“Lenin was a leading activist on the highest level of the Second International, as anyone can easily see who has read his evaluation of the international socialist congress in Stuttgart, as well as his comments on the Basel congress. Reading these today, many decades after they were written, one can only be astonished at the very clear perception he had of the political currents in the international socialist movement. He not only analyzed the character of the rightwing and of the opportunists and revisionists, but he also showed an awareness of the centrism of Kautsky. Furthermore, it is well known that Lenin attempted to form a left bloc within the Second International in which he tried to fuse the most determined and revolutionary elements within it. He approached Rosa Luxemburg and Clara Zetkin for the purposes of forming such a caucus. Lenin showed as long ago as 1907, and earlier too, that he had a keen appreciation of the growing strength of the opportunist current as regarded the colonial question in the deliberations of the international congress. “The great importance of the International Socialist Congress Stuttgart”, said Lenin in his evaluation, “lies in the fact that it marked the final consolidation of the Second International and the transformation of international congresses into business – like meetings which exercise very considerable influence on the nature and direction of socialist activities throughout the world” (3). In a slightly earlier commentary on Stuttgart, he had written, “Besides providing an impressive demonstration of international unity in the proletarian struggle, the Congress played an outstanding part in defining the tactics of the socialist party” (4). The congress was “striking proof that socialism is being welded into a single international force”. He then went on to analyze the existence of an opportunist current and explained how the congress defeated the Dutch delegates’ opportunist formulation of the colonial question. He indicated that a very dangerous trend was being introduced, although it was defeated at the congress (5). He also attacked Hervé (6) for taking a seemingly more militant but in reality semi-anarchist view in the struggle against the war. And, of course, he showed that it was his and Rosa Luxemburg’s amendments to Bebel’s (7) resolution which put in the key paragraph, which called for utilizing the crisis created by the war to hasten the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. Kautsky is mentioned in this very illuminating article only once; Lenin characterized Kautsky’s approach as correct but cautious” [Sam Marcy, The Bolsheviks and War. Lessons for Today’s Anti-War Movement, 1985] [(3) V.I. Lenin,  “The International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart”, in his ‘Collected Works’ (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1962), Vol. 13, p. 82; (4). Ibid. p. 75; (5). Ibid. p. 76; (6) ‘Hervé: Gustave Hervé was a Socialist leader and writer who argued that the workers have no country and therefore can have no interest in any kind of war. He advocated a general strike and an armed insurrection in the event of a declaration of war’; (7) ‘Bebel: August Bebel (1840-1913) was one of the early leaders of the Social Democratic movement in Germany, having joined the First International of Marx and Engels in 1867’] [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials] [LBM*]