Great Significance of Observing the Centenary of October Revolution - KN Ramachandran
1. The Communist forces the world over are observing the centenary of the October Revolution for a year starting from the 7th November, 2016 to 7th November next year for carrying forward the world proletarian socialist revolution by drawing lessons from it. The international Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) has also called for observing it internationally. These programs are being organized when the International Communist Movement (ICM) is passing through a critical period. It is generally accepted among the Marxist-Leninist forces that the communist movement started facing these severe challenges and setbacks from the time of the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 when it embraced revisionist positions abandoning the socialist path utilizing subjective attacks on Stalin as a pretext. When the ICM and the Communist movement in different countries started confronting this crisis, the imperialist camp and its lackeys further intensified the counter revolutionary offensive against the revolutionary movement as a whole, which they had started from the time when the Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 as the platform of the Communist League. Marx and Engels had written in its beginning:“A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of Communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered in to a holy alliance to exorcise this specter”. When the ICM was facing crises and setbacks, especially after the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, these forces of the old world joined hands to ‘exorcise’ the Communist movement for ever in a more frenzied form, by screaming “end of history” and “socialism is dead”.
2. But with the beginning of this millennium, the situation has started changing though slowly. As imperialism in its neo colonial phase, and its lackeys have launched neo liberal policies to perpetuate their hegemony and plunder the world people and the natural resources in new, more barbarous forms, the major contradictions at international level became more intensified and numerous people’s movements started coming up against them in large number of countries. In short, once again the objective situation is becoming increasingly favorable for a new offensive by the revolutionary forces. This is the time when throwing away despondency, the communist forces have to start moving forward once again. The centenary celebrations of the October Revolution provide an excellent opportunity for taking stock of the past experiences and to prepare themselves to move forward throwing away old garbage and daring to seize the new opportunities. The Communist movement can take significant steps forward only by recognizing the setbacks suffered, finding the reasons for them, making concrete analysis of the present situation, and by developing its theoretical orientation and practice according to present realities, taking lessons from the positive and negative aspects of the past experiences.
3. It is in this context the importance of the Resolution on Launching Theoretical Offensive for Communist Resurgence adopted by the Tenth Congress of the CPI (ML) Red Star in 2015 should be viewed. It says: “What does such an offensive entail? (a) we have to undertake a thorough study and analysis to identify the causes of the collapse of the erstwhile socialist countries, especially Soviet Union and China; (b) we have to launch a vigorous ideological campaign to establish across society the superiority of communism over the present ruling system as well as against various alien tends; (c) we have to develop Marxism- Leninism on the basis of a concrete analysis of the concrete situation....” In the concluding paragraph it states: “...We must boldly seize the real questions before the people in today’s situation and must scientifically search out the solutions. We must unsparingly lay bare our own history, the history of the communists in India and all over the world...” It is based on this orientation we are trying to analyze the experience of the October Revolution and of the socialist construction in Soviet Union.
4. Nobody can obliterate the fact that it was the degeneration of the CPSU to capitalist path that led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union later. It was followed by the deviation of other socialist countries including China also to capitalist path. The Communist Parties of erstwhile socialist countries and the parties formed during the Comintern period in other countries degenerated to social democratic path or disintegrated. Though Marxist-Leninist parties or groups were formed in a large number of countries during the 1960s in the course of the struggle against Soviet revisionism, they soon came under left deviation and faced disintegration to numerous groups. While many of them have deviated to rightist positions, some are still persisting in the anarchist path. Not daring to confront the new realities and to develop their program and path accordingly, most of the other groups are facing liquidation. These developments have enormously helped the imperialist forces and their lackeys to launch an anti-communist offensive confusing large sections of people. This is a fact to be recognized and have to overcome.
5. While going through the history of the October Revolution in Tsarist Russia it can be seen that it was an arduous task to establish the revolutionary line there. While trying to do this, Lenin attacked the revisionists for completely neglecting the importance of ideological struggle. Exposing the counter-revolutionary character of this outlook, he said:”Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This idea should be insisted upon too strongly at a time like this when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand in hand with an infatuation for the narrowest forms of practical activity...At this point, we wish to state only that the role of the vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory” (What is to be done?)
6. While analyzing the theoretical struggle led by Lenin to establish the line and practice of October Revolution, first of all it should be recognized that this first successful revolution by the working class to capture political power and to establish a socialist state making a rupture from the imperialist camp itself took place at the culmination of the theoretical and practical struggles taking place in Europe and North America against the capitalist system from the time of its emergence. As the class struggle intensified between the working class and all oppressed sections on the one hand and the capitalist system on the other, utopian and anarchist tendencies had emerged weakening the efforts to develop the theory and practice of revolution in the new situation. It was in the course of this struggle Marxism emerged and the Communist Manifesto was put forward providing the basic orientation of the struggle to overthrow the capitalist system and to lead world proletarian socialist revolution forward. Following it a series of proletarian struggles broke out in West European countries, especially in the advanced capitalist countries, challenging the capitalist system. These reached a peak with the working class in Paris capturing power and establishing the Paris Commune in 1871.
7. Before that the French Revolution had established the ideological motifs of the modern capitalist societies through its famous slogan: “liberty, equality, fraternity” and laid the foundation for secularism and democracy based on universal suffrage. Advancing from them, the Paris Commune provided a path forward through its revolutionary practice. Evaluating the lessons of the Paris Commune, Marx wrote:“The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune. The cry of the “social republic” with which the February Revolution was ushered in by the Paris proletariat did but express a vague aspiration after a republic that was not only to supersede the monarchical form of class rule, but class rule itself. The Commune was the positive form of that republic”. Though the Commune was soon suppressed brutally by the combined forces of the capitalist states, it had given a new fillip to the working class movement.
8. At the same time the capitalist system itself was undergoing vast changes with the emergence and domination of finance capital transforming capitalism to its monopolistic era, to the era of imperialism. The imperialist powers soon succeeded in dividing the world among them territorially under colonial system, subjecting the colonies, semi-colonies and dependent countries to various forms of ruthless exploitation. While this colonial loot helped them to tide over the cycle of crises the capitalist system was facing and to weaken the class struggle in their own countries by bribing a section of the proletarian leaders, the labor aristocracy, at the same time it led to intensification of the inter-imperialist contradictions for re-division of the world. It was soon creating the possibilities for the outbreak of the First World War (FWW).
9. When the Second International (SI), which was formed reorganizing the First International after the experience of the Paris Commune, discussed these new developments, there were different interpretations of them among the social democratic parties who were its constituents. Many of them including the leaders of the German party which was playing a leading role in it refused to see the transformation of capitalist system to its moribund form, imperialism, as a more reactionary one. Still in the Basle Congress they had agreed that if the FWW breaks out, instead of supporting the imperialist bourgeoisie of their own countries they should try to turn the World War in to a civil war led by the proletariat to capture political power. But as the War broke out in 1914, most of them including the leaders of the German party went against it. Preaching theories like ultra imperialism they joined the war efforts of the ruling classes of their own countries. This degeneration of the theoretical and practical positions of these parties led to the liquidation of the SI in effect. These parties degenerated to reformist positions. Social democracy itself became a pronoun for renegacy. Many sections of the RSDLP of Tsarist Russia also had degenerated to this reformist position abandoning the path of class struggle.
10. It was in this critical phase Lenin put forward a scientific analysis of the imperialist system in his famous work, Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, as a more barbarous stage of capitalist system and pointed out that the centre of revolution has shifted from the developed capitalist countries to the ‘weak links of imperialist system’ including Russia and to the countries under colonial domination. Defeating the reformist and anarchist positions, he made a concrete analysis of the conditions in the Tsarist Russia explaining the imminent possibility of proletarian revolution in the country. Based on this understanding he developed its theoretical basis, program and path, and successfully led October Revolution to victory in 1917, leading to the founding of the first proletarian state, Soviet Union, uniting all nationalities, which were subjugated under Tsarist Russia, based on the right of self-determination including the right to secede. Consistently teaching the Bolsheviks, or the majority in the RSDLP, to turn the imperialist WW in to a civil war uniting the working class, the peasantry and the army men who were returning from the war fronts, uniting all sections of the Bolsheviks under a common banner in spite of differences on tactical line, Lenin led the revolution to victory. The workers’ state withdrew from the WW and proceeded to build a socialist society. These were momentous developments, breaking Soviet Union away from the imperialist world system.
11. Soon after the founding of Soviet Union, frightened by it the warring imperialist forces ended the War. They entered in to a truce and united to launch a ferocious attack on the proletarian state, imposing total economic sanctions against it. They supported the counter revolutionaries in the country to sabotage it from within also. Mobilizing the working class and all revolutionary masses, the Bolsheviks succeeded in defeating these all round attacks and to launch the socialist construction. Upholding the spirit of proletarian internationalism, the international communist movement was reorganized by replacing the liquidated SI with the Third International or Communist International (CI) which was popularly known as Comintern. Under the leadership of Lenin it put forward the strategic line of the world proletarian socialist revolution which included the two streams of revolution: the people’s democratic revolution in the countries under colonial domination and socialist revolution in the imperialist countries. The salvos of October Revolution thus created conditions for the formation of Communist parties in large number of countries, very soon challenging the imperialist system and its lackeys everywhere. These were historic developments.
12. The newly born socialist state confiscated the properties of the capitalist and landlord classes, brought the industries under the leadership of workers’ soviets, implemented revolutionary land reforms based on the principle of ‘land to the tillers’ and took up the challenge of socialist construction mobilizing the masses in spite of the economic blockade of the imperialist forces and the backwardness of the economy of the pre-revolutionary Russia. It was a great task, which very soon advanced towards fulfilling the basic requirements including food, clothing, housing, healthcare, education and employment for all. Along with this, significant victories were achieved in carrying forward the task of modernizing and developing the industry and agriculture, transforming SU in to a modern nation. As a result, by 1930s when the whole imperialist camp was facing Great Depression and severe economic and political crisis, it did not affect the planned economy of the SU. While these great achievements were being realized through socialist construction, the Comintern extended full support to the national liberation movements in the Asian, African, Latin American countries.
13. When the Second World War (SWW) broke out, once again for the re-division of the world among the imperialist forces, evaluating it as an inter imperialist war, the SU kept away from it. But when the German Nazi forces attacked SU, the Soviet people succeeded in waging a historic resistance struggle and in defeating the fascist forces decisively. All these achievements inspired the world people, and the post SWW years show the emergence of a powerful socialist camp with national liberation movements developing in all the continents. By 1950s the world situation had turned so revolutionary that it looked like the socialist forces may overtake and defeat the imperialist forces once for all. These were momentous contributions of the October Revolution and the ICM should uphold these achievements and take lessons from these while observing the centenary of this great revolution.
14. But while upholding all these great contributions of the October Revolution which led to the spread of Marxism all over the world, the proletarian revolutions reverberating in all the continents leading to one third of the world population living in socialist countries, national liberation movements emerging and strengthening in a number of countries and powerful communist parties leading in a large number of countries like Indonesia, India etc by the beginning of 1950s, today the situation is drastically different. The capitalist roaders who had started gaining strength in SU and other former socialist countries, later led to their disintegration or degeneration to capitalist path. The national liberation movements went astray and almost all the countries formerly under colonial domination are reduced to neo-colonially dependent countries. Under the influence of right or left deviations including the formerly strong communist parties, the communist parties in almost all countries have disintegrated and divided in to many groups with no country having a powerful communist party strong enough to lead the present people’s upsurges with revolutionary orientation. Alien thoughts and reactionary, communal, caste, racist ideologies spread from imperialist headquarters and by reactionary think-tanks have become so powerful that the Communist ideology is under severe attack with many more counter-revolutionary deviations emerging from within the existing communist organizations themselves. So when we are celebrating the centenary of the October Revolution it is necessary to evaluate the history of the ICM with the perspective of finding out the reasons for the severe setbacks suffered by the once powerful movement. Such an evaluation should not to influenced by subjectivism or taken up to find fault with any individual, but to overcome them and to help the development of the Marxist theory and practice according to present conditions.
15. How to evaluate Soviet Developments: The October Revolution had frightened the imperialist powers so much that as already pointed out they hastened to arrive at a temporary truce and pooled their forces for a military encirclement and aggression against the nascent state. In this they could involve the defeated enemy class forces inside Russia also. As the revolutionary Soviet forces succeeded in defeating this attack, the imperialist camp imposed economic blockade to suffocate and destroy the socialist state. The formation of the Comintern was seen as a further threat and vehemently attacked by the imperialists. If this was the situation from 1919 onwards, the first half of the 1920s, especially the years after Lenin’s illness, saw a further intensification of these attacks. So, the challenge before the post- Lenin leadership was how to face this economic and military encirclement along with the ideological political attack by the enemy camp and to carry forward the revolutionary offensive initiated by Lenin.
16. In spite of the great contributions of the Soviet experience as pointed out above, the severe setbacks suffered by the socialist experience in Soviet Union openly from the time of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, set backs suffered by the ICM and by the anti-imperialist movement as a whole call for an evaluation of the pursuit of socialist construction, the approach towards the ICM and world revolution, and the waging of the ideological struggle both inside the Soviet Union and at international level. A serious discussion on the development paradigm pursued in the erstwhile socialist countries and whether they were basically different from the imperialist development perspective also needs scrutiny. The experience of the erstwhile socialist countries show that attempts to compete for surpassing the economic targets of the imperialist countries were increasingly visible among them. Similarly the question of developing the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat to reflect a more advanced form than the bourgeois democracy practiced in the capitalist countries was also a great challenge before these former socialist countries. How far it could be achieved and did the weakness in this field also led to the setbacks also call for a serious evaluation. This analysis also should extend to how much emphasis was given to super structural changes in the SU compared to the changes being made in the economic base. Already all these questions are taken up repeatedly, especially after the disintegration of the SU by many forces. More in depth studies are required so that they can help the future activities of the communist parties.
17. An evaluation of the Soviet experience shows that during the post- Lenin years the importance of the Soviets started to dwindle or they were not approached in the way Lenin did. As the Five Year Plans and collectivization of agriculture started, instead of experimenting how they can be carried forward through the Soviets, the influence of centralization increased in the name of improving efficiency, rather than increasing people’s participation. The Five Year Plan targets started getting decided with a view to overtake production figures of imperialist countries. Various studies have pointed out that probably the Stakhnovite movement of 1935 was almost the last effort to unleash people’s initiative in socialist construction. As the threat of fascist attack increased, and later when the attack did take place, in spite of calling for people’s initiative, the one sided emphasis on centralization went on increasing. Naturally, these developments led to bureaucratic tendencies gaining strength in all fields and the Soviets started disappearing in practice. Of course the loss of large number of experienced comrades, first during the resistance to imperialist aggression during 1919 to 1922 and later during the anti-fascist war, also should be taken in to consideration while evaluating the capitalist tendencies which were sneaking in at various levels.
18. From the lessons of Paris Commune Marx had pointed out that the process of developing democracy after the capture of political power by the proletariat and other oppressed classes cannot be seen in abstract. It is integrally linked to destroying the “the standing army and the police.” and the bureaucratic structure of the state and creating basically new ones in their place.. As the Commune did not last long it could not give any lessons on organizing production under it. But, in his studies about capital and how the capitalist system works, Marx had pointed out that the proletarians have to overthrow everything the bourgeoisie consider sacrosanct and to create new models in all fields. The Commune initiated this process. That is why he upheld it as the fore runner for the future. For him the proletarians after seizing power have to build revolutionary alternatives to what the capitalist system has created. That is why Lenin, based on the lessons of the Commune, proceeded to develop the Soviets, which had emerged in the course of revolutionary struggles in Russia, as the new form of the state. To ensure class line the proletarian state had to develop the trade unions according to new conditions and ensuring their role as a class in running the state. When the Soviets started increasingly disappearing in the name of various practical problems which were continuously coming up, as the role of the organised working class and other sections of the masses in running the state and wielding power went on decreasing, in spite of all socialist assertions the role of the bureaucratic sections in all fields went on increasing.
19. Evaluating the post-SWW world situation in the Problems of Socialism in the SU which was published in 1952 it is stated: the disintegration of the single, all embracing world market must be regarded as the most important economic sequel of the SWW and of its economic consequences.....the sphere of exploitation of the world’s resources by the major capitalist countries will not expand, but contract; that their opportunities for sale in the world will deteriorate, and that their industries will be operating more and more below capacity. That, in fact, is what is meant by the deepening of the general crisis of the world capitalist system”. Yes, it was a fact that a number of countries had broken away from the imperialist system and to that extent the imperialist control on their market had weakened or lost. But the imperialists were quick to make urgent moves including the adoption of the GATT agreement besides formation of the IMF and World Bank so that the damage done by the advance of the socialist camp could be restricted. Similarly through the neo colonial policies the imperialist camp very soon recuperated the losses to a great extent. It is the failure to make correct study of the post-War imperialist moves that led to such evaluations which did lot of damage to the development of the Communist movement challenging the neo-colonial offensive by the US led imperialist camp.
20. Again, it stated: “some comrades hold that, owing to the development of new international conditions since the SWW, wars between capitalist countries have ceased to be inevitable”. Stalin went onto explain why wars are inevitable so long as the imperialist system exists. While this assertion is in general correct, the transformation of the colonial policies to neo colonization had led to inter imperialist contradictions taking newer forms. The imperialists had abandoned by and large the territorial division of the world among themselves. In this situation, the possibility for inter-imperialist wars like the first and second world wars had receded. It is once again the failure to recognize these changes in the imperialist policies which led to mechanical interpretations of the new world situation.
21. In A Critique of Soviet Economy, Mao wrote: On the question of heavy industry, light industry and agriculture, the SU did not lay enough emphasis on the latter two and had losses as a result. In addition they did not do a good job of combining the immediate and the long term interests of the people. In the main they walked on one leg...Only technology was emphasized. Nothing but technology, no technical cadre, no politics, no masses. This too is walking on one leg...It mentions economics only, not politics. “It from first to last says nothing about the superstructure. It is not concerned with the people, it considers things, not people. Does the kind of supply system for consumer goods help spur economic development or not? It should have touched on this at the least. Is it better to have commodity production or is it better not to? Every one has to study this”. While dealing with the crucial question of developments in the economic base and superstructure on the one hand, and between the economic problems of Soviet Union and the attempts by the imperialist camp led by US imperialism to transform the imperialist plunder from colonial to neo colonial forms on the other are not dealt with. Or as the Soviets writings during the post-war years reveal, even while the imperialist system led by US imperialism was moving ahead fast with the transformation of its colonial forms of plunder to neocolonial forms, there was almost a total lack of understanding about it within the Soviet leadership. As a result the study of the economic problems of the Soviet Union were dealt in isolation, without taking in to consideration the momentous developments taking place around the world. Later in the article Ten major Relationships, also, while dealing with the problems faced by the socialist transition in China, Mao had pointed out the one sided emphasis given to industry in general and heavy industry in particular in the SU as one of its weaknesses. That in spite of these observations in China also these obstacles could not be overcome call for the importance that has to be given to such questions in the course of developing a socialist alternative to the capitalist system.
22. Proletarian internationalism: Lenin waged uncompromising struggle against the mechanical understanding put forward by Trotsky through his concept of ‘permanent revolution’ that without revolutions taking place at global level or in a number of imperialist countries it is futile and erroneous to go for socialist construction in a backward country like Soviet Union. Rejecting this view, Lenin, while emphasizing the primary importance to be given for world revolution, called for pursuing socialist construction in Soviet Union as a part of it. For him SU was only a base area for world revolution. Primary importance was given to waging uncompromising struggle for advancing world revolution. The fundamental task was to advance world revolution without which the survival of these socialist countries itself was impossible. It calls for serious evaluation whether after Lenin the priorities had started changing or not. Whether the importance to be given to interests of the world revolution was increasingly minimized and importance of socialist construction in SU was increasing given priority call for serious evaluation. In1938 in the 18th Congress of the CPSU, it was announced that the Soviet society no longer contained antagonistic hostile classes and that the exploiting classes have been eliminated. All those who raised different views were treated as enemies of socialism. The trials against them went on reducing the democratic space within the Party and the society as a whole. It led to growth of bureaucratic tendencies on the one hand and to lack of discussion on the theoretical questions to be taken up and debated on cardinal questions like the way the imperialist camp was moving and how the ICM should face the challenge including the problems of socialist construction in SU on the other.
23. Lenin envisaged Comintern as an international organization with the national parties as its contingents with a clear perspective of intensifying efforts for world revolution. As the international character of production was increasing under imperialist system, Lenin saw the international character of revolution also correspondingly increasing. But later whether the significance of Comintern as the cause of world revolution went on diminishing, whether many of the directives given by Comintern went against the concrete reality and interests of revolution in other countries etc call for serious discussion. Whether such directives led to conflicts of interests or to some parties taking erroneous positions with regard to the revolutionary struggle in their own countries calls for study. Because of the immense prestige the SU and CPSU had among other parties no open criticism took place at that time. Later it led to the erroneous conclusion by many parties that any international organization shall be like Comintern! As a result, even the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 even without convening a meeting of its Executive Committee did not create any adverse reaction. Besides these developments have led to large number of existing organizations which call themselves as communist taking the stand that any effort to rebuild the Communist International will be harmful!
24. Failure to recognize the neo colonial offensive of imperialist camp: In continuation to the Atlantic Charter put forward in 1941, in 1944, the US imperialism which was coming to the leadership of the post-War imperialist camp had convened the Bretten Woods Conference of imperialist powers and think tanks. It put forward the Bretten Woods Agreement that launched the neo colonial tools like the IMF, World Bank and the United Nations Organization (UN). The nuking of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, formation of military alliances including NATO, imposing Zionist Israel over the Palestine land as the US out post in West Asia, the aggression against Korea, world wide attacks against national liberation movements and along with these the launching of so-called welfare state concepts based on Keynesian economic policies etc were part of this neo colonial offensive. The ICM failed to recognize the seriousness of this US led offensive by the imperialist powers. The international situation was evaluated in such a way that the imperialist camp was weakening and that was why it was engaged in war mongering. According to this evaluation, building peace movement against US war efforts was given top priority, instead of taking initiative to organize a revolutionary front against these US led imperialist moves.
25. As a result of these weaknesses, the SU became member of World Bank and UN. It recognized Israel. Even when it was not allowed to become member of the IMF, it could not understand how the imperialist camp was plotting to pursue its hegemonic ambitions in the post SWW conditions. The extension of the War time understanding with the imperialists to basically different post War situation led to harmful results. Such moves led to many of the West and South European parties first getting frustrated in their revolutionary efforts and then getting illusions about working with the rightist and social democratic parties, ultimately degenerating to revisionist positions.
26. The so-called ‘de colonization’ which meant transfer of power to the comprador classes in the colonial countries was part of the global neo colonial offensive to confront the challenge posed by the powerful socialist camp. The neo colonial offensive they launched was more pernicious and sinister than their colonial policies. The aggressive nature of the imperialist camp had only increased with their neo colonial offensive. At a time, when the US led forces were employing economic, technological, political and military offensive to confuse, ideologically disarm and militarily destroy the national liberation movements led by the Communist Parties or anti-imperialist nationalist forces, the pacifist approach taken by the ICM, in spite of the big leaps it could make by this time, ideologically and politically weakened the movement.
27. The basic reason for all these weaknesses was that the socialist forces could not develop the study of imperialism by Lenin made in 1910s according to the concrete conditions emerging during the post-SWW years. As a result, it could not put forward a theoretical analysis of the changes taking place in the strategy and tactics of the imperialist system using neo colonial methods, and could not develop its own strategy and tactics to confront it. It was in such a situation, the Soviet leadership failed to wage an in depth ideological struggle against the reformist positions advocated and pursued under the leadership of Tito in Yugoslavia which had degenerated to capitalist path almost openly. Even when the imperialists had succeeded in weaning away one of the countries were the people’s power was established, the Socialist camp could do nothing more than expelling it from the newly formed Cominform. What happened in the case of Yugoslavian leadership was a forerunner of what happened later in the SU and the other East European countries. The bureaucratic forces with capitalist orientation had already started dominating the party, the army and the state apparatus at all levels. They were waiting for Stalin’s death to peacefully usurp power and speed up the transformation of SU in to a bureaucratic state capitalist dictatorship.
28. The documents from the former Soviet archives that have come out after the disintegration of SU prove that by the early 1950s the bureaucratic forces had become so powerful that they isolated Stalin in his last days and soon after his death physically eliminated or removed from positions of power all those who were advocating the socialist path. After consolidating their position under the leadership of Krushchov, in the 20th Congress of the CPSU they violently attacked Stalin and came out with the revisionist positions that as “radical changes” had taken place after October Revolution Lenin’s teachings have become invalid and “peaceful transition’ to socialism is possible. This stand was further developed as “peaceful co-existence with and peaceful competition with imperialism, and peaceful transition to socialism” as the General Line of the ICM. Though it was strongly attacked by the CPC and a number of communist parties in the 1957 and 1960 international meetings of the communist parties, in its 22nd Congress in 1961 the capitalist roaders took more steps towards the transition of Soviet Union in to a social imperialist country (socialism in words by imperialism in action) and attacked the CPC like parties who did not follow their line viciously. While vast majority of the communist parties mechanically followed the Soviet revisionist line, the CPC, PLA of Albania like parties opposed it and the Great Debate followed in which the Marxist Leninists led by the CPC openly rejected the Soviet revisionist line. As pointed out by the CPC, instead of exposing and fighting against the neo-colonization speeded up by the US led imperialist camp, Soviets and the parties following them soon became apologists of neo-colonialism. As Krushchov was replaced by Brezhnov in 1964, the transition to social imperialism was speeded up, SU transformed from apologists of neocolonialism to executioners of neocolonial policies, colluding and contending with US imperialism for world hegemony. The Soviet state was transformed in to bureaucratic state capitalist dictatorship.
29. As the contention with US led imperialist camp intensified, though it could expand its neocolonial hold in many countries, the Soviet economy was facing increasing crisis. In the 1980s the sending of the military to Afghanistan and open fight with the Islamic jihadists fully supported by the US started draining the economy very fast, intensifying its crisis. With Gorbachov taking over in 1987, though the military was withdrawn from Afghanistan and the Glassnost-Perestroika line was put forward in the name of ‘opening up the economy and society’, the crisis only deepened further. In 1991 with the backing of US led imperialist powers Yeltsin could organize a coup, take over power, disintegrate SU and transform Russia in to an open capitalist power. The ICM has to take immense lessons from this counter revolution which was started in Yugoslavia in 1948 and repeated in the East European countries and later in China.
30. As SU and its contributions for socialist transformation against the capitalist system had inspired two generations all over the world, its disintegration and collapse, with the statues of Lenin getting pulled don by hooligans in Moscow streets created tremendous frustration among the masses. Imperilist camp did everything possible to intensify this frustration through wild propaganda about ‘end of history’ and ‘end of socialism’. This situation would not have become so serious if the Marxist-Leninist camp could wage an intensive ideological struggle against the degeneration taking place in SU and East European countries at least from the time of the 20th Congress of the CPSU in a more decisive and dialectical form.
31. But most of the communist parties formed during the Comintern period and which had great influence in many countries mechanically followed the Soviet revisionist line till its disintegration in 1991. Their remnants in different countries are still not prepared to rectify these mistakes. As far as the Trotskyist Fourth Internationalists were concerned, instead of putting forward any critical analysis of the degeneration taking place in SU they were continuing their mad attacks on Stalin whom they targeted as the main enemy. On the other hand, the so-called Stalinist school diametrically opposed to Trotsky mechanically asserted that everything was perfect till Stalin was alive and they even attacked Mao for his critical evaluation of some aspects of the socialist construction during Stalin’s period. But they had no explanations for the setbacks and had nothing to contribute towards the future program and path of revolution. Various trends emerging mainly in Europe like the Euro-Communist school or post- modernist schools also only added to the confusion.
32. Contrary to all these and struggling against them, the most developed position was taken by the CPC led by Mao who waged a Great Debate against Soviet revisionism and in continuation to the stand it had taken in the 1957 and 1960 international conferences of the communist parties put forward A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the ICM in 1963. It inspired the Marxist-Leninist forces who had started waging a theoretical struggle against the Soviet revisionist line in different countries. While a strong section in the CPC was trying to emulate the Soviet revisionist path, it waged uncompromisingly struggle against it and succeeded to remove these capitalist roaders from positions of power and to launch the proletarian cultural revolution as a form of class struggle within the socialist countries. But as left sectarian line got strengthened in the CPC by the time of its Ninth Congress in 1969, which soon opened the way for the emergence of a centrist line eventually leading to the domination of the capitalist roaders, this significant ideological political offensive also got weakened and disintegrated. The Marxist-Leninist parties and groups emerging in large number of countries fighting against Soviet revisionism and upholding the General Line document of the CPC also faced disintegration as they mechanically followed whatever was coming from the CPC as correct without trying to develop their own program and path based on the analysis of the newly emerging international and national situation. Amidst all these, in spite of the severe setbacks and disintegration suffered by the communist revolutionary forces who tried to pursue the line “China’s Path is Our Path” by early 1970s, the Maoists are still pursuing this line in more anarchist form contributing to the division and confusion among the communist forces in their own way. The emergence, development and disintegration of all these various schools and deviations from the camp of the communists were immensely utilized by the imperialists and their lackeys to intensify the attacks on the communist movement.
33. It is a fact that the setbacks suffered by the ICM during the last six decades compared to the great heights it had reached by 1950s have created extensive frustration and deviations among the communist forces and the masses of the people, especially the youth and students, the new generation. It is also a fact that in spite of recognizing this, most of the schools and tendencies including the various sections from the social democrats on one extreme to the anarchists on the other extreme are engaged in eulogizing their own deviations from the Marxist teachings and are in a self-satisfied delusion. These forces still refuse to recognize that during these decades the imperialist system has transformed its colonial forms of plunder and oppression to neo-colonial forms; it is imposing its hegemony in more sinister forms through finance capital which has become increasingly speculative, market forces, technological advances, armed interventions and hegemony of reactionary culture. They also refuse to recognize that it is the failure to analyze these changes and to develop the program and path of revolution according to the changed times that had led to the severe repeated setbacks suffered by the communist movement,
34. While observing the centenary of the October Revolution it is the task of the Marxist-Leninist forces to evaluate the basic reasons for this great setback and to develop the revolutionary theory and practice taking lessons from this objective evaluation and according to the changes that have taken place in the concrete situation from the time Lenin put forward his study on Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star has called for observing the centenary of October Revolution starting from the this year’s October Revolution Day on the basis of the efforts it has made from 1970s to make concrete analysis of the changes that have taken place during the post-SWW decades and to develop the theory and practice of the communist movement accordingly. Let us make these centenary programs as steps to further deepen and develop these efforts.