International Communist Party English language press

On the Thread of Time
 The USA’s European Policy

(Battaglia Comunista, no.4 of 1949)



Even in the 1914-18 war, the United States intervened only in the middle of it after having remained a spectator for a long time. They abandoned the so-called Monroe doctrine, which established indifference towards European affairs and the demand that Europe renounce any claim to control the new continent. This end to the US’s isolationist policy was reminiscent of that of England, the first modern capitalism capitalist country and at the time the main world defence of the bourgeois regime. Flaunting an internal organization that was the hypocritical model of freedom and democratic practice, not having a standing army, while striving, through the imperial exploitation of the world, to achieve class collaboration with the native proletariat through reformist conceptions, Great Britain kept the first fleet in the world in arms and had in turn defeated the overseas empires of the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch, plundering the planet. Vigilant in European conflicts, it used to intervene in time to bring down the feared political and military powers that could have exceedingly competed for the exploitation of the world.

America’s isolation was revealed to be no less interwoven with hypocritical claims to be the world’s model. A capitalism no less ruthless and cruel in its origin and development than that of England claimed to teach humanity by pietistic doctrines and by dishonest examples of prosperity, tolerance and generosity.

At the end of the war, one of the most detestable false holier-than-thou preachers and propagandists that history has counted, the notorious Woodrow Wilson, on the strength of the economic and military aid given to his allies, pretended to want to reorder old Europe according to new principles and imposed those masterpieces of world bourgeois rule that were the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.

In the ranks of the socialist movement of the time, naturally, the opportunist currents were very excited over this despicable version of capitalist oppression, and even in the ranks of the Italian party, which had been very reluctant to the seductive propaganda of going into a "democratic war", there were those who, after the American intervention, and even after the first Russian revolution of February 1917, in which they saw a mere bourgeois and patriotic-democratic development, spoke of re-evaluating their positions by throwing themselves into the ridiculous crusade against teutonic militarism.

The revolutionary currents, which had always seen the centers of the highest class potential of capitalism and imperialist militarism first in France, then in England, and saw in America the new center of super-capitalism, thus went on the offensive; the development of the Russian revolution was quite different from the one envisaged by the social-democrats and social-patriots of all countries; the new leftist movement declared Wilson and his Geneva to be direct and main enemies of the proletarian and revolutionary cause from which, as if to refine Quaker hypocrisy to perfection, America remained outside.


In World War II, too, America intervened only in the middle of the war. In this, too, the central note of propaganda was German aggression and the defense of the victims. We Marxists have never believed in the distinction between wars of defense and wars of aggression, our evaluation of the causes being quite different. The new war derived directly not only from the laws of the present social regime, but also from the world order and from the situation in Germany imposed at Versailles, with the further strengthening of the already great colonial monopolies of the ultra-imperialist centers.

Likewise, just as England had finished intervening in the First War after having worked to destroy the German menace with it, so was the whole policy of the American bourgeois State in the interwar period a direct and continuous preparation for the struggle of expansionism against Europe.

The seasoning of humanitarian and democratic lies was employed on an even greater scale, and it flanked the industrial and military economic set-up whose stages are deployed in twenty years of history.

The progressive diminutio capitis of Great Britain – the reaction of which Hitler miscalculated, underestimating the determinations of class interests – began to be sanctioned by the Treaty of Washington in 1930 in which the formula of a British fleet equal to the sum of the other two strongest in the world was changed to that of parity between the British and American navies, holding back France and Japan. Hitler was not there yet, and Mussolini was just not worth being scared about.

The economic, political and military interventionism in the affairs of the world – and what exact expression should be substituted for “aggression” if not interventionism? – evident in practice everywhere, is even more openly declared in Truman’s message.

It’s based on the usual philanthropic premises worthy of the bigoted and conformist framework of the presidential investiture based on the Bible and God, and on the usual extensions of the immortal principles of bourgeois democracy to suit economic needs, while the magnates of high capitalism promise bread to the hungry and even a seasoning of abundance (like American prosperity?) to the now rancid dish of political and ideological freedom.

The main point is the direct and desperate attack on communism, which is to say, against the need of an anti-capitalist economy that is pressing on the world, kept well apart from an attack to Russia, to which it is said indeed that it will be able to be part of a world union even if its historical character is of an imperialist power.

Truman wants to negotiate with Stalin, but not with communism. The situation could not be clearer. Among other spokesmen, old Cachin responded to this by saying that between the Russian regime and the capitalist regimes there can be collaboration.

Where there can be no collaboration is between the great world centers of super-capitalism and the movement of the revolutionary proletariat. This is what the Trumans fear, more than war.

We are pleased by the fact that Truman deems communism the number one enemy and worriedly fights its "philosophy" at a time when its class and revolutionary alignments are not clearly seen. The day may not be far off when mighty sections of the world proletariat will understand that the number one enemy is not Truman, not an official that was unknown until after Roosevelt’s death, not the face of a village priest with his hands on two Bibles and his evil grin, but the bestial force of oppressing capitalism today concentrated in the formidable array of economic investments and armaments which are organized overseas.

In order to understand all this and to take sides in class warfare, the proletariat must understand something else: that this relationship between things and forces was not built in two years but in a hundred, and that just as in Lenin’s time the proletariat pushed into the dunghill the renegade leaders who praised Wilson’s war aid, it must do the same with those who in the Second World War apologized in a dirty and treacherous way for the Roosevelt-Truman aid, and remained at their service.