April 1923

Communist International

ECCI

April 1923



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)




. . . 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.