A. Lozowsky

Hullo, Fimmen, Vandervelde & Co.

What has become of your International Strike?

(6 February 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 13, 6 February 1923, pp. 99–100.
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.

Three weeks after the representatives of the Amsterdamers and of the Second and 2½ Internationals, together with the bourgeois pacifists swore that they would prevent a war at any price, French troops marched into Germany. The far sighted apostles of peace had thought of every possibility of war, only this one had never occurred to them.

At the Hague we heard many speeches on Red militarism, and on the imperialist intentions of Soviet Russia. Every time that the leaders of the socialist and trade union movement – those leaders whose longing for the ministerial port folio is passionate – happened to speak of Russia, they adopted a particularly pathetic attitude. Vandervelde boiled like a samovar. Jouhaux exposed the Red militarism in fragmentary but powerful terms (he has a very loud voice). Abramovitch wept on the bosom of the pacific professors; pacifist ladies wiped his tears with their aprons, and were for their part plunged into the deepest sorrow because Soviet Russia is not built up on the pattern of their magnificently democratic and liberal fatherlands. When the Russian delegates made the proposal to consider the question of the Lausanne Conference and the impending occupation of the Ruhr, the reformist and pacifist gentlemen saw in this proposal only a despicable trick of the Bolsheviks against liberty-loving France, and found if more convenient to put our proposition under the table-cloth.

How many beautiful speeches against war were made! All the terrors of war were vividly reviewed, and painted in the most glaring colors. Radek, Rothstein and myself, were so touched that we wiped our tears away with our fists. “Now there will be no more war,” we thought; “it is no joke when Vandervelde, Jouhaux, Huysmans, Renaudel, Thomas, MacDonald, and the other Grumbachs flourish their hands about like this! Mars will certainly be frightened away by these long-winded phrases and astronomical gestures’.” After having wept with emotion for four days, we proposed to the epeechi tiers of the Amsterdam and Second Internationals, on the fifth day, that we cease flourishing and really get to business in the matter of war against war. But our proposals wounded their finest feelings. When we were leaving the congress hall, one of the leaders of the reformist French C.G.T., Dumoulin, asked me: “ How many renegades arc there, in your opinion, at this congress?” To this I replied: “You will be able to ascertain the exact number of renegades at the first military conflict.” You can now draw up the list, citizen Dumoulin, and do not forget to let us know what you personally have done towards organizing the international strike.

That which every body could see was going to happen, that which should have been energetically counteracted at the Hague, has happened. The French and Belgians, creators of peace, who swore to prevent any bloodshed in the future, are sitting at home and praying to the League of Nations, but do not breathe a syllable about a genera! strike! The only real protest against Poincares adventure, the only serious attempt to hold back the wild beasts of war, came from the Communist parties of France and Germany, and from the revolutionary unions of both countries. The printer’s ink is not yet dry on the pacifist resolutions of the Hague, and the leaders of this congress, the leaders of the reformist and socialist trade union movement of Belgium and France, have already proved what anyone could foresee, namely, that the interests of the bourgeoisie are nearer to their hearts than those of the proletariat. Dumoulin can now make a count of the number of renegades in his own organization. And if he goes on to count the renegades in Belgium and in other neighbouring countries, he will find many old and familiar faces, the same who at the Hague raved against Red militarism and against the representatives of Soviet Russia.

Once again the reformist workers have been deluded, once again they have experienced an unheard of betrayal, another victory of class peace. How often will the European workers have to be rudely, awakened from these delusions before they cast aside the reformist-pacifist anaesthetic? How often? it is difficult to say. But what is certain is, that in the period between the Hague conference and the Kahr occupation the workers have grown not merely three weeks wiser, but have gained the experience of years.

Hullo, Jouhaux, Henderson, Fimmen, Vandervelde, Dumoulin, and all the peace apostles of the Hague! What has become of your international strike against war?

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Last updated on 8 July 2021