Front Cover
 The war is permanent
 The end of bourgeois economics
 The historical character of the...
 Book reviews
 Back Cover

Title: Living Marxism
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089429/00001
 Material Information
Title: Living Marxism
Physical Description: v. : ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: International Council Correspondence,
International Council Correspondence
Place of Publication: Chicago Ill
Publication Date: Spring 1940
Copyright Date: 1938
Frequency: quarterly
Subject: Communism -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Socialism -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 4 (Feb. 1938)-v. 6, no. 1 (Fall 1941).
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089429
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 24493886
alephbibnum - 001586476
 Related Items
Preceded by: International Council correspondence
Succeeded by: New essays

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    The war is permanent
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The end of bourgeois economics
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The historical character of the war ad the task of the working class
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Book reviews
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Back Cover
        Page 62
Full Text


wenty Cents

L#O/, 3, y




Vol. V. SPRING 1940 No. 1
P. O. Box 5343. Chicago, Illinois.

This magazine consciously opposes all forms of sectarianism. The sectarian confuses
the interest of his group, whether it is a party or a union, with the interest of the class.
It is our purpose to discover the actual proletarian tendencies in their backward organ-
izational and theoretical forms; to effect a discussion of them beyond the boundaries of
their organizations and the current dogmatics; to facilitate their fusion into unified
action; and thus to help them achieve real significance.

The long expected second world war is now in progress. Guesses
about its outcome spring from all directions. However, ignorance
and wishful thinking becloud most of the popular speculations. To
discover, then, the real meaning of this war, to form an attitude
toward it, and to discuss possible actions against it, it is necessary
first of all to brush aside the current misconceptions about it.
In Britain, from the Conservatives leftward to the Labour Party
and the trade unions, it is claimed that there is no motive for the
war other than to end "Hitlerism", international "lawlessness", and
all aggression. The French bourgeoisie as well as its labor move-
ment (with the exception of Russia's foreign legion in France-
the outlawed Communist Party) blow the same bugle, and so do all
other people lined up on the side of the Allies. Germany's attack
upon Poland is taken as the immediate cause for the declaration of
war. Coming after the Austrian Anschluss and the occupation of
Czechoslovakia, it demonstrates, so they say, that Hitler cannot be
trusted, that there will never be peace again until this madman is
removed. This view is shared by those interested in retarding the
German imperialistic drive for the purpose of accelerating the im-
perialism of the other powers.
The anti-Nazi powers defend "democracy", "peace" and "civil.
ization", as well as themselves and a number of weaker nations
against Hitler's barbarism, but the Nazis too, find themselves in
a "defensive war" against Britain's attempt to limit the living op-
portunities of the "German people". Only a strong Germany, they
point out, may escape foreign exploitation and may regain its right-
ful place in the sun. The Anschluss was unavoidable, they declare;

Czechoslovakia had to be disarmed to safeguard Germany, the
system of Versailles had to be destroyed, so that the German people
may continue to live. They turn back the moral arguments, pointing
out that England is notorious for breaking promises and agreements,
that Poland did not live up to treaties made with Germany but
actually, backed by England, attacked Germany. They declare Hit-
ler's policy not only beneficial for Germany but also a guarantee
for further world peace, a peace which is not desired by English

The German "war-socialism" developed long before the actual
outbreak of hostilities provided the Nazi propaganda with an ad-
ditional argument, namely, that it is the "socialistic" nature of the
German national-economy which is feared and fought by the "capital-
istic, plutocratic, Jewish, democratic nations". Nazi propagandists
point out sarcastically that the slogan "defense of democracy" is
an ordinary swindle, since the democracy which is only nominal in
the capitalistic countries is far less popular than German fascism,
which really rules in the interest of the nation as a whole. This
propaganda is engaged in by all people interested in Germany's
imperialistic expansion and in the prolongation of fascist rule.

It is true that in both the fascist point and the anti-fascist
counterpoint there are some grains of truth; otherwise it would
not be possible that people would accept such explanations. How-
ever, the partial truth contained in the war propaganda loses even
its minimum of veracity once they are connected with all of the
arguments, not to speak of their comparison with the real facts.

The "neutral" countries adhere to one or the other position
mentioned, always ready, however, to change sides. They speak of
peace as long as they are neither willing nor forced to enter the
war, though in the meantime they take part in its economic battles.
The course of the war on both fronts, military and economic, will
make the decisions for those countries. Because at this writing the
war is still in its initial phases, despite Poland and Finland, because
the economic war has not as yet brought to full growth the military
one, the curious performances of countries like Italy, Spain, Turkey,
and Japan are still possible. Russia, though participating in the
imperialist aggression, even now considers itself and is considered
a "neutral" power. All countries seem to wait for more clues, offers,
accidents, and moves before they make a step further in the direction
of a world war worthy its ancestor.

The neutrality of these countries is as much a swindle as the
German "defense" or the "anti-Hitlerism" of the Allies. No country
stands aloof from the present war. In more than one way are Japan's
occupation of Manchuria, Italy's conquest of Ethiopia and the
Spanish civil war, to mention only a few incidents, closely con-
nected with the present war. And so is the neutrality policy, as any
other policy of the United States. Though it seems that the majority
of the population in America shares the current nonsense concerning
the cause of the war, directing its sympathies to the side of the
"peace-loving", "democratic countries"; nevertheless their participa-
tion in the war will not be determined by this feeling, but by realities
over which they have little control and which are not even known
to them.
Knowledge of the cause of the war is indispensable to any in.
vestigation. There were wars before there was capitalism. Only the
capitalistic war is caused by the present socio-economic system.
Some people hold that in capitalism wars are inevitable; others
assume the possibility of a capitalist society outlawing wars forever.
The latter looked upon the war of 1914 as the "last war", as the war
to end all wars. Again they proclaim this war the unavoidable way
to eternal peace. Now, as then, they nurture a "grand illusion".
We think that though each war has its specific historical reason,
that all wars within the capitalist system have also a general reason
which can be found in the class- and production relations of capital-
ism. As boom and depression are interrelated, war and peace inter.
depend upon each other. To favor capitalistic prosperity means to
suffer capitalistic depressions, to favor capitalistic peace means to
be a war monger. The warrior and the pacifist cannot help but act
alike, because both react to the same forces, beyond their control.
To explain the interconnection between war and peace: The
German wars from 1864 to 1871, for instance, were designed to break
down a national and international political framework hindering
unfolding of Germany as a first-rate industrial and capitalist power
able to compete with other capitalist nations. The wars helped to
bring about a situation where the newly released productive forces
demanded more than a merely European power position. Germany
proceeded on the road to world power in direct competition with
France and England. It set out for a greater part in the exploitation
of world labor. The peaceful post-war prosperity, based on a rapid
capital accumulation, to a large extent had its basis in the new

setting created by the wars, just as the earlier difficulties in start-
ing this expansion were one important reason for their outbreak.
As a capitalist economy cannot remain a "national" economy, of
necessity it must lead to conflicts among nations whenever the com-
plications of economy, which increase with the growth of capital,
demand solutions and changes carried out internationally by the na-
tional unities. The national form of capitalism is one of its limita-
tions, which, however, cannot be overcome unless the capitalist
system itself disappears.
National wars and national revolutions effect a capitalist world
production just as much as do capital export, colonization, inter-
national division of labor, and foreign trade. As a matter of fact,
wars and revolutions take place when the "peaceful" means of
strengthening and spreading capitalism become insufficient or lose
their force altogether. Though wars themselves do not create profits
but destroy capital, still the development of capital is unthinkable
without them.
For a long time until recently all depressions could be regarded
as a "healing process" of a sick economic body, actually leading to
a new prosperity enjoying a new level of productivity which the
depression itself established. Similarly, each war could be regarded
as an attempt to re-organize for peace. The question today is only
that inasmuch as the depression no longer seems to re-establish a
basis for prosperity, whether in the same way war no longer..can
establish a basis for another period of capitalist peace. [1]
It is one of the unresolvable contradictions and calamities of
capitalist profit production that the more 'it strives to increase its
profits, the more difficult it becomes to produce them. Only a
steady increase in capital formation permits capitalist prosperity.
A continuous depression and stagnation allows no perspective other
than the eventual destruction of capitalist society. If. it becomes
impossible in a given country to raise the profitability .of capital
sufficient for the continuation of capital expansion, there then arises
the burning need to begin or increase the appropriation of additional
.profits from abroad. This means an attack on the profit opportuni-
ties of other nations, and when the situation becomes critical, war.

[1] Though it is true that the miseries of depression are always present
in any period of prosperity, and that a time of .complete peace was never a
reality, nevertheless these situations can still be distinguished, since the degree
of misery existing, or the extension of warfare in the whole scheme of things
can be relatively determined.

This dry explanation of the economic basis of capitalism [2]
and imperialism (and the basis for both is the same) does not, of
course, tell the whole story, but without it a real understanding of
capitalism's inability to escape internal frictions and international
wars would be impossible. The insatiable need for ever more and
more profits, the fact that capitalism is nothing but profit pro-
duction, makes it necessary to explain the driving forces behind
imperialist actions in terms of economic categories. More than that,
whatever the phenomenon that may be brought forward to explain
imperialism, as, for instance, the ideological arguments, the desire
for security, for land and for raw materials, the monopolization of
markets, capital export, strategic-military requirements, or anything
else, can be reduced finally to its simplest terms: capitalism's vital
necessity to accumulate profits.
There should no longer be any doubt that all of capitalism's
difficulties spring from a lack of profits. On this point all capital.
ists and all bourgeois economists are agreed regardless of the dif.
ferent explanations they might bring forth to explain this shortage.
or whatever the methods they might suggest to do away with it.
They have employed various means and methods to increase capital's
profitability in order to continue expansion. They have raised the
productivity of labor and intensified its exploitation; they have
formed manufacturer's combine, cartels, syndicates, etc. They have
set up marketing and price controls, created trust and monopolies,
and all without avail. As soon as one industry seemed to be stabil.
ized, another was disrupted. In the very attempt to safeguard and
increase the capital of one or the other capitalist group, the basis
of existence for the whole of capitalist society became only more
precarious. Thus capitalism, seeking to surmount its barriers, suc.
ceeded only in creating higher and more impassible ones.
The need for imperialistic actions is nothing else than the need
for profits. As this need explains the internal development of the
capitalist countries it also explains their foreign policy. Capital is
[2] We do not wish to give at this point a fuller explanation of the con-
sequences of the capitalist accumulation process since we have dealt with
them quite frequently in previous issues of Living Marxism. We accepted
Marx's theory of accumulation and his interpretation of the meaning of the
tendency of 'a falling rate of profit in the course of the accumulation process.
(The rate of profit declines because the organic composition of capital grows;
that is, that part of capital invested into means of production grows faster than
that invested into labor power. As profits are derived from the exploitation
of labor power only, the decline of the latter relative to the capital invested
into means of production must make it difficult, in the course of time, to gain
sufficient profits for the continuation of a rate of capital expansion necessary
for a capitalistic prosperity.)

transferred from one field of production to another, alike internally
and internationally. It is sent into non-capitalistic countries, or
countries which offer more favorable conditions of production just
as it spreads over all branches of manufacture and conquers pri-
mitive agriculture in the advanced countries.
The colonizing imperialists began by exporting capital for the
development of plantations, irrigation systems, mines, mills and
factories. In return for building highways, railroads and ports for
the imperialists, the colonies found themselves swamped with goods
from the mother countries. The exploitation of the colonies was
a two-fold one: the labor power was exploited directly in the cap-
italist enterprises, and indirectly through the exchange of colonial
products with those manufactured in the mother countries. The dif-
ference in the productivity of labor, due to the high organic com-
position of capital in the imperialist nations, and the lower organic
composition of capital in the colonies, allows the advanced countries
to exchange less labor for more, and to exploit even the poorest
populations of the world. Besides these measures, taxation and
forced labor increased the profits gained by colonization even
Just the same, the desire and need for colonial exploitation is
often denied by the statement that colonies have proven to be
liabilities rather than assets to imperialist countries; but no cap-
italist country has as yet been ready to part with them unless forced
to do so by other nations willing to take over the "white man's
burden". The Allies did not hesitate a second about taking Ger-
many's colonies after 1918; for, in reality, the possession of them
and the control of backward countries is profitable to the im-
perialists not only because of the exploitation of the natives, but
also because of the establishment of monopolies over vital raw ma-
terials, and because military-strategic advantages can be gained
which, in turn, may be transformed into additional profits.
Though it may be true that colonies are expensive to the tax-
payers of an imperialist country, nevertheless they have yielded
tremendous profits to those capitalist groups directly engaged in
colonial exploitation. Not with injustice is it said about England,
for example, that its rapid rise as an industrial and capitalist power
would not have taken place except for the fortunes taken from
India. Money in sufficient quantity is transformed into capital:
without the tremendous money accumulation largely aided by col-
onial plunder capitalism's development would have been much

The sharpening need for additional profits intensifies all im-
perialistic rivalries. But the changes taking place in each capitalist
country become reflected in its imperialistic attitude. The inter-
national growth of capital becomes opposed to its early imperialism.
New capitalist nations, late in entering the arena of world politics,
have found and are finding themselves hampered by conditions
created at the time when they still belonged with the backward
countries. Old capitalist countries, especially England, had sub-
jugated a great part of the world and exploited it in their exclusive
interests. To ward off exploitation by the stronger countries, those
that were backward had to develop "artificial" means to increase
their competitive strength.13] They became more "political", more
"militaristic", more "restless", and less "democratic" from the very
outset of their development.
The more openly expressed "militaristic spirit" and the "un-
democratic nature" of countries like Germany, Japan, Italy, and
Russia, is connected not only with their feudalistic traditions, but
even more with their precarious positions as new capitalistic coun.
tries within the world economy. They simply cannot afford the
"democratic" spirit of France which rules over a vast colonial em-
pire and possesses even the means to maintain a largely satisfied
peasant population. They cannot afford the effective solidarity of
all classes which exists in England and which is based on an in-
stinctive recognition that English privilege demands such unity.
Limited in their appropriation of profits from world-exploitation
they are forced to squeeze their own population more intensively to
accumulate profits. "English history shows that political democracy
can function only where the tempo of social transformation is slow
and steady", observed Adolf Loewe [4]; it cannot function with
the same results and in identical forms in the newer and belated
capitalist countries, which have to hasten their capitalization pro-
cess. But this quickened accumulation, based on the intensive ex-
ploitation of .the native workers, gives rise to social legislation to
compensate for oppression, and to prevent the killing of the goose
which lays the golden egg. This "social" element in the newer
capitalist countries, hailed as its humanization process, was and is
in truth an expression of its insecurity and its bestialization. While
the dearth of capital is thus compensated by better organization,

[3] See the following article on the development of Bourgeois Economics
in this issue.
[4] The Price of Liberty. London 1937, p. 38.

which helps to develop capitalism, at the same time it undermines
even faster its fundament; the blind-working laws of the market.
The process of capital accumulation is at the same time the con-
centration and centralization process of economic and political
power. It takes place during the whole evolution of capitalism and
proceeds faster during periods of stagnation and decline. At present
it is accentuated by new political movements appearing under such
terms as Bolshevism and Fascism.

It was often assumed that the richer a country, the stronger
should be its centralization and concentration. But rather that which
determines the degree of centralization in a country is the rapidity
of accumulation necessitated by its competitive position on the.
world market. Expressed only in terms of capital concentration it
was true until the world war that the more highly developed cap-
italist countries were those in which the largest fortunes were con-
centrated. Yet, the "richer" a country was in an economic sense,
the less urgent was its need to rule politically. The government
was left to middle class politicians, for they could not help but
govern in the interest of the big capitalists, and, at any rate, could
not govern against them. In America, for instance, the powerful
capitalists could ignore the government to a point where it at times
seemed to be in strict opposition to the needs of Big Business, with-
out, however, being able to exercise more than verbal opposition.

In poorer capitalist countries, like Japan, the concentration of
wealth was from the beginning identical with the concentration of
political power. What was required here was not the slow "normal"
development of capitalism by way of general competition, but a
forced capitalization necessitating from the start the most extensive
state interference to overcome the disadvantages of Japan's tardy
entrance on the world market. In other words, the high capital con-
centration of wealth reached in the older capitalist countries, account
for the accentuated concentration of wealth and power in the more
backward countries. The Russian slogan, "To reach and over-reach"
Western capitalism, is not an empty one, but dictated by dire
necessity, the necessity to avoid exploitation by foreign capital and
thus be hindered in her national development, which would mean
the continuation of the misery caused by a combination of generally
backward productive forces with the exploitation from abroad. To
change this primitive misery into the advanced miseries of capital-
ism compels the use of national-revolutionary methods directed
against those interests bound to the backward conditions of the

country, and the interests of foreign capital. The capitalization of
such countries, then, when not accomplished by the still undeveloped
bourgeoisie, must be accomplished against the bourgeoisie. The
economic weakness of the backward countries thus explains the
radical centralization of all possible power in the hands of the state.
This forced centralization, furthermore, reveals the real inter-
national character of capitalism, which forces its weakest links to
leap violently over and beyond the gaps in development between
themselves and stronger nations. From this point of view the state-
capitalist tendencies developing in both "fascist" and "democratic"
nations indicate an actual economic weakness of capitalism.
Thus, the 'aggressors" in the present struggle have turned their
weakness into strength. It is true that while both the fascist and the
anti-fascist nations are aggressors, until recently, however, the
"democratic nations" could emphasize the use of economic weapons,
whereas the fascist countries to an increasing extent had to rely on
purely military ones. The world crisis of 1929, sharpening the im-
perialist contradictions and disturbing in unknown proportions the
international economy, accentuated the militarization of capitalism.
If the crisis brought no more than the "New Deal" to a rich country
like the United States, it brought fascism to a poorer country like
Germany, the still poorer nations like Italy, Japan, Turkey, Russia,
and Poland already having it. Fascism reveals an arid capital and
a still existing well-being is the basis of anti-fascism. When this
well-being goes, the metamorphosis of anti-fascism into fascism
It is true, or rather it was true, that in the time of rapid capital
accumulation the number of capitalists increased together with the
growth of capital. But as soon as one compares this increased num-
ber with the increase of capital then it must be said that relative to
the rate of growth of capital the number of capitalists declined.
They were decimated in booms as well as in depressions; they fell
victims to trustification and market control, to changes in production
and productivity. However, in periods of capital stagnation and
conditions of crisis the concentration process of capital through dom-
inantly economic channels slowed down to the point where like in
Germany it had to be bolstered by violent political methods.
Internal political struggles, the shifting of class positions, bank-
ruptcies and favoritism, increased state interference to secure some
form of stability to the exploitative society, lead to a situation in
which the state assumed economic leadership. Though there exist

in Germany and Italy still individual entrepreneurs, individual in-
terests, profits and goals, and therewith individual chances for gain,
for privileges and extra profits; yet this individualism is now
subordinated to the state-controlled total economy. Of course, for-
merly there were also economic aggregates and complexities, but
today the individual diversity of all economic subjects and under-
takings is coordinated and directed into total unified activity, in so
far as this is possible at all.
In Germany today, the individual entrepreneur is no longer
master of his own enterprise. He can no longer decide upon invest-
ment, upon importation or quality of raw materials, conditions of
labor, type of production, rate of interest or profit. Overseas trade,
colonial activization of the forces of expansion are taken out of his
hands. He becomes an interested official in a bureaucratized, politic-
alized, economic apparatus. No longer does he factually possess or
augment capital which need reinvestment. The forced centraliza-
tion, the trustified state monopoly has curbed if not abolished com-
petition. For him, there is no longer a crisis in the old sense
threatening the economy, because the armament industry which has
animated all branches of industrial life is working full blast and is
actually swamped with orders. The manufacturer is no longer
haunted by the spectre of the falling rate of profit because the state
has fixed, normalized and guaranteed his income. For expansion
or new investments the treasury of the state is available.
This process going on, the composition of the ruling class
changes still further. The state bureaucracy replaces more com-
pletely the lawful owners of capital. The bureaucracy becomes a
mixture of industrial, military and political officials. However, like
the capitalists of old, the new fascist rulers are such only by virtue
of their control of the means of production. The rule over the work-
ers and the powerless in society, which could no longer be safe-
guarded by economic means, is now secured by political methods. [5]

Able to develop world trade only on the basis of exploitation,
the international policy of all capitalist countries-at all decisive
moments-could assume the form only of warfare. Despite this
peculiar form of "international relations" the capitalists, still fight-
ing against the remnants of feudalism, fighting between themselves
and against the workers, at first needed a political democracy ip

[5] As the best short exposition of fascism and its origin we suggest the
reading of Max Horkheimer's article "The Jews and Europa" in the Zeit-
schrift fuer Sozialforschung, Jhrg. VIII, Nr. /2; Paris, 1939.

which they could settle their problems within the general com-
petitive struggle. But the more the concentration process of capital
became intensified, law and government became less and less the
synthesis of numerous political and economic frictions, and instead
the "needs of the whole" were served better through exclusively
serving the needs of the few. Government became solely the
instrument for suppression within the country and an instrument
for imperialistic policies.
National borders, however, cannot stop the centralization pro-
cess. The trend in capitalist development towards reducing the num-
ber of exploiters simultaneously increasing their power over larger
masses of workers, forces the international "re-organizations" of
spheres of exploitation. The more the competition of private entre-
preneurs was displaced by the political competition for bureaucratic
power positions, the sharper became the competition between na-
tions, but no longer only for this or that colonial possession, or for
a greater share of world trade, but for complete and exclusive con-
trol over so-called geographic-economic "Lebensraeume". In other
words, there evolved the division of the world by a few important
powers, sharing among themselves the exploitation of the many na-
tional unities, just as the great industrial combines control a number
of smaller enterprises. "Only for a few great powers", states a Nazi
Publication, [6] "remains the possibility of military independence
and an autonomous economy. For lesser powers this holds true no
longer". And it is pointed out further that the world crisis was not
overcome by the automatism which worked in earlier depressions,
but that each country was forced to find a solution for itself with-
out regard for world economy. However, this "independent solu-
tion"-first celebrated as the trend towards autarchy,-was in reality
the preparation for war between the decisive powers for world
dominance.- "The concept of a power", the Nazi publication con-
tinues, "has been defined as a state capable of defending itself
against a constellation of other powers. Since there exist great
powers, small and medium states are forced to cooperate with them
or to maintain neutrality. The political power must also be an eco-
nomic power, which, then, is the real meaning of all present-day
military policy in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, be-
cause the basis for a stabilized economy exists only in countries like
the United States or Soviet Russia, stretched out as they are over
whole continents. The smaller countries are unable to defend them-

.[6] L. Miksch, "Wirtschaftsgrossmaechte und Nebenlaender". Die Wirt-
schaftskurve. Frankfurt a. M. H. II. 1939.

selves and are able to be independent only on the basis of a low
standard of living. The transformation of world trade correspond-
ing to the military-economic necessities of today is not a general
one, but starts with the great powers and leads to a reshifting of
all nations around a few power centers."
The miserable conditions in Russia and the depth of the crisis
in the United States, however, shows that in these countries there
also does not exist the basis for a "stabilized economy". The
capitalist crisis is not a question of geography but a problem of
class relations. As long as the exploitation of wage labor exists,
as long as the whole economy functions for the maintenance and
in the interest of the ruling classes, just so long territorial ex-
pansions, re-shifting of nations, divisions of spheres of influence
may help one group of capitalists at the expense of others, but they
can not do away with the existing misery and the present crisis con-
ditions. This very process illustrates the utter incapacity of capital-
ism ever to proceed towards a real and rational world economy. The
"automatic laws of the market" have not done away with the crisis
conditions characterizing the world of today; the hope is gone that
they ever will. The possibility for the recurrence of the "normal
recovery" is also gone, for capitalism there is nothing left than to
amalgamate as many states as possible into one or the other bloc
of powers and to attempt an equalization of the diverse competitive
capacities between these blocs, which is possible only by way of
war. But this very process of solving consciously and capitalistic-
ally the present crisis conditions, deepens them only further, for
those economic criteria of capitalism which manifested themselves
through crises, have been largely eliminated under recent fascistic
and other organized interference with the economic mechanism.
This then is the "tragedy" of fascism and of all "capitalistic
planning" attempts, that the better they succeed, the more they dis-
rupt the capitalist world order. Yet, there is no way of preventing
this destruction, for with the "waiting for normal recovery", the
depression would create miseries at present inconceivable, and cause
the destruction of millions of human beings and multitudes of
capitalists. This situation cannot be envisioned without its corol-
lary of wars and revolutions that is, such a situation would bring
into existence what exists today. A capitalist peace is no solution
for capitalism; it would not be less costly than war. And the intel-
ligent of the ruling class know this. "In all the belligerent coun-
tries", writes the New Statesman and Nation, [7] "the return to
[7] A New Deal for Europe. 2-17-40.

civilian life may seem so perilous and so difficult that the dread
of it may even prolong the war. Besides idle machines, demobilized
men even among the victors, if victors there be, will face poverty
with rifles in their hands."

It was no secret that Germany was preparing for war. Its
whole economy since 1933 and even long before that was geared
to the coming slaughter. To make possible the external struggles,
peace had to be established at home. The bourgeoisie of old could
no longer guarantee such peace with the traditional methods. A new
ideology was developed to secure capitalist exploitation, though it
no longer appeared capitalistic. The social phraseology became the
more "radical", the more actual life became barbaric. As the "social
politics" of the age of reform indicated only intensified exploita-
tion, so the growth of national-"socialist" ideology expressed only
the preparation for gigantic mass murders.
From the viewpoint of the worker's class interests there are
no essential differences in the characters of the German and the
other socio-economic structures. Yet, there exist considerable dif-
ferences in the economic insecurity of the diverse nations, ex-
plaining the range of differences in the ideologies. As a capitalist
nation Germany resumed its imperialistic policy at the first op-
portunity; capitalistically there was no other way out of its diffi-
culties. The German working class, unable and unwilling to end
capitalism was therewith forced either to participate in the new
imperialistic drive, or to remain altogether passive. And their actual
passivity has been an additional reason for the coming of fascism
with its peculiar national-socialistic phraseology. But what holds
good for Germany, under present conditions, holds good for all of
the world. Not to act socialistically means to act imperialistically.
It is entirely senseless, then, to maintain that the German workers
do not really want to fight for fascism and its war. Nobody wants
to fight for anything. But by missing a historical chance, or in the
absence of an opportunity for a social revolution, the workers of
today have no choice but to fight in the fascist war. In spite of
the French and English workers declaring and even believing that
they are not fighting Germany but Hitler, they too are fighting
only because they have no other alternative, they also have to act
imperialistically for failing to act socialistically. For this reason
it cannot be expected that the workers of these countries, or any
other country, will seriously oppose the fascizization process going
on in the world.

Fascism is not a German invention, but the outcome of capitalist
liberalism. It is not the opposite of that which existed yesterday
but its continuation. Its roots can be traced back to the very begin-
nings of capitalism, and it may be described as the most ideal form
of capitalism yet achieved. As fascism is the product of capitalism
proper and as it is created by world capitalism though first appear-
ing in a few countries, it must some day embrace the world unless
the capitalist system of production disappears altogether. The war
will hasten the fascization of the world, it is the medium for this
process, but even this development must be forced upon the world
and cannot be-on account of the existing class relations-con-
sciously and peacefully adopted.

"To conquer the enemy", said Paul Reynaud, [8] "we must first
conquer ourselves." And two weeks later he said before the French
Senate: "Many Frenchmen are uneasy at the prospect of postwar
France. They wonder if the state will devour everything... Ex-
change control? Price control? Salary control?... Events have
forced them on us." It is true, events have forced fascism upon the
bourgeoisie. But once it appears, all bridges to the previous form
of capitalism are blown to pieces by that newly-emerging ruling
class which takes over positions of social power during the "emer-

The centralized dictatorships of the continent also determine
the course of English society. Its resistance to the transformation in
their direction is not to be considered since "the unconscious but
extremely effective solidarity of all classes in exploiting the col-
onial and pre-capitalist markets is drawing to its close. The struggle
for the respective share in the national product can no longer be
mitigated simply by a compromise over the sharing out of the annual
increase." [9] The state itself will have to maintain the exploitative
order and "the only compensation which could be offered to the
upper classes in place of their economic privileges would be a
favored role in filling leading positions in the administration of
a planned order-administration instead of acquisition [10] "It is
not too much to say", states the London Economist, [11] "that the
form which industrial control takes during the war will dominate
the economic development of the country after the war. We are in
serious danger of slipping into a feudalistic system of cartel con-

[8] Speech to the Chamber of Deputies 12-13-29.
[9] The Price of Liberty, p. 38.
[10] Ibid., p. 41.
[11] 12-9-1939; p. 364.

trol which may or may not succeed in producing a stable post-war
world but which will certainly militate against the abundant pro-
duction of cheap goods."
It will not take long till the French decrees for stabilized wages,
regulation of payment for overtime, and the abolition of the shop
steward system will echo in England. And after that there will
follow the elimination process of the atomized capitalistic interests
to establish the unity state-capital now ruling in the fascist coun-
tries. In the forming of the modern nation-state, political centraliza-
tion was the necessary means of overcoming feudalism, and it now be-
comes the guardian of the system of wage labor against possible
rebellion. What was once hailed victoriously by the lower classes
as their very own, now turns into a system of oppression beside
which the feudalistic form appears as a monument of liberalism.
Just as the individual capitalists turn fascist (with exceptions)
only at the point of bankruptcy (and some are denied even that
privilege) the capitalistic labor organizations, too, have difficulties
in adopting themselves to fascism. They can at best follow, but
never initiate the new trend. That the old labor movement lives and
dies with liberal capitalism comes to light in their helplessness
before fascism, and their inescapable necessity to help prepare the
way for it. In opposition to Daladier's dictatorial policy, Leon
Blum, for instance, in behalf of the French socialists could no more
than declare, that his own program did not differ in its final pur-
pose, but only in method, from that of the French bourgeoisie.
"There is even a movement among the more progressive elements
in the C. G. T." (National Trade Union Centre of France), reports
the Economist, [12] "to think in terms of universal military rates
of pay supplemented by family allowances. Why should a worker
be paid more than a soldier?"
When after the establishment of exchange controls, of a license
system for foreign trade, and with the beginnings of investment
control, in the French and English governments' adjustments of
their economies to the needs of war had been made, the thing that was
stressed by the English experts first and most of all was the need
to lower the English wages to the level of the French. The trade
union representatives, it was said, "will be unable to escape the con-
clusion that sacrifices will have to be made by the British working
class before equality of effort with France is reached." [13] And
British experts offered a number of plans to facilitate the sacrifice.

[12] London, 2-3-1940; p. 191.
[13] Economist, 12-16-1939.

Mr. J. M. Keynes, the most celebrated of them, writes, "The workers
must not make a greater immediate demand on the national re-
sources than hitherto; the community may have to ask of them a
reduction. But this is no reason why they should not be rewarded
by a claim on future resources... The remedy is to distinguish two
kinds of money-rewards for present effort-money which can be
used, if desired, and money the use of which must be deferred until
the emergency is over and we again enjoy a surplus of productive
resources." [14] This scheme fits perfectly, as an American com-
plained, "in the growing passion for coersion and regimentation",
but it must amuse even the schemers, as they know quite well that
Mr. Keynes' high-sounding language will not substitute for the whip
which will back up the command to work more and eat less. For
"at no point in a realistic discussion of how in particular those
British citizens who suffer war losses to person and property are
to be compensated can it be assumed that anyone but the British
public will foot the bill. This obviously means that the attempt
will be made to keep the bill small. [15] The bill can be kept small
only at the expense of the workers. And if it was only just to ask
why a worker should be paid more than a soldier, it is not unjust to
ask further why he should live longer than a soldier?
The more the struggle for democracy spreads and the longer
it lasts, the more rapidly will the world be fascizized. Beginning
with the complete subordination of labor, the process ends with
a newly-entrenched ruling class controlling all of society. Neither
capital nor labor will escape; nor will there be left a democratic
island to which the intellectuals may escape to preserve the "culture"
of yesterday that is, their status as intellectuals in a moribound
world.. "If this. war leads Europe to adopt the totalitarian economic
system", concluded a round table conference of American ex-
perts, [16] "in which government directs production and foreign
trade, the United States might move in the same direction, for
reason of self-defense."
Though war accelerates the spread of fascism, it does not cause
it. How fast fascism will march cannot be correctly predicted. How-
ever, a defeat of the "democratic countries" would lead to the im-
mediate completion of the fascist revolution now in progress. Coun-
tries in which private property in the old sense has still sufficient
weight, will for that reason-in self-defense-be on the side of

[14] London Times: 11-14; 11-15; 11-28-1939.
[15] The Economist, London; 12-2-1939, p. 320.
[16] Fortune January 1940, p. 71.

France and England. An alliance of a country like the United States
with Germany would presuppose a fascist revolution in America.
Only when the private property elements would be sufficiently
driven back, would the question of choice in war-partners arise. At
present, the United States, is interested only in either a speedy
defeat of Germany necessitating its early entrance in the war on the
side of the Allies, or in a compromise solution, in a truce rather
than peace, to win time for a re-alignment of forces less favor-
able to Germany than the present one. In short capitalism wants
both war and no war. This Hamlet attitude corresponds to the op-
position of private capital to the fascist tendencies in the "demo-
cratic" countries. It constitutes their weakness and augurs their
possible defeat unless they, too, become as one-sidedly totalitarian
as the fascist countries. But if they do-and eventually they must,
war or no war-there, then, should be apparent to any worker now
under the spell of ideologies, the senselessness of all national ques.
tions and all struggles for national purposes,
The more difficult the situation becomes for the Allies, the
more pressing becomes the need for America to help them, the more
fascistic these countries will become, and the more they will drive
Germany towards the final elimination of the last remnants of the
old capitalism. If the fascization does not continue in the dem-
ocratic countries, there is no chance for their military success; and
violent fascist revolutions will attempt to save what can be saved
in the diverse fatherlands. All roads lead to the totalitarian state.
It is no less than backward thinking to assume that a truce at
present would improve the position of the Allies, on the chance that
the Allied diplomacy of Pound and Dollar could then defeat the
German diplomacy of troops and cannons. Money was everything
only as long as it was respected as the ideal and universal form of
wealth and power. The old Blanqui slogan, that "those who have
iron, will have bread," bears more weight today. What of it, if Ger-
many cannot secure iron ore from Sweden or the oil from Rumania
because she lacks exchange? It can take the mines of Sweden and
the fields of Rumania by force if no counterforce exists to stop
her. The gold in the hills of Kentucky is no such counterforce; to
become transmitted into force, means the arming of Sweden and
Rumania, or the militarization of- America. The first takes time,
the second means fascism. Dollar diplomacy is not enough; the
truce will be used rather to militarize the "democracies" to the ex-
tent that will reimbue the fascists with the proper respect for cash.
"We can defeat Germany only", states the Economist, "by accumula-

ting an unquestioned preponderance of all the materials of war. The
only way in which we can be sure of winning the war is by looking
ahead to a time when we shall be able to take the offensive side
with at least an equality of manpower and a crashing superiority of
material-in short, do to the Germans something of what they did
to the Poles in the month of September". [17] If this was true
when printed it is even truer today. It implies that the anti-German
forces will be increasingly forced to adopt that system which they
are out to fight.
It is the wishful thinking of the anti-fascists that the blockade
and brewing financial troubles will surely bring about the defeat
of Germany without much effort on the part of the Allies, but in
this hope the movers and shakers of yesterday will be utterly dis-
appointed. Those "Marxists" a la Sternberg who by counting the
economic weaknesses of their old fatherland on their ten fingers
will have to do much re-counting. Their "economic approach" is al-
ready today a sort of propaganda in the Goebbels manner. By
fostering the war they help to bring about a world-wide fascism;
and even if their hopes come true, they will have merely aided in
bringing about a change of fascist commissars in Germany, but no
more. Such "Marxists" who propose others to fight against Hitler
assuring them of success in advance, have become themselves fascist
Sin spite of Hitler's unwillingness to grant them that privilege.

If Germany wins, warn the antifascists, it will rule the world.
No more possible in reality is the other hobgoblin that haunts many
an antifascist, which is that out of this war there might arise a
world-embracing system of fascism under one centralized ruling
body. The present half-hearted economic union of France and
England and its possibility of continuation after the war, the hypo-
critical talk of pacifists, antifascists, labor leaders, and other well-
meaning people about using this war to establish some sort of
European Federation which would come to an understanding with
the rest'of the world, returning with it to economic freedom, gives
rise anew to the dream of internationally regulated exploitation.
During the period of social reform it was argued by the socialist
worshippers of capital that the so-called tendency in each nation
towards the General Cartel-the one big trust-would be only the
stepping stone to an international cartel, that therein was to be seen

[17] The Economic Front. December 9, 1939; p. 363.

the conscious and peaceful transformation of international society
into socialism. The League of Nations was later envisioned as the
first major step in this process, but the world crisis, the collapse
of innumerable schemes and real attempts for international coopera-
tion, changed the dream into the nightmare of a world-embracing
fascism after the Russian model, so that the only ones remaining
joyful in these fantasies were the Bolsheviks.

The ruling classes of the nation-states have historically de-
veloped in a way which excludes the possibility of sharing in the
world exploitation by agreements. The organization of world
economy with its highly developed division of labor, bound as it is
to a multitude of interests not directly concerned with its needs and
consequences, continually evolves frictions between the pressing
real needs of world production and distribution, and the class needs
and limited interests of the atomized bourgeoisie. This contradic-
tion exposes the capitalist mode of production as a hindrance to
the further unfolding of the productive forces of mankind.

Theoretically and abstractly it is conceivable that wars could
be avoided if all ruling classes in all countries, or in a decisive
number of important countries, would unite themselves into one rul-
ing body to organize world exploitation on a truly world economic
basis. What would be still left then would be the class war between
the world exploiters and the world exploited. However, though the
human mind could construct such a situation, history is more and
something else than the human mind. First of all, the actualization
of this concept would mean the disregarding of all previous history,
which has created a set of conditions in which decisive changes can
be made only by way of struggle. Furthermore, in the very process
of centralizing the rule over the workers in each and all countries
class positions are shifted, fortunes destroyed, capitalists eliminated.
To effect a centralized world rule which would realize an exploita-
tive world economy ending the necessity of war, not one but un-
countable wars would have to be fought to destroy a multitude of
special interests opposed to this centralization process. But each
of these wars is likely to create conditions allowing or forcing the
working class, to destroy the now reactionary class rule. Being the
only class whose interests do not oppose a real and conscious world
collaboration, a truly world economy which would release the pro-
ductive forces now latent can be successfully realized only by this

The present war demonstrates as does all previous capitalist
history, the impossibility for capitalism nationally and internation-
ally considered, either to satisfy the real needs of world production
or of mastering it in its own capitalistic way to safeguard itself.
Even nationally where through political methods capital concen-
tration has reached unity with the state, it has been proven impossible
to eliminate the struggles within the ruling class. And it is unthink-
able that these could ever be eliminated (their form only can change)
without the eradication of classes altogether. The very existence
of class relations continuously engenders frictions and struggles
within the ruling class. So long as the economy is not able to satisfy
the relative wants of the great masses of people-and the existence
of class relations is indicated by just this situation-it cannot safisfy
the wants of the ruling class, which in itself is divided into many
categories of economic and political importance. The control of the
controllers remains a necessity, and distinctions are made in all
layers of such society. Each shift in the productivity of labor, and
each reversal the economy suffers, dislocates entire sections and
changes their positions within the ruling class. The struggle of the
exploited to enter the exploiting class leads to a continuous struggle
within the latter, as the struggle in the exploiting class finds its
arguments in the misery or the aspirations of the exploited.
That it is impossible for the sectional struggles within a national
ruling class to be eliminated, is proven quite dramatically by the
various purges in Russia and Germany, and since this intra-class
peace cannot be attained in countries where political and economic
control are practically unified, its possibility is all the more fantastic
in the case of an international ruling caste. All this is independent
from the more important consideration of whether a greater pro-
ductivity and better general welfare would be possible at all on the
basis of such centralized control, which nevertheless continues the
old class relations between capital and labor. Neither Russia nor
Germany has as yet proven that this greater "prosperity" is feasible,
and the proof will be forthcoming only when this real world of op-
posed capitalist units is superseded by the prophet's paradise of a
war-free world cartel.
But the war-free world cartel, in which by international agree-
ment the different shares of the world-created profits are allotted to
the different political-economic combines according to the needs of
international fascism, will not become a reality. Not even the unifica-
tion of Europe will result from the present war, for this would
presuppose the complete defeat of one or the other set of the belli-

gerents. However, the fight is not over European but over world
issues. A unified fascist Europe would mean, furthermore, the con-
tinuation of war; no longer between blocs of powers but between
whole continents. And it would make no difference here whether
the fascist United States of Europe would be determined by German-
Russian or by English-French imperialism. The American imperial-
ists, for instance, are well aware of the fact that whatever may be the
outcome of the war, it would lead only to another war with still
greater issues involved. Arguing for the increase in the Navy's
budget, Secretary Charles Edison recently stated: "What we have
asked for is not sufficient to defend our home waters, the Monroe
doctrine, our possessions and our trade routes against a coalition
of Japan, Russia, Germany and Italy. We must face the possibility
of an Allied defeat and then measure the strength of the powers
which might combine for action against the Americas. If our Navy
is weaker than the combined strenght of potential enemies, then
our Navy is too small. It is too small [18]." But American imperial-
ism would have to arm equally as well against an English dominated
Capital must expand or disintegrate. In either case nations,
blocs of nations, or continents must with necessity encroach upon
the interests of other nations and coalitions. Within this very process
oppressed nations seize either the opportunity or face the necessity
of revolt against their oppressors. National states will arise as
others disappear. The world scene does not shift towards greater
balance but to ever more chaos. Disorder is the basis of capitalism;
the quest for order itself leads to greater disruption. By fighting
for national "independence" the backward countries not only add
to the general disorder but also bring to light the impossibility for
a realization of their desires. Their struggle for independent national
borders helps to destroy other nations. This is analagous to what
happens in the attempt to safeguard competition in a world of
monopolies. The fiercer one fights for competitive strength the
more inexorable grow the forces of monopolization. The days of the
capitalist market economy are numbered; so are the days of cap-
italistic nationalism. And yet, the victory of monopolization can
never be complete, and the national question can never disappear
unless the socio-economic setting is created for a conscious regula-
tion of world economy. This task can be undertaken only by the
world proletariat which must yet recognize that its life interests
are internationally identical. Though these interests of the workers

[18] Quoted in "Time," 1-22-1940, p. 18.

are already objectively unified, the life interests of the ruling class
will always remain nationally sundered no matter how close the
nations should ever resemble each other.
To support today the struggles for national liberation means to
support the growth of fascism and the prolongation of war. Because
only by becoming more centralistic, more capitalistic, more aggres-
sive than the older countries, such nations would be able to "free"
themselves from one set of imperialists only to fall victims to an-
other. But never can they free themselves from the capitalist misery
ruling the world. Since all advantages are still on the side of the
imperialist nations the fight for national liberation concerns no
more than the choice between imperialist rivals benefiting not the
mass of the oppressed people but only their rulers. To envision, for
instance, that the independence of India, brought about because of
the war or with the direct aid of German imperialism would create
democratic conditions and further the capitalization of that country
requires the loss of all sense for reality.
Though there is no longer a chance for the oppressed nations
to free themselves, there too, is no longer any chance for the op-
pressors to maintain their rule, just as there is also little hope for
the so-called have-not nations to overcome their present difficulties
by seizing for themselves the possessions of the have-nations. After
all, the favorable position of the have-nations did not spare them
from economic depression and decline. They may fall later, but
when their reserves are exhausted they fall nevertheless.
It is a rather pitiful show which is provided by English and
French capital in their hedging on the Russian question. They can-
not make up their minds whether or not to include Russia among
their enemies. Not only Germany, or Germany and Russia, but the
whole world is England's enemy, just as not only England but the
whole world-despite the German overtures to France-is Germany's
enemy. As a matter of fact, "Russia, not Germany, is Great Britain's
historical antagonist in Asia: and Russia, not Germany holds the
strategic threat to Britain's imperial life-line from Cairo to Calcutta.
Germans see, beyond the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oil
wells of the Caucasus, the land route to India. Having already
obtained Russia's pledge of economic help, they see the prospect of
also obtaining Russian pressure on the vast reaches of Britain's
empire [19]." If because of this, the British attempt to break the
Russian-German alliance, they will find no reward. The "balance

[19] Barron's Financial Weekly, 2-12-1940, p. 3.

of power" strategy has reached its end. What was believed to have
worked somehow in the last hundred years certainly does not work
any longer. England's policy of preventing the establishment of
a power or coalition able to challenge her supremacy did not save
the Empire, but it was rather the relative prosperity all over the
world which allowed credence to the value of this policy. Though
apparently leading to the German defeat in the last war, its pursu-
ance permitted a German comeback so that it could once more chal-
lenge English supremacy [20]. As the well-being of international
capitalism allowed success to the policy of the "balance of power,"
the general crisis of capitalism excludes its working. Not this or
that policy, but the deep economic pressure which moves the world
today determines its future as well.

What if England does succeed to break the new alliance of
fascist countries by bestowing upon Russia what it refuses to Ger-
many, or giving to Italy what it denies Japan, or to Japan what it
denies Russia, or to Germany what it denies Russia? Then new al-
liances will spring up as a result, new interests will arise, the war
though shifted will remain because the hunger is general. What if
by such moves one or the other country, whether Russia or Germany,
is totally defeated and dismembered by the victors? "The days are
over," mourns the Economist [21], "when the defeated enemy was
expected to meet the expenses of the victor, and also to indemnify
him for the inconveniences and suffering involved in fighting the
war, . the understanding that the loser pays has gone the way of
most of the sporting principles which were a minor feature of the
wars of the distant past." What if in the course of the war German
interests all over the world are eliminated? This war is not only
unprofitable [22], but entirely meaningless from the viewpoint of
national capitalistic interests. Not only is there a chance that non-
belligerent powers may take advantage of the war situation, but
those backward countries over which the war is really fought may
yet raise their heads and secure for themselves the exclusive rights
for the exploitation of their "people." In South America for instance,

[20] See "The World War in the Making," Living Marxism No. 5, pp. 132-
peace agreement, with the possible consequences of attempts at ending the per-
[21] 12-2-1939, p. 320.
[22] The Economist of Dec. 9, 1939, p. 365, states: "There is now wide-
spread recognition of the necessity to use the weapon of export and import
competition against Germany in these markets that are still open to her and
to us. We must be prepared to sell cheaply there, if by so doing we can make
Germany also lower her prices; we must be prepared to pay extravagant
prices for goods we do not want if Germany does want them... Export industries
are not an alternative to munitions industries; they are munitions industries."

oil for Mexico and steel for Brazil are made the pretexts for the
development of half privately, half state controlled economic systems
the like of which rule today in Europe. Private capital will no
longer be able to control those countries and no longer be willing
to take the necessary risks. To continue the exploitation of countries
like those in South America a fascist North America must arise.
The economic war disrupts further the already badly disorganized
world-trade and threatens the foreign business of all "neutral"
nations including the Americans. The English, for instance, have
brought pressure upon Argentina to buy British products to the
exclusion of goods from the United States. The Germans have in-
creased their exports to all acquirable markets. They have a price
policy dedicated to economic warfare and are producing on a scale
that will not only keep an army in the field, but on the largest scale
to which their industrial machine can be driven. The non-belligerents
are not profiting from the war; they report increasing unemployment
and growing economic stagnation. As history cannot be turned back-
interests which must in turn be defeated since they will not volun-
tarily retreat.
One must laugh upon reading Mr. Welles' proposal to the French
government that a war goal must be the removal of the newly
established trade barriers. The Welles statement [23] listed three
points: "1.) Healthy commercial relations must be the basis of politi-
cal and economic peace. 2.) The prosperity of international com-
merce precludes exclusive discriminatory agreements between two
countries. 3.) If world trade is to be reconstructed after the war,
it must be without resentment or fear of any nations toward others."
And it is only in keeping with the nature of these proposals when
President Roosevelt added tothem the need for "doing away with
huge armies, and the need to permit free international exchange of
ideas and to allow the worship of God."
The return to a free market as a war goal goes well with the
hypocritical proclamation that no more than the defeat of Hitler and
the re-establishment of borders violated by Germany are involved in
this war. Neither one nor the other can be realized even if the states-
men for once in the history of statesmanship should mean what they
say. The increasing fascization through war eliminates all respect
for national borders, as fascist foreign policy means precisely the
doing away of borders preventing the needed expansion. To main-
tain the security and the profitability of the present blocs of power
new trade barriers have to be erected in conformance with their
[23] New York Times, 3-10-1940.

different needs. Planning will bring counter-planning, features of
today's economic warfare will become permanent if the fascist plans
There are numerous additional arguments proving the practical
impossibility for the realization of a fascist world cartel. The pre-
sent war will not effect a capitalist international reorganization
allowing for a new period of capitalist advancement. This war, as
the permanent depression since 1929, is but another side of the decline
process of the capitalist form of society.

Ending the War
The fascist "world-revolution" must then be understood as the
reorganization of all countries on the basis of a fascist economy,
accompanied by violent attempts to re-shuffle economic power posi-
tions in the interests of the dominant fascist countries and their
satellites. The present war will not lead to another period of peace,
but is a permanent war, as the depression of 1929 has become per-
manent. There will be no vanquished and no victors; defeat and
victory would imply that the ending of the war exists already in
its beginning. Whatever countries will still be involved in the
war, and what re-alignments will take place, interesting as this
speculation may be, are of no concern to us, nor to the working
class at large. Neither victory nor defeat are any longer of import-
ance to the ruling classes, though no choice exists but to work towards
victory. They will never obtain the peace they desire; all they may
reach is a temporary truce implying the defeat either for England-
France, or for Germany. In either case the position of the countries
forced into the truce will become untenable and their collapse would
be only a question of time. They could not help but to initiate an-
other armament race and to prepare for the resumption of the war.
The respite would not be long for without the war internal conditions
would culminate into social convulsions, leaving the uncertainties
of war more preferable to the ruling classes. And yet, though war
seems to be the only solution out of the capitalist dilemma, the
system will not be able to carry war to the extent necessary for the
solution of its contradictions.
We must recall at this point that capitalist accumulation comes
to an end simply because it cannot produce the profits necessary
for a continuous expansion. When capital becomes too gigantic, pro-
fits become too dwarfed in comparison for capital to be increased
at the previous rate of growth, a rate necessary, though no longer
possible, for the existence of prosperity. In other words: the profits

created, however large they may be, are too small to be employed
with any significance in relation to the increased requirements of an
increased mass of capital; the largest unemployed army indicates no
more than a real lack of labor power relative to the profit-needs
determined by a progressive expansion. In a similar way, the war
which may be necessary for that re-organization of capitalism neces-
sary for its further existence, may require energies which can no
longer be created by capitalism. The war machinery needed by each
of the belligerent countries to crush the other may be beyond their
reach. Just as capital lies idle, appearing as a surplus though in
reality representing a shortage of capital because it is not sufficient
for a profitable expansion, armies and war machinery lie immobile
because -enormous as they may appear are still insufficient to
make probable the success of an offensive. Idle capital indicates
the permanent depression-the idle soldiers on the Rhine illustrate
the permanency of war. Ridiculous as it would be, from a capitalist
point of view, to activize a capital that would be sterile of profit,
it would be just as ridiculous to set in motion armies incapable of
shifting the balance. However, capital weighs heavier than human
lives, and capitalists will sooner risk their soldiers than invest their
capital unprofitably. But even if the offensive will eventually occur,
.through the despair caused by the increasing economic and social
pressure, still they must of necessity take place within the structure
of a limited war unable to fulfill its birthright: the total defeat of
the enemy.

The cost of equipping and maintaining a division in the field
has been almost doubled since the last war. The cost of aeronauti-
cal equipment per man in the English air force alone is about 2,000
Pounds per annum. The technological advance of the war-machinery
has increased the cost of military operations enormously, and it can
be said that for each soldier at least 10 workers are needed to assure
his efficiency under modern war-conditions.

The enormous armies kept in constant readiness, the production
for purely destructive purposes increasing continuously, the need
for carrying on the economic warfare, and the necessity to provide
sustenance for the workers laboring at high speed, all eat into the
surplus value as never before and lead to an increasing pauperization
of all countries, and still this process cannot be intercepted by a
sudden gigantic effort on the part of one of the belligerent powers.
For such an effort all the available energies are not enough. Thus
arises a situation which necessitates the permanence of a war grow-

ing out of the permanent depression-a crisis which cannot be ended
unless ended by the soldiers themselves, the soldiers both on the
fronts and in the factories, for in the course of war any distinction
between these divisions of the laboring class will disappear [24].

The beginning of theoretical economy as an independent science
is generally traced to the time of Adam Smith. Though this "begin-
ning" may be more correctly considered a turning point in economic
thought, nevertheless there began with "The Wealth of Nations" an
entirely new period for economic theory, the period of the "Classical"
theory, which reached its highest development with David Ricardo.
After that it seemed that all that could be said about political econ-
omy had been said. The followers of the Classicists came to be
known as the Orthodox School; their aspirations encompassed only
the interpretation and elaboration of the Classical viewpoint.
The Classical theories and the Orthodox School both developed
in England. There they had their greatest influence. For England
was then the most industrially advanced country. True, other coun-
tries following England's form of industrialization were strongly in-
clined to import those economic theories, since they were a concomi.
tant of the industrial development. However, because the results of
this industrialization process did not for a long time correspond to
the high expectations of its advocates, scepticism arose to challenge
the desirability of following in the footsteps of English capitalism
and of accepting its economic theories.
Because it was the first of the new capitalistic powers England
had many advantages, and these resulted in a corresponding number
of disadvantages for countries less advanced. Free trade, a principle
of the Classical School and its followers, expressed in reality a pre-
rogative of England and hampered the industrialization process in
countries not so highly developed. The general theory did not fit
different circumstances; to object to English monopoly meant also
to object to its laissez-faire philosophy.

[24] This article, continuing in the next issue, will deal with the further
consequences of the permanent war, with the meaning of an eventual temporary
peace agreement, with the possible consequences of attempts to end the per-
manency of war through turning the whole world into a battle field, and,
finally, with the possibilities for a change of society to be made by the inter-
national working class. Included in the continuation of this article will be
a critical discussion of the arguments presented by Alpha in this issue of
Living Marxism.

The opinion of the Classical theorists and of the Orthodox School
was that it was best not to interfere with the "automatic" regulation
of economic affairs, which was affected by a market law as inexorable
as a "natural law." According to this opinion, the law of supply and
demand brought order into social production and distribution: An
invisible hand was guiding the social relations of men in a just and
effective manner. By competition, each tried to get the most for
himself, and, because this competition was a general one, no one could
acquire privileges nor be taken at a disadvantage. 'Each would'feceive
what corresponded to the value of his product-a price tat expressed
the labor time incorporated in the commodity that he offered. If no
one interfered with the automatic market laws, there would be active
and continuous tendencies toward an equilibrium between supply
and demand, and therefore the best possible harmony and welfare.
It is easily understandable that whoever prospered under the
conditions of laissez-faire [which was more of an ideology than an
actuality], was bound to believe that the theory of the Classicists
satisfactorily explained the economic laws, and that whoever did not
fare so well under those conditions would be inclined to rebel against
this philosophy, as well as against the practices associated with it.
These two conflicting attitudes, however, only proved the validity of
competition. Each group was fighting for specific interests, but
with unequal possibilities. Free trade, recognized as an advantage
to the more developed countries, could be opposed by the less de-
veloped countries only with additional political means, such as state-
fostered industries and tariff regulations. But this activity could
lead to nothing but a return to international free trade and a more
equal participation therein. From the beginning, the turn against
free trade was destined to be of only a temporary character calcu-
lated to win competitive strength and to counteract national economic
At first, the Classical theories met intensive criticism. A new
school of economic thought developed in backward countries which
were trying to industrialize themselves. In America its foremost
exponent was Henry Carey. Although some of the ideas of his
"National Economy" can be traced back to the teachings of the Mer-
cantilists and the French Physiocrats, their influence and temporary
popularity were based, not on the past, but on the immediate national
needs of overcoming hindrances in the capitalization process. Carey
and his followers pointed out that the theories developed by Smith,
Malthus, and Ricardo had only limited validity, since they could serve
only the historically determined interests of the English capitalists.

Each nation, they concluded, was bound to reason along lines of its
own specific interests. The purely economic could not be the sole
explanation of economy: extra-economic factors, historical, ethical,
psychological, national, institutional, also played their part, and had
to be taken into consideration. The movement of prices, for instance,
did not need to be explained by general competition, as they were
not so absolutely and abstractly determined by "supply and demand."
Instead, a series of ethical, conscious, and institutional factors was
able to determine and transform historically established price con-
stellations. However, with the growth of American industry and its
larger participation in world trade, the historical school of National
Economy lost its popularity and gave way again to the Orthodox
School as the most scientific explanation and approach.
The Orthodox School believed that the principles of economic
science had been established, and that all further activity must restrict
itself to the search for additional arguments to support the established
generalizations. As a matter of fact, it was difficult to conceive of
a further important development of economic science, since the belief
that the law of the market alone solved all problems made further
research quite superfluous. However, conditions in society were not
so satisfactory as they might have been, despite the prevailing the-
ories, and because of the existing social distress there arose within
the highly industrial countries, and also within the countries in a
transitory stage, a criticism of the Classical concepts. The Marxian
School of economic thought, for instance, discovered that the Classical
theory had stopped short at a point where its further development
would have brought to light the painful consequences of the class
antagonism existing in society. The recognition of the class-rela-
tions led to the formulation of the theory of surplus value, that is, to
the concept that a part of the value created by labor was appropriated
in the forms of profit, interest, and rent by the enterpreneurs and the
owners of the means of production. By a theoretical anticipation of
the consequences of such a relationship in regard to capital formation
was deduced the theory that the development of the capitalist society
would necessarily be accompanied by an increasing exploitation of
the laboring population, since the rate of profit had a tendency to
decline, in view of the fact that the relationship between the capital
invested into the productive apparatus and that invested into wages
shifted in such a way that the former became always larger and the
latter smaller. As all profits are created by the workers, the diminish-
ing number of laborers must lead to a scarcity of profits in relation

to the total socially engaged capital. This condition, it was argued,
would increase the competitive struggle for the division of the social
product. Thus the entire social arrangement was brought into
This rather complex theory, although finding little support in
the United States, was in a simplified fashion largely adopted by the
European labor organizations as the theoretical justification of their
struggle to improve labor conditions. This school was widely ac-
knowledged to be, as indeed it considered itself to be, the heir of
the Classical theory.
It was difficult for the proponents of the Classical theory to
confute the Marxists' theories, as the Classicists and the Marxists
based their arguments on the same objective value concept, that is,
that the value of commodities is determined by the quantity of labor
socially necessary to produce them, and that all economic phenomena
can be traced to this fundamental relationship. Attempts were now
made to replace this objective and dangerous concept with a psycholo-
gical, and subjective one, which, developed by Jevons in England
and a number of Austrian economists, came to be known as the
Marginal Utility theory. For a time this new theory became very
popular in America.
The ideas of this school originated from the simple observation
of human reactions to the scarcity or abundance of useful things. The
Classicists approached all economic problems from the side of the
commodity producing process. The new school took as its starting
point the demand for commodities. It was clear that the utility at-
tributed to a commodity by individuals diminishes with its greater
abundance. Supply and demand were no longer determined by what
was brought to the market by the producers, but by the individual
desires of the buyers, who measured the value of a commodity by
what it meant to them. Price was no longer determined by labor, but
by the marginal utility of a .commodity, which was measured on the
market by the strength of demand. The decrease in demand would
effect a decrease in the prices, and, with this, a decrease in the pro-
duction of the commodity, for then its results would bring less than
the final, or marginal price. It was, however, difficult to explain
consistently all the various economic phenomena with this theory;
and though single concepts of this theory were adopted by -many econ-
omists of other schools, still, as a general theory it was slowly aban-
doned in America and elsewhere. However, the schools of commerce
and the advertising business profited to a large extent from the find-
ings of this school.

Although temporarily overshadowed by the theory of Marg-
inal Utility, the Orthodox School was still dominant in academic
circles, especially because of its revival by the Neo-Classicists, whose
foremost exponent was Alfred Marshall. The Neo-Classicists, or
modern value theorists, combined their older .cost of production the-
ory with the marginal utility theory. The idea that the Classicists
had neglected the demand aspect of the economic process seemed to
come clearly to light in the fact that it was difficult to satisfy the
needs of the people, and this despite the occasions when it became
quite difficult to dispose of the produced commodities. The Neo-
Classicists did not bother themselves any longer with questions as to
the desirability of the prevailing economic system, they simply as-
sumed that it was the best possible system, and they tried only to
find means of making it more efficient. For one thing, laissez-faire
did not function in the expected way, and recognizing that many of
the arguments of the Historical School were justified, recognizing
also that, theory or no theory, there were in reality constant interfer-
ences with the economic mechanism, they tried to find what possibili-
ties there were of nullifying disturbances caused by state interven-
tion, imperfect competition, and disequilibrium on the market. The
static concept of the Classical School was replaced by one that allowed
for evolution; absolute statements became relative ones, and the
theory of.value was now maintained only for the purpose of explain-
ing the total and general social development. But for the explanation
of market phenomena there was constructed a cost-of-production
theory that no longer accepted labor as the sole value-producing unit,
but postulated instead four factors of production, which, when trans-
formed into market prices, determined the division of income. This
new concept forced the Neo-Classicists to restrict their research to
market and price investigations in order to discover possibilities of
influencing the economic movement in a socially favorable way.

To attempt to influence the movement of the market it was neces-
sary to assemble empiric data and to discover practical methods of
utilizing them. Two main tendencies then developed out of the Neo-
Classical revision: One, maintaining interests in "pure theory," de-
veloped the qualitative analysis; the other, interested solely in em-
piric research, conformed to the quantitative analysis. Both ten-
dencies played their part in America, but the latter found preference.
Out of it developed the school of Business Cycle Economists, who
were interested mainly in discovering the factors that determine
prosperity and depression. Their researches were helped along largely
by the birth of the so-called Methematical School, which believed it

could reduce fundamental economic relations and problems to mat.
ters of summation and equation. However, as 'this school had only a
methodological character, it was not in opposition to the other schools
of economic thought, but helpful to all of them to a certain extent,
and especially helpful to the Cycle Analysts.

In opposition to the Classical theorists, as well as to the other
economic schools, there arose in America the Institutional School,
whose foremost exponent was Thorstein Veblen. This school, which
had its antecedents in .the Historical School, thought that most of the
arguments agitating the academic circles were largely of an arti-
ficial nature; that most of the problems raised could be ignored.
Economic problems and relationships were to be regarded no longer
from the viewpoint of general abstract theories, but approached by
an investigation of the actual social conditions and institutions as they
arose, functioned, and declined. The Institutional School accepted
economic determinism and connected it with technological develop-
ment. It believed that the rise of industry had brought into being
many new problems that could be solved only by the adaptation of
society to these new institutions. It rejected the psychological em-
phasis of both the Classicists and the followers of the Marginal Util-
ity theory and pointed out that "human nature" does not explain
social relations and the institutions of society, hut that rather these
latter form and change human nature.

Institutionalism has its philosophic parallel in Pragmatism, both
of which may be explained by the general social and ideological
conditions existing at the turn of the century. By rejecting totally
or partially the old value concept of the Classicists, economic theory
had ceased the attempt to explain all social phenomena by an objec-
tive general theory. All it could do was to follow the actual move-
ments of the market, the price relations, and to try to discover after-
wards why the one or 'the other event had occurred. Predictions
became impossible; the economists found themselves drowning in
their accumulated empirical material, or lost in abstract speculations
remote from all reality. Business was certainly something other than
economic theory, for business men never acted in accordance with
economic theory. Instead, they followed their most immediate neces-
sities, without questioning their social meanings, or else they based
their activity on their own analysis of market conditions, independent
of all theory and guided solely by actual or imagined facts. The
inability to discover the economic laws of motion on the basis of

money and price considerations brought about a general despair as
to the usefulness of all economic theory. Hopes arising in period of
prosperity vanished again in ensuing depressions. The harmony
assumed by the Classicists did not harmonize with the increasingly
chaotic character of economic life; and just as the Pragmatists had
ceased to believe in eternal, universal, unchangeable natural laws,
so the Institutionalists ceased to believe that the Classical Concept
could be regarded as corresponding to unchangeable economic pro-
cesses. What had been taken as the "natural order of things" was
now recognized as an abstraction serving specific ends; not corre-
sponding to an objective reality, but serving as an instrument for a
particular social practice. Not the insight into a general law, but the
need for such a law to foster limited interests, was at the bottom
of the Classical theory. As long as this ideology, accepted as a gen-
eral law, served the function of its adherents, it was certainly justi-
fied; its validity was proved by its actual results. However, the dis-
covery having been made that not an insight into the nature of things,
but the will to reach certain results, determined the ideas and actions
of men, it followed that all theory can serve merely as an instrument
to fulfill desired purposes. It saw old psychological motivations as
factors excluding conscious interference with the economic processes,
and as fostering a will-less subordination under nonexisting, but
simply assumed, "natural laws," and it believed it was necessary to
intervene actively in the economic life of society, to .make it function
in a desirable way.

After the first great difficulties had been overcome in the
process of industrialization, there arose very rapidly in America the
tendency towards monopolization and trustification. "Big business"
seemed to proceed under its own necessities and wishes toward the
subordination of all other social layers. The assumed "mechanics"
of the Classicists, or the determination of production by consump-
tion, as assumed by the Marginal Utility theorists, no longer corre-
sponded to the known facts. Concentration of capital, fostered by
the development of the banking and credit system, seemed to give
the big trusts and financial combinations dictatorial power over the
whole of society. The principle of laissez-faire seemed to have
served solely to camouflage a development that was progressively
destroying even the outer resemblances of laissez-faire. The cry for
intervention in the, "automatic" laws of the market was no longer
directed only against cheap foreign competition, as in the case of
the Historical School of Carey and his following, but also against
the growing power of the trusts and monopolies within the country,

which could not be checked by economic competition, because com-
petition had created them. The Classicists had assumed that the mar-
ket served both society and its individuals, but now there existed
neither the independent individual nor a society that harmonized
all the interests of its members. Institutionalism takes as its starting
point neither the individual nor the whole of society, but institutions
which change society and transform group interests. It is not, as
are, for instance, the Marxists, interested in a radical transformation
of all social relations, but rather in a gradual change of society accom-
plished by important social layers that will adapt men and their rela-
tions to institutions that are already formed, like modern industry
and technique. Without this adaptation of society to determining in-
stitutions, chaos and destruction must arise. Wishing to avoid these
dangers, Institutionalism, by clamoring for actions for purposes of
reform, was, as Dr. J. A. Estey has said, "an S. O. S. to save a sinking
world." [1]
The psychological elements in economic theory are not, the In-
stitutionalists pointed out, determined by general economic, un-
changeable laws, but by institutional-cultured factors. To amount to
something in society, one has to be successful in business; one has
to be a man of means. People aspired to be rich in order to repre-
sent something socially. Parasitism and waste, expressions of wealth,
were a mark of respectability, justifying the accumulation of large
fortunes. In satisfying their pecuniary desire, people were con-
stantly engaged in establishing social prestiges. Whoever lost the
opportunity of doing so would be willing to turn to oppositional
points of view and advocate a change in social conditions. The
prevailing psychological attitudes seemed to the Institutionalists not
only utterly false, but also dangerous to the maintenance of society.
Against the economics of the leisure class they set the common-sense
arguments for an economy that recognized the importance of the pro-
ductive elements in society. Against the parasitical finance capital
and its undisturbed freedom, they proclaimed the need for guiding
the economic life, for partial or even complete control, for the reor-
ganization of society in a way permitting the further advance of
production and subsequent increase in consumption, which advance
was being sabotaged by the "vested interests." In short, Institutional-
ism wanted to reform society along the lines of a full unfolding of
the technical industrial forces, and of the possibilities of the greater
welfare resulting therefrom. Today, the program of the Institutional

[1] Orthodox Economic Theory: A Defense. Journal of Political Econ-
omy. December 1936; p. 798.

School, as adapted 'to the most urgent needs, concentrates on the de-
mand for a better distribution of mass purchasing power and an
economy of plenty, which seems, in the words of one of its best
present-day exponents, Professor C. E. Ayres, "the only road to eco-
nomic peace, as it is the only road to economic order." [2]


In the United States today, only two schools, Orthodox Economy
[modern value theorists] and Institutionalism, are of actual iim-
portance. Single phases of other schools, the Mathematical, the
Marginal Utility theory, and the Cycle Analysts, insofar as they did
not conflict with either of the main theories, were incorporated into
them. The sharp opposition between the two groups has almost
ceased to exist; each regards the other's doctrines as a supplementing
rationale. This new attitude is dictated by the actual economic con-
ditions, for even the most consistent orthodox theoretician can no
longer overlook the fact 'that laissez-faire no. longer does, nor could,
function in such a way as to satisfy the hopes for it. So it is that
W. C. Mitchell derived his importance in the history of economics
largely, as R. G. Tugwell recently remarked, "because he is a bridge
from Classicism to Instrumentalism," [3] and the Institutional School
has profited much by recent researches undertaken by economists of
the orthodox theory. However, seen from another point of view, this
overlapping of all theories corresponds with the fact, as R. G. Tug-
well further remarked, that "we have no economic theory any more
in the old sense; we have merely utilitarian tentatives."
All schools of economic thought were forced by the crisis con-
ditions to attempt to find practical answers to the needs of business.
Since 1929, and even before that time, economists of the Orthodox
School, as well as the Institutional, have indulged in extensive em-
pirical researches to discover the secret of prosperity, and to find
methods of shielding society from the dangers of stagnation and
decline. Researches into the movement of the rates of profit, price
studies, and analyses of the business cycle; investigations into the
country's capacity to produce and consume, into problems of capital
formation, the relations between income and economic progress, and
issues like foreign trade and capital export were undertaken. Com-
missions of inquiry into the prospects for a planned economy were
formed by universities and private research societies. The questions
of business, labor, and the government, were widely discussed, with

[2] The Problem of Economic Order. New York, 1938; p. 88.
[3] The New Republic. October 6, 1937; p. 240.

and without relation to the experiences of other countries. Extreme
adherents to the Institutional School arrived at conclusions of eco-
nomic control similar to the partial or complete state-controlled eco-
nomic systems in European countries. Extreme conservative ex-
ponent of the Orthodox School blamed, if not the depression, at
least its continuation, on the unwarranted interference of the gov-
ernment. But all this work was not sufficient to still the growing
scepticism or outright despair for all economic theory. Despite the
most important studies, and often because of them, the deepest pes-
simism as to the possibility of a rational solution of social problems
Looking backward, and taking only essentials in consideration,
one recognizes that the more recent development of bourgeois eco-
nomic theory may be described as an unsuccessful flight from the
value concept of early capitalist economic theory. However, the re-
jection of the labor theory of value resulted not only from increasing
apologetic needs, but more so, from the growing necessity of inter-
fering with the assumed automatic mechanism of the market econ-
omy. For such purposes the labor theory of value is entirely useless.
Forced to consider only their most immediate necessities, the capital-
ists can find no interest in a real understanding of the present pro-
duction relations and their social consequences. A knowledge of
fundamental social laws is not required to make profits or to declare
bankruptcy. Such a knowledge can help neither the capitalist nor the
society which he dominates, because it can only disclose the short-
comings of the latter and predict the end of the former. The fetish
character of commodity production requires "erroneous" concepts of
economic problems, in order to bring about "correct" results for the
exploiting classes; for in capitalist society
"the relations connecting the labor of one individual with that of the rest ap-
pear, not as direct relations between individuals at work, but as what they really
are, material relations between persons and social relations between things."
The more "social-minded" the bourgeoisie becomes, the more it feels
induced to bring order into its system-the more does it disrupt the
only order possible under capitalistic relations, the uncontrollable
workings of the law of value.
"In trying to escape from the periodical crises which threaten more and more
the existence of bourgeois society, and in a desperate attempt to overcome the
existing acute crisis of the whole capitalist system, the bourgeoisie is compelled,
by continually fresh and deeper interferencee' with the inner laws of its own
mode of production, and continually greater changes in its own social and
political organization, to prepare more violent and more universal crises and at
the same time, to diminish the means of overcoming future crises." [5]
[4] K. MEarx, Capital, Vol. 1; p. 84; Kerr Ed.
[5] K. Korsch, "Karl Marx." New York, 1938; p. 146.

The recognition that any attempt to safeguard the present society
through conscious interventions into its economic laws is futile would
not end such interference, for they are themselves dictated by the
blindly operating law of value. What "planning" there exists and is
possible is forced upon the "planners" in their very struggle against
a truly planned social economy.

The class character of society limits the bourgeois economists to
considerations of isolated phenomena, to the assembly of limited and
therefore meaningless data, to the play with certain relationships
between some economic factors; it never allows them to deal with
actual social questions. They can arrive only at conclusions the
"correctness" or "incorrectness" of which is determined entirely by
the "accidents" of the market. The recognition of the causes of those
"accidents" can not lead to their elimination, but only to the knowl-
edge that it is necessary to liquidate the market and commodity econ-
omy. Nevertheless, it will remain the unsuccessful function of the
bourgeois economists to try to find ever new methods of guarding
society from the results of its own developmental laws. The whole
history of bourgeois economics actually proves Marx's assertion that
the bourgeoisie is incapable of maintaining a scientific political econ-
omy under conditions of growing class contradictions.
"Its last great representative, Ricardo," Marx said, "consciously makes
the antagonism of class-interests, of wages and profits, of profits and rent,
the starting point of his investigations, naively taking this antagonism for a
social law of nature. But by this start the science of bourgeois economy had
reached the limits beyond which it could not pass. ... .It was thenceforth no
longer a question, whether this theorem or that was true, but whether it was
useful to capital or harmful, expedient or inexpedient, politically dangerous
or not." [6]
Marx distinguished between three different types of economic
theory, the classical, the critical, and the vulgar. Since then, the
latter has spread out in about a dozen branches. In accordance with
the competitive character of capitalist production, each class of eco-
nomic thought vies with the other. Each blames the other for the
prevailing belief in the uselessness of economic theory in the prac-
tical needs of society. But as a matter of fact, theory is more im-
portant to all of them than reality, all have fallen victims to a fruit-
less formalism. The dry and eccentric opinions of the followers
of the Mathematical School are no more nor less removed from
reality than are the ideologic, partial descriptions of economic proces-
ses by other schools, and the prevalence of the one or the other is de-

[6] K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I; pp. 18-19; Kerr Ed.

termined not by the economists, but by the social conditions under
which they operate. In the United States, for instance, where the
miserable character of capitalist production is only now beginning
to impress itself upon the minds of 'men, a considerable number of
economists can still limit themselves to empty price considerations,
and can even say that "the greatest economic catastrophe that has ever
occurred is primarily a price problem." [7] Whether or not this is
actually true is not even investigated, for as long as the logic of
the false assumption is maintained, all is well as far as the econo-
mists are concerned. That their theoretical assertions are not applied
is not the fault of the economists, they argue, but the problem
of those who are responsible for actual policies, and who in their
ignorance refuse the service of economic science. But where all
theory is "co-ordinated to the needs of the nation," as in Germany,
economic thinking becomes outright nonsense. "Pure theory," it was
said in Germany after 1933, is "typical for the English and the Jews,"
but entirely foreign to the German character, which derives its eco-
nomics from national and racial principles. However, though an
"economic theory" limited to a nation may serve the propaganda
needs of autarchic policies, it will serve nothing more--and those
policies are only the means for further imperialistic expansion in
an actual international economy. Consequently, a few years later, the
"typically German" economic theory was once more transformed into
"general principles of human relationships." [8] In England which,
so to speak, still lingers between yesterday and today, between Amer-
ica and Germany, neither the consistent restriction to price phe-
nomena, apparently free of all ideology, nor the ideologic nonsense
in vogue in Germany, apparently freed from the price fetishism, has
yet aroused sufficient interest. Thus, economic theory everywhere
only supplements the prevailing ideologies. Though it is said, for
instance, that J. M. Keynes' "rebellion" against Orthodox restrictions
in favor of a determined active attempt to change depression condi-
tions is largely responsible for Germany's present economic policy.
as well as for Roosevelt's New Deal, it is quite superfluous to inquire
into the truth of such assertions. For even if this be the case,
nothing of real importance can be recorded. The "new" credit.
money, and public works policies, the quest for a lower rate of in-
terest, or even its complete abolition-yes, even the "socialization of
investments" and all the other proposals, are as old as capitalism.
Their present more intense application only reflects the increasing

[7] G. F. Warren and F. A. Pearson, Prices. New York, 1933; p. 1.
[8] Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft. December, 1937; p. 1281.

difficulties of capitalism. They are not designed to change the
system, but instead they follow from the changes already made
in capitalist structure, and mean practically that the concentration
and centralization of capital proceeds now with additional political
means. The present economic measures, Sir Arthur Salter has said,
"are a kind of bastard-socialism," [9] not conceived to help society,
but forced upon it by powerful group interests. And it is amusing
to see how not only socialists, but also bourgeois economists, mistake
this "bastard-socialism" for an actual societal trend towards socialism.

E. C. Harwood, for instance, declares, "we seem to be in the
process of exchanging our parasitical rich for a much more numer-
ous group of parasitical poor." [10] He doesn't know that he still
describes here the workings of the capitalist accumulation process,
for, as Marx and Engels have pointed out, [11] in this process

"pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And it is- here
where it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the
ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society
as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule, because it is incompetent to assure
an existence to its slave within his slavery, because he cannot help letting him
sink into such a state that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him."
Under such conditions the bourgeoisie must try to increase the
exploitation of the workers more than ever, and attempt to decrease
still further the number of exploiters. All recent economic policies
have attempted to fulfill both necessities. And all bourgeois eco-
nomic theory has merely supported these actual policies, even though
they have proposed quite different methods to achieve these results.
These differences of procedure only correspond to actual differences
of interest among the unequally situated bourgeoisie.
However, as none is willing to do away with the present exploi-
tative relations, all such proposals are out to serve the needs of fur-
ther capitalist accumulation, which presupposes the re-establishment
of a sufficient profitability. How to exploit more workers and to
raise the productivity of labor; how to reorganize society, or to in-
fluence economic procedures to this end, is at the basis of all eco-
nomic thinking. As long as this is precluded practically, or possible
only to an insufficient degree, economic discussion necessarily cen-
ters on the question of how the diminished surplus value shall be
distributed among the non-workers in society to allow for the security
of the present social arrangement. On the question of labor they are

[9] The Framework of an Ordered Society. Cambridge, 1933; p. 17.
[10] Current Economic Delusions. Cambridge, Mass. 1938; p. 64.
[11] Communist Manifesto; p. 29; Kerr Ed.

all agreed. Recently G. von Haberler correctly pointed out [12]
that the real differences in opinion among the diverse economic
schools and theoreticians
"have been frequently exaggerated, and that, for certain important questions,
a much greater harmony between writers of different schools can be established
than the superficial observer would believe, or even than these same writers
would be willing to admit."
After a systematic analysis of the diverse theories of the business
cycle, including purely monetary theories, over-investment, over-
production, under-consumption, disproportional, psychological, and
other theories, Haberler in his synthetic expostion as to the nature
and the causes of the cycle comes to the conclusion that the proxi-
mate cause of the reduction in industrial output is the fact that ex-
pected prices do not cover production cost, a condition that finds its
expression in a disappearance of the profit margin. "When we then,"
he says, "look for automatic expansionary impulses, we shall find
them primarily in the shape of factors which directly stimulate pro-
ducers' spending [investment]." [13] The question,
"as to -whether a continued fall in the money wages under conditions of general
employment is to be regarded as a factor which will bring a contraction to an
end, must, if we carry the argument to its logical conclusion, be answered in
the affirmative. Wages and prices must be allowed to fall if a rise in unem-
ployment and a fall of output are to be prevented." [14]
But we don't have to accept Haberler's synthetic exposition on
this question. Any bourgeois economist, whatever school he may
stem from, and whatever methods he may offer, presents identical
ideas. R. G. Hatrey is of the opinion that "the trade cycle is wholly
due to monetary causes" and consequently believes that monetary
control devices are sufficient to establish economic stability, and he
will on the question of labor and prosperity also say that [15]
"if wages were reduced in proportion to the previous reduction of prices, and
the disparity between wages and prices wholly eliminated, profits would become
normal and industry would be fully employed again."
Again, Mr. Keynes made the discovery that "within a certain
range the demand of labor is for a minimum money-wage and not for a
minimum real wage;" that it is consequently easier to reduce the
income of the workers by inflationary methods than by wage cutting
in the old sense-that is under deflationary conditions. T-e declares
that a crisis is caused chiefly by a decline of profitability of the
enterprises, and that to overcome the crisis, profitability must be re-
established by a decrease of the interest rate and by price inflation.
as "in general, an increase in employment can only occur to the ac-

[12] Prosperity and Depression. Geneva, 1937; p. 2.
[13] Ibid.; p. 288.
[14] Ibid.; p. 299.
[15] Trade Depression and the Way Out. New York, 1933; p. 45.

companiment of a decline in the rate of real wages." [16] Funda-
mentally, the diverse theories towards a "new distribution of wealth"
and "greater mass-purchasing" power do not differ from Mr. Keynes'
proposals. Thus the more intense exploitation of the working class
is the objective of all these economic theories


Capitalist economy has been dynamically progressive; its his.
tory is one of continual expansion. True, this process was period-
ically interrupted by depression periods, but they were even by the
Marxists regarded as healing processes, as they provided the bases
for further advances. Each new prosperity period over-reached the
highest accomplishments of the previous upswing period. The period
since 1929, however, is, in comparison with this previous history,
a period of stagnation. Prosperity such as known before did not dis-
place depression conditions; rather a spurt in business within the
stagnant conditions was all the system was capable of. Depressions
in the old sense also disappeared and the decline in business within
the stagnant economy was not inappropriately called a recession.
The pulse of capitalism beat slower. With the high state of monop-
olization already reached, the state interference in the economy
have undoubtedly tempered down the hysteric fluctuations of the
business cycle. And at times it really seems that John Stuart Mill's
gloomy picture of capitalism's future as one of stagnation is actually
coming about. And just as this perspective made Mill a class collabo-
rator, so in this ideological respect the present period of capitalist
stagnation appears, to many, to sweat socialism from all its pores.
Even the most conservative economists, who want to continue the
capitalist accumulation process under the old and no longer possible
conditions, want to do so in the interest of the workers. Dr. Moulton
of the Brookings Institution not so long ago pointed out [17] that
"the existing wage rates prevent an expansion in production, and turn into a
boomerang to labor by cutting down the real earnings of the workers. [Conse-
quently] any one who maintains that existing wage rates should be retained
is no friend of labor."
But Dr. Moulton, who wants to be a friend of labor, has difficulty
in becoming one, as the Institution which he represents has also dis-
covered that wage-cutting may defeat its own purposes through an
accompanying decrease in workers' efficiency. [18] Wage cuts are

[16] The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money. London,
1936; p. 17.
[17] In the Chicago Daily Tribune, April 20, 1938.
[18] The Recovery Problem in the United States. Washington, 1936;
p. 187.

no solution for capital unless all other factors for a new upswing are
also at hand, guaranteeing sufficient profits to make an upswing ma-
terially possible. Wage cuts are no longer sufficient to provide
the enormous capital necessary for a progressive accumulation; more
and more of the elements making for a new upswing have already
spent themselves without avail. Even if Mr. Keynes succeeds in elim-
inating the interest-taker entirely, his demand to this effect is rather
pitiful, as capitalists have shown no desire to expand under the lowest
possible rate of interest. To squeeze out the middle-classes and the
weaker capitalistic groups becomes increasingly difficult, since it
becomes more necessary for these classes to strike back and force
into existence new political situations that prevent their abolition as
a group or class under capitalistic conditions. The excesses in busi-
ness financing as experienced in Germany, however successful for
certain emergency situation, are by no means "a street without an
end," as Dr. Schacht once remarked. But if investments are not made,
the countries must attempt to avoid social upheavals. Therefore,
questions of profitability have to be neglected in the very attempt
to save the profit economy. To avoid the expropriation of capital,
the capitalist society has to expropriate the capitalists to an always
larger degree. The destruction of capital, hitherto left to the mar-
ket, now proceeds in an organized fashion. Control of society has
actually advanced to a stage where the destruction of capital is
consciously undertaken by governmental measures. And some econ-
omists hail such a destruction of capital as the successful applica-
tion of new principles of distribution. However, what can be dis-
tributed must first be produced by the workers; the further concen-
tration of capital fostered by those governmental measures, can only
accentuate the stagnation in economy; can only further diminish the
income of the workers, who, in order to stave off rebellion, have to
provide the means for maintaining an ever-growing non-productive

The continued capitalization process is possible only at the ex-
pense of consumption. Under capitalist conditions, consumption can
increase only with a relatively more rapid capitalization. A better
distribution of wealth, as proposed today by many bourgeois econo-
mists, presupposes better, or rather different, productive relations
than those based on wage labor and capital. But because none of
them is willing to propose such a change, their theories of distribution
are simply illusions, illusions which may serve demagogic political
purposes, but never the economic needs of today.

A growing number of bourgeois economists becoming actually
disturbed by recent capitalistic policies, are beginning to investigate
possibilities for the future. Pigou, the man who took Marshall's
position in Orthodox economy, already thinks that a socialist econ-
omy of the Fabian brand is possible, at least theoretically. Many
other economists have expressed themselves in a similar way. Even
"Marxists" were able to discover a true socialistic kernel in the teach-
ings of the Institutionalists, and a whole school of so-called "market-
socialists" are acquiring importance in their endeavor to "make pos-
a;ble the achievement of that rare thing in history-a fundamental
change in political control, or class relations, without a conflict." [19]
however, this change of class relations still leaves intact the funda-
mental class relation of capitalist economy: wage labor and capital.
For in all the proposals appearing under the name of "socialism," the
proletarian class remains a proletarian class. The only thing that is
changed, or made more efficient, is the control over the class. In all
these theories exploitation is not to be abolished, nor left to the mark-
et fluctuations as before, but thoroughly organized. In this new plan-
ned exploitation it is the government' and not anonymous and
atomistic competition of sellers and buyers, that regulates cost and
sales prices and margins.
"It does so in order to make certain lines of production expand and others
contract according to public social economic plans. . The realization of a
rational economy, though being a task and necessity in collective economy, will
not depend and rely upon the automatic self-correction of the economic system
which has been the main object of economic thought during the past, but will
rely on the will, insight, and abilities of the few persons who are in dictatorial
command of the whole of society. Thus, a decisive irrational, personal, and
subjective element comes in." [20]
The quest for a "planned economy" based on the continuation of
proletarian exploitation, only brings to light once again the utter in-
ability of bourgeois economic thinking to find solutions for the
many contradictions inherent in the capitalist mode of production.
Their "socialism," the last word in bourgeois economic theory, is able
only to rationalize the trend of bourgeois society towards the brutal
political domination of those elements which have succeeded in re-
taining or acquiring mastery of the means of production. For them,
and not for society, economy and economic thought still functions.
What is "progressive" in capitalist economy progresses towards bar-
baric conditions; what is "progressive" in economic thought abandons
economic theory in favor, no longer of an indirect, but of a direct
support of whoever rules society. In this final attempt of bourgeois
[19] B. E. Lippincott. Introduction: On .the Theory of Socialism. Min-
neapolis, 1938; p. 38.
[20] H. von Beckerath. Economic Thought and Evolution. The Philo-
sophic Review. November, 1937; p. 595.

economic theory to deal with economy by trying to regulate con-
sciously and in an organized manner forces that move unorganized
and blindly in exactly the same direction, they have to put themselves
in opposition to the real economic needs of society and thereby only
supply an actual demonstration of the fact that the beginning of
bourgeois economy was also-at the same time-its end. [21]

1. This War Is a Fascist War, Accelerating the Fascization of the

This war is a totally monopolistic war, monopolistic in its origins,
its aims, its methods. It is a totalitarian war, inaugurated by totali-
tarian states -a fascist war. The interests of small monopolistic
cliques are at stake; monopolistic tycoons are the commanders-in-
chief. What with markets tied up by giant combinations, with every
economic activity subjected to the monopolistic claim for totality,
that is, for autocracy, omnipotence, unrestricted control; what with all
degrees of subordination of capital to political rule; what with old
trust magnates and new government magnates, finance capital co-
teries, and general staffs-this war has been started as a further step
toward a redistribution of the world. National combines are fighting
for their quotas in the international combines to come.

At the same time the war represents a further advance toward
the fascization of the world. From September 1st the process within
the great democracies of imitating and likening themselves to fascism
gained momentum, just as on August 23rd the equation Hitler-Stalin
lost its mystery even for those who had been most completely hood-
winked by ideologies. If this war should grow to wider dimensions
than its predecessors and if, at the same time, it should not call
forth a sweeping counter-movement, it would probably result in a
Worldwide Fascist Council, and only its name would vary according
to the defeat of the one or the other of the belligerent groups. There
is no reasonable hope for the democratic alternative of that outcome;
the League of Nations already ceased to exist before the war began.

[21] Continuing this article, the next issue of LIVING MARXISM will
deal with the present-day fascist-and war economy, as well as with the social
and economic problems of state-capitalism. and the tendencies toward state
capitalism in the still "democratic" countries.

[1], Offered for discussion.
2. Anti-fascists, Opposed to the War, Have Nothing in Common
with Belligerents.
Our opposition to the war and the belligerent powers has never
been more unequivocally necessary than at the present time when the
struggle is so obviously waged on both sides in the interests of con-
solidated cliques, when the quartet of Munich had been comple-
mented by the sequel of Moscow. The belligerents are either totali-
tarian states of serfdom or are on their way to becoming such. To
us every one of the belligerent powers represents an enemy-an
enemy in every aspect of his being.
3. Total Mobilization is Contradictory to Totally Monopolistic War.
Equally unequivocal are the guiding principles of our complete.
opposition. This war, far from fulfilling the wish-dreams of some
super-fascist ideologists, is by no means a total war, but only a totally
monopolistic, a totalitarian war. Nevertheless, in its total'mobiliza-
tion of all productive forces, the war itself comprises certain ten-
dencies that surpass the intentions of statesmen and defy the calcu-
lations of general-staffs. The more the monopolists are driven to
carry through total mobilization under the ever sharper spurs of im-
perialistic competition, the more they are forced to convert their peo-
pie into workers. The less they succeed in their peace-offensive, iln
their efforts to throttle belligerent action and to reach some inter-
mediate solution, the more. clearly appears out of the murk of im-
perialistic expansions the world-wide scope of the workers' tasks.
Behind the geo-politic and technocratic formulas of the monopo-
lists, total mobilization reveals the objective conditions of the work-
ers' world. Shock-troops, put to work in the "Stakanovic" manner
in armament plants, break through the traditional rules of labor ob-
served in capitalistic society. In the trenches death imposes upon
men a degree of precision, adaptability, presence of mind, and spon-
taneity, that far exceeds the bureaucratic mechanism of general-staffs.
If by "organic form of a working process" we understand that the
spontaneous activity of workers prevails over the dead mechanism of
working conditions, we may say that total mobilization must even-
tually result in those autonomous and organic forms of work. That
'means, at the same time, that the workers will rise above the monopo-
listic command "from without" and above the death spread by the
machines of material warfare. This threat, inherent in a truly total
mobilization, is the reason that the monopolists try to confine their
war to the limits of monopolistic warfare, that they prefer localiza-

tion, throttling, and intermediate solutions. The destructive unchain-
ing of the productive forces through war implies for the workers a
chance of emancipation, and for the monopolists a threat of ruin.

From the very outset, there appear three possible solutions for
the contradictions inherent in the present situation. Each of them
implies a different extension of the war-process itself, and of the
changes to be brought about by the war:

[a] The belligerents will succeed in throttling the Fascist war
in order to avoid the dangers for the monopolists of its complete
[b] The productive forces unleashed by total mobilization, and
the will to power of the belligerent groups will prevail. From a
localized war-of-siege, the war will grow into a Fascist World War.
[c] Total mobilization, once it has been seriously set into motion,
and, in its further development, has threatened to burst the slavery
of fascism, will ultimately frustrate the monopolistic war aims them-
selves. It will lead not to an imperialistic redistribution of the world
but to the unity of the workers' world. If all peace-offensives of
Hitler and all attempts at localization fail; if the available produc-
tive forces released overflow all barriers; if a really "total war"
destroys all existing bourgeois order, the workers' order will imme-
diately become the only possible order of the world. Instead of the
World-wide Fascist Council which would have resulted from an all-
embracing but monopolistic war, the workers mobilized in shock-
troops will organize the World-Wide Congress of Workers' Councils.
No matter how widely this war will spread, no matter what
course it will take, whether an attempt at localization succeeds or
not, whether the belligerents will be able to maintain their fascist
character or not, whether the anti-fascist counter-forces inherent in
total mobilization will break through their fetters or not-there can
be no question but that, for the direction of our own activity, we must
look in the direction of these counter-forces.
4. The World War, the Last Liberal War, Has Resulted in Fascism.
The typical features of the fascist war can best be understood
by contrasting them with the World War. When the imperialists
of 1914 started their democratic war, their "war for democracy,"
they were firmly established in a liberal world. The general-staffs
started in Moltke-fashion to control liberal, atomistic mass armies
in a bureaucratic manner just as in 1870-1871, and searched the

archives for the Schlieffen Plan and similar plans. But behind all
the bureaucratic apparatus, behind an apparently progressive ration-
ality, there worked a hidden automatic law, ruling by catastrophe
like destiny itself. Monopolistic interests of capitalist cliques, still
far from being politically regulated cartels and government-con-
trolled trusts, pushed forward in boundless liberalism. Men's appe-
tites were as boundless as the mobilized masses; the goals aspired
to as immense as the mechanized battles of material warfare. How-
ever, when the conquerors sat down around the table at Versailles and
attempted to construct a "Societe des Nations" by arbitrary dictation,
when they proceeded to dictate democracy, peace, and if possible,
security, the October Revolution had already snatched from their
reach the real results of the war. As catastrophically as war had
broken out, revolution broke in, and after Versailles and October
there merged-ready for every task, fit for every purpose-history's
latest hit, Fascism. The inefficient representative of Italy at the
Conference at Versailles changed into Mussolini-Ebert into Hitler.
In Russia, Lenin was followed by Stalin. A victory more completely
and more unambiguously opposed to the intentions of the victors
could hardly be imagined. The war for democracy had amounted to

5. The Shock-Troop Principle, Whose Logical Conclusion Is the Call
for the Workers' Coundil, Is Distorted in Its Fascist Application.

The transition to the present war was accomplished by three im-
portant transformations. Just as the present war cannot be under-
stood if its interpretation does not start from the well defined new
epoch inaugurated by the World War of 1914-1918, so its proper
significance cannot be grasped without a true appreciation of these
[1] The liberal democratic world war changed into the bol-
shevistic world revolution.
[2] The Versailles system of the League of Nations changed
into the fascist system.
[3] The October Revolution-transformed into a national revo-
lution-changed into the monopolistic model-revolution.
[1] The World War had been the culmination of a violent up-
swing of material productive forces, compressed into, at most, two or
three decades: Chemicalization of production [hegemony of the
chemical industry], industrialization of agriculture, motorization of
traffic [automobile roads], aviation, radio, sound-films, television.

In its character of world crisis, the world war represents the
specific form of a structural crisis. The new productive forces are
not compatible with the liberal system of a competitive capitalism
nor can they be mastered by monopoly capitalism so long as the
application of its forms is restricted and kept within the limits of
a liberal system.
The victory of the new productive forces can be summed up
under the name of the Second Industrial Revolution. From this
Second Industrial Revolution, which burst forth with destructive
violence in the mechanized battles of the world war, there emerged a
new form of division of labor-the shock-troop. The emergence of
the shock-troops during the second half of the war coincided with
the transition from trench warfare, which had deadlocked the lib-
eral war machines and their traditional procedures, to the "war in
motion," based on new weapons and new forms of action. Modern
material warfare develops a peculiar materialism in contrast to the
formalism of liberal mass-battles. The tirailleur-tactics of skirmish-
ing infantry, which had been developed since 1789, and the mass-
armies, which had been controlled in a bureaucratic manner by the
general-staffs, were increasingly replaced by that new and more
highly qualified type of fighter which had been molded by the objec-
tive conditions of machine battles in the latter part of the World
War. This type of fighter is compelled to develop a spontaneity that
defies bureaucratic calculation. The abstract and equalitariann" sys-
tem of compulsory service is gradually replaced by the first steps
of total mobilization.
This new and up-to-now unsurpassed principle engendered the
original and long-forgotten contents of the world-revolutionary move-
ment inaugurated by the revolution of October and openly proclaimed
in the slogan "All Power to the Soviets." It finally declared that the
worker is the exclusive form of social existence. The greatness of
Lenin is shown in his attempt to apply, in a utopian manner, this new
principle of action to a country just on the point of liquidating
illiteracy and in his dream to abolish the rule of bureaucracy
at the same time that a general-staff of professional revolutionaries
was in fact building up a totally ,monopolistic state-bureaucracy on a
national scale. This principle proclaimed by the October Revolution
reached the ears of all workers and alarmed the whole bourgeois
world because, along with the democratic liberal war aims, it jeopard-
ized the whole system of capitalist rule. In the contrast between the
German Spartacus Councils and the old "General Commission" of
the German Labor Unions, constructed according to Moltke's pattern,

there appears the social consequence of a contrast already fore-
shadowed in the conflict between the shock-troops and the liberal
methods of the general-staffs.

[2] In the system of the League of Nations established at Ver-
sailles the victors tried to cling to the liberal-democratic starting
point of their World War. They tried to apply the principle of
democracy to international affairs and took care to isolate this sys-
tem by a cordon sanitaire from the threat of bolshevism. They pro-
ceeded with an admirable lack of insight and experienced uncommon
mifortune. They willed peace and got Manchuria, Ethiopia, Spain,
China, and Poland. They wanted disarmament and unleashed a
race of armaments. They willed Parliamentarianism and got castor
oil, Gestapo, GPU. They wanted self-determination of nationalities
and the outcome was Munich 1938 and Moscow 1939. They succeeded
in nothing. Up to now they have utterly failed in everything.
It could not have been otherwise. The tasks set by the Second
Industrial Revolution could not be mastered on the level of liberal-
ism. These tasks bore a revolutionary character. And revolutions
are not called forth unless imminent danger threatens. The superi-
ority of the fascists over the liberals is based on the fact that they
proceed from the specific results of the Second Industrial Revolu-
tion, both positively by using them as a new starting point, and
negatively by curtailing their dangerous implications. They reduce
the shock-troops to the form of an order, whose members are drilled
in all existing kinds of arms and sports. They transform total mobili-
zation into a totalitarian state. They preserve wage-slavery, chain-
ing capital and wage-labor together by the handcuffs of their total
state power. They reduce the world-wide scope of the proletarian
world revolution to the level of ultra-imperialism. They monopolize
the microphone, the unlimited application of which ultimately obvi-
ates political coercion. They control the market through political
cartels, the labor-market through nationalized unions. They set up
state-corporations. The antibolshevists adopt the doctrines of bol-
shevism and restrict them to the level dictated by the requirements
of monopolistic control.

[3] Dissipating the world-revolutionary action of the workers
into a series of national revolutions and counter-revolutions was a
preliminary historical condition of fascism. Thus at the same time
the character of the October Revolution was fundamentally changed.
From being the hidden archetype of fascism-its closest enemy-
the Russian revolution was transformed into a monopolistic model-

revolution. With the Russian state's inauguration of the "New Eco-
nomic Policy," the utopia of direct organization of the Workers'
World was finally abandoned for political economy, i. e., the main-
tenance of capital and wage-labor, class rule and exploitation. The
Hitler-Stalin pact represents the logical conclusion of the liquidation
of the proletarian, world-revolutionary contents of the October Revo-
lution-the liquidation of the Comintern.
6. From the World War to the Present War.
The present war is not comparable to the World War in any of
its aspects. It takes place on a fundamentally changed basis. To
grasp its peculiar character we must regard the series of specific
modern wars in which it is placed-the Manchurian, Ethiopian, Span-
ish, and Chinese wars. Up to now, it is the most advanced, most
distinct, and most unambiguous war of this newly developed type.
None of these wars has displayed at its outbreak the cataclysm
of July and August, 1914. In these wars there has been a gradual
transition. In each case the belligerent action has been more or
less prepared in advance on a material, 'military, and propagandistic
plan. Methodically it has been directed to a definite aim. In few
of these wars has there been a formal declaration of war. The
judicial fiction of an "incident" has been maintained and the very
term "war" avoided. Intervention has been called non-intervention.
Thus Russia's invasion of Poland, her participation in its occupa-
tion and annexation, has been termed neutrality, and this label ac-
cepted by the other belligerents. As far as possible military action
has been localized to a small and distinctly delimited area. At the
same time the diplomatic war has proceeded in high gear. Economic
warfare, sanctions and blockades, as well as the war of propaganda,
have tended to spread rapidly. If by the term "monopolistic war-of-
siege" we understand localized military action and generalization of
commercial warfare, this term adequately describes the present first
stage of the German-English-French war. Between Luxembourg and
Switzerland, on the smallest possible front, entrenched behind the
Siegfried and Maginot lines, there is being staged a demonstration
of artillery combat with a comparatively small expenditure of am-
munition. At the same time every effort is being concentrated on
blockade and counter-blockade, on control of commerce, on a war
of mines and submarines, supplemented by a war of leaflets and
radio, of propaganda, of diplomatic intrigues aimed at soliciting
trade-agreements, securing trade-routes for themselves and barring
them to others. Thus the economic war has already grown into a
world war whereas the military war has not yet started.

The gradual, not sharply defined transition from a so-called
peace to a not-so-called war indicates, in contrast to 1914, a further
stage in the process of transition to a new era. This process has been
going on from 1914 to the present day-a period characterized by
the replacement of liberal democratic concepts by bolshevistic, fas-
cistic, and antifascistic concepts. An indication of the difference
between then and now was August 4th, 1914, which saw the collapse
of the Second International, or more precisely, of the abstract illu-
sions of internationalism attached to it. That collapse had appeared
as a major catastrophe to all the people participating in it. The
world of Kautsky, Bernstein, Jules Guesde, Jaures, Martov, and of
the pre-war Lenin, had gone to pieces. Nobody experiences today,
as Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin did in 1914, a breakdown of his whole
previous conception of the labor movement. There was no August
4th at the start of the present war. All the consequences of that
single historical event have been fully worked out, in the meantime,
by the monopolists of workers' organizations, by the apparatuses of
the labor unions, the Parliamentary groups, and the entire bureau-
cratic machinery of a totalitarian state [Russia].
Today there is no International-no Second International, no
Third International. There will never be a Fourth International.
There never was a 4th of August of the Comintern, just as there has
never been an unmistakable Ninth of Thermidor of the Russian Revo-
lution. Instead of the impressive drama in which Robespierre, St.
Just, Danton and Bonaparte acted their parts, we were shown a
horrible performance of disgusting stage-trials produced by the
agents of the GPU.
The monopolistic revolution and its archetype, the national Rus-
sian revolution, differ from the liberal one in that the monopolistic
party, its acting agent and its most characteristic outcome, produced
the monopolistic unity of Jacobinism, Thermidorism, and Bonapart-
ism. It wiped out not only the liberal division-the executive, legis-
lative and judiciary powers-but also the participation of several
parties competing in furthering political progress. Stalin not only
possesses all power, but his name stands for every event from October
to the division of Poland. Trotsky, whose name has been crossed
out of all bolshevist history books, searches in vain for the 9th Ther-
midor and shifts it at least once every year to some other date. Nor
does he succeed any better in his search for August 4th of the Com-
We can characterize the period that began with the World War
and the 4th of August of the old labor movement as follows:

The World War produced the beginnings of total mobilization.
Total mobilization called forth monopolistic revolutions. The monop.
olistic revolutions transformed total mobilization into totalitarian
Each stage of the period from 1914 until today can be character-
ized more precisely a further step in this historical development.
1913-1917: The specific World War crisis of the liberal system of com-
1917-1921: The specific bolshevistic period of civil war, the results of
which are the USSR and the Versailles System.
1921-1925: The first post-war crisis overcome by the Fascist counter-
revolution. Transition to NEP. Transition from inflation to deflation.
1925-1929: Prosperity of the League of Nations; Dawes, Young; Buch-
arin-Stalin anti-Trotskyite Neonep-"Enrich Yourselves!"
1929-1932: Second post-war crisis. Fighting period of the National So-
cialist Party. "Second Period." Liquidation of the Neonep by the landslide
of the Collectivisation.
1932-1939: Culmination of the National-Socialist revolution. Specific
period of the monopolistic wars.
With the Manchurian war in 1932 there was inaugurated-on the
basis of the now fully-developed monopolistic conditions-that more
comprehensive military process of which the English-French-German
war represents only the last phase.
Since September 1st a new stage in this process has been reached.
The totalitarian war has assumed a universal character. In this war,
inasmuch as it is a trade war, there have been no neutral states from
the outset [cf., repeal of the arms embargo by the U. S.; total trade
control by England; impossibility of the small nations maintain-
ing neutrality].
From another angel, the historical development since the World
War can be summed up as follows:
1913-1921: The World War changed into the world revolution. The world
revolution in its first phase was wholly bolshevistic. The final social conse-
quences of total mobilization appeared, in a Utopian form, on the horizon.
The disintegration into a series of 'monopolistic revolutions of
the bolshevist world revolution was completed in three phases:
1921-1925: Culmination of the first post-war crisis. Italian Fascism.
1925-1929: Post-war prosperity; Chinese Fascism [Chiang Kai Shek].
1929-1932: Second post-war crisis; German Fascism.
These phases are at the same time phases in the formation of the
monopolistic character of the national Russian Revolution.
1932-1939: The series of monopolistic revolutions turns into a series of
monopolistic wars.
The present war completes this series of monopolistic wars. It
replaces economic warfare-without-war, or with only partial war, with
universal economic warfare and extinction of the regular world trade.
If the fascist state can be described as a fully matured and com-
pletely self-realized capitalistic state, the perfect state of wage-

slavery, and the capitalistic system raised to the form of a State,
then the fascist war can be described as a fully matured and com-
pletely capitalistic war. The revolutionary process has turned fascist
in the monopolistic revolution, and to the proletariat appears as an
anti-proletarian counter-revolution. At the same time the slogan of
world revolution has been turned into an ultra-imperialistic slogan.
Lenin's prognosis that in 1914 the world was entering into a period of
wars and revolutions has proved to be true, but its results have turned
out to be exactly contrary to expectations. If we want to apply the
term "world revolution" in a definite sense, we have to say that we
find ourselves today in the midst of a fascist world revolution. There
exist today few remains of the bolshevistic action toward world revo-
lution which could serve as a basis for new revolutionary action.
7. Further Growth of the Contrast Between Principles of the Work-
ers' Order and the Monopolistic Rule of the World Produced
by the War.
The present war, though localized, is essentially a world war in
its opening phase as a monopolistic war-of-siege. There seem to be
only three belligerents in the midst of a neutral world, but there is
really no neutrality. The more England succeeds in disturbing the
world market, the more striking will appear the world-wide unity of
the World of Labor.
It is true that there was a continuous transition from the so-called
peace to the not-so-called war, but this whole process proceeded by
necessity from 1914. On both sides the outbreak of the war resulted
from a miscalculation. Chamberlain did not anticipate that Stalin
would really march with Hitler. Ribbentrop did not anticipate that
this time Chamberlain would really make war. From the outset,
irrationality interrupted the rational continuity of the monopolis-
tically-controlled course of events. Admittedly the war had been
planned and prepared on both sides more methodically than ever
before. But that very planning may assume a catastrophic character.
The more the destruction of the world of trade makes way for unity
in the world of productive labor, and the nearer the final catastrophic
efforts at planning approximate the cataclysmic result not reached
between 1913 and 1921, the more distinctly apparent will be the fact
that a world-wide planning that holds in check all violent collapse
has not yet been devised.
It is true that this war is only another phase of the war-like pro-
cess started in 1932, but all characteristics of the. epoch that began
in 1914 are called into play by total mobilization. From the Far East,

over Africa, Spain, and into the heart of the old European continent,
the monopolistic war has fully outfitted its arsenal. All positions
are.now clearly defined. Nowhere today will a Saul be caught nap-
ping and be. obliged to convert himself into a Paul. And there will
be no 4th of August. At the same time, in the background, from
Verdun and Versailles, and the red October; from Tokio via Muk.
den, Hong-Kong, Addis Ababa, Madrid, Barcelona to London, Paris,
Berlin, Moscow, returning to the Far East, and incidentally nullify-
ing the neutrality of the American continent-total mobilization has
come to contradict the total states and the totalitarian war, which
has been started by them. It contradicts the whole monopolistic sys-
tem of the world. Bolshevism, that set out to organize a Workers'
World, has been transformed into a mere cog in the monopolistic
world system, yet all the elements of a wholesale anti-fascism have
been set into motion by total mobilization. While the old vocabulary
rots in the mouths of the Muenzenbergs, Rauschnings, and Schwarzs-
childs, the youngsters have the new grammar on the tips of their
tongues. All Jacobinism today is fascism. Terrorism has come to
be the monopoly of the Gestapo, of the GPU, of the Intelligence Serv-
ice. But the youngsters-the Komsomol, the Balila, etc.-no longer
cherish the ambition of becoming good Jacobins and terrorists.
"World Revolution" has become an ultra-imperialistic slogan, but
the new phase into which the monopolistic war has entered presents
an advanced stage in the contrast between the principles of the new
workers' order and the old monopolistic system of the world.
8. Implications for Working Class Action.
If we examine the general aspect of the present war and its in-
herent tendency, we get a clear idea of how those who remember the
World War and the World Revolution of the past regard today's
events. Today there is no new Zimmerwald movement [2] that has
to deal with a new Fourth of August of a third "International."
August 4th, 1914, was indeed far more than the mere breakdown of
a No. 2 International. Today the abstract "Internationalism" of the
cld.workers' movement as well as the liberal "self-determination of
nationalities" are things of the past. When the world revolutionary
action of 1917 to 1921 was dispersed into a series of monopolistic
revolutions, the Comintern, which was originally intended to be the
instrument of that world revolution, was transformed into a monopo-
listic instrument, controlled by the bureaucratic power of a totali-
tarian state.
[2] The international conference at Zimmerwald served to rally the forces
of the new revolutionary movement which emerged from the August.4th, 1914,
breakdown of the Socialist International.

The more distinctly the new principles of the workers' order
contrast with the existing monopolistic system of the world, the more
the slogan of the World Revolution itself is transformed into an
ultra-imperialistic slogan, i. e., the enemy's slogan. The movement
towards a "World Revolution" was the last aim which, in spite of
an apparent and transitory opposition, the working class and the
bourgeoisie had held in common. Insofar as our action still has any
political character, it will be negative action that results in smashing
the state apparatus. Insofar as it is a revolution, it will be a revo-
lution against the fascist "World Revolution."

The fascist counter-revolutions have revolutionized the October
revolution. Stalin demonstrably benefitted by every one of those
counter-revolutions. The internal policies of Russia were the logical
conclusion of the international counter-revolution. The more distinctly
our anti-fascist action develops its own anti-terroristic and anti-
Jacobinistic character, the more superior it will be to the fascist
The catastrophe of August 4th and the succeeding events have
given abundant proof that there is at present no independent action
of the working class, as far as it still moves in the wornout forma-
tions of its old activities. They have also shown the reasons for
the total eclipse of the labor movement's traditional forms. "Marx-
ism"is dead. Parties are dead. It is comforting that nobody wants
to talk any longer about the "People's Front."
We point 'today to the contradiction which inevitably arises be-
tween total mobilization-anti-fascist in its consequences-and the
"total monopolism" represented by the existing system. We are
aware that the totalitarian systems, formed during the period since
1914, are but monopolistic restrictions on the first attempts at total
mobilization, called forth by the necessities of war, of the produc-
tive forces. By comparing the either ruined or fascisized old party
and trade union movement with the wholesale anti-fascism of the
younger generation we rediscover, in a surprising manner, the orig-
inal contents of bolshevistic action from 1917 to 1921. In the contrast
between the world-wide extent of the tasks of labor and the monopo-
listic, restricting tendencies illustrated by the present war lies the
hidden meaning of the World War and the era inaugurated by it.

9. Three Possible Events.

At the beginning we contrasted three possible solutions for the
contradictions inherent in the war:

[1] Fascist localized war-of-siege-England will be able to con-
tinue the war-of-siege only if hunger will eventually lead to a break-
down of the Hitler system. As long as the USSR and Italy remain
neutral and consequently lend Germany a certain amount of support
it seems improbable that a blockade will result in a collapse, for the
three following reasons:
[a] Under the conditions of a continued war-of-siege the short-
age of iron, oil, rubber and copper will not result in a major military
disaster since no huge material battles will be fought anyway. Nor
is it probable that the one remaining vulnerable factor of German
supplies, the shortage of fats, will prove disastrous by itself-the
less so because there exist certain possibilities for limited imports
that may be realized in time.
[b] The fascist apparatus is a specific apparatus of terror and
is equipped with entirely different strong-arm measures from those
of the past, e. g., those of the Hohenzollern regime. It possesses
an incomparably more tenacious will for self-preservation against
internal enemies pressing from behind, and it has never for a moment
hesitated to use to the full its concentrated implements of coercion.
[c] The emerging new forces have as yet hardly formed ranks,
and the pre-fascist remnants of the confused, paralyzed, and crippled
forms of the labor movement do not present a serious starting point
for new activity.

Even assuming that the war-of-siege would eventually result in
the collapse of the Hitler regime, this would not offer any greater
revolutionary possibilities. Nationalism today is only a different
expression of conflicting imperialistic ends. So-called National Lib-
erations will serve only a particular imperialistic aim. They will
moreover be of an entirely fascistic nature. The Poles and Czechs
suffer most from the Gestapo terror, but their liberation from fascism
can no longer be brought about on a national scale. They serve as
buffers against fascism in a fight that goes far beyond all national
problems and cannot be settled on a national basis by any means
Taken as a whole, the localized war-of-siege, whether it leads to
a collapse of the Hitler regime or to a compromise, appears in its
first and immediate effects as a further step towards a world-wide
fascization. Any anti-fascist counter-movement will have to start
by destroying these narrow bounds.
[2] Fascist General World War-The issue of the war will be
decided bv the entrance of new powers into the war. Essentially

there are three sets of future developments that will turn the scale:
th Balkans, the Near East [e. g., the Arab question and the further
development of the Turkish policy], and the Far East.

In case the present localized Facist war should extend into an
equally fascist world war the first and immediate result would be
the establishment, under a suitable name, of what actually would be a
world-wide fascist council. The movement thus begun could hardly
stop at the "United States of Europe." It would amount to the
establishment of a monopolistic world system. The quotas assigned
to each participant would be settled by the outcome of the military
and economic warfare.
[3] Total War-The incomparably greater and more compre-
hensive anti-fascist consequences of an unrestricted release of the
existing productive forces, unchained by total mobilization, cannot be
discussed until the preliminary conditions of their occurrence are
actually presented.
10. How Great Is the Precision in the Work of Soldiers! How
Great Is the Confusion Resulting From the Exertions of
Thus it appears that the specific task of the anti-fascist in this
war is to oppose the fascist world revolution, which tends to bring
about the ultra-imperialistic, international cartel. He opposes every
attempt at an imperialistic redistribution of the world by proclaim-
ing the unity of the workers' world. He is opposed to the very
existence of all those class, private, and clique interests that are
rallied in -monopolistic concentration behind imperialistic war aims.
He develops the forms, the means, and the contents of the struggle
against the total state-machine out of the objective conditions of total
mobilization. He will in due time oppose the coming Fascist Council
by c'onveni.ng the .Revolutionary Workers' Councils of the World.
He. stands opposed to monopolistic management and to all kinds of
The task of the anti-fascist is essentially a worker's task, political
only at its margin. His. action, even when apparently terroristic and
propagandistic, is essentially anti-terroristic and anti-propagandistic.
As. to method, he proceeds in the. manner peculiar to the work of
all shock-troops. A shock-troop is, for instance, invariably equipped
with appropriatematerial implements, its members invariably skilled
in a particular kind of work. The principles of organization of a
particular shock-troop follow the particular instrument used, for in-

stance, an airplane, a transmitter. The physical conditions of the job
determine the kind, the size, the composition and the structure of
every shock-troop. They will be compelled to act without leaders.
They must function as their own general-staff. And if in a certain
phase of their fight they should single out a special "general-staff,"
this will be an anti-general-staff, itself presenting the character of
a shock-troop,

How great is the precision in the work of soldiers! How great
is the confusion resulting from the exertions of statesmen!
The statesmen wage this war.
The war produces new totalitarian states of complete wage-
slavery. The state-magnates, the diplomats, the political leaders
drive us into a monopolistic world system in which, because of its
faulty construction, the workers have no share. The task of the
worker has outgrown the control of businessmen and politicians.


Death Is Not Enough. Essays in active Negation. By Michael
Fraenkel. C. W. Daniel Comp. London 1939. [170 pp.; 7'6].

For Fraenkel, as for many of us,
this period is one of disintegration and
death. For us, however, it is a revo-
lutionary process in which the exist-
ing society decays and the beginnings
of a new one are not yet apparent
enough to give courage to those who
are likely to fight for a better life.
Consequently, despair is everywhere
visible; the revolution seems no less
like death than the counter-revolu-
tion is deathly. Nor is the bourgeois
individualistic mind a happy one. Its
anarchistic, aristocratic ideals are
destroyed by its practical activities
and its increasingly collectivistic
exploitation methods. To remain "in-
telligent" means to remove oneself
from reality and live like the insane
in a world of pure imagination. To
maintain an individualistic position
today means to be opposed to the
present and to the morrow. The es-
cape into a world of words and
dreams is here the alternative to sui-

cide. Fraenkel searches for a new
mental level on which to escape the
consequences of the decay of this so-
ciety. He excuses his continued exist-
ence with the attempt to realize death
as an integral part of life, which must
be faced and accepted in order to get
a new vision of life. However, words
fail him in his attempt to make clear
to his readers what he actually wants
to say. His essays remain a mere play
with the concept death, a, word used
often enough to mar his style in
places. Nothing can be learned from
this book save the author's capacity
to form good sentences. His analysis
of the mental state of present-day so-
ciety is often sharp and revealing, but
his suggestions are only incompre-
hensible subjective moods represent-
ing a scrt of non-commercial mystic-
ism. His book shcws the often bri!-
liant emptiness of consistent individ-
ualistic thinking despite the social de
termination of man. 1M.

The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences. By J. B. S. Haldane.
[Random House, New York, 1939. x & 214 pp.; $2.00.]

At first reading this book seems to
be just another illustration of the
strange fate which so often befalls a
formerly revolutionary theory when it
has turned from a relentlessly perse-
cuted heresy into the accepted creed
of a ruling group or the canonized ide-
ology of a powerful church or state.
Mr. Haldane confesses frankly that
when he published this book in 1939
he had been a Marxist only "for about
a year." He compares the part played
by the Marxist and Leninist philosophy
in Russia today with that of the scho-
lastic philosophy of St. Thomas
Aquinas which is "still active in guid-
ing the activity of the Roman Catholic
Church." He formally revokes the
sins of his past wherein he had for-
mulated an "idealistic principle of rel-
ativity." In his fifth chapter [Psy-
chology] where he propounds his the-
ory of the nature -of mind, he care-
fully points out in advance that these
are his own speculations and "in no
sense part of Marxism." Thus he
trusts that the statements and doubts
contained in that "excresence of an
otherwise useful book" will not be
held against his Leninist orthodoxy,
though they are "based on scientific
advances made during the last thirty
years" and at the same time, in his
.opinion, suggest fairly well "the kind
of hypotheses which a Marxist might
reasonably investigate." He even
tries to redeem his father, the late
Professor J. S. Haldane, from the sin
and damnation of a non-materialistic
creed by pointing out that one of the
books written by that eminent scholar
"was recommended by a Moscow ra-
dio commentator as a very good in-
troduction to dialectical materialism,
although far from being Marxist."
Careful study, however, leads to the
conclusion that this Marxist confes-
sion of a newly converted bourgeois
scientist, in spite of its highly ideolog-
ical and indeed almost reverent char-
acter, represents an entirely new and
highly interesting phase in the de-
velopment cf Marxist thought. One
may explain it as being merely an
expression of the so-called People's
Front tactics which had been adopted,
temporarily and for a definite ooliti-
cal purpose, by the headquarters of

the Communist Party. Yet there re-
mains the fact that this enthusiastic
and even fanatical English adherent
of the Communist faith displays a
degree of "freedom of thought" which
until recently seemed to be quite im-
possible within the party-controlled
literature. Such freedom is already
evidenced by the fact that he does
not begin his book with the usual bow
to the "great and beloved leader, Sta-
lin." That reticence does not indi-
cate, as an innocent observer might
believe, a revolution towards democ-
racy within the development of pres-
ent day Communism. Rather it re-
veals a growing disintegration within
the national ranks of the so-called
"international" Communist Party.
Nevertheless it can be regarded as a
sign of the weakening grip of the
Muscovite usurpers of the true Marx-
ian theory and, in that sense, as a
comparative gain in intellectual free-
Haldane shows that newly attained
"freedom" furthermore by a distinct
tendency towards all sorts of theoreti-
cal heresies. He flirts with the "ad-
mirably dialectical" philosophy of
Bishop Berkeley-that archetype for
every faithful reader of Lenin's book
on "Materialism and Empirio-Criti-
cism" of non-materialistic and reac-
tionary obscurantism in bourgeois
philosophy. He equally extols Hume,
the forefather of Machism and all
modern scientific positivism. He open-
ly admires Bergson. Whitehead, Ed-
dington. He even discovers a "serious
affinity with the Marxist" in the aca-
demic English philosopher Alexander.
who "tries to trace the evolution of
being from space-time through mat-
ter to life and mind, and beyond mind
to a hitherto non-existent quality"
which he calls "deity."
It is here, by the way, that we can
get the deepest insight into the hidden
cause of the attraction which a mis-
understood and q u a s i religious
"Marxism" holds today for people like
J. B. S. Haldane. For Marxists, he
says, just as for Alexander, the mind
is still evolving, and still very imper-
fect. "It has risen from the mud,
not fallen from heaven, and it is des-
tined to rise still further" [emphasis

by K. K.]. Such a philosophy "en-
ables Marxists to carry on through
defeat, terror, and persecution." "Al-
though it offers no future life for the
individual, the belief in better future
lives for the human race does give
to many Marxists the same energy
and confidence that the hope of per-
sonal immortality gave to the early
Christians." Now we know why
Chamberlain and Halifax and other
bourgeois politicians in distress tried
to get even Stalin's red army as an
ally for the redemption of the divi-
dends of the democratic branch of the
international capitalist class against
the Hitlerian threat of "defeat, terror,
and persecution."
Notwithstanding this apparent ab-
sence of an unscientific bias, Mr. Hal-
dane's, discussion of the relations be-
tween Marxism and the scientific
problems of our time is not scientific.
He criticizes those Russian writers
who attempted "to apply dialectical
materialism to every kind of activity
from portrait Dainting to fishing" and
to embellish their bad scientific pa-
pers with "irrelevant quotations from.
Marx, Engels, Lenin." But in prac-
tice, he contents himself in most cases
to treat the recent discoveries of the
various sciences as so many "ex-
amples" of 'the pet categories of the
old dialectic philosophy. This quasi-
scientific procedure which, to a cer-
tain extent, is typical of all Marxian
excursions into the field of the nat-
ural sciences [including the philo-
sophical writings of such eminent
scholars as Engels, Plekhanov and
Lenin] differs from the old idealistic
method of Hegel only by a changed
metaphysical principle, not by a final
dismissal of all metaphysical claims.
While Hegel starts from the meta-
physical assumption that the world is
a 'mere exemplification of the logical
categories, Feuerbach, Engels, Lenin,
and Mr. Haldane start from the partly
opposite but equally metaphysical as-
sumption that the logical categories
"were exemplified in nature before
they governed thought."
This underlying metaphysicism of
Haldane's scientific attitude is not re-
futed but rather is confirmed by his
report on a controversy concerning
a certain biological theory which had
been suggested to him by his col-
league, Professor R. A. Fisher. He em-
phatically repudiated that theory, in
spite of its "beautifully dialectical''

character, because it appeared to him
to "run counter to certain observable
facts." We cannot resist the tempta-
tion to quote in full the concluding
phrases of this report in which the
author modestly congratulates himself
on that truly scientific achievement:
"I mention this controversy in view
of the widely held theory that ac-
ceptance of Marxism is an emotional
cataclysm which completely ruins
one's judgment. If only Fisher were a
Marxist and I were not, this theory
might perhaps be applicable in the
case in question. As a Marxist. I
hope :that Fisher's general argument
may have a wider validity than at
present appears likely to me" [p. 137].
We cannot refer here in detail to
the many cases in which Mr. Haldane
toys, as it were, with the other "beau-
tiful examples" offered for the in-
tricate dialectical concepts of "nega-
tion" and "negaticn of negation" on
the fields of modern mathematics.
cosmology, quantum mechanics, etc.;
nor can we quote the numerous other
passages where he strives to prove
that the most important discoveries of
modern science, in one way or an-
other, had been anticipated by Engels
mrre than fifty years ago. There
seems little hope that he will thereby
succeed in convincing those "scientific
workers and students" to whom his
book is primarily addressed, tha'!
"Marxism" as here expounded "will
prove valuable to them in their scien-
tific work" as it has to him in his
own. More likely the scientists will
go on to say that Marxism, in spite
of its admirable power cf prediction
in the field of socio-economic devel-
opments. has so far not delivered the
goods which have been so often a.nd
so loudly advertised by the "dialecti-
cal materialists" in the field of the
natural sciences.
Even less satisfactory is Mr. Hal-
dane's achievement from the point f
view of that "somewhat wider audi-
ence" to which the book is also ad-
dressed. The interested layman will
find some valuable information on re-
cent problems and discoveries, e. g,
on the growing influence of industrial
practice on the very methods applied
in so-called "pure" mathematics [50-
571; on the various successive phases
of Milne's theory of cosmological rel-
ativity [64-781; on the recent devel-
opments of the theories of heredity

and mutation [119ff;' and on the re-
lationship between mind and brain
[162ff]. The chief objection from the
layman's point of view against these
and many other sections of the book
is their lack of .adequate.populariza-
tion. Haldane often conveys his in-
formation on a complicated subject in
a highly technical. and fragmentary
manner. Thus the book is fully com-
prehensible only to the expert scien-
tist, who perhaps does not need it
at all.

An even more fatal objection arises.
from the already mentioned fact that
the book as written does not really
break with that traditional orthodoxy
which has handicapped the develop-
ment of Marxism almost from the be-
ginning and most certainly since its
formal reception and cancnizaticn..by
the Russian Marxists. Paradoxically,
there is no necessary link between
an orthodox method and the definite
and invariable contents of a theory.
From a historical viewpoint we might
rather say that every "orthodoxy,"
and most certainly the orthodoxy of a
political creed, is bound to vary its
contents according to the varying con-
ditions and the changing aims of the
growing political movement. This was
shown many years ago by the devel-
opment of the foremost orthodoxx"
Marxists in Germany and Austria,
and. in a later period, by the many
rapid changes of the "orthodox" Bol-
shevist theory befofe.. during, arid ift-'.
er the revolution of 1917. In some
extreme cases, classically represented:"
by the latest phase of the "orthodox"
Marxist theory of.the German social-
ist, Karl Kautsky, and by every ohase
of the development of the political
theory of Sovief-Marxism after: the'
death of Lenin, the deviations from
the original c' -tents of a revolution-
ary theory become so numerous and
cbvious that its faithful adherents
need a tremendous amount of what
they now begin to call "dialeftics" to

reconcile "ideas" with facts or a "rev-
olutionary" theory with counter-revo-
lutionary practice. Thus the creed of
the German socialists, which had been
for half a century a revolutionary the-
ory of the working class, was ulti-
mately transformed into a quasi-so-
cialist theory for the benefit of the
bourgeoisie. Thus again, and in a
much shorter interval, the "interna-
tional" Bolshevism of Stalin was
merged into a mere Russian counter-
part of the national socialism of Hitler.
History repeats itself, and while
the first phase of the historical drama
is .ften a major tragedy, its last phase
invariably takes on the style of a
farce. We concede that historical sig-
nificance to the performance of Mr.
Haldane who after his conversion to
Marxism in 1938 started out, in 1939,
to renew the task that had been ac-
complished in the field cf philosophy
by Engels fifty years ago and by
Lenin in 1908. He certainly does not
shrink from the self-appointed task
of demonstrating to his readers "the
kind of speculations into which Marx-
iPm leads a scientist." He does not
stick to the comparative rigidity of
the old Marxist philosophy, but dis-
plays to the full the increased amount
'of 'elasticity attained by the Marxist
creed today. Whilst Lenin fought an
otherwise quite harmless philosophy
of his time [Machisml. because of its
Possible obscurantist implications,
SHaldane, after thirty years of further
scientific development, offers a thinly
:disguised defense of an unmistakably
obscurantist creed because of an al-
leged analogy between the mind-
reader's aim of abolishing the "pri-
vacy cf mental images" and the so-
:oialist's aim of abolishing private
property. "I do not see," states Hal-
dane on page 169, "why a dialectical
materialist should reject a priori the
possibility of such alleged phenomena
as telepathy and clairvoyance."
K. K.

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