Back of the War
Maoriland Worker, Volume 7, Issue 287, 16 August 1916, Page 2
Back of the War
. HeeoK The Sweeping Triumph of Social Democracy Germany on the Eve of the Outbreak (By H. E. HOLLAND)-continued.
inoradicablo riches contributed by these peoples to human development, and how they have assisted the fruition of German civilisation. The Germans who have themselves contributed so much towards tho international treasury of civilisation ought to bo able to exercise justice and veracity in judging other peoples. Let us point ' out that all peoples have the samo right to independence nnd automony for tho preservation of which the Germans are smuggling. Wo Socialist women hear tho | voices which, in this time of blood and iron, still speok wftly, painfully, yet consolingly of the future. Lot,us bo thoir .interpreters to our children. Let us prcsorvo them from the harsh, brazen sound of the ideas which fill the streets to-day in which nhen.p pride-of-rnco stifles humanity. la our children must grow up the security that this most frightful of all war's shall bo tho last, the blood | of t.liA iciUrd nnd wounded must not I make a stream to divide that which ; inites tho present distress and the future hope. It must be as a cement which shall bind fast for all time. AUSTRIAN SOCIALISTS ON THE N EVE OF WAR. ' 'The people cannot decide on peace or war. Parliament through which it, should express itseif, is dumb. Chains have been put upon the freedom of the piess and vpon political meetings," wrote the German Socialist Deputies in the Reichsrath, when, "conscious of the fateful hour," they resolved that their warning should go forth. The following is the main portion of their manifesto : Was it really necessary? Yvo Social. Democrats, the representatives oi the Ueiman people, do not shut our eyes to tho great injury which t<ho Servian ruteis have clone in Austria. As we, true to our principles, which repudiate vain deeds of lorce, condemn tlie assassination of Sarajevo, 90 i .also do we condemn those who bear I the partial responsibility for it. We i recognise that Austria-Hungary is I within its rights in asking Irom the Servian Government the prosecution of tho participators in the crime; we can understand that Austria-Hungary demands that the underground agitation against the.seourity and peace of the Austrian Federation of : States should be stopped, that the ' Servian rulers should put on ond-Jp the encouraging toleration with which they have hitherto regarded this disruptive movement. But we are convinced that the Servian Government would not have been able to olfer any opposition to these demands of Austria-Hungary which are sanctioned by tho Right of Peoples, and would, in fact, have suffered none. Wo are convinced that all that Austria-Hungary asks could have been obtained, and can still be obtained, by peaceful methods, aud that no necessities of State, no consideration for its prestige, compel tho Great Power to depart from the paUis of peaceful agreement. Therefore, we dwL-ro, in tho name of the working-class, us the representatives of tho German workers in Austria, that we cannot take tho responsibility -for this war, that we lay tho responsibility for it, and for all the j frightfully serious results which may ! follow, at the doors of those vyho thought out, supported and encouraged the fatal step which has brought us fa*;o to face with war. We are tho more bound to make ! thin declaration in that the peoples , of Austria have been for many months j robbed oi* their constitutional rights ! and are debarred from the tribune I from which they could pronounce their will. In tho face of a war which demands the utmost sacrifices ■ in blood and treasure from every member of tho State, the deliberate violation of the will of tho people by keeping Parliament out of action is all the more calculated to*' embitter and irritate . . . Wo repudiate all responsibility for the war. Solemnly and emphatically we lay it to the charge of those on hoth sides who have instigated it and wished to let it loose. In this we I know we are united with the classj conscious proletariat of the whole ! world, and not tho least with the ! Social Democrats of Swvin. .We j hereby sole*mnlv dedicate ourselves j to International Social Domneracv, ' to which wo shall remain faithful J during life and devoted until death.
THE CRITICAL HOUR. 1 On August 1, "Vonvaorts" was still | iletoimiueuly protesting tnat, although i llubo.a w.ie liiobilisiug ou the Gorman frbutioi, the fact did not nocJ 10 rntike j Germany iiurvous j that still thore was time lor negotiations which ruight ! protect European civilisation from the j calar.'Miy of a great war. On Monday, August 3, the Social ( Democrat;.; j.uty in iho Reichstag— influenced b> the tluoat of Russian inva.-n"n—dt'ckiod t<, vote for tlio war budge!. On tho samo day "Vor- Tvaerts" printed an article condemning German "patriotism" and th G pa"trio|s who had suddenly become "warriors j for freedom against Czarisin," • and at tho si.aio timo ridiculing the Government ..Inch had for years sided with Ku3Su.ii barbarism and had even pr.osocufed Onmui Socialists for Nic.ii ■!;. v but whicii now btguii to, spc:.ii of tho necessity for tho | rule oi tho Cziir "for freedom's ixke." , Ii is fairly safe, to say that c majority j of the clcai-'thinting Socialists of Gcr- | many disapproved of tho Party's ac- ; ti.on in voting tiae war credits. However, on August 4, war was de- J. clared, and soon the roll of the war- j drums, tho tramp of the armies, and tho thunder of the guns drowned the voico of Human prdtest. On August 4, Haaso, then cl:airman ■ of the Reichstag Delegation, read the declaration of the official party explainirig its decision to vouj ior the war loan. Haase has since recognised that tho party adopted the wrong course in tha.t critical hour; and he has definitely dissociated himself from the war-supporters. Liebkneclit and an anti-war minority resolutely refused to vote as the majority had decided. And ever since the first shot was fired that , minority has bravely stood four-square to tlfe fury of tho war storm—and none has been braver than Liebknech't, now lying in a prison cell. Every country— j England, Russia, Italy, Austria, France —has contributed its-quota of fearless men and women who dare to denounce the crime of war even when the nations i are ablaze with the naming madness < f I it; but in no country has courage and righteousness risen more resplendently to an awful occasion than in Germany. Liebknechi and Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxembourg and many others have written a record to fill the world's human heart with joy and confidence, have lifted a beacon to Stood the . world's dark places with a great light, j MUNICH S.D.P. PEACE PROPOSALS. Tho first definite peace proposals— after the war had commenced—cawe from the Social Democratic Party of Munich, and these proposals were considerably supported by the Sfftialists of South Germany. They were called a "Draft Basis for Peace Discussion, and road as follows: * 1.-Peace on Terms that will hsal Fresh Wounds. 1. No humiliation, no mutual recriiii'b'ji'.icTiß. . 2. Indemnifications determined by just claims and' financial possibilities. 3 Restitution of territory occupied duniis the Wμ: Belgium, German Colonies. ll.—peace on Terms mat will heal old Wounds. 1. Adjustment of States by nation- . ality. ' I 2. Plebiscite conducted by International Committee, in disputed territories : Alsace-Lorraine, ScUeswig, Russian Baltic Provrocoa, Finland, Poland, Trcntiuo, Balkans. j i in.— peace on Terms that give Lasting Security. j 1. Conicderacy of European States. f 2. Alliance of all against aggros- i sor. 3. International Parliament and International Permanent Committees in place of Secret Diplomacy. 4. International Parliament and International Law Courts for minor international offences, espionage, assault, etc. 5. International possession of European Straits: Bosphorus, Dardanelles, Suez Canal, Gibraltar, Kiel Canal. G. Limitations of Armies and Navies. ' 7. Guarantees lor Democratic Government : Universal Sutfrage, Equal- j ity of Electoral Districts, Re-distribii- j tion every ten years, Proportional Re- j presentation. Payment of Members. CLARA ZETKIN AND "ATROCITY" j STORIES. ! ■When the German papers related j stories of horrible atrocities committed upon the German soldiers, even upon those who wore wounded, by tho Allies, , it was Ciara who in pubiic print j ' -leprecated the enjoyment of such m-cuiods for tho purpose of arousing hatre 1 iiguiiibt the enemy. Sho knew ; tfu:-' us v>« !u"J" when similar stones ap;---r b "iv .r"b ]m& P , ' 053 ' tlial Uhc ■•cp'oi.-t? i.t.-c tnerr f;iisl> exaggera te_j .".idn't to say so. Then t,,-- C: ;...: capitalist papers j we: .u.if.uJy Ihut for ' sveiy Q-i-mui. uitlloiai.-l. JSillod in violation o c tho rules of .arfarc a village should lo bu.ncri—just ... tlio J ame .vay i>.s oi.: own pnv.ers am making baruai'ic deman: :o-day. Clam Zetkin wrote: Ni., p thousitnd tinicb no. Let. us ,ii,i ally tlie working mass- ~, to that iho war !'.3S beei: cruised b uoria-wicle econnmic and political complication, and not by ugly and despicable personal qualities in the peoples with which Germany is fight- inp. Let us have the courage, when vw i,ear the invectives against "perfidious Albion," "the degenerate , Fitjni;h," the "barbaric Russians," , etc., to reply, by pointing out the j