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Excerpts from the
article “The Struggle Against New Imperialistic
Wars” written in 1922
by CLARA ZETKIN
German Marxist theorist, activist, and
organizer of the first International Women’s Day in 1911
The danger of war is increasing rather
than decreasing. But even among the
bourgeoisie there is opposition to war.
Commercial capital cannot find its markets
in other countries without first sending
armies to these countries, but financial
capital can exploit its forces only through
the political dominance in the countries
in which it invests its money, and this can
only be got by military conquests, and
therefore the policy of the governments is
for war all the time. War shows the crisis
of capitalism. As war becomes a permanent
institution, it exposes the critical character
of the position in which capitalism finds
itself, and this proves the necessity for the
abolition of the present ruling powers and
the creation of a new society...
The working class must get all the means
of life into its hands, and this must be
preceded by getting the means of death
out of the hands of the capitalist class.
This is only to be got by struggle. The class
struggle alone can be a struggle against war.
Pacificism is not a struggle against war...
We must reconstruct the working
class state at the expense of capitalism.
Capitalism is doomed. Our struggle and
our tactics must be directed towards the
great goal, to organize the powers of the
workers; to inspire them for the struggle
and to develop it, so that when capitalism
calls again for war the working class of
the world can answer with a call for world
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