Socialism in Thought and Action

Socialism in Thought and Action

Socialism in Thought and Action

Socialism in Thought and Action

Excerpt

On July 29, 1914, the day after Austria declared war against Servia, I attended the great "guerre à la guerre," ("war against war") meeting of the International Socialists in Brussels. That afternoon socialist leaders from all over Europe had gathered in la Maison du Peuple, the headquarters of the triple alliance of labor, socialism and coöperation, to determine the fate of the International Socialist Congress scheduled for Vienna on August 23. Socialists of all lands had been looking forward to this congress with great eagerness, for here they had planned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first International and here they expected to see staged the greatest of all debates on the procedure of the socialist movement in case of threatened war. The delegates in Brussels had decided to transfer the meeting place of the congress from Vienna to Paris, to change the date from August 23 to August 9, and to make the problem of war the chief subject on the agenda.

That night, before many thousands of workers who crowded the Royal Theater, the leaders of international socialism urged the workers of Europe to stand firm against the onrushing avalanche of war. And after the meeting, with cries of guerre à la guerre, à bas la guerre, with the ringing words of the Marseillaise and the Internationale --"the International Party shall be the human race,"-- the great gathering marched down the Boulevard du Jardin Botanique, down past the Gare du Nord and finally dispersed in the stillness of the night.

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