Part 5: Declaration Presented at the Conclusion of the Interventions of the KAPD

Declaration presented at the conclusion of the interventions by delegates of the KAPD at the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921.

We protest with extreme firmness the attempt to put us in the same sack as the Dittmanns and Serratis by means of some quotations taken out of context. We do not disregard for a moment the difficulties in which the soviet power finds itself due to the fact of the slowness of the world revolution; but we are at the same time conscious of the risk that with all these difficulties, a contradiction be­tween the world revolutionary proletariat and the momentary interests of soviet Russia not result — apparent or real contradiction.

In a commission meeting it was declared that it wasn't necessary to consider the 3rd International as an instrument of the soviet power, but that the latter was only the strongest bastion of the 3rd International. We also, we think that it must be like that. But we consider that when any contradictions arise between the vital interests of the soviet power and those of the 3rd International, it is a must to have it out openly and fraternally within the International.

Concerning the practical solidarity towards soviet Russia, we have always carried out our duties because they were a matter of course. For example, the celebration of the anniversary of October through demonstrations, the most important participation in the assistance to the imprisoned soldiers of the Red Army, preparation of a solidarity action in August 1920 (the latter having failed through the fault of the USPD and the Communist Party). The demonstrations of solidarity with soviet Russia were one of the determining motives of our party when it decided to adhere to the 3rd International, despite its very grave apprehensions concerning the tactics of this organisation.

We remain on this line, but everywhere and always we offer the hardest resistance when we observe that the policy of soviet Russia has as its effect a reformist practice on the part of the 3rd International. We are convinced that such reformism contradicts the real interests of Soviet Russia as much as those of the world proletariat.

MOTION PRESENTED IN VIEW OF THE VOTE ON THE ULTIMATUM ADDRESSED TO THE KAPD BY THE EXECUTIVE

1) The 21 conditions of the 2nd congress are even less capable in the future than
up to now of creating any one guarantee against reformist putrefaction.

2) After the creation and admission of great mass parties, the 3rd International
needs the presence of a purely proletarian revolutionary opposition more than ever.

3) Such an opposition will not be built if it is crushed by the apparatus and electorate of a party that wants to unite the masses behind it at any price (and in principle) and which can thus only be necessarily opportunist and reformist.

4) As far as its principles, the United Communist Party (VKPD), in particular, today remains on the terrain of Paul Levi. The left wing is at best imprisoned by a fatal self-deceit.

5) In conclusion, at the present time, in all the parties of the Comintern some currents connected to the KAPD are being formed, but they cannot continue to develop themselves in the interest of the proletarian revolution and the International if the KAPD can remain as an independent party within the CI.

For all these reasons we propose:

That the congress decide the maintenance of the adherence of the KAPD to the CI as a sympathising organization.

DECLARATION PRESENTED IN VIEW OF THE VOTE 0N THE QUESTION OF TACTICS

The theses presented for a vote by the 3rd Congress are the consequence and even intensified continuation of the fundamental line of the 2nd congress, as well as of the policy followed up to now by the Executive Committee. They leave the traitorous intelligentsias of the opportunists and reformists of all countries an unlimited field of action in their work of mystification, particularly if one takes them in relation to the theses on the world economic situation.

One introduces a confusion that contradicts the idea of revolution itself. Any line of clear demarcation from the Hilferdings is erased; one abandons all organic relationship with the reality of modern class struggle.

The so-called left of the Congress, pushed by the revolutionary workers who find themselves behind it, undertook some weak attempts to correct the tactic­al theses. These attempts have been rightly opposed by the majority as inconsequential. They most certainly testify to a good will to raise revolutionary activi­ty; but they do not take into account the concrete conditions of the struggle; they attack neither the bourgeois parliamentary foundation of the 21 conditions, nor the global tendency of the theses which this foundation subtends; these attempts have thereby become an obstacle to a later elucidation.

The preparation of the victory of the proletarian revolution in the capitalist countries can only be made in the struggles themselves. These struggles are necessarily born of the fact of the economic and political attacks of capital. The communist party cannot set these struggles in motion; it can no longer refuse the fight, or else it sabotages the preparation of victory. In the long run it can only obtain the leadership of these struggles if it opposes to all the illu­sions of the masses, the full clarity of the goal and of the methods of struggle. It is only thus that it can become, through a dialectical process, the core of crystallisation of revolutionary combatants who, in the course of the struggle, obtain the confidence of the masses.

By opposing ourselves – as inferred by this declaration — to the adoption under any possible forms of the theses on tactics, we refer to the theses that we have presented on the role of the party in the proletarian revolution.

DECLARATION WRITTEN AT THE END OF THE CONGRESS, BY WHICH IT DREW THE BALANCE OF THE VIEWPOINT OF THE KAPD

The delegation of the KAPD has submitted the results of the Congress to a new ex­amination; besides what concerns the decision that it must make vis-a-vis the deci­sion of the congress that demands in an ultimative fashion the dissolution of the KAPD into the VKPD, what concerns our relationship with the 3rd International. Fully conscious of the gravity of the responsibilities that it takes, the delegation, un­animously, made the following conclusions:

The tactical struggle against the KAPD during the congress has been carried out from the beginning under the forms of a struggle against an adversary whose arguments must not be appreciated as to their essential features and whose existence as a political factor must be annihilated under the pretext of discipline:

To this correspond the following facts:

1. The participants of the congress have been given, for several weeks, a complete­ly false image of the KAPD, by some distorting articles in the Russian press, in the "Communist International" and in the journal of the Congress. While our fundamental statements and our rectifications were not printed.

2. The manner in which the congress has been conducted has resulted in our having been permanently obliged to give only a fragmentary expression of our posi­tions. That this tactic was maturely reflected comes out in a particularly clear way in the fact that we were not even given the possibility of writing a review or quite simply a complementary review on the affair that interests us directly, the question of the KAPD. Which has constrained us not to speak in order to not make ourselves involuntary accomplices in a farce.

3. As foundation of the ultimatum that has been addressed to us, a so-called resolution of the Executive Committee was brought to the knowledge of the congressists. And this although the Executive Committee would not itself be occupied with this matter at any of its sessions, although it had not heard us and it had not, a fortiori, been able to take a decision on this problem.

4. For some weeks the question of the KAPD has been considered as one of the last questions on the agenda, and as a subject to look at autonomously; well, it was not even solely discussed in particular with us in view of the report of the Executive Committee (second point on the agenda); it was settled by a "decision". It thus came to the hoped for result: to bias the judgment of the congress before it risked looking into our positions in the course of the debates on the principled questions.

The formal aspect of this behavior is in strict keeping with the political line in which the 3rd International evolved under the determinant influence of the Russian comrades. The course of the congress has demonstrated it: the political line of Paul Levi has prevailed, the formal recognition of the "March Action" has been re­vealed as "freedom of revolution”.

The Czechoslovak party has been admitted as a section of full practice, but without any real guarantee and on the basis of empty promises. Its chief opportunist Smeral has been timorously indulged. As for the Italian Socialist Party, which concludes an agreement with the fascists, one has conducted oneself in an obliging way and by losing oneself in details. The participation on principle in the bourgeois parliament has been maintained, despite the sad experiences that have been made, in Germany, Austria, France, etc. and although the caricatures of this so-called revolutionary parliamentarism have been seen in the activity. By reaffirming the fatal policy of work in the old trade unions, you have given in, in spite of all the phrases, before Amsterdam, you have supported the capitalist dupery of economic parliamentarism. The congress has even supported the ridiculous idea of the revolutionisation of the consumers' co-operatives without flinching.

All this testifies that you continue to follow the path entered into at the 2nd congress, that you continue to be on the wrong track: from revolution to reformism, from the sphere of struggle to the tactics of diplomacy, to traffickings, and the illusory faking of contradictions. All these examples justify the protest against the adoption of the theses on tactics which we have given to be published in the minutes.

These are some facts that one must have in view when one considers the resolution demanding our dissolution into the VKPD, and one must recognise that this ultimatum is totally unacceptable for the KAPD. This reunification would mean subordin­ating ourselves to the discipline of a decomposing party, in which reformism has gotten the upper hand under the influence of the congress. We would be gagged by an organisational apparatus (press, finances, leadership cliques) which has been set against us; all hope of having a saving influence in such a party would be deprived

of a real foundation. The attitude of the delegation flows itself from all of these facts. Even without a special order on the part of the party:

It unanimously rejects the ultimatum that calls on it to fuse with the VKPD.

We do not declare the exit of the KAPD from the 3rd International, although we have full power to act in the name of our party. Our comrades will speak for themselves. They will give their response to the pretention that you have had to make them march with others on the path of reformism and opportunism. The international proletariat will hear this response.

Our decision has been taken with full consciousness of its gravity. We are fully conscious of our responsibility towards the German workers, towards Soviet Russia, towards the world revolution. The revolution will not allow itself to be bound hand and foot by a congress resolution. It lives, it goes its path, we go with it, we follow our path, in its service.

Signed:

Delegation of the KAPD

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