“A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies”.
Though 172 years have passed after Marx and Engels started The Communist Manifesto with these words, we are living in a period when the rabid and venomous anti-communist campaign is still powerful. The major difference is that presently this blitzkrieg is joined by the social democrats, petti-bourgeois intellectuals, and unlike the period up to 1950s, by hordes ex-communists to ex-Naxalites to ex-Maoists. The repeated setbacks suffered by the Communist movement have made the Communists defensive. As a result, it is failing to expose how the capitalist imperialist system these, these critics are upholding directly or indirectly has exposed itself as the most inhuman and barbaric, and it is in the middle of unprecedented crisis following the Covid19 pandemic, helping the neo-fascist wave sweeping across the continents more powerful.
At the same time, in spite of all the setbacks it suffered, its contributions in socialist construction during the revolutionary days in the former socialist countries, and the vision of World Proletarian Socialist Revolution and an exploitation free new world with sustainable relation between human and nature it promises, still inspires the masses who are thrown in to a hopeless condition by forces of capital. That is why every year we re-visit October Revolution in Russia and the Chinese revolution and all other revolutions and try to understand their contributions and reasons for their setbacks.
The October Revolution of 7th November (according to new calendar), 1917, liberated Russian people from the clutches of Tsarist dictatorship, led to the formation of Soviet Union and initiated socialist transformation in the most backward capitalist country. It took place when the imperialists had waged the First World War for re-division of the world. Though the War ended in 1919, it did not resolve the inter-imperialist contradictions, creating conditions for another World War, with some of these forces embracing fascist policies soon. But, what the Soviet Union could do for creating a new society during this period threw up hopes of emergence of an alternative to the capitalist-imperialist system. This expectation along with the sacrifices it made to save the world people from fascism, led to an upsurge of social revolutions and the emergence of a powerful socialist camp, with the Chinese Communist party led by Mao Tsetung leading the Chinese people to liberation from the domination of imperialism and feudalism and the formation of People’s Republic of China on 1st October, 1949. In spite of these victories, in the present objective situation when the conditions for a worldwide advance of communist forces is so bright, the ICM is in a condition when there is not a single communist party in any of these countries capable of using this excellent situation and capture political power. We have to search for the reasons for it.
The Communist Manifesto has explained that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations”.
Though capitalist revolutions transformed this situation in the countries it took place, with the bourgeoisie and the proletariat coming to the foreground as predominant classes, still vestiges of the old classes continued there, making the socialist transformation a complex task. As the capitalist forces were trying frantically to transform the whole world in its own image, it went on changing its tactics to achieve this, and considered the emergence of a socialist alternative antagonistically. So, using its hegemony in spreading its ideas and culture, it was waging a fierce struggle against the socialist forces, unleashing wild anti-communist campaign. So, the possibility for falling back, degenerating to capitalist path always existed, unless the communist movement is capable of “swimming against the tide”, and alert to evaluate every new move of the imperialist camp and develop its own theory and practice continuously.
The post Second World War period was a difficult time. Emerging as the leader of the imperialist camp, US imperialism had launched transformation of colonial countries to neo-colonially dependent countries, with IMF-World Bank in control of the export of imperialist finance capital and technology. The formation of WTO was also in the anvil. Unlike utilizing the pre-capitalist forces as is social base during the colonial days, under neo-colonialism, imperialist think tanks encouraged the junior partners of imperialism who had come to the leadership in the “newly independent” countries for land ceiling from above and promotion of capitalist mode of production in the agriculture to facilitate the entry of finance capital, technology and market forces. Welfare policies also were promoted to some extent to challenge the socialist countries. As the post-Stalin leadership in Soviet Union analyzed these as signs of weakening of imperialism, took the path of peaceful transition to socialism, abandoning the path of revolution, degenerating not only SU and East European countries to capitalist path, but the communist parties built up under Comintern guidance to revisionist path.
Even before overcoming this grave setback, based on the same erroneous evaluation of imperialist exploitation from colonial to neo-colonial forms as sign of its weakening (contrary to what the CPC had earlier evaluated in the “Apologists of Neo-colonialism” during Great Debate, that neo-colonialism is more pernicious and ferocious), the left sectarian Lin Biaoist line which dominated the CPC for a brief period from 1966 to 71, quite opposite to the Soviet revisionist line took a left adventurist sectarian line and called on the newly emerging Marxist-Leninist forces for mechanically copying the Chinese Path, soon leading them to disintegration or destruction. In spite of the brilliant victory of the liberation struggle of the Indo-Chinese countries against US imperialism and its lackeys by 1975, following the degeneration of China to capitalist path by 1976, the parties in these countries also came under right or left deviation.
In such a grave situation, the revolutionary communists in almost all countries, who could come out of the right and left deviations, are ‘seeking truth from facts and are in the process of developing new theoretical and practical advances according to present social, political and economic realities. It is in this situation, the ICOR, the international coordination of these organizations from more than 60 countries, has called on the constituents to make concrete analysis of the condition in each country and develop the program and path to develop the class struggle to higher levels, to become capable of leading the mighty people’s upsurges going to take place all over the world.
It is a great challenge. Instead of becoming despondent, let us dare to make a concrete analysis of the international and national developments, develop our theory and practice, dare to draft our path forward struggling against the right deviation, the main danger, as well as the left deviation, dare to build up communist party and dare to advance towards a new offensive to throw out the capitalist imperialist system and advance to people’s democracy and socialism