“In contrast to social-patriotic practice, which renounced the proletarian ‘class struggle’, which – according to Kautsky’s formula – declared that it was postponed, suspended ‘for the duration of the war’ (121), the Marxist Left had to direct their main struggle against any collaboration by the labour organisations (trade unions and parties) with the bourgeoisie and the government. As the ‘first steps’ in this activity, the RSDLP’s (122) émigré organisation – led by Lenin – proposed in March 1915: (1) a complete break with the policy of ‘class peace’ (‘bloc national’); (2) the bringing down of the bourgeois-socialist coalition governments and the resignation of all socialist ministers; (3) refusal to vote for war-credits in parliament; (4) the formation of illegal organisations wherever governments violated or suspended the constitutional rights of the citizens; and lastly (5) spreading and promoting fraternisation among the frontline soldiers of all belligerent nations (123). It cannot be denied that this programme of the RSDLP anticipated the tendencies lying dormant in the wartime labour movement. In particular, from the second year of the war onwards, their call for the breaking of the ‘class peace’ increasingly met with spirited approval from the masses. This can be seen clearly from the international conferences of the left and left-centrist socialist groups in Zimmerwald and Kienthal. (The split by the ‘independents’ from the socialists allied with the government in Germany must also be considered as a symptom of this radicalisation of the working masses). Of course, up until 1917 these were still only modest beginnings, and in this respect the March revolution in Russia was first to bring about a far-reaching change. This can best be illustrated by the slogan – spread by the Bolsheviks – of ‘fraternisation of the frontline soldiers!” As early as February and March 1915, Lenin referred several times to bourgeois press reports of sporadic cases of fraternisation by the soldiers in trenches (124). He says on this occasion: “Try to imagine Hyndman, Guesde, Vandervelde, Plekhanov, Kautsky and the rest .- instead of aiding the bourgeoisie (something they are now engaged in) – forming an international committee to agitate for “fraternisation and attempts to establish friendly relations “between the socialists of the belligerent countries, both in the “trenches” and among the troops in general. What would the results be several months from now, if today, only six months after the outbreak of the war and ‘despite’ all the political bosses, leaders and luminaries who have betrayed socialism, opposition is mounting on all sides against those who have voted for war credits and those who have accepted ministerial jobs, and the military authorities are threatening that “fraternisation” carries the death sentence?” (125). And in the pamphlet ‘Socialism and War’, written by Lenin and Zinoviev in August 1915, it says: “If such cases of fraternisation have proved possible even when… social chauvinism has the support to the entire Social-Democratic press and all the authorities of the Second International, then that shows us how possible it would be to shorten the present criminal, reactionary and slaveholders’ war and to organise a revolutionary international movement, if systematic work were conducted in this direction, at least by the Left-wing socialists in all the belligerent countries” (126). Yet this systematic work by the Left-wing socialist forces was precisely what was lacking all over Western and Central Europe, with the result that the attempts at fraternisation, which broke out from time to time in the trenches, could soon be crushed and suppressed by the discipline of blind military obedience. This only shows that the slogan of ‘Fraternisation of frontline soldiers’ was ‘at that time’ (the beginning of 1915) still premature, and that in isolation it could not have led to any tangible results (127). Only with the outbreak of the March Revolution in Russia did the fraternisation of soldiers on the Eastern Front (128) become an everyday occurrence, and it contributed most significantly to the disintegration of military discipline in the Russian and then also in the German and Austrian armies. In a political report given to the Conference of the Bolshevik Party on April 27, 1917, Lenin dealt with this question form precisely this standpoint. His report read: “To end the war by pacifist means is utopia. It may be terminated by an imperialist peace. But the masses do not want such a peace. Was is a continuation of the policies of a class; to change the character of the war one must change the class in power'” [Roman Rosdolsky, Lenin and the First World War, 1999]  [(121) In December 1915, Victor Adler declared: ‘I really would like everything to go on its calm, orderly way again… the ‘well-ordered class struggle!’ (Ermers, op. cit., p. 332 – all emphasis by R.R.); (122) Russian Social Democratic Labour Party; (123) Lenin, ‘The Conference of the RSDLP Groups Abroad’, op. cit., p. 161; (124) We read in his article ‘The Slogan of Civil War Illustrated: ‘On January 8 (New Style), Swiss papers received the following message from Berlin: “Of late the press has repeatedly carried reports of peaceable attempts made by men in the German and French trenches to enter into friendly relations. According to ‘Tagliche Rundschau’, an army order dated December 29 [1914 – RR] bans any fraternisation and any kind of intercourse with the en enemy in the trenches. Disregard of this order is punishable as high treason”. …The British ‘Labour Leader’ of January 7, 1915, published ‘a series’ of quotations from the British bourgeois press on instances of fraternisations between British and German soldiers, who arranged a “forty-eight hour truce” at Christmas, met amicably in no-man’s land, and so on. The British military authorities issued a ‘special order’ forbidding fraternisation’ (CW, Vol. 21, p. 181); (125) Ibid., pp. 181-2; (126) Lenin, ‘Socialism and War’, op. cit., p. 314; (127) That was the reason why Lenin did not succeed in convincing the majority of the participants at the Zimmerwald Conference (beginning of September 1915) that the slogan supporting fraternisation at the front must be inserted in the resolutions of the ‘Zimmerwald Lefts’ reproduced in Gankin and Fisher, op. cit., p., 356); We leave aside here the great ‘rebellion’ of the French frontline troops, which broke out in May and June 1917 as a reaction to the March Revolution in Russia. As a result of the immaturity and weakness of the French socialist Lefts, it remained unsuccessful]  [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials]  [LBM*]