chapter  XXXI
6 Pages

Marxism and the International

It is probably difficult for Western Europeans to appreciate the value which Marxist teaching had for Central and Eastern Europe, and they may have wondered at the attraction which that teaching exercised on Germans, Poles, and Russians. Marx brought to the Central and Eastern Europeans the economic and political epitome of Western learning, which itself was the product of two or three centuries of industrial and political revolutions in Great Britain and France; the product of all great economic policies, inventions, and social transformations; the product of the English Civil War and the French Revolutions of 1789, 1830, and 1848; the product of the French Convention and the Jacobin dictatorship; the product of the teaching of Saint-Simon, Owen, Fourier, and the Chartists; the product of the great masters of political economy-Petty, Quesnay, Adam Smith, Ricardo and the Ricardians. And all this advanced Western learning and experience had passed through a philosophical and generalizing brain of the first order, which animated it with the spirit of the social ethics of the Hebrew prophets. To me as an Easterner it was, I imagine, as much of a revelation as Christianity was to heathendom-Christianity as the product of all the experi­ ence and thought of Palestine, Greece, and Rome. The Marxists made their teaching into a doctrine of the

salvation of Labour, and preached it to the working people, organized them in trade societies and political parties, and then into a Social Democratic international movement. Soon, however, variations of the doctrine began to manifest them­ selves, which were due to the diverse surroundings in which it had found lodgment. Controversies, polemics, endless discussions, and conferences-“Nicean Councils,” as some writers called them-resulted but in divisions and schisms.