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Socialism and War

Socialism and War

Published in Pravda No. 52, May 22 (9), 1917.

Novaya Zhizn for May 7 publishes interviews with ministers of the ''new'' government. Prime Minister Lvov has declared that ''the country must have its weighty say and send its army into battle''.

This is the sum and substance of the new government’s ''programme''. An offensive, an offensive, an offensive!

Published in Pravda No. 47, May 16 (3), 1917.

Published in Pravda No. 47, May 16 (3), 1917.

That is what the proclamation of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet to the socialists of the world, published in today’s papers, amounts to. It has a lot to say against imperialism, but all these words are nullified by a single little phrase which reads:

“The Provisional Government of revolutionary Russia has adopted this platform” (i.e., peace without annexations and indemnities on the basis of self-determination of nations).

Published in Pravda No. 46, May 15 (2), 1917.

Published in Pravda No. 43, May 11 (April 28), 1917.

The capitalists either sneer at the fraternisation of the soldiers at the front or savagely attack it. By lies and slander they try to make out that the whole thing is “deception” of the Russians by the Germans, and threaten—through their generals and officers—punishment for fraternisation.

The question of chief interest, now, to the governments and the peoples of the world is, What will be the influence of the Russian Revolution on the War? Will it bring peace nearer? Or will the revolutionary enthusiasm of the people swing towards a more vigorous prosecution of the war?

First published in Russian in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVII.Published in Volksrecht Nos. 26 and 27, January 31 and February 1, 1917. Written (in German) between January 13 and 17 (26 and 30), 1917. Translated from the German. Published according to the manuscript.

Written in January 1917, Lenin analyses the cynical imperialist manoeuvres behind World War One and puts forward the proletarian revolutionary alternative as the only way out of the impasse for the working class.

The international situation is becoming increasingly clear and increasingly menacing. Both belligerent coalitions have latterly revealed the imperialist nature of the war in a very striking way. The more assiduously the capitalist governments and the bourgeois and socialist pacifists spread their empty, lying pacifist phrases—the talk of a democratic peace, a peace without annexations, etc.—the sooner are they exposed. Germany is crushing several small nations under her iron heel with the very evident determination not to give up her booty except by exchanging part of it for enormous colonial possessions, and she is using hypocritical pacifist phrases as a cover for her readiness to conclude an immediate imperialist peace.

A Marxist answer to the utopian idea that we can achieve peace through disarmament without doing away with the capitalist system - as relevant today as when it was first written by Lenin.