“But this being said: If we sign this peace, we will be under the constraint of force. In our heart of hearts, we take exception to this peace” – Vorwärts, May 8th 1919
German politics as such can have no other goals than the reconquest of national independence, the breaking of imposed shackles, the reconstitution of an important global influence. From the German point of view, it is naturally ours, there is nothing more important than these objectives. All our domestic, social, economic, and cultural politics must receive this impulse, its general line and the spirit that dominates it. The sentiment of this necessity is close to being omnipresent! How many times, by letting the preoccupations of domestic politics pervade, has foreign policy left our field of view. There are “great” German journals who almost never talk of external politics, as if that would make it part of the banalities of our national existence. In contrast, each delay in the modification of the Public Treasury’s signboard, remaining in the monarchist style, preoccupied them in another measure. Without a word to say, not even bothered, not having the quiet conscience, they divest themselves from the game of global politics, by reason of our weakness, imposing on us innumerable humiliations, injustices, and dangerous attacks against the future of the Reich. Thus large sections of our people search for the cause of their misfortune exclusively within the domestic situation. They hope that it will suffice to replace some high functionary, to dissolve a secret organization, to charge a different import duty, to reduce customs taxes, to convoke or dissolve the Reichstag, to proceed with new elections, that everything will change on the interior of the country. They ignore the content of the Peace Treaty. They do not know that the Commissar in charge of Reparations is the most powerful man in Germany, that our railways and money are in his hands. They have no idea of showing the charges that weigh on us and they do not understand that the Dawes Plan, ultimately, is a question that touches on the salaries of Germans. The standard of living of the German worker is reduced in the measure where we repay the obligations of the Dawes plan. The cost of living for the worker, on one part, and the Dawes Conventions beside the Versailles Treaty, on the other part, are incompatible. Tear up these treaties, revoke the obligations they impose, break the commitments would be the only German politics that would save the worker from an irremediable subjugation. At this point, the needs of the worker and the interests of the nation coincide: if it dares to fight for its vital space and its liberty, it will lead, at the same time, the battle for the liberation of all the nation. The national mission entrusted to us and the fashion in which it will be fulfilled will depend on its future social and political position.
Nobody, not even in a case of madness, can, at the present, envision open struggle. This would require moderate tactics which we do not have. But it we could also profit from the advantages of global conjunctures, which are actually forbidden to us. It is convenient to be patient. Nevertheless, we should not fall into an inactive patience, a patience of relaxation and demoralization. We must prepare ourselves for the grand tasks: moral, organizational, and other tasks. The question is to know whether we have the enough breath, if we are to persist, hold out, if we will not lazily accommodate ourselves to our fate, if we will not loosely accept the facts. Are we very strong, persevering, opinionated in the defense of our cause, our faith, our future against a hostile and too powerful world , even if that seems senseless, impossible and unprofitable to take on this mission? Will we oppose with an inflexible will, a spirit of unswerving resistance to the assault of foreign powers, despotic, pretentious, violent, and intolerant, boasting of acquired victories in high combat? If we infallibly conserve this will and this spirit, we will only stay in our current powerlessness for a period that we shall surmount, it will not befall us and we will leave with courage.
It is true that the force and duration of the resistance is determined by the fact that one takes it in their conscience, instinctively or in all knowledge of the cause, of the deep and vivid sources that feed the powers against which this resistance must be directed. It is time to understand that one of the origins of our distress is the western spirituality, this spirituality which, with its “liberal” traits and “progressive” jolly melodies was even able to conquer the workers. Faithfully, it reprized the image of the world of the English captains of industry and the French financiers, as if it could really be the expression and the goal of existence, of the proletarian milieu and their wishes. To be Western means: to use the word liberty to make fraud, to declare oneself a partisan of humanity to open the way for crime, to destroy peoples with an appeal for peace. Great Britain, the “free” England, strangled the Indians and Egyptians. France, generous and humane, poisoned the Moroccans and Syrians. These great nations wade in the blood of enslaved peoples by virtue of the mission of “civilization” which is theirs. The “just” peace that the Western eminence Wilson had promised, that was the peace dictated to us at Versailles.
We lend a hand to the objectives of the victorious states if we continue to accord refuge and tolerance to their spirit. We lack the confidence in ourselves, the sovereign assurance, in preparing ourselves to strike a blow, if we install on our land, their principles. In these conditions, the explanations lacks passions, historical grandeur, and symbolic profundity. The debate will no longer take on anything essential, significant, or touch upon deep issues. Russia understands it well, when its independence was menaced by overwhelming Western supremacy: at that moment, it totally broke with all that was not of Russian origin – with the culture, with the economic, social, and political rules of the West, with pathos and invincible force. In Germany, however, the situation is very different. In our country, not only individuals but also entire political parties are fascinated by the Western spirit. For a long time since, certain capitalist milieus, in particularly the grand bourgeoisie, have given themselves, body and soul, to the West; others think that it is useful – for economic reasons – to gain their confidence. Not long ago, Professor Bonn said: “The national monopoly can longer assure itself of habitual income and capital investments. It is then that they fraternally offer their right hand beyond the frontiers, where there stood the enemy, they cry: ‘forget the past!’ To safeguard their monopoly, they have become cosmopolitan. ‘In the meeting rooms and in the projection of propaganda, one already senses the scent of the fraternization of peoples.’” To preserve their profits, they have aligned against their own country and curry favor with the French, the English, and the Americans in the hunt for loot. They sell the future of their nation to obtain a “higher stock quote.” The defenders of an agreement with the West, whose goal is to make the situation created by Versailles permanent, are, on the interior of our country, the agents and advocates of enemy interests. One that intends to harm them is not doing domestic politics, but foreign politics. It is necessary that we get to consider and treat as corrupters of the nation all of those who, to succeed in business, favor the weakening of the spirit of opposition against the West. This applies equally to those “Germans” who actively support the execution of the treaty, who would have their own reasons – of which they do not speak, on the same occasion, cashing in thousands of marks. They are far from us, they are foreigners and enemies like all of whom, by invoking Versailles, make their living. The revolt and the resistance without respite against them and against all that is Western – within and beyond our borders – must become our natural attitude. Certainly, that is revolutionary. But it should leave no doubt: that is to say we are a revolutionary people, or we will be stifled in the mire, and we will cease to be a free people forever.