August 3, 2018

The Tasks of the Communist Parties

The Tasks of the Communist Parties in Uniting the Democratic, Anti-Fascist, Peace-Loving Elements to Resist the New Plans of War and Aggression

The dissolution of the Comintern, which conformed to the demands of the development of the labour movement in the new historical situation, played a positive role. The dissolution of the Comintern once and for all disposed of the slanderous allegation of the enemies of Communism and the labour movement that Moscow was interfering in the internal affairs of other states, and that the Communist parties in the various countries were acting not in the interests of their nations, but on orders from outside.

The Comintern was founded after the First World War, when the Communist parties were still weak, when practically no ties existed between the working classes of the different countries, and when the Communist parties had not yet produced generally recognized leaders of the labour movement. The service performed by the Comintern was that it restored and strengthened the ties between the working people of the different countries, that it provided the answers to theoretical questions of the labour movement in the new, post-war conditions of development, that it established general standards of propaganda of the ideas of Communism, and that it helped to train leaders of the labour movement. This created the conditions for the conversion of the young Communist parties into mass labour parties. But once the young Communist parties had become mass labour parties, the direction of these parties from one centre became impossible and inexpedient. As a result, the Comintern, from a factor promoting the development of the Communist parties, began to turn into a factor hindering their development. The new stage in the development of the Communist parties demanded new forms of connection between the parties. It was these considerations that made it necessary to dissolve the Comintern and to devise new forms of connection between the parties.

In the four years that have elapsed since the dissolution of the Comintern, the Communist parties have grown considerably in strength and influence in nearly all the countries of Europe and Asia. The influence of the Communist parties has increased not only in Eastern Europe, but in practically all the European countries where fascism held sway, as well as in those which were occupied by the German fascists—France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, etc. The influence of the Communists has increased especially in the new democracies, where the Communist parties are among the most influential parties in the state. But the present position of the Communist parties its drawbacks. Some comrades understood the dissolution of the Comintern to imply the elimination of all ties, of all contact, between the fraternal Communist parties. But experience has shown that such mutual isolation of the Communist parties is wrong, harmful and, in point of fact, unnatural. The Communist movement develops within national frameworks, but there are tasks and interests common to the parties of various countries. We get a rather curious state of affairs: the Socialists, who stopped at nothing to prove that the Comintern dictated directives from Moscow to the Communists of all countries, have restored their International; yet the Communists even refrain from meeting one another, let alone consulting with one another on questions of mutual interest to them, from fear of the slanderous talk of their enemies regarding the “hand of Moscow.” Representatives of the most diverse fields of endeavour—scientists, co-operators, trade unionists, the youth, students—deem it possible to maintain international contact, to exchange experience and consult with one another on matters relating to their work, to arrange international congresses and conferences; yet the Communists, even of countries that are bound together as allies, hesitate to establish friendly ties. There can be no doubt that if the situation were to continue it would be fraught with most serious consequences to the development of the work of the fraternal parties. The need for mutual consultation and voluntary co-ordination of action between individual parties has become particularly urgent at the present juncture when continued isolation may lead to a slackening of mutual understanding, and at limes, even to serious blunders.

In view of the fact that the majority of the leaders of the Socialist parties (especially the British Labourites and the French Socialists) are acting as agents of United States imperialist circles, upon the Communists devolves the special historical task of leading the resistance to the American plan for the enthralment of Europe, and of boldly denouncing all coadjutors of American imperialism in their own countries. At the same time, Communists must support all the really patriotic elements who do not want their countries to be imposed upon, who want to resist their enthralment to foreign capital, and to uphold their national sovereignty. The Communists must be the leaders in enlisting all anti-fascist and freedom-loving elements in the struggle against the new American expansionist plans for the enslavement of Europe. 

It must be borne in mind that a great gulf lies between the desire of the imperialists to unleash a new war and the possibility of engineering such a war. The peoples of the world do not want war. The forces that stand for peace are so big and influential that if they are staunch and determined in defence of peace, if they display fortitude and firmness, the plans of the aggressors will come to grief. It should not be forgotten that all the hullabaloo of the imperialist agents about the danger of war is designed to frighten the weak-nerved and unstable and to extort concessions to the aggressor by means of intimidation. The chief danger to the working class at this present 

juncture lies in underrating its own strength and overrating the strength of the enemy. Just as in the past the Munich policy untied the hands of the Nazi aggressors, so today concessions to the new course of the United States and the imperialist camp may encourage its inspirers to be even more insolent and aggressive. The Communist parties must therefore head the resistance to the plans of imperialist expansion and aggression along every line—government, economic and ideological; they must rally their ranks and unite their efforts on the basis of a common anti-imperialist and democratic platform, and gather around them all the democratic and patriotic forces of the people. 

A special task devolves on the fraternal Communist parties of France, Italy, Great Britain and other countries. They must take up the standard in defence of the national independence and sovereignty of their countries. If the Communist parties firmly stick to their position, if they do not allow themselves to be intimidated and blackmailed, if they act as courageous sentinels of enduring peace and popular democracy, of the national sovereignty, liberty and independence of their countries, if, in their struggle against the attempts to economically and politically enthral their countries, they are able to take the lead of all the forces prepared to uphold the national honour and independence, no plans for the enthralment of Europe can possibly succeed.

A. Zhdanov - Red Star Publishers Book in DOC format