Presentation of CPG(m-l) in the International Meeting that took place in Athens on 4 and 5 of November.
100 years from October of 1917. The Socialist revolution inspires, teaches and leads.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. It has been a hundred years since the first successful attempt of the common people, of the proletarians to come to power; a hundred years since the first successful attempt of the exploited and suppressed working class and the masses of the poor people’s strata. This was the first step to build a different society, without the exploitation of man by man, to build a socialist society, followed by a communist one.
This is the 100th anniversary since those who produce the wealth of our society stormed into the heavens, upon whose labor the bourgeoisie and all kinds of exploitative classes built their own domination. And it was the former who changed the course of history once and for all! Nothing remained the same as before, in a global level. Organized as they were through the new forms of power that emerged from the flames of class struggle and the war, through the Soviet power, and under the guidance of the Bolshevik Party, Lenin and Stalin’s Party, they practically proved the relentless power hidden within the millions of oppressed workers and people. They proved that the proletariat can seize the power and keep it for its own sake. In spite of the dominant propaganda which considered that the “dirty poor”, the “uneducated”, the “half-wit” working class is unable of such a feat, let aside to govern. They considered that the struggle for a just society without exploitation and oppression, for a society ruled by the people was, more or less, a utopia. They told us that this world can never change, that whatever was, will remain for eternity. They told us that it is in the nature of man to live under injustice, inequality and oppression, war and poverty, that it is natural for the few and powerful to govern over those who produce society’s wealth.
It is the same story, again and again, which they tell us even today, the bourgeois and the imperialists, in a period of time when they want their historical revenge from the proletariat and the people. But they still have the terror which was brought about by this historical subversion! They fear the development of the revolutionary communist movement, they fear the working class movement and the class struggle, the national liberation movement and the antifascist struggle that followed, but also every revolutionary overthrow that took place around the globe. That is the reason why they fear for their power, for the course that the class struggle is going to take now and in the future; therefore they use anticommunism as their most vicious weapon, alongside a policy of fascistization. Even 26 years after the fall of the so called “actually existing socialism” (revizionism) and almost 65 years since the death of the “cursed” Stalin! Indeed, these last few months, the identification of Communism with Nazism, the identification of Stalin as Hitler, the so called “two extremes theory” met a particular growth, with the anticommunist Talin conference being their ultimate expression, both globally and in Greece, both implicitly and explicitly. All these in total accordance to the “anticommunist memoranda” of the EU, in accordance to the prohibition of operation against communist parties and the banning of the usage of such symbols in Eastern Europe, or even the criminalization of communist ideals within the very borders of the supposedly democratic EU, as is the case with the trials against ATIK’s militants that goes on in Germany.
Identifying communism as nazism, is not only an insult against the millions of struggling militants that fought against fascism and nazism globally, but is also trying to decriminalize nazism and its crimes upon the peoples. These crimes are not considered important, since communists are said to have done worse, even though they actually were the spearhead against nazism. Maybe, though, according to this placement, even these crimes are congruent to the human nature…
An implicit “version” of this, a version of equating “stalinism” and nazism is not lacking in our country as well, where it is supported by almost everyone, from the “governing Left” to the extra-parliamentary left.
They do not only aim the perspective to overthrow the capitalist-imperialist system and the rise of socialism-communism, but also today’s struggle of the working class and the peoples for their rights and achievements; their resistance and assertions, their struggle against this contemporary working middle ages, against antigrass-roots measures, against imperialists” wars and interventions, their struggle for democratic rights and against fascism. For the bourgeoisie and the imperialists who are the adherents of such a campaign, it has been a target not only to impede the reorganization of the working class as a class on its own, but to further deorganize it as well; to accept their dominance as inevitable; to accept today’s relationship of power; to accept this life as they only way to go on, to submit to their politics. Therefore any reference to the October Revolution and the defending of communist ideals is not only a timely subject for the peoples, but also a point of intense conflict against the bourgeoisie, related with both the present and their future perspective.
The October Revolution was taught by the mistakes that led to the defeat of the Paris Commune of 1871, the first proletarian revolution and the first version of the dictatorship of the proletariat which was bathed in blood by the raging urban middle class, after its two-month duration. It had been a lesson that the revolutionary overthrow and crashing of the bourgeois state are absolutely necessary -something that the Commune attempted to do- as well as that the proletariat has to build its own state power. Then, without any delusions, they will have to be confronted with the ruthless pursuit of the bourgeoisie to restore its power; a goal which they never let go, as well as the “appetite” of the imperialists, to whom the urban middle classes will turn.
The October Revolution, emerged through the ashes of the First Imperialist World War that was raging between the powerful of the earth, for the redistribution the world. As in today, when the world is divided between the ever-growing intensity of the intra-imperialist conflicts (USA, EU, Russia, China) that bear new war zones, misery for the peoples, immigration and refuge-seeking, thus then, the German, Russian, English and French imperialists did not hesitate to drag people to slaughter. And it was the same working class and poor peasantry that was fighting the war that broke the circle and realized the October Revolution, that had a determining contribution to the ending of the imperialist war. They also contributed to the giant leap of development that the international working class movement met, to the strengthening of the new Third International that was structured towards a revolutionary and communist direction and to a growth of revolutionary situation with many overthrowing attempts within the very heart of Europe (Germany, Austria, Hungary). All this in total opposition to a ruined Second International, prey to the opportunists and marxism “experts” like Kautsky, who rejected the revolution and sided with the imperialist urban classes during the 1st WW. They, during the same time declared the “end of the stage of imperialism”, using their theory of an “ultra-imperialism”. This is the tactics of the supporters of “globalization”, “capitalist integration” and the “global village” that reached a peak during the previous years. Only until they are disproven by the new outbreak of the intra-imperialist conflict and its results.
After its victory, the Revolution met -just like the Commune and the 1848 uprising in France- the allied forces of the internal counter-revolution alongside coup-leaders like Kornilov who would not hesitate to slaughter ? of the population in order to stop the revolution, as well as the external aid of 14 countries invading Russia! Even Greece, as a dependent state, sent an expeditionary army in Ukraine, following the orders of the imperialists. Once again it was proven that this was going to be the bourgeoisie and imperialists” reaction if they risk losing their dominance or even be overthrown. This has been repeated multiple times throughout history.
Finally the revolutionary power was established and socialism began building in a single country, even though the older bolsheviks” estimation that it will expand in other countries as well did not flourish; in those countries, the revolution was defeated. This is a placement, though, to which trotskyism kept adhering dogmatically, considering it impossible for socialism to be built in a single country; trotskyists did not believe in the support of the revolution by the workers-peasants alliance, but they thought that they could count only on external factors and allies, which led to their consequent attitude.
The October Revolution and the building of socialism that followed succeeded in realizing a series of accomplishments that were (and still are!) both incredible and impossible to be achieved under capitalism-imperialism. These accomplishments constitute, since then, the very fruits of the revolutionary work of the working class and the people, which cannot be rotten, regardless of what happened in the following years. Some of them began to flourish since the first days of the revolution. Below, we refer to some of the basics only:
Russia withdrew from the imperialist war, even if this cost the country a loss in territories, against which Trotsky and his supporters reacted. This was an unfair war that costed millions of dead to the peoples. Russia’s withdrawal also led this war to end. But most of all it proved that the struggle for a revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie can be practically be associated for the fight for peace (against an unfair imperialist war).
The whole feudal property was seized and land was given to the poor peasants. The workers-peasants alliance was realized; without it the October Revolution would not be able to hold its grounds. The following years, peasants adopted the policy of collectivisation, and Kolkhoz and Sovkhoz were established.
The great capitalist industries were exportiated and passed on to the hand of the newly formed proletarian state that was being built upon the ruins of the old urban-feudal state. The formerly ruling bourgeoisie lost thus its financial and political power.
The working and people’s masses actively participated in ruling of the country through the Soviets and other forms of power, but also through workers” unions and the Bolshevik Party, and they were trained for this. Initiative of the masses was enlarged on the economic, technical and productive levels.
Broad, free medical care and welfare was established for the masses of the people. But also free proletarian and popular education began a battle against illiteralism that had grown to large percentages. Education became accessible and necessary for the people that began to create their own innovative civilization.
8-hour working day was established, which in turn was reduced to 7 hours, while 6 or 5 hours were in the plan for the next years, at the same time that the productive forces and capacity of the working masses met an unprecedent growth (the Stakhanov case is a typical example of this).
Child labour was banned.
Church was considered reactionary and thus lost its power; the atheist and dialectical materialist scientific outlook was promoted.
Women began to conquer their rightful place in society, both regarding their rights and their actual participation in political, economic and social life of the country, even within the Red Army.
In a state that comprised of many ethnicities that suffered under the iron rule of Russia during the Tsar era, the right of the peoples for self-determination was satisfied, and the Great Russian chauvinism was equally fended off as parochial nationalism. Thus, USSR was created.
Many of these accomplishments were not peacefully granted, but instead were won with many victims of the young Soviet state, with great difficulties and with harsh struggle against various reactionary forces.
Despite the difficult situation with the imperialist invasion and the armed counter-revolution, the embargo, the problems of supplying the people, despite the sabotage, the need to answer many of the problems of building a new society, socialism began its construction the years after the revolution. Not only that, but it also proved its superiority as a social system in favor of the working class and the peoples, affecting the consciousness of millions of people around the world
During the Great Depression and the outbreak of the capitalist financial crisis of 1929, when the whole capitalist world was plagued by mass unemployment and hunger, Soviet Union was growing in favor of the working class and the people, it was walking the road to industrialization.
Even in the struggle to crash nazism and fascism, socialist Soviet Union, Stalin and the Red Army’s contribution was decisive. They all participated in a gigantic fight, whose victims, according to evidence, amount to 30 million dead, excluding other peoples” contribution, within partisan and antifascist movements. If it was not for the participation and unity of the nations as part of the Soviet Union struggle, this role would not be fulfilled. The nazi monstrosity’s greatest enemy was the rise to power of communists and the Soviet Union, and thus it was a child raised in the crisis and most aggressive policy of capitalism’s embrace.
The influence of the October Revolution and construction of socialism, which had come to a halt with the capitalist restoration and the domination of revisionism/social-imperialism in the mid 50?s, has given an enormous boost to the global Communist movement and labor movement of the imperialist countries and «developed» capitalist countries as well as to the national-liberation and anti-imperialist movements of the colonies” and dependent countries” peoples . It has even «forced» the capitalists and their governments take measures that included elements of «social care»and recognize rights, so that they don’t lose power.
However the question «Reform or Revolution» had been effectively answered in the context of the movement in favor of the Revolution, and constituted a clear political line. Up until the point that it had been replaced by the «peaceful parliamentary path» by the reformists-revisionists, «orthodox» or «renovators», from 1956 and to our time, when the governmentalism, the election fetishism, and the so called «transitional programs» reign over «our» Left. It has also been made prominent that whatever «transitional stage» from capitalism to socialism (to also reply to the contemporary versions of the reformism) requires the seizure of the political power by the proletariat – in a revolutionary manner – and the distraction of the old bourgeois state. A «detail» which, as mentioned by Lenin,is deliberately «forgotten» by the reformists of all kinds.
The fact that today we are discussing October Revolution, that we honor and get inspired by it, that we highlight the 100 years since its realization, is not merely a «historical reminiscence» done by communists or an empty jubilee reference. Neither it is a search for answers to today’s questions in yesterday. We realize that the answers to the problems that are arising today will be produced in the today’s and tomorrow’s development of the class struggle of the communist and labor movement, and that there are no ready made «recipes». These answers will be produced by the new revolutionary overturns that the reality itself together with its contradictions will give birth to. At the same time we consider that October Revolution – the first victory in the era of imperialism and proletariat revolutions, as Lenin used to say – utterly maintains its actuality. Because we are still in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. We still live in the time when historical necessity has emerged for the overthrow of rotting capitalism and the transition to socialism. Dismissing the ridiculous notions on the «rape of history» or the «coup», we maintain that the October revolution has been a product of historical necessity. Wherein the outcome of the class struggle in Russia, the specific conditions of the imperialist war which had turned the country into the «weakest link» (in context of the realization of the Revolution) and the degree of organization, consistency, and appreciation of the situation by the Bolshevik Party and Lenin, had led to the outbreak and the victory of the Revolution. And just as it was taught by the experience of the Commune, which we mentioned earlier, just as the subsequent overturns (of the popular-democratic or socialist nature) that have followed, carried out in different circumstances following the anti-fascist struggle, and have taken different forms, have learned from previous experiences, so will the revolutions of the future. Similarly they will interpret the first attempts.
The construction of socialism in the Soviet Union was stopped by the restoration of capitalism and the counter-revolutionary turning, after the domination of revisionism in the CPSU from 20th Congress and onwards. This revisionism of Khrushchev, and later Brezhnev’s, Gorbachev’s, and others’, was a politico-ideological expression of a new bourgeoisie, who was born and had emerged from the party, technocratic, and bureaucratic layers of intelligentsia. And it had taken advantage in the inactivation and decline of the working class and the popular masses. A bourgeoisie that had dominated, and transformed the Soviet Union from socialist to capitalist-social-imperialist, up until the collapses of “ 89-90. This counter-revolutionary development had also utilized the incorrect estimates of the socialist period, regarding the continuation or not and the exacerbation or not of class struggle in socialism, as well as the existence or not of the classes. The point of view that the revisionism had further developed and theorized with the «All-people’s Party», and the «All-people’s State» of Khrushchev – Brezhnev, that had taken the place of the dictatorship of the proletariat. All of this whilst the Socialist period had already provided, during the prewar period, key turning points of class struggle, such as during the 1920s and 30s, with the struggle against wealthy peasants – kulaks, or against the NEPmen (i.e. the bourgeoisie of the period of tactical retreat of NEP), or against the bureaucrats, and their political expression within the Bolshevik Party (Bukharin, Trotsky, and others) and the internal party struggle that had broken out.
The CP of China, the PL of Albania, and the newly constituted worldwide M-L current confronted the soviet revisionism. Evaluating the negative evolution of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union, Mao Zedong and the KP of China took a step towards the research of its causes, teachings to be drawn from this development, and guidelines that would prevent it. The launch of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China was such an effort: to place the proletariat and popular masses in the foreground and to fight the dominance of the new bourgeoisie and the revisionism at their roots. The lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (to which we had referred to in detail in a two-day event on June 16-17, dedicated to the 50 years since its launch) represent the further development of the marxist-leninist science, although it wasn’t apt to prevent the capitalist restoration in China.
Each new attempt to overthrow the capitalism-imperialism is being taught by the experiences of predecessors, their achievements, the positives, the negatives, the mistakes, and shortcomings that correspond to specific historical stages. This whole historical process cannot be different because «pure» revolutions do not in fact exist. They might only exist in some minds! Neither can they be planned «on paper» by some staffs, outside of the influence of the life itself, of the living reality, and the class struggle.
And what comes today as the first and utmost duty for the communists, the revolutionaries, the popular fighters, and for the working class, is to work in order to reestablish the revolutionary subject of the working class. A subject that will be called upon to address and eventually confront today’s and tomorrow’s circumstances, situations, and problems. Through this process will be laid the basis in order to overturn the stage of the defeat of the communist and workers” movement, which we currently find ourselves in, globally. A phase of defeat which does not only derive from the consequences of the restoration of capitalism in the USSR, in China, and in other former socialist countries, and from the collapses that followed. But also from the fact that today, in a number of countries – from Asia and Latin America, to Europe itself – forces that self-proclaim as either «left», or as «anti-imperialist» or «socialist» or even as «revolutionary» and «communist» govern in the context of capitalism, and are vehicles of oppression and exploitation of the working class and the masses. This way they are continuing the «work» of misrepresentation and defamation of the left, of socialism, of communism, the distortion of the concept of overturn and of revolution. The lack of a real adversary that we are called upon to establish makes the capitalist-imperialist system to appear all-powerful.
However, the class and the popular struggle does not stop. The working class and the peoples worldwide are mobilized every day. They are striking, picketing, resisting, rising up, and seeking solutions and ways-out. Although the absence of a revolutionary communist subject, leads them to other – diverse political and social expressions, that serve not their cause, but the system itself. However the attack of the capitalist-imperialist system itself leaves no room for remaining «complacent» or on «standby». The anti-labor attack hits home and «promises» to cast us into Dark Ages all over again. The inner-imperialistic rivalries heat up, new war fronts emerge from the Middle-East to Ukraine, all the way to the Pacific. New conflict zones, contradictions, and wounds are being produced within Europe itself. The spurious European «Union» lives through episodes of controversy, selfish schemes, and separate imperialists” problems (Germany’s, France’s, Britain’s, with the BREXIT, Italy’s), while more add up (Catalonia). The stall and the cruxes of the American imperialism at the completion of its expansive plans, while competing with other imperialists (Russia, Germany, France, China) make it even more dangerous and reckless. The risk of a generalized conflict, which is currently on hold due to the resolution of the issue of alliances, is visible. The future that all of them reserve for the peoples is nightmarish. It is increasingly apparent, how timely and important is the stance that «either revolution will prevent war, or war will give rise to revolution». That is why the value of the Red October is not merely or mostly historical. It is rooted in the search for the real way out for the working class and the peoples, the prospect of their liberation from the shackles of capitalism–imperialism, the prevention of a new global carnage!
Neither in our country was there a lack for the belated and hypocritical «honorers» and supporters, on the occasion of the 100 years since the October revolution. Who have attempted to take advantage of this anniversary and benefit from it, undermining its essence in the process. While certain that no one will blame them!
The «governing Left» of SYRIZA, the one which had renounced the «hammer and sickle» years ago and which today manages the dependent Greek capitalism and is at the helm of the attack against the rights and the life itself of the working class and of the people. That prettifies the imperialists of the EU and implements the commands and the «memorandums» of the EU and the IMF. It which accepts, surrenders, and serves the plans of American imperialism, their military bases, and the F-16s, that implicate the country in its war plans.
The CPG, which was the main defender and apologist of the reestablished capitalism in the USSR and the Eastern bloc, and spokesman for the revisionist–reformist line in the communist and labor movement for decades, the line of the «peaceful path» and parliamentary strengthening. Who denies the revolutionary overthrow, but also the line of resistance today, which it replaces with «legislative interventions», propositions to the system, and generalized mentioning of a vague «people’s rule» and «another society» of the future.
Various extra-parliamentary forces, brood of reformism, from NAR to the Trotskyists, according to whom socialism has never existed in the Soviet Union. And therefore, according to them, what has the October offered eventually, so that they are «honoring» it? Was it not another unsuccessful rebellion like the hundreds in the history? And without stopping there, they adopt the whole «criminology» around Stalin, acting as the left crutches for the anticommunist propaganda of the system.
Forces that have degraded and even denied the great anti-fascist struggle that the Soviet Union waged against Hitler’s Germany, that have combated the nature and the features of EAM and ELAS, in our country and by extension the liberational anti-fascist struggle and the lessons and conclusions that derived from it. Not to mention their stance to the other global revolutionary turning points, like the GPCR in China.
So what we are facing is hypocritical «evaluations» only because the reference to the October is not at all a «dead letter» and «icon» of the past. Because for those that really value it, the action today comes in line with its spirit. For them, who stand and act against capitalism and not trying to manage it. Who stand against the imperialist dependence and don’t give in to and prettify the imperialist bosses. That prejudge the line of resistance and demand today, connecting it with the revolutionary overthrow of tomorrow. And do not defy these directions in the name of bourgeois legitimacy, electoral strengthening or any sort of «transitional programs». Who is trying to strengthen the struggles and resistances of the working class and of the people, politicize them, aggregates them, and provides them with perspective. To go against defeatism, complicity and deconstruction, to contribute to the new constitution of the working class and of the movement. In any case, we want to follow that path!
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