|Founded||2 March 1919|
|Dissolved||15 May 1943|
|Succeeded by||Communist Information Bureau|
|Youth wing||Young Communist International|
|Ideology|| Communism |
The Communist International (Comintern), known also as the Third International (1919–1943), was an international organization that advocated world communism. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state".The Comintern had been preceded by the 1916 dissolution of the Second International.
An international organization is an organization with an international membership, scope, or presence. There are two main types:
World communism is a form of communism which has an international scope. The long-term goal of world communism is a worldwide communist society that is stateless, which may be achieved through an intermediate-term goal of either a voluntary association of sovereign states or a world government. A series of internationals have worked toward world communism and they have included the First International, the Second International, the Third International, the Fourth International, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the World Socialist Movement and variant offshoots. These are a quite heterogeneous group despite their common ultimate goal of a stateless and global communist society.
The bourgeoisie is a polysemous French term that can mean:
The Comintern held seven World Congresses in Moscow between 1919 and 1935. During that period, it also conducted thirteen Enlarged Plenums of its governing Executive Committee, which had much the same function as the somewhat larger and more grandiose Congresses. The Comintern was officially dissolved by Joseph Stalin in 1943 to avoid antagonizing its allies the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Executive Committee of the Communist International, commonly known by its acronym, ECCI (Russian acronym ИККИ), was the governing authority of the Comintern between the World Congresses of that body. The ECCI was established by the Founding Congress of the Comintern in 1919 and was dissolved with the rest of the Comintern in May 1943.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
While the differences had been evident for decades, World War I proved the issue that finally divided the revolutionary and reformist wings of the workers' movement. The socialist movement had been historically antimilitarist and internationalist and therefore opposed workers serving as cannon fodder for the bourgeois governments at war; this was especially true since the Triple Alliance comprised two empires while the Triple Entente gathered France and Britain into an alliance with Russia. Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto had stated that "the working class has no country" and exclaimed "Proletarians of all countries, unite!". Massive majorities voted in favor of resolutions for the Second International to call upon the international working class to resist war if it were declared.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
Revolutionary socialism is the socialist doctrine that social revolution is necessary in order to bring about structural changes to society. More specifically, it is the view that revolution is a necessary precondition for a transition from capitalism to socialism. Revolution is not necessarily defined as a violent insurrection; it is defined as seizure of political power by mass movements of the working class so that the state is directly controlled or abolished by the working class as opposed to the capitalist class and its interests. Revolutionary socialists believe such a state of affairs is a precondition for establishing socialism and orthodox Marxists believe that it is inevitable but not predetermined.
Reformism is a political doctrine advocating the reform of an existing system or institution instead of its abolition and replacement. Within the socialist movement, reformism is the view that gradual changes through existing institutions can eventually lead to fundamental changes in a society’s political and economic systems. Reformism as a political tendency and hypothesis of social change grew out of opposition to revolutionary socialism, which contends that revolutionary upheaval is a necessary precondition for the structural changes necessary to transform a capitalist system to a qualitatively different socialist economic system.
Nevertheless, within hours of the declarations of war almost all the socialist parties of the combatant states announced their support for the war.The only exceptions were the socialist parties of the Balkans and the British Labour Party. To Vladimir Lenin's surprise, even the Social Democratic Party of Germany voted in favor of war credits. The assassination of French Socialist Jean Jaurès on 31 July 1914 killed the last hope of peace by removing one of the few leaders who possessed enough influence on the international socialist movement to prevent it from segmenting itself along national lines and supporting governments of national unity.
The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea coast. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, the Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range.
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom which has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism.
Socialist parties in neutral countries mostly supported neutrality rather than total opposition to the war. On the other hand, during the 1915 Zimmerwald Conference Lenin organized opposition to the imperialist war into a movement that became known as the Zimmerwald Left and published the pamphlet Socialism and War in which he called all socialists who collaborated with their national governments social chauvinists, i.e. socialists in word, but chauvinists in deed.The Zimmerwald Left produced no practical advice for how to initiate socialist revolt.
The Zimmerwald Conference was held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland, from 5 to 8 September 1915. It was the first of three international socialist conferences convened by anti-militarist socialist parties from countries that were originally neutral during World War I. The individuals and organizations participating in this and subsequent conferences held at Kienthal and Stockholm are known jointly as the Zimmerwald movement.
Imperialism is policy or ideology of extending a nation's rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. It was common around the world throughout recorded history, but diminishing in the late 20th century. In recent times, it has been considered morally reprehensible and prohibited by international law. Therefore, the term is used in international propaganda to denounce an opponent's foreign policy.
The Zimmerwald Left was a revolutionary minority faction at the Zimmerwald Peace Conference of 1915, headed by Vladimir Lenin. The Left of the Zimmerwald Congress was made up of eight out of 38 people: Lenin, Zinoviev (Russia), Jānis Bērziņš (Latvia), Karl Radek (Poland), Julian Borchardt (Germany), Fritz Platten (Switzerland), Zeth Höglund and Ture Nerman (Sweden). It was the first step towards forming what later became the Comintern.
The International divided into a revolutionary left and a reformist right, with a center group wavering between those poles. Lenin condemned much of the center as social pacifists for several reasons, including their voting for war credits despite opposing the war. Lenin's term social pacifist aimed in particular at Ramsay MacDonald, leader of the Independent Labour Party in Britain, who opposed the war on grounds of pacifism, but did not actively resist it.
Centrism has a specific meaning within the Marxist movement, referring to a position between revolution and reformism. For instance, the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) and Independent Labour Party (ILP) were both seen as centrist because they oscillated between advocating reaching a socialist economy through reforms and advocating revolution. The parties that belonged to the "so-called" Two-and-a-half and Three-and-a-half Internationals, who could not choose between the reformism of the social democrat Second International and the revolutionary politics of the Communist Third International, were also exemplary of centrism in this sense. They included the Spanish Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), the ILP and Poale Zion.
James Ramsay MacDonald was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, firstly for nine months in 1924 and then again between 1929 and 1935. He was the first Labour Party politician to become Prime Minister, leading minority Labour governments in 1924 and in 1929–31. He headed a National Government from 1931 to 1935, dominated by the Conservative Party and supported by only a few Labour members. MacDonald was later vehemently denounced by and expelled from the party he had helped to found.
The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a British political party of the left, established in 1893, when the Liberals appeared reluctant to endorse working-class candidates, representing the interests of the majority. A sitting independent MP and prominent union organiser, Keir Hardie, became its first chairman.
Discredited by its passivity towards world events, the Second International dissolved in the middle of the war in 1916. In 1917, Lenin published the April Theses which openly supported a revolutionary defeatism, i.e. the Bolsheviks pronounced themselves in favor of the defeat of Russia which would permit them to move directly to the stage of a revolutionary insurrection.
The victory of the Russian Communist Party in the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917 was felt throughout the world and an alternative path to power to parliamentary politics was demonstrated. With much of Europe on the verge of economic and political collapse in the aftermath of the carnage of World War I, revolutionary sentiments were widespread. The Russian Bolsheviks headed by Lenin believed that unless socialist revolution swept Europe, they would be crushed by the military might of world capitalism just as the Paris Commune had been crushed by force of arms in 1871. The Bolsheviks believed that this required a new international to foment revolution in Europe and around the world.
|Part of a series on|
The Comintern was founded at a Congress held in Moscow on 2–6 March 1919against the backdrop of the Russian Civil War. There were 52 delegates present from 34 parties. They decided to form an Executive Committee with representatives of the most important sections and that other parties joining the International would have their own representatives. The Congress decided that the Executive Committee would elect a five-member bureau to run the daily affairs of the International. However, such a bureau was not formed and Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Christian Rakovsky later delegated the task of managing the International to Grigory Zinoviev as the Chairman of the Executive. Zinoviev was assisted by Angelica Balabanoff, acting as the secretary of the International, Victor L. Kibaltchitch and Vladmir Ossipovich Mazin. Lenin, Trotsky and Alexandra Kollontai presented material. The main topic of discussion was the difference between bourgeois democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The following parties and movements were invited to the Founding Congress:
Of these, the following attended (see list of delegates of the 1st Comintern congress): the communist parties of Russia, Germany, German Austria, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Byelorussia, Estonia, Armenia, the Volga German region; the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (the opposition), Balkan Revolutionary People's of Russia; Zimmerwald Left Wing of France; the Czech, Bulgarian, Yugoslav, British, French and Swiss Communist Groups; the Dutch Social-Democratic Group; Socialist Propaganda League and the Socialist Labor Party of America; Socialist Workers' Party of China; Korean Workers' Union, Turkestan, Turkish, Georgian, Azerbaijanian and Persian Sections of the Central Bureau of the Eastern People's and the Zimmerwald Commission.
Zinoviev served as the first Chairman of the Comintern's Executive Committee from 1919 to 1926, but its dominant figure until his death in January 1924 was Lenin, whose strategy for revolution had been laid out in What Is to Be Done? (1902). The central policy of the Comintern under Lenin's leadership was that communist parties should be established across the world to aid the international proletarian revolution. The parties also shared his principle of democratic centralism (freedom of discussion, unity of action), namely that parties would make decisions democratically, but uphold in a disciplined fashion whatever decision was made.In this period, the Comintern was promoted as the general staff of the world revolution.
Ahead of the Second Congress of the Communist International, held in July through August 1920, Lenin sent out a number of documents, including his Twenty-one Conditions to all socialist parties. The Congress adopted the 21 conditions as prerequisites for any group wanting to become affiliated to the International. The 21 Conditions called for the demarcation between communist parties and other socialist groupsand instructed the Comintern sections not to trust the legality of the bourgeois states. They also called for the build-up of party organisations along democratic centralist lines in which the party press and parliamentary factions would be under the direct control of the party leadership.
Regarding the political situation in the colonized world, the Second Congress of the Communist International stipulated that a united front should be formed between the proletariat, peasantry and national bourgeoisie in the colonial countries. Amongst the twenty-one conditions drafted by Lenin ahead of the congress was the 11th thesis which stipulated that all communist parties must support the bourgeois-democratic liberation movements in the colonies. Notably, some of the delegates opposed the idea of alliance with the bourgeoisie and preferred giving support to communist movements in these countries instead. Their criticism was shared by the Indian revolutionary M. N. Roy, who attended as a delegate of the Mexican Communist Party. The Congress removed the term bourgeois-democratic in what became the 8th condition.
Many European socialist parties divided because of the adhesion issue. The French Section of the Workers International (SFIO) thus broke away with the 1920 Tours Congress, leading to the creation of the new French Communist Party (initially called French Section of the Communist International – SFIC). The Communist Party of Spain was created in 1920, the Communist Party of Italy was created in 1921, the Belgian Communist Party in September 1921 and so on.
Writings from the Third Congress, held in June–July 1921, talked about how the struggle could be transformed into civil war when the circumstances were favorable and openly revolutionary uprisings.The Fourth Congress, held in November 1922, at which Trotsky played a prominent role, continued in this vein.
The Dungan commander of the Dungan Cavalry Regiment Magaza Masanchi attended the Third Congress.
During this early period, known as the First Period in Comintern history, with the Bolshevik Revolution under attack in the Russian Civil War and a wave of revolutions across Europe, the Comintern's priority was exporting the October Revolution. Some communist parties had secret military wings. One example is the M-Apparat of the Communist Party of Germany. Its purpose was to prepare for the civil war the Communists believed was impending in Germany and to liquidate opponents and informers who might have infiltrated the party. There was also a paramilitary organization called the Rotfrontkämpferbund.
The Comintern was involved in the revolutions across Europe in this period, starting with the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. Several hundred agitators and financial aid were sent from the Soviet Union and Lenin was in regular contact with its leader Béla Kun. Soon, an official Terror Group of the Revolutionary Council of the Government was formed, unofficially known as Lenin Boys.The next attempt was the March Action in Germany in 1921, including an attempt to dynamite the express train from Halle to Leipzig. After this failed, the Communist Party of Germany expelled its former chairman Paul Levi from the party for publicly criticising the March Action in a pamphlet, which was ratified by the Executive Committee of the Communist International prior to the Third Congress. A new attempt was made at the time of the Ruhr crisis in spring and then again in selected parts of Germany in the autumn of 1923. The Red Army was mobilized, ready to come to the aid of the planned insurrection. Resolute action by the German government cancelled the plans, except due to miscommunication in Hamburg, where 200–300 Communists attacked police stations, but were quickly defeated. In 1924, there was a failed coup in Estonia by the Estonian Communist Party.
In 1924, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party joined Comintern.At first, in China both the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang were supported. After the definite break with Chiang Kai-shek in 1927, Joseph Stalin sent personal emissaries to help organize revolts which at this time failed.
Lenin died in 1924 and the next year saw a shift in the organization's focus from the immediate activity of world revolution towards a defence of the Soviet state. In that year, Stalin took power in Moscow and upheld the thesis of socialism in one country, detailed by Nikolai Bukharin in his brochure Can We Build Socialism in One Country in the Absence of the Victory of the West-European Proletariat? (April 1925). The position was finalized as the state policy after Stalin's January 1926 article On the Issues of Leninism. Stalin made the party line clear: "An internationalist is one who is ready to defend the USSR without reservation, without wavering, unconditionally; for the USSR it is the base of the world revolutionary movement, and this revolutionary movement cannot be defended and promoted without defending the USSR".
The dream of a world revolution was abandoned after the failures of the Spartacist uprising in Germany and of the Hungarian Soviet Republic and the failure of all revolutionary movements in Europe such as in Italy, where the fascist squadristi broke the strikes and quickly assumed power following the 1922 March on Rome. This period up to 1928 was known as the Second Period, mirroring the shift in the Soviet Union from war communism to the New Economic Policy.
At the Fifth World Congress of the Comintern in July 1924, Zinoviev condemned Marxist philosopher Georg Lukács's History and Class Consciousness, published in 1923 after his involvement in Béla Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic and Karl Korsch's Marxism and Philosophy . Zinoviev himself was dismissed in 1926 after falling out of favor with Stalin. Bukharin then led the Comintern for two years until 1928, when he too fell out with Stalin. Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov headed the Comintern in 1934 and presided until its dissolution.
Geoff Eley summed up the change in attitude at this time as follows:
By the Fifth Comintern Congress in July 1924 [...] the collapse of Communist support in Europe tightened the pressure for conformity. A new policy of "Bolshevization" was adopted, which dragooned the CPs toward stricter bureaucratic centralism. This flattened out the earlier diversity of radicalisms, welding them into a single approved model of Communist organization. Only then did the new parties retreat from broader Left arenas into their own belligerent world, even if many local cultures of broader cooperation persisted. Respect for Bolshevik achievements and defense of the Russian Revolution now transmuted into dependency on Moscow and belief in Soviet infallibility. Depressing cycles of "internal rectification" began, disgracing and expelling successive leaderships, so that by the later 1920s many founding Communists had gone. This process of coordination, in a hard-faced drive for uniformity, was finalized at the next Congress of the Third International in 1928.
The Comintern was a relatively small organization, but it devised novel ways of controlling communist parties around the world. In many places, there was a communist subculture, founded upon indigenous left-wing traditions which had never been controlled by Moscow. The Comintern attempted to establish control over party leaderships by sending agents who bolstered certain factions, by judicious use of secret funding, by expelling independent-minded activists and even by closing down entire national parties (such as the Communist Party of Poland in 1938). Above all, the Comintern exploited Soviet prestige in sharp contrast to the weaknesses of local parties that rarely had political power.
Communist front organizations were set up to attract non-members who agreed with the party on certain specific points. Opposition to fascism was a common theme in the popular front era of the mid 1930s.The well-known names and prestige of artists, intellectuals and other fellow travelers were used to advance party positions. They often came to the Soviet Union for propaganda tours praising the future. Under the leadership of Zinoviev, the Comintern established fronts in many countries in the 1920s and after. To coordinate their activities, the Comintern set up international umbrella organizations linking groups across national borders, such as the Young Communist International (youth), Profintern (trade unions), Krestintern (peasants), International Red Aid (humanitarian aid), Sportintern (organized sports) and more. Front organizations were especially influential in France, which in 1933 became the base for communist front organizer Willi Münzenberg. These organizations were dissolved in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
In 1928, the Ninth Plenum of the Executive Committee began the so-called Third Period, which was to last until 1935.The Comintern proclaimed that the capitalist system was entering the period of final collapse and therefore all communist parties were to adopt an aggressive and militant ultra-left line. In particular, the Comintern labelled all moderate left-wing parties social fascists and urged the communists to destroy the moderate left. With the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany after 1930, this stance became controversial.
The Sixth World Congress also revised the policy of united front in the colonial world. In 1927, the Kuomintang had turned on the Chinese Communists, which led to a review of the policy on forming alliances with the national bourgeoisie in the colonial countries. The Congress did make a differentiation between the character of the Chinese Kuomintang on one hand and the Indian Swarajist Party and the Egyptian Wafd Party on the other, considering the latter as an unreliable ally yet not a direct enemy. The Congress called on the Indian Communists to utilize the contradictions between the national bourgeoisie and the British imperialists.
The Seventh and last Congress of the Comintern was held between 25 July 25 and 20 August 1935. It was attended by representatives of 65 communist parties. The main report was delivered by Dimitrov, other reports were delivered by Palmiro Togliatti, Wilhelm Pieck and Dmitry Manuilsky.The Congress officially endorsed the popular front against fascism. This policy argued that communist parties should seek to form a popular front with all parties that opposed fascism and not limit themselves to forming a united front with those parties based in the working class. There was no significant opposition to this policy within any of the national sections of the Comintern. In France and Spain, it would have momentous consequences with Léon Blum's 1936 election which led to the Popular Front government.
Stalin's purges of the 1930s affected Comintern activists living in both the Soviet Union and overseas. At Stalin's direction, the Comintern was thoroughly infused with Soviet secret police and foreign intelligence operatives and informers working under Comintern guise. One of its leaders, Mikhail Trilisser, using the pseudonym Mikhail Aleksandrovich Moskvin, was in fact chief of the foreign department of the Soviet OGPU (later the NKVD). At Stalin's orders, 133 out of 492 Comintern staff members became victims of the Great Purge. Several hundred German communists and antifascists who had either fled from Nazi Germany or were convinced to relocate in the Soviet Union were liquidated and more than a thousand were handed over to Germany.Fritz Platten died in a labor camp and the leaders of the Indian (Virendranath Chattopadhyaya or Chatto), Korean, Mexican, Iranian and Turkish communist parties were executed. Out of 11 Mongolian Communist Party leaders, only Khorloogiin Choibalsan survived. Leopold Trepper recalled these days: "In house, where the party activists of all the countries were living, no-one slept until 3 o'clock in the morning. [...] Exactly 3 o'clock the car lights began to be seen [...] we stayed near the window and waited [to find out], where the car stopped".
At the start of World War II, the Comintern supported a policy of non-intervention, arguing that the war was an imperialist war between various national ruling classes, much like World War I had been, but when the Soviet Union itself was invaded on 22 June 1941 the Comintern changed its position to one of active support for the Allies. On 15 May 1943, a declaration of the Executive Committee was sent out to all sections of the International, calling for the dissolution of Comintern. The declaration read:
The historical role of the Communist International, organized in 1919 as a result of the political collapse of the overwhelming majority of the old pre-war workers' parties, consisted in that it preserved the teachings of Marxism from vulgarisation and distortion by opportunist elements of the labor movement. But long before the war it became increasingly clear that, to the extent that the internal as well as the international situation of individual countries became more complicated, the solution of the problems of the labor movement of each individual country through the medium of some international centre would meet with insuperable obstacles.
Concretely, the declaration asked the member sections to approve:
To dissolve the Communist International as a guiding centre of the international labor movement, releasing sections of the Communist International from the obligations ensuing from the constitution and decisions of the Congresses of the Communist International.
After endorsements of the declaration were received from the member sections, the International was dissolved.Usually, it is asserted that the dissolution came about as Stalin wished to calm his World War II allies (particularly Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill) and keep them from suspecting the Soviet Union of pursuing a policy of trying to foment revolution in other countries.
The Research Institutes 100 and 205 worked for the International and later were moved to the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, founded at roughly the same time that the Comintern was abolished in 1943, although its specific duties during the first several years of its existence are unknown.
Following the June 1947 Paris Conference on Marshall Aid, Stalin gathered a grouping of key European communist parties in September and set up the Cominform, or Communist Information Bureau, often seen as a substitute to the Comintern. It was a network made up of the communist parties of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia (led by Josip Broz Tito, it was expelled in June 1948). The Cominform was dissolved in 1956 following Stalin's 1953 death and the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
While the communist parties of the world no longer had a formal international organization, they continued to maintain close relations with each other through a series of international forums. In the period directly after the Comintern's dissolution, periodical meetings of communist parties were held in Moscow. Moreover, World Marxist Review , a joint periodical of the communist parties, played an important role in coordinating the communist movement up to the break-up of the Socialist Bloc in 1989–1991.
Several international organizations were sponsored by the Comintern in this period:
The OMS (Russian : Отдел международной связи, otdel mezhdunarodnoy svyazi, ОМС), also known in English as the International Liaison Department (1921–1939), was the most secret department of the Comintern. It has also been translated as the Illegal Liaison Section and Foreign Liaison Department.
One historian has described:
The OMS was the Comintern's department for the coordination of subversive and conspiratorial activities. Some of its functions overlapped with those of the main Soviet intelligence agencies, the OGPU and the GRU, whose agents sometimes were assigned to the Comintern. But the OMS maintained its own set of operations and had its own representative on the central committees of each Communist party abroad.
In 2012, historian David McKnight stated:
The most intense practical application of the conspiratorial work of the Comintern was carried out by its international liaison service, the OMS. This body undertook clandenstine courier activities and work which supported underground political activities. These included the transport of money and letters, the manufacture of passports and other false documents and technical support to underground parties, such as managing "safe houses" and establishing businesses overseas as cover activities.
Delegate figures are voting plus consultative.
|Founding Congress||1919||2–6 March||Moscow||34 + 18|
|2nd World Congress||1920||19 July–7 August||Petrograd and Moscow||167 + ≈53|
|3rd World Congress||1921||22 June–12 July||Moscow|
|4th World Congress||1922||5 November–5 December||Petrograd and Moscow||340 + 48|
|5th World Congress||1924||17 June–8 July||Moscow||324 + 82|
|6th World Congress||1928||17 July–1 September||Moscow|
|7th World Congress||1935||25 July–21 August||Moscow|
|1st Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1922||24 February–4 March||Moscow||105|
|2nd Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1922||7–11 June||Moscow||41 + 9|
|3rd Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1923||12–23 June||Moscow|
|4th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1924||12 June and 12–13 July||Moscow|
|5th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1925||21 March–6 April||Moscow|
|6th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1926||17 February–15 March||Moscow||77 + 53|
|7th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1926||22 November–16 December||Moscow|
|8th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1927||18–30 May||Moscow|
|9th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1928||9–25 February||Moscow||44 + 48|
|10th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1929||3–19 July||Moscow||36 + 72|
|Enlarged Presidium of ECCI||1930||25–? February||Moscow|
|11th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1931||26 March–11 April||Moscow|
|12th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1932||27 August–15 September||Moscow||38 + 136|
|13th Enlarged Plenum of ECCI||1933||28 November–12 December||Moscow|
|Conference of the Amsterdam Bureau||1920||10–11 February||Amsterdam||16|
|1st Congress of the Peoples of the East||1920||1–8 September||Baku||1,891|
|1st Congress of Toilers of the Far East||1922||21 January–2 February||Moscow and Petrograd|
|World Congress Against Colonial Oppression and Imperialism||1927||10–15 February||Brussels||152|
|2nd Congress of the League Against Imperialism||1929||July||Frankfurt|
|1st International Conference of Negro Workers||1930||7–8 July||Hamburg||17 + 3|
| Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Comintern .|
Leninism is the political theory for the organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Developed by and named for the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism and Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire of the early 20th century.
In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union (USSR), the political parties of the Communist International, and of contemporary Stalinist political parties. Combining Leninist political praxis and Marxist socio-economics, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the two-stage revolutionary development of a capitalist state into a socialist state, guided by the leadership of a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries from the working class and the proletariat. The socialist state is instituted and governed by way of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism.
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky identified as an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik–Leninist. He supported founding a vanguard party of the proletariat, proletarian internationalism and a dictatorship of the proletariat based on working class self-emancipation and mass democracy. Trotskyists are critical of Stalinism as they oppose Joseph Stalin's theory of socialism in one country in favor of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists also criticize the bureaucracy that developed in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
The history of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union reflects a period of change for both Russia and the world. Though the terms Soviet Russia and Soviet Union are synonymous in everyday vocabulary, Soviet Russia, in the context of the foundation of the Soviet Union, refers to the few years after the abdication of the crown of the Russian Empire by Tsar Nicholas II, but before the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. Early in its conception, the Soviet Union strived to achieve harmony among all people of all countries. The original ideology of the state was primarily based on the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In its essence, Marx's theory stated that economic and political systems went through an inevitable revolution based upon class struggle, by which the current capitalist system would be destroyed or abolished before achieving international cooperation and peace in a "Workers' Paradise," creating a system directed by what Marx called "Pure Communism." Marx favoured abolishment of the bourgeois state and to establish a new state, however not a copy of the old. A state is not supposed to exist forever and defend development of new class structures. The aim was to create a system with an internal logic and direction based upon spreading the class-struggle worldwide simply because the working class and working population just as the capitalist mode of production is international. Engels at first agreed with the aim to abolish the bourgeois state – but later in London 6 of March 1895 in the introduction to Marx' book 'Class struggle in France 1848–1850' he dismissed the idea of revolution. Engels instead favoured to reach socialism through elections in the capitalist parliaments and not in socialist revolution confronting the capitalist state.
Amadeo Bordiga was an Italian Marxist, a contributor to communist theory, the founder of the Communist Party of Italy, a leader of the Communist International and later a leading figure of the International Communist Party. Bordiga was originally associated with the Communist Party of Italy, but he was expelled in 1930 after being accused of Trotskyism. Later on following World War II, he moved more explicitly towards a left communist position and was one of the more notable Western European representatives of this tendency.
Council communism is a current of socialist thought that emerged in the 1920s. Inspired by the November Revolution, councilism was characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism and its advocacy of workers' councils and soviet democracy as the basis for dismantling the class state. Strong in Germany and the Netherlands during the 1920s, council communism continues to exist today within the greater socialist and communist movements.
The history of communism encompasses a wide variety of ideologies and political movements sharing the core theoretical values of common ownership of wealth, economic enterprise and property.
Carl Zeth "Zäta" Konstantin Höglund was a leading Swedish communist politician, anti-militarist, author, journalist and mayor (finansborgarråd) of Stockholm (1940–1950).
Bordigism is a variant of left communism espoused by Marxist Amadeo Bordiga, who was a founder of the Communist Party of Italy and a prominent figure in the International Communist Party. Bordigists in the Italian Socialist Party would be the first to refuse on principle any participation in parliamentary elections.
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.
National communism refers to the various forms in which communism has been adopted and/or implemented by leaders in different countries. In each independent state, empire, or dependency, the relationship between class and nation had its own particularities. The Ukrainian communists Shakhrai and Mazlakh and then Muslim Sultan Galiyev considered the interests of the Bolshevik Russian state at odds with those of their countries. This was followed after 1945 by the Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito when he attempted to pursue an independent foreign policy.
The Congress of the Peoples of the East was a multinational conference held in September 1920 by the Communist International in Baku, Azerbaijan. The congress was attended by nearly 1,900 delegates from across Asia and Europe and marked a commitment by the Comintern to support revolutionary nationalist movements in the colonial "East" in addition to the traditional radical labor movement of Europe, North America, and Australasia. Although attended by delegates representing more than two dozen ethnic entities of the Middle and Far East, the Baku Congress was dominated by the lengthy speeches of leaders from the Russian Communist Party (RCP), including: Grigory Zinoviev, Karl Radek, Mikhail Pavlovich, and Anatoly Skachko. Non-RCP delegates delivering major reports included Hungarian revolutionary Béla Kun and Turkish feminist Naciye Hanim.
Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party was a marxist socialist political party in Bulgaria. The party's origins lays in 1903, after a split at the 10th Congress of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party. The other faction formed the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party.
The 2nd World Congress of the Comintern was a gathering of approximately 220 voting and non-voting representatives of Communist and revolutionary socialist political parties from around the world, held in Petrograd and Moscow from July 19 to August 7, 1920. The 2nd Congress is best remembered for formulating and implementing the 21 Conditions for membership in the Communist International.
"Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder is a work by Vladimir Lenin attacking assorted critics of the Bolsheviks who claimed positions to their left. Most of these critics were proponents of ideologies later described as left communism.
World revolution is the Marxist concept of overthrowing capitalism in all countries through the conscious revolutionary action of the organized working class. These revolutions would not necessarily occur simultaneously, but where and when local conditions allowed a revolutionary party to successfully replace bourgeois ownership and rule, and install a workers' state based on social ownership of the means of production. In most Marxist schools, such as Trotskyism, the essentially international character of the class struggle and the necessity of global scope are critical elements and a chief explanation of the failure of socialism in one country.
Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolutions as being part of a single global class struggle rather than separate localized events. It is based on the theory that capitalism is a world-system and therefore the working classes of all nations must act in concert if they are to replace it with communism. Proponents of proletarian internationalism often argued that the objectives of a given revolution should be global rather than local in scope—for example, triggering or perpetuating revolutions elsewhere.