CominternComintern is the commonly given name for the Third International. It was formed at the behest of Lenin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as they felt the Second International had become devalued.
Lenin had previously written of his disappointment in the way in which many European Social-Democrats had failed to speak out against World War I and was particularly critical of individuals such as Kautsky and Ramsay MacDonald, disparigingly describing them as Social-Chauvinists.
Central to the policy of Comintern was that Communist Parties should be established across the world to aid the international Proletarian Revolution, and the idea of democratic centralism, which involved rigid control of the Communist Party from the centre.
Whilst Comintern was supposedly an international organisation it was in effect controlled from the Soviet Union.
For a party to join the Comintern it had to accept 21 conditions. Some of these were:
- To carry out propaganda in the countryside and cities in favour of proletarian revolution
- To remove reformists and centrists from positions in the working class movement
- To combine legal and illegal methods of working
- To supervise the activities of any members in parliament
- To denounce pacifism
- To support colonial liberation movements
- To ensure trade unions join the join the 'red' trade union international rather than the 'yellow' Amersterdam one.
- To organise on the basis of democratic centralism and to have regular purges of membership
- To support all existing soviet republics
- To revise its party programme with policies of the international
- To accept all decisions of the comintern as binding
- To take the name 'communist party'
- To expel all members who voted against the 21 conditions
See also: List of Communist Parties, List of members of the Comintern