PREFACE TO 1950 EDITION
The main part of this book has been written during the war under the occupation of Holland by the Germans, the first three parts 1942; the fourth 1944; a fifth part was added after the war, 1947. The author, who during many years attentively observed, and sometimes actively took part in, the workers' movement, gives here a summary of what from these experiences and study may be derived as to methods and aims of the workers' fight for freedom. A somewhat different Dutch version was published in Holland, 1946. The English version was printed at Melbourne serially, as an addition to the monthly "Southern Advocate for Workers' Councils," during the years 1947-49. Owing to many difficulties the publication in book-form was delayed until 1950.
J. A. Dawson
(As it appeared in the original Dutch Edition)
This book has been written in the war years 1941-42 under the occupation of Holland by the Germans. The author, who during many years attentively observed and sometimes actively took part in the workers' movement, gives here a summary of what from these experiences and study may be derived as to methods and aims of the workers' fight for freedom. What a century of workers' struggles presents to us is neither a series of ever again failing attempts at liberalism, nor a steadfast forward march of the workers following a fixed plan of old well-tried tactics. With the development of society we see arise new forms of fight, and this development imposed by the growth of capitalism and the growth of the working class, must go on in ever mightier display.
The first part of the book shows the task which the workers have to perform and the fight they have to wage. The following parts treat the social and spiritual trends arising in the bourgeoisie that determine the conditions under which the workers had and have to fight. All the discourses are based on the deep connection between production system and class-fight elucidated in Marxian theory.
-- The Editor.