April 1934

Communist International

ECCI

April 1934



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)


Rundschau, iii, 27, p. 1005, 26 April 1934






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.