April 1936

Communist International

ECCI

April 1935



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)

Rundschau, v, p.793, 30 April 1936




May Day, the day when the revolutionary forces of the international proletariat march in review, must this year demonstrate in strength the unity of the working class and the masses of the people of all countries in defending peace against the warmongers.

Peace is in the greatest danger.

In the West peace is threatened by German fascism which, having sent its troops into the Rhineland and advanced them close to the French frontier, has conjured up an immediate danger of war for France and Belgium, is preparing to annihilate Czechoslovakia as an independent State, to incorporate Austria, to occupy Memel and Lithuania in an attempt to entangle Poland on its side in war, and to create a territorial basis for its attack on the great land of Soviets.

In the East the fascist militarist camarilla of Japan is occupying one province of China after another, with the aim of subduing all the peoples of Asia, and of annexing the Philippines and Australia, while it gets ready for the decisive contest with the United States and Great Britain for hegemony in the Pacific and directly threatens the Soviet frontiers.

These chief instigators of war, German fascism and the Japanese military camarilla, who support each other's aggressive plans, are out to drag all the countries of the earth into a devastating war.

The magnates of finance capital are trying to save capitalism by setting up dictatorships of the most reactionary, most militaristic elements of the bourgeoisie, the fascists. Where fascism has consolidated its power by bloody terror and put the working people of its country in chains, it is seeking frantically to escape from growing internal difficulties, seeking to save itself from the indignation of the people which is beginning to spring up, by military aggression against other nations which it openly threatens with national subjugation. The fascist rulers may at any moment plunge humanity into the bottomless catastrophe of a new world slaughter. For fascism the maintenance of peace is a deadly danger. Fascism is the enemy of peace.

Fascism means wars of conquest. Whoever wants to fight for peace must fight against fascism.

Working people in town and country! All friends of peace! It is not too late to bar the road to the warmongers. Peace can be saved if the masses everywhere, thirsting for peace, pool their immense forces at once for the fight to maintain peace, the fight against the fascist warmongers. The creation of the broadest mass front for maintaining peace is now the central task of the international proletariat and of all friends of peace. This task can be accomplished. If the danger of war is great, so too are the forces which can be brought into action against it.

Anger and readiness to fight against the capitalist offensive, against reaction and fascist violence, are growing steadily among the proletariat, the peasantry, and the working people of the capitalist countries. . .


. . . Today the situation is not what it was in 1914. Now it is not only the working class, the peasantry, and all working people who are resolved to maintain peace, but also the oppressed countries and the weak nations whose independence is threatened by war. The Soviet Union, the invincible fortress of the world proletariat and the oppressed of all countries, is the focal point of all the forces fighting for peace. In the present phase a number of capitalist States are also concerned to maintain peace.

Hence the possibility of creating a broad front of the working class, of all working people, and of entire nations against the danger of imperialist war. It will depend upon the extent to which this world front comes into being and is effective whether the fascist and imperialist warmongers are able in the near future to light the flames of a new imperialist war or whether their criminal hands will be chopped off by the axe of a powerful anti-war front.


Workers!


Do not allow yourselves to be persuaded by those reformist leaders and sham pacifists who, on various pretexts, are trying to keep the masses back from independent struggle against the war danger. Do not believe that measures taken by the League of Nations can replace the independent struggle of the masses to maintain peace. The incompatibility of interests among the self-seeking imperialist Powers belonging to the League makes its extremely difficult for that body to take effective steps against aggressors. That was strikingly demonstrated in regard to the application of sanctions against Italian fascism when it fell upon the Abyssinian people; it was demonstrated again in the attitude of the League of Nations to the recent provocation by Hitler fascism. Had the international proletariat acted as one, by strikes and other means, not a single ship or railway truck would have reached or left Italy, and Italian fascism would have been unable to carry on its rotten war in Abyssinia. . .


. . . The working masses of France and Spain have given the peoples of other capitalist countries a splendid example of how the people's front can successfully bar the road to fascism. In the same way, in the international field, must the front to defend peace be established, which will be able to frustrate the war plans of the fascists.

The agreements on joint action concluded between the communist and socialist parties in France, Spain, Italy, and Austria, the unification of the trade unions in France, and the coming unification of the Spanish unions—all these are great steps on the road of eliminating the split in the ranks of the international proletariat. But the further progress of the united front of the international labour movement comes up against the continuing resistance of reactionary leaders in the Labour and Socialist International and of a few social-democratic parties. To overcome this resistance is the task of the entire working class, above all of the social-democratic workers themselves, and it is a task which cannot be delayed.

On May Day the Communist International appeals to all workers, whatever their convictions and party allegiance, to all social-democratic parties, trade unions, cooperatives, to all workers' organizations, to unite their forces with the communist parties and organizations, with the Communist International, so that they can fight together against the capitalist offensive and fascism, and block the path of the fascist instigators of war. Despite all obstacles and difficulties, the proletariat must proceed, united and resolute, to carry through one international policy in the interests of maintaining peace.

The Communist International calls on the millions of peasants, the labouring intelligentsia, and all sincere friends of peace, to march hand in hand with the proletariat. . .


. . . Look at the great Soviet country where the proletariat led by the bolshevik party, the party of Lenin-Stalin, has won a final and irreversible victory for socialism. . .


. . . While fascist reactionaries and barbarians, in fear of the people, abolish the last vestiges of democracy, in the Soviet land true democracy for the working masses is flourishing. The Soviet regime is the most stable, most popular, and most democratic which mankind has ever known. . .


. . . The Soviet land is a great fraternal union of peoples. Surrounded by the love and care of the peoples of the Soviet Union and the working people of all countries, a menace to the aggressors, the invincible Red Army of workers and peasants stands guard over peace and socialism. . .


. . . Workers and peasants of all countries! Follow the road taken by the workers of the Soviet Union.