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Anton Pannekoek 1902

The Position and Significance of J. Dietzgens Philosophical Works

In the history of philosophy we see before us the consecutive forms of the thoughts of the ruling classes of society on life and on the world at large. This class thought appears after the primitive communism has given way to a society with class antagonisms, at a stage when the wealth of the members of the ruling class gave them leisure time and thus stimulated them to turn their attention to the productions of the mind. The beginning of this thought is found in classic Greece. But it assumed its clearest and best developed form when the modern bourgeoisie had become the ruling class in capitalistic Europe and the thinkers gave expression to the ideas of this class. The characteristic mark of these ideas is dualism, that is to say the misunderstood contrast between thinking and being, between nature and spirit, the result of the mental unclearness of this class and of its incapacity to see the things of the world in their true interconnection. This mental state is but the expression of the division of mankind into classes and of the uncomprehended nature of social production ever since it became a production of goods for exchange. In times of primitive communism, the conditions of production were clear and easily understood. Things were produced ointly for use and consumed in common. !an was master of his mode of production and thus master of his own fate as far as the superior forces of nature admitted it. "nder such conditions, social ideas could not help being simple and clear. There being no clash between personal and social interests, men had no conception of a deep chasm between good and bad. #nly the uncontrolled forces of nature stood like unintelligible and mysterious powers, that appeared to them either as well meaning or as evil spirits, above these primitive little societies. But with the advent of the production of commodities the picture changes. $ivili%ed humanity begins to feel itself somewhat relieved from the hard and ungovernable pressure of fickle natural forces. But now new demons arise out of social conditions. &'o sooner did the producers give their products away in exchange instead of consuming them as heretofore, than they lost control of them. They no longer knew what became of their products, and there was a possibility that these products might some day be used for the exploitation and oppression of the producers ( The products rule the producers) *Engels+. In the production of commodities, it is not the purpose of the individual producer which is accomplished, but rather that which the productive forces back of him are aiming at. !an proposes, but a social power, stronger than himself, disposes, he is no longer master of his fate. The inter-relations of production become complicated and difficult to grasp. .hile it is true that the individual is the producing unit, yet the individual labor is only a subordinate part of the whole process of social production, of which he remains a tool. The fruits of the labor of many are en oyed by a few individuals. The social co-operation is concealed behind a violent competitive struggle of the producers against one another. The interests of the individuals are at war with those of society. Good, that is to say the consideration of the common welfare, is opposed to bad, that is to say the sacrifice of everything to private interests. The passions of men as well as their mental gifts, after they have been aroused, developed, trained, strengthened, and refined in this struggle, henceforth become so many weapons which a superior power turns against their helpless possessors. /uch were the impressions out of which thinking men were obliged to fashion their world-philosophy, while, at the same time, they were members of the possessing classes and had thus an opportunity to employ their leisure for a certain self-study, without, however, being in touch with the source of their impressions, vi%., the process of social labor which alone could have enabled them to see through the social origin of their ideas. !en of this class, therefore, were led to the assumption that their ideas emanated from some supernatural and spiritual power or that they were themselves independent supernatural powers. The dualist 0

metaphysical mode of thought has gone through various transformations in the course of time, adapting itself to the evolution of production beginning with ancient slavery, on through the serfdom of the !iddle 1ges and of mediaeval commodity production, to modern capitalism. These successive changes of form are embodied in Grecian philosophy, in the various phases of the $hristian religion, and in the modern systems of philosophy. But we must not regard these systems and religions for what they generally pass, that is to say, we must not think them to be only repeated unsuccessful attempts to formulate absolute truth. They are merely the incarnations of progressive stages of better knowledge ac2uired by the human mind about itself and about the universe. It was the aim of philosophical thought to find satisfaction in understanding. 1nd as long as understanding could not wholly be gotten by natural means, there remained always a field for the supernatural and incomprehensible. But by the painstaking mental work of the deepest thinkers, the material of science was ceaselessly increased, and the field of the supernatural and incomprehensible was ever narrowed. 1nd this is especially the case since the progress of capitalist production has promoted the persistent study of nature. 3or through this study the human mind was enabled to test its powers by simple, 2uiet, persistent and fruitful labor in the search for successive parts of truth, and thus to rid itself from the overirritation of hopeless 2uest after absolute truth. The desire to ascertain the value of these new truths gave rise to the problems of the theory of understanding. But the supernatural element in these systems prevented their perfection. "nder the impulse of the technical re2uirements of capitalism, the evolution of natural sciences became a triumphal march of the human mind. 'ature was sub ugated first through the discovery of its laws by the human mind, and then by the material subordination of the known forces of nature to the human will in the service of our main ob ect, the production of the necessaries of life with a minimum expenditure of energy. But this bright shining light rendered, by contrast, the gloom which surrounded the phenomena of human society only the darker, and capitalism in its development still accentuates this contrast, as it accentuates and thus renders more easily visible and intelligible all contrasts. .hile the natural sciences dispensed with all mysterious secrecy within their narrower domain, the darkness shrouding the origin of ideas still offered a welcome refuge to the belief in miracles on the spiritual field. $apitalism is now approaching its decline. /ocialism is near. 1nd the vital importance of this transition cannot be stated more strongly than in the words of !arx and Engels4 &This concludes the primary history of man. 5e thereby passes definitely out of the animal kingdom.) The social regulation of production makes man fully the master of his own fate. 'o longer does any mysterious social power then thwart his plans or eopardise his success. 'or does any mysterious natural force control him henceforth. 5e is no longer the slave, but the master of nature. 5e has investigated its effects, understands them, and presses them into his service. 3or the first time in his history he will then be the ruler of the earth. .e now see that the many centuries that filled the history of civili%ation were a necessary preparation for socialism, a slow struggle to escape from nature6s slavery, a gradual increase in the productivity of labor, up to the point where the necessaries of life for all may be obtained almost without exertion. This is the prime merit of capitalism and its ustification, that after so many centuries of hardly perceptible progress it taught man to con2uer nature by a rapid result. 1t the same time it set loose the forces of production and finally transformed and bared the springs of the productive process to such a degree that they easily could be perceived and grasped by the human mind, this was the indispensable condition for the control of this process. 1s never since the first advent of production of commodities there has been such a fundamental revolution, it must necessarily be accompanied by an e2ually fundamental spiritual revolution. This economic revolution is the conclusion of the long period of class antagonisms and of production of commodities, it carries with it the end of the dualist and supernatural thoughts arising from this source. The mystery of social processes passes away with this period, and the spiritual expression of these mysteries must necessarily disappear with it. The slow development of human thought from ignorance to an ever increased understanding thereby ends its first chapter. This signifies the completion and conclusion of philosophy, which is e2uivalent to saying that philosophy as such passes out of existence, while its place is taken by the science of the human mind, a part of natural science. 7

1 new system of production sheds its light into the minds of men already before it has fully materiali%ed. The same science which teaches us to understand and thereby to control the social forces, also unfetters the mind from the bewitching effects of those forces. It enables him even now already to emancipate himself from traditional superstitions and ideas which were formerly the expression of things unknown. .e may anticipate with our mind the coming time. 1nd thus the ideas which will then dominate are already even now growing within us in a rudimentary form corresponding to the present actual economic development. By this means we are even now enabled to overcome the capitalist philosophy in thought and to soberly and clearly grasp the matter-dependent nature of our spirit. The completion and the end of philosophy need not wait for the reali%ation of socialist production. The new understanding does not fall from heaven like a meteor. It develops with the social-economic development, first imperfectly and imperceptibly, in a few thinkers who most strongly feel the breath of the approaching time. .ith the growth of the science of sociology and with that of its practical application, the socialist labor movement, the new understanding simultaneously spreads and gains ground step by step, waging a relentless battle against the traditional ideas to which the ruling classes are clinging. This struggle is the mental companion of the social class struggle. The methods of the new natural science had already been practiced for a few centuries before the new theory was formulated. It first found vent in the expression of surprise at the great confidence with which men assumed to predict certain phenomena and to point out their connections. #ur experience is limited to a few successive observations of the regularity or coincidence of events. But we attribute to natural laws, in which are expressed causal relations of phenomena, a general and necessary applicability which far exceeds our experience. The English thinker 5ume was the first who clearly expressed and formulated the 2uestion ( since called the problem of causality ( why men always act in this manner. But as he believed the reason for such action should be sought in the nature of experience alone, experience being the only source of knowledge, and as he did not further investigate the special and distinct part played by the nature of the human mind in this experiential connection, he could not find any satisfactory answer. 8ant, who made the first important step toward the solution of this 2uestion, had been trained in the school of rationalism which then dominated in Germany and which represented an adaptation of mediaeval scholasticism to the re2uirements of increased knowledge. /tarting from the thesis that things which are logical in the mind must be real in nature, the rationalists formulated by mere deduction general truths about god, infinity and immortality. "nder the influence of 5ume, 8ant became the critic of rationalism and thus the reformer of philosophy. The 2uestion how it is that we have knowledge of generally applicable laws in which we have implicit confidence ( such as mathematical theses, or the maxim that every change has a cause ( was answered by 8ant in this way4 Experience and science are as much conditioned on properties inherent in the organi%ation of our mind as on the impressions of the outer world. The former properties must necessarily be contained in all experience and science. Therefore everything dependent on this common mental part of science must be perfectly certain and independent of special sense impressions. $ommon to all experience, and inseparable from it, are the pure sense-conceptions *reine Anshauungsformen+, such as space and time, while the many experiences, in order to succeed in forming understanding and science, must be connected by the pure mindconceptions *reine Verstandesbegriffe+, the so-called categories, among the latter also belongs causality. 'ow 8ant explains the necessity and general applicability of the pure sense and mind conceptions by the fact that they arise from the organi%ation of our mind. 1ccordingly, the world appears to the senses as a succession of phenomena in time and space. #ur reason transforms these phenomena into things which are welded into one aggregate nature by laws of cause and effect. #n the things as they really are in themselves, in the opinion of 8ant, these pure conceptions cannot be applied. .e know nothing of them and can neither perceive nor reconstruct them by reason, because &in themselves) they are wholly beyond reason and knowledge. The result of this investigation, which was the first valuable contribution to a scientific theory of understanding and forms, from our standpoint, the most important part of 8ant6s philosophy, served him mainly as a means of answering the following 2uestions4 .hat is the value of knowledge which exceeds 9

experience: $an we, by mere deduction through concepts which go beyond experience, arrive at truths: 5is answer was4 'o, and it was a crushing blow to rationalism. .e cannot exceed the boundaries of experience. By experience alone can we arrive at science. 1ll supposed knowledge about the unlimited and infinite, about concepts of pure reason, called Ideas by 8ant *as the soul, the world, and God+ is nothing but illusions. The contradictions in which the human mind becomes involved whenever it applies the categories outside of experience to such sub ects, are manifested in the fruitless strife between the philosophical systems. !etaphysics as a science is impossible. This did not give the deathblow to rationalism alone, but also to bourgeois materialism which reigned among the 3rench radical thinkers. 8ant6s researches refuted the negative as well as the positive assertions anent the supernatural and infinite. This cleared the field for faith, for intuitive conviction. God, freedom and immortality are concepts the truth of which cannot be proved by reason, like the natural truths derived from experience. But nevertheless their reality is no less certain, only it is of a different nature, being sub ective and, therefore, necessarily a matter of personal conviction. The freedom of the will, for instance, is not a knowledge gained by experience, because experience never teaches us anything but lack of freedom and dependence on the laws of nature. But nevertheless freedom of will is a necessary conviction of every one who feels it in the categorical imperative4 Thou shalt; of every one possessed by a sense of duty and of the knowledge that he can act accordingly, therefore freedom of will is unconditionally certain and re2uires no proof of experience. 1nd from this premise there follows in same way the assurance of the immortality of the soul and of the existence of God. It gives the same kind of uncertainty by the criti2ue of pure reason. 1t the same time freedom of will determines the form of the theory of understanding. In the entire world of phenomena there was no room for freedom, for these phenomena follow strict rules of causality, as demanded by the organi%ation of our mind. Therefore it was necessary to make room for freedom of will somewhere else, and so &things in themselves,) hitherto a phrase without value and meaning, assumed a higher importance. They were not bound to space, time or categories, they were free, they formed so to say a second world, the world of noumena, which stood behind the world of phenomena and which solved the contradiction between the lawful dependence of things in nature and between the personal conviction of freedom of will. These opinions and reasonings were fully in accord with the conditions of science and the economic development of 8ant6s time. The field of nature was left entirely to the inductive method of science which based itself on strictly materialist experience and observation, classifying things systematically in their causal order and excluding all supernatural interference. But while faith was banished from the natural sciences forever, it could not be dispensed with. The ignorance as to the origin of the human will left room for a supernatural ethic. The attempts of the materialists to exclude the supernatural also from this field failed. The time had not come as yet for a materialist and natural ethics, for science was not yet able to demonstrate as an indisputable truth, founded on experience, in what manner ethical codes and moral ideas in general had a material origin. This state of things shows that the 8antian philosophy is the purest expression of bourgeois thought, and this is still more emphasi%ed by the fact that freedom is the center of his system and controls it. <ising capitalism re2uired freedom for the producers of commodities in order to expand its productive forces, it re2uired freedom of competition and freedom of unlimited exploitation. The producers of commodities should be free from all fetters and restrictions, and unhampered by any coercion, in order that they could go, under the sole direction of their own intelligence, into free competition with their fellow citi%ens. 3or this reason, freedom became the slogan of the young bourgeoisie aspiring to political power, and 8ant6s doctrine of the free will, the basis of his ethics, was the echo of the approaching 3rench <evolution. But freedom was not absolute, it was to be dependent on the moral law. It was not to be used in the 2uest for happiness, but in accord with the moral law, in the service of duty. If the bourgeois society was to exist, the private interest of the individual must not be paramount, the welfare of the entire class had to be superior to that of the individual, and the commandments of this class had to be recogni%ed as moral laws taking precedence over the 2uest for happiness. But for this very reason, these moral laws could never be fully obeyed, and every one found himself compelled to violate them in his own interest. 5ence the moral law existed only as a code which could never be fulfilled. 1nd so it stood outside of experience.

In 8ant6s ethics the internal antagonism of bourgeois society is reflected, that antagonism which is the compelling force of the ever increasing economic development. The foundation of this antagonism is the antagonism, already mentioned, between the individual and social character of production that gives rise to omnipotent, but unconceived social forces ruling the destiny of man. In capitalistic production it is still intensified by the antithesis of the wealthy ruling class and the poor producing class that is continuously augmented by those who are expropriated by competition. This antagonism gave rise to the contradiction between the aims of men and the results achieved, between the desire of happiness and the misery of the great mass. It is the basis of the contradiction between virtue and vice, between freedom and independence, between faith and science, between phenomenon and &thing itself.) It is at the bottom of all contradictions and of the entire pronounced dualism of the 8antian philosophy. These contradictions are to blame for the downfall of the system, and the work of disintegration was unavoidable from the moment that the contradictions of the bourgeois production became apparent, that is to say immediately after the political victory of the bourgeoisie. The system of 8ant could, however, not be overcome, unless the material origin of morality could be uncovered. Then these contradictions could be understood and solved by showing that they were relative and not absolute as they appeared. 1nd not until then could a materialist ethics, a science of morality, drive faith from its last retreat. This was at last accomplished by the discovery of social class struggles and of the nature of capitalist production, by the pioneer work of 8arl !arx. The practice of developed capitalism about the middle of the 0>th century directly challenged proletarian thinkers to criticise 8ant6s doctrine of practical reason. Bourgeois ethics and freedom manifested themselves in the form of freedom of exploitation in the interest of the bourgeoisie, as slavery for the working class. The maintenance of human dignity appeared in reality as the brutali%ation and degradation of the proletarians, and the state founded on ustice proved to be nothing but the class state of the bourgeoisie. 1nd so it was seen that 8ant6s sublime ethics, instead of being the basis in all eternity of human activity in general, was merely the expression of the narrow class interests of the bourgeoisie. This proletarian criticism was the first material for a general theory, and once it had been stated, its correctness was demonstrated more and more by the study of previous historical events, and these events were thereby shown in their proper light. It was then understood by this theory that the social classes, distinguished by their position in the process of production, had different and antagonistic economic interests, and that each class did necessarily regard its own interest as good and sacred. These general class interests were not recogni%ed in their true character but appeared to men in the guise of superior moral motives, in this form they crowded the special individual interests into the background, and since the class interests were generally felt, all the members of the same class recogni%ed them. !oreover, a ruling class could temporarily compel a defeated or suppressed class to recogni%e the class interests of the rulers as a moral law, so long as the inevitability of the mode of production in which that class ruled was acknowledged. #wing to the fact that the nature and significance of the productive process was not understood, the origin of human motives could not be discovered. They were not traced back to experience, but simply felt directly and intuitively. 1nd conse2uently they were thought to be of a supernatural origin and eternal duration. 'ot only the moral codes, but also other products of the human mind, such as religion, science, arts, philosophy, were then understood to be intimately connected with the actual material conditions of society. The human mind is influenced in all its products by the entire world outside of it. 1nd thus the mind is seen to be a part of nature, and the science of the mind becomes a natural science. The impressions of the outer world determine the experience of man, his wants determine his will, and his general wants his moral will. The world around him determines man6s wants and impressions, but these, on the other hand, determine his will and activity by which he changes the world, this will-directed activity appears in the process of social production. In this manner man by his work is a part, a link in the great chain of natural and social development. This conception overturns the foundations of philosophy. /ince the human mind is seen now to be a part of nature and interacts with the rest of the world according to laws which are more or less known, it is classed among 8ant6s phenomena. There is no longer any need of talking about noumena. Thus they do no longer exist for us. ?hilosophy then reduces itself to the theory of experience, to the science of the human mind. It is at this point that the beginning made by 8ant had to be farther developed. 8ant had always separated mind from nature very sharply. But the understanding that this separation should only be made temporarily for the purpose of better investigation, and that there is no absolute difference between matter and mind made it @

possible to advance the science of thought processes. 5owever, this could be accomplished only by a thinker who had fully digested the teachings of socialism. This problem was solved by Aoseph Biet%gen in his work on The Nature of Human Brain Work, the first edition of which appeared in 0CD>, and by this work he won for himself the name of philosopher of the proletariat. This problem could be solved only by the help of the dialectic method. Therefore, the idealist philosophical system from 8ant to 5egel which consist chiefly in the development of the dialectic method, must be regarded as the indispensable pioneers and precursors of Biet%gen6s proletarian philosophy. The philosophy of 8ant necessarily broke down on account of his dualism. It had shown that there is safety only in finite and material experience, and that the mind becomes involved in contradictions whenever it ventures beyond that line. The mind6s reason calls for absolute truth which cannot be gotten. 5ence the mind is groping in the dark, but it cannot show the way out. .hat is called with 8ant dialectics is in reality resignation. True, the mind finds knowledge about things outside of experience by some other way, vi%., by means of its moral consciousness, but this intuitive knowledge in the form of faith remains sharply separated from scientific understanding. It was the task of philosophical development immediately after 8ant, to do away with this sharp separation, this unreconciled contradiction. This development ended with 5egel, its result was the understanding that contradiction is the true nature of everything. But this contradiction cannot be left to stand undisturbed, it must be solved and still retained in a higher form, and thus be reconciled. Therefore the world of phenomena cannot be understood as being at rest. It can be understood only as a thing in motion, as activity, as a continuous change. 1ction is always the reconciliation of contradiction in some higher form, and contradiction appears in this way as the lever of progressive development. That which accomplishes this dialectic self-development does not appear in the idealistic systems as the material world itself, but as the spiritual, as the idea. In 5egel6s philosophy, this conception assumes the form of a comprehensive system outlining the self-development of the 1bsolute which is spiritual and is identical with God. The development of this 1bsolute takes place in three stages, in its primitive pure spiritual form it develops out of its undifferentiated being the conceptions of logic, then it expresses itself in another, an external form, opposite to self, as 'ature. In nature all forms develop by way of contradictions which are eliminated by the development of some higher form. 3inally the 1bsolute awakens to consciousness in nature in the form of the human mind and reaches thus its third stage, at which the opposite elements, matter and spirit, are reconciled into a unity. The human mind evolves in the same way to ever higher stages, until it arrives, at the end of its development by understanding itself, that is to say, by knowing intuitively the 1bsolute. This is what happens unconsciously in religion. <eligion, which in the form of faith must be satisfied with a modest corner in the system of 8ant, appears in the system of 5egel very proudly as a higher sort of understanding superior to all other knowledge, as an intuitive knowledge of absolute truth *God+. In philosophy this is done consciously. 1nd the historical development which finds its conclusion and climax in the 5egelian philosophy corresponds to the logical development of the human mind. Thus 5egel unites all sciences and all parts of the world into one masterly system in which the revolutionary dialectics, the theory of evolution, that considers all finite things as perishable and transitory, is given a conservative conclusion by putting an end to all further development when the absolute truth is reached. 1ll the knowledge of that period was assigned to its place somewhere in this system, on one of the steps of the dialectic development. !any of the conceptions of the natural sciences of that day, which later on were found to be erroneous, are there presented as necessary truths resting on deduction, not on experience. This could give the impression that the 5egelian philosophy made empirical research superfluous as a source of concrete truths. This appearance is to blame for the slight recognition of 5egel among naturalists, in natural sciences, this philosophy therefore has won much less importance than it deserved and than it might have won, if its actual significance, which consists in the harmonious connection between widely separated events and sciences, had been better understood under its deceptive guise. #n the abstract sciences the influence of 5egel was greater, and here he held an exceptionally prominent position in the scientific world of that time. #n one hand, his conception of history as a progressive evolution in which every imperfect previous condition is regarded as a necessary phase and preparation for subse2uent conditions and thus appears natural and reasonable, was a great gain for science. #n the other hand, his statements on the philosophy of law and religion met the re2uirements and conceptions of his time. In his philosophy of law, the human mind is taken in that stage in which it steps into reality, having as its principal characteristic a free will. It is first considered as a single individual which finds its freedom D

incorporated in its property. This personality enters into relations with others like it. Its freedom of will is thereby expressed in moral laws. By combining all individuals into one aggregate whole, their contradictory relations are merged into the social units, vi%., the family, the bourgeois society *brgerliche Gesellschaft+ and the state. There the moral rules are carried from the inner to the outer reality. 1s the expressions of a superior, common and more general will, they stand forth in the generally accepted moral codes, in the natural laws of bourgeois society and in the authoritative laws of the state. In the state, the highest form of which is the monarchy, the mind finds itself at its highest stage of ob ective reali%ation as the idea of the state. The reactionary character of 5egelian philosophy is not merely a superficial appearance that rests on the glorification of state and royalty, thanks to which this philosophy was raised to the position of ?russian state philosophy after the restoration. It was in its very essence a product of reaction which in those days represented the only possible advance after the revolution. This reaction was the first practical criti2ue of bourgeois society. 1fter this society had been firmly established, the relative amenities of the old time appeared in a better light, because the shortcomings of the new society made themselves soon felt. The bourgeoisie had recoiled before the conse2uences of its revolution, when it recogni%ed that the proletariat was its barrier. It arrested the revolution as soon as its bourgeois aims had been accomplished, and it was willing to acknowledge again the mastery of the feudal state and monarchy, provided they would protect it and serve its interests. The feudal powers that previously had been overcome by the weight of their own sins and by the unconditional superiority of the new social order, again lifted their heads when the new order in its turn gave cause for well founded criticisms. But they could not keep the revolution in check, unless they recogni%ed it in a limited degree. They could once more rule over the bourgeoisie, provided they compromised with it so far as it was inevitable. They could no longer prevail against capitalism, but they could govern for it. Thus, by their rule, the imperfectness of capitalism was revealed. The theory of restoration, therefore, had to consist first of all of a thorough criti2ue of the revolutionary bourgeois philosophy. But this philosophy could not be thrown aside entirely. /o far as a criti2ue of the old order was concerned, the truth of bourgeois philosophy had to be admitted. #n the other hand, the sharp distinction it made between the falsity of the old and the truth of the new order was found to be beside the mark. /o the correctness of the bourgeois philosophy itself proved to be relative and limited, like that of a herald of some higher truth which in turn would acknowledge that which was temporarily and partially true in its van2uished precursor. In this way the contradictions become moments in the evolution of absolute truth, in this way, furthermore, the dialectics became the main feature and method of post-8antian philosophy, and in this way, finally, the theorists of the reaction were the men who steered philosophy over new courses and who thereby became the harbingers of socialism. /cepticism and a criti2ue of all traditional things, yet a careful protection of endangered faith, had characteri%ed the tendencies of bourgeois thought during its revolutionary period. In the reactionary stage, the bourgeois implicitly accepted the belief in absolute truth and cultivated a self-righteous faith. The practice of !etternich and of the 5oly 1lliance corresponded to the theory of 5egelian philosophy. The practice of the ?russian police state, which embodied the shortcomings of capitalism without its advantages and thus represented a higher degree of reaction, destroyed the 5egelian philosophy, as soon as the practices of maturing capitalism began to rebel against the fetters by which reaction endeavoured to bind it. 3euerbach returned in his criti2ue of religion from the fantastical heights of abstraction to physical man. !arx demonstrated that the reality of bourgeois society expresses itself in its class antagonisms which herald its imperfectness and approaching downfall, and he discovered that the actual historical development rested on the development of the process of material production. The absolute spirit that was supposed to be embodied in the constitution of the despotic state before the !arch revolution now revealed itself as the narrow bourgeois spirit which regards bourgeois society as the final aim of all historical development. The 5egelian statement that all finite things carry within themselves the germ of their own dissolution came home to his own philosophy, as soon as its finiteness and limitations had been grasped. Its conservative form was abandoned, but its revolutionary content, the dialectics, was preserved. The 5egelian philosophy was finally superseded by dialectic materialism which declares that absolute truth is reali%ed only in the infinite progress of society and of scientific understanding.

This does not imply a wholesale re ection of 5egelian philosophy. It merely means that the relative validity of that philosophy has been recogni%ed. The vicissitudes of the absolute spirit in the course of its selfdevelopment are but a fantastical description of the process which the real human mind experiences in its ac2uaintance with the world and its active participation in life. Instead of the evolution of the absolute idea, the dialectics henceforth becomes the sole correct method of thought to be employed by the real human mind in the study of the actual world and for the purpose of understanding social development. The great and lasting importance of 5egel6s philosophy, even for our own time, is that it is an excellent theory of the human mind and its working methods, provided we strip off its transcendental character, and that it far excels the first laborious contributions of 8ant to the theory of human understanding. But this 2uality of the 5egelian philosophy could not be appreciated, until Biet%gen had created the basis for a dialectic and materialistic theory of understanding. The indispensable character of dialectic thought, which is illustrated by the monumental works of !arx and Engels, has been first demonstrated in a perfectly convincing manner by Biet%gen6s critical analysis of the human force of thinking. It was only by means of this method of thought ( of which he was according to Engels6 testimony an independent discoverer ( that he could succeed in completing the theory of understanding and bringing it to a close for the time being. If we refer to the ideas laid down by Biet%gen in this work as &his philosophy,) we say too much, because it does not assume to be a new system of philosophy. Fet, on the other hand, we should not say enough, because it would mean that his work is as passing as the systems before it. It is the merit of Biet%gen to have raised philosophy to the position of a natural science, the same as !arx did with history. The human faculty of thought is thereby stripped of its fantastic garb. It is regarded as a part of nature, and by means of experience a progressive understanding of its concrete and ever changing historical nature must be gained. Biet%gen6s work refers to itself as a finite and temporary reali%ation of this aim, ust as every new theory in natural science is a finite and temporary reali%ation of its aims. This reali%ation must be further improved and perfected by successive investigations. This is the method of natural science, philosophical systems, on the contrary, pretended to give absolute truth, that could not be improved upon. Biet%gen6s work is fundamentally different from these former philosophies, and more than they, because it wishes to be less. It presents itself as the positive outcome of philosophy toward which all great thinkers have contributed, seen by the sober eyes of a socialist and analy%ed, recounted and further developed by him. 1t the same time, it attributes to previous systems the same character of partial truths and shows that they were not entirely useless speculations, but ascending stages of understanding naturally related, which contain ever more truth and ever less error. 5egel had likewise entertained this broader view, but with him this development came to a self-contradictory end in his own system. Biet%gen also calls his own conception the highest then existing, and its distinctive step in the evolution is that it for the first time adopts and professes this natural and scientific view, instead of the supernatural point of view of the former systems. The new understanding that the human mind is a common and natural thing is a decisive step in the progressive investigation of the mind, and this step places Biet%gen at the head of this evolution. 1nd it is a step which cannot be retraced, because it signifies a sober awakening after centuries of vain imaginings. /ince this system does not pretend to be absolute truth, but rather a finite and temporal one, it cannot fall as its predecessors did. It represents a scientific continuation of former philosophies, ust as astronomy is the continuation of astrology and of the ?ythagorean fantasies, and chemistry the continuation of alchemy. It takes the place that formerly was held by its unscientific predecessors and has this in common with them, apart from its essential theory of understanding, that it is the basis of a new world-philosophy, of a methodical conception of the universe. This modern world-philosophy *Weltanschauung+, being a socialist or proletarian one, takes issue with the bourgeois conceptions, it was first conceived as a new view of the world, entirely opposite to the ruling bourgeois conceptions, by !arx and Engels, who developed its sociological and historical contents, its philosophical basis is here developed by Biet%gen, its real character is indicated by the terms dialectic and materialist. By its core, historical materialism, it gains a wholly new theory of social evolution that forms its chief content. This theory was for the first time sketched in its main outlines in the $ommunist !anifesto, and later on fully developed in a number of other works and thoroughly vindicated by innumerable facts. It gives us the scientific assurance that the misery and imperfectness of present society, which bourgeois philosophy regards as inevitable and natural, is but a transitory condition, and that man will within measurable time emancipate himself from the slavery of his material wants by the regulation of social production. By this certainty socialism is put on an eminence so far above all bourgeois conceptions that C

these appear barbarous in comparison with it. 1nd what is more significant, our world-philosophy may ustly claim to have for the first time thrown the light of an indisputable science on society and man, combined with the maturest products of natural sciences it forms a complete science of the world, making all superstitions superfluous, and thus involving the theoretical emancipation, that is to say the emancipation of the mind. The science treating of the human mind forms the essence and foundation of this theory of society and man, not only because it gives us the same as the natural sciences a scientific or experience-proven theory of the function of human thinking, but also, because this theory of cognition can alone assure us that such sciences are able to furnish us an ade2uate picture of the world, and that anything outside of them is mere fantasy. 3or this reason we owe to Biet%gen6s theory of cognition the firm foundation of our worldphilosophy. Its character is primarily materialistic. In contradistinction to the idealist systems of the most flourishing time of German philosophy which considered the !ind as the basis of all existence, it starts from concrete materialist being. 'ot that it regards mere physical matter as its basis, it is rather opposed to the crude bourgeois materialism, and matter to it means everything which exists and furnishes material for thought, including thoughts and imaginations. Its foundation is the unity of all concrete being. Thus it assigns to the human mind an e2ual place among the other parts of the universe, it shows that the mind is as closely connected with all the other parts of the universe as those parts are among themselves, that is to say, the mind exists only as a part if the entire universe so that its content is only the effect of the other parts. Thus our philosophy forms the theoretical basis of historical materialism. .hile the statement that &the consciousness of man is determined by his social life) could hitherto at best be regarded as a generali%ation of many historical facts and open to criticism, capable of improvement by later discoveries, the same as all other scientific theories, henceforth the complete dependence of the mind on the rest of the world becomes as impregnable and immutable a re2uirement of thought as causality. This signifies the thorough refutation of the belief in miracles. 1fter having been banished long ago from the field of natural science, miracles were now banished from the domain of thought. The enlightening effect of this proletarian philosophy consists furthermore in its opposition to all superstition and its demonstration of the senselessness of all idol worship. /ocialist understanding accomplished something which the bourgeois reformers could not do, because they were limited to natural science in a narrow sense and could not solve the mystery of the mind, for in explaining all the mental, spiritual phenomena as natural phenomena our proletarian philosophy furnishes the means of a trenchant criti2ue of $hristian faith which consists in the belief in a supernatural spiritual being. In his dialectic discussions of the mind and matter, finiteness and infinity, god and the world, Biet%gen has thoroughly clarified the confused mystery which surrounded these conceptions and has definitely refuted all transcendental beliefs. 1nd this criti2ue is no less destructive for the bourgeois idols4 3reedom, <ight, /pirit, 3orce, which are shown to be but fantastic images of abstract conceptions with a limited validity. This could be accomplished in no other way than by simultaneously determining, in its capacity as a theory of understanding, the relation of the world around us to the image which our mind forms of it. In this respect Biet%gen completed the work begun by 5ume and 8ant. 1s a theory of understanding, his conceptions are not only the philosophical basis of historical materialism, but also of all other sciences as well. The thorough criti2ue directed by Biet%gen against the works of prominent natural scientists, shows that he was well aware of the importance of his own work. But, as might be expected, the voice of a socialist artisan did not penetrate to the lecture hall of the academics. It was not until much later that similar views appeared among the natural scientists. 1nd now at last the most prominent theorists of natural science have adopted the view that explaining signifies nothing else but simply and completely describing the processes of nature. By this theory of understanding Biet%gen has made it plainly perceptible why the dialectic method is an indispensable auxiliary in the 2uest for an explanation of the nature of understanding. The mind is the faculty of generali%ation. It forms out of concrete realities, which are a continuous and unbounded stream in perpetual motion, abstract conceptions that are essentially rigid, bounded, stable, and unchangeable. This gives rise to the contradictions that our conceptions must always adapt themselves to new realities without ever fully succeeding, the contradiction that they represent the living by what is dead, the infinite by what is finite, and that they are themselves finite though partaking of the infinite. This contradiction is understood and reconciled by the insight into the nature of the faculty of understanding, which is simultaneously a >

faculty of combination and of distinction, which forms a limited part of the universe and yet encompasses everything, and it is furthermore solved by the resulting penetration of the nature of the world. The world is a unity of the infinitely numerous multitude of phenomena and comprises within itself all contradictions, makes them relative and e2uali%es them. .ithin its circle there are no absolute opposites. The mind merely constructs them, because it has not only the faculty of generali%ation but also of distinguishing. The practical solution of all contradictions is the revolutionary practice of infinitely progressing science which moulds old conceptions into new ones, re ects some, substitutes others in their place, improves, connects and dissects, still striving for an always greater unity and an always wider differentiation. By means of this theory of understanding, dialectic materialism also furnishes the means for the solution of the riddles of the world *Weltrtsel+. 'ot that it solves all these riddles, on the contrary, it says explicitly that this solution can be but the work of an ever advancing scientific research. But it solves them in so far as it deprives them of the character of a mysterious enigma and transforms them into a practical problem, the solution of which we are approaching by infinite progression. Bourgeois thought cannot solve the riddles of the world. 1 few years after the first publication of Biet%gen6s work, natural science in the person of Bu Bois-<eymond acknowledged its incapacity in his &Ignorabimus)4 &.e shall never know.) ?roletarian philosophy, in solving the riddle of the human mind, gives us the assurance that there are no insoluble riddles before us. In conclusion, Biet%gen in this work indicates the principles of a new ethics. /tarting with the understanding that the origin of the ideas of good and bad is found in the needs of man, and designating as really moral that which is generally useful, he logically discovers that the essence of modern morality rests in its class interests. 1t the same time, a relative ustification is accorded to these temporary ethics, since they are the necessary products of definite social re2uirements. The link between man and nature is formed by the process of social production carried on for the satisfaction of man6s material wants. /o long as this link was a fetter, it bound man by a misapprehended supernatural ethics. But once the process of social labor is understood, regulated and controlled, then this fetter is dropped and the place of ethics is taken by a reasonable understanding of the general wants. The philosophical works of Biet%gen do not seem to have, until now, exerted any perceptible influence on the socialist movement. .hile they may have found a silent admirer and contributed much toward a clearing up of their thoughts, yet the importance of his writings for the theory of our movement has not been reali%ed. But this is not a matter for great surprise. In the first decade after their publication, even the economic works of !arx, the value of which was much more apparent, were little appreciated. The movement developed spontaneously, and the !arxian theory could exert a useful and determining influence only by means of the clear foresight of a few leaders. 5ence it is no wonder that that the philosophy of the proletariat, which is less easily and directly applicable than our economics, did not receive much attention. The political maturity of the German working class, which was farthest advanced in the theories of the international movement, did not develop to the point of adopting !arxian theses as party principles, until after the abolition of the antisocialist laws. But even then they were for most of the spokesmen of the party rather concise formulations of a few practical convictions than the outcome of a thorough scientific training and understanding. It was no doubt the great expansion of the party and of its activity which demanded all their powers for its organi%ation and management, that led the younger intellectuals of the party to devote themselves to practical work and to neglect theoretical studies. This neglect has bitterly avenged itself in the theoretical schisms of the subse2uent years. The decrepit condition of capitalism is now evidenced very plainly by the decay of the bourgeois parties, so that the practical work of the socialist party is in itself sufficient to attract every one who has an independent turn of mind and a capacity for deep feeling. But under the present circumstances, such a transition was not accomplished by a proletarian world-philosophy ac2uired by painstaking study. Instead of such a philosophy, we are confronted by a criti2ue of socialist science from the bourgeois standpoint. !arxism is measured by the standard of the immature bourgeois theory of understanding, and the 'eokantians, unconscious of the positive outcome of philosophy of the past century, are trying to connect socialism with 8antian ethics. /ome even speak of a reconciliation with $hristianity and a renunciation of materialism.


This bourgeois method of thought, which, being anti-dialectic and anti-materialistic, is opposed to !arxism, has ac2uired some practical importance in the socialistic movement of countries where by lack of economical development the class-consciousness of the workers is hindered by relics of the narrow-minded views of the class of little producers ( as in 3rance and Italy under the name of reformism. In Germany where it could not obtain much practical importance it presented itself mostly as a theoretical struggle against !arxism under the name of revisionism. It combines bourgeois philosophy and anti-capitalist disposition and takes the place formerly occupied by anarchism, and, like anarchism, it again represents in many respects the little bourgeois tendencies in the fight against capitalism. "nder these circumstances, a closer study of Biet%gen6s philosophical works becomes a necessity. !arx has disclosed the nature of the social process of production, and its fundamental significance as a lever of social development. But he has not fully explained, by what means the nature of the human mind is involved in this material process. #wing to the great traditional influence exerted by bourgeois thought, this weak spot in !arxism is one of the main reasons for the incomplete and erroneous understanding of !arxian theories. This shortcoming of !arxism is cured by Biet%gen, who made the nature of the mind the special ob ect of his investigations. 3or this reason, a thorough study of Biet%gen6s philosophical writings is an important and indispensable auxiliary for the understanding of the fundamental works of !arx and Engels. Biet%gen6s work demonstrates that the proletariat has a mighty weapon not only in proletarian economics, but also in proletarian philosophy. Het us learn to wield these weapons; 1nton ?annekoek Heyden, 5olland, Becember, 0>G7. Anton Pannekoek 1907

Socialism and Religion

If we try to find a key for the mutual relation of socialism and religion in the practical attitude of socialist speakers and writers and religious spokesmen, we are easily led to believe, that the greatest misunderstanding, confusion, and internal contradictions reign in this regard. #n one side we see that numerous laborers, when oining the ranks of the socialists, also throw their theological faith overboard and often combat religion fiercely, moreover, the teachings, which form the basis and strength of present-day socialism, and which together form a entirely new world conception, stand irreconcilably opposed to religious faith. #n the other hand, we see faithful adherents of $hristianity, even priests, demanding socialism precisely on account of their $hristian teachings and gathering under the banner of the labor movement. 1nd all agitators, and, what is still more significant, all programs of international socialist parties, unanimously declare religion to be a private affair of individuals, in which others have no business to interfere. 'evertheless most priests and official representatives of religion combat the social democracy very %ealously. They contend, that this movement aims merely to exterminate faith, and they harp unctuously upon all statements of our great champions !arx, Engels, Biet%gen, in which they make critical remarks about religion and defend their own materialism as a scientific doctrine. This, again, is opposed by comrades in our own ranks, who, relying upon the declaration of neutrality toward religion in our party program, would prefer to forbid the spreading of such statements, which hurt the feelings of religious people. They say that the goal of our socialist movement is purely economic. In that respect they are right, and we shall not fail to repeat this again and again in refutation of the lies of the preachers. .e do not wish to inoculate people with a new faith, or an atheism, but we rather wish to bring about an economic transformation of society. .e desire to displace capitalist production by a socialist one. 1ny one may reali%e the practicability of such a collective production and its advantages over capitalist exploitation, for reasons which have nothing at all to do with religion. To this end we want to secure the political power for the working class, since it is indispensable as a means to this end. The necessity, or at least the desirability, of this transfer of the political power can be understood by any laborer from his political experience, without any further ceremony, regardless of whether he is in matters of faith a ?rotestant, a $atholic, a Aew, or a 3reethinker 00

without any religion. #ur propaganda, then, is to be exclusively devoted to the work of elucidating the economic advantages of socialism, and everything is to be eschewed, which might run counter to the pre udice of religious minds. Evident as this conception may be, at least in its first part, yet it has its drawback, and there will be few, who will agree with the ultimate conclusion. If it were correct, and if it were our aim to preach the beauties of socialism to all people, then we should naturally have to address ourselves to all classes of society, and first of all to the most educated. But the history of socialism has thoroughly disavowed the utopian sentimentalists who wanted to do this. It was found, that the possessing classes did not care about these advantages, and that the working class became more and more accessible to this understanding. This in itself indicates that something more has to be considered than merely to prove to people the practicability of an economic transformation of society. This transformation, and its instrument, the con2uest of political power by the working class, can only be the outcome of a great class-struggle. But in order to carry this classstruggle successfully to its conclusion, it is necessary to organi%e the whole working class, to awaken its political intelligence, to endow it with a thorough understanding of the internal forces which move the world. It is furthermore necessary to be familiar with the strength and weakness of the opponents of the working class, in order to make the best use of them, and in order to be able to meet all influences energetically, which might weaken the internal and external strength of the organi%ed army of workers. #nly a clear grasp of all political and social phenomena can preserve the present leaders and members of the socialist movement from missteps and mistakes, which might seriously in ure the propaganda among the still unenlightened masses. #nly profound knowledge will enable them to wrest ever new concessions from their enemies by their tactics and to benefit the working class. If it is a fact, that the greatest amount of knowledge and understanding is re2uired in our ranks for the purpose of waging our fight well, and if the materialistic writings of our master minds tend to increase this intelligence, then it would involve great disadvantages to try to conceal and suppress these writings and conceptions for no other reason than that of avoiding a clash with the pre udices of people of limited knowledge. #ur theory, the socialist science founded by !arx and Engels, was the first to give us clear glimpses of the different social interrelations, which influence our movement. It will, therefore, be necessary for us, to turn to this science for a satisfactory answer to the 2uestion of the relation between socialism and religion.

If we wish to decide upon our attitude towards religion, it will first be necessary for our science to enlighten us concerning the origin, the nature and the future of religion, and this enlightenment, like every science, must be based upon experience and facts. 'ow we find in all countries with a strongly developed socialist movement, that the mass of class-conscious workers are without religion, that is, they do not believe in any religious doctrines and do not adhere to any of them. This seems at first sight all the more peculiar, as this mass has generally received but little schooling. #n the other hand, the &educated) classes, that is, the bourgeoisie, return more and more to faith, although there was at one time a strong anti-religious movement among them. It seems, then, that belief or unbelief are not primarily a result of culture, of a certain degree of knowledge and enlightenment. The socialist workers are the first among whom irreligion appears as a social mass phenomenon. There must be some definite cause for this, and if this does not prove to be merely a transient fact, it must necessarily result in a greater and greater restriction of the field of religion by socialism. 'ow the partisans of religion contend that this is not the case, for religion, according to them, is something more and higher than a mere theological faith. The devotion to an ideal, the willingness to make sacrifices for a great cause, the faith in the final victory of the Good I all this is said to be also religion. In this sense the socialist movement must even be called deeply religious. #f course, we are not going to split hairs about words. .e will merely say, therefore, that this meaning of the term religion is not the customary one. .e know very well that the socialist working people are filled with a great and high idealism, but with them this 07

is not allied to a belief in any supernatural power, which is supposed to rule the world and guide the fates of men. .e use the term religion only in this last meaning, that is, as a belief in a god. 'ow let us ask ourselves whence this faith comes, and what it signifies. It is obvious, that the faith in a supernatural power, which rules men and the world, can exist only to the extent that the actual forces controlling the processes in nature and in the human world are unknown. 1 8affir, who serves as porter in a /outh 1frican railway station and who suddenly hears the !orse apparatus starting to give signals, believes that a god is concealed in it. 5e bows deeply before the apparatus and says reverently4 &I will at once inform the boss) *the telegraph operator+. This conception of the untutored man is 2uite intelligible, and so is the fact that the primitive people believed the nature around them to be filled with all sorts of mysterious spirits. In their economy they depend wholly upon nature. !any natural forces and unknown powers threaten their lives and their work, while others are favorable, useful, benefiting to them. They have no means of knowing and controlling those powers. These appear to them as supernatural, manlike, forces with independent wills, and they seek to influence them with the means of their limited mental hori%on, with prayers, sacrifices, or, perhaps, threats. The little general knowledge re2uired for their economy is intimately connected with their religious conceptions. The priests owe their great influence precisely to the fact, that they are the mental directors of production. Aust as in their conception of the forces of nature elementary and crude empirical knowledge is mixed with fantastic superstition, so their religious ceremonies form a mixture of actions necessary in production and of actions wholly superstitious and useless. $ivili%ed people are no longer influenced so overwhelmingly by the forces of nature. 1lthough it would not do to say, that they are scientifically understood in the beginning of civili%ation, yet men are more out of reach of their direct influence. Their methods of production and of labor have become so developed, that men feel more independent of natural events and are not so helpless against them as savages. .hen we come to a later stage of civili%ation, to the age of capitalism, then we meet with a rapidly developing natural science, which investigates the forces and effects of nature systematically and uncovers their secrets. By the application of this science in techni2ue, the forces of nature are even made sub ect to the production of the necessities of life. 3or the modern civili%ed man, then, nature holds no more mysterious powers, which might induce him to believe in supernatural forces. These spirits of the past are tamed and pressed into his service as ordinary forces of nature, whose laws and processes are known to him. 'evertheless we find that the class, in which this culture and this supremacy over nature are incarnated, has remained, or has again become, religious for the greater part, with the exception of a strong temporary current, of bourgeois materialism in the nineteenth century. .hy is that so: .hat reason have they for assuming the existence of a supernatural ruler of the fates of mankind: In other words, what forces are there that still strongly affect the existence of the bourgeoisie, and that are still unknown in their origin and nature and therefore may still be regarded by them as mysterious and natural forces: These forces are derived from the social order. The adage says, indeed, that every one is the captain of his own soul, but in practice most of the capitalists find out that this is not true. 1s an independent producer, the capitalist may do his best, he may attend conscientiously and thriftily to his business, he may exploit his employees thoroughly without any sentimentality, he may keep his own expenditures within a decent limit, and nevertheless prices may fall, until he has to sell almost without any profit, or even at a loss, and in spite of his efforts the evil monster of failure creeps upon him. #r, his business may be doing well, and he may be accumulating money at a fine rate, when all of a sudden a crisis overtakes him and swallows his whole business. 5ow does this happen: 5e does not know. 5e lacks the knowledge of political economy, which might enlighten him about the fact, that capitalism necessarily must produce such great social forces, which may lift the individual to high prosperity, if he is lucky, but which may also destroy him. The origin of these forces is to be sought in the fact that production is indeed social, but only in the form and appearance of production depending on private enterprise and control. The individual fancies that he is working independently, but he must exchange his products with others, and the conditions of exchange, the prices, and the possibility of exchanging at all, are decided by the totality of social conditions. ?roduction is not consciously regulated by society. Its social character stands above the will of mankind, the same as the forces of nature, and for this reason social laws face the individual with the inevitability and cruel inexorableness of natural forces. The laws of this artificial nature, of this process of production, are unknown to him and for this reason he stands before them ust as the savage stands before 09

the laws of nature. They bring destruction and misery in many forms, occasionally also fortune. They rule his fate capriciously, but he does not know and understand them. The socialist proletariat stands before these forces with a different attitude. It is precisely its oppressed condition which deprives it of all interest in the preservation of capitalism and in the concealment of the truth about this system. Thus the proletarian is enabled to study capitalism well, he is compelled to make himself thoroughly familiar with his enemy. This is the reason why the scientific analysis of capitalism given in Capital, which is the life6s work of 8arl !arx, met reluctance and little understanding on the side of the bourgeois scientists, but was hailed with enthusiastic appreciation by the proletariat. The proletarians find in this work a revelation of the causes of their poverty. By its teaching they are enabled to understand the whole history of the capitalist mode of production. They become aware of the reasons, why it must inevitably be the date of innumerable small bourgeois to fail, why hunger, war, and the suffering incidental to crises must necessarily follow from this production. But they also see, in what manner capitalism must ruin itself by its own laws. The working class understand, why by their insight and knowledge, they will be enabled to displace capitalism by a consciously regulated social production, in which no mysterious forces can any longer bring destruction to mankind. The socialist portion of the working class, then, stands before the social forces ust as intelligently and understandingly as the educated bourgeois stands before the forces of nature. 5ere, then, lies the cause of the irreligion of the modern class-conscious socialist proletariat. It is not the product of any intentional anti-religious propaganda. 'or is it the demand of any program. It comes rather gradually as a conse2uence of the deeper social insight, which the working people ac2uire by instruction on the field of political economy. The proletarian is not divorced from his faith by any materialist doctrines, but by teaching which enables him to see clearly and rationally through the conditions of society, and to the extent that he grasps the fact that social forces are natural effects of known causes, the old faith in miracles dies out in him.

In order to understand the nature of religion thoroughly I and only a thorough understanding will enable us to grasp its effects in present society I we must come to a clear conception of the nature of spiritual things in general. It is in this respect that the philosophical writings of Aosef Biet%gen are so valuable, because they give us clearness about the nature of the mind, of human thoughts, theories, doctrines, about ideas in general. #nly in this way do we fully reali%e our role in social life and in the present struggle. .hatever is in the mind, is a reflection of the world outside of us. It has arisen out of this world. #ur conception of things true and real is derived from our experience in the word, our conception of things good and holy from our needs. But these mental reflections are not mere mirrored pictures, which reproduce the ob ect exactly as it is, while the mind plays a purely passive role. 'o, the mind transforms everything, which it assimilates. #ut of the impressions and feelings, by which the material world exerts an influence upon it, it makes mental conceptions and assumptions. Biet%gen has explained, that the difference between world and mind, original and copy, is this, that the infinitely varied, concrete, ever changing flow of phenomena, of which reality consists, is turned by the mind into abstract, fixed, unchangeable, rigid conceptions. In these conceptions the general, lasting, important, salient facts are detached from the multicolored picture of phenomena and designated as the nature of things. In the same way we spirituali%e among the many things and institutions necessary for our welfare those by terms good, moral, holy, which are essential for satisfaction of our lasting, vital and general re2uirements. It is inherent in this nature of mental concepts and assumptions, that although they are derived from reality, yet they cannot immediately follow reality in its ceaseless alterations. .hen a thing has once been gathered from experience as a mental copy, it becomes fixed in the mind and remains there enthroned as a recogni%ed truth, while new experiences are crowding upon the mind, to which this truth can no longer be reconciled. 1t first this truth resists, but gradually it has to submit to modification, until finally, when the new facts have been accumulated in crushing masses, it is overthrown, or thoroughly understood and altered. This is the history of all scientific theories. The place of the old is taken by a new theory, which then gives to the entire store of material facts an abstract and systematic summarisation. 0=

.e are not so much interested here in the scientific theories, as in the general conceptions concerning the nature of the world and the position of man in it, which are incorporated in the philosophies and religions. These are not theories abstracted from the experiences and special observations of learned explorers. The facts on which they are built up are rather the experiences and feelings of whole nations or popular classes. They form their general ideas and conceptions out of their experience concerning their own position in nature and in social environments, particularly concerning the re2uirements of their life. .herever powerful unknown forces press upon them I as we have indicated before I their conception of the world is dominated by supernatural forces, and other conceptions are oined to this fundamental thought. This was the case, until now, in almost the whole of history, with only a few exceptions. In the religious doctrines, then, we find the general primitive conceptions concerning the nature of the world and of the relations of man to those unknown forces expressed in mystified forms. Everything re2uired for the maintenance or the interests of this class of people then assumes the form of a divine law. .hen all hope of improvement by selfassertion is gone, as it was among the ruined <oman proletarians of the first centuries of $hristianity, then meek suffering without resistance and inert waiting for supernatural salvation become the highest virtue. But when an energetic preparation for war is re2uired to keep hold of a con2uered country and is accomplished by success, as it was among the Aews of the #ld Testament, then Aehovah helps his chosen people and those obey his laws who fight bravely. Buring the great class struggle in Europe, called the <eformation, every one of the classes engaged in the fight regarded as God6s will whatever agreed with its class interests, for each could conceive only of those things as being absolutely good and necessary which were vital for the existence of his class. 3or the followers of Huther, who loved to serve a prince, God6s law, or God6s truth, demanded obedience to authority, for the free bourgeoisie of the towns it demanded $alvinist e2uality of individuals and selection by grace, for the rebellious peasants and proletarians it demanded the communist e2uality of all mankind. The struggling religions of that period may be compared in a general way with the political parties of the present day. The members of the same class assembled in them, and in their congresses *councils+ they formed in the shape of confessions of faith *we would say programs nowadays+ their general conceptions of what they thought to be true, good, and necessary, and what was conse2uently God6s truth and God6s will. In those days religion was something living, deeply and intimately connected with the whole life, and for this reason it happened continually that people changed their religion. .hen a change of religion is considered merely as a sort of violation of conventionality, as it is in our day, it is an indication, that religion remains untouched by the great social movement of modern times, by the struggles which stimulate men, and becomes a mere dead husk. .ith the development of society new classes and new class antagonisms have arisen. .ithin the previously existing communities of the faithful different classes, and antagonisms resulting from them, have grown up. 3rom the same stratum of small bourgeois, there have arisen great capitalists and proletarians. The confession of faith, which was formerly an expression of a living social conviction in a theological garb, becomes a rigid formula. The community of faithful, formerly a community of interests, becomes a fossili%ed thing. The mental conceptions persist by tradition as abstract theological forms, so long as they are not shaken by the strong gale of a new class struggle. .hen this new class struggle comes, it finds the old traditional antagonisms in its way, and then the fight between the traditional faith and the new reality begins. The present actual class interests are identical for the working people of different religious confessions, while a deep class antagonism exists between laborers and capitalists of the same religious denomination. But the new reality re2uires time to overcome the old traditions. 3rom a time, in which a religious community represented a living community of interests, the association of members of the same faith has been transmitted as a tradition, and a sacred tradition of that. Because this association is the mental image of a former reality, it persists as a spiritual fact and attempts to maintain itself against the onrush of the new facts, which influence the mind of the laborer by his own experience and by socialist propaganda. In the end the old group of conceptions and interests, which has become a dead husk, must yield to the new group based on present class interests. <eligion is, therefore, only temporarily an obstacle for the advance of socialism. By virtue of the sacredness attached to its doctrines and commands it can maintain itself longer and more tenaciously than other bourgeois conceptions, and this tenaciousness has sometimes created the impression that the faithfulness of the religious laborers would be a bar to practical and a refutation of theoretical socialism. But in the long run even this ideology succumbs to the power of reality, as the $atholic laborers in Germany have proved. 0@

The socialist teachings have inoculated the laboring class with an entirely new conception of the world. The reali%ation, that society is in a process of continual transformation, and that misery, poverty, exploitation, and all the suffering of the present are only temporary and will soon yield to an order of society, to be inaugurated by his class, in which peace, abundance, and fraternity shall reign, this reali%ation must revolutioni%e the whole world conception of the laborer from the ground up. The theory of socialism furnishes the scientific foundation for this world conception. ?olitical economy teaches us to understand the internal laws, which move the capitalist process, while historical materialism lays bare the effects of the economic revolution upon the conceptions and actions of people. 1nd this stands irreconcilably opposed, as a materialistic doctrine, to religion. The socialist laborer who has recogni%ed his class interests and has thereby been inspired with enthusiasm for the great aim of his class struggle, will then naturally desire to get a clear understanding of the scientific foundations of his practical actions. To this end he is ac2uainted with the materialistic doctrines of socialism. But it is not merely on account of the satisfaction derived from a thorough understanding, that is necessary for the socialist parties to promote a thorough understanding of these teachings among their members. It is necessary rather because such an understanding is indispensable for a vigorous pushing of our fight. The actual state of affairs, then, is ust the opposite of what the theologians believe and proclaim. #ur materialistic doctrines do not serve to deprive the laborers of their religion. They approach our doctrines only after their religion is already gone, and they come to us for a more profound and uniform substantiation of their views. <eligion does not flee, because we propagate the doctrines of materialism, but because it is undermined by the simple new gleanings on the field of economics, gathered by a careful observation of the present world. In declaring that religion is a private matter, we do not mean to say that it is immaterial to us, what general conceptions our members hold. .e prefer a thorough scientific understanding to an unscientific religious faith. But we are convinced, that the new conditions will of themselves alter the religious conceptions, and that religious or anti-religious propaganda is unable to accomplish or prevent this. 5ere lies the crux of the difference between our conception and all former ones, between the present proletarian movement and former class movements. #ur materialistic theory has uncovered for us the actual foundations of former historical struggles. It has demonstrated, that it was always a 2uestion of classstruggles and class interests whose goal was the transformation of economic conditions. !en were not clearly aware of the material reasons for their struggles. Their conceptions and aims were disguised by a mystic cover of eternal truths and holy infinite aims. Their struggles were therefore carried on as struggles between ideas, as struggles for divine truth in fulfilment of God6s will. The struggles assumed the shape of religious wars. Hater, when religion no longer occupied first place, when the bourgeoisie, fancying that they could grasp the whole world by reason, fought against the representatives of the church and nobility, then this bourgeoisie imagined that they were waging a fight for the ultimate rational, for eternal ustice based upon reason. 1t that period the bourgeoisie championed materialism. But as yet they understood but little of the real nature of the struggle, and carried it on in that uristic mystification, here and there as a struggle against religion. They did not see, that this fight was nothing but a class struggle of the bourgeoisie against the feudal classes, and had for its aim only the installation of the capitalist mode of production. In this respect our class struggle is different from all previous ones, for by virtue of our materialist science we recogni%e it to be exactly what it is, namely, a struggle for the economic transformation of society. 1lthough we feel the high importance of this struggle, and often express it in our writings, that it shall bring freedom and brotherhood to mankind, reali%e the $hristian ideals of human love, and emancipate human thought from the oppression of superstition, nevertheless we do not represent this struggle as an ethical one for a moral ideal, as a uristic one for absolute liberty and ustice, or as a spiritual one against superstition. 3or we know, that it is waged in reality for the revolution of the mode of production, for the re2uirements of production, and all other things are but results flowing from this basis.


This clear grasp of the real nature of our struggle is expressed in the declaration that religion is a private matter. There is no contradiction between our materialist doctrine and this practical demand. They do no represent two antagonistic points of view, which must be reconciled, in the way that &considerations of practicability) must be reconciled with &soundness of theoretical principle.) 'o, ust as our so-called considerations of practicability are everywhere results of a clearly understood theory, so it is here, as the above statements show. The declaration that religion is a private matter is therefore an expression of the clearly scientific nature and aim of our struggle, a necessary conse2uence of our materialist theory of history, and only our materialism is able to give a scientific vindication of this demand. Anton Pannekoek 1908

The Labor Movement and Socialism

The relation of labor unions to the /ocialist movement is in many countries the sub ect of sharp differences of opinion, even of bitter strife. The situation is by no means everywhere the same. In England, for example, after the break-up of the $hartist political movement in 0C=C the union movement increased greatly and became a mighty organi%ation of the workingmen. But this great body of workers remained indifferent to /ocialism, or even inimical to it, and the /ocialist party remained a small sect. In 1merica the labor movement developed according to the English pattern. In Germany and Belgium, on the contrary, the situation is exactly reversed. There the /ocialist party grew mightily in the first place, then the workers, who had learned how to conduct the fight on the political field, began to struggle for better conditions against individual employers. #n this account the unions remained in these countries closely connected with the /ocialist party, in Belgium, in fact, they are an organic part of the /ocialist movement. 5ere they are, however, comparatively weak, and it is to be expected that as they increase in strength they will make themselves more independent. This division is imposed by the different ob ects of the political and labor union struggles. The /ocialist party holds to a great and far-reaching purpose, a purpose not immediately understood by everyone, a purpose which, in fact, is often misunderstood and therefore has to meet opposition, pre udice and hatred which can be overcome only through extended educational propaganda. The ob ective of the unions, on the other hand, is an immediate one, the securing of higher wages and shorter hours. This is instantly intelligible to everyone, does not demand deep convictions, but appeals rather to immediate interest. #n this account 2uite undeveloped workers must not be hindered from oining the unions because of their pre udice against a world-overturning force like /ocialism. 1s soon as the unions attempt to take in the great mass of the workers they must be absolutely independent. #f course a friendly relation to the /ocialist party can still be maintained. This is the situation in Germany. The unions are independent organi%ations, they are &neutral,) i. e., they ask no 2uestions as to the religious or political opinions of their members. They remain, however, constantly in friendly touch with the /ocialist party, even if now and then a little friction does occur. &?arty and union are one,) is the oft 2uoted expression of a prominent union leader, this is taken for granted because of the fact that the party members and the great body of union adherents are the same persons, the same workingmen. The need of having unions to improve the immediate situation of the workers and the advantages which grow out of these need not be examined. But the goal of the working class is the complete extermination of capitalism. 5ave the unions any part in this struggle for the complete liberation of the proletariat: Before this 2uestion can be answered we must make a closer investigation into the general conditions of the struggle for the freedom of the workers. .hy does the great body of workingmen still permit itself to be ruled and exploited by the capitalists: .hy are they not in a position to drive the minority of exploiters from power: Because they are an unorganised, undisciplined, individualistic and ignorant mass. The ma ority is impotent because it consists of a divided crowd of individuals each one of whom wishes to act according to his own impulse, regard his own interests, 0E

and in addition has no understanding of our social system. It lacks organi%ation and knowledge. The minority, the ruling class, on the contrary, is strong because it possesses both organi%ation and knowledge. 'ot only does it have in its service scholars and men of learning, it controls also a strong organi%ation, the state administration. The army of officials, government underlings, law-givers, udges, representatives, politicians and soldiers works like a gigantic machine which instantly suppresses any attack on the existing order, a machine against which every individual is powerless and by which, if he opposes it, he is crushed like a troublesome insect, a machine which, indeed, can easily shatter in a struggle even a great organi%ation of workers. In this machine each works as a part of the whole4 in the working class each man acts for himself or a small group. 'o wonder that the few, through their superior strength, rule the ma ority with ease. But things are already changing. Economic development is always producing greater machines, more gigantic factories, more colossal capitali%ations. It gathers ever greater bodies of laborers about these machines, forces them into organi%ed trade under the command of capital, robs them of their personal and national distinctions and takes from them the possibility of personal success. But incidentally it suggests to them the thought of organi%ation, of union of their forces, as the only means of improving their position and opposing the overpowering might of capital. Economic development thus brings forth the labor movement, which begins the class-struggle against capital. The ob ect of the labor movement is to increase the strength of the proletariat to the point at which it can con2uer the organi%ed force of the bourgeoisie and thus establish its own supremacy. The power of the working class rests, in the first place, upon its members and upon the important role which it plays in the process of production. It constitutes an increasingly large ma ority of the population. ?roduction proceeds upon a constantly increasing scale, and so is carried on more and more by wage-workers, and the relations of its branches grows constantly more complex. "nder these circumstances workingmen find it possible through the strike to bring our whole social life to a standstill. In order that they may be in a position to use this great power in the right way the workers must come to a consciousness of their situation and master an understanding of, and insight into, our social system. They must be class-conscious, i. e., clearly recogni%e the clash of interests between themselves and the capitalists. 1nd they must have sufficient intelligence to find the right methods of prosecuting the class-struggle and re ect the wrong ones. Enlightenment, the spreading of knowledge, is therefore one of the mightiest and most important weapons of the labor movement, this is the immediate purpose of the /ocialist propaganda. In the third place, means must be found to turn knowledge into deeds, to apply intelligence to action. To do this we need an organi%ation in which the powers of the individual are oined in a single will and thereby fused into a common social force. The outer form of organi%ation is not the main thing, but the spirit which holds the organi%ation together. Aust as the grains of sand are held together by a cement and thus the mass of them becomes a heavy stone, so must the individuals be cemented together so that the organi%ation will not fly asunder at the first opposition, but rather will con2uer all opposition like a mighty mass. This immaterial, spiritual cement is the discipline which leads the individual to subordinate his own will to that of the whole and to place his entire strength at the disposal of the community. It is not the giving up of one6s own views, but the recognition of the fact that united action is necessary and that the minority cannot expect the ma ority to conform to its notions I a recognition which has become a powerful motive for action. The first of the three factors which constitute the strength of the working class will be increasingly developed by economic evolution independently of our will. The further development of the other two is the task of the labor movement. 1ll or working and striving is devoted to this purpose4 to improve the knowledge, the class-consciousness, the organi%ation, the discipline, of the working class. #nly when these are sufficiently developed can we con2uer the most powerful organi%ation of the ruling class, the state. 'ow what are the respective parts played in this development of working class power by the political party and the labor union: Through sermons, speeches and theoretic instruction we can never call into being organi%ation and discipline I no, not even social intelligence and class-consciousness. The worth of theoretic instruction lies in the fact that it explains and illuminates practical experience, brings it to clear consciousness, but it cannot serve as a substitute for this experience. #nly through practice, practice in the struggle, can the workers ac2uire that understanding of theoretic teaching and those intellectual and moral 2ualities which will make their power great. 0C

It is generally known that in western Europe it has been the politico-parliamentary activity which has chiefly contributed to the tremendous increase of the /ocialist movement and everywhere given strength to the /ocial Bemocratic parties. .hat is the meaning of this: That the political struggle has given a mighty impetus to the class-consciousness, the insight, the group-feeling, of the hitherto unconscious, unrelated workers. The representatives of the workers took a stand in parliament against the government and the bourgeois parties, tore from their faces the masks of guardians of &the general welfare), revealed them as expressions of bourgeois interests inimical to the workers, and through suggestions for the improvement of the conditions of the laborers forced them to show their true characters, by these means they enlightened the people as to the class character of the state and the rulers. The criti2ue which they carried on in debate with the mouthpieces of the bourgeoisie and the capitalist system penetrated through the papers to the uttermost corners of the land and roused to reflection those who otherwise remain untouched by public gatherings. The careful following of parliamentary struggles, of the speeches of their own representatives and of their opponents, developed to a high degree the political intelligence of the workers and increased their understanding of social phenomena. 5erein lies the significance of the political struggle for the increase of the power of the working class, the totally unconscious are shaken up and induced to think, their classconsciousness awakes and they oin the class organi%ations of the proletariat, the already class-conscious workingmen become better and better instructed and their knowledge becomes more thorough. Aust as important is the activity connected with labor union struggle. The effect of this conflict is to build up and strengthen the workingmen6s organi%ation. Through the efforts of the union to improve the conditions of labor increasing numbers of workers who before kept themselves at a distance are aroused and brought into the organi%ation. The most effective recruiting force, it is generally known, is not the designed propaganda carried on through meetings and tracts, but the influence of strikes and lock-outs. The chief significance of these struggles, however, lies in the development of discipline and mutual fidelity. This becomes tough as steel only when it has been tempered in the fire of conflict. The suppression of egotism, the surrender of the individual to the whole, the sacrifice of the individual interest for the organi%ation, can be learned and thoroughly ingrained only in struggle. Experience of the fact that all together suffer defeat if the individual lacks the necessary feeling of solidarity, that on the other hand victory is the reward of unwavering cooperation, beats into everyone this necessary discipline. It is thus the labor unions which weld the scattered individualistic workers into powerful units, teach them to act unitedly as a body, and produce among them the highest working class virtue, solidarity. In addition the labor union struggle contributes to the knowledge of the workers. It is in this conflict that most of them learn the 1B$ of /ocialism, the opposition of interests between workingmen and employers. 5ere they can get hold of this fundamental fact of capitalistic society, which appears much less clearly in the political fight. #n this account the unions have often been called the preparatory schools of /ocialism, they might be better called elementary schools, for the real elementary principles that one learns in the labor struggle. #f course this elementary knowledge of the opposition of interests between employes and employers is not ade2uate to an understanding of our social system, one who knows nothing more will be nonplussed and without resource when he confronts the more complex relations, the role of the other classes, of the office-holders, of the state, for example, and other political and ideological phenomena. #n the other hand, the political struggle has an essential significance for the organi%ations of the working class. The union organi%ations always have their limitations, they include only members of a particular craft, and so develop with the strong solidarity of their fellow craftsmen their guild spirit, their isolation, yes, often an unfriendly ealously of other crafts. This narrowness is swept away by the political struggle. In politics class stands against class. There the delegates of labor speak not as representatives of the carpenters or the miners, they do not even represent the wage-workers exclusively, but the whole body of those exploited by capital. Their opponents are not representatives of definite groups of employers, but of the whole owning class, they fight in parliament against bank capital, colonial capital, land capital, ust as much as against all exploiters. Therefore the political conflict extends the view, the intelligence and also the sympathies beyond the narrow circle of the craft interests of the labor union. .here the political party is strong all workers of the most varied trades feel themselves brothers, their solidarity is no longer limited by the boundaries of their crafts, and their labor organi%ations appear to them as parts, as branches, as battalions in a single great labor army. In Germany, where the political organi%ation preceded the labor union, the guild spirit was unable to develop itself so strongly as, e. g., in England. 0>

The relation between political party and union is often represented as though the political movement were to bring about the destruction of capitalism, and the union to effect the improvement of the laborer6s condition within the capitalist system, as though the political party were naturally revolutionary and the union naturally reformatory. This may be in harmony with the apparent practice in many lands, but in 3rance, on the contrary, the unions regard themselves as the revolutionary organi%ations and the political party as a bourgeois creation with merely temporary reformatory functions. In reality the truth is that both are at once revolutionary and reformatory4 that is to say, they both carry on the present struggle for direct improvement and both have great significance in relation to the revolutionary transformation of society. In the class-struggle the conflict must always concern itself with immediate, practical ob ects. .hat are the bones of contention in parliament: The introduction of /ocialism: #ne may agitate for a purpose lying far in the future, but cannot carry on an immediate fight for it. The actual fight turns about definite legislative proposals, about social reforms, laws for the protection of laborers, contraction or expansion of the rights of labor, laws in the interest of particular capitalist groups, or measures of taxation in regard to which there is a collision of class interests. Every article of a law becomes the crux of a struggle between the representatives of labor and the bourgeoisie. labor gains only now and then a direct advantage, a favourable legal enactment, but always an indirect one, the enlightenment of the masses as to the nature of society and the state. The difference between this and the union struggle for direct improvement I of the conditions of labor I lies in the fact that in the political fight more general interests and considerations come into 2uestion. Therefore the arguments brought to bear reach a higher level. 3rom momentary 2uestions the opponents reach out to remote purposes, eventually their deepest most general convictions, their world-views, come into conflict. /ocialist speakers utili%e every particular case to make an attack on the whole capitalist system, their opponents answer with attempts at criticism of /ocialist teaching. /o the ultimate ob ective of the proletarian struggle always appears behind the momentary clash, and we always emphasi%e the fact that this clash gains in significance from its relation to this ultimate ob ective. /o it comes about that apparently the political struggle is carried on in the interests of /ocialism, and the union struggle in the interests of reform. 1nd yet both are for reform, for the improvement of the condition and status of labor and against their deterioration. Both of them effect, as we showed above, a steady increase in the power of the working class, pave the way, therefore, for the con2uest of political power by the proletariat. In both there comes about in an analogous manner a limited conception of their function, in that all remote purposes and general interests are sacrificed to the achievement of an immediate reform. #n the political field this conception takes the form of a neglect of the class-struggle, a political alliance with the bourgeois parties in a bloc, a strife for votes as a main ob ect, this constitutes the tendency within the /ocialist movement which is called reformist or revisionist. The belief that through it we can accomplish more reforms usually proves fallacious, and in addition the revolutionary result of political activity, the enlightenment and organi%ation of labor, usually fails of accomplishment. This tendency can prosper only under underdeveloped conditions such as obtain among small capitalists or land-holders, conditions under which the opposition of classes is not sharply defined I and even there not for any great length of time. The reformist tendency is much more persistent among the unions. .here on account of particular circumstances the unions have been successful in improving the labor conditions there may easily develop in their ranks a self-satisfied, bigoted conservatism, they give up the thought of a vigorous campaign against capitalism and surrender themselves to the stupor of the &community of interests between capital and labor,) they neglect further enlightenment, isolate their organi%ations like guilds, look with scorn on the miserable, unorganised mass of sacrifices to capitalism, and become small bourgeois, lacking anything like revolutionary feeling. The classical examples of this are furnished by the English and 1merican tradesunions. In such a labor movement, in distinction from a reformist political movement, the very name of the /ocialist enlightenment is proscribed. "nder such circumstances a better view of things becomes effective only with great difficulty and as the result of the most painful lessons of experience. In most countries, naturally, the conservative, reformist tendencies are most powerful in the unions, while the political party, on the contrary, represents more energetically the revolutionary standpoint. But the opposite is also possible. .here the /ocialist party loses itself too deep in the 2uagmire of bourgeois parliamentary there awakes in the workers a native, primitive class feeling, a disgust at the co2uetting with the representatives of the bourgeoisie. Then they repudiate the whole fight on the political field as a 2uarrel of ambitious politicians 7G

which can only compromise the class-struggle, and they come to place their only trust in the natural organi%ations of the working class, the unions. /o in 3rance, chiefly as a result of the bloc policy and !illerandism, there has arisen a revolutionary unionism which advocates the general strike as the only weapon whereby labor can accomplish the overthrow of capitalism. The goal of the labor movement, the con2uest of political power, indicates in itself that its attainment can be accomplished only by the working class organi%ed as a political party. <epeatedly has the idea been presented, especially by the revisionists, that this con2uest can be brought about in a simple, peaceful, parliamentary manner. In every election we poll an increased number of votes, a constantly increasing number of voters is being converted to our views, and when at last we have won the ma ority of the people we shall have I universal, e2ual suffrage being taken for granted I the ma ority in parliament will make laws according to our principles. But this beautiful idyll goes to smash the moment we take into account the restrictions upon suffrage which the bourgeois parties are in a position to put through so long as they are still in control of the ma ority. It goes without saying that the ruling class will not allow itself to be so easily discarded. It will attempt to assert itself against us with all the weapons at its command, its wealth, and above all its actual control of the political administration, the bureaucracy, the army and the newspapers, give it a tremendous power, so long as it has a ma ority in the law-giving bodies it can by legal methods do away with the popular rights which are dangerous to it. Experience has shown that in defense of its privileges it is not inclined either in Europe and 1merica to respect recogni%ed rights. In the face of these facts the workers will be forced to call into the field every power which they possess. In this final struggle for the mastery I which will not be a single battle, but a long war with many ups and downs of victory and defeat I the unions will play a part not inferior to that of the /ocialist party. #r, to put it more clearly, the political and the union movement will come together in this conflict. The workers must present themselves as a single, strongly united class with a definite political purpose I that is, as a political party. They must at the same time come into action as a mass organi%ation, i. e., lead into the field their unions and make use of their union weapon, the strike, for political purposes, they must act as a body against the power of the state. In the mass strike the two proletarian methods become one4 political understanding and union discipline are here like the thinking head and the strong arm of an individual combatant. The more the great body of workers take part in the war on capitalism, the more will labor union conflicts become social cataclysms, great political events, and thus the unions will be forced to take part in the political struggle. In these great struggles the old methods of parliamentary and labor union diplomacy will be found inade2uate, the cleverness of sharp leaders and versatile spokesmen will be overshadowed by the power of the masses themselves. In the persons of the leaders, who develop according to the particular demands of each form of action, the political and union movements are different, in the persons who constitute the masses behind the leaders they are identical. Thus where the mass of the workers themselves come into action the dividing line between the two methods of struggle disappears, they march upon the field of battle to a single, undivided warfare against capitalism, armed with the class-consciousness, the discipline, the intelligence and the power of action gained in all previous conflicts, the union constitutes their organi%ation, /ocialism, their political intelligence.

Dr Anton Pannekoek, Berlin.

Anton Pannekoek 1909


e! Middle "lass

The middle class is the one which stands between the highest and the lowest strata of society. 1bove it is the class of great capitalists, below it the proletariat, the class of wage-workers. It constitutes the social group with medium incomes. 1ccordingly, it is not divided with e2ual sharpness from both of the other two classes. 3rom the great capitalist the small bourgeois is distinguished only by a difference of degree, he has a smaller amount of capital, a more modest business. Therefore the 2uestion as to who belongs to this small 70

bourgeois class is difficult to answer. Every capitalist who suffers from the competition of still greater capitalists denounces those above him and cries out for help on behalf of the middle class. 3rom the proletariat, on the contrary, the small bourgeois is divided by a difference in kind, in economic function. Be his business and his income ever so small, he is independent. 5e lives by virtue of his ownership of the means of production, like any other capitalist, and not from the sale of his labor power, like a proletarian. 5e belongs to the class that undertakes enterprises, that must possess some capital in order to carry them on, often he employs laborers himself. 3rom the wage-working class he is, therefore, sharply differentiated. In former times this class of small capitalists constituted the main body of the industrial population. /ocial development, however, has gradually brought about its destruction. The motive power of this development was competition. In the struggle for existence the greatest capitalists, the ones financially and technically best fitted to survive, crowded out the poorer and more backward ones. This process has gone on to such an extent that at present industrial production is carried on almost exclusively on a large scale, in industry small production survives only in the form of repair work or special artistic activities. #f the members of the earlier middle class a small number have worked themselves up to the rank of great capitalists, the great ma ority have lost their independence and sunk down into the proletariat. 3or the present generation the industrial middle class has only a historical existence. The class that I referred to in my first paragraph is the commercial middle class. This social stratum we ourselves have seen, and still see, decaying before our eyes. It is made up of small merchants, shopkeepers, etc. #nly during the last decades have the great capitalists gone into the retail business, only recently have they begun to establish branch concerns and mail-order houses, thus either driving out the small concerns or forcing them into a trust. If during recent times there has been great lamentation over the disappearance of the middle class we must keep in mind that it is only the commercial middle class that is in 2uestion. The industrial middle class long ago went down and the agrarian middle class became subordinate to capitalism without losing the forms of independence. In this account of the decline of the middle class we have the theory of /ocialism in a nut-shell. The social development which resulted in this phenomenon made of /ocialism a possibility and a necessity. /o long as the great mass of the people were independent producers /ocialism could exist only as the utopia of individual theori%ers or little groups of enthusiasts, it could not be the practical program of a great class. Independent producers do not need /ocialism, they do not even want to hear of it. They own their means of production and these are to them the guarantee of a livelihood. Even the sad position into which they are forced by competition with the great capitalists can hardly render them favourable to /ocialism. It makes them only the more eager to become great capitalists themselves. They may wish, occasionally, to limit the freedom of competition I perhaps under the name of /ocialism, but they do not want to give up their own independence or freedom of competition. /o long, therefore, as there exists a strong middle class it acts as a protecting wall for the capitalists against the attacks of the workers. If the workers demand the sociali%ation of the means of production, they find in this middle class ust as bitter an opponent as in the capitalists themselves. The decay of the middle class signifies the concentration of capital and the growth of the proletariat. $apital faces, therefore, an ever-increasing army of opponents and is supported by a constantly decreasing number of defenders. 3or the proletariat /ocialism is a necessity, it constitutes the only means of protecting labor against robbery by a horde of useless parasites, the only bulwark against want and poverty. 1s the great mass of the population comes more and more to consist of proletarians, /ocialism, in addition to being a necessity, comes more and more to be a possibility, for the bodyguard of private property grows constantly weaker and becomes powerless against the constantly mounting forces of the proletariat. It goes without saying, therefore, that the bourgeoisie views with alarm the disappearance of the middle class. The new development which inspires the proletariat with hope and confidence fills the ruling class with fear for its future. The faster the proletariat, its enemy increases in numbers, the faster the owning class decreases, the more certainly the bourgeoisie sees the approach of its doom. .hat is to be done: 77

1 ruling class cannot voluntarily give up its own predominance, for this predominance appears to it the sole foundation of the world order. It must defend this predominance, and this it can do only so long as it has hope and self-confidence. But actual conditions cannot give self-confidence to the capitalist class, therefore it creates for itself a hope that has no support in reality. If this class were ever to see clearly the principles of social science, it would lose all faith in its own possibilities, it would see itself as an aging despot with millions of persecuted victims marching in upon him from all directions and shouting his crimes into his ears. 3earfully he shuts himself in, closes his eyes to the reality and orders his hirelings to invent fables to dispel the awful truth. 1nd this is exactly the way of the bourgeoisie. In order not to see the truth, it has appointed professors to soothe its troubled spirit with fables. ?retty fables they are, which glorify its overlordship, which da%%le its eyes with visions of an eternal life and scatter its doubts and dreams as so many nightmares. $oncentration of capital: $apital is all the time being democratised through the increasing distribution of stocks and bonds. Growth of the proletariat: The proletariat is at the same time growing more orderly, more tractable. Becay of the middle class: 'onsense, a new middle class is rising to take the place of the old. It is this doctrine of the new middle class that I wish to discuss in some detail in the present paper. To this new class belong, in the first place, the professors. Their function is to comfort the bourgeoisie with theories as to the future of society, and it is among them that this fable of the new middle class found its origin. In Germany there were /chmoller, .agner, !asargh and a host of others who devoted themselves to the labor of elaborating it. They explained that the /ocialist doctrine as to the disappearance of the middle class was of small importance. Every table of statistics showed that medium incomes remained almost exactly as numerous as in former times. In the places of the disappearing independent producers there were appearing other groups of the population. Industry on a large scale demanded an immense army of intermediating functionaries4 overseers, skilled workers, engineers, managers of departments, bosses, etc. They formed a complete hierarchy of officials, they were the officers and subalterns of the industry army, an army in which the great capitalists are the generals and the workingmen the common soldiers. !embers of the so-called &free) vocations, physicians, lawyers, authors, etc., belonged also to this class. 1 new class, then, constantly increasing in numbers, was said to be taking the place formerly occupied by the old middle class. This observation in itself is correct, though not at all new. 1ll that there is new about it is its exposition with a view to disproving the /ocialist theories of classes. It was expressed clearly, e. g., by /chmoller at an Evangelical /ocial $ongress held at Heipsic as far back as 0C>E. The audience burst into oyful enthusiasm at the good news, and declared in a resolution4 &The congress notes with pleasure the reassuring and scientifically grounded conviction of the speaker that the economic development of modern times does not necessarily lead to the destruction of a class so useful to the welfare of society as the middle class.) 1nd another professor declared4 &5e has filled us with optimism for the future. If it is not true that the middle class and the small bourgeoisie are disappearing, we shall not be forced to alter the fundamental principles of capitalist society.) The fact that science is merely the servant of capitalism could not be more clearly expressed than in such statements. .hy is this declaration that the middle class is not decaying hailed as reassuring: .hy does it create content and optimism: Is it because through it the workers will attain better conditions, be less exploited: 'o. Aust the opposite. If this statement is true, the worker will be kept forever in slavery by a permanent army of enemies, what appears to prevent his liberation is pronounced reassuring and optimistic. 'ot the discovery of truth, but the reassurance of an increasingly superfluous class of parasites is the ob ect of this science. 'o wonder that it comes into conflict with the truth. It fails, not only in its denial of /ocialist teaching, but in its reassurance of the capitalist class. The comfort that it gives is nothing more than selfdeception. The /ocialist doctrine as to the concentration of capital does not imply the disappearance of medium incomes. It has nothing to do with relative incomes, it deals, on the contrary, with social classes and their economic functions. 3or our theory society consists, not of poor, well-to-do and rich, of those who own nothing, little, or much, but rather of classes, each one of which plays a separate part in production. 1 merely external, superficial classification according to incomes has always been a means whereby bourgeois writers have confused actual social conditions and produced unclearness instead of clearness. The /ocialist theory restores clearness and scientific exactness by concentrating attention upon the natural divisions of 79

society. This method has made it possible to formulate the law of social development, production on a large scale constantly replaces production on a small scale. /ocialists maintain, not that medium incomes, but rather small, independent producers, tend more and more to disappear. This generali%ation the professors do not attack, everyone ac2uainted with social conditions, every ournalist, every government official, every petty bourgeois, every capitalist knows that it is correct. In the very declaration that the middle class is being rescued by a new, rising class it is specifically acknowledged that the former is disappearing. But this new middle class has a character altogether different from that of the old one. That it stands between capitalists and laborers and subsists on a medium income constitutes its only resemblance to the small bourgeoisie of former times. But this was the least essential characteristic of the small bourgeois class. In its essential character, in its economic function, the new middle class differs absolutely from the old. The members of the new middle class are not self-supporting, independent industrial units, they are in the service of others, those who possess the capital necessary to the undertaking of enterprises. Economically considered, the old middle class consisted of capitalists, even if they were small capitalists, the new consists of proletarians, even if they are highly paid proletarians. The old middle class lived by virtue of its possession of the means of production, the new makes its livelihood through the sale of its labor power. The economic character of the latter class is not at all modified by the fact that this labor power is of a highly developed 2uality, that, therefore, it receives comparatively high wages, no more is it modified by the fact that this labor power is chiefly of an intellectual sort, that it depends more on the brain than on the muscles. In modern industry the chemist and the engineer are dealt with as mere wage-workers, their intellectual powers are worked to the limit of exhaustion ust like the physical powers of the common laborer. .ith the statement of this fact the professorial talk about the new middle class stands revealed in all its foolishness, it is a fable, a piece of self-deception. 1s a protection against the desire of the proletariat for expropriation the new middle class can never take the place of the old. The independent small capitalists of former times felt themselves interested in the maintenance of private property in the means of production because they were themselves owners of means of production. The new middle class has not the slightest interest in keeping for others a privilege in which they themselves have no part. To them it is all one whether they stand in the service of an individual manufacturer, a stock company, or a public organi%ation, like the community or state. They no longer dream of sometime carrying on an independent business, they know that they must remain all their lives in the position of subordinates. The sociali%ation of the means of production would not change their position except as it would improve it by liberating them from the caprice of the individual capitalist. It has often been remarked by bourgeois writers that the new middle class has a much more certain position than the old one and, therefore, less ground for discontent. The fact that stock companies destroy the small business men is a charge that cannot be allowed to count against its many advantages, it is really insignificant in view of the fact that the small business men, after being ruined, are given positions in the service of the company, where, as a rule, their life is much freer from care than it was in the first place. *5emburg.+ /trange, then, that they struggled so long, sacrificed their wealth and exerted their strength to the utmost, to maintain themselves in their old positions while all the time such an alluring berth was inviting them; .hat these apologists of the capitalist system carefully conceal is the great difference between present dependence and former independence. The middle class man of former times no doubt felt the pressure of want, of competition, but the new middle class man must obey a strange master, who may at any moment arbitrarily discharge him. 'ow it is certainly true that those who serve the modern capitalist as skilled technical workers or company officials are not tortured by the cares which weighed down the spirit of the small bourgeois of former days. #ften, also, their incomes are greater. But so far as the maintenance of the capitalist system is concerned they are worthless. 'ot personal discontent, but class interest, is the motive power of social revolution. In many cases even the industrial wage-worker of today is in a better position than the independent small farmer. 'evertheless the farmers, by virtue of the possession of their little pieces of ground, have an interest in the maintenance of the system of private ownership, while the wage-worker demands its destruction. The same is true of the middle class4 the oppressed, discontented small capitalists, despite the disadvantages of 7=

their position, were props of capitalism, and this the better situated, care-free modern trust employes can never be. This fact means nothing more than that the professorial phrases, intended to reassure the bourgeoisie with the notion of this new middle class and so hide from them the tremendous transformation which has taken place, have turned out to be pure trickery, without even the remotest resemblance to science. The statement that the new class occupies the same position in the class-struggle as did the small bourgeoisie of the past has proved to be a worthless deception. But as to the real position of this new class, its actual function in our social organism, I have thus far hardly touched upon it [1]. The new intellectual middle class has one thing in common with the rest of the proletariat4 it consists of the propertyless, of those who sell their labor power, and therefore has no interest in the maintenance of capitalism. It has, moreover, in common with the workers, the fact that it is modern and progressive, that through the operation of the actual social forces it grows constantly stronger, more numerous, more important. It is, therefore, not a reactionary class, as was the old small bourgeoisie, it does not yearn for the good old pre-capitalistic days. It looks forward, not backward. But this does not mean that the intellectuals are to be placed side by side with the wage-workers in every respect, that like the industrial proletariat they are predisposed to become recruits of /ocialism. To be sure, in the economic sense of the term, they are proletarians, but they form a very special group of wage-workers, a group that is socially so sharply divided from the real proletarians that they form a special class with a special position in the class-struggle. In the first place, their higher pay is a matter of importance. They know nothing of actual poverty, of misery, of hunger. Their needs may exceed their incomes and so bring about a discomfort that gives real meaning to the expression &gilded poverty), still immediate need does not compel them, as it does the real proletarians, to attack the capitalist system. Their position may rouse discontent, but that of the workers in unendurable. 3or them /ocialism has many advantages, for the workers it is an absolute necessity. In addition to this, it must be remembered that this body of intellectuals and highly-paid industrial employes divides itself into a large number of widely varying strata. These strata are determined chiefly by differences in income and position. .e begin at the top with heads of departments, superintendents, managers, etc., and go on down to bosses and office employes. 3rom these it is but a step to the highest paid workers. Thus, so far as income and position are concerned, there is really a gradual descent from capitalist to proletarian. The higher strata have a definitely capitalistic character, the lower ones are more proletarian, but there is no sharp dividing line. #n account of these divisions the members of this new middle class lack the unity of spirit which makes co-operation easy for the proletariat. The state of affairs ust described hinders them in their struggle to improve their position. It is to their interest, as it is to that of other workers, to sell their labor power at the highest possible price. .orkingmen bring this about through oining forces in unions, as individuals they are defenceless against the capitalists, but united they are strong. 'o doubt this upper class of employes could do more to coerce the capitalists if they formed themselves into a great union. But this is infinitely more difficult for them than for workingmen. In the first place they are divided into numberless grades and ranks, ranged one above the other, they do not meet as comrades, and so cannot develop the spirit of solidarity. Each individual does not make it a matter of personal pride to improve the condition of his entire class, the important thing is rather that he personally struggle up into the next higher rank. In order to do this it is first of all necessary not to call down on himself the disfavor of the master class by opposing it in an industrial struggle. Thus mutual envy of the upper and lower ranks prevents co-operative action. 1 strong bond of solidarity cannot be developed. It results from this condition that employes of the class in 2uestion do not co-operate in large bodies, they make their efforts separately, or only a few together, and this makes cowards of them, they do not feel in themselves the power which the workingmen draw from consciousness of numbers. 1nd then, too, they have more to fear from the displeasure of the masters, a dismissal for them is a much more serious matter. The worker stands always on the verge of starvation and so unemployment has few terrors for him. The high class employe, on the contrary, has a comparatively agreeable life, and a new position is difficult to find. 7@

3or all these reasons this class of intellectuals and higher employes is prevented from instituting a fight along union lines for the improvement of their position. #nly in the lower ranks, where great numbers labor under the same conditions and the way to promotion is difficult, are there any signs of a union movement. In Germany two groups of employes of this class have lately made a beginning. #ne of these groups consists of foremen in coal mines. These men constitute a very high class of labor, for in addition to superintending industry they have oversight of arrangements designed to insure sanitary conditions and safety from accidents. /pecial conditions have fairly forced them to organi%e. The millionaire operators, in their greed of profits, have neglected safety devices to an extent that makes catastrophes inevitable. /omething had to be done. Thus far the organi%ation is still weak and timid, but it is a beginning. The other group is made up of machinists and engineers. It has spread all over Germany, has become so important, in fact, as to be made a point of attack by the capitalists. 1 number of ruthless employers demanded that their men desert the organi%ation, and when they refused to comply discharged them. 3or the present the union has been able to do nothing for these victims except to support them, but even in this it has taken up the cudgels against the capitalist class. 3or the cause of /ocialism we can count on this new middle class even less than for the labor union struggle. 3or one thing, they are set over the workers as superintendents, overseers, bosses, etc. In these capacities they are expected to speed up the workers, to get the utmost out of them. /o, representing the interest of capital in relation to labor, they naturally assume a position a bitter enmity to the proletariat and find it almost impossible to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the struggle for a single goal. In addition, a set of ideas, particularly notions of themselves and their position, tends to ally them to the capitalists. !ost of them come from bourgeois, or at least small capitalist, circles and bring with them all the pre udices which stand opposed to /ocialism. 1mong the workers such pre udices are uprooted by their new environment, but among these higher, intellectual employes they are actually strengthened. /mall producers had, for example, as the first article of their faith, the idea that each one could struggle upward in competitive strife only by virtue of his own energy, as a complement to this teaching stood the notion that /ocialism would put an end to personal initiative. This individualistic conception of things is, as I have remarked, strengthened in the intellectuals by their new environment, among these very technical and often high placed employes the most efficient sometimes find it possible to climb into the most important positions. 1ll the regular bourgeois pre udices strike deepest root in this class, further, because its members are nourished on the study of unscientific theories. They regard as scientific truth that which existed among the small bourgeois as sub ective, unreasoned opinion. They have great notions of their own education and refinement, feel themselves elevated far above &the masses), it naturally never occurs to them that the ideals of these masses may be scientifically correct and that the &science) of their professors may be false. 1s theori%ers, seeing the world always as a mass of abstractions, laboring always with their minds, knowing nothing of little of material activities, they are fairly convinced that minds control the world. This notion shuts them out from the understanding of /ocialist theory. .hen they see the masses of laborers and hear of /ocialism they think of a crude &levelling down) which would put an end to their own social and economic advantages. In contrast to the workers they think of themselves as persons who have something to lose, and forget, therefore, the fact that they are being exploited by the capitalists. Take this altogether and the result is that a hundred causes separate this new middle class from /ocialism. Its members have no independent interest which could lead them to an energetic defense of capitalism. But their interest in /ocialism is e2ually slight. They constitute an intermediate class, without definite class ideals, and therefore they bring into the political struggle an element which is unsteady and incalculable. In great social disturbances, general strikes, e. g., they may sometimes stand by the workers and so increase their strength, they will be the more likely to do this in cases in which such a policy is directed against reaction. #n other occasions they may side with the capitalists. Those of them in the lower strata will make common cause with a &reasonable) /ocialism, such as is represented by the <evisionists. But the power which will overthrow capitalism can never come from anywhere outside the great mass of proletarian.


1. Because the part of the intellectual in the socialist movement has recently been the sub ect of controversy, I feel obliged to remark that we are here dealing with an altogether different sub ect. In the party discussions the 2uestion has been, .hat role can individual intellectuals play within the socialist movement: 5ere we have under consideration the problem, .hat is the role of the whole class of intellectuals in the general struggle of the classes:

Anton Pannekoek 1912

Mar#ism $nd Dar!inism

% Dar!inism
Two scientists can hardly be named who have, in the second half of the 0>th century, dominated the human mind to a greater degree than Barwin and !arx. Their teachings revolutioni%ed the conception that the great masses had about the world. 3or decades their names have been on the tongues of everybody, and their teachings have become the central point of the mental struggles which accompany the social struggles of today. The cause of this lies primarily in the highly scientific contents of their teachings. The scientific importance of !arxism as well as of Barwinism consists in their following out the theory of evolution, the one upon the domain of the organic world, of things animate, the other, upon the domain of society. This theory of evolution, however, was in no way new, it had its advocates before Barwin and !arx, the philosopher, 5egel, even made it the central point of his philosophy. It is, therefore, necessary to observe closely what were the achievements of Barwin and !arx in this domain. The theory that plants and animals have developed one from another is met with first in the nineteenth century. 3ormerly the 2uestion, &.hence come all these thousands and hundreds of thousands of different kinds of plants and animals that we know:J, was answered4 &1t the time of creation God created them all, each after its kind.J This primitive theory was in conformity with experience had and with the best information about the past that was available. 1ccording to available information, all known plants and animals have always been the same. /cientifically, this experience was thus expressed, &1ll kinds are invariable because the parents transmit their characteristics to their children.) There were, however, some peculiarities among plants and animals which gradually forced a different conception to be entertained. They so nicely let themselves be arranged into a system which was first set up by the /wedish scientist Hinnaeus. 1ccording to this system, the animals are divided into phyla, which are divided into classes, classes into orders, orders into families, families into genera, each of which contain a few species. The more semblance there is in their characteristics, the nearer they stand towards each other in this system, and the smaller is the group to which they belong. 1ll the animals classed as mammalian show the same general characteristics in their bodily frame. The herbivorous animals, and carnivorous animals, and monkeys, each of which belongs to a different order, are again differentiated. Bears, dogs, and cats, all of which are carnivorous animals, have much more in common in bodily form than they have with horses or monkeys. This conformity is still more obvious when we examine varieties of the same species, the cat, tiger and lion resemble each other in many respects where they differ from dogs and bears. If we turn from the class of mammals to other classes, such as birds or fishes, we find greater differences between classes than we find within a class. There still persists, however, a semblance in the formation of the body, the skeleton and the nervous system. These features first disappear when we turn from this main division, which embraces all the vertebrates, and go to the molluscs *soft bodied animals+ or to the polyps.


The entire animal world may thus be arranged into divisions and subdivisions. 5ad every different kind of animal been created entirely independent of all the others, there would be no reason why such orders should exist. There would be no reason why there should not be mammals having six paws. .e would have to assume, then, that at the time of creation, God had taken Hinnaeus6 system as a plan and created everything according to this plan. 5appily we have another way of accounting for it. The likeness in the construction of the body may be due to a real family relationship. 1ccording to this conception, the conformity of peculiarities show how near or remote the relationship is, ust as the resemblance between brothers and sisters is greater than between remote relatives. The animal classes were, therefore, not created individually, but descended one from another. They form one trunk that started with simple foundations and which has continually developed, the last and thin twigs are our present existing kinds. 1ll species of cats descend from a primitive cat, which together with the primitive dog and the primitive bear, is the descendant of some primitive type of carnivorous animal. The primitive carnivorous animal, the primitive hoofed animal and the primitive monkey have descended from some primitive mammal, etc. This theory of descent was advocated by Hamarck and by Geoffrey /t. 5ilaire. It did not, however, meet with general approval. These naturalists could not prove the correctness of this theory and, therefore, it remained only a hypothesis, a mere assumption. .hen Barwin came, however, with his main book, The rigin of !pecies struck like a thunderbolt, his theory of evolution was immediately accepted as a strongly proved truth. /ince then the theory of evolution has become inseparable from Barwin6s name. .hy so: This was partly due to the fact that through experience ever more material was accumulated which went to support this theory. 1nimals were found which could not very well be placed into the classification such as oviparous mammals *that is, animals which lay eggs and nourish their offspring from their breast. Translator+ fishes having lungs, and invertebrate animals. The theory of descent claimed that these are simply the remnants of the transition between the main groups. Excavations have revealed fossil remains which looked different from animals living now. These remains have partly proved to be the primitive forms of our animals, and that the primitive animals have gradually developed to existing ones. Then the theory of cells was formed, every plant, every animal, consists of millions of cells and has been developed by incessant division and differentiation of single cells. 5aving gone so far, the thought that the highest organisms have descended from primitive beings having but a single cell, could not appear as strange. 1ll these new experiences could not, however, raise the theory to a strongly proved truth. The best proof for the correctness of this theory would have been to have an actual transformation from one animal kind to another take place before our eyes, so that we could observe it. But this is impossible. 5ow then is it at all possible to prove that animal forms are really changing into new forms: This can be done by showing the cause, the propelling force of such development. This Barwin did. Barwin discovered the mechanism of animal development, and in doing so he showed that under certain conditions some animal kinds will necessarily develop into other animal-kinds. .e will now make clear this mechanism. Its main foundation is the nature of transmission, the fact that parents transmit their peculiarities to children, but that at the same time the children diverge from their parents in some respects and also differ from each other. It is for this reason that animals of the same kind are not all alike, but differ in all directions from the average type. .ithout this so-called variation it would be wholly impossible for one animal species to develop into another. 1ll that is necessary for the formation of a new species is that the divergence from the central type become greater and that it goes on in the same direction until this divergence has become so great that the new animal no longer resembles the one from which it descended. But where is that force that could call forth the ever growing variation in the same direction: Hamarck declared that this was owing to the usage and much exercise of certain organs, that, owing to the continuous exercise of certain organs, these become ever more perfected. Aust as the muscles of men6s legs get strong from running much, in the same way the lion ac2uired its powerful paws and the hare its speedy legs. In the same way the giraffes got their long necks because in order to reach the tree leaves, which they ate, their necks were stretched so that a short-necked animal developed to the long-necked giraffe. To many this explanation was incredible and it could not account for the fact that the frog should have such a green color which served him as a good protecting color. 7C

To solve the same 2uestion, Barwin turned to another line of experience. The animal breeder and the gardener are able to raise artificially new races and varieties. .hen a gardener wants to raise from a certain plant a variety having large blossoms, all he has to do is to kill before maturity all those plants having small blossoms and preserve those having large ones. If he repeats this for a few years in succession, the blossoms will be ever larger, because each new generation resembles its predecessor, and our gardener, having always picked out the largest of the large for the purpose of propagation, succeeds in raising a plant with very large blossoms. Through such action, done sometimes deliberately and sometimes accidentally, people have raised a great number of races of our domesticated animals which differ from their original form much more than the wild kinds differ from each other. If we should ask an animal-breeder to raise a long-necked animal from a short-necked one, it would not appear to him an impossibility. 1ll he would have to do would be to choose those having partly longer necks, have them inter-bred, kill the young ones having narrow necks and again have the long-necked interbreed. If he repeated this at every new generation the result would be that the neck would ever become longer and he would get an animal resembling the giraffe. This result is achieved because there is a definite will with a definite ob ect, which, to raise a certain variety, chooses certain animals. In nature there is no such will, and all the deviations must again be straightened out by interbreeding, so that it is impossible for an animal to keep on departing from the original stock and keep going in the same direction until it becomes an entirely different species. .here then, is that power in nature that chooses the animals ust as the breeder does: Barwin pondered this problem long before he found its solution in the &struggle for existence.) In this theory we have a reflex of the productive system of the time in which Barwin lived, because it was the capitalist competitive struggle which served him as a picture for the struggle for existence prevailing in nature. It was not through his own observation that this solution presented itself to him. It came to him by his reading the works of the economist !althus. !althus tried to explain that in our bourgeois world there is so much misery and starvation and privation because population increases much more rapidly than the existing means of subsistence. There is not enough food for all, people must therefore struggle with each other for their existence, and many must go down in this struggle. By this theory capitalist competition as well as the misery existing were declared as an unavoidable natural law. In his autobiography Barwin declares that it was !althus6 book which made him think about the struggle for existence.
&In #ctober, 0C9C, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic in2uiry, I happened to read for amusement !althus on population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long continuous observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favorable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavorable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. 5ere, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work.)

It is a fact that the increase in the birth of animals is greater than the existing food permits of sustaining. There is no exception to the rule that all organic beings tend to increase so rapidly that our earth would be overrun very soon by the offspring of a single pair, were these not destroyed. It is for this reason that a struggle for existence must arise. Every animal tries to live, does its best to eat, and seeks to avoid being eaten by others. .ith its particular peculiarities and weapons it struggles against the entire antagonistic world, against animals, cold, heat, dryness, inundations, and other natural occurrences that may threaten to destroy it. 1bove all, it struggles with the animals of its own kind, who live in the same way, have the same peculiarities, use the same weapons and live by the same nourishment. This struggle is not a direct one, the hare does not struggle directly with the hare, nor the lion with the lion- unless it is a struggle for the female but it is a struggle for existence, a race, a competitive struggle. 1ll of them can not reach a grown-up age, most of them are destroyed, and only those who win the race remain. But which are the ones to win in the race: Those which, through their peculiarities, through their bodily structures are best able to find food or to escape an enemy, in other words, those which are best adapted to existing conditions will survive. &Because there are ever more individuals born than can remain alive, the struggle as to which shall remain alive must start again and that creature that has some advantage over the others will survive, but as these diverging peculiarities are transmitted to the new generations, nature itself does the choosing, and a new generation will arise having changed peculiarities.) 7>

5ere we have another application for the origin of the giraffe. .hen grass does not grow in some places, the animals must nourish themselves on tree leaves, and all those whose necks are too short to reach these leaves must perish. In nature itself there is selection, and nature selects only those having long necks. In conformity with the selection done by the animal breeder, Barwin called this process &natural selection.) This process must necessarily produce new species. Because too many are born of a certain species, more than the existing food supply can sustain, they are forever trying to spread over a larger area. In order to procure their food, those living in the woods go to the plain, those living on the soil go into the water, and those living on the ground climb on trees. "nder these new conditions divergence is necessary. These divergencies are increased, and from the old species a new one develops. This continuous movement of existing species branching out into new relations results in these thousands of different animals changing still more. .hile the Barwinian theory explains thus the general descent of the animals, their transmutation and formation out of primitive beings, it explains, at the same time, the wonderful conformity throughout nature. 3ormerly this wonderful conformity could only be explained through the wise superintending care of God. 'ow, however, this natural descent is clearly understood. 3or this conformity is nothing else than the adaptation to the means of life. Every animal and every plant is exactly adapted to existing circumstances, for all those whose build is less conformable are less adapted and are exterminated in the struggle for existence. The green-frog, having descended from the brown-frog, must preserve its protecting color, for all those that deviate from this color are sooner found by the enemies and destroyed or find greater difficulty in obtaining their food and must perish. It was thus that Barwin showed us, for the first time, that new species continually formed out of old ones. The theory of descent, which until then was merely a presumptive inference of many phenomena that could not be explained well in any other way, gained the certainty of an absolute inference of definite forces that could be proved. In this lies the main reason that this theory had so 2uickly dominated the scientific discussions and public attention.

%% Mar#ism
If we turn to !arxism we immediately see a great conformity with Barwinism. 1s with Barwin, the scientific importance of !arx6s work consists in this, that he discovered the propelling force, the cause of social development. 5e did not have to prove that such a development was taking place, every one knew that from the most primitive times new social forms ever supplanted older, but the causes and aims of this development were unknown. In his theory !arx started with the information at hand in his time. The great political revolution that gave Europe the aspect it had, the 3rench <evolution, was known to everyone to have been a struggle for supremacy, waged by the bourgeois against nobility and royalty. 1fter this struggle new class struggles originated. The struggle carried on in England by the manufacturing capitalists against the landowners dominated politics, at the same time the working class revolted against the bourgeoisie. .hat were all these classes: .herein did they differ from each other: !arx proved that these class distinctions were owing to the various functions each one played in the productive process. It is in the productive process that classes have their origin, and it is this process which determines to what class one belongs. ?roduction is nothing else than the social labor process by which men obtain their means of subsistence from nature. It is the production of the material necessities of life that forms the main structure of society and that determines the political relations and social struggles. The methods of production have continuously changed with the progress of time. .hence came these changes: The manner of labor and the productive relationship depend upon the tools with which people work, upon the development of techni2ue and upon the means of production in general. Because in the !iddle 1ges people worked with crude tools, while now they work with gigantic machinery, we had at that 9G

time small trade and feudalism, while now we have capitalism, it is also for this reason that at that time the feudal nobility and the small bourgeoisie were the most important classes, while now it is the bourgeoisie and the proletarians which are the classes. It is the development of tools, of these technical aids which men direct, which is the main cause, the propelling force of all social development. It is self-understood that the people are ever trying to improve these tools so that their labor be easier and more productive, and the practice they ac2uire in using these tools, leads their thoughts upon further improvements. #wing to this development, a slow or 2uick progress of techni2ue takes place, which at the same time changes the social forms of labor. This leads to new class relations, new social institutions and new classes. 1t the same time social, i. e., political struggles arise. Those classes predominating under the old process of production try to preserve artificially their institutions, while the rising classes try to promote the new process of production, and by waging the class struggles against the ruling class and by con2uering them they pave the way for the further unhindered development of techni2ue. Thus the !arxian theory disclosed the propelling force and the mechanism of social development. In doing this it has proved that history is not something irregular, and that the various social systems are not the result of chance or hapha%ard events, but that there is a regular development in a definite direction. In doing this it was also proved that social development does not cease with our system, because techni2ue continually develops. Thus, both teachings, the teachings of Barwin and of !arx, the one in the domain of the organic world and the other upon the field of human society, raised the theory of evolution to a positive science. In doing this they made the theory of evolution acceptable to the masses as the basic conception of social and biological development.

%%% Mar#ism and the "lass Str&ggle

.hile it is true that for a certain theory to have a lasting influence on the human mind it must have a highly scientific value, yet this in itself is not enough. It 2uite often happened that a scientific theory was of utmost importance to science, nevertheless, with the probable exception of a few learned men, it evoked no interest whatsoever. /uch, for instance, was 'ewton6s theory of gravitation. This theory is the foundation of astronomy, and it is owing to this theory that we have our knowledge of heavenly bodies, and can foretell the arrival of certain planets and eclipses. Fet, when 'ewton6s theory of gravitation made its appearance, a few English scientists were its only adherents. The broad mass paid no attention to this theory. It first became known to the mass by a popular book of Koltaire6s written a half century afterwards. There is nothing surprising about this. /cience has become a specialty for a certain group of learned men, and its progress concerns these men only, ust as smelting is the smith6s specialty, and an improvement in the smelting of iron concerns him only. #nly that which all people can make use of and which is found by everyone to be a life necessity can gain adherents among the large mass. .hen, therefore, we see that a certain scientific theory stirs up %eal and passion in the large mass, this can be attributed to the fact that this theory serves them as a weapon in the class struggle. 3or it is the class struggle that engages almost all the people. This can be seen most clearly in !arxism. .ere the !arxian economic teachings of no importance in the modern class struggle, then none but a few professional economists would spend their time on them. It is, however, owing to the fact that !arxism serves the proletarians as a weapon in the struggle against capitalism that the scientific struggles are centered on this theory. It is owing to this service that !arx6s name is honored by millions who know even very little of his teaching, and is despised by thousands that understand nothing of his theory. It is owing to the great role the !arxian theory plays in the class struggle that his theory is diligently studied by the large mass and that it dominates the human mind. 90

The proletarian class struggle existed before !arx for it is the offspring of capitalist exploitation. It was nothing more than natural that the workers, being exploited, should think about and demand another system of society where exploitation would be abolished. But all they could do was to hope and dream about it. They were not sure of its coming to pass. !arx gave to the labor movement and /ocialism a theoretical foundation. 5is social theory showed that social systems were in a continuous flow wherein capitalism was only a temporary form. 5is studies of capitalism showed that owing to the continuous development of perfection of techni2ue, capitalism must necessarily develop to /ocialism. This new system of production can only be established by the proletarians struggling against the capitalists, whose interest it is to maintain the old system of production. /ocialism is therefore the fruit and aim of the proletarian class struggle. Thanks to !arx, the proletarian class struggle took on an entirely different form. !arxism became a weapon in the proletarian hands, in place of vague hopes he gave a positive aim, and in teaching a clear recognition of the social development he gave strength to the proletarian and at the same time he created the foundation for the correct tactics to be pursued. It is from !arxism that the workingmen can prove the transitoriness of capitalism and the necessity and certainty of their victory. 1t the same time !arxism has done away with the old utopian views that /ocialism would be brought about by the intelligence and good will of some udicious men, as if /ocialism were a demand for ustice and morality, as if the ob ect were to establish an infallible and perfect society. Austice and morality change with the productive system, and every class has different conceptions of them. /ocialism can only be gained by the class whose interest lies in /ocialism, and it is not a 2uestion about a perfect social system, but a change in the methods of production leading to a higher step, i. e., to social production. Because the !arxian theory of social development is indispensable to the proletarians in their struggle, they, the proletarians, try to make it a part of their inner self, it dominates their thoughts, their feelings, their entire conception of the world. Because !arxism is the theory of social development, in the midst of which we stand, therefore !arxism itself stands at the central point of the great mental struggles that accompany our economic revolution.

%' Dar!inism and the "lass Str&ggle

That !arxism owes its importance and position only to the role it takes in the proletarian class struggle, is known to all. .ith Barwinism, however, things seem different to the superficial observer, for Barwinism deals with a new scientific truth which has to contend with religious pre udices and ignorance. Fet it is not hard to see that in reality Barwinism had to undergo the same experiences as !arxism. Barwinism is not a mere abstract theory which was adopted by the scientific world after discussing and testing it in a mere ob ective manner. 'o, immediately after Barwinism made its appearance, it had its enthusiastic advocates and passionate opponents, Barwin6s name, too, was either highly honored by people who understood something of his theory, or despised by people who knew nothing more of his theory than that &man descended from the monkey,) and who were surely un2ualified to udge from a scientific standpoint the correctness or falsity of Barwin6s theory. Barwinism, too, played a role in the class-struggle, and it is owing to this role that it spread so rapidly and had enthusiastic advocates and venomous opponents. Barwinism served as a tool to the bourgeoisie in their struggle against the feudal class, against the nobility, clergy-rights and feudal lords. This was an entirely different struggle from the struggle now waged by the proletarians. The bourgeoisie was not an exploited class striving to abolish exploitation. #h no. .hat the bourgeoisie wanted was to get rid of the old ruling powers standing in their way. The bourgeoisie themselves wanted to rule, basing their demands upon the fact that they were the most important class, the leaders of industry. .hat argument could the old class, the class that became nothing but useless parasites, bring forth against them: They leaned on tradition, on their ancient divine rights. These were their pillars. .ith the aid of religion the priests held the great mass in sub ection and ready to oppose the demands of the bourgeoisie. It was therefore for their own interests that the bourgeoisie were in duty bound to undermine the &divinity) right of rulers. 'atural science became a weapon in the opposition to belief and tradition, science and the 97

newly discovered natural laws were put forward, it was with these weapons that the bourgeoisie fought. If the new discoveries could prove that what the priests were teaching was false, the &divine) authority of these priests would crumble and the &divine rights) en oyed by the feudal class would be destroyed. #f course the feudal class was not con2uered by this only, as material power can only be overthrown by material power, but mental weapons become material tools. It is for this reason that the bourgeoisie relied so much upon material science. Barwinism came at the desired time, Barwin6s theory that man is the descendant of a lower animal destroyed the entire foundation of $hristian dogma. It is for this reason that as soon as Barwinism made its appearance, the bourgeoisie grasped it with great %eal. This was not the case in England. 5ere we again see how important the class struggle was for the spreading of Barwin6s theory. In England the bourgeoisie had already ruled a few centuries, and as a mass they had no interest to attack or destroy religion. It is for this reason that although this theory was widely read in England, it did not stir anybody, it merely remained a scientific theory without great practical importance. Barwin himself considered it as such, and for fear that his theory might shock the religious pre udices prevailing, he purposely avoided applying it immediately to men. It was only after numerous postponements and after others had done it before him, that he decided to make this step. In a letter to 5aeckel he deplored the fact that his theory must hit upon so many pre udices and so much indifference that he did not expect to live long enough to see it break through these obstacles. But in Germany things were entirely different, and 5aeckel correctly answered Barwin that in Germany the Barwinian theory met with an enthusiastic reception. It so happened that when Barwin6s theory made its appearance, the bourgeoisie was preparing to carry on a new attack on absolutism and unkerism. The liberal bourgeoisie was headed by the intellectuals. Ernest 5aeckel, a great scientist, and of still greater daring, immediately drew in his book, &'atural $reation,) most daring conclusions against religion. /o, while Barwinism met with the most enthusiastic reception by the progressive bourgeoisie, it was also bitterly opposed by the reactionists. The same struggle also took place in other European countries. Everywhere the progressive liberal bourgeoisie had to struggle against reactionary powers. These reactionists possessed, or were trying to obtain through religious followers, the power coveted. "nder these circumstances, even the scientific discussions were carried on with the %eal and passion of a class struggle. The writings that appeared pro and con on Barwin have therefore the character of social polemics, despite the fact that they bear the names of scientific authors. !any of 5aeckel6s popular writings, when looked at from a scientific standpoint, are very superficial, while the arguments and remonstrances of his opponents show unbelievable foolishness that can only be met which only find their e2ual in the arguments used against !arx. The struggle carriedon by the liberal bourgeoisie against feudalism was not fought to its finish. This was partly owing to the fact that everywhere /ocialist proletarians made their appearance, threatening all ruling powers, including the bourgeoisie. The liberal bourgeoisie relented, while the reactionary tendencies gained an upper hand. The former %eal in combatting religion disappeared entirely, and while it is true that the liberals and reactionists were still fighting among each other, in reality, however, they neared each other. The interest formerly manifested in science as a weapon in the class struggle, has entirely disappeared, while the reactionary tendency that the masses must be brought to religion, became ever more pronounced. The estimation of science has also undergone a change. 3ormerly the educated bourgeoisie founded upon science a materialistic conception of the universe, wherein they saw the solution of the universal riddle. 'ow mysticism has gained the upper hand, all that was solved appeared as very trivial, while all things that remained unsolved, appeared as very great indeed, embracing the most important life 2uestion. 1 sceptical, critical and doubting frame of mind has taken the place of the former ubilant spirit in favor of science. This could also be seen in the stand taken against Barwin. &.hat does his theory show: It leaves unsolved the universal riddle; .hence comes this wonderful nature of transmission, whence the ability of animate beings to change so fitly:) 5ere lies the mysterious life riddle that could not be overcome with mechanical principles. Then, what was left of Barwinism in the light of later criticism: 99

#f course, the advance of science began to make rapid progress. The solution of one problem always brings a few more problems to the surface to be solved, which were hidden underneath the theory of transmission. This theory, that Barwin had to accept as a basis of in2uiry, was ever more investigated, and a hot discussion arose about the individual factors of development and the struggle for existence. .hile a few scientists directed their attention to variation, which they considered due to exercise and adaptation to life *following the principle laid down by Hamarck+ this idea was expressly denied by scientists like .eissman and others. .hile Barwin only assumed gradual and slow changes, Be Kries found sudden and leaping cases of variation resulting in the sudden appearance of new species. 1ll this, while it went to strengthen and develop the theory of descent, in some cases made the impression that the new discoveries rent asunder the Barwinian theory, and therefore every new discovery that made it appear so was hailed by the reactionists as a bankruptcy of Barwinism. This social conception had its influence on science. <eactionary scientists claimed that a spiritual element is necessary. The supernatural and insolvable has taken the place of Barwinism and that class which in the beginning was the banner bearer of Barwinism became ever more reactionary.

' Dar!inism vers&s Socialism

Barwinism has been of inestimable service to the bourgeoisie in its struggle against the old powers. It was therefore only natural that bourgeoisdom should apply it against its later enemy, the proletarians, not because the proletarians were antagonistically disposed to Barwinism, but ust the reverse. 1s soon as Barwinism made its appearance, the proletarian vanguard, the /ocialists, hailed the Barwinian theory, because in Barwinism they saw a corroboration and completion of their own theory, not as some superficial opponents believe, that they wanted to base /ocialism upon Barwinism but in the sense that the Barwinian discovery, ( that even in the apparently stagnant organic world there is a continuous development ( is a glorious corroboration and completion of the !arxian theory of social development. Fet it was natural for the bourgeoisie to make use of Barwinism against the proletarians. The bourgeoisie had to contend with two armies, and the reactionary classes know this full well. .hen the bourgeoisie attacks their authority, they point at the proletarians and caution the bourgeoisie to beware lest all authority crumble. In doing this, the reactionists mean to frighten the bourgeoisie so that they may desist from any revolutionary activity. #f course, the bourgeois representatives answer that there is nothing to fear, that their science but refutes the groundless authority of the nobility and supports them in their struggle against enemies of order. 1t a congress of naturalists, the reactionary politician and scientist Kirchow assailed the Barwinian theory on the ground that it supported /ocialism. &Be careful of this theory,) he said to the Barwinists, &for this theory is very nearly related to the theory that caused so much dread in our neighboring country.) This allusion to the ?aris $ommune, made in the year famous for the hunting of /ocialists, must have had a great effect. .hat shall be said, however, about the science of a professor who attacks Barwinism with the argument that it is not correct because it is dangerous; This reproach, of being in league with the red revolutionists, caused a lot of annoyance to 5aeckel, the defendant of this theory. 5e could not stand it. Immediately afterwards he tried to demonstrate that it is ust the Barwinian theory that shows the untenableness of the /ocialist demands, and that Barwinism and /ocialism &endure each other as fire and water.) Het us follow 5aeckel6s contentions, whose main thoughts re-occur in most authors who base their arguments against /ocialism on Barwinism. /ocialism is a theory which presupposes natural e2uality for people, and strives to bring about social e2uality, e2ual rights, e2ual duties, e2ual possessions and e2ual en oyments. Barwinism, on the contrary, is the scientific proof of ine2uality. The theory of descent establishes the fact that animal development goes in the direction of ever greater differentiation or division of labor, the higher or more perfect the animal, the greater the ine2uality existing. The same holds also good in society. 5ere, too, we see the great division of 9=

labor between vocations, class, etc., and the more society has developed, the greater become the ine2ualities in strength, ability and faculty. The theory of descent is therefore to be recommended as &the best antidote to the /ocialist demand of making all e2ual.) The same holds good, but to a greater extent, of the Barwinian theory of survival. /ocialism wants to abolish competition and the struggle for existence. But Barwinism teaches us that this struggle is unavoidable and is a natural law for the entire organic world. 'ot only is this struggle natural, but it is also useful and beneficial. This struggle brings an ever greater perfection, and this perfection consists in an ever greater extermination of the unfit. #nly the chosen minority, those who are 2ualified to withstand competition, can survive, the great ma ority must perish. !any are called, but few are chosen. The struggle for existence results at the same time in a victory for the best, while the bad and unfit must perish. This may be lamentable, ust as it is lamentable that all must die, but the fact can neither be denied nor changed. .e wish to remark here how a small change of almost similar words serves as a defence of capitalism. Barwin spoke about the survival of the fittest, of those that are best fitted to the conditions. /eeing that in this struggle those that are better organi%ed con2uer the others, the con2uerors were called the vigilant, and later the &best.) This expression was coined by 5erbert /pencer. In thus winning on their field, the con2uerors in the social struggle, the large capitalists, were proclaimed the best people. 5aeckel retained and still upholds this conception. In 0C>7 he said,
&Barwinism, or the theory of selection, is thoroughly aristocratic, it is based upon the survival of the best. The division of labor brought about by development causes an ever greater variation in character, an ever greater ine2uality among the individuals, in their activity, education and condition. The higher the advance of human culture, the greater the difference and gulf between the various classes existing. $ommunism and the demands put up by the /ocialists in demanding an e2uality of conditions and activity is synonymous with going back to the primitive stages of barbarism.)

The English philosopher 5erbert /pencer already had a theory on social growth before Barwin. This was the bourgeois theory of individualism, based upon the struggle for existence. Hater he brought this theory into close relation with Barwinism. &In the animal world,) he said, &the old, weak and sick are ever rooted out and only the strong and healthy survive. The struggle for existence serves therefore as a purification of the race, protecting it from deterioration. This is the happy effect of this struggle, for if this struggle should cease and each one were sure of procuring its existence without any struggle whatsoever, the race would necessarily deteriorate. The support given to the sick, weak and unfit causes a general race degeneration. If sympathy, finding its expressions in charity, goes beyond its reasonable bounds, it misses its ob ect, instead of diminishing, it increases the suffering for the new generations. The good effect of the struggle for existence can best be seen in wild animals. They are all strong and healthy because they had to undergo thousands of dangers wherein all those that were not 2ualified had to perish. 1mong men and domestic animals sickness and weakness are so general because the sick and weak are preserved. /ocialism, having as its aim to abolish the struggle for existence in the human world, will necessarily bring about an ever growing mental and physical deterioration.) These are the main contentions of those who use Barwinism as a defence of the bourgeois system. /trong as these arguments might appear at first sights they were not hard for the /ocialists to overcome. To a large extent, they are the old arguments used against /ocialism, but wearing the new garb of Barwinistic terminology, and they show an utter ignorance of /ocialism as well as of capitalism. Those who compare the social organism with the animal body leave unconsidered the fact that men do not differ like various cells or organs. but only in degree of their capacity. In society the division of labor cannot go so far that all capacities should perish at the expense of one. .hat is more, everyone who understands something of /ocialism knows that the efficient division of labor does not cease with /ocialism, that first under /ocialism real divisions will be possible. The difference between the workers, their ability, and employments will not cease, all that will cease is the difference between workers and exploiters. .hile it is positively true that in the struggle for existence those animals that are strong, healthy and well survive, yet this does not happen under capitalist competition. 5ere victory does not depend upon perfection 9@

of those engaged in the struggle, but in something that lies outside of their body. .hile this struggle may hold good with the small bourgeois, where success depends upon personal abilities and 2ualifications, yet with the further development of capital, success does not depend upon personal abilities, but upon the possession of capital. The one who has a larger capital at command as will soon con2uer the one who has a smaller capital at his disposal, although the latter may be more skillful. It is not the personal 2ualities, but the possession of money that decides who the victor shall be in the struggle. .hen the small capitalists perish, they do not perish as men but as capitalists, they are not weeded out from among the living, but from the bourgeoisie. They still exist, but no longer as capitalists. The competition existing in the capitalist system is therefore something different in re2uisites and results from the animal struggle for existence. Those people that perish as people are members of an entirely different class, a class that does not take part in the competitive struggle. The workers do not compete with the capitalists, they only sell their labor power to them. #wing to their being propertyless, they have not even the opportunity to measure their great 2ualities and enter a race with the capitalists. Their poverty and misery cannot be attributed to the fact that they fell in the competitive struggle on account of weakness. but because they were paid very little for their labor power, it is for this very reason that, although their children are born strong and healthy, they perish in great mass, while the children born to rich parents, although born sick, remain alive by means of the nourishment and great care that is bestowed on them. These children of the poor do not die because they are sick or weak, but because of external causes. It is capitalism which creates all those unfavorable conditions by means of exploitation, reduction of wages, unemployment crises, bad dwellings, and long hours of employment. It is the capitalist system that causes so many strong and healthy ones to succumb. Thus the /ocialists prove that different from the animal world, the competitive struggle existing between men does not bring forth the best and most 2ualified, but destroys many strong and healthy ones because of their poverty, while those that are rich, even if weak and sick, survive. /ocialists prove that personal strength is not the determining factor, but it is something outside of man, it is the possession of money that determines who shall survive and who shall perish.

'% at&ral La! and Social Theor(

The false conclusions reached by 5aeckel and /pencer on /ocialism are no surprise. Barwinism and !arxism are two distinct theories, one of which applies to the animal world, while the other applies to society. They supplement each other in the sense that, according to the Barwinian theory of evolution, the animal world develops up to the stage of man, and from then on, that is, after the animal has risen to man, the !arxian theory of evolution applies. .hen however, one wishes to carry the theory of one domain into that of the other, where different laws are applicable he must draw wrong inferences. /uch is the case when we wish to ascertain from natural law what social form is natural and applicable and this is ust what the bourgeois Barwinists did. They drew the inference that the laws which govern in the animal world, where the Barwinian theory applies, apply with e2ual force in the capitalist system, and that therefore capitalism is a natural order and must endure forever. #n the other hand, there were some /ocialists who desired to prove that, according to Barwin, the /ocialist system is the natural one. /aid these /ocialists,
&"nder capitalism men do not carry on the struggle for existence with like tools, but with unlike ones artificially made. The natural superiority of those that are healthier, stronger, more intelligent or morally better, is of no avail so long as birth, class, or the possession of money control this struggle. /ocialism, in abolishing all these artificial dissimilarities, will make e2ual provisions for all, and then only will the struggle for existence prevail, wherein the real personal superiorities will be the deciding factors.)

These critical arguments, while they are not bad when used as refutations against bourgeois Barwinists, are still faulty. Both sets of arguments, those used by the bourgeois Barwinists in favor of capitalism, and those of the /ocialists, who base their /ocialism on Barwin, are falsely rooted. Both arguments, although reaching 9D

opposite conclusions, are e2ually false because they proceed from the wrong premises that there is a natural and a permanent system of society. !arxism has taught us that there is no such thing as a natural and a permanent social system, and that there can be none, or, to put it another way, every social system is natural, for every social system is necessary and natural under given conditions. There is not a single definite social system that can be accepted as natural, the various social systems take the place of one another as a result of developments in the means of production. Each system is therefore the natural one for its particular time. $apitalism is not the only natural order, as the bourgeoisie believes, and no /ocialist system is the only natural system, as some /ocialists try to prove. $apitalism was natural under the conditions of the nineteenth century, ust as feudalism was in the !iddle 1ges, and as /ocialism will be in the coming age. The attempt to put forward a certain system as the only natural and permanent one is as futile as if we were to take an animal and say that this animal is the most perfect of all animals. Barwinism teaches us that every animal is e2ually adapted and e2ually perfect in form to suit its special environments, and !arxism teaches us that every social system is particularly adapted to its conditions, and that in this sense it may be called good and perfect. 5erein lies the main reason why the endeavor of the bourgeois Barwinists to defend the foundering capitalist system is bound to fail. 1rguments based on natural science, when applied to social 2uestions, must almost always lead to wrong conclusions. This happens because, while nature is very slow in its development and changes during human history are practicably imperceptible, so that it may almost be regarded as stable, human society nevertheless undergoes 2uick and continuous changes. In order to understand the moving force and the cause of social development, we must study society as such. It is only here that we can find the reason of social development. !arxism and Barwinism should remain in their own domains, they are independent of each other and there is no direct connection between them. 5ere arises a very important 2uestion. $an we stop at the conclusion that !arxism applies only to society and that Barwinism applies only to the organic world, and that neither of these theories is applicable in the other domain: In practice it is very convenient to have one principle for the human world and another one for the animal world. In having this, however, we forget that man is also an animal. !an has developed from an animal, and the laws that apply to the animal world cannot suddenly lose their applicability to man. It is true that man is a very peculiar animal, but if that is the case it is necessary to find from these very peculiarities why those principles applicable to all animals do not apply to men, and why they assume a different form. 5ere we come to another grave problem. The bourgeois Barwinists do not encounter such a problem, they simply declare that man is an animal, and without further ado they set about to apply the Barwinian principles to men. .e have seen to what erroneous conclusions they come. To us this 2uestion is not so simple, we must first be clear about the differences between men and animals, and then we can see why, in the human world, the Barwinian principles change into different ones, namely, into !arxism.

'%% The Sociabilit( of Man

The first peculiarity that we observe in man is that he is a social being. In this he does not differ from all animals, for even among the latter there are many species that live socially among themselves. But man differs from all those that we have observed until now in dealing with the Barwinian theory, he differs from those animals that do not live socially, but that struggle with each other for subsistence. It is not with the rapacious animals which live separately that man must be compared, but with those that live socially. The sociability of animals is a power that we have not yet spoken of, a power that calls forth new 2ualities among animals. It is an error to regard the struggle for existence as the only power giving shape to the organic world. The struggle for existence is the main power that causes the origin of new species, but Barwin himself knew full well that other powers co-operate which give shape to the forms, habits, and peculiarities of animate things. 9E

In his &Bescent of !an) Barwin elaborately treated sexual selection and showed that the competition of males for females gave rise to the gay colors of the birds and butterflies and also to the singing voices of birds. There he also devoted a chapter to social living. !any illustrations on this head are also to be found in 8ropotkin6s book, &!utual 1id as a 3actor in Evolution.) The best representation of the effects of sociability are given in 8autsky6s &Ethics and the !aterialistic $onception of 5istory.) .hen a number of animals live in a group, herd or flock, they carry on the struggle for existence in common against the outside world, within such a group the struggle for existence ceases. The animals which live socially no longer wage a struggle against each other, wherein the weak succumb, ust the reverse, the weak en oy the same advantages as the strong. .hen some animals have the advantage by means of greater strength, sharper smell, or experience in finding the best pasture or in warding off the enemy, this advantage does not accrue only to these better fitted, but also to the entire group. This combining of the animals6 separate powers into one unit gives to the group a new and much stronger power than any one individual possessed, even the strongest. It is owing to this united strength that the defenseless plant-eaters can ward off rapacious animals. It is only by means of this unity that some animals are able to protect their young. 1 second advantage of sociability arises from the fact that where animals live socially, there is a possibility of the division of labor. /uch animals send out scouts or place sentinels whose ob ect it is to look after the safety of all, while others spend their time either in eating or in plucking, relying upon their guards to warn them of danger. /uch an animal society becomes, in some respects a unit, a single organism. 'aturally, the relation remains much looser than the cells of a single animal body, nevertheless, the group becomes a coherent body, and there must be some power that holds together the individual members. This power is found in the social motives, the instinct that holds them together and causes the continuance of the group. Every animal must place the interest of the entire group above his own, it must always act instinctively for the advantage and maintenance of the group without consideration of itself. 1s long as the weak plant-eaters think of themselves only and run away when attacked by a rapacious animal, each one minding his life only, the entire herd disappears. #nly when the strong motive of self-preservation is suppressed by a stronger motive of union, and each animal risks its life for the protection of all, only then does the herd remain and en oy the advantages of sticking together. In such a case, self-sacrifice, bravery, devotion, discipline and consciousness must arise, for where these do not exist society dissolves, society can only exist where these exist. These instincts, while they have their origin in habit and necessity, are strengthened by the struggle for existence. Every animal herd still stands in a competitive struggle against the same animals of a different herd, those that are best fitted to withstand the enemy will survive, while those that are poorer e2uipped will perish. That group in which the social instinct is better developed will be able to hold its ground, while the group in which social instinct is low will either fall an easy prey to its enemies or will not be in a position to find favorable feeding places. These social instincts become therefore the most important and decisive factors that determine who shall survive in the struggle for existence. It is owing to this that the social instincts have been elevated to the position of predominant factors. These relations throw an entirely new light upon the views of the bourgeois Barwinists. Their claim is that the extermination of the weak is natural and that it is necessary in order to prevent the corruption of the race, and that the protection given to the weak serves to deteriorate the race. But what do we see: In nature itself, in the animal world, we find that the weak are protected, that it is not by their own personal strength that they maintain themselves, and that they are not brushed aside on account of their personal weakness. This arrangement does not weaken the group, but gives to it new strength. The animal group in which mutual aid is best developed is best fit to maintain itself in the strife. That which, according to the narrow conception appeared as a cause of weakness, becomes ust the reverse, a cause of strength. The sociable animals are in a position to beat those that carry on the struggle individually. This so-called degenerating and deteriorating race carries off the victory and practically proves itself to be the most skilful and best. 9C

5ere we first see fully how near sighted, narrow and unscientific are the claims and arguments of the bourgeois Barwinists. Their natural laws and their conceptions of what is natural are derived from a part of the animal world, from those which man resembles least, while those animals that practically live under the same circumstances as man are left unobserved. The reason for this can be found in the bourgeoise6s own circumstances, they themselves belong to a class where each competes individually against the other. Therefore, they see among animals only that form of the struggle for existence. It is for this reason that they overlook those forms of the struggle that are of greatest importance to men. It is true that these bourgeois Barwinists are aware of the fact that man is not ruled by mere egoism without regard for his neighbors. The bourgeois scientists say very often that every man is possessed of two feelings, the egotistical, or self-love, and the altruistic, the love of others. But as they do not know the social origin of this altruism, they cannot understand its limitations and conditions. 1ltruism in their mouths becomes a very indistinct idea which they don6t know how to handle. Everything that applies to the social animals applies also to man. #ur ape-like ancestors and the primitive men developing from them were all defenseless, weak animals who, as almost all apes do, lived in tribes. 5ere the same social motives and instincts had to arise which later developed to moral feelings. That our customs and morals are nothing other than social feelings, feelings that we find among animals, is known to all, even Barwin spoke about &the habits of animals which would be called moral among men.) The difference is only in the measure of consciousness, as soon as these social feelings become clear to men, they assume the character of moral feelings. 5ere we see that the moral conception ( which bourgeois authors considered as the main distinction between men and animals ( is not common to men, but is a direct product of conditions existing in the animal world. It is in the nature of the origin of these moral feelings that they do not spread further than the social group to which the animal or the man belongs. These feelings serve the practical ob ect of keeping the group together, beyond this they are useless. In the animal world, the range and nature of the social group is determined by the circumstances of life, and therefore the group almost always remains the same. 1mong men, however, the groups, these social units, are ever changing in accordance with economic development, and this also changes the social instincts. The original groups, the stems of the wild and barbarian people, were more strongly united than the animal groups. 3amily relationship and a common language strengthened this union further. Every individual had the support of the entire tribe. "nder such conditions, the social motives, the moral feelings, the subordination of the individual to the whole, must have developed to the utmost. .ith the further development of society, the tribes are dissolved and their places are taken by new unions, by towns and peoples. 'ew formations step into the place of the old ones, and the members of these groups carry on the struggle for existence in common against other peoples. In e2ual ratio with economic development, the si%e of these unions increases, the struggle of each against the other decreases, and social feelings spread. 1t the end of ancient times we find that all the people known then formed a unit, the <oman Empire, and at that time arose the theory ( the moral feelings having their influence on almost all the people ( which led to the maxim that all men are brothers. .hen we regard our own times, we see that economically all the people form one unit, although a very weak one, nevertheless the abstract feeling of brotherhood becomes ever more popular. The social feelings are strongest among members of the same class, for classes are the essential units embodying particular interests and including certain members. Thus we see that the social units and social feelings change in human society. These changes are brought about by economic changes, and the higher the stage of economic development, the higher and nobler the social feelings.


'%%% Tools) Tho&ght and Lang&age

/ociability, with its conse2uences, the moral feelings, is a peculiarity which distinguishes man from some, but not from all, animals. There are, however, some peculiarities which belong to man only, and which separate him from the entire animal world. These, in the first instance, are language, then reason. !an is also the only animal that makes use of self-made tools. 3or all these things, animals have but the slightest propensity, but among men, these have developed essentially new characteristics. !any animals have some kind of voice, and by means of sounds they can come to some understanding, but only man has such sounds as serve as a medium for naming things and actions. 1nimals also have brains with which they think, but the human mind shows, as we shall see later, an entirely new departure, which we designate as reasonable or abstract thinking. 1nimals, too, make use of inanimate things which they use for certain purposes, for instance, the building of nests. !onkeys sometimes use sticks or stones, but only man uses tools which he himself deliberately makes for particular purposes. These primitive tendencies among animals show us that the peculiarities possessed by man came to him, not by means of some wonderful creation, but by continuous development. 1nimals living isolated can not arrive at such a stage of development. It is only as a social being that man can reach this stage. #utside the pale of society, language is ust as useless as an eye in darkness, and is bound to die. Hanguage is possible only in society, and only there is it needed as a means by which members may understand one another. 1ll social animals possess some means of understanding each other, otherwise they would not be able to execute certain plans con ointly. The sounds that were necessary as a means of communication for the primitive man while at his tasks must have developed into names of activities, and later into names of things, The use of tools also presupposes a society, for it is only through society that attainments can be preserved. In a state of isolated life every one has to make discoveries for himself and with the death of the discoverer the discovery also becomes extinct, and each has to start anew from the very beginning. It is only through society that the experience and knowledge of former generations can be preserved, perpetuated, and developed. In a group or body a few may die, but the group, as such, does not. It remains. 8nowledge in the use of tools is not born with man, but is ac2uired later. !ental tradition, such as is possible only in society, is therefore necessary. .hile these special characteristics of man are inseparable from his social life, they also stand in strong relation to each other. These characteristics have not been developed singly, but all have progressed in common. That thought and language can exist and develop only in common is known to everyone who has but tried to think of the nature of his own thoughts. .hen we think or consider, we, in fact, talk to our selves, we observe then that it is impossible for us to think clearly without using words. .here we do not think with words our thoughts remain indistinct and we can not combine the various thoughts. Everyone can reali%e this from his own experience. This is because so-called abstract reason is perceptive thought and can take place only by means of perceptions. ?erceptions we can designate and hold only by means of names. Every attempt to broaden our minds, every attempt to advance our knowledge must begin by distinguishing and classifying by means of names or by giving to the old ones a more precise meaning. Hanguage is the body of the mind, the material by which all human science can be built up. The difference between the human mind and the animal mind was very aptly shown by /chopenhauer. This citation is 2uoted by 8autsky in his &Ethics and the !aterialist $onception of 5istory) *pages 09>-=G, English Translation+. The animal6s actions are dependent upon visual motives, it is only by these that it sees, hears or observes in any other way. .e can always tell what induced the animal to do this or the other act, for we, too, can see it if we look. .ith man6s however, it is entirely different. .e can not foretell what he will do, for we do not know the motives that induce him to act, they are thoughts in his head. !an considers, and in so doing, all his knowledge, the result of former experience, comes into play, and it is then that he =G

decides how to act. The acts of an animal depend upon immediate impression, while those of man depend upon abstract conceptions, upon his thinking and perceiving. !an is at the same time influenced by finer invisible motives. Thus all his movements bear the impress of being guided by principles and intentions which give them the appearance of independence and obviously distinguishes them from those of animals. #wing to their having bodily wants, men and animals are forced to seek to satisfy them in the natural ob ects surrounding them. The impression on the mind is the immediate impulse and beginning, the satisfaction of the wants is the aim and end of the act. .ith the animal, action follows immediately after impression. It sees its prey or food and immediately it umps, grasps, eats, or does that which is necessary for grasping, and this is inherited as an instinct. The animal hears some hostile sound, and immediately it runs away if its legs are so developed to run 2uickly, or lies down like dead so as not to be seen if its color serves as a protector. Between man6s impressions and acts, however, there comes into his head a long chain of thoughts and considerations. 5is actions will depend upon the result of these considerations. .hence comes this difference: It is not hard to see that it is closely associated with the use of tools. In the same manner that thought arises between man6s impressions and acts, the tool comes in between man and that which he seeks to attain. 3urthermore, since the tool stands between man and outside ob ects, thought must arise between the impression and the performance. !an does not start empty-handed against his enemy or tear down fruit, but he goes about it in a roundabout manner, he takes a tool, a weapon *weapons are also tools+ which he uses against the hostile animal, therefore his mind must also make the same circuit, not follow the first impressions, but it must think of the tools and then follow through to the ob ect. This material circuit causes the mental circuit, the thoughts leading to a certain act are the result of the tools necessary for the performance of the act. 5ere we took a very simple case of primitive tools and the first stages of mental development. The more complicated techni2ue becomes, the greater is the material circuit, and as a result the mind has to make greater circuits. .hen each made his own tools, the thought of hunger and struggle must have directed the human mind to the making of tools. 5ere we have a longer chain of thoughts between the impressions and the ultimate satisfaction of men6s needs. .hen we come down to our own times, we find that this chain is very long and complicated. The worker who is discharged foresees the hunger that is bound to come, he buys a newspaper in order to see whether there is any demand for laborers, he goes to the railroad, offers himself for a wage which he will get only long afterwards, so that he may be in a position to buy food and thus protect himself from starvation. .hat a long circuitous chain the mind must make before it reaches its destiny. But it agrees with our highly developed techni2ue, by means of which man can satisfy his wants. !an, however, does not rule over one tool only, but over many, which he applies for different purposes, and from which he can choose. !an, because of these tools, is not like the animal. The animal never advances beyond the tools and weapons with which it was born, while man makes his tools and changes them at will. !an, being an animal using different tools, must possess the mental ability to choose them. In his head various thoughts come and go, his mind considers all the tools and the conse2uences of their application, and his actions depend upon these considerations. 5e also combines one thought with another, and holds fast to the idea that fits in with his purpose. 1nimals have not this capacity, it would be useless for them for they would not know what to do with it. #n account of their bodily form, their actions are circumscribed within narrow bounds. The lion can only ump upon his prey, but can not think of catching it by running after it. The hare is so formed that it can run, it has no other means of defense although it may like to have. These animals have nothing to consider except the moment of umping or running. Every animal is so formed as to fit into some definite place. Their actions must become strong habits. These habits are not unchangeable. 1nimals are not machines, when brought into different circumstances they may ac2uire different habits. It is not in the 2uality of their brains, but in the formation of their bodies that animal restrictions lie. The animal6s action is limited by its bodily form and surroundings, and conse2uently it has little need for reflection. To reason would therefore be useless for it and would only lead to harm rather than to good. !an, on the other hand, must possess this ability because he exercises discretion in the use of tools and weapons, which he chooses according to particular re2uirements. If he wants to kill the fleet hare, he takes =0

the bow and arrow, if he meets the bear, he uses the axe, and if he wants to break open a certain fruit he takes a hammer. .hen threatened by danger, man must consider whether he shall run away or defend himself by fighting with weapons. This ability to think and to consider is indispensable to man in his use of artificial tools. This strong connection between thoughts, language, and tools, each of which is impossible without the other, shows that they must have developed at the same time. 5ow this development took place, we can only con ecture. "ndoubtedly it was a change in the circumstances of life that changed men from our apelike ancestors. 5aving migrated from the woods, the original habitat of apes, to the plain, man had to undergo an entire change of life. The difference between hands and feet must have developed then. /ociability and the ape-like hand, well adapted for grasping, had a due share in the new development. The first rough ob ects, such as stones or sticks, came to hand unsought, and were thrown away. This must have been repeated so often that it must have left an impression on the minds of those primitive men. To the animal, surrounding nature is a single unit, of the details of which it is unconscious. It can not distinguish between various ob ects. #ur primitive man, at his lowest stage, must have been at the same level of consciousness. 3rom the great mass surrounding him, some ob ects *tools+ come into his hands which he used in procuring his existence. These tools, being very important ob ects, soon were given some designation, were designated by a sound which at the same time named the particular activity. #wing to this sound, or designation, the tool and the particular kind of activity stands out from the rest of the surroundings. !an begins to analy%e the world by concepts and names, self-consciousness makes its appearance, artificial ob ects are purposely sought and knowingly made use of while working. This process ( for it is a very slow process ( marks the beginning of our becoming men. 1s soon as men deliberately seek and apply certain tools, we can say that these are being developed, from this stage to the manufacturing of tools, there is only one step. The first crude tools differ according to use, from the sharp stone we get the knife, the bolt, the drill, and the spear, from the stick we get the hatchet. .ith the further differentiation of tools, serving later for the division of labor, language and thought develop into richer and newer forms, while thought leads man to use the tools in a better way, to improve old and invent new ones. /o we see that one thing brings on the other. The practice of sociability and the application to labor are the springs in which techni2ue, thought, tools and science have their origin and continually develop. By his labor, the primitive ape-like man has risen to real manhood. The use of tools marks the great departure that is ever more widening between men and animals.

%* $nimal +rgans and ,&man Tools

In animal organs and human tools we have the main difference between men and animals. The animal obtains its food and subdues its enemies with its own bodily organs, man does the same thing with the aid of tools. #rgan *organon+ is a Greek word which also means tools. #rgans are natural, adnated *grown-on+ tools of the animal. Tools are the artificial organs of men. Better still, what the organ is to the animal, the hand and tool is to man. The hands and tools perform the functions that the animal must perform with its own organs. #wing to the construction of the hand to hold various tools, it becomes a general organ adapted to all kinds of work, it becomes therefore an organ that can perform a variety of functions. .ith the division of these functions, a broad field of development is opened for men which animals do not know. Because the human hand can use various tools, it can combine the functions of all possible organs possessed by animals. Every animal is built and adapted to a certain definite surrounding. !an, with his tools, is adapted to all circumstances and e2uipped for all surroundings. The horse is built for the prairie, and the monkey is built for the forest. In the forest, the horse would be ust as helpless as the monkey would be if =7

brought to the prairie. !an, on the other hand, uses the axe in the forest, and the spade on the prairie. .ith his tools, man can force his way in all parts of the world and establish himself all over. .hile almost all animals can live in particular regions, such as supply their wants, and if taken to different regions cannot exist, man has con2uered the whole world. Every animal has, as a %oologist expressed it once, its strength by which means it maintains itself in the struggle for existence, and its weakness, owing to which it falls a prey to others and cannot multiply itself. In this sense, man has only strength and no weakness. #wing to his having tools, man is the e2ual of all animals. 1s these tools do not remain stationary, but continually improve, man grows above every animal. 5is tools make him master of all creation, the king of the earth. In the animal world there is also a continuous development and perfection of organs. This development, however, is connected with the changes of the animal6s body, which makes the development of the organs infinitely slow, as dictated by biological laws. In the development of the organic world, thousands of years amount to nothing. !an, however, by transferring his organic development upon external ob ects has been able to free himself from the chain of biologic law. Tools can be transformed 2uickly, and techni2ue makes such rapid strides that, in comparison with the development of animal organs, it must be called marvelous. #wing to this new road, man has been able, within the short period of a few thousand years, to rise above the highest animal. .ith the invention of these implements, man got to be a divine power, and he takes possession of the earth as his exclusive dominion. The peaceful and hitherto unhindered development of the organic world ceases to develop according to the Barwinian theory. It is man that acts as breeder, tamer, cultivator, and it is man that does the weeding. It is man that changes the entire environment, making the further forms of plants and animals suit his aim and will. .ith the origin of tools, further changes in the human body cease. The human organs remain what they were, with the exception of the brain. The human brain had to develop together with tools, and, in fact, we see that the difference between the higher and lower races of mankind consists mainly in the contents of their brains. But even the development of this organ had to stop at a certain stage. /ince the beginning of civili%ation, the functions of the brain are ever more taken away by some artificial means, science is treasured up in books. #ur reasoning faculty of today is not much better than the one possessed by the Greeks, <omans or even the Teutons, but our knowledge has grown immensely, and this is greatly due to the fact that the mental organ was unburdened by its substitutes, the books. 5aving learned the difference between men and animals, let us now again consider how they are affected by the struggle for existence. That this struggle is the cause of perfection and the weeding out of the imperfect, can not be denied. In this struggle the animals become ever more perfect. 5ere, however, it is necessary to be more precise in expression and in observation of what perfection consists. In being so, we can no longer say that animals as a whole struggle and become perfected. 1nimals struggle and compete by means of their particular organs. Hions do not carry on the struggle by means of their tails, hares do not rely on their eyes, nor do the falcons succeed by means of their beaks. Hions carry on the struggle by means of their saltatory *leaping+ muscles and their teeth, hares rely upon their paws and ears, and falcons succeed on account of their eyes and wings. If now we ask what is it that struggles and what competes, the answer is, the organs struggle. The muscles and teeth of the lion, the paws and ears of the hare, and the eyes and wings of the falcon carry on the struggle. It is in this struggle that the organs become perfected. The animal as a whole depends upon these organs and shares their fate. Het us now ask the same 2uestion about the human world. !en do not struggle by means of their natural organs, but by means of artificial organs, by means of tools *and weapons we must understand as tools+. 5ere, too, the principle of perfection and the weeding out of the imperfect, through struggle, holds true. The tools struggle, and this leads to the ever greater perfection of tools. Those groups of tribes that use better tools and weapons can best secure their maintenance, and when it comes to a direct struggle with another race, the race that is better e2uipped with artificial tools will win. Those races whose technical aids are better developed, can drive out or subdue those whose artificial aids are not developed. The European race dominates because its external aids are better. 5ere we see that the principle of the struggle for existence, formulated by Barwin and emphasi%ed by /pencer, has a different effect on men than on animals. The principle that struggle leads to the perfection of the weapons used in the strife, leads to different results between men and animals. In the animal, it leads to a =9

continuous development of natural organs, that is the foundation of the theory of descent, the essence of Barwinism. In men, it leads to a continuous development of tools, of the means of production. This, however, is the foundation of !arxism. 5ere we see that !arxism and Barwinism are not two independent theories, each of which applies to its special domain, without having anything in common with the other. In reality, the same principle underlies both theories. They form one unit. The new course taken by men, the substitution of tools for natural organs, causes this fundamental principle to manifest itself differently in the two domains, that of the animal world to develop according to Barwinians principle, while among mankind the !arxian principle applies. .hen men freed themselves from the animal world, the development of tools and productive methods, the division of labor and knowledge became the propelling force in social development. It is these that brought about the various systems, such as primitive communism, the peasant system, the beginnings of commodity production, feudalism, and now modern capitalism, and which bring us ever nearer to /ocialism.

* "apitalism and Socialism

The particular form that the Barwinian struggle for existence assumes in development is determined by men6s sociability and their use of tools. The struggle for existence, while it is still carried on among members of different groups, nevertheless ceases among members of the same group, and its place is taken by mutual aid and social feeling. In the struggle between groups, technical e2uipment decides who shall be the victor, this results in the progress of techni2ue. These two circumstances lead to different effects under different systems. Het us see in what manner they work out under capitalism. .hen the bourgeoisie gained political power and made the capitalist system the dominating one, it began by breaking the feudal bonds and freeing the people from all feudal ties. It was essential for capitalism that every one should be able to take part in the competitive struggle, that no one6s movements be tied up or narrowed by corporate duties or hampered by legal statutes, for only thus was it possible for production to develop its full capacity. The workers must have free command over themselves and not be tied up by feudal or guild duties, for only as free workers can they sell their labor-power to the capitalists as a whole commodity, and only as free laborers can the capitalists use them. It is for this reason that the bourgeoisie has done away with all old ties and duties. It made the people entirely free, but at the same time left them entirely isolated and unprotected. 3ormerly the people were not isolated, they belonged to some corporation, they were under the protection of some lord or commune, and in this they found strength. They were a part of a social group to which they owed duties and from which they received protection. These duties the bourgeoisie abolished, it destroyed the corporations and abolished the feudal relations. The freeing of labor meant at the same time that all refuge was taken away from him and that he could no longer rely upon others. Every one had to rely upon himself. 1lone, free from all ties and protection, he must struggle against all. It is for this reason that, under capitalism, the human world resembles mostly the world of rapacious animals and it is for this very reason that the bourgeois Barwinists looked for men6s prototype among animals living isolated. To this they were led by their own experience. Their mistake, however, consisted in considering capitalist conditions as everlasting. The relation existing between our capitalist competitive system and animals living isolated, was thus expressed by Engels in his book, &1nti-Buehring) *page 79>. This may also be found on page @> of &/ocialism, "topian and /cientific)+ as follows4
&3inally, modern industry and the opening of the world market made the struggle universal and at the same time gave it unheard-of virulence. 1dvantages in natural or artificial conditions of production now decide the existence or nonexistence of individual capitalists as well as of whole industries and countries. 5e that falls is remorselessly cast aside. It is the Barwinian struggle of the individual for existence transferred from 'ature to society with intensified violence. The conditions of existence natural to the animal appear as the final term of human development.)

.hat is that which carries on the struggle in this capitalist competition, the perfectness of which decides the victory: ==

3irst come technical tools, machines. 5ere again applies the law that struggle leads to perfection. The machine that is more improved outstrips the less improved, the machines that cannot perform much, and the simple tools are exterminated and machine techni2ue develops with gigantic strides to ever greater productivity. This is the real application of Barwinism to human society. The particular thing about it is that under capitalism there is private property, and behind every machine there is a man. Behind the gigantic machine there is a big capitalist and behind the small machine there is a small capitalist. .ith the defeat of the small machine, the small capitalist, as capitalist, perishes with all his hopes and happiness. 1t the same time the struggle is a race of capital. Harge capital is better e2uipped, large capital is getting ever larger. This concentration of capital undermines capital itself, for it diminishes the bourgeoisie whose interest it is to maintain capitalism, and it increases that mass which seeks to abolish it. In this development, one of the characteristics of capitalism is gradually abolished. In the world where each struggles against all and all against each, a new association develops among the working class, the class organi%ation. The working class organi%ations start with ending the competition existing between workers and combine their separate powers into one great power in their struggle with the outside world. Everything that applies to social groups also applies to this class organi%ation, brought about by natural conditions. In the ranks of this class organi%ation, social motives, moral feelings, self-sacrifice and devotion for the entire body develop in a most splendid way. This solid organi%ation gives to the working class that great strength which it needs in order to con2uer the capitalist class. The class struggle which is not a struggle with tools but for the possession of tools, a struggle for the right to direct industry, will be determined by the strength of the class organi%ation. Het us now look at the future system of production as carried on under /ocialism. The struggle leading to the perfection of the tools does not cease. 1s before under capitalism, the inferior machine will be outdistanced and brushed aside by the one that is superior. 1s before, this process will lead to greater productivity of labor. But private property having been abolished, there will no longer be a man behind each machine calling it his own and sharing its fate. !achines will be common property, and the displacement of the less developed by the better developed machinery will be carried out upon careful consideration. .ith the abolition of classes the entire civili%ed world will become one great productive community. .ithin this community mutual struggle among members will cease and will be carried on with the outside world. It will no longer be a struggle against our own kind, but a struggle for subsistence, a struggle against nature. But owing to development of techni2ue and science, this can hardly be called a struggle. 'ature is sub ect to man and with very little exertion from his side she supplies him with abundance. 5ere a new career opens for man4 man6s rising from the animal world and carrying on his struggle for existence by the use of tools, ceases, and a new chapter of human history begins.

Anton Pannekoek
Anton Pannekoek 1912

a!"ist T#eo!$ and Re%ol&tiona!$ Tactics

1' O&! Di((e!ences
3or several years past, profound tactical disagreement has been developing on a succession of issues amongst those who had previously shared common ground as !arxists and together fought against <evisionism in the name of the radical tactic of class struggle. It first came into the open in 0>0G, in the debate between 8autsky and Huxemburg over the mass strike, then came the dissension over imperialism and the 2uestion of disarmament, and finally, with the conflict over the electoral deal made by the ?arty Executive and the attitude to be adopted towards the liberals, the most important issues of parliamentary politics became the sub ect of dispute. #ne may regret this fact, but no party loyalty can con ure it away, we can only throw light upon it, and this is what the interest of the party demands. #n the one hand, the causes of the dissension must be identified, in order to show that it is natural and necessary, and on the other, the content of the two perspectives, their =@

most basic principles and their most far-reaching implications, must be extracted from the formulations of the two sides, so that party comrades can orientate themselves and choose between them, this is only possible through theoretical discussion. The source of the recent tactical disagreements is clear to see4 under the influence of the modern forms of capitalism, new forms of action have developed in the labour movement, namely mass action. .hen they first made their appearance, they were welcomed by all !arxists and hailed as a sign of revolutionary development, a product of our revolutionary tactics. But as the practical potential of mass action developed, it began to pose new problems, the 2uestion of social revolution, hitherto an unattainably distant ultimate goal, now became a live issue for the militant proletariat, and the tremendous difficulties involved became clear to everyone, almost as a matter of personal experience. This gave rise to two trends of thought4 the one took up the problem of revolution, and by analysing the effectiveness, significance and potential of the new forms of action, sought to grasp how the proletariat would be able to fulfil its mission, the other, as if shrinking before the magnitude of this prospect, groped among the older, parliamentary forms of action in search of tendencies which would for the time being make it possible to postpone tackling the task. The new methods of the labour movement have given rise to an ideological split among those who previously advocated radical !arxist party-tactics. In these circumstances it is our duty as !arxists to clarify the differences as far as possible by means of theoretical discussion. This is why, in our article &!ass action and revolution), we outlined the process of revolutionary development as a reversal of the relations of class power to provide a basic statement of our perspective, and attempted to clarify the differences between our views and those of 8autsky in a criti2ue of two articles by him. In his reply, 8autsky shifted the issue on to a different terrain4 instead of contesting the validity of theoretical formulations, he accused us of wanting to force new tactics upon the party. In the "eip#iger Volks#eitung of > /eptember, we showed that this turned the whole purpose of our argument on its head. .e had attempted, insofar as it was possible, to clarify the distinctions between the three tendencies, two radical and one <evisionist, which now confront each other in the party. $omrade 8autsky seems to have missed the point of this entire analysis, since he remarks testily4 &?annekoek sees my thinking as pure <evisionism.) .hat we were arguing was on the contrary that 8autsky6s position is not <evisionist. 3or the very reason that many comrades mis udged 8autsky because they were preoccupied with the radical-<evisionist dichotomy of previous debates, and wondered if he was gradually turning <evisionist I for this very reason it was necessary to speak out and grasp 8autsky6s practice in terms of the particular nature of his radical position. .hereas <evisionism seeks to limit our activity to parliamentary and trade-union campaigns, to the achievement of reforms and improvements which will evolve naturally into socialism I a perspective which serves as the basis for reformist tactics aimed solely at short-term gains I radicalism stresses the inevitability of the revolutionary struggle for the con2uest of power that lies before us, and therefore directs its tactics towards raising class consciousness and increasing the power of the proletariat. It is over the nature of this revolution that our views diverge. 1s far as 8autsky is concerned, it is an event in the future, a political apocalypse, and all we have to do meanwhile is prepare for the final show-down by gathering our strength and assembling and drilling our troops. In our view, revolution is a process, the first stages of which we are now experiencing, for it is only by the struggle for power itself that the masses can be assembled, drilled and formed into an organisation capable of taking power. These different conceptions lead to completely different evaluations of current practice, and it is apparent that the <evisionists6 re ection of any revolutionary action and 8autsky6s postponement of it to the indefinite future are bound to unite them on many of the current issues over which they both oppose us. This is not of course to say that these currents form distinct, conscious groups in the party4 to some extent they are no more than conflicting trends of thought. 'or does it mean a blurring of the distinction between 8autskian radicalism and <evisionism, merely a rapprochement which will nevertheless become more and more pronounced as the inner logic of development asserts itself, for radicalism that is real and yet passive cannot but lose its mass base. 'ecessary as it was to keep to traditional methods of struggle in the period when the movement was first developing, the time was bound to come when the proletariat would aspire to =D

transform its heightened awareness of its own potential into the con2uest of decisive new positions of strength. The mass actions in the struggle for suffrage in ?russia testify to this determination. <evisionism was itself an expression of this aspiration to achieve positive results as the fruit of growing power, and despite the disappointments and failures it has brought, it owes its influence primarily to the notions that radical party-tactics simply mean waiting passively without making definite gains and that !arxism is a doctrine of fatalism. The proletariat cannot rest from the struggle for fresh advances, those who are not prepared to lead this struggle on a revolutionary course will, whatever their intentions, be inexorably pushed further and further along the reformist path of pursuing positive gains by means of particular parliamentary tactics and bargains with other parties.

2' )lass and


.e argued that $omrade 8autsky had left his !arxist analytical tools at home in his analysis of action by the masses, and that the inade2uacy of his method was apparent from the fact that he failed to come to any definite conclusion. 8autsky replies4 &'ot at all. I came to the very definite conclusion that the unorganised masses in 2uestion were highly unpredictable in character.) 1nd he refers to the shifting sands of the desert as similarly unpredictable. .ith all due respect to this illustration, we must nevertheless stand by our argument. If, in analysing a phenomenon, you find that it takes on various forms and is entirely unpredictable, that merely proves that $ou ha%e not found the real basis determining it. If, after studying the position of the moon, for example, someone &came to the very definite conclusion) that it sometimes appears in the north-east, sometimes in the south and sometimes in the west, in an entirely arbitrary and unpredictable fashion, then everyone would rightly say that this study was fruitless I though it may of course be that the force at work cannot yet be identified. The investigator would only have deserved criticism if he had completely ignored the method of analysis which, as he perfectly well knew, was the only one which could produce results in that field. This is how 8autsky treats action by the masses. 5e observes that the masses have acted in different ways historically, sometimes in a reactionary sense, sometimes in a revolutionary sense, sometimes remaining passive, and comes to the conclusion that one cannot build on this shifting, unpredictable foundation. But what does !arxist theory tell us: That beyond the limits of individual variation, I that is where the masses are concerned I the actions of men are determined by their material situation, their interests and the perspectives arising from the latter and that these, making allowances for the weight of tradition, are different for the different classes. If we are to comprehend the behaviour of the masses, then, we must make clear distinctions between the various classes4 the actions of a lumpenproletarian mass, a peasant mass and a modern proletarian mass will be entirely different. #f course 8autsky could come to no conclusion by throwing them all together indiscriminately, the cause of his failure to find a basis for prediction, however, lies not in the ob ect of his historical analysis, but in the inade2uacy of the methods he has used. 8autsky gives another reason for disregarding the class character of the masses of today4 as a combination of various classes, they have no class character4
&#n p. =@ of my article, I examined what elements might potentially be involved in action of this kind in Germany today. !y finding was that, disregarding children and the agricultural population, one would have to reckon with some thirty million people, only about a tenth of whom would be organised workers. The rest would be made up of unorganised workers, for the most part still infected with the thinking of the peasantry, the petty-bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat, together with a good many members of the latter two strata themselves. Even after ?annekoek6s reproaches, I still do not see how a unified class character can be attributed to such motley masses. It is not that I Lleft my !arxism at home6, I never possessed such Lanalytic tools6. $omrade ?annekoek clearly thinks the essence of !arxism consists in seeing a particular class, namely the class-conscious, industrial wage-proletariat, wherever masses are involved.)

8autsky is not doing himself ustice here. In order to legitimate a momentary lapse, he generalises it, and without ustification. 5e claims that he has never possessed the !arxist &analytical tools) capable of identifying the class character of these &motley masses) I he says &unified), I but what is at issue is obviously the predominant class character, the character of the class that makes up the ma ority and whose perspectives and interests are decisive, as is the case today with the industrial proletariat. But he is doing =E

himself wrong, for this same mass, made all the more motley by the addition of the rural population, arises in the context of parliamentary politics. 1nd all the writers of the /ocial-Bemocratic ?arty set out from the principle that the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat forms the basic content of its parliamentary politics, that the perspectives and interests of wage-labour govern all its policies and represent the perspectives and interests of the people as a whole. Boes that which holds good for the masses in the field of parliamentary politics suddenly cease to apply as soon as they turn to mass action: #n the contrary, the proletarian class character comes out all the more clearly in mass action. .here parliamentary politics are concerned, the whole country is involved, even the most isolated villages and hamlets, how densely the population is concentrated has no bearing. But it is mainly the masses pressed together in the big cities who engage in mass action, and according to the most recent official statistics, the population of the =7 ma or cities of Germany is made up of 0@.C per cent self-employed, >.0 per cent clerical employees and E@.G per cent workers, disregarding the 7@ per cent to whom no precise occupation can be attributed. If we also note that in 0>GE 0@ per cent of the German labour-force worked in small concerns, 7> per cent in medium-scale concerns and @D per cent in large-scale and giant concerns, we see how firmly the character of the wage-labourer employed in large-scale industry is stamped upon the masses likely to participate in mass action. If 8autsky can only see motley masses, it is firstly because he counts the wives of organised workers as belonging to the twenty-seven million not organised, and secondly because he denies the proletarian class character of those workers who are not organised or who have still not shrugged off bourgeois traditions. .e therefore re-emphasise that what counts in the development of these actions, in which the deepest interests and passions of the masses break surface, is not membership of the organisation, nor a traditional ideology, but to an ever-increasing extent the real class character of the masses. It now becomes clear what relationship our methods bear each other. 8autsky denounces my method as &over-simplified !arxism), I am once again asserting that his is neither over-simplified nor oversophisticated, but not !arxist at all. 1ny science seeking to investigate an area of reality must start by identifying the main factors and basic underlying forces in their simplest form, this first simple image is then filled out, improved and made more complex as further details, secondary causes and less direct influences are brought in to correct it, so that it approximates more and more closely to reality. Het us take as an illustration 8autsky6s analysis of the great 3rench revolution. 5ere we find as a first approximation the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the feudal classes, an outline of these main factors, the general validity of which cannot be disputed, could be described as &over-simplified !arxism). In his pamphlet of 0CC>, 8autsky analysed the sub-divisions within those classes, and was thus able to improve and deepen this first simple sketch significantly. The 8autsky of 0>07, however, would maintain that there was no kind of unity to the character of the motley masses which made up the contemporary Third Estate, and that it would be pointless to expect definite actions and results from it. This is how matters stand in this case I except that the situation is more complicated because the future is involved, and the classes of today have to try and locate the forces determining it. 1s a first approximation aimed at gaining an initial general perspective, we must come down to the basic feature of the capitalist world, the struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat, the two principal classes, we attempted to outline the process of revolution as a development of the powerrelations between them. .e are, of course, perfectly well aware that reality is much more complex, and that many problems remain to be resolved before we comprehend it4 we must to some extent await the lessons of practice in order to do so. The bourgeoisie is no more unified a class than the proletariat, tradition still influences both of them, and among the mass of the people there are also the lumpenproletarians, pettybourgeois, and clerical employees whose actions are inevitably determined by their particular class situations. But since they only form admixtures insufficiently important to obscure the basic wageproletarian character of the masses, the above is merely a 2ualification which does not refute the initial outline, but rather elaborates it. The collaboration of various tendencies in the form of a debate is necessary to master and clarify these issues. 'eed we say that we were counting on the author of the Class Conflicts of &'() to indicate the problems and difficulties still to be resolved in his criticisms of our initial sketch: But the 8autsky of 0>07 declares it beyond his competence to assist in this, the most important 2uestion facing the militant proletariat, that of identifying the forces which will shape its coming revolutionary struggle, on the grounds that he does not know how a &unified class character) can be attributed to &such motley masses) as the proletarian masses of today.


*' T#e O!ganisation

In our article in the "eip#iger Volks#eitung, we maintained that 8autsky had without ustification taken our emphasis on the essential importance of the spirit of organisation to mean that we consider the organisation itself unnecessary. .hat we had said was that irrespective of all assaults upon the external forms of association, the masses in which this spirit dwells will always regroup themselves in new organisations, and if, in contrast to the view he expressed at the Bresden party congress in 0>G9, 8autsky now expects the state to refrain from attacking the workers6 organisations, this optimism can only be based upon the spirit of organisation which he so scorns. The spirit of organisation is in fact the active principle which alone endows the framework of organisation with life and energy. But this immortal soul cannot float ethereally in the kingdom of heaven like that of $hristian theology, it continually recreates an organisational form for itself, because it brings together the men in whom it lives for the purpose of oint, organised action. This spirit is not something abstract or imaginary by contrast with the prevailing form of association, the &concrete) organisation, but is *ust as concrete and real as the latter. It binds the individual persons which make up the organisation more closely together than any rules or statutes can do, so that they no longer scatter as disparate atoms when the external bond of rules and statutes is severed. If organisations are able to develop and take action as powerful, stable, united bodies, if neither oining battle nor breaking off the engagement, neither struggle nor defeat can crack their solidarity, if all their members see it as the most natural thing in the world to put the common interest before their own individual interest, they do not do so because of the rights and obligations entailed in the statutes, nor because of the magic power of the organisation6s funds or its democratic constitution4 the reason for all this lies in the proletariat6s sense of organisation, the profound transformation that its character has undergone. .hat 8autsky has to say about the powers which the organisation has at its disposal is all very well4 the 2uality of the arms which the proletariat forges for itself gives it self-confidence and a sense of its own capabilities, and there is no disagreement between us as to the need for the workers to e2uip themselves as well as possible with powerful centralised associations that have ade2uate funds at their disposal. But the virtue of this machinery is dependent upon the readiness of the members to sacrifice themselves, upon their discipline within the organisation, upon their solidarity towards their comrades, in short, upon the fact that they have become completely different persons from the old individualistic pettybourgeois and peasants. If 8autsky sees this new character, this spirit of organisation, as a product of organisation, then in the first place there need be no conflict between this view and our own, and in the second place it is only half correct, for this transformation of human nature in the proletariat is primarily the effect of the conditions under which the workers live, trained as they are to act collectively by the shared experience of exploitation in the same factory, and secondarily a product of class struggle, that is to say militant action on the part of the organisation, it would be difficult to argue that such activities as electing committees and counting subscriptions make much contribution in this respect. It immediately becomes clear what constitutes the essence of proletarian organisation if we consider exactly what distinguishes a trade union from a whist club, a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or an employers6 association. 8autsky obviously does not do so, and sees no difference of principle between them, hence he puts the &yellow associations), which employers compel their workers to oin, on a par with the organisations of the militant proletariat. 5e does not recognise the world-transforming significance of the proletarian organisation. 5e feels able to accuse us of disdain for the organisation4 in reality he values it far less than we do. .hat distinguishes the workers6 organisations from all others is the development of solidarity within them as the basis of their power, the total subordination of the individual to the community, the essence of a new humanity still in the process of formation. The proletarian organisation brings unity to the masses, previously fragmented and powerless, moulding them into an entity with a conscious purpose and with power in its own right. It lays the foundations of a humanity which governs itself, decides its own destiny, and as the first step in that direction, throws off alien oppression. In it there grows up the only agency which can abolish the class hegemony of exploitation, the development of the proletarian organisation in itself signifies the repudiation of all the functions of class rule, it represents the self-created order of the people, and it will fight relentlessly to throw back and put an end to the brutal intervention and despotic attempts at repression which the ruling minority undertakes. It is within the proletarian organisation that the new humanity grows, a humanity now developing into a coherent entity for the first time in the history of the world, production is developing into a unified world economy, and the sense of belonging =>

together is concurrently growing between men, the firm solidarity and fraternity which bind them together as one organism ruled by a single will. 1s far as 8autsky is concerned, the organisation consists only in the &real, concrete) association or club formed by the workers for some practical goal in their own interests and held together only by the external bonds of rules and statutes, ust like an employers6 association or a grocers6 mutual-aid society. If this external bond is broken, the whole thing fragments into so many isolated individuals and the organisation disappears. It is understandable that a conception of this kind leads 8autsky to paint the external dangers threatening the organisation in such sombre colours and warn so energetically against in udicious &trials of strength) which bring demoralisation, mass desertion and the collapse of the organisation in their train. 1t this level of generalisation there can be no ob ection to his warnings4 nobody wants in udicious trials of strength. 'or are the unfortunate conse2uences of a defeat a fantasy on his part, they correspond to the experience of a young labour movement. .hen the workers first discover organisation, they expect great things of it, and enter into battle full of enthusiasm, but if the contest is lost, they often turn their backs upon the organisation in despondency and discouragement, because they regard it only from the direct, practical perspective, as an association bringing immediate benefits, and the new spirit has yet to take firm root in them. But what a different picture greets us in the mature labour movement that is setting its stamp ever more distinctly upon the most advanced countries; 1gain and again we see with what tenacity the workers stick to their organisations, we see how neither defeat nor the most vicious terrorism from the upper classes can induce them to abandon the organisation. They see in the organisation not merely a society formed for purposes of convenience, they feel rather that it is their only strength, their only recourse, that without the organisation they are powerless and defenceless, and this consciousness rules their every action as despotically as an instinct of self-preservation. This is not yet true of all workers, of course, but it is the direction in which they are developing, this new character is growing stronger and stronger in the proletariat. 1nd the dangers painted so black by 8autsky are therefore becoming of increasingly little moment. $ertainly the struggle has its dangers, but it is nevertheless the organisation6s element, the only environment in which it can grow and develop internal strength. .e know of no strategy that can bring only victories and no defeats, however cautious we may be, setbacks and defeats can only be completely avoided by 2uitting the field without a fight, and this would in most cases be worse than a defeat. .e must be prepared for our advances to be only too often brought to a halt by defeat, with no way of avoiding battle. .hen well-meaning leaders hold forth on the serious conse2uences of defeat, the workers are therefore able to retort4 &Bo you think that we, for whom the organisation has become flesh and blood, who know and feel that the organisation is more to us than our very lives I for it represents the life and future of our class I that simply because of a defeat we shall straightway lose confidence in the organisation and run off: $ertainly, a whole section of the masses who flooded to us in attack and victory will drift away again when we suffer a reverse, but this only means that we can count on wider support for our actions than the steadily growing phalanx of our unflinching fighting battalions.) This contrast between 8autsky6s views and our own also makes it clear how it is that we differ so sharply in our evaluation of the organisation even though we share the same theoretical matrix. +t is simpl$ that our perspecti%es correspond to different stages in the de%elopment of the organisation , 8autsky6s to the organisation in its first flowering, ours to a more mature level of development. This is why he considers the external form of organisation to be what is essential and believes that the whole organisation is lost if this form suffers. This is why he takes the transformation of the proletarian character to be the conse2uence of organisation, rather than its essence. This is why he sees the main characterological effect of organisation upon the worker in the confidence and self-restraint brought by the material resources of the collectivity I in other words, the funds. This is why he warns that the workers will turn their backs upon the organisation in demoralisation if it suffers a ma or defeat. 1ll this corresponds to the conception one would derive from observing the organisation in its initial stages of development. The arguments that he puts against us do, therefore, have a basis in reality, but we claim a greater ustification for our perspective in that it belongs to the new reality irresistibly unfolding I and let us not forget that Germany has only had powerful proletarian organisations for a decade; It therefore reflects the sentiments of the young generation of workers that has evolved over the last ten years. The old ideas still apply, of course, but to a decreasing extent, 8autsky6s conceptions express the primitive, immature moments in the organisation, still a force to be reckoned with, @G

but an inhibiting, retarding one. It will be revealed by practice what relationship these different forces bear towards each other, in the decisions and acts by which the proletarian masses show what they deem themselves capable of.

+' T#e )on,&est o( Po-e!

3or a refutation of 8autsky6s extraordinary remarks on the role of the state and the con2uest of political power and for discussion of his tendency to see anarchists everywhere, we must refer the reader to the "eip#iger Volks#eitung of 0G /eptember. 5ere we will add only a few comments to clarify our differences. The 2uestion as to ho, the proletariat gains the fundamental democratic rights which, once its socialist class consciousness is sufficiently developed, endow it with political hegemony, is the basic issue underl$ing our tactics. .e take the view that they can only be won from the ruling class in the course of engagements in which the latter6s whole might takes the field against the proletariat and in which, conse2uently, this whole might is overcome. 1nother conception would be that the ruling class surrenders these rights voluntarily under the influence of universal democratic or ethical ideals and without recourse to the means of coercion at its disposal I this would be the peaceful evolution towards the state of the future envisaged by the <evisionists. 8autsky re ects both these views4 what possible alternative is there: .e inferred from his statements that he conceived the con2uest of power as the destruction of the enemy6s strength once and for all, a single act 2ualitatively different from all the proletariat6s previous activity in preparation for this revolution. /ince 8autsky re ects this reading and since it is desirable that his basic conceptions regarding tactics should be clearly understood, we will proceed to 2uote the most important passages. In #ctober 0>0G, he wrote4
&In a situation like that obtaining in Germany, I can only conceive a political general strike as a uni2ue event in which the entire proletariat throughout the nation engages with all its might, as a life-and-death struggle, one in which our adversary is beaten down or else all our organisations, all our strength shattered or at least paralysed for years to come.)

It is to be supposed that by beating down our adversary, 8autsky means the con2uest of political power, otherwise the uni2ue act would have to be repeated a second or third time. #f course, the campaign might also prove insufficiently powerful, and in this case it would have failed, would have resulted in serious defeat, and would therefore have to be begun over again. But if it succeeded, the final goal would have been attained. 'ow, however, 8autsky is denying that he ever said that the mass strike could be an event capable of bringing down capitalism at a stroke. 5ow, therefore, we are to take the above 2uotation I simply do not understand. In 0>00, 8autsky wrote in his article &1ction by the masses) of the spontaneous actions of unorganised crowds4
&If the mass action succeeds, however, if it is so dynamic and so tremendously widespread, the masses so aroused and determined, the attack so sudden and the situation in which it catches our adversary so unfavourable to him that its effect is irresistible, then the masses will be able to exploit this victory in a manner 2uite different from hitherto. MThere follows the reference to the workers6 organisations.N .here these organisations have taken root, the times are past when the proletariat6s victories in spontaneous mass actions succeeded only in snatching the chestnuts from the fire for some particular section of its opponents which happened to be in opposition. 5enceforth, it will be able to en oy them itself.)

I can see no other possible interpretation of this passage than that as a result of a powerful spontaneous uprising on the part of the unorganised masses triggered off by some particularly provocative events, political power now falls into the hands of the proletariat itself, instead of into the hands of a bourgeois cli2ue as hitherto. 5ere too the possibility is envisaged of assaults initially failing and collapsing in defeat before the attack finally succeeds. The protagonists in a political revolution of this kind and the methods they were using would put it completely outside the framework of the labour movement of today, while the latter was carrying on its routine activity of education and organisation, revolution would break over it without any warning &as if from another world) under the influence of momentous events. Thus, we can see no other interpretation that that put forward in our article. The crux of it is not that in this view revolution is a single sharp act, even if the con2uest of power consisted of several such acts *mass strikes and &street) actions+, the main point is the stark contrast between the current activity of the proletariat and the future revolutionary @0

con2uest of power, which belongs to a completely different order of things. 8autsky now explicitly confirms this4
&In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I should like to point out that my polemic with $omrade Huxemburg dealt with the political general strike and my article on L1ction by the masses6 with street riots. I said of the latter that they could in certain circumstances lead to political upheavals, but were unpredictable by nature and could not be instigated at will. I was not referring to simple street demonstrations ... . I will repeat once again that my theory of Lpassive radicalism6, that is to say waiting for the appropriate occasion and mood among the masses, neither of which can be predicted in advance or hastened on by decision of the organisation, related only to street riots and mass strikes aimed at securing a particular political decision I and not to street demonstrations, nor to protest strikes. The latter can very well be called by party or trade union from time to time, irrespective of the mood of the masses outside the organisation, but do not necessarily involve new tactics so long as they remain mere demonstrations.)

.e will not dwell on the fact that a political mass strike only permissible as a once-and-for-all event in 0>0G and therefore ruled out of the contemporary ?russian suffrage campaign now suddenly appears among the day-to-day actions which can be initiated at the drop of a hat as a &protest strike). .e will merely point out that 8autsky is here making a sharp distinction between day-to-day actions, which are only demonstrations and can be called at will, and the unforeseeable revolutionary events of the future. 'ew rights may occasionally be won in the day-to-day struggle, these are in no sense steps towards the con2uest of power, otherwise the ruling class would put up resistance to them which could only be overcome by political strikes. Governments friendly to the workers may alternate with governments hostile to them, street demonstrations and mass strikes may play some part in the process, but for all that, nothing essential will change, our struggle remains &a political struggle against governments) restricting itself to &opposition) and leaving the power of the state and its ministries intact. "ntil one day, when external events trigger off a massive popular uprising with street riots and political strikes that puts an end to this whole business. It is only possible to maintain such a perspective by restricting one6s observation to external political forms and ignoring the political reality behind them. 1nalysis of the balance of power between the classes in conflict as one rises and the other declines is the only key to understanding revolutionary development. This transcends the sharp distinction between day-to-day action and revolution. The various forms of action mentioned by 8autsky are not polar opposites- but part of a graduall$ differentiated range , weak and powerful forms of action within the same category. .irstl$- in terms of ho, the$ de%elop4 even straightforward demonstrations cannot be called at will, but are only possible when strong feeling has been aroused by external causes, such as the rising cost of living and the danger of war today or the conditions of suffrage in ?russia in 0>0G. The stronger the feeling aroused, the more vigorously the protests can develop. .hat 8autsky has to say about the most powerful form of mass strike, namely that we should &give it the most energetic support and use it to strengthen the proletariat), does not go far enough for cases where this situation has already generated a mass movement, when conditions permit, the party, as the conscious bearer of the exploited masses6 deepest sensibilities, must instigate such action as is necessar$ and take o%er leadership of the mo%ement / in other words, play the same role in events of ma or significance as it does today on a smaller scale. The precipitating factors cannot be foreseen, but it is we who act upon them. !econdl$- in terms of those taking part4 we cannot restrict our present demonstrations solely to party members, although these at first form the nucleus, others will come to us in the course of the struggle. In our last article we showed that the circle of those involved grows as the campaign develops, until it takes in the broad masses of the people, there is never any 2uestion of unruly street riots in the old sense. Thirdl$- in terms of the effects such action has 4 the con2uest of power by means of the most potent forms of action basically amounts to li2uidating the powers of coercion available to the enemy and building up our own strength, but even today6s protests, our simple street demonstrations, display this effect on a small scale. .hen the police had to abandon their attempts to prevent demonstrations in sheer impotence in 0>0G, that was a first sign of the state6s coercive powers beginning to crumble away, and the content of revolution consists in the total destruction of these powers. In this sense, that instance of mass action can be seen as the beginning of the German revolution. The contrast between our respective views as set out here may at first sight appear to be purely theoretical, but it nevertheless has great practical significance with respect to the tactics we adopt. 1s 8autsky sees it, each time the opportunity for vigorous action arises we must stop and consider whether it might not lead to a @7

&trial of strength), an attempt to make the revolution, that is, by mobilising the entire strength of our adversary against us. 1nd because it is accepted that we are too weak to undertake this, it will be only too easy to shrink from any action I this was the burden of the debate on the mass strike in 0ie Neue 1eit in 0>0G. Those who re ect 8autsky6s dichotomy between day-to-day action and revolution, however, assess every action as an immediate issue, to be evaluated in terms of the prevailing conditions and the mood of the masses, and at the same time, as part of a great purpose. In each campaign one presses as far ahead as seems possible in the conditions obtaining, without allowing oneself to be hamstrung by specious theoretical considerations pro ected into the future, for the issue is never one of total revolution, nor of a victory with significance only for the present, but always of a step further along the path of revolution.

.' Pa!liamenta!$ Acti%it$ and Action /$ t#e


!ass action is nothing new4 it is as old as parliamentary activity itself. Every class that has made use of parliament has also on occasion resorted to mass action, for it forms a necessary complement or I better still I a correcti%e to parliamentar$ action . /ince, in developed parliamentary systems, parliament itself enacts legislation, including electoral legislation, a class or cli2ue which has once gained the upper hand is in a position to secure its rule for all time, irrespective of all social development. But if its hegemony becomes incompatible with a new stage of development, mass action, often in the form of a revolution or popular uprising, intervenes as a corrective influence, sweeps the ruling cli2ue away, imposes a new electoral law on parliament, and thus reconciles parliament and society once again. !ass action can also occur when the masses are in particularly dire straits, to impel parliament to alleviate their misery. 3ear of the conse2uences of the masses6 indignation often induces the class holding parliamentary power to make concessions which the masses would not otherwise have obtained. .hether or not the masses have spokesmen in parliament on such occasions is far from immaterial, but is nevertheless of secondary importance, the crucial determinant force lies outside. .e have now again entered a period when this corrective influence upon the working of parliament is more necessary than ever, the struggle for democratic suffrage on the one hand and the rising cost of living and the danger of war on the other are kindling mass action. 8autsky likes to point out that there is nothing new in these forms of struggle, he emphasises the similarity with earlier ones. .e, however, stress the new elements which distinguish them from all that has gone before. The fact that the socialist proletariat of Germany has begun to use these methods endows them with entirely new significance and implications, and it was precisely to clarifying these that my article was devoted. 3irstly, because the highly organised, classconscious proletariat of which the German proletariat is the most developed example has a completely different class character from that of the popular masses hitherto, and its actions are therefore 2ualitatively different. /econdly, because this proletariat is destined to enact a far-reaching revolution, and the action which it takes will therefore have a profoundly subversive effect on the whole of society, on the power of the state and on the masses, even when it does not directly serve an electoral campaign. 8autsky is therefore not ustified in appealing to England as a model &in which we can best study the nature of modern mass action). .hat we are concerned with is mass political action aimed at securing new rights and thus giving parliamentary expression to the power of the proletariat4 in England it was a case of mass action by the trade unions, a massive strike in furtherance of trade-union demands, which expressed the weakness of the old conservative trade-union methods by seeking assistance from the government. .hat we are concerned with is a proletariat as politically mature, as deeply instilled with socialism as it is here in Germany, the socialist awareness and political clarity necessary for such actions were completely lacking among the masses on strike in England. #f course, the latter events also demonstrate that the labour movement cannot get by without mass action, they too are a conse2uence of imperialism. But despite the admirable solidarity and determination manifested in them, they had rather the character of desperate outbursts than the deliberate actions leading to the con2uest of power which only a proletariat deeply imbued with socialism can undertake. 1s we pointed out in the "eip#iger Volks#eitung, parliamentary activity and action by the masses are not incompatible with each other, mass action in the struggle for suffrage endows parliamentary activity with a new, broader basis. 1nd in our first article we argued that the rising cost of living and the danger of war under imperialism, the modern form of capitalism, are at the root of modern mass action. $omrade 8autsky @9

&fails to see) how this results in &the necessity for new tactics) I the necessity for mass action, in other words, for mass action aimed at &altering or exacting decisions by parliament) can no more do away with the basic effects of capitalism I the causes of the rise in the cost of living, for example, which lie in bad harvests, gold production and the cartel system I against which parliaments are powerless, than any other form of political action. It is a pity that the ?arisians driven to revolt in 0C=C by the crisis and the rising cost of living did not know that, they would certainly not have made the 3ebruary <evolution. ?erhaps $omrade 8autsky would see this as yet another demonstration of the incomprehension of the masses, whose instinct is deaf to the urgings of reason. But if, spurred on by hunger and misery, the masses rise up together and demand relief despite the theoretician6s arguments that no form of political action can achieve anything in the face of the fundamental evils of capitalism, then it is the masses6 instincts that are in the right and the theoretician6s science that is in the wrong. 3irstly, because the action can set itself immediate goals that are not meaningless, when sub ected to powerful pressure, governments and those in authority can do a great deal to alleviate misery, even when this has deeper causes and cannot be altered merely by parliamentary decision I as could duties and tariffs in Germany. /econdly, because the lasting effect of large-scale mass action is a more or less shattering blow to the hegemony of capital, and hence attacks the root of the evil. 8autsky constantly proceeds upon the assumption that so long as capitalism has not been transformed into socialism, it must be accepted as a fixed, unchangeable fact against the effects of which it is pointless to struggle. Buring the period when the proletariat is still weak it is true that a particular manifestation of capitalism I such as war, the rising cost of living, unemployment -cannot be done away with so long as the rest of the system continues to function in all its power. But this is not true for the period of capitalist decline, in which the now mighty proletariat, itself an elemental force of capitalism, throws its own will and strength into the balance of elemental forces. If this view of the transition from capitalism to socialism seems &very obscure and mysterious) to $omrade 8autsky I which only means that it is new to him I then this is only because he regards capitalism and socialism as fixed, ready-made entities, and fails to grasp the transition from one to the other as a dialectical process. Each assault by the proletariat upon the individual effects of capitalism means a weakening of the power of capital, a strengthening of our own power and a step further in the process of revolution.


a!"ism and t#e Role o( t#e Pa!t$

In conclusion, a few more words on theory. These are necessary because 8autsky hints from time to time that our work takes leave of the materialist conception of history, the basis of !arxism. In one place he describes our conception of the nature of organisation as spiritualism ill befitting a materialist. #n another occasion he takes our view that the proletariat must develop its power and freedom &in constant attack and advance), in a class struggle escalating from one engagement to another, to mean that the party executive is to &instigate) the re%olution. !arxism explains all the historical and political actions of men in terms of their material relations, and in particular their economic relations. 1 recurrent bourgeois misconception accuses us of ignoring the role of the human mind in this, and making man a dead instrument, a puppet of economic forces. .e insist in turn that !arxism does not eliminate the mind. Everything which motivates the actions of men does so through the mind. Their actions are determined by their will, and by all the ideals, principles and motives that exist in the mind. But !arxism maintains that the content of the human mind is nothing other than a product of the material world in which man lives, and that economic relations therefore only determine his actions by their effects upon his mind and influence upon his will. /ocial revolution only succeeds the development of capitalism because the economic upheaval first transforms the mind of the proletariat, endowing it with a new content and directing the will in this sense. Aust as /ocial-Bemocratic activity is the expression of a new perspective and new determination instilling themselves in the mind of the proletariat, so organisation is an expression and conse2uence of a profound mental transformation in the proletariat. This mental transformation is the term of mediation by which economic development leads to the act of social revolution. There can surely be no disagreement between 8autsky and ourselves that this is the role which !arxism attributes to the mind. 1nd yet even in this connection our views differ, not in the sphere of abstract, theoretical formulation, but in our practical emphasis. It is only when taken together that the two statements &The actions of men are @=

entirely determined by their material relations) and &!en must make their history themselves through their own actions) constitute the !arxist view as a whole. The first rules out the arbitrary notion that a revolution can be made at will, the second eliminates the fatalism that would have us simply wait until the revolution happens of its own accord through some perfect fruition of development. .hile both maxims are correct in theoretical terms, they necessarily receive different degrees of emphasis in the course of historical development. .hen the party is first flourishing and must before all else organise the proletariat, seeing its own development as the primary aim of its activity, the truth embodied in the first maxim gives it the patience for the slow process of construction, the sense that the time of premature putsches is past and the calm certainty of eventual victory. !arxism takes on a predominantly historico-economic character in this period, it is the theory that all history is economically determined, and drums into us the realisation that we must wait for conditions to mature. But the more the proletariat organises itself into a mass movement capable of forceful intervention in social life, the more it is bound to develop a sense of the second maxim. The awareness now grows that the point is not simply to interpret the world, but to change it. !arxism now becomes the theor$ of proletarian action. The 2uestions of how precisely the proletariat6s spirit and will develop under the influence of social conditions and how the various influences shape it now come into the foreground, interest in the philosophical side of !arxism and in the nature of the mind now comes to life. Two !arxists influenced by these different stages will therefore express themselves differently, the one primarily emphasising the determinate nature of the mind, the other its active role, they will both lead their respective truths into battle against each other, although they both pay homage to the same !arxian theory. 3rom the practical point of view, however, this disagreement takes on another light. .e entirely agree with 8autsky that an individual or group cannot make the revolution. E2ually, 8autsky will agree with us that the proletariat must make the revolution. But how do matters stand with the party, which is a middle term, on the one hand a large group which consciously decides what action it will take, and on the other the representative and leader of the entire proletariat: What is the function of the part$2 .ith respect to revolution, 8autsky puts it as follows in his exposition of his tactics4 &"tilisation of the political general strike, but only in occasional, extreme instances when the masses can no longer be restrained.) Thus, the party is to hold back the masses for as long as they can be held back, so long as it is in any way possible, it should regard its function as to keep the masses placid, to restrain them from taking action, only when this is no longer possible, when popular indignation is threatening to burst all constraint, does it open the flood-gates and if possible put itself at the head of the masses. The roles are thus distributed in such a way that all the energy, all the initiative in which revolution has its origins must come from the masses, while the party6s function is to hold this activity back, inhibit it, contain it for as long as possible. But the relationship cannot be conceived in this way. $ertainly, all the energy comes from the masses, whose revolutionary potential is aroused by oppression, misery and anarchy, and who by their revolt must then abolish the hegemony of capital. But the party has taught them that desperate outbursts on the part of individuals or individual groups are pointless, and that success can only be achieved through collective, united, organised action. It has disciplined the masses and restrained them from frittering away their revolutionary activity fruitlessly. But this, of course, is only the one, negative side of the party6s function, it must simultaneously show in positive terms how these energies can be set to work in a different, productive manner, and lead the way in doing so. The masses have, so to speak, made over part of their energy, their revolutionary purpose, to the organised collectivity, not so that it shall be dissipated, but so that the party can put it to use as their collective will. The initiati%e and potential for spontaneous action ,hich the masses surrender b$ doing so is not in fact lost- but re3appears else,here and in another form as the part$4s initiati%e and potential for spontaneous action5 a transformation of energy takes place, as it were. Even when the fiercest indignation flares up among the masses I over the rising cost of living, for example I they remain calm, for they rely upon the party calling upon them to act in such a way that their energy will be utilised in the most appropriate and most successful manner possible. The relationship between masses and party cannot therefore be as 8autsky has presented it. If the party saw its function as restraining the masses from action for as long as it could do so, then party discipline would mean a loss to the masses of their initiative and potential for spontaneous action, a real loss, and not a transformation of energy. The e6istence of the part$ ,ould then reduce the re%olutionar$ capacit$ of the proletariat rather than increase it7 It cannot simply sit down and wait until the masses rise up spontaneously in spite of having entrusted it with part of their autonomy, the discipline and confidence in the party @@

leadership which keep the masses calm place it under an obligation to intervene actively and itself give the masses the call for action at the right moment. Thus, as we have already argued, the party actually has a duty to instigate revolutionary action, because it is the bearer of an important part of the masses6 capacity for action, but it cannot do so as and ,hen it pleases, for it has not assimilated the entire will of the entire proletariat, and cannot therefore order it about like a troop of soldiers. It must wait for the right moment4 not until the masses will wait no longer and are rising up of their own accord, but until the conditions arouse such feeling in the masses that large-scale action by the masses has a chance of success. This is the way in which the !arxist doctrine is realised that although men are determined and impelled by economic development, they make their own history. The revolutionary potential of the indignation aroused in the masses by the intolerable nature of capitalism must not go untapped and hence be lost, nor must it be frittered away in unorganised outbursts, but made fit for organised use in action instigated by the party with the ob ective of weakening the hegemony of capital. It is in these revolutionary tactics that !arxist theory will become reality.

Anton Pannekoek

"lass Str&ggle and



Source: : Published: In <eichenberg, 0>07, under the title J8lassenkampf und 'ationJ. Transcriber: $ollective 1ction 'otes *$1'+ HTML: Aonas 5olmgren

'ot being 1ustrian, perhaps I should apologi%e for writing on the national 2uestion. If it were a purely 1ustrian issue, anyone who is not intimately ac2uainted with the practical situation and who is not obliged to be ac2uainted with it through everyday practice would not get involved in examining it. But this 2uestion is ac2uiring increasing importance for other countries as well. 1nd thanks to the writings of the 1ustrian theoreticians, and especially to #tto BauerOs valuable work, The 8uestion of Nationalities and !ocial 0emocrac$M0N, it is no longer an exclusive preserve of 1ustrian practice and has become a 2uestion of general socialist theory. $urrently, this 2uestion, the way it has been addressed and its implications cannot but arouse lively interest in every socialist who considers theory to be the guiding thread of our practice, at the present time one can also make udgments and engage in criticism outside the realm of specifically 1ustrian conditions. /ince we shall have to combat certain of BauerOs conclusions in the following pages, we shall say in advance that this by no means diminishes the value of his work, its importance does not reside in having established definitive and irrefutable results in this domain, but in laying the groundwork for further debate and discussion on this 2uestion. This discussion seems to be especially timely at this uncture. The separatist crisis puts the national 2uestion on the agenda in the party and obliges us to re-examine these 2uestions, and to sub ect our point of view to thorough scrutiny. 1nd maybe a debate concerning theoretical basics would not be totally useless here, with this study we hope to make our contribution in this debate to our 1ustrian comrades. The fact that comrade /trasser, in his study Worker and Nation, has arrived at the same conclusions as we have, by a completely different route, on the basis of 1ustrian conditions *guided of course by the same basic !arxist conception+, has played a determinant role in the decision to publish this pamphlet. #ur labors may therefore complement one another in regard to this 2uestion. @D

I. The Nation and its Transformations

The 0o&rgeois "onception and the Socialist "onception
/ocialism is a new scientific conception of the human world which is fundamentally distinct from all bourgeois conceptions. The bourgeois manner of representing things considers the different formations and institutions of the human world either as products of nature, praising or condemning them depending on whether or not they contradict or conform to Jeternal human natureJ, or as products of chance or arbitrary human decisions which can be altered at will by means of artificial violence. /ocial democracy, on the other hand, considers the same phenomena to be naturally-arising products of the development of human society. .hile nature undergoes practically no changeIthe genesis of animal species and their differentiation took place over very long periodsIhuman society is sub ect to constant and fast-paced development. This is because its basis, labor for survival, has constantly had to assume new forms as its tools have been perfected, economic life is thrown into turmoil and this gives rise to new ways of seeing and new ideas, new laws, and new political institutions. It is therefore in relation to this point that the opposition between the bourgeois and socialist conceptions resides4 for the former, a naturally immutable character and at the same time, the arbitrary, for the latter, an incessant process of becoming and transformation in accordance with laws established via the economy, upon the basis of labor. This also applies to the nation. The bourgeois conception sees in the diversity of nations natural differences among men, nations are groupings constituted by the community of race, of origin, and of language. But at the same time it also believes that it can, by means of coercive political measures, oppress nations in one place, and extend its domain at the expense of other nations somewhere else. /ocial democracy considers nations to be human groups which have formed units as a conse2uence of their shared history. 5istorical development has produced nations within its limits and in its own way, it also produces change in the meaning and essence of the nation in general with the passage of time and changing economic conditions. It is only on the basis of economic conditions that one can understand the history and development of the nation and the national principle. 3rom the socialist point of view, it is #tto Bauer who has supplied, in his work The 8uestion of Nationalities and !ocial 0emocrac$, the most profound analysis, his exposition constitutes the indispensable point of departure for the further examination and discussion of the national 2uestion. In this work, the socialist point of view is formulated as follows4 JThe nation is thus no longer for us a fixed thing, but a process of becoming, determined in its essence by the conditions under which the people struggle for their livelihood and for the preservation of their kindJ *p. 0GE+. 1nd a little further on4 Jthe materialist conception of histor$ can comprehend the nation as the never-completed product of a constantly occurring process, the ultimate driving force of which is constituted by the conditions governing the struggle of humans with nature, the transformation of the human forces of production, and the changes in the relations governing human labor. This conception renders the nation as the historical within usJ *p. 0GC+. 'ational character is Jsolidified historyJ.


ation as "omm&nit( of 1ate

Bauer most correctly defines the nation as Jthe totalit$ of human beings bound together b$ a communit$ of fate into a communit$ of characterJ *p.00E+. This formula has fre2uently but mistakenly been attacked, since it is perfectly correct. The misunderstanding resides in the fact that similarity and community are always confused. $ommunity of fate does not mean submission to an identical fate, but the shared experience of a @E

single fate undergoing constant changes, in a continuous reciprocity. The peasants of $hina, India and Egypt resemble one another in the similarity of their economic conditions, they have the same class character but there is not a trace of community between them. The petit-bourgeois, the shop-keepers, the workers, the noble landowners, and the peasants of England, however, although they display many differences in character due to their different class positions, nonetheless still constitute a community, a history lived in common, the reciprocal influence they exercise upon one another, albeit in the form of struggles, all of this taking place through the medium of a common language, makes them a community of character, a nation. 1t the same time, the mental content of this community, its common culture, is transmitted from generation to generation thanks to the written word. This is by no means meant to imply that all characters within a nation are similar. To the contrary, there can be great differences of character within a nation, depending on oneOs class or place of residence. The German peasant and the German industrialist, the Bavarian and the #ldenburger, display manifest differences in character, they nonetheless still form part of the German nation. 'or does this imply that there are no communities of character other than nations. .e are not, of course, referring to special organi%ations, limited in time, such as oint-stock companies or trade unions. But e%er$ human organi#ation ,hich comprises an enduring unit$, inherited from generation to generation, constitutes a communit$ of character engendered b$ a communit$ of fate. The religious communities offer another example. They are also Jsolidified historyJ. They are not ust groups of people who share the same religion and who come together for a religious purpose. This is because they are, so to speak, born in their churches and rarely pass from one church to another. In principle, however, the religious community includes all those who are connected socially in one way or another by origin, their village or their class, the community of interests and conditions of existence simultaneously created a community of basic mental representations which assumed a religious form. It also created the bond of reciprocal duties, of loyalty and protection, between the organi%ation and its members. The community of religion was the expression of social belonging in primitive tribal communities and in the $hurch of the !iddle 1ges. The religious communities born during the <eformation, the ?rotestant $hurches and sects, were organi%ations of class struggle against the dominant $hurch, and against each other, they thus correspond to a certain extent to our contemporary political parties. 1s a result, the different religious faiths expressed living, real, deeply-felt interests, one could convert from one religion to another in much the same way that one can 2uit one party and oin another in our time. Hater, these organi%ations petrified into communities of faith in which only the top stratum, the clergy, maintained relations within its own ambit which set it above the entire $hurch. The community of interests disappeared, within each $hurch, there arose, with social development, numerous classes and class contradictions. The religious organi%ation became more and more an empty shell, and the profession of faith, an abstract formula lacking any social content. It was replaced by other organi%ations which were living associations of interests. 5ence the religious community constitutes a grouping whose community of fate increasingly belongs to the past, and is progressively dissolving. 9eligion, too, is a precipitate of ,hat is historical in us. The nation, then, is not the onl$ community of character which has arisen from a community of fate, but only one of its forms, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish it from the others without ambiguity. It would serve no purpose to attempt to discover which human units of organi%ation could be defined as nations, especially in ancient times. ?rimitive tribal units, great or small, were communities of character and of fate in which characteristics, customs, culture and language were passed on from generation to generation. The same is true of the village communes or the peasant regions of the !iddle 1ges. #tto Bauer discovers in the !iddle 1ges, in the era of the 5ohenstauffens, the JGerman nationJ in the political and cultural community of the German nobility. #n the other hand, the medieval $hurch possessed numerous traits which made it a kind of nation, it was the community of the European peoples, with a common history and common mental representations, and they even had a common language, the Hatin of the $hurch, which allowed educated people to mutually influence one another, the dominant intellectual force of all of Europe, and united them in a community of culture. #nly in the last years of the !iddle 1ges did nations in the modern sense of the term slowly arise, each with its own national language, national unity and culture. 1 common language is, insofar as it forms a living bond between men, the most important attribute of the nation, but this does not *ustif$ identif$ing nations ,ith human groups speaking the same language . The @C

English and the 1mericans are, despite the fact that they speak the same language, two nations with different histories, two different communities of fate which present strikingly divergent national characteristics. It is also incorrect to reckon the German /wiss as part of a common German nation which would embrace all German-speaking peoples. 'o matter how many cultural elements have been allowed to be exchanged between them by means of an identical written language, fate has separated the /wiss and the Germans for several centuries. The fact that the former are free citi%ens of a democratic republic and the latter have lived successively under the tyranny of petty princes, foreign rule, and the weight of the new German police state, had to confer upon each group, even if they read the same authors, a very different character and one cannot speak of a community of fate and of character in this case. The political aspect is yet more evident among the Butch, the rapid economic development of the maritime provinces, which surrounded themselves on the landward side with a wall of dependent provinces, and then became a powerful mercantile /tate, a political entity, made How German a separate modern written language, but only for a small segment separated from the mass of those who spoke How German, all the others have been excluded from this language by political barriers and have adopted, as residents of Germany who have been sub ect to a common history, the 5igh German written language and culture. If the 1ustrian Germans continue to emphasi%e their German 2ualities despite their long history of separate development and the fact that they have not shared in the most important of the most recent historical experiences of the Germans of the Empire, this is essentially due to their embattled position in relation to 1ustriaOs other nationalities.

The Peasant

ation and the Modern


The peasants have often been described as being stalwart guardians of nationality. #tto Bauer, however, also calls them the tenants of the nation who do not participate in national culture. This contradiction starkly reveals that what is JnationalJ in the peasantry is a very different thing than what constitutes the modern nation. !odern nationality does of course descend from peasant nationality but differs from it in a fundamental way. In the ancient natural economy of the peasants, the economic unit was reduced to its smallest scale, the operative interest did not extend beyond the borders of the village or the valley. Each district constituted a community which barely maintained relations with its nearest neighbors, a community that had its own history, its own customs, its own dialect and its own character. /ome of them were connected by ties of kinship with the villages of neighboring districts, but they did not have much influence on one another. The peasant clings powerfully to the specificity of his community. To the extent that his economy has nothing to do with the outside world, to the extent that his seeds and his crops are only in exceptional cases affected by the vicissitudes of political events, all the influences of the outside world pass over him without a trace. 5e is in any case unconcerned and remains passive, such events do not penetrate his innermost being. The only thing which can modify manOs nature is that which he actively grasps, which obliges him to transform himself and in which he participates out of self-interest. This is why the peasant preserves his particularism against all the influences of the outside world and remains Jwithout historyJ as long as his economy is selfsufficient. 3rom the moment that he is dragged into the gears of capitalism and established in other conditionsIhe becomes bourgeois or a worker, the peasant begins to depend on the world market and makes contact with the rest of the worldIfrom the moment that he has new interests, the indestructible character of his old particularism is lost. 5e is integrated into the modern nation, he becomes a member of a much more extensive community of fate, a nation in the modern sense. The peasantry is often spoken of as if the preceding generations already belonged to the same nation as their descendants under capitalism. The term Jnations without historyJ implies a concept according to which the $%echs, /lovenes, ?oles, "krainians and <ussians have always been so many different and particular nations but that somehow they have long remained dormant as such. In fact, one cannot speak of the /lovenes, for example, except as a certain number of groups and districts with related dialects, without these groups ever having constituted a real unity or a community. .hat the name faithfully conveys is the fact that, as a general rule, dialect decides which nations are to be claimed by the descendants of its original speakers. In the final analysis, however, it is the real developments which decide whether the /lovenes and the /erbs, or @>

the <ussians and the "krainians, must become one national community with one written language and one common culture, or two separate nations. It is not language which is decisive but the political-economic process of development. By identifying language as the decisive factor one could ust as well say that the peasantry of Hower /axony is the faithful guardian of German nationality, and also of Butch nationality, depending on which side of the border it inhabits, it only preserves its own village or provincial particularity, it would be ust as foolish to say that the peasant of the 1rdennes tenaciously preserves a Belgian, .alloon or 3rench nationality when he clings to the dialect and the customs of his valley, or to say that a $arinthian peasant of the precapitalist era belonged to the /lovene nation. The /lovene nation onl$ made its appearance with the modern bourgeois classes which formed a specific nation, and the peasant would not willingly have become a part of it unless he was linked to that community by real self-interest. !odern nations are integral products of bourgeois society, they appeared with commodity production, that is, with capitalism, and its agents are the bourgeois classes. Bourgeois production and circulation of commodities need vast economic units, large territories whose inhabitants are united in a community with a unified /tate administration. 1s capitalism develops it incessantly reinforces the central /tate power, the /tate becomes more cohesive and is sharply defined in relation to other /tates. The /tate is the combat organi%ation of the bourgeoisie. Insofar as the bourgeois economy rests upon competition, in the struggle against others of the same kind, the organi%ations which are formed by the bourgeoisie must necessarily fight among themselves, the more powerful the /tate, the greater the benefits to which its bourgeoisie aspire. Hanguage has not been a crucial factor except in the effort to draw the boundaries of these /tates, regions with related dialects have been forced into political mergers where other factors do not intervene, because political unity, the new community of fate, re2uires a single language as a means of intercourse. The written language used for general concourse is created from one of these dialects, it is thus, in a sense, an artificial creation. /o #tto Bauer is right when he says4 JI create a common language together with those individuals with whom I most closely interact, and I interact most closely with those individuals with whom I share a common languageJ *p. 0G0+. This is how those nation /tates which are both /tate and nation arose.M7N They did not become political entities simply because they already constituted national communities, it was their new economic interests and economic necessity which was the basis of menOs oining together into such solid groupings, but whether these /tates or others emergedIif, for example, southern Germany and northern 3rance did not together form a political entity but this was instead the case with southern and northern GermanyIis due principally to the ancient kinship of dialect. The spread of the nation /tate, and its capitalist evolution, have brought about a situation where an extreme diversity of classes and populations coexist within it, this is why it sometimes seems dubious to define the nation /tate as a community of fate and of character, because classes and populations do not act directly upon one another. But the community of fate of the German peasants and big capitalists, of the Bavarians and the people of #ldenburg, consists in the fact that all are members of the German Empire, within whose borders they wage their economic and political struggles, within which they endure the same policies, where they must take a position regarding the same laws and thus have an effect upon one another, this is why they constitute a real community despite all the diversity of this community. The same is not true of those /tates which emerged as dynastic entities under absolutism, without the direct collaboration of their bourgeois classes, and which conse2uently, through con2uest, came to include populations speaking many different languages. .hen the penetration of capitalism begins to make headway in one of these /tates, various nations arise within the same /tate, which becomes a multinational /tate, like 1ustria. The cause of the appearance of new nations alongside the old resides once again in the fact that competition is the basis for the e6istence of the bourgeois classes . .hen the modern classes arose from a purely peasant population group, when large masses were installed in the cities as industrial workers, soon to be followed by small merchants, intellectuals and factory owners, the latter were then compelled to undertake efforts on their own behalf to secure the business of these masses who all spoke the same language, placing the accent on their nationality. The nation, as a cohesive community, constitutes for those elements that form part of it a market, a customer base, a domain of exploitation where they have an advantage over their competitors from other nations. To form a community with modern classes, they must elaborate a common written language which is necessary as a means of communication and becomes the language of culture and of literature. The permanent contact between the classes of bourgeois society and /tate power, which had hitherto only known German as the official language of communication, obliges DG

them to fight for the recognition of their languages, their schools and their administrative apparatuses, in which fight the class having the most material interest is the national intelligentsia. /ince the /tate must represent the interests of the bourgeoisie and must give it material support, each national bourgeoisie must secure as much influence over the /tate as possible. To win this influence it must fight against the bourgeoisie of other nations, the more successfully it rallies the whole nation around it in this struggle, the more power it exercises. 1s long as the leading role of the bourgeoisie is based upon the essence of the economy and is acknowledged as something which is self-evident, the bourgeoisie can count on the other classes which feel bound to it on this point by an identity of interests. In this respect as well the nation is utterly a product of capitalist development, and is even a necessary product. .herever capitalism penetrates, it must necessarily appear as the community of fate of the bourgeois classes. The national struggles within such a /tate are not the conse2uence of any kind of oppression, or of legal backwardness, it is the natural expression of competition as the basic precondition for the bourgeois economy, the *bourgeois+ struggle of each against all is the indispensable precondition for the abrupt separation of the various nations from one another.

Tradition and the ,&man Mind

In man, nationality is indeed part of his nature, but primarily of his mental nature. Inherited physical traits eventually allow the various peoples to be distinguished from one another, but this does not serve to separate them, nor, even less so, does it make them enter into conflict with one another. ?eoples distinguish themselves as communities of culture, a culture transmitted by a common language, in a nationOs culture, which can be defined as mental in nature, is inscribed the whole history of its life. 'ational character is not composed of physical traits, but of the totality of its customs, its concepts and its forms of thought over time. If one wishes to grasp the essence of a nation, it is above all necessary to get a clear view of how manOs mental aspect is constituted under the influence of his living conditions. Every move that man makes must first pass through his head. The direct motor force of all his actions resides in his mind. It can consist of habits, drives and unconscious instincts which are the expressions of always similar repetitions of the same vital necessities in the same external living conditions. It could also enter into manOs consciousness as thoughts, ideas, motivations or principles. .here do they come from: 5ere, the bourgeois conception sees the influence of a higher supernatural world which penetrates us, the expression of an eternal moral principle within us, or else the spontaneous products of the mind itself. !arxist theory, however, historical materialism, explains that e%er$thing ,hich is mental in man is the product of the material ,orld around him . This entire real world penetrates every part of the mind through the sensory organs and leaves its mark4 our vital needs, our experience, everything we see and hear, that which others communicate to us as their thought appears as if we had actually observed it ourselves.M9N $onse2uently, any influence from an unreal, merely postulated supernatural world is excluded. Everything in the mind has come from the external world which we designate with the name of the material world, which is not meant to imply that material constituted of physical matter which can be measured, but everything which really exists, including thought. But in this context mind does not play the role which is sometimes attributed to it by a narrow mechanistic conception, that of a passive mirror that reflects the external world, an inanimate receiver that absorbs and preserves everything thrown at it. :ind is acti%e, it acts, and it modifies e%er$thing that penetrates it from the outside in order to make something ne, . 1nd it was Biet%gen who has most clearly demonstrated how it does so. The external world flows before the mind like an endless river, always changing, the mind registers its influences, it merges them, it adds them to what it had previously possessed and combines these elements. 3rom the river of infinitely varied phenomena, it forms solid and consistent concepts in which the reality in motion is somehow fro%en and fixed and loses its fugitive aspect. The concept of JfishJ involves a multitude of observations of animals that swim, that of JgoodJ innumerable stances in relation to different actions, that of JcapitalismJ a whole lifetime of fre2uently very painful experiences. Every thought, every conviction, every idea, every conclusion, such as, for example, the generali%ation that trees do not have leaves in the winter, that work is hard and disagreeable, that whoever gives me a ob is my benefactor, that the capitalist is my enemy, that there is D0

strength in organi%ation, that it is good to fight for oneOs nation, are the summaries of part of the living world, of a multiform experience in a concise, abrupt and, one could say, rigid and lifeless formula. The greater and the more complete the experience which serves as documentation, the more deep-rooted and solid the thought and conviction, the more true it is. But all experience is limited, the world is constantly changing, new experiences are ceaselessly being added to the old, they are integrated into the old ideas or enter into contradiction with them. This is why man has to restructure his ideas and abandon some of them as mistaken Isuch as that of the capitalist benefactorIand confer a new meaning to certain conceptsIsuch as the concept of JfishJ, from which the whales had to be separatedIand create new concepts for new phenomena Ilike that of imperialismIand find other causal relations for some conceptsIthe intolerable character of labor is a result of capitalismIand evaluate them in a different mannerIthe national struggle is harmful to the workersIin short, man must ceaselessly begin all over again. 1ll of his mental activity and development consists in the endless restructuring of concepts, ideas, udgments and principles in order to keep them as consistent as possible with his ever-richer experience of reality. This takes place consciously in the development of science. The meanings of BauerOs definitions of the nation as that which is historical in us, and of national character as solidified history, are thus placed in their proper context. 1 common material reality produces a common way of thinking in the minds of the members of a community. The specific nature of the economic organi%ation they ointly compose determines their thoughts, their customs and their concepts, it produces a coherent system of ideas in them, an ideolog$ which they share and which forms part of their material living conditions. Hife in common has penetrated their minds, common struggles for freedom against foreign enemies, common class struggles at home. It is narrated in history books and is transmitted to the youth as national memory. .hat was desired, hoped for and wanted was clearly highlighted and expressed by the poets and thinkers and these thoughts of the nation, the mental sediment of their material experience, was preserved in the form of literature for future generations. $onstant mutual intellectual influence consolidates and reinforces this process, extracting from the thought of each compatriot what they all have in common, what is essential and characteristic of the whole, that is, what is national, constitutes the cultural patrimony of the nation. .hat lives in the mind of a nation, its national culture, is the abstract synthesis of its common experience, its material existence as an economic organi%ation. Therefore, all of manOs mental 2ualities are products of reality, but not only of current reality, the whole past also subsists there in a stronger or weaker form. !ind is slow in relation to matter, it ceaselessly absorbs external influences while its old existence slowly sinks into HetheOs waters of oblivion. Thus, the adaptation of the content of the mind to a constantl$ rene,ed realit$ is onl$ incremental . ?ast and present both determine its content, but in different ways. The living reality which is constantly exercising its influence on the mind is embedded within it and impressed upon it in an increasingly more effective manner. But that which no longer feeds off of the present reality, no longer lives except in the past and can still be preserved for a long time, above all by the relations men maintain among themselves, by indoctrination and artificial propaganda, but to the extent that these residues are deprived of the material terrain that gave them life, they necessarily slowly disappear. This is how they ac2uire a traditional character. 1 tradition is also part of reality which lives in the minds of men, acts upon the other parts and for that reason fre2uently disposes of a considerable and potent force. But it is a natural mental realit$ ,hose material roots are sunk in the past . This is how religion became, for the modern proletariat, an ideology of a purely traditional nature, it may still have a powerful influence on its action, but this power only has roots in the past, in the importance that the community of religion possessed in other times, it is no longer nourished by contemporary reality, in its exploitation by capital, in its struggle against capital. 3or this reason the process leading to its extinction among the proletariat will not stop. To the contrary, contemporary reality is increasingly cultivating class consciousness which is conse2uently occupying a larger place in the proletariatOs mind, and which is increasingly determining its action.

+&r Task

I have framed the task assigned by our study. 5istory has given rise to nations with their limitations and their specific characteristics. But they are not yet finished and complete definitive facts with which one must contend. 5istory is still following its course. Each day it continues to build upon and modify what the previous days built. It is not enough, then, to confirm that the nation is that which is historical in us, solidified history. +f it ,ere nothing but petrified histor$ , it would be of a purely traditional nature, like religion. But for our practice, and for our tactics, the 2uestion of whether or not it is something more than this assumes the utmost importance. #f course, one must deal with it in any case, as with any great mental power in man, but the 2uestion of whether nationalist ideology only presents itself as a power of the past, or whether it sinks its roots into todayOs world, are two completely different things. 3or us, the most important and decisive 2uestion is the following4 how does present3da$ realit$ act upon the nation and everything national: In what sense are they being modified today: The reality in 2uestion here is highl$3de%eloped capitalism and the proletarian class struggle. This, then, is our position in regard to BauerOs study4 in other times, the nation played no role at all in the theory and practice of social democracy. There was no reason to take it into consideration, in most countries it is of no use to the class struggle to pay any attention to the national 2uestion. #bliged to do so by 1ustriaOs situation Bauer has filled this gap. 5e has demonstrated that the nation is neither the product of the imagination of a few literati nor is it the artificial product of nationalist propaganda, with the tool of !arxism he has shown that it has sunk its material roots into history and he has explained the necessity and the power of national ideas by the rise of capitalism. 1nd the nation stands revealed as a powerful reality with which we must come to terms in our struggle, he gives us the key to understand the modern history of 1ustria, and we must thus answer the following 2uestion4 what is the influence of the nation and nationalism on the class struggle, how must it be assessed in the class struggle: This is the basis and the guiding thread of the works of Bauer and the other 1ustrian !arxists. But with this approach, the task is only half-finished. 3or the nation is not simply a self-contained and complete phenomenon whose effect on the class struggle must be ascertained4 it is itself in turn sub ected to the influence of contemporary forces, among which the proletariatOs revolutionary struggle for emancipation is increasingly tending to become a factor of the first order. What effect, then, does the class struggle, the rise of the proletariat, for its part e6ercise upon the nation: Bauer has not examined this 2uestion, or he has done so in an insufficient manner, the study of this issue leads, in many cases, to udgments and conclusions which diverge from those he provided.

II. The Nation and the Proletariat

"lass $ntagonism
The current reality which most intensely determines manOs mentality and existence is capitalism. But it does not affect all men in the same way, it is one thing for the capitalist and another for the proletarian. 3or the members of the bourgeois class, capitalism is the world of the production of wealth and competition, more well-being, an increase in the mass of capital from which they try to extract the maximum possible profit in an individualistic struggle with their peers and which opens up for them the road to luxury and the en oyment of a refined culture, this is what the process of production provides for them. 3or the workers, it is the hard labor of endless slavery, permanent insecurity in their living conditions, eternal poverty, without the hope of ever getting anything but a poverty wage. $onse2uently, capitalism must exercise very different effects on the minds of the bourgeoisie and the minds of the members of the exploited class. The nation is an economic entity, a community of labor, even between workers and capitalists. $apital and labor are both necessary and must come together so that capitalist production can exist. It is a community of labor of a particular nature, in this community, capital and labor appear as antagonistic poles, they constitute a community of labor in the same way that predators and prey constitute a community of life. The nation is a community of character which has arisen from a community of fate. But with the development of capitalism, it is the difference of fates which is increasingly dominant in considering the bourgeoisie and the proletariat within any particular people. To explain what he means by the community of D9

fate, Bauer speaks *p. 0G0+ of the Jrelations constituted by the fact that both Mthe English worker and the English bourgeoisN live in the same city, that both read the same posters and the same newspapers, take part in the same political and sporting events, by the fact that on occasion they speak with one another or, at least, both speak with the various intermediaries between capitalists and workersJ. 'ow, the JfateJ of men does not consist in reading the same billboards, but in great and important e6periences which are totally different for each class. The whole world knows what the English ?rime !inister Bisraeli said about the two nations living alongside one another in our modern society without really understanding it. Bid he not intend to say that no community of fate links the two classes:M=N #f course, one does not have to take this statement literally in its modern sense. The community of fate of the past still exercises its influence on todayOs community of character. 1s long as the proletariat does not have a clear consciousness of the particularity of its own experience, as long as its class consciousness has not been awakened or is only slightly stirred, it remains the prisoner of traditional thinking, its thought is nourished on the leftovers of the bourgeoisie, it surely constitutes with the latter a kind of community of culture in the same way that the servants in the kitchen are the guests of their masters. The peculiarities of English history make this mental community all the more powerful in England, while it is extremely weak in Germany. In all the young nations where capitalism is ust making its appearance, the mentality of the working class is dominated by the traditions of the previous peasant and petit-bourgeois era. #nly little by little, with the awakening of class consciousness and class struggle under the impact of new antagonisms, will the community of character shared by the two classes disappear. There will undoubtedly still be relations between the two classes. But they are limited to rules and regulations of the factory and to carrying out work orders, so that the community of language is not even necessary, as the use of foreign-born workers speaking various languages proves. The more conscious of their situation and of exploitation the workers become, the more fre2uently they fight against the employers to improve their working conditions, the more that the relations between the two classes are transformed into enmity and conflict. There is ust as little community between them as between two peoples who are constantly engaged in frontier skirmishes. The more aware of social development the workers become, and the more socialism appears to them as the necessary goal of their struggle, the more they feel the rule of the capitalist class as foreign rule, and with this expression one becomes aware of ust how much the community of character has dissipated. Bauer defines national character as the Jdifference in orientations of the will, the fact that the same stimulus produces different reactions, that the same external circumstances provoke different decisionsJ *p. 0GG+. $ould one imagine more antagonistic orientations than those of the will of the bourgeoisie and the will of the proletariat: The names of Bismarck, Hassalle, 0C=C, stimulate feelings which are not ust different but even opposed in the German workers and the German bourgeoisie. The German workers of the Empire who belong to the German nation udge almost everything that happens in Germany in a different and opposed way to that of the bourgeoisie. 1ll the other classes re oice together over anything that contributes to the greatness and the foreign reach of their national /tate, while the proletariat combats every measure which leads to such results. The bourgeois classes speak of war against other /tates in order to increase their own power, while the proletariat thinks of a way to prevent war or discovers an occasion for its own liberation in the defeat of its own government. This is why one cannot speak of the nation as an entity except prior to the full unfolding within it of the class struggle, since it is only in that case that the working class still follows in the footsteps of the bourgeoisie. The class antagonism bet,een the bourgeoisie and the proletariat results in the progressi%e disappearance of their national communit$ of fate and of character . The constitutive forces of the nation must therefore be separately examined in each of the two classes.

The Will to 1orm a


Bauer is completely correct when he views the differences in orientation of the will as the essential element in differences of national character. .here all wills are oriented in the same way, a coherent mass is formed, where events and influences from the outside world provoke different and opposed determinations, rupture and separation result. The differences of wills have separated the nations from one another, but whose will is involved here: That of the rising bourgeoisie. 1s a result of the preceding proofs concerning the genesis of modern nations, its will to form a nation is the most important constitutive force. .hat is it that makes the $%ech nation a specific community in relation to the German nation: That which is ac2uired by life in common, the content of the community of fate which continues to practically influence the national character, is extremely weak. The content of its culture is almost totally taken from the modern nations which preceded it, above all the German nation, this is why Bauer says *p. 0G@+4 JIt is not completely incorrect to say that the $%echs are $%ech-speaking Germans. ...J #ne might also add some peasant traditions rounded off with reminiscences of 5uss, Piska and the battle of .hite !ountain,M@N exhumed from the past and without any practical meaning today. 5ow could a Jnational cultureJ have been erected upon the basis of a particular language: Because the bourgeoisie needs separation, because it ,ants to constitute a nation in relation to the Germans. It wants to do so because it needs to do so, because capitalist competition obliges it to monopoli%e to the greatest possible extent a territory of markets and exploitation. The conflict of interests with the other capitalists creates the nation wherever the necessary element exists, a specific language. Bauer and <enner clearly demonstrate in their expositions of the genesis of modern nations that the will of the rising bourgeois classes created the nations. 'ot as a conscious or arbitrary will, but as wanting at the same time as being compelled, the necessary conse2uence of economic factors. The JnationsJ in%ol%ed in the political struggle, ,hich are fighting among themsel%es for influence o%er the !tate, for po,er in the !tate *Bauer, pp. 70C-7=9+, are nothing but organi#ations of the bourgeois classes , of the petit-bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie, the intellectualsIclasses whose existence is based upon competition Iand here the proletarians and the peasants play a secondary role. The proletariat has nothing to do with this necessity of competition of the bourgeois classes, with their will to constitute a nation. 3or it, the nation does not mean the privilege of securing a customer base, positions, or opportunities for work. The capitalists immediately learned to import foreign workers who do not speak German or $%ech. By mentioning this capitalist practice it is not our basic intention to expose nationalist hypocrisy, but above all to make the workers understand that under the rule of capitalism the nation can never be synonymous with a labor monopoly for them. 1nd only infre2uently does one hear among backward workers, such as the 1merican trade unionists of the old school, of a desire to restrict immigration. The nation can also temporarily assume its own significance for the proletariat. .hen capitalism penetrates an agrarian region, the landlords then belong to a more developed capitalist nation, and the workers leave the peasantry for the other nation. 'ational feeling can then be for the workers an initial means of becoming aware of their community of interests against the foreign capitalists. 'ational antagonism is in this case the primitive form of class antagonism, ust as in <hineland-.estphalia, during the era of the ;ulturkampf, the religious antagonism between the $atholic workers and their liberal employers was the primitive form of class antagonism. But from the moment when a nation is sufficiently developed to have a proper bourgeoisie which takes responsibility for exploitation, proletarian nationalism is uprooted. In the struggle for better living conditions, for intellectual development, for culture, for a more dignified existence, the other classes in their nation are the sworn enemies of the workers while their foreign language-speaking class comrades are their friends and allies. The class struggle creates an international community of interests. Thus, for the proletariat, one cannot speak of a ,ill to become a separate nation based on economic interests , on its material situation.

The "omm&nit( of "&lt&re

Bauer discovers another nation-building force in the class struggle. 'ot in the economic content of the class struggle, but in its cultural effects. 5e defines the politics of the modern working class as a national3 e%olutionar$ politics *p. 09@+ that will unite the entire people in a nation. This has to be more than ust a primitive and popular way of expressing our goals in the language of nationalism, with the intention of D@

making them accessible to those workers who have gotten mixed up with nationalist ideology and who have not yet become aware of the great revolutionary importance of socialism. /o Bauer adds4 JBut because the proletariat necessarily struggles for possession of the cultural wealth that its work creates and makes possible, the effect of this politics is necessarily that of calling the entire people to take part in the national community of culture and thereby to make the totality of the people into a nation.J 1t first glance this seems to be completely correct. 1s long as the workers, crushed by capitalist exploitation, are immersed in physical misery and vegetate without hope or intellectual activity, they do not participate in the culture of the bourgeois classes, a culture which is based on the labor of the workers. They form part of the nation in the same way as livestock, they constitute nothing but property, and they are nothing more than second-class citi%ens in the nation. It is the class struggle which brings them to life, it is by way of the class struggle that they get free time, higher wages and therefore the opportunity to engage in intellectual development. Through socialism, their energy is awakened, their minds are stimulated, they begin to read, first of all socialist pamphlets and political newspapers, but soon the aspiration and the need to complete their intellectual training leads them to tackle literary, historical and scientific works4 the partyOs educational committees even devote special efforts to introducing them to classical literature. In this manner they accede to the community of culture of the bourgeois classes of their nation. 1nd when the worker can freely and without coercion devote himself to his intellectual development under socialism, which shall free him from the endless slavery of laborIunlike his present situation where he can only appropriate in scarce moments of leisure, and then only with difficulty, small fragments of cultureIonly then will the worker be able to absorb the entire national culture and become, in the fullest sense of the word, a member of the nation. But one important point is overlooked in these reflections. 1 community of culture between the workers and the bourgeoisie can only exist superficially, apparently and sporadically. The workers can to some extent, of course, read the same books as the bourgeoisie, the same classics and the same works of natural history, but this produces no community of culture. Because the basis of their thought and their world-view is so different from that of the bourgeoisie, the workers deri%e something %er$ different from their reading than does the bourgeoisie. 1s pointed out above, national culture does not exist in a vacuum, it is the expression of the material history of the life of those classes whose rise created the nation. .hat we find expressed in /chiller and Goethe are not abstractions of the aesthetic imagination, but the feelings and ideals of the bourgeoisie in its youth, its aspiration to freedom and the rights of man, its own way of perceiving the world and its problems. TodayOs class-conscious worker has other feelings, other ideals and another world-view. .hen he is reading and comes across .illiam TellOs individualism or the eternal, indomitable and ethereal rights of man, the mentality which is thus expressed is not his mentality, which owes its maturity to a more profound understanding of society and which knows that the rights of man can only be con2uered through the struggle of a mass organi%ation. 5e is not insensitive to the beauty of ancient literature, it is precisely his historical udgment which allows him to understand the ideals of past generations on the basis of their economic systems. 5e is capable of feeling their power, and is thus capable of appreciating the beauty of the works in which they have found their most perfect expression. This is because the beautiful is that which approaches and represents in the most perfect way possible the universality, the essence and the most profound substance of a reality. To this one must add that, in many respects, the feelings of the bourgeois revolutionary era produced a powerful echo in the bourgeoisie, but what is found as an echo in the bourgeoisie of that era, is precisely what is lacking in the modern bourgeoisie. This is all the more true in regard to radical and proletarian literature. 1s for what made the proletariat so enthusiastic about the works of 5eine and 3reiligrathMDN, the bourgeoisie does not want to know anything. The way the two classes read the literature which is available to both, is totally different, their social and political ideals are diametrically opposed, their world-views have nothing in common. This is to a certain extent even truer of their views of history. In history, what the bourgeoisie considers to be the most sublime memories of the nation arouse nothing but hatred, aversion or indifference in the proletariat. 5ere nothing points to their possessing a shared culture. #nly the physical and natural sciences are admired and honored by both classes. Their content is identical for both. But how different from the attitude of the bourgeois classes, is that of the worker who has recogni%ed these sciences as the basis of his absolute rule over nature and over his destiny in the future socialist society. .or the ,orker, this %ie, of nature, this concept of histor$ and this literar$ sentiment , are not elements of a national culture in ,hich he participates, the$ are elements of his socialist culture. DD

The most essential intellectual content, the determinant thoughts, and the real culture of the social democrats do not have their roots in /chiller or Goethe, but in !arx and Engels. 1nd this culture, which has arisen from a lucid socialist understanding of history and the future of society, the socialist ideal of a free and classless humanity, and the proletarian communitarian ethic, and which for those very reasons is in all of its characteristic features opposed to bourgeois culture, is international. This culture, despite its various manifestations among different peoplesIsince the proletariansO perspectives vary according to their conditions of existence and the form assumed by their economiesIand despite the fact that it is powerfully influenced by the historical background of each nation, especially where the class struggle is underdeveloped, is everywhere the same. Its form, the language in which it is expressed, is different, but all the other differences, even the national ones, are progressively reduced by the development of the class struggle and the growth of socialism. Indeed, the gap between the culture of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat is constantly expanding. It is therefore inaccurate to say that the proletariat is fighting for the ownership of the national cultural goods which it produces with its labor. It does not fight to appropriate the cultural goods of the bourgeoisie, it fights for control over production and to establish its own socialist culture upon that foundation. .hat we call the cultural effects of the class struggle, the workersO ac2uisition of self-consciousness, of knowledge and the desire to learn, of higher intellectual standards, has nothing to do with a bourgeois national culture, but represents the growth of socialist culture. This culture is a product of the struggle, a struggle which is waged against the whole bourgeois world. 1nd ust as we see the new humanity developing in the proletariat, proud and sure of victory, freed from the vile slavery of the past, comprised of brave combatants, capable of an unpre udiced and complete understanding of the course of events, united by the strongest bonds of solidarity in a solid unit, so from now on the spirit of the new humanity, socialist culture, weak at first, confused and mixed with bourgeois traditions, will be awakened in this proletariat, and will then become clearer, purer, more beautiful and richer. This is obviously not intended to imply that bourgeois culture will not also continue to rule for a long time and exercise a powerful influence on the minds of the workers. Too many influences from that world affect the proletariat, with or without its consent, not only school, church, and bourgeois press, but all the fine arts and scientific works impregnated by bourgeois thought. But more and more fre2uently, and in an ever-more comprehensive fashion, life itself and their own experience triumphs over the bourgeois world-view in the minds of the workers. 1nd this is how it must be. Because the more the bourgeois world-view takes possession of the workers, the less capable of fighting they become, under its influence, the workers are full of respect for the ruling powers, they are inculcated with the ideological thought of the latter, their lucid class consciousness is obscured, they turn on their own kind from this or that nation, they are scattered and are therefore ,eakened in the struggle and depri%ed of their self3confidence . #ur goal demands a proud human species, self-conscious, bold in both thought and action. 1nd this is why the very re2uirements of the struggle are freeing the workers from these paraly%ing influences of bourgeois culture. +t is, then, inaccurate to sa$ that the ,orkers are, b$ means of their struggle, gaining access to a Jnational communit$ of cultureJ. +t is the politics of the proletariat , the international politics of the class struggle, ,hich is engendering a ne, international and socialist culture in the proletariat.

The "omm&nit( of "lass Str&ggle

Bauer opposes the nation as a communit$ of fate to the class, in which the similarit$ of fates has developed similar character traits. But the working class is not ust a group of men who have experienced the same fate and thus have the same character. The class struggle ,elds the proletariat into a communit$ of fate . The fate lived in common is the struggle waged in common against the same enemy. DE

In the trade union struggle, workers of different nationalities see themselves confronted by the same employer. They must wage their struggle as a compact unit, they know its vicissitudes and effects in the most intimate kind of community of fate. They have brought their national differences with them from their various countries, mixed with the primitive individualism of the peasants or the petit-bourgeoisie, perhaps also a little national consciousness, combined with other bourgeois traditions. But all of these differences are traditions of the past opposed to the present need to resist as a compact mass, and opposed to the living community of combat of the present day. nl$ one difference has any practical significance here4 that of language, all explanations, all proposals, all information must be communicated to everyone in their own language. In the great 1merican strikes *the steelworkers strike at !c8eeOs <ocks or the textile workers strike at Hawrence, for example+, the strikersIa dis ointed conglomeration of the most varied nationalities4 3rench, Italians, ?oles, Turks, /yrians, etc.Iformed separate language sections whose committees always held oint meetings and simultaneously communicated proposals to each section in its own language, thus preserving the unity of the whole, which proves that, despite the inherent difficulties of the language barrier, a close-knit community of proletarian struggle can be achieved. .anting to proceed here to an organi%ational separation between that which unites life and struggle, the real interests of those involvedI and such a separation is what separatism impliesIis so contrary to reality that its success can only be temporary. This is not only true for the workers in one factory. In order to wage their struggle successfully, the workers of the whole country must unite in one trade union, and all of its members must consider the advancement of each local group as their own struggle. This is all the more necessary when, in the course of events, the trade union struggle assumes harsher forms. The employers unite in cartels and employersO associations, the latter do not distinguish between $%ech or German employers, as they group together all the employers in the whole /tate, and sometimes even extend beyond the borders of the /tate. 1ll the workers of the same trade living in the same /tate go on strike and suffer the lock-outs in common and conse2uently form a community of lived fate, and this is of the utmost importance, trumping all national differences. 1nd in the recent sailorsO movement for higher wages which in the summer of 0>00 confronted an international association of ship-owners, one could already see an international community of fate arising as a tangible reality. The same thing happens in the political struggle. In the Communist :anifesto of !arx and Engels, one may read the following4 JThough not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.JMEN In this passage it is clear that the word JnationalJ is not used in its 1ustrian sense, but arises from the context of the situation in .estern Europe where /tate and nation are synonymous. This passage only means that the English workers cannot wage the class struggle against the 3rench bourgeoisie, nor can the 3rench workers wage the class struggle against the English bourgeoisie, but that the English bourgeoisie and the power of the English /tate can be attacked and defeated only by the English proletariat. In 1ustria, /tate and nation are separate entities. The nation naturally arises as a community of interests of the bourgeois classes. But it is the !tate ,hich is the real solid organi#ation of the bourgeoisie for protecting its interests. The /tate protects property, it takes care of administration, puts the fleet and the army in order, collects the taxes and keeps the masses under control. The JnationsJ, or, more precisely4 the active organi%ations which use the nationOs name, that is, the bourgeois parties, have no other purpose than to fight for the con2uest of a fitting share of influence over the /tate, for participation in /tate power. 3or the big bourgeoisie, whose economic interests embrace the whole /tate and even other countries, and which needs direct privileges, customs duties, /tate purchases and protection overseas, it is its natural community of interests, rather than the nation, which defines the /tate and its limitations. The apparent independence which /tate power has managed to preserve for so long thanks to the conflicts between nations cannot obscure the fact that that it has also been an instrument at the service of big capital. This is why the center of gravity of the political struggle of the working class is shifting towards the /tate. 1s long as the struggle for political power still remains a secondary issue, and agitation, propaganda and the struggle of ideasIwhich naturally must be expressed in every languageIare still the highest priority, the proletarian armies will continue to be separated nationally for the political struggle. In this first stage of the socialist movement, the most important task is to free the proletarians from the ideological influence of the petit bourgeoisie, to snatch them away from the bourgeois parties and inculcate them with class DC

consciousness. The bourgeois parties, separated by national boundaries, then become the enemies to be fought. The /tate appears to be a legislative power from which laws can be demanded for the protection of the proletariat, the con2uest of influence over the /tate in favor of proletarian interests is presented to the barely-conscious proletarians as the first goal of proletarian action. 1nd the final goal, the struggle for socialism, is presented as a struggle for /tate power, against the bourgeois parties. But when the socialist party attains the status of an important factor in parliament, our task changes. In parliament, where all essential political 2uestions are settled, the proletariat is confronted by the representatives of the bourgeois classes of the entire /tate. The essential political struggle, to which educational work is increasingly sub ected and into which it is increasingly integrated, unfolds on the terrain of the /tate. It is the same for all the /tateOs workers, regardless of their nationalities. The community of struggle extends to the entire proletariat of the /tate, a proletariat for whom the common struggle against the same enemy, against all of the bourgeois parties and their governments in all nations, becomes a common fate. +t is not the nation, but the !tate ,hich determines for the proletariat the borders of the communit$ of fate constituted b$ the parliamentar$ political struggle. 1s long as socialist propaganda remains the most important activity for the 1ustrian and <ussian <uthenians,MCN the two national groups will be closely linked. But from the moment when developments reach a point where the real political struggle is waged against /tate powerIthe bourgeois ma ority and its governmentIthey must go their separate ways, and fight in different places with sometimes completely different methods. The former intervene in Kienna in the <eichsrat together with Tyrolean and $%ech workers, while the latter now carry on the fight under clandestine conditions, or in the streets of 8iev against the $%arOs government and its $ossacks. Their community of fate is sundered. 1ll of this is all the more clearly manifested as the proletariat becomes more powerful and its struggle occupies a larger and larger share of the field of history. /tate power, along with all the potent means at its disposal, is the fief of the owning classes, the proletariat cannot free itself, it cannot defeat capitalism unless it first defeats this powerful organi%ation. The con2uest of political hegemony is not a struggle for /tate power, it is a struggle against /tate power. The social revolution which shall issue into socialism consists essentially of defeating /tate power with the power of the proletarian organi%ation. This is why it must be carried out by the proletariat of the entire /tate. #ne could say that this common liberation struggle against a common enem$ is the most important e6perience in the entire histor$ of the life of the proletariat from its first a,akening until its %ictor$. This makes the ,orking class of the same !tate, rather than the same nation, a communit$ of fate. #nly in .estern Europe, where /tate and nation more or less coincide, does the struggle waged on the terrain of the nation-state for political hegemony give rise within the proletariat to communities of fate which coincide with nations. But even in this case the international character of the proletariat develops rapidly. The workers of different countries exchange theory and practice, methods of struggle and concepts, and they consider these topics to be matters common to all. This was certainly the case with the rising bourgeoisie, in their economic and philosophical concepts, the English, 3rench and Germans were mutually and profoundly influenced by their exchange of ideas. But no community resulted from this exchange because their economic antagonism led them to organi%e into mutually hostile nations, it was precisely the 3rench bourgeoisieOs con2uest of the bourgeois freedom long en oyed by the English bourgeoisie which provoked the bitter 'apoleonic .ars. /uch conflicts of interest are utterly lacking in the proletariat and for that reason the reciprocal intellectual influence exercised by the working classes of the various countries can act without constraint in forming an international community of culture. But their community is not limited to this aspect. The struggles, the victories and the defeats in one country have profound impacts on the class struggle in other countries. The struggles waged by our class comrades in other countries against their bourgeoisie are our affairs not only on the terrain of ideas, but also on the material plane, they form part of our own fight and we feel them as such. The 1ustrian workers, for whom the <ussian <evolution was a decisive episode in their own struggle for universal suffrage, know this 2uite well.M>N The proletariat of the whole world perceives itself as a single arm$, as a great association which is only obliged for practical reasons to split into numerous battalions which must fight the enemy separately, since the bourgeoisie is organi%ed into /tates and there are as a result numerous fortresses to reduce. This is also the way the press informs us of struggles in foreign countries4 the English Bock /trikes, the Belgian elections, and the demonstrations on the streets of Budapest are all of D>

interest to our great class organi%ation. In this manner the international class struggle becomes the common e6perience of the workers of all countries.


ation in the State of the 1&t&re

This conception of the proletariat already reflects the conditions of the future social order, in which men will no longer know /tate antagonisms. Through the overthrow of the rigid /tate organi%ations of the bourgeoisie by the organi%ational power of the proletarian masses, the /tate disappears as a coercive power and as the terrain of domination which is so sharply demarcated in relation to foreign /tates. ?olitical organi%ations take on a new function4 JThe government of persons gives way to the administration of things,J Engels said in his Anti30hring.M0GN 3or the conscious regulation of production, you need organi%ation, executive organs and administrative activity, but the extremely strict centrali%ation such as that practiced by todayOs /tate is neither necessary nor can it possibly be employed in pursuit of that goal. /uch centrali%ation will give way to full decentrali%ation and self-administration. 1ccording to the si%e of each sector of production, the organi%ations will cover larger or smaller areas, while bread, for example, will be produced on a local scale, steel production and the operation of railroad networks re2uire /tate-si%ed economic entities. There will be production units of the most various si%es, from the workshop and the municipality to the /tate, and even, for certain industries, all of humanity. Those naturally-occurring human groups, nationsIwill they not then take the place of the vanished /tates as organi%ational units: This will undoubtedly be the case, for the simple practical reason, that they are communities of the same language and all of manOs relations are mediated through language. But Bauer confers a totally different meaning upon the nations of the future4 JThe fact that socialism will make the nation autonomous, will make its destiny a product of the nationOs conscious will, will result in an increasing differentiation between the nations of the socialist society, a clearer expression of their specificities, a clearer distinction between their respective charactersJ *p. >D+. /ome nations, of course, receive the content of their culture and their ideas in various ways from other nations, but they only accept them in the context of their own national cultures. J3or this reason, the autonomy of the national community of culture within socialism necessarily means, despite the diminishing of differences between the material contents of their cultures, a growing differentiation between the intellectual cultures of the nationsJ *p. >C+. ... Thus Jthe nation based on the community of education carries within it the tendency for unity, all its children are sub ect to the same education, all its members work together in the national workshops, participate in the creation of the collective will of the nation, and en oy with each other the cultural wealth of the nation. /ocialism thus carries within itself the guarantee of the unity of the nation.J *p. >C+. $apitalism already displays the tendency to reinforce the national differences of the masses and to provide the nation with a stronger inner coherence. J5owever, it is only a socialist society that will see this tendency to triumph. Through differences in national education and customs, socialist society will distinguish peoples from one another to the same extent that the educated classes of the different nations are distinguished from one another today. There may well exist limited communities of character within the socialist nation, but autonomous cultural communities will not be able to exist within the nation, because every local community will be sub ect to the influence of the culture of the nation of the nation as a whole and will engage in cultural interaction, in the exchange of ideas with the entire nationJ *p. 00E+. The conception which is expressed in these sentences is nothing but the ideological transposition of the 1ustrian present into a socialist future. It confers upon the nations under socialism a role which is currently played by the /tates, that is, an increasing isolation from the outside and an internal leveling of all differences, among the many levels of economic and administrative units, it gives the nations a privileged rank, similar to that which falls to the /tate in the conception of our adversaries, who loudly complain about the Jomnipotence of the /tateJ under socialism, and here Bauer even speaks of Jnational workshopsJ. In any event, while socialist writings always refer to the workshops and means of production of the JcommunityJ in opposition to private property, without precisely delineating the dimensions of the community, here the nation is considered as the only community of men, autonomous in respect to other nations, undifferentiated within its borders. EG

/uch a conception is only possible if one totally abandons the material terrain from which the mutual relations and ideas of men have arisen and only insists on the mental forces as determinant factors. 'ational differences thereby totally lose the economic roots which today give them such an extraordinary vigor. The socialist mode of production does not develop oppositions of interest between nations, as is the case with the bourgeois mode of production. The economic unit is neither the /tate nor the nation, but the world. This mode of production is much more than a network of national productive units connected to one another by an intelligent policy of communications and by international conventions, as Bauer describes it on pages =09-=0=, it is an organi#ation of ,orld production in one unit and the common affair of all humanity. In this world community of which the proletariatOs internationalism is henceforth a beginning, one can no more discuss the autonomy of the German nation, to take an example, than one could speak of the autonomy of Bavaria, or of the $ity of ?rague or the ?oldi /teelworks. 1ll partially manage their own affairs and all depend upon the whole, as parts of that whole. The whole notion of autonomy comes from the capitalist era, when the conditions of domination led to their opposite, that is, freedom in respect to a particular form of domination. This material basis of the collectivity, organi#ed ,orld production, transforms the future of humanit$ into a single communit$ of destin$. 3or the great achievements which are hoped for, the scientific and technological con2uest of the entire earth and its transformation into a magnificent home for a race of masters M ein Geschlecht %on HerrenmenschenN, happy and proud of their victory, who have become rulers of nature and its forces, for such great achievementsIwhich we can hardly even imagine todayIthe borders of /tates and peoples are too narrow and restrictive. The communit$ of fate ,ill unite all of humanit$ in an intellectual and cultural communit$. Hinguistic diversity will be no obstacle, since every human community which maintains real communication with another human community will create a common language. .ithout attempting here to examine the 2uestion of a universal language, we shall only point out that today it is easy to learn various languages once one has advanced beyond the level of primary instruction. This is why it is useless to examine the 2uestion of to what degree the current linguistic boundaries and differences are of a permanent nature. .hat Bauer says about the nation in the last sentence 2uoted above therefore applies to all of humanity4 although restricted communities of character will subsist within humanity, there cannot be independent communities of culture because every local *and national+ community, without exception, will find itself, under the influence of the culture of all of humanity, in cultural communication, in an exchange of ideas, with humanity in its entirety.

The Transformations of the


#ur investigation has demonstrated that under the rule of advanced capitalism, which is accompanied by class struggle, the proletariat cannot be a nation-building force. It does not form a community of fate with the bourgeois classes, nor does it share a community of material interests, nor a community which could possibly be that of intellectual culture. The rudiments of such a community, which were sketched at the very beginning of capitalism, will necessarily disappear with the further development of the class struggle. .hile powerful economic forces generate national isolation, national antagonism and the whole nationalist ideology in the bourgeois classes, these features are absent among the proletariat. They are replaced by the class struggle, which gives the lives of the proletarians their essential content, and creates an international community of fate and of character in which nations as linguistic groups have no practical significance. 1nd since the proletariat is humanity in the process of becoming, this community constitutes the dawn of the economic and cultural community of all of humanity under socialism. .e must therefore respond in the affirmative to the 2uestion we posed above4 .or the proletariat, national phenomena are of no more significance than traditions . Their material roots are buried in the past and cannot be nourished b$ the e6periences of the proletariat . Thus, for the proletariat the nation plays a role which is similar to that of religion. .e acknowledge their differences, despite their kinship. The material roots of religious antagonisms are lost in the distant past and the people of our time know almost nothing about them. 3or this reason these antagonisms are totally disconnected from all material interests and seem to be purely abstract disputes about supernatural 2uestions. #n the other hand, the material roots of national E0

antagonisms are all around us, in the modern bourgeois world with which we are in constant contact, and this is why they preserve all the freshness and vigor of youth and are all the more influential the more capable we are of directly feeling the interests they express, but, due to the fact that their roots are not so deep, they lack the resistance of an ideology petrified by the passage of centuries, a resistance which is so hard to overcome. #ur investigation therefore leads us to a completely different conception than BauerOs. The latter imagines, contrary to bourgeois nationalism, a continuous transformation of the nation towards new forms and new types. /o the German nation has assumed, throughout its history, continually changing appearances from the proto-German to the future member of the socialist society. "nder these changing forms, however, the nation remains the same, and even if certain nations must disappear and others arise, the nation will always be the basic structure of society. 1ccording to our findings, however, the nation is ust a temporary and transitory structure in the history of the evolution of humanity, one of numerous forms of organi%ation which follow one another in succession or exist side by side4 tribes, peoples, empires, churches, village communities, /tates. 1mong these forms, the nation, in its particular nature, is a product of bourgeois society and will disappear with the latter. 1 desire to discover the nation in all past and future communities is as artificial as the determination to interpret, after the fashion of the bourgeois economists, the whole panoply of past and future economic forms as various forms of capitalism, and to conceive world evolution as the evolution of capitalism, which would proceed from the JcapitalJ of the savage, his bow and arrows, to the JcapitalJ of socialist society. This is the weak point of the basic underlying idea of BauerOs work, as we pointed out above. .hen he says that the nation is not a fixed ob ect but a process of becoming, he implies that the nation as such is permanent and eternal. 3or Bauer, the nation is Jthe never-finished product of an eternally-occurring processJ. .or us, the nation is an episode in the process of human e%olution , a process ,hich de%elops to,ards the infinite. 3or Bauer the nation constitutes the permanent fundamental element of humanity. 5is theory is a reflection on the ,hole histor$ of humanit$ from the perspecti%e of the nation . Economic forms change, classes emerge and pass away, but these are only changes of the nation, within the nation. The nation remains the primary element upon which the classes and their transformations simply confer a changing content. This is why Bauer expresses the ideas and the goals of socialism in the language of nationalism and speaks of the nation where others have used the terms people and humanity4 the JnationJ, due to the private ownership of the means of labor, has lost control over its destiny, the JnationJ has not consciously determined its destiny, the capitalists have, the JnationJ of the future will become the architect of its own destiny, we have already referred to his mention of national workshops. /o Bauer is led to describe as national-evolutionary and national-conservative the two opposed trends in politics4 that of socialism, oriented towards the future, and that of capitalism, which is trying to preserve the existing economic order. 3ollowing the example cited above, one could ust as well call this kind of socialism the socialism of capitalist-evolutionary politics. BauerOs way of approaching the national 2uestion is a specifically 1ustrian theory, and is a doctrine of the evolution of humanity which could only have arisen in 1ustria, where national 2uestions totally dominate public life. It is a confirmation of the fact that, and this is not meant to stigmati%e him, a researcher who so successfully masters the method of the !arxist conception of history in turn becomes, by succumbing to the influence of his surroundings, a proof of that theory. It is only such influence which has placed him in such circumstances that he can make our scientific understanding advance to such a point. 1long with the fact that we are not logical thinking machines but human beings who are living in a world which obliges us to have a full knowledge of the problems which the practice of the struggle pose for us, by relying on experience and reflection. But it seems to us that the different conclusions also involve different basic philosophical concepts. In what way have all our criticisms of BauerOs conceptions always converged: In a different evaluation of material and intellectual forces. .hile Bauer bases himself on the indestructible power of mental phenomena, of ideology as an independent force, we always put the accent on its dependence on economic conditions. It is tempting to consider this deviation from !arxist materialism in the light of the fact that Bauer has on various occasions represented himself as a defender of 8antOs philosophy and figures among the 8antians. In E7

this manner, his work is a double confirmation of the fact that !arxism is a precious and indispensable scientific method. #nly !arxism has allowed him to enunciate numerous noteworthy results which enrich our understanding, it is precisely at those points which are in some respect lacking that his method is most distant from the materialist conceptions of !arxism.

III. Socialist Tactics

ationalist Demands
/ocialist tactics are based on the science of social development. The way a working class assumes responsibility for pursuing its own interests is determined by its conception of the future evolution of its conditions. Its tactics must not yield to the influence of every desire and every goal which arise among the oppressed proletariat, or by every idea that dominates the latterOs mentality, if these are in contradiction with the effective development they are unreali%able, so all the energy and all the work devoted to them are in vain and can even be harmful. This was the case with all the movements and attempts to stop the triumphant march of big industry and to reintroduce the old order of the guilds. The militant proletariat has re ected all of that, guided by its understanding of the inevitable nature of capitalist development, it has put forth its socialist goal. The leading idea of our tactics is to favor that which will inevitably reali%e this goal. 3or this reason it is of paramount importance to establish, not what role nationalism is playing in this or that proletariat at this moment, but what will its long-term role be in the proletariat under the influence of the rise of the class struggle. #ur conceptions of the future meaning of nationalism for the working class are the conceptions which must determine our tactical positions in relation to the national 2uestion. BauerOs conceptions concerning the nationOs future constitute the theoretical basis of the tactics of national opportunism. The opportunistic tactic itself presents the very outline of the basic premise of his work, which considers nationality as the sole powerful and permanent result of historical development in its entirety. If the nation constitutes, and not ust today but on an ever expanding scale in con unction with the growth of the workers movement, and under socialism totally does so, the natural unifying and dividing principle of humanity, then it would be useless to want to fight against the power of the national idea in the proletariat. Then it would be necessary for us to champion nationalist demands and we would have to make every effort to convince the patriotic workers that socialism is the best and the only real nationalism. Tactics would be completely different if one were to adopt the conviction that nationalism is nothing but bourgeois ideology which does not have material roots in the proletariat and which will therefore disappear as the class struggle develops. In this case, nationalism is not only a passing episode in the proletariat, but also constitutes, like all bourgeois ideology, an obstacle for the class struggle ,hose harmful influence must be eliminated as much as possible . Its elimination is part of the timeline of evolution itself. 'ationalist slogans and goals distract the workers from their specifically proletarian goals. They divide the workers of different nations, they provoke the mutual hostility of the workers and thus destroy the necessary unity of the proletariat. They line up the workers and the bourgeoisie shoulder to shoulder in one front, thus obscuring the workersO class consciousness and transforming the workers into the executors of bourgeois policy. 'ational struggles prevent the assertion of social 2uestions and proletarian interests in politics and condemn this important means of struggle of the proletariat to sterility. 1ll of this is encouraged by socialist propaganda when the latter presents nationalist slogans to the workers as valid, regardless of the very goal of their struggle, and when it utili%es the language of nationalism in the description of our socialist goals. It is indispensable that class feeling and class struggle should be deeply rooted in the minds of the workers, then they will progressively become aware of the unreality and futility of nationalist slogans for their class.


This is why the nation-/tate as a goal in itself, such as the re-establishment of an independent national /tate in ?oland, has no place in socialist propaganda. This is not because a national /tate belonging to the proletariat is of no interest for socialist propaganda purposes. It is a result of the fact that nationalist demands of this kind cause the hatred of exploitation and oppression to easily take the form of nationalist hatred of foreign oppressors, as in the case of the foreign rule exercised by <ussia, which protects the ?olish capitalists, and is pre udicial to the ac2uisition of a lucid class consciousness. The re-establishment of an independent ?oland is utopian in the capitalist era. This also applies to the solution of the ?olish 2uestion proposed by Bauer4 national autonomy for the ?oles within the <ussian Empire. 5owever desirable or necessary this goal may be for the ?olish proletariat, as long as capitalism reigns the real course of development will not be determined by what the proletariat believes it needs, but by what the ruling class wants. If, however, the proletariat is strong enough to impose its will, the value of such autonomy is then infinitely minuscule compared with the real value of the proletariatOs class demands, which lead to socialism. The struggle of the ?olish proletariat against the political power under which it really suffersIthe <ussian, ?russian or 1ustrian government, as the case may beIis condemned to sterility if it assumes the form of a nationalist struggle, only as a class struggle will it achieve its goal. The only goal which can be achieved and which for this reason is imposed as a goal is that of the con2uest, in con unction with the other workers of these /tates, of capitalist political power and the struggle for the advent of socialism. 5ence under socialism the goal of an independent ?oland no longer makes sense since in that case nothing would prevent all ?olishspeaking individuals from being free to unite in an administrative unit. These different views are evident in the respective positions of the two ?olish /ocialist ?arties.M00N Bauer insists that both are ustified, since each of them embodies one facet of the nature of the ?olish workers4 the ?.?./., nationalist feeling, the /B8?iH, the international class struggle. This is correct, but incomplete. .e do not content ourselves with the very ob ective historical method which proves that all phenomena or tendencies can be explained by and derived from natural causes. .e must add that one facet of this nature is reinforced during the course of development, while another declines. The principle of one of the two parties is based on the future, that of the other is based on the past, one constitutes the great force of progress, the other is a compulsory tradition. This is why the two parties do not represent the same thing for us, as !arxists who base our principles on the real science of evolution and as revolutionary social democrats who seek what is ours in the class struggle, we must support one party and help it in its struggle against the other. .e spoke above of the lack of value of nationalist slogans for proletariat. But is it not true that certain nationalist demands are also of great importance for the workers, and should the workers not fight for them alongside the bourgeoisie: Is it not true, for example, that national schools, in which the children of the proletariat can receive instruction in their own language, possess a certain value: .or us, such demands constitute proletarian demands rather than nationalist demands. $%ech nationalist demands are directed against the Germans, while the Germans oppose them. If, however, the $%ech workers were to interest themselves in $%ech schools, a $%ech administrative language, etc., because these things allow them to enhance their opportunities for education and to increase their independence in respect to the employers and the authorities, these issues would also be of interest to the German workers, who have every interest in seeing their class comrades ac2uire as much force as possible for the class struggle. Therefore, not only the $%ech social democrats, but their German comrades as well must demand schools for the $%ech minority, and it is of the little importance to the representatives of the proletariat how powerful the German or the $%ech JnationJ is, that is, how powerful the German or the $%ech bourgeoisie is within the /tate, which will be strengthened or weakened by this development. The interest of the proletariat must always prevail. If the bourgeoisie, for nationalist reasons, were to formulate an identical demand, in practice it will be pursuing something totally different since its goals are not the same. In the schools of the $%ech minority, the workers will encourage the teaching of the German language because this would help their children in their struggle for existence, but the $%ech bourgeoisie will try to prevent them from learning German. The workers demand the most extensive diversity of languages employed in administrative bodies, the nationalists want to suppress foreign languages. +t is onl$ in appearance, then, that the linguistic and cultural demands of the ,orkers and those of the nationalists coincide. <roletarian demands are those demands ,hich are common to the proletariat of all nations.


%deolog( and "lass Str&ggle

The !arxist tactic of social democracy is based upon the recognition of the real class interests of the workers. It cannot be led astray by ideologies, even when the latter seem to be rooted in menOs minds. 1s a result of its !arxist mode of comprehension, it knows that those ideas and ideologies which apparently do not have material bases, are by no means supernatural nor are they invested with a spiritual existence disconnected from the corporeal, but are the traditional and established expressions of past class interests. This is why we are certain that in the face of the enormous densit$ of class interests and real current needs , even if there is little awareness of them, no ideolog$ rooted in the past, ho,e%er po,erful it ma$ be, can resist for long. This basic concept also determines the form assumed by our struggle against that ideologyOs power. Those who consider ideas to be autonomous powers in the minds of men, which spontaneously appear or are manifested thanks to a strange spiritual influence, can choose one of two ways to win men over to their new goals4 they can either directly fight the old ideologies, demonstrating their erroneous nature by means of abstract theoretical considerations and in that way attempt to nullify their power over men, or they can try to enlist ideology in their cause by presenting their new goals as the conse2uence and the reali%ation of old ideas. Het us take the example of religion. <eligion is the most powerful among the ideologies of the past which dominate the proletariat and are used in an attempt to lead it astray from the united class struggle. $onfused social democrats, who have witnessed the construction of this powerful obstacle to socialism, have tried to fight religion directly and to prove the erroneous nature of religious doctrinesIin the same way previously attempted by bourgeois nationalismI in order to shatter their influence. #r, on the other hand, they have tried to present socialism as an improved $hristianity, as the true reali%ation of religious doctrine, and thus to convert $hristian believers to socialism. But these two methods have failed wherever they have been tried, theoretical attacks against religion have not succeeded at all and have reinforced pre udice against socialism, similarly, no one has been convinced by ridiculous social democratic attempts to cloak socialism in $hristian attributes, because the tradition to which men are firmly attached is not ust $hristianity in general, but a particular $hristian doctrine. It was obvious that both of these attempts were destined to fail. /ince the theoretical considerations and debates which accompanied these attempts focus the mind on abstract religious 2uestions, they detour it away from real life and reinforce ideological thinking. In general, faith cannot be attacked with theoretical proofs, only when its basisIthe old conditions of existenceIhas disappeared and a new conception of the world occurs to man, will doubts arise concerning doctrines and ancient dogmas. #nly the new reality, which more and more clearly penetrates the mind, can overthrow a faith handed down from generation to generation, it is, of course, necessary that menOs consciousness should clearly come to grips with this reality. +t is onl$ through contact ,ith realit$ that the mind frees itself from the po,er of inherited ideas. This is why !arxist social democracy would not even in its wildest dreams think of fighting religion with theoretical arguments, or of trying to use religion for its own purposes. Both such approaches would help to artificially preserve received abstract ideas, instead of allowing them to slowly dissipate. ur tactic consists in making the ,orkers more a,are of their real class interests , sho,ing them the realit$ of this societ$ and its life in order to orient their minds more to,ards the real ,orld of toda$ . Then the old ideas, ,hich no longer find an$ nourishment in the realit$ of proletariat life , $ield ,ithout being directl$ attacked . .hat men think of theoretical problems is no concern of ours as long as they struggle together with us for the new economic order of socialism. This is why social democracy never speaks or debates about the existence of God or religious controversies, it only speaks of capitalism, exploitation, class interests, and the need for the workers to collectively wage the class struggle. In this way the mind is steered away from secondary ideas of the past in order to focus on present-day reality, these ideas of the past are thus deprived of their power to lead the workers astray from the class struggle and the defense of their class interests. #f course, this cannot be achieved all at once. That which remains petrified within the mind can only be slowly eroded and dissolved under the impact of new forces. 5ow many years passed before large numbers of the $hristian workers of <hineland-.estphalia abandoned the 1entrumM07N for social democracy; But the social democracy did not allow itself to be led astray, it did not try to accelerate the conversion of the E@

$hristian workers by means of concessions to their religious pre udices, it was not impatient with the scarcity of its successes, nor did it allow itself to be seduced by anti-religious propaganda. It did not lose faith in the victory of reality over tradition, it clung firmly to principle, it opted for no tactical deviations which would give the illusion of a 2uicker route to success, it always opposed ideology with the class struggle. 1nd now the fruits of its tactic continue to ripen. It is the same with regard to nationalism, with the sole difference that in dealing with the latter, due to the fact that it is a more recent and less petrified ideology, we are less prepared to avoid the error of fighting on the abstract theoretical plane as well as the error of compromise. +n this case as ,ell it suffices for us to put the accent on the class struggle and to a,aken class feeling in order to turn attention a,a$ from national problems. In this case, too, all our propaganda could appear to be useless against the power of nationalist ideology,M09N most of all, it could seem that nationalism is making the most progress among the workers of the young nations. Thus, the $hristian trade unions of the <hineland made their greatest gains at the same time as the /ocial Bemocracy, this could be compared to the phenomenon of national separatism, which is a part of the workers movement that concedes more importance to a bourgeois ideology than to the principle of class struggle. But insofar as such movements are in practice capable only of following in the wake of the bourgeoisie and thus of arousing the feeling of the working class against them, they will progressively lose their power. .e would therefore have gone completely off the rails if we wanted to win the working masses over to socialism by being more nationalist than they are, by yielding to this phenomenon. This nationalist opportunism could, at the very most, allow these masses to be won over externally, in appearance, for the party, but this does not ,in them o%er to our cause , to socialist ideas, bourgeois conceptions will continue to rule their minds as before. 1nd when the decisive moment arrives when they must choose between national and proletarian interests, the internal ,eakness of this ,orkers mo%ement will become apparent, as is currently taking place in the separatist crisis. 5ow can we rally the masses under our banner if we allow them to flock to the banner of nationalism: #ur principle of class struggle can only prevail when the other principles that manipulate and divide men are rendered ineffective, but if our propaganda enhances the reputation of those other principles, we subvert our own cause. 1s a result of what has been set forth above, it would be a complete error to want to fight nationalist feelings and slogans. In those cases where the latter are deeply-rooted in peopleOs heads, they cannot be eliminated by theoretical arguments but only by a more powerful reality, which is allowed to act upon the peopleOs minds. If one begins to speak about this topic, the mind of the listener is immediately oriented towards the terrain of nationalism and can think only in terms of nationalism. It is therefore better not to speak of it at all, not to get mixed up in it. To all the nationalist slogans and arguments, the response will be4 exploitation, surplus value, bourgeoisie, class rule, class struggle. If they speak of their demands for national schools, we shall call attention to the insufficiency of the teaching dispensed to the children of the workers, who learn no more than what is necessary for their subse2uent life of back-breaking toil at the service of capital. If they speak of street signs and administrative posts, we will speak of the misery which compels the proletarians to emigrate. If they speak of the unity of the nation, we will speak of exploitation and class oppression. If they speak of the greatness of the nation, we will speak of the solidarity of the proletariat of the whole world. #nly when the great reality of todayOs worldIcapitalist development, exploitation, the class struggle and its final goal, socialismIhas entirely impregnated the minds of the workers, will the little bourgeois ideals of nationalism fade away and disappear. The class struggle and propaganda for socialism comprise the sole effecti%e means of breaking the po,er of nationalism.

Separatism and Part( +rganization

In 1ustria after the .imberg $ongress, the social democratic party was divided by nationalities, each national workers party being autonomous and collaborating with the others on a federalist basis.M0=N This separation of the proletariat by nationalities did not cause ma or inconveniences and was fre2uently considered to be the natural organi%ational principle for the workers movement in a country which is so profoundly divided by nationalities. But when this separation ceased to be restricted to the political organi%ation and was applied to the trade unions under the name of separatism, the danger suddenly became ED

palpable. The absurdity of a situation where the workers in the same workshop are organi%ed in different trade unions and thus stand in the way of the common struggle against the employer is evident. These workers constitute a community of interests, they can only fight and win as a cohesive mass and therefore must be members of a single organi%ation. The separatists, by introducing the separation of workers by nationalities into the trade union, shatter the power of the workers in the same way the $hristian trade union schismatics did and significantly contribute to obstructing the rise of the proletariat. The separatists know this and can see it as well as we do. .hat, then, impels them to take this hostile stance towards the workers despite the fact that their cause was condemned by an overwhelming ma ority at the International $ongress at $openhagen:M0@N 3irst of all, the fact that they consider the national principle to be infinitely superior to the material interests of the workers and the socialist principle. In this case, however, they make reference to the rulings of another international $ongress, the /tuttgart $ongress *0>GE+, according to which the part$ and the trade unions of a countr$ must be intimatel$ linked in a constant communit$ of labor and struggle.M0DN 5ow is this possible when the party is articulated by nationality and the trade union movement is at the same time internationally centrali%ed throughout the /tate: .here will the $%ech social democracy find a trade union movement with which it can be intimately linked, if it does not create its own $%ech trade union movement: To proceed, as have many German-speaking social democrats in 1ustria, by referring to the total disparity of political and trade union struggles as an essential argument in the theoretical struggle against separatism, is to literally choose the weakest position. There is, of course, no other way out if they want to simultaneously defend international unity in the trade unions and separation by nationalities in the party. But this argument does not produce the sought-after results. This attitude is derived from the situation which prevailed at the beginning of the workers movement when both party and trade union had to assert themselves slowly while fighting against the pre udices of the working masses and when each of them was trying to find its own way4 at that time it seemed that the trade unions were only for improving the immediate material conditions, while the party carries out the struggle for the future society, for general ideals and elevated ideas. In reality, both are fighting for immediate improvements and both are helping to build the power of the proletariat which will make the advent of socialism possible. It is ust that, insofar as the political struggle is a general struggle against the entire bourgeoisie, the most distant conse2uences and the most profound bases of the socialist world-view must be taken into account, while in the trade union struggle, in which contemporary issues and immediate interests come to the fore, reference to general principles is not necessary, and could even be harmful to momentary unity. But in reality it is the same working class interests which determine the two forms of struggle, it is ust that in the party they are somewhat more enveloped in the form of ideas and principles. But as the movement grows, and the closer the party and the trade union approach one another, the more they are compelled to fight in common. The great trade union struggles become mass movements whose enormous political importance makes the whole of social existence tremble. #n the other hand, political struggles assume the dimensions of mass actions which demand the active collaboration of the trade unions. The /tuttgart resolution makes this necessity even more clear. Thus, every attempt to defeat separatism by positing the total disparity of trade union and political movements is in conflict with reality. The error of separatism, then, lies not in wanting the same organi%ation for the party and the trade unions, but in destroying the trade union to accomplish this goal. The root of the contradiction is not found in the unit$ of the trade union mo%ement, but in the di%ision of the political part$. /eparatism in the trade union movement is merely the unavoidable conse2uence of the autonomy of the partyOs national organi%ations, since it subordinates the class struggle to the national principle, it is even the ultimate conse2uence of the theory which considers nations to be the natural products of humanity and sees socialism in the light of the national principle, as the reali%ation of the nation. This is ,h$ one cannot reall$ o%ercome separatism unless, on all fronts, in tactics, in agitation, in the consciousness of all the comrades, the class struggle rules as the sole proletarian principle compared to which all national differences are of no importance. The unification of the socialist parties is the only way to resolve the contradiction which has given birth to the separatist crisis and all the harm it has done to the workers movement.


In the section above entitled JThe $ommunity of $lass /truggleJ it was demonstrated how the class struggle develops on the terrain of the /tate and unifies the workers of all the /tateOs nationalities. It was also confirmed that during the early days of the socialist party, the center of gravity was still located in the nations. This explains historical developments since then4 from the moment that it began to reach the masses through its propaganda, the party split up into separate units on the national level which had to adapt to their respective environments, to the situation and specific ways of thinking of each nation, and for that very reason were more or less contaminated by nationalist ideas. The entire workers movement during its ascendant phase was stuffed full of bourgeois ideas which it can only slowly rid itself of in the course of development, through the practice of struggle and increasing theoretical understanding. This bourgeois influence on the workers movement, which in other countries has assumed the form of revisionism or anarchism, necessarily took the form of nationalism in 1ustria, not only because nationalism is the most powerful bourgeois ideology, but also because in 1ustria nationalism is opposed to the /tate and the bureaucracy. 'ational autonomy in the party is not only the result of an erroneous yet avoidable resolution of this or that party congress, but is also a natural form of development, created incrementally by the historical situation itself. But when the con2uest of universal suffrage created the terrain for the parliamentary struggle of the modern capitalist /tate, and the proletariat became an important political force, this situation could not last. Then one could see if the autonomous parties still really comprised one single party * Gesamtpartei+. It was no longer possible to be satisfied with platonic declarations about their unity, henceforth a more solidly-grounded unity was needed, so that the socialist fractions of the various national parties would submit in practice and in deed to a common will. The political movement has not passed this test, in some of its component parts, nationalism still has such deep roots that they feel closer to the bourgeois parties of their nations than to the other socialist fractions. This explains a contradiction which is only apparent4 the single party collapsed at the precise moment when the new conditions of the political struggle re2uired a real single party, the solid unity of the whole 1ustrian proletariat, the slack bonds connecting the national groups broke when these groups were confronted by the pressing need to transform themselves into a solid unity. But it was at the same time evident that this absence of the single party could only be temporary. The separatist crisis must necessaril$ lead to the appearance of a ne, single part$ that ,ill be the compact political organi#ation of the ,hole Austrian ,orking class. The autonomous national parties are forms from the past which no longer correspond to the new conditions of struggle. The political struggle is the same for all nations and is conducted in one single parliament in Kienna, there, the $%ech social democrats do not fight against the $%ech bourgeoisie but, together with all the other workers deputies, they fight against the entire 1ustrian bourgeoisie. To this assertion it has been ob ected that electoral campaigns are conducted within each nation separately4 the adversaries are therefore not the /tate and its bureaucracy, but the bourgeois parties of each nation. This is correct, but the electoral campaign is not, so to speak, any more than an extension of the parliamentary struggle. +t is not the ,ords, but the deeds of our ad%ersaries, ,hich constitute the material of the electoral campaign , and these deeds are perpetrated in the 9eichsrat, they form part of the activity of the 1ustrian parliament. This is why the electoral campaign coaxes the workers out of their little national worlds, it directs their attention to a much greater institution of domination, a powerful organi%ation of coercion of the capitalist class, which rules their lives. The /tate, which in other times seemed weak and defenseless against the nation, is increasingly asserting its power as a conse2uence of the development of large-scale capitalism. The growth of imperialism, which drags the Banubian monarchy in its wake, puts increasingly more potent instruments of power into the hands of the /tate for the purposes of international policy, imposes greater military pressure and tax burdens on the masses, contains the opposition of the national bourgeois parties and completely ignores the workersO sociopolitical demands. Imperialism had to provide a powerful impulse to the oint class struggle of the workers, in comparison with their struggles, which shake the entire world, which set capital and labor against each other in a bitter conflict, the goals of national disputes lose all meaning. 1nd it is not to be totally ruled out that the common changes to which the workers are exposed by international politics, above all the danger of war, will unite the now-divided working masses for a common struggle more 2uickly than is generally thought. EC

It is true that, as a result of linguistic differences, propaganda and education must be conducted separately in each particular nation. The practice of the class struggle must acknowledge nations as groups distinguished by different languages, this applies to the party as well as the trade union movement. As organi#ations for struggle, both the part$ and the trade union must be organi#ed in a unitar$ manner on an international scale. .or purposes of propaganda, e6planation, and educational efforts ,hich are also of common concern , the$ need national organi#ations and structures.

ational $&tonom(
Even though we do not get involved in the slogans and watchwords of nationalism and continue to use the slogans of socialism, this does not mean that we are pursuing a kind of ostrich policy in regard to national 2uestions. These are, after all, real 2uestions which are of concern to men and which they want to solve. .e are trying to get the workers to become conscious of the fact that, for them, it is not these 2uestions, but exploitation and the class struggle, which are the most vital and important 2uestions which cast their shadows over everything. But this does not make the other 2uestions disappear and we have to show that we are capable of resolving them. /ocial democracy does not ust simply leave men with the promise of the future /tate, it also presents in its program of immediate demands the solution it proposes for every one of those 2uestions which constitute the focal points of contemporary struggles. .e are not merely attempting to unite the $hristian workers with all the others in the common class struggle, without taking religion into consideration, but, in our programmatic proposal, <roclamation Concerning the <ri%ate Character of 9eligion, we are also showing them the means to preserve their religious interests more effectively than through religious struggles and disputes. In opposition to the power struggles of the $hurches, struggles which are inherent in their character as organi%ations of domination, we propose the principle of selfdetermination and freedom for all men to practice their faith without risk of being harmed by others for doing so. This programmatic proposal does not supply the solution for any particular 2uestion, but contains a blanket solution insofar as it provides a basis upon which the various 2uestions can be settled at will. By removing all public coercion, all necessity for self-defense and dispute is simultaneously removed. <eligious 2uestions are eliminated from politics and left to organi%ations that will be created by men of their own free will. #ur position in regard to national 2uestions is similar. The social democratic program of national autonom$ offers the practical solution ,hich ,ill depri%e struggles bet,een nations of their raison d'etre. By means of the employment of the personal principle instead of the territorial principle, nations will be recogni%ed as organi%ations which will be responsible for the care of all the cultural interests of the national community within the borders of the /tate. Each nation thus obtains the legal power to regulate its affairs autonomously even where it is in the minority. In this way no nation finds itself faced with the permanent obligation of con2uering and preserving this power in the struggle to exercise influence over the /tate. This will definitively put an end to the struggles between nations which, through endless obstructions, paraly%e all parliamentary activity and prevent social 2uestions from being addressed. .hen the bourgeois parties engage in a free-for-all, without advancing a single step, and find themselves to be helpless before the 2uestion of how to get out of this chaos, the social democracy has shown the practical way which permits the satisfaction of ustified national desires, without for that reason necessitating mutual harm. This is not to say that this program has any chance of being implemented. 1ll of us are convinced that our programmatic proclamation of the private character of religion, along with the greater part of our immediate demands, will not be brought to fruition by the capitalist /tate. "nder capitalism, religion is not, as people have been made to believe, a matter of personal beliefIif it were, the promoters of religion would have had to adopt and implement our programIbut is instead a means of rule in the hands of the owning class. 1nd that class will not renounce the use of that means. 1 similar idea is found in our national program, which seeks to transform the popular conception of nations into a reality. 'ations are not ust groups of men who have the same cultural interests and who, for that reason, want to live in peace with other nations, they are combat organi%ations of the bourgeoisie which are used to gain power within the /tate. Every national bourgeoisie hopes to extend the territory where it exercises its rule at the expense of its adversaries, it is E>

therefore totally erroneous to think that the bourgeoisie could through its own initiative put an end to these exhausting struggles, ust as it is utterly out of the 2uestion that the capitalist world powers will usher in an epoch of eternal world peace, through a sensible settlement of their differences. 3or in 1ustria, the situation is such that a higher body is available which is capable of intervening4 the /tate, the ruling bureaucracy. It is hoped that the central power of the /tate will be engaged to resolve national differences, because the latter threaten to tear the /tate apart and impede the regular functioning of the /tate machinery, but the /tate has learned how to coexist with national struggles, and has gone so far as to make use of them to reinforce the power of the government against the parliament, so that it is no longer at all necessary to do away with them. 1nd, what is even more important4 the reali%ation of national autonomy, such as the social democracy demands, is based upon democratic self-administration. 1nd this 2uite ustifiably strikes terror into the hearts of the feudal and clerical elements of big business and the militarists who rule 1ustria. But does the bourgeoisie really have an interest in putting an end to national struggles: 'ot at all, it has the greatest interest in not putting an end to them, especially since the class struggle has reached a high point. Aust like religious antagonisms, national antagonisms constitute e6cellent means to di%ide the proletariat , to di%ert its attention from the class struggle ,ith the aid of ideological slogans and to pre%ent its class unit$ . The instinctive aspirations of the bourgeois classes to block the proletariatOs lucid and powerful efforts towards unification form an increasingly larger part of bourgeois policy. In countries like England, 5olland, the "nited /tates, and even Germany *where the conservative party of the =unkers is an exceptional case of a sharply-defined class party+, we observe that the struggles between the two ma or bourgeois partiesI generally between a JliberalJ party and a JconservativeJ or JreligiousJ partyIare becoming more embittered, and the war-cries more strident, at the same time that their real conflicts of interest diminish and their antagonism consists of ideological slogans handed down from the past. 1nyone with a schematic conception of !arxism who wants to see the parties as merely the representatives of the interests of bourgeois groups, is faced with an enigma here4 when one would expect that they would fuse into a reactionary mass to confront the threat of the proletariat, it seems, to the contrary, that the gap between them grows deeper and wider. The very simple explanation of this phenomenon is that they have instinctively understood that it is impossible to crush the proletariat with force alone and that it is infinitely more important to confuse and divide the proletariat with ideological slogans. This is why the national struggles of 1ustriaOs various bourgeoisies flare up all the more %iolentl$ the less reason there is for their e6istence . The more closely these gentlemen cooperate to share /tate power, the more furiously they attack one another in public debates over issues relating to nationalist trifles. In the past, each bourgeoisie strove to group the proletariat of its nation into a compact body in order to mount a more effective battle against its adversaries. Today, the opposite is taking place4 the struggle against the national enemy must serve to unite the proletariat behind the bourgeois parties and thus impede its international unity. The role played in other countries by the battle-cry, J.ith us for $hristianity;J, J.ith us for freedom of conscience;J, by means of which it was hoped that the workersO attention would be diverted from social 2uestions, this role will be increasingly assumed by national battle-cries in 1ustria. It is in relation to social 2uestions that their class unity and their class antagonism against the bourgeoisie will be asserted. .e do not expect that the practical solution to national disputes we have put forth will ever be implemented, precisely because these struggles will no longer have any point. .hen Bauer says that Jnational power politics and proletarian class politics are logically difficult to reconcile, psychologically, one excludes the other4 national contradictions can disperse the forces of the proletariat at any moment, the national struggle renders the class struggle impossible. The centralist-atomist constitution, which makes the national power struggle inevitable, is therefore intolerable for the proletariatJ *p. 7@7+, he is perhaps partly correct, to the extent that he helps to provide a basis for our programOs demands. If, however, he means that the national struggle must first cease so that the class struggle could then take place, he is wrong. It is precisely the fact that we are striving to make national struggles disappear which leads the bourgeoisie to maintain their existence. But this is not how we will be stopped. The proletarian arm$ is onl$ dispersed b$ national antagonisms as long as socialist class consciousness is ,eak. It is after all true that, in the final accounting, the class struggle far surpasses the national 2uestion. The baleful po,er of nationalism ,ill in fact be broken not b$ our proposal for national autonom$, ,hose reali#ation does not depend upon us , but solel$ b$ the strengthening of class consciousness.


It would therefore be incorrect to concentrate all our forces on a Jpositive national policyJ and to stake everything on this one card, the implementation of our national program as a precondition for the development of the class struggle. This programmatic demand, like most of our practical demands, only serves to show how easily we could resolve these 2uestions if only we had power, and to illustrate, in the light of the rationality of our solutions, the irrationality of the bourgeois slogans. 1s long as the bourgeoisie rules, our rational solution will probably remain ust a piece of paper. #ur politics and our agitation can only be directed towards the necessity of always and exclusively carrying out the class struggle, to awaken class consciousness so that the workers, thanks to a clear understanding of reality, will become inaccessible to the slogans of nationalism. 1nton <eichenberg, 0>07 ?annekoek

[1] See Les Marxistes et la question nationale, pp. 233-272, as well as Arduino Agnelli, "Le socialisme et la question des nationalit s c!e" #tto $auer", Histoire du marxisme contemporain , %%, 1&'1(, pp. 3))-*&+. ,-ote .rom t!e /renc! edition0. %n 1nglis!, see #tto $auer, The Question of Nationalities and Social Democracy , tr. 2osep! #34onnell, 5ni6ersit7 o. 8innesota 9ress, 8inneapolis, 2&&&. All page re.erences to t!e 1nglis! language edition. [2] :!is is w!7 t!e words "State" and "nation" are used interc!angea;l7 in <estern 1urope. :!e State3s de;t is called t!e national de;t and t!e interests o. t!e State communit7 are alwa7s called national interests. ,9anne=oe=3s note0. [3] :!e relations!ip ;etween mind and matter !as ;een most clearl7 set .ort! in t!e writings o. 2osep! 4iet"gen, w!o, ;7 6irtue o. !is anal7sis o. t!e p!ilosop!ical .oundations o. 8ar>ism, well-deser6ed t!e title 8ar> ;estowed upon !im? t!e p!ilosop!er o. t!e proletariat. ,9anne=oe=3s note0. See 2osep! 4iet"gen, L'essence du travail intellectual. crits philosophiques annot!s par Lenin , introduced and translated ;7 2.-9. #sier, 8aspero, 9aris, 1@73A and 2osep! 4iet"gen, "ssence du travail intellectual humain, translated ;7 8. 2aco;, wit! a 9re.ace ;7 Anton 9anne=oe=, B!amp Li;re, 9aris, 1@73. %n .act, 8ar> wrote, in a letter dated #cto;er 2(, 1(+( to 8e7er and Cogt, concerning 4iet"gen? "De is one o. t!e most ;rilliant wor=ers % =now"A 8ar>-1ngels, #er$e, Col. 32, p. )7). As .or 1ngels, !e attri;uted t!e parallel disco6er7 o. t!e materialist dialectic to 4iet"gen. ,-ote .rom t!e /renc! edition0. %n 1nglis!, see 2osep! 4iet"gen, The %ositive &utcome of %hilosophy, translated ;7 1rnest 5ntermann. %ntroduction ;7 Anton 9anne=oe=. B!arles D. Eerr F Bompan7, B!icago, 1@&+A and %hilosophical "ssays, translated ;7 8. $eer and :. Got!stein, B!arles D. Eerr F Bo., B!icago, 1@17. [*] See t!e 1arl o. $eacons.ield ,$enHamin 4israeli0, Sy'il( or the T)o Nations, London, Longman3s, Ireen and Bo., 1@13, pp. 7+-77. [)] 2o!n Duss ,13+@-1*1)0, B"ec! re.ormer, condemned ;7 t!e Bouncil o. Bonstance and ;urned at t!e sta=e. :!e date o. !is deat! was long cele;rated in $o!emia as a national and religious !olida7. De was also a proponent o. t!e use o. t!e B"ec! language. 2an Jis=a 6on :rocno6 ,137&-1*2*0, Dussite leader. #n 2ul7 1*, 1*2&, !e repelled t!e assault o. t!e 1mperor Sigismund at 8ount <it=a, near 9rague. A.ter !a6ing de.eated t!e 1mperor once more two 7ears later, !e died o. t!e plague in 9ri;7slau. :!e <!ite 8ountain ,$ila Dora0 is located west o. 9rague. :!e ;attle too= place on -o6em;er (, 1+2&. :!e 9rotestant arm7 o. $o!emia was de.eated ;7 imperial troops. According to $auer3s anal7sis, t!e at


<!ite 8ountain, w!ic! eradicated t!e educated elements o. t!e B"ec! nation, trans.ormed t!e latter into a "nation wit!out !istor7". [+] /erdinand /reiligrat! ,1(1&-1(7+0, a poet and one o. t!e leaders o. t!e democratic part7 in t!e re6olution o. 1(*(, colla;orated wit! 8ar> and 1ngels on t!e Neue *heinische +eitun,. Dis poems are part o. t!e cultural patrimon7 o. social democrac7. [7] Manifesto of the -ommunist %arty , in The Marx."n,els *eader, 2nd 1dition, ed. Go;ert B. :uc=er, <. <. -orton F Bompan7, %nc., -ew Kor=, 1@7(, p. *(2. [(] %.e., t!e 5=rainians. [@] :!e Gussian re6olution spar=ed t!e struggle .or uni6ersal su..rage in Austria. A.ter a large mass mo6ement in w!ic! t!e social democrac7 pla7ed t!e leading role at t!e end o. 1@&), in 2anuar7 1@&7 t!e 1mperor granted !is appro6al to t!e electoral re.orm proposal mandating uni6ersal su..rage in t!e territor7 o. Austria ,w!ic! did not include t!e ot!er part o. t!e ;icep!alic monarc!7, Dungar7 or :ransleitania0. [1&] See /. 1ngels, Socialism/ 0topian and Scientific, in The Marx."n,els *eader, 2nd 1dition, ed. Go;ert B. :uc=er, <. <. -orton F Bompan7, %nc., -ew Kor=, 1@7(, p. +(@. [11] 9anne=oe=3s argument !ere is identical to Gosa Lu>em;urg3s. #n t!e da7 a.ter t!e ;eginning o. t!e 1@&) re6olution, !owe6er, Gosa Lu>em;urg called .or 9olis! autonom7 wit!in a constitutional Gussian 1mpire. :!ese parties later underwent restructurings and trans.ormations w!ic! we s!all not discuss !ere ;ecause we are onl7 pro6iding an e>ample to illustrate t!e t!eoretical positions ta=en ;7 t!e 6arious groups. ,9anne=oe=3s note0. :!e 99S split into two .ractions. :!e rig!t wing would ta=e power wit! 9ilsuds=i as its leader a.ter t!e /irst <orld <ar. :!e le.t wingLt!e 99S-Le6itsaLwould merge wit! t!e S4E9iL to .orm t!e 9olis! Bommunist 9art7. [12] :!e ,Bat!olic0 Social B!ristian 9art7 o. Ierman7. [13] :!us, in !is re6iew o. Strasser3s pamp!let #or$er and Nation in Der 1ampf ,C, @0, #tto $auer e>pressed !is dou;t t!at putting t!e accent on t!e proletariat3s class interest could !a6e an7 impact at all in t!e .ace o. t!e glittering attraction o. nationalist ideals. ,9anne=oe=3s note0. [1*] :!e 1(@7 Bongress o. t!e Austrian Social 4emocratic 9art7, meeting in Cienna-<im;erg, appro6ed t!e structure since implemented in t!e Austrian social democrac7? a .ederation ;ased on t!e nationalit7 principle in order to guarantee t!e autonom7 and t!e indi6idualit7 o. its si> component national parties. [1)] :!e 1@1& Bongress o. t!e Socialist %nternational at Bopen!agen unanimousl7 condemned t!e "separatism" o. B"ec! trade unionism. [1+] :!e resolution adopted at t!e 1@&7 Stuttgart Bongress o. t!e Socialist %nternational particularl7 stipulated? ":!e proletarian struggle can ;e more e..ecti6el7 conducted and will ;e all t!e more .ruit.ul t!e closer t!e relations are ;etween part7 and trade unions, wit!out compromising t!e necessar7 unit7 o. t!e trade union mo6ement. :!e Bongress declares t!at it is in t!e interest o. t!e wor=ing class t!at, in e6er7 countr7, t!e closest relations s!ould ;e esta;lis!ed ;etween t!e trade unions and t!e part7 and t!at t!ese relations s!ould ;e made permanent."

Hast updated on4 9.7@.7GGC

Anton Pannekoek 1912 C7

1o2e in t#e 3&t&!e

If it were necessary to believe the words of the spokesmen of the bourgeoisie, the working class has no worse enemies than the socialists. &3or they speak out against the vices of current society,) they say, & and lament the unhappy lot of the workers, but instead of thinking to bringing them immediate assistance they show the proletarian, in the future, a socialist society that, incidentally, will never be reali%ed. #nly those who, like us, place themselves on the terrain of the current order and who hold it to be eternal can dedicate themselves with ardor to the improvement, through means of reforms, of the conditions that exist today. 1nd this is why all of us, liberals and anti-/emites, progressives and $atholic $hristians, we are indefatigable friends of reform and ceaselessly preoccupied with improving the lot of the workers. 1s for them, socialists take things easy4 instead of putting themselves to work they only give men one consolation4 the future. They re ect the reforms we propose under the pretext that they are a mockery of worker demands, or they contain dispositions so-called hostile to the workers. They take an attitude exclusively negative. 1nd this is entirely natural, if all evils could be suppressed within the framework of the current world and if, conse2uently, the causes of discontent were to disappear, there would be nothing to do in a future society.) /ocial-democracy has always easily unmasked the bluff of these friends of the worker. It has said4 &?lease, !essieurs, ust once demonstrate %eal for reform; Taken together you are the ma ority in parliament, so make the vices of capitalism disappear;) 1nd in order to explain its own position vis-Q-vis reforms it only had to recall its doctrine, its practice and its program. #ur doctrine tells us that socialism can6t be built on the ruins of the existing society by a revolt of starving beggars in rags. It can only result from the powerful forward march of an army of organi%ed proletarians, fighting to con2uer every position, every progress. ?ractice has shown that socialists are the most indefatigable champions of every reform, of every improvement in the interest of the exploited masses, while bourgeois parties always re ect their proposals with the words4 &Impossible; Exaggerated pretensions;) 1nd the proof that these proposals aren6t made by chance with the sole goal of creating popularity, that they are necessarily born of our fundamental concept, is furnished by our program. 1 logical system of reforms for the improvement of the capitalist world can be found there. .e propose this program to bourgeois parties to test their reformist ardor. .hen all this is reali%ed, then we can talk. But they don6t want this4 &These are nothing but impossible demands,) they exclaim, & perhaps appropriate for an ideal society composed only of angels and brothers, but not for our capitalist world of today where men, differing in properties, talents, and goals pursued, dominated exclusively by egoism, fight among themselves and must be held in check by a strong political power.) They are wrong in this4 our program contains nothing that is incompatible with capitalism. It allows exploitation itself and class opposition to remain in place, and only proposes to suppress, for the proletariat, every excess of oppression and depression, its lack of political rights, its enslavement to the yoke of militarism, the bad education of its children, and the senseless waste of its labor power. Het6s see what there is in these &impossible) demands. In the first position is4 "niversal suffrage, e2ual and direct, its extension to women, proportional representation, the election of magistrates by the people, and communal autonomy. There is nothing there that is impossible, proof of this being that these demands have been partially reali%ed in other countries. 'ext comes the general arming of the people, replacing the current militarism. 1n infinite number of experiences demonstrate that for the defensive value of a nation the system of militias is as good, and perhaps better, then an army having behind it long training in a barracks. 'othing impossible could be found in declaring religion &a private affair,) in the amelioration of the education of the people, in the establishment of solid udicial guarantees. 1s for progressive taxation of fortunes, with the suppression of all indirect taxes, these for a long time have been in the program of bourgeois politicians. .here could the impossibility possibly reside in the demand for legislation that protects labor, covering the fixing of the work day, the prohibition of child and night labor, the precautions taken for the safety and hygiene of the workers or even a well constituted workers6 insurance. 1s we can see, all of these are immediate demands for the present, nothing that supposes a social order other than the current one. C9

.e don6t demand the total abolition of armies, for we know that under the capitalist regime wars are sometimes inevitable. .e don6t demand higher scientific education for all children, instruction serves life, and conditions of the workers in capitalist society only demand a good elementary instruction. .e don6t demand the extinction of unemployment4 capitalism cannot suppress this principal source of worker poverty. #ur demands are all made on the terrain of capitalism. But there is more. Their reali%ation alone will truly fulfill the fundamental principles of bourgeois society4 the e2uality of rights between all men as sellers of merchandise, and the right for the workers to only give their labor power, receiving in exchange the full value of that labor power. /o it can be asked why do the bourgeois parties want to know nothing of these demands, whose reali%ation would be part of normal capitalism. The thing is terribly simple4 socialism6s development also depends on the normal nature of capitalism, its most intimate essence. 'evertheless, of this development as well that want to hear nothing. They want an abnormal capitalism, unnatural, a capitalism that would be made to endure eternally. To reali%e our immediate demands I which would strengthen the working class physically and mentally, which would put political power in the hands of the ma ority of the nation I would be to open the way to a peaceful and imperceptible passing of society to socialism. 1s the proletariat matures and the masses become conscious of the causes of their sufferings they could, in expropriating the great monopolies of exploitation as well as in reali%ing appropriate and effective social reforms, oppose an ever stronger barrier to the power and distress they suffer from, and thus lead capitalism to its ruin. This is ust what the owning class doesn6t want. This is why it tries to maintain workers in a state of degradation, to leave them ignorant and deprived of political rights, in the senseless illusion that they thus forever block evolution. It doesn6t see that the only result they have obtained is that evolution must take place through violent catastrophes. It only thinks of its momentary power. This is how things are. #ur immediate demands would be 2uite easily reali%able, but they come up against the obstinate resistance of the dominant class. 1nything, rather than to allow its power and its profits to be reduced even a little. Het the oppression, poverty, and in ustice and exploitation that the people suffer from continue forever; .e well know that as long as capitalism lasts only a few modifications can be made in it. It6s not our party, it6s the bourgeoisie that places the hope of the workers in a future society. It6s as if they said to them4 &If you want to be happy you have to begin by suppressing capitalism.) It will thus do the contrary of what it desires. By its reactionary opposition to reforms it pushes the working masses into our ranks and forces them to con2uer via an energetic revolutionary struggle what it isn6t peacefully given. Anton Pannekoek 1919

In the first months following the German revolution in 'ovember 0>0C there arose the cry of Jsociali%ationJ; It was an expression of the massesO will to give the revolution a social content and not ust remain a change of persons or a mere transformation of the political system. 8autsky warned against too rapid a sociali%ation for which society was not yet ready. The miners put forward sociali%ation as a demand in their strike ( as the English miners had recently done. 1 commission of in2uiry into sociali%ation was formed, but secret influence and the government sabotaged its decisions. 3or the ma ority socialist government, sociali%ation is only a phrase, a means of misleading the workers, everyone knows that it has already abandoned the former goals and principles of socialism. But the Independents remained faithful guardians of the former socialist doctrine, they sincerely believe in it with regard to the programme of sociali%ation. Thus it is interesting to study this programme in order to characterise that radical tendency which exists within the social democracy of all countries whether alongside the government socialists or in opposition to them. .hen workers demand sociali%ation they undoubtedly think of socialism, of a socialist society and of the suppression of capitalist exploitation. .e will see whether it has the same meaning for present day socialist leaders. !arx never C=

spoke of sociali%ation, he spoke of the expropriation of the expropriators. #f the two principal transformations brought about within production by socialism4 the suppression of exploitation and the organisation of the economic system, the first is the principal and most important one for the proletariat. #ne could conceive of an organisation of production on a capitalist basis, it would then lead to state socialism, a more complete slavery and exploitation of the proletariat by the centralised force of the state. The suppression of exploitation with dispersed production was the ideal of the old cooperators and anarchists, but where the suppression of exploitation is achieved, as in communist <ussia, one must immediately deal with the organisation of production. It is where the social-democrats launch general slogans in order to prepare for practical legislation that we can most clearly see what sociali%ation means for them. This was the case in Kienna where the J!arxistsJ, <enner and #tto Bauer were in charge. 3rom a lecture given on the 7=th of 1pril by Bauer at an assembly of union leaders, we can draw out the arguments with which he sought to make these workersO delegates grasp his plans. In order to completely socialise big industry, he stated, and in order to remove the capitalists, firstly expropriation is necessary. J.e take from them their enterprises,J and the organisation of the new administration must follow. Expropriation should not be done without compensation, for then one would be obliged to confiscate all capital, including war bonds. /avings banks would then go bankrupt, small farmers and employees would lose their savings and some international difficulties would emerge from this. It is thus Jimpossible to achieve a straightforward confiscation of capitalist propertyJ. The capitalists will thus be compensated, a tribunal will set the amount of compensation which Jshould be fixed according to durable value, in which war profits should not be countedJ. $ompensation will be paid in government bonds which will receive an annual interest of =R from the state. $ertainly, he recognises in conclusion, this is still not complete sociali%ation, because the former capitalist will always receive the interest from his enterprise as a rentier. JGradually suppressing this is a problem of fiscal legislation and perhaps of the transformation of the right of inheritanceJ, after several generations incomes not produced from labour will be able to disappear completely. To clarify the principles which form the basis of the sociali%ation plans of the social-democrats, it is necessary to consider more closely the essence of capitalist property and economic expropriation.

!oney, like capital, has the ability to continually multiply through surplus value. 1nyone who transforms their money into capital and places it into production receives their share of the total surplus value produced by the world proletariat. The source of surplus value is the exploitation of the proletariat, labour power is paid less than the value produced by it. !oney and property thus not only ac2uire a new meaning within the capitalist regime, but they also become a new standard. In the petty bourgeois world, money is the measure of the value of the labour-time necessary for the making of a product. Hike capital, money is the measure of surplus value, of the profit that can be realised by means of production. 1lthough it costs no labour, one will pay for a plot of land the price corresponding to the capitalised ground rent. It is the same with a big company. If its formation costs, say 0GG,GGG francs *a hundred shares of one thousand francs each+, and if it makes a 0GR return, a share will not sell for 0GGG francs, but approximately 7GGG francs, because 7GGG francs at @R returns the same income, and the capitalist value of the entire enterprise is then 7GG,GGG francs, although it only cost 0GG,GGG francs. .e know that at the formation of new companies, the big banks place this difference into their pockets in advance as Jfounders profitJ while launching it on the market *in the example cited+ for 7GG,GGG francs worth of shares. #n the other hand, if the profit of this company falls ( for example, through the victorious competition of much bigger businesses ( ever further, until it can no longer produce more than a 0R dividend, its capitalist value falls to 7G,GGG francs. If profit ( an abstraction made in the hope of future prosperity, which can be deducted in advance for a certain sum ( completely disappears, the capitalist value of the enterprise falls to %ero, and only the material value of the inventory can still be realised. $apitalist property thus initially means, not the right to dispose of ob ects, but the right to an income without labour, to surplus-value. Its form is the share, the paper on which this right is written. The company and the factory are only the instrument through which one produces surplus value, property itself is the right to surplusvalue. The suppression of exploitation, the suppression of this right is therefore the suppression of capitalist value, the confiscation of capital. .e can thus understand #tto BauerOs method 4 it is to mix up in the same pot this capital and the small amounts of savings of small savers ( who primarily think of safeguarding their property and not of receiving an income without labour ( in order to make the trade union functionaries tremble, through identification, in the face of an attack against exploitation. The suppression of capitalist property and the suppression of exploitation are thus not cause and effect, means C@

and end, they are one and the same thing. $apitalist property only exists through exploitation, its value is fixed by surplus-value. If surplus-value disappears in some unspecified manner, if the worker receives the full product of his labour, capitalist property will disappear at the same time. If the proletariat improves its working conditions so much that companies no longer return a profit on capital, their capitalist value will fall to %ero, the factories may be useful to society, but they will have lost their value for capitalists. !oney then loses the ability to produce more money, more surplus-value, because the workers no longer allow themselves to be exploited. This is the expropriation which !arx envisaged. $apitalist property will be suppressed because capital will be without value, without profit. This economic expropriation through which property loses its value and is conse2uently destroyed, even though the right of free disposal remains, is the opposite of the legal expropriation often applied in the capitalist world, through which the right of free disposal is removed, while allowing the property to remain through compensation. It goes without saying that legal expropriations will also occur in passing over to socialism. The political power of the proletariat will take all measures which are useful for the suppression of exploitation. It will not be satisfied ust to limit the former employersO right of free exploitation, through the regularisation of wages, working hours and prices, it will suppress it completely. The economic basis of these measures is laid down by what precedes them, it is not confiscation of all property as the frightened petitbourgeois thinks, but the suppression of any right to surplus-value, to an income not produced by labour. It is the legal expression of the political fact that the proletariat is master and that it will no longer allow itself to be exploited.

/ociali%ation according to BauerOs recipe is legal expropriation without economic expropriation, it is what any bourgeois government might propose. The capitalist value of enterprises will be paid to the employers in compensation and henceforth they will receive in interest on bonds what they formerly received in profit. The remark that war profits will not be taken into consideration proves that normal profit will be taken as the norm. This sociali%ation replaces private capitalism with /tate capitalism, the /tate takes on the task of sweating profits from the workers and giving it to capitalists. 3or the workers little will change, as before they will have to create an income without labour for the capitalists. Exploitation remains exactly as before. If such a proposal had been made in times of capitalist prosperity, it would have been acceptable to the proletariat, the share of the momentary surplus-value returned on capital being fixed, any new increase in productivity through organisation and technical progress would benefit the proletariat. But the bourgeoisie did not consider it then because it claimed these advantages for itself. 'ow conditions are different, surplusvalue is in danger. Economic chaos, the loss of markets and of raw materials, the heavy tribute due to the capital of the Entente powers Mwar reparations - translators noteN, allow us to foresee a reduction in capitalist profit. The revolt of the masses of workers and the start of the proletarian revolution which will call into 2uestion all exploitation, only add to this situation. /ociali%ation now comes at the right time to assure capital its profit in the form of /tate interest. 1 communist government, such as that in <ussia, immediately ensures the results of the new proletarian power and liberty by refusing capital any right of exploitation. 1 social democrat government ensures the old proletarian slavery by perpetuating the old tribute that it pays to capital at the very moment in which it has to disappear. /ociali%ation is nothing more than the legal expression of the political fact that the proletariat is only master in name and is ready to 2uietly allow itself to continue to be exploited. Aust as the JsocialistJ government is only the continuation of the old bourgeois domination under the socialist banner, Jsociali%ationJ is only the continuation of the old bourgeois exploitation under the socialist banner. If people ask how intelligent politicians and former marxists can be led to thinking this way, the well known political character of this tendency which has taken form in the independent socialist party gives us the answer. It was radical in name, it paid lip service to class struggle, but feared any powerful struggle. This was already the case before the war, when, as a J!arxist centreJ, 8autsky, 5aase and their friends opposed the radical ultra-left. It is still the same today. They wish to bring socialism to the workers, yet they fear the struggle against the bourgeoisie. They see very well that a genuine suppression of all capitalist profit, a confiscation of capital as was achieved in <ussia, would involve the bourgeoisie in a violent struggle, for it would be a matter of its existence, of its life or death as a class. They consider the proletariat too weak and conse2uently seek to achieve the goal by detours, while rendering it palatable to the bourgeoisie. ?olitically the plans for sociali%ation are an attempt to lead the proletariat to the socialist goal without touching the bourgeoisie on a vital nerve, without provoking its violent anger, and thus through avoiding violent class struggle. The intention would be laudable if it were feasible. But if we consider everything that would be necessary for the capitalist tribute4 the interest due to the former capitalist CD

proprietors of the means of production, the interest due on war loans, the tribute due to the capital of the Entente powers, we can see that it cannot all be realised, even through more intensive work and a poorer life for the proletariat. In the current destruction of the economic life and bodily strength of the masses, the immediate suppression of all parasitism is a pressing need for the rebuilding of society. But even if we disregard this special state of misery, and if we donOt consider sociali%ation as a measure of the beginning of the proletarian revolution, or as the first step towards socialism, its impossibility becomes apparent as long as the proletariat has still not ac2uired all of its strength. .hen the workers awake and rise towards liberty and independence, they will put forward demands for the improvement of their lives and working conditions. These improvements will immediately decrease profits. The socialist state may be able to shout at them to work with greater intensity, the opposite will happen however. .hen capitalist obligation no longer rules with an iron fist, the inhuman tension of appalling exploitation will relax, work will slow down, and will become more human. The relation and the profit of enterprises will fall. .ithout sociali%ation, private capitalists would bear the loss, but with the state now having to pay them the former interest, it is the socialist state which despite the beginnings of the workersO revolution assures them their profit, and which will bear the loss. It will then retain a choice, either to oppose demands, suppress strikes and become a government violent on behalf of capital and against the proletariat, or else to fall into inevitable state bankruptcy. The bourgeoisie will then once again shout aloud its triumph, for the impossibility of Jsociali%ing J will have been demonstrated in practice. This will be the result of a crafty attempt to lead to a kind of socialism while avoiding class struggle. 1 sociali%ation which wants to spare the profits of the bourgeoisie cannot be a way towards socialism. There is no other way than to suppress exploitation and to that end conduct an implacable class struggle. He ?hare 'o E, 0st !arch 0>7G. 5OR6D REVO67TION AND )O 7NIST TA)TI)S 819229

1'T#' ?1''E8#E8 P&/lication details This text was originally published in Be 'ieuwe Ti d in 0>7G, in 8ommunismus, the Kienna-based $omintern theoretical organ for /outh-East Europe, in ?etrograd under the title Bie Entwicklung der .eltrevolution and die Taktik des $ommunismus, and as a pamphlet including the O1fterwordO by the Kerlag der 1rbeiterbuchhandlung, the publishing house of the $ommunist ?arty of 1ustria. This translation by B.1./mart was first published in J?annekoek and GorterOs !arxismJ *?luto, Hondon, 0>EC+. The starred footnotes are from the original text. The numbered footnotes are from the 0>EC edition.

Theory itself becomes a material force once it takes a hold on the masses. Theory is capable of taking a hold on the masses... once it becomes radical. 8arl !arx I The transformation of capitalism into communism is brought about by two forces, one material and the other mental, the latter having its origins in the former. The material development of the economy generates consciousness, and this activates the will to revolution. !arxist science, arising as a function of the general tendencies of capitalist development, forms first the theory of the socialist party and subse2uently that of the communist party, and it endows the revolutionary movement with a profound and vigorous intellectual unity. .hile this theory is gradually penetrating one section of the proletariat, the massesO own experiences are bound to foster practical recognition that capitalism is no longer viable to an increasing extent. .orld war and rapid economic collapse now make revolution ob ectively necessary before the masses have grasped CE

communism intellectually 4 and this contradiction is at the root of the contradictions, hesitations and setbacks which make the revolution a long and painful process. 'evertheless, theory itself now gains new momentum and rapidly takes a hold on the masses, but both these processes are inevitably held up by the practical problems which have suddenly risen up so massively. 1s far as .estern Europe is concerned, the development of the revolution is mainly determined by two forces 4 the collapse of the capitalist economy and the example of /oviet <ussia. The reasons why the proletariat was able to achieve victory so 2uickly and with such relative ease in <ussia -- the weakness of the bourgeoisie, the alliance with the peasantry, the fact that the revolution took place during the war -- need not be elaborated here. The example of a state in which working people are the rulers, where they have abolished capitalism and are engaged in building communism, could not but make a great impression upon the proletariat of the entire world. #f course, this example would not in itself have been sufficient to spur the workers in other countries on to proletarian revolution. The human mind is most strongly influenced by the effects of its own material environment, so that if indigenous capitalism had retained all its old strength, the news from far-away <ussia would have made little impression. O3ull of respectful admiration, but in a timid, petty-bourgeois way, without the courage to save themselves, <ussia and humanity as a whole by taking actionO this was how the masses struck <utgers M0N upon his return to .estern Europe from <ussia. .hen the war came to an end, everyone here hoped for a rapid upturn in the economy, and a lying press depicted <ussia as a place of chaos and barbarism, and so the masses bided their time. But since then, the opposite has come about 4 chaos has spread in the traditional home of civilisation, while the new order in <ussia is showing increasing strength. 'ow the masses are stirring here as well. Economic collapse is the most powerful spur to revolution. Germany and 1ustria are already completely shattered and pauperised economically, Italy and 3rance are in inexorable decline. England has suffered so badly that it is doubtful whether its governmentOs vigorous attempts at reconstruction can avert collapse, and in 1merica the first threatening signs of crisis are appearing. 1nd in each country, more or less in this same order, unrest is growing in the masses, they are struggling against impoverishment in great strike-movements which hit the economy even harder, these struggles are gradually developing into a conscious revolutionary struggle, and, without being communists by conviction, the masses are more and more following the path which communism shows them, for practical necessity is driving them in that direction. .ith the growth of this necessity and mood, carried by them, so to speak, the communist vanguard has been developing in these countries, this vanguard recognises the goals clearly and regroups itself in the Third International. The distinguishing feature of this developing process of revolution is a sharp separation of communism from socialism, in both ideological and organisational terms. This separation is most marked in the countries of $entral Europe precipitated into economic crisis by the Treaty of Kersailles, where a socialdemocratic regime was necessary to save the bourgeois state. The crisis is so profound and irremediable there that the mass of radical social-democratic workers, the "/?, are pressing for affiliation to !oscow, although they still largely hold to the old social-democratic methods, traditions, slogans and leaders. In Italy, the entire social-democratic party has oined the Third International, a militant revolutionary mood among the masses, who are engaged in constant small-scale warfare against government and bourgeoisie, permits us to overlook the theoretical mixture of socialist, syndicalist and communist perspectives. In 3rance, communist groups have only recently detached themselves from the social-democratic party and the tradeunion movement, and are now moving towards the formation of a communist party. In England, the profound effect of the war upon the old, familiar conditions has generated a communist movement, as yet consisting of several groups and parties of different origins and new organisational formations. In 1merica, two communist parties have detached themselves from the /ocial-Bemocratic ?arty, while the latter has also aligned itself with !oscow. /oviet <ussiaOs unexpected resilience to the onslaughts of reaction has both compelled the Entente to negotiate and also made a new and powerful impression upon the labour parties of the .est. The /econd International is breaking up, a general movement of the centre groups towards !oscow has set in under the impulsion of the growing revolutionary mood of the masses. These groups have adopted the new name of communists without their former perspectives having greatly altered, and they are transferring the conceptions and methods of the old social democrats into the new international. 1s a sign that these countries have now become more ripe for revolution, a phenomenon precisely opposite to the original one is CC

now appearing 4 with their entry into the Third International or declaration in favour of its principles, as in the case of the "/? mentioned above, the sharp distinction between communists and social democrats is once again fading. .hatever attempts are made to keep such parties formally outside the Third International in an effort to conserve some firmness of principle, they nevertheless insinuate themselves into the leadership of each countryOs revolutionary movement, maintaining their influence over the militant masses by paying lip-service to the new slogans. This is how every ruling stratum behaves 4 rather than allow itself to be cut off from the masses, it becomes OrevolutionaryO itself, in order to deflate the revolution as far as possible by its influence. 1nd many communists tend to see only the increased strength thus accruing to us, and not also the increase in vulnerability. .ith the appearance of communism and the <ussian example, the proletarian revolution seemed to have gained a simple, straightforward form. In reality, however, the various difficulties now being encountered are revealing the forces which make it an extremely complex and arduous process. Notes M0N The tribunist /. A. <utgers attended the 3irst $ongress of the $omintern and returned to 1msterdam in late 0>0> to establish the .estern European 1uxiliary Bureau of the Third International there. 5e may well have been the author of the left orientated article on parliamentary and trade-union tactics in the sole issue of the BureauOs Bulletin, which resulted in its funds being abruptly fro%en by !oscow. Mtranslators noteN

II Issues and the solutions to them, programmes and tactics, do not spring from abstract principles, but are only determined by experience, by the real practice of life. The communistsO conceptions of their goal and of how it is to be attained must be elaborated on the basis of previous revolutionary practice, as they always have been. The <ussian revolution and the course which the German revolution has taken up to this point represent all the evidence so far available to us as to the motive forces, conditions and forms of the proletarian revolution. The <ussian revolution brought the proletariat political control in so astonishingly rapid an upturn that it took .estern European observers completely by surprise at the time, and although the reasons for it are clearly identifiable, it has come to seem more and more astonishing in view of the difficulties that we are now experiencing in .estern Europe. Its initial effect was inevitably that in the first flush of enthusiasm, the difficulties facing the revolution in .estern Europe were underestimated. Before the eyes of the world proletariat, the <ussian revolution unveiled the principles of the new order in all the radiance and purity of their power -- the dictatorship of the proletariat, the soviet system as a new mode of democracy, the reorganisation of industry, agriculture and education. In many respects, it gave a picture of the nature and content of the proletarian revolution so simple, clear and comprehensive, so idyllic one might almost say, that nothing could seem easier than to follow this example. 5owever, the German revolution has shown that this was not so simple, and the forces which came to the fore in Germany are by and large at work throughout the rest of Europe. .hen German imperialism collapsed in 'ovember 0>0C, the working class was completely unprepared for the sei%ure of power. /hattered in mind and spirit by the four years of war and still caught up in socialdemocratic traditions, it was unable to achieve clear recognition of its task within the first few weeks, when governmental authority had lapsed, the intensive but brief period of communist propaganda could not compensate for this lack. The German bourgeoisie had learnt more from the <ussian example than the proletariat, decking itself out in red in order to lull the workersO vigilance, it immediately began to rebuild the organs of its power. The workersO councils voluntarily surrendered their power to the leaders of the /ocialBemocratic ?arty and the democratic parliament. The workers still bearing arms as soldiers disarmed not the bourgeoisie, but themselves, the most active workersO groups were crushed by newly formed white guards, C>

and the bourgeoisie was formed into armed civil militias. .ith the connivance of the trade-union leaderships, the now defenceless workers were little by little robbed of all the improvements in working conditions won in the course of the revolution. The way to communism was thus blocked with barbed-wire entanglements to secure the survival of capitalism, to enable it to sink ever deeper into chaos, that is. These experiences gained in the course of the German revolution cannot, of course, be automatically applied to the other countries of .estern Europe, the development of the revolution will follow still other courses there. ?ower will not suddenly fall into the hands of the unprepared masses as a result of politico-military collapse, the proletariat will have to fight hard for it, and will thus have attained a higher degree of maturity when it is won. .hat happened at fever-pace in Germany after the 'ovember revolution is already taking place more 2uietly in other countries 4 the bourgeoisie is drawing the conse2uences of the <ussian revolution, making military preparations for civil war and at the same time organising the political deception of the proletariat by means of social democracy. But in spite of these differences, the German revolution shows certain general characteristics and offers certain lessons of general significance. It has made it apparent that the revolution in .estern Europe will be a slow, arduous process and revealed what forces are responsible for this. The slow tempo of revolutionary development in .estern Europe, although only relative, has given rise to a clash of conflicting tactical currents. In times of rapid revolutionary development, tactical differences are 2uickly overcome in action, or else do not become conscious, intensive principled agitation clarifies peopleOs minds, and at the same time the masses flood in and political action overturns old conceptions. .hen a period of external stagnation sets in, however, when the masses let anything pass without protest and revolutionary slogans no longer seem able to catch the imagination, when difficulties mount up and the adversary seems to rise up more colossal with each engagement, when the $ommunist ?arty remains weak and experiences only defeats -- then perspectives diverge, new courses of action and new tactical methods are sought. There then emerge two main tendencies, which can be recognised in every country, for all the local variations. The one current seeks to revolutionise and clarify peopleOs minds by word and deed, and to this end tries to pose the new principles in the sharpest possible contrast to the old, received conceptions. The other current attempts to draw the masses still on the sidelines into practical activity, and therefore emphasises points of agreement rather than points of difference in an attempt to avoid as far as is possible anything that might deter them. The first strives for a clear, sharp separation among the masses, the second for unity, the first current may be termed the radical tendency, the second the opportunist one. Given the current situation in .estern Europe, with the revolution encountering powerful obstacles on the one hand and the /oviet "nionOs staunch resistance to the Entente governmentsO efforts to overthrow it making a powerful impression upon the masses on the other, we can expect a greater influx into the Third International of workersO groups until now undecided, and as a result, opportunism will doubtless become a powerful force in the $ommunist International. #pportunism does not necessarily mean a pliant, conciliatory attitude and vocabulary, nor radicalism a more acerbic manner, on the contrary, lack of clear, principled tactics is all too often concealed in rabidly strident language, and indeed, in revolutionary situations, it is characteristic of opportunism to suddenly set all its hopes on the great revolutionary deed. Its essence lies in always considering the immediate 2uestions, not what lies in the future, and to fix on the superficial aspects of phenomena rather than seeing the determinant deeper bases. .hen the forces are not immediately ade2uate for the attainment of a certain goal, it tends to make for that goal by another way, by roundabout means, rather than strengthen those forces. 3or its goal is immediate success, and to that it sacrifices the conditions for lasting success in the future. It seeks ustification in the fact that by forming alliances with other OprogressiveO groups and by making concessions to outdated conceptions, it is often possible to gain power or at least split the enemy, the coalition of capitalist classes, and thus bring about conditions more favourable for the struggle. But power in such cases always turns out to be an illusion, personal power exercised by individual leaders and not the power of the proletarian class, this contradiction brings nothing but confusion, corruption and conflict in its wake. $on2uest of governmental power not based upon a working class fully prepared to exercise its hegemony would be lost again, or else have to make so many concessions to reactionary forces that it would be inwardly spent. 1 split in the ranks of the class hostile to us -- the much vaunted slogan of reformism -would not affect the unity of the inwardly united bourgeoisie, but would deceive, confuse and weaken the proletariat. #f course it can happen that the communist vanguard of the proletariat is obliged to take over political power before the normal conditions are met, but only what the masses thereby gain in terms of >G

clarity, insight, solidarity and autonomy has lasting value as the foundation of further development towards communism. The history of the /econd International is full of examples of this policy of opportunism, and they are beginning to appear in the Third. It used to consist in seeking the assistance of non-socialist workersO groups or other classes to attain the goal of socialism. This led to tactics becoming corrupted, and finally to collapse. The situation of the Third International is now fundamentally different, for that period of 2uiet capitalist development is over when social democracy in the best sense of the word could do nothing more than prepare for a future revolutionary epoch by fighting confusion with principled policies. $apitalism is now collapsing, the world cannot wait until our propaganda has won a ma ority to lucid communist insight, the masses must intervene, and as rapidly as possible, if they themselves and the world are to be saved from catastrophe. .hat can a small party, however principled, do when what is needed are the masses : Is not opportunism, with its efforts to gather the broadest masses 2uickly, dictated by necessity : 1 revolution can no more be made by a big mass party or coalition of different parties than by a small radical party. It breaks out spontaneously among the masses, action instigated by a party can sometimes trigger it off * a rare occurrence +, but the determining forces lie elsewhere, in the psychological factors deep in the unconscious of the masses and in the great events of world politics. The function of a revolutionary party lies in propagating clear understanding in advance, so that throughout the masses there will be elements who know what must be done and who are capable of udging the situation for themselves. 1nd in the course of revolution the party has to raise the programme, slogans and directives which the spontaneously acting masses recognise as correct because they find that they express their own aims in their most ade2uate form and hence achieve greater clarity of purpose, it is thus that the party comes to lead the struggle. /o long as the masses remain inactive, this may appear to be an unrewarding tactic, but clarity of principle has an implicit effect on many who at first hold back, and revolution reveals its active power of giving a definite direction to the struggle. If, on the other hand, it has been attempted to assemble a large party by watering down principles, forming alliances and making concessions, then this enables confused elements to gain influence in times of revolution without the masses being able to see through their inade2uacy. $onformity to traditional perspectives is an attempt to gain power without the revolution in ideas that is the precondition of doing so, its effect is therefore to hold back the course of revolution. It is also doomed to failure, for only the most radical thinking can take a hold on the masses once they engage in revolution, while moderation only satisfies them so long as the revolution has yet to be made. 1 revolution simultaneously involves a profound upheaval in the massesO thinking, it creates the conditions for this, and is itself conditioned by it, leadership in the revolution thus falls to the $ommunist ?arty by virtue of the worldtransforming power of its unambiguous principles. In contrast with the strong, sharp emphasis on the new principles -- soviet system and dictatorship -- which distinguish communism from social democracy, opportunism in the Third International relies as far as possible upon the forms of struggle taken over from the /econd International. 1fter the <ussian revolution had replaced parliamentary activity with the soviet system and built up the trade-union movement on the basis of the factory, the first impulse in .estern Europe was to follow this example. The $ommunist ?arty of Germany boycotted the elections for the 'ational 1ssembly and campaigned for immediate or gradual organisational separation from the trade unions. .hen the revolution slackened and stagnated in 0>0>, however, the $entral $ommittee of the 8?B introduced a different tactic which amounted to opting for parliamentarianism and supporting the old trade-union confederations against the industrial unions. The main argument behind this is that the $ommunist ?arty must not lose the leadership of the masses, who still think entirely in parliamentary terms, who are best reached through electoral campaigns and parliamentary speeches, and who, by entering the trade unions en masse, have increased their membership to seven million. The same thinking is to be seen in England in the attitude of the B/? 4 they do not want to break with the Habour ?arty, although it belongs to the /econd International, for fear of losing contact with the mass of trade-unionists. These arguments are most sharply formulated and marshalled by our friend 8arl <adek, whose Bevelopment of the .orld <evolution and the Tasks of the $ommunist ?arty, written in prison in Berlin, may be regarded as the programmatic statement of communist opportunism. M7N 5ere it is argued that the proletarian revolution in .estern Europe will be a long drawn-out process, in which communism should use every means of propaganda, in which parliamentary activity and the trade-union movement will remain the principal weapons of the proletariat, with the gradual introduction of workersO control as a new ob ective. >0

1n examination of the foundations, conditions and difficulties of the proletarian revolution in .estern Europe will show how far this is correct. Notes M7N ?annekoek is here confusing the titles of two texts written by <adek while in prison 4 The Bevelopment of the German <evolution and the Tasks of the $ommunist ?arty, written before the 5eidelberg congress, and The Bevelopment of the .orld <evolution and the Tactics of the $ommunist ?arties in the /truggle for the Bictatorship of the ?roletariat, written after it. The latter is meant. Mtranslators noteN III It has repeatedly been emphasised that the revolution will take a long time in .estern Europe because the bourgeoisie is so much more powerful here than in <ussia. Het us analyse the basis of this power. Boes it lie in their numbers : The proletarian masses are much more numerous. Boes it lie in the bourgeoisieOs mastery over the whole of economic life : This certainly used to be an important power-factor, but their hegemony is fading, and in $entral Europe the economy is completely bankrupt. Boes it lie in their control of the state, with all its means of coercion : $ertainly, it has always used the latter to hold the proletariat down, which is why the con2uest of state power was the proletariatOs first ob ective. But in 'ovember 0>0C, state power slipped from the nerveless grasp of the bourgeoisie in Germany and 1ustria, the coercive apparatus of the state was completely paralysed, the masses were in control, and the bourgeoisie was nevertheless able to build this state power up again and once more sub ugate the workers. This proves that the bourgeoisie possessed another hidden source of power which had remained intact and which permitted it to re-establish its hegemony when everything seemed shattered. This hidden power is the bourgeoisieOs ideological hold over the proletariat. Because the proletarian masses were still completely governed by a bourgeois mentality, they restored the hegemony of the bourgeoisie with their own hands after it had collapsed. M9N The German experience brings us face to face with the ma or problem of the revolution in .estern Europe. In these countries, the old bourgeois mode of production and the centuries-old civilisation which has developed with it have completely impressed themselves upon the thoughts and feelings of the popular masses. 5ence, the mentality and inner character of the masses here is 2uite different from that in the countries of the East, who have not experienced the rule of bourgeois culture, and this is what distinguishes the different courses that the revolution has taken in the East and the .est. In England, 3rance, 5olland, Italy, Germany and /candinavia, there has been a powerful burgher class based on petty-bourgeois and primitive capitalist production since the !iddle 1ges, as feudalism declined, there also grew up in the countryside an e2ually powerful independent peasant class, in which the individual was also master in his own small business. Bourgeois sensibilities developed into a solid national culture on this foundation, particularly in the maritime countries of England and 3rance, which took the lead in capitalist development. In the nineteenth century, the sub ection of the whole economy to capital and the inclusion of the most outlying farms into the capitalist world-trade system enhanced and refined this national culture, and the psychological propaganda of press, school and church drummed it firmly into the heads of the masses, both those whom capital proletarianised and attracted into the cities and those it left on the land. This is true not only of the homelands of capitalism, but also, albeit in different forms, of 1merica and 1ustralia, where Europeans founded new states, and of the countries of $entral Europe, Germany, 1ustria, Italy, which had until then stagnated, but where the new surge of capitalist development was able to connect with an old, backward, small-peasant economy and a petty-bourgeois culture. But when capitalism pressed into the countries of Eastern Europe, it encountered very different material conditions and traditions. 5ere, in <ussia, ?oland, 5ungary, even in Germany east of the Elbe, there was no strong bourgeois class which had long dominated the life of the spirit, the latter was determined by primitive agricultural conditions, with largescale landed property, patriarchal feudalism and village communism. 5ere, therefore, the masses related to communism in a more primitive, simple, open way, as receptive as blank paper. .estern European social democrats often expressed derisive astonishment that the OignorantO <ussians could claim to be the vanguard of the new world of labour. <eferring to these social democrats, an English delegate at the communist conference in 1msterdam M=N pointed up the difference 2uite correctly 4 the <ussians may be more ignorant, >7

but the English workers are stuffed so full of pre udices that it is harder to propagate communism among them. These Opre udicesO are only the superficial, external aspect of the bourgeois mentality which saturates the ma ority of the proletariat of England, .estern Europe and 1merica. The entire content of this mentality is so many-sided and complex in its opposition to the proletarian, communist worldview that it can scarcely be summarised in a few sentences. Its primary characteristic is individualism, which has its origins in earlier petty-bourgeois and peasant forms of labour and only gradually gives way to the new proletarian sense of community and of the necessity of accepting discipline -- this characteristic is probably most pronounced in the bourgeoisie and proletariat of the 1nglo-/axon countries. The individualOs perspective is limited to his work-place, instead of embracing society as a whole, so absolute does the principle of the division of labour seem, that politics itself, the government of the whole of society, is seen not as everybodyOs business, but as the monopoly of a ruling stratum, the specialised province of particular experts, the politicians. .ith its centuries of material and intellectual commerce, its literature and art, bourgeois culture has embedded itself in the proletarian masses, and generates a feeling of national solidarity, anchored deeper in the unconscious than external indifference or superficial internationalism suggest, this can potentially express itself in national class solidarity, and greatly hinders international action. Bourgeois culture exists in the proletariat primarily as a traditional cast of thought. The masses caught up in it think in ideological instead of real terms 4 bourgeois thought has always been ideological. But this ideology and tradition are not integrated, the mental reflexes left over from the innumerable class struggles of former centuries have survived as political and religious systems of thought which separate the old bourgeois world, and hence the proletarians born of it, into groups, churches, sects, parties, divided according to their ideological perspectives. The bourgeois past thus also survives in the proletariat as an organisational tradition that stands in the way of the class unity necessary for the creation of the new world, in these archaic organisations the workers make up the followers and adherents of a bourgeois vanguard. It is the intelligentsia which supplies the leaders in these ideological struggles. The intelligentsia -- priests, teachers, literati, ournalists, artists, politicians -- form a numerous class, the function of which is to foster, develop and propagate bourgeois culture, it passes this on to the masses, and acts as mediator between the hegemony of capital and the interests of the masses. The hegemony of capital is rooted in this groupOs intellectual leadership of the masses. 3or even though the oppressed masses have often rebelled against capital and its agencies, they have only done so under the leadership of the intelligentsia, and the firm solidarity and discipline won in this common struggle subse2uently proves to be the strongest support of the system once these leaders openly go over to the side of capitalism. Thus, the $hristian ideology of the declining petty bourgeois strata, which had become a living force as an expression of their struggle against the modern capitalist state, often proved its worth subse2uently as a reactionary system that bolstered up the state, as with $atholicism in Germany after the 8ulturkampf. M@N Bespite the value of its theoretical contribution, much the same is true of the role played by social democracy in destroying and extinguishing old ideologies in the rising work-force, as history demanded it should do 4 it made the proletarian masses mentally dependent upon political and other leaders, who, as specialists, the masses left to manage all the important matters of a general nature affecting the class, instead of themselves taking them in hand. The firm solidarity and discipline which developed in the often acute class struggles of half a century did not bury capitalism, for it represented the power of leadership and organisation over the masses, and in 1ugust 0>0= and 'ovember 0>0C these made the masses helpless tools of the bourgeoisie, of imperialism and of reaction. The ideological power of the bourgeois past over the proletariat means that in many of the countries of .estern Europe, in Germany and 5olland, for example, it is divided into ideologically opposed groups which stand in the way of class unity. /ocial democracy originally sought to realise this class unity, but partly due to its opportunist tactics, which substituted purely political policies for class politics, it was unsuccessful in this 4 it merely increased the number of groups by one. In times of crisis when the masses are driven to desperation and to action, the hegemony of bourgeois ideology over the masses cannot prevent the power of this tradition temporarily flagging, as in Germany in 'ovember 0>0C. But then the ideology comes to the fore again, and turns temporary victory into defeat. The concrete forces which in our view make up the hegemony of bourgeois conceptions can be seen at work in the case of Germany 4 in reverence for abstract slogans like OdemocracyO, in the power of old habits of thought and programme-points, such as the realisation of socialism through parliamentary leaders and a >9

socialist government, in the lack of proletarian self-confidence evidenced by the effect upon the masses of the barrage of filthy lies published about <ussia, in the massesO lack of faith in their own power, but above all, in their trust in the party, in the organisation and in the leaders who for decades had incarnated their struggle, their revolutionary goals, their idealism. The tremendous mental, moral and material power of the organisations, these enormous machines painstakingly created by the masses themselves with years of effort, which incarnated the tradition of the forms of struggle belonging to a period in which the labour movement was a limb of ascendant capital, now crushed all the revolutionary tendencies once more flaring up in the masses. This example will not remain uni2ue. The contradiction between the rapid economic collapse of capitalism and the immaturity of spirit represented by the power of bourgeois tradition over the proletariat -- a contradiction which has not come about by accident, in that the proletariat cannot achieve the maturity of spirit re2uired for hegemony and freedom within a flourishing capitalism -- can only be resolved by the process of revolutionary development, in which spontaneous uprisings and sei%ures of power alternate with setbacks. It makes it very improbable that the revolution will take a course in which the proletariat for a long time storms the fortress of capital in vain, using both the old and new means of struggle, until it eventually con2uers it once and for all, and the tactics of a long drawn-out and carefully engineered siege posed in <adekOs schema thus fall through. The tactical problem is not how to win power as 2uickly as possible if such power will be merely illusory -- this is only too easy an option for the communists -- but how the basis of lasting class power is to be developed in the proletariat. 'o Oresolute minorityO can resolve the problems which can only be resolved by the action of the class as a whole, and if the populace allows such a sei%ure of power to take place over its head with apparent indifference, it is not, for all that, a genuinely passive mass, but is capable, in so far as it has not been won over to communism, of rounding upon the revolution at any moment as the active follower of reaction. 1nd a Ocoalition with the gallows on handO would do no more than disguise an untenable party dictatorship of this kind. MDN .hen a tremendous uprising of the proletariat destroys the bankrupt rule of the bourgeoisie, and the $ommunist ?arty, the clearest vanguard of the proletariat, takes over political control, it has only one task -- to eradicate the sources of weakness in the proletariat by all possible means and to strengthen it so that it will be fully e2ual to the revolutionary struggles that the future holds in store. This means raising the masses themselves to the highest pitch of activity, whipping up their initiative, increasing their self-confidence, so that they themselves will be able to recognise the tasks thrust upon them, for it is only thus that the latter can be successfully carried out. This makes it necessary to break the domination of traditional organisational forms and of the old leaders, and in no circumstances to oin them in a coalition government, to develop the new forms, to consolidate the material power of the masses, only in this way will it be possible to reorganise both production and defence against the external assaults of capitalism, and this is the precondition of preventing counter-revolution. /uch power as the bourgeoisie still possesses in this period resides in the proletariatOs lack of autonomy and independence of spirit. The process of revolutionary development consists in the proletariat emancipating itself from this dependence, from the traditions of the past -- and this is only possible through its own experience of struggle. .here capitalism is already an institution of long standing and the workers have thus already been struggling against it for several generations, the proletariat has in every period had to build up methods, forms and aids to struggle corresponding to the contemporary stage of capitalist development, and these have soon ceased to be seen as the temporary expedients that they are, and instead idolised as lasting, absolute, perfect forms, they have thus subse2uently become fetters upon development which had to be broken. .hereas the class is caught up in constant upheaval and rapid development, the leaders remain at a particular stage, as the spokesmen of a particular phase, and their tremendous influence can hold back the movement, forms of action become dogmas, and organisations are raised to the status of ends in themselves, making it all the more difficult to reorientate and readapt to the changed conditions of struggle. This still applies, every stage of the development of the class struggle must overcome the traditions of previous stages if it is to be capable of recognising its own tasks clearly and carrying them out effectively -- except that development is now proceeding at a far faster pace. The revolution thus develops through the process of internal struggle. It is within the proletariat itself that the resistances develop which it must overcome, and in overcoming them, the proletariat overcomes its own limitations and matures towards communism. Notes >=

M9N The following paragraph is 2uoted up to Ovillage communismO by Gorter in his #pen Hetter to $omrade Henin. Mtranslators noteN M=N The conference in 2uestion was convened to set up the 1uxiliary Bureau. Mtranslators noteN M@N The first trade-union organisations in the late 0CDGs in the <uhr were the work of $atholic priests. In the late seventies, however, Bismarck dropped his campaign against $atholicism and its political representative, the Pentrum * the forerunner of the $ B" +, for the sake of a united front against the /ocial-Bemocratic ?arty. Mtranslators noteN MDN This expression had been used to ustify the collaboration with the socialists in the $ommune of 5ungary which the former 5ungarian $ommunist ?arty leaders controlling 8ommunismus blamed for its collapse in 1ugust 0>0>. In OHeft .ingO $ommunism Henin urges the British $ommunists to campaign for the Habour ?arty where they have no candidate of their own, they will thus Osupport 5enderson as the rope supports a hanged manO, and the impending establishment of a government of 5endersons will hasten the latterOs political demise. * ?eking edition, pp.>G->0. + Mtranslators noteN IV ?arliamentary activity and the trade-union movement were the two principal forms of struggle in the time of the /econd International. The congresses of the first International .orking-!enOs 1ssociation laid the basis of this tactic by taking issue with primitive conceptions belonging to the pre-capitalist, petty-bourgeois period and, in accordance with !arxOs social theory, defining the character of the proletarian class struggle as a continuous struggle by the proletariat against capitalism for the means of subsistence, a struggle which would lead to the con2uest of political power. .hen the period of bourgeois revolutions and armed uprisings had come to a close, this political struggle could only be carried on within the framework of the old or newly created national states, and trade-union struggle was often sub ect to even tighter restrictions. The 3irst International was therefore bound to break up, and the struggle for the new tactics, which it was itself unable to practise, burst it apart, meanwhile, the tradition of the old conceptions and methods of struggle remained alive amongst the anarchists. The new tactics were be2ueathed by the International to those who would have to put them into practice, the trade unions and /ocial-Bemocratic ?arties which were springing up on every hand. .hen the /econd International arose as a loose federation of the latter, it did in fact still have to combat tradition in the form of anarchism, but the legacy of the 3irst International already formed its undisputed tactical base. Today, every communist knows why these methods of struggle were necessary and productive at that time 4 when the working class is developing within ascendant capitalism, it is not yet capable of creating organs which would enable it to control and order society, nor can it even conceive the necessity of doing so. It must first orientate itself mentally and learn to understand capitalism and its class rule. The vanguard of the proletariat, the /ocial-Bemocratic ?arty, must reveal the nature of the system through its propaganda and show the masses their goals by raising class demands. It was therefore necessary for its spokesmen to enter the parliaments, the centres of bourgeois rule, in order to raise their voices on the tribunes and take part in conflicts between the political parties. !atters change when the struggle of the proletariat enters a revolutionary phase. .e are not here concerned with the 2uestion of why the parliamentary system is inade2uate as a system of government for the masses and why it must give way to the soviet system, but with the utilisation of parliament as a means of struggle by the proletariat. MEN 1s such, parliamentary activity is the paradigm of struggles in which only the leaders are actively involved and in which the masses themselves play a subordinate role. It consists in individual deputies carrying on the main battle, this is bound to arouse the illusion among the masses that others can do their fighting for them. ?eople used to believe that leaders could obtain important reforms for the workers in parliament, and the illusion even arose that parliamentarians could carry out the transformation to socialism by acts of parliament. 'ow that parliamentarianism has grown more modest in its claims, one hears the argument that deputies in parliament could make an important contribution to communist propaganda. MS7N But this always means that the main emphasis falls on the leaders, and it is taken for granted that specialists >@

will determine policy -- even if this is done under the democratic veil of debates and resolutions by congresses, the history of social democracy is a series of unsuccessful attempts to induce the members themselves to determine policy. This is all inevitable while the proletariat is carrying on a parliamentary struggle, while the masses have yet to create organs of self-action, while the revolution has still to be made, that is, and as soon as the masses start to intervene, act and take decisions on their own behalf, the disadvantages of parliamentary struggle become overwhelming. 1s we argued above, the tactical problem is how we are to eradicate the traditional bourgeois mentality which paralyses the strength of the proletarian masses, everything which lends new power to the received conceptions is harmful. The most tenacious and intractable element in this mentality is dependence upon leaders, whom the masses leave to determine general 2uestions and to manage their class affairs. ?arliamentarianism inevitably tends to inhibit the autonomous activity by the masses that is necessary for revolution. 3ine speeches may be made in parliament exhorting the proletariat to revolutionary action, it is not in such words that the latter has its origins, however, but in the hard necessity of there being no other alternative. <evolution also demands something more than the massive assault that topples a government and which, as we know, cannot be summoned up by leaders, but can only spring from the profound impulse of the masses. <evolution re2uires social reconstruction to be undertaken, difficult decisions made, the whole proletariat involved in creative action -- and this is only possible if first the vanguard, then a greater and greater number take matters in hand themselves, know their own responsibilities, investigate, agitate, wrestle, strive, reflect, assess, sei%e chances and act upon them. But all this is difficult and laborious, thus, so long as the working class thinks it sees an easier way out through others acting on its behalf leading agitation from a high platform, taking decisions, giving signals for action, making laws -- the old habits of thought and the old weaknesses will make it hesitate and remain passive. .hile on the one hand parliamentarianism has the counterrevolutionary effect of strengthening the leadersO dominance over the masses, on the other it has a tendency to corrupt these leaders themselves. .hen personal statesmanship has to compensate for what is lacking in the active power of the masses, petty diplomacy develops, whatever intentions the party may have started out with, it has to try and gain a legal base, a position of parliamentary power, and so finally the relationship between means and ends is reversed, and it is no longer parliament that serves as a means towards communism, but communism that stands as an advertising slogan for parliamentary politics. In the process, however, the communist party itself takes on a different character. Instead of a vanguard grouping the entire class behind it for the purpose of revolutionary action, it becomes a parliamentary party with the same legal status as the others, oining in their 2uarrels, a new edition of the old social democracy under new radical slogans. .hereas there can be no essential antagonism, no internal conflict between the revolutionary working class and the communist party, since the party incarnates a form of synthesis between the proletariatOs most lucid class-consciousness and its growing unity, parliamentary activity shatters this unity and creates the possibility of such a conflict 4 instead of unifying the class, communism becomes a new party with its own party chiefs, a party which falls in with the others and thus perpetuates the political division of the class. 1ll these tendencies will doubtless be cut short once again by the development of the economy in a revolutionary sense, but even the first beginnings of this process can only harm the revolutionary movement by inhibiting the development of lucid classconsciousness, and when the economic situation temporarily favours counter-revolution, this policy will pave the way for a diversion of the revolution on to the terrain of reaction. .hat is great and truly communist about the <ussian revolution is above all the fact that it has awoken the massesO own activity and ignited the spiritual and physical energy in them to build and sustain a new society. <ousing the masses to this consciousness of their own power is something which cannot be achieved all at once, but only in stages, one stage on this way to independence is the re ection of parliamentarianism. .hen, in Becember 0>0C, the newly formed $ommunist ?arty of Germany resolved to boycott the 'ational 1ssembly, this decision did not proceed from any immature illusion of 2uick, easy victory, but from the proletariatOs need to emancipate itself from its psychological dependence upon parliamentary representatives -- a necessary reaction against the tradition of social democracy -- because the way to self-activity could now be seen to lie in building up the council system. 5owever, one half of those united at that time, those who have stayed in the 8?B, readopted parliamentarianism with the ebb of the revolution 4 with what >D

conse2uences it remains to be seen, but which have in part been demonstrated already. In other countries too, opinion is divided among the communists, and many groups want to refrain from parliamentary activity even before the outbreak of revolution. The international dispute over the use of parliament as a method of struggle will thus clearly be one of the main tactical issues within the Third International over the next few years. 1t any rate, everyone is agreed that parliamentary activity only forms a subsidiary feature of our tactics. The /econd International was able to develop up to the point where it had brought out and laid bare the essence of the new tactics 4 that the proletariat can only con2uer imperialism with the weapons of mass action. The /econd International itself was no longer able to employ these, it was bound to collapse when the world war put the revolutionary class struggle on to an international plane. The legacy of the earlier internationals was the natural foundation of the new international 4 mass action by the proletariat to the point of general strike and civil war forms the common tactical platform of the communists. In parliamentary activity the proletariat is divided into nations, and a genuinely international intervention is not possible, in mass action against international capital national divisions fall away, and every movement, to whatever countries it extends or is limited, is part of a single world struggle. Notes MEN The remainder of this paragraph and the two following are 2uoted by Gorter in the #pen Hetter. Mtranslators noteN MS7N It was recently argued in Germany that communists must go into parliament to convince the workers that parliamentary struggle is useless -- but you donOt take a wrong turning to show other people that it is wrong, you go the right way from the outset ; V Aust as parliamentary activity incarnates the leadersO psychological hold over the working masses, so the trade-union movement incarnates their material authority. "nder capitalism, the trade unions form the natural organisations for the regroupment of the proletariat, and !arx emphasised their significance as such from the first. In developed capitalism, and even more in the epoch of imperialism, the trade unions have become enormous confederations which manifest the same developmental tendencies as the bourgeois state in an earlier period. There has grown up within them a class of officials, a bureaucracy, which controls all the organisationOs resources -- funds, press, the appointment of officials, often they have even more farreaching powers, so that they have changed from being the servants of the collectivity to become its masters, and have identified themselves with the organisation. 1nd the trade unions also resemble the state and its bureaucracy in that, democratic forms notwithstanding, the will of the members is unable to prevail against the bureaucracy, every revolt breaks on the carefully constructed apparatus of orders of business and statutes before it can shake the hierarchy. It is only after years of stubborn persistence that an opposition can sometimes register a limited success, and usually this only amounts to a change in personnel. In the last few years, before and since the war, this situation has therefore often given rise to rebellions by the membership in England, Germany and 1merica, they have struck on their own initiative, against the will of the leadership or the decisions of the union itself. That this should seem natural and be taken as such is an expression of the fact that the organisation is not simply a collective organ of the members, but as it were something alien to them, that the workers do not control their union, but that it stands over them as an external force against which they can rebel, although they themselves are the source of its strength -- once again like the state itself. If the revolt dies down, the old order is established once again, it knows how to assert itself in spite of the hatred and impotent bitterness of the masses, for it relies upon these massesO indifference and their lack of clear insight and united, persistent purpose, and is sustained by the inner necessity of trade-union organisation as the only means of finding strength in numbers against capital. It was by combating capital, combating its tendencies to absolute impoverisation, setting limits to the latter and thus making the existence of the working class possible, that the trade-union movement fulfilled its role in capitalism, and this made it a limb of capitalist society itself. But once the proletariat ceases to be a >E

member of capitalist society and, with the advent of revolution, becomes its destroyer, the trade union enters into conflict with the proletariat. It becomes legal, an open supporter of the state and recognised by the latter, it makes Oexpansion of the economy before the revolutionO its slogan, in other words, the maintenance of capitalism. In Germany today millions of proletarians, until now intimidated by the terrorism of the ruling class, are streaming into the unions out of a mixture of timidity and incipient militancy. The resemblance of the trade-union confederations, which now embrace almost the entire working class, to the state structure is becoming even closer. The trade-union officials collaborate with the state bureaucracy not only in using their power to hold down the working class on behalf of capital, but also in the fact that their OpolicyO increasingly amounts to deceiving the masses by demagogic means and securing their consent to the bargains that the unions have made with the capitalists. 1nd even the methods employed vary according to the conditions 4 rough and brutal in Germany, where the trade-union leaders have landed the workers with piece-work and longer working hours by means of coercion and cunning deception, subtle and refined in England, where the tradeunion mandarins, like the government, give the appearance of allowing themselves to be reluctantly pushed on by the workers, while in reality they are sabotaging the latterOs demands. !arxO and HeninOs insistence that the way in which the state is organised precludes its use as an instrument of proletarian revolution, notwithstanding its democratic forms, must therefore also apply to the trade-union organisations. Their counterrevolutionary potential cannot be destroyed or diminished by a change of personnel, by the substitution of radical or OrevolutionaryO leaders for reactionary ones. It is the form of the organisation that renders the masses all but impotent and prevents them making the trade union an organ of their will. The revolution can only be successful by destroying this organisation, that is to say so completely revolutionising its organisational structure that it becomes something completely different. The soviet system, constructed from within, is not only capable of uprooting and abolishing the state bureaucracy, but the trade-union bureaucracy as well, it will form not only the new political organs to replace parliament, but also the basis of the new trade unions. The idea that a particular organisational form is revolutionary has been held up to scorn in the party disputes in Germany on the grounds that what counts is the revolutionary mentality of the members. But if the most important element of the revolution consists in the masses taking their own affairs -- the management of society and production -- in hand themselves, then any form of organisation which does not permit control and direction by the masses themselves is counterrevolutionary and harmful, and it should therefore be replaced by another form that is revolutionary in that it enables the workers themselves to determine everything actively. This is not to say that this form is to be set up within a still passive work-force in readiness for the revolutionary feeling of the workers to function within it in time to come 4 this new form of organisation can itself only be set up in the process of revolution, by workers making a revolutionary intervention. But recognition of the role played by the current form of organisation determines the attitude which the communists have to take with regard to the attempts already being made to weaken or burst this form. Efforts to keep the bureaucratic apparatus as small as possible and to look to the activity of the masses for effectiveness have been particularly marked in the syndicalist movement, and even more so in the OindustrialO union movement. This is why so many communists have spoken out for support of these organisations against the central confederations. /o long as capitalism remains intact, however, these new formations cannot take on any comprehensive role -- the importance of the 1merican I.. derives from particular circumstances, namely the existence of a numerous, unskilled proletariat largely of foreign extraction outside the old confederations. The /hop $ommittees movement and /hop /tewards movement in England are much closer to the soviet system, in that they are mass organs formed in opposition to the bureaucracy in the course of struggle. The OunionsO in Germany are even more deliberately modelled on the idea of the soviet, but the stagnation of the revolution has left them weak. Every new formation of this type that weakens the central confederations and their inner cohesion removes an impediment to revolution and weakens the counterrevolutionary potential of the trade-union bureaucracy. The notion of keeping all oppositional and revolutionary forces together within the confederations in order for them eventually to take these organisations over as a ma ority and revolutionise them is certainly tempting. But in the first place, this is a vain hope, as fanciful as the related notion of taking over the /ocial-Bemocratic party, because the bureaucracy already knows how to deal with an opposition before it becomes too dangerous. 1nd secondly, revolution does not proceed according to a smooth programme, but elemental outbreaks on the part of >C

passionately active groups always play a particular role within it as a force driving it forward. If the communists were to defend the central confederations against such initiatives out of opportunistic considerations of temporary gain, they would reinforce the inhibitions which will later be their most formidable obstacle. The formation by the workers of the soviets, their own organs of power and action, in itself signifies the disintegration and dissolution of the state. 1s a much more recent form of organisation and one created by the proletariat itself, the trade union will survive much longer, because it has its roots in a much more living tradition of personal experience, and once it has shaken off state-democratic illusions, will therefore claim a place in the conceptual world of the proletariat. But since the trade unions have emerged from the proletariat itself, as products of its own creative activity, it is in this field that we shall see the most new formations as continual attempts to adapt to new conditions, following the process of revolution, new forms of struggle and organisation will be built on the model of the soviets in a process of constant transformation and development. VI The conception that revolution in .estern Europe will take the form of an orderly siege of the fortress of capital which the proletariat, organised by the $ommunist ?arty into a disciplined army and using timeproven weapons, will repeatedly assault until the enemy surrenders is a neo-reformist perspective that certainly does not correspond to the conditions of struggle in the old capitalist countries. 5ere there may occur revolutions and con2uests of power that 2uickly turn into defeat, the bourgeoisie will be able to reassert its domination, but this will result in even greater dislocation of the economy, transitional forms may arise which, because of their inade2uacy, only prolong the chaos. $ertain conditions must be fulfilled in any society for the social process of production and collective existence to be possible, and these relations ac2uire the firm hold of spontaneous habits and moral norms -- sense of duty, industriousness, discipline 4 in the first instance, the process of revolution consists in a loosening of these old relations. Their decay is a necessary by-product of the dissolution of capitalism, while the new bonds corresponding to the communist reorganisation of work and society, the development of which we have witnessed in <ussia, have yet to grow sufficiently strong. Thus, a transitional period of social and political chaos becomes inevitable. .here the proletariat is able to sei%e power rapidly and keep a firm hold upon it, as in <ussia, the transitional period can be short and can be brought rapidly to a close by positive construction. But in .estern Europe, the process of destruction will be much more drawn out. In Germany we see the working class split into groups in which this process has reached different stages, and which therefore cannot yet achieve unity in action. The symptoms of recent revolutionary movements indicate that the entire nation, and indeed, $entral Europe as a whole, is dissolving, that the popular masses are fragmenting into separate strata and regions, with each acting on its own account 4 here the masses manage to arm themselves and more or less gain political power, elsewhere they paralyse the power of the bourgeoisie in strike movements, in a third place they shut themselves off as a peasant republic, and somewhere else they support white guards, or perhaps toss aside the remnants of feudalism in primitive agrarian revolts -- the destruction must obviously be thorough-going before we can begin to think of the real construction of communism. It cannot be the task of the $ommunist ?arty to act the schoolmaster in this upheaval and make vain attempts to truss it in a strait acket of traditional forms, its task is to support the forces of the proletarian movement everywhere, to connect the spontaneous actions together, to give them a broad idea of how they are related to one another, and thereby prepare the unification of the disparate actions and thus put itself at the head of the movement as a whole. The first phase of the dissolution of capitalism is to be seen in those countries of the Entente where its hegemony is as yet unshaken, in an irresistible decline in production and in the value of their currencies, an increase in the fre2uency of strikes and a strong aversion to work among the proletariat. The second phase, the period of counter-revolution, i.e. the political hegemony of the bourgeoisie in the epoch of revolution, means complete economic collapse, we can study this best in Germany and the remainder of $entral Europe. If a communist system had arisen immediately after the political revolution, organised reconstruction could have begun in spite of the Kersailles and /t Germain peace treaties, in spite of the poverty and the exhaustion. But the Ebert-'oske regime no more thought of organised reconstruction than did <enner and >>

Bauer, MCN they gave the bourgeoisie a free hand, and saw their duty as consisting solely in the suppression of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie, or rather each individual bourgeois, acted in a characteristically bourgeois manner, each of them thought only of making as much profit as possible and of rescuing for his personal use whatever could be saved from the cataclysm. It is true that there was talk in newspapers and manifestoes of the need to rebuild economic life by organised effort, but this was simply for the workersO consumption, fine phrases to conceal the fact that despite their exhaustion, they were under rigorous compulsion to work in the most intensive conditions possible. In reality, of course, not a single bourgeois concerned himself one ot with the general national interest, but only with his personal gain. 1t first, trade became the principal means of self-enrichment, as it used to be in the old days, the depreciation of the currency provided the opportunity to export everything that was needed for economic expansion or even for the mere survival of the masses -- raw materials, food, finished products, means of production, and after that, factories themselves and property. <acketeering reigned everywhere among the bourgeois strata, supported by unbridled corruption on the part of officialdom. 1nd so all their former possessions and everything that was not to be surrendered as war reparations was packed off abroad by the Oleaders of productionO. Hikewise in the domain of production, the private pursuit of profit intervened to wreck economic life by its total indifference towards the common welfare. In order to force piecework and longer working hours upon proletarians or to get rid of rebellious elements among them, they were locked out and the factories set at a standstill, regardless of the stagnation caused throughout the rest of the industry as a conse2uence. #n top of that came the incompetence of the bureaucratic management in the state enterprises, which degenerated into utter vacillation when the powerful hand of the government was missing. <estriction of production, the most primitive method of raising prices and one which competition would render impossible in a healthy capitalist economy, became respectable once more. In the stock-market reports capitalism seems to be flourishing again, but the high dividends are consuming the last remaining property and are themselves being frittered away on luxuries. .hat we have witnessed in Germany over the last year is not something out of the ordinary, but the functioning of the general class character of the bourgeoisie. Their only aim is, and always has been, personal profit, which in normal capitalism sustains production, but which brings about the total destruction of the economy as capitalism degenerates. 1nd things will go the same way in other countries, once production has been dislocated beyond a certain point and the currency has depreciated sharply, then the complete collapse of the economy will result if the pursuit of private profit by the bourgeoisie is given free reign -- and this is what the political hegemony of the bourgeoisie amounts to, whatever non-communist party it may hide behind. The difficulties of the reconstruction facing the proletariat of .estern Europe in these circumstances are far greater than they were in <ussia -- the subse2uent destruction of industrial productive forces by 8olchak and Benikin is a pale shadow by comparison. <econstruction cannot wait for a new political order to be set up, it must be begun in the very process of revolution by the proletariat taking over the organisation of production and abolishing the bourgeoisieOs control over the material essentials of life wherever the proletariat gains power. .orks councils can serve to keep an eye on the use of goods in the factories, but it is clear that this cannot prevent all the anti-social racketeering of the bourgeoisie. To do so, the most resolute utilisation of armed political power is necessary. .here the profiteers recklessly s2uander the national wealth without heed for the common good, where armed reaction blindly murders and destroys, the proletariat must intervene and fight with no half-measures in order to protect the common good and the life of the people. The difficulties of reorganising a society that has been completely destroyed are so great that they appear insuperable before the event, and this makes it impossible to set up a programme for reconstruction in advance. But they must be overcome, and the proletariat will overcome them by the infinite self-sacrifice and commitment, the boundless power of soul and spirit and the tremendous psychological and moral energies which the revolution is able to awaken in its weakened and tortured frame. 1t this point, a few problems may be touched on in passing. The 2uestion of technical cadres in industry will only give temporary difficulties 4 although their thinking is bourgeois through and through and they are deeply hostile to proletarian rule, they will nevertheless conform in the end. Getting commerce and industry moving will above all be a 2uestion of supplying raw materials, and this 2uestion coincides with that of food-stuffs. The 2uestion of food-supplies is central to the revolution in .estern Europe, since the highly industrialised population cannot get by even under capitalism without imports from abroad. 3or the revolution, however, the 2uestion of food-supplies is intimately bound up with the whole agrarian 2uestion, 0GG

and the principles of communist regulation of agriculture must influence measures taken to deal with hunger even during the revolution. Aunker estates and large-scale landed property are ripe for expropriation and collective exploitation, the small farmers will be freed from all capitalist oppression and encouraged to adopt methods of intensive cultivation through support and assistance of every kind from the state and co-operative arrangements, medium-scale farmers -- who own half the land in .estern and /outh-.estern Germany, for example -- have a strongly individualistic and hence anti-communist mentality, but their economic position is as yet unassailable 4 they cannot therefore be expropriated, and will have to be integrated into the sphere of the economic process as a whole through the exchange of products and the development of productivity, for it is only with communism that maximum productivity can be developed in agriculture and the individual enterprise introduced by capitalism transcended. It follows that the workers will see in the landowners a hostile class and in the rural workers and small farmers allies in the revolution, while they have no cause for making enemies of the middle farming strata, even though the latter may be of a hostile disposition towards them. This means that during the first period of chaos preceding the establishment of a system of exchanging products, re2uisitions must be carried out only as an emergency measure among these strata, as an absolutely unavoidable balancing operation between famine in the towns and in the country. The struggle against hunger will have to be dealt with primarily by imports from abroad. /oviet <ussia, with her rich stocks of foodstuffs and raw materials, will thus save and provide for the revolution in .estern Europe. The .estern European working class thus has the highest and most personal interest in the defence and support of /oviet <ussia. The reconstruction of the economy, inordinately difficult as it will be, is not the main problem for the $ommunist ?arty. .hen the proletarian masses develop their intellectual and moral potential to the full, they will resolve it themselves. The prime duty of the $ommunist ?arty is to arouse and foster this potential. It must eradicate all the received ideas which leave the proletariat timid and unsure of itself, set itself against everything that breeds illusions among the workers about easier courses and restrains them from the most radical measures, energetically oppose all the tendencies which stop short at half-measures or compromises. 1nd there are still many such tendencies. Notes MCN 8arl <enner was the leader of the revisionist wing of the 1ustrian /ocial Bemocratic ?arty, #tto Bauer was 1ustrian 3oreign /ecretary from 'ovember 0>0C to Auly 0>0>. Mtranslators noteN VII The transition from capitalism to communism will not proceed according to a simple schema of con2uering political power, introducing the council system and then abolishing private commerce, even though this represents the broad outline of development. That would only be possible if one could undertake reconstruction in some sort of void. But out of capitalism there have grown forms of production and organisation which have firm roots in the consciousness of the masses, and which can themselves only be overthrown in a process of political and economic revolution. .e have already mentioned the agrarian forms of production, which will have to follow a particular course of development. There have grown up in the working class under capitalism forms of organisation, different in detail from country to country, which represent a powerful force, which cannot immediately be abolished and which will thus play an important role in the course of the revolution. This applies in the first instance to political parties. The role of social democracy in the present crisis of capitalism is sufficiently well known, but in $entral Europe it has practically played itself out. Even its most radical sections, such as the "/? in Germany, exercise a harmful influence, not only by splitting the proletariat, but above all by confusing the masses and restraining them from action with their socialdemocratic notions of political leaders directing the fate of the people by their deeds and dealings. 1nd if the $ommunist ?arty constitutes itself into a parliamentary party which, instead of attempting to assert the dictatorship of the class, attempts to establish that of the party -- that is to say the party leadership -- then it too may become a hindrance to development. The attitude of the $ommunist ?arty of Germany during the revolutionary !arch movement, when it announced that the proletariat was not yet ripe for dictatorship and 0G0

that it would therefore encounter any Ogenuinely socialist governmentO that might be formed as a Oloyal oppositionO, in other words restrain the proletariat from waging the fiercest revolutionary struggle against such a government, was itself criticised from many 2uarters. MS9N 1 government of socialist party leaders may arise in the course of the revolution as a transitional form, this will be expressing a temporary balance between the revolutionary and bourgeois forces, and it will tend to free%e and perpetuate the temporary balance between the destruction of the old and the development of the new. It would be something like a more radical version of the Ebert-5aase-Bittmann regime, M>N and its basis shows what can be expected of it 4 a seeming balance of hostile classes, but under the preponderance of the bourgeoisie, a mixture of parliamentary democracy and a kind of council system for the workers, socialisation sub ect to the veto of the Entente powersO imperialism with the profits of capital being maintained, futile attempts to prevent classes clashing violently. It is always the workers who take a beating in such circumstances. 'ot only can a regime of this sort achieve nothing in terms of reconstruction, it does not even attempt to do so, since its only aim is to halt the revolution in mid-course. /ince it attempts both to prevent the further disintegration of capitalism and also the development of the full political power of the proletariat, its effects are directly counter-revolutionary. $ommunists have no choice but to fight such regimes in the most uncompromising manner. Aust as in Germany the /ocial-Bemocratic ?arty was formerly the leading organisation of the proletariat, so in England the trade-union movement, in the course of almost a century of history, has put down the deepest roots in the working class. 5ere it has long been the ideal of the younger radical trade-union leaders -<obert /millie is a typical example -- for the working class to govern society by means of the trade-union organisation. Even the revolutionary syndicalists and the spokesmen of the I.. in 1merica, although affiliated to the Third International, imagine the future rule of the proletariat primarily along these lines. <adical trade-unionists see the soviet system not as the purest form of proletarian dictatorship, but rather as a regime of politicians and intellectuals built up on a base of working-class organisations. They see the trade union movement, on the other hand, as the natural organisation of the proletariat, created by the proletariat, which governs itself within it and which will go on to govern the whole of the work-process. #nce the old ideal of Oindustrial democracyO has been realised and the trade union is master in the factory, its collective organ, the trade-union congress, will take over the function of guiding and managing the economy as a whole. It will then be the real Oparliament of labourO and replace the old bourgeois parliament of parties. These circles often shrink from a one-sided and OunfairO class dictatorship as an infringement of democracy, however, labour is to rule, but others are not to be without rights. Therefore, in addition to the labour parliament, which governs work, the basis of life, a second house could be elected by universal suffrage to represent the whole nation and exercise its influence on public and cultural matters and 2uestions of general political concern. This conception of government by the trade unions should not be confused with OlabourismO, the politics of the OHabour ?artyO, which is currently led by trade-unionists. This latter stands for the penetration of the bourgeois parliament of today by the trade unions, who will build a OworkersO partyO on the same footing as other parties with the ob ective of becoming the party of government in their place. This party is completely bourgeois, and there is little to choose between 5enderson and Ebert. It will give the English bourgeoisie the opportunity to continue its old policies on a broader basis as soon as the threat of pressure from below makes this necessary, and hence weaken and confuse the workers by taking their leaders into the government. 1 government of the workersO party, something which seemed imminent a year ago when the masses were in so revolutionary a mood, but which the leaders themselves have put back into the distant future by holding the radical current down, would, like the Ebert regime in Germany, have been nothing but government on behalf of the bourgeoisie. But it remains to be seen whether the far-sighted, subtle English bourgeoisie does not trust itself to stultify and suppress the masses more effectively than these working-class bureaucrats. 1 genuine trade-union government as conceived by the radicals is as unlike this workersO party politics, this OlabourismO, as revolution is unlike reform. #nly a real revolution in political relationships -- whether violent or in keeping with the old English models -- could bring it about, and in the eyes of the broad masses, it would represent the con2uest of power by the proletariat. But it is nevertheless 2uite different from the goal of communism. It is based on the limited ideology which develops in trade-union struggles, where one does not confront world capital as a whole in all its interwoven forms -- finance capital, bank capital, agricultural 0G7

capital, colonial capital -- but only its industrial form. It is based on marxist economics, now being eagerly studied in the English working class, which show production to be a mechanism of exploitation, but without the deeper marxist social theory, historical materialism. It recognises that work constitutes the basis of the world and thus wants labour to rule the world, but it does not see that all the abstract spheres of political and intellectual life are determined by the mode of production, and it is therefore disposed to leave them to the bourgeois intelligentsia, provided that the latter recognises the primacy of labour. /uch a workersO regime would in reality be a government of the trade-union bureaucracy complemented by the radical section of the old state bureaucracy, which it would leave in charge of the specialist fields of culture, politics and suchlike on the grounds of their special competence in these matters. It is obvious that its economic programme will not coincide with communist expropriation, but will only go so far as the expropriation of big capital, while the OhonestO profits of the smaller entrepreneur, hitherto fleeced and kept in sub ection by this big capital, will be spared. It is even open to doubt whether they will take up the standpoint of complete freedom for India, an integral element of the communist programme, on the colonial 2uestion, this life-nerve of the ruling class of England. It cannot be predicted in what manner, to what degree and with what purity a political form of this kind will be realised. The English bourgeoisie has always understood the art of using well-timed concessions to check movement towards revolutionary ob ectives, how far it is able to continue this tactic in the future will depend primarily on the depth of the economic crisis. If trade-union discipline is eroded from below by uncontrollable industrial revolts and communism simultaneously gains a hold on the masses, then the radical and reformist trade-unionists will agree on a common line, if the struggle goes sharply against the old reformist politics of the leaders, the radical trade-unionists and the communists will go hand in hand. These tendencies are not confined to England. The trade unions are the most powerful workersO organisations in every country, as soon as a political clash topples the old state power, it will inevitably fall into the hands of the best organised and most influential force on hand. In Germany in 'ovember 0>0C, the trade-union executives formed the counter-revolutionary guard behind Ebert, and in the recent !arch crisis, they entered the political arena in an attempt to gain direct influence upon the composition of the government. The only purpose of this support for the Ebert regime was to deceive the proletariat the more subtly with the fraud of a Ogovernment under the control of the workersO organisationsO. But it shows that the same tendency exists here as in England. 1nd even if the Hegiens and Bauers M0GN are too tainted by counter-revolution, new radical trade-unionists from the "/? tendency will take their place ust as last year the Independents under Bissmann won the leadership of the great metalworkersO federation. If a revolutionary movement overthrows the Ebert regime, this tightly organised force of seven million will doubtless be ready to sei%e power, in con unction with the $ ? or in opposition to it. 1 Ogovernment of the working classO along these lines by the trade unions cannot be stable, although it may be able to hold its own for a long time during a slow process of economic decline, in an acute revolutionary crisis it will only be able to survive as a tottering transitional phenomenon. Its programme, as we have outlined above, cannot be radical. But a current which will sanction such measures not, like communism, as a temporary transitional form at most to be deliberately utilised for the purpose of building up a communist organisation, but as a definitive programme, must necessarily come into conflict with and antagonism towards the masses. 3irstly, because it does not render bourgeois elements completely powerless, but grants them a certain position of power in the bureaucracy and perhaps in parliament, from which they can continue to wage the class struggle. The bourgeoisie will endeavour to consolidate these positions of strength, while the proletariat, because it cannot annihilate the hostile class under these conditions, must attempt to establish a straightforward soviet system as the organ of its dictatorship, in this battle between two mighty opponents, economic reconstruction will be impossible. MS=N 1nd secondly, because a government of trade-union leaders of this kind cannot resolve the problems which society is posing, for the latter can only be resolved through the proletarian massesO own initiative and activity, fuelled by the self-sacrificing and unbounded enthusiasm which only communism, with all its perspectives of total freedom and supreme intellectual and moral elevation, can command. 1 current which seeks to abolish material poverty and exploitation, but deliberately confines itself to this goal, which leaves the bourgeois superstructure intact and at the same time holds back from revolutionising the mental outlook and ideology of the proletariat, cannot release these great energies in the masses, and so it will be incapable of resolving the material problems of initiating economic expansion and ending the chaos. 0G9

The trade-union regime will attempt to consolidate and stabilise the prevailing level of the revolutionary process, ust like the Ogenuinely socialistO regime -- except that it will do so at a much more developed stage, when the primacy of the bourgeoisie has been destroyed and a certain balance of class power has arisen with the proletariat predominant, when the entire profit of capital can no longer be saved, but only its less repellent petty-capitalist form, when it is no longer bourgeois but socialist expansion that is being attempted, albeit with insufficient resources. It thus signifies the last stand of the bourgeois class 4 when the bourgeoisie can no longer withstand the assault of the masses on the /cheidemann-5enderson-<enaudel line, it falls back to its last line of defence, the /millie-Bissman-!errheim line. M00N .hen it is no longer able to deceive the proletariat by having OworkersO in a bourgeois or socialist regime, it can only attempt to keep the proletariat from its ultimate radical goals by a Ogovernment of workersO organisationsO and thus in part retain its privileged position. /uch a government is counterrevolutionary in nature, in so far as it seeks to arrest the necessary development of the revolution towards the total destruction of the bourgeois world and prevent total communism from attaining its greatest and clearest ob ectives. The struggle of the communists may at present often run parallel with that of the radical trade-unionists, but it would be dangerous tactics not to clearly identify the differences of principle and ob ective when this happens. 1nd these considerations also bear upon the attitude of the communists towards the trade-union confederations of today, everything which consolidates their unity and strength consolidates the force which will one day put itself in the way of the onward march of the revolution. .hen communism conducts a strong and principled struggle against this transitional political form, it represents the living revolutionary tendencies in the proletariat. The same revolutionary action on the part of the proletariat which prepares the way for the rule of a worker-bureaucracy by smashing the apparatus of bourgeois power simultaneously drives the masses on to form their own organs, the councils, which immediately undermine the basis of the bureaucratic trade unionsO machinery. The development of the soviet system is at the same time the struggle of the proletariat to replace the incomplete form of its dictatorship by complete dictatorship. But with the intensive labour which all the never-ending attempts to OreorganiseO the economy will demand, a leadership bureaucracy will be able to retain great power for a long time, and the massesO capacity to get rid of it will only develop slowly. These various forms and phases of the process of development do not, moreover, follow on in the abstract, logical succession in which we have set them down as degrees of maturation 4 they all occur at the same time, become entangled and coexist in a chaos of tendencies that complement each other, combat each other and dissolve each other, and it is through this struggle that the general development of the revolution proceeds. 1s !arx himself put it 4 ?roletarian revolutions constantly criticise themselves, continually interrupt themselves in the course of their own development, come back to the seemingly complete in order to start it all over again, treat the inade2uacies of their own first attempts with cruelly radical contempt, seem only to throw their adversaries down to enable them to draw new strength from the earth and rise up again to face them all the more gigantic. The resistances which issue from the proletariat itself as expressions of weakness must be overcome in order for it to develop its full strength, and this process of development is generated by conflict, it proceeds from crisis to crisis, driven on by struggle. In the beginning was the deed, but it was only the beginning. It demands an instant of united purpose to overthrow a ruling class, but only the lasting unity conferred by clear insight can keep a firm grasp upon victory. #therwise there comes the reverse which is not a return to the old rulers, but a new hegemony in a new form, with new personnel and new illusions. Each new phase of the revolution brings a new layer of as yet unused leaders to the surface as the representatives of particular forms of organisation, and the overthrow of each of these in turn represents a higher stage in the proletariatOs self-emancipation. The strength of the proletariat is not merely the raw power of the single violent act which throws the enemy down, but also the strength of mind which breaks the old mental dependence and thus succeeds in keeping a tight hold on what has been sei%ed by storm. The growth of this strength in the ebb and flow of revolution is the growth of proletarian freedom. Notes


MS9N /ee, for example, the penetrating criticisms of $omrade 8olos%vary in the Kiennese weekly 8ommunismus. MS=N The absence of obvious and intimidating methods of coercion in the hands of the bourgeoisie in England also inspires the pacifist illusion that violent revolution is not necessary there and that peaceful construction from below, as in the Guild movement and the /hop $ommittees, will take care of everything. It is certainly true that the most potent weapon of the English bourgeoisie has until now been subtle deception rather than armed force, but if put to it, this world-dominating class will not fail to summon up terrible means to enforce its rule. M>N Ebert, 5aase and Bittmann were members of the $ouncil of ?eopleOs $ommissioners given supreme authority by the 'ovember revolution. Mtranslators noteN M0GN 8arl Hegien was ?resident of the General $ommission of Trade "nions from 0C>G and of its successor, the 1BGB * 1llgemeiner Beutscher Gewerkschaftsbund +, from its formation in 0>0>, Gustav Bauer, another trade-union leader, became !inister of Habour in 0>0> and subse2uently $hancellor. Mtranslators noteN M00N <espectively socialist and trade union leaders. Mtranslators noteN

VIII In .estern Europe, capitalism is in a state of progressive collapse, yet in <ussia, despite the terrible difficulties, production is being built up under a new order. The hegemony of communism does not mean that production is completely based on a communist order -- this latter is only possible after a relatively lengthy process of development -- but that the working class is consciously developing the system of production towards communism. MS@N This development cannot at any point go beyond what the prevailing technical and social foundations permit, and therefore it inevitably manifests transitional forms in which vestiges of the old bourgeois world appear. 1ccording to what we have heard of the situation in <ussia here in .estern Europe, such vestiges do indeed exist there. <ussia is an enormous peasant land, industry there has not developed to the unnatural extent of a OworkshopO of the world as it has in .estern Europe, making export and expansion a 2uestion of life and death, but ust sufficiently for the formation of a working class able to take over the government of society as a developed class. 1griculture is the occupation of the popular masses, and modern, large-scale farms are in a minority, although they play a valuable role in the development of communism. It is the small units that make up the ma ority 4 not the wretched, exploited little properties of .estern Europe, but farms which secure the welfare of the peasants and which the soviet regime is seeking to integrate more and more closely into the system as a whole by means of material assistance in the form of extra e2uipment and tools and by intensive cultural and specialist education. It is nevertheless natural that this form of enterprise generates a certain spirit of individualism alien to communism, which, among the Orich peasantsO, has become a hostile, resolutely anticommunist frame of mind. The Entente has doubtless speculated on this in its proposals to trade with cooperatives, intending to initiate a bourgeois counter-movement by drawing these strata into bourgeois pursuit of profit. But because fear of feudal reaction binds them to the present regime as their ma or interest, such efforts must come to nothing, and when .estern European imperialism collapses this danger will disappear completely. Industry is predominantly a centrally organised, exploitation-free system of production, it is the heart of the new order, and the leadership of the state is based on the industrial proletariat. But even this system of production is in a transitional phase, the technical and administrative cadres in the factories and in the state apparatus exercise greater authority than is commensurate with developed communism. The need to increase production 2uickly and the even more urgent need to create an efficient army to fend off the attacks of reaction made it imperative to make good the lack of reliable leaders in the shortest possible time, the threat 0G@

of famine and the assaults of the enemy did not permit all resources to be directed towards a more gradual raising of the general level of competence and to the development of all as the basis of a collective communist system. Thus a new bureaucracy inevitably arose from the new leaders and functionaries, absorbing the old bureaucracy into itself. This is at times regarded with some anxiety as a peril to the new order, and it can only be removed by a broad development of the masses. 1lthough the latter is being undertaken with the utmost energy, only the communist surplus by which man ceases to be the slave of his labour will form a lasting foundation for it. #nly surplus creates the material conditions for freedom and e2uality, so long as the struggle against nature and against the forces of capital remains intense, an inordinate degree of specialisation will remain necessary. It is worth noting that although our analysis predicts that development in .estern Europe will take a different direction from that of <ussia insofar as we can foresee the course which it will follow as the revolution progresses, both manifest the same politico-economic structure 4 industry run according to communist principles with workersO councils forming the element of self-management under the technical direction and political hegemony of a worker-bureaucracy, while agriculture retains an individualistic, pettybourgeois character in the dominant small and medium-scale sectors. But this coincidence is not so extraordinary for all that, in that this kind of social structure is determined not by previous political history, but by basic technico-economic conditions -- the level of development attained by industrial and agricultural technology and the formation of the proletarian masses -- which are in both cases the same. MSDN But despite this coincidence, there is a great difference in significance and goal. In .estern Europe this politicoeconomic structure forms a transitional stage at which the bourgeoisie is ultimately able to arrest its decline, whereas in <ussia the attempt is consciously being made to pursue development further in a communist direction. In .estern Europe, it forms a phase in the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in <ussia a phase in the new economic expansion. .ith the same external forms, .estern Europe is on the downward path of a declining culture, <ussia on the rising movement of a new culture. .hile the <ussian revolution was still young and weak and was looking to an imminent outbreak of revolution in Europe to save it, a different conception of its significance reigned. <ussia, it was then maintained, was only an outpost of the revolution where favourable circumstances had enabled the proletariat to sei%e power so early, but this proletariat was weak and unformed and almost swallowed up in the infinite masses of the peasantry. The proletariat of economically backward <ussia could only make temporary advances, as soon as the great masses of the fully-fledged .estern European proletariat came to power in the most developed industrial countries, with all their technical and organisational experience and their ancient wealth of culture, then we should see communism flourish to an extent that would make the <ussian contribution, welcome as it was, seem weak and inade2uate by comparison. The heart and strength of the new communist world lay where capitalism had reached the height of its power, in England, in Germany, in 1merica, and laid the basis for the new mode of production. This conception takes no account of the difficulties facing the revolution in .estern Europe. .here the proletariat only slowly gains firm control and the bourgeoisie is upon occasion able to win back power in part or in whole, nothing can come of economic reconstruction. $apitalist expansion is impossible, every time the bourgeoisie obtains a free hand, it creates new chaos and destroys the bases which could have served for the construction of communist production. 1gain and again it prevents the consolidation of the new proletarian order by bloody reaction and destruction. This occurred even in <ussia 4 the destruction of industrial installations and mines in the "rals and the Bonet% basin by 8olchak and Benikin, as well as the need to deploy the best workers and the greater part of the productive forces against them, was a serious blow to the economy and damaged and delayed communist expansion -- and even though the initiation of trade relations with 1merica and the .est may considerably favour a new upturn, the greatest, most selfsacrificing effort will be needed on the part of the masses in <ussia to achieve complete recovery from this damage. But -- and herein lies the difference -- the soviet republic has remained intact in <ussia as an organised centre of communist power which has already developed tremendous internal stability. In .estern Europe there will be ust as much destruction and murder, here too the best forces of the proletariat will be wiped out in the course of the struggle, but here we lack an already consolidated, organised soviet state that could serve as a source of strength. The classes are wearing each other out in a devastating civil war, and so long as construction comes to nothing, chaos and misery will continue to rule. This will be the lot of countries where the proletariat does not immediately recognise its task with clear insight and united purpose, 0GD

that is to say where bourgeois traditions weaken and split the workers, dim their eyes and subdue their hearts. It will take decades to overcome the infectious, paralysing influence of bourgeois culture upon the proletariat in the old capitalist countries. 1nd meanwhile, production lies in ruins and the country degenerates into an economic desert. 1t the same time as .estern Europe, stagnating economically, painfully struggles with its bourgeois past, in the East, in <ussia, the economy is flourishing under a communist order. .hat used to distinguish the developed capitalist countries from the backward East was the tremendous sophistication of their material and mental means of production -- a dense network of railways, factories, ships, and a dense, technically skilled population. But during the collapse of capitalism, in the long civil war, in the period of stagnation when too little is being produced, this heritage is being dissipated, used up or destroyed. The indestructible forces of production, science, technical capabilities, are not tied to these countries, their bearers will find a new homeland in <ussia, where trade will also provide a sanctuary for part of EuropeOs material and technical riches. /oviet <ussiaOs trade agreement with .estern Europe and 1merica will, if taken seriously and operated with a will, tend to accentuate this contradiction, because it furthers the economic expansion of <ussia while delaying collapse in .estern Europe, thus giving capitalism a breathing space and paralysing the revolutionary potential of the masses -- for how long and to what extent remains to be seen. ?olitically, this will be expressed in an apparent stabilisation of a bourgeois regime or one of the other types discussed above and in a simultaneous rise to power of opportunist tendencies within communism, by recognising the old methods of struggle and engaging in parliamentary activity and loyal opposition within the old trade unions, the communist parties in .estern Europe will ac2uire a legal status, like social-democracy before them, and in the face of this, the radical, revolutionary current will see itself forced into a minority. 5owever, it is entirely improbable that capitalism will en oy a real new flowering, the private interests of the capitalists trading with <ussia will not defer to the economy as a whole, and for the sake of profit they will ship off essential basic elements of production to <ussia, nor can the proletariat again be brought into a state of dependence. Thus the crisis will drag on, lasting improvement is impossible and will continually be arrested, the process of revolution and civil war will be delayed and drawn out, the complete rule of communism and the beginning of new growth put off into the distant future. !eanwhile, in the East, the economy will develop untrammelled in a powerful upsurge, and new paths will be opened up on the basis of the most advanced natural science -- which the .est is incapable of exploiting -- together with the new social science, humanityOs newly won control over its own social forces. 1nd these forces, increased a hundredfold by the new energies flowing from freedom and e2uality, will make <ussia the centre of the new communist world order. This will not be the first time in world history that the centre of the civilised world has shifted in the transition to a new mode of production or one of its phases. In anti2uity, it moved from the !iddle East to /outhern Europe, in the !iddle 1ges, from /outhern to .estern Europe, with the rise of colonial and merchant capital, first /pain, then 5olland and England became the leading nation, and with the rise of industry England. The cause of these shifts can in fact be embraced in a general historical principle 4 where the earlier economic form reached its highest development, the material and mental forces, the politicouridical institutions which secured its existence and which were necessary for its full development, were so strongly constructed that they offered almost insuperable resistance to the development of new forms. Thus, the institution of slavery inhibited the development of feudalism at the twilight of anti2uity, thus, the guild laws applying in the great wealthy cities of medieval times meant that later capitalist manufacturing could only develop in other centres hitherto insignificant, thus in the late eighteenth century, the political order of 3rench absolutism which had fostered industry under $olbert obstructed the introduction of the large-scale industry that made England a manufacturing nation. There even exists a corresponding law in organic nature, a corollary to BarwinOs Osurvival of the fittestO known as the law of the Osurvival of the unfittedO 4 when a species of animal has become specialised and differentiated into a wealth of forms all perfectly adapted to particular conditions of life in that period -- like the /aurians in the /econdary Era -- it becomes incapable of evolving into a new species, all the various options for adaptation and development have been lost and cannot be retrieved. The development of a new species proceeds from primitive forms which, because they have remained undifferentiated, have retained all their potential for development, and the old species which is incapable of further adaptation dies out. The phenomenon whereby leadership in economic, political and cultural development continually shifts from one people or nation to another in the course of human history 0GE

-- explained away by bourgeois science with the fantasy of a nation or race having Oexhausted its life forceO -is a particular incidence of this organic rule. .e now see why it is that the primacy of .estern Europe and 1merica -- which the bourgeoisie is pleased to attribute to the intellectual and moral superiority of their race -- will evaporate, and where we can foresee it shifting to. 'ew countries, where the masses are not poisoned by the fug of a bourgeois ideology, where the beginnings of industrial development have raised the mind from its former slumber and a communist sense of solidarity has awoken, where the raw materials are available to use the most advanced technology inherited from capitalism for a renewal of the traditional forms of production, where oppression elicits the development of the 2ualities fostered by struggle, but where no over-powerful bourgeoisie can obstruct this process of regeneration -- it is such countries that will be the centres of the new communist world. <ussia, itself half a continent when taken in con unction with /iberia, already stands first in line. But these conditions are also present to a greater or lesser extent in other countries of the East, in India, in $hina. 1lthough there may be other sources of immaturity, these 1sian countries must not be overlooked in considering the communist world revolution. This world revolution is not seen in its full universal significance if considered only from the .estern European perspective. <ussia not only forms the eastern part of Europe, it is much more the western part of 1sia, and not only in a geographical, but also in a politico-economic sense. The old <ussia had little in common with Europe 4 it was the westernmost of those politico-economic structures which !arx termed Ooriental despotic powersO, and which included all the great empires of ancient and modern 1sia. Based on the village communism of a largely homogeneous peasantry, there evolved within these an absolute rule by princes and the nobility, which also drew support from relatively small-scale but nevertheless important trade in craft goods. Into this mode of production, which, despite superficial changes of ruler, had gone on reproducing itself in the same way for thousands of years, .estern European capital penetrated from all sides, dissolving, fermenting, undermining, exploiting, impoverishing, by trade, by direct sub ection and plunder, by exploitation of natural riches, by the construction of railways and factories, by state loans to the princes, by the export of food and raw materials -- all of which is encompassed in the term Ocolonial policyO. .hereas India, with its enormous riches, was con2uered early, plundered and then proletarianised and industrialised, it was only later, through modern colonial policy, that other countries fell prey to developed capital. 1lthough on the surface <ussia had played the role of a great European power since 0EGG, it too became a colony of European capital, due to direct military contact with Europe it went earlier and more precipitately the way that ?ersia and $hina were subse2uently to go. Before the last world war EG per cent of the iron industry, the greater part of the railways, >G per cent of platinum production and E@ per cent of the naphtha industry were in the hands of European capitalists, and through the enormous national debts of tsarism, the latter also exploited the <ussian peasantry past the point of starvation. .hile the working class in <ussia worked under the same conditions as those of .estern Europe, with the result that a body of revolutionary marxist views developed, <ussiaOs entire economic situation nevertheless made it the westernmost of the 1siatic empires. The <ussian revolution is the beginning of the great revolt by 1sia against the .estern European capital concentrated in England. 1s a rule, we in .estern Europe only consider the effects which it has here, where the advanced theoretical development of the <ussian revolutionaries has made them the teachers of the proletariat as it reaches towards communism. But its workings in the East are more important still, and 1sian 2uestions therefore influence the policies of the soviet republic almost more than European 2uestions. The call for freedom and for the self-determination of all peoples and for struggle against European capital throughout 1sia is going out from !oscow, where delegations from 1siatic tribes are arriving one after another. MSEN The threads lead from the soviet republic of Turan to India and the !oslem countries, in /outhern $hina the revolutionaries have sought to follow the example of government by soviets, the panIslamic movement developing in the !iddle East under the leadership of Turkey is trying to connect with <ussia. This is where the significance of the world struggle between <ussia and England as the exponents of two social systems lies, and this struggle cannot therefore end in real peace, despite temporary pauses, for the process of ferment in 1sia is continuing. English politicians who look a little further ahead than the petty-bourgeois demagogue Hloyd George clearly see the danger here threatening English domination of the world, and with it the whole of capitalism, they rightly say that <ussia is more dangerous than Germany ever 0GC

was. But they cannot act forcefully, for the beginnings of revolutionary development in the English proletariat do not permit any regime other than one of bourgeois demagogy. The interests of 1sia are in essence the interests of the human race. Eight hundred million people live in <ussia, $hina and India, in the /ibero-<ussian plain and the fertile valleys of the Ganges and the Fangtse 8iang, more than half the population of the earth and almost three times as many as in the part of Europe under capitalist domination. 1nd the seeds of revolution have appeared everywhere, besides <ussia, on the one hand, powerful strike-movements flaring up where industrial proletarians are huddled together, as in Bombay and 5ankow, on the other, nationalist movements under the leadership of the rising national intelligentsia. 1s far as can be udged from the reticent English press, the world war was a powerful stimulus to national movements, but then suppressed them forcefully, while industry is in such an upsurge that gold is flowing in torrents from 1merica to East 1sia. .hen the wave of economic crisis hits these countries -- it seems to have overtaken Aapan already -- new struggles can be expected. The 2uestion may be raised as to whether purely nationalist movements seeking a national capitalist order in 1sia should be supported, since they will be hostile to their own proletarian liberation movements, but development will clearly not take this course. It is true that until now the rising intelligentsia has orientated itself in terms of European nationalism and, as the ideologues of the developing indigenous bourgeoisie, advocated a national bourgeois government on .estern lines, but this idea is paling with the decline of Europe, and they will doubtless come strongly under the intellectual sway of <ussian bolshevism and find in it the means to fuse with the proletarian strikemovements and uprisings. Thus, the national liberation movements of 1sia will perhaps adopt a communist world view and a communist programme on the firm material ground of the workersO and peasantsO class struggle against the barbaric oppression of world capital sooner than external appearances might lead us to believe. The fact that these peoples are predominantly agrarian need be no more of an obstacle than it was in <ussia 4 communist communities will not consist of tightly-packed huddles of factory towns, for the capitalist division between industrial and agricultural nations will cease to exist, agriculture will have to take up a great deal of space within them. The predominant agricultural character will nevertheless render the revolution more difficult, since the mental disposition is less favourable under such conditions. Boubtless a prolonged period of intellectual and political upheaval will also be necessary in these countries. The difficulties here are different from those in Europe, less of an active than of a passive nature 4 they lie less in the strength of the resistance than in the slow pace at which activity is awakening, not in overcoming internal chaos, but in developing the unity to drive out the foreign exploiter. .e will not go into the particulars of these difficulties here -- the religious and national fragmentation of India, the petty-bourgeois character of $hina. 5owever the political and economic forms continue to develop, the central problem which must first be overcome is to destroy the hegemony of European and 1merican capital. The hard struggle for the annihilation of capitalism is the common task which the workers of .estern Europe and the "/1 have to accomplish hand-in-hand with the vast populations of 1sia. .e are at present only at the beginning of this process. .hen the German revolution takes a decisive turn and connects with <ussia, when revolutionary mass struggles break out in England and 1merica, when revolt flares up in India, when communism pushes its frontiers forward to the <hine and the Indian #cean, then the world revolution will enter into its next mighty phase. .ith its vassals in the Heague of 'ations and its 1merican and Aapanese allies, the world-ruling English bourgeoisie, assaulted from within and without, its world power threatened by colonial rebellions and wars of liberation, paralysed internally by strikes and civil war, will have to exert all its strength and raise mercenary armies against both enemies. .hen the English working class, backed up by the rest of the European proletariat, attacks its bourgeoisie, it will fight doubly for communism, clearing the way for communism in England and helping to free 1sia. 1nd conversely, it will be able to count on the support of the main communist forces when armed hirelings of the bourgeoisie seek to drown its struggle in blood -- for .estern Europe and the islands off its coast are only a peninsula pro ecting from the great <usso-1sian complex of lands. The common struggle against capital will unite the proletarian masses of the whole world. 1nd when finally, at the end of the arduous struggle, the European workers, deeply exhausted, stand in the clear morning light of freedom, they will greet the liberated peoples of 1sia in the East and shake hands in !oscow, the capital of the new humanity. Notes 0G>

MS@N This conception of the gradual transformation of the mode of production stands in sharp contrast to the social-democratic conception, which seeks to abolish capitalism and exploitation gradually by a slow process of reform. The direct abolition of all profit on capital and of all exploitation by the victorious proletariat is the precondition of the mode of production being able to move towards communism. MSDN 1 prominent example of this kind of convergent development is to be found in the social structure at the end of ancient times and the beginning of the !iddle 1ges, cf. Engels, #rigins of the 3amily, $h. C. MSEN This is the basis of the stand taken by Henin in 0>0D at the time of Pimmerwald against <adek, who was representing the view of .estern European communists. The latter insisted that the slogan of the right of all peoples to self-determination, which the social patriots had taken up along with .ilson, was merely a deception, since this right can only ever be an appearance and illusion under imperialism, and that we should therefore oppose this slogan. Henin saw in this standpoint the tendency of .estern European socialists to re ect the 1siatic peoplesO wars of national liberation, thus avoiding radical struggle against the colonial policies of their governments. A(te!-o!d to 5o!ld Re%ol&tion and )omm&nist Tactics The above theses were written in 1pril and sent off to <ussia to be available for consideration by the executive committee and the congress in making their tactical decisions. The situation has meanwhile altered, in that the executive committee in !oscow and the leading comrades in <ussia have come down completely on the side of opportunism, with the result that this tendency prevailed at the /econd $ongress of the $ommunist International. The policy in 2uestion first made its appearance in Germany, when <adek, using all the ideological and material influence that he and the 8?B leadership could muster, attempted to impose his tactics of parliamentarianism and support for the central confederations upon the German communists, thereby splitting and weakening the communist movement. /ince <adek was made secretary of the executive committee this policy has become that of the entire executive committee. The previously unsuccessful efforts to secure the affiliation of the German Independents to !oscow have been redoubled, while the antiparliamentarian communists of the 81?B, who, it can hardly be denied, by rights belong to the $I, have received frosty treatment 4 they had opposed the Third International on every issue of importance, it was maintained, and could only be admitted upon special conditions. The 1msterdam 1uxiliary Bureau, which had accepted them and treated them as e2uals, was closed down. Henin told the English communists that they should not only participate in parliamentary elections, but even oin the Habour ?arty, a political organisation consisting largely of reactionary trade-union leaders and a member of the /econd International. 1ll these stands manifest the desire of the leading <ussian comrades to establish contact with the big workersO organisations of .estern Europe that have yet to turn communist. .hile radical communists seek to further the revolutionary development of the working masses by means of rigorous, principled struggle against all bourgeois, social-patriotic and vacillating tendencies and their representatives, the leadership of the International is attempting to gain the adherence of the latter to !oscow in droves without their having first to cast off their old perspectives. The antagonistic stance which the Bolsheviks, whose deeds made them exponents of radical tactics in the past, have taken up towards the radical communists of .estern Europe comes out clearly in HeninOs recentlypublished pamphlet OHeft-.ingO $ommunism, an Infantile Bisorder. Its significance lies not in its content, but in the person of the author, for the arguments are scarcely original and have for the most part already been used by others. .hat is new is that it is Henin who is now taking them up. The point is therefore not to combat them -- their fallacy resides mainly in the e2uation of the conditions, parties, organisations and parliamentary practice of .estern Europe with their <ussian counterparts -- and oppose other arguments to them, but to grasp the fact of their appearance in this con uncture as the product of specific policies. The basis of these policies can readily be identified in the needs of the /oviet republic. The reactionary insurgents 8olchak and Benikin have destroyed the foundations of the <ussian iron industry, and the war effort has forestalled a powerful upsurge in production. <ussia urgently needs machines, locomotives and 00G

tools for economic reconstruction, and only the undamaged industry of the capitalist countries can provide these. It therefore needs peaceful trade with the rest of the world, and in particular with the nations of the Entente, they in their turn need raw materials and foodstuffs from <ussia to stave off the collapse of capitalism. The sluggish pace of revolutionary development in .estern Europe thus compels the /oviet republic to seek a modus vivendi with the capitalist world, to surrender a portion of its natural wealth as the price of doing so, and to renounce direct support for revolution in other countries. In itself there can be no ob ection to an arrangement of this kind, which both parties recognise to be necessary, but it would hardly be surprising if the sense of constraint and the initiation of a policy of compromise with the bourgeois world were to foster a mental disposition towards more moderate perspectives. The Third International, as the association of communist parties preparing proletarian revolution in every country, is not formally bound by the policies of the <ussian government, and it is supposed to pursue its own tasks completely independent of the latter. In practice, however, this separation does not exist, ust as the $? is the backbone of the /oviet republic, the executive committee is intimately connected with the ?raesidium of the /oviet republic through the persons of its members, thus forming an instrument whereby this ?raesidium intervenes in the politics of .estern Europe. .e can now see why the tactics of the Third International, laid down by $ongress to apply homogeneously to all capitalist countries and to be directed from the centre, are determined not only by the needs of communist agitation in those countries, but also by the political needs of /oviet <ussia. 'ow, it is true that England and <ussia, the hostile world powers respectively representing capital and labour, both need peaceful trade in order to build up their economies. 5owever, it is not only immediate economic needs which determine their policies, but also the deeper economic antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, the 2uestion of the future, expressed in the fact that powerful capitalist groups, rightly hostile to the /oviet republic, are attempting to prevent any compromise as a matter of principle. The /oviet government knows that it cannot rely upon the insight of Hloyd George and EnglandOs need for peace, they had to bow to the insuperable might of the <ed 1rmy on the one hand and to the pressure which English workers and soldiers were exerting upon their government on the other. The /oviet government knows that the menace of the Entente proletariat is one of the most important of its weapons in paralysing the imperialist governments and compelling them to negotiate. It must therefore render this weapon as powerful as possible. .hat this re2uires is not a radical communist party preparing a root-and-branch revolution for the future, but a great organised proletarian force which will take the part of <ussia and oblige its own government to pay it heed. The /oviet government needs the masses now, even if they are not fully communist. If it can gain them for itself, their adhesion to !oscow will be a sign to world capital that wars of annihilation against <ussia are no longer possible, and that there is therefore no alternative to peace and trade relations. !oscow must therefore press for communist tactics in .estern Europe which do not conflict sharply with the traditional perspectives and methods of the big labour organisations, the influence of which is decisive. /imilarly, efforts had to be made to replace the Ebert regime in Germany with one oriented towards the East, since it had shown itself to be a tool of the Entente against <ussia, and as the $? was itself too weak, only the Independents could serve this purpose. 1 revolution in Germany would enormously strengthen the position of /oviet <ussia vis-T-vis the Entente. The development of such a revolution, however, might ultimately be highly incommodious as far as the policy of peace and compromise with the Entente was concerned, for a radical proletarian revolution would tear up the Kersailles Treaty and renew the war -- the 5amburg communists wanted to make active preparations for this war in advance. <ussia would then itself be drawn into this war, and even though it would be strengthened externally in the process, economic reconstruction and the abolition of poverty would be still further delayed. These conse2uences could be avoided if the German revolution could be kept within bounds such that although the strength of the workersO governments allied against Entente capital was greatly increased, the latter was not put in the position of having to go to war. This would demand not the radical tactics of the 81?B, but government by the Independents, 8?B and trade unions in the form of a council organisation on the <ussian model. This policy does have perspectives beyond merely securing a more favourable position for the current negotiations with the Entente 4 its goal is world revolution. It is nevertheless apparent that a particular conception of world revolution must be implicit in the particular character of these politics. The revolution which is now advancing across the world and which will shortly overtake $entral Europe and then .estern Europe is driven on by the economic collapse of capitalism, if capital is unable to bring about an upturn in 000

production, the masses will be obliged to turn to revolution as the only alternative to going under without a struggle. But although compelled to turn to revolution, the masses are by and large still in a state of mental servitude to the old perspectives, the old organisations and leaders, and it is the latter who will obtain power in the first instance. 1 distinction must therefore be made between the external revolution which destroys the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and renders capitalism impossible, and the communist revolution, a longer process which revolutionises the masses internally and in which the working class, emancipating itself from all its bonds, takes the construction of communism firmly in hand. It is the task of communism to identify the forces and tendencies which will halt the revolution half-way, to show the masses the way forward, and by the bitterest struggle for the most distant goals, for total power, against these tendencies, to awaken in the proletariat the capacity to impel the revolution onward. This it can only do by even now taking up the struggle against the inhibiting leadership tendencies and the power of its leaders. #pportunism seeks to ally itself with the leaders and share in a new hegemony, believing it can sway them on to the path of communism, it will be compromised by them. By declaring this to be the official tactics of communism, the Third International is setting the seal of Ocommunist revolutionO on the sei%ure of power by the old organisations and their leaders, consolidating the hegemony of these leaders and obstructing the further progress of the revolution. 3rom the point of view of safeguarding /oviet <ussia there can be no ob ection to this conception of the goal of world revolution. If a political system similar to that of <ussia existed in the other countries of Europe -control by a workersO bureaucracy based on a council system -- the power of world imperialism would be broken and contained, at least in Europe. Economic build-up towards communism could then go ahead without fear of reactionary wars of intervention in a <ussia surrounded by friendly workersO republics. It is therefore comprehensible that what we regard as a temporary, inade2uate, transitional form to be combated with all our might is for !oscow the achievement of proletarian revolution, the goal of communist policy. This leads us to the critical considerations to be raised against these policies from the point of view of communism. They relate firstly to its reciprocal ideological effect upon <ussia itself. If the stratum in power in <ussia fraternises with the workersO bureaucracy of .estern Europe and adopts the attitudes of the latter, corrupted as it is by its position, its antagonism towards the masses and its adaptation to the bourgeois world, then the momentum which must carry <ussia further on the path of communism is liable to be dissipated, if it bases itself upon the land-owning peasantry over and against the workers, a diversion of development towards bourgeois agrarian forms could not be ruled out, and this would lead to stagnation in the world revolution. There is the further consideration that the political system which arose in <ussia as an expedient transitional form towards the realisation of communism -- and which could only ossify into a bureaucracy under particular conditions -- would from the outset represent a reactionary impediment to revolution in .estern Europe. .e have already pointed out that a OworkersO governmentO of this kind would not be able to unleash the forces of communist reconstruction, and since after this revolution the bourgeois and pettybourgeois masses, together with the peasantry, would, unlike the case of <ussia after the #ctober revolution, still represent a tremendous force, the failure of reconstruction would only too easily bring reaction back into the saddle, and the proletarian masses would have to renew their exertions to abolish the system. It is even a matter of doubt whether this policy of attenuated world revolution can achieve its aim, rather than reinforce the bourgeoisie like any other politics of opportunism. It is not the way forward for the most radical opposition to form a prior alliance with the moderates with a view to sharing power, instead of driving the revolution on by uncompromising struggle, it so weakens the overall fighting strength of the masses that the overthrow of the prevailing system is delayed and made harder. The real forces of revolution lie elsewhere than in the tactics of parties and the policies of governments. 3or all the negotiations, there can be no real peace between the world of imperialism and that of communism 4 while 8rassin was negotiating in Hondon, the <ed 1rmies were smashing the might of ?oland and reaching the frontiers of Germany and 5ungary. This has brought the war to $entral Europe, and the class contradictions which have reached an intolerable level here, the total internal economic collapse which renders revolution inevitable, the misery of the masses, the fury of armed reaction, will all make civil war flare up in these countries. But when the masses are set in motion here, their revolution will not allow itself to be channelled within the limits prescribed for it by the opportunistic politics of clever leaders, it must be more radical and more profound than in <ussia, because the resistance to be overcome is much greater. The 007

decisions of the !oscow congress are of less moment than the wild, chaotic, elemental forces which will surge up from the hearts of three ravaged peoples and lend new impetus to the world revolution.

Anton Pannekoek

Social Democrac( and "omm&nism

Source: : Published: 3irst published as a pamphlet under the pseudonym 8. 5orner in 5amburg, 0>0>, also later published in the 81?B ournal, 8ommunistische 1rbeiter%eitung, in 0>7E. This translation is based on the latter version. Transcriber: $ollective 1ction 'otes *$1'+ HTML: Aonas 5olmgren

The 4oad 1ollo!ed b( the Workers Movement

The world war brought not ust a violent revolution in all economic and political relations, it also completely transformed socialism. Those who grew up with German social democracy and participated in its ranks in the workers class struggle, will by confused by all its new features, and will ask themselves if everything they had learned and accomplished until now was false, and if they must therefore learn and follow the new theories. The answer is4 it was not false, but incomplete. /ocialism is not an immutable theory. 1s the world changes, menOs theoretical understanding grows, and along with new relations, new methods to achieve our goal also emerge. This can be seen by casting our glance back upon the development of socialism over the last century. 1t the beginning of the 0>th century, utopian socialism reigned. Broad-minded thinkers deeply sensitive to the unbearable nature of capitalism sketched the outlines of a better society, in which labor would be organi%ed cooperatively. 1 new perspective emerged when !arx and Engels published the $ommunist !anifesto in 0C=E. 5ere, for the first time, the principal points of the socialism of the future clearly stood out4 it was from capitalism itself that the force capable of transforming society would emerge, and this force would give birth to a socialist society. This force is the class struggle of the proletariat. The poor, scorned, ignorant workers will be in the forefront of those who will carry out this transformation, as they take up the struggle against the bourgeoisie, gaining in the process power and ability and organi%ing themselves as a class, by way of a revolution, the proletariat will con2uer political power and carry out a comprehensive economic transformation. It must also be emphasi%ed that !arx and Engels never called this whole undertaking JsocialismJ, nor did they call themselves JsocialistsJ. Engels expressed the reason for this 2uite clearly4 in that era, various bourgeois currents were characteri%ed under the name of socialism, currents which, due to a feeling of 009

identification with the proletariat or other motives, wanted to overthrow the capitalist order, 2uite fre2uently, their goals were even reactionary. $ommunism, on the other hand, was a proletarian movement. The workers groups which attacked the capitalist system called themselves communists. It was from the $ommunist Heague that the !anifesto emerged, which pointed out to the proletariat the goal and the direction of its struggle. In 0C=C the bourgeois revolutions broke out, clearing the way for the development of capitalism in central Europe, and facilitating the transformation of the small traditional statelets into more powerful 'ation/tates. Industry expanded at a record pace during the 0C@Gs and 0CDGs, and amidst the ensuing prosperity all the revolutionary movements collapsed so completely that even the word communism was forgotten. Hater, during the 0CDGs, when the workers movement reemerged in England, 3rance and Germany within a more fully-developed capitalism, it had a much broader base than the previous communist sects, but its goals were much more limited and short-term in nature4 improvement of the immediate situation of the workers, legal recognition of trade unions, democratic reforms. In Germany, Hassalle led agitation in favor of /tatesupported producersO cooperatives, in his view, the /tate should act as the architect of social policy in favor of the working class, and in order to compel the /tate to assume this role, the working class would have to avail itself of democracyIthe power of the masses over the /tate. It is therefore understandable that the ?arty founded by Hassalle laid claim to the significant name of social democracy4 this name expressed the ?artyOs goal, that is, democracy with a social purpose. Hittle by little, however, the ?arty outgrew its initial narrow ob ectives. GermanyOs unrestrained capitalist development, the war for the formation of the German Empire, the pact between the bourgeoisie and the militarist landowners, the anti-socialist law, the reactionary customs and taxation policiesIall of these things drove the working class forward, making it the vanguard of the rest of European workers movement, which adopted its name and its policies. ?ractice honed its spirit for understanding !arxOs doctrine, which was made accessible to socialists by the numerous populari%ed versions written by 8autsky and their political applications. In this manner they came to once again recogni%e the principles and goals of the old communism4 the $ommunist !anifesto was their programmatic work, !arxism was their theory, the class struggle their tactic, the con2uest of political power by the proletariat--the social revolution--their goal. There was, however, one difference4 the character of the new !arxism, the spirit of the whole movement, was unlike that of the old communism. The social democracy was growing within an environment characteri%ed by a powerful burst of capitalist expansion. It was not, at first, compelled to consider a violent transformation. 3or this reason, the revolution was postponed into the distant future and the social democracy was satisfied with the tasks of propaganda and organi%ation in preparation for the postponed revolution, and contented itself for the time being with struggles for immediate improvements. Its theory asserted that the revolution had to come as the necessary result of economic development, forgetting that action, the spontaneous activity of the masses, was necessary to bring this about. It thus became a kind of economic fatalism. The social democracy and the rapidly growing trade unions which it dominated became members of the capitalist society, they became the growing opposition and resistance of the working masses, as the institutions which prevented the total impoverishment of the masses under the pressure of capital. Thanks to the general franchise, they even became a strong opposition within the bourgeois parliament. Their basic character was, despite their theory, reformist, and in relation to day-to-day issues, palliative and minimalist instead of revolutionary. The principal cause of this development lay in proletarian prosperity, which granted the proletarian masses a certain degree of essential security, dampening the expression of revolutionary views. Buring the last decade these tendencies have been reinforced. The workers movement achieved what was possible in such circumstances4 a powerful ?arty, with a million members and garnering one-third of the vote, and alongside it a trade union movement concentrating in its ranks the ma ority of organi%ed labor. It then clashed with an even more powerful barrier, against which the old methods were not so effective4 the potent organi%ation of big capital into syndicates, cartels and trusts, as well as the policies of finance capital, heavy industry and militarism, all of which were forms of imperialism that were controlled by forces outside parliament. But this workers movement was not capable of a total tactical reorientation and renewal, as long as its own powerful organi%ations were arrayed against it, organi%ations which were considered to be ends in themselves and were eager for recognition. The voice of this tendency was the bureaucracy, the numerous 00=

army of officials, leaders, parliamentarians, secretaries and editors, who comprised a group of their own with their own interests. Their aim was to gradually change the nature of the ?artyOs activities while keeping the old name. The con2uest of political power by the proletariat became, for them, the con2uest of a parliamentary ma ority by their ?arty, that is, the replacement of the ruling politicians and /tate bureaucracy by themselves, the social democratic politicians and the trade union and ?arty bureaucracies. The advent of socialism was now supposed to arrive by way of new legislation in favor of the proletariat. 1nd it was not ust among the revisionists that this position found favor. 8autsky, too, the political theoretician of the radicals, said during a debate that the social democracy wanted to staff the /tate, with all of its departments and ministries, merely in order to put other people, from the social democracy, in the place of the ministers currently occupying those posts. The .orld .ar also led to the outbreak of a crisis in the workers movement. The social democracy, generally, put itself at the service of imperialism under the formula of Jdefense of the fatherlandJ, the trade union and ?arty bureaucracies worked hand in hand with the /tate bureaucracy and business to make the proletariat expend its strength, its blood and its life to the utmost extremes. This signified the collapse of the social democracy as a ?arty of proletarian revolution. 'ow, despite the fierce repression, a growing opposition has emerged in all countries, and the old banner of the class struggle, of !arxism and of the revolution is raised again. But under what name should this banner be raised: It would be completely ustified to reclaim the old formulas of social democracy, which the social democratic parties have left in the lurch. But the very name JsocialistJ has now lost all of its meaning and power, since the differences between the socialists and the bourgeoisie have almost entirely disappeared. In order for the class struggle to move forward, the first and most important matter to attend to is to fight against the social democracy, which has led the proletariat into the abyss of poverty, submission, war, annihilation and powerlessness. /hould the new fighters accept such infamous and shameful names: 1 new name was necessary, but what name was more appropriate than any other to declare its role as the principle bearer of the old original class struggle: In every country the same thought arose4 reclaim the name of communism. #nce again, as in the time of !arx, communism as a revolutionary and proletarian movement confronts socialism as a reformist and bourgeois movement. 1nd the new communism is not ust a new edition of the theory of radical social democracy. 1s a result of the world crisis, it has gained new depth, which totally differentiates it from the old theory. In what follows, we shall elucidate the differences between the two theories.

"lass Str&ggle and Socialization

Buring its best days, social democracy established as its principle the class struggle against the bourgeoisie, and as its goal, the reali%ation of socialism as soon as it could con2uer political power. 'ow that social democracy has abandoned that principle and that goal, both of them have been taken up again by communism. .hen the war broke out, social democracy abandoned the fight against the bourgeoisie. 8autsky asserted that the class struggle was only applicable to peacetime, while during wartime class solidarity against the enemy nation must take its place. In support of this assertion he pulled from out of his sleeve the lie of the Jdefensive warJ, with which the masses were deceived at the start of hostilities. The leaders of the /?B ma ority and the Independents differed on this point only because the former collaborated enthusiastically with the war policy of the bourgeoisie while the latter patiently endured it, because they did not dare to lead the struggle themselves. 1fter the defeat of German militarism in 'ovember 0>0C, the same pattern was repeated. The social democratic leaders oined the government alongside the bourgeois parties and tried to persuade the workers that this constituted the political power of the proletariat. But they did not use their power over the $ouncils and government ministries to reali%e socialism, but to reestablish capitalism. 00@

Besides this, one must add that the colossal power of $apital, which is the principle enemy and exploiter of the proletariat, is now embodied in Entente $apital, which now rules the world. The German bourgeoisie, reduced to impotence, can only exist as a peon and agent of Entente imperialism and is responsible for crushing the German workers and exploiting them on behalf of Entente $apital. The social democrats, as the political representatives of this bourgeoisie, and who now form the German government, have the task of carrying out the orders of the Entente and re2uesting its aid and support. 3or their part, the Independents, who during the war restrained the workers in their struggle against the powerful German imperialism, have seen that after the war their task consistsIwith, for example, their praise for the Heague of 'ations and .ilson and their propaganda in favor of the Kersailles ?eace TreatyI in restraining the workers in their struggle against the arrogance of world capitalism. In the previous period, when social democracy denounced and opposed war, the good faith of its leaders could have been taken for granted, and one could have also thought that their elevation to the highest posts in the government would have signified the political power of the proletariat, since, as representatives of the workers, they had framed legislation for the reali%ation of, or at least the first steps towards socialism. But every worker knows thatIdespite the occasional proclamationIthey now have nothing at all to do with such things. Is it agreed that these gentlemen, once they have satisfied the aims of their greed, have no other desires or goals, that the social democracy was therefore nothing to them but a lot of hot air: ?erhaps to some degree. But there are also other more important reasons which explain their behavior. The social democracy has said that, in the current circumstances, after the terrible economic collapse, it is no longer by any means possible to reali%e socialism. 1nd here we find an important distinction between the positions of communism and social democracy. The social democrats say that socialism is only possible in a society of abundance, of increasing prosperity. The communists say that in such periods capitalism is most secure, because then the masses do not think about revolution. The social democrats say4 first, production must be reestablished, to avoid a total catastrophe and to keep the masses from dying of hunger. The communists say4 now, when the economy has hit rock bottom, is the perfect time to reestablish it upon socialist foundations. The social democrats say that even the most basic recovery of production re2uires the continuation of the old capitalist mode of production, in conformance with which all institutions are structured and thanks to which a devastating class struggle against the bourgeoisie will be avoided. The communists say4 a recovery of the capitalist economic foundations is completely impossible, the world is sinking ever deeper into bankruptcy before our eyes, into a degree of poverty which makes a break with the bourgeoisie necessary, as the bourgeoisie is blocking the only possible road to reconstruction. /o the social democrats want to first reestablish capitalism, avoiding the class struggle, the communists want to build socialism from scratch right now, with the class struggle as their guide. .hat, then, is this all about: The social labor process is the production of all the goods needed for life. But the satisfaction of human needs is not the goal of capitalist production, its goal is surplus value, profit. 1ll capitalist activities are directed towards profit, and only for that purpose are the workers allowed to work in their factories to manufacture goods in their countries, goods which are re2uired to satisfy our needs. 'ow, this whole labor process is paraly%ed and destroyed. ?rofits, of course, are still being made, even enormous profits, but this is taking place via the tortuous detours of capital flight, parasitism, plunder, the black market and speculation. If the regular source of profit is to be reestablished for the bourgeoisie, then production, the labor process, must be restarted. Is this possible: Insofar as it is a 2uestion of labor, of production, this cannot be so difficult. The working class masses are there, ready to work. 1s for food, enough is produced in Germany. 1s for raw materials, such as coal and iron, these are in relatively short supply in comparison to the great mass of highly-skilled industrial workers, but this could easily be compensated for, thanks to trade with the less industriali%ed, but raw materials-rich countries of Eastern Europe. Thus, the recovery of production does not pose a superhuman problem. But capitalist production means that part of the product goes to the capitalist without the capitalist having to work for it. The bourgeois legal order is the means which makes it possible for these capitalists to reap this profit as if it were a natural process, thanks to its property rights. By means of these rights, capital has JclaimsJ to its 00D

profit. The same thing happened before the war. But the war has enormously increased the profit claims of capital. The /tate debt today is numbered almost in the billions, whereas before the war it was ust in the millions. This means that the owners of those titles to public /tate debt expect to receive, without working, all their billions in interest payments from the labor of the whole population, in the form of taxes. 3urthermore, in GermanyOs case one must add to this sum the war indemnities owed to the Entente, which add up to a total sum of 7GG or 9GG billion, more than half the gross national product. This means that, out of the total sum of production, more than half must be paid to the capitalists of the Entente on account of war indemnities. Besides this, there is the German bourgeoisie itself, which wants to extract the greatest possible profit in order to accumulate new capital. /o, what will be left for the workers: The worker, in spite of all of this, needs to live, but it is clear that under these circumstances his upkeep will be reduced to a minimum, while all of capitalOs profits can only be produced thanks to more intensive labor, a longer working day and more refined methods of exploitation. $apitalist production now implies such a high degree of exploitation that it will make life intolerable and almost impossible for the workers. The reestablishment of production is not in itself so very difficult, it re2uires capable and determined organi%ation, as well as the enthusiastic collaboration of the entire proletariat. But the reestablishment of production under such tremendous pressure and under conditions of such systematic exploitation, which only gives the workers the minimum needed to sustain life, is practically impossible. The first attempt to implement such a policy must fail due to the resistance and the refusal of the workers themselves, on the part of those whom it would dispossess of any prospects of meeting their essential life-needs, leading to the gradual destruction of the whole economy. Germany provides an example of such a scenario. 1lready during the war the communists recogni%ed the impossibility of paying the enormous war debt and its interest, and put forth the demand that the war debts and indemnities should be cancelled. But that is not all. /hould the private debts incurred during the war also be cancelled: There is little difference between capital which has been borrowed during the war to build artillery pieces and the stock issues of a factory making armor or artillery shells. In this case one cannot distinguish between the various kinds of capital, nor can one admit the claims of one kind to its profit while re ecting the others. 1ll profits constitute for capital a claim on production, which hinders reconstruction. 3or an economy in such a precarious situation, the tremendous burden of the costs of the war is not the only weight it must bear, all its other claimants must also be entered on the scales. This is why communism, which as a matter of principle re ects all capitalOs claims to profit, is the only practically feasible principle. The economy must be practically rebuilt from scratch, without any regard for capitalOs profit. The re ection of capitalOs right to profit was always, however, an axiom of social democracy as well. 5ow does social democracy approach this problem now: It is fighting for Jsociali%ationJ, that is, for the expropriation of industry by the /tate, and the indemnification of the industrialists. This means that, once moreIand this time even through the mediation of the /tateIpart of the product of labor must be paid to these capitalists for not working. In this way, the exploitation of the workers by capital remains the same as before. Two things were always essential characteristics of socialism4 the elimination of exploitation and the social regulation of production. The first is the most important goal for the proletariat, the second is the most rational method for increasing production, by way of its technical organi%ation. But in the Jsociali%ationJ plans being prepared by social democracy exploitation continues to exist, and the de-privati%ation of industry only leads to /tate capitalism *or /tate socialism+, which turns the capitalist owners into shareholders of the /tate. The Jsociali%ationJ currently sought by the social democrats is therefore a lie for the proletariat, to whom only the external faUade of socialism is displayed, while in fact exploitation is kept alive. The foundation of this position is undoubtedly the fear of a harsh conflict with the bourgeoisie, at a time when the proletariat is growing more confident, but is still not in possession of all the forces re2uired for the revolutionary struggle. In practice, however, what this really amounts to is an attempt to put capitalism back on its feet, upon new foundations. 'aturally, this attempt must fail, since the impoverished economy cannot afford such gifts to capital. The social democrats of both tendencies, then, maintain the exploitation of the workers by capital, one policy leaves capitalism to its own development, the other stimulates and regulates this exploitation through the intermediary of the /tate. Both, for the worker, have ust this one solution4 .ork, work, work hard, with all 00E

your strength; Because the reconstruction of the capitalist economy is only possible if the proletariat exerts itself to satisfy the demands of the most extreme degree of exploitation.

Mass $ction and 4evol&tion

Even before the war the difference between social democracy and communism was already evident, although not under that name. This difference involved the tactics of the struggle. "nder the name of Jleft radicalsJ, an opposition arose at that time within social democracy *from which the predecessors of todayOs communists emerged+, which defended mass action against the JradicalsJ and the revisionists. In this dispute it became clear that the radical spokesmen, especially 8autsky, defended a position opposed to revolutionary action, both theoretically as well as tactically. The parliamentary and trade union struggle had brought the workersIin a vigorously expanding capitalism Isome economic improvements, while simultaneously building a powerful barrier against capitalismOs permanent tendencies towards pauperi%ation of the working class. #ver the last decade, however, this barrier slowly gave way, in spite of the workersO strong and expanding organi%ation4 imperialism reinforced the power of the capitalists and militarism, weakened parliament, put the trade unions on the defensive and began to prepare for the world war. It was clear that the old methods of struggle no longer worked. The masses were instinctively aware of this, in every country they participated in actions which were often opposed by their leaders, launched large-scale trade union struggles, carried out transport strikes which paraly%ed the economy, or took part in political demonstrations. The outbreak of proletarian revolt fre2uently erupted in such a way as to shatter the self-confidence of the bourgeoisie, which was compelled to make concessions, or the movements were often enough 2uenched by means of massacres. The social democratic leaders also tried to use these actions for their own political ob ectives, they acknowledged the usefulness of political strikes for particular goals, but only on condition that they be reduced to pre-arranged limits, on condition that they begin and end when the leaders give the order, and that they always remain subordinated to the tactics determined by the leaders. Thus, it often happens that such strikes take place today, too, but usually without too much success. The tempestuous violence of the elemental uprising of the masses is paraly%ed by a policy of compromise. The element of class action that immediately creates panic in the ruling bourgeoisieIthe fear that the workers movement might take on a revolutionary characterIdisappeared from these JdisciplinedJ mass actions, since every precaution had been taken to ensure their harmlessness. The revolutionary !arxistsItodayOs communistsIthen made an assessment of the limited character of the ideology of the social democratic leadership. They saw that, throughout history, the masses, the classes themselves, had been the motor force of and the impulse behind every action. <evolutions never arose from the prudent decisions of recogni%ed leaders. .hen the circumstances and the situation became intolerable, the masses suddenly rose, overthrew the old authorities, and the new class or a fraction of that class took power and molded the /tate or society in accordance with its needs. It was only during the last @G years of peaceful capitalist development that the illusion emerged and flourished that leaders, as individual sub ects, direct the course of history in accordance with their enlightened intelligence. ?arliamentarians and the staff attached to the /tate executive offices believe that their deeds, actions and decisions determine the course of events, the masses who follow them must only take action when they are called upon to do so, ratifying the words of their spokesmen and then 2uickly disappearing from the political stage. The masses have to play a simple passive role, that of choosing their leaders, and it is the latter that provide the decisive impulse to the course of development.


But if this belief is inade2uate for the understanding of the past revolutions of history, it is yet more inade2uate for understanding the present situation, in the light of the profound difference between the bourgeois revolution and the proletarian revolution. In the bourgeois revolution, the popular masses of workers and petit bourgeoisie only rise once *as in ?aris in 3ebruary of 0C=C+, or intermittently, as in the great 3rench <evolution, in order to overthrow the old royalty or a new power which has gotten out of control such as that of the Girondins. #nce their work was done they gave way to new men, the representatives of the bourgeoisie, who formed a new government, and proceeded to reconfigure and reconstruct the /tate institutions, the constitution and the laws. The power of the proletarian masses was needed to destroy the old regime, but not to construct the new one, because the new regime was the organi%ation of a new class power. It was in accordance with this model that the radical social democrats conceived the proletarian revolution, whichIunlike the reformistsIthey believed to be necessary. 1 great popular uprising must put an end to the old military-absolutist rule and bring the social democrats to power, who would take care of everything else, building socialism by means of new legislation. This is how they conceive of the proletarian revolution. But the proletarian revolution is something completely different. The proletarian revolution is the liberation of the masses from all class power and all exploitation. This means that they must themselves take history into their own hands, in order to make themselves masters of their own labor. /tarting with the old human species, limited to slave labor, which only thinks of itself and sees no further than the walls of its factory, they must create new men, proud, ready to fight, with an independent spirit, suffused with solidarity, not allowing themselves to be deceived by the clever lies of bourgeois theories, regulating the labor process on their own. This change cannot take place as a result of a single revolutionary act, but will re2uire a long process, in which the workers, through necessity and bitter disillusionments, occasional victories and repeated defeats, slowly build up the necessary force to attain the cohesive unity and the maturity for freedom and power. This process of struggle is the proletarian revolution. 5ow long this process will take will vary from country to country and according to the particular circumstances, and will depend above all on the power of resistance of each ruling class. The fact that it took a relatively short period of time in <ussia was due to the fact that the bourgeoisie there was weak and that, thanks to the latterOs alliance with the landed nobility, the peasants were impelled to take the side of the workers. The bourgeoisieOs axis of power is the violence of the /tate, the violent organi%ation of force with all the means at its disposal4 law, school, police, udiciary, army and bureaucracy, which hold in their hands the control over all sectors of public life. The revolution is the struggle of the proletariat against this power apparatus of the ruling class, the proletariat can only win its freedom if it opposes the organi%ation of the enemy with a stronger and more cohesive organi%ation of its own. The bourgeoisie and /tate power try to keep the workers impotent, dispersed and intimidated, in order to interrupt the growth of their unity through violence and lies, and to demorali%e them concerning the power of their own actions. 1gainst these efforts, mass action arises from the ranks of the workers multitudes, action leading to the paralysis and breakdown of /tate organi%ations. 1s long as the latter remain intact, the proletariat is not victorious, because those organi%ations will constantly operate against the proletariat. Therefore, its struggleIif the world does not want to come to an end in capitalismImust finally do away with the /tate machinery, which must be destroyed and rendered harmless by the powerful actions of the proletariat. 8autsky had already opposed this conception before the war. 1ccording to him, the proletariat must not adopt this tactic, which would lead it to destroy the /tate in an outburst of violence, since it would need the /tate apparatus for its own purposes. 1ll the ministries of the existing /tate, once in the power of the proletariat, will continue to be necessary in order to implement the laws passed on behalf of the workers. The goal of the proletariat must not be the destruction of the /tate, but its con2uest. The 2uestion of how to create the organi%ation of the power of the victorious proletariatIwhether it will be a continuation of the bourgeois /tate, as 8autsky believed, or a completely new organi%ationIis thus posed. But the social democratic theories, as they have been formulated and propagandi%ed by 8autsky over the last thirty years, only spoke of economics and capitalism, from which socialism would have to JnecessarilyJ emerge, JhowJ all of this is to happen was never elaborated and thus the 2uestion of the relation between the /tate and revolution was not addressed at the time. It was to find its answer only later. In any event, the opposition between the social democratic and communist theories was already clear in regard to the 2uestion of revolution. 00>

3or the social democrats, the proletarian revolution is a single act, a popular movement that destroys the old power and puts the social democrats in the driverOs seat of the /tate, in the government posts. The downfall of the 5ohen%ollerns in Germany on 'ovember E, 0>0C is in their eyes a pure proletarian revolution, which only achieved victory thanks to the special circumstance that the old compulsion was done away with as a result of the war. 3or the communists, this revolt could only signify the beginning of a proletarian revolution which, by overthrowing the old compulsion, cleared the way for the workers to finish off the old order and construct their class organi%ation. 1s it turned out, the workers allowed themselves to be led by social democracy and helped rebuild the /tateOs power after it had been paraly%ed4 they are still in the midst of an epoch of difficult struggles. 3or 8autsky and his friends, Germany is an authentic social democratic republic where the workers, while not in power, at least collaborate in the governmentI'oske and his apparatus of repression are only esthetic blemishes. They must not, of course, think that they have arrived at socialism ust yet. 8autsky has constantly repeated that, according to the !arxist conception, the social revolution will not take place all at once, but is a long historical process4 capitalism is not yet mature enough for the economic revolution. By this he means to say, among other things, that, although the proletarian revolution has taken place, the proletarians must allow themselves to be exploited as before and a few big industries must only slowly be nationali%ed. #r, to put it in plain English4 instead of the old ministers, the social democrats have occupied the highest positions in the /tate, but capitalism is still the same along with its exploitation. This is the practical meaning of the social democratic claim, according to which, after a proletarian revolutionary uprising, struck at one blow, a much longer process of sociali%ation and of social revolution must be undertaken. 1gainst this conception, communism asserts that the proletarian revolution, the sei%ure of power by the proletariat, is a very slow process of mass struggle, through which the proletariat will rise to power and isolate the /tate machinery. 1t the apex of this struggle, when the workers take power, exploitation will be 2uickly ended, the suppression of all claims to profit without labor will be proclaimed, and the first steps towards the new uridical basis for the reconstruction of the economy as a consciouslyorgani%ed, goal-driven mechanism will be taken.

Democrac( and Parliamentarism

/ocial democratic doctrine never concerned itself with the problem of discovering the political forms its power would assume after having reached its goal. The beginning of the proletarian revolution has provided the practical answer to this 2uestion, thanks to the events themselves. This practice of the first stages of the revolution has enormously increased our ability to understand the essence and the future path of the revolution, it has enormously clarified our intuitions and contributed new perspectives on a matter which was previously vaguely outlined in a distant ha%e. These new intuitions constitute the most important difference between social democracy and communism. If communism, in the points discussed above, signifies faithfulness to and the correct extension of the best social democratic theories, now, thanks to its new perspectives, it rises above the old theories of socialism. In this theory of communism, !arxism undergoes an important extension and enrichment. "p until now, only a few people were aware of the fact that radical social democracy had become so profoundly estranged from !arxOs views in its concept of the /tate and revolutionIwhich, furthermore, no one had even taken the trouble to discuss. 1mong the few exceptions, Henin stands out. #nly the victory of the Bolsheviks in 0>0E, and their dissolution of the 'ational 1ssembly shortly afterwards, showed the socialists of .estern Europe that a new principle was making its debut in <ussia. 1nd in HeninOs book, The /tate and <evolution, which was written in the summer of 0>0EIalthough it only became available in .estern Europe in the following yearIone finds the foundations of the socialist theory of the /tate considered in the light of !arxOs views. 07G

The opposition between social democracy and the socialism we are now considering is often expressed in the slogan, JBemocracy or BictatorshipJ. But the communists also consider their system to be a form of democracy. .hen the social democrats speak of democracy, they are referring to democracy as it is applied in parliamentarism, the communists oppose parliamentary or bourgeois democracy. .hat do they mean by these terms: Bemocracy means popular government, peopleOs self-government. The popular masses themselves must administer their own affairs and determine them. Is this actually the case: The whole world knows the answer is no. The /tate apparatus rules and regulates everything, it governs the people, who are its sub ects. In reality, the /tate apparatus is composed of the mass of officials and military personnel. #f course, in relation to all matters which affect the entire community, officials are necessary for carrying out administrative functions, but in our /tate, the servants of the people have become their masters. /ocial democracy is of the opinion that parliamentary democracy, due to the fact that it is the form of democracy where the people elect their government, is in a positionIif the right people are electedIto make popular self-government a reality. .hat really happens is clearly demonstrated by the experience of the new German republic. There can be no doubt that the masses of workers do not want to see the return of a triumphant capitalism. Even so, while in the elections there was no limitation of democracy, there was no military terrorism, and all the institutions of the reaction were powerless, despite all this the result was the reestablishment of the old oppression and exploitation, the preservation of capitalism. The communists had already warned of this and foresaw that, by way of parliamentary democracy, the liberation of the workers from their exploitation by capital would not be possible. The popular masses express their power in elections. #n election day, the masses are sovereign, they can impose their will by electing their representatives. #n this one day, they are the masters. But woe to them if they do not choose the right representatives; Buring the entire term after the election, they are powerless. #nce elected, the deputies and parliamentarians can decide everything. This democracy is not a government of the people themselves, but a government of parliamentarians, who are almost totally independent of the masses. To make them more responsive to a greater extent one could make proposals, such as, for example, holding new elections every year, or, even more radical, the right of recall *compulsory new elections at the re2uest of a certain number of the eligible voters+, naturally, however, no one is making such proposals. #f course, the parliamentarians cannot do ust as they please, since four years later they will have to run for office again. But during that time they manipulate the masses, accustoming them to such general formulas and such demagogic phrases, in such a way that the masses are rendered absolutely incapable of exercising any kind of critical udgment. Bo the voters, on election day, really choose appropriate representatives, who will carry out in their name the mandates for which they were elected: 'o, they only choose from among various persons previously selected by the political parties who have been made familiar to them in the party newspapers. But let us assume that a large number of people are elected by the masses as the representatives of their true intentions and are sent to parliament. They meet there, but soon reali%e that the parliament does not govern, it only has the mission of passing the laws, but does not implement them. In the bourgeois /tate there is a separation of powers between making and executing the laws. The parliament possesses only the first power, while it is the second power which is really determinate, the real power, that of implementing the laws, is in the hands of the bureaucracy and the departments of the /tate, at whose summit is the government executive as the highest authority. This means that, in the democratic countries, the government personnel, the ministers, are designated by the parliamentary ma ority. In reality, however, they are not elected, they are nominated, behind closed doors with a lot of skullduggery and wheeling and dealing, by the leaders of the parties with a parliamentary ma ority. Even if there were to be an aspect of popular will manifested in the parliament, this would still not hold true in the government. In the personnel staffing the government offices, the popular will is to be found onlyIand there, in a weakened form mixed with other influencesIalongside bureaucratism, which directly rules and dominates the people. But even the ministers are almost powerless against the organi%ations of the bureaucracy, who are nominally subordinate to them. The bureaucracy pulls all the strings and does all the work, not the 070

ministers. It is the bureaucrats who remain in office and are still there when the next batch of elected politicians arrives in office. They rely on the ministers to defend them in parliament and to authori%e funding for them, but if the ministers cross them, they will make life impossible for them. This is the whole meaning of the social democratic concept of the workers being able to take power and overthrow capitalism by means of the normal rule of general suffrage. Bo they really think they can make anyone believe that all of these functionaries, office workers, department administrators, confidential advisors, udges and officials high and low, will be capable of carrying out any sort of change on behalf of the freedom of the proletariat at the behest of the likes of Ebert and /cheidemann, or Bittmann and Hedebour: The bureaucracy, at the highest levels, belongs to the same class as the exploiters of the workers, and in its middle layers as well as in its lowest ranks its members all en oy a secure and privileged position compared to the rest of the population. This is why they feel solidarity with the ruling layers which belong to the bourgeoisie, and are linked to them by a thousand invisible ties of education, family relationships and personal connections. ?erhaps the social democratic leaders have come to believe that, by taking the place of the previous government ministers, they could pave the way to socialism by passing new laws. In reality, however, nothing has changed in the /tate apparatus and the system of power as a result of this change of government personnel. 1nd the fact that these gentlemen do not want to admit that this is indeed the case is proven by the fact that their only concern has been to occupy the government posts, believing that, with this change of personnel, the revolution is over. This is made e2ually clear by the fact that the modern organi%ations created by the proletariat have, under their leadership, a statist character and smell about them, like the /tate but on a smaller scale4 the former servants, now officials, have promoted themselves to masters, they have created a dense bureaucracy, with its own interests, which displaysIin an even more accentuated formIthe character of the bourgeois parliaments at the commanding heights of their respective parties and groups, which only express the impotence of the masses of their memberships. 1re we therefore saying that the use of parliament and the struggle for democracy is a false tactic of social democracy: .e all know that, under the rule of a powerful and still unchallenged capitalism, the parliamentary struggle can be a means of arousing and awakening class consciousness, and has indeed done so, and even Hiebknecht used it that way during the war. But it is for that very reason that the specific character of democratic parliamentarism cannot be ignored. It has calmed the combative spirit of the masses, it has inculcated them with the false belief that they were in control of the situation and s2uelched any thoughts of rebellion which may have arisen among them. It performed invaluable services for capitalism, allowing it to develop peacefully and without turmoil. 'aturally, capitalism had to adopt the especially harmful formula of deceit and demagogy in the parliamentary struggle, in order to fulfill its aim of driving the population to insanity. 1nd now the parliamentary democracy is performing a yet greater service for capitalism, as it is enrolling the workers organi%ations in the effort to save capitalism. $apitalism has been 2uite considerably weakened, materially and morally, during the world war, and will only be able to survive if the workers themselves once again help it to get back on its feet. The social democratic labor leaders are elected as government ministers, because only the authority inherited from their party and the mirage of the promise of socialism could keep the workers pacified, until the old /tate order could be sufficiently reinforced. This is the role and the purpose of democracy, of parliamentary democracy, in this period in which it is not a 2uestion of the advent of socialism, but of its prevention. Bemocracy cannot free the workers, it can only plunge them deeper into slavery, diverting their attention from the genuine path to freedom, it does not facilitate but blocks the revolution, reinforcing the bourgeoisieOs capacity for resistance and making the struggle for socialism a more difficult, costly and time-consuming task for the proletariat.


Proletarian Democrac() or the "o&ncil S(stem

/ocial democracy believed that the con2uest of political power by the proletariat had to take the form of a sei%ure of the power of the /tate apparatus by the workers party. This was why socialism had to leave the /tate apparatus intact, to place it at the service of the working class. !arxists, including 8autsky, also shared this belief. !arx and Engels viewed the /tate as the violent machinery of oppression created by the ruling class and then perfected and further developed during the 0>th century as the proletariatOs revolt grew stronger. !arx thought that the task of the proletariat consisted in the destruction of this /tate apparatus and the creation of completely new administrative organs. 5e was well aware of the fact that the /tate exercises many functions which, at first sight, benefit the general interestIpublic safety, the regulation of trade, education, administrationIbut he also knew that all of these activities were subordinated to the overriding goal of securing the interests of capital, of assuring its power. This is why he never succumbed to the fantasy that this machinery of repression could ever become an organ of popular liberation, while preserving its other functions. The proletariat must provide itself with its own instrument of liberation. It seemed that this instrument could not be identified prior to its actual appearance, only practice could unveil it. This became possible for the first time in the ?aris $ommune of 0CE0, when the proletariat con2uered /tate power. In the $ommune, the citi%ens and workers of ?aris elected a parliament after the old model, but this parliament was immediately transformed into something 2uite unlike our parliament. Its purpose was not to entertain the people with fine words while allowing a small cli2ue of businessmen and capitalists to preserve their private property, the men who met in the new parliament had to publicly regulate and administer everything on behalf of the people. .hat had been a parliamentary corporation was transformed into a corporation of labor, it formed committees which were responsible for framing new legislation. In this manner, the bureaucracy as a special class, independent of and ruling over the people, disappeared, thereby abolishing the separation of legislative and executive powers. Those persons who occupied the highest posts over the people were at the same time elected by and representatives of the people themselves who put them in office, and could at any time be removed from office by their electors. The short life of the ?aris $ommune did not permit a complete development of this new concept, it arose, so to speak, instinctively, within the feverish struggle for existence. It was !arxOs brilliant perspicacity that caused it to be recogni%ed as the embryonic form of the future forms of the /tate power of the proletariat. 1 new and important step was taken in 0>G@ in <ussia, with the establishment of councils, or soviets, as organs of expression of the fighting proletariat. These organs did not con2uer political power, although the /aint ?etersburg central workers council assumed the leadership of the struggle, and exercised considerable power. .hen the new revolution broke out in 0>0E, the soviets were once again constructed, this time as organs of proletarian power. .ith the German 'ovember <evolution the proletariat took political control of the country and provided the second historical example of proletarian /tate power. It was in the <ussian example, however, that the political forms and principles the proletariat needs to achieve socialism were most clearly presented. These are the principles of communism as opposed to those of social democracy. The first principle is that of the dictatorship of the proletariat. !arx repeatedly maintained that the proletariat, immediately after taking power, must establish its dictatorship. By dictatorship he meant workers power to the exclusion of the other classes. This assertion provoked many protests4 ustice prohibits such a dictatorship, which privileges certain groups above others which are denied their rights, and instead re2uires democracy and e2uality before the law for everyone. But this is not at all the case4 each class understands ustice and rights to mean what is good or bad for it, the exploiter complains of in ustice when he is put to work. In other times, when the proud aristocrat or the rich and arrogant bourgeois scornfully looked down with repugnance upon the idea of political e2uality and political rights for the slaves who toiled in the worst, most downtrodden and degrading obs, in those times it was a sign full of meaning for the honor of the men 079

who were beginning to rebel, when in their status as proletarians they rose up against the status 2uo and said4 we have the same rights as you. The democratic principle was the first display of the emergence of the class consciousness of the working class, which did not yet dare to say4 I was nothing, but I want to be everything. If the community of all the workers wants to rule and make all the decisions about public affairs, and to be responsible for everything, then will I have to hear about JnaturalJ or heaven-sent rights from all the criminals, thieves, pickpockets, all those who eat at the expense of their fellow men, the war profiteers, black market speculators, landowners, moneylenders, rentiers, all those who live off the labor of others without doing any work themselves: If it is true that each person has a natural right to participate in politics, it is no less true that the whole world has a natural right to live and not to die from hunger. 1nd, if to assure the latter, the former must be curtailed, then no one should feel that their democratic sensibilities have been violated. $ommunism is not based on any particular abstract right, but on the needs of the social order. The proletariat has the task of organi%ing social production in a socialist manner and regulating labor in a new way. But then it clashes with the powerful resistance of the ruling class. The latter will do everything within its power to prevent or impede the advent of the new order4 this is why the ruling class must be excluded from exercising any political influence whatsoever. If one class wants to go forward, and the other wants to go backward, the car will not leave the station, any attempt at cooperation will bring society to a standstill. Buring the first phase of capitalism, when it needed to fortify its position as a newly-risen class, the bourgeoisie built its dictatorship upon the foundation of property 2ualifications for voter eligibility. Hater it was compelled to change to democracy, granting the appearance of e2ual rights to the workers, which pacified them, but this democratic form did not affect the authentic class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, but only disguised it, even if it gave the growing proletariat the opportunity to assemble and to recogni%e its class interests. 1fter the initial victory of the proletariat, the bourgeoisie retained many means of power, of both a material and a spiritual nature, at its disposal, which will obviously be employed in an effort to impede the progress of the new order, and may be able to paraly%e it, if full political freedom is conceded to the bourgeoisie. It will therefore be necessary to shackle this class with the strongest measures of compulsion, and to mercilessly punish, as a grave crime against the vital interests of the people, any attempt to restrain or to impede the new organi%ation of the economy. It may seem that the exclusion of a particular class always has something of the un ust and arbitrary about it. 3rom the point of view of the parliamentary system, this may be so. But, given the special organi%ation of the proletarian /tate, the council system automatically, so to speak, causes all exploiters and parasites to be self-excluded from participation in the regulation of society. The council system constitutes the second principle of the communist order. In the council system, political organi%ation is built upon the economic process of labor. ?arliamentarism rests upon the individual in his 2uality as a citi%en of the /tate. This had its historical ustification, since bourgeois society was originally composed of producers who were e2ual in respect to one another, each one of whom produced his commodities himself and together formed, through the sum of all their little transactions, the production process as a whole. But in modern society, with its giant industrial complexes and its class antagonisms, this basis is becoming increasingly obsolete. 3rom this point of view, the theoreticians of 3rench syndicalism *Hagardelle, for example+ were correct in their harsh criti2ue of parliamentarism. ?arliamentary theory views each man primarily as a citi%en of the /tate, and as such, individuals thereby come to be abstract entities, all of them e2ual. But in practice, the real, concrete man is a worker. 5is activity is the practical content of his life, and the activities of all men together form the social labor process as a whole. It is neither the /tate nor politics, but society and labor, which constitute the great living community of man. In order to unite men in groups, parliamentary political practice divides the /tate into electoral districts, but the men who are assigned to these districts, workers, landlords, street peddlers, manufacturers, landowners, members of every class and every trade, hapha%ardly lumped together due to the purely accidental fact of their place of residence, can by no means arrive at a communitarian representation of their common interest and will, because they have nothing in common. The natural groups are production groups, the workers of a factory, who take part in the same activity, the peasants in a village, and, on a larger scale, the classes. 07=

It is of course true that certain political parties recruit people principally from certain classes, whom they represent, although incompletely. Belonging to a party is primarily a matter of political convictions rather than oneOs class4 a large part of the proletariat has always sought its political representatives from other parties besides social democracy. The new society makes labor and its organi%ation the conscious focus and foundation of all political life, where JpoliticalJ refers to the outward arrangement of economic life. "nder capitalism, this is expressed in an occult fashion, but in the future society it will take on an open and evident expression. ?eople themselves act directly within their work groups. The workers in a factory elect one of their comrades as a representative of their will, who remains in continual contact with them, and can at any time be replaced by another. The delegates are responsible for decisions concerning everything within their competence and hold meetings whose composition varies according to whether the agenda is about matters relating to a particular profession, or a particular district, and so forth. It is from among these delegates that the central directive bodies arise in each area. .ithin such institutions there is no room for any kind of representation for the bourgeoisie, whoever does not work as a member of a production group is automatically barred from the possibility of being part of the decision-making process, without needing to be excluded by formal voting arrangements. #n the other hand, the former bourgeois who collaborates in the new society according to his abilities, as the manager of a factory, for example, can make his voice heard in the factory assemblies and will have the same decisionmaking power as any other worker. The professions concerned with general cultural functions such as teachers or doctors, form their own councils, which make decisions in their respective fields of education and health in con unction with the representatives of the workers in these fields, which are thus managed and regulated by all. In every domain of society, the means employed is self-management and organi%ation from below, to mobili%e all the forces of the people for the great ob ective, at the summit, these forces of the people are oined together in a central governing body, which guarantees their proper utili%ation. The council system is a state organi%ation without the bureaucracy of permanent officials which makes the /tate an alien power separate from the people. The council system reali%es 3riedrich EngelsO assertion that government over people will give way to administration over things. #fficial posts *which are always necessary for administration+ which are not especially crucial will be accessible to anyone who has undergone an elementary training program. The higher administration is in the hands of elected delegates, sub ect to immediate recall, who are paid the same wage as a worker. It could happen that during the transition period this principle may not be totally and consistently implemented, since the necessary abilities will not be found in every delegate all the time, but when the bourgeois press deliberately goes to grotes2ue lengths in its praise for the abilities of todayOs bureaucratic system, it is worth recalling the fact that, in 'ovember 0>0C, the workers and soldiers councils successfully carried out formidable tasks before which the /tate and military bureaucracies 2uailed. /ince the councils combine the tasks of management and execution, and since the delegates themselves must carry out the decisions they make, there is no place for bureaucrats or career politicians, both of which are deni%ens of the institutions of bourgeois /tate power. The goal of every political party, that is, of every organi%ation of professional politicians, is to be able to take the /tate machinery into its hands, this goal is foreign to the $ommunist ?arty. The purpose of the latter is not the con2uest of power for itself, but to show the goal and the way forward to the fighting proletariat, by means of the dissemination of communist principles, towards the end of establishing the system of workers councils. #n this point, finally, social democracy and communism are opposed with respect to their immediate practical aims4 the first seeks the reorgani%ation of the old bourgeois /tate, the second, a new political system.

Hast updated on4 9.0>.7GGC


EAN O3 STR7::6E 819**9 07@

1'T#' ?1''E8#E8 http4VVkuras e.tripod.comVindex.html The assessment of the burning of the <eichtag in the left communist press once again leads us to raise other 2uestions. $an destruction be a means of struggle for workers : 3irst of all, it must be said that no one will cry over the disappearance of the <eichtag. It was one of the ugliest buildings in modern Germany, a pompous image of the Empire of 0CE0. But there are other more beautiful buildings, and museums filled with artistic treasures. .hen a desperate proletarian destroys something precious in order to take vengeance for capitalist domination, how should we assess this : 3rom a revolutionary point of view, his gesture appears valueless and from different points of view one could speak of a negative gesture. The bourgeoisie is not the least bit touched by it since it has already continually destroyed so many things where it was a matter of its profits, and it places money-value above all else. /uch a gesture especially touches the more limited social strata of artists, amateurs of beautiful things, the best of whom often have anti-capitalist feelings, and some of whom * like .illiam !orris and 5erman Gorter + fought at the side of the workers. But in any case, is there any reason to take vengeance on the bourgeoisie : Boes the bourgeoisie have the task of bringing socialism instead of capitalism : It is its role to maintain all the forces of capitalism in place, the destruction of all that is the task of proletarians. It follows that if anybody can be held responsible for the maintenance of capitalism, it is as much the working class itself which has neglected the struggle too much. Hastly, from whom does one remove something by its destruction : 3rom the victorious proletarians who one day will be masters of all of it. #f course, all revolutionary class struggle, when it takes the form of civil war, will always provoke destruction. In any war it is necessary to destroy the points of support of the enemy. Even if the winner tries to avoid too much destruction, the loser will be tempted to cause useless destruction through pure spite. It is to be expected that towards the end of the fight the decadent bourgeoisie destroys a great deal. #n the other hand, for the working class, the class which will slowly take over, destruction will no longer be a means of struggle. #n the contrary it will try to pass on a world as rich and intact as possible to its descendents, to future humanity. This is not only the case for the technical means which it can improve and perfect, but especially for the monuments and memories of past generations which cannot be rebuilt. #ne might ob ect that a new humanity, the bearers of an une2ualled liberty and fraternity, will create things much more beautiful and imposing than those of past centuries. 1nd moreover that newly liberated humanity will wish to cause the remainders of the past, which represented its former state of slavery, to disappear. This is also what the revolutionary bourgeoisie did - or tried to do. 3or them, all of past history was nothing but the darkness of ignorance and slavery, whereas the revolution was dedicated to reason, knowledge, virtue and freedom. The proletariat, by contrast, considers the history of its forebears 2uite differently. #n the basis of marxism which sees the development of society as a succession of forms of production, it sees a long and hard annexation of humanity on the basis of the development of labour, of tools and of forms of labour towards an ever increasing productivity, first through simple primitive society, then through class societies with their class struggle, until the moment when through communism man becomes the master of his own fate. 1nd in each period of development, the proletariat finds characteristics which are related to its own nature. In barbarian prehistory 4 the sentiments of fraternity and the morality of solidarity of primitive communism. In petty-bourgeois manual work 4 the love of work which was expressed in the beauty of the buildings and the utensils for everyday use which their descendants regard as incomparable masterworks. In the ascendant bourgeoisie 4 the proud feeling of liberty which proclaimed the rights of man and was expressed in the greatest works of world literature. In capitalism 4 the knowledge of nature, the priceless development of natural science which allowed man, through technology, to dominate nature and its own fate. In the work of all of these periods, these imposing character traits were more or less closely allied to cruelty, superstition and selfishness. It is exactly these vices which we fight, which are an obstacle to us and which we therefore hate. #ur conception of history teaches us that these imperfections must be understood as natural stages of growth, as the expression of a struggle for life by men not yet fully human, in an all powerful nature and in a society of which the understanding escaped them. 3or liberated humanity the imposing things which they created in spite of everything will remain a symbol of their weakness, but also a memorial of their strength, and worthy of being carefully preserved. Today, it is 07D

the bourgeoisie which possesses all of it, but for us it is the property of the collectivity which we will set free to hand on to future generations as intact as possible.

Anton Pannekoek 19*+

T#e t#eo!$ o( t#e colla2se o( ca2italism

The idea that capitalism was in a final, its mortal, crisis dominated the first years after the <ussian revolution. .hen the revolutionary workers6 movement in .estern Europe abated, the Third International gave up this theory, but it was maintained by the opposition movement, the 81?B, which adopted the theory of the mortal crisis of capitalism as the distinguishing feature between the revolutionary and reformist points of view. The 2uestion of the necessity and the inevitability of the collapse of capitalism, and the way in which this is to be understood, is the most important of all 2uestions for the working class and its understanding and tactics. <osa Huxemburg had already dealt with it in 0>07 in her book The Accumulation of Capital, where she came to the conclusion that in a pure, closed capitalist system the surplus value needed for accumulation could not be realised and that therefore the constant expansion of capitalism through the trade with non-capitalist countries was necessary. This means that capitalism would collapse, that it would not be able to continue to exist any longer as an economic system, when this expansion was no longer possible. It is this theory, which was challenged as soon as the book was published from different sides, which the 81?B has often referred to. 1 2uite different theory was developed in 0>7> by 5enryk Grossmann in his work 0as Akkumulations und 1usammenbruchsgeset# des ;apitalistischen !$stems *The Haw of 1ccumulation and $ollapse of the $apitalist /ystem+. Grossman here deduces that capitalism must collapse for purely economic reasons in the sense that, independently of human intervention, revolutions, etc., it would be impossible for it to continue to exist as an economic system. The severe and lasting crisis which began in 0>9G has certainly prepared people6s minds for such a theory of mortal crisis. The recently published manifesto of the >nited Workers of America makes Grossman6s theory the theoretical basis for a new direction for the workers6 movement. It is therefore necessary to examine it critically. But to do this a preliminary explanation of !arx6s position on this 2uestion and the past discussions connected with it cannot be avoided. a!" and Rosa 6&"em/&!g In the second part of Capital !arx dealt with the general conditions of capitalist production as a whole. In the abstract case of pure capitalist production all production is carried on for the market, all products are bought and sold as commodities. The value of the means of production is passed on to the product and a new value is added by labour. This new value is broken down into two parts4 the value of the labour power, which is paid as wages and used by the workers to buy means of subsistence, and the remainder, the surplus value, which goes to the capitalist. .here the surplus value is used for means of subsistence and luxury goods then there is simple reproduction, where a part of it is accumulated as new capital there is reproduction on an extended scale. 3or the capitalists to find on the market the means of production they need and for the workers to likewise find the means of subsistence they need, a given proportion must exist between the various branches of production. 1 mathematician would easily express this in algebraic formulae. !arx gives instead numerical examples to express these proportions, making up cases with selected figures, to serve as illustrations. 5e distinguishes two spheres, two main departments of production4 the means of production department *I+ and the means of consumption department *II+. In each of these departments a given value of the means of production used is transferred to the product without undergoing any change *constant capital, c+, a given part of the newly added value is used to pay for labour-power *variable capital, v+, the other part being the surplus value *s+. If it is assumed for the numerical example that the constant capital is four times greater than the variable capital *a figure which rises with technical progress+ and that the surplus value is e2ual to 07E

the variable capital *this ratio is determined by the rate of exploitation+, then, in the case of simple reproduction, the following figures satisfy these conditions4 I II =GGGc W 0GGGv W 0GGGs X 7GGGc W @GGv W @GGs X DGGG *product+ 9GGG *product+

Each of these lines satisfies the conditions. /ince vWs, which are used as means of consumption, are together e2ual to a half of c, the value of the means of production, Bepartment II must produce a value e2ual to a half the value produced in Bepartment I. Then the exact proportion is found4 the means of production produced *DGGG+ are ust the amount needed for the next turnover period4 =GGGc for Bepartment I and 7GGGc for Bepartment II, and the means of subsistence produced in Bepartment II *9GGG+ are exactly what must be supplied for the workers *0GGGW@GG+ and the capitalists *0GGGW@GG+. To illustrate in a similar way the case of capital accumulation the part of surplus value going to accumulation must be indicated, this part is added to the capital in the following year *for reasons of simplicity a production period of a year is assumed each time+ so that a larger capital is then employed in each department. .e will assume in our example that half the surplus value is accumulated *and so used for new c and new v+ and that the other half is consumed *consumption, k+. The calculation of the proportion between Bepartment I and Bepartment II becomes a little more complicated but can of course still be found. It turns out that, on the assumptions given, this proportion is 00 4 =, as is shown in the following figures4 I II ==GGc W 00GGv W 00GGs 0DGGc W =GGv W =GGs *X @@Gk W @@Gacc *X ==Gc W 00Gv++ X DDGG *X 7GGk W 7GGacc *X 0DGc W =Gv++ X 7=GG

The capitalists need ==GGW0DGG for the renewal and ==GW0DG for the extension of their means of production, and in fact they find DDGG means of production on the market. The capitalists need @@GW7GG for their consumption, the original workers need 00GGW=GG and the newly engaged workers 00GW=G as means of subsistence, which together is e2ual to the 7=GG in fact produced as means of subsistence. In the following year all the figures are increased by 0G per cent4 I II =C=Gc W 070Gv W 070Gs 0EDGc W ==Gv W ==Gs *X DG@k W =C=c W 070v+ X E7DG *X 77Gk W 0EDc W ==v+ X 7D=G

?roduction can thus continue increasing each year in the same proportion. This is of course a grossly oversimplified example. It could be made more complicated, and thus nearer to reality, if it is assumed that there are different compositions of capital *the ratio c4v+ in the two departments, or different rates of accumulation or if the ratio c4v is made to grow gradually, so changing the proportion between Bepartment I and Bepartment II each year. In all these cases the calculation becomes more complicated, but it can always be done, since an unknown figure I the proportion of Bepartment I to Bepartment II I can always be calculated to satisfy the condition that demand and supply coincide. Examples of this can be found in the literature. In the real world, of course, complete e2uilibrium over a period is never found, commodities are sold for money and money is only used later to buy something else so that hoards are formed which act as a buffer and a reserve. 1nd commodities remain unsold, and there is trade with non-capitalist areas. But the essential, important point is seen clearly from these reproduction schemes4 for production to expand and steadily progress given proportions must exist between the productive sectors, in practice these proportions are approximately realised, they depend on the following factors4 the organic composition of capital, the rate of exploitation, and the proportion of surplus value which is accumulated. !arx did not have the chance to provide a carefully prepared presentation of these examples *see Engels6 introduction to the second volume of Capital+. This is no doubt why <osa Huxemburg believed that she had discovered an omission here, a problem which !arx had overlooked and so left unsolved and whose solution she had worked out in her book The Accumulation of Capital *0>07+. The problem which seemed to have been left open was who was to buy from each other more and more means of production and means of 07C

subsistence this would be a pointless circular movement from which nothing would result. The solution would lie in the appearance of buyers situated outside capitalism, foreign overseas markets whose con2uest would therefore be a vital 2uestion for capitalism. This would be the economic basis of imperialism. But from what we have said before it is clear that <osa Huxemburg has herself made a mistake here. In the schema used as the example it can be clearly seen that all the products are sold within capitalism itself. 'ot only the part of the value transmitted *==GGW0DGG+ but also the ==GW0DG which contain the surplus value accumulated are brought, in the physical form of means of production, by the capitalists who wish to start the following year with in total DDGG means of production. In the same way, the 00GW=G from surplus value is in fact bought by the additional workers. 'or is it pointless4 to produce, to sell products to each other, to consume, to produce more is the whole essence of capitalism and so of men6s life in this mode of production. There is no unsolved problem here which !arx overlooked. Rosa 6&"em/&!g and Otto ;a&e! /oon after <osa Huxemburg6s book was published it was criticised from different sides. Thus #tto Bauer wrote a criticism in an article in the Neue 1eit *E-0= !arch 0>09+. 1s in all the other criticisms Bauer showed that production and sales do correspond. But his criticism had the special feature that it linked accumulation to population growth. #tto Bauer first assumes a socialist society in which the population grows each year by five per cent, the production of means of subsistence must therefore grow in the same proportion and the means of production must increase, because of technical progress, at a faster rate. The same has to happen under capitalism but here this expansion does not take place through planned regulation, but through the accumulation of capital. #tto Bauer provides as a numerical example a schema which satisfies these conditions in the simplest way4 an annual growth of variable capital of five per cent and of constant capital of ten per cent and a rate of exploitation of 0GG per cent *s X v+. These conditions themselves determine the share of surplus value which is consumed and the share which must be accumulated in order to produce the posited growth of capital. 'o difficult calculations are needed to draw up a schema which produces the exact growth from year to year4 Fear 0 7GG,GGGc W 0GG,GGGv W 0GG,GGGs *X 7G,GGGc W @,GGGv W E@,GGGk+ Fear 7 77G,GGGc W 0G@,GGGc W 0G@,GGGs *X 77,GGGc W @,7@Gv W EE,E@Gk+ Fear 9 7=7,GGGc W 00G,7@Gv W 00G,7@Gs *X 7=,7GGc W @,@07v W CG,@9Ck+ Bauer continues his schema for four years and also calculates the separate figures for Bepartments I and II. This was sufficient for the purpose of showing that no problem in <osa Huxemburg6s sense existed. But the character of this criticism was itself bound to call forth criticism. Its basic idea is well brought out by Bauer6s introduction of population growth in a socialist society. $apitalism thereby appears as an unplanned socialism, as a wild and kicking foal that has not yet been broken in and which only needs to be tamed by the hands of the socialist trainer. 1ccumulation here serves only to enlarge production as re2uired by population growth, ust as capitalism has the general function of providing mankind with means of subsistence, but, because of the lack of planning, both these functions are carried out badly and erratically, sometimes providing too much, sometimes too little, and causing catastrophes. 1 gentle growth of population of @ per cent a year might well suit a socialist society in which all mankind was neatly lined up. But for capitalism, as it is and was, this is an inappropriate example. $apitalism6s whole history has been a rush forward, a violent expansion far beyond the limits of population growth. The driving force has been the urge to accumulation, the greatest possible amount of surplus value has been invested as new capital and, to set it in motion, more and more sections of the population have been drawn into the process. There was even, and there still is, a large surplus of workers who remain outside or half outside as a reserve, kept ready to serve the need to set in motion the accumulated capital, being drawn in or re ected as re2uired by this need. This essential and basic feature of capitalism was completely ignored in Bauer6s analysis. It was obvious that <osa Huxemburg would take this as the target for her anti-criti2ue. In answer to the proof that there was no problem of omission in !arx6s schemas, she could bring forward nothing much else than the scoffing declaration that everything can be made to work beautifully in artificial examples. But making population growth the regulator of accumulation was so contrary to the spirit of !arxian teaching that the 07>

sub-title of her anti-criti2ue &.hat the Epigones have done to !arxian Theory) was this time 2uite suitable. It was not a 2uestion here *as it was in <osa Huxemburg6s own case+ of a simple scientific mistake, Bauer6s mistake reflected the practical political point of view of the /ocial Bemocrats of that time. They felt themselves to be the future statesmen who would take over from the current ruling politicians and carry through the organisation of production, they therefore did not see capitalism as the complete opposite to the proletarian dictatorship to be established by revolution, but rather as a mode of producing means of subsistence that could be improved and had not yet been brought under control. :!ossman<s !e2!od&ction sc#ema 5enryk Grossman linked his reproduction schema to that set out by #tto Bauer. 5e noticed that it is not possible to continue it indefinitely without it in time coming up against contradictions. This is very easy to see. #tto Bauer assumes a constant capital of 7GG,GGG which grows each year by 0G per cent and a variable capital of 0GG,GGG which grows each year by @ per cent, with the rate of surplus value being assumed to be 0GG per cent, i.e., the surplus value each year is e2ual to the variable capital. In accordance with the laws of mathematics, a sum which increases each year by 0G per cent doubles itself after E years, 2uadruples itself after 0= years, increases ten times after 79 years and a hundred times after =D years. Thus the variable capital and the surplus value which in the first year were each e2ual to half the constant capital are after =D years only e2ual to a twentieth of a constant capital which has grown enormously over the same period. The surplus value is therefore far from enough to ensure the 0G per cent annual growth of constant capital. This does not result ust from the rates of growth of 0G and @ percent chosen by Bauer. 3or in fact under capitalism surplus value increases less rapidly than capital. It is a well-known fact that, because of this, the rate of profit must continually fall with the development of capitalism. !arx devoted many chapters to this fall in the rate of profit. If the rate of profit falls to @ per cent the capital can no longer be increased by 0G per cent, for the increase in capital out of accumulated surplus value is necessarily smaller than the surplus value itself. The rate of accumulation evidently thus has the rate of profit as its higher limit *see !arx, Capital, Kolume III, p. 79D, where it is stated that &the rate of accumulation falls with the rate of profit)+. The use of a fixed figure I 0G per cent I which was acceptable for a period of a few years as in Bauer, becomes unacceptable when the reproduction schema are continued over a long period. Fet Grossman, unconcerned, continues Bauer6s schema year by year and believes that he is thereby reproducing real capitalism. 5e then finds the following figures for constant and variable capital, surplus value, the necessary accumulation and the amount remaining for the consumption of the capitalists *the figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand+4 c 7GG 0777 90EG =D=0 @0GD v 0GG 7@9 =07 @GG @7@ s 0GG 7@9 =07 @GG @7@ accumulation 7GW @X 7@ 077W09X09@ 90EW70X99C =D=W7@X=C> @0GW7DX@9D k E@ 00C E= 00 -00

$ommencement 1fter 7G years 1fter 9G years 1fter 9= years 1fter 9@ years

1fter 70 years the share of surplus value remaining for consumption begins to diminish, in the 9=th it almost disappears and in the 9@th it is even negative, the /hylock of constant capital pitilessly demands its pound of flesh, it wants to grow at 0G per cent, while the poor capitalists go hungry and keep nothing for their own consumption.
&3rom the 9@th year therefore accumulation I on the basis of the existing technical progress I cannot keep up with the pace of population growth. 1ccumulation would be too small and there ,ould necessaril$ arise a reser%e arm$ which would have to grow each year) *Grossmann, p. 07D+.

In such circumstances the capitalists do not think of continuing production. #r if they do, they don6t do so, for, in view of the deficit of 00 in capital accumulation they would have to reduce production. *In fact they would have had to have done so before in view of their consumption expenses+. 1 part of the workers therefore become unemployed, then a part of the capital becomes unused and the surplus value produced 09G

decreases, the mass of surplus value falls and a still greater deficit appears in accumulation, with a still greater increase in unemployment. This, then, is the economic collapse of capitalism. $apitalism becomes economically impossible. Thus does Grossmann solve the problem which he had set on page E>4
&5ow, in what way, can accumulation lead to the collapse of capitalism:)

5ere we find presented what in the older !arxist literature was always treated as a stupid misunderstanding of opponents, for which the name Lthe big crash6 was current. .ithout there being a revolutionary class to overcome and dispossess the bourgeoisie, the end of capitalism comes for purely economic reasons, the machine no longer works, it clogs up, production has become impossible. In Grossmann6s words4
&...with the progress of capital accumulation the whole mechanism, despite periodic interruptions, necessarily approaches nearer and nearer to its end....The tendency to collapse then wins the upper hand and makes itself felt absolutely as Lthe final crisisO) *p. 0=G+.

and, in a later passage4

&...from our analysis it is clear that, although on our assumptions ob ectively necessary and although the moment when it will occur can be precisely calculated, the collapse of capitalism need not therefore result automatically by itself at the awaited moment and therefore need not be waited for purely passively) *p. DG0+.

In this passage, where it might be thought for a moment that it is going to be a 2uestion of the active role of the proletariat as agent of the revolution, Grossmann has in mind only changes in wages and working time which upset the numerical assumptions and the results of the calculation. It is in this sense that he continues4
&It thus appears that the idea of a necessary collapse for ob ective reasons is not at all in contradiction to the class struggle, that, on the contrary, the collapse, despite its ob ectively given necessity, can be widely influenced by the living forces of classes in struggle and leaves a certain margin of play for the active intervention of classes. It is for this precise reason that in !arx the whole analysis of the process of reproduction leads to the class struggle) *p.DG7+.

The &it is for this precise reason) is rich, as if the class struggle meant for !arx only the struggle over wage claims and hours of work. Het us consider a little closer the basis of this collapse. #n what is the necessary growth of constant capital by 0G per cent each time based: In the 2uotation given above it was stated that technical progress *the rate of population growth being given+ prescribes a given annual growth of constant capital. /o it could then be said, without the detour of the production schema4 when the rate of profit becomes less than the rate of growth demanded by technical progress then capitalism must break down. Heaving aside the fact that this has nothing to do with !arx, what is this growth of capital demanded by technology: Technical improvements are introduced, in the context of mutual competition, in order to obtain an extra profit *relative surplus value+, the introduction of technical improvements is however limited by the financial resources available. 1nd everybody knows that do%ens of inventions and technical improvements are not introduced and are often deliberately suppressed by the entrepreneurs so as not to devalue the existing technical apparatus. The necessity of technical progress does not act as an external force, it works through men, and for them necessity is not valid beyond possibility. But let us admit that this is correct and that, as a result of technical progress, constant capital has to have a varying proportion, as in the schema4 in the 9Gth year 90EG4=07, in the 9=th year =D=04@GG, in the 9@th year @0GD4@7@, and in the 9Dth, @D0D4@@0. In the 9@th year the surplus value is only @7@,GGG and is not enough for @0G,GGG to be added to constant capital and 7D,GGG to variable capital. Grossmann lets the constant capital grow by @0G,GGG and retains only 0@,GGG as the increase in variable capital I 00,GGG too little; 5e says of this4
&00,@G> workers *out of @@0,GGG+ remain unemployed, the reserve army begins to form. 1nd because the whole of the working population does not enter the process of production, the whole amount of extra constant capital *@0G,@D9+ is not needed for the purchase of means of production. If a population of @@0,@C= uses a constant capital of @,D0D,7GG, then a population of @=G,GE@ would use a constant capital of only @,=>>,G0@. There, therefore, remains an e6cess capital of 00E,0C@ without an investment outlet. Thus the schema shows a perfect example of the situation !arx had in mind when he gave the corresponding part of the third volume of Capital the title LExcess $apital and Excess ?opulation6 *p. 00D+).


Grossmann has clearly not noticed that these 00,GGG become unemployed only because, in a complete arbitrary fashion and without giving any reason, he makes the variable capital bear the whole deficit, while letting the constant capital calmly grow by 0G percent as if nothing was wrong, but when he realises that there are no workers for all these machines, or more correctly that there is no money to pay their wages, he prefers not to install them and so has to let the capital lie unused. It is only through this mistake that he arrives at a &perfect example) of a phenomenon which appears during ordinary capitalist crises. In fact the entrepreneurs can only expand their production to the extent that their capital is enough for both machinery and wages combined. If the total surplus value is too small, this will be divided, in accordance with the assumed technical constraint, proportionately between the elements of capital, the calculation shows that of the @7@,90> surplus value, @GG,=G> must be added to constant capital and 7=,>0G to variable capital in order to arrive at the correct proportion corresponding to technical progress. 'ot 00,GGG but 0,97D workers are set free and there is no 2uestion of excess capital. If the schemes is continued in this correct way, instead of a catastrophic eruption there is an extremely slow increase in the number of workers laid off. But how can someone attribute this alleged collapse to !arx and produce, chapter after chapter, do%ens of 2uotations from !arx: 1ll these 2uotations in fact relate to economic crises, to the alternating cycle of prosperity and depression. .hile the schema has to serve to show a predetermined final economic collapse after 9@ years, we read two pages further on of &the !arxian theory of the economic cycle expounded here) *p. 079+. Grossmann is only able to give the impression that he is presenting a theory of !arx6s by continually scattering in this way throughout his own statements comments which !arx made on periodic crises. But nothing at all is to be found in !arx about a final collapse in line with Grossmann6s schema. It is true that Grossmann 2uotes a couple of passages which do not deal with crises. Thus he writes on page 7D94
&It appears that Lcapitalist production meets in the development of its productive forces a barrier...6 *!arx, Capital, Kol. III, p. 79E+).

But if we open Kolume III of Capital at page 79E we read there4

&But the main thing about their Mi.e., <icardo and other economistsN horror of the falling rate of profit is the feeling that capitalist production meets in the development of its productive forces a barrier... &

which is something 2uite different. 1nd on page E> Grossmann gives this 2uotation from !arx as proof that even the word &collapse) comes from !arx4
&This process would soon bring about the collapse of capitalist production if it were not for counteracting tendencies, which have continuous decentralising effect alongside the centripetal one *Capital, Kol. II, p. 7=0+).

1s Grossmann correctly emphasises, these counteracting tendencies refer to &soon) so that ,ith them the process only takes place more slowly. But was !arx talking here of a purely economic collapse: Het us read the passage which precedes in !arx4
&It is this same severance of the conditions of production, on the one hand, from the producers, on the other, that forms the conception of capital. It begins with primitive accumulation, appears as a permanent process in the accumulation and concentration of capital, and expresses itself finally as centralisation of existing capitals in a few hands and a deprivation of many of their capital *to which expropriation is now changed+).

It is clear that the collapse which thus results is, as so often in !arx, the ending of capitalism by socialism. /o there is nothing in the 2uotations from !arx4 a final economic catastrophe can be as little read from them as it can be concluded from the reproduction schema. But can the schema serve to analyse and explain periodic crises: Grossmann seeks to oin the two together4 &The !arxian theory of collapse is at the same time a theory of crises) I so reads the beginning of $hapter C *p. 09E+. But as proof he only provides a diagram *p. 0=0+ in which a steeply rising Laccumulation line6 is divided after 9@ years, but here a crisis occurs every @ or E years when in the schema everything is going smoothly. If a more rapid collapse is desired it would be obtained if the annual rate of growth of constant capital was not 0G per cent but much greater. In the ascendant period of the economic cycle there is in fact a much more rapid growth of capital, 097

the volume of production increases by leaps and bounds, but this growth has nothing at all to do with technical progress. Indeed, in these periods variable capital too increases rapidly by leaps. But why there must be a collapse after @ or E years remains obscure. In other words, the real causes which produce the rapid rise and then the collapse of economic activity are of a 2uite different nature from what is set out in Grossmann6s reproduction schema. !arx speaks of over-accumulation precipitating a crisis, of there being too much accumulated surplus value which is not invested and which depresses profits. But Grossmann6s collapse comes about through there being too little accumulated surplus value. The simultaneous surplus of unused capital and unemployed workers is a typical feature of crises, Grossmann6s schema leads to a lack of sufficient capital, which he can only transform into a surplus by committing the mistake mentioned above. /o Grossmann6s schema cannot demonstrate a final collapse, nor does it correspond to the real phenomena of collapse, crises. It can also be added that his schema, in conformity with its origin, suffers from the same defect as Bauer6s4 the real, impetuous pushing forward of capitalism over the world which brings more and more peoples under its domination is here represented by a calm and regular population growth of @ per cent a year, as if capitalism was confined in a closed national economy. :!ossman %e!s&s a!"

Grossmann prides himself for having for the first time correctly reconstructed !arx6s theory in the face of the distortions of the /ocial Bemocrats.
&#ne of these new additions to knowledge)

*he proudly says at the beginning of the introduction+,

&is the theory of collapse, set out below, which represents the portal column of !arx6s system of economic though).

.e have seen how little what Grossmann considers to be a theory of collapse has to do with !arx. 'evertheless, on his own personal interpretation, he could well believe himself to be in agreement with !arx. But there are other points where this does not hold. Because he sees his schema as a correct representation of capitalist development, Grossman deduces from it in various places explanations which, as he himself had partly noticed, contradict the views developed in Capital. This is so, first of all, for the industrial reserve army. 1ccording to Grossmann6s schema, from the 9@th year a certain number of workers become unemployed and a reserve army forms.
&The formation of the reserve army, vi%., the laying off of workers, which we are discussing, must be rigorously distinguished from the laying off of workers due to machines. The elimination of workers by machines which !arx describes in the empirical part of the first volume of Capital *$hapter 09+ is a technical fact . . . *pp. 07C->+ . . . but the laying off of workers, the formation of the reserve army, which !arx speaks of in the chapter on the accumulation of capital *$hapter 79 + is not caused I as has been completely ignored until now in the literature I by the technical fact of the introduction of machines, but by the lack of in%estment opportunities...*p. 09G+).

This amounts basically to saying4 if the sparrows fly away, it is not because of the gunshot but because of their timidity. The workers are eliminated by machines, the expansion of production allows them in part to find work again, in this coming and going some of them are passed by or remain outside. !ust the fact that they have not yet been re-engaged be regarded as the cause of their unemployment: If $hapter 79 of Capital Kol. I is read, it is always elimination by machines that is treated as the cause of the reserve army, which is partially reabsorbed or released anew and reproduces itself as overpopulation, according to the economic situation. Grossmann worries himself for several pages over the proof that it is the economic relation c4v that operates here, and not the technical relation means of production4labour power, in fact the two are identical. But this formation of the reserve army, which according to !arx occurs everywhere and always from the commencement of capitalism, and in which workers are replaced by machines, is not identical to the alleged 099

formation of the reserve army according to Grossmann, which starts as a conse2uence of accumulation after 9= years of technical progress. It is the same with the export of capital. In long explanations all the !arxist writers I Karga, Bukharin, 'achimson, 5ilferding, #tto Bauer, <osa Huxemburg I are one after the other demolished because they all state the view that the export of capital takes place for a higher profit. 1s Karga says4
&It is not because it is absolutely impossible to accumulate capital at home that capital is exported....but because there exists the prospect of a higher profit abroad) *2uoted by Grossmann, p. =>C+.

Grossmann attacks this view as incorrect and un-!arxist4

&It is not the higher profit abroad, but the lack of investment opportunities at home that is the ultimate reason for the export of capital) *p. @D0+.

5e then introduces numerous 2uotations from !arx about overaccumulation and refers to his schema, in which after 9@ years the growing mass of capital can no longer be employed at home and so must be exported. Het us recall that according to the schema, however, there was too little capital in existence for the existing population and that his capital surplus was only an error of calculation. 3urther, in all the 2uotations from !arx, Grossmann has forgotten to cite the one where !arx himself speaks of the export of capital4
&If capital is sent abroad, this is not done because it absolutely could not be applied at home, but because it can be employed at a higher rate of profit in a foreign country) *Kol. III, p. 7@0+.

The fall in the rate of profit is one of the most important parts of !arx6s theory of capital, he was the first to state and prove that this tendency to fall, which expresses itself periodically in crises, was the embodiment of the transitory nature of capitalism. .ith Grossmann it is another phenomenon which comes to the fore4 after the 9@th year workers are laid off en masse and capital is at the same time created in excess. 1s a result the deficit of surplus value in the following year is more serious, so that yet more labour and capital are left idle, with the fall in the number of workers, the mass of surplus value produced decreases and capitalism sinks still deeper into catastrophe. 5as not Grossmann seen the contradiction here with !arx: Indeed he has. Thus, after some introductory remarks, he sets to work in the chapter entitled &The $auses of the !isunderstanding of the !arxian Theory of 1ccumulation and $ollapseJ4
&The time is not ripe for a reconstruction of the !arxian theory of collapse *p. 0>@+. The fact that the third chapter of Kolume III is, as Engels says in the preface, presented, &as a series of uncompleted mathematical calculations) must be given as an external reason for the misunderstanding).

Engels was helped in his editing by his friend, the mathematician /amuel !oore4
&But !oore was not an economist....The mode of origin of this part of the work therefore makes it probable even in advance that many opportunities for misunderstanding and error exist here and that these errors could then easily have been carried over also into the chapter dealing with the tendency of the rate of profit to fall...)

*'B4 these chapters had already been written by !arx;+

&The probability of error becomes almost certain when we consider that it is a 2uestion here of a single word which, unfortunately, completely distorts the whole sense of the analysis4 the inevitable end of capitalism is attributed to the relative fall in the rate instead of in the mass of profit. Engels or !oore had certainly made a slip of the pen *p. 0>@+).

/o this is what the reconstruction of !arx6s theory looks like; 1nother 2uotation is given in a note which says4
&In the words in brackets. Engels or !arx himself made a slip of the pen, it should read correctly and at the same time a mass of profit which falls in relative value). MTranslator6s note4 Grossmann refers to the passage on p. 70= of Kol. III which reads4 &5ence, the same laws produce for the social capital a growing absolute mass of profit, and a falling rate of profitJN.


/o now it is !arx himself who makes mistakes. 1nd here it concerns a passage where the sense, as given in the text of Capital, is unambiguously clear. !arx6s whole analysis, which ends with the passage Grossmann finds necessary to change, is a continuation of a passage where !arx explains4
&...the mass of the surplus value produced by it, and therefore the absolute mass of the profit produced by it, can, conse2uently, increase, and increase progressively, in spite of the progressive drop in the rate of profit. 1nd this not only can be so. 1side from temporary fluctuations it must be so, on the basis of capitalist production) *Kol. III, p. 709.

!arx then sets out the reasons why the mass of profit must increase and says once again4
&1s the process of production and accumulation advances therefore, the mass of available and appropriated surplus labour, and hence the absolute mass of profit appropriated by the social capital must grow) *Kol. III, p. 70=+.

Thus the exact opposite to the onset of the collapse invented by Grossmann. In the following pages this is repeated yet more often, the whole of $hapter 09 consists of a presentation of
&the law that a fall in the rate of profit due to the development of productiveness is accompanied by an increase in the mass of profit...) *Kol. III, p. 770+.

/o there can remain not the slightest doubt that !arx wanted to say precisely what was printed there and that he had not made a slip of the pen. 1nd when Grossmann writes4
&The collapse cannot therefore result from the fall in the rate of profit. 5ow could a percentage proportion, such as the rate of profit, a pure number, bring about the collapse of a real economic system;) *p. 0>D+.

he thereby shows yet again that he has understood nothing of !arx and that his collapse is in complete contradiction with !arx. 5ere is the point at which he could have convinced himself of the instability of his construction. But if he had allowed himself to be taught by !arx here, then his whole theory would have fallen and his book would not have been written. The fairest way of describing Grossmann6s book is as a patchwork of 2uotations from !arx, incorrectly applied and stuck together by means of a fabricated theory. Each time a proof is re2uired, a 2uotation from !arx, which does not deal with the point in 2uestion, is introduced, and it is the correctness of !arx6s words which is supposed to give the reader the impression that the theory is correct. 1isto!ical mate!ialism The 2uestion which in the end merits attention is how can an economist who believes he is correctly reconstructing !arx6s views, and who further states with naive self-assurance that he is the first to give a correct interpretation of them, be so completely mistaken and find himself in complete contradiction with !arx. The reason lies in the lack of a historical materialist understanding. 3or you will not understand !arxian economics at all unless you have made the historical materialist way of thinking your own. 3or !arx the development of human society, and so also the economic development of capitalism, is determined by a firm necessity like a law of nature. But this development is at the same time the work of men who play their role in it and where each person determines his own acts with consciousness and purpose I though not with a consciousness of the social whole. To the bourgeois way of seeing things, there is a contradiction here, either what happens depends on human free choice or, if it is governed by fixed laws, then these act as an external, mechanical constraint on men. 3or !arx all social necessity is accomplished by men, this means that a man6s thinking, wanting and acting I although appearing as a free choice in his consciousness I are completely determined by the action of the environment, it is only through the totality of these human acts, determined mainly by social forces, that conformity to laws is achieved in social development.


The social forces which determine development are thus not only purely economic acts, but also the generalpolitical acts determined by them, which provide production with the necessary norms of right. $onformity to law does not reside solely in the action of competition which fixes prices and profits and concentrates capital, but also in the establishment of free competition, of free production by bourgeois revolutions, not only in the movement of wages, in the expansion and contraction of production in prosperity ant crisis, in the closing of factories and the laying off of workers, but also in the revolt, the struggle of the workers, the con2uest by them of power over society and production in order to establish new norms of right. Economics, as the totality of men working and striving to satisfy their subsistence needs, and politics *in its widest sense+, as the action and struggle of these men as classes to satisfy these needs, form a single unified domain of law-governed development. The accumulation of capital, crises, pauperisation, the proletarian revolution, the sei%ure of power by the working class form together, acting like a natural law, an indivisible unity, the collapse of capitalism. The bourgeois way of thinking, which does not understand that this is a unity, has always played a great role not only outside but also within the workers6 movement. In the old radical /ocial Bemocracy the fatalist view was current, understandable in view of the historical circumstances, that the revolution would one day come as a natural necessity and that in the meantime the workers should not try anything dangerous. <eformism 2uestioned the need for a Lviolent6 revolution and believed that the intelligence of statesmen and leaders would tame capitalism by reform and organisation. #thers believed that the proletariat had to be educated to revolutionary virtue by moral preaching. The consciousness was always lacking that this virtue only found its natural necessity through economic forces, and that the revolution only found its natural necessity through the mental forces of men. #ther views have now appeared. #n the one hand capitalism has proved itself strong and unassailable against all reformism, all the skills of leaders, all attempts at revolution, all these have appeared ridiculous in the face of its immense strength. But, on the other hand, terrible crises at the same time reveal its internal weakness. .hoever now takes up !arx and studies him is deeply impressed by the irresistible, law-governed nature of the collapse and welcomes these ideas with enthusiasm. But if his basic way of thinking is bourgeois he cannot conceive this necessity other than as an external force acting on men. $apitalism is for him a mechanical system in which men participate as economic persons, capitalists, buyers, sellers, wage-workers, etc., but otherwise must submit in a purely passive way to what this mechanism imposes on them in view of its internal structure. This mechanistic conception can also be recognised in Grossmann6s statements on wages when he violently attacks <osa Huxemburg I
&Everywhere one comes across an incredible, barbarous mutilation of the !arxian theory of wages) *p. @C@+.

I precisely where she 2uite correctly treats the value of labour-power as a 2uantity that can be expanded on the basis of the standard of living attained. 3or Grossmann the value of labour-power is &not an elastic, but a fixed 2uantity) *p. @CD+. 1cts of human choice such as the workers6 struggles can have no influence on it, the only way in which wages can rise is through a higher intensity of labour obliging the replacement of the greater 2uantity of labour-power expended. 5ere it is the same mechanistic view4 the mechanism determines economic 2uantities while struggling and acting men stand outside this relation. Grossmann appeals again to !arx for this, where the latter writes of the value of labour-power4
&'evertheless, in a given country, at a given period, the average 2uantity of the means of subsistence necessary for the labourer is practically known) *Capital. Kol. I, p. 0E0+,

but Grossmann has unfortunately once again overlooked that in !arx this passage is immediately preceded by4
&In contradiction therefore to the case of other commodities, there enters into the determination of the value of labour-power a historical and moral elemen).


/tarting from his bourgeois way of thinking Grossmann states in his criticism of various /ocial Bemocratic views4
&.e see4 the collapse of capitalism is either denied or based, in a voluntarist way, on extra-economic, political factors. The economic proof of the necessity of the collapse of capitalism has never been produced) *pp. @C-@>+.

1nd he cites with approval an opinion of Tugan-Baranovsky that, in order to prove the necessity for the transformation of capitalism into its opposite, a rigid proof of the impossibility for capitalism to continue existing must first be produced. Tugan himself denies this impossibility and wishes to give socialism an ethical basis. But that Grossmann chooses to call as witness this <ussian liberal economist who, as is known, was always completely alien to !arxism, shows to what degree their basic way of thinking is related, despite their opposed practical points of view *see also Grossmann, p. 0GC+. The !arxian view that the collapse of capitalism will be the act of the working class and thus a political act *in the widest sense of this word4 general social, which is inseparable from the take-over of economic power+ Grossmann can only understand as Lvoluntarist6, i.e., that it is something that is, governed by men6s choice, by free will. The collapse of capitalism in !arx does depend on the act of will of the working class, but this will is not a free choice, but is itself determined by economic development. The contradictions of the capitalist economy, which repeatedly emerge in unemployment, crises, wars, class struggles, repeatedly determine the will to revolution of the proletariat. /ocialism comes not because capitalism collapses economically and men, workers and others, are forced by necessity to create a new organisation, but because capitalism, as it lives and grows, becomes more and more unbearable for the workers and repeatedly pushes them to struggle until the will and strength to overthrow the domination of capitalism and establish a new organisation grows in them, and then capitalism collapses. The working class is not pushed to act because the unbearableness of capitalism is demonstrated to them from the outside, but because they feel it generated within them. !arx6s theory, as economics, shows how the above phenomena irresistibly reappear with greater and greater force and, as historical materialism, how they necessarily give rise to the revolutionary will and the revolutionary act. T#e ne- -o!ke!s< mo%ement It is understandable that Grossmann6s book should have been given some attention by the spokesmen of the new workers6 movement since he attacks the same enemy as them. The new workers6 movement has to attack /ocial Bemocracy and the ?arty $ommunism of the Third International, two branches of the same tree, because they accommodate the working class to capitalism. Grossmann attacks the theoreticians of these currents for having distorted and falsified !arx6s teachings, and insists on the necessary collapse of capitalism. 5is conclusions sound similar to ours, but their sense and essence are completely different. .e also are of the opinion that the /ocial Bemocratic theorists, good theoretical experts that they often were nevertheless distorted !arx6s doctrine, but their mistake was historical, the theoretical precipitate of an early period of the struggle of the proletariat. Grossmann6s mistake is that of a bourgeois economist who has never had practical experience of the struggle of the proletariat and who is conse2uently not in a position to understand the essence of !arxism. 1n example of how his conclusions apparently agree with the views of the new workers6 movement, but are in essence completely opposed, is to be found in his theory of wages. 1ccording to his schema, after 9@ years, with the collapse, a rapidly climbing unemployment appears. 1s a result wages sink well below the value of labour-power, without an effective resistance being possible. &5ere the ob ective limit of trade union action is given) *p. @>>+. 5owever familiar this sounds, the basis is 2uite different. The powerlessness of trade union action, which has been evident for a long time, should not be attributed to an economic collapse, but to a shift in the balance of social power. Everyone knows how the increased power of the employers6 combines of concentrated big capital has made the working class relatively powerless. To which is now added the effects of a severe crisis which depresses wages, as happened in every previous crisis.


The purely economic collapse of capitalism which Grossmann constructs does not involve a complete passivity by the proletariat. 3or, when the collapse takes place the working class must precisely prepare itself to re-establish production on a new basis.
&Thus evolution pushes towards the development and exacerbation of the internal oppositions between capital and labour until the solution which can come only from the struggle between the two classes is brought about) *p. @>>+.

This final struggle is linked also with the wages struggle because *as was already mentioned above+ the catastrophe can be postponed by depressing wages or hastened by raising them. But it is the economic catastrophe that is for Grossmann the really essential factor, the new order being forcibly imposed on men. $ertainly, the workers, as the mass of the population, are to supply the preponderant force of the revolution, ust as in the bourgeois revolutions of the past where they formed the mass force for action, but, as in hunger revolts in general, this is independent of their revolutionary maturity, of their capacity to take power over society and to hold it. This means that a revolutionary group, a party with socialist aims, would have to appear as a new governing power in place of the old in order to introduce some kind of planned economy. The theory of the economic catastrophe is thus ready-made for intellectuals who recognise the untenable character of capitalism and who want a planned economy to be built by capable economists and leaders. 1nd it must be expected that many other such theories will come from these 2uarters or meet with approval there. The theory of the necessary collapse will also be able to exercise a certain attraction over revolutionary workers. They see the overwhelming ma ority of the proletarian masses still attached to the old organisations, the old leaders, the old methods, blind to the task which the new development imposes on them, passive and immobile, with no signs of revolutionary energy. The few revolutionaries who understand the new development might well wish on the stupefied masses a good economic catastrophe so that they finally come out of the slumber and enter into action. The theory according to which capitalism has today entered its final crisis also provides a decisive, and simple, refutation of reformism and all ?arty programmes which give priority to parliamentary work and trade union action I a demonstration of the necessity of revolutionary tactics which is so convenient that it must be greeted sympathetically by revolutionary groups. But the struggle is never so simple or convenient, not even the theoretical struggle for reasons and proofs. <eformism was a false tactic, which weakened the working class, not only in crises but also in prosperity. ?arliamentarism and the trade union tactic did not have to await the present crisis to prove a failure, this has been shown for the last hundred years. It is not due to the economic collapse of capitalism but to the enormous development of its strength, to its expansion over all the Earth, to its exacerbation of political oppositions, to the violent reinforcement of its inner strength, that the proletariat must take mass action, summoning up the strength of the whole class. It is this shift in the relations of power that is the basis for the new direction for the workers6 movement. The workers6 movement has not to expect a final catastrophe, but many catastrophes, political I like wars, and economic I like the crises which repeatedly break out, sometimes regularly, sometimes irregularly, but which on the whole, with the growing si%e of capitalism, become more and more devastating. /o the illusions and tendencies to tran2uillity of the proletariat will repeatedly collapse, and sharp and deep class struggles will break out. It appears to be a contradiction that the present crisis, deeper and more devastating than any previous one, has not shown signs of the awakening of the proletarian revolution. But the removal of old illusions is its first great task4 on the other hand, the illusion of making capitalism bearable by means of reforms obtained through /ocial Bemocratic parliamentary politics and trade union action and, on the other, the illusion that capitalism can be overthrown in assault under the leadership of a revolution-bringing $ommunist ?arty. The working class itself, as a whole, must conduct the struggle, but, while the bourgeoisie is already building up its power more and more solidly, the working class has yet to make itself familiar with the new forms of struggle. /evere struggles are bound to take place. 1nd should the present crisis abate, new crises and new struggles will arise. In these struggles the working class will develop its strength to struggle, will discover its aims, will train itself, will make itself independent and learn to take into its hands its own destiny, vi%., social production itself. In this process the destruction of capitalism is achieved. The selfemancipation of the proletariat is the collapse of capitalism.


Anton Pannekoek 19*0

Pa!t$ and )lass

The old labor movement is organi%ed in parties. The belief in parties is the main reason for the impotence of the working class, therefore we avoid forming a new partyInot because we are too few, but because a party is an organi%ation that aims to lead and control the working class. In opposition to this, we maintain that the working class can rise to victory only when it independently attacks its problems and decides its own fate. The workers should not blindly accept the slogans of others, nor of our own groups but must think, act, and decide for themselves. This conception is on sharp contradiction to the tradition of the party as the most important means of educating the proletariat. Therefore many, though repudiating the /ocialist and $ommunist parties, resist and oppose us. This is partly due to their traditional concepts, after viewing the class struggle as a struggle of parties, it becomes difficult to consider it as purely the struggle of the working class, as a class struggle. But partly this concept is based on the idea that the party nevertheless plays an essential and important part in the struggle of the proletariat. Het us investigate this latter idea more closely. Essentially the party is a grouping according to views, conceptions, the classes are groupings according to economic interests. $lass membership is determined by oneOs part in the process of production, party membership is the oining of persons who agree in their conceptions of the social problems. 3ormerly it was thought that this contradiction would disappear in the class party, the &workers) party. Buring the rise of /ocial Bemocracy it seemed that it would gradually embrace the whole working class, partly as members, partly as supporters. because !arxian theory declared that similar interests beget similar viewpoints and aims, the contradiction between party and class was expected gradually to disappear. 5istory proved otherwise. /ocial Bemocracy remained a minority, other working class groups organi%ed against it, sections split away from it, and its own character changed. Its own program was revised or reinterpreted. The evolution of society does not proceed along a smooth, even line, but in conflicts and contradictions. .ith the intensification of the workersO struggle, the might of the enemy also increases and besets the workers with renewed doubts and fears as to which road is best. 1nd every doubt brings on splits, contradictions, and fractional battles within the labor movement. It is futile to bewail these conflicts and splits as harmful in dividing and weakening the working class. The working class is not weak because it is split upIit is split up because it is weak. Because the enemy is powerful and the old methods of warfare prove unavailing, the working class must seek new methods. Its task will not become clear as the result of enlightenment from above, it must discover its tasks through hard work, through thought and conflict of opinions. It must find its own way, therefore, the internal struggle. It must relin2uish old ideas and illusions and adopt new ones, and because this is difficult, therefore the magnitude and severity of the splits. 'or can we delude ourselves into believing that this period of party and ideological strife is only temporary and will make way to renewed harmony. True, in the course of the class struggle there are occasions when all forces unite in a great achievable ob ective and the revolution is carried on with the might of a united working class. But after that, as after every victory, come differences on the 2uestion4 what next: 1nd even if the working class is victorious, it is always confronted by the most difficult task of subduing the enemy further, of reorgani%ing production, creating new order. It is impossible that all workers, all strata and groups, with their often still diverse interests should, at this stage, agree on all matters and be ready for united and decisive further action. They will find the true course only after the sharpest controversies and conflicts and only thus achieve clarity. If, in this situation, persons with the same fundamental conceptions unite for the discussion of practical steps and seek clarification through discussions and propagandi%e their conclusions, such groups might be called parties, but they would be parties in an entirely different sense from those of today. 1ction, the actual class struggle, is the task of the working masses themselves, in their entirety, in their real groupings as factory and millhands, or other productive groups, because history and economy have placed them in the position where they must and can fight the working class struggle. It would be insane if the supporters of one party were to go on strike while those of another continue to work. But both tendencies will defend their positions on strike or no strike in the factory meetings, thus affording an opportunity to arrive at a well founded decision. 09>

The struggle is so great, the enemy so powerful that only the masses as a whole can achieve a victoryIthe result of the material and moral power of action, unity and enthusiasm, but also the result of the mental force of thought, of clarity. In this lies the great importance of such parties or groups based on opinions4 that they bring clarity in their conflicts, discussions and propaganda. They are the organs of the self-enlightenment of the working class by means of which the workers find their way to freedom. #f course such parties are not static and unchangeable. Every new situation, every new problem will find minds diverging and uniting in new groups with new programs. They have a fluctuating character and constantly read ust themselves to new situations. $ompared to such groups, the present workersO parties have an entirely different character, for they have a different ob ective4 they want to sei%e power for themselves. They aim not at being an aid to the working class in its struggle for emancipation but to rule it themselves and proclaim that this constitutes the emancipation of the proletariat. The /ocial-Bemocracy which arose in the era of parliamentarism conceived of this rule as a parliamentary government. The $ommunist ?arty carried the idea of part rule through to its fullest extreme in the party dictatorship. /uch parties, in distinction to the groups described above, must be rigid structures with clear lines of demarcation through membership cards, statues, party discipline and admission and expulsion procedures. 3or they are instruments of powerIthey fight for power, bridle their members by force and constantly seek to extend the scope of their power. It is not their task to develop the initiative of the workers, rather do they aim at training loyal and un2uestioning members of their faith. .hile the working class in its struggle for power and victory needs unlimited intellectual freedom, the party rule must suppress all opinions except its own. In &democratic) parties, the suppression is veiled, in the dictatorship parties, it is open, brutal suppression. !any workers already reali%e that the rule of the /ocialist or $ommunist party will be only the concealed form of the rule of the bourgeois class in which the exploitation and suppression of the working class remains. Instead of these parties, they urge the formation of a &revolutionary party) that will really aim at the rule of the workers and the reali%ation of communism. 'ot a party in the new sense as described above, but a party like those of today, that fight for power as the &vanguard) of the class, as the organi%ation of conscious, revolutionary minorities, that sei%e power in order to use it for the emancipation of the class. .e claim that there is an internal contradiction in the term4 &revolutionary party.) /uch a party cannot be revolutionary. It is no more revolutionary than were the creators of the Third <eich. .hen we speak of revolution, we speak of the proletarian revolution, the sei%ure of power by the working class itself. The &revolutionary party) is based on the idea that the working class needs a new group of leaders who van2uish the bourgeoisie for the workers and construct a new governmentI*note that the working class is not yet considered fit to reorgani%e and regulate production.+ But is not this as it should be: 1s the working class does not seem capable of revolution, is it not necessary that the revolutionary vanguard, the party, make the revolution for it: 1nd is this not true as long as the masses willingly endure capitalism: 1gainst this, we raise the 2uestion4 what force can such a party raise for the revolution: 5ow is it able to defeat the capitalist class: #nly if the masses stand behind it. #nly if the masses rise and through mass attacks, mass struggle, and mass strikes, overthrow the old regime. .ithout the action of the masses, there can be no revolution. Two things can follow. The masses remain in action4 they do not go home and leave the government to the new party. They organi%e their power in factory and workshop and prepare for further conflict in order to defeat capital, through the workersO councils they establish a form union to take over the complete direction of all societyIin other words, they prove, they are not as incapable of revolution as it seemed. #f necessity then, conflict will arise with the party which itself wants to take control and which sees only disorder and anarchy in the self-action of the working class. ?ossibly the workers will develop their movement and sweep out the party. #r, the party, with the help of bourgeois elements defeats the workers. In either case, the part 0=G

is an obstacle to the revolution because it wants to be more than a means of propaganda and enlightenment, because it feels itself called upon to lead and rule as a party. #n the other hand the masses may follow the party faith and leave it to the full direction of affairs. They follow the slogans from above, have confidence in the new government *as in Germany and <ussia+ that is to reali%e communismIand go back home and to work. Immediately the bourgeoisie exerts its whole class power the roots of which are unbroken, its financial forces, its great intellectual resources, and its economic power in factories and great enterprises. 1gainst this the government party is too weak. #nly through moderation, concessions and yielding can it maintain that it is insanity for the workers to try to force impossible demands. Thus the party deprived of class power becomes the instrument for maintaining bourgeois power. .e said before that the term &revolutionary party) was contradictory from a proletarian point of view. .e can state it otherwise4 in the term &revolutionary party,) &revolutionary) always means a bourgeois revolution. 1lways, when the masses overthrow a government and then allow a new party to take power, we have a bourgeois revolutionIthe substitution of a ruling caste by a new ruling caste. it was so in ?aris in 0C9G when the finance bourgeoisie supplanted the landed proprietors, in 0C=C when the industrial bourgeoisie took over the reins. In the <ussian revolution the party bureaucracy came to power as the ruling caste. But in .estern Europe and 1merica the bourgeoisie is much more powerfully entrenched in plants and banks, so that a party bureaucracy cannot push them aside as easily. The bourgeoisie in these countries can be van2uished only by repeated and united action of the masses in which they sei%e the mills and factories and build up their council organi%ations. Those who speak of &revolutionary parties) draw incomplete, limited conclusions from history. .hen the /ocialist and $ommunist parties became organs of bourgeois rule for the perpetuation of exploitation, these well-meaning people merely concluded that they would have to do better. They cannot reali%e that the failure of these parties is due to the fundamental conflict between the self-emancipation of the working class through its own power and the pacifying of the revolution through a new sympathetic ruling cli2ue. They think they are the revolutionary vanguard because they see the masses indifferent and inactive. But the masses are inactive only because they cannot yet comprehend the course of the struggle and the unity of class interests, although they instinctively sense the great power of the enemy and the immenseness of their task. #nce conditions force them into action they will attack the task of self-organi%ation and the con2uest of the economic power of capital.

Anton Pannekoek

T!ade 7nionism
5ow must the working class fight capitalism in order to win: This is the all important 2uestion facing the workers every day. .hat efficient means of action, what tactics can they use to con2uer power and defeat the enemy: 'o science, no theory, could tell them exactly what to do. But spontaneously and instinctively, by feeling out, by sensing the possibilities, they found their ways of action. 1nd as capitalism grew and con2uered the earth and increased its power, the power of the workers also increased. 'ew modes of action, wider and more efficient, came up beside the old ones. It is evident that with changing conditions, the forms of action, the tactics of the class struggle have to change also. Trade unionism is the primary form of labour movement in fixed capitalism. The isolated worker is powerless against the capitalistic employer. To overcome this handicap, the workers organise into unions. The union binds the workers together into common action, with the strike as their weapon. Then the balance of power is relatively e2ual, or is sometimes even heaviest on the side of the workers, so that the isolated small employer is weak against the mighty union. 5ence in developed capitalism trade unions and employersO unions *1ssociations, Trusts, $orporations, etc.+, stand as fighting powers against each other.


Trade unionism first arose in England, where industrial capitalism first developed. 1fterward it spread to other countries, as a natural companion of capitalist industry. In the "nited /tates there were very special conditions. In the beginning, the abundance of free unoccupied land, open to settlers, made for a shortage of workers in the towns and relatively high wages and good conditions. The 1merican 3ederation of Habour became a power in the country, and generally was able to uphold a relatively high standard of living for the workers who were organised in its unions. It is clear that under such conditions the idea of overthrowing capitalism could not for a moment arise in the minds of the workers. $apitalism offered them a sufficient and fairly secure living. They did not feel themselves a separate class whose interests were hostile to the existing order, they were part of it, they were conscious of partaking in all the possibilities of an ascending capitalism in a new continent. There was room for millions of people, coming mostly from Europe. 3or these increasing millions of farmers, a rapidly increasing industry was necessary, where, with energy and good luck, workmen could rise to become free artisans, small business men, even rich capitalists. It is natural that here a true capitalist spirit prevailed in the working class. The same was the case in England. 5ere it was due to EnglandOs monopoly of world commerce and big industry, to the lack of competitors on the foreign markets, and to the possession of rich colonies, which brought enormous wealth to England. The capitalist class had no need to fight for its profits and could allow the workers a reasonable living. #f course, at first, fighting was necessary to urge this truth upon them, but then they could allow unions and grant wages in exchange for industrial peace. /o here also the working class was imbued with the capitalist spirit. 'ow this is entirely in harmony with the innermost character of trade unionism. Trade unionism is an action of the workers, which does not go beyond the limit of capitalism. Its aim is not to replace capitalism by another form of production, but to secure good living conditions within capitalism. Its character is not revolutionary, but conservative. $ertainly, trade union action is class struggle. There is a class antagonism in capitalism -- capitalists and workers have opposing interests. 'ot only on the 2uestion of conservation of capitalism, but also within capitalism itself, with regard to the division of the total product. The capitalists attempt to increase their profits, the surplus value, as much as possible, by cutting down wages and increasing the hours or the intensity of labour. #n the other hand, the workers attempt to increase their wages and to shorten their hours of work. The price of labour power is not a fixed 2uantity, though it must exceed a certain hunger minimum, and it is not paid by the capitalists of their own free will. Thus this antagonism becomes the ob ect of a contest, the real class struggle. It is the task, the function of the trade unions to carry on this fight. Trade unionism was the first training school in proletarian virtue, in solidarity as the spirit of organised fighting. It embodied the first form of proletarian organised power. In the early English and 1merican trade unions this virtue often petrified and degenerated into a narrow craft-corporation, a true capitalistic state of mind. It was different, however, where the workers had to fight for their very existence, where the utmost efforts of their unions could hardly uphold their standard of living, where the full force of an energetic, fighting, and expanding capitalism attacked them. There they had to learn the wisdom that only the revolution could definitely save them. /o there comes a disparity between the working class and trade unionism. The working class has to look beyond capitalism. Trade unionism lives entirely within capitalism and cannot look beyond it. Trade unionism can only represent a part, a necessary but narrow part, in the class struggle. 1nd it develops aspects which bring it into conflict with the greater aims of the working class. .ith the growth of capitalism and big industry the unions too must grow. They become big corporations with thousands of members, extending over the whole country, with sections in every town and every factory. #fficials must be appointed4 presidents, secretaries, treasurers, to conduct the affairs, to manage the finances, locally and centrally. They are the leaders, who negotiate with the capitalists and who by this 0=7

practice have ac2uired a special skill. The president of a union is a big shot, as big as the capitalist employer himself, and he discusses with him, on e2ual terms, the interests of his members. The officials are specialists in trade union work, which the members, entirely occupied by their factory work, cannot udge or direct themselves. /o large a corporation as a union is not simply an assembly of single workers, it becomes an organised body, like a living organism, with its own policy, its own character, its own mentality, its own traditions, its own functions. It is a body with its own interests, which are separate from the interests of the working class. It has a will to live and to fight for its existence. If it should come to pass that unions were no longer necessary for the workers, then they would not simply disappear. Their funds, their members, and their officials4 all of these are realities that will not disappear at once, but continue their existence as elements of the organisation. The union officials, the labour leaders, are the bearers of the special union interests. #riginally workmen from the shop, they ac2uire, by long practice at the head of the organisation, a new social character. In each social group, once it is big enough to form a special group, the nature of its work moulds and determines its social character, its mode of thinking and acting. The officialsO function is entirely different from that of the workers. They do not work in factories, they are not exploited by capitalists, their existence is not threatened continually by unemployment. They sit in offices, in fairly secure positions. They have to manage corporation affairs and to speak at workers meetings and discuss with employers. #f course, they have to stand for the workers, and to defend their interests and wishes against the capitalists. This is, however, not very different from the position of the lawyer who, appointed secretary of an organisation, will stand for its members and defend their interests to the full of his capacity. 5owever, there is a difference. Because many of the labour leaders came from the ranks of workers, they have experienced for themselves what wage slavery and exploitation means. They feel as members of the working class and the proletarian spirit often acts as a strong tradition in them. But the new reality of their life continually tends to weaken this tradition. Economically they are not proletarians any more. They sit in conferences with the capitalists, bargaining over wages and hours, pitting interests against interests, ust as the opposing interests of the capitalist corporations are weighed one against another. They learn to understand the capitalistOs position ust as well as the workerOs position, they have an eye for Jthe needs of industryJ, they try to mediate. ?ersonal exceptions occur, of course, but as a rule they cannot have that elementary class feeling of the workers, who do not understand and weigh capitalist interests against their own, but will fight for their proper interests. Thus they get into conflict with the workers. The labour leaders in advanced capitalism are numerous enough to form a special group or class with a special class character and interests. 1s representatives and leaders of the unions they embody the character and the interests of the unions. The unions are necessary elements of capitalism, so the leaders feel necessary too, as useful citi%ens in capitalist society. The capitalist function of unions is to regulate class conflicts and to secure industrial peace. /o labour leaders see it as their duty as citi%ens to work for industrial peace and mediate in conflicts. The test of the union lies entirely within capitalism, so labour leaders do not look beyond it. The instinct of self-preservation, the will of the unions to live and to fight for existence, is embodied in the will of the labour leaders to fight for the existence of the unions. Their own existence is indissolubly connected with the existence of the unions. This is not meant in a petty sense, that they only think of their personal obs when fighting for the unions. It means that primary necessities of life and social functions determine opinions. Their whole life is concentrated in the unions, only here have they a task. /o the most necessary organ of society, the only source of security and power is to them the unions, hence they must be preserved and defended by all possible means, even when the realities of capitalist society undermine this position. This happens when capitalismOs expansion class conflicts become sharper. The concentration of capital in powerful concerns and their connection with big finance renders the position of the capitalist employers much stronger than the workersO. ?owerful industrial magnates reign as monarchs over large masses of workers, they keep them in absolute sub ection and do not allow JtheirJ men to go into unions. 'ow and then the heavily exploited wage slaves break out in revolt, in a big strike. They hope to enforce better terms, shorter hours, more humane conditions, the right to organise. "nion organisers come to aid them. But then the capitalist masters use their social and political power. The strikers are driven from their homes, they are shot by militia or hired thugs, their spokesmen are railroaded into ail, their relief 0=9

actions are prohibited by court in unctions. The capitalist press denounces their cause as disorder, murder and revolution, public opinion is aroused against them. Then, after months of standing firm and of heroic suffering, exhausted by misery and disappointment, unable to make a dent on the ironclad capitalist structure, they have to submit and to postpone their claims to more opportune times. In the trades where unions exist as mighty organisations, their position is weakened by this same concentration of capital. The large funds they had collected for strike support are insignificant in comparison to the money power of their adversaries. 1 couple of lock-outs may completely drain them. 'o matter how hard the capitalist employer presses upon the worker by cutting wages and intensifying their hours of labour, the union cannot wage a fight. .hen contracts have to be renewed, the union feels itself the weaker party. It has to accept the bad terms the capitalists offer, no skill in bargaining avails. But now the trouble with the rank and file members begins. The men want to fight, they will not submit before they have fought, and they have not much to lose by fighting. The leaders, however, have much to lose -- the financial power of the union, perhaps its existence. They try to avoid the fight, which they consider hopeless. They have to convince the men that it is better to come to terms. /o, in the final analysis, they must act as spokesmen of the employers to force the capitalistsO terms upon the workers. It is even worse when the workers insist on fighting in opposition to the decision of the unions. Then the unionO s power must be used as a weapon to subdue the workers. /o the labour leader has become the slave of his capitalistic task of securing industrial peace -- now at the cost of the workers, though he meant to serve them as best he could. 5e cannot look beyond capitalism, and within the hori%on of capitalism with a capitalist outlook, he is right when he thinks that fighting is of no use. To criticise him can only mean that trade unionism stands here at the limit of its power. Is there another way out then: $ould the workers win anything by fighting: ?robably they will lose the immediate issue of the fight, but they will gain something else. By not submitting without having fought, they rouse the spirit of revolt against capitalism. They proclaim a new issue. But here the whole working class must oin in. To the whole class, to all their fellow workers, they must show that in capitalism there is no future for them, and that only by fighting, not as a trade union, but as a united class, they can win. This means the beginning of a revolutionary struggle. 1nd when their fellow workers understand this lesson, when simultaneous strikes break out in other trades, when a wave of rebellion goes over the country, then in the arrogant hearts of the capitalists there may appear some doubt as to their omnipotence and some willingness to make concessions. The trade union leader does not understand this point of view, because trade unionism cannot reach beyond capitalism. 5e opposes this kind of fight. 3ighting capitalism in this way means at the same time rebellion against the trade unions. The labor leader stands beside the capitalist in their common fear of the workersO rebellion. .hen the trade unions fought against the capitalist class for better working conditions, the capitalist class hated them, but it had not the power to destroy them completely. If the trade unions would try to raise all the forces of the working class in their fight, the capitalist class would persecute them with all its means. They may see their actions repressed as rebellion, their offices destroyed by militia, their leaders thrown in ail and fined, their funds confiscated. #n the other hand, if they keep their members from fighting, the capitalist class may consider them as valuable institutions, to be preserved and protected, and their leaders as deserving citi%ens. /o the trade unions find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea, on the one side persecution, which is a tough thing to bear for people who meant to be peaceful citi%ens, on the other side, the rebellion of the members, which may undermine the unions. The capitalist class, if it is wise, will recogni%e that a bit of sham fighting must be allowed to uphold the influence of the labor leaders over the members. The conflicts arising here are not anyoneOs fault, they are an inevitable conse2uence of capitalist development. $apitalism exists, but it is at the same time on the way to ruin. It must be fought as a living thing, and at the same time, as a transitory thing. The workers must wage a steady fight for wages and working conditions, while at the same time communistic ideas, more or less clear and conscious, awaken in their minds. They cling to the unions, feeling that these are still necessary, trying now and then to transform 0==

them into better fighting institutions. But the spirit of trade unionism, which is in its pure form a capitalist spirit, is not in the workers. The divergence between these two tendencies in capitalism and in the class struggle appears now as a rift between the trade union spirit, mainly embodied in their leaders, and the growing revolutionary feeling of the members. This rift becomes apparent in the opposite positions they take on various important social and political 2uestions. Trade unionism is bound to capitalism, it has its best chances to obtain good wages when capitalism flourishes. /o in times of depression it must hope that prosperity will be restored, and it must try to further it. To the workers as a class, the prosperity of capitalism is not at all important. .hen it is weakened by crisis or depression, they have the best chance to attack it, to strengthen the forces of the revolution, and to take the first steps towards freedom. $apitalism extends its dominion over foreign continents, sei%ing their natural treasures in order to make big profits. It con2uers colonies, sub ugates the primitive population and exploits them, often with horrible cruelties. The working class denounces colonial exploitation and opposes it, but trade unionism often supports colonial politics as a way to capitalist prosperity. .ith the enormous increases of capital in modern times, colonies and foreign countries are being used as places in which to invest large sums of capital. They become valuable possessions as markets for big industry and as producers of raw materials. 1 race for getting colonies, a fierce conflict of interests over the dividing up of the world arises between the great capitalist states. In these politics of imperialism the middle classes are whirled along in a common exaltation of national greatness. Then the trade unions side with the master class, because they consider the prosperity of their own national capitalism to be dependent on its success in the imperialist struggle. 3or the working class, imperialism means increasing power and brutality of their exploiters. These conflicts of interests between the national capitalisms explode into wars. .orld war is the crowning of the policy of imperialism. 3or the workers, war is not only the destruction of all their feelings of international brotherhood, it also means the most violent exploitation of their class for capitalist profit. The working class, as the most numerous and the most oppressed class of society, has to bear all the horrors of war. The workers have to give not only their labour power, but also their health and their lives. Trade unions, however, in war must stand upon the side of the capitalist. Its interests are bound up with national capitalism, the victory of which it must wish with all its heart. 5ence it assists in arousing strong national feelings and national hatred. It helps the capitalist class to drive the workers into war and to beat down all opposition. Trade unionism abhors communism. $ommunism takes away the very basis of its existence. In communism, in the absence of capitalist employers, there is no room for the trade union and labour leaders. It is true that in countries with a strong socialist movement, where the bulk of the workers are socialists, the labour leaders must be socialists too, by origin as well as by environment. But then they are right-wing socialists, and their socialism is restricted to the idea of a commonwealth where instead of greedy capitalists honest labour leaders will manage industrial production. Trade unionism hates revolution. <evolution upsets all the ordinary relations between capitalists and workers. In its violent clashings, all those careful tariff regulations are swept away, in the strife of its gigantic forces the modest skill of the bargaining labour leaders loses its value. .ith all its power, trade unionism opposes the ideas of revolution and communism. This opposition is not without significance. Trade unionism is a power in itself. It has considerable funds at its disposal, as material element of power. It has its spiritual influence, upheld and propagated by its periodical papers as mental element of power. It is a power in the hands of leaders, who make use of it wherever the special interests of trade unions come into conflict with the revolutionary interests of the working class. Trade unionism, though built up by the workers and consisting of workers, has turned into a power over and above the workers, ust as government is a power over and above the people. 0=@

The forms of trade unionism are different for different countries, owing to the different forms of development in capitalism. 'or do they always remain the same in every country. .hen they seem to be slowly dying away, the fighting spirit of the workers is sometimes able to transform them, or to build up new types of unionism. Thus in England, in the years 0CCG->G, the Jnew unionismJ sprang up from the masses of poor dockers and the other badly paid, unskilled workers, bringing a new spirit into the old craft unions. It is a conse2uence of capitalist development, that in founding new industries and in replacing skilled labour by machine power, it accumulates large bodies of unskilled workers, living in the worst of conditions. 3orced at last into a wave of rebellion, into big strikes, they find the way to unity and class consciousness. They mould unionism into a new form, adapted to a more highly developed capitalism. #f course, when afterwards capitalism grows to still mightier forms, the new unionism cannot escape the fate of all unionism, and then it produces the same inner contradictions. The most notable form sprang up in 1merica, in the JIndustrial .orkers of the .orld.J The I..... originated from two forms of capitalist expansion. In the enormous forests and plains of the .est, capitalism reaped the natural riches by .ild .est methods of fierce and brutal exploitation, and the worker-adventurers responded with as wild and ealous a defence. 1nd in the eastern states new industries were founded upon the exploitation of millions of poor immigrants, coming from countries with a low standard of living and now sub ected to sweatshop labour or other most miserable working conditions . 1gainst the narrow craft spirit of the old unionism, of the 1.3. of H., which divided the workers of one industrial plant into a number of separate unions, the I..... put the principle4 all workers of one factory, as comrades against one master, must form one union, to act as a strong unity against the employer. 1gainst the multitude of often ealous and bickering trade unions, the I..... raised the slogan4 one big union for all the workers. The fight of one group is the cause of all. /olidarity extends over the entire class. $ontrary to the haughty disdain of the well-paid old 1merican skilled labour towards the unorganised immigrants, it was these worst-paid proletarians that the I..... led into the fight. They were too poor to pay high fees and build up ordinary trade unions. But when they broke out and revolted in big strikes, it was the I..... who taught them how to fight, who raised relief funds all over the country, and who defended their cause in its papers and before the courts. By a glorious series of big battles it infused the spirit of organisation and selfreliance into the hearts of these masses. $ontrary to the trust in the big funds of the old unions, the Industrial .orkers put their confidence in the living solidarity and the force of endurance, upheld by a burning enthusiasm. Instead of the heavy stone-masoned buildings of the old unions, they represented the principle of flexible construction, with a fluctuating membership, contracting in time of peace, swelling and growing in the fight itself. $ontrary to the conservative capitalist spirit of trade unionism, the Industrial .orkers were anti-capitalist and stood for <evolution. Therefore they were persecuted with intense hatred by the whole capitalist world. They were thrown into ail and tortured on false accusations, a new crime was even invented on their behalf4 that of Jcriminal syndicalism.J Industrial unionism alone as a method of fighting the capitalist class is not sufficient to overthrow capitalist society and to con2uer the world for the working class. It fights the capitalists as employers on the economic field of production, but it has not the means to overthrow their political stronghold, the state power. 'evertheless, the I..... so far has been the most revolutionary organisation in 1merica. !ore than any other it contributed to rouse class consciousness and insight, solidarity and unity in the working class, to turn its eyes toward communism, and to prepare its fighting power. The lesson of all these fights is that against big capitalism, trade unionism cannot win. 1nd if at times it wins, such victories give only temporary relief. 1nd yet, these fights are necessary and must be fought. To the bitter end: -- no, to the better end. The reason is obvious. 1n isolated group of workers might be e2ual to a fight against an isolated capitalist employer. But an isolated group of workers against an employer backed by the whole capitalist class is powerless. 1nd such is the case here4 the state power, the money power of capitalism, public opinion of the middle class, excited by the capitalist press, all attack the group of fighting workers. But does the working class back the strikers: The millions of other workers do not consider this fight as their own cause. $ertainly they sympathise, and may often collect money for the strikers, and this may give some 0=D

relief, provided its distribution is not forbidden by a udgeOs in unction. But this easygoing sympathy leaves the real fight to the striking group alone. The millions stand aloof, passive. /o the fight cannot be won *except in some special cases, when the capitalists, for business reasons, prefer to grant concessions+, because the working class does not fight as one undivided unit. The matter will be different, of course, when the mass of the workers really consider such a contest as directly concerning them, when they find that their own future is at stake. If they go into the fight themselves and extend the strike to other factories, to ever more branches of industry, then the state power, the capitalist power, has to be divided and cannot be used entirely against the separate group of workers. It has to face the collective power of the working class. Extension of the strike, ever more widely, into, finally, a general strike, has often been advised as a means to avert defeat. But to be sure, this is not to be taken as a truly expedient pattern, accidentally hit upon, and ensuring victory. If such were the case, trade unions certainly would have made use of it repeatedly as regular tactics. It cannot be proclaimed at will by union leaders, as a simple tactical measure. It must come forth from the deepest feelings of the masses, as the expression of their spontaneous initiative, and this is aroused only when the issue of the fight is or grows larger than a simple wage contest of one group. #nly then will the workers put all their force, their enthusiasm, their solidarity, their power of endurance into it. 1nd all these forces they will need. 3or capitalism also will bring into the field stronger forces than before. It may have been defeated and taken by surprise by the unexpected exhibition of proletarian force and thus have made concessions. But then, afterwards, it will gather new forces out of the deepest roots of its power and proceed to win back its position. /o the victory of the workers is neither lasting nor certain. There is no clear and open road to victory, the road itself must be hewn and built through the capitalist ungle at the cost of immense efforts. But even so, it will mean great progress. 1 wave of solidarity has gone through the masses, they have felt the immense power of class unity, their self-confidence is raised, they have shaken off the narrow group egotism. Through their own deeds they have ac2uired new wisdom4 what capitalism means and how they stand as a class against the capitalist class. They have seen a glimpse of their way to freedom. Thus the narrow field of trade union struggle widens into the broad field of class struggle. But now the workers themselves must change. They have to take a wider view of the world. 3rom their trade, from their work within the factory walls, their mind must widen to encompass society as a whole. Their spirit must rise above the petty things around them. They have to face the state, they enter the realm of politics. The problems of revolution must be dealt with. anton pannekoek

Anton Pannekoek

Workers "o&ncils
Anton Pannekoek

5$pril -.678
In its revolutionary struggles, the working class needs organi%ation. .hen great masses have to act as a unit, a mechanism is needed for understanding and discussion, for the making and issuing of decisions, and for the proclaiming of actions and aims. 0=E

This does not mean, of course, that all great actions and universal strikes are carried out with soldierlike discipline, after the decisions of a central board. /uch cases will occur, it is true, but more often, through their eager fighting spirit, their solidarity and passion, masses will break out in strikes to help their comrades, or to protest against some capitalist atrocity, with no general plan. Then such a strike will spread like a prairie fire all over the country. In the first <ussian revolution, the strike waves went up and down. #ften the most successful were those that had not been decided in advance, while the strikes that had been proclaimed by the central committees often failed. The strikers, once they are fighting, want mutual contact and understanding in order to unite in an organi%ed force. 5ere a difficulty presents itself. .ithout strong organi%ation, without oining forces and binding their will in one solid body, without uniting their action in one common deed, they cannot win against the strong organi%ation of capitalist power. But when thousands and millions of workers are united in one body, this can only be managed by functionaries acting as representatives of the members. 1nd we have seen that then these officials become masters of the organi%ation, with interests different from the revolutionary interests of the workers. 5ow can the working class, in revolutionary fights, unite its force into a big organi%ation without falling into the pit of officialdom: The answer is given by putting another 2uestion4 if all that the workers do is to pay their fees and to obey when their leaders order them out and order them in, are they themselves then really fighting their fight for freedom: 3ighting for freedom is not letting your leaders think for you and decide, and following obediently behind them, or from time to time scolding them. 3ighting for freedom is partaking to the full of ones capacity, thinking and deciding for oneself, taking all the responsibilities as a self-relying individual amidst e2ual comrades. It is true that to think for oneself, to think out what is true and right, with a head dulled by fatigue, is the hardest, the most difficult task, it is much harder than to pay and to obey. But it is the only way to freedom. To be liberated by others, whose leadership is the essential part of the liberation, means the getting of new masters instead of the old ones. 3reedom, the goal of the workers, means that they shall be able, man for man, to manage the world, to use and deal with the treasures of the earth, so as to make it a happy home for all. 5ow can they ensure this if they are not able to con2uer and defend this themselves: The proletarian revolution is not simply the van2uishing of capitalist power. It is the rise of the whole working people out of dependence and ignorance into independence and clear consciousness of how to make their life. True organi%ation, as the workers need it in the revolution, implies that everyone takes part in it, body and soul and brains, that everyone takes part in leadership as well as in action, and has to think out, to decide and to perform to the full of his capacities. /uch an organi%ation is a body of self-determining people. There is no place for professional leaders. $ertainly there is obeying, everybody has to follow the decisions which he himself has taken part in making. But the full power always rests with the workers themselves. $an such a form of organi%ation be reali%ed: .hat must be its structure: It is not necessary to construct it or think it out. 5istory has already produced it. It sprang into life out of the practice of the class struggle. Its prototype, its first trace, is found in the strike committees. In a big strike, all the workers cannot assemble in one meeting. They choose delegates to act as a committee. /uch a committee is only the executive organ of the strikers, it is continually in touch with them and has to carry out the decisions of the strikers. Each delegate at every moment can be replaced by others, such a committee never becomes an independent power. In such a way, common action as one body can be secured, and yet the workers have all decisions in their own hands. "sually in strikes, the uppermost lead is taken out of the hands of these committees by the trade unions and their leaders.


In the <ussian revolution when strikes broke out irregularly in the factories, the strikers chose delegates which, for the whole town or for an industry or railway over the whole state or province, assembled to bring unity into the fight. They had at once to discuss political matters and to assume political functions because the strikes were directed against $%arism. They were called soviets, councils. In these soviets all the details of the situation, all the workers6 interests, all political events were discussed. The delegates went to and fro continually between the assembly and their factories. In the factories and shops the workers, in general meetings, discussed the same matters, took their decisions and often sent new delegates. 1ble socialists were appointed as secretaries, to give advice based on their wider knowledge. #ften these soviets had to act as political powers, as a kind of primitive government when the $%arist power was paraly%ed, when officials and officers did not know what to do and left the field to them. Thus these soviets became the permanent center of the revolution, they were constituted by delegates of all the factories, striking or working. They could not think of becoming an independent power. The members were often changed and sometimes the whole soviet was arrested and had to be replaced by new delegates. !oreover they knew that all their force was rooted in the workers will to strike or not to strike, often their calls were not followed when they did not concur with the workers6 instinctive feelings of power or weakness, of passion or prudence. /o the soviet system proved to be the appropriate form of organi%ation for a revolutionary working class. In 0>0E it was at once adopted in <ussia, and everywhere workers, and soldiers6 soviets came into being and were the driving force of the revolution. The complementary proof was given in Germany. In 0>0C, after the breakdown of the military power, workers6 and soldiers6 councils in imitation of <ussia were founded. But the German workers, educated in party and union discipline, full of social-democratic ideas of republic and reform as the next political aims, chose their party and union-officials as delegates into these councils. .hen fighting and acting themselves, they acted and fought in the right way, but from lack of self-confidence they chose leaders filled with capitalist ideas, and these always spoilt matters. It is natural that a &council congress) then resolved to abdicate for a new parliament, to be chosen as soon as possible. 5ere it became evident that the council system is the appropriate form of organi%ation only for a revolutionary working class. If the workers do not intend to go on with the revolution, they have no use for soviets. If the workers are not far enough advanced yet to see the way of revolution, if they are satisfied with the leaders doing all the work of speechifying and mediating and bargaining for reforms within capitalism, then parliaments and party and union-congresses, ( called workers parliaments because they work after the same principle ( are all they need. If, however, they fight with all their energy for revolution, if with intense eagerness and passion they take part in every event, if they think over and decide for themselves all details of fighting because they have to do the fighting, then workers6 councils are the organi%ation they need. This implies that workers6 councils cannot be formed by revolutionary groups. /uch groups can only propagate the idea by explaining to their fellow workers the necessity of council-organi%ation, when the working class as a self-determining power fights for freedom. $ouncils are the form of organi%ation only for fighting masses, for the working class as a whole, not for revolutionary groups. They originate and grow up along with the first action of a revolutionary character. .ith the development of revolution, their importance and their functions increase. 1t first they may appear as simple strike committees, in opposition to the labor leaders when the strikes go beyond the intentions of the leaders, and rebel against the unions and their leaders. In a universal strike the functions of these committees are enlarged. 'ow delegates of all the factories and plants have to discuss and to decide about all the conditions of the fight, they will try to regulate into consciously devised actions all the fighting power of the workers, they must see how they will react upon the governments6 measures, the doings of soldiers or capitalist gangs. By means of this very strike action, the actual decisions are made by the workers themselves. In the councils, the opinions, the will, the readiness, the hesitation, or the eagerness, the energy and the obstacles of all these masses concentrate and combine into a common line of action. They are the symbols, the exponents of the workers6 power, but at the same time they are only the spokesmen who can be replaced at any moment. 1t one time they are outlaws to the capitalist world, and at the next, they have to deal as e2ual parties with the high functionaries of government. 0=>

.hen the revolution develops to such power that the /tate power is seriously affected, then the workers6 councils have to assume political functions. In a political revolution, this is their first and chief function. They are the central bodies of the workers6 power, they have to take all measures to weaken and defeat the adversary. Hike a power at war, they have to stand guard over the whole country, controlling the efforts of the capitalist class to collect and restore their forces and to subdue the workers. They have to look after a number of public affairs which otherwise were state affairs 4 public health, public security, and the uninterrupted course of social life. They have to take care of the production itself, the most important and difficult task and concern of the working class in revolution. 1 social revolution in history never began as a simple charge of political rulers who then, after having ac2uired political power, carried out the necessary social changes by means of new laws. 1lready, before and during the fight, the rising class built up its new social organs as new sprouting branches within the dead husk of the former organism. In the 3rench revolution, the new capitalist class, the citi%ens, the business men, the artisans, built up in each town and village their communal boards, their new courts of ustice, illegal at the time, usurping simply the functions of the powerless functionaries of royalty. .hile their delegates in ?aris discussed and made the new constitution, the actual constitution was made all over the country by the citi%ens holding their political meetings, building up their political organs afterwards legali%ed by law. In the same way during the proletarian revolution, the new rising class creates its new forms of organi%ation which step by step in the process of revolution supersede the old /tate organi%ation. The workers6 councils, as the new form of political organi%ation, take the place of parliamentarism, the political form of capitalist rule.

?arliamentary democracy is considered by capitalist theorists as well as by social-democrats as the perfect democracy, conform to ustice and e2uality. In reality, it is only a disguise for capitalist domination, and contrary to ustice and e2uality. It is the council system that is the true workers6 democracy. ?arliamentary democracy is foul democracy. The people are allowed to vote once in four or five years and to choose their delegates, woe to them if they do not choose the right man. #nly at the polls the voters can exert their power, thereafter they are powerless. The chosen delegates are now the rulers of the people, they make laws and constitute governments, and the people have to obey. "sually, by the election mechanism, only the big capitalist parties with their powerful apparatus, with their papers, their noisy advertising, have a chance to win. <eal trustees of discontented groups seldom have a chance to win some few seats. In the soviet system, each delegate can be repealed at any moment. 'ot only do the workers continually remain in touch with the delegate, discussing and deciding for themselves, but the delegate is only a temporary messenger to the council assemblies. $apitalist politicians denounce this &characterless) role of the delegate, in that he may have to speak against his personal opinion. They forget that ust because there are no fixed delegates, only those will be sent whose opinions conform to those of the workers. The principle of parliamentary representation is that the delegate in parliament shall act and vote according to his own conscience and conviction. If on some 2uestion he should ask the opinion of his voters, it is only due to his own prudence. 'ot the people, but he on his own responsibility has to decide. The principle of the soviet system is ust the reverse, the delegates only express the opinions of the workers. In the elections for parliament, the citi%ens are grouped according to voting districts and counties, that is to say according to their dwelling place. ?ersons of different trades or classes, having nothing in common, accidentally living near one another, are combined into an artificial group which has to be represented by one delegate. In the councils, the workers are represented in their natural groups, according to factories, shops and plants. The workers of one factory or one big plant form a unit of production, they belong together by their collective work. In revolutionary epochs, they are in immediate contact to interchange opinions, they live under the same conditions and have the same interests. They must act together, the factory is the unit which 0@G

as a unit has to strike or to work, and its workers must decide what they collectively have to do. /o the organi%ation and delegation of workers in factories and workshops is the necessary form. It is at the same time the principle of representation of the communist order growing up in the revolution. ?roduction is the basis of society, or, more rightly, it is the contents, the essence of society, hence the order of production is at the same time the order of society. 3actories are the working units, the cells of which the organism of society consists. The main task of the political organs, which mean nothing else but the organs managing the totality of society, concerns the productive work of society. 5ence it goes without saying that the working people, in their councils, discuss these matters and choose their delegates, collected in their production units. .e should not believe, though, that parliamentarism, as the political form of capitalism, was not founded on production. 1lways the political organi%ation is adapted to the character of production as the basis of society. <epresentation, according to dwelling place, belongs to the system of petty capitalist production, where each man is supposed to be the possessor of his own small business. Then there is a mutual connection between all these businessmen at one place, dealing with one another, living as neighbors, knowing one another and therefore sending one common delegate to parliament. This was the basis of parliamentarism. .e have seen that later on this parliamentary delegation :system proved to be the right system for representing the growing and changing class interests within capitalism. 1t the same time it is clear now why the delegates in parliament had to take political power in their hands. Their political task was only a small part of the task of society. The most important part, the productive work, was the personal task of all the separate producers, the citi%ens as business men, it re2uired nearly all their energy and care. .hen every individual took care of his own small lot, then society as their totality went right. The general regulations by law, necessary conditions, doubtlessly, but of minor extent, could be left to the care of a special group or trade, the politicians. .ith communist production the reverse is true. 5ere the all important thing, the collective productive work, is the task of society as a whole, it concerns all the workers collectively. Their personal work does not claim their whole energy and care, their mind is turned to the collective task of society. The general regulation of this collective work cannot be left to a special group of persons, it is the vital interest of the whole working people. There is another difference between parliamentarism and the soviet system. In parliamentary democracy, one vote is given to every adult man and sometimes woman on the strength of their supreme, inborn right of belonging to mankind, as is so beautifully expressed in celebration speeches. In the soviets, on the other hand, only the workers are represented. $an the council system then be said to be truly democratic if it excludes the other classes of society: The council system embodies the dictatorship of the proletariat. !arx and Engels, more than half a century ago, explained that the social revolution was to lead to the dictatorship of the working class as the next political form and that this was essential in order to bring about the necessary changes in society. /ocialists, thinking in terms of parliamentary representation only, tried to excuse or to critici%e the violation of democracy and the in ustice of arbitrarily excluding persons from the polls because they belong to certain classes. 'ow we see how the development of the proletarian class struggle in a natural way produces the organs of this dictatorship, the soviets. It is certainly no violation of ustice that the councils, as the fighting centers of a revolutionary working class, do not include representatives of the opposing class. 1nd thereafter the matter is not different. In a rising communist society there is no place for capitalists, they have to disappear and they will disappear. .hoever takes part in the collective work is a member of the collectivity and takes part in the decisions. ?ersons, however, who stand outside the process of collective production, are, by the structure of the council system, automatically excluded from influence upon it. .hatever remains of the former exploiters and robbers has no vote in the regulation of a production in which they take no part. There are other classes in society that do not directly belong to the two chief opposite classes 4 small farmers, independent artisans, intellectuals. In the revolutionary fight they may waver to and fro, but on the whole they are not very important, because they have less fighting power. !ostly their forms of organi%ation and 0@0

their aims are different. To make friends with them or to neutrali%e them, if this is possible without impeding the proper aims or to fight them resolutely if necessary, to decide upon the way of dealing with them with e2uity and firmness, will be the concern, often a matter of difficult tactics, of the fighting working class. In the production-system, insofar as their work is useful and necessary, they will find their place and they will exert their influence after the principle that whoever does the work has a chief vote in regulating the work. !ore than half a century ago, Engels said that through the proletarian revolution the /tate would disappear, instead of the ruling over men would come the managing of affairs. This was said at a time when there could not be any clear idea about how the working class would come into power. 'ow we see the truth of this statement confirmed. In the process of revolution, the old /tate ?ower will be destroyed, and the organs that take its place, the workers6 councils, for the time being, will certainly have important political functions still to repress the remnants of capitalist power. Their political function of governing, however, will be gradually turned into nothing but the economic function of managing the collective process of production of goods for the needs of society. J.H.

0. This article was first published in English in the 1merican ournal Inte!national )o&ncil )o!!es2ondence *Kol. II 'o. @ 1pril 0>9D+. *?annekoek wrote a book with this title some years later which you can find at that link+. The text was published over the intials A.5 *Aohn 5arper+, a pen name ?annekoek often used and the translation may have been by ?annekoek himself. There are a couple of obvious errors in the published text which we have not attempted to correct. The article is in two parts ( it would be interesting to know if it was originally two short texts which were then oined together. *Note b$ ?ndpage7com+

State )a2italism and Dictato!s#i2 819*09

The term &/tate $apitalism) is fre2uently used in two different ways4 first, as an economic form in which the state performs the role of the capitalist employer, exploiting the workers in the interest of the state. The federal mail system or a state-owned railway are examples of this kind of state capitalism. In <ussia, this form of state capitalism predominates in industry 4 the work is planned, financed and managed by the state, the directors of industry are appointed by the state and profits are considered the income of the state. /econd, we find that a condition is defined as state capitalism *or state socialism+ under which capitalist enterprises are controlled by the state. This definition is misleading, however, as there still exists under these conditions capitalism in the form of private ownership, although the owner of an enterprise is no longer the sole master, his power being restricted so long as some sort of social insurance system for the workers is accepted. It depends now on the degree of state interference in private enterprises. If the state passes certain laws affecting employment conditions, such as the hiring and firing of workers, if enterprises are being financed by a federal banking system, or subventions are being granted to support the export trade, or if by law the limit of dividends for the large corporations is fixed ( then a condition will be reached under which state control will regulate the entire economic life. This will vary from the strict state capitalism in certain degrees. $onsidering the present economic situation in Germany we could consider a sort of state capitalism prevailing there. The rulers of big industry in Germany are not subordinated sub ects of the state but are the ruling power in Germany thru the fascist officials in the governing offices. The 'ational /ocialist ?arty developed as a tool of these rulers. In <ussia, on the other hand, the bourgeoisie was destroyed by the #ctober <evolution and has disappeared completely as a ruling power. The bureaucracy of the <ussian government took control of the growing industry. <ussian state capitalism could be developed as there was no powerful bourgeoisie in existence. In Germany, as in western Europe and in 1merica, the bourgeoisie is 0@7

in complete power, the owner of capital and the means of production. This is essential for the character of capitalism. The decisive factor is the character of that class which are the owners in full control of capital and not the inner form of administration nor the degree of state interference in the economic life of the population. /hould this class consider it a necessity to bind itself by stricter regulation ( a step that would also make the smaller private capitalists more dependent upon the will of the big capitalists ( the character of private capitalism would still remain. .e must therefore distinguish the difference between state capitalism and such private capitalism that may be regulated to the highest degree by the state. /trict regulations are not simply to be looked upon as an attempt to find a way out of the crisis. ?olitical considerations also play a part. Examples of state regulation point to one general aim 4 preparation for war. The war industry is regulated, as well as the farmersO production of food ( in order to be prepared for war. Impoverished by the results of the last war ( robbed of provinces, raw materials, colonies, capital, the German bourgeoisie must try to rehabilitate its remaining forces by rigorous concentration. 3oreseeing war as a last resort, it puts as much of its resources as is necessary into the hands of state control. .hen faced with the common aim for new world power, the private interests of the various sections of the bourgeoisie are put into the background. 1ll the capitalist powers are confronted with this 2uestion 4 to what extent the state, as the representative of the common interests of the national bourgeoisie, should be entrusted with powers over persons, finances and industry in the international struggle for power : This explains why in those nations of a poor but rapidly increasing population, without any or with but few colonies *such as Italy, Germany, Aapan+ the state has assumed the greatest power. #ne can raise the 2uestion 4 is not state capitalism the only &way out) for the bourgeoisie : #bviously state capitalism would be feasible, if only the whole productive process could be managed and planned centrally from above in order to meet the needs of the population and eliminate crises. If such conditions were brought about, the bourgeoisie would then cease being a real bourgeoisie. In bourgeois society, not only exploitation of the working class exists but there must also exist the constant struggle of the various sections of the capitalist class for markets and for sources of capital investment. This struggle among the capitalists is 2uite different from the old free competition on the market. "nder cover of cooperation of capital within the nation there exists a continuous struggle between huge monopolies. $apitalists cannot act as mere dividend collectors, leaving initiative to state officials to attend to the exploitation of the working class. $apitalists struggle among themselves for profits and for the control of the state in order to protect their sectional interests and their field of action extends beyond the limits of the state. 1lthough during the present crisis a strong concentration took place within each capitalist nation, there still remains powerful international interlacements, *of big capital+. In the form of the struggle between nations, the struggle of capitalists continues, whereby a severe political crisis in war and defeat has the effect of an economic crisis. .hen, therefore, the 2uestion arises whether or not state capitalism ( in the sense in which it has been used above ( is a necessary intermediate stage before the proletariat sei%es power, whether it would be the highest and last form of capitalism established by the bourgeoisie, the answer is 'o. #n the other hand, if by state capitalism one means the strict control and regulation of private capital by the state, the answer is Fes, the degree of state control varying within a country according to time and conditions, the preservation and increase of profits brought about in different ways, depending upon the historical and political conditions and the relationship of the classes.

The goal of the working class is liberation from exploitation. This goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting the bourgeoisie. It can only be realised by the workers themselves being master over production. 'evertheless it is possible and 2uite probable that state capitalism will be an intermediary stage, until the proletariat succeeds in establishing communism. This, however, could not happen for economic but for political reasons. /tate capitalism would not be the result of economic crises but of the class struggle. In the final stage of capitalism, the class struggle is the most significant force that determines the actions of the bourgeoisie and shapes state economy. 0@9

It is to be expected that, as a result of great economic tension and conflict, the class struggle of the future proletariat will flare up into mass action, whether this mass action be the came of wage conflicts wars or economic crises, whether the shape it takes be that of mass strikes, street riots or armed struggle, the proletariat will establish council organi%ations ( organs of self-determination and uniform execution of action. This will particularly be the case in Germany. There the old political organs of the class struggle have been destroyed, workers stand side by side as individuals with no other allegiance but to that of their class. /hould far-reaching political movements develop in Germany, the workers could function only as a class, fight only as a class when they oppose the capitalist principle of one-man dictatorship with the proletarian principle of self-determination of the masses. In other parliamentary countries, on the other hand, the workers are severely handicapped in their development of independent class action by the activities of the political parties. These parties promise the working class safer fighting methods, force upon the workers their leadership and make the ma ority of the population their unthinking followers, with the aid of their propaganda machinery. In Germany these handicaps are a dying tradition. /uch primary mass struggles are only the beginning of a period of revolutionary development. Het us assume a situation favorable to the proletariat, that proletarian action is so powerful as to paraly%e and overthrow the bourgeois state. In spite of unanimous action in this respect, the degree of maturity of the masses may vary. 1 clear conception of aims, ways and means will be ac2uired only during the process of revolution and after the first victory differences as to further tactics will assert themselves. /ocialist or communist party spokesmen appear, they are not dead, at least their ideas are alive among the &moderate) section of the workers. 'ow their time has come to put into practice their program of &state socialism.) The most progressive workers whose aim must be to put the leadership of the struggle into the control of the working class by means of the council organi%ation, *thereby weakening the enemy power of the state force+ will be encountered by &socialist) propaganda in which will be stressed the necessity of speedily building the socialist order by means of a &socialistic) government. There will be warnings against extreme demands, appeals to the timidity of those individuals to whom the thought of proletarian communism is yet inconceivable, compromises with bourgeois reformists will be advised, as well as the buying-out of the bourgeoisie rather than forcing it thru expropriation to embittered resistance. 1ttempts will be made to hold back the workers from revolutionary aims ( from the determined class struggle. 1round this type of propaganda will rally those who feel called upon to be at the head of the party or to assume leadership among the workers. 1mong these leaders will be a great portion of the intelligentsia who easily adapt themselves to &state socialism) but not to council communism and other sections of the bourgeoisie who see in the workersO struggles a new class position from which they can successfully combat communism. &/ocialism against anarchy,) such will be the battle cry of those who will want to save of capitalism what there can be saved. The outcome of this struggle depends on the maturity of the revolutionary working class. Those who now believe that all one has to do is to wait for revolutionary action, because then economic necessity will teach the workers how to act correctly, are victims of an illusion. $ertainly workers will learn 2uickly and act forcefully in revolutionary times. !eanwhile heavy defeats are likely to be experienced, resulting in the lose of countless victims. The more thorough the work of enlightenment of the proletariat, the more firm will be the attack of the masses against the attempt of &leaders) to direct their actions into the channels of state socialism. $onsidering the difficulties with which the task of enlightenment now encounters, it seems improbable that there lies open for the workers a road to freedom without setbacks. In this situation are to be found the possibilities for state capitalism as an intermediary stage before the coming of communism. Thus the capitalist class will not adopt state capitalism became of its own economic difficulties. !onopoly capitalism, particularly when using the state as a fascist dictatorship, can secure for itself most of the advantages of a single organi%ation without giving up its own rule over production. There will be a different situation, however, when it feels itself so far pressed by the working class that the old form of private capitalism can no longer be saved. Then state capitalism will be the way out4 the preservation of exploitation in the form of a &socialistic) society, where the &most capable leaders,) the &best brains,) and the &great men of action) will direct production and the masses will work obediently under their command. .hether or not this condition is called state capitalism or state socialism makes no difference in principle. .hether one refers to the first term &/tate capitalism) as being a ruling and exploiting state bureaucracy or to the second 0@=

term &/tate socialism) as a necessary staff of officials who as dutiful and obedient servants of the community share the work with the laborers, the difference in the final analysis lies in the amount of the salaries and the 2ualitative measure of influence in the party connections. /uch a form of society cannot be stable, it is a form of retrogression, against which the working class will again rise. "nder it a certain amount of order can be brought about but production remains restricted. /ocial development remains hindered. <ussia was able, through this form of organi%ation, to change from semibarbarism to a developed capitalism, to surpass even the achievements of the .estern countriesO private capitalism. In this process figures the enthusiasm apparent among the &upstart) bourgeois classes, wherever capitalism begins its course. But such state capitalism cannot progress. In .estern Europe and in 1merica the same form of economic organi%ation would not be progressive, since it would hinder the coming of communism. It would obstruct the necessary revolution in production, that is, it would be reactionary in character and assume the political form of a dictatorship.

/ome !arxists maintain that !arx and Engels foresaw this development of society to state capitalism. But we know of no statement by !arx concerning state capitalism from which we could deduce that he looked upon the state when it assumes the role of sole capitalist, as being the last phase of capitalist society. 5e saw in the state the organ of suppression, which bourgeois society uses against the working class. 3or Engels &The ?roletariat sei%es the power of the state and then changes the ownership of the means of production to state ownership.) This means that the change of ownership to state ownership did not occur previously. 1ny attempt to make this sentence of EngelsO responsible for the theory of state capitalism, brings Engels into contradiction with himself. 1lso, there is no confirmation of it to be found in actual occurrences. The railroads in highly developed capitalist countries, like England and 1merica, are still in the private possession of capitalistic corporations. #nly the postal and telegraphic services are owned by the states in most countries, but for other reasons than their high state of development. The German railroads were owned by the state mostly for military reasons. The only state capitalism which was enabled to transfer the means of production to state ownership is the <ussian, but not on account of their state of high development, rather on account of their low degree of development. There is nothing, however, to be found in Engels which could be applied to conditions as they exist in Germany and Italy today, these are strong supervision regulation, and limitation of liberty of private capitalism by an all-powerful state. This is 2uite natural, as Engels was no prophet, he was only a scientist who was well aware of the process of social development. .hat he expounds are the fundamental tendencies in this development and their significance. Theories of development are best expressed when spoken of in connection with the future, it is therefore not harmful to use caution in expressing them. Hess cautious expression, as is often the case with Engels, does not diminish the value of the prognostications in the least, although occurrences do not exactly correspond to predictions. 1 man of his calibre has a right to expect that even his suppositions be treated with care, although they were arrived at under certain definite conditions. The work of deducing the tendencies of capitalism and their development, and shaping them into consistent and comprehensive theories assures to !arx and Engels a prominent position among the most outstanding thinkers and scientists of the nineteenth century, but the exact description of the social structure of half a century in advance in all its details was an impossibility even for them. Bictatorships, as those in Italy and Germany, became necessary as means of coercion to force upon the unwilling mass of small capitalists the new order and the regulating limitations. 3or this reason such dictatorship is often looked upon as the future political form of society of a developed capitalism the world over. Buring forty years the socialist press pointed out that military monarchy was the political form of society belonging to a concentrated capitalistic society. 3or the bourgeois is in need of a 8aiser, the Aunkers and the army in defense against a revolutionary working class on one side and the neighboring countries on the other 0@@

side. 3or ten years the belief prevailed that the republic was the true form of government for a developed capitalism, because under this form of state the bourgeoisie were the masters. 'ow the dictatorship is considered to be the needed form of government. .hatever the form may be, the most fitting reasons for it are always found. .hile at the same time countries like England, 3rance, 1merica and Belgium with a highly concentrated and developed capitalism, retain the same form of parliamentary government, be it under a republic or kingdom. This proves that capitalism chooses many roads leading to the same destination, and it also proves that there should be no haste in drawing conclusions from the experiences in one country to apply to the world at large. In every country great capital accomplishes its rule by means of the existing political institutions, developed thru history and traditions, whose functions are then being changed expressly. England offers an instance. There the parliamentary system in con unction with a high measure of personal liberty and autonomy are so successful that there is no trace whatever of socialism, communism or revolutionary thought among the working classes. There also monopolistic capitalism grew and developed. There, too, capitalism dominates the government. There, too, the government takes measures to overcome the results of the depression, but they manage to succeed without the aid of a dictatorship. This does not make England a democracy, because already a half a century ago two aristocratic cli2ues of politicians held the government alternately, and the same conditions prevail today. But they are ruling by different means, in the long run these means may be more effective than the brutal dictatorship. $ompared with Germany, the even and forceful rule of English capitalism looks to be the more normal one. In Germany the pressure of a police-government forced the workers into radical movements, subse2uently the workers obtained external political power, not thru the efforts of a great inner force within themselves, but thru the military debacle of their rulers, and eventually they saw that power destroyed by a sharp dictatorship, the result of a petty bourgeois revolution which was financed by monopolistic capital. This should not be interpreted to mean that the English form of government is really the normal one, and the German the abnormal one, ust as it would be wrong to assume the reverse. Each case must be udged separately, each country has the kind of government which grew out of its own course of political development. #bserving 1merica, we find in this land of greatest concentration of monopolistic capital as little desire to change to a dictatorship as we find in England. "nder the <oosevelt administration certain regulations and actions were effected in order to relieve the results of the depression, some were complete innovations. 1mong these there was also the beginning of a social policy, which was hitherto entirely absent from 1merican politics. But private capital is already rebelling and is already feeling strong enough to pursue its own course in the political struggle for power. /een from 1merica, the dictatorships in several European countries appear like a heavy armour, destructive of liberty, which the closely pressed-in nations of Europe must bear, because inherited feuds whip them on to mutual destruction, but not as what they really are, purposeful forms of organi%ation of a most highly developed capitalism. The arguments for a new labor movement, which we designate with the name of $ouncil-$ommunism, do not find their basis in state capitalism and fascist dictatorship. This movement represents a vital need of the working classes and is bound to develop everywhere. It becomes a necessity because of the colossal rise of the power of capital, because against a power of this magnitude the old forms of labor movement become powerless, therefore labor must find new means of combat. 3or this reason any program principles for the new labor movement can be based on neither state capitalism, fascism, nor dictatorship as their causes, but only the constantly growing power of capital and the impotence of the old labor movement to cope with this power. 3or the working classes in fascist countries both conditions prevail, for there the risen power of capital is the power holding the political as well as the economic dictatorship of the country. .hen there the propaganda for new forms of action connects with the existence of the dictatorship, it is as it should be. But it would be folly to base an international program on such principles forgetting that conditions in other countries differ widely from those in fascist countries. Anton Pannekoek 19*0 0@D

Pa!t$ and 5o!king )lass

.e are only at the very earliest stages of a new workersO movement. The old movement was embodied in parties, and today belief in the party constitutes the most powerful check on the working classO capacity for action. That is why we are not trying to create a new party. This is so, not because our numbers are small -- a party of any kind begins with a few people -- but because, in our day, a party cannot be other than an organi%ation aimed at directing and dominating the proletariat. To this type of organi%ation we oppose the principle that the working class can effectively come into its own and prevail only by taking its destiny into its own hands. The workers are not to adopt the slogans of any group whatsoever, not even our own groups, they are to think, decide and act for themselves. Therefore, in this transitional period, the natural organs of education and enlightenment are, in our view, work groups, study and discussion circles, which have formed of their own accord and are seeking their own way. This view directly contradicts the traditional ideas about the role of the party as an essential educational organ of the proletariat. 5ence it is resisted in many 2uarters where, however, there is no further desire to have dealings either with the /ocialist ?arty or the $ommunist ?arty. This, no doubt, is to be partly explained by the strength of tradition4 when one has always regarded the class war as a party war and a war between parties, it is very difficult to adopt the exclusive viewpoint of class and of the class war. But partly, too, one is faced with the clear idea that, after all, it is incumbent on the party to play a role of the first importance in the proletarian struggle for freedom. It is this idea we shall now examine more closely. The whole 2uestion pivots, in short, on the following distinction4 a party is a group based on certain ideas held in common, whereas a class is a group united on the basis of common interests. !embership in a class is determined by function in the production process, a function that creates definite interests. !embership in a party means being one of a group having identical views about the ma or social 2uestions. In recent times, it was supposed for theoretical and practical reasons that this fundamental difference would disappear within a class party, the OworkersO party.O Buring the period when /ocial Bemocracy was in full growth, the current impression was that this party would gradually unite all the workers, some as militants, others as sympathi%ers. 1nd since the theory was that identical interests would necessarily engender identical ideas and aims, the distinction between class and party was bound, it was believed, to disappear. /ocial Bemocracy remained a minority group, and moreover became the target of attack by new workersO groups. /plits occurred within it, while its own character underwent radical change and certain articles of its program were either revised or interpreted in a totally different sense. /ociety does not develop in a continuous way, free from setbacks, but through conflicts and antagonisms. .hile the working class battle is widening in scope, the enemyOs strength is increasing. "ncertainty about the way to be followed constantly and repeatedly troubles the minds of the combatants, and doubt is a factor in division, of internal 2uarrels and conflicts within the workersO movement. It is useless to deplore these conflicts as creating a pernicious situation that should not exist and which is making the workers powerless. 1s has often been pointed out, the working class is not weak because it is divided, on the contrary, it is divided because it is weak. 1nd the reason why the proletariat ought to seek new ways is that the enemy has strength of such a kind that the old methods are ineffectual. The working class will not secure these ways by magic, but through a great effort, deep reflection, through the clash of divergent opinions and the conflict of impassioned ideas. It is incumbent upon it to find its own way, and precisely therein is the raison dOYtre of the internal differences and conflicts. It is forced to renounce outmoded ideas and old chimeras, and it is indeed the difficulty of this task that engenders such big divisions. 'or should the illusion be nursed that such impassioned party conflicts and opinion clashes belong only to a transitional period such as the present one, and that they will in due course disappear, leaving a unity stronger than ever. $ertainly, in the evolution of the class struggle, it sometimes happens that all the various elements of strength are merged in order to snatch some great victory, and that revolution is the fruit of this unity. But in this case, as after every victory, divergences appear immediately when it comes to deciding on new ob ectives. The proletariat then finds itself faced with the most arduous tasks4 to crush the enemy, and 0@E

more, to organi%e production, to create a new order. It is out of the 2uestion that all the workers, all categories and all groups, whose interests are still far from being homogeneous, should think and feel in the same way, and should reach spontaneous and immediate agreement about what should be done next. It is precisely because they are committed to finding for themselves their own way ahead that the liveliest differences occur, that there are clashes among them, and that finally, through such conflict, they succeed in clarifying their ideas. 'o doubt, if certain people holding the same ideas get together to discuss the prospects for action, to hammer out ideas by discussion, to indulge in propaganda for these attitudes, then it is possible to describe such groups as parties. The name matters little, provided that these parties adopt a role distinct from that which existing parties seek to fulfil. ?ractical action, that is, concrete class struggle, is a matter for the masses themselves, acting as a whole, within their natural groups, notably the work gangs, which constitute the units of effective combat. It would be wrong to find the militants of one tendency going on strike, while those of another tendency continued to work. In that case, the militants of each tendency should present their viewpoints to the factory floor, so that the workers as a whole are able to reach a decision based on knowledge and facts. /ince the war is immense and the enemyOs strength enormous, victory must be attained by merging all the forces at the massesO disposal -- not only material and moral force with a view to action, unity and enthusiasm, but also the spiritual force born of mental clarity. The importance of these parties or groups resides in the fact that they help to secure this mental clarity through their mutual conflicts, their discussions, their propaganda. It is by means of these organs of self-clarification that the working class can succeed in tracing for itself the road to freedom. That is why parties in this sense *and also their ideas+ do not need firm and fixed structures. 3aced with any change of situation, with new tasks, people become divided in their views, but only to reunite in new agreement, while others come up with other programs. Given their fluctuating 2uality, they are always ready to adapt themselves to the new. The present workersO parties are of an absolutely different character. Besides, they have a different ob ective4 to sei%e power and to exercise it for their sole benefit. 3ar from attempting to contribute to the emancipation of the working class, they mean to govern for themselves, and they cover this intention under the pretence of freeing the proletariat. /ocial Bemocracy, whose ascendant period goes back to the great parliamentary epoch, sees this power as government based on a parliamentary ma ority. 3or its part, the $ommunist ?arty carries its power politics to its extreme conse2uences4 party dictatorship. "nlike the parties described above, these parties are bound to have formations with rigid structures, whose cohesion is assured by means of statutes, disciplinary measures, admission and dismissal procedures. Besigned to dominate, they fight for power by orienting the militants toward the instruments of power that they possess and by striving constantly to increase their sphere of influence. They do not see their task as that of educating the workers to think for themselves, on the contrary, they aim at drilling them, at turning them into faithful and devoted adherents of their doctrines. .hile the working class needs unlimited freedom of spiritual development to increase its strength and to con2uer, the basis of party power is the repression of all opinions that do not conform to the party line. In OdemocraticO parties, this result is secured by methods that pay lip service to freedom, in the dictatorial parties, by brutal and avowed repression. 1 number of workers are already aware that domination by the /ocialist ?arty or the $ommunist ?arty would simply be a camouflaged supremacy of the bourgeois class, and would thus perpetuate exploitation and servitude. But, according to these workers, what should take its place is a Orevolutionary partyO that would really aim at creating proletarian power and communist society. There is no 2uestion here of a party in the sense we defined above, i.e., of a group whose sole ob ective is to educate and enlighten, but of a party in the current sense, i.e., a party fighting to secure power and to exercise it with a view to the liberation of the working class, and all this as a vanguard, as an organi%ation of the enlightened revolutionary minority. The very expression Orevolutionary partyO is a contradiction in terms, for a party of this kind could not be revolutionary. If it were, it could only be so in the sense in which we describe revolutionary as a change of government resulting from somewhat violent pressures, e.g., the birth of the Third <eich. .hen we use the word Orevolution,O we clearly mean the proletarian revolution, the con2uest of power by the working class. 0@C

The basic theoretical idea of the Orevolutionary partyO is that the working class could not do without a group of leaders capable of defeating the bourgeoisie for them and of forming a new government, in other words, the conviction that the working class is itself incapable of creating the revolution. 1ccording to this theory, the leaders will create the communist society by means of decrees, in other words, the working class is still incapable of administering and organi%ing for itself its work and production. Is there not a certain ustification for this thesis, at least provisionally: Given that at the present time the working class as a mass is showing itself to be unable to create a revolution, is it not necessary that the revolutionary vanguard, the party, should make the revolution on the working classO behalf: 1nd is not this valid so long as the masses passively submit to capitalism: This attitude immediately raises two 2uestions. .hat type of power will such a party establish through the revolution: .hat will occur to con2uer the capitalist class: The answer is self-evident4 an uprising of the masses. In effect, only mass attacks and mass strikes lead to the overthrow of the old domination. Therefore, the Orevolutionary partyO will get nowhere without the intervention of the masses. 5ence, one of two things must occur. The first is that the masses persist in action. 3ar from abandoning the fight in order to allow the new party to govern, they organi%e their power in the factories and workshops and prepare for new battles, this time with a view to the final defeat of capitalism. By means of workersO councils, they form a community that is increasingly close-knit, and therefore capable of taking on the administration of society as a whole. In a word, the masses prove that they are not as incapable of creating the revolution as was supposed. 3rom this moment, conflict inevitably arises between the masses and the new party, the latter seeking to be the only body to exercise power and convinced that the party should lead the working class, that self-activity among the masses is only a factor of disorder and anarchy. 1t this point, either the class movement has become strong enough to ignore the party or the party, allied with bourgeois elements, crushes the workers. In either case, the party is shown to be an obstacle to the revolution, because the party seeks to be something other than an organ of propaganda and of enlightenment, and because it adopts as its specific mission the leadership and government of the masses. The second possibility is that the working masses conform to the doctrine of the party and turn over to it control of affairs. They follow directives from above and, persuaded *as in Germany in 0>0C+ that the new government will establish socialism or communism, they get on with their day-to-day work. Immediately, the bourgeoisie mobili%es all its forces4 its financial power, its enormous spiritual power, its economic supremacy in the factories and the large enterprises. The reigning party, too weak to withstand such an offensive, can maintain itself in power only by multiplying concessions and withdrawals as proof of its moderation. Then the idea becomes current that for the moment this is all that can be done, and that it would be foolish for the workers to attempt a violent imposition of utopian demands. In this way, the party, deprived of the mass power of a revolutionary class, is transformed into an instrument for the conservation of bourgeois power. .e have ust said that, in relation to the proletarian revolution, a Orevolutionary partyO is a contradiction in terms. This could also be expressed by saying that the term OrevolutionaryO in the expression Orevolutionary partyO necessarily designates a bourgeois revolution. #n every occasion, indeed, that the masses have intervened to overthrow a government and have then handed power to a new party, it was a bourgeois revolution that took place -- a substitution of a new dominant category for an old one. /o it was in ?aris when, in 0C9G, the commercial bourgeoisie took over from the big landed proprietors, and again, in 0C=C, when the industrial bourgeoisie succeeded the financial bourgeoisie, and again in 0CE0 when the whole body of the bourgeoisie came to power. /o it was during the <ussian <evolution, when the party bureaucracy monopoli%ed power in its capacity as a governmental category. But in our day, both in .estern Europe and in 1merica, the bourgeoisie is too deeply and too solidly rooted in the factories and the banks to be removed by a party bureaucracy. 'ow as always, the only means of con2uering the bourgeoisie is to appeal to the masses, the latter taking over the factories and forming their own complex of councils. In this case, however, it seems that the real strength is in the masses who destroy the domination of capital in proportion as their own action widens and deepens. 0@>

Therefore, those who contemplate a Orevolutionary partyO are learning only a part of the lessons of the past. 'ot unaware that the workersO parties -- the /ocialist ?arty and $ommunist ?arty -- have become organs of domination serving to perpetuate exploitation, they merely conclude from this that it is only necessary to improve the situation. This is to ignore the fact that the failure of the different parties is traceable to a much more general cause -- namely, the basic contradiction between the emancipation of the class, as a body and by their own efforts, and the reduction of the activity of the masses to powerlessness by a new pro-workersO power. 3aced with the passivity and indifference of the masses, they come to regard themselves as a revolutionary vanguard. But, if the masses remain inactive, it is because, while instinctively sensing both the colossal power of the enemy and the sheer magnitude of the task to be undertaken, they have not yet discerned the mode of combat, the way of class unity. 5owever, when circumstances have pushed them into action, they must undertake this task by organi%ing themselves autonomously, by taking into their own hands the means of production, and by initiating the attack against the economic power of capital. 1nd once again, every self-styled vanguard seeking to direct and to dominate the masses by means of a Orevolutionary partyO will stand revealed as a reactionary factor by reason of this very conception. Anton Pannekoek 19*7

Societ$ and

ind in

a!"ian P#iloso2#$

!arx6s theory of social development is known as the &materialistic conception of history) or &historical materialism.) Before !arx the word &materialism) had long been used in opposition to idealism, for whereas idealistic philosophical systems assumed some spiritual principle, some &1bsolute Idea) as the primary basis of the world, the materialistic philosophies proceeded from the real material world. In the middle of the nineteenth century, another kind of materialism was current which considered physical matter as the primary basis from which all spiritual and mental phenomena must be derived. !ost of the ob ections that have been raised against !arxism are due to the fact that it has not been sufficiently distinguished from this mechanical materialism. ?hilosophy is condensed in the well-known 2uotation &it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.) !arxism is not concerned with the antithesis matter-mind, it deals with the real world and the ideas derived therefrom. This real world comprises everything observable ( that is, all that by observation may be declared an ob ective fact. The wage-relations between workman and employer, the constitution of the "nited /tates, the science of mathematics, although not consisting of physical matter, are 2uite as real and ob ective as the factory machine, the $apitol or the #hio <iver. Even ideas themselves in their turn act as real, observable facts. !echanical materialism assumes that our thoughts are determined by the motions of atoms in the cells of our brains. !arxism considers our thoughts to be determined by our social experience observed through the senses or felt as direct bodily needs. The world for man is society. #f course, the wider world is nature, and society is nature transformed by man. But in the course of history this transformation was so thorough that now society is the most important part of our world. /ociety is not simply an aggregate of men, men are connected by definite relations not chosen by them at will, but imposed upon them by the economic system under which they live and in which each has his place. The relations which the productive system establishes between men have the same stringency as biological facts, but this does not mean that men think only of their food. It means that the manner in which man earns his living ( that is, the economic organi%ation of production ( places every individual in determinate relations with his fellow-men thus determining his thinking and feeling. It is true, of course, that even up to the present nearly all the thoughts of men have been orientated around the getting of food, because a livelihood has never been assured for everybody. The fear of want and hunger has weighed like a nightmare 0DG

on the minds of men. But, in a socialist system, when this fear will have been removed, when mankind will be master of the means of subsistence, and thinking will be free and creative, the system of production will also continue to determine ideas and institutions. The mode of production *<roduktions,eise+, which forms the mind of man, is, at the same time, a product of man. It has been built up by mankind during the course of centuries, everyone participating in its development. 1t any given moment, its structure is determined by given conditions, the most important of which are technics and law. !odern capitalism is not simply production by large scale machinery, it is production by such machines under the rule of private property. The growth of capitalism was not only a change from an economy utili%ing small tools to large scale industry, but at the same time, a development of the guild-bound craftsmen into wage laborers and businessmen. 1 system of production is a determinate system of technics regulated for the benefit of the owners by a system of uridical rules. The oft-2uoted thesis of the German urist, /tammler, that law determines the economic system *& das 9echt bestimmt die WirtschaftJ+, is based upon this circumstance. /tammler thought that by this sentence he had refuted !arxism, which proclaimed the dominance of economics over uridical ideas. By proclaiming that the material element, the technical side of the labor process, is ruled and dominated by ideological elements, the uridical rules by which men regulate their relations at their own will, /tammler felt convinced that he had established the predominance of mind over matter. But the antithesis technics-law does not coincide at all with the antithesis matter-mind. Haw is not only spiritual rule but also hard constraint, not only an article on the statute books, but also the club of the policeman and the walls. of the ail. 1nd technics is not only the material machines but also the power to construct them, including the science of physics. The two conditions, technics and law, play different roles in determining the system of production.. The will of those who control technics cannot by itself create these technics, but it can, and does, make the laws. They are voluntary, but not capricious. They do not determine productive relations, but take advantage of these relations for the benefit of the owners and they are altered to meet advances in the modes of production. !anufacture using the technics of small tools led to a system of craft production, thus making the uridical institution of private property necessary. The development of big industry made the growth of large scale machinery possible and necessary, and induced people to remove the uridical obstacles to its development and to establish laisse%-faire trade legislation. In this way technics determines law, it is the underlying force, whereas law belongs to the superstructure resting on it. Thus /tammler, while correct in his thesis in a restricted sense, is wrong in the general sense. Aust because law rules economics, people seek to make such laws as are re2uired by a given productive e2uipment, in this way technics determines law. There is no rigid, mechanical, one-to-one dependence. Haw does not automatically ad ust itself to every new change of technics. The economic need must be felt and then man must change and ad ust his laws accordingly. To achieve this ad ustment is the difficult and painful purpose of social struggles. It is the 2uintessence and aim of all political strife and of all great revolutions in history. The fight for new uridical principles is necessary to form a new system of production adapted to the enormous modern development of technics. Technics as the productive force is the basis of society. In primitive society, the natural conditions play the chief role in determining the system of production. In the course of history technical implements are gradually improved by almost imperceptible steps. 'atural science, by investigating the forces of nature, develops into the important productive force. 1ll the technicalities in developing and applying science, including the most abstract mathematics, which is to all appearances an exercise in pure reason, may therefore be reckoned as belonging to the technical basis of the system of production, to what !arx called the &productive forces.) In this way material *in a physical sense+ and mental elements are combined in what !arxists call the material basis of society. The !arxian conception of history puts living man in the center of its scheme of development, with all his needs and all his powers, both physical and mental. 5is needs are not only the needs of his stomach *though these are the most imperative+, but also the needs of head and heart. In human labor, the material, physical side and the mental side are inseparable, even the most primitive work of the savage is brain work as much as muscle work. #nly because under capitalism the division of labor separated these two parts into functions of different classes, thereby maiming the capacities of both, did intellectuals come to overlook their organic 0D0

and social unity. In this way, we may understand their erroneous view of !arxism as a theory dealing exclusively with the material side of life.

!arx6s historical materialism is a method of interpretation of history. 5istory consists of the deeds, the actions of men. .hat induces these actions: .hat determines the activity of man: !an, as an organism with certain needs which must be satisfied as conditional to his existence, stands within a surrounding nature, which offers the means to satisfy them. 5is needs and the impressions of the surrounding world are the impulses, the stimuli to which his actions are the responses, ust as with all living beings. In the case of man, consciousness is interposed between stimulus and action. The need as it is directly felt, and the surrounding world as observed through the senses, work upon the mind, produce thoughts, ideas and aims, stimulate the will and put the body in action. The thoughts and aims of an active man are considered by him as the cause of his deeds, he does not ask where these thoughts come from. This is especially true because thoughts, ideas and aims are not as a rule derived from the impressions by conscious reasoning, but are the product of subconscious spontaneous processes in our minds. 3or the members of a social class, life6s daily experiences condition, and the needs of the class mold, the mind into a definite line of feeling and thinking, to produce definite ideas about what is useful and what is good or bad. The conditions of a class are life necessities to its members, and they consider what is good or bad for them to be good or bad in general. .hen conditions are ripe men go into action and shape society according to their ideas. The rising 3rench bourgeoisie in the eighteenth century, feeling the necessity of laisse%-faire laws, of personal freedom for the citi%ens, proclaimed freedom as a slogan, and in the 3rench <evolution con2uered power and transformed society. The idealistic conception of history explains the events of history, as caused by the ideas of men. This is wrong, in that it confuses the abstract formula with a special concrete meaning, overlooking the fact that, for example, the 3rench bourgeoisie wanted only that freedom that was good for itself. !oreover, it omits the real problem, the origin of these ideas. The materialistic conception of history explains these ideas as caused by the social needs arising from the conditions of the existing system of production. 1ccording to this view, the events of history are determined by forces arising out of the existing economic system. The historical materialist6s interpretation of the 3rench <evolution in terms of a rising capitalism which re2uired a modern state with legislation adapted to its needs does not contradict the conception that the <evolution was brought about by the desire of the citi%en for freedom from restraint, it merely goes further to the root of the problem. 3or historical materialism contends that rising capitalism produced in the bourgeoisie the conviction that economic and political freedom was necessary, and thus awakened the passion and enthusiasm that enabled the bourgeoisie to con2uer political power and to transform the state. In this way !arx established causality in the development of human society. It is not a causality outside of man, for history is at the same time the product of human action. !an is a link in the chain of cause and effect, necessity in social development is a necessity achieved by means of human action. The material world acts upon man, determines his consciousness, his ideas, his will, his actions, and so he reacts upon the world and changes it. To the traditional middle-class mode of thinking this is a contradiction ( the source of endless misrepresentations of !arxism. Either the actions of man determine history, they say, and then there is no necessary causality because man is free, or if, as !arxism contends, there is causal necessity it can only work as a fatality to which man has to submit without being able to change. 3or the materialistic mode of thinking, on the contrary, the human mind is bound by a strict causal dependence to the whole of the surrounding world. The thoughts, the theories, the ideas, that former systems of society have thus wrought in the human mind, have been preserved for posterity, first in material form in subse2uent historical activity. But they have also been preserved in a spiritual form. The ideas, sentiments, passions and ideals that incited former generations to action were laid down in literature, in science, in art, in religion and in philosophy. .e come into direct contact with them in the study of the humanities. These sciences belong to the most important fields of 0D7

research for !arxian scholars, the differences between the philosophies, the literatures, the religions of different peoples in the course of centuries can only be understood in terms of the molding of men6s minds through their societies, that is, through their systems of production. It has been said above, that the effects of society upon the human mind have been deposited in material form in subse2uent historical events. The chain of cause and effect of past events which proceeds from economic needs to new ideas, from new ideas to social action, from social action to new institutions and from new institutions to new economic systems is complete and ever reenacted. Both original cause and the final effect are economic and we may reduce the process to a short formula by omitting the intermediate terms which involve the activity of the human mind. .e can then illustrate the truth of !arxian principles by showing how, in actual history, effect follows cause. In analy%ing the present, however, we see numerous causal chains which are not finished. .hen society works upon the minds of men, it often produces ideas, ideals and theories which do not succeed in arousing men to social or class-motivated action, or fail to bring about the necessary political, uridical and economic changes. 3re2uently too, we find that new conditions do not at once impress themselves upon the mind. Behind apparent simplicities lurk complexities so unexpected that only a special instrument of interpretation can uncover them at the moment. !arxian analysis enables us to see things more clearly. .e begin to see that we are inside of a process fraught with converging influences, in the midst of the slow ripening of new ideas and tendencies which constitute the gradual preparation of revolution. This is why it is important to the present generation, which today has to frame the society of tomorrow, to know how !arxian theory may be of use to them, in understanding the events and in determining their own conduct. 5ence a more thorough consideration of how society acts upon the mind will be necessary here.

The human mind is entirely determined by the surrounding real world. .e have already said that this world is not restricted to physical matter only, but comprises everything that is ob ectively observable. The thoughts and ideas of our fellow men, which we observe by means of their conversation or by our reading are included in this real world. 1lthough fanciful ob ects of these thoughts such as angels, spirits or an 1bsolute Idea do not belong to it, the belief in such ideas is a real phenomenon, and may have a notable influence on historical events. The impressions of the world penetrate the human mind as a continuous stream. 1ll our observations of the surrounding world, all experiences of our lives are continually enriching the contents of our memories and our subconscious minds. The recurrence of nearly the same situation and the same experience leads to definite habits of action, these are accompanied by definite habits of thought. The fre2uent repetition of the same observed se2uence of phenomena is retained in the mind and produces an expectation of the se2uence. The rule that these phenomena are always connected in this way is then acted upon. But this rule ( sometimes elevated to a law of nature ( is a mental abstraction of a multitude of analogous phenomena, in which differences are neglected, and agreement emphasi%ed. The names by which we denote definite similar parts of the world of phenomena indicate conceptions which likewise are formed by taking their common traits, the general character of the totality of these phenomena, and abstracting them from their differences. The endless diversity, the infinite plurality of all the unimportant, accidental traits, are neglected and the important, essential characteristics are preserved. Through their origin as habits of thought these concepts become fixed, crystalli%ed, invariable, each advance in clarity of thinking consists in more exactly defining the concepts in terms of their properties, and in more exactly formulating the rules. The world of experience, however, is continually expanding and changing, our habits are disturbed and must be modified, and new concepts substituted for old ones. !eanings, definitions, scopes of concepts all shift and vary. .hen the world does not change very much, when the same phenomena and the same experiences always return, the habits of acting and thinking become fixed with great rigidity, the new impressions of the mind fit into the image formed by former experience and intensify it. These habits and these concepts are not personal but collective property, they are not lost with the death of the individual. They are intensified by the mutual intercourse of the members of the community, who all are living in the same world, and they are transferred to the next generation as a system of ideas and beliefs, an ideology ( the mental store of the 0D9

community. .here for many centuries the system of production does not change perceptibly, as for example in old agricultural societies, the relations between men, their habits of life, their experience of the world remain practically the same. In every new generation living under such a static productive system the existing ideas, concepts and habits of thinking will petrify more and more into a dogmatic, unassailable ideology of eternal truth. .hen, however, in conse2uence of the development of the productive forces, the world is changing, new and different impressions enter the mind which do not fit in with the old image. There then begins a process of rebuilding, out of parts of old ideas and new experiences. #ld concepts are replaced by new ones, former roles and udgments are upset, new ideas emerge. 'ow every member of a class or group is affected in the same way and at the same time. Ideological strife arises in connection with the class struggles and is eagerly pursued, because all the different individual lives are linked in diverse ways with the problem of how to pattern society and its system of production. "nder modern capitalism, economic and political changes take place so rapidly that the human mind can hardly keep pace with them. In fierce internal struggles, ideas are revolutioni%ed, sometimes rapidly, by spectacular events, sometimes slowly, by continuous warfare against the weight of the old ideology. In such a process of unceasing transformation, human consciousness adapts itself to society, to the real world. 5ence !arx6s thesis that the real world determines consciousness does not mean that contemporary ideas are determined solely by contemporary society. #ur ideas and concepts are the crystalli%ation, the comprehensive essence of the whole of our experience, present and past. .hat was already fixed in the past in abstract mental forms must be included with such adaptations of the present as are necessary. 'ew ideas thus appear to arise from two sources4 present reality and the system of ideas transmitted from the past. #ut of this distinction arises one of the most common ob ections against !arxism. The ob ection, namely, that not only the real material world, but in no less degree, the ideological elements ( ideas, beliefs and ideals ( determine man6s mind and thus his deeds, and therefore the future of the world. This would be a correct criticism if ideas originated by themselves, without cause, or from the innate nature of man, or from some supernatural spiritual source. !arxism, however, says that these ideas also must have their origin in the real world under social conditions. 1s forces in modern social development, these traditional ideas hamper the spread of new ideas that express new necessities. In taking these traditions into account we need not leave the realm of !arxism. 3or every tradition is a piece of reality, ust as every idea is itself a part of the real world, living in the mind of men, it is often a very powerful reality as a determinant of men6s actions. It is a reality of an ideological nature that has lost its material roots because the former conditions of life which produced them have since disappeared. That these traditions could persist after their material roots have disappeared is not simply a conse2uence of the nature of the human mind, which is capable of preserving in memory or subconsciously the impressions of the past. !uch more important is what may be termed the social memory, the perpetuation of collective ideas, systemati%ed in the form of prevailing beliefs and ideologies, and transferred to future generations in oral communications, in books, in literature, in art and in education. The surrounding world which determines the mind consists not only of the contemporary economic world, but also of all the ideological influences derived from continuous intercourse with our fellow men. 5ence comes the power of tradition, which in a rapidly developing society causes the development of the ideas to lag behind the development of society. In the end tradition must yield to the power of the incessant battering of new realities. Its effect upon social development is that instead of permitting a regular gradual ad ustment of ideas and institutions in line with the changing necessities, these necessities when too strongly in contradiction with the old institutions, lead to explosions, to revolutionary transformations, by which lagging minds are drawn along and are themselves revolutioni%ed.


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http4VVkuras e.tripod.comVindex.html #rganisation is the chief principle in the working class fight for emancipation. 5ence the forms of this organisation constitute the most important problem in the practice of the working class movement. It is clear that these forms depend on the conditions of society and the aims of the fight. They cannot be the invention of theory, but have to be built up spontaneously by the working class itself, guided by its immediate necessities. .ith expanding capitalism the workers first built their trade unions. The isolated worker was powerless against the capitalist, so he had to unite with his fellows in bargaining and fighting over the price of his labour-power and the hours of labour. $apitalists and workers have opposite interests in capitalistic production, their class struggle is over the division of the total product between them. In normal capitalism, the workersO share is the value of their labour power, i.e., what is necessary to sustain and restore continually their capacities to work. The remaining part of the product is the surplus value, the share of the capitalist class. The capitalists, in order to increase their profit, try to lower wages and increase the hours of labour. .here the workers were powerless, wages were depressed below the existence minimum, the hours of labour were lengthened until the bodily and mental health of the working class deteriorated so as to endanger the future of society. The formation of unions and of laws regulating working conditions -- features rising out of the bitter fight of workers for their very lives -- were necessary to restore normal conditions of work in capitalism. The capitalist class itself recognised that trade unions are necessary to direct the revolt of the workers into regular channels to prevent them from breaking out in sudden explosions. /imilarly, political organisations have grown up, though not everywhere in exactly the same way, because the political conditions are different in different countries. In 1merica, where a population of farmers, artisans and merchants free from feudal bonds could expand over a continent with endless possibilities, con2uering the natural resources, the workers did not feel themselves a separate class. They were imbued, as were the whole of the people, with the bourgeois spirit of individual and collective fight for personal welfare, and the conditions made it possible to succeed to a certain extent. Except at rare moments or among recent immigrant groups, no need was seen for a separate working class party. In the European countries, on the other hand, the workers were dragged into the political struggle by the fight of the rising bourgeoisie against feudalism. They soon had to form working class parties and, together with part of the bourgeoisie, had to fight for political rights4 for the right to form unions, for free press and speech, for universal suffrage, for democratic institutions. 1 political party needs general principles for its propaganda, for its fight with other parties it wants a theory having definite views about the future of society. The European working class, in which communistic ideas had already developed, found its theory in the scientific work of !arx and Engels, explaining the development of society through capitalism toward communism by means of the class struggle. This theory was accepted in the programs of the /ocial Bemocratic ?arties of most European countries, in England, the Habour ?arty formed by the trade unions, professed analogous but vaguer ideas about a kind of socialist commonwealth as the aim of the workers. In their program and propaganda, the proletarian revolution was the final result of the class struggle, the victory of the working class over its oppressors was to be the beginning of a communistic or socialist system of production. But so long as capitalism lasted, the practical fight had to centre on immediate needs and the preservation of standards in capitalism. "nder parliamentary government parliament is the battlefield where the interests of the different classes of society meet, big and small capitalists, land owners, farmers, artisans, merchants, industrialists, workers, all have their special interests that are defended by their spokesmen in parliament, all participate in the struggle for power and for their part in the total product. The workers have to take part in this struggle. /ocialist or labour parties have the special task of fighting by political means for the immediate needs and interests of the workers within capitalism. In this way they get the votes of the workers and grow in political influence. .ith the modern development of capitalism, conditions have changed. The small workshops have been superseded by large factories and plants with thousands and tens of thousands of workers. .ith this growth of capitalism and of the working class, its organisations also had to expand. 3rom local groups the trade unions grew to national federations with hundreds of thousands of members. They had to collect large funds for support in big strikes, and still larger ones for social insurance. 1 large staff of managers, administrators, presidents, secretaries, editors of their papers, an entire bureaucracy of organisation leaders developed. They had to haggle and bargain with the bosses, they became the specialists ac2uainted with methods and circumstances. Eventually they became the real leaders, the masters of the organisations, masters of the money as well as of the press, while the members themselves lost much of their power. This development of 0D@

the organisations of the workers into instruments of power over them has many examples in history, when organisations grow too large, the masses lose control of them. The same change takes place in the political organisations, when from small propaganda groups they grow into big political parties. The parliamentary representatives are the leading politicians of the party. They have to do the real fighting in the representative bodies, they are the specialists in that field, they make up the editorial, propaganda, and executive personnel4 their influence determines the politics and tactical line of the party. The members may send delegates to debate at party congresses, but their power is nominal and illusory. The character of the organisation resembles that of the other political parties -- organisations of politicians who try to win votes for their slogans and power for themselves. #nce a socialist party has a large number of delegates in parliament it allies with others against reactionary parties to form a working ma ority. /oon socialists become ministers, state officials, mayors and aldermen. #f course, in this position they cannot act as delegates of the working class, governing for the workers against the capitalist class. The real political power and even the parliamentary ma ority remain in the hands of the capitalist class. /ocialist ministers have to represent the interests of the present capitalist society, i.e., of the capitalist class. They can attempt to initiate measures for the immediate interests of the workers and try to induce the capitalist parties to ac2uiesce. They become middlemen, mediators pleading with the capitalist class to consent to small reforms in the interests of the workers, and then try to convince the workers that these are important reforms that they should accept. 1nd then the /ocialist ?arty, as an instrument in the hands of these leaders, has to support them and also, instead of calling upon the workers to fight for their interests, seeks to pacify them, deflect them from the class struggle. Indeed, fighting conditions have grown worse for the workers. The power of the capitalist class has increased enormously with its capital. The concentration of capital in the hands of a few captains of finance and industry, the coalition of the bosses themselves, confronts the trade unions with a much stronger and often nearly unassailable power. The fierce competition of the capitalists of all countries over markets, raw materials and world power, the necessity of using increasing parts of the surplus value for this competition, for armaments and welfare, the falling rate of profit, compel the capitalists to increase the rate of exploitation, i.e., to lower the working conditions for the workers. Thus the trade unions meet increasing resistance, the old methods of struggle grow useless. In their bargaining with the bosses the leaders of the organisation have less success, because they know the power of the capitalists, and because they themselves do not want to fight -- since in such fights the funds and the whole existence of the organisation might be lost -- they must accept what the bosses offer. /o their chief task is to assuage the workersO discontent and to defend the proposals of the bosses as important gains. 5ere also the leaders of the workersO organisations become mediators between the opposing classes. 1nd when the workers do not accept the conditions and strike, the leaders either must oppose them or allow a sham fight, to be broken off as soon as possible. The fight itself, however, cannot be stopped or minimised, the class antagonism and the depressing forces of capitalism are increasing, so that the class struggle must go on, the workers must fight. Time and again they break loose spontaneously without asking the union and often against their decisions. /ometimes the union leaders succeed in regaining control of these actions. This means that the fight will be gradually smothered in some new arrangement between the capitalists and labour leaders. This does not mean that without this interference such wildcat strikes would be won. They are too restricted. #nly indirectly does the fear of such explosions tend to foster caution by the capitalists. But these strikes prove that the class fight between capital and labour cannot cease, and that when the old forms are not practicable any more, the workers spontaneously try out and develop new forms of action. In these actions revolt against capital is also revolt against the old organisational forms. The aim and task of the working class is the abolition of capitalism. $apitalism in its highest development, with its ever deeper economic crises, its imperialism, its armaments, its world wars, threatens the workers with misery and destruction. The proletarian class fight, the resistance and revolt against these conditions, must go on until capitalist domination is overthrown and capitalism is destroyed. $apitalism means that the productive apparatus is in the hands of the capitalists. Because they are the masters of the means of production, and hence of the products, they can sei%e the surplus value and exploit the working class. #nly when the working class itself is master of the means of production does exploitation cease. Then the workers control entirely their conditions of life. The production of everything necessary for life is the common task of the community of workers, which is then the community of mankind. This production is a collective process. 3irst each factory, each large plant, is a collective of workers, combining their efforts in an organised way. !oreover, the totality of world production is a collective process, all the 0DD

separate factories have to be combined into a totality of production. 5ence, when the working class takes possession of the means of production, it has at the same time to create an organisation of production. There are many who think of the proletarian revolution in terms of the former revolutions of the middle class, as a series of consecutive phases4 first, con2uest of government and instalment of a new government, then expropriation of the capitalist class by law, and then a new organisation of the process of production. But such events could lead only to some kind of state capitalism. 1s the proletariat rises to dominance it develops simultaneously its own organisation and the forms of the new economic order. These two developments are inseparable and form the process of social revolution. .orking class organisation into a strong body capable of united mass actions already means revolution, because capitalism can rule only unorganised individuals. .hen these organised masses stand up in mass fights and revolutionary actions, and the existing powers are paralysed and disintegrated, then simultaneously the leading and regulating functions of former governments fall to the workersO organisations. 1nd the immediate task is to carry on production, to continue the basic process of social life. /ince the revolutionary class fight against the bourgeoisie and its organs is inseparable from the sei%ure of the productive apparatus by the workers and its application to production, the same organisation that unites the class for its fight also acts as the organisation of the new productive process. It is clear that the organisational forms of trade union and political party, inherited from the period of expanding capitalism, are useless here. They developed into instruments in the hands of leaders unable and unwilling to engage in revolutionary fight. Headers cannot make revolutions4 labour leaders abhor a proletarian revolution. 3or the revolutionary fights the workers need new forms of organisation in which they keep the powers of action in their own hands. It is pointless to try to construct or to imagine these new forms, they can originate only in the practical fight of the workers themselves. They have already originated there, we have only to look into practice to find its beginnings everywhere that the workers are rebelling against the old powers. In a wildcat strike, the workers decide all matters themselves through regular meetings. They choose strike committees as central bodies, but the members of these committees can be recalled and replaced at any moment. If the strike extends over a large number of shops, they achieve unity of action by larger committees consisting of delegates of all the separate shops. /uch committees are not bodies to make decisions according to their own opinion, and over the workers, they are simply messengers, communicating the opinions and wishes of the groups they represent, and conversely, bringing to the shop meetings, for discussion and decision, the opinion and arguments of the other groups. They cannot play the roles of leaders, because they can be momentarily replaced by others. The workers themselves must choose their way, decide their actions, they keep the entire action, with all its difficulties, its risks, its responsibilities, in their own hands. 1nd when the strike is over, the committees disappear. The only examples of a modern industrial working class as the moving force of a political revolution were the <ussian <evolutions of 0>G@ and 0>0E. 5ere the workers of each factory chose delegates, and the delegates of all the factories together formed the Osoviet,O the council where the political situation and necessary actions were discussed. 5ere the opinions of the factories were collected, their desires harmonised, their decisions formulated. But the councils, though a strong directing influence for revolutionary education through action, were not commanding bodies. /ometimes a whole council was arrested and reorganised with new delegates, at times, when the authorities were paralysed by a general strike, the soviets acted as a local government, and delegates of free professions oined them to represent their field of work. 5ere we have the organisation of the workers in revolutionary action, though of course only imperfectly, groping and trying for new methods. This is possible only when all the workers with all their forces participate in the action, when their very existence is at stake, when they actually take part in the decisions and are entirely devoted to the revolutionary fight. 1fter the revolution this council organisation disappeared. The proletarian centres of big industry were small islands in an ocean of primitive agricultural society where capitalist development had not yet begun. The task of initiating capitalism fell to the $ommunist ?arty. /imultaneously, political power centred in its hands and the soviets were reduced to subordinate organs with only nominal powers. The old forms of organisation, the trade union and political party and the new form of councils *soviets+, belong to different phases in the development of society and have different functions. The first has to secure the position of the working class among the other classes within capitalism and belongs to the period of expanding capitalism. The latter has to secure complete dominance for the workers, to destroy capitalism and its class divisions, and belongs to the period of declining capitalism. In a rising and prosperous capitalism, council organisation is impossible because the workers are entirely occupied in ameliorating their 0DE

conditions, which is possible at that time through trade unions and political action. In a decaying crisisridden capitalism, these efforts are useless and faith in them can only hamper the increase of self-action by the masses. In such times of heavy tension and growing revolt against misery, when strike movements spread over whole countries and hit at the roots of capitalist power, or when, following wars or political catastrophes, the government authority crumbles and the masses act, the old organisational forms fail against the new forms of self-activity of the masses. /pokesmen for socialist or communist parties often admit that, in revolution, organs of self-action by the masses are useful in destroying the old domination, but then they say these have to yield to parliamentary democracy to organise the new society. Het us compare the basic principles of both forms of political organisation of society. #riginal democracy in small towns and districts was exercised by the assembly of all the citi%ens. .ith the big population of modern towns and countries this is impossible. The people can express their will only by choosing delegates to some central body that represents them all. The delegates for parliamentary bodies are free to act, to decide, to vote, to govern after their own opinion by Ohonour and conscience,O as it is often called in solemn terms. The council delegates, however, are bound by mandate, they are sent simply to express the opinions of the workersO groups who sent them. They may be called back and replaced at any moment. Thus the workers who gave them the mandate keep the power in their own hands. #n the other hand, members of parliament are chosen for a fixed number of years, only at the polls are the citi%ens masters -- on this one day when they choose their delegates. #nce this day has passed, their power has gone and the delegates are independent, free to act for a term of years according to their own Oconscience,O restricted only by the knowledge that after this period they have to face the voters anew, but then they count on catching their votes in a noisy election campaign, bombing the confused voters with slogans and demagogic phrases. Thus not the voters but the parliamentarians are the real masters who decide politics. 1nd the voters do not even send persons of their own choice as delegates, they are presented to them by the political parties. 1nd then, if we suppose that people could select and send persons of their own choice, these persons would not form the government, in parliamentary democracy the legislative and the executive powers are separated. The real government dominating the people is formed by a bureaucracy of officials so far removed from the peopleOs vote as to be practically independent. That is how it is possible that capitalistic dominance is maintained through general suffrage and parliamentary democracy. This is why in capitalistic countries, where the ma ority of the people belongs to the working class, this democracy cannot lead to a con2uest of political power. 3or the working class, parliamentary democracy is a sham democracy, whereas council representation is real democracy4 the direct rule of the workers over their own affairs. ?arliamentary democracy is the political form in which the different important interests in a capitalist society exert their influence upon government. The delegates represent certain classes4 farmers, merchants, industrialists, workers, but they do not represent the common will of their voters. Indeed, the voters of a district have no common will, they are an assembly of individuals, capitalists, workers, shopkeepers, by chance living at the same place, having partly opposing interests. $ouncil delegates, on the other hand, are sent out by a homogeneous group to express its common will. $ouncils are not only made up of workers, having common class interests, they are a natural group, working together as the personnel of one factory or section of a large plant, and are in close daily contact with each other, having the same adversary, having to decide their common actions as fellow workers in which they have to act in united fashion, not only on the 2uestions of strike and fight, but also in the new organisation of production. $ouncil representation is not founded upon the meaningless grouping of ad acent villages or districts, but upon the natural groupings of workers in the process of production, the real basis of society. 5owever, councils must not be confused with the so-called corporative representation propagated in fascist countries. This is a representation of the different professions or trades *masters and workers combined+, considered as fixed constituents of society. This form belongs to a medieval society with fixed classes and guilds, and in its tendency to petrify interest groups it is even worse than parliamentarism, where new groups and new interests rising up in the development of capitalism soon find their expression in parliament and government. $ouncil representation is entirely different because it is the representation of a class engaged in revolutionary struggle. It represents working class interests only, and prevents capitalist delegates and capitalist interests from participation. It denies the right of existence to the capitalist class in society and tries to eliminate capitalists by taking the means of production away from them. .hen in the progress of 0DC

revolution the workers must take up the functions of organising society, the same council organisation is their instrument. This means that the workersO councils then are the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This dictatorship of the proletariat is not a shrewdly devised voting system artificially excluding capitalists and the bourgeoisie from the polls. It is the exercise of power in society by the natural organs of the workers, building up the productive apparatus as the basis of society. In these organs of the workers, consisting of delegates of their various branches in the process of production, there is no place for robbers or exploiters standing outside productive work. Thus the dictatorship of the working class is at the same time the most perfect democracy, the real workersO democracy, excluding the vanishing class of exploiters. The adherents of the old forms of organisation exalt democracy as the only right and ust political form, as against dictatorship, an un ust form. !arxism knows nothing of abstract right or ustice, it explains the political forms in which mankind expresses its feelings of political right, as conse2uences of the economic structure of society. In !arxian theory we can find also the basis of the difference between parliamentary democracy and council organisation. 1s bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy respectively they reflect the different character of these two classes and their economic systems. Bourgeois democracy is founded upon a society consisting of a large number of independent small producers. They want a government to take care of their common interests4 public security and order, protection of commerce, uniform systems of weight and money, administering of law and ustice. 1ll these things are necessary in order that everybody can do his business in his own way. ?rivate business takes the whole attention, forms the life interests of everybody, and those political factors are, though necessary, only secondary and demand only a small part of their attention. The chief content of social life, the basis of existence of society, the production of all the goods necessary for life, is divided up into private business of the separate citi%ens, hence it is natural that it takes nearly all their time, and that politics, their collective affair, is a subordinate matter, providing only for auxiliary conditions. #nly in bourgeois revolutionary movements do people take to the streets. But in ordinary times politics are left to a small group of specialists, politicians, whose work consists ust of taking care of these general, political conditions of bourgeois business. The same holds true for the workers, as long as they think only of their direct interests. In capitalism they work long hours, all their energy is exhausted in the process of exploitation, and little mental power and fresh thought is left them. Earning their wage is the most immediate necessity of life, their political interests, their common interest in safeguarding their interests as wage earners may be important, but are still secondary. /o they leave this part of their interests also to specialists, to their party politicians and their trade union leaders. By voting as citi%ens or members the workers may give some general directions, ust as middle-class voters may influence their politicians, but only partially, because their chief attention must remain concentrated upon their work. ?roletarian democracy under communism depends upon ust the opposite economic conditions. It is founded not on private but on collective production. ?roduction of the necessities of life is no longer a personal business, but a collective affair. The collective affairs, formerly called political affairs, are no longer secondary, but the chief ob ect of thought and action for everybody. .hat was called politics in the former society -- a domain for specialists -- has become the vital interest of every worker. It is not the securing of some necessary conditions of production, it is the process and the regulation of production itself. The separation of private and collective affairs and interests has ceased. 1 separate group or class of specialists taking care of the collective affairs is no longer necessary. Through their council delegates, which link them together, the producers themselves are managing their own productive work. The two forms of organisation are not distinguished in that the one is founded upon a traditional and ideological basis, and the other on the material productive basis of society. Both are founded upon the material basis of the system of production, one on the declining system of the past, the other on the growing system of the future. <ight now we are in the period of transition, the time of big capitalism and the beginnings of the proletarian revolution. In big capitalism the old system of production has already been destroyed in its foundations, the large class of independent producers has disappeared. The main part of production is collective work of large groups of workers, but the control and ownership have remained in a few private hands. This contradictory state is maintained by the strong power factors of the capitalists, especially the state power exerted by the governments. The task of the proletarian revolution is to destroy this state power, its real content is the sei%ure of the means of production by the workers. The process of revolution is an alternation of actions and defeats that builds up the organisation of the proletarian dictatorship, which at the same time is the dissolution, step by step, of the capitalist state power. 5ence it is 0D>

the process of the replacement of the organisation system of the past by the organisation system of the future. .e are only in the beginnings of this revolution. The century of class struggle behind us cannot be considered a beginning as such, but only a preamble. It developed invaluable theoretical knowledge, it found gallant revolutionary words in defiance of the capitalist claim of being a final social system, it awakened the workers from the hopelessness of misery. But its actual fight remained bound within the confines of capitalism, it was action through the medium of leaders and sought only to set easy masters in the place of hard ones. #nly a sudden flickering of revolt, such as political or mass strikes breaking out against the will of the politicians, now and then announced the future of self-determined mass action. Every wildcat strike, not taking its leaders and catchwords from the offices of parties and unions, is an indication of this development, and at the same time a small step in its direction. 1ll the existing powers in the proletarian movement, the socialist and communist parties, the trade unions, all the leaders whose activity is bound to the bourgeois democracy of the past, denounce these mass actions as anarchistic disturbances. Because their field of vision is limited to their old forms of organisation, they cannot see that the spontaneous actions of the workers bear in them the germs of higher forms of organisation. In fascist countries, where bourgeois democracy has been destroyed, such spontaneous mass actions will be the only form of future proletarian revolt. Their tendency will not be a restoration of the former middle class democracy but an advance in the direction of the proletarian democracy, i.e., the dictatorship of the working class.


1'T#' ?1''E8#E8 TranscriptionZ5T!H !arkup4 Bavid .altersVGreg 1dargo #nline Kersion4 Henin Internet 1rchive Becember, 7GG0 I. Thirty years ago every socialist was convinced that the approaching war of the great capitalist powers would mean the final catastrophe of capitalism and would be succeeded by the proletarian revolution. Even when the war did break out and the socialist and labor movement collapsed as a revolutionary factor, the hopes of the revolutionary workers ran high. Even then they were sure that the world revolution would follow in the wake of the world war. 1nd indeed it came. Hike a bright meteor the <ussian revolution flared up and shone all over the earth, and in all the countries the workers rose and began to move. #nly a few years alter it became clear that the revolution was decaying, that social convulsions were decreasing, that the capitalist order was gradually being restored. Today the revolutionary workersO movement is at its lowest ebb and capitalism is more powerful than ever. #nce again a great war has come, and again the thoughts of workers and communists turn to the 2uestion4 will it affect the capitalistic system to such a degree that a workers revolution will arise out of it: .ill the hope of a successful struggle for freedom of the working class come true this time: It is clear that we cannot hope to get an answer to this 2uestion so long as we do not understand why the revolutionary movements after 0>0C failed. #nly by investigating all the forces that were then at work can we get a clear insight into the causes of that failure. /o we must turn our attention to what happened twenty years ago in the workersO movement of the world. II. The growth of the workers movement was not the only important nor even the most important fact in the history of the past century. #f primary importance was the growth of capitalism itself. It grew not only in intensity-through concentration of capital, the increasing perfection of industrial tecnics, the increase of productivity-but also in extensity. 3rom the first centers of industry and commerce- England, 3rance, 1merica and Germany-capitalism began to invade foreign countries, and now is con2uering the whole earth. In former centuries foreign continents were subdued to be exploited as colonies. But at the end of the 0>th and at the beginning of the 7Gth centuries we see a higher form of con2uest. These continents were assimilated by capitalism, they became themselves capitalistic. This most important process, that went on 0EG

with increasing rapidity in the last century, meant a fundamental change in their economic structure. In short, there was the basis of a series of world-wide revolutions. The central countries of developed capitalism, with the middle class-the bourgeoisie-as the ruling class, were formerly surrounded by a fringe of other, less developed countries. 5ere the social structure was still entirely agrarian and more-or-less feudal, the large plains were cultivated by farmers who were exploited by landowners and stood in continuous, more-or-less open struggle against them and the reining autocrats. In the case of the colonies this internal pressure was intensified through exploitation by European colonial capital that made the landowners and kings its agents. In other cases this stronger exploitation by European capital was brought about by financial loans of governments, which laid heavy taxes upon the farmers. <ailways, introducing the factory products that destroyed the old home industries and carried away raw material and food, were built. this gradually drew the farmers into world commerce and aroused in them the desire to become free producers for the market. 3actories were constructed, a class of business men and dealers developed in the towns who felt the necessity of better government for their interest. Foung people, studying at western universities, became the revolutionary spokesmen of these tendencies. they formulated these tendencies in theoretical programs, advocating chiefly national freedom and independence, a responsible democratic government, civil rights and liberties, in order that they may find their useful place as officials and politicians in a modern state. This development in the capitalistic world proper took place simultaneously with the development of the workersO movement within the central countries of big capitalism. 5ere then were two revolutionary movements, not only parallel and simultaneous, but also with many points of contact. they had a common foe, capitalism, that in the form of industrial capitalism exploited the workers, and in the form of colonial and financial capitalism exploited the farmers in the Eastern and colonial countries and sustained these despotic rulers. the revolutionary groups from these countries found understanding and assistance only from the socialist workers of western Europe. /o they called themselves socialists too. the old illusions that middle class revolutions would bring freedom and e2uality to the entire population were reborn, In reality there was a deep and fundamental difference between these two kinds of revolutionary aims, the so-called .estern and eastern. The proletarian revolution can be the result only of the highest development of capitalism. It puts an end to capitalism. the revolutions in the eastern countries were the conse2uences of the beginning of capitalism in these countries. Kiewed thus, they resemble the middle class revolutions in the .estern countries and-with due consideration for the fact that their special character must somewhat different in different countries- they must be regarded as middle class revolutions. Though there was not such a numerous middle class of artisans, petty bourgeois and wealthy peasants as there was in the 3rench and the English revolutions *because in the East, capitalism came suddenly, with a smaller number of big factories+ still the general character is analogous. 5ere also we have the awakening out of the provincial view of an agrarian village to the consciousness of a nation-wide community and to interest in the whole world, the rising of individualism that frees itself from the old group bonds, the growth of energy to win personal power and wealth, the liberation of the mind from old superstitions, and the desire for knowledge as a means of progress. 1ll this is the mental e2uipment necessary to bring mankind from the slow life of precapitalist conditions into the rapid industrial and economic progress that later on will open the way for communism. The general character of a proletarian revolution must be 2uite different. Instead of reckless fighting for personal interests there must be a common action for the interests of the class community. 1 worker, a single person, is powerless, only as part of his class, as a member of a strongly connected economic group can he get power. .orkers individualities are disciplined into line by their habit of working and fighting together. Their minds must be freed from social superstitions and they must see as a commonplace truth that once they are strongly united that they can produce abundance and liberate society from misery and want. This is part of the mental e2uipment necessary to bring mankind from class exploitation, the misery, the mutual destruction of capitalism into communism itself. Thus the two kinds of revolution are as widely different as are the beginning and end of capitalism. .e can see this clearly now, thirty years later. we can understand too, how at the time they could be considered not only as allies, but were thrown together as two sides of the same great world-revolution. The great day was supposed to be near, the working class, with its large socialist parties and still larger unions, would soon con2uer power. 1nd then at the same time, with the power of western capitalism breaking down, all the colonies and eastern countries would be freed from western domination and take up their own national life.


1nother reason for confusing these different social aims was that at that time the minds of the western workers were entirely occupied by reformist ideas about reforming capitalism into the democratic forms of its beginning and only a few among them reali%ed the meaning of a proletarian revolution. III. The world war of 0>0=-0C, with itOs utter destruction of productive forces, cut deep furrows through the social structure, especially of central and eastern Europe. emperors disappeared, old out-moded governments were overthrown, social forces from below were loosened, different classes of different peoples, in a series of revolutionary movements, tried to win power and to reali%e their class aims. In the highly industriali%ed countries the class struggle of the workers was already the dominating factor of history. 'ow these workers had gone through a world war. They learned that capitalism not only lays claim on their working power, but upon their lives too, completely, body and soul, they are owned by capital. The destruction and impoverishment of the productive apparatus, the misery and privation suffered during the war, the disappointment and distress after the peace brought waves of unrest and rebelliousness over all participating countries. Because Germany had lost, the rebellion here of the workers was greatest. In the place of pre-war conservatism, there arose a new spirit in the German workers, compounded of courage, energy, yearnings for freedom and for revolutionary struggle against capitalism. It was only a beginning but it was the first beginning of a proletarian revolution. In the eastern countries of Europe the class struggle had a different composition. the land owning nobility was dispossessed, the farmers sei%ed the land, a class of small or middle-si%ed free landownders arose. 3ormer revolutionary conspirators became leaders and ministers and generals in the new national states. These revolutions were middle-class revolutions and as such indicated the beginning of an unlimited development of capitalism and industry. In <ussia this revolution went deeper than anywhere else. Because it destroyed the $%arist world power which for a century had been a dominating power in Europe and the most hated enemy of all democracy and socialism, the <ussian revolution led all the revolutionary movements in Europe. ItOs leader had been associated for many years with the socialist leaders of .estern Europe ust as the $%ar had been the ally of the English and 3rench governments. It is true that the chief social contents of the <ussian <evolution-the land sei%ures by the peasants and the smashing of the autocracy and nobility-show it to be a middle-class revolution and the Bolsheviks themselves accentuated this character by often comparing themselves with the acobins of the 3rench <evolution. But the workers in the west, themselves full of traditions of petty bourgeois freedom, did not consider this foreign to them. 1nd the <ussian revolution did more than simply rouse their admiration, it showed them an example in methods of action. ItOs power in decisive moments was the power of spontaneous mass action of the industrial workers in the big towns. #ut of these actions the <ussian workers also built up that form of organi%ation most appropriate to independent action-the soviets or councils. Thus they became the guides and teachers of the workers in other countries. .hen a year later, 'ovember 0>0C, the German empire collapsed, the appeal to world revolution issued by the <ussian Bolsheviks was hailed and welcomed by the foremost revolutionary groups in .estern Europe. these groups, calling themselves communists, were so strongly impressed by the proletarian character of the revolutionary struggle in <ussia that they overlooked the fact that, economically, <ussia stood only at the threshold of capitalism, and that the proletarian centers were only small islands in the ocean of primitive peasantry. !oreover they reasoned that when a world revolution came, <ussia would be only a worldprovince-the place where the struggle started-whereas the more advanced countries of big capitalism would soon take the lead and determine the worldOs real course. But the first rebellious movement among the German workers was beaten down. It was only an advanced minority that took part, the great mass held aloof, nursing the illusion that 2uiet and peace were now possible. 1gainst these rebels stood a coalition of the /ocial-Bemocratic party, whose leaders occupied the government seats, and the old governing classes, bourgeoisie and army officers. .hile the former lulled the masses into inactivity, the latter organi%ed armed bands that crushed the rebellious movement and murdered the revolutionary leaders, Hiebnecht and <osa Huxemburg. The <ussian revolution, through fear, had aroused the bourgeoisie to greater energy than it had aroused the proletariat through hope. Though, for the moment, the political organi%ation of the bourgeoisie had collapsed, itOs real material and spiritual power was enormous. The socialist leadership did nothing to weaken this power, they feared the proletarian revolution no less than the bourgeoisie did. They did everything to restore the capitalist order, in which, for the moment, they were ministers and presidents. 0E7

This did not mean that the proletarian revolution in Germany was a complete failure. #nly the first attack, the first rebellion had failed. The military collapse had not led directly to proletarian rule. The real power of the working class-clear consciousness on the part of the masses of their social position and the necessity for fighting, eager activity in all these hundreds of thousands, enthusiasm, solidarity and strong unity in action, awareness of the supreme aim4 to take the means of production in their own hands-had to come up and grow gradually in any case. /o much misery and crisis was threatening in the exhausted, shattered and impoverished post-war society that new fights were bound to come. In all capitalist countries, in England, 3rance, 1merica as well as Germany, revolutionary groups arose among the workers in 0>0>. They published papers and pamphlets, they showed their fellow workers new facts, new conditions and new methods of fighting, and they found a good hearing among the alarmed masses. They pointed to the <ussian revolution as their great example, itOs methods of mass action and itOs soviet or council form of organi%ation. They organi%ed into communist parties and groups, associating themselves with the Bolshevist, the <ussian $ommunist party. Thus the campaign for world revolution was launched. IK. /oon, however, these groups became aware with increasingly painful surprise that under the name of communism other principles and ideas than their own were being propagated from !oscow. they pointed to the <ussian /oviets as the workerOs new organs for self-rule in production. But gradually it became known that the <ussian factories were again ruled by directors appointed from above, and that, the important political position had been sei%ed by the $ommunist ?arty. These .estern groups promulgated the dictatorship of the proletariat, which in opposition to the parliamentary democracy embodied the principle of self-rule of the working class as the political form of the proletarian revolution. But the spokesmen and leaders which !oscow sent to Germany and .estern Europe proclaimed that the dictatorship of the proletariat was embodied in the dictatorship of the $ommunist ?arty. The .estern $ommunists saw as their chief task the enlightening of workers concerning the role of the socialist party and the u unions. They pointed out that in these organi%ations the actions and decisions of the leaders were substituted for actions and decisions of the workers, and that the leaders were never able to wage a revolutionary fight because a revolution consists in this very self-action of the workers, that the trade union actions and parliamentary practice are good in a young and 2uiet capitalist world, but are entirely unfit for revolutionary times, where, by diverting the attention of the workers from important aims and goals and directing them to unreal reforms, they work as hostile, reactionary forces, that all the power of these organi%ations, in the hands of leaders, is used against the revolution. !oscow, however, demanded that communist parties should take part in parliamentary elections as well as in all union work. The .estern communists preached independence, development of initiative, self-reliance, the e ection of dependence on and belief in leaders. But !oscow preached, in ever stronger terms that obedience to the leaders was the chief virtue of the true communist. .estern communists did not immediately reali%e how fundamental was the contradiction. They saw that <ussia, attacked from all sides by counter-revolutionary armies, which were supported by the English and 3rench governments, needed sympathy and assistance from the western working classes, not from small groups that fiercely attacked the old organi%ations, but from the old mass organi%ations themselves. They tried to convince Henin and the <ussian leaders that they were ill-informed about the real conditions and the future of the proletarian movement in the .est. In vain, of course. They did not see, at the time, that in reality it was the conflict of two concepts of revolution, the middle class revolution and the proletarian revolution. It was only natural that Henin and his comrades were utterly unable to see that the impending proletarian revolution of the .est was 2uite a different thing from their <ussian revolution. Henin did not know capitalism from within, at its highest development, as a world of enlarging proletarian masses, moving up to the time when they could sei%e power to lay hands on a potentially perfect production apparatus. Henin knew capitalism only from without, as a foreign, robbing, devastating usurer, such as the western financial and colonial capital must have appeared to him in <ussia and other 1siatic countries. 5is idea was that in order to con2uer, the .estern masses had only to oin the anti-capitalistic power established in <ussia, they should not obstinately try to seek other ways but were to follow the <ussian example. 5ence flexible tactics were needed in the west to win the great masses of socialist and union members as soon as possible, to induce them to leave their own leaders and parties that were bound to their national governments, and to oin the 0E9

communist parties, without the necessity of changing their own ideas and convictions. /o !oscow tactics followed logically from the basic misunderstanding. 1nd what had !oscow propagated had by far the greatest weight. it had the authority of a victorious against a defeated *German+ revolution. .ill you be wiser than your teachers: The moral authority of <ussian $ommunism was so undisputed that even a year later the excluded German opposition asked to be admitted as a Osympathi%ingJ adherent to the Third International. But besides moral authority, the <ussians had the material authority of money behind them. 1n enormous amount of literature, easily paid for by !oscow subsidies, flooded the western countries4 weekly papers, pamphlets, exciting news about successes in <ussia, scientific reviews, all explaining !oscowOs views. 1gainst this overwhelming offensive of noisy propaganda, the small groups of .estern communists, with their lack of financial means, had no chance. /o the new and sprouting recognition of the conditions necessary for revolution were beaten down and strangled by !oscowOs powerful weapons. !oreover <ussian subsidies were used to support a number of salaried party secretaries, who, under threat of being fired, naturally turned into defenders of <ussian tactics. .hen it became apparent that even all this was not sufficient, Henin himself wrote his well known pamphlet $ommunism [ 1n Infantile Bisorder.J Though his arguments showed only his lack of understanding of western conditions, the fact that Henin, with his still unbroken authority, so openly took sides in the internal differences, had a great influence on a number of western communists. 1nd yet, notwithstanding all this, the ma ority of the German communist party stuck to the knowledge they had gained through their experience of proletarian struggles. /o at their next congress at 5eidelberg, Br. Hevi, by some dirty tricks, had first to divide the ma ority-to excluded one part, and then to outvote the other part-in order to win a formal and apparent victory for the !oscow tactics. The excluded groups went on for some years disseminating their ideas. But their views were drowned out by the enormous noise of !oscow propaganda, they had no appreciable influence on the political events of the next years. They could only maintain and further develop, by mutual theoretical discussions and some publications, their understanding of the conditions of proletarian revolution and keep them alive for times to come. The beginnings of a proletarian revolution in the .est had been killed by the powerful middle class revolution of the East. K. Is it correct to call this <ussian revolution that destroyed the bourgeoisie and introduced socialism a middle class revolution: /ome years afterwards in the big towns of poverty-stricken <ussia special shops with plate glass fronts and ex2uisite, expensive delicacies appeared, especially for the rich, and luxurious night clubs were opened, fre2uented by gentlemen and ladies in evening dress-chiefs of departments, high officials, directors of factories and committees. they were stared at in surprise by the poor in the streets, and the disillusioned communists said4 JThere go the new bourgeoisie.J They were wrong. It was not a new bourgeoisie, but it was a new ruling class. .hen a new ruling class comes up, disappointed revolutionaries always call it by the name of the former ruling class. In the 3rench revolution, the rising capitalists were called Jthe new aristocracy.J 5ere in <ussia the new class firmly seated in the saddle as masters of the production apparatus was the bureaucracy. It had to play in <ussia the same role that in the .est the middle class, the bourgeoisie, had played4 to develop the country by industriali%ation from primitive conditions to high productivity. Aust as in .estern Europe the bourgeoisie had risen out of the common people of artisans and peasants, including some aristocrats, by ability, luck and cunning, so the <ussian ruling bureaucracy had risen from the working class and the peasants *including former officials+ by ability, luck and cunning. The difference is that in the "//< they did not own the means of production individually but collectively, so their mutual competition, too, must go on in other forms. This means a fundamental difference in the economic system, collective, planned production and exploitation instead of individual hapha%ard production and exploitation, state capitalism instead of private capitalism. 3or the working masses, however, the difference is slight, not fundamental, once more they are exploited by a middle class. But now this exploitation is intensified by the dictatorial form of government, by the total lack of all those liberties which in the .est render fighting against the bourgeoisie possible. This character of modern <ussia determined the character of the fight of the Third International. 1lternating red-hot utterances with the flattest parliamentary opportunism, or combining both, the 9rd International tried to win the adherence of the working masses of the .est. It exploited the class antagonism of the workers against capitalism to win power for the ?arty. It caught up all the revolutionary enthusiasm of youth and all 0E=

the rebellious impulses of the masses, prevented them from developing into a growing proletarian power, and wasted them in worthless political adventures. It hoped thus to get power over the .estern bourgeoisie, but it was not able to do so, because understanding of the inner-most character of big capitalism was totally lacking. This capitalism cannot be con2uered by an outside force, it can be destroyed only from within, by the proletarian revolution. $lass domination can be destroyed only by the initiative and insight of a selfreliant proletarian class4 party discipline and obedience of the masses to their leaders can only lead to a new class domination. Indeed in Italy and Germany this activity of the $ommunist ?arty prepared the way for fascism. The $ommunist ?arties that belong to the Third International are entirely-materially and mentally-dependent on <ussia, are the obedient servants of the rulers of <ussia. 5ence, when <ussia, after 0>99, felt that it must line up with 3rance against Germany, all former intransigence was forgotten. The $omintern became the champion of JdemocracyJ and united not only with socialists but even with some capitalist parties into the so-called ?opular 3ront. Gradually itOs power to attract, through pretending that it represented the old revolutionary traditions, began to disappear, itOs proletarian following diminished. But at the same time, itOs influence on the intellectual middle classes in Europe and 1merica began to grow. 1 large number of books and reviews in all fields of social thought were issued by more or less camouflaged $.?. publishing houses in England, 3rance and 1merica. /ome of them were valuable historical studies or popular compilations, but mostly they were worthless expositions of so-called Heninism. 1ll this was literature evidently not intended for workers, but for intellectuals, in order to win them over to <ussian communism. The new approach met with some success. The ex-soviet diplomat 1lexander Barmine tells in his memoirs how he perceived with surprise in western Europe that ust when he and other Bolshevists began to have their doubts as to the outcome of the <ussian revolution, the western middle class intellectuals, misled by the lying praises of the successes of the 3ive Fear ?lan, began to feel a sympathetic interest in $ommunism. The reason is clear4 now that <ussia was obviously not a workerOs state any more, they felt that this statecapitalistic rule of a bureaucracy came nearer to their own ideals of rule by the intelligentsia than did the Europenan and 1merican rule of big finance. 'ow that a new ruling minority over and above the masses was established in <ussia, the $ommunist ?arty, itOs foreign servant had to turn to those classes from which, when private capitalism collapsed, new rulers for exploiting the masses could arise. #f course, to succed in this way, they needed a workerOs revolution to put down capitalist power. Then they must try to divert it from itOs own aims and make it an instrument for their party rule. /o we see what kind of difficulties the future working class revolution may have to face. It will have to fight not only the bourgeoisie but the enemies of the bourgeoisie as well. It has not only to throw off the yoke of itOs present masters, it must also keep from those who would try to be itOs future masters. KI. The world has now entered into itOs new great imperialistic war. $autious though the warring governments may be in handling the economic and social forces and in trying to prevent hell from breaking loose entirely, they will not be able to hold back a social catastrophe. .ith the general exhaustion and impoverishment, most severe on the European continent, with the spirit of fierce aggressiveness still mighty, violent class struggles will accompany the unavoidable new ad ustments of the system of production. Then, with private capitalism broken down, the issues will be planned economy, state capitalism, workerOs exploitation on the one side, workerOs freedom and mastery over production on the other. The working class is going into this war burdened with the capitalistic tradition of ?arty leadership and the phantom tradition of a revolution of the <ussian kind. the tremendous pressure of this war will drive the workers into spontaneous resistance against their governments and into the beginnings of new forms of real fight. .hen it happens that <ussia enters the field against the .estern powers, it will reopen itOs old box of slogans and make an appeal to the workers for Oworld revolution against capitalismJ in an attempt to get the rebellious-minded workers on itOs side. /o Bolshevism would have itOs chance once more. But this would be no solution for the problems of the workers. when the general misery increases and conflicts between classes become fiercer, the working class must, out of itOs own necessity, sei%e the means of production and find ways to free itself from the influence of Bolshevism. 1nton ?annekoek Anton Pannekoek 8as @' 1a!2e!9 19+2 0E@

ate!ialism And 1isto!ical


The evolution of !arxism to its present stage can be understood only in connection with the social and political developments of the period in which it arose. .ith the coming of capitalism in Germany there developed simultaneously a growing opposition to the existing aristocratic absolutism. The ascending bourgeois class needed freedom of trade and commerce, favorable legislation, a government sympathetic to its interests, freedom of press and assembly in order to fight unhindered for its needs and desires. But the bourgeoisie found itself confronted instead with a hostile regime, an omnipotent police, and press censorship which suppressed every criticism of the reactionary government. The struggle between these forces, which led to the revolution of 0C=C, was first conducted on a theoretical level, as a struggle of ideas and a criticism of the prevailing ideology. The criticism of the young bourgeois intelligentsia was directed mainly against religion and 5egelian philosophy. 5egelian philosophy in which the self-development of the Absolute +dea creates the world and then, as the developing world, enters the consciousness of men, was the philosophical guise suited to the $hristianity of the <estoration after 0C0@. <eligion, handed down by past generations, served as always as the theoretical basis and ustification for the perpetuation of old class relations. /ince an open political struggle was still impossible, the fight against the feudal oligarchy had to be conducted in a veiled form, as an attack on religion. This was the task of the group of young intellectuals of 0C=G among whom !arx grew up and rose to a leading position. .hile still a student !arx submitted, although reluctantly, to the force of the 5egelian method of thought and made it his own. That he chose for his doctoral dissertation the comparison of two great materialist philosophies of ancient Greece, Bemocritus and Epicurus, seems to indicate, however, that in the deep recesses of his consciousness !arx inclined towards materialism. /hortly thereafter he was called upon to assume the editorship of a new paper founded by the oppositional <heinish bourgeoisie in $ologne. 5ere he was drawn into the practical problems of the political and social struggles. /o well did he conduct the fight that after one year of publication the paper was banned by the state. It was during this period that 3euerbach made his final step towards materialism. 3euerbach brushed aside 5egel6s fantastic system, turned to the simple experiences of every day life, and arrived at the conclusion that religion was a man-made product. 3orty years later Engels still spoke fervently of the liberating effect that 3euerbach6s work had on his contemporaries, and of the enthusiasm with which !arx embraced the new ideas despite some critical reservations. To !arx this meant a new turn in the social struggle4 from attacking a heavenly image to coming to grips openly with earthly realities. Thus in 0C=9 in his essay A Criticism of the Hegelian <hilosoph$ of 9ight he wrote4 &1s far as Germany is concerned the criticism of religion is practically completed, and the criticism of religion is the basis of all criticism ... The struggle against religion is the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion ... . <eligion is the moan of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion, as the illusory happiness of the people, is the demand for their real happiness. The demand to abandon the illusions about their conditions is a demand to abandon a condition which re2uires illusions. The criticism of religion therefore contains potentially the criticism of the Kale of Tears whose aureole is religion. $riticism has plucked the imaginary flowers which adorned the chain, not that man should wear his fetters denuded of fanciful embellishment, but that he should throw off the chain, and break the living flower ... Thus the criticism of heaven transforms itself into the criticism of earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of right, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.) The task confronting !arx was to in2uire into the realities of social life. 5is study of the 3rench <evolution and 3rench socialism as well as English economy and the English working class movement, in collaboration with Engels during their stay in ?aris and Brussels, led towards further elaboration of the doctrine known as Historical :aterialism. 1s the doctrine of social development by way of class struggles we find the theory 0ED

expounded in &<o%ert$ of <hilosoph$) *in 3rench 0C=D+, the &Communist :anifesto) *0C=E+, and in the preface to &A Contribution to the Criti@ue of <olitical ?conom$) *0C@>+. !arx and Engels themselves refer to this system of thought as materialism in opposition to the idealism of 5egel and the neo-5egelians. .hat do they understand by materialism: Engels, discussing the fundamental theoretical problems of historical materialism in his Anti30hring and in his booklet on 3euerbach, states in the latter publication4 &The great basic 2uestion of all philosophy, especially of modern philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and being ... Those who asserted the primacy of the spirit to nature and, therefore, in the last instance, assumed world creation in some form or other ( comprised the camp of idealism. The others, who regarded nature as primary, belong to the various schools of materialism4) That not only the human mind is bound up with the brain, but also that man with his brain and mind is part and parcel of the rest of the animal kingdom and the unorganic world, was a self-evident truth to !arx and Engels. This conception is common to all &schools of materialism.) .hat distinguishes !arxism materialism from other schools must be learned from its various polemical works dealing with practical 2uestions of politics and society. To !arx materialistic thought was a working method. In his writing he does not deal with philosophy nor does he formulate materialism into a system of philosophy, he is utili%ing it as a method for the study of the world and thus demonstrates its validity. In the essay 2uoted above, for example, !arx does not demolish the 5egelian philosophy of right by philosophical disputations, but through an annihilating criticism of the real conditions existing in Germany. The materialist method replaces philosophical sophistry and disputations around abstract concepts with the study of the real material world. 3euerbach preceded !arx in this respect in so far as he was the first to point out that religious concepts and ideas are derived from material conditions. Het us take a few examples to elucidate this point. The statement &!an proposes, God disposes) the theologian interprets from the point of view of the omnipotence of God. The materialist on the other hand searches for the cause of the discrepancy between expectations and results and finds it in the social effects of commodity exchange and competition. The politician debates the desirability of freedom and socialism, the materialist asks4 from what individuals or classes do these demands spring, what specific content do they have, and to what social need do they correspond: The philosopher, in abstract speculations about the essence of time, seeks to establish whether or not absolute time exists. The materialist compares the clocks to see whether it can be established unreservedly that two phenomena occur simultaneously, or follow one another. 3euerbach, too, utili%ed the materialist method. 5e saw in living man the source of all religious ideas and concepts. The validity of his materialism, however, depended on whether he was successful in presenting a clear and comprehensive interpretation of religion. 1 materialism that leaves the problem obscure is insufficient and will lead back to idealism. !arx pointed out that the mere principle of taking living man as the starting point for investigation is not enough to lead to clarity. In his theses on 3euerbach in 0C=@ he formulated the essential difference between his materialist method and that of 3euerbach. .e 2uote4 &3euerbach resolves the religious essence into the human. But the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations.) *Thesis D+ &5is work consists in the dissolution of the religious world into its secular basis. 5e overlooks the fact that after completing this work, the chief thing still remains to be done. 3or the fact that the secular foundation lifts itself above itself and establishes itself in the clouds as an independent realm is only to be explained by the self-cleavage and self-contradictions of this secular basis. The latter must itself, therefore, first be understood in its contradiction and then, by the removal of the contradiction, revolutionised in practice.) *Thesis =+ Briefly, man can be understood only as a social being. 3rom the individual one must proceed to society and dissolve the social contradictions out of which religion has evolved. The real world, that is the sensual and material world, where all ideology and consciousness have their origin, is human society ( with nature in the background, of course, as the basis on which society rests and of which it is a part altered by man.


1 presentation of these ideas is to be found in the book & The German +deolog$,) written in 0C=@-=D. The part that deals with 3euerbach, however, was first published in 0>7@ by < a%anoff, then head of the !arxEngels Institute in !oscow. The complete work was not published until 0>97. 5ere the theses on 3euerbach are worked out in greater length. 1lthough it is apparent that !arx wrote 2uite hurriedly, he nevertheless gave a brilliant presentation of all essential ideas concerning the evolution of society which, later, found further illumination in the propaganda pamphlet &The Communist :anifesto) and in the preface to &The Criti@ue of <olitical ?conom$.) The German +deolog$ is directed first of all against the theoretical view which regarded creative consciousness and ideas developing from ideas as the only factors that determine human history. !arx has nothing but contempt for this point of view, &The phantoms formed in the human brain,) he says on page 0=, &are necessary sublimates of their material, empirically-verifiable life process bound to material premises.) It was essential to put emphasis on the real world, the material and empirically-given world as the source of all ideology. But it was also necessary to criticise the materialist theories that culminated in 3euerbach. 1s a protest against ideology the return to biological man and his physical needs is correct, but taking the individual as an abstract being does not offer a solution to the 2uestion of how and why religious ideas originate. 5uman society in its historical evolution is the only reality controlling human life. #nly out of society can the spiritual life of man be explained. 3euerbach, in attempting to find an explanation of religion by a return to the &real) man did not find the real man, because he searched for him in the individual, in the human being generally. 3rom this approach the world of ideas cannot be explained. Thus he was forced to fall back on the ideology of universal human love. &Insofar as 3euerbach is a materialist,) !arx said, & he does not deal with history, and insofar as he considers history, he is not a materialist.) * The German +deolog$, pp. 9E-9C+. .hat 3euerbach did not accomplish was accomplished by the historical !aterialism of !arx4 an explanation of the development of man6s ideas out of the material world. The historical development of society is brilliantly rendered in the following sentence4 & ... !en, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking.) *German +deolog$, p. 0=+. .e know reality only through experience which, as the external world, comes to us through the medium of our senses. 1 philosophical theory of knowledge will then be based on this principle4 the material, empirically given world is the reality which determines thought. The basic epistemological problem was always what truth can be attributed to thinking. The term &criti2ue of knowledge,) used by the professional philosophers for &theory of knowledge,) already implies a view point of doubt. In his second and fifth theses on 3euerbach !arx refers to this problem and again points out that the practical activity of man is the essential content of his life. &The 2uestion whether ob ective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a 2uestion of theory but is a practical 2uestion. In practice man must prove the truth, i. e., the reality and power, the &this-sidedness) of his thinking4) *Thesis 7+ ... &3euerbach, not satisfied with abstract thinking, appeals to sensuous contemplation, but he does not conceive sensuousness as a practical, human-sensuous activity.) *Thesis @+. .hy practical: Because man in the first place must live. 5is biological organism, his faculties and his abilities and all his activity are adapted to this very end. .ith these he must adapt himself to and assert himself in the external world, i. e. nature, and as an individual in society, as well as with his faculty of thinking, the activity of the organ of thought, the brain, and with thought itself. Thinking is a bodily faculty. In every phase of life man uses his power of thought to draw conclusions from his experiences on which expectations and hopes are built and which regulate his mode of living and his actions. The correctness of his conclusions, a condition for his survival, is determined by the very fact of his being. Thinking is a purposeful adaptation to life, and therefore truth can be attributed to it though not truth in an absolute sense. But on the basis of his experiences, man derives generali%ations and laws on which his expectations are based. They are generally correct as is witnessed by his survival. In particular instances, however, false conclusions may be derived and hence failure and destruction. Hife is a continuous process of learning, adaptation, development. ?ractice alone is the unsparing test of the correctness of thinking.


Het us first consider this in relation to natural science. 5ere thought finds in practice its purest and most abstract form. This is why philosophers of nature accept this form as the sub ect for their observations and pay no attention to its similarity to the thought of every individual in his every day activity. Fet thinking in the study of nature is only a highly developed special field of the entire social labor process. This labor process demands an accurate knowledge of natural phenomena and its integration into laws, in order to be able to utili%e them successfully in the field of technics. The determination of these laws through observation of special phenomena is the task of specialists. In the study of nature it is generally accepted that practice, in this instance experiment, is the test of truth. 5ere, too, it is accepted that observed regularities, known as &natural laws,) are generally fairly dependable guides to human practice, and although they are fre2uently not altogether correct and even disappointing, they are improved constantly and elaborated upon through the progress of science. If at times man is referred to as the &lawmaker of nature,) it must be added that nature very often disregards these laws and summons man to make better ones. The practice of life, however, comprises much more than the scientific study of nature. The relation of the natural scientist to the world, despite his experimentation, remains sensous-observational. To him the world is an external thing. But in reality people deal with nature in their practical activities by acting upon her and making her part of their existence4 Through his labor man does not oppose nature as an external or alien world. #n the contrary, by the toil of his hands he transforms the external world to such an extent that the original natural substance is no longer discernable, and while this process goes on, man changes, too. Thus, man creates his own world4 human society in a nature changed by him. .hat meaning, then, has the 2uestion of whether his thinking leads to truth: The ob ect of his thinking is that which he himself produces by his physical and mental activities and which he controls through his brain. This is not a 2uestion of partial truths such as, for instance, those of which Engels wrote in his book on 3euerbach that the artificial production of the natural dye ali#arin would prove the validity of the chemical formula employed. M0N This is not, to repeat, a 2uestion of partial truths in a specific field of knowledge, where the practical conse2uence either affirms or refutes them. <ather the point in 2uestion here is a philosophical one, namely, whether human thought is capable of encompassing the real, the deepest truth of the world. That the philosopher, in his secluded study, who is concerned exclusively with abstract philosophical concepts, which are derived in turn from abstract scientific concepts also formulated outside of practical life experiences, should have his doubts in the midst of this world of shadows is easily understood. But for human beings who live and act in the real every day world the 2uestion has no meaning. The truth of thought, says !arx, is nothing other than power and mastery over the real world. #f course this statement embodies a contradiction4 Thinking cannot be said to be true where the human mind does not master the world. .henever ( as !arx pointed out in Capital ( the products of man6s hand grows beyond his intellectual power, which he no longer controls and which confronts him in the form of commodity production and capital as an independent social entity, mastering man and even threatening to destroy him, then his mental activity submits to the mysticism of a supernatural being and he begins to doubt his ability to distinguish truth from falsehood. Thus, in the course of many centuries the myth of supernatural deity overshadowed the daily materialistic experiences of man. 'ot until society has evolved to a point where man will be able to comprehend all social forces and will have learned to master his environment ( not until a communist society prevails, in short ( will his ideas be in full accord with the realities of the world. #nly after the nature of social production as a fundamental basis of all life and therefore of future development has become clear to man, only when the mind ( be it only theoretically at first ( actually masters the world, only then will our thinking be fully correct. 1nd only then will materialism, the science of society as formulated by !arx, gain permanent mastery and become the only applicable philosophy. The !arxian theory of society in principle means the renewal of philosophy. !arx, however, was not concerned with pure philosophy. &?hilosophers have only interpreted the world differently, but the point is to change it,) he says in the theses on 3euerbach. The world situation pressed for practical action. 1t first inspired by the bourgeois opposition to feudal absolutism, later strengthened by the new forces that emanated from the struggle of the English and 3rench proletariat against the bourgeoisie, !arx and Engels, thanks to their careful study of social realities, arrived at the conclusion that the proletarian revolution following on the heels of the bourgeois revolution would bring the real liberation of humanity. Their activity was devoted to this revolution, and in the Communist :anifesto they laid down the first directions for the workers6 class struggle. 0E>

!arxism has since been inseparably connected with the class struggle of the proletariat. If we ask what !arxism is, we must first of all understand that it does not mean everything !arx ever thought and wrote. The views of his earlier years, for instance, are representative only in part, they are developmental phases leading toward !arxism. .hile the role of the proletarian class struggle and the aim of communism is already outlined in the Communist :anifesto, the theory of surplus value is developed much later. 1ll of !arx6s developing ideas are determined by the social relation, the character of the revolution, the part played by the state. 1nd all these ideas had a different content in 0C=C when the proletariat had only begun to develop than they had later or have today. #f vital importance, however, are !arx6s original scientific contributions. There is first of all the theory of historical materialism, according to which the development of society is determined by its productive forces that make for a certain mode of production, especially through the productive force of class struggles. There is the theory of the determination of all political and ideological phenomena of intellectual life in general by the productive forces and relations. 1nd there is the presentation of capitalism as a historical phenomena, the analysis of its structure by the theory of value and surplus value, and the explanation of capitalism6s evolutionary tendencies through the proletarian revolution towards communism. .ith these theories !arx has enriched the knowledge of humanity permanently. They constitute the solid fundament of !arxism. 3rom these premises further conclusions can be derived under new and changed circumstances. Because of this scientific basis !arxism is a new way of looking at the past and the future, at the meaning of life, the world and thought, it is a spiritual revolution, a new view of the world. 1s a view of life, however, !arxism is real only through the class that adheres to it. The workers who are imbued with this new outlook become aware of themselves as the class of the future, growing in number and strength and consciousness, striving to take production into their own hands and through the revolution to become masters of their own fate. Thus !arxism as the theory of the proletarian revolution is a reality, and at the same time a living power, only in the minds and hearts of the revolutionary proletariat. Fet !arxism is not an inflexible doctrine or a sterile dogma. /ociety changes, the proletariat grows, science develops. 'ew forms and phenomena arise in capitalism, in politics, in science, which !arx and Engels could not have foreseen or surmised. But the method of research which they formed remains to this day an excellent guide and tool towards the understanding and interpretation of new events. The proletariat, enormously increased under capitalism, today stands only at the threshold of its revolution and !arxist development, !arxism only now begins to play its role as a living power in the proletariat. Thus !arxism itself is a living theory which grows with the increase of the proletariat and with the tasks and aims of the class struggle.

0. This formula did not prove ( as Engels believed ( the validity of materialism as against 8ant6s &Thing in itself.) The &Thing in itself) results from the incapacity of bourgeois philosophy to explain the earthly origin of moral law. The &Thing in itself) has thus not been contradicted and proven false by the chemical industry but by historical materialism. It was the latter that enabled Engels to see the fallacy in the &Thing in itself,) although he offered other arguments.

Anton Pannekoek 1944

$nthropogenesis 9 $ St&d( of the +rigin of Man

Source4 $ontroversies4 3orum for the Internationalist $ommunist Heft First Published4 Anthropogenesis A !tud$ f The rigin f :an By 1nt. ?annekoek /c. B. ?rofessor "niversity of 1msterdam, 0>@9 'orth-5olland ?ublishing $ompany 1msterdam 0CG

ritten4 0>==, under German #ccupation of 5olland, Marku!" #ditin$" For%attin$4 $ontroversies4 3orum for the Internationalist $ommunist Heft and B. .alters for the !arxists Internet 1rchive.

The present study on 1nthropogenesis was written during the war, in 0>==, when through the German occupation of 5olland ordinary scientific work was greatly impeded. /ince the German !ilitary Government had forbidden all publication in English and 3rench, the 1msterdam 1cademy of /ciences decided that all its publications should be in Butch. /o the present study was written in Butch, and published in that language immediately after the liberation, in the Verhandelingen of the 1msterdam 1cademy. In order to render its results accessible to international science, the English translation has been prepared. 1ll 2uotations are given in the text in their English form, and may be found in their original form at the end of the book.

Table of contents
T#e 2!o/lem 81A*9 Tools 8+A>9 T#inking 89A1*9 ;!ains 81+A1>9 S2eec# 819A229 S2eec# and t#inking 82*A 209 Tools and t#inking 827A*19 Tools and s2eec# 8*2A*.9 T#e (i!st o!igin 8*0A+09 t#e 2!inci2le o( 2!og!ess 8+1A+>9 Notes S&mma!$ RBs&mB 8in 3!enc#9 C&sammen(ass&ng 8in D&tc#9 6ite!at&!e ,&oted O!iginal ,&otations

%. The problem
&7 The problem of the origin of man cannot be solved by experiment or observation. The appearance of man on earth is a fact of the past of which no report or witness could reach us. The factual data which we have at our disposal are comparisons of man of today with animals, supplemented by extremely rare, imperfect and damaged fragments of fossils of prehistoric man and remains of his stone implements. But they are silent with regard to the forces which have caused the evolution of animal to man. .here direct empirical data are lacking and indirect ones are so few, a far stronger appeal than is needed in experimental science has to be made to the mental e2uipment of the scientist. .hereas in the case of plenty of empirical facts that can be increased at will, no more is necessary than arranging and combining them and from them deducing new problems and making new experiments, the scarcity of such facts causes theoretical discussion to play a more important part. .hat matters here is the logical combination of differing data, the seeking for connexion between what lies far apart, the making of conclusions, and the careful weighing of probabilities. 5ere we meet with the difficulty ( which cannot be solved but can only be pointed out ( that most authors who have dealt with the origin of man, were specialised scholars who approached the problem from one of its many aspects. It may have been that of biology, or anatomy, or neurology, or that of prehistory or ethnology, or that of animal psychology, or linguistics, or philosophy. .hen, then, there was insufficient ac2uaintance with the other aspects of the problem, or with important aspects of human life, explanations could only be unsatisfactory. It is not a problem of biology4 the biological laws which govern animal life, have with man largely receded into the background. It is not a problem of ethnology4 the lowest races which ethnology has made known to us are already a highly developed human species as compared with Early !an. It is not a problem of prehistorical archaeology or palaeontology, as only so very few hard, imperishable remains of what then lived could be preserved. It is not a problem of comparative psychology, which cannot remove or bridge the deep cleft existing between man and the nearest animals.


1 fundamental difficulty is also that it is modern man who is compared with the animal, we use ourselves as the direct and best known ob ect of comparison. This derives from the initial thought that man as such has not changed basically, and that man of the 0>th or 7Gth century with all his habits, ways of thinking, and characteristics may be counted as the normal, natural human being. $onse2uently, for purposes of comparison, modern man, with his highly developed individualism is placed in comparison beside the animal, whereas original man was entirely a community being. 3urther for preference the scholar himself is taken for this purpose, who is an intellectual specialised in mental work, and chiefly concerned with abstractions, whereas man has always been first and foremost a practical being, working with his body and his hands. In this way the problem must inevitably present itself in a distorted form. .hat matters is not the origin of modern man, the development from primitive to modern man, however much of it still awaits research, is generally known as a gradual, natural and comprehensible evolution without any enigmatical breaks. The riddle is the origin of primitive man, the real problem is to understand the transition from animal to primitive man. A7 The problem of anthropogenesis has gone through various aspects. #riginally the difference between man and animal was considered to be so fundamental, that each was counted as belonging to an entirely different world, without any relationship. This found its expression in the doctrine of the separate creation of man, gifted with reason and possessed of an immortal soul. 1s biology developed, the bodily similarity of man and animal became more apparent, and Hinnaeus classified man in the animal kingdom as a normal species, Homo sapiens, belonging to the class of mammals and, with the apes, forming the order of ?rimates. Barwin6s theory of man6s descent from animal ancestors brought about a complete break with the traditional doctrine. 1 great number of biological studies since then have proved the essential similarity of man and animal as well as refuted any fundamental difference. This was most difficult in the field of mental powers, but in this respect too it has repeatedly been pointed out in Barwinistic publications that the animal also thinks and shows intelligence that between the mind of animal and man there are no essential differences but only differences of degree, and that it is but a 2uestion of more or less. Thus the problem of the origin of man disappeared, not so much as if it were solved but rather stripped of its character as a special problem, the case not differing from the origin of any animal species from another. Thus, however, the balance had swung too far the other way. There are essential and profound differences, which are not so absolute that they form an unbridgeable cleft separating two worlds, but are so large and so fundamental that one may speak of a difference of 2uality. \uantitative differences, if only they become large enough, grow into differences of 2uality. 1n analogon, a trace, a beginning of every specifically human characteristic is present in the animal world ( by which it is rendered possible that by a natural development man could descend from the animal. 5owever these traces had to grow into something entirely new and different, and this stamps anthropogenesis as a special scientific problem. B7 There are thee main characteristics which differentiate between man and animal. 3irstly, there is abstract thinking. 1lthough animals do show a certain measure of intelligence, and though mental processes do take place with them which have their seat in highly developed brains, the capacity for abstract thought is only found in man. This is the thinking in concepts which has elevated him to so high a level of theoretical knowledge and science. /econdly there is speech, there is the use of language. 1lthough animals do produce sounds intended for mutual information, with man alone these sounds have significance as names, and thus are the basis of a high spiritual culture. Thirdly there is the use of tools made by himself. Even though animals do make use of dead things from their natural surroundings as aids to their own support, with man this has become an habitual use of implements specially made for a purpose and according to a preconceived plan. These implements are the basis of an ever growing techni2ue, and therefore of our entire material civili%ation. #ne would add as a fourth characteristic, from 1ristotle6s designation of man as a #oCn politikon, that man lives in social connection. 5owever important this characteristic may be, it does not differentiate man from all animals. !any other animal species live in groups, they form communities, and the characteristic has been inherited by man from the animal world. /imilarly it is not permissible to cite the rapid evolution of man in contradistinction to the constancy of other species as a difference, this is not so much a characteristic itself but rather a 2uality of each of the aforementioned characteristics.

%%. Tools

D7 3ranklin called man a tool-making animal. Tool-using would have expressed the same, if he wishes to use them, he has to make them himself, as they are not offered from elsewhere. 5owever as a distinguishing characteristic with respect to the animals the making has to be emphasised, since natural ob ects are also used by animals. Thus branches and fibres are used for nest building, beavers use trees they have gnawed, and it is said that apes sometimes use sticks and stones. #n the other hand the making of the tool signifies a preconceived, planned, appropriate change of natural ob ects, based on the previous knowledge of the effect. The tool is taken in the hand and thus made into an appropriate aid in the struggle for life. $ombined with the hand it has become a complete unit, a bodily organ, an active power. The hand, together with the tool it grasps, performs the same function which with the animal is performed by the bodily organs, %i#7 it executes such acts as are necessary towards life. rganon means tool, organs are the animals6 tools, attached to their bodies, tools are man6s organs, separated from his body. Instead of the manifold organs of the animals, each appropriate to its own separate function, the human hand acts as a universal organ, by grasping tools, which vary, for different functions, the combination hand-tool replaces the various animal organs. The presence of such a grasping organ, therefore, has been essential towards the originating of man. This was an inheritance from the ape-like, tree-inhabiting ancestors who needed strong and at the same time sensitive grasping organs for climbing and moving amongst branches. That is why a tool-using being, such as man, could only descend from ape-like forms. 1dmittedly, in 2uite another order of mammals, the elephant6s trunk does act as a grasping organ, suitable to manifold purposes, but it cannot compete with the ape6s hand for delicacy of structure and powers. E7 3rom the ape6s hand the human hand has evolved to a higher level of perfection, necessary for the universal purpose of handling tools. 'owhere has this perfection of the human hand been described in more striking and enthusiastic words than in $harles Bell6s work FThe Hand- its mechanism and %ital endo,ments as e%incing designG, published in 0C9E. This book was one of the so-called Bridge,ater Treatises, a series published with the aim to show the greatness of the $reator in the perfection of 5is creatures. .hat mattered here, therefore, was to show the perfection of the hand6s structure. 3irst the possibilities of movement are described, defined by the structure of the bones and oints of arm and wrist, always explained by comparison with animal anatomy. Then the power is considered which, at the end of a long, flexible lever, is communicated to the hand by the muscles of chest and back. The position of the thumb, itself supported by a strong muscle, with regard to the fingers causes the firm grip which even from the first weeks of existence is capable of carrying the weight of the body, a 2uestion of life and death to tree-dwellers. Then there is the wealth of more than fifty muscles in the arm and the hand which have to co-operate in the simplest movement, and which in contracting and relaxing are kept under control by the will with extreme precision. 1t the same time the smaller minor muscles in the hand and fingers render possible an extremely delicately and 2uickly differentiated movement of the fingers. FHIJ The$ are the organs ,hich gi%e the hand the po,er of spinning- ,ea%ing- engra%ing5 and as the$ produce the @uick motions of the musician4s fingersthe$ are called b$ the anatomists fidicinalesF *p. 0=0+ *i7e7 music-makers+. To this must be added the delicate sense of touch for which the fingers, and even more the fingertips have been especially built. These latter are small elastic cushions, supported by shield-like, flat nails and provided with ribs built in the shape of spirals in which, under the epidermis, innumerable finely branched nerve ends almost reach the surface. This sense of touch is an important faculty of the human hand. FWe find e%er$ organ of sense- ,ith the e6ception of that of touch- more perfect in brutes than in man7 HIJ But in the sense of touch- seated in the hand- man claims the superiorit$G *p. 0C@+. This higher perfection in capacity of movement as well as in sense of touch, of the human hand as compared with that of the ape is harmonised by a greater development and differentiation of the nerves concerned. FThe differentiation of the cellgroups inner%ating the fingers- is speciall$ striking in man- e%en in comparison to the anthropoidsG *1ri]ns 8appers, p. 0EE+. The sense of touch is, first of all, a means towards the ac2uisition of knowledge, through investigation of the environment. But it extends further, FBichat sa$s that touch is acti%e- ,hilst the other senses are passi%e7 HIJ We shall arri%e at the truth b$ considering that in the use of the hand- there is a double sense e6ercised7 +n touch- ,e must not onl$ feel the contact of the ob*ect5 but ,e must be sensible to the muscular effort ,hich is made to reach it- or to grasp it in the fingers7 +t is in the e6ercise of this latter po,er that there is 0C9

reall$ an$ effort madeG *Bell, p. 0C@-0CD+. Indeed, the active muscular feeling is coupled with the passive feeling of touch in the taking and grasping of things. The organs intended for the passive observation of nature, the senses, have to be sensitive, soft, and impressionable, in order to register the smallest transmission of energy, the organs intended for action on nature, such as teeth, and claws, have to be hard, solid, capable of resistance, in order to transmit great energy, the hand with the tool possesses both characteristics at the same time. Bell does not mention the purpose of this grasping, as techni2ue, the practical life of manual labour is outside his orbit and his interest. Fet it is clear that what is grasped is the tool. The holding, steering, and manipulating of tools is the purpose of the hand, and a refined sense of touch is necessary for their being correctly held, directed, and steered. The muscular feeling and effort are not concerned with the indifferent grasping of ust anything, but with the working with tools. In the struggle for life, consisting in the finding of food and resisting of enemies, the handling of tools is a necessity. K7 The use of tools, apart from the hand being available as a grasping organ, is yet further conditioned, in the first place by a certain amount of mental development enabling man to foresee the action of his tool. 1n animal is not capable of that, FHIJ e%en e6treme emergenc$ ne%er makes it in%enti%eG *Geiger, p. D0+. Even in the worst peril, or when it is starving, the animal does not achieve the use of an available tool or weapon, simply because it lacks the power to visualise what it might do with it. Even more does this apply to the making of tools, for which visualisation is re2uired of a future use of something not yet existing, i7e7 conscious thought. The use, and to an even greater degree the development of tools, is only possible in a community. The skill of handling and constructing tools is not congenital, but has to be ac2uired by the younger generation from the older. .ith isolated individuals every ac2uired skill would be lost with their death. 1 social community is, so to speak, immortal4 while the older members die off the younger ones are growing up in it. The knowledge of the use and manufacture of tools in such groups is collective knowledge and a communal riches. The younger generation grows up in this knowledge because of the common practice of life, and each invention, each improvement is preserved and transmitted. This social life, an essential condition of the development of tools and, therefore, of anthropogenesis, is also an inheritance transmitted from the ancestors in the animal kingdom. '7 The tool, grasped and guided by the hand, has with man the same function as the bodily organ with animals, but it performs it in a better manner. The superiority of the human tool as compared with the animal organ lies in the first place in its replaceability. It is a dead thing, and separate from the body. .hen it has lost its usefulness or has broken it is thrown away. The bodily organ, on the other hand, cannot be replaced, so that a broken leg usually dooms the wild animal. Indeed, it is not even necessary for the tool to become useless, it may be discarded as obsolete when one more suitable for a given ob has been made. "se of the same tool for various purposes causes its differentiation. Thus the original sharp stone which served all purposes grew into an ever increasing number of sharp stones such as the drill, the arrowhead, the knife, scratcher, saw, or axe, each the most suitable to its use. This process of increasing differentiation continues into the later stages of technical development and, manifest in every craft and industry, becomes the driving force in the great technical development of humanity. !an, therefore, has not one tool available, but many. Every time he takes another tool in his hand the hand becomes a different organ. !an is an animal with interchangeable organs. 1ccording to the need of the moment, to the prey he seeks, to the enemy he faces, to the alm he wishes to achieve he takes a different tool. The animal, by its given special organs, is confined to one mode of life to which it is excellently adapted. !an adapts himself to various modes of life by changing his tools, by availing himself of a different organ he e2uals another animal. 5e can burrow like a mole, saw trees like a beaver, crush hard nuts like a s2uirrel, repel, like a buffalo, a beast of prey, and, as a beast of prey himself, kill and tear up his victim. .hereas every animal is limited to its own habitat, man is adapted to the most varying conditions of life4 in the woods he takes the axe, and in the plains the spade. Thus was he able to spread over the whole earth. The greatest superiority of the human tool over the animal organ lies in its perfectibility. 3or countless generations the animal has ever had to be content with the same organs, beautifully adapted to its 0C=

environment. !an, however, outgrows such excellence, by constantly improving his organs, i7e7 perfecting the tools. "se and application are conducive to constantly improved adaptation, the improved tool immediately replaces the obsolete one which is discarded, and itself becomes the starting-point of new improvements. Thus in the use of implements a continuous and cumulative development takes place, at first slow, then faster and faster. <oughly hewn stones replace unfashioned ones, then the transition is made to delicately worked stones used probably in con unction with softer animal and vegetable material which has not been preserved, until at last metal was found to be the strongest and most plastic material. .ith these tools man was able to secure his dominion of nature and his mastery over the earth is achieved, through ever more perfected soil, building houses and stables, hunting or taming animals, by husbandry and cattlebreeding he transforms the wild environment of nature to a safe environment of culture, and a solid basis of existence. 3urther, through the many crafts which are employed in making the most diverse ob ects of daily use by means of a great many different tools, an over more complete mastery over the earth is achieved, through ever more perfected techni2ues. Bell sang a hymn of praise to the human hand, as Fthe consummation of all perfection as an instrumentG *p. 7=>+. .hen enumerating the details of its Fsuperiorit$G he limits himself to a few examples of the hand6s capacity, such as Fthe pro%isions for holding- pulling- spinning- ,ea%ing- and constructing5 properties ,hich ma$ he found in other animals- but are combined in this more perfect instrumentG *p. 7=>+. If, owing to scholars specialising in mental and scientific effort, practical work with tools and the manual labour of the millions producing goods had not been entirely outside his orbit, and if conse2uently the hand6s destination to hold and direct tools had been clear to him, how much deeper a note of world power his hymn of praise would have ac2uired and how it would have become a saga of mankind6s growth to world dominion; (7 Hife and the progress of mankind always depended on the tool6s development. .eapons too belong to the tools. 3rom the beginning tool and weapon were identical, in fighting beasts of prey and catching game the character of arms dominated. Hater they became increasingly differentiated, though even to-day the knife still bears the double character. /oon the artificial organs, in this form as weapons, began to play a part in men6s mutual fight. In this way, world history became a history of wars, endless streams of blood have accompanied mankind6s evolution. This was the first FprogressG of man compared with the animal. .hereas with nearly all species of animal the struggle for life amongst their kind is no more than a competition as to which will survive in their opposition to the hostile forces of the surrounding world, with man this match has become a real fight, increasing to a battle of annihilation against his fellow man. Birect extermination of his kind as a mass form of the struggle for life only occurs with man. This is also a result of the use of tools, because provided with different, better weapons, he may count as a different species with superior organs. It means that in the evolution of mankind an even fiercer form of selection has been active than in the animal kingdom.

%%%. Thinking
)7 .ith the lower animals phenomena and behaviour are observed which imply feeling and sensitiveness with regard to the influence of environment. $onsidering the higher animals we conclude from their actions that they have a certain consciousness, as they display behaviour which we consider to be the result of deliberation and a certain intellectual faculty. 5owever in man alone occurs that form of intelligence which we call abstract thinking, thinking by means of conceptions. .hat use is thinking: FThe nature of reason is to regard things not as simpl$ e6isting but as necessar$G, /pino%a wrote in his thesis == of the second part of his Ethics. FThinking is conscious comparison of ac@uired perceptions- collecting ,hat is similar into conceptionsG, thus 5elmholt% *p. 9=0+. In his booklet FHo, ,e thinkG, a manual on pedagogics explaining how to teach children to think in the right way, Bewey says4 F9eflection in%ol%es HIJ a consecuti%e ordering Lof ideasM in such a ,a$ that each determines the ne6t as its proper outcomeG *p. 7+ FThinking HIJ is defined as that operation in ,hich present facts suggest other facts Lor truthsM in such a ,a$ as to induce belief in the latter upon the ground or ,arrant of the formerG *p. C+. F0emand for the solution of a perple6it$ is the stead$ing and guiding factor in the entire process of reflectionG *p. 00+. 5ere is spoken of the kind of thinking which is concerned with facts of the past and future, and which orientates itself in the world by means of the regularity of phenomena. /uch thinking acts as an organ of science and philosophy, its immediate aim being to find the truth about the world. This, however, is already a more developed stage of thinking which, although playing an important part in later centuries, particularly with the, FthinkersG, 0C@

theorists and scientists, was preceded by the simple thinking of primitive man. Even now for the great ma ority of men, and even for all of them for much of their life, thinking has an immediate, practical purpose. It does not put or answer the 2uestion4 FWhat is truth2G but the 2uestion4 FWhat am + to do2G F<erple6it$G is too strong a word for the state of mind produced by these daily recurrent problems. Besides much automatic habitual action there is a constant reflection and consideration, it does not involve abstruse problems or seek for FtruthG, but is a comparison of various possibilities of action from which a choice has to be made. This work of thinking forms a constant essential part of the total effort of keeping alive. If one wishes to compare human and animal intelligence, in order to learn to understand their interconnection and continuity, one should not take, as the human example, the most recent and highest forms of development, involving the theoretical thought of scholarship and philosophy, but rather the simplest practical thought of the common man of today, and of primitive man. This latter does exhibit the sundry characteristics of abstract thought, though as yet confined to the immediate problems of existence *0+. 5ere lies the problem of anthropogenesis, further development of the initial human mental activity to the modern level then becomes a series of gradual steps which do not offer any fundamental difficulties. &N7 .ith man as with the animal, mental life starts from the sensation as the most simple element, the sensation being either corporeal, as with hunger and pain, or environmental, as with smell, sight, or hearing. These sensations are the stimuli to which the organism reacts by actions in a manner appropriate to life. The sensations combine into images4 one sees an ob ect, such as a fruit, or moving animal, or he hears something. In such an image a great number of successive impressions of colour and light, changing according to the examining movement of head and eyes, or a number of separate sounds rising in succession out of the surrounding noise, have been combined. This is possible because every impression, which does not truly exist but for one indivisible moment, does not disappear with it but continues to exist and fades only gradually. .hat is called, therefore, an image, an observation, or experience, is already an entire combination of many various impressions covering a certain period. .hen ever a combination of the same kind is repeated the earlier impressions are evoked as memories. !emory is the connecting together of earlier and later impressions, a relation tying past with present experience. .hen certain parts of a complex repeat themselves *e7g7 a sensation of hunger, or impressions of the environment+ the other parts of the image, which earlier were connected with it, are called up ( in accordance with the principle of connection-reflexes *7+ ( so that they are completed and form the entire complex *e7g7 food+. It then effects the same appropriate reactions of movement, a certain behaviour, the search for, or the taking of food. The increasingly definite stimulation of such behaviour by preceding sensations is of the greatest importance in the struggle for life, and is succinctly called Flearning b$ e6perienceG. 3rom similar observations often repeated and analogous experience complexes, the image created by memory rises up again and again. /uch images are not exact reproductions, they are more vague than the observations and experiences themselves. They are a kind of average in which that which is common has remained and the differences have been wiped out. In the struggle for life, what is of importance is not that which happened only once but that which may be expected normally, i7e7 the recurrent common element in occurrences. This is, therefore, what is grasped by the imagination, what remains in the perception, and what determines expectation. These perceptions which render present what has been in the past, form consciousness. $onsciousness is conscious being *9+, knowledge of being, the most immediate and surest fact of experience. It is said that as to our fellow men we conclude from their actions that with them the same kind of consciousness exists as we experience ourselves. In reality the consciousness of our fellow-men and our own are e2ually a matter of direct, instinctive certainty to us, a basic fact, already present before we arrive at such conclusions, and is entirely independent of them. .ith the higher animals we similarly conclude consciousness from their appropriate actions and, even more so, from their active attention towards what approaches them as sensations, but here there is only partial similarity. .e lack, of course, a clear idea of their perceptions and their consciousness, since we only know our own and have to take this as a model for others. .e try to approach it by assuming that their consciousness is inferior in comprehension as well as in clarity, by comparing it with a state of passive dimness of mind in man which remains as a background when clear-cut 0CD

conscious thought is lacking. It has been remarked that, if we do not know anything about the consciousness of animals with certainty, it is of no conse2uence as it is only their reactions and behaviour which are of importance as the only observable psychical phenomena, an accompanying FconsciousnessG in this connection is ust as irrelevant as the light by which we learn the time from the clock is irrelevant to the time-piece. This may be true, but it omits that FconsciousnessG here is the name of a conception within which a great comp