MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin


V. I. Lenin

THESES ON
THE FUNDAMENTAL TASKS OF
THE SECOND CONGRESS OF
THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL


Published in July, 1920

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1966

Vol. 31, pp. 184-201.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Julius Katzer


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (July 1997)


THESES ON THE FUNDAMENTAL TASKS OF THE SECOND CONGRESS
OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


184


I.II.III.

 

The Essence of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and of
Soviet Power .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
What Immediate and Universal Preparation for the
Dictatorship of the Proletariat Should Consist In .   .   .
Rectification of the Political Line -- Partly Also the
Composition -- of Parties Affiliated or Desiring to
Affiliate to the Communist International   .   .   .   .   .


185188

 
197

NOTES




    page 559


    NOTES

      [64] Lenin is quoting from Marx's work "Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie" (see Marx/Engels, Werke, Bd. 1, S. 385).    [p.190]

      [65] The American Socialist Party was formed in July 1901 at a congress held in Indianapolis, as the result of a merger of groups that had broken away from the Socialist Workers' Party and the Social-Democratic Party of the U.S.A. Among the new party's organisers was Eugene Debs, a popular figure in the U.S. labour movement. The social composition of the party was not uniform, it contained native-born and immigrant workers, as well as small farmers and people of petty-bourgeois origin. The Centrist and the Right-wing opportunist leaders of the party (Victor Berger, Morris Hillquit and others) denied the necessity of the proletarian dictatorship, renounced revolutionary methods of struggle, and reduced all party activities to participation in election campaigns. During the First World War (1914-18) three trends appeared in the Socialist Party: the social-chauvinists, who supported the imperialist policy of the Administration, the Centrists, who opposed the imperialist war only in word, and the revolutionary minority, who took an internationalist stand and struggled against the war.
        The Socialist Party's Left wing, headed by Charles Ruthenberg, William Foster, William Haywood and others, relying on the proletarian elements, waged a struggle against the party's opportunist leadership, for independent proletarian action and the formation of industrial trade unions based on the principles of the class struggle. In 1919 a split took place in the Socialist Party. The party's Left wing broke away, bccoming the initiator and nucleus of the Communist Party of the U.S.A. At present the Socialist Party is a small sectarian organisation.    [p.197]

      [66] The Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland (known as the Swiss Socialist Party) was formed in the seventies of the last century and affiliated to the First International. The party was re-formed in 1888. The opportunists were very influential in the party, and during the First World War took a social-chauvinist stand. In the autumn of 1916, the Party's Right wing broke away to form their own organisation. The majority, headed by Robert Grimm, took a Centrist, social-pacifist stand, while the Left wing of the party adhered to an internationalist stand. The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia influenced and strengthened the Left wing which, in December 1920, broke away and joined the Communist Party of Switzerland in 1921 (see Note 69).    [p.197]

      [67] "Draft (or the Theses) of the R.C.P.'s Reply to a Letter from the German Independent Social-Democratic Party" (see present edition, Vol. 30, pp. 337-44).    [p.198]

      [68] The Turin section accused the Italian Socialist Party with its conciliatory leadership, of failing to give a correct analysis of events, in the conditions of the revolutionary upsurge in Italy

    page 560

    (1919-20) that had created the possibility of the seizure of political power by the proletariat, and of having failed to advance any slogan acceptable to the revolutionary masses, and expel the reformists from its ranks. The section made a number of practical proposals: the expulsion of the opportunists from the party; the formation of communist groups in each factory, in the trade unions, co-operatives, and army barracks, the setting-up of factory T.U. committees to organise control of production in industry and agriculture. The section demanded that work to prepare the working masses for the creation of Soviets should be begun at once.    [p.199]

      [69] In October 1918, part of the Social-Democrat Left wing united to form the Communist Party of Switzerland. It was not a big party at the time, being represented by two delegates at the Second Congress of the Comintern.
        In December 1920, the Left wing of the Swiss Social-Democratic Party broke away from it, and raised the question of forming a strong section of the Communist International in Switzerland. At a congress held in Zurich in March 1921, attended by 28 delegates from the Communist Party and 145 delegates representing the former Left wing of the Social-Democratic Party, the two groups officially united to form a single Communist Party of Switzerland.    [p.200]