V. I.   Lenin

Speech at a Meeting of
The Executive Committee of the Communist International. June 19, 1920

Newspaper Report

Published: Pravda No. 133, June 20, 1920 – Izvestia No. 134 June 22, 1920. Printed from the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, UNAVAILABLE, UNAVAILABLE, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 197b-198a.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (1888). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

Comrade Lenin put the question this way: what, in effect, does it mean to recognise the dictatorship of the proletariat. It means every day, in propaganda, agitation,   speeches and articles, to prepare the proletariat for the conquest of power, for the suppression of the exploiters, the suppression of all the proletariat’s opponents. Comrade Lenin, on the basis of various documents and newspapers, showed what a gulf existed between the Third International and the entire policy of the French Party.[1] He revealed all the rottenness of the Turatian wing of the Italian Party, which was preventing the party from adopting a correct line.


[1] The reference is to the French Socialist Party.

At the outbreak of the imperialist world war the Party’s reformist leadership adopted a social-chauvinist stand of open support of the imperialist war and participation in the bourgeois government. There was a Centrist trend in the Party headed by Joan Longuet, which took a social-pacifist stand and pursued a policy of conciliation with the social-chauvinists. There was also a Left, revolutionary wing in the Party which took an internationalist stand and was represented chiefly by its rank and file.

After the October Socialist Revolution a sharp struggle developed within the Party between the open reformists and Centrists on the one hand, and the Left, revolutionary wing, on the other-the latter strengthened by rank-and-file workers who joined the Party en masse. At the Party’s congress in Tours in December 1920 the revolutionary wing received a majority. The congress adopted a decision for the Party to join the Communist International and founded the Communist Party of France. The majority of reformists and Centrists broke away from the Party and formed a separate party, retaining the old name of French Socialist Party.

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