the 100th anniversary of the III. international
Yesterday we, the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, were celebrating the birth of the Communist Internationale also known as 3rd Internationale. Most of our contemporaries see the Comintern as a tool of control in the hands of the Stalinist leadership of USSR. It is held responsible of the defeat of the Spanish Revolution, isolation of Titoist Yugoslavia, the abandonment of the Greeks and Italian revolutionaries and so many consequences of the “Socialism in One country” doctrine. But if it’s commonly accepted that “History is always written by the winners” (quote written under the hand of the French fascist Robert Brasillach) as heirs of the “Resistance”, we reassure our commitment to fight fascism, politically, socially and today historically. We do this by underlining the struggle of thousands of women and men that led to this historical revolutionary step that has been only possible at the cost of huge sacrifices and commitment of revolutionaries from the whole world. Let’s take our History back!
If the 3rd Internationale has been founded the 4th of March 1919, we can say that its seeds has been planted. 5 years before, on the 4th of August 1914 when the oldest and the most powerful Social-Democrat Party of Europe, leading party of the Second International voted in favor of the war credits. Becuase of this betrayal of the ideals of anti-militarism and internationalism, many believed that the party should have been called German SPD and not SPD of Germany. This betrayal would give materials to Lenin to define and denounce the “social-chauvinists” which were so-called socialist who preferred to join the nation-state’s ranks, instead of joining the ranks of the working oppressed classes. This betrayal would lead to the assassination of more than nine million poor men fighting the wars of the rich. With the exception a minority of what will become the “Zimmerwald group” and prominent socialists figures like Jean-Jaures and Rosa Luxembourg, millions of peasants and workers galvanized by nationalistic feeling and led by huge numbers of militants of the 2nd International would face against each other on both sides of the trenches drawn by Nation-States.
During WWI, which Lenin would define as “Inter-imperialist Civil War”, he made the conclusion that the 2nd Internationale founded in 1889 is dead and buried and sees the necessity to found a third one learning from the mistakes and the defeats from the last one. In order to mark the rupture within the revisionist and chauvinistic lines of the Social-democrats party, Lenin exacerbates his Internationalism commitment by developing the “revolutionary defeatism” and “socialist patriotism” thesis, which will be adopted by the Bolcheviks, who pronounced themselves in favor of the defeat of Russia which would make them able to move to the stage of revolutionary insurrection.
The Russian Revolution which arrived like a surprise, was going to incarnate a hope for all the revolutionary movements of the world. Those “ten days that shook the world” were going to give a safe-haven to all the oppressed people who were fed-up with colonialism, inequality and Imperialist war. Internationalism was seen and analyzed as a duty but also as a necessity. The Bolsheviks believed that unless the socialist revolution would shake the capitalists nation-states, all reactionary military forces will converge to crush the October Revolution like the Paris Commune. This is why a new Internationale was required in order to support and coordinate the revolution in Europe and all over the world.
The aim of those lines was to stress on the spirit of resistance and the necessity to unite. This would lead to the foundation of the 3rd Internationale, which contrary to the two precedents was not limited to discussions but also to radical practice. For the first time in modern history, there were liberated territories from which revolutionaries were openly working to bring down nation-states, capitalism and colonialism. In other words waging a internationalist revolutionary war.
In 1920 the Conference of Bakou also known as the Congress of the People of the East proposed through the words of Zinoviev to push forward Marx’s quote “workers of all the world unite!” by replacing it by “workers and oppressed of all the world unite” understanding that the revolution was not limited to the industrial world. It was also clearly declared that the Revolution in Russia was just a small step starting the long march to the liberation of the people all around the globe.
The Cold war, Stalinist purges and revisionism led to the beginning the process that will consume the Internationalist Ideal and haven that constituted the USSR. Socialism in one country was going to make the state’s interests prevails over the revolution’s interests. One of the most important things we could learn in all revolution is when pragmatical thought is considered more important than ideal and values, the revolution process is condemned to decline and to be extinct. With the two blocks scheme, the world was divided between two states structures. The Bolshevik Revolution did not succeeded to go beyond the state like it was planned in Marx’s, Engel’s and Lenin writings. The revolutionary ranks after the Spanish civil war were deeply divided and National Liberation Movements had no other alternative than to intensify or lower their struggle in relation to the Kremlin decisions.
What Lenin had criticized and named “White Russian Little Bourgeois nationalism” was going to mark the Soviet-Chinese rupture. What Orientalism and state-minded policies did would separate these two revolutionaries processes with common border. USSR specially under Khrushchev found itself closer to the USA than the Peoples Republic of China. China at that time denounced Krushchev as revisionist and condemned the “pacific coexistence” between Russia the USA. Socialist ideals and brotherhood of the peoples were erased in front of those state-centered policies and mindset. For instance China supported Augusto Pinochet government that was in power after the military coup against Salvador Allende. The Dictatorship would lead to the massacre, the disappearance and the detention of thousands of Chilean revolutionaries. The USSR had made a secret deal with Great Britain in relation to Greece because they considered that the time for the revolution in Greece wasn’t to come yet and abandoned the Greek revolutionary movement that was close to win the Greek civil war. Stalin will go even further in this direction by dissolving the Comintern in 1943 in order to deescalate the tensions with the “Allies”.
China and USSR fell into the dead-end of the statist mindset, pushing themselves always to protect the state’s interest and their zone of influence, and by these stances killing all the Internationalist potentials. We had to wait until 1955 the holding of the Bandung’s Conference to see which will compare to the 2nd Internationale of the so-called Third World, this conference gathered twenty-nine countries and representatives of states of Africa and Asia. This conference threw the foundations of what will become the “Non-aligned Movement” in 1961. This Movement gathered a lot of new independent countries condemning colonialism, imperialism and the bipolar block division of the world, but faced the same problem like the two first internationals : Agreements on principles but not on the unity of decision and action. The major difference is that it was state representatives which most of the case are not representing the people themselves. Nevertheless the opposition to this binary vision proposed by USA and USSR was not convincing for the biggest portion of humanity.
The struggles supported by revolutionary USSR managed avoid its authoritarian and revisionist drift and were able to organize themselves and shake the planet. In the 60’s Marxist-Leninism was put in practice except in the country where it was born and in the country which claimed its exclusivity (USSR and PRC). Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam, and Palestine would be the revolutionary processes that would open the third world internationalism and put in practice what Lenin supported : “using contradictions between imperialist powers and their alliances in the interest of the proletarian states”. But a small difference is that none of those four countries had developed a strong proletariat, but fought for their people and oppressed class.
The struggle that’ll be theorized by Frantz Fanon, Ernesto Che Guevara, Amilcar Cabral and so many others defenders of the wretched of the earth. Cuba constituted military, medical, educational units that would go to support most of the revolutionary movements in South-America, Africa and Asia, For example in Africa more than 500 000 Cubans internationalists militants fulfilled their internationalist duty, putting in practice the decision of the 3rd International more than the Comintern in it’s short existence had succeeded to do. Amilcar Cabral, one of the most prominent revolutionary figure of the African continent would find the best words to describe the role that BenBellist Algeria” played in support for revolutionary movements “Christians go to the Vatican, Muslims go to Mecca, revolutionaries go to Algiers”.
Palestine like Vietnam was presented by the imperialist as civil wars but in fact they were all for the socialist revolutionary movement on a battle where the victory or the defeat would be felt on worldwide scale. For those two revolutions it was clear there was one barricade and two sides, but this time it was freedom fighters against the agents of Imperialism, the people against state. All the defenders of the people stood up against the American aggression on Vietnam, the anti-war movement in the USA, the student movement in Germany just to quote the most famous. The astonishing resistance of Vietnam and Palestine, gave hope and energy to all the revolutionaries of the world, the Fedayi fighting the Israeli tank with stones, the Vietcong Guerrilla with his Kalashnikov against an American B-52.
Che Guevara, Ben Barka and Cabral were preparing the Tricontinental Conference in order to gather all the Liberation Movements of Asia, Africa and South-America under the slogan of the Che :”create two, three, many Vietnam”. South-America from Saint-Domingue to Argentina was looking at Havana as an example to develop many guerrilla movements to defend their people completely oppressed by pro-American governments. Revolutionaries from all over the world came to Beirut to defend the Palestinian Revolution. This was the paroxysm of the spirit that was to blow out by the revolutionaries of the Paris Commune, by the 3rd Internationals, by the Cuban and Algerian militants by the Internationalists Brigade in Euskal Herria, in Aragon, in Catalunya, Andalusia, and in Galicia.
After those glorious years that the best translation is made by the voice of Che Guevara
”Because this great humanity shouted “Enough!” and started walking. And its march of giants will not stop before conquering real independence, for which they have already sacrificed many martyrs, more than once, in vain. Now, in any case, those who die will die like those of Cuba, those of Playa Giron : they will die for their unique, genuine and inalienable independence.” Revolutionary movements in the 80’s-90’s begun to be consumed by this so desired independence, and the new independent states played the role of the colonizer with “black skins and white masks” along with an incredibly harsh and fully coordinated repression by the states. It took us a little bit less than a century of struggles and sacrifices, from the foundation of the Comintern to the Rojava’s and Kurdistan’s Revolution to make our self-criticism about the convictions that we had, This is that the state was a necessary and unavoidable step to the Liberation of our People. On the 19th of July 2011 Kobani became is the echo of the 7th November 1917 of Petrograd. The Battle of Kobane is the echo of the Battle of Stalingrad where Daesh and Nazi regiments were destroyed, the Internationalists Taboors fighting in Deir-el-zor and Afrin are the heirs of the International Brigades which fought in Aragon and Saragossa.
Let the flames of Resistance that started in Rojava spread light to the other people who want to fight for their independence and for a socialist and anti-patriarchal society.
Bijî Serok Apo, Bijî Berxwedana Kurdistan, Bijî Biratî ya Gelan !