On Second Congress of Comintern
From Chapter 3 of Memoirs of a Revolutionary
Year Published: 1967 First Published: 1943
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX10839
World capitalism, after its first suicidal war, was now clearly incapable either of organizing a positive peace, or (what was equally evident) of deploying its fantastic technical progress to increase the prosperity, liberty, safety, and dignity of mankind. The Revolution was therefore right, as against capitalism; and we saw that the spectre of future war would raise a question-mark over the existence of civilization itself, unless the social system of Europe was speedily transformed. The fearful Jacobinism of the Russian Revolution seemed to me to be quite unavoidable; as was the institution of a new revolutionary State, now in the process of disowning all its early promises. In this I saw an immense danger: the State seemed to me to be properly a weapon of war, not a means of organizing production. Over all our achievements there hung a death-sentence; since for all of us, for our ideals, for the new justice that was proclaimed, for our new collective economy, still in its infancy, defeat would have brought a peremptory death and after that, who knows what? I thought of the Revolution as a tremendous sacrifice that was required for the future's sake.