Zinoviev et al.

The E.C.C.I. and the R.I.L.U.
to the Workers of the World

(16 January 1923)

Source: International Press Correspondence (weekly), Vol. 3 No. 1, 16 January 1923, pp. 14–16.
On-line Publication: Zinoviev Internet Archive, January 2021.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Just recently two international proletarian congresses, held in Moscow, finished their work: one, the Congress of the Communist International, and the other, the Congress of the Red Revolutionary Trade Unions. More than sixty Communist Parties from all parts of the world and representatives of the Revolutionary Trade Unions from both hemispheres drew up a plan of immediate operations against the increasingly arrogant

Workingmen and women: You have felt the weight of the capitalist attack. There is hardly a country where the employers’ organizations are not, with all their might oppressing the working-class. The bourgeoisie is striving to restore its collapsing industry undermined by the criminal, imperialist war. It is striving to meet its monstrous war debts, to reestablish its shattered financial system, to preserve its huge profits and protect itself against any outburst of discontent on the part of the proletariat. It seeks to do all this at the expense of the labor, of the heath and welfare of the working class. With ruthless cynicism the capitalist class lengthens the working day, cuts wages, imposes ever-increasing taxation, suppresses the resistance of the workers by lock outs, and endeavours to establish a state of war for the workers by mobilizing its armed gangs of Fascisti.

Instead of doing away with the huge expenditures upon armies and fleets, on the maintenance of armed gangs, of hordes of police, instead of adopting a policy of peace and thus releasing enormous sums of money for ameliorating the condition of a tortured and ruined population of unemployed invalids of war and peace, hungry children and proletarian mothers, the bourgeoisie is feverishly building new instruments of destruction, and the menace of war once again hovers ever the world. Simultaneously the bourgeoisie is sucking the last drop of blood of the proletariat and is snatching the last crust of bread from the children of the workers.

While in Soviet Russia, ruined by imperialism, life is becoming easier, in capitalist countries it is becoming more difficult and painful. In spite of the frequent proposals of the Proletarian Republic to disarm, the capitalist states in all countries are fostering militarism. The position will become hopeless unless the working class mobilizes all its forces.

Both the congresses mentioned above therefore call upon you, Comrades, to form a United Front against capital!

Form a United Front against those who lock you out; form a United Front to secure an eight-hour day; to prevent the capitalists from taking your last farthing from you; to prevent them throwing you out on the street, and to prevent them from imposing heavier burdens of taxation upon you.

Unless you form this United Front you will be beaten in sections. For that reason our Congresses resolved to strive in the first instance to bring about the unity of the industrial movement at all costs. The bourgeoisie, however, has very useful assistants – the Social Democrats and the Labor Leaders. Just at the moment when it is necessary to unite all the forces of labor, these gentlemen, who have sold the proletariat to Stinnes, unite in the Hague with the bourgeois pacifists and expel the Communists from the Trade Unions. This is an infernal conspiracy against the working class. Could the bourgeoisie themselves think of any better method than to disorganize the forces of the workers just at the moment when the capitalists are hurling a savage attack against them?

Comrades! We call upon you all, irrespective of Party; we call upon all honest workers and all suffering working women to rally to the defense of the unity of the Trade Unions. Do not permit the agents of capital to disrupt the unity of the working class. Protect this unity with your firm proletarian hands.

The Reformist Socialist Parties and the labor leaders are acting on the direct instructions of the bourgeoisie, Which is endeavouring to beat the working class in sections. At the same time, however, they are endeavouring to deceive the working class by cunning manoeuvres.

In Germany, the Social-Democrats are playing at being in the “Opposition” while the head of the Party, Ebert, is the President of a Stinnes Republic. In Italy the Reformists are pretending to oppose the Fascisti when, as a matter of fact they are supporting them. In England the leaders of the Labor Party defend the British Government which is crushing Ireland with blood and iron. As a matter of fact all the Reformists desire to restore civil peace at the expense of the working class. For that purpose they must split the Trade Unions. That is why they must split the Labor Movement.

Our Congresses have united the revolutionary Trade Unions much more strongly than they ever were before. Our Congresses have instructed their executive bodies at every opportunity to appeal even to the Amsterdam organizations, even to the Social-Democrats, to take up the joint struggle against aggressive capital. But in this we must have the assistance of the masses of the workers.

Bring pressure to bear upon your leaders! Compel them to form a United Front, and if they continue to resist, form this United Front without them, and remove all obstacles in the path of the United Struggle.

The experience of the struggles of the Working Class has shown that the capitalist governments refuse to touch even a part of capitalist profits. They refuse to introduce a single reform or make a single important concession to the Working Class. Therefore we say:

You Must Unite to Secure a Workers’ Government!

You must fight for a government of Labor organizations. Put your faithful representatives at the Helm of State. Drive out the henchmen of the capitalists, the bankers, the stock-exchange brokers, and trust magnates.

The Labor Youth is with us. At the last Congress of the Young Communist League, recently held in Moscow; our watchword of combat against attacking capitalism was supported with burning enthusiasm in the name of millions of young workers.

The poor peasants and agricultural laborers should march with us. The IV. Congress of the Communist International has imposed the obligation upon all Communist Parties to unite and organize the rural reserves of the Revolution, who in their struggle against the landlords cannot but come into conflict with the existing capitalist government.

The opposed colonial peoples are coming to our side, including the young proletariat of Japan and China. Only the Communist International and the Red Labor Union International support the movement in the colonies against the money bags of London, Paris and New York.

Our motto is:

Unity with the Labor Youth; Unity with the Rural Poor; Unity with the Oppressed Peoples in the Colonies. All Forces against the Monster of Capitalism.

Our Congresses also discussed the question of fighting the most shameful thing of our day, – the Versailles Treaty – and other so-called peace treaties. Against these treaties, which are supported by Vandervelde, one of its authors, against these treaties, which the Stinnes Social-Democrats dare not attack, we have decided to conduct a ruthless war.

Comrades! Rise against these hellish treaties!

They bear the seeds of new wars. Already new fleets, new guns, and new aeroplanes are being built. We must get ready to resist new impending destructive wars.

At the Hague we, in the name of the Comintern, proposed that a United Front be formed against war, but our proposal was rejected. The leaders of the Second International passed a resolution about a general strike, but this is a base deception, for they have not repudiated the principle of national defense, i.e., the defense of the bourgeois state. Through the mouth of Huysmans they declared that in the event of a new war they would do again what they did in 1914. They formed a bloc with the bourgeoisie, and refused to form a bloc with the revolutionary wing of the Labor movement.

Comrades! Proletarians! Which path will you take? For which bloc will you fight? Will it be for unity with the bourgeoisie, which is attacking you, which is crushing you and taking your last from you?

Say No!

Say you will fight for the Unity of the Working Class!

Down With the capitalist offensive!

Long live the Unity of the Working Class!

Long live Unity with the rural poor and the oppressed colonial peoples!

Long Live a Workers’ Government!


The Executive Committee of the Communist International
Zinoviev, Smeral, Carr, Katayama, Neurath, Höglund, Stürmer, Souvarin, Gennari, Schefflo, Andreis, Zetkin, Gramsci, Pruchniak, Safarov, Hörnle, Schüller, Kuusinen, Bukharin, Schatzkin, Kolarov, Radek, Mac Manus, Garden.

The Executive Bureau of the R.I.L.U.
Lozovsky, Watkins, Dimitrov, Georg, Tomski, Pruchniak. Garden, Kalinin, Andersen, Kunitaro-Ando, Haiss, Joss, Nin, Monmousseau, Heckert, Foster, Tresso.

Last updated on 11 August 2021