April 1935

Communist International

ECCI

April 1935



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)

Communist International, 20 April 1935, p. 335







The sufferings of the working class and of all the toilers in the capitalist, colonial and dependent countries are growing from day to day. The partial increase of industrial production has been advantageous to only a handful of the biggest capitalist magnates. Their profits are growing, while the broad masses of the toiling people are sinking into ever deeper poverty...


. . . The bourgeoisie are making a desperate effort to find a way out of the crisis at the expense of the toilers by establishing terrorist fascist governments. Fascist gangs, in the countries under fascist dictatorship, deprive the toilers of their last vestiges of freedom, disperse the trade unions, take possession of and plunder the workers' cooperative societies, destroy the legal working-class press, militarise the workers' sport organisations, dispatch the unemployed and the young people who have finished school to forced labour camps, while tens of thousands of proletarian fighters, regardless of the political parties they follow, are interned in concentration camps. A similar fate awaits the toilers in the countries where bourgeois democracy exists, by means of which the social-democrats promised to bring them to socialism.

The democratic rights of the toilers in these countries are now being more and more curtailed, while the oppression of the broad masses is being uninterruptedly intensified, and thus the road to fascism is being paved.

The world is on the verge of a new imperialist world war. The strained international relations are coming ever more closely to a point like that at which the world war broke out in 1914. The expenditure on the preparation for the new world slaughter is being mercilessly squeezed out of the toilers, who are doomed first and foremost to be the victims of that war.

Fascist Germany, the principal instigator of imperialist war, has already created an army which leaves the old army of the Kaiser far behind. The introduction of universal conscription, and the legalisation and further increase of German armaments production, which has hitherto been carried on secretly, are a warning that German fascism is feverishly completing its last preparations for war.

The military alliance between fascist Germany, military fascist Japan and fascist Poland is becoming a fact. This military alliance is directed first and foremost against the land of Socialism, against the USSR.

While a counter-revolutionary onslaught is being prepared against the USSR, imperialist wars are already being carried on between various countries. The robber war being conducted by Japanese imperialism in China has been going on for years, and is now menacing the whole of China. War is being waged in South America between British and American imperialism through their vassal states, Paraguay and Bolivia. Italian imperialism is calling up one group of recruits after another to the army, and is dispatching troops to Abyssinia, preparing to subject the people of Abyssinia to colonial plunder and servitude. German fascism is already reaching out its mailed fist against Austria, Lithuania and Danzig, and is making ready to put its plans of colonial plunder into operation.

Only by mustering the broad masses of the working class into a united front of struggle will it be possible to stop the fleecing of the toilers by the capitalists. Only in this way will it be possible to stop the further advance of the most reactionary sections of the bourgeoisie in establishing their bloody fascist domination. Only thus can a stop be put to the mad armament race of the war-thirsty imperialist cliques. . . .

Wherever communist and social-democratic workers, members of the revolutionary and reformist trade unions, whom also unorganised workers follow, have proceeded to consolidate their forces, the united front has already yielded its first successes.

The workers of France have entered the path of the united front, and have repelled the first onslaughts of fascism.

The united front of the working class in Austria prevented the fascists from demoralising the ranks of the Austrian proletariat, which is carrying on a heroic struggle to overthrow the fascist dictatorship.

Workers of all political shades in Spain fought shoulder to shoulder in armed struggles. They were not the victors in this combat; but they prevented the consolidation of the fascist dictatorship, and they are continuing heroically and in serried ranks to carry on the struggle against fascism....

These first united front successes can be increased manifold provided that the united will of the working masses will put a stop to the policy of class collaboration, pursued by social-democracy.

The oppressed peoples in the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries are more and more entering the world front of struggle against imperialism. The Red Army in Soviet China is fighting the Kuomintang, the traitor to and hangman of the Chinese people, and is becoming the central gathering point for the forces of the national liberation struggle against Japanese imperialism, and against the partition of China between the imperialist powers.


Communist, social-democratic and non-party workers!

Members of reformist, revolutionary, anarcho-syndicalist and christian trade unions, members of cooperative societies, sports societies, cultural and all other working-class

organisations!



Build the united front of all proletarians in joint struggle! The united front of the struggle against the class enemy can prevent the destruction of the rights of the toilers, can overcome fascism and strengthen the struggle for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for real government by the people, for proletarian democracy, and for Soviet Power, which will do away forever with capitalist exploitation and oppression. . .


. . . In the name of the world party of the revolutionary proletariat, the Executive Committee of the Communist International addresses to the Executive Committee of the Labour and Socialist International the proposal that joint May Day actions be organised in all capitalist countries against the capitalist offensive, against fascism, for the preservation of peace, against imperialist war and in defence of the Soviet Union. The Red International of Labour Unions has already addressed a proposal to the International Federation of Trade Unions that joint demonstrations be organised on May 1st. Joint action by communist and social-democratic workers, by members of the reformist and revolutionary unions will also attract the unorganised workers, and the members of the anarcho-syndicalist and christian trade unions. Joint action will draw in and weld together the broad masses who still stand aside from the class struggle, and who may fall victim to fascist demagogy. . . .

Against fascism, and for the defence of the democratic rights of the toilers! For the release of Ernst Thaelmann, Mathias Rakosi and all revolutionary fighters! For the liberation of Largo Caballero and all anti-fascists!

Against the bloody terror in China, Japan, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Poland, Finland, Hungary, and all other capitalist countries! Against the death sentences in Spain, Germany and Bulgaria!

Against the imperialist armaments race, against the principal instigator of war, fascist Germany and its allies, the Polish fascists; against Japan engaged in pillaging China and preparing to attack the Soviet Union. Against British imperialism, inciting anti-Soviet war; against fascist Italy, engaged in throttling Abyssinia!

Render active support to the struggle of the Soviet Union for peace!

For the defence of the USSR, the fatherland of the toilers in all lands!

Protect Soviet China!

Fight for the united front of all fighting proletarians!

Fight for the unity of the international trade union movement!

Forward to the victorious struggle against fascism, against capitalism, for the dictatorship of the proletariat, for Soviet Power and for Socialism!