International Communism and World Revolution: History & Methods

By Günther Nollau | Go to book overview

PREFACE TO THE GERMAN EDITION

"The purpose of the enquiry we are about to undertake is to give us a correct understanding of what is, in order that we can better understand what will be." -- Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed.

I KNOW of no account of the origins and features of the collaboration between the parties of the working classes, and particularly none on the essential features of the Comintern and Cominform, written with the specific aim of revealing not only the realities behind the theses and resolutions of the Bolsheviks but also those underlying confused beliefs held by their opponents. This book is an attempt to provide such an account. It does not purport to be a history of the three Internationals. At the same time, I hope I have been able to bring out the salient features of the international collaboration between Communist parties. The collaboration between the Social Democratic parties has only been touched upon in so far as the roots of the Third International extend into the history of those parties.

"Proletarian internationalism" is the name the Bolsheviks give to the principles governing the political relationships between Bolshevik or similarly constituted parties and States. There is, I believe, another reason for regarding "proletarian internationalism" as a correct description of these principles. This is that the activities of the state-capitalistic, bureaucratic and imperialist functionary caste in the present-day Soviet Union can be called neither Socialist nor, in the original meaning of the word, Communist. Whether the Soviet efforts to enlist the working-class parties of the world into the service of the Soviet State, originating as far back as 1925, are an example of genuine internationalism, must be left to the judgment of the reader, who will find presented and commented on in this book a large number of facts throwing a less than favourable light on the behaviour of the Soviet leaders. In presenting these facts, however, it is not my intention to disparage the peoples who have the misfortune to live under Soviet rule.

I shall be grateful to anyone who can provide correction or amplification of my work.

G. NOLLAU

-xv-

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