Communism was believed to be a worldwide revolution of the proletariat. This was something that was feared by capitalist countries and embraced by socialists. Lenin called for the workers of the world to unite, and expected capitalism in Europe to fall soon after the rise of the Bolsheviks. With this belief the new Soviet Union formed the Communist International, the Comintern, in 1919 which would organize communist revolutions around the globe. The Comintern made rules for communism that international communist parties would have to follow and set the communist platform.

The rise of fascism in the twenties and thirties garnered the attention of the Soviets and the Comintern rescinded it’s old decree that communists could not work with Social-Democrats and asked them to participate in any way necessary to defeat the fascists. Then Stalin signed the Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler and the Comintern was forced to change policy(Seventeen Moments). Upon the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, the Comintern went back to supporting the Allied war effort, but Britain and the U.S. were still wary of the Soviets.

In 1943 the Comintern was dissolved. It had lost popularity with its flip-flopping. And Stalin needed to gain the trust of Roosevelt and Churchill, which was impossible with a part of his government organizing a worldwide communist revolution (Freeze). In the official Comintern dissolution order, Communist Parties worldwide are asked to put all their attention into fighting the “Hitlerites” and frees them from the constraints of Comintern membership citing the different environments in each country that made it complicated to organize revolution from Moscow.

The implications of the dissolution of the Comintern are bigger than the dissolution itself. Stalin had preached communism in one country but the Soviets still ran the Comintern, showing their goal of worldwide communism. It led communist movements that would rise up from the workers in each country. Dissolving it implied that domestic communist revolutions were no longer a priority and set the stage for Soviet imperialism. After the war, Stalin formed the Communist Information Bureau, the Cominform, an organization of communist states. Designed to organize communist government’s policy against the West, it was dissolved after Stalin’s death (Seventeen Moments). Unlike the Comintern, it served as the basis for Kremlin control of puppet communist states.


Seventeen Moments: End of the Comintern.

Seventeen Moments: Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

Seventeen Moments: Seventh Congress of the Communist International.

Seventeen Moments: Cominform and the Soviet Bloc.

Freeze, Gregory L. Russia: A History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.

2 thoughts on “Cominternminated

  1. Great post on an interesting topic. How did the dissolution of the Comintern highlight some of the ironies in Stalin’s government? What did it mean for various communist groups abroad?

  2. Thanks for posting on a complex and oft-overlooked topic. The politics of the international communist movement bring out all of the ironies and contradictions of Stalin’s doctrine of “Socialism in One Country.”

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