A. Lozovsky


A Fresh Victory for
French Imperialism

(19 April 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 33 [15], 19 April 1923, p. 278.
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.

The French generals have won a new and brilliant victory; they have fired upon unarmed workmen in Essen, and have covered French arms with unfading glory. As is already well known, it is the glory of the French generals to dispatch rebellious proletarians to the next world. After the victory over the French workers at Le Havre, where three men were killed, this same soldiery institutes a new bloody orgy in the occupied territory of Germany.

When the occupation troops of the French so-called republic first invaded the industrial heart of Germany, they began their work with an insolent demagogy. The scribes and agents of the French security police occupied themselves by drawing up manifestos and proclamations, painting those abominable exploiters, Stinnes and Krupp, in the blackest colors. This summons to fight against the Stinnes dictatorship sounded particularly piquant from the lips of these scoundrels and brigands of the pen and press These hirelings of the French exchange and French heavy industrial magnates accompanied their anti-Stinnes campaign by descriptions of the noble feelings moving the French republic, which dreams of nothing else but how it could emancipate the oppressed German worker. The third republic is always “emancipating” somebody from something. It has even “emancipated” Germany from her mercantile marine, from Silesia, from Alsace-Lorraine, and from several tens of milliards! It has also shown anxiety to “emancipate” Russia from the Soviet power. Although it has not succeeded in doing this, the attempts at emancipation are none the less inscribed in letters of blood in the history of the Russian revolution. After the generals had spread their snares in vain before the eyes of the German workers, and had convinced themselves that the Ruhr proletariat is not to be lured onto thin ice by plausible speeches, they began to show their fangs and to embark on the execution of their “mission of emancipation”.

Even before this last bloody encounter the main contingent of the murdered has been supplied by the workers. The proletariat of the Ruhr area, hostile to its own bourgeoisie, is equally unwilling to be exploited by the French conquerors. The profound dissatisfaction felt by the working masses against the impudent occupants increases from day to day. The Ruhr proletariat knows very well that it is faced with a difficult struggle, for it has to fight on two battle-fronts, against its own bourgeoisie and the French bourgeoisie. While the French bourgeoisie has been anxious to gain the support of the Ruhr proletariat in its combat with Stinnes and Krupp, the latter, with the aid of social democracy, have been endeavoring to urge the working masses into the national front, into combined action against French capital. But the two capitalist combatants have now been obliged to admit that the Ruhr proletariat does not intend to serve as a tool for either one clique or the other. This situation is further complicated by the nationalist agitation and provocation being carried on by the German Fascisti. This was the ground on which the last battle in Essen was fought, this combat which marks a fresh glorious page in the history of French “victories”. This victory of French arms over the peaceful population once more brings us imperatively up against the question of the international struggle against imperialism We are fully in agreement with the organ of the English Fabians and liberals, the New Statesman, when it writes that the “mad dog of Europe – imperialist France – should be put on the chain”. But we are not agreed with these pale-pink English social-liberals in thinking there is only one mad dog in Europe. If one dog is to be put on the chain, then all the other imperialist dogs in Europe, including those of England and Germany, must be accorded the same treatment.

M. Poincaré seeks to secure his rule in the Ruhr area with the blood of German workers. The German nationalists utilize the dead bodies of the Essen proletariat to forge for themselves a weapon for the defence of their class privileges. But they will both break their necks in the Ruhr. We have every reason to hope that the Ruhr will be the common grave of the French and the German bourgeoisies, for the patience of the French and German workers has reached its limits. The day is near when the workers of these countries will turn upon the French and German bourgeoisies and give them the knock-out blow.

It is only thus that the Ruhr conflict can and will be solved.

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