The United Front and the Offensive of Capital

The idea of a united front of the working masses is now emerging from the sphere of theoretical explanations and ordinary political propaganda and entering the phase of its impending practical realization.

To begin with, the intensified offensive of capital lends great urgency to the immediate establishment of a united front. No matter how it may be appraised, the political change which occurred on June 9 let loose the forces of this offensive quite obviously and beyond any doubt. The capitalists felt their hands completely untied in the different sectors of their exploitative activity – in industry and trade, in banking and joint-stock companies, in speculation with prime necessities, in real estate and landownership. They are working feverishly to remove all legal barriers from their road and are intensively preparing to shift the burden of taxation and reparations onto the shoulders of the toiling masses from town and countryside.

The first results of the growing offensive of capital, of its complete freedom of action, are already apparent. Real wages are falling, while the cost of living is rising. Bulgarian workers are left without work and bread, while alien elements, and especially people from the defeated White Russian army of Wrangel, increasingly man the factories. Working days are being arbitrarily increased and existing labour legislation is trampled upon. The liberty of small tradesmen and pedlars is being encroached upon and assistance to small artisans is pigeonholed, while the slightest restrictions on big business and stock exchange speculation are removed. The peasants are being deprived of the land which had been given to them, while the big landowners are given the possibility, despite theexisting Land Act, of gathering sheaves from the fields of the peasants who have cultivated these lands with much toil andsweat. Instead of improving and extending the Law on Housing in defence of the working people and the poor house-owners, everything is being done to prepare its abrogation. The capitalist monopoly on food, clothing and shoes, and fuel, exercised by the banks, joint-stock companies and private businessmen, is spreading its tentacles over the whole country in order to further raise theprices of these necessities, so vital for the subsistence of the masses during the winter. The export of foods and the customs policy are prompted not by considerations for the nation's economic rehabilitation and for securing available stocks for home consumption, but solely by the insatiable thirst of export firms and interested speculators for quick and big profits.

The selfish interests and greed of a capitalist minority more than ever threaten the elementary subsistence, the existence and future of the Bulgarian working people, the whole working intelligentsia and all non-capitalist elements of the country.

In these conditions can the majority of the people, living in privation, afford to fold their arms and remain indifferent and impassive to their plight? Should they let themselves fall prey to the capitalists and become victims of their furious onslaught, because of differences in programme, policy and tactics which now exist between them? What genuinely popular leader could be so frivolous as to recommend that?

Actually the working people and their intelligentsia are not organized and united in a political party of their own. A large part of them are in the ranks of the Communist Party or follow its banner, another considerable part is in the Agrarian Union, a third – in the Social-Democratic Party, a fourth, though quite small, part, no doubt constitutes themajority of the Radical Party.

These parties differ from one another and particularly from the Communist Party in their final programme goals and demands, in their general conceptions and political tactics, which lie at the root of their mutual struggle.The irreconcilable differences between them, as parties of the working people, concern their final aims however, and the ways and means of their realization, while between all these parties and the party of capital lies an impassable abyss – the abyss of the deeply opposed interests of the proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie, on the one hand, and of the capitalist bourgeoisie, on the other; the abyss between the exploited and his exploiter, between the slave and his master.

That is why the parties of the working people, insofar as they intend to remain true to the interests of these masses, are implacably opposed to the capitalist parties and seek to establish contact among themselves in their common work and struggle.

Could anyone seriously deny that today, when the masses and the whole people's intelligentsia are in such a sad plight and are exposed to such severe trials and terrible dangers, their parties should join in a common struggle and together face the offensive of capital in the name of a concrete, common programme on the vital problems of wages, working hours, subsistence, land, housing, taxes, reparations, and so on.

Differences in the final programme goals and demands of parties of the masses are not and cannot be such as to prevent their common work and struggle, their united front in defence of the masses, as long as the other parties arereally guided, like the Communist Party, by the interests of these masses and are ready to sacrifice their anti-popular coalition with the capitalist parties – the Democratic Union and the National Liberals.

Without abandoning any major programme goal of the struggle, without impairing its independence as a party and without asking the Social-Democratic, Agrarian and Radical Parties to forsake their programme goals, the Communist Party proposes a united front, firmly convinced that at present this is the surest means of warding off the onslaught of capital, of saving the working people from the threatening privations and dangers and of leading the country out of the blind alley in which the capitalist bourgeoisie has landed it.

In practice the united front does not mean a retreat from general party principles, nor a party effacement, but merely the acceptance of a general, concrete, anti-capitalist platform in defence of the working people and a joint struggle to implement this platform.

Prior to June 9, when the Agrarian Union was entirely in the hands of the ruling peasant bourgeoisie, which bitterly opposed the working people from town and countryside, it was obviously out of the question to set up a united labour front. Today, however, this obstacle, as well as many other obstacles, no longer exist. After what has taken place, the Agrarian Union can no longer remain a tool of the peasant bourgeoisie and is bound to march together with the working people. Otherwise, it is doomed.

The deck is cleared for a united front. And this united front of labour against capital will come into existence, because the needs of life and the will of the working people will impose it with an iron necessity.

Woe unto those parties and party leaders who want to be representatives of the Bulgarian working people, but who, prompted by party and personal interests and considerations of safeguarding their coalition with the capitalists, should be so thoughtless as to oppose the united front of labour.

They will thereby sign their own political death sentence.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 67
August 22, 1923
Signed: G. Dimitrov

G. Dimitrov, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 200-207
Published by the BCP, Sofia, 1954

The United Front and Bourgeois Reaction

In Bulgaria, as is generally known, the capitalists are but an insignificant minority. Even if we added to them the ideologists of capital and all the other individuals and groups who have a direct stake in pursuing a purely capitalist policy and in the existence of capitalism, they would in no case exceed a fourth of the country's total population.

Yet it is precisely this capitalist minority which wants to rule, toguide the fortunes of the people and country and to consolidate its class domination over the great majority of the working people.

And since, after the wars and disasters, after the telling blows dealt to the bourgeois parties and their complete bankruptcy in the past, the capitalist minority has no chance of winning over the masses in the name of a national programme, it sees the only prop of its power in violence and terror inside the country and in blind servility to imperialism and the foreign conquerors outside it.

The ludicrous merger of some of the old bourgeois parties in the so-called Democratic Union did not, of course, change matters one iota. It just made the reactionary intentions of the capitalist minority all the more palpable to the people.

In these conditions the parliamentary regime becomes highly inconvenient for the capitalists, an obstacle to the offensive of capital and the policy of exploitation, robbery and repression of the popular majority. Legality stifles and kills them. They are against the democratic principles of government, proclaimed long ago by the great French Bourgeois Revolution. They are against parliamentarism and constitutional liberties. They are against legality. They are for the bourgeois dictatorship of capital. The clerical newspaper Pravda, frank to the point of cynicism, openly advocates that the 'intelligent' capitalist minority, not the 'ignorant popular majority', not the 'mob,' should govern the country.

Following the example of other countries, the Bulgarian capitalists and their parties are now resorting to the last means of preserving their class rule and of keeping the state power in their hands – fascism, which is the complete negation of democracy and of all political rights and freedoms of the masses.

Well aware that genuinely free elections would undoubtedly return a great majority of working people's representatives to Parliament, the 'new government' of the Bulgarian capitalists hastens to organize fascist cadres and begins to commit outrages against the working people in the country. The unqualifiable atrocities in Turnovo, Berkovitsa, Bratsigovo, Peroushtitsa and elsewhere, the inhuman treatment of and the harsh sentences passed on defendants in connexion with the events around June 9 are, no doubt, merely the beginning of the fascist onslaught of the Bulgarian capitalists. Those who think that fascism is directed only against the so-called 'communist peril' bitterly delude themselves. They will have to pay dearly for their error and political short-sightedness.

Fascism is far from being only anti-communist, it is at the same time anti-popular in essence. Its function is to secure politically the success of the offensive of capital, of the exploitation and plunder of the masses by the capitalist minority and to consolidate the rule of this minority over the popular majority.

If fascism were to establish itself firmly in Bulgaria and to cope with the 'communist peril', its beastly blows would be felt also most painfully by the other political parties and economic organizations which are ready to defend the interests and rights of the working people in any way or form. Neither Social-Democrats, nor Radicals would be able to avoid these blows, unless they consented to become the blind tools of the Bulgarian capitalists.

The example of Italy (the classical country of fascism) is the best proof of this. Today Italian fascism deals Socialists and other radical elements no less heavy blows than Communists.

Today, however, the masses and the working intelligentsia, as well as their political parties and economic organizations, have one vital common interest: with joint efforts to preserve their freedoms, rights, honour and life by curbing the rising bourgeois reaction and its most typical manifestation – fascism, at its very inception.

Can the existing programme and other differences between the popular parties in Bulgaria be an obstacle to the implementation of this urgent task? Can and should these parties let the working people be crushed by the fascism of the capitalist minority and be subjected to complete physical and moral degradation, can and should they let the country be plunged into anarchy and turned into a prey of foreign conquerors, for the sake of profit-hungry capitalists and of their ideologists and supporters, just because of differences and wranglings, say, on the question of socialization and public ownership, or on the future forms of popular self-government?

Which Agrarian, Social-Democratic or Radical leader, who has not severed his ties with the people, would have the temerity to maintain such a groundless and senseless thesis?

Will the other parties of the working people, in particular the Social-Democrats and Radicals, who today are allies of the capitalist parties and help to strengthen bourgeois reaction and to form and organize fascism, grasp the significance of the united labour front, advocated by the Communist Party?

Will they understand that the vital interests of the working people dictate to them to discontinue their anti-popular coalition with the parties of the capitalists – the Democratic Union and the National Liberals, to cease to play the role of fig-leaves covering up the impudent nudity of bourgeois reaction and fascism, and to accept the salutary united front, proposed by the Communist Party?

The answer to these questions will be given to us in the near future.

But even today anyone who is well acquainted with and follows our political life can see clearly that all the working people – from workers, peasants, artisans, small tradesmen and clerks to physicians, lawyers, engineers, professors, retired officers and even generals, who make a living by their own labour – instinctively sense the peril threatening them and the country and seek salvation in a joint struggle for self-defence against the common foe.

Not only the offensive of capital but this important reason as well render the united labour front an inevitable necessity. Whoever opposes it now is against the interests, rights and security of life of the working people, against the freedom and independence of Bulgaria and is a pitiful tool of reaction and fascism, of the capitalist minority against the immense popular majority.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 68
August 23, 1923
Signed: G. Dimitrov

G. Dimitrov, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 208-212
Published by the BCP, 1954

The United Front and the Political Crisis

The coup d’état of June 9 ushered in a profound political crisis, the beginning of which dates back to the September 1918 disaster but which, like glowing embers under ashes, was temporarily suppressed during the Agrarian regime, to flare up again now.

The big question put now on the agenda for immediate solution by the ever sharpening political crisis is the question of power. To whom should power belong in Bulgaria: to the capitalist minority or to the vast, working people's majority? Or, in other words, who should preside over the fortunes of the people and of the country, who should direct political developments: the capitalist class or the working people?

Of course, this crucial question cannot be solved the way some generals are accustomed to settle their questions in the barracks, nor the way some professors organize their university seminars. The solution of political questions and social problems depends, in the final analysis, on the real needs of life and the real balance of power of the political forces clashing at a given moment.

There are two ways of settling the present political crisis: the capitalist solution of the crisis and the popular one, i.e., a solution indicated by the masses. There is no and there cannot be any middle road today.

But how does the capitalist class propose to solve the political crisis? The actions of the present government speak for themselves. The capitalist solution of the crisis is prompted solely by the desire of the capitalists to retain power at any cost, without paying any attention to the needs of the working people and the nation. All the capitalists are interested in are profits and wealth, the consolidation of their class domination and the possibility of freely exploiting and plundering the working people. They want a government run entirely by the banks and joint-stock companies, the stock exchange and the offices of the Industrial Union, the Balkan Insurance Company, the Association of Tobacco Exporters and various other business firms. Using state power, they strive to subordinate the nation's whole economic, cultural and political life to the interests of capital.

And inasmuch as the great majority of the people is obviously against such a solution of the political crisis, the Bulgarian capitalists and their parties, who seized power by non-parliamentary means, do not rely now on parliamentary means to retain it.

Almost three months have passed since the coup d’état, but the 'saviours' of the people from the Agrarian tyranny are still not ready to set a date for parliamentary elections and continue to hold the usurped power in their hands. They are doing their level best to eliminate the Agrarian Union from the future elections and, if they can manage it, also the Communist Party – the two biggest political parties in Bulgaria. They intend to hold elections not on the basis of the proportional system, but of its crude Agrarian counterfeit. They are feverishly putting the electoral machine into shape and have already launched a pre-election campaign of terror, in order to deprive the people of the possibility of freely manifesting their will, and to secure, by hook or by crook, a parliamentary majority for the capitalist minority which is now running the country.

The capitalist solution of the political crisis, however, is bound to lead to a military or fascist dictatorship, with all its incalculable internal evils for the people and the country, as well as external perils for their liberty and independence, and for peace.

The other, the popular solution of the political crisis means handing over power to the working people, to the great popular majority, which alone has the right to govern itself, and the country and to dispose of its fortunes. This solution means also to direct the economic, cultural and political life of the country, as well as the social development, in such a way as to satisfy the needs and secure the rights, liberties, life, well-being and peace of the working people, subordinating the selfish interests of capital and the capitalistic minority to this great goal.

This is the only correct solution of the present political crisis from the viewpoint of the interests and future of the working masses, the whole working intelligentsia and all non-capitalist elements, as well as from the viewpoint of Bulgaria's national independence, the liberation of the enslaved Balkan peoples and the lasting and secure peaceful relations with the neighbouring peoples and countries.

This solution of the political crisis, salutary for the people and the country, is possible in present conditions, however, only through a united labour front as proposed by the Communist Party – the united front of the working people and their political parties and economic organizations, from the Communists to the genuine Radicals who have not surrendered to the Democratic Union.

The Social-Democratic and Radical Parties, which still continue to participate in the government of the capitalist parties, must make up their minds now and choose one of the two possible solutions of the political crisis – the one which inevitably leads, through their coalition with the Democratic Union and the National Liberals, to military or fascist dictatorship, or the other which, through the united labour front, will provide the country with a truly popular rule, with a government of workers and peasants.

The choice of the Social-Democrats and Radicals will soon become clear.

But even today there is no doubt that the entire working people, including the mass of those who follow the Social-Democratic and Radical Parties, will join unanimously the united labour front and, despite all counteractions, no matter where they come from and what their nature may be, this front will finally be realized for the good of the people and the country.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 69
August 24, 1923

G. Dimitrov, Works, Vol. 7. pp. 213-216
Published by the BCP, 1954

Fear of a United Labour Front

Our proposal to the Social-Democratic Party to form a united labour front has aroused great alarm in the headquarters of the bourgeois parties and in their editorial offices.

The aims which the Communist Party is supposed to pursue with this proposal are now being subjected, as we can see, to various interpretations, some of which are downright ludicrous. The old political fortune-tellers and the young prophets from the bourgeois editorial offices are still racking their brains, which are not too sound anyway, in order to discover these objects.

Some have proclaimed the Communist proposal as insincere, as a 'clever manoeuvre' of 'good tacticians', aimed at sowing confusion within the Social-Democratic Party and at disorganizing its ranks.

Others have sought in this proposal a proof of the Communist Party's retreat from its basic principles, maximum programme and 'Bolshevik' methods, a retreat carried out by the Communists in order to preserve their party from, 'disintegration' and to save their 'heads and skins.'

A third group, as for instance the bankrupt Democratic financial expert Lyapchev, has even gone so far as to discover in the proposal of the Communist Party a 'moral degradation' of Bulgarian Communism.

It all seems rather strange and funny. The enemies of the Communist Party, who tirelessly hatch plots for its destruction, are now expressing their deep regret at the 'moral degradation' of Communism and its representatives, just because of the advocated united front tactics.

At the same time, the ideologists and heralds of Bulgarian capitalism in the editorial offices of the twelve bourgeois newspapers are doing their level best to 'save' the Social-Democratic Party lest, to their great distress, it 'swallow the communist bait' and perish, i. e., lest it cease to play the role of an abettor and accomplice in the crimes and outrages of the capitalist class against the Bulgarian working people.

Examining the past role of this party in our political life and stressing the valuable services it has rendered to the bourgeoisie before and during the June 9 events, the Pryaporets, organ of the self-dissolved Democratic Party, stated not without foundation and with great profundity a fortnight ago that, had there been no Social-Democratic Party in Bulgaria, the bourgeoisie would, in its own interests, have had to take measures for its creation.

The present alarm in bourgeois circles is, of course, quite comprehensible. The united labour front is a deadly weapon against the reactionary capitalist encroachments and class domination of the bourgeoisie, a weapon the latter feels levelled directly at its heart. It is a real threat to capitalist bankers and profiteers, big real estate owners and big landowners, to all those who want to fatten like parasites on the labour of the great majority of the people.

The guesses of the old political fortune-tellers and the young prophets of capitalism as to the intentions of the Communist Party in applying the united front tactics are, however, quite superfluous, because these intentions are not and cannot be a secret.

The matter, ye wise scholars and professors, is quite simple and clear, simpler than the simplest thing in the world.

The united labour front is indispensable in order to secure the bread, life, rights, liberties and future of the working people. It is indispensable in order to protect the working masses, the entire working intelligentsia and all non-capitalist elements from the exploitation, plunder and oppression of the capitalist minority, to foil its planned military or fascist dictatorship and to establish a genuinely popular power of their own. The united front is indispensable in order to forestall any new military adventures and perils and to guarantee the political freedom, national independence and peace of the country, as well as its fraternal relations with the neighbouring nations. And last but not least, the united front of the working people is indispensable in order to give an impetus to the development of society towards the complete emancipation of the people and the country from the yoke of capitalism.

The Communist Party, which today is the largest and a truly popular party in Bulgaria, the vanguard of the Bulgarian working people, merely performs its duty towards itself, towards the people and the country and fulfils its historical mission by first taking the initiative and working tirelessly and devotedly for the realization of a united labour front, for aligning all political parties and economic organizations of the working people in our country in a phalanx against capital and reaction.

As a party of the masses, the Communist Party feels no need to act behind the scenes, in dark and hidden corners, behind the back of the people, like the bankrupt staffs of the old bourgeois parties, loathed by the working people, which have now donned a new garb – the Democratic Union.

The Communist Party advocates and works for a united labour front quite openly, before the eyes of the whole world, because it does not engage in dark, anti-popular actions, unlike the 'Unionists' and their allies of the National Liberal Party, who have perforce gathered under one roof and are prompted by fear of the people to indulge in such actions.

How can one speak in this instance of lack of sincerity on the part of the Communist Party, when the latter always acts in accordance with what it propounds?

The needs of the working people and the interests of their liberation movement are the supreme law for the Communist Party. These very needs and interests have found a theoretical expression and political embodiment in its basicprinciples, in its minimum and maximum programme; they always and invariably underline its tactics and give them their real content. Only the forms of the Communist tactics vary, depending on the changed political situation and on the new conditions of struggle.

The general hue and cry of the capitalist bourgeoisie against the united labour front and its frantic fear of its practical implementation are the best proof of the correctness of the Communist Party's tactics and the timeliness of its proposal for a united front.

Bebel, the unforgettable leader of the German proletariat, once saidthat he could best orient himself as to whether he was on the right road by what the class enemies of the proletariat had to say about him and his line of conduct.

Likewise today the Communist Party is gratified to state that it is on the right road with its united labour front tactics, all the more so as the capitalists, as well as their parties, ideologists, professors and lawyers, have adopted towards it a negative attitude of extreme alarm.

In spite of its numerous foes, the united labour front will become a reality, because life itself makes it a virtual necessity.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 71
August 27, 1923
Signed: G. Dimitrov

G. Dimitrov, Work s, Vol. 7, pp. 217-221
Published by the BCP, 1954

United Front or Class Collaboration

After the setbacks and bitter disappointments experienced in the past, the well-known ideologists and advocates of class collaboration between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in our country are triumphant today and, with a feeling of rare self-satisfaction, want to show the world that the Communist proposal for a united front of labour confirms the rightness precisely of the tactics of class collaboration and may even cover up all the harm they have done to the interests of the masses through their partnership with the bourgeois parties.

A vain and rather rash triumph of superficial politicians who have evidently learned nothing new from life and have not forgotten their old favourite associations!

It is clear that the conclusions drawnby these gentlemen in this case are based on an inadmissible confusion and identification of the united front of labour proposed by the Communist Party with the tactics of class collaboration.

There can be no greater delusion than this, and no grosser distortion of the united front idea, because it should be stressed immediately – the united front and class collaboration, far from being identical, are, on the contrary, two tactics profoundly opposed, quite incompatible and mutually exclusive.

And indeed, the united front of labour means the joint work and struggle of the working masses and their political parties and economic organizations for definite concrete demands and aims, the realization of which is possible only by combating the bourgeoisie, capitalism and their parties, and not by collaborating with them.

On the other hand, class collaboration, even in its best form, is nothing else but the subordination of the needs and interests of the masses to the class interests and aims as well as to the class policy of the bourgeoisie, in return for temporary and minor compensations for certain parties, groups or even individuals.

The united front of labour aims at pooling the efforts of the proletariat and of all the working people, groups and elements in present-day capitalist society in defence of their vital interests and rights, which happen to coincide at a given moment, against the capitalist bourgeoisie and its reaction, while class collaboration disorganizes the working people, undermines their parties and organizations, facilitates the bourgeoisie in its plans for exploitation and oppression, and buttresses its class rule over the great majority of the working people.

The united front of labour is created in the name of a concrete platform for guaranteeing bread, life, rights, liberties and the future of the working people, while class collaboration leads to using the masses as a bargaining counter for the achievement of interests and aims which are alien to them.

The united front of labour frees the broad masses from the political influence of and dependence upon the capitalist bourgeoisie, leads to the complete isolation of capital and its parties, thus paving the way for the final liberation of labour from the yoke of capitalism.

Class collaboration, on the other hand, subjects the masses to the capitalist bourgeoisie, consolidates its class positions, saves it from critical situations in which it may find itself at a given moment owing to the dissatisfaction of the majority of the people, so that it can then proceed with its policy of exploitations, spoliation and oppression with renewed vigour and greater brutality.

Class collaboration means under all circumstances the actual sell-out of the vital interests and the independence of the proletariat and of the poor urban and rural masses against a 'mess of pottage' for the aims of the bourgeoisie and capitalism.

Just as in other countries, class collaboration in Bulgaria incontestably proves that the coalition governments of the bourgeois parties with the Social-Democratic Party or other petty bourgeois parties are always temporary governments for the defence and salvation of the bourgeoisie from popular movements threatening it at a given moment.

That is precisely how the bourgeoisie itself has always considered the Social-Democratic tactics of class collaboration, arid it resorts to it only when and insofar as it finds itself in a tight spot and feels the need to divert and paralyze the popular movements directed against its policy of exploitation and oppression and against its class rule.

Once it succeeds in overcoming the difficulties and dangers and in getting back firmly on its feet, the bourgeoisie immediately dispenses with the collaboration of the Social-Democratic Party and, after having attained its ends, kicks it out of office without much ado.

Examples of this, both in our country and abroad, are so numerous and generally known that we need not cite them here.

The united front of labour, as proposed by the Communist Party, is the very reverse of the tactics of class collaboration, so assiduously pursued by the Social-Democratic Party, and has nothing in common either with electoral compromises or with government coalitions of the bourgeois parties and the Social-Democratic Party. What is more, the first conditions for the realization of the united front between the Communist Party and the other workers' or petty peasant parties and organizations is that the latter sever their ties with the bourgeoisie and its parties and reject all collaboration with them.

The united front of labour is based not on the idea of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie but on the intransigence of the working people towards the capitalist bourgeoisie and capitalism, which they show in their everyday life with regard to all big questions concerning bread, clothes and housing, taxes and reparations, political rights and freedoms, peace and war.

That is why the united front of labour, far from running counter to an uncompromising class struggle between labour and capital, is actually one of the forms in which this struggle is conducted under the given circumstances.

The united front of labour against capital and its parties and not class collaboration with the bourgeoisie – that is today the supreme behest of the moment and of the vital interests of the working people. And precisely for the realization of the united front the first and inevitable condition is – to reject resolutely the tactics of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie and break up the government coalition with the Democratic Union and National-Liberal Party.

Those who do not want to or cannot understand that, or do not find it in their interest to realize it, will undoubtedly remain opponents of the united front, will sabotage it and try to prevent its practical implementation.

It is precisely for that reason that the Social-Democratic Party finds itself today at a crossroads and goes through internal convulsions, because it has to make its choice between its former bourgeois tactics of class collaboration and the tactics of the united front of labour.

Some of the Social-Democratic Party leaders may find it very convenient to follow the tactics of collaboration with the bourgeois parties, of backstage bargaining for portfolios and deputy mandates and for exploiting the electoral dowry 'proportionately' in the forthcoming elections, as the Populist organ Mir cynically advises them. But for the Party members, who more than once have experienced the evils and shame of these tactics, it will not be too difficult to grasp the profound difference between the united front and class collaboration and to adopt the only salutary tactics of the united front of labour based on an uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist bourgeoisie.

When solving these questions, which are fateful to the working people, there is something stronger that the personal wishes, concepts and calculations of the leaders – the needs and behest of the masses.

Putting forward its proposal for a united front of labour and doing its best for its realization, the Communist Party relies, above all, precisely on its great ally in this case – dynamic, inexorable and incorruptible life.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 72
August 29, 1923
Signed: G. Dimitrov

G. Dimitrov, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 222-227
Published by the BCP, 1954

United Front or Political Speculation

In its proposal to the Central Committee of the Social-Democratic Party, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, explaining the necessity of a united front of the working masses, asks it, in case it too recognizes that necessity and is ready to accept in principle the proposal made, to appoint its representatives for a meeting with the representatives of the Communist Party with a view to drawing up a detailed programme of joint action (See the proposal published in Rabotnicheski Vestnik, No 62, and Narod, No. 186).

That was on August 16. Since then two weeks have already elapsed. The Central Committee of the Social-Democratic Party is still examining the communist proposal within the four walls of its office at sessions deliberately interruptedby intervals of several days, without having taken so far any decision and without having appointed its representatives for a meeting with the representatives of the Communist Party at which to draw up the already mentioned detailed programme of joint action.

At the same time, however, the Central Committee of the Social-Democratic Party is assiduously carrying on negotiations with the government on the distribution of portfolios, in case of a cabinet reshuffle, and of deputy mandates for the future Chamber, availing itself at these negotiations of the communist proposal for a united front and of its own protracted 'discussion' at the Central Committee.

The articles written by the Social-Democratic leaders Pastouhov, Sakuzov and Djidrov in the newspapers Narod and Epoha, full of hazy riddles and vague hints, without touching upon the question of a united front in its essence, evidently aim at exerting influence upon the backstage bargaining with the government by suggesting that if it does not take into consideration their claims, the Social-Democratic Party may finally decide to accept the communist proposal for a united front.

The entire conduct of the Social-Democratic leaders inthis case, expressed in clear and understandable language, means just this: 'either you give us one portfolio more by dropping the National Liberals from the cabinet and guaranteeing us the corresponding number of seats and other concessions and advantages as well, or else – we shall side with the Communists.'

The working masses, which are impatiently looking forward to the creation of a united front, are faced today with an unworthy political speculation with the Communist Party proposal [or a united front.

Not the united front of the working masses in defence of their vital interests and rights, but quite different concerns now preoccupy the responsible Social-Democratic leaders who still pretend to have nothing against a united front and to care little about participating in the government together with the bourgeois parties.

The official organ of the Social-Democratic Party, Narod, which is making strenuous efforts to prepare its rank-and-file psychologically for a rejection of the communist proposal by means of an unscrupulous campaign of slanders, intrigues and instigations against the Communist Party, in connexion with the negotiations between the Social-Democratic representatives and the government explicitly states in its issue of August 27:

'Here again we are touching upon the cardinal issue. The present government should make up its mind whether to go with the Social-Democrats or with the National Liberals. It should know that unless it gets rid of the National Liberals it cannot count on the support of the Social-Democrats. And we think, quite apart from all other considerations, that this is of importance also for the forthcoming congress of the Radicals and for the futureparticipation both in the government and the Democratic Union.'

Let us leave aside the fact that you cannot find a single sober-minded member of the Social-Democratic Party capable of understanding why the Social-Democrats should actually refuse to participate any longer in the government side by side with the National Liberals, when they are ready to go hand in hand, for instance, with the Populist bankers, speculators and tycoons, or the Democratic industrialists and merchants who, as is known, are neither less reactionary nor more conciliatory towards the interests and rights of the workers and working people, not with 'cleaner hands' than the National Liberals.

What matters in this case is that at the present moment when the working masses have to bear the intolerable burdens of the high cost of living and speculation, of poor housing conditions and oppressive taxes, when they smart under a regime which deprives them of political rights, a regime of violence and cruelty, inhuman verdicts and political murders, when their very existence, their rights and liberties, their life and future are at stake, and when in self-defence they strive for the creation of their own united front against capital, reaction and fascism – at this precise moment the cardinal issue for the leaders of the Social-Democratic Party, who are negotiating with the government, is to eliminate the National Liberals from the cabinet in order to get one more portfolio and facilitate their electoral combinations with the Democratic Union.

If the government were to decide to part with the National Liberals and if the cardinal issue of the Social-Democratic leaders were thus favourably solved, the Social-Democratic Party would then remain in the cabinet and would continue to 'collaborate' with the bourgeois-capitalist regrouping which is taking shape in the Democratic Union, finding itself in a united front with capital, reaction and fascism, against the united front of the working masses.

And when Pastouhov, in connexion with our articles on the united front, cries out hypocritically in Epoha of August 29: '...more to the point,' the Social-Democratic leaders, by their own behaviour, raise the big question before the workers, artisans and peasants, before the working people's majority within the Social-Democratic Party: not with whom the government will side (with the Social-Democrats or the National Liberals), but which road their own party should embark upon – the road of backstage bargaining with the government and the representatives of bourgeois-capitalist coalition so as to obtain portfolios and deputy mandates, or the road of establishing a united front of labour through frank public discussion of the question concerned, adopting in principle the communist proposal, and through serious negotiations between the representatives of the Social-Democratic Party and the Communist Party with a view to working out the necessary concrete and detailed programme of joint action in defence of the working masses.

The present government has definitely decided what course to take. Only the politically naive people may not see it as yet.

It is now up to the workers, artisans and peasants, the working people inside the Social-Democratic Party who obviously feel the necessity of a united front, to decide.

It is their duty to save their party, to put an end to the shameful political speculation with the communist proposal, and to impose on their party an orientation along the road of the rapid realization of a united front of the working masses against the bourgeois-capitalist coalition.

Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 73
August 30, 1923
Signed: G. Dimitrov

G. Dimitrov, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 228-232
Published by the BCP, 1954

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