World Revolution: Plot Against Civilization - Nesta Webster

XI. The Revolution of 1917

The Great War—Role of British Socialists—Role of German Social Democrats—The Russian Revolution—Bolshevism

When the Great War broke out in 1914 it was on International Socialism that Germany counted to break the resistance of her enemies.

Everywhere the ground had been carefully prepared. In England, from the founding of the First International onwards, German intrigue had never ceased to play a leading part in the succeeding Socialist organizations, each of which in turn had been diverted from its original course in the direction of pan-German interests.

Although the influence of Marx amongst the British working-men was practically nil during his lifetime, the Marxian tradition had been carried on by his colleague Engels and his British middle-class disciples who formed the Socialist associations in this country.

Thus the Second Internationale, founded in 1882, became Germanized by 1893, and remained so until the outbreak of war, when it was suspended and did not reconstruct itself until the Geneva Congress of 1920. The Fabian Society, inaugurated in 1883, fell almost immediately under the control of Mr. G. Bernard Shaw who has made no secret of his international sympathies. In the same year the Social Democratic Federation was founded by Mr. H. M. Hyndman, with Justice as its organ, and in the following year of 1884 produced an offshoot in the Socialist League founded by William Morris with the co-operation of Mr. Belfort Bax, an Austrian semi Anarchist named Andrea Scheu, several English Anarchists, and Dr. Aveling, the "husband" of Marx's daughter, as editor of its organ The Commonweal.

This ceased to exist in 1892. The original S.D.F. meanwhile continued its course, but in 1911 changed its name to the British Socialist party.

The alien influence in all these associations is thus plainly visible, but it was not sufficient to content Friedrich Engels, who therefore set to work on another enterprise, the Independent Labour Party, which, with the collaboration of Mr. Keir Hardie, he afterwards boasted that he helped to create. Engels then instructed Dr. Aveling, who had formed a "free union" with Marx's daughter, to join the Executive Committee of the I.L.P., whilst Eleanor herself "was told off to work for the Gas Workers' and General Labourers' Union."

"Engels now imagined that, with the aid of the Independent Labour Party, he would obliterate the Social Democratic Federation and the Fabians, as a punishment for not showing sufficient subservience to German leadership. He evidently believed that he was eminently successful in these efforts. On July 20, 1889, Engels wrote to Sorge: 'I think that we are going to make great progress here.' Then he goes on to explain that as the Anglo-Saxons are slow and dull of comprehension, it was quite natural that English workmen should be "bossed" by Germans.

"In a subsequent letter Engels boasts that the gas workers of London 'were led by Tussy,' the diminutive name of Marx's youngest daughter (Eleanor). Finally, in 1892, Engels repeats triumphantly: 'We are making great progress here in England. Affairs advance splendidly. Next year there will be seen marching behind Germany, not only Austria and France, but also England.'" [Pan-German Internationale]

These hopes found their fulfilment on the declaration of war in 1914. What part did the Socialists play? The true meaning of Internationalism was then revealed. Although the war on the part of Germany was one of pure aggression, and on the part of England one of urgent national defence, the whole German Social Democratic Party in a body went over to the German war-party, whilst all the Socialist organizations in this country—the Independent Labour Party, the British Socialist Party, and the Socialist Labour Party—opposed England's participation in the war.

British Socialists

Not content with this Pacifist attitude before the outbreak of hostilities, certain Socialists—notably the members of the I.L.P.—continued, after the war had begun, to give active encouragement to the enemy. Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, who had published a violent indictment of the British Government on August 13, 1914, was mentioned on several occasions with the warmest approbation in the German press. At a congress of the I.L.P. in Norwich in April 1915, a resolution was passed by a huge majority opposing recruiting. Worse still, industrial troubles were stirred up amongst the workers, delaying the supply of war materials to the troops, so that the Referee declared that "German Socialists and their English allies were responsible for the death of thousands of Englishmen on the battle-front."

It is only just to add that the question of the war brought about a split in the British Socialist Party, and though the name was retained by the anti-war party—a party largely composed from 1916 onwards of RussianJews and foreign Anarchists, with The Call for their organ —a group of British Socialists, under the leadership of Mr. Hyndman, stood out for national defence, and in 1916 reorganized themselves under the name of the "National Socialist Party." In 1920 this society resumed the original name of the Social Democratic Federation, whilst at the same date the British Socialist Party, now affiliated to the Third (Moscow) Internationale, became the British Communist Party and changed the name of its organ from The Call to The Communist. The fact then remains that at the outbreak of war British Socialism was represented by no national and patriotic party. The work of Germany had been well and truly done.

Unless these preliminaries are clearly recognized, the attitude of the Socialists must appear only as the most extraordinary paradox. Why should the so-called champions of democracy have accorded their sympathy to Imperial Germany, the most monarchic and the most autocratic country in the world, rather than to Republican France, the home of the revolutionary tradition? It is true that the Government of Germany under Wilhelm II. was probably the best in Europe from the point of view of the working-classes, but this was precisely because it repudiated the Socialistic theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and owed its success to the fact that it treated the people like children, cared for them like children, punished them like children, and never allowed them to dictate.

The pro-German sympathies of British Socialists are therefore incomprehensible unless we realize that all their ideas had been instilled into their minds by German agents. "I am anti-French, but I am none the less anti-English," Marx, their prophet, had declared, and the "anti-Allies" attitude of "International" Socialists in this country was the natural result of these influences.

In France German propaganda had been less successful. Although there were a few notorious pro-Germans in the Socialist and Radical camps the French Socialist party stood solidly for national defence. Even Jaures, whose illusions on Germany had excited suspicions of complicity with the enemy, warned his countrymen that they must "beware of the Illuminati, who seek to organize the proletariat on a non-national basis." Anti-patriotism is a sentiment not easily aroused in France, and inspires little admiration there when professed by foreigners. In this connection it is amusing to observe the attitude of Georges Sorel—Syndicalist, and therefore International, as he might profess to be—towards our British pacifists.

"Arbitration," he remarks, "always gives results disastrous to England; but these good people (the English Liberals) prefer to pay or even to compromise the future of their country rather than affront the horrors of war. . . . Many Englishmen think that by humiliating their country they will become more sympathiques—this is not clearly proved."

But it was by pacificism that the great conspiracy gained its end in Russia. This is not the place to recount the story of the Russian Revolution, which is still too fresh in the minds of the public to need repeating; all that concerns us here is to trace the course of the World Revolution throughout the movement and to controvert the purblind declarations of certain leading politicians in this country, who persisted in regarding the Russian upheaval as something quite new in the history of the world. Thus in the House of Lords on February 10, 1920, Lord Curzon observed:

"When we look at Russia, who can regard that spectacle without consternation and dismay?—a country at this moment prey to a revolution of a character unprecedented in history. Because, although every one is always drawing analogies with what happened in France 140 or 150 (sic!) years ago there is no analogy whatever. Everybody knows that the circumstances of what is happening in Russia at the present time are wholly without parallel in the history of the world, and you can imagine how in what are called the inner circles of statecraft at every moment we are confronted with this appalling spectacle outside our door, upsetting us, perplexing our resolution, and confounding our calculations at every turn."

What wonder that our foreign policy is frequently at fault and that our statesmen find themselves perplexed and confounded at every turn if this is the extent of their historical knowledge? Not only is there an exact analogy between the revolutions of France and Russia, but as every one who has studied the latter movement knows, the Russian Revolution from November 1917 onwards was a direct continuation of the French. This was admitted by the Bolsheviks themselves, who repeatedly declared that the first French Revolution must be copied in every detail, and who from the outset took Marat and Robespierre as their models.

The Bolshevist Revolution

It has been objected that in two important points the Russian Revolution differs from the French, firstly, that whilst the French Revolution was National, the Russian was International; secondly, that the French Revolution was directed against the aristocracy, but the Russian Revolution aimed particularly at the destruction of the bourgeoisie. Both these statements are inaccurate. The French Revolution, like the Russian Revolution, contained both National and International elements. In its declaration "all men are brothers" the French Constituent Assembly gave expression to the purest Internationalism, and Clootz, the apostle of this doctrine, received as we have seen, the loudest acclamations from the Convention.

It was only when the Jacobins' declaration of world anarchy met with opposition from foreign countries and also ran counter to the innate patriotism of the French people that the Convention found itself forced into an attitude of Nationalism it had never intended to assume, and under the domination of Robespierre, the greatest opponent of Internationalism, Clootz and the "parti de l'stranger" were condemned to death. In Russia, on the other hand, the Revolution did not bear at the outset an entirely International character: amongst the Social Revolutionaries who brought about the rising of March 1917 were several national groups; the Mensheviks likewise comprised a national party, led by Plechanov. It was not until the Bolsheviks seized the reins of power that the Revolution became frankly International, and this was facilitated by the fact that the Russian people were less patriotic than the French, and also that whilst the Jacobins of France could count on no support from abroad the Bolsheviks depended almost entirely on foreign co-operation and founded all their hopes on the prospect of a world revolution.

"Daily Herald described the closing down by the Bolshevik authorities of a play entitled The Death of Danton, for fear it might be offensive to the memory of Robespierre. A Russian who had been imprisoned under the Bolsheviks wrote to me after reading my French Revolution: 'Your book . . . seems to be the diary of our own revolution, so thoroughly well have our apes learnt their roles . . . everybody in Russia knew by heart that bloody era, though many of the actors hardly knew how to sign their names!'"

In the matter of the class war the Bolsheviks of Russia pursued precisely the same course as the revolutionaries of France. In both countries the monarchy and aristocracy were the first to suffer; in both the turn of the bourgeoisie came next. In the summer of 1793, as we have seen, war on the bourgeoisie was declared by the Convention, and the battle-cries of that period have been adopted verbatim by the Bolsheviks. Let us follow the same process, as carried out by Lenin, in his own words:

"What is the first stage? It is the transfer of power to the capitalist class (bourgeoisie). Up to the March revolution of 1917 power in Russia was in the hands of one ancient class, namely the feudalist-aristocratic-landowning class headed by Nicholas Romanov. After that revolution power has been in the hands of a different, a new class, namely the capitalist class (the bourgeoisie). The shifting of power from one class to another is the first, the main, fundamental symptom of a revolution, both in the strictly scientific and the practical political sense of the word. To this extent, the capitalist or bourgeois democratic revolution in Russia is at an end."

In Russia as in France war on the bourgeoisie was only the second stage of the movement, and in both the complete subjection of the people formed the next point on the programme.

The Bolshevik revolution was, from the very beginning, avowedly anti-democratic and in no sense the outcome of the Russian revolutionary movement. Until the end of the last century the subversive forces in Russia had been mainly anarchic, resulting from the doctrines of Bakunin and Kropotkine; but with the formation of the Russan Social Democratic Party a definite Marxian school was inaugurated and found further support in the Jewish Bund of Social Democrats. It was at a congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party in London in 1907 that the split took place, resulting in division into the two groups of Bolsheviks under Lenin and Mensheviks under Martoff, the former signifying the majority, the latter the minority, but since then the terms have come to denote the extreme and the less extreme party.

At the outbreak of the March revolution of 1917 the Bolsheviks were, however, completely in the minority amongst the various revolutionary groups—a fact frankly admitted by the Bolsheviks themselves—and it was only by a course of systematic deception, and finally by force of arms, that the party which might be described in Bakunin's words, "the German-Jew Company," the "red bureaucracy," succeeded in establishing its domination. Such popularity as it had achieved had been won by the old method of the conspiracy—promising one thing and doing precisely the opposite. Thus according to the word of command of the Secret Societies—"Constitution"— the Bolsheviks had clamoured for a Constituent Assembly, and their first act was to dissolve the assembly elected by universal suffrage; exploiting the war-weariness of the troops they had promised the people immediate peace, and having by these means created disaffection first in the navy, then in the First army, and finally throughout all the troops, they inaugurated a regime that could only exist on warfare and of which the whole policy is aggressive militarism; they had promised the peasants the land they coveted, and then denied them the right to own the crops they grew on it.

From the outset, however, the Bolsheviks had never succeeded in obtaining a following amongst the peasants, of which the revolutionary elements looked to the Social Revolutionaries for salvation, and it was on the workmen of the towns that they counted for support. But here again their promises proved delusive, and the workers who imagined that they were to run the industries in which they were engaged found themselves bitterly disillusioned. Great efforts have been made by the Bolsheviks to persuade Syndicalists that their plans are identical, as we see in the overture made by Zinovieff in the name of the Third Internationale to the I.W.W. of America (date of January 1920), where soothing assurances are given on the subject of the State.

"Our aim is the same as yours—a commonwealth without State, without Government, without classes, in which the workers shall administer the means of production and distribution for the common benefit of all." But the appeal goes on to explain that this cannot be done all at once, and the old process of the "withering away of the State," originating with Louis Blanc, is to take place. In the face of Lenin's views on control by the workers the hypocrisy of this protestation is, however, apparent.

"Socialism," Lenin wrote in May 1918, "can only be reached by the development of State Capitalism, the careful organization of finance, control, and discipline amongst the workers. Without this there is no Socialism. ... To every deputation of workers which has come to me complaining that a factory was stopping work, I have said: 'If you desire the confiscation of your factory, the decree forms are ready, and I can sign a decree at once. . But tell me: can you take over the management of the concern? Have you calculated what you can produce? Do you know the relations of your works with Russian and foreign markets?' Then it has appeared that they are inexperienced in these matters; that there is nothing about them in the Bolshevik literature, nor in the Menshevik either. The workers who base their activities on State Socialism are the most successful."

Bolshevism then is not Syndicalism, it is State Socialism, it is Marxism, it is Communism, in a word it is Babouvisme.

It is therefore no figure of speech to describe it as the most reactionary school of thought now in existence, for it does not even carry on the traditions of 1848 or 1871, but goes right back to the century before last—the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 began where the French Revolution left off in 1797. Is it possible to conceive anything more retrogressive?

Let us now follow the programme of Bolshevism as set forth by its own advocates in order to realize its exact resemblance to that of Babeuf. We shall find it most clearly propounded in the pamphlet of Bucharin, the right hand of Lenin, from which the following passages are taken:

"We already know that the root of the evil of all plundering wars, of oppression of the working-classes and of all the atrocities of capitalism, is that the wealth of the world has been enslaved by a few State-organized capitalist bands, who own all the wealth of the earth as their private property . . . To deprive the rich of their power by depriving them of their wealth by force, that is the paramount duty of the working-class, of the Labour Party, the party of Communists. . . . In a Communist order all the wealth belongs not to individuals or classes, but to society as a whole; no one man is master over it. All are equal comrades. . . .

"The work is carried out jointly, according to a pre-arranged labour plan. A central bureau of statistics calculates how much it is required to manufacture in a year: such and such a number of boots, trousers, sausages, blacking, wheat, cloth, and so on. It will also calculate that for this purpose such and such a number of men must work on the fields and in the sausage work respectively, and such and such a number in the large communal tailoring workshops, etc., and working-hands will be distributed accordingly. The whole of production is conducted on a strictly calculated and adjusted plan, on the basis of an exact estimate of all the machines, apparatus, all raw material, and all the labour power in the community."

Compare this with Babeuf:

"A simple affair of numbering things and people, a simple operation of calculations and combinations."

All this, Bucharin goes on to inform us, "can be attained only by working to a single plan and by organizing the whole community into one vast labour commune."

This process, which is to begin with the bourgeoisie, is to be carried out:

"by means of introducing labour record books and labour service. Every one of the above-named class should receive a special book in which an account is kept of his work, that is to say of his compulsory service. Fixed entries in his book entitle him to buy or to receive certain food products, bread in the first place. . . . If such an individual refuses to work there is no corresponding entry in his book. He goes to the store but is told, 'There is nothing for you. Please to show an entry confirming your work.'"

This may be very pleasing to the proletarian who sees in imagination the "idle rich" being forced to shoulder spade or pickaxe in order to secure a meal, but the proletarian smile fades away as the end of the page is reached and these ominous words appear:

"Of course labour service for the rich should only be a transitory stage towards general labour service."

If we turn to The Russian Code of Labour Laws (published by the People's Russian Information Bureau in 1920) we shall find that:

"All citizens of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic over 16 and under 50 years of age"—with certain exemptions in case of illness—"are subject to compulsory labour of eight hours a day."

In fact a great part of Lenin's writings are devoted to the problem of enforcing this system, to "the higher discipline of the toilers," . . . "iron discipline during work with absolute submission to the will of one person," for which purpose "a merciless dictatorship must be exercised."

Moreover, we find that after all "wage-slavery" still exists, for a whole section of the Russian Code relates to the "transfer and discharge of wage-earners." But in time the wages though not the slavery are to disappear, for Bucharin explains that sale and purchase will by degrees give way to barter:

"An "exchange" of goods must then begin between town and country, without the agency of money; municipal industrial organizations send out textile, iron, and other goods into the country, while the village district organizations send bread to the towns in exchange . . . when production and distribution are thoroughly organized money will play no part whatever, and as a matter of course no kind of money dues will be demanded from any one. Money will have generally become unnecessary. Finance will become extinct."

In order to attain this ideal condition of things the working-class must engage in a "bloody, painful, heroic struggle."

We have only to turn back to the earlier pages of this book to see that this is identically and in every detail the plan of the Babouvistes; the Third International in its New Communist Manifesto in fact admits its direct descent from Babeuf. How are we to explain the continuity of idea? Simply by the fact that both systems are founded on the same doctrines—those of Illuminism, and that the plan now at work in Russia has been handed down through the secret societies to the present day.

The Bolshevik revolution has in fact followed out the code of Weishaupt in every point—the abolition of monarchy, abolition of patriotism, abolition of private property and of inheritance, abolition of marriage and morality, and abolition of all religion.

On the last two points queries will be raised. Has the Bolshevik Government officially abolished marriage? No; simply because it has not dared to do so, but its intentions in this respect are made quite clear in the pamphlet of Madame Kolontay, the friend of Lenin, Communism and the Family, in which it is explained that the old form of "indissoluble marriage" is to give place to "the free and honest union of men and women who are lovers and comrades"—that is to say simply to "free love."

Does this imply then "the community of women"? Much discussion has been devoted to this question, heated controversies have taken place as to whether the mandate of Ekaterinodar ordering the "socialization" of women was a part of the Bolshevik programme or merely the act of an individual commissar.

Yet all the time the answer is quite simple. Bolshevism is avowedly Marxism; to follow the precepts of Marx in every detail is the supreme aim of the leaders. And the "official and open community of women" is laid down in Marx's Communist Manifesto. If, therefore, the Bolshevists have not established it in Russia it is because public opinion was evidently too strong for them. The mandate of Ekaterinodar, never intended for publication in Western Europe, gave away the plan and prevented its execution. But Madame Kolontay's pamphlet leaves no doubt as to the ultimate design. For "free love" must inevitably lead to the same conclusion—the removal of all protection from women. The hypocritical pretension put forward by Marx and the Bolsheviks of wishing to abolish prostitution can deceive no one—Communism would simply replace voluntary prostitution by forcible rape.

In this matter the Bolsheviks go much further than Babeuf, who does not touch on the community of women, although he is no less insistent on the necessity for the break-up of the family by taking away the children from their parents; and his further stipulation that they should not be allowed to bear their father's name "unless he had distinguished himself by great virtues," certainly seems to indicate abolition of the present marriage system. But in their plan of the communal education of children the Bolsheviks have followed Babeuf to the letter.

The English Communist, Mr. Bertrand Russell, has described the idea formulated by Madame Kolontay more or less vaguely—so as not to alarm Western mothers—as he saw it in operation during his stay in Russia, and it is curious to notice that Babeuf's plan of teaching the children dancing has been carefully followed—an irony which even Mr. Russell could not fail to perceive, since the education of these "Eurythmic" dancers contrasted pathetically with "the long hours of painful toil" to which they were "soon to be subject in the workshop or factory." The exact resemblance between the Bolshevik system with that of Babeuf is/urther^ shown by this passage from Mr. Russell's book

"It is necessary first to admit that children should be delivered up almost entirely to the State. Nominally, the mother still comes to see her child in these schools, but in actual fact, the drafting of children to the country must intervene, and the whole temper of the authorities seemed to be directed towards breaking the link between mother and child."

In the matter of religion the Bolsheviks seem to have been unable to carry out their programme entirely, for, although churches have been desecrated and destroyed, ikons torn down and spat upon, and countless priests murdered, religious worship has not been officially prohibited as under the French Terror. But the intentions of the Soviet Government on this question admit of no misunderstanding. Turning again to Bucharin we find the following principles laid down:

"One of the agencies in achieving this object (dulling the minds of the people) was the belief in God and the Devil. A great number of people have grown accustomed to believe in all this, whilst if we analyse these ideas and try to understand the origin of religion and why it is so strongly supported by the bourgeoisie, it will become clear that the real significance of religion is that it is a poison which is still being instilled into the people. It will also become clear why the party of the Communists is a strong antagonist of religion."

Adopting the aphorism of Marx that "religion is opium to the people," Bucharin goes on to show the mental degeneracy that results from any religious beliefs, and emphasizes his conclusions with these words in large black lettering: "Religion must be fought, if not by violence, at all events by argument."

All religions, moreover, fall under the ban, for after describing the follies of fasting and penance, Bucharin adds:

"Equally foolish things are done by the religious Jew, the Moslem Turk, the Buddhist Chinese, in a word, by every one who believes in God. . . . Religion . . . not only leaves people in a state of barbarism, but helps to leave them in a state of slavery."

In these words we seem to hear again the voice of Anarcharsis Clootz, "the personal enemy of Jesus Christ," uttering his declamations on "the nullity of all religions."

What is all this indeed but Illuminism, of which the anti-religious fury had blazed out successively in Weishaupt, Clootz, the chiefs of the Alta Vendita, in Proudhon^ and in Bakunin? Indeed the final aim of the Illuminati, the destruction of Christian civilization, has been frankly admitted by the Bolsheviks of Russia.

"Wherever I went in Russia," the Rev. Courtier Forster said on his return from that unhappy country, "the Bolsheviks assured me that 'civilization was all wrong' and must be done away with. An important follower of Lenin observed: 'We have now been at work for two years and you see what we have already done, but it will take us twelve years to destroy the civilization of the world.'"

And Mr. Lansbury, that obedient pupil of Lenin's, after his visit to Russia echoed the same sentiment in the columns of the Daily Herald:

"We believe that man has been on the wrong road ever since the dawn of that thing we call civilization.": The very words employed by Robert Owen under the influence of Illuminism nearly 100 years earlier!

Yet another witness to the persistence of this theory is Mr. H. G. Wells, whose visions of the future expounded in the concluding chapters of his Outlines of History and articles on Russia are simply a compound of Rousseau, Weishaupt, Clootz, and Babeuf. Thus at the end of the former work we find Mr. Wells anticipating a partial return to the "nomadic life "—the identical expression employed by Barruel in describing Weishaupt's theory,— whilst the same writer's views on Internationalism are pure Clootz. What else is the "World State" now being advocated by Mr. Wells in the Sunday Times but Clootz's "Universal Republic," or his idea of union between all peoples regardless of nationality but Clootz's "solidarity of the human race"? The following genealogy of an extraordinary remark by Mr. Wells on the subject of cities will show how curiously he has been impregnated with "illuminated" thought, and incidentally illustrates the method by which one can acquire the reputation of being an "advanced thinker" today:

"Barruel explained that the plan of Weishaupt had been to do away with fixed abodes so that man should return to the nomadic life, and that this had been the influence at work behind the French Jacobins when they set out to destroy the manufacturing towns of France. 3 "Be free and equal," he quotes from the original writings of Weishaupt, "and you will be Cosmopolitans and citizens of the world. Know how to appreciate equality and liberty and you will not fear to see Rome, Vienna, Paris, London, Constantinople burning. . . ." This plan, as we have seen, was put into execution during the Commune of 1871, and still forms an important part of the programme of World Revolution."

In 1796 Babeuf, Illuminatus, expressed the hope that in time all the large towns of France would disappear, as it was in towns that wage slavery flourished and that Capitalists were able to surround themselves with luxury and display. Seventy years later the Nihilists under the influence of German Illuminism declared:

"We must burn down the towns. . . . What is the good of these towns? They only serve to engender servitude!"

And in 1920 Mr. H. G. Wells excuses the ruin of the towns of Russia under Bolshevism by saying:

"It was not Communism which built up these great impossible cities, but Capitalism."

Now this is an argument too silly to have been invented by any one of Mr. Wells's intelligence, and we can only conclude that in putting it forward he is simply repeating a phrase that he has heard from his Russian friends, to whom the idea of the necessity for doing away with towns has descended direct from Weishaupt through the Secret Societies.

World Revolution the result of a Conspiracy

It is obvious that ideas such as these in no way correspond to the desires of the "people" in any country. Even the peasants of Russia do not want a return to savagery, whilst to the proletariats of Western Europe nothing would be more abhorrent than the destruction of cities. They love the busy life of towns and all the amenities of civilization; they ask for better homes, a higher standard of living, for modern conveniences that will lighten the burden of the working-woman, for the devices of science, for cinemas and music to beguile their hours of leisure. They do not wish to solve the housing question by becoming nomads. The cure for social evils—slums, sweating, unemployment, exploitation—is not less civilization but more. The "people" understand this very well, and thus the programme of the revolutionary leaders is still, as it has been throughout, in direct opposition to the wishes of the people.

If any doubt on this point still remains, if the history of the World Revolution related in this book does not prove that the revolutionary movement for the last 140 years has been the work of a conspiracy whose aims are entirely unconnected with the interests and demands of the people, how are we to account for the following undeniable facts?

  1. That although the grievances of the people throughout this period have varied according to the changing conditions of our civilization, the programme of the social revolution has never varied. For if the succeeding outbreaks had been made by the people each would have been distinguished by different war-cries, different aims arising from the exigencies of the moment; instead of this each outbreak has been carried on to the same slogans, has repeated the same catch-words, and each has been directly copied from the earliest—and until 1917 the most successful—attempt, the first French Revolution.
  2. That the leaders of the movement have never, in a single instance, been men of the people, but always members of the upper or middle classes who could not by any possibility be regarded as victims of oppression. And if it is objected that these men were disinterested fanatics fighting in a cause that was not their own, then—
  3. That, with rare exceptions such as Louis Blanc, they invariably displayed complete unconcern for the sufferings of the people, and a total disregard for human life. No instance has ever been recorded of pity or sympathy displayed by the Terrorists of France towards any individual members of the working-classes; on the contrary, they turned a deaf ear to all complaints. The Marxists and Bakuninists mutually accused each other of regarding the people as "cannon fodder."
  4. That each outbreak has occurred not when the cause of the people was hopeless but on the eve of great reforms.
  5. That each has been followed not by reform but by a period of reaction. For twenty years after the first French Revolution the very word "reform" could hardly be breathed even in England.
  6. That in spite of the fact that each outbreak has thus thrown back the cause of the people, each has been represented to the people as a step forward and further revolutions have been advocated.

The revolutionary movement of 1776 to the present day is therefore the work of a continuous conspiracy working for its own ends and against the interests of the people.