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Notes of the Week

(25 November 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 53, 25 November 1933, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

BACILLI CULTURES, concocted by bespectacled scientists in chemical laboratories, will serve as major ammunition in the next war. An article in a recent issue of Weltbuehne, published in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of exiled German intellectuals, reveals feverish activity among the bio-chemical savants as part of the general militarization of Germany by Hitler and his Nazis. The article is the work of an anonymous chemist, himself employed at this devilish task.

* * * *

The last war introduced the use of gases to poison the enemy en masse at the front. But the “enemy” was still left with sufficient human resources behind the lines. In the future, war methods are to be more effective: They will take care to rid the “enemy” of manpower in the hinterland as well. Reliable spies, equipped with the choicest of these deadly serums, will need apply only a single injection into one head of cattle to bring about the extermination of a whole metropolis, of millions of men, women and children.

* * * *

Meanwhile the war clouds are gathering, the harpies of capitalism are concocting the brew of bloody slaughter out of economic chaos and political despair. The spirit of the coming war is being nurtured with the mysterious hocus pocus of pacifist or nationalist slogans.

Who does not recall how the mystic gas of “Save the World for Democracy” poisoned the minds of hundreds of thousands whose bodies were later poisoned by Melinite and Yperite on the battle fields?

Who does not recognize today the venomous substance of that “democratic” war-cry which has brought in its wake the bloodiest and most ruthless of dictatorships in Italy, in Germany, in the Balkans, in Poland and Hungary?

* * * *

SUCH EXPERIENCES should put on his guard every thinking worker, every human being who can see further than his nose. The workers must be armed against the mental bacilli which are to do the advance work for the more tangible bacilli that threaten to destroy them by the millions.

* * * *

One such bacillus is the vapid oratory about Soviet Recognition as a step toward peace. Nothing can be more dangerous from the point of view of those whom the capitalist system exploits as profit-producing machines today and as cannon fodder tomorrow. If the Stalin bureaucrats who pose as Communist leaders of the workers join in and promote the spreading of such a poison – that only puts the stigma of betrayal upon them. The militant and wide-awake workers will not recognize the Roosevelt toasts of the Pravda Stalinists as the voice of the Soviets. They will recognize it much rather in words, that the bosses’ New York Times rejoices to remark, are “miles ... away when we read the undertakings given by the Soviet Foreign Minister (Litvinoff) ... as a condition of recognition by the United States”. (Editorial, Saturday, Nov. 18)

* * * *

Those words, the reply of Lenin’s Soviet Congress in 1918 to an overture from the Roosevelt of that time, from the “idealistic” war monger Woodrow Wilson – were:

“The Soviet Republic takes advantage of the message of President Wilson to express to all the people who have suffered from the horrors of imperialist war, its warm sympathies and its honest belief that the happy moment is not far away when the workers of all countries will throw off the yoke of capitalism and establish a socialist regime, which alone is able to bring about a just and lasting peace and to contribute to the civilization and prosperity of the workers.”

* * * *

The horrors of the “bacillic” imperialist war of the future – which promises to be a thousand times more terrible than the last, “poison gaseous” war – can be prevented in that same way only. This is the truth that the revolutionary workers in this country will have to pound out as a powerful defense against the advance bacilli.

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