It was my intention to append to this pamphlet the manifestoes issued by Mjasnikov, on behalf of the Russian Anti-Parliamentarians, with details of Mjasnikov’s struggles and imprisonments, in Czarist and in Bolshevik Russia alike. Space does not permit such an indulgence. The reader is referred, therefore, to the columns of The Commune for 1927, meantime, for the account of Mjasnikov’s career, ideas and activity.
1. ANTI-PARLIAMENTARISM 1N HOLLAND (1927)
In May, 1927, The Commune translated and published the leaflet that was broadcast in Holland by the Anti-Parliamentarian comrades there, exposing Russian Imperialism and denouncing the Soviet Government for providing the German bourgeoisie with arms. The leaflet read as follows : —
FROM THE PAPERS.
RUSSIA PROVIDES THE GERMAN BOURGEOISIE WITH ARMS.
In November, 1926, the “Manchester Guardian” published a report that the German military board had built chemical factories in Russia for making poison gas. German officers had traveled to and from Russia on false passports vised by the Russian authorities. Several ships arrived from Russia at Stettin. Their freight consisted chiefly of arms and munitions, evidently for the German army...
Now, three months after this report, we know that the armament of Germany by Russia is a fact.
Already, on December 6, the “ Berliner Tageblatt,” the semiofficial organ of the German Government, declared: —
German engineers have erected in Russia three factories; one for AIRPLANES, one for SHELLS, and one for POISON GAS!
It adds that only the shell factory is at work.
At first the Communist Party denied these reports and then said that a concession had been made to a private firm.
At last, in the Prussian Parliament, Pieck (K.P.D.) acknowledged, in the name of the Communist Party, that the erection of the airplane factory was by
AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GERMAN AND RUSSIAN GOVERNMENTS! ! !
Moreover, Bucharin, in “ Imprecorr “(Vol. 7, No. 10), for January 28, 1927 (speech corrected in No. 12, February 4)
DEFENDS THE ARMAMENT OF THE GERMAN BOURGEOISIE BY RUSSIA....
These facts not only throw a light on Russia as a capitalistic country, but also on the third International. It was already very surprising that the Communist Party representatives in the German Parliament had voted for a
SECRET MILITARY FUND OF SIXTY MILLION MARKS AND THE APPOINTMENT OF SEVERAL HIGH MILITARY OFFICERS.
Now this is clear too!
THAT SECRET FUND WAS FOR THE SHELL DELIVERY, and the officers were needed in the “ production.”
AND ALL THIS IS CALLED REVOLUTIONARY PARLIAMENTARISM!
The functioning of the Third Internationalism is revealed and the part played by the Moscow “ Communists “ in other countries is clear. The Third International is only a weapon in the hands of the new Russian capitalist class. Russia not only concludes a secret league for providing the German bourgeoisie with arms, but, through the agency of the Third International.
RUSSIA IS ABLE TO SURRENDER THE WHOLE WORKING CLASS OF THE WORLD TO THE CAPITALISTS!
In 1922, the secret league was concluded. And in 1923, Bucharin at the fourth world congress of the Third International, made the preludes for a new August 4, 1914. When a new war comes, the laborers submit to THEIR bourgeois rulers when THEIR land has concluded a league with the Russian Government. Following the protocols of the fourteenth session of this congress, Bucharin declared that the “proletarian” States must seek not only loans from but conclude MILITARY ALLIANCES with the bourgeois States, and that “ IT IS THE DUTY OF COMRADES OF SUCH A LAND, i.e., BOURGEOIS STATE, TO HELP TO THE BLOCK TO THE SIEGE “ of Russia. He also speaks of this military alliance as “THIS FORM OF THE FATHERLAND’S DEFENSE.”
We thought that the proletarian answer to a new slaughter of the proletariat was to be the general strike, leading to revolution: upheaval rather than war! We are mistaken with all the Socialists who pioneered the idea of insurrection against war. According to Moscow,
WE WORKERS MUST RALLY TO THE BOURGEOISIE THAT IS ALLIED TO RUSSIA.
We must help Russia by allegiance to the bourgeoise State! AND YOU WORKER!
What do you think of such agreements?
Is it not clear that the Third International is only an instrument in the hands of political mumpers? Is it not clear that, under the mask of Communism, the interests of RUSSIAN CAPITALISM are being advanced and protected?
Commenting on this manifesto, The Commune endorsed every word, and added: —
“ The Third Internation represents the counter-revolution, and the Moscow “ Communists” stand for anti-Socialism, PURE AND SIMPLE.”
The leaflet was discussed at a meeting in Amsterdam of the Communist Party of Holland. An official speaker of the C.P. agreed with the denunciation, but explained that the arming of the German bourgeoisie was a Failure, a Mlistake, and finally, a Deviation (sic) from the really revolution policy of the Third International ! Accordingly the local Anti-Parliamentarian comrades returned to the matter and broadcast another leaflet showing that the German armament scandal was neither a mistake nor a deviation, but the logical consequence of the theory of Leninism.
The leaflet cited Lenin’s theory that the proletariat does not stand opposed, always, irreconcilably, to its “bourgeoisie” but may have to support such bourgeoisie under certain circumstances. The leaflet adds :-
The happenings of the last few years have shown how THIS THEORY OF LENINISM IMMEDIATELY LEADS TO THE PROLETARIAT SUPPORTING THE COUNTER-REVOLUTION.
The Third International is attacked for pursuing a German nationalist policy in 1923 and, “ during the Rhur war, made a united front with the German nationalists.” Reventlow, leader of the nationalists, wrote articles in the Communist Party Rote Fahne. The armament of the poor suppressed German bourgeoisie was a direct consequence of this policy.
Speaking at Moscow, on January 8, 1927, Bucharin defended this policy and referred to Germany as passing through an ordeal of national oppression, of humiliation, of actual pillage at the hands of the Imperialist State.” In other words, Germany was not an imperialist State, and Bucharin thought of Germany in exactly the same way as he thought of Soviet Russia. Immediately succeeding the passage quoted, Bucharin added : —
I may here observe that not only our Party but all other Comm. Parties rightly held it to be impossible that the peculiar position in which Germany was placed, could have formed sufficient reason for defending even a bourgeois Germany against the tyranny of the imperialist states.
See Imprecorr, No. 10, January 28, 1927.
Bucharin proceeded to show that his attitude was pure Leninism and declared that “ Comrade Lenin held a national emancipation war against the rule of imperialism to be possible.” Bucharin added : —
In my opinion Germany was actually in this position at the close of the Imperialist War. so that THE SOVIET STATE WAS PERFECTLY RIGHT IN EXPRESSING ITS SYMPATHY WITH OPPRESSED GERMANY AND ALL COMM. PARTIES WERE FULLY JUSTIFIED IN AIDING GERMANY DESPITE ITS BOURGEOIS REGIME, in its struggle against the imperialist states.
The leaflet quoted Clara Zetkin’s declaration in the Reichstag, that “ under certain circumstances, a collaboration would follow between the Reichswehr (the bourgeois army) and the Red Front Fighters’ League.” (Protocoll, February 27, 1925, page 4637).
Which, with other data, caused the Dutch Anti-Parliamentarians to conclude that Russia had to arm Germany as a matter of course and that the tactic was not a mistake nor a deviation, but the true application of a false theory. The manifesto concluded : —
“ Fellow Workers! Is it not clear that the armament of the German bourgeoisie is not a ‘ mistake ‘ of the Third International, but the consequence of a real well-known policy? Is it not clear that the masters of LENINISM surrender us, through this policy, to bourgeois interests? Is it not clear that the Third International has become an organization of thecounter-revolution, and a weapon in the hands of the Russian capitalist class? ”
During the same period, another Anti-Parliamentarian, group, the Groep van International Kommunisten was circulating an interesting leaflet on the revolution in China. The following excerpts explain the events of the Chinese Revolution : —
The most important feature in the history of the world is the “awakening of China.” In the national struggle for freedom, all revolutionaries join in a UNITED FRONT to rob the “foreign tyrants” of their privileges and to give the NATIONAL forces free scope. Every revolutionary, manufacturer, bank director, landed proprietor, or proletarian unites in the DEMOCRATIC PARTY (Koumintang), to prepare a new period or development for old China.
THE PROLETARIAT PUT OFF.
What is bound to strike us in this struggle is the fact of the proletariat not acting as an independent force with its OWN CLASS PURPOSES, but serving as a puppet of the Chinese bourgeoisie. Therefore we never see the devices: “ ALL. POWER TO THE SOVIETS” or “THE LAND TO THE LABORERS” ! Neither the proletarians nor the farm laborers state their own class purposes. So all the revolution amounts to is, that the proletarians of the towns and the farm workers of the country fight for the aims of
“ THEIR “ bourgeoisie, for the freedom of “ THEIR “ nation. But it is of no consequence to the proletariat whether it is exploited by foreign or by Chinese capitalists. As a class it can only aim at Communism, and therefore make for complete industrial revolution. After all, the Chinese bourgeoisie will NOT respect the “ NATION.” As soon as China enjoys the same rights as the other capitalistic powers, China, which will mean the Chinese bourgeoisie, will join the INTERNATIONAL SYNDICATE OF THE WORLD’S EXTORTIONISTS. The cannons now aimed at the foreign forces will be turned round and pointed at the proletariat! ...
In this “ fight for freedom “ in China, Russia plays an important role, but not a proletarian one. Russia of 1927 is not the same as Russia of 1917. The Russia of to-day is a Russia seeking capitalistic allies at any cost. IT IS THE RUSSIA OF THE TREATIES WITH CAPITALISTIC GOVERNMENTS. Just as it supplied ammunition to the German and Turkish bourgeoisie, with which the German and Turkish proletariat were murdered, so it will supply bombs to the Chinese bourgeoisie for the murder of Chinese workmen... Everywhere Moscow prevents the development of proletarian power by its “ united front “ with the bourgeoisie. Moscow works very systematically: one tactic for the whole world; but not a proletariat tactic.
The leaflet quoted at length from Imprecorr, No. 155, 21st December, 1926, Stalin’s thesis on the Chinese Revolution, which it denounced rightly as counter-revolutionary.
The leaflet arrives at several conclusions from which we quote one : —
Russian politics in China has been as treasonable to the working-class as in Russia itself, and as in Europe. Under cover of revolutionary phrases, she makes Communism identical with mere reformism, radical, or rather, non-radical reforming politics.
In the later statement, emphasizing the accuracy of this earlier leaflet, the Dutch comrades said : —
Will the proletarians of the world take it as a lesson, that Russia’s only role is that of traitor to the working-class, that Russia will never really menace Capitalism, but only seek alliances with the bourgeoisie?