Did Russia and Lenin benefit from the Treaty of Versailles?

Did Russia and Lenin benefit from the Treaty of Versailles?

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Russia suffered a substantial land loss and severe economic problems due to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. However, the land Germany gained from Russia was to be independent according to Treaty of Versailles. Would this help Russia to get the lost land back?

And would this have any positive effect on the Russian economy?

They benefited indirectly. First, according to the treaty Germany had to evacuate their troops in Ukraine, (and everywhere else on the territory of the former Russian empire) which made it possible for Russia to conquer Ukraine. I recall that in spring 1918 Russia surrendered to Germany (Brest-Litovsk treaty. This treaty was universally considered shameful by the Russians and was one of the reasons of the Civil war in Russia. This treaty was annulled by the Versailles treaty. This helped Bolsheviks to win the Civil war).

Some states indeed became independent (Poland, Baltic states and Finland). But two of them, Ukraine and Belarus, were almost immediately conquered by Russia when German help to them stopped by Versailles treaty. Unlike Poland and Finland, they could not defend themselves.

Second, by various restrictions on the German industry, especially military, it pushed Germany to close co-operation with Russia, both in economy and in the military sphere. This co-operation benefited both Russia and Germany.

Did Russia Sign The Treaty Of Versailles

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Works Cited

&ldquoTreaty of Versailles.&rdquo Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

&ldquoVersailles, Treaty Of.&rdquo Dictionary of American History. 2003. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.

&ldquoWorld War I Reparations.&rdquo Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Keynes, John M. The Economic Consequences of the Peace. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, Inc., 1919. Print.

de Jonge, Alex. &ldquoInflation in Weimar Germany&rdquo. The Social Dimension of Western Civilization, Vol. 2. Ed. Richard Golden. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin&rsquos, 2003. 260&ndash271. Print

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919, Six Months That Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2003. Print.
The German Reply

Count Brockdorff-Rantzau. The German Reply &mdash May 13, 1919. S-H BULLETIN No. 277 May 15th, 1919 reprinted by the National Endowment for the Humanities, source: Norman H. Davis, Box 44, Paris Peace Conference, Versailles Treaty, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Manuscript. January 3, 2013. <edsitement.neh.gov>.

Wilson, Woodrow. Speech on the Fourteen Points. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Record, 65th Congress 2nd Session, 1918. Speech.

Spielvoegl, Jackson. Glenco World History, Modern Times. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.

How did France dominant the treaty conference after World War I?

Each of the powers represented at the treaty conference came out with some disappointments. The British goal of stability was largely subverted by revolutions across Europe and France's demand to increase Germany's punishment. Italy did not receive territory promised in secret deliberations during the war. The largest shortfalls appeared for France and the United States.

President Wilson's lofty goals of internationalism fell asunder in the postwar reality. The emerging League of Nations lacked the teeth needed to prevent aggressive power from emerging and destroying the fragile peace. Rather than creating a series of independent democracies across Eastern Europe and the Middle East, conflict raged for years, leading to opportunities for Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. Furthermore, the United States never signed the Treaty of Versailles and joined the League. The U.S. Senate never ratified the Treaty, destroying Wilson's grand vision. [2]

However, it was France that had the most significant impact. France's constant desire for revenge alienated its allies and sparked radical political movements in Germany. The French understood that Germany was utterly drained by the war, losing almost half of its youngest adult male generation. Paris developed a decidedly defensive posture, seeking various ways to box in and humiliate Germany. France created alliances with many of the new Eastern European states, none of which would adequately function. France also produced a long line of defenses along the new Franco-German border. This Maginot Line proved to be less than up to the task in 1940, despite the substantial effort and investment.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk brought about the end of the war between Russia and Germany in 1918. The German were reminded of the harshness of Brest-Litovsk when they complained about the severity of the Treaty of Versailles signed in June 1919.

Lenin had ordered that the Bolshevik representatives should get a quick treaty from the Germans to bring about an end to the war so that the Bolsheviks could concentrate on the work they needed to do in Russia itself.

The start of the discussions was an organisational disaster. Representatives from the Allies, who were meant to have attended, failed to show. Russia, therefore, had to negotiate a peace settlement by herself.

After just one week of talks, the Russian delegation left so that it could report to the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. It was at this meeting that it became clear that there were three views about the peace talks held within the Bolshevik hierarchy.

Trotsky believed that Germany would offer wholly unacceptable terms to the Russians and that this would spur the German workers to rise up in revolt against their leaders and in support of their Russian compatriots. This rebellion would, in turn, spark off a world-wide workers rebellion.

Kamenev believed that the German workers would rise up even if the terms of the treaty were reasonable.

Lenin believed that a world revolution would occur over many years. What Russia needed now was an end to the war with Germany and he wanted peace, effectively at any cost.

On January 21st, 1918, the Bolshevik hierarchy met. Only 15 out of 63 supported Lenin’s viewpoint. 16 voted for Trotsky who wanted to wage a “holy war” against all militarist nations, including Germany. 32 voted in favour of a revolutionary war against the Germans, which would, they believed, precipitate a workers rebellion in Germany.

The whole issue went to the party’s Central Committee. This body rejected the idea of a revolutionary war and supported an idea of Trotsky. He decided that he would offer the Germans Russia’s demobilisation and an end to the war but would not conclude a peace treaty with them. By doing this he hoped to buy time. In fact he got the opposite.

On February 18th, 1918, the Germans, tired of the Bolshevik’s procrastination, re-started their advance into Russia and advanced 100 miles in just four days. This re-confirmed in Lenin’s mind that a treaty was needed very quickly. Trotsky, having dropped the idea of the workers of Germany coming to the aid of Russia, followed Lenin. Lenin had managed to sell his idea to a small majority in the party’s hierarchy, though there were many who were still opposed to peace at any price with the Germans. However, it was Lenin who read the situation better than anyone else.

The Bolsheviks had relied on the support of the lowly Russian soldier in 1917. Lenin had promised an end to the war. Now the party had to deliver or face the consequences. On March 3rd, 1918, the treaty was signed.

Under the treaty, Russia lost Riga, Lithuania, Livonia, Estonia and some of White Russia. These areas had great economic importance as they were some of the most fertile farming areas in Western Russia. Germany was allowed by the terms of the treaty to exploit these lands to support her military effort in the west.

Lenin argued that though the treaty was harsh, it freed the Bolsheviks up to deal with problems in Russia itself. Only those on the extreme left of the party disagreed and were still of the belief that the workers of Germany would rise up in support of them. By March 1918, this clearly was not going to be the case. Lenin’s pragmatic and realistic approach enabled him to strengthen his hold on the party even more and side-line the extreme left still further.

ICSE Solutions for Class 10 History and Civics – World War-I and Treaty of Versailles

APlusTopper.com provides ICSE Solutions for Class 10 History and Civics Chapter 18 World War-I and Treaty of Versailles for ICSE Board Examinations. We provide step by step Solutions for ICSE History and Civics Class 10 Solutions Pdf. You can download the Class 10 History and Civics ICSE Textbook Solutions with Free PDF download option.

Very Short Questions

Question 1: Mention the time period of the First World War.
Answer: The First World War started in 1914 AD and ended in 1918 AD.

Question 2: Why is the First World War called the World War?
Answer: It is called the World War as it was fought on land, water and in air. Moreover armies and resources of about 86 nations were involved in the war.

Question 3: Which country declared war on Serbia and when?
Answer: Austria declared a war on Serbia on 28th July 1914 due to constant refusal of Serbia to comply with Austrian Constitution.

Question 4: Why did Britain declare war on Germany and when?
Answer: Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914 when German army invaded Belgium, whose neutrality had been guaranteed by Britain.

Question 5: Name the five major powers, which got involved in World War I.
Answer: The five major powers were Russia, Germany Britain, Austria and France.

Question 6: Which country opposed the French claim on Moscow?
Answer: Germany opposed the French claim on Moscow.

Question 7: Name the Single Nation States and the Imperial States before 1914.
Answer: The Single Nation States were France, Holland, and Germany.
The Imperial States were Austria-Hungry and Russia.

Question 8: What was the conflict between Austria and Serbia due to regions?
Answer: The major cause of tension between Serbia and Austria was Balken region.

Question 9: When and by whom was Russia attacked first during the World War I?
Answer: Russia was attacked by Austria-Hungary on August 6,1914.

Question 10: Which country withdrew from Triple Alliance during the World War I?
Answer: Italy withdrew from Triple Alliance and joined the war against Germany in 1915.

Question 11: What was the immediate cause of the First World War?
Answer: The immediate cause of the war was the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand on June 28, 1914.

Question 12: What was Triple Alliance?
Answer: Germany, Austria and Italy were in Alliance in 1882, which was known as Triple Alliance.

Question 13: Which countries comprised Triple Entente?
State the rival bloc that was formed against the Triple Alliance.
Name the signatory countries of the Triple Entente (1907).
Answer: England, France and Russia formed the Triple Entente.

Question 14: When was the Archduke Francis Ferdinand assassinated?
Answer: On June 28,1914.

Question 15: How many soldiers were killed in First World War?
Answer: Thirteen Million soldiers were killed.

Question 16: Which countries became more powerful after the war?
Answer: U.S.A., Russia and Japan.

Question 17: Mention the dictatorship that emerged in Europe after the war.
Answer: Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy.

Question 18: How many articles were there in the Treaty of Versailles?
Answer: There were 440 articles in the Treaty of Versailles.

Question 19: What was the number of war criminals of Germany who were identified?
Answer: 100 war criminals of Germany were identified.

Question 20: When and between whom was the Treaty of Versailles singed?
Answer: The Treaty of Versailles was singed on June 28, 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors at Versaillesi in France, between the defeated Germany and the victors Britain, France and the USA.

Question 21: When did Japan defeat Russia?
Answer: Japan defeated Russia in 1905.

Question 22: How many major powers were there at the end of the 19th Century?
Answer: England, France, Germany and U.S.A.

Question 23: Who was murdered on June 28, 1914 at Sarajevo?
Answer: Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

Question 24: Mention two causes of First World War.
Answer: (i) Imperialism and Economic competition and
(ii) Militarism and Armament race.

Question 25: What were the economic provisions of the Treaty of Versailles?
How much did Germany had to pay as war reparation charges according to the Treaty of Versailles?
Answer: The Reparation Commission fixed $ 6,000,000,000 to be paid by Germany within a period of 30 years, and in the mean time one thousand million Pounds in cash.

Short Questions – I

Question 1: Mention two territorial conflicts between nations before the outbreak of World War I.
Answer: (i) There was tension between France and Italy over the occupation of Tunis.
(ii) There was territorial conflict between Turkey and other European powers.

Question 2: How is the dictatorship in Germany and Italy attributed to be the cause of the First World War?
Answer: (i) The Treaty of Versailles signed after the end of the First World War.
(ii) The War created economic and political instability in many European countries.

Question 3: What is the Sarajevo Incident? Who assassinated whom, when and where?
Answer: The Sarajevo incident is related to the assassination of the heir apparent to the throne of Austria, Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo where they were shot dead.

Question 4: What were the conditions of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia?
Answer: Austria asked Serbia to apprehend the criminals and hand them over to the Austrian government. Austria also sought a ban on anti-Austrian publications, anti-Austrian meetings and institutions in Serbai.

Question 5: How did the Sarajevo crisis in 1914 lead to the First World War?
Answer: (i) Austria saw the hand of Serbia behind the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and served her with an ultimatum.
(ii) Due to the support of Russai, Serbia refused to accept the demands of the ultimatum. So Austria declared a war on Serbia.

Question 6: What were the consequences of the First World War?
Answer: (i) Spread of Nationalism, (ii) Spread of Democracy,
(iii) New balance of power,
(iv) Rise of dictatorship and economic depression were the main consequences of the First World War.

Question 7: Mention any two terms of the Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1914.
Answer: (i) Germany was held responsible for effectuating World War and causing great loss and damage. In return, it had to compensate the loss and pay an indemnity of 6600 million pounds to the victorious nations.
(ii) In order to redress the destruction caused to the coal mines of France by Germany. France was given complete control over the rich coal mines in the Saar Basin.

Question 8: What is the significance of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
Answer: The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended the war between Russia and Germany. Germany imposed many hard terms on Russia and also occupied its prosperous and industrial cities. Russia was to pay 6 billion Marks to Germany as an indemnity.

Question 9: What did France gain from the Treaty of Versailles?
Answer: (i) It was given full control over the rich coal mines in the Saar basin although the area was governed by the League of Nations.
(ii) It was also given some regions of Togo and Cameroons (South East Africa).
(iii) The Armistice signed by Germany on November 11, 1918 was based upon the US President Wilsons Fourteen Points.

Question 10: How was the outbreak of the Second World War an outcome of the First World War?
Answer: The treatment given to the defeated nations of the First World War was the cause of outbreak of the Second World War as the Treaty of Versailles singed after the First World War was humiliating and torturous for many countries like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Question 11: Mention two most important clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.
Answer: (i) Germany was declared guilty of war and was compelled to pay 33 billion dollars as war indemnity to the victor nations.
(ii) Germany had to evacuate the places she had captured dining the war.

Question 12: Which country emerged as the Super Power after the War?
The USA emerged as the Super Power after the War. Why?
Answer: (i) It ended the political isolation of the Munro Doctrine.
(ii) It was resonsible for the victory of Allied Powers and also for turning the tables against
Germany and the Axis Powers.

Short Questions – II

Question 1: Enumerate any three causes of the First World War.
Answer: (i) Bismarck’s diplomacy: After the Franco-Russian War of 1870. the German chancellor, Bismarck used diplomatic policies to keep France isolated.
(ii) Division of Europe into two Hostile groups: On one hand there was single nation states like France, Holland and Germany whose national identities were based on their common language apd tradition. The Russian empire included territories populated by Polish, Ukrainian, Turkish and Mongol populations.
(iii) Armament Race: In order to protect her colonies in Africa and a few islands in Pacific, Germany began to build a powerful navy with a view to achieve parity with Britain.

Question 2: Discuss about the loss of life and money occured due to First World War.
Answer: During the four years of war, about 80 lakh persons were killed, 60 lakh disabled and about one crore and 20 lakh wounded. Nearly 80 lakh people were missing.
The war proved to be very costly. The expenditure was nearly 41,000 million pounds on the side of Allies and 15,000 million pounds on the side of Germans.

Question 3: What changes has occured in the Political map of the world after the First World War.
Answer: (i) The old empires like the German, the Austria, the Ottoman and Russia were shattered.
(ii) Many new states such as Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithunia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia were created.

Question 4: Discuss about the emergence of the democratic spirit after World War I.
Answer: (i) The German Emperor William II fled away and a democratic government was set up there.
(ii) People’s Republic was set up in Russia after the Revolution of 1917.
(iii) Republic was set up in Italy too.

Question 5: What did France gain from the Treaty of Versailles.
Answer: France gained a lot from the Treaty of Versailles. Alsace and Lorriaine were returned by Germany to them. France was compensated for the destruction of its coal mines by Germany in 1918. Therefore she was given full control over the rich coal mines in Saar basin, but the area was to be controlled by the League of Nations. France shared the colonies of Togo and Cameroon with Britain. France was supposed to get 10 years of supply of coal from Germany along with Belgium and Italy.

Question 6: Explain how the Treaty of Versailles was responsible for the outbreak the Second World War. The Treaty of Versailles was responsible for the outbreak of World War II due to the following reasons:
Answer: (i) The Peace Settlement at Paris was made in a spirit of revenge. The Germans felt that too much injustice had been done to them.
(ii) The victorious powers had deprived Germany of huge tracts of its territory.
(iii) She was burdened with an immense War Indemnity.
It was impossible for a proud German race to forget the consequences of the War, which they had lost so humiliatingly. This fuelled the rise of Nazism in Germany which adopted of policy of aggression.

Long Questions

Question 1: What was the Sarajevo crisis?
How did the Sarajevo crisis of the 1914 lead to the First World War?
Answer: On June 28,1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated at Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia by the secret society called ‘Black Hand’ or ‘Union of Death’, formed by die assertive Serbian nationalists whose aim was to unite all Serbians into a single Serbian State.
As a result of this assassination, Austria served an ultimatum on Serbia on 23 July making eleven demands and on 28 July, 1914 Austria declared war on Serbia, Russia started preparation for war to support Serbia. On Aug. 1, 1914 Germany declared war on Russia, and on August 3, on France. Germany declared war on France on August 4,1914 and on same day Britain declared war on Germany. Thus the Serajevo crisis triggered World War I in 1914.

Question 2: Which incident led to the outbreak of First World War?
Answer: The gun-powder of the First World War was getting ready in Europe since long but the minder of the Austrian Archduke, otherwise a minor incident, provided the spark which set the whole Europe ablaze. The Austrian Prince, Archduke Ferdinand was murdered in the Bosnian capital of the Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914. The murderer was a Serbian so Austria declared war against Serbia on July 28th, 1914.
This incident, i.e., the murder of the Austrian Archduke, had a great impact on the different European countries. An apology by Serbia could have satisfied Austria and the things would have settled for the time being. But different European countries had their own axe to grind so they acted selfishly. France and Russia came to the help of Serbia. At this, Germany declared a war against Russia. England wanted to keep aloof but when Germany attacked Belgium, then England was compelled to join the war in order to safeguard the Belgian neutrality and her own political interests.

Question 3: What is meant by Pan-Slav Movement? Why did it add to conflict between Austria and Russia?
Answer: Pan-Slav Movement was a movement which was started by the Balkan States against the Ottoman Empire towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Turkey was a powerful nation during the 15th and 16th century and she had control over the Balkan States, but the Turkish power began to decline in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, Austria, Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia began to increase their influence. It created rivalry and enmity among these nations especially between Russia and Austria.
In order to fish in the troubled waters, Russia encouraged the different Balkan States to raise a standard of revolt against the collapsing Ottoman Empire. The Russian Czars hoped that these Balkan States would come under their control once Turkey was ousted from those states. It was with this aim in view that Russia started the Pan-Slav Movement among the Balkan States. But, many areas of Austria-Hungary., were also inhabited by the Slavs. Thus, this Pan-Slav Movement was as much a danger to Austria-Hungary as it was to the Ottoman Empire. Thus, Russia’s encouragement to the Pan-Slav Movement greatly estranged the relations between Russia and Austria.
When (in 1908) Austria annexed the two provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia fanned the fire and consequently some (six) years later in 1914, a Serbian, backed by Russia, killed Aracduke Ferdinand, the Crown Prince of Austria. This very incident precipitated the war. Thus the First World War was the direct result of the Pan-Slav Movement.

Question 4: Name the two military alliances formed before the First World War. How did their formations make the First World War inevitable?
Answer: The two triple alliances formed before the First World War were:
(i) Triple Alliance: It had Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy as its members.
(ii) Triple Entente: It has Britain, Russia and France as its members.
The conflicts within Europe and the conflicts over colonies mentioned earlier had begun to create a very tense situation in Europe from the last decade of the nineteenth century. European countries began to form themselves into opposing groups. They also started spending vast sums of money to increase the size of their Armies and Navies, to develop new and more deadly weapons, and to generally prepare themselves for war, Europe was gradually becoming a vast armed camp.
France was defeated very badly in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. After this war the German Chancellor, Bismarck adopted such a diplomatic foreign policy as to keep France isolated and prevented her from establishing friendly relations with any other European country. Britain as stated above, was alarmed at the growing military power of Germany. As early as in 1879 Germany had concluded a secret military alliance with’Austria-Hungary called the “Dual Alliance”. It provided for mutual military assistance in case either country is attacked by France or Russia. Italy joined it later on in 1882. Thus, it was converted into “Triple Alliances”. Britain, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente in 1907. Thus Europe was divided into two hostile groups. The real aims of the countries which joined these alliances were the extension of their colonial possessions, an all-European war almost certainly would become a world wide war.

Question 5: The outbreak of the First World War was preceded by series of incidents. Mention any two of them.
Answer: Two incidents which preceded the First World War are given as below:
(i) Growing Militarisation: Before the beginning of the First World War there was growing
militarisation of the European State’s. Every country feared and suspected the other and tried to increase its military and naval strength and the size of every country’s Navy and Army went on increasing. Most European countries made military training compulsory for everyone. Europe was being gradually converted into an armed camp.
(ii) Clash over Morocco: In 1904 Britain and France had entered into a secret meeting according to which Britain was to have a free hand in Egypt, and France was to take over Morocco. The agreement became known to Germany and roused her indignation. The German Emperor went to Morocco and promised the Sultan of Morocco his full support for the independence of Morocco. The antagonism over Morocco, it appeared, would lead to a war. However, the war was averted when in 1911 France occupied most of Morocco and, in exchange, gave it many a part of French Congo. Even though the war had been averted, the situation in Europe, with each country preparing for war, had become dangerous.

Question 6: When and why did the U.S.A. enter the First World War?
Answer: On 6th April, 1917 , the United States entered the First World War by the following reasons:
(i) The Americans were generally more inclined towards England (and her allies) because of their cultural and racial affinity with the English people. Hence, they joined the war in favour of England.
(ii) The U.S.A. was the main supplier of arms and other supplies to the Allies, as such she was bound to be implicated in the war.
(iii) Economic consideration also prompted the United States to enter the First World War in favour of the Allies. The Allies were in possession of most of the colonies which could give boost to the foreign trade of U.S.A.
(iv) The sinking of the U.S.A. ships, carrying the American citizens by the German U-Boats ultimately forced the U.S.A. to join the war.

Question 7: How did Russia withdraw from the First World War?
Answer: In Russia, there broke out a Revolution in 1917. As a result of this revolution, the Czar was ousted and the power ultimately came into the hands of Lenin and his co-revolutionaries. The first task of the new Government was to withdraw from the war. Russia did so because of the following reasons:
(i) Most of the revolutionaries regarded the First World War as quite useless because, according to them, the war was being fought to satisfy the imperialistic designs of the Czar and the other European monarchs.
(ii) The Russian soldiers were ill-equipped and as many as 6,00,000 of them had already been killed in the War by 1917. There was no sense in continuing such a war of self-destruction.
(iii) Russia had already suffered serious reverse in the war.
(iv) Lenin, the leader of the new Government, wanted to transform this war of aggression into a revolutionary war in order to overthrow the Russian autocracy and the best time to do so was this when all the powerful countries of the world were awfully busy in the First World War.

Question 8: Explain the effects of First World War on Austria-Hungar.
Answer: Consequences of the First World War on Austria-Hungary: Austria-Hungary was forced to sign a separate treaty (of St. Germain) with the Allies by which she had to accept the following conditions:
(i) Austria-Hungary was broken up and two separate kingdoms of Austria and Hungary were set-up.
(ii) Austria had to cede territories to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland and was forced to accept their independence.
(iii) Italy also gained certain territories (such as Tyrol) from Austria.
(iv) Austrian army was reduced to 30,000.
(v) Austria was also forced to pay a huge-war indemnity.

Question 9: Discuss the effects of first world war on Turkey.
Answer: Consequences of the First War on Turkey: Turkey was. also forced to sign a separate treaty (i.e., the Treaty of Sevres) by which she forced to accept the following terms:
(i) This treaty stipulated a complete dismemberment of the Turkish Empire. The control of Syria was given to France while Palestine and Mesopotamia were handed over to Britain.
(ii) England also gained the control of Egypt from Turkey.
(iii) Most of the remaining Turkish territories were shared by Greece and Italy.
The Treaty of Sevres, however, could not be put into practice because there was a revolution in Turkey under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal Pasha where by Turkey regained the control of Asia,Minor and the City of Constantinople.

Question 10: Describe any four aims of the peace programme of Woodrow Wilson.
Answer: President Woodrow Wilson of America was a very peace loving man. In January, 1918, he put forward a peace programme consisting of fourteen points to end the First World War. These points included:
(i) Discard of secret treaties,
(ii) Freedom ip the use of seas by all nations,
(iii) Reduction in armaments,
(iv) Conduct of negotiations between different states openly,
(v) Evacuation of Belgium by Germany,
(vi) Restoration of Alsace-Lorraine to France,
(vii) Creation of independent States in Europe, and
(viii) Establishment of a world organisation to guarantee political independence and territorial integrity of different States.
Many of the above points were covered by the different treaties that were signed after the First World War. For instance, Belgium yas evacuated by Germany: Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France many small states like Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, etc. were created on the.principle of nationality, and an international organisation with the name of the League of Nations was created to maintain the world peace.

Question 11: What were the objectives of the League of Nations? Name the organisation formed in October 1945 with objectives similar to those of the League of Nations.
Answer: Objectives of the League: After the First World War, a world organisation, popularly known as the League of Nations, was created in 1920. The chief aims or purposes of this new world organisation i.e., the League of Nations were the following:
(i) To preserve peace and security in the world.
(ii) To settle international conflicts in a peaceful manner.
(iii) To promote just and honorable relations among the nations of the world.
(iv) To force its members not to resort to war.
(v) To formulate plans for the reduction of armaments.
(vi) To take economic and military action against any country.
(vii) To improve labour and social conditions in different countries. To achieve this aim, the International Labour Organization was set up which is even now one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

Question 12: Mention four pbints under the Treaty of Versailles, which affected Germany.
Answer: Consequences of the First World War on Germany: Germany was compelled to sign the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June, 1919 and was forced to accept the following terms which were comparatively very harsh:
(i) Germany and her allies were held guilty for aggression and hence Germany was forced to cede certain parts of her pre-war territories to Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
(ii) Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France. Moreover, the Saar Valley, known for its coal mines, was ceded to France for 15 years.
(iii) Germany had also to lose all her colonial empire which was divided among the victors. Togo land and Cameroons were divided among France and England. German colonies in South-West Africa and East Africa were also taken away from her and shared by England, Belgium, Portugal and South Africa. While Japan got the Shantung and Kiau Chow in China, New Zealand got the Samoa Island.
(iv) The area of the Rhine Valley was also demilitarized. The German army was also reduced to 1,00,000 and she was not toJhqve any air force and sub-marines.
(v) Germany had to accept the war-guilt and she was compelled to pay a heavy sum (of 6,500,000,000 Pounds) as war-indemnity to the Allies.
Thus the Treaty of Versailles was very humiliating for Germany. So it had far reaching effects on Germany. It led to the rise of Nazism in Germany. Its leader, Hitler violated all the terms of this humiliating treaty (of Versailles) and plunged the world into another world war.

Question 13: Explain how First World War brought about a changed political scenario of the world.
Answer: The War was confined in Europe and Asia and as such the U.S. economy was not affected by it, but it gained from the war as it was a victorious power. It made rapid progress in the post war period as it tested its arms, ammunition and tanks. Another country which gained from the war was Soviet Union thought it has withdrawn from the war in 1917.
It had gained from the war since it had supported the Allies and became another Super Power. There were 15 republics which were placed together as a union.
The economies of the Western European countries had been shattered and Soviet Union stood on its own. The world was divided into two powers the Capitalist and the Communist and the Western Europe Countries trying to appease them.

Question 14: Describe the reasons of the failure of League of Nations.
Answer: Following were the main reasons of the failure of League of Nations:
(i) United States of America not being the member of League of Nations: The most powerful nation of the world did not take the membership of League of Nations. This considerably reduced the effectiveness of the League of Nations from the beginning.
(ii) Selfishness of big Nations: Big nations of the League of Nations, who were the Super Powers in the world were very self-seeking this narrow attitude hindered the generation of the . feelings of co-operation and cordiality among the member nations.
(iii) Powerlessness of League of Nations: The League of Nations had no such powers as to get its edicts enforced.
(iv) Aggressive Policies of Hitler: Hitler, the dictator of Germany, did not care for the objectives of the League of Nations and conquered Czechoslovakia, Austria and Maimal. The League of Nations could not save these nations and finally, with the fall of Poland the League of Nations collapsed.
(v) Absence of Sovereignty: The by-Laws mentioned in the Charter of the League of Nations were so slack that any member could abandon its membership any time and engage in war. Thus, in the absence of any sovereign power the League of Nations was unable to take any effective action against the aggressor, and this became the main reason behind the failure of the League of Nations.
(vi) Absence of Armed Forces: The League of Nations did not have its own Army and hence its success was doubtful since beginning. In the absence of Armed Forces, it could not prove to be effective.

Picture Based Questions

Question 1: Answer the following:

(i) Name the three gentlemen in the picture.
(ii) With which settlement they were associated.
Answer: (i) The three gentlemen in the picture from left are Georges Clemenceau (France), Woodrow Wilson (USA) and Lloyd George, (U.K.).
(ii) The settlement with which they were associated is Treaty of Versailles.

Why was Italy Dissatisfied with the Treaty of Versailles?

The Treaty of Versailles created more problem for Italy than it actually intended to solve. At Versailles, the Italian representative Vittorio Emanuele Orlando was completely ignored.

Italy was part of the bloodied wat and more than 4,60,000 Italians lost their lives. But all these were looked down upon in the Treaty of Versailles.

In the Secret Treaty of London, Italy was promised some chunks of Austro-Hungarian land in case of an allied victory but Italy got nothing at the end. This Treaty of Versailles left Italy in huge debt.


Treaty of Versailles was considered as a document of peace and a formal ending of the First World War. It was forced and very harsh on Germans. This indirectly spiked the fire that led to the Second World War.

Russia if it not for good will be the versailles was blocked shipments needed to acknowledge and politically

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The Catalyst for Withdrawal

By the end of 1916 some 1,700,000 Russian soldiers were dead. As 1917 dawned, riots and mutiny forced Tsar Nicholas to abdicate in February. The new socialist government led by Alexander Kerensky hoped to negotiate a peaceful withdrawal, but neither Germany nor Russia's allies accepted this. Russian soldiers stopped obeying officers' orders and during the summer of 1917, Russian soldiers deserted in droves. The soldiers returned home to support the October revolution, which took Russia out of the war.

Part 4

I. Speech by Hugo Eberlein, delegate of the German Communist Party, at the founding congress of the Third International (Third Session, March 4, 1919)

Comrades! We have already discussed at length at the beginning of the conference the question as to whether this conference should become a congress at which the Third International is to be founded or whether we ought to first prepare for its founding. We agree at the urging of the German delegation, which was not authorized1 to vote for immediate founding, that this should be a conference preparing the founding of the Third International, which act would occur later. Since in spite of that decision, some comrades are again attempting to establish the Third International immediately, I feel compelled to briefly explain to you what motivated us to advise against going on with the founding now. When it is stated that the founding of the Third International is an absolute necessity, we venture to dispute this. If it is said that the proletariat needs in its struggle above all an intellectual center, it can also be said that such a center already exists, and that all those elements which have come together on the basis of the council system have thereby already separated themselves from all the other elements in the working class who are still inclined toward bourgeois democracy we see this separation taking place everywhere.

But a Third International cannot merely be an intellectual center, not merely an institution at which theoreticians deliver heated speeches to each other it must be the basis for organizational power. If we want to make a useful instrument of the Third International, if we want to forge this International into a weapon, then the preconditions for it must obtain. This question cannot be raised or judged alone from an intellectual standpoint rather we must ask ourselves objectively if the organizational bases exist. I always have the feeling that the comrades pressing for founding are letting themselves be very much influenced by the development of the Second International, and that they wish to start an organization in competition with the Berne Conference.2 That seems less important to us, and when it is said that a clarification is necessary or else all doubtful elements will go over to the Yellow International, then I say that the founding of the Third International will not stop those who are today still going over to the other side. If they are still going over, then they belong there.

But the most important question concerning the founding of a Third International is, what do we want, what platform makes it possible for us to join with one another? The reports from the comrades of the different countries showed that the ideas as to activity, as to the means toward the end, were unknown to them, and when the delegations from the different countries came here, they could not have come with the decision to participate at the founding of the Third International. It is their tasks to inform their memberships first, and even the invitation assumes this, as it reads on the first page.

“All these circumstances compel us to take the initiative to bring on the agenda for discussion the question of calling together an international congress of revolutionary proletarian parties.”

Hence, already in the invitation it is said that we must first examine the question here whether it is possible to call the comrades together to a founding congress. That the ignorance concerning the goals and directions of the individual parties was great as long as there was no discussion here is shown by the letter from Longuet,3 a comrade active in political life who sympathizes with the center but who still thinks it is possible for us to participate in the Berne Conference. We in Germany did not know either how great the contradictions among the parties were, and when we left Germany I was prepared for deep disagreements on the various issues. I must say that we are unanimous on most questions, but we did know that beforehand.

If we want to proceed with the founding of the Third International, then we must first tell the world where we stand, first explain which path it is upon which we can and want to unite. It is not true to say that the Third International was already founded at Zimmerwald. The Zimmerwald movement fell apart a long time ago, and only the small part of it left can be considered for cooperation later on. On the one hand, all these things advise against establishing the Third International now, but it is organizational issues which warn us against it on the other. For what do we have? There are real communist parties in only a few countries in most others, they have been created within the last few weeks, and in several countries communists have as yet no organizations.

I am astonished to hear the delegate from Sweden propose the founding of the Third International when he must admit that there is as yet no purely communist organization in Sweden, but merely a large communist group within the Swedish Social Democratic party. We know that in Switzerland and other countries real parties do not exist and still have to be created, so that the comrades there can only speak in the name of groups. Can they really say who stands behind them today: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Austria-Hungary, and from the Balkans not even the whole Federation? The delegates from Greece and Serbia do not recognize Rakovsky4 as their representative. All of western Europe is missing: Belgium and Italy are not represented the Swiss delegates cannot speak in the name of one party France, England, Spain and Portugal are missing and America is also not in a position to say which parties would stand with us. There are so few organizations participating in the founding of the Third International that it is even difficult to make it all public. It is therefore necessary that we make our platform known to the world before we go on with the founding, and then call upon the communist organizations to declare their willingness to create the Third International with us.

Communist organizations must be promoted, for it is no longer possible to work with Kautsky and Scheidemann. I strongly urge you not to establish the Third International and beg you not to act too quickly, but to call together in the shortest possible time a congress at which the new international will be founded, an international which will really have power behind it.

Those are the reservations which my organization has about the immediate establishment of the Third International, and I beg you to consider in a mature fashion if it is advisable to proceed with the founding on such a weak basis.

(From Der 1. Kongress der Kommunistichen Internationale. Protokoll der Verhandlungen in Moskau vom 2. bis zum 19. [6.] März 1919 (Hamburg, 1921) reprinted in Helmut Gruber, ed., International Communism in the Era of Lenin. A Documentary History , Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, 1972, pp. 79-82)

II. List of the more important Left Communists in 1918

R. Abramovich
N. Antonov (Luikn)
Arkady (Krumin)
V. Baryshnikov
K. Bela-Kun
S. I. Bobinsky
D. Bogolepov
G. Boky
A. Bubnov
N. I. Bukharin
M. Bronsky
P. Shternberg
Ya. Fenigshtein (Doletsky)
V. N. Yakovleva
Em. Yaroslavsky
Inessa (Armand)
Vladimir Ivanov
S. Kossior
A. Kollontay
L. Kritsman
V. Kuybyshev
Yu. Lensky
A. Lomov (Oppokov)
N. Lukina (Bukharina)
V. G. Myasnikov
I. Min’kov
N. Muralov
V. Osinsky (Obolensky)
I. Unshlikht
M. Uritsky
G. Usievich
G. Pyatakov
M. Pokrovsky
E. Preobrazhensky
K. Radek
S. Ravich
G. Safarov
T. Sapronov
M. Saveliev (I. Vetrov)
I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov
V. M. Smirnov
A. Sol’ts
Vl. Sorin
A. Spunde
In. Stukov
I. Vardin-Mgeladze
M. Vasiliev (Saratov)
A. Vyborgskaya
B. G. Zul’

(Taken from “Appendix B” of Leonard Schapiro’s book, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State. First Phase, 1917-1922 , op. cit. , p. 366)

III. Excerpt from N. Osinski’s article entitled, “On the Construction of Socialism”, published in issues Nos. 1 and 2 of The Communist in response to Lenin’s text, “The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Power”

Recent events, within the majority of our party, have led to a “new orientation” and to new problematics. We are not speaking of foreign policy but of domestic policy and especially economic policy.

This new orientation, which comes from comrade Lenin, is as follows: until the end of January 1918 we underwent a difficult period of civil war, a time of the sudden destruction of forces and of the political and economic orders that those forces defended. Now that time has passed and a new period has begun: a period of concrete and positive labor for the “organic construction” of a new society. On the one hand, we must construct socialism. On the other hand, we must first of all create the order that everyone demands, and we must put an end to disorder, indiscipline and corruption. Because we are now strong, because our enemies have been annihilated, we must not fear to use the social forces that were previously opposed to us. We must therefore allow the “intellectuals”, who previously sabotaged our efforts, to work for us. They used to work on behalf of capital in exchange for money. We, too, can buy them with money. It is among the intellectuals that we shall find those organizers of production, those “captains of industry” who organized the economy for capital, and there are many of them. Thus, just as we were obliged to use the Czarist officers to help us build the Red Army, so we are likewise obliged to use the services of the organizers of trusts so that we may buy the organization of socialism at a low price.

“Teach the organization of socialism to the organizers of trusts” such is the maxim of comrade Lenin. Another of his maxims is “Put an end to negligence”. Negligence, desertion, theft everything that flourishes on our national soil is also prevalent at every level of the organizations that direct the various sectors of the economy. “Do not pilfer, do not be lazy, above all keep your accounts up to date” these simple petty bourgeois appeals must be our leading principles. We have to make everyone (employees, workers, paper pushers) understand that they cannot just consume, but they must also perform adequate labor. To achieve this, self-discipline and comradery are necessary, but so is the reinforcement of the dictatorial power of the commissars who have been elected by the Soviets and, in short, have the job of seeing to it that people work rather than just talk. The productivity of labor must be increased in the factories by means of the introduction of piecework wages and wage incentives for more productive workers, and the same goes for the railroads, etc. We must also adopt the American Taylor System, which combines hourly wages and piecework wages: thus, one will be paid not just for the quantity of goods one has produced, but also in consideration of the time saved in production.

Those responsible for this “new organization” claim that all of this will rapidly lead to the construction of socialism and that their new conception of political problems is exclusively determined by the existence within the country of a new organic period. All of these new organizations have appeared, however, surprisingly enough, precisely at the moment of the signing of the peace treaty, in conjunction with that retreat before world capital that was accepted as the basis of the imposed peace, with the enormous concessions to foreign imperialism that it entails. The war was fought not only for the conquest of the country, of its territory but also in order to economically incorporate this territory into the grasp of the tentacles of capital. The imperialist powers assure their rule with these peace-conquests in order to derive profits from the economy of the defeated country. Nonetheless, this new “socialist” organic period, according to comrade Lenin himself, can commence thanks to the alliance and the establishment of relations with foreign capital, from whom he seeks to obtain money, engineers, weapons, military experts and even troops. It can make its debut with the creation of an official regular army, called the “red army”, which, however, is being formed in close (too close, and too dangerous) collaboration with Czarist officers and generals.5

IV. The Foreign Policy of the USSR (an article from L’Internationale , the journal of Union Communiste—see note at the end of the article—No. 33, December 10, 1937)

This policy includes both relations with capitalist states and putting pressure on these states via the intermediary of the organizations that are part of the Third International. These two factors are intimately related and the USSR has increasingly subordinated the second factor to the first.

The diplomacy of the USSR, like that of all countries of our time, depends on its objective position vis-à-vis the victors of Versailles and the League of Nations.

It is understood that the USSR was not one of the beneficiaries of the Treaty of Versailles, and after Brest-Litovsk it was separated from the Entente and the negotiations leading to the founding of the League of Nations. In this regard it was like Germany, the principle victim of Versailles.

The United States, which did not join the League of Nations, then moved closer to these two countries, in which it was considering capital investments. We shall also point out in this connection that for America, the Soviet Union was a very vigilant watchdog over Japan.

The simple bourgeois diplomacy that the Bolsheviks then adopted required, therefore, that the first Soviet-imperialist agreements should be established within the framework of this kind of anti-Entente bloc. This state of affairs was clearly illustrated by the Soviet Union’s overtures to the United States and the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo with Germany.

The formula, “make use of inter-imperialist contradictions”, which the Bolsheviks wanted to utilize in a revolutionary way and upon the basis of which they were ready to justify everything they did in the name of Marxism, was really nothing other than the very definition of bourgeois diplomacy. When a bourgeois state joins an imperialist bloc it does so in order to make use of the contradictions that exist between the countries with which it is allied and the countries of the enemy bloc.

The Soviet Union, in opposition to France, England and the League of Nations, sought to politically justify its stance in the eyes of workers, or more precisely speaking, the USSR sought to obtain support for its policies from the communist organizations, and made its diplomacy one of the planks of the program of the Third International.

The Entente and the League of Nations were depicted as an especially counter-revolutionary coalition against the domestic regime of the USSR in reality, Germany and the United States were no less hostile to the October Revolution than were the member states of the League of Nations. The League of Nations in particular was defined with a special degree of horror as a “den of imperialist bandits” but the Genoa Conference of 1922 was a meeting of these bandits yet Chicherin was sent to attend it and there he made a speech that was overflowing with good will and obsequiousness. And the USSR responded to various appeals from this “den of imperialist bandits” (the Naval Conference of 1923, the Disarmament Conference of 1927).

When the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Rapallo, the Communist International concealed its capitalist character behind a theory of the defense of the vanquished the workers of all countries would be invited to feel compassion for the German bourgeoisie who were robbed and crushed by the reparations.

During the entire period of Leninist power, the world’s states were busy rebuilding their economies, which had been disrupted by the war but all their deeds were hidden behind a veil of false pacifist pretenses. Despite the propaganda of the Third International, the USSR could not resist the temptation to participate in this concert of pacifist deception. Especially in 1922, in April in Genoa, in July in The Hague, and then in 1923 and the Disarmament Conference of 1927.

In 1921, another kind of diplomacy began: the non-aggression pacts that are still being negotiated in our day. So the Soviet Union signed non-aggression pacts with Persia, Afghanistan, China, etc. and then later the non-aggression pact with Italy and almost all the other imperialist countries. The Bolsheviks, who at first refused to promise the countries of the Entente that they would not tolerate revolutionary activity against them, have since given political guarantees of the following kind to Afghanistan and Persia:

“The contracting parties will not allow and will prevent the use of their territory for the organization and activity of groups, or of isolated persons, who harm the other contracting party by agitating for the overthrow of the state regime” (1936).

This brief overview of Russia’s foreign policy during the Leninist period of the USSR, shows that one cannot discover a sharp distinction between Leninist and Stalinist policy in this domain, as in the others, the Bolsheviks had paved, under the pretext of necessity, the road to Stalinism.

Stalin’s entry into the League of Nations, for example, was not actually a betrayal of any kind, but only a contradiction with the political propaganda of the Third International from the previous period that was disseminated for the purpose of supporting the economic position of the USSR against the Entente.

A treaty like the one signed at Rapallo in 1922 was a compromise so dangerous and so harmful that the Bolsheviks had to engage in special efforts to make it appear to be a model revolutionary achievement. On May 18, 1922, the Central Executive Committee of the USSR “expressed its satisfaction with the Russo-German treaty signed at Rapallo, and considers it to be the only justifiable solution to escape the difficulties, the chaos and the dangers of war”.

Lenin’s government thus retreated before the pressure of imperialism and found capitulation to be the “only justifiable solution” to the imperialist offensive, which it referred to as “difficulties, the chaos and the dangers of war”. The revolutionary struggle of the Russian proletariat was represented, then, by diplomatic deals but, in relation to the Revolution of October, Rapallo signified defeat on the international plane and it was on the basis of a whole series of such defeats that Stalinism would emerge and grow, that is, the internal defeat.

The Stalinist diplomacy that followed would assume a counterrevolutionary character when the maturation of the exploiting class allowed the USSR to categorically declare its position with regard to the new international situation: the period of imperialist pacifism would give way to the period of the intensive preparation for a new imperialist war.

Stalin, after having changed sides, joined the League of Nations, signed the Franco-Soviet Accord, gave his approval for and material aid to the accelerated rearmament of French capitalism: the USSR would do its part to help bring about a Sacred Union in all the countries that might be its allies in the conflicts that were to break out as so many preludes to the world war, the USSR would become involved in the shady deals of the League of Nations (in particular, with regard to Ethiopia), the Committee for Non-Intervention with regard to Spain, and the Brussels Committee with regard to China. Everything that could stand in the way of this preparation for war will be fought and crushed: the USSR will play the role of the vanguard of the counterrevolution.

All Stalinist diplomacy, as well as the domestic Soviet regime, forbids one in advance from speaking of a class opposition between the USSR and the other capitalist countries. The USSR will be an object of aggression just like any other country in the eyes of the other nations, it is nothing but a big competitor in the world market. And the countries that are opposed to the USSR are hostile to its economic positions, and not to its regime, which looks more like that of the fascist states, its “enemies”, than like that of the democratic countries, its “allies”.

The Soviet bureaucracy is not defending proletarian democracy, since it abolished that democracy it is not defending the welfare of the working class, since it exploits them it is not defending the power of the Soviets and the trade unions, since they no longer have any power.

What Stalinism is defending (and what the proletariat does not have to defend) are the markets required for its trade, and the Russian territory where it “possesses” immense wealth and millions of workers to exploit.

The Third International: an instrument of the Russian state

By saying that the workers’ state can only survive with the help of the international revolutionary movement, the communists want to be understood as saying that the USSR, as a result of domestic difficulties experienced by the bourgeois governments, could expect that some day the proletariat will come to power in enough countries to form an insurmountable bloc. The action of the workers of all countries would therefore constitute both an obstacle to imperialist intervention in the USSR and the process leading to the formation of a new revolutionary power.

But the retreat of the workers movement in all countries has led the Bolshevik government to no longer expect or to help facilitate the process of a new revolution, but to simply use workers agitation as a means to exert pressure on the capitalist countries.

A communist opposition in a bourgeois nation reinforces the diplomatic and economic position of the USSR, but the outbreak of a new revolution could not, on the other hand, do anything but disturb the conversations of the Soviet ambassadors and create difficulties for the USSR.

In this conceptual framework, the Treaty of Rapallo certainly had a great deal of influence on the policy of the Third International: the “negligence” of the Russian leaders of the Komintern with respect to the revolutionary movement of 1923 in Germany can be explained easily by the desire not to jeopardize the economic assistance the Soviet Union was receiving from Germany by supporting a revolutionary movement that might fail.

Later, Stalin’s decision in 1927 to surrender the proletariat to Chang Kai-Shek may be explained by the same reasons. Ultimately, the entire disastrous policy of the Third International, its complete subordination to the Russian state from its very inception, must be understood within the context of such considerations.

Today, the USSR has conferred, as in all domains, an openly counterrevolutionary character on the directives that it sends to foreign communist organizations. The reconciliation with social democracy, the policy of the Popular Front, the reconciliation of the workers with the “Marseillaise”, the tri-color and the army are quite edifying in this regard.

Finally, in Spain the USSR has provided, with its weapons and its gold, so much power to the PSUC that the latter has become capable of crushing the power of the revolutionary anarchist and POUMist workers and reestablishing the rule of the democratic bourgeoisie.

The communist organizations, under the control of the USSR, are working today for the preparation of another imperialist butchery and will be the agents of the bourgeoisie for the denunciation and repression of revolutionary defeatists.

To conclude, we must first of all forever banish the expressions of an obsolete opposition, such as those that would tend to suggest that Stalin commits errors, that he is a bad defender of the conquests of the October Revolution and that his faults derive from his theory of “socialism in one country”. No, Stalin is carrying out the policies of a new class based on the exploitation of the workers all that is left of the October Revolution in Russia has been transformed into a counterrevolutionary instrument. Its monopoly of foreign trade, its economic plans and industrialization are not bringing the USSR closer to socialism, but to modern capitalism, to fascism. The proletariat holds no more power in the USSR than the Chamber of Deputies in France or the corporations in Italy. The USSR has its place in the world among the imperialist states and pursues bloody counterrevolution everywhere. To fight for the defense of the USSR is to take a stand against the emancipation of the Russian proletariat, as well as to endorse the sacred union in every country.

In this article we have tried to situate the discussion of the USSR on a new terrain, one that is as free as possible of the prejudices and sacred formulas that have stifled Marxist understanding and debate for decades.

We do not want to adopt the errors that the Bolsheviks were impelled to commit due to an unfavorable international situation as dogmas or as guides for a future revolutionary period.

The international proletariat, and especially on the Russian battlefield, has been defeated: the forms assumed by the Russian defeat are, with regard to foreign policy, the diplomatic capitulations executed amidst economic turmoil domestically, the dictatorial bureaucratic structure of the state in the hands of a political faction. The fact that the Stalinist bourgeoisie developed on the basis of this retreat from, and reconciliation with, imperialism is a historical phenomenon as normal as the development of capitalism on the basis of industrial progress.

The fact that the dictatorial regime created by Lenin’s faction, in the face of the imperialist offensive, was a consequence of the immaturity of the situation, and finally a victory for imperialism, can be clearly affirmed today why then be surprised at the fact that this regime of absolutism has constituted precisely the foundation of the power of the new bourgeoisie?

To summarize, the Russian experience, so rich in lessons, must above all lead us to destroy the weeds that have grown in an unfavorable foreign and domestic situation it must also incite us to know in advance that proletarian power requires a more mature situation, in countries where economic development has attained the levels required for socialist organization. What was lacking in the USSR of 1917 will be created by counterrevolutionary Stalinism, which will play the role of fascism in Italy and of modern capitalism in general.

Workers of the USSR, the time for reformism has passed in the Soviet Union as well as in all the other countries now is the time for new revolutionary struggles. The battles of October 1917, like the Paris Commune, and like the bloody revolutionary struggles that have taken place in so many countries over the last few decades, have not yet attained their goal, but have awakened millions and millions of the workers throughout the world to class consciousness and have shown them the irresistible power the proletariat is capable of exercising. Workers of the USSR! The struggle of 1917 has been aborted, but the time is ripe for your socialist revolution and the organization of proletarian revolutionary power. Against your exploiters, against the imperialist war to which the Stalinist bourgeoisie is dragging you, prepare the proletarian insurrection!

Note : L’Union Communiste was a revolutionary organization—one of the very few—that existed between 1933 and 1939. It emerged from a split in the Trotskyist League and over the years attracted other opponents of Trotskyism, councilists, former Bordiguists, etc., as it evolved towards the positions of the German-Dutch Left.

Its journal was L’Internationale , first a newspaper, then later a magazine, and during its most prosperous times it was issued as a monthly. The particularly numerous articles about the Popular Front, Russia and the war in Spain still exhibit an enduring interest due to their denunciation of such capitalist mystifications as frontism, state capitalism christened as “socialist”, antifascism, democracy, etc.

All the issues of L’Internationale may be consulted at the Bibliothèque Nationale. The journal Jeune Taupe published by the group, Pour une Intervention Communiste (47, rue St. Honoré, 75001, Paris) has published and will continue to publish articles taken from L’Internationale and pamphlets written by L’Union Communiste.

V. Foreign Policy or Workers Solidarity - Simon Rubak

The state is the structural form of the nation it must have, both with regard to foreign relations and domestically, a pro-national policy. In foreign affairs, if it does not pursue a pro-national policy, it will end up being absorbed by or subjected to one state or another it is also destined to disappear if, domestically, it breaks apart. Nations contain distinct social categories. Among them, that of the industrial capitalists and that of the workers each belong to a social class that spans the entire world but is divided by state borders. The states are therefore compelled, at the risk of disappearance, to appeal to patriotism, nationalism or chauvinism to bind together, within their borders, the disparate social categories and, in particular, the antagonistic national sections of the class of industrial capitalists and the working class.

But national borders are not naturally suitable for capitalism because it is an economic system that requires “free circulation of goods” and the universality of exchange: the capitalists abolished the borders, tolls, and monetary incongruities of feudalism in the era of their rise and, in this age of supersonic aircraft, they are even less capable of supporting the monetary incongruities, tolls and borders of the states. For example, they do not leave the real control of the international movement of private capital in the hands of the states.

State structures do not really constitute an absolute necessity for the capitalist economic system, within which, at opposite poles, the employing class and the workers are situated however, to the greatest extent and wherever possible, the capitalists and, especially, the most powerful capitalist groups, use the authority of the state for their economic interests by applying pressure on the policies of the government personnel in the halls of power. The latter preserve, in the relations of one state with another, certain sovereign powers, for example, with regard to protocol, official visits, cultural exchanges, diplomacy, military pacts or threats, and the declaration of war or the cessation of hostilities. But in each country, the most powerful capitalist groups use their influence in such a way as to see to it that their economic interests, which are otherwise so divergent, should have the highest priority. In this way they make deals in favor of the foreign policies of their respective governments, but they also make deals, on an international scale, among themselves, under private auspices, without government mediation. The capitalists thus maintain the international relations of their own social class, and therefore also that class’s cohesion, even though this leads to broken alliances, diplomatic breaks or armed conflicts.

For their part, the workers, due to the fact that they belong to a ruled class, one that is economically and socially subordinated in an inferior condition, does not have the possibility of engaging in this kind of foreign policy: it is not, we may be sure, by means of its influence in official institutions like the International Labor Office or some sub-committee of the UN, or by any such intermediaries that the international cohesion of the working class is obtained! And this cohesion can only be obtained to a minimal extent in view of the borders, the distances, the linguistic obstacles, by relations between the workers or between their rank and file organizations, relations that are often prohibited and in that case, partake of a terribly dangerous illegality. When the workers successfully organize it is, in the best cases, on a national level and they therefore lack the means to intervene in the game of foreign policy, this policy being understood as the policy of their own country. This is true, above all, due to a lack of information. Diplomatic communications, however minimal their real importance—when they have any at all!—are secret or confidential the public is only given vague and indeterminate information, but sensational news is broadcast when it is necessary to agitate public opinion for unstated purposes. In the foreign policy of the states, the workers have no role at all, not even a mass to be manipulated, or deceived, except in very exceptional circumstances, in critical historical situations the rest of the time, they are neither consulted nor informed.

It must be admitted that if the information they are provided with was complete it would not be any more clear: in every one of the approximately one hundred twenty or one hundred thirty states on the planet, there is a ministry of Foreign Affairs where the politicians and officials are in constant or intermittent communication with their counterparts in every other state with regard to every kind of question, territorial, military, maritime, commercial, prestige…. And the political and administrative personnel of each state see their counterparts in the other states as rivals, enemies, allies, and engage in efforts to try to form or to destroy coalitions and carry out, domestically as well as on the foreign front, disparate, divergent, convergent or opposed pressure tactics.

In this completely tangled web, any “general line” that seems to emerge remains in the domain of the hypothesis, all prediction is hazardous, and those who are “in charge” consult fortune tellers, since those who professionally hold one end of a series of threads of intrigue never know for sure where those threads lead, nor do they know at what point or when they will break. When inextricable knots are found, the experts, not knowing how to untie them, exert pressure to transfer the responsibility for their results to public opinion’s simplistic reactions. These experts otherwise have a curiously allegorical and anthropomorphic view of states and international events, a view that can only be expressed in terms whose literal meaning is absurd. And they really begin to think that, as they say, “China” can “awake from its long sleep”, and that “Moscow” can “view a rapprochement between Washington and Peking with jaundiced eyes”, that, “for the Quai d’Orsay”, “France must have a presence in the Indian Ocean”, that “Germany has helped Italy to recover”, that “America is increasing its pressure on Latin America”, etc., etc. This language, which imposes a mythological mode of thought on anyone who is interested in international policy, is not entirely innocent: very often it leads to horrible mishaps, but above all it leads to the identification of territories and their inhabitants with the states and their leaders, and therefore leads to the implication that populations that are naturally or artificially grouped into nations are committed to the game and the machinations of their leaders—who are themselves manipulated by all kinds of “influences” and “pressures”. Each one of these populations is presented as a monolithic bloc, so that often it is not possible to distinguish within them the diversity of people and social categories, much less the antagonism within them of sections of the capitalist class and the working class. It is a fraud.

To take part, in one way or another, in foreign policy , is inevitably to blindly take a stance, without complete veracious information, for or against a state, or states or groups of states it is, in the same frame of reference, to accept the integration, in the national amalgam, of all kinds of social categories and, among these categories, the antagonistic sections of the industrial capitalist class and the working class. When the workers accept this integration, this union of classes in the nation, they lose all at once any consciousness of their international nature that nonetheless constitutes, due to their numbers and their role in production, the power of the exploited workers. From that moment they are only one part of the manipulable masses for the “influenced” foreign policies of the states, policies of which they have made themselves the executors, fools and victims. And at the same time that they betray their class by abandoning internationalism, they pay for this treason with their blood, as on August 2, 1914.

It is hard to imagine, for the national sections of the working class, a “foreign policy” more imperative than the coordination of its struggles against the world capitalist class on an international scale. What victory can it possibly hope for, if, given the geographic distribution of the industries on the planet, the working class does not practice international solidarity by means of concerted, concrete and effective activities? Nationalism incorporates the workers into the foreign policy of the state internationalism frees them of this state policy in the sense that they reject, that is, totally refuse to express any interest in this devious game, to play by its rules, to be its plaything and its wager.

Spontaneously, populations lose interest during times of peace in “foreign affairs”, a tangled web about which most people admit they understand nothing in which respect they prove themselves to be at least as intelligent as those who claim to see through them in any case, such a view is honest and healthy. Unfortunately, this completely passive indifference represents not so much a real rejection than a temporary renunciation: from the moment when a tense situation arises with respect to “the foreigner” and the state to which he belongs, people become concerned, and are therefore amenable to being invited to play the game and become its pawns. Those workers, on the other hand, who are conscious of their international dimension, cannot be, nor can they ever become, foreigners to each other. Indifference with regard to foreign policy then acquires the nature of a formal rejection, of a negation of nationalism by means of an affirmation of workers internationalism.

It is true that this indifference frees the hands of the governments that are necessarily very concerned with informing the population due to their fear that the latter might meddle in their affairs and interfere with their intrigues. But no one has ever been able to prevent them from engaging in their intrigues nor is it ever of any use to hinder them when it suffices to prevent their effects in order to render them useless. If, in foreign policy, the deals whose purposes are, most often, derisory, are once again bestowed a terrible importance, it is only because entire populations accept and execute decisions made by the politicians and officials of their respective states, in the wake of negotiations carried out strictly between those politicians and officials. Without the nationalist support of the people, the manipulations of foreign policy would be as futile as those of the strategists of the Café de Comercio .

The international political situation, at least if we consider it in the light of an apparently realistic description in the allegorical and anthropomorphic style of the specialists,—and here the iconoclast will present an image!—can be compared to a kind of chess game with one hundred thirty players who do not all have the same pieces, in which every piece that is lost leads to disaster, misery, and the suffering or deaths of a multitude of people. How can these people escape their fate? Certainly not by getting involved in the game, so that they help the players, but instead by knocking the board to the ground in order to prevent the playing of such a monstrous game. Do they not say, “only one solution, the revolution”? The only really effective foreign policy of the workers of every country that can lead to this solution is none other than the international coordination of their forces, in a spiritual condition of internationalist solidarity, in a class struggle that essentially progresses, whether you like it or not, on a world scale.

VI. “The Russian Tragedy: The Capitulation of Brest-Litovsk”

Since the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Russian Revolution has entered into a very difficult phase. The policy which has guided the Bolsheviks’ action is obvious: peace at any price in order to gain a respite, during which they can expand and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia, and realize as many socialist reforms as possible. They plan in this way to await the outbreak of the international proletariat revolution and at the same time to expedite it by the Russian example. Since the utter war-weariness of the Russian masses and the simultaneous military disorganization bequeathed by Tsarism appeared in any case to make the continuation of the war a futile shedding of Russian blood, there was no other way out but to conclude peace as quickly as possible. This is how Lenin and his comrades assessed the situation.

Their decision was dictated by two revolutionary viewpoints: by the unshakable faith in the European revolution of the proletariat as the sole way out and the inevitable consequence of the world war, and by their equally unshakable resolve to defend by any means possible the power they had gained in Russia, in order to use it for the most energetic and radical changes.

And yet these calculations largely overlooked the most crucial factor, namely German militarism, to which Russia surrendered unconditionally through the separate peace. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was in reality nothing but the capitulation of the revolutionary Russian proletariat to German militarism. Admittedly Lenin and his friends deluded neither themselves no other about the facts. They candidly admitted their capitulation. Unfortunately, they did deceive themselves in hoping to purchase a genuine respite at the price of this capitulation, to enable them to save themselves from the hellfire of the world war by means of a separate peace. They did no take into account the fact that the capitulation of Russia at Brest-Litovsk meant an enormous strengthening of the imperialist Pan-German policy and thus a lessening of the chances for a revolutionary rising in Germany. Nor did they see that this capitulation would bring about not the end of the war against Germany, but merely the beginning of a new chapter of this war.

In fact the ‘peace’ of Brest-Litovsk is an illusion. Not for a moment was there peace between Russia and Germany. War has continued since Brest-Litovsk up to the present time, but the war is a unique one, waged only by one side: systematic German advance and tacit Bolshevik retreat, step by step. Occupation of the Ukraine, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, the Crimea, the Caucasus, larger and larger tracts of the southern Russia – this is the result of the ‘state of peace’ since Brest-Litovsk.

And this has meant a number of things. In the first place, the strangulation of the revolution and the victory of the counter-revolution in the revolutionary strongholds of Russia. For Finland, the Baltic provinces, the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Black Sea region – this is all Russia, namely the terrain of the Russian Revolution, no matter what the empty, petit-bourgeois phrase-mongers may babble about the ‘right of national self-determination’.

Secondly, this means the isolation of the Great Russian part of the revolutionary terrain from the grain-growing and coal-mining region and from the sources of iron-ore and naphtha, that is, from the most important and vital economic resources of the revolution.

Thirdly, the encouragement and strengthening of all counter-revolutionary elements within Russia, thus enabling them to offer the strongest resistance to the Bolsheviks and their measures.

Fourthly, Germany will play the role of arbiter in Russia’s political and economic relation with all of its own provinces: Finland, Lithuania, the Ukraine and the Caucasus, as well as with the neighbors, for example Rumania.

The overall result of this unrestricted and unlimited German power over Russia was naturally an enormous strengthening of German imperialism both internally and externally, and thereby of course a heightening of the white-hot resistance and war-readiness of the Entente powers, i.e. prolongation and intensification of the world war. And indeed there is more: Russia’s defencelessness, as revealed by the progressive German occupation, must naturally tempt the Entente and Japan to instigate a counter-action on Russian territory in order to combat Germany’s huge predominance and at the same time to satisfy their imperialist appetites at the expense of the defenceless colossus. Now the north and east of European Russia, as well as the whole of Siberia, are cut off, and the Bolsheviks are isolated form their last sources of essential supplies.

The end result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is thus to encircle, starve out and strangle the Russian revolution from all sides.

But also within the country, in the terrain that the Germans did leave to the Bolsheviks, the power and the policies of the revolution were forced into difficult straits. The assassinations of Mirbach and Eichhorn are a tangible response to the reign of terror of German imperialism in Russia. Social Democracy, to be sure, has always rejected terror as an individual act, but only because it considered the mass struggle to be the more effective method, not because it preferred to tolerate passively reactionary despotism. It is of course only one of the W.T.B’s [Wolff’s Telegraphic Bureau’s] many falsifications that says the Left-wing Social Revolutionaries carried out these assassinations at the instigation or on the orders of the Entente. These assassinations were intended either as a signal for a mass uprising against German rule or they were only impulsive acts of revenge born of despair and hatred of the bloody German rule. However, whatever their intention, they gravely endangered the cause of the revolution in Russia by creating divisions within the hitherto ruling socialist groups. They drove a wedge between the Bolsheviks and the Left-wing Social Revolutionaries indeed, they created an abyss and a mortal enmity between the two wings of the revolutionary army.

Admittedly the social differences – the antithesis between the property-owning peasantry and the peasant-proletariat and others – would sooner or later have created a split between the Bolsheviks and the Left-wing Social Revolutionaries. Until the Mirbach assassination, however, events did not appear to have progressed so far. In any case, it is a fact that the Left-wing Social Revolutionaries lent their support to the Bolsheviks. The October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to the helm, the breaking up of the Constituent Assembly, the Bolsheviks’ reform until now, would have hardly been possible without the co-operation of the Left-wing Social Revolutionaries. Only Brest-Litovsk and its after-effects drove the wedge between the two wings. Now German imperialism appears as the arbiter between the Bolsheviks an their revolutionary allies of yesterday, just as it is the arbiter of their (the Bolsheviks’) relations with the Russian border provinces and their neighbouring states. Because of this, the resistance to the Bolsheviks’ rule and reform measures, huge in any case, will increase. Because of this, it is clear that the basis upon which their rule rests has been significantly diminished. Probably this internal falling-out and division of the heterogeneous elements of the revolution was inevitable, just as it is inevitable in the progressive radicalization of every developing revolution. Now, however, a controversy over the brutal German military dictatorship as in fact entered into the Russian Revolution. German imperialism is the thorn in the flesh of the Russian Revolution.

Yet this is not the full extent of the danger! The iron circle of the world war, which seemed to have been broken in the east, is once again relentlessly encompassing the whole world: the Entente is advancing with Czech and Japanese troops from the north and east as a natural, inevitable consequence of Germany’s offensive from the west and south. The flames of the world war are leaping across Russian soil and at any moment may engulf the Russian Revolution. To withdraw from the world war – even at the price of the greatest sacrifices – is something which, at the final analysis, it is simply impossible for Russia to do.

And now the most terrible prospect looms ahead of the Bolsheviks, the final stage of their path and thorns – an alliance between the Bolsheviks and Germany! This, to be sure, would forge the final link in that disastrous chain which the world war has hung around the neck of the Russian Revolution: first retreat, then capitulation and finally an alliance with German imperialism. In this way the Russian Revolution would be dragged by the world war, from which it sought to withdraw at any price, over to the opposite camp – from the side of the Entente while under the Tsar to German side under the Bolsheviks.

It is to the everlasting credit of the Russian revolutionary proletariat that its first gesture following the outbreak of the revolution was a refusal to continue to fight as a levies of Franco-English imperialism. In view of the international situation, however, to render military service to German imperialism is even worse.

Trotsky is supposed to have said that if Russia had to choose between Japanese and German occupation, she would choose the latter, since Germany was far more ripe from revolution than Japan. The agonizing aspect of this speculation is obvious. For Japan is not Germany’s only opponent so, too, are England and France, and of these no one is able to say whether or not their internal situations are more favourable than Germany’s to the proletarian revolution.

Trotsky’s reasoning is completely wrong, however, since the prospects and possibilities of a revolution in Germany are dimmed each time German militarism is strengthened or gains a victory.

But then other considerations, quite different from these apparently realistic ones, must be taken into account. An alliance between the Bolsheviks and German imperialism would be the most terrible moral blow that could be delivered against international socialism. Russia was the one last corner where revolutionary socialism, purity of principle an ideals, still held away. It was a place to which all sincere socialist elements in Germany and Europe could look in order to find relief from the disgust they felt at the practice of the West European labor movement, in order to arm themselves with the courage to persevere and in faith in pure actions and sacred words. The grotesque ‘coupling’ of Lenin and Hindenburg would extinguish the source of moral light in the east. It is obvious that the German rulers are holding a gun to the Soviet government’s head and are exploiting its desperate situation in order to force this monstrous alliance upon it. But we hope that Lenin and his friends do not surrender a any price and that they answer this unreasonable demand with a categorical: ‘This far but no further!’

A socialist revolution supported by German bayonets, the dictatorship of the proletariat under the patronage of German imperialism – this would be the most monstrous event that we could hope to witness. And what is more, it would be pure utopianism. Quite apart from the fact that the moral prestige of the Bolsheviks would be destroyed in the country, they would lose all freedom of movement and independence even in domestic policy, and within a very shirt time would disappear from the scene altogether. Any child can see that Germany is only waiting for an opportunity of combining with a Milyukov, a Hetman or God knows what other obscure gentleman and political dabblers, to put an end to the Bolshevik splendor. They await merely an opportunity for casting Lenin and comrades (as they cast the Ukrainians, the Lybinskys and the rest) in the role of Trojan horse, a role which, when played out, means suicide for the actors.

If this were to be happen, all the sacrifices until now, including the great sacrifice of Brest-Litovsk, would have been totally in vain, for the price of the sacrifice would ultimately be moral bankruptcy. Any political destruction of the Bolsheviks in a honest struggle against the overwhelming forces and hostile pressures of the historical situation would be preferable to the moral destruction.

The Bolsheviks have certainly made a number of mistakes in their policies and are perhaps still making them – but where is the revolution in which no mistakes have been made! The notion of a revolutionary policy without mistakes, and moreover, in a totally unprecedented situation, is so absurd that it is worthy only of a German schoolmaster. If the so-called leaders of German socialism lose their so-called heads in such an unusual situation as a vote in the Reichstag, and if their hearts sink into their boots and they forget all the socialism they ever learned in situation in which the simple abc of socialism clearly pointed the way – could one expect a party caught up in a truly thorny situation, in which it would show the world new wonders, not to make mistakes?

The awkward position that the Bolsheviks are in today, however, is, together with most of their mistakes, a consequence of basic insolubility of the problem posed to them by he international, above all the German, proletariat. To carry out the dictatorship of the proletariat and a socialist revolution in a single country surrounded by reactionary imperialist rule and in the fury of the bloodiest world war in human history – that is squaring the circle. Any socialist party would have to fail in this task and perish – whether or not it made self-renunciation the guiding star of its policies.

We would like to see the spineless jelly-fish, the moaners, the Axelrods, Dans, Grigoryans or whatever their names are, who, mouths frothing, sing their plaintive song against the Bolsheviks in foreign lands. And – just look! – they have found a sympathetic ear in such heroes as Ströbel, Bernstein and Kautsky we would like to see these Germans in the Bolsheviks’ place! All their superior understanding would rapidly exhaust itself in an alliance with the Milyukovs in domestic policy and with the Entente in foreign policy to this would be added a conscious renunciation of all socialist reforms, or even of any move in this direction, in domestic policy – all this due to the conscious eunuch wisdom that says Russia is an agricultural country and Russian capitalism is not adequately cooked.

Such is the false logic of the objective situation: any socialist party that came to power in Russia today must pursue the wrong tactics so long as it, as part of the international proletarian army, is left in the lurch by the main body of this army.

The blame of the Bolsheviks’ failures is borne in the final analysis by the international proletariat and above all by the unprecedented and persistent baseness of German Social Democracy. This party which in peace-time pretended to march at the head of the world proletariat, which presumed to advise and lead the whole world, which in its own country counted at least ten million supporters of both sexes – this is the party which has nailed socialism to the cross twenty-four hours a day for the four years at the bidding of the ruling class like venal mercenaries of the Middle Ages.

The news now arriving from Russia about the situation of the Bolsheviks is a moving appeal to what vestiges of honour remain in the masses of German workers and soldiers. They have cold-bloodedly left the Russian Revolution to be torn to pieces, encircled and starve out. Let them now intervene, even at the eleventh hour, to save the revolution from the most terrible fate: from moral suicide, from an alliance with German imperialism.

There is only one solution to the tragedy in which Russia in caught up: an uprising at the rear of German imperialism, the German mass rising, which can signal the international revolution to put an end to this genocide. At this fateful moment, preserving the honour of the Russian Revolution is identical with vindicating that of the German proletariat and of international socialists.

    Eberlein had been issued an imperative mandate to vote against an immediate founding of the Third International by the Central Committee of the German Communist Party, and according to Ernst Meyr, he was even under an obligation to leave the conference should the objections of the KPD be rejected. It must be recalled that Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogisches, based on their Polish experiences, had no faith in the hegemonic pretensions of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Rosa Luxemburg was also perfectly aware, in the wake of the isolation of the Russian revolution after Brest-Litovsk, of the deformations suffered by the Soviet power and was apprehensive, as long as the international movement had not led to the victory of the proletariat in other countries, or at least to the formation of real communist organizations in other countries, concerning the possibility that the new International would become a feudal preserve of the Bolsheviks and would be transformed into a simple instrument for the defense of the Russian State. Eberlein, whose speech as set forth above falls far short of expressing the whole content of Rosa Luxemburg’s analysis and fears, reneged on his mandate and contented himself with abstaining from the vote on the foundation of the Third International. A conference convoked by groups such as the British Labor Party and the German Independent Social Democrats (USPD), which had taken place in Berne in December 1918, whose purpose was to resuscitate the Second International. Jean Longuet, the nephew of Karl Marx, and a member of the French Socialist Party, approved of the attempts to reestablish the Second International. Viewed by the Bolsheviks as the very model of a yellow social democrat, his exclusion would be the object of a special request made by Zinoview by telegram to the 1920 Tours Congress of the French Socialist Party. With the founding of the French Communist Party that resulted from that Congress, Longuet would join Blum and the minority fraction. Christian Rakovski was considered to represent the Balkan social democratic federation that was proclaimed in 1915, but this federation barely had any real existence in March 1919. In fact, his activity in Russia after May 1917 led to his becoming a high level member of the Bolshevik Party and his proposal in favor of the immediate foundation of the Third International at the third session of the Congress played a decisive role in overcoming the hesitations aroused by Eberlein’s dissenting position. It would have been interesting to publish a more extensive excerpt from Osinski’s article, or even the entire article. But since our translation is based on a Spanish translation, which was in turn translated from the German (See Democracia de Trabajadores or Dictadura de Partido , Zero, pp. 81-83), we have preferred instead to limit the risks of misinterpreting the ideas expressed in this article.

Furthermore, in the continuation of the passage quoted above, Osinski engages in a polemic with Lenin that is based essentially on the point of view of the Russian economy. And the critiques he articulates do not make the direct connection, as does the passage quoted above, between the roots of Lenin’s policies and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk . Even though many of his points are correct, they lead to proposals that express all of the illusions of the left communists concerning integral nationalization and workers control from below that we have already discussed above.


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