Against the Vienna International
The Two-and-a-half International

A Message from Zinoviev

(26 January 1921)

Source: Australian Communist, Vol. 1 No. 19, April 29, 1921.
Translated by “E.R.V.” from L’Humanité.
Transcribed by Duncan Hart.
On-line Publication: Zinoviev Internet Archive, October 2021.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Riga, January 26, 1921

The Second International has collapsed like a house of cards. The class-conscious workers of the whole world term it, with contempt, “The Police International.”

In ever-greater numbers, they pass into the ranks of the Third International; and for this reason the “leaders” of the proletariat cannot resign themselves to the loss of their members, now on their defensive. We have noted the rise of a plan of construction among the Centrists for the establishment of a pretended new International, which will be neither the Second, nor the Third, but the International Two-and-a-Half.

For more than a year they have been agitating to put this remarkable plan into execution. All lend their aid to it – the Social-Pacifists of the type of Longuet, the social-traitors of the Renner type, the social-democratic counter-revolutionaries of the Martov type, and lastly, simple charlatans of the Centre, like Grumbach.

Under the pretext of constituting a so-called “new” International, an attempt is being made to restore the Second International.

An international conference has been convened to this effect at any early date. Who, therefore, will participate in this conference?

Renner, Bauer, and Co. – that is to say, the people who cannot be distinguished in any way from Scheidemann and Noske except by clever trickery.

The party of the Austrian Social-traitors, who, during and after the war, have conducted themselves most shamefully, have betrayed daily and hourly the interests of the working class, and to-day present themselves as the convenors of this International Two-and-a-Half.

This sole fact suffices to characterize eloquently the coming Conference. The ex-Ministers, now useless and driven from the Ministry by the capitalists, today devote their leisure to the restoration of the “International.”

Germany will be represented at the conference at Vienna by Messrs. Ditmann and Crispien, both of them ex-Ministers of German Capitalism. Rejected by the workers, these gentry incline daily more and more towards the right, and soon it will become impossible, even with a magnifying glass, to discover any difference between Ditmann and Scheidemann.

France, doubtless, will be represented by the party of Citizen Longuet. When recently at Tours, he was obliged to choose between the French workers and social-traitors like Renaudel. Longuet, without hesitation, chose the latter.

Albert Thomas, Renaudel, and all belonging to their band are sufficiently well-known to the class-conscious workers of the whole world. Even in the Second International one has not observed many traitors so despicable, or any Judas so vile, as these gentry. Now they remain members of the same party of which Longuet is the head. It is evident that these persons will take part – if not in fact, at least morally – in the “International Two-and-a-Half.”

Tell me where you frequent, and I will tell you what you are. Longuet associates assiduously with Renaudel. Individuals of the Renner and Longuet type are a living bridge between the Second International and the “International-Two-and-a-Half.”

Russia would be “represented” at this pretended international conference by Citizen Martov and the Mensheviks. Rejected and despised by the working class of the whole of Russia, Martov and Co. remain, nevertheless, honoured members of the future “International-Two-and-a-Half.”

All the Europeans mentioned above find themselves so short of doctrinal baggage, they are so bankrupt, they have so lost their principles, that even Martov becomes more than an inaccessible ideal. The Mensheviks of Russia, who from the first day of the Proletarian Revolution have betrayed the workers, who have taken their places in the Ministries of Miliukov, of Kerensky, and of Kolchak, who have from the beginning of the Imperialists’ war lent their aid to the Czarist Government itself – these Russian Mensheviks are well worthy of becoming the chiefs of the “International Two-and-a-Half.”

We shall not speak of the more insignificant parties who will not miss paying homage by their presence to the Conference of Vienna. The social-patriots and Centrists of Switzerland, abandoned by all honest workers, will certainly go to Vienna. All the Pflueguers and the Millers, who cannot be distinguished in anything from good and honourable bourgeois, will also consent to be members of the Second International as well as the “International Two-and-a-Half.”

The social-democratic Mensheviks of Lettland, who have more than once reddened their hands in the blood of the workers, will hasten towards the Conference of Vienna. The “broad” social-patriots of Bulgaria, with their Minister Pastoukhov, who did not hesitate to massacre the workers of Pernik and Sliven, will do the same. In a word, the company is not very numerous, but it is very choice.

Some of the initiators of the “International Two-and-a-Half” are attempting to persuade the workers that the Vienna Conference aims at permitting all the parties enumerated to enter as organized into the Third International. The class-conscious workers of the world must know that this is mere trickery. Never will the Third International accept in its ranks agents of the bourgeoisie. The class-conscious workers of the whole world must know that the Right Independents, the French Longuetists, are the enemies of the Proletarian Revolution, that their journals cover Soviet Russia with calumny every day, and that their leaders, with a cynicism more and more shameless, support the Centre bourgeois against the proletariat. The class-conscious workers of the whole world must cover the coming Conference of Vienna, the conference of the liars and traitors, with all the contempt that it merits. They must boycott the “International Two-and-a-Half” exactly as they have boycotted the Second International.


Signed: Executive Committee of the Communist International
Zinoviev (President)
Lenin, Trotsky, Bucharin (for Russia), Rosmer (for France), Jansen (for Holland), Chabline (for Bulgaria), Tschakaia (for Georgia), Sultan Zade (for Persia), Varga, Bela Kun, Koutnianszky (for Hungary), Gourvitch (for America), Manner (for Finland), Chatskine (for the Young International), Stouchka (for Lettland).

Last updated: 18 October 2021