R. Palme Dutt
Source: Labour Monthly, Vol. 13, May 1931, No. 5, pp. 259-274, (5,459 words).
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
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May Day, 1931—India and the World Situation—Imperialism’s Triumph?—“Independence” in Chains—Exhaustion of Gandhism—India to New Paths—Cawnpore—Imperialism and Pogroms—Beyond Gandhism—New Stage—Driving Force of Mass Struggle—Agrarian Crisis—Towards Agrarian Revolution—Imperialism and Bourgeoisie Bankrupt—Aims of the National Bourgeoisie—Bourgeoisie and Mass Movement —Rôle of the Congress—Rôle of “Left Nationalism”—Future of Mass Struggle
With May Day, 1931, the world economic crisis, which already dominated the situation of last May Day, continues unbroken, and is still extending, its cope. All over the capitalist world, in Australia, in India, in South America, in the United States, in Europe, the masses of the population are finding themselves faced with worsening conditions and sharpening struggle. Political instability increases, both within each country, and in the world situation as a whole with the visible advance to war. Every attempt at partial combination or settlement of outstanding issues, such as the British-French-Italian Naval Agreement, or the Austro German Union, hailed at the outset by the parties concerned as advances towards harmony, is revealed as only raising larger issues of antagonism and speedily becomes entangled in these complications. The bloc against the Soviet Union advances rapidly; but even here counterposing forces are revealed (parallel advance to closer Soviet-German economic relations). The advance to direct revolutionary crisis, which has already developed in the countries of South America, now extends to Europe in Spain, and Portugal, and threatens in a series of further countries. Only in one direction does capitalism claim to have achieved a success. That direction is India. Not only British Imperialism and the Indian bourgeoisie, but the whole world bourgeoisie has acclaimed the “settlement” in India as a triumph of their order, a triumphant setback to the rising tide of revolt. Thus in his recent speech the leader of Fascism, Mussolini, signalled three outstanding events of the past months as principal steps of advance towards stabilisation: the British-French-Italian Naval Agreement, the Austro-German Customs Union and—the Anglo-Indian settlement. With regard to the first two, their extremely uncertain and far from stabilising character has been already revealed. What of the third? Is there here a reversal of the general work tendency? Is the Indian struggle going downwards at the same time as the tempo of struggle is rising throughout the world? Or are the rejoicings of the bourgeoisie, as we shall have occasion to see, here also premature? The question of the Indian struggle is not finished with the present “settlement”; it is likely to play a larger part than ever in the near future. What is the outlook? There is no question more important, not only for the hundreds of millions in India, not only for the future in Britain and of the British Empire, but for the whole world situation. It is necessary, alongside the dominating war issue and the gathering struggle at home, to give special attention to the Indian question this May Day.
Does the present situation in India represent a triumph for Imperialism? On the face of it, there might appear plenty of grounds for saying so. Certainly the exaggerated clamour of the Churchill-Rothcrmere school about the British “surrender” and “loss” of India gives no ground for discounting the triumph; this is no more than the familiar howl of the millionaire over his “ruin” at the adding of sixpence to the income tax, when in fact the whole system of taxation is devised to maintain millionaires in safety. The handful of irate colonels of tradition may sincerely believe that Messrs. Baldwin and MacDonald are “crypto-revolutionary negrophiles,” as they express it in their letters to the press; the politicians and journalists who exploit this agitation know very well that they are performing their part to strengthen the main line of imperialism by this means, hardening the front against the possibility of any important concessions by magnifying the unimportant ones, assisting Gandhi and the Congress traitors to strut as heroes, assisting Baldwin and MacDonald and the Conservative-Labour butchers to strut as liberals, painting over the real blood-and-iron policy of imperialism with a milk-and-water caricature, exalting the world-shaking significance of a settlement which changes nothing, and in general glorifying the magnanimity of British self-sacrificing liberalism. All this thankless task is performed free of charge and ungrudgingly by the Die-Hards. It is always useful for Mr. Spencer, when driving a hard bargain, to have the legend a bull-roaring Mr. Jorkins in the background.
But on any plain view of the facts, the settlement, so far as it goes, is a victory of British Imperialism without limit. Have not MacDonald and Baldwin accomplished their task of “saving India for the Empire”; have they not disarmed the Congress; have they not secured signatures to a settlement which leaves every strategic point in British hands and guarantees explicitly every point of British exploitation? Less than a year and a half ago the National Congress, claiming to represent the national struggle and holding in practice full effective leadership, proclaimed battle with British Imperialism, with the slogan of “complete independence” from British rule on their banners, and with solemn vows never to renounce the struggle until the attainment of this goal. Millions entered the struggle; thousands have been killed; tens of thousands have been imprisoned; hundreds of thousands have undergone the violence of police and military brutality. And now the Congress have called off the struggle—for what? Not for a fraction of their previous professed aims; not for a fragment even of a strategic gain; but for permission to take part in a lickspittles’ conference that they had sworn to boycott, and assist in elaborating the details of a constitution that is to serve as new figleaf of autocracy, that enthrones every force of, reaction and leaves every key of power in British hands. Not only that, but the entire Congress machine is now engaged in coolly presenting this complete capitulation as the realisation of “complete independence.” Even the heights of legal sophistry and theological casuistry, in which Gandhi and MacDonald are alike trained and at home, could hardly go further. Here is “Dominion status,” here is “the pride and honour of responsible self government” declares MacDonald of the Round-Table scheme. What after all is “complete independence,” asks Gandhi. And a suitable new definition is evolved. After all, it means simply “disciplined self-rule from within” (as the prisoner said, when proving his “complete independence”; for of course “stone walls do not a prison make”; and “my mind to me a kingdom is,” as Alphonso said when condoled with on the loss of his kingdom; and the only “true revolution,” as we all know, is of “the heart”—see Aunt Jemima’s Gem Book of Political Wisecracks for Poor Saps). Therefore it does not exclude “association with England” (“association” is good; it is delicate—especially when it means “association” with the sharp end of a bayonet). So is thrown overboard, the definition of “complete independence” officially given from the chair at the Lahore Congress at the opening of the struggle, when the flag of independence was proudly unfurled—“complete freedom from British domination and British imperialism,” not excluding participation in “a larger group, of which India could be an equal member,” but “the British Empire is not such a group.” For this independence the masses fought. What is the meaning of this turnover? It means not only that the aim, which in any case the Congress leaders never sincerely embraced, is abandoned. It means that the aim, the aim of independence which showed such power to arouse the enthusiasm and devotion of the masses, must never be allowed to be raised again: this, this slavery, is henceforth “independence.” Gandhi and MacDonald combine to co-operate in a lie in order to bury the dangerous slogan for ever; they unite to deck slavery with a garland; they pour out liberally—it costs nothing—the phrases of “responsible Government” and “complete independence” to describe a scheme which every one knows has as much to do with either as the position of a dog on a chain or a monkey on a stick.
If this were all, if Gandhi and his associates and the Princes and the merchants and the landlords were India, then indeed the situation might be described as a full and unlimited victory of imperialism; the Indian question would be “settled,” short of the detail haggling and bargaining to follow. But the situation is not so simple. That the Congress leadership, for all their flirtation with mass struggle (which they may still attempt to resume at some point, if in difficulties in the bargaining—even that is not excluded) would and could only end in such ignominious capitulation—that was already well known and expected, that was already demonstrated in 1922. But 1931 is no longer 1922. A vast gulf of development lies between. History is no mere succession of repetitions; rather, it is a successive unfolding of possibilities, in wave upon wave, and trying out of each in turn to the last and discarding upon failure, until, the inevitable is reached. “You may kill Gandhi, but you will never kill Gandhism,” declared this would-be saint with an accession of that feeling of godhead that has been visibly running to his unhappy brain since he has drunk the intoxication of mass-leadership, and that will leave him cold indeed when he finds himself thrown on one side, a shrivelled Kerensky. The exact opposite is the case. There is no question or likelihood of anyone killing Gandhi, unless a government agent does it in the last resort, as in the flagpole incident, to save his reputation and make him a martyr. But Gandhism—Gandhism is already dying; Gandhism has reached the full exhaustion of its possibilities.
Gandhism, which all the petit-bourgeois fools in Europe and the United States who are ready to run after every Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Eddy, worshipped as the latest god-given word and key of power to civilisation’s future, has revealed its ignominious failure before India’s masses, has left them, after all their sacrifices and readiness to struggle, with all that sacrifice and struggle wasted, in as abject misery and degradation and bondage as at the outset, with the power of imperialism unbroken and as merciless as ever, has abandoned them and made its peace with the imperialist enemy. All its bombastic promises of the outset are broken; all its asseverations of high purpose dissolve now into verbal quibblings; its religion is revealed as the sanctification of slavery; there remains only its inner core of servility to wealth and power, to the Viceroy, to the princes, to the rich merchants, who are all lost in admiration, at the spiritual beauty of Gandhi and his doctrine. “Gandhi is not a nationalist leader; he is a leader of mankind.” Who says this? Wedgwood Benn, executioner of Indian freedom, gaoler of sixty thousand, heroic bludgeoner of unarmed peasants, with the blood of thousands on his hands—he and, such as he love and fawn on Gandhi and his Christly charm. But to all that is young and generous in India the name of Gandhi is an object of cursing and contempt, the name of Judas. To them it is Baghat Singh, it is the prisoners of Meerut, the fighters against imperialism who do not give up the fight, who fight to the death and know no peace with the enemy, that are the object of honour in India to-day.
One thousand nine hundred and thirty-one is no, longer 1922. The betrayal of 1922 was not followed at once by wholesale demonstrations of crowds of tens of thousands crying “Down with Gandhi!”, “Gandhi the Traitor!” “Long Live the Revolution!”—while Gandhi is hastily moved with secret movements from place to place or hustled off in a motor car until he is safe again among his picked supporters “The demonstrations against him in Bombay would have been a sheer impossibility a year ago” (Times, March 20, 1931). This is not a movement that is dying, that has had its death blow from treachery; this is a movement that is going forward, that is learning, that will be stronger than ever for the clearing of the issues. 1922 was not followed, within three weeks of its “settlement” and calling off of the struggle, by the open revolt and advance to direct struggle, already far beyond the plane of Gandhism, of Cawnpore. The true facts of the Cawnpore battle have still to be revealed through the veil of censorship and martial law and imperialist lies. The imperialists try to present its bloodstained record as if it were nothing to do with any struggle for freedom, or with the flood of troops and guns that were hurled from every side into the city, but were solely a question of communal conflict. But even through their own records some of the facts creep.
Even in their censored accounts we read of attacks on the main Government buildings and offices, storming of the central telegraph offices, storming of the currency office, lawcourts, &c., as well as attacks on European cars (also perhaps a “communal conflict”?). Further, according to the official communiqué, the attacks on the Government offices began in the morning of March 24 (after 9 a.m.); it was not until the later afternoon (after 2 p.m.) that the communal troubles began, and then only with a pro-Government resistance of certain Moslem merchants to the hartal. The inference is clear. The movement began as a movement of mass demonstration and struggle against British rule; it was only several hours later, after it had already become serious, that, after the approved tsarist fashion, the Government black-hundreds agents had done their work, and succeeded in diverting the struggle into communal channels of fratricidal strife. And indeed the serious growth of Hindu-Moslem fighting reported from many parts of India to-day is the strongest evidence that the tide of mass struggle is rising, and that the government agents are at work in the regular fashion to turn it aside through these means, and turn it to self-destruction. (To those who may still innocently think that the problem of Hindu-Moslem rioting is a problem of the existence of two communities and not a problem of British rule, we would put two questions: First, why have the Hindu-Moslem riots developed only under British rule, and increasingly under British rule? Second, why have the pogroms which were a similar feature of Tsarist Russia completely disappeared under Soviet rule?)
Cawnpore was already a signal and a symbol of the future. It was the spontaneous answer of the masses to Gandhi’s treachery. It showed the way forward, even though still with inner weakness, to direct struggle, to struggle against the seats of Government, to seizure of power—the alternative to Gandhism which, once understood, will sweep the country and drive British rule from India. Even in the midst of Gandhism, Sholapur and Peshawar showed the path of the future. In contrast to 1921-2, the kernel of the movement, of 1930 was already far removed from Gandhi; only the outer forms and official control lay in his hands, for lack of any developed alternative forms or organised leadership. The proletarian impetus, which is the decisive distinguishing feature that has developed between 1920 and 1930, although it has still not yet reached crystallised form in organisation and leadership, nevertheless visibly imparted its influence to the whole character of the struggle. Beneath the Gandhist shell, the movement took on the character, no longer primarily of the rehearsed pantomime of a handful of saintly satyagrahis courting arrest, but of active mass struggle, of aggressive struggle, even of direct conflicts and attempted seizure of power. The embryo of the future was already visible.
That the struggle will go forward, will go forward far more rapidly than after 1922, is certain. But the moment is a critical one. The alternative forms are still weak; the agents of Government are active; the masses are not sure of the path; the wave of mass struggle, if not given rapid direction and leadership, can be dispersed and dissipated in self-destructive paths. Never was there greater need for all serious anti-imperialist elements to come together and take stock of the whole position since the Pact and Karachi, to break through the old bonds and illusions, to rally the fight on a new basis and forge the new path forward. Not mere denunciation of Gandhi, but definite break with the Congress, and active leadership of the new stage of mass struggle—that is the need to-day. To assume that, because Gandhism is demonstrably exhausted the leadership of Gandhi is thereby finished, would-be self-deception. Gandhi will still play his rôle; nay, may even endeavour to play again with the idea of mass struggle, and by a few gestures to wipe out his treachery and win a new lease; and will not be thrust aside until such time as the action of the masses sweeps past him, until such time as a conscious alternative leadership confronts him, no longer as a fawning left wing by his side, but as an open enemy, as direct mass representatives, declaring war on imperialism and all its pro-British upper-class Indian supporters. The leadership of Gandhi is only finished when the opposition of Gandhi has passed from criticism to action, when the alternative mass-leadership holds the field in action.
What is the driving force to struggle in India to-day, that makes certain the carrying forward of the struggle? It is that the masses can no longer continue to live under the conditions of the present slavery. The world economic crisis, which has struck down by nearly half the world prices of the raw materials produced by the Indian peasantry, has only precipitated an already gathering crisis. The unspeakable misery of the overwhelming mass of the peasants, ground down under the combined yoke of Government tribute, feudal dues, landlords’ rent, merchants’ profits and moneylenders’ usury, all of which buttress one another in a single system and unite to extract four-fifths of the meagre produce of his primitive and unequipped labour—this is no static condition of stagnant misery. It is a driving, dynamic process of increasing misery, pauperisation, proletarisation and drive to crisis—gathering with every year of British rule. All the signals are present of a gathering agrarian crisis, comparable to that which preceded the Revolution in Russia, and which preceded the Revolution in China.
Every investigation has borne evidence of this. (See, for a collection of some of the evidence, the article of H. P. Rathbone on “The Place of the Peasantry in the Indian Revolution” in THE LABOUR MONTHY for July, 1930.) The Indian Agricultural Commission, at the end of investigations in 1927, had to report the reality of “agrarian deterioration.” The growth in the agricultural proletariat or “landless labourers” from 7½ millions half a century ago to over 25 millions to-day is eloquent of the process of expropriation at work. Similarly every study of the size of holdings has shown the rapid process of impoverishment and the ever-rising percentage with holdings too small to support life. Thus in Bombay the Commission found that 48 per cent. of the farms were under 5 acres, and actually comprised only 2.4 per cent. of the cultivated area. These are conditions pointing straight to revolution. Similarly, the health authorities report the steady worsening of conditions under imperialist rule. “The health authorities in Bengal,” writes the Times Calcutta correspondent (February 1, 1927) “assert that the inhabitants are not so well nourished to-day as they were a generation or so ago.” Dr. C. A. Bentley, Director of Health for Bengal, stated in his report for 1927-8:
1,500,000 people are dying every year in Bengal alone. On an average 750,000 children under fifteen years of age die every year,— about fifty per cent, of the total deaths. Twenty-five per cent. of the mortality is due to preventible diseases. The present peasantry of Bengal are in a very large proportion taking to a dietary on which even rats could not live for more than five weeks. Their vitality is now so undermined by inadequate diet they cannot stand the infection of foul diseases. Last year 120,000 people died of cholera; 350,000 of malaria; 350,000 from tuberculosis; 100,000 of enteric. On an average 55,000 new born infants die every year of tetanus.
These are the conditions which no Irwin-Gandhi agreements can affect, but which can only be ended by the social revolution that will sweep away alike the imperialist exploiters and the reaction they artificially maintain, no less than the merchant-landlord domination represented by the Congress.
To-day even bourgeois and reformist observers compelled to recognise the signs of approach to agrarian revolution in India. In March, 1929, Professor R. Mukerji of Calcutta University reported that worsening condition of the peasants was pointing straight to agrarian revolution, and that, if energetic measures were not taken, catastrophe was inevitable (Calcutta Forward, March 17, 1929). In June, 1929, the Times pointed out in a special article (June 19, 1929) that the traditional picture of the passivity of the Indian peasantry was no longer true; the awakening has begun, and was showing itself on every side. In 1930, Brailsford, after his tour in India to help to save India for the Empire, brought back the conclusion: “My own feeling, as I left India in December, was that the next months might conceivably bring a widespread agrarian revolt” (article entitled “Towards a Peasant Rising” in the New Leader, February 28, 1931). So, too, the Calcutta Congress organ, Liberty, writes in December, I930, of how “Hunger, the father of Revolution” stalks through the land; neither the Viceroy nor Gandhi can stop it; all the signs point to coming storm, alike in Bombay, in Bengal, in the Punjab, in the United Provinces.
But neither Imperialism nor the Indian bourgeoisie, who control the National Congress, can solve the problems of the agrarian crisis or avert the agrarian revolution. Imperialism is built for its social support on precisely the reactionary feudal landlord elements, whose interests it has to maintain as the condition of its own domination. Thus the Agricultural Commission was forbidden by, its terms of reference from making any recommendations on land ownership, tenure, rents or Government land revenue—that is, from touching the roots of the problem. But the Indian bourgeoisie is equally tied up with the landlords; the class interests of both are closely interlocked; and the Congress has even in the height of the struggle exerted all its efforts to maintain the payment of rent to the landlords. Only the industrial proletariat growing up in the towns, growing in consciousness and solidarity, and confronting in irreconcilable opposition the whole system of exploitation, can lead the struggle of the peasants in the common battle against the exploiters for the conquest of the land and its wealth, for national and social liberation. This is the inevitable path forward in India.
The masses in India have already shown their readiness to fight and to sacrifice. But they are not yet sure of the forms of struggle, of their organisation and leadership; and therefore they are still at the mercy of the national reformists of the bourgeoisie, who exploit them as cannon fodder. The Indian bourgeoisie still dominate, because the have still the monopoly of organisation and expression, and because they appear to proclaim the aims of national liberation. In fact their interests are hostile to the interests of the masses; their interests are to increase their share in the spoils of exploitation against the share of the imperialist exploiters. As Gandhi expressed it in his recent article on “The Giant and the Dwarf” in Young India:
In the administration of his country the Indian is generally mere clerk. In business, he is at best a commission agent, getting hardly 5 per cent. against his English principal’s 95 per cent.
And he advocates a “levelling process” in order to read “a state of equality.” The commercial aim of bourgeois nationalism could not be more simply expressed. Five per cent. and 95 per cent. must give way to 50 per cent. and 50 per cent. The flag of “independence,” like the “liberty, equality and fraternity” of all bourgeois revolutions, is simply the flag to cover this commercial aim. It was typical that at the very outset of the 1930 struggle the nominal aim of independence was replaced by the Eleven Points, which were almost all trading points. It was therefore inevitable, and no mere question of personal treachery that, as soon as the time came to do business, the question of independence is thrown in the background as a piece of stage finery, and attention is only concentrated on driving a bargain. The fight between the national bourgeoisie and the imperialists is a fight for markets, for rights of exploitation. Five per cent. must increase at the expense of 95 per cent., says Gandhi. “The market is open again,” sings the Daily Herald in its editorial, “Good News,” on the Irwin-Gandhi Agreement; “it is up to British manufacturers to make good in the Indian market by quality and salesmanship. Let the manufacturers and merchants who will benefit by the new peace thank heaven for Mr. Benn and Lord Irwin.” (March 6, 1931.)
If the national bourgeoisie could achieve their objective without having to bring the action of the masses into the question, none would be better pleased than they. But, like every bourgeoisie in its struggle for power, they are helpless without the masses. They tried already what they could accomplish on their own basis during the 1923-7 period of the Swaraj Party and its manoeuvrings in the Legislative Assembly, and appeals for a Round-Table Conference, during which time the Congress and mass civil disobedience was placed in cold storage. But the result was only to reveal their own impotence and the contempt of imperialism. The appeals for a Round-Table Conference were brushed aside. The reply of imperialism was to appoint the Simon Commission without a pretence of a single Indian representative to soften the blow in the face of the Indian bourgeoisie. It was only then that the bourgeoisie was driven to court once more the rising mass movement, which was growing up independently of them, and threatening, with the giant spread of the proletarian struggle during 1927-9, to throw them in the background. Gandhi, who had been thrust aside for years, was brought to the front again, as the sole line of contact with the masses. But even then the reluctance was extreme, because the danger of the weapon was known. Every attempt at an alternative, at a postponement, was tried, from the twelve-months postponing resolution of 1928 to the Delhi Manifesto embracing the Viceroy’s declaration in the Autumn of 1929, to the Eleven Points in substitution of independence in the beginning of 1930. Only the pressure of imperialism on the one side, and of the masses on the other, compelled the struggle. But the unfolding of the mass struggle rapidly affected the front of imperialism. The Simon Commission was thrown overboard; the Round-Table Conference adopted; repeated appeals were thrown out to the Congress leaders. It was on the basis of the fear on both sides of the rising mass struggle that both sides came together in 1931.
It is thus clear that the essential political significance of the rôle of the national bourgeoisie, whose policy finds expression through the Congress in forms for popular propaganda, lies in its relation to the mass movement. Were the dominant bourgeois leaders who control the Congress simply to be regarded as agents of imperialism, distorting and betraying a popular liberationist movement represented by the Congress, they would be far less dangerous; the question would then become simply a question of changing the leadership of the Congress, moving its policy to the “left,” &c. But this is not the case. This would mean to mix up the flunkey type of Indian Liberals and the Congress leaders in a single rôle, when in fact they play distinct rôles for the bourgeoisie. The strongest, dominant, most active bourgeois leaders are the Congress leaders, and not the direct Liberal agents of imperialism; and they are the strongest precisely because they are able to play on the support of the masses to strengthen their own position; and their instrument to accomplish this is the Congress. National reformism, the limited oppositional rôle of the bourgeoisie, would be in itself a helpless and secondary political factor. It is only when national reformism dons a revolutionary cloak, and leads the mass movement in order to exploit it for its own purposes, and at the critical moment to behead it, that it becomes the direct principal menace to the national struggle for emancipation. The significance of the national bourgeois leadership is as the disorganisers of the mass movement. And the machine of that disorganisation is the National Congress.
For this reason the dreams of a “Left Nationalism,” to be achieved through the Congress or in association with the Congress leadership (J. Nehru, Bose, &c.) are not only idle dreams; they are direct assistance of the national bourgeoisie in its rôle against the masses. For it an essential part of this rôle that there must be a “Left” as well as a “Right”; there must be a “Left” to maintain the line of contact with the masses, to talk revolutionary language, to talk the language of youth, to talk socialist language, to hold out infinite promises even of a Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic, while the practical policy remains safe in the hands of the bourgeoisie, and, after exploiting the struggle of the masses for its purposes, drives its resultant bargain with Imperialism. This was well revealed at Karachi. Nehru and Bose, after all their professions of opposition, finally accept the Pact with imperialism—in return for what? In return for the passing of a so-called “Declaration of Rights,” paper document of flowery promises of a new heaven and earth for the masses. But what is the use of this new paper document, when the old paper document of the fight for “independence” from the Empire has been torn in two. What matters is not the paper document, but precisely the practical policy of the Pact with imperialism. The rôle of the “Left Nationalists” thus becomes a primary rôle in the task of deceiving and disorganising the masses.
What is the position? The Round-Table Constitution, to which the Pact leads up (if the force of events does not smash the whole agreement beforehand), represents the supreme drawing together of all the forces of reaction, of privilege, of property against the masses. Under the aegis of imperialism, the princes, the landlords, the merchants and the industrialists are to be brought closely together into a single structure; in which extreme reaction, represented by the princes, is to be given the overwhelming dominant position in the name of the “federal principle,” while the sham of elections is to be confined to the upper tenth of the population, and even so every strategic power, of finance, of military control, &c., is to be maintained in the untrammelled hands of imperialism. This is the grand ideal of “responsible government” evolved by a Labour Government, by the Second International which claims to champion “democracy.” “One must suppose,” says the ever-trusting Brailsford, “that the Labour Party did this thing with its eyes closed.” Not at all. This grand reunion of all the forces reaction, of all the forces of “law and order,” this attempted reunion of imperialism, feudalism and the national bourgeoisie, is the measure of the growth and the menace of the rising mass struggle. And from this the path forward is no less manifestly indicated. The new forces of mass struggle must find their forms and their leadership apart from and against all this. The closer the union of the whole camp of the exploiters from the Viceroy to Left Nationalism, is drawn together by the driving force of the mass struggle, the stronger grows the need and the opportunity for the mass struggle of the workers and peasants, for the national revolutionary camp, to shake itself free and throw off all alien influences, to find its own line and leadership through the proletarian vanguard in the place of the bourgeoisie, and to carry forward the revolutionary struggle which will overthrow imperialism and lead the way to social liberation. The treachery of the National Congress has opened the way for rapid advance in this direction in the new period of struggle now opening.