Pantelis Pouliopoulos

(Excerpts from) The Moment of War and Our Tasks

Written: June, 1937
Re-published: Pantelis Pouliopoulos society, Athens 1997
Online Version: Pantelis Pouliopoulos Internet Archive, April 2003
English Translation/Transcription: H. Antonn
HTML Markup: Roland Ferguson

Excerpts from The Moment of War and Our Tasks[A]

... German imperialism, after the French collapse, has dominated the European continent militarily. Its absolute necessity to conquer in a short time space a milieu for raw materials, agricultural supplies and markets outside the limits of today’s German-held Europe, makes the conflict with the English and American imperialists in Africa, Asia, the oceans and the air, a “total ”struggle of life or death.

The military weakness of Italian imperialism cost its entire eastern African empire, serious defeats in land and sea, and made it an instrument of Germany... The successive victories of the war, especially since May 1940, although not all won by Germany, have overnight brought the British empire twice in danger (1940: French collapse, 1941: the still ongoing onslaught towards Egypt from Libya and the Mediterranean, the battle of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean). The potential for resistance, the ability for military flexibility and most of all, the resources of English and American imperialism have proven superior to what the German general staff had predicted. Time doesn’t work for Hitler. For that reason he rushes to pursue in the shortest time possible a final cleaning out with his opponents, spending handsomely his living and material resources in the most daring assaults.

Perspectives of the War

The possibility of economical and political “re-organisation ”of the European continent by the German finance capital based on the “new order ”of national-socialism, is cheap propaganda by Gebels and the babbling of dismayed petit-bourgeois. Today, Europe is a vast arsenal and a fortress under siege in the hands of an ironclad imperialism, based on its military drive for succession of British imperialism in world dominance. Hitler’s potential failure in his campaigns outside Europe would lead with mathematical accuracy to the explosion of the volcano of economic, social, and national contradictions that the up to now victories of national-socialism have accumulated in the old continent. In contrast, if German imperialism could get a firm foothold to the approaches of Africa and Asia, war would enter a new and sharper phase in these two continents and the oceans with the intervention of the Japanese partners of the Axis. And then no corner of the world, old and new, metropolitan or colonial, would keep out of the mess of economic devastation and social turmoil. The social revolutionary movement and its ally, that of colonial uprising, that would terminate this war, would embrace incomparably broader masses of the oppressed of the globe than the corresponding movement of the last world war.

The Imperialist Deceit for the Purposes of the War

The League of Nations in all its years of existence has been standing as the “league of thieves", who guarding their contraband from the first war, have prepared the present one with democratic-pacifist deceit; in this they were assisted by the international social-democracy, by stalinist diplomacy with its “antifascist ”orientation until 1939 and their chauvinist agents. The bloody revelation of this deceit is enough to show to the peoples of the world the true significance of today’s promises by Churchill, Roosevelt and their stalinist-socialist lackeys for “democratic", “worker-oriented ”and “antifascist ”leagues, for eternal peace, etc. The purpose of English and American imperialism is a new, broader League of Thieves, with a more or less tacky democratic decor, for defending the expected contraband of war and drowning more efficiently the uprising of the proletarian and colonial slaves of capitalism throughout the world. The “new organisation ”of the world by English and American capitalists would be nothing more than a temporary pause until the new world conflict between the rulers of the world. In the same way, a hypothetical world dominance of German and Japanese imperialism would open a new Middle Age for the peoples of the world under the yoke of raw oppression and unchecked exploitation of the workers of the world, that would only be interrupted by new war spasms between the new world rulers.

The regime of capitalist dominance is incapable of surpassing its internal contradictions, both social and international; far from it: it reproduces them in an increasing scale during the last stage of its imperialist decline. The breakdown of this regime became an unavoidable historical necessity for saving mankind from relapsing to barbarity and its progress. The peaceful co-operation and brotherhood of the peoples of the world above national, continental and racial borders, and the logical organisation of world economy, only the socialist revolution is capable of realising them. The era of this revolution opened with the first imperialist war. This one is a rhonchus of the death agony of the world capitalist system. Its transformation to a civil war for the establishment of the United States of Europe and the International Socialist Democracy is the central aim of the daily tasks of the historical movement of the workers and the oppressed of the world with the class of the revolutionary proletariat at its head.

The “solution ”that national-socialism gave to the national question of a whole series of countries with the hot iron of military conquest, is either enslavement with the method of forced dislocation of the population (exchanges in the Baltic states and Poland) or the new subjugation of millions for the immediate war needs of the Axis imperialists with forced annexations, pseudo-independent states - puppets in accordance with the Versailles treaty and bringing under the exiling and sucking steamroller of German, Hungarian, Italian, Bulgarian imperialist bandits even more millions of workers and peasants than before (Czechoslovakia, Poland, Transylvania, Croatia, Dalmatia, Albania, Macedonia, Thrace, Hepeirus). This situation, complicating even more the entangled national question in Europe, is sustained only with blood and terror, adding more explosives under the feet of the new masters of Europe. This very situation is a miniature of the fate waiting the colonial peoples of the world if their present yoke was substituted by that of the Axis.

The 4th International

The 2nd and 3rd Internationals betrayed the socialist affair, rolling in the swamp of socialist-nationalism and becoming among the main helpers in the ideological preparation and launching of the new war. For many years, with the nationalist propaganda of the “antifascist ”war and the policy of class collaboration (Popular Fronts), their parties did everything in their power to castrate and corrupt the conscience of the world proletariat.

The centrism of the 21/2 International, the so-called now “Marxist Centre", a traditional assistant of the social-traitors in confusing and castrating the masses, continues until today its role with its pacifist, confused and hesitant stance towards the imperialist war, and with its opportunistic position towards soviet bureaucracy. The recent intervention of the Independent Labour Party in the House of Commons showed that the centrists become again, as in 1914-1918, an obstacle to the revolutionisation of the proletariat with their pacifist babbling, when the proletariat begins to rid itself of their bloody experience of the delusions of nationalism and social-chauvinism. The most decisive struggle against the centrist helpers of social-treason, which often dress itself in leftist phrasing, is a part of the total struggle against the agents of imperialism in the lines of the proletariat. The need for this struggle becomes even more imperative, the more the moment of collapse of the deceptive hopes which the social-patriots and social-imperialists cultivated among the masses approaches. In the same way, battling hesitation or conciliationism towards centrism becomes more and more imperative.

The new revolutionary International, the World Party for the Socialist Revolution - the 4th International, born at the exact moment of the death agony of world capitalism and the new maturing drive of the proletariat, calls to overcome quickly in the fire of war and revolutions the “leadership crisis ”left in its lead the degeneration of the 3rd International. By fertilising the invaluable experience of a hundred years of the newer revolutionary social movement, the 4th International consolidates increasingly dense phalanxes of the most exquisite, steeled and hopeful part of the proletariat in all countries, and enters in the head of the momentous struggle for the demolition of capitalism...


[A] An extract from a document of the EOKDE nucleus in Akronafplia Prison. Re-published by the Pantelis Pouliopoulos society, Athens 1997


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