Leon Trotsky

The First Five Years of the Communist International

Volume 1

Manifesto of the Second World Congress

(Part 2)


Amidst the unbridled elements, in the maelstrom of chauvinism, avarice and destruction, only the principle of Communism has revealed a great power for life and creativeness. In spite of the fact that in the course of historical development Soviet power has for the first time been established in the most backward and ruined country of Europe, surrounded by a host of mightiest enemiesdespite all this, the Soviet power has not only maintained itself in the struggle against such unprecedented odds but it has also demonstrated in action the vast potentialities inherent in Communism. The development and consolidation of the Soviet power in Russia is the most momentous historical fact since the foundation of the Communist International.

In the eyes of class society the creation of an army has usually been regarded as the supreme test of economic and state construction. The strength or weakness of an army is taken as an index of the strength or weakness of economy and the state.

The Soviet power has created a mighty armed force while under fire. The Red Army has demonstrated its unquestionable superiority not alone in the struggle against old bourgeois-monarchist Russia, which imperialism is endeavoring to reestablish by the aid of the White Armies of Kolchak, Denikin, Yudenich [23], Wrangel, et al., but also in the struggle against the national armies of those “democracies” which world imperialism is implanting for its own benefit (Finland, Esthonia, Latvia, Poland).

In the sphere of economy the Soviet Republic has performed a great miracle by virtue of the single fact that it has succeeded in maintaining itself during the first three trying and most difficult years. It remains inviolate and continues to develop because it has torn the instruments of exploitation out of the hands of the bourgeoisie and has transformed them into the means of planned economy.

Amid the roar of battle along her illimitable fronts, Soviet Russia has not let slip a single opportunity for economic and cultural construction. In the interval between the crushing defeat of Denikin and the murderous assault of Poland, the Soviet power undertook an extensive organization of labor conscription, inaugurated a more precise registration and application of the forces and means of production, attracted sections of the army to the accomplishment of industrial tasks, and above all, began to restore its system of transportation.

Only the monopoly by the socialist state of the necessities of life, coincident with a ruthless struggle against speculation, has saved the Russian cities from starvation and made it possible to supply the Red Army with food. Only the unification by the state of scattered factories, plants, privately-owned railroads and ships has assured the possibility of production and transport.

The concentration of industry and transport in the hands of the state leads, through standardization, to the socialization of technology itself. Only upon the principles of socialism is it possible to fix the minimum number of types of locomotives, freight cars and steamships to be manufactured and repaired, and to carry on and periodically standardize mass production of machinery and machine parts, thus securing incalculable advantages from the crucial standpoint of raising the productivity of labor. Economic progress, the scientific organization of industry, the introduction of the Taylor system – divested of its capitalist-sweatshop features – no longer face any obstacles in Soviet Russia, save for those interposed from abroad by imperialist violence.

At the time when national interests, clashing with imperialist encroachments, are a constant source of incessant conflicts, uprisings and wars throughout the world, socialist Russia has shown how painlessly the workers’ state is able to reconcile national requirements with those of economic life, by purging the former of chauvinism and by emancipating the latter from imperialism. Socialism strives to bring about a union of all regions, all provinces and all nationalities by means of a unified economic plan. Economic centralism, freed from the exploitation of one class by another, and of one nation by another and, hence, equally beneficial to all alike, can be instituted without in any way infringing upon the real freedom of national development.

The example of Soviet Russia is enabling the peoples of Central Europe, of the southeastern Balkans, of the British dominions, all the oppressed nations and tribes, the Egyptians and the Turks, the Indians and the Persians, the Irish and the Bulgarians to convince themselves of this, that the fraternal collaboration of all the national units of mankind is realizable in life only through a Federation of Soviet Republics.

The revolution has made Russia into the first proletarian state. For the three years of its existence its boundaries have undergone constant change. They have shrunk under the external military pressure of world imperialism. They expanded whenever this pressure relaxed. The struggle for Soviet Russia has become merged with the struggle against world capitalism. The question of Soviet Russia has become the touchstone by which all the organizations of the working class are tested. The German Social Democracy committed its second greatest treachery – greatest in point of infamy since the betrayal of August 4, 1914 – when in obtaining control of the government it sought the protection of Western imperialism instead of seeking an alliance with the revolution in the East. A Soviet Germany united with Soviet Russia would have represented a force exceeding from the very start all the capitalist states put together!

The Communist International has proclaimed the cause of Soviet Russia as its own. The world proletariat will not sheathe its sword until Soviet Russia is incorporated as a link in the World Federation of Soviet Republics.


Civil war is on the order of the day throughout the world. Its banner is the Soviet Power.

Capitalism has proletarianized immense masses of mankind. Imperialism has thrown these masses out of balance and started them on the revolutionary road. The very concept of the term “masses” has undergone a change in recent years. Those elements which used to be regarded as the masses in the era of parliamentarianism and trade unionism have now become converted into a labor aristocracy. Millions and tens of millions of those who formerly lived beyond the pale of political life are being transformed today into the revolutionary masses. The war has roused everybody. It has awakened the political interest of the most backward layers; it aroused in them illusions and hopes and it has deceived them. The craft division oflabor with its caste spirit, the relative stability of the living standards among the upper proletarian strata, the dumb and apathetic hopelessness among the thickest lower layers, in short, the social foundations of the old forms of the labor movement have receded beyond recall into the past. New millions have been drawn into the struggle.

Women who have lost their husbands and fathers and have been compelled to take their places in labor’s ranks are streaming into the movement. The working youth, which has grown up amid the thunder and lightning of the World War, hails the revolution as its native element.

In different countries the struggle is passing through different stages. But it is the final struggle. Not infrequently the waves of the movement flow into obsolete organizational forms, lending them temporary vitality. Here and there on the surface of the flood old labels and half-obliterated slogans float. Human minds are still filled with much confusion, many shadows, prejudices and illusions. But the movement as a whole is of a profoundly revolutionary character. It is all-embracing and irresistible. It spreads, strengthens and purifies itself; and it is eliminating all the old rubbish. It will not halt before it brings about the rule of the world proletariat.

The basic form of this movement is the strike. Its simplest and most potent cause lies in the rising prices of primary necessities. Not infrequently the strike arises out of isolated local conflicts. It arises as an expression of the masses’ impatience with the parliamentary Socialist mish-mash.

It originates in the feeling of solidarity with the oppressed of all countries, including one’s own. It combines economic and political slogans. In it are not infrequently combined fragments of reformism with slogans of the program of social revolution. It dies down, ceases, only in order again to resurrect itself, shaking the foundations of production, keeping the state apparatus under constant strain, and driving the bourgeoisie into all the greater frenzy because it utilizes every pretext to send its greetings to Soviet Russia. The premonitions of the exploiters are not unfounded, for this chaotic strike is in reality the social-revolutionary roll call and the mobilization of the international proletariat.

The profound interdependence between one country and another, which has been so catastrophically revealed during the war, invests with particular significance those branches of labor which serve to connect the various countries, and puts the railroad workers and transport workers in general into a most prominent position. The transport proletarians have had occasion to display some of their power in the boycott of White Hungary and White Poland. The strike and the boycott, methods resorted to by the working class at the dawn of its trade union struggles, i.e., even before it began utilizing parliamentarianism, are today assuming unprecedented proportions, acquiring a new and menacing significance, similar to an artillery preparation before the final attack.

The ever-growing helplessness of an individual before the blind interplay of historic events has driven into the unions not only new strata of working men and women but also white-collar workers, functionaries and petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Prior to the time when the proletarian revolution will of necessity lead to the creation of Soviets, which will immediately assume ascendancy over all of the old labor organizations, the toilers are streaming into the traditional trade unions, tolerating for the time being their old forms, their official programs, their ruling aristocracy, but introducing into these organizations an ever-increasing and unprecedented revolutionary pressure of the many-millioned masses.

The lowliest of the lowly – the rural proletarians, the agricultural laborers – are raising their heads. In Italy, Germany and other countries we observe a magnificent growth of the revolutionary movement among the agricultural workers and their fraternal rapprochement with the urban proletariat.

The poorest layers among the peasantry are changing their attitude toward socialism. Whereas the intrigues have remained fruitless which the parliamentary reformists sought to base upon the muzhik’s proprietary prejudices, the genuine revolutionary movement of the proletariat and its implacable struggle against the oppressors have given birth to glimmers of hope in the hearts of the most backward and most benighted and ruined peasant-proprietor.

The ocean of human privation and ignorance is bottomless. Every social layer that rises to the surface leaves beneath it another layer just about to rise. But the vanguard doesn’t have to wait for the ponderous rear to come up before engaging in battle. The work of awakening, uplifting and educating its most backward layers will be accomplished by the working class only after it is in power.

The toilers of the colonial and semi-colonial countries have awakened. In the boundless areas of India, Egypt, Persia, over which the gigantic octopus of English imperialism sprawls – in this uncharted human ocean vast internal forces are constantly at work, upheaving huge waves that cause tremors in the City’s stocks and hearts.

In the movements of colonial peoples, the social element blends in diverse forms with the national element, but both of them are directed against imperialism. The road from the first stumbling baby steps to the mature forms of struggle is being traversed by the colonies and backward countries in general through a forced march, under the pressure of modern imperialism and under the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat.

The fruitful rapprochement of the Mohammedan and non-Mohammedan peoples who are kept shackled under British and foreign domination, the purging of the movement internally by doing away with the influence of the clergy and of chauvinist reaction, the simultaneous struggle against foreign oppressors and their native confederates – the feudal lords, the priests and the usurers – all this is transforming the growing army of the colonial insurrection into a great historical force, into a mighty reserve for the world proletariat.

The pariahs are rising. Their awakened minds avidly gravitate to Soviet Russia, to the barricade battles in the streets of German cities, to the growing strike struggles in Great Britain, to the Communist International.

The Socialist who aids directly or indirectly in perpetuating the privileged position of one nation at the expense of another, who accommodates himself to colonial slavery, who draws a line of distinction between races and colors in the matter of human rights, who helps the bourgeoisie of the metropolis to maintain its rule over the colonies instead of aiding the armed uprising of the colonies; the British Socialist who fails to support by all possible means the uprisings in Ireland, Egypt and India against the London plutocracy – such a Socialist deserves to be branded with infamy, if not with a bullet, but in no case merits either a mandate or the confidence of the proletariat.

Yet, the proletariat is being thwarted in its international revolutionary actions not so much by the half-destroyed barbed-wire entanglements that remain set up between the countries since the war, as it is by the egotism, conservatism, stupidity and treachery of the old party and trade union organizations which have climbed upon its back during the preceding epoch. The leaders of the old trade unions use every means to counteract the revolutionary struggle of the working masses and to paralyze it; or, if they cannot do it otherwise, they take charge of strikes in order all the more surely to nullify them by underhand machinations.

The historical treachery perpetrated by the international Social Democracy is unequaled in the annals of the struggle against oppression. It had its most terrible consequences in Germany. The defeat of German imperialism was at the same time the defeat of the capitalist system of economy. Save for the proletariat there was no other class that could pretend to state power. The success of the socialist overturn was amply assured by the development of technology and by the numerical strength and the high cultural level of the working class. But the German Social Democracy blocked the road along which this task could be accomplished. By means of intricate maneuvers in which cunning vied with stupidity, it was able to divert the energy of the proletariat from its natural and necessary task – the conquest of power.

For a number of decades the Social Democracy had labored to gain the confidence of the proletarian masses only in order to place – when the critical moment came and when the existence of bourgeois society was at stake – its entire authority in the service of the exploiters.

The treachery of liberalism and the collapse of bourgeois democracy are insignificant episodes in comparison with the monstrous betrayal of the toiling classes by the Socialist parties. Even the part played by the Church, the central powerhouse of conservatism, as Lloyd George has defined it, is dimmed beside the anti-socialist role of the Second International.

The Social Democracy justified its betrayal of the revolution during the war by the slogan, National Defense. Its counter-revolutionary policy following the conclusion of peace it cloaks with the slogan, Democracy. National defense and democracy – here are the solemn formulas of the capitulation of the proletariat to the will of the bourgeoisie!

But the depths of the fall are far from plumbed by this. In pursuance of its policy of defending the capitalist system, the Social Democracy is compelled, on the heels of the bourgeoisie, to openly trample underfoot both “national defense” and “democracy.” Scheidemann and Ebert are licking the hands of French imperialism, whose help they seek against the Soviet revolution. Noske has become the personification of the White Terror of the bourgeois counterrevolution.

Albert Thomas becomes a hired clerk of the League of Nations, that filthy agency of imperialism. Vandervelde, the eloquent incarnation of the superficiality of the Second International which he used to head, becomes the Royal Minister, the confederate of Delacrois [24] – member of the Clerical Party, defender of the Belgian Catholic priests and advocate of capitalist atrocities against the Negroes in the Congo.

Henderson [25], who apes the great men of the bourgeoisie, who appears on the scene now as His Majesty’s Minister and then again as a member of the Labor opposition to His Royal Highness; Tom Shaw [26] who demands of the Soviet government documentary proof that there are crooks, thieves and perjurers in the London government – who are all these gentlemen if not the sworn enemies of the working class?

Renner and Seitz [27], Niemetz [28] and Tuzar, Troelstra and Branting [29], Dasczinski and Chkheidze [30] – each of them translates the shameful collapse of the Second International into the language of his respective petty-government chicanery.

Finally Karl Kautsky, ex-Marxist and ex-theoretician of the Second International, has become the sniveling privy counsellor for the yellow press of the world.

Under the pressure of the masses the more pliant elements of the old Socialism have changed their appearance and coloring, without changing in essence; they break away or are preparing to break away from the Second International, and meanwhile invariably shrink, as usual, from every genuine mass and revolutionary action and even from every serious preparation for action.

In order to characterize and at the same time brand the actors in this masquerade it suffices to point out that the Polish Socialist Party, led by Dasczinski and patronized by Pilsudski [31], this party of petty-bourgeois cynicism and chauvinist fanaticism, has announced its break with the Second International.

The leading parliamentary elite of the French Socialist Party, which is now casting its votes against the budget and against the Versailles Treaty, remains in essence one of the mainstays of the bourgeois republic. These gestures of opposition go only so far as is necessary to regain, from time to time, the semi-confidence of the most conservative layers of the proletariat.

So far as the fundamental questions of the class struggle are concerned, French parliamentary Socialism continues as heretofore to disintegrate the will of the proletariat by instilling into the workers the idea that the present moment is not propitious for the conquest of power, because France is too ruined, just as the situation was equally unpropitious yesterday because of the war; while on the eve of the war it was the industrial boom that interfered, and still earlier it was the industrial crisis. Alongside of parliamentary Socialism – and not a whit above it – there is the garrulous and mendacious syndicalism of the firm of Jouhaux & Bros.

The creation of a strong, firmly welded and disciplined Communist Party in France is a life-and-death question for the French proletariat.

In the strikes and uprisings a new generation of workers is being educated and tempered in Germany. They are getting their experience at the price of victims whose number grows in proportion with the length of time during which the Independent Socialist Party continues to remain under the influence of conservative Social Democrats and routinists who keep sighing for the Social Democracy of Bebel’s [32] days, who do not understand the character of the present revolutionary epoch, who flinch from civil war and revolutionary terror, who doddle along at the tail end of events and who live in the expectation of a miracle which is to relieve them of their incapacity. In the heat of battle, the party of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht is teaching the German workers to find the correct road.

Routinism among the summits of the labor movement in England is so ingrained that they have yet even to feel the need of rearming themselves: the leaders of the British Labor Party are stubbornly bent upon remaining within the framework of the Second International.

At a time when the march of events during recent years has undermined the stability of economic life in conservative England and has made her toiling masses most receptive to a revolutionary program – at such a time, the official machinery of the bourgeois nation: the Royal House of Windsor, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the Church, the trade unions, the Labor Party, George V, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Henderson – remains intact as a mighty automatic brake upon progress. Only the Communist Party – a party free from routine and sectarianism, and closely bound up with the mass organizations – will be able to counterpose the proletarian rank and file to this official aristocracy.

In Italy where the bourgeoisie itself openly admits that the keys to the country’s future destiny are in the hands of the Socialist Party, the policy pursued by the Right Wing headed by Turati is to divert the proletarian revolution, which is developing powerfully, into the channel of parliamentary reforms. At the present moment this internal sabotage represents the greatest menace.

Proletarians of Italy, remember the fate of Hungary, which has entered the annals of history as a terrible warning to the proletariat that in the struggle for power as well as after the conquest of power, it must stand firm on its own feet, sweeping aside all elements of indecision and hesitation and dealing mercilessly with all attempts at treachery!

The upheavals caused by the war, which has brought a profound economic crisis in its wake, have ushered in a new chapter in the labor movement of the United States as well as in the other countries of the Western Hemisphere. The liquidation of the Wilsonian bombast and falsehood is at the same time the liquidation of that American Socialism which was a mixture of pacifist illusions and high-pressure salesmanship and which served as a domesticated supplement from the left to the trade unionism of Gompers and Co. The integration of the revolutionary proletarian parties and organizations of the American continent – from Alaska to Cape Horn – into a firmly welded American Section of the Communist International, which will stand up against the mighty enemy, US imperialism – this is the task which must and will be accomplished in the struggle against all the forces which the Dollar will mobilize in its own defense.

The governmental and semi-governmental Socialists of various countries have no lack of pretexts on which to ground the charge that the Communists by their intransigent tactics provoke the counter-revolution into action, and help it mobilize its forces. This political accusation is nothing but a belated parody of the hoary plaints of liberalism. The latter always maintained that the independent struggle of the proletariat is driving the rich into the camp of reaction. This is incontestable. If the working class refrained from encroaching upon the foundations of capitalist rule, the bourgeoisie would have no need of repressive measures. The very concept of counter-revolution would have never arisen if revolutions were not known to history. That the uprisings of the proletariat inevitably entail the organization of the bourgeoisie for self-defense and counter-attack, simply means that the revolution is the struggle between two irreconcilable classes which can end only with the final victory of one of them.

Communism rejects with contempt the policy which consists in keeping the masses inert, in intimidating them with the bludgeon of counter-revolution.

To the disintegration and chaos of the capitalist world, whose death agony threatens to destroy all human culture, the Communist International counterposes the united struggle of the world proletariat for the abolition of private ownership of the means of production and for the reconstruction of national and world economy on the basis of a single economic plan, instituted and realized in life by a society of producers, a society of solidarity.

Rallying millions of toilers in all parts of the world round the banner of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Soviet form of government, the Communist International purifies, builds up and organizes its own ranks in the fire of the struggle.

The Communist International is the party of the revolutionary education of the world proletariat. It rejects all those organizations and groups which openly or covertly stupefy, demoralize and weaken the proletariat, exhorting it to kneel before the fetishes which are a facade for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie: legalism, democracy, national defense, etc.

Neither can the Communist International admit into its ranks those organizations which, after inscribing the dictatorship of the proletariat in their program, continue to conduct a policy which obviously relies upon a peaceful solution of the historical crisis. Mere recognition of the Soviet system settles nothing. The Soviet form of organization does not possess any miraculous powers. Revolutionary powr lies within the proletariat itself. It is necessary for the proletariat to rise for the conquest of power-then and only then does the Soviet organization reveal its qualities as the irreplaceable instrument in the hands of the proletariat.

The Communist International demands the expulsion from the ranks of the labor movement of all those leaders who are directly or indirectly implicated in political collaboration with the bourgeoisie. We need leaders who have no other attitude toward bourgeois society than that of mortal hatred, who organize the proletariat for an irreconcilable struggle and who are ready to lead an insurgent army into the battle, who are not going to stop half-way, whatever happens, and who will not shrink from resorting to ruthless measures against all those who may try to stop them by force.

The Communist International is the world party of proletarian uprising and proletarian dictatorship. It has no aims and tasks separate and apart from those of the working class itself. The pretensions of tiny sects, each of which wants to save the working class in its own manner, are alien and hostile to the spirit of the Communist International. It does not possess any panaceas or magic formulas but bases itself on the past and present international experience of the working class; it purges that experience of all blunders and deviations; it generalizes the conquests made and recognizes and adopts only such revolutionary formulas as are the formulas of mass action.

The trade union organization, the economic and political strike, the boycott, the parliamentary and municipal elections, the parliamentary tribunal, legal and illegal agitation, auxiliary bases in the army, the cooperative, the barricade – none of the forms of organization or of struggle created by the labor movement as it evolves is rejected by the Communist International, nor is any one of them singled out and sanctified as a panacea.

The Soviet system is not an abstract principle opposed by Communists to the principle of parliamentarianism. The Soviet system is a class apparatus which is destined to do away with parliamentarianism and to take its place during the struggle and as a result of the struggle. Waging a merciless struggle against reformism in the trade unions and against parliamentary cretinism and careerism, the Communist International at the same time condemns all sectarian summonses to leave the ranks of the multimillioned trade union organizations or to turn one’s back upon parliamentary and municipal institutions. The Communists do not separate themselves from the masses who are being deceived and betrayed by the reformists and the patriots, but engage the latter in an irreconcilable struggle within the mass organizations and institutions established by bourgeois society, in order to overthrow them the more surely and the more quickly.

Whereas under the aegis of the Second International the methods of class organization and of class struggle which were almost exclusively of a legal character have turned out to be, in the last analysis, subject to the control and direction of the bourgeoisie, who use its reformist agency as a bridle on the revolutionary class, the Communist International, on the other hand, tears this bridle out of the hands of the bourgeoisie, conquers all the methods and organizations of the labor movement, unites all of them under its revolutionary leadership and through them puts before the proletariat one single goal, namely, the conquest of power for the abolition of the bourgeois state and for the establishment of a Communist society.

In all his work whether as leader of a revolutionary strike, or as organizer of underground groups, or as secretary of a trade union, or as agitator at mass meetings, whether as deputy, cooperative worker or barricade fighter, the Communist always remains true to himself as a disciplined member of the Communist Party, a zealous fighter, a mortal enemy of capitalist society, its economic foundation, its state forms, its democratic lies, its religion and its morality. He is a self-sacrificing soldier of the proletarian revolution and an indefatigable herald of the new society.

Working men and women! On this earth there is only one banner which is worth fighting and dying for. It is the banner of the Communist International!

The Second World Congress of the Communist International

(Signed) [33]
RUSSIA: N. Lenin; G. Zinoviev; N. Bukharin; L. Trotsky.
GERMANY: P. Levi; E. Meyer; J. Walcher; R. Wolfstein.
AUSTRIA: K. Steinhardt; K. Tomann; Stroemer.
FRANCE: A. Rosmer; J. Sadoul; H. Guilbeaux.
ENGLAND: T. Quelch; W. Gallacher; S. Pankhurst; MacLaine.
AMERICA (USA): Flynn; A. Fraina; Williams; J. Reed.
ITALY: D.M. Serrati; N. Bombacci; Graziadei; A. Bordiga.
NORWAY: J. Fries; Schefflo; A. Madsen.
SWEDEN: K. Dahlstroem; Samuelson; Winberg.
DENMARK: 0. Joergenson; M. Nilsen.
HOLLAND: Wynkoop; Janson; Van Leueven.
BELGIUM: Van Overstraaten.
SPAIN: Pestaña.
SWITZERLAND: Herzog; Humbert-Droz.
HUNGARY: Rakoszy; A. Rudnyansky; Varga.
GALICIA: Levitzky.
POLAND: J. Markhlevsky.
LATVIA: Stuchka; Krastyn.
LITHUANIA: Mitskevich-Kapsukas.
CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Vanek; Gula; Zapototsky.
ESTHONIA: R. Wakmann; G. Poegelmann.
FINLAND: J. Rakhia; Letonmyaki; K. Manner.
BULGARIA: Kabakchiev; Maximov; Chablin.
GEORGIA: M. Tsakhaya.
ARMENIA: Nazarityan.
TURKEY: Nilthad.
PERSIA: Sultan-Saade.
INDIA: Acharia; Sheffik; M.N. Roy.
CHINA: Laou Siu-chau.
KOREA: Pak Djinshoun; Kin-Tuliri.
MEXICO: R. Allen; F. Seaman.


23. Yudenich – Czarist general who in 1920 organized with Allied aid an offensive against Petrograd. There was some doubt in the Bolshevik Central Committee at the time as to whether Petrograd could be defended. At the beginning Lenin and the majority of the Central Committee favored evacuating the city, but on the intervention of Trotsky, supported by Zinoviev, the decision was finally made to defend Petrograd at all costs. Trotsky personally directed the counterblow by which Yudenich’s offensive was crushed. This defeat removed Yudenich from the political arena.

24. Delacrois was Prime Minister of Belgium in the period of the Second World Congress of the Communist International.

25. Henderson – one of the leaders of the Labor Party of England. Henderson was all his life essentially a bourgeois liberal. Even in the pre-1914 days Henderson participated in the bourgeois government. He advocated war to the end. In the ’twenties Henderson served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the so-called “Labor government” under MacDonald.

26. Tom Shaw – an old participant in the English labor movement. Class-collaborator. After the fusion of the Second and 2½ Internationals he was the secretary of the Executive Committee. In the ’twenties he held a post in MacDonald’s cabinet.

27. Renner was the main leader of the Austrian Social Democrats. A typical representative of the Austro-Marxist movement; past master in combining revolutionary phrasemongering with the practice of reformism. During the war of 1914-18 Renner was a social-patriot. After the Hapsburg dynasty was overthrown, he became Prime Minister in the coalition government. When the revolutionary wave subsided Renner, together with his colleagues, was booted out of the government.

Seitz – premier of the Austrian government and one of the leaders of the reactionary Christian Socialist Party of Austria.

28. Niemetz – leader of the Czech conciliationists who at the time held a centrist position.

29. Troelstra – an old opportunist, leader of the Social Democracy of Holland, who was instrumental in expelling revolutionary Marxists from the Dutch party even prior to the war of 1914-18. During the First World War Troelstra was a Germanophile. At the termination of the war, he became one of the most active rebuilders of the Second International.

Branting – one of the founders of the Swedish Social Democracy. Throughout his career Branting was a Right Wing leader. After the First World War Branting advocated fervently the participation of the Socialists in the government and succeeded in gaining the post of Prime Minister.

30. Dasczinski – one of the leaders of the petty-bourgeois Polish Socialist Party (PPS). Prior to 1914 he also played a prominent role in the Austrian Social Democracy, especially as deputy from Austrian Poland in its parliamentary fraction. After the formation of “free” Poland Dasczinski became one of the supporters of the anti-Soviet policy of Pilsudski and Co.

Chkheidze – Georgian Menshevik who became prominent in the political life of the labor movement in Czarist Russia as deputy to the Fourth State Duma. After the February Revolution of 1917 Chkheidze was chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets.

31. Pilsudski early in his career and as a youth was persecuted by the Czarist government. Leader of the petty-bourgeois revolutionary party – the PPS. After the First World War, when Poland was set up by the Allies as an independent state, Pilsudski became head of the government through a coup d’etat. As ruler of Poland Pilsudski served as the executive agent of French imperialism.

32. August Bebel (1840-1912) – one of the founders of the German Social Democracy. For almost half a century Bebel was the leader of the German party, and at the same time played a dominant role within the Second International. Toward the end of his life, Bebel began drifting to the right, aiming his attacks not so much against the revisionists as against the extreme Left Wing in the party led by Luxemburg, Liebknecht, Tyshko, Mehring and others.

33. Among the signatories to the Manifesto of the Second World Congress were:

Gregory E. Zinoviev (Radomylski) born in 1883; joined the Bolsheviks as a youth immediately after the Second Party Congress in 1903. During the 1905 revolution was active in Petersburg and then migrated abroad. At the Fifth Party Congress (1907) he was elected member of the Central Committee. Served on die editorial board of the Bolshevik newspapers Proletari and Social Democrat. During the war of 1914-18 he was Lenin’s closest collaborator; participated in the Zimmerwald and Kienthal Conferences; member of die Bureau of the Zimmerwald Left; co-author with Lenin of the famous volume, Against the Stream. Returned to Russia after the February Revolution. In October 1917, together with Kamenev and abetted behind the scenes by Stalin, he opposed the seizure of power. Served as chairman of the Petrograd Soviet after the conquest of power. Chairman of the ECCI in Lenin’s lifetime. After Lenin’s death, he became one of the triumvirate (troika): Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, that usurped power in the Bolshevik Party. Broke with Stalin in 1925. In November 1927 he was expelled from the party together with the Left Opposition (Trotskyists). Capitulated to Stalin in 1928 and was readmitted into the party. In 1932 he was again expelled, and again capitulated. In January 1935, after the assassination of S.M. Kirov, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on trumped-up charges. Again framed up and finally murdered in August 1936 in the first of the monstrous Moscow Trials.

N.I. Bukharin, another member of the Old Guard of Bolshevism, writer and economist, was born in 1888. In 1906 he worked as propagandist, agitator and organizer in Moscow. In 1908 he served as a member of the Moscow Regional Committee and as chairman of the Bolshevik fraction in the Duma. In 1911, after his third arrest, he escaped abroad. During the war of 1914-18 held an internationalist position, being arrested in Sweden for anti-militarist propaganda. Came to America where he participated with Trotsky in editing the Russian newspaper Novy Mir. On returning to Russia, after the February Revolution, he served on the Moscow Party Committee, the District Bureau, and the editorial board of the newspaper Social Democrat. At the Sixth Party Congress in July 1917, he was elected to the Central Committee, remaining in this body until the 17th Party Congress when Stalin broke his coalition with the Right Wing and demoted him to a candidate to the Central Committee. After the October Revolution Bukharin was the editor of Pravda. In the days of the Brest-Litovsk controversy, he headed the “Left Communists” and issued a factional organ called the Communist. From 1923 to 1927 he worked hand in hand with Stalin in the struggle against the Left Opposition. In 1928 Stalin broke his coalition with the Right Wing (Bukharin-Rykov and others). In April 1929, Bukharin was removed as editor of Pravda, and from his post as chairman of the Comintern (in which he had replaced Zinoviev). In November 1929 he was removed from the Political Bureau. Upon capitulating to Stalin he was assigned to “educational work” for several years, until 1933 when he was appointed editor of Izvestia. Framed up and murdered by Stalin in the last of the public Moscow Trials, March 1938.

Ernst Meyer – an old member of the Spartacus League and one of the leaders of the German CP. Served on the ECCI as delegate of Germany.

J. Walcher – one of the oldest participants in the German Communist movement who at one time played an important role in the Red Trade Union International. He became a member of the Right Wing (Brandlerites) in the German Party, and was expelled from the CI in 1929 when Stalin broke with Bukharin-Rykov in Russia. Later Walcher headed a centrist movement in Germany (SAP). [After Hitler’s seizure of power there were seriuous discussions between Trotsky and the SAP (represented by Walcher) about the formation of a new (fourth) international. These however did not lead to agreement and the SAP drifted to the right. – TIA]

Paul Levi, see Speech on Comrade Zinoviev’s Report on the Role of the Party, Note 2.

A. Rosmer, see French Socialism on the Eve of Revolution, Note 4.

J. Sadoul was a chauvinist during the war of 1914-18, became a fervent Communist during his stay in Soviet Russia where he served as a military attaché to the French embassy. Subsequently became a lackey of Stalin.

H. Guilbeaux – one of the pioneers of French Communism; member of the Zimmerwald Left during the war of 1914-18.

T. Quelch – one of the leaders of the British Socialist Party who came over to the CI.

W. Gallacher – a Scotch labor politician who in 1920 was one of the typical representatives of “Left Communism” in England. Later evolved into a brazen chauvinist in the service of the Kremlin. [Gallacher was not English, having being a leading member of the Scottish shop stewards’ movement in the engineering industry during World War I (“Red Clydeside”). He was later a leading member of the Stalinised CPGB and served as Communist MP for West Fife from 1935 until 1950. – TIA]

Sylvia Pankhurst – a colleague of Gallacher. [This characterisation is a serious distortion. Pankhurst was only acolleaqgue of Gallacher in teh sense that they both came from Britain and had similar ideas, although they were members of different organisations. Before World War I Pankhurst was a leading campaigner for women’s suffrage who broke with the bourgeois suffragettes to lead the fight for working women’s rights. During the war she moved to the left (unlike the bourgeois sufragette movement, which became rabidly patriotic) and supported the October Revolution as a leader of the Workers’ Socialist Federation. Later she developed towards a “Left Communist” and was criticised by Lenin in “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder. – TIA]

MacLaine – old Socialist, prominent in the Scotch labor movement. Semi-pacifist opponent of war he was persecuted in 1914-18 for anti-militarist propaganda. From 1920 he headed the main cadres of the English CP. Died in 1922. [This note seems to confuse John Maclean, a prominent leader of the working-class anti-war movement in Scotland, who never joined the British Communist Party and never visited Moscow, with William MacLaine, who attended the Second Congress as a delegate of the British Socialist Party, of which Maclean was also a member. To describe Maclean as a semi-pacifist is a serious distortion – Lenin considered him to be one of the most important leaders of the socialist internationalist anti-war movement in Britain and he was appointed Soviet consul in Glasgow. – TIA]

John Reed – American journalist, author of the famous book Ten Days That Shook the World. At the end of 1920 he contracted typhus and died in Moscow.

D.M. Serrati, see Speech on Comrade Zinoviev’s Report on the Role of the Party, Note 4.

N. Bombacci – prominent Italian Communist who played a major role in the split of the Italian SP at the Livorno Congress and the resulting formation of the Italian CP.

Graziadei – one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party.

A. Bordiga – founder of the Italian CP who headed the Communist opposition while still in the Italian SP (Turin section). After the formation of the Italian CP, he became its leader and thereby head of the “Left Communist” majority. Bordiga remained a sectarian after his expulsion from the CI on the charge of “Trotskyism.”

Wynkoop – old Dutch Socialist who together with Gorter, Pannekoek and others headed the so-called “Left Communists.”

Varga – Hungarian economist who used to report on economic questions at the plenums and congresses of the CI. In the days of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, he was chairman of its Supreme Economic Council. Since Lenin’s death, spineless flunkey of the Kremlin.

J. Markhlevsky – veteran of the Polish labor movement. Founder with Luxemburg of the revolutionary Social Democracy of Poland; also worked for decades in the German labor movement. Head of the University of the Peoples of the East in Leninist Comintern.

Stuchka – leader of the Lettish CP. Also worked in the Russian labor movement.

J. Rakhia – old Finnish Socialist. An opportunist and careerist.

Kabakchiev – one of the theoreticians of the Bulgarian CP.

Sultan-Saade – Persian Communist who participated in the Russian labor movement.

M.N. Roy – Indian revolutionist who became a Brandlerite after Lenin’s death, and who ended up in the camp of British imperialism.

Maring – one of the leaders of the CP of the Dutch East Indies. Sponsor of the “two-class” party for China, later embraced by Stalin with such fatal results for the Chinese revolution of 1925-27. [This was a pseudonym of Henk Sneevliet, who broke with Stalinism at the end of the 1920s and founded a non-Stalinist revolutionary party called the RSP, later RSAP, which collaborated with Trotsky during the mid-1930s. This collaboration ended after a dispute about tactics concerning trade union work. After the invasion of Holland during World War II Sneevliet was involved in organising working class resistance against the German occupation. He was arrested in 1942 and executed by the Nazis. – TIA]

First 5 Years of the Comintern (Vol.1) Index

History of the Communist International Section

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Last updated on: 19.1.2007