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LordTempest

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Forward! Like the Teutonic Knights of old who brought Christianity to the pagans during the drang nach osten, we must strive to bring Socialism to the capitalist 'pagans', we must drive towards the sea, this is only the beginning of socialism's drang nach western, and soon it will engulf the entire world.
 

Selzro

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Some say the Walloons are lacking in revolutionary spirit, and their low literacy is impeding them from fully understanding and embracing the profound historical process that we are enabling. I say they are proletarians, and if they do not understand their role in society and their true potential, it is up to the intelligentsia to work it out for them, until they have been properly educated and have shed away their reactionary shackles of the mind. The Revolution is not being conducted for those who need it less, the already free and prosperous, but for those who need it most! Workers of the world, unite!
 

unmerged(173145)

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We must not abandon our brethren based on nationality that is just plain counter-revolutionary or can we abandon them because they have bin hit harder by the capitalist scums who have denied them education and kept them in the dark. We have bin fortunate and we must spreed that fortune if not than we can just quite and bow to the prusski king and his aristocrats.

Good work with the war short and brutal same with the higher class even though 150,000 potential workers is a high prize its accapteble.
 

Serek000

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Ha! Such generalisations betray simpistic thought. There are many Walloons who are more revolutionary in character than many Germans. Language defines nothing. Be careful where you tread, comrade, or you will re-introduce inequality to our classless society. And the most ugly type of inequality, too, inequality based on ethnicity. I concur with Comrade Zzzzz... that education is the key here, not ethnic domination.

[OOC: I'd just like to note that I'm speaking in character and am not actually insulting you ;)]
But Comrade, these people sat idly by and enabled the tyranny of the Bourgeoisie and the ruthless reign of a King! While I accept that they are proletariots, and worthy recipients of the universal Revolution, we must not be hasty with integration. For so long these people left their tribute on the altar of the Bourgeoisie and Monarchy, institutions which must be destroyed! They must be properly educated into the true revolution, led by Comrade Weitling, before they should play a large role.
 

Communard

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But Comrade, these people sat idly by and enabled the tyranny of the Bourgeoisie and the ruthless reign of a King! While I accept that they are proletariots, and worthy recipients of the universal Revolution, we must not be hasty with integration. For so long these people left their tribute on the altar of the Bourgeoisie and Monarchy, institutions which must be destroyed! They must be properly educated into the true revolution, led by Comrade Weitling, before they should play a large role.
To say such things denegrates the brave Belgian comrades who fought for so long to achieve socialism. That they were unsuccessful, that they were overpowered by the tyrannical bourgeoisie, well until five years ago could you not say the same of us? Suppose the Revolution had not begun here, but in France. If we were aided by a French army, would you be happy to be called a lackey of the bourgeoisie, an undeveloped worker? Of course not! All men are brothers, your proposals are vulgar, bourgeois nationalism with a lick of red paint.
 

Serek000

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To say such things denegrates the brave Belgian comrades who fought for so long to achieve socialism. That they were unsuccessful, that they were overpowered by the tyrannical bourgeoisie, well until five years ago could you not say the same of us? Suppose the Revolution had not begun here, but in France. If we were aided by a French army, would you be happy to be called a lackey of the bourgeoisie, an undeveloped worker? Of course not! All men are brothers, your proposals are vulgar, bourgeois nationalism with a lick of red paint.
Come now good comrade, your accusations of nationalism sting something awful! I do not mean to say that we brave Germans are a better people, I simply mean to say that we have the means and spirit to carry this revolution in a way no others can!

We might ignore ethnicity entirely if you wish, as it will become irrelevent when the final victory of the Revolution is at hand. We must treat them like all new brave and noble revolutionaries - they must earn their way to prominence, much like we were forced to in the birthing of the noble struggle to overthrow the Bourgeoisie. Forgive me if I am reluctant to throw full support and belief behind such a newly welcomed demographic who have not yet had their true loyalties tested in the flames of international revolution.
 

Communard

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Come now good comrade, your accusations of nationalism sting something awful! I do not mean to say that we brave Germans are a better people, I simply mean to say that we have the means and spirit to carry this revolution in a way no others can!

We might ignore ethnicity entirely if you wish, as it will become irrelevent when the final victory of the Revolution is at hand. We must treat them like all new brave and noble revolutionaries - they must earn their way to prominence, much like we were forced to in the birthing of the noble struggle to overthrow the Bourgeoisie. Forgive me if I am reluctant to throw full support and belief behind such a newly welcomed demographic who have not yet had their true loyalties tested in the flames of international revolution.
And how are they to "earn" this respect if they are not to participate in government? Mark my words, while I have no doubt my comrade is well intentioned, these policies will lead to a two-tier society! A rebirth of the class system! All those who advocate a seperate Walloon state, subservient to a German one, I ask you to consider this: What differs between this and the imperialist capitalism which even now holds swathes of the world in chains? Is this not simply "The German's Burden"? The only way for the Walloons to gain a revolutionary consciousness is to participate in the revolutionary transformation of our whole society. To turn worker against worker by questioning their loyalty is counterproductive to our entire project.
 

unmerged(173145)

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Now if we separate the Walloons will have no means to restart there ones glorious industry not even counting the huge increase in budget for education. They are fellow proletariots in need of our help to break them free from the shackles of ignorance that the Bourgeoisie has placed them in. Plus if they do not thank us already for giving them jobs and dignity again they will surely be when we have thought them to read I mean how can one thank someone for a thing like that. And how nows they might in time abandon the language of there tyrants and well assimilate.
 

J. Passepartout

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I am appalled by some of the arguments I see put forth by certain of my comrades. A war was begun in support of the People of a neighbouring country; very well; I believe the People of Belgium would have been capable of achieving the goal of equality with material support from us that did not rise to the level of a war, but the war is done, and I cannot do anything about it. However, how can any man describing himself as a proletarian insist that more recent comers to the greatness of proletarian equality must be treated as second class citizens? If a neighbouring state had become socialist before our own and this land was joined to the other, would any of you accept this, who say you are capable of equality? Circumstances allowed us to be the vanguard of the revolution, but this cannot allow us to disdain those who come later.
 

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Brothers, comrades, fellow workers, is the outcome of this war not an example as to why we need not concern ourselves with non-Germans as of yet?

I do not have anything against the Wallonians; truely, I wish to include them in our glorious revolution as well. But look at what nearly happened; we nearly came into conflict by the bourgeois, yet powerful French, we were forced to divert attention that could be better spent bringing the revolution to other places, and the literacy percentage of our nation dropped. Truely, I believe that, at the very least, the establishment of an independent Wallonian republic would have been far more ideal than including them within our own. Let the Wallonians aid themselves; as the champions of the German people, we cannot be diverted from our goal of spreading the revolution to the rest of the Fatherland.
 

Communard

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Brothers, comrades, fellow workers, is the outcome of this war not an example as to why we need not concern ourselves with non-Germans as of yet?

I do not have anything against the Wallonians; truely, I wish to include them in our glorious revolution as well. But look at what nearly happened; we nearly came into conflict by the bourgeois, yet powerful French, we were forced to divert attention that could be better spent bringing the revolution to other places, and the literacy percentage of our nation dropped. Truely, I believe that, at the very least, the establishment of an independent Wallonian republic would have been far more ideal than including them within our own. Let the Wallonians aid themselves; as the champions of the German people, we cannot be diverted from our goal of spreading the revolution to the rest of the Fatherland.
You talk of our literacy percentage, I say that is a blessing that we are able to aid and educate fellow workers! You say that we risked war with the French, I say that if one worker is freer for this risk then it was not in vain! You say that we "diverted" our attention, I say that an unhealthy fixation on Germany would have caused us to miss this chance and there would be no freer workers anywhere, be they German or French speakers! You talk of "letting the Wallonians aid themselves" but what is this other than the tiresome old divide and rule tactics of the bourgeoisie? If this revolution has taught us anything it is that proletarians as a class must stand united, any division risks the security of our revolution. For mark my words, comrades, though we have thus far avoided the ire of the bourgeois powers, we are alone in this world and our revolution may be crushed, and the worldwide revolution postponed! Unity is Strength!
 

naggy

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Why must we sit here and discuss the future of Wallonia as if they are children? Let them have a plebiscite to determine whether they wish to remain part of the VSVR, or whether they wish for local autonomy. (i.e.: Put it on the ballot at the next vote. ;))
 

Communard

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Why must we sit here and discuss the future of Wallonia as if they are children? Let them have a plebiscite to determine whether they wish to remain part of the VSVR, or whether they wish for local autonomy. (i.e.: Put it on the ballot at the next vote. ;))
Bear in mind, comrade, that Wallonia is not as yet fully integrated into our society. The old bourgeoisie still hold substantial power in that region. For this reason I propose that if such a plebicite is to be held, it should be held no sooner than five years from now, to ensure that this is not used as a means for the ruling classes to trick their way into power and is an expression of true proletarian will. (i.e. have it on the ballot at the election after next :p)
(EDIT: Or even have the result decided by Tommy4ever, based on the issues/ideology of the population, which faction is in power and the way his general narrative is going.)
 

Tommy4ever

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The Election of 1855

By January 1855 the United Socialist People’s Republic was 5 years old. In the 5 years since Wilhelm Weitling’s ascension to the role as Chairman the Republic had experienced major social change, industrial growth and the annexation of Wallonia. The issues of 1855 were not the issues of 1850. Social policy had declined in importance whilst new problems such as the Wallonian Question and the future of democracy within the party had become much more prominent.

In 1855 the same four candidates who had stood for election in 1850 attempted to gain the role as Chairman, however now they were no longer bright young revolutionaries but seasoned statesmen.



The Marxists

Prospective Chairman: Karl Marx

Karl Marx remains the foremost mind with the Central Committee but is star has been slightly tarnished by his ineffectual time as General Secretary. The role was clearly unsuited to the high minded Marx, Karl preferred to concentrate on arguing out policy with other members of the Central Committee to taking care of the more menial tasks as General Secretary. Much of his work has been deferred to political aides. Marx still looks a strong candidate for the Chairmanship and has a wide base of popularity within the Party – even if he fails to secure election he is gaurunteed a new position within the Central Committee having convinced the other factions to agree to a reshuffle within the Central Committee (the members themselves will remain mostly unchanged but their positions will change).

Position within Party: Far Left

Economic Policy:

The Marxists stand by their budgetary policy of 1850.

‘’Taxes on the rich should be kept at 100% at all times. Taxes on the poorest should remain as low as possible whilst taxes on people with middle incomes should remain at least 10% higher than the taxes on the poorest.

Tariffs can be used but only when they are necessary to either correct budget imbalances or protect struggling native industry.

Educational spending should remain flexible and be aimed solely at achieving the 2% target of intellectuals in the population. Administrative spending should look to maximise efficiency at all times.’’

However with Military Spending currently standing at 60% it is believed that it should remain stationary at the current level.

The state should continue to support industry with subsidies and should also become the sole funder of industrial expansion (in both factories and railroads). The growing power of the Unions, who were largely left unchecked over the past 5 years, is also of concern and their power should be stemmed if not pushed back.

Reform Policy:

No less than four social reforms should be introduced. Pensions should be established to help our elderly citizens (at present any elderly citizens no longer able to work and without a family to support them are effectively left to die – this is intolerable), the current meagre health service should be improved, our factories should introduce minimum safety standards (the current level of industrial accidents is unacceptable) whilst there should also be a minimum wage for workers that will guarantee all proletarians enough money to feed themselves and their families.

The German Socialists have proven that they are all talk and no action. Their policies for improving the lives of the proletariat rely upon the expansion of our industrial sector – for how long can we rely on unending economic growth? The idea that a growing economy will help everyone has some merit but is ultimately a bourgeois ideal – we must make government a tool to help the individual, not merely to help the economy.

Reform (within Party):

The Marxists support a plebiscite to Party Members to be held alongside the next Chairmanship election in 1860. Should the Marxists secure a mandate then in 1860 Party Members will be presented with a variety of reforms to the current voting system that could not only effect how the Chairman is chosen but also how the entire Central Committee is appointed.

The Wallonian Question:

Is a French speaking proletarian any different to a German speaking one? Were the Belgians not amongst the earliest supporters of socialism? Why should they be treated any differently to the Germans within our Republic?

Wallonia is now an integral part of the Republic and it should remain as such. In order to make it easier for government to function within Wallonia all government documents in that region should be printed in French, Dutch (10% of Wallonians are Flemish) and German (not only is the central government German speaking but 5% of Wallonians are as well). There should be no suppression of Walloon culture and no difference in the treatment of Germans and Walloons. There should also be a push for education amongst the Walloons to bring them up to the standards of the Rhenish people – let us not forget that in just 2 ¼ years since the annexation literacy rates have risen from 64.5% to 65.3%.

However control of this territory does present problems for the territorial integrity of the Republic (France is unlikely to tolerate its occupation indefinitely) so there should be a line of forts constructed from the Ardennes Forest in Arlon, through Namur and the Meuse to the border with Belgium. Whilst this will mean the abandonment of Tournai and Chareloi in the event of war with France these territories are simply indefensible.

Foreign Policy:

Foreign policy should be largely focussed upon Germany. The current work of Engels and Blanqui in undermining Prussian power in Northern Germany through fair means or foul should be continued and if any opportunity for expansion, without war with Prussia, arises it should be taken without hesitation. If there is another opportunity to go to war with the rump Belgian state without the intervention of a Great Power then the annexation of Flanders must be considered. Securing a connection with the coast could be a valuable advantage. However ambition in Flanders should remain secondary to Germany.



The German Socialists

Prospective Chairman: Wilhelm Weitling

Weitling was a moderately able Chairman but he secured great success in his position. This is largely down to his delegation of duties to his more able subordinates – in Blanqui he found a man more than able to transform society and deal with unwanted elements, in Feuerbach he found a patron for the all important Ruhr with the talent and will to feed the region’s seemingly never ending industrial boom, in Weydemeyer he found a man able to secure him a relatively bloodless victory in Belgium against what was a deceptively powerful enemy and in Engels he found a man who could keep the peace with the French and the Prussians. Despite rarely getting involved in getting things done Weitling’s political acumen allowed him to get others to do what he wanted, even if they were not entirely happy about it. However 5 years is a long time for one man to wield executive power in a state that prides itself on being a People’s Republic, 10 years is an even longer time ...

Position in the People’s Party: Centre (includes both heavy right wing and heavy left wing elements)

Economic Policy:

The Socialists call for minor amendments to budgetary policy. Tax on the poor should be pegged at 25% and tax on the middle strata should be flexible between 30% and 40% (it currently lays at 35%). Meanwhile the richest should pay 45% or more (preferably around the current level of 50%).

The 3% tariff should be removed. Educational and administrative funding should remain flexible.

Military spending should be raised from 60% to 62%.

Industrial policy should remain on its current course.

Reform Policy:

There should be two social reform. A small public pension should be introduced alongside further funds for the health service.

Reform (within the party):

There is no need for reform of the current system of elections.

The Wallonians Question:

Wallonia was invaded to further the interests of this Republic and to liberate the region’s people. This has been accomplished. However our Republic is a Germanic institution at heart and we should not become involved in the governing of a people who are not our own – that is the penchant of Empires and we are no Empire. Furthermore the region’s lack of wealth and literacy is harmful for the Rhineland (now forced to hold up a weak link) whilst its continued occupation makes war with France more likely every day, this is only made worse by the region’s indefensible nature – is it not better to defend our powerful Saar fortresses than the Meuse?

The Socialists propose the creation of the Autonomous Socialist People’s Republic of Wallonia. The region will retain strong economic and political links to the VSVR but will manage its own affairs. This ends the problem of a French invasion via the territory and the resentment of the Wallonian people to the rule of a foreign people (let us not lie to ourselves; they view us as Germans as much as they view us as fellow proletarians). Independence should be granted in August 1857 to mark the 5th year of its liberation from Belgium.

Foreign Policy:

The fine efforts of Blanqui and Engels to undermine Prussia in Northern Germany should continue with all haste. The VSVR should ensure that is territory is focussed in Germany alone and this should be the focus of our revolutionary activities. However it is also important to spread the revolution across the Continent. If re-elected the German Socialists would whole heartedly support the invasion of Belgium and establishment of an independent Flanders on the Wallonian model.

We should not be greedy – all the world deserves socialism but it is not up to Germany to rule the world.



The Collectivist Anarchists

Prospective Chairman: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Proudhon has cut a frustrated figure in a Republic whose ideology is clearly quite different from his own. However his management of the Finances of the State have been exemplary and in Cologne the state maintains a huge stockpile of gold and silver. Whilst Proudhon himself has been eager to reduce the surpluses of his budget other factions have prevented him from lowering taxes and tariffs as he would have wished.

Position within People’s Party: Far Right

Economic Policy:

A much lower flat tax on all citizens. No tariffs. Whilst losses in the budget should be avoided the surplus should be kept as low as possible (the current reserves of the state are obscene).

Military spending should be reduced from 60% to 55% (1850 level) but the army should retain its current size.

The Unions should be, by on large, given control of industrial expansion. The State may subsidise failing industries, but only if their failure would result in a loss of jobs. Whilst the majority of the responsibility for any improvements to the rail system should remain with the Unions the state may contribute funds if the Unions do not.

The farmers should be given the chance to abolish their collective farms and divide the land with each farmer getting an equal share.

Reform Policy:

The current limit on press rights is a hallmark of Dictatorship. Whilst the state newspaper, Wahrheit (Truth), has thus far been true to its promise of truthful news it is unclear whether this will continue indefinitely. There should be one political reform – there should be press freedom in the form of a censored press (with a view to one day end all state influence over the press).

Reform (within Party):

The Anarchists support a plebiscite of the Party membership to be held alongside the Chairmanship election of 1860. Both reforms to the election of Chairman and to the manner in which the Central Committee is appointed shall be discussed.

The Wallonian Question:

Whilst the Walloons deserve every right to be a part of the Republic we must question the practicalities of their status as an integral part of the VSVR. Does anyone here want Rhenish and Walloon blood to be needlessly spilt in war between the Republic and both the Imperialistic French and the Walloons themselves (who want no more than to run their own affairs). The Anarchists would support a plebiscite for the Wallonian people, this will not be influenced by Party Members (eg you guys won’t be voting but I will decide what the Walloons want based on in game factors and my own whims), in August 1857. Should the Walloons choose to remain a part of the VSVR then we shall support them and grant them all the rights that any other citizen should have but should they request independence then we shall support the creation of an Autonomous Socialist People’s Republic of Wallonia. Economically and politically attached to the VSVR but able to handle its internal affairs. In the end this may be the best option for all parties – war with France will be averted (or at least diverted to the heavily fortified Saar), the Walloons will have what they wish (a local People’s government) and we shall have a secure border and access to Wallonian iron.

Foreign Policy:

Whilst the Anarchists do not support the sabre rattling of the left of the party towards Northern Germany 5 years in government have forced us to accept the realities of the situation. If Engels and Blanqui can secure an opportunity to expand into the Central German autocratic Duchies then this opportunity cannot be passed up. However the Anarchists will not allow the VSVR to be destroyed through a conflict with France, Prussia, Austria or Britain!



The Trade Unionists

Prospective Chairman: Johann Eccarius

Humiliated in January 1850 Eccarius considered standing down as Trade Union Councillor and would not even consider attempting to stand again. However over the past half decade he has proven an able confidante between the Unions and central government – allowing him to successfully keep relations between the two groups amiable. He has even managed to increase the economic power of the Unions and forced Weitling to betray his principles and grant subsidies to all VSVR factories and not just the struggling ones. The Unionists are hopeful of a turnaround in Eccarius’ electoral fortunes in 1855.

Position within People’s Party: Right of Centre

Economic Policy:

The Budgetary position of Eccarius and the Unionists has not changed since 1850.

‘’All middle and rich strata are to pay at least 30% more tax than the poor strata at all times.

There should be a permanent 4% tariff on all imported goods – this can be raised at any time but not lowered.

Educational and administrative spending is to remain flexible.

Military spending should not change.’’

Neither has the industrial policy – All Power to the Unions! The government should only interfere in industry to support Union managed industry.

Reform Policy:

There is no need for social or political reforms.

Reform (within the party):

The United Trades Unions understand the need for reform in the electoral system and propose the following system:

Elections will take place every 5 years. The Central Committee shall take on a Parliamentary style. The number of positions held by each faction shall reflect the number of votes they received with the largest faction having the owner of appointing a Chairman. All factions are guaranteed at least one position in the Central Committee.

Elections shall draw 2/3s of their votes from the party membership and 1/3 from the members of the Trades Unions (the workers themselves deserve the right to choose their leaders).

All this shall be in place by 1860 if the Trade Unionists secure victory.

Wallonian Question:

Wallonia shall be let loose as an Autonomous Republic. We should focus on German affairs, not on the affairs of foreigners.

Foreign Policy:

Engels and Blanqui should continue their good work. We support expansion but only into German lands and only if war with Prussia and Austria can be avoided. For too long the Germans have been divided – let all the workers of this great land unite!

All readers may vote for either:

Marxists

Anarchists/ Collectivist Anarchists

German Socialists/ Socialists

Trade Unionists/ Unionists

I will not accept your vote if you vote for an individual you want to be chairman eg Proudhon and will only accept your vote if you name the faction of your choice.

Please place your vote in a separate post from your comment OR place it in bold alongside your comment.

I encouraged you to align yourself with a faction and campaign and argue for its success. However spamming will not be tolerate (I will warn you if I think you are spamming).

Good luck Comrades! We stand at a crossroads; this election will gravely influence all future policy, particularly in regards to the treatment of non-German workers.

Voting shall close at Midday UK time on Thursday. Get voting! :D
 
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Tommy4ever

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My holiday ends on Monday meaning that I will not be able to update during the week. This is why I've give you such a long time to vote (almost an entire week). In the future I hope to give you your voting options on the Sunday and then close the polls on the Thursday.
 

unmerged(77853)

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Comrades, we stand at a crossroad. While Wietlings government DID achieve several great feats, especially spreading the revolution to Belgium by annexing Wallonia, only one man can lead the revolution to true glory. That man is Karl Marx. Voting for anyone other than him would be a travesty. Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto, and so it is only fair that he lead the workers of the VSVR in their revolution to throw the yoke of capitalism off their shoulders!!
 

naggy

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Anarchists/ Collectivist Anarchists

Let Wallonia have self determination!
Let our people be our strength!
And let our voices be heard in newspapers!
 

LordTempest

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I'm greatly disappointed in you Tommy for deliberately skewering this election in favour of the Marxists, very well then...

...Marxists
 

Necazian

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Anarchists/ Collectivist Anarchists

A free press is essential for the freedom of our people, if the situation remains the same and the wrong men come to power, they could corrupt the minds of the workers with bourgeois thinking.

A referendum of for the people of Wallonia is a good proposal, with them voting for their own destiny. I personally would support that they remain in our revolutionary republic, but they should choose their own destiny.

I also support this new stance by the Anarchists to remain non-sable rattling, while at the same time, if the opportunity arrives, we should liberate the peoples of smaller autocratic states.
 
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