IN comparing the apparently peaceful aims of the world, in which the Soviets join, with the Marxian prophesy of future wars, it appears that the aspirations of the U.S.S.R. for universal peace must be viewed as concurrent with basic policies embodying both military and political preparation of the Soviet proletariat for new wars in the future. This leads to an analysis of the Soviet conception of war.
Soviet Conception of War
Wars may be classed as offensive or defensive, but, when regarded as instruments of national policy, usually only the former are of significance. They are considered "imperialistic," if waged by states pursuing imperialistic aims; and "nationalistic" or "revolutionary," when conducted by countries, or peoples, for national liberation. All aggressive wars are theoretically incompatible with efforts towards universal peace. That the Soviets condemn imperialistic wars waged by capitalistic countries is evidenced by their formal attitude towards disarmament, and by their accession to the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928. But their reaction to nationalistic and revolutionary wars is not the same. This is true not only of civil wars, but also of international wars, when waged by proletarian states for the purpose of overthrowing capitalistic régimes in other countries. As Lenin said:
"War is a great disaster. But a social-democrat cannot analyze war apart from its historic [sic] importance. For him there can be no such thing as absolute disaster, or absolute welfare and absolute truth. He must analyze and evaluate the importance of war from the point of view of the interests of his class--the proletariat. . . . He must evaluate war not by the number of its casualties, but by its political consequences. Above the interests of the individuals perishing and suffering from the war must stand the interests of the class. And if the war serves the interests of the proletariat, as a class and in toto, and secures for it liberation from the [capitalist] yoke, and