What We Want: Principles of the League of Religious Socialists – “Kleiner” Otto Bauer (October 1926)

“Kleiner” Otto Bauer (1897-1986)

[Otto Bauer, a Catholic metalworker–not to be confused with the Austro-Marxist of the same name–was the founder of the Austrian Bund religiöser Sozialisten.]

[This was the second side of the first leaflet of the Bund der Religiösen, printed by Otto Bauer in October 1926.]

What We Want: Principles of the League of Religious Socialists

Our main aim is the unification of the entire proletariat. It is necessary to confront the united front of bourgeois capitalist reaction with the unanimous front of the working people. The ruling classes have understood to bring even the office and organise of the church under their dominion. So there only remains the self-help of the proletariat.

We are religious socialists: religious from inner experience. In our ranks there is a place for anyone who stands on the foundations of the Gospels. And precisely because we are Christians, we stand with the proletariat, we fight the class struggle with them, the liberation struggle of the disinherited.

We believe that the powers to shape the future are living in the proletariat, we see preparation in the proletarian movement – a pioneering of the new society that encompasses the whole of humanity.

We declare the sharpest struggle against every abuse of religion, every state church. We demand the separation of church and state, the separation of church and education. Priests should not be officials of the state or capital; schools should educate children into truthful and upright human beings.

We stand in the organisations of the proletariat. We proclaim that the free trade unions are an indispensable weapon in class struggle and towards the political united front of the proletariat, towards Social Democracy. We feel bound with the working people of all nations and profess the ideas of international solidarity. Therefore we want to work towards the dismantling of national hatreds and overcome war. In place of this self-mutilating and dying out bourgeois society, we want to build a new, peaceful world – this will unites us.

Workers of all tendencies – unite!

[Translated by R. V.]