From New International, Vol. I No. 1, July 1934, p. 30.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
We are not pacifists. We consider a revolutionary war just as much a means of proletarian policy as an uprising. Our attitude to war is determined not by the legalistic formula of “aggression” but by the question of which class carries on the war and for what aims. In the conflict of states just as in the class struggle “defense” and “aggression” are only questions of practical expediency and not of juridical or ethical norm. The bare criterion of aggression creates a base of support for the social-patriotic policy of Messrs. Leon Blum, Vandervelde and others, who thanks to Versailles, are given the possibility of defending imperialist booty under the guise of defending peace.
Stalin’s famous formula “We do not want an inch of foreign soil but will not give up an inch of ours” represents a conservative program for the preservation of the status quo in radical contradiction to the aggressive nature of proletarian revolution. The ideology of socialism in one country leads inevitably to the blurring of the reactionary role of the national state, to conciliation with it, to its idealization, to reducing the importance of revolutionary internationalism. – From War and the Fourth International.
Last updated on 25 February 2016