Bela Kun

The Second International In Dissolution

Arms Clash — Internationalism Vanishes

Each Social-Democratic Party combats communism in its own country, combats the dictatorship of the proletariat in the name of “democracy” by all requisite means, in order to hold down the revolutionary movement in its own land (and also in its own colonies); it cares for or manages the affairs of its own capitalists within and without the capitalist state machine, to weather the crisis of its own capitalism at the expense of the working class and other toiling sections in its own country; it represents the interests of its own imperialism on the basis provided by the Versailles Peace.

All the Social-Democratic parties are united in an international organization, they support with their united strength the struggle against the common enemy of the world bourgeoisie, against the land of proletarian dictatorship, against Soviet Russia; with united strength they combat the international danger of world bolshevism, the Communist International, and the revolutionary struggles of the colonial peoples for freedom; they form the complement of the international organization of the great imperialist powers, the League of Nations, particularly to the extent that the stabilization of world capitalism through the overthrow of the Socialist Soviet Republics and at the expense of the colonial peoples, is in question; they support the activities of the League in every case, whether it be that in such case “peaceful” means be employed, or whether it be that a “solution by force of arms” must be supported.

This conception might well have presented itself to the minds of the Social-Democratic leaders, when they patched the Second International together again before the beginning of capitalist stabilization.

In this historical conception the “internationalism” of the Second International is expressed. Need many more words be wasted to prove that this produce of the prostitution of the workers’ movement has not the least thing in common with proletarian internationalism? Is it conceivable that such parties which, all and sundry, feel themselves in solidarity with their own capitalists, with their nationalist, imperialist aims, and lead the struggle against the revolutionary proletariat — that these parties could be the bearers of proletarian internationalism? Although, as Engels wrote, the proletariat is internationalist by its inner nature, nevertheless proletarian internationalism arose as the expression of a more developed consciousness of the working class, as a product of its becoming conscious not only of the antagonism, but also of the irreconcilability of the interests of the working class with those of the capitalists of its own nation. Proletarian internationalism means not merely understanding of the community of interests of the proletariat of all lands, not only the mutual support and the common struggle of the workers of the different nations; it means no less that each working class must, above all, smite its own capitalists. In the epoch of imperialism — of imperialist wars and proletarian revolutions — and particularly at the time of the general crisis of capitalism, of the victory of the socialist revolution over a sixth of the earth’s surface, proletarian internationalism makes still higher demands on the working class: increased co-ordination of the fighting activities of the working class against the common actions of international imperialism, which purpose weathering the crisis of the capitalist system and preparing new imperialist wars; in particular, however, increased co-ordination of fighting activities for the protection of those parts of the proletariat that stand at the most advanced posts in the fight against the common foe. Proletarian internationalism demands co-ordination of fighting activities in support of the proletarian dictatorship temporarily, to be sure, only in the Soviet Union, which at the moment, is still the sole Soviet Republic — as well as of the national revolutionary movement in China, of the Chinese Soviet territories.

It is obvious that the Second International represented and represents the exact opposite of what a Marxist conceives as proletarian internationalism.

The policy of the Second International during the whole of the post-war period has signified, as we have already established above, the declaration of the policy of August 4, 1914, in permanence. If opportunism in its less developed form was already irreconcilable with proletarian internationalism, then August 4 plainly signified a leap forward in the development of opportunism in the workers’ movement, namely, a leap into social chauvinism. Opportunism and social chauvinism are two stages of class-collaboration at two stages of historical development, as Lenin has demonstrated with classic clarity. (Opportunism and the Collapse of the Second International):

The political essence of social-chauvinism and opportunism is the same. It expresses itself in class collaboration, repudiation of proletarian dictatorship, rejection of revolutionary action, obeisance to the bourgeoisie and bourgeois legality, lack of confidence in the proletariat, confidence in the bourgeoisie .... Social-chauvinism is a direct continuation of and a logical conclusion from Millerandism, Bernsteinism, the English liberal Labour Party it is their sum total, their consummation, their highest achievement.” (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XVIII, p.398). (Emphasis mine — B.K.).

The imperialist development and concomitant decay of capitalism have not remained at a standstill. The proletarian revolution has become a fact; in contrast to the general crisis of capitalism, we have a mighty rise of socialist economy in the Soviet Union. Revolutionary class struggle and proletarian internationalism have made their home in the Communist International. In its development Social-Democracy has called a halt to social-chauvinism just as little as capitalism has halted. It has played its role of prize-fighter of capitalism, of the bourgeois state and of imperialist reaction, in the ring of bourgeois democracy, where it has exercised every means of mental and material violence. It was the Social-Democratic parties that rescued capitalism from proletarian revolution in the lands where the class struggle grew most acute. They did this, in the struggle against proletarian dictatorship, in the name of “democracy,” i.e., bourgeois democracy. Their international organizations also, the Second and the Amsterdam Internationals, basing themselves on the principle of equal rights, to class treason, have done their share in rescuing the new order of the imperialist system created by the World War. At their congresses and other conferences the deliberations have revolved round two weighty questions: the Versailles system and the Soviet Union — the defending of the former and the combating of the latter.

The prerequisite for the re-establishment of the Second International was a certain stabilization of the Versailles frontiers through repeated “voluntary” renunciation of a revision on the part of the bourgeoisies of the defeated and plundered countries, in order to bring about, in this way, an international collaboration that would make possible a certain capitalist stabilization. This would, in turn, make possible the international collaboration of all Social-Democratic parties. The first words of the re-established Second International were:

“. . . The restoration of the devastated areas remains one of the most essential conditions of the material and moral pacification of Europe, and it is incontestable that the burdens of this restoration must be borne by Germany . . . .” (Proceedings of the International Socialist Labour Congress in Hamburg, 1923, p. 102.).

Directly after this came another resolution, which bore the title: International Struggle against International Reaction, and in which an onslaught on the Soviet Republic was announced:

“It (the Congress) condemns the continued employment of terrorist methods by the Russian Government and the casting aside of democratic foundations, as a menace, not only to the Russian workers, but to the most important interests of the international proletariat.” (Ibid., p. 105.).

No doubt the Social-Democrats of the defeated countries put their signatures to those agreements which endorsed the Versailles system, with gnashings of teeth; they did this merely to the extent that their bourgeoisies also stood on the same ground of given facts and sought to overcome the crisis of capitalism from this platform. On the contrary, they acted in complete inner harmony when they assumed a hostile attitude to the Soviet Union. They had a double interest in this: On the one hand, they sought to weather the crisis of world capitalism at the cost of the Soviet Union, in order to avoid the heaping of this cost by stronger imperialism’s on the bourgeoisie of weaker countries; on the other hand, there was the fact that the victorious proletarian revolution, in the land of socialism-in-the-making, the communist movement, endangered their mass basis in the working class.

Be there ever so many shades of opinion in the Second International on the subject of the Soviet Union — from the frankly white-guardist and interventionist standpoint of Kautsky to the conciliatory attitude of Otto Bauer, and, beyond this, to the “friendship towards the Soviet” of Maxton, one thing is certain: that the parties of the Second International were, and still are to-day, the advance guard of imperialism in the fight against the Soviet Union. Who can forget that the little phrase, “red imperialism,” was coined by Social-Democracy? Has not the Second International supported all the enemies of the Soviet Union — from the monarchists to the Menshevik members of its Executive — in their work of sabotage and espionage?

The historical tendency of the policy of the Second International was and is: open life and death struggle against the Soviet Union. The changes in its methods of agitation up to the point of recognizing the duty of the international proletariat to protect the Soviet Union, are opportunist phenomena, means of betrayal, dished up as concessions to the international working class, whose sympathies for the land of socialism and whose readiness to defend the Soviet Union are growing.

The deepest, most hidden meaning of the Second International’s “policy of conciliating the peoples” is precisely that, by “conciliating” the imperialist powers, their capacity to fight world bolshevism is to be increased. The principal aim of the domestic, as well as the international politics of all sections of the Second International always was and still is, to ward off Bolshevism.

Nothing in this respect is more characteristic than the deliberations of the Vienna Congress of the Second International in 1931. The Vienna Congress made the central point of its debates on foreign politics the struggle for a Franco-German understanding, for the financial support of German trustified capital by the Paris Bourse, in order to avoid an economic catastrophe in Germany. As the highest expression of international working class solidarity, Otto Bauer, Breitscheid and Léon Blum offered up a common prayer, from all the Social-Democratic parties to the wolves of the Paris Bourse and their political agents (from Tardieu to Herriot), begging them to open up their money-bags to Thyssen, Krupp, von Bohlen and the big German banks. At the same time, the well-known political wirepuller, Rechberg, was conducting similar negotiations with the magnates of French heavy industry — with the avowed object of placing Germany under the hegemony of France in the anti-Soviet front. Immediately after there followed the correspondence between the French ex-anti-militarist and patented jingo Gustav Hervé, and Adolf Hitler, in which the plan of a Franco-German understanding, directed against the Soviet Union and proletarian revolution in Germany, was discussed. On behalf of Herrenklub[1] circles, Herr von Papen conducted like negotiations with French armament capital, with the firm Schneider-Creusot.

Are not these parallel endeavours for the “conciliation of the peoples” just too moving manifestations of “international solidarity?” Léon Blum and Hervé, Breitscheid and Hitler, Otto Bauer and Rechberg and von Papen — in this bunch of blooms, in very truth, the blossom of the German and French sections of the Second International is united with the flower of the international of mass murder.

One must not, however, imagine that all this was only a caricature of history during a definite period. Not in the least. The existence of the Second International, the international organization of Social-Democratic parties, every one of which maintains unbroken collaboration with its own capitalists, depends in vital measure on the international co-operation of imperialist countries with one another.

Of course, co-operation of the imperialist powers is actually impossible for any length of time; the antagonistic robber-interests completely exclude it. Nevertheless, agreements of a temporary nature between imperialist powers or groups of powers are possible — to be sure, mostly at the expense of a third power or group of powers. In this conection, it is not absolutely necessary that all the participants in such an agreement should enter into it “voluntarily.” The Dawes and Young pacts on the plunderings of Germany, as well as the Washington Agreement on the forms and methods of plundering China, are very far from being “voluntary” agreements of the participants in these compacts. The world system of imperialism is a system of the subjection of the weaker by the stronger, the plundering of the less powerful by the more powerful, through a display of naked force, or potential force.

It could not be otherwise than that the relations in the Second International should more or less clearly reflect the relations among the imperialist powers. The famous principle of non-interference with the “internal” affairs of the individual national parties, was and is merely an expression of the fact that the bourgeois labour parties parley with one another, indeed, but without their bourgeoisies can make no sort of decisions. How should the International of the Social-Democratic parties decide independently concerning the political affairs of the individual parties, when all these affairs are actually the common concern of the Social-Democratic Party in question and its own capitalists.

Thus the foreign policy and the political method of the Second International were and are nothing but a policy and method of work, tinted with socialist-internationalist hues, of the international organization of imperialism, the League of Nations: rotten, tentative, vacillating compromises, non-interference with the internal affairs of the individual parties (always excepted those cases where individual countries were violated by the great imperialist powers in common), and the endeavour to adjust the antagonisms at the expense of a third party, the Socialist country, the Soviet Union.

An agreement directed against the Soviet Union was the most natural course for the intrigues of the imperialist powers to take during the whole post-war period. Therefore, the Second International’s “work of conciliating the peoples,” too, was always merely a counterpart to their anti-Soviet activities within the compass of preparations for military intervention in the Soviet Union. That such an arrangement has not been reached can only be ascribed to the unswerving peace policy of the Soviet Union and the increasing superiority of the Soviet system.

The Second International’s “activities in conciliating the peoples” were, naturally, not crowned with success. The bourgeoisie of every country endeavours to liquidate its economic crisis, not only at the expense of its own working class, at the expense of the toilers of the Soviet Union and of the colonial peoples, but also at the expense of the bourgeoisic of other countries. The stabilization of capital is at an end, it has been upset by the world economic crisis that has developed within the general crisis of the capitalist system; the antagonism of interests of the imperialist powers has become so acute that preparations for war in the immediate future are in full swing in every direction. This is taking place largely with the intention of trying to overcome the crisis in one portion of the imperialist world, at any rate partially, at the expense of the other portions. The ever more extensive and direct preparations of the imperialist powers for the redivision of the world have led, on the basis of the world economic crisis, to the end of capitalist stabilization, have led to the war of Japanese imperialism in the Far East off China, to the exit of Japan from the League of Nations, to the crisis in the League of Nations, to the Disarmament Conference as a method of masking the increase in imperialist armaments, to the bankruptcy of this conference, to the more violent offensive of capital against the working class in all capitalist countries, as well as to the strengthening of imperialist reaction, to the strengthening of fascization tendencies and to civil war against the working masses engulfed by the revolutionary upsurge in many capitalist lands.

We have seen how, with the strengthening of fascist tendencies before our eyes, Social-Democracy has come to social-fascism. Today, in the example of Germany, we see with extraordinary clarity that the offensive of capital, the fascization of the bourgeois state, and, in connection with this, the fascization of Social-Democracy signify not merely a concentration of bourgeois power against proletarian revolution in the homeland, but also the preparation for direct transition to imperialist war, and to anti-Soviet military intervention.

It is not Hitler’s home politics, the abolition of the most elementary rights of the German workers still remaining from the German Revolution and the Weimar Constitution, nor the bestial furies of the fascist Storm Troops, who cut strips of flesh from the backs of living workers, that decided the attitude of the Social-Democratic parties to German fascism. All this cost Messrs. Léon Blum, Vandervelde, Niedzialkeovski and Bechyne scarcely the swelling of a tear gland. If it were only a matter of making the German workers disfranchised helots, of torturing them to death and “shooting them while trying to escape,” then Hitler’s agents from the Social-Democratic camp, on returning from the tour they made to counteract the “atrocity propaganda,” could have proudly announced to Propaganda-Chief Göbbels. It is done, the international solidarity of Social-Democracy is a living reality; our comrades abroad have nothing to say against collaboration with the present representatives of the “majority of our people;” they will report on the events in our common fatherland in a manner beseeming cultured people.

Why it happened, and had to happen, otherwise, why many Social-Democratic leaders in the lands that are menaced by Hitler’s taking office, gave the cold shoulder to Victor Schiff, foreign editor of Vorwärts, on his propaganda tour undertaken for Hitler, Vandervelde has divulged. In the article already cited (Le Peuple, February 12, 1933), in which he defended German Social-Democracy’s policy of the “lesser evil,” he gave expression — for reasons connected with the interests of his Belgian’ fatherland — to his anxiety concerning the Hitler policy of German Social-Democracy in the following words:

“The Labour Party, the Belgian Section of the Socialist Labour International, cannot pay enough attention to the reactions that the events in Germany are having . . . . In the Walloon country (the east province of Belgium, on the German frontier — B.K.) . . . people in the Belgian Labour Party are afraid that an army of invasion will appear from the east, and there the qestion is peremptorily asked: Can we still rely on Social-Democracy (i.e., on German Social-Democracy — B.K.), to keep the peace.”

It is therefore believed in the Walloon country that the German territories annexed by Belgium are in danger, and also, perhaps, that Belgian Congo might be endangered. Renaudel, again, spoke more plainly to Victor Schiff; he spoke once more of the “Boches,” when the envoy of Wels paid him a visit on behalf of his party.

The decomposition, the splitting of the Second International is bound up with the Fascization of Germany in the same measure as this fascization promotes and develops the splitting of imperialist Europe into two camps. This splitting of Europe into two imperialist camps has become, although not yet in quite complete form, a fact. Each party of the Second International, however, must march into its own military camp before the peoples are placed on a war footing, in order to be ready and able to take a becoming part in the preparations for the “defence” of its own land.

The Second International has survived the outbreak of war in the Far East without a crisis. It is, in actuality a European organization. Only on the question of the danger of war between Japan and the Soviet Union did differences of opinion arise, Hilferding making the disclosure, at the session of the Second International’s Bureau, that the victory of the Soviet Union in a Soviet-Japanese war would be a blow to the Second International, while Herr Liebermann explained that one ought not to make demands on the Polish Social-Democrats that bring them in conflict with their conscience, such as the demand for the defence of the Soviet Union. If the crisis of the Disarmament Conference was already a severe strain on the Second International’s capacity to carry its pacifism, then the cleavage of Europe into, two imperialist camps, which was widened by Hitler’s assumption of power, of necessity brought to light the rottenness of this International — although not yet to its full exent — and led to its wider spread.

The Hitler government has come to the helm largely on the waves of an unbridled nationalism, of the nationalist hatred of Versailles. The military spirit of Frederick the Great and of the Prussian barracks presided over the opening of the Reichstag in the Potsdam Garrison Church. Hitler’s program speech did not, indeed, go much further than the demands of Bruning, Von Papen and Schleicher in the questions of Germany’s right to equality in the, sphere of armaments; on the other hind, however, these demands were to a considerable extent realized without an international agreement. All the questions that were “settled” by the dictates of Versailles, are raised by the mass agitation of the fascists, questions that are directed against France, against Poland, against Denmark and against Belgium; they have raised the question of union with Austria and — though not in such open form — of union with German areas in Czechoslovakia.

Before the war, the German army consisted of eight hundred thousand soldiers; it has now attained a strength of five hundred thousand men, and by the end of the year, the army will have been increased to one million one hundred thousand strong. The armament industry in Hitlerland is already working full steam ahead, and, even if it is not in a position to diminish unemployment, still it is already making preparations for the quickest, though bloody solution of the problem of what is to be done with the human material that has become “superfluous,” The policy of the “Drangnach Osten” “Push to East,” from Hamburg to Bagdad, the colonization of the Baltic countries and the Soviet Ukraine, is celebrating its resurrection. Upon naval preparations follows the renewal of Germany’s claims to her lost colonies.

Hitler’s first steps in foreign politics rather recalled the proverbial debut of the bull in a china shop; they led to a series of foreign political defeats for the Hitler government, which was compelled to climb down largely in connection with the Soviet Union, as well as, under Italian pressure, in the question of union with Austria.

Nevertheless, since Hitler’s assumption of office the outlines of two imperialist groups are much more sharply drawn on the map of Europe than previously: the group of usufructuaries and guardians of the Versailles Peace system under the leadership of France — the lands of the Little Entente (Jugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Rumania), Poland and Belgium — on the one side; and, on the other, the group striving for a revision of the Versailles Peace system — Germany, Hungary, Austria and, in part, Bulgaria and Greece, in the last two of which the struggle for power between French and Italian imperialism has not yet been decided.

Which group England will join is still uncertain. The visit of MacDonald to Rome, the plan of a Four Power Directory for Europe and the dethronement of the League of Nations by such a Directory, have, for the time being, brought a decision no nearer; the same holds good for the discussions with Roosevelt in America. In England, influential circles in the Conservative Party, that party whose commercial traveller, MacDonald is, have taken the side of France and snubbed Hitler. On the other hand, there are strong forces at work in the same party which, through their connections with fascist Germany and the revision-bloc, would like not only to shake France’s position of Continental hegemony — following the traditional policy of Great Britain — but also to bring about the formation of a new anti-Soviet bloc under English leadership. They would like to win over Italy, also, to this plan, and, of course, are relying upon Germany.

This much, however, is certain: the formation of a government by Hitler has already accelerated the clearly marked regrouping of the imperialist powers; it has widened the cleavage of Europe into two mutually antagonistic groups of imperialist powers. Europe, indeed, finds itself in a position of still more immediate preparation for imperialist war than a few months ago — in connection with which Stalin’s words: “The more acute the antagonisms of the imperialist powers become, the more they try to solve these antagonisms at the expense of the Soviet Union” — become more and more true in the existing condition of Europe and the whole world.

Sabre-rattling; clash of arms, open threats of war, journeyings to and fro of big and little speculators in the world of international imperialist crooks and professional diplomats, espionage and acts of diversion on a large scale, increased activity in the armament works and frontier fortifications — such are the distinguishing features of the position in all Europe. Göring’s words: “The obligation that has been inscribed in blood must be discharged,” and the words of the Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, Benes: “He who wants revision, wills war,” collide in an atmosphere heavy with war:

If one camp mobilizes against the Peace dictates under the slogan of revision of the Versailles frontiers, the other camp mobilizes against Hitler, Mussolini and Horthy under the slogan of defence of democracy.

Wels in Potsdam champions the foreign political aims of German fascism against Versailles; Blum in Paris champions Versailles and the defence of democracy against fascism.

The Second International splits and falls to pieces on this question; it will fall to pieces at the same rate as war-preparations progress. The speed of its disintegration will quicken in the measure as the imperialist bourgeoisie finds it superfluous or injurious to employ any longer the pacifist phrases and the “internationalism” of its Social-Democratic Parties among the masses, as means of preparing for war.

In this connection, it must not be forgotten that in the imperialist war which is being prepared with the close co-operation of both groups in the Second International, the issue will not be the abolition of the Versailles system, any more than it will be the defence of democracy. The aim is rather: the redivision of the world amongst the imperialist Powers, the establishment of a new robber-peace system, a new Versailles, a new Trianon, a new Saint-Germain, new annexations, creation of states embracing many nations, with oppressed “national minorities,” and redistribution of the “elbow room” of the big imperial powers in the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries.

Italian, German and Hungarian fascism preach a national war. Mussolini thinks to conquer fresh Jugoslav territories (the annexed German territory of the Southern Tyrol would, of course, be retained), to transform the colonial peoples of Northern Africa, who are at present plundered and shot down by French imperialism and its colonial troops, into objects of robbery and pillage for the Bank of Italy and his Fascist bands, and, finally, to annex to Italy, Abyssinia and the entire coastal area of the Red Sea. Hitler-Germany would like to reconquer Polish territory in the Corridor and in Poland, to push forward its frontiers as far as Narva and the Soviet border, to regain Alsace, to assimilate Austria and German Bohemia, and to receive in place of its lost colonies some French colonial territory. Horthy-Hungary would like to set up again the old Hungarian prison of the oppressed Roumanians, Slovaks, Serbians and Croats.

A war of the revision-bloc will be no more a national, progressive, just war, than a war of the defenders of the Versailles frontiers will be democratic, progressive and just. The fascist, Pilsudski, in Poland, Alexander Karageorgevich, the crowned chieftain of the military fascist bands in Jugoslavia, and King Carol in the stolen pogrom land of Rumania, these confederates of Herriot in France and Masaryk in Czechoslovakia and Vandervelde in Belgium, are not a minute behind Mussolini, Hitler and Horthy. The anti-fascism of France and her Social-Democracy, and of the Social-Democratic parties of the countries allied to her, weighs no heavier in the scale than the anti-Versailles standpoint of the fascist revision-bloc and its Social-Democratic parties.

The first group stands up for democracy against fascism, in order to be able to hold on to the war-loot gained out of the Versailles Peace; the second group struggles against the Versailles system, in order to create a new Versailles.

And all this is being prepared by the two imperialist blocs, aided and abetted by the Social-Democratic parties. This is the ground the and process of its Second International has trodden in the period dissolution anew.

Whereas the parties of the Second International, in its pre-war period, could still make a verbal protest against the war immediately prior to August 4, 1914, before they drove the workers, like a herd of cattle, to the shambles of imperialist mass massacre; whereas the Bureau of the Second International could still assemble to almost its full strength on August 1, 1914; the disintegration of the Second International in its post-war period was bound to set in even before the outbreak of a fresh imperialist war in Europe. Nothing in this regard will be changed, even if, perchance, in place of Wels some other German social-fascist endeavours in some way to temporarily patch up or to conceal the profound disunion in the Second International. The essence of the development of social-democracy into social-fascism consists in a much closer and more direct collaboration of the parties of the Second International with their own bourgeoisies than was the case during the war and immediate post-war periods, when much more latitude was still accorded to all kinds of social-chauvinists than is given to the social-fascists to-day. Many who would not believe in the existence of a social-fascism, who could not conceive that social-democracy would not only betray socialism, but at the command of the bourgeoisie, would surrender even the positions of capitalist-democracy to fascism, may now bestow a retrospective glance on the workings of the Second International, at least since the beginning of the world economic crisis, the new revolutionary upsurge and the intensified preparations for imperialist war, to be convinced of their error.

These workings of the Second International — expressed in a single sentence — consist in the intensified disarming of the working class in view of the offensive of capital, in view of the beginning of new civil wars of fascism against the proletariat. But both — the offensive of capital and the employment of fascist methods of civil war against the working class — were and are nothing else but methods of preparing within the working class the new imperialist war. Without intensified oppression of the proletariat the transition to war is impossible. Social-Democracy, which in its time, by force and fraud prevented the proletariat from transforming the imperialist war into a civil war for the overthrow of capitalism and from making it really the last imperialist war, has in fact, by bringing fascist civil war upon the disarmed proletariat also prepared a fresh imperialist war. The Second International has thereby fulfilled its historical mission in the post-war period. As an international, there now remains little more for it to do. Now it can dissolve in peace; it can disintegrate into its component parts, which will now take sides with their own bourgeoisies and fight each other even before the war as they have already done during the previous imperialist war. The Second International has done all that it could for the bourgeoisie, for capitalism; it has split the working class not once, but every day, to make it incapable of fulfilling its historical mission. That it has not succeeded in this, is precisely the historical merit of the Communist International.

The Second International deserves that the bourgeoisie erect a monument of a magnitude and design equal to the talents of its greatest artists to it. This monument should bear the inscription “Erected to the Second International in appreciation of its zealous efforts to save capitalism.”


1.  Nobleman’s Club.

Next: VIII. United Front For All That