The Second Congress of the Communist International
First Published: Kommunistka No. 3-4, August-September 1920; Published according to the journal text
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 31, pages 270-272
The Second Congress of the Communist International ended on August 7. A little over a year has elapsed since its foundation, during which brief period immense and decisive successes have been achieved.
Held a year ago, the First Congress only unfurled the banner of communism, around which the forces of the revolutionary proletariat were to rally. War was declared on the yellow Second International, which unites the social-traitors, who have sided with the bourgeoisie against the proletariat and are in alliance with the capitalists against the workers’ revolution.
The huge measure of success achieved in a year can be seen, among other things, in the fact that the growing sympathy with communism among the masses of workers has compelled the withdrawal from the Second International of some of its leading European and American parties, namely, the French Socialist Party, the German and the British “Independent” parties, and the American Socialist Party.
In every country of the world the finest representatives of the revolutionary workers have already ranged themselves on the side of communism, Soviet rule and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In all the advanced countries of Europe and America, there already exist Communist parties or numerous Communist groups. At the Congress which ended on August 7, it was not only the heralds of the proletarian revolution who joined forces, but delegates from strong and powerful organisations linked with the proletarian masses. A world army of the revolutionary proletariat-that is what now stands for communism, and, at the Congress just ended, received organisational form and a clear, precise and detailed programme of action.
The Congress refused to admit immediately into the Communist International such parties that still retain in their ranks influential representatives of “Menshevism”, social-treachery and opportunism, similar to the abovementioned parties which have withdrawn from the yellow Second International.
In a number of precisely worded resolutions, the Congress blocked every avenue of access for opportunism, and demanded a total break with it. The incontestable facts reported to the Congress showed that the working-class masses are with us, and that the opportunists shall now be utterly routed.
The Congress rectified the errors committed in certain countries by Communists who were bent on turning to the “Left” and denied the need to work in bourgeois parliaments, reactionary trade unions, and wherever there are millions of workers who are still being duped by the capitalists and by their lackeys from among the workers, i.e., by members of the yellow Second International.
The Congress created a degree of unity and discipline among the world’s Communist parties such as has never before existed and will make it possible for the vanguard of the workers’ revolution to march forward with giant strides to its great goal, the overthrow of the yoke of capital.
Thanks to the international conference of working women which was organised simultaneously, the Congress will strengthen ties with the communist women’s movement.
Communist parties and groups in the East, in the colonial and backward countries, which are so brutally robbed, oppressed and enslaved by the “civilised” league of predatory nations, were likewise represented at the Congress. The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would in fact be nothing but a sheer fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of “colonial” slaves, who are oppressed by that capital.
Great are the military victories of the workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Republic over the landowners and the capitalists, over the Yudeniches, the Kolchaks, and the Denikins, the Polish Whites and their accomplices-France, Britain, America and Japan.
But greater still is our victory over the minds and hearts of the masses of the workers, of all those who toil and are oppressed by capital-the victory of the communist ideas and communist organisations all over the world.
The revolution of the proletariat, the overthrow of the yoke of capitalism, .is on the march and shall come about in every country in the world.