50 Years Ago: Argument about War in 1907

[Hervé, in France, had been carrying on anti-militarist propaganda. Bebel, in Germany, denounced it. Hervé referred to a recent tense situation between Germany and France over Morocco. When war did break out in 1914 Hervé supported it.]

“If war had broken out over Morocco between France and Germany, the two proletariats, French and German, would have protested through the voices of their parliamentary tenors; resolutions proclaiming eloquently the fraternity of the two peoples would have been exchanged, and then, fraternally, the French and German working classes would have gone to massacre each other in order to find out with which of the two capitalist classes Morocco would remain.”

“The ideas and the anti-militarist propaganda of Hervé are impossible in German Social Democracy. German Social Democracy is the avowed adversary of the present military system, but it considers that a military organisation is necessary in the states now existing so long as all the civilised nations shall not have established conventions and institutions which would once for all render war impossible. So long as the danger exists and wars are possible, every nation should possess a military organisation sufficient for resisting an aggressive war and defending its own territory against the invasions of the enemy.”

(From the “Socialist Standard,” June 1907.)

Leave a Reply