History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace

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  History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace 
Selected Articles from the History of World War II 1939–1945 in 12 volumes.
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Aggressiveness of imperialism

1. The capitalist system after the first world war

The first imperialist world war arose as a result of a long development of the contradictions of the capitalist system. It was born by it, grown and matured within it. The war was the sharpest manifestation of imperialist contradictions, a crisis of capitalism.

“The European war,” wrote V. I. Lenin, “is a tremendous historical crisis, the beginning of a new epoch. Like any crisis, the war has aggravated deep-seated antagonisms and brought them to the surface, tearing asunder all veils of hypocrisy, rejecting all conventions and deflating all corrupt or rotting authorities.” {17} . Capitalism, which had trampled many peoples into the bloody mess of world war, was entering a new stage in its development—a general crisis.

The victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution opened a new era in world history. The content of this era is the transition of mankind from capitalism, which has ceased to be an all-encompassing world system, to socialism.

Under conditions of a general crisis, capitalism became even more aggressive. Along with the further development of its internal contradictions, a new contradiction also arose - between two opposite social systems, which became the main contradiction of the new historical era. The hostility inherent in capitalism to the fundamental interests of the masses has deepened.

The First World War had not yet ended, when a new world war gradually began to emerge in the depths of capitalism. It was an internal, spontaneous process.

Imperialism in its economic essence is monopoly capitalism. During the war years, the might of the monopolies and banks combined with the state machinery of the capitalist countries protecting their class interests, and a single mechanism of oppression, exploitation, extreme reaction, and aggression arose. Capitalism became state-monopoly. The capitalist states, being on guard of the selfish interests of the financial oligarchy, in the name of the profits of the monopolies, were not going to stop before any measures of class terror, any acts of violence, expansion, aggression. [7]

After the war, the capitalist governments completely or partially abandoned those measures of regulating the production and supply of enterprises with raw materials, which were carried out in wartime conditions. However, the system of state-monopoly capitalism continued to develop. The ruling classes explained the intensified exploitation of the working people and militarization in peacetime by the “need” to overcome the consequences of the world war, economic crises, and far-fetched threats from outside.

Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution, as a result of the general upsurge of the class struggle of the workers against the oppression and arbitrariness of the monopolies, a revolutionary wave swept over the world. The prophecy of F. Engels came true: the crowns rolled along the pavements. The peoples swept away the German and Austro-Hungarian monarchies, bourgeois republics arose in their place, and the national self-determination of the peoples of Austria-Hungary took place. But the republican form, which provided some opportunities for the activity of progressive political organizations and parties, was only a form of economic and political domination by the monopoly bourgeoisie. A typical example of such capitalism was post-war Germany, about which V. I. Lenin wrote: “Here we have the“ last word ”of modern large-scale capitalist technology and systematic organization, subordinated to Junker-bourgeois imperialism” {18} .

The democratic forms that the bourgeois dictatorship in many countries acquired immediately after the war did not at all preclude the use of terrorist measures by capitalist governments against those who did not wish to put up with the arbitrariness and oppression of the monopolies. Behind the fašade of the "democratic way of life" were the extremes of the dictatorship. Bloody reprisals against the discontented became commonplace in a number of capitalist countries, including Germany during the Weimar Republic {19}.

The ever-widening use of military-police terror by the capitalist governments, the intensification of reaction along all lines, posed a new menacing danger to mankind. The very nature of state-monopoly capitalism gave rise to tendencies towards the development of ultra-right parties and organizations, towards authoritarian regimes and dictatorships, including fascist ones. The threat of war was constant. The experience of history teaches that he who takes up arms against his own people will, at the first opportunity, use it with the greatest readiness against other peoples.

The origin of wars by imperialism is determined primarily by underlying economic factors. These include the further development of the process of concentration and centralization of capital, the growth of the economic and political power of the monopolies, their striving for omnipotence not only in their own country, but also abroad. Monopoly capital, by its very nature, strives for unlimited predominance and domination, for international monopoly. Hence the sharpness of the struggle for markets and raw materials, for spheres of investment of capital, and even more so for bringing back those times when capital reigned supreme on the globe, when its omnipotence was not opposed by the socialist system. Exacerbation of uneven development and resulting [8] hence the change in the correlation of forces of the capitalist powers caused a particularly rapid growth of the military danger.

The potential danger of a new world war was engendered by the very nature of imperialism and existed from the first days of that imperialist "peace" that ended the war. Yes, it could not be otherwise - the nature of the “peaceful” device was fully consistent with the nature of the ended war.

The end of the First World Imperialist War was marked in the countries of the capitalist West by bells and gun salutes, solemn divine services and enthusiastic articles by the bourgeois press, unctuous speeches by bourgeois politicians and grandiloquent statements by right-wing socialist leaders. The pacifist organizations, which were persecuted during the days of the war, now have the most favorable opportunities for their activities. Adjusting to the mood of the masses, the heads of the bourgeois governments spoke from pacifist positions. They assured that from now on the end of wars, especially world wars, has come. Such were the speeches of British Prime Minister D. Lloyd George and US President W. Wilson. And these speeches were made in those days when the interventionist troops were outrageous on Soviet soil, when the imperialist governments made every effort to liquidate the hated Soviet power by force of arms. Waging war and swearing that there will never be another war is a kind of pinnacle of bourgeois hypocrisy.

As for the French Prime Minister J. Clemenceau, who received the nickname “Tiger” for his militancy, he did not hide his aggressive aspirations and said that the peace that followed the First World War “is and cannot but be only a continuation of the war” {20} .

The international communist movement and its leader V. I. Lenin gave a profound scientific analysis of the situation in the world that had taken shape in the post-war years. The Marxists warned that the danger of new wars of conquest had not been eliminated, that a second world war might follow. V. I. Lenin said in 1922: “Reactionary imperialist wars at all ends of the world are inevitable. And forget that tens of millions were killed then and will still be beaten now ... humanity cannot, and it will not forget” {21} .

However, having suffered a defeat in the intervention against the Soviet state, the capitalist governments, preoccupied with dividing up the booty they had received after the First World War, were still only thinking about a future world battle. The development of the contradictions of capitalism in the 1920s proceeded latently, was covered up, just as a stream of red-hot lava is hidden by a cooling crust.

Bourgeois theories appeared that capitalism had entered a new phase of development, excluding world wars, the "era of pacifism". V. I. Lenin noted in 1922 that “pacifist phrases, conversations and assurances, sometimes even oaths against war and against peace (meaning the Treaty of Versailles. - Ed.) steps, even the simplest, for the security of the world, we meet in most states, and especially in modern civilized states, are unusually few” {22} .

escribing the true essence of bourgeois pacifism in the 1920s, the 8th Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) in May 1927 stated in its theses that “in the context of intensified preparations for imperialist wars [9] the talk of bourgeois governments and petty-bourgeois pacifists about disarmament are the greatest hypocrisy and mockery...╗ {23} .

Already in the 1920s, congresses of the Bolshevik Party warned of the threat of a new world war.

History has convincingly shown the correctness of the communists. Now, based on historical experience, even some bourgeois historians admit that "under the roar of a gun salute, the first world war was buried and the second was conceived" {24} . However, they do not say the main thing: in whose womb did this conception take place? The answer to this question is extremely important, since we are talking about the guilt not of individual criminals, but of the whole social system. Many bourgeois authors seek to whitewash the system of capitalism. The American historian Perkins bluntly states: "...capitalist society is by no means militant by its very nature..." {25} The facts testify that the second world war, like the first, was generated by the system of imperialism and its inherent contradictions. It matured within this system. F. Engels' prediction of the First World War Vladimir Ilyich called brilliant {26}. Equally brilliant was Lenin's foresight of the possibility of a second world war and those main directions in the course of which a world military conflict would be brewing, significantly surpassing the first. “The question of imperialist wars,” wrote V. I. Lenin in 1921, “is about that international policy of finance capital that is now dominant throughout the world, which inevitably gives rise to new imperialist wars, inevitably gives rise to an unprecedented intensification of national oppression, exploitation, robbery, the strangulation of weak, backward, small nationalities by a handful of "advanced" powers—this question has since 1914 become the cornerstone of the entire policy of all countries of the globe. It is a matter of life and death for tens of millions of people. This is the question of whether 20 million people will be slaughtered in the next imperialist war, which is being prepared before our eyes by the bourgeoisie, which is growing out of capitalism before our eyes...” {27}

Thunderclouds were gathering over the planet. The First World War ended with an imperialist peace formalized by the treaties of the Versailles-Washington system of the post-war system {28} . Imperialist contradictions, the predatory nature of imperialism, and its inherent striving to eliminate the revolutionary gains of the peoples and to enslave them more and more showed up both in the drafting [10] of the treaties and in their very content. This determined the policy of the largest capitalist states.

In order to carry out their plans, the US ruling circles sent President Wilson to Europe in 1919. Bourgeois and also social democratic propaganda extolled the president, hushing up his true role as the head of the American billionaires. Of course, it was not necessary to expect justice from Wilson, who became "the idol of the philistines and pacifists" {29} .

As the most important instrument of its policy, the United States counted on the League of Nations {30} . The American imperialists hoped to turn it into a world governing body, wholly in their hands, into a permanent political instrument of US foreign policy, into the general headquarters of world reaction, which would perform punitive functions against the workers' and national liberation movement, and also prepare and carry out an anti-Soviet military hike.

The manifesto of the II Congress of the III, Communist International rightly stated that the ruling circles of the USA, with the help of the League of Nations, tried to “attach the peoples of Europe and other parts of the world to their golden chariot, ensuring control over them from Washington. The League of Nations was to become, in essence, the world monopoly firm of Yankees & Co. {31} .

However, the United States of America, which faced resolute resistance from a number of European capitalist governments, failed to seize the leading role in this international organization. This led to a demonstrative refusal of the United States to participate in the League of Nations. The government of the overseas imperialist power limited itself to sending its "observers"—official and unofficial—to its meetings.

The creation of the League of Nations and its activities in the early years had a very definite anti-Soviet orientation. Bourgeois newspapers wrote about this with enthusiasm. One of them stated: "In essence, the League of Nations, when it is formed, will have to deal with Russia and restore order" {32} .

Strengthening during the First World War, the American imperialists began to lay claim to the colonies of their competitors from the European capitalist countries.

The increased unevenness of the economic development of capitalism made the question of the redistribution of the colonial world even more tense. Considering all this, V. I. Lenin said with good reason: “America cannot make peace with the rest of Europe ... because there is a deep economic strife between them, because America is richer than others” {33} .

The antagonistic contradictions between the USA, the Entente {34} and Germany, which caused the bloody First World War, were not eliminated, but only took on other forms, still dangerous for peace in Europe. There was a new conflict between England, France and the USA - the victorious countries, on the one hand, and defeated Germany, on the other. A number of important circumstances gave this conflict a special urgency.

The first of these circumstances was that even defeated imperialist Germany retained gigantic economic opportunities. It "due to its development and resources remained potentially the most powerful country" in Europe {35}. The uneven development of the bourgeois countries determined Germany's advance in the very near future. The conflict between the alignment of forces of the "great" imperialist powers and the division of colonial possessions between them was not eliminated and in the final analysis inevitably led to a new world war. Even in the first post-war years, the ruling circles of Germany did not want to accept the fact that their political position in the world did not correspond to the economic strength that the country possessed. The German monopolists waged a struggle "for a place in the sun", for world positions and world markets, for the creation of a huge colonial empire so desired by the hearts of industrialists, bankers and junkers. Even during the First World War, May 16, 1918, in the Dusseldorf "Stalhof" - a gloomy gray stone building in the city center - a meeting of the most influential representatives of the business world (A. Thyssen, G. Stinnes, A. Vogler, E. Kirdorf, A. Hugenberg, P. Kl÷ckner, E. Pensgen and others) was held. The proposals were discussed that "Germany and its allies for a long time carried out a military occupation of communications linking European countries with the North of Russia", and the issue of "development" of Russia, Ukraine and the Limitrophes{36}. The central idea, according to the minutes, was to secure "the deepest possible financial penetration into Russia in order to maintain the political and military superiority of Germany" {37} . All the thoughts of the German monopolists were directed towards revenge, towards regaining the opportunity to take the road of war. Behind their imaginary humility, there was a sharp hatred for the winners and the confidence that the war could be "replayed".

The Versailles system of the imperialist world meant the triumph of the victors over defeated Germany and her allies. It was directed against Soviet Russia and had a counter-revolutionary character, created in the interests of fighting the revolutionary and national liberation movement. It was a system of unprecedented robbery and enslavement of hundreds of millions of people in all parts of the globe. The Versailles system put a number of European countries in an unequal position. The lines of new frontiers established by Versailles ruthlessly shredded the living bodies of the European nations. Redrawing the map of Europe, the imperialists sought to prevent the further spread [12] of the revolutionary fire and strangle Soviet Russia {38}. But they were unable to prevent many important processes that unfolded against their will. Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution and as a result of internal factors, a wave of national liberation movements rose high in many states of Europe, Asia and Africa. The Versailles "peacekeepers" had to admit the fact of the formation of a number of new states in Europe, thereby recognizing the success of the national liberation struggle.

On the other hand, using the big bourgeoisie of the young states and the position of the Social Democratic parties, they made every effort to subjugate these states. Justifying this course, the official memorandum of the American delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 called the bourgeois governments of the countries bordering Soviet Russia "the last line of defense between Germany, where the influence of Bolshevism continues to grow, and the forces of Lenin in Russia ... the fall of the last barrier between the Russian Bolsheviks and the party of Liebknecht in Germany may lead to the fact that Bolshevism will flood Western Europe, right up to the Rhine, where the Allied troops are stationed ” {39}.

In creating an anti-Soviet foothold, the leaders of Britain, the USA, France and Italy avoided using this term, fearing that it might betray their aggressive intentions. In the documents of the delegations, not intended for publication, one could still meet the words "line of defense", while in the press they spoke of a "protective barrier". Italian Prime Minister Orlando contributed to the search for a suitable term. He was the first to talk about the "cordon sanitaire". And the French Prime Minister Clemenceau declared in the Chamber of Deputies: "We want to place an iron curtain around Bolshevism, which will prevent it from destroying civilized Europe" {40} . Behind this symbolic curtain were concentrated those forces to which imperialism assigned the role of an assault detachment against Soviet Russia.

The imperialists deliberately set the large and small peoples of Europe against each other and tried to incite the states of the continent against Soviet Russia. They cruelly took revenge on the countries in which revolutionary tendencies were most strongly manifested, major revolutionary events took place. The United States, England and France rewarded Italy for her participation in the war on their side with many Slavic lands that were previously part of Austria-Hungary and whose liberation from a foreign yoke was presented as one of the goals of the First World War.

A number of African countries, freed from German domination, immediately found themselves under the no less heavy colonial yoke of the imperialist victors. The possessions of Turkey also became their colonies, and she herself was plundered, and only the national liberation revolution, victorious with the fraternal support of the Soviet republics, saved the national independence and integrity of this country.

The Washington system of treaties, which entered into force three years after the Versailles one, was also worked out without the participation of the Soviet state, contrary to its interests and against it. The conference participants signed an agreement on the joint defense of their colonial possessions, directed against the national liberation movement and the Soviet state.

The United States and England, in a sharp diplomatic battle with Japan, achieved the liquidation of many important economic and political positions [13] occupied by it in China during the war years and placing it in a servile position. The place of Japan in the robbery of China was in a hurry to be taken by the United States. The Washington system has become a new noose thrown by the imperialist enslavers around the neck of the long-suffering Chinese people. In all the issues discussed during the creation of this system, the deepest imperialist contradictions affected: Japanese-American, Anglo-Japanese, Anglo-American, Franco-Italian, Anglo-French and others.

VI Lenin attached great importance to the conflict between Japan and the United States of America. “If you take two imperialist countries: Japan and America, they want to fight, they will fight for world primacy, for the right to plunder” {41}, he said already in December 1920. V. I. Lenin also foresaw a further aggravation of contradictions between America and the rest of the capitalist world, especially between the USA and the countries of capitalist Europe.

The anti-popular predatory goals of the Versailles-Washington system determined its inconsistency and instability, which were aggravated by the rivalry of the imperialist powers. The Versailles-Washington system of the post-war structure was only a temporary consolidation of the redistribution of the capitalist world in favor of the victorious powers. Old conflicts between these powers persisted, and new ones also arose.

But the main difference between the situation after the First World War and the situation preceding this war was that, as a result of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the era of the omnipotence of capital on the globe ended and a new historical era began - the era of mankind's transition from capitalism to socialism and communism. The sphere of domination of the imperialist powers and the possibilities for them to enslave and plunder other peoples were reduced, which inevitably aggravated their mutual struggle.

Along with the deep antagonisms that divided the imperialist states and manifested themselves in their mutual struggle, they also had certain common aspirations, generated by the class hatred of the monopoly bourgeoisie for the USSR, its desire to destroy the socialist state. Without weakening the mutual struggle for world domination, the ruling circles of the capitalist powers tried to come to an agreement among themselves and unite in a united anti-Soviet front. Such a danger was quite real, and if imperialist diplomacy formed such a front, then Soviet socialist diplomacy mobilized all its possibilities and all its skill in order to use the contradictions of imperialism to prevent its creation.

The First World War and the October Revolution marked the beginning of a new general crisis of capitalism. Its main factor was the emergence and successful development of the world's first socialist country. The general crisis of capitalism meant that this social system was on the verge of decline and death, that an inevitable process of disintegration had engulfed capitalism from base to summit: its economic and political system, its politics and ideology. In the capitalist world there were winners and there were losers. But this whole world as a whole suffered a grave defeat. And although imperialism still had great economic and military potentialities, although it imagined itself to be the master of the destinies of peoples and the world, this conceit no longer corresponded to the new situation on the globe that had taken shape after the victory of the October Socialist Revolution. [fourteen]

The Great October had an immeasurable revolutionary influence on the peoples of the capitalist countries and colonies. The victory over the first military action of world imperialism against Soviet Russia showed the entire working people of the planet the ability of the liberated workers and peasants to defend their gains with weapons in their hands, and the successful building of socialism in the USSR became the main component and powerful driving force of the world revolutionary process.

The new alignment of class forces on the world stage also opened up a new direction in their struggle. The emergence and development of the Soviet socialist state, which became the center of attraction for the entire international revolutionary and national liberation movement, shifted the main axis of world politics and international relations to the plane of the struggle of the old capitalist world with the growing, gaining strength of Soviet socialist society. This fundamental contradiction of the new historical epoch weakened capitalism and deepened all the internal and external contradictions of the world capitalist system.

In the ruling circles of the capitalist countries, there were two main tendencies in relation to the Soviet state. One tendency, represented by the most aggressive imperialist forces, was to destroy Soviet Russia by war at all costs. Its manifestation was the armed intervention against the Soviet republics. This tendency has long prevailed in the higher spheres of England, the United States of America and France.

Class malice clouded the minds of bourgeois politicians who had managed to forget the saving role for their countries played during the First World War by Russia, which they now hate. The British leaders wanted not only to destroy Soviet power, but also to dismember Russia. If they made more cautious speeches in parliament, it was only out of fear of the possible reaction of the masses, whose memory was not so short. The French leaders, realizing that their country always needed a strong ally in the east of Europe, did not share the intention to destroy Russia as a state, although they were also full of hatred for the Soviets, and therefore took the most active part in organizing and carrying out armed intervention.

Another trend in the ruling circles of the capitalist countries testified to a certain prudence and greater foresight of its supporters. Representatives of this tendency, while remaining class-hostile to the USSR, considered the intention to destroy it by force of arms dangerous and unpromising. They counted on the fact that the restoration of capitalism in our country would be achieved by methods of ideological penetration, diktat and economic intervention. This trend reflected the views of those circles that were interested in the Soviet market and trade relations with the Soviets.

V. I. Lenin called to distinguish between supporters of one and the other tendencies. Considering the question of the relationship between states of two different social systems as a fundamental one in international politics, the party led by V. I. Lenin vigorously fought to ensure that these relations were based on the principles of peace and developed in an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence.

At the Paris Conference of 1919, when addressing issues of the post-war system, plans for anti-Soviet armed intervention were developed. But the imperialist designs were opposed by the program of a truly democratic peace put forward by the Soviet government, [15] already proclaimed in Lenin's Decree on Peace. This program, as well as the enormous revolutionary impact of the Great October Socialist Revolution on the working people of the entire globe, were the most important factors that, along with others, predetermined the collapse of hopes for the world hegemony of this or that capitalist power.

As the imperialists became convinced that they could not overthrow Soviet power, a new strategic line was taking shape in their policy towards defeated Germany. Its purpose was to establish close cooperation with German imperialism, to assist in the revival of its economic and military forces, to use Germany's reactionary, revanchist and aggressive aspirations against the Soviet state. This course was already clearly manifested at the Paris Peace Conference. W. Churchill in his memoirs presented the line of the USA, England and France in relation to Germany as follows: “Three statesmen (we are talking about Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau. - Ed.),busy with the development of the post-war system, and above all with the discussion of the “Russian question”, came to the following conclusion: undoubtedly, it is quite possible to conquer Russia materially, but morally this is too important a task to be carried out by the victors alone. We can carry it out only with the help of Germany. Having drawn this conclusion, the “three statesmen” made the following decision: “Germany must be invited to help us in the liberation of Russia and the restoration of Eastern Europe” {42} .

This is how a plan arose to turn defeated Germany from an enemy in the First World War into an ally of England, the USA and France against the Soviet state. The German imperialists were encouraged by this turn of events. Incidentally, the plan to use Germany as such a counter-revolutionary force was suggested by the German monopolists, bankers and junkers themselves. As early as the end of 1918, V. I. Lenin noted that “German generals and capitalists turn to their allies and tell them: although you have defeated us, do not get too carried away in your experiments on us, because world Bolshevism threatens both you and us, in the fight against which we can be useful to you " {43}. And German imperialism strove to do everything to demonstrate its ability to fulfill its intended role as a strike force in the struggle against world Bolshevism. The anti-Soviet orientation of the policy of the most aggressive circles in Germany sharply intensified, and the reprisals against participants in the workers' revolutionary movement became even more merciless and bloody. However, the plan of the ruling circles of England, the USA and France to use Germany against the socialist state was actively opposed by Soviet foreign policy. Its great success was the conclusion in 1922 of the Soviet-German treaty in Rapallo, which for a number of years became the basis of good neighborly relations between the two countries.

The First World War clearly exposed the aggressive nature of imperialism. The suffering experienced by the masses of the people during the war and in the post-war years, the example of the victorious socialist revolution in Russia convinced them that outside of socialism there can be no salvation from wars, there can be no fundamental changes in the living conditions of the working people.

Despite the cruel measures of the bourgeois governments, huge masses of people on all continents [16] of the globe were drawn into the revolutionary struggle. The development of this process did not proceed in a straight line. Its steep rise occurred immediately after the Great October Socialist Revolution, which was a reflection of its international significance and influence. At this stage, Soviet republics arose in Hungary, Bavaria, Slovakia {44} . The positions of capitalism in Germany were shaken by the November Revolution of 1918. There was no country in the capitalist world that did not experience the influence of the October Revolution. In this situation of a powerful revolutionary upsurge, in March 1919, the Third, Communist International, was created. Its first congress was attended by delegates from 30 countries.

Having betrayed the cause of the working class during the First World War, the leaders of the Second International played the shameful role of saviors of the capitalist system at the new stage of world history, disarmed the proletariat ideologically, paralyzed its will and energy, and its determination to put an end to capitalism forever. The betrayal of the leaders of the Social Democracy, given the weakness of its revolutionary wing, was the main reason why the first revolutionary onslaught of the proletariat in a number of countries (mainly Europe) was repulsed. But already in 1926 a general strike of the proletariat broke out in England, unprecedented both in its scope and in the international solidarity of the workers that manifested itself in its course. This spoke of serious obstacles to the aggressive policy of imperialism. In July 1927, an anti-fascist demonstration and a general strike of the working people of Vienna escalated into street battles with the police.

During the years of the world economic crisis of 1929-1933, when its grave consequences fell primarily on the working people, class antagonism in the main capitalist states became even more acute.

The growth of unemployment and the decline in real wages were combined with an increase in the intensity of labor and the degree of its exploitation in capitalist production. In this regard, the data in Table 1 relating to the United States of America are indicative.

Table 1. Increasing exploitation of the US working class {45}

This table shows how, with the increasing wastefulness of labor resources, the exploitation of industrial workers increased. In 1932-1935. more than half of US manufacturing workers were in the ranks of the unemployed. But each employed worker produced more than 70 percent more than in 1920.

The living conditions of the working people invariably impelled them to struggle against the dominance of the monopolies.

Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the contradictions between the capitalist metropolises and their colonies intensified extremely, a most acute crisis arose in the colonial system of imperialism, and the national liberation movement of the peoples of the colonies and dependent countries developed widely. The foundations of capitalism were also undermined by the colonial rear. The ebb and flow of the revolutionary wave also affected the national liberation movement, although its ebb was not as clear-cut as in the class battles in the capitalist countries. In the first years after the Great October Revolution, major events in the national liberation struggle, from uprisings to popular revolutions, engulfed Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Persia (Iran), Korea, Mongolia, Turkey and other countries. The young Soviet state supported many of these revolutions.

In subsequent years, national liberation uprisings took place in Burma, India, Indo-China, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, in some cases turning into a war against the imperialist invaders; the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution of the Chinese people developed more and more.

The 14th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks stated that there is “an undermining of the entire system of imperialism by the awakening colonial and semi-colonial peoples (China, India, Syria, Morocco), whose movement, taking the form of national liberation wars in places, has reached enormous, previously unprecedented proportions.. .╗ {46} . In an effort to preserve the colonial system, the imperialist powers responded to revolutions and uprisings with endless colonial wars. Such wars whetted the appetites of the capitalist predators, who were more and more eager for a world war.

Capitalism after the war 1914-1918 to an even greater extent than before it, was a constant source of military danger. The threat of new wars and interventions hung over humanity.