Comrade Lozovsky

Speech at Frankfort Conference

(22 March 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 28, 22 March 1923, pp. 218–219.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2021). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Red International of Labor Unions sends fraternal greetings and good wishes to this congress, and hopes that this meeting will not alone demonstrate against the danger of war, but will also find means of fighting its causes. When the Second, 2½, and Amsterdam Internationals convened a so-called peace conference at the Hague three months ago, we of the small Russian delegation said that it was futile to convene a peace conference; what we want is a class struggle conference, we do not want pacifism. It is not by pacifism that we defeat the bourgeoisie; of this, experience has given us ample proof. Scarcely three weeks after the Hague conference Poincaré invaded the Ruhr. He showed that he was not in the least alarmed at all the threats of the international reformists.

The proletariat must form a revolutionary bloc if it wants to fight effectually and successfully against imperialism.

The Russian comrades, who carried on the conflict against their bourgeoisie under the most difficult circumstances, are aware that at the present time there are broad strata of the international working class still in a state of indifference. We must find ways and means for rousing these great masses of working people in all countries.

The bloc of exploiters must be opposed by a determined bloc of all exploited and proletarian masses. This is the aim we have set ourselves at this conference.

What do we understand under United front, and on what basis do we want to form the united front of the workers of all countries? Today we do not demand that the broad masses of social democratic workers, and those workers who are not yet our followers, should unite on the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat. All we ask is that a united front be formed on the basis of the demands formulated by the Social Democratic organizations themselves. We ask that they convert into reality, together with us, that which they are always pretending to the masses. Thus the Frankfort conference must appeal to the workers of all countries to form the

United Front on the basis of the class straggle.

We know very well that the reformist leaders will oppose this, but we know equally well that the class consciousness of the workers is awakening, and that they are beginning to realize the necessity of united action against capitalism.

When Fimmen proposed, at the Hague, that the general strike be proclaimed if war should threaten, we said: “Do not promise what you cannot fulfil. In the first place you are not agreed among yourselves, and in the second place you are so bound up with your bourgeoisie that you will not be able to keep your promise when the time comes.” Unfortunately for the proletariat, our prediction has proved true. What has the exploited working class of the world to hope from such an International? Such an International cannot fight, and never will be able to fight. Despite the sufferings involved for the working class, particularly in Germany, by the Ruhr occupation, it has had al least one good effect: The international proletariat realizes that reformist methods cannot help the working class.

Our conference must and will do good work if we confine ourselves to the practical, and do not only pass good resolutions, but at the same time prepare for real and systematic action rendering it possible for us to unite the international working class in one fighting front against the international bourgeoisie.

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