Source: Published in Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/897-to-the-masses), pp. 1102-1104.
Translation: Translations by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission.
The Fourth World Congress of the Communist International expresses its deepest thanks to the productive population of Soviet Russia and boundless admiration for the fact that its revolutionary struggle has not only won state power and established the dictatorship of the proletariat, but also that it has defended the gains of the revolution victoriously, to this day, against enemies both within and without. In so doing, it has earned eternal renown in the liberation of the exploited and oppressed of all countries.
The Fourth World Congress is very satisfied to register that the first workers’ state of the world, created by proletarian revolution, has in the five years of its existence fully demonstrated its viability and capacity for development, despite an exceptional accumulation of difficulties and dangers. The Soviet state emerged strengthened from the horrors of civil war. Thanks to the unparalleled heroism of the Red Army, it crushed the military counter-revolution, armed and supported by the world bourgeoisie, on every battlefront. In the political sphere, it defeated every attempt of the capitalist states to force it, through diplomatic tricks and economic power, to relinquish the proletarian content and Communist goals of the revolution, by recognising the right to private property of the social means of production and giving up the nationalisation of industry. Against the onslaught of the world bourgeoisie, the Soviet state has staunchly defended the fundamental precondition for proletarian liberation: social ownership of the means of production. It has protected the workers and peasants of the Soviet republic from the danger of accepting a huge national debt that would reduce them to the status of colonial subjects of foreign capitalists.
The Fourth World Congress of the Communist International notes that Soviet Russia – the proletarian state – is no longer forced to take up arms in defence of its existence. With incomparable energy it has addressed the task of constructing and developing the economy of the republic, its view fixed on the transition to communism. The individual stages and measures toward this goal, the transitional period of the so-called New Economic Policy, are results of, on the one hand, the given particular objective and subjective historical conditions in Russia and, on the other, the slow tempo of development of the world revolution and the isolation of the Soviet republic amid capitalist states. Despite the enormous difficulties that this has created, the workers’ state can record significant progress in economic construction.
The Russian proletarians have paid dearly, on behalf of workers of the world, in winning and defending political power and establishing the proletarian dictatorship. It is also they who, searching and experimenting, and with heavy losses, have had to address the problems and tasks of the transitional period from capitalism to communism. Soviet Russia is and remains the richest store of revolutionary historical knowledge for the world proletariat.
The Fourth World Congress notes with satisfaction that the policies of Soviet Russia have secured the most important precondition for the construction and development of Communist society, namely, Soviet power, the Soviet order, that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat. This dictatorship is the only means to break down all bourgeois and capitalist resistance against the full emancipation of workers. It thus guarantees that capitalism will be fully overcome and the road will be opened to realise communism.
In addition, the Fourth World Congress notes the decisive and glorious role played by the Communist Party of Russia, in its purposeful and brave stance as the class party leading the proletariat, in enabling the proletariat, supported by the peasantry, to win and maintain state power. The party’s ideological and organisational unity and strong discipline has made the masses sure of their revolutionary goal and path, arousing their determination and readiness to sacrifice to the highest pitch of heroism, and creating an indestructible organic link between the leadership and the activity of the masses.
The Fourth World Congress warns proletarians of all countries that the proletarian revolution can never fully triumph in a single country. Rather it must be victorious internationally, as a world revolution. Soviet Russia’s work and struggle for existence, for the gains of the revolution, is a struggle to liberate the proletarians, the exploited and oppressed of all countries, from their chains and subjugation. The Russian proletarians have done more than their duty as revolutionary vanguard fighters of the world proletariat. The world proletariat must now do its part. In every country the workers, the dispossessed, and the enslaved must actively express moral, economic, and political solidarity with Soviet Russia. Not merely international solidarity but their own interests demand that they take up a vigorous struggle against the bourgeoisie and the capitalist state. Their slogan in every country must be: Hands off Soviet Russia! Official recognition of Soviet Russia! Energetic support of every kind for economic construction in Soviet Russia! Anything that strengthens Soviet Russia weakens the world bourgeoisie. Soviet Russia’s five years of existence is the hardest blow that world capitalism has yet absorbed, one from which it will not recover.
The Fourth World Congress calls on proletarians of all non-capitalist countries, inspired by the Soviet Russian example, to prepare the death blow to capitalism and to dedicate their efforts to world revolution.