Communism + Transnational: the rediscovered equation of internationalism in the Comintern years

Issue: 
Spring 2018

After October 1917, communism was embodied in an International that was organised by and centred on Moscow. This was known as the Third International, the Communist International or the Comintern, which existed from 1919 to 1943. Communism also spawned a new internationalism which connected people around causes from Harlem to Moscow, Hamburg to Buenos Aires, Marseille to Durban, London to Shanghai; it gave rise to global moments of protest and struggle, and myriad diverse organisations of many different acronyms. This internationalism proved to be, through its revolutionary, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist scope, both more enduring and more global than the International which had given it life. In what ways did the Comintern serve as a ‘start-up’ for worldwide projects and struggles which have left their imprint on the contemporary world, in particular outside of Europe? In this article we try to offer some answers to this question.

Twentieth Century Communism 14: 1917 in 2017