Category: V.I. Lenin
Romanovs are ‘valuable asset’ for Soviets, Lenin says in live media Q&A
| October 20, 2017 | 8:51 pm | V.I. Lenin | No comments

https://www.rt.com/politics/407248-russia-telegraph-lenin-interview-1917/

Romanovs are ‘valuable asset’ for Soviets, Lenin says in live media Q&A

Romanovs are ‘valuable asset’ for Soviets, Lenin says in live media Q&A
Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin believes the Romanov family are a “valuable asset” to the Soviet regime as the socialist government seeks to enter into talks with the US and UK.

Speaking to the Russian Telegraph (RT), as part of the #1917LIVE project, which relives the momentous events of the Russian Revolution, Lenin said the deposits of the imprisoned Tsar Nicholas II in Western banks will provide leverage to Soviet negotiators ahead of future talks with the West.

“Their money is deposited with British and American banks, so we need them,” he said.

During the interview, Lenin hailed the Soviet government and promised that the socialist victory will be “9/10 bloodless.”

He added that he had little hope of seeing a socialist revolution in the UK or the US, because Westerners are “too individualistic to easily enlighten them with socialist ideas.” He was, however, optimistic about the chances of one occurring in Germany, the European heartland.

The Soviet leader was also quite forthright on what he believes are the most important factors in building a socialist society.

Lenin railed against the “united capitalist world,” the pressure from which, he believes, makes it all the more necessary to have the workers of all the countries of the world united under one banner.

He encouraged artists to become productive contributors to the new socialist society, ominously saying: “Those who don’t work, don’t eat.”

As the interview came to an end, Lenin struck an optimistic note about the future of the Soviet Revolution.

The 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution was honored in Athens (+Video)

Monday, October 16, 2017

The 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution was honored in Athens (+Video)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-100th-anniversary-of-great-october.html

“Long live the October Socialist Revolution! Long live Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism! Our future isn’t capitalism; it is the new world, socialism!”.

 
Under these slogans and with the presense of representatives of Communist Parties from various countries, the Central Committee of the KKE honored the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. The event, which took place at the KKE’s headquarters in Perissos, Athens, consists part of the celebrations organised by the CC of the KKE for the centennial of the 1917 October Revolution. 
 
The major speech was delivered by the Secretary General of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas, while greeting messages were delivered by representatives from other Communist Parties, incuding the Communist Party of Turkey, the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE), the Communist Party, Italy; the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the South African Communist Party, the Hungarian Workers Party, the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, the Socialist Party of Latvia and the Russian Communist Workers Party. 
 
The event included an exhibition of Soviet banners, as well as Vladimir Lenin’s post-mortem mask made by the prominent Soviet sculptor-monumentalist Sergey Merkurov
 
Below, you can see the whole video of the internationalist event, as it was published by 902 portal.
The Radical Hopes of the Russian Revolution
| September 21, 2017 | 9:12 pm | USSR, V.I. Lenin | No comments
Hulton Archive / Getty

The Radical Hopes of the Russian Revolution

https://newrepublic.com/article/144891/radical-hopes-russian-revolution

Was the October revolution bound to lead to terror? China Miéville’s “October” and Tariq Ali’s “The Dilemmas of Lenin” reconsider the history.

Step into a respectable American bookstore today, and you’re likely to find a reflection of America’s version of the twentieth century. German and Russian history currently dominate history sections, but in very specific forms. Books like Andrew Lownie’s Stalin’s Englishman, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, Martin Kitchen’s Speer: Hitler’s Architect, Robert Jay Lifton’s The Nazi Doctors, Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalinsome old, some new, many written for popular audiences—move between the century’s titanic mass-murderers, their motley henchmen, and their masses of victims. Holocaust history often provides a thematic accent and an explicit connection to the present, as with Snyder’s Black Earth: Holocaust as History and Warning. Taken together, these books seem to remind us that any account of the twentieth century that does not emphasize authoritarianism will be complicit in creating a new wave of victims.

One hundred years after the world’s first socialist revolution, many accounts of the Russian Revolution fit into this narrative. From its beginnings, powers in Europe and the United States tried to cast the revolution as a minority coup. Sympathizers were criminalized and hunted, while its enemies in Russia were given military and financial support. Across a wide spectrum—from anti-Semitic fascists to liberal intellectuals to even non-communist leftists—the narrative set in that Bolshevism, the ideology of the victors of October 1917, was radically alien to European thought and politics—a pathology born of Russian barbarism, a threat to Western civilization. Its emblematic figures, Lenin in particular, were cast as cynical manipulators, totalitarian fanatics. Such narratives were ratified in 1989, when the fall of the Berlin Wall was seen by many as closing the book on the Bolshevik experiment and, with it, any future challenge to capitalism.

Yet there may be more to learn from the radical hopes of 1917, as we weather an era of sclerotic politics, restive masses, and ecological crisis. Both Tariq Ali’s new biography of Lenin and novelist China Miéville’s October reject the idea that the October revolution was bound to lead to terror and authoritarianism. “For a long time during the last century,” Ali writes, “those who honored Lenin largely ignored him.” His book aims to rescue Lenin from both liberal caricature and Soviet hagiography by recovering the realism and dynamism of his political thought. Meanwhile Miéville’s literary retelling—made to feel like a novel, but scrupulously sourced to real events—captures the vertigo of 1917’s encounter between massive historical forces, plunging us back into the heart of a far-reaching social upheaval, in which time flowed backward and forward even as it marched inexorably forward toward a future that was radically unknown. Like the “degradation” that followed it, the nature of the revolution was not “written in any stars.”

Both Ali and Miéville sense that our flattened, calcified versions of the revolutionary past have something to do with the absence of political imagination and emancipatory hope in the present. “Today’s dominant ideology and the power structures it defends are so hostile to the social and liberation struggles of the last century,” Ali writes, “that a recovery of as much historical and political memory as is feasible becomes an act of resistance.”


Ali writes with an eager haste, as if history’s timid awakening from a long, reactionary slumber has rendered him impatient to tell old stories anew. He frequently denounces academics for draining the vitality from revolutionary history, sometimes gratuitously. (Academic historians have asked similar questions: as Dan Edelstein, a historian of the French Revolution, put it in a 2012 article: “Do We Want a Revolution Without Revolution?”) Instead of academic debate, The Dilemmas of Lenin emphasizes the primary sources: letters, memories, political articles, and even poems from the actors in the Russian revolutionary drama themselves. In the process of revisiting these sources, Ali recovers a much-needed moral clarity about the history of European socialism.

THE DILEMMAS OF LENIN: TERRORISM, WAR, EMPIRE, LOVE, REVOLUTION by Tariq AliVerso, 384 pp., $26.95

That clarity is sharpest in his portrait of a nineteenth century soaked in the blood of the European working class. The rise of the workers’ movement was punctuated by frequent brutalization and defeat at the hands of states that would later hold themselves up as the champions of liberal democracy. In a sweeping section on the rise of working-class internationalism, world socialism, and European imperialism, Ali rediscovers the moral heroism of workers in Lancashire, for instance, who pressured the British Empire out of intervening on the side of the slaveholders in the American Civil War despite the fact that the absence of American cotton meant prolonged unemployment. In 1872, the Parisian working class organized itself to defend their city against Otto von Bismarck as the leaders of France went into hiding. As the European proletariat found itself alone against the most heavily weaponized engines of greed and violence in human history, revolution became a universal dream for a society of equality and peace.

This was the atmosphere into which Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov was born in 1870 in Simbirsk, Russia, the most peculiar of the European empires. Its peasants had been freed from serfdom only a decade before, nearly a century late by the Western European clock. That freedom was largely illusory, as it still kept peasants legally bound to large estates. In place of a restive industrial proletariat, Tsarist Russia had a long tradition of peasant revolt. After abortive attempts to incite the peasantry to revolution, the radical Russian intelligentsia came to place its hopes for a more open society in theatrical acts of terrorism, such as the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. A failed attempt on his successor in 1887 led to the execution of Lenin’s older brother, Alexander Ulyanov—an event that deeply marked the young Lenin. It was this failure, Ali argues, that turned Lenin toward the European labor movement as a surer path to overthrow of the Tsarist police state.

By the early twentieth century, life in the vast lower echelons of Russian society had changed. Though still modest compared to Western Europe, Russian industry was quickly expanding its scale. Its rise had been fueled by seasonal workers, who encountered education and urban life while looking for work in the cities, but still spent part of their year on peasant farms. Despite the traditional Marxist view of peasants as conservative-leaning small land-holders, the rebellious streak of the dominated Russian peasantry found its way into the swelling industrial proletariat. As the historian Sheila Fitzpatrick notes, “The empirical evidence from the period of 1890 to 1914 suggests that Russia’s working class, despite its close links with the peasantry, was exceptionally militant and revolutionary.”

As this militant class carried out regular strikes, Lenin plunged himself into the European socialist labor movement. The Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) held its first congress in 1898, and soon faced fateful internal debates over organization and strategy. Should socialist parties be large coalitions of dissenting factions, or should they insist on ideological unity and organization? Lenin’s position in this debate—which he articulated in What Is To Be Done?—has long been read as a call for a vanguard of conspiratorial “professional revolutionaries” and as evidence that Lenin had lost faith in the militancy of the working class. This reading sees Bolshevism not as a strand of European socialist internationalism, but as a top-down perversion of Marxism that would lead inexorably to a “coup” and to Stalinist totalitarianism.

Yet, as the historian Lars Lih has shown through a deep re-reading of the social-democratic debates, Lenin was thoroughly committed to the European model of social democracy, which had always held that the job of educated organizers was to “bring the good news about socialism to the working class.” Especially under Tsarist repression, only dedicated organizing would show the workers that their economic demands expressed in the labor movement had to be solved by political revolution. What Is To Be Done? was an exhortation to his party that this could still be done, even under the forbidding police-state conditions in Russia—that the workers were ready to play their historical role if there was someone willing to organize them.

Lenin’s divergence from Marxist orthodoxy came not from his lack of faith in the working class, but his unusually deep faith in them: his conviction that, reading the tea leaves in Russia, it was unlikely that the liberal bourgeoisie—weak and clinging to its dependence on the Tsar—would be able to lead the revolution. His concept of proletarian “class leadership”—that the urban workers would channel peasant radicalism toward socialist revolution—was addressed to this problem. It was his growing commitment to proletarian revolution that precipitated the famous divorce in Russian social democracy between Lenin’s Bolsheviks (“majority”), who insisted on the need to organize the working class for revolution, and the Mensheviks (“minority,” though they were often in fact part of the majority), who thought the best socialists could do would be to force the liberals to become revolutionary. Only after a liberal revolution had deposed the Tsar and transformed Russia into a fully capitalist state, they believed, could the proletariat come onto the stage.

Lenin’s originality as a tactical thinker came less from his revision of Marxism than from his belief that Marxist thought could not be mechanically applied to every situation in the same way. It required a hyper-awareness of the direction the historical winds were blowing. The first and most crucial historical curveball came at the Bolsheviks in 1914, as the European powers came to the brink of World War I. Lenin and the German socialist leader Rosa Luxembourg held uncompromisingly to the long-agreed-upon duty of the working class to unite across national lines and prevent the war. They watched in disbelief as, one by one, the leaders of Europe’s socialist parties capitulated to the wave of nationalist imperialism sweeping the continent. “Lenin immediately realized the scale of the disaster that had taken place,” Ali writes. “The German section of the Second International—its largest—had effectively dynamited internationalism.”

Recounting the deep tragedy of the socialist capitulation to nationalism at the outset of World War I, Ali’s identification with Lenin hits its strongest notes. He maintains that Lenin’s belief in cascading revolutions across Europe was completely plausible, and that the ability of the working class to prevent or sabotage the war was real. The war was patently immoral—Ali assembles a nauseating array of quotes from European leaders on the glories of imperialism—and yet it precipitated the retreat of the European socialist movement from the international revolutionary project. Lenin would have to find a way for Russia to play the leading role, hoping they could inspire a European proletariat betrayed by its leaders.


In October, a new history of 1917 by the novelist China Miéville, Lenin moves to side of the stage. Where Ali’s Lenin occasionally resembles his Western caricature—a string-pulling mastermind, a visionary and iconoclast always “dragging his party behind him,” rebuffing the proletariat for getting ahead of themselves—Miéville’s Lenin is a Bolshevik for the most part like the others: overwhelmed by overwhelming events, struggling to read the direction of history on an hour-by-hour basis, confident in the working class but hesitant about the timing of their demands.

OCTOBER: THE STORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION by China MiévilleVerso, 384 pp., $26.95

October is, simply put, the story of a popular revolution that emerged from the democratic experience of the first decades of the twentieth century and the escalating socialist demands of Russian workers, soldiers, and peasants. The year 1905 had already given the Tsarist regime a taste of what was coming for it: Following the Russian Empire’s catastrophic invasion of Japan, the working class attempted, unsuccessfully, to rise up, and were killed by the thousands on Bloody Sunday. The 1905 attempt gave rise to new institutions of popular democracy—most fatefully, the Soviet in St. Petersburg (renamed Petrograd in 1914), which developed a quasi-governmental authority to direct popular radicalism.

Three years into World War I, the Russian left was still scattered from the repression of 1905. Many of the Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin, were in exile in Europe. But working-class political culture had developed in their absence, driven by the hunger and senseless mass death brought by the war. In February 1917, a wave of strikes and demonstrations, catalyzed by the commemoration of Bloody Sunday and International Women’s Day, swelled the starving crowds in the streets into the hundreds of thousands. The war had produced a further historic shift: Soldiers in Petrograd now greeted the striking workers with cheers, and the fierce Cossacks, on horseback, cleverly subverted their orders in order to allow the demonstrations to proceed unharmed.

Nicholas II ignored the frantic pleading of his advisers until the end; when he finally abdicated, he had already been deposed. Three centuries of the Romanov dynasty came to an end without a whimper. Two competing governments, known as “Dual Power,” immediately sprung to life: The Provisional Government, made up of the industrialists and liberals from the figurehead Tsarist parliament, and the Petrograd Soviet, revived from the warm memories of 1905 as the political voice of workers, soldiers, and peasants. Ending the war was at the top of the agenda for large swaths of the Russian army and working class. But the liberals in the Provisional Government wanted to continue the war for patriotic and business reasons, while the parties who dominated the Soviet—the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries—believed that the first order of business was to defend Russia from invasion. They rejected the liberals’ expansionist war aims, but agreed on continuing the fight.

Lenin returned to Petrograd from exile in early April to a Bolshevik party caught up in socialist unity, agreeing to “limited support” for the Provisional Government and backing away from deliberate efforts to have soldiers on the front disrupt the war. Hardly taking the time to greet the comrades who had arranged a massive welcome party for him, Lenin addressed the crowd: International revolution was imminent, and the Bolsheviks should not compromise themselves by supporting the Provisional Government or the war. Instead, they should continue to organize the masses to take power. These shocking claims launched days of debate within the Bolshevik ranks, where as Miéville writes, “Lenin’s isolation [was] almost total.”

But even in his controversial restatement of his position, known as the April Theses, Lenin stressed that he was remaining consistent with Bolshevik positions, and that the working class would respond to sincere efforts at persuasion. “It is necessary with particular thoroughness, persistence and patience to explain their error to them,” he wrote, of those who embraced the war from a defensive posture, “to explain the inseparable connection existing between capital and the imperialist war, and to prove that without overthrowing capital it is impossible to end the war by a truly democratic peace.” Within two weeks of Lenin’s return, after around-the-clock debates, a conference of Petrograd Bolsheviks voted for his stance by a margin of 33 to six.

As the two pillars of Dual Power quarreled over the future, democratic fever swept the country in the what Miéville calls the “exuberant and pandemoniacal spread of congresses and conferences and peasant assemblies.” Soviets sprang up across the vast Russian empire and became hotbeds of political debate, petitions, and visionary schemes. Workers established “factory committees” that became even more radical than the Soviets, instituting self-management in the factory and often escorting abusive managers by wheelbarrow to nearby rivers. Soldiers, who thought the February Revolution meant the end of the war, mutinied against their brutal officers, defecting and fraternizing with German troops, wandering back to the cities to find work. Peasants took land reform into their own hands, returning private estates to older forms of community control and paying only prices they deemed fair. In new Muslim women’s congresses, socialist feminists spoke out against polygamy and debated the hijab. In the cities, palaces and bourgeois residences were occupied and repurposed as community institutions.

By June, after a disastrous military offensive dreamed up by Alexander Kerensky, the only socialist in the Provisional Government, the masses were ready for the Soviets to take power—all of it. Disenchanted with Kerensky and even with what they saw as the “moderation” of the Soviet Executive Committee, workers and soldiers planned their own demonstrations and uprisings. The Bolsheviks’ membership swelled with the radicalization of the people; they were now a mass party, and achieved their first majority in the Soviet on July 3. Dramatizing their debates and reversals of position, Miéville shows that the Bolsheviks, despite their rhetorical distance from the other socialists, hesitated before the demands of the people, begging them not to overthrow the hapless Provisional Government. They feared a premature uprising would destroy the clear momentum of history, would provide an excuse for far-right retaliation and repression.

In the “July Days” of 1917, the Bolshevik leadership continued to stall even as a mass demonstration of half a million swelled outside their meeting place, demanding Vsya vlast sovyetam!—“all power to the Soviets.” The Bolsheviks retracted their call to workers not to attend the demonstration too late to find a replacement for it in their newspaper; on July 4, Pravda appeared with a “white, textless hole” in the middle of its front page. “How easy it is to forget,” Miéville comments, “that people do not need or await permission to move.”


Without the support of the Bolsheviks, the proletariat’s July demand for power ended in repression and disarray; the Bolsheviks were blamed anyway, and their leaders scattered in the ensuing arrests. The Provisional Government now had no legitimacy in the eyes of the people; its leader, Kerensky (“messianic,” “histrionic”), felt the ground slipping from beneath his feat. The socialist lawyer, the self-regarding former hero of the February Revolution, was now on the right. He placed the authoritarian General Lavr Kornilov to eradicate the disorder from the military, and flirted with the idea of martial law. “Both men looked in the mirror and imagined themselves as the dictator of the new regime,” Ali writes. With the German army advancing on Latvia, peasants violently appropriating the property of the landed classes in the countryside, and the urban food situation growing desperate, Kornilov assembled the support of the upper classes for a military coup.

The workers’ heroic defeat of the coup was perhaps the true climax of 1917. While Lenin, hiding in Finland, maintained that the threat of counter-revolution was being exaggerated to force the Bolsheviks into a coalition that would weaken their support, socialists in the Petrograd Soviet fought through their differences to mobilize against Kornilov. The Bolsheviks hastily set up a communications network and sounded the alarm. A massive, nearly spontaneous self-organization effort appeared; at the Bolsheviks’ demand, workers’ militias were armed, and an army of 40,000 emerged from the factories. They halted army communications, seized right-wing presses, erected barricades in Petrograd, ripped up the railroad tracks leading to the capital, and begged Kornilov’s soldiers to mutiny. The coup was literally halted in its tracks by the grassroots mobilization of the working class, who now fully regained their political momentum.

September and October were a maelstrom of debates, votes, attempted compromises, and hastily-proposed political bodies. Lenin himself even alighted on the possibly of a coalition of the socialist parties in the Soviet taking power. His “On Compromises,” Miéville writes, “provoked consternation among his party comrades” and was rejected by the Bolshevik newspaper Rabochy put’ as “too conciliatory.” Miéville dramatizes these months as a head-spinning convergence of popular revolt and feverish democracy. The upshot was that despite the clear desire of the masses and the complete bankruptcy of the Provisional Government, many even quite radical socialists still felt obligated to support it.

Lenin finally decided in September that if the Bolsheviks did not take power, the passionate radicalism of the masses, building for months, would come to nothing. When he returned to Petrograd in early October, he instigated a furious debate over the question of insurrection, and the Bolshevik leadership voted 10-2 in favor of uprising. The two dissenters published their reactions in a non-Bolshevik newspaper, alerting the entire city to the plan, and unintentionally enhancing the atmosphere of inevitability. The debates continued, day and night, as the Bolshevik military won over the Petrograd garrisons, as Kerensky made last-ditch efforts to maintain control, and as the revolutionary army slowly, bloodlessly took power on the night of October 24.

Between 3 and 5 a.m. on October 26, Soviet delegates from all over the Russian Empire debated the next steps at the Smolny palace in Petrograd. Lenin had submitted a document that announced Soviet power, the beginning of withdrawal from the war, land for the peasants and bread for the workers, and self-determination for the empire’s national groups. It was approved overwhelmingly. Miéville ends his story there: “Exhausted, drunk on history, nerves still taut as wires, the delegates to the Second Congress of the Soviets stumbled out of Smolny. They stepped out of the finishing school into a new movement of history, a new kind of first day, that of a workers’ government, morning in a new city, the capital of a workers’ state.”


It is impossible to know what would have happened to the new Soviet republic if its expropriated elites and the world’s capitalist powers had not immediately waged war against it, and if the United States had not been determined to keep it frozen in global isolation even after its defeat of Hitler in 1945. But the Soviet Union, succumbing to bureaucracy, militarism, and brutality by the 1930s, would shape the twentieth century nonetheless. It would provide the foil to American messianism; its crimes would enable a militaristic capitalist empire, aligned with any dictator that shared its antipathy to socialism, to claim the mantle of freedom and democracy. In the course of a long and murderous century, the story of its revolution—like so many of the century’s courageous battles for democracy and equality—was forgotten, flattened, rendered alien, folded into a narrative that preached an inevitable link between revolution and mass murder.

If Miéville is correct that October 1917 should not be “a simple lens through which to view the struggles of today,” it is surely an excellent time to re-open its memory, to clear away the myths that have so long obscured the central reality that average men and women believed they could overthrow an imperial government—and did. The ideas and strategies that enabled the Bolsheviks to take power in 1917 were not a pathology of Russian history, but a product of the European socialist movement and an achievement of the future it had imagined. Bolshevism was not the antithesis of freedom and democracy, but their radical potential made real in a way more horrifying to Russian liberals, like liberals throughout the century up to the present, than military dictatorship.

The very distance and strangeness of the Russian revolution, its resistance to easy analogy, is what makes it an ideal subject for 2017, when we only vaguely remember that women and men in history once accomplished unimaginable, unlikely political transformation. In a period that the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck calls “Interregnum,” after the structural failure of capitalism but before its collapse, a period with neither solutions nor hope, Miéville’s modest conclusion can feel radical: “Twilight, even remembered twilight, is better than no light at all.”

The October Revolution and Yugoslavia – Past, Present and Perspectives

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The October Revolution and Yugoslavia – Past, Present and Perspectives

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-october-revolution-and-yugoslavia.html
By Marijan Kubik & Alksandar Banjanac.
Source: International Communist Review,  Issue 7, 2017.
The Great October Socialist Revolution that happened one hundred years ago turned a new page in the history of mankind. The Great October Revolution ignited the revolutionary spirit in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and infused them with confidence in their fight for a new world.
The October Revolution did not break out suddenly and as something that was generated solely in the Russian reality, it rather resulted from the entire flow of recent world, and in particular European, history. It was the fruit of the socialist aspirations, existence and functioning of the working class with the goal of tearing down the society divided in classes and the creation of classless human society.
All the progressive forces on the planet recognise the epochal, profoundly transformative role of the October Revolution and its significance as a continuous inspiration. We proudly and rightfully point out that the Russian October Revolution also inspiredthe Yugoslav workers’ movement. Inspired by the ideas ofthe October, it was preparing for a long and painful, but victorious socialist revolution of its own.
World War I
World War I is the prototype of the maxim defined by a military theorist Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831): “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means”. The shot fired by the Yugoslav nationalists Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo in 1914 set off the powder keg filled with political, economic and military rivalry among the major powers.
It was the culmination of long-standing diplomatic and political squabbling and bickering, arising from economic rivalries of the European capitalist powers – their capitalist elite.
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution, it is impossible not to remember, with deepest respect, Dimitrije Tucovic, under whose leadership the Serbian Social Democratic party functioned as one of the most progressive and revolutionary workers’ parties in Europe. Tucovic dedicated his entire life to the struggle for workers’ rights, social justice and civil and human rights. With Lenin, Tucovic was one of the rare steadfast Marxists, who spoke against the opportunism of the members of the Second International. His conviction, that “conflicts, dangers of war and wars are not caused by hostilities and hatred between peoples, but by the efforts of the capitalist class to subject and exploit other nations and peoples”, is still undeniably true today.
During the war in Yugoslavia,there were strong winds announcing change – the Red October. There are records of protests of sailors in the Austro-Hungarian war ports by the end of 1917. In Pula, there were anti-war protests, as well as desertions. The great strike of 11,000 workers of the arsenal seeking a truce, higher wages and better nutrition broke out in 1918. In support of workers’ unrest, the sailors from the warships “Erzherzog”, “Prinz Eugen” and “Aspern”, refused obedience to their commanders. Thirty-five members of the Naval air stationreceived long-term prison sentences on the grounds of disobedience. Due to the senseless expansion of war operations, worsening living conditions, difficult position of the Slavs, and echoes of the October Revolution, the unrestswere spreading. The mutiny of sailors in the Bay of Kotor began on February 1, 1918at noon on the ships “Sankt Georg” and “Gea” when about 6,000 sailors of the Austro-Hungarian navy took command into their own hands and put up red flags on about forty ships in the Bay of Kotor. They requested separate peace to end the war, improved nutrition and regular leaves.
This was not only an expression of anti-war sentiment in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.According to the report of the Serbian military attaché in Padua, the rebellion of sailors was “a result of Leninist ideas that were so widespread in the Austro-Hungarian Navy that they significantly weakened the familiar harsh discipline”.
However, due to a series of oversights on the part of the leadership of the rebellion,the uprising started to fade to a certain extent. The Command issued an ultimatum to the rebel sailors on February 2,it ordered evacuation of the civilian population and the German U-boats were ordered to sink the rebel ships. The rebellion was crushed. Three hundred eighty-six sailors and non-commissioned officers were charged before the regular military court. Of these, 48% were of South Slavic origin, 20% Italian, 13% Czechs and Slovaks, 10% Germans, 8% Hungarians, and the rest were Poles, Romanians and Ukrainians. Although about 1,200 sailors were arrested, only 98 of these were taken before theimpromptu military court. Around ten sailors died in prison,two died in the rebellion, the majorityreceived long-term prison sentences and four were sentenced to death by a firing squad.
World War I ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which was a great humiliation for the German people. The young Soviet republic was completely excluded from the drafting of the treaty. Supposed to put an end to war, the Treaty of Versailles turned it into a constant threat hovering over all humanity. Rather than provide “eternal peace”, the treaty missed its target from the very beginning. In fact, the same generation that created the peace treaty found itself amidst the flames of another war, even more devastating and more horrible and with more crimes and victims, only twenty years later. Karl Marx’scomment about The Treaty of Frankfurt – “This is the safest way to transform the war into a European institution. This is the most reliable way to turn the future peace into a mere ceasefire.” –is also applicable to the Treaty of Versailles.
Yugoslavs in the October Revolution
The First Serbian Volunteer Division was formed on April 16, 1916 in the town of Odessa. It consisted of nearly 10,000 volunteers. Shortly before The February Revolution, the army corps consisted of approximately 40,000 volunteers. The town of Odessa was its headquarters. The First Division headquarters was in Voznesensky and the Second Division headquarters was in Alexandrovsky. The triumph of the Bolsheviks over the imperial dynasty could have been well anticipated. In such a revolutionary mood, new ideas started spreading among the Serbian Volunteer Corps soldiers. Towards the end of March of 1917, arrays officers started forming military unions within the Volunteer Corps. The proposal was supported and encouraged by the revolutionary unions of the Ukrainian citizens in the area between Odessa and Voznesansky, where the Serbian Volunteer Corps units were situated.
The Serbian Volunteer Corps Command attempted to prevent the spreading of revolutionary ideas among its members. Therefore, in April 1917, General Mihajlo Zivkocic introduced, by a decree, troop, regiment and division councils, as well as the Corps Assembly, intending to use them to influence the political mood in the units. The results, however, were insignificant.
In the assembly of Serbian Bolshevik-oriented volunteers in Odessa, the Federal Yugoslavia was proclaimed as the ideal. It was emphasized that “The Russian Revolution and the victory of the Russian democracy are a new era in the history of mankind and, thus, the Russian revolution cannot remain only Russian”. The volunteers established the Yugoslav Revolutionary Union in Kiev in summer of 1917.
The supporters of the Revolution started leaving The Volunteer Corps on a large scale, thus reducing it to one half.
Around 35,000 Yugoslavs were involved in the revolutionary activities – they joined the Red Army units. Towards the end of 1917, the Serbian-Soviet Revolutionary Unit was formed and in August of 1918 the First Yugoslav Communist Regiment was established in Tsaritsyn. Many of the Yugoslavs remained in the lasting memory as the Soviet Union heroes. Many participators, upon their return in their home country, got actively involved in the activities of the unification of the proletariat in the newly formed bourgeois state and they played a significant role in creating a revolutionary workers party.
In the beginning of World War I, social democratic parties were either prohibited in Yugoslav countries or their work was suspended due to war circumstances. In the final stages of war, under the influence of harsh social circumstances and the perspective of defeat of the Central Forces, they gradually renew their organisation and began to operate. From 1917, and in particular in 1918, in the Yugoslav countries, primarily those under Austro-Hungarian rule, there were many military, workers’ and peasants’ movements. Under the influence of those revolutionary developments and in the aftermath of the October Revolution, the renewal of the activities of social democratic parties was imbued with vehement political and ideological conflicts. Among the leaders of the recently renewed social democratic parties of Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Dalmatia the supporters of class struggle prevailed. They emphasized the solidarity with the October Revolution and accepted Lenin’s initiative to create a new, communist International.
In the time of establishing the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in December of 1918, the leaders of Serbian and Bosnia and Hercegovina’s social democratic parties proposed an initiative for uniting workers’ organisations in the new country. The congress of united social democratic parties and organisations, held in Belgrade from April 20 to April 23, 1919, passed a decision to form the Social Democratic Workers Party of Yugoslavia (of communists) or SRPJ(k). They declared a revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat, as well as acceding to the Communist International as their goals. On that occasion and with the participation of the same delegates, the Congress of the Trade -Union Unification was held where the unity of trade unions movement was declared and the Central Workers Trade Union Council was elected. A Conference of socialist (communist) women was held, too. They accepted the programme of the Social Democratic Workers Party of Yugoslavia. On October 10, 1919 in Zagreb, the League of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) was established and they also adopted the programme of the Social Democratic Workers Party of Yugoslavia.
Socialist workers party of Yugoslavia (communist) changes its name to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia at its Second congress in the following 1920.
The year of 1919 was marked by the rise of the revolutionary movement. The influence of the SRPJ(k) was increasing rapidly and soon it grew into a significant political factor in the country. In the municipal elections in March and August of 1920, the party won the elections in many municipalities in cities such as Belgrade, Zagreb, Osjek, Skopje, Nis, etc. In the elections for the Constituent Assembly in November of 1920, it won 59 mandates and was ranked third according to the number of MPs in the Assembly. In summer of 1920 SRPJ(k) had over 65,000 members and the united trade unions around 210, 000. At that time, it published its central newspaper – The Workers newspaper, as well as a number of province and local newspapers.
In the municipal elections held in March of 1920 in Croatia, Slovenia and Dalmatia, 490 communist councillors were elected. They won the majority of votes and absolute majority of mandates in Zagreb, Osijek, Vukovar, Knjizevac, Virovitica, Crikvenica, Cakovac, Valpov, etc. A communist Svetozar Delic was elected the mayor of Zagreb. However, the duke (ban) appointed by the Government in Belgrade annulled the results of the elections and appointed the city commissioner, justifying this act by a lawsuit for treason that had been filed against Delic. In response, Delic convened a session, but the police dispersed it. Communists did exceptionally well in the elections in Montenegro, particularly in Podgorica. In the municipal elections in Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo in August of 1920, communists won in 37 municipalities, Belgrade, Nis and Skopje being among them. In many cases, similarly to Zagreb, the officials prevented the elected communist councillors from taking over the office; the same thing happened in Belgrade, where Filip Filipovic was elected the mayor but was prevented from taking over the office.
In April of 1920 the strike of about 50,000 railroad workers was held, which was one of the most major workers’ actions of that period. The strike was marked by the reinforced commitment of the regime to suppress the revolutionary movement (the first prohibitions of celebrating May 1, stronger censorship, arrests of SRPJ(k) leaders, suspension of communist councillors in municipalities and dissolution of the communist local governments, declaration of militarisation of railroad workers, armed attacks on strikers, etc.).
Calming of revolutionary movements in Europe, the support of imperialistic forces of Antanta to the office holders in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians and its partial inner stabilisation, enabled the regime to carry out more resolute operations against the revolutionary workers’ movement in the country. In December of 1920 the Government, accusing the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) of preparing a coup, took advantage of the conflicts with the gendarmerie and the army in the miners’ strikes in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Slovenia to ban communist activities and to impose dictatorship by a so-called “Obznana” law (Proclamation). The long period of dictatorship would last almost until the beginning of World War II.  The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which had been extremely reactionary and backward country even prior to the dictatorship, was dully characterized as the “dungeon of nations”.
During the dictatorship, the activities of the Party were forced underground by brutal repression, the entire assets of the Party were confiscated, trade union associations and organising of workers strikes and demonstrations were also banned as illegal, all Party front organisations were banned as illegal, mass arrests commenced, thousands of communists were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed, and the CPY received a heavy blow, which dramatically affected its organisational disunity. It is interesting to note that the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was the last country in Europe to recognise The Soviet Union (USSR). This only happened immediately before the outbreak of the war threat, in 1940. The CPY faced World War II as an underground movement, but it did not prevent it from being the organiser of the magnificent antifascist rebellion. In autumn of 1941, Yugoslav partisans controlled a free territory size of the contemporary Belgium, where November 7 – the Day of the Great October Revolution was publically celebrated.         
The October Revolution and Socialist Yugoslavia
Following a long period of dictatorship and after gruelling National Liberation Struggle during World War II, in which, according to the estimates, over 1,200,000 Yugoslavs were killed (among these a large number of prominent Party cadre –seasoned communists who experienced the period when the Party was forced to operate underground, the war in Spain, as well as our National Liberation Struggle), freedom and the victory of our revolution eventually arrived. The roads were paved for building a new society and a victory of a new man awakening from a long period of backwardness. The CPY succeeded in seizing power and proclaiming progressive goals amidst the new creative enthusiasm. Our society became a socialist society and the victories of radical changes materialised daily.
The achievements of the October Revolution were bright examples to a young socialist federal republic. The marking of the holiday dedicated to the October Revolution became a ceremony at the state level. The Yugoslav Party stood on the line of the proletariat internationalism and therefore “the significance of the Red October as the first stage of the world revolution and its powerful base for further development”1 played an important ideological part in the Party that had much yet to learn and to advance.
However, the tragic events of 1948 proved that little was learned and implemented. The CPY leadership, self-complacent with their own revolutionary sweep, and in reality incapable of applying the great ideas and implementing the goals set before them as the governing body of the Yugoslav proletariat, took the road of opportunism and alienation from the proletariat. The deformities within the state and social structures, i.e. their highest levels, became more and more visible, as the post-war period elapsed.
Parallel to this, in an increasingly unhealthy spiritual and ideological climate, the cult of Josip Broz Tito was being built. Many communists were elected for or excluded from the Central Committee of the Party without the Committee’s meeting. After 1940, The Central Committee of the Party met for the first time as late as in spring of 1948. All this led to a great doubt among the proletariat masses and the communists in the proper operation of the Central Committee and the Party leadership. As early as in the beginning of 1948, the growing divergence between the Soviet and Yugoslav leadership ensued. In June of 1948, the Bucharest meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of Europe was held, when a resolution was passed calling on a self-criticism of the Yugoslav leaders and whereby many omissions and mistakes in the interior and international politics were pointed out. The Yugoslav leaders first decided not to attend the Information Bureau meeting and subsequently rejected the resolution in its entirety. The rejection of the resolution was confirmed in the Fifth Congress of the CPY, held on July 28, 1948. The delegates to the Congress had not been elected, but previously determined. In the concluding remarks of his speech, Tito stated that he and the CPY would remain unwaveringly loyal to Marx, Engels and Lenin’s teachings and to Stalin.
That fact contained the hypocrisy that would accompany the Yugoslav party, or rather the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, as the party was renamed in the Sixth Congress of 1952, along its historical path. The loyalty to the principles of scientific socialism, consistency and authenticity in addressing these principles, applied to the specific circumstances of Yugoslav experience of building socialism, would remain to a greater or lesser degree present as a declarative guideline. In reality, already from 1948 began the rapid divergence from the fundamental principles of the science established by the classics of the scientific socialism, the principles based on the experience of the proletariat struggle and confirmed in practice by the Great October Revolution.
Although Yugoslavia justifiably rejected the Marshall plan in 1947, seeing in it the most impressive instrument of the American doctrine of restraining communism, the Yugoslav leadership after the conflict with Stalin will start to receive first of all economic, and then military aid from the Americans in 1949. Available documents from the US archives witness that in exchange for the American aid, Yugoslavia was ready for the war with USSR.
During 1949 yugoslavian government participate in liquidation uprising of Democratic Army of Greece. In March 1949, Tsaldaris, as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens and diplomatic arch-blunderer, spilled the beans. Speaking at Corinth that the Daily Mail correspondent in Greece, during the celebration of the reopening of the Corinth canal, he said the correspondent, Paul King, who was standing nearby, and said, “Very soon the king Tito and be allies.” Just a few months later, in the summer of 1949, King Paul and Tito Maharaj showed on battlefields that have already been practically comrades-in-arms. They fought together against the Democratic Army of Greece. In fact, during the entire out imperialistic offensives last year against the Democratic Army of Greece defends Grarnmos and Vitsi, Tito gave the Greek bourgeoisie for the help that the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece, N. Zachariadis, put IT “had a decisive influence on the outcome of our armed struggle,” and finally forced the Greek liberation movement to a temporary withdrawal. Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of that time Athens, S Venizelos has publicly stated: “Without the help given to us by Yugoslavia, we could not be in a position to achieve such success.” I Agence France Presse, as stated in the works of 18 October 1949 in Athens, sent a telegram to the “diplomatic holiday in Washington believe Tito’s role in the development of the situation in Greece, as at least as a crucial economic and military assistance the US delivers the Greek Government “. In fact, Tito had not joined the imperialist camp, that he actively helped Greek bourgeoisie regime Athens would likely have failed so far.  “Tito knew that only if Monarch-Fascism can prevail in Greece, and the Greek Democratic Army was defeated, could provide your wallpaper and get help from the US and Britain.” (N. Zachariadis :. new situation, new tasks).
In the Sixth congress of the CPY, according to the personal confessions of Aleksandar Rankovic, who was practically the second most prominent figure of the Party at that time, from 1948 to 1952  the Party expelled 218,379 members who had been admitted to the CPY until spring of 1948. When we consider the fact that in the beginning of 1948 the CPY had 285,147 members, we can realise the scale of the putsch that had nothing to do with democratic principles of scientific socialism.
The earlier mentioned Sixth Congress confirmed the new direction of the party – “The socialist self-management”, under the veil of consistency to the interpretation of the works of classicists of scientific socialism Marx, Engels and Lenin (Stalin is no longer mentioned). This direction will be, until the breakup of Yugoslavia, the main ideological path. The term “self-management” has its long history in the labor movement in Yugoslavia. 140 years ago in Kragujevac (in 1876), a manifestation took place which is remembered in history under the name “Red banner”. On that day in February of 1876, the workers and other progressive people took to the streets to defend the victory in the elections won by the socialists. The red flag which was carried had the word “Self-management” printed on it. At the same time, that is the first important victory of the young labor movement. The Party ideologues tried to join the theory of scientific socialism with the new course of Yugoslavia in every way. The Paris commune was declared as the first practical attempt of the proletarian self-management, and Marks’s principle “association of independent producers” was declared as an ideal precisely in self-management in Yugoslavia. Self-management will represent the breakthrough of bourgeoisie ideology in the Yugoslav party and  set   out  in  quest  of  allegedly  new  «socialist»  roads,   which  were  capitalist  in  fact,   in  the   economy,    internal  and  foreign  policy,  education  and  culture,  and  in  all  sectors  of  life.
Self-management was first proscribed in the law from 1950, with the aim of proving that,unlike in Yugoslavia, there was no proper management of the working class, but rather of the bureaucrat class, in the USSR and other socialist countries.In reality, the law actually meant abandoning the planned economy and the beginning of breaking of the state property. Self-management meant transfer of the state wealth into the hands of a group of people and local administration onto which the stateimposed onlyfiscal obligations. This would lead to the reconstruction of bourgeois market principles in Yugoslavia, the anarchy in the relations of production, the introduction of the shareholder ownership instead of collective ownership and to a more pronounced uneven growth, which would result in unemployment, corruption, nationalism and subsequently secessionism.
The international politics that Yugoslavia led also meant undermining of basic principles that had triumphed during the Red October: of the proletarian internationalism. To a greater or lesser extent, depending on the period, Yugoslavia led an anti-Soviet policy. The Cold  War circumstances mirrored the class conflict and this war that was fought between socialist countries led by the USSR on one side and imperialistic countries on the other side, pushed Yugoslavia into the so-called “Non- Aligned”movement, one of whose ideological creators was Tito’s Yugoslavia itself. Non-alignment was the principal determinant of the Yugoslav international politics from the 1960s and the interpretation of the party’s internationalism. It was a classic example of the “third way” politics, whose reactionary essence had been explained by Lenin who had stated that the third way was there to indicate that there was no other way in relation to imperialism and exploitation.
The gradual reconstruction of capitalism in Yugoslavia will reach its complete form in the course of and upon the completion of the fratricidal wars on its territory, i.e. following its dissolution. Moving away from the principles of the October Revolution of the Yugoslav party will be one of the key factors in this process. This unfolded symbolically, too. The October Revolution and its relevance will have its place in Yugoslav socialism, but with constant revisions of its significance and its achievements. It is Illustrative to mention that early biographies of Josip Broz Tito emphasized his participation in the October events in Petersburg, since he was at that time in Russia as an Austro-Hungarian prisoner. His later biographies no longer contain such assertions.
Upon the temporary collapse of socialism in Yugoslavia
The October Revolution represents a hot and current topic even following the collapse of socialism, or at least of its relics on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The position of Yugoslavia and the historical development of our country against the October events in Petersburg do not cease to be a topic popular with the professional public, as well as the tabloid press. Needless to say, this topic is relevant as an example of historical revisionism.
After the reconstruction of capitalism in our country, the October Revolution started getting a highly negative connotation in the public sphere and among predominant attitudes of bourgeois intelligentsia and bourgeois media. These ideological attacks represent an integral part of severehistorical revisionism, i.e. forgery. Similar processes can be perceived to a greater or lesser extent in other former socialist countries in Eastern Europe and the USSR. We are going to mention some of the predominant postulates that do not cease to be ideological weapons used to primarily attack the conscience of working people.The aim is to create an image that working people cannot launch historical processes by themselves, that the basis of these are well-planned hidden interests of powerful figures from various spheres with their personal motives, who use working people as their puppets in order to realise the goals of different spheres of interests.
Let us list some of these “theories”:
– It is logical that Russia’s external adversaries and enemies were interested in a revolution. World War I was being fought, Russia was fighting Germany. Therefore, it is evident that the October Revolution was Germany’s interest and deed.
– The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a revolution instigated by American and European oil interests with the aim of taking control over Russian oil fields from the hands of the Rothschid-Nobel duo.
– The original organisers of the communist movement and the October Revolution were Jews, so the October Revolution was in fact a Jewish attempt to occupy Russia.
– The English Intelligence Service financed and carefully instructed Russian revolutionaries for years. Three out of five congresses of the Lenin’s party were held in London. Therefore, the Revolution was an act of English interests.  Anglo-Russian conflicts had lasted continuously since the Napoleon wars. Let us recall the Crimean War and the constant subversive role of the British diplomacy that thwarted the Russian attempts to occupy Constantinople on a number of occasions.
– A wide network of conspiratorial organisations, modelled against the Freemasonic lodges, operated in favour of the revolution in Russia and played a decisive part in constituting the first Provisional government and subsequently its breakdown and the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Being a turning point for the historical process that inspired and does not cease to inspire hundreds of millions of people, for the ruling class the October Revolution is a target that is legitimate to attack by all means. Those attacks are attacks on the conscience of the working man and are a part of the institutional framework of the official politics in our country. The October Revolution disappeared from the public sphere, which means that all streets, institutions, clubs, etc. that bore a name of or association to the October Revolution, have been renamed. School history textbooks regard this event as a turning point for “introducing a Bolshevik dictatorship” in their non-scientific interpretation.
NKPJ (The New Communist Party of Yugoslavia) and the October revolution
In difficult times before the breakup of Yugoslavia, in the situation of ideological disorientation of the working class and the culmination of anti-communist attacksunheard of since the period before WWII, a qualitative step forward in defending the achievements ofthe October revolution in Yugoslavia, their further affirmation, and setting them up as vital goals of our working class, was made by forming The New Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1990. Libertarian, democratic, internationalist inspirations that have guided us in our work for twenty-six years, are incomplete without the inspiration we draw from the biggest event in the history of human civilization – the Great Socialist October Revolution. Our commitment torestoring the authentic principles of Marxism-Leninism, which have guided us since our founding, has set the legacy of the Great October Socialist Revolution as the highest priority in our party’s ideological orientation and practice.
Commemorative activities in the form of scientific, political, cultural and artistic events that we organize every year to mark the day of the October Revolution have become a tradition. They are the most solemn demonstration of our commitment to the work of scientific socialism and are regularly organized by our party.
However,even more important is the fact that our party constantly interprets the October events and their importance through our program, political views, public statements, activities, and in other ways. Thus, according to the stance of the NKPJ, the October Revolution was the mother of all the subsequent proletarian revolutions, it was carried out by the working class in alliance with the peasantry and the progressive intelligentsia, with the leading role of the Communist Party of Bolsheviks led by V. I. Lenin. Thanks to the success of the revolution and the subsequent victory in the Civil War, the USSR, the world’s first state of workers and peasants,was established. The NKPJ constantly reiterates that the success of the October Revolution proved the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist teachings about the inevitability of an overthrow of the bourgeoisie by a revolution, and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat, the most democratic mode of social organization in the pre-communiststage, necessary for the successful establishment and development of socialism. The revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat represent only one stage in the process of class struggle that is continually unfolding as long as there are classes of capitalists and proletarians; this struggle is dynamic, it has its ups and downs, victories and defeats on both sides, but the Great October solidifiedthe inevitable fact that socialism is a legitimate stage in the development of human society.
Continuous inspiration for the new victories of the working man
The peoples of Yugoslavia madetheir contribution to creation of a new stage in the historical development of human civilization marked by the Red October. Our people enthusiastically received the news of the victory of the October Revolution in Russia,shoulder to shoulder with the international proletariat,and they also played their part both in the revolution and in spreading its flame throughout our region. Thus, the October Revolution, in addition to its historical and internationalist character and importance, became an importamt event in the national history of our people and an inspiration for political, historical, cultural and economic processes. It remains so, as enduring inspiration showing that the rule of workers and peasants is not merely a utopia and that opressors can be defeated andthat the suppressed can freethemselves from their shackles. The ideas of the October revolution remain an important example of libertarian inspiration for our freedom-loving people that in the whirlwinds of the world history have so often lost their freedom, independence and dignity which are still at stake and threatened by the interests of big imperialist powers for which the Balkans does not cease to be a sphere of great interest.
On the eve of the hundredth anniversary, the great anniversary of the October Revolution, despite all the problems that humanity faces today, we wish to highlight a new dose of optimism and pride, of revolutionary inspiration and the need for persistent and consistent struggle for the cause of the proletariat based on the most consistent principles –the principles of Marxism-Leninism. It is a historical inevitability and a certain fact that a counter-revolution is always followed by a new revolution, that the current defeats suffered by the mankind, and the proletariat in particular, are only a moment in time before a new episode when the working people will again seize power in our country as well, when the power will go to those who produce material and spiritual goods. Despite all the ups and downs, upsides and downsides that socialism has had in the past hundred years, it has proved to be a key prerequisite for the development and progress of human civilization in the modern epoch.
The future belongs to socialism!
‘Russophobic gesture’: Communists denounce plans to remove Seattle Lenin statue

https://www.rt.com/politics/400099-communists-denounce-plans-to-raze/

‘Russophobic gesture’: Communists denounce plans to remove Seattle Lenin statue

‘Russophobic gesture’: Communists denounce plans to remove Seattle Lenin statue
The Russian Communist Party has criticized the authorities in the US city of Seattle over plans to remove a statue of Lenin from the city. The party said it is against vandalism and supports the diversity of monuments to different political ideals all over the world.

The war of monuments is under way, but there are a lot of Lenin monuments all over the Earth. We denounce vandalism because different monuments must exist,” the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Sergey Obukhov, was quoted as saying on Friday by RIA Novosti.

I understand that the mayor of Seattle is doing this to please the kind of leftists whose activities, I would say, included the organization of clashes in Seattle,” he added.

Russian Communist Party MP Dmitry Novikov stated that the plans to remove the statue were just another manifestation of the anti-Soviet, anti-Communist and anti-Russian mood.

If the mayor of Seattle tries to connect the campaign against Confederate monuments and the campaign against Lenin’s statue it looks rather strange, because Lenin was in strong opposition to all forms of slavery and all forms of social violence. He was for justice and personal freedom, he had created a party that was steadily fighting against the absolute monarchy in our country,” Novikov said.

This cannot be called anything else but an attempt to remain in some political trend,” the Russian lawmaker added.

The 5-meter-high bronze statue of Bolshevik leader Lenin installed in Seattle is privately owned, after being bought from the Slovakian authorities in the early 1990s. The owner says that he put the statue on display because he is looking to sell it.

On Thursday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called for the statue to be removed because it allegedly represented historic injustice as well as hate and violence.

In the same statement, the mayor said he wanted to remove a memorial to Confederate soldiers for the same reasons.

Shortly before that, a group of activists supporting President Donald Trump protested against the Lenin statue in Seattle with posters reading “Lenin is Hitler” and “Tear it down.” The protest was apparently a reply to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where authorities had ordered the removal of the monument to Confederate commander Robert E. Lee, sparking a major standoff between leftist and rightist groups that ended in violence and one death.

KKE speech in Leningrad Conference: Our future isn’t capitalism, it is the new world, socialism

Thursday, August 17, 2017

KKE speech in Leningrad Conference: Our future isn’t capitalism, it is the new world, socialism

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/kke-speech-in-leningrad-conference-our.html
Speech of the Communist Party of Greece at the the International Theoretical Conference of Communist and Workers parties: “100 years after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the lessons and tasks for the contemporary communists.” (Leningrad, Russia 11-13/8/2017). 
Dear comrades,
On behalf of the CC of the KKE, we thank the RWCP for this initiative and for hosting our Conference Today.
The Central Committee of the KKE honours the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. It honours the climactic world-historic event of the 20th century which demonstrated that capitalism is not invincible, that we can construct a superior organization of society, without the exploitation of man by man.
The October Revolution shed light on the strength of the revolutionary class struggle, the strength of the exploited and oppressed, when they take centre stage and turn the wheel of history forwards in the direction of social liberation. The Russian working class through the October revolution came to incarnate the the vision of the working class-popular masses, of millions of people, for a better life.
The October Revolution demonstrated the correctness of the Leninist analysis that the victory of socialism is possible in one country or a group of countries, as a consequence of the uneven development of capitalism.
At the same time, October highlighted the irreplaceable role of the revolutionary political vanguard, the communist party, as the leading factor not only in the socialist revolution, but also during the entire struggle for the formation, strengthening, and final victory of the new communist society.
The contribution of Lenin and the experience of the Bolsheviks in the struggle against opportunism (as a vehicle of bourgeois ideology and politics in the labour movement) is of great, decisive political and practical importance.
In practice, it has been demonstrated that the well-grounded confrontation against the economists, the Mensheviks and the SRs constituted a basic feature in the formation of the conditions for the formation of the revolutionary party, the party of a new type, built on Leninist principles.
The systematic efforts to cleanse the Bolshevik Party from opportunism strengthened the revolutionary forces and (in two years after the 2nd Congress, 1903) allowed for the preparation of the party and the acquisition of a decisive role in the 1905 revolution and in the years of reaction that followed, continuing and adjusting the revolutionary line in new conditions.
“An insurrectionary outbreak has once more been suppressed. Once more we say: Hail the insurrection!” as Lenin wrote in September 1905 about the Moscow uprising and later in 1906 that “, nothing could be more short-sighted than Plekhanov’s view, seized upon by all the opportunists, that the strike was untimely and should not have been started, and that “they should not have taken to arms (…)On the contrary, we should have taken to arms more resolutely, energetically and aggressively; we should have explained to the masses that it was impossible to confine things to a peaceful strike and that a fearless and relentless armed fight was necessary.”
From 1905 until the victorious revolution of October 1917, a qualitative difference emerged in the form of the chasm between the strategy of the revolutionary current and the opportunism of the Mensheviks and SRs, who fostered fatalism and spread Parliamentary illusions, supported the bourgeois provisional government that was formed in February 1917, trapped the Soviets for a crucial period and tried to neuter them.
The Mensheviks and the SRs attempted to impede the October Revolution and to lead it to defeat. They fought against the new workers’ power and in a planned way undermined socialist construction, and it was these forces of opportunism that later corroded the CPSU and contributed decisively in the counterrevolution and the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union.
Today, when the consequences of the counterrevolution attack the working class all over the world and when it has been demonstrated in practice that capitalism gives rise to imperialist wars, economic crises, unemployment, poverty and refugees, the opportunist forces brazenly talk of “October”, attempting to undermine, cancel out the socialist character of the October Revolution and its enormous historical contribution.
The truth is that the forces of opportunism carried out an organized anti-soviet anti-communist campaign over the entire course of socialist construction, under the label of eurocommunism or its variants in many countries.
The communists must remember and learn.
Opportunism may change its name and forms of organization and expression, but at each historical moment it constitutes a great danger remains for the communist movement, a factor for its corrosion and co-option into the capitalist exploitative system.
Comrades,
The flame of October led to and accelerated the establishment of a number of Communist Parties, revolutionary workers’ parties of a new type, in opposition to the social-democratic parties of that era, which had betrayed the working class and the revolutionary political line.
The decades-long existence and successes of the socialist society, which was inaugurated by the October Revolution, demonstrated that a society without bosses, without capitalists that own the means of production is possible. This conclusion is not negated by the fact that in this specific phases it was not able to defeat once and for all capitalist ownership and capitalist profit.
The necessity and timeliness of socialism, the potential to abolish private ownership over the concentrated means of production flow from the development of capitalism which leads to the concentration of production. Capitalist ownership puts a brake on the social character of production. Capitalist ownership cancels out the potential for all workers to live in better socially organized conditions that correspond to their increased human needs:they should all have work without the nightmare of unemployment, working fewer hours, enjoying a better standard of living, with a high level of exclusively public and free education and similar services in health and welfare.
The working class creates these possibilities through its work inside capitalism, which are expanded by the development of science and technology. However, in a society where everything produced is determined on the basis of private, capitalist profit, the needs of the working class and the popular strata are crushed. The essence of the problem is that those who produce are not those who decide on the goals and organization of production. The cyclical economic crises are in the DNA of capitalism and are becoming increasingly deep and synchronized, resulting in the sharp increase of unemployment, the further expansion of badly paid work without social security cover, life with smashed rights, with imperialist wars for the division of markets and territories.
The deterioration of working and living conditions, despite the rise of labour productivity, concerns the entire capitalist world and indeed the most developed capitalist states. The capitalist states themselves, their research centres, admit that the workers’ income is shrinking, while the wealth of the capitalists is increasing.
The fact that the preconditions have been formed for the construction of the socialist-communist society does not automatically entail its realization. An important reason for this is the fact that, in contrast with the laws of nature, social progress requires the relevant activity of humans, in this case the class struggle for the abolition of the old society and the construction of one.
The outbreak of the socialist revolution (just as every social revolution in human history) presupposes the emergence of a situation where the ability of the ruling class to co-opt, repress and subdue the people is weakened.
Lenin formulated the definition of the revolutionary situation and identified the main objective and subjective characteristics, which are are accumulated in society on the eve of the revolution. However, as Lenin aptly stressed, this does not means that every revolutionary situation is converted into a revolution. Neither the reaction of those below, nor the crisis of those above will trigger the overthrow, if there is not a planned revolutionary uprising of the working class, led by its conscious vanguard.
In other words, for a workers’ revolution to break out there must be the presence of the revolutionary political vanguard, the communist party, equipped with the theoretical elaborations and ability to predict the developments, based on the Marxist-Leninist world-view and capable of leading the revolutionary uprising of the working class.
Unfortunately, later on the positive experience of the October Revolution was not taken on board and did not prevail over the duration of the Communist International. In contrast, over a contradictory trajectory, the strategic view that, in general, posed the goal of an intermediate form of power or government between bourgeois and workers’ power, as a transitional phase to socialist power, prevailed to a significant extent.
Today, we can better examine the complex efforts of the USSR’s foreign policy to delay as far as possible the imperialist offensive and to utilize contradictions between the imperialist centres in this direction were related to significant alternations and changes in the line of the Communist International that played a negative role later in terms of the course of the international communist movement in the following decades. The changes were related to issues of how to confront the fascist current, the stance towards social-democracy, as well as towards bourgeois democracy itself. The policy of separating the imperialist alliances into aggressive ones, which included the fascist forces, and defensive ones, which included the bourgeois-democratic forces, emerged in this period.
More particularly, the assessment concerning the existence of a left and right wing in the social-democratic parties in the 1930s, which was the justification for an alliance with them, something that underestimated their complete transformation into parties of the bourgeois class by this point. This mistaken distinction was also maintained after the 2nd World War.
These changes, objectively, trapped the struggle of the labour movement under the banner of bourgeois democracy. Similarly, the separation of the imperialist centres into pro-peace and pro-war ones concealed the real cause of imperialist wars and the rise of fascism, i.e. monopoly capitalism. In other words, it did not shine a light on the urgent strategic tasks of the communist parties to combine the concentration of forces for the national liberation or anti-fascist struggle with the struggle for the overthrow of bourgeois power, utilizing the conditions of the revolutionary situation that were formed in a number of countries.
In general, the character of the era was underestimated in the strategic elaborations of the Communist International and the prevalent definition of the character of the revolution was based on the criterion of the position of a capitalist country in the international imperialist system. That is to say, the lower level of the development of a country in relation to the higher levels achieved by the leading powers in the international imperialist system, as well as the negative correlation of forces at the expense of the revolutionary labour movement were mistakenly adopted as criteria to define the character of the revolution.
However, the uneven development of the capitalist economies and unequal relations between states cannot be eradicated in the framework of capitalism. In the final analysis, the character of the revolution in each capitalist country is objectively determined by the basic contradiction it is called on to resolve, regardless of the relative changes of the position of each country in the international imperialist system. The socialist character and tasks of the revolution arise from the sharpening of the basic contradiction between capital and labour in each capitalist country in the era of monopoly capitalism.
In a lot of the elaborations of the Communist Parties, the approach towards the goal of workers power was based on the criterion of the correlation of forces and not the objective definition of the historical era we find ourselves in, which is determined by which class is at the head of social development, i.e. the motion towards social liberation.
However, these mistakes in the strategy of the international communist movement, as well as the mistakes made by the CPSU in terms of charting its domestic policy, together with the expected undermining work of imperialism and the counterrevolution, influenced the developments.
The October Revolution brought to the fore a superior organization of society, which was radically different from all the systems that historically had preceded it and which had as their common feature the exploitation of man by man.
During that period, new institutions of workers participation were developed, the core of which was the workplace; this political relation was subsequently violated, retreating in the face of existing objective difficulties and also subjective pressures. Under the pressure of the preparation for the active contribution of all the people in the upcoming war, the 1936 Soviet Constitution generalized the electoral right through a universal secret ballot, based on the place of residence. The assemblies of each productive unit as the core of the organization of workers’ power were downgraded. In practice, the difficulty of recalling representatives from the higher state institutions increased
They were interpreted as inevitable weaknesses existing in the nature of central planning and not as a result of the contradictions of the survival of the old, as a result of the mistakes of the non-scientifically elaborated plan. Thus, instead of seeking a solution towards the invigoration and expansion of the communist relations of production and distribution, it was sought backwards, i.e. in the exploitation of tools and production relations of capitalism. The solution was sought in the expansion of the market, in “market socialism”.
The 20th CPSU Congress (1956) stands out as a turning point because in that, under the pretext of the so-called “personality cult”, a series of opportunist positions were adopted on the issues of the communist movement strategy, of international relations and partly of the economy. In general, the central administration of the plan weakened. Instead of designing the conversion of kolkhozes into sovkhozes and, above all, of beginning the passage of all cooperative-kolkhoznik production to state control, in 1958 the tractors and other machinery became the property of the kolkhozes, a position which had previously been rejected.
A few years later, beginning with the so-called “Kosygin reforms” (1965), the bourgeois category of “business profit” of each individual production unit was adopted and the wages of managers and workers were linked to it. The assessment of the productivity of the socialist productive units on the basis of production volume was replaced by the value estimation of their products. The process of accumulation of each socialist unit was disconnected from central planning, resulting in the weakening of the social character of the means of production and product stocks. At the same time, by 1975, all state farms, the sovkhozes, were under full self-management. All these measures led to the creation of the conditions for private embezzlement and ownership, relations which were legally prohibited.
In about the same period, the Marxist-Leninist perception about the workers’ state was also revised. The 22nd Congress of the CPSU (1961) described the USSR state as an “all-people’s” state and the CPSU as an “all-people’s party”.These positions caused a rapid blunting- and consequently mutation- of the revolutionary characteristics and social composition of the party. The transformation of the CPSU’s opportunist degeneration into an open counter-revolutionary force was manifested in 1987, with the passage of a law which institutionally established capitalist relations, under the pretext of the diversity of property relations, the notorious policy of “Perestroika” and “Glasnost”. This fact also marks the formal beginning of the counter-revolutionary period.
Dear comrades,
The KKE seeks to draw the necessary conclusions for today, both from the victories and also from the bitter defeats and the retreat of the communist movement. Through a long and painstaking collective process, the KKE has charted a modern revolutionary strategy nad has increased its ability to organize leading sites of resistance and counter-attack in every sector of the economy, every large workplace, in every region of the country.
The strengthening of the KKE at all levels, which was an important issue at the recent 20th Congress of the Party, constitutes a prerequisite for the promotion of its revolutionary policy.
At the same time, the KKE struggles for the regroupment of the international communist movement, according to the principles of proletarian internationalism, the internationalist solidarity of the people against capitalism and imperialist war, which is expressed in the slogan “Workers of all countries unite!”Already, we can see some small steps towards the effort of the creation of a distinct pole based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism , through the “International Communist Review” and the European Communist Initiative.
An integral part of the KKE’s contemporary strategy is its programmatic perception of socialism. Socialist construction begins with the revolutionary conquest of power by the working class. The workers’ state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is an instrument of the working class in the class struggle which continues in socialism with other forms and means. It is utilized for the planned development of the new social relations, which presupposes the suppression of the counter-revolutionary efforts, but also the development of the communist consciousness of the working class. The workers’ state, as a mechanism of political domination, is necessary until the transformation of all social relations into communist ones, until the formation of communist consciousness in the overwhelming majority of the workers, but also until the victory of the revolution in the most powerful capitalist countries.
Dear comrades,
100 years ago, in this city, the 6th Congress of the Bolshevik Party took a “milestone” decision, setting out their line for the armed insurrection. The implementation of the decision led a few months later to the roar of the “Aurora’s” cannons. Today, 100 years afterwards, the communists from all over the world are called on to study this history, to draw the necessary conclusions, to chart a modern revolutionary strategy in their countries and at an international level.
This is the necessary response in order to deal with the corrosive work of opportunism, to overcome the ideological-political and organizational retreat of the communist movement, its revolutionary regroupment.
The adjustment of the strategy of the communist parties to correspond to the character of our era, the era of the passage from the monopoly capitalism-imperialism to socialism, which was inaugurated by the October Socialist Revolution and consequently overcoming the strategy of intermediate stages, which exists in the programmes of the communist parties, and defining the character of the revolution as socialist, is objectively necessary and imposed by reality.
This direction can contribute decisively to the liberation from political options that operate in the framework of capitalism, such as the so-called “left governments” and the alliance with social-democracy, to lend impetus to the anti-monopoly anti-capitalist struggle, to elaborations based on the requirements of the class struggle and that can contribute to the preparation of the subjective factor, to the concentration of working class-popular forces in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism-communism.
 
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Discurso del KKE en la Conferencia Teórica Internacional de Partidos Comunistas y Obreros “100 años de la Gran Revolución Socialista de Octubre, las enseñanzas y las tareas para los comunistas hoy” (Leningrado, Rusia 11-13/8/2017)
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En nombre del Comité Central del KKE agradecemos el PCOR por esta iniciativa y la celebración de la Conferencia de hoy.
El Comité Central del KKE rinde honor al centenario de la Gran Revolución Socialista de Octubre. Rinde honor al acontecimiento transcendental del siglo XX que demostró que el capitalismo no es invencible, que  podemos construir una sociedad con organización superior, sin explotación del hombre por el hombre.
La Revolución de Octubre ha demostrado la fuerza de la lucha de clases revolucionaria, la fuerza de los explotados y de los oprimidos, cuando pasan enérgicamente a primer plano y giran la rueda de la Historia hacia delante, hacia la dirección de la liberación social. La clase obrera rusa a través de la Revolución de Octubre materializó el ideal de millones de personas, de las masas obreras y populares por una vida mejor.
La Revolución de Octubre demostró la validez del pensamiento leninista de que la victoria del socialismo es posible en un país o en un grupo de países, como consecuencia del desarrollo desigual del capitalismo.
Al mismo tiempo, la Revolución de Octubre destacó el papel irreemplazable de la vanguardia política revolucionaria, del Partido Comunista, como dirigente no sólo de la revolución socialista, sino además de toda la lucha por la formación, el fortalecimiento, la victoria final de la nueva sociedad comunista.
La contribución de Lenin y la experiencia de los bolcheviques en la lucha contra el oportunismo (como vehículo de la ideología y de la política burguesa) tiene gran y decisiva importancia política y practica.
En la práctica se demostró que la confrontación bien documentada contra los economistas, los mencheviques y los eseristas fue el elemento principal para la formación de las condiciones para la formación del partido revolucionario, del partido de nuevo tipo, fomentado sobre los principios leninistas.
El esfuerzo sistemático para limpiar el partido bolchevique del oportunismo, fortaleció a las fuerzas revolucionarias y (dentro de dos años a partir del II Congreso en 1903) permitió al partido prepararse y desempeñar un papel decisivo en la revolución de 1905 y en los años de la reacción que siguieron, ajustando la línea revolucionaria en las nuevas condiciones.
“El estallido de la insurrección fue reprimido una vez más. Exclamaremos entonces, ¡Viva la insurrección!”, escribió Lenin en septiembre de 1905 respecto a la insurrección de Moscú y a continuación, en 1906, destacó que “así, pues, nada podía ser menos perspicaz que la opinión de Plejánov, que hacen suya todos los oportunistas, de que la huelga era inoportuna y no debía haberse iniciado, que ʻno se debió empuñar las armasʼ. Por el contrario, se debió empuñarlas más decididamente, con mayor energía y combatividad; se debió explicar a las masas que era imposible limitarse a una huelga pacífica y que una lucha armada intrépida e implacable era necesaria”.
Desde 1905 hasta la victoriosa revolución socialista de octubre de 1917 se hizo clara la diferencia en la calidad, el abismo entre la estrategia de la corriente revolucionaria y el oportunismo de los mencheviques y de los eseristas que fomentaron el fatalismo y difundieron ilusiones parlamentarias, apoyaron el gobierno burgués provisional que se formó en 1917, atraparon los Soviets durante un período crucial e intentaron neutralizarlos.
Los mencheviques y los eseristas trataron de impedir la revolución de Octubre y llevarla a la derrota, lucharon contra el nuevo poder obrero y socavaron de manera planificada la construcción socialista y estas fuerzas oportunistas en los años siguientes corroyeron el PCUS y jugaron un papel primordial en la contrarrevolución y en la restauración del capitalismo en la Unión Soviética.
Hoy día, cuando las consecuencias de la contrarrevolución atacan a la clase obrera en todo el mundo de manera dura y se ha demostrado en la práctica de que el capitalismo da lugar a guerras imperialistas, a crisis económicas, al desempleo, a la pobreza y a los refugiados, fuerzas oportunistas hablan descaradamente para la revolución de Octubre y, en todo caso, tratan de socavar, de eliminar el carácter socialista de la revolución de Octubre y su enorme contribución histórica.
De hecho, las fuerzas oportunistas llevaron a cabo una campaña antisoviética anticomunista organizada durante todo el curso de la construcción socialista, bajo el manto del eurocomunismo o de sus variantes en muchos países.
Las y los comunistas deben recordarlo y aprender de ello.
El oportunismo cambia de nombre y de formas de organización y de expresión, pero en cada momento sigue siendo un gran peligro para el movimiento comunista, un factor de corrosión y de asimilación en el sistema de explotación capitalista.
Camaradas:
La llama de la Revolución de Octubre condujo y aceleró la creación de varios Partidos Comunistas, de partidos obreros revolucionarios de nuevo tipo, en contraste con los partidos socialdemócratas de aquella época que habían traicionado a la clase obrera y la política revolucionaria.
Durante décadas, la existencia y los logros de la sociedad socialista, que fue inaugurada por la Revolución de Octubre, demostraron que es posible una sociedad sin patrones, sin capitalistas que poseen los medios de producción. Esta conclusión no se puede refutar por el hecho de que en aquel período particular no logró derrotar definitivamente la propiedad capitalista y la ganancia capitalista.
La necesidad y la vigencia del socialismo, la posibilidad de abolir la propiedad privada en los medios concentrados de producción derivan del desarrollo capitalista que conduce a la concentración de la producción. La propiedad capitalista es un freno para el carácter social de la producción. La propiedad capitalista cancela la posibilidad de que todos los trabajadores vivan en mejores condiciones organizadas a nivel social que satisfagan las necesidades crecientes humanas: Que todos tengan trabajo sin la pesadilla del desempleo, que trabajen menos horas disfrutando una calidad de vida mejor y servicios de educación, de sanidad y de bienestar de alto nivel, exclusivamente públicos y gratuitos.
En el capitalismo, la clase obrera crea estas oportunidades con su trabajo que se amplían con el desarrollo de las ciencias y de la tecnología. Sin embargo, en una sociedad donde todo lo que se produce y el modo de producción se determinan sobre la base de la ganancia privada, capitalista, las necesidades de la clase obrera y de las capas populares están suprimidas. La esencia del problema radica en el hecho de que unos producen mientras que otros deciden los objetivos y la organización de la producción. Las crisis económicas cíclicas están en el DNA del capitalismo y se hacen más profundas y sincronizadas; consecuentemente se aumenta bruscamente el desempleo, se expande de nuevo el trabajo mal pagado y sin seguridad social, la vida con derechos aplastados, con guerras imperialistas para el reparto de los mercados y de los territorios.
A pesar del aumento de la productividad del trabajo las condiciones de trabajo y de vida se deterioran en todo el mundo capitalista, incluso en los Estados capitalistas más desarrollados. Los propios Estados capitalistas, sus centros de investigaciones, afirman que se reducen los ingresos de los trabajadores, mientras que se aumentan las ganancias de los capitalistas.
El hecho de que se han creado las condiciones previas para la construcción de la sociedad socialista-comunista no significa que esto sucederá automáticamente. Una razón importante es el hecho de que, a diferencia de las leyes de la naturaleza, el desarrollo social requiere la actividad humana, en este caso la lucha de clases para la abolición de la vieja sociedad y la construcción de la nueva sociedad.
El estallido de la revolución socialista (así como de todas las revoluciones sociales en la Historia de la humanidad) implica una situación en la cual se debilita la capacidad de la clase dominante de asimilar, suprimir y aplacar al pueblo.
Lenin formuló el concepto de la situación revolucionaria e  identificó las características principales objetivas y subjetivas de la sociedad en la víspera de la revolución. Sin embargo, como señaló Lenin acertadamente, no toda situación revolucionaria desemboca en una revolución. Ni la reacción de los de “abajo” ni la crisis en los de “arriba” provocarán un derrocamiento, a menos que exista un levantamiento revolucionario planificado de la clase obrera, dirigido por su vanguardia consciente.
Dicho de otro modo, para que se estalle la revolución obrera  se requiere la presencia de la vanguardia política revolucionaria, del Partido Comunista, armado con elaboraciones teóricas y con la predicción de los acontecimientos basada en la cosmovisión marxista-leninista, capaz de dirigir el levantamiento revolucionario de la clase obrera.
Desgraciadamente, la experiencia positiva de la Revolución de Octubre no fue asimilada y no prevaleció a lo largo de toda la existencia de la Internacional Comunista. En cambio, a través de un curso contradictorio, prevaleció en gran medida el concepto estratégico que, en general, planteaba como objetivo un poder o un gobierno de tipo intermedio entre el poder burgués y obrero, como poder transitorio hacia el poder socialista.
Hoy día podemos ver mejor que el esfuerzo complejo de la política de asuntos exteriores de la URSS para retrasar lo más posible el ataque imperialista y utilizar las contradicciones entre los centros imperialistas en esta dirección, está relacionada con importantes alteraciones y cambios en la línea de la Internacional Comunista que desempeñaron un papel negativo en el curso del movimiento comunista internacional en las décadas siguientes. Las alteraciones tenían que ver con la confrontación de la corriente fascista, la actitud respecto a la socialdemocracia, así como a la propia democracia burguesa. Surgió entonces la distinción política de las alianzas imperialistas de aquel período en agresivas, en las que se clasificaban las fuerzas fascistas y en las alianzas defensivas en las que se clasificaban las fuerzas democrático-burguesas.
En particular, la evaluación respecto a la existencia de un ala izquierda y un ala derecha en los partidos socialdemócratas en la década de 1930, de la que surgía la alianza con estas fuerzas, estaba equivocada, lo cual menospreciaba su transformación completa en partidos de la burguesía. Esta distinción equivocada fue mantenida incluso después de la II Guerra Mundial.
Estos cambios, objetivamente, atrapaban la lucha del movimiento obrero bajo la bandera de la democracia burguesa. Respectivamente, la distinción de los centros imperialistas entre los a favor de la paz y los a favor de la guerra, escondía el verdadero culpable por la guerra imperialista y el ascenso del fascismo, el capitalismo monopolista. Es decir, no señalaba la tarea estratégica imperativa de los Partidos Comunistas de combinar la concentración de fuerzas por la lucha por la liberación nacional o por la lucha antifascista, con la lucha por el derrocamiento del poder burgués, utilizando las condiciones de la situación revolucionaria, que se habían formado en varios países.
En general, la Internacional Comunista en sus elaboraciones estratégicas subestimó el carácter de la época y predominó la definición del carácter de la revolución teniendo como criterio la posición de un país capitalista en el sistema imperialista internacional. Es decir, se adoptaron erróneamente como criterios para la definición del carácter de la revolución el nivel mínimo de desarrollo de las fuerzas productivas de un país, en relación con el nivel superior alcanzado por las potencias líderes en el sistema imperialista internacional, así como la correlación de fuerzas negativa a expensas del movimiento obrero revolucionario.
Sin embargo, el desarrollo desigual de las economías capitalistas y las relaciones desiguales entre los Estados no se pueden abolir en el marco del capitalismo. En última instancia, el carácter de la revolución en los países capitalistas se determina objetivamente por la contradicción básica que debe resolver, independientemente de los cambios relativos en la posición de cada país en el sistema imperialista. El carácter socialista y las tareas de la revolución surgen de la agudización de la contradicción básica entre el capital y el trabajo en los países capitalistas en la época del capitalismo monopolista.
En varias elaboraciones de Partidos Comunistas, el enfoque del objetivo del poder obrero se basaba en el criterio de la correlación de fuerzas y no en la definición objetiva de la época histórica en que vivimos en base a la clase cuyo movimiento está en la vanguardia del desarrollo de los acontecimientos sociales, es decir de la actividad por la liberación social.
Sin embargo, estos errores en la estrategia del movimiento comunista internacional así como los errores cometidos por el PCUS en la elaboración de su política interna, junto con la esperada labor del imperialismo y de la contrarrevolución para socavarlo, afectaron los acontecimientos a continuación.
La Revolución de Octubre puso de manifiesto una organización superior de la sociedad, que fue radicalmente diferente de todos los sistemas que precedieron históricamente y cuyo rasgo común era la explotación del hombre por el hombre.
En aquel período se desarrollaron las nuevas instituciones de participación obrera, cuyo núcleo inicialmente era el centro de trabajo, una relación política que fue posteriormente violada, retrocediendo ante las dificultades objetivas existentes así como ante presiones subjetivas. Bajo la presión de preparación para la contribución activa de todo el pueblo ante la guerra inminente, la Constitución Soviética de 1936 generalizó el derecho a voto mediante una votación secreta universal en base al lugar de residencia. Las asambleas de delegados en cada unidad de producción como núcleos de organización del poder obrero fueron degradadas. En la práctica, se aumentó la dificultad de revocación de delegados de los órganos estatales superiores.
Se interpretaron como debilidades inevitables de la planificación central y no como resultado de las contradicciones de la supervivencia de lo antiguo, como resultado de los errores de un plan que no había sido científicamente elaborado. Así que en vez de buscar una solución a la expansión y el fortalecimiento de las relaciones comunistas de producción y de distribución, se buscó mirando hacia el pasado a la utilización de herramientas y de relaciones de producción del capitalismo. La solución se buscó en la expansión del mercado, en el “socialismo de mercado”.
Como punto de viraje se destaca el 20o Congreso del PCUS (1956), porque entonces, utilizando como vehículo el llamado “culto a la personalidad”, se adoptó una serie de posiciones oportunistas sobre cuestiones de la estrategia del movimiento comunista, de las relaciones internacionales, y, en parte, de la economía. En general, se debilitó la administración central de la planificación. En vez de planificar la transformación de los koljoses en sovjoses y sobre todo de iniciar el paso de toda la producción cooperativa-koljosiana bajo control estatal, en 1958 los tractores y otras máquinas pasaron a ser propiedad de los koljoses, una posición que había sido rechazada en el pasado.
Pocos años más tarde, a partir de la llamada “reforma Kosyguin” (1965), se adoptó la categoría burguesa del “beneficio empresarial” de cada unidad de producción individual y la vinculación de este con los sueldos de los administradores y de los trabajadores. La evaluación de la productividad de las unidades de producción socialistas teniendo como criterio el volumen de la producción fue sustituida por la evaluación del valor de su producto. El proceso de acumulación de cada unidad socialista fue desconectado de la planificación central lo cual tuvo como consecuencia el debilitamiento del carácter social de los medios de producción y de la reserva de productos. Al mismo tiempo, hasta el 1975, todas las granjas estatales, los sovjoses, habían pasado al régimen de auto-gestión completa. Todas estas medidas llevaron a la creación de las condiciones previas para la apropiación y propiedad privada, unas relaciones que estaban prohibidas por la ley.
Aproximadamente en el mismo período fue revisada además la percepción marxista-leninista sobre el Estado obrero. El 22o Congreso del PCUS (1961) describió el Estado de la URSS como Estado “de todo el pueblo” y el PCUS como un “partido de todo el pueblo”. Estas posiciones condujeron a un rápido debilitamiento y, a continuación, a la mutación de las características revolucionarias y de la composición social del Partido. La degeneración oportunista del PCUS se transformó en una fuerza abiertamente contrarrevolucionaria que se manifestó en 1987, mediante la aprobación de la ley que consolidaba institucionalmente las relaciones capitalistas bajo el pretexto de la variedad de relaciones de propiedad, de la notoria política de “perestroika” y de “glasnost”. Este evento señala el comienzo formal del período de la contrarrevolución.
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El KKE pretende sacar conclusiones necesarias para el presente tanto de las victorias como de las derrotas amargas y la retirada del movimiento comunista. A través de un gran esfuerzo colectivo duro el KKE ha desarrollado una estrategia revolucionaria contemporánea que mejora su capacidad de organizar focos de resistencia y de contraataque avanzados en cada sector de la economía, en cada región del país.
El fortalecimiento del KKE en todos los niveles, un tema que fue discutido en el reciente 20o Congreso del Partido, es una condición previa para la promoción de su política revolucionaria.
Al mismo tiempo, el KKE lucha por el reagrupamiento del movimiento comunista internacional, de acuerdo con los principios del internacionalismo proletario y la solidaridad internacionalista de los pueblos contra el capitalismo y la guerra imperialista que se expresan a través de la consigna “Proletarios de todos los países, uníos”. Ya se han dado algunos pasos pequeños en el esfuerzo de crear un polo distintivo en base a los principios del marxismo-leninismo, a través de la “Revista Comunista Internacional” y la Iniciativa Comunista Europea.
Un componente de la estrategia contemporánea del KKE es su percepción programática del socialismo. La construcción socialista empieza con la conquista revolucionaria del poder por la clase obrera. El Estado obrero, la dictadura del proletariado, es el instrumento de la clase obrera en la lucha de clases que continúa en el socialismo con otras formas y medios. Se utiliza para el desarrollo planificado de las nuevas relaciones sociales, lo cual tiene como condición previa la frustración de los intentos contrarrevolucionarios, así como el desarrollo de la conciencia comunista de la clase obrera. El Estado obrero, como mecanismo de dominación política, es necesario hasta que todas las relaciones sociales se conviertan en comunistas, hasta que se desarrolle la conciencia comunista en la inmensa mayoría de los trabajadores, así como hasta que se consiga la victoria de la revolución, al menos en los países capitalistas más poderosos.
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Hace 100 años, en esta ciudad, el VI Congreso del partido bolchevique tomó la decisión que significó un hito, que trazó la línea de la insurrección armada. La implementación de la decisión condujo dentro de pocos meses a que sonaron los cañones de “Aurora”. Hoy, 100 años después, los comunistas en todo el mundo están llamados a profundizar en esta trayectoria histórica, a sacar conclusiones valiosas, a trazar la estrategia revolucionaria contemporánea en sus países y a nivel internacional.
Esta es la respuesta necesaria para la confrontación del trabajo corrosivo del oportunismo, para la superación del repliegue ideológico, político y organizativo del movimiento comunista, su reagrupamiento revolucionario.
El ajuste de la estrategia de los partidos comunistas para corresponder con el carácter de nuestra época, la época de transición del capitalismo monopolista-imperialismo, al socialismo, que fue inaugurado por la Revolución Socialista de Octubre y, consiguientemente, la superación de las etapas de transición que existían en los programas de los partidos comunistas y la definición del carácter de la revolución como socialista, es objetivamente necesaria y exigible.
Esta dirección puede contribuir significativamente a la liberación de opciones políticas que operan en el marco de la gestión del capitalismo, como son los llamados “gobiernos de izquierda” y la alianza con la socialdemocracia, dar un impulso a la lucha antimonopolista-anticapitalista, a elaboraciones que se basan en las exigencias de la lucha de clases y pueden contribuir significativamente en la preparación del factor subjetivo, en la concentración de fuerzas obreras y populares en la lucha por el derrocamiento del capitalismo y la construcción del socialismo-comunismo.
V.I. Lenin writes about Engels: “A great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!”
| August 7, 2017 | 6:55 pm | Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin | 1 Comment

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

V.I. Lenin writes about Engels: “A great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/vi-lenin-writes-about-engels-great.html

“Frederich Engels”

By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Written in autumn 1895, First published in 1896 in the miscellany Rabotnik, No. 1-2.
Source: V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 via Marxists Internet Archives.

What a torch of reason ceased to burn, 
What a heart has ceased to beat!


On August 5 (new style), 1895, Frederick Engels died in London. After his friend Karl Marx (who died in 1883), Engels was the finest scholar and teacher of the modern proletariat in the whole civilised world. From the time that fate brought Karl Marx and Frederick Engels together, the two friends devoted their life’s work to a common cause. And so to understand what Frederick Engels has done for the proletariat, one must have a clear idea of the significance of Marx’s teaching and work for the development of the contemporary working-class movement. 
Marx and Engels were the first to show that the working class and its demands are a necessary outcome of the present economic system, which together with the bourgeoisie inevitably creates and organises the proletariat. They showed that it is not the well-meaning efforts of noble-minded individuals, but the class struggle of the organised proletariat that will deliver humanity from the evils which now oppress it. In their scientific works, Marx and Engels were the first to explain that socialism is not the invention of dreamers, but the final aim and necessary result of the development of the productive forces in modern society. All recorded history hitherto has been a history of class struggle, of the succession of the rule and victory of certain social classes over others. And this will continue until the foundations of class struggle and of class domination – private property and anarchic social production – disappear. The interests of the proletariat demand the destruction of these foundations, and therefore the conscious class struggle of the organised workers must be directed against them. And every class struggle is a political struggle.
 
These views of Marx and Engels have now been adopted by all proletarians who are fighting for their emancipation. But when in the forties the two friends took part in the socialist literature and the social movements of their time, they were absolutely novel. There were then many people, talented and without talent, honest and dishonest, who, absorbed in the struggle for political freedom, in the struggle against the despotism of kings, police and priests, failed to observe the antagonism between the interests of the bourgeoisie and those of the proletariat. These people would not entertain the idea of the workers acting as an independent social force. On the other hand, there were many dreamers, some of them geniuses, who thought that it was only necessary to convince the rulers and the governing classes of the injustice of the contemporary social order, and it would then be easy to establish peace and general well-being on earth. They dreamt of a socialism without struggle. Lastly, nearly all the socialists of that time and the friends of the working class generally regarded the proletariat only as an ulcer, and observed with horror how it grew with the growth of industry. They all, therefore, sought for a means to stop the development of industry and of the proletariat, to stop the “wheel of history.” Marx and Engels did not share the general fear of the development of the proletariat; on the contrary, they placed all their hopes on its continued growth. The more proletarians there are, the greater is their strength as a revolutionary class, and the nearer and more possible does socialism become. The services rendered by Marx and Engels to the working class may be expressed in a few words thus: they taught the working class to know itself and be conscious of itself, and they substituted science for dreams.
 
That is why the name and life of Engels should be known to every worker. That is why in this collection of articles, the aim of which, as of all our publications, is to awaken class-consciousness in the Russian workers, we must give a sketch of the life and work of Frederick Engels, one of the two great teachers of the modern proletariat.
 
Engels was born in 1820 in Barmen, in the Rhine Province of the kingdom of Prussia. His father was a manufacturer. In 1838 Engels, without having completed his high-school studies, was forced by family circumstances to enter a commercial house in Bremen as a clerk. Commercial affairs did not prevent Engels from pursuing his scientific and political education. He had come to hate autocracy and the tyranny of bureaucrats while still at high school. The study of philosophy led him further. At that time Hegel’s teaching dominated German philosophy, and Engels became his follower. Although Hegel himself was an admirer of the autocratic Prussian state, in whose service he was as a professor at Berlin University, Hegel’s teachings were revolutionary. Hegel’s faith in human reason and its rights, and the fundamental thesis of Hegelian philosophy that the universe is undergoing a constant process of change and development, led some of the disciples of the Berlin philosopher – those who refused to accept the existing situation – to the idea that the struggle against this situation, the struggle against existing wrong and prevalent evil, is also rooted in the universal law of eternal development. If all things develop, if institutions of one kind give place to others, why should the autocracy of the Prussian king or of the Russian tsar, the enrichment of an insignificant minority at the expense of the vast majority, or the domination of the bourgeoisie over the people, continue for ever? Hegel’s philosophy spoke of the development of the mind and of ideas; it was idealistic. From the development of the mind it deduced the development of nature, of man, and of human, social relations. While retaining Hegel’s idea of the eternal process of development,[1] Marx and Engels rejected the preconceived idealist view; turning to life, they saw that it is not the development of mind that explains the development of nature but that, on the contrary, the explanation of mind must be derived from nature, from matter…. Unlike Hegel and the other Hegelians, Marx and Engels were materialists. Regarding the world and humanity materialistically, they perceived that just as material causes underlie all natural phenomena, so the development of human society is conditioned by the development of material forces, the productive forces. On the development of the productive forces depend the relations into which men enter with one another in the production of the things required for the satisfaction of human needs. And in these relations lies the explanation of all the phenomena of social life, human aspirations, ideas and laws. The development of the productive forces creates social relations based upon private property, but now we see that this same development of the productive forces deprives the majority of their property and concentrates it in the hands of an insignificant minority. It abolishes property, the basis of the modern social order, it itself strives towards the very aim which the socialists have set themselves. All the socialists have to do is to realise which social force, owing to its position in modern society, is interested in bringing socialism about, and to impart to this force the consciousness of its interests and of its historical task. This force is the proletariat. Engels got to know the proletariat in England, in the centre of English industry, Manchester, where he settled in 1842, entering the service of a commercial firm of which his father was a shareholder. Here Engels not only sat in the factory office but wandered about the slums in which the workers were cooped up, and saw their poverty and misery with his own eyes. But he did not confine himself to personal observations. He read all that had been revealed before him about the condition of the British working class and carefully studied all the official documents he could lay his hands on. The fruit of these studies and observations was the book which appeared in 1845: The Condition of the Working Class in England. We have already mentioned what was the chief service rendered by Engels in writing The Condition of the Working Class in England. Even before Engels, many people had described the sufferings of the proletariat and had pointed to the necessity of helping it. Engels was the first to say that the proletariat is not only a suffering class; that it is, in fact, the disgraceful economic condition of the proletariat that drives it irresistibly forward and compels it to fight for its ultimate emancipation. And the fighting proletariat will help itself. The political movement of the working class will inevitably lead the workers to realise that their only salvation lies in socialism. On the other hand, socialism will become a force only when it becomes the aim of the political struggle of the working class. Such are the main ideas of Engels’ book on the condition of the working class in England, ideas which have now been adopted by all thinking and fighting proletarians, but which at that time were entirely new. These ideas were set out in a book written in absorbing style and filled with most authentic and shocking pictures of the misery of the English proletariat. The book was a terrible indictment of capitalism and the bourgeoisie and created a profound impression. Engels’ book began to be quoted everywhere as presenting the best picture of the condition of the modern proletariat. And, in fact, neither before 1845 nor after has there appeared so striking and truthful a picture of the misery of the working class.
It was not until he came to England that Engels became a socialist. In Manchester he established contacts with people active in the English labour movement at the time and began to write for English socialist publications. In 1844, while on his way back to Germany, he became acquainted in Paris with Marx, with whom he had already started to correspond. In Paris, under the influence of the French socialists and French life, Marx had also become a socialist. Here the friends jointly wrote a book entitled The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Critique. This book, which appeared a year before The Condition of the Working Class in England, and the greater part of which was written by Marx, contains the foundations of revolutionary materialist socialism, the main ideas of which we have expounded above. “The holy family” is a facetious nickname for the Bauer brothers, the philosophers, and their followers. These gentlemen preached a criticism which stood above all reality, above parties and politics, which rejected all practical activity, and which only “critically” contemplated the surrounding world and the events going on within it. These gentlemen, the Bauers, looked down on the proletariat as an uncritical mass. Marx and Engels vigorously opposed this absurd and harmful tendency. In the name of a real, human person – the worker, trampled down by the ruling classes and the state – they demanded, not contemplation, but a struggle for a better order of society. They, of course, regarded the proletariat as the force that is capable of waging this struggle and that is interested in it. Even before   the appearance of The Holy Family, Engels had published in Marx’s and Ruge’s Deutsch-Franz\”osische Jahrb\”ucher[5] his “Critical Essays on Political Economy,”[6] in which he examined the principal phenomena of the contemporary economic order from a socialist standpoint, regarding them as necessary consequences of the rule of private property. Contact with Engels was undoubtedly a factor in Marx’s decision to study political economy, the science in which his works have produced a veritable revolution.
 
From 1845 to 1847 Engels lived in Brussels and Paris, combining scientific work with practical activities among the German workers in Brussels and Paris. Here Marx and Engels established contact with the secret German Communist League,[7] which commissioned them to expound the main principles of the socialism they had worked out. Thus arose the famous Manifesto of the Communist Party of Marx and Engels, published in 1848. This little booklet is worth whole volumes: to this day its spirit inspires and guides the entire organised and fighting proletariat of the civilised world.
 
The revolution of 1848, which broke out first in France and then spread to other West-European countries, brought Marx and Engels back to their native country. Here, in Rhenish Prussia, they took charge of the democratic Neue Rheinische Zeitung[8] published in Cologne. The two friends were the heart and soul of all revolutionary-democratic aspirations in Rhenish Prussia. They fought to the last ditch in defence of freedom and of the interests of the people against the forces of reaction. The latter, as we know, gained the upper hand. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung was suppressed. Marx, who during his exile had lost his Prussian citizenship, was deported; Engels took part in the armed popular uprising, fought for liberty in three battles, and after the defeat of the rebels fled, via Switzerland, to London.
 
Marx also settled in London. Engels soon became a clerk again, and then a shareholder, in the Manchester commercial firm in which he had worked in the forties. Until 1870 he lived in Manchester, while Marx lived in London, but this did not prevent their maintaining a most lively interchange of ideas: they corresponded almost daily. In this correspondence   the two friends exchanged views and discoveries and continued to collaborate in working out scientific socialism. In 1870 Engels moved to London, and their joint intellectual life, of the most strenuous nature, continued until 1883, when Marx died. Its fruit was, on Marx’s side, Capital, the greatest work on political economy of our age, and on Engels’ side, a number of works both large and small. Marx worked on the analysis of the complex phenomena of capitalist economy. Engels, in simply written works, often of a polemical character, dealt with more general scientific problems and with diverse phenomena of the past and present in the spirit of the materialist conception of history and Marx’s economic theory. Of Engels’ works we shall mention: the polemical work against D\”uhring (analysing highly important problems in the domain of philosophy, natural science and the social sciences),[2] The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (translated into Russian, published in St. Petersburg, 3rd ea., 1895),[9] Ludwig Feuerbach (Russian translation and notes by G. Plekhanov, Geneva, 1892),[10] an article on the foreign policy of the Russian Government (translated into Russian in the Geneva Social-Demokrat, Nos. 1 and 2),[11]splendid articles on the housing question,[12] and finally, two small but very valuable articles on Russia’s economic development (Frederick Engels on Russia, translated into Russian by Zasulich, Geneva, 1894).[13] Marx died before he could put the final touches to his vast work on capital. The draft, however, was already finished, and after the death of his friend, Engels undertook the onerous task of preparing and publishing the second and the third volumes of Capital. He published Volume II in 1885 and Volume III in 1894 (his death prevented the preparation of Volume IV).[14] These two volumes entailed a vast amount of labour. Adler, the Austrian Social-Democrat, has rightly remarked that by publishing volumes II and III of Capital Engels erected a majestic monument to the genius who had been his friend, a monument on which, without intending it, he indelibly carved his own name. Indeed   these two volumes of Capital are the work of two men: Marx and Engels. Old legends contain various moving instances of friendship. The European proletariat may say that its science was created by two scholars and fighters, whose relationship to each other surpasses the most moving stories of the ancients about human friendship. Engels always – and, on the whole, quite justly – placed himself after Marx. “In Marx’s lifetime,” he wrote to an old friend, “I played second fiddle.”[15]His love for the living Marx, and his reverence for the memory of the dead Marx were boundless. This stern fighter and austere thinker possessed a deeply loving soul.
 
After the movement of 1848-49, Marx and Engels in exile did not confine themselves to scientific research. In 1864 Marx founded the International Working Men’s Association,[16] and led this society for a whole decade. Engels also took an active part in its affairs. The work of the International Association, which, in accordance with Marx’s idea, united proletarians of all countries, was of tremendous significance in the development of the working-class movement. But even with the closing down of the International Association in the seventies, the unifying role of Marx and Engels did not cease. On the contrary, it may be said that their importance as the spiritual leaders of the working-class movement grew continuously, because the movement itself grew uninterruptedly. After the death of Marx, Engels continued alone as the counsellor and leader of the European socialists. His advice and directions were sought for equally by the German socialists, whose strength, despite government persecution, grew rapidly and steadily, and by representatives of backward countries, such as the Spaniards, Rumanians and Russians, who were obliged to ponder and weigh their first steps. They all drew on the rich store of knowledge and experience of Engels in his old age.
 
Marx and Engels, who both knew Russian and read Russian books, took a lively interest in the country, followed the Russian revolutionary movement with sympathy and maintained contact with Russian revolutionaries. They both became socialists after being democrats, and the democratic feeling of hatred for political despotism was exceedingly strong in them. This direct political feeling, combined   with a profound theoretical understanding of the connection between political despotism and economic oppression, and also their rich experience of life, made Marx and Engels uncommonly responsive politically. That is why the heroic struggle of the handful of Russian revolutionaries against the mighty tsarist government evoked a most sympathetic echo in the hearts of these tried revolutionaries. On the other hand, the tendency, for the sake of illusory economic advantages, to turn away from the most immediate and important task of the Russian socialists, namely, the winning of political freedom, naturally appeared suspicious to them and was even regarded by them as a direct betrayal of the great cause of the social revolution. “The emancipation of the workers must be the act of the working class itself” – Marx and Engels constantly taught.[17] But in order to fight for its economic emancipation, the proletariat must win itself certain political rights. Moreover, Marx and Engels clearly saw that a political revolution in Russia would be of tremendous significance to the West-European working-class movement as well. Autocratic Russia had always been a bulwark of European reaction in general. The extraordinarily favourable international position enjoyed by Russia as a result of the war of 1870, which for a long time sowed discord between Germany and France, of course only enhanced the importance of autocratic Russia as a reactionary force. Only a free Russia, a Russia that had no need either to oppress the Poles, Finns, Germans, Armenians or any other small nations, or constantly to set France and Germany at loggerheads, would enable modern Europe, rid of the burden of war, to breathe freely, would weaken all the reactionary elements in Europe and strengthen the European working class. That was why Engels ardently desired the establishment of political freedom in Russia for the sake of the progress of the working-class movement in the West as well. In him the Russian revolutionaries have lost their best friend.
 
Let us always honour the memory of Frederick Engels, a great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!
 
Notes:
 
[1] Marx and Engels frequently pointed out that in their intellectual development they were much indebted to the great German philosophers, particularly to Hegel. “Without German philosophy,” Engels says, “scientific socialism would never have come into being.” —Lenin.
 
[2] This is a wonderfully rich and instructive book. Unfortunately, only a small portion of it, containing a historical outline of the development of socialism, has been translated into Russian (The Development of Scientific Socialism, 2nd ea., Geneva, 1892). —Lenin.