STATEMENT ON THE GENOA CONFERENCE
[ EXTRACTS ]
19 May 1922
Inprekorr, ii, 73, p. 563, 22 May 1922
THE LESSONS OF GENOA
THE BOURGEOIS ENTENTE IS BREAKING DOWN
— SOVIET RUSSIA IS GROWING STRONGER
TO THE WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES
The Genoa conference has come to an end. In the intention of its initiators it was to do nothing more nor less than restore the European economic equilibrium which was shattered by the imperialist world war. The braggarts! Nobody can get outside his own skin. The imperialist bourgeoisie cannot save Europe from economic ruin—the Europe which they made into a shambles and which for four years was laid waste and devastated.
— MIRROR OF THE BOURGEOISIE'S POWERLESSNESS
At Genoa the bourgeoisie revealed their utter powerlessness, their complete impotence. There was a great deal of noise and the prime ministers of the richest bourgeois States attended.
. . .
And what was the upshot? The talk went on for several weeks. The diplomats beat about the bush and did not stir from the spot and finally they reached a happy ending, moving with God's help from Genoa to The Hague. The petty skirmishes and quarrels of the victor States among themselves have shown the entire world how deep are the contradictions between England and France, between Japan and the United States, between Italy and France, and between the victor States and Germany. The League of Nations is a stinking corpse which the Genoa conference was unable to clear out of the way. The Entente itself is creaking at every seam, junk fit only for the lumber room. The more solemnly Lloyd George and Barthou declared their conviction that the Entente was in good health, that love
and harmony reigned between England and France, the more obvious became the outworn hypocrisy and the more clearly can it be seen by every proletarian that the notorious Entente has come to the end of its resources.
Never has the decadence of bourgeois society been exposed so clearly as now.
The decay and disintegration of the bourgeois State are proceeding at a gigantic pace. The outward glitter of bourgeois governments is like the hectic flush on the cheeks of a consumptive. A declining class! This is the judgment that will be made by every attentive observer who has followed the course of events at the Genoa conference. The star of the bourgeoisie has set. That is the chief lesson of Genoa.
But the working class is moving up. Its star is rising. The strength of the proletariat will grow irresistibly, slowly at first but then more quickly. The proletariat will succeed the bourgeoisie in power throughout the world. That was proved most clearly by the part played by the Russian delegation at Genoa.
THE SOVIET DELEGATION REPRESENTED THE FUTURE OF MANKIND
The Russian proletarian revolution is in a difficult position. For four years Soviet Russia was tortured and agonized by intervention, conspiracy, and white terror. The country was hit by a serious famine. Nevertheless the Russian revolution is a
victorious revolution and this victorious proletarian revolution, the first in the history of the world, proudly confronted the
international court of the bourgeoisie. That is why it was only the Soviet delegation which had a consistent programme, a comprehensive outlook, a great historical perspective which served the interests not only of proletarian Russia but all the
proletariat of the entire world. Alone in Genoa the Soviet delegation represented the future of humanity while all the bourgeois delegations represented the decaying past.
The first proposal made by the Soviet delegation was for disarmament.
This proposal was rejected by the English and all the other imperialists.
What conclusions are the workers of the world to draw from this? The conclusion can only be that disarmament is impossible so long as the bourgeoisie remain at the helm. Disarmament is impossible without the victory of the proletarian revolution.
The Soviet delegation's disarmament proposal also hit the representatives of the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals. These petty-bourgeois philistines have for decades dinned into the ears of the workers their tepid pacifism, and have preached virtue and contentment. According to them the gulf between capital and labour can easily be eliminated. All that needs to be done is to adopt the panaceas of the leaders of the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals and lo and behold the bourgeoisie will disarm, there will be no more war, and the wolf will lie down with the lamb.
THE LEADERS OF THE SECOND AND TWO-AND-A-HALF INTERNATIONALS ARE LACKEYS OF THE BOURGEOISIE
But what happened at Genoa? Did the leaders of the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals support the Soviet delegation's disarmament proposals ? Of course not. They would not be the servants of the bourgeoisie if at the decisive moment they failed to do what their masters told them to do. On this question the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals showed that they were really on the side of the bourgeoisie and again every class-conscious worker will have to say, 'If you want
disarmament then you must fight for the proletarian revolution; if you want disarmament you must fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat; but if this is what you want you must support the communist party.'
A HANDFUL OF MAGNATES WANTED TO ENSLAVE THE RUSSIAN PROLETARIAT
When the attempt was made in Genoa to despoil Soviet Russia, the first proletarian republic, the bourgeoisie formed a 'united front'. Restitution —that was the battle-cry of the bourgeoisie at Genoa. Restitution for ever! Restitution, the last cry of civilization, no salvation without restitution!
. . .
THE TREATY WITH THE GERMAN PEOPLE
Soviet Russia concluded a treaty with the bourgeois German republic. The 'democrats' and 'social-democrats' who are at the helm in Germany-resisted for a long time the alliance with Soviet Russia although the entire German working class for two years unanimously demanded this alliance. Only the merciless greed which characterized the attitude of the victor States at Genoa to defeated Germany induced the present German Government to sign a treaty with Soviet Russia. The treaty
between Russia and Germany signed at Rapallo is of enormous historical importance.
Russia with its one hundred and fifty million population and its
predominantly agrarian character, in alliance with Germany with its first-class industry, represents such powerful economic co-operation that it will break through all obstacles. On the German side the treaty was signed by the present bourgeois-Menshevik
government, but everybody understands that while the position of the bourgeois-Menshevik German government is a temporary thing, the German working class remains. The German working class will one day inevitably conquer power in their own country. Germany will become a Soviet republic. And then,
when the German-Russian treaty brings together two great Soviet republics, it will provide such unshakeable foundations for real communist construction that the old and outworn Europe will not be able to withstand it for even a few years. In this sense the fate of humanity in the next few years will be determined by the successes of the German working class. The victory of the German proletariat over 'its' bourgeoisie will involve unprecedented changes in the social structure of the whole of Europe. When the German proletariat destroys in its country the influence of the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals a new chapter will open in the history of
THE TREACHERY OF THE SECOND
AND TWO-AND-A-HALF INTERNATIONALS
The contemptible counter-revolutionary role of the Second and Two-and-a-half Internationals has never been so clearly demonstrated as in the weeks when the Genoa conference was being held. The leaders of the two Internationals did everything possible and impossible to prevent the world proletariat from calling its congress and putting forward in the name of the world proletariat a proletarian programme for the reconstruction of Europe and the entire world. The leaders of the two Internationals did everything possible and impossible to facilitate the efforts of the leaders of the bourgeoisie, Lloyd George and Barthou, to despoil the first proletarian republic. At the Berlin conference of the three Internationals the German
social-democrats refused to support the demand for the revision of the predatory Versailles treaty. By that alone the treacherous German social-democracy has covered itself for ever in disgrace and ignominy.
. . .
THE GRAVE-DIGGER OF BOURGEOIS SOCIETY
At the end of the Genoa conference the Entente representatives again made an insolent attempt to bring up the question of 'pernicious communist propaganda'. The ECCI declares that the international community of worker communists organized in the Comintern will not let its freedom be hampered by any obligations whatever.
We are the deadly enemies of bourgeois society. Every honest communist will fight against bourgeois society to his last breath, in word and in deed and if necessary with arms in hand. Yes, the propaganda of the Communist International will be
pernicious for you, the imperialists. It is the historical mission of the Communist International to be the grave-digger of bourgeois society. No offence meant. So long as by your very existence you insult the feelings of every class-conscious worker, so long as your foul breath infects the entire world, so long as a handful of millionaires continue to build their welfare on the bones of the working class, in short so long as your capitalist social system continues to exist, the 'pernicious' propaganda of the communists will not cease.
. . .
Workers of France, it is now up to you. Do everything in your power to overthrow Barthou's Government which brings shame on the workers of France.
Settle accounts with the reactionary gangs who are destroying France and want to plunder Soviet Russia.
Workers of England, you have been fighting for years for the recognition of Soviet Russia and for years your bourgeoisie, helped by the social traitors, Henderson, MacDonald, and co. have been throwing sand in your eyes. Has not the Genoa conference opened your eyes?
Workers of Japan, even the predatory European Governments found themselves obliged to sign the treaty in which they undertook not to attack Soviet Russia. Only the representatives of your bloodthirsty Government demanded that an exception be made in its case. They want to continue with their daily raids on the working masses of the Far Eastern Republic. Japan is now in a pre-revolutionary period. A significant part even of the Japanese bourgeoisie is opposed to the present regime.
Place yourselves at the head of the ripening revolution. Seize the Japanese monarchy by the throat and place your foot on its neck.
Workers of Germany, you must seize power in your country as quickly as possible. In doing so you will remove the weight on the spirit of tn world proletariat and accelerate historical progress. The fate of the proletarian revolution is in your hands. Your slogan is, 'Down with the treacherous socialdemocrats.
Down with the power of capital.
Long live the workers' government.'
Workers and Red soldiers of Russia, if you still needed proof that only the Soviet Government defends the interests of the proletariat of all countries you received it in incontestable fashion at Genoa. You are living through a difficult time but the worst is already over. Guard the Soviet Government as the apple of your eye. You stand at the outposts of the proletarian world revolution. The proletarian armies of other countries will come to your help.
Victory is no longer distant. . . .