I
Origins of the Communist International

About the turn of the century, when the Russian Social- Democratic Labour Party was still in an embryonic state, a young man started to spread among its tiny membership what was later to be known as the fascist theory of élites. He was Vladimar Ilyitch Ulyanov, later known as Lenin. His father had been a leading educationalist, an organizer of schools of a quite unusual efficiency (by Russian standards), a stern disciplinarian, a devout pravoslav Christian; his mother came from German puritanical stock, from Swabian sectarians settled on the lower Volga by Catherine the Great. Lenin's father had acquired a title of hereditary nobility, which he handed on to his son. There was, in contrast to the later official legend, nothing in the family traditions which could be called liberal in any serious sense.

The imagination of Lenin's older brother was caught by the heroic traditions of the extinct revolutionary party calling itself 'The People's Will'. In their footsteps, he attempted to assassinate the Tsar, was caught and hanged. Since his earliest years, young Vladimar had followed the model of his older brother in everything. The latter's heroic death seems to have been the determinant factor in making a revolutionary of him, at the age of seventeen; there is no sign that before this event, the boy had ever shown the slightest inclination towards an attitude of opposition, let alone one of rebellion.

Into his revolutionary work young Vladimar I. Ulyanov, who had no trace in himself of the usual young revolutionary's revolt against his own family's traditions, introduced both his father's stern authoritarianism and religious dogmatism and his mother's

-25-

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European Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 7
  • Contents 11
  • Preface 13
  • Glossary of Political Organizations 19
  • Part I - The Foundations 23
  • I - Origins of the Communist International 25
  • II - United Front 50
  • III - Communists and Nazis 69
  • IV - French Communism Before 1934 81
  • Part II - Popular Front 113
  • V - The Great Turn 115
  • VI - Spain 163
  • VII - Decline and Fall 192
  • VIII - The Comintern and The Popular Front 221
  • Part III - The War 231
  • IX - The General Line: the Hitler- Stalin Pact 233
  • X - The General Line: the Grand Alliance 265
  • XI - France: the Worst of Traitors 296
  • XII - France: the Best of Patriots 315
  • XIII - Tito Emerges 337
  • XIV - Civil War in Yugoslavia 365
  • XV - Albania 396
  • XVI - Greece 409
  • Part IV - After the War 439
  • XVII - The Crisis of Liberation 441
  • XIX - Popular Democracies 484
  • XX - Cominform 517
  • Two Conclusions 549
  • Index 557
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