First Edition 1966 Second Printing 1970

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (May 1997)
      [Transcriber's Note: This edition of Socialism and War is the first essay from a pamphlet entitled Lenin on War and Peace. Three Articles -- DJR]

    This is a collection of V. I. Lenin's three articles on war and peace. "Socialism and War" has been reprinted from the pamphlet under the same title published in English by the Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, in 1950; "The War Programme of the Proletarian Revolution" from V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, English edition, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. I, Part 2; and "Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism" from V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1936, Vol. V. A few stylistic changes have been made in the present collection.
        The notes at the end of the book are largely taken from those given in the Chinese edition, published under the same title by the People's Publishing House, Peking, in July 1964. Some notes given in the English editions mentioned above have also been used.


Preface to the First (Foreign) Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter I.  The Principles of Socialism and the War of

   The Attitude of Socialists Towards Wars
   Historical Types of Wars in Modern Times
   The Difference Between Aggressive and Defensive Wars
   The Present War Is an Imperialist War
   War Between the Biggest Slave-Owners for Preserving and Fortifying Slavery
   "War Is the Continuation of Politics by Other" (i.e., Violent) "Means"
   The Example of Belgium
   What Is Russia Fighting for?
   What Is Social-Chauvinism?
   The Basle Manifesto
   False References to Marx and Engles
   The Collapse of the Second International
   Social-Chauvinism Is Consummated Opportunism
   Unity with the Opportunists Means Alliance Between the Workers and "Their"
      National Bourgeoisie and Splitting the International Revolutionary Working Class
   The Marxists' Slogan of Revolutionary Social-Democracy
   The Example Shown by the Fraternization in the Trenches
   The Importance of an Underground Organization
   Concerning the Defeat of "One's Own" Government in the Imperialist War
   Pacifism and the Peace Slogan
   The Right of Nations to Self-Determination

Chapter II.  Classes and Parties in Russia

   The Bourgeoisie and the War
   The Working Class and the War
   The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Group in the State Duma and the War

Chapter III.  The Restoration of the International

   The Method of the Social-Chauvinists and of the "Centre"
   The State of Affairs Among the Opposition
   The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and the Third International

Chapter IV.  The History of the Split and the Present State
  Social-Democracy in Russia

   The "Economists" and the Old Iskra (1894-1903)
   Menshevism and Bolshevism (1903-1908)
   Marxism and Liquidationism (1908-1914)
   Marxism and Social-Chauvinism (1914-1915)
   The Present State of Affairs in Russian Social-Democracy
   Our Party's Tasks



      [1] The pamphlet Socialism and War was published in German in September 1915 and distributed among the delegates to the Zimmerwald Socialist Conference. In 1916 it was published in French.    [p.1]

      [2] See V. I. Lenin, "The War and Russian Social-Democracy," Selected Works, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. 1, Part 2, pp. 397-406.
        Sotsial-Demokrat -- central organ of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, published as an underground newspaper from February 1908 to January 1917. Altogether 58 issues appeared -- the first in Russia, the rest abroad: at Paris and, later, at Geneva. The Sotsial-Demokrat published more than 80 articles and other items by Lenin, who became its editor in December 1911. It also carried a large number of articles by Stalin.    [p.1]

      [3] See V. I. Lenin, "Conference of the Sections of the R.S.D.L.P. Abroad," Selected Works, Eng. ed., Lawrence and Wishart, London, , Vol. V, pp. 131-37.
        The Berne Conference -- a conference of the sections of the R.S.D.L.P. abroad held in Berne, Switzerland, from February z7 to March 4, 1915. Called on Lenin's initiative, it had the standing of a Bolshevik general Party conference, since it was impossible to convene an all-Russian con ference during the war. Representatives were present at the conference from the Bolshevik sections in Paris, Zürich, Geneva, Berne, Lausanne, and from the "Baugy" group. Lenin represented the Central Committee and the central organ (Sotsial-Demokrat ), directed the proceedings of the conference, and made a report on the main item on the agenda, "The War and the Tasks of the Party." The conference adopted resolutions on the war that were drafted by Lenin.    [p.1]

      [4] The Zimmerwald Conference -- the first conference of internationalist socialists, held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland, on September 5-8, 1915. A struggle flared up at the conference between the Kautskyite majority and the revolutionary internationalists headed by Lenin. At the conference, Lenin organized the internationalists into the Zimmerwald Left group, in which the Bolsheviks alone adhered to the only correct and consistently internationalist stand against the war.
        The conference adopted a manifesto which exposed the imperialist nature of the world war, denounced the "Socialists" for voting for war credits and for participating in the bourgeois governments and called on the workers of the European countries to wage struggles against the war and to strive for the conclusion of peace without annexation or payment of indemnities.
        The conference also adopted a resolution expressing sympathy for war victims and elected the International Socialist Committee (I.S.C.). For an appraisal of the conference, see Lenin's articles "The First Step" and "Revolutionary Marxists at the International Socialist Conference, September 5-8, 1915" (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Eng. ed., International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. XVIII, pp. 340-45, 346-49).    [p.3]

      [5] See Karl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege, Berlin, 1957, Vol. I, p. 34.    [p.11]

      [6] The Basle Manifesto on the war issue was unanimously adopted at the special congress of the Second International held on November 24-25, 1912, at Basle, Switzerland. The manifesto revealed the predatory aims of the war the imperialists were preparing and urged workers everywhere resolutely to combat the war danger. The manifesto proposed that in the event of an imperialist war breaking out, Socialists should take advantage of the economic and political crisis to precipitate the socialist revolution. (On the Basle Manifesto, see also V. I. Lenin, "The Collapse of the Second International," Collected Works, Eng. ed., International Publishers, New York, 1930, Vol. XVIII, pp. 273-82.)
        At the Basle Congress Kautsky, Vandervelde and the other leaders of the Second International voted for the Manifesto, but as soon as the world war broke out in 1914, they went back on it, and sided with their imperialist governments.    [p.15]

      [7] The Stuttgart International Socialist Congress, held on August 18-24, 1907. At this congress the R.S.D.L.P. was represented by 37 delegates. Lenin, Lunacharsky, Litvinov and others represented the Bolsheviks.

    page 101

        Most of the work of the congress was conducted in commissions, which drafted resolutions for submission to the plenary sessions. Lenin was a member of the commission that drafted the resolution on "Militarism and International Conflicts." Jointly with Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin moved his historic amendment to Bebel's resolution, declaring that it was the duty of Socialists to take advantage of the crisis brought about by war to rouse the masses for the overthrow of capitalism. The congress accepted this amendment. (On the congress see V. I. Lenin, "The International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart," Selected Works, Eng. ed., Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1943, Vol. IV, pp. 314-23, and Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XIII, pp. 59-65.)    [p.19]

      [8] The voting on August 4 -- on August 4, 1914, the Social-Democratic group in the German Reichstag voted in favour of granting the government of Wilhelm II war credits and for supporting the imperialist war. The leaders of German Social-Democracy betrayed the working class and took up the position of social-chauvinism and of defence of their imperialist bourgeoisie.    [p.20]

      [9] Struveism -- see pp. 48-49 of this book.    [p.20]

      [10] Brentanoism -- a bourgeois reformist theory which "recognized the 'school of capitalism', but rejected the school of the revolutionary class struggle" (Lenin). Lujo Brentano, a German bourgeois economist, advocate of so-called "State Socialism," tried to prove that it was possible to achieve social equality within the capitalist system by means of reforms and the conciliation of the interests of the capitalists and the workers. Under the cloak of Marxist phraseology, Brentano and his followers tried to subordinate the working-class movement to the interests of the bourgeoisie.    [p.20]

      [11] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Der Sozialismus in Deutschland," Collected Works, Ger. ed., Berlin, 1963, Vol. XXII, p. 251.    [p.24]

      [12] Novosti (News ) -- a daily Socialist-Revolutionary Party newspaper published in Paris from August 1914 to May 1915.    [p.30]

      [13] Proletarsky Golos (Proletarian Voice ) -- a newspaper, organ of the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., published underground from February 1915 to December 1916. Four numbers appeared. Its first issue published the manifesto of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. entitled: "The War and Russian Social-Democracy."    [p.32]

      [13] This refers to a conference of Italian and Swiss Socialists held in Lugano, Switzerland, on September 27, 1914.    [p.39]

      [15] The Copenbagen Conference of Socialists in neutral countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland) was held on January 17-18, 1915 for the purpose of restoring the Second International. The conference resolved to appeal, through the parliamentary representatives of the Socialist Parties in the neutral countries, to their governments to act as intermediaries between the belligerent powers and secure the cessation of the war.    [p.39]

      [16] The International Socialist Women's Conference on the attitude to be taken towards the war was held in Berne, Switzerland, on March 26-28, 1915. The conference was convened on the initiative of the women's organizations connected with the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. in conjunction with Clara Zetkin, the leader of the international women's movement. Twenty-five delegates were present at the conference, representing England, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Russia and Poland. Among the delegates from Russia were N. K. Krupskaya and Inessa Armand.
        A report of the proceedings of the International Socialist Women's Conference was published as a supplement to the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 42, of June 1, 1915.    [p.39]

      [17] The International Socialist Youth Conference on the attitude to be taken towards the war was held in Berne, Switzerland, on April 4-6, 1915. Representatives were present from youth organizations of ten countries: Russia, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. The conference decided to celebrate International Youth Day every year and elected an international Bureau of Socialist Youth which, in conformity with the conference's decision, began to publish the magazine Jugend-Internationale (Youth International ), to which Lenin and Karl Liebknecht contributed.    [p.39]

      [18] The Independent Labour Party was formed in 1893 under such lead ers as James Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald. It claimed to be politically independent of the bourgeois parties; actually it was "independent of Socialism, but dependent upon liberalism" (Lenin). At the beginning of the imperialist world war (1914-18) the Independent Labour Party issued a manifesto against the war on August 13, 1914, but later, at the London Conference of Entente Socialists in February 1915, its representatives supported the social-chauvinist resolution adopted by that conference. From that time onward, the I.L.P. Ieaders, under cover of pacifist phrases, adopted a social-chauvinist position. With the formation of the Communist International in 1919, the I.L.P. Ieaders, yielding to the pressure of the rank and file, which had swung to the left,

    page 103

    resolved to withdraw from the Second International. In 1921, the I.L.P. joined the so-called Two-and-a-Half International, and after its collapse re-affiliated to the Second International.    [p.42]

      [19] Temyaki -- the revolutionary Social-Democratic Labour Party of Bulgaria, was formed in 19O3 after a breakaway from the Social-Democratic Party. Dimitr Blagoyev, founder and leader of the Tesnyaki, was succeeded by his followers Georgi Dimitrov and Vasil Kolarov. During 1914-18, the Tesnyaki opposed the imperialist war. In 1919 it affiliated to the Communist International and formed the Communist Party of Bulgaria.    [p.]

      [20] The British Socialist Party was formed in 1911. It conducted Marxist propaganda and agitation and was described by Lenin as "not opportunist," and as "really independent of the Liberals." Its small membership and isolation from the masses lent the party a somewhat sectarian character. During the imperialist world war (1914-18), two trends were revealed in the party: one openly social-chauvinist, headed by Henry Hyndman, and the other internationalist, headed by Albert Inkpin and others. In April 1916 a split took place. Hyndman and his supporters found themselves in the minority and withdrew from the party. From that moment the internationalists assumed the leadership af the British Socialist Party, which later initiated the formation of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1920.    [p.43]

      [21] The Tribunists -- a Left group in the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Holland which in 1907 published the newspaper De Tribune. In 1909, the Tribunists were expelled from the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Holland and organized an independent party (the Social Democratic Party of Holland). The Tribunists were not a consistently revolutionary party, but they represented the Left wing of the working-class movement of Holland.
        In 1918 the Tribunists formed the Communist Party of Holland. From 1909, De Tribune was the organ of the Social-Democratic Party of Holland, and from 1918 it was the organ of the Communist Party. From the beginning of the 30's to 1940 it came out under the title of Folksdagblad (The People's Daily ).    [p.43]

      [22] Iskra (The Spark ), founded by Lenin in 1900, was the first all Russian, Marxist newspaper published underground. After the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. it became the central organ of the Party. In speaking of the old Iskra, Lenin is referring to Iskra from No. 1 to

    No. 51. With No. 52, the Mensheviks converted the paper into their factional organ.    [p.48]

      [23] The January Conference of the R.S.D.L.P., 1912 -- this refers to the Sixth All-Russian Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. which took place in Prague on January 5-17, 1912. By decision of the conference the Mensheviks were expelled from the Party, and the formal unity of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks within one party was ended forever. The Prague Conference inaugurated the Bolshevik Party, a party of a new type (see History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [Bolsheviks ], Short Course, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1951, pp. 217-23).    [p.50]

      [24] Luch (The Ray ) -- the daily newspaper of the liquidator-Mensheviks, published legally in St. Petersburg from September 1912 to July 1913. It was maintained "by funds provided by rich friends among the bourgeoisie" (Lenin).    [p.50]

      [25] "Marxism and Liquidationism -- a Collection of Articles on the Fundamental Problems of the Present-Day Working-Class Movement. Part II", published by the Party Publishing House Priboy in July 1914. It contained articles by Lenin against the Liquidators. In referring to this book, Lenin has in mind his articles: "The Working Class and the Workers' Press" and "The Workers' Response to the Formation of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Group in the State Duma" (see V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XX, pp. 338-45, 503-09).    [p.51]

      [26] The Leipzig People's Paper (Leipziger Volkszeitung ), organ of the Left wing of the German Social-Democratic Party. Published daily from 1894 to 1933. For a long time Franz Mehring and Rosa Luxemburg were members of its editorial board. From 1917 to 1922 the Leipziger Volkszeitung was the organ of the German "independents." In 1922 it became the organ of the Right-wing Social-Democrats.    [p.51]

      [27] An -- N. N. Jordania, leader of the Caucasian Mensheviks.    [p.55]

      [28] Internationale Korrespondenz -- a weekly run by German social-chauvinists which dealt with problems of international politics and the working-class movement. Published in Berlin from 1914 to 1917.    [p.55]

      [29] Sovremenny Mir (The Contemporary World ) -- a literary, scientific and political monthly published in St. Petersburg from 1906 to 1918. The Mensheviks, including G. V. Plekhanov, were frequent contributors. Bolsheviks also contributed to the magazine during the period of the bloc

    page 105

    with Plekhanov's group of pro-Party Mensheviks, and in the beginning of 1914.
        In March 1914, the magazine published Lenin's article "Socialism Annihilated Once Again" (see V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XX, pp. 167-88). During the imperialist world war (1914-18), it became the organ of the social-chauvinists.    [p.55]