COMINTERN and Fraternal Parties
Although I.V. Stalin rejected the idea of ??a worldwide "permanent" revolution, which after Trotsky and his adherents had been carried away by some leading figures of the Comintern at the time, he nevertheless considered it to be good to use the proven cadres and the experience of the anti-imperialist struggle of this international organization of the proletariat.
In the Comintern, contacts with Soviet intelligence (political and military) were carried out by the Special Subsection of the Organizing Bureau, established in 1922. Subsequently this sub-section was transformed into the International Relations Division of the Executive Committee of the Comintern (OMS). The department was engaged in organizing illegal work abroad. The OMC served as a liaison between the Executive Committee of the Comintern and its regional branches and was a secret apparatus sent abroad by special agents for the transfer of money and instructions to the leaders of the Communist Party's foreign organizations, and also to receive information about them on the state of affairs in the foreign world.
In order to implement Comintern resolutions, the Executive Committee sent specially appointed representatives to the various branches, and these representatives were often people trusted by the Soviet party. All these stipulations indicate that ideologically, politically, and organizationally the Comintern and the communist parties in various countries played the binding roles of the leader and the led. From the founding of the Comintern to the holding of its fourth congress, communist parties were set up in 58 countries.
When he was living, Lenin paid full attention to opposing within the international communist movement the revisionist ideological trend of the Second International, and exposed its theoretical mistake of deviating from the basic principles of Marxism. After Lenin passed away, Stalin inherited Lenin's work. In directing the work of the Comintern, Stalin emphatically criticized the tendency toward social democracy and continued to oppose the danger of Right deviation. However, in the late 1920's and early 1930's, there emerged in the international communist movement a tendency to make Marxism a dogma and to make the resolutions of the Comintern and the experience of the Soviet Union sacred.
Owing to the special position of the CPSU in the Comintern and the high prestige it enjoyed among the parties of various nations as the party of the first socialist country, this dogmatic deviation had a direct effect on the parties of theother countries. The resolutions of the Comintern and the experience of the CPSU were regarded as "paragons of Marxism-Leninism," the "only correct line," the only models to learn from, and rules that could not be disobeyed. The specially appointed personnel sent by the Comintern became within the fraternal parties "imperial envoys" who could "command everything."
Actually, the circumstances in the various countries differed in thousands of ways. Some were imperialist countries, and some countries were still under the rule of the feudal patriarchal clan system and had even more backward forms of production. Even in the advanced capitalist countries of Europe, there were differences between the various countries in political and economic circumstances and in international relations, and the political tasks the parties faced were different. In addition, the headquarters of the Comintern was in Moscow, far from the various countries. It was difficult for this international center to solve the various kinds of problems in the revolutionary movement of every different country, and it was very hard for it to issue instructions that perfectly suited the circumstances in the various countries without making mistakes.
If the Comintern's decisions had only been passed to the parties of the various countries for consultation, there would have been fewer problems. But the relationship between the Comintern and the parties of the various countries was that between the higher level and the lower level, between the leader and the led; it was an organizational principle that the decisions made by the Comintern had to be obeyed. Under these circumstances, if the leaders of the parties in the various countries lacked a high level of Marxist theory and made the Comintern's resolutions and the Soviet experience sacred, then they unavoidably would cause the revolution to suffer setbacks and damage.
The earliest effort outside of Russia occurred in Germany in 1919. It was suppressed with considerable brutality. It then restarted more cautiously, resulting in numerous riots. It was finally squelched by the organization of the Nazi Dictatorship under Hitler in 1933. Shortly following World War I a concerted effort started in Italy to install Marxian communism. This had a partial success. A number of industrial plants were seized without compensation to owners, and further violent measures were threatened. Then Mussolini arose, and established a Fascist Dictatorship which eradicated communism for the time being.
In 1920 with the CPUSA badly divided, the Comintern, acting as sort of a referee, dispatched functionaries with orders to the party to reunite. At a series of secret meetings, the different wings of the party were fused into one organization. During the early 1920s, the party apparatus was to a great extent underground, with a small legal above ground element, the Workers Party. By the mid to late 1920s, there were three elements of Soviet power operating in the United States, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. They werethe Comintern, military intelligence, and the forerunner of the KGB, the GPU. It appears that during the early 1920s, the Comintern was the dominant arm of service in the United States, although it was not unusual at that time for agents or officers to be switched from one service to another.
Lenin visualized Communist parties as the vanguard of the proletariat. But in those areas with little industry and therefore only tiny proletariats, the initial "wars of liberation" would have to be won by the national bourgeoisie, and the embryonic Communist parties should ally with them. Only later, when the industrialization process was proceeding apace, would a Communist take-over be possible. Between 1923 and 1927, the Comintern under Stalin's direction tried to implement this strategy in China.
The Comintern directly dispatched people to help in the founding of the Chinese party and, together with the leaders of the Chinese party, to determine the policy and line at important junctures in the revolution; and a batch of theoretical cadres and the party's working cadres were trained for the Chinese revolution at Sun Yat-sen University and Eastern Toilers University in the Soviet Union. In this respect the Comintern's contributions were positive, and the CPSU gave direct support to the Chinese revolution.
The tiny Communist Party of China (CPC) was forced into an alliance with the Kuomintang in an effort to unify China and oust the imperialists. But Chiang Kaishek, well aware of the long-range goals of his Communist allies, turned on them in 1927 and nearly obliterated the CPC.
On November 19, 1925, the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) adopted a resolution "On the inadmissibility of" mixing "the functions of intelligence agencies and relevant party organizations." All heads of Soviet foreign missions were sent a directive "On the strictest implementation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the countries concerned."
A document, adopted by the Comintern, strictly outlined the scope of this interaction. In order not to slander against the truth, we will cite it completely, as it was signed by G. Zinoviev and O. Pyatnitsky in due time and is strictly enforced by all the units of the Comintern. Representatives of the Razvedora and the Cheka did not in any way have the right to finance parties or groups abroad. This right belongs exclusively to the Executive Committee of the Comintern. The representatives of the Cheka and Razvedora can not apply to foreign parties and groups with a proposal for their cooperation for the Razvedora and the Cheka.
Nevertheless, the struggle for the "purity of the ranks" of the Comintern, the desire not to allow spies and provocateurs into this world communist organization, confronted the Soviet political and military intelligence services with the task of defending this international proletarian organization with their own specific methods.
The mutual and strictly confidential nature of the exchange of operational information between the Soviet foreign intelligence and the leadership of the Comintern made it possible to avoid complications for the world communist organization in cases where a provocateur or intelligence agent penetrated the leadership of the Communist Party of a particular country.
In October 1997, the British counterespionage declassified and made public documents more than half a century ago, confirming the fact that the British intelligence services were monitoring the leaders of the local Communist Party. The declassified documents, in particular, referred to the recruitment of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) as the secret informer of the Personal Secretary of the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Harry Pollitt, who supplied the British secret services with current party materials passing through her hands.
In May 1943, Soviet newspapers published a report on the dissolution of the Comintern. This was a big surprise.
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