A. Lozowsky

The “Zoological Garden”
at the Hague

(12 December 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 1, 3 January 1923, pp. 5–6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2021). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

It is eminently suitable that the International Peace Conference, announced with so much fanfare by the people in Amsterdam, should meet precisely here. The spot is well chosen. The pacifist fauna is fairly well represented. The one-time French militarists, having learnt something by the international massacre, walk hand in hand with the bourgeois pacifists, and perform miracles of eloquence, skirting and fringing 80,000 times around the questions, without ever tackling them fairly. The crocodiles of the holy civil peace wander about the garden and exert themselves to the almost to square the circle: to declare war against war, and at the same time to defend an imperialist native country to the last breath. Who would have believed that these asses could continue to exist? But they are still there; the air of Versailles seems to have done them good.

Abstract and barren pacifism is quite at home here. The speakers and delegates roar to such an extent that they might be taken for real lions, but nobody takes them seriously, for everybody knows them to be the servants of their governments.

I walk along by the tables and look for workers with revolutionary blood in their veins, and not the consecrated water of pacifism! I look in vain.

The garden is still and lonely. Even the flies are almost dying of ennui. This Zoological Garden, which fairly resembles a cemetery, is one day abruptly shaken out of its quietness by the appearance of Muscovite bears! What can they want here? The poor unwieldy animals wander about among the tame beasts. The air of the Zoological Garden, reeking of the pacifist stable, almost suffocates the Muscovite animals. Here they miss the fresh air of their native country. The tame creatures, gentle and friendly to their masters, cry out in the greatest alarm at the sight of the bears ... Have you never seen how doves go in for politics on a grand scale? It is a fine spectacle!

But is it really so delightful here in this Zoological Garden? I begin to doubt it, although the number ol animals represented is large enough. lt is much more like a pacifist cemetery, where the pacifist corpses wander uneasily about, delivering hollow and empty speeches. Always the same phrases, over and over again. Is it a cemetery or a Zoological garden? One as much as the other. And peace? Ah, peace! It is dead, poor thing. Poisoned by reformist and bourgeois pacifism.

The Hague, December 12, 1922

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