Monday, March 04, 2019, 15:30 (GMT+7)
The irrefutable value of the Communist International

On the 2nd March, 1919 in Moscow, the Third International (also known as the Communist International) - the revolutionary organization of the proletarian class and oppressed peoples in the world - came into being. While it lasted for only 20 years plus, it cannot be denied that the Communist International (the Comintern) proved its tremendous values to the international communist and working-class movements via its frenetic activities.

The victory of the Russian October Revolution, together with the birth and development of multiple communist parties around the world, was a fundamental precondition for the inception of the Comintern, which provided for the objective and urgent need of the international working-class and revolutionary movements at that time. The Comintern represented a continuation of the achievements that the international communist and working-class movements had gained in their struggles for centuries acting on Marxism-Leninism - a scientific and revolutionary doctrine. The Comintern is of irrefutably historical value to the international communist, working-class and revolutionary movements to this day.

However, hostile forces, opportunists and revisionists stop at nothing to attack the working class’ international organizations that disseminate, defend, develop and translate Marxism-Leninism into practice. Notably, they refute the values that the Comintern has for the international communist and working-class movements. They have ramped up their sabotage activities since the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Nowadays, those sabotage activities continue to be stepped up fiercely while the remaining socialist countries stick to the path to socialism and carry out drastic reforms in the face of difficulties and challenges. They claim that the Comintern as well as the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union and socialist countries was tantamount to the dictatorship of individuals and the rule by means of violence, trampling on the rights to personal freedom and violating human rights. They blame the Comintern’s misguided policies for Marxism-Leninism, which led communist parties and workers in many countries to mistakenly map out their struggle methods and revolutionary tasks. They intentionally refute the revolutionary nature of the Comintern, claiming that the latter was not a Marxist-Leninist organization.

As such, while blaming the Comintern’s mistakes for its Marxist-Leninist accession, they contrast the former with Marxism-Leninism. Those claims give a distorted picture of the revolutionary nature of Marxism-Leninism and the Comintern for the following reasons:

First, the Comintern made great contributions to the protection and development of Marxism-Leninism. No sooner had Friedrich Engels passed away in 1895 than opportunists and revisionists taking the helm manipulated the Third International (1889 - 1914),  demanding to “depose” Marxism-Leninism and to replace it with the bourgeois ideology. At the same time, they fiercely ramped up the indoctrination of their reactionary and illusory ideas among the international communist and working-class movements, such as “class peace”, “the merger of peaceful capitalism with socialism”. More worryingly, they publicly sided with the bourgeoisie – the enemy of the working class, supporting unjust imperialist wars and opposing the Bolsheviks

In 1919, the birth of the Comintern shattered those illusions. The Comintern’s Marxism-inspired progressive and revolutionary ideas dominated “misguided” ones introduced by right-wingers, opportunists and revisionists, thereby lessening detrimental effects on the international communist and working-class movements. This not only cleaned up the international communist and working class movements but also facilitated their development.  The history of the Comintern ran in parallel with that of the endless struggle against opportunist and revisionist elements, thereby asserting, defending and enhancing the values of Marxism-Leninism in practice. This was the first great contribution made by the Comintern.

Second, the Comintern combined Marxism-Leninism with the working-class movement on a global scale. Karl Marx’s political slogan “proletarians of the world, unite!” was developed by the Comintern and V.I. Lenin into “proletarians of the world and oppressed peoples, unite!”. This represented not only theoretical development but also the growth of revolutionary and progressive forces in reality, which led the Comintern to the leadership of the proletariat and oppressed peoples around the world. During the Comintern’s existence (1919-1943), the international communist and working-class movements and national liberation movements made great strides. The formation and development of communist parties in political, ideological and organizational terms acting on Marxism-Leninism was irrefutably lasting imprints that the Comintern left.

During its 20-year plus existence, the Comintern convened 7 congresses. After each of these congresses, the struggle waged by the international communist and working-class movements picked up steam. A series of communist and workers’ parties were formed to lead communist and working-class movements in many countries. The membership of the Comintern rose to 40 communist parties in 1921 from only 10 in 1919. The Comintern operated in accordance with principles of Marxism-Leninism. A top priority was always placed on solidarity and consensus during discussions on strategic documents and political platforms in order to prevent opportunists and right-wingers from sabotage and infiltration as well as to defend the revolutionary nature of the Comintern.  This was a decisive factor in making communist parties clean, strong, and capable of their leadership.

Third, the Comintern provided clear-sighted policies for the international communist and working-class movements as well as national liberation movements in colonial countries. A case in point was for the 7th congress of the Comintern to approve a political platform, calling for peoples around the world to rise up against fascists and their atrocities while working out strategies in defence of the Soviet Union, the stronghold of world revolution and world peace against the backdrop of fascist destruction and the threat of a world war. The Comintern’s confrontation with fascism highlighted its revolutionary and humane nature and courage. The Comintern also made contributions to training generations of leaders of communist parties, especially fledgling ones, so that they could turn into new-model parties of the working class. Under the leadership of the Comintern, communist parties grew politically, ideologically and organizationally, gaining a lot of experience in their revolutionary struggles against imperialism, fascism, opportunism and revisionism in defense of Marxism-Leninism.

The Comintern holistically considered the national and colonial question, devised strategies for the colonial peoples’ struggles, closely combined communist and working-class movements with national liberation struggles, as well as actively helped the peoples with their struggles for independence and freedom. During its existence, the Comintern brought colonial revolution to the fore, clearly identifying the interrelationship between the international communist and working-class movements and  national liberation movements, supporting struggles by the colonial peoples in Asia, Africa, Latin America, including Vietnam, thereby contributing to making proletarian revolution in mother countries and colonial revolution inseparable. Together with the Russian October Revolution, the Comintern played a significant role in awakening the oppressed peoples in colonies and dependent countries and stimulating them to rise up against imperialism and colonialism for independence. This constitutes the Comintern’s achievement in both practical and theoretical terms.

Fourth, great contributions, significant roles and eternal values that the Comintern respectively made to, played in and had for the post-October Revolution history are irrefutable. That the Soviet-style socialism collapsed does not mean that Marxism-Leninism is out of date and the Comintern has lost its relevance. It is the Marxist-Leninist doctrine that has transformed the world, promoted the development of modern history and attracted mankind. Huge losses that socialism suffered nearly 3 decades ago have proved that only when a communist party sticks to and creatively applies Marxism-Leninism to reality does revolution succeed and the party assume the leadership. Any violation of basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and guidelines set out by the Comintern is to the detriment of the survival of any communist party and socialist regime.

Thanks to the Comintern, the Vietnamese revolution soon became part of the world revolution. Nguyen Ai Quoc found ways for national salvation by means of the Comintern’s guidelines and action plans. It was the Comintern that helped Vietnamese communists to learn from experiences by communist parties and revolutionary movements around the world, to make preparations for the formation of the Communist Party of Vietnam, as well as to train capable cadres for the Vietnamese revolution. Those were great contributions that the Comintern made to the Vietnamese revolution.

Celebrating the centenary of the Comintern, we reaffirm the eternal values of the Comintern and commit ourselves to continue to develop and creatively apply Marxism-Leninism to reality as well as to successfully carry out Doi Moi. This is our straightforward answer to plots by hostile forces to sabotage and refute Marxism-Leninism and tremendous values of the Comintern.

Assoc. Prof.  Nguyen Manh Huong, (Ph.D.), Nguyen Van Quy, (M.A.)

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