J. V. Stalin
Source: Works, Vol. 6, January-November, 1924, pp. 293-314
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
First Published: Bolshevik, No. 11, September 20, 1924
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
In characterising the present international situation, I think that there is no need to take into account all the facts of some degree of importance, absolutely all the specific features of the present state of international affairs. For this purpose it is sufficient to take into account only the principal, decisive factors in the present situation. At the present time there are, in my opinion, three such factors:
a) the opening of an “era” of bourgeois-democratic “pacifism”;
b) the intervention of America in European affairs and the Entente’s London agreement on reparations;
c) the strengthening of the Left-wing elements in the European labour movement and the growth of the international weight and prestige of the Soviet Union. Let us examine these principal factors.
The Entente has proved incapable of coping with the results of its war victories. It fully succeeded in defeating Germany and in encircling the Soviet Union. It also succeeded in drawing up a plan for plundering Europe. This is shown by the innumerable conferences and treaties of the Entente countries. But it has proved incapable of carrying out that plan of plunder. Why? Because the contradictions between the countries in the Entente are too great. Because they have not succeeded, and will not, succeed, in reaching agreement on sharing the loot. Because the resistance of the countries to be plundered is growing stronger and stronger. Because the implementation of the plan of plunder is fraught with military conflicts, and the masses do not want to fight. It is now obvious to “everybody” that the imperialist, frontal attack on the Ruhr with the object of annihilating Germany has proved to be dangerous for imperialism itself. It is also obvious that the undisguised imperialist policy of ultimatums, with the object of isolating the Soviet Union, is merely producing results opposite to these intended. A situation was created in which Poincaré and Curzon, while faithfully and loyally serving imperialism, nevertheless, by their “work” intensified the growing crisis in Europe, roused the resistance of the masses to imperialism, and pushed the masses towards revolution. Hence, the bourgeoisie’s inevitable transition from the policy of frontal attack to the policy of compromise, from undisguised to disguised imperialism, from Poincaré and Curzon to MacDonald and Herriot. Naked plundering of the world has become dangerous. The Labour Party in Britain and the Left bloc in France1 are to serve as a cloak to cover the nakedness of imperialism. That is the origin of “pacifism” and “democracy.”
Some people think that the bourgeoisie adopted “pacifism” and “democracy” not because it was compelled to do so, but voluntarily, of its own free choice, so to speak. And it is assumed that, having defeated the working class in decisive battles (Italy, Germany), the bourgeoisie felt that it was the victor and could now afford to adopt “democracy.” In other words, while the decisive battles were in progress, the bourgeoisie needed a fighting organisation, needed fascism; but now that the proletariat is defeated, the bourgeoisie no longer needs fascism and can afford to use “democracy” instead, as a better method of consolidating its victory. Hence, the conclusion is drawn that, the rule of the bourgeoisie has become consolidated, that the “era of pacifism” will be a prolonged one, and that the revolution in Europe has been pigeonholed.
This assumption is absolutely wrong.
Firstly, it is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy. There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. These organisations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not antipodes, they are twins. Fascism is an informal political bloc of these two chief organisations; a bloc, which arose in the circumstances of the post-war crisis of imperialism, and which is intended for combating the proletarian revolution. The bourgeoisie cannot retain power without such a bloc. It would therefore be a mistake to think that “pacifism” signifies the liquidation of fascism. In the present situation, “pacifism” is the strengthening of fascism with its moderate, Social-Democratic wing pushed into the forefront.
Secondly, it is not true that the decisive battles have already been fought, that the proletariat was defeated in these battles, and that bourgeois rule has been consolidated as a consequence. There have been no decisive battles as yet, if only for the reason that there have not been any mass, genuinely Bolshevik parties, capable of leading the proletariat to dictatorship. Without such parties, decisive battles for dictatorship are impossible under the conditions of imperialism. The decisive battles in the West still lie ahead. There have been only the first serious attacks, which were repulsed by the bourgeoisie; the first serious trial of strength, which showed that the proletariat is not yet strong enough to overthrow the bourgeoisie, but that the bourgeoisie is already unable to discount the proletariat. And precisely because the bourgeoisie is already unable to force the working class to its knees, it was compelled to renounce frontal attacks, to make a detour, to agree to a compromise, to resort to “democratic pacifism.”
Lastly, it is also not true that “pacifism” is a sign of the strength and not of the weakness of the bourgeoisie, that “pacifism” should result in consolidating the power of the bourgeoisie and in postponing the revolution for an indefinite period. Present-day pacifism signifies the advent to power, direct or indirect, of the parties of the Second International. But what does the advent to power of the parties of the Second International mean? It means their inevitable self-exposure as lackeys of imperialism, as traitors to the proletariat, for the governmental activity of these parties can have only one result: their political bankruptcy, the growth of contradictions within these parties, their disintegration, their decay. But the disintegration of these parties will inevitably lead to the disintegration of the rule of the bourgeoisie, for the parties of the Second International are props of imperialism. Would the bourgeoisie have undertaken this risky experiment with pacifism if it had not been compelled to do so; would it have done so of its own free will? Of course, not! This is the second time that the bourgeoisie is undertaking the experiment with pacifism since the end of the imperialist war. The first experiment was made immediately after the war, when it seemed that revolution was knocking at the door. The second experiment is being undertaken now, after Poincaré’s and Curzon’s risky experiments. Who would dare deny that imperialism will have to pay dearly for this swinging of the bourgeoisie from pacifism to rabid imperialism and back again, that this is pushing vast masses of workers out of their habitual philistine rut, that it is drawing the most backward sections of the proletariat into politics and is helping to revolutionise them? Of course, “democratic pacifism” is not yet the Kerensky regime, for the Kerensky regime implies dual power, the collapse of bourgeois power and the coming into being of the foundations of proletarian power. But, there can scarcely be any doubt that pacifism signifies the immense awakening of the masses, the fact that the masses are being drawn into politics; that pacifism is shaking bourgeois rule and preparing the ground for revolutionary upheavals. And precisely for this reason pacifism is bound to lead not to the strengthening, but to the weakening of bourgeois rule, not to the postponement of the revolution for an indefinite period, but to its acceleration.
It does not, of course, follow that pacifism is not a serious danger to the revolution. Pacifism serves to sap the foundations of bourgeois rule, it is creating favourable conditions for the revolution; but it can have these results only against the will of the “pacifists” and “democrats” themselves, only if the Communist Parties vigorously expose the imperialist and counter-revolutionary nature of the pacifist-democratic rule of Herriot and MacDonald. As for what the pacifists and democrats want, as for the policy of the imperialists, they have only one aim in resorting to pacifism: to dupe the masses with high-sounding phrases about peace in order to prepare for a new war; to dazzle the masses with the brilliance of “democracy” in order to consolidate the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; to stun the masses with clamour about the “sovereign” rights of nations and states in order the more successfully to prepare for intervention in China, for slaughter in Afghanistan and in the Sudan, for the dismemberment of Persia; to fool the masses with highfaluting talk about “friendly” relations with the Soviet Union, about various “treaties” with the Soviet government, in order to establish still closer relations with the counter-revolutionary conspirators who have been kicked out of Russia, with the aim of bandit operations in Byelorussia, the Ukraine and Georgia. The bourgeoisie needs pacifism as a camouflage. This camouflage constitutes the chief danger of pacifism. Whether the bourgeoisie will succeed in its aim of fooling the people depends upon the vigour with which the Communist Parties in the West and in the East expose the bourgeoisie, upon their ability to tear the mask from the imperialists in pacifist clothing. There is no doubt that events and practice will work in favour of the Communists in this respect by exposing the discrepancy between the pacifist words and the imperialist deeds of the democratic servitors of capital. It is the duty of the Communists to keep pace with events and ruthlessly to expose every step, every act of service to imperialism and betrayal of the proletariat committed by the parties of the Second International.
The London conference of the Entente2 most fully reflects the false and mendacious character of bourgeois-democratic pacifism. Whereas the advent to power of MacDonald and Herriot and the clamour about “establishing normal relations” with the Soviet Union were intended to cover up and camouflage the fierce class struggle raging in Europe and the deadly enmity of the bourgeois states towards the Soviet Union, the purpose of the agreement that the Entente concluded in London is to cover up and camouflage the desperate struggle of Britain and France for hegemony in Europe, the growing contradiction between Britain and America in the struggle for domination in the world market, and the superhuman struggle of the German people against Entente oppression. There is no longer any class war, there is an end to revolution, matters can now end up with class co-operation, shout the MacDonalds and Renaudels. There is no longer a struggle between France and Britain, between America and Britain and between Germany and the Entente, there is an end to war, matters can now end up with universal peace under the aegis of America, echo their friends of the London agreement and their brothers in betraying the cause of the working class-the Social-Democratic heroes of pacifism.
But what actually happened at the London conference of the Entente?
Before the London conference the reparations problem was decided by France alone, more or less independently of the “Allies,” for France had a secure majority in the Reparations Commission. The occupation of the Ruhr served as a means for the economic disruption of Germany and as a guarantee that France would receive reparation payments from Germany, coal and coke for the French metallurgical industry, chemical semi-manufactures and dyes for the French chemical industry, and the right to export Alsace textiles to Germany duty-free. The plan was intended to create a material base for France’s military, and economic hegemony in Europe. As is known, however, the plan failed. The occupation method merely led to the opposite results. France received neither payments nor deliveries in kind in any satisfactory quantities. Finally, Poincaré, who was responsible for the occupation, was thrown overboard because of his undisguised imperialist policy, which was fraught with a new war and revolution. As regards France’s hegemony in Europe, it proved a failure not only because the method of occupation and undisguised plunder precluded the possibility of an economic bond between French and German industry, but also because Britain was strongly opposed to the establishment of such a bond, for she could not but be aware that the combination of German coal with French metal is bound to undermine the British metallurgical industry.
What did the London conference of the Entente produce in place of all this?
Firstly, the conference rejected the method by which reparation questions were decided by France alone and resolved that, in the last instance, disputes should be settled by an Arbitration Commission consisting of representatives of the Entente headed by representatives of America.
Secondly, the conference rejected the occupation of the Ruhr and recognised the necessity of evacuation, economic (immediately) and military (in a year’s time, or earlier). Motives: the occupation of the Ruhr at the present stage is dangerous from the viewpoint of the political state of Europe, and inconvenient from the viewpoint of the organised and systematic plundering of Germany. There can scarcely be any doubt, however, that the Entente intends to plunder Germany thoroughly and systematically.
Thirdly, while rejecting military intervention, the conference fully approved of financial and economic intervention, recognising the necessity of:
a) setting up an emission bank in Germany to be controlled by a special foreign commissioner;
b) transferring to private hands the state railways, which are to be run under the control of a special foreign commissioner;
c) setting up a so-called “Transfer Committee,” consisting of representatives of the Allies, to have sole control of all reparation payments in German currency, to finance German deliveries in kind out of those payments, to have power to invest some of the reparation payments in German industry (in cases where it is deemed inadvisable to transfer them to France), and thus have full opportunity to control the German money market.
It scarcely needs proof that this means converting Germany into a colony of the Entente.
Fourthly, the conference recognised France’s right to receive from Germany compulsory deliveries of coal and chemical products for a certain period, but at once added the reservation that Germany had the right to appeal to the Arbitration Commission for a reduction, or even the cessation, of these compulsory payments in kind. By this it nullified, or almost nullified, France’s right.
If to all this we add the loan to Germany of 800,000,000 marks, covered by British and, chiefly, by American bankers, and if we further bear in mind that the conference was bossed by bankers, above all American bankers, the picture will be complete: of France’s hegemony not a trace is left; instead of the hegemony of France there is the hegemony of America.
Such are the results of the London conference of the Entente.
On these grounds some people think that henceforth the antagonism of interests inside Europe must wane in view of America’s hegemony; that America, interested in exporting capital to Europe, will manage to put the European countries on rations and compel them to sit still while her bankers rake in profits; that, in view of this, peace in Europe, compulsory it is true, may be regarded as more or less ensured for a more or less prolonged period. This assumption is utterly wrong.
Firstly, in settling the German problem, the conference reckoned without its host, the German people. It is possible, of course, to “plan” Germany’s conversion into a regular colony. But to attempt in actual fact to convert a country like Germany into a colony at the present time, when even the backward colonies are being kept in hand with difficulty, means placing a mine under Europe.
Secondly, France had pushed herself forward too much, so the conference pushed her back somewhat. The natural result of this is that Britain has gained actual preponderance in Europe. But to think that France can resign herself to Britain’s preponderance means failing to reckon with facts, failing to reckon with the logic of facts, which usually proves to be stronger than all other logic.
Thirdly, the conference recognised the hegemony of America. But American capital is interested in financing Franco-German industry, in the most rational exploitation of the latter, for example, along the lines of combining the French metallurgical industry with the German, coal industry. There can scarcely be any doubt that American capital will make use of its advantages in precisely this direction, which is the most profitable for it. But to think that Britain will resign herself to such a situation means not knowing Britain, means not knowing how greatly Britain values the interests of her metallurgical industry.
Lastly, Europe is not an isolated country; it is bound up with its colonies, it lives on the vital sap from these colonies. To think that the conference can make any change for “the better” in the relations between Europe and its colonies, that it can restrain or retard the development of the contradictions between them, means believing in miracles.
What conclusion is to be drawn from this?
Only one: the London conference has not eliminated a single one of the old contradictions in Europe; on the contrary, it has added new ones to them, contradictions between America and Britain. Undoubtedly, Britain will continue as of old to aggravate the antagonism between France and Germany in order to ensure her own political predominance on the continent. Undoubtedly, America, in her turn, will aggravate the antagonism between Britain and France in order to ensure her own hegemony in the world market. It is needless for us to speak of the intense antagonism between Germany and the Entente.
World events will be determined by these antagonisms and not by the “pacifist” speeches of the gallows-bird Hughes, or the grandiloquent Herriot. The law of uneven development of the imperialist countries and of the in evitability of imperialist wars remains in force today more than ever before. The London conference merely masks these antagonisms, only to create new premises for their unprecedented intensification.
One of the surest signs of the instability of the “pacifist-democratic regime,” one of the most unmistakable signs that this “regime” is froth on the surface of the profound revolutionary processes that are taking place in the depths of the working class, is the decisive victory achieved by the revolutionary wing in the Communist Parties of Germany, France and Russia, the growth of activity of the Left wing in the British labour movement, and lastly, the growth of the Soviet Union’s popularity among the toiling masses in the West and in the East.
The Communist Parties in the West are developing under peculiar conditions. Firstly, their composition is not uniform, for they were formed out of former Social-Democrats of the old school and of young party members who have not yet had sufficient revolutionary steeling. Secondly, their leading cadres are not purely Bolshevik, for responsible posts are occupied by people who have come from other parties and who have not yet completely discarded Social-Democratic survivals. Thirdly, they are confronted by such an experienced opponent as hard-boiled Social-Democracy, which is still an enormous political force in the ranks of the working class. Lastly, they have against them such a powerful enemy as the European bourgeoisie, with its tried and tested state apparatus and all-powerful press. To think that such Communist Parties can overthrow the European bourgeois system “overnight” is a great mistake. Hence, the immediate task is to make the Communist Parties of the West really Bolshevik; they must train genuinely revolutionary cadres who will be capable of reorganising all party activities along the lines of the revolutionary education of the masses, of preparing for revolution.
That is how matters stood with the Communist Parties in the West in the still recent past. During the last half year, however, there has been a turn for the better. The last half year is remarkable for the fact that it produced a radical change in the life of the Communist Parties of the West as regards eliminating Social-Democratic survivals, Bolshevising the Party cadres and isolating opportunist elements.
The danger that Social-Democratic survivals in the Communist Parties can represent for the revolution was strikingly revealed by the sad experience of the Workers’ Government in Saxony,3 where the opportunist leaders tried to convert the idea of a united front, as a means for the revolutionary mobilisation and organisation of the masses, into a means for Social-Democratic parliamentary combinations. That marked a turning point, which opened the eyes of the mass of the Party membership and roused them against the opportunist leaders.
The second question that undermined the prestige of the Right-wing leaders and brought new, revolutionary leaders to the front was the so-called “Russian” question, i.e., the discussion in the R.C.P.(B.). As is known, the Brandler group in Germany and the Souvarine group4 in France strongly supported the opportunist opposition in the R.C.P.(B.) against the principal cadres of the R.C.P.(B.), against its revolutionary majority. This was a challenge to the revolutionary mass of the workers in the West, who definitely sympathised with the Soviet government and its leader, the R.C.P.(B.). It was a challenge to the mass of the party membership and the revolutionary wing of the Communist Parties in the West. It is not surprising that this challenge resulted in the utter defeat of the Brandler and Souvarine groups. It is not surprising that this had its repercussion in all the other Communist Parties in the West. If to this we add the complete isolation of the opportunist trend in the R.C.P. (B.), the picture will be complete. The Fifth Congress of the Comintern5 merely sealed the victory of the revolutionary wing in the principal sections of the Comintern.
Undoubtedly, the mistakes of the opportunist leaders were an important factor in hastening the Bolshevisation of the Communist Parties in the West; but it is equally beyond doubt that other, more profound, causes also operated here: the successful capitalist offensive during the past few years, the deterioration of the living conditions of the working class, the existence of a vast army of unemployed, the general economic instability of capitalism, the growing revolutionary unrest among the broad masses of the workers. The workers are marching towards revolution, and they want to have revolutionary leaders.
Summing up. The process of definitely forming genuine Bolshevik parties in the West, parties which will constitute the bulwark of the coming revolution in Europe, has begun. Such is the summing up of the past half year.
Still more difficult and peculiar are the conditions under which the tirade unions are developing in the West.
Firstly, they are narrow owing to their “tried” craft-union practice and are hostile to socialism, for, having arisen before the Socialist parties, and having developed without the aid of the latter, they are accustomed to plume themselves on their “independence,” they place craft interests above class interests, and refuse to recognise anything beyond “a penny a day” increase in wages.
Secondly, they are conservative in spirit and hostile to all revolutionary undertakings, for they are led by the old, venal trade union bureaucracy, which is being fed by the bourgeoisie and is always ready to place the trade unions at the service of imperialism.
Lastly, these trade unions, united around the Amsterdam reformists, constitute that vast army of reformism which serves as a prop for the present-day capitalist system.
Of course, besides the Amsterdam reactionary unions there are the revolutionary unions, which are associated with the Profintern.6 But, firstly, a considerable section of the revolutionary unions, not wishing to cause a split in the trade union movement, remain in the Amsterdam federation7 and submit to its discipline; secondly, in the decisive European countries (Britain, France and Germany) the Amsterdamites still represent the majority of the workers. It must not be forgotten that the Amsterdam federation unites no less than fourteen million organised workers. To think that it will be possible to achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat in Europe against the will of these millions of workers would be a great mistake; it would mean departing from the path of Leninism and courting inevitable defeat. Hence, the task is to win these millions of workers to the side of the revolution and communism, to free them from the influence of the reactionary trade union bureaucracy, or at least to get them to adopt an attitude of benevolent neutrality towards communism.
That is how matters stood until recently. But during the past few years the situation began to improve. The home of the narrow and reactionary trade unions is Britain, once the industrial-capitalist monopolist of the world market. Her loss of this monopoly is connected with the development of finance capital, characteristic of which is the struggle between a number of the biggest countries for colonial monopoly. The imperialist phase of capitalism is accompanied by an expansion of territory for the narrow, reactionary trade unions, but it also causes a shrinkage of their material base, for imperialist super-profits are the object of the struggle of a number of countries, and the colonies are less and less inclined to remain in the role of colonies. Nor must it be forgotten that the war has seriously undermined production in Europe. As is known, total production in Europe at the present time amounts to not more than 70 per cent of pre-war production. Hence the curtailment of production and the successful capitalist offensive against the working class. Hence the wage cuts, the virtual abolition of the 8-hour day, and the series of unsuccessful defensive strikes, which once again demonstrated the betrayal of the working class by the trade union bureaucracy. Hence the colossal unemployment and the growth of the workers’ dissatisfaction with the reactionary trade unions. Hence the idea of a united front in the economic struggle of the working class and the plan to unite the two trade union Internationals into a single International capable of organising resistance to capital. The talk of the reformists at the Vienna Congress of the Amsterdam International (June 1924) about negotiating with the “Russian” trade unions and the appeal of the British trade unions at the Trades Union Congress (beginning of September 1924) for trade union unity are merely a reflection of the growing pressure that the masses are bringing to bear upon the reactionary trade union bureaucracy. The most remarkable thing about all this is the fact that it is precisely the British trade unions, that centre of conservatism and the principal core of the Amsterdam federation, which are taking the initiative in the matter of uniting the reactionary and revolutionary trade unions. The appearance of Left-wing elements in the British labour movement is the surest indication that all is not well “among them, over there,” in Amsterdam.
Some people think that the campaign for trade union unity is needed precisely at the present time because Left-wing elements have appeared in the Amsterdam federation who absolutely must be supported by all efforts and by all means. That is not true, or, to be more exact, it is only partly true. The point is that the Communist Parties in the West are becoming mass organisations, they are turning into genuine Bolshevik parties, they are growing and are advancing to power simultaneously with the growth of discontent among the broad masses of the workers, and, hence, that things are moving towards proletarian revolution. But the bourgeoisie cannot be overthrown unless it is deprived of its prop in the shape of the reactionary Amsterdam federation; the dictatorship cannot be achieved unless that bourgeois citadel in Amsterdam is won to the side of the revolution. That, however, cannot be done by one-sided action from outside. That aim can be achieved at the present time only by combined work inside and outside for obtaining trade union unity. That is why the question of trade union unity and of entering international industrial federations is becoming an urgent one. Of course, the Lefts must be supported and pushed forward. But real support can be rendered the Lefts only if the banner of the revolutionary unions is kept unfurled, if the reactionary Amsterdam leaders are scourged for their treachery and splitting tactics, if the Left leaders are criticised for their half-heartedness and irresolution in the struggle against the reactionary leaders. Only such a policy can prepare the ground for real trade union unity. Otherwise we may get a repetition of what occurred in Germany in October last year, when the reactionary Right-wing Social-Democracy successfully utilised Levi’s Left-wing group7 for the purpose of surrounding the German revolutionary workers.
Lastly, about the growth of the Soviet Union’s popularity among the people in the bourgeois countries. The surest indication of the instability of the “pacifist-democratic regime” is, perhaps, the indubitable fact that, far from waning, the Soviet Union’s influence and prestige among the toiling masses in the West and in the East are growing year after year and month after month. The point is not that the Soviet Union is being “recognised” by a number of bourgeois states. Taken by itself, there is nothing particular in that “recognition,” for it is dictated, firstly, by the needs of capitalist competition between the bourgeois countries, which are striving to obtain “their place” in the Soviet Union market; and secondly, by the “programme” of pacifism, which calls for the establishment of “normal relations” with the Soviet country, the signing of at least some kind of “treaty” with the Soviet Union. The point is that the present-day “democrats” and “pacifists” defeated their bourgeois rivals in the parliamentary elections thanks to their platform of “recognition” of the Soviet Union; that the MacDonalds and Herriots came into power, and can remain in power, thanks, among other things, to their spouting about “friendship with Russia”; that the prestige of these “democrats” and “pacifists” is the reflection of the Soviet government’s prestige among the masses of the people. It is characteristic that even such a notorious “democrat” as Mussolini often deems it necessary to boast to the workers about his “friendship” with the Soviet government. It is no less characteristic that even such notorious appropriators of other people’s property as the present rulers of Japan do not want to dispense with “friendship” with the Soviet Union. There is no need to mention the colossal prestige that the Soviet government enjoys among the masses of the people in Turkey, Persia, China and India.
What is the explanation of the unprecedented prestige and extraordinary popularity among the masses of the people in other countries enjoyed by such a “dictatorial” and revolutionary government as the Soviet government?
Firstly, the fact that the working class hates capitalism and is striving to emancipate itself from it. The workers in the bourgeois countries sympathise with the Soviet government, primarily because it is a government which overthrew capitalism. Bromley, the well-known representative of the British railwaymen, said recently at the Trades Union Congress:
“The capitalists know that the eyes of the workers of the world are turned towards Russia and that, if the Russian revolution succeeds, the intelligent workers of the world will ask themselves, is it not possible that we also might be successful in throwing off capitalism?”
Bromley is not a Bolshevik, of course, but what he said expressed the thoughts and aspirations of the European workers. For, indeed, why not throw off European capitalism, considering that for nearly seven years already the “Russians” have been doing without capitalists and are benefiting by it? That is the cause of the immense popularity the Soviet government enjoys among the broad working-class masses. The growth of the international popularity of the Soviet Union is, therefore, an indication of the growth of the hatred of the working class in all countries towards capitalism.
Secondly, the fact that the masses of the people hate war and are striving to frustrate the war plans of the bourgeoisie. The masses of the people know that the Soviet government was the first to launch the attack against the imperialist war, and by doing so hastened its termination. The masses of the people see that the Soviet Union is the only country that is waging a struggle to prevent the outbreak of a new war. They sympathise with the Soviet government because it is the banner-bearer of peace among the nations and a reliable bulwark against war. The growth of the international popularity of the Soviet government is, therefore, an indication of the growth of the hatred of the masses of the people all over the world towards imperialist war and its organisers.
Thirdly, the fact that the oppressed masses in the dependent countries and colonies hate the yoke of imperialism and are striving to smash it. The Soviet power is the only power that has smashed the chains of “home” imperialism. The Soviet Union is the only country which is building its life on the basis of the equality and co-operation of nations. The Soviet Government is the only Government in the world which is unreservedly championing the unity and independence, freedom and sovereignty of Turkey and Persia, Afghanistan and China, the colonies and dependent countries all over the world. The oppressed masses sympathise with the Soviet Union because they regard it as their ally in the cause of emancipation from imperialism. The growth of the international popularity of the Soviet government is, therefore, an indication of the growth of the hatred of the oppressed masses all over the world towards imperialism.
Such are the facts.
There can scarcely be any doubt that these three hatreds will not serve to strengthen the “pacifist-democratic regime” of present-day imperialism.
The other day, the United States Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the “pacifist” and Kolchakite Hughes, published a Black-Hundred declaration against the Soviet Union. Undoubtedly, envy of Poincaré’s laurels keeps Hughes awake at night. But there can scarcely be any doubt that Hughes’s Black-Hundred-pacifist declaration will serve only to increase still further the Soviet Union’s influence and prestige among the toiling masses all over the world.
Such are the chief factors that are characteristic of the present international situation.
1. The “Left bloc,” in France was a bloc of Radicals and Radical-Socialists, headed by Edouard Herriot, which came to power in May 1924. Under the cloak of “Left” phrases the “Left-bloc” government in practice actively assisted French imperialism in its home and foreign policy. The Herriot government remained in power until April 1925.
2. The London conference of the Entente took place from July 16 to August 16, 1924, with the participation of Great Britain, France, the United States and other countries. The conference was convened for the purpose of discussing and settling the German reparations question.
3. The Workers’ Government in Saxony was formed on October 11, 1923, as a result of the mass revolutionary movement that had spread over the whole of Germany. Five Social-Democrats and two Communists entered this government, which was headed by the “Left” Social-Democrat Zeigner. The Communists in this government pursued the capitulatory policy of the Brandler leadership of the Communist Party of Germany and, jointly with the “Left” Social-Democrats, frustrated the arming of the proletariat and the development of the revolution in Germany. On October 30, 1923, imperial troops dispersed the Workers’ Government in Saxony.
3. The Souvarine group was an opportunist group within the Communist Party of France, headed by Souvarine, an out-and-out supporter of Trotsky. Supporting the Trotskyite opposition in the R.C.P.(B.), the Souvarine group slandered the Communist Party of France and the Comintern and grossly violated party discipline. In 1924, the fourth enlarged plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern granted the demand of the Communist Party of France for the expulsion of Souvarine from the Party, and the seventh enlarged plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, held in 1926, expelled him from the ranks of the Communist International for conducting couuter-revolutionary propaganda.
5. The Fifth World Congress of the Comintern took place in Moscow from June 17 to July 8, 1924. There were present 510 delegates, representing 60 organisations in 49 countries.
The congress discussed the activities of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, the world economic situation, the economic situation in the U.S.S.R. and the discussion in the R.C.P.(B.), fascism, tactics in the trade union movement, factory units of the Party, questions relating to the Parties in various countries, the programme, the national question, the agrarian question, etc. J. V. Stalin was a member of the presidium of the congress and also of its most important commissions: the political commission, the programme commission, and the commission for drafting a resolution on Leninism, and was chairman of the Polish commission. The Fifth Congress of the Comintern unanimously supported the Bolshevik Party in its fight against Trotskyism. The congress endorsed the resolution of the Thirteenth Conference and Thirteenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) “Results of the Discussion and the Petty-Bourgeois Deviation in the Party” and decided to publish it as a decision of the congress. The congress adopted a resolution on strengthening the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries, on Bolshevising them and transforming them into real mass parties resting on the trade unions.
6. The Profintern—the Red International of Trade Unions—was formed in 1921 and existed to the end of 1937. It was a federation of revolutionary trade unions and adopted the standpoint of the Communist International.
7. Levi’s Left-wing group—a group within the Social-Democratic Party of Germany. In October 1923, when the Workers’ Government was formed in Saxony, the Levi group, afraid of losing influence among the masses of the workers, announced its readiness to co-operate with the Communists. Actually, it served as a screen for the counter-revolutionary policy of Social-Democracy and helped the bourgeoisie to suppress the revolutionary proletarian movement.