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The Comintern, or Communist International, was an international Communist organization founded by and controlled by the Soviet Union. It was first established in 1919, as a way for the Soviet Union to "export revolution abroad" in its policy of overthrow legitimate regimes; to aid revolutionary Communist parties in other countries and to use foreign Communist parties for espionage and subversion to further Communist goals.

With his seizure of power in Russia, Soviet General Secretary V.I. Lenin turned immediately to his real goal, world revolution. He invited members of all the old socialist parties to join the Comintern. Many did, and new parties were formed—the Communist Party of France (CPF), the Communist Party of China (CCP), the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) and so on, all under the control of the mother party in Moscow (CPSU).

Joseph Stalin dissolved the Cominterm in 1943, as the program was designed to infiltrate western democracies, which had wound up to be is allies in the Second World War. He formed the Cominform in 1947 as a succesor, but the Cominform was mainly made up of parties from inside the Soviet Bloc.


The openly proclaimed aim of the Comintern was the overthrow of all "capitalist" governments and the establishment of a universal state under Communist domination. The founding documents of the Comintern explicitly declared that the member parties and movements were to use whatever means, legal or illegal,[1] peaceful or violent, might be appropriate to their situations at any given time.

This was the stark specter facing the non-Communist nations in the decades before World War II: a power covering one-sixth of the earth's surface had at its command a global movement that was fighting to wrest control of organized labor everywhere, fomenting revolutions in the colonial regions, vying for the allegiance of the western intelligentsia, and planting spies wherever it could—all with the goal of bringing about Bolshevism to the all of the world's peoples.[2]

The Comintern Electronic Archives cites the organization as "The General staff of the world revolution".[3]

When the Soviet Union itself was invaded on June 22, 1941, the Comintern switched its position to one of active support for the Allies. A document dated July 11, 1941 making a strategic assessment for the United States War Department entitled Military Intelligence Estimates Prepared by G-2 states “The Comintern through the Soviet Regime is striving for a world revolution in the interests of Communism.[4]

The Comintern was publicly disbanded in 1943, however its underground apparatus remained active throughout World War II and into the Cold War era.

Chinese Communist party

Main article Chinese Communist Party

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was founded as an eastern branch of Soviet Communism, carrying out the imperialism of the Russian Red Army. The CCP constitution passed by the First Congress of the CCP was formulated by the Comintern. The CCP copied the secret and underground means from the Soviet model by which an external illegal organization survived, adopting extreme surveillance and control measures.

Mao Zedong and Chu The, and later Zhou Enlai, set up a Soviet government in two central provinces of China. In 1931 the Executive Committee of the Comintern in Moscow directed Mao Zedong to organize a Soviet on the Russian model.[5] In 1933, the CCP sent a message to Josef Stalin which read, "Lead us on, O our pilot, from victory to victory!"[6]

In 1935, Georgi Dimitrov was General Secretary of the Comintern. At the 15th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China he laid down the Communist line to the followers:

" a real Bolshevik Party, the Communist Party of China realizes that however great the successes it has achieved, they are only the first serious steps on the road to the liberation of the Chinese people...The Party... is faced with the task of carrying on a systematic struggle to establish a united national front with the Kuomintang...It is necessary that energetic measures be taken to exert pressure on public opinion and the governments, first and foremost in England, France, and the U.S.A." [7]

In 1935, Mao and Zhou Enlai were elected to the Executive Committee of the Comintern in Moscow. They remained on this committee until it was publicly disbanded in 1943.[8]

Edgar Snow introduced Mao and Zhou Enlai to American readers in 1937 in his book, Red Star Over China, shortly after the Chinese Red Army’s route by Chiang Kai-shek in 1934 and their year long retreat to Yenan known as the Long March. Snow wrote, "The political ideology, tactical line and theoretical leadership of the Chinese Communists have been under the close guidance, if not positive direction, of the Communist International, which during the last decade has become virtually a bureau of the Russian Communist Party. In the final analysis this means that for better or worse, the policies of the Chinese Communists, like the Communists in every other country, have had to fall in line with, and usually subordinate themselves to, the broad strategic requirements of Soviet Russia, under the dictatorship of Stalin."[9]

United States

Main article Communist Party of the United States

See also


  1. V.I. Lenin, Terms of Admission into Communist International, (July 1920) First published 1921, The Second Congress of the Communist International, Verbatum Report, Communist International, Petrograd.
  2. Ralph Raico, FDR: The Man, the Leader, the Legacy, Future of Freedom Foundation, April 1, 2001. Retrieved from The Independent 06/17/07.
  3. COMINTERN Electronic Archives. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  4. Military Intelligence Estimates Prepared by G-2, p. 1341, July 11, 1941.
  5. Soviet Russia and the Far East by David J. Dallin (New Haven, 1948); Inside Red China by Nym Wales (New York, 1939).
  6. Soviet Russia and the Far East, David J. Dallin, New Haven, 1948; 17th Congress of Communist Party of Soviet Union, Stenog. Report, p. 1323, quoted in While You Slept : Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It, John T. Flynn, New York : The Devin - Adair Company, 1951, pg. 21 pdf.
  7. China: The March toward Unity, Address "The 15th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China" by Georgi Dimitov, pp. 83-87.
  8. While You Slept : Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It, John T. Flynn, New York : The Devin - Adair Company, 1951, pgs. 21 - 22 pdf.
  9. Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow, New York, 1937, pg. 374.