Leon Trotsky

The First Five Years of the Communist International

Volume 1

French Socialism on the Eve of Revolution [1]

THE INTERNAL situation of France is filled with deepest contradictions. These contradictions sometimes even seem somewhat enigmatic. We receive news far too scant to be able to make out all the zigzags of France’s internal development. In recent weeks, the radio brought us tidings of strikes, demonstrations, ferments, tidings of the rising revolutionary surf. At the same time the latest radiograms inform us that imperialist reaction has scored a complete victory in the parliamentary elections. [2] At first glance, what a glaring contradiction! And yet this contradiction is best explained by the theory of Communism (Marxism) and most strikingly corroborates the correctness of this theory.

Parliamentarianism is an instrument of bourgeois rule. Parliamentarianism becomes all the more obsolete the further we move into the epoch of the proletarian revolution. To the extent that the French labor movement assumes the form of the first stages of civil war, to that extent the means and implements of parliamentarianism become more and more openly the patrimony of capitalist cliques, their apparatus of class self-defense.

The victory of Clemenceaunian reaction in the elections is not a refutation of the proximity of the proletarian revolution in France but, on the contrary, its clearest confirmation. At the same time these mutually supplementary contrasts – the growth of reaction in parliament and the growth of insurrection in the streets – are incontrovertible proof that in France, in the land of the so-called “democratic republic,” the rule of the proletariat will not be realized in life through the mechanism of bourgeois democracy, but in the form of open class dictatorship, all the more ruthless, the more frantic the resistance of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

To what extent is revolutionary France [1*] prepared politically and organizationally for the proletarian dictatorship?

It is necessary to begin by recognizing the enormous difficulties which must be overcome in this connection. France has traditionally been the country of socialist and anarchist sects, engaged in internecine warfare on the soil of the labor movement. The unity of the Socialist Party was gained and secured after cruelest fratricidal struggle only a few years prior to the imperialist war. Both the right and the left wings equally cherished this unity. Meanwhile, it was revealed in the experience of war that the French party as well as the French syndicates (trade unions) have been utterly corroded by conciliationism, chauvinism and all other reactionary petty-bourgeois prejudices extant in this wide world.

The French proletariat has a glorious revolutionary past. Nature and history have endowed it with a superb warlike temperament. But at the same time it has known far too many defeats, disillusionments, perfidies and betrayals. Prior to the war the unity of the Socialist Party and the trade union syndicalist organization was its last great hope.

The blasting of this hope had a harmful effect upon the consciousness of the advanced workers, and the proletarian movement of France was plunged into protracted paralysis. And today when new and still politically inexperienced masses are pressing against the buttresses of bourgeois society, the incongruity between the old organization and the objective tasks of the movement is becoming disclosed with full force. Hence flows not only the probability but also the inevitability of powerful mass movements unfolding sooner than the new organization will be prepared to lead them.

Quite obvious is the urgency of creating in advance organizational ramparts throughout the districts – organizational points of support with the requisite independence, not bound by the discipline of the old political or trade union organizations, and capable of promptly taking their place at the head of the movement. Our French comrades are wholly occupied with just this. If the revolutionary groupings proved too weak at the outset to give the movement genuine leadership, at a subsequent stage, after the first revolutionary surge, they will quickly gain forces, grow stronger and become consolidated in the course of the struggle itself.

So far as one can judge from afar this twofold task – building the organization virtually anew while at the same time assuming the leadership of a swiftly unfolding mass movement – presents the main difficulty in carrying on revolutionary work in France at present.

“Strikes,” says the courageous revolutionary syndicalist, Monatte, “are flaring up on all sides.” But its inner bankruptcy “does not permit the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) to lead them.” A new apparatus is necessary. It is impossible, however, to postpone the movement until the necessary leading organization is created. On the other hand, these spontaneous strikes, which tend to become transformed into decisive revolutionary events, cannot lead to victory without a genuine revolutionary organization, one that doesn’t tell the workers lies, doesn’t deceive them, doesn’t hide from them nor throw sand into their eyes, doesn’t betray them in the cloakrooms of parliamentarianism or of economic conciliationism but leads them unswervingly to the end. Such an organization must still be created.

Where are we heading? From dissatisfaction to more dissatisfaction, from strike to strike, from semi-economic, semi-political strikes to strikes purely political in character. We are heading directly for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, that is, revolution. The dissatisfied masses are taking long strides along this path.

So writes La Vie Ouvriére, the newspaper of Monatte and Rosmer.

The revolutionary representatives of the French proletariat jointly with the central Communist core (both Socialist as well as syndicalist in origin), who although small numerically are equipped with a clear and conscious knowledge of the aims of the movement, have as their task to firmly integrate all those new leaders who come to the forefront during strikes, demonstrations and, generally, all other manifestations of the genuine mass movement. The task consists, without fearing difficulties, in assuming right now the leadership of this spontaneous movement and in consolidating on this soil one’s own organization as an apparatus of the direct uprising of the proletariat.

This presupposes, in its turn, a complete break with the discipline of those organizations which are counter-revolutionary in essence, that is, in relation to the basic tasks of the movement, and which are represented by the parties of Renaudel-Longuet, and the trade unions of Jouhaux-Merrheim.

While the response of the working masses was very meager on July 21 when the strike [5] was called to protest the Entente’s intervention in Russian affairs, the blame for it must not be placed on the workers. In the last few years the workers in general and the French workers in particular have been deceived more sedulously, with more fiendish ingenuity, and with more tragic consequences than ever before in history. The majority of those leaders, who used memorized phrases in order to summon the workers to struggle against capitalism, openly put on the livery of imperialism in the autumn of 1914. The official syndical and party organizations, with which the advanced workers had become accustomed to associate the idea of emancipation, became the instruments of capitalism. This fact created not only incredible organizational difficulties for the working class but also became the source of a profound ideological catastrophe, from which the difficulties in recovering are in proportion to the great role played by the old organization in the life of the advanced proletarian layers.

The working class is now heroically striving to regain its feet after the fall, to shake off the effects of the blow. Hence the unprecedented influx into the syndicates. But at the same time a working class, disarmed ideologically and confused politically, is hammering out with difficulty a new orientation for itself. And this work is not facilitated but, on the contrary, impeded in the extreme if the revolutionary leaders remain too long in a transitional position, if they do not appear before the masses with the necessary independence and resoluteness, but remain instead submerged against the main background of the old party and syndicate organizations.

Whatever may be the motivation for preserving the unity of the old organization, it must remain incomprehensible to the revolutionary masses why those who summon them to revolution continue to sit at the same table with individuals who have deceived them, and especially those individuals who so brazenly and shamefully betrayed them during the war. The revolutionary mass dearly values its own unity in struggle, but it is doubtful whether it will easily understand the unity of the revolutionary fighters with the clique of Jouhaux [6]-Merrheim [7] and Renaudel [8]-Longuet. [9]

Under the conditions of the present epoch the slogan of preserving unity flows from the psychology of the official organization: leaders, chairmen, secretaries, parliamentarians, editors and, generally, apparatus functionaries of the old syndical and parliamentary workers’ democracy who feel the ground slipping under their feet. The proletariat, however, has today the choice either of disintegrating completely, becoming atomized and bringing forth at the top privileged retainers of triumphant imperialism or of fusing its ranks to rise up against capitalism. The working class needs its unity of revolutionary struggle, the unity of class uprising, whereas the unity of outlived organizations keeps becoming more and more of a barrier along the road to the unity of the proletarian revolutionary uprising. The masses thrown off balance by the war today need more than ever before clarity in ideas, precision in slogans, a road that is straight and leaders who do not waver. Yet the tactic based on preserving the unity of old organizations yields a caricature parliamentarianism within the workers’ organizations under the old administration – it is as if they are “ministerial cabinets,” with an opposition, with established statutory regulations, official inquiries, votes of confidence, and so forth and so on. By establishing ties with conciliationists through a unified organization, the Communist opposition thereby places itself on fundamental questions in dependence on the will of the conciliationist majority and squanders its energy in adapting itself to syndical and party “parliamentarianism.” Petty items and incidents of an internal organizational struggle thus acquire a disproportionate importance at the expense of the basic questions of the revolutionary mass movement.

*  *  *

Caricature “parliamentarianism” within the workers’ organizations leads to further consequences. Secretaries and chairmen, Socialist-Ministers, journalists and deputies level charges against the opposition, accusing it of seeking to seize their easy-chairs and portfolios. The opposition excuses itself and not infrequently becomes signatory to declarations of “esteem” for the leading figures of the opposing side, painstakingly underscoring that the opposition conducts a struggle against “principles” and not against “personalities.” This leads, in its turn, to the intrenchment of the conciliators in the posts they occupy.

La Vie Ouvriére of September 24 states that the vote of confidence at the Metal Workers Convention was not intended to underwrite the policy of the conciliationist administration but to expres personal confidence in and personal sympathy for the secretaries. In other words, it was a vote of middle-class sentimentality, and not that of courageous class policy. Comrade Carron convincingly demonstrates in his article that those who so voted, and especially the masses back of them, are in spirit wholly with the partisans of the Third International. If they nonetheless voted confidence in the leadership, it was solely because their minds are being lulled by false arguments to the effect that one must struggle against ideas and not against personalities. After all, by their vote of confidence in Merrheim they continued in a responsible post a man who fobs off the ideas of opportunism, conciliationism and subservience to capitalism.

At the convention of Postal and Telegraph Workers the conciliationist policy of the administration was approved by 197 votes against 23, with 7 abstentions. A member of the administration, the internationalist Victor Roux, writes that a large number of convention delegates simply felt personal sympathy toward the union’s secretary, the condiiationist Borderes, whose moral worth is allegedly beyond dispute. “I personally acknowledge,” says the author, “that he has rendered great services to the organization, in difficult times ...” And so on and so forth. (La Vie Ouvriére, September 15, 1919.)

Jouhaux, Renaudel, Longuet, Merrheim and the like, irrespective of the “services” they rendered in the past, deport themselves today as an integral part of the bourgeois system and are in reality its most important prop. The whole gist of their activity makes it to their interest to exaggerate before the proletariat any and all concessions of the bourgeoisie, for these after all are the fruits of their class diplomacy. While criticizing capitalism, they paint it up, and their final conclusion, after all their oratorical exercises, comes down to the need of adapting oneself, i.e., submitting to the rule of capitalism.

The chief crime of the summits of reigning syndicalism is correctly seen by Alfred Rosmer to lie in this, that the syndical leaders “have replaced the direct action of the working class by solicitation of favors from the government.” This counter-revolutionary tactic, however, cannot be changed by “solicitation” of the social-imperialists of the trade union and political movement. While Jouhaux, Renaudel, Merrheim and Longuet are busy convincing the capitalists and the bourgeois deputies that it is necessary to make concessions to the working class, the genuine representatives of the proletariat cannot waste their time convincing Renaudel and Longuet of the need for revolutionary struggle. In order to throw the capitalist and bourgeois deputies off their necks the working class must throw the Renaudels and the Longuets out of its organizations.

The struggle against them must be conducted not as a family squabble or an academic discussion, but in a way corresponding to the gravity of the question, so that the abyss which separates us from the social-imperialists looms before the consciousness of the masses in all its profundity.

Our task consists in utilizing to the very end the appalling lessons of the imperialist war. Into the consciousness of the masses we must inculcate the experiences of the last period and make them understand that it is impossible for them to continue to exist any longer within the framework of capitalism. We must bring to the highest revolutionary pitch the awakening hatred of the masses toward capitalism, toward the capitalists, toward the capitalist state and its organs. We must make hateful in the eyes of the masses not alone the capitalists but also all those who defend capitalism, those who try to camouflage its pestilential sores, those who seek to mitigate its crimes.

After the unsuccessful demonstration of June 21, Monatte wrote:

The masses will henceforth know that it is no longer possible to vacillate and delude oneself with false hopes; and that it is necessary to mercilessly purge the personnel of the syndicates. (La Vie Ouvriére, June 25, 1919.)

In politics the struggle against false principles inescapably implies a struggle against those individuals who personify these principles. To regenerate the labor movement means to drive out of its ranks all those who have dishonored themselves by betrayal and treachery, all those who have undermined among the working masses their faith in revolutionary slogans, i.e., their faith in their own strength. Indulgence, sentimentality and softness in questions of this kind are paid for at the price of the blood-interests of the proletariat. The awakening masses demand that things be said out loud, that things be called by their real names, that there be no indefinite half-tones but clear and precise demarcations in politics, that the traitors be boycotted and hounded, that their places be taken by revolutionists devoted body and soul to the cause.

Comrade Louisa Saumoneau [2*] paints the following picture of the struggle during recent elections to spread the influence of the ideas of the Third International:

Propaganda which must be conducted among the masses both inside and outside the organizations can always most easily be carried on by us at big public meetings during elections ... The resistance to the revolutionary International gets its main support among the old cadres who have so poorly piloted our party’s ship during wartime. Our young and ardent comrades who are full of revolutionary zeal must exert themselves and their will power, in order to acquire certain practical habits and attainments indispensable for a well functioning organization. This knowledge is quite easily asimilated, and yet under the present conditions of struggle it serves as a cover for all types of nonentities and serves to render the fatal influence of desiccated living corpses in our organizations. The forces of youth must everywhere inspire the revolutionary class which has risen to fight for the cause of the Third International; they must become intrenched everywhere and must, even if it is necessary to throw them out head first, replace all those who are weighted down with four years’ renunciation of the socialist way of life ...

These words show quite clearly a complete understanding of the necmity, in fighting against reactionary ideas, to throw out head first all those individuals who incarnate stagnation and death in the revolutionary movement.

*  *  *

The bankrupt “leaders” of socialism and syndicalism, yesterday’s revolutionists of the phrase, today’s docile capitulators, place the blame for their renegacy not upon themselves, but upon – the proletariat.

At the Lyons Convention, Bidégarrey, secretary of the Railway Workers Federation, blamed the working masses for everything that had occurred. “To be sure, the trade unions have grown in numbers. But among the organized, there are far too few syndicalists [i.e., conscious revolutionists]. People are concerned solely with their own immediate interests.”

“In every human being,” philosophizes Bidégarrey, “there is a little swine, lying dormant.”

Rouger, delegate from Limoges, similarly blames the proletariat for everything. The proletariat is at fault. “The masses are not sufficiently enlightened. They join the unions only for the sake of getting an increase in wages.”

Merrheim, secretary of the Metal Workers Union, boasts on the speakers’ stand about his “tranquil conscience.” He, you see, went to Zimmerwald on a supernumerary syndical junket. It was, so to speak, a tiny pacifist pilgrimage, undertaken for the absolution of one’s conscience. He, Merrheim, fought. But he couldn’t awaken the masses. “No, it was not I who betrayed the working class, but it was the working class that betrayed me.” These are his literal words!

The syndicalist Dumoulin [11], an “honest” renegade of the Merrheim type – a Zimmerwaldist at the outbreak of war but today a worthy comrade-in-arms of General Secretary Jouhaux – declared at the Tours Convention of the Teachers Union that France was not ready for revolution, the masses have not yet “matured.” Not content with this, Dumoulin fell upon the internationalist teachers blaming them for ... the backwardness of the proletariat – as if the education of the toiling masses has its source in the miserable bourgeois school for proletarian children and not in the mighty school of life under the influence of the patrons (the employers), the government, the church, the bourgeois press, the parliamentarians and “poor shepherds” of syndicalism.

The renegades, the cowards and skeptics who have reached complete degradation, keep endlessly repeating the phrase: “The masses have not matured.” What conclusion follows from this? Only one: the renunciation of socialism, and, moreover, not temporary but complete renunciation. For if the masses, who have gone through the long preparatory school of political and trade union struggle and who then passed through the four years’ school of slaughter, have not matured for revolution, then when and how will they ever mature? Do Merrheim and the others think perhaps that victorious Clemenceau will create within the walls of the capitalist state a network of academies for the socialist education of the masses? If capitalism reproduces from one generation to the next the chains of wage slavery, then the proletariat in its deepest layers carries over darkness and ignorance from generation to generation. If the proletarian masses could attain a high mental and spiritual development under capitalism, then capitalism wouldn’t be so bad after all and there would be no need of social revolution. The proletariat must have a revolution precisely because capitalism keeps it in mental and spiritual bondage. Under the leadership of the advanced layer the immature masses will reach maturity during the revolution. Without the revolution they will fall into prostration and society as a whole will decay.

Millions of new workers are streaming into the trade unions. In England the great flood tide has doubled the union membership, which at the present has reached the figure of 5,200,000. In France the number of union members has grown from 400,000 on the eve of the war to 2,000,000. What changes does this numerical growth of the organized workers introduce into the policy of syndicalism?

“The workers join the trade unions solely for the sake of immediate material gains,” reply the conciliators. This theory is false from beginning to end. The great influx of workers into the trade unions is elicited not by petty, day-to-day questions, but by the colossal fact of the World War. The working masses, not only the top layers but the lowest depths as well, are roused and alarmed by the greatest historical upheaval. Each individual proletarian has sensed to a never equaled degree his helplessness in the face of the mighty imperialist machine. The urge to establish ties, the urge to unification and consolidation of forces has manifested itself with unprecedented power. Hence flows the surge of millions of workers into the trade unions or into the Soviets of Deputies, i.e., into sueh organizations as do not demand political preparation but represent the most general and most direct expression of the proletarian class struggle.

Having lost faith in the proletarian masses, the reformists of the Merrheim-Longuet stripe must seek for points of support among the “enlightened” and “humanitarian” representatives of the bourgeoisie. And, as a matter of fact, the political insignificance of these people finds its most annihilating expression in their attitude of reverential rapture before “the great democrat” Woodrow Wilson. People who deem themselves the representatives of the working class have shown themselves capable of seriously believing that American capitalism could place at the head of its state a man with whom the European working class could go marching hand in hand. These gentlemen have apparently heard nothing of America’s real reasons for intervening in the war, nor of Wall Street’s unconscionable machinations, nor of the role of Wilson whom the super-capitalists of the United States have entrusted with raising the slogans of philistine pacifism in order to cover up their bloody extortions. Or was it perhaps their assumption that Wilson could gainsay the capitalists and realize his program in life against the will of the billionaires? Or did they perhaps reckon that Wilson could with his syllables of priestly exhortation compel Clemenceau and Lloyd George to get busy liberating the small and weak peoples and establishing universal peace?

Not so very long ago, that is, after the sobering school of the Versailles “peace” negotiations, Merrheim launched an attack at the Lyons Conference against the syndicalist Lepetit who permitted himself – oh, horror of horrors! – to refer disrespectfully to Mr. Wilson. “No one has the right,” Merrheim proclaimed, “to insult Wilson at a syndicalist convention.” What price is the tranquillity of Merrheim’s conscience? If his groveling is not paid for by American dollars – and we readily grant that such is not the case – it nevertheless remains the selfsame base groveling of a self-effacing flunkey before the “democrat” made mighty by the grace of the dollar. One must indeed reach the last stage of spiritual degradation to be capable of pinning the hopes of the working class upon the bourgeoisie’s “men of probity.” “Leaders” who are capable of such politics can have nothing in common with the revolutionary proletariat. They must be mercilessly thrown out. “People who have perpetrated all this,” said Monatte at the Lyons Convention of the syndicalists, “are unworthy of remaining the interpreters of the ideas of the French labor movement.”

*  *  *

The French parliamentary elections will constitute a sharp line of demarcation in the political development of France. These elections mean that the intermediate political groupings have been thrust aside. Through the parliament the bourgeoisie has handed the power over to the financial oligarchy, and the latter has entrusted the generals with conquering the country for it; having fulfilled their bloody work, the generals, in conjunction with the stockbrokers, utilized the parliamentary apparatus in order to mobilize all the exploiters and vampires, all those who covet and yearn for booty, all those who have become frightened by the revolutionary awakening of the masses.

The parliament is becoming the political general staff of the counter-revolution. The revolution is coming out into the streets and is seeking to create its own extra-parliamentary general staff.

The elimination within the country of intermediate, middle groupings (the Radicals and the Radical-Socialists) leads inevitably to the selfsame thing within the labor movement. Longuet and Merrheim have subsisted on their hopes in the “enlightened” reformist forces of bourgeois society. The bankruptcy of the latter condemns the Longuet-Merrheim tendency to death, for with the disappearance of an object, its shadow likewise disappears.

The countless shadings from Renaudel to Loriot, from Jouhaux to Monatte, will drop out of circulation within the briefest interval. Two fundamental groupings will remain: Clemenceau and his followers, on the one hand; the revolutionary Communists on the other.

There cannot even be talk of any longer preserving unity, even if only a formal one, in the party and syndicalist organizations.

The proletarian revolution must and will create its own central political staff from among the united Socialists and syndicalists of the revolutionary Communist tendency.

Discouraged and left completely at sea by the Russian and German revolutions, Kautsky pinned all his hopes upon France and England where humanitarianism, accoutred in the vestments of democracy, would be bound to conquer.

In reality we see that in these countries, among the summits of bourgeois society, power is conquered by reaction of the most monstrous sort, reaction reeling through fumes of chauvinism, fangs bared and eyes shot with blood. And to meet it, the proletariat is arising, ready to exact ruthless vengeance for all its past defeats, degradations, and tortures. The combat will be not for quarter but to the death. Victory will be with the working class. The proletarian dictatorship will sweep away the garbage heap of bourgeois democracy and clear the road for the Communist system of society.

November 20, 1919.

Trotsky’s Footnotes

1*. I use for all later reference the packet, just received, of the revolutionary-syndicalist weekly La Vie Ouvriére, June to September 1919. This paper is edited by our French friends Monatte [3] and Rosmer [4] who haven’t for a moment furled their banner in this epoch of the greatest disintegration and renegacy among the self-styled “leaders.” – L.T.

2*. Saumoneau is conducting a tireless agitation for the ideas of the Third International; together with Comrade Loriot [10] she stands at the head of the Communists of Socialist Party and not syndicalist origin. There are close ties between Communists-Syndicalists and the Communists-Socialists. Loriot and Saumoneau collaborate on the weekly La Vie Ouvriére. – L.T.


1. In the New Park edition this document is called French Socialism of Today.

2. The 1919 parliamentary elections in France took place amid fanfares of victory and rabid agitation against the Bolsheviks. Promises based on German reparations and frequent alarms over the Red danger enabled the reactionary National Bloc to mobilize the petty bourgeoisie and to gain three-fifths of the seats in parliament.

3. Monatte – one of the leaders of the French Communist Party which he joined toward the end of 1922. Prior to the First World War Monatte stood in the ranks of the French revolutionary syndicalists, who constituted during the war years the core of the opposition in the labor movement to the social-patriots. After the war ended, Monatte continued his revolutionary work but did not immediately join the Communist Party. When the Frossard group split away in the winter of 1922, Monatte finally joined the Communist movement only to leave it subsequently.

4. Alfred Rosmer participated with Monatte in the revolutionary syndicalist movement. But in contradistinction to Monatte, Rosmer broke in 1919-20 with syndicalist prejudices and in 1920 attended the Second Congress of the Communist International serving as a member of its presidium. He actively defended the line of the Communist International within the French Communist Party and was one of the leaders of its Left Wing. Rosmer joined the Left Opposition (Trotskyists) in the early days of its existence, but subsequently became politically inactive. He is author of one of the best histories of labor during the last war Le Mouvement Ouvrier Pendant la Guerre (The Labor Movement During the War) (1936). [Although Rosmer parted company with Trotsky politically with Trotsky in 1932 because he felt that Trotsky was too impatient, they remained close friends and the founding conference of the Fourth International took place at Rosmers home in 1938. After the World War II Rosmer maintained close contact with anti-Stalinist revolutionary groups despite his advanced age. In 1953 he published Lenin’s Moscow, a memoir of of his time in Moscow between 1920 and 1924. In 1960, shortly before his death, he signed an appeal to French troops to refuse to serve in Algeria, then fighting for its independence from France. – TIA]

5. July 21, 1919 was the date set for an international strike to protest against imperialist intervention in Russia, and as a demonstration of world proletarian solidarity. The strike was a failure owing to the treachery of the social-chauvinists and the passivity of the Centrists.

6. Jouhaux – secretary of the French General Confederation of Labor (CGT). Former revolutionary syndicalist who in the pre-1914 days was anti-patriotic and favored the general strike, but who betrayed his views when the war broke out, becoming a rabid chauvinist. One of the leaders of the Amsterdam Trade Union International. One of France’s representatives in the defunct League of Nations.

7. Merrheim – French syndicalist; secretary of the Metal Workers Union. One of the authors of the 1906 Charter of Amiens. At the beginning of the First World War participated in Zimmerwald where he stood with the Right Wing. Subsequently became Jouhaux’s comrade-in-arms.

8. Renaudel – leader of the extreme Right Wing of the French Socialist Party. A rabid jingoist.

9. Jean Longuet – French lawyer and Socialist who in the First World War held a pacifist position but invariably voted for war credits. Founder and editor of the newspaper Le Populaire. At the Strasbourg Congress in 1918 the majority of the French SP went over to Longuet’s position. After the Tours Congress in 1920, where the Communists gained the majority, he split from the party, joined the 2½ International and returned later to the Second International. Grandson of Karl Marx.

10. Loriot – an old Socialist. During the closing years of the war of 1914-18 he was the leader of the extreme Left Wing in the French Socialist Party, supporting the Zimmerwald Left. In 1920-21 Loriot took active part in the split of the old French Socialist Party and the formation of the Communist Party of France, one of whose leaders he became. Loriot attended the Third Congress of the Communist International and was elected to the presidium. A few years later he dropped out of the Communist movement.

11. Dumoulin – French syndicalist, colleague of Merrheim.

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