Communist International


August 19, 2022

The Communist International, also known as the Comintern or Third International, was the international organization of communist parties active from 1919 to 1943.


The Comintern arose on the initiative of the Russian Bolsheviks after the dissolution of the Second International, caused by the support granted by the German and French Social Democratic parties to their governments during the First World War. The 1st Congress was held in Moscow in March 1919 with the aim of supporting the Soviet government, favoring the formation of communist parties all over the world and spreading the revolution internationally. delegations from 37 nations set out, the foundations and the program of the organization were drawn up, which revolved around the core of the world revolution. The Comintern was from the beginning hegemonized by the Bolsheviks, as evidenced by the fact that the leadership of the International was entrusted to a permanent executive committee based in Moscow. It was also characterized by the clear rejection of social democratic reformism, according to an evolutionary path already begun in the early twentieth century with the division between reformist socialism and revolutionary socialism. Comintern, thanks to the imposition of the theory of socialism in a single country, following which the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) acknowledged the isolation of the Soviet Union (USSR) from the rest of the world and abandoned, although not explicitly, the struggle to extend the communist revolution to the whole world in favor of the economic and social development of the USSR alone. In this context there was a clear contrast between Stalinism and the doctrine opposed to it, or Trotskyism, which defended the initial formulation of the International, defined in its first four congresses. to the subordination of the needs of the various national communist parties to the interests of the USSR, the action of the Comintern gradually weakened. On May 15, 1943, the Executive Committee of the Communist International proposed the dissolution of the Comintern through a resolution proclaiming the fulfillment of the organization's historic mission and certifying the maturity of the communist movement, which overcame the need for centralized leadership. Behind the decision, which became effective the following 10 June, there was above all the will of Iosif Stalin to send a signal of moderation to the Western allies, engaged alongside the Soviet Union in the Second World War. with the communist parties of the rest of the world through the International Department of its Central Committee, while between 1947 and 1956 a new supranational communist organization was active, the Cominform (in full the Information Office of the Communist and Workers' Parties). Later the system of international conferences of communist parties also developed.

Admission conditions

The Third International imposed the acceptance of twenty-one conditions (the so-called "21 points") on all parties that wished to be part of it. Largely inspired by Vladimir Lenin, they were formally adopted on August 7, 1920 during the Second Congress of the Comintern. All propaganda and agitation must be of an authentically communist nature and in accordance with the program and decisions of the Communist International. The whole party press must be under the direction of trusted Communists who have shown devotion to the cause of the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat must not be considered simply as a commonly used mechanically learned formula; need