4th World Congress of the Comintern
The 4th World Congress of the Communist International was an assembly of delegates to the Communist International held in Petrograd and Moscow, Soviet Russia, between November 5 and December 5, 1922. A total of 343 voting delegates from 58 countries were in attendance. The 4th World Congress is best remembered for having amplified the tactic of the United Front into a fundamental part of international Communist policy. The gathering also elected a new set of leaders to the Comintern's governing body, the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI).
The 4th World Congress of the Comintern was convened on November 5, 1922 — just days after Benito Mussolini's March on Rome that effectively seized power for his National Fascist Party. The revolutionary upsurge which had swept Europe during the years immediately following the termination of World War I was clearly in full retreat and the international Communist movement saw itself in need for accommodation to this changed political environment.
With the prospects for immediate revolution in the industrialized countries of Western Europe fading, the defense of the regime in Soviet Russia had rapidly come to be seen as the chief priority of the Communist movement. Owing to the failure of revolution in Finland, Germany, Hungary, and elsewhere, the stature of the Communist Party of Russia was enhanced relative to other Communist Parties of the world, and tendencies towards centralization and Russian dominance were thereby accelerated.
The 4th World Congress was attended by 343 voting delegates from 58 different countries. An additional 65 delegates were present with the right to speak but not to vote, and another 6 were admitted as guests. The gathering was the last congress of the Comintern attended by Soviet leader V.I. Lenin, who was too ill to attend any regular sessions and only appeared to deliver a single speech.
The Congress opened at 9 pm in the People's House in Petrograd, called to order by Clara Zetkin of Germany, who noted the fifth anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917. An honorary 13 member Presidium of the Congress — chosen in advance by ECCI in consultation with important national parties — was unanimously elected as the first order of business.
The World Congress, as the highest decision-making authority of the Communist International, was marked by the bitter factional battles of various member parties, with each group seeking final decision in favor of its policies and positions. Chief among these was the battle among the delegates of the Communist Party of America, split into two hostile factional groups. The battle spilled into the nominations for the American seat on the governing Executive Committee of the Communist International, with American Otto Huiswoud protesting the nomination of C.E. Ruthenberg for this position, arguing that he had himself been selected for the spot by the American delegation. Huiswoud's protest was to no avail as the new Executive was proposed as a single slate of pre-determined names, all amendments were rejected, and the list of candidates was approved en bloc.
Policy of the United Front
Presidium of the 4th World Congress
Members of the presidium were:
Speakers at the 4th World Congress
|Speakers at the 4th World Congress|
|Sadrettin Celal Antel||Turkey||17, 20||Used pseudonym "Orhan." Trade Unions; Eastern Question.|
|Émile Béron||France||1, 18, 19, 26|
|Amadeo Bordiga||Italy||3, 4, 12, 18, 27, 30, 32||Report of ECCI; Italy.|
|Tahar Boudengha||Tunisia||19||Eastern Question.|
|Nikolai Bukharin||Soviet Russia||5, 6, 14, 18, 31||Program; Norway.|
|Sidney Bunting||South Africa||20||Eastern Question.|
|Marcel Cachin||France||17, 25, 29||Trade Unions; France.|
|John S. Clarke||Great Britain||16||Trade Unions.|
|Roderic Connolly||Ireland||26, 32|
|Henryk Domski||Poland||6, 7|
|Jean Duret||France||4, 7|
|William Earsman||Australia||20||Eastern Question.|
|Hugo Eberlein||Germany||13, 26, 29|
|Alfred S. Edwards||USA||7||Used the pseudonym "Sullivan."|
|Franciszek Fiedler||Poland||26||Used pseudonym "Keller."|
|Paul Friedländer||Austria||7, 26|
|Jock Garden||Australia||17||Trade Unions.|
|Antonio Graziadei||Italy||4, 7, 30||Italy.|
|Anna Grün||Austria||27, 32|
|Otto Huiswoud||USA||22, 32||Used the pseudonym "Billings." Negro Question.|
|Fritz Heckert||Germany||17||Trade Unions.|
|Arthur Henriet||France||23||Cooperative Movement.|
|Edwin Hoernle||Germany||13, 25, 32||Education.|
|Jules Humbert-Droz||Switzerland||2, 5, 13, 29||Report of ECCI; France.|
|Mahmud Husni el-Arabi||Egypt||20||Eastern Question.|
|Jack Johnstone||USA||12||Used the pseudonym "Pullman."|
|William Joss||Great Britain||21||Agrarian Question.|
|Varsenika Kasparova||Soviet Russia||24||Women's Movement|
|Sen Katayama||Japan||1, 6, 19, 22, 27||Eastern Question; Agrarian Question.|
|Ludwig Katterfeld||USA||5||Used pseudonym "Carr."|
|L.M. Khinchuk||Soviet Russia||23||Cooperative Movement.|
|Vasil Kolarov||Bulgaria||1, 6, 19, 27, 32||Eastern Question.|
|Feliks Kon||Poland||1, 27, 31|
|Wera Kostrzeva||Poland||22||Agrarian Question.|
|Nadezhda Krupskaya||Soviet Russia||25||Education.|
|Joseph E. Kucher||USA||17||Trade Unions.|
|Béla Kun||Hungary||9||Five Years of the Russian Revolution commemoration.|
|Henri Lauridan||France||17, 23||Trade Unions; Cooperative Movement.|
|V.I. Lenin||Soviet Russia||8||Five Years of the Russian Revolution commemoration.|
|Liu Renjing||China||20||Eastern Qeustion.|
|A. Lozovsky||Soviet Russia||16, 18||Trade Unions.|
|Claude McKay||USA||22||Negro Question.|
|V.N. Meshcheriakov||Soviet Russia||23||Cooperative Movement.|
|Ernst Meyer||Germany||3, 7|
|Haakon Meyer||Norway||5, 32|
|J.T. Murphy||Great Britain||5, 24, 26||Women's Movement; Versailles Treaty.|
|Willi Münzenberg||Germany||18, 31||International Workers' Aid.|
|Karim Nikbin||Iran||20||Eastern Question.|
|Kosta Novakovic||Yugoslavia||31||Used the pseudonym "Stanic." Yugoslavia.|
|Ana Pauker||Romania||21||Eastern Question.|
|Jan Pavlik||Czechoslovakia||17||Trade Unions.|
|Karl Radek||Soviet Russia||3, 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 30|
|Ljubomir Radovanovic||Yugoslavia||13, 25, 31||Used the pseudonym "Radic." Versailles Treaty; Yugoslavia.|
|Roger Rieu||France||21||Agrarian Question.|
|Alfred Rosmer||France||6, 13, 17||Trade Unions.|
|M.N. Roy||India||19||Eastern Question.|
|G.I. Safarov||Soviet Russia||20||Eastern Question.|
|Richard Schüller||Austria||22, 29||Youth; France.|
|Bohumír Šmeral||Czechoslovakia||12, 25, 30||Czechoslovakia.|
|Sofia Smidovich||Soviet Russia||24||Women's Movement.|
|Boris Souvarine||France||7, 29||France; Czechoslovakia.|
|Rose Pastor Stokes||USA||27||Used the pseudonym "Sasha."|
|Ciril Štukelj||Slovenia||31||Used the pseudonym "Marynko."|
|Hertha Sturm||Germany||17, 34||Trade Unions; Women's Movement.|
|Arne Swabeck||USA||17||Trade Unions.|
|Ibrahim Datoek Tan Malaka||Dutch East Indies||7|
|Angelo Tasca||Italy||17||Trade Unions.|
|Ivan Teodorovich||Soviet Russia||21||Agrarian Question.|
|Leon Trotsky||Soviet Russia||10, 28, 29||Five Years of the Russian Revolution commemoration; France.|
|Eugen Varga||Hungary||3, 21, 22, 27||Agrarian Question.|
|Eduard van Overstraeten||Belgium||19||Eastern Question.|
|Willem van Ravesteyn||Holland||6, 13, 19||Eastern Question.|
|Julius Vercik||Czechoslovakia||17||Trade Unions.|
|Adolf Warszawski||Poland||5||Used the pseudonym "Michalkowski."|
|Harry Webb||Great Britain||13, 20||Eastern Question.|
|Clara Zetkin||Germany||1, 8, 9, 13, 24, 32||Keynote opening speech; 5 years of the Russian Revolution; Women's Movement|
|Grigory Zinoviev||Soviet Russia||1, 2, 3, 7, 13, 18, 30, 32||President of the Comintern.|
- Bertil Hessel, "Introduction" to Theses, Resolutions, and Manifestos of the First Four Congresses of the Third International. London: Ink LInks, 1980, pp. xxxi-xxxii.
- Hessel, "Introduction," pg. xxxii.
- Duncan Hallas, The Comintern: A History of the Third International (1985). Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2008; pg. 71.
- Jane Degras (ed.), The Communist International, 1919-1943: Documents: Volume 1, 1919-1922. London: Oxford University Press, 1956; pg. 374.
- Hallas, The Cominern, pg. 70.
- John Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012; pg. 63.
- Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front, pg. 64.
- Degras, The Communist International, 1919-1943, vol. 1, pg. 375.
- John Riddell, "Editorial Introduction," to John Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012; pg. 12.
- Hallas, The Comintern, pg. 73.
- Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front, pp. vii-ix
- Alan Adler (ed.), Theses, Resolutions and Manifestos of the First Four Congresses of the Third International. Alix Holt and Barbara Holland, trans. London: Ink Links, 1980.