J. T. Murphy
Source: Workers’ Weekly, May 1, 1925
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.
Whatever else may be said of May 1, 1925, all the outstanding events of the day go to prove the soundness of the Communist International’s conclusions at its Fifth World Congress. It then declared that the Social Democratic period would he short lived. It would be followed immediately by an open and avowed reactionary oppression of the workers and the development of forces leading to world war.
Right from the border States of the Soviet Union, throughout the Balkan Peninsula, across Europe and on to the far west of America, reaction of the worst type reigns supreme.
We warned the workers that the “Social Democratic” “pacifist” period was but the cloak under which the imperialists and capitalist powers were preparing is blood-bath for the workers.
We warned the workers that the Labour Governments, “Left blocs,” and “Socialist” Governments were instruments of the bourgeoisie, the smoke screens of imperialism.
And now Tsankoff bludgeons and murders the workers and peasants of Bulgaria. Horthy still reigns in Hungary. Mussolini bestrides Italy. Hindenburg reigns in Germany. A military clique rides roughshod over Spain. Millerand rules France, in the name of the big bourgeoisie. Baldwin and the Tory Junta hold sway in Britain, and the Tory strike-breaker Coolidge is supreme in America.
Tsankoff, the leader of Bulgarian atrocities, receives permission from the Allies to increase his army by 10,000 men. The Allies assist the defeated Powers with loans of millions of pounds to re-establish German capitalism, while 7,000 workers remain in the jails of Hindenburg’s republic, the land of European coolie labour. Murder and terror stalks throughout the Border States.
The French Imperialists strengthen their navy, their army, their air force. British imperialism does likewise; it bombs and batters its colonial subjects, squeezes the wages of the masses of industrial workers, lengthens their hours of labour, and intensifies every mode of production.
America tilts her guns, demonstrates with her navy, extends her naval bases, and rivals the British Labour Government in spilling money on poison gas experiments.
May Day, 1925, sees before it in the character and activities of all the governing powers outside the Soviet Union the reappearance of August, 1914, on a more colossal scale.
But the parallel is not complete. The scale of imperialist preparations is not only vaster; there is another difference. The forces of the working class and its powers of resistance present contrasts rather than parallels.
1914 saw the whole earth under the domination of capitalism. It saw the forces of the Labour Movement, nationally and internationally, utterly incapable of common action, its international organisation loose, discordant, undeveloped. Its leadership was in the hands of people who have been proved to be the tools of the national bourgeoisie. No wonder the International broke in fragments before the onslaught of war.
May Day, 1925, sees before it a changed situation. A sixth part of the earth is completely in the hands of the workers under the direction of a proletarian State, led by a Communist Party steeled in revolutionary leadership, supported as no other party is supported by 130,000,000 workers and peasants. It is witness to a new international in the place of the old—the Communist International composed of revolutionary parties of fifty-two countries.
The leadership of this International contrasts with that of the old. Freed entirely from those who dominated the old International with the mental outfit of capitalist policemen, it is developing the Communist International into an International Party of revolution.
Around this International Workers’ Communist Party gather the millions of the trade unions. The millions organised in the Red International of Labour Unions, working in close accord with the International Communist Party, are drawing closer to them the millions in the Amsterdam International. No other meaning can be attached to the negotiations proceeding on an international scale and the vast ferment amongst the workers in the trade unions of every country.
The prospects before May Day, 1925, are indeed different to the prospects of 1914.
World war and Revolution—these are the prospects, and the question of all questions now continually before the working class of every country are: Can we develop and prepare our forces in time to answer the imperialist clash of arms with the only answer which can end war?
Can we get the single International of Trade Unions organised to fight capitalism? More than all, can we develop the Communist Parties—the indispensable weapons for the victory of the working class—into great revolutionary mass organisations of workers, capable of facing and tackling the revolutionary tasks inevitably facing the working class?
These are the prospects and these are the burning questions of May Day, 1925.