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A Letter to American Workingmen   By: (1870-1924)

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From the Socialist Soviet Republic of Russia



December, 1918

Price 5 Cents



A Letter to American Workingmen

By N. Lenin.

Moscow, August 20, 1918.

Comrades: A Russian Bolshevik who participated in the Revolution of 1905 and for many years afterwards lived in your country has offered to transmit this letter to you. I have grasped this opportunity joyfully for the revolutionary proletariat of America insofar as it is the enemy of American imperialism is destined to perform an important task at this time.

The history of modern civilized America opens with one of those really revolutionary wars of liberation of which there have been so few compared with the enormous number of wars of conquest that were caused, like the present imperialistic war, by squabbles among kings, landholders and capitalists over the division of ill gotten lands and profits. It was a war of the American people against the English who despoiled America of its resources and held in colonial subjection, just as their "civilized" descendants are draining the life blood of hundreds of millions of human beings in India, Egypt and all corners and ends of the world to keep them in subjection.

Since that war 150 years have passed. Bourgeois civilization has born its most luxuriant fruit. By developing the productive forces of organized human labor, by utilizing machines and all the wonders of technique America has taken the first place among free and civilized nations. But at the same time America, like a few other nations, has become characteristic for the depth of the abyss that divide a handful of brutal millionaires who are stagnating in a mire of luxury, and millions of laboring starving men and women who are always staring want in the face.

Four years of imperialistic slaughter have left their trace. Irrefutably and clearly events have shown to the people that both imperialistic groups, the English as well as the German, have been playing false. The four years of war have shown in their effects the great law of capitalism in all wars; that he who is richest and mightiest profits the most, takes the greatest share of the spoils while he who is weakest is exploited, martyred, oppressed and outraged to the utmost.

In the number of its colonial possessions, English imperialism has always been more powerful than any of the other countries. England has lost not a span of its "acquired" land. On the other hand it has acquired control of all German colonies in Africa, has occupied Mesopotamia and Palestine.

German imperialism was stronger because of the wonderful organization and ruthless discipline of "its" armies, but as far as colonies are concerned, is much weaker than its opponent. It has now lost all of its colonies, but has robbed half of Europe and throttled most of the small countries and weaker peoples. What a high conception of "liberation" on either side! How well they have defended their fatherlands, these "gentlemen" of both groups, the Anglo French and the German capitalists together with their lackeys, the Social Patriots.

American plutocrats are wealthier than those of any other country partly because they are geographically more favorably situated. They have made the greatest profits. They have made all, even the weakest countries, their debtors. They have amassed gigantic fortunes during the war. And every dollar is stained with the blood that was shed by millions of murdered and crippled men, shed in the high, honorable and holy war of freedom.

Had the Anglo French and American bourgeoisie accepted the Soviet invitation to participate in peace negotiations at Brest Litovsk, instead of leaving Russia to the mercy of brutal Germany a just peace without annexations and indemnities, a peace based upon complete equality could have been forced upon Germany, and millions of lives might have been saved... Continue reading book >>

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