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Jack Weber

March of Events

(26 May 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 21, 26 May 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

British Imperialism in Retreat

The great inroads into the export trade of Great Britain incurred in the Japanese drive for world markets are a source of profound disquiet to English diplomats. The fierce impact of Japanese competition exposes to full view the weakness of British capitalism in decay while revealing simultaneously the intensity of exploitation of Japanese labor. England’s efforts at retaliation are thus far puny and impotent. The establishing of quotas in the Crown colonies can affect at best some five percent of Japan’s textile exports. This economic weakness in meeting the present situation makes it aft the easier for Japanese imperialism to wring political concessions from the English government.

In the game of imperialist politics it is Japan’s aim either to woo America away from an alliance with the Soviet Union, or failing this – and simultaneously – to checkmate America by balancing the U.S. with England. Given a fair price the English statesmen will not be averse to a trade. The first concession made to Japan is contained in Simon’s statement that Great Britain is not pledged to preserve the integrity of China. This establishes the first open serious rift between America and England. For America for its own good purposes views the Nine Power Treaty as precisely such a pledge. British diplomacy tells Japan that it may safely proceed to seize and subdue by force of arms more of the Chinese mainland without English, opposition.

* * * *

Threat of Japanese Bonapartism

Capitalism is everywhere a system held together by a mortar of fraud and corruption. Japanese capitalism is if anything more permeated with thievery than its Western models. The scandal just uncovered in the Treasury Ministry in connection with the Bank of Taiwan and the Imperial Rayon Co. is but one of a long series. Coming however at a time of great internal stress, when the interrelationships of classes are shifting perceptibly, due to the swifter flow of the undercurrents of social upheaval, the Japanese bank scandal is having an effect similar to that of the Stavisky affair in France.

The reactionary militarists in control of the army are setting their forces in motion to stifle the rebellion of the oppressed masses of workers and peasants.

* * * *

The Soviet Union Slowly Encircled

Since the last war and its outcome in the creation of the Soviet Union, – the greatest step forward! in the history of humanity and the greatest menace to world capitalism – the capitalist governments are somewhat fearful of precipitating a new war. Their fear is not so much of defeat by the enemy abroad as it is of the revolutionary working class at home. Thus to prepare for the inevitable next war the ruling class is impelled to safeguard its rear, to protect the base at home.

Capitalism in decay thus resorts, for this as for other reasons, to fascism, a system of governing by armed force and brutal suppression directed openly against the working class, a system of terrorizing the masses and destroying their independent organizations, a system designed to assure “civil peace” in the rear.

The process of fascization of one country after the other is slowly bringing about the encirclement of the Soviet Union by fascist states. With the help of Germany Latvia has established its form of violent anti-working class dictatorship. Now Bulgaria, probably with the encouragement of France, has experienced a palace revolution, a Bonapartist coup d’état by the monarchy supported by the Junker class, the aim here too being to rid the capitalist state of all revolutionary opposition. Despite the fact that the fascist states assume their own inner alignments in imperialist rivalry, on all sides events sweep steadily, irrevocably, to the outbreak of the next terrible imperialist war with its central aim the destruction of the Soviet Union.

* * * *

Litvinov and the League of Nations

It is this desperate plight of the Soviet Union, no longer able through the Comintern and mass Communist Parties in the capitalist countries to mobilize the working class of Europe in defense of the Soviet Union, that Litvinov attempts to substitute for such a mass movement by playing off one imperialist group against another. The less Litvinov can rely on the international revolutionary forces of the workers, the more closely he feels bound to the League of Nations under French domination. We cannot wait for events to prove the emptiness of this defense, we must build the Fourth International to defend the workers’ fatherland.

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