Manifesto of the Communist International to the Workers of the World

Trotsky, Leon
Publisher:  Third International (Comintern), Moscow
Year Published:  1919
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX7208

Adopted by the founding congress of the Third International (Comintern) in March 1919.


Recognizing the world character of their tasks, the advanced workers have from the very first steps of the organized socialist movement striven to unify it on an international scale. The beginnings were made in 1864 in London by the First International. The Franco-Prussian War out of which emerged the Germany of the Hohenzollerns [18] cut the ground from under the First International and at the same time gave impetus to the development of national workers' parties. As far back as 1889 these parties came together in the Congress of Paris and created the organization of the Second International. But the center of gravity of the labor movement during that period remained wholly on national soil, wholly within the framework of national states, upon the foundation of national industry, within the sphere of national parliamentarianism. The decades of reformist organizational activity gave birth to an entire generation of leaders, the majority of whom recognized in words the program of the social revolution but renounced it in deeds, becoming mired in reformism, in a docile adaptation to the bourgeois state. The opportunist character of the leading parties of the Second International has been completely disclosed; and it led to the greatest collapse in world history at a moment when the march of historic events demanded revolutionary methods of struggle from the working-class parties. If the war of 1870 dealt a blow to the First International, disclosing that there was as yet no fused mass force behind its social-revolutionary program, then the war of 1914 killed the Second International, disclosing that the mightiest organizations of the working masses were dominated by parties which had become transformed into auxiliary organs of the bourgeois state!


If the First International presaged the future course of development and indicated its paths; if the Second International gathered and organized millions of workers; then the Third International is the International of open mass action, the International of revolutionary realization, the International of the deed.

Bourgeois world order has been sufficiently lashed by socialist criticism. The task of the International Communist Party consists in overthrowing this order and erecting in its place the edifice of the socialist order. We summon the working men and women of all countries to unite under the Communist banner, which is already the banner of the first great victories.

Workers of the world - in the struggle against imperialist barbarism, against monarchy, against the privileged estates, against the bourgeois state and bourgeois property, against all kinds and forms of class or national oppression - Unite!

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