Message of the Comintern (SH)

on occasion of the

125th anniversary

of the Second International

July 14, 1889 – July 14, 2014


Today, 125 years ago, when the 100th anniversary of the “Storm of the Bastille” was being celebrated, the Second International was founded in Paris. As its own name indicates, it followed the First International (1864-1876) which had been founded by comrades Marx and Engels. The Second International was organized already after the death of comrade Marx, but it relied on the help of comrade Engels.

During its first years, the Second International tried to accomplish its purposes. It was a valuable tool of socialist revolution, as it promoted the union of exploited and oppressed classes from all countries across international boundaries thrown up to divide the working class. However, after the death of comrade Engels and with the intensification of class struggle in the early XX century, explicit divisions between Marxists and reformists started to appear clearly. This division was consummated when World War I began in 1914.

The failure of the International to oppose the imperialist war was correctly perceived by the authentic Marxists as a proof of its pro-bourgeois degenerated character. Indeed, instead of opposing the war, calling for the overthrow of their own capitalists and organizing armed strikes and uprisings against it, the various International sections in France, Germany and Britain, for instance, voted for war credits and effectively sided with their own capitalist class to wage a war whose only purpose was to determine what group of imperialists would accumulate more profits through exploitation and plunder of workforce and resources inside and outside Europe. At the time, the most coherent denouncers of this chauvinistic and revisionist betrayal were the Russian Bolsheviks with comrades Lenin and Stalin at their head.

During and after WWI, the “Second International” became an openly pro-capitalist and anti-communist organization only interested in deceiving laborers to keep them under wage slavagist bondage through providing them with some ridiculous alms (“social welfare”, etc.) given by the bourgeoisie to convince them that “there is no need to annihilate capitalism, it is possible to humanize it” – thus avoiding workers’ adherence to Marxism-Leninism and preventing socialist revolution and proletarian dictatorship.

The collapse of the Second International became unavoidable and the question arose either to keep it alive or to give it a deathblow and to create the Communist International upon its ruins.

The Bolsheviki with Lenin at the head maintained the latter, thus the only genuine Marxist attitude. Lenin struggled successfully against the Kautskyite centristic reconciliation between Marxism and reformism-revisionism - namely against the so called “Second and a half International”.

But the “Second and a half International” was not the only problem. All the internationalists of the Zimmerwald and Kienthal Conference of 1916 underestimated the danger of Kautskyite centrism which was tantamount to refraining from an irreconcilable struggle against opportunism. Therefore they all did not accept the Bolshevist line. However, Lenin criticized the mistakes of the inconsistent internationalists among the Left Social-Democrats, such as Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, but at the same time he helped them to take the correct Bolshevik position. Three years later, in 1919, the Third International, the Comintern of comrades Lenin and Stalin, was founded.

After victory over the double play between the open and hidden opportunists, the Third International continued the struggle for the socialist revolution and proletarian dictatorship on a global scale. Nowadays, the fulfillment of this historical necessity is ensured by the Comintern (SH) which struggles against the double play between the open and hidden revisionism, against the neo-revisonist reconciliation with the open revisionists – which we call the “Four and a half heads” in the style of the “Second and a half International”.

Nevertheless, Friedrich Engels and V. I. Lenin played a revolutionary role within the Second International which was once a Marxist International and which must be defended by us Stalinist-Hoxhaists until its Basle Congress which adopted the last correct resolution on the proletarian revolution as the only consequent means against war.

The period of the II. International is of important ideological significance - the transitional period from Marxism to Leninism. In life-times of Engels the II. International was guided by Marxism. The III. International was guided by Marxism-Leninism.

The period of the II. International is of important organisational significance - the transitional period from the International Working-Men’s Association to the Communist International.

The period of the II. International is of important significance of the breadth of internationalization of the revolutionary proletarian movement - the transitional period between Paris Commune and October Revolution, the transitional period of the socialist workers' world movement to the communist movement of the world proletariat.



World proletarians and other working


exploited and oppressed classes – let’s


struggle against all kinds of reformist and


chauvinist deviations!


Down with the betrayal of the Second


International! Long live the Third


International of Lenin and Stalin!


Down with all kinds of revisionism, neo-


revisionism and anti-communism!


Only the Comintern (SH) is the faithful


continuator of the militant revolutionary


Bolshevist spirit of the glorious Comintern


(Third International) of comrades Lenin and




Down with all kinds of exploitation and




Long live Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-




Long live world socialist revolution!


Long live proletarian dictatorship all over


the world!


Long live world socialism and world




Long live the Comintern (SH), the only truly


communist organization in the world, the


only vanguard party of the world proletariat!





125 Years ago

(July 14, 1989 - July 14, 2014)

Foundation of the

Second International


The International (Socialist) Working Men's Congress was in session in Paris on 14-20 July 1889, on the centennial of the storming of the Bastille.

In fact, it became a constituent Congress of the Second International. Taking part were 393 delegates, representing the worker and socialist parties of 20 countries of Europe and America.
The Congress heard the reports of representatives of the socialist parties on the situation in the labour movement in their countries; it outlined the
principles of international labour legislation in respective countries by supporting demands for a legislative enactment of an 8-hour working day,
prohibition of child labour and steps toward the protection of the work of women and adolescents. The Congress stressed the need of political organisation of the proletariat and of a struggle for implementation of democratic demands of the working class; it spoke out for a disbandment of regular armies and their replacement by armed detachments of the people. It resolved to hold, on 1 May 1890, demonstrations and meetings in support of an 8-hour working day and labour legislation.



Pictures of the Second International




On occasion of the 125th Anniversary of the Second International we publish the following documents:




London, 17 July 1889


Dear Sorge,

Our congress is in session and proving a brilliant success. By the day before yesterday 358 delegates had arrived and more are on their way.
About half are foreigners, 81 of them being Germans from all the larger and smaller states and provinces excepting only Posen. On the first day the first hall was found to be too small, on the second day the second, a T. Tooke, An Inquiry into the Currency Principle ... J. Fullerton, On the Regulation of Currencies... whereupon a search was made for a third. The sessions, despite various objections on the part of the French (they thought that the Possibilists would attract larger audiences in Paris and that it would therefore be preferable to meet in camera), are all being held in public—the only safeguard
against mouchards3-—at the unanimous request of the Germans.
All Europe is represented. The Sozialdemokrat will be informing
America of the numbers by the next post. For the first time Scottish and German miners from the colliery districts are foregathering there for joint discussions.
The Possibilists have 80 foreigners (42 British, of whom 15 are from the Social Democratic Federation and 17 from the Trades Unions), 7 Austro-Hungarians (obviously little more than eyewash, this, since the whole of the genuine movement over there is on our side), 7 Spaniards, 7 Italians (3 representing Italian societies abroad), 7 Belgians, 4 Americans (2 of whom, Bowen and Georgei from Washington, DC,b visited me), 2 Portuguese, 1 Swiss {nommé par lui-même^), 1 Pole.
Almost all of them are Trades Unionists. Besides these there are 477 Frenchmen who, however, represent only 136 chambres syndicales and 77 cercles d'études socialistes^ since each little clique may send 3 delegates, whereas each of our 180 Frenchmen represent one particular society.
The eyewash with regards to fusion is, of course, much in evidence at both congresses; the foreigners want fusion, but in both cases the French are holding back. Fusion on rational terms is perfectly all right; the eyewash, however, consists in the clamour for fusion a toutprixj which some of our own people are raising.
Have just seen in the Sozialdemokrat that Liebknecht's motion in favour of fusion has actually been carried by a large majority. What it consists in and whether it signifies genuine fusion based on private negotiations or merely an abstract desire which might lead up to them is not, unfortunately, apparent from the report. The easy-going nature of the
Germans is above such trifles, but the fact that the French have accepted it is sufficient guarantee, so far as I'm concerned, that no disgrace will be incurred vis-à-vis the Possibilists. I shan't know more until after the post has left, probably not until tomorrow.
a police spies - b Probably delegates of the German Workers' Club in Washington - c nominated by himself - d trade union chambers - e socialist study groups - f at any cost.

In any case you'll no doubt hear the essentials as soon as I shall, for the Avelings have made arrangements regarding cabling with the New York Herald's man in Paris. Today I shall send you Saturday's Reynolds* and Monday's Star—which contain everything of any importance to have appeared in the press over here up till now. More on Saturday.
At all events the intrigues resorted to by the Possibilists and the Social Democratic Federation in order that they might worm their way into the leading position in France and England respectively have proved a total failure and their pretensions to the international leadership still more so.
If the two congresses, one alongside the other, merely fulfil the purpose of deploying their forces—Possibilists and London intriguers here, European socialists (who, thanks to the former, figure as Marxists), there—so that the world may see where the genuine movement is concentrated and where the bogus, that will be enough. Obviously any real fusion, supposing it came, would do nothing whatever to stop the squabbles continuing in England and France—quite the contrary. It would merely mean an imposing demonstration for the benefit of the great bourgeois public, a working men's congress more than 900 strong, ranging from representatives of the most docile Trades Unions to the most revolutionary communists. And it would put an end once and for all to the machinations of the intriguers at subsequent congresses, for they have now seen where the real power lies, they have seen that we are a match for them in France and their superiors throughout the Continent and that their position in England is also very precarious.
I have received Schlüter 's letter and shall answer it shortly.

I trust his business is doing well and that the American climate suits his wife.
Warm regards to your wife. Schorlemmer arrives this evening. Adlerb of Vienna is coming over here next week from Paris.

F. E.

First published, slightly abridged, in Briefe und Auszüge aus Briefen von Joh. Phil. Becker, Jos. Dietzgen, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx u. A. an F. A. Sorge und Andere, Stuttgart, 1906, and, in full, in: Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition,
Vol. XXVIII, Moscow, 1940 Printed according to the original
Published in English in full for the first time a Reynolds Newspaper - b Victor Adler



Frederick Engels

excerpt of the letter to Laura Lafargue

Eastbourne, 27 August 1889

Then there is the resolution about the 1st of May demonstration. That is the best thing our Congress
did. That will tell immensely here in England, and the Hyndman lot dare not oppose it; if they do, they ruin themselves; if they don't, they must
follow in our wake; let them choose.


Frederick Engels

Possibilist Credentials

August 10, 1889






On the first congress of the Second International

Paris 1889


On the second congress of the Second International

Bruxelles 1891


On the third congress of the Second International

Zurich - August 9-13, 1893







Eleonor Marx

Report from Great Britain and Ireland to the Delegates of the Brussels

International Congress, 1891.





in French language



Report of the Second Congress

of the

Second International


Bruxelles, August 16 - 23, 1891







Delegates Report.

America at the International Socialist Congress at Zurich











Copenhagen Congress

of the Second International


August 1910








Report to the Congress in Copenhagen

from the Swedish Socialdemocratic Labour Party








Report of Socialist Party of the United States to the International Socialist Congress

at Copenhagen - 1910








Second International Conference

of Socialist Women

Copenhagen 1910












August 1914 - December 1915




History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

( Bolsheviks )


Short Course




(concerning the II International)




    Lenin had time and again warned against the opportunism of the Second International and the wavering attitude of its leaders. He had always insisted that the leaders of the Second International only talked of being opposed to war, and that if war were to break out they would change their attitude, desert to the side of the imperialist bourgeoisie and become supporters of the war. What Lenin had foretold was borne out in the very first days of the war.

    In 1910, at the Copenhagen Congress of the Second International, it was decided that Socialists in parliament should vote against war credits. At the time of the Balkan War of 1912, the Basle World Congress of the Second International declared that the workers of all countries considered it a crime to shoot one another for the sake of increasing the profits of the capitalists. That is what they said, that is what they proclaimed in their resolutions.

    But when the storm burst, when the imperialist war broke out, and the time had come to put these decisions into effect, the leaders of the Second International proved to be traitors, betrayers of the proletariat and servitors of the bourgeoisie. They became supporters of the war.

    On August 4, 1914, the German Social-Democrats in parliament voted for the war credits; they voted to support the imperialist war. So did the overwhelming majority of the Socialists in France, Great Britain, Belgium and other countries.

    The Second International ceased to exist. Actually it broke up into separate social-chauvinist parties which warred against each other.

    The leaders of the Socialist parties betrayed the proletariat and adopted the position of social-chauvinism and defence of the imperialist bourgeoisie. They helped the imperialist governments to hoodwink the working class and to poison it with the venom of nationalism. Using the defence of the fatherland as a plea, these social-traitors began to incite the German workers against the French workers, and the British and French workers against the German workers. Only an insignificant minority of the Second International kept to the internationalist position and went against the current; true, they did not do so confidently and definitely enough, but go against the current they did.

    Only the Bolshevik Party immediately and unhesitatingly raised the banner of determined struggle against the imperialist war. In the theses on the war that Lenin wrote in the autumn of 1914, he pointed out that the fall of the Second International was not accidental. The Second International had been ruined by the opportunists, against whom the foremost representatives of the revolutionary proletariat had long been warning.

    The parties of the Second International had already been infected by opportunism before the war. The opportunists had openly preached renunciation of the revolutionary struggle; they had preached the theory of the "peaceful growing of capitalism into Socialism." The Second International did not want to combat opportunism; it wanted to live in peace with opportunism, and allowed it to gain a firm hold. Pursuing a conciliatory policy towards opportunism, the Second International itself became opportunist.

    The imperialist bourgeoisie systematically bribed the upper stratum of skilled workers, the so-called labour aristocracy, by means of higher wages and other sops, using for this purpose part of the profits it derived from the colonies, from the exploitation of backward countries. This section of workers had produced quite a number of trade union and co-operative leaders, members of municipal and parliamentary bodies, journalists and functionaries of Social-Democratic organizations. When the war broke out, these people, fearing to lose their positions, became foes of revolution and most zealous defenders of their own bourgeoisies, of their own imperialist governments.

    The opportunists became social-chauvinists.

    The social-chauvinists, the Russian Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries among their number, preached class peace between the workers and the bourgeoisie at home and war on other nations abroad. They deceived the masses by concealing from them who was really responsible for the war and declaring that the bourgeoisie of their particular country was not to blame. Many social-chauvinists became ministers of the imperialist governments of their countries.

    No less dangerous to the cause of the proletariat were the covert social-chauvinists, the so-called Centrists. The Centrists -- Kautsky, Trotsky, Martov and others -- justified and defended the avowed social chauvinists, thus joining the social-chauvinists in betraying the proletariat; they masked their treachery by "Leftist" talk about combating the war, talk designed to deceive the working class. As a matter of fact, the Centrists supported the war, for their proposal not to vote against war credits, but merely to abstain when a vote on the credits was being taken, meant supporting the war. Like the social-chauvinists, they demanded the renunciation of the class struggle during the war so as not to hamper their particular imperialist government in waging the war. The Centrist Trotsky opposed Lenin and the Bolshevik Party on all the important questions of the war and Socialism.

    From the very outbreak of the war Lenin began to muster forces for the creation of a new International, the Third International. In the manifesto against the war it issued in November 1914, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party already called for the formation of the Third International in place of the Second International which had suffered disgraceful bankruptcy. (underlined by the Comintern).

    In February 1915, a conference of Socialists of the Entente countries was held in London. Comrade Litvinov, on Lenin's instructions, spoke at this conference demanding that the Socialists (Vandervelde, Sembat and Guesde) should resign from the bourgeois government of Belgium and France, completely break with the imperialists and refuse to collaborate with them. He demanded that all Socialists should wage a determined struggle against their imperialist governments and condemn the voting of war credits. But no voice in support of Litvinov was raised at this conference.

    At the beginning of September 1915 the first conference of internationalists was held in Zimmerwald. Lenin called this conference the "first step" in the development of an international movement against the war. At this conference Lenin formed the Zimmerwald Left group. But within the Zimmerwald Left group only the Bolshevik Party, headed by Lenin, took a correct and thoroughly consistent stand against the war. The Zimmerwald Left group published a magazine in German called the Vorbote (Herald ), to which Lenin contributed articles.

    In 1916 the internationalists succeeded in convening a second conference in the Swiss village of Kienthal. It is known as the Second Zimmerwald Conference. By this time groups of internationalists had been formed in nearly every country and the cleavage between the internationalist elements and the social-chauvinists had become more sharply defined. But the most important thing was that by this time the masses themselves had shifted to the Left under the influence of the war and its attendant distress. The manifesto drawn up by the Kienthal Conference was the result of an agreement between various conflicting groups; it was an advance on the Zimmerwald Manifesto.

    But like the Zimmerwald Conference, the Kienthal Conference did not accept the basic principles of the Bolshevik policy, namely, the conversion of the imperialist war into a civil war, the defeat of one's own imperialist government in the war, and the formation of the Third International. Nevertheless, the Kienthal Conference helped to crystallize the internationalist elements of whom the Communist Third International was subsequently formed.

    Lenin criticized the mistakes of the inconsistent internationalists among the Left Social-Democrats, such as Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, but at the same time he helped them to take the correct position.


    The Bolsheviks were not mere pacifists who sighed for peace and confined themselves to the propaganda of peace, as the majority of the Left Social-Democrats did. The Bolsheviks advocated an active revolutionary struggle for peace, to the point of overthrowing the rule of the bellicose imperialist bourgeoisie. The Bolsheviks linked up the cause of peace with the cause of the victory of the proletarian revolution, holding that the surest way of ending the war and securing a just peace, a peace without annexations and indemnities, was to overthrow the rule of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

    In opposition to the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary renunciation of revolution and their treacherous slogan of preserving "civil peace" in time of war, the Bolsheviks advanced the slogan of "converting the imperialist war into a civil, war." This slogan meant that the labouring people, including the armed workers and peasants clad in soldiers' uniform, were to turn their weapons against their own bourgeoisie and overthrow its rule if they wanted to put an end to the war and achieve a just peace.

    In opposition to the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary policy of defending the bourgeois fatherland, the Bolsheviks advanced the policy of "the defeat of one's own government in the imperialist war." This meant voting against war credits, forming illegal revolutionary organizations in the armed forces, supporting fraternization among the soldiers at the front, organizing revolutionary actions of the workers and peasants against the war, and turning these actions into an uprising against one's own imperialist government.

    The Bolsheviks maintained that the lesser evil for the people would be the military defeat of the tsarist government in the imperialist war, for this would facilitate the victory of the people over tsardom and the success of the struggle of the working class for emancipation from capitalist slavery and imperialist wars. Lenin held that the policy of working for the defeat of one's own imperialist government must be pursued not only by the Russian revolutionaries, but by the revolutionary parties of the working class in all the belligerent countries.

    It was not to every kind of war that the Bolsheviks were opposed. They were only opposed to wars of conquest, imperialist wars. The Bolsheviks held that there are two kinds of war:

    a) Just wars, wars that are not wars of conquest but wars of liberation, waged to defend the people from foreign attack and from attempt to enslave them, or to liberate the people from capitalist slavery, or, lastly, to liberate colonies and dependent countries from the yoke of imperialism; and

    b) Unjust wars, wars of conquest, waged to conquer and enslave foreign countries and foreign nations.

    Wars of the first kind the Bolsheviks supported. As to wars of the second kind, the Bolsheviks maintained that a resolute struggle must be waged against them to the point of revolution and the overthrow of one's own imperialist government.

    Of great importance to the working class of the world was Lenin's theoretical work during the war. In the spring of 1916 Lenin wrote a book entitled 'Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism'. In this book he showed that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, a stage at which it has already become transformed from "progressive" capitalism to parasitic capitalism, decaying capitalism, and that imperialism is moribund capitalism. This, of course, did not mean that capitalism would die away of itself, without a revolution of the proletariat, that it would just rot on the stalk. Lenin always taught that without a revolution of the working class capitalism cannot be overthrown. Therefore, while defining imperialism as moribund capitalism, Lenin at the same time showed that "imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat."

    Lenin showed that in the era of imperialism the capitalist yoke be comes more and more oppressive, that under imperialism the revolt of the proletariat against the foundations of capitalism grows, and that the elements of a revolutionary outbreak accumulate in capitalist countries. Lenin showed that in the era of imperialism the revolutionary crisis in the colonial and dependent countries becomes more acute, that the elements of revolt against imperialism, the elements of a war of liberation from imperialism accumulate.

    Lenin showed that under imperialism the unevenness of development and the contradictions of capitalism have grown particularly acute, that the struggle for markets and fields for the export of capital, the struggle for colonies, for sources of raw material, makes periodical imperialist wars for the redivision of the world inevitable.

    Lenin showed that it is just this unevenness of development of capitalism that gives rise to imperialist wars, which undermine the strength of imperialism and make it possible to break the front of imperialism at its weakest point.

    From all this Lenin drew the conclusion that it was quite possible for the proletariat to break the imperialist front in one place or in several places, that the victory of Socialism was possible first in several countries or even in one country, taken singly, that the simultaneous victory of Socialism in all countries was impossible owing to the unevenness of development of capitalism, and that Socialism would be victorious first in one country or in several countries, while the others would remain bourgeois countries for some time longer.

    Here is the formulation of this brilliant deduction as given by Lenin in two articles written during the imperialist war:

    1) "Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of Socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country, taken singly. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organized its own Socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries. . . ." (From the article, The United States of Europe Slogan“, written in August, 1915. -- Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. V, p. 141.)
2) "The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously
in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time. This must not only create friction, but a direct striving on the part of the bourgeoisie of other countries to crush the victorious proletariat of the Socialist country. In such cases a war on our part would be a legitimate and just war. It would be a war for Socialism, for the liberation of other nations from the bourgeoisie." (From the article,War Program of the Proletarian Revolution', written in the autumn of 1916. -- Lenin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. XIX, p. 325.)

    This was a new and complete theory of the Socialist revolution, a theory affirming the possibility of the victory of Socialism in separate countries, and indicating the conditions of this victory and its prospects, a theory whose fundamentals were outlined by Lenin as far back as 1905 in his pamphlet, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution“.

    This theory fundamentally differed from the view current among the Marxists in the period of pre-imperialist capitalism, when they held that the victory of Socialism in one separate country was impossible, and that it would take place simultaneously in all the civilized countries. On the basis of the facts concerning imperialist capitalism set forth in his remarkable book, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin displaced this view as obsolete and set forth a new theory, from which it follows that the simultaneous victory of Socialism in all countries is impossible, while the victory of Socialism in one capitalist country, taken singly, is possible.

    The inestimable importance of Lenin's theory of Socialist revolution lies not only in the fact that it has enriched Marxism with a new theory and has advanced Marxism, but also in the fact that it opens up a revolutionary perspective for the proletarians of separate countries, that it unfetters their initiative in the onslaught on their own, national bourgeoisie, that it teaches them to take advantage of a war situation to organize this onslaught, and that it strengthens their faith in the victory of the proletarian revolution.

    Such was the theoretical and tactical stand of the Bolsheviks on the questions of war, peace and revolution.

    It was on the basis of this stand that the Bolsheviks carried on their practical work in Russia.

    At the beginning of the war, in spite of severe persecution by the police, the Bolshevik members of the Duma -- Badayev, Petrovsky, Muranov, Samoilov and Shagov -- visited a number of organizations and addressed them on the policy of the Bolsheviks towards the war and revolution. In November 1914 a conference of the Bolshevik group in the State Duma was convened to discuss policy towards the war. On the third day of the conference all present were arrested. The court sentenced the Bolshevik members of the State Duma to forfeiture of civil rights and banishment to Eastern Siberia. The tsarist government charged them with "high treason."

    The picture of the activities of the Duma members unfolded in court did credit to our Party. The Bolshevik deputies conducted themselves manfully, transforming the tsarist court into a platform from which they exposed the annexationist policy of tsardom.

    Quite different was the conduct of Kamenev, who was also tried in this case. Owing to his cowardice, he abjured the policy of the Bolshevik Party at the first contact with danger. Kamenev declared in court that he did not agree with the Bolsheviks on the question of the war, and to prove this he requested that the Menshevik Jordansky be summoned as witness.

    The Bolsheviks worked very effectively against the War Industry Committees set up to serve the needs of war, and against the attempts of the Mensheviks to bring the workers under the influence of the imperialist bourgeoisie. It was of vital interest to the bourgeoisie to make everybody believe that the imperialist war was a people's war. During the war the bourgeoisie managed to attain considerable influence in affairs of state and set up a countrywide organization of its own known as the Unions of Zemstvos and Towns. It was necessary for the bourgeoisie to bring the workers, too, under its leadership and influence. It conceived a way to do this, namely, by forming "Workers' Groups" of the War Industry Committees. The Mensheviks jumped at this idea. It was to the advantage of the bourgeoisie to have on these War Industry Committees representatives of the workers who would urge the working class masses to increase productivity of labour in the factories producing shells, guns, rifles, cartridges and other war material. "Everything for the war, all for the war" -- was the slogan of the bourgeoisie. Actually, this slogan meant "get as rich as you can on war contracts and seizures of foreign territory." The Mensheviks took an active part in this pseudo-patriotic scheme of the bourgeoisie. They helped the capitalists by conducting an intense campaign among the workers to get them to take part in the elections of the "Workers' Groups" of the War Industry Committees. The Bolsheviks were against this scheme. They advocated a boycott of the War Industry Committees and were successful in securing this boycott. But some of the workers, headed by a prominent Menshevik, Gvozdev, and an agent-provocateur, Abrosimov, did take part in the activities of the War Industry Committees. When, however, the workers' delegates met, in September 1915, for the final elections of the "Workers' Groups" of the War Industry Committees, it turned out that the majority of the delegates were opposed to participation in them. A majority of the workers' delegates adopted a trenchant resolution opposing participation in the War Industry Committees and declared that the workers had made it their aim to fight for peace and for the overthrow of tsardom.

    The Bolsheviks also developed extensive activities in the army and navy. They explained to the soldiers and sailors who was to blame for the unparalleled horrors of the war and the sufferings of the people; they explained that there was only one way out for the people from the imperialist shambles, and that was revolution. The Bolsheviks formed nuclei in the army and navy, at the front and in the rear, and distributed leaflets calling for a fight against the war.

    In Kronstadt, the Bolsheviks formed a "Central Collective of the Kronstadt Military Organization" which had close connections with the Petrograd Committee of the Party. A military organizatiOn of the Petrograd Party Committee was set up for work among the garrison. In August 1916, the chief of the Petrograd Okhrana reported that "in the Kronstadt Collective, things are very well organized, conspiratorially, and its members are all taciturn and cautious people. This Collective also has representatives on shore."

    At the front, the Party agitated for fraternization between the soldiers of the warring armies, emphasizing the fact that the world bourgeoisie was the enemy, and that the war could be ended only by converting the imperialist war into a civil war and turning one's weapons against one's own bourgeoisie and its government. Cases of refusal of army units to take the offensive became more and more frequent. There were already such instances in 1915, and even more in 1916.

    Particularly extensive were the activities of the Bolsheviks in the armies on the Northern Front, in the Baltic provinces. At the beginning of 1917 General Ruzsky, Commander of the Army on the Northern Front, informed Headquarters that the Bolsheviks had developed intense revolutionary activities on that front.

    The war wrought a profound change in the life of the peoples, in the life of the working class of the world. The fate of states, the fate of nations, the fate of the Socialist movement was at stake. The war was therefore a touchstone, a test for all parties and trends calling themselves Socialist. Would these parties and trends remain true to the cause of Socialism, to the cause of internationalism, or would they choose to betray the working class, to furl their banners and lay them at the feet of their national bourgeoisie? -- that is how the question stood at the time.

    The war showed that the parties of the Second International had not stood the test, that they had betrayed the working class and had surrendered their banners to the imperialist bourgeoisie of their own countries.

    And these parties, which had cultivated opportunism in their midst, and which had been brought up to make concessions to the opportunists, to the nationalists, could not have acted differently.

    The war showed that the Bolshevik Party was the only party which had passed the test with flying colours and had remained consistently faithful to the cause of Socialism, the cause of proletarian internationalism.

    And that was to be expected: only a party of a new type, only a party fostered in the spirit of uncompromising struggle against opportunism, only a party that was free from opportunism and nationalism, only such a party could stand the great test and remain faithful to the cause of the working class, to the cause of Socialism and internationalism.

    And the Bolshevik Party was such a party.