Marceau Pivert 1947

The Idea of Socialist Europe

Source: Unir ou Périr. London-Paris, International Committee of Study and Action for the United Socialist States of Europe, 1947;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.
Transcribed: by Mitch Abidor.

The movement in favor of the United Socialist States of Europe was born during the war and was interpreted by the only organization that then had the possibility of freely expressing itself: The British Independent Labor Party. Through its parliamentary group, under the unforgettable leadership of James Maxton, in its press and brochures, that clear-sighted socialist vanguard translated the demands of a society that was racing to suicide and the aspirations of all those workers who had remained faithful to proletarian internationalism.

In London in February 1947 the idea of a socialist solution to international problems posed on a European scale went largely beyond those narrow circles of socialist revolutionaries who had maintained their ties as best they could amidst the terrible difficulties of Nazi counter-revolution and the war. Unionists, cooperativists, pacifists, writers, resistants, escapees from the camps of Hitlerite barbarism, representatives of the great peoples of color, socialists of diverse tendencies joined together with the pioneers of the European socialist idea.

In June 1947, in Paris and Montrouge, the circle of protagonists of the Federation of the United Socialist States of Europe and for the socialist planning of its key industries grew considerably. The account of the labors of this conference will be found below. We will briefly characterize the spirit common to all the activists that were found there:

  1. The militants of all tendencies who primarily claim an association with the workers movement (unionist and socialist) and who have, for the first time since the end of World War I, established a fraternal contract around a common propaganda task do not resign themselves to the sharing up of Europe and the world into two hostile blocs.
  2. Nor do they resign themselves to the perspective of the fated character of a Third World War, which will bring with it chaos and the ruin of all civilization on the planet.
  3. They don’t place themselves on the plane of power politics, diplomatic combinations, the equilibrium of military force, of zones of influence or strategic points. On the contrary, all of them place themselves on the plane of the interests common to all workers, to all civilized men and who are all united, whether they will or no, in the search for a constructive solution they can together oppose to the false destructive solution of armed violence and war.
  4. All postulate that beyond the positions taken by governments, general staffs, and bureaucracies – most often without any democratic consultation with the masses – there nevertheless exist the elements of a universal public conscience which, if we know how to mobilize it, will oblige the leaders to modify the course of events that is leading us to the worst of catastrophes.

These common postulates define the limits, but also the vast domain, of the International Committee of Study and Action for the United Socialist States of Europe.

We propose to propagate the idea of Socialist Europe, to study the conditions for its realization, to combat the deformations – conscious or not- that will tend to confuse us with the partisans of the bloc or the other. We appeal for solidarity in our efforts to the American workers, and we will attempt to associate in our undertaking the workers of Eastern Europe, as well as the Russian workers themselves, so sadly isolated from the rest of the world.

Above all we underline the necessity for all European workers to define themselves if they want to escape the dangers of one colonialism or the other.

As for the rest, we place our confidence in men of good faith, in the union and socialist militants themselves who must orient their organizations towards that common perspective. If they don’t manage to do this not only will Europe be definitively torn apart and enslaved, but socialism will be nothing but a rejected generous dream, soon wrapped in the purple shroud in which dead gods sleep.

It will simply have allowed its moment in history to pass it by.