The search for the "Third Way" in the international left movement in the early 1920's.




bolshevism, social democracy, international relations, international


In this general paper the situation of the international left movement in the new geopolitical conditions that emerged after the end of the First World War is discussed. Subject matter related to ideological differences between ideological currents in the Second International as well as to practical steps of its participants in the direction of gaining power in the states is considered.

It is shown that military action in Europe intensified the split in the Second International, which existed in the form of a series of revisionist movements and movements in the middle of the unification before the First World War. The practical steps taken by the participants of the international labor movement in the direction of the restoration of the work of the Second International, which during 1914-1918 actually stopped its activities, are considered. Attention is drawn to the fact that mutual accusations of betrayal of the ideological principles of socialism, participation in the war on the side of the governments of the states of the Entente and the Fourth Alliance and the unresolved post-war problems have prevented the realization of this idea. That was the reason for the restoration of the Second International (Bern), the Vienna  International (Vienna Community) and the Third (Communist) International. Specific examples show the differences in the ideological principles of the existence of the Communist International and other members of the international labor movement.

Particular attention is paid to the process of uniting the participants of the Bern International and the Vienna Community into the Socialist Workers' International. It was investigated that an important precondition for the unification was the elaboration of a general socialist-reformist platform, around which all the directions of the international labor movement would be consolidated. Separately, the position of the members of the Comintern is shown, as well as the factors considered include as Bolshevik authorities in Russia and the unstable international situation in post-war Europe.

It is concluded that the diversity of views on tactics and methods of constructing a socialist state, against the backdrop of changing the political map of the world (the collapse of empires), prevented the unification of participants in the international socialist movement and caused their final split in the first half of the 1920's.

Author Biography

Olexandr Malets, Mukachevo State University, Mukachevo city

Candidate of Historical Sciences


Partizdat (1934). The struggle of the Bolsheviks for the creation of the Communist International. Materials and documents. 1914-1919. Moscow, 245 p. (rus)

Buchvits, O. (1959). 50 Years to Functionaries of the German Workers Movement. Gorlizdat, Moscow, 143 p. (rus)

Vatlin, A.Y. (1993). Mutual relations of the three Internationalies in 1919-1922. Unidentified documents. Novaya i noveyshaya istoriya: 35-56 рр. (rus).

Datt, P. (1966). International. Essay on the history of the communist movement. 1848-1963 [translat.]. Progress, Moscow, 415 p. (rus).

Zinoviev, G.E. (1922). Revival of bourgeois ideology and the tasks of the party: (Comrade Zinoviev's report at the All-Russian Conference of the RKP). Izdatelstvo V.V.Redakcionnogo Sovieta. Omsk: 56 p. (rus).

Partizdat (1933). The Communist International in the documents. Decisions, theses and appeals of the congresses of the Comintern and the plenary sessions of the ICCI. 1919-1932. Moscow: 1007 p. (rus).

Lenin, V. I.(1970). New Times, Old Mistakes in a New View. Vol. 44. Publishing House of Political Literature, Moscow: 101-109 рр. (rus).

Lenin, V. I.(1970). Letter to the German Communists. T. 44. Publishing House of Political Literature, Moscow: 88-100 рр. (rus).

McKenzie, K. (2008). The Comintern and the World Revolution. 1919-1943 [translat.]. ZAO Tsentrpoligraf. Moscow: 450 p. (rus).

Mogilevsky, S. A. (1963). Restoration of the Second International, 1919 - 1923: From the history of international reformist centers in the years of revolutionary upsurge. Leningrad State University, Leningrad. 272 p. (rus).

Protocols of the congresses of the Communist International (1933). The First Congress of the Comintern, March 1919. Party Publishing House, Moscow: 275 p. (rus).

Foster, W. (1959). History of the Three Internationals: The International Socialist and Communist Movement from 1848 to the present time: to the study of discipline. Gospolitizdat, Moscow. 617 p. (rus).

Zimmerwald and Kienthal conferences (1924). Official documents. Kniga Publishing, Leningrad-Moscow, 61 р. (rus).

Bulletin der Internationale 06.1922, nr. 3, s. 33-36. (germ).

Adler, F. (1922). An die Exekutive der Kommunistischen Internationale [To the executive of the Communist International]. Nachrichten der IASP, nr. 3. (germ).

Akselrod, Р. (1915). Die Krise und die Aufgaben der internationalen Sozialdemokratie [The crisis and the tasks of international social democracy]. Zürich, 1915, 46 s. (germ).

Bauer, O. (1920). Bolshevism and Social Democracy. Lviv. 230 р. (pol).

Bernstein, Е. (1915). Die Internationale der Arbeiterklasse und der europäische Krieg [The International of the working class and the European war]. Tübingen. (germ).

Cunow, H. (1922). Epilog zur Genuefer Tragikomоdie [Epilogue to Genuefer tragicomedy]. «Die Neue Zeit», nr 9, 233 s. (germ).

Das sinkende Sowjestern. «Vorwärts» 17.05.1922, s. 1-2. (germ).

Die II Internationale verhindert den Arbeiterweltkongress [The II International prevents the Workers' World Congress]. «Interekorr» 07.05.1922, nr 62, s. 480-487. (germ).

Lezer, N. (1968). Zwischen Reformismus und Bolschewismus. Der Austromarxismus als Theorie und Praxis [Between reformism and Bolshevism. Austromarxism as theory and practice]. Wien, 1968. 600 s. (germ).

Protokoll der Internationalen Sozialistischen Konferenz in Wien: vom 22. вis 27. Februar 1921 [Minutes of the International Socialist Conference in Vienna: 22nd to 27th February 1921]. Wien, Wiener Volksbuchhandlung. 1921. Access mode: (germ).

Radek, К. (1921). Theorie und Praxis der II ½ Internationale [Theory and practice of II ½ International]. Hamburg. 56 p. (germ).

Vandervelde, Е. and Wauters (1922). A. Le process des SR à Moscou [The process of SR in Moscow]. Bruxelles. 98 p. (fr).



How to Cite

Malets, O. (2018). The search for the "Third Way" in the international left movement in the early 1920’s. Skhid, (1(153), 68–72.