Jaures dead; Guesde, the uncompromising, the Marxist, the Socialist, a member of the French Cabinet; Dr. Ludwig Frank, one of the most promising of the young German Socialists, shot dead in battle! Socialists become national! French, Russian, Belgian, German, Austrian Socialists fighting one another, destroying one another!
Who was right, who wrong? Did the majority of the German Socialists, under the leadership of David, do right in voting the war credits asked by the Kaiser? Or did the minority do right, under the direction of Dr. Liebknecht, in refusing these credits? Who can pass judgment? But this we do know and can truthfully say—not a single capitalistic Government of all Europe but shares in the guilt.
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“ENVOY OF MY PARTY.”
Statement by Jules Guesde, Minister in France’s
War Cabinet and
Exponent of French Socialism, at Paris, Aug. 29.
I go into the Cabinet as an envoy of my party, not to govern, but to fight. If I were younger, I would have shouldered a gun. But as my age does not permit this I will, nevertheless, face the enemy and defend the cause of humanity.
I am confident of final victory, and without hesitation as to its subsequent role in France, the party will never deviate from the line of conduct laid out. As the solidarity of workmen does not shut out the right to defend themselves against traitor workmen, so international solidarity does not exclude the right of one nation to defend itself against a Government traitor to the peace of Europe.
France has been attacked, and she will have no more ardent defenders than the workmen’s party.
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[Illustration: JULES GUESDE, French Cabinet Minister and Exponent of French Socialism. (Photo from Trans Atlantic Co.)]
Editorial Article in the New Yorker Volkszeitung, Aug. 28.
Who would have suspected in 1904 that Jules Guesde would come to be once more a member of a Ministry, popular in its majority? Who would have thought then—it was in the time of the memorable debates over socialistic “ministerialism” in the Amsterdam Congress of the International—that there ever could come a time when this clear-headed and unswerving exponent of academic socialism would be forced by the need of the hour to take a step which in ordinary circumstances would be absolutely inconceivable for him?
And now this has actually happened. Jules Guesde, who has been called—in contrast to the easily moved emotional Jaures—the stiff-necked dogmatist, is not only become Minister, but with him another proved Socialist champion, Marcel Sembat, who for his part too would rather have split the party than to have approved the entrance of Millerand into the Cabinet of Waldeck Rousseau.
But now these two are sitting on the same Ministerial bench, not only with this self-same Millerand, but with the much more deeply despised renegade Briand, with the anti-Socialist abettor Ribot, and the disgusting reactionary and favorite of the Czar, Pelcassi. The world seems to be unhinged.