Capitalists and Armaments

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 12 June 1913

Published: Pravda No. 133, June 12, 1913. Printed from the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 288.2-289.1.
Collection(s): Pravda

The British labour press is continuing its interesting and instructive campaign of exposure revealing how the syndicates of internationally associated capitalists are pushing the nations into war.

Take Nobel’s dynamite trust (or syndicate). Its capital comes to the tidy sum of 30 million rubles. Last year, it had a net profit of 3.3 million rubles. Eleven per cent in net profit, not bad, eh?

In their annual report, the noble dealers in destructive materials modestly explain their success in this short phrase: “This year there was a high demand for military supplies.”

Is it surprising? The capitalist press and the political leaders serving the capitalists have been shouting about war, and clamouring for more armaments—that is so profitable for the industrialists manufacturing military supplies!

But who are they, these industrialists?

They are the associated capitalists of all nations, the brothers of ministers, members of parliament and so on!

Among the shareholders of the “dynamite” trust (which is a shareholder, if not an owner, of four dynamite plants in Germany) we come across the following names:

German army: General von Mühlburg, Major Baron von Fritsch, etc.;

British army: General J. Donald, Colonel Noel Findlay, etc.;

French army: Colonel François Laffargue;

Lord Glenconner, brother of Mrs. Asquith, the British Prime Minister’s wife, Sir North, a minister, Harold Tennant, M. P., Deutsche Bank, Hannover Bank, etc.

The leaders of the national parties in various parliaments who shout about the “might of the state” and about “patriotism” (vide the motion formulas of the Cadets, Progressists and Octobrists in the Fourth Duma![1]) realise this patriotism by arming France against Germany, Germany against Britain, etc. They are all such ardent patriots. They are all so concerned, oh, so concerned about the “might of the state”—their own, of course—against the enemy.

And so they sit alongside these “enemies” on the boards and at the meetings of shareholders of the dynamite and other trusts (syndicates), raking in millions of rubles in net profits and pushing—each one his “own” nation—into war against other nations.

  1. A reference to the nationalist and chauvinist stand taken by the Octobrists, Progressists and Cadets during the debate in the Fourth Duma in May 1913 of the estimates for the Ministry of the Interior. For details, see present edition, Vol. 36, pp. 249–50, 251–52. p. 289