ECCI

THESES

ON THE FIGHT AGAINST THE WAR DANGER

 

EXTRACTS

 

March 1922

 

Inprekorr, ii, 2 Sonderbeilage, p. 2, 1 April 1922



 

 

1.

The economic and political contradictions among the capitalist great Powers of Europe were not removed by the imperialist war of 1914-18 or the treaties which ended the war.

. . .

They continue in a changed form and in different circumstances,

in the struggle for dominance on the European and world markets, and new contradictions have also arisen. The

contradictions between England, the United States, and Japan are coming rapidly to a head.

. . .

The national contradictions between the European colonial powers and the peoples subject to or threatened by their rule are growing more pronounced.

Soviet Russia is excluded by the blockade from the world market and world economy.

. . .

 

 

3.

. . .

France controls the largest deposits of iron ore in Europe, as Germany does of coal. The power to exploit these two—whether by conquest or agreement—would deal a death-blow to England's economic and political position in Europe and elsewhere. Even without this, France is being rapidly transformed into a State with an expanding heavy industry.

. . .

On the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, in North Africa, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, the political and economic contradictions between French and English imperialism are growing more and more obvious and conflicting.

. . .

Under their pressure England is trying to strengthen Italy and Greece at the expense of French imperialism.

...

England and France are competing for precedence in exploiting the natural wealth and the labour power of Soviet Russia.

...

 

 

5.

The devastation and spoliation wrought by the capitalist great Powers for four years aroused stormy revolutionary movements in the English colonies

. . .

which draw courage and strength from the example of the Russian revolution and the existence of Soviet Russia. They are primarily of a nationalist and religious character, but they are also bound up with social revolutionary struggles.

. . .

From the Atlantic to the Himalayas and to China, the Moslems are stirred up and restive.

However various the forms in which this disturbance among the peoples of Asia and Africa is expressed, they are all directed against the capitalist States and are only intensified by the competition among these States.

. . .

 

 

6.

Irreconcilable as are the conflicts of interest between the great capitalist States, these are united as one, armed and ready, to fight Soviet Russia. The concessions which Russia, under the fearful pressure of the present historicallydetermined calamity, and left in the lurch by the proletarians of the rest of the world, is prepared to make to foreign capitalists, are still not enough for the imperialist States. They are after the unrestricted chance to drain its vast wealth.

. . .

But above all they are out for the destruction of the Soviet Government itself. The existence of Soviet Russia is a powerful incitement to the workers of all countries to conquer State power, establish their dictatorship and uproot capitalism.

 

 

7.

. . .

The halting development of the proletarian world revolution after its first daring initiative, the Russian revolution, enables the bourgeoisie in the leading capitalist countries to make the attempt to restore the collapsing economy and the shaken State on a capitalist basis. Such restoration involves also the continuation of all the old economic, political social, national, and international contradictions and conflicts which will inevitably drive towards world conflict on a titanic scale.

. . .

 

 

9.

. . .

The calling of the Genoa conference is an admission that the Versailles peace treaty and the other peace treaties cannot be kept, that they are not a basis for the reconstruction of Europe, but means to its further disruption and impoverishment. The calling of the conference is an admission that the ruling

bourgeoisie in the various countries are incapable of bringing order and stability out of the economic chaos left behind by the war, and of bringing a new and better life to flower on the ruins. The conference will prove that this titanic task is too great even for the forces of the united bourgeoisie of Europe and America. It can only be accomplished after the overthrow of bourgeois rule by the revolutionary proletariat.

...

The projected economic conference is to save, to strengthen, and to improve the edifice of capitalist Europe, shaken to its foundations. It is to square the circle by satisfying the claims of French imperialism on German economy, while at the same

time keeping that economy strong enough to provide profitable markets in Germany for English goods, and protecting English industry against cut-throat German competition.

The costs of reconciling the interests of French and English capitalism are to be borne by the German proletarians and, since the fate of the exploited of all countries is linked together, by the proletarians of the entire world. The international bourgeoisie are dreaming of imposing these costs on the State in which the workers and peasants have seized power, Soviet Russia. The question seems to be: Shall a single international mammoth syndicate of capitalists take on the job of Soviet Russia's economic reconstruction, or shall there be several companies.

. . .

However uncertain the outcome of the conference, it is already clear that Germany will be the object about which the Entente imperialists negotiate. Germany will not even dare to raise the question of a revision of the Versailles treaty, although it is almost palpably obvious that without revision European economy cannot be rebuilt on capitalist foundations. But the Entente imperialists will have to negotiate with Soviet Russia, despite the wretched state of its economy.

. . .

De facto, if not de jure, recognition of the Soviet Government by the invitation to the international economic conference, will aggravate the contradictions between the capitalist States. Just as it is uncertain whether they can reach agreement at Genoa about the reconstruction of Europe, so it is certain that at the most the capitalists there can win no more than a breathing spell; they cannot find salvation. World war or proletarian world revolution—that question will remain on the agenda of history after as before the discussions and decisions of Genoa.

. . .

 

 

9 [10].

Imperialism is the capitalist reality, bourgeois pacifism the capitalist illusion. Pacifism is as incapable as bourgeois social reform of overcoming the contradictions, the evils, and the crimes of capitalism. But it will introduce dissension and uncertainty into the ranks of the bourgeoisie, the middle and petty bourgeoisie, and hence weaken the class enemy of the proletariat. Communists must take advantage of any such weakening by using the opportunity of every bourgeois pacifist initiative to lead the working class into struggle, in the course of which they will learn that militarism and imperialism cannot be abolished by the gradual triumph of reason and love of peace.

. . .

This conviction will counteract any crip-pling and debilitating effects of pacifism on the revolutionary militant energy of the proletariat, a danger associated with bourgeois pacifist propaganda.

. . .

The mists of pacifist sentimental hopes must not obscure the

recognition that the bourgeoisie rule and exploit thanks to their command of the means of production of life and the means of production of death. The proletariat must take possession of both to liberate themselves from exploitation and bondage.

Since they are kept from their freedom by force of arms, they must conquer it and defend it by force of arms.

 

 

10 [11].

Proceeding from these facts and considerations, the enlarged Executive of the Communist International declares that the only effective defence against the threatening danger of war is a proletarian revolution.

. . .

The assembled representatives of 36 nations therefore consider it the duty of all communist parties to prepare ideologically and organizationally for the most intense revolutionary class struggle to avert war. As means to this end they suggest:

 

1.

Systematic education of the working masses, including youth, on the causes and character of wars.

 

2.

Bringing before the court of the broadest masses all problems and decisions concerning foreign policy, armaments, etc.

 

3.

Well-organized legal and illegal propaganda among the forces and armed formations of every kind to enlighten them on these questions.

 

4.

Imbuing the proletariat with the resolve to prevent the transport of troops and army supplies by all means and at whatever cost, should imperialist war break out.

 

5.

Strengthening the revolutionary will of the broadest masses to fight against the outbreak of imperialist war by street demonstrations, general strikes, armed uprisings.

. . .

 

6.

The creation of legal and illegal bodies to work for the execution of these tasks.

 

7.

The creation of legal and illegal bodies and institutions to ensure unified and energetic international co-operation of communists in thos countries between whom contradictions are most acute.

In regard to the international economic conference of governments at Genoa, this meeting of the enlarged Executive of the Communist International calls on the toiling and the exploited in every country to put forward, in opposition to the desperate attempt of the international bourgeoisie at economic

reconstruction, their demands for.

. . .

 

 

 

1.

Abrogation of all the treaties ending the imperialist war of 1914-18.

 

2.

Limitation of armaments of every kind.

 

 

3.

The costs of the war, reparations, and reconstruction to be borne entirely by the bourgeoisie.

 

 

4.

Hands off Soviet Russia's independence, and establishment of normal political relations with Russia.

 

 

5.

Wide support by States and private undertakings for the economic development of Soviet Russia.


 

 

Comintern

III. International