From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 1, 5 January 1942, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Churchill’s main purpose in crossing the Atlantic was neither to make a speech before Congress nor to eat eggs for breakfast. Of the two, the second was more heartening to Churchill than, the first was to the American people.
The speech was of the Blood-Sweat-and-Tears variety, which the Prime Minister has already found to be a best-seller. The Allies, he said, will not be able to take the offensive until 1943. After four years of war – equal to the duration of the last World War – they will be ready to get started. It would seem that modern imperialist Wars, like their twin brother, industrial crises and depressions, get longer and more costly each time.
Behind Churchill’s prediction of a long war lies another prediction, made at his press conference. We ask you to note it, because he thereby throws away the only weapon which can shorten the war and blow up Hitler. This prediction is:
Why not, Mr. Churchill? Twenty-three years ago the German people rose in revolt against a regime which they had begun by unitedly supporting.
This is not a matter of Churchill’s “inside information” against ours. No doubt the British Intelligence Service has its spies and channels of information. In the year 1916 a spy would have informed the Prime Minister that civil peace and war unity still reigned in Germany; but little more than a year later a vast political strike movement of millions spread through Germany and Austria; and less than a year after that came the revolution that overthrew the Kaiser.
Spies can tell Churchill when a revolution begins, but not about the forces that give rise to it.
A lot of the people who talk about the possibility of a European revolution against the Nazis talk as though a revolution just happens when people have something to revolt AGAINST. The masses in Hitlerland have plenty to revolt AGAINST. But —
There will not be a revolution; there until they have something to revolt FOR.
And the fact is that Churchill and his partner Roosevelt have nothing to offer to inspire revolutionary unity and courage in the millioned masses of Hitler’s slaves. The hate of the slave for the master is a powerful force, but the slaves do not become an army without a banner, a goal, a PROGRAM of freedom.
Says Nazi Wilhelm to Worker Fritz: “If Germany is defeated by English guns, remember what they did to us last time! They will split us up until we are no longer a nation. They will impose crushing war burdens that will fall on all the workers ... Whether you like Hitler or not ...”
Has Churchill or Roosevelt stated war aims that will take this fear from the minds of the German people and permit them to turn against their present rulers without fear of a new Versailles?
Says Worker Fritz to himself: “A Roosevelt for a Woodrow Wilson, and a Churchill for a Lloyd George are poor guarantees that things will be different this time! The ‘Atlantic Charter’ does not even SAY that it guarantees Germany a democratic government. There are many signs that the British leaders are thinking in terms of replacing Hitler with other fascist fuehrers willing to take dictation from London.”
Fritz might mention, if he knew, that Duff Cooper of the British cabinet has let out, on and off, his hopes of a “palace revolution” in Germany – that is, a change of personnel at the top of the government. That when Churchill addressed a special appeal to Italy to throw out Mussolini, he appealed to the heads of the Army and the Pope, and did not breathe a syllable about replacing Mussolini with a democratic government. Above all, that it is stupid to put any trust in the good intentions of politicians who looked fondly on Hitler as their shield against revolution, until Hitler began stepping on their own toes.
The root of Hitlers strength is that the German masses see no better alternative before them. Hitler told them that he was against capitalist privilege and for a new order of society. He gave them a new slavery instead, but he knew what they were willing to fight and sacrifice for.
Churchill and Roosevelt offer the old capitalist-imperialist status quo, When Columnist Doorothy Thompson lies, saying that England is now practically socialist, she is only doing a Schickelgruber. No wonder the German masses are not aroused to a pro-British revolution!
No wonder Churchill does not “expect a revolution” in Hitlerland! For arousing the forces of revolt there means getting rid of the Churchills at home and replacing them with a workers government, which will REALLY abolish capitalist privilege, offer a democratic peace to a workers’ Germany and spur the German people to clean house with their own broom.
Last updated on 25.3.2013