Frederick Engels

- the first "General" (*) of the world revolution

(*) Nickname of Friedrich Engels


[First time translated excerpts from the German

"Textbook on the Marxist-Leninist Foundations of World Proletarian Military Science and the Art of World-Revolutionary Class Warfare - Chapter 2 - The Classics of Marxism-Leninism"

Published in 2004 - by the Comintern (SH)]

written by Wolfgang Eggers

 

Marxism-Leninism is the closed system of worldviews and the international teachings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir I. Lenin, Josef. W. Stalin and Enver Hoxha. The Marxist-Leninist military science and the world-revolutionary class war art as Marxist-Leninist military tactics is the closed, joint, international work of the 5 classics. Marx and Engels founded the materialistic war history and created the Marxist military science and the class warfare tactics of the world proletariat. It was not only further developed and masterfully applied by the following classics Lenin, Stalin and Enver Hoxha, but raised to a qualitatively new level to the military science of the socialist state, to a scientific instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The classics of Marxism-Leninism were not only the theoretical and practical leaders of the international labor movement in general, but in particular the armed leaders of the armed world proletariat. They thus distinguished themselves as leaders of the world proletariat in masterly linking the military theory of the proletariat with military practice, thus lending the armed, revolutionary class struggle of the united proletariat a luminous communist goal and a clear, Marxist orientation. Without the criterion of an armed leader of the armed world proletariat, one can not speak of a classic of Marxism-Leninism at all. This is a very important criterion with which we Stalinist-Hoxhaists of the Comintern (SH) clearly differentiate us from bourgeois socialism, from revisionism in general, and from neo-revisionism in particular. Whoever excludes or falsifies the military criterion for the rank of the 5 classics of Marxism-Leninism can not truly fight for the proletarian, socialist world revolution, can not win the victory of world socialism, is doomed to failure, takes all possible standpoints, but not that of Stalinism-Hoxhaism. We can only be true anti-revisionists if we defend the military teachings and the military struggle of the 5 classics of Marxism-Leninism against the neo-revisionism in word and deed. The dialectic of the question on the 5 Classics does not only relate to the highest ideological form, but also of thehighest form of military class struggle of the world proletariat. The correct determination of the question on the 5 classics is not least on the military question decisive for the whole future of communism.

The dawn of a new and better society for the oppressed classes of all lands is breaking. Everywhere the oppressed are closing ranks; everywhere they are reaching out to each other over frontiers and over different languages. The army of the international proletariat is forming and the approaching new century will lead it to victory!

Frederick Engels, Message of Greetings to the Socialists of Sicily, September 26 1894

It is the special merit of Marx and Engels to recognize the historical role of the armed liberation of the working class and to put military science on the internationalist soil of this proletarian class.

Marx and Engels developed a masterful critique of bourgeois military science, analyzed the civil wars and armed class struggles of history and their present, and came to highly revolutionary conclusions. It was not only Lenin who was able to draw valuable lessons from it for the Russian Revolution, but the military knowledge of Marx and Engels was also of great importance in the time of Stalin and Enver Hoxha. Even today, they are still highly topical and are indispensable as a theoretical basis for our practical struggle. Marx and Engels made a profound appraisal of the war history beginning with the earliest times, the history of the emergence and development of the armies, as well as the analysis of the organization and condition of the armed forces of their time, the methods and forms of the Kieg leadership and the armed struggle. Thus they created the basis of Marxist military science and a scientific history of the art of war. In particular, the thoughts of Marx and Engels on the question of armed insurrection are an integral part of the treasury of Marxist-Leninist military science. Based on Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin further developed the doctrines of armed rebellion, which were brilliantly confirmed by the victory of the October Revolution. Enver Hoxha also relied on Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in the anti-fascist liberation struggle, which led to the brilliant victory of the people's revolution in Albania.

The perfect unity of spiritual and material socialist war production puts socialist warfare on a firm footing and makes it possible in the first place. Of course, socialist warfare presupposes the dictatorship of the proletariat. Without a dictatorship of the proletariat there can be neither socialist warfare nor socialist war production nor socialist war science. [So, even the Maoist warfare was not a socialist one, because there never was a dictatorship of the proletariat in China]. Socialist warfare is a military expression of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Thus, spiritual war production, the science of war, is an invaluable asset to material war production, which far exceeds the value of working time required for material war production. The proper use of the science of war depends on the value of material war production, and on the victory or defeat of the revolution, of socialism, that is, life and death of the whole social order. Engels has repeatedly pointed to the revolutionary effect of the science of war for the development of every new social formation, so he said about the war science of old Fritz:

"The old Fritz's epoch-making achievement in the science of war lies in the fact that in general, within the limits of the warfare of that time, he transformed and developed the old tactics in conformity with the new instruments.

The revolution will have to wage war with the means and by the methods of the general modern warfare.
In revolutionary wars with violent internal convulsions the mass of the proletariat is needed for use within the country.

Summa summarum, the revolution will have to fight with modern means of war and the modern art of war against modern means of war and the modern art of war. " (Engels, MEW, Volume 10, page 555)

Marx and Engels were the best connoisseurs of the history of war and the art of war. They dealt with almost all military theories and theorists of all time, but especially from their time. Their findings and conclusions drawn from Marx and Engels from these theories, in particular their critical judgment of the theorists themselves, and how far this materialistic war character, the causes of war, the interests of war, the war aims, the warfare, the course, the end and The consequences of the war, etc., etc. could be recognized, commented on and assessed, or the necessary conclusions could be drawn from all this painstakingly collected material, scientifically evaluated and tested on the basis of practice. Marx and Engels designed the first mosaic picture of the history of war and Martial arts. If Marx and Engels formulated their point of view at the time, we must relativize this historically today. This is to say that today one must beware of equating the bourgeois sciences at the time in its fight against feudalism, with their struggle against socialism today. Bourgeois military science initially served the liberation of the bourgeoisie and today serves to suppress the liberation of the proletariat. So it is our task, from the military point of view of the proletariat, not only correctly to judge the bourgeois sciences in their historical development, but also to criticize them properly - after all, it is the military science of our class enemy!

Of course this does not stop us from studying precisely the imperialist, militarist doctrines, the military theories of the class opponent, just as we generally regard the study of the enemy as indispensable - which does not necessarily has to be explained in more detail here. But not only does one have to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent correctly, one must also self-critically judge the strengths and weaknesses of our own theoretical combat equipment and draw the necessary conclusions from it.

The 5 classics of Marxism-Leninism, and in particular Marx and Engels, have never confused the concepts of formal military theory and marxist military theory, but have always used them differently and separately in different contexts. Marx and Engels used the military concepts primarily in the political sense. For example, they spoke of the army of the proletariat as the political army of the revolution. To limit and reinterpret the political character of these terms purely militarily is an expression of adventure and doctrinarism.

Engels wrote of a "peculiar contrast: our higher military men are usually so terribly conservative in their own field, and yet today there is hardly any other area as revolutionary as the military one" (Engels, MEW, volume 22, page 380 - German edition).

"In 1848 we said: now our time is coming, and so in a certain sense it came; but this time it is coming properly, now it is a case of do or die. This will at once give a more practical slant to my military studies. I shall apply myself without delay to the existing organization and elementary tactics of the Prussian, Austrian, Bavarian and French armies (...). " (November 15, 1857, Letter from Engels to Marx, MEW, Volume 40, page 203 - 204).

In accordance with the materialist conception of society by Marx and Engels, being determines consciousness in general, and thus, in particular, so to speak, military consciousness is determined by military being. Military science is inseparable from the materialistic basis of armed conflict within a class society and is based on it (see: the materialist meaning of the slogan: "Turn the hostile rifles against the enemy!").

We must always have in mind that the army is not only directed against the foreign enemy but to the same degree against the people in one's own country as the civil war is developing by the revolutionary proletariat against the own bourgeoisie. The more the military forces of the revolution grow, all the greater the resistance from the counterrevolutionary army.

* * *

On the importance of the scientific element of the army Engels wrote about the capture of Delhi,

"that the Sepoys entirely lacked the scientific element without which an army is now-a-days helpless, and the defense of a town utterly hopeless."

"As to the defense— all show that some notions of scientific warfare had penetrated among the Sepoys; but either they were not clear enough, or not powerful enough, to be carried out with any effect." (Engels, MEW, Volume 15, page 392and 399)

"All armies are immensely capable of development after major defeats." (Engels, MEW, Volume 27, page 391)

So it's not enough just to study scientific warfare, to develop it further and just "apply" it somehow. The decisive factor is not whether but how revolutionary it is put into action in order to be victorious. It is not a question of interpreting world history from a different military point of view, it is not enough to distinguish proletarian military theory from bourgeois military theory or to fight it, but rather the practical implementation of world revolution with the help of Marxist-Leninist military theory in demarcation to the bourgeois military theory, to which also the revisionist military theory belongs: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it." (Marx on Feuerbach, famous Thesis XI). This thesis is also valid for the practical implementation of the military theory of the world proletariat.

Engels was at his time an established literary military critic under the anonymous name "author of` Po and Rhine`. In the Circle of Friends Engels was called the "General" (Lenin called Engels "the great connoisseur of the art of war").

"As a one-year volunteer in the Artillery Brigade of the Prussian Guard I did not rise above the rank of bombardier.
Later, in Baden, I took part in the campaign of 1849 on the side of the insurgents. Since my period of service, however, I have constantly busied myself with military matters."
(Engels, MEW, Volume 18, page 407)

And in 1854 Engels wrote in a letter of application to the editor of the "Daily News":

"My military school has been the Prussian Artillery, a service which, if it is not what it might be, yet has produced the men who made 'the Turkish Artillery one of the best in Europe' as our friend Nicholas has laid it down. Later on, I had an occasion of seeing some active service during the insurrectionary war in South Germany, 1849. For many years the study of military science in all its branches has been one of my chief occupations, and the success, which my articles on the Hungarian Campaign, published at the time in the German Press, were fortunate enough to obtain, encourages me in the belief that I have not studied in vain. An acquaintance, more or less familiar, with most European languages, including Russian, Serbian, and a little Wallachian, opens to me the best sources of information and may, perhaps, prove useful to you in other respects." (1854 [!], Engels, MEW, Volume 39, page 424)

Of course, Engels could not openly to announce himself as a communist. After all, Engels did not get the job because one of the emigres had denounced him there, just to show off with sensational gossip.

Engels said as an active participant in the 1849 fights:
"The party of the proletariat was quite strongly represented in the army of Baden and the Palatinate, especially in the volunteer corps, as for example in our own, in the refugee legion, etc.,and it can safely challenge all the other parties to find even the slightest fault with any one of its members. The most resolute Communists made the most courageous soldiers."
(Engels, MEW, Volume 10, page 226 - Engels' article contains a number of important self practiced principles on the party's revolutionary tactics of armed insurgency and civil war. )

Engels himself was adjutant of Colonel Willich, the commander of the first corps of Communist volunteers. So Engels fought for Communism with an insurgent weapon in his hand a year after he had even written down the Communist Manifesto with Marx !! This revolutionary army was made up of Baden's armed proletarian forces, consisting of 10,000 men of lineage and 12,000 volunteers. There were four major battles in which the counterrevolutionary 36,000-strong army could only win thanks to its numerical superiority and the violation of the Württemberg border, which enabled them to bypass the revolutionary army at the decisive moment. After six weeks of fighting in the open field against the invasion of Prussia, the remnants of the insurgent army retreated to Switzerland in 1849. The uprising began in May 1849 in southern Germany, but the revolutionaries, like Paris in 1871, committed the fatal mistake of oing not to attack. The troops of the neighboring small states were demoralized and sought only an excuse to join the uprising; they were determined not to fight the people. The insurgents would have been able to bring the population of these states to the upraise and enthrall them if they had declared that they want to liberate the Frankfurt National Assembly, which was surrounded by Prussian and Austrian troops. Battleless abandonment of positions to the enemy can demoralize the masses more than a defeat in combat. Marx and Engels suggested to the leaders of the movement to march on Frankfurt, but they were refused to hear them (see: MEW, Volume 21, pages 489-90), as were the Social Democratic workers 'and soldiers' councils in Berlin in the November Revolution refused to listen to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in order to help Communism, the October Revolution, to victory in Germany. The story of the defeated rebellions also shows in this example that a stubborn resistance, which the oppressed, inferior, poorly organized and miserably-endowed class of an oppressive class far superior in material as well as in number and professionalism in a revolutionary situation, able and able to produce a great effect on the change of social conditions. Every defeat of a proletarian revolutionary uprising always prepares for its even more profound victory in the future.

It is a great merit of Friedrich Engels that he was the first to study the history of war and to analyze the armies of his time the only scientific method, the method of dialectical and historical materialism applied. Unlike the bourgeois idealist historians, who were unable to portray the development of the armed forces as a dialectical-materialistic process, Engels showed that this development is ultimately determined by the change in the material mode of production that forms the economic basis of society.

Marx wrote about the work of Engels: "ARMY":

"More graphically than anything else the history of the ARMY demonstrates the Tightness of our views as to the connection between the productive forces and social relations. Altogether, the ARMY is of importance in economic development. Again, the division of labour within a branch was first put into practice by armies. All this, moreover, a very striking epitome of the whole history of civil societies." (Marx, MEW, Volume 40, page 186)

Originally, the wage system of capitalism once developed from the payment system for mercenaries.

A recent example is the world economic importance of the Internet, which was originally developed for the military. And vice versa:

"Nothing is more dependent on economic preconditions than army and fleet. Armament, composition, organization, tactics and strategy depend above all on the given stage of development of production and communications. " (Friedrich Engels). Every given stage of development of the productive forces corresponds to a certain character of armament, the art of war.

Marx found out, and cited numerous examples for it, that "Under revolutionary, still more than under ordinary circumstances, the destinies of armies reflect the true nature of the civil government. " (Marx, MEW, vol. 10, p. 449).

Engels was the first historian of war science to prove the fact that the character and type of the armed forces, their specific features, armament and tactics, as well as the nature of the recruitment and training of troops, depend on the level of development of the productive forces, of the social order and the class structure.
The first wars, the wars in the period of the gentile constitution, pursued - as Engels points out in his "Origin of the Family, of Private Property and the State" - only the aim of widening the inadequate territory and defending against enemy assaults , However, with the progressive division of labor, the stratification of society into classes and the formation of the state, the wars for the ruling classes become the necessary continuation and a link in the chain of their policy of exploitation and enslavement of the masses. On the basis of private property wars are inevitable. From numerous historical examples Engels revealed the class character of the armies, beginning with the appearance of the first organized armed forces in the slaveholders of the ancient Near East. Engels considered the armed forces in their dialectical development and brought this development in concrete connection with the history of socioeconomic formations. He showed that the heyday and decline of armies is determined by the process of becoming and declining this or that formation of classes. Thus, under the conditions of dying, decaying parasitic globalized world imperialism, we can today also speak of a rotting, parasitic, globalized world imperialist army under the leadership of US imperialism, including its "most up-to-date" military doctrine, armor, "science", etc., etc. War of "civilization" = greatest war of the rich against the poor world will end with the victory of the poor over the rich world and thus the liberation of civilization from their phrase!], Which approaches the downfall with the world crisis. The armies of ancient Greece, with their tactics of the phalanges, the ancient Roman army with its more advanced system of legions, fell into decay, as Engels observes, by the growth of contradictions in the slave-holding society, which condemned them to destruction. The decline of feudalism led to the collapse of the feudal system of war, to the disappearance of the cavalry of the knights, who had lost their fighting ability. Engels emphasized that the peasants had formed the majority in the armies. But after the victory of every bourgeois revolutions for which they had spilled their blood, the ruin of the peasantry was always the inevitable economic consequence.

In the epoch of the emergence of capitalism, the armed forces, as Engels noted, made a significant evolution from mercenary troops to mass armies recruited on the basis of a general military duty - an evolution that reflected the process of the emergence and development of bourgeois society. An enormous role in the development of the military system was attributed to the periods of the replacement of one social-economic formation by another, more progressive, the epochs of the revolutionary break with an outmoded social order and the creation of a new one. Such epochs gave, as Engels showed in his works, a particularly strong boost to military progress, with the initiators and bearers of these progressive changes being the revolutionary classes that fought against the surviving forces of society. Engels demonstrated this law of development by the example of the early bourgeois revolutions, first of all by the example of the French bourgeois revolution at the end of the eighteenth century, and by the wars of revolutionary France against the coalition of the feudal-absolutist states of Europe. He showed that it is in these wars that the military creativity of the popular masses, the immediate agents of the armed struggle, comes to the fore, while seeking and finding the new forms of struggle and tactics that corresponded to the new conditions.

Engels attached great importance to the liberation struggle of the peoples against foreign conquerors, for example the wars of the Swiss against the Austrian and Burgundian feudal lords, the war of the Dutch against the Spanish rule in the 16th century, the Revolutionary War of the North American colonies at the end of the 18th century, The wars of the European peoples against the Napoleonic yoke of the beginning of the 19th century, the national liberation war of Hungary in 1848-49 etc. Engels turned against the robbery system of the subjugation and exploitation of the peoples of Asia and Africa by the bourgeoisie of the economically developed countries, against politics the colonial conqueror and adventurer. Marx and Engels were well informed about the development of national liberation movements. In some articles, Engels pointed to the material resources of various countries that aroused the greed for colonization in the capitalist robbers, who exploited the economic backwardness and semi-patriarchal order of these countries and turned them into a scene of plunder. Engels was deeply imbued with the conviction of the increasing power and insurmountability of the liberation movement against the colonizers - a movement deeply rooted in the masses of people who hate the colonial yoke and strive for freedom. Engels acted in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, educating the proletariat in the oppressive and exploitative country to the feeling of solidarity and energetic support for the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries fighting for their liberation. What Marx and Engels were perfectly clear and consistent about from that start was that "a people that oppresses other people cannot itself be free". This is fundamental to workers and oppressed people of all lands and is an abiding tenet of international solidarity.

And Engels prophesied that "(...) as soon as the working class attains political power, all causes for nationalist strife will be removed, for the working class is international by its very nature (...)" (Engels, MEW, volume 27, p 398).

At that time, Engels rightly believed that the preservation of national independence was the most important prerequisite for the further development of the international revolutionary movement, pointing out that the tactics of the working class, including on the issue of war and peace.
The concrete historical conditions of the revolutionary labor movement in the respective countries thus has to be taken into account. Lenin wrote: "In 1891 no imperialism existed at all (...), and there was no imperialist war, there could not be, on the part of Germany. (By the way, there was no revolutionary Russia then either; that is very important.)" (Lenin, Volume 35, page 268)

Engels analyzed the incipient development of imperialism, the intensification of the military struggle for the division of the world, and the strategies of the great powers to gain world domination or to chase each other out. He was a passionate prosecutor against the policies of conquest of the ruling classes, proclaimer of the fight against militarism and against the secret diplomacy of the great powers. Marx and Engels severely criticized the insidious methods of the ruling classes, how they incited the nations against each other, intimidated and blackmailed them, and brazenly interfered in the internal affairs of the smaller states. The founders of Marxism saw in the profound knowledge of the secrets of international politics, in the discovery of the secret diplomatic intrigue of the ruling class and its conquest plans and deeds, a very important task of the proletarian revolutionaries not only in agitatorial and propagandistic terms, but above all regarding the own strategy and tactics of the armed struggle of the working class for their national and international social liberation. They emphasized again and again how necessary it is for the working class to maintain an independent revolutionary line of the proletarian internationalism of the act of international conflicts, that is to always consider the world conflicts from the point of view of the world proletarian revolution.

"A war? Child's play to launch one. But what become of it once launched defies the imagination. It is well known that peace persists only thanks to the unending revolution in weapons technology, which precludes anyone getting ready for war, and thanks to everybody's fear of the absolutely incalcilable prospects of the only war now still possible, a world war.

Only on thing can help: an uprising provoked by governmental brutality and suppressed with double and triple brutality, a general stage of siege, and re-eletions in conditions of terror. Even that would produce a few years' stay of execution." (Engels, MEW, volume 27, pp 9-10).

Engels foresaw that once the war broke out, the result would be the collapse of the system of exploitation: "That the eventual outcome will be revolution is plain, but at the cost of what sacrifices, of what general prostration — and after who knows how many changes" (Engels' letter to Bebel, 23-25 October 1886, MEW, Volume 47, page 510).

Engels recognized in the "local wars" a temporary as well as a preliminary stage to the world war, which would lead to the collapse of the capitalistic system on the globe. He made the success of the revolution but by no means dependent on a war. On the contrary, he saw in the war a terrible calamity for the workers, who demand unprecedented sacrifices from them and who would reverse those already fought by the workers' movement:

"In short, there will be chaos of which the only certain outcome will be wholesale slaughter on a hitherto unprecedented scale, the exhaustion of the whole of Europe to a hitherto unprecedented degree and, finally, the complete collapse of the old system.
This much is certain: A war would above all retard our movement all over Europe, completely disrupt it in many countries, stir up chauvinism and xenophobia and leave us with the certain prospect, amongst many other uncertain ones, of having to begin all over again after the war, albeit on a basis far more favourable even than today. "
(Engels' letter to Bebel, 13-14 September 1886, MEW, Volume 47, page 487).
"Every event turns out in our favour.
The most calculated measures to arrest the progress of the proletariat serve only to speed its victorious march. The enemy itself is fighting for us, is condemned to fight for us."
(Engels, 15 March 1886, MEW, Volume 26, page 407).

"That is the prospect for the moment when the systematic development of mutual oneupmanship in armaments reaches its climax and finally brings forth its inevitable fruits. This is the pass, my worthy princes and statesmen, to which you in your wisdom have brought our ancient Europe. And when no alternative is left to you but to strike up the last dance of war—that will be no skin off our noses. The war may push us into the background for a while, it may wrest many a conquered base from our hands. But once you have unleashed the forces you will be unable to restrain, things can take their course: by the end of the tragedy you will be ruined and the victory of the proletariat will either have already been achieved or else inevitable." (Engels, December 15, 1887, MEW Volume 26, p 451)

And in a letter to Bebel from 11./12. Engels, December 1884 (MEW, Vol. 26, p. 234), assumed the role of the army in the proletarian revolution on the following hypothesis:

"For military reasons: As things are at present, an impulse from without would be unlikely to come from anywhere but Russia. Should it fail to come, and the impulse emanate from Germany, the revolution could only emanate from the army. An unarmed population confronted by a modern army is militarily an altogether infinitesimal quantity. In that event — when our reserves of 20- or 25-year-olds, who do not vote, but train, would go into action — pure democracy might be given a miss. But here again the question is, at present, still academic although I, as representative, so to speak, of the party's Great General Staff, am obliged to bear it in mind. "

And he added in a letter to Paul Lafargue on December 21, 1884 (MEW, Vol. 26, p. 235 -236):

"In Germany there are far too many soldiers and non-commissioned officers belonging to the party for one to be able to preach a riot with the slightest chance of success. They know that it is in the ranks of the army itself that the demoralisation (from the bourgeois point of view) must take place; given modern military conditions (rapid-firing arms, etc.), the revolution is bound to begin in the army. At any rate it will begin there in our country. No one knows better than the government how the number of socialist conscripts is growing year after year."

[ This is one of the reasons why in Germany the general compulsory military service was abolished in 2011.]

And Engels also gave the hint:

"The support of a regular army is now-a-days necessary to the progress of all insurrectionary or irregular warfare against a powerful regular army." (Engels, MEW, Volume 12, pp 432.433)

So it was the anti-fascist liberation movement of Albania and others. By the great patriotic war which the Red Army led against fascism, it was easier to build up a regular army against the German occupying forces and to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat by means of a people's revolution. The invasion of the Red Army in Germany also created the possibility of German socialism, but the revisionists prevented the German working class from building socialism and a socialist army on German soil, and so the National People's Army was only a vassal army of the social-imperialist Soviet army. The revolution can not be imported, the working class must create its own liberation army, disintegrate the bourgeois army and win its soldiers to build a red army in all the capitalist countries of the world. Only then can the departments of the Red World Army be centralized and used for the world socialist revolution against the mighty regular army of world imperialism. Without the regular army of the world proletariat, the world socialist revolution can not defeat the mighty regular arnee of world imperialism.

"Under the conditions of modern warfare technology, the revolution must come from the army." (Engels)

Today we are talking about the international counter-revolutionary civil war army, which has to defeat not only the "internal enemy", ie the insurgent proletariat of an individual country, but also this internal enemy in all other countries, thus the entire revolutionary world proletariat. Otherwise, the world bourgeoisie can not protect itself from its defeat by the world socialist revolution.

Engels has repeatedly stressed that the shortest path to the revolution with the least sacrifice to choose. The bourgeoisie needs the Kieg to prevent the revolution. The proletariat needs peace to gather and organize its forces to overthrow capitalism. In March 1987, he wrote in a letter to Schlüter:

"Our struggle is a form of siege warfare and so long as the approach trenches keep moving forward, all will be well. We are already close to the second parallel, where we shall be able to establish our dismounting batteries and silence the enemy's guns. And, if we get as far without the besieged's gaining temporary respite from a world war, we shall then be able to estimate when it will be possible to establish breaching batteries on the crest of the glacis, make a breach with our guns and mount an assault. Until then the quiet, unhurried advance of our siege-works is the best safeguard against an overhasty assault and unnecessary casualties. The nicest touch of all is that the besieged say that we the besiegers, are in a state of siege!" (Engels, MEW, Volume 48, pp 39-40)
Engels has always passionately called for preventing the world proletariat from having to pave the way to world socialism through a sea of ​​blood and tears, without pouring water on the mills of bourgeois pacifism. Engels gave much advice to the struggle of the proletarians against militarism and war preparations of the ruling class. And worked out a proletarian tactic in questions of war and peace. In it he also included the special role of soldiers and peasants as allies in the fight against the military state and for the socialist revolution. Noteworthy are Engels 'comments on the "German Peasants' War" (1870), from which Lenin was guided in the victorious October Revolution. The German November Revolution, however, failed not least because the role of the peasants as allies of the revolution was underestimated. Without bread, the working class is too weak to judge the revolutionary rifle against the capitalists. The inclusion of agricultural workers in the proletarian class struggle was described by Engels as the "most urgent task of the German workers' movement" (MEW, volume 16, page 400 - German edition). Anyone who does not learn from Engels will be doomed to defeat. The supply of the proletarian world army must be secured by the peasants of the whole world.
Engels' military work refuted the conception of many bourgeois military theorists about the immutability and eternity of the principles of the art of war. In exposing the dialectical laws inherent in strategy and tactics, Engels demonstrated that the strategic and tactical rules, which were advantageous under certain historical conditions, went bankrupt when applied in a changed situation. So he wrote in a letter to Marx on May 7, 1852: "The Willisen book should actually mean:

"Willisen's book should really be called the philosophy of great wars. This in itself would indicate that it contains more philosophising than military science, that the most self-evident things are construed a priori with the most profound and exhaustive thoroughness and that, sandwiched between these, are the most methodical discourses on simplicity and multiplicity and such-like opposites. What can one say about military science which begins with the concept of art en general, then goes on to demonstrate that the art of cookery is also an art, expatiates on the relationship of art to science and finally subsumes all the rules, relationships, potentialities, etc., etc., of the art of war under the one, absolute axiom: the stronger always overcomes the weaker." (MEW, Volume 39, page 104)

Engels portrayed, as a whole, the development of the art of war as a complicated, progressive process of gradual improvement. He revealed the close interrelation of the various sides of this process. In his work, Engels showed the role of the interaction of the various branches of the martial arts and the mutual conditionality of their historical development. Engels' articles cover a wide variety of military fields. In them, mostly in historical development, are the problems of the formation, organization and arming of the armies, their recruitment and training, the leadership of the armed forces, the strategy and tactics, the organization and tactics of the individual genera of the army and the navy, the construction of fortifications, material supply and equipment of troops, their billeting and resting position. Engels dedicated the greatest attention to war technology. In numerous instances, Engels revealed the revolutionary influence that the most important technical discoveries - the invention of gunpowder, the application and improvement of firearms, the progress in artillery science and war engineering, the use of the steam engine in the war fleet - on the development of the armed Armed forces and the art of war exercised. The dependence of war tactics on military technique, the inevitable changes in tactical forms of struggle as a result of the emergence of new types of mass armament, is, as Engels has shown in his articles, one of the laws governing the economic development of society and the growth of its economy Productive forces to reflect the war craft. Karl Marx noted:

"Is there any sphere in which our theory that the organisation of labour is determined by the means of production is more dazzlingly vindicated than in the industry for human slaughter?" Marx sent this question to Engels and wrote to him:
"It really would be worth your while to write something on the subject (I have not the necessary knowledge for it) which I would include as an appendix to my book under your name. Give the matter some thought. If you do it, however, it must be done pour le premier volume [of, „The Capital“] in which I am dealing ex professo' with thistopic. You will appreciate what great pleasure it would give me if you were also to appear in my principal work (previously I have only produced trifles) as a direct collaborator, and not just in quotation!" (MEW, Volume 42, page 291)

Engels, however, did not attribute the laws of armed struggle only to the influence of warfare on the types of fighting. The state of this or that army, its ability to fight, is, as he emphasized, determined above all by the social and political system, by the social conditions under which it emerged and operates. The fighting qualities of this or that army, in addition to their armament, are determined by their composition, the social forces from which they were recruited, the degree of their military training, the level of consciousness and the moral attitude of their combatants, which in many respects was characterized by the character of the soldiers Wars are dependent. Engels attached great importance to the fighting spirit of the army. At the decisive moment when the opponents collide, "the moral element, the bravery (...) is immediately transformed into material violence" (Engels, MEW, vol. 14, page 307, "Cavalry" - written between March and 21st of June 1858 - , German edition).

Engels also mentions the factors that are effective in the struggle: the influence of the terrain, the presence of reserves, the operational character of the high command, the art of the army commanders, and the role of soldiers and the masses. The role of the general, Engels pointed out, consists in the wise application of those forms and methods of warfare and combat that are given by the objective historical development of the armed forces, as well as the expedient use of new technical means and those changes in composition and the militant quality of the armies that arise under the influence of changes in the social order. Engels objected to the cult and idealization of the generals characteristic of bourgeois historiography, and found in the activity of even the greatest of them traits of narrowness and contradiction which had their class-related roots. In his military work, Engels analyzed the experiences of the entire history of the wars of all peoples, primarily the pre-monopolistic period, and set forth all their contributions to general military science and the art of war. The monopolistic period, the weapons of mass destruction, such as the atomic bomb, the automated, computer-controlled, high-tech weapons were, of course, unknown to Engels at the time. So you can not mechanically transfer all contributions to military science to the present day, because conditions of warfare have changed today.

It is Engels' great merit that he raised and worked out the question of national resistance in the war against a foreign conqueror, popular war, partisan movement, and the forms and methods of mobilizing popular forces against the aggressor. Thus he called on the Italian proletariat not to confine itself to the regular Austrian troops in the conventional ways of fighting, but to proceed to mass surveys and to lead an all-national revolutionary guerilla war.

And so today, based on the teachings of Engels, the world proletariat must develop a new way of fighting and lead a globalized, centralized and coordinated guerrilla war (global civil war) - together with all the other subjugated classes - to put an end to the enslavement of world imperialism, namely forever.

Engels even thought:

"The history of the world's biggest battles seems to prove that the defensive action is the safest when the attacked army has enough stamina to stubbornly resist, until the attackers' fires slow, until exhaustion and response from the attacker sets in and then it can turn over to the offensive and attack. However, there were few armies or even rare peoples with the ability to fight such battles " (Engels," Angriff ", MEW volume 14, page 69, German edition).

Engels had extensive knowledge in all areas of war science, using historical and dialectical materialism to predict with great scientific precision the current events of the war, the course of military operations, their outcome and their consequences.

"Hence the frantic competition between the states as to which of them possesses the largest and strongest army. Every addition to the military force of one state prompts the other states to do the same, if not more. And all this costs an enormous amount of money. The peoples are crushed by the burden of military expenditure. Peace becomes almost more expensive than war, so that eventually war no longer seems like a terrible scourge, but like a salutary crisis which will put an end to an impossible situation.
This is what has allowed intriguers of all countries keen to fish in troubled waters to press for war.
And the remedy?
Abolish the Prussian system, replace it with a truly popular army, an ordinary school into which any citizen capable of bearing arms will be drafted for the time strictly necessary in order to learn the soldier's job; group the men graduating from this school into a reserve list, firmly organised by districts, so that every town, every canton has its own battalion, made up of men who know one another, united, armed, equipped, ready to march at twenty-four hours' notice if necessary. This means that every man will keep his rifle and equipment at home, as they do in Switzerland.
The first nation to adopt this system will double its real military strength while halving its war budget. It will prove its love of peace by the very fact of arming all its citizens. For this army, which is the nation itself, is as ill suited to conquest abroad as it is invincible in the defence of its own territory. And what government
would dare lay a finger on civil liberties, if every citizen has at home his rifle and fifty rounds of ammunition?

(MEW, Volume 26, page 44, Engels, London, February 13, 1887)

On the basis of this thesis of Engels the arming of the people became the general demand of the Communists all over the world.

"To ensure international peace, all avoidable national friction must first be done away with, each people must be independent and master in their own house." (MEW, Volume 26, page 455, Engels: "The role of force in history")

Above all, Engels focused on the analysis and characterization of adventurous war plans, the weaknesses and mistakes of strategy and tactics, and the shortcomings of the rulers' military operations. "You have to know not only the weaknesses, but also the strengths of the opponent" MEW, Volume 22, page 14, German edition).

Thus he recognized the connection between the quality of an army and its dependence on the quality of the social and political order. Thus, the military collapse of France was no coincidence, but the inevitable consequence of the decay of the thoroughly rotted Bonapartist regime:

"The army organization fails everywhere; and a noble and gallant nation finds all its efforts for self-defence unavailing, because it has for twenty years suffered its destinies to be guided by a set of adventurers who turned administration, government, army, navy—in fact, all France—into a source of pecuniary profit to themselves." (MEW, Volume 22, Notes on the War, XIV, page 77)


Engels subjected the Bonapartist generals to a crushing criticism. He revealed the flawedness of their strategy and tactics, their inability to command troops and coordinated operations, and criticized the poor equipment of the troops, the corruption in the utility system. He emphasized that even during the war the Bonapartist regime had its ruinous influence on the army and that the mistakes of the French High Command were exacerbated by the fact that it was often forced to be guided not by military considerations in its operations, but to save the prestige of the Second Empire. Engels pointed out that, for fear of the masses of Paris, the Bonapartist government refused to send troops left to fight the revolutionary danger in the capital to the front where they were desperately needed (see MEW, vol. 17, page 55, German edition) .

The Prussian army, which was falsely referred to as the "people in arms" because of the then superior new recruitment system, actually against the people - suppressing internal uprisings and conducting outward campaigns of conquest. When the regular French armies had been defeated, the Imperial Empire had been overthrown, and Prussia's predatory ambitions had become evident, the strengthening of France's national defense, the establishment of new military formations, and the organization of the guerrilla warfare against the invaders were at the center of Engels' attention. Although the adventurous policies of the ruling classes had brought France to the brink of national catastrophe, Engels called on the French people to continue the struggle, even under these conditions, which would be successful if it mobilized all its reserves and resisted the Prussians really the whole people, the whole nation seized. Engels took the position of the General Council of the International, which at this stage of the war called on the international proletariat to assist the French people in their resistance to the conquerors. He devised a concrete plan for the fight against the Prussians and developed the strategy and tactics of coordinating the military operations of the newly formed French troops with the struggle of partisan detachments. Engels showed the indestructible power of popular resistance, which is generated by the tactics of partisan combat (see, for example, "Warfare in the mountains once and now", MEW, Volume 12, page 113, German edition). He also advocated that the people's resistance in the form of partisan war is recognized as a method of legitimate warfare.
"Revolutionary War, mass uprising and terrorism - the monarchy will never understand. Rather, it makes peace with its bitterest, equal enemy, before it allies itself with the people (...). But the uprising of the masses, the general insurrection of the people, are the means by which the monarchy shies away from their use " (MEW, Engels, vol. 6, p. 369; German edition).

Marx and Engels developed the Marxist doctrine of wars, their class causes, goals and class character. If one wants to learn from Marx and Engels, one must concretely consider every single war, which economic and political class interests it serves, which class leads it, whether it is a just (liberation and defense) war or an unjust (predatory) war Exploitative and suppression) war, which defends nothing more than profit. The character of a war, its true meaning, is determined by which policy the war continues, which class leads the war, and what its goals are. All military lessons of the history of non-class armed struggle and non-class war are empty nonsense. Marx and Engels did not confine themselves to the concrete analysis of each individual war, but by doing so masterly succeeded in grasping the whole policy of the whole system of European states in their economic and political interrelations, by which they understood in what way this system logically and unavoidably the wars of that time had arisen. The question of who had started the war was completely insignificant, both economically and politically, given the fact that two groups of robbers, two or more nations were at war for their booty in the battle for world domination, that is, who would subjugate more peoples in the future who should rob more, who could increase the profit of international bank capital the highest. If one wants to understand a war correctly, then one must, like Marx and Engels, take into account their connection with the preceding policy of the states concerned, the state system in question, the social order in question and the classes concerned within that social order - a basic requirement of the marxist military theory, not the And not only Marxist-Leninists must approach the question of the truth of war, but make it comprehensible to the masses. The war is always linked to the interests of certain classes, as is peace. Thus, Marx and Engels also approached every single peace concretely, asked them the class question, who benefits from the peace and to whom he harms. Conversely, if war is the continuation of peacetime politics, then peace is also the continuation of the policy of war. A bourgeois peace disarms the proletariat and enslaves the annexed peoples instead of giving them freedom. And that is especially true of imperialist peace. Whether from the continuation of bourgeois peace policy to war policy or vice versa - in the opinion of Lenin, the best disciple of Marx and Engels, the proletariat breaks through the proletarian-world revolutionary war only for the liberation of the workers and peasants of the whole world from Capital's yoke, for it is the world's capital, the international banking capital that inevitably invokes imperialist wars, and peace is nothing but a violent peace; nothing else than the gigantic burdens of the consequences of the war, one-sidedly imposed on the peoples by the victorious powers, with enslavement thus imposed on the world, even more gigantic, and even more refined; nothing else than the interim period that international capital needs for the next war.


Using the example of the Franco-Prussian War, Marx and Engels taught the international proletariat to differentiate between national wars of liberation, defensive wars aimed at averting a foreign invasion, and wars of robbery and conquest. It was Engels' great merit that he had raised the issue of national resistance in the war against a foreign conqueror, the people's war, the partisan movement, and the forms and methods of mobilizing the national forces against the aggressor. "Germany triumphed over France, but Bismarck and Thiers triumphed over the workers!" (Lenin, volume 21, page 274; German edition). Stalin's Soviet Union triumphed over Hitlerism, over the Third Reich, but world imperialism with the USA in the lead triumphed over the world proletariat, over the world socialist revolution.

Marx and Engels proved that the development of the war inevitably exacerbated class antagonism, creating a revolutionary situation that contained the possibility of the revolutionary upheaval of the proletariat. That's a law that today works on an international scale. At the same time, they warned the revolutionary proletariat not to jeopardize the victory of the revolution by means of a premature uprising (a precise analysis of the relationship of forces), thereby making defeat unavoidable. This is especially true today for the world revolutionary situation. Marx revealed the provocative tactics of the bourgeoisie, which sought to call the working class to a premature uprising in order to drown them in a sea of ​​blood (This is a tactic that has not given up and continues to apply today.) The world bourgeoisie will and cannot hesitate to drown the proletarian world revolution in a sea of ​​blood before it leaves the stage of world history! Revolutions on a global scale usually also mean corresponding proportions on the part of the victims.


Marx and Engels recognized that the victory of the Paris Commune was favored by the special situation of the current weakness of the belligerent opponents - who in the Franco-Prussian War only offered a minimal moment for the favorable outcome of the uprising. The armies of the French Empire were either trapped outside of Paris or imprisoned in Germany, and the foreign German enemy had only reached the gates of Paris. With the siege of the city of Paris, we find historically the well-known fact of the international capitalist encirclement of the workers' power, which is to be discussed in detail. Only so much should be noted here that it was just the besieging soldiers who supported the besieged in solidarity. Here we have in germ form the decisive factor in the internationalist solidarity support of the insurgent workers:

"The Preussian troops surrounding the northeastern half of Paris had orders not to allow any fugitives ti pass; but the officers often shut their eyes when the soldiers paid more obedience to the dictates of humanity than to the Saxon army corps, which behaved very humanely and let through many who were obvious fighters for the Commune." (MEW, Volume 29, page 187, Engels "Introduction to Marx's: The Civil War in France)

Both the external and the internal counter-revolutions had weakened each other during the course of the war and their power was mutually neutralized at a certain moment , so that they were not able to jointly suppress the workers' revolution.

(compare this situation with the conditions of the victory of the October Revolution)

The defense of the Commune was considered by Marx and Engels to be the highest duty of the workers of all countries. Already in the first days of the revolution of Paris they mobilized, with the help of the International Workers Association, all the forces of the international proletariat to support the Communards. Marx and Engels regarded the Paris Commune as the intellectual child of the International, as the practical realization of its principles, and saw in its establishment a tremendous benefit not only for the working class in Paris but for the proletarians of all countries in their struggle for the revolution.

Engels "reprimanded" the Paris Commune:

"I know of nothing more authoritarian than a revolution, and when one fights with bombs and rifle bullets against one's enemies, this is an authoritarian act. If there had been a little more authority and centralisation in the Paris Commune, it would have triumphed over the bourgeois. After the victory we can organise ourselves as we like, but for the struggle it seems to me necessary to collect all our forces into a single band and direct them on the same point of attack. And when people tell me that this cannot be done without authority and centralisation, and that these are two things to be condemned outright, it seems to me that those who talk like this either do not know what a revolution is, or are revolutionaries in name only." (MEW, Volume 44, page 293)
"In the economic sphere much was left undone which, according to our view today, the Commune ought to have done. The hardest thing to understand is certainly the holy awe with which they remained standing respectfully outside the gates of the Bank of France. This was alo a serious political mistake. The bank in the hands of the Commune - this would have been worth more than 10 000 hostages. It would have meant the pressure of the whole of the French bourgeoisie on the Versailles government in favour of peace with the Commune." (MEW, Volume 29, page 187, Engels "Introduction to Marx's: The Civil War in France)

From the teachings of the Paris Commune, Marx and Engels drew up the clear demands of Labor Socialism, namely, the necessity of the forcible appropriation of the means of production by society:

"Behind the right to work stands the power over capital; behind the power over capital, the appropriation of the means of production, their subjection to the associated working class and, therefore, the abolition of wage labour, of capital and of their mutual relations." (MEW, Volume 10, page 78, Marx: The class struggle in France)

"While the democratic petty bourgeois wish to bring the revolution to a conclusion as quickly as possible, and with the achievement, at most, of the above demands, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent, until all more or less possessing classes have been forced out of their position of dominance, the proletariat has conquered state power, and the association of proletarians, not only in one country but in all the dominant countries of the world, has advanced so far that competition among the proletarians in these countries has ceased and that at least the decisive productive forces are concentrated in the hands of the proletarians." (MEW, Volume 10, page 281)

"A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?" (Engels: "On Authority", 1872)

"For twenty years now the workers of Paris have been without arms, and so it is everywhere; in all civilized countries the proletariat is deprived of material defense. Everywhere, it is the enemies and exploiters of the working class who have the entire armed force. But what did that lead to? In addition, today, with every capable man going through the army, this army is more and more reflecting the people's feelings and beliefs, that this army, the main tool of oppression, is becoming more and more unreliable day by day. Already the men at the head of all the great states see with horror the day on which the soldiers under arms will refuse to massacre their brothers and their fathers (...) Long live the international social revolution! " (MEW, Volume 27, page 177)

Marx and Engels considered all military questions from the point of view of the international proletariat, of the workers' parties of the countries and also of the First International. In particular, they insisted on distancing from the wavering liberal bourgeoisie, which historically, from cowardice, too often compromised with the reaction and capitulated to it, especially in wartime situations. It has also been shown that the fear of the Liberals before the revolutionary people is usually much greater than before the reaction. Thus Marxism has also clearly distanced itself from the Lassalleanism, from the "royal Prussian government socialism" in the military question (see MEW, volume 16, page 79).

It is imperative that every red soldier be able to handle his spiritual weapon as well as with his weapon in his hand, and he must always learn to master these two "arms" in their uniform use at every moment, in every situation. This distinguishes the Red Army from any counterrevolutionary army (including the revisionist army), where (or again) the militaristic system of contrasting "hand and brain work" is still being used.

The teachings of Marx and Engels on war science can be summarized in one sentence:

The world socialist revolution can not win without the weapons in the hand of the world proletariat.

Stalinism-Hoxhaism teaches:

The world imperialist war is a continuation of imperialist world politics.
The international proletarian civil war against world imperialist war is a continuation of world proletarian politics.

 

Wolfgang Eggers

 

translated on occasion of the 124th anniversary of the death of Frederick Engels.

 


"PATH OF THE WORLD PARTY"

- Theoretical Organ -

Communist International (Stalinist - Hoxhaists)