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Korneychuk B.V. The “Popular Front” Policy of Comintern: Open and Hidden Aims

Published in journal "Politics and Society", 2015-10 in rubric "Morality and politics", pages 1336-1344.

Resume: The paper focuses on i the Comintern's Popular Front policy (1935–1939) in order to reveal its open and hidden aims. The subject of the research are the ethical aspects of this policy and its impact on foreign and domestic political processes. For the objective evaluation of the official Soviet interpretation of the Popular Front policy, the author analyses historical materials and studies the history of its establishment, ways of implementation before the war and its application after the war to consolidate the power of Communist parties in Eastern Europe. Using the methods of historical analysis based on the studied materials, the author comes to a conclusion about the hypocrisy of the initiators of the Popular Front policy, who initially tried to enhance the Bolsheviks’ international influence under the aegis of populist and anti-fascist mottos. The article shows that the Popular Front policy, intolerable from the ethical point of view, in the course of time eventually became not only a strategy, but also a hazardous political habit, a style, an essential mode of existence of some marginal political powers. This is why its analysis would be helpful for the understanding of modern political life, which still provides a lot of place for lies, hypocrisy and populism. The author defines the criteria for the disclosure of the elements of the Popular Front policy: unification around one allied party to fight an imaginary threat, suppression of hidden aims, expression of the party’s position on the behalf of the nation, improvement of the party’s image via dispersing it in a “neutral” political movement, disdain of democratic and ethical norms. The article highlights the characteristic features of the Popular Front policy in modern political life. By conducting historical and political analysis, we can figure out criteria for identifying characteristics of the Popular Front policy in the modern-day context. Among these are: allies coalescing around one party to deal with an imaginary threat; hypocritical concealment of real goals; expressing the party’s position allegedly on behalf of “the people” or “popular”/“national” movements; efforts to improve the party’s tarnished image by “dissolving” it in a politically “neutral” populist movement; ignoring democratic principles and ethical norms.

Keywords: stalinism, international policy, ethics, propaganda, Munzenberg, populism, Comintern, Popular Front, socialist countries, anti-fashism

DOI: 10.7256/1812-8696.2015.10.15254

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