Source: Published in To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/897-to-the-masses), pp. 921-23
Translation: Translation team organized by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission
The congress has heard the Executive report and is satisfied with it. It confirms that the Executive’s policies and activity during the past year were directed at carrying out the decisions of the Second Congress. In particular, the congress approves the way the Executive applied in different countries the Twenty-One Conditions established by the Second Congress. It also approves the Executive’s work to form large, mass Communist parties and to combat ruthlessly the opportunist tendencies that came to light in these parties.
1.) In Italy the conduct of the Serrati leadership immediately following the Second Congress demonstrated that it did not take seriously either the world congress decisions or the Communist International. Above all, this leadership’s role in the September battles, its stance in Livorno, and, even more, its policies since that time clearly show that it wants to use communism only as a mask for its opportunist policies. These circumstances made the split inevitable. The congress welcomes the fact that Executive intervened firmly and decisively in this matter of fundamental importance. It approves the Executive Committee’s subsequent decision to immediately recognise the Communist Party of Italy as the only Communist section in this country.
After the Communists left the Livorno Congress, it adopted the following resolution by Bentivoglio: ‘Reaffirming fully the party’s affiliation to the Communist International, the congress refers the dispute to the upcoming congress of the Communist International, to be dealt with there. The party commits itself now, in advance, to accept the decision of the congress and carry it out.’
The Third Congress of the Communist International is convinced that this decision was forced on the Serrati leadership by the pressure of revolutionary workers. The congress expects that when the Third World Congress decisions are made known, these revolutionary working-class forces will do everything possible to carry out these decisions in life.
In response to the appeal of the Livorno Congress, the Third World Congress issues the following ultimatum:
So long as the Socialist Party of Italy has not expelled those who took part in the reformist conference in Reggio Emilia and their supporters, this party cannot belong to the Communist International.
If this necessary precondition is fulfilled, the Third World Congress instructs the Executive to take the necessary steps to fuse the Socialist Party of Italy – cleansed of reformist and centrist forces – with the Communist Party of Italy as a unified section of the International.
2.) In Germany, the USPD convention in Halle was the result of the Second World Congress decisions, which drew a balance sheet of the development of the workers’ movement. The Executive acted to form a strong Communist Party in Germany, and experience has shown that this policy was correct.
The congress also fully approves the Executive’s conduct regarding later developments in the VKPD. The congress voices its expectation that in the future the Executive will continue to apply strictly the principles of international revolutionary discipline.
3.) The KAPD was admitted as a sympathising party in order to test whether its future development would bring it closer to the Communist International. The elapsed waiting period has been sufficient. Now we must demand of the KAPD that it affiliate to the VKPD in a set time, failing which it will be expelled as a sympathising party of the Communist International.
The congress greets the way that the Executive has applied the Twenty-One Conditions to the French party, by drawing away from the influence of Longuet opportunists the broad working masses who seek a road to communism and by speeding up their revolutionary development. The congress expects the Executive to continue in the future to promote the French party’s development toward clarity in its principles and capacity for struggle.
4.) Regarding Czechoslovakia, the Executive has followed with patience and consideration every aspect of the revolutionary development of the proletariat, which has already given evidence of its will and capacity for struggle. The congress approves the Executive’s resolution admitting the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
The congress expects the Executive to apply the Twenty-One Conditions fully to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. It must insist on the formation as quickly as possible of a unified Communist Party, bringing together the workers of every nation within Czechoslovakia around a clear Communist programme and a firm Communist leadership, with a centralist foundation. This party should rapidly and systematically win the trade unions and unify them across national barriers.
As regards the work in the Near and Far East, the congress welcomes the extensive agitation in this field. It is absolutely necessary to undertake a transition to organisational work in these countries.
Finally, the congress rejects the objections that have been raised by open and concealed opponents of communism against a strict international centralisation of the Communist movement. The congress expresses its conviction that parties must make their best forces available to serve on the Executive, in order to achieve an even more effective central political leadership of the Communist parties everywhere, unified in indissoluble alliance.
The lack of a central leadership has been evident, for example, with regard to unemployment and reparations, where the Executive did not intervene with sufficient speed and effectiveness.
The congress expects that the Executive will strive to establish an improved communications apparatus, with strengthened collaboration of the affiliated parties, which in turn will put the Executive in a position to carry out its steadily growing tasks better than before.
1. The PSI expelled its reformist faction in October 1922. Meeting the following month, the Comintern’s Fourth Congress adopted a ‘Resolution on the Italian Question’ that called for a fusion of the Communist and Socialist parties. See Riddell (ed.) Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International (Historical Materialism Book Series, 2012), pp. 1138 – 42.
2. At its September 1921 congress, the KAPD formally rejected the Third Congress conditions for the party’s continued membership in the Communist International.