European Policy of the USA (III)


In the war of 1914-18, the United States intervened midway through the war after having remained a spectator for a long time. They thus abandoned the so-called Monroe doctrine, which established their disinterest in European affairs and their demand that Europe renounce any claim of control over the new continent. This exit from isolationism was reminiscent of that of England, the first country of modern capitalism and the first instrument of defence until then of the bourgeois regime. Displaying its internal organisation as a hypocritical model of freedom and democratic practice, having no permanent army, striving at the same time thanks to the imperial exploitation of the world to achieve class collaboration with the proletariat of the motherland by reformist concessions, Great Britain maintained under arms the first fleet of the world and had defeated in turn the overseas empires of the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Dutch by plundering the planet. Vigilant in European conflicts, it intervened in time to bring down the political and military hegemonies which it feared might have given it too much competition in the exploitation of the world.

America's isolation has not proved to be less woven of hypocritical claims to be a model for the world. Capitalism, no less ruthless and cruel in its origin and development than English capitalism, has claimed to educate humanity with pietist doctrines and with false examples of prosperity, tolerance and generosity.

At the end of the war, one of the most odious kinds of fake bigots and annoying preachers that history had counted, the infamous Woodrow Wilson, strong of the economic and military aid he provided to his allies, set out to reorganise old Europe according to new principles and imposed those masterpieces of the bourgeois world regime that were the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.

In the ranks of the socialist movement of the time, the opportunist currents were naturally angels in the face of this despicable version of capitalist oppression; and even in the ranks of the Italian party strongly resistant to the seductions of the "democratic war", there were some who, after the American intervention as well as after the first Russian revolution of February 1917 in which they saw a simple democratic-bourgeois and patriotic development, spoke of reviewing the positions, namely to launch themselves into the ridiculous crusade against Teutonic militarism.

The revolutionary currents reacted, for they had always recognised the centres of the maximum class potential of imperialist capitalism and militarism in France first, then in England, and because they saw the emergence in America of the new centre of super-capitalism; the development of the Russian revolution was quite different from that thought of by the social democrats and the social patriots of all countries; the new left movement declared itself as direct opponents of the proletarian and revolutionary cause at the forefront of Wilson and his Geneva organisation, including America, to perfect its method of a hypocrisy worthy of Quakerism, had excluded itself.


In the Second World War, it was also at the halfway point that America intervened. And in the latter too, the fundamental content of the propaganda was German provocation and the defence of those who had been attacked. We Marxists have never believed in the distinction between war of defence and war of aggression because our analysis of causes is quite different. The new war was a direct consequence, apart from the laws that characterise the current social regime, of the organisation of the world and Germany's situation imposed on Versailles.

In a contingent way, just as England had put an end to its intervention in the first war after having fought through it the destruction of the German threat, so the whole policy of the American bourgeois state between the two wars was a direct and continuous preparation for an expansionist struggle to the detriment of Europe.

The seasoning of humanitarian and democratic lies has been used on an even larger scale and has supported economic, industrial and military preparation whose stages span twenty years of history.

The progressive diminutio capitis of Great Britain - in this regard, Hitler was mistaken in counting on its lack of reaction, for he underestimated the determination of class interests - began to be sanctioned by the Washington Treaty of 1930 in which the formula of an English fleet equal to the sum of the two other strongest fleets in the world was changed to that of parity between English and American navies, thus containing France and Japan. Hitler was not yet in power and Mussolini could not claim to be frightening.

Economic, political and military interventionism in world affairs - what more accurate term can we use to replace aggression if not interventionism? - is obvious practically everywhere and is even more openly stated in Truman's message.

This is based on the usual philanthropic premises worthy of the bigot and conformist framework of the presidential investiture based on the Bible and Founding Fathers, and on the usual extensions of the immortal principles of bourgeois democracy to the economic requirements, the magnates of great capitalism promising bread to the hungry and downright a sauce of abundance - like American prosperity? - to the now rancid dish of political and ideological freedom.

The point to note is the direct and desperate attack against communism, that is to say against the demand for an anti-capitalist economy that is imposing itself on the world, while distinguishing it well from an attack against Russia, to which it is said on the contrary that it could be part of a global combination even if its historical traditions are those of an imperialist power.

Truman is willing to deal with Stalin but he will not compromise with communism. The situation could not be clearer. And among other spokesmen, the old Cachin answered that between the Russian regime and the capitalist regimes there can exist a collaboration.

Where there can be no collaboration is between the great world centres of super-capitalism and the revolutionary proletarian movement. That is what the Trumans fear, far more than the war.

If for Truman the number one enemy is communism and if he eagerly fights its "philosophy" at a time when its revolutionary and class positions do not seem obvious, it is all the more comforting. The day may not be far off when powerful layers of the world proletariat will understand that enemy number one is Truman, not the person of that unknown functionary up to the death of Roosevelt, not that village priest figure with hands on two Bibles and a honeyed smile, but the bestial force of oppressive capitalism concentrated today in this formidable scaffolding of economic investment and organised armaments across the Atlantic.

To understand well and to align itself in a class war, the proletariat must however understand another thing a similar state of things and such a balance of forces was not built in two years but in hundred; like Lenin's time when he put in the dustbin the renegade leaders who sang hymns to the praise of Wilson's war help, it must do the same with those who, in the second war, shamefully and treacherously apologised for Roosevelt-Truman's help, in whose service they placed themselves.


[1] Translator's note: on the second page of this filo, add, at the end of the second paragraph, after "imposed on Versailles": "with the confirmation of the great colonial monopolies of the ultra-imperialist centres".

Battaglia Comunista, Nr.4, 26-02 February 1949.
Translation by Libri Incogniti

(Italian Version)


"On the Thread of Time" Articles