Resolutions of the Balkan Socialist Conference

Sofia, January 15, 1920


Source: Communist International, no. 11-12 (June-July, 1920), pp. 2455-2460;
Transcribed: by Zdravko Saveski

In 1920 a conference of the Balkan Socialists took place in Sofia, with the participation of the Bulgarian Communist Party ("Narrow Socialists"), the Socialist Labour Party (Communists) of Yugo-Slavia, the Socialist Labour Party of Greece and the Rumanian Socialist Party. This was the third conference of the Balkan Socialist Parties (the first having taken place in Belgrade in 1910, the second in 1915 in Bukarest). This conference adopted the following extremely important resolutions:

I. The problems of the Communist and Socialist Parties in the Balkans

The world war, far from having resulted in a national union of the Balkan nations and in their liberation, far from having solved their national problems and removed the cause of their mutual hatreds, has left them economically exhausted, totally bankrupt and politically subject to the great imperialistic Entente powers, under conditions which contain new sources of hatred and new wars. It is becoming evident to all the Balkan peoples that instead of having achieved, as a result of the wars, the national unity promised by the ruling bourgeoisie, they have arrived at the loss of their independence, at a state of political enslavement and starvation and extreme want among the working masses.

Totally ruined, burdened with enormous debts and taxes, financially and politically dependent upon Entente imperialism and having become a species of Entente colonies, the Balkan states are unable to restore by their own means the economic life within their territorial boundaries, and are moreover unable to improve the terrible conditions of the working and the propertiless masses. The enormous war debts oppressing the Balkans nations suck out their lifeblood for the benefit of the European bankers and hamper their economic development. The nations applying for help from the great imperialistic powers will be deprived of free economic development; they will have to export their raw materials into these empires and import manufactured goods.

Nothing but the Social Revolution will secure to the small nations a free existence and an independent development. It will rid them of the enormous state debts, it will set free the productive forces of all countries, saving them from the narrowness of state frontiers, and will open a free way out into the large space by uniting the small nations into an economic union.

The liberation of the Balkan nations from the political, financial and economic rule of the imperialistic Entente, their national freedom and union, the creation of conditions necessary for the development of their productive forces, all this can be achieved only if they become united and form one Balkan Socialist Soviet Republic.

The Conference of the Balkan Communist Federation declares in consequence that nothing but the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat with its organization of the councils of Workers', Soldiers' and Red Army deputies, will liberate the Balkan nations from all oppression and will afford them a possibility of self-determination, uniting them all into one Balkan Socialist Soviet Republic.

The Conference therefore calls upon the proletariat and the poor of the Balkan towns and villages, urging them to unite under the red banner of Communism, and to form powerful revolutionary organizations. It calls upon them to prepare and to arm themselves with force, with revolutionary spirit and discipline, the objective development of the conditions of life having allotted them a great historic mission. Their full liberation from all oppression, peace and welfare for the ruined and enslaved Balkan nations who have shed so much blood, depend on how they fulfill this great mission.

The Conference makes it a duty of the Balkan Communist and Socialist parties to educate the proletarian and propertiless masses in a revolutionary Socialist (Marxist) spirit, in order to make them conscious of their historic problems and the great aim of the proletarian liberating movement, and to unite them into mass organizations to struggle for the victory of the great international Communist Revolution.

II. The Affiliation of the Balkan Communist Federation to the Communist International

The Conference of the Balkan Socialist Federation, composed of the Bulgarian Communist Party ('Narrow Socialists'), the Socialist Labour Party (Communists) of Yugoslavia, the Socialist Labour Party of Greece and the Rumanian Socialist Party, with the participation of the representatives of all the named parties, discussed in its session of January 15, 1920 in Sofia the question of the affiliation of the Balkan Socialist Federation to the Third Communist International and arrived at the following conclusions:

1. The international revolutionary situation in the whole world, and more especially in Europe, caused by the five years of the world's war and the irreconcilable class opposition roused by this war in modern capitalistic society, has created a new revolutionary epoch, urging with an irresistible force the proletariat of all capitalist countries to seize the political power. Inevitable proletarian Socialistic Revolutions are therefore to be anticipated in the advanced European countries, most of which have already entered the primary stages of this revolution.

2. In such a revolutionary epoch, and being given such an international revolutionary situation, the Balkan Communist and Socialist Parties consider that one of their chief problems is to coordinate their actions, and using their influence on the popular masses of the Balkans, to give all possible support to the Russian Socialist Soviet Republic in the coming proletarian Socialist Revolution in Europe and to paralyze thereby the counter-revolutionary forces moved against it from the Balkans or through the Balkans.

3. The position of the Balkan nations created by the war and resulting in the deepest changes in economic life, is marked on the one hand by a colossal concentration of capital, a colossal monopolization of the means of production and of exchange, and an irreconcilable class opposition, and on the other by economic ruin, starvation, dire want and fatal exhaustion of the working classes. The Balkan bourgeois parties are incapable of coping with the present situation and of satisfying the enormous needs and desires of the working masses.

In view of such conditions, the Balkan states are facing financial bankruptcy as a result of the war, of the unbearable burden of enormous state debts and heavy financial obligations imposed on them by the great imperialistic Entente powers. Disunited, hostile to each other and subject to the imperialistic Entente powers the Balkan states are unable to restore their economic life within their territorial boundaries, and on a capitalist base without the help of the European capital. But even were this help to be granted them, it would hamper the economic development of the Balkans, and European capital will moreover itself founder in the near future under the blows of the coming Social Revolutions in Europe.

There is also in addition the lack of space, the complication of unsolved national problems and the reactionary, arbitrary forms of government employed by the bourgeoisie in the Balkans. This all leads to very hard conditions, with no possible issue for the Balkan nations, considering their disunion and the present capitalist relations. They are unable to unite and form a federation of the Balkan states under the rule of their national bourgeoisie because of the stubbornness and megalomania of the bourgeoisie, and because of the obstacles sure to be set up in this case in each of the states by the dynasties, autocracy and militarism.

All these conditions, creating such a situation in the Balkan states, as well as the growth of the Communist movement, and the fact of the proletarian Revolutions in Europe, will force the Balkan Communist and Socialist parties to seize the political power, to set up the dictatorship of the proletariat and the propertiless masses based on Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Councils, and to found the Balkan Socialist Soviet Republic.

4. The victory of the Proletarian Socialist Revolution and the transformation of modern capitalistic society into a Communism, based on Socialist principles, will be accomplished with greater promptitude and less victims on the part of the proletariat, in proportion to the courage and the full comprehension of its necessity that will be shown in the carrying out of the dictatorship of the proletariat based on the Workers', Peasants', and Soldiers' Councils and in proportion to the mutual help which the proletarians of all countries will afford each other in their revolutionary action and in proportion as they unite their revolutionary home struggles with the universal international revolutionary liberating struggle, subjecting their own separate cause to the interests of the victory of the International Proletarian Revolution.

5. In view of the accomplishment of these important tasks, the Balkan Communist and Socialist parties consider it necessary to establish close connections with each other, in order to coordinate their acts and their struggle with the activity of those proletarian parties which are fighting for the Proletarian Revolution as their immediate aim, and acknowledge the necessity of relentless class warfare for the victory of the Revolution, as well as for the proletarian dictatorship expressed in Workers', Peasants', and Soldiers' Councils.

6. The Third Communist International, founded in Moscow in March 1919, has set as its aim: a) to liberate the labour movement from the impure ingredients of opportunism and social patriotism which caused the bankruptcy of the Second International in 1914, and are contrary to the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat; b) to unite the forces of all genuinely revolutionary parties of the world proletariat, putting into practice the principles and methods of revolutionary relentless class struggle and the proletarian dictatorship in the form of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Councils, and c) to secure and accelerate in such a way the victory of the universal Communist Revolution.

In consideration of all this the conference decides:

1. The Balkan Communist Federation, consisting of the Communist and Socialist parties of Bulgaria, Servia, Greece and Rumania, joins the Third Communist International and forms its Balkan section, accepting the principles and methods of the revolutionary class struggle and the proletarian dictatorship based on the Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Councils.

2. The Balkan Socialist Federation, as the union of the Balkan Communist and Socialist parties was called up till now, will be hereafter called the "Balkan Communist Federation."