32 THE CLASS STRUGGLE of the workers within these difierent countries will be intimately connected with the prosperity of their respective countries, and so long will the workers of the different countries be reduced to the unfortunate necessity of fighting each other for the interests of their masters. It is one of the evils of the capitalist sy5 tem which we must endure along with its many other evils our only hope of escape being in the abolition of that system.
Opposed to this point of view is that of the intemationalist, who, enlarging the meaning of class so as to include all the members of the same class the world over, transcends the bounds of the nation or country as he does those of the industry.
He believes that the benefits which the workers of any country derive from the prosperity which accompanies or follows the obtaining of special international advantages are largely illusbry, and that whatever small change benefits they may thus obtain are counter balanced and outweighed a thousand fold by the great and irreparable losses which the working class as a whole must sustain by reason of the division in its ranks which the hunt for such advantages involves, and the general reactionary trend which it engenders and fosters. The internationalist therefore insists that the workers of a country can unite with the capitalists of that country in an international struggle with no more pro priety than the workers of any industry can unite with the capitalists of that industry in an intra national political struggle.
But the intemationalists are by no means all united as to the practical policy to be pursued by the workers, except the negative policy of not making any common cause with the capitalists under any circumstances. And the division here follows the same lines as the division between anarchists and Socialists in peace times.
The anarchist position is simple enough it is, in effect, a replica of his position with respect (0 politics in peace times.
War is, indeed, politics conducted by difierent means. Like the political game generally, it is partly a fight between dif ferent capitalist groups for special advantages and partly a sham battle devised by the ruling classes in order to divide the working class so as to be in a better position to exploit it. The workers SOCIALIST POLICY IN PEACE AND WAR 33 must not, therefore, take sides in this struggle, and cannot be interested in it, except to end it as speedily as possible. The outcome of any such struggle is a matter of complete indizference to the workers, who are truly neutra between the combatants.
This indiference relates not merely to the fortunes of war, but also to the terms upon which it is terminated. The term of peace do not concern us the obtaining of peace upon any term: is the only thing which really concerns the workers.
The attitude of the Socialist is much more complicated, but not more so than is his attitude towards political action in peace times. As is the case with the other two groups that we have considered, the Socialist attitude on war is merely the logical outgrowth of what we have described as the Socialist point of view and Socialist policy with respect to the fight of different groups within the nation. It is but an application to international relations of the principles and tactics which the Socialist movement has developed in intra national conflicts.
The Socialist begins by repudiating the idea of indiferentism.
Knowing that war is a continuation of politics, he follows the fortunes of war with the same intelligent interest with which he follows any political struggle. He does not take sides in the sense of favoring one group of warring capitalists against another. But whenever the different groups of warring capitalists represent different political or economic policies he desires the success of that group whose policies are more in accord with those of the Socialist movement and the ultimate interests of the working class.
But the nature of the struggle imposes an important limitation upon his departure from strict neutrality. The absolute independence and freedom of development of all peoples being one of the cardinal tenets of Socialism, he cannot desire any crushing defeat for either side except, perhaps, in a very exceptional and extraordinary case for the reason that such a defeat may involve the loss of liberty or of the chance of free development of the vanquished. He is, therefore, never a partisan in the ordinary sense of the word although his neutrality may be benevolent to one of the parties to the struggle.