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A WELL-KNOWN statement of Lenin in 1920 with reference to the post- war crisis gave warning against the illusion that there is "absolutely no way out" for capitalism; on the contrary, "there are no absolutely hopeless situations."

The meaning of this statement is often misunderstood, because it is commonly quoted out of its context. Lenin was in fact giving warning against "two widespread errors": first, the error of the "bourgeois economists," who fail to see the basic character of the crisis and regard it as a temporary "unsettlement"; and second, the error of the passive revolutionists, who expect an automatic collapse of capitalism. Against the latter he pointed out that the "proof" of the collapse of capitalism can only be, not any abstract logical demonstration, but the successful action of the proletariat in overthrowing it. Until then, capitalism remains in power, drags on somehow, finds its own "way out" each time, no matter what disturbances it passes through. In other words, capitalism does not escape from the general crisis into which it has fallen since 1914, and which is inevitable in the present stage of conflict between the forces of production and the existing relations of capitalist property ownership; it only passes from one stage of crisis to another; there is no question of a temporary "unsettlement." But capitalism does not finally fall until the proletariat overthrows ft. This is the dialectic of the general crisis of capitalism which Lenin was concerned to demonstrate,

The subsequent fourteen years have abundantly confirmed the truth of this analysis. On the one hand, so long as the proletariat is not ready and strong enough, capitalism remains in power; on the other hand, capitalism does not recover from its mortal sickness. It passes from one stage of crisis only to fall into a new stage. At each stage, if the proletariat is not yet ready to deal the death-blow, there remains a capitalist "way out" which prevails. But the capitalist "way out" is no harmonious solution, no simple restoration of order to a temporary " Πunsettlement." The capitalist " way out " is at each stage a way of increasing destruction, of mass-starvation, of violence, of war, of decay. This is the lesson of the two decades since the outbreak of the war. And this is the character of the present stage of the economics and politics of capitalism resulting from the world economic crisis, and carrying to an extreme point the whole development of imperialist decay.

Destruction in place of construction; restricted production in place of increased production; closed "national" (i.e., imperialist) economic blocs in place of the formal objective of international interdependence; social and political repression in place of liberalism- these are the characteristic watchwords of capitalism in the present period.

I. The Destruction of the Productive Forces.

The most direct, elementary and typical expression of the present stage of capitalist policy is the organised collective destruction of wealth and of the productive forces.

The purposeful destruction of commodities for economic reasons is in itself nothing new in capitalism, but an integral part of its daily working from the beginning. It was in 1799 that Fourier first became convinced of the necessity of a new form of social Organisation when be found himself entrusted with the task at Marseilles to superintend the destruction of a quantity of rice held for higher prices during a scarcity of food till it had become unfit for use. Nevertheless, this rice had at any rate been held back in the hope of sale, and was only destroyed because it had become unfit for use. This was not yet the modern principle of the wholesale destruction of good rice, good wheat, good cotton, good coffee and good meat.

In the same way the endeavour by combination to limit stocks, restrict production, and maintain or raise prices is inherent, not merely in capitalism, but in commodity economy from the beginning. As Adam Smith wrote in his Wealth of Nations:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices.

(Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 10, Part ii.)

But such a policy appeared to Adam Smith, the original voice of classic Πcapitalism, as an offence against the principles of capitalist production, as "a conspiracy against the public." It has remained for our day that all the capitalist governments of the world should meet together in the World Economic Conference to proclaim, with the combined voice of all the most enlightened, progressive statesmen and all the economists, the supreme aim to restrict production and to raise prices. This is a measure of the extreme stage of decay of capitalism.

The distinctive modern stage of capitalist policy for the destruction of wealth and of the productive forces is marked by three outstanding characteristics.

The first is the gigantic scale of destruction, conducted over entire principal world areas of production, and calculated in relation to world stocks.

The second is the direct government Organisation and subsiding of such destruction and restriction of production by all the leading imperialist governments.

The third is the extension of destruction, not only to the destruction of existing stocks of commodities, but to the destruction of the productive forces, the ploughing up of crops and sown areas, the artificial limitation of production, the dismantling of machinery, as well as holding unused the labour power of millions of workers.

The examples of this process throughout the capitalist world are too familiar to require repetition. The burning of millions of bags of coff ee or tons of grain, in the midst of mass starvation and poverty, have horrified the world. But all this has been no accidental or exceptional happening through the action of individuals, but on the contrary directly organised by all the capitalist governments of the world, and in the forefront by the most "progressive" governments, by the Roosevelt Government in the United States, by Social Democratic governments, etc.

It is a tragic irony that men and women in New York should be suffering the tortures of hunger while tens of thousands of pigs in farrow are being slaughtered in Iowa by the command of the Government, and farmers in Kansas or Nebraska are burning their grain. (News-Chronicle, October 17, 1933.)

The expenditures account recently published of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration under the Roosevelt regime affords a pretty picture of modern capitalism (Economist, December Π30, 1933):


Allocation Approximate Sum Cotton Acreage ploughed up 110 million dollars 1934 Cotton Acreage Reduction I50 million dollars Emergency Pig-Sow Slaughter 33 million dollars Corn-Hog Production Control 350 million dollars Wheat Acreage Reduction 102 million dollars Tobacco Acreage Reduction 21 million dollars

This inspiring combination of Mammon and juggernaut, let it be remembered, is the worshipped idol of the Labour Party and of the Trades Union Congress, as proclaimed at their meetings at Hastings and Brighton in 1933.

From Denmark it was reported in November 1933 that cattle were being slaughtered in the Government abattoirs at the rate of 5,000 a week, for the carcasses to be burnt in the incinerators. The Government established a special destruction fund; but so great was the cost of destruction that Parliament had to be approached for further credits for the construction of new slaughter houses. This was under a Social Democratic Government.

In the same way the British Labour Government had already carried the Coal Mines Act for the limitation of the output of coal-with such success that in the beginning of 1934 a London firm actually ordered a consignment of coal from abroad, on the grounds, as they stated, that owing to the limitation schemes it was impossible to secure a delivery from British sources with sufficient speed.

In Britain in 1930 the company "National Shipbuilders Security, Limited" was formed, with power to borrow up to three million pounds, for the purpose (according to the Memorandum of Association) "to assist the shipbuilding industry by the purchase of redundant and/or obsolete shipyards, the dismantling and disposal of their contents, and the re-sale of their sites under restrictions against further use for shipbuilding." Within a few months its successful activities were reported in the Press:

National Shipbuilders Security, Limited, has purchased Dalmuir Shipbuilding Yard, owned by William Beardmore and Co., and in consequence it is to be closed down by the end of the year. This shipyard was one of the largest on the Clyde, employing six thousand Πmen during the war. Negotiations for the purchase and closing down of other shipyards are in progress.

Up to the end of 1933 this new type of capitalist company had bought up and closed down one hundred shipbuilding berths. In the twelve months to June 1933, the world tonnage of merchant shipping showed a net decrease of 1,814,000 tons, more than half this decrease being in tonnage owned by Britain.

Similarly, in the woollen textile industry the Woolcombers Mutual Association, Limited, was formed early in 1933 "to assist the woolcombing industry by the purchase and dismantling of redundant and obsolete mills, plant and machinery for re-sale under restrictive covenants against their further use for woolcombing."

The principal copper producers of the world entered into an agreement at Brussels in December 1931, to limit production during 1932 to 26 per cent. of the capacity of their mines.

The National Coffee Council of Brazil, from which country comes two-thirds of the world's coffee, decided in December 1931 to destroy twelve million bags of coffee. During 1932-3 9,600,000 quintals (equivalent to 1,248 million pounds weight) were destroyed, an emergency tax being imposed on coffee exports to finance the purchase and destruction of surplus coffee (League of Nations World Production and Prices 1925-32, P. 28). Up to the end of 1933 no less than 22,000,000 bags of coffee had been disposed of by burning or dumping in the sea.

The Governors of Texas and Oklahoma called out the National Guard to take possession of the oil-wells and prevent production.

The United States Department of Agriculture in the summer Of 1933 announced bounties of seven to twenty dollars per acre to farmers for the destruction of the cotton crop. This was successful in securing the ploughing in or mowing down of I I million acres out of a total Of 40 millions:

The Government hoped to take ten million acres out of production by paying growers $7 to $20 per acre (according to the yield of their land) for ploughing under or mowing down cotton already growing. . . The scheme was immediately successful in restricting acreage,over 11 million acres being ploughed in or mown down, reducing the estimated acreage from 40.8 to 29.7 million acres. Π(World Economic Survey 1932-3, PP. 313-4.)*

To the modern bourgeois mind and outlook this process of wholesale destruction and restricting of production, in the midst of poverty, appears as a natural and self-evident necessity. Without sense of contradiction they proclaim it in the same breath that they proclaim the necessity of "economy" and "cuts" to the masses; and correctly they feel no contradiction, since both are indispensable to the maintenance of capitalism at the present stage. They preach to-day the policy of restriction of production with the same sense of obvious correctness and common sense with which they preached after the war the policy of "increased production" as the path to prosperity. Thus in the summer of 1933 we find the British Chancellor of the Exchequer answering the "theorists" who imagine restriction of production to be "a bad thing":

To allow production to go on unchecked and unregulated in these modern conditions when it could almost at a moment's notice be increased to an almost indefinite extent was absolute(Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons, June 2,1933:Times, June 3, 1933.)

In the same way the Economist was able to report with satisfaction:

While there was an enormous over-expansion of productive capacity before 1929, investment in capital equipment has been severely curtailed since then, and a substantial proportion of existing plant and machinery has become obsolete or has been scrapped. There can be little doubt that substantial progress has already been made in the re-adjustment of productive capacity to the lower level of demand for consumers' goods.- (Economist, May 13, 1933.

"Productive capacity" must be "re-adjusted" to the "lower level" of consumption of the impoverished masses. Such is the bed of Procrustes (who was also a bandit, but a less skilled and large- scale bandit) to which modern capitalism in its extreme stage of decay seeks to fit the tortured body of humanity.

* The practical execution of the scheme, however, was not without difficulties, as witness the following item from the American Press on August 9, 1933:


Paul A. Porter of the Administration, just back from the South, reported today that many farmers had complained they found difficulty in getting their mules to "act right" while plowing up the cotton. It is not the mule's fault at that, Mr. Porter explained. All these years be has been lambasted if he walked atop the cotton row. Now it is the reverse, and he is being asked to trample down stalks he was carefully trained to protect. ΠThe honours go to the mules rather than to President Roosevelt.

The more obvious and glaring expressions of this process, the burning of foodstuffs, the dismantling of machinery that is still in good condition, strike the imagination of all. But all do not yet see the full significance of these symptoms: first, the expression through these symptoms of the extreme stage of decay of the whole capitalist order; second, the inseparable connection of this process of decay with the social and political phenomena of decay which find their complete expression in Fascism; and third, the necessary completion and final working out of this process in war. For war is only the complete and most systematic working out of the process of destruction. To-day they are burning wheat and grain, the means of human life. To-morrow they will be burning living human bodies.

2. The Revolt against the Machine.

But this revolt of modern capitalism against the productive forces, against the development of technique, and for the artificial restriction of production, goes further. It begins to turn, ideologically, and even in certain concrete propositions and experimental attempts, into a direct revolt against the machine.

A century ago, in 1831, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge published a brochure, The Results of Machinery, addressed to the working men of the United Kingdom. "The little book gives a glowing picture of the glories of invention, of the permanent blessings of machinery, of the triumphant step that man takes in comfort and civilisation every time that he transfers one of the meaner drudgeries of the world's work from human backs to wheels and pistons. The argument is developed with great animation and vigour, and the writer, as he skirmishes with the workman's prejudices, travels over one industry and one country after another" (J. L. and B. Hammond, The Town Labourer, p. 17).

To-day the tables are turned. It is no longer the bourgeoisie who are teaching the ignorant workers, displaced and starving in millions through the advance of machinery under capitalist conditions, the blessings and advantages of machinery in the abstract. On the contrary, the bourgeoisie, now that they no longer see rising profits through the advance of machinery, but instead see their whole position and rule more and more visibly menaced by its development, change their tune; they deplore the evils of the too rapid advance of machinery; their tone becomes increasingly one of hostility, fear and hatred to the machine. It is the working class who, despite their still heavy sufferings through the advance of the machine under capitalism, now become the conscious champions of the machine, recognising in it the powerful ally of their fight for a new order, and seeing with clear understanding its gigantic future beneficent role once it becomes liberated for social use under the leadership of the working class and in communist society.

Even the scientists and technicians, the inventors of new machinery and technical processes in the service of capitalism, begin increasingly, with the exception of a small and courageous minority, to turn against their own children, and to discuss, in te hni

technical and scientific conferences and journals, the necessity of arresting the advance of invention, of artificially restricting the output of new inventions.

Thus the working class is revealed as the sole consistent progressive force of present society. The capitalists are the modern Luddites.

This tendency of the capitalist reaction against the machine is not confined to the social philosophers and speculators; to a Bertrand Russell, with his idealisation of the decaying Chinese pre- capitalist civilisation in the moment of its dissolution before the advancing mass revolution; to a Spengler, the favourite and most- quoted philosopher of Fascism, with his unconcealed hatred of machine-civilisation and worship of his mythical "primitive man roosting solitary as a vulture without any communal feeling, in complete freedom, with no 'we' like a herd of mere generic specimens strong, solitary men" (see his revealing book Der Mensch und die Technik-Man and Technique); or, for the matter of that, to a Gandhi and his spinning-wheel, the adored of the Western European intelligentsia, and true prototype, not of a young bourgeoisie, but of a bourgeoisie born old without ever having known youth, the consistent expression of one aspect of capitalism in decay (the passive reactionary), just as Spengler is the expression of the other aspect (the sophisticatedly bloody, combatant reactionary). ΠBut this same tendency reveals itself increasingly in the statesmen and politicians, in the journalists and publicists, Times scientists and technicians. We have already seen how an editorial in 1:930 could discuss "how perilously the machine has run ahead of man" and query "the advantages residing in a system which relies on the mass production of standardised articles" (March 8, 1930); or how the Hoover Research Committee in 1932 could speak of the possible necessity of a "slowing down of mechanical invention."*

In the same way Sir Alfred Ewing, delivering the Presidential address in 1932 to the British Association, the annual gathering of recognised, conventional bourgeois science, could declare:

In the present-day thinkers' attitude towards what is called mechanical progress we are conscious of a critical spirit. Admiration is tempered criticism; complacency has given way to doubt; doubt is pass into alarm.

An old ex ent of applied mechanics may be forgiven if he expresses so ething of the disillusion with which, now standing outside, be watches the sweeping pageant of discovery and invention in which he used to take unbounded delight. it is impossible not to ask, whither does this tremendous procession tend? What after all is its goal? What its probable influence upon the future of the human race?

Man was ethically unprepared for so great a bounty. . . . More and more does mechanical production take the place of human effort. So man finds that, while he is enriched with a multitude of possessions and possibilities beyond his dreams, he is in great measure deprived of one inestimable blessing, the necessity of toil. . . .

He has lost the joy of craftsmanship. . . . In many cases unemployment is thrust upon him, an unemployment that is more saddening than any drudgery.

* As an example of the popularisation by finance-capital of this reactionary propaganda in its most fantastic form may be noted an article prominently published in the millionaire-owned Sunday Express under the title, "Make Way for the Small Man," denouncing the illusion of "Progress" and the failure of "mass production," and calling Πfor the return to "the small owner" as the ideal: "The unit of the State is the self-supporting farm with first thoughts for subsistence and only second thoughts for the market-which might be mainly next door and consist of craftsmen supplying the needs of neighboring farms. "This simple farm-and-craf t relationship is essential to the health and wealth of any civilisation. . . . We should try to recover it." (Sunday Express, January 15, 1933.)

Naturally the finance-capitalists would be highly indignant if this infantile propaganda, which they broadcast by the most highly developed "massproduction" for the befogging of their readers, were suggested to be seriously applied to their mammoth undertakings, including their mammoth Press. The preaching of monopoly-capital against monopoly is an old story.


And the world finds itself glutted with competitive commodities, produced in a quantity too great to be absorbed. . . .

Where shall we look for a remedy? I cannot tell.

(Sir Alfred Ewing, Presidential Address to the British Association, 1932: Daily Telegraph report, Sept. 1, 1932.) This is the confession of bankruptcy of official bourgeois science before the modern world situation. Not the social conditions which lead to the abuse of the results of science and invention are seen as the problem, but instead the gifts of science and invention appear to this modern monk as gifts of the devil, for which man was "ethically" unprepared-as if "ethics" were independent of the social conditions from which in fact they take their character. For solution, this leader of modem bourgeois science confesses his impotence and ends characteristically with a prayer to "God."

Not only the leaders of bourgeois science, but the financial and political leaders of capitalism move in the same direction. An outstanding demonstration of this was the speech of the most "progressive" and "advanced" financier-politician of French capitalism, Joseph Caillaux, on the World Crisis in the spring of 1(32 before the Press Association in Paris, and given also in less complete form before the Cobden Club in London (the following citations are from the report of his Paris speech in the Depeche Economique et Financiere). His theme was that "the machine is devouring humanity" ("la machine devore l'homme): "It is necessary to take control of Πtechnique. It is necessary to prevent inventions suddenly upsetting production." How? He makes two concrete propositions. First, to set up "in every State, Departments of Technique, to discipline inventions, paying compensation for them, and not allowing them to come into use save in proportion as existing plant is amortised."

The second alternative is "taxation": "to impose heavy taxes on all inventions of machinery." "Science must be hamstrung ("il faut que la science soit jogulee"). This is not the language of an escaped lunatic, but of a cool, far-seeing politician and skilled financier of capitalism.*

* Another example of the current tendency is afforded by the recent book of the leader of the "Young Conservative" politicians, Lord Eustace Percy, under the title, Government in Transition. In this book, whose programme shows strong Fascist influence, "Lord Eustace ends his inquiry in a purely utopian vein: he presents us to a society which has emerged out of the vices of the machine age and is prepared to resort to the simple crafts of the pre-machine age." (Times, January 19,1934.) Here Conservatism in decadence looks longingly backward to the traditions of the pre- capitalist feudal reaction.

Nor is this tendency confined to theoretical expression; there are not wanting the first signs of experiments in practice. At Philadelphia, for example, the attempt was made to meet unemployment by substituting manual labour for machines in some departments of municipal work:

At Philadelphia the city has decided to abandon the use of a large number of machines in some departments of municipal work and use manual labour instead. (New York Correspondent of the London Times, December 12, 1930.)

Thus the final outcome of the most advanced centre of capitalist machine-development is to return to manual labour. The lesson of Philadelphia, the third greatest manufacturing city of the greatest manufacturing country of the capitalist world, is a sign and portent of where decaying capitalism would ultimately reach, if only it had the power to arrest development and stabilise.

In German Fascism this tendency is strongly to the front, and receives official encouragement by the Government. Thus the ΠThuringian Government in July 1933, prohibited the use of machinery for glass-blowing. The Acht Uhr Abendblatt, commenting on this decision with approval, declared:

This is the first example in modern times of the State stopping the metallic arms of the machine. Its steel limbs, by accomplishing the work which formerly gave nourishment to hundreds of human hands, have made the machine the mother of working-class misery.

On July 15, 1933, the Reich Government issued an Act prohibiting the installation of any further machines for rolling tobacco leaves and the re-starting of any established machinery which had ceased working.

The preamble to the Act states that the progressive mechanisation of the cigar industry was in process of destroying the livelihood of the population of certain districts. . . . Machinery has rendered superfluous about 80,000 workers, or five-sixths of the present labour force. . . . it is stated that the output of rolling machines is about 1,000 to 1,200 cigars an hour, while that of a handworker is only 70. . . . The power given by the Act to the Ministers concerned to limit production in mechanised undertakings is expected to ensure a gradual return to handwork.

(Manchester Guardian Weekly, September 15, 1933.)

In the beginning of 1934 it was reported from Germany:

The official policy towards the use of machinery is confused; special tax exemption was last year granted on installation of industrial machinery; but the party ideology rejects machinery; and Government prohibitions against its use increase. This week the instalment of automatic machines in the hollow-glass industry was forbidden; and production was limited. In the cement branch . . . the opening of new or expansion of old works has been forbidden. . . Forbidding the use of machinery, the express aim of which is to keep production cost high in the interest of craftsmen producers, hampers export. The restriction policy is disliked by the more enterprising manufacturer.- (Economist, February 24, 1934.)

Return to handwork! Return to the Stone Age! Such is the final logical working out of the most advanced capitalism and Fascism.

In fact, the drive of capitalist competition prevents its realisation. Thus even in the German Government law for the prohibition of new machinery in the cigar-making industry, an Πexception was explicitly made in respect of production for export; and the contradiction underlying the whole policy is still more sharply brought out in the last extract cited above.

But wherever capitalism is able to reach towards fully secured close monopoly, which is the whole tendency and aim of modern capitalism (though never fully realised), and the whole essence of the economics of Fascism, the inevitably inseparable tendency to retrogression of technique and decay is at once visible (compare the frequent examples of buying up and suppression of new inventions by strongly established trusts). In the abstract theoretical hypothesis of capitalism being able to consolidate into a single world monopoly, such general decay would inevitably follow and indeed be the condition of its existence (virtual prohibition of extended reproduction of capital). Only in socialist monopoly does the incentive to improvement of technique remain., since every improvement of technique means an increase in general standards, and diminution of labour.

The revolt of modern capitalist ideology against the machine can never he realised in practice; on the contrary, the capitalists are compelled to fight each other with ever sharper weapons.

But this ever-growing, though unrealisable, aspiration of modern monopoly capitalism towards the cessation of all development of technique, is a symptom of an economic order in decay. Fascism, with its propaganda of the return to the primitive and the small-scale, alongside actual service in practice to all the requirements of the most highly concentrated finance-capital, is the complete and faithful expression of this profoundly reactionary character of modern monopoly capitalism, and of the deep contradiction at its root.

3. The Revolt against Science.

The more and more conscious reactionary role of modern capitalism, and the growing ideological revolt against the machine and sense of antagonism to the development of technique, necessarily expresses itself on a wide front in the entire ideological field. A transformation in the dominant trends of capitalist ideology becomes more and more conspicuous. This transformation expresses itself in the growing revolt against science, against reason, against cultural development, against all the traditional philosophical liberal conceptions which were characteristic of ascendant capitalism; in favour of religion, idealistic illusions, denial of the validity of science, mysticism, spiritualism, multiplying forms of superstition, cults of the primitive, cults of violence, racial charlatanry ("blood" and "Aryan" Πnonsense) and all forms of obscurantism.

This tendency was already visible from the outset of the imperialist epoch, and especially before the war. It has enormously increased in the post-war period.

The relationship between science and the bourgeoisie has never in fact been an easy one. Only in the first revolutionary period of the bourgeoisie (in seventeenth-century England or in later eighteenth- century France) has there been real enthusiasm. In the nineteenth century, with the bourgeoisie in power, although the enormous profits to be won from the results of science led to universal official recognition, laudations and a somewhat stingy financial support, the suspicion was always present that the development of the scientific outlook might undermine the social foundations. Hence the gigantic battles of the nineteenth century over each advance of science. The leaders of nineteenth-century bourgeois science were still warriors in the midst of a widely hostile social camp. Education
was still in general jealously guarded on pre-scientific lines and under clerical control.

But what is conspicuous about the present period is that the offensive against science is to-day led, no longer merely by the professional reactionaries and clericalists, but above all by the majority of the more prominent, officially recognised and highly placed leaders of bourgeois science. The main bulk of the officially distinguished, be-knighted and decorated scientists of the bourgeoisie have openly joined the clerical camp. They proclaim with wearisome iteration the reconciliation of science and religion, the overthrow for the thousandth time of the errors of materialism, the limitations of scientific knowledge, and the supremacy of the "higher" aspects of life which cannot be approached along scientific lines. In a spate of lectures, essays, treatises and books, whose popular, vulgarising and often grossly unscientific character betrays their propagandist aim, they endeavour to utilise each new advance of research and discovery, not in order therefrom to reach a more scientific understanding of reality, but in order to throw doubt on the whole basis of science, and on this ground to proclaim the vindication of the p rticular tribal gods of their locality.

These utterances, still further vulgarised, are broadcast a millionfold by all the machinery of capitalist publicity as the "last word of science." In this way, at the same time as for technical and for strategical purposes science has to be more and more widely employed in practice, a basically reactionary and even anti-scientific Πoutlook is endeavoured to be pumped into all the capitalist-controlled forms of "popular culture."

This transformation in outlook on the part of the responsible leaders of bourgeois science (with the honourable exceptions of a small and courageous minority) was recently illustrated in the treatment of the fiftieth anniversary of Darwin's death in 1932 . This anniversary provided the opportunity for the entire forces of capitalist culture to proclaim, either the complete obsolescence of the theories of the hated Darwin, or alternatively, the complete reconciliation of Darwinism with the religious conceptions which he fought, and the final refutation of the atheism to which he secretly (Darwin's letter to Marx) adhered. The distinguished scientist and leading authority on Darwinism in England, Sir J. A. Thomson, wrote for general public consumption in the Daily Telegraph (April 19, 1932) under the singular title: "Darwin Fifty Years After: We Now Accept Evolution, Yet Believe in a Creator"*

There are some changes in our ideas since the hot-headed days that followed the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

Thus many of us are clear that there is no inconsistency in accepting the evolution idea and yet believing in a Creator who ordained the original Order of Nature in some very simple form.

The evolution theory does not try to "explain" things in the deeper sense. Evolutionists . . . leave to philosophy and religion all questions of purpose and meaning. This is a change for the better.

The shamefaced "agnosticism" of the nineteenth-century scientists has given place in the twentieth century to proclamation of "a Creator." This is an excellent example of the "progress backwards" of capitalism in decay.

A further example of the transformation was afforded by an inquiry into "The Religion of Scientists" conducted by the Christian Evidence Society and published under this title in 1932. A questionnaire was sent to all Fellows of the Royal Society; replies were received from 2 00 The results on some of the principal questions showed the following proportions:

1. Do you credit the existence of a Spiritual Domain? Favourable, 121; Intermediate, 66; ΠUnfavourable, 13. 2. Is belief in evolution compatible with belief in a Creator? Favourable, 142; Intermediate, 52; Unfavourable, 6. 3. Does Science negative the idea of a personal God as taught by Jesus Christ? Favourable (to Christianity), 103; Intermediate, 71; Unfavourable, 26.

Thus, omitting the intermediates, a "Spiritual Domain" (the expression is explained in the book as having been intended to mean the denial of materialism) wins by 9 to 1. "God" ( "a Creator") wins by 2 3 to 1. Christianity wins by 4 to 1. These are the answers of a representative group of distinguished bourgeois scientists in 1932.

We are not here concerned with the philosophical or theoretical significance of this transformation. Wha for present purposes is the social significance and role of this development.

The general fact of this avowed transformation of outlook of the majority of outstanding official representatives of bourgeois science, the loudly heralded movement against "materialism" and "the limitations of science," towards "idealism" and religion, is familiar ground. How far this alleged movement of opinion is really true of the best bourgeois scientists, or of the mass of younger working rank-and- file scientists, is less important than the fact that the dominant official influences both in the bourgeois scientific world, and in general bourgeois discussion, actively support, foster, patronise, encourage and in every possible way advertise and press forward this trend.

What is not equally clear to all is the direct connection of this ideological trend with the whole process of capitalism in decay. It is at once its reflection, and helps to carry it forward. The revolt against science, which bourgeois society to-day encourages in the ideological sphere, at the same time as it utilises science in practice, is not only the expression of a dying and doomed social class; it is an essential part of the campaign of reaction. This is the basis which helps to prepare the ground for all the quackeries and charlatanries, of chauvinism, racial theories, anti-semitism, Aryan grandmothers, mystic swastikas, divine missions, strong-man saviours, and all the rest of the nonsense through which alone capitalism to-day can try to maintain its hold a little longer. ΠAll this nonsense may appear on a cool view, when some particularly wild ebullition of a Hitler or a Goebbels about blood and the joy of the dagger and the Germanic man and the primeval forest, is produced, as highly irrational and even insane. But in fact it is as completely rational and calculated, for the present purposes of capitalism, as a machine-gun or a Zinoviev Letter election. There is method in the madness. For capitalism can no longer present any rational defence, any progressive role, any ideal whatever to reach the masses of the population. Therefore it can only endeavour to save itself on a wave of obscurantism, holding out fantastic symbols and painted substitutes for ideals in order to cover the reality of the universally bated moneybags. Fascism is the final reduction of this process to a completely worked out technique.

In unity with this revolt against science goes the general cultural reaction, the revolt against culture, the revolt against education, the cutting down of education in all capitalist countries, the increasing reactionary discipline and militarisation in the universities and schools, and-the final and complete
symbol of the culminating stage revealed by Fascism-the burning of the books.*

4. The Revolt against "Democracy" and Parliament.

This economic, social and ideological process finds also its political reflection. From the outset of the imperialist era liberalism and parliamentarism has in fact been on the wane. Parliamentary democracy was essentially the form through which the rising bourgeoisie carried through its struggle against feudalism and against old privileged forms, carrying the working class in their wake in this strug le. On this basis was built up liberalism in its heyday in the nineteenth century. The workers were drawn in the tow of bourgeois liberal politics. It was the achievement of Marxism to cut through this bondage. In Britain, where the capitalist world monopoly gave the bourgeoisie superior resources and the possibility to create a privileged section of a minority of the workers, Marxism made the slowest progress, and liberal-labour politics survived longest.

As the class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie began to replace the old struggle against the pre-bourgeois forms, a political shifting followed. The old Liberal Parties began to wane before Social Democracy; the bourgeoisie increasingly coalesced with the remnants of the older (monarchist, militarist, landowning) forces. Nevertheless, Πparliamentary democracy remained as the most useful basis of the bourgeoisie for the deception of the masses and holding in of the class struggle, so long as this means of restraining the workers was adequate.

To-day, when the intensification of the class struggle can no longer be held in by these forms, the bourgeoisie increasingly turns its back on parliamentary democracy in favour of More direct and open forms of coercion and the authoritarian state. This is a measure of the weakening of the bourgeoisie.

* A sidelight from another angle of the anti-intellectual movement of capitalism in decline is afforded by the following extract from the technical journal, The Illustrated Carpenter and Builder: "Nowadays admission to many factories depends on passing 'intelligence tests.'

These tests are not always designed to select the most intelligent of applicants; for in a certain Continental factory the management admit that they use intelligence tests to eliminate the alert and intelligent among the applicants, because the work is so sub- divided and mechanised that its monotony has the effect of turning intelligent workers into Communists." It is a striking indication of the social and cultural decay inherent in the final stages of capitalism, when elaborate scientific methods begin to be used, no longer to promote, but to eliminate intelligence from among the workers, because intelligent workers become Communists.

The era of imperialism, of centralised monopoly capitalism, already increasingly made the parliamentary democratic forms a caricature. While in appearance the extension of the suffrage was increasing "democracy," in reality the governing role was being directly removed from parliament and concentrated in the executive, into the Cabinet, and from the Cabinet into the Inner Cabinet, and even into extra- parliamentary forms (Committee of Imperial Defence, etc.) wholly removed from "democracy," (so the preparation of the war of 1914: compare the statement of the Conservative, Lord Hugh Cecil, that the war was decided "not by the House of Commons or by the electorate, Πbut by the concurrence of Ministers and ExMinisters," letter to the Times, April 29, 190.) Corresponding to the realities of monopoly capitalism, the routine of government was in fact in the hands of an increasingly strengthened and centralised bureaucracy; effective power and the decision of policy Jay with the handful of leaders of finance- capital; while the puppet-show of parliament, responsible Ministers, elections and nominally opposing parties, became increasingly recognised as a decorative appendage of the Constitution for purposes of window-dressing. This was equally conspicuous in the "democracies" of the United States, France and Britain.

Nevertheless, Liberalism enjoyed one last blooming in the earlier or pre-war period of imperialism-but in the new form of Liberal imperialism with its deceptive programme of "social reform." The super-profits of imperialism provided the means in the imperialist countries to endeavour to buy off the revolt of the advancing workers with a show of meagre concessions to a minority. Bismarck had already shown the way to utilise "social reform" legislation, alongside coercion, in order to endeavour to stem the advance of Socialism. On the basis of imperialist exploitation was built up the short-lived twentiethcentury renaissance of Social Reform Liberalism of the Lloyd George era, which tried to stem the rising tide of working-class revolt with a loudly advertised show of concessions and concern for the "condition of the people," and with noisy campaigns of denunciation of the landlords and the aristocracy, while the real aims of imperialism and war-preparation were pressed forward, and all the forces of the State were employed against the militant working-class struggle.

The Social Democratic and Labour Parties after the war tried to carry forward the role of Social Reform Liberal Imperialism, but under basically changed conditions-in a far more advanced stage of the class struggle, and in the midst of the crisis and decline of capitalism. Therefore they could not attain any corresponding measure of success; the appeal they could make to the masses on behalf of parliamentary reformism no longer evoked enthusiasm; the reforms they could achieve were limited by the economic crisis, the weakening national finances, and the weight of the war-debts they had to carry; the repressive and coercive measures they had to exercise against the class struggle were far heavier.

But even the limited measure of social reform concessions began to break down and dwindle under the pressure of the economic crisis. With the rising colonial revolts, the basis of imperialism began to weaken. The stream of super-profits diminished; the conflict of the Πrival monopolist capitalisms became more intense. Thus a reverse movement set in, no longer to the extension of social concessions, but on the contrary to the cutting down and withdrawal of concessions already granted. This process received its powerful demonstration in the history and fall of the Second Labour Government and the crisis of 1931.

From this point the class struggle is forced increasingly into the open, bursting through the thin cover of liberal and parliamentary democratic illusions. Even Social Democracy is forced to speak of the "collapse of reformism" and the "end of social reform," and the consequent inevitability of a "frontal" attack on capital (so the general propaganda line of the Leicester Labour Party Conference in 1932), at the same time as it merges in practice still more completely into alliance with monopoly capitalism and repression of the workers (the "Public Corporations" line, etc.). The confrontation of the working class and capitalism can no longer be covered by liberal and reformist pretences of improving conditions under capitalism.

From this point the demand becomes increasingly strong from the representatives of capitalism for the throwing aside or modification of the old parliamentary democratic forms, which no longer serve their purpose, and the establishment of open and strengthened forms of repression and dictatorship. The revolt against "democracy" and "parliament," which was already marked in bourgeois circles before the war, but was still confined in direct expression to the narrower reactionary circles, now become general in all current expression. The demand of an Owen Young for a "holiday of parliaments" ("If a holiday of armaments is good, a holiday of parliaments would be better," speech at the Lotus Club, New York, on December 6, 1930); or of a Sir William Beveridge for "a world dictator" (Halley Stewart lecture in February 1932); or the announcement of a Gordon Selfridge to the American Chamber of Commerce in London on his return from the United States that "as an American be spoke to fifty representative men in America, and did not find one who disagreed with his view that democracy in that great country could not possibly succeed as a system of government . . . a country should be managed as a great business was managed" (Times, June 22, 1932): these and a thousand similar expressions are typical of the present outlook of the representatives of finance-capital, and are paralleled by the sceptical tone of the parliamentarians themselves, the openly anti-parliamentary tone of the Press, or of the once ((progressive" literary intelligentsia (Shaw, Wells), no less than the direct attack of a Churchill, Lloyd or Tardieu. ΠThe Social Democratic and Labour Parties, moving parallel with capitalism, undergo a similar transformation of outlook, and begin to speak increasingly of the "limitations of parliament" and the necessity of strengthening "discipline" and "authority" in the State ("Neo-Socialism" in France, the Socialist League propaganda in England; see also Laski's Democracy in Crisis, 1933, and Vandervelde's L'Alternative, 1933, for the weakening of the old abstract-democratic assumptions).

The practice of modem capitalism moves increasingly away from parliamentary-democra tic forms to strengthened and more open coercion and class-dictatorship. This applies not only to the directly Fascist states, but also to the diminishing number of imperialist states which still remain nominally "democratic." The Roosevelt emergency powers, and the National Government in Britain, represent stages and phases of a process of transformation, corresponding in some respects to the Bruning stage in Germany. Modem legislation increases the powers of the executive, of the bureaucracy and of the police, and more and more restricts the limits of the legal working-class movement, of the right of meeting and association, and of the right to strike. This process of the "transformation of democracy" in the Western imperialist countries, and preparation of the ground for Fascism, is further examined in a later chapter.

The stream against parliamentary democracy is rising on all sides, although this does not mean that capitalism has yet exhausted its uses. But the real issue is commonly confused by the vulgar propagandist treatment that the attack on "democracy" is a parallel attack of Communism and Fascism. On the contrary. The critique of Communism or Marxism against capitalist democracy is not that it is "too democratic," but that it is "not democratic enough," that it is in reality only a deceitful cover for capitalist dictatorship, and that real democracy for the workers can only be achieved when the proletarian dictatorship breaks the power of the capitalist class. The movement of modern capitalism, on the other hand, against parliamentary democracy is a movement to strengthen repression of the working class and establish the open and violent dictatorship of monopoly capital. The reality of this issue between oligarchic dictatorship and working-class freedom breaks through the old illusory trappings of parliamentary democracy.

5. "National Self-Sufficiency." ΠA no less strongly marked expression of the modern tendencies of capitalism is the movement towards so-called "national self- sufficiency," "autarchy ... .. national planning," "isolationism," etc. This tendency has come most strongly to the front since the world economic crisis, and the breakdown of the World Economic Conference revealed its strength. This development is the logical working out of imperialist decay.

Of this tendency as the dominant tendency in the latest phase of world politics the League of Nations economic expert, Sir Arthur Salter, wrote in his standard work Recovery in 1931:

World trade may be restricted to small dimensions, through every country excluding imports of everything which (at whatever expense) it can make or produce at home. Along this line of development, America might withdraw within herself, arresting and almost abandoning her foreign investments, sacrificing her export trade, and cultivating an isolated self-sufficiency on the lower level of prosperity which this would necessitate. As the world closed against her, Great Britain might be forced to supplement such preferential trade with the Dominions and India as may be practicable, with a policy of exploiting and closing in her non-self-governing Empire from the rest of the world, against all the traditions and principles of her history. This line of development would mean loss to every country, impoverishment to countries like Switzerland which have no similar resources, and an organisation of the world into separate units and groups which would soon be dangerous and ultimately fatal to world peace. It is along this path that the world is now proceeding. (Sir Arthur Salter, Recovery, pp. 192-3.) This description, although faithfully reflecting one side of the tendency, and to some extent indicating the possible outcome, is not a fully correct description of the actual process. For, while the propaganda speaks in terms of internal selfsufficiency, the reality of the policy remains the fight of the imperialist powers, on the basis of this strengthened internal organisation, for the world market.

In fact, the movement towards the closed monopolist area is not in itself new, but is inherent in the whole development of imperialism, whose essential character is the denial and ending of free trade. What is new is only the extreme intensity with which this monopolist policy is now pursued, and the complexity of the weapons which are now brought into play for its realisation.

Not only the old tariff weapons, which are now brought to unheard Πof heights, but a host of new weapons-surtaxes variable at a moment's notice, quotas, embargoes, exchange restrictions, currency control, complex trade alliances, State subsidies, and direct State economic control-are now brought into play by the imperialist giants in their ever more desperate conflict for closed markets, for privileged areas of exploitation, and for control of the sources of raw materials.

The intensified conflict of the imperialist Powers for the shrinking world market makes this development to new and ever fiercer weapons of economic warfare, and essentially reactionary choking of the channels of free world trade, not merely some foolish and mistaken policy of particular statesmen, but the inevitable development and working out of the inner laws of imperialism. In vain the theoretical economic experts of the League of Nations throw up their bands in distress and deplore the universal "loss" and "impoverishment" caused by such politics; in vain the international conferences of economic experts, as at Geneva in 1927, pass unanimous resolutions condemning the destructive barbarism of such intensified economic warfare and calling for its reversal. The reality moves in the opposite direction to the resolutions. For there is no world capitalism as a whole to adopt the "enlightened" policies so patiently and incessantly held out by the economic theorists and would-be reformers of capitalism; just here is the cardinal error of the Salters and all their company.* There is only the conflict of the rival imperialist powers; and in the conditions of this conflict the statesmen and leaders of finance-capital, however much they may regret the cost and the losses involved, see no alternative to the policies they find themselves compelled to pursue if they are not to go under. In the words of the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the eve of the World Economic Conference, explaining the necessity of maintaining economic warfare:

Much as all of us regretted the economic warfare which had arisen between us and other countries, we must maintain that warfare as long as it was the other countries which had taken the aggressive. (Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons, June 2, 1933.)

"We must maintain that warfare;" the fault lies with "the other countries." This is the keynote of all the imperialist powers.

* It is characteristic of this whole school that, after recording a hundred previous disappointments, Sir Arthur Salter concludes his Preface to the Seventh Edition of Recovery on January 1, 1933, with the hopeful statement: "The World Economic Conference afford, the next occasion for a great constructive effort." The history of 1933 provided the comment. Indeed, even the professional optimists of capitalism begin to lose heart. Salter writes further in the same Preface: "The whole system under which our rich heritage of Western civilisation has grown up is at stake. Its fate depends, not only upon deliberate and concerted governmental action, but also upon constructive reform by those who organise and direct policy through every main sphere of economic activity. The sands are running out; but it is still not-quite-too late." This was at the beginning of 1933 before the further aggravation of the issues during 1933. In fact, it was always "too late" from the outset for the imagined "Constructive reform by those who organise and direct policy through every main sphere of economic activity," because in the conditions of post-war imperialism such "constructive reform" never was, and never could be, other than a Liberal civil servant's myth.

The most important expression of this transformation of policy in the present period was the passing of British Imperialism in 193 2 from the old f ree-trade basis to a general tariff and the policy of the closed Empire. The long survival of free trade in Britain reflected the remnants of the old commercial and financial world domination. The Chamberlain propaganda in the beginning of the imperialist era, and the strongly reinforced Empire Economic Unity propaganda after the war showed the pressing forward of the new forces. As late as 1926 the Bankers' Manifesto issued in that year still called for a general movement towards lower tariffs and free trade. The Bankers' Manifesto of 1930, signed by all the most important financial leaders, marked the decisive turn, and the end of the last remains of the old era, with its declaration:

The immediate step for securing and extending the market for British goods lies in reciprocal trade agreements between the nations constituting the British Empire.

As a condition of securing these agreements, Great Britain must retain her open market for all Empire products, while being prepared Πto impose duties on all imports from all other countries.

The Ottawa Conference of 1932 showed the attempt to carry out this policy. Although in relation to the Dominions heavy concessions from Britain have only won small and doubtful gains, in relation to India and the Crown Colonies the policy is being pressed forward at full strength. The subsequent elaborate trading negotiations for exclusive agreements, the agricultural quota arrangements, and the use of the currency weapon to endeavour to organise a "sterling bloc," all mark the development of the new system.

Attempts are frequently made to present the new phase of intensified monopolist conflict in idealist form under cover of the slogans of "national planning," "national self-sufficiency," etc., or to compare it with the entirely opposite process of socialist construction of the Soviet Five-Year Plan. The manifest economic breakdown of the capitalist anarchy, contrasted with the simultaneous gigantic advance of the Soviet Five-Year Plan, led to an outburst of talk of "planning" in the capitalist world. A World Planning Congress was held at Amsterdam in 193 1. A myriad abortive schemes for Five-Year Plans, TenYear Plans and Twenty-Year Plans were put forward in 0 the capitalist countries. The Trades Union Congress in 1931, true to its line of alliance with capitalism and worship of "organised capitalism," adopted a resolution which declared:

This Congress welcomes the present tendency towards a planned and regulated economy in our national life.

(Belfast Trades Union Congress resolution, 1931.)

Needless to say, this description of the real process which is taking place is a complete deception. The conditions of private ownership of the means of production, and of production for profit, negate the elementary conditions for any real scientific economic planning, which requires a single ownership of the means of production and the Organisation of production for use. The reality which is described under the euphemism of "a planned and regulated economy in our national life" is intensified monopolist Organisation in a given imperialist area (not national area) for the purposes of sharpened world imperialist conflict and increased exploitation of the workers.

The complete passing over of the previous progressive elements in capitalism to the new reactionary policies is illustrated by the conversion of the former leading Liberal economic theorist, Keynes, in his articles on "National Self -Sufficiency" (New Statesman and ΠNation, July 8 and 15, 1933). Keynes writes:

I was brought up, like most Englishmen, to respect Free Trade not only as an economic doctrine which a rational and instructed person could not doubt but almost as a part of the moral law. I regarded departures from it as being at the same time an imbecility and an outrage. I thought England's unshakable Free Trade convictions, maintained for nearly a hundred years, to be both the explanation before man and the justification before heaven of her economic supremacy. As lately as 1923 I was writing that Free Trade was based on fundamental truths "which, stated with their due qualifications, no one can dispute who is capable of understanding the meaning of words."

Looking again to-day at the statements of these fundamental truths which I then gave, I do not find myself disputing them. Yet the orientation of my mind is changed; and I share this change of mind with many others.

He then sets out the drawbacks of which he has become aware in the working out of the system of international capitalism, and reaches the conclusion:

I sympathise therefore with those who would minimise, rather than those who would maximise economic entanglements between nations. . . . I am inclined to the belief that, after the transition is accomplished, a greater measure of national self-sufficiency and economic isolation between countries than existed in 1914 may tend to serve the cause of peace rather than otherwise.

More fully, he declares: We wish to be as free as we can make ourselves from the interferences from the outside world. . . . Ideas, knowledge, art, hospitality, travel-these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and above all let finance be primarily national.

It will be seen that the outlook of Keynes has begun to approximate to that of Hitler. This is a valuable measure of capitalism in decay. The reality behind the phraseology of a Keynes or other capitalist "national planners" must not be misunderstood. The belated discovery by Keynes of the naive, subjective and uncritical assumptions on which the old traditional "economic science" of the bourgeoisie, especially in its centre in England, was always based, does not here concern us. Marx long agoin the middle nineteenth century-before, not after the Πeventlaid bare the local, temporary and insular character of the free trade economic theory as only the reflection of the historically caused British capitalist supremacy; and showed also how this phase would necessarily pass, how British capitalist supremacy would disappear, and with it the accompanying free trade theory, and liberal free trade capitalism would pass into monopolist capitalism and the period of decay. However, the empiricist can only learn from the behind-side of history; only the impact of the event compels the bourgeois professors of economics to begin to grope for the source of their errors. Keynes, the faithful believer in the divine ordainment of free trade and British economic supremacy until 1923, in 1933 announces his disillusionment with the pride of a pioneer.

What is important, however, is that this disillusionment or "change of mind" which he "shares with many others" is only the reflection of the change of capitalism, which he translates into universal conclusions in exactly the same subjective and uncritical way as the old free trade theory which he now condemns. For in fact, the issue is no longer between international free trade capitalism and monopolist capitalism in its modem forms. That issue has long been settled in practice. At the present time history has placed on the order of the day a different issue, of which he is unaware. The daring "advance" which he believes himself to have made in his thought, with his conversion from old liberal fetishes to "national self-sufficiency," leaves him in reality still well in the rear of events as the faithful servitor of the ruling class; he has simply passed from being the servitor of one phase of capitalism to becoming the servitor of the next.

In reality, "national self-sufficiency" is only the ideal cover for the modern forms of monopolist capitalism, extreme intensification of antagonisms, and advance to Fascism and war. Just as the imperialist blocs cover their predatory wars for the spoils of the world under cover of the slogan of "national defence," so they seek increasingly to-day to cover their monopolist economic Organisation and warfare under cover of the slogan of "national self- sufficiency." It is this advance to war which is the essential significance concealed behind the slogan of "national self-sufficiency."

6. War as the Final "Solution."

The culmination and final working out of all the new policies of capitalism under the stress of the world crisis is the advance to the second world war.

The effects of the world economic crisis enormously intensified all existing international antagonisms. The "pacific" "internationalist" language of the stabilisation period (Locarno, Briand-Stresemann, ΠKellogg Pact) gives place to increasingly open national-chauvinist language and policies. International conference after international conference breaks down. Even such limited success as attends the measures of internal reorganisation, of strengthening and tightening up of monopolist economy and aggressive power, within each imperialism, only leads to the intensification of world antagonisms. There is a renewed and ever more feverish pressing forward of armaments on all sides, and of industries connected with armaments. The World Disarmament Conference breaks down. Japan and Germany withdraw from the League of Nations. The issue of "disarmament" passes into the issue of "re-armament." Alliances and counter alliances are actively built up on every side. The Naval Limitation Treaty passes into the melting-pot.

Alongside the limited "revival" of world production in 1933 and 1934-and, indeed, as an important element in this "revival"-the armaments industries leapt forward; their shares and profits rapidly rose. According to the calculations of the German Institute of Economic Research (Institut fur Konjunkturforschung), the proportions of world armaments expenditure and of world production, on the basis of 1928 as zoo, showed the following significant picture:

Armaments expenditure World production 1913 64 54 1929 104 104 1930 106 87 1932 1107 56

The war budgets of the principal countries for 1934 showed a sharp net increase: of Germany by; L17 millions, of the United States by ;E16 millions, of France by L10 millions (together with a special internal loan for armaments of L40 millions), of Japan by 19 millions, of Britain by L5 millions (together with a supplementary air programme of L20 millions over five years).

The gathering expectation of the close approach of war finds increasingly frequent expression in the speeches of the statesmen of all countries. Typical was Mussolini's "War ToDay" declaration in his speech to the officers at the Italian army manoeuvres in August, 1934:

War is in the air and might break out at any moment. We must prepare, not for a war for to-morrow, but for a war of to-day.

In July, 1934, Marshal Petain declared in his speech to the Reserve ΠOfficers' Conference at St. Malo that the next war would break out like a "lightning flash." Baldwin, in advocating the new British air programme in the House of Commons in July, 1934, reported a greater sense of uneasiness, of malaise, in Europe than we have hitherto experienced. Churchill in the same debate declared:

The situation was serious and grave. Europe was moving ever more rapidly into a tightly drawn net. Almost all nations were arming, and every one felt that the danger they dreaded most of all was drawing nearer."

The propaganda of war spreads. War begins to be presented as the heroic alternative, the last hope, the "way out" from the unending nightmare of economic crisis, misery and unemployment. Fascism, the most complete expression of modern capitalism, glorifies war. The filthy sophism "War means Work" begins to be circulated by the poison agencies of imperialism, and filters down to the masses. As Carlyle, in whom many antecedents of Fascism can be traced, wrote in his Sartor Resartus: "The lower people everywhere desire war. Not so unwisely; there is then a demand for lower people-to be shot." It is a measure of the stage reached by capitalist civ- ilisation that to-day, before the leading capitalist countries- other than Japan-are yet directly involved in war, while there are still nominally conditions of peace, it is possible for such an argument to be seriously presented and widely repeated and actually discussed, that murder is the only way to provide men and women with work and livelihood.

All to-day see the ever more visible approach of war. Rising alarm is expressed in many quarters of bourgeois opinion who see the ruin and destruction of the entire existing society involved in the menace of renewed world war. But these sections of anti-war opinion see only the question of war in isolation, and concentrate their efforts on capitalist "machinery" to avoid war, without realising that such machinery of imperialism can only function as machinery to organise the future war in the name of "ideal" symbols. Bourgeois pacifism, attached to the official League of Nations, and preaching passivity and non-resistance to the masses, becomes an indispensable part of the war-preparations of imperialism, and as such officially recognised and encouraged by all the warmaking statesmen of imperialism. All the statesmen of imperialism, Roosevelt and MacDonald, Henderson and PaulBoncour, Mussolini and Hitler, are to-day "pacifists" in their public utterances-and in their governmental roles actively press forward the building of armaments and the preparation of imperialist Πwar.

War is only the continuation and working out of the crisis of capitalism and of the present policies of capitalism. It is inseparable from these, and cannot be treated in isolation. All the policies of capitalist reorganisation, all the policies of Fascism, can only hasten the advance to war. This is equally true of the line of a Roosevelt, a MacDonald or a Hitler. War is no sudden eruption of a new factor from outside, a vaguely future menace to be exorcised by special machinery, but is already in essence implicit in the existing factors, in the existing driving forces and policies of capitalism. All the existing policies of capitalism are policies of eversharpening war: of ever more formidably organised imperialist blocs; of tariff-war, of gold-war, of currency-war; of war with every possible economic, diplomatic and political weapon. It is no far step from these to the final stage of armed war. All the existing policies of capitalism are more and more dominantly policies of destruction. The capitalists are to-day the destructive force in human society. All their most typical modern policy, from super-tariffs and debt-enslavement of whole states to burning foodstuffs and devastating cotton plantations, from dismantling plant and machinery to throwing millions of skilled and able workers on the scrap-heap of starvation, is a policy of destruction of human effort and labour, strangling of production, destruction of life. War is only a continuation of this policy. It is no far step from spending millions of pounds to buy up machinery in order to destroy it, to spending millions to produce guns and warships and munitions to be blown up into the air. It is no far step from condemning millions of human beings to the death-in-life of unemployment as "superfluous," to the final solution of disposing of their lives and bodies by bomb and gas and chemical, for the greater profit of whatever group of capitalists can gain most in the redivision of the world by the holocaust. But this does not mean that war, any more than Fascism, presents the final "solution" of the crisis of capitalism. On the contrary. War, like Fascism, is to-day the outcame of the intensified contradictions of capitalist society in decay; but neither solve those contradictions. On the contrary, both bring out those contradictions to the most extreme point, organise upon their basis, and lay bare the deep disintegration of existing society, both internally and internationally, to the point of destruction. The crisis extends and develops through these forms to yet greater intensity, and thereby only reveals the more sharply that the sole final solution lies in the social revolution.
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