Change of Game Rules: The Policy of the Communist International during 1923–1925 vis-à-vis the Communist Sections
Elżbieta Kowalczyk

The situation in Europe soon after World War I filled the Bolsheviks with the hope that revolution would soon engulf other countries. Founded in March 1919, on Vladimir Lenin‟s initiative, the Communist International was regarded as the headquarters of the international communist movement and an instrument to reach that goal. The Communist International promoted communism and mobilized the working class to fight for their rights. But from 1923, the international situation began to stabilize. Attempts to start a revolution in European countries failed, and the Soviet Union lost hope of an immediate worldwide revolution. Soon the question arose: What‟s next? The response was the attempt to build socialism when surrounded by hostile capitalist powers and wait for an opportune moment when the world again is ripe for a revolution. Joseph Stalin was prepared to take the risk of building a socialist system alone. The consolidation of Stalin‟s power and the victory of the idea of „socialism in one state‟, in spite of the resistance on a part of the ruling elite, primarily Trotsky, also changed foreign policy significantly. The Kremlin was now facing the need to build normal diplomatic relations with the capitalist countries. In consequence, the Communist International was forced to “change game rules” vis-à-vis the communist sections. The satellite communist parties now had to switch to long-term strategy under conditions of peace. There was a shift in policy: from direct interference of Soviet security services in the internal matters of sovereign states to long-term action, utilizing the local communist structures on a greater scale. This paper deals with the years 1923–1925, when the Commission for Illegal Activity operated within the Executive of the Communist International Organization Bureau, which outlined hose plans. As a result, the Executive Committee gradually lost its autonomy, and ultimately, together with its communist parties, became a tool in the hands of Soviet foreign policy.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v7n2a1