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      Alexandra Kollontai

      Russian Revolutionary Leader

      The capitalists always say: 'We must arm ourselves because we are threatened by war!' And they point to their sacred symbols: militarism on land, militarism on the high seas, and militarism in the air. They summon the spectre of war in order to put it between themselves and the red spectre. They call for war in order to free themselves from the spectre of social revolution.

      But the International answers them with one united call: 'Down with war!' The workers know that behind the threat of war there stands the capitalist state that wants to burden the people with new taxes, there stands the war industry that wants to increase its profits...

      And even if tsarism, if the Russian capitalists, did indeed venture to attack Sweden, we nonetheless still exist! We, the proletariat! Did we not survive the crisis in Morocco? And who was it then who impeded the threatened outbreak of war? Yes, the international proletariat, which threw out the challenge to the German and French governments, the German and French capitalists: 'Not one step further! We stand here, and if the capitalists dare to wage war, then the red spectre will turn into social revolution, and you yourselves will then be responsible!'

      Excerpts from a speech at a meeting of the Swedish League of Socialist Youth and the left wing of the Swedish Social-Democratic Party, May 1, 1912

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