April 1939

Communist International

ECCI

April 1939



MAY-DAY

MANIFESTO OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL

(extracts)

World News and Views, xix, 24, p. 473, 29 April 1939





. . . Never before has the star of socialism shone with such brilliance as to-day.

At the 18th Congress of the Bolsheviks, the great continuer of the work of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, the leader and teacher of the working people of all countries, Comrade Stalin, turned over a new page in the history of mankind—the completion of the construction of a classless society in the USSR and the gradual transition from socialism to communism.

In the annals of the momentous victories of socialism, the people of the capitalist countries, languishing in the chains of slavery, fascist terror, and war, see the living proof of the invincible might of the working class. They curse their present lot and in communism see their future. In a bond of fraternal friendship, in unison, the peoples of the Soviet Union are building the lofty edifice of communism, an edifice flooded with sunshine and light, abounding in human happiness and joy.

Their great experience is a clarion call to all the oppressed and destitute throughout the world, to follow the path of Lenin and Stalin, the path of socialist revolution, the only path leading to the emancipation of working humanity.

Boundless is the suffering imposed upon the working people of the capitalist countries. For them the present day brings with it crisis, unemployment, and poverty. It brings from the gang of fascist oppressors mockery, prisons, and concentration camps. It brings a chain of crimes, committed by the fascist rulers, against the liberty and independence of the nations. It brings sanguinary imperialist slaughter, unleashed by the fascist freebooters.


For almost three years the Spanish people fought heroically against the fascist marauders who invaded their country. The British and French reactionary bourgeoisie were strangling the Spanish people with the noose of 'non-intervention'.

With the support of the capitulators in the leading circles of the Second International, world reaction organized the defeat of the Spanish people. It wrested the sword of victory from this people, who defended with their lives, not only the independence of their own country, but also the independence of other nations.

Having struck down the Spanish people, who were holding the forces of the fascist aggressors in leash, the carrion circle of reaction has added fuel to the flames of the second imperialist war. It is converting Spain into an outpost of the robber plans of German and Italian fascism. It would surrender the peoples of Europe to be slaughtered, raped, and pillaged by fascism.

In the Far East the Japanese militarists are striving in vain to enslave the 400 millions of Chinese people. The Chinese people are fighting like lions against the Japanese invaders. They are harassing the enemy behind his own lines. They are putting a cordon of fire around the towns seized by the Japanese. They are exhausting the enemy by a protracted war. The courageous and self-sacrificing struggle of the Chinese people serves to revolutionize the working people of Japan, and shatters the morale of the Japanese army. The Japanese invaders have failed in their attempts to pull off a lightning war, they are powerless in their efforts to conclude the 'peace' they desire. In desperation they are driving headlong against

Great Britain and France, drawing ever nearer to the colonial possessions of these Powers.

Fascism rages through Europe like a mad beast; it has swallowed Austria and Czechoslovakia, occupied Memel, annexed Albania. It is throwing its noose around Poland, it is making a drive for the Balkans, threatening Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. It is stealthily creeping upon Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium. It demands a re-division of colonies and is stretching out to Latin America.

It has cast off all restraint, has become emboldened as a result of the favourable 'situation' created by the connivance of the reactionary bourgeoisie of other countries. It is bringing pressure to bear upon the small nations, bullying them and banking on the treachery of the reactionary elements in the major capitalist countries. It is working with feverish haste, plunging headlong into adventures, for it fears the growing resistance of the peoples.

It is letting loose the mercenary gang of Trotskyist spies and provocateurs, who, acting on the instruction of the fascist espionage services, seek to undermine the labour organizations from within, to disarm them in face of the advancing enemy and betray them completely to fascism.


The British and French reactionaries are now paying the price for their policy of instigating war against the USSR. Was it not they who accommodatingly threw open the doors of Austria and Czechoslovakia to fascism, in order to direct its drive to the East? Was it not they who allowed fascism to seize Spanish ore, the Austrian and Czechoslovakian gold reserves, its Skoda works; who offered Rumanian oil and Hungarian wheat, so as to strengthen the fascist aggressors for war against the land of the Soviets? Was it not they who freed the hands of the fascist criminals, thereby facilitating the latter's seizure of Spain?

But they have called forth spirits that have turned against them. They have armed the fascist robbers against themselves. By their policy they have exposed their own peoples to the blows of the fascist Powers. The masses are realizing, with increasing clarity, that Munich, far from saving peace, has served to accelerate and facilitate further fascist aggression. The indignation of the masses against the policy of Munich, against those who have involved the nations in war, under the hypocritical flag of saving peace, is becoming ever greater. The voice of the people, demanding the removal from power of the politicians who bear the responsibility for the Munich plot, is swelling louder and louder. The peoples have no faith in the reassurances of the fascist warmongers, nor in the declarations of their accomplices.

It is not words, but deeds, that the people need. They demand a determined stand against the fascist aggressors.

We communists have always laid bare the truth to you, no matter how bitter it was. The communists showed you the true path of struggle against fascism and war.

Did they not warn you that the policy pursued by the leaders of the Second International leads not to socialism, but to fascism, to war? Did they not tell you, at a time when fascism was only making its way to power in Germany, that the socialdemocratic policy of endless concessions to the bourgeoisie, the policy of splitting the ranks of the working class, the policy of slandering the communists, only paves the way for the defeat of the working people? Was it not the communists who proposed to the Second and Trade Union Internationals to establish a united workers' front, at a time when it was still easy to inflict a deadly blow against fascism? Was it not the communists who insisted upon the urgency of uniting all the forces of the working class in order to avert war? Was it not the communists who exposed the Munich agreement as a plot against peace and the security of nations?

Who has profited from the split in the ranks of the working class? The fascist aggressors. The reactionary bourgeoisie fear the unity of the working class more than hell-fire itself, for they know only too well that by their joint action the millions of workers could grip fascism in an iron vice, disrupt its predatory wars and accelerate the downfall of the fascist regime.


Proletarians, do not believe those who assert that it is impossible to restrain the fascist war instigators. The fascist criminals are attacking other nations not because they are strong. They are unleashing war because they themselves are being strangled by the contradictions of the regime at home. They look to war as a salvation from the approaching political and economic bankruptcy of the fascist dictatorship. They want to smother the outburst of indignation among their own peoples by the clamour around their diplomatic and military 'victories'. But the more territory they seize, the more they undermine the ground on which they tread.

Resorting to violence they demolish the established economic and political relations between States, thus intensifying the chaos and the break-up of the entire capitalist system. The more it enslaves other nations, the more menacing is the rear it creates for itself and for its armies. Under the surface of fascist dictatorship develop hidden revolutionary processes of unprecedented force.

But fascism will not collapse unless it is overthrown by the working people. Upon their militant determination, their courage, their readiness to make sacrifices, depends the historical moment of the downfall of fascism and the overthrow of capitalism.

Never will the fascist hangmen crush the Czechoslovakian people, who are mustering their forces to rise against their conquerors. Never will the peoples be reconciled to the fascist bondage imposed upon them by force of arms. Fascism's first serious encounter with a strong military adversary will shatter to pieces the rotten system of fascist 'alliances' and 'protectorates'. The seeds of national revolutionary wars are maturing behind the lines of the fascist robbers, the idea of taking the citadel of capitalism by revolutionary storm is maturing in the minds of the oppressed masses.

Never shall that miscreant Franco subjugate the proud and peace-loving Spanish people, who have acquired the great experience of a national war against foreign invaders. This people ousted Napoleon. They overthrew the monarchy. They smashed the fascist dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. They will sweep away the power of this hated Italian satrap. The people's duel with fascism is not over. The masses of working people of Spain know that their struggle is an integral part of the growing movement of the anti-fascist forces of the entire world. The war which the fascist rulers are unleashing will be the grave also of Spanish fascism. Spain, with its blood-soaked soil, will once again become an anti-fascist bastion. . .


. . . Upon whom does the unity of action of the international working class now depend? Upon the Socialist and Trade Union Internationals. Should their leaders so desire, unity can become an accomplished fact tomorrow. The international working class will become a force exercising decisive influence on the march of events. By its unity of action it will launch a powerful people's front movement in all capitalist countries. This will mark a serious setback for fascism, the beginning of its downfall.

Do you want this, Labour and Socialist workers ? If you do, then dreak the resistance of your leaders to united action of the working class, and strengthen unity

together with your class brothers, the communists.

Expressing the will of the working class of all countries, the Communist International proposes to the Executives of the Labour and Socialist International and the International Federation of Trade Unions immediately to commence negotiations regarding the establishment of a united front for struggle, against the instigators and incendiaries of war.

The Communist International proposes to the Labour and Socialist International a platform for unity of action—defence of peace on the basis of a determined repulse to the fascist aggressors, the organization of collective security, the struggle in each capitalist country against the treacherous policy of the reactionary bourgeoisie who seek agreement with the fascist aggressors, to the detriment of the liberty and independence of their own nation.

The Communist International proposes that a conference of labour organizations of the whole world be convened to draw up a concrete plan of action to map out the ways and means of struggle, to devise a single organ for the co-ordination of joint action.