Weber (Jacobs) Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Jack Weber

March of Events

(21 September 1935)

From New Militant, Vol. I No. 39, 21 September 1935, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Obstruction Threatens Robber League

The League of Nations was organised by the victorious Allies after the first World War to safeguard their plunder against the attacks of the defeated powers. Its function as the “organizer of peace” was to maintain the status quo, to guarantee to the imperialists their colonial possessions and the right to exploit the colonial peoples. The attempt by Mussolini to seize Ethiopia is a threat to the very existence of the robbers’ League precisely because it ends the truce, threatens the status quo, and reopens all the antagonistic issues temporarily “settled” by the first World War. Rearmament and realignments of the advanced capitalist nations are the preparations for the assault by each against all for a new division of the earth. One after the other, each great power that is forced by its internal economic crisis to seek desperately for a solution by outward expansion, quits the League n order to be free to act without hindrance. First it was Japan in order to plunder China, then Germany to rearm for expansion to the East, and now Italy for the swallowing of Ethiopia. Not even the bourgeois press tries to foster any illusion that France or Great Britain is in the least concerned about the fate of the Ethiopian people. Each of these powers, with a tremendous colonial empire, is acutely aware that the “deprived” states aim to capture part of the plunder it took earlier It is the fear of the deep repercussions of Mussolini’s adventure that causes England and France to threaten Italy with sanctions to force a compromise without war But the very threat is driving Italy out of the League.

* * *

Attitude of British Labor

The Ethiopian crisis is a class issue of fundamental significance It becomes the test of the working class movement in all countries For in face of the threat of the second World War, the working class must once more take a stand on the question of defense of the national capitalist state in an imperialist war. The answer of the British Labor Party and of the official labor movement is a shameful betrayal of the proletariat. The demand of the official labor leader for the support of the League of Nations in the applications of sanctions, means not the support of the Ethiopian people against Italian aggression, but the support of English imperialism against Italian. To suppose that the League of Nations could act in the interest of the exploited peoples, is to place confidence in the English capitalists. Where is there any demand that the English ruling class give up British Somaliland, or India or Egypt? How is it that no voice is raised by the “official” movement against the small war just started in India, against the mere punitive expedition into the territory of the Mohmands in the Northern native states? It is by such fakes as the support of “sanctions” that the leaders of British labor tie the workers to the bourgeoisie, enlist them for national defense and for the support of English imperialism.

True there is a small minority of “left socialists” like Cripps who warn the workers against putting their heads in a noose by supporting sanctions and who point to British imperialism. But these elements organize no real mass movement against British imperialism and its role in the next World War. The Bolshevik-Leninists of England, who understand the need for rallying the masses against the enemy at home, who set forth clearly the steps necessary to convert imperialist war into civil war, are too meager a force as yet to exert much influence. They have before them the tremendous task of building the revolutionary party.

* * *

Effect on British General Elections

The betrayal of the working class by the Labor Party in its class collaborationist attitude on the war danger plays directly into the hands of the ruling class in the coming general elections. By covering the national capitalists with the cloak of national defense and the supposed desire for peace, the Labor Party leads the workers to believe that in the national emergency the bourgeoisie may be trusted with the power. If it is all right to conduct a war, if necessary, the masses will prefer to leave things in the hands of those who are more experienced in such matters. By showing this readiness for civil peace in case of war the Labor Party aids the bourgeois campaign of patriotism. It furthers, whether it likes it or not, the armament propaganda, for sanctions mean the need for force to back them up and force might just as well be as effective as possible. Thus the Labor Party is helping to defeat itself in the coming elections. The masses will prefer to give support to the masters directly rather than to their lackeys in the labor movement.

Weber (Jacobs) Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 23 February 2016