What is the Third Camp?: Workers' Liberty 3/7

Socialist policy in the war

Published on: Thu, 26/10/2006 - 18:18

Max Shachtman

Some people refuse to learn. Others refuse to remember. And still others remember what they have learned only up to the moment when events call upon them to put it into practice, whereupon they start to forget. Critics of the Independent Socialist League’s position on the war are asking that we support the United States in the war, not only in Korea, but in the Third World War that is being prepared.

Why? Because there is a big difference between capitalist democracy and Stalinist totalitarianism. While the former is an evil, it still permits the existence of a labour movement and some

Soviet declaration of peace

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:21

8 November 1917

The workers’ and peasants’ government, created by the Revolution of 6-7 November and basing itself on the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, calls upon all the belligerent peoples and their governments to start immediate negotiations for a just, democratic peace.

By a just or democratic peace… the government means an immediate peace without annexations (i.e., without the seizure of foreign lands, without the forcible incorporation of foreign nations) and without indemnities…

In accordance with the sense of justice of democrats in general, and of the

Old garbage in new pails

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:17

By Max Shachtman

THE invaluable assistance given the imperialists by the social democracy in the last World War is too well remembered to require elaboration even at a distance of twenty-five years.

If the leaders of the Second International had not sown such demoralisation and confusion among the workers by their chauvinistic activity. their repetition of the official imperialist lies, it is doubtful if the war would have lasted half as long as it did. There is indeed good reason to believe that if the rulers of France, Germany, Austro-Hungary and England felt that they could not rely upon

Not a penny, not a man, for this system

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:12

In the summer of 1913 the government introduced a military bill… It was supposed to cost a thousand million Reichmarks for both new and current expenditures. However, the SPD confined itself to mere parliamentary protests; its members in the Reichstag even voted for the financial measures necessary to meet the military demands, because this time these were to be covered by property taxes. Even members of the party’s left wing (Radek and Pannekoek) advocated the passing of these measures. But knowing that nationalist and imperialist sentiments had moved many of the Reichstag members to vote in

For a democratic foreign policy

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:10

By Max Shachtman

THE foreign policy of the United States is a disaster. It was that under the late Roosevelt’s War Deal, it remained that during Truman’s Fair Deal, and it has got worse in the first 100 days of the Eisenhower administration.

Every thoughtful reactionary has known this for years, for he cannot blind himself to the big fact:

In the course of the Second World War, the Stalinists succeeded in conquering and consolidating their totalitarian power in a dozen countries of Europe and Asia. It is hard to recall another example in history of the establishment of an empire of comparable

Ignazio Silone and the Third Camp

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:09

An interview with Ignazio Silone (1939)

In the event of a war between Italy and France, which country would you favour?


What do you mean?

The world is now divided into two great fronts: one composed of the conservatives, that is, of the democracies or other partisans of collective security; the other composed of the revisionists or fascists. Neither of these two fronts is capable of assuring peace or of solving the economic and political problems now confronting the world.
Real peace depends today on the rapidity with which a third front is created, on the rapidity with which

My political faith by Ignazio Silone

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:06

(January 1956)

I do not adhere to any system of philosophy, to any ideology, or to any orthodoxy. I think that all the ideological systems inherited from the last centuries, like the society that produced them, are in crisis at present — which does not mean that they do not contain some partial truth. I think that this has been the lot also of Marxism, in all of its variants. All metaphysics has lost its self-evidency.

In 1931 I left the Italian Communist Party, having firmly decided to keep far away from political parties for the rest of my life, and to continue the struggle alone, as a

An open letter to Ignazio Silone

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:03

Dear Comrade Silone

We were glad to publish your political statement in Labor Action (see left), for we know that what you have to say will be of justifiably great interest to all who admire your novels as well as all who respect your past contributions to the struggle for socialism and human rights.

If we seek to continue the dialogue now, it is because of our feeling that your statement does not do justice to the need which prompted it. That need is the need, which every politically responsible person faces of confronting his views of today with his views of yesterday and accounting for the

An open letter to “our friends in Asia”

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 14:01

By Max Shachtman

Nineteen Americans who," “although connected with different political groups or parties in the United States, are democratic socialists by conviction,” have addressed an appeal “To Our Friends in Asia,” which is in reproduced for discussion in the February 11, 1951, issue of Janata, the newspaper of the Socialist Paryu of India. The signers include such old, as well as recent, converts to “democratic socialism” as August Claessens, William Bohn, Harry Laidler, Clarence Senior, Norman Thomas, J.B.S. Hardman, and, in their latest incarnations, of course, Upton Sinclair, Sidney

A step towards social patriotism

Published on: Wed, 25/10/2006 - 13:56

By Leon Trotsky

Our Palestinian friends have made an obvious and extremely dangerous concession to the social patriots, even though their point of departure is opposed to that of social patriotism…
We maintain that in the quarter of a century that has elapsed since the outbreak of the last war, imperialism has come to rule even more despotically over the world; its hand weighs more heavily on events during peacetime as well as wartime; and finally, under all of its political masks it has assumed an even more reactionary character. In consequence, all the fundamental rules of proletarian

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