Book Review from the March 1928 issue of the Socialist Standard
"Russia’s Disarmament Proposals,” by W. P. Coates, with preface by Arthur Ponsonby, M.P. Price 3d. (The Anglo-Russian Parliamentary Committee.)
This pamphlet is a report of Litvinov’s speech at Geneva and the Russian Memorandum calling for complete disarmament. Litvinov’s speech, however, shows the futility of expecting capitalism to disarm :
“The Soviet Government adheres to the opinion it has always held that under the capitalist system no grounds exist for counting upon the removal of the causes which give rise to armed conflicts. Militarism and big navies are the essentially natural consequences of the capitalist system.”
Armies and navies for the suppression of the workers at home and aggression abroad will always be needed and used by the capitalists. To ask them to disarm is to spread the view that such a thing is possible under capitalism.
The praise of the Russian proposals by the Daily Herald and the Labour Party is a piece of pure impudence considering the record of the Labour Government in building cruisers and the Labour Party’s support of the Great European Butchery.