A. Thalheimer

The Most Important Results of the Session
of the Enlarged Executive of the
Communist International

(February 21st to March 4th, 1922)

(25 April 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 29, 25 April 1922, pp. 217–218.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The central point on the agenda of the Enlarged Executive Session was the question of the united proletarian front. Lively opposition came from the Italian delegation and from the majority of the French delegation. The arguments, as far as they were not of a sentimental nature, were not the same from all camps of the opposition, although the latter agreed upon joint resolutions. Our Italian Party unmistakably lacked theoretical security. Its practice is ahead of its theory. They wanted to be assured of a limited application of the united front tactics to the trade unions. They overlooked the fact that the political fraction within the trade unions bound the party as such. There was also the unmistakable feeling that by showing their willingness to meet the Serratians, the conflict between these two factions could be weakened. With our French friends, matters were somewhat different. Here one could clearly see the inadequate appreciation of the necessity of drawing that part of the working class that was still outside the Communist Party’s ranks (and which in France still constitutes the majority) into the daily struggles. Our French like our Italian comrades, expressed their fear that the application of the united front policy might lead to a retrogression into “Ministerialism”. As a matter of fact, however, this policy is just the weapon to be applied in the present situation against the Social Democratic collaboration with the bourgeoisie.

The policy of the united proletarian front is the application the tactical decisions reached by the Third World Congress in the present situation. Of course, these tactics have their limits and their special applications. They are superfluous for Communist Parties that already have the majority of the working class behind them, or that are the only proletarian parties in their

respective countries. These tactics are also of no practical value to Communist Parties that are in their first stages of development, and which must first draw the dividing line between them and the Social Reformist parties through propaganda. Naturally, the application of this policy must make ample allowance for the situation in the various countries.

The debate was very fruitful. The resolution, which was passed by a majority, approves the December theses dealing with the united front, and calls upon the Presidium and the delegations from the most important sections to decide upon the immediate practical measures to be taken in their respective countries towards the application of the new tactics which must naturally be adapted to the peculiar conditions of the various countries. After the declarations made by the French and Italian delegations, there is no doubt but that they will not only maintain international discipline, but that the actual facts will fully convince them of the necessity of such tactics.

In close connection with this, there is the question of the proposed international conference of all labor organizations. The Enlarged Executive Session put particular emphasis upon the drawing-in of the international trade-union organizations, including the Syndicalists, Anarchists and youth organizations. The Enlarged Executive Session made it very dear that it fully sustains its fundamental estimate of the Social Reformistic and Centrist Parties. Its dominating wish, however, is that the conference deal only with such questions as bear upon the direct, practical common action of the working masses. The Communist International will not evade discussion upon the fundamental differences of opinion, if it is desired; it wants practical work, however.

The second important question that arose at the Enlarged Executive Session was that of the Red Trade Union International. (R.T.U.I.) It became evident that the liquidating questions that arose in single countries in regard to the R.T.U.I. were of no importance. The situation did not seem to warrant any debate over the future existence of the Red Trade Union International. The Enlarged Executive Session declared very concisely that the decisions reached by the Third World Congress in regard to the trade-union question required no modifications in principle. It pointed out, however, that due to the varied influences of the Communists in the trade unions, it was necessary to render the work of the Red Trade Union International more concrete and adaptable to the peculiar conditions in the various countries and industrial groups. In a detailed resolution, the Enlarged Executive Session made general recommendations for a concrete evaluation of the present situation in the trade-union struggle, but particularly on the question of directing the defensive struggle against the present capitalistic offensive. The most important paints are as follows:

“In the next period, the task of the Communists is the extension their influence within the old reformist trade unions, in the struggle against the splitting policy of the Amsterdam leaders and in the thorough application of the united front tactics within the trade unions.”

No objection whatever was raised against this attitude. The third important question was that of the French Party. In a series of questions, including that of the united front, our French Party still displayed strong right-opportunistic tendencies. The struggle against these tendencies led to the removal of five comrades from the leadership of the party. These five had been chosen by the Marseilles Convention. The Enlarged Executive Session did not accept the resignation of these comrades, but demanded of them that they retain their posts in accordance with the wish of the convention. On the other hand, the Executive session called for the elimination of the remaining reformistic tendencies, which it named in particular. The Enlarged Executive Session received a declaration from the French delegation that the Journal du Peuple, the organ which was the stamping-ground for all of these tendencies, would be expelled by the party, and that the party leadership would see to it that a strict and disciplinary observance of the party’s decisions be carried out in the spirit of Communist authority.

Finally the Enlarged Executive Session dealt with a communication from the members of the so-called “Workers’ Opposition” in the Russian Communist Party. The tendencies of this group were made very clear. The Executive Session declared that the attitude and actions of these comrades stood in sharpest conflict with the decisions of the 10th Congress of the R.C.P., and they were seriously warned against a continuation of the struggle they had begun.

The treatment of a number of other questions becomes sufficiently clear from the decisions reached.

The enlarged Executive Session has accomplished a tremendous amount of work, which bears comparison with that of a world congress. The net result may be expressed as the further definite elaboration and application of the tactical line of action drawn up by the Third World Congress. The next world congress will take place in October unless unforeseen events call for an earlier session.

Last updated on 5 September 2019