of the Communist International
. . . Now that the imperialist war has ended the workers of all countries can count the number of its victims. Thirty million killed and crippled, countries laid waste, millions of people starving, milliards of new war debts. These are the results of the imperialist slaughter. The war has ended, and the bourgeoisie in those countries where they are still on their feet are not asking much of the working class—only that the workers themselves should fill the gaps in production left by the extermination of thirty million workers and peasants. . . .
The Second International is dead. It signed its own death warrant on 4 August 1914 when the German and French social-patriots, equally shameful, voted for the war credits, that is, for the support of the imperialist slaughter. But the idea of the International is alive. Never before have the workers of all countries so passionately demanded international union as now. . . .
In Paris the imperialist extortioners are trying to create their own black international', the so-called League of Nations. Conscious workers throughout the world know perfectly well that the so-called League of Nations is in fact a league of bourgeois robbers for the oppression of nations, for the division of the world, for the
enslavement of the workers, for strangling the proletarian revolution.
And the social-traitors, those people who in the name of 'socialism' betrayed the working class to the bourgeoisie and the landlords, in their turn tried to create their own yellow 'international' in Berne.
The attempt to revive the corpse of the Second International did not succeed. The revolutionary workers of all countries refused to take part in the abominable comedy at Berne. . . .
The yellow Berne international is only a branch of the black Paris international. . . .
But in 1919 the red international was formed, the international of communism. Our Third International is an international fellowship of the proletarians of all countries which has set itself the task of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and establishing the international Soviet republic. Our Third Communist International is taking over the organization of the international May Day celebrations. . . .
In what circumstances do we greet the first May Day after the end of the war? All over Europe the ruins are smoking and millions of proletarian children are dying of
But on the ruins of the old a new world is being born. The more the bourgeoisie suppressed the workers' movement during the war, the stronger the revolutionary flame is now burning. The working class is taking revenge for the tortures it suffered at the hands of the bourgeoisie in alliance with official 'socialdemocracy'.
Communism has come out on to the streets. The communist revolution is growing before our eyes. A Soviet republic in Russia, a Soviet republic in Hungary, a Soviet republic in Bavaria—these are the results of the recent struggles of the working class. The whole of Germany is shaking under the strain of civil war. In Germany there is not a single town where the working class has not risen in revolt against the power of the bourgeoisie and the social-democrats....
In France huge workers' demonstrations have begun. …
In Italy the struggle has reached boiling point and the communists are calling for the dictatorship of the proletariat. In England strikes have taken on an epidemic character. Here and there workers' Soviets are being created. In America the working class has come out on to the streets and is getting ready for the decisive conflict. . . .
Before a year has passed, the whole of Europe will be Soviet. In every country the workers have realized that the decisive moment has come ....
The workers see that in all the leading bourgeois countries the much vaunted 'democracy' is nothing but the arbitrary and unrestrained dictatorship of a gang of robbers, bankers, and generals. . . .
They see that the bourgeoisie of all countries are preparing with united forces to stifle the proletarian revolution in Russia, Hungary, and Bavaria, and the proletarian revolution which is beginning in Austria and Germany. . . .
They know that the proletarian dictatorship can save mankind from the bloody horror into which they were plunged by the bourgeoisie of all countries.
The workers know that the proletarian dictatorship leads to the triumph of socialism. There is no middle way. Either the bloody dictatorship of hangmen-generals, killing hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants in the interests of a gang of bankers, or the dictatorship of the working class, that is, of the overwhelming majority of the working people, disarming the bourgeoisie, creating their own red army, and liberating the whole world from slavery.
Down with the autocracy of tsars and kings. That cry rang out in Russia in 1917 and echoed throughout Europe. . . .
Down with the autocracy of capital. This cry resounds now, when the workers of the majority of countries are beginning their second revolution, when they are rising for the second time, when they are getting ready for the last and decisive battle. The eight-hour working day!—that was the May Day slogan in the past. The Soviet republics have already carried out this demand. . . .
Down with the imperialist war!—this was the cry of the workers of the whole world on the first of May. Down with their war, down with the war which the Allied imperialists want to declare on the Soviet republics of Russia and Hungary—that is what we say now. For the civil war, the only just war, in which the oppressed class fights against its oppressors. . . .
Down with the French imperialists, down with the bourgeois 'Alliance', down with the robbers who want to send their troops to Russia to give power back to the landlords, to re-establish the monarchy, to restore the bourgeoisie.
Workers and soldiers of France, England, America, Italy, Serbia, Rumania, Poland. Turn your weapons against your own bourgeoisie. Your enemy is in your own country. Stir up rebellion in the rear against your bourgeois governments. . . .
Workers and peasants of Germany and Austria. Turn your weapons against your own bourgeoisie and the 'social-democrats' who serve them. ... You, only you, can save your country from the torments of hunger and unemployment. . . .
The storm is rising. The flames of the proletarian revolution are spreading all over Europe, and it is invincible. The moment is drawing near for which our predecessors and teachers waited. . . .
That of which the best among mankind dreamed is becoming reality. Our banner, reddened with the heart's blood of whole generations of great fighters and martyrs of the working class, flies over the whole world. The last hour of our oppressors has struck. ...
In thunder and storm, in blood and tears, in hunger and unending suffering, the new world is being born, the bright world of communism, of the universal brotherhood of labour.
In 1919 the great Communist International was born. In 1920 the great International Soviet Republic will come to birth.
Down Tools On May First!
Workers Awaken! Workers Unite!
[CLP leaflet, circa April 25, 1920]
RGASPI, f. 515, op. 1, d. 24, l. 27.
The sun of Communism is rising in the East.
From Russia its invigorating rays are awakening the proletariat of the world. The workers everywhere, inspired by the success of their ﬁrst workers’ government, will celebrate May First, their International Labor Day, with a determination only satisﬁed with a complete victory.
Never in the history of May First, never since the International Congress of Paris in 1889, were the prospects for a ﬁnal victory of the working class brighter, never the spirit of the workers less breakable than today, on the eve of May First, 1920. Although the capitalist governments of all countries are preparing the hangman’s noose for all those that dare to think in terms inimical to the interests and principles of mandevouring imperialistic capitalism, the working class sees in these persecutions only the last efforts of the dying beast to escape its destiny.
May First is the Workers’ Day.
The revolutionary advance guard of the Proletariat calls upon the workers everywhere to break the bondage of economic and political slavery and demonstrate on that day for the cause of real freedom.
May First is not a Labor Day decreed to you by the powers that be to dope the workers into the belief that the government stands above the classes.
No! May First is the workers’ own day, on which, by their own determination they down tools and test their strength.
The power that decrees a holiday to you today tells you tomorrow: Thou shalt not strike!
But your power can take a holiday today, can strike tomorrow, in spite of everything.
May First, as International Labor Day, is the day on which the workers by their own action demonstrate that they must ﬁght for what they want, and for what they are entitled to, and that they have the power to win.
May First gives the answer of the revolutionary proletariat of all countries to the manifestations of solidarity of international capitalism.
And that answer is:
SOLIDARITY OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT.
Workers of America: You have fought for higher wages for years. By hard struggle you succeeded here and there. And yet, you ﬁnd yourself today so much the slave of proﬁt-making capital as ever.
You have fought for shorter hours. You have succeeded. And yet, today you must work more of your own life into the product of your toil on one day than when you worked 12 hours.
In years past we demonstrated for the 8-hour day on May First.
Today we demonstrate for:
ALL POWER TO THE WORKERS.
Capitalist Society is built upon our sweat and blood, our misery and want. All our “victories” on the economic ﬁeld are turned against us, and our economic slavery is reinforced by an absolute political dictatorship of capitalism. Thus our economic struggle must of necessity become a political one. The proletarian struggle ceases to be a struggle for higher wages and shorter hours, and becomes a struggle for the supremacy of the working class.
This struggle can only be fought to victory by the masses of the workers. On May First the workers exercise this mass-action, demonstrating no more for2 CLP Leaflet: Down Tools on May First! [Circa April 25, 1920] the 8-hour day, but for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
ON THAT DAY WE DOWN TOOLS TO SHOW OUR DETERMINATION TO FIGHT AND OUR POWER TO WIN.
Comrades and Fellow Workers:— In demonstrating our determination to ﬁght and win we must join hands with the workers of the world. They have fought our battles which they knew were theirs. We must ﬁght their battles which we know to be ours.
Finding the capitalist governments in a conspiracy to crush the Workers’ Republic of Russia, it becomes our task and duty to direct our demonstration, on May First, against this murderous conspiracy.
In their actions against Russia the capitalist governments of all countries belie their phrases of “freedom” and “democracy” and demonstrate that their highest science of statesmanship is the piratical principle: Sacriﬁce everything (in the name of the people, if you ﬁnd fools enough to believe you) sacriﬁce even the people themselves for the right and the chance to make proﬁt. Carrying out this principle with merciless rigidity, they murder freedom in the name of their capitalist freedom, they suppress the people in the name of the people, their victims.
Enslaving the people economically under the disguise of a nominal political democracy, the capitalists hypocritically shed tears because the workers of Russia free the people of that country economically with the power of a dictatorship. And the answer of the capitalist dictators to the Russian people are murderous expeditions against the Soviet Republic.
To get free you must answer the war cry of united capitalism against the workers of Russia as well as the workers in other countries with the war cry of united labor against capitalism. The answer to the capitalists of the world in their war against the social revolution in Russia and elsewhere must be the social revolution against capitalism everywhere.
TO BE FREE, YOU MUST DARE TO BE FREE.
The chain holding us down in wage slavery is our submissiveness, our lack of revolutionary spirit. The determination of the workers to exert their power in united mass action aiming at the complete destruction of the capitalist dictatorship is the long range gun that will shatter the power of the exploiters.
Let the First of May 1920 kindle that spirit.
Comrades and Fellow Workers:
Let us be free!
LET US DOWN TOOLS
in answer to the capitalists’ war on the revolutionary proletariat everywhere.
LET US DOWN TOOLS ON THAT DAY
in honor of the victims, the countless soldiers of the revolution that were murdered by international capitalism in its effort to save the right to make a proﬁt.
LET US DOWN TOOLS ON THAT DAY
so that we may have a test of strength of the revolutionary army of the proletariat in united action the world over.
LET US DOWN TOOLS ON THAT DAY so
that the workers may be inspired with conﬁdence in their own power; so that May First, 1920, may awaken the spirit of revolutionary class solidarity. This spirit will unite the proletariat the world over in its ﬁght for real freedom. It will bring peace to the people everywhere: not the peace of the graveyard, dictated by voracious imperialistic capitalism, but joyous peace known only to free people from among whom greed and proﬁt has been removed as cause for human slaughter.
LET US DOWN TOOLS ON THAT DAY
as a sign of our allegiance to the principles our comrades in Russia are ﬁghting for, to help them win their battle.
Down tools on May First, 1920.
Let the battalions of labor demonstrate their power on that day.
All Power to the Workers!
All Industries to the Workers!
Long Live the Social Revolution!
COMMUNIST LABOR PARTY
. . . The bourgeoisie cannot restore the old 'normal' conditions of prewar capitalism, so they are making a desperate attempt to create a stronger and more powerful capitalism. They speak of peace and work, but their acts are acts of senseless destruction. They are organizing war and civil war. The new millenial empire of capitalism is to be established by turning the proletariat into a class of helots, a herd of draught animals. The capitalist offensive is intended to depress the workers' standard of living even below its pre-war level.
The reformist parties—openly and by concealed collaboration—have done their part to help the bourgeoisie to attain this shameful goal. But they were too weak, and so the bourgeoisie have dropped them and now place their hopes on fascism.
Fascism is only the continuation by other and sharper methods of the policy of the social-patriots. What the social-democratic leaders wanted but failed to obtain from the workers by cunning and friendly persuasion is to be put through forcibly by fascism— the subjection of the working class to conditions of life and labour without parallel even in the history of capitalism. Fascism is capitalism preparing for its final passage of arms with the proletariat; it reveals to the workers the true features of that bourgeois democracy from which the reformists expected salvation. .
. . Every single worker must be summoned to the fight against fascism. Against the united front of the exploiters—the united front of the proletariat. . . .
The workers are no longer inclined to believe that they get on best when they live 'in peace' with the bourgeoisie. That policy has brought them nothing but wage reductions, higher prices, longer working hours, short time, unemployment, degradation, and forcible suppression. To which has now been added the growing danger of war. True, the bourgeoisie shout for peace; not from feelings of humanity, nor from a pacifist naivete, but only because it is their job to make profits. But they cannot establish peace. .
. . Every day the contradictions between the imperialist Powers are growing more acute, and new ones are arising. War has become the normal state of affairs in bourgeois society, as we can see today from the events in the Ruhr. . . .
The fight against fascism and war and for the united front is also the fight for Soviet Russia. Soviet Russia is a thorn in the flesh of bourgeois society which rightly sees in the mere existence of the Bolshevik State the nermanent threat of world revolution, and it therefore hates Soviet Russia with the same ardour that it loved the counter-revolutionary svstem of Tsarist Russia....
That is why it is the duty of all class-conscious workers to declare themselves unreservedly for Soviet Russia.
In union with our Russian brothers they will defeat capitalism. . . .
The world revolution is approaching—in spite of everything. The insane rage of fascism, the descent on the Ruhr, the cynical treachery of the Second International— all that will not save the bourgeoisie.
The background to May Day 1926 reveals new war dangers, new imperialist conflicts, the bankruptcy of the League of Nations. The imperialist Powers are themselves destroying the illusion that it is a League to preserve peace. Together with preparations for the fraudulent disarmament conference, we are witnessing the active struggle of the imperialists against the peoples of China, Syria, and Morocco... .
If the rule of the bourgeoisie is today still unbroken, if capitalist class society is still not destroyed, if the proletariat must still bear the yoke of oppression and exploitation, the responsibility rests on social-democracy, and only on socialdemocracy.
Is it to be borne that today, eight years after the war, the most allembracing organizations of the proletariat, the trade unions, should be split? Can we tolerate, after eight years of deprivation, a continuation of the old coalition policy? Is it possible to go on believing the agents of the League of Nations and the so-called disarmament conference, when the imperialists are enslaving the 70 million-strong German people and turning the small States of Europe into docile instruments to be used against the defeated nations and the Soviet Union? Shall not the proletarians in uniform be made aware of the growing war danger? Shall barracks-mentality and army drill separate them from the great proletarian army in the workshops? No, and again no. . . .
The demands of the proletariat can be met only by means of the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeois dictatorship, only by the formation of a workers' and peasants' government in every country, and by the union of these governments in the United States of Socialist Europe, which will stretch out brotherly hands to the Soviet Union, the colonial peoples, and the American proletariat. . . .
Only in one country is there neither economic decline nor capitalist offensive.
Only in one country are wages rising and the eight-hour day in force, has the land been wrested from the landlords and given to the peasants. . . . Only in one country are there neither fascist organizations nor white terror. That country is the Soviet Union.
. . . Just as on the eve of the war of 1914, there is again the smell of gunpowder in the air. Fascist reaction is raging, and capitalism is seeking to deprive the working class of its gains. The exploitation of the working class in this period of capitalist rationalization assumes a monstrous character. Millions of unemployed are filling the towns. The pauperization of the colonial peasantry assumes unprecedented dimensions. At the same time the wave of resistance on the part of the toilers is constantly rising. One class is arrayed against another. The movement of the proletariat and the oppressed colonial peoples is approaching a turning-point in history.
Never has the treacherous character of the policy of the Second International been so obvious when the new revolutionary wave is rising. Never in history has a class been so cynically and systematically betrayed as the proletariat by the Second International during and after the war. The workers' idea of international brotherhood is replaced by the call for fratricidal struggle among the workers, the class struggle by co-operation with the bourgeoisie, the call for revolution by an active counter-revolutionary struggle against it, the task of overthrowing the capitalist order by efforts to rescue and strengthen it. The workers cannot take a single victorious revolutionary stride without stepping over the body of the Second International, without breaking its opposition to the labour movement, without realizing the full significance of the betrayal of the Second International. Workers and oppressed colonial peoples, the nefarious work of the international socialdemocracy after the war must be brought before your merciless judgment.
... By their very treachery, they even prepared the ground for a war for world hegemony between the United States and Great Britain which will be even more disastrous in its consequences. Armaments are growing, armies are being mechanized, the air, the seas, and the land are becoming theatres of war, just as was the case on the eve of 1914. The Pacific Ocean is about to become a bloody ocean.
A catastrophe is coming compared with which the war of 1914-18 with its wholesale carnage will pale into insignificance. ..
. . . If there is a force which will delay the outbreak of this world war, it is the fear of the ruling class that the workers will revolt, in addition to fear of the existence of the Soviet Union. To the oppressed of the world, the first labour republic is like a shining star surrounded by clouds of hatred on the part of the executioners of the toilers. The international bourgeoisie wants to wipe it off the face of the earth so as to have a free hand in the redivision of the world. The bayonets of its vassals —Poland, Rumania and the Baltic States—are directed against the USSR.
The maturing world economic crisis is laying bare more and more the contradictions which are tearing the capitalist world asunder. The boastful claims of the bourgeoisie and their social-democratic lackeys concerning the inexhaustible forces and the organizational and creative power of capitalism are collapsing. The
bourgeoisie stand impotent before the crumbling of the world capitalist system. But they have still the power to condemn millions and tens of millions of workers and peasants to starvation and death. In all parts of the world, in the home countries and in the colonies, the bourgeoisie are striving to escape from the crisis by worsening the conditions of the toilers. While the financial magnates are making huge profits out of the crisis, the workers are being thrown out of work in hundreds of thousands. Twenty million unemployed, victims of the crisis and of capitalist rationalization, are tramping the streets of the cities; while in the country districts large masses of peasants, ruined by the agricultural crisis, are being sold up by the finance-capitalists and forced to join the army of unemployed and paupers.
The fascist terror rages more fiercely than ever. The capitalist governments, which means also the social-democratic governments, brutally attack the workers and peasants and put them to death by trial and without trial. They shoot down strikers, demonstrators, protesting peasants, and colonial slaves. Everywhere their first aim is to destroy the revolutionary vanguard of the working class, the communist party. Workers, can you not see the leaders of the Second International and of the Amsterdam International among the executioners who shoot down and bludgeon the workers in Berlin, London, and New York, in South America, in China, in India, in Indo-China, and in Africa? In the imperialist countries the rivalry in armaments is becoming more frenzied. While ordinary production is being curtailed, the munition industries are working at high pressure in all capitalist countries. The so-called peace treaties are nothing but a skein of lies to hide the preparations and the regrouping of forces for new imperialist wars. There is not a part of the world where the struggle for world domination between the USA and Great Britain, which is the pivot of international contradictions in the capitalist world, has not reached an unparalleled degree of intensity as a consequence of the economic crisis. There is not a place in the Pacific where the interests and appetites of Washington, London, and Tokio are not in irreconcilable conflict. The London Naval Agreement is a new instrument of war, and everyone of the parties to it is hastening with every effort to utilize it for its own war aims. In the present circumstances, when the struggle for markets is more fierce than it has ever been, the Young Plan serves to hasten a new military clash between imperialist groups. The danger of war arising from French and Italian rivalry in the Mediterranean is so imminent that even the imperialists and the leaders of the Second International can no longer conceal it. . . .
The bourgeoisie believe that a new imperialist war is the only way out of the present crisis of world capitalism. But the activity of the international proletariat and the growing might of the Soviet Union hinder the imperialists from carrying out their plans for dividing up the world. The world bourgeoisie hoped to destroy the Soviet State by a political and economic blockade, by sabotage, violence, and threats, but their calculations have been upset by the successes in socialist construction achieved in the Soviet Union. . . .
It is precisely for this reason that the imperialist organizers of war are brandishing their weapons more violently and provocatively against the Soviet Union. It is precisely for this reason that the ruling imperialist cliques appoint such governments in Poland, in Rumania, and in other countries which are subservient to them, as are unreservedly prepared to supply cannon fodder for military attack on the USSR. It is for this reason that the social-democratic slanderers and provocators, who, confounded by the tremendous successes of socialist construction in the Soviet Union, hide from the workers the active preparations for war that are being made against the USSR and behind their backs take an active part in the preparation of this war. . . .
Proletarians of all countries!
The Communist International calls on you to signalize May First, the day of international proletarian solidarity, by mass revolutionary actions, by mass strikes or demonstrations, according to the circumstances. It calls on you to rally to its banner for a determined struggle against the growing capitalist offensive, against the monstrous increase of exploitation, against the distress of unemployment, against the brutality of fascism, against the new imperialist wars which are approaching. The Communist International calls on you to increase your fighting preparedness, and to stand firmly in defence of the Soviet Union against the imperialist cliques and their flunkeys in the camp of socialdemocracy and social-papalism, who are feverishly preparing for their attack upon her.
Take advantage of the situation created by the economic crisis: support with all your might the millions of unemployed and strengthen thereby the army of the proletariat. Organize your forces for the overthrow of capitalism, for the social revolution. Rally around the Communist Party!
Poor farmers and all the toiling masses of the villages!
Only in a fighting alliance with the revolutionary proletariat will you succeed in throwing off the increasing oppression of the capitalists and the landowners. March under the leadership of the proletariat to the victorious struggles for socialism. Learn from the fighters in the October Revolution, learn from the collective farmers in the USSR!
Oppressed nations of the colonies!
Unite in a revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the power of the imperialist bandits and their feudal-capitalist allies in your country! Join closely with the revolutionary workers of the capitalist countries!
Toilers and oppressed!
Remember the horrors and sacrifices of the imperialist war. Imperialist wars are stealing on you once more. Rouse the revolutionary consciousness of the soldiers and sailors! Prepare to convert imperialist war into a civil war of all toilers against your own bourgeoisie. Organize your forces for the defence of the USSR!
Soldiers and Sailors!
Down with brass-hat discipline and barrack-room slavery!
Fraternize with the workers. Firmly remember your duty in war time to turn your cannon and machine-guns against the exploiters.
After three years of a world economic crisis without parallel in history the international proletariat this year celebrates the First of May in a situation marked by the most crushing poverty and hunger in all capitalist and colonial countries and by war in the Far East. The attempt of international capital to surmount the crisis has resulted in more than 40 million unemployed, wage robbery after wage robbery, an unbearable weight of taxation, reduction in social-insurance benefits, undernourishment, devastating disease, and a rising mortality. Millions and millions of working peasants have been ruined.
Despite fascist terror, despite social-democratic treachery and strikebreaking, the revolutionary wave is rising day by day, the revolutionary class struggle assuming ever sharper forms. Broader and broader sections of the working class are enrolling under communist leadership in the revolutionary united front to fight the capitalist dictatorship.
The oppressed nations, the colonial peoples, the impoverished peasant masses are joining the fighting front against imperialist oppression and feudal exploitation. A number of capitalist countries are already in the grip of the revolutionary crisis. In other countries the conditions for a revolutionary crisis are drawing rapidly to a head. The capitalist world is falling irreversibly into catastrophe.
The attempts of the bourgeoisie to overcome the crisis were in vain. Now they are seeking a way out through imperialist war. . . .
The war against China is the prelude to military intervention against the Soviet Union. The greed and hatred of the imperialist robber Powers are directed to the country of socialism, in which there is no crisis and no unemployment. Their weapons are already turned against the Soviet Union. On the pretext of fighting banditry in Manchuria, Japanese imperialism is moving an increasing number of its armed forces closer to the Soviet eastern frontiers. . . .
War has not been formally declared, but Japan has invaded China. Who can prevent this war turning into a general imperialist world slaughter? The League of Nations perhaps? The League of Nations, which is supporting warring Japanese imperialism against the Chinese people, which, since its foundation, has supported all the major imperialist robber Powers against the weak and oppressed peoples?
The League of Nations, which has openly and cynically rejected the repeated Soviet proposals for universal disarmament made at the preparatory and disarmament conferences?
The Second International perhaps? The Second International, which in 1914 betrayed the working class? The Second International, which during the 1914- 18 war announced that it would be the last war? Or perhaps its sections, which regularly vote the war credits in parliament? Was it not the Second International which supported the attack on Morocco, on Syria, and on Indochina? Was it not with its collaboration that entire villages in India were destroyed by air bombardment? Was it not the Second International . . .
. . . which by the most despicable calumnies about 'red imperialism' prepared war against the Soviet Union
?. . . .
Incapable of meeting the Soviet Union in economic competition, the capitalist world would like to destroy socialist construction in the first country of proletarian dictatorship by force of arms. Two worlds confront each other. The capitalist world is choking in the grip of crisis. The Soviet Union is winning one victory after another in fulfilling its gigantic plan of socialist construction. . . .
Despite all imperialist provocations, despite the subversive activities of imperialist diplomacy and its general staffs, despite the organization of sabotage and wrecking activities, the proletarian State is firmly and un-deviatingly pursuing its policy of peace. . . .
The preparations for military intervention in the Soviet Union are accompanied by the use of the most inhuman terror against the working and peasant masses in all capitalist countries. . .
. . . Wherever the revolutionary wave is rising, wherever the working people resist the capitalist offensive, the blood of workers and peasants is flowing in streams. . .
. . . All the forces of fascism and social-fascism are mobilized to hold up the advance and the victory of the revolutionary forces of the proletarian and national-revolutionary fight for emancipation. Fascists and socialfascists compete in their use of terror and unscrupulous social demagogy. The Second and the Amsterdam Internationals, the chief supports of the bourgeoisie in the working class, by the open and concealed use of terror and strike-breaking, hamper the industrial struggles of the factory workers against wage reductions, the struggle of the unemployed for work and bread. With the help of the police they break up revolutionary workers' and peasants' organizations. Using the slogans of bourgeois democracy, of the veiled dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, they are clearing the road for the unconcealed fascist dictatorship of capitalism. In the midst of the world economic crisis they are saving capitalism as they did in the 1914-18 war and later, when they drowned the insurrection of the German proletariat in blood.
The anti-Soviet campaign of the Second and Amsterdam Internationals, their pacifist peace slogans, their manoeuvres to conceal the feverish rearmament that is going on, their fight against the proletarian revolution, all this is active preparation for the new imperialist world slaughter and for armed intervention against the Soviet Union. . .
. . . Working people, oppressed and exploited of all countries..
. . . It depends on you when the death knell of capitalism, the hour of your liberation, will strike.
All out on the streets on the First of May.
Never has the capitalist world presented such a picture of chaos as now. And still no end to the crisis can be seen. Bankrupt capitalism can only increase its exploitation of the working people, but it cannot give work to the unemployed or bread to the hungry. Incapable of finding a way out of the crisis, the bourgeoisie in a number of capitalist countries are going over to open fascist dictatorship, dragging the working people into the abyss of new imperialist wars.
Political reaction is spreading throughout the capitalist world. In Germany the fascist terror is indulging in bloody orgies; hundreds of workers have been murdered, thousands have been tortured and crippled in the fascist dungeons and barracks, tens of thousands thrown into prison and concentration camp; the communist press has been closed down, the offices of workers' organizations broken up, and their property, bought with the workers' pennies, looted by the fascist gangs.
In the Far East the flames of Japan's robber war on China are spreading. All the contradictions of the capitalist system have reached their most acute stage. An imperialist bloodbath to re-divide the world is on the agenda. In Europe the crisis of the Versailles system threatens hourly to plunge the working people into new bloody hostilities. All those stirring up war against the USSR, the country of proletarian dictatorship and socialism, are setting feverishly to work. The Four-Power pact devised by the two former socialists MacDonald and Mussolini is a pact to consolidate fascist reaction and the anti-Soviet bloc.
The decisive struggle between the world of the exploited and the world of the exploiters is drawing near. Everywhere there is rising the wave of indignation of the workers and peasants against capitalism, bourgeois dictatorship, and fascist terror. A profound revolutionary ferment has seized the working people, the revolutionary surge is advancing irresistibly. The ground under capitalism is shaking. In the tempestuous strikes, in the heroic struggles of the proletariat against fascism, in the revolts in the navies, in the triumphs of the Red Army in China, capitalist reaction scents the subterranean shocks of the approaching revolutionary explosion. It is enraged because the victories of socialism in the USSR are making the workers and the oppressed of the entire capitalist world still more revolutionary.
For years we communists have been telling you that the Second International was leading you towards fascism and imperialist war. Why were the bourgeoisie successful in establishing the bloody fascist dictatorship in Germany? They were successful because social-democracy went over to their side, because the bourgeoisie were and are still supported by social-democracy, which split the German proletariat. ..
. . . It is German social-democracy, the strongest section of the Second International, which, by yielding to the bourgeoisie one after another the positions won by the workers, cleared the road for fascism and helped it to power. It is the Second International which, by slandering the proletarian dictatorship, socialism, and the Red Army, the solid bulwark of the USSR, undermined the striking power and determination of the working class in its struggle for the proletarian dictatorship. It is the Second International which took a direct part in preparing armed intervention in the USSR and is now trying to disarm the proletariat in the international arena too. . .
. . . Were the communists not right when they warned you that the Second International and its parties wanted to have nothing to do with a united class front of proletarian struggle? In order to save capitalism, interna-national socialdemocracy broke up the workers' united front, is breaking it up now, and will continue to do so.
In Germany the most important party of the Second International has gone over to the side of fascism. Through the mouth of its leader Wels it cynically admits that it brought Hitler to power. It is bECCIng the fascists for the right to be incorporated in the system of the fascist dictatorship and thereby announcing its readiness to take part in all the bloody crimes of fascism against the working class. It is surrendering the trade unions to the fascists. It defends the fascist terrorist dictatorship and is assuming the part of an outright fascist agent outside Germany. In the Reichstag it expressed complete solidarity with the war policy of German fascism. On Hitler's orders it has left the Second International, openly becoming a nationalist 'German' party.
The road of German social-democracy is the road of the entire Second International. The social-democratic policy of 'the lesser evil', which brought Hitler to power, is the reactionary policy of the united front with the bourgeoisie, of the entire Second International against the revolutionary workers.
Have not the most prominent leaders of the Second International—MacDonald, Thomas, Snowden, Boncour—gone over openly to the bourgeois camp? The Austrian Socialist Party, under the banner of defending democracy—in this following German social-democracy— has brought the working class to a position in which it is directly exposed to the blows of fascism. Its earlier arrogant declarations that if the bourgeoisie resorted to force, it would answer with force, embodied the same tactics of disarming the proletariat as does the tactic of 'the lesser evil'. Like Wels and Leipart, the French socialists are advocates of the united front with the bourgeoisie and combat frenziedly the united front of the working class. It does not matter with which fraction of the bourgeoisie— with the 'left', the moderates, or the right—the socialists unite in a bloc against the proletariat. What matters is that these are only different stages of the development of socialdemocracy into fascism. The hypocritical words of the French socialists and the English Labour Party people against German fascism are nothing but a flimsy cloak which they drape round their own 'national' imperialism which is preparing the new war.
Take note, proletarians, that international social-democracy prefers a united front with fascism to defend and save capitalism to a united front with the working class to overthrow fascism by the proletarian revolution. Take note, proletarians, that the Second International, at the moment of greatest war danger and the spread of fascism, rejected the Communist International's proposal of 5 March 1933 for a united fighting front against fascism and the capitalist offensive. . . .
What we need now is the united front from below and not negotiations at the summit with Wels and Renaudel. For the leaders of the Second International negotiations at top level are only a way of putting off the united working-class front, hampering it and breaking it up. Only the initiative of the working masses themselves, their effective intervention ..
. . . will ensure the fulfilment of this central task of the international labour movement. Only the struggle of the masses themselves under the leadership of the communist party will put an end to the exploitation of the workers by social-democracy to strengthen the reactionary united front of capital. Only the mass front of proletarian struggle will spread beyond the frontiers of individual countries and become one with the heroic proletariat of the USSR, the lofty cause of socialist construction, the Soviets of China, and so become one fighting front of the entire international working class, which no force in the world will be able to break . . .
. . . By widespread mass strikes against wage reductions, for wage increases, by fighting for the forty-hour week without wage cuts, for immediate aid to the unemployed, for social insurance at the expense of the capitalists, the proletariat will re-establish its revolutionary unity as a class. By political action against fascist terror, in defence of its press, its political rights, and its class organizations, the proletariat will consolidate and extend this unity in the political field. By its devoted advocacy of the demands of the peasants facing ruin, by fighting for immediate aid at the expense of the junkers, for the annulment of peasant debts and exemption from taxation, the united proletariat will extend its revolutionary united front by drawing in the bulk of the peasantry. In this way and only in this way will it approach the struggle for the proletarian dictatorship and bring it nearer.
Eighty-five years ago Marx wrote that 'communists scorn to hide their views and aims. They openly declare that their purposes can only be achieved by the forcible overthrow of the whole extant social order.' Today also the Communist International declares openly to the millions of workers of the whole world that there can be no real unity of the working class without the fight for the violent overthrow of the entire existing capitalist order, for the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship.
The bankruptcy of German social-democracy is the bloody collapse of the legend of the entire Second International about democracy as the road to socialism. Workers, you must realize that there is no other way to emancipation from the yoke of capital than the proletarian revolution, no other road to socialism than the proletarian dictatorship.
It is only the proletariat of the USSR, which took the road of proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship, which today knows neither crises nor unemployment, neither wage reductions nor the ruin of the peasants, neither oppression by one nation of another, nor international enslavement and dependence.
The land of Soviets . .
. . stands as an impregnable wall against international fascism, and by the successes of socialist construction is mobilizing the working class of the entire world against capitalism. By ruthlessly defeating the capitalist elements, by liquidating the big peasants as a class, the proletariat of the USSR is advancing victoriously to the classless society. Day by day the working people of the Soviet Union are showing by practical experience, which the millions can understand, the advantages of the socialist system over the decaying capitalist system.
Every day the position of the working masses in capitalist countries is growing worse. The slight amelioration of the economic crisis has brought no relief worth mentioning to the workers and small peasants. . .
. . . Capitalism is unable to set the economy on its feet again or to eliminate unemployment. Heavier and heavier burdens and taxes are imposed on the workers to pay for more and more armaments, for maintaining large armies, large numbers of government officials, and for increasing the police force.
The hungry working masses, driven to desperation, are rising to the struggle against their oppressors and exploiters. Their hatred of capitalism is growing.
Everywhere the urge to form a united fighting front against the capitalist offensive, against fascism and the danger of imperialist war, is growing. More and more the working people are coming to see that they will be able to resist their exploitation by capital and bar the road to fascist reaction and imperialist war only by creating a united fighting front.
Throughout the world the revolutionary crisis is maturing. May Day this year finds the working class in the midst of fiery class battles. . .
. . . The strikes and demonstrations of the working masses driven to the utmost limit of poverty and desperation, the spontaneous outbreaks of the ruined and robbed peasantry, are beginning to break over the entire capitalist world in ever broader waves. Every day the will of the masses for a united-front fight against capitalism, against fascist dictatorship and the preparations for imperialist war, is growing.
Day by day the contradictions among the imperialist Powers are growing more acute. So are the contradictions between the imperialist Powers and the oppressed colonies striving for freedom. Nationalism and chauvinism are rising to furious heights; imperialist armaments are increasing madly, and for these the workers must give up their meagre crust of bread, the unemployed the pitiful pennies of their unemployment benefit, the small peasants and the urban petty-bourgeoisie their last possessions. Gripped by fear of the growing mass movement, the bourgeoisie are abolishing the last remains of democratic freedom and setting up regimes of bestial fascist terror. Fascism and war—these are the means by which capital tries to save itself from the anger of the masses. But fascism and the drive to war only strengthen the anger of the masses, in whom tremendous revolutionary energy has already built up which more and more often breaks out in furious attacks on the capitalist system.
Thanks to the treachery of the social-democratic leaders fascism has won a temporary victory in Germany and Austria. It has robbed millions of working people of their most elementary rights. But fascism has not succeeded and never will succeed in destroying the revolutionary workers' movement. The more bloodthirsty the fascist terror, the more oppressive the capitalist yoke, the greater grows the hatred of the masses of the entire capitalist system.
The Japanese and German imperialists are marching in the front ranks of the warmongers. Japanese imperialism, armed to the teeth, is continuing its robber war in China and by unceasing provocation is preparing counter-revolutionary war against the Soviet Union. The German imperialists are arming feverishly and seeking allies everywhere for the coming war. The English imperialists inspire the plans for a counterrevolutionary robber campaign against the Soviet Union. But the more openly the bourgeoisie arm for war, the greater grows the hatred of all working people for the entire capitalist system. Imperialist war, a new monstrous slaughter of the peoples, can be prevented only by strengthening the revolutionary struggle of the working masses in a united resolute front against capitalism. . .
. . . Social-democracy promised to lead you to socialism by the road of bourgeois parliamentary democracy and class collaboration. It weakened the working class by splitting its ranks. It strangled the workers' will to fight, it capitulated to fascism. The social-democratic road was not the road to socialism but the road to fascism. To fend off fascism, to overthrow the fascist dictatorship, you must break with socialdemocracy, unite under the fighting banner of the Communist International for the revolutionary struggle for working-class power, for a Soviet Government.
Look at the Soviet Union. Look how the proletariat and working people of the Soviet Union, who know neither unemployment in the towns nor impoverishment in the village, who are free of the capitalist yoke, are building a new classless socialist society. . .
. . . Follow the example of the Soviet proletariat! Rally to the banner of the Communist International.
The sufferings of the working class and of all the toilers in the capitalist, colonial and dependent countries are growing from day to day. The partial increase of industrial production has been advantageous to only a handful of the biggest capitalist magnates. Their profits are growing, while the broad masses of the toiling people are sinking into ever deeper poverty...
. . . The bourgeoisie are making a desperate effort to find a way out of the crisis at the expense of the toilers by establishing terrorist fascist governments. Fascist gangs, in the countries under fascist dictatorship, deprive the toilers of their last vestiges of freedom, disperse the trade unions, take possession of and plunder the workers' cooperative societies, destroy the legal working-class press, militarise the workers' sport organisations, dispatch the unemployed and the young people who have finished school to forced labour camps, while tens of thousands of proletarian fighters, regardless of the political parties they follow, are interned in concentration camps. A similar fate awaits the toilers in the countries where bourgeois democracy exists, by means of which the social-democrats promised to bring them to socialism.
The democratic rights of the toilers in these countries are now being more and more curtailed, while the oppression of the broad masses is being uninterruptedly intensified, and thus the road to fascism is being paved.
The world is on the verge of a new imperialist world war. The strained international relations are coming ever more closely to a point like that at which the world war broke out in 1914. The expenditure on the preparation for the new world slaughter is being mercilessly squeezed out of the toilers, who are doomed first and foremost to be the victims of that war.
Fascist Germany, the principal instigator of imperialist war, has already created an army which leaves the old army of the Kaiser far behind. The introduction of universal conscription, and the legalisation and further increase of German armaments production, which has hitherto been carried on secretly, are a warning that German fascism is feverishly completing its last preparations for war.
The military alliance between fascist Germany, military fascist Japan and fascist Poland is becoming a fact. This military alliance is directed first and foremost against the land of Socialism, against the USSR.
While a counter-revolutionary onslaught is being prepared against the USSR, imperialist wars are already being carried on between various countries. The robber war being conducted by Japanese imperialism in China has been going on for years, and is now menacing the whole of China. War is being waged in South America between British and American imperialism through their vassal states, Paraguay and Bolivia. Italian imperialism is calling up one group of recruits after another to the army, and is dispatching troops to Abyssinia, preparing to subject the people of Abyssinia to colonial plunder and servitude. German fascism is already reaching out its mailed fist against Austria, Lithuania and Danzig, and is making ready to put its plans of colonial plunder into operation.
Only by mustering the broad masses of the working class into a united front of struggle will it be possible to stop the fleecing of the toilers by the capitalists. Only in this way will it be possible to stop the further advance of the most reactionary sections of the bourgeoisie in establishing their bloody fascist domination. Only thus can a stop be put to the mad armament race of the war-thirsty imperialist cliques. . . .
Wherever communist and social-democratic workers, members of the revolutionary and reformist trade unions, whom also unorganised workers follow, have proceeded to consolidate their forces, the united front has already yielded its first successes.
The workers of France have entered the path of the united front, and have repelled the first onslaughts of fascism.
The united front of the working class in Austria prevented the fascists from demoralising the ranks of the Austrian proletariat, which is carrying on a heroic struggle to overthrow the fascist dictatorship.
Workers of all political shades in Spain fought shoulder to shoulder in armed struggles. They were not the victors in this combat; but they prevented the consolidation of the fascist dictatorship, and they are continuing heroically and in serried ranks to carry on the struggle against fascism....
These first united front successes can be increased manifold provided that the united will of the working masses will put a stop to the policy of class collaboration, pursued by social-democracy.
The oppressed peoples in the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries are more and more entering the world front of struggle against imperialism. The Red Army in Soviet China is fighting the Kuomintang, the traitor to and hangman of the Chinese people, and is becoming the central gathering point for the forces of the national liberation struggle against Japanese imperialism, and against the partition of China between the imperialist powers.
Communist, social-democratic and non-party workers!
Members of reformist, revolutionary, anarcho-syndicalist and christian trade unions, members of cooperative societies, sports societies, cultural and all other working-class
Build the united front of all proletarians in joint struggle! The united front of the struggle against the class enemy can prevent the destruction of the rights of the toilers, can overcome fascism and strengthen the struggle for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for real government by the people, for proletarian democracy, and for Soviet Power, which will do away forever with capitalist exploitation and oppression. . .
. . . In the name of the world party of the revolutionary proletariat, the Executive Committee of the Communist International addresses to the Executive Committee of the Labour and Socialist International the proposal that joint May Day actions be organised in all capitalist countries against the capitalist offensive, against fascism, for the preservation of peace, against imperialist war and in defence of the Soviet Union. The Red International of Labour Unions has already addressed a proposal to the International Federation of Trade Unions that joint demonstrations be organised on May 1st. Joint action by communist and social-democratic workers, by members of the reformist and revolutionary unions will also attract the unorganised workers, and the members of the anarcho-syndicalist and christian trade unions. Joint action will draw in and weld together the broad masses who still stand aside from the class struggle, and who may fall victim to fascist demagogy. . . .
Against fascism, and for the defence of the democratic rights of the toilers! For the release of Ernst Thaelmann, Mathias Rakosi and all revolutionary fighters! For the liberation of Largo Caballero and all anti-fascists!
Against the bloody terror in China, Japan, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Poland, Finland, Hungary, and all other capitalist countries! Against the death sentences in Spain, Germany and Bulgaria!
Against the imperialist armaments race, against the principal instigator of war, fascist Germany and its allies, the Polish fascists; against Japan engaged in pillaging China and preparing to attack the Soviet Union. Against British imperialism, inciting anti-Soviet war; against fascist Italy, engaged in throttling Abyssinia!
Render active support to the struggle of the Soviet Union for peace!
For the defence of the USSR, the fatherland of the toilers in all lands!
Protect Soviet China!
Fight for the united front of all fighting proletarians!
Fight for the unity of the international trade union movement!
Forward to the victorious struggle against fascism, against capitalism, for the dictatorship of the proletariat, for Soviet Power and for Socialism!
May Day, the day when the revolutionary forces of the international proletariat march in review, must this year demonstrate in strength the unity of the working class and the masses of the people of all countries in defending peace against the warmongers.
Peace is in the greatest danger.
In the West peace is threatened by German fascism which, having sent its troops into the Rhineland and advanced them close to the French frontier, has conjured up an immediate danger of war for France and Belgium, is preparing to annihilate Czechoslovakia as an independent State, to incorporate Austria, to occupy Memel and Lithuania in an attempt to entangle Poland on its side in war, and to create a territorial basis for its attack on the great land of Soviets.
In the East the fascist militarist camarilla of Japan is occupying one province of China after another, with the aim of subduing all the peoples of Asia, and of annexing the Philippines and Australia, while it gets ready for the decisive contest with the United States and Great Britain for hegemony in the Pacific and directly threatens the Soviet frontiers.
These chief instigators of war, German fascism and the Japanese military camarilla, who support each other's aggressive plans, are out to drag all the countries of the earth into a devastating war.
The magnates of finance capital are trying to save capitalism by setting up dictatorships of the most reactionary, most militaristic elements of the bourgeoisie, the fascists. Where fascism has consolidated its power by bloody terror and put the working people of its country in chains, it is seeking frantically to escape from growing internal difficulties, seeking to save itself from the indignation of the people which is beginning to spring up, by military aggression against other nations which it openly threatens with national subjugation. The fascist rulers may at any moment plunge humanity into the bottomless catastrophe of a new world slaughter. For fascism the maintenance of peace is a deadly danger. Fascism is the enemy of peace.
Fascism means wars of conquest. Whoever wants to fight for peace must fight against fascism.
Working people in town and country! All friends of peace! It is not too late to bar the road to the warmongers. Peace can be saved if the masses everywhere, thirsting for peace, pool their immense forces at once for the fight to maintain peace, the fight against the fascist warmongers. The creation of the broadest mass front for maintaining peace is now the central task of the international proletariat and of all friends of peace. This task can be accomplished. If the danger of war is great, so too are the forces which can be brought into action against it.
Anger and readiness to fight against the capitalist offensive, against reaction and fascist violence, are growing steadily among the proletariat, the peasantry, and the working people of the capitalist countries. . .
. . . Today the situation is not what it was in 1914. Now it is not only the working class, the peasantry, and all working people who are resolved to maintain peace, but also the oppressed countries and the weak nations whose independence is threatened by war. The Soviet Union, the invincible fortress of the world proletariat and the oppressed of all countries, is the focal point of all the forces fighting for peace. In the present phase a number of capitalist States are also concerned to maintain peace.
Hence the possibility of creating a broad front of the working class, of all working people, and of entire nations against the danger of imperialist war. It will depend upon the extent to which this world front comes into being and is effective whether the fascist and imperialist warmongers are able in the near future to light the flames of a new imperialist war or whether their criminal hands will be chopped off by the axe of a powerful anti-war front.
Do not allow yourselves to be persuaded by those reformist leaders and sham pacifists who, on various pretexts, are trying to keep the masses back from independent struggle against the war danger. Do not believe that measures taken by the League of Nations can replace the independent struggle of the masses to maintain peace. The incompatibility of interests among the self-seeking imperialist Powers belonging to the League makes its extremely difficult for that body to take effective steps against aggressors. That was strikingly demonstrated in regard to the application of sanctions against Italian fascism when it fell upon the Abyssinian people; it was demonstrated again in the attitude of the League of Nations to the recent provocation by Hitler fascism. Had the international proletariat acted as one, by strikes and other means, not a single ship or railway truck would have reached or left Italy, and Italian fascism would have been unable to carry on its rotten war in Abyssinia. . .
. . . The working masses of France and Spain have given the peoples of other capitalist countries a splendid example of how the people's front can successfully bar the road to fascism. In the same way, in the international field, must the front to defend peace be established, which will be able to frustrate the war plans of the fascists.
The agreements on joint action concluded between the communist and socialist parties in France, Spain, Italy, and Austria, the unification of the trade unions in France, and the coming unification of the Spanish unions—all these are great steps on the road of eliminating the split in the ranks of the international proletariat. But the further progress of the united front of the international labour movement comes up against the continuing resistance of reactionary leaders in the Labour and Socialist International and of a few social-democratic parties. To overcome this resistance is the task of the entire working class, above all of the social-democratic workers themselves, and it is a task which cannot be delayed.
On May Day the Communist International appeals to all workers, whatever their convictions and party allegiance, to all social-democratic parties, trade unions, cooperatives, to all workers' organizations, to unite their forces with the communist parties and organizations, with the Communist International, so that they can fight together against the capitalist offensive and fascism, and block the path of the fascist instigators of war. Despite all obstacles and difficulties, the proletariat must proceed, united and resolute, to carry through one international policy in the interests of maintaining peace.
The Communist International calls on the millions of peasants, the labouring intelligentsia, and all sincere friends of peace, to march hand in hand with the proletariat. . .
. . . Look at the great Soviet country where the proletariat led by the bolshevik party, the party of Lenin-Stalin, has won a final and irreversible victory for socialism. . .
. . . While fascist reactionaries and barbarians, in fear of the people, abolish the last vestiges of democracy, in the Soviet land true democracy for the working masses is flourishing. The Soviet regime is the most stable, most popular, and most democratic which mankind has ever known. . .
. . . The Soviet land is a great fraternal union of peoples. Surrounded by the love and care of the peoples of the Soviet Union and the working people of all countries, a menace to the aggressors, the invincible Red Army of workers and peasants stands guard over peace and socialism. . .
. . . Workers and peasants of all countries! Follow the road taken by the workers of the Soviet Union.
This year, May First, the day of international proletarian solidarity, is marked by the heroic struggle of the Spanish people for liberty and national independence.
The German and Italian fascists have attacked the Spanish people and their democratic republic without formally declaring war. Mussolini's and Hitler's hordes are trampling Spanish soil, destroying towns and villages, murdering women and children, and covering the country with the blood of the finest sons of the Spanish people. A foul crime is being committed before the eyes of the world with the support of the British Conservatives and the connivance of the bourgeois democracy of France and other capitalist countries.
The Spanish people are victoriously repulsing the attack of the fascists. They are not only battling for their own freedom, but are fighting the German and Italian interventionists for the freedom of all nations. Madrid is making legend; it has become the battle-ground of all advanced and progressive humanity against bestial fascism. The banner of aid for the fighting Spanish people has been raised aloft among the working people of all countries. But the final victory over fascism in Spain has still to be won. New millions in all countries must rally still closer around the working class of Spain, around its people and its republic, so that this victory may be expedited.
The whole working class, not only the communists, but the socialist workers also, are heart and soul with the Spanish people. They are profoundly indignant at the German and Italian intervention in Spain. Like the communist workers, they are opposed to the comedy of nonintervention, which is, in reality, favouring the fascist gang of bandits. But what prevents them demanding the united action of all workers' organizations in defence of the Spanish people ? Is it not clear that such united action would multiply the strength of the fighting Spanish people and facilitate their victory? Why do they not demand that the leaders of the Second International and the Amsterdam International should establish international united action in defence of the Spanish democracy? Why do they tolerate the sabotage of men like Citrine and Friedrich Adler, who are sacrificing the lives of the Spanish fighters for liberty and frustrating the will of the working class in the interests of the bourgeoisie ?
Now, more than ever before, the united action of the entire international proletariat, and of all the organizations of the proletariat against the common enemy, is the supreme demand of the present moment.
Working men and women, raise your voices in protest against the betrayal of the cause of the Spanish people! This May Day unite as class brothers in a mighty demonstration in support of the Spanish People's Front! Compel your parliaments and your governments to support the People's Government of Spain!
By defending the Spanish people, you will defend yourselves, your people and your own liberty against fascism. Remember that around Madrid, on the battlefields of Spain, fascism is kindling the torch of war over the world. Unable to cope with the internal antagonisms that are rending it, fascism is seeking a way out in military adventures and the enslavement of other peoples. Clearing the way for its aggression, German fascism is conspiring against the regime of bourgeois democracy in other capitalist countries. Under the pretext of combating bolshevism, it is everywhere intriguing and plotting, inciting revolt and disseminating counterrevolutionary anarchy. It is striving to subjugate the small nations in preparation for a new imperialist re-division of the world and new wars. It is blackmailing the governments of these small countries and making cunning use of their capitulatory policy in its own interests. But no policy of capitulation will restrain the fascist marauders. War cannot be averted by prayers and incantation. Only the unity and determination of the working people can prevent it. Only the rallying of all the forces of peace, in close unity with the enslaved peoples of Germany and Italy, who are profoundly hostile to fascism, can stay the hand of the fascist brigands.
Your governments tell you that the savage beast must not be provoked, that we must bow to it so as to avoid its fangs. Does not the example of Spain prove the contrary? Would not Spain have been converted into a second Manchuria if the Spanish people had not opposed the strength of the masses to the violence of the fascists? The defeat of the Italian fascists at Guadalajara has shown the whole world that the strength of the fascist government lies in the weakness of the people being subjugated by them. They can smash a resistance that is feeble and brutally suppress the defenceless. But when people rise against them who are prepared to wage a supreme struggle, all the instability of the fascist regime is revealed. . .
. . . The fascist beasts of prey are striving towards the colonial countries, so as to carry on the imperialist plunder with even greater ruthlessness. German fascism is reaching out its paw to the colonies with growing insistence. Every worker and every honest democrat is filled with hatred at the thought of the gallows, arson, robbery, and violence to which Italian fascism has subjected defenceless Abyssinia.
The fascist militarists of Japan will stop at no provocation and baseness in their violation of the great Chinese people. The modern cannibals stop at no act of brutality in robbing and strangling the colonial peoples.
But the oppressed peoples are beginning to realize that the more they bow their heads, the more savagely they are beaten. The more abject the enslaved, the more aggressive the enslaver becomes. The Abyssinian people have not admitted their defeat, and are again rising against their enslavers. The great Chinese people, who have learnt from bitter experience what are the consequences of a policy of nonresistance to the plunderers, are forging a national front in defence against the Japanese imperialist brigands. The finest people and the foremost parties and groups all over the colonial world are uniting their peoples against alien oppression, against the imperialist plunderers, and in defence of peace and liberty.
Proletarians and working people of the colonial Powers!
Peoples of the colonies!
Let May Day be a day of fraternity and of joint struggle against fascism, war and the disfranchised conditions of the colonial peoples!
The working people in all capitalist countries are suffering fearful want. The world economic crisis has ruined millions of people. The insatiable rich, the millionaires, took advantage of the crisis to depress the standard of living of the working people. The worker's wage is a beggarly pittance. Exploitation in the factories has assumed unprecedented proportions.
Wholesale unemployment has become a permanent feature. Peasants, artisans, and small tradesmen are staggering beneath the yoke of monopoly-capital. And the more the working people retreated, the more brazen the rich capitalists became. Now that a period of economic revival has begun they are raking in huge profits, but would leave the masses of the people to starve, as they did during the crisis. But the workers are not willing to retreat any more. Wherever, as in the United States and France, they rise in revolt against the regime of starvation and poverty, and demand bread for themselves and liberty for their organizations, they are successfully restraining the capitalist offensive. . .
. . . Let the May Day demonstration be a mighty weapon that will strengthen the workers' organizations and make for trade union unity, which is the guarantee of success in the struggle for bread and work!
Let the example of the French workers, who in the course of a year created a united trade union organization 5 million strong, inspire you to strive for the unity of the national and international trade union movement. Let the example of the People's Front in Spain and France strengthen the will to unity among the workers all over the world. Oppose all who disrupt your unity in the interests of the class enemy. Rid your ranks of the agents of fascism— the Trotskyists, who are rabid enemies of working-class unity, disorganizers and wreckers of the working-class movement, foul provokers of war and masked spies of General Franco's Fifth Column.
The great example of the USSR shows that the working people can successfully throw off the yoke of the exploiters!
It was only by a resolute and thoroughly consistent class struggle, fought under the guidance of the Party of Lenin and Stalin, that the working class of the Soviet Union achieved its historic victories. . .
. . . Thanks to the dictatorship of the working class, a genuine democracy, embodied in the Stalin Constitution, is spreading widely among the peoples of the Land of the Soviets. Every Soviet citizen is guaranteed the right to work, rest, and education.
Thanks to its might and its supreme fidelity to proletarian internationalism, the USSR is a great bulwark of peace and culture, and of the liberty of all peoples.
This is why the fascist warmongers rage against the great land of socialism! But the Soviet Union is a beacon for the millions of working people of the capitalist countries, pointing the true way to the victory of socialism.
The knell of capitalism has sounded. It is an obstacle to human progress, and must be overthrown. Only the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and its replacement by socialism will put an end to the exploitation of man by man and to wars.
Not at any time since the end of the world war has the international situation been so tense. A fourth part of mankind is once more in the grip of war. Fascist governments, having robbed and enslaved the masses of their own people, are bursting into the territory of others. By attacks upon other nations, by armed robbery abroad, they attempt to stifle the rising indignation of the working people within their own countries...
. . . In the Far East the fascist military clique of Japan are waging a war of conquest against the Chinese people for lordship over Asia, for domination of the Pacific. Cities of ancient culture are laid in ruins, thousands of villages given to the flames, tens of thousands of the peaceful population of China shot down by the Japanese executioners.
But the heroism of the four hundred millions of the Chinese people is not to be broken by the executioners. Rallying ever closer together in a united national front, the Chinese people are inflicting severe defeats on the Japanese aggressors. Defending themselves, the Chinese people have made of their bodies a living shield for all the nations of Asia, and are inspiring all the colonial peoples for struggle against their oppressors.
In Spain the hordes of the German-Italian intervention are raging. Powerless to break the stubborn resistance of the Republican Army, they are basely wreaking vengeance on the peaceful population of Spain, raining death from the air upon thousands of women and children. For nearly two years the Spanish people have been fighting with epic courage for their independence against the fascist Powers in coalition—with tacit support from reactionary Tory circles in Britain.
Abandoned by bourgeois-democratic governments, the Spanish people staunchly defend their democratic republic against the combined forces of world reaction.
Defending their liberty, they defend the cause of the whole of advanced and progressive mankind.
Emboldened by the impunity with which it could carry on intervention in Spain, German fascism occupied Austria. By their suppression of the armed struggle of the workers in 1934, by depriving the working people of elementary liberties, the ruling classes of Austria had prepared the ground for the invasion of German fascism.
Already German fascism, without having succeeded in firmly settling itself upon Austria, is preparing an attack on Czechoslovakia. Together with Polish fascism, it strives for the occupation and partition of Lithuania. It is crouching for a spring upon the Balkans, menacing their existence as States and their national independence. It threatens Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries. It surrounds France with a fascist ring and reckons to take it unawares with a sudden blow. Like a beast of prey, it scours far and wide to procure raw materials, and material resources, and human reserves for a large-scale war against the land of socialism.
Whose is the responsibility for this brazen insolence and murderous activity of fascism, for the war conflagration they have raised in various parts of the globe?
The responsibility lies with the reactionary clique of British Conservatism. Not a finger did they raise when the Japanese militarists attacked China. They are only waiting for the military exhaustion of Japan to raise the question of the partition of China. With Italian fascism they have made an arrangement—to bring about the strangling of the Spanish people. To German fascism they lent their aid, giving it the possibility of rearming. For them it is a bloodthirsty ruffian, a 'strong-arm man', to be used against the international working class and the democratic movement of the people.
They gave their blessing to its invasion of Austria. Stealthily, covertly, they direct it towards the East, against the land of the Soviets.
Responsibility also lies with the French reactionary bourgeoisie. By capitulating to German fascism they helped to give it strength. Like the conspirators of Goblenz in the days of the French Revolution, the French reactionaries have plotted with German fascism against their own people. These dark forces dictated to the Blum Government the policy of the blockade of Republican Spain. The bloc of British and French reactionaries dragged in the wake of its pro-fascist policy the leaders of the Socialist and Trade Union Internationals, who remain inactive in the face of the German and Italian intervention in Spain.
The responsibility for the blood, suffering, and sacrifice of the Spanish people, for the bandit onslaught on China, for the military occupation of Austria, lies not only with the fascist scoundrels, but also with those who tolerate and assist them.
The ruling classes basely deceive you when they say that it would be in the interests of the maintenance of peace to reconcile yourselves to the strangling of the Spanish people, the enslavement of China, the subjugation of Austria. It is not by permitting the war instigators to plunder and slaughter other peoples that wars are avoided. Wars are averted by a firm policy of curbing the fascist brigands in good time.
You are being told cynical lies when it is stated that the Governments of Britain, France and the USA are 'powerless' to put a stop to international fascist banditry. To stop this banditry is well within their power. But this requires the adoption of the proposal of the USSR for joint action of all States interested in maintaining peace against the instigators of war.
They must reinforce their action by measures of economic pressure. Let them deprive the fascist bandits of credits, let them refuse to provide them with the raw material necessary for the conduct of war, let them close the channels of trade to them, let them put under blockade not Republican Spain, but those who have attacked it. Let them open the frontiers and furnish the Spanish people with the possibility of freely purchasing arms, and this will be enough to ensure that fascism draws back like a whipped cur.
Put no faith, comrades, in those who assert that you have not at your disposal the means whereby to make governments conduct a policy of struggle against the aggressors. The working class, filled with the consciousness of struggle, is a tower of strength. It, and it alone, carries on the work of pits and plants, of fields, factories, and workships. Without the working class no train is moved, no steamer sails, no ship is laden, no one can hush the voice of hundreds and thousands of demonstrators.
But, brother proletarians, for your strength to be brought into action requires working-class unity. It requires that in your organization there be no treachery at headquarters. It requires that your struggle be not broken by those Labour leaders who are agents of the British bourgeoisie.
Your strength will be multiplied manifold, if all the units of the labour movement fight shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy, fascism. Uniting the struggle internationally, you will secure new, unparalleled strength. . .
. . . It is to this path of struggle that the Communist International calls the working people. It has repeatedly called upon the Socialist and Trade Union Internationals to establish an international fighting front. But a clique of reactionary British leaders have obdurately turned down these calls, disrupting united action by the international proletariat. By their splitting policy they have sought to undermine the confidence of the working class in its own strength, to disarm it in the face of the enemy, and thereby they have encouraged the fascists to undertake further acts of aggression.
Working parallel with these leaders went the Trotskyist-Bukharinite agents of fascism, the spying 'Fourth International'. It was they who wished to restore capitalism in the USSR, to dismember the land of the Soviets, to hand over its peoples to be enslaved by fascism. It was their brood who opened the fronts to the fascist interventionists in Spain, and delivered blows at the rear of the Republican army. It was these who, on the orders of the Japanese Intelligence Service, conduct work of diversion and espionage in China. It is these who operate far and wide as wreckers of the labour movement and, in the interests of fascism, join with Citrine in the effort to prevent united action by the international working class.
These are the infamous spies, wreckers, and murderers, whom such people as Dan take under their wing, making of them a banner for the continuation of their ruinous, splitting policy. By crushing the Trotskyist-Bukharinite gang of warmongers, these base hirelings of Japanese-German fascism, the Soviet people have rendered an inestimable service to the cause of peace, the cause of working-class unity, the cause of anti-fascist struggle. . .
. . . In the name of millions of workers, in the interests of defending the Spanish people, the Communist International again proposes to the Socialist and Trade Union Internationals to establish a united international working-class front.
To help Republican Spain, to defend China, means to fight against world war, to defend your hearths and homes, the liberty and the independence of your countries, against the fascist butchers. A people that would permit the strangling of Republican Spain or China would, with its own hands, be preparing the fascist yoke for itself, would strengthen the chains of its own capitalist slavery. . .
. . . Demand the application of economic, political, and other sanctions against the fascist miscreants! Working people, join forces with the proletariat in a mighty People's Front against fascism and imperialist war!
Peoples of Europe, America, and Asia! Join with the great people of the Soviet Union in building the international peace front against the fascist cut-throats, the incendiaries of wars of plunder.
. . . Never before has the star of socialism shone with such brilliance as to-day.
At the 18th Congress of the Bolsheviks, the great continuer of the work of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, the leader and teacher of the working people of all countries, Comrade Stalin, turned over a new page in the history of mankind—the completion of the construction of a classless society in the USSR and the gradual transition from socialism to communism.
In the annals of the momentous victories of socialism, the people of the capitalist countries, languishing in the chains of slavery, fascist terror, and war, see the living proof of the invincible might of the working class. They curse their present lot and in communism see their future. In a bond of fraternal friendship, in unison, the peoples of the Soviet Union are building the lofty edifice of communism, an edifice flooded with sunshine and light, abounding in human happiness and joy.
Their great experience is a clarion call to all the oppressed and destitute throughout the world, to follow the path of Lenin and Stalin, the path of socialist revolution, the only path leading to the emancipation of working humanity.
Boundless is the suffering imposed upon the working people of the capitalist countries. For them the present day brings with it crisis, unemployment, and poverty. It brings from the gang of fascist oppressors mockery, prisons, and concentration camps. It brings a chain of crimes, committed by the fascist rulers, against the liberty and independence of the nations. It brings sanguinary imperialist slaughter, unleashed by the fascist freebooters.
For almost three years the Spanish people fought heroically against the fascist marauders who invaded their country. The British and French reactionary bourgeoisie were strangling the Spanish people with the noose of 'non-intervention'.
With the support of the capitulators in the leading circles of the Second International, world reaction organized the defeat of the Spanish people. It wrested the sword of victory from this people, who defended with their lives, not only the independence of their own country, but also the independence of other nations.
Having struck down the Spanish people, who were holding the forces of the fascist aggressors in leash, the carrion circle of reaction has added fuel to the flames of the second imperialist war. It is converting Spain into an outpost of the robber plans of German and Italian fascism. It would surrender the peoples of Europe to be slaughtered, raped, and pillaged by fascism.
In the Far East the Japanese militarists are striving in vain to enslave the 400 millions of Chinese people. The Chinese people are fighting like lions against the Japanese invaders. They are harassing the enemy behind his own lines. They are putting a cordon of fire around the towns seized by the Japanese. They are exhausting the enemy by a protracted war. The courageous and self-sacrificing struggle of the Chinese people serves to revolutionize the working people of Japan, and shatters the morale of the Japanese army. The Japanese invaders have failed in their attempts to pull off a lightning war, they are powerless in their efforts to conclude the 'peace' they desire. In desperation they are driving headlong against
Great Britain and France, drawing ever nearer to the colonial possessions of these Powers.
Fascism rages through Europe like a mad beast; it has swallowed Austria and Czechoslovakia, occupied Memel, annexed Albania. It is throwing its noose around Poland, it is making a drive for the Balkans, threatening Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. It is stealthily creeping upon Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium. It demands a re-division of colonies and is stretching out to Latin America.
It has cast off all restraint, has become emboldened as a result of the favourable 'situation' created by the connivance of the reactionary bourgeoisie of other countries. It is bringing pressure to bear upon the small nations, bullying them and banking on the treachery of the reactionary elements in the major capitalist countries. It is working with feverish haste, plunging headlong into adventures, for it fears the growing resistance of the peoples.
It is letting loose the mercenary gang of Trotskyist spies and provocateurs, who, acting on the instruction of the fascist espionage services, seek to undermine the labour organizations from within, to disarm them in face of the advancing enemy and betray them completely to fascism.
The British and French reactionaries are now paying the price for their policy of instigating war against the USSR. Was it not they who accommodatingly threw open the doors of Austria and Czechoslovakia to fascism, in order to direct its drive to the East? Was it not they who allowed fascism to seize Spanish ore, the Austrian and Czechoslovakian gold reserves, its Skoda works; who offered Rumanian oil and Hungarian wheat, so as to strengthen the fascist aggressors for war against the land of the Soviets? Was it not they who freed the hands of the fascist criminals, thereby facilitating the latter's seizure of Spain?
But they have called forth spirits that have turned against them. They have armed the fascist robbers against themselves. By their policy they have exposed their own peoples to the blows of the fascist Powers. The masses are realizing, with increasing clarity, that Munich, far from saving peace, has served to accelerate and facilitate further fascist aggression. The indignation of the masses against the policy of Munich, against those who have involved the nations in war, under the hypocritical flag of saving peace, is becoming ever greater. The voice of the people, demanding the removal from power of the politicians who bear the responsibility for the Munich plot, is swelling louder and louder. The peoples have no faith in the reassurances of the fascist warmongers, nor in the declarations of their accomplices.
It is not words, but deeds, that the people need. They demand a determined stand against the fascist aggressors.
We communists have always laid bare the truth to you, no matter how bitter it was. The communists showed you the true path of struggle against fascism and war.
Did they not warn you that the policy pursued by the leaders of the Second International leads not to socialism, but to fascism, to war? Did they not tell you, at a time when fascism was only making its way to power in Germany, that the socialdemocratic policy of endless concessions to the bourgeoisie, the policy of splitting the ranks of the working class, the policy of slandering the communists, only paves the way for the defeat of the working people? Was it not the communists who proposed to the Second and Trade Union Internationals to establish a united workers' front, at a time when it was still easy to inflict a deadly blow against fascism? Was it not the communists who insisted upon the urgency of uniting all the forces of the working class in order to avert war? Was it not the communists who exposed the Munich agreement as a plot against peace and the security of nations?
Who has profited from the split in the ranks of the working class? The fascist aggressors. The reactionary bourgeoisie fear the unity of the working class more than hell-fire itself, for they know only too well that by their joint action the millions of workers could grip fascism in an iron vice, disrupt its predatory wars and accelerate the downfall of the fascist regime.
Proletarians, do not believe those who assert that it is impossible to restrain the fascist war instigators. The fascist criminals are attacking other nations not because they are strong. They are unleashing war because they themselves are being strangled by the contradictions of the regime at home. They look to war as a salvation from the approaching political and economic bankruptcy of the fascist dictatorship. They want to smother the outburst of indignation among their own peoples by the clamour around their diplomatic and military 'victories'. But the more territory they seize, the more they undermine the ground on which they tread.
Resorting to violence they demolish the established economic and political relations between States, thus intensifying the chaos and the break-up of the entire capitalist system. The more it enslaves other nations, the more menacing is the rear it creates for itself and for its armies. Under the surface of fascist dictatorship develop hidden revolutionary processes of unprecedented force.
But fascism will not collapse unless it is overthrown by the working people. Upon their militant determination, their courage, their readiness to make sacrifices, depends the historical moment of the downfall of fascism and the overthrow of capitalism.
Never will the fascist hangmen crush the Czechoslovakian people, who are mustering their forces to rise against their conquerors. Never will the peoples be reconciled to the fascist bondage imposed upon them by force of arms. Fascism's first serious encounter with a strong military adversary will shatter to pieces the rotten system of fascist 'alliances' and 'protectorates'. The seeds of national revolutionary wars are maturing behind the lines of the fascist robbers, the idea of taking the citadel of capitalism by revolutionary storm is maturing in the minds of the oppressed masses.
Never shall that miscreant Franco subjugate the proud and peace-loving Spanish people, who have acquired the great experience of a national war against foreign invaders. This people ousted Napoleon. They overthrew the monarchy. They smashed the fascist dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. They will sweep away the power of this hated Italian satrap. The people's duel with fascism is not over. The masses of working people of Spain know that their struggle is an integral part of the growing movement of the anti-fascist forces of the entire world. The war which the fascist rulers are unleashing will be the grave also of Spanish fascism. Spain, with its blood-soaked soil, will once again become an anti-fascist bastion. . .
. . . Upon whom does the unity of action of the international working class now depend? Upon the Socialist and Trade Union Internationals. Should their leaders so desire, unity can become an accomplished fact tomorrow. The international working class will become a force exercising decisive influence on the march of events. By its unity of action it will launch a powerful people's front movement in all capitalist countries. This will mark a serious setback for fascism, the beginning of its downfall.
Do you want this, Labour and Socialist workers ? If you do, then dreak the resistance of your leaders to united action of the working class, and strengthen unity
together with your class brothers, the communists.
Expressing the will of the working class of all countries, the Communist International proposes to the Executives of the Labour and Socialist International and the International Federation of Trade Unions immediately to commence negotiations regarding the establishment of a united front for struggle, against the instigators and incendiaries of war.
The Communist International proposes to the Labour and Socialist International a platform for unity of action—defence of peace on the basis of a determined repulse to the fascist aggressors, the organization of collective security, the struggle in each capitalist country against the treacherous policy of the reactionary bourgeoisie who seek agreement with the fascist aggressors, to the detriment of the liberty and independence of their own nation.
The Communist International proposes that a conference of labour organizations of the whole world be convened to draw up a concrete plan of action to map out the ways and means of struggle, to devise a single organ for the co-ordination of joint action.
Proletarians and working people throughout the world!
May Day, day of international solidarity, is being celebrated by the working people in the ominous surroundings of a new imperialist war. Never yet has the idea of international proletarian solidarity been of such vital significance for the workers of all lands as during these days of the war conflagration that has enveloped Europe and Asia.
The war in Europe has already lasted eight months, but the end of it is far from being in sight. The theatre of military operations is extending even further. The imperialist potentates are forcibly drawing into the war the colonial peoples under their sway. The longer the war lasts, the clearer does it become that the small neutral countries are bagatelles in the hands of the imperialists. In answer to the gross violation by England and France of the neutrality of the Scandinavian countries, Germany led its troops into Denmark and occupied strategic positions in Norway. England and France, in their turn, landed troops. The territory of Norway became a theatre of war. Belgium and Holland are threatened. Yet another war base is being prepared in the Near East. The struggle of the imperialist Powers for the Balkans and for supremacy in the Mediterranean threatens to draw additional capitalist States into the war. Preparations to intervene in the war are being made by Italy, which has strengthened its positions in Spain and the Balkans. In the Far East, Japan for almost three years has already been waging a war of conquest against China. It wants to transform that great country, with its population of 400 million people, into its colony. Ruined and exhausted by the war, it is hastening to force its predatory 'peace' on China, so as to have its hands free to participate in the further repartition of the world. The strife between the imperialists in the Pacific threatens to develop into new wars. A dispute has already begun between Japan, England, and the USA over the Dutch East Indies. The bourgeoisie of the USA are, as a beginning, stretching out their hands to Iceland, Greenland, and the possessions of Britain and France in the Caribbean Sea.
The capitalist miscreants are dragging the peoples into a new world imperialist carnage. Facing the capitalist world, which is in the throes of the fever of war, stands the great land of Socialism. The British and French warmongers and their socialdemocratic lick-spittles are furious at the fact that the Soviet Union occupies a position of neutrality towards their imperialist war. They are in a rage at the fact that the USSR is increasingly growing and gathering strength, whereas they are in the throes of imperialist contradictions and war. They are furious because the USSR has secured the benefits of peace for its peoples, is living at peace with Germany, just as it is also desirous of living at peace with other States that do not infringe on its rights. They are in a rage because the USSR, by its policy of honest neutrality, hinders the spreading of military conflagration to other countries. They are overcome with fear at the fact that the peace policy of the USSR is strengthening the urge for peace of their own peoples. The warmongers are in a fury because their provocation in Finland fell through, when the glorious Red Army did away with the base prepared by them long ago for war against the USSR. They are furious at the fact that the USSR, by concluding peace with Finland, has brought the Anglo-French provocators of war into the light of day, compelled them to show their hand, and exposed their real designs to the peoples. The capitalists would like the USSR to conduct a policy that suits them.
But the USSR pursues its own policy, one dictated by the interests of socialism. The USSR upholds the interests of its great people, who are completing the construction of classless socialist society. Thereby it defends the interests of the working people throughout the world, the interests of all peoples. The capitalists need imperialist conquest and plunder. The USSR needs creative labour, socialist prosperity, a happy and joyous life for the working people. Proletarians throughout the world are justly proud of their vanguard, the great land of socialism. Working people of the capitalist countries! The war has already brought you incredible privation and suffering. There have been no big battles yet, but the earth is already covered with the blood of the fallen. Thousands upon thousands of sailors have gone to their death in the seas and oceans. In Europe alone 20 million men have been placed under arms. They have been torn away from productive labour, from their hearths and homes.
Hunger and want are knocking at the doors of families whose breadwinners have been driven to the war by the bourgeoisie. The wives, mothers, and children of the men who have been mobilized have been cast to the mercy of fate. The hungry and the poor are plundered by the bourgeoisie, by increased prices for articles of first necessity. The people have their food rationed by the bourgeoisie, while the rich men spend their money like water and gorge themselves to the full. The workers are made to work like convicts in the chain-gang, they are enslaved in the factories. By the unexampled lengthening of the working day, by monstrous wage-cuts, by terrific intensification of exploitation, the bourgeoisie sap the last drops of blood out of them. By calling the sons of the peasants to the war, they bring desolation to the countryside. By requisitioning horses, cattle, food supplies and fodder, they are ruining millions of peasant farms. Those who by the sweat of their brows till the land are deprived by the bourgeoisie of the fruits of their labour. The young generation of to-day is being doomed to death and destruction for the sake of the interests of the moneybags. Grievous thoughts torment the soldiers in the trenches as to what the morrow will bring them, as to what will happen to their families tomorrow. The rear, however, is the scene of the disgusting orgy of the war pillagers and profiteers, who are piling up profits from the poverty of the people. For them, war is a rainfall of gold. Human blood and tears are transformed by them into shares, dividends, and fabulous profits. But the bourgeoisie, employing the slavish services of the Blums, Jouhauxs, and the British Labour leaders, are not only conducting a furious offensive on the living standards of the working people. In all the capitalist countries they are establishing a reign of reactionary obscurantism, arbitrary practice, terror, and disfranchisement for the working people. They are making use of the war so as to deprive the industrial workers and the toilers of town and country of the last vestiges of their rights, where they still remain. They answer the will of the masses for peace with the courtmartial, sentences of hard labour, and shootings. The communists, the foremost fighters for the freedom and happiness of the people, are placed beyond the pale of the 'law' by the bourgeoisie. They imprison, cast into concentration camps hundreds of thousands of communists, Spanish refugees, political emigres. Such is what the war brings to-day, such is the bourgeois system of to-day. And what, working people, are the bourgeoisie preparing for you tomorrow, if you do not put an end to the war, if the capitalists continue further to hold sway over you? Europe and Asia, and perhaps other continents as well, will become transformed into the arena of sanguinary batdes, the like of which the history of mankind has never seen. The war brings in its train millions of killed and crippled, millions of widows and orphans. Unbearable loads of new annexations and indemnities. A wastage of material wealth and immeasurable ruin for the peoples, on a scale such as even the world war of 1914-18 did not bring. The bourgeoisie will place all the enormous costs of the war on your backs, working people. They will still further increase the already intolerable burden of taxation hanging round your necks. The trust magnates, bankers, and Stock Exchange sharks will enslave you still further, will make of you, your wives, and your children their forced payers of tribute. They will establish for you a regime of brutal exploitation such as they have till now only applied in the colonies.
Under the flag of 'Federated Europe' and 'A new organization of the world', the imperialists are preparing to dismember big States and annex small countries, still further to intensify colonial oppression and to enslave the peoples of Europe. They will carry national oppression to such limits as were even unknown by the great empires of the past, which rose up on the bones and blood of subjugated peoples.
Proletarians and working people!
Who helped, and are now helping, the bourgeoisie to deprive you and your children of your last crust of bread, to throttle you with the terror regime of bourgeois dictatorship ? Who, along with the bourgeoisie, prepared the sanguinary heinous crime of which we are witness ? The leaders of social-democracy and of the reformist trade unions. Would the world be the spectacle it is now if they had not helped the bourgeoisie to crush the movement of the working people against capitalism that followed from the world war of 1914-18 ? Like dogs on the leash they defended the capitalist system, and are defending it now. It was their Noskes who shot workers down. It was their Bauers who dulled the workers' heads with the dope of 'bourgeois democracy'. It was their MacDonalds who smashed general strikes. It was their Blums who, together with world reaction, openly called, and are now calling, for a crusade against the land of socialism. By their policy of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie they prepared the way for the present arbitrary rule of the capitalists. By capitulating and surrendering to the bourgeoisie the achievements won by the working class, they assisted in bringing about the present orgy of reaction. By their complicity in acts of imperialist conquest they contributed to the outbreak of the present war. By the policy of 'nonintervention' they opened the floodgates to the deluge of war in Europe. By their betrayal of Republican Spain they made the collapse of the People's Front in France a foregone conclusion, and cleared the way for reaction throughout the capitalist world. By their shameless support of the present imperialist war they are helping the bourgeoisie to fasten on the people chains of still worse slavery. But the wishes of the bourgeoisie and their social-democratic hangers-on will not come to pass. However much the ruling class may rage, they will not escape responsibility for the present war before the peoples. They rage because the working people want freedom and not slavery, peace and not war, socialism and not capitalism. The working people are coming to understand with ever-growing clarity that there is no other salvation from the tribulations into which they have been dragged by the bourgeoisie than by a self-sacrificing, resolute struggle against imperialist wars, reaction, and capitalism. They know that this struggle brings sacrifices in its train.
But the sacrifices demanded of them by the bourgeoisie for the sake of maintaining their domination are a hundred times greater.
Millions of people at the front and in the rear are talking in an undertone as yet of what the communists are saying for all to hear. Now it is not individual heroes who are opposing the imperialist war, but tens of thousands of advanced workers in all corners of the globe are raising aloft the sacred banner of proletarian internationalism. It was courageously raised on high by the French communist Deputies as they were being court-martialled. Fighting under this banner are hundreds of thousands of obscure French workers. This banner is in the firm grip of the heroic fighters of Republican Spain. Under this banner the foremost workers of England are demanding peace. Against the imperialist war, for peace, stands an army of 5 million young people in the USA; peace is the desire of the German workers and peasants, Japanese soldiers are thirsting for the end of the war. There is a growing and extending movement against imperialist oppression in the colonial and dependent countries.
A sturdy struggle for the independence of their country is being waged by the foremost workers and peasants of India. A gallant fight is being fought for the national liberation by the great Chinese people against the Japanese invaders. In all capitalist countries the working people want to put an end to the imperialist war, to the arbitrary rule of bourgeois reaction, to the mockery it makes of them. They are demanding the restoration and extension of their political rights and liberties, of human conditions of existence, a reduction of the working day, increased wages, increased pay for soldiers and allowances for their families. Peace, bread, and freedom—such is the battle cry of the many millions of the army of labour. But the mass movement is as yet divided; the bourgeoisie are attempting to hold it back by their military and police terror.
To break the barriers set up by bourgeois reaction, the proletarians and working people need united action.
They need it so as to merge the as yet divided and scattered movements into one mighty current. In each separate country they need a united workers' front, a popular front of the working people, established from below by the masses.
To conduct the struggle against the imperialist war the proletariat needs united action on an international scale. Proletarians, working people, colonial peoples!
The guarantee of the success of your struggle lies in the unification of your forces.
Hammer out the United Front of Labour against the offensive of capital, the front of freedom against reaction, the front of peace against imperialist war, the front of the exploited and oppressed against their exploiters and oppressors.
Only in a ruthless struggle against the social-democratic leaders, against the treacherous top leaders of the Second International can the working people establish such a fighting front. Close your ranks with the great land of Socialism.
Defend its peace policy, which expresses the innermost aspirations of the peoples of all lands.
Demonstrate on May Day for peace, against the provocators and incendiaries of war.
Mothers, wives and sisters!
Demand for all to hear, before it is too late, the return of your sons, husbands, and brothers. Working people!
Fight for the financial burdens of the war to be placed on the backs of the rich!
Demand the confiscation of war profits!
Demand freedom for your press, organizations, and meetings!
Demand the liberation of the gallant French communist Deputies and all fighters against imperialist war and reaction.
Prison for the war pillagers and profiteers!
Freedom for the captives of capital!
The Communist International calls on you, workers, to take your stand under the glorious banner of proletarian internationalism, under the great banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, for only under this banner will you win victory.
Down with imperialist war! Down with capitalist reaction! Peace to the peoples!
Long live the USSR, the bulwark of peace, freedom, and socialism! Long live the fraternal alliance of the workers of all lands!
This year May Day is more than a day when the working class reviews its forces.
It is a day of the mobilization of every force of the nations embattled against Hitler in a life and death struggle.
May Day, 1942 comes in a year of greatest historic decisions. This year May Day is more than a day when the working class reviews its forces. It is a day of the mobilization of every force of the nations embattled against Hitler in a life and death struggle. This year, 1942, the peoples address their first May Day greetings to the Red Army, to the great Soviet people upon whom their eyes are fixed, to the people which holds the outposts in this war of liberation against the mechanized savagery of the Nazi murderers. The issue at stake is not only the destiny of any one nation or any one class. The liberty and independence of all nations are at stake. It is a question of saving them from the mortal foes who are thrown into fury at the very sound of such words as the rights of man, liberty, and democracy. This struggle for the very foundations of human development is forging a new and powerful realization of the solidarity of all nations.
In the past when the workers demonstrated on May Day for the ideal of international solidarity, when their call to the unity of all toilers rang across the frontiers, this idea often evoked misunderstanding and indeed hostility among other sections of the population. Today the idea of the world front of struggle for liberty and progress is beginning to penetrate the most remote corner of the earth. The worker who is tending the machine, the scientist secluded in his study or the research worker in the laboratory, the peasant and writer, the teacher and handicraftsman, the physician and artist—all are beginning to realize with growing clarity that Hitler imperils their very lives and existence, and that it is a question of saving from the barbarity of German fascism the fruits of their labour, the free spirit and progress in all fields of human endeavour. On the shores of the Seine and Mississippi, the Yangtse and the Thames, the people are becoming ever more aware that the air they breathe can only be purified, and man rejoice in life, when German fascism is utterly destroyed and reduced to nought. In their own vital interests the peoples must do everything within human power to achieve victory. . . .
The interests of all nations imperatively demand that 1942 become the year of the final decision. The militancy of the working class on May Day will serve as a message to all who still wait and hesitate. 1942 must become the year of the debacle of Hitlerism. The nations must enter 1943 without Hitler and without Hitler's war. The time of waiting is past and the hour for action has struck. We must say to all cautious calculators who are for ever counting up the reserves of man-power and resources, concocting all manner of combinations in time and space only to come to the conclusion that Hitler is doomed anyway, so why should we precisely at this moment risk our lives, to all those past-masters of passivity we must say: certainly the reserves of man-power and raw materials are of enormous importance and indeed space and time are vital factors, and as far as Hitler is concerned the war is hopeless.
But do not forget:
if the reserves are kept back too long and space and time are not utilized for struggle, all these factors may well lose their importance. And those who are repelled at the thought of sacrifices entailed in the struggle, those who place all their hopes on dragging out the war, may themselves turn out to be the victims of this procrastination, of the famine, mounting hardships, and endless torment of the harassing war. Lessons should be drawn from the example of the Red Army and the great Soviet Union. The vast and inexhaustible reserves have indeed greatly helped the Soviet people in the struggle and have proved fatal to Hitler, but only because the Soviet people, under any circumstances and in any situation, never gave up the fight, only because every minute was used for bold and dauntless, skilful and heroic battle with the enemy. . . .
No one doubts that the American and British workers will, on May Day, pledge themselves to vie with their Soviet comrades in war production, to produce more tanks, aircraft, and weapons against Hitler. No one doubts that they will strive for the highest degree of organization and unity in order to mobilize every section of the working people and every section of the population for victory over Hitler. No one doubts that they will affirm their resolution not only to produce arms but to use them against the foe, not only to forge arms, but also to bear arms in their people's cause. The workers in the Hitler-occupied countries will affirm their determination to fulfil their proletarian and national duty. Every ounce of energy and every bit of skill will be concentrated by them to disrupt war production and the transport of military supplies for their malignant foe. By diverse means, including fires and explosions, they will destroy machinery and equipment working for the invaders. They are aware that the time has come for active struggle of the masses, for the organization of a powerful strike movement against the fascist enslavers. They will realize, lastly, the need and real possibility of the masses offering armed resistance to the enemy.
In Yugoslavia the guerrilla struggle is assuming the character and scope of a real popular war. In Northern Norway guerrilla detachments have undertaken a series of successful operations.
A guerrilla movement is arising in France, particularly in the Seine and Loire departments. Thus reality itself is clearly refuting the totally incorrect assertion that a guerrilla war allegedly requires definite natural conditions—woods, bogs, impassable mountains, and that guerrilla warfare in densely-populated sections of Europe is unthinkable. This contention is all too similar to the treacherous lies of French capitulator generals who would have the people think that an open city like Paris cannot be defended.
Yet the Soviet people have demonstrated to the world that every open city becomes a powerful buttress if its defenders are stout-hearted and brave. The same is true of guerrilla warfare which in every occupied land can greatly undermine the power of the enemy by opening the way for the armed insurrection of the people. The tempo and scope of the armed resistance of the people to Hitler's butchers will, to a large extent, depend on the working class of the occupied lands. . . .
This year there is a special message to the German working class. Let the German workers on this May Day hear the voice of their class brothers, let them hear the constantly repeated warning, the burning question which comes from all corners of the world: where is the German working class, where are the German workers? There was a time when you marched in the foremost ranks, when you reflected the great ideas of Marx and Engels. Among your leaders were Bebel and Liebknecht. In your mighty hands we felt the proletarian force and solidarity.
With your hands Hitler is waging war against the socialist State of the workers and peasants. With your hands you are manufacturing the weapons for the bloodthirsty murderers of the workers. Can it be that you German workers deem it compatible with your honour, your conscience, and your vital interests to tolerate the system of Gestapo, concentration camps, and the degradation of the working class to the status of mute cattle, obediently following the criminal Fiihrer and his avid and rapacious adventurists. . . .
It is both necessary and possible that the German workers, carrying with them the widest sections of the German people, enter the path of decisive struggle against Hitler's war and against the Hitler regime. It is both necessary and possible that the German workers refuse to bear this tormenting servitude for the sake of war, that they work slower every day and sabotage production. It is both necessary and possible that they utilize the shortage of raw materials and wear of machinery to cause hundreds and thousands of stoppages in the work, that they organize militant action and strikes in industry. Terror is not an insurmountable obstacle. No one would dare to claim that the Nazi terror is milder in Norway and France than in Germany proper. Yet the Norwegian and French workers find the courage to wage by every means the struggle against the Nazi executioners.
If the German workers really understand to what a doom Hitler is dragging the German nation with such feverish haste, they must come to their senses. They will come to their senses and show the German people the path to salvation, to the termination of war, to a new and happy Germany. The German workers and the German people can be confident that Hitler's defeat and the overthrow by the German people of the shameful fascist tyranny will spell Germany's salvation. The workers of the whole world and the nations are determined once and for all to win a lasting and durable peace and seek only to destroy Hitler fascism. The workers of all countries await and desire to see Germany enter the commonwealth of the world's nations, which see their salvation and the salvation of the German nation not in war and destruction but in constructive labour. May Day 1942 will recall to the German workers the glorious days of the past struggles and will serve to call the German working class to resolute combat against Hider's war and Hitler's slavery. . . .
For a whole generation May Day was a day when the worker fortified his faith in his own strength and felt himself at one with the millions of his class brothers, a day when he felt conscious of belonging to a mighty militant body.
The significance of May Day 1942 is incomparably greater: this year it is a day of rallying all people, of uniting all honest men who cherish freedom for the struggle in defence of their decent existence, for the sacred liberation war against fascism, for the cause of all mankind. On this day the sense of human dignity, courage, and determination of every fighter must overcome all apprehensions. The magnificence of the common task must relegate to the background all petty egoistic motives. Unity of all progressive and freedom-loving forces must lead to the supreme determination to act. Unity of the working class, unity of the peoples uniting the struggle of the peoples with the unparalleled struggle of the Soviet people and its Red Army
such is the battle cry and the slogan of May Day 1942.