The future of the III-th International Report from the Marxist Platform of Belgium at the International Conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist international
I salute you on behalf of the Belgian Marxist Platform. On November 7, 2017, representatives of the Belgian Marxist Platform in Leningrad at the meeting dedicated to the Centenary of the October Revolution of 1917 fully supported the “Statement of the International Conference of Communist and Workers Parties”, adopted in Leningrad on August 10-13, 2017.
Today I would like to present the analysis of comrade Ludo Martens on the significance and results of the activities of the Third International. Ludo Martens founded the Marxist-Leninist organization in 1968 and the Belgian Labor Party in 1979. In 1997 in Leningrad he took part in the event dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Great October Revolution. In 1994 he published the book “Another view of Stalin”. In this book he defended the merits of the Soviet Union, the historical role of Stalin and the Bolshevik party, refuted anti-Stalin myths, criticized revisionism and opportunism – from Trotskyism to Gorbachev. In 2005 he organized the International Seminar of Communist and Workers ‘ Parties on the issue of the importance and historical results of the III-th international. The seminar was attended by 49 Communist parties from 44 countries.
At this seminar, Harpal Brar, Chairman of the Communist party of Great Britain (marxist-leninist), analyzed the history of the Communist League (1847-1852), including the Communist Manifesto (1848), the I-th International (1864-1872) including the Paris Commune, the II-nd International (1889-1914) including the transition from the struggle for the 8-hour working day, the celebration of the May Day and the “Proletarians of all countries unite” towards the support for “their own” bourgeois governments in the imperialist war, the III-rd International (1919-1943) with the fronts of “Unity against Fascism” (1935) and the victory in the Great Patriotic War, up to formation of Kominform (1947-1956). Harpal Brar writes:
“The First International laid the foundation of the proletarian, international struggle for socialism.
“The Second International marked a period in which the soil was prepared for the broad, mass spread of the movement in a number of countries.
“The Third International has gathered the fruits of the work of the Second International, discarded its opportunist, social-chauvinist, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois dross, and has begun to implement the dictatorship of the proletariat” (‘The Third International and its place in history’).
The Second Congress of the Comintern (July-August 1920) adopted the famous ’21 conditions for admission into the Communist International’. Lenin’s conditions for admission to the Third International were very strict. The International, just like any country’s communist party, had to be kept free of opportunism, and each of these parties had to struggle unreservedly to win the working class for proletarian revolutionary politics. Until 1914 it was possible for various opposing tendencies, from the Fabians to the Bolsheviks, to be part of a single International. It had always been possible to treat erroneous and opportunist tendencies as nevertheless tendencies within the working-class movement. The war of 1914, and even more the October Revolution, had the effect of placing these tendencies on opposite sides of the barricades.
In the struggle against fascism, the line of the Comintern and that of Stalin himself was on the one hand to denounce social democracy as a counter-revolutionary agent of imperialism, and on the other hand to win over to the camp of communism the millions of workers under social-democratic influence. There can be no doubt that this line was correct.
Harpal Brars general conclusion: “The history of the three internationals demonstrates clearly that our movement advanced with giant steps so long as it remained faithful to the principles of Marxism Leninism and proletarian internationalism. It equally demonstrates that it suffered serious losses when it departed from those principles. In his speech to the 17th Party Congress in January 1934, Stalin, after raising the question “To what does our party owe its superiority?” continued by way of an answer: “To the fact that in its work it has been guided by the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin. There can be no doubt that as long as we remain true to these teachings, while we possess this compass, we will achieve success in our work..” The successes of the First and Third Internationals and the collapse of the Second can only be explained by the fact that while the First and Third Internationаls had adhered perfectly to the banner of Marxism, the Second had distanced itself from it, had sold itself to class collaboration and discredited itself completely.
On behalf of the Union of Communists of Ukraine, Tamila Iosifovna Yabrova in her report stressed “the invaluable role of the Comintern, its diverse activities during the Second World war, in the organization of the resistance movement and the victory over fascism.
The international Communist movement drew special attention to the danger of fascism as an extreme right-wing extremist force, generated by the deep crisis of imperialism, in the early 20-ies of XX century. Already on September 25, 1921 Plenipotentiary of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federative Republic in Italy V. V. Vorovsky in his letter to Lenin notes the emergence of “fighting units of the bourgeoisie – fasci” and the fact that “the government… fully supports the pogrom activities of the Nazis.” And employees of “Bureau Varga” in November of the same year classifies fascism as “fighting units of the financial and industrial capital” . In the special resolution adopted by the Vth Congress of the Comintern, fascism was defined as “the combat organization of the big bourgeoisie in the struggle against the proletariat, which it cannot break by lawful state measures… an extra-legal means of struggle, which it uses in order to establish and strengthen its dictatorship” . However, fascism, originally regarded as an instrument of struggle against the growing after the victory of the great October socialist revolution liberation movement of the proletariat, soon outgrown its framework, becoming a powerful tool of external expansion, in the struggle for world domination. .. The Comintern was at the centre of the organization of the struggle of the international Communist movement against the threat of a new world war, for the creation, as opposed to the forces of the reaction, of a broad democratic coalition formed in a number of countries in the popular front. The Comintern paid much attention to the peculiarities of the parties ‘ struggle in the territories of European countries occupied by Nazi Germany. It is significant in this respect how the fundamental principles of the Comintern in this matter were implemented in practice, for example, the FCP, which decided to start the clandestine work of the party on September 10, 1939, 2 weeks before the reactionary government banned the activities of the FCP, which clearly took a patriotic position and sent a number of its leading figures to fight against fascism. Communists of all countries were in the first ranks of the resistance movement, on all fronts, in all guerrilla groups, underground formations, up to cells of resistance fighters in concentration camps. When we speak about the victory over fascism, it is necessary to stress once again, that this victory was won by the progressive forces of the world, under the leadership of first of all the Soviet people under the leadership of the CPSU(b), whose General Secretary, Stalin was the Supreme Commander of the USSR.»
On behalf of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison states that “Lenin recognized the revolutionary potential of the working peoples in the colonies in the East as the imperialist system was breaking down. It was the duty of the Soviet people to themselves and to other peoples to advance the world proletarian revolution. When the revolutionary flow in Europe ebbed, the revolutions of the East were bursting out, especially in neighboring China. The program of the Comintern optimistically declared that the imperialist system was breaking down and that there was ferment in the colonies, among the former dependent small nations, insurrections of the proletariat, victorious proletarian revolutions in some countries, dissolution of imperialist armies, complete incapacity of the ruling classes to guide the destinies of the people. In his “Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Questions” for the Second Congress of the Comintern on June 5, 1920, Lenin declared: “…the Communist International’s entire policy on the national and colonial questions should rest primarily on a closer union of the proletarians and the working masses of all nations and countries for a joint revolutionary struggle to overthrow the landowners and the bourgeoisie. Lenin further wrote, “With regard to the more backward states and nations, in which feudal or patriarchal-peasant relations predominate, it is particularly important to bear in mind: first, that all Communist parties must assist the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement in these countries, and that the duty of rendering the most active assistance rests primarily with the workers of the country the backward nation is colonially or financially dependent on”. In its 5th Plenum in April 1925, the Comintern approved its first resolution on the Philippines. This urged the American communists to support the national liberation movement in the Philippines and to encourage the formation of a Communist Party from the revolutionized trade union and peasant movement as well as that of a national-revolutionary mass party from all groups actively campaigning for national independence. Under the auspices of the Red International of Labor Unions, the Conference of the Pacific (Oriental) Transport Workers was held in Canton, China on June 18-24, 1924. Five Filipino delegates were able to attend. The delegates came from various Philippine trade unions. They were able to meet and discuss with labor leaders from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, USA, England, France and USSR.
The Communist Party of the Philippines was founded on its constituent congress of August 26, 1930. The CPPI had a highly creditable record of proletarian internationalism from the beginning. It supported the revolutionary movements of the Indonesian, Chinese, Indochinese, Malayan, Indian and other peoples against the colonial powers and their puppets. Filipino- Chinese communists belonging to the CPPI either supported the Chinese revolution from the Philippines or went to China to join the CCP and the people’s army.
The German historian Kurt Gossweiler explains the difference between the dissolution of the III-th International by Stalin in 1943 and the dissolution of the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) by Khrushchev in 1956:
“The dissolution of the Cominform was one of the measures by which Khrushchev introduced the principle “national communism” (propagated by the party of Tito) in the Communist movement, in place of the Marxist-Leninist principle of proletarian internationalism.
In discussions some people in the German Communist Party and Trotskyst parties objected to this thesis, replicating that “then you must first of all address this criticism to Stalin, since in 1943, on his own authority, without asking anyone, he ordered the dissolution of the International Communist and thus carries a severe blow to the Communist movement.”
We find the truth in the personal diary of Georges Dimitrov, leader of the Comintern.
Part of a prehistory was the law of the United States signed by president Roosevelt, October 17, 1940, that prohibited American organizations any international affiliation. As a result, the Communist Party of the United States was threatened with condemnation for his membership in the Communist International. At the time, its general Secretary, Earl R. Browder, was in prison
On 20.4.41 J.V. Stalin said to Dimitrov: “Some Comintern parties (an allusion to the American party) withdraw from the Comintern. This is not bad. We should make the Communist Parties completely independent parties instead of sections of the Communist International. They must become national Communist Parties with different names – Labour party, left Marxist, etc. The name is not important. What is important is that they take walk in their people and focus on their own specific tasks. They must have a Communist program, must rely on a Marxist analysis, not always look to Moscow, but solve independently in each respective country, pending concrete tasks. Because the situation and tasks differ completely depending on the country. The International was founded in the time of Marx in anticipation of an upcoming international revolution. Similarly, the Comintern was created under Lenin during a similar period. Now, of each country’s national tasks come to the foreground. The fact that the Communist parties are subordinated to the Executive Committee of the Communist International as an international organization sections, is a handicap. It facilitates their persecution by the bourgeoisie and promotes the plan aimed to isolate them from the masses of their own country. “
On 21.4.41 Dimitrov consulted with a number of leaders of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, including Togliatti and Thorez, who supported this standpoint. On 12.5.41 Dimitrov also consulted Manuilski and Jdanov. It was clear that all the anti-Comintern covenants would lose their basis; the major advantage of the bourgeoisie became obsolete: namely that the Communists were accused to execute orders from a foreign center and thus were “traitors”. Six weeks before the attack of the German Nazi against the Soviet Union, the dissolution of the Comintern was therefore virtually decided. The beginning of the Patriotic War against fascist Germany was understandably the first priority, before even all other issues. In addition, the changed conditions of the alliance of the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States for a certain period, took again a great importance. The dissolution of the Comintern was deliberated several times in the presidium of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, drafted in its final version on 20 May 1943, accepted unanimously by the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on 21 May 1943 and published on May 22, 1943, in the Pravda. Long before the war, it was already evident with the increasing complexity in different countries, the solution of the tasks of the labor movement in each country by the forces of any international center would encounter insurmountable difficulties. This difference in the historical routes of development in different countries of the world, the difference in level and pace of their social and political evolution and, finally, the difference of degree of consciousness and organization of workers, meant that different tasks are needed to the working class of the different countries.
In September 1947, the information Office of the Communist and workers parties (Kominform) was founded at a conference in Warsaw and had for task the organization of exchanges of experience between parties and, if necessary, coordination of their activity on the basis of a mutual agreement. In the meantime, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had taken place and had turned away from the Leninist policy of struggle against imperialism. The Cominform was made up so that he could become a center of resistance against the application of this turning point in the world. Communist movement. Khrushchev had need to have the free way for his reconciliation in June 1955, with Tito. The Cominform was dissolved april 17, 1956.”
The Pyongyang Declaration.
On April 20, 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, 66 communist and workers’ parties, invited by the Workers’ Party of Korea, signed “The Pyongyang Declaration”, titled “Let Us Defend and Advance the Cause of Socialism”. It stated that : The setback of socialism and the revival of capitalism in some countries is causing a great loss to the achievement of the socialist cause, but it can never be interpreted as the denial of the superiority of socialism and of the reactionary character or capitalism.
Socialism … represents the future of mankind. Only socialism can eliminate domination, subjugation and social inequality of all kinds and ensure the people substantial freedom, equality, true democracy and human rights… The socialist movement is an independent one…The socialist cause in each country should be fulfilled on the responsibility of the party and people of that country…All parties should cement the ties of comradely unity, cooperation and solidarity on the principles of independence and equality.”
The declaration was signed by the Russian Communist Workers’ Party, the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, the Workers’ Party of Belgium, the Communist Party of Albania, and several Maoist parties.
The Brussels International Seminars of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
Already in May 1992 some of these signatories and other communist parties started the Brussels International Communist and Workers’ Parties Seminars, that took place every year in May until the year 2013. The seminar adopted a statement concerning the unity of Marxists-Leninists:
- Only the communists, united in one international communist movement, can bring humanity to people’s democracy, socialism and communism
- Already 40 years, due to revisionism, the international communist movement is split in a soviet, a maoist, a pro-albanian and pro-cuban tendencies. It is natural that different views exist about the merits of the communist leaders, as Stalin, Mao Tse Dong, Enver Hodga. Different views must be examined in a scientific way, in order to overcome prejudices, subjectivism and come to scientific conclusions. Differences of opinion can be overcome gradually during common practical class struggle.
- Relations between parties are based upon proletarian internationalism, friendship, equality, no interference and mutually advantageous cooperation
- Every party applies the principles of Marxism-Leninism following the concrete conditions of its country and the interest of the international working class. At the same time every party defends the unity of the international communist movement, in struggle against revisionism and opportunism
- We can advance by exchanging analyses and experiences, coordinating our actions, creating the international workers’ front against imperialism
The International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties
Since the year 1998 the Communist Party of Greece organizes every year the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, with the International Communist review, the Solidnet website and the directing Working Group.
The 20th International Meeting took place on November 23-25, 2018, in Athens, hosted by the KKE, which celebrates 100 years of its historic course. At the meeting under the theme of: “The contemporary working class and its alliance. The tasks of its political vanguard – the Communist and Workers’ Parties, in the struggle against exploitation and imperialist wars, for the rights of the workers and the peoples, for peace, for socialism “, 90 Communist and Workers’ parties from 73 countries took part, representing all the continents.
The Initiative of Communist and Workers Parties of Europe
In Brussels, in the European Parliament building on the 1th of October 2013, on the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece, the “Initiative of communist and workers’ parties for the research and study concerning Europe” was founded, with 30 members. It serves the concentration of forces and the planning of common actions and struggle against the European Union, a union of capitalism, an imperialist center that supports the aggressive plans of the US and Nato. It opposes the bourgeois, liberal and social-democratic parties, that serve the interest of the capital, against the forces of opportunism, that support the European Union and follow a political line of governing capitalism. All parties contribute to the common goal and push the struggle of the communist movement in Europe forward, influencing positively the international communist movement. The Initiative is based on the principles of scientific socialism. The Initiative is linked in the first place with the communist and workers parties of the EU-member states, but is also open for parties from countries, that are not EU-members and are not linked with EU.