Take Lessons from October Revolution

03 September 2017
THE centenary programs of the October Revolution of Russia are progressing all over the world towards their culmination on 7th November. From 7th November, 2016, it is observed internationally by the working class and oppressed peoples; it is an year of learning from the past to create the future.

Hundred years ago, on 7th November, 1917, the working class of Russia along with its allies had seized political power and established the worker-peasant state, the Soviet Union, for the first time in history. Before that in 1871 the workers of France had tried to establish the workers’ state. In history it is known as Paris Commune. Though it could continue only for 70 days, it had left many glorious lessons for the working class. The Russian working class took advantage of these lessons.

The Russian Revolution took place during the First World War when the imperialist plunderers were engaged in a bloody cut-throat war for re-dividing the colonial world among themselves. The dreams of the Russian capitalist class who had joined with Britain and France in this War were shattered. Discontentment among the workers, peasantry and army men were intensifying. They were getting mobilized around the programme and declarations of the Bolshevik Party. “Peace, Bread and democracy”. “All Power to the Soviets” had become the main slogans of the revolution. The bourgeois revolution had taken place in Russia in February, 1917. But the bourgeois state formed only further intensified people’s discontentment, as it betrayed the toiling masses and started moving along the path of Tsardom.

After October Revolution the state of the worker-peasant alliance was formed in Russia. While the bourgeoisie around the world condemned it, the worker-peasant masses recognized what is people’s democracy. For the first time they recognized how the bourgeois democracy was cheating them. The people’s democracy overturned all the policies of the bourgeois state. The land was confiscated from the landlords and distributed among the tillers. The control of the factories was handed over to the workers. A peace proposal was put forward before the warring bourgeois states of Europe. In this way it declared that the sons and daughters of the workers and peasants of Russia were not prepared to shed blood for the imperialists and their Russian bourgeois friends.

These achievements of the October Revolution deeply influenced the workers, peasants and oppressed masses around the world. It inspired and gave new direction to the national liberation movements in the countries under colonial domination. Communist parties were formed in many countries. In some countries revolutions took place under working class leadership. Giving freedom to the nationalities kept under suppression by the Tsardom, this revolution gave the message that the workers’ state does not keep any nationalities under subjugation. On the other hand, by organizing the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) it inspired the concept of forming union of nationalities based on equality. The Socialist revolution in Russia contributed greatly in liberating the women from the shackles of patriarchy. For the first time women got the right to vote based on universal franchise, which the women of US or many other countries had not received yet. The defeat of fascist forces during the Second World War was such a great achievement for which all humankind will be grateful to Soviet Union. In spite of all these great contributions, it is a fact that the Soviet Union is no more due to internal sabotage by the capitalist roaders, and is today reduced to Russian imperialism before us. Thus there are two important questions in front of us: how to provide correct leadership to the working class revolution and how to save the workers’ state from internal sabotage by the capitalist roaders.

Today’s situation is quite different from the situation during the October Revolution. There is no threat of World War immediately before us. But the imperialist system is confronting the greater crisis. The US superpower is finding it difficult to impose its hegemony around in the present multi-polar situation. The sparks of people’s discontentment is spreading everywhere. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria are going through civil wars. In Europe while the insecurity and dissatisfaction among the working class is increasing, the terrorist attacks are increasing. The Brexit in Britain, the coming to power of Trump in US, etc are reflections of this insecurity. In spite of all these, the working class is not in a position to take advantage of them, as the subjective forces of revolution are weak everywhere..

In our country, there are no basic differences among the ruling class parties about economic-fiscal policies. The bourgeois politics has become the den of corrupt, criminal and communal (especially Hindutuavadi) forces. The Modi government is creating illusions about development, but stands exposed for its lies and false promises. It is systematically spreading communal and caste hatred and unleashing unprecedented oppression of dalits and minorities. It is intensifying the onslaught of corporate-communal fascist raj and increasing the Hindutua based vote polarization, increasing its influence in all fields utilizing all heinous means. Neither the discredited Congress nor other ruling class/regional parties are capable of challenging and beating back this fascist onslaught of the RSS parivar in all fields. The Left Front led by CPI(M) has become part of the ruling class politics and is passing through a period of defeat and despair.

The revolutionary left and democratic forces are still weak. They have to work hard to take advantage of this crisis to provide revolutionary orientation to the mounting resistance of the people in a significant manner. The main task before them is to bring together all struggling forces and oppressed classes and sections including the dalits, the adivasis and women on a broad platform of struggle, taking lessons from the great October Revolution and the innumerable revolutionary movements of the toiling and oppressed masses of our country. It shall lead to the establishment of people’s alternative power which ensures livelihood, food and democracy for all. With this firm determination let us mobilize all our forces to move towards the successful culmination of centenary programs of October Revolution.
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.