WeeklyWorker

05.05.2016
Lenin: star pupil

A highly serviceable political weapon

Jack Conrad discusses Lenin and the ‘United States of Europe’ slogan

One tried and tested way Stalinites and Cliffites alike justify their Lexit campaign,1 is to recruit, quote or paraphrase Lenin.2 After all, he did write a forthright article in August 1915 on the United States of Europe, dismissing it as either “impossible” or “tantamount to an agreement on the partition of colonies”.3

It would, of course, be easy to dismiss attempts to dragoon Lenin’s shade into the Boris Johnson-Michael Gove ‘leave’ camp by arguing that what Lenin said in 1915, in the midst of World War I, has little or no relevance to the situation in Britain over a century later. But that would be a mistake. We can draw valuable lessons for today by seriously cross-examining our movement’s history, theory and polemics.

Even if we think Lenin displayed a one-sidedness or was simply wrong in 1915, those of us who understand that developing a Marxist programme is vital for the success of the workers’ self-liberation movement, are obliged to approach a revolutionary politician of Lenin’s stature with respect and due consideration.

Before dealing with Lenin’s article, ‘On the slogan for a United States of Europe’, it will help if some background is provided. The ‘official communist’ editors of Lenin’s Collected works say the slogan, in different variations, “gained wide currency” during World War I and was promoted by bourgeois politicians and the “Kautskyites, Trotskyites and other opportunists”.4 This is doubtless true. By the same measure it is also true that the slogan had a prior life - moreover, the Bolsheviks themselves, under Lenin’s leadership, deployed the slogan as part of their first collective response to the outbreak of inter-imperialist war.

After he successfully managed to get from Kraków in Poland to Berne, and the safety of neutral Switzerland, during August 1914, Lenin drafted a set of theses which were approved by the ad hoc Bolshevik leadership gathered there - Grigory Zinoviev, Nicolai Bukharin, GL Shylovsky, etc. ‘The tasks of revolutionary social democracy in the European war’ included the demand for the “United States of Europe”.5 This very same formulation was carried over into the manifesto of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party central committee - again drafted by Lenin.

In this manifesto, as before, it was stressed that the slogan for a United States of Europe did not imply the coming together of the existing, monarchical, Europe. The Bolsheviks presented a revolutionary democratic way out of the carnage. Lenin explained a short while later that without the “revolutionary overthrow of the German, Austrian and Russian monarchies” the slogan of a United States of Europe was “absolutely false” and “meaningless”.6

The Hohenzollern and Hapsburg monarchies in Germany and Austria were, of course, only half-democratic. Behind the facade of parliament lay autocracy. As to Russia, the tsar’s duma was nothing more than a pathetic fig leaf - Bolshevik deputies who expressed militant opposition to the war found themselves summarily clapped in irons. Exile in Siberia awaited.

Hence the Bolshevik demand: “propaganda for republics in Germany, Poland, Russia, and other countries”; and “transforming of all the separate states of Europe into a republican United States of Europe”.7 Naturally such a “republican United States of Europe” went hand in hand with other key elements in the minimum programme, such as self-determination for Europe’s colonies in Asia and Africa and for the oppressed nations languishing in the internal Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires.

The Bolshevik slogan for a “republican United States of Europe” did not spring out of thin air. The slogan was part of the common culture of the pre-World War I Second International.

A loose parallel might be drawn with the Casablanca wing of the Organisation of African Unity. Instead of settling for the division of Africa and the neat, artificial borders inherited from the French, Belgian, Portuguese and British colonial administrators, the likes of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Sékou Touré of Guinea envisaged a petty bourgeois African socialism stretching from the Cape to Cairo. Towards that end, Nkrumah outlined a bold four-point programme in 1963: (1) a “common foreign” policy, so that internationally Africa could “speak with one voice”; (2) a continent-wide “system of planning and development”; (3) a “common currency” and a “central bank”; (4) a “common defence and security system”, including the formation of an all-African army.8

I am not sure exactly who originally coined the “republican United States of Europe” slogan. Suffice to say, within the Second International the call for a United States of Europe was routinely upheld by the orthodox mainstream and various leftist schools of thought.9 In his The national question and social democracy (1907) the Austro-Marxist, Otto Bauer, writes of “a United States of Europe” in essentially evolutionary terms. It is “not an empty dream”, but the “inevitable end of the road on which the nations set foot long ago”.10 Alexander Parvus advocated a similar position. Writing in 1900-01, having denounced the “curse of traditional thinking”, Parvus asserted that “free trade will do away with it, it will create a great group of nations, it will lead to a United States of Europe”.11 He sought the “democratisation of Germany’s political system and the economic unification of Europe, first through removal of all economic barriers and ultimately through socialist revolution”. His watchwords were: “Democracy, union of Europe, free trade”.12 But it seems clear to me that the most important champion of the republican United States of Europe was none other than the Second International’s leading theoretician.

Eg, in his April 1911 article ‘War and peace’, Karl Kautsky presents the case in favour of linking anti-militarist propaganda to a United States of Europe. The United States of Europe is conceived of as an alliance “with a common trade policy”, a single parliament, a single army, etc. Not that Kautsky preached pacifism or reformism. On the contrary, the Kautsky of 1911 is convinced that “a European war is bound, by natural necessity, to end in social revolution”. That is why the most far-sighted sections of the ruling class strive to “preserve peace” and seek measures of “disarmament”. They dread war because it will bring revolution. “War,” considers Kautsky, “is followed by revolution with inevitable certainty.” This is not the result of some devious “social democratic plan”, but “the iron logic of things”.

Industrial capital has given way to finance capital and brought to a halt all measures of social reform. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties of realising the United States of Europe, “efforts to peacefully unite the European states in a federative community” are by no means hopeless. “Its prospects are bound up with those of the revolution,” maintained Kautsky.

Whether revolution arises from “competition in armaments” or from “war” itself, there will in any case be an “international revolution”. Even if revolution “does not arise from reaction against the burden of armaments” or “against the horrors of war”, but from other causes, and even if at the outset it is not international, but restricted to a single state, it “cannot remain so for long under present conditions”. The revolution is “bound to spread to other states”. As it does, Kautsky believes that the “United States of Europe” and eventually the “United States of the civilised world” will progressively come into being.13

Lenin’s switch

Obviously, having been content to repeat the “republican United States of Europe” slogan in 1914, Lenin began to rethink. His first objections, in 1915, appear secondary, or technical. He expressed himself keen at the RSDLP’s conference of groups abroad, held in Berne, to put the slogan on hold, “pending a discussion, in the press, of the economic aspect of the matter”. So far, the discussion had been “purely political” - the economic aspect had, by implication, been neglected.14

However, a blistering criticism soon followed. Social Democrat No44 - the Bolshevik central organ - carried Lenin’s article, ‘On the slogan for a United States of Europe’. What was his argument?

Explanations backing the republican United States of Europe “expressly emphasised” that the slogan was meaningless “without the revolutionary overthrow of the German, Austrian and Russia monarchies”. Lenin said he did not quarrel with such a presentation of the question “within the limits of a political appraisal”. In other words, Lenin rejected the charge that the ‘republican United States of Europe’ slogan “obscures or weakens” the “slogan of a socialist revolution”.

To counterpose democracy and socialism is to fall headlong into the stagnant pond of economism - the natural habitat of today’s left in Britain. “Political changes of a truly democratic nature” - especially a political revolution - “can under no circumstances whatsoever either obscure or weaken the slogan of a socialist revolution.” Quite the reverse. In Lenin’s opinion, they always bring it closer, extend its basis and draw in petty bourgeois and semi-proletarian masses into the struggle for socialism.

The republican United States of Europe slogan - if accompanied by demands for the revolutionary overthrow of the most reactionary monarchies - is “quite invulnerable as a political slogan”. However, there still remains, argued Lenin, the “highly important question of its economic content and significance”. From the angle of the economic conditions of imperialism - the export of capital and the division of the world by the leading powers - a United States of Europe “is either impossible or reactionary”.

Britain, France, Russia and Germany controlled vast tracts of the planet, either directly in the form of colonies and dominions or indirectly in the form of semi-colonies. These powers (bar Russia) also exported capital in huge sums, so as to exploit the world and extract super-profits - from which elite state officials, high clergy and “other leeches” gain their fat sinecures.

That system of plundering the majority of the world’s population by a handful of great powers represented the highest stage of capitalism. Britain, Germany, France and Russia could no more renounce their colonies and spheres of influence than they could the export of capital, reckoned Lenin.

Following this line of reasoning, Lenin insisted that a United States of Europe under capitalism must be tantamount to an “agreement on the partition of colonies”. Furthermore, such an agreement between the great powers is itself impossible except by way of a trial of strength. And that in plain language means war. Germany was growing economically four times faster than Britain and France. As to Japan, its economic growth was 10 times more rapid than Russia’s. Hence the redivisionist inter-imperialist contest and its attendant slaughter.

So temporary arrangements were possible, conceded Lenin. In that sense a United States of Europe is possible “as an agreement between the European capitalists”. But to what end? Only for the purpose of “suppressing socialism in Europe” and jointly “protecting colonial booty” against Japan and the United States: ie, great powers denied their ‘fair’ share of colonies.

Compared to the USA, the United States of Europe “denotes economic stagnation” and signifies the organisation of reaction. Under capitalism a United States of Europe would retard the more rapid economic development of the USA. Lenin also wanted to strike a blow against the Eurocentric prejudices that frequently passed for common sense in the Second International: “The times when the cause of democracy and socialism was associated only with Europe have gone forever,” he announced.

Lenin concluded on the basis of the above arguments that the slogan for a United States of Europe “is an erroneous one”.15

Lenin elaborated upon the economic argument against the United States of Europe in his Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism (1916). Much of the raw material for this pamphlet came from Imperialism by the British liberal anti-imperialist, JA Hobson (1902).

Hence we find Hobson approvingly quoted by Lenin when he warns that imperialism - the conquest of colonies and the export of capital on an unprecedented scale - carried the risk that western Europe would end up like the south-east of England, the Riviera or the “tourist-ridden” or residential parts of Italy and Switzerland - “little clusters of wealthy aristocrats drawing dividends and pensions from the far east”, surrounded by professional retainers and tradesmen, personal servants and workers in the transport trade, with all the real work done in Asia and Africa.

Hobson specifically held out the danger of an “alliance of western states, a European federation of great powers, which, so far from forwarding the cause of world civilisation, might introduce the gigantic peril of a western parasitism”. Hobson admitted that the “situation is far too complex, the play of world forces far too incalculable, to render this or any other single interpretation of the future very probable”. But the influences which govern the imperialism of western Europe today are “moving in this direction” and, unless “counteracted or diverted”, point towards some such “consummation”.16

Lenin enthusiastically concurs: “The author is quite right: if the forces of imperialism had not been counteracted, they would have led precisely to what he has described. The significance of a ‘United States of Europe’ in the present imperialist situation is correctly appraised.”17

Perspective

So what is Lenin’s own political perspective? Essentially it lay in making revolution in one’s own country. Not in some messianic, nationalistic fashion, but as the beginning of a process that can only be completed globally.

Not surprisingly Lenin argued against the United States of the World as an immediate slogan. Such a state form of the unification and freedom of nations is associated with socialism. But as an immediate slogan it would be wrong for two reasons. Firstly, it merges with socialism. Secondly, it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the “victory of socialism in a single country is impossible”.

This second point was squarely directed against Leon Trotsky, who - as his splendid biographer, Isaac Deutscher says - had “seemed to imply that revolution could break out in Russia only simultaneously with a European upheaval”.18 Trotsky, we should add, denied the charge and defended the slogan of a United States of Europe throughout World War I ... and beyond (the subject of the next in this short series of articles).

Lenin feared that, if erected into a rigid, self-fulfilling prophecy, such an insistence on a simultaneous European revolution could excuse revolutionary fatalism and breed passivity. “Uneven development,” states Lenin, “is an absolute law of capitalism.” Hence the “victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone”. After expropriating the capitalists and organising its own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country would “rise against the rest of the world” and attract to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries. The use of force is not ruled out in order to spread the revolution. “A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states.” Finally, Lenin once again stresses, the “democratic republic” will be the “political form” of the dictatorship (rule) of the proletariat and the oppressed classes.

This argument in favour of the possibility of a victorious socialism in one country is, of course, now famous - or infamous. Having discovered it nearly 10 years later, Stalin went on, in 1924, to use the passage just quoted above in order to justify his theory of socialism in one country against what he dubbed Trotsky’s “theory of the simultaneous victory of socialism in the principal countries of Europe”.19

It has to be admitted that Lenin’s formulation about the victory of socialism in one country is open to such a nationalist interpretation - if one shamelessly ignores the entire corpus of his writings which take for granted the necessity of socialism being international. Evidently on that basis what Lenin meant - and here Trotsky agreed - was that in all probability the proletariat of one country would seize state power ahead of others and might have to survive in isolation for a short period of time before revolutions arose elsewhere. In the conditions of 1914-18 no country should wait for others. Revolutionary initiatives in one country take forward the struggle in others. But, in the face of a counterrevolutionary Europe, revolutionary Russia could only but succumb or turn into its opposite.

Nevertheless in ‘On the slogan for a United States of Europe’ Lenin is hardly at his best. Leaving aside the sloppiness around the “victory” of socialism in one county, Lenin rests the whole weight of his case against the ‘republican United States of Europe’ slogan on a rigid conceptual separation between the political and the economic. Politically he says it is a good slogan. Economically it is bad. True, capitalism has put in place such a structural separation between the ‘economic’ and the ‘political’ spheres. It is though, argues Ellen Meiksins Wood, “the most effective defence mechanism available to capital”.20

Previous modes of production - such as feudalism and Asiatic despotism - are completely bound up with political force. ‘State unit’ and ‘economic unit’ are indistinguishable. The position of exploiter is inseparable from their political (military) power and consequent place in the hierarchy. Surplus is extracted from the direct producer either by custom, backed by force, or simply obtained through employing naked force. The exploiter has nothing or very little to do with production itself or even supervising production.

It is capitalism which creates a separate sphere of economics by discarding the former extra-economic means of exploitation - labour duties, tithes, royal tribute. Social obligations and functions are discarded too. The business of the capitalist is business.

The extraction of surplus value can, in principle, be achieved through purely ‘economic’ mechanisms. Private property becomes absolute. Having been ‘freed’ from the means of production, workers must sell their ability to labour to the capitalist - who now monopolise the means of production. So, although the state is still necessary in order to stand guard over property and the general conditions of production and reproduction, the inescapable need to gain a living provides, in normal circumstances, all that is required to persuade the worker to make themselves available for exploitation.

That is precisely why the capitalist market is a political as well as an economic space. By taking up the struggle for democracy and giving it a definite social content, the working class thereby begins to challenge not only the state, but the conditions of its own exploitation. As a rule, Lenin experienced no problem whatsoever in recognising that. Hence for him the task of Marxist politicians was to lay bare the economics in politics and the politics in economics.

In that light Lenin’s numerous writings on the right of nations to self-determination sit oddly with his rejection of the republican United States of Europe as being either “impossible” or “reactionary”. Leftist critics - eg, Luxemburg, Bukharin and Pyatakov - maintained almost exactly the same thing when it came to “self-determination”. Self-determination of small nations under the conditions of imperialist capitalism was either a “reactionary utopia” or “impossible”. “So long as capitalist states exist,” writes Luxemburg in her Junius pamphlet, “there can be no ‘national self-determination’ either in war or in peace.”21

On the contrary, Lenin replied, the demand was perfectly feasible. He used Norway’s separation from Sweden in 1905 as proof. Furthermore, he insisted, if they were to achieve anything serious, not least socialism, Marxists must champion the rights of oppressed nations, especially against the great powers. Not to do so is to abandon the fight for socialism.

Self-determination is a demand for the equality of rights between nations: no, not in the sense of economic power, population size, military strength. The bottom line is the right to secede. Self-determination does not mean advocating breakaways and the establishment of a multitude of dwarf states. Sadly, an approach all too common on the left nowadays: eg, irresponsible demands for an independent Scotland, Catalonia, Quebec, etc. Lenin touches upon this in ‘Socialism and war’ - the pamphlet he and Zinoviev jointly authored in 1915.22

“The championing of this right”, the right to self-determination, “far from encouraging the formation of petty states, leads, on the contrary, to freer, fearless and therefore wider and more universal formation of large states and the federation of states.” The authors insist that such states “are an advantage” to the masses and that workers, in the oppressed nation, must “unfailingly” fight for the “complete” unity of the workers of the oppressed and oppressor nationalities, “including organisational unity” - Peter Taaffe, Charlie Kimber, Neil Davidson, Alan Thornett, etc, take note.

It is one thing to oppose a United States of Europe brought about by blood and iron. But there is no need to conflate that with the republican United States of Europe won through revolution and completed by the voluntary agreement of the peoples. If there is a general right to freely merge into larger and larger states and federations, surely that applies as much to Europe - which has long established economic and cultural ties - as it does to any other continent or region.

Motives

So why did Lenin perform an 180-degree about-turn between 1914 and 1915 on the ‘republican United States of Europe’ slogan? Undoubtedly there were numerous reasons, including, I suspect, psychological factors, besides those of economic analysis, political programme and factional calculation.

But let us begin with the obvious. There existed many out-and-out reactionary advocates of a United States of Europe. Germany was not untypical. Here such people ranged from conservative university professors to influential figures in the imperial high command. A modern-day version of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire appealed to those bewitched by romantic national historiography or schooled in Hegelian state worship. Naval warfare, massed armies and heavy artillery were, though, the methods they excused, or directly oversaw, in order to achieve their chosen ends. Unity brought about in such a way could only but multiply existing social oppression and national grievances many times over. Their Europe was to be born in chains.

German military strategy, in the words of Friedrich von Bernhardi, a junker general, writing in his 1912 bestseller, sought to finally settle scores with France in the west and expand territorially deep into tsarist Russia in the east. After a two-fronted military triumph, continental power would be consolidated through a “Central European Federation” - with at its core a Greater Germany, incorporating Austria, Holland, South Prussia, etc.23 From this fortress Europe, Germany confidently steps forth - fulfilling its god-given destiny - as the world’s leader. The so-called narrow-mindedly commercial Anglo-Saxon powers, Great Britain and the US, are henceforth reduced to a more fitting ranking.

The German ruling classes turned to war in an attempt to put off socialism. The Social Democratic Party achieved remarkable electoral successes after Bismarck’s anti-socialist laws were lifted. The 1912 election in particular “frightened all the forces of the establishment”, writes US historian Paul Kennedy. The results, which were a “stunning victory” for the SDP, provoked pan-German calls from big industrial capital, the great landowners and Lutheran newspaper-owners for a “coup d’etat from above”. Plans to curb the Reichstag’s already severely limited powers were certainly given a more than sympathetic hearing “in court and army circles”.24

However, German socialism was far from united and far from single-mindedly committed to revolutionary Marxism. German armies fighting on the western and eastern fronts were supported and given succour by rightwing social democrats: eg, Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Scheidemann … and Gerhard Hildebrand. This last named socialist coloniser, even before the outbreak of war in August 1914, had promoted the idea of a “United States of Western Europe” (he excluded Russia). His united Europe - fronted, of course, by Germany - would fend off the “great Islamic movement” rising in Asia and teach the “African negroes” the virtues of hard work and industry. The “African people require guidance and care”, he said, “for an indefinite time to come”.25

The August Babel-Karl Kautsky leadership quite rightly expelled him from the party in 1912. Yet with the declaration of war Hildebrandism - to coin a phrase - almost instantly infected the majority of the SPD. Rosa Luxemburg, half in mourning and half in defiance, described the SPD as a “stinking corpse”.

Other equally disgusting personifications of social chauvinism were found in Russia, France and Britain - Jean Longuet, Jules Guesde, Edouard Vaillant, Viktor Chernov, Georgi Plekhanov, Henry Hyndman, Philip Snowden, etc. Meanwhile Lenin sifted through a vast mass of books, journals and papers in the well-stocked libraries of Switzerland to find the political ammunition he needed in order not only to expose the predatory war aims of the belligerent powers, but to polemically demolish rightwing social democracy. Suffice to say, the views of Hildebrand and his ilk were useful for “understanding the tendencies of opportunism and imperialism within social democracy!”26

Besides the united Europe advocated by generals and social chauvinists, there were, however, other plans for a united Europe - crucially those still emanating from former comrades, whom Lenin now scornfully referred to as the Kautskyites. Lenin was determined to draw a clear line of demarcation that would completely separate off the Bolsheviks and the principled internationalist left from Kautskyite centrism.

Centrism is a political category defined by Marxism not so much by what it is. Rather centrism must be grasped in movement. To avoid a split in the SPD, Kautsky, for example, refused to condemn the majority of the Reichstag fraction when it agreed to support the bill to finance the kaiser’s war effort (there was an anti-war minority, but it abided by party discipline and voted with the majority). Nor did he protest, at least to begin with, when the right acted as Wilhelm’s loyal recruiting sergeant. Indeed he pleaded for understanding and urged an imperialist peace without annexations.

In effect Kautsky alibied the right and held out the prospect of recementing unity with the social chauvinists once the war finally finished. In so doing, he betrayed himself and, of course, the great cause of socialism. What made him a particularly dangerous source of political confusion, though, was his well-founded reputation as an outstanding Marxist theoretician.

Such centrism was not isolated to Germany - far from it. Every country had its centrists and, whether they stood on the right of that spectrum or on the extreme left, what marked them out for Lenin was their unwillingness to countenance an irrevocable political and organisational schism with the social chauvinists - and those who defended them. In Russia this amorphous and ever-shifting centrist trend included Jules Martov - the Menshevik Internationalists’ leader, who would, in 1918, gain an overall majority in the Menshevik Party - and the so-called Mezhraiontsy, most notably Leon Trotsky, Anatoly Lunacharsky, David Riazanov and Adolf Joffe.

At this point, I think we must bring into our account psychological as well as factional considerations. The relationship between Kautsky and Lenin before 1914 might be described as that of star pupil to learned teacher. Lenin willingly expressed his disagreement with Kautsky on this or that secondary issue. However, he considered Kautsky the worthy intellectual leader of the Second International and sought wherever possible to secure his support in the inner-party struggle against the Mensheviks. Kautsky often wrote about Russian affairs and in general sided with the Bolsheviks - eg, over the worker-peasant nature of the Russian Revolution, election tactics and combining insurrection with general strike in 1905. Not without foundation he has been called a “sort of honorary Bolshevik”.27

Kautsky’s miserable collapse in August 1914 hit Lenin like a bolt from the blue. He could hardly believe the news when it came. Nevertheless he quickly fought back, hurling polemical thunderbolts against Kautsky for all he was worth. The Bolsheviks audaciously raised the call for a Third International and for turning the inter-imperialist war into a civil war of social liberation. To begin with, the Bolsheviks made little headway. Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin’s comrade and wife, writes amusingly of the situation of the Zimmerwald left in 1916, when it consisted of “the Dutch left, plus ourselves, plus the German left, plus nought”.28

The general mood internationally - as revealed by the socialist conferences in London, Berne and Zimmerwald - was for arriving at a broad consensus around inoffensive slogans, such as ‘peace’, and harmless resolutions pointing out the errors of social chauvinism.

It was in this context of murderous world war and conciliation with rightwing traitors that Lenin turned against the ‘republican United States of Europe’ slogan. Lenin decided to associate the slogan with Kautsky and those who refused to break with the right. It became intertwined with Lenin’s undeniably correct campaign to draw lines of demarcation.

Surely, though, he overcompensated and drew a line that was far too defensive on this occasion. In so doing he gave away a highly serviceable political weapon. Post-1914 Kautsky might have come to give the slogan a “pacifist reading”. But, if the slogan was supplemented with the call for the revolutionary struggle to abolish monarchies throughout Europe and other key planks in the minimum programme, such as self-determination for the colonies and oppressed nations, then, yes, even in the darkest days of World War I, it would carry a powerful message.

Workers throughout the European continent share a common history and can together make a common contribution towards making the world communist revolution l

Notes

1. Lexit is chaired by Robert Griffiths and includes the RMT rail union, Trade Unionists Against the EU, the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain, the Indian Workers Association (GB), the Bangladeshi Workers Council of Britain, Scottish Left Leave, Counterfire and the Socialist Workers Party.

2. Rejection of a United States of Europe is standing SWP policy. Back in 1971 Chris Harman wrote that “the demand for the United States of Europe is not going to be an immediate agitational demand in the conceivable future” (www.marxists.org/archive/harman/1971/xx/eec-pt3.htm). For the CPB’s use of Lenin see www.communist-party.org.uk/britain/youth/2232-the-anti-worker-nature-of-the-eu.html.

3. VI Lenin CW Vol 21, Moscow 1977, p339-43.

4. VI Lenin CW Vol 39, Moscow 1977, p776n.

5. VI Lenin CW Vol 21, Moscow 1977, p18.

6. Ibid p33.

7. Ibid p18.

8. DJ Francis Uniting Africa Aldershot 2006, p19.

9. Of course, it is not that straightforward. Eg, we find Rosa Luxemburg writing this in May 1911: “Plausible as the idea of the United States of Europe as a peace arrangement may seem to some at first glance, it has on closer examination not the least thing in common with the method of thought and the standpoint of social democracy.” See www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1911/05/11.htm.

10. Quoted in O Bauer The question of nationalities and social democracy Minneapolis MI 2000, p414.

11. ZAB Zeman and WB Scharlau Merchant of revolution Oxford 1965, p42.

12. RB Day and D Gaido Discovering imperialism Leiden 2011, p324.

13. www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1911/04/war1911.htm.

14. VI Lenin CW Vol 21, Moscow 1977, p158.

15. Ibid p343.

16. JA Hobson Imperialism London 1938, pp364-65.

17. VI Lenin CW Vol 22, Moscow 1977, pp280-81.

18. I Deutscher The prophet armed Oxford 1979, p237.

19. JV Stalin Works Vol 6, Moscow 1953, p391.

20. E Meiksins Wood Democracy against capitalism Cambridge 1999, p20.

21. R Luxemburg The national question New York 1976, p290.

22. VI Lenin CW Vol 21, Moscow 1977, pp295-339.

23. F von Bernhardi Germany and the next war London 1914, p106.

24. P Kennedy The rise of Anglo-German antagonism 1860-1914 London 1980, p453.

25. Quoted in VI Lenin CW Vol 39, Moscow 1977, p112.

26. Ibid p113.

27. LT Lih, ‘VI Lenin and the influence of Kautsky’ Weekly Worker September 2 2009.

28. N Krupskaya Memories of Lenin Vol 2, Letchworth 1970, p171.