Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Came across this in Tony Cliff's biography of Lenin:

'Until the end' croaks the crow, picking the human bones on the battlefield. What does he care about the old mother who awaits the return of her son or the octogenarian who with trembling hand leads the plow?
'War to the end'. cries the student to thousands of people on the public square and assures them that our hardships are due to the Germans. During this time, his father, who has sold oats at sixteen rubles a pud, sits in a noisy cabaret where he maintains the same ideas.
'To the end', clamour the agents of the allied government while touring the battlefields strewn with the bodies of the proletarians. Can the soldier in the trenches cry 'War to the end'? No. He says something else:
Until the end of the war, we'll be without food.
Until the end of the war, Russia won'tbe free.
Comrades, let him who cries 'War to the end' be sent to the front lines. Then we'll see what he says.
-Soldat-Grazhdanin (Citizen Soldier), Moscow, 25th May 1917

There are certain themes of capitalism that never really go away.