Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The New International, December 1934


The Press

Political Ribaldry

From New International, Vol. I No. 5, December 1934, p. 160.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The radical German emigré weekly, Europäische Hefte (No. 33/34, December 6, 1934), published in Prague, remarks editorially:

“A piece of political ribaldry is now making the rounds of the press: The French communists have submitted to the French social democracy a programmatic platform for the organizational fusion of the two parties; after a close examination, however, the social democratic party leadership asserted ‘that the communist program does not contain even one single measure filled with the socialist spirit and by that token cannot be characterized as the program of the working class’. Shortly before the organizational union it appears that the French social democracy is the Left wing of French communism. And what makes this joke so frivolous is its seriousness: The assertion of the French social democracy is correct! The organized communists of all countries haven’t the slightest idea nowadays of where they are at; whether they are for the ‘disintegration of the army’ or for the ‘defense of their fatherland’, whether they are supposed to fight for parliamentarism or against ‘bourgeois democracy’, whether they stand at the Right or Left wing of the labor movement – on these points the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs has still made no decision. So that many communists find themselves in the midst of this confusion to the Left of Otto Wels and many to the Right of Leon Blum. That’s just the right atmosphere for the organizational union on the basis of a program, as Point 1 of which we should like to propose: ‘Membership in a party is a private affair.’

“The French social democracy is exploiting this, to it, unusual situation of being the guardian of orthodox radicalism with a vengeance, and is proposing as the basis for the unification the program of – 1905. And really, of what importance are these last thirty years? Are such trifles as the world war, world revolution, world Fascism, and world decline of the last thirty years, to suffice to justify the toilsome job of renovating the program? A program with which they managed so well in the last war surely ought to suffice for the coming war!

“The spectacle is simply painful ... Very soon, in all probability, some partial union of the Second and Third Internationals will take place; after a few years a Left wing will develop under the leadership of Otto Bauer, and a Right wing under the leadership of Manuilsky, which – despite Leon Blum’s obduracy – will come out in favor of participating in a French coalition government which is allied with the Soviet Union; then will come the split again, and in 1939 Paul Faure will inveigh against the social-Fascist Cachin. In half a year this perspective will no longer be smiled at, for then the whole world may be laughing over it ...”

Top of page

Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 26 February 2016