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The New International, January 1943

The National and Colonial Struggles

Part One of a Resolution of the Workers Party


From The New International, Vol. IX No. 1, January 1943, pp. 9–13.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Second World War is a spectacular demonstration of the decay and agony of capitalist society. Both camps tax to the utmost the genius of science, the machinery of production and distribution, and the brain and brawn of labor for the carrying on of a mutual slaughter of the peoples and the most appalling destruction of social wealth. In both camps, there is less liberty and more suffering among the peoples of the conquering as well as the conquered countries than there was more than three years ago, when the war began. The consumptive capacity of the war machine is so stupendous that even important military victories, the annexation of conquered lands and the acquisition of new material resources and numerous cheap laborers do not serve to alleviate seriously the declining standards of the conquerors. The war is already well into its fourth year, yet no responsible statesman anywhere dares utter a confident prediction of an early end to the holocaust. From Hitler is no longer heard the promise that the rich fruits of victory are soon to be plucked, but rather that he is prepared to defend himself indefinitely; from Tokyo comes the assurance of the Japanese imperialism that it will hold out even if the war lasts a century; from London comes the somber estimate, even in the face of the first moderate advances, that not even the beginning of the end is in sight, but only the end of the beginning. The rulers of the world continue to talk as if it is a matter of course that the masses will go on slaving and starving and dying, year in and year out, for decades if need be, without raising any fundamental questions about the war, much less offering resistance to its continuation.

That, however, is precisely what it is impossible to take for granted. The long night must come to an end, because even a just cause – to say nothing of the cause of the present war – could not expect from the people a continuous war effort sustained at the intense peaks of modern warfare and amidst the mounting casualties, general suffering and universal devastation. War as it is fought nowadays cannot be converted into the normal state of existence of the masses, at least not without engendering among both the most enthusiastic and the most inert sections of the people a growing spirit of resistance to the war and a struggle to bring it to an end. Popular acquiescence to war in permanence is fascist mythology, shared by more than a few imperialist democrats, and based upon the insolent fallacy that the masses are nothing but cattle.

Between the present day and the day the masses rise up against the beneficiaries of the war, a considerable period of time will in all probability elapse. How long that period of time will be depends almost directly on how soon it will be possible to re-establish an independent mass labor movement and to regroup a cohesive and substantial revolutionary vanguard. It must be bitterly but frankly acknowledged that in virtually all the belligerent countries, social reformism and Stalinism have achieved sensationally tragic successes in demoralizing and prostrating the labor and revolutionary movements; and fascism has finished off with the knife the work that they began. In a very few, but very important, belligerents (U.S.A., England, the Dominions, etc.) a tremendous labor movement still exists, but it has been made almost wholly subservient to the imperialist bourgeoisie; as for the revolutionary vanguard movement, even in these countries, it is still insignificant, both in numbers and in influence.

The New Problem of This Period

The primary problem, therefore, is the reorganization, the rebuilding, the strengthening of the revolutionary socialist movement (the Fourth International) so that it is in a position to assume its place as stimulator, organizer and guide of the inevitably resurgent mass movement. The problem in turn is not an administrative but a political problem. It cannot be resolved except in so far as the new existing vanguard elements, no matter how weak or dispersed, are in inseparable contact with the masses, are direct participants in the solving of their immediate problems, and, consequently, in so far as they adopt a policy capable of linking the struggle to solve these immediate problems with the fundamental struggle for the socialist reorganization of society. Such a policy must be based upon what is progressive in the yearnings of the masses, no matter how limited or confused they may be; it must be elaborated in such a manner as to bring about the earliest possible end to the war on a working class basis, or on a basis that will facilitate the working class conquest of power.

This being so, the most important fact to record in the world today is that the yearnings of the vast majority of the peoples of this globe may be summed up in the phrase: national independence, national freedom from foreign rule and oppression. What is more, to the extent that masses (that is, millions of people) are organized or are in movement or are animated by a will to struggle against reaction in a number of decisively important countries, it is not on a revolutionary proletarian basis of the struggle for socialism, but on the bourgeois-democratic basis of the struggle for national independence.

This holds for the two principal theaters of the war, Asia and Europe. What stirs the masses of the people of India, China, Burma and other Asiatic lands is a burning aspiration to be free of Japanese or British domination, to enjoy the right of self-determination, which means to them the right of self-government. But that aspiration is not confined to the traditional colonies of the Orient. It animates no less passionately the peoples of the Baltic and Balkan countries, the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Serbs, the Croats, the Slovaks, the Czechs, the Greeks, the Albanians, the French, the people of the Low Lands, the Norwegians and the Danes. To say to them that it makes no difference what the nationality is of the class that rules over them, is at the very best an abstraction. The overwhelming majority of them want first of all the destruction of foreign fascist domination, that is, of Hitler’s rule. That is, like their brothers of the East, what they want first of all is national independence, national freedom, and in the struggle to achieve it millions are already prepared to organize, to fight, to make sacrifices.

However it is interpreted, however it is acted upon, this is the overwhelmingly important and obvious fact in the world situation today from the standpoint of the remobilization and resurgence of the working class and revolutionary movements. A contrary opinion does not even warrant serious discussion, for the simple reason that the labor and revolutionary movements cannot possibly be re-established without the support of precisely those forces that make up the most active elements of the actual, that is, of the national movements in most of the countries of Europe and Asia. What does warrant discussion is an analysis of the national movements and a revolutionary socialist policy toward them. For obvious historical reasons, it is advisable to treat the problem under two separate headings, the colonial question in Asiatic countries (and kindred colonial countries) and the national question in the European countries.

The Asiatic Colonies and the War

Revolutionary socialism supports the struggle for independence of the colonies on two main and fundamental grounds: one, because it is for the most thoroughgoing realization of democracy, one of the elementary demands of which is the right of self-determination, and therefore the right of national sovereignty, of freedom from foreign rule; and, two, because in their struggle for national independence, the colonial peoples strike a blow at imperialism, which is the main enemy of the working class and of socialism.

Socialism supports the movement for colonial independence from imperialist rule even where the movement is launched or led by the native capitalist class.

The attainment of national independence by the colonies is fundamentally a bourgeois-democratic task. But theoretical considerations, buttressed by all modern history, show that the national bourgeoisie of the colonies is incapable of fulfilling this task. This conclusion is not the product of any “sectarianism” or “dogmatism” which opportunists ascribe to the revolutionary Marxists, but flows inexorably from the inherent relationships between imperialist bourgeoisie and colonial bourgeoisie, on one hand, and the colonial bourgeoisie and the colonial proletariat and peasantry, on the other.

The economic and political relationships in the colonial countries are such that the national bourgeoisie cannot seriously hope to establish its own independent class rule at home. Unlike the young revolutionary bourgeoisie of the period of the establishment of the great national states in Europe and America, the bourgeoisie of the present colonies has appeared on the historical scene belatedly, that is, in a period that leaves no room for the development of new great expanding national states. The bourgeoisie in every colonial country is characterized by its integration with reactionary foreign imperialism, on the one side, and with the reactionary native feudal classes on the other. It serves the former as an agent, an intermediary in the exploitation of the colonial workers and peasants; it is interlinked with the latter in maintaining feudal atomization and in the super-exploitation of the peasantry. In the face of these two forces upon which it is dependent for its very existence, the colonial bourgeoisie is fundamentally incapable of leading a struggle against imperialism and feudalism, for the democratic independence of the nation.

Even though it is a compradore bourgeoisie, that is, an agency of imperialism, it does not follow that it does not covet a greater share of the wealth extracted from the masses than is allocated to it at any given time by the ruling imperialist power. In order to increase its share of economic and political power, the colonial bourgeoisie often holds up to imperialism the threat of unleashing a nationalistic mass movement. At other times, it launches a struggle against one imperialist power under the patronage of another imperialist power. At still other times it runs to the head of a genuine and spontaneous anti-imperialist mass movement and takes over the leadership of it in order to make sure that it does not get completely out of hand by taking on a completely anti-capitalist movement.

These are the reasons why at one time or another the colonial bourgeoisie leads or seems to lead a mass struggle against imperialism, more accurately, against one imperialist power or group.

But while the national bourgeoisie can launch a struggle against imperialism, it cannot carry it through to the attainment of national independence.

The disparity in power between the advanced imperialist countries and the backward colonial countries makes it impossible even to think of any kind of struggle by the latter against the former without mobilizing vast masses of workers and peasants. To them, however, the struggle against imperialism and for national independence is inseparably bound up with the struggle for social change. To the peasant, national independence is often a vague and remote abstraction, but freedom from onerous taxes and the acquisition of land on which he can live are extremely concrete. To the worker, the struggle against imperialism is an abstraction except when linked with and concretized in his struggle for economic rights and higher economic standards against an imperialist bourgeoisie which is interlaced with the native bourgeoisie. In the case of both worker and peasant, the development of the anti-imperialist struggle leads directly to a social threat to the colonial bourgeoisie itself. That is why the latter unites with foreign imperialism against its own working class and peasantry at every critical stage of the struggle for national freedom.

China’s Rôle in a New Period

Living experiences have therefore dictated to Marxism the conclusion that in the colonies the struggle for national freedom cannot be conducted consistently, and certainly not victoriously, save under the leadership of the socialist proletariat supported by the peasantry.

With all this in mind, the Marxists throughout the world supported the struggle of China against imperialist Japan even though the war was conducted under the leadership of the counter-revolutionary Chinese bourgeoisie (or at least a section of it), represented by the Kuomintang and its Generalissimo, Chiang. Due to the reactionary leadership of the Kuomintang, which systematically dulled the enthusiasm of the masses by conducting the war with an eye only to the protection of the class interests of the bourgeoisie and a corresponding hostility to the class interests of the workers and peasants, the war against Japan deteriorated steadily. The principal centers of the country fell to the enemy one by one; a whole section of the Chinese bourgeoisie (led by Wang Chin-wei) capitulated outright to the Japanese; corruption, nepotism, profiteering became running sores in the camp of the Chinese bourgeoisie; the workers and peasants, made to bear all the burdens and make all the sacrifices, succumbed increasingly to the spirit of indifference. Notwithstanding, support of China made it possible to strike a blow at an imperialist power without giving corresponding support to another imperialist power, and at the same time made possible the conversion of the war into a genuinely democratic and broad anti-imperialist mass movement. The war, on China’s part, still being predominantly a war for national independence, it remained progressive and therefore warranted socialist support.

This situation changed decisively with the outbreak of the inter-imperialist war in the Pacific and on the Asiatic continent.

Under the leadership of the Chinese bourgeoisie, the national struggle became incorporated as a subordinated sector of one of the imperialist camps. The integration of the nationalist struggle into the imperialist war has been manifested in many ways. China has become an official and part of the United Nations bloc, within which it is treated by the principals of the bloc in the traditional manner of the imperialist toward the colonial underling. The strategy and tactics of the Chinese is now decided by the big imperialist rulers of the bloc, and Chungking conforms to these decisions obediently, if with frequent muttered criticisms which only underline its impotence as an independent factor in the war in the Orient. The strategy and tactics of the Allies in the East are decided exclusively on the basis of the needs and interests of Anglo-American imperialism; the allocation of materials to China is decided on the same basis and in a manner calculated to show the most obtuse that the Chinese bourgeoisie is allowed to breathe or move only at the discretion of the imperialists; and, what is most important, the Chinese bourgeoisie, despite all its appeals to Washington and London for a change in course that would strengthen its own national position, takes absolutely no action in disobedience to the political and military dictates of Anglo-American imperialism, nor can it take any such action, given the very nature of its relationship to imperialism.

The nature of this relationship is that the colonial bourgeoisie is incapable of conducting a struggle against imperialism, but at most only a struggle against this or that imperialist power. Even such a struggle involves a greater or lesser degree of dependency upon a rival imperialist power. In spite of this ever-present dependency, the revolutionists in the past supported the war conducted by the colonial bourgeoisie against Japan because every victory of the Chinese bourgeois army advanced the cause of Chinese national independence another step, and by that token advanced the class interests of the Chinese proletariat, by increasing its self-confidence (that is, confidence in its ability to dispose of any exploiter and oppressor) and in general by widening the national arena for the decisive class struggle. Under these conditions, any weakening of Japanese imperialism was not accompanied by a corresponding strengthening of a rival imperialism. If, for example, Anglo-American imperialism had advanced in the Orient to exactly or substantially the same degree that Japanese imperialism was driven back, the Chinese war would have been essentially a pro-imperialist struggle with no progressive significance. Consequently, socialist support of this war would have meant, regardless of intentions, a policy of social-imperialism.

What the Colonial Bourgeoisie Cannot Do

Because the colonial bourgeoisie cannot conduct a war against imperialism, the spread of an inter-imperialist war to its field of action brings it inescapably into the camp of one of the imperialist powers. It is the crassest self-deception, and in most cases willful deception of others, to declare that the Chinese bourgeoisie is now playing an independent rôle (to say nothing of an “increasingly” independent rôle!) in the conditions of the present imperialist conflict in Asia. To play an independent r61e in these conditions, the bourgeoisie would have to have essentially the same attitude toward both imperialist camps, the one which it is combating directly and one which threatens it in the form of any “ally.” It cannot adopt such an attitude, for to maintain it would require such a mobilization of the social appetites and ambitions of the workers and peasants as would immediately threaten the fundamental class position of the colonial bourgeoisie. This is the basic, determining reason why the colonial bourgeoisie becomes a subordinate, integral part of one imperialist camp against the other as soon as war between the two breaks out in its country.

The national struggle of the bourgeoisie, being thus swallowed up in the imperialist struggle, loses its progressive significance. This theoretical generalization is based upon and repeatedly confirmed by concrete events. That is why Lenin declared so categorically, unambiguously, “dogmatically,” during the First World War, that a war in alliance with imperialism is an imperialist war, even if the alliance is made by a non-imperialist country which, by itself, so to speak, is fighting a just war of national defense. It is easy to verify over again this “dogmatic” declaration in the Second World War, and specifically, in the Asiatic countries.

To support China now – now that the war between the two big imperialist powers dominates the situation in the Pacific and on the continent – means to aid and abet one of these imperialist powers, and thereby to surrender not only the internationalist struggle for a socialist peace and socialist power, but any effective struggle for the national independence of the colonies.

Every blow inflicted upon Japanese imperialism by the “Chinese forces” now, does not promote the cause of Chinese national independence but results rather in a corresponding strengthening of the influence and power of Anglo-American imperialism. To think in terms of a Sino-Japanese war parallel to but separate and independent from the Allied-Japanese war, as the Cannonites do, is to think in terms of military and political fantasmagoria. For example, to rid Burma of the Japanese overlord does not mean a strengthening of the independent position of China “because the Burma Road will be reopened,” much less a strengthening of the non-existent independent position of Burma; it means primarily and above all a strengthening of Anglo-American imperialism as against Japanese imperialism, as well as against the national interests of Burma, of China and of India! (Similarly, in the reverse case, when Burma was rid of the British overlord by the Japanese invasion, assisted by bourgeois-nationalists, it was only Japanese imperialism that was strengthened, not only at the expense of its imperialist rivals, but at the expense of the national interests of Burma, China and India.)

Furthermore, where formerly an advance by China against Japan meant heightening the national (“anti-imperialist”) and class consciousness and self-confidence of the masses, particularly the workers, this is now no longer the case. Victories attained against British imperialism in Burma under the domination of Japanese imperialism could (and did) have only the effect of dulling the progressive national consciousness of the masses and of replacing their self-confidence by delusive confidence in the Japanese imperialist “benefactor.” To a lesser, but not fundamentally different extent, the same now holds for China. Victories now attained against Japan enhance primarily the strength of the rival imperialism. They do not give the Chinese masses confidence in themselves, but tend to create among them a confidence in the benevolence and power of American imperialism; they do not free the people of the spell of imperialism, but create and nurture illusions about it.

This does not mean that the cause of national independence in the colonies is doomed, nor that it has ceased to be progressive. It means only that under the conditions of the dominating inter-imperialist war, the colonial bourgeoisie cannot lead the struggle for national independence – except into the camp of the imperialist war itself. The national struggle in the colonies remains a progressive struggle. The masses of the workers and peasants long just as passionately as ever for the liberation of their land from foreign imperialist domination, for the carrying out of the tasks of the democratic revolution. Their longing is a just one, a progressive and revolutionary one, one that conforms to the socialist interests of the world proletariat.

The Revolutionary Position for the Colonies

The problem is: How is the progressive national struggle of the colonies, of a country like China (or Burma), to be freed from the hand of imperialism which now controls it and directs it in its own interests? How is the national struggle to be made genuinely independent instead of a tool in the hands of one or another imperialist power to which the colonial bourgeoisie has allied (and therefore subordinated) it?

If, as the Fourth International has always insisted, the proletariat of the colonies, no matter how small or weak, must at all costs maintain its political independence in the national struggle, the question arises: What independent program, what independent demand, must the colonial proletariat put forward in a country like China today with regard to the alliance that the ruling bourgeoisie has made with the imperialists? Shall the Chinese proletariat confine itself to glittering generalities and abstractions about the admissibility “in principle” of “an” alliance with imperialism, as is advocated by shamefaced opportunists who seek as always to evade an answer to the concrete question? Or shall it declare that the alliance made by the Chinese bourgeoisie with the Allied masters is an imperialist alliance, is a reactionary alliance, is a betrayal of the struggle for national independence? That is the question, and it is impossible to evade it.

There can be only one answer, and in this answer is contained the key to the problem of the colonial struggle amidst the conditions of the present imperialist war in the East. The colonial proletariat, and above all the revolutionary vanguard, must persistently and patiently declare:

“Our bourgeoisie has concluded a reactionary, imperialist alliance with one set of the enemies of the colonial peoples. Our strength, our will to struggle, are being subverted to the interests of an inter-imperialist struggle. To gain our national independence, we must abrogate the secret agreements with imperialism, we must break off all imperialist alliances. We must make an alliance instead with the anti-imperialist masses of the other oppressed countries of the East, primarily of India, Burma and Indo-China. Only in that way can we resume the struggle for national independence which the bourgeoisie has betrayed. But to do this, we must overthrow the bourgeoisie and establish the democratic rule of the workers and peasants. Once that is done, we can decide for ourselves what practical agreements we can and will enter into with this or that imperialist power in the struggle against another power. We can then decide how to maneuver between rival imperialisms, how to utilize their differences and difficulties for our own benefit, but without making an alliance with one of them against the other.”

Such a declaration, the only one corresponding to the national interests of the colony and the socialist interests of the proletariat, is equivalent to the following basic political conclusion: Under the conditions of the imperialist war in the East, the only class capable of re-launching the war for national independence of the colonies is the proletariat. Under the leadership of the bourgeoisie, the national struggle is brought inevitably into one or another of the warring imperialist alliances. This was already amply clear during the First World War. It has been confirmed again and again by the events in the Philippines, in Indo-China and Malaya, in Eastern and Western China, in Burma, and is being confirmed currently in India.

The Situation in India

The native ruling classes of India are much more divided than, for example, the ruling classes of China. The feudal and semi-feudal princes and kindred elements are ardent supporters of British imperialism, which is their patron in the plundering of their subjects. Whole sections of the Moslem bourgeois and landlord classes take substantially the same servile position toward British imperialism as do the princes of the Indian states. The same holds true of wide sections (exactly how strong and representative they are is difficult to see through the veil of the censorship) of the Hindu bourgeoisie (Rajagopalachari and his group). There is no doubt, too, that a section of the Indian bourgeoisie is playing with the idea of selling its services to Japanese imperialism instead of British. How strong this group is, is especially difficult to say, under the circumstances, but it probably rises and falls with the changes in the military fortunes of the contending imperialist camps.

In the period of the sensational advances of the Japanese, when the position of British imperialism in the East was especially precarious, the Indian bourgeoisie, as represented by the ideologists and politicians of the Indian Congress Party, became emboldened and made demands upon the British for a greater share of the political and economic power in the country. These demands were made under the pressure of the impatient and aggressive masses, on the one hand, and under the pressure of the increasingly acute war situation, on the other.

As for the masses, the Gandhi leadership was able to appease them to a certain extent by its demands for concessions from London, without at the same time taking the responsibility or the risk of organizing a militant mass movement whose action could have obtained in a trice what Gandhi has vainly negotiated over for years. The arrest of the Congress leadership absolved them of the responsibility for giving aggressive direction to the millions who promptly responded to the mealy-mouthed and half-hearted Congress call for “non-cooperation.”

As for the war situation, the position taken by Gandhi was a compromise calculated to serve as a bridge to whatever road the fortunes of the war would take – victories for the British or victories for the Japanese. That is why at one and the same time he held out an olive branch to the British, with his assurance that he does not demand the withdrawal of British troops, and an olive branch to the Japanese, with his assurance that he would seek to negotiate with Tokyo for peace. Thereby, Gandhi and at least a section of the Indian bourgeoisie hopes to protect itself against the eventuality of either British or Japanese victory.

Meanwhile, as the war draws closer to India, the political leadership of the bourgeois Congress Party has left the spontaneous mass movement of the workers and peasants completely in the lurch, giving it directives only to the extent that this leadership feels the need of curbing the “excesses” of the masses, of keeping them dispersed and decentralized. The idea that the Indian bourgeoisie is conducting “more” of a struggle against imperialism than the Chinese bourgeoisie, is utterly absurd and unreal. The Indian bourgeoisie has not even begun to carry on the organized, centralized, continuous armed struggle for national freedom against its main imperialist enemy that the Chinese bourgeoisie carried on for years, in its own way, against Japan.

As the decisive battles between the imperialist rivals approach, the Indian bourgeoisie thinks less and less, if at all, in terms of the alternative: We shall rule an independent India or the British will rule the Raj. It thinks rather in these terms: the British will rule India or the Japanese will rule it. Which is more likely to win the war? That is, to which side shall it commit itself. Those who lean to the conviction that the Axis will triumph, calculate on the advantages they can gain for themselves by utilizing the inner-Axis rivalry between Japan and Germany. Those who are convinced that the Allies will win seek to advance their position by exploiting the rivalry between British and American imperialism.

That this Indian bourgeoisie will launch a serious mass movement of struggle against the ruling imperialist power, is, at the best, to ascribe to it powers and virtues that it simply does not possess. If it does launch such a struggle during the war, it will not be a struggle for the national independence of India, but an auxiliary to what it considers a surely victorious military advance of Japanese imperialism.

The Imperialist Struggle Over India

In India now, the organization and consolidation of a serious mass movement against imperialist rule, that is, the relaunching of the popular movement for national independence, is a task that can be performed only by the proletariat. It goes without saying that the proletariat, especially its revolutionary vanguard, supports every spontaneous or organized movement of the masses, no matter how isolated, no matter how limited its anti-imperialist or anti-capitalist or anti-landlord objective, no matter what the formal or ostensible auspices may be under which it proceeds. But it is aware that such movements can attain real significance and effectiveness only to the extent that the masses are separated from the influence of bourgeois-nationalist ideology, and separated politically and organizationally from the influence and leadership of the bourgeois parties (Congress Party, Moslem League, etc.). The proletarian task in India is not to call upon the masses to “support the struggle (?) of the Congress Party,” or as other opportunists put it more crassly, “support the Congress Party,” but to call upon the workers and peasants to march separately from the bourgeoisie and its parties even in those cases where it is possible to “strike together.” This deserves all the greater emphasis at the present time, when the Indian bourgeoisie is in actuality not carrying on a struggle against British imperialism, and is leaving the “leadership” of the widespread popular movement in the hands of isolated, uncentralized, powerless petty bourgeois ideologists and intellectuals.

The absorption of the colonial bourgeoisie by the imperialist war camps, and their consequent desertion of the national struggle for independence does not signify the end of such struggles or a diminution of their importance in the following period. The mounting war burdens, especially onerous in the already impoverished colonial countries, will weigh intolerably on the shoulders of the workers and peasants. The masses who were in a state of turbulence and resistance during the period of “normal” imperialist exploitation, will not suddenly become docile and reconciled to their fate when their sufferings are multiplied by the conditions of the imperialist war from which they, less than any one else, have anything to gain. Their resistance to the burdens of the war, their opposition to the continuation of the war, will necessarily take the form of a struggle for national independence, for the right of self-determination, which in the concrete circumstances includes the “right to withdraw” from the war. The slogans of national independence in the colonial countries of the East will thus acquire even greater power in the course of the imperialist war than they had before it. The right to determine freely the conditions of their existence, that is, national independence, will become increasingly linked in the mind of the colonial masses, as it is inseparably linked in reality, with the struggle against the cruelly devastating imperialist war. The struggle for national independence, it will be increasingly plain to the masses, is the precondition for a termination of the imperialist war. At the same time, a struggle against the imperialist war is the only way in which to achieve national independence.

As this simple idea is assimilated by the colonial masses, they will also learn that their national bourgeoisie can and will no more withdraw from their service to foreign imperialism in the war than they can or will fight to a finish for national freedom. The masses will find themselves compelled to turn to the leadership of that class – the proletariat – which alone is capable of attaining the two objectives which the spread of the war has united into one, namely, a democratic peace and national independence. Revolutionary proletarian leadership of the national struggle in the colonies means, however, that objectively the struggle for proletarian power, the solving of the democratic national tasks and the laying of the foundations of a socialist society under one and the same class rule, the revolution in permanence. Thus is the struggle for national freedom, for genuine democracy, for peace, and for socialism linked together in inseparable concatenation, to be victoriously achieved under the leadership of the only consistently progressive class in modern society, the proletariat. Thus does the struggle for national independence in the colonies acquire new and heightened significance in the midst of the imperialist World War and become an even more powerful element in the fundamental struggle for a new world social order.

[To Be Continued]

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