Note on the Author

Marcus Graham’s name is well known to the militant working class movement in the United States and Canada, but he may need some introduction to English readers. During the last war he spoke at many meetings against conscription and the war in Montreal, and later edited an underground anarchist paper in Toronto. Leaving Canada for the United States, he became editor of another anarchist paper. During the years which followed the war, he worked in London, Canada and the United States once more. As editor of the Anarchist paper Free Society, he was arrested; and on February 21st, 1929, was subjected to the Third Degree. After being held for six months on Ellis Island, however, he was released and bail was returned. In 1929 he published an Anthology of Revolutionary Poetry, the most thoroughgoing work of its kind yet issued. In subsequent years, he is chiefly known as editor of the Los Angeles paper Man. With the outbreak of the present war, the American ruling class renewed their attack on Marcus Graham, and Man was suppressed in 1940. His pamphlet, The Issues of the Present War, originally written as a reply to a pro-war anarchist, constitutes a profound attack on the whole tissue of pretensions whereby the imperialist groups seek to justify the second world war within a generation.


Publisher’s Note

DURING THE WAR of 1914–1918 Rudolf Rocker adopted an uncompromisingly anti-war position. He wrote vigorously against those among the socialists, and even among the anarchists, who had deserted international working-class solidarity in favour of support for one or other of the imperialist groups. Between the two wars he played a prominent part in the Anarchist Syndicalist movement. All the more reason for regret that, in the present war, he has taken up the position he so effectively attacked in the last. The present pamphlet was written as a refutation of the arguments Rocker put forward in the New York Freie Arbeiter Stimme. Marcus Graham answers Rocker point by point and completely demolishes his defence—for Rocker is really seeking to defend an untenable position.

This pamphlet was written in the early spring of 1942—a few months after America and Japan had entered the war. A few of its chapters were published in the London Anarchist paper War Commentary at the time, but several factors have since delayed its publication in full. Nevertheless, its appearance at the present moment is especially timely, for the events of the past two years have sewed to amplify and confirm Marcus Graham’s argument. One might cite as outstanding examples the collaboration with Darlan and the support afforded to Badoglio. Marcus Graham’s arguments derive greater force, moreover, from the fact that they are drawn, not from opposition or anti-war sources, but from the capitalist press and the capitalist politicians’ speeches. The Anarchist movement in this country upholds and proclaims the international solidarity of the working class; the struggle of the workers of all lands against the ruling class which exploits and oppresses them. In the Appendix is printed the Manifesto of the Anarchist Federation on War. We invite the adherence of the Anarchist movements in other countries to the principles it maintains.

London, April, 1944.


“That the present war ... cannot be measured by the standards of military conflicts of the past, is beginning to be realised even by those who believe that historical facts can be denied through aged theories.”—RUDOLF ROCKER.

Thus begins Rocker’s dictum article “The Order of the Hour.” In the first place he declares that anarchist “theories” are aged and therefore no longer valid, and secondly he charges some members of our movement with using “aged theories” in order to deny “historical facts”. He winds up by saying that even the latter are beginning to “realise” this.

Rocker does not offer a single proof of his assertion that all members of the anarchist movement are now taking the same position as himself.

In Great Britain the anarchist movement publishes the periodical War Commentary, now in its fourth year. It is unalterably opposed to the present war because of these “aged theories” that Rocker has discarded. In the United States there was the periodical Man! which was forced to suspend publication in May, 1940—because it was uncompromisingly opposed to the attempt of the “democratic” Government to drag that country into the war. In the same country are the organs of the Italian and Spanish anarchists who have also remained true to their principles in their attitude to the war. In the Argentine the Spanish and Jewish organs of our movement are doing likewise. Anarchist papers in all countries where they exist, and in whatever language they appear, have also remained true to their ideas.

There are some exceptions. There is the organ of the Jewish anarchists in the United States, in whose pages Rocker’s article originally appeared, which takes the same attitude as he, and G. Maximov, editor of the Russian: anarchist paper in the U.S., has adopted a similar position.

Rocker’s sweeping statement, quoted above, is then, to say the least, a mis-statement of the factual situation.

In order to see whether the anarchist approach to past wars is also applicable to the present one, we shall now proceed to examine its causes. And in order to back up our assertion that this position has remained as sound as it ever was, we shall not make use of any statement or studies from the press of our movement, or from the books of our theoreticians. Instead we shall use the most recent statements available, all by those who are espousing the Allied cause.

Economics in This War

What are the principal causes of the war? The rich man’s magazine Fortune, published in the U.S., answers this question in its issue of January, 1942, in an article by a prominent attorney and in an editorial article. We quote first from the article of the attorney, John Foster Dulles:

“The outbreak of the second world war was preceded by trade strangulation without precedent in the time of peace. No one can doubt that this was a contributing cause of the war. It is demonstrable that trade controls relate directly to peace ... There is in Japan a population of 75 millions occupying an area smaller than California. Japan is almost barren of natural resources ... it must have large exports. Otherwise they cannot pay for their needed imports. Without such means of payment Japan is in effect blockaded.”

Now we quote from the editorial, Europe:

“Germany’s economic problem ... was to secure through war the European production she could not get through free trade ... If she is left in unchallenged possession of the Continent ... she will make all of it a German colonial empire, a supplier of foodstuffs and raw materials and a consumer of German manufactures ... The ultimate objective of the New Order ... is the capture of industrial machinery and services of Europe.”

And a United States Senator, Edwin C. Johnson, speaking before a convention of the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers at Denver, Col. on July 7th, 1941, said, in part:

“The challenge which the despised Nazis have forced upon us, luckily largely due to the fortunes of geography, is not military—it is industrial ... The extraordinary efficiency of the Nazis has staggered the imagination of the world ... Those who can have no faith that we, as firemen, can become equally efficient are demanding that our competitors be crushed now with our military might ... Isn’t it just a little illogical to think that we can crush them with military might, but cannot compete with them in commerce?”

Balance of Power in the Present War

Imperialism, that is the rule and exploitation by one country of others, plays one of the most important parts in the causes of the war. Just how closely both the democratic and fascist countries are involved in playing the imperialist game is made clear in an article which appeared in the daily newspaper Christian Science Monitor on December 11th, 1941. The writer, Argus, headed the article with the significant title: Japan Shakes World Power; Policy of Britain and the United States at stake. In it he said:

“This policy, though it has had different names at different times, has always been some form of balance of power ... Britain has not always tried for the same balance. When Russia, by the treaty of San Stefano in 1878, threatened to increase its hold on the Balkans, bringing it close to Constantinople, Britain joined Germany in blocking the move. When Germany began warring over the Berlin to Bagdad Railway in 1914, Britain joined with Russia to block the move. Despite reshuffliings, however, the principle of the balance remained ... Ever since Lord Salisbury in 1902 dignified the oriental island kingdom with a treaty virtually guaranteeing it a free hand in the Far East, British imperialists have looked upon the Japanese not only to safeguard their Far Eastern possessions, but more especially to preserve the general balance by serving as a check on Russia who, whether friendly or otherwise, whether Czarist or Stalinist, was so huge and so eager for a warm port around the East Mediterranean. To-day Russia is the ally: Japan is the enemy, with Tokio’s policy expanding far beyond its early role of obliging a zealous collaborator ... If Japan were to develop ambitions, however, they were not likely to be held in check either by the British or by the French, who also needed Japan’s co-operation for maintaining the security of their empire in Indo-China ... The British treaty ... virtually guaranteed Japan freedom from British interference in any adventure against China or Russia ... so Japan, with Britain’s blessing walked into China and out of the League (of Nations) ... But Japan intimated that it considered Britain’s star in the Pacific to be on the decline, and in 1936 signed the anti-Comintern Pact with Hitler, soon setting out upon the full invasion of China ... As recently as July, 1940, the present Churchill Government made a further attempt at appeasement by closing the Burma Road to Chinese supplies ... It was this process that first opened the way for an aggressive policy, not only in Japan, but also Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. In each case the needs of balancing up have caused imperialists to overlook initial lawless moves that have led to the appalling conditions that now face the world.”

Could any worse or more terse indictment against the so-called “democratic” powers be brought forward? As Argus appears to have left the interests of the United States’ imperialists aside, we shall quote other sources in order to complete the picture of the “democracies”.

United States’ Role in Imperialism

In an article, Japan’s Dilemma, appearing in the Yale Review, winter issue for 1942, Prof. Nathaniel Peffer writes:

“The first principle of the so-called ‘new-order’ in East Asia is a regional self-sufficiency. The projected design is that of an autarchy in which all economic activity would be rationalised with the object of military power ... China’s place in that design would be that of a reservoir of raw materials. And since China would not be industrially developed the prospect of a Chinese market for American and other Western countries would fade.”

How the U.S. Was gradually drawn into the imperialist war as a result of the capitalist interests aiming to retain old markets and acquire new, and as yet undeveloped ones, is made only too clear by Upton Close in an article “America’s Role in the Pacific”, appearing in the American Mercury of September, 1941. He writes:

“We Americans—though anti-imperialists in temper and intention as we block the empire-building of Hitler and Hirohito—are having an empire dumped in our laps. It is an empire larger, richer in potentialities, than all the realms bounded in Mein Kampf. The empire of the Pacific ... We are saving the Pacific basin from the cruder sort of empire-building by others, and in doing it are setting up an American protectorate. Americans are still largely unconscious of his, but the Japanese are not ... Our expansion is not theoretical and not temporary. We are building permanent works from Bering Strait to the South Sea, we are lending money—in the old days it would have been called subsidising—to imperial dependencies ... It does not follow that Britain is through in the Pacific ... Protectorate is the first step of empire. We rather than Germany or Japan or Russia or England seem likely to emerge from this war with the making of an empire.”

And one of the leaders of the U.S. Army in the last world war, General Hugh S. Johnson, penned these prophetic words in his syndicated column for November 11th, 1941:

“We don’t want war. The Japanese people don’t want war. It is hard to say what verdict history will write of our getting into war ... but if the writing of past history is any guide, it won’t be very flattering. It will probably be that we did it to destroy a rival naval power that we felt might some day menace us, and to preserve the British Empire.”

Although the statements of Upton Close and Hugh S. Johnson do not stress the economic issue of markets to the same extent as Nathaniel Peffer, it does not therefore follow that this is not one of the main causes of the war. For imperialism is based upon the exploitation of markets by capitalist interests. It is through governments, which serve as armed force, that the capitalist system wages its economic and physical wars to achieve its aims.

For a much clearer picture of the U.S. role in the war and an exposure of the imperialist game it is playing on behalf of the capitalist interests, we shall quote from a trenchant study “Economic Defence of Latin America” by Percy W. Bidwell, Director of Studies of the Council of Foreign Relations. It was published in May, 1941, by the Peace Foundation of Boston, Mass. He writes:

“Public opinion in the U.S. was not greatly concerned about the inroads of the Nazis in the economic and political life of South-Eastern Europe. Our trade interests in that area were small ... imports from that area ... less than 2% ... exports were 1% ... But Latin America was a horse of another colour. Popularly, as well as officially, the Monroe Doctrine had been interpreted to mean that we had special interests in that area. We regularly sold between 15 and 20% of our exports to Latin American purchasers ... The requirement that purchases should be matched by purchases from Germany diverted buying from American suppliers[1] ... In competing with these trading methods the U.S. exporters were greatly handicapped ... We had no vast rearmament programme like Germany’s. Unemployment held down our consumption of tropical foodstuffs ... They (Latin America) furnish a market for 500–600 million of American products ... Our investors have lent freely to the republics, and our business men have large commitments in branch factories, in mines and oil wells, and in public utilities.”

The evidence we have presented makes it quite clear that the main cause of the present war—just as it was the cause of the last world war—is the exploitation of markets by the industrialists of both the so-called “democracies” and the Nazi and fascist powers. It is, then, this industrialist class which alone stands to gain from all such wars, while the masses are the sole losers.

This war can only be measured by the same standards as those by which the anarchist movement has measured previous wars. Because a truth is “aged” it does not therefore become an untruth. It is only when one changes one’s beliefs and lacks the courage to admit it that such a change has to be hidden by assuming a contemptuous attitude towards one’s former principles. And this is what we believe that Rudolf Rocker has proved himself guilty of by his article “*The Order of the Hour[2].”


“Even though one is the bitterest opponent of the present economic system, to assert that the present war is being waged solely in the interests of capitalist groups is such a twisting of the truth, that worse could not be invented.”—RUDOLF ROCKER.

We have already refuted the above contention, but we have by no means exhausted the evidence that we intend to bring forward. So far we have only cited markets and imperialism as factors that bring about war. We shall now go on to deal with the other evil purposes that are served for the capitalist system by armaments and war.

The Armament Industry

The armament industry has been exposed many times; it has rightly been called the “Merchants of Death Industry” and it has been proved how international in scope it has been. But it is not out of place to point out here that the armament factories of the fascist countries have, as partners, capitalist investors from the “democratic” countries—just as the armament factories in the “democratic” countries have, as part owners, capitalist investors from the fascist countries. It is only in wartime that the supposedly enemy governments “freeze the assets” of each other. The “freezing” however, is only for the duration. When the peoples’ blood-bath ends, the “merchants of death” are given back their “frozen assets,” plus their share of the profits that have accrued to the armament plants during the war.

A striking illustration of the international way in which capitalism runs the armament industry, is given in an Associated Press wire of January 9th, 1942. It relates the testimony given at Washington, D.C., by Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold before a House Military Affairs Committee. We quote from this wire:

“Reluctant, he said, to single out any particular company, Arnold cited the cartel arrangement by the Aluminium Company of America to control production of the metal vital to the manufacture of planes. Through that arrangement, he said, the American firm and the industry in Britain, Germany, Canada, France and Switzerland divided the world into markets and decided how much aliuninium would be produced on a percentage basis. He stressed again that the Aluminium Company of America was not alone in participating in cartels.”

Another example of the close relationship between the powers that rule the people and the armament industry was recently given by the “re-organisation” of the General Aniline and Film Corporation—a German organised industry in the U.S., which is one of the largest producers of defence chemicals, dyes and photographic equipment. In order to cover up the large German element in the ownership, the firm added to its board of directors such people as former Judge John E. Mack, of the New York Supreme Court, and William C. Bullitt, former Ambassador to France—both of whom are close to the Roosevelt administration.

“Enemy” Governments and Arms Supplies

Having shown how internationally-minded the capitalists in charge of the armament industry are, little surprise will be caused by the fact that these same people sell the sinews of war—for cash—to both “friend” and “foe” alike. Let us give some illustrations of how this is carried out.

The United States government has professed to be a friend of the Chinese people, and has sold arms and even provided “advisory” generals throughout their present war with Japan. The reasons for this unusual friendship have, of course, already been pointed out—China is a prospective market for the American capitalists. But has this friendship for China stopped the armament industry of the United States—with the connivance of the Government—from also supplying arms to the Japanese? Not at all!

Bulletin No. 10, 1941, of the U.S. Department of Commerce, supplemented by release of May 22nd, 1941, reveals that in 1940 the United States supplied Japan with 22,667,000 barrels of petroleum and its products, to a value of $54,000,000. And in the first three months of 1941, Japan bought from the U.S. 713,000 barrels of the same products. The same Bulletin also reveals that in 1940 Japan was sold by the U.S. 963,000 tons of scrap iron and steel. Reginald Sweetland, writing in The Chicago Daily News of January 3rd, 1942, on “War Supplies and Economy,” sums up the consequences of this sort of double-dealing, when he says:—

“Japan has always lacked raw materials, and we have always supplied them in generous quantities. The Japanese have generously paid us cash, or sold us silk and we called them honest business men ... Japan ... got what it could, stored and hoarded. The present war is being fought with those stored materials.”

This by no means completes the picture however. The United States was unofficially at war with the fascist countries from almost the first day of hostilities, and one would therefore suppose that no goods would be supplied to the enemy. But a very different picture is given by a series of articles by I. F. Stone in the New York paper P.M. We quote from one of these articles, which appeared in the issue of November 17th, 1941:

“While other oil shipments to Spain may be defended as merely a supply of Spain’s own minimum needs, shipments of aviation lubricating oil in the last three months, according to Treasury records, totalled 42,820 barrels ... if these figures were correct the oil probably was being flown to Nazi air bases for the use of the Luftwaffe ... The State Department, generally pro-Franco during the Spanish Civil war, says we must keep Spain supplied ... to prevent an ‘outbreak of disorder’ that would overthrow Franco ... ”

Stone’s statements not only reveal the way in which the U.S. is continuing to supply war material to the “enemy”, but also that it is prompted to do so by sinister counter-revolutionary motives.

Another illustration of the inconsistency of the war between the “democratic” and fascist powers was given on the radio, and was retold in an editorial of the daily Portland Oregonian of September 24th, 1941. It speaks for itself:

“John N. Hughes, in his news broadcast over the Mutual network last Thursday ... alleged that since the British embargo against Japan was imposed eleven months ago, fourteen Greek ships bearing war supplies have cleared from British Columbia ports for Niponese Ports. In all cases the crews have protested against this carrying of aid to an Axis power. The crew of the Greek ship, the Elizabeth, is alleged to have been jailed secretly for five weeks at Okalla, British Columbia, because they refused to sail; the crew of another, the Boris, is said to have held up departure for a year ... The answer of the Canadian Government is said to be that the Canadian Government is following the lead of the British Government, and that the British Government in turn is following the lead of the U.S. Government.”

One could go on and on giving proofs that the wanton mercenary profiteering interests of the capitalist class stand out in all their ugliness in the present war as they have done in the past wars of our times. And it follows naturally that it is these ruling and exploiting interests which are the only ones to benefit from armaments and wars. The oppressed in every land are merely tools and victims for the manufacture of armaments and for cannon-fodder.

3 Militarism and Economic Crisis

“When the world is liberated from the militarisation of social life, from all forms of the totalitarian ant-state— only then will new possibilities be opened up for constructive creating and building.”—RUDOLF ROCKER.

No state, be it monarchic or democratic, fascist or bolshevik, can exist without militarism, that is, without a standing army. No-one will dispute that “the militarising of social life” of which Rocker speaks, is a bulwark against any hope of liberation for mankind. It is to be noted however, that he does not speak of all states but singles out only the totalitarian state, and one therefore must draw the conclusion that, according to him, the “democratic” states have not militarised social life, and are consequently not bulwarks against man in his struggle for emancipation. We challenge this concept as being incorrect, and shall bring forward proof to substantiate our contention.

The Nazi Economic Planning

Many people have asked themselves why the Nazi and fascist regimes have succeeded in holding sway over, their subjects both in time of peace and war. One need hardly point out that behind both Hitler and Mussolini—in addition to the army generals—are men, who from the inception of both regimes, have made insidious economic plans by means of which both Nazism and fascism have been enabled to achieve a measure of success.

One of the most thorough analyses of the way in which the economic planning of Nazi Germany was mapped out, and the way in which the Nazis were forced to transform it into a war economy, is to be found in National Planning in Selected Countries, by Lewis L. Larwin, published in August, 1941 by the National Resources Planning Board of the U.S. Government, from which we shall continue to quote at some length:

“German National Socialism has presented itself to the world as a Weltanschauung (philosophy of life), a distinctive political and social system, and as a new method of economic organisation ... In its broadest sense, German planning since 1933 has been concerned, with the attainment of ends based on these ideological, political and social-economic ideas ... As the historical perspective lengthens, it becomes clearer that many of the innovations introduced by the Nazis had roots in pre-existing conditions and institutions. This is particularly true of war creation and employment planning.

“The measures taken by the German Government during this period may be grouped_as follows: (1) Relieving the pressure on the labour market. This was done by creating ‘substitute’ employment (2) By subsidies for the reconstruction and repair of dwellings. (3) Public work.

“In the second half of the year 1932, and very definitely by May, 1933, an improvement in Germany’s economic situation was noticeable ... When Hitler took power on January 30, 1933, the German economic situation ... was still extremely serious ... The most urgent problem was that of unemployment. On May 1, 1933, Hitler outlined a Four-Year Plan ‘for the rescue of the German peasant, to maintain the nation’s food supply, and to rescue the German worker by a powerful attack on unemployment ... ” Among the various other measures ... the granting of marriage loans was original ... The organisation of Voluntary Labour Service ... occupied between 200,000 and 250,000 young men between the ages of 18 and 25 ... The formation of Land Help Organs ... had the purpose of shifting young workers from the industrial areas to the farms ... the withdrawal of women from the industrial labour market to permit the re-employment of men in their place ... The control of labour mobility ... to stop the immigration of unemployed workers to the larger cities ... The re-distribution of jobs (‘Sharing of Work’) ... A number of measures of a miscellaneous character were also part of the general programme: the provision of 70 million Reichmarks for goods vouchers to give direct relief to the indigent, special loans for the building of small houses ... construction of a national system of roads ... total cost was .. 3,500 million marks.

“The first two years of the First Four Year Plan, while registering considerable success for the re-employment policies of the government, created certain difficulties and problems. The possibilities of the works projects were reaching a limit, the credit expansion facilities were being strained, prices were showing a tendency to rise, the balance of trade was becoming more and more unfavourable, and there was increasing doubt as to the ability of the government to carry its programme forward , .. There is no question that these difficulties were a factor in the development of the new domestic and foreign policies which marked the second phase of the First Four Year Plan. In any case they reinforced the general Nazi aims which resulted in the militarization of Germany and in strengthening the trend toward the reorganization of German economy on a war preparedness basis.

“A great deal of the effectiveness of the wartime planning in Germany is due to the fact that it is largely a continuation of the planning of 1933–1939 ... The Nazis have made efforts to maintain their consumption-goods industry, their systems of public works and public housing and to carry on another Four Year Plan ... the Nazis had incorporated the war into their economy instead of vice-versa; and are using the war merely as another instrument of general economic policy ... They are frank to say ... that under German conditions, war means less food, less clothing, more taxation and more appropriation of savings by the government. They are taking one-third of the national income in taxation, and a fourth or more in public borrowing.”

Larwin’s study also deals with planning in Sweden and in a few of the Latin American countries, and shows how, and to what extent, Nazi planning was copied in these countries with the same effect. The work deals chiefly with Germany however, and Italy is not dealt with, although Fascist planning was introduced there on similar lines long beforehand.

Larwin’s study reveals enough to enable one to draw one’s own conclusions. As the study was made for an agency of the U.S. government one would hardly expect Larwin to explain some pertinent questions which it raises. Why, for example, did “possibilities for works projects ... reach a limit”? Or, what forces caused “credit expansion facilities” to become “strained”? And what brought on the “rise” in “prices”? Last, but not least, why was “the balance of trade becoming more and more unfavourable, and there was increasing doubt as to the ability of the government to carry its programme forward”?

Had he given an answer to these questions, Larwin would have had to indict the entire capitalist system with its competition for markets and the devouring of enormous wealth by the state in its role of economic and political master-planner for capitalist interests. Furthermore, he would have had to indict the very capitalist “democracies” that hold the “balance of trade” in the world’s markets and in finance.

Let us then, examine more closely what, according to Larwin’s study, has happened in Germany. The capitalist class both inside and outside Germany was determined to destroy the Weimar Republic, in the same way as they were determined that the Italian workers should not overthrow capitalism, and it was thus that Nazism and Fascism were born. We shall deal with the role of the financial interests and governments of the “democracies” in aiding Nazism and Fascism to seize and hold power in a later chapter. At present we are chiefly concerned with analysing what happened in Germany under the Nazi regime.

As a result of the shameless Versailles treaty imposed by the victorious democracies, Germany was a prostrate nation, and it was in that treaty that the present war has its roots.

The first Four Year Plan was bound to cause inflation, in the same way as it was bound to reach a zenith in the carrying out of any ameliorations, because the entire plan was based on the profit motive—on retaining the capitalist-exploiter as well as the costly state machine. It is needless to emphasise that any cream that was going was eaten by the ruling class, little being left for the exploited. The failure of the economic planning began to become fully apparent, as Larwin points out, when the balance of trade became more and more unfavourable; that is to say, the stumbling block occurred owing to the inability to do trade in foreign markets.

Unwilling, like all governments, to admit defeat, the Nazis resorted to the same type of methods as Napoleon once tried out on the French people. The unemployment issue was resolved and a wave of patriotic chauvinism let loose. The persecution of the Jews, which had begun at the very inception of Nazism, was renewed with greater brutality and on a wider scale, and the Jew became a scape-goat, just as he was under Czarism in Russia. The chief issue, in the mouths of the Nazi propagandists, became the “freedom of the Fatherland.” It was by these methods that the ground was prepared for eventual war.

The reason why war with the “democratic” powers was envisaged, is to be found in the methods the Nazis employed to obtain markets for their industrial products. The barter system of trading with foreign capitalists was introduced, thereby, to some extent, balancing their import and export trade. This new system of trading greatly appealed to the minor capitalist powers, which were not highly industrialised, but in France, Great Britain and the United States it not only caused consternation, but actually drove the gold standard off the market. The “balance of power” became shaken and threatened with total collapse.

In order to meet this new menace, the “democratic” powers resolved to make war. This was commenced by an economic blockade or boycott and ended with the actual declaration of war by the Allied countries.

We now have some general idea of the reason why the Nazi and Fascist economic planning has made the German and Italian people feel that more was being done for them under those regimes than under any previous ones. Under these circumstances the ruling class was able to instal its war economy and send the people to the slaughter.

Economy Planning by the “Democracies”

The results of the Versailles Treaty were immediately prosperity for the victors; the kind of prosperity that follows in the wake of every war—capitalism’s dance over the dead and maimed, the fruits of the profit system.

When this artificial prosperity has run its course, economic crisis ensues.

Since the writer knows best the conditions in the United States, he will deal chiefly with the economic planning of that country. It should be borne in mind that the ruling class in France and Britain carried through much the same kind of planning, and our conclusions are therefore equally applicable to all three.

By a strange coincidence the Roosevelt administration came to power in the same month of the same year as the Hitler regime. The United States was, at that time, at the height of its economic crisis, following on the prosperity harvest of the war. Roosevelt had promised “a new deal for the forgotten man” and to “drive the money changers from the temples.” The new régime put its aims into practice in the following way.

The first step was the National Labour Relations Act, better known as the NRA, which not only put many near-bankrupt labour unions back on their feet, but also succeeded in making the worker believe that the new régime had his interests at heart. The shrewd section of the capitalist class which financed the political campaigns of the Roosevelt set-up and which has backed it ever since, know that an organised labour movement with a “responsible leadership” was the easiest way to subdue any revolutionary intentions of the working class. That lesson had been learnt in France and Great Britain many years previously.

However, the NRA did not succeed in finding employment for the fifteen million who were seeking it. The government therefore put forward a new series of reform measures, the first being the Workers Progress Administration, known as the W.P.A. This measure placed the jobless in all sorts of projects, some of which are now admitted to have been carried out with the object of preparing for war. Workers employed in this way were paid barely enough to cover the cost of food and shelter, and this became so obvious that the government brought forward its Food Stamp Measure by which the needy were enabled to obtain a little more food.

The problem of widespread unemployment among the youth, tens of thousands of whom had college diplomas, was met by the establishment of Civilian Conservation Corps. The youths were sent mainly to National Forests under the charge of the Army. In this way the sheep were prepared for the slaughter of the present war.

Housing for the needy was undertaken, on such a small scale that it would have been decades before all those needing accommodation had been provided for. Social Security and Old Age Pension measures were also put into practise.

Subsidies to farmers not to produce an over-abundance of food became a supreme measure in order that the capitalist house of cards, which the above palliatives were intended to prop, should not collapse.

The lame horse of capitalism, however, continued to limp, and in 1939 there was the same staggering figure of unemployed (about fifteen million) as in 1933.

The similarity of the measures carried through in the U.S. and in Nazi Germany need hardly be pointed out, and if any difference does exist, it lies in the fact that some of the palliatives in Germany went much farther towards their objective.

The capitalist system, democratic or fascist, rests on the profit motive. It will not allow the people to produce goods if there is not the prospect of high profits. Roosevelt himself has repeatedly stated that whatever his opponents cared to say about his régime, it stands as the great saviour of the profit system. When, in 1934, the naive writer Upton Sinclair ran as Governor of California, he begged Roosevelt to give at least lip-service to his (Sinclair’s) production-for-use programme. Sinclair had discarded his socialist principles in order to run as a candidate of the Democratic Party, which he had joined in 1933. Roosevelt however, was more consistent, and remained mum as Sinclair went down to defeat, and at last, disillusioned, retired from the game of politics.

The reasons why the peace-economy measures of the “democracies” were unable to solve the ever-deepening crisis, lie in the fact that new markets of exploitation were shrinking increasingly, that the Nazi barter trade was growing stronger and stronger as the gold-standard—the soul of private capitalism—became weaker and weaker.

Did the United States government meet the economic crisis that faced it in 1939 by admitting defeat and the collapse of the capitalist system? Not a bit of it!

The discontent of the suffering masses however, was increasing so rapidly that it threatened to assume revolutionary proportions. Hungry people began raiding food stores, poverty-stricken people refused to pay rent, the sales of farms or other property by Sheriffs were met by the masses with organised low bidding, in order that the sold property could be returned to its owners, and in one instance the crowd attempted to hang a Sheriff as he rose to carry out a sale. The country’s youth demonstrated against the President and his wife for giving them nothing but high-sounding words.

Capitalism in the United States was only left one way out in 1939 if it were not to be overwhelmed by the threatening social upheaval, and that was to follow the Nazi pattern. And follow it they did, as subsequent events bear out.

One of the first signs of capitalism’s intention to drag the United States into war, because the unemployment problem had not been solved, was given m an article written by the well-known “New Deal” columnist, Raymond Clapper, on June 15th, 1941. This is his admission:

“We are now in the same position that other countries are in. No solution for unemployment has been found except war or preparation for war.”

Clapper didn’t have to wait long!

A well-planned preparedness campaign began to be unloosed over the radio, through the press and on the platform. And before the people could even begin to ask themselves where and who is the enemy and against whom this militarising of the entire economic life of the country was directed, the “representatives of the people” imposed conscription on the very youth who had become such a menace to the capitalist system. Likewise it enforced the worst sedition act ever enacted in peace time, under the deceitful cloak of a supposed Alien Registration Act. The same congress that had repeatedly blocked every move to pass a billion dollars for relief of the needy, showed no scruples in taxing the people with 6,301,043,165 dollars for armaments in 1940, with 23,996,525,400 dollars for armaments in 1942, and with 52,786,186,000 dollars for armaments in 1943! (the national income anticipated for 1943 is one hundred billion dollars, so more than 52 per cent. of it will be used in the service of militarism, and close on eight billion extra for other government agencies).

In this way the “democratic” U.S. found a temporary solution to the threat of a revolutionary upheaval that faced it as a result of the economic crisis, in the same way as “democratic” France and Britain, faced with a similar situation, did in September, 1939.

One need only re-read Larwin’s description of the transformation of peace-economy into war-planning economy in Nazi Germany, and compare it with the parallel developments in the U.S. to see that the two supposedly opposite systems are virtually identical.

Hence it is almost pitiful to hear people contending that mankind need only rid itself of “the militarisation of the social life” and the “totalitarian ant-state” in order to achieve its emancipation. To close one’s eyes to the glaring fact that the capitalist “democracies” have employed identically the same counter-revolutionary measures, is only to play into the hands of the paid and lying propagandists of the so-called democracies.

Russia’s Economy Planning

The reason for Russia being involved in the war lies in the programme of industrialisation which the disciples of Karl Marx imposed on an unwilling peasant country. This industrialisation led to the re-introduction of the wage-system and bonuses, with the State assuming the role of exploiter and ruler at the same time. As a consequence, the squandering of the peasants’ food products on capitalist markets to obtain machinery in exchange, bounced back when the economic crisis developed in the capitalist countries, creating an economic crisis for Russia as well. The Bolshevik régime, refusing to admit its failure, resorted to the same solution as the fascist and “democratic” powers—militarism and eventually war.

Leo Tolstoy appropriately summed up the evil forces which exploit and rule mankind, when he wrote: “they will do everything—except get of the backs of the people.

It makes little difference whether a system is called Fascist or Nazi, Democratic or Bolshevik; so long as it is based on rule and exploitation, it is bound to lead to economic crises, militarism and war. The only social philosophy which holds out any hope of a genuine economic and political liberation for the whole of mankind is the philosophy of anarchism, which impresses the imperative need for abolishing every form of exploitation and rule by man over man.

The causes which brought about the present war only substantiate afresh the basic soundness of anarchist theory.

4 “Two Different Forces” in the Present War?

“The present war is not only an economic issue. It is first of all a power-problem between two different forces of social evolution. One of these leads back to the epoch of absolutism ... whereas the second slowly raises the people to a higher social and cultural level.” —RUDOLF ROCKER.

We have already brought forward incontrovertible proof that the main cause of the present war was the economic issue, to which others are merely incidental. And furthermore we have demonstrated how the “different forces” of Fascism and Democracy, employ the same counter-revolutionary methods to prevent the people they oppress from liberating themselves.

By reviewing the way in which Fascism and Nazism rose to their present menacing power, we shall be able to judge the truth of Rocker’s contention that the democratic powers lead “the people to a higher social and cultural level.”

What Made Fascism Possible?

Some highly significant social upheavals followed the last world war and these certainly did not fit into the plans of the Allied or Axis powers. First came the mighty social revolution that swept Czarism into the oblivion it deserved and sent the voice of the soviets reverberating throughout the world. Social upheavals also occurred in Germany where the Kaiser was forced to abdicate and a republic instituted; in Hungary and in Austria; while in Italy the revolutionary workers and peasants were beginning to seize the factories and land. Europe was in the throes of social changes, hitherto unknown in the twentieth century, and the aim everywhere was liberation from social and economic oppression.

The attitude of the so-called “democracies” towards these social upheavals is best illustrated by the actions of Britain, France and the U.S. in Russia. The governments of these three countries dispatched armies of intervention to assist the various cliques which were trying to revive Tsarism. The two men at the back of the counter-revolutionary measures were ... Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson (the idol of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.) It was the threat of the revolution spreading to their own countries that prompted the “democratic” governments to shed their cloaks of hypocrisy.

The utter defeat of the counter-revolutionary war of the “democracies” was due firstly to the revolutionary spirit of the Russian people, and secondly to the solidarity evinced by the international working class. In Britain a Council of Action was formed, the rulers of France were threatened with revolt, and in the United States a general strike was declared in Seattle, the port from which military aid was being sent to the White armies in Russia. As a result of the action of the workers, the democratic powers backed down, and after causing much needless bloodshed, withdrew their armies from Russia: had they not done so it is more than likely that the social-revolutionary spirit which was then rapidly spreading, would have brought an end to capitalism throughout the world.

In the present war, the Russia of Stalin, like the Russia of Tsar Nicholas, is on the side of the Allies. Although the battle is still raging, the rulers of the “democracies” are already planning how to cope with the revolutions which will follow the collapse of Nazism. Major William Yale, writing in the Christian Science Monitor of 25/1/42, says:

“Americans very generally are convinced that the people of Europe want political democracy and capitalism; the Soviets are just as sure that the ‘masses’ of Europe want the Soviet system and socialism. If the issue can be agreed upon before the Nazi regime collapses, the possibility of serious differences between the Soviet Union and the United Nations might be avoided. A necessary safeguard against such differences would be a successful conclusion of the war in Asia before the defeat of Nazi Germany, which would permit the presence of expeditionary forces of the United Nations in Western Europe. Then Great Britain and the United States might largely determine the political and social set-up in Western and Central Europe. Without such an Allied expeditionary force the field might necessarily be left open to Russia to determine largely the shape of things.”

Major Yale’s words are quite explicit. Britain and the U.S. will again be ready, if necessary, to employ armed expeditionary forces to suppress the attempt of people in any part of the world to rid themselves of their governments and capitalism. The counter-revolutionary role of 1917 is to be re-enacted.

After the withdrawal of their forces from Russia, the “democracies” set to work to put out the smouldering fires of social revolt in other parts of Europe. In Hungary, where a republic had been formed, they supported the infamous butcher, Admiral Horthy, who was in power until February, 1942. In Italy the workers and peasants had begun to seize the land and factories, and the capitalists, both within and without Italy, were determined to crush this movement. Benito Mussolini, an Iscariot, who had sold his socialist principles in order to support the Allies in the war, was the best—or rather the only—tool that could be found to knife the spreading social revolution in the back. Mussolini, who had no scruples in accepting the job, picked out similar scum to himself, and formed the Fascist Party. The role played by the financial interests and the governments of the “democracies” in enthroning and keeping in power the Italian fascist régime is common knowledge. And even during the present war, the “democratic” powers bribed the fascist régime for as long as it could, in order to keep Italy out of the war.

The Weimar Republic in Germany was another régime that did not suit the Allies, so they set out to destroy it. The tool picked out by the German capitalists for this task was a psychopathic nonentity called Adolf Hitler. Like Mussolini in Italy, he gathered some of the worst elements to be found in Germany round him, and another bastard creation of capitalism— Nazism—came to birth.

The following figures illustrate the extent to which the financiers of the democracies contributed towards the success of fascism and nazism: Clarence Dillon (of Dillon Read) loaned to Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steelworks) 48,000,000 dollars, to Siemens Halske 25,000,000 dollars, to Rheinelbe Union 15,000,000 dollars. According to exhibit 456 in the Nye Report on the armaments industry, the Du Ponts own a huge amount of stock in the Dynamit-Action Gesellshaft of Germany. The total American investments alone in Germany amount to 1,400,000,000 dollars. J. P. Morgan & Co. saved Mussolini’s régime from collapse by an outright loan of 100,000,000 dollars (or one billion lire). The total American investments in Italy are 660,000,000 dollars.

It is needless to point out that the capitalist interests of Great Britain and France were even more responsible for the building up and safeguarding of the fascist and nazi régimes, since they are both geographically nearer to both countries, and also had even greater investments than the U.S. in those countries.

Figures alone, of course, do not by any means tell the whole story, and it is necessary to consult other sources in order to obtain the whole picture.

Jules Romain, the French writer, became famous through his novel Men of Good Will. In it he described his own life among the financiers and statesmen through whose goodwill he had hoped to establish permanent peace. He was, of course, quickly disillusioned, and in a series of articles which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post he described this process of disillusionment, and the following quotations illustrate our point of discussion. The first is from “The English Mystery” appearing in the issue of October 19, 1940:

“In 1931 Hitler was nothing in Germany’s sky but a big storm cloud, which it was up to us (the democracies) to disperse. But entirely aside from more positive and semi-official complicity on the part of England—and there was some without doubt, alas!—official England gave support to Hitler every time she pretended to drift away from us (France).”

An even more illuminating passage was the following from the article “Who Saved Fascism?” which appeared in the issue of November 23, 1940: “Yvon Delbos, vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies ... when we were in his car, was silent for a moment, then, leaning towards me said ‘Listen, I think we’ll be rid of fascism in a fortnight, and of Nazism three weeks later ... Herriot (then premier of France) told me a few minutes ago that this morning the government received an ultra-confidential appeal from Mussolini ... asking us to apply the oil embargo to him immediately ... without our saying of course, that he asked us to; so that he can say to the Italian people: ‘This time there’s no way of resisting, they are strangling me, I’m going.’ Alas, the fortnight set by Delbos went by, then three weeks after that. In vain. January, 1936 didn’t bring the end of the nightmare for Europe and the world ... What had happened? .. More precisely, England was handicapped by her fear of Bolshevism, and in England, specifically, three elements closely linked to one another—the venerable conservatives in parliament, the aristocracy and the City. When only one last fillip was needed to overthrow Mussolini, all these people said to themselves, with the spasm of fear: ‘But then what’s going to happen? What will replace Fascism in Italy? Bolshevism almost certainly, or anarchy tending towards Bolshevism, which Russia will immediately exploit. And as Mussolini’s fall will also immediately provoke Hitler’s, the same appalling regime will rise in Germany. And as we already hear things aren’t going well in Spain; where the government is letting the reds get out of hand, it may be the end of everything, and we’d be the ones, we good conservatives, good aristocrats, good English capitalists, to let all hell loose.’ And they shrank back in terror.”

Jules Romain’s revelations implicate France and Great Britain on more than one count. They explain how Mussolini was able to get away with the invasion of Ethiopia. They likewise show that the League of Nations—whose demise is so hypocritically mourned by the “democracies”—was the machinery through which the leading imperialist powers were able to safeguard their own régimes as well as those of the fascists and nazis. Indirectly they explain the formation of the infamous Non-Intervention Committee in 1936 by the same powers.

The Franco invasion of Spain in 1936 came at a time when a social-revolutionary change in the economy of the country was imminent. Because a successful social revolution in Spain might have been emulated by the oppressed workers in Germany and Italy, Hitler and Mussolini sent men and arms to aid Franco in crushing the social revolution, and in the ensuing struggle over a million lives were lost, apart from millions more who were wounded, starved and imprisoned. The Non-Intervention Committee assisted Franco by cloaking the aid given him by the fascist powers—without which he would have been utterly defeated—and by refusing the Spanish people their right to buy arms.

Allies of the Democracies

We have dealt mainly, so far, with the role played by the democracies in making possible the rise and continued existence of fascism and nazism. But now that they are at war with each other, there should be a clear demarcation line between the allies of both sides. Does this line exist? ...

Among the allies of the “democracies” are Poland, Greece, Russia and Cuba. When the war began Poland was under a brutal dictatorship and the same was true of Greece. Cuba is ruled by a well-known assassin who imposed his rule by outright murder. Until Russia joined the democratic bandwagon Allied propaganda showed the régime there to be one of the worst totalitarianisms. But we need not only take their word for it. It is common knowledge that the imposition of the Bolshevik régime cost millions of lives ... even Walter Duranty, one of their most outstanding apologists, now admits this.

The same democratic powers are subsidising Franco’s rule in Spain, the fascist régime in Portugal, and a score of fascist states in Latin America.

To explain this seemingly paradoxical conglomeration we shall quote Anthony Eden, who on January 5th, 1942, according to an Associated Press message, admitted:

“There is a contrast in the forms of government (between Britain and Russia.— M.G.). But I will never accept that that need divide us. What matters in foreign affairs is not the form of the internal government of any nation, but its international behaviour. The trouble with Hitler for instance, was not that he was a Nazi at home. The trouble was that he would not stay at home.” (My italics.—M.G.)

Eden openly admitted that if Hitler had not attempted to exploit. the foreign markets in the sphere controlled by the “democracies”, the latter would still be at peace with him. Any totalitarian régime can be their ally if it suits their imperialist scheming.

The “Democracies” as Ruling Powers

The colonial empires of France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States are excellent examples of how the “democracies” put their democracy into practice.

To illustrate this, we shall take the British Empire as our main example. Let us see how India—a country of four hundred million people (ten times the population of Great Britain)—is dealt with. The following quotation is from an article “Why are Indians so poor,” written by S. Chandrasekhar in Asia for January, 1942:

“According to Sir John Megaw’s estimate, 39 per cent. of the people (of India) are well nourished, 41 per cent. poorly nourished and 20 per cent. very badly nourished ... The general death rate in India is 24 per 1,000 as against 12 in England. The infant mortality for children under one year is 163 per 1,000 as against 57 in England ... And out of every 1,000 born 45 die before reaching the age of five. In Western European countries this figure is about 15. Some 200,000 Indian mothers die annually in the process of labour; for British India maternal mortality per 1,000 births is as high as 24.5. The corresponding figure in England is 4.5. And 5,000,000 Indians die annually from preventible diseases.

“To my way of thinking the issue is neither one of under-production nor over-production, but purely one of poverty—the crux of the Indian economic problem is the badly organised, imperialist-cum-capitalist exploitation of the country ... Why is there no attempt made to solve it? Obviously, no such attempt could be made; for any such real, and perhaps radical, approach to the problem would be bound to come into conflict with the status quo.”

Oliver Brown, in his pamphlet “War for Freedom of Finance,” brings the following piece of evidence:

“After nearly 200 years under benevolent British rule, 92 per cent. of Indians can neither read nor write, 80 per cent. suffer from hookworm owing to undernourishment. Average income is £3. Average expectation of life, 26 years.”

Small wonder that the democracies are so ready to wage bloody wars in order to safeguard the status quo and are always in fear of any real social change, lest it might mean, as Jules Romain has put it “an end to everything.” That is, an end to their criminal régimes.

Fascist Cruelties and Their Ideological Origin

All democratic apologists have a great deal to say about the cruelties perpetrated by the fascists. No-one can object to that, but it is not the whole story.

The Italian Fascists have been murdering some of the country’s best sons ever since they usurped power. The Nazis in Germany have done the same thing to the Jews. Concentration camps and the murdering of dissenters have, all along, been common practice in the fascist countries. As to the destruction of culture, which Rocker speaks of, this has been part and parcel of the fascist and nazi régimes ever since they came to power.

Why then, have the pretentious democracies kept silence for all these years about these crimes. An answer is to be found in an article on “The Origin of Fascism” written by Captain John H. Craige for the daily newspaper, The Oregonian of May 15, 1941. He wrote:

“Those familiar with Mein Kampf will recall that it reviles communists, Jews and all people of ‘mongrel’ races, but lauds Britain and the British race. The British are acknowledged to be fellow-Nordics and thus members of the master race that is to inherit the earth.

“As a matter of fact, most of the nazis’ racial doctrines are borrowed from British sources. More than a hundred years ago August Noble, a Manchester merchant whom his neighbours thought ‘queer’ wrote of the master race that is to inherit the earth.

“He was succeeded 50 years later by Houston Chamberlain, one of the famous family of that name, who devoted much of his life to propaganda theories of a blue-eyed race of world bosses. This Chamberlain subsequently married a daughter of the great composer Wagner, and spent much time in Germany. He took his Nordicism seriously, wore skin pants at Druidic festivals and wrote speeches and messages that sound like Hitler at his best. Among Chamberlain’s disciples were such famous Englishmen as Cecil Rhodes and Conan Doyle. English men and women who inherited these beliefs formed the much discussed Cliveden set, of recent annals.”

Thus, the democracies not only made it possible for fascism and nazism to rise to power, but also gave them their ideology of a “super-race” and their hatred of Jews and rebels.

The Difference Between the Two Warring Forces

Outstanding differences between the two forces now at war certainly exist, but they are not those that Rocker proclaims. If he had declared that the democracies are guilty of conspiring to prevent the world’s oppressed from rising “to a higher social cultural level” he would have been much nearer the truth than he is by contending the opposite.

The fascist powers, in perpetrating their criminal acts, are so devoid of any shame, that no self-respecting person can help but despise and condemn their brutality. It is this bravado attitude of the fascists which spells. their doom, and only a spark is needed to light the fires of rebellion in all the countries that the fascists have over-run. Fascism’s reign of terror is fast approaching its end.

As to the democracies, we submit that to enslave and exploit millions of human beings, to create conditions which bring millions to poverty, disease and untimely death in peace time or in war, is equal to anything that has been perpetrated by the fascist powers.

5 Peace Aims and the Democracies

“The struggle against totalitarian slavery ... is the first duty of our time, the first condition for a new social development in the spirit of freedom and social justice.” —RUDOLF ROCKER

Rocker’s implication is clear—a victory for the democratic powers will make possible the development “of freedom and justice.” Therefore the war against the fascists becomes “the first duty of our time ... ”

In view of the proofs to the contrary that we have already brought forward, we need not go into the statement that the war is being fought on the issue of totalitarian slavery. What we shall concern ourselves with are the “peace aims” of the Allies.

For close on three years the liberal elements in Britain and the United States have been pleading with their leaders to state their “peace aims.” (That they have supported without knowing what its aims are, is little to the credit of the integrity of the liberals). In the last war, as now, the ruling class was very reluctant to state its aims, for obvious reasons: if their true aims were stated the workers might realise that there was no point in the struggle, and lay down their arms. However, both the Allies and the Axis had to concoct some sort of story to keep their subjects quiet. And once again the Axis, by their plans for the “New Order” set the pattern for the democracies to follow, just as they did with their peace and war planning.

Thus, in August, 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt formulated the “Atlantic Charter,” an even less attractive and more deceitful document than its predecessor, the 14-point plan of Woodrow Wilson. Some of the supporters of the Allies openly expressed their disillusionment with the Charter. Dorothy Thompson, for example, in her column of November 8, 1941, wrote:

“The Atlantic Charter is only another symptom of democratic inadequacy ... The mental and physical anguish of the last years will not be cured by eight pills ... But neither will such outworn phrases as ‘sovereign rights’ and ‘self-government’ bring peace. And certainly we shall have no peace by the revival of the doctrine of original sin by which one nation is to be made the scape-goat for all ... Granted that the active guilt is by the Nazis’; the passive guilt is on the whole world of Western nations, who played, each one, its role in creating Nazism ...”

In December, 1941, Churchill paid Roosevelt a visit for a series of secret conversations, at which not even the representatives of the other allied powers were allowed to be present. When the conversations ended, the representatives of the alliance were called in, and in accordance with the tradition of the Hitler-Mussolini conferences at the Brenner Pass, were given a declaration to sign.

Raymond P. Brandt, chief Washington correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shed some light on the reason for the Nazi-like pattern of the secret conferences. Mr. Brandt, on asking Mr.Churchill what kind of post-war Europe he envisaged, received the following reply:

“There are limits to physical endurance, and just so many hours in a day, and only after victory has been won can the democracies be drawn into those complicated and not at all attractive jungles of post-war problems for the betterment of the common people of all lands.” Post-Dispatch, 24/12/41.

So poor Mr. Churchill was too physically exhausted from planning how to carry on the world slaughter—a damning position to take if one accepted it on its face value! In reality, of course, his conversations with Roosevelt were undoubtedly concerned with those very problems. This is borne out by a discussion which took place in the House of Commons on September 9, 1941, when this same Churchill said:

“At the Atlantic meeting we had in mind primarily the extension of the sovereignty, self-government and natural life of the states and the nations of Europe now under the Nazi yoke ... That is quite a separate problem from the progressive evolution of self-governing institutions in regions whose people owe allegiance to the British crown.”

A perfect illustration of the way in which British imperialism intends to continue its domination came to light recently in Ethiopia. Haile Selassie, emperor of a nation enslaved for the benefit of British interests, was taken back to Abyssinia by the British after the Italians had been driven out. The magazine Time (16/2/42) reported: “ ... the two-year pact which King of Kings, Haile Selassie, signed with the British government bore little resemblance to Magna Charta. In return for 10,000,000 dollars in cash, the Lion of Judah handed the British a blank cheque. According to the agreement, British judges and assessors will sit on the benches of Ethiopian courts, the Ethiopian police will be officered by Britons ... The Army also received the right to use all Italian property in Ethiopia (assessed at between 320,000,000 and 360,000,000 dollars) without payment ... Some wanted to know why the pact was signed before the emancipation (of slavery) was a fact ... Lord Wedgwood commented: ‘One can go into a sheikh’s tent on the (British-controlled) Jordan Valley and have one’s coffee served by a black slave. Don’t let us be too virtuous about these things ... ’.”

What the Democratic Powers Expect

Early in 1941, Wall Street’s defeated candidate for the presidency, Wendell Willkie, went to Britain as an “observer” for his erstwhile opponent, Roosevelt. When he returned he was interviewed by the press, and we quote the following extract from In Fact (10/3/41):

“Asked whether he believed the reports that Britain would be socialised, Willkie replied: ‘Certainly not, neither during the war nor after it ... when the war is over ... the fruits of the industrial system will be better distributed ... but industry will remain privately owned and capitalistic ... The way Bevin, the Trade Union Congress, and all British labour are working with British business is wonderful ...’.”

The same periodical printed the following brief story (13/1/41):

“The 108-page confidential report of ex-ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy submitted to president Roosevelt when he returned from England is in In Fact’s possession ... Kennedy’s confidential report reveals (1) that England is proceeding rapidly towards fascism on the nazi model (2) that fascism cannot be sold to the British people without the enthusiastic co-operation of Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin (3) that the people of England, the working people, are paying for the war, while the government makes great concessions to the industrialists, munition makers and big business men (4) that the government is not able to protect its people against air raids.

“The Kennedy document is still suppressed by the State Department and newspapers ... However, In Fact sent the Associated Press, Times, 100 leading newspapers, radio commentators, press associations, advance copies of In Fact containing the Kennedy document.”

Ernest K. Lindley, considered to be one of the closest correspondents to the Roosevelt administration, gave further evidence as to what the capitalist democracies fear most as an aftermath of the war, in his column of August 30, 1941:

“American observers of high standing, recently returned from England ... do not see a social revolution developing in England ... The notion that Britain was going radical was thoroughly disproved by Wendell Willkie after his trip of inspection ... The impression has lingered however, that England would come out of the war rather thoroughly socialised ... This view was popularised among American intellectuals by Harold Laski ... but Sir Walter Citrine, head of the British Trades Union Congress, which is the backbone of the Labour Party ... sought vainly to remind American officials that Laski has no following of importance in England. Their (the American observers) testimony is now confirmed by reliable observers whose views carry weight in the administration ... They report that the British people ... are thinking not in terms of going forward to a bright new world, but of getting back to the good old days.”

No less a personage than Henry A. Wallace, late Vice-President of the United States, writes in an article “Foundations of Peace”, appearing in the January, 1942, issue of the Atlantic Monthly:

“Actually, the seeds of the present world upheaval were sown in the faulty economic decisions that followed the war of a generation ago ... Many nations, including our own, tried to buy as little as possible and to sell as much as possible ... This not only lowered their own standard of living, but upset the economies of the exporting countries ... If we get the right kind of peace we are sure to see the whole world within a few years operating on a much higher level of production than ever before and this would, of course, mean a greater world market for raw materials ... Greater world trade rests on the sure prospect of continued indusrialisation ... In that part of the world where democracy and capitalism prevail, the permanent answer lies in finding ways to make our system of production work more effectively and more consistently.”

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Wickard, in his annual report for 1941, released on January 20, 1942, gives a clear picture of the workings of the profit system in peace or war:

“Foresight and statesmanship have provided us a nation-wide farm adjustment system, which functions as well in high and low gear ... more important still, victory for democracy will postpone the need for readjustments downward in our farm production. It will give us a transition market and will facilitate gradual changes toward a peacetime basis ... under our lease-end programme we are providing foods and munitions ... The same logic will suggest our use of food to guard against a repetition of the danger of revolutionary upheavals in Europe.”

Some clarification of what the report refers to as “high” and “low gear” in farm production is needed. Foodstuffs are subsidised by the U.S. Government in peace-time in order to keep up market prices. In war-time, when the forces engaged deliberately destroy a great amount of food, the same government subsidises farmers in order to increase food production. “Low gear” in peace-time deprives the needy of food that they could have, and “high gear” in war-time also means a meagre amount of food for the poor, since so much food is destroyed.

It would surely be difficult to draw up a more damning indictment of the working of the capitalist system than the above report of Mr. Wickard.

Peace Plans of a Democracy

Although Mr. Churchill assured a news reporter that he was too exhausted to discuss peace plans with Roosevelt, three weeks after the entry of the U.S. into the war, the United States government released reports of two of its agencies that, indirectly, brand Churchill as an impudent mountebank. The first report was that of the National Resources Planning Board, formed in 1939. The Associated Press of 15/1/42 carried the following summary of this report:

“(1) Right to work (2) full employment (3) the right to live in a system of free enterprise.”

Two days later, on January 17, the American Youth Commission, formed in 1936, released its post-war planning report, carrying these recommendations:

“Make employment of youths under 21 years of age by carrying out the programme of Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth administration and work programmes (2) production of goods for use of such portion of those people unable to purchase necessities in adequate quantities (3) attack problem of unemployment by long-range bases by improving the capitalist system to provide jobs (4) Intelligent pricing to increase business.”

The Commission warned that if these recommendations were not carried out:

“Every post-war movement of social unrest will cater to this group (youth). Any movement which received their united allegiance could rapidly assume revolutionary proportions.”

Richard L. Strout, Washington correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor, sheds some light on the background of this report in an article appearing in the issue of January 29, 1942. After pointing out that the report was drawn up by Professor Alvin H. Hansen, he says that it was written:

“from the point of view of the Hansen-Keynes school of economics which has made Dr. Hansen an adviser of Mariner S. Eccles of the Federal Reserve System and of Vice-President Wallace in Washington and John Maynard Keynes, a member of the governing board of the Bank of England in London ... Dr. Hansen recently flew to London on an administration notion to consult with fiscal authorities on post-war economic problems ... ”

The secretive post-war planning of the “democracies” thus becomes plain, as does Churchill’s insincerity in claiming to be “too exhausted” to discuss post-war problems.

It is clear that the greatest fear of the, so-called “democracies” is that the war will result in social upheavals, and they are mapping out every possible device to prevent any such calamity befalling the capitalist system that thrives so well on the miseries of the masses it exploits in times of peace and to whom it brings devastation and slaughter in wartime.

If we judge the Allied peace plans by the statements of their spokesmen, we can rest assured that there is, in store for the workers, a continuation of exploitation of human labor for profit, greater powers than ever for the state, and a continued race for markets followed by new economic crises, and culminating in new wars in which the fighting and dying will be done by the poor and the harvest of profits will be reaped by the right.

Rocker’s assertion that the present struggle is one “against the totalitarian slavery” contains about as much truth as his assertion that a victory for the democracies will lead mankind to a “new social development in the spirit of freedom and social justice.”

6 Labour and Socialist Movements in The Present War

“It is a poor consolation to assert that the workers could have prevented the war if they had been more alert to their ‘class interests’ ... To-day we know already that the broad masses of the French Labour Movement have aided in weakening the opposition to Hitler’s hordes ... The same story repeats itself in every European country. Just because the workers have too closely understood their so-called ‘class interests’ ... they, together with the whole of society became the victims of the bloodiest tyranny in history ...

“If it is true that democracy and liberalism have prepared the way for the modern Labour Movement and the social aims of our time then it cannot be denied that the abolition of all democratic and liberal achievements must automatically lead to the abolition of the Labour Movement and of all libertarian aims.”—RUDOLF ROCKER.

The above quotation is a horrible jumble of contradictions, unfounded assertions and faulty conclusions. Rocker first of all asserts that the workers were unable to prevent the war because they have not understood “their class interests.” He then proceeds to attack the workers for not having understood their class interests too closely.

Actually Rocker’s statement with regard to the European workers is a gross libel. With regard to France it is common knowledge that it was the “liberal” and “democratic” capitalists who caused the sudden capitulation. Many of them fled the country with the wealth they had obtained from exploiting the French workers, and the remainder are well described by the. pro-democratic journalist, Dorothy Thompson, in her column for January 17, 1942:

“France fought ‘Germany’ and ‘Italy’, but the ruling forces were playing with fascist ideas: they were hostile to the German and Italian nations, but susceptible to their ideologies. They wanted to win the war for France and Fascism. So they lost it for France and Fascism.”

A Review of the Past

Only when one reviews the role of the labour and socialist movements in both the last and the present wars, can one realise how unfounded Rocker’s libel on the European workers really is.

For the last seventy years, the international labour movement has been led principally by socialists. A few anarchists also assumed leadership of the labour movements of various countries, but with very rare exceptions these—sooner or later—disassociated themselves from the anarchist movement, whereas the socialists who became labour leaders almost invariably remained with their respective socialist parties.

Before the commencement of the last world war there were formidable anti-militarist movements in most European countries, in the United States and in Latin America. No sooner had the war begun, however, than the labour movements joined the fray, giving every assistance possible to their governments, while the labour leaders became recruiting agents. The extent to which the leadership betrayed the true interests of the workers is attested to by Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain during the last war, in his Memoirs:

“There was an advantage in having a government at the head of affairs which had the support of labour. This secured the adhesion of the greatest labour organisations whose action and sympathetic aid was essential to its vigorous prosecution. Had Labour been hostile, the war could not have been carried on effectively ... The most prominent and influential leaders of trades-unionism worked for victory throughout the war ... ” (p.220).

The following information is culled from the Intimate Papers of Colonel House, (Vol. 3, p. 326):

“ ... and it was important also to pledge, if possible, the Allied Governments to the principle of a settlement which would justify the sacrifices of the war and maintain the enthusiasm of the liberal and labour circles in Great Britain and France.”

In France, Germany and the United States the labour leaders played the same role as in Britain, as did the great majority of the socialist movements in every country engaged in the war.

In the anarchist movement the opposite took place—the great majority of anarchists declared their unalterable opposition to the war.

History Repeats Itself

In the present war, the leaders of the labour and socialist movements have re-enacted their treacherous role of 1914–18. On February 18, 1942, the U.S. Government, in appreciation of the “services” rendered them by the labour leadership ordered that any labour leader who requested exemption from military service should have his call-up deferred. And when, after labour had been conscripted for army and industry for over two years in Britain, a solitary labourite moved in the House of Commons that wealth should be conscripted the motion was overwhelmingly defeated, Ernest Bevin, the trade-union boss, being the leader, on behalf of the capitalists, of the attack on the proposal.

Radio facilities, which were formerly often denied, are now placed unreservedly at the disposal of the Labour leaders in the U.S., in order that they can attempt to rouse labour to a frenzy of patriotism and urge them to work a seven-day week on munitions or go into the forces to be slaughtered in the holy cause of capitalist democracy. At the same time they are cleaning out the union treasuries by buying “National Defence Bonds.” (The Railroad Brotherhood’s leadership, for example, pledged their union to buy 75,000,000 dollars’ worth of bonds, while the International Garment Workers’ bosses voted for 25,000,000 dollars’ worth, and so on ... )

In the U.S. auto industry, the CIO union, long before war was declared, had employed engineers to map out the way in which the entire industry could be turned over to armaments. When on January 8, 1942 this union proposed to the U.S. Office of Production Management that “industry, labour and the government share equally in managing the war effort,” the move was rejected because C. E. Wilson, the manager of General Motors, objected on the grounds that this would have amounted to socialisation, destroying “the very foundation upon which America’s unparalleled record of industrial accomplishment has been built!” (Assoc. Press message). What Wilson meant, of course, was that the capitalist system must not be interfered with—even during a war for “freedom”.

Less than a week after the U.S. “officially” entered the war, the President and Congress imposed full military and industrial conscription Not a single voice has been raised in Congress, however, for the conscription of wealth. On the contrary, Roosevelt who once promised to “drive the money changers out of the Temple” invited the same money changers to take key positions in the handing-out of war contracts! These “dollar-a-year” men serve their own interests so well that a Congressional committee investigating the “bottle-necks in defence” demanded the dismissal of all these paytriotic employees of the President.

The U.S. Naval Affairs Committee issued a preliminary report on January 21, 1942, charging contractors with making profits as high as 50 and even 247 per cent. on the aggregate business of 3,169,232,531 dollars that they had investigated.

The Kennedy report, suppressed by the government, which we mentioned earlier, shows that the same amount of profiteering has been going on in Britain since the commencement of war.[3]

The labour leadership in both America and Britain however, acquiesce in the pillage that the capitalist class is carrying out. With few exceptions, the leaders of the socialist movements are playing the same role and the Communists who supported the USSR as an ally of Nazi Germany, now support her as an ally of the “democracies”!

Before Hitler and Mussolini came to power there were strong labour, socialist and communist movements in Germany and Italy. Although many of the leaders of these movements were either executed imprisoned or had escaped abroad, a great number remained in their own countries, and now form the main leadership of the Labour Fronts organised by the fascist régimes. The same thing has happened in Vichy France

It is therefore clear that the rank and file of the socialist and labour movements, deceived all along the line by their leaders, could hardly be expected to understand their own class interests which Rocker accuses them of “understanding too well.” If the workers had understood their interests, the present war together with all other capitalist wars, would have been made impossible.

Democracy, Liberalism and Labour

Rocker’s assertion that “democracy and liberalism have prepared the road for the modern labour movement and the social aims of our time” contains about the same element of truth as the one we have just disproved. In actual fact the social aims of our time, and the few liberties we are granted in peace-time, were brought about not by “democracy” or “liberalism” but by the struggle of men and women who were subjected to jail and torture, execution and exile.

Would Rocker have us believe that the strike-breaking tactics of the Liberal-democratic regimes have been different from those of the totalitarian countries? Was it not Briand, a socialist Prime Minister, who broke the first General Strike in “democratic” France? Was not the same treachery carried out in “democratic” Britain by Ramsay McDonald, another socialist Premier? And has not that great champion of democracy, President Roosevelt, employed the army only recently to break strikes?

Had Rocker asserted that the democratic governments and the forces of liberalism have entirely corrupted the socialist and communist movements, he would have been much nearer the truth.

This brings us to the end of the main contentions raised by Rocker to justify his support of the democracies in the present war. We believe, that in the light of the evidence we have brought forward, the “aged theories” from which the anarchist position towards war has been formed, stand entirely vindicated.

Conclusion—lesson for the World’s Oppressed

When Karl Marx, more than seventy years ago, proposed the idea of political action to the First International, he can have little dreamt of its consequences. He believed that through political action the workers would capture the state machine, thus bringing about the emancipation of the oppressed masses.

Although Michael Bakunin forecast accurately at the time what the results of political action would be, it is difficult to believe that Marx foresaw that, as a result of his policy, the working-class movement would be completely corrupted and tremendous barriers placed in the way of the emancipation of labour.

Both the socialist and labour movements throughout the world followed the pattern laid down by Marx. Seats were secured in capitalist parliaments and some members of the movements became cabinet members in the governments of the “democracies”. Invariably the chief actors in these “working-class victories” became the most sinister tools of the capitalist system.

The most complete demonstration of the bankruptcy of Marxist theory, however, occurred in Russia, where Marx’s followers captured full control over the political and economic life of the country. The Bolshevik régime in Russia has shown how a revolution can be sidetracked and turned into a ghastly caricature of all that the people hope and fight for.

A social revolution only achieves its object when it gives free access to the means of life to all. A revolution that maintains the gaol and the police, the judge, the army general and the armament factory together with the wage system, can only be said to be a complete failure. A revolution which imposes a strict censorship of the entire cultural life of the people becomes a gross insult to any believer in freedom. The followers of Marx have done all these things to the Russian revolution!

The Governments and capitalists of the world were terrified by the very existence of the First International (The International Working Mens’ Association IWMA). To-day however, the leaders of its successors, the Second and Third Internationals, are leading the workers to slaughter in order to preserve one form of exploitation and rule against another.

The worst enemies of the working class could not have wished for a lower level of demoralisation than that which exists in the working-class movement to-day, as a result of the Marxian ideology. If Marx had lived to see the consequences of his theories when put into practice, he might have regretted the fact that he did his utmost to discredit Bakunin because the latter opposed his political ideas.

The picture that this study has so far painted has been a tragic one. We believe, however, that it is a true picture and one that the working-class must recognise. In conclusion we shall deal with the social idea which must ultimately lead mankind on to the road to complete social and political emancipation. It is the ideal which Michael Bakunin and his anarchist comrades expounded within the First International.

The issues in the present world war, as much as those in the last world war, demonstrate clearly how correctly our forbears evaluated the diseased structure of capitalist society and fore-shadowed most of the evil consequences, including war, which will repeatedly face the oppressed masses so long as that monstrous system prevails.

Had the virile First International not been destroyed intentionally by Marx and his followers in their struggle against the libertarian trends which were beginning to dominate it, the world-wide reign of capitalism might long ago have been brought to its well-deserved end.

In the preceding parts of this pamphlet we dealt with the false and true issues in the present war. We believe the most important lesson to be derived from the evidence we have brought forward is that of the imperative need for a New International imbued with that uncompromising ideology and activity which made the First International the most formidable challenge to capitalism’s right to exploit and rule mankind.

It is only through the reappearance of such an international that the oppressed can hope to destroy capitalism and the state, with all their contingent evils, such as war and poverty, crime and punishment.

The anarchist movement alone has remained faithful to the spirit of the First International. Outlawed, persecuted, often murdered by the agents of capitalism and the state, anarchists have always struggled to bring an awakening of the workers to the need for the action, both mental and physical, that can bring mankind to its social and political liberation.

The destruction of capitalism and the state will herald a new life. Men, freed from all oppression and injustice, will at last be able to lay the foundations of human brotherhood. Truth and Justice, Freedom and Culture will at last become real, and men will be able to enjoy fully the riches of nature and the joy of life.

It is such a society of free men that the anarchist bids the workers join him in achieving. To-day it is a dream, but the action of the workers can yet make this dream a reality.

The Order of the Hour

By Rudolf Rocker

That the present war, which spreads itself over all continents and is engulfing mankind like a bloody flood, cannot be measured by the standards of military conflicts of the past, is beginning to be realised even by those who believe that historical facts can be denied through aged theories.

The habit of considering every historical event as the outcome of fixed economic laws which ultimately lead to a higher stage of social life, is a terribly blind belief and has contributed in no small measure to the development of the present situation. Even though one is the bitterest opponent of the present economic system, to assert that the present war is being waged solely in the interests of capitalist groups is such a twisting of the truth that worse could not be invented. Even if it is accepted that certain capitalist circles are profiting from the great slaughter of the people, it nevertheless cannot be denied that the present catastrophe is transforming itself into a bloody menace to capitalism itself, and is against the interests of its servants and representatives. A social earthquake on such a vast scale must become a threat to every social system; that is why this fearful catastrophe is not simply a problem of certain classes, but of the whole of society itself.

It is a poor consolation to assert that the workers could have prevented the war if they had been more alert to their “class interests”. That they had the power to do so, no one wishes to deny: but that they nevertheless did not prevent it, and that the great tragedy of our time has come just the same, is also a fact. To-day we know already that the broad masses of the French Labour Movement have aided in weakening the opposition to Hitler’s hordes. Had the German workers done the same, it might have been a gain; but they did not do so, and the internal collapse of France therefore led to the bloody yoke of the German occupation upon the French Labour Movement.

The same story repeats itself in every European country. Just because the workers have too closely understood their so-called “class interests” and have underestimated the menace which threatens everybody, they, together with the whole of society, became the victims of the bloodiest tyranny in history.

The present war is not only an economic issue. It is first of all a power problem between two different forces of social evolution. One of these leads back to the epoch of absolutism, to the common enslavement of mankind, whereas the second slowly raises the people to a higher social and cultural level, and carries with it the historical legacy left to us by the revolutions of the past.

The abolition of feudal absolutism and of the economic reign of feudalism through the democratic and liberal revolutions, was necessary in order to provide the pre-conditions for the development of the modern Labour Movement and Socialism. Without the political rights and liberties which have been achieved the social movements of our epoch could not even have been thought of. Through them social aims have been developed. The rights which we now enjoy to-day in the democratic countries have not been received by the nations as gifts from their governments; they are the results of hard and bloody struggles and were often paid for with great sacrifices. Whoever fails to take into account these rights and is in agreement with Lenin’s phrase that “freedom is but a middle-class prejudice” is altogether lost for a movement which strives towards social liberation.

One doesn’t serve social liberation by squandering, without a struggle, rights already gained, but only when one is always ready to broaden these rights and create for them a wider field of effectiveness. It is not less rights and smaller liberties that we demand, but more rights and greater liberties. Whoever thinks differently is ripe for dictatorship and for the totalitarian state, and is consciously or unconsciously assisting the development of social reaction.

If it is true that democracy and liberalism have prepared the way for the modern Labour Movement and the social aims of our time, then it cannot be denied that the abolition of all democratic and liberal achievements must automatically lead to the abolition of the Labour Movement and of all libertarian aims. That this is not a vain assertion can be seen from the present bloody reality. The totalitarian regime has made a hell for liberty; and if this was not understood at the beginning, it was a great error which is now being paid for in blood.

The terrible tyranny in all countries which have been poisoned by the totalitarian cliques in the occupied countries; the cowardly and conscienceless murdering of so-called living hostages; the daily executions of anti-fascist workers and peasants in Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Czecho-Slovakia, Roumania, Serbia, Hungary, &c., create the existence of the totalitarian state. The ancient laws against the Jews; the frightful condition of millions of people in Europe who have been placed outside the law; the fear of the concentration camp; the barbaric suppression of all cultural achievements will bring about the collapse of civilisation in general, if Hitler should unfortunately be victorious.

To assert that to us it is all the same who is victor in this terrible conflict, means to aid the cowardly murderers, and to prepare the world for the “blessing” of Hitler’s “New Order”. The struggle against totalitarian slavery and its bestial achievements is the first duty of our time, the first condition for a new social development in the spirit of freedom and social justice. But the fact that we are making the struggle against dictatorship and the human-debauchery of the totalitarian state the order of the present hour does not mean that we believe even for a moment that the citizenship-society is the best in the world. It only means that we recognize the possibility of a higher development under better and more human conditions.

When the world is liberated from the militarisation of social life, from all forms of the totalitarian ant-state – only then will new possibilities be opened up for constructive creating and building. Freedom does not recognise a pre-determined ultimate aim; it is but the means which can open for us the doors to a new future. Since the creative forces of society were not able to build up a dam against the bloody flood of the war, let them at least learn from the newest terrible history in what manner it can, once and for all time, prevent similar catastrophes.

Not the slave-state of a so-called “Aryan” race will be the aim of humanity, but a federation of free nations, such as has been foreseen by Saint-Simon, Proudhon and Bakunin. That is the only basis on which a new life can be developed, and which will make our existence worthy and with a purpose.

(Freie Arbeiter Stimme, 28 November, 1941)

Manifesto of the Anarchist Federation on War


The workers all over the world are to-day plunged in the second imperialist blood-bath of the century. Of the many political tendencies which opposed the war at the start, the Anarchist Federation to-day stands almost alone in its opposition to the war, and to the real—as distinct from the pretended—reasons for which it is being fought.

It has remained consistent with its principles; adhering unswervingly to the path of working class struggle, it has supported none of the belligerent imperialisms. German and Italian Fascism have had their apologists; British and French Imperialism have had their apologists; Russian Totalitarianism has its apologists. All these are manifestations of class rule. Their policies are the policies of their ruling class, fighting as always for the maintenance of their privilege and power over the workers. The Anarchists have refused to take the side of any of them.

WAR is always the outcome of the cut-throat competition for the world markets. Wars have always been fought between rival ruling groups for power over markets, over raw materials, or for the power to exploit human labour. These and these alone are the issues at stake. These are the issues which concern the ruling groups—governments and owners of capital. The workers have no stake in such matters. All wars to-day are imperialist wars. They are always fought to extend or consolidate the power positions occupied by the ruling classes both in their perennial competition with each other and in their continual struggle for domination over the workers whom they exploit.

Anarchism opposes war as the outcome of these clashing interests between rival imperialisms. Since Empires exist only to serve the interests of the ruling classes, wars undertaken for their extension of defence have nothing in common with the interests of the workers. The rivalries between the national sections of the ruling class weaken them in the class struggle, and the workers should utilize the opportunity thereby offered to them to prosecute the class struggle more vigorously than ever.

National sentiment, patriotism, aroused by war is the most effective means employed by the ruling groups to deceive the workers and conceal the underlying class struggle under slogans of “National Unity”. But while class divisions and the wage system still exist there can be no national unity, no community of interests between those who own and therefore rule, and those who only have their labour power to sell, and so are exploited. The bourgeoisie revealed its corruption in France, “our invincible ally”, when her rulers, Pétain and Weygand and others—a1l of them previously eulogized to the skies by Britain’s leaders—preferred to hand over the French workers to Hitler rather than risk the loss of their power and the destruction of their property.

Social Democracy is once more the recruiting sergeant for the bosses; the trade unions are tied to the treacherous policy and corrupt interests of their leaders. The devotees of Leninism and its offspring Stalinism have shown themselves more loyal to the ruling class of bureaucrats in Russia and their nationalistic aims, than to the interests of the workers of the world. Under the slogan of “Democracy versus Fascism”, they drive the workers on to spill their blood for the nationalistic aims of their exploiters.

We expose and reject with contempt this facile and treacherous slogan. Laissez-faire capitalism—in which private individuals own and control the land, factories and mines, and use the state power to protect their privilege—develops under the pressure of its own contradictions into Fascism—in which the One-Party state owns and controls the land, factories and mines and uses the state power to maintain its authority. Both exploit the workers to the limit of their capacity. FASCISM IS THE NATURAL CHILD OF BOURGEOIS “DEMOCRACY”.

Under “Democracy”, the ruling class has everywhere shown itself ready to compromise with Fascism rather than make concessions which would weaken its own class positions in favour of the workers. There is no question of principle involved for them—unlike the workers, who have shown themselves willing to sacrifice their lives for justice and freedom. In Spain, the bourgeois democratic bloc, aided by the Stalinists, strangled the social revolution of the workers and peasants, under cover of their hollow slogan “Democracy versus Fascism—the war first and the revolution afterwards”. They thereby drained the life-blood from the only effective resistance Fascism has ever encountered (the German-Soviet war included). Capitalism, or any other form of authoritarian, i.e. class,—rule, cannot fight effectively against the further development of centralized class rule that Fascism represents.

Thus the fight against Fascism is indissolubly linked with the struggle against capitalism in all its forms. Unless the workers realize this now, they will find that while they fight and sacrifice to destroy fascism, their rulers and their class allies in Russia, will be principally engaged in consolidating their own class positions in the rear, and incidentally sabotaging the workers’ fight. Social revolution alone can free the workers’ hands—by overthrowing bourgeois “democratic” capitalism—to crush fascism and brutal exploitation for ever.

The fight against fascism is the fight against war, is the fight against the class system which breeds wars. Workers must refuse to subordinate the class war to the national unity that benefits only the oppressors of the Working class. But to limit the class struggle to mere wage issues, to half measures, is to court defeat. Fascism can be beaten only if the working class owns and controls the land and the instruments of production.

As the imperialist war drags on it is time for the scattered forces of the world revolution to redouble their efforts for the task of preparing to meet social collapse with the revolutionary message to the workers: No compromise with forces of reformism or reaction. Organisation for the social revolution. ANARCHISM.

[1] This is the so-called “barter trade” that Nazi Germany had introduced into her market dealings throughout the world, and which, in turn, made the “gold standard” valueless. It is also this barter trade method that was one of the main factors in the declaration of war upon Germany by the “democratic” powers of Great Britain and France.—M.G.

[2] See Appendix.

[3] Since this was written the Report of the Comptroller & Auditor General (H.M.S.O.) has revealed the extent of this profiteering, but the Churchill-Labour Government has refused to allow the names of the companies to be made public.