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- “Green Corn Rebellion and the Struggle for Socialism” by Sam Marcy, from Bolsheviks and War: Lessons for today’s anti-war movement (1985)
Excerpt: The mass movement that attempted the Green Corn Rebellion, unlike Lenin’s thoroughly Marxist working class organization, did not use a variety of forms of struggle in its effort to stop the imperialist war. It was derided and minimized by the right wing of the socialist movement for its failure.
But the capitulation of the socialist leaders to the war was a much greater failure. The First World War cost 20 million lives and many more casualties. It laid the basis for yet another holocaust just two decades later when imperialism unleashed a second world war in its insatiable drive for profits. The cost escalated to another 50 million dead. Since then the bloodshed has continued with hundreds of interventions and dozens of “local” wars instigated by U.S. imperialism. And each day the specter of nuclear war becomes more threatening.
The only response commensurate to this grave situation is the kind of all-round, revolutionary working class struggle against war and the capitalist system itself that Lenin’s party carried out so successfully. The Green Corn Rebellion, a genuine revolutionary coalition of the most downtrodden workers and oppressed, showed in an early and premature form that the forces for such a struggle are being generated here on the soil of the world’s greatest imperialist power.