Source: The Communist Review, May 1921, Vol. 1, No. 1.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
Our New Review.
THE COMMUNIST REVIEW makes its appearance in response to the new needs arising in the revolutionary movement of Great Britain. One of the main features of our magazine will be a complete record of what is happening in the Labour and Communist organisations of other countries. We shall also attempt to give a monthly survey of the foreign Communist Press, and in this way help to emphasise the international character of our movement. THE COMMUNIST REVIEW will thus open a new epoch in the history of revolutionary journalism in this country.
We shall not attempt to make THE COMMUNIST REVIEW a magazine containing popular articles for non-Communist readers; its pages will rather appeal to the new Communists who are daily pouring into our ranks, and to those who may feel the need for a journal specially devoted to the discussion of revolutionary problems and tactics, as these present themselves, both at home and abroad. In each issue we intend to give a brief summary of the leading events that happen in Britain. We shall publish a monthly article in which the Communist Party of Great Britain will examine some important phase of the revolutionary movement as it affects the working class in this country. Members of the Party will find that we intend to publish reports from the branches and to summarise the general work of our organisation in its various avenues of activity. We hope, also, to find space to draw attention to any important volumes which may be published, and which, in our opinion, might interest our readers and assist them in their educational and agitational work. In a word, THE COMMUNIST REVIEW will, we are sure, become an indispensable magazine to every member of out Party.
The Triple Alliance.
The criminal betrayal of the miners by the Triple Alliance reveals something more deep-rooted in the modern Labour movement than mere personal cowardice and treachery. The miners’ strike has demonstrated that we have reached a new phase in the history of industrial organisation. We are now in the period of mass movements, and whether moderate Labour leaders like it or not, the capitalist class in defending their profits, are quite prepared, if need be, to run the risk of provoking a revolutionary crisis.
The development of the class struggle passes from the sectional to the mass strike. All our modern trade union leaders received their training of leadership in the days when strikes were of a puny and sectional character. Their weakness rests upon the fact that they still employ the strike tactics of the old sectional period. They were accustomed, in the old days, to conduct isolated struggles which were at once local and insignificant. Now, however, they are confronted with a new phase of industrial warfare. The modern mass-strike convulses the nation. The modern mass-strike becomes a challenge to the parliamentary form of government. It tests the stability of capitalist society. This explains why the average trade union leader, trained in the sectional method of conducting local strikes, cannot lead the masses on the modern industrial battlefield.
The events of the past few weeks prove that these leaders cannot, and dare not, direct the mass-strike. The new conditions demand new leaders with a revolutionary policy and with dauntless courage. Such leadership can only come from the Communists who are, at present, so busily at work spreading the doctrines of the Red Trade Union International among the industrial workers of Britain.
Sectionalism or Solidarity?
The difference between the Amsterdam, or “Yellow,” International of industrial organisations and that represented by the Red Trade Union International is, at bottom, the difference between craft sectionalism and class solidarity. Mr. Thomas, as the leader of the Amsterdam school, believes in sectionalism, which stands for a divided working, class organised upon a policy which accepts capitalism and rejects communism. The Red Trade Union International builds its whole case upon mass-solidarity as the weapon of power to smash capitalism and as the constructive instrument of the social revolution.
The one inspiring feature of the miners’ strike has been their unwavering solidarity. The mine-owners—by submitting terms which took only a few pence from the Yorkshire miners’ wages as compared with the pounds to be taken from their South Wales’ comrades—played the traditional part of all ruling classes who seek to rule by dividing their slaves into hostile sections. But not only were the miners solid. Behind them stood the other ranks of Labour. The Electrical Union made a proposal, to the Triple Alliance, which would have brought the Government to its knees; the distributive workers’ union submitted a plan of feeding the masses, but these were turned down by the Triple Alliance, and the rest. Why? Because the mass-strike is not a passive strike. It must become active if it would succeed. And an active mass-strike would bring into being all the conditions necessary to carry through the workers’ revolution. The mass-strike is Labour’s only weapon against the dictatorship of capital. But the modern trade union leaders are afraid to use this weapon which history has placed into their hands.