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V. I. LeninTHE JUNIUS PAMPHLET
Written in July 1916
Published in Sbornik
Sotsial-Democratica No. 1
Signed N. Lenin
Published according to
the text in Sbornik
From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964,
Vol. 22, pp. 305-19.
Translated by Yuri Sdobnikov
Edited by George Hanna
Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, firstname.lastname@example.org (May 1997)
THE JUNIUS PAMPHLET
<"p305"> At last there has appeared in Germany, illegally, without any adaptation to the despicable Junker censorship, a Social-Democratic pamphlet dealing with questions of the war! The author, who evidently belongs to the "Left-radical" wing of the Party, takes the name of Junius (which in Latin means junior) and gives his pamphlet the title: The Crisis of Social-Democracy. Appended are the "Theses on the Tasks of International Social-Democracy", which have already been submitted to the Berne I.S.C. (International Socialist Committee) and published in No. 3 of its Bulletin; the theses were drafted by the Internationale group, which in the spring of 1915 published one issue of a magazine under that title (with articles by Zetkin, Mehring, R. Luxemburg, Thalheimer, Duncker, Ströbel and others), and which in the winter of 1915-16 convened a conference of Social-Democrats from all parts of Germany where these theses were adopted.
The pamphlet, the author says in the introduction dated January 2, 1916, was written in April 1915, and published "without any alteration". "Outside circumstances" had prevented its earlier publication. The pamphlet is devoted not so much to the "crisis of Social-Democracy" as to an analysis of the war, to refuting the legend of it being a war for national liberation, to proving that it is an imperialist war on the part of Germany as well as on the part of the other Great Powers, and to a revolutionary criticism of the behaviour of the official party. Written, in a very lively style, Junius's pamphlet has undoubtedly played and will continue to play an important role in the struggle against the ex-Social-Democratic Party of Germany, which has deserted to the bourgeoisie and the Junkers, and we extend our hearty greetings to the author.
To the Russian reader who is familiar with the Social-Democratic literature in Russian published abroad in 1914-16, the Junius pamphlet does not offer anything new in principle. In reading this pamphlet and comparing the arguments of this German revolutionary Marxist with what has been stated, for example, in the Manifesto of the Central Committee of our Party (September-November 1914),[*] in the Berne resolutions (March 1915)[**] and in the numerous commentaries on them, it only becomes clear that Junius's arguments are very incomplete and that he makes two mistakes. Before proceeding with a criticism of Junius's faults and errors we must strongly emphasise that this is done for the sake of self-criticism, which is so necessary to Marxists, and of submitting to an all-round test the views which must serve as the ideological basis of the Third International. On the whole, the Junius pamphlet is a splendid Marxist work, and its defects are, in all probability, to a certain extent accidental.
The chief defect in Junius's pamphlet, and what marks a definite step backward compared with the legal (although immediately suppressed) magazine, Internationale, is its silence regarding the connection between social-chauvinism (the author uses neither this nor the less precise term social-patriotism) and opportunism. The author rightly speaks of the "capitulation" and collapse of the German Social Democratic Party and of the "treachery" of its official leaders", but he goes no further. The Internationale, however, did criticise the "Centre", i.e., Kautskyism, and quite properly poured ridicule on it for its spinelessness, its prostitution of Marxism and its servility to the opportunists. This same magazine began to expose the true role of the opportunists by revealing, for example, the very important fact that on August 4, 1914, the opportunists came out with an ultimatum, a ready-made decision to vote for war credits in any case. Neither the Junius pamphlet nor the theses say anything about opportunism or about Kautskyism! This is wrong from the standpoint of theory, for it <"fnp306">
* See present edition, Vol. 21, "The War and Russian Social-Democracy" --Ed.
** Ibid., "The Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. Groups Abroad". --Ed.
is impossible to account for the "betrayal" without linking it up with opportunism as a trend with a long history behind it, the history of the whole Second International. It is a mistake from the practical political standpoint, for it is impossible either to understand the "crisis of Social-Democracy", or overcome it, without clarifying the meaning and the role of two trends -- the openly opportunist trend (Legien, David, etc.) and the tacitly opportunist trend (Kautsky and Co.). This is a step backward compared with the historic article by Otto Ruhle in Vorwärts of January 12, 1916, in which he directly and openly pointed out that a split in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany was inevitable (the editors of Vorwärts replied by repeating honeyed and hypocritical Kautskyite phrases, for they were unable to advance a single material argument to disprove the assertion that there were already two parties in existence, and that these two parties could not be reconciled). It is astonishingly inconsistent, because the Internationale's thesis No. 12 directly states that it is necessary to createa a "new" International, owing to the "treachery" of the "official representatives of the socialist parties of the leading countries" and their "adoption of the principles of bourgeois imperialist policies". It is clearly quite absurd to suggest that the old Social-Democratic Party of Germany, or the party which tolerates Legien, David and Co., would participate in a "new" International.
We do not know why the Internationale group took this step backward. A very great defect in revolutionary Marxism in Germany as a whole is its lack of a compact illegal organisation that would systematically pursue its own line and educate the masses in the spirit of the new tasks; such an organisation would also have to take a definite stand on opportunism and Kautskyism. <"p307">This is all the more necessary now, since the German revolutionary Social-Democrats have been deprived of their last two daily papers; the one in Bremen (Bremer Bürger-Zeitung ), and the one in Brunswick (Volksfreund ), both of which have gone over to the Kautskyites. The International Socialists of Germany (I.S.D.) group alone clearly and definitely remains at its post.
Some members of the Internationale group have evidently once again slid down into the morass of unprincipled
Kautskyism. Ströbel, for instance, went so far as to drop a curtsey in Die Neue Zeit to Bernstein and Kautsky! And only the other day, on July 15, 1916, he had an article in the papers entitled "Pacifism and Social-Democracy", in which he defends the most vulgar type of Kautskyite pacifism. As for Junius, he strongly opposes Kautsky's fantastic schemes like "disarmament", "abolition of secret diplomacy", etc. There may be two trends within the Internationale group: a revolutionary trend and a trend inclining to Kautskyism.
<"p308"> The first of Junius's erroneous propositions is embodied in the fifth thesis of the Internationale group. "National wars are no longer possible in the epoch (era) of this unbridled imperialism. National interests serve only as an instrument of deception, in order to place the working masses at the service of their mortal enemy, imperialism." The beginning of the fifth thesis, which concludes with the above statement, discusses the nature of the present war as an imperialist war. It may be that this negation of national wars generally is either an oversight, or an accidental overstatement in emphasising the perfectly correct idea that the present war is an imperialist war, not a national war. This is a mistake that must be examined, for various Social-Democrats, in view of the false assertions that the present war is a national war, have likewise mistakenly denied the possibility of any national war.
Junius is perfectly right in emphasising the decisive influence of the "imperialist atmosphere" of the present war, in maintaining that behind Serbia stands Russia, "behind Serbian nationalism stands Russian imperialism", and that the participation of, say, Holland in the war would likewise be imperialist, for, first, Holland would be defending her colonies and, second, would be allied with one of the imperialist coalitions. That is irrefutable in respect to the present war. And when Junius stresses what for him is most important, namely, the struggle against the "phantom of national war", "which at present holds sway over Social Democratic policies" (p. 81), then it must be admitted that his views are both correct and fully to the point.
The only mistake, however, would be to exaggerate this truth, to depart from the Marxist requirement of concrete-
ness, to apply the appraisal of this war to all wars possible under imperialism, to ignore the national movements against imperialism. The sole argument in defence of the thesis, "national wars are no longer possible", is that the world has been divided among a small group of "great" imperialist powers and for that reason any war, even if it starts as a national war, is transformed into an imperialist war involving the interest of one of the imperialist powers or coalitions (Junius, p. 81).
The fallacy of this argument is obvious. That all dividing lines, both in nature and society, are conventional and dynamic, and that every phenomenon might, under certain conditions, be transformed into its opposite, is, of course, a basic proposition of Marxist dialectics. A national war might be transformed into an imperialist war and vice versa. Here is an example: the wars of the Great French Revolution began as national wars and indeed were such. They were revolutionary wars -- the defence of the great revolution against a coalition of counter-revolutionary monarchies. But when Napoleon founded the French Empire and subjugated a number of big, viable and long-establislled national European states, these national wars of the French became imperialist wars and in turn led to wars of national liberation against Napoleonic imperialism.
Only a sophist can disregard the difference between an imperialist and a national war on the grounds that one might develop into the other. Not infrequently have dialectics served -- and the history of Greek pllilosophy is an example -- as a bridge to sophistry. But we remain dialecticians and we combat sophistry not by denying the possibility of all transformations in general, but by analysing the given phenomenon in its concrete setting and development.
Transformation of the present imperialist war of 1914-16 into a national war is highly improbable, for the class that represents progressive development is the proletariat which is objectively striving to transform it into a civil war against the bourgeoisie. Also this: there is no very considerable difference between the forces of the two coalitions, and international finance capital has created a reactionary bourgeoiie everywhere. But such a transformation should not
be proclaimed impossible : if the European proletariat remains impotent, say, for twenty years; if the present war ends in victories like Napoleon's and in the subjugation of a number of viable national states; if the transition to socialism of non-European imperialism (primarily Japanese and American) is also held up for twenty years by a war between these two countries, for example, then a great national war in Europe would be possible. It would hurl Europe back several decades. That is improbab]e. But not impossible, for it is undialectical, unscientific and theoretically wrong to regard the course of world history as smooth and always in a forward direction, without occasional gigantic leaps back.
Further. National wars waged by colonies and semi-colonies in the imperialist era are not only probable but inevitable. About 1,000 million people, or over half of the world's population, live in the colonies and semi-colonies (China, Turkey, Persia). The national liberation movements there are either already very strong, or are growing and maturing. Every war is the continuation of politics by other means. The continuation of national liberation politics in the colonies will inevitably take the form of national wars against imperialism. Such wars might lead to an imperialist war of the present "great" imperialist powers, but on the other hand they might not. It will depend on many factors.
Example: Britain and France fought the Seven Years' War for the possession of colonies. In other words, they waged an imperialist war (which is possible on the basis of slavery and primitive capitalism as well as on the basis of modern highly developed capitalism). France suffered defeat and lost some of her colonies. Several years later there began the national liberation war of the North American States against Britain alone. France and Spain, then in possession of some parts of the present United States, concluded a friendship treaty with the States in rebellion against Britain. This they did out of hostility to Britain, i.e., in their own imperialist interests. French troops fought the British on the side of the American forces. What we have here is a national liberation war in which imperialist rivalry is an auxiliary element, one that has no serious importance. This is the very opposite to what we see in the
war of 1914-16 (the national element in the Austro-Serbian War is of no serious importance compared with the all determining element of imperialist rivalry). It would be absurd, therefore, to apply the concept imperialism indiscriminately and conclude that national wars are "impossible". A national liberation war, waged, for example, by an alliance of Persia, India and China against one or more of the imperialist yowers, is both possible and probable, for it would follow from the national liberation movements in these countries. The transformation of such a war into an imperialist war between the present-day imperialist powers would depend upon very many concrete factors, the emergence of which it would be ridiculous to guarantee.
Third, even in Europe national wars in the imperialist epoch cannot be regarded as imyossible. The "epoch of imperialism" made the present war an imperialist one and it inevitably engenders new imperialist wars (until the triumph of socialism). This "epoch" has made the policies of the present great powers thoroughly imperialist, but it by no means precludes national wars on the part of, say, small (annexed or nationally-oppressed) countries against the imperialist powers, just as it does not preclude large-scale national movements in Eastern Europe. Junius takes a very sober view of Austria, for example, giving due consideration not only to "economic" factors, but to the peculiar political factors. He notes "Austria's intrinsic lack of cohesion" and recognises that the "Hapsburg monarchy is not the political organisation of a bourgeois state, but only a loose syndicate of several cliques of social parasites", and that "the liquidation of Austria-Hungary is, from the historical standpoint, only the continuation of the disintegration of Turkey and, at the same time, a requirement of the historical process of development". Much the same applies to some of the Balkan countries and Russia. And if the "great" powers are altogether exhausted in the present war, or if the revolution in Russia triumphs, national wars and even victorious national wars, are quite possible. Practical intervention by the imperialist powers is not alway feasible. That is one point. Another is that the superficial view that the war of a small state against a giant is hopeless should be countered by the observation that even a hopeless
war is a war just the same. Besides, certain factors operating within the "giant" countries -- the outbreak of revolution, for example -- can turn a a "hopeless" war into a very hopeful" one.
We have dwelt in detail on the erroneous proposition that "national wars are no longer possible" not only because it is patently erroneous from the theoretical point of view -- it would certainly be very lamentable if the "Left" were to reveal a light-hearted attitude to Marxist theory at a time when the establishment of the Third International is possible only on the basis of unvulgarised Marxism. But the mistake is very harmful also from the standpoint of practical politics, for it gives rise to the absurd propaganda of "disarmament", since it is alleged that there can be no wars except reactionary wars. It also gives rise to the even more ludicrous and downright reactionary attitude of indifference to national movements. And such an attitude becomes chauvinism when members of the "great" European nations, that is, the nations which oppress the mass of small and colonial peoples, declare with a pseudo-scientific air: "national wars are no longer possible"! National wars against the imperialist powers are not only possible and probable; they are inevitable, progressive and revolutionary though of course, to be successful, they require either the concerted effort of huge numbers of people in the oppressed countries (hundreds of millions in our example of India and China), or a particularly favourable conjuncture of international conditions (e.g., the fact that the imperialist powers cannot interfere, being paralysed by exhaustion, by war, by their antagonism, etc.), or the simultaneous uprising of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie in one of the big powers (this latter eventuality holds first place as the most desirable and favourable for the victory of the proletariat).
It would be unfair, however, to accuse Junius of indifference to national movements. At any rate, he remarks that among the sins of the Social-Democratic parliamentary group was its silence on the death sentence passed on a native leader in the Cameroons on charges of "treason" (evidently he attempted to organise an uprising against the war). Elsewhere Junius especially emphasises (for the benefit of the Legiens, Lensches and the other scoundrels
who are still listed as "Social-Democrats") that colonial peoples must be regarded as nations along with all the others. Junius clearly and explicitly states: "Socialism recognised the right of every nation to independence and freedom, to independent mastery of its destinies"; "international socialism recognises the right of free, independent and equal nations, but it is only socialism that can create such nations, and only it can realise the right of nations to self-determination. And this socialist slogan," Junius justly remarks, "serves, like all other socialist slogans, not to justify the existing order of things, but to indicate the way forward, and to stimulate the proletariat in its active revolutionary policy of transformation" (pp. 77-78). It would be a grave mistake indeed to believe that all the German Left Social-Democrats have succumbed to the narrow-mindedness and caricature of Marxism now espoused by certain Dutch and Polish Social-Democrats who deny the right of nations to self-determination even under socialism. But the specific, Dutch-Polish, roots of this mistake we shall discuss elsewhere.
Another fallacious argument is advanced by Junius on the question of defence of the fatherland. This is a cardinal political question during an imperialist war. Junius has strengthened us in our conviction that our Party has indicated the only correct approach to this question; the proletariat is opposed to defence of the fatherland in this imperialist war because of its predatory, slave-owning, reactionary character, because it is possible and necessary to oppose to it (and to strive to convert it into) civil war for socialism. Junius, however, while brilliantly exposing the imperialist character of the present war as distinct from a national war, makes the very strange mistake of trying to drag a national programme into the present, non-national, war. It sounds almost incredible, but there it is.
The official Social-Democrats, both of the Legien and of the Kautsky stripe, in their servility to the bourgeoisie (who have been making the most noise about foreign "invasion" in order to deceive the mass of the people as to the imperialist character of the war), have been particularly assiduous in repeating this "invasion" argument. Kautsky, who now assures naïve and credulous people (incidentally,
through Spectator, a member of the Russian Organising Committee) that he joined the opposition at the end of 1914, continues to use this "argument"! To refute it, Junius quotes extremely instructive examples from history, which prove that "invasion and class struggle are not contradictory in bourgeois history, as offcial legend has it, but that one is the means and the expression of the other". For example, the Bourbons in France invoked foreign invaders against the Jacobins; the bourgeoisie in 1871 invoked foreign invaders against the Commune. In his Civil War in France, Marx wrote:
<"p314"> "The highest heroic effort of which old society is still capable is national war; and this is now proved to be a mere governmental humbug, intended to defer the struggle of classes, and to be thrown aside as soon as that class struggle bursts out into civil war."
"The classical example for all times," says Junius, referring to 1793, "is the Great French Revolution." From all this, he draws the following conclusion: "The century of experience thus proves that it is not a state of siege, but relentless class struggle, which rouses the self-respect, the heroism and the moral strength of the mass of the people, and serves as the country's best protection and defence against the external enemy."
Junius's practical conclusion is this: "Yes, it is the duty of the Social-Democrats to defend their country during a great historical crisis. But the grave guilt that rests upon the Social-Democratic Reichstag group consists in their having given the lie to their own solemn declaration, made on August 4, 1914, 'In the hour of danger we will not leave our fatherland unprotected'. They did leave the fatherland unprotected in the hour of its greatest peril. For their first duty to the fatherland in that hour was to show the fatherland what was really behind the present imperia]ist war; to sweep away the web of patriotic and diplomatic lies covering up this encroachment on the fatherland; to proclaim loudly and clearly that both victory and defeat in the present war are equally fatal for the German people; to resist to the last the throttling of the fatherland due to the state of siege; to proclaim the necessity of immediately arming the people and of allowing the people to decide the question
of war and peace; resolutely to demand a permanent session of the people's representatives for the whole duration of the war in order to guarantee vigilant control over the government by the people's representatives, and control over the people's representatives by the people; to demand the immediate abolition of all restrictions on political rights, for only a free people can successfully defend its country; and finally, to oppose the imperialist war programme, which is to preserve Austria and Turkey, i.e., perpetuate reaction in Europe and in Germany, with the old, truly national programme of the patriots and democrats of 1848, the programme of Marx, Engels and Lassalle -- the slogan of a united, Great German Republic. This is the banner that should have been unfurled before the country, which would have been a truly national banner of liberation, which would have been in accord with the best traditions of Germany and with the international class policy of the proletariat. . . . Hence, the grave dilemma -- the interests of the fatherland or the international solidarity of the proletariat -- the tragic conflict which prompted our parliamentarians to side, 'with a heavy heart', with the imperialist war, is purely imaginary, it is a bourgeois nationalist fiction. On the contrary, there is complete harmony between the interests of the country and the class interests of the proletarian International, both in time of war and in time of peace; both war and peace demand the most energetic development of the class struggle, the most determined fight for the Social-Democratic programme."
This is how Junius argues. The fallacy of his argument is strikingly evident, and since the tacit and avowed lackeys of tsarism, Plekhanov and Chkhenkeli, and perhaps even Martov and Chkheidze, may gloatingly seize upon Junius's words, not for the purpose of establishing theoretical truth, but for the purpose of wriggling, covering up their tracks and throwing dust into the eyes of the workers, we must in greater detail elucidate the theoretical source of Junius's error.
He suggests that the imperialist war should be "opposed" with a national programme. He urges the advanced class to turn its face to the past and not to the future! In France, in Germany, and in the whole of Europe it was a bourgeois-
democratic revolution that, objectively, was on the order of the day in 1793 and 1848. Corresponding to this objective historical situation was the "truly national", i.e., the national bourgeois programme of the then existing democracy; in 1793 this programme was carried out by the most revolutionary elements of the bourgeoisie and the plebeians, and in 1848 it was proclaimed by Marx in the name of the whole of progressive democracy. Objectively, the feudal and dynastic wars were then opposed by revolutionary democratic wars, by wars for national liberation. This was the content of the historical tasks of that epoch.
At the present time, the objective situation in the biggest advanced states of Europe is different. Progress, if we leave out for the moment the possibility of temporary steps backward, can be made only in the direction of socialist society, only in the direction of the socialist revolution. From the standpoint of progress, from the standpoint of the progressive class, the imperialist bourgeois war, the war of highly developed capitalism, can, objectively, be opposed only with a war against the bourgeoisie, i.e., primarily civil war for power between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie; for unless such a war is waged, serious progress is impossible; this may be followed -- only under certain special conditions -- by a war to defend the socialist state against bourgeois states. That is why the Bolsheviks (fortunately, very few, and quickly handed over by us to the Prizyv group) who were ready to adopt the point of view of conditional defence, i.e., defence of the fatherland on condition that there was a victorious revolution and the victory of a republic in Russia, were true to the letter of Bolshevism, but betrayed its spirit; for being drawn into the imperialist war of the leading European powers, Russia would also be waging an imperialist war, even under a republican form of government!
In saying that the class struggle is the best means of defence against invasion, Junius applies Marxist dialectics only half way, taking one step on the right road and immediately deviating from it. Marxist dialectics call for a concrete analysis of each specific historical situation. It is true that class struggle is the best means of defence against invasion both when the bourgeoisie is overthrowing
feudalism, and when the proletariat is overthrowing the bourgeoisie Precisely because it is true with regard to every form of class oppression, it is too general, and therefore, inadequate in the present specific case. Civil war against the bourgeoisie is also a form of class struggle, and only this form of class struggle would have saved Europe (the whole of Europe, not only one country) from the peril of invasion. The "Great German Republic", had it existed in 1914-16, would also have waged an imperialist war.
Junius came very close to the correct solution of the problem and to the correct slogan: civil war against the bourgeoisie for socialism; but, as if afraid to speak the whole truth, he turned back, to the fantasy of a "national war" in 1914, 1915 and 1916. If we examine the question not from the theoretical angle but from the purely practical one, Junius's error remains just as evident. The whole of bourgeois society, all classes in Germany, including the peasantry, were in favour of war (in all probability the same was the case in Russia -- at least a majority of the well-to-do and middle peasantry and a very considerable portion of the poor peasants were evidently under the spell of bourgeois imperialism). The bourgeoisie was armed to the teeth. Under such circumstances to "proclaim" the programme of a republic, a permanent parliament, election of officers by the people (the "armed nation"), etc., would have meant, in practice, "proclaiming " a revolution (with the wrong revolutionary programme!).
In the same breath Junius quite rightly says that a revolution cannot be "made". Revolution was on the order of the day in the 1914-16 period, it was hidden in the depths of the war, was emerging out of the war. This should have been "proclaimed " in the name of the revolutionary class, and its programme should have been fearlessly and fully announced, socialism is impossible in time of war without civil war against the arch-reactionary, criminal bourgeoisie, which condemns the people to untold disaster. Systematic, consistent, practical measures should have been planned, which could be carried out no matter at what pace the revolutionary crisis might develop, and which would be in line with the maturing revolution. These measures are indicated in our Party's resolution: (1) voting against war credits;
(2) violation of the "class truce"; (3) creation of an illegal organisation; (4) fraternisation among the soldiers, (5) support for all the revolutionary actions of the masses.[*] The success of all these steps inevitably leads to civil war.
The promulgation of a great historical programme was undoubtedly of tremendous significance; not the old national German programme, which became obsolete in 1914, 1915 and 1916, but the proletarian internationalist and socialist programme. "You, the bourgeoisie, are fighting for plunder; we, the workers of all the belligerent countries declare war upon you for, socialism" -- that's the sort of speech that should have been delivered in the parliaments on August 4, 1914, by socialists who had not betrayed the proletariat, as the Legiens, Davids, Kautskys, Plekhanovs, Guesdes, Sembats, etc., had done.
Evidently Junius's error is due to two kinds of mistakes in reasoning. There is no doubt that Junius is decidedly opposed to the imperialist war and is decidedly in favour of revolutionary tactics; and all the gloating of the Plekhanovs over Junius's "defencism" cannot wipe out this fact. Possible and probable calumnies of this kind must be answered promptly and bluntly.
But, first, Junius has not completely rid himself of the "environment" of the German Social-Democrats, even the Leftists, who are afraid of a split, who are afraid to follow revolutionary slogans to their logical conclusions.[**] This is a false fear, and the Left Social-Democrats of Germany must and will rid themselves of it. They are sure to do so in the course of their struggle against the social-chauvinists. The fact is that they are fighting against their own social-chauvinists resolutely, firmly and sincerely, and this is the tremendous, the fundamental difference in prin- <"fnp318">
* See present edition, Vol . 21, "The Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. Group Abroad." --Ed.
** We find the same error in Junius's arguments about which is better, victory or defeat? His conclusion is that both are equally bad (ruin, growth of armaments, etc.). This is the point of view not of the revolutionary proletariat, but of the pacifist petty bourgeoisie. If one speaks about the "revolutionary intervention" of the proletariat -- of this both Junius and the theses of the International group speak, although unfortunately in terms that are too general -- one must raise the question from another point of view, namely: (1) Is [cont. onto p. 319. -- DJR] "revolutionary intervention" possible without the risk of defeat? (2) Is it possible to scourge the bourgeoisie and the government of one's own country without taking that risk? (3) Have we not always asserted, and does not the historical experience of reactionary wars prove, that defeats help the cause of the revolutionary class?
ciple between them and the Martovs and Chkheidzes, who, with one hand (à la Skobelev) unfurl a banner bearing the greeting, "To the Liebknechts of All Countries", and with the other hand tenderly embrace Chkhenkeli and Potresov!
Secondly, Junius apparently wanted to achieve something in the nature of the Menshevik "theory of stages", of sad memory; he wanted to begin to carry out the revolutionary programme from the end that is "more suitable", "more popular" and more acceptable to the petty bourgeoisie. It is something like a plan "to outwit history", to outwit the philistines. He seems to say, surely, nobody would oppose a better way of defending the real fatherland; and the real fatherland is the Great German Republic, and the best defence is a militia, a permanent parliament, etc. Once it was accepted, that programme would automatically lead to the next stage -- to the socialist revolution.
Probably, it was reasoning of this kind that consciously or semi-consciously determined Junius's tactics. Needless to say, such reasoning is fallacious. Junius's pamphlet conjures up in our mind the picture of a lone man who has no comrades in an illegal organisation accustomed to thinking out revolutionary slogans to their conclusion and systematically educating the masses in their spirit. But this shortcoming -- it would be a grave error to forget this -- is not Junius's personal failing, but the result of the weaklless of all the German Leftists, who have become entangled in the vile net of Kautskyite hypocrisy, pedantry and "friendliness" for the opportunists. Junius's adherents have managed, in spite of their isolation, to begin the publication of illegal leaflets and to start the war against Kautskyism. They will succeed in going further along the right road.
<"en95"> Rosa Luxemburg. [p.305]
<"en96"> The all-Germany conference of Left-wing Social-Democrats held at Karl Liebknecht's home in Berlin on January 1, 1916. The conference adopted the theses of the Internatlonale group which were worked out by Rosa Luxemburg. [p.305]
<"en97"> Bremer Bürger-Zeitung (Bremer Citizens' Newspaper) -- a daily the organ of the Bremen group of German Social-Democrats. It was published from 1890 to 1919; in 1914-15, it was in fact an organ of the German Left-wing Social-Democrats; in 1916 it fell into the hands of tbe Kautskyites. [p.307]
<"en98"> Volksfreund (People's Friend) -- a daily Social-Democratic newspaper, founded in Brunswick in 1871; in 1914 and 1915 it was the organ of the German Left-wing Social-Democrats, but in 1916 it fell into the hands of the Kautskyites. [p.307]
<"en99"> Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 540. [p.314]