Marxism and war

Czech Imperialism and the National Question in Central Europe (1938)

Between the two imperialists world wars the Marxists considered Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland to be imperialist powers, because in these three states there were oppressed national minorities – Croats, Kosovars and others in Yugoslavia, Slovakians and Sudeten ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, Ukrainians in Poland. If it could be taken apart from the entire context which in fact it had, and if German imperialism had not been German imperialism, Hitler's claim to the Sudetenland, where the majority wanted to unite with Germany, would have been more or less reasonable.

Between the two world wars Marxists considered Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland to be imperialist powers, because in these states there were oppressed national minorities

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Don't let yourselves be reduced to slaves!

How Hitler could have been stopped.

How Hitler could have been stopped.

'Don't let yourselves be reduced to slaves!' The Left Opposition appeals for working class unity. (1933)

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Collapse and resistance: the workers' movement facing World War One

Translated extracts from Alfred Rosmer's The Workers’ Movement during the First World War which tell the story of how the French trade union federation the CGT collapsed.

In the twenty or thirty years before World War One, mass socialist and trade union movements were built across Europe, starting off very small in the 1880s and acquiring such strength by, say, 1905 that most of their activists believed that they would soon be able to overthrow capitalism.

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The Peace Programme (1915)

Leon Trotsky's argument, during World War One, about the programme of peace which socialists should fight for, including the right of nations to self-determination and a United States of Europe.


I. What Is a Program of Peace?

What is a program of peace? From the viewpoint of the ruling classes or of the parties subservient to them, it is the totality of those demands, the realization of which must be ensured by the power of militarism.

Hence, for the realization of Miliukov’s “peace program” Constantinople must be conquered by force of arms.

Vandervelde’s “peace program” requires the expulsion of the Germans from Belgium as an antecedent condition.

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Lenin: The collapse of the Second International

Lenin's analysis of the collapse of the Socialist International at the outbreak of war in 1914



Lenin's analysis of the collapse of the Socialist International at the outbreak of war in 1914


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9



PART 1

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1914-18: what we should remember

The First World War, which started 100 years ago in 1914, was very popular at the start. Tory minister Michael Gove is trying to revive that mood. The alternative view of the history.

The First World War, which started 100 years ago in 1914, was very popular at the start. Tory minister Michael Gove is trying to revive that mood.

By the end of the sordid carve-ups which followed the war’s end, many had come round to the view advocated by only a small revolutionary socialist minority at the start: that governments had sent millions to be killed or maimed in pursuit of imperialist rivalries.

This article from the US Trotskyist weekly Socialist Appeal on the 20th anniversary of the end of the war (11 November 1938) explains why.

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The Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution

D. A. Santillan has written a tragic, very significant book* to tell the “real role” of the F.A.I. (Anarchist Federation of Iberia), the “only influential mass organization that remained incorruptible in the face of new loves” and to place the blame for the victory of Franco where he thinks it really falls – at the door of the “democracies,” Russia and the Popular Front government of Spain.

A contemporary Trotskyist review of D. A. SANTILLAN, WHY WE LOST THE WAR (1940). Santillan was a central leader of the Anarchist movement during the Revolution-Civil War, 1936-39.

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The Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution

M. Wilson

A contemporary Trotskyist review of D. A. SANTILLAN, WHY WE LOST THE WAR (1940). Santillan was a central leader of the Anarchist movement during the Revolution-Civil War, 936-39.

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The Collapse of the Socialist International in the First World War

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Max Shachtman

“To forget is counter-revolutionary.”*

“If our resolution does not foresee any specific method of action for the vast diversity of eventualities,” said Jean Jaurès in urging the adoption of the famous anti-war resolution of the Second International at its special conference in Basel on November 24, 1912, “neither does it exclude any. It serves notice upon the governments, and it draws their attention clearly to the fact that [by war] they would easily create a revolutionary situation, yes, the most revolutionary situation imaginable.”

A hundred years ago, in August 1914, World War I triggered a collapse of the Socialist International into national fragments. Max Shachtman reviewed the experience on the twentieth anniversary.

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