III. Resolution introduced by the delegation of the
Central Committee of the Bolsheviks to the
International Socialist Women's Conference at Berne
The present world war, which has caused so many calamities wherever it has been waged, has devastated and ruined Belgium and Galicia, and has destroyed thousands upon thousands of workers' lives, is an imperialist war caused by the rivalry between the ruling classes of the several countries for the division of colonies and for predominance on the world markets, as well as by dynastic interests. It is the natural continuation of the policies of the capitalist class and of the governments of all countries, and, therefore, the question as to who was the first to strike the blow is of no interest whatsoever from the Socialist standpoint.
Not only does this war not to any extent serve the interests of the workers, but it serves as a weapon in the hands of the ruling classes for the destruction of the international solidarity of the workers, and for the weakening of their movement and the class struggle within each country. In the same manner, the slogan "defense of the fatherland," which has been proclaimed by the bourgeoisie and endorsed by the opportunists, is nothing but a lure used by the bourgeoisie to persuade the proletariat to sacrifice their lives and blood for the interests of the bourgeoisie.
Taking all this into consideration the extraordinary International Socialist Women's Conference, referring to the Stuttgart resolution, which recommends that the economic and political crisis caused by war be taken advantage of to arouse the people so as to hasten the downfall of the capitalist order, to the Copenhagen resolution which declares that it is the duty of Socialist Deputies to vote against war appropriations, and to the Basel resolution, which proclaims that the workers regard it as a crime to fire at each other, hereby declares that the representatives of the majority of the Socialist parties in the belligerent countries have been acting in utter disregard of those resolutions and have committed, yielding to the pressure of circumstances, a veritable betrayal of Socialism for which they have substituted nationalism. The Conference proclaims that the proletarians of all countries have no other enemy but their class enemy which is the capitalist class.
The terrific sufferings which this war has caused have been arousing in all women, and especially in proletarian women, an ever-growing desire for peace. The conference declares war upon every imperialist war, and at the same time states its belief that in order that this desire for peace may be transformed into a conscious political force, it is essential that the women workers should clearly realize that the propertied classes strive for nothing else than annexations, conquest, and domination, that in the epoch of imperialism wars are inevitable, and that imperialism threatens the whole world with an entire series of wars, unless the proletariat finds sufficient strength in itself to put an end to the capitalist order, by a complete overthrow of capitalism. If a workingwoman is anxious to shorten the period of sufferings which is connected with the epoch of imperialist wars, it is indispensable that her desire for peace turn into revolt and into struggle for Socialism. It is only through the revolutionary movement of the masses through the strengthening and intensifying of the Socialist struggle, that the workingwoman will attain her end in this struggle. Her first duty is thus that of supporting the labor unions and Socialist organizations and of breaking the civil peace by fighting against war appropriations, against the participation in bourgeois cabinets, by supporting and encouraging the fraternizing among soldiers in the trenches and on the battlefield, by setting up illegal organizations wherever the government has repealed the constitutional liberties, and, finally, by drawing the masses into participation in demonstrations and revolutionary movements.
The International Socialist Women's Conference appeals to the workingwomen of all countries to start this struggle forthwith, to organize it on an international scale, and to combine their action closely with that of those Socialists who, like Liebknecht, fight in all countries against nationalism and carry on a revolutionary Socialist struggle.
At the same time, the Conference reminds the workingwomen that in the most advanced countries of Europe the objective conditions for Socialist production are already ripe, that the entire movement is entering a new phase, that the present world war imposes upon them new and serious duties, that their movement may be the forerunner of a general action of the masses, which will give a new impulse to the entire Socialist movement and will bring nearer the hour of complete liberation. By assuming the initiative in the matter of organizing demonstrations and revolutionary protests, the workingwomen, marching abreast with the proletariat as a whole, will be in a position to usher in the new era of proletarian struggle, during which the proletariat will attain Socialism in the more advanced countries, and a democratic republic in the more backward ones.
Beme, March 26-28, 1915
Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 42, June 1, 1915
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