Source: The Call 6th November 1919, p. 9 (1,312 words)
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Copyleft: John MacLean Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2007. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
November 6-7th, 1917, will ever be celebrated as the dawn of the wage slaves’ freedom—the birthday of the new world rising out of the ruins of the old society of robbery, tyranny, and universal murder. The down trodden workers and peasants of Russia responded to the call of the Communist Manifests of 1848, by uniting on that day and expropriating the landlords and capitalists of the Russian Empire; and despite the concentrated attack of world capitalism they may hold out long enough to allow of the rest of the working-class responding to the same old call: “Workers of the World, Unite.”
When France ended feudalism at the time of her celebrated revolution, the forces of European landlordism and British capitalism united to restore the old order. All that they accomplished was the delay of the day of victory of the town artisans and wage-earners. French capitalism came into being on the backs of the freed peasantry, freed at least from the blight of landlordism. View the Russian situation in the blackest light we may, then, surely we must conclude from French experience that landlordism and capitalism will never be able to take root in Russian soil again.
The grandeur of the fight of a Bolshevised people sustained against traitors and enemies at home, and a hostile world abroad is worthy of an epic more gloriously glowing and eloquent than has ere this been penned by mortal genius.
From the Revolutionary outburst of 1905 on through the Reign of Terror and right throughout the early-half of the war, our Bolshevik comrades had ever kept aloft the ultimate goal of the people against the organised and secret forces of the Tsar and the ignorance and illiteracy of a people widely spread and separated by wretched means of communication. When the political revolution of February, 1917, was betrayed by the Cadets, and then by the Social Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, led by Kerensky, the Bolsheviks fought to save the victory, and were, in the end, rewarded by the confidence of the soldiers, sailors, wage-earners, and peasants.
Once in power, the Bolsheviks not only stopped the war against Germany, but started a world campaign to stop the war itself, to let the workers of the world rise to political and economic power. Whilst Trotsky was negotiating for a hopeless peace with his class enemies of Germany, at Brest-Litovsk, his Russian comrades flooded the German trenches with appeals for class solidarity and the cessation of working-class suicide in the interests of the capitalists and landlords. This bold and noble appeal so caught the imagination of the German workers that mutinies and strikes immediately broke out. Military decay in Germany set in from that moment, and had the British Labour Party withdrawn from the Coalition Government at that time the war would have ended sooner than it did, and Labour throughout the world might have been in power.
At any rate the Bolsheviks left organised Labour in the Allied countries no excuse for failing to back up peace and Russia by their wise and timely exposure of the corrupt Secret Treaties. We who adhere to Bolshevism feel proud at the mighty efforts made by our Russian comrades, both to end the war and capitalism at the same time In everything they have done in world polities our comrades have carried out the genuine spirit of the International.
Their internal policy has been grander still. At once they set about the repair of roads and railways for the transport of food from country to the cities, from the southern grain belt to the less fertile north. This led first to the German raid into the Ukraine, and now to that of Denikin. The object of the “cordon sanitaire” and the British blockade has been to prevent food, seed, and agricultural implements entering Russia, so that a slowly starving people would rise against the Bolshevik regime. Some who claim to be authorities allege that millions of children are slowly wasting away as a consequence of these Devil’s Deeds, and from the information to hand as to the plight of Europe and India we may accept these allegations as approximately correct.
Yet withal, perhaps for the first time in history, a starving people have not turned against those in power, are not willing to sacrifice freedom for the bread the British are baiting them with in the Baltic. Why? Because the people have formed their own Government and have been so soundly educated in the principles of a people’s freedom, despite mountainous obstacles, that they are rather prepared to defend their country to the death than accept the slavery-poisoned bread of British plutocracy.
Allied agents and terrorists have tried to murder the Bolshevik leaders and raise a counter-revolution, and their failure is sure proof that the people are convinced that Bolshevism is good. Then the Allied capitalist Governments have polluted the mental atmosphere of the world with poisonous lies about Russia. They who, by blockade, are starving and killing Russian babies accuse our comrades of murder, because a few Allied spies were put to death! It is obvious that this base world campaign was meant to gain support for the foreign suppression of Russia that is now reaching its height of mad frenzy. The very fact that the neighbouring States, even under British and German coercion, are refusing to attack Russia and that the fight has to be really made by the conscript and. unwilling troops of the “Beastly Powers,” amply proves that Bolshevism has deep roots, has a wide and solid foundation.
Let Britain capture Petrograd. She cannot hold it against the conviction of the Russian races. She has failed to tame Ireland next door with a rebel population half that of London. Revolt in Ireland is rising day by day. The same revolt is also developing in South Africa, Egypt, and India. Most important, revolt is raising its righteous head even in Britain. Bonar Law’s refusal to discuss the secret organisation of the Citizen Guard. (Britain’s Black Guard) is evidence of the fact that the plunderers here are beginning to tremble at the Bolshevist spirit that has spread like wildfire since the N.U.R. defeated the Government of all the capitalist virtues. Tom Mann’s success and the miners’ new offensive are but signs of the spirit of revolt and freedom abroad in our sluggish land.
And American Labour is menacing, too, and will move faster than British Labour, because of the lack of troublous traditions and because of the dam-up of forces by Gompers and his A.F. of Labour. The Scottish fight in January naturally brought forth response in Canada, in which so many Scots have sought a home, and as was anticipated, American Labour is consequently just starting a Big Push of its own.
The driving force everywhere is the spirit aroused by Russia. The workers are linking up all over the world, are preparing and manoeuvring for the final clash of the class war. The greed of the British capitalists, fed by American competition for the world markets, is urging them to finance industry to the neglect of their duties to their Government. The increase in national indebtedness is forcing the Government to issue more bills and notes and withdraw the bread subsidy. Prices are rising and will continue to rise. Rents and rates are going to war very soon.
These and other emerging attacks on the living of the workers needs must add fuel to the fire of revolt.
Let us then take inspiration from the mighty struggle of our comrades, the people of Russia, and the growing solidarity of a revolutionary English-speaking people, and pledge ourselves to strive unceasingly till victory caps our efforts in time for the peoples of the world celebrating the next Seventh of November under the Red Flag of human liberty, equality, and fraternity.