Marxism and Revisionism - V I Lenin

[Presently right deviation, revisionism, is the main danger in the communist movement internationally and nationally what do we mean? There are numerous instances we can point out to substantiate it. But, what is this revisionism, is a question raised by many friends. The following article by Lenin written by 1908  on Marxism and revisionism gives a very good analysis of what is revisionism and how it manifests in various fields.- KN]

  1. I.Lenin;  Marxism and Revisionism

Lenin  Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1973, Moscow, Volume 15, pages 29-39]

There is a well-known saying that if geometrical axioms affected human interests attempts would certainly be made to refute them. Theories of natural history which conflicted with the old prejudices of theology provoked, and still provoke, the most rabid opposition. No wonder, therefore, that the Marxian doctrine, which directly serves to enlighten and organise the advanced class in modern society, indicates the tasks facing this class and demonstrates the inevitable replacement (by virtue of economic development) of the present system by a new order—no wonder that this doctrine has had to fight for every step forward in the course of its life.

Needless to say, this applies to bourgeois science and philosophy, officially taught by official professors in order to befuddle the rising generation of the propertied classes and to “coach” it against internal and foreign enemies. This science will not even hear of Marxism, declaring that it has been refuted and annihilated. Marx is attacked with equal zest by young scholars who are making a career by refuting socialism, and by decrepit elders who are preserving the tradition of all kinds of outworn “systems”. The progress of Marxism, the fact that its ideas are spreading and taking firm hold among the working class, inevitably increase the frequency and intensity of these bourgeois attacks on Marxism, which becomes stronger, more hardened and more vigorous every time it is “annihilated” by official science.

But even among doctrines connected with the struggle of the working class, and current mainly among the proletariat, Marxism by no means consolidated its position all at once. In the first half-century of its existence (from   the 1840s on) Marxism was engaged in combating theories fundamentally hostile to it. In the early forties Marx and Engels settled accounts with the radical Young Hegelians whose viewpoint was that of philosophical idealism. At the end of the forties the struggle began in the field of economic doctrine, against Proudhonism. The fifties saw the completion of this struggle in criticism of the parties and doctrines which manifested themselves in the stormy year of 1848. In the sixties the struggle shifted from the field of general theory to one closer to the direct labour movement: the ejection of Bakuninism from the International. In the early seventies the stage in Germany was occupied for a short while by the Proudhonist Mühlberger, and in the late seventies by the positivist Dühring. But the influence of both on the proletariat was already absolutely insignificant. Marxism was already gaining an unquestionable victory over all other ideologies in the labour movement.

By the nineties this victory was in the main completed. Even in the Latin countries, where the traditions of Proudhonism held their ground longest of all, the workers’ parties in effect built their programmes and their tactics on Marxist foundations. The revived international organisation of the labour movement—in the shape of periodical international congresses—from the outset, and almost without a struggle, adopted the Marxist standpoint in all essentials. But after Marxism had ousted all the more or less integral doctrines hostile to it, the tendencies expressed in those doctrines began to seek other channels. The forms and causes of the struggle changed, but the struggle continued. And the second half-century of the existence of Marxism began (in the nineties) with the struggle of a trend hostile to Marxism within Marxism itself.

Bernstein, a one-time orthodox Marxist, gave his name to this trend by coming forward with the most noise and with the most purposeful expression of amendments to Marx, revision of Marx, revisionism. Even in Russia where—owing to the economic backwardness of the country and the preponderance of a peasant population weighed down by the relics of serfdom—non-Marxist socialism has naturally held its ground longest of all, it is plainly passing into   revisionism before our very eyes. Both in the agrarian question (the programme of the municipalisation of all land) and in general questions of programme and tactics, our Social-Narodniks are more and more substituting “amendments” to Marx for the moribund and obsolescent remnants of their old system, which in its own way was integral and fundamentally hostile to Marxism.

Pre-Marxist socialism has been defeated. It is continuing the struggle, no longer on its own independent ground, but on the general ground of Marxism, as revisionism. Let us, then, examine the ideological content of revisionism.

In the sphere of philosophy revisionism followed in the wake of bourgeois professorial “science”. The professors went “back to Kant"—and revisionism dragged along after the neo-Kantians. The professors repeated the platitudes that priests have uttered a thousand times against philosophical materialism—and the revisionists, smiling indulgently, mumbled (word for word after the latest Handbuch) that materialism had been “refuted” long ago. The professors treated Hegel as a “dead dog”,[2] and while themselves preaching idealism, only an idealism a thousand times more petty and banal than Hegel’s, contemptuously shrugged their shoulders at dialectics—and the revisionists floundered after them into the swamp of philosophical vulgarisation of science, replacing “artful” (and revolutionary) dialectics by “simple" (and tranquil) “evolution”. The professors earned their official salaries by adjusting both their idealist and their “critical” systems to the dominant medieval “philosophy” (i.e., to theology)—and the revisionists drew close to them, trying to make religion a “private affair”, not in relation to the modern state, but in relation to the party of the advanced class.

What such “amendments” to Marx really meant in class terms need not be stated: it is self-evident. We shall simply note that the only Marxist in the international Social-Democratic movement to criticise the incredible platitudes of the revisionists from the standpoint of consistent dialectical materialism was Plekhanov. This must be stressed. all the more emphatically since profoundly mistaken attempts are being made at the present time to smuggle in   old and reactionary philosophical rubbish disguised as a criticism of Plekhanov’s tactical opportunism.[1]

Passing to political economy, it must be noted first of all that in this sphere the “amendments” of the revisionists were much more comprehensive and circumstantial; attempts were made to influence the public by “new data on economic development”. It was said that concentration and the ousting of small-scale production by large-scale production do not occur in agriculture at all, while they proceed very slowly in commerce and industry. It was said that crises had now become rarer and weaker, and that cartels and trusts would probably enable capital to eliminate them altogether. It was said that the “theory of collapse” to which capitalism is heading was unsound, owing to the tendency of class antagonisms to become milder and less acute. It was said, finally, that it would not be amiss to correct Marx’s theory of value, too, in accordance with Böhm-Bawerk.[3]

The fight against the revisionists on these questions resulted in as fruitful a revival of the theoretical thought in international socialism as did Engels’s controversy with Dühring twenty years earlier. The arguments of the revisionists were analysed with the help of facts and figures. It was proved that the revisionists were systematically painting a rose-coloured picture of modern small-scale production. The technical and commercial superiority of large-scale production over small-scale production not only in industry, but also in agriculture, is proved by irrefutable facts. But commodity production is far less developed in agriculture, and modern statisticians and economists are, as a rule, not very skilful in picking out the special branches (sometimes even the operations) in agriculture which indicate that agriculture is being progressively drawn into the process of exchange in world economy. Small-scale production   maintains itself on the ruins of natural economy by constant worsening of diet, by chronic starvation, by lengthening of the working day, by deterioration in the quality and the care of cattle, in a word, by the very methods whereby handicraft production maintained itself against capitalist manufacture. Every advance in science and technology inevitably and relentlessly undermines the foundations of small-scale production in capitalist society; and it is the task of socialist political economy to investigate this process in all its forms, often complicated and intricate, and to demonstrate to the small producer the impossibility of his holding his own under capitalism, the hopelessness of peasant farming under capitalism, and the necessity for the peasant to adopt the standpoint of the proletarian. On this question the revisionists sinned, in the scientific sense, by superficial generalisations based on facts selected one-sidedly and without reference to the system of capitalism as a whole. From the political point of view, they sinned by the fact that they inevitably, whether they wanted to or not, invited or urged the peasant to adopt the attitude of a small proprietor (i.e., the attitude of the bourgeoisie) instead of urging him to adopt the point of view of the revolutionary proletarian.

The position of revisionism was even worse as regards the theory of crises and the theory of collapse. Only for a very short time could people, and then only the most short-sighted, think of refashioning the foundations of Marx’s theory under the influence of a few years of industrial boom and prosperity. Realities very soon made it clear to the revisionists that crises were not a thing of the past: prosperity was followed by a crisis. The forms, the sequence, the picture of particular crises changed, but crises remained an inevitable component of the capitalist system. While uniting production, the cartels and trusts at the same time, and in a way that was obvious to all, aggravated the anarchy of production, the insecurity of existence of the proletariat and the oppression of capital, thereby intensifying class antagonisms to an unprecedented degree. That capitalism is heading for a break-down—in the sense both of individual political and economic crises and of the complete collapse of the entire capitalist system—has   been made particularly clear, and on a particularly large scale, precisely by the new giant trusts. The recent financial crisis in America and the appalling increase of unemployment all over Europe, to say nothing of the impending industrial crisis to which many symptoms are pointing—all this has resulted in the recent “theories” of the revisionists having been forgotten by everybody, including, apparently, many of the revisionists themselves. But the lessons which this instability of the intellectuals had given the working class must not be forgotten.

As to the theory of value, it need only be said that apart from the vaguest of hints and sighs, à la Böhm-Bawerk, the revisionists have contributed absolutely nothing, and have therefore left no traces whatever on the development of scientific thought.

In the sphere of politics, revisionism did really try to revise the foundation of Marxism, namely, the doctrine of the class struggle. Political freedom, democracy and universal suffrage remove the ground for the class struggle—we were told—and render untrue the old proposition of the Communist Manifesto that the working men have no country. For, they said, since the “will of the majority” prevails in a democracy, one must neither regard the state as an organ of class rule, nor reject alliances with the progressive, social-reform bourgeoisie against the reactionaries.

It cannot be disputed that these arguments of the revisionists amounted to a fairly well-balanced system of views, namely, the old and well-known liberal-bourgeois views. The liberals have always said that bourgeois parliamentarism destroys classes and class divisions, since the right to vote and the right to participate in the government of the country are shared by all citizens without distinction. The whole history of Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the whole history of the Russian revolution in the early twentieth, clearly show how absurd such views are. Economic distinctions are not mitigated but aggravated and intensified under the freedom of “democratic” capitalism. Parliamentarism does not eliminate, but lays bare the innate character even of the most democratic bourgeois republics as organs of class oppression. By helping to enlighten and to organise immeasurably wider   masses of the population than those which previously took an active part in political events, parliamentarism does not make for the elimination of crises and political revolutions, but for the maximum intensification of civil war during such revolutions. The events in Paris in the spring of 1871 and the events in Russia in the winter of 1905 showed as clearly as could be how inevitably this intensification comes about. The French bourgeoisie without a moment’s hesitation made a deal with the enemy of the whole nation, with the foreign army which had ruined its country, in order to crush the proletarian movement. Whoever does not understand the inevitable inner dialectics of parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy—which leads to an even sharper decision of the argument by mass violence than formerly—will never be able on the basis of this parliamentarism to conduct propaganda and agitation consistent in principle, really preparing the working-class masses for victorious participation in such “arguments”. The experience of alliances, agreements and blocs with the social-reform liberals in the West and with the liberal reformists (Cadets) in the Russian revolution, has convincingly shown that these agreements only blunt the consciousness of the masses, that they do not enhance but weaken the actual significance of their struggle, by linking fighters with elements who are least capable of fighting and most vacillating and treacherous. Millerandism in France—the biggest experiment in applying revisionist political tactics on a wide, a really national scale—has provided a practical appraisal of revisionism that will never be forgotten by the proletariat all over the world.

A natural complement to the economic and political tendencies of revisionism was its attitude to the ultimate aim of the socialist movement. “The movement is everything, the ultimate aim is nothing"—this catch-phrase of Bernstein’s expresses the substance of revisionism better than many long disquisitions. To determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the chopping and changing of petty politics, to forget the primary interests of the proletariat and the basic features of the whole capitalist system, of all capitalist evolution, to sacrifice these primary interests for the   real or assumed advantages of the moment—such is the policy of revisionism. And it patently follows from the very nature of this policy that it may assume an infinite variety of forms, and that every more or less “new” question, every more or less unexpected and unforeseen turn of events, even though it change the basic line of development only to an insignificant degree and only for the briefest period, will always inevitably give rise to one variety of revisionism or another.

The inevitability of revisionism is determined by its class roots in modern society. Revisionism is an international phenomenon. No thinking socialist who is in the least informed can have the slightest doubt that the relation between the orthodox and the Bernsteinians in Germany, the Guesdists and the Jaurèsists (and now particularly the Broussists) in France, the Social Democratic Federation and the Independent Labour Party in Great Britain, Brouckère and Vandervelde in Belgium, the Integralists and the Reformists in Italy, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia, is everywhere essentially similar, notwithstanding the immense variety of national conditions and historical factors in the present state of all these countries. In reality, the “division” within the present international socialist movement is now proceeding along the same lines in all the various countries of the world, which testifies to a tremendous advance compared with thirty or forty years ago, when heterogeneous trends in the various countries were struggling within the one international socialist movement. And that “revisionism from the left” which has taken shape in the Latin countries as “revolutionary syndicalism”,[4] is also adapting itself to Marxism, “amending” it: Labriola in Italy and Lagardelle in France frequently appeal from Marx who is understood wrongly to Marx who is understood rightly.

We cannot stop here to analyse the ideological content of this revisionism, which as yet is far from having developed to the same extent as opportunist revisionism: it has not yet become international, has not yet stood the test of a single big practical battle with a socialist party in any single country. We confine ourselves therefore to that “revisionism from the right” which was described above.

Wherein lies its inevitability in capitalist society? Why is it more profound than the differences of national peculiarities and of degrees of capitalist development? Because in every capitalist country, side by side with the proletariat, there are always broad strata of the petty bourgeoisie, small proprietors. Capitalism arose and is constantly arising out of small production. A number of new “middle strata” are inevitably brought into existence again and again by capitalism (appendages to the factory, work at home, small workshops scattered all over the country to meet the requirements of big industries, such as the bicycle and automobile industries, etc.). These new small producers are just as inevitably being cast again into the ranks of the proletariat. It is quite natural that the petty-bourgeois world-outlook should again and again crop up in the ranks of the broad workers’ parties. It is quite natural that this should be so and always will be so, right up to the changes of fortune that will take place in the proletarian revolution. For it would be a profound mistake to think that the “complete” proletarianisation of the majority of the population is essential for bringing about such a revolution. What we now frequently experience only in the domain of ideology, namely, disputes over theoretical amendments to Marx; what now crops up in practice only over individual side issues of the labour movement, as tactical differences with the revisionists and splits on this basis—is bound to be experienced by the working class on an incomparably larger scale when the proletarian revolution will sharpen all disputed issues, will focus all differences on points which are of the most immediate importance in determining the conduct of the masses, and will make it necessary in the heat of the fight to distinguish enemies from friends, and to cast out bad allies in order to deal decisive blows at the enemy.

The ideological struggle waged by revolutionary Marxism against revisionism at the end of the nineteenth century is but the prelude to the great revolutionary battles of the proletariat, which is marching forward to the complete victory of its cause despite all the waverings and weaknesses of the petty bourgeoisie.

It Is Sad when people who are well respected in the Left liberal circles and who are one of the most fearless voices of secularism, start slandering Lenin in the most ignorant ways possible. In an article in Indian Express last month Professor Apoorvanand talked about Lenin and claimed that Lenin did not believe in democracy, making Soviet Union a one-party dictatorship, and was responsible for the agony of the Soviet people. He claimed that Lenin is not a good ideal to follow in these times of crises. We are attempting here to respond to some of these assertions. 

To respond to the point Apoorvanand makes about democracy, we should start with understanding the meaning of democracy. Marxist Leninists believe that what people understand as democracy is nothing but the dictatorship of the capitalist (ruling) class. We say that the political parties in capitalist countries are just tools of the corporates, so whichever party is elected, it does not matter because the class rule remains the same. This can be easily seen in the context of imperialist counties like America and even in countries under neo-colonial domination like India. It is common knowledge that in America corporates control both leading parties (Republicans and Democrats) and policies are made according to them. For instance, the gun law still remains, global warming is utterly ignored and jails have been privatised because of the corporate interests and there are thousands of examples how the corporates virtually control the whole system. Also the corporate interests were directly responsible for the war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam, Korea etc. in which lakhs of lives were lost. 

Elections in capitalist countries do not result in any fundamental change in the lives of the masses. Today in India 1 % super rich controls 73% of the wealth. Since 1991 researches by people like P. Sainath have shown that lakhs of farmers have committed suicide because of pro corporate policies of the Congress and migration on a large scale started in this period. Today when we have a massive human tragedy involving lakhs of workers walking thousands of miles without food, we should remember that the ground for it was laid in the Congress era. Here a simple question arises -- what do we have in India today, people’s rule or  corporate rule? Anyone who sees it with open eyes, can see that it is corporate rule and even if the opposition comes to power, it will remain the same. So what we have in the guise of democracy is actually the rule of the corporates. 

There is also another basic flaw with Apoorvanand's idea of democracy as it does not consider surplus labour which is extracted from the workers by which the capitalist wealth is created. Also it should be understood that how in countries under neo-colonial domination American imperialism controls polices through World Bank and IMF which are responsible for their impoverishment. As long as this remains, there will be huge income inequality. So saying that you can create a true democracy without removing the loot of the labour and of finance capital is a utopian idea.

Also freedom of speech in these so-called democracies is severely constricted. It exists only until you start organising for a radical change in the class structure. For example where was democracy when thousands of peasants were killed during the Telangana uprising?  Or when thousands were killed and jailed during Tehbhaga and Naxalbari movement? Or why did the Congress leaders help the British to pacify the Indian Naval Mutiny in 1946? Why were all the democratic rights dismissed during the emergency? Where was democracy then? It clearly shows that this formal democracy exists only until you start challenging the ruling class.

Marxists believe that this can only be changed if working class along with the peasantry come to power through a revolution. This is what happened in Russia. But Professor Apoorvanand claims that Lenin forcibly took power of the state and that was the end of freedom! He puts it as if it were a coup, but in fact it was a revolution in which overwhelming section of the population took part, books like ’10 days that shook the world’ show this clearly. Yes, the Bolsheviks came to power but Soviets were elected by the people and people had the right to choose their candidates.

His article claims that the poor had gone through great agony in Lenin’s time. But in fact the state gave people freedom from illiteracy and developed a new education system which was praised by people like Nehru, Rabindranth Tagore and Periyar. It abolished poverty, unemployment, provided food security and achieved great heights in women's empowerment by giving women equal rights in every sphere and freedom from domestic work. Great achievements in the fields of science and technology were made and, most importantly, the Soviet Union under Stalin fought against Hitler’s fascism and defeated it. 

We can add here one more point about ‘democracy’. Since the Soviet archives have been opened people like Professor Grover Furr and Russian historians like Yuri Zhukov and others have written about the Stalin era in great detail. They have found out that Stalin struggled for more democratic rights and direct democracy in the Soviet Union. Documents including the 1936 constitution show that Stalin fought for free, fair elections and secret ballot system. He had spoken many times about the need to separate the government from the party, he said that the party should only be responsible for agitation and propaganda work. But because of many central committee leaders including Khrushchev who had their vested interests, this could not happen because they voted against these suggestions. After Stalin’s death Soviet Union degenerated into a bureaucratic state. This is well documented in Grover Furr’s book "Stalin and the struggle for democratic reform".  

So things clearly aren’t as simple as Apoorvanandji would have us believe. He claims Russia was plunged into famine due to Lenin’s policies. This is the same set of lies which CIA has been peddling since the time of the revolution. We should understand that in those times 14 different capitalist countries attacked Soviet Russia and Russia was a very backward country. This had led to the food shortages and the famine, not Lenin’s policy. Claims that the Russian trials were a sham and a mass show are utterly baseless too. The most famous trials called the Moscow trials have been found to be true. It has been found by researches that in the late thirties there was a serious threat to overthrow the soviet government by German agents along with the ex party members headed by Trotsky. So the evidence was found against the people who were implicated which included party leaders, police officials and army officers. Yes there were accesses many times by the party and the police but they can’t be put all on the head of Lenin or Stalin . 

Will sight an example from the book Russian historian Yuri Zhukov who claims that there were a few central committee members in those times who were scared that if the kulaks and others were given voting rights their power would be curbed. This was one of the reasons why many people were wrongly implicated or killed in the 1930s. Stalin had ordered for the arrests and actions based on the reports he was getting about the threats by these first secretaries. Also there was an actual threat to the soviet power as well , as I mentioned above .

Documents have also shown many police and party officials who had wrongly implicated people were also later dealt with by the regime. Yes, there were excesses and there were big blunders made by the leadership and this should be criticized severely, but saying that Russian revolution led to no revolutionary changes is utterly false. Also, the future socialist society which we dream of can only be achieved if we do a scientific analysis of this period and the mistakes that were made. 

Also many people who were wrongly convicted or exiled during the early days after revolution and during the 30s were freed by the government after the initial years. It should be added that Gorky’s criticism might be true on many points and the debates between Lenin and Gorky should be well researched. But saying that Gorky believed that Lenin’s times were similar to fascism today, seems absolutely bizarre. The same Gorky praised Stalin and Lenin more than anyone, in fact he was invited back to Soviet Russia by Stalin and he lived their till his death! Gorky wrote one of the best obituaries when Lenin died and it starts like this “Even in the camp of his enemies there are some who honestly admit: in Lenin the world has lost a personality who embodied genius more strikingly than any other great man of his day”.

Apoorvanandji compared the lynching which are happening today in India and which are utterly communal in nature to the class uprising of the peasants against Kulaks who were the blood sucking landlords and who exploited them for centuries. This is just as absurd as it gets. Just to add Soviet society fought against ethnic and racial discrimination too, Paul Robeson the American singer and Boxer Mohammad Ali had talked about this. 

The present democracy is actually the dictatorship of a minuscule minority over the vast majority of the population. The democracy that a few liberals like Apoorvanand are afraid of is actually the rule of the vast majority of the population over the tiny section which is the ruling class today. These liberals are content to remain under the dictatorship of the neo-colonial regime but shudder at the idea of being subject to a democracy which is actually the rule of the toiling people on the parasites of society. This shows the class allegiance of these liberals and proves why they cannot be dependable allies of the workers and peasants and the downtrodden masses.

Lastly it should be said that Lenin’s analysis about the fundamentals of imperialism and its plunder remains with us today and is as relevant as ever. This imperialist and capitalist plunder is the reason why we have environmental crises and why we face the challenge of such deadly viruses. Only with this understanding how both fascism and environmental crises are caused by capitalism can we devise a plan to defeat it and this is where Lenin’s ideas find their relevance today.

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.


KN Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI(ML) Red Star


New Delhi

22nd April 2020


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.