Charles Rappoport


The Victory of the Second International
over the International 2½

(28 February 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. II No. 16, 28 February 1922, p. 113.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2018). 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.

The French Socialist Party that was formed immediately after the Congress of Tours is made up of two elements: first, the war Socialists: Bracke, Blum, Renaudel, Varenne, Compère-Morel, Grumbach (the errand boy of Renaudel) etc., etc.; second, the pale and timid “minority” members who had just enough courage to fight the “exaggerations” of chauvinism but who did not even dare to refuse credits of war. Their name are known: Longuet, Paul Faure, Pressemane, Mistral and so forth and so forth.

It was evident that if the bullies such as Renaudel and Bracke united with men without energy like Longuet and Paul Faure, the eternal vacillators would have been absorbed by the fearless knights of Socialist treason. Even the German Independents, who not only did not invent powder but who are even afraid to use it, are intrepid heroes in comparison with Longuet and Paul Faure. The 2½ was destined from its very birth to be devoured by the “giants” of “the Second” with long teeth, sound appetites and strong stomachs capable of digesting a Scheidemann and Noske and Vandervelde and Grumbach, dealer in “international” chauvinism and retail merchant of large and small counter-revolutionary infamies.

The “Socialist” Conference held in Paris on the 4th and 5th of February is a living demonstration of this absorption of the “minorities” without character or program by the war Socialists who know where they are going and what they want. They are going to the seats of power together with the bourgeoisie. And they want to save bourgeois society by crushing Bolshevism, that is to say revolution in action.

The German railway strike rendered a very important service to the revolution without knowing it, by helping to show the real character of this conference. On account of the strike the German Majority Socialists could not come. And without them it was impossible to throw dust in the eyes of the masses by talking of “reparations”.

The reformists who like to play for the bourgeois government the part of the fly in the fable – with the exception of the cases of rebellion and of strikes where their role is more efficient – have a complete positive program of “reparations”: international solidarity. That means: “The United States – the rich American uncle – will lend money to ruined Europe.” Since the recent debates in the Congress of Washington it is known that the “uncle” shut his pocket-book although still keeping his heart wide open ... But even the biggest manufacturers of hollow phrases like Vandervelde understand that nothing can be done with a treasury as empty as his speeches.

Hence there was no talk at the Conference of the five ex- belligerent countries of “reparations” with the aid of empty treasuries and hollow phrases, but rather through international unity. The international proletariat must whatever the cost “repair” and restore Socialist virginity to all the Renaudels, Scheidemanns and Vanderveldes who paraded their virtue during the war in all the salons of the bourgeoisie.

The role of go-between fell to Fritz Adler and Paul Faure, who were able to behave with decency in the midst of the war saturnalia. They are the sign-board that must hide the ugly interior of the house. These are the men of confidence who must endorse the bankruptcy of the Second International. Fritz Adler, who had killed a minister but who is keeping alive the reformist and opportunist spirit of “the Second”, shook with tears in his eyes the two hands that Vandervelde extended to him at the “family banquet”, one of which hands signed the Treaty of Versailles, father of the Treaty of Saint Germain of which Austria is now dying. What a sight! The accomplices of the imperialist assassins who menaced brave Morgari with the police when he came to Paris trying to reunite “the Second” are pardoned and cajoled by men who like Adler at least risked something to fight the universal carnage and the treason of the “Second”. Let Adler read again his own speech delivered during his trial. It contains enough to answer the hypocritical phrases and tears of all the Vanderveldes and Sembats on lost unity. After having assassinated this unity on the 4th of August 1914, these gentlemen want to restore it – until the next 4th of August of the next world war.

But in the midst of these ghastly scenes of reconciliation between the assassins and their victims a gay note was heard. Like Poincaré, Mr. Renaudel would not go to the Conference “without conditions”. At the door of the “unity” Congress the Russian revolution must make its excuses to this big simpleton called “Jaurès of the animal kingdom” – for not having followed his council and for having maltreated his friends by preventing them from stabbing the revolution in the back.

Nothing better characterizes the Paris Conference than the silence of poor Longuet, who was found far too compromising in the midst of these ex-ministers who want nothing better than to return to their old positions. Longuet as a threat and a scarecrow! This fact alone condemns the spirit that reigned at the Congress. It is true that this “quarter of a Boche”, treated by the triends of Mr. Sembat as a complete Boche during the war, might have brought a discordant note into these “devastated regions” of socialism, if only on account of his suspicious origins. Longuet has no voice among these businessmen of Socialism. But what is he doing among these candidates for the crushing of future communes who had been so eloquently lashed by his immortal grandfather and even by his father, honest though reformist.

While the Conference was preaching unity, the strikes of the German railwaymen and of the municipal workers of Berlin were in full swing. The same journal Le Populaire that published in extenso the unity speeches of these past and future ministers calumniated and insulted the striking proletarians, thus achieving unity with Herr Wirth and the gang howling at the strikers. Deeds speak louder than words ...

Capitalist unity is an accomplished fact. Why look for any other?

The comedy will be continued at Frankfort. Do not laugh!

Last updated on 5 May 2019