V. I. Lenin

Plan for a Pamphlet The European War and European Socialism{7}

T h e E u r o p e a n W a r a n d European Socialism

Written: Written in September–October 1914
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 337.2-344.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

  1. 1. Character of war: imperialism (as the main thing). Imperialism as the final stage in the development of capitalism.
  2. 2. National wars at the start of the bourgeois epoch vs. →
    National war: to consolidate the national territory as a base for the development of capitalism, to sweep away the pre-capitalist remnants.
    imperialist wars at the end of it.
    Imperialist war: everyone already finds the sinking capitalist ship overcrowded, and tries to push the others aside and delay the end of capitalism.
  3. 3. Long-standing (30–40 years) diplomatic preparation of the war: its “natural” and “expected” character (and “weaned their thoughts from”: Adler at the last sitting of the International Bureau {8}).
  4. 4. National war (Serbia) as a by-product of pre sent-day war.
  5. 5. Bourgeoisia’s use of national war tradition: “La patrie”, {1} Luzzatti.
  6. 6. “Country.” Quotation from the Communist Manifesto. Its analysis.
  7. 7.
    1. (α) The working men have no country.
    2. (β) I n i t i a l l y within the framework of the nation →
      cf. the wars of 1790–1814, 1859, 1866, 1870.
      [BOX ENDS:]
      India’s present war or one between China and Japan ((eventuell{2} ))
    3. (γ) and even then not in the bourgeois sense.
    4. (δ) Emancipation is impossible without the joint efforts of the proletarians.
    5. (ε) Collapse of national partitions.
  8. 8. Attitude to this truth: opportunists’ defence of nationalism (Jaur˜s in L’Armée nouvelle)...{9}
    (H. Wendel in Neue Zeit, 1914, N 19, S. 8 4 3; for Jaurès).{10}
  9. 9. Vacillation in the International: defensive and offensive war or “standpoint of proletar ian interest”?
  11. 10. Quotations from old statements by Bebel and others, and silence about the 1912 resolution.
  12. 11. Basle Manifesto
    1. (α) quotations from Stuttgart
    2. (β) threat of civil war (1871 and 1905)
    3. (γ) “crime”
  13. 12.
  14. 13. Practical attitude of socialists towards the present war:
    Before the war: H. Wendel in Neue Zeit, 1914, N 18.{12}
    id. V o r w \"a r t s
    Leipsiger Volkszeitung on war with “tsarism”
    id. V o r w \"a r t s.{13}
  15. 14. After the war: Serb socialists.
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ invasion?
    conquest? ]]
    p. 10 of extracts.
  16. 15. Russian Social-Democrats
    (( walk-out from hall is not influence, cf. Fischer{14} )).
  17. To 15.
    Russians in Paris “volunteering”??
    (1) Declaration by Russian socialists.
    (2) Declaration by Leder & Co.{15}
    Golos No. 9{16}
    Plekhanov’s stand
    Sovremennoye Slovoe x t r a c t s.{17}
    G o l o s” No. 3 (September 15).{18} ||
    Smirnov (Y.) and P. Maslov.{19}
  18. 16. French and Belgian socialists.
  19. 17.
  20. 18. German Social-Democrats. The main force. Hegemony in the International. “Of whom much will be asked”....
  21. 19. Bestial chauvinism vs. boring and hypocritical chauvinism.
  22. 20.
  23. 21. Two trends in German socialism.
  24. 22.
    Collapse of the
    (Bremer B\"urger-Zeitung{34}
    Swiss newspapers
    O n t h e c o l l a p s e o f t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l
    Polemics between the French and the Germans [HORIZONTAL OPEN PARENTHESIS:]
    ( “An International
    restored and freed
    from turncoats.”
    Manifesto of the French and the Belgians
    (International Bureau?).{36}
    “Government’s standpoint among the French”
    (and among the Germans??)
    “An International freed from turncoats”
    (Golos No. 12).{37}
  25. 23. Putting the collapse of the International in a b e t t e r l i g h t.
    Vandervelde and Kautsky
    “Cuckoo and cock.”{38}
    “Both right”
    “kleinm\"utige Freunde”??{3}
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ Sudekum’s trip.{39}
    The interests of the French and the German bourgeoisie. ]]
  26. 24. Causes of the collapse of the International:
    Stuttgart 1907.
    Left-wing conference in Copenhagen in 1910{40}
  27. 25. Opportunists’ ideas and current behaviour
    { from Danish resolution on opportunism{41}
  28. 26.
  29. 27. Opportunism vs. Centre in the International.
    Sozialistische Monatshelie.
    Majority of Social-Democratic papers.
    Methods used by Vorw\"art.
    or embellishment.
  30. 28.
    Peace against war or civil war against national war? (A peace of opportunists united with the bourgeoisie.) “Kindly peace”—slogan of petty-bourgeois radicals, petty bourgeoisie (cf. Trevelyan & Co. in Britain{42}).
    cf. F r a n k f u r t e r Z e i t u n g, extracts.{43}
  31. 29.
    Transforming national war into civil war
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ Historical character
    of this transformation. ]]
    W e g z u r M a c h t{4} and “s t r i v i n g f o r o v e r t h r o w.
    The rapidity of this transformation is one thing, the direction towards it, another.
  32. 30.
    Legality and illegality of organisation. Riga and St. Petersburg Committee in Russia (comment in R u s s k o y e Z n a m y a){44} ||
    Contra K. Kautsky & Co. on “patriotism” of workers in Russia.
    Comparison with army Golos No. 18, column 1 and No. 18, column 4.{45}
  33. 30
    b i s. Vorw\"arts and the c l a s s s t r u g g l e. (“W. C. Modell 70”){46}
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ one should not renounce legal organisation, but should not confine oneself to it ]]
  35. 31. Volkskrieg{5} Yes!
    But the conclusions from this are different.
    militia not at all merely for defence.
    Glory to war and 42-centimetre!!{47}
  36. 32. Frank and “Opfertod”{6} ...“from the Social-Democratic standpoint”....
  37. 32
    b i s. The war has revealed every weakness both of the governments and of the socialist parties.
  38. 33. The calamities of war and its consequences.
    Revolutionary movement—and collapse of the miserable diplomacy of the Centre.
  39. 33
    b i s.
    • The reactionary aims of the war Kreuz-Zeitung{48} and Novoye Vremya.
    • MacDonald’s “pessimism”?{49}
    • G r o w t h of nationalism.
    • Last war?
    • Y. Smirnov in Russkiye Vedomosti No. 202.
    • Nationalism in Russia.
    • P.S.D. and S.R.s
    • “Volunteering”: see § 15.
  40. 34. Direction of work:
    voting credits
    bugler at the front.
    1. (1) No voting of credits. That is betrayal.
    2. (2) Against the chauvinists at home.
    3. (3) No stopping at legal organisation.
    4. (4) No forgetting of the Basle Manifesto on the threat of civil war.
  41. 35. Perhaps, there is another half a century of oppression before the socialist revolution, but what will our epoch leave, what will   be our own contribution? Scorn for the opportunists and traitors or preparation of civil war??
    Martov in Golos No. 21
    too early for Commune slogan: isolation from the broad popular masses!!?


{1} “Fatherland.”—Ed.

{2} Hypothetically.—Ed.

{3} “Faint-hearted friends.”—Ed.

{4} “Way to power.”—Ed.

{5} People’s War.—Ed.

{6} “Sacrificing one’s life,”—Ed.

{7} Lenin began work on the pamphlet soon after his arrival in Berne. He collected extensive material but the pamphlet was not written. He used some of the preparatory material in his lectures, articles published in Sotsial-Demokrat, and in the pamphlet Socialism and War. This is the fullest plan of the pamphlet, all the preparatory material being given in Lenin Miscellany XIV, pp. 14–123. p. 337

{8} A reference to Victor Adler’s speech in the International Social in Bureau in Brussels on July 29, 1914. Lenin deals with it in his “Dead Chauvinism and Living Socialism” (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 94–101). p. 338

{9} A reference to the book by Jean Jaurès, L’organisation socialiste de la France. L’Armée nouvelle (Socialist Organisation in France. New Army), published in Paris in 1911. p. 338

{10} A reference to Hermann Wendel’s article “Juarès” published in Die Neue Zeit No. 19 of August 21, 1914. p. 338

{11} A quotation from Karl Kautsky’s article “Die Sozialdemokratie im Krieg” (Social-Democracy in Wartime) published in No. 1 of Die Neue Zeit of October 2, 1914. Lenin criticised the article in “Dead Chauvinism and Living Socialism” (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 94–101). p. 339

{12} A reference to Hermann Wendel’s article “Europa in Feuersgefahr” (Europe Threatened with Conflagration), carried in No. 18 of Die Neue Zeit of July 31, 1914. There are extracts from the article with Lenin’s remarks in Lenin Miscellany XIV, pp. 47–49. p. 339

{13} A reference to the article “Ultimatum” published in No. 200   of Vorw\"arts on July 25, 1914; the note “Verdechtige Tiranent\"oter!” (Suspicious Tyrant Killers!) published in the supplement to No. 174 of Leipziger Volkszeitung on July 31, 1914, and the article “Der Kampf gegen den Zarismus” (The Struggle Against Tsarism) published in No. 209 of Vorw\"arts on August 3, 1914. p. 339

{14} A reference to R. Fischer’s article “Vandalen” (Vandals) published in No. 206 of Volksrecht on September 5, 1914. Lenin’s extracts from the article are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 61. p. 339

{15} Upon the outbreak of war, some members of the Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. Organisations Abroad, which had its seat in Paris, and some members of the Bolshevik section in Paris—N. I. Sapozhkov (Kuznetsov) and A. V. Britman (Antonov), among others—joined the Mensheviks and S.R.s in adopting a declaration on behalf of “Russian republicans”, which they published in the French press, and went to the front. L’Humanité also carried a statement by Polish Social-Democratic volunteers. p. 339

{16} No. 9 of Golos on September 22, 1914, carried the text of a social-chauvinist declaration by Polish socialists signed by Leder, Kon, Sehnenbaum and others. p. 339

{17} Sovremennoye Slovo (Contemporary Word)—a daily published by the Cadets in St. Petersburg from 1907 to 1918. The reference here is to Lenin’s extracts from the item “G. V. Plekhanov about the War” in No. 2374 of Sovremennoye Slovo on August 23 (September 5), 1914 (see Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 114). p. 339

{18} A reference to the “Press Review” section in No. 3 of Golos on September 15, 1914, containing an extract from Ghesquière’s social-chauvinist article “Notre devoir” (Our Duty) published in No. 3802 of L’Humanité on September 14, 1914. It tried to justify the social-chauvinist policy of the leadership of the French Socialist Party in the imperialist war and its abandonment of the class struggle, and stated that the French socialists would do their socialist duty when the war was over. The Golos editors appended an editorial note confirming that Vorw\"arts and G. V. Plekhanov took the same attitude. p. 339

{19} A reference to the article by Y. Smirnov (Gurevich), “The War and European Democracy”, published in No. 202 of Russkiye Vedomosti on September 3 (16), 1914, and P. Maslov’s letter to the editor of the paper, published under the caption “The War and Trade Agreements” in No. 207 of the paper on September 10 (23), 1914. p. 339

{20} A reference to Edouard Vaillant’s article “Formalistes doctrinaires” (Doctrinaire Formalists), written in reply to the letters he received from socialists criticising his social-chauvinist stand. It was run as an editorial in No. 3827 of L’Humanité on October 9, 1914. Lenin’s extracts from it are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 97. p. 340

{21} A reference to Compère-Morel’s article “Les commissaires à la nation” (People’s Commissars) published in No. 3788 of L’Humanité   on August 31, 1914. Lenin’s extracts from the article are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 67. p. 340

{22} A reference to Gustave Hervé’s articles vindicating the alliance between republican France and tsarist Russia. He said that France could not do without an alliance with the tsar in the war, and that tsarism was allegedly improving under the influence of democratic Britain and democratic Italy. p. 340

{23} H. M. Hyndman had come out in open defence of imperialism even before the war, and had been sharply criticised by the German Social-Democrats and their organ Die Neue Zeit. p. 340

{24} A reference to the social-chauvinist declaration issued by the Social-Democratic group and read out by the Socialist H. Haase in the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, during the voting of the war credits. p. 340

{25} A reference to Eduard Bernstein’s article “Abrechnung mit Russland” (Squaring Accounts with Russia) published in No. 232 of Vorw\"arts on August 26, 1914. Quoting Engels’s Savoyen, Nizza und der Rhein (Savoy, Nice and the Rhine), which spoke of the threat of a Franco-Russian alliance for Germany, out of context, Bernstein tried to justify the opportunist policy of the German Social-Democratic leaders in the imperialist war. Lenin’s extracts from Engels’s work are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, pp. 41–43. p. 340

{26} A reference to Engels’s “Der Sozialismus in Deutschland” (Socialism in Germany) published in No. 19 of Die Neue Zeit, Vol. 1, 1891–92, which the German social-chauvinists tried to use to vindicate their opportunist stand in the imperialist war. p. 340

{27} A reference to Franz Mehring’s protest, which exposed the attempts on the part of German social-chauvinists to justify their opportunist policy in the imperialist war by references to Engels. p. 340

{28} No. 211 of Hamburger Echo on September 10, 1914, carried an article “Eine notwendige Erkl\"arung” (A Necessary Explanation), which distorted Engels’s article “Der Sozialismus in Deutschland” in order to justify the social-chauvinist stand of the German Social-Democratic leadership. For Lenin’s extracts from the newspaper see Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 67.

No. 249 of Vorw\"arts on September 12, 1914, carried an article “Die Auffassung der italienischen Sozialisten” (The Standpoint of the Italian Socialists). p. 340

{29} A reference to the article by the German social-chauvinist R. Fischer, “Vandalen” (Vandals), which was published in No. 206 of Volksrecht on September 5, 1914, and the reply to him—“Letter from a German Socialist”, which was apparently intended for publication in Berner Tagwacht. There are extracts from the letter made by Lenin, with this note in the margin: “((pp. 1–7)) (typewritten, to the editors of Berner Tagwacht)” (see Lenin Miscellany XIV,   pp. 61–63). But the letter was not published in the newspaper. Extracts from it were published in a leading, article “Die Sozialdemokratie und der Krieg” (Social-Democracy and the War) in Gr\"utlianer Nos. 213 and 214 on September 13 and 14, 1914. p. 340

{30} A quotation from an article by Joseph Bloch, “Der Krieg und Sozialdemokratie” (The War and Social-Democracy), which was published in No. 16 of Sozialistische Monatshefte. p. 340

{31} No. 12 of Golos on September 25, 1914, carried an item “Press Review” containing a summary of Karl Liebknecht’s letter, which was published in Bremer B\"urger-Zeitung and dealt with the Social-Democratic voting of the war credits in the Reichstag. p. 340

{32} A reference to the protest issued by the Left-wing Social-Democrats and published in No. 214 of Bremer B\"urger-Zeitung on September 14, 1914, and to the article “Parteipflichten” (Party Duties) published in the Social-Democratic paper Volksblatt No. 220 of September 19, 1914. They voiced protests against the social-chauvinist policy of the German Social-Democratic leadership, declared that not all Social-Democrats shared the leadership’s opinion, and emphasised a desire for international solidarity.

Bremer B\"urger-Zeitung—a Social-Democratic daily published in Bremen from 1890 to 1919; until 1916 it was under the influence of Bremen Left-wing Social-Democrats, but then passed into the hands of social-chauvinists. p. 341

{33} A reference to the stand taken by the German Social-Democratic newspaper Volksblatt, which was published in Halle. It criticised the social-chauvinist stand of the German Social-Democratic leadership and urged international solidarity. p. 341

{34} A reference to the article “Die Zertr\"ummerte Internationale” (Destroyed International) published in No. 211 of Bremer Burger Zeitung on September 10, 1914. Lenin’s extracts from the newspaper are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 83. p. 341

{35} Volksrecht—a daily, the organ of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland, published in Zurich since 1898. During the First World War (1914–18), the paper carried articles by Left-wing Social-Democrats. It published Lenin’s articles: “Twelve Brief Theses on H. Greulich’s Defence of Fatherland”, “The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in the Russian Revolution”, “Tricks of the Republican Chauvinists” and others.

Lenin is referring to the article “Zwei Internationalen” (Two Internationals) published in No. 211 of Volksrecht on September 11, 1914. Lenin’s extracts from the article are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 58. p. 341

{36} A reference to the manifesto issued by the French and Belgian delegations in the I.S.B. to the German people. It was carried in No. 3794 of L’Humanité on September 6, 1914, and accused the German Government of aggressive designs, and the German soldiers, of atrocities on occupied territory. The Executive of the German Social-Democratic Party published a protest against the   manifesto in No. 247 of Vorw\"arts on September 10. There followed a press polemic between the French and German social-chauvinists, with both sides trying to justify their government’s part in the war and putting the blame on the other governments. p. 341

{37} A reference to L. Martov’s letter to G. Hervé, which was published in No. 12 of Golos on September 25, 1914. p. 341

{38} A reference to Ivan Krylov’s fable of the same name, which describes a cuckoo and a cock singing each other’s praises. p. 341

{39} A reference to the trip by a leader of the German Social-Democratic Party, the rabid social-chauvinist A. S\"udekum, to Italy, on assignment from the Party’s Executive. A record of his talk with the Italian socialists was printed in Avanti!, and then reprinted in various socialist newspapers. In Russian, it appeared in the Menshevik Nasha Zarya Nos. 7–8--9 for 1914. p. 341

{40} A reference to the conference of Left-wing Social-Democrats held on Lenin’s initiative during the Copenhagen Congress. In his plan for the pamphlet The European War and European Socialism, Lenin gives a list of those who attended: Jules Guesde and Charles Rappoport from France; Louis de Brouckère from Belgium; Rosa Luxemburg and Emanuel Wurm from Germany; Julian Marchlewski (Karski) from Poland; Pablo Iglesias from Spain; Adolf Braun from Austria; Lenin, Plekhanov and others from Russia (see Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 22). p. 341

{41} The resolution “The Tasks of Revolutionary Social-Democracy in the European War”, adopted on Lenin’s report on the attitude to the war made at a Bolshevik conference in Berne on September 6, 1914. It is known as “Theses on War”, and was the first document to define the attitude of the Bolshevik Party and international revolutionary Social-Democracy to the imperialist world war. Lenin’s theses were discussed in detail and adopted as the resolution of the conference. Signed “Group of Social-Democrats, Members of the R.S.D.L.P.”, they were circulated to various Bolshevik sections abroad. For reasons of secrecy, Lenin made the following inscription on a copy in Krupskaya’s hand: “Copy of the manifesto issued in Denmark”. p. 341

{42} Charles Philips Trevelyan, parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education, said in an open letter to his electors that in the imperialist war the interests of one’s nation were paramount and that these interests demanded peace. p. 342

{43} No. 254 of Frankfurter Zeitung on September 13, 1914, carried an article by Franz Oppenheimer, “Neue Rom und neue Karfageno” (The New Rome and the New Carthage). Lenin’s extracts from the article are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 85.

Frankfurter Zeitung—a daily, organ of big German stockbrokers, published in Frankfort on the Main from 1856 to 1943; resumed publication in 1949 under the name Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; a mouthpiece of the West-German monopolists. p. 342

{44} Russkoye Znamya (Russian Banner)—a Black-hundred newspaper, organ of the Union of the Russian People, published in St. Petersburg from 1905 to 1917.

Here Lenin refers to an editorial in its No. 105 of August 30, 1914, which spoke of the leaflets of the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. p. 342

{45} A reference to Karl Kautsky’s article “Prospects for Peace”, extracts from which were published in Golos Nos. 18 and 19 on October 2 and 3, 1914. p. 342

{46} A reference to an item “W. C. Modell 70” carried in No. 227 of Vorw\"arts on August 21, 1914. p. 342

{47} A possible reference to the 42-cm. guns made in Germany by Krupp and first used in the war of 1914–18. p. 343

{48} Kreuz-Zeitung—popular name for an ultra-reactionary German daily, Neue Preussische Zeitung, which had a cross on its masthead. The paper was the organ of German conservatives and was published in Berlin from 1848 to 1939. From 1911 on it was called Noise Preussische (Kreuz) Zeitung, and from 1932—Kreuz-Zeitung. p. 343

{49} A reference to “Press Review” in No. 14 of Golos on September 27, 1914, which commented on the stand of the English socialists and gave extracts from articles by Keir Hardie and MacDonald. It said that MacDonald “revealed too much pessimism in assessing the consequences of the current war”. p. 343

{50} A reference to the article “Silence, Eunuchs!” published as an editorial in No. 21 of Golos on October 6, 1914, which said that the German Social-Democrats would have compromised themselves if, in the conditions of Germany pressed by the Russian troops, they were to “issue a call for a revolutionary Commune”, and that this would have isolated them from the broad masses. p. 344

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