Official Newspaper of the Austrian Crown
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Wiener Zeitung, March 3rd, 1936
Wiener Zeitung, March 5th, 1936ELECTORAL UPSET--SPD VICTORY--HUNG PARLIMENT?
The Final tally of the results has been released, and it looks as if the nation has spoken: The Austerity Council, toited by the Christian Democrats as "A Proud Catholic Nation's Solution," has been rejected, and the SPD, with their talk of nationalization of industry, support for the economy, and Welfare Reform have come into the lead, gaining 234 seats in the parliment, eating into the Christian Democrat's bases of support in Tyrol through a strong showing in Innsbruck. However, they are six seats short of a parlimentary majority, so for now, the congress is hung...
Wiener Zeitung, March 6th, 1936COALITION FORMED--RADICAL LEFTISTS PLAY KINGMAKER
The bad blood embarked in the campaign between the supporters of Austerity and those of Aid to the People proved too much in negotiations to form a government, and in all surprises, the anti-government anarchists have proven more amicable to working relations. The Twenty-Four Radical Socialist members will give the new government an 18-seat margin, but how radical that 10% will be remains to be seen....
Wiener Zeitung, March 12th, 1936NEW CABINET FORMED: GREAT COMPROMISERS PRESENT, 2.5Intl ABSENT
The SPD has announced the formulation of their new cabinet: While they are in a coalition, it does not seem any of the candidates from the 2&1/2 internationale were deemed suitable for senior positions. The following is a list of the ministers appointed:
Prime Minister: Karl Renner, known for his hard-working attitude and ability to pass legislation during the SPD/CD coalition;
Foreign Minister: Karl Seitz, a faithful partner of Renner and also a skilled diplomat, able to work out delicate situations equitably;
Economy Minister: Wilhelm Ellenbogen, a staunch defender of planned economies and the architect of the new economic policy to be implemented
Minister of the Interior: Ferdinand Hansuch, a Public Health official who has a strong emphasis on hygene and work conditions.
A WEEK OF MAJOR REFORMS
The SPD-2.5 Intl Coalition has moved quickly left. We do not blame our readers for not being able to follow the legislative tumult that has flowed forth from Vienna: it appears both the Radicals and left-wing of the Social Democrats have had a war-chest of legislation ready to go. Under the promise of "A New Imperial Citizen: Equal, Industrious, and Free," They have rolled out a series of reforms:
- Welfare Reform bill of 1936: Probably the largest reform of all, the Austrian government passed a sweeping package for unemployment reform, boosting its funding massively to prevent its collapse in the wake of Black Monday, and expanding the services provided. Critical relief will be provided to the poor, whether they need housing or food;
- Seitz Tax Relief Act of 1936: an act cutting the taxes of crown dependencies, putting any payments in escrow, so that funds may better be used on local projects at the current time, with a strong chance that such debt will be forgiven at the upcoming negotiations of the Augsleich;
- Financial Stability Injection Act: The Crown will repay a great deal of its debt to local banks, injecting them with cash while eliminating liabilities on their end;
- Automotive Industry Development Act:The government has bought leading stakes in Austro-Daimler and Škoda Industries, where it hopes to expand the automotive industries and improve the manufacturing of balistics;
- Military Budget Rectification Act: A sizable portion of the Austrian military personnel will be turned into reservists to save the government revenue;
- Regional Food Security Initiative Bill: An act that establishes a series of regional food bank to administer food aid to the poorest residents of every region, and support the economies of all areas;
- Italian Commune Act of 1936: Several small communes will be set up around the regions of South Tyrol and Istria, to better integrate these regions into broader Austrian cultures;
- Full Employment Program Act of 1936: The establishment of a jobs program that imposes strict worker safety standards for all listed employers;
Brazil: Social Democratic Party
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Arbeiter-Zeitung, April 19th, 1936
Socialism: in One Country and Around the World:by Karl Renner and
The Answer to the Trials and Contradictions of Our Times
The Recent Election has allowed the Austrian People a chance to buck the trends of History, to be spared the fires and swords of violence, in our attempts to advance History.It is certain that the coming Revolution — like in that respect to the Revolution of 1848 — will burst upon us in the middle of a great industrial crisis. Things have been seething for half a century now, and can only go from bad to worse. Everything tends that way — new nations entering the, lists of international trade and fighting for possession of the world’s markets, wars, taxes ever increasing. National debts, the insecurity of the morrow, and huge colonial undertakings in every corner of the globe.
There are millions of unemployed workers in Europe at this moment. It will be still worse when Revolution has burst upon us and spread like fire laid to a train of gunpowder... What is to be done to provide these multitudes with bread?
Peter Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread
The Contradictions of the Capitalist-Imperialist system of the last Century have reached a head: The cycles of Boom and Bust have had the feet pulled out from under them, as the Economic Giants of the world are laid low by the collapse of their capital-dependent financial systems, whilst those countries whose imperialist domination has relied upon the imperialist patronage of the bourgeoisie in these countries also have had the suffering handed further onto them. The only ones who so far are avoiding the most sever effects of this are the Communist nations, and those progressive reformist nations such as our own--our case, of course, being the most advanced form of progress, as indicated by our drive furthest towards Socialist policies without revolt.
While we may see prosperity from our progress, the proletariat in those nations whose governments refuse to help them will not be forgiving. Indeed, what we have seen in Urugay, in Paraguay, in Patagonia and now in Panama will continue, especially in those most impoverished parts of the world; the Georgians and other peripheral nations will show that Europe is not immune to the revolutionary potential that Syndicalism represents, if the governments of this land do not deal with the issues of historic significance. The small, oppressed nations, being those who bear the greatest costs of our system of Global Capital, are but the canaries: They harken to what is the inevitable fate of the world, should we continue with our current models of exploitation and wealth extraction. For when the capitalist has wrought the poor Panamanian worker fully dry, he will head for the proletarian within the less-developed Eastern Europe, and when the Pole and Russian has been fully shackled to Wage Feudalism, he shall come for the German Proletarian.
We, the leaders of the world, face a choice, one asked by our Comrade Luxembourg: To have Reform, or Revolution. While they have made their chosen path clear--that of the violent Syndicalist--in contrast to those of the Lasallians and the theories of Bernstein, here we wish to present an alternative path, deeply rooted in historical materialsim, able to account for the current crisis, and able to push forwards strongly into the future, independent of the Capitalist path advocated by Berlin and others. While we do continue to support those progressive nations who try to promote a path less advanced than that of Austria--and indeed, they will see success greater than those nations such as Germany who seek to simply solve this crisis by such punitive measures as handing money to the banks, the most bourgeoisie segment of the Capitalist industry--they must reconcile themselves with the logical conclusions of all fit scholars of Liberalism, or, to quote John Stuart Mill:
Socialism must be the ultimate goal of our movement and all governments; nothing less than worker control of the means of production can be a lasting institution. But why do we argue as we do about the way the SPD and Radical Socialists of Austria have chosen to go forwards? Because we know that there is a path forwards without the need for bloodshed: That the Revolution can occur through the mass-movement of the people, without the intercession of arms. Certainly there are times for such things--it is unsurprising that our Anarchist Comrades have risen up in Patagonia against the brutal dictatoriship of the National Populists--but we wish to avoid that in the Osterreich, and advance beyond that. Our words herein wish to describe our place, that of Democratic Socialism--the wing of the Social Democratic movement that has stayed true to its Socialist roots--within the context of the RIse of the Left of our day.The form of association, however, which if mankind continue to improve, must be expected in the end to predominate, is not that which can exist between a capitalist as chief, and work-people without a voice in the management, but the association of the labourers themselves on terms of equality, collectively owning the capital with which they carry on their operations, and working under managers elected and removable by themselves.
The Weltkreig and the rise of the Syndicalist Republics
It is when the contradictions of Capitalism are the highest that the potential for breaking its stranglehold are the greatest. The most notable of these emerged following the domestic instability of the Allied governments during and following the Weltkreig.
The war itself required the militarist governments to impose severe austerity on their citizenry, the kind called for by modern governments. This, of course, was able to be avoided by those with sufficient stashes of money to bypass goods restrictions, who were too involved making money off of 'wartime industry' to be drafted, who were able to effectively leverage their financial power to, in spite of the terrible war impacting their fellow man around them, live comfortable lives--the Bourgeoisie. They were, of course, living at similar standards of comfort before the war, but without the war's vast toll, the contradiction was not sharp enough to bring into a relief visible to the proletarian the gulf that existed between his slavish existence and the comfortable life lived by the Bourgeoisie. However, this in and of itself, while a strong, compelling argument, was not enough: Rather, the State, as the executor of the class interest of the Bourgeoisie, continued the violent and bloody war on at the expense of the common man. Such things led to the expansion among our own ranks of the Left, the SDP having quickly come to the conclusion that the Weltkrieg would be far more costly than any gains it produced--most especially on the Proletarian we were in office to represent; sadly, our Country and Emperor were strung along by Prussian Militarism and Pride in seeking glory and victory above all else (but primarily to their own benefit, as it turned out--how very capitalist of them!)
While Austria ended up the nominal victor, it merely prolongued the realization of our class struggle to the present day. The rage present in the peoples of the defeated nations had no such outlet, and as such fragmented, overflowing into civil war after the collapse of former forms of government at the demands of the enraged Proletariat. Thus, even in countries well-served by Imperialist colonialism--France and Britain--the oppression inherent in Capitalism flowed out into the streets, and proved a force that no army could overcome--rather, only by retreating to their rigorously controlled colonies could the former monarchies hope to even come close to a modicum of control. Of course, in Russia, the situation was interfered with by heavy German control, ill luck, and a successful assassination attempt, of a Revolutionary movement that had a great deal going for it, and had it succeeded would have produced a Communist Powerhouse to challenge even the Commune of France in its power, but alas, this has yet to be realized, though the unsatisfied revolutionary potential remains.That is perhaps one good thing about the war--while it did not win now, it has brought the question of the Contradiction into full view of the citizenry, and Bolshevism is still a threat to the current order until it can establish itself as legitimate through the normal Capitalist means of control. Until then we are left with the compratively small Georgian state, dominated by its bureaucracy and stifled by the inability of a larger Socialist state to aid it.
In Central America, revolts and reform had been long in the making; in the case of Mexico, it started even before the Weltkrieg in the war against Diaz. However, the same pattern of exploitation, asphyxiation, revolt, and violence followed.
The Modern Crisis
The current boom and bust cycle will be an interesting one to observe. Due to the existence of Socialist states--and large ones, capable of lending aid to the international movement--the ability of the populace to see the contradiction is greater, and the ability of these movements to receive aid is increased as well. The South Americans have a great revolutionary potential--and perhaps need--due to the boot of the historic Coronelismo under Spanish and Portuguese colonialism. Even with the modern "Liberal" governments, the societies are still dominated by the local Bourgeoisie, and the Native Peoples have little to no power, and are often the subject of exploitation. Such unrest will only become more common on the continent, and before long, will likely spread to other areas. South Asia already has its Communist states; if they can deal with the fallout of their bloody and ill-concieved campaigns of repression they may serve as a platform from which the other parts of the Worker's Movement may be spread.
In our own country, Black Monday allowed us, the Left, to present the country with its predicament: Stay the Course with Conservative Reaction and plunge off this waterfall and the supposed "Austerity Plan" that was supposed to fix the economy (by which it meant, for the Bourgeoisie), or go forwards with the Social Democratic plan of Socialism in One Country, and try to fix the nation by improving the material condition of the worker with an eye towards disestablishing the conditions that gave rise towards his inequality. That is our path forwards, of Democratic Socialism, and we hope to show the entirety of the World the potential a developed nation that has chosen to embrace socialism can do without the need for the violence and excess that was seen in France and Britain and is still seen to this day. We will push forwards Progress, and combat reaction, aiming to make all men Equal and Free, as they were born by the Creator and, as is in the Lord's Prayer, to do His will on Earth as it is in Heaven.
We welcome all other nations that seek to join us in this endeavor. We understand the fierceness embodied by the Syndicalists, even if we are critical of that very fierceness. We understand the temptations of the old ways, even if we are highly critical of the desperate need to emerge beyond their flaws. We ourselves shall take this path, and try to pave it for those who do not have the development of Austria, for when they are ready, if the opportunity presents itself to their proletariat, to follow in our footsteps. Until then, we will turn to the words of Kropotkin:
Bread to those who throw off their chains!That we are Utopians is well known. So Utopian are we that we go the length of believing that the Revolution can and ought to assure shelter, food, and clothes to all — an idea extremely displeasing to middle-class citizens, whatever their party colour, for they are quite alive to the fact that it is not easy to keep the upper hand of a people whose hunger is satisfied.
All the same, we maintain our contention: bread must be found for the people of the Revolution, and the question of bread must take precedence of all other questions. If it is settled in the interests of the people, the Revolution will be on the right road; for in solving the question of Bread we must accept the principle of equality, which will force itself upon us to the exclusion of every other solution.
Bread to the People of the Eastern Reich!
Bread to the workers of the world!
Bread to the Masses!
Brazil: Social Democratic Party
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Wiener Zeitung, April 29th, 1936
Speaking in front of the Reichsrat, Prime Minister Renner today addressed the concerns stated by the Conservatives about the accusations of dog-whistling in Mr. Renner's recent article in the Arbeiter-Zeitung. Responding to their comments that he was arguing for the favor of the Third Internationale, he responded with a harsh rebuttal that the SDP's path of Socialism in One Country diverged significantly from the path of the Internationale: that the philosophy of the "2 1/2 Internationale," the Socialist organization that both the Radical Socialist wing and the mainstream SDP are a part of, disavows the spread of worldwide violent revolution--or almost any use of arms for political change, either internally or externally. He spoke passionately about how his government must lead the way in this as well, leading by example in the administration of the Augsleich, that the Hungarian diet must be given its own independence and chance to forge its own political path--not dictated by the Austrian crown (something surely to anger the more conservative members of the Reichsrat, who would seek Direct Rule from Vienna).
Rather, he aligned himself with the leading progressive edge of the Convenant of Nations, stating strongly that, by his government's understanding of the Treaty of Toronto, that it would be impossible for a Syndicalist-Revolutionary style government in the style of Britain or France, or advocating for their socialist practices, would be directly against the Charter, and as such, his attempts at entry into that body are a public declaration that his government will not be joining the Internationale and will not be using their "excessively violent, coercive methods to achieve our similar end-goal: an egalitarian socialist society that provides for the needs of all people, viewing their well-being as a human right."He then went on to speak of how there must be support for the Democratic process for the Left to maintain its Democratic soul, lest all the left devolve into Georgian Despotism, and the importance of maintaining the legitimacy of governance, before stating that "any truly Internationalist movement must seek to preserve the sanctity of local self-determination, not all of which will be advanced enough to understand the vision that we all see: That it is inevitable, all nations must eventually embrace the further development of society into the highest form of advancement: that of a socialist state."
He articulated a vision of Austria leading as the "progressive edge" of the Covenant, "Leading the way into the future... To show all bodies of all peoples that, given the opportunity, resources, and class consciousness, and the determination of the political bodies they develop to exercise proletarian power, that they can unionize, mobilize, and organize themselves into efficient political bodies... for the enactment of the furtherance of the political development of their own nation." However, he did also cite the need to help other nations internationally, to "right that massive historic wrong we have enacted upon all oppressed people, that of Imperialism" so as to "allow other societies to develop.... to the point where they would themselves find the inevitable Socialist productive relations to be the inevitable result of their evolution of society... through the development and enactment of an authentic, local, autonomous Worker's Movement able to bridge the gap needed between past and future with minimal conflict."
This speech drew mixed reactions, the Conservatives still infuriated over the full-armed embrace of socialism, with the Left and progressive elements energized and drawn together. Reactions from around the Empire are streaming in, as the speech was broadcast over radio; the Prime Minister's increasing use of this technology is setting a new precedent for government communication directly to the people from those in-charge.
Brazil: Social Democratic Party
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Die Arbeiterzeitung, Sept. 11th, 1936
War and the Revolution
Ultimately, it is among the foremost duties of the socialist proletarian to guard himself and his community from the encroachment of reaction in these trying times.
This is a multi-pronged task: the forces of reaction will play the field, from corrupt hegemonic constabularies seeking a regressive cult of masculinity, to the social pressures and stigmas still present in this capitalist system prior to our discarding of it, and even, in extreme cases, to armed conflict, violence, and murder. While the first two need great attention, it is of this last one I will write of today.
It fell to us, in the Weltkreig, to defend ourselves against invasion from the Tsar's throne, from forces in Belgrade of the most reactionary character who assassinated one of the most progressive politicians of his day. As such, measures were taken to defend ourselves, in what we hoped would be a quick, simple war--but alas, fate intervened, and the Weltkrieg, and the chaos that followed, showed us the folly of our ways in that endeavor; thankfully, the Peace with Honour could be attained, but at the cost of the most violent and turbulent elements erupting in a fiery, uncontrolled revolution in Paris and London, and an abortive attempt by the Bolsheviks.
For the Commune of France and the Union of Britain, the proletarian persisted and they won their independence, largely through the mass-action of many individuals. The Bolsheviks, not having as widespread support and a less-developed proletarian--as well as ineffectively coordinating with Black Ukraine--only worsened their situation by commandeering the grain supplies of many peasants--an Authoritarian move that ultimately undermined them, spawning such movements as the Green Army of peasants simply trying to protect themselves.
These revolutions, borne of war and accepting the old boundaries and form of the State as their own, all brought out the most militaristic elements of the societies--or rather, due to the high numbers of active veterans, merely adopted the militarism that had seeped into all members of society from its imposition by the bourgeoisie state. This has resulted in the present-day echoes of militarism in mainstream society within the Union and Commune, the calls for the return of Nanzig, Elsass, and Lothringen. And this is not even to speak of the recent Totalists emerging from the woodworks: As Mussolini, Sorel, and Mosley congregate, they fan the fires of militancy, and their citizens may soon be unable to tell if they live in Brest or Bucharest. And those elements so thirsting for war may have had their wish by this time, had it not been for the Shah and others on both sides who still remembered how precious peace is.
The Georgians are even worse off: their socialist State has already been ensnared for reasons of 'State Security' by the slow moving poison brought in from its Chekist taproot, and their citizens have long since lost any semblance of freedom. At least, unlike a Capitalist dictatorship, they have their bread--for now. Hopefully the People's Dictator will continue such mercy on them.
However, these are all oriented towards offensive wars, of states with an idea common to states: That enemies surround your borders, those ephemeral lines in the sand, wishing to move them over the next hill, over the next village, the next province, the next state, that this is imminent, and right, and the decision as to where this line falls shall not be one of logic or diplomacy but rather the force of arms. They would say it right that the force of power should determine this. And when they accept such capitalistic forms of thinking, they make the ultimate source of political power not the will of the masses, the autonomous people themselves, but the barrel of a gun.
Now, it is one thing to invade a land of another people (as Poland was so partitioned, and even still is yet to be completely free until Polish Silesia and Gdansk are returned to its fold, something that will, without much doubt, eventually lead to some renewed tension as the Non-Agression Pact wavers), but this is not the only kind of war. The use of arms is not simply limited to offense, but defense as well. The critical element here is the preservation or creation of liberty, rather than a machismo-influenced display of might.
This creation of liberty is the critical issue in our war with the Turks. For many centuries they have had their imperialist rule over the entirety of what we know as the Middle East, and much of North Africa; the peoples of that region have tolerated them, and at a time, they certainly flourished. However, the day since the Sublime Porte has benefited the regions under its rule has long-since passed; it is somewhat surprising they have even made it this far without one more revolt in a long line of such unrest, from the Balkans to the Red Sea. The Arabs, as they did in the Weltkreig, yearn for freedom; the Ottomans have given their brethren still under the Turkish yoke little freedom in the years since their first liberatory struggle. The Armenians, while they were given their own state, are still unwilling puppets and seek their own liberation. Those Islamists of the Shia sect are repressed and not given the freedom to practice their faith as they see fit, and seek unity with their Iranian brothers. The Kurds and Aezeris too seek greater independence, and the ability to live as free citizens in Iran. The Cypriots have long since balked under the rule of the Turks, and are looking for a government of their own kind. This is not to even speak of the Alawite, Druze, Samaritans and the other rights of minorities that we will be fighting for.
This, a struggle of people who seek liberation, a struggle of people who wish to live on the other side of a border by their own will, by their own voice... this is the kind of struggle for liberation that Socialism and anti-Imperialism call us to support. It is a struggle for the Personal Autonomy Principle on the world stage. And that is why our Government has gone down this path of standing with the Egyptians, Tripolitanians, Iranians and Arabs, and their French allies, in opposing the meddling of the Ottoman Empire in the free democratic processes of Egypt. We, as the Austro-Hungarians, are most well aware of this, having historically been the Eastern Reich which had to halt the Ottoman crusades into Europe at the gates of Vienna, and had to retake the conquered lands of Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, and more. While they no longer exist as our immediate neighbor, we will still be feeling the echoes of their incursions for many years to come.
However, in a broader sense, this is not the end. This war is simply a defense against the reaction represented by the Sublime Porte in their dealings with their own people, but I hope it will also point a way towards a new form of organization. The Standing Armies we have gotten in the habit of maintaining always seem to have a want of desire, that they be used in an offensive--if not aggressive--manner. While our nation is defended by such an army, we are locked into that paradigm as well--as we had to send troops to respond to the Romanians. With this event, however, we can hopefully begin to move towards a society that will make full use of the skills of our people, having paid for them dearly with their blood, in organizing militia bodies for the defense of our own communities and the prudent enforcement of legal matter. Until we can shed our own militarist bonds we will risk falling into the trap of the Syndicalists, that will possibly breed the Totalist menace within our own borders: A fate I know all others would hope never to see. But we cannot win by simply not moving: We must act. And as your Chancellor, Act I shall for the good of the Austrian, Czech, Magyar, Pole, Ruthenian, Croat, Bosnian, and Slovak and Slovene, but also for all men of the world.
Brazil: Social Democratic Party
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