APPEAL

FROM THE ECCI AND THE RILU TO ALL WORKERS ON THE UNITED FRONT 

(extracts)

January 1923 Inprekorr, iii, 2, p. 31, 6 January 1923

 

 

A few days ago two international proletarian congresses were held in Moscow:

the world congress of the Communist International and the world congress of the red revolutionary trade unions. More than sixty communist parties of all countries, revolutionary trade unions of the entire world, worked out a plan for future

operations against the sharpening capitalist offensive. . . .

With unashamed cynicism the bourgeoisie are lengthening the working day, reducing wages, imposing new taxes, using lockouts against workers who take defensive action, and mobilizing their armed fascist bands against the working class.

Instead of cutting down the enormous expenditure on the army and navy, on the maintenance of armed bands and a large police force, instead of pursuing a peace policy and using idle capital to support the ruined and exhausted working population, the unemployed disabled ex-servicemen, and the hungry children and proletarian mothers, instead of that the bourgeoisie are feverishly building new weapons and means of destruction, and holding the Damocles sword of new wars over the entire World. And at the same time they are draining the last living strength

of the proletariat, snatching the last crust from the proletarian child. While in Russia, shattered by imperialist intervention, life is beginning to improve steadily, the situation in the capitalist countries is becoming more and more difficult and painful.

In spite of the repeated disarmament proposals of the proletarian republic, the capitalist States are pushing militarism to the utmost. The situation will become more and more hopeless, unless the working class mobilizes all its forces.

 

Therefore, comrades, the two congresses call on you to form a united front against capital. . . .

 

Unless the working class is united in such a struggle, its separate groups and sections will be defeated one by one. That is why our congresses decided to fight, before everything else and at any cost, for the unity of the trade union movement.

But the bourgeoisie have powerful supporters in the social-democrats and the trade union leaders. And precisely now, when it is more than ever essential to unite all forces, these gentlemen, who sell the proletariat to the Stinneses of this world and at the Hague ally themselves with bourgeois pacifists, are expelling communists from the trade unions. These expulsions are the fruit of a devilish conspiracy against the proletariat. Even the bourgeoisie could not have thought up anything better to disorganize the forces of the proletariat at a moment when a furious attack on the workers is being prepared.

We call on all honest workers, men and women, regardless of their party affiliation, to defend the unity of the trade unions. Do not let the agents of capital destroy the unity of the working class. Defend that unity with your hard proletarian fists!

The reformist socialist parties and the trade union leaders are acting on the direct instructions of the bourgeoisie, who are trying to beat the working class down section by section. At the same time they are trying by the most cunning tricks to

deceive and mislead the working class. In Germany social-democracy pretends to be in opposition, while Ebert, the leader of that party, is President of the Stinnes Republic; in Italy the reformists ostensibly oppose the fascists, but in reality support

them; in England the leaders of the Labour Party defend the government which keeps Ireland under by fire and sword. In reality the reformists are out to help the bourgeoisie at whatever cost to rebuild the capitalist world at the expense of the working class, and for this purpose they have to split the trade unions and the labour movement.

Our congresses brought the revolutionary trade union associations closer together than ever before. They instructed our executives to use every favourable opportunity to approach Amsterdam and the social-democrats with the demand for a common fight against capitalist attack. This is where your support, the support of the working masses, is required. Force your leaders towards a united front. And if they stand out

stubbornly against it, bring about a united front over their heads, sweeping away all obstacles to united struggle.

The experience of working-class struggle has shown that capitalist governments are not prepared to renounce even a part of capitalist profits. They are not prepared to introduce a single reform, to make a single concession to the working class.

Therefore:

Through united struggle to a workers' government.


you must fight for a government of workers' organizations. You must put the rudder of State into the hands of the delegates of the working class and push out the representatives of capital, of the banks, the stock exchange, the cartels. This is the goal that must light up your path of struggle. . . .

 

The oppressed people of the colonies and the young proletariat of Japan and China are uniting with us. Only the Communist International and the Red International of Labour Unions support the colonial movement against the London, Paris, and New York moneybags.

United front with the young workers! United front with the village poor! United front with the oppressed colonies ! All forces against the Moloch of capital—that is our chief slogan.

Fight the disgrace of our time, the Versailles Treaty and the other so-called peacetreaties. . . .

 

This treaty harbours new wars in itself. Not for nothing are new battleships and aircraft and artillery being built. We must arm ourselves to ward off

the coming devastating war.

On behalf of the Communist International we proposed at the Hague the creation of a united front against war. Our proposal was flatly rejected. The leaders of the Second International voted for a resolution calling for a general strike in the event of war. But this is open treachery, for they have not disavowed defence of the fatherland, they rejected the proposal to conduct propaganda among the soldiers, they solemnly declared that in the event of war they would do as they did in 1914.

At the Hague conference they formed a bloc with the bourgeoisie and rejected a bloc with the revolutionary wing of the labour movement.

Comrades! Proletarians! Choose your road! Which unity will you fight for, unity with the bourgeoisie who are attacking you, strangling you, and stealing your last penny?

 

No!

A thousand times no!

You will fight for the unity of the working class!

 

 

 

Comintern

III. International