Georgi Dimitrov to Stalin on the Question of “Social-Fascism”

Dimitrov to Stalin, 1 July 1934. Original in Russian. Type-written, with handwritten comments by Stalin.

1.7.34

From C. Dimitrov

Dear Com. Stalin!

The enclosed draft outline of [my] speech shows how I see the essence of the speech regarding the 2nd point of the agenda of the congress. In addition, I would like to raise in our forthcoming conversation the following questions:

I. On Social Democracy [1]

1. Whether it is correct to refer to social democracy indiscriminately as social-fascism. By taking such a position, we have frequently blocked our way to social democratic workers. [2]

2. Whether it is correct to consider social democracy everywhere and at all times the main social base of the bourgeoisie. [3]

3. Whether it is correct to consider all leftist s[ocial] d[emocratic] groups as a major threat under any conditions. [4]

4. Whether it is correct to treat all the leading cadres of s[ocial] d[emocratic] parties and of the reformist trade unions indiscriminately [5] as conscious traitors of the working class. One can expect, after all, that in the course of struggle quite a few [6] of today’s leading functionaries of the s[ocial] d[emocratic] parties and of the reformist trade unions will choose the path of revolution along with the s[ocial] d[emocratic] workers. It is in our interest to facilitate this transition for them and thus accelerate the transition of the s[ocial] d[emocratic] workers to our side.

5. Whether it is time to abandon useless discussion about the possibility or the impossibility of winning over the reformist trade unions instead of clearly formulating the task for its members to transform these trade unions into an instrument of the proletarian class struggle. [7]

6. The question of unifying the revolutionary and reformist trade unions without making the recognition of the hegemony of the Communist Party a necessary condition. [8]

II. On the United Front

1. The necessity to modify our united-front tactics in response to the changed conditions. Rather than using them exclusively [9] as a maneuver to expose social democracy without seriously attempting to forge a real workers’ unity through struggle, we must turn them into an effective factor in developing the mass struggle against the offensive of fascism. [10]

2. The necessity to reject the idea that the united front can only be built from below, and to stop regarding any simultaneous appeal to the leadership of a s[ocial] d[emocratic] party as opportunism. [11]

3. The necessity to launch the active initiative by the masses without petty tutelage of the Communist parties in their relations with the organs of the united front. Not to declare the hegemony of the Communist Party but to assure the actual leadership by the Communist Party. [12]

4. The necessity to radically alter our attitude toward s[ocial] d[emocracy] and non-party workers in all our mass work, agitation, and propaganda. It is essential to go beyond the general statements about the treason of social democracy, and to explain to the workers, concretely and patiently, what the social democratic policy of cooperation with the bourgeoisie is leading to and has already led to. [13] [It is essential] not to dump everything on the s[ocial] d[emocratic] leaders but to point out the responsibility of the s[ocial] d[emocratic] workers themselves, to make then think about their own responsibility and to look for the right way of struggle, etc. [14]

III. Regarding the Comintern Leadership

It is essential to change the methods of work and leadership in the Comintern, taking into account that it is impossible effectively to oversee from Moscow every detail of life of all 65 sections of the Comintern, which find themselves in very different conditions (parties in the metropolis and parties in the colonies, parties in highly developed industrial countries and in the predominantly peasant countries, legal and illegal parties, etc).

It is necessary to concentrate on the general political guidance of the Communist movement, on assistance to the parties in basic political and tactical questions, on creating a solid Bolshevik leadership in the local Communist parties, and on strengthening the Communist parties with workers while reducing the heavy bureaucratic apparatus of the ECCI.

It is essential to further promote Bolshevik self-criticism. Fear of this [self-criticism] has at times led to failure to clarify important political problems (questions of the current stage of the crisis and of the so-called military-inflationary juncture, the assessment and lessons of the Austrian events, etc.).

It is impossible to change the methods of leadership and work in the Comintern without partially renewing the cadres of the Comintern workers.

It is especially essential to secure close ties between the Comintern leadership and the Politburo of the VKP(b).

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] This subhead is also underlined by hand.

[2] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “As to the leadership – yes; but not ‘indiscriminate.’”

[3] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Of course not, in Persia.”

[4] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “in the major cap[italist] countries – yes.”

[5] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Objectively – yes; consciously – some [of them].”

[6] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “‘Quite a few’ – not; some – yes.”

[7] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “It is time.”

[8] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Conditions are necessary.”

[9] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Against whom is this thesis [directed]?”

[10] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “[We] must.”

[11] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Nevertheless, the United Front from below is the foundation.”

[12] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “No doubt, but against whom is this thesis [directed]?”

[13] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Correct.”

[14] In the margin, handwritten by Stalin: “Yes!”

From “Dimitrov and Stalin, 1934-1943: Letters from the Soviet Archives” by Alexander Dallin and F.I. Firsov, pp. 13-16.

Source

3 thoughts on “Georgi Dimitrov to Stalin on the Question of “Social-Fascism”

  1. Lächerlich! Ein Dummkopf schreibt von einem anderen ab. Auf diese Art und Weise wurden auch schon die Lügen von Goebbels in aller Welt verbreitet! Dieser angebliche Dimitroff-Brief ist eine Fälschung!

    Ridiculously! A fool declines from another. In this way the lies of Goebbels were already spread all over the world! This supposed Dimitroff letter is a fake!

    https://sascha313.wordpress.com/2017/05/06/wie-trotzkisten-die-geschichte-faelschen-gefaelschter-dimitroff-brief-auf-the-espresso-stalinist/

  2. On the English-speaking website “Espresso-Stalinst” was an extract from a supposed letter Dimitroffs appeared to Stalin from the 1st of July, 1934 in whom the authors maintain Dallin and Firsow that Dimitrov has drawn the attention of Stalin to a mistake – namely: the thesis of the “social fascism” has been wrong. The same one maintains, e.g., also of the known Trotskyist’s forger of the history Vadim Rogovin [*] in his book “The party of the killed people” (Роговин В. З. Партия расстрелянных, M. 1997) which appeared in 1997. He quotes in addition again from a book “History and Stalinism” (S.184f. Russian) which had appeared in 1991 in Moscow. This supposed letter from the confidential archives is obviously a forgery.

    [*] Vadim Sacharovich Rogovin (1937-1998) was a Trotskist author. The Russian-American historian Yuri Felshtinsky writes about him, the books of Rogovin are filled „by an unrestrained apology to Trotsky and a dogmatism arising from it” (Yuri Felshtinsky, August 2010. Юрий Фельштинский: “Несколько слов о книгах Волкогонова Д., ответ читателю“)
    see: https://www.webcitation.org / 6EkfFNueq – Russian)

    The newspaper of the Austrian communist party “Volksstimme” published details about these so-called “Diaries of Dimitrov”. The newspaper itself doesn’t take them of course for a forgery of the CIA, because the Austrian Communist Party actively roses against Stalin and the the “Stalinism”. And thus the “diaries” come to them just in time.

    However, the thing becomes interesting. It appears that Dimitrov should have led the supposed “diary” the from March, 1933, to August, 1943, in German because the Germans supposedly didn’t allow him in the prison to to write in another languages then German. Nevertheless, that one forbids to a defendant to write his notes in his defence in the court in his mother tongue, nowhere there is such a thing!

    However, it becomes even more interesting: From September, 1943, till the end of 1944 the notes of the “diaries” are written in Russian. Was Dimitrov in the USSR possibly also in the prison? And then, from 1945 to 1946 they are written in Bulgarian. Now one must understand that he was released from the „Stalin’s torture chambers“.

    Nevertheless, this polyglotism shows clearly that a whole “international” troop has worked on these “diaries”. About where these “diaries” have “appeared” the newspaper writes: „The autograph (???) exists of 12 notebooks and single 9 sides (…and from it one can produce more than 700 book pages???) which were kept after the death of Dimitrov in a special personal fund in the Central archive of the Bulgarian Communist Party – so secretly that even the employees of the archive did not know something about their existence.“ There is a comment – I think – superfluously.

    Furthermore the newspaper informs that after the fall of Shivkov (by the “democrats”) on the 10th of November, 1989, the access to the archives was “made easier”, and that in 1990 in Bulgaria the even first have appeared some “pirated copies”. This is also not surprising. One has simply produced them.

    Then at the University of Sofia the “diaries” supposedly have been published in 1997 in an edition by 1,000 copies. The strangest one at the fact is that such a significant event has happened so unnoticed, directly in such a way, as if Bulgaria is on the moon.

    It is absolutely possible that there was not this issue at all. And the fact that one has simply “reprinted” them in connection with the publication of the “diaries” in Berlin. So roughly works to the CIA…!

    What concerns the comments to the “diaries”, the Austrian “Volksstimme” explains as opposed to the magazine “Profil” that these “diaries” had not been written by Georgi Dimitrov, but his “foster son” Bojko Dimitrov. And for it many thanks. Bojko has been this guy. It’s a pity only that the newspaper of the Austrian Communist Party slanders Dimitrov with such an evident forgery.

    (Excuse my bad English!)

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