April 1929

Communist International

ECCI

April 1929



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)

Inprecorr, ix, 19, p. 383, 19 April 1929




. . . 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.