More Wisdom from Georgi Dimitrov

“Sectarianism no longer manifested itself in primitive, open forms, as in the first years of the existence of the Communist International, but, under cover of a formal recognition of the Bolshevik theses, hindered the development of a Bolshevik mass policy. In our day this is often no longer an “infantile disorder,” as Lenin wrote, but a deeply rooted vice, which must be shaken off or it will be impossible to solve the problem of establishing the united front of the proletariat and of leading the masses from the positions of reformism to the side of revolution.

In the present situation sectarianism, self-satisfied sectarianism, as we designate it in the draft resolution, more than anything else impedes our struggle for the realization of the united front: sectarianism, satisfied with its doctrinaire narrowness, its divorce from the real life of the masses, satisfied with its simplified methods of solving the most complex problems of the working class movement on the basis of stereotyped schemes; sectarianism which professes to know all and considers it superfluous to learn from the masses, from the lessons of the labor movement; in short, sectarianism, to which as they say, mountains are mere stepping-stones.

Self-satisfied sectarianism will not and cannot understand that the leadership of the working class by the Communist Party does not come of itself. The leading role of the Communist Party in the struggles of the working class must be won. For this purpose it is necessary, not to rant about the leading role of the Communists, but to earn and win the confidence of the working masses by everyday mass work and a correct policy. This will be possible only if in our political work we Communists seriously take into account the actual level of the class consciousness of the masses, the degree to which they have become revolutionized, if we soberly appraise the actual situation, not on the basis of our wishes but on the basis of the actual state of affairs. Patiently, step by step, we must make it easier for the broad masses to come over to the Communist position. We ought never to forget the words of Lenin, who warns us as strongly as possible:

… This is the whole point — we must not regard that which is obsolete for us, as obsolete for the class, as obsolete for the masses.
[V. I. Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder, New York (1940), pp. 42; Collected Works 31:58]

Is it not a fact, comrades, that in our ranks there are still quite a few such doctrinaire elements, who at all times and places sense nothing but danger in the policy of the united front? For such comrades the whole united front is one unrelieved peril. But this sectarian “sticking to principle” is nothing but political helplessness in face of the difficulties of directly leading the struggle of the masses.”

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