Charles Rappoport

Genoa and France

II. Poincaré and his Bloc National in Genoa

(19 April 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 28, 19 April 1922, pp. 210–211.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
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If it was at all considered possible by anyone to appeal to the healthy reason or at least to the well-understood ulterior motives of the fools who together with the war-maker, Poincaré, are undermining France, and at the same time disgracing and choking her, it is today clearly understood, that it was merely an illusion, and that nothing can be accomplished in cooperation with banking capitalists, big industrialists and the clerical and reactionary petty bourgeoisie.

Poincaré wants to know nothing of Genoa. He left no stone unturned in his attempt to bring the conference an the rocks. Beaten on the field of his own allies, the Little Entente which had prepared itself for Genoa by calling its own conference at Belgrade, Poincaré was compelled to act as if he also approved of the Genoa Conference. But one may be sure that the head of this government or rather the head of a band of nationalists who, tortured by fear and shame, could not sleep peacefully until at the eleventh hour an attempt was made to make the impossible seem possible in the hope of bringing the Conference to a fall.

Mr. Viviani, his accomplice and at the same time his victim of 1914, who seemed to be just the man to drown the tragic truth of the world situation with his rhetorical outbursts, suddenly became weak and has abandoned his post in the League of Nations. Another master of the phrase, Mr. Albert Thomas, the Big Bertha of War-Socialism, may undertake his notoriety trips to Poland ever[y] so often, and bring himself into the public eye by all sorts of clever interviews with the men of the hour in the various countries, yet he is by far too advanced and by far too clear-sighted for the idiocies and deceptions of Poincaré.

What is the cause of this Genoa repulsion? The answer is very simple. For the Bloc National as well as for Poincaré Genoa represents the Stockholm of the Peace. We remember very well with what terror these war-leaders, Thomas and Renaudel included, were stricken on the eve of the Stockholm Conference, which was called together by the Russia of Kerenski. That was the sole chance for saving a completely loss situation. And our own dissenters quite correctly scented the danger of war for “right and civilization”. Thus the preferred the wholesale murder until “the final victory”: the utmost efforts of preserving peace.

But today the various nations are again in the midst of an extremely critical situation The battlefield upon which people fought and destroyed each other according to the rules and regulations of capitalistic civilization and science, has given place to a field of misery, unemployment and bankruptcy. The war threatened the armies with destruction. But misery and starvation are today threatening whole nations. The clear-sighted bourgeoisie also seeks to save what little can still be saved. It is only the fearful Poincaré and his Bloc of bandits and idiots that see only one ghost in the Genoa Conference: the return of Soviet Russia into the family of regular states. And that our imbeciles shall never permit. And should Lenin and Trotzky be treated on a basis of equality with such celebrities as Millerand and Poincaré! That is not to be thought of.

That the leaders of the Russian Revolution should be recognized as a power, appears to our statesmen as the height of nonsense. Have Lenin and Trotzky at least abandoned the program after they acquired power? Have they at least gone back on their convictions in the same manner as Millerand abandoned the program of Saint-Mandé? Has the president of the “Sovnarkom” (the Council of the People’s Commissars) at least had a hand in the outbreak of the war? No, not at all! For this reason they are not to be treated as sincere statesmen. A statesman in the service of the workers and peasants is a monstrosity and above all an example to be avoided under all circumstances, such a statesmen is a living threat to the civilization of Schneider, Krupp and Armstrong.

But Genoa breeds still another danger. Directly or indirectly those present will discuss the great masterpiece of human genius, the Peace Treaty of Versailles, which has blessed humanity with eleven conferences, but which has Europe no peace. Lady Macbeth-Poincaré can and should not permit this either. But even if the Treaty of Versailles is not discussed in Genoa the Keynes-Lloyd George ghost will nevertheless be present. The consequences of the war will also be dragged in at Genoa. There will therefore also be a chance to compare the official promises which were made by the bushel in the attempt to mislead the naive masses with the actual consequences of the war for “justice”. And once they start with the chapter of the consequences of the war, the question of guilt may easily creep in. And the Poincaré of war and mobilization will certainly not permit that, as long as the revolting French people do not hang him an the nearest lamp post. Other reasons of high politics make the Genoa Conference particularly uncomfortable to the Poincaré of armed peace. Until now the policy of idiotic Poincaré had only one aim: the surrounding of Germany by its border countries and by Belgium, Poland, etc. According to the interpretation of Shylock-Poincaré the Rhine should always remain in French hands because of Germany’s inability to pay. Perhaps the nations that have met in Genoa could not approve this unexpected conclusion drawn from the “war for justice”. That is why the Poincaré of Fear prefers to stay at home. Wisdom is wisdom.

Poincaristic France is now playing a part on the world stage which is as tragic as it shameless for the future of the country. Acting as it does in the capacity of the gendarme for capitalistic reaction and imitating the Austria of Metternich, France is weaving its own isolation from the civilized capitalistic world. It champions its candidacy for the hegemony of Europe by force of arms. But neither its population nor its economic resources permit it to play this part. It creates the impression of a child grasping for the club of Hercules. The France of the Bloc National and of Bankruptcy-Poincaré wants to obtain the hegemony of Europe on credit. But the Americans insist upon payment. And since France is not able to pay, the American sheriff can very easily sell this hegemony at auction ...

And this insane policy will continue as long as the French people will leave the fools and murderers that rule them unmolested. The election of Marty and Bardina on the 26th of March show however, that the end of Imbecile-Poincaré is not as far as is commonly believed.