It remains to deal with Lenin's position on the question of compromise's. During the World War the German Social Democracy sold out to the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, much against its will, it inherited the German revolution. This was made possible to a large extent by the help of Russia, which did its share in killing off the German council movement. The power which had fallen into the lap of Social Democracy was used for nothing. The Social Democracy simply renewed its old class collaboration policy, satisfied with sharing power over the workers with the bourgeoisie in the reconstruction period of capitalism. The German radical workers countered this betrayal with this slogan, "No compromise with the counter revolution". Here was a concrete case, a specific situation, demanding a clear decision. Lenin, unable to recognize the real issues at stake, made from this concrete specific question a general problem. With the air of a general and the infallibility of a cardinal, he tried to persuade the ultra-lefts that compromises with political opponents under all conditions are a revolutionary duty. If today one reads those passages in Lenin's pamphlet dealing with compromises, one is inclined to compare Lenin's remarks in 1920 with Stalin's present policy of compromises. There is not one deadly sin of bolshevik theory which did not become bolshevistic reality under Lenin.
According to Lenin, the ultra-lefts should have been willing to sign the Treaty of Versailles. However, the Communist Party, still in accordance with Lenin, made a compromise and protested against the Versailles Treaty in collaboration with the Hitlerites. The "National Bolshevism" propagandized in 1919 in Germany by the left-winger Lauffenberg was in Lenin's opinion "an absurdity crying to heaven". But Radek and the Communist Party- again in accordance with Lenin's principle-concluded a compromise with German Nationalism, and protested against the occupation of the Ruhr basin and celebrated the national hero Schlageter. The League of Nations was, in Lenin's own words, "a band of capitalist robbers and bandits", whom the workers could only fight to the bitter end. However, Stalin-in accordance with Lenin's tactics-made a compromise with these very same bandits, and the USSR entered the League. The concept "folk" or "People" is in Lenin's opinion a criminal concession to the counter-revolutionary ideology of the petty bourgeoisie. This did not hinder the Leninists, Stalin and Dimitrov, from making a compromise with the petty bourgeoisie in order to launch the freakish "Peoples Front" movement. For Lenin, imperialism was the greatest enemy of the world proletariat, and against it all forces had to be mobilized. But Stalin, again in true Leninistic fashion, is quite busy with cooking up an alliance with Hitler's imperialism. Is it necessary to offer more examples? Historical experience teaches that all compromises between revolution and counter-revolution can serve only the latter. They lead only to the bankruptcy of the revolutionary movement. All policy of compromise is a policy of bankruptcy. What began as a mere compromise with the German Social Democracy found its end in Hitler. What Lenin justified as a necessary compromise found its end in Stalin. In diagnosing revolutionary non-compromise as "An Infantile Disease of Communism", Lenin was suffering from the old age disease of opportunism, of pseudo-communism.