Betrayed by its organisations, the unions and the socialist parties, the working class was unable to prevent the outbreak of the most terrible war in history. Today, the celebration of Armistice Day - the end of the war - is the occasion for patriotic celebration.
But what was it that really brought the war to an end? Only a few years after the disaster of 1914, the world working class launched the greatest ever attempt by the exploited masses to overthrow the domination of the exploiters and to build, on the ruins of war, a new society free of nations, and warfare. In doing so, the workers forced the ruling classes to put an end to the war.
In the first three parts of our series on the German Revolution of
1918-19 we showed how, after the collapse of the Socialist International faced
with World War I, the tide turned in favour of the proletariat, culminating in
the November Revolution of 1918, which, like the October Revolution in Russia
the previous year, was the high point of an uprising against the imperialist
war. Whereas October represented the first mighty blow of the working class against
the "Great War", it was the action of the German proletariat which finally
brought it to an end.