Karl Radek

The Usurer and Policeman
of Europe

(1920 ?)

Source: This article appeared in the Australian Communist, Vol 1, No 8, February 11, 1921.
Attributed to the Glasgow Socialist but without any original publication date or translator.
Transcribed by Duncan Hart.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2021). 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.

In spite of all assurances of the Entente diplomats that “peace and sweet unity” reigns among them, there is nevertheless a most embittered struggle going on all the time. We shall not draw attention to the obvious conflicts that a readily noticeable, and which are leading to open conflicts between England and America and between Japan and America. We intend rather to dwell upon the many attempts of French Imperialism to create anti-British strongholds all over the world in order to secure for herself the dominant position in Europe.

The military treaty between France and Belgium is, in fact, a veritable repudiation of the League of Nations – i.e., an absolute negation of the English control over French politics. Paragraph 18 of the League of Nations imposes upon its members the obligation to bring to their knowledge, and to make public, every international obligation into which they enter with other States. The League of Nations further imposes upon its members the necessity of registering every such treaty. Thus an interstate treaty cannot be held to be valid until it has been publicly proclaimed and duly registered. But France, in her negotiations with Belgium, neither made a public statement nor did she even register the Belgium treaty. Not only has France flagrantly violated Paragraph 18 of the League of Nations, but she has create a breach of faith by contemptuously ignoring paragraph 10 as well. The latter paragraph distinctly emphasizes that the protection of territories belonging to the various members of the League must not be dealt with by individual States, nor by any agreement between any sections of the League, but must be dealt with by all members as a whole. France, however, as we have seen, concluded a military treaty with Belgium against Germany. By this action France implicitly admits that the League of Nations cannot be depended upon to protect her against Germany. This clearly indicates how suspicious France is of England. Indeed, the French treaty with Belgium is a covert blow, at once cunning and subtle, aimed at Britain. This mistrust has produced an unsettling effect upon the English Press, and it has also reacted upon Germany’s policy towards France.

Both in Upper Silesia and in Danzig a continuous struggle is going on between the French and English representatives. French Imperialism does not believe that the English interests would help to extract the requisite amount of coal from Upper Silesia coalfields which is so necessary for the economic development of France. This helps to explain why France is assisting the Poles in falsifying the plebiscite. The English are opposed to the French policy of weakening Germany, because they look to the revival of Germany, whom they hope to use as a large consumer of their products. On the other hand, the French are reproaching Sir Reginald Tower, the English representative at Danzig, whom they consider to be intentionally hindering the policy of the Poles, who desire to subject Danzig. The different attitudes of French and English Imperialism towards Poland – a difference which is the more conspicuous because London and Paris are equally anxious to preserve Poland as a buffer against Soviet Russia – are plainly noticeable in their conflict over the question of the eastern boundaries of Poland. The so-called Curzon line, which defines the boundaries of Poland in the east, was agreed upon by the Entente, and was actually signed by Foch. The French Press defended the policy of the Curzon line. Nevertheless, the French have been secretly persuading Poland to push beyond the Curzon line in the direction of Lithuania. The reason for this is perfectly obvious. Firstly, France desires to isolate Lithuania, which may be used as a bridge between Soviet Russia and Germany; secondly, be separating Lithuania from Soviet Russia, France hopes that a corridor may be opened which shall afford a communication between Poland and Latvia. This corridor would enable Poland to use the harbour of Libau in case of any obstruction in the Danzig corridor, and it would further the check of pressure which England is exerting upon Latvia from the sea.

It will be seen that, no matter how vehement are the superficial protests uttered by France against Poland occupying Vilna, it is all so much diplomatic hypocrisy. It is a mere screen of camouflage, for if France were seriously opposed to the Polish seizure of Vilna she would have protested most effectively against the other Polish corridor from Molodetchno to the Russian Latvian border line which was created at Riga. This corridor can only be maintained, during peace or war, by the seizure of the province and city of Vilna, which is in the rear. Thus France’s protest against the seizure of Vilna is sheer hypocritical bluff. Frances desires the ruin of Lithuania, the bridge between Russia and Germany, and also because that country can be used by England to exert pressure upon Poland, which is the helpless vassal of France.

In Central Europe, France is trying to lean on Hungary and the bloody hangman Horthy. According to the treaty which has been concluded at Godel between the French representative (Palais Olin) and the Hungarian representative (Galmoss), the Hungarian railways are to be subjected to a French syndicate. France also takes upon herself the construction of a Hungarian harbour, and Hungary receives in return the right to maintain an army of 150,000 men under the control of France, notwithstanding the fact that this provision is contradictory to the Treaty of Versailles. White Hungary is thus appointed to be a constant threat to German-Austria in case the latter should try to join Germany, and, on the other hand, it is to be used, if need be, for the eventuality of a victorious revolution in Bulgaria, Yugo-Slavia, and in Czecho-Slovakia.

Since the Entente has parcelled out considerable territories, with Hungarian populations in Czecho-Slovakia, Roumania, and Yugo-Slavia, it is easy to understand that the French agreement with Hungary has caused in these countries a striving to create an alliance against Hungary. Thus the so-called “LITTLE ENTENTE’ is supported by English Imperialism, and therefore competes with France, who desires to dominate Central Europe. In the Near East the struggle between England and France is displayed not only in the Constantinople intrigues and in the well-known support which the French are lending Kemel Pasha in order to keep him away from any communication with Soviet Russia, but also in the arbitrary way by which the Syrian “Kingdom” was created, with a French general at is head.

In regard to Soviet Russia, France has taken the initiative in recognizing Wrangel, who was not until then openly recognized by either England or the Allies in general. By adopting this course, French capital replies to Lloyd George’s attitude during the commercial negotiations with Soviet Russia, when he took every precaution regarding the private loans of the English traders, and did not bother about the obligations of the Russian Government to French creditors.

Hand in hand with the dangerous political activity of French capitalism – which is rendering acute all political relations in Europe, and which is intensifying the international political chaos – travels French economic activity. The one explains the other. THE POLICEMAN GOES ARM IN ARM WITH THE USURER! A country which is not able to feed itself, which cannot reconstruct is ruined North without the aid of English and American capital, a country whose financial situation is more chaotic than that of defeated Germany, a country which is everywhere extending its economic feelers, yet buys out munition factories in Czecho-Slovakia, the mining works in Upper Silesia, and an immense metal factory in Poland, the so-called “Huta Bankov” – it purchases munition factories and railway works in Roumania, and takes in its hands the leading bank of Hungary.

The Matin of September 1st draws the attention of its readers to an important article headed, How France is Assisting in the Economic Reconstruction of Europe. This article goes on to show that France’s policy in reconstructing Europe is perfectly clear. It argues that, while America is keeping Europe in a state of dependence by its bread, and England by its coal, France, on the other hand, is attempting to seize the heavy industries and to become the chief distributor of munitions. In this way France hopes to exert a far-reaching influence upon the struggles of the newly created States of Central Europe. But, above all, the driving force that impels and urges forward the policy of French Imperialism is its panting and hungry desire to gather together a vast quantity of murderous munitions in Central Europe in order to hurl them at Soviet Russia.

Last updated on 15 October 2021