RESOLUTION OF THE TWELFTH ECCI PLENUM
ON THE WAR IN THE FAR EAST AND THE TASKS OF
COMMUNISTS IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR
AND MILITARY INTERVENTION AGAINST THE USSR
The period of relative stability in international relations has ended. The attack of Japanese imperialism on China which is taking place with the full and open support of France and with the secret support of England, marks the beginning of a new imperialist war. The struggle for the re-division of the world, sharpened as the result of the world economic crisis, is expressed by the intensification of all the contradictions within the imperialist system. The intensification of the main
contradiction[s] in the camp of imperialism—the contradiction between the USA and Great Britain, the sharpening of the conflict between the USA and Japan, the extreme intensification of the struggle around the Versailles system between France and Germany, and between Poland and Germany around the questions of Danzig, the Polish Corridor, and the question of East Prussia, the sharpening of the struggle
between French and Italian imperialism and in connection with all these facts the regrouping of imperialist powers which is taking place—all these are leading to the outbreak of new military conflicts. The attitude of the League of Nations towards the Japanese attack on China once again plainly shows that the League of Nations serves as an instrument of war and intervention in the hands of French and British imperialism. In opposing the occupation of Manchuria, the USA is pursuing its own imperialist aims of securing a 'fair redistribution of spheres of influence' in the Far East.
. . .
The intensification of the imperialist antagonisms is increasing the tendency in the camp of imperialism to settle these antagonisms at the expense of the USSR.
The imperialist powers, and first of all, the imperialists of France and Japan, are exerting every effort to extend and strengthen the anti-Soviet bloc in order to deliver a decisive military blow at the basis of the world proletarian revolution —the USSR— which is strengthening itself on the socialist path. British imperialism supports all the plans for intervention against the USSR. The USA is striving to provoke war between Japan and the Soviet Union in order that, by weakening both
Japan and the USSR, it may strengthen its own position in the Pacific. In Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries and the Balkan countries, preparations for war are being carried on with the greatest possible intensity under
the guidance of the French General Staff.
. . .
The sharpening of all forms of bourgeois dictatorship, the strengthening of reaction, the growth of fascism, the persecution of the revolutionary movement, shootings and hangings, are already the preparation of the rear for an imperialist war and military intervention against the USSR.
The twelfth Plenum of the ECCI is of the opinion that the main task of all communist parties is to organize and lead the struggle of the workers, peasants and all the toilers for the defence of China and the Chinese revolution, for the defence of the fatherland of the workers of all countries, the USSR, against the closely approaching intervention and for the defence of the toilers of capitalist countries against a new imperialist war.
During the Far Eastern War, the leaders of the Second International and its parties adapted their tactics to suit the requirements of the bourgeoisie of their respective countries. ...
They either silently ignored the danger of intervention against the USSR, or directly deceived the masses by alleging that the USSR is not in danger of intervention. At the same time the parties of the Second International increased their slanderous anti-Soviet campaign and strove to weaken the influence
of the peace policy of the USSR on the toiling masses and supported the illconcealed aggressive policy of the imperialist governments in opposition to the Soviet proposal for complete disarmament. The reformist trade unions sabotaged the struggle against the manufacture of munitions and the transport of munitions to Japan, and argued that a war would put an end to unemployment. The Japanese social-democrats, who are in contact with the Second and Amsterdam Internationals, fully and completely supported the predatory war of the Mikado Japanese bourgeoisie, on the plea that this war is the path to socialism. This position taken by Japanese social-democracy is an indication of the position which will be taken up by world social-democracy as a whole when a new imperialist war breaks out.
Later under the pressure of the masses, the Executive Committee of the Second International in Zurich adopted a resolution which formally appeared to oppose imperialist war and advocate defence of the USSR, thus passing from the position of intervention and the support of counterrevolutionary efforts against the Soviet State to a position of formal neutrality and verbal defence of the USSR. In reality,
however, the parties of the Second International are continuing their slanderous anti- Soviet campaign, supporting the Russian Menshevik interventionists, sabotaging all the concrete actions of the workers against the production and transport of munitions for Japan, continuing to sow pacifist illusions with the aim of diverting the masses from the real struggle against imperialist war and military intervention, boycotting the Amsterdam Anti-War Congress, participating in the preparations and the organization of imperialist war and military intervention, and in every country are supporting their own bourgeois government.
The twelfth Plenum of the ECCI greets the heroic struggle the CP of Japan is waging against the imperialist war commenced by the Japanese bourgeoisie and landlords, and the revolutionary struggle of the CP of China against Japanese
imperialism and against all imperialists.
The CP of China must continue to exert every effort to guarantee the hegemony of the proletariat in the mass anti-imperialist movement in Kuomintang China. For this purpose the CP of China must set itself the task of further developing
and deepening the Soviet movement, strengthening the Red Army of the Chinese Soviets, linking up the Soviet movement with the mass anti-imperialist struggle in Kuomintang China, widely and consistently using the tactic of the united front from
below in the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses, organizing the masses under the slogan of a revolutionary national liberation war for the independence, unity and territorial integrity of China, against all imperialists, for the overthrow of the agent of imperialism—the Kuomintang.
The CP of Japan must increase its work in the army and navy, especially in Manchuria, must carry on popular agitation among the workers, peasants and the exploited urban petty bourgeois masses, in language that can be understood by the broad masses, in order to expose the indissoluble connection that exists between imperialist war and the direct preparations for military intervention against the USSR, on the one hand, and the strengthening of the military-police reaction and the
increased plundering of the toiling masses in Japan itself, on the other hand.
. . .
The communists of Korea and Formosa, in close collaboration with the CP of Japan and the CP of China, must mobilize the workers and peasants of Korea and Formosa for the struggle against Japanese imperialism, for the independence of Korea and Formosa, and must establish a revolutionary fighting alliance of all the oppressed and exploited for the national liberation struggle.
While recognizing the undoubtedly favourable results in the work of the CPs in imperialist and colonial countries in the matter of mobilizing the masses against imperialist war and against preparations for military intervention, the twelfth
Plenum of the ECCI declares that the communist parties of the imperialist countries have not been able, by their revolutionary actions, to prevent the transport of troops to China and military supplies to Japan, that they have not been able to rouse the broad working masses employed in munition factories and in transport for the struggle, that the mass anti-war campaign has developed slowly, partly because of an opportunist underestimation of the war in the Far East and also because of a leftist-fatalistic, frivolous attitude to the war.
The twelfth Plenum of the ECCI calls particular attention to the impermissible weakness of the contacts of the CPs with the principal munition factories, with the chief ports and with the key-points on the railroads, and also to the fact that the antiwar work of the communist parties and the YCL in the army, the may [navy] and the special fascist semi-military organizations is in an intolerably neglected condition.
The twelfth Plenum of the ECCI particularly emphasizes the weakness and the backwardness of the YCL in the struggle against imperialist war and military intervention. In addition the twelfth Plenum states that the communist parties have
not succeeded in fulfilling the urgent task of creating legal, semi-legal or illegal control committees and illegal committees of action, based on the masses, in the factories, railroads, ports and ships, have not succeeded in mobilizing the masses of
workers in the reformist trade unions and other mass workers' organizations on the basis of the tactic of the united front from below for the purpose of preventing the transport of troops to China and munitions of war to Japan, and in developing the
agitation against imperialist war and military intervention among the masses of peasants and the urban petty-bourgeoisie. Inadequate Bolshevik resistance was shown to the opportunist underestimation of the war in China and to the underestimation of the danger of imperialist war and military intervention.
. . .
The general tasks of all communist parties in the struggle against imperialist war and military intervention and in the struggle against fascism, social-democracy and bourgeois pacifism which facilitate the various methods of preparing and
carrying on imperialist war and military intervention against the USSR, are as follows:
(a) To develop a systematic ideological struggle against chauvinism and nationalism, to carry on propaganda for real proletarian internationalism, to expose to the masses all the machinations of the foreign policy of their own bourgeoisie, to
expose all the measures of the home policy of the bourgeoisie in preparation for war.
. . .
(b) To react actively to all manifestations of the anti-Soviet campaigns, to seriously improve the propaganda about the success of socialist construction in the USSR among the broadest masses, to mobilize the toilers against the whiteguards, to popularize the peace policy of the USSR, to mobilize the masses for the active defence of the USSR, China and the Chinese Soviet revolution.
(c) To expose on the basis of actual and well-known facts all the sophisms and manoeuvres of the bourgeois pacifist and especially the social-democratic parties.
(d) To expose widely to the masses the peculiar, secret birth and conduct of a new imperialist war (mobilization in parts, formation of a covering army, preparations to cleanse the rear from revolutionary elements), and in deciding the anti-war tactics of the communist party, to take into account the variety of new methods employed by the bourgeoisie in preparing and carrying on war.
(e) By employing the tactic of the united front, to set up legal, semilegal and illegal control committees and committees of action in the munition factories, in ports, in factories, on railroads, and on ships, for the purpose of developing mass
activity and carefully prepared protest strikes and economic strikes to prevent the transport of munitions and troops and to rouse the initiative of the broad masses of workers in this matter.
To support the national liberation movement of the colonial and subjected nations.
(g) To carry on extensive anti-imperialist work among the soldiers and sailors, among conscripts, reservists and in the special military organizations of the bourgeoisie.
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All the CP's must carry on an irreconcilable Bolshevik struggle in their own ranks against an opportunist underestimation of the war danger, against opportunist passivity in the struggle against imperialist war and military intervention and against a pseudo-left fatalistic attitude towards war.
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The communist party must understand that bare and empty propaganda of peace, unaccompanied by calls for and the organization of the revolutionary actions of the masses, is only capable of sowing illusions, or depraving the proletariat by imbuing them with confidence in the policy of the bourgeoisie and their agents in the working class and of making the working class a plaything in the hands of the bourgeois governments.
The communist parties, in carrying on a real struggle against the preparations for imperialist war and military intervention against the USSR, must go to the workers with Lenin's teachings that imperialist war is caused by capitalism, and that the only guarantee against new imperialist wars and intervention is the conversion of imperialist war into civil war and the overthrow of capitalism.