Herman Gorter

Herman Gorter
Herman Gorter
  • Born: November 26, 1864
  • Died: September 15, 1927
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Profession: Poet









Quote Topics Cited
A bourgeois revolution is always a revolution of a minority against the majority. The proletarian revolution which aims at being truly Communist, must be a revolution of the majority against the minority
Every form of organization that does not allow the masses to rule and to guide for themselves, must need be counter-revolutionary and harmful Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If the weapon of the general strike is to be utilized, then the organization must be so built up that this weapon will stand ready for instant use. For the certainty of success in a general strike lies in its suddenness. Ever more numerous and greater will become the great strikes and outbreaks of this character which shake the social life of the nation to its foundation … Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
In Western Europe we still have, in many countries, leaders of the type of the Second International; here we are still seeking the right leaders, those that do not try to dominate the masses, that do not betray them; and as long as we do not find these leaders, we want to do all things from below Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It is the curse of the Labor movement that, as soon as it has acquired a certain “power,” it seeks to enlarge this power by unprincipled means. Social-Democracy also was originally “pure” in almost all countries. Most Social-patriots of today were real Marxists. By Marxist propaganda the masses were won, and as soon as the party gained “power,” they [the principled means] were abandoned. Power
No matter what fine speeches are delivered to inspire the workers to revolutionary deeds, revolutionary action does not spring from such words, but from the keen and hard necessity that leaves no other choice whatsoever. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Revolutions are always the deepest memories of a people Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Russia is now a horrible picture with its revolutionary double nature. It lies there like a huge wreck on the shore, broken up by its revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
The Executive in Moscow, the RUSSIAN leaders of a revolution that triumphed only through the help of millions of poor peasants, forces these their tactics on the proletariat of Western Europe, which stands and has to stand all alone. And in so doing annihilates the best trend in Western Europe! …. Through these your tactics on the Trade Union question you and the Moscow Executive have proved, to my mind, that UNLESS YOU ALTER THESE TACTICS, YOU CANNOT CONDUCT THE REVOLUTION IN WESTERN EUROPE Political Parties & Machines
The lower middle classes as well as the peasants, … always side with the strongest Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The power of parliament, has been won in Western Europe by means of wars for liberty, waged by former generations, by the ancestors. And though at the time these rights were only for citizens, for the possessing class, they were won by the people all the same. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The revolution in Russia was terrible for the proletariat in the long years of its development- and it is terrible now. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
The starting-point in the brochure is not right. To my idea you are mistaken in your judgment regarding the analogy of the West-European revolution with the Russian one, regarding the conditions of the West-European revolution, that is to say the class-relations- and this leads you to mistake the cause, from which this Left Wing, the opposition, originates …. Therefore the brochure SEEMS to be right, as long as your starting-point is assumed. If, however (as it should be), your starting point is rejected, the entire brochure is wrong. As all your mistaken, and partly mistaken, judgments converge … Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Under a more developed capitalism, and to a greater extent even in the age of imperialism, the Trade Unions have ever more become gigantic unions, with a trend of development, equal to that of the bourgeois State bodies themselves. They have produced a class of officials, a bureaucracy, that controls all the engines of power of the organization, the finances, the press, the appointment of lower officials; often it is invested with even greater power, so that from a servant of the rank and file, it has become the master, identifying itself with the organization. The Trade Unions can be compared to the State and its bureaucracy, also in this: that, notwithstanding the democracy that is supposed to reign there, the members are unable to enforce their will against the bureaucracy; every revolt is broken against the cleverly constructed apparatus of official ordinances and statutes, before it has been able even to shake the highest regions. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
And it is practically the same in the case of the four or five million poor peasants in France, and also for Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and two of the Scandinavian countries. Everywhere small and medium sized industry prevails.
As farmers or owners, the poor peasants possess a piece of land. The excellent means of transport enables them often to sell their goods. At the very worst they can mostly provide their own food. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
Because in Russia you were able to triumph with the help of a large class of poor peasants, you represent things in such a way, as if we in Western Europe are also going to have that help.
But the question is to find and rear leaders that are really one with the masses. This can only be accomplished by the masses, the political parties and the Trade Unions, by means of the most severe struggle, also inwardly.
For the Russian masses, the proletarians, knew for certain, and already saw during the war, and in part before their very eyes, that the peasants would soon be on their side. War & Peace
Many a trace, and many a germ of this infantile disease, to which without a doubt, I also am a victim, has been chased away by your brochure, or will yet be eradicated by it.
Moreover, in Russia there was an enormous amount of landed property to be divided, large estates, crown lands, government land, and the estates held by the monasteries. Government
Of course you know this difference as well as I do, only you failed to draw from it the conclusions for the tactics in Western Europe, at least as far as I am able to judge from your works.
The poor peasant here hives under conditions quite different from those of Russia. Though often terrible, they are not as appalling as they were there.
The revolution came so suddenly, and in a way so utterly different from what we expected.
The revolution in Russia was terrible for the proletariat in the long years of its development and it is terrible now, after the victory. But at the actual time of revolution it was easy, and this was due to the peasants. Time
The revolution in Russia was victorious with the help of the poor peasants. This should always be borne in mind here in Western Europe and all the world over. But the workers in Western Europe stand alone: this should never be forgotten in Russia.
There is an enormous difference between Russia and Western Europe.
This is the absolute truth: and on this truth our tactics must be based. All tactics that are not based on this are false, and lead the proletariat to terrible defeat. Truth
To judge from all Communist papers, magazines and brochures, and from all public assemblies, one might even surmise that a revolt of the poor peasants in Western Europe might break out at any moment!
What does it mean with regard to tactics, this fact that the proletariat of Western Europe stands all alone: that it has no prospect of any help whatsoever from any other class?
You should not do this, Comrade. We are only in the introductory stage yet, here in Western Europe. And in that stage it is better to encourage the fighters than the rulers.