Wayne Thorpe - El Ferrol, Rio de Janeiro, Zimmerwald, and Beyond: Syndicalist Internationalism, 1914-1918
"International syndicalism is our holy family"(1). Thus declared Die Einigkeit, the journal of the German syndicalist trade unions, on 25 July 1914, on the eve of the outbreak of war in Europe. This declaration constituted not only an identification with syndicalist organizations elsewhere but a pledge to honour labour internationalism in the event of war.
In 1871, Karl Marx wrote that governments use war as a fraud, a ‘humbug, intended to defer the struggle of the classes’. In 1914, that fraud was so effective that not only most workers but also most Marxists supported their respective nation’s rush to war. Ever since then, governments have used war to defer class struggle and prevent revolution. But this strategy cannot last forever.