Interventions by members of the KAPD at the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921 in reply to Karl Radek's presentation on the tactics the CI should employ.
HEMPEL (Jan Appel): Comrades! After hearing the report of comrade Radek on the subject of the tactics which must be approved by the Communist International, we can say that we approve its primary declarations, notably insofar as they state that, considering the world economic situation, we can observe the collapse of the capitalist mode of production, a collapse from which the proletarian revolution will be an absolutely necessary consequence. But, as soon as we come to the question: how is this proletarian revolution accomplished? what is the formation of this proletarian mass in struggle? then some differences intervene. I will try in this short statement — because little time has been accorded me — to look at this subject. We consider the epoch from 1917, the Russian revolution, the revolution in Germany, in Austria, all the revolutionary struggles of this epoch, and we establish that the form the proletariat took in struggle was in Russia that of the Soviets; in Germany we call them councils. This was the formation of the proletariat, this was the form of mass organisation. We can make the same observation on the subject of the small revolutionary struggles that were manifested in Italy by the factory occupations. The proletariat has its councils, or at least the form of the councils. In England the proletariat used to have, and constructs now, at the time of the great miners' strikes, some works committees (the true revolutionary leadership being in the shop stewards). The German movement after 1918, in all the revolutionary struggles -- small or large -- has given itself the form of struggle by councils, by factories, by workplace. This is what we see in the revolution. We must think about this fact and say: if that's the formation of the proletariat in the revolution, we are compelled, as communists also, as people who want and must have the leadership in this revolution, to examine under this angle the organisation of the revolutionary proletariat. This is what we say, we of the KAPD, and this was not born, as comrade Radek believes, in Holland, in the brain and in the alembic of comrade Gorter, but through the experiences of the struggle that we have brought to a successful conclusion since 1919. We workers, we are not theoreticians, we have only some experiences deriving from our struggle. We have come to break the revolutionary workers, who really want to struggle, from the old forms of the workers' movement and to give to their struggle a functional characteristic of the new forms in which the revolution is accomplished.
This will become publicly evident if we refresh our memory about the tasks that the old workers' movement had, or better, the workers' movement preceding the epoch of this direct revolution. It had as its task, on one side, thanks to the political organisations of the working class, the parties, to send some delegates to parliament and into the institutions that the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy had opened to the representation of the working class. This was one of the tasks. This was profited by and in the epoch this was correct. The economic organisations of the working class had on their side the task of tending to the amelioration of the situation of the proletariat within capitalism, to push the struggle and to negotiate when the struggle stopped. I must say all this quickly. Such were the tasks of the workers' organisations before the war. But the revolution came; other tasks emerged. The workers' organisations could not abide by the struggle for wage increases and be satisfied; they could no longer lay down — as their principal goal — that of being represented in parliament and wringing some ameliorations for the working class. This, this is reformism. Now you object this to us: "we, we are not opposed". But we reply: we quite believe you, you are not opposed, but if you enter the path that the old workers' movement has followed, then this is the path that will sweep you away, you will not be able to do otherwise – and all the theses in the world will not be able to change anything. Experiences prove it. It is not for nothing that the old workers' movement had its special organizations. Why did one need to be represented in parliament? We did not need revolutionary fighters; we needed to be educated in the relationships within this state; one needed people who knew how to negotiate, parliamentarians, and one had only to listen to their reports. More or less. What was needed from an economic point of view? One needed an association of workers. One chose some reliable men, we elected some workers capable of negotiating with the bosses and with the bosses' organisations. It is by such organisations that the leaders remained, they existed thanks to them. One collected money in order to conduct an eventual strike. One constructed some organisations of support, that is to say, some unions, instruments of the working class for one already determined goal: to settle themselves within the capitalist order. Then, when some communists believe that this organ, which is incapable of conducting revolutionary struggle, which is an inadequate instrument in the revolutionary struggle, when they believe in utilizing this leadership, these organizations, to conduct some revolutions with these organizations of the working class, they are in error and they give way.
We permanently have the experience that all organisations of workers that take this path, despite all their revolutionary discourse, give way in the decisive struggles. Such is the great lesson that we must draw. Consequently we say: the proletariat must have the goal before its eyes and this goal is: destruction of the capitalist power, destruction of the power of the state. The proletariat must form some organs especially with this end in view. The proletariat forms them itself. We see it when in a factory - in Germany for example — the workers pose some demand that a boss cannot presently accept; what does the working class do then? It chooses some reliable men that it knows, drawn from its factories, from its workplaces. It must in these small beginnings already lead its struggle against the will of the unions. This is what shows us the long history of these small struggles, small strikes, and up to the last great struggles.
Therefore the working class is obliged to organise itself -- it does this even now -- in the economy with a view of the revolutionary struggle. And we say: we, as communists, we must recognise this phenomenon. We must recognise the false rode of the old workers' movement. We have something new, we have the revolutionary struggle, and that is why we must say what the development of the revolution has alre-dy shown us: the workers must organise themselves in this fashion, and we, communists, we must have the leadership when it comes to some fights. This is why we say: the communists must induce the proletariat to organise itself by enterprises, by workplaces, in a totally determined goal: to take into its hands the production, the productive forces, the factories, to conquer all this. It is there that the proletariat must organise itself, for it is for all this that it struggles.
Comrades, it is not possible for me to expand any further on that. It is the task of communists to recognise it and give it their attention.
We come then to the second point. The formation of the proletariat, the organisation of the proletariat in the struggle and the tasks also furnish the methods of struggle. The methods must be revolutionary; they flow, at the present time, from the examination of the economic situation, from the situation with the adversary. The adversary today takes some crafty measures, not from today only, but in a reinforced fashion today. And these crafty measures are of a nature to maintain its power: on one side the state power, on the other it is necessary that industry, the economy continues to yield something. It is impossible for them to once again put the totality of the national economy into motion. This doesn't work. But it is possible for them to consolidate a part, a core of the economy at the expense of the other sectors. This is now accomplished in all the countries of the world. We communists, we must observe this and we must see what consequences this undertaking of the more conscious capitalists will have for their goal.
For the proletariat this has the consequence that a part of itself is safeguarded
in the enterprises that are kept viable, in this economy that is kept viable. And in all countries, we see that this core, these trusts, these supertrusts unite themselves on the international scale and have predominance. But if only one part of the proletariat is admitted and has the right to live in these concentrated enterprises, another part must be eliminated. This is the great mass of unemployed who no longer find any place in the present system, who are condemned to perish. This is the division, the economic split of the working class. The worker who is in the enterprise, who still has the possibility of getting out of trouble, anxiously hangs on there in order not to lose his job. The worker put out of the enterprise is the enemy of those who can still live. Such is the split that is consciously exploited by capital and exacerbated by the bourgeois press. It is thus that the recovery of capitalism takes place today. We do not say the permanent relief of the domination of capital, but relief for a certain time, relief upon the corpses of proletarians dead of starvation. We must recognise it and also connect it with our combat tactics, the method according to which we must proceed. We communists, we must through the proletariat prevent this consolidation of one part of the economy, of the proletariat, from being accomplished. For this is the defeat of the proletariat. We must take up the fight in all the phases, at the least occasion. We must through all possible means — I say, with comrade Radek, with all possible means – prevent the reconstruction of the economy, as it is planned by the capitalists. And for this we must utilize the enormous, ever-growing masses of unemployed, of starved proletarians; we must assemble them. We do not bring them together so that they might vote for parliament, in order that they approve some resolutions, but we must, in line with their vital needs, group them, organize them in councils, take them in connection with the other councils, with the reliable men of the enterprises. Thus we create the organisation of the proletariat, the association of the proletarian in action. The discourses, the resolutions and the "open letter", as Radek has affirmed here, are not some platforms by which the unity of the revolutionary proletariat is accomplisned; tne platform is constant combat.
Comrade Radek has spoken of the offensive and the defensive. Earlier in the year we have seen how this happened to us in Germany. We saw how bourgeois democracy was maintained by all means, by the social-democrats, the independents, all the parliamentary parties end organisations and by all the bourgeoisie. This is a disguised situation and capital needs it; it must explode. We launched the slogan: utilise each conflict, in each enterprise, push it forward, spread it, on each occasion make the isolated capitalist hang his head, develop links from enterprise to enterprise, make the struggles sharper. Comrades, we saw that from there the course of events took a sharp turn in central Germany and arrived at the March Action. They arrived with the Hoersing attacks; the storm then broke out in Germany. We say that this is an offensive (as we conceive it) and it must be launched. But to suddenly order the offensive without the intermediary stages is nonsense. I thus refer more fully to our attitude on 20 August of last year (1920), when the Red Army was on the East Prussian frontier before Warsaw. This also returns for consideration if one wants to bring in a judgement on the offensive and the defensive. We, of the KAPD, in our country, we made a preparatory work of several weeks, by all means, in public meetings by leaflets, by making propaganda in the enterprises, by exploiting the spiritual state [consciousness] born of the presence of the Red Army on the frontiers. And then we posed the question of what must be done in the case of troops and munitions coming from France across Germany, we then decided to go as far as insurrection. We methodically made preparations in all areas. The 20 August and the preceding evening -- only now can we bring up the subject, because previously many comrades went into prison because of this — an appeal appeared in “Rote Fahne”, "Freiheit" and in all the provincial papers: Proletarians of Germany: attention! some cops and provocateurs, some shady elements want to push you headlong into a bloodbath, etc. We openly recognise it today: if ever we made an error it was certainly that day, because we tried through every means to put the brakes on the action that had to break out in the most important zones of Germany. We reunited in several places and, now, one can mock the fact that our comrades in Vilbert and Koethen may have proclaimed the council republic.
We know that one can mock us on that. This does not disturb us. But the task of communists at that moment was to take the offensive. In Germany we consider this as an offensive; on the international scale it wasn't one, but a simple act of solidarity with our Russian brothers who were defeated because of the delivery of materials. These things must also be said, if one is concerned with judging the offensive and the defensive.
We come next to partial demands. I will first address the question of the "open letter", next control of production, partial demands. Comrade Radek has spoken of the different aspects that partial demands can have. The "open letter", in Germany backed by the unions, by the parliamentary parties, this open letter will be opportunist, it must become opportunist. An "open letter" that would be supported by revolutionary economic organisations, this open letter would have a character that Radek wouldn't find in the VKPD. What did the meetings of the action committees that engaged in throwing away the bases of the struggle that had to follow the "open letter" become? Well, we resisted them because we know who we have to deal with, because we know that this could bring nothing but bargaining with the government. These are phrases. That is why we resisted them. We are in agreement with all opening of struggle. But one must also reflect on what must be done. This is not improvised, these are actions preparatory to the revolution, and they must be found in reality. One would have had them if one had had some revolutionary organisations, if for two years the leadership of the Spartacus League, the 3rd International had not demanded: no factory organisations, no workers' associations, utilisation of the old unions. It must see these things as they are and it must ask the combattants who lead a permanent struggle; I repeat, I do not have the time to be able to explain all this in detail.
Now the question of partial actions. We say that we don’t resist any partial action. We say: each action, each fight, because it is an action, must be taken to the end, be pushed forward. One cannot say: we resist this fight here, we resist fight there. The fight that is born of the economic necessities of the working class, this fight must through all means be pushed forward. Exactly in a country such as Germany, England and all the other bourgeois-democratic countries who have endured 40 or 50 years of bourgeois democracy and its effects, the working class must at first be accustomed to the struggles. The slogans must correspond to the partial actions. Let's take for example: in an enterprise, in different enterprises, a strike breaks out, it includes a small area. There the slogan could not be: struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat. That would be an absurdity. The slogans must be adapted to the relationships of forces, to what one can expect in a given occasion. These slogans must also be adapted to the character that the struggle of this movement must take on. We accept that a general uprising is propagated in the countries. Then the slogans must not say: "This is the totality that is concerned".
I want now to consider in this fashion the March Action, in order to demonstrate briefly, how the effects of its lessons have worked, what has not been demonstrate here. The March Action, as everyone says now, was not an action, which, by itself, could bring scout the collapse of the power of capital. We also, we have seen this. But still, one must give the slogan: overthrow the government. One must launch this slogan because in Germany the proletarians are not carrying out an effective fight. Moreover one must launch this slogan because on the national scale there is no longer anything else for the proletarians in Germany to do. This social order means the starvation of some millions of them, the wasting away of an ever larger part of the population. Consequently, for the working class which finds itself in distress, there is nothing else to do but to take as its goal the overthrow of this social order. This is the content that the slogan would have to have in central Germany. The slogan would have to be thus because for the first time one would have to show the proletariat how it could get itself out of its distress.
I want to choose an example. It was in Germany in January 1918. The war with all its consequences weighed on the proletariat. In January l918 the armament and naval yard workers everywhere came to rebel against the strait-jacket of the war, against hunger, destitution, poverty. And this through the general strike. What happened? The working class, the proletarians in uniform did not yet understand the workers. The ice was not yet broken. But how was this struggle carried out through the country? How were the persecutions against the workers effected? How were they hounded in every corner? The news of this fight, of this movement of the working class penetrated into every recess. The whole world knew about it. And when the relationship of forces had ripened, there was nothing to save the military economy and the so-called German empire, then the working class and the soldiers did what the pioneers of January 1918 had taught, them. Things appear in a similar fashion now in Germany. We do not have sufficient means, sufficient means of propaganda, to put this forward in every nook and cranny. We must abandon it to the bourgeoisie and its supporters, and those who do it differently than us. The bourgeois persecutes us, they treat us like murderers, scoundrels, etc., they pursue us. The proletariat, again today, insults us in the same fashion. But if the situation develops and ripens, then the proletariat is willing to go along the same road and it recognises the road. That is how the revolution surmounts all the obstacles. That is why one must launch the slogan and one must fight for the overthrow of the capitalist power, of the existing order. There is the great lesson for the German proletariat, and for the International that has seen this March Action, greater than all the trifles that one hangs on to here.
Comrades, it is again necessary that I show in some words what the organisational form of the proletariat in struggle must be. Before I only made an allusion to this subject. The proletariat must not organise itself in order to be represented in the bourgeois state, in the political and economic domain, it must not organise itself in order to utilise bourgeois democracy; the proletariat must only organise itself with an eye to the revolution. The revolutionary experiences given by the Russian revolution, the German and Austrian revolutions, as well as the particular struggle must be recovered by the proletariat, that is how it must organise itself. That is why, we say, communists must create a core, a framework that might greet the proletariat when, thanks to the general development, it will be induced to fight. And these frameworks are the factory organizations, that merge themselves by enterprise, by economic regions. They are less numerous today (interruption: they will have less and less). Today they are the ones who hold the standard high, who hold the organisational framework. And when the struggles flare up, they will do more and more, because the proletariat is compelled to stay in this framework, because it cannot struggle through the unions and with them. We must take this into account. That is how the tactics of the 3rd International must be set up, so that we will progress. In order to hold all these organisations, in order to lead them, and in order to teach to all this class organisation, the proletariat needs a communist party, not a communist party that cannot be led by all its members, that can only exist thanks to a leadership that leads it by some directives. The proletariat needs an ultra-formed core-party. It must be thus. Each communist must be an unimpeachable communist — that this may be our goal — and he must be able to be an on the spot leader. In his relationships, in the struggles into which he is immersed, he must hold fast and, what holds him, what binds him is his programme. What constrains him to act are the decisions taken by the communists. And there reigns the strictest discipline. There one can change nothing or else one rill be excluded or sanctioned. It therefore concerns a party that is a core, knowing what it wants, that is solidly established and has proven itself in combat, which no longer negotiates, but is continually in struggle. Such a party can only be born when it has really thrown itself into the struggle, when it has broken with the old traditions of the movement of unions and parties, with the reformist methods which form part of the union movement, with parliamentarism. Communists must break with all this: with these methods the others have barred the path of the revolution, and net only by the effects that we have just pointed out, but by their assertion in some places that the bourgeoisie leaves open and that it uses as traps in which it captures and transforms revolutionary activity. Communists must banish this from their ranks, and when they have purged themselves, then only will they pass to their tasks; they will have carried forward to revolutionary activity. There – as fully as time allowed — we have shown what must be the line of the Communist International, in order that it might be leaders.
If one regards things in an international way, he notices that he finds the forces that can bear this edifice, the forces with which he can construct these revolutionary organisations, this revolutionary international. We find in France, in Spain, in Italy, we also find in America some syndicalists and anarchists. Perhaps someone will cry: there it is, you are an anarchist, a syndicalist. We pause an instant on that. One must recognise: for some years, these are on the side where the most revolutionary elements of the working class are found. Comrades, they lived too soon in history, their tactics were premature by several dozen years. The methods of the old movement in Germany were correct, but now, at the hour of collapse, it is the method of direct combat that it necessary. These workers, these anarchists and syndicalists of the world do not have the experience of organisation, do not have the experience of the cohesion of the working class. The communists must go to their aid and teach them to lead the fight, to assemble the forces; they must apply the form of organisation that might unify and fit them. These elements ask above all that one complete the break with all bourgeois traditions, that one might no longer return there. All the workers who have gone into the syndicalist or anarchist camp, have gone astray there because of the treason of the parliamentarist leaders. This concerns breaking them away again from their situation; and for communists this would be to fear not going into this area. To reject parliamentarism and unions, this is not a principled question for communists, these are practical questions and today they are on the agenda. If one views things in this manner, he notices that he finds in America and in the western European countries some large workers organisations who demand antiparliamentarism and the break with the union movement. Now the question is: how will the congress decide? If it reinstates the line of the old workers' movement, then it will submit to its path. If it resolutely takes the step to find itself with the left elements, who are in Moscow today, recognising that there is good in them also, then the revolution will receive a new impulse from the 3rd congress of the International; by taking another path it will flounder. This depends on the decision taken by the congress. That is how we consider the question of our belonging to the 3rd International.
SACHS: Comrades, I could attach my explanations to the last speech by comrade Bell of England, because it seems to me that he has pointed out our conception on a really essential point: the question of the size of the party. But I would return later to this point. I will criticize the account that comrade Heckert made yesterday: he conceded – what one cannot deny – the failure of the old KPD at the time of the Kapp putsch in Germany. Farther on, on the subject of August 1920, on the subject of the failure of the KPD, official section of the 3rd international, at the time of the raid of the Russian army on Warsaw, he rapidly glided into a polite silence, with a politeness as regards his party, but which unfortunately gave us few explanations of the situation then. He has, in the third place, recognised the dangerous irresolution, criticised the party at the time of the electricians' strike in Berlin. And moreover: who originated this irresolution that provoked this failure of the party at the time of the electricians' strike, this practical inactivity? It was not Paul Levi. It was, at the time of a meeting at which I was present, comrade Brandler, presently representing the revolutionary left of the improved edition of the VKPD under whose honorary chairmanship we all have the pleasure of sitting, in part with deliberative voice, in part with consultative voice. I did not choose him. It was Brandler, about whom one could still say (various noises) that he figures that the revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat must be accomplished under the form of the council system in the framework of the constitution of the German Empire (various noises). This is what he said in his official statement. There’s the paper where it is. Perhaps comrade Heckert, and with him some others of the party, will agree one day that this improved edition of the KPD failed again, at the time of the opening of this March Action; setting aside all that has already said, the beginning of the March Action is a point that has not yet been touched, and this is because the KPD only published the slogan for the general strike the Wednesday before Easter. Heckert believed it necessary to excuse his party up and down for having come out with its general strike slogan as early as Wednesday, whereas he knew that meanwhile it would be Easter, a time when the workers are not in the factories. It did not come to him that the Tuesday before Easter, in Halle, the gas, water and electricity workers were already on strike, without a slogan, in support of the workers of central Germany, and that then these workers, abandoned to themselves, without the leadership of the Halle district, the leadership of the strongest district of the VKPD, nor did the national leadership come forward to their aid, returned to the factory in order not to remain alone in the fight. It is only after we had exerted pressure in all the towns of the country: made haste so as to establish the general strike before Easter and to be able to hold on beyond that date, it is only there at the last moment, Wednesday, that they came to publish the slogan of the general strike. I say that comrade Heckert has conceded three cases of failure. Perhaps one day he will concede the fourth? Now it is remarkable that this Communist Party of Germany, the only authentic and licensed party, has failed in all the cases; and in all the cases, by the most marvelous of chances, the KAPD, or rather the previous opposition from which the KAPD was born, has always acted correctly. The districts, that on the day of the Kapp putsch, entered immediately into struggle, were the oppositional districts; those who tried to utilise August, an attempt that miscarried because of your resistance by you and the USPD, this was again the districts of the KAP; those who did not share the hesitations at the time of the electricians' strike, but sought with all their might to give themselves up to bring support to the workers, this was once again the KAP. I say: these are some remarkable chances that have no equal, or else there is a deeper cause.
SACHS: Comrade Rogalski, I have participated in all of this, therefore it cannot be a question of fantasy. Now, the fact that is found at the base of this parallel, of these remarkable phenomena, not only has interest within the framework of Germany, but also within the framework, of the entire International; this must have a great importance for it. It is, after all, simply the fact, that the KAPD, by reason of its organisation, of its tactics, even if it has only been perfectly clarified slowly and through a difficult process, it is the fact that the KAPD furnished a priori, in its basic structure, the guarantee that, in such a case, it cannot, taken as a whole, fail.
Yesterday comrade Lenin spoke, in a manner quite similar to that of comrade Bell today, of the possibilities of a small party. He explained, to our great surprise, that a small party also — also, he said — could find itself in the position of beginning the revolutionary struggle, moreover beginning the final and decisive revolutionary struggle and conducting it victoriously, he said: also. What then becomes of the sacrosanct principle of the mass party, where has it disappeared to? Now that comrade Lenin said that a small party is also able, if it is capable – that is quite correct – to gain by its policy, the masses and even the majority of the proletariat, the majority of the labouring population in general. Excellent. We are completely in agreement with him and we are unaware, insofar as it comes to this point, why he is irritated by our leftist foolishness, on exactly this point. If a small party is just as able, we ask him to be good enough to say what he thinks of what we say: a small party can do it, but when a mass party tries it -- a mass party in the sense that it has been preached here as a dogma — it is then very probable that it flounders. How do you answer this question? We say: a mass party, created according to the principle: "we bring in as much of the world as possible, after that we slate all this in order that we may make a party correct from a revolutionary point of view, under the pressure and the thrashings of the leadership"; we say that a "correct version" party of this fashion -- as you try to do now for the VKPD -- carries within it, within its entire structure, the greatest chance of failing. Because the masses are not only some inert numbers in books, in lists, they are living workers, who go to meetings, who send group delegates to local sections’ central committees and those of the districts, asserting their will and their opinion. And if one was able in days gone by to construct somewhere in the world a party that may have been led in military fashion, a corporal's baton in hand, and that counted its members numbers, a party like this is no longer possible in Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain, etc. We also know, and we also say that great masses are necessary for the victory of the revolution in the industrially advanced countries and that the communist party must win these great masses. But when we hear it said next that what one recommends is the “open letter” as exemplary means of winning the masses, this "open letter" that has made its appearance with us in Germany, and that, I hope, comrades of other countries know also, the open letter that contains a jumble of all that is possible, then we say that naturally, at the time of the composition of this "open letter", it is good will that has proposed to win the masses and make then advance.
It is wrong, it is true, to state that the true intention of the "open letter" was nothing other than to make some electoral propaganda, I do not want to debate this for the moment. But I say that this method of the "open letter" is impossible and undialectical. It is a method by which one wants to lure the masses to itself such as they are, not only by sympathising with their distress and oppression but at the same time compromising with the opinions that they have. One says that it is true in a conclusive phrase: we know that this doesn't work, but we demand, etc. Or else then, if they are still blind, if they still do not see what is, they say to themselves: good, if the communists themselves say to ask this, this is what will be done. In brief. One reinforces the masses in their opportunist illusions. If you want to want the masses, I must say that the recent March Action, all things considered, in spite of all its errors and weaknesses, was a much better method of doing this than the "open letter".
Doubtless, through the "open letter" we have made millions of hands be raised, but they have not been conquered for the cause of communism. On the other side, at the time of the March Action, large masses had turned against the fighters, not only with words, but also with iron bars, in chasing from the factories those who exhorted them to strike. But this is nevertheless how the dialectical process is accomplished: you first bring out those who want to and can fight, these ones will then certainly be hit; after a certain time, the masses who were previously against the action, will learn and understand: we were against this fight, we thought: this will improve, now no such thing has happened, we see that they were justified those whom we not long ago hit on the head with iron bars. This is, all things considered, the true method of winning the masses.
Comrades, the theses that have been presented to us and the amendments do not constitute for the KAPD the essential thing. I am not mandated for, and I am not about to express myself for or against the ones or the others, and this, for the simple reason that these theses, all things considered, are built on the basis of the resolutions of the 2nd congress, still in force today. They constitute a continuation, and in a large part certainly, an improvement; this can be nice and welcome to us, but this is not the essential thing. As important, we consider the transformation of the principled decisions on tactics, of the great tactical lines of the 2nd congress. This is why, knowing that it is not possible to think of some sort of reform, we propose to the delegations and to the presidium our theses for the 2nd congress concerning the union movement, the factory councils and the control of production, as well as the theses on the proletarian revolution. We do not believe that these theses arrive too late. If they are somewhat late, it is your fault. You did not listen to us sooner. These theses – we hope — will be taken as theirs by several delegations, and will be the ferment of a discussion that we will conduct more rapidly and better, on the path to victory, as the theses that have been adopted on the same subject by the 2nd congress.
I want to direct myself briefly to the attacks comrade Bukharin made yesterday. His last has quite severely attacked us, but, it is true, with some arguments that only exist on paper. He cited some phrases from a pamphlet by comrade Gorter and he believed he was able to bring us down with them. However, he read one very decisive phrase, but most of it has not been heard. It is this: after the proletariat rises in Kronstadt against you, communist party, and after you decree the state of siege against the proletariat in Petrograd...! This internal logic in the succession of events not only here in the Russian tactics, but also in the resistance that manifested itself against it, this necessity, comrade Gorter has always recognised and underlined. This phrase is the phrase that one must read in order to know that comrade Gorter does not take the part of the insurgents in Kronstadt, and that it is the same for the KAPD, but in order to apprehend what we see, to know: these are the difficulties of the situation here. If comrade Gorter is, as Bukharin presented him, our best theoretician, then this may be right. But he has learned our practice in such a way and we his that I can say today: if Gorter deviates in his theoretical writings from the line of the party (he hasn't done this yet), it is the latter that would stay and not comrade Garter's. Comrade Bukharin, I say once again, has worked against us with some arguments existing only on paper. He hasn't in any way drawn his arguments either from the life of our party, or from that of the VKPD, and he can not draw any. One can, with the aid of word games like those used against us yesterday, by comrade Bukharin, expose oneself to a congress that does not know the facts and cannot know them, but not in Germany where we return to make a report on the things that are fought here by a great many comrades under the name of "leftist foolishness".
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