V. I.   Lenin

The Third Congress of the Communist International

June 22-July 12, 1921[6]

Written: See below.
Published: See below.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 3nd English Printing, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 316b-328.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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.

Letter To O. W. Kuusinen and Remarks On The Draft “Theses on the Organisational Activities of the Communist Parties’ on the Methods and Content of their Work”

To Comrade Kuusinen


Address: from Finnish comrades or at the Comintern.


Comrade Kuusinen,

I have read your article (3 chapters) and the theses with great pleasure.

I enclose my remarks in connection with the theses..

I advise you to immediately find a German comrade (a real German) to improve the German text (of the article and the theses). Perhaps this comrade, on your behalf, would read your article as a report at the Third Congress (it would be much more convenient for the German delegates to hear a German.[7]

My advice is—cross out the end (of the theses).

Re propaganda and agitation—much greater detail—
especially on the press, but also on verbal propaganda.

I think you should definitely take upon yourself the report I this congress. I shall write to Zinoviev about this today.

Best regards, Yours,



(Thesis 6 or) § 6, 2nd Part, last sentence should read:

“... will inevitably inherit this tendency to a certain

extent from ... environment ....”

And the next sentence should read:

“... the Communist Party should overcome this tendency by systematic and persistent organisational work and repeated improvements and corrections ......

(Thesis 7 or) § 7:

It should be stated at greater length that this is exactly what is lacking in most of the legal parties of the West. There is no everyday work (revolutionary work) by every member of the Party.

This is the chief drawback.

To change this is the most difficult job of all.

But this is the most important.

§ 10.

This needs amplifying.

More details.


The role of the newspaper.

“Our” newspaper compared with the usual capitalist newspaper.

Work for “our” newspaper.

Example: Russian newspapers of 1912-13.

The fight against the bourgeois papers. Exposure of their venality, their lies, etc.

Distribution of leaflets.

Home agitation.

Sunday outings, etc.

Far more details.

§ 11—far more details here too.

§ 13. Presenting reports and discussion of reports in the “cells”.

Reports on hostile and especially on petty-bourgeois organisations (the Labour Party, the Socialist parties, etc.).

Greater detail about duties among the mass of the unorganised proletariat and of the proletariat organised in the yellow trade unions (including the II and 111/2 Internationals) and the non-proletarian sections of the working people.

§ 26 and 27.

This is irrelevant.

This is not an “organisational question”.

This subject had better be dealt with in a special article for the Communist International, say: “Organisational Questions in Revolutionary Periods” and so forth.

Or: “On the Question of Mounting Revolution and Our Corresponding Tasks” (on. the basis of Russian and Finnish experience).

June 10, 1921
First published in 1958 in the journal Problemi Mira i Sotsializma No. 3
Printed from the manuscript
Translated from the German


Letter To O. W. Kuusinen And W. Koenen[8]

To Comrades Kuusinen and Koenen


Dear Comrades,

I read your draft theses on the organisational question great pleasure. I think you have done a very good job. May I suggest just two addenda:

1) advice-control commissions consisting of the best, tried and experienced workers to be formed in all parties;

2) re spies—a special point in connection with the question of illegal work. Contents roughly as follows: the bourgeoisie is bound to infiltrate spies and provocateurs into the illegal organisations. A thoroughgoing and unremitting struggle should be waged against this, and a method of struggle to be specially recommended is a skilful combination of legal work with illegal, verification (of fitness for illegal work) by means of prolonged legal work.[9]

With communist greetings, Yours,


July 9, 1921
First published in 1958 in the journal Problemi Mira i Sotsializma No. 3
Printed from the manuscript
Translated from the German


Remarks On The Draft Theses On Tactics For The Third Congress Of The Communist International

Letter To G. Y. Zinoviev[10]

The crux of the matter is that Levi in very many respects is right politically. Unfortunately, he is guilty of a number of breaches of discipline for which the Party has expelled him.

Thalheimer’s and Bèla Kun’s theses are politically utterly fallacious. Mere phrases and playing at Leftism.

Radek is vacillating and has spoilt his original draft by a number of concessions to “Leftist” silliness. His first “concession” is highly characteristic: in § 1 of his theses ”Umgrenzung der Fragen” he first had “winning the majority of the working class (to the principles of communism)” (mark this). Amended (verballhornt) to: “winning the socially decisive sections of the working class.”

A gem! To weaken here, in such a context, the necessity of winning precisely the majority of the working class “to the principles of communism,” is the height of absurdity.

To win power, you need, under certain conditions (even when the majority of the working class have already been won over to the principles of communism) a blow dealt at the decisive place by the majority of the socially decisive sections of the working class.

To modify, verballhornen, this truth in such a way that § 1 of the general tasks of the Communist International about winning the working class to the principles of communism weakens the idea about the necessity of winning the majority of the working class, is a classic example of Béla Kun’s and Thalheimer’s ineptitude (it looks all right, dammit, but it’s all damn’d wrong) and of Radek’s... hasty complaisance.

Radek’s theses were much too long and boneless, and lacked a political central point. And Radek diluted them still more, spoilt them hopelessly.

What’s to be done? I don’t know. So much time and effort wasted.

If you don’t want an open fight at the congress, then I propose:

1) that Thalheimer’s and B. Kun’s theses be rejected by exact voting this very day (since Bukharin assures me that the basic points have to be settled not later than today: they were better postponed) as being basically erroneous. Have this recorded. You will spoil everything if you don’t do this and show indulgence.

2) that Radek’s first draft, “unimproved” by any corrections, one specimen of which I have quoted, should be adopted as a basis.

3) that 1-3 persons be entrusted with cutting down the text and improving it so that it is no longer boneless (if that is possible!) and clearly, precisely and unequivocally puts into focus as the central ideas the following:

None of the Communist Parties anywhere have yet won the majority (of the working class), not only as regards organisational leadership, but to the principles of communism as well. This is the basis of everything. To “weaken” this foundation of the only reasonable tactic is criminal irresponsibility.

Hence: revolutionary explosions are possible nevertheless very soon considering the abundance of inflammable material   in Europe; an easy victory of the working class—in exceptionable cases—is also possible. But it would be absurd now to base the tactics of the Communist International on this possibility; it is absurd and harmful to write and think that the propaganda period has ended and the period of action has started.

The tactics of the Communist International should be based on a steady and systematic drive to win the majority of the working class, first and foremost within the old trade unions. Then we shall win for certain, whatever the course of events. As for “winning” for a short time in an exceptionally happy turn of events—any fool can do that.

Hence: the tactic of the Open Letter[11] should definitely be applied everywhere. This should be said straight out, clearly and exactly, because waverings in regard to the “Open Letter” are extremely harmful, extremely shameful and extremely widespread. We may as well admit this. All those who have failed to grasp the necessity of the Open Letter tactic should be expelled from the Communist International within a month after its Third Congress. I clearly see my mistake in voting for the admission of KAPD.[12] It will have to be rectified as quickly and fully as possible.

Instead of spinning a long yarn like Radek, we had better have the whole text of the Open Letter translated (and in German quoted in full), its significance properly brought home and adopted as a model.

I would confine the general resolution on tactics to this.

Only then will the tone he set. The central idea will be clear. There will be no woolliness. No possibility of everyone reading his own meaning into it (like in Radek’s).

Radek’s original draft would then be cut down to a quarter, at least.

It is time we stopped writing and voting brochures instead of theses. Under this system partial mistakes are inevitable with any of us, even when the matter is indisputable. And when we have something boneless and disputable we are bound to make b i g mistakes and spoil the whole thing.

And then, if you have the itch for it, you can add a supplement: on the basis of such a tactic, specifically by way of example, precisely as an example and not as a principle, we add so-and-so and so-and-so.


To generalise Serrati and Levi into the same “opportunism” is stupid. Serrati is guilty; of what? It should be said clearly and precisely—on the Italian question, and not on the question of general tactics. Of having split with the Communists and not having expelled the reformists, Turati & Co. Until you have carried this out, Italian comrades’ you are outside the Communist International. We are expelling you.[13]

And to the Italian Communists—serious advice and the demand: so long as you have not been able by persistence, patience and skill to convince and win over the majority of the Serratian workers, don’t swagger, don’t play at Leftism. “Fall Levi”[1] is not in general tactics, but in the appraisal of Märzaktion,[2] on the German question. Brandler says: there was a defensive. The government provoked it.

Assuming this is true, that it is a fact.

What deduction is to be drawn from this?

1) That all the shouting about an offensive—erroneous and absurd;

2) that it was a tactical error to call for a general strike once there was provocation on the part of the government, who wanted to draw the small fortress of communism into the struggle (the district in the centre where the Communists already had a majority).

3) Mistakes like this must be avoided in future, as the situation in Germany is a special one after the killing of 20,000 workers in the civil war through the skilful manoeuvres of the Right.

4) To call the defensive of hundreds of thousands of workers (Brandler says a million. Isn’t he mistaken? Isn’t he exaggerating? Why are there no figures by regions and cities???) a “putsch”’ and a “Bakuninist putsch” at that, is worse than a mistake’ it is a breach of revolutionary discipline. Since Levi added to this a number of other breaches (list them very carefully and exactly) he deserves his punishment and has earned his expulsion.

The term of expulsion should be fixed, say, at six months at least. He should then be permitted to seek readmission   to the Party, and the Communist International advises that he be readmitted provided he has acted loyally during that time.

I have not yet read anything, apart from Brandler’s pamphlet, and am writing this on the basis of Levi’s and Brandler’s pamphlets. Brandler has proved one thing—if he has proved anything—that the Märzaktion was not a “Bakuninist putsch” [for such abusive language Levi ought to be expelled] but a heroic defence by revolutionary workers, hundreds of thousands of them; but however heroic it was, in future such a challenge, provoked by the government, which, since 1.1919, has already killed by provocations 20,000 workers should not be accepted until the Communists have the majority behind them, all over the country, and not just in one small district.

((The July days of 1917 were not a Bakuninist putsch. For such an appraisal we would have expelled a person from the Party. The July days were an heroic offensive. And the deduction we drew was that we would not launch the next heroic offensive prematurely. Premature acceptance of a general battle—that is what the Märzaktion really was. Not a putsch, but a mistake, mitigated by the heroism of a defensive by hundreds of thousands.))

Concerning Šmeral. Can’t we have at least 2 or 3 documents?

There would be no harm in having at least 2 documents (24 pages each) on each country printed for the Comintern.

What are the facts about Šmeral? about Strasser?

Do not forget one of the chief things—to delete from Radek’s first theses everything relating to the “waiting party”, to its censure. It must all come out.[14]

Regarding Bulgaria, Serbia (Yugoslavia?) and Czechoslovakia, the question of these countries must be put concretely, specially, clearly, and precisely.

If opinion is divided on this, I suggest convening the Politbureau.

10/V1.1921 Lenin

June 10, 1921
First published in 1965 in the Fifth Russian Edition of the Collected Works, Vol. 52
Printed from the manuscript


Motion On The Draft Theses On Tactics

1) That Šmeral’s designation and the whole end of the paragraph be crossed out;

2) That a Committee (or the Executive) be directed to draw up a detailed letter to the Czech Party containing a practical, lucid and documented criticism of what is incorrect in Šmeral’s stand and what the editors of the Reichenberger Vorwärts[15] have to be more careful of.

Written in July, not later than 9, 1921
First published in 1958 in the journal Problemi Mira i Sotsializma No. 2
Printed from the manuscript


Speeches At A Meeting Of Members Of The German, Polish, Czechoslovak, Hungarian And Italian Delegations
July 11

I read certain reports yesterday in Pravda which have persuaded me that the moment for an offensive is perhaps nearer than we thought at the congress’ and for which the young comrades attacked us. I shall deal with these reports later, however. Just now I want to say that the nearer the general offensive is, the more “opportunistically” must we act. You will now all return home and tell the workers that we have become more reasonable than we were before the Third Congress. You should not be put out by this; you will say that we made mistakes and now wish to act more carefully; by doing so we shall win the masses over from the Social-Democratic and Independent Social-Democratic parties, masses, who, objectively, by the whole course of events, are being pushed towards us, but who are afraid of us. I want to cite our own example to show you that we must act more carefully.

At the beginning of the war we Bolsheviks adhered to a single slogan—that of civil war, and a ruthless one at that. We branded as a traitor everyone who did not support the idea of civil war. But when we came back to Russia in March 1917 we changed our position entirely. When we returned to Russia and spoke to the peasants and workers, we saw that they all stood for defence of the homeland, of course in quite a different sense from the Mensheviks, and we could not call these ordinary workers and peasants scoundrels and traitors. We described this as “honest defencism”. I intend to write a big article about this and publish all the material. On April 7 I published my theses, in which I called for caution and patience.[3] Our original stand at the beginning of the war was correct: it was important then to form a definite and resolute core. Our subsequent stand was correct too. It proceeded from the assumption that the masses had to be won over. At that time we already rejected the idea of the immediate overthrow of the Provisional Government. I wrote: “It should be overthrown, for it is an oligarchic, and not a people’s government, and is unable to provide peace or bread. But it cannot be overthrown just now’ for it is being kept in power by the workers’ Soviets and so far enjoys the confidence of the workers. We are not Blanquists, we do not want to rule with a minority of the working class against the majority.”[4] The Cadets, who are shrewd politicians, immediately noticed the contradiction between our former position and the new one, and called us hypocrites. But as, in the same breath, they had called us spies, traitors, scoundrels and German agents, the former appellation made no impression. The first crisis occurred on April 20. Milyukov’s Note on the Dardanelles showed the government up for what it was an imperialist government. After this the armed masses of the soldiery moved against the building of the government and overthrew Milyukov. They were led by a non-Party man named Linde. This movement had not been organised   by the Party. We characterised that movement at the time as follows: something more than an armed demonstration, and something less than an armed uprising. At our conference on April 22 the Left trend demanded the immediate over-throw of the Government. The Central Committee, on the contrary, declared against the slogan of civil war, and we instructed all agitators in the provinces to deny the outrageous lie about the Bolsheviks wanting civil war. On April 22 I wrote that the slogan “Down with the Provisional Government” was incorrect’ since if we did not have the majority of the people behind us this slogan would he either an empty phrase or adventurism.[5]

We did not hesitate in face of our enemies to call our Leftists “adventurists”. The Mensheviks crowed over this and talked about our bankruptcy. But we said that any attempt to be slightly, if only a wee bit, left of the C.C. was folly, and those who stood left of the C.C. had lost ordinary common sense. We refuse to be intimidated by the fact that our enemies rejoice at our slips.

Our sole strategy now is to become stronger, hence cleverer, more sensible, more “opportunistic”, and that is what we must tell the masses. But after we shall have won over the masses by our reasonableness, we shall use the tactic of offensive in the strictest sense of that word.

Now about the three reports:

1) The strike of Berlin’s municipal workers. Municipal workers are mostly conservative people, who belong to the Social-Democrats of the majority and to the Independent Social-Democratic Party; they are well off, but are compelled to strike.[16]

2) The strike of the textile workers in Lille.[17]

3) The third fact is the most important. A meeting was held in Rome to organise the struggle against the fascists, in which 50,000 workers took part—representing all parties—Communists, socialists and also republicans. Five thousand ex-servicemen came to the meeting in their uniforms and not a single fascist dared to appear on the street.[18] This shows that there is more inflammable material in Europe than we thought. Lazzari praised our resolution on tactics. It is an   important achievement of our congress. If Lazzari admits it, then the thousands of workers who back mm are bound to come to us, and their leaders will not be able to scare them away from us. “Il faut reculer, pour mieux sauter” (you have to step back to make a better jump). This jump is inevitable’ since the situation, objectively, is becoming insufferable.

So we are beginning to apply our new tactic. We mustn’t get nervy, we cannot be late, rather we may start too early, and when you ask whether Russia will be able to hold out so long, we answer that we are now fighting a war with the petty bourgeoisie’ with the peasantry, an economic war, which is much more dangerous for us than the last war. But as Clausewitz said, the element of war is a danger and we have never been out of that danger for a moment. I am sure that if we act more cautiously, if we make concessions in time, we shall win this war too, even if it lasts over three years.

Summing up:

1) All of us, unanimously throughout Europe, shall say that we are applying the new tactic, and in this way we shall win the masses.

2) Co-ordination of the offensive in the most important countries: Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy. We need here preparation, constant co-ordination. Europe is pregnant with revolution, but it is impossible to make up a calendar of revolution beforehand. We in Russia will hold out, not only five years’ but more. The only correct strategy is the one we have adopted. I am confident that we shall win positions for the revolution which the Entente will have nothing to put up against, and that will be the beginning of victory on a world scale.


Šmeral seemed to be pleased with my speech, but he interprets it one-sidedly. I said in the committee that in order to find the correct line Šmeral had to make three steps to the left, and Kreibich one step to the right. Šmeral, unfortunately, said nothing about taking these steps. Nor did he say anything about his views on the situation. Concerning the difficulties, Šmeral merely repeated the old arguments and said nothing new. Šmeral said that I had dispelled his fears. In the spring he was afraid that the communist leadership would demand of him untimely action, but events dispelled these fears. But what worries us now is this: will things really come to the stage of preparation for the offensive in Czechoslovakia, or will they be confined merely to talk about difficulties. The Left mistake is simply a mistake, it isn’t big and is easily rectified. But if the mistake pertains to the resolution to act, then this is by no means a small mistake, it is a betrayal. These mistakes do not bear comparison. The theory that we shall make a revolution, but only after others have acted first, is utterly fallacious.


The retreat made at this congress can, I think, be compared with our actions in 1917 in Russia, and therefore prove that this retreat must serve as preparation for the offensive. Our opponents will say that we are not saying today what we said before. It will do them little good, but the working-class masses will understand us if we tell them in what sense the March action is to be considered a success and why we criticise its mistakes and say that we should make better preparations in future. I agree with Terracini when he says that the interpretations of Šmeral and Burian are wrong. If co-ordination is to be understood as our having to wait until another country has started, a country that is richer and has a bigger population, then this is not a communist interpretation, but downright deception. Co-ordination should consist in comrades from other countries knowing exactly what moments are significant. The really important interpretation of co-ordination is this: the best and quickest imitation of a good example. That of the workers of Rome is a good example.

First published in 1958: first speech in full, second and third in abridged form in the Journal Voprosi Istorii KPSS No. 5
Printed from the shorthand record
Translated from the German


[1] The Levi case.—Ed.

[2] The March action.—Ed.

[3] See Volume 24 of this edition, pages 19-26.—Ed.

[4] Ibid., p. 40.—Ed.

[5] See Volume 24 of this edition, pages 210-112.—Ed.

[6] The Third Congress of the Communist International was held in Moscow from June 22 to July 12, 1921. It was attended by 605 delegates (291 voting delegates and 314 with a consultative voice) representing 103 organisations from 52 countries, namely: 48 Communist Parties, 8 Socialist Parties, 28 Youth Leagues, 4 syndicalist organisations’ 2 opposition Communist Parties (the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany and the Workers’ Communist Party of Spain) and 13 other organisations. The 72 delegates from the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) were headed by Lenin.

The congress discussed the world economic crisis and the new tasks of the Communist International; the report on the activity of the Executive Committee of the Communist International; the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany; the Italian question; the tactics of the Communist International; the attitude of the Red International Council of Trade Unions to the Communist International; the struggle against the Amsterdam International; the tactics of the R.C.P.(B.); the Communist International and the Communist youth movement; the women’s movement; the United Communist Party of Germany, and other questions.

All the work of preparing for the congress and conducting its activities was directed by Lenin. He wrote the “Theses for a Report on the Tactics of the R.C.P.(B.)” which were adopted by the congress; he spoke on the Italian question; in defence of the tactics of the Communist International; delivered a report on the tactics of the R.C.P.(B.); took a leading part in drafting all the key resolutions; spoke in the committees and at the enlarged sittings of the Executive Committee of the Comintern and at the delegates’ meetings. See present edition, Vol. 32’ pp. 451-06.

The “Theses on the Organisational Activities of the Communist Parties, on the Methods and Content of Their Work” for the Third Congress of the Communist International were drafted by 0. W. Kuusinen. On June 6’ 1921’ he sent Lenin part of the article he had written on the organisational question and the theses on which the article was based. In accordance with Lenin’s remarks Kuusinen redrafted the theses and sent them again to Lenin on June 17 (without points 25-29 dealing with the Party press); on June 21 the rest of the theses were sent (points 25-29). Apparently Lenin read this variant of the theses again. On June 27 Kuusinen sent Lenin a third variant of the theses on the organisational question revised on the basis of Lenin’s instructions. The theses were revised also with the co-operation of the German Communist Wilhelm Koenen. On July 9 Lenin approved the theses and gave his final remarks and addenda to them. (see pp. 3l8-19 of this volume). After discussion in the Committee the theses, with slight amendments, were adopted on July 12 by the Third Congress of the Communist International (see The Communist International in Documents. Decisioiis, Theses and Appeals of the Congresses of the Comintern and Plenary Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, 1919-1932. Moscow, 1933, pp. 201-25).

[7] The report on the organisational question at the Third Congress of the Communist International on July 10, 1921 waa read by the German Communist W. Koenen.

[8] See also the previous document in this connection.

[9] Lenin’s remarks were taken into consideration by 0. W. Kuusinen and W. Koenen (see The Communist International in Documents. Decisions’ Theses and Appeals of the Congresses of the Comintern and Plenary Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. 1919-1932. Moscow, 1933, pp. 221 and 223-24.)

[10] This document was written in connection with the drafting of the theses on tactics for the Third Congress of the Communist International. The work of drafting the theses was entrusted to the Russian delegation to the congress.

On June 1, 1921, K. B. Radek sent Lenin a draft of the theses containing amendments proposed by A. Thaiheimer and Bela Kun and their own draft. On the envelope containing these materials Lenin jotted down his initial remarks on the draft theses on tactics (see Collected Works, Vol. 44 Fifth Russian Edition, p. 435) and then wrote out his remarks in full as printed lower down.

In accordance with Lenin’s directions the draft theses on tactics were revised, discussed at preliminary meetings with a number of delegations and tabled at the Third Congress in the name of the Russian delegation. On July 1, Lenin delivered a speech at the congress in defence of the tactics of the Comintern (see present edition, Vol. 32, pp. 468-77). On July 12, the theses were unanimously adopted by the congress (see The Communist International in Documents, etc. Moscow, 1933, pp. 180-201).

[11] The Open Letter (Offener Brief) of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party of Germany to the Socialist Party of Germany, the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Ger  many, the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany and all trade unions was published in Die Rote Fahne on January 8, 1921. The U.C.P.G. called on all workers, trade unions and socialist organisations to unite their forces in combating the growing reaction and the capitalists’ attack upon the working people’s vital rights. Their programme of joint action included demands for higher pensions for disabled war veterans; elimination of unemployment; improvement of the country’s finances at the expense of the monopolies; introduction of factory committee control over all stocks of food, raw materials and fuel; restarting of all closed enterprises; control over sowing, harvesting and marketing of all farm produce by the Peasants’ Councils together with the agricultural labourers’ organisations; immediate disarming nd disbanding of all bourgeois militarised organisations; establishment of workers’ self-defence; amnesty for all political prisoners; immediate resumption of trade and diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia. Lenin commented very favourably on the Open Letter (see Lenin Miscellany XXXVI, p. 221).

The Right-wing leaders of the organisations to which the Open Letter was addressed rejected the proposal for joint action with the Commiinists, despite the fact that the workers came outfor a united front of the proletariat.

[12] KAPD (Kommunistische Arbeiter Partei Deutschlands)—Communist Workers’ Party of Germany was formed in April 1920 by “T,eft” Communists,. who had been expelled from the Communist Party of Germany at the Heidelberg Congress in 1919. In November 1920, in order to facilitate the unification of all German communist forces and meet the wishes of thel best proletarian elements within it, the C.W.P.G. was temporarily admitted into the Comintern with the rights of a sympathising member. The Executive Committee of the Comintern, however, still regarded the United Communist Party of Germany as the only fully-authorised section of the Comintern. C.W.P.G.’s representatives were admitted into the Comintern on the condition that they merged with the United Communist Party of Germany and supported all its activities. The Third Congress of the Comintern, in, order to win over the workers who still followed the lead of the C.W.P.G., decided to give the latter two to three months to call a congress and settle the question of amalgamation. The Executive Committee, on behalf of the Third Congress, adopted an appeal “To the Members of the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany” setting forth the decision of the congress and urging the C.W.P.G. to abandon its sectarian policy and unite with the U.C.P.G. The C.W.P.G. leadership failed to comply with the decision of the Third Congress and continued their splitting activities; The Executive of the Comintern was compelled to break off relations with the party. The C.W.P.G. thus found itself outside the Communist International. Eventually the C.W.P.G. degenerated into a small sectarian group having no support among, and hostile to, the working class of Germany.

[13] The Italian question was referred to the Third Congress of the Comintern following the protest of the Italian Socialist Party against the decision of the Comintern’s Executive to exclude it from the Communist International and recognise the Communist Party of Italy as the only section of the Comintern in Italy.

The Third Congress of the Communist International adopted the following decision on the ISP. on June 29, 1921: “The Italian Socialist Party cannot belong to the Communist International so long as the participants of the reformists’ conference at Reggio-Emilia and their supporters have not been expelled from the party.

In the event of this preliminary condition being fulfilled the Third World Congress will authorise its Executive to take the necessary steps to bring about a union between the Italian Socialist Party, after it has cleared its ranks of all reformist and Centrist elements, and the Communist Party of Italy, and transform both organisations into a unified section of the Communist International” (The Communist International in Documents. Decisions, Theses and Appeals of the Congresses of the Comintern and Plenary Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. 1919-1932. Moscow, 1933, p. 164). The Italian Socialist Party, however, failed to carry out this decision of the Third Congress.

A Left faction of “Third-Internationalists” (G. M. Serrati, F. Maffi and others) was formed within the Italian Socialist Party in the spring of 1923, which was for amalgamation with the Communist Party of Italy. In August 1924 the Third Internationalists merged with the Communist Party of Italy.

[14] Lenin is apparently referring to the following text of the initial draft theses on the question of the tactics of the Communist international submitted by K. B. Radek: “Seeing that the Communist International wishes to creat only truly revolutionary mass parties, they [what Radek calls Centrist groups in the Communist Parties of a number of countries.—Editor] are making a big noise about the Comintern falling into sectarianism. This is what the Levi group in Germany, the Smeral group in Czechoslo-vakia, etc., are doing. The nature of these groups is quite clear. They are Centrist groups; who cloak the policy of passive waiting for the revolution with communist phrases and theories. The Smeral group put off the organisation of a Communist Party in Czechoslovakia at a time when the majority of the Czechoslovak workers had taken a communist stand” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U.).

[15] B. Smeral’s report at the Inaugural Congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was published in abridged form in the newspaper Vrwdrts, around which were grouped the Czechoslovak Lefts headed by K. Kreibich.

Lenin’s motion was adopted by the Tactics Committee. The section of the theses on tactics dealing with the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was worded in accordance with his proposal.

[16] At the beginning o July 1921 the employees of Berlin’s municipal services decided to call a strike for higher pay. The strike was decided on by a majority of the workers (about 80,000). The reformists, however, succeeded in preventing the strike. Following negotiations between the representatives of the employees and the Berlin Municipal Council, on which sat Social-Democrats, the employees’ pay was slightly raised.

[17] Early in July 1921 the cotton-mill workers of Lille (France) went on strike against wage cuts by the mill-owners. The strike spread to a number of departments. Early in September the workers of the Northern district of France declared a general strike. Although the workers staunchly carried on the fight for two months, the strike failed as a result of the reformist tactics of the trade union leadership and unfavourable economic conditions.

[18] The mass meeting of the workers in Rome, which was held on July 8, 1921, was fully reported in Pravda No. 149 on July 10, 1921.

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