'I believe we have a new phase - a phase in which the process of the stabilisation of capitalism brings forward its contradictions in ever sharper form. The relations between the classes are sharpening ... capitalism is attacking. The working class is daily becoming more convinced of the necessity of active and determined struggle'. (Nikolai Bukharin)Between 1928 and 1935, the international communist movement prepared itself for imminent revolution. Against a background of Stalin's ultimate rise to power, the Soviet Union's first five-year plan, and the 'great depression' augmented by the Wall Street crash, the Communist International ordained a 'Third Period' of capitalist development since the Great War. In such circumstances, capitalism was deemed to be in its final death throes. Economic crisis was to facilitate the rise of fascism, broadly recognised to be the last desperate attempt of the ruling class to hold on to power, while the various Labour, Socialist and Nationalist parties across the world were dismissed as 'social fascists'; abetters of the bourgeoisie who deceived the working class into believing social progress could be achieved peaceably under capitalism. Yet, despite the revolutionary aspirations of the various national communist parties, the Third Period would become renown for the victory of Nazism and the crushing of the powerful German labour movement. Rather than instigate successful revolution, the victory of Stalin prompted an internal communist civil war, with the various national communist parties seeking to purge themselves of those regarded as insufficiently committed to the Soviet leadership or the 'new line' of the International. 'In Search of Revolution' considers the experience of sixteen communist parties during this time, outlining the multiple contexts in which party members planned for revolution against the simultaneous desire for a centrally organised, disciplined and international movement. In so doing, previously held assumptions about the history of communism are challenged and qualified, as the complexities of each communist party's history are set against the overriding demands of Moscow. Though the search for revolution was unsuccessful, the Communist International's Third Period would help define a critical moment of the twentieth century. The end of the Cold War and the opening of the Soviet, and especially the Comintern, archives, haverevolutionised the history and historiography of Communism and the Soviet Union and nationalcommunist parties. And nowhere has the upheaval been greater than in the history of the 'ThirdPeriod'. The Communist International (Comintern) officially announced in 1928 the 'Third Period' in capitalistdevelopment and communist struggle. All national communist parties had to cease collaboration withsocial democrat and Labour movements and adop tthe policy of 'class against class' as dictated byMoscow. Most historians have seen this policy as a disaster leading to the demise of communism as aninternational force. However, this collection of contributions by an international team of scholarsdemonstrates not only that international communism survived, national parties flourished,fought fascism, and the Popular Front emerged as amajor international force.
In Search of Revolution
International Communist Parties in the "e;Third Period"e;