A paper prepared for the Stalin Society in London by Bill Bland; ca 1998.
As we have seen, the Marxist-Leninists in the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist International had no interest in saving a Communist International dominated by revisionists, but worked to create a new international, based on Marxist-Leninist principles and free of all revisionist trends.
THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE COMINFORM (1947)
The Founding of the Cominform (1947)
In October 1947 it was announced that the Communist Parties of nine European countries — Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Italy. Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia — had set up, at a secret conference held in September at Szklarska Poreba in Polish Silesia during September, an ‘Information Bureau of the Communist Parties’ (Cominform), with its headquarters in Belgrade. Its purpose was to:
“. . . organise the exchange of experiences”.
(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 6; p. 8,864).
” . . . where necessary, to coordinate the activities of the Communist Parties on the basis of mutual agreement”.
(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 6; p. 8,864).
It should be noted the Communist Party of Albania was not invited to join the Cominform. The reasons for this omission will be discussed later.
The Cominform, it was stated, would consist of two members from each participating Party and would issue a publication, the title of which was later stated to be ‘For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy’.
The principal initiative in forming the new organisation was taken by Stalin:
“He (Stalin — Ed.) founded the so-called Cominform in September 1947”.
(Isaac Deutscher: ‘Stalin: A Political Biography’; Harmondsworth; 1968; p. 570).
“As early as June 1946, Stalin had spoken with Dimitrov* and Tito* about the need of establishing an Information Bureau . . . rather than simply reviving the Comintern, on which Stalin heaped a torrent of insults and abuse which caused Dimitrov to become alternately pale and flushed with repressed anger”.
(Eugenio Reale: ‘The Founding of the Cominform’, in: Milorad M. Drachkovitch & Branko Lazitch (Eds.): ‘The Comintern: Historical Highlights: Essays, Recollections, Documents’; Stanford (USA); 1966;; p. 260).
The anti-revisionist programme of the new organisation required a new leadership. The Italian revisionist Eugenio Reale*, one of the two Italian delegates to the founding conference, notes:
“. . the absence . . . of those old veterans of the Comintern. . . The most notable leadere of the last period of the Comintern was Manuilsky*. . . . who during the final ten years had held more actual power than Dimitrov the titular secretary-general. Manuilksky was removed from the arena of international communism shortly after the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943”. (Eugenio Reale: ibid; p. 257).
At the founding conference of the Cominform, on the spot leadership was effected by Andrey Zhdanov* and Georgi Malenkov*, of the Soviet Union:
“The Soviet delegation was headed by . . . Zhdanov and Malenkov”.
(Adam B. Ulam: ‘Stalin: The Man and his Era’; London; 1989; p. 660).
with Zhdanov taking the leading role:
“It was Zhdanov who appeared in the role of master of ceremonies at the founding session of the Cominform”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 257).
but behind the scenes the real leadership was carried out by Stalin:
“Stalin was its (the foundation conference’s — Ed.) absolute master, without even condescending to put in an appearance. We were made conscious of this fact in the course of our debates by the existence of a direct telephone line between our Szklarska Poreba castle and the Kremlin. Zhdanov was at our end of the line (or sometimes Malenkov) and from the other end came orders from Stalin personally, as I was to learn during a brief conversation with Zhdanov”.
(Eugenio Reale: ibid,; p. 258-59).
The main report at the conference, delivered by Zhdanov, laid down the line of the Marxist-Leninists for the next five years:
“The report made by Zhdanov . . . has a special importance for the course followed by the Communist movement until the death of Stalin. . . . The tactical and strategic line of the Communist Parties . . . was defined for the next five years by Zhdanov’s report and the statement of the nine Parties, which did no more than sum up the main ideas of the report”.
(Fernando Claudin: ‘The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform’; Harmondsworth; 1975; p. 466-77).
The manifesto agreed upon at the founding conference analysed the postwar international situation as one in which two mutually antagonistic camps had come into being, namely:
“. . . . . the imperialist anti-democratic camp with the basic aim of establishing the world domination of American imperialism and the routing of democracy, and the anti-imperialist, democratic camp with the basic aim of disrupting imperialism, strengthening democracy and eliminating the remnants of Fascism. The struggle between the two is taking place in an atmosphere of the intensification of the general crisis of capitalism, the weakening of the f orces of capitalism, and the strengthening of the forces of socialism and democracy”.
(Manifesto of Communist Information Bureau (September 1947), in: ‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume-6; p. 8,864).
The manifesto described the Marshall* Plan as
“. . . only the European part of a general plan of world expansion being carried out by the USA”.
(Manifesto of Communist Information Bureau (September 1947); in ‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 6; p. 8.664).
and condemned the role of right-wing social-democracy in striving to conceal the true character of imperialism:
“The Right-wing socialists . . . strive to conceal the true predatory essence of the imperialist policy . . ., bringing disintegration into the ranks of the working class and poisoning their outlook”.
(Manifesto of Communist Information Bureau (September 1947), in: ‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 6; p. 8,664).
Criticism of French and Italian Revisionism (1947)
A main political content of the first conference of the Cominform was a strong criticism of the revisionism of the French and Italian Communist Parties.
“The conference served largely as a platform from which issued forth vigorous, scathing criticism of opportunism, legalism, bourgeois parliamentarism and other such ailments with which the French and Italian Communist Parties were said to be afflicted”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 254).
For this reason, the French and Italian Commnunist Parties had received only a few days notice of the meeting:
“We Italians were not kept informed of preparations for the establishment of the Cominform. . . . The French and Italian Parties were given notice just a week before the meeting”.
(Eugenio Reale: ibid.; p. 259).
but Parties which were to play an accusatory role were given longer notice, arrived earlier and had discussions on the plan of campaign:
“When Longo* and I arrived at the conference site, we learned that nearly all the delegates of the other Parties had already arrived, some of them several days earlier. Only later did I realise with what care preparations had been made: everything had been arranged with minute precision and consummate skill. The work was to begin upon arrival of the French representatives, Stalin’s two envoys already were conferring with the members of the other delegations, and I was conscious of some embarrassment on the part of our colleagues when we appeared on the scene”.
(Eugenio Reale: ibid.; p. 259-60).
The criticism of the French and Italian Communist Parties was opened by Zhdanov:
“At the foundation conference, Zhdanov castigated the French and Italians for allowing inertia to govern their conduct, for collaborating with the bourgeoisie of their countries, and for meekness towards the Catholics and the Social-Democrats”.
(Isaac Deutscher: op. cit.; p. 570).
However, for reasons which will be discussed later, the representatives of the Yugoslav Communist Party — Milovan Djilas* and Edvard Karelj* — were allotted a prime accusatory role in relation to the French and Italian Communist Parties:
“The Yugoslavs . . . had spent three or four days deliberating with the Soviet delegates on the spot. . . .The Yugoslavs alone gave the impression of having assumed the role of Soviet partners. . . . Two special honours were accorded the Yugoslavs: Djilas and Kardelj shared the distinction of opening fire on the lopportunism’ of the French and Italian Parties, and Belgrade was selected as the capital of the Cominform. . . .
The Soviets had come well supplied with material suitable for denouncing French and Italian ‘opportunism’, and had put it at Kardelj’s and Djilas’ disposal at the preliminary meetings just before the conference. Thus the Yugoslavs were amply provided with ammunition to attack us. . . .
Many years after our Szklarska Poreba conference, Kardelj told me that his violent attack …. had been prepared with Zhadnov’s & Malenkov’s assent. . . . This was the reason for the later arrival of the French and Italian delegations, the Russians having arranged it this way to allow sufficient time for determining the proper attitude to be adopted towards us”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 260, 261).
“Kardelj admonished the French and the Italians. The new revisionism, he explained, could be found in Togliatti’s* and Thorez’* hope for a new epoch of peaceful parliamentary action and in their subservience to the Vatican and Gaullism. . . . Djilas was even more categorical:
‘The French Party has yielded step by step to reaction and has permitted the disbandment and disarmament of the Resistance”.’
(Isaac Deutscher: op. cit.; p. 570-71).
“At the September 25 session Kardelj delivered his indictment of the Italian Communist Party. . . . A people’s democracy — as the Italian and French comrades should have borne in mind — could never be initiated by Communist participation in a bourgeois government. Furthermore, Kardelj asserted, the Italian Communist Party had realised too late the real meaning of American policies and had coined the opportunist slogan ‘Neither London, nor Washington, nor Moscow!’, when it was obvious that liberty could not be secured without Moscow. . .
The attack by Djilas was even more aggressive and violent than Kardelj’s. He began by asserting that the French and Italian Communists had placed their countries at the mercy of American imperialism, first by permitting the resistance forces to be dissolved, then by making one concession after another to the forces of reaction, and finally by tolerating their own exclusion from the government. The two parties had committed their major error when they declared that they would never sway from the path of parliamentarism. According to Djilas, the French Communist Party was completely undisciplined; anyone could join or quit it at will; the Party members did not feel themselves bound by any pledge. There was only one guiding principle: increase the membership at any price. The defeats suffered by the two Western Parties could be accounted for, above all, by this ‘political and ideological liberalism’ of the leaders, by their fear of assuming responsibilities, and by the absence of genuine revolutionary vigilance”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 265-66).
“If the workers’ parties drown in parliamentarism, everything is done for. It is no overstatement to say that there has been a tendency towards revision of Marxism-Leninism, towards a deviation — as Browderism in the United States was a deviation. After the war, certain communists thought that a peaceful, parliamentary period of appeasement of the class struggle was ahead — there was a deviation towards opportunism and parliamentarism. in the French Party, the Italian Party, as in other Parties”.
(Edvard Kardelj: Statement at Cominform Meeting (September 1947), in: Phlip J. Jaffe: ‘The Rise and Fall of Earl Browder’, in: ‘Survey’, Volume 18, No. 12 (Spring 1972); p. 56).
The representatives of the French and Italian Communist Parties accepted the criticisms unreservedly:
“In their public statements, the French and the Italians admitted they had erred gravely”.
(Adam B. Ulam: op. cit.; p. 661).
“The next day Longo spoke briefly, admitting the validity of the criticisms levelled against the Italian Party, and promising that they would be taken into account. . .Then Duclos* replied to the criticisms and accusations. The secretary of the French Communist Party behaved like a small shopkeeper caught in a swindle: he humiliated himself, admitted his mistakes, made innumerable excuses and promises”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 266).
In his final speech to the conference, representative of the French Communist Party Jacques Duclos admitted:
“There was opportunism, legalitarianism and parliamentary illusions. . . If we courageously carry out this self-criticism before the Party, we shall arouse among the masses a state of mind favourable for the fight. The French people must be mobilised against American imperialism”.
(Jacques Duclos: Statement at Cominform Meeting (September 1947), in: Philip J. Jaffe: op. ci; p. 57).
The question arises: why was it arranged that the representatives of the Yugoslav Communist Party — shortly itself to charged with revisionism -should be allotted the leading role in the criticism of the revisionism of the French and Italian Communist Parties? For one reason, it involved the Communist Party of Yugoslavia setting the precedent for intra-party criticism within the Cominform, so making it more difficult for that party to object to criticism of itself:
“In the ensuing months another of Stalin’s objectives for the Cominform of which nothing was said during our meeting — and for good reason — became apparent: the groundwork had been laid for Stalin’s move against Tito”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 261).
Thus, when the Yugoslav Communist Party, in the following year, refused the invitation to a meeting of the Cominform to participate in a critical discussion of its own policies, the Cominform could strengthen its case by pointing out that the party had made no bones about criticising other Parties:
“When the Information Bureau was set up, the Communist Parties based their work on the indisputable principle . . . that any Party had the right to criticise other Parties. At the first meeting of the nine Communist Parties, the Yugoslav Communist Party took full advantage of this right”.
(Communique: Meeting of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ‘The Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute’; London; 1948; p. 68).
Undoubtedly, the anticipated dispute with the Yugoslav Communist Party, was responsible for the failure to invite the Communist Party of Albania to join the Cominform since, at the time the organisation was established, this Party was dominated by Titoite revisionists. The 8th Plenum of the CC of the CPA, which was held in February 1948,
” . . . agreed to such forms of economic ties between Albania and Yugoslavia which would have led to the elimination of the Albanian state”.
(‘History of the Party of Labour of Albania’; Tirana; 1982; p. 234).
“. . . the condemnation of Tito offered an explanation for the absence of the Albanians (from the Cominform – Ed.). They were much under the influence of their Yugoslav comrades, and it was thought wiser not to include them in the Cominform, in order to isolate Tito better and thus settle his case more easily”.
(Ivan Avakumovich: ‘The Dissolution of the Cominform’, in: ‘Contemporary Review’, Volume 190; No. 1,087 (July 1956); p. 29).
THE SECOND CONFERENCE OF THE COMINFORM (1948)
The second conference of the Cominform was held in Yugoslavia in January 1948. Only one item was on the agenda, namely,
“…press and propaganda”.
(—–: “The Evolution of the Cominform’, in: ‘The World Today’, Volume 6, No. 5 (May 1950); p. 217).
For the Cominform journal ‘For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy’, a new editorial board was appointed, headed by:
“Yudin*, the Russian delegate to the second Cominform meeting”.
( — : ‘The Evolution of the Cominform’; ibid.; p. 217).
“. . . the conception of the new generation of Soviet ideologists, for whom Marxism is inseparable from Stalinism”.
( –: ‘The Evolution of the Cominform’; ibid.; p. 218).
THE THIRD CONFERENCE OF THE COMINFORM (1948)
The Expulsion of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia
On 18 March 1948 the Yugoslav government was notified:
” . . . that the Government of the USSR had decided immediately to withdraw all military advisers and instructors”.
(‘Correspondence between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)’; Belgrade; 1948 (herafter listed as ‘Correspondence’); p. 21).
from Yugoslavia, on the grounds:
” . . . that they were not being treated in a friendly spirit in Yugoslavia”.
(‘Correpondence’; p. 21).
On the following day, 19 March 1948, the Yugoslav government was informed of a decision to the effect that the Soviet government:
“. . . orders the recall of all their civilian specialists from Yugoslavia”.
(‘Correspondence’; p. 21).
These actions on the part of the Soviet government were followed -between March and June 1948 — by a mutually critical correspoondence between the leaderships of the two Parties.
On 4 May 1948 the Central Committee of the CPSU proposed:
” . . . that this question be discussed at the next meeting of the Inform Bureau”.
(‘Correspondence’; op. cit.; p. 64).
Tito* and Kardelj rejected the proposal on 17 May 1948:
“We are not able to accede to the suggestion that this matter be decided by the Cominform Buro”.
(‘Correspondence’; op. cit.; p. 65).
The CC of the CPSU replied on 22 May 1948, pointing out that:
“. . . at the time of the organisation of the Inform Buro all Communist Parties started from the uncontested policy that each Party should submit reports to the Inform Buro; and similarly that each Party had the right to criticise other Parties. . . .
The Yugoslav comrades . . . think that the Yugoslav Party and its leadership should be placed in a privileged position and that the statutes of the Inform Buro do not apply to them; that they have a right to critice other parties, but they themselves should not be subjected to a criticism by others. . . .
By refusing to appear before the Inform Buro thay mean to say that the CC of the CPY . . . are now preparing their party and the Yugoslav people for the betrayal of the united front of People’s Democracies and of the betraval of the united front of People’s Democracies and of the USSR”.
(‘Correspondence’; op. cit.; p. 66, 67, 68).
The Second Conference of the Cominform was thus held in June 1948 in the absence of any representative from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Here the leading role in the criticism of the CPY was taken by the representatives of the French and Italian Communist Parties which had been so strongly criticised at the first conference of the Cominform:
“At the second conference of the Information Bureau, Togliatti* emerged as the most uncompromising enemy of the Yugoslavs, anxious to avenge the previous year’s insults by a frontal assault upon the Yugoslav Communist Party. The French Party acted similarly. Etienne Fajon, the second-place French delegate at Szklarska Poreba, was given the task of drawing up the indictment against the Yugoslavs at the plenary session of his Party”. He pointed out that those who had attacked the French and Italians last year as deviationists had just been unmasked themselves, and with good reason”.
(Eugenio Reale: op. cit.; p. 262).
On June 28 1948, the Cominform announced that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had been expelled from the organisation.
The Cominform statement asserted that the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had gravely deviated from Marxist-Leninist principles.
Firstly, it had followed a policy of hostility to the socialist Soviet Union:
“An undignified policy of defaming Soviet military experts and discrediting the Soviet Union has been carried out in Yugoslavia. A special regime was instituted for Soviet civilian experts in Yugoslavia, whereby they were under surveillance of Yugoslav state security organs and were continually followed. The representative of the CPSU (B) in the Information Bureau, Comrade Yudin, and a number of official representatives of the Soviet Union in Yugoslavia, were followed and kept under observation by Yugoslav state security organs.
All these and similar facts show that the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia have taken a stand unworthy of Communists, and have begun to identify the foreign policy of the Soviet Union with the foreign policy of the imperialist powers, behaving towards the Soviet Union in the same manner as they behave towards bourgeois states. Precisely because of this anti-Soviet stand, slanderous propaganda about the ‘degeneration’ of the CPSU (B), about the ‘degeneration’ of the USSR, and so on, borrowed from the arsenal of ounter-revolutionary Trotskyism, is current within the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. . .
The Yugoslav leaders think that by making concessions they can curry favour with the imperialist states. . . . In this they proceed tacitly from the well-known bourgeois-nationalist thesis that ‘capitalist states are a lesser danger to the independence of Yugoslavia than the Soviet Union’. .
Such a nationalist line can only lead to Yugoslavia’s degeneration into an ordinary bourgeois republic, to the loss of its independence and to its transformation into a colony of the imperialist countries”.
(Resolution of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ‘The Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute: Text of the Political Correspondence’; London; 1948; p. 62, 69, 70).
Secondly, it had based itself not on the working class but on the peasantry and was neglecting the struggle for socialism in the countryside:
“In home policy, the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia are departing from the positions of the working class and are breaking with the Marxist theory of classes and class struggle. They deny that there is a growth of capitalist elements in their country, and consequently a sharpening of the class struggle in the countryside. This denial is the direct result of the opportunist tenet that the class struggle does not become sharper during the period of the transition from capitalism to socialism. as Marxism-Leninism teaches, but dies down, as was affirmed by opportunists of the Bukharin* type, who propagated the theory of the peaceful growing over of capitalism into socialism. . . .
In the conditions obtaining in Yugoslavia, where individual peasant farming predominates, where the land is not nationalised, where there is private property in land, and where land can be bought and sold, where much of the land is concentrated in the hands of kulaks, and where hired labour is employed — in such conditions there can be no question of . . glossing over the class struggle and of reconciling class contradictions without by so doing disarming the Party. . The leaders of the Yugoslav Communist Party, by affirming that the peasantry is ‘the most stable foundation of the Yugoslav state’, are departing from the Marxist-Leninist path and are taking the path of a populist kulak party. Lenin taught that the proletariat, as the ‘only class in contemporary society which is revolutionary to the end . . . must be the leader in the struggle . . . of all working people and the exploited against the oppressors and exploiters”.
(Resolution of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ibid.; p. 62-63).
Thirdly, the leaders of the Party, which should have been the leading force in society, had dissolved it into the multi-class People’s Front, which was the leading force in society:
“According to the theory of Marxism-Leninism, the Party is the main guiding and leading force in the country . . . . the highest form of organisation and the most important weapon of the working class.
In Yugoslavia, however, the People’s Front, and not the Communist Party, is considered to be the main leading force in the country. The Yugoslav leaders belittle the role of the Communist Party and actually dissolve the Party in the non-party People’s Front, which is composed of the most varied class elements (workers, peasants engaged in individual farming, kulaks, traders, small manufacturers, bourgeois intelligentsia, etc., as well as mixed political groups, which include certain bourgeois parties. …..
The fact that in Yugoslavia it is only the People’s Front which figures in the political arena, while the Party and its organisations do not appear openly before the people in its own name, not only belittles role of the Party in the political life of the country, but also undermines the Party as an independent political force…
This policy . . . threatens the very existence of the Communist Party, and ultimately carries with it the danger of the degeneration of the People’s Republic of Yugoslavia”.
(Resolution of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ibid.; p. 64).
Fourthly, the Yugoslav Communist Party does not operate on the basis of democratic centralism and had rejected fraternal criticism from the Cominform:
“The bureaucratic regime created inside the Party by its leaders is disastrous for life and development of the Yugoslav Communist Party. There is no inner-Party democracy, no elections, and no criticism and self-criticism in the Party. . . . The majority of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is composed of co-opted, and not of elected members. The Communist Party is actually in a position of semilegality. Party meetings are either not hald at all, or meet in secret a fact which can only undermine the influence of the Party among the masses. This type organisation of the Yugoslav Communist Party cannot be described as anything but a sectarian-bureaucratic organisation. It leads to the liquidation of the Party as an active, self-acting organisation. . . .
The most elementary rights of members in the Yugoslav Communist Party are suppressed, . . . the slightest criticism of incorrect measures in the Party is brutally repressed. . . .
Such a disgraceful, purely Turkish, terrorist regime cannot be tolerated. . . .
The criticism made by the Central Committee the Communist Party of the Soviet (B) and Central Committees of the other Communist Parties of the mistakes of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia . . . . rendered fraternal assistance to the Yugoslav Communist Party. . .
However, instead of honestly accepting this criticism and taking the Bolshevik path of correcting these mistakes, the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, suffering from boundless ambition, arrogance and conceit, met this criticism with belligerence and hostility”.
(Resolution of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ibid.; p. 64-65).
The resolution concluded with the announcement of the expulsion of the Yugoslav Communist Party from the Cominform:
“The Information Bureau unanimiously concludes that by their antiParty and anti-Soviet views, incompatible with Marxism-Leninism, by their whole attitude and their refusal to attend the meeting of the Information Bureau, the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia have placed themselves in opposition to the Communist Parties affiliated to the Information Bureau, have taken the path of seceding from the united socialist front against imperialism, have taken the path of betraying the cause of international solidarity of the working people, and have taken up a position of nationalism.
The Information Bureau considers that, in view of all this, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has placed itself and the Yugoslav Party . . . outside the ranks of the Information Bureau”.
(Resolution of Information Bureau of the Communist Parties (June 1948), in: ibid.; p. 68-69).
THE FOURTH CONFERENCE OF THE COMINFORM (1949)
The 4th Conference of the Cominform was held in Hungary in November 1949, and adopted three resolutions.
The first resolution, entitled ‘The Defence of Peace and the Fight against the Warmongers’, was introduced by Mikhail Suslov* (Soviet Union). It confirmed the basic analysis of whe world situation made at the 1st Conference in 1947, but stated that since that time the danger of war had increased:
“The entire policy of the Anglo-American imperialist bloc is subordinated to the preparations for another war. . .The Anglo-Anerican bloc is conducting its preparations for a new war along every line”.
(Resolution of the Information Bureau on ‘Defence of Peace and the Fight against the Warmongers’, in: ‘Meeting of the Information Bureau of Communist Parties in Hungary in the Latter Part of November 1949’; Prague; 1950; p. 8, 10).
But, declared the resolution,
” . . . the people do not want war and hate war”.
(Ibid.; p. 10).
“…it is of the utmost importance today to unute all genuine peace supporters, regardless of religious beliefs, political views or party affiliation, on the broadest platform of fighting for peace and against the danger of a new war with which mankind is threatened”.
“. . . the struggle for stable and lasting peace. . should now become the pivot of the entire activity of the Communist Parties and democratic organisations”.
(Ibid.; p, 11).
The second resolution, entitled ‘Class Unity and the Tasks of the Communist and Workers’ Parties’, moved by Palmiro Togliatti (Italy), declared that:
“. . . unity of the working-class movement and solidarity of all the democratic forces is not only necessary for the accomplishment of the daily and current tasks of the working class and labouring masses generally, it is also necessary for the solution of the fundamental problems confronting the proletariat, as the class which leads the struggle for the abolition of the power of monopoly capital and for the reorganisation of society on socialist lines”.
(Resolution of the Information Bureau on ‘Working Class Unity and the Tasks of the Communist and Workers’ Parties’, in: ibid.; p. 21).
This programme necessarily involves:
“. . irreconcilable and consistent struggle in theory and practice against the right-wing Socialists and reactionary trade-union leaders”.
(Ibid.; p. 20-21).
” . . . will make it possible to develop the struggle in the capitalist countries for the formation of governments which would rally all the patriotic forces opposed to the enslavement of their countries by American imperialism”.
(Ibid.; p. 21).
” . . . unity of the working class can be won only in an irreconcilable and consistent struggle in the realm of theory and practice against the Right Socialists and reactionary trade-union leaders”.
(Ibid.; p. 20-21).
A third resolution, entitled ‘The Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Power of Assassins and Spies’, was introduced by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej* (Romania). It characterised the leaders of the Yugoslav Communist Party as:
“. . . enemies of the working class and the peasantry, enemies of the peoples of Yugoslavia.”
(Resolution of the Information Bureau on ‘The Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Power of Assassins and Spies’ (November 1949), in: ‘Meeting of the Information Bureau of Communist Parties in Hungary in the Latter Half of November 1949’; Prague; 1950; p. 27).
” . . . betrayed the interests of the country and destroyed the political sovereignty and economic independence of Yugoslavia”.
(Ibid.; p. 27).
” . . . the fight against the Tito clique of hired spies and assassins is the international duty of all the Communist and Workers’ Parties”.
(Ibid.; p. 28).
The Dissolution of the Cominform
After Stalin’s death in 1953, the Cominform ceased to be active in the struggle against revisionism:
“After 1953, the Cominform in practice eased to exist (though its formal disbandment did not take place until April 1956)”.
(Fernando Claudin: op. cit.; p. 467).
Indeed, between 1953 and 1956 the Cominform journal some articles favourable to Tito regime:
“The anti-Tito campaign died down as relations between Moscow and Belgrade improved after Stalin’s death. The Cominform journal followed suit and began to publish again articles favourable to Marshal Tito’s regime”.
(Ivan Avakumovich: op. cit.; p. 29).
In April 1956, an announcement in ‘Pravda’ stated that:
“. . the eight Communist Parties in membership of the Cominform (those of the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, France and Italy) had unanimously agreed that the organisation should be dissolved because it had ‘exhausted its function’, and had also agreed to cease publication of the Cominform journal ‘For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy”.
(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’. Volume 10; p. 14,829).
The statement gave as the reasons for the dissolution basically the same reasons given by the revisionists for the dissolution of the Comintern, namely:
“. . . the fact that Socialism had passed beyond the framework of a single country, and had been transformed into a ‘world system’; the formation of a wide ‘peace zone’ that included non-Socialist as well as Socialist countries . . . ; and the strenthening of Communist Parties in capitalist, dependent and colonial countries”.
(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’; Volume 10; p. 14,829).
In fact, the dissolution was a gesture of appeasement towards the Tito revisionists:
“Its (the Cominform’s — Ed.) dissolution precedes Tito’s coming visit to Moscow. It is yet another concession to him in an attempt to improve relations”.
(Ivan Avakumovich: op. cit.; p. 30).
The news of the dissolution:
” . . . was warmly welcomed in Yugoslavia”.
(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archivest, Volume 10; p. 14,829).
BROZ, Josip (‘TITO’), Yugoslav revisionist politician (1892-1980); in Balkan secretariat of CI (1935-37); secretary-general, YCP/LCY (1937-66); marshal (1943); Premier (1945-53); President (1953-80); chairman, LCY (1966-80).
BUKHARIN, Nicolay I., Soviet revisionist politician (1888-1938); deputy chairman, ECCI (1919-26); member, ECCI political secretariat (1926-29); editor-in-chief, ‘Izvestia’ (1933-37); found guilty of treason and executed (1938).
DIMITROV, Georgi M., Bulgarian revisionist politician (1882-1949); director, West European Bureau CI (1929-33); arrested in connection with Reichstag Fire (1933); to Soviet Union (1934); secretary-general, CI (1935-43); to Bulgaria (1945); secretary-general, BCP (1945-49); Premier (1946-49),
DJILAS, Milovan, Yugoslav revisionist politician (1911- ); Vice-President (1953-45); expelled from Party (1954); imprisoned (1956-61, 1962-66).
GHEORHIU-DF.J, Gheorghe, Romanian revisionist politician (1901-65); General/First Secretary, Roman Workers’ Party (1945-65); Minister of Communications (1944-46); Minister of Economy (1946-52); Premier (195261); President (1961-65).
KARDELJ, Edvard, Yugoslav revisionist politician (1910-79); to Soviet Union (1934); to Yugoslavia (1937); Vice-President (1945-53); Minister of Foreign Affairs (1948-53); President, Federal Assembly (1963-67); secretary, CC, LCY (1958-66); President, CC, LCY (1966-69).
LONGO, Luigi, Italian revisionist politician (1900-80); ICP representative on CI (1933-36); to Spain (1936); inspector-general, International Brigades (1936-39); to France (1939); in Italian concentration camp (1942-43); deputy secretary-general, ICP (1945-64); secretary-general, ICP (195472); president, ICP (1972-80).
MALENKOV, Georgi, Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1901-88); member, Defence Council (1941-45); USSR Deputy Premier (1946-53); secretary, CPSU (1953); USSR Premier (1953-55); USSR Minister of Power Stations (195768); expelled from CPSU by revisionists (1961).
MANUILSKY, Dmitry Z., Soviet revisionist politician (1883-1959); member, political secretariat, ECCI (1926-43); Ukrainian Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1944-50).
MARSHALL, George C., American military officer and politician (1880-1959); chief-of-staff with rank of general (1939-45); President’s special representative in China (1945-47); Secretary of State (1947-49); Secretary of Defence (1950-51).
MOLOTOV, Vyacheslav M., Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1890-1986); member, ECCI political secretariat (1928-30); USSR Premier (1930-41); USSR Deputy Premier and Commissar/Minister for Foreign Affairs (1939-49); USSR Minister of State Control (1956-57); Ambassador to Mongolian People’s Republic (1957-60); USSR Representative on International Atomic Energy Committee (1960-62); expelled from CPSU by revisionists (1962); readmitted (1984).
REALE, Eugenio, Italian surgeon, diplomat and revisionist politician (1905); Ambassador to Poland (1945-47); expelled from IPC (1956).
SUSLOV, Mikhail A., Soviet revisionist politician (1902-82); secretary, CC, CPSU (1947-92); member, politburo, CC, CPSU (1955-82); editor-in-chief, ‘Pravda’ (1940-50).
‘TITO’ — see: BROZ, Josip.
THOREZ, Maurice, French revisionist politician (1900-64); secretary-general, FCP (1930-64); Minister of State (1945-46); Deputy Premier (1945-46).
TOGLIATTI, Palmiro, Italian revisionist politician (1893-1964); secretary-general, ICP (1927-64); member, CI secretariat (1935); Minister without Portfolio (1944); Vice-Premier (1945).
YUDIN, Pavel F., Soviet Marxist-Leninist philosopher and politician (1899- ); director, Institute of Red Professors (1932-38); director, Institute of Philosophy, USSR Academy of Sciences (1938-44); director, RSFSR Association of State Publishing Houses (1937-47); editor-in-chief,
‘Sovetskaia Kniga’; Deputy High Commissioner in Germany (1953); Ambassador to People’s Republic of China (1953-59).
ZHDANOV, Andrey A., Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1896-1948); secretary, Leningrad, CPSU (1934-44); secretary, CPSU (1944-48); murdered by revisionists (1948).
Avakumovich, Ivan: ‘The Dissolution of the Cominform’, in: ‘Contemporary Review’, Volume 190; No. 1,087 (July 1956).
Claudin, Fermando: ‘The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform’;
Deutscher, Isaac: ‘Stalin: A Political Biography’; Harmondsworth; 1968.
Jaffe, Philip J. ‘The Rise and Fall of Earl Browder’, in: ‘Survey’, Volume 18, No. 12 (Spring 1972).
Reale, Eugenio: ‘The Founding of the Cominform’, in: Milorad M. Drachkovitch & Branko Lazitch (Eds): ‘The Comintern: Historical Highlights: Essays, Recollections, Documents’; Stanford (USA); 1966.
Ulam, Adam B.: ‘Stalin: The Man and his Era’; London; 1989.
___’Correspondence between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)’; Belgrade; 1948.
‘The Evolution of the Cominform’, in: ‘The World Today’, Volume 6, No. 5 (May 1950).
‘History of the Party of Labour of Albania’; Tirana; 1982.
‘Meeting of the Information Bureau of Communist Parties in Hungary in the Latter Half of November 1949’; Prague; 1950.
‘The Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute: Text of the Political Correspondence’; London; 1948.
‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’