210 THE CLASS STRUGGLE contrary emanating from German press agents is based upon lies and falsifications. The entire Lettish people was as one in its opposition against a. German war of liberation. The Committee on Foreign Relations of the Lettish Social Democracy, in 1915.
protested against the German plan of annexation and the Lettish Committee in Switzerland likewise denounced the speech of the German Chancellor that we have quoted above in the name of the Lettish people.
Just before the occupation of Riga the fifth congress of the Social Democracy of Lettland, meeting in the palace of Riga, adopted a resolution concerning the future fate of the Lettish nation. The resolution contains the following main declarations. The fifth congress of the Social Democracy of Lettland fundamentally recognizes: That the free development of capitalism and the interest of the proletarian class struggle demand the political autonomy of large territorial units; That this inevitable historic and capitalistic tendency must be founded upon a strictly democratic basis: democratic centralization. In view of the peculiar conditions in Russia the fact that Russia has only just freed itself from bureaucratic centralization; the largeness of its territory; its enormous population (170, 000, 000) and the large number of separate nationalities within the Russian nation (over 100. the fact that the industrial and cultural development and the percentage of the proletariat in Russia is smaller than in Lettland in view of all these facts the Congress.
of the Lettish Social Democracy finds itself under the necessity of modifying the generally recognized principle of democratic centralization. The Congress recognizes the dangers that an extreme separatist policy bears for democracy, and therefore favors an intimate union with Russia, demanding, at the same time, the fullest democratization of Russia. In consequence of these fundamental considerations the Congress has adopted the following resolutions concerning the future of Lettland: GERMANY, THE LIBERATOR an In the interest of the Lettish proletariat the fifth Congress of the Lettish Social Democracy stands most emphatically for a unified, undivided Lettland (i. e. a unit comprising Livonia, Courland and Latgale, the Lettish portion of the Government of Witebsk) and categorically demands Iettland political autonomy, e. full local control in all industrial, political, and administrative questions. However the war may end, the fifth Congress of the Lettish Social Democracy, moved, above all, by the interests of the Lettish proletariat, demands the absolute unification of Lettland. The Social Democracy will guard the unified Lettish nation from being sacrificed to the imperialism of the world powers. he Social Democracy of Lettland demands that the decision over the future and the international position of Lettland remain alone with the inhabitants of Lettland. Every attempt to gamble with our fate will meet with the most determined and most bitter opposition of the Lettish Social Democracy.
This attitude is the natural outgrowth of the historic past, of the economic conditions of the present and the political outlook for the future of the Baltic peoples. They have accumulated a hatred against the Baltic nobility that is as bitter as it is justi liable; a hatred so intense that they would certainly refuse to submit to a new brand of junker rule. Their present economic interests bind them indissolubly to Russia, while the political development of Russia, its political maturity, its proven revolutionary fighting spirit have always assured the Lettish people that Russia will be politically democratized more rapidly and more thoroughly than the German working clams under the infamous leadership of Scheidemann, David, Lensch and Legien. The Lettish Social Democracy has not suffered and fought for years for the privilege of living as subjects of the third class under Prussian rule, to labor as productive farm hands for Prussian junkers, to die as useful troops in future wars of German im perialism.
The Federated Russian Republic as conceived by the Bolsheviki, and in the aspirations of the Finnish revolutionists, as it was