Boris Souvarine

The Congress of the French Party Socialist Party

Source: The Call, 26 February 1920, (563 words)
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid

The French Socialist Party Congress met at Strasbourg on February 25th. The question of the Third International dominates all other issues, and people are looking forward to the shake up of the ancient tendencies, under the influence of the attraction exercised upon the masses by the Communist International.

The present majority of the party, which remains unregenerate in its “war policy” that is to say, in that policy for ever illustrated by the phrase “national defence,” the vote of credits, the idolatry of Wilson, and the adoption of the entire bourgeois phraseology, had yesterday for its programme the policy of remaining in the Second International, in order to “purify it.” No one understood exactly the significance of this programme, not even those who outlined it. To remain in the Second International implies the acceptance of the responsibilities which it has assumed: submission to the war, collaboration with the bourgeoisie, the permanent betrayal of the proletarian interests. Yet the present majoritaires of the French Party claim to be distinct from the social-patriots of France and Germany. As for the “purification” of the International, it is impossible; the faction which adheres to the Communist International did not wait for the irrefutable proof of events before demonstrating this. How can the French majority, which is making desperate efforts to maintain unity at all price with the right of the French Party, demand the exclusion of the same faction from the bosom of the International?

This incoherent policy of the majority is being continued under other forms. Since the decision of the German Independents to leave the Second International, the French majority has finally understood that it was discrediting itself completely in remaining in this organisation, and fraternising with its potential Noskes.

It had decided then, with regret, to break with the Second International, but at the same time it pretends to put certain conditions upon its entry into the. Third, and it has created a “Committee of Reconstruction of the International,” which has for its object to prevent the pure and Simple adhesion of the French Socialists to the Communist International. Thus, the French majority, whose errors, faults, and defections one has ceased to count, pretends to give lessons to the parties that have remained faithful during the war to the principles of Socialism.

Against this tendency of compromise and paralysis of the Socialist effort, the “Committee for the Third International” has carried on a vigorous campaign in order to advertise and cause to be adopted the conceptions and tactics of the Communist International. In the various sections and federations, discussions are being carried on upon the theme of the Third International, and in spite of the attitude of the two great dailies of the Party, who are doing their best to keep the militants in ignorance of the essential elements of the problem, a current of opinion more and more powerful day by day is forming against the reformism of the right, against the opportunism of the centre, and for the participation of French Socialism in the world-wide revolutionary struggle.

As for the faction of the right of the Party, it clings to the Second International, of which it is quite worthy, and whose lot it will share. But this faction has been, for a long time discredited and dishonoured, and its acts and gestures are void of any importance.