THE united front gave the Comintern trouble on both sides of the Atlantic.
The European Communists greeted the new line with outraged innocence. They were appalled at the idea of denouncing their enemies in the labor movement as traitors one day and making overtures to them the next. The fact that it was only supposed to be a tactical maneuver did not reassure them. Many of them had become Communists in rebellion against just such tactical maneuvers. They were confronted with a dilemma that was to become peculiarly characteristic of the Communist movement: it had recruited them on the basis of one policy and then told them to carry out another.
The great majority of the French Communist party at first refused to have anything to do with the united front. In Germany, Italy, Norway, and elsewhere, a large portion of the movement also rebelled. The Comintern spent most of 1922 forcing these parties into line. The greatest pressure was put on the French party. French representatives came to Moscow to engage in long, acrimonious disputes with the Russian leaders of the Comintern. Two representatives from Moscow, one of whom was Dmitri Z. Manuilsky, a longtime power in the Comintern, were sent to Paris. The French leadership was cast out and a new one more amenable to Moscow's orders installed. Only one-third of the French party's original membership remained to carry out the new line. 1
In essence the Comintern met the new problem in the old way.