What is a social revolution?
The political and social content of the revolution
In the progressive development of all material phenomena, we can observe two forms: one is the evolutionary form, where essentially , slow, progressive changes take place, without changing the quality of the phenomenon, without changing its’ essence, just change as it is, and the other is the revolutionary one, the “revolutionary leap”, as it is called within the categories of dialectical materialism, where, essentially, a violent transition from one situation to another takes place, radically modifying the quality of things, changing their essence.
As regards society, we refer to social revolutions, to these revolutionary leaps, violent transitions that change the character of society itself, its essence, change the economic basis, the relations of production (in the core of which the property relations in the means of production are located) and the political, ideological, ethical relations based on them.
Social revolutions constitute the result of the class struggle, which permeates all class societies. They are the result of the struggle between the hostile social classes, independently of its form, of its expression, of whether it is open or not.
Marx and Engels, in 1848, in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, highlighted with scientific accuracy the role of class struggle as a motor force of society:
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.
The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.
Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. “ 
The Marxist-Leninist theory, generalizing the experience of class struggle and revolutions, proves that revolutions are the motors of social progress, the “engines of history”, as Marx characterized them.
The economic basis of class struggle- its’ material basis-, is the deep conflict between the development of the forces of production of society and the outdated, conservative system of relations of production expressed by the intensification of social contradictions and their expression at the level of politics and ideology, the struggle between the dominant class, interested in the preservation of the dominant mode of production and the oppressed classes, that fight for its overthrow.
Marx, in the Preface of his work “A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, accurately described how the necessity of the social revolution is formed:
“In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto.
From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then an era of social revolution begins.
In contrast to the transition from slavery to feudalism that ended with the “destruction of the two contending classes”, the slave-owners and the slaves, the transition from feudalism to capitalism acquires features of national political action. The bourgeoisie establishes its parties, its various political wings, the role of the conscious action of classes increases. At the same time, the bourgeoisie, that, at that time was comprised of mass strata of small owners and merchants and not only of bankers and industrialists, mobilized against feudalism not only the large strata of peasants oppressed by feudal relations, but also the young, and small in terms of population, proletariat.
The bourgeoisie was established as a representative of all the people, as a representative of the nation. In that way, not only the bourgeoisie and the peasant serfs, but also new “wage- slaves”, “released” from the physical and social coercion of slavery and feudalism came to the forefront of social development.
Precisely because the history of bourgeois revolutions reveals that the transition from feudalism to capitalism took place in a revolutionary way, pulling popular and working masses to the forefront of historical evolution, today, contemporary ideological representatives of the bourgeoisie do not only oppose socialist revolutions, proletarian revolutions, but also slander and distort the most radical traditions of the English Revolution of 1648, the French Revolution of 1789, and conceal the social content, the bourgeois character of the revolution of 1821.
In a schematic way, we can see two processes in social revolution: one regarding the change of the relations of production and all social relations and another regarding political revolution, the demolition of the power of the dominant class and the conquest of political power by the revolting class.
As Lenin noted: «The passing of state power from one class to another is the first, the principal, the basic sign of a revolution…”
In all the instances of bourgeois revolutions it has been proven that the old feudal society was not willing to “die” voluntarily, to withdraw from the social forefront. On the contrary, it reacted fiercely. In addition, the conquest of political power from the bourgeoisie was a precondition for the extension of capitalist relations, the overcoming of any obstacle set by the feudal superstructure.
Consequently, the main task of any revolutionary class is to conquer political power for the creation of its own class state: “Because the state arose from the need to hold class antagonisms in check, but because it arose, at the same time, in the midst of the conflict of these classes, it is, as a rule, the state of the most powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the state, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class
What are the features of the revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism? Why can capitalism not be “transformed” into socialism?
The proletarian socialist revolution is a higher type of social revolution which organizes and carries out the full conflict and rupture with the social relations of the capitalist socio-economic formation.
Socialist revolution is a qualitative leap for the scientific transition to a historically superior mode of production.
It establishes the power of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat, in alliance with the popular strata. Its main task, on the basis of socialization of the means of production, is to abolish every form of private ownership, to construct the classless, communist society.
Generalizing the experience of the historically known revolutions, K. Marx and
F. Engels wrote:
“All the preceding classes that got the upper hand sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation.
The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.” 
The duty of bourgeois revolution was to bring the superstructure of the society in correspondence with the new economic relations that had already developed or even dominated within the previous society, aiming at their complete extension and domination.
Capitalist relations, the relation of wage labour and capital were developed and also started to become dominant within the framework of the feudal system. What remained was to break the “rotten” chains of the old society and bring the political superstructure in correspondence with the new emerging economic base.
“The difference between a socialist revolution and a bourgeois revolution
“, said Lenin, “is that in the latter case there are ready-made forms of capitalist relationships; Soviet power—the proletarian power—does not inherit suchready-made relationships
The duty of socialist revolution is incomparably more difficult and complex. It is clear that the working class, as the dominant motor force of the socialist revolution, has as its basic duty to resolve the main issue of the revolution, the issue of power. The socialist revolution has to resolve, through the conscious action of the vanguard of the class, of its party, the complex problem that in the previous eras was spontaneously and progressively resolved by History: the formation of the new socio-economic base of the communist society, the directly social industrial production on the basis of social ownership over the concentrated means of production and of its central planning. The formation of the new relations is a particularly difficult task. It constitutes the basic revolutionary duty of working class power, the dictatorship of the proletariat. The transition to the communist socio-economic formation is not a simple transition from one exploiting society to another, even if it is superior, but the definite and full abolition of any type of private ownership over the means of production, any type of exploiting class and not the succession of one by another.
This is where the harsh character of class struggle originates, as well as enormous difficulties regarding the construction of the new communist society, as it manifested itself in the process of construction and finally of counterrevolution and restoration of capitalism in the USSR and in other socialist countries.
As the development of communist relations presupposes the abolition of every type of exploitative relations, communist relations cannot be formed within capitalism. Communist and capitalist relations of production cannot coexist beside each other. Historically, the view of reforming of capitalism into socialism was based on the phenomenon that the bourgeois state assumed, to a large extent, sectors of the economic activity by founding state monopolies or by the nationalization of some of them. In reality, it was a activity in support of capitalist development, either during periods where the formation of infrastructure is necessary in order to help capitalist activity, capitalist accumulation, (e.g. the formation of railway network in France and Germany of the 19th century etc), or in periods of war preparation (1st and 2nd World War) or in periods after large-scale destruction of forces of production (post-war reconstruction in Europe).
Engels highlighted characteristically: “…since Bismarck went in for state-ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkeyism, that without more ado declares all state ownership, even of the Bismarckian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the state of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of socialism. If the Belgian state, for quite ordinary political and financial reasons, itself constructed its chief railway lines; if Bismarck, not under any economic compulsion, took over for the state the chief Prussian lines, simply to be the better able to have them in hand in case of war, to bring up the railway employees as voting cattle for the government, and especially to create for himself a new source of income independent of parliamentary votes — this was, in no sense, a socialistic measure, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the Royal Maritime Company, the Royal porcelain manufacture, and even the regimental tailor of the army would also be socialistic institutions.”
All opportunist ideological constructs on economic relations of a new type – “social economy”, workers’ cooperatives etc.-, apart from private and more specifically capitalist ownership are nothing more than reheated proposals of utopian socialists that then constituted a feature of the immaturity of socialism and today constitute an effort to mislead the workers that social revolution is not needed for the overthrow of capitalism.
In the Report of the CC of the 18th Congress of KKE for socialism, it is mentioned that:
“During socialist construction, that it is to say during the long passage from a capitalist to a developed communist society, politics -that is to say revolutionary working class state power with the party as its leading force acquires precedence in the shaping, extension and deepening of the new social relations. This is not voluntarism, as certain comrades have argued. The relations of social ownership do not come about spontaneously as long as relations of private ownership exist. This did not occur with capitalist relations which appeared while feudal relations were still predominant, even if in the case of capitalism that politics harmonized social relations with the new productive forces. Politics gave a new impetus to their development, and later through politics historically out-of-date capitalist relations were maintained and became an obstacle to the development of productive forces. Nevertheless, the relations of social ownership appear only as a result of the revolutionary political act. This does not mean an idealistic downgrading or denial of the decisive role of the productive forces in the relationship between productive forces and productive relations.
In the case of the relations of social ownership, their ability to appear in concentrated industrial production and their moulding comes about as the result of the revolutionary will of the working class and its victory over the state power of capital. From this point of view, revolutionary politics becomes decisive in the shaping of the new productive relations, and also in the course of socialist development, in the course of the disappearance of intermediate cooperative relations. The replacement of cooperative relations with relations of social ownership, the passage from cooperative production to direct social production is not carried out spontaneously through the planned development of productive forces in the cooperatives, but as a result of the revolutionary act.”
What are the motor forces of socialist revolution?
When speaking about “motor forces” of the socialist revolution, we refer to those social forces that have an objective interest in the overthrow of capitalist relations of production.
As has already analyzed, the basic motor force, the leading social force of the process of social revolution is the working class, because it has a general interest in the abolition of capitalist relations and the harmonization of the social character of production with social ownership of the means of production.
However, the abolition of capitalist ownership is also in the interests of that section of small owners of means of production that are crushed by large-scale capitalist ownership, the monopolies. The interests of those sections of the intermediate strata are close to those of the proletariat, taking into account the prospect of them becoming salaried workers in the future and not owners of means of production, as they are today.
Lenin noted that: “Capitalism would not be capitalism if the proletariat pur sang were not surrounded by a large number of exceedingly motley types intermediate between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns his livelihood in part by the sale of his labour-power), between the semiproletarian and the small peasant (and petty artisan, handicraft worker and small master in general), between the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less developed strata, if it were not divided according to territorial origin, trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on
It is very important to determine such forces, as it has to do with the elaboration of the policy of alliances of the labour movement.
It means the elaboration of the framework of struggle in order for vanguard sectors of such popular intermediate strata to be detached from the political influence of capital and to ally with the revolutionary workers’ movement.
In each capitalist country, the composition and the percentage of such forces differ. However, we can define them as being forces that cannot permanently exploit alien labour, cannot achieve accumulation due to their activity.
In the Programme of KKE there is the following reference: “The motor forces of the socialist revolution will be the working class as the leading force, the semiproletarians, the oppressed popular strata of the urban self-employed, the poor farmers, who are negatively affected by the monopolies, and for this reason have an objective interest in their abolition, the abolition of capitalist ownership, in the overthrow of its power, in the new relations of production
InGreece, these are forces consisting of poor farmers, self-employed in retail trade and manufacturing, workers of restaurants and tourism, construction, cleaning etc. They periodically together with other members of their family, they may be owners of land and some other dispersed means of production. The capitalist system that, sooner or later, will make them lose their land, will destroy them as independent producers and workers will lead them to unemployment or, in the best case, to underemployment. Even if it preserves them for a certain period, their conditions of life will worsen (debts, insecurity, too many hours of work each day etc.).
The long lasting and deep crises provoked a sudden change even in branches where self-employment survived under better conditions, in professions related to construction, repairs, law and accounting. The integration of scientists into large capitalist enterprises has extended to the law, accounting, technical work, to all work related to health prevision and rehabilitation, motherhood, health and insurance in the workplaces, Public Health, Culture and Sports, as salaried workers, is increasing even further.
The tendency of deterioration of the conditions of important sections of self-employed and scientists, even if they have a better salary and, mainly, greater freedom than salaried workers, by exchanging their work with income
is characteristic. Sections of self-employed scientists (e.g. Engineers, lawyers, accountants etc.) only appear as being self-employed in a formal sense and work with a flat-rate payment for capitalist businesses, issuing themselves a payment receipt.
Their medium-term interest is objectively to be found on the path of conflict and overthrow of the monopolies, capitalist ownership, at the side of the working class for the conquest of the power.
For significant sections of the self-employed, the common struggle with salaried workers is the only choice that serves their future interests. Their own interest lies in the workers’ state providing them all the conditions to carry out scientific work for the prosperity of society.
It is inevitable that either they will align with the capitalist mode of production, the consequence of which is the violent destruction of majority of them, or with development based on social (popular) ownership, central planning in favour of social prosperity. It is in the interests of the working class to win such strata to its side, the side of workers’ people’s power or, at least, to ensure that they are not aligned with the reaction of the class of capitalists.
The destruction of the self-employed should not be understood as an absolute trend, as it coexists with the reproduction of certain intermediate strata, despite the fact this is taking place under conditions of the relative worsening of their conditions in relation to the previous period.
Drawing sections of these forces to the side of the working class or neutralizing them presupposes the existence of a powerful labour movement that will have a leading role in the people’s mobilization.
Any underestimation of this aspect creates the danger that, instead of drawing these forces to the side of the working class, the petty bourgeois views of such forces prevail in the working class and turn it into the tail of the bourgeois political line.
The working class is not separated from these strata by a “Chinese Wall”, even more so as there is a differentiation inside it, there are objective and subjective factors that place obstacles to its unity.
The policy of alliances of the Communist Party, the policy of alliances from the standpoint of the working class, aims to draw social forces to the side of the working class, aims for such a rally to have a certain orientation and to be formed on an anti-capitalist basis, in the direction of the confrontation against the capital.
The issue of power.
The smashing of the bourgeois state. Why can’t there be a parliamentary road to socialism?
The issue posed many times in a theoretical or practical way to the communist movement is whether the working class can use the bourgeois state apparatus in order to construct its own power.
Confusion around this issue arose from the fact that the bourgeois state and mainly the parliamentary form of bourgeois democracy appear as a non-class state based on the democratically expressed will of the members of bourgeois society, irrespective of the classes they belong to.
Marx, in his work “The German Ideology”, in the chapter “The relation of the bourgeois to the capitalist state”, analyzes how the bourgeois state is presented as something alien to the bourgeois class: ” To this modern private property corresponds the modern State (…)Through the emancipation of private property from the community, the State has become a separate entity, beside and outside civil society; but it is nothing more than the form of organization which the bourgeois necessarily adopt both for internal and external purposes, for the mutual guarantee of their property and interests…
Since the State is the form in which the individuals of a ruling class assert their common interests, and in which the whole civil society of an epoch is epitomized, it follows that the State mediates in the formation of all common institutions and that the institutions receive a political form.”
Class struggles of the period 1848-1871, culminating with the Paris Commune, helped Marx and Engels to arrive at the conclusion that the proletariat cannot “receive” the bourgeois state apparatus and use it in its favour, on the contrary, it has to “smash” it and to replace it with a new one that corresponds to its own interests.
Lenin, in his work “State and Revolution” developed these theses further, in opposition to those of the German Social-democrat Karl Kautsky, and revealed the necessity to smash the bourgeois state as a precondition for the victory of the proletariat.
He highlighted that there is no “pure” democracy, but class democracy. In capitalism, democracy is the usurpation of the power by a minority of the population, the capitalists, the bourgeoisie. It is a capitalist democracy, a bourgeois democracy, a democracy essentially in favour of the interests of few and a dictatorship for the majority. In socialism, revolutionary power of the working class also is not “pure” and “neutral”. It is a democracy for the majority and a dictatorship for the few, the former capitalists.
In addition, even the most developed form of parliamentary democracy on the basis of capitalist relations of production, cannot exceed those limits. As V.I. Lenin argued, “even the most democratic bourgeois republic is nothing more than an apparatus for the oppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie , of the mass of workers by a handful of capitalists
The bourgeois parliament offers stability to bourgeois power as in that way the general interests of the minority (capitalists) are served through its political representatives with the support of the majority (the working class and the poor popular strata). For that reason, bourgeois parliamentary democracy is typical for all developed capitalist countries, is the most characteristic form of organization of bourgeois political power. Lenin, repeating Engels’ words, noted that: “In the “democratic republic” continues Engels, “wealth exerts indirectly its’ power and, for that reason, it exerts it in a more secure way”, and, more precisely, first of all, with the form of “direct buying of public officers” (America) and, secondly, with the “form of government and stock marker alliance” (France and America). […]
The omnipotence of “wealth” is more certain in a democratic republic because it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism..
To the extent that the form of organization of the bourgeois class maintains features of the past (e.g. delay in the development and function of the electoral bourgeois parliamentary regime in contrast to the concentration of powers in the hands of one person), bourgeois movements are formed, in order to sideline them (e.g. the so-called “Arab Spring”). In such movements, intermediate strata that arose from capitalist development itself prevail, pulling with them wide strata of the working class and other poorer popular strata.
The fomentation or support for such movements is often related to the interests of other powerful capitalist countries, with rivalries for the control of energy resources, infrastructure, international transport, military bases etc. Imperialist powers, such as theUSA, the EU, under the pretext of “democratization” intervene directly (e.g.Yugoslavia,Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya) or indirectly (Egypt,Syria).
The general right to vote on the terrain of capitalist relations of productions (which was not conceded by the bourgeoisie but conquered by the struggles of the working class), is under continuous open or concealed limitations, when it has to do with real popular-workers’ representation. Because, the only representation of a Communist Party can fulfil this, as long as the Communist Party serve its title in reality. If not, the workers’ and people’s votes can determine nothing more than “which member of the ruling class was to represent and repress the people in parliament
According to the course of the class struggle, there are phases where the falsification of the electoral expression is carried out in an openly violent way, e.g. inGreeceduring the decades of 1950 and 1960, against EDA (United
Democratic Left), in which members and cadres of KKE were active.
However, “falsification” of the general electoral right, is carried out in any case, even in the most normal conditions, through ideological-political manipulation and buying off, when mass phenomena of open threats and violence are gone, when the working class is called on freely to choose the representatives of the class hostile to it, to vote in the same way as its employers.
As regards multiparty systems within the framework of the bourgeois system, it expresses differences and contradictions between sections of the bourgeoisie around issues of management of capitalism with historical and ideological bases, as well as their need to alternate in government. In that way, their class character, as well as their strategic alignment is concealed.
For these reasons, it is a given that revolutionary majority can be formed only outside the institutions of such democracy and only when opposition to them matures, when illusions about solutions in favour of the people carried out by these institutions collapse, only to the extent that the working class is organized in the units of production, not only on an economic basis, but also in a political direction, i.e. in the struggle for its own power. Lenin, responding to the illusion that the proletariat and the poor popular strata can, through bourgeois elections, constitute a majority expressing the people’s will and providing the possibility of conquering political power, wrote against the opportunists: “The petty bourgeois democrats, their chief present-day representatives, the “socialists” and “Social-Democrats”, are suffering from illusions when they imagine that the working people are capable, under capitalism, of acquiring the high degree of class-consciousness, firmness of character, perception and wide political outlook that will enable them to decide, merely by voting, or at all events, to decide in advance, without long experience of struggle, that they will follow a particular class, or a particular party.”
Each time the labour movement made the mistake of thinking that the working class can conquer power through bourgeois institutions, acquiring a parliamentary majority or in compromise with such institutions, it ended up becoming a follower of the bourgeoisie or of sections of it, it was assimilated into supporting the domination of the monopolies, losing economic gains in this trajectory as well. Also, many times, illusions regarding sections of the bourgeoisie, institutions of the bourgeoisie and bourgeois parliamentarianism, created the possibility of the working class being disarmed in the face of against state repression and provided the terrain for it to be attacked in a mass way (e.g. in Chile in 1973 etc.).
When the sharpening of the class struggle formed even the slightest possibility of endangering the capitalist relations of production, then the supporters of capitalist democracy pass to forms of open terrorist violence against the labour movement, as it has been proven not only by the experience of Greece, but also by international experience. However, they aim not to reach that point. For that reason, even under conditions of “peaceful development” artificial (e.g. suffrage laws) as well as ideological measures for intimidation, manipulation are taken, including even the banning of communist parties (e.g. banning of communist parties and the communist ideology, symbols etc. in various member-states of the EU, mainly in former socialist countries). At the same time, methods to deceive the voters in electoral periods are used, or even methods aimed at their alienation and abstention from voting.
People’s sovereignty, the popular mandate, the people’s will are invoked only when the people accept the existing situation. When the people decide the opposite, then the people’s will is decapitated, an example of this is the fate of referendums for the ratification of treaties of the EU which had a negative result (e.g. the Irish referendum in 2008 for the approval of the Treaty of Lisbon. Moreover, in 2009, after a lot of pressure pressures and sharpening of the intra-bourgeois conflict, there was a second referendum that finally ratified the treaty.Irelandwas the only country within the 27 countries of the EU that posed the issue of approval by referendum).
The Political Resolution of the 19th Congress, states the following: “The developments indicate that the intensification of state violence and repression, the restriction of political and trade union liberties will be expressed in a reactionary revision of the constitution that will incorporate the relevant laws and the restrictions of the EU. The bourgeois class and its parties are even not satisfied with the bourgeois democracy they established themselves. Their choice to break the labour movement, to impede any possible radicalization of the working class and the poor popular strata is inextricably linked with the restriction of the activity of the KKE, with the declaration of anticommunism as the official state ideology, with the utilization of the well-known theory of the “two extremes” 
The revolutionary situation, a precondition for the revolution
The socialist revolution cannot be carried out at any time. The emergence of such an objective situation as a result of sharp changes in the life of the capitalist society, favourable for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalist power and the conquest of the political power by the working class is an essential condition. In Marxist-Leninist theory, such a situation is called the “revolutionary situation» or “revolutionary crisis” and constitutes the objective basis for the revolution.
Lenin gave the scientific definition of a revolutionary situation:
“To the Marxist it is indisputable that a revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, it is not every revolutionary situation that leads to revolution. What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.
Without these objective changes, which are independent of the will, not only of individual groups and parties but even of individual classes, a revolution, as a general rule, is impossible.”
In other words, when referring to a revolutionary situation as an objective precondition for socialist revolution, we mean a sum total of objectively formed changes in society based on the economic relations, which lead to a temporary balance between bourgeoisie and working class. In other words, the bourgeoisie has the power, however it has difficulties in imposing it, and the working class has the power to impose its will but has not decided to do so yet.
The revolutionary situation is formed under conditions of sudden sharpening of the capitalist society’s contradictions. For that reason, only in certain critical moments of History and independently of the will of the classes, the conditions of revolutionary situation are formed.
The phrase “independently of the will of the classes” indicates precisely the objective character of the revolutionary situation.
Such situations existed e.g. in the revolutions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in the countries of Western Europe, in 1905 and in1917 inRussia and in the European continent during the period 1918-1922 and at the end of the World War II, in Greece in October of 1944.
Examining the first characteristic, “a crisis at the top” we do not refer to common “difficulties” that often appear in the bourgeois political system, e.g. resignations of bourgeois governments, conflicts between bourgeois parties, changes in the bourgeois political system with the disappearance of older parties and the formation of new ones, alternations in the state form of bourgeoisie power, their constitutional expression etc. There is a crisis at the top also when the policy of the bourgeoisie is bankrupt, when it shows an obvious difficulty in managing crisis situations (economic crisis, war etc.) that develop and expand popular discontent in an uncommon way, and as a result “the lower classes” cannot be controlled as before by the “upper classes”, confusion prevails at the “summits” and on that basis, intra-bourgeois contradictions sharpen.
It’s the critical point where the bourgeois state, its institutions and mechanisms can not any more impose their political domination on the popular masses as easily and with the methods they did before.
This is expressed in moments of historical realignments and conflicts, as during the period from February to October of1917 inRussia when the bourgeois government did not have the political and military capacity to oppose the Soviets, mainly just before the October Revolution when in Petersburg and Moscow large sections of the army united with the armed workers, when the temporary government of Kerensky and the opportunists who participated in it were completely bankrupt in the consciousness of the masses.
Regarding the second feature, the sharpening of misery and poverty of the masses:
The economic conditions of life of the working class and popular strata constitute an important factor that influences their activity.
The abrupt, massive increase of poverty and unemployment, the abrupt and large-scale worsening of the conditions of work and life that is not manageable by direct (government, Local Government) or indirect (e.g. NGOs’, the Church etc.) mechanisms of the bourgeois state, cause the sudden expression of massive popular discontent and action expressed by political strikes, conflicts with the repressive mechanisms, “insurrectionary mood” etc.
Many factors can cause such a sudden change in the material conditions of the working class and the poor popular strata, which, as a result, causes a change in the people’s mood. Class contradictions may sharpen to the level of a revolutionary situation, through the combination and interaction of economic and political causes.
According to the historical experience of the 19th and 20th century, the formation of a revolutionary situation is connected to imperialist war. Characteristic cases are those of the Paris Commune in 1871 during the French-Prussian war of 1870-1871, the Russian Revolution of 1905 at the end of the Russian-Japanese war of the period 1903-1905, the October Revolution and the defeated revolutions in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia during World War I, the revolutionary situation in several European states and in Greece during World War II etc.
Lenin, connecting the formation of conditions of revolutionary situation to the development of an imperialist war, in the framework of the conditions formed in June 1915, almost a year after the beginning of World War I, assessed: ” A political crisis exists; no government is sure of the morrow, not one is secure against the danger of financial collapse, loss of territory, expulsion from its country (in the way the Belgian Government was expelled). All governments are sleeping on a volcano; all are themselves calling for the masses to display initiative and heroism. The entire political regime of Europe has been shaken, and hardly anybody will deny that we have entered […] a period of immense political upheavals
Lenin considers the sudden change in the attitude and the activity of the masses at a certain period to be an objective phenomenon, i.e. independent of the consciousness of the classes, the will of the parties.
Objectivity does not characterize only the economy, but also politics. Politics, highlighted Lenin, «have their own objective logic, irrespective of what persons or parties plan in advance»
Objective conditions inside the context of which the subjective factor acts (classes and strata, their parties or separate representatives of them) are formed by the previous activity of classes, as regards socioeconomics, as well as politics.
Political correlation of forces at a certain moment, as a result of the activity of the classes and parties, is an objective reality which the Communist Party is obliged to take into consideration.
A certain correlation of forces objectively cannot remain stable. Because capitalist reality itself is not stable, it includes the tendency of the sharpening of its contradictions.
The manifestation of a revolutionary situation is a result precisely of that tendency for correlation of forces to change between the working class and the class of the capitalists. However, the outbreak of the revolution and, chiefly, its victory, is not as objective and spontaneous. It can not happen without the appropriate preparation of a vanguard part of the working class, without the ideological, political, organizational preparation for action within such a favourable revolutionary situation. In addition, a successful revolution, which means a complete change in the correlation of forces between the two rival classes is a very demanding issue, requires the ability to evaluate the best “moment” for the “assault», the conquest of power, “neither to early, or too late”, as Lenin said.
In this sense, despite the fact that the working class and its party, as well as the capitalists and their state and parties, cannot cause or avoid the manifestation of a revolutionary situation, the previous activity of the communist party, the development of the labour movement can influence the elements of the way the revolutionary situation manifests itself and its utilization.
Lenin, in the conditions of the World War I, evaluated that there was a possibility for a revolutionary situation to be formed and for the socialist revolution to prevail more easily in a less developed capitalist society, like Tsarist Russia, where bourgeois power was not as consolidated and powerful as other capitalist countries.
Such a position was different from the positions of Marxists (also adopted by
Lenin himself in the previous period, and this influenced his study as regards the revolution of 1905) that the socialist revolution can take place simultaneously in the leading capitalist countries, a position expressed by Marx and Engels.
To the question whether a communist revolution can take place in any country, Engels replied: “No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others.
Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries – that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany.
It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces. Hence, it will go slowest and will meet most obstacles in Germany, most rapidly and with the fewest difficulties in England. It will have a powerful impact on the other countries of the world, and will radically alter the course of development which they have followed up to now, while greatly stepping up its pace.
It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range.”
Later, Engels saw in the “democratic revolution” inRussiathe flame that could light the socialist revolution inEurope.
Lenin arrived at the conclusion that the workers’ movement cannot wait for the simultaneous expression of socialist revolution in all capitalist economies because the uneven economic (as well as political) development of capitalism resulted in the sharpening of internal contradictions and relations between the capitalist countries to a different level, and, as a result, the revolutionary situation, the possibility of its manifestation and the victory of socialist revolution matured at different times.
Lenin, in his work “On the slogan for a United States of Europe“, says:
“Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism.
Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world—the capitalist world—attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, stirring uprisings in those countries against the capitalists, and in case of need using even armed force against the exploiting classes and their states..”
He estimated the possibility of victory of the socialist revolution in those countries or group of countries that would constitute the “weakest link ” of the imperialist system.
Socialist revolution in one or another country is not an isolated phenomenon, a sudden event. It is connected to realignments, processes, and changes in the correlation of forces that take place within the imperialist system, somewhere however they lead more quickly to the sharpening of the class struggle.
As is historically proven, the revolutionary situation is not formed in only one country, also because such possibilities are formed under conditions of big events, like imperialist war, that include various capitalist states.
As a consequence, it is impossible for a revolutionary situation to exist only in one country, as well as for socialist revolution to manifest itself and for the international environment, the international or regional correlation of forces to remain stable, unchanged. It has also been proven that the socialist revolution affects the development of the revolutionary, workers’, communist movement at a world level.
The proletariat and its vanguard in the country that socialist revolution is taking place, carry out their “national” duty ” by getting rid of the bourgeoisie of their country”, contributing in that way to the cause of world revolution.
For instance, the entire web of imperialist contradictions obtained enormous dimensions during World War I. Lenin characterized World War I as the great “director” that weakened the capitalist system, provided the opportunity for the front of imperialism to be split in1917, inTsarist Russia.
In several of his works, Lenin explained whyRussiacould be the weakest link and break the chain of imperialism and start the revolution:
«It was easier for us to begin, firstly, because the unusual—for twentieth century Europe—political backwardness of the tsarist monarchy gave unusual strength to the revolutionary onslaught of the masses. Secondly, Russia’s backwardness merged in a peculiar way the proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie with the peasant revolution against the landowners. … Thirdly, the 1905 revolution contributed enormously to the political education of the worker and peasant masses … Fourthly, Russia’s geographical conditions permitted her to hold out longer than other countries could have done against the superior military strength of the capitalist, advanced countries. Fifthly, the specific attitude of the proletariat towards the peasantry facilitated the transition from the bourgeois revolution to the socialist revolution…. Sixthly, long schooling in strike action and the experience of the European mass working-class movement facilitated the emergence—in a profound and rapidly intensifying revolutionary situation—of such a unique form of proletarian revolutionary organisation as the Soviets
Lenin estimated at his time that in the states of developed capitalism, e.g. in
England, Germany, it was more difficult for the revolution to start because the bourgeois regime was particularly strong and “civilized” and the working class lived under conditions of “civilized” slavery, but it would be easier to carry out the work of socialist construction.
The duties of the KKE under revolutionary conditions
What are the subjective conditions for the victory of the revolution?
In periods of revolutionary situation, it is not inevitable that the working class and the popular sections of the intermediate strata will be definitely led to a coherent revolutionary struggle. Their mobility may be oriented to channels that are not dangerous for the system, integrated into a reactionary direction or to fail in relation to the aim of occupying the power. For that reason, the activity of the Communist Party in the previous period, under non-revolutionary conditions, will determine (or not) the development of the preconditions for drawing the masses into a revolutionary direction. A basic precondition is the organization of workers’ and popular forces in a direction of struggle favourable to the development of anti-capitalist consciousness.
As has already been mentioned, the revolutionary situation is a necessary precondition for revolution, but not sufficient for the victory of the socialist revolution.
In Western Europe, in 1918-1920, several countries fulfilled the objective preconditions for revolution and communists estimated that a revolutionary crisis existed inEurope, however socialist revolution was not able to succeed.
” it is not every revolutionary situation that leads to revolution “, wrote Lenin, ” not all revolutionary situations lead to a revolution, but only one situation where objective changes… are united to subjective changes and more precisely: to the capacity of the revolutionary class to assume revolutionary massive action, sufficiently powerful, in order to crash (or to importantly weaken” the old government that never, even in crisis periods, does not “fall”, unless it’s «overthrown”
The first years after the October Revolution and in the crisis brought about by
World War I, the working class inWestern Europecould not overthrow the power of capital using the revolutionary situation already formed. The main reason was the weakness of the subjective factor, the party of the working class itself, that was not mature enough, as in several countries of Western and Central Europe former workers’ parties were suffering from the corrosion of opportunism, social-democratic betrayal and many more revolutionaries remained trapped inside them, as the communist parties that had been established were still weak and above all did not have a clear position towards social-democracy.
Socialist revolution is impossible without ensuring the dialectical unity between subjective and objective preconditions. This important Leninist conclusion has been confirmed many times by history.
Lenin determined the maturity of “the subjective factor of the revolution”, referring to three conditions:
The first determining factor is the necessity of a combative revolutionary communist party.
A communist party must first of all be guided by the revolutionary theory of scientific communism, to develop Marxist-Leninist theory, to apply it in a creative way, to develop a stable ideological front against bourgeois ideology and opportunism; to formulate a program, a revolutionary strategy, interpreting in an objective way the socioeconomic and local and international political conditions; to have a correct policy of alliances, long before the formation of a revolutionary situation, serving the strategic aim, taking into consideration each time the correlation of forces. A Party that will not renounce its revolutionary character and its action under conditions of retreat of the movement that will be able to confront the increased pressure for adaptation, for the abandonment its Program in practice. The revolutionary character of the Party must be expressed in its class composition, its functioning, the consciousness of its members and cadres.
The Party must prepare itself and be ready to use all forms of struggle, according to the conditions of the development of the class struggle.
The Party is judged according to its ability to connect to struggles, to serve its strategy through every day action, through its attempt to achieve practical goals. To acquire the capacity to connect to the masses, to act as a vanguard in the struggles of the working class, to create strong bonds of struggle with them, however without subordinating itself to the level of the consciousness of the masses:
“Beginning from the Central Committee to the Branches, the party organs must adjust their activity to the needs of the class struggle, to become a real battle staff, to utilize every site of resistance at the base, generalizing the experience from the struggle. The party organizations must multiply their initiatives for the rallying and organization of the popular masses, the supporters of the party must be systematically informed, proposals which arise from the experience of the class struggle must be utilized and incorporated in the planning of our activity
To be organized and to function ensuring its ideological and political unity, the unified will and action of the Party, not to compromise with opportunism in its ranks, generally combating it, to confront any attempt of assimilation and adaptation to the capitalist system.
It has been historically proven that the lack of a party with a clear revolutionary strategy constitutes the defining obstacle to taking advantage of conditions of the revolutionary situation. Such a conclusion is also related with the KKE itself:
“At the time of liberation from the Germans (12 October 1944) a revolutionary situation was created in Greece. EAM (National Liberation Front) was dominant, while at the same time the bourgeois state machinery was in tatters. The bourgeois government that had been set up was still in Egypt and the British had not yet reached Greece.
The main conclusion is that our Party, despite its enormous contribution and its leading role, was unable to formulate a strategy that would have led to a revolutionary solution to the problem of taking political power, even then, especially after 1943, when conditions required that the issue of the revolutionary seizing of power be raised. Thus, it came about that ELAS subjected itself to British headquarters in the Middle East (5 July 1943) and later to the agreements of Lebanon (20 May 1944) and Caserta (26 September 1944), in order to maintain and extend “national unity”; it did not create the subjective prerequisites for a course which, depending on other factors as well, could have led to victory
The second condition for the victory of revolution is the rallying of the majority of the working class and above all its leading, conscious elements with the Communist Party. As Lenin wrote: “… the majority of workers (or however the majority of conscious, thinking and politically active workers) to fully understand the need of revolution and be ready to walk to death for it
The third condition for the victory of revolution is related to the stance of the workers’ majority and even broader popular forces that are determined to wage the final battle. Political experience, drawn from the activity of the Party, should lead to the conclusion that there is no other solution other than the armed uprising for power, and that serious reservations about it must be demolished, and the of attitude at least of positive neutrality towards the revolution to have been created amongst other sections of the people:
“We can’t win only with the vanguard. It would not only be foolish, but also a crime to set only the vanguard to the decisive battle, before the whole class, the broad popular masses have taken position of open or concealed support of the vanguard, or at least of benevolent neutrality towards such and to have shown that are completely incapable of supporting its’ rivalry. […] In order for such to happen, the political experience of the masses is needed. This is the basic law of all big revolutions, confirmed now in a surprisingly powerful and vivid way not only Russia, but also Germany …”
In other words, victory of the revolution requires not only the large scale activity of the majority of the most conscious elements of the working class but also support from the majority of the working class and the popular strata.
What does “ensuring the majority” mean?
Ensuring the support of the majority of the working population is a basic condition for the victory of the revolution. However, how should such a duty be understood? Speaking about the need to win the masses to the revolutionary political line, to be drawn towards the line of the Communist Party, we shouldn’t forget, as Lenin noted, that the term “masses” obtains a different content in relation to the conditions of struggle:
“During our revolutions there were instances when several thousand workers represented the masses. […]When the revolution has been sufficiently prepared, the concept “masses” becomes different: several thousand workers no longer constitute the masses. […]This word implies the majority, and not simply a majority of the workers alone, but the majority of all the exploited
The concentration of decisive forces of the working class and the social forces allied to them to the side of the revolution, under the leadership of the Communist Party, as a condition for the victory of the revolution, can not be expressed with the 50+1% of votes in the elections for the bourgeois parliament.
Revolution and politics is not simple arithmetic but algebra, said Lenin.
The October Revolution showed that the conquest of the majority was brought to effect within the dynamic of the revolution with its manifestation and the first acts of the new power that stabilized the influence of the (then minority) proletariat on the poor working people (mainly peasants inRussiaof 1917).
The Leninist theory on revolution rejects any type of scholasticism trapped in typical schemas of “minority” and “majority” outside of the real correlation of forces that is not expressed in an election. It is an issue related to the capacity of the Party at the critical points of the class struggle, when the consciousness of the masses changes suddenly and very quickly, to estimate objectively this correlation in combination with the political direction of struggle: “The proletariat wages its class struggle and overthrows the bourgeoisie without waiting for any preliminary elections (supervised by the bourgeoisie and carried out under its yoke); and the proletariat is perfectly well aware that for the success of its revolution, for the successful overthrow of the bourgeoisie, it is absolutely necessary to have the sympathy of the majority of the working people (and, it follows, of the majority of the population)”.
Replying to accusations of the opportunists of the Second International that the Bolsheviks violated the laws of revolution; that they carried out an “insurrection of a minority”, Lenin argued: “The traitors, blockheads and pedants of the Second International could never understand such dialectics; the proletariat cannot achieve victory if it does not win the majority of the population to its side. But to limit that winning to polling a majority of votes in an election under the rule of the bourgeoisie, or to make it the condition for it, is crass stupidity, or else sheer deception of the workers. In order to win the majority of the population to its side the proletariat must, in the first place, overthrow the bourgeoisie and seize state power; secondly, it must introduce Soviet power and completely smash the old state apparatus, whereby it immediately undermines the rule, prestige and influence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compromisers over the non-proletarian working people.
Thirdly, it must entirely destroy the influence of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeois compromisers over the majority of the non-proletarian masses by satisfying their economic needs in a revolutionary way at the expense of the exploiters
The proletariat only when it has conquered the political power in order to establish socialism possesses the political and moreover economic preconditions to gain the majority of the people.
Therefore, it is a major illusion that the Communist Party may obtain in a stable way the majority of the workers, expressed in the parliament, under conditions of bourgeois domination.
Lenin noted what it is more important is where one has the overwhelming superiority in the course of development of class struggle: ” The Bolsheviks had behind them not only the majority of the proletariat, not only the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat which had been steeled in the long and persevering struggle against opportunism; they had, if it is permissible to use a military term, a powerful “striking force” in the metropolitan cities. An overwhelming superiority of forces at the decisive point at the decisive moment—this “law” of military success is also the law of political success, especially in that fierce, seething class war which is called revolution
In the conditions of the revolutionary situation, those sections of the working class that mobilize and take part in strikes and the armed struggle have a decisive role. The communist party must above all ensure the majority in those sections of the working class, its representatives in the combat organizations of the workers.
It must have the majority of the working class in crucial and strategically important places where the ability of the party to draw in broad popular and working class masses will be judged to a significant extent.
Τhis issue must be taken into serious consideration by the Communist Party, regarding the duties that is determining related to Party Building within the working class, which means in what places it shall set the priority for Party Building , what will the priorities be, where shall attention be focused, in order to be able to safeguard the necessary organizational preconditions to obtain superiority in crucial areas.
What is the “revolutionary workers’ and people’s front?”
The long experience of the world revolutionary movement has shown that under conditions of a revolutionary situation, instruments of the workers’ popular struggle were formed in order to ensure the essential conditions of the people’s survival that bourgeois power was not able any more to safeguard. There is a large variety of forms, through which survival, health care, continuity of education was ensured. In any case, the base was workers’ and peoples’ control of production (of the factories and agricultural production), of concentration of products, mainly of popular consumption (food, medicines etc), of transport infrastructure etc.
It is essential that such organs shall be established in a unified revolutionary centre that will struggle for the overthrow of bourgeois power and will not be limited only to the safeguarding of the workers’ and people’s survival. It will utilize the armed sections subordinated to such organs in the development of popular activity for the overthrow of bourgeois power.
Our Party and the workers’ and people’s movement in Greece has such a historical legacy from its action in the areas of Greece liberated by the National People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) and the National Liberation Front (EAM) from the German-Italian Occupation, as well as later during the struggle of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) [1946-1949].
Such organs, in the case of Russian Revolution, were the Soviets, the councils of workers and military delegates.
The first Soviets were founded during the revolution of 1905 and had a decisive role in the organization of revolutionary action and first of all in the organization of the general strike. Lenin, from the first moment saw the possibility for the creation of a “tight revolutionary centre” and noted that “The
Soviet should proclaim itself the provisional revolutionary government, or should set up a provisional revolutionary government…” 
The Soviets were established once again during the revolution of February 1917 against the Tsar and the land-owners, in which bourgeois forces also participated. The Bolsheviks placed an important emphasis from the beginning on the Soviets, being at the frontline of their establishment.
The “balance of power” between the bourgeoisie that had constituted its own
Provisional Democratic Government and the working class, the soldiers and the poor peasants that had established their own Soviets (delegates’ councils) which controlled armed units (armed factory guards and other military sections), was expressed by a situation that was characterized by Lenin as “dual power”. Such “dual power” was the result of the fact that the bourgeoisie formed of its own power, its own state just after the overthrow of the Tsar.
However, the Soviets, where petty bourgeois and opportunist forces dominated, supported the bourgeois government and this was expressed by the participation of delegates of petty bourgeois and opportunist parties in it.
The Bolsheviks, in opposition to the Provisional Democratic Government, supported that all the power shall pass to the Soviets, a position that constituted the core of their political action from April to October, 1917.
A combative organization and action of the working class, allied to the poor popular strata, mainly of the rural areas, was expressed in the Soviets.
This organization had taken decisive measures related to the control of production, the maintaining of order, the distribution of food, measures in order to ensure the survival of the workers etc.
As a consequence, the Soviets constituted the seed of the new power and, after the overthrow of the bourgeois government were the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
During the whole revolutionary period of 1917-1921 inEurope,Germany,Hungary,Slovakia,Italy, such organs of the workers’ and people’s struggle were established. To the extent that such revolutions were not victorious, these organs were either assimilated or dissolved.
The Communist International posed certain directions for the development of the “soviet movement”, determining the preconditions and the terms for the establishment and development of the soviets and mainly the precondition for the existence of a revolutionary situation.
However, to the extent that within the Communist Movement parliamentary illusions about a peaceful road to socialism were dominant as well as goals to form (anti-imperialist, democratic, patriot) governments on the terrain of bourgeois power as an intermediate stage towards socialism, any elaboration of the Communist Parties’ Programs about the formation of such organs of revolutionary struggle was absent. In addition, any action for the preparation in a similar direction, if conditions of a revolutionary situation arose, was also weakened.
The KKE, at its’ 19th Congress (April, 2013) described the features of the socioeconomic and political situation that can be characterized as “revolutionary” and determined the duties and the direction of the organization of the revolutionary struggle:
“In the conditions of the revolutionary situation, the revolutionary workers’ and people’s front, using all forms of its activity, can become the centre of the popular uprising against capitalist power. It must prevail in the basic regions, particularly in the industrial-trade-transport centres, communications and energy centres, so as to achieve the full demobilization of the mechanisms of bourgeois power as well as their nullification, the overthrow of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, so that revolutionary institutions created by the people can emerge and prevail, institutions that will undertake the new organization of society and the establishment of revolutionary working class power.
In the revolutionary process there will be the constant impact of opportunist and reformist positions and consequently the need to struggle against them and to marginalize them inside the workers’ and people’s front.
In the conditions of the revolutionary situation, the workers’ and peoples’ front will also be expressed through committees to protect the strikes and other forms of the uprising. It will acquire the ability and means to protect the revolution in all its phases, to impose the workers’ control in the factories, banks, agricultural production together with the poor farmers, to feed the people, to deal with the multifaceted mechanisms of reaction.
The revolutionary workers’ and people’s front will acquire the ability to pose its own violence against the violence of capital, the ability to have a paralyzing effect on the staff of the class enemy, to neutralize its counterrevolutionary plans, to cut them off from the active support of people who come from the working class and popular strata. It will have the ability to express the poor sections of the farmers, the popular sections of the urban self-employed, the semi-proletarians, the unemployed and immigrants and integrate them in this direction of struggle
Armed insurrection for power
The concept of insurrection has been rather abused by bourgeois and mainly opportunist philology.
Particularly in recent years, any type of expression of indignation and protest that may have mass features is characterized as an insurrection, and may have a direction of conflict with state repression but with a controlled content, within the framework of the system (e.g. the protest demonstrations about the murder of the 15-year-old boy in December 2008, the demonstrations against the landfill of Keratea, against the gold mines in Skouries, Chalkidiki etc). This is enhanced by the fact that in those and other cases, the activity of several groups with features of provocation aiming to attack the movement is interpreted as insurrection.
We should also clarify that every armed popular struggle does not constitute a revolution, it does not constitute a struggle for the change of the character of power, given that this is judged by the aim of the struggle and not by its form. For instance, an armed reaction to the imposition of a military dictatorship, an action of self-defence against murderous attacks of repression mechanisms, employers’ mechanisms, and fascist groups does not constitute a revolution, independently of the extent of the sharpening of the class struggle.
An armed insurrection is the most critical and decisive moment in the course of the revolutionary struggle. In the beginning of a revolutionary process, it is impossible for the party to know in advance and in extensive detail the entire course, the forms of organization and struggle, the final culmination and result of the revolution. However, what determines its revolutionary feature, its character itself, is its ability to prepare itself and the working class as well for the armed conflict, as this is caused by the violence of the ruling class. Armed insurrection is based on an elaborated military plan as the climactic manifestation of the civil war. It is a continuation of the class struggle in an armed way.
The aim of the revolution can not be anything other than the conquest of power and is regulated by principles regarding its successful outcome. Lenin described these principles as follows:
“But armed uprising is a special form of political struggle, one subject to special laws to which attentive thought must be given. Karl Marx expressed this truth with remarkable clarity when he wrote that “insurrection is an art quite as much as war“.
Of the principal rules of this art, Marx noted the following:
(1) Never play with insurrection, but when beginning it realise firmly that you must go all the way.
(2) Concentrate a great superiority of forces at the decisive point and at the decisive moment, otherwise the enemy, who has the advantage of better preparation and organisation, will destroy the insurgents.
(3) Once the insurrection has begun, you must act with the greatest determination, and by all means, without fail, take the initiative of offensive. “Being on the defensive is the death of every armed rising.”
(4) You must try to take the enemy by surprise and seize the moment when his forces are scattered.
(5) You must strive for daily successes, however small (one might say hourly, if it is the case of one town), and at all costs retain “moral superiority”.
Marx summed up the lessons of all revolutions in respect to armed uprising in the words of “Danton, the greatest master of revolutionary policy yet known: de l’audace, de l’audace, encore de l’audace
Summarizing the experience from the October Revolution, Lenin noted that political supremacy at “the right points at the right moment” does not only ensure the winning of the support (active or passive) of the majority of the working and popular masses for the insurrection, but also determines the success of insurrection itself.
The historical experience of the KKE confirms such principles. Wavering as regards the armed struggle, which constitutes a form of struggle for the completion of the strategic aim of the conquest of the power by the working class, normally expresses a wavering as regards the aim of the struggle itself.
Armed insurrection is a military operation that must be directed towards the conquest of power. A timely evaluation of the conditions of a revolutionary situation, as well as a timely plan of a related action, a right evaluation of the most appropriate moment, when the enemy faces its greatest weakness, deprived of internal and external allies, is needed.
The moment of final conflict must be carefully selected, “yesterday was too early, tomorrow too late”, noted Lenin on the eve of the October Revolution.
What are the criteria regarding the ripeness for the appropriate moment for the insurrection and for the preparation of revolutionary forces for armed revolution? Lenin answered:
“In these circumstances, we must ask ourselves, not only whether we have convinced the vanguard of the revolutionary class, but also whether the historically effective forces of all classes—positively of all the classes in a given society, without exception—are arrayed in such a way that the decisive battle is at hand—in such a way that: (1) all the class forces hostile to us have become sufficiently entangled, are sufficiently at loggerheads with each other, have sufficiently weakened themselves in a struggle which is beyond their strength; (2) all the vacillating and unstable, intermediate elements—the petty bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois democrats, as distinct from the bourgeoisie —have sufficiently exposed themselves in the eyes of the people, have sufficiently disgraced themselves through their practical bankruptcy, and (3) among the proletariat, a mass sentiment favouring the most determined, bold and dedicated revolutionary action against the bourgeoisie has emerged and begun to grow vigorously. Then, the revolution is indeed ripe; then, indeed, if we have correctly gauged all the conditions indicated and summarised above, and if we have chosen the right moment, our victory is assured
Answering the accusation of the opportunists of the II International that the
Bolsheviks are “violating history” and supporting Blanquism, Lenin wrote:
“To be successful, insurrection must rely not upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the vanguard class. That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a revolutionary upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing revolution when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the revolution are strongest. That is the third point. And these three conditions for raising the question of insurrection distinguish Marxism from Blanquism.”
The Insurrection’s success presupposes some specific conditions regarding the correlation of forces, as well as the organizational capacity of the insurrectionary masses.
The Bolsheviks’ tactics during the period between April and October 1917, constitutes an important example of drawing more general conclusions on the issue of insurrection. On July 1st 1917, 500 thousand people went out onto the streets ofSt Petersburg. The vast majority of the protestors held flags and placards adopting the Bolsheviks’ slogans:
“Down with the war!” “Capitalist Ministers must leave!” “All power to the Soviets”. A political crisis exploded within the ranks of the bourgeois government coalition, which culminated with the participation of 7 regiments of the army of the capital in the demonstrations. However, the Soviets were still under the control of the Mensheviks- SRs, all the army and the rural areas (i.e. the peasants) supported the opportunist coalition and would not support the overthrow of the provisional bourgeois government. As Lenin noted, the class hatred of the working class had not reached the point of being directed not only against the capitalists but also against their opportunist supporters, who were participating in the bourgeois government.
The Central Committee of the Bolsheviks called the working class of St. Petersburg not to proceed to an armed demonstration-insurrection, but the masses went out onto the streets and the Bolsheviks became the head of the movement in order to give it an organized and peaceful character and mainly to ensure the organized retreat of the masses before the armed repression of the movement, which is what happened.
An insurrection that has not matured already may also be an equally devastating error, as well as its delay when it is mature. Lenin, on September 13th 1917, when the conditions for insurrection existed, argued: “Hence theseconditions exist, however, to refuse to treat insurrection as an art is a betrayal of Marxism and a betrayal of the revolution.
To show that it is precisely the present moment that the Party must recognise as the one in which the entire course of events has objectively placed insurrection on the order of the day and that insurrection must be treated as an art, it will perhaps be best to use the method of comparison, and to draw a parallel between July 3-4 and the September days
At the critical moments, some days before the beginning of the insurrection of
October 25th (November 7th according to the modern calendar)1917, inseveral urgent letters to the Central Committee of the Party, Lenin criticized
its delay and its hesitation regarding the organization and deployment of all
the forces of the Party according to the insurrection plan, the taking of all technical and practical measures needed. He revealed not only the crucial character of the correct evaluation of the moment for the beginning of the insurrection, but also of the formation of a complete political-military plan of action and a political-military group for the revolution:
“In order to treat insurrection in a Marxist way, i.e., as an art, we must at the same time, without losing a single moment, organise a headquarters of the insurgent detachments, distribute our forces, move the reliable regiments to the most important points, surround the Alexandriusky Theatre, occupy the Peter and Paul Fortress,1′ arrest the General Staff and the government, and move against the officer cadets and the Savage Division12 thosedetachments which would rather die than allow the enemy to approach the strategic points of the city. We must mobilise the armed workers and call them to fight the last desperate fight, occupy the telegraph and the telephoneexchange at once, move our insurrection headquarters to the central telephone exchange and connect it by telephone with all the factories, all the regiments, all the points of armed fighting, etc.
Of course, this is all by way of example, only to illustrate the fact that at the present moment it is impossible to remain loyal to Marxism, to remain loyal to the revolution unless insurrection is treated as an art
Already from September, 29,1917, inhis letter titled “The crisis has matured”,
Lenin replied in an aggressive way to those Bolsheviks that with several pretexts (that the 2nd Congress of the Soviets should take place first and that the decision for insurrection should be taken there) had a reserved or negative stance regarding it.
“There is a tendency, or an opinion, which favours waiting for the Congress of Soviets, and is opposed to taking power immediately, is opposed to an immediate insurrection. That tendency, or opinion, must be overcome.
Otherwise, the Bolsheviks will cover themselves with eternal shame and destroy themselves as a party.
For to miss such a moment and to “wait” for the Congress of Soviets would be utter idiocy, or sheer treachery.
To “wait” for the Congress of Soviets would be utter idiocy, for it would mean losing weeks at a time when weeks and even days decide everything. ”
on the eve of the October Revolution, on October 24th, 1917, Lenin, in his letters to the Central Committee called on the Party to lead in a decisive way and with audacity the armed insurrection:
“In fact it is now absolutely clear that to delay the uprising would be fatal.
History will not forgive revolutionaries for procrastinating when they could be victorious today (and they certainly will be victorious today), while they risk losing much tomorrow, in fact, they risk losing everything.
If we seize power today, we seize it not in opposition to the Soviets but on their behalf.
The seizure of power is the business of the uprising; its political purpose will become clear after the seizure.
It would be a disaster, or a sheer formality, to await the wavering vote of October 25. The people have the right and are in duty bound to decide such questions not by a vote, but by force; in critical moments of revolution, the people have the right and are in duty bound to give directions to their representatives, even their best representatives, and not to wait for them.
This is proved by the history of all revolutions; and it would be an infinite crime on the part of the revolutionaries were they to let the chance slip, knowing that the salvation of the revolution, the offer of peace, the salvation of Petrograd, salvation from famine, the transfer of the land to the peasants depend upon them.
The government is tottering. It must be given the death blow at all costs.
To delay action is fatal
The insurrection is accompanied by a long lasting or short “civil war” (class war), according to the reaction of the bourgeoisie, between two armed enemy powers: the working class and its allies against the bourgeoisie and its supporters.
Under these conditions, the communist party must readapt all its functioning.
“In a period of civil war the ideal party of the proletariat is a fighting party. This is absolutely incontrovertible […]The argument that guerrilla warfare disorganises the movement must be regarded critically. Every new form of struggle, accompanied as it is by new dangers and new sacrifices, inevitably “disorganises” organisations which are unprepared for this new form of struggle. Our old propagandist circles were disorganised by recourse to methods of agitation. Our committees were subsequently disorganised by recourse to demonstrations. Every military action in any war to a certain extent disorganises the ranks of the fighters. But this does not mean that one must not fight. It means that one must learn to fight.”
The three-year heroic epic of the Democratic Army of Greece (1946-1949), which constituted the climactic moment of class struggle inGreece, confirms this Leninist heritage. KKE became a fighting party, adapting to the needs of the direction of armed struggle. Despite its weaknesses, errors and the final outcome, the Democratic Army of Greece was a necessity imposed by the sharpening of the class struggle. It was a combative response to the offensive of the class enemy, both local and foreign. This combative stance was a legacy for the relations of the KKE with working class and popular masses, for the defence of their immediate and general needs and rights, a struggle imposed and vindicated. It is certain that, under the current conditions, the issue of insurrection has more complex demands because it is a conflict against a more experienced and technologically equipped enemy.
In the Programme of the Party it is noted:
“The socialist revolutions of the 21st century, compared to the bourgeois revolutions of the 18th and 19th century and even to the socialist revolutions of the 20th century, will face a much more organized repressive machine, more technologically developed means of information and mass destruction.
They will deal with the mechanisms of the capitalist state’s violence which are integrated into inter-state structures, like NATO, the Euro-army, Europol, the European Gendarmerie etc.
Despite the technological development, the human being does not cease to be the decisive factor in using and dealing with these mechanisms. On this basis, the workers’ and people’s activity has the potential to nullify these means and use the new technologies in favour of the revolutionary movement.”
The principles of the stance of the KKE towards imperialist war
In the Programme of the KKE it is noted:
“In the instance of Greece’s involvement in an imperialist war, either in a defensive or aggressive war, the Party must lead the independent organization of the workers’-people’s struggle in all its forms, so as to lead to the complete defeat of the bourgeois class, both the domestic one and the foreign invader, and link it in practice with the conquest of power. A workers’ and people’s front, using all forms of struggle, must be formed on the basis of the initiative and the guidance of the party. This front will have the following slogan: the people will bring the liberation and the way-out from the capitalist system, which as long as it prevails brings war and “peace” with the gun to
Lenin revealed that in an imperialist war, in a war directed by the bourgeoisie, the working class, regardless of the country it is located in , has nothing to
gain, can not expect anything positive from the victory of the one or the other side and has no reason to “choose” an imperialist: “The question of “the success of which side is more desirable” meant asking “the success of whichbourgeoisie is more desirable”. […] Marx was working on the problem at a time (note: in 1859) when there existed indubitably progressive bourgeois movements, which moreover did not merely exist, but were in the forefront of the historical process in the leading states of Europe. Today, it would be ridiculous even to imagine a progressive bourgeoisie, a progressive bourgeois movement, […]. The old bourgeois “democracy” of these two key states has turned reactionary”
The position of communists before each war is arrived at by determining its character, its aim: “We Marxists do not belong to that category of people who are unqualified opponents of all war. We say: our aim is to achieve a socialist system of society, which, by eliminating the division of mankind into classes, by eliminating all exploitation of man by man and nation by nation, will inevitably eliminate the very possibility of war. “
Communists support revolutionary wars, class wars against the bourgeoisie of every country, as October Revolution in Russiain 1917, the struggle of the Democratic Army in 1946-1949 inGreece, socialist revolutions in the 20thcentury.
The way out from the war is in the interests of the working class and the popular strata as a whole, it is connected to the struggle for workers’ power. “It is necessary, of course, to fight for the speediest termination of the war. But only if a revolutionary struggle is called for does the demand for “peace acquires proletarian meaning. Without a series of revolutions, so-called democratic peace is a philistine utopia.“
The consistent struggle against war should always be combined with the struggle for power in each country. To the extent that “we understand the inevitable connection between wars and the class struggle within the country; weunderstand that war cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and Socialism is created..” . Lenin also noted: “Only after we have overthrown, finally vanquished and expropriated the bourgeoisie of the whole world, and not merely in one country, will wars become impossible. And from a scientific point of view it would be utterly wrong—and utterly non-revolutionary—for us to evade or gloss over the most important things: crushing the resistance of the bourgeoisie—the most difficult task, and one demanding the greatest amount of fighting, in the transition to socialism” 
The question if a war is right or wrong has nothing to do with the question of whether it is a defensive or offensive war (literally), but is related to which political line the war is an outcome of : “As if the question were: Who was the first to attack
, and not: What are the causes of the war? What are its aims? Which classes are waging it?”
Under conditions of an imperialist war, the working class has something to gain only from the defeat and overthrow of the bourgeoisie of its country, noted Lenin: “This is axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless satellites of the social-chauvinists.
The revolutionary workers’ movement is not indifferent towards the instance of a foreign intervention or occupation, does not abstain from resistance. On the contrary, it is at the frontline of the workers’ people’s struggle, by organizing its own armed action, independently of the defence organized by the bourgeoisie for the defence of the interests of capital, so that the way out from the war leads to the victory of workers’ power.
Working class and bourgeoisie are fighting from different starting points. For the working class and the poor popular strata, war and occupation is the extension of capitalist exploitation, a result of the economic and political domination of capital. The working class struggles against misery, repression and the violence of the occupier, the intensification of exploitation, against international imperialist agreements. Its “homeland” is a country rid of capitalists, outside imperialist coalitions, a homeland where the working class will be the owners of the wealth produced and will have the power.
The war of the bourgeoisie for its own “homeland”- independently of whether it allies with the foreign occupation or it resists- will be again for the interests of the monopoly groups, for the restoration of an agreement regarding the redivision of the markets that will serve the national monopolies and not workers’ interests.
The experience from the struggle against Nazi occupation during the period 1941-1944 inGreece, but also in other countries shows that the armed conflict, within the framework of the anti-occupation struggle, between the armed section of the alliance of the working class with poor popular strata of the rural and urban areas (ELAS- Greek Popular Liberation Army) and the armed sections of the bourgeoisie, whether collaborating with the Nazis (“Security Battalions”, “X” etc.), or fighting against them (e.g. EDES-National Republican Greek League, “Royal Greek Army of the Middle East”) is inevitable.
In the case of Greece’s involvement in a war, the working class and the popular strata must take the situation “into their own hands”, make the way out of the war their own issue and also call on the working class of the attacking country to do the same, focusing their attention and weapons against the real enemy, the bourgeoisies of their countries, in order for the war to take on features of class conflict for the liberation of both peoples from exploitation. In this way, proletarian internationalism, simultaneous communication with the revolutionary movement in other countries will be expressed.
Under conditions of imperialist war, the political vanguard of the working class, its party, has to reveal the necessity for class unity of the workers, of the alliance with popular forces, the internationalist dimension of the working class and the duties that flow from this. The stance towards war is a stance towards class struggle for socialist revolution, towards the struggle for the transformation of this war into an armed class struggle, the “only war of liberation”, as Lenin characterized it. In such a war, communication, common slogans, and common action with the revolutionary movement of other countries constitutes an important precondition for the perspective of the outbreak and victory of the socialist revolution in many more countries, the possibility of another type of cooperation or union of countries, on the basis of social ownership and central planning with proletarian internationalism.
The Communist Party uses all forms of work, legal and illegal, is at the frontline in order for the working class to constitute its own centre of organization of the struggle for the exit from war, the conquest of its own power. It organizes the working class inside the workplaces and the units of production against the capitalists, their parties and governments, their war and their agreements for “peace”. As regards the workers’ front of struggle for the exit from war, the aim is to express the coalition of the working class with the popular strata of the city and the rural areas. The Party is alert in order for the workers’ movement to constitute not only a pole of rallying for the working masses, but also a support and a hope for the popular strata, from the first days of the war, to influence the stance of the soldiers from the popular families.
The experience of two imperialist world wars, but also the contemporary experience, reveals that at the beginning of conflicts and in the first period of the war, the bourgeoisie with its slogans and propaganda intends to influence and win over large sections of the working class and the popular strata, to create a “national euphoria”. The stance of the popular strata in countries at the top of the imperialist pyramid (e.g. of the USA) that accept imperialist wars and the occupation of foreign countries in the name of reactionary pretexts, like the defence of “democracy”, of “human rights” and modernization, the “fight against terrorism”, is characteristic.
It is certain that a difficulty will be expressed regarding the adoption of the revolutionary line at the beginning. Even in the Bolshevik party similar vacillations were expressed during the February revolution, regarding the character of the continuing war of the bourgeois Provisional Democratic Government. It was not understood that the struggle of the working class for the overthrow of the Tsar did not ensure the will and the consistency for exit from the war in order to put an end to death, starving and absolute misery for the popular masses. Such vacillations were expressed through the difficulty regarding the full acceptance of the revolutionary line of Lenin. It is characteristic that generally correct decisions taken by the II International on the character of the war and moreover on the stance towards it were later violated by the stance of many parties that surrendered to the bourgeois political line and led to the bankruptcy of the II international. However, war objectively shakes bourgeois power, when the conditions which it brought to the lives of the working class and other popular strata influence their attitude, and create the preconditions for a sudden rupture with, undermining and opposition to the bourgeois parties, as well as the fake slogans and ideological constructs, the institutions of bourgeois power, in their consciousness.
Under these conditions, ideological and political action of the communists, their intervention in the masses aims to make them more revolutionary.
Imperialist war means a split within imperialism, a facilitation of the destabilization of bourgeois power, it shakes bourgeois institutions as well as their capacity to manipulate and repress, and the militant mood of the masses is liberated. This situation must be correctly evaluated and utilized by the revolutionary forces, by correctly directing the working class and the popular forces towards the way that constitutes the only way out for the satisfaction of their own needs, their own interests, towards the culmination of class struggle, the final conflict for the conquest of power. The revolutionary movement must combat open or concealed opportunism.
From the beginning, even before the official beginning of conflicts, revolutionary forces must be prepared, must inform all the people and call on them to be prepared and alert. They must reveal widely the consequences for the working class and the poor popular strata from participation in the war, which as an element of capitalist exploitation; to pose the issue of the exit of Greece from imperialist alliances (e.g. NATO etc.); to demonstrate the character of war as the massacre of the peoples for the redivision of the markets, for the interests of the monopolies; to show that those who steal the sweat of the working class under conditions of “peace”, send it to war in order to be killed for a new division of the profits; to reject and condemn any attempt to “legalize” through parliamentary processes the choices of the bourgeoisie (e.g. Approval of war credits etc.). A front against nationalist and irredentist slogans is necessary, in order to isolate either fascist or non-fascist, nationalist influences that, either directly or not, work in the direction of forming a “pro-war current”.
1. V.I. Lenin, The Collapse of the Second International,
2. V.I. Lenin, On Cooperation, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1923/jan/06.htm
3. V.I. Lenin, The Latest in Iskra Tactics, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/oct/17b.htm
4. V.I. Lenin, Socialism and War, http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/s+w/index.htm
5. V.I. Lenin, Note on a Resolution of the Conference of R.S.D.L.P. Organisations Abroad, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/aug/16b.htm
6. V.I. Lenin, The Dual Power, Complete Works, http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/apr/09.htm
7. V.I. Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution and Renegade Kautsky, “How Kautsky turned Marx into a
common liberal”, “Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy”, “Can there be equality between the
exploited and the exploiter?”, “The Soviets dare not become state organizations»,http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/oct/10.htm
8. V.I. Lenin, Material for the second congress of the Communist International, http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/2ndcong/index.htm
9. V.I. Lenin, The Constituent Assembly elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat,
10. V.I. Lenin, Marxism and insurrection, Complete Works,
11. V.I. Lenin, Advice of an onlooker, http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/oct/08.htm
12. V.I. Lenin, Letter to the Central Committee, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/oct/24.htm
13. V.I. Lenin, Lecture on 1905 revolution, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/jan/09.htm
14. V.I. Lenin, In memory of the Commune,
15. V.I. Lenin, The question of guerrilla warfare,
16. V.I. Lenin, Lessons of the Commune, Complete Works,
17. V.I. Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, “IV The Struggle Against Which Enemies Within the Working-Class Movement Helped Bolshevism Develop, Gain Strength, and Become Steeled”
18. The Communist International, Theses and Statutes as voted at the Second Congress (July 6-25, 1920).
“The role of the Communist Party to the proletarian revolution”, “When, and under what conditions shall workers’ delegates Soviets be founded” https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/2nd-congress/
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 The text refers to “services” as determined by Marx. A self-employed person, e.g. a doctor, offers his work (medical services) and is paid from the patient’s salary. On the contrary, a salaried doctor of a capitalist company in the health sector, providing exactly the same work, is paid from the capital of the owners of the capitalist company (exchange of work with capital).
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Proletariat, Collected Works, Volume 30
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 Political Resolution of the 19th Congress of KKE
 Declaration of the CC for the 90th anniversary of KKE
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 V.I. Lenin, Marxism and Insurrection, Collected Works, Volume 26
 V.I. Lenin, The Crisis Has Matured, Collected Works, Volume 26
 V.I. Lenin, Letter To Central Committee Members, Collected Works, Volume 26https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/oct/24.htm
 V.I. Lenin, Guerrilla Warfare, Collected Works, Volume 11
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 V.I. Lenin, Under a False Flag, Collected Works, Volume 21http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/mar/x01.htm
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 V.I. Lenin, Socialism and War, Collected Works, Volume 21
 V.I. Lenin, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution, Collected Works, Volume 23
 V.I. Lenin, An Open Letter to Boris Souvarine, Collected Works, Volume 23
 V.I. Lenin, The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War, Collected Works, Volume 21