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The Present World Situation
By A. STALIN Secretary of the Russian Com munist Party. I think that in order to characterize the present international situation, there is no need to consider all of the important events and all the peculiari ties of the present international situa tr*.\ It is only necessary to consider th3 basic, decisive factors operating today. At the present time, there are, in my opinion, three such factors: a. the “era” of bourgeois democratic "pa cifism”; b. America’s participation in the London agreement of the entente; c. the strengthening- of the left ele ments in the European labor move ment and the growth of the interna tional position of the Soviet Union. 1. The Period of Bourgeois Democratic Pacifism. ~ The entente has shown itself impo tent to digest its military victories. They were completely successful in defeating Germany and isolating for a while the Soviet Union. They were also successful' in drawing up a plan to rob Europe. The innumerable con ferences and treaties of the entente are evidence of this. But in the ful flillment of the plan of robbery, the entente proved impotent. Why? Be cause the antagonism between the en tente states were too great. Because they have not succeeded and will not succeed in agreeing on the division of the spoils. Because the resistance of the countries which are to be sub jugated is becoming more and more powerful. Because the realization of the plan of robbery is fraught with military clashes, while the masses do not want to fight. It is now clear to “all” that the frontal imperialist at tack upon the Ruhr, calculated to de stroy Germany, has proved a danger to imperialism itself. It is also clear that the dfcen imperialist policy of ul timatums intended to isolate the Sov iet Union is producing opposite re sults. A situation has been created by which Poincare and Curzon, both serving imperialism heart and soul, have intensified by their "work” the growing crises in Europe, have arous ed the masses against imperialism and stimulated them on to revolution. This makes it inevitable for the bour geoisie to go over from a policy of direct attack to a policy of comprom ise, from open imperialism to masked imperialism, from Poincare and Cur zon to MacDonald and Herriot. It has become unsafe to rob the world openly. The labor party of England and the left bloc of France have to cover up the nakedness of imperial ism. Therein lies the explanation of "pacifism” and "democracy.” Some think that the bourgeoisie came to “pacifism” and "democracy” not from need, but by their own free will, by a free choice. It is assumed that the bourgeoisie, having defeated the working class in decisive battles (Italy, Germany) began to feel itself victorious and decided that it will go over to democracy. In other words, while decisive battles were in prog ress the bourgeoisie needed a militant organization, fascism; now that the proletariat has been smashed, the bourgeoisie no longer needs fascism, and can supplant it by “democracy” as a better means of consolidating its victory. From this the conclusion is drawn that the potver of the bour geoisie has been strengthened, that "the era of pacifism” will last long, and that the revolution in Europe has been indefinitely postponed. This assumption is entirely errone ous. First, it is untrue that fascism is merely the militant organization of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the militant organization of the bourgeoisie, leaning upon the active support of the social-democracy. Ob jectively the social-democracy is the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for supposing that the mili tant organization of the bourgeoisie could achieve decisive victories in bat tles or in the government of the coun try without active support of the so cial democracy. There is just as lit tle ground to suppose that the social democracy could achieve decisive suc cesses in battles or in the government of the country without the active suir port of the militant organization of the bourgeoisie. These organizations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not 'antipodes, out twins. Fascism is the informal poli tical bloc of these two main organ izations developed under the condi tions of the post-war crisis of im perialism and designed to fight the proletarian . revolution. The bour goisie cannot maintain itself in power without the presence of this bloc. Therefore, It would be wrong to think that “pacifism” signifies the end of fascism. “Pacifism” under the pres ent conditions is the consolidation of fascism with its moderate social demo cratic wing moved to the forefront. Secondly, it is untrue that the de cisive battles have already taken place, that the proletariat was defeat ed in these battles, and that the pow er of the bourgeoisie has consequent ly been strengthened. There have been no decisive battles because there have been no mass, truly bolshevist parties capable of leading the prole tariat to the dictatorship. Without such parties decisive battles for dic tatorship under condituAs of imperial ism are impossible. In the west de Class Against Class cisive battles are still a matter of the future. There have only been' initial attacks and they were repulsed by the bourgeoisie, a first serious test of force which showed that the prole tariat is still too weak to overthrow the bourgeoisie, while the bourgeoisie is already too weak to disregard the proletariat. And just because the bourgeoisie is already powerless to force the working class on its knees, it has been compelled to abandon the frontal attack, to attempt flanking action, to agree to compromises, to Jan Mirko 9 s Poem - - Jan Mirko was a poet. Not an ordinary, everyday poet but one for whom writing was the one wonderful thing in life. And yet Jan Mirko wrote but few poems, for his lot was bound up with the lot of millions of workingmen. He was a proletarian, a man who worked with his hands. Jan worked on the beach where a bridge was being built On Monday he had a day off. He stretched him self, walked -along the beach, lay down upon the white sand, covered himself up with the tiny grains of sand and looked towards the bridge. Lying there he forgot his weariness ... Tonight he is going to work. Seen from afar the crowd of human beings seemed beautiful to him. And suddenly the feeling overcame him which he will call happiness, but which a poet like Jan Mirko calls ecstasy. In his soul a poem was born. He wanted to form his ecstasy into words. What could he write about but work? Mirko’s whole soul was filled by the glory of work. He forged and modelled the words. Oh work, you who give fruitfulness to the earth and make the corn grow. Work, who shortens distances and makes the earth smaller. Work who contrails all forces: water, earth and air. resort to “democratic pacifism.” And finally, it is untrue that “paci fism” is a, sign of power instead of weakness of the bourgeoisie, that “pa cifism" will lead to the consolidation of the power of the bourgeoisie, to the postponement of the revolution for an indefinite period. Present day pacifism signifies the accession to power, direct or indirect, of the parties of the. Se cond International: But what does the accession to power of the parties of the Second International mean? It means their inevitable self-exposure as lackeys of imperialism, as traitors of the proletariat, for the government al practice of these parties can bring only one result: their political bank ruptcy, the growth of conflicts within these parties, their demoralization and decay. And the demoralization of these parties leads to the inevitable demoralization of the power of the bourgeoisie, for the parties of the Sec ond International are the buttress of imperialism. Would the bourgeoisie agree to such a risky experiment in “pacifism” without a special urge and of its own free will? Os course not. Since the end of the imperialist war the bourgeoisie has experimented with pacifism twice: the first time directly after the war, when the revolution ap peared to be knocking at the door, and the second time, now, after the risky experiments of Poincare and Curzon. Who would dare to deny that this run ning of the bourgeoisie from pacifism to brazen imperialism and back will not leave imperialism unaffected, that it throws out of the usual peaceful rut millions of workers, that it draws into politics the most backward elements of the proletariat, that it facilitates their revolutionization? Os course Oh work. . . Who draws lightning out of the air and makes the heavens shake. Who perfects the fruit of the earth and gives an exquisite taste to bitter food. Work, creator of heat and of cold. The sun’s last purple rays made the white sand flame. . . And work is. building- the new bridge Mirko trembled. Caught in the throes of creation he understood the magic significance of the new bridge. And he thought: bridge of work, unit ing men with the universe. Bridge of eternity, being built by tiny human beings upon the sand. This bridge leads to the universe, its radiant arch spans the sea. His breast heaved. The song of work ought to be b 6 written. It was growing dark. The sun had disappeared, leaving but a pale ray of light. Here and there a small light was mirrored In the water. On the bridge lamps were being lit A motorboat rushed along, a heavy rum bling noise sounded through the air. Time to go to work. Jan Mirko walked towards the bridge. He put on his overalls. His arm kept time 4 | "democratic pacifism” is no Kerensky ism," for a Kerensky regime presup poses duality of power, the collapse of bourgeois rule and the inception of the proletarian reign. But that paci fism signifies the greatest stirring up of the masses, their entrance into poli tics, that pacifism loosens up the bour geois power and paves the way for revolutionary upheavals, hardly any one can doubt. And precisely be cause of this pacifism must lead not to the strengthening, but to the weak ening of bourgeois power, not to the indefinite postponement of the revolu tion, but to its acceleration. This does not-of course, mean that pacifism is not a serious menace to the revolution. Pacifism leads to the un dermining of the foundation of the bourgeois power,' it prepares the con ditions favorable to the revolution. But pacifism must lead to these re sults only despite the conscious will of the “pacifists” and "democrats” themselves, only thru unswerving ex posures by the Communist parties of the imperialist and counter-revolution ary nature of the pacifist-democratic rule of Herriot and MacDonald. As re gards the will of the pacifists and democrats themselves, as regards the policy of the imperialists themselves, they in taking up pacifism pursue only one object, to fool the masses by ring ing phrases about peace in order to prepare for new wars, to blind them by the gliter of “democracy” in order to consolidate the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, to lull the masses to sleep by songs of the “sovereign” rights of nations and states, in order the more successfully to prepare interventions in China, slaughters in Afghanistan and Sudan, dismemberment of Persia, to dupe the masses by pompous chat ter of “friendly relations” with the Soviet Union, about these or other “agreements” with the Soviet power, in order the more intimately to con nect- themselves with the ousted coun ter-revolutionary plotters to begin bandit raids upon White Russia, Ukrainia and Georgia. In this camou flage lies the chief danger of pacifism. Whether the bourgeoisie will achieve its object, to fool the people, depends upon the energy with which the Com munist parties of the west and east will prosecute their exposing activities upon their ability to tear off the mask of the imperialists in pacifist disguise. Undoubtedly the events and acts will work in favor of the Communists, driv ing a wedge between the pacifist words and imperialist deeds of the democratic henchmen of capital. It is the duty of the Communists not to lag behind events and mercilessly to expose every step and every act of servility to imperialism and treason to the proletariat on the part of the par ties of the Second International. • He did not feel the beauty of work any longer. He only knew that he had to pay attention, that he had to keep time with the other men: one . . . two. . . one. . . two. . . If he forgets to keep time the chain of work will be interrupted He put out his arm, caught hold of the bucket, poured out the cement, passed the bucket on. The water gurgled. On and on, the everlasting, mon otonous gurgling of the wafer. Jan Mirko had forgotten all about work's splendid rythm, he only thot of the one. . . two. . . one. . . two. . . All around the night was black and threatening, only the bridge was shin ing, the bridge of work. Jan Mirko forgot his daydream. He felt nothing but unspeakable wear iness. Fatigue crept into his arms and further down into his legs. His back ached. . When the new shift came Jan Mir ko had lost all connection with human life, he was nothing but an aching body. He wanted to sleep, to forget. Jan Mirko, the workingman-poet, dragged himself home. He was hardly able to undress before he tumbled in to bed. He slept, . , Jan Mirko never wrote the song of triumphant work.