International, Second-and-a-Half

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International, Second-and-a-Half


the prevalent name for the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (or the Vienna International), which existed from 1921 to 1923 and which united centrist socialist parties and groups in Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Spain, Poland, Rumania, the USA, France, Switzerland, and some other countries and also the Russian Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. It was created at the Vienna conference of centrist parties and groups, which took place Feb. 22–27, 1921, and which formally broke with the opportunist Bern International.

The real meaning of the creation of the Second-and-a-Half International was that it hindered the movement of a significant part of the working masses to the side of the Comintern. While criticizing the Bern International in words, the leaders of the Second-and-a-Half International, among them F. Adler, O. Bauer, R. Grimm, A. Crispien, J. Longuet, J. R. Mac-Donald, L. Martov, and V. M. Chernov, actually took an opportunist, centrist position on all the important questions of the proletarian movement: the questions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, armed uprisings, and the attitude toward Soviet Russia. The leaders of the Second-and-a-Half International strove to make use of the new association of socialist parties to struggle against the influence of the Communists, which was growing in all countries. Lenin wrote: “The gentlemen of the Second-and-a-Half International pose as revolutionaries; but in every serious situation they prove to be counterrevolutionaries, because they shrink from the violent destruction of the old state machine; they have no faith in the forces of the working class” (Poln. sobr. sock, 5th ed. vol. 44, pp. 105–06). In May 1923, with the beginning of the decline of the revolutionary wave, the Second-and-a-Half International united with the Bern International, forming the so-called Labor and Socialist International.


Lenin, V. I. “Novye vremena, starye oshibki v novom vide.” Poln. sobr. soch.. 5th ed., vol. 44.
Mogilevskii, S. A. Vosstanovlenie II Internationala, 1919–1923 gg. (Izistorii mezhdunarodnykh reformistskikh tsentrov v gody revoliutsion-nogo pod“ema). Leningrad, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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