J. V. Stalin

The International Situation and
the Tasks of the Communist Parties

March 22, 1925

Source : Works, Vol. 7, 1925
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

Of a number of phenomena of decisive significance in the international situation, the following basic facts should be noted:

1. Undoubtedly, capital has succeeded in extricating itself from the quagmire of the post-war crisis. The stabilisation of the currency in a number of capitalist countries, the growth of world trade and the expansion of production in individual countries, the export and investment of capital, especially Anglo-American capital, in Europe and Asia — all this testifies to the successes capital has achieved in its "constructive work." As is known, that "work" is being conducted under the aegis of the Anglo-American bloc. Of the results of this "work," the so-called "Dawesation" of Germany, i.e., the transition from the method of military intervention to the method of financial intervention, to the method of financial enslavement of Germany, must be regarded as one of the most important.

2. It is also beyond doubt that in Germany, in the centre of Europe, the period of revolutionary upsurge has come to an end. The period of the upsurge of revolution, when the movement seethes, rises and boils over, whereas the Party's slogans lag behind the movement, when the masses break the bounds of legality, storm the old order and establish their own, new law — that period has now gone by in Germany. The working-class movement in Germany has passed from the period of assault to the period of accumulating forces, to the period of forming and training a proletarian army under the banner of communism. It scarcely needs proof that this circumstance is bound to be of great importance. All the more definitely, therefore, must this be said, in order to be able quickly to find our bearings in the new situation and to start the work of preparing the revolution on new lines.

Such are the facts of positive significance for the bourgeoisie, for they testify to the strength and successes of capital at the present time.

But alongside these facts there are a number of facts of negative significance for capitalism.

1. Undoubtedly, side by side with the strengthening of capitalism, there is a growth of the contradictions between the capitalist groups, a growth of the forces which weaken and disintegrate capitalism. The struggle between Britain and America for oil, for Canada, for markets, etc.; the struggle between the Anglo-American bloc and Japan for Eastern markets; the struggle between Britain and France for influence in Europe; and, lastly, the struggle between enslaved Germany and the dominant Entente — all these are commonly-known facts which indicate that the successes that capital has achieved are transient, that the process of capitalism's "recovery" contains within itself the germs of its inherent weakness and disintegration.

2. The growth and consolidation of the national-liberation movement in India, China, Egypt, Indonesia, North Africa, etc., which are undermining capitalism's rear. Since, for its "recovery," imperialism must enlarge its sphere of influence in the colonies and dependent countries, whereas the struggle of these countries against imperialism is undoubtedly becoming intensified, it is obvious that the successes of imperialism in this sphere cannot be durable.

3. The fight for trade-union unity in Europe and the crisis in the Amsterdam Federation. 1 The fight of the British trade unions for trade-union unity, the support of this fight by the Soviet trade unions, the transformation of the fight for trade-union unity into a fight against the counter-revolutionary leaders of the Amsterdam Federation (Oudegeest, Sassenbach, Jouhaux, and others), who pursue a policy of splitting the trade unions — are all facts which indicate that the Amsterdam Federation is in a state of profound crisis. And what does the crisis in the Amsterdam Federation mean? It means the instability of bourgeois rule, for the Amsterdam trade-union bureaucracy is a part and a prop of this rule.

4. The economic growth of the Soviet Union. There is no doubt that the stories of the bourgeois hack writers about the Soviets being incapable of organising industry have been completely refuted. There is no doubt that during the past two years, after intervention and the blockade ceased, the industry of the Soviet Union has revived and gained strength. There is no doubt that the material and cultural conditions of the workers have substantially improved during this short period. There is no doubt that this improvement will continue. All these circumstances are now of decisive importance for revolutionising the workers in the capitalist countries. I think that the workers of the West have never displayed such interest in Russia as they are doing now. Why? Because rumours are reaching them about the new way of life of the Soviet workers in the workers' state called the Soviet Union, and they would like to test the truth of these rumours. The fact that scores and hundreds of workers holding diverse views come from Europe to Russia and peer into every nook and cranny undoubtedly indicates that interest in Russia will grow month by month among the workers of the West. There is no doubt that this pilgrimage to Russia will grow. And when the Western workers become convinced that every step in the development of industry in Russia also means a step in the improvement of the conditions of the workers, and not the deterioration of these conditions, as usually happens in the capitalist countries, they will realise that it is high time for them, the Western workers, to set up workers' states in their own countries. That is why the very existence of the Soviet state is a deadly menace to imperialism. That is why no successes that imperialism achieves can be durable as long as the Soviet state exists and develops.

Such are the facts of negative significance for the bourgeoisie, for they testify to the strength and probable successes of the revolutionary movement in the near future.

The conflict between these opposite trends, positive and negative, constitutes the basis and content of the present international situation.

Amidst this conflict of opposites, so-called pacifism arose and wilted before it could bloom, failing to mark either an "era," an "epoch" or a "period." It failed to justify either the hopes of the compromisers or the apprehensions of the counter-revolutionaries.

In this conflict the "renowned" names of Poincare and Hughes, of MacDonald and Herriot, perished.

Which of these trends will gain the upper hand, the positive or the negative?

There can be no doubt that in time the trends that are unfavourable for capitalism and favourable for the revolution must triumph, for imperialism is incapable of resolving the contradictions that are corroding it, for it is capable only of alleviating them for a time with the result that they break out again later on and manifest themselves with fresh destructive force. It is also beyond doubt, however, that at the present time the positive trends, that are favourable for capitalism, are gaining the upper hand.

That is the specific feature of the present international situation.

As a result we have a sort of lull in Europe and America, "disturbed" by the national revolutionary movement in the colonies and "marred" by the existence, development and growing strength of the Soviet Union.

For the bourgeoisie it means a respite, increased exports of capital, increased wealth, increased oppression and exploitation in the colonies, increased pressure on the Soviet Union, the concentration of all the counter-revolutionary forces around Anglo-American capital.

For the proletariat in the capitalist countries it means the opening of a period of accumulating forces, the opening of a period of forming and training the proletarian armies under the banner of communism in the conditions of a system of repression alternating with a system of "liberties."

For the colonies it means an intensification of the struggle against national oppression and exploitation, an intensification of the struggle for liberation from imperialism.

For the Soviet Union it means the exertion of all efforts to develop industry further, to strengthen the country's defensive capacity, to concentrate the revolutionary forces of all countries against imperialism.

Hence the tasks of the Communist Parties:

1. To utilise to the utmost all contradictions in the camp of the bourgeoisie with the object of disintegrating and weakening its forces and of strengthening the positions of the proletariat.

2. To devise concrete forms and methods of drawing the working class in the advanced countries closer to the national revolutionary movement in the colonies and dependent countries with the object of rendering all possible support to this movement against the common enemy, against imperialism.

3. To promote the fight for trade-union unity and to carry it to a successful conclusion, bearing in mind that this is the surest means of winning over the vast working-class masses; for it is impossible to win over the vast proletarian masses unless the trade unions are won over; and it is impossible to win over the trade unions unless work is conducted in them and unless the confidence of the masses of the workers is won in the trade unions month by month and year by year. Failing this, it is out of the question even to think of achieving the dictatorship of the proletariat.

4. To devise concrete forms and methods of drawing the working class closer to the small peasantry, who are crushed by the bureaucratic machine of the bourgeois state and by the extortionate prices of the all-powerful trusts, bearing in mind that the struggle to win over the small peasantry is the immediate task of a party that is advancing towards the dictatorship of the proletariat.

5. To support the Soviet regime and to frustrate the interventionist machinations of imperialism against the Soviet Union, bearing in mind that the Soviet Union is the bulwark of the revolutionary movement in all countries, and that to preserve and strengthen the Soviet Union means to accelerate the victory of the working class over the world bourgeoisie.


Pravda, No. 66, March 22, 1925


1.The Amsterdam International Federation of Trade Unions was formed in July 1919 at an international congress held in Amsterdam. It consisted of the reformist trade unions of a number of countries of Western Europe and the U.S.A. In 1919 its affiliated membership reached 24,000,000, but by the end of 1923 it had dropped to 16,000,000. In subsequent years the influence and membership of the Amsterdam Federation steadily declined. During the Second World War it practically ceased to function. It was dissolved in December 1945 owing to the formation of the World Federation of Trade Unions.