First Published: 1918 in
Rabotnicheski Vestnik No. 273, May 1.
Source: Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works Sofia Press, Sofia, Volume 1, 1972, pp. 56-57
Transcription/HTML Markup: Mathias Bismo
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2003
It has long been known and beyond dispute that the proletariat has a very great striking power owing to its crucial and irreplaceable role in modern production as the creator of all social wealth, as well as to its numerical strength which is increasing with every passing day.
Destroying the old forms and methods of production and dispossessing the mass of independent petty owners and producers, the continuous concentration of production, the progress of modern technology and the merciless capitalist competition, on the one hand, place the whole production process in the hands of the proletariat and, on the other, increasingly multiply and tighten its ranks. By dint of this objective development, the proletariat gradually emerges as the only productive, most numerous and powerful social class.
Inspite of this historical fact, however, for many decades and up to this day, the proletariat has been harnessed to the yoke of the capitalist industrial and social system, exploited and divested of its rights by the ruling classes, which possess the capital.
The very existence of the tremendous spontaneous force of the proletariat derived from its great numbers and its economic role, therefore, by itself is quite insufficient to set it free, to make it complete master of its destinies and worthy of its great historic mission.
On this objective basis, it is necessary to build up the real social and political force of the proletariat, to transform it into a class of itself, as Marx said in 1848, through a decisive struggle for the reconstruction of capitalist society.
In their remarkable Communist Manifesto 1) Marx and Engels, the great founders of scientific socialism, as early as seventy years ago showed and scientifically elucidated this only correct road towards proletarian liberation - the road of the class struggle of the proletariat. Mercilessly castigating the misleaders of the workers at that time - various bourgeois, socialists and parlour pinks, Marx and Engels, unlike them, called themselves communists and gave to their historic appeal to the international proletariat the name of Communist Manifesto.
Today, when May Day, the labour holiday, coincides with the 70th anniversary of the writing of the Communist Manifesto (1848-1918) and the 100th anniversary of Marx's birth (1818-1918), we feel how the closing words of the Communist Manifesto Proletarians of all countries, unite! are raised and spread throughout the world.
We are most gratified to note that the socialist proletariat in Bulgaria has not deviated from the right road. It has not betrayed the emancipatory cause and the ideas of the international proletariat.
It refused to sacrifice its general and lasting vital inter its principles, its programme and its future for petty momentary gains and for a mess of pottage.
The Social-democratic Party and the workers' trade unions have gained strength. Their means of carrying on the fight have increased. Their printed organ today, in spite of everything, has a three times wider circulation.
Social democracy in Parliament and in the municipalihas honourably acquitted itself of its duty, endeavouring to relieve the condition of the workers' masses as much as possible and, through labour laws and various other measures, to protect them from physical and moral degradation.
Precisely this road remains to be followed in future, still more firmly and more resolutely.
The early prospects of a new and still more powerful rallying of the proletariat all over the world for the class struggle against capitalism are clearly outlined on the May Day horizon.
1) The Manifesto of the Communist Party - written by Marx and Engels on the order of the Union of Communists, the first international organization of the revolutionary proletariat, founded in London in 1847. 'This little book is worth many volumes. The entire organized and militant proletariat in the civilized world has been living to this day in its spirit.' (Lenin, Works, Vol. 2, pp. 10-11)