[...] It seems to me that in spite of its effective cinematographic technique this poem fails, because it does not convince one that the writer knows why the proletariat should kill and oppress the bourgeoisie except because the bourgeoisie is now oppressing the proletariat. He assumes that there is some absolute virtue in the proletarian which makes his atrocities glorious whereas the atrocities of the bourgeoisie are sordid. Yet M. Aragon is much too good a materialist to explain what this absolute virtue of the proletarian really is. The only reason for getting into the train seems to be that
No one remains behind
Waving handkerchiefs Everyone is going,
that is to say Everyone except those who are shot for not going. This poem is really as much a threat as propaganda.
If this type of propaganda has any effect at all, I do not see what that can be except to breed in people a superstitious belief in the necessity of murders and reprisals. This seems to me an excessive simplification. It is so simple that unfortunately it is effective. Before the revolution the intellectuals preach violence which to them has a merely pictorial significance, but after the revolution they are horrified at the forces they have let loose. Il bloodshed is a criterion of communism, Hitler is as much a communist as M. Aragon, and his rhetoric is even more effective. The intellectual capacity of Hitler and this poet seems about the same. Readers of the poem should compare it with any speech by Hitler.