Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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Date: 1943

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World History

271.

The End of the Third International

21

The historic role of the Communist International, which was founded in 1919 as a result of a political union of the great majority of the old pre-war working-class parties, consisted in upholding the principles of the working-class movement, in helping to promote consolidation in a number of countries of the vanguard of the foremost workers in the real working-class parties, and in helping them mobilize workers for the defense of their economic and political interests, and for the struggle against Fascism and the war which the latter was preparing, and for the support of the Soviet Union as the chief bulwark against Fascism.

The Communist International from the first exposed the real meaning of the Anti-Comintern Pact as a weapon for the preparation of war by the Hitlerites. Long before the war it ceaselessly and tirelessly exposed the vicious, subversive work of the Hitlerites, who masked it by their screams about so-called interference of the Communist International in the internal affairs of these states.

But long before the war it became more and more clear that, with increasing complications in internal and international relations of various countries, any sort of international center would encounter insuperable obstacles in solving the problems facing the movement in each separate country.

Deep differences of the historic paths of development of various countries, differences in their character and even contradictions in their social orders, differences in the level and the tempo of their economic and political development, differences finally in the degree of consciousness and organization of workers, conditioned different problems affecting the working class of the various countries.

The whole development of events in the last quarter of a century and the experience accumulated by the Communist International convincingly showed that the organizational form of uniting workers, chosen by the First Congress of the Communist International, answered conditions of the first stages of the working-class movement, but it has been outgrown by the growth of this movement and by the complications of its problems in separate countries and has even become a drag on the further strengthening of the national working-class parties.

The World War that the Hitlerites have let loose has still further sharpened the differences in the situation of the separate countries and has placed a deep dividing line between those countries that fell under the Hitlerite tyranny and those freedom-loving peoples who have united in a powerful anti-Hitlerite coalition.

In countries of the Hitlerite bloc the fundamental task of the working class, toilers and all honest people consists in giving all help for the defeat of this bloc by sabotage of the Hitlerite military machine from within and by helping to overthrow the governments guilty of war.

In countries of the anti-Hitlerite coalition the sacred duty of the widest masses of the people, and in the first place of foremost workers, consists in aiding by every means the military efforts of the governments of these countries aimed at the speediest defeat of the Hitlerite bloc and the assurance of the friendship of nations based on their equality.

At the same time the fact must not be lost sight of that the separate countries that are members of the anti-Hitlerite coalition have their own particular problems. For example, in countries occupied by the Hitlerites that have lost their state of independence the basic task of the foremost workers and of the wide masses of people consists in promoting the armed struggle developing into a national war of liberation against Hitlerite Germany.

At the same time the war of liberation of freedom-loving peoples against the Hitlerite tyranny, which has brought into movement the masses of people, uniting them without difference of party or religion in the ranks of the powerful anti-Hitlerite coalition, has demonstrated with still greater clearness that the general national uprising and mobilization of people for the speediest victory over the enemy can be best of all and most fruitfully carried out by the vanguard of the working-class movement of each separate country, working within the framework of its own country.

Already the Seventh Congress of the Communist International meeting in 1935, taking into account the change that had taken place both in the international situation and in working-class movements that demanded great flexibility and independence of its sections in deciding the problems confronting them, emphasized the necessity for the Executive Committee of the Communist International, in deciding all questions of the working-class movement arising from the concrete conditions and peculiarities of each country, to make a rule of avoiding interference in the internal organizational affairs of the Communist parties.

These same considerations guided the Communist International in considering the resolution of the Communist party of the United States of America of November 1940, on its withdrawal from the ranks of the Communist International.

Guided by the judgment of the founders of Marxism and Leninism, Communists have never been supporters of the conservation of organizational forms that have outlived themselves. They have always subordinated forms of organization of the working-class movement, and methods of working of such organization, to the fundamental political interest of the working-class movement as a whole, to peculiarities of the concrete historical situation and to problems immediately resulting from this situation.

They remember the example of the great Marx, who united foremost workers in the ranks of the Working Men’s International Association, and when the First International had fulfilled its historical task of laying the foundations for the development of working-class parties in the countries of Europe and America, and, as a result of the matured situation creating mass national working-class parties, dissolved first the International, inasmuch as this form of organization already no longer corresponded to the demands confronting it.

In consideration of the above and taking into account the growth and the political maturity of Communist parties and their leading cadres in separate countries, and also having in view the fact that during the present war some sections have raised the question of the dissolution of the Communist International as the directing center of the international working-class movement, the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, in the circumstances of the World War, not being able to convene a Congress of the Communist International, puts forward the following proposal for ratification by the sections of the Communist International:

The Communist International, as the directing center of the international working-class movement, is to be dissolved, thus freeing the sections of the Communist International from their obligations arising from the statutes and resolutions of the Congress of the Communist International.

The Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International calls on all supporters of the Communist International to concentrate their energies on the whole-hearted support of and active participation in the war of liberation of the peoples and the states of the anti-Hitlerite coalition for the speediest defeat of the deadly enemy of the working class and toilers—German Fascism and its associates and vassals.

21 The United Nations Information Office, The United Nations Review, New York, vol. 3 (1943), pp. 268–269.

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Chicago: "The End of the Third International," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 905–908. Original Sources, accessed September 24, 2021, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XZ5UM5V8DKFGKB2.

MLA: . "The End of the Third International." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, Vol. 3, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 905–908. Original Sources. 24 Sep. 2021. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XZ5UM5V8DKFGKB2.

Harvard: , 'The End of the Third International' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.905–908. Original Sources, retrieved 24 September 2021, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XZ5UM5V8DKFGKB2.