Georgi Dimitrov

Five Years

The Bulgarian Communist Party and the Communist International

Source: The Communist International, 1924, No. 1 (New Series), pp. 191-192
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The Bulgarian Communist Party (formerly the party of “narrow” Socialists) which has always belonged to the extreme Left wing of the Second International, and been in absolute opposition to the official policy of that body, is carrying on a resolute struggle against opportunism in its own country. It was the first party to cut unhesitatingly all connections with the Second International when the latter committed its act of treachery at the outbreak of the world war, and to declare to the working masses of Bulgaria that that International was already dead as far as Socialism and the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat were concerned, and that the organisation of a real International for revolutionary action was essential. Realising this necessity clearly, the party took an active part in the Zimmerwald and Kienthal Conferences. When, at the beginning of 1919, the Russian Communist Party took the initiative in founding the Third International, action was also taken by the Bulgarian Communist Party, which participated directly in its founding.

When the statutes of Comintern were drawn up, the Bulgarian Communist Party took the position that the Communist International, in contradistinction to the opportunistic Socialist International, must not merely be a free friendly combination of Communist parties, but a single, truly international Communist Party with a compulsory international discipline and the widest rights of control over the activities and policies of its separate national sections.

In the course of its five years of existence, the Communist International has always enjoyed the unlimited confidence of and great authority over the ranks of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the wide masses of the workers and peasants in the country. This was made especially clear during the time of the disagreements between the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Executive Committee of Comintern regarding the question of party tactics on June 9th. In spite of these differences the party was unanimously in favour of observing International discipline and submitting to the decision of Comintern. When the party had to chose between its own Central Committee, in which it had formerly had absolute faith, and the Executive Committee of Comintern, it unreservedly took the side of the latter. The confirmation of the soundness of the position of Comintern on June 9th, and the complete recognition by the Central Committee of the mistake it then committed still further increased and strengthened the authority of Comintern, and gave further proof that the International must be a real International Communist Party, not satisfied with making merely general decisions, but directly guiding the activities and struggles of its various sections.

When the Bulgarian Communist Party was temporarily broken up organisationally, after the September uprising, and ideologically confused, the Communist International proved to be a powerful moral support and an indispensable uniting factor for the party masses. The inevitable crisis within the party came to an end only with the cleansing of its ranks of the vacillating, opportunistic elements, and thanks to the influence and authority of Comintern the party was able to weather the crisis quickly and successfully without damage to party discipline, or divergence from its revolutionary orientation in the forthcoming struggle. The attempt of certain members to break away from the Communist International provoked intense indignation within the party. In spite, of the violence of the reactionaries from which it is suffering, the party rose as one man, and resolutely backed up the International against the renegades and treacherous elements who were immediately thrown out of the party ranks.

It may be said without exaggeration that if it had not been for Comintern, the Bulgarian Party, although an old revolutionary party, would not have succeeded in understanding so promptly and correctly what a complete mistake it had made in the bourgeois-fascist revolution; it would not have taken its stand so courageously at the head of the popular uprising of September; it would not have rallied its forces so rapidly after its heavy defeat; it would not have learned so quickly and thoroughly the valuable lessons of the June and September events, and would not at the present time be in a position to direct the great struggle of the working masses against the domination of reaction, and for the creation of a workers’ and peasants’ government in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Communist Party greets the fifth anniversary of the Communist International under the most difficult conditions. Convinced by its own experience of the beneficial role and great importance of Comintern in the revolutionary movement, the Bulgarian Communist Party expresses the ardent wish that the Comintern will continue the development of its activities along the lines it has followed hitherto, and that it will fulfil its difficult tasks as the international party of the revolutionary proletariat, with a single directing world centre and iron discipline within its ranks.

G. DIMITROV (Bulgaria).
Moscow, February 20th, 1924