“100 years after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the lessons and tasks for the contemporary communists”
19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties,
November 2-4 2017
Dear comrades, let me greet all participants of the meeting!
27 years ago (in April 1990) I gave a speech at the conference of Leningrad CPSU organization that was to discuss the list of delegates to be sent to the XXVIII Congress of CPSU. Exactly then there took place the division between market oriented supporters of Gorbachev and orthodox communists. This division is still present in Russian Federation and manifests itself as the existence of two parties: CPRF and RCWP and the struggle between these two parties.
We are celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Great October, still we meet now the jubilee of October not on the rise of our movement but under the conditions of temporary defeat of the October Revolution’s cause in the land of October, i.e. in the state of retreat. That’s why the best way to celebrate the Great October’s jubilee would be to focus upon the tasks not resolved and to analyze our experience and the mistakes committed. Our party has prepared report entitled “100 years after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the lessons and tasks for the contemporary communists.” We attach to this document great importance and believe it to be the second program of our party. In August this year, 100 years since the historical VI congress of Bolsheviks that had taken the course on armed uprising, there was held a conference of communist and workers parties that adhere to orthodox Marxism. At the conference there was adopted declaration entitled “October-100” that we offer for consideration (as well as for critics) to all the parties.
In the report of RCWP CC there is analyzed in detail the world-historical importance of the October revolution that was the first in the world that had successfully established the dictatorship of proletariat. It’s very important that the Great October Socialist Revolution was the first revolution that had been theoretically predicted by Marxism as natural and inevitable transition form capitalist social-economic formation to the more progressive communist one.
It’s known that a revolution requires the presence of subjective factor. Lenin developed the theory of proletarian party – the party of a new type and created the party of Bolsheviks. The main lesson (in a narrow sense) that Lenin gave to all proletarian parties is the fact that Bolsheviks were able mobilize working class and popular strata of Russia for the revolution not because they joined with all sorts of opposition, but first of all because they could defeat opportunistic trend of Mensheviks in workers’ movement both ideologically and organizationally.
We should specially stress that Bolsheviks never gave up the idea of the world revolution. In the report there was analyzed the experience and merits of Comintern that from the moment of its creation had provided communists with their own pole in workers’ movement, the pole that had been clearly defined both ideologically and organizationally. The Third, i.e. Communist International carried out huge theoretical work, in particular it predicted Fascism and gave it definition. (“Fascism in power is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of the financial capital, a special form of class domination of bourgeoisie…”). Though the issue of Comintern’s dissolution requires a special analysis, one thing is quite obvious: the main result of Comintern’s activities was the defeat of Fascism and creation of world Socialist system with the most powerful organizational nucleus as represented by USSR and by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance countries.
Soviet Union saved the world civilization while having provided the decisive contribution to the defeat of German Nazism. What is especially important is the fact that this victory demonstrated the undisputed superiority of Socialism over Capitalism. On having promptly reconstructed the demolished national economy, USSR had turned into one of the most educated countries of the world with advanced science and culture. That’s why the priority of USSR in space research wasn’t accidental. The first person on Earth who went into space on board of Vostok space ship was Soviet pilot, communist Yuri Gagarin Soviet pilot, a former worker – a moulder-caster.
Soviet Union had a huge influence over the total world history course. The experience of Socialism, its’ social achievements both in USSR and other socialist countries forced capitalists to meet the demands of working people in their countries and introduce wider range of extended social guarantees.
The report pays special attention to the issue of power organization after the victory of socialist revolution. Essentially this is the main issue of the communist program. How one can organize the power of working people themselves and not of the people who only claim to represent them? We insist that the power should be organized as Soviet. The stability of Soviets and their best ability to perform the functions of proletarian dictatorship can be explained by the fact that the system of Soviets is based on objective reality that is characteristic for working people – i.e. on their organization that arises in the process of material production. The role of Soviets is very important already on the stage of struggle for power. No parliaments or center-left governments of “people’s trust” are likely to be transformed into Soviet power, neither would they adopt a Soviet Constitution nor lead people to Socialism. The way to Socialism goes through Soviets, through struggle.
The experience of USSR has persuasively and unequivocally proved that the economic basis for performing, strengthening and developing Soviet power as a form of proletarian dictatorship is the socialized property of means of production, preplanned directly social production that is aimed at providing complete well-being and free universal development of all members of society. This is the goal of socialist production. The rejection of this goal, the course towards market leads to the degradation and destruction of Socialism as market oriented commodity production fundamentally cannot be a basis of proletarian dictatorship. Any attempt to construct a socialist market oriented commodity economics will inevitably lead to the destruction of Socialism. Now we can say that it’s not only a scientifically predicted occurrence, but also a historical fact that unfortunately has been proved by experiment.
(The most important condition for development of Socialism is the movement towards non-commodity, directly social nature of production. Nowadays this issue has not only been an issue of interest, but it has also been the point of dissent among communists, including Russian communists. In our report we give a reply to our market oriented comrades, in particular those, who suggest that we should follow the “Chinese path”: you will all end up in Capitalism if you go along this road. What we see is essentially the dream of Gorbachev. i.e. to move to Capitalism under the Red Banner.
Of course, the economic successes of China are impressive and incite respect, still they don’t necessarily mean a success of socialist construction. Lenin used to say that such type of satisfaction man can experience under Capitalism as well. Now China is the second in the list of countries by the number of billionaires, whereas Russia is the third. It’s quite obvious that both countries are quite fare away from the construction of classless society, i.e. Communism. Meanwhile Chinese Capitalism has been actively playing reactionary role worldwide – it’s enough to recall the shooting of workers at Chinese oil drilling plants in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan and the struggle of Greek workers against the plans by Chinese companies to privatize the port of Piraeus. It’s difficult for us to say this but we see that Chinese comrades are likely to repeat the sad fate of CPSU.)
For obvious reasons we paid special attention to the issue of tactics and necessity of utilizing the possibilities provided by bourgeois parliament to the development of class struggle. The approach by Lenin was illustrated by one of his most categorical expressions: “Only blackguards or fools can believe that proletariat should first conquer the majority in the course of elections that are carried out under the oppression of bourgeoisie, under the conditions of the hired slavery and only afterwards they should conquer the power. This is the utmost manifestation of stupidity or hypocrisy, this is the substitution of class struggle and revolution by elections under the old order, the old power”. Everything is decided in the course of extra parliamentary struggle.
In the report there is a special chapter dedicated to the reasons for the defeat of Socialism in USSR. Lenin used to say that “nobody can defeat us but for our own mistakes”. If we wanted to answer briefly why the Soviet power and CPSU were defeated whereas the majority of working people expressed indifference regarding the counterrevolutionary coup performed in 1991, we would say as follows: it’s because that by that time the power had not been Soviet and the party – communist any longer.
In the report we dwelled in detail upon the practical mistakes made by the party and the authorities starting with the main one – i.e. the rejection of the main issue in Marxism – i.e. the rejection of proletarian dictatorship. This was performed by the leaders of the party that went on calling itself communist. At the XXII Congress of CPSU there was adopted a new party program that excluded mentioning the necessity of proletarian dictatorship from its basic programmatic issues. Meanwhile the XXVIII Congress of CPSU adopted the program of transition to market, i.e. to Capitalism. Even the models of honest privatization as G.A. Zyganov told us were elaborated within CPSU CC. The struggle within CPSU in that period was also reflected in the report.
Life itself has proved the correctness of Marxism’s founders when they claimed that Communism is science and that it should be dealt with correspondingly.
The parties that adhered to orthodox, i.e. revolutionary Marxism joined together in Communist (i.e. the 3rd) International in XX Century. The tasks of communist parties, their responsibilities among which the most important was the responsibility to struggle for the revolutionary character of the parties, the struggle against opportunism were reflected in the 21 conditions of admission to Comintern. In the world there are still many parties who occupy the positions of revolutionary Marxism. Theoretical thought is still alive and Marxist-Leninist scientists go on with their studies.
As a separate topic we analyze the issue of whether we should aim for Socialism at all, in case Capitalism can provide a high level of prosperity? We, Soviet communists that lived and struggled in Soviet times when answering the question of “what was better under Socialism?”, point out that the main benefit of Socialism was not only the social security of people from the market or the absence of unemployment, or free of charge education, healthcare and accessible housing. We tell that the better relationship between people was that mattered most. Those relationships were much more honest, pure and fair. They were more human. This is worth struggling for!
Nowadays imperialists in many countries have been banning communist parties activities (eg. in Ukraine and in Baltic republics) and symbols, communists are not allowed to take part in elections etc. Anticommunist propaganda has been carried out everywhere with a various degree of frenzy. Still the main tool of anticommunism is not the bans, but the leading of the movement aside, its emasculation.
RCWP claims that today opportunism and revisionism have been transformed from natural biases of communist movement into a controlled weapon of bourgeoisie. The best known example of such transformation is the trend called Eurocommunism that is represented by the party of European Left. It’s clear that such parties pose no threat to bourgeoisie and are supported. These are our class enemies. Bourgeoisie has perfectly well learned to emasculate revolutionary ideas. The example of the recent Youth Festival in Sochi can illustrate this well. Dances and fun instead of anti-imperialist struggle is its essence.
Our program means the development of the struggle of working people themselves. One can achieve anything by struggle only, not by begging, whereas providing the scope of the struggle and the degree of its organization have reached a certain threshold, we can raise the issue of working people’s power – the Soviet power. We’ve been under severe pressure of reaction but we have to keep our stamina and fight in order to be able to timely bring the spark of revolutionary knowledge and revolutionary fire to the powder keg of people’s energy. Lenin used to say: “it doesn’t depend on us only if there is revolution or not, but we’ll perform our task and this effort will never perish”. Let’s check our thoughts and deeds against Lenin and the party of Bolsheviks.
Let’s not falter on our chosen way! There is no other way around.
Long live Marxism-Leninism, the teaching on revolutionary struggle of proletarians all over the world. Proletarians of all countries – unite!
Russian Communist Workers Party Central Committee