field of operations has changed and the old ideas received new applications. But their essential character remains the same. The same three main currents of thought are still fighting for supremacy, and the same three policies are still contending for recognition, each claiming to be the proper policy of the working class.
First and foremost there is the trade union point of view, adhered to by the great majority of the workers in each of the warring countries. It is this point of view that dictated the Policy of August to the German Socialists and makes the majority Socialists of Germany adhere to that policy even now, when all the deceptions of their government have been exposed SOCIALIST POLICY IN PEACE AND WAR 29 and the specious excuses of invasion and Czarism have disappeared. It is this that makes German Socialists join in the cry that England is the Enemy. It is this that makes the German majority Socialists approve of their government Balkan policy fighting shy of any definite promise to demand of their government the complete restoration of Serbian independence. It is this point of view that makes them so solicitous about the restoration to Germany of her colonies as a condition of peace. repeat: It is not because of any vulgar patriotism that the German Socialists have supported their government in this war through thick and thin. And it is not because of the ordinary patriotism that the majority Socialists of Germany now insist on a German Peace. It is not because they are solicitous about the honor or glory of the German Empire, nor because they are anxious for the spread of German Kultur that they violate all Socialist traditions in demanding as conditions of peace that Germany road to Bagdad he kept open and a Colonial Empire secured to her. There may, of course, be some Socialists in Germany who are actuated in these matters by purely nationalistic motives. Nay, there probably are some nationalists among the Socialists of Germany as there are in every other country.
But the backbone of the German Socialists policy, whether in entering the war or in being ready to continue it until a German Peace can be secured, is not this nationalistic element. The bulk of the German Socialists who are still behind the Policy of August is actuated by entirely different motives.
As see it, the Policy of August 4, including the insistence on a German Peace, is, inthe main, dictated by an honest desire to protect and conserve the interests of the working class of Germany. The German majority Socialists, instead of being traitors to the working class men who would sacrifice its interests on the altar of national glory so that German capitalists might exploit the world instead of English or French are, for the most part, men who do all that lies in their power to serve that class according to their lights. It is not that their moral sense is obtuse, but their lights are dim.
And their lights are those of the trade unionis transferred