Press Release Issued by the Department of State, December 24, 192322a
The following translation of an article by Steklov, from the Izvestia, No. 252 (1691), November 7, 1922, is made available to the Press:
“Republic of Soviets and III International
“The coincidence of the date of the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the October revolution and the opening of the 4th Congress of the Communist International is by no means an accidental or arbitrary occurrence. This coincidence has a deep significance, and flows out of the organic connection between two historical phenomena.
“The Soviet Republic celebrates today its 5th Jubilee; the Communist International convenes its 4th Congress. Thus the Communist International appears somewhat younger than its Soviet brother. And in fact, it was founded in the second year of the Soviet Republic, and, on the formal initiative and under the strong influence of the Russian Communist party. The majority of the Communist parties, entering into its composition were founded later than the Russian party. This has given cause to our enemies to affirm that the whole Communist International, as such is a creature of Moscow, But in fact it is not at all so.
“However paradoxical it may appear at the first glance, the October Revolution and the Russian Communist Party which realized it, from a broad historical point of view are themselves the product and creation of the Communist International. To be sure, as a complete and formal organization the Communist International arose later. But as an idea, it existed earlier than they. Before its formal proclamation, the Communist International existed in the consciousness of all revolutionary Marxists. Its fundamental elements were developed at the Conferences in Zimmerwald and Kienthal and in the inter-party disputes during the Imperialist War. As a categorical imperative and a directing spirit it was active long before the Constitutent [sic] Congress of the III International. In particular, the Russian Bolsheviks as far back as 1914–15 looked upon themselves as part of the future III International, acted in conformity with its principles, and in accordance with them carried out the October Revolution.
“But, however we may look upon the chronological succession of events and on their historical sequence, the very close organic and spiritual bond between the Soviet Republic, product of the [Page 791] October Revolution, and the Communist International can not be doubted. And even if the connection had not been admitted many times by both sides, it would, nevertheless, be clear to all, and as an established fact. It is clear to us as to our enemies.
“Comrade Kalinin in his speech at the opening of the last session of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee remarked, that ‘in the general strength of the III Communist International, the strength of the Soviet federation has an enormous significance’, and mat ‘the workers and peasants of the Soviet Republic are one of the great component forces of the Communist International.’
“That is a deep truth. The counter-revolutionary press makes sport over the Russian peasant being interested in the International. Regarding the Russian worker that press raises no quarrel. But in regard to the peasant the assertion of Kalinin is true. It is possible that the average Russian peasant has a very poor conception of just what the Communist International is, and even less understands its program. Nevertheless he knows very well about the Communist International and feels himself bound to it. Compelled for four years to defend themselves from the attacks of international capital, the Russian laboring masses on their own skin keenly felt the significance of the international solidarity of the workers. The laborers and peasant masses of the Soviet Republic, hitherto boycotted and blockaded by the Capital of the Imperialist powers understand perfectly that their daily material interests are closely bound up with the success of the International Revolutionary movement. And in this sense Russia is now the country most internationalistically inclined in its broadest masses.
“On this side the very close bond between the Soviet Republic and the Communist International is not subject to doubt. This connection is not only of a spiritual, but also of a material and palpable character. On its side the Communist International in the same measure is spiritually and materially connected with Soviet Russia. It is not a question of material support, about which the bourgeois press makes so much noise, and which, in the largest part, belongs to the realms of myths. In any case the material support, which, for instance, the workers of all countries extended to the Soviet Republic during the famine of last year, is not less than the support extended by the Russian Communist Party to fraternal parties abroad.
“Of course, in event of the possibility arising, both sides will extend to each other the maximum assistance. But at present it is a question of a bond of another sort, preeminently of a spiritual political character.
“The Communist International rests on Soviet Russia. The very fact of the existence of the Socialist Republic, for five years repulsing attacks from all sides, maintains the revolutionary state of mind of the international proletariat and does not permit it to become depressed in its difficult moments, inspires it to unwearied struggle, assists the workers’ organization everywhere. In the Soviet Republic the International proletariat has an inaccessible stronghold in which the elaboration of the international Communist Program and tactics is proceeding, and where the systematic accumulation of creative proletariat experience and the construction of a proletariat [Page 792] state are going on. Here there is a real asylum for all those who fight for social revolution, whither they can seek shelter from the vindictive persecution of the bourgeoisie and where they can in practice acquaint themselves with the process of the construction of a Communist society.
“The mutual solidarity of the Soviet Republics and the Communist International is an accomplished fact. In the same degree as the existence and the stability of Soviet Russia are of importance to the III International, the development and strengthening of the Communist International is of importance to Soviet Russia. In the past the International has helped Russia to ward off the attacks of world Capital. In the future its aid will prove more effective. The success of the Communist International will contribute to the consolidation of the political and economic position of Soviet Russia, and vice versa. The spiritual, moral, and material bond between them is based on the complete solidarity of interests.
“That is why the idea of opening the 4th Congress of the Communist International on the day of the celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution was a happy one. It is a symbol, full of deep significance, speaking equally convincingly for enemies and for friends.
- For publication in the morning newspapers of Dec. 25.↩