Today, 22nd April, 2020, marks the 150th birth anniversary of V.I. Lenin, the great leader of the proletariat and oppressed peoples of the world. Lenin had come to the leadership of the Bolsheviks in the RSDLP, when the capitalist system had transformed in to monopoly capitalism, imperialism, when the imperialist countries had divided the world among themselves, and the inter-imperialist feud for re-division of the world was threatening the outbreak of a World War. By that time, the imperialists had already corrupted the working class leaderships of number of countries to labour aristocracy. They were putting forward many arguments like capitalism has changed, and there are possibilities for working with them. These social democratic leaders were dominant in the Second International. So, in the Basle Conference of the SI, 1913, when Lenin moved the resolution in case the War breaks out “the working class should not support the war efforts of the bourgeoisie of their countries, but strive to transform the imperialist world in to a civil war for capture of political power”, he had to fight bitterly to get it approved with a slender majority. But, when the First World War really broke out in 1914, the social democrats of most of the imperialist countries, rejecting this stand called on the working class to join the war efforts of the ruling class of their countries. This meant the liquidation of the SI, and evaluating this Lenin declared that with this the real meaning of social democracy has become renegacy, class betrayal.
It is in this context, Lenin studied what is imperialism and came out with his great contribution to the development of Marxist theory, Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism. It showed imperialism is barbarism, it has shifted the centre of revolution from the capitalist imperialist countries to the weak links of imperialism like Tsarist Russia, and to the large number of countries under colonization, the colonial, semi-colonial, dependent countries. Based on this, he fought against the social democrats in the RSDLP, the Mensheviks, and the anarchist Narodniks, strengthened the Bolshevik party as the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat, built the Soviets of the workers, peasants and the soldiers who were coming back from the war front after the defeat of Tsarist forces in the war. While the Mensheviks were for allowing the Kerensky government which had come to power following the overthrow of the Tsars in the 1917 February Revolution, through his brilliant April Thesis showed why should the Bolsheviks go for capture of political power, united the Bolsheviks around him, led the October Revolution to victory, formed the Soviet Union, and launched socialist transformation, breaking the chain of global imperialism.
Lenin explained Soviet Union as the base area of world revolution. Uniting the communists who upheld October Revolution, in 1919 he led the formation of the Third, or Communist Inernational, calling for completing the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries and the People’s Democratic Revolution in the countries under colonization for completing the World proletarian Socialist Revolution. These great strides forward led by Lenin at a time when the social democracy was spreading frustration and renegacy, inspired the working class and all oppressed classes and sections to move forward challenging imperialism and its lackeys of all shades. The process of building communist parties around the world was taken up enthusiastically.
This great victory was possible as Lenin could develop Marxism according to the new situation when capitalism had transformed to imperialism, study the concrete conditions of Tsarist Russia through many contributions including the “Development of Capitalism in Russia”, built the Bolshevik Party surrounded by class/mass organizations, politically preparing the working class from a “class in itself to a class for itself”, building the Soviets as the centres people’s power, and taking the tactical moves according to fast changing situation. He was prepared to listen to others and was always ready develop his revolutionary perspective. As a result, he could give great contribution in every field always putting forward propletarian internationalism in the forefront.
It was the victory of the great October Revolution in the background of First World War, which instead of solving the question of re-division of the world, led to more antagonistic inter-imperialist contradictions, and in the background of intense economic crisis which later led to the great Depression, enabled Lenin to take lessons from them and to lead Soviet Union to launch socialist transformation making it capable to advance without affected by it actually broke out in 1930. In spite of the severe setbacks suffered by the socialist forces in the post Second World War period, Lenin’s teachings inspire us to surmount all difficulties and to march forward once again advancing the World proletarian Socialist Revolution. As Lenin taught us, in this ‘era of imperialism and proletarian revolution’, in spite of imperialism succeeds to shift all the burden of its repeated crisis, taking lessons from these, the working class and the oppressed people shall once again rise up in a mighty wave of revolutions, overthrowing imperialism and advancing socialism as the only alternative before the people.
CPI(ML) Red Star
22nd April 2020