Socialism and War

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Aug 30 05:49:32 MDT 1995


Look, Chris, I know I told you that I was going to lay off this topic,
but I must remind you that the whole purpose of "Imperialism" was to show
the qualitative change in class relations that made something like WWI
completely different than the American Civil War, for example. You should
re-read "Imperialism" and contrast it with the earlier book. Lenin was
constantly changing his political views based on a better understanding
of class relationships. We should learn from his example.

Louis

On Wed, 30 Aug 1995, Chris Burford wrote:

> In saying that we should always oppose every action by our bourgoisies,
> I think some people are being more catholic than the pope.
>
> This is not a marxist position, and it is not a leninist position.
>
> "Socialism and War" written summer 1915 starts:
>
> "Socialists have always condemned war between nations as barbarous
> and brutal. But our attitue towards war is fundamentally different
> from that of the bourgeois pacifists (supporters and advocates of
> peace) and of the Anarchists."
>
> ....
>
> "In history there have been numerous wars which, in spite of all the
> horrors, atrocities, distress and suffering that inevitably accompany
> all wars, were progressive, i.e. benefited the development of mankind
> by helpng to destroy the exceptionally harmful and reactionary
> institutions (for example, autocracy or serfdom), the most barbarous
> despotisms in Europe (Turkish and Russian)."
>
> .....
>
> Lenin argues that from the time between the French Revolution and the
> Paris Commune there were a number of progressive wars and says,
>
> "during *such* wars, all honest, revolutionary democrats, and all
> Socialists, always sympathised with the success of that country
> (i.e. with that bourgeoisie) [Lenin's text not mine] which had helped to
> overthrow, or sap, the most dangerous foundations of feudalism,
> absolutism and oppression of other nations. For example the revolutionary
> wars waged by France contained an element of plunder and conquest of
> alien territory by the French, but this does not in the least alter the
> fundamental historical significance of these wars, which destroyed and
> shattered feudalism and absolutism in the whole of old, serf-ridden
> Europe."
>
>
> Chris B, London.
>
>
>
>
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>
>
>


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