The Comintern and the Popular Front
When, during the last months of 1934, the unexpected possibilities of the Popular Front policy became obvious in France, Manuilsky had won his point. From that time onwards, the policy of the Popular Front became an international Comintern 'line', soon to be adopted all the way from China to Argentina. Nothing had yet changed in the Comintern tradition which consisted in applying one and the same policy all the world over at any given moment, and also to change it all the world over at the next 'turn', regardless of local conditions. In actual fact, however, the communist parties, during the Popular Front period, found themselves in a much greater variety of situations than before. This was due to the two facts that now for the first time communist policy in two countries, France and Spain, gained paramount national significance, and that the communist parties of these two countries thereby found themselves deeply involved in all the specific peculiarities of national life. All other communist parties failed to achieve a similar significance, and what in France and Spain became a living policy remained elsewhere a dead letter and a mechanical formula. The new capacity of large-scale manœuvring and of making major political decisions acquired by the two leading parties had no counterpart in other countries, where the old empty stereotyped methods of propaganda continued largely to prevail. This description also applies to communism outside Europe, with the exception of China, where a National Front policy of real significance was achieved from 1937 onwards. A wide gap opened between French, Spanish, and Chinese communists on the one side and all other communists on the other; but the gap was partly closed, in Europe, through the participation of leading cadres of other parties in the Spanish venture.