by , translated by 莫紀彭
Blood And Iron.
Who is responsible? Now, when the red deluge has so suddenly andunexpectedly surprised the whole of Europe, we hear on every hand thesame question: Who is respousuble?
Evedently, each country has its own particular answer to thequery. The rulers of every land throw the blame on their rivals, andthe Press, whose special concern it is to manufacture "public opinion," makes the necessary observations and comments. The Kaiser declaresthat it was enemies of Germany who compelled him to wage war, andthat he was the sole perdon in Europe who continually strove tomaintain peace among the European nations. In England and France, onthe other hand, the Kaiser is the "mad dog" of Europe, the only onewho continually hindered and disturbed the peaceful relations of itsown peoples. And the Tsar, the red- handed executioner of Russianfreedom, who converted Russia into a huge cemetery, and endeavouredto stifle the lost hope of his oppressed subjects in a sea of blood - he talks of a holy war, a Just war, in order to ensure the happinessand well-being of Europe!
And in all lands the sounding church-bells ars Olling the piousChristians to come and unite their prayrs that the Lord shoulddestroy the enemy, and bless "their banners" The same God! thesame Christians! the same Gospel, whose founder said,
"Love thy nighbour as thyself"!
What scandalous comedy! And how deep the ignorance and deceptionof the people who neither will nor can see this colossal fraud, andthe unserupulous intrigues of their oppressors.
Who is responsible? You ask. Do not look for the responsibilityin others. Look for it in yourselves. Seek it in the cursed systemwhose victims we all are; in the State eapitalistic civilisationwhich is based on arganised violence, on the shameful exploitation ofall the nations!
You do not know, it seems, that we have been living in a stateof war for many, many years past; You have ignored the war that isbeing waged daily in our beautiful soeiety, therefore younow have areal war. You were silent when men, women, and children fell in greatnumbers upon the industrial field, therefore you now see your sonsfalling on the battlefield. For the same powers that deprived you ofthe fruits of your labour, and compelled you by hunger and starvationto create riches foraminority of privileged thieves and idlers - thesame powers will now take away the lives of your sons and brothers, and force you with their guns to die for their interests.
In a ward, you did not want the revolution, so you now have war - the whalesale murder of the nations. The revolutionarise onlyappeared to you as Utopians, dreamers, unpractical men. Your rulerswere more practical, and the thunder of cannon, lacerated humanbodies, and rivers of blood now speak to you of the results of theirpractieability.
Who is to blame? Capitalism and its twin- brother, the modernState! Your yourselves are to blame, because you ignored the greatdoctrine of anew social cuilture, because you would not prevent thecotastrophe while there was yet time to do so.
No one knows what the future has in store for us. One thing, however, is certain:Capitalism is war - Socialism means peace amongthe nations. So long as the producing classes will allow a minorityof privileged robbers to monapolise the fruit of their labour, and tocondemn millions of human beings to a state of eternal misery, justso long will you have war among the different recesand notionalities. The immense fortunes that are to-day accumulating within the handsofafew do not arise merely from the usual explaitation of workman bythe master or manufacturer, but are the result of interationalspeculations in the great hunt for the domintion of the world'smarkets. That is why Copitalism in every country was obliged toincrease the power of the modern state, and to develop militarism tosuch mad proportions. For a strong military and centralised State isthe only guarantee for the realisation of madern Imperialistictendencies of Capitalism wery where. But Imperialism means nothingelse but the econcomic exploitation of other nations, upon the basisof the exploitation of its own people. In other words, militarism isthe inevitable result of the capitalistic regime, and therefore thecause of ceaseless strife.
The gient misfortuue is, that the majority of people cannot seethe connestion, and many will gauge the culture of a nation by thestrength of its armies and its external technical improvements. Butthis is one of the greatest mistakes ever made. Germany offers us thebest instance for this. The national unity of that country, under thesupreme rule of Prussia, upon a basis of extreme militarism and anall-powerful bureaucracy, has certainly not produced what we callGerman culture. On the contrary, that unity has proved the greatesthendrance to the development of a true popular culture, and hasalways endeavaured to force the spiritual powers of the German peopledown to the level ef the barracks.
The finest examples of German culture were produced before themilitary system and the renowned unity came into being.
Theclossical philosoply of German, her wonderful art and literature —allthat developed when the country comsisted of separate little kingdoms, and had not yet come under the influence and domination of Prussianculture hating militarism.
The so-called nation alunity and the conversion of Germany into amilitary State have not doubt been a great gain for German capitalism, but by no means for the culture of the German people. Under therule of militarism, Germany has become a peril to the intellectualdevelopment of Europe, and a German victory in this war would be agreat blow to every libertarian movement in Europe, a blow to theGeaman people tnemselves.
The violation of France in 18.70, and the annexation of Alsace- Lorraine, were the real causes of the crazy development ofmilitarism in Europe. It is also known that Bismarck and the PrussianJunker class intended to make of France what has been made of Polane. To this end Bismarck carried on secret negotiations with England, andFrance was obliged to throw herself into the bloody arms of the Tsarin order to maintain her ixistence as an independent State. As aresult of this we have witnessed the frightful development ofChauvinism all over Europe, the wealsening of revolutionary andlibertariam Socialism, and the trumph of the dread reaction underwhich the European peoples are groaning to this day.
The present war, the most outrageaus crime mankind has ever seen, is but the last word of this reaction, the last word of Imperialcapitalism and the military state.
And not only in Germany, but wherever this system exists, thesame results will follow. The best constitutions and most glorioustraditious of liberty will not prevent their evil consequences.
"You cannot combat militarism by means of Parliament. " Thissentence was already pronounced as far back as forty years ago by olddemocrat Johan Jokobi. A new revolutionary renaissance of theEuropean peaples is the only means against this dreadly enemy osmankind.
And it is not unlikely that the present bloody catastraph e willat last awaken the peoyle from their indifference. The bitter painfearful suffering will perhaps make a deeper impression than the wordsof the revolutionaries. It is possible that the social Revolutionwill be the last act in the present traged; possible that murderousmilitarism will be drowned in the blood of its numberless victems;that the people of the different countries will unite against thebloody regime of modern copitalism and its institutions, and finallyproduce a new social culture upon the basis of free Socialism.
At the same time the progressive elements must not lose couragehowever great the disaster that has befallenus. We must be an ourguard, and if necessary, risk our lives for the trumph of a newsocial order.
|This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.|