Justice December 1911

THE CRIME AGAINST PERSIA.


Source: Anon, Justice, “Persia” 16 December 1911, p.4;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.


Elsewhere we publish a circular from the International Socialist Bureau in reference to the present situation in Persia. This circular contains appeals from representative Persians on behalf of the independence of their country, and it calls upon all Socialists to do all in their power to support the efforts of the Persian Democrats. We, naturally, join most heartily in this protest of the International Social Democracy against the criminal attack now being made upon Persia. We have already more than once entered our protest against this crime, and shall not cease to condemn ft. But of what avail are such protests? And how far are they, after all, compatible with the declared policy of the International Social -Democracy? We have declared, over and over again, in the case of Morocco, that it was not worth the blood of a single European soldier. We have also demanded that the great Powers should compose their differences; come to terms with each other and cease their quarrels; and no longer make these the occasion for war and bloodshed. That is all very well; but agreements between the great Powers are only compacts between thieves and brigands. The only question in most cases is really whether they shall quarrel and fight over the booty, or agree to an amicable division. It makes precious little difference to the victim, which becomes the booty in either case. Morocco served as an excuse for a squabble between France and Germany; and although we have been very near to war in Western Europe during the last six months, no one has ever seriously supposed that France and Germany would go to war over Morocco. Nevertheless the squabble over Morocco might have served as the pretext or occasion for war; just as, in the event, it has enabled Germany to claim and obtain valuable “compensation” in other parts, of Africa for the “free hand” she has agreed to permit France in the land of the Moors. The division of Persia between Russia and England is nothing but the outcome of a similar compact to that just arranged between France and Germany, or that between France and England, over Egypt and Morocco; and the Russification of Persia, or, at least; the greater part of that country, when it comes about, will be accomplished with the connivance of Germany and Austria, as well as the tame complicity of England. English Radicals and democrats, as well as Socialists, agitated and protested against British brigandage in Egypt, just as, later, we protested against similar brigandage in South Africa. But all our protests made no difference. The crime was consummated, just the same. We only succeeded in washing our own hands of any guilt in the matter. So, too, our French comrades vigorously protested against and condemned the Morocco adventure. But they were not more successful than we have been. And yet they are not without power and influence in the French Republic. If, however, we, with our popular institutions and the influence we are supposed to be able to exercise over our “representative” Government, have been unable to prevent the Egyptian and South African crimes; and if our French comrades, with all their, power and influence, have been unable to deter their Government from the criminal and ruinous Morocco adventure, what hope is there of any protest producing any effect on Russian policy? Of all European Governments that of Russia is the most ruthless, the most barbarous, lawless, reactionary, and despotic. How, then, is any popular protest going to affect this monstrous despotism, hotfoot in pursuit of its prey? As well attempt to reason with a boa-constrictor or a man-eating tiger. There is no hope for Persia, except from the antagonism of Russian and English interests in the East. The interests of England – even of the English ruling class – lie in the maintenance of a strong, free, independent Persia. The interests of Russia lie in the subjugation of Persia. Here is a case, therefore, in which, in the interests; of the national independence of Persia, we should support the interests of our own ruling class, if our Government were sufficiently courageous and independent to maintain these against Russia. On the other hand, to do so would be contrary to the avowed policy of the International, and might even be inimical to the larger interests of humanity. We must content ourselves, therefore, with making an ineffectual protest while Russia crushes Persia in her deadly embrace and the British Government approvingly looks on.