Various Subjects

Which Government Is the More Stable?

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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The victor governments are heatedly discussing how to get hold of their booty, how to divide and how to safeguard this booty from the social revolution – not only their new booty but also their old booty, namely, their capital and profits. For this purpose Wilson put forward the idea of a “League of Nations’, that is, an alliance of capitalist governments to protect exploitation. However, this alliance has not so far got going, and among the victor governments a great mutual hostility is developing, which threatens to break out openly from one day to the next.

Nevertheless, there are still fools and dimwits who look to this League of Nations to establish peace and tranquillity on earth. Such are the Menshevik and SR apologies-for-socialists in every country. Representatives of the Berne Conference, that is, of the international assembly of SRs and Mensheviks, have addressed themselves to the British minister Cecil, and respectfully petitioned the British Government for Germany and Russia also to be included in the League of Nations – that is, for admission to the robbers” alliance of those whom the robbers have already stripped of one skin and are preparing to strip of a second and a third. Lord Cecil [sic] [1] has replied that it is not possible to admit to League membership states which lack stable governments.

Thus, in the opinion of the noble lord, stable governments exist in Britain, France, Italy and America, but the Russian Government is not stable. The ministers of Wilhelm II and Franz Josef saw the matter in exactly the same light at the time of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations They considered that their governments, their ancient monarchies, were very stable, whereas the government of the Russian workers and peasants would not last more than a few months. What actually happened was something different. The ancient monarchies of the Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs perished, but the Soviet Government became consolidated and extended its frontiers widely. Soviet power was established in Hungary. A struggle for Soviet power is going on in Germany, in Austria – almost throughout Europe – and is spreading to other parts of the world as well.

Now the compromisers are respectfully petitioning the predators to include Soviet Russia in the League of Nations. Futile and truly senseless dreams! The League of Nations must indeed consist of stable states – Lord Cecil is right about that. But in our epoch only a workers” state can be stable. The robbers” League of Nations will last not much longer than the peace of Brest-Litovsk did. Lord Cecil and all the other servants of Anglo-French imperialism will fall, just as Baron Kühlmann and Count Czernin have fallen. The working class will inevitably grow stronger in their countries. Only then will it become possible for a real League of Nations to be formed, that is, an alliance of workers” states which will transform Europe, abolish oppression and exploitation and establish the reign of socialism.

April 5, 1919


1. Lord Robert Cecil, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs during the war, resigned at the end of 1918 and went to Paris to assist in the formation of the League of Nations.

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Last updated on: 27.12.2006