The Designs Behind the Four Power Pact

Nazi-Fascist Diplomacy and the U.S.S.R.


From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 26, 13 May 1933, p. 2.
First published in German in Unser Wort, organ of the German Left Opposition.
Transcriebd & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

About a year ago, comrade Trotsky wrote an article for the New York magazine, The Forum, under the heading Hitler’s Victory Means War Against the U.S.S.R. (The magazine itself entitled the article I See War With Germany. It was reprinted in the Militant of July 16. – Ed.). This perspective has since been confirmed with surprising rapidity. To be sure, Hitler and Goering have declared that their struggle is directed against the enemy within their own country, and not against Russian Communism. But such declarations are very cheap. It is only necessary to recall that all the powers who participated in the World War assured each other up to the very last moment of their reciprocal friendship.

In reality, the world bourgeoisie is rather surprised by the facility and the lack of danger with which Hitler has succeeded in his task, that of clubbing down the working class for the bourgeoisie. And it is drawing the consequences therefrom. Up to the present, the world powers have been against German armaments, since they did not have any confidence in the “authoritarian governments” whcih did not possess any authority. They had no way of knowing whether the conquerors of Bonapartism would be the proletariat or not and whether the armaments granted to Germany would not be directed against the world bourgeoisie itself. On the other hand, they did not stake too much on Hitler, since the eventual outcome of the Fascist crusade against the working class and likewise uncertain. At present, however, the question has been decided. The counter-revolution has been victorious. It is possible to do business with it, without taking too much of a risk. The stocks of the armament industry are climbing to the skies. MacDonald visits Mussolini. The latter pulls a ready-made “peace pact” out of his pocket. In Germany, the first armored cruisers – approved at the time by the late S.P.G. – are leaving their docks. Only the Soviet politicians remain blind to all these coincidences. Thus Voroshilov declares in, salutary address to the Red Army on its 15th anniversary: in the West the Soviet Union is guarded by the non-aggression pacts, dangers threatens only from the East. Thus also, Pravda recently declared itself satisfied with Hitler’s hypocritical declaration with regard to his foreign policy.

What position does the Soviet Union take in general on the victory of the Fascist counter-revolution? We quote from the Pravda:

“What is to follow? All the problems, which in the course of the last few months were posed so ominously before German capitalism, stand with the same force before the government of the Fascist dictatorship as well. Never in the post-war years has Germany been in such a weakened external political situation. In contradistinction to Italian Fascism, German Fascism came into power under the conditions of the conclusion of relative stabilization and the entrance of capitalism into its second chapter of revolutions and wars. A number of countries are taking measures for the weakening of the external political and economic position of Germany and for the limitation of German exports. The Gorman mark is hanging on by a hair. The policy of the government is driving the country toward inflation. Prices for commodities of mass demand are mounting. Unemployment is not decreasing. The struggle between the National Socialists and the Nationalists is developing. The whole humdrum about the ‘national revolution’ is calculated to veil the impotence of the government when it comes to solving the ‘cursed problems’ of German capitalism. The Fascist government does not even indicate a trace of a positive program. It is impossible to deceive classes. Lies and demagogy cannot be converted into bread for the hungry. The clique of the capitalist magnates is again turning toward the social democracy which is to help Fascism in continuing the deception of the masses. The social democratic leaders are preparing to supplement the Fascist terror with the deception of the masses. But neither the Fascist terror, nor the treacherous maneuvers of the social democratic leaders are capable of restraining the rising wave of revolution in Germany.

“The tremendous success of the Communist Party of Germany in its Bolshevik tactic lies In this: that it understood, in face of the terror, the provocations and the base betrayal of the social democratic leaders, how to lead its forces out of the firing line, how to retain its cadres and how to continue the struggle under new conditions.

“The ruling classes have gone mad. Their doings are turning everything in Germany on its head. They are completely denuding themselves, they are exposing before the broad masses the whole mechanism of Fascist domination. Thereby they are conducting millions of new fighters into the camp of revolution.”

The theory of socialism in one country has built, in the minds of the Stalinist theoreticians, a fence around every nation, which it cannot trespass. It does not occur to these people at all that the Fascists cannot possibly wait until they are smothered within their own national framework, but will have to resort to the means of war, and war against the U.S.S.R. at that. It is hard to believe that the Stalinists are really so blind; in all probability they do not even want to see where they have landed with their theory. They are sitting at the wheel of an auto which is racing down a precipice at top speed, but they close their eyes and tell themselves that the road leads to the main thoroughfare.

Hitler, however, and all the other imperialist powers are forced to conduct war. The rise in the conjuncture has not arrived. The internal contradictions and the contradictions between the powers themselves are becoming sharper with every new day. These contradictions must be brought out into the open. There is only one opponent which tightly interwoven international finance capitalism can come to an agreement to destroy – that is the Soviet Union. There are already in circulation, in the boudoirs of the diplomats, the secret maps which pass from hand to hand, and upon which are inscribed the new boundaries in the East. It is a matter of dividing a sixth of the earth and the their appetite is tremendous.

First of all, article 5 of the treaty draft (of Mussolini) provides that the four powers – to which Poland, the Little Entente, Japan in the East and America, as protector of the whole project may join – attempt to follow a common line outside of Europe and in colonial affairs. Against whom? Such a European alliance can very well be directed also against the U.S.A. But all these states are dependent upon America, and Roosevelt, who feels the point of this alliance pressing up against himself, will attempt with all the greater energy to turn the whole alliance against the U.S.S.R. Europe will obey, that is indisputable. Furthermore, the American bankers are naturally counting upon culling great riches from such a war, since the American armament industry will be in a position to fill the orders of the whole world.

The powers, England, France, Germany and Italy are guaranteeing European peace. But who is it that threatens this peace? The Soviet Union does not even begin to think of starting a war All the worse for her. The German Communists, too, did not think of beginning the civil war, that is why the blow caught them unprepared. It is not our business to worry about who will next “put fire to some Reichstag”. We can leave this to the Fascists. It will, indeed, be all the worse for the unsuspecting Soviet politicians when blow after blow rains down upon them unexpectedly. In the Far East, Japan is only waiting for a chance to grab for itself Vladivostok and Chinese Eastern Railway. At Japan’s back there is, to be sure, a China. But this China is sick from the effects of the criminal Stalinist policies of the last seven years and is for the moment not to be reckoned with as a point of support for the Soviet Union. And in the West, Hitler is marching as the super-Wrangel and at his side, Mussolini, Pilsudski, Horthy and all the bigger butchers of dying capitalism. Capitalism is once more drawing up to its full height in order to smite the young world of socialism – which does, to be sure, bear within its body the English sickness of Stalinism – and in order to rejuvenate itself in the blood of this young world. Here, too, the Stalinists have squandered all their reserves. The Communist parties of Western Europe have been laid in ruins by ten years of Stalinist policy in the Comintern.

The perspective is rather unfavorable, especially when we take into account the crisis in the Soviet Union as the most significant factor accelerating counter-revolution.

And yet, in such a war are latent tremendous, incalculable possibilities for the world revolution. On August 4, 1914, the Second International collapsed and on October 26, 1917, the Third began to unfold its power over one-sixth of the earth. The coming war will bring in its trail a complete dissolution of the state households, of all the participating countries, will call forth a famine against which the misery of the last war will appear pale. Only the dictatorship of the proletariat will be able to lead the masses out of this misery.

Today it is necessary to call attention to the acute war danger and to mobilize the forces of the proletariat against the war. That can only be done by leading the proletariat in every one of the participating countries in the class struggle against its own bourgeoisie.

Last updated on 4 September 2015