ARTICLE (OR CHAPTER) IV
ZIMMERWALD AT THE CROSS-ROADS
The French newspapers containing the report of the Congress of the C.G.T. were received in Berne on December 28, and on December 30 the Socialist newspapers of Berne and Zürich published another manifesto issued by the Berne I.S.K. ("Internationale Sozialistische Kommission"), the International Socialist Committee, the executive body of Zimmerwald. This manifesto, dated the end of December 1916, refers to the peace proposals made by Germany and by Wilson and the other neutral countries, and all these governmental pronouncements are described, and quite rightly described, of course, as a "farcical game of peace," "a game to deceive their own peoples," "hypocritical pacifist gesticulations of diplomats."
As against this farce and falsehood the manifesto declares that the "only force" capable of bringing about peace, etc., is the "firm determination" of the international proletarians to "turn their weapons, not against their brothers, but against the enemy in their own country."
The passages we have quoted clearly reveal the two fundamentally distinct policies which have lived side by side, as it were, up to now in the Zimmerwald group, but which have now finally parted company.
On the one hand Turati quite definitely and correctly states that the proposals made by Germany, Wilson, etc.,
were a "paraphrase " of Italian "Socialist" pacifism; the declarations of the German social-chauvinists and the voting of the French have shown that both fully appreciate the value of the pacifist screen for their policy.
On the other hand, the manifesto of the International Socialist Committee describes the pacifism of all belligerent and neutral governments as a farce and hypocrisy.
On the one hand, Jouhaux joins with Merrheim; Bourderon, Longuet and Raffin-Dugens join with Renaudel, Sembat and Thomas, while the German social-chauvinists, Südekum, David and Scheidemann, announce the forthcoming "restoration of Social-Democratic unity" with Kautsky and the "Social-Democratic Labour Group."
On the other hand the manifesto of the International Socialist Committee calls upon the "Socialist minorities" to fight strenuously against "their own governments" and "against their social-patriotic hirelings" (Söldlinge ).
Either one thing or the other.
Either expose the vapidity, stupidity and hypocrisy of bourgeois pacifism, or "paraphrase" it into "Socialist" pacifism. Fight against the Jouhaux, the Renaudels, the Legiens and the Davids as the "hirelings" of the governments, or join with them in making empty pacifist declamations on the French or German models.
This is now the dividing line between the Right wing of Zimmerwald, which has always strenuously opposed a split from the social-chauvinists, and the Left wing, which had the foresight at the Zimmerwald Conference publicly to dissociate itself from the Right and to put forward, at the conference and after it in the press, its own platform. The approach of peace, or at least the intense discussion of the question of peace by certain bourgeois elements, not accidentally, but
inevitably gave rise to a particularly marked divergence between the two policies. Bourgeois pacifists and their "Socialist" imitators, or followers, have always pictured, and now picture, peace as being something in principle distinct from war, for the pacifists of both shades have never understood that "war is the continuation of the politics of peace and peace is the continuation of the politics of war." Neither the bourgeoisie nor the social-chauvinists wanted, nor do they wish to see that the imperialist war of 1914-17 is the continuation of the imperialist politics of 1898-1914, if not of an earlier period. Neither the bourgeois pacifists nor the Socialist pacifists see that if the bourgeois governments are not overthrown by revolution peace now can only be an imperialist peace, a continuation of the imperialist war.
In the same way as they approached the question of appraising the present war with silly, vulgar, philistine phrases about aggression or defence in general, so they are approaching the question of appraising the peace with the same philistine commonplaces, forgetting all about the concrete historical situation, the actual concrete struggle between the imperialist powers. And it was quite natural for the social chauvinists, these agents of the governments and of the bourgeoisie in the workers' parties, to seize upon the approach of peace, or even upon mere peace talk, in order to gloss over the depths of their reformism and opportunism which the war has exposed and in order to restore their damaged influence over the masses. Hence, the social-chauvinists in Germany and in France, as we have seen, are making strenuous efforts to "unite" with the soft, unprincipled pacifist section of the "opposition."
No doubt, efforts will be made also in Zimmerwald to gloss over the divergence between the two irreconcilable lines of
policy. One can foresee these efforts being made along two lines. A "practical business" conciliation will take the form of mechanically combining loud revolutionary phrases (like those in the manifesto of the International Socialist Com mittee) with opportunist and pacifist practice. This is what happened in the Second International. The arch-revolutionary phrases in the manifestoes of Huysmans and Vandervelde and in certain congress resolutions merely served as a screen for the archopportunist practice of the majority of the European Parties, but they did not change, disrupt or combat this practice. It is doubtful whether these tactics will again be successful in Zimmerwald.
The "conciliators in principle" will strive to falsify Marxism by advancing such arguments: reform does not exclude revolution; an imperialist peace with certain "improvements" in the frontiers of certain nationalities, or in international law, or in expenditure on armaments, etc., is possible side by side with the revolutionary movement as "one of the aspects of the development" of this movement, and so on and so forth.
This would be a falsification of Marxism. Of course, reforms do not exclude revolution. But this is not the point at issue at the present moment. The point is that revolutionaries must not efface themselves before the reformists, i.e., that Socialists should not substitute reformist work for their revolutionary work. Europe is experiencing a revolutionary situation. The war and the high cost of living are making this situation more acute. The transition from war to peace will not necessarily alter this situation, for there are no grounds whatever for believing that the millions of workers who now have excellent weapons in their hands will necessarily permit themselves to be "peacefully disarmed" by the
bourgeoisie instead of following the advice of Karl Liebknecht, i.e., turning their weapons against their own bour geoisie.
The question is not as it is put by the pacifist Kautskyists: either a reformist political campaign or else the renunciation of reforms. This is a bourgeois presentation of the question. The question is: either revolutionary struggle, the by-product of which, in the event of its not being quite successful, is reforms (the whole history of revolutions throughout the world has proved this), or nothing but talk about reforms and the promise of reforms.
The reformism of Kautsky, Turati and Bourderon, which now comes out in the form of pacifism, not only leaves aside the question of revolution (this in itself is a betrayal of socialism), not only abandons in practice all systematic and persistent revolutionary work, but even goes to the length of declaring that organizing street demonstrations is the work of adventurers (Kautsky in Die Neue Zeit, November 26, 1915). It goes to the length of advocating unity and uniting with the outspoken and determined opponents of revolutionary struggle, the Südekums, Legiens, Renaudels, Thomases, etc., etc.
This reformism is absolutely irreconcilable with revolutionary Marxism, the duty of which is to take the utmost possible advantage of the present revolutionary situation in Europe in order openly to preach revolution, the overthrow of the bourgeois governments, the conquest of power by the armed proletariat, while at the same time not renouncing and not refusing to utilize reforms for the purpose of developing the revolutionary struggle and in the course of that struggle.
The immediate future will reveal how the progress of events in Europe in general, and the struggle between
reformist pacifism and revolutionary Marxism, in particular, including the struggle between the two sections of Zimmerwald, will develop.
Zürich, January 1, 1917.
 Lenin intended the article "Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism" for the newspaper
Novy Mir (New World ) published in New York by Russian socialist émigrés. The article did not appear in
Novy Mir and Lenin re-edited the first two sections which were published in the last issue (No. 58) of the
Sotsial-Demokrat, January 31, 1917, under the
heading "A Turn in World Politics" (see V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Eng. ed., International Publishers, New York, 1942, Vol. XIX, pp. 423-31).
 The French
Confédération générale du Travail (General Confederation of Labour) was founded in 1895. Its nucleus of leadership sided with the imperialists in the imperialist world war (1914-18) and advocated class collaboration and "defence of the fatherland."