Won And Recorded
V. I. Lenin
The only firm gain in a revolution is that which has been won by the mass of the proletariat. The only gain worth recording is that which really has been firmly won.
The founding of the Third, Communist International in Moscow on March 2, 1919, was a record of what has been gained not only by the Russian workers, but also by the German, Austrian, Hungarian, Finnish, Swiss-in a word, by the workers of the world.
Precisely because of this the founding of the Third, Communist International really is firm.
Only four months ago it was impossible to say that Soviet government, the Soviet form of state, was an international achievement.! There was something in it, and moreover something essential, which belonged to all capitalist countries as well as to Russia. But, until it had been put to the test, it was still impossible to say what changes, of what depth and importance, the development of the world revolution would bring.
The German revolution has provided this test. An advanced capitalist country, coming after one of the most backward, has demonstrated to the whole world in a matter of a hundred-odd days not only the same principal revolutionary forces and principal direction of the revolution, but also the same principal form of the new, proletarian democracy-the Soviets.
At the same time in Britain, a victor country, the richest in colonies, the longest serving model of "social peace", or so it was reputed, the oldest capitalist country, we can see an extensive, irrepressible, intense and powerful growth of Soviets and of new Soviet forms of mass proletarian struggle-the Shop Stewards Committees.
In America, the strongest and youngest capitalist country, the workers have tremendous sympathy with the Soviets.
The ice has been broken.
The Soviets have triumphed throughout the world.
They have triumphed first and foremost because they have won the workers' sympathy. That is the main thing. No savagery by the imperialist bourgeoisie, no persecution or murder of Bolsheviks can deprive the people of this gain. The more the "democratic" bourgeoisie rage, the firmer the grip these gains will take on the hearts of the workers, on their moods, on their minds, and the more they will inspire their heroic struggle.
The ice has been broken.
That is why the work of the International Conference of Communists in Moscow which founded the Third International has proceeded so easily, so smoothly, with such calm and firm resolution.
We have recorded what has already been won. We have written down what has already taken a firm grip on the people's minds. Everyone knew, and what is more, everyone saw, felt, sensed, each from his own country's experience, that a new proletarian movement was in full swing. Everyone realised that this unprecedenledly strong arid deepgoing movement cannot be confined to any of the old frameworks, or held in cheek by the past masters at petty politics, neither by the world-schooled, world-skilled Lloyd Georges and Wilsons of British and American "democratic" capitalism, nor by the Hendersons, Renaudels, Brantings and all the other case-hardened heroes of social-chauvinism.
The new movement is heading towards the dictatorship of the proletariat, making headway despite all the vacillation, despite desperate reverses, despite the unparalleled and incredible "Russian" chaos (if one judges superficially as an onlooker). It is heading for Soviet government with the torrential might of millions and tens of millions of workers sweeping everything from their path.
This is what we have recorded. We have embodied in our resolutions, theses, reports and speeches what has already been won.
Marxism, illuminated by the bright light of the new, universally rich experience of the revolutionary workers, has helped us to understand the inevitability of the present development. It will help the workers of the whole world, who are fighting to overthrow capitalist wage-slavery, more clearly to appreciate the aims of their struggle, to march more firmly along the path already outlined, more confidently and firmly to achieve victory and to consolidate it.
The founding of the Third, Communist International lieralds the international republic of Soviets, the international victory of communism.
March 5, 1919
Written: 5 March, 1919
First Published: Pravda No. 51, March 6, 1919; Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, pages 477-479
Translated: Jim Riordan
eSource: Marxists.org - Marxists Internet Archive