Bela Kun

Social-Traitors, Unite!

First Published: Pravda June 22, 1918
Source: International Socialist Library No. 15, Revolutionary Essays by Bela Kun, B.S.P., London.
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: Chris Clayton
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Mensheviks, perhaps, may in the near future have the opportunity of realising the hopes ascribed to them in the bourgeois evening papers. According to the latter, these gentlemen intend to oppose the Bolshevik “terror” by an appeal to the public opinion of the International. An “International” corresponding to the Menshevik views is already in the process of formation.

Although the Dutch-Swedish commission, that abode of social-patriotism, has recently been dissolved — because, in the words of Huysmans, there is no hope of an International Socialist Conference in the immediate future — the fathers of social-treachery continue their activity. They are alive, and are again trying to organise a new “International,” of the various social-Chauvinist parties, to “defend society” against the Revolution.

Kerensky’s agent, Branting, will meet in London two “distinguished foreigners” — A. Thomas and Henderson, who did their utmost to hold in check the Russian Revolution. Vandervelde and Huysmans will take part in the conference. This “Entente International,” whose greatest heroes — the late Ministers — will gather in London, will be a fitting body to respond to the appeal of the Mensheviks; for the former are just as much the enemies of the proletarian revolution as our own Social-Democratic pillars of capitalist society, recently excluded from the Soviets.

The Social-Democrats of the Central Powers, on the other hand, also lately carried on negotiations with the social-traitors of the Entente through the medium of Branting. The “tame” German Social-Democrats, together with the “official” Austrian and Hungarian Social-Democrats, received bulky packages from Branting containing materials for the forthcoming International Conference.

These preparations already give a taste of what wonderful perspectives will open before such a conference.

The Messrs. Legien and Co. have followed the example of the Russian Mensheviks. They have liquidated the German Social-Democratic industrial movement by amalgamating the “free” and “yellow” Trade Unions. It is just this that the Mensheviks are doing in connection with the Russian Revolution. To transform the Labour movement into a non-party, emasculated mass, devoid of all class-consciousness — that is the method common to the Legiens and the Menshevik “workers’ plenipotentiaries.”

There can be no doubt that these twins, sons of one mother — Opportunism — will be able to find a common tongue. Those who became a hindrance on the path of revolution and coloured the German Trade Union movement yellow, must proclaim their solidarity with the social-traitors who not only place obstacles in the way of the working-class movement but actually attack the proletariat when it has won power.

“For God’s sake, don’t touch Capitalism!” This haunting appeal of the social-traitors to the working masses, and the watchword of their Russian brothers: “Back to Capitalism,” represent only two different stages of development in the process of betrayal of the workers’ interests.

The International is arising — to defend capitalism and counterbalance the proletarian revolution. We can rest assured that this time the imperialist governments will not refuse to issue passports.

“Social-traitors of all countries, unite!”