Freedom only for supporters of the government, only for the members of one party - however numerous they may be - is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of 'justice' but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when 'freedom' becomes a special privilege.
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Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Such conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life: attempted assassinations, shootings of hostages, etc.
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During the night two delegates of the railwaymen were arrested. The strikers immediately demanded their release, and as this was not conceded, they decided not to allow trains leave the town. At the station all the strikers with their wives and families sat down on the railway track-a sea of human beings. They were threatened with rifles salvoes. The workers bared their breast and cried, "Shoot!" A salvo was fired into the defenceless seated crowd, and 30 to 40 corpses, among them women and children, remained on the ground. On this becoming known the whole town of Kiev went to strike on the same day. The corpses of the murdered workers were raised on high by the crowd and carried round in mass demonstration.
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What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball... I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.
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Europe, it is true, is a geographical and, within certain limits, an historical cultural conception. But the idea of Europe as an economic unit contradicts capitalist development in two ways. First of all there exist within Europe among the capitalist States - and will so long as these exist - the most violent struggles of competition and antagonisms, and secondly the European States can no longer get along economically without the non-European countries... At the present stage of development of the world market and of world economy, the conception of Europe as an isolated economic unit is a sterile concoction of the brain... And if the idea of a European union in the economic sense has long been outstripped, this is no less the case in the political sense... Only were one suddenly to lose sight of all these happenings and manoeuvres, and to transfer oneself back to the blissful times of the European concert of powers, could one say, for instance, that for forty years we have had uninterrupted peace. This conception, which considers only events on the European continent, does not notice that the very reason why we have had no war in Europe for decades is the fact that international antagonisms have grown infinitely beyond the narrow confines of the European continent, and that European problems and interests are now fought out on the world seas and in the by-corners of Europe.
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On the one hand, we have the mass; on the other, its historic goal, located outside of existing society. On one hand we have the day-to-day struggle; on the other, the socialist revolution... It follows that this movement can best advance by tacking betwixt and between the two dangers... One is the loss of its mass character, the other the abandonment of its goal. One is the danger of sinking back to the condition of a sect; the other, the danger of becoming a movement of bourgeois social reform.
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Friedrich Engels once said: "Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism." What does "regression into barbarism" mean to our lofty European civilization? Until now, we have all probably read and repeated these words thoughtlessly, without suspecting their fearsome seriousness. A look around us at this moment shows what the regression of bourgeois society into barbarism means. This world war is a regression into barbarism. The triumph of imperialism leads to the annihilation of civilization.
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The working classes in every country only learn to fight in the course of their struggles...Social democracy...is only the advance guard of the proletariat, a small piece of the total working masses; blood from their blood, and flesh from their flesh. Social democracy seeks and finds the ways, and particular slogans, of the workers' struggle only in the course of the development of this struggle, and gains directions for the way forward through this struggle alone.
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The self-discipline of the Social Democracy is not merely the replacement of the authority of bourgeois rulers with the authority of a socialist central committee. The working class will acquire the sense of the new discipline, the freely assumed self-discipline of the Social Democracy, not as a result of the discipline imposed on it by the capitalist state, but by extirpating, to the last root, its old habits of obedience and servility.
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Our scribblings are usually not lyrics but whirrings, without colour or resonance, like the tone of an engine-wheel. I believe that the cause lies in the fact that when people write, they forget for the most part to dig deeply into themselves and to feel the whole import and truth of what they are writing.
Though foreign loans are indispensable for the emancipation of the rising capitalist states, they are yet the surest ties by which the old capitalist states maintain their influence, exercise financial control, and exert pressure on the customs, foreign and commercial policy of the young capitalist states.
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One day, when the world market is more or less fully developed and can no longer be suddenly enlarged, and if labour productivity continues to advance, then sooner or later the periodic clashes between productive forces and market barriers will begin, and because of their recurrence, these will naturally become increasingly rough and stormy.
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