The Revolution that Shook the World:

100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution

The Greatest Revolution that Shook the World-

 Communists say:

The greatest revolution that shook the world and ushered in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution took place one hundred years ago on November 7, 1917.  Salute this revolution with full conviction that the transition from capitalism to socialism is inevitable. Communists are confident that the working and oppressed peoples of the world will find their emancipation only with a repeat of the Great October Socialist Revolution. The conditions of imperialism which gave rise to the Great October Revolution still exist at this time. There is still the contradiction between imperialism, and the oppressed peoples and nations; among the imperialist countries and monopoly groups; and between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. As long as these conditions exist there will be struggle to resolve them.

Today the reactionary forces that overthrew the first state in the hands of the working people are in profound crisis. To divert from their crisis and the need for solutions, they continue to use a Cold War portrayal of communism to deprive people of an outlook on the basis of which they can bring about the changes they require. For these reactionary forces, communism is a brutal dictatorship because it deprives them of all their privileges and smashes inhuman relations based on ownership of property. They consider the corrupt and defunct liberal democracy to be the End of History. Attempts are made to divert from the deep crisis in which the bourgeois democracy is mired to make sure the working class does not formulate what can be done to change the direction of the economy and create new arrangements that favour the working class and people. Meanwhile, the liberal democracy has been reduced to its police powers. This requires the criminalisation of speech and dissent at home and war and aggression abroad.


Soviet poster: “Oppressed colonial nations shall rise up against Imperialism under the banner of the Proletarian Revolution”
(click to enlarge).

The Soviet Union played a crucial role in the defeat of Nazi-fascism and Japanese militarism. The victories of World War II were such that the peoples the world over were marching to the drumbeat of peace, freedom and democracy, looking towards communism to affirm their rights and win national liberation. Following World War II, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the imperialist heartlands, the reputation of communism was very high. People were making great advances in their struggles for emancipation and to end colonial and imperialist domination. To stem this advance, the Anglo-American imperialists launched the Cold War to snuff out the peoples’ struggle for their rights. Institutions of international subversion and aggressive military alliances were set into motion to stop any attempts at progress. A vast international campaign of lies and distortions was launched to sow doubt about communism and the Soviet Union which had given great hope and inspiration to all peoples fighting for national liberation and social emancipation all over the world. The imperialist agencies introduced bourgeois politics into the workers’ and communist movement. Based on gossips about personalities and events, the aim was and continues to be, to deprive the working class of its own outlook.

To this day, the reactionary forces continue to claim that socialism failed in the Soviet Union because there is some inherent flaw in it. What that flaw is, they do not say. This speculation leads some to suggest that scientific socialism is fine in theory but does not work in practice. How can it be that what is sound in theory does not work in practice? This is an unsound proposition and again they do not explain. The speculators also go to great lengths to convince themselves that socialist revolution and socialist construction are phenomena of the past. Socialism and communism, according to them, are finished once and for all. They suggest that the complete restoration of capitalism in the Russian Federation and elsewhere is an irreversible trend.

These speculators overlook how life unfolds. Dialectics teach that the advance of something necessarily involves overcoming the resistance of the old, and ushering in the new on this basis. Capitalism is old while socialism is new. Only socialism can resolve the contradictions inherent to the present conditions and create the new society.

The bourgeoisie, nonetheless, does not wish to admit that not only do the same conditions of imperialism exist at this time, but that the situation has become worse. The collapse of the Soviet Union contributed to the crisis of capitalism in a big way. All the claims that shock therapy would eliminate the problems of the capitalist system have nothing to show, despite putting much of the blame for these problems on socialism and communism. The conditions in the countries which formed the Soviet Union as well as the former people’s democracies in eastern Europe are worsening with the rise of poverty, unemployment, dislocation of the economy and all manner of crime and chaos in political and cultural affairs. This is also the case in the so-called western democracies where the destruction of the social contract and welfare state arrangements and all the ills of modern capitalism are destroying the fabric of the societies. The vain hope dangled in front of the eyes of the working class that the “benefits” of the so-called radical reforms would one day reach the working masses vanished long ago. The living and working conditions of the people continue to steadily deteriorate.

Socialism suffered a setback because of the failure to bring about the social and political reforms necessary to develop the leading role of the working class in the economic, political, cultural and other affairs of the society. In place of socialist reforms, capitalist reforms were introduced as of the mid-1950s. The content of the relations between people in the process of production was transformed from one which favoured the people into one that favoured a ruling caste which systematically usurped power by destroying the organs of people’s power. A new bourgeoisie arose from the upper echelons of the party, state, army, police and the overthrown exploiting classes.

As the period of retreat of revolution set in worldwide and the initiative passed into the hands of the reactionary forces, even the conception of society was withdrawn by Margaret Thatcher. Along with this retreat, a vicious anti-social offensive was unleashed which has destroyed the arrangements of a civil society whereby the aim of society is to look after the well-being of the people. Nation-wrecking has become the order of the day. Private interests organised into oligopolies have taken over the functions of the state power and run rampant all over the world. It is incumbent upon the working class to take up its leading role by beginning all over again. Starting from the present, the working class is working out a plan of action which serves its own interests and those of the society. It is striving to give rise to a pro-social trend. It has to involve the masses of the people  in discussion and debate as to the kind of system which should replace the present rotting system of capitalist wage-slavery and imperialist enslavement, destruction, aggression and war. In this regard,  the experience of socialist revolution and construction during the 20th century is crucial to achieving success.

At this time of retreat of revolution, when the inter-imperialist contradictions are sharpening, when more and more peoples and nations are awakening to the dangers posed by imperialism to their countries, and when the working class is raising the banner of the pro-social trend against the bourgeoisie, it is incumbent on all revolutionary Marxist-Leninist forces to work out the theory and practice of the revolution. This is the time to prepare, to get ready for the time when the conditions will be ripe for the decisive battles. During this preparation and while dealing with the problems of theory and practice, the working class must not lose sight of the strategic road, the road opened by the victory of the Great October Revolution guided by Marxism-Leninism. This road is still valid and mandatory for all under the present conditions.

Revolutionary greetings to the Communists of all lands, to the workers of all countries, to the Cuban people who are fighting in defence of their revolution and to the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who are fighting for their independence and the reunification of their homeland, to the Vietnamese people and all peoples fighting for the rights of all, all over the world. We salute all fighting forces and call upon them to carry on with confidence for the tide will change and the surging days of a revolutionary flow will come again. Things will turn around and our successes of today will be transformed into final victory.

Guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism, workers of all countries will be able to work out their own theory and practice according to their own concrete national and international conditions, and mount the barricades of struggle for the victory of world revolution. The working and oppressed peoples of the world will open the path for the progress of society and the emancipation of humanity.

Hail the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution!
Support the Struggle of All Working and Oppressed Peoples and Nations for Their Rights! Workers of All Countries, Unite! Glory to Marxism-Leninism!

 


Build the Communist Party and Proletarian Front!


Lenin declares Soviet power at the historic meeting of the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets, October 26 (November 7), 1917. One of the first acts of the new government is to issue the Decree on Peace, the first step to take Russia out of World War I.
(Detail from a painting by V. Serov 1947.)

The Great October Revolution shook the old world to its roots and brought a new one into being. Its victory signaled the end of the First World War, a terrible war fought between imperialist countries for the re-division of the world.

The October Revolution created the first socialist state and the conditions for the development of Soviet power, a nation-building project led by the Proletarian Front. Immediately, the working class and peasantry led by the Communist Party withdrew Russia from World War I and began to settle scores with its own imperialist bourgeoisie and feudal landlord class. The Proletarian Front, with its organised self-defence contingents that eventually became the Red Army, routed the police forces and military of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie and landlords, which were aided by a military intervention of fourteen countries.

The new country began to construct socialism not with empty policy objectives but with deeds that guaranteed the people public education, health care, basic humane living conditions and control over their economic and political affairs. These were all unprecedented achievements. Soon the country was industrialized giving it a material base to meet the needs of the people and to defend itself from imperialist aggression.[1]

The Soviet Union forged an unforgettable position in the annals of the people’s history for annihilating the Nazi hordes who stormed into the country in 1941.

The Soviet peoples through their heroic struggle led by the Communist Party made the greatest sacrifice during World War II in defeating the Axis Powers of German Nazis, Italian Fascists and Japanese militarists.

The October Revolution galvanised the anti-colonial/national liberation struggles in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and showed the peoples of the world that the imperialist bourgeoisie can be beaten. It can be done, if the road of Lenin and the Proletarian Front are upheld and developed.

Together, Let Us Open Society’s Path to Progress

The 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution comes 26 years since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Humanity can clearly see the profound crisis in which the U.S. striving for world domination is mired. Also clear to all, the rule brought into being in Russia and eastern European countries since capitalism was re-established has not provided the promised prosperity and security to the peoples. The bourgeois euphoria has long expired. The Rule of Law established and re-established in those countries replaced one form of corruption with another and has now, under the guise of permanent war on terror become Rule by Exception and governments of police powers, not of law. Meanwhile, the peoples are disenfranchised and see no end to the conflicts or worsening conditions, which even flare up into reactionary bloody civil wars such as in Ukraine.

Today, anarchy and chaos prevail in all spheres of the economy, politics, and social and cultural life. The countries that abandoned the path of the October Revolution are mired in all the ills of the capitalist system: poverty on one pole and fabulous oligarchic riches on the other, and a broad marginalisation of people from their economic and political affairs. In the imperialist heartlands, private interests, the anti-social offensive and warmongering are presented as values that uphold the national interest, while any country which does not accept the U.S. as indispensable is targeted for elimination. What the U.S. cannot control, it sets out to destroy. Wars are no longer politics by other means but wars of destruction. Without politics there can be no peace negotiations either.


Graphic from the Philippines celebrates 100th anniversary of October revolution.

Besides the damaging reality, the lessons of the October Revolution and its Leninist principles are not taken seriously. The persistence in sticking to social democratic prescriptions runs deep, infecting the working class movement profoundly not only in Europe but throughout the world. Social democrats confuse governments which come and go with the state power. They say winning government is necessary to implement socialist policy objectives. Falling short of gaining government status, they argue the working class and its allies must pressure or lobby the existing government power to be pro-social. This illusion-mongering of a parliamentary road to socialism is embedded within the imperialist countries. Lenin stood staunchly opposed to it and led the Russian proletariat and peasants to victory in the October Revolution, which of course became the scourge of the social democrats in alliance with the Nazis who did everything to destroy the working class nation-building project and its positive influence on the world.

Within the imperialist countries including the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin, the betrayal of Marxism-Leninism and adoption of one or another variant of pragmatism was profound and widespread. A determined struggle had to be waged to rescue the banner of Marxism-Leninism and its principles. This included upholding the Leninist conclusion that the government is one institution within the state and not the most powerful by any means. The ultimate power of the bourgeois state is the police power which establishes various layers of secret organization comprised of private interests whose instruments include a political police and spy agencies, among others. One of the main tasks entrusted to the police power controlled and led by the ruling imperialist bourgeoisie is to deprive the working class and people and polity of an outlook which is advantageous to themselves. Everything possible is done to smash the people’s political movement for empowerment.

Any serious government considering socialism as more than a policy objective has to contend with the police power. The police power is the centre of power of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The only force capable of dealing with the police power and overcoming it is the Proletarian Front led by the Communist Party. Reluctance to build the Proletarian Front is endemic within the imperialist countries due to many factors including importantly the ideological pressure from the ruling elite, in particular pragmatism, and the abundance of social wealth stolen from the oppressed countries that can be used to bribe working class leaders and intellectuals.

From revolution to counterrevolution, history has its own twists and turns and our responsibility is to ensure we contribute to opening society’s path to progress. On this important occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, t Humankind will always look back with admiration and respect to the days of October of the year 1917, when proletarian salvoes were fired marking the dawn of a new world.

History will assuredly experience once again revolutions of the calibre of the Great October Socialist Revolution. The Marxist and Leninist classics remain a living guide to turn the successes humankind has achieved to date into lasting victory. Our confidence in the working class and the human factor/social consciousness inspires us to build the Communist Party and Proletarian Front as the necessary subjective condition for revolution.

Long Live the Great October Socialist Revolution! Long Live Leninism!
Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!

Note

1. In 1944, the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Eric Johnston, said the Soviet economy was “an unexampled achievement in the industrial history of the whole world.”

By the end of the first five-year plan in early 1933, the Soviet Union was the second most industrialized nation, with the doubling of industrial workers from 11 to 22 million, coupled with the doubling of industrial output. In the Central Asian Republics and in Kazakhstan the industrial growth rate was fourfold and sixfold. The first five-year plan was a great success as was evident in the production indexes in mining, steel, and chemicals. Factories were being built virtually everywhere with giant dams and railroads also being constructed. By the second five-year plan in 1935, coal miners had doubled production of that of Germany, and by 1936 the Magnitogorsk Steelworks was the largest in Europe, and the Chelyabinsk caterpillar tractor factory the largest in the world.

In much of heavy industrial production, such as steel, cast iron, aluminum and electric power, the output of the Soviet Union outstripped that of traditional capitalist countries. The Soviet economy comprised 10 per cent of the world’s industrial production. Between 1924 and 1940, grain crops increased by 11 per cent, coal by 10 per cent, steel production by 18 per cent, engineering and metal industries by 150 per cent, and national income by 10 per cent. Factory and office workers grew from less than 8 million to 37 million and between 1913 and 1940 oil production increased to 35 million tons from 9 million tons with thousands of units of tractors, harvester combines, and machine tools also being produced. In early 1930, the number of tractors in the Soviet Union was 34,900 and by 1938 it had increased by almost fourteen times to 483,500. In the same period, the number of combine-harvesters was augmented from 1,700 to 153,500 and the number of harvesters alone increased from 4,300 to 130,800.

Volume of Industrial Output (Per Cent of 1929)

Country
    1929
     1930
      1931
      1932
      1933
USSR
     100
     129.7 
      191.9
      189.7
      201.6
USA
     100
     80.7
      68.1
      53.8
      64.9
Britain
     100
     92.4
      83.8
      83.8
      86.1
Germany
     100
     88.3
      71.7
      59.8
      66.8
France
     100
     100.7
      89.2
      69.1
      77.4
 
Country
Unemployment numbers in 1933 during the period of the end of the first five-year plan in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
0
England
2,800,000
Germany
5,500,000
United States
17,000,000
Italy
1,300,000
Spain
6,500,000

(Sources: mltheory.wordpress.com; Henri Barbusse. Stalin (New York: The MacMillan Company,1935), pp. 201-205.)

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