Those renegades of socialism who were in favor of the war would like today, in order to justify their attitude, to cleverly exploit the incrediblee events unfolding in Russia, Austria, and Germany.
They claim that the war they wanted, the defeat of the Central Empires for which they fought (on their home fronts), produced the Socialist Revolution.
This trick of the “revolutionary war” must be thwarted.
It’s very obvious that the war has produced revolutionary situations; and this corresponds well with socialist conceptions. Just as the development of capitalism prepares and leads to the proletarian revolution, so the war, the supreme crisis of the bourgeois world and its intimate contradictions, hastens its final catastrophe. But just as it is the program of the socialists to work for the revolution by fighting the bourgeoisie by means of class struggle – and not by helping the bourgeoisie evolve – so their duty before the war is to oppose it and to fight against militarism in order to hasten the crisis from which it will emerge felled.
War has thus been an accelerating phenomenon of the Revolution, just as capitalism accelerates, as it develops, the advent of socialism; but between the two terms there is an absolute antithesis and between the classes representing them in the social field there is an incessant struggle.
If the revolution of the proletariat could have stopped the war at its beginning by overthrowing all the bourgeois governments, as in the uncorrupted internationalist vision, rivers of blood could have been spared. But there’s no point in bemoaning history with gratuitous assumptions.
What concerns us is to unveil the social-patriots’ little game, one tending to confuse the question of the revolutionary influence of war with the other real question from which the determination of their responsibilities must emerge: did the socialists’ adherence to the war accelerate the Revolution?
“No”, we answer in the light of the facts, “the social-patriots everywhere exercised a profoundly counter-revolutionary work”.
The social-patriots argued that it was necessary for the cause of socialism that the autocratic and militaristic Central Empires be overthrown by the democratic Entente; for their part, the German social patriots argued that it was necessary to overthrow Tsarism.
The one and the other assured that this could only be achieved by war, as it was not to be hoped that the threat of German militarism and Tsarism – both respectively painted as the aggressors – would be arrested by an internal revolution.
The similar conceptions of the social-patriots were based on an irremediable antithesis passing between the Russian and German ruling classes, between the ruling classes of the Empires and the Entente.
But the Russian Revolution came and crushed Tsarism.
The German Revolution came and crushed Teutonic imperialism and militarism. Warmongering socialists of Germany and warmongering socialists of the Entente credit themselves with facilitating those revolutions with the military defeat of the overthrown regime.
But the falsity of their claim is crystal clear from the similar historical situations that arose.
German militarism after the Revolution in Russia became the ally of the Russian ruling classes, against which it had called its people to war, and helped them in their struggle against the Bolsheviks, revealing all its affinity with yesterday’s enemy.
The Teutonic majority socialists do not protest, do not rise up, rather, they join the defamers and saboteurs of the Revolution.
Thus today, during the German Revolution – and to us the real Revolution will be accomplished for us when the communists have also triumphed in Germany – the bourgeoisies of the Entente clearly show their sympathy for the German ruling classes, for the militarists and pan-Germanists of yesterday.
There’s no difference between the policy of the democratic Entente and that of the German imperialist governments in regard to the “socialist danger”. Thus history takes our revenge and does justice to the lies of pro-Entente socialism.
And homegrown social-patriots make themselves sympathetic to their Governments by joining the chorus of cowardly lies against the great, the true revolutionary work of the German proletariat.
The great truth shows to us that the bourgeoisies of all countries are allied against revolutionary international socialism.
And the renegades of socialism who sang the praises of the war by working in filthy collaboration with the capitalist powers, continue to be its pawns working against the revolution.
While in Russia as in Germany, revolutionary socialism triumphs through the work of those who fought the war, against the betrayals of the social-patriots and reformists, we see the patriotic press of the Entente fawning over the Scheidemanns and Ebersts, already reviled as instruments of the Kaiser, and leading a campaign of vituperation against Liebknecht and his followers because they are among those who have splendidly redeemed the future of socialism. A future which, madly, one hoped to strangle through the war.