"Whatever the outcome of the war, America has embarked upon a career of imperialism, both in world affairs and in every other aspect of her life...Even though, by our aid, England should emerge from this struggle without defeat, she will be so impoverished economically and crippled in prestige that it is improbable she will be able to resume or maintain the dominant position in world affairs which she has occupied so long. At best, England will become a junior partner in a new Anglo-Saxon imperialism, in which the economic resources and the military and naval strength of the United States will be the center of gravity. Southward in our hemisphere and westward in the Pacific the path of empire takes its way, and in modern terms of economic power as well as political prestige, the sceptre passes to the United States. All this is what lies beneath the phrase 'national defense'--some of it deeply hidden, some of it very near the surface and soon to emerge to challenge us."

(From a speech by Virgil Jordan, president of the National Industrial Conference Board, to the Convention of the Investment Bankers Association, Dec. 10, 1940)


Karl Marx and other socialists formed the first Socialist International in 1864. Rivalry between Marxists and anarchist supporters of the Russian Mikhail Bakunin caused it to collapse.

Engels and a newer generation of Marxists founded the Second Socialist International in 1889. Marx's son-in-law Paul Lafargue told the assembled delegates that their flag was "the red flag of the international proletariat." Also, they were coming together as "brothers with a single common enemy...private capital, whether it be Prussian, French, or Chinese."

In Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28 1914, Serb nationalists assassinated the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand. On July 28, Austria declared war on Serbia and the war became generalized within a few short months.

On August 4 1914, while Russian troops prepared for an assault into East Prussia, German armies invaded Belgium and swept toward France. That day, August 4, was also the day that socialist members of the French and German parliaments voted to support emergency war appropriations. These socialists became known as 'defensists'. They wanted to postpone socialism until their own armies had successfully defended their own nation against the "barbarians" of the opposing nation. In reality, the socialist labor leaders and parliamentarians had become completely "bourgeoisified". They failed to defend the interests of the working-class against the nationalist fury whipped up by the warmakers in each nation.

The capitulation to war-fever threw social democracy into a crisis. Antiwar socialists held a number of meetings in Switzerland in order to develop a strategy. Zimmerwald, a small rustic town, became the center of the antiwar opposition.

The antiwar opposition split into two camps. One camp was "centrist". It opposed the war but advanced a strategy that was not revolutionary. It sought to mobilize public pressure in the various warring countries in order to force an early peace. The leader of this grouping was Robert Grimm, a Swiss socialist.

Vladimir Lenin led the Zimmerwald left. It advocated a "defeatist" policy of revolution and civil war inside each warring country. Other socialists, including Trotsky, considered Lenin extreme at first, but events conspired to make Lenin look reasonable. Germany pushed into France and the armies of the two nations fought along the Meuse River over a 6-month period in 1916, while more than a million soldiers died. On July 1, the British and French launched a counteroffensive on the Somme River in Belgium. In their initial assault some 60,000 soldiers perished in a single day, a sum equivalent to all of the US deaths during the 8-year Vietnam war.

While the blood-letting continued apace, Lenin sat down and wrote "Imperialism the Final Stage of Capitalism." This work is not mainly an economic dissertation. It is rather a foundation for the political line defended by the Zimmerwald left. Lenin zeroed in on the bankruptcy of social democratic reformism, the existence of an objectively revolutionary situation in the warring nations, the relationship of the World War to the crisis of imperialism, the link between struggles for national self-determination and socialism, and, finally, the need for a Third International. His work belongs next to the "Communist Manifesto" on the bookshelves, not next to volumes by Anwar Sheikh or Immanuel Wallerstein.

The Third International, or Communist International, has its roots in the Zimmerwald conferences. The leftists, under Lenin's leadership, had concluded that a new international was necessary. Left-wing Socialists would have formed a new international whether or not there had been a successful revolution in Russia. World War One, and the attitude of socialists toward it, caused the major division in the twentieth century's left-wing.

Sometimes splits are unnecessary, such as is the case 98 times out of a 100 in the Trotskyist and Maoist movements, but sometimes the left has no other choice. This need existed when Lenin declared in his 1915 article "Socialism and War" that "We are firmly convinced that, in the present state of affairs, a split with the opportunists and chauvinists is the prime duty of revolutionaries, just as a split with the opportunists and chauvinists is the prime duty of revolutionaries, just as a split with the yellow trade unions, the anti-Semites, the liberal workers' unions, etc., was essential in helping speed up the enlightenment of backward workers and draw them into the ranks of the Social-Democratic Party."

He added, "the Third International should be built up on this kind of revolutionary basis. To our Party, the question of the expediency of a break with the social-chauvinists does not exist, it has been answered with finality. The only question that exists for our Party is whether this can be achieved on an international scale in the immediate future."

Lenin's Bolshevik Party took power in Russia in 1917 and carried out the program of the Zimmerwald left. It overthrew the capitalist ruling class and made a separate peace with the Kaiser. The Soviet Union, born out of the smoking, stinking and bleeding carcass of World War One, set out on the road to socialism. The infant Soviet state fostered the growth of the Third International, which captured the hopes of Zimmerwald. Unfortunately, the revolution went into a steep decline in the late 1920's and the Third International slowly became a mere tool of Kremlin foreign policy.

THE SOVIET INVASION OF POLAND The Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact of August 22, 1939 pact threw the non-Stalinist left into a crisis. The CPUSA of course recognized the wisdom of the pact immediately, just as rapidly as it repudiated it the minute Hitler invaded the USSR. Many socialists outside the Stalinist orbit, especially the social democrats, began to view the USSR and Nazi Germany as mirror images of each other during this period.

Some of these social democrats had become new members of the Socialist Workers Party as a result of the "entryist" tactic of the James P. Cannon-led Trotskyists. Trotsky had recommended that his co- thinkers enter the newly radicalizing Socialist Parties and try to win followers to his cause. The American Trotskyists made adroit use of this tactic. In other countries, the Trotskyists entered a host body, became part of the food chain and disappeared forever.

The consternation over the pact deepened. On September 17, 1939, two and a half weeks after German troops invaded Poland, Soviet forces invaded and occupied the eastern half of the country. Moscow annexed occupied Poland in the following year. The same fate awaited the Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

A significant grouping in the SWP, led by Max Shachtman and James Burnham, came to the conclusion that the Soviet Union was no longer a worker's state. It instead represented a form of "bureaucratic collectivism" that was no more progressive than Nazi Germany. The genuine horror over the collaboration between Germany and the USSR forced many of the people in this grouping to lose track of the all- important class criterion. They reacted, as they should, with conscience and good-will but forgot what makes Marxism unique: its ability to see the underlying class character of all sorts of conflicts. The shock and revulsion that many of these socialists felt is deeply reminiscent of the dismay many leftists and socialists feel over the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Such deeply felt humanitarianism caused them to lose track of the class character of the imperialist nations they appeal to for humane, military intervention.

Trotsky pointed to the anticapitalist implications of Soviet occupation, which superseded all superficial parallels between the Hitler and Stalin regimes:

"Let us for a moment conceive that in accordance with the treaty with Hitler, the Moscow government leaves untouched the rights of private property in the occupied areas and limits itself to 'control' after the fascist pattern. Such a concession would have a deep-going principled character and might become a starting point for a new chapter in the history of the Soviet regime; and consequently a starting point for a new appraisal on our part of the nature of the Soviet state.

"It is more likely, however, that in the territories scheduled to become a part of the USSR, the Moscow government will carry through the expropriation of the large landowners and statification of the means of production. This variant is most probable not because the bureaucracy remains true to the socialist program but because it is neither desirous nor capable of sharing the power, and the privileges the latter entails, with the old ruling classes in the occupied territories. Here an analogy literally offers itself. The first Bonaparte halted the revolution by means of a military dictatorship. However, when the French troops invaded Poland, Napoleon signed a decree: 'Serfdom is abolished.' This measure was dictated not by Napoleon's sympathies for the peasants, nor by democratic principles, but rather by the fact that the Bonapartist dictatorship bases itself not on feudal, but on bourgeois property relations. Inasmuch as Stalin's Bonpartist dictatorship bases itself not on private but on state property. The invasion of Poland by the Red Army should, in the nature of the case, result in the abolition of private capitalist property, so as thus to bring the regime of the occupied territories into accord with the regime of the USSR."

Such was the bracing, dispassionate and logical approach of Trotsky. He sought to get beneath surface appearances and secondary moral considerations in order to penetrate to the underlying class relationships. These class relationships alone would provide the basis for political action. Furthermore, the highest moral obligation in his eyes was to make the socialist revolution. Socialism alone would create the objective conditions for truly moral behavior.

EARL BROWDER AND THE NAZI INVASION OF THE USSR After Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Communist Parties all around the world threw themselves into support for all-out war against the axis. They did not even take the stance of the centrist Zimmerwaldists who at least pointed out the insanity of the war between rival imperialisms. The CPUSA elevated the United States into the ranks of the "progressive" capitalist forces, while casting Japan, Germany and Italy into the role of "reactionary" war-mongers. The war-fever overcame the American Communist Party completely. They backed the jailing of antiwar SWP leaders for sedition. They supported a no- strike pledge during WWII. They castigated efforts by the NAACP to win full civil rights for Black people until the war ended. In other words, they took a position somewhat similar to the social democratic "defensists" of W.W.I.

How did Earl Browder explain this rapid turnabout from the period of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact? What had happened to US imperialism? Browder asserted that in May, 1942 the United States ruling class was no longer imperialist. He dismissed Virgil Jordan's speech in celebration of imperialism. He ignored the rather clear existence of monopoly capitalism in the United States. This capitalist class had recognized the changed character of the war, and was preparing for a "Peoples' War of National Liberation," led by such stalwarts as Generals George Patton and Curtis LeMay. Browder saw Roosevelt in the light of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, rather than that of his uncle Teddy Roosevelt, defiler of Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

What caused this "transformation" of imperialist war into people's war? In Browder's view, the moment arrived in a May 8 speech by vice-president Henry Wallace who stated among other things that "This is a fight between a slave world and a free world. Just as the United States could not remain half slave and half free in 1862, so in 1942 the world must make its decision for a complete victory one way or the other." Browder nodded his head in fawning agreement while Black Americans served in segregated companies in the army and lacked the right to vote in the deep south.

Browder was the foremost Marxist leader in the United States at that time. The Communist Party had tens of thousands of members, including militant trade unionists and prominent intellectuals in its ranks. It is depressing to think that this was the version of Marxism they learned. No wonder so many people left the CP in demoralization and disgust in the decades that followed. No wonder so many radicalizing youths turned to Trotskyism or Maoism in the 1960's.

WORLD WAR TWO: PEOPLE'S WAR? Washington's anti-fascism was the result of a recent "conversion". American businesses sent oil to Italy in huge quantities after Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935. Mussolini used the oil to keep the war against the African colony. When the fascists rose up in Spain in 1936, Roosevelt declared his neutrality while the fascist powers gave complete aid to the Francoists. This ensured the victory of fascism in Spain.

What brought the United States into the war was not a determination to rid the world of fascism, but a response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was only when Japan threatened US economic interests in the Pacific that Washington entered the war. There is a transcript of statement made to the War Cabinet by Henry Stimson in November, 1941 that confirms this interpretation. Charles Beard cites it in his "President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941."

"One problem troubled us very much. If you know that your enemy is going to strike you, it is not usually wise to wait until he gets the jump on you by taking the initiative. In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors. We discussed at this meeting the basis on which this country's position could be most clearly explained to our own people and to the world, in case we had to go into the fight quickly because of some sudden move on the part of the Japanese. We discussed the possibility of a statement summarizing all the steps of aggression that the Japanese had already taken, the encirclement of our interests in the Philippines which was resulting and the threat to our vital supplies of rubber from Malay. I reminded the president that on Aug. 19 [1941] he had warned the Japanese Ambassador that if the steps which the Japanese were then taking continued across the border into Thailand, he would regard it as a matter affecting our safety, and suggested that he might point our that the moves the Japanese were now apparently on the point of making would be in fact a violation of a warning that had already been given."

(Beard belonged to the earlier Progressive school of history and politics. Other members were John Dewey the philosopher and cultural historian Vernon Parrington. The Progressives predated the intellectual milieu of both the CP and the New Deal--granted they are somewhat identical--and were much less likely to believe WWII war propaganda. These were people of Eugene V. Debs' generation and likely to take the "people's war" rhetoric with a grain of salt.

Beard was a scholar of tremendous integrity, but his outspoken opposition to World War Two caused him to become a rather isolated figure in the world of cold-war liberalism. Younger liberal historians considered him an odd duck and perhaps a little disturbed. Thomas Kennedy, in his "Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy", entertained critical speculations that Beard was surely deaf and possibly senile when he went on the attack against WWII. He cites a critic who views Beard's attacks on Roosevelt as "superstitions that occupied Beard in his senility."

Of course, Beard was completely sane and clear-headed. It was the muddle-headed New Deal liberals and their CP chums who had lost control of their sanity. A new generation of "revisionist" historians came along in the 1960's and put their support behind Beard's interpretation.)

Did the United States intervention as an ally of the USSR against the Nazis prove that it was fighting a "people's war" as opposed to a war based on the need for power and profit? One can question the purity of the motives in the war with Japan, but how can anybody gainsay the crusade for democracy in Europe?

To begin with, Washington showed no intention of extending democracy to the colonies of its European allies. Diplomat Sumner Welles assured the French that they could hold on to their colonies. He said, "This Government, mindful of its traditional friendship for France, has deeply sympathized with the desire of the French people to maintain their territories and preserve them intact."

Lurking beneath the surface of altruistic government propaganda of the sort uttered by Henry Wallace was the occasional honest assessment. Secretary of State Cordell Hull said "Leadership toward a new system of international relationships in trade and other economic affairs will devolve very largely upon the United States because of our great economic strength. We should assume this leadership, and the responsibility that goes with it, primarily for reasons of national self- interest." The poet Archibald MacLeish, at that time an Assistant Secretary of State, predicted the outcome of an allied victory. He declared, "As things are now going, the peace we will make, the peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace, in brief...without moral purpose or human interest."

Did WWII rescue European Jewry to some extent? Supporters of imperialist intervention in Bosnia tend to make analogies with this presumed mission of WWII, but Roosevelt had no interest in saving the lives of Jews. I need not go over this sad tale in detail. You should read "While 6 Million Died", by NY Times reporter Arthur D. Morse, which details the indifference at best, and anti-Semitic hatred at worst, that existed in the US State Department. The President refused to take decisive action against the Nazis and caused the deaths of many thousands of Jews.

Despite the no-strike pledge of Communist Party, the class-struggle continued at home with mounting fury. During the war, there were 14,000 strikes, involving 6,770,00 workers, more than in any period in American history. A million miners, steelworkers, auto and transportation workers went on strike in 1944. In Lowell, Massachusetts, there were as many strikes in 1943 and 1944 as there were in 1937. It was a "people's war" in the eyes of CPers and their liberal allies. Despite this, textile workers there resented the fact that the bosses' profits grew by 600% during the war while their wages only went up by 36%.

(I gathered much of the information above from chapter 16, "A People's War?", in Howard Zinn's indispensable "People's History of the United State 1942-Present". A new edition of this classic has just appeared and I urge people to make time for careful study of this work. Howard Zinn was a bombardier on a B17 and flew in many missions during WWII. His disgust with allied bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima turned him into a pacifist.)


Zinn points out that there was very little opposition to WWII. The Communist Party, of course, was gung-ho. The divided Socialist Party could not provide a clear antiwar statement. According to Zinn, "Only one organized socialist group opposed the war unequivocally. This was the Socialist Workers Party."

What was the nature of the Trotskyist opposition? Were they agents of Hitler and the Mikado as Stalin and his supporters in the CPUSA asserted? As outrageous as this seems today, nearly every CPer believed this lie during WWII.

First of all, there is no such thing as "Trotskyism." Trotsky was a Marxist and his followers, to the best of their ability, tried to apply Marxism to world politics. There is a lot of consistency between the Trotskyist opposition to WWII and the stance of the Zimmerwald left.

The SWP position was not a simple pacifist opposition to all war. The party supported the Soviet struggle against Hitler and wars of national liberation such as the Chinese war against the Japanese. Lenin held similar positions during W.W.I. In a collection of articles called "Against the Stream," Lenin stressed that just wars of national liberation by oppressed nationalities accompanied the imperialist war.

For the Trotskyists, WWII was a complex phenomenon that incorporated 4 wars in one:

1. An interimperialist war between plunderers in which the United States and England were just as reactionary as Germany and Japan.

2. A just war of self-defense by the Soviet Union against Hitlerism.

3. A just war of oppressed nationalities against their colonial overlords whether allied or axis, including Japan, England and France.

4. A just war by working-people and peasants in Nazi-occupied Europe. The Resistance in France was the best example of such a just war.

The problem is that we can not separate these wars in a neat and clean manner. They relate to each other in a complex and highly dialectical manner. Furthermore, forces who had no interest in waging just wars with full intensity and with full commitment to the class interests of the oppressed workers and farmers unfortunately led them. The problem for the Marxist left was how to support these just wars without capitulating to the political forces leading them. This was at the very heart of the difficulty in promoting a Marxist antiwar position during WWII. Things would have been a whole lot easier if WWII was simply a repeat of W.W.I but history is a stubborn and willful actor.

The problem for socialism is that the unjust war between imperialist nations became juxtaposed against the just wars in the most unfavorable circumstances. Stalin indeed did believe that England was fighting a just war against Germany, and since the stakes in this war were the highest, that it must take priority over other conflicts. Therefore, logic dictated that the struggle for Indian independence be subordinated to the greater war against the axis. It was no wonder that Egyptian and Irish nationalists made tentative steps toward the axis powers.

It was also difficult to sort out the just wars against Nazi occupation from imperialist designs to exploit such struggles to their own advantage. The OSS collaborated with the Resistance in France and Yugoslavia. Milton Wolff, a high-ranking CPer and officer in the Spanish Civil War, actually held a high office in the OSS during WWII and recruited Lincoln Brigade veterans to work with the resistance forces in Europe. Wolff, of course, was a socialist while his associate William Donovan, the OSS chief, protected German war criminals after WWII.

Marxist opposition to World War II was principled and correct, but it did not stand much chance of gaining a wide following. This should not present a problem for us. We seek the revolutionary kernel of Marxism. All else is besides the point.


It is important to understand that just as the Zimmerwald left was the Third International in embryonic form, so were the allied powers in WWII in incipient form the future United Nations. The allies often referred to themselves as the United Nations. In Browder's 1942 "Victory and After," a defense of WWII as a "people's war," he constantly refers to England, the United States and the USSR as the "United Nations." For example, he says "The various pacts and agreement, announced on June 11 [1942], complete the foundations for policy required for victory of the United Nations. They confirm the character of the war as a Peoples' War of National Liberation. They consolidate the alliance of the three nations [England, US and USSR] whose close cooperation is essential to victory, and to rousing, arming, and leading the peoples of the world for that victory. They deliver a smashing blow against Hitler's Fifth Column. They open the perspective of a post-war world where it will be possible to reconstruct the shattered nations and an international order among nations, avoiding much of the unnecessary chaos and civil war that followed the armistice of W.W.I. They arouse the enthusiasm and fighting spirit of the people, that morale which the greatest military genius has always recognized as having for victory three times the value of armaments."

Woven into this bellicose chatter is a belief that has cropped up continuously in our discussion of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Can this combination of England, the United States and former Soviet Union, which is rapidly changing its class character, along with other capitalist nations, help to prevent "unnecessary chaos and civil war"?

How grounded is this belief in reality?

England, United States and the Soviet Union formed the United Nations within the context of diplomatic jockeying over how to divide the spoils of WWII. These discussions took place at Yalta and Potsdam, and influenced completely the decisions shaping the character of the UN. Behind all of the human rights and democracy rhetoric accompanying the creation of the UN, power politics lay beneath the surface.

The United States sought to capitalize on its impending victory in the Pacific. Sumner Welles, under heavy criticism, disavowed charges in March 1943 that "the Pacific should be a lake under American jurisdiction..." Great Britain, for its part, sought to maintain its imperial power. Churchill wrote Eden at the time, "If the Americans want to take Japanese islands which they have conquered, let them do so with our blessing and any form of words that may be agreeable to them. But 'Hands Off the British Empire' is our maxim." Stalin's goal was more modest. All he desired was a series of buffer states between Western Europe and the Soviet Union that would be under its sphere of influence. Stalin, despite all of Browder's happy talk, was rightly nervous about another attack from the capitalist West.

To get a flavor of United States thinking at the time of formation of the UN, let's eavesdrop in on a telephone conversation between War Department official John J. McCloy and the State Department's Henry L. Stimson:

McCloy: ...the argument is that if you extend that to the regional arrangement against non-enemy states, Russia will want to have the same thing in Europe and Asia and you will build up these big regional systems which may provoke even greater wars and you've cut out the heart of the world organization.

Stimson: Yes.

McCloy: That the whole idea is to use collective action and by these exceptions you would

Stimson: of course you'll, you'll cut into the size of the new organization by what you agreed to now

McCloy: Yes, that's right. That was recognized...and maybe the same nation that had done the underhanded stirring up might veto any action any action by the regional arrangement to stop it--to put a stop to the aggression. Now that's the thing that they [Russia] are afraid of, but, and it's a real fear and they have a real asset and they are a real military asset to us.

Stimson: Yes,

McCloy: but on the other hand we have a very strong interest in being able to intervene promptly in Europe where the--twice now within a generation we've been forced to send our sons over some

Stimson: Yes

McCloy: relatively minor Balkan incident, and we don't want to lose the right to intervene promptly in Europe merely for the sake of preserving our South American solidarity [this is not "solidarity" in the sense of Committee in Solidarity with the Peoples of El Salvador] because after all we, we will have England, England's navy and army, if not France's on our side, whereas the South American people are not particularly strong in their own right, and the armies start in Europe and they don't start in South America. However, I've been taking the position that we ought to have our cake and eat it too; that we ought to be free to operate under this regional arrangement in South America, at the same time intervene promptly in Europe; that we oughtn't to give away either asset...

Stimson: I think so, decidedly, because in the Monroe Doctrine and in- -and that runs into hemispherical solidarity

McCloy: Yes

Stimson: we've gotten something we've developed over the decades

McCloy: Yes

Secretary: and it's in, it's an asset in case, and I don't think it ought to be taken away from us....

So when we approach the UN hat in hand and implore them to "stop the killing" in former Yugoslavia, let's not forget that the words above reflect the true origins and purpose of this organization. There is no difference between Henry Stimson and John McCloy, on one hand, and Warren Christopher and Bill Clinton, on the other. All of them are representatives of the United States ruling class and when we appeal to them we are implicitly appealing to the Board of Directors of General Electric, Boeing, Chrysler, etc. In other words, we are addressing same war criminals that brought us the Korean War, the Vietnam War, nuclear brinkmanship, and a host of other inhumanities.


We must drop all false hopes in imperialist humanitarian interventions.

We must challenge the implicit big-power bias that lies behind these hopes. We extend an invitation to powers like the United States and Western European powers to intervene in order to save lives, whether or not this is in violation of international law. What if the black people of Los Angeles appealed to the Cuban Army to protect them from human rights abuses or ethnic cleansing? What would the world think, apart from the firebrands on this list, about such a possibility?

If we wanted to appeal to the imperialist nations to step in and save lives, let our goals be more definite and more manageable. The United States has the economic wherewithal to bring its infant mortality rate up to a par with Sweden's (meanwhile the average life expectancy in Harlem is the same as it is Bangladesh). By this measure, in 1970 alone there were some 34,000 avoidable infant deaths in our country. In 1986, there were about 17,000. From 1945 to the present, more than a million American infants died needlessly. They were not the victims of "ethnic cleansing," gas chambers or aerial bombardment. They died of malnutrition, diarrhea, fires and accidents in unsafe slum housing, etc. Let's use "humanitarian intervention" at home to prevent these sorts of deaths.

When Jewish organizations urged the allies to bomb Auschwitz, the above-cited John McCloy replied that "such an operation could be executed only by the diversion of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces" and would be of "doubtful efficacy." Moreover, said McCloy, "such an effort, even if practicable, might provoke even more vindictive actions by the Germans." Let us remind ourselves that when we are appealing to the United States government, we are appealing to people like John McCloy, a life-long Democrat.

The only "humanitarian interventions" that make any sense are those that we make when we commit ourselves to the socialist movement. We need to build a world where the one flag is, as in the words of Paul Lafargue, "the red flag of the international proletariat."


Charles A. Beard, "President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941"

Earl Browder, "Victory and After"

James P. Cannon, "The Socialist Workers Party in World War Two"

Thomas Kennedy, "Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy"

Gabriel Kolko, "The Politics of War"

V.I. Lenin, "On Proletarian Internationalism"

A. Craig Nelson, "War on War"

Stephen Shalom, "Imperial Alibis"

Leon Trotsky, "In Defense of Marxism"

Howard Zinn, "A People's History of the United States"

(Exact citations are available on request)