V.I. Lenin’s article entitled “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”[1] was published on the 23rd of August 1915 in the newspaper “Sotsial-Demokrat”, no. 44.

Today, 100 years later, this issue of inter-state capitalist unions and the stance of the communists towards them are once again back in the spotlight and engage the international communist and workers’ movement, due to the developments in the EU, the criminal activity of NATO, the formation of new inter-state unions in Latin America, Eurasia, the promotion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the emergence of BRICS etc.

The 6th issue of the journal “International Communist Review. Space for Discussion” is focused on this issue.

The article of “Kommounistiki Epitheorisi” (of the Communist Party of Greece) stresses that Lenin’s analysis shines a light on the basic characteristics of the imperialist alliances and that imperialist alliances are inter-state alliances that express the common interests of the bourgeois classes of their member-states. The article also engages with the issue of inter-imperialist contradictions and the stance of the communists.

As Lenin noted, “(…)From the standpoint of the economic conditions of imperialism—i.e., the export of capital arid the division of the world by the “advanced” and “civilised” colonial powers—a United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary.” This conclusion is confirmed in the articles of the Journal “Propuesta Comunista” (of the CP of the Peoples of Spain) and “Socialist Latvii” (of the Socialist Party of Latvia), which deal with the negative consequences of joining the EU for the people of their countries. In addition, the article of the journal “Propuesta Comunista” presents the longstanding struggle inside the ranks of the Spanish communist movement, and the damaging role of eurocommunism for the working class.

Lenin noted that “On the present economic basis, i.e., under capitalism, a United States of Europe would signify an organisation of reaction”. The article of “Gelenek” (Communist Party, Turkey) presents the role of another political-military imperialist organization, NATO, in the organization of reaction. It focuses on the class nature of this organization, its role in imperialist interventions and wars and also the need for the labour movement to connect the struggle against war with the struggle against the imperialist unions, i.e. against the very “womb” that gives birth to war, capitalism. On the part of the article of ‘ThinkLeft” (Workers’ Party of Ireland), there is a historical presentation of the antipeople-antiworker activity of the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU, from their foundation until the present day.

Lenin wrote 100 years ago that “In this sense a United States of Europe is possible as an agreement between the European capitalists”. What is the significance of this position for today’s inter-state unions, for example in Latin America? The article of the journal “El Comunista” (of the Communist Party of Mexico) notes that “A class approach is necessary that will sideline the populist criteria and this means there must be an analysis on a scientific basis”. The article concerns itself with this very issue. 

“Capital has become international and monopolist. The world has been carved up by a handful of Great Powers, i.e., powers successful in the great plunder and oppression of nations” as Lenin wrote in this work. The article of “Sovetski Sojuz” (Russian Communist Workers’ Party) seeks to approach this issue by analyzing the current situation, demonstrating the roots of the overall rise of imperialist aggressiveness in the world and the revival of fascism more specifically.

Lenin also underlined that the “political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic, which will more and more concentrate the forces of the proletariat of a given nation or nations, in the struggle against states that have not yet gone over to socialism.” The reader can find a unique comparison between Hungary’s accession to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) and its accession to the EU in the article of “Szabadsag” (Hungarian Workers’ Party”. This article comes from a country where a socialist society was constructed and which was integrated into a corresponding collective of socialist countries, the COMECON.

We should note that in many of the articles included in this specific issue the relationship between imperialism and its unions and the forces of opportunism is highlighted and there is a confrontation against opportunist views. And this is no accident, because as Lenin had stressed : “Struggle against imperialism that is not closely linked with the struggle against opportunism is either an empty phrase or a fraud” [2] . In conclusion, the 6th Issue of the ICR aims to further contribute to the study of the issue of inter-state unions and the stance of the communists towards them, something which could assist the course of the regroupment of the international communist movement and also help them meet the complex tasks that lie ahead of them today.”

[1] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, V. 21, pages 339-343

[2] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, V. 23, pages 77-87