April 18 (May 1), 1917
Works, Vol. 3, March - October, 1917
It is nearly three years since the bourgeois vampires of the belligerent countries plunged the world into a bloody shambles.
For nearly three years now the workers of all countries, who were yesterday kin brothers and are now clad in soldier's uniform, have stood confronting one another as enemies, and are crippling and murdering one another to the joy of the enemies of the proletariat.
Wholesale slaughter of the man power of the nations, wholesale ruin and want, destruction of once flourishing towns and villages, wholesale starvation and lapse into savagery, all in order that a handful of crowned and uncrowned robbers may pillage foreign lands and rake in untold millions—this is where the war is tending.
The world has begun to stifle in the grip of war. . . .
The peoples of Europe can bear it no longer, and are already rising up against the bellicose bourgeoisie.
The Russian revolution is the first to be forcing a breach in the wall that divides the workers from one another. The Russian workers, at this time of universal "patriotic" frenzy, are the first to proclaim the forgotten slogan: "Workers of all countries, unite!"
Amidst the thunder of the Russian revolution, the workers of the West too are rising from their slumber. The strikes and demonstrations in Germany, the demonstrations in Austria and Bulgaria, the strikes and meetings in neutral countries, the growing unrest in Britain and France, the mass fraternization on the battle fronts—these are the first harbingers of the socialist revolution that is brewing.
And this holiday we are celebrating today, this May Day, is it not a sign that in the welter of blood new ties of fraternity among the peoples are being forged?
The soil is burning underneath the feet of the capitalist robbers, for the Red Flag of the International is again waving over Europe.
Let, then, this First of May, when hundreds of thousands of Petrograd workers extend the hand of fraternity to the workers of the world, be an earnest of the birth of a new revolutionary International!
Let the slogan which resounds today in the squares of Petrograd — "Workers of all countries, unite !" — reverberate through the world and unite the workers of all countries in the fight for socialism!
Over the heads of the capitalist robbers, over the heads of their predatory governments, we extend a hand to the workers of all countries, and cry:
Hail the First of May!
Hail the Brotherhood of Nations!
Hail the Socialist Revolution!
Pravda, No. 35, April 18 (May 1), 1917