First edition: Warsaw 1918
After the Germans had been expelled from Poland, socialists arrived and now claim that it is they who should rule the country, since only they defend the interests of the people. That is why we need to realise who socialists actually are and what they are working to achieve.
More than a hundred years ago, the democratic movement began, which demanded the abolition of privileges, equal rights for all and popular participation in government. Proponents of this movement proclaim that common people are the most numerous group in any nation and thus the government should care above all for the interests and needs of this group as the strength of both the nation and the state are based on the welfare of the people and all efforts should be made to improve their lot. This movement can boast great successes: freehold has been granted to peasants and serfdom has been abolished everywhere, levels of education and prosperity have generally improved, violence committed by the powerful against the weak is punished, political rights have been gradually expanded so that people can elect their deputies to parliaments and these deputies pass the laws that people want as well as appointing those who govern the state. As a result, nations of the world were moving towards a better tomorrow.
Socialism – Foreign Science
However, this kind of progress appeared wrong to socialists. The socialist movement was founded in Germany and its founding fathers were German Jews. From Germany, it spread to other countries. German socialists lent financial support to those in other countries, including Poland. In this manner, they gained control over foreign socialists. Everywhere, socialist teachings were eagerly spread by Jews who are bandmasters in the socialist orchestra.
Socialism is a kind of sect. Whoever declines to blindly follow its instructions and does not mindlessly repeat its teachings as if saying prayers, will be cursed and persecuted by followers of the socialist faith. Writings of the two German Jews who founded socialism (Marx and Lassalle) are worshipped like the gospel; whatever their German socialist disciples write is treated as infallible truth by Polish socialists.
Polish socialism has nothing of its own that could be applied to the needs and position of our nation; it has borrowed everything from the Germans. This is why our socialists are grateful to their masters – the Germans. After the Germans has been soundly defeated, they all purported to be socialists, renounced Wilhelm whose praises they used to sing so recently, drove their kings and princes away and proclaimed republics everywhere. They did all that in the hope that the coalition would forgive them for their crimes and depredations which they could now blame on Wilhelm and his henchmen, and that it would allow them to keep other lands that they treacherously grabbed in the past, i.e. primarily Polish territories: the Poznań region, Silesia and Polish Pomerania together with Gdansk. But coalition politicians are quite insightful and were not fooled by this feigned innocence. They remembered well that the entire German nation, including socialists, followed Wilhelm to war with great enthusiasm, hoping for great spoils and profits, proclaiming themselves masters of the world and oppressing all neighbouring nations.
After the Germans had pinned red bows instead of imperial pins to their lapels and declared themselves both revolutionaries and socialists, only socialists in Poland took their words at face value, started to fraternise with them, hugged them, and joined them in hanging a red flag from the castle of the Polish kings in Warsaw – the sign of socialist rule in Poland, which had presumably triumphed in Germany. Although rumours emerged of Germans murdering our compatriots in the Podlasie region, and of collusion between German soldiers and the Bolsheviks to extinguish Poles in Lithuania and burn their homes and belongings, and of German help for Ukrainians who seized the ancient Polish city of Lwów [the current Ukrainian name is Lviv – trans.], the capital of Galicia, and also of German resolve to retain by force the Polish lands grabbed during the partitions, Polish socialists still consider themselves friends of this newly minted socialist Germany and feel considerable aversion towards the coalition despite the fact that it is to France, England and America that we owe our independence and the unification of Poland.
Call for Internal Struggle
Why do socialists act in this way? We have already mentioned their attachment to their German teachers. Besides, German socialists accepted as their motto uniting the workers of all nations to fight against other classes within ones own nation. (This is why there is the “Socialism International”). For instance, a Polish worker should regard a German worker as his brother and use his help to fight the other classes in Poland because Polish workers should hate these other Polish social groups.
This science proved very advantageous for the Germans. German socialists are far more numerous, stronger and wealthier than those in neighbouring countries. They took care of those other socialists, helped them and thus caused them to further their own interests. It was not without German influence and support that socialists constantly held huge strikes in Poland in 1905; our factories ground to a halt and as a result, more and more German goods were sold in Poland and workers in Germany had no shortage of work.
German socialists certainly do not intend to apply to themselves their teachings about unity with workers from other nations and about constant struggle and feud within their own nation. As long as the war went well for them, German workers, peasants, the intelligentsia, merchants and industrialists moved together against their neighbours and cooperated in oppressing and robbing them. After all, it was not only German generals who proved a constant nuisance, oppressed us, tortured and robbed us and ruined our factories and farms – those were ordinary soldiers as well, and a lot of socialist workers among them. Each of them was glad when they stole food and goods from Poland and brought them back to Germany and also when they destroyed Polish industry and agriculture, because this meant that Germany, enriched at the expense of Poland it robbed, would rule supreme.
Polish socialists, blind and guided by the slogan about the international workers union, soon forgot about the Germans villainous behavior and forgave them all their crimes. And all this is because Germany is now said to be ruled by socialists, although all former officials and generals remain in their positions. They feel closer to those who denied the Poland the right to independent life – as long as they were strong enough – than to those who defended the worlds freedom from the German yoke. Although these victorious nations – the French, the English, the Americans and the Italians – have long ago introduced freedom and equality at home and welcomed all those persecuted by German governments, our socialists feel closer to the Germans who pretend to be socialists, since coalition powers are not ruled by socialists, but rather by parliaments elected by their entire nations …
Socialists, Industry and Workers
Does socialism really result in a genuine improvement in working peoples lives? To answer this question, we have to consider its economic goals, i.e. the socialists programme.
The factory workers lot is very difficult but their plight was even worse some years ago. If a worker lost his health at work, if he became a cripple, he would lose his occupation and was condemned to hunger and misery; if he died, no one cared for his wife and children.
During frequent periods of stagnation in the industry, factories had little to do and those workers hired when they had operated at full capacity were thrown out of work. When huge factories were first built, entrepreneurs sought the cheapest workforce and thus hired large numbers of women and children who were poorly paid and often worked at night or in underground mines. Such work harmed not only their health but also their morals. The industry workday was long – it lasted until the worker was exhausted. Workers lived in squalid, dirty and damp rooms.
Their working conditions required – and still require – a thorough improvement. Everyone who cares for the people – all democratic parties – have demanded changes to the workers position. In Western countries, much has already been done in this respect and the worst exploitation has been remedied. Workers and their families can be sure of help in the event of sickness and receive compensation for accidents at work. Those who are unable to work owing to poor health or old age receive a fixed annual allowance. Both the state and powerful workers associations strive to help the unemployed and to assist them in finding occupation. In order to prevent abuse and protect the workers health, laws have been enacted that stipulate the maximum number of hours worked per day, and regulations have been promulgated that make workplaces as safe as possible and that remedy harmful working conditions at factories as far as possible. Child labour in industry has largely been prohibited, similarly as womens work at night and in mines. Care has also been taken to provide better and healthier housing for workers and to make it easier for them to buy their own houses with a piece of land.
Of course, there is still a great deal more to do and to fix. Above all, there is much to do in Poland where we remained far behind the rest of Europe, since foreign governments did not care about the workers welfare. These laws that have improved the workers lot were drafted and passed by governments in Western Europe, which were not socialist governments at all, and in our parliament they will be supported and voted for by all parties who care for the good of the people and of the nation.
The socialists real economic programme involves something else. They want to impose a completely different order on the world. They consider foundations of the national economy to be generally flawed and want to violently demolish its current pillars. This change consists primarily in the abolition of private property. Everything that is used to produce items and goods, i.e. factories, land, buildings, machinery and all enterprises are to become state property and be owned by all or, as they call it, “socialised” or “nationalised”.
Socialists claim that there is a rapid trend in social life towards the disappearance of small businesses, craftsmen’s workshops and shops, and even towards the disappearance of medium-sized factories as huge enterprises are winning in this competition. Ultimately, enormous factories will necessarily be owned by a handful of rich people and all other people will become workers at these enterprises. At that time, these few factory owners should be expropriated and their factories will become state property; the state will be the sole entrepreneur who will direct the production of goods.
If the socialists were to calmly wait until there are only a few great entrepreneurs, then socialism would only become applicable in a very distant future. Even though it has been found that the emergence of factories did kill some crafts such as hand weaving or tannery, other crafts are thriving and new ones are even created, and the number of craftsmen is not decreasing in spite of such prophecies. And it is only in some industries, such as coal mining or iron smelting, that huge enterprises are displacing smaller ones; in other industries, small and medium-sized factories are emerging and thriving alongside giant ones. Since this is the case, hundreds of thousands of people cannot be expropriated without violating the rights of a great part of the nation.
However, socialists are unwilling to wait patiently until their erroneous predictions come true, and demand the nationalisation of factories in the near future. Let us consider where such a decree would lead us. First, the mere prospect of expropriation would dissuade factory owners in Poland, where the Germans have destroyed the industry and closed down factories, from opening them again, and at those factories that continue to operate, they would not introduce any new machinery or improvements; of course, no new factories would be built. Who would employ capital and put in work only for his property to be taken away? In this way, socialists – who like to say that they are the workers only friends and defenders – would condemn great masses to unemployment and misery.
This charge may be rebutted by socialist sages as follows: “If factory owners do not open factories, they will be taken over by the state and run as its property”. It is clear that the Polish state, which has an empty treasury and a multitude of necessary and urgent expenditures, will not find the funds necessary to run factories.
But let us overlook this obstacle. Let us assume that the state has funded the opening of factories. What will be the outcome of this state-run economy? People who closely watched state-run economies in various countries during the war when the state imposed monopolies on some goods and either ran many companies itself or controlled private ones tightly are forced to admit that the state is bad at entrepreneurship. The state-run economy is very expensive and the population suffers as a result. It is also a well-known fact that municipalities or cities that own factories usually do badly since these factories do not yield profits.
Why is this the case? The most important reasons are as follows: the state must use officials to manage its factories. Even the best and the brightest official will not replace the entrepreneur (owner) because he is not directly interested in the factorys income. The owner will be careful to introduce improvements and to run the enterprise in an economical way because this will result in profits; on the other hand, he will avoid economic moves that lead to constant losses. The state can run a factory that runs at a loss all the time, but these losses will be covered by the state treasury from the taxes collected, i.e. will ultimately be covered by the population of the country in question. The state will therefore produce expensively, and if factories in other countries are owned by private owners who continue to make improvements, foreign goods will become cheaper than domestic ones and state-owned factories in the country will have to close.
And what would be the workers position if only state-owned factories existed? At first glance, it might appear that the workers lot would be greatly improved, since they would be able to demand better pay and shorter working hours. However, the point is whether such good conditions would last long.
Socialists say that the principle of equality requires that everyone receive equal rewards for their work. This would have been fair if God had created all humans the same, i.e. if all had been equally diligent, honest and capable. But as there are no two leaves in nature that are identical to each other, so people are different. A hard-working and thrifty person strives to earn more and thus ensure a better life for his family, save something for a rainy day, for raising children and for his old age. This is because everyone wishes to improve their existence, to raise their status or to give their children a better future. This desire to improve ones lot pushes more talented and enterprising people to set up new workshops and to make inventions or improvements. This natural wish to move upward causes people to learn, acquire knowledge or skills in crafts or trade. This common desire benefits not only these prudent individuals but the entire nation as well. This is because general prosperity and education levels are rising, the number of enterprises is increasing and new inventions are emerging that facilitate work and improve the nations productivity.
If a law were passed tomorrow that everyone would receive equal pay regardless of the value of their work, the decline of the nation and of its prosperity would start immediately. Socialists want to completely abolish per piece wages and introduce constant pay only. A person who is hard-working, honest and capable, who prepared for a long time to practice his profession and trained for years on end, would receive the same wages as a slacker who is shoddy in his work, stupid and completely unskilled; as a result, no one would be motivated to work hard and with diligence because this would not improve their lot a single bit.
As the owner of all enterprises, the socialist government would have only one means to force people to be more productive: introducing very strict surveillance with the assistance of a huge number of officials and the use of very severe punishments. The entire population would have to be disciplined as if in barracks or in prison. This would hark back to the days of serfdom when peasants were forced to work and strictly supervised but still worked very poorly because there was no reward for them if they worked decently.
There would be no way to prevent universal impoverishment in this case. Such work would bring meagre results – workers would produce little and thus all goods would be very expensive. Prices would go up horribly and the populations needs could not be properly satisfied. The government could of course increase the workers wages, but this would do no good, since the prices would go on rising.
As we saw during the war, income does not depend on the amount of money you earn, but rather on its value, i.e. on what it can buy. A worker who earned 10 zlotys per day before the war was better off than one who earns 80 zlotys today. No one will deny that the wealth of a nation depends on the quantity and value of the goods that this nation produces. If it produces fewer goods than it used to, it must necessarily be getting poorer. And this would no doubt be the case in a socialist state. People would not have any incentives or need to work hard since they would not reap any personal advantage from this.
For socialists, a paradise would be a state where everyone works at state enterprises, no one owns any property and no one is ever able to acquire any. But this would be contrary to human nature, which craves for independence and self-reliance and for which private property is one of the pillars of freedom…
Until recently, socialists were not able to put their plans into practice because they did not command majorities in parliaments. This opportunity only came after the revolution in Russia, when the so-called “Bolsheviks” started to rule. Those socialists who were more reasonable and peaceful wished to postpone the introduction of a socialist state until a distant time when the nation would consist of just a handful of rich men and the rest would be workers who do not own any property, i.e. the “proletariat”. However, the Bolsheviks decided to immediately establish a socialist state. The Bolshevik movement was headed mostly by Jews who did not care about the impact of those experiments on the state itself and on the Russian people. Socialism was to be introduced by force, violently and against the will of the majority of the Russian people. A “dictatorship of the proletariat” was proclaimed, i.e. workers were to rule over the entire nation without asking whether the nation wanted that. The elected parliament, in which the majority of deputies were representatives of peasants, was dispersed by a socialist militia. Moreover, this dictatorship is not a working-class government at all, but rather a tyranny imposed by some of the socialists-Bolsheviks.
Having toiled and struggled for a long time, humanity has gained freedom, and this is more valuable than anything else. Everyone is now allowed to speak and write what they believe is right as long as they do not incite crime; all kinds of associations can be established; no one can be arrested without a court order or sentence, or persecuted for his political beliefs. This freedom was also what socialists demanded. However, when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, an oppression never before seen began. All newspapers that published pieces against the Bolsheviks were closed. Most distinguished people were imprisoned and shot without trial. Hundreds of thousands were murdered as if the bloodiest war were taking place.
Who is doing well in the Bolshevik state? Only those who have seized power. They have all kinds of stolen goods in abundance. They have created their own “red army”, which they feed and pay very well, and it murders their opponents to defend the ruling Bolsheviks. The rest of the population goes hungry or is in fact starving. A number of laws have been passed to abolish private property. Banks have been plundered – not only their own money, but also deposits have been taken. Factories have been “nationalised”. However, these factories have been disorganised to the point where any work ceased to be possible. The Bolshevik government maintains the part of the workforce that is still living in the cities by simply paying wages out of government coffers. This money was obtained by printing paper rubles that are not backed by anything. As a result, prices have soared and are still growing. And one can hardly buy anything for money, since stocks have run out and no new goods are being produced as there are no raw materials.
Cities lack food because Russian peasants do not want to deliver it as they cannot buy farm items or clothing for the money received. As a result, the Bolsheviks have resorted to sending punitive expeditions to villages, which consist of “red guards” who seize food by force. Bloody battles are being fought against these units in villages.
In the countryside and in Russia in general, there is huge upheaval and confusion. Landowners property was to be shared but there were no authorities to supervise the division. Those who were stronger grabbed the land – in one village those were the unemployed and farm hands, while in others the richest peasants who had more animals to till it. Struggle continues in rural areas between rich and poor farmers and between the landless and smallholders. No one submits to any authority; bayonets and clubs are used to decide disputes.
People are robbing one another, frittering away and wasting all the national wealth accumulated by the previous generations. Those who owned anything have been destroyed and the poor have remained poor. Only those who stole and robbed have got wealthy – as officials and speculators who exploited the confusion and grabbed what remained of other peoples property.
Russia will only do a true reckoning of the Bolshevik rule when it is over. Law and order will only be restored after a new wave of mass executions, and a period of bondage more severe than under the tsars will come. Freedom will be buried in Russia for many years and the whip will rule again. The mutual hatred between various classes has now reached its apex. People have got used to murdering one another over little things.
The state will be completely impoverished and will have to build the economy from scratch, since factories, farms and railways have been destroyed. At the same time, this destitute state will be heavily indebted because someone will have to pay for this mass of notes that are being printed right now without any backing. Foreign creditors will take what is most valuable, i.e. Russian mines, and the pauperised Russian people will have to toil like farm hands to pay taxes in order to repay state debts and cover the costs of the Bolshevik economy.
We have briefly characterised the Bolshevik “paradise”, since in Poland as well some socialists want to emulate the Bolsheviks in every way and sing praise of their government, and the other, more peaceful fraction, has insufficient courage to speak against their schemes.
When we vote for members of our parliament, let us not forget what the socialists victory might bring: incessant internal struggle, constant unrest, impoverished country, immobilised factories, no work and threat to private property.