100 years since the Great October Socialist Revolution and the lessons for contemporary сommunists
REPORT OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF
THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST WORKERS’ PARTY
I. October 1917 – the first victorious proletarian revolution
in world history and a proof of the Marxist theory and scientific
foresight of Marxism.
II. Worldwide and historical significance of the Great October
2.1. Great achievements of the Soviet power and their
influence on the world development.
2.2. The importance of the experience of socialist construction
in the USSR for the working class, working people across the globe
and peoples of the world and the role of the socialist state.
2.3. Importance of Soviet experience: its validity, necessity
and inevitability for parties of workers’ class in other countries.
III. Lessons learned from defeats for our future victories.
3.1. Theoretical issues: retreat from the major Marxist
3.2. Economic mistakes: commodity elements in social
production and sliding towards capitalism.
3.3. Political mistakes in Socialist construction: departure
from the Leninist principles of the development of the Soviet Power
and deviation from the Party program
IV. Present-day communist wings and literature. Anti-science,
pseudo-communistic ideological streams of our time.
4.1. Eurocommunism is not communism.
4.2. Market socialism is a reverse traffic from socialism
towards capitalism. Gorbachev’s dream: to move towards
capitalism under the red banner. The way of the Communist party
of China and the Communist Party of Russian Federation.
4.3. Socialism of the 21st century: a sort of improved
capitalism in Latin America and other countries.
V. Our perspective is a struggle for the revival of Soviet power
5.1. Modern instruments of bourgeoisie in their fight against
the communist movement.
5.2. Lenin’s views on the methods of the bourgeois struggle
against the forthcoming revolution.
5.3. Today’s methods of the bourgeois attack on Communists
Towards the party of the New type – along the Leninist path.
The Great October Socialist Revolution – is the best known
revolution in the world, whereas its influence over the development
of mankind it is the greatest among all revolutions known. Whatever
the attitude to the Russian Revolution might be, any more or less
literate human in the world has at least an idea of what happened in
Russia in 1917 and who Lenin was.
There is a popular joke that the gun shot from «Avrora» battleship
was the most powerful artillery shots ever produced in the world.
There was only one discharge of the ship’s rear gun in the direction
of the Tsars’ palace where the bourgeois Provisional Government
held its meeting. Though it was a dry shot, the whole world of
capitalism has been still flinching when recalling this event.
In accordance with the law of social development discovered and
described by K. Marx and F. Engels, the replacement of the declining
capitalist social order by a new one that is more progressive – socialist
– should inevitably take place. In Russia it happened exactly in 1917
and exactly as a result of October Revolution. The October Revolution
is a continuation of the Paris Commune. This was the first successful
establishing of the dictatorship of proletariat. This was the first state
of workers and peasants that has so far demonstrated the highest
stability among the rest of known socialist states. Seventy years of
the Soviet Power and great achievements of the USSR are the proof
to that as they are.
Nevertheless, today communists are facing the jubilee of October
not on the rise, but suffering temporary defeat of the October
Revolution’s cause in the land of October, i.e. in the state of retreat.
The best way of celebrating the Great October’s jubilee would be to
focus upon the tasks yet unresolved. To do this, communists should
with utter honesty review and reconsider the results of their
movement in the last century. Such analysis should be started with
the recognition of the fact that in their struggle for masses
communists were not always victorious and appeared to be defeated
by counterrevolution in the land of October. We have to answer the
questions: Who or what defeated communists? Why did it happen?
Was it a final and irreversible defeat or a temporary one, whereas
the struggle continues? To answer these questions one has to «check
the route against the map»; to match practical experience against
the basic concepts of revolutionary Marxism’s theory; to pinpoint
the drawbacks of the theory applied in case the practice necessitates
this; to make some theoretical corrections if necessary. Or we should
make conclusions on our own mistakes. That’s why in the remaining
before the jubilee months, communists from across the world should
undertake joint steps to wave off the counterrevolutionary heritage
and celebrate the anniversary with an open heart.
In order to make sure that communist cause is true and proved
by practice, and to show again that it is worth fighting for it, let us
start with the analysis of the preparation for the revolution and the
merits of the October.
I. October 1917 –
the first victorious proletarian revolution
in world history and a proof of the Marxist
theory and scientific foresight of Marxism.
The Great October Socialist Revolution was the first revolution
that had been theoretically predicted by Marxism as a natural and
inevitable transition from the capitalist social formation to a more
progressive, to the communist one. This revolution was not only
predicted but also planned, prepared and carried out under the
leadership of Bolsheviks.
Сertainly, one should not understand «getting ready for the
revolution» verbally, as if Bolsheviks had appointed and performed
the revolution. It’s well known that revolutions cannot be ordered.
Still, Bolsheviks paved the way to the revolution by means of all their
activities, first of all by getting ready for the revolution themselves.
Lenin used to teach: «Whether or not there will be a revolution does
not depend on us alone. But we shall do our work, and this work will
never be in vain»1.
Revolution was foreseen and prepared by way of ingenious and
titanic theoretical work of V.I. Lenin, by way of the most purposeful
political activities of Bolsheviks and heroic struggle of the Russian
Lenin’s work «Imperialism as the highest stage of Capitalism» in
which he analyzed the development of Capitalism in its highest,
monopolistic stage is undoubtedly of special importance for the
theoretical preparation of the revolution. In this work he elaborated
the theory of Imperialism while revealing its main features and the
direction of its development as a parasitic and decaying Capitalism
on the verge of socialist revolution.
By the words «on the verge» Lenin proved that there is no new
phase of progressive development of capitalism following the stage
of imperialism. Lenin determined the historical place of Imperialism
exactly this way despite all opportunistic interpretations of Marxism
like those of Kautsky, Plekhanov and others, who believed that
imperialism should be followed by ultraimperialism and that
revolutionary social-democrats should not exceed the limits of the
Lenin proved that socialist revolution in Russia was possible and
that the country was ready for it at that historical moment.
Of course, Lenin was not the first to discover Imperialism itself,
but it was he who formulated and explored it as the highest stage of
In his analysis of objective reality he was the first to point out at
the dialectic contradiction arising with the essence of capitalism at
1 Lenin V.I. Full Coll. CIT., vol. 22, p. 173. (Hereinafter, quoting V.I. Lenin, we refer to Full
Collection of Lenin’s Works (ПСС in Russian), 5th edition – M.: Izdatelstvo politicheskoy
literatury, 1967 (PDF). All quotes are translated by publishers).
the stage of imperialism. «… Some its fundamental characteristics
began to change into their opposites, – wrote Marx, – Economically,
the main thing in this process is the displacement of capitalist free
competition by capitalist monopoly. Free competition is the basic
feature of capitalism and commodity production in general. <…>
Monopolies, which have grown out of free competition, do not
eliminate the latter, but exist above it and alongside it, and thereby
give rise to a number of very acute, intense antagonisms, frictions
and conflicts. Monopoly is the transition from capitalism to a higher
It was absolutely clear to Lenin that the question regarding
«whether it is possible to reform the basis of imperialism, whether to
go forward to the further intensification and deepening of the
antagonisms which it engenders or backward, towards allaying these
antagonisms, are fundamental issues in the critique of imperialism.
Since the specific political features of imperialism are overall reaction
and increased national oppression due to the establishing of the
colonial system and oppression on part of the financial oligarchy and
the elimination of free competition, a petty-bourgeois-democratic
opposition to imperialism arose at the beginning of the twentieth
century in nearly all imperialist countries. Kautsky neither cared nor
was able to oppose this petty-bourgeois reformist opposition, which
is really reactionary in its economic basis, on the contrary, he became
merged with it in practice; and this is precisely where Kautsky and
the broad international Kautskian trend deserted Marxism»3.
In particular Lenin remarked that Imperialism significantly
changes the relations between bourgeoisie and working class. Some
of the working class’ strata, sometimes considerable ones, move over
to the side of bourgeoisie because the latter improves their state at
the expense of millions of people in dependent countries and
2 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 27, p. 385.
3 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 27, p. 408-409.
colonies. A part of working class adopt bourgeois ideology. In politics,
the interests of the above strata are represented by «bourgeois
Within workers movement, the struggle between revolutionary
and reformist wings is getting sharper. In Russia, this struggle was
shaped as a confrontation between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
Lenin predicted and demonstrated how economic crises of
capitalism bring about revolutionary situations. He formulated the
concept of revolutionary situation and described the main objective
and subjective characteristic of the crisis situation developing on the
eve of revolution:
– The upper strata cannot rule as they did in the past.
– The lower strata don’t want to live as they lived in the past.
– The inevitable increase of the activities of masses above the
Meanwhile long before the revolution Lenin mentioned that it
was far from sure that any crisis or revolutionary situation would
turn into revolution. He wrote: «Neither the oppression of the lower
classes nor a crisis among the upper classes can cause a revolution;
they can only cause the decay of a country, unless that country has a
revolutionary class capable of transforming the passive state of
oppression into an active state of revolt and insurrection»5.
There is yet another condition necessary for the revolution – the
presence of such a subjective factor as vanguard proletarian party
that arms itself with advanced theory and is capable of leading the
insurrection of this revolutionary class. V.I. Lenin developed the
theory of proletarian party, the party of new type and created the
party of Bolsheviks. While setting up the task of enabling proletariat
to perform its great historical mission, communist party organizes
proletariat into independent political force, that confronts all
4 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 30, p. 168.
5 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 23, p. 301.
bourgeois parties simultaneously, directs all manifestations of its class
struggle, reveals to proletariat implacable contradiction of interests
existing between exploiters and exploited and clarifies the historical
meaning and the conditions of the forthcoming socialist revolution.
On the assumption of the law of uneven economic and political
development in the epoch of imperialism Lenin saw in the Russian
Empire a weak link that could be torn. He substantiated the possibility
of the revolution’s initial victory in a separate country; put forward a
thesis of turning imperialistic war into civil one. Hence, the party of
Bolsheviks set forth towards practical preparation of the revolution.
This way the October Revolution was theoretically substantiated,
predicted, prepared and practically implemented.
The Great October Socialist Revolution did not establish a sort
of long-awaited «genuine power of people» or a sort of «real
democracy», it established Proletarian Dictatorship per se in the
form of Soviets.
II. Worldwide and historical significance of
the Great October Socialist Revolution.
When discussing the Great October Socialist Revolution one should
use both wider and narrower perspective. Wider perspective describes
how the revolution and USSR have influenced other countries and the
developments in the world, in particular what Soviet achievements gave
an example to the rest of the world, what influence our country affected
over the whole world by way of its politics and achievements.
In the narrowest sense as Lenin put it: «…taking international
significance to mean the international validity or the historical
inevitability of a repetition, on an international scale, of what has
taken place in our country. It must be admitted that certain
fundamental features of our revolution do possess that
significance»6. That is the narrow perspective presumes that we
6 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 3.
should consider the practice of our struggle, the methods and ways
used by Bolsheviks and the first socialist country of the world. We
should reveal these patterns, which will have to be followed by all
other peoples in the process of constructing Socialism. In particular,
we should analyze the mistakes of Soviet communists to avoid them
whenever possible, to prevent neglecting theory, and moreover,
developing revisionism and apostasy. It is of special importance for
the present day.
In 1921 Lenin wrote his most topical his most topical work «Left-
Wing» Communism: An Infantile Disorder» that has been of great
importance for communists of all times. This assay attacked the above
issues of narrower perspective that had been revealed in the course
of preparations for the revolution and in the first years of Soviet
power. We should mention that these days the book is addressed
not so much to ultra leftists and too eager ultra revolutionaries, but
rather to parties and comrades suffering from syndromes of senile
malady of opportunistic rightism. It wasn’t for nothing that wise
people used to call the «Left-Wing» Communism: An Infantile
Disorder» an Encyclopedia of Bolshevism! It is really so.
2.1. Great achievements of the Soviet power and
their influence on the world development.
World Imperialism undertook tremendous efforts to strangle
the first state of proletarian dictatorship. Fourteen foreign states
supported internal counterrevolution and took part in military
intervention thus unleashing the most severe civil war. Nevertheless,
the Soviet power withstood the onslaught and won. It won due to
the widest support from working masses within the country and due
to no less important sincere and extensive solidarity of proletariat
worldwide. The Dictatorship of proletariat had performed one of
its first and most important functions – it had suppressed an open
resistance of the overthrown classes and their allies.
The tasks of the state construction became the main focus of
attention after the end of the civil war. Soviet power acted first of all
in the interests of working class, while strengthening its union with
working peasantry and in particular while adopting the New
Economic Policy. Communist party of Bolsheviks that remained
faithful to Marxism-Leninism and managed economic development
in its entirety. Following this teaching and overcoming the negative
bourgeois tendencies in the country, the party and people performed
cultural revolution, industrialization and collectivization of
agriculture. They eliminated exploitation, unemployment,
deprivation and future-induced fear. The working week was
shortened, free healthcare and education were introduced. The
national issue was being successfully resolved on the grounds of
uniting working people under the Union of the Soviet Socialist
Republics. The country was developing very quickly, and by the
beginning of 40s, it ranks second in the world by its industrial output
as against the fifth place it had occupied before the revolution.
Planned provision of industry with advanced equipment laid a basis
for ever-growing wellbeing of people and reliable defense potential
of the country.
It would be senseless to deny the achievements of Soviet Union
in economy, science and technology, culture, social welfare and other
fields. These achievements are obvious and well known. Hardly
anybody would deny them, that is why the enemies of Socialism
usually criticize them, claiming that that all those achievements were
obtained due to a terrible dictatorship of Stalin at the expense of
indescribable sacrifices, and so on. Many of such critics in their antisoviet
zeal even claim that these achievements were gained by people
despite the Soviet power and the Party’s dictatorship. Even now,
especially in Russia and pro-Nazi Ukraine, anticommunists
demagogically speculate on the horrors of Stalin’s dictatorship, thus
denigrating the achievements of Socialism.
In his report «Results of the First Five-Year Plan» I.V. Stalin
informed on convincing and impressive facts, which are widely known
today. These facts testified to that under the leadership of the
Communist Party, the Soviet people achieved outstanding victories
in building a powerful national economy. As Comrade Stalin said:
«Not only did we achieve, but we did more than we ourselves
expected, than the most ardent heads in our party could have
expected. Even enemies are not denying this now»7.
Indeed, even such an irreconcilable opponent of the practice of
socialist construction in the Soviet Union and Stalin personally as
Leo Trotsky, commenting on the same facts, admitted: «There is
nothing more to argue about with bourgeois economists: socialism
has proved its right to win not on the pages of Capital, but on the
economic arena which makes up the sixth part of the earth’s surface.
Not by the language of dialectics, but by the language of iron,
cement and electricity». Further he said: «Only thanks to the
proletarian revolution, a backward country accomplished the
unprecedented successes in history within less than two decades.
Thus, the dispute with the reformists in the labour movement is
over. Can we at least for a moment compare their rat race with the
titanic work that the people, awakened by the revolution to a new
life, are committing?»8.
It should be emphasized that from the very beginning Bolsheviks
never understood revolution as characteristic of Russia only. Both
before and after the October Bolsheviks did not consider Russian
revolution as an even limited to Russia only. Both before and after
the October they assumed, as expressed by Lenin, that «singlehanded,
the Russian proletariat cannot bring the socialist revolution
to a victorious conclusion. But it can give the Russian revolution a
mighty sweep that would create the most favourable conditions for
7 Stalin I.V. Full Coll., vol. 13, p. 178.
8 Trotsky L.D. The Revolution Betrayed. – Moscow: SRI for Culture, 1991, pp. 8-10.
9 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 31, p. 93.
10 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 27, p. 424.
11 ECCI. XIII Plenary Meeting. – Verbatum., 1934, p. 589.
a socialist revolution, and would, in a sense, start it»9. That’s why
the efforts of their party were aimed at creating these «best
conditions» for the development of the world socialist revolution.
As early as in 1919, on Lenin’s initiative the third, Communist
International – Comintern was founded. The conditions for admission
to the Comintern were based on the thesis by Lenin: «The fight
against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably
bound up with the fight against opportunism»10. Since then
communists had their own clearly defined and organizationally
established trend in the workers movement as represented by the
Comintern. Meanwhile Social-Democrats actually turned into
assistants of Imperialism busy stabilizing and improving it, softening
and humanizing it, treating its sores and saving it at times of crises.
The third, the Communist International performed considerable
theoretical work, in particular they predicted Fascism and gave it a
scientific definition. The definition of Fascism presented in the
resolution of the XIII Plenary Meeting of Executive Committee and
repeated by Georgy Dimitrov at the VII Congress of the Comintern
(known as «definition of Dimitrov») is the most scientific, classical
Marxist definition: «Fascism in power is an open terrorist dictatorship
of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic
elements of financial capital… Fascism is neither the government
beyond classes nor the government of the petty bourgeois or the
lumpenproletariat over the financial capital. Fascism is the government
of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working
class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism
in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which
cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples»11.
In order to prevent the spreading of communist ideology in the
world Fascists whose actions fully confirmed the above definition
created the Anticomintern Pact while pursuing their class interests.
First in 1936 it was bourgeoisie of Germany and Japan, next it was
bourgeoisie of Italy in 1937, even later there followed a number of
states where there came to power governments that shared the
ideology of German Nazism and Italian Fascism or the governments
that had extremely negative attitudes towards USSR and Communism
in general: Hungary, Manchukuo and Spain of General Franco.
On November 25 1941, the Anticomintern Pact was extended to
a 5 year-term and joined by bourgeois Finland, Romania, Bulgaria,
as well as by puppet governments of Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia and
the government of Wang Jingwei created by Japanese on the
occupied territories of China.
The Comintern started fighting Fascism as early as the Browns
began comming to power in Spain and Germany. It developed the
tactics of popular fronts, and together with the Soviet Union became
actually the main adversaries of Hitler and his Anticomintern Pact in
the WWII. Communists ensured the decisive contribution to the
victory over Fascism and over its German vanguard – Nazism. CPSU(b)
alone sacrificed more than three millions of its best fighters for the
sake of victory over Fascism, whereas there had fallen five million
young heroes from Lenin’s Komsomol. Communists from most of
the countries were leaders of partisan warfare and the resistance
The issue of the Comintern’s dissolution requires a separate
consideration, nevertheless it is absolutely clear, that the main result
of its activities was the defeat of Fascism and the creation of the
world system of Socialism with the powerful organizational nucleus
– USSR and the countries of CMEA.
The Soviet Union has saved the world civilization by its decisive
contribution to the victory over German Nazism. The main point is
that this victory has demonstrated unequivocal superiority of
Socialism over Capitalism, the advantage of socialized property by
working people of means of production over the private property of
bourgeoisie. On having restored the destroyed domestic economy
in the shortest possible terms, in the period that followed the war
Soviet people could implement a number of big socialist development
projects. In the 50-ies the country had become one the most
educated in the world and possessed advanced science and culture.
In just 10 years the USSR based on socialist production mode moved
from the fifth to the third place in the industrial productivity rating
list of world’s biggest powers. That’s why the leading positions of
USSR in space research was only natural. The first man to flight into
space on the spaceship «Vostok» was a Soviet pilot, a former workermolder,
communist Yuri Gagarin.
People’s welfare used to steadily grow, prices used to go down,
whereas salaries used to increase and the working week in industry was
cut by 18 hours in the period of 1917-1961. The conditions for self
development of working people were improving. Thus the communist
nature of Socialism was revealed, working people could see by
themselves that Socialism was entering their daily lives and that it wasn’t
just an ideal or prospect any longer. As it is stressed in the program of
RCWP the Soviet people achieved its most significant progress in the
period of the second program of the party of Lenin under the leadership
of I. Stalin, as in that period the party was consequently following the
laws of socialist development as revealed by Marxism-Leninism.
The USSR has had a huge influence over the whole course of
human history. This fact is recognized both by friends and by enemies.
It was Socialism, both in the Soviet Union and allied countries, and
its achievements that made capitalists give concessions and provide
working people in their countries more extended and more clearly
determined social guarantees.
The Great October Socialist Revolution opened the era of
proletarian revolutions, led to the creation of communist parties in
many countries. At the same time, it intensified anti-colonial, anti17
feudal and anti-imperialist revolutions. If, at the beginning of the
twentieth century, the colonial possessions of the imperialist powers
encompassed 55 percent of the world’s territory and 35 percent of
the world’s population, after October 1917, the colonial system of
imperialism faced a recurring crisis. The national liberation movement
spread almost over all Asia, the countries of North Africa and other
regions. The peoples who had been earlier oppressed by the Russian
monarchy broke out colonial oppression; Iran, Egypt, Nepal and some
other countries gained recognition of their state independence.
Nevertheless, large masses of enslaved peoples continued suffering
from direct colonial oppression (more than 30% of the world’s
population and 31.2% of the world’s area). After the defeat of fascism
in the WWII, with the decisive role the Soviet Union in ensuring the
victory of socialism, the latter crossed the borders of one country,
formed its world system, and pushed the colonial system toward an
accelerated disintegration. From the mid-1950s it became obvious,
that disintegration of the colonial system entered the phase of its
collapse and actual completion of the political liberation of colonies
and intensification of the struggle for economic independence. Thus,
it was the October Socialist Revolution in Russia that awakened the
peoples of the colonies to the struggle for the abolition of imperialist
oppression and the conquest of freedom. The USSR rendered allround
support to the national liberation movement of the peoples
of Asia, Africa, Latin America and all others, contributed to the almost
total elimination of the colonial system of imperialism.
2.2. The importance of the experience of socialist
construction in the USSR for the working class,
working people across the globe and peoples of the
world, and the role of the socialist state.
The need of proletariat to have its own state from the very
beginning is determined by the necessity to suppress its class
adversaries. Thus revolution is finished only with reaching the final
goals of communists: with the construction of classless society, with
withering away of the state, with finalization of socialist construction
and with transition to the highest stage of communism, with the
disappearance of capitalist aggression not only from within, but also
from outside. The advance of society along the road of communist
construction is ensured by prevalence of positive proletarian wings
in establishing directly socialized production, in particular by way of
ensuring universal participation of people in political life. Ensuring
such participation is the most important function of proletarian
(а) Soviets – the most resilient organizational form of the
The Great Socialist October Revolution established in Russia the
Soviet power as an organizational form of the proletarian
dictatorship. As early as on the second day following the revolutionary
uprising and the downturn of the Provisional government the 2nd
Congress of Soviets of workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ deputies
declared the power of working people, i.e. proletarian dictatorship,
because it is a special form of a class unity under the leadership of
the working class. These were Soviets that earlier, under the Tsarist
Russia, appeared as the bodies of the workers’ struggle, initially as
economic and then political one – struggle for power and establishing
proletarian dictatorship. After the revolution, Soviets became the
organizational form for putting proletarian dictatorship in action.
Soviets are the most strong form of proletarian dictatorship
known in history. It is not only because they lasted longer than any
other forms or due to their great achievements. Their stability and
the best suitability for performing proletarian dictatorship’s functions
is determined by the fact that Soviets are based on objective reality
which shared by all working people, i.e. the way they are organized
in the process of material production. Bourgeois parliamentarism is
also rooted in objective reality, but this reality is expressed as almighty
power of money in the world of total commodity production, as a
cult of capital and the spirit of profit. It was for the first time in history
when in Soviets working people were granted the right to use their
organization acquired in the process of production to manage the
issues of society and to take political decision, to elect deputies in
their working collectives as well as to call them back whenever
necessary, to control government institutions thus ensuring
submission of the state to their interests. In 1917 established was
the highest, the most progressive form of democracy – proletarian
democracy of the working people and for the working people – the
To understand objective, quite material basis of the Soviet power
one should consider such important fact, that Soviets sprang to life,
long before the October Revolution as early as in 1905 in the course
of the First Russian revolution as apparatus of workers’ struggle for
their economic and political rights. Soviets, as Lenin pointed out are
not an invention of Bolsheviks; Soviets represent a form of struggle
discovered by the working class themselves, in the course of
economic and subsequent political strike in Ivanovo-Voznesensk.
They were constructed basing on the industrial representation
principle as delegations of workers from different factories and plants.
Only later they merged into a whole, up to the level of state power.
We should mention that the owners of the industrial enterprises,
local capitalists in Ivanovo from the very beginning of the Soviet were
ready to negotiate with workers’ deputies, but first of all they
demanded that each owner should negotiate with «their own»
workers’ deputies. Workers stubbornly adhered to the principle
«Together against all» while understanding that this was not only
but indispensable condition
The objective basis of Soviet power determined historical chain
of events: first without any discussions and agreement of Tsarism
and bourgeoisie there appeared Soviets, next socialist revolution
was performed – there took place establishment of Soviet power,
creation of the Soviet state and only after all that the Soviet
Constitution was adopted and Soviet Union created. This historical
sequence of events is determined by the logic of class struggle and
cannot be different. Thus the role of Soviets is very important already
at the stage of struggle for power. No parliaments or «governments of
people’s trust» are capable of turning into Soviet power, of adopting
Soviet Constitution and of leading working people to Socialism.
Such Soviets do not represent a workers’ parliament, as certain
theoreticians try to describe them, while even introducing the
formula of «moving towards democracy in the form of parliamentary
republic of the Soviet type». Soviets are combat detachments of
proletariat for waging class struggle. V.I. Lenin wrote: «The Soviet of
Workers Deputies is not a labor parliament and not an organ of
proletarian self-government, nor an organ of self-government at all
but a fighting organization for the achievement of definite aims»12.
Soviets never gave the power immediately to those who were not
ready to administrate – unprepared workers and cooks, as adherents
of Capitalism like to tell. Quite the opposite, in his work «Can the
Bolsheviks retain state power” he wrote: «We are not utopians. We
know that an unskilled laborer or a cook cannot immediately get on
with the job of state administration. In this we agree with the Cadets,
Breshkovskaya, and Tsereteli. We differ, however, from these citizens
in that we demand an immediate break with the prejudiced view that
only the rich, or officials chosen from rich families, are capable of
administering the state, of performing the ordinary, everyday work of
administration. We demand that training in the work of state
administration be conducted by class-conscious workers and soldiers
and that this training be begun at once, i.e., that a beginning be made
at once in training all the working people, all the poor, for this work»13.
12 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 12, p. 130.
13 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 34, p. 315.
When studying the origin of Soviets and working on the second
program of RKP(b) Lenin pinpointed essential principles for
construction of the Soviet power.
These principles are as follows:
– United and organized workers and masses exploited by
Capitalism and only them, i.e. the classes of exploiters should not be
– organization of the most active and conscientious part of the
exploited classes, their vanguard – workers class that should educate
and urge all working population to take part in the management of
state not in theory only but in practice as well;
– disposal of parliament as a method of division of power. Joining
legislative and executive branches of power in one body. They adopt the
law themselves and organize its implementation and control also themselves.
– Provision of close and direct ties with manufacturing economic
units. Working staff of a plant, enterprise (industrial or agricultural),
i.e. MANUFACTURING unit (plant, factory) turn into the main cell
of state construction (in particular of elections). For those strata of
populations that are not involved in these form of manufacturing
activities there exist TERRITORIAL CONSTITUENCIES;
– the most close ties between masses and the whole apparatus
of state power and state control if compared with all previous forms
of democracy ever.
– a possibility to gradually dispose of red tape in the apparatus of
– more democracy in organization of state power bodies due to
less formal procedures, simplicity of choice and calling the deputies
back by working teams at any time it’s necessary;
– the main issue of democracy is not a formal provision of formal
equality between poor and wealthy, but ensuring practical
accessibility of freedom and democracy for working masses that is
based on socialized property;
– building up military forces that are part and parcel of working
people. Bourgeoisie should be disarmed if necessary;
– Further preplanned extensive development of Soviet power in order
to gradually involve the whole population in control of social issues;
Temporary defeat of Soviets can be largely explained by mistakes
of the party in implementation of the communist theory and
abandoning the above principles, in particular by way of actual
revisionism and by way of subconscious but still real apostasy in the
post-Stalin period. This led to the degradation of Soviets to a sort of
bourgeois parliaments, though the issue will be discussed later.
The task of Socialism is not limited to proclamation of working
people’s power. Socialism should ensure that working people has
real, practical possibility to perform this power. Soviets are the most
adequate form that enables working people to perform power, they
are organizational form of proletarian dictatorship.
(b) Economic politics: directly socialized production is economic
basis of the Soviet power.
The experience of USSR has cogently proved that the economic
basis of performing, strengthening and development of Soviet power
as form of proletarian dictatorship are socialized property on means
of production, planned directly socialized Production – production
of customer value aimed at provision of complete well-being and
free and comprehensive development of each member of society.
The goal of socialist production is not self increasing of value, is
not additional value but the provision of complete well-being and
free and comprehensive development of each member of society.
Rejection of this goal, the course towards market leads to degradation
and destruction of Socialism as commodity-market economy cannot
serve as economic basis of proletarian dictatorship. Overall market
economy means Capitalism, the basis for future bourgeois dictatorship.
Work in communist production is represented by directly
socialized work and it’s not performed by way of exchange, whereas
communist production can be characterized as directly social and is
as such both in its highest, i.e. communist phase as well as in its
lowest, i.e. socialist phase.
Dialectical approach to historical experience of Socialist Revolution
in Russia, to the experience of socialist construction and development
of in the USSR allows observing how the mode of production was
changing at the time of transition to Communism and in the period of
the development of Socialism as the first phase of Communism.
The transition of power to workers class and establishing proletarian
dictatorship do not change the mode of production by themselves. It
was only after nationalization campaign that the communist (socialist)
mode was established. Under this mode production has an overtly
social character, whereas this mode co-exists with other modes of
production over a transitory period. In Russia, those were state
capitalist, private capitalist, petty-commodity and patriarchal modes.
The transition of power to workers class and establishing
proletarian dictatorship do not change the mode of production by
themselves. It was only after nationalization campaign that the
communist (socialist) mode was established. Under this mode
production has an overtly social character, whereas this mode coexists
with other modes of production over a transitory period. In
Russia, those were state capitalist, private capitalist, petty-commodity
and patriarchal modes.
Patriarchal mode means production for personal needs and is of
Petty-commodity production is a production for exchange and
means production of commodities.
Private capitalist production that presumes creation of value
(additional) can be apparently also characterized as commodity
production by its nature.
We should pay special attention to state Capitalism, that existed
in the period of New Economic Policy in Russia and is still in wide use
now, eg. in the People’s Republic of China in Cuba and Vietnam. The
matter is that over a certain period following nationalization only a
part of nationalized enterprises can be used to directly meet the
needs of society. It is exactly this part – and only this one – that
comprises socialist mode of production. All other nationalized
enterprises though are owned by the state, are still not governed by
the plan, but function in accordance with the basic law of any type
of commodity production, i.e. capitalist production – the Law of
Value. Consequently, the production in state capitalist segment of
economy is a commodity production.
Communist (socialist) mode of production, while developing and
extending, generally replaces all other modes within transitory
period. Directly socialized socialist production that is preplanned and
organized, turns, first, from a mode into a dominating form and, on
a later stage, into the only form of production. In the USSR it
happened exactly the way it was predicted by V.I. Lenin in his speech
at Plenum of the Moscow Soviet on December 20th 1922: «Russia
of NEP will turn into socialist Russia»14.
The ousting of non-socialist modes taking place within the
transitory period can be described by the phrase of Lenin: «More
Socialism!» Nevertheless this phrase is not applicable to Socialism
itself as the first phase of Communism, because after socialist
production becomes not only dominating, but also the only form of
production there cannot be more Socialism and we can have only
more or less developed Socialism. The development cannot be limited
to increase or decrease, it is performed by way of unity and conflict
of opposites. This is true in respect of the development of socialist
production where there is a conflict between its directly socialized
character and the negative influence of remnants of commoditization
due to its origins in Capitalism. In planned economics this struggle is
directly dependant on theoretical positions and political strategies
of the state and the ruling party.
14 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 45, p. 309.
It was not for nothing that V.I. Lenin in his remarks on the
Bukharin’s book «Economy of the transitory period» (XIth collection
of Lenin’s works) stressed that under Socialism product goes to
consumer not by way of market. In his «Order of STO to local Soviet
institutions» he clarified that state product, the product of socialist
plant exchanged for food stuffs produced by peasants is not a
commodity in political-economic sense, anyway it is not only a
commodity, it’s already not a commodity, it ceases to be a commodity.
After collectivization of agriculture in the USSR there appeared
not two types of property, but two forms of one type – the socialized
property. In accordance with the plan the essence of production
started to steadily develop in the direction that was the opposite to
the one of commodity production. The socialized property became
directly social and regardless the various forms showing signs of
commodity it might have borrowed from its commodity past, the
production as whole cannot be characterized but directly social,
where both product and labor have nothing to do with market, but
are directly social from the very beginning.
Counterrevolutionary events in the USSR have confirmed that we
have two options only: we either construct and develop Socialism as
directly socialized production – the production of consumer values
that is done in accordance with the law of consumer value, or we go in
the direction of increasing the share of value production, i.e.
commodity production which naturally leads to commodity-capitalist
production. One can always say that even under Socialism there is
commodity production when individually produced foodstuffs are sold
at agricultural markets. This is so. Still the prices at agricultural market
are determined first of all not by the law of value but by the level of
prices for goods manufactured in state owned enterprises, whereas
these prices are determined in planned economy in accordance with
the amount of work spent on production while taking into account
the consumer value of the directly socialized goods.
The attempts to construct socialist commodity economics will
inevitably lead to the destruction of Socialism. It is now not only
scientifically established fact, but unfortunately, it was also proved
in the course of historical experiment.
Thus Socialism is directly socialized economics. What does it mean
in regards to Soviet power? It means that as far as the goal of socialist
production is provision of complete well-being and free
comprehensive development of each member of society, the
development of working people as members of society is part of
the production’s goal.
When capitalist commodity production presuming generation of
added values requires that free time and other conditions for free
development should be taken away from working people, socialist direct
socialized production demands that the working time saved as a result
of scientific development should not only be turned into additional
material benefits for workers, but it should also be used as additional
free time for their comprehensive development, in particular for their
participation in the life of the state and the work of the government. It’s
a pity, but exactly this didn’t happen in the last decades of the USSR.
The history of revolution and counterrevolution in the USSR has
shown that the progress in development of production forces, the
increase of productivity should be accompanied not by decreasing
the number of direct manufacturers and by the corresponding
increase of the number of non-manufacturing employees, but rather
by providing more free time to workers and peasants, in particular
to be used for the management of state.
It’s possible not to decrease the number of workers and peasants till
total destruction of classes, till complete communism is reached. What
matters more is that with the development of production there grows
not only the material prosperity of society, but free time of all working
people should be also increased to ensure their free comprehensive
development. As soon as the share of free time exceeds the one allocated
for work, it wouldn’t matter what a person does in his/her working hours,
but more important would be his occupation in his/her free time. This
would actually mean the movement towards total destruction of class
system, i.e. the system of division of people in accordance with the place
they occupy in production.
Thus to develop Socialism and to strengthen Soviet power we don’t
require such production that would consume the free time of workers,
we need such production that in the course of its development would
help to save working time and turn the time saved into free time of
workers. The goal of such production is complete well-being and free
comprehensive development of each member of society. It’s not a
coincidence that such goal of socialist production was recorded in both
first and second Program of Lenin’s Bolshevik party.
(c) The USSR as the first socialist state in the world: what type
of Socialism was built in the USSR.
Various theoreticians both supporting socialist idea and even
more its adversaries, elaborated many characteristics of Soviet
Socialism. There were so many definitions of our Soviet order, like:
early, underdeveloped, of total socialization, deformed, barrack
Socialism, with bureaucratic perversions etc.
There is a wide spread point of view that is shared in particular
by leading theoreticians from CPRF, that it was the model of early
Socialism that was defeated, the model that suited well to the
conditions of the first half of the 20th Century, but that ceased to
correspond to the changed conditions of scientific-technical progress
and less rigid democratic society.
We base our consideration on the thesis by Lenin that Socialism is
incomplete Communism, the lowest stage of communist formation. In
all respects it still bears imprints of the old, capitalist order where it
originates. Here each person is still interested both in the growth of
common wealth as well as in the increase of his/her personal share in it.
Taking this opportunity opportunists in communist movement
try to theoretically tear Socialism apart from Communism, to
construct models of Socialism with naturally built in things like private
property, unemployment, political and economic pluralism.
Nevertheless there is no other form of scientific Socialism that is not
the first stage of Communism. Meanwhile the basis of genuine
Communism is relations that are common for Communism in general
and pass through (it’s obvious that the degree of maturity may differ)
transitory period from Capitalism to Socialism and through both
phases of Communism. Such relations that are characteristic for
Communism in general and that develop along with the movement
to complete Communism include as follows: socialized property on
earth and all main means of production and turnover, planned
development of people’s economy and other spheres of social life,
complete employment of population, society looks after these who
cannot yet work (children) and these that already cannot work
(elderly and incapacitated people), society ensures equal conditions
for revealing and development of each member of society’s
capabilities (free and accessible for everybody education and
healthcare), management of production and social life on all levels
through the system of working people’s Soviets.
In the course of socialist society’s development there will gradually
vanish the differences between manual labor and intellectual work,
between the work in cities and work in rural areas etc. As soon as
the ability to create is the main requirement of men, work will turn
from social obligation that is stimulated by material interest into
creativity and thus will become remuneration by itself. The main
principle of Socialism: «From each according to his ability, to each
according to his work» turns into the principle of Communism: «From
each according to his ability, to each according to his needs».
In the process of development Socialism (the 1st stage of
Communism, incomplete Communism) disposes of the traces of
Capitalism in the fields of economics, moral and intellect and goes
over to its highest phase – the phase of complete Communism.
Movement towards Communism is natural and the whole
mankind is about to go this way.
The more conscientious, more organized are the struggle and
historical creativity of working class and its allies, the more successful
is the movement towards Communism. Socialist revolution becomes
possible only when real political majority of organized workers that
is capable of calling to struggle and leading masses of working people,
realize its necessity. Revolutions are performed not by parties, not
by plotters, they are performed by masses led by revolutionary class.
Revolution in people’s consciousness precedes the revolutionary
change of social-political order. Communist party’s obligation is to
equip proletariat with ideological weapon, to focus its struggle
correctly in order to avoid unnecessary victims and illusions.
Communist idea only turns into acting material force, when it gets
hold of workers’ masses.
Marxist-Leninist theory doesn’t prescribe detailed road-maps and
ideal models for the future society. Marx and Engels wrote that
Communism was not a state that should be introduced, it was not ideal
in accordance with which the reality should be transformed. They
consider Communism as a real movement that was intended to destroy
the unjust state that put breaks on the development of society15.
Socialism is determined by its origins in Capitalism. It can be severe
and harsh, hungry and bloody. Class struggle doesn’t discontinue
under Socialism, it just takes other forms and goes on as the struggle
between proletarian creative trend and petty-bourgeois, private
property oriented trend. The power performing proletarian
dictatorship and ensuring the victory of the positive communist trend
is an essential feature of Socialism.
Socialism’s features read as follows:
In the field of politics Socialism according to Lenin means
15 Marx K., Engels F. The German Ideology. – 1955, p. 34.
eliminating class system. That is the movement towards overcoming
class distinctions, the differences between manual and intellectual
work etc. V.I. Lenin clarified that «The abolition of classes requires a
long, difficult and stubborn class struggle, which, after the overthrow
of capitalist rule, after the destruction of the bourgeois state, after
the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, does not
disappear (as the vulgar representatives of the old socialism and the
old Social-Democracy imagine), but merely changes its forms and in
many respects becomes fiercer»16.
Socialism in economics means overcoming commoditization in
directly socialized production.
In the field of moral Socialism provides ever greater opportunities
for free development of all and each person.
Did Soviet leadership and the party commit mistakes in the course
of socialist construction? Sure they did. When people are the first to
pave an unknown way under conditions that are not only unfamiliar,
but also extremely difficult, when there is rabid resistance from the
whole old bourgeois world, to think that it is possible to avoid any
mistakes, to say that one «should have done otherwise» would mean
political hypocrisy and conceit. We differentiate between mistakes,
apostasy and petty tyranny. Our predecessors – communistsbolsheviks
under the guidance of Lenin and Stalin have decently
passed their stretch of the road. Bolsheviks were revolutionary
orthodox Marxists. In their practice theory they didn’t adhere to
certain dogma, but unwaveringly followed basic principles of
Marxism, first of all those pertaining to class struggle. That’s the
reason why despite all mistakes there was retained the direction of
«forward and up». The inertia of movement used to remain even
after them for quite a while, but the slowdown could be felt more
16 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 38, p. 386-387.
2.3. Importance of Soviet experience: its validity,
necessity and inevitability for parties of workers’ class
in other countries.
In his work «Left-Wing» Communism: An Infantile Disorder» Lenin
pointed out that other parties and peoples that started their
movement to Socialism would inevitably face many features of
October Revolution: «Experience has proved that, on certain very
important questions of the proletarian revolution, all countries will
inevitably have to do what Russia has done»17.
The analysis of Russian revolution and the conclusions made by
Lenin have unequivocally proved to be correct over more than almost
100 years. Now we can and we have to add to these conclusions
similar ones that we’ve obtained in the course of subsequent socialist
construction in the USSR. We should pay special attention to the
mistakes committed and to the revisionist perversions that led to
temporary defeat of Socialism in the USSR and in Eastern Europe.
Lenin listed the lessons that revolutionary Marxists must learn
from experience of October Revolution as follows:
(a) Importance to have a proletarian party of the New type and
necessity to struggle with opportunism and revisionism.
All communists know well the following expression of Lenin:
«there cannot be revolutionary movement without revolutionary
party». Bolsheviks were capable to lead the arisen people of Russia
not because they united all opposition forces and joined Mensheviks
themselves, but because they could theoretically and politically
defeat Mensheviks. V.I. Lenin wrote: «Overcoming unprecedented
difficulties, the Bolsheviks thrust back the Mensheviks, whose role as
bourgeois agents in the working-class movement was clearly realized
by the entire bourgeoisie after 1905, and whom the bourgeoisie
therefore supported in a thousand ways against the Bolsheviks. But
17 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 45, p. 309.
18 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 11.
19 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 27, p. 424.
the Bolsheviks would never have succeeded in doing this had they not
followed the correct tactics of combining illegal work with the utilization
of «legal opportunities», which they made a point of doing»18.
Lenin pointed out that the history of Bolshevism starts in 1903 (II
Congress of RSDRP) and asked himself: what were the wings that
Bolshevism struggled with, this struggle to determine its shape? He
answered this question himself: this was first of all the struggle with
opportunism, i.e. the struggle with the right bias. Modern experience
has shown that opportunism still poses mortal threat to communist
parties in power. Any more or less qualified Marxist knows the famous
phrase of Lenin: «the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug
unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism»19.
History shows us that instead of being a right bias of a part of
communist movement opportunism can start prevailing in such
movements and even become the dominant trend. The requirement
to fight opportunism became the main condition for admission to
Comintern; it still remains a basic feature of proletarian party now.
(b) Combination of legal and underground methods of work.
Getting ready for the revolution under any circumstances, at any
moment; first of all this applies to a revolutionary himself.
This thesis looks so much essential for political struggle tactics.
Nevertheless, nowadays under the conditions of increasing reaction
in all countries it acquires new significance both for the parties that
are accustomed to legal, “civilized”, law abiding, and predominantly
parliamentary existence as well as for all sorts of radical leftists and
somewhat of leftists, who avoid taking part in legal public politics that
are under total control of power. V.I. Lenin taught that «Revolutionaries
who are unable to combine legal forms of struggle with all sorts of
underground activities are pretty bad revolutionaries». There is yet
20 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 82.
another saying of Lenin that would come in handy for these comrades
that se no possibility for a new revolutionary situation under conditions
of contemporary relative capitalist well-being: «It is not difficult to be
a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate,
when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried
away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist
motives. After its victory, the proletariat has to make most strenuous
efforts, even the most painful, so as to “liberate” itself from such pseudorevolutionaries.
It is far more difficult – and far more precious – to be a
revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and
really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist, to be able to champion
the interests of the revolution (by propaganda, agitation and
organization) in non-revolutionary bodies, and quite often in downright
reactionary bodies, in a non-revolutionary situation, among the masses
who are incapable of immediately appreciating the need for
revolutionary methods of action»20.
(c) Continuation of class struggle in the epoch of proletarian
dictatorship. Correct dialectical understanding of the relations
between leaders, party, class and masses. Strictest discipline in the
party for everybody, including the leaders of proletariat.
Revolutionary party of proletariat is the highest form of
proletarian class unification that wouldn’t deserve its title unless it
comes to know how to unify its leaders with the class and with the
masses into something indissoluble. Based on such understanding
of the party Lenin wrote: «The dictatorship of the proletariat means
a persistent struggle – bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful,
military and economic, educational and administrative – against the
forces and traditions of the old society. The force of habit in millions
and tens of millions is a most formidable force. Without a party of
iron that has been tempered in the struggle, a party enjoying the
confidence of all honest people in the class in question, a party capable
of watching and influencing the mood of the masses, such a struggle
cannot be waged successfully. It is a thousand times easier to vanquish
the centralized big bourgeoisie than to «vanquish” the millions upon
millions of petty proprietors; however, through their ordinary,
everyday, imperceptible, elusive and demoralizing activities, they
produce the very results which the bourgeoisie need and which tend
to restore the bourgeoisie. Whoever brings about even the slightest
weakening of the iron discipline of the party of the proletariat
(especially during its dictatorship), is actually aiding the bourgeoisie
against the proletariat»21.
(d) International nature of Soviets as the form of proletarian
dictatorship. The struggle of each party with its own Menshevism
is a must.
Lenin wrote about it as follows: «The revolutions of February and
October 1917 led to the all-round development of the Soviets on a
nation-wide scale and to their victory in the proletarian socialist
revolution. In less than two years, the international character of the
Soviets, the spread of this form of struggle and organization to the
world working-class movement and the historical mission of the Soviets
as the grave-digger, heir and successor of bourgeois parliamentarianism
and of bourgeois democracy in general, all became clear.
But that is not all. The history of the working-class movement
now shows that, in all countries, it is about to go through (and is
already going through) a struggle waged by communism – emergent,
gaining strength and advancing towards victory – against, primarily,
Menshevism, i.e., opportunism and social-chauvinism (the home
brand in each particular country), and then as a complement, so to
say, Left-wing communism»22.
21 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 27-28.
22 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 75.
«But while the working-class movement is everywhere going
through what is actually the same kind of preparatory school for
victory over the bourgeoisie, it is achieving that development in its
own way in each country»23.
«As long as national and state distinctions exist among peoples
and countries – and these will continue to exist for a very long time to
come, even after the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established
on a world-wide scale – the unity of the international tactics of the
communist working-class movement in all countries demands, not the
elimination of variety or the suppression of national distinctions (which
is a pipe dream at present), but an application of the fundamental
principles of communism (Soviet power and the dictatorship of the
proletariat), which will correctly modify these principles in certain
particulars, correctly adapt and apply them to national and nationalstate
distinctions. To seek out, investigate, predict, and grasp that which
is nationally specific and nationally distinctive, in the concrete manner
in which each country should tackle a single international task: victory
over opportunism and Left doctrinarism within the working-class
movement; the overthrow of the bourgeoisie; the establishment of a
Soviet republic and a proletarian dictatorship – such is the basic task in
the historical period that all the advanced countries (and not they alone)
are going through»24.
The relevance of this thought of Lenin has been proved many
(e) Necessity to work in a wide assortment of workers’
organizations, including reactionary ones.
Lenin taught that communist work should be carried out
everywhere, where there are corresponding conditions and even
there where such conditions are not sufficient: «These men, the
23 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p 76.
24 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 77.
25 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 38.
26 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 77-78.
«leaders» of opportunism, will no doubt resort to every device of
bourgeois diplomacy and to the aid of bourgeois governments, the
clergy, the police and the courts, to keep Communists out of the trade
unions, oust them by every means, make their work in the trade unions
as unpleasant as possible, and insult, bait and persecute them. We
must be able to stand up to all this, agree to make any sacrifice, and
even – if need be – to resort to various stratagems, artifices and illegal
methods, to evasions and subterfuges, as long as we get into the
trade unions, remain in them, and carry on communist work within
them at all costs»25.
(f) On allies and companions of workers’ class in proletarian
revolution and after it is completed.
We believe that it’s especially important to understand the ideas
of Lenin not only on the necessity of allies in the course of revolution,
but also the importance class unions in socialist construction:
«The proletarian vanguard has been won over ideologically. That
is the main thing. Without this, not even the first step towards victory
can be made. But that is still quite a long way from victory. Victory
cannot be won with a vanguard alone. To throw only the vanguard
into the decisive battle, before the entire class, the broad masses,
have taken up a position either of direct support for the vanguard, or
at least of sympathetic neutrality towards it and of precluded support
for the enemy, would be, not merely foolish but criminal»26.
«After the first socialist revolution of the proletariat, and the
overthrow of the bourgeoisie in some country, the proletariat of that
country remains for a long time weaker than the bourgeoisie, simply
because of the latter’s extensive international links, and also because
of the spontaneous and continuous restoration and regeneration of
capitalism and the bourgeoisie by the small commodity producers of
27 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 54-55.
28 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 52-53.
the country which has overthrown the bourgeoisie. The more powerful
enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by
the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any,
even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests
among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various
groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also
by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning
a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable,
unreliable and conditional. He who fails to understand this, fails to
understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific
socialism in general. Those who have not proved in practice, over a
fairly considerable period of time and in fairly varied political situations,
their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to help
the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity
from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and
after the proletariat has won political power»27.
(g) The skill of tactics of compromises and the unacceptability
of compromises in the field of ideology.
The main thought of Lenin is addressed to the fans of recipes
and ready made solutions: «It would be absurd to formulate a recipe
or general rule («No compromises!») to suit all cases. One must use
one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular
instance. It is, in fact, one of the functions of a party organization
and of party leaders worthy of the name, to acquire, through the
prolonged, persistent, variegated and comprehensive efforts of all
thinking representatives of a given class, the knowledge, experience
and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair
necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political
29 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 59.
30 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 42.
31 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 47.
There is no doubt among Marxists that V.I. Lenin was a clever
man, still he and Bolsheviks used to make mistakes in the issues of
tactics, whereas they were not shy to recognize those mistakes. One
should remember that basic rule in establishing tactics under given
conditions is «…the absolute necessity, for the Communist Party, the
vanguard of the proletariat, its class-conscious section, to resort to
changes of tack, to conciliation and compromises with the various
groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and
small masters». … «… knowing how to apply these tactics in order to
raise – not lower – the general level of proletarian class-consciousness,
revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win»29.
It implies that communists are always focused on the extension
and development of class struggle.
(h) The necessity and tactics in using possibilities provided by
bourgeois parliament for in order to promote class struggle.
This issue of participating in bourgeois parliaments seems to be
elaborated in theory and studied in the course of communist
movement’s practice better than any other. V.I. Lenin insisted on
necessity to use the possibilities of parliament to develop class
struggle: «Whilst you lack the strength to do away with bourgeois
parliaments and every other type of reactionary institution, you must
work within them because it is there that you will still find workers
who are duped by the priests and stultified by the conditions of rural
life; otherwise you risk turning into nothing but windbags»30.
Meanwhile Lenin marked the justified aversion of advanced
proletarians to bourgeois parliaments and to the MPs: «…it is difficult
to imagine anything more infamous, vile or treacherous than the
behavior of the vast majority of socialist and Social-Democratic
parliamentary deputies during and after the war»31.
32 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 83.
33 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 84.
Bolsheviks have elaborated the tactics of communist work in
parliaments, of using election campaigns and parliament seats for
the sake of class struggle: «Communists, adherents of the Third
International in all countries, exist for the purpose of changing – all
along the line, in all spheres of life – the old socialist, trade unionist,
syndicalist, and parliamentary type of work into a new type of work,
«In Western Europe and in America, the Communist must learn to
create a new, uncustomary, non-opportunist, and non-careerist
parliamentarianism; the Communist parties must issue their slogans;
true proletarians, with the help of the unorganized and downtrodden
poor, should distribute leaflets, canvass workers’ houses and cottages
of the rural proletarians and peasants in the remote villages (fortunately
there are many times fewer remote villages in Europe than in Russia,
and in Britain the number is very small); they should go into the public
houses, penetrate into unions, societies and chance gatherings of the
common people, and speak to the people, not in learned (or very
parliamentary) language, they should not at all strive to «get seats» in
parliament, but should everywhere try to get people to think, and draw
the masses into the struggle, to take the bourgeoisie at its word and
utilize the machinery it has set up, the elections it has appointed, and
the appeals it has made to the people; they should try to explain to the
people what Bolshevism is, in a way that was never possible (under
bourgeois rule) outside of election times (exclusive, of course, of times
of big strikes, when in Russia a similar apparatus for widespread popular
agitation worked even more intensively)»33.
We should admit, that many parties in Western Europe and other
countries have been suffering from parliamentary cretinism and
seriously promise to improve their citizens’ lives by way of victory of
some left forces in the course of elections. We are going to analyze
34 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 39, p. 219.
35 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 87.
this issue later, meanwhile we should mention that Lenin expressed
his opinion regarding this question very categorically: «Only
scoundrels or simpletons can think that the proletariat must first win
a majority in elections carried out under the yoke of the bourgeoisie,
under the yoke of wage-slavery, and must then win power. This is the
height of stupidity or hypocrisy; it is substituting elections, under the
old system and with the old power, for class struggle and revolution»34.
Lenin carried out for us the analysis of the above tactics and
mistakes as early as in 1920. After his death Soviet Union under
the guidance of CPSU(b) went along lengthy and difficult road of
achievements and victories. Fascism was defeated, the country went
up to the second place in the world rating list of industrial
production, Soviet man was the first to go out in outer Space. Still
there were many mistakes committed. Revisionist transformation
of CPSU leadership took place that expressed itself as temporary
defeat of Socialism and disintegration of USSR. The analysis of these
occurrences and the conclusions for future struggle is now our
obligation where we follow Lenin’s directive: «Communists should
know, that in any case, the future belongs to them; therefore, in
the great revolutionary struggle, we can (and must) combine the
most intense passion with the coolest and most sober appraisal of
the frenzied ravings of the bourgeoisie»35.
III. Lessons learned from defeats
for our future victories.
Lenin kept saying that the best way to celebrate an anniversary is
to focus on problems unresolved. To do this both contemporary and
future communists should first realize what theoretical and practical
mistakes committed by party and people have prevented us from
solving the issues of socialist and communist construction and have
36 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 42, p. 249.
37 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 40, p. 327.
thrown us back to the previous stage of social development – to
There are a considerable variety of opinions, both personal and
from political parties, regarding the reasons for the defeat of
Socialism in the USSR. Of course we are going to consider only the
opinions of the adherents of Socialism, as the point of view by the
adversaries of Socialism on alleged utopian character of Socialism as
a way of humankind’s development proved to be false due to the
practice of October and the experience of the USSR.
The theory that sees the main reason of our defeat in betrayal of
the socialist cause by certain personalities in the ruling circles of the
party and the government is quite popular. There are mentioned
names of Gorbachev, Yeltsyn, Yakovlev and many other their
colleagues in CC and the government. The speculations on the plot
by the West are also popular. They bring some proof starting with
the mythical «Dulles’ plan” and ending with the theories of recruiting
of top ranking officials to serve as western special services’ agents of
influence. They mention sums of trillions of USD spent on the struggle
against the USSR, these money not having been wasted. Some of
the events described in these theories are not only of some interest,
but they indeed took place in real life. Nevertheless we should stress
that from our point of view the main reason for the temporary defeat
of Socialism in the USSR were our own, internal mistakes, revisionism
and apostasy of the top leaders of the party.
Lenin didn’t say for nothing that: «Nothing can ruin us but our
own mistakes»36. And further specified: «We know that the failure
and decline of political parties have very often been preceded by a
state of affairs in which a swelled head is possible»37.
If we try to give a very brief answer to the question why the Soviet
power and CPSU had been defeated whereas the majority of the
working people remained indifferent to the counterrevolutionary coup
of 1991, our answer would be as follows: because the power wasn’t
the Soviet one any longer and the party wasn’t a communist one.
OUR OWN MISTAKES
3.1. Theoretical issues: retreat from the major
RCWP adheres to the main thesis of Lenin that «If we translate
the Latin, scientific, historic-philosophical term «dictatorship of the
proletariat» into simpler language, it means just the following:
Only a definite class, namely, the urban workers and the factory,
industrial workers in general, is able to lead the whole mass of the
working and exploited people in the struggle to throw off the yoke of
capital, in actually carrying it out, in the struggle to maintain and
consolidate the victory, in the work of creating the new, socialist social
system and in the entire struggle for the complete abolition of
classes». (Let us make a remark in parenthesis, that the only
scientific distinction between socialism and communism is that the
first term implies the first stage of a new society arising out of
capitalism, while the second implies the next and higher stage).
The mistake the «Berne» yellow International makes is that its
leaders accept the class struggle and the leading role of the proletariat
only in word and are afraid to think it out to its logical conclusion.
They are afraid of- that inevitable conclusion which particularly
terrifies the bourgeoisie, and which is absolutely unacceptable to
them. They are afraid to admit that the dictatorship of the proletariat
is also a period of class struggle, which is inevitable as long as classes
have not been abolished, and which changes in form, being
particularly fierce and particularly peculiar in the period immediately
following the overthrow of capital. The proletariat does not cease
the class struggle after it has captured political power, but continues
38 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 39, p. 14-15.
39 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 33, p. 34.
40 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 38, p. 385.
41 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 44, p. 10.
it until classes are abolished – of course, under different
circumstances, in different form and by different means»38.
Correspondingly Lenin believed that recognition of proletarian
dictatorship is the main issue of Marxism: «Only he is a Marxist who
extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the
dictatorship of the proletariat»39.
«But the essence of proletarian dictatorship is not in force alone, or
even mainly in force. Its chief feature is the organization and discipline
of the advanced contingent of the working people, of their vanguard;
of their sole leader, the proletariat, whose object is to build socialism,
abolish the division of society into classes, make all members of society
working people, and remove the basis for all exploitation of man by
man»40. Class struggle goes on under Socialism in other forms, in
particular it goes on within the class and the party themselves.
For how long should we practice the proletarian dictatorship? In
the theses on RKP tactics for the III Congress of Comintern V.I. Lenin
answers this issue as follows: «The dictatorship of the proletariat
does not signify a cessation of the class struggle, but its continuation
in a new form and with new weapons. This dictatorship is essential
as long as classes exist, as long as the bourgeoisie, overthrown in
one country, intensifies tenfold its attacks on socialism on an
international scale»41. Thus as «the task of Socialism is to destroy
class system» as it was stressed in the report on RKP on the same III
Congress of Comintern, the period of proletarian dictatorship is
extended over the whole first stage of Communism, i.e. throughout
the whole period of Socialism.
It’s interesting to recall such fact that when elaborating the second
program of RKP(b) Lenin considered possible retreat from the form
of Soviets as a part of general retreat under the impact of general
42 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 36, p. 58.
offensive of the enemy, nevertheless he never considered that as a
movement towards the development of democracy of working people,
proletarian or workers’ democracy. In the resolution of the VII Congress
of RKP(b) on the party program Lenin wrote: «the change in the political
part of our Program must consist in the most accurate and
comprehensive definition possible of the new type of state, the Soviet
Republic, as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat and as a
continuation of those achievements of the world working-class
revolution which the Paris Commune began. The Program must show
that our Party does not reject the use even of bourgeois
parliamentarism, should the course of the struggle push us back, for a
time, to this historical stage which our revolution has now passed. But
in any case and under all circumstances the Party will strive for a Soviet
Republic as the highest, from the standpoint of democracy, type of
state, as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of abolition of
the exploiters’ yoke and of suppression of their resistance»42.
It might look strange but the main mistake of Soviet communists,
i.e. the rejection of the main issue of Marxism was the first one.
The rejection of proletarian dictatorship means
the rejection of Marxism.
After the death of Stalin and coming to power in the party of N.S.
Khrushchev they carried out a sort of «preliminary bombardment”
at the XX Congress of CPSU before the all out offensive on the main
issue of Marxism – the concept of dictatorship of proletariat.
The revisionist group of Khrushchev unleashed the campaign of
slander in order to denigrate those achievements that had been
obtained under the leadership of Stalin and they initiated
reconsidering the key Marxist issues of class struggle and proletarian
dictatorship. Nevertheless, the Lenin’s program of RKP(b) were still
in effect then, that’s why khrushchevites started to get ready a new
43 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October, 17th – 31st
1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.I, p.151
44 Ibid, p. 166.
45 Ibid, p. 209.
46 Ibid, pp. 210-211, 212.
one in order to remove the essence of Marxism from the program. In
the report of the First Secretary of CPSU CC N.S. Khrushchev at the
XXII Congress of CPSU «On the Program of CPSU» there was put
forward the thesis on the final victory of Socialism in USSR43 where it
was claimed that the class struggle is limited to the transitory period to
Socialism44. Throughout the report Socialism was understood not as a
separate part of Communism, but as a separate formation.
Consequently the main goal of Socialism, the complete destruction of
the class system in the first stage of the classless society was replaced
with the task of yet creating the classless society only, whereas along
with that there was proclaimed a sheer revisionist and anti-marxist
goal of coming over from the state of proletarian dictatorship to the
nationwide state45. It was claimed that allegedly «the working class of
Soviet Union on its own initiative and based on the goal of the
construction of Communism has transformed the state of its
dictatorship into nationwide state …It’s the first time that we have a
state that doesn’t represent a dictatorship of any particular class…
Proletarian dictatorship сeased to be necessary»46. The party was also
proclaimed to be the party of the whole people and not the party of
workers’ class only, all this contrary to the definition of the party by
Lenin, where he claimed that a party is the vanguard of the class.
These revisionist ideas didn’t meet any resistance at the Congress
and the Congress unanimously adopted a revisionist, essentially anti-
Lenin’s anti-Marx program. In that program there was stipulated
that allegedly «proletarian dictatorship has completed its historical
mission and ceased being indispensable in USSR for the goals of
internal development. The state that sprang to life as a state of
proletarian dictatorship has turned into a nationwide state at the
47 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October, 17th – 31st
1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol. III, p. 303.
present stage… The party proceeds from the thesis that the
dictatorship ceases to be necessary before the state dies off»47. Of
course one shouldn’t think that all the delegates of the XX Congress
were renegades and traitors of the cause of Socialism. It would be
more correct to describe the theoretical level of the majority of the
multimillion party as extremely low. They took the majority of
program and theoretical concepts for granted while relying on the
authority of the leadership. They pretty easily accepted the calls of
the then leadership to develop allegedly classless, nationwide
democracy, these trust being due to the atmosphere of moral uplift
bordering on euphoria caused by the recent victory over Nazism.
They really believed that the classes of exploiters had been finally
suppressed in USSR and were not likely to be ever resurrected, they
accepted for granted the new arising unity of the Soviet people as a
unity of non-antagonized classes and that the victory of Socialism
was complete and final. Rank and file communists committed a
tremendous mistake then whereas on the part of the party’s
theoreticians and leaders this was, without a doubt, an act of
revisionism and uncovered apostasy. To consider this position in more
detail let’s look into Lenin’s works.
In his fundamental work «The State and the Revolution» V.I. Lenin
stressed the class nature of any state, that’s why till it exists it is
necessary to destroy the old apparatus and to create a new one that
is capable of solving the issues of proletarian dictatorship to ensure
the victory of proletarian revolution. He elaborated a number of
conditions that should be followed in order to prevent turning the
state as a tool of workers’ class, as a means to ensure its political
dominance into a force that dominate over the workers’ class itself.
In this book as well as in his notebook «Marxism on the State» V.I.
Lenin absolutely clear and unequivocally stipulates that the state
48 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 33, p. 16.
49 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 33, p. 34.
50 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 39, p. 78.
dies off only with the complete destruction of classes, and as soon
as there remain classes there remain a state that represent a tool of
politically dominant class. He cites and further elaborates the idea
of Engels: «When at last it becomes the real representative of the
whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary»48. Let’s repeat again
as if answering to all doubtful that Lenin stressed as follows: «Only
he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to
the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what
constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and
the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone
on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should
be tested»49. In his work «On the State» (Lecture in the Sverdlovsk
University of July 11 1919) V.I. Lenin points out that exactly capitalist
state «proclaims liberty for the whole people as its slogan, which
declares that it expresses the will of the whole people and denies
that it is a class state»50.
Socialist state contrariwise always stresses its class nature. Thus,
the group of khrushchevite revisionists misled, actually deceived the
party and the people as to regards the issue of proletarian
dictatorship, as without proletarian dictatorship it’s not possible to
transform Socialism into complete Communism. Next they
substituted also the goals of the movement of production and society.
Here we should dwell in more detail.
The essence of history and the progress of society lie in
the movement to complete well-being and comprehensive
development of each member society.
It is interesting to follow the history of how the main law of
Socialism was reflected in the party program of Bolsheviks. In the
draft of the Party the program prepared by special commission for
51 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 248.
52 Program of Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party adopted at the II Congress of the
party. July-August 1903. Protocols. Moscow. 1959. p. 419.
53 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October,17th – 31st
1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.III, p. 274.
the II Congress of RSDRP the goal of socialist production was
determined as planned organization of socialized manufacturing
process «in order to fulfill the needs of both the whole society as well
as the needs of its members». V.I. Lenin objected to this definition as
follows: «Not accurate. Such «satisfaction» is «given» by capitalism as
well, but not to all members of society and not in equal degree»51. In
the end of the day V.I. Lenin insisted that in the Party program adopted
at the II Congress of RSDRP it was written: «On having replaced private
property on means of production and turnover with socialized one
and on having introduced planned socialized manufacturing process
to satisfy well-being and comprehensive development of all members
of society, social revolution of proletariat shall destroy the division of
society into classes and thus shall liberate the oppressed mankind»52.
This scientifically correct, i.e. actual goal of communist production
set before workers class as the creator of communist society was
written in the party’s program till the party remained the party of
workers’ class in control over performing proletarian dictatorship. In
the third, the revisionist program adopted at XXII Congress of CPSU
this goal wasn’t there any longer. It was replaced with «satisfaction of
ever growing needs», though it’s known that either people’s well-being
or their development, even less so comprehensive development cannot
be limited to the above. Satisfaction of needs by itself doesn’t lead to
elimination of social inequality, or to destruction of class system. In
fact it was written in the third program that under Communism «there
is reached the highest degree of planed organization of the whole
people’s economics, there is and ensured the most effective and
sensible utilization of material wealth and labor resources for
satisfaction of growing needs of society’s members»53. Working
54 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October,17th – 31st
1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.III,, p. 238.
members of society whose development is the goal by itself turned
into «labor resources» that were to be effectively used to fulfill the
needs not of all but of certain chosen members of society that would
later turn into oligarchs. Skipping the goal of development of all
members of society from the list of production’s goals turned this clause
into hiding the actual abandoning of the true aim of Socialism. In the
revisionist third program it was written that «the goal of Socialism is
ever complete satisfaction of growing material and cultural needs of
people»54. At first look this seems a beautiful aim, but there is rooted
a grave mistake as the goal of Socialism as determined by the founders
of scientific Communism is the destruction of class system. Of course,
such destruction presumes also the satisfaction of needs, but not any
satisfaction and not of all needs. Here are meant first of all the
satisfaction of such needs that leads to the provision of complete wellbeing
and free comprehensive development of all members of society,
to the destruction of any inequality.
Abandoning dictatorship of proletariat and the goal of socialism
changed the class essence of the state. The state became incapable
of acting in the interests of workers class, these interests being the
interests of society during proletarian dictatorship. It’s indicative to
point out that the revisionist program of the nationwide party was
adopted by the XXII Congress of CPSU in the autumn of 1961, whereas
in June 1962 in the city Novocherkassk of Rostov Region there were
applied troops against workers that expressed their protest against
rising prices, falling wages and boorishness of the officials. The
protesters were shot at. Thus we can say that dozens of victims among
workers served as the first evidence of the so called nationwide state
and the party led by N.S. Khrushchev in the making. The state
property was gradually ceasing to be a form of socialized property
and by the end of 80-ies it was essentially acquired features of a
peculiar form of private property of those who had actual control over
it, i.e. of the party and government top officials. This way the
nomenclature of the party and the government managed to essentially
appropriate the right to hold the balance of the society’s property and
to create the conditions to divide it among separate persons to
appropriate and to privatize it while legalizing all this within the legal
framework of the «nationwide» state. This was initiated by Gorbachev
and occurred in the time of Eltsyn. At the beginning. it started under a
revisionist slogan of «Move towards market» that was later followed
by an openly anti-communist slogan «Let’s have privatization». This
process was accompanied by introduction of a revisionist concept of
«developed Socialism» which included and enshrined the notorious
revisionist concept of a «nationwide state».
The abandoning by the CPSU the main principles issues of Marxism
– the issue of proletarian dictatorship, the goal of socialist production
and the goal of Socialism – could not help but led to the growth of
pro-private property sentiments that finally led to the destruction of
the party, the government and the state, all this despite active
resistance from communist minority. As it was already mentioned, this
rejection was not only fault of the renegade leadership of the CPSU,
we should also blame those party members that instead of studying
and understanding Marxism-Leninism used to learn citations and
slogans and took for granted the words of the party’s revisionist
leadership. That was the reason why consequently communist forces
couldn’t overcome opportunists, revisionists and renegade traitors of
Socialism. This is a lesson not only for the communists of former Soviet
Union and present Russia; this is a lesson for the whole international
workers and communist movement.
3.2. Economic mistakes: commodity elements in
social production and sliding towards capitalism.
The relevance of this issue is determined by the final goals of the
struggle that communists lead to get power for their class. This is
the issue of what they are going to do in case the workers class comes
to power now. What conclusions have been drawn from the mistakes
of communists and the betrayal of workers class by CPSU, from the
whole practice of socialist construction in USSR? What has to be
constructed in the area of economy and why?
This issue still divides international communist movement Russia
included. We are not going to consider undisguised adherents of
«Swede Socialism» as well as other improvers of Capitalism. We are
going to discuss only these who keep calling themselves Marxists
and Communists. Here we can see many adherents of the so called
«market Socialism» that’s often accompanied by the definition
«Chinese style». On the other hand we keep hearing people calling
themselves pragmatists and realists. They consider communists that
discuss non-commodity nature of socialist production loony. The say
– look around there is market everywhere, that’s why there is no
way out and one has to start from market economy all over again.
It is true that market is all around us nowadays. That’s why we
believe it’s high time to determine what is commodity under
Capitalism and Socialism, what happens with it or should be done
with it in the course of socialist construction and development of
Socialism into complete Communism.
Even as early as in the first and the second programs of Bolsheviks
(as well as in the program of RCWP) the nature of Capitalism and
bourgeois society was described as follows: «The principal specific
feature of this society is commodity production based on capitalist
production relations, under which the most important and major part
of the means of production and exchange of commodities belongs to
a numerically small class of persons while the vast majority of the
population is made up of proletarians and semiproletarians, who,
owing to their economic position, are compelled permanently or
periodically to sell their labour power, i.e., to hire themselves out to
the capitalists and to create by their labour the incomes of the upper
55 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 38, p. 417-418.
56 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 221.
57 The Communist international in documents, 1919-1932. – Моscow, 1933. p. 24.
classes of society»55.
That is Capitalism means first of all commodity production. V.I.
Lenin in his remarks to the second draft of the program by Plekhanov
wrote about this issue as follows: «That is rather incongruous. Of
course, fully developed commodity production is possible only in
capitalist society, but «commodity production» in general is both
logically and historically prius to capitalism»56.
Here V.I. Lenin clarified that Capitalism itself is a result of commodity
production development and kept pointing out in many of his works
that the commodity production inevitably produces Capitalism.
Nevertheless, under Socialism one can formally find money and
a number of the so called commodity-financial relations, though such
concepts are nowhere to be found in the works of Marx, Engels and
Lenin. Does it mean that the use of terminology pertaining to
commodities makes socialist production essentially commodity
production? No, of course it doesn’t. The banknotes used in socialist
society are not money in the political-economical sense. They
represent an additional indirect index characterizing the volume of
production and the quantity of labour required and spent, an
accounting unit for calculation and planning, they provide for the
functions of control and accounting of directly social; production and
distribution that are indispensable for Socialism. It’s not for nothing
that in the first program of Comintern adopted in 1928 it was said
that: «The relations externally associated with the market ones,
outwardly capitalist forms and methods of economy (value
accounting, wages paid in money, purchases and sales, credits, banks
etc.) play the role of levers for the socialist takeover, as these levers
gradually serve more and more enterprises of consequently socialist
type, i.e. the socialist sector of economy»57.
Supporters of the so called market Socialism usually recall the
58 Lenin’s collection, vol. XI, 1931. – 2nd edition – p. 36.
59 Lenin’s collection, vol. XI, 1931. – 2nd edition – p. 370.
New Economic Politics (NEP) stressing that Lenin himself told that it
was a radical reconsideration of our view of Socialism, it was serious
and for a long time. New Economic Politics in the beginning of
transitory period from Capitalism to Socialism did envisage a
temporary retreat to the freedom of commodity production and
turnover, first of all the relations between the government owned
sector and the peasantry. Meanwhile Lenin understood perfectly well
that there was fight between capitalist and socialist trend. In the
book of Bukharin «Economics of transitory period» there was the
following thesis «dictatorship of proletariat is inevitably accompanied
by undercover and more or less open struggle between the
organizational trend of proletariat and the commodity-anarchic
trend of peasantry». Lenin replied to this thesis as follows: «I had to
say: between the socialist tendency of the proletariat and the
commodity-capitalist tendency of the peasantry»58. Lenin also
approves here of the following analysis of Bukharin: «In the cities
the main struggle over the type of economy [after the takeover of
the power – Ed.] is finished after the victory of proletariat. In rural
areas it is finished as far as we are talking about the victory over big
capital. Still, the struggle resumes in different forms as the struggle
between the state plan by proletariat that embodies socialized work
and the anarchy of commodities, the profit seeking dissoluteness of
peasantry that embodies fragmented property and market
spontaneity». Lenin marks this thought with a brief approval «This is
exactly so!» Lenin also supported the following statement that could
be found further in Bukharin’s text «As simple commodity production
represents nothing else but an embryo of capitalist economy, the
struggle between the above wings is essentially the continuation of
the struggle between Communism and Capitalism» He wrote «Exactly.
And it’s better than «anarchy»59.
Let’s mention that Lenin never suggested that the
commoditization of production should be immediately cancelled. He
always stressed that we talk about overcoming commoditization,
walking away from commodities, negation of commodities in socialist
Supporters of market usually present NEP as a turning point for
Lenin in his understanding of Socialism as commodity production, as
return to market not as a temporary necessity, but as goal and prospect.
The most quirky among them even invented a sort of Lenin’s
methodology of NEP and socialist market. Nevertheless we should
mention that NEP is not a method, but politics, and that Lenin and
Bolsheviks when introducing NEP never called a development of
properties characteristic of socialist production, they considered
allowing elements of Capitalism as their retreat. Second at the same
time there were created the most powerful levers to overcome the
elements of commoditization of economics transitory to Socialism.
There were created Gosplan, Gossnab, big industry, the plan for
electrification GOELRO was being developed etc. Thus along with the
increase of the physical volume of products described as commodities
(though essentially already non-commodities) the directly social
character of the socialist production intensified and the conditions for
the future overcoming of commoditization were also prepared.
Stalin consequently followed in practice the trend of Lenin aimed
at overcoming commoditization in the production of the period
transitory to Socialism and turning the production into directly social.
His basic thoughts regarding this issue could be found in his work
«Economical problems of Socialism in USSR». In particular Stalin
describes the goal of socialist economy as follows: «Is there a basic
law of Socialism? Yes, there is. What are essential features and
requirements of this law? Essential features and requirements of the
basic economical law of Socialism could be approximately summarized
as follows: ensuring of the highest possible satisfaction of ever
60 Stalin I.V. Economic problems of Socialism in the USSR. – S.-Petersburg, 2010, p. 32.
growing material and cultural needs of the whole society by way of
constant growth and improvement of socialist production based on
advanced equipment»60. Thus Stalin clearly stressed that the interests
of the whole society are of unequivocally highest priority in the
system of Socialism.
Meanwhile Stalin built his analysis not only on the basis of Marxist
views, but he performed the analysis of objective reality given. Stalin
analyses the guarantees provided by proletarian state in order to
prevent the restoration of capitalist elements in economy.
In socialist economy commoditization exist only as a negation of
its directly social nature and belongs to these imprints that are to be
overcome in the process of development of Socialism as incomplete
Communism to the complete one. Thus we have all reasons to
stipulate that the development of socialist economy means
intensification of its directly social character and overcoming of
commoditization. The aim of communists should be always the same,
i.e. the transition to socialist directly social production, regardless
the state of pre revolutionary development, or the retreats and
compromises they have to undertake. The advance of socialist
economy was ensured as far as the state provided for the organization
of production as directly social one. Plan and centralizations are as
high achievements of civilization as differential calculus or evolution
theory by C. Darwin. Nevertheless this achievements can serve the
interests of working people only under conditions of proletarian
dictatorship in the conditions of directly social production.
The decision to abandon the political basis of Socialism, i.e.
dictatorship of proletariat taken in 1961 by khrushchevites authorities
and the economic reforms of 1965 gave birth to the process of gradual
accumulation of negative wings in socialist economy and social
relations. The strengthening trend favoring private property had
disastrous effects on people’s economy. The reform presumed that
enterprises should estimate their output in rubles and profit and
that led to such negative consequences as growing group egoism,
deficit and inflation. Manufacturers were interested to release less
products at higher prices, the inequality of exchange between cities
and rural areas increased, the share of luxury items and socially
harmful products in the range of products produced for personal
consumption had sharply increased. Under the conditions of
blooming shadow economics bourgeois transformation of leadership
of the party and the government veiled by hypocritical phrases about
fidelity to Communism took place.
That was the start of Gorbachev’s Perestroika, as the process of
changing standing social order.
Economics in Soviet Union was of direct social nature whatever
the objections of modern apologists of Capitalism. It’s felt even more
now – in comparison with modern life, more than half of Soviet
people’s consumptions (as calculated in modern prices) was
channeled through special social consumption funds, whereas a
number of most important requirements of people were satisfied
almost in accordance with the principle «as much as needed». Thus
free of charge housing was provided, though one had to wait in long
queues. Cold and warm water, electric energy, bread, healthcare and
education, public transportation and many other things were also
provided for free or at symbolic prices.
Unfortunately the abandoning of socialist course both in politics
and economics was performed by the party that kept calling itself
communist. At the XXII Congress of the CPSU they adopted new
program that excluded from its basic principles the dictatorship of
proletariat, whereas at the XXVIII Congress of the CPSU there was
adopted the plan of transition to market, i.e. to Capitalism.
One shouldn’t believe the version promoted by some critics of
Socialism that communists in the CPSU gave up their positions
without a fight and that they didn’t understand the fatal
consequences of Gorbachev’s course. The slogans like «We need
61 Ilienkov E. On address to ecomonists 24.II.65.- URL: http://caute.ru/ilyenkov/texts/daik/
market economy», the arguments like «there is no alternative to
market», «no other solution is possible» were met with a pretty
serious resistance both in the party and among professionals in
economy. In the end of 80-ies a number of public initiative aiming at
resisting supporters of Capitalism and defending working people were
found. These were, to take an example, «United Front of Working
People» and all-union society «Unity – for Leninism and communist
ideals». Scientists from the Scientific Communism Society intensified
their activities. Within the CPSU itself the Movement of Communist
Initiative (DKI), Bolshevist and Marxist platforms in the CPSU were
launched. Many activists were working to the establishing of a
separate republican organization of Russian communists – RSFSR.
We should specially mention the efforts of scientists that opposed
market (N. Hessin, E. Ilienkov, R. Kosolapov, A. Eremin, V. Elmeev, A.
Kashchenko, N. Moiseenko, A. Pokrytan, M. Popov, V. Dolgov, A.
Sergeev, D. Mutagirov, V. Ogorodnikov and a number of others). One
of the best Soviet philosophers E. Ilienkov wrote: «…Those economists
that consciously spoiled Marxist theory of value rendered disservice
to both our theory and practice… These are the economists that spent
a lot of effort to prove something that cannot be proved,…that socialist
production as a whole represent commodity production» and went
on: «Yes, at the «socialist stage» of its evolution Communism keeps
retaining («drags behind it») money-commodity relations. More than
that its own immanent forms of relationships between people are
veiled here by money-commodity relations and even find in them their
formal, legally established expression.
Thus these genuine contours of our economy that we have to
reveal through our analysis, look outwardly in the form that is not
adequate to them – in the form of value. This form has nothing to do
with communist organization of social labor but rather represents its
antagonist and competitor»61.
62 XXVIII Congress of CPSU, July 2-13, 1990. – Verbatim. – Vol. I. – Мoscow: Politizdat,
1991, p. 504.
The participants of those economic discussions claim that the
Gorbachev’s adherents of market were unable to win a single open
theoretical discussion or a single economic argument in public. That’s
why the supporters of market had to act under cover while using
their huge advantages in administration and mass media.
On having decided the issue on the highest party-governmental
level behind the closed doors and under the influence of international
Imperialism’s representatives (Gorbachev had met both Thatcher and
Reagan by that time whereas they perceived him with admiring
optimism), they actually imposed their decision upon the party and
the people and presented the issue as if the movement towards
market had been inevitable, that science, international experience
and even Marxist-Leninist theory had confirmed it. To prove the last
statement they introduced into circulation the concept of «NEP’s
methodology». Those who refused to accept this pro-market course
were labeled as retrogrades, dogmatists and backward elements.
At the XXVIII of the CPSU the communist elements attempted to
give a battle to Gorbachev, to warn the party and the people of the
looming danger. In his contribution professor A.A. Sergeev, a member
of Communist Movement Initiative, said: «Apart from the market of
commodities there are yet two markets. There is a market of private
capitals as represented by stock exchanges and the market of labor.
These two markets combined inevitably give us classical capitalist
market, even if it’s called a regulated market, and there is no way out…
Our people will not be able to withstand such Perestroika, the party
will fall apart and cease to exist as a communist party because of it»62.
The position of communists was expressed in the statement of
minority of the XXVIII Congress that was prepared by Communist
Initiative Movement and the left wing of Marxist platform. 1259
delegates of the congress voted for this statement that was recorded
as a party document. In accordance with the Party Chart such
63 XXVIII Congress of CPSU, July 2-13, 1990. – Verbatim. – Vol. I. – Мoscow: Politizdat,
1991, p. 605.
document should be reconsidered to assess whose forecast was
correct: «We believe it to be essential to warn all communists of the
country: unreasoned transition to market as a universal system that
includes both the market of capitals and the market of labor will mean
inevitable sliding down to the growth of capitalist relations. A forced
treatment of Socialism by means of Capitalism that is contrary to
objective processes will not lead to the increase of productivity and
higher level of life, it will lead to their inevitable fall, will cause extensive
social protests and grave suffering of people. …The party cannot survive
Perstroika leading to serious deterioration of the people’s lives.
As far as Communist party is concerned, it just will not survive
such shock, and nobody will stand for the final goals of the
As we can see, scientific forecasts proved to be true and we have
to start all over again, as if to say «What is to be done?», the question
V.I. Lenin discussed in his book with the same title.
The concept of constructing Socialism by way of developing
market, commoditization, commodity-money relations, i.e. capitalist
relations, so as the well-wishing plans to construct different forms
of socially oriented market economy, even under the guidance of
the most patriotic government of people’s trust is the way of
Gorbachev and his adherents. In the end of the day there will be
only Capitalism. Both revisionism and opportunism can invent as
many variants of such models of Capitalism as the justifications for
them. Practice has shown us, that if a party calling itself communist
speculates within a coherent theoretical paradigm though tears
economy apart from political superstructure and considers it as an
abstract issue which is beyond politics and classes, this party makes
a mistake, moreover, a crime committed against the workers class.In
the last years of the USSR they built Capitalism under the guidance
of CPSU. Together with the CPSU they were marching towards
Capitalism under the Red Banner.
Slightly restating Lenin’s phrase, we could say that without
struggling against this catching market bourgeois disease, any oaths
in one’s adherence to Socialism and communist choice would be
nothing else but loud and deceptive phrases.
Let’s check our course against Lenin, against the science of
3.3. Political mistakes in Socialist construction:
departure from the Leninist princi ples of the
development of the Soviet Power and deviation from
the party program.
RKWP believes that some political mistakes, oddly enough, were
made even on the rise of the USSR’s movement towards Socialism.
In 1936, when international situation was escalating and the threat
of war was growing, contrary to the RCP (b.) acting program provision,
the adoption of a new constitution resulted in a largely forced
departure from the elections of government bodies through labor
collectives. Though many of the characteristics of the Soviets were
preserved (the nomination of candidates for deputies by labor
collectives, the high proportion of workers and peasants in the deputy
corps, periodic reports of deputies to voters, and the combination
of legislative and executive functions in the councils), the election
rules that enabled the working class to take advantage of being
organized in the process of labor were revoked. These were
prerequisites for a parliamentary system divorced from labor
collectives and allowing deputies, especially those elected on the
highest levels and from the territory, to ignore the will of the working
people with little or no risk of being revoked. The lack of control of
state power by labor collectives, and its relative independence from
them, contributed to the diminished role of workers in social
management and bureaucratization of the whole system of state
power. The socialist character of Soviet power was preserved, and
the power continued to act in the interests of the working class to
the extent that the leadership of the Communist Party remained
faithful to Marxism-Leninism.
The rejection of the basic Soviet principle to elect deputies from
labor collectives in factories and industrial plants and transition to
elections from territories were formally substantiated as the general
expansion of democracy, though in fact it was a step toward the
transition from the soviet, proletariat democracy to the parliament,
bourgeois democracy, implying formal equality and ignoring actual
inequality. Such single formal extension of the equal right to vote to
all citizens without exception, including representatives of the former
exploiter classes, could not lead to any true expansion of democracy.
We think, we can offer the following explanation of this decision. As
it has been already mentioned, in 1936, the dramatically escalating
international situation – the strengthening of fascism and the growing
threat of war – made it essential, on the one hand, to formulate political
arguments for the international communists in exposing the slander of
the allegedly dictatorial, antidemocratic power in the USSR, and on the
other hand, to strengthen the centralization of state administration for
this period of preparation and conduct of war. So, this decision can be
understood, as in many respects it was dictated by the situation. With
the leading role of the CPSU (b), the new approach allowed to regulate
the formation of power bodies by the party apparatus (and also attracted
to the Soviet system some of the so-called disenfranchised (nonvoters),
which was not at all superfluous in view of the approaching war).
However, the mistake was that after the war ended and the root cause
of, it was not decided to return to these principles.
However, after the war ended and the root cause of such a
rejection Program guidelines for proletarian democracy was
eliminated, no decision to return to these principles was taken. It
was a mistake. As already mentioned, in 1961 the 22nd Congress of
the CPSU adopted a revisionist, anti-Marxist program affirming that
the dictatorship of proletariat had fulfilled its historical mission and,
64 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 44, p. 326-327.
from the point of view of internal development, ceased to be necessary
in the USSR. With the abandonment of the dictatorship of the proletariat,
the road to a change in the class essence of the state was opened.
The decision of the Khrushchevite leadership to abandon the
dictatorship of proletariat in 1961 as well as the economic reform of
1965 which strengthened the role of market mechanisms in the
economy, naturally led to the strengthening of private property
tendencies that were destructive for the socialist national economy,
led to the degeneration of the Party and state leadership and pettybourgeois
decaying of a large part of the working people.
Many years later, when the actions of the revisionist leadership
of the CPSU headed by Gorbachev created the appropriate
conditions, the rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat,
elections in the territories and metamorphosis of the leading cadres
facilitated the counterrevolutionary seizure of power.
The developments were as follows. Soon after the XXVIII Congress
under the influence of petty bourgeois and bourgeois elements in the
party, its leadership under the guidance of Gorbachev completely
abandoned communist strategy and replaced it with the so called common
reason and the course towards Perestroika, to actual transition to the
other, bourgeois social order – Capitalism. The introduction of the term
«perestroika» itself ignored Lenin’ warning that: «…we don’t need to
rebuild, on the contrary, we must help correct many faults present in the
Soviet system and in the whole system of management, so as to help tens
of millions of people»64. Such situation can be explained both by basic
theoretical ignorance of some and conscious anti-communism of others.
Revisionist, mutated to anti-communist leadership of the CPSU
who contributed to growing bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties
under the slogan of political pluralism (some of them even in the
form of platforms within the CPSU) allowed finalizing anticonstitutional
setting up of parliamentary system as a ready
instrument to perform the dictatorship of bourgeoisie.
With a blessing from anti-communist leadership of the CPSU the
state power that didn’t have any control from working masses
started antinational politics of increasing prices, privatization,
encouraging of local and transnational capital. Foreign politics were
also subordinated to the latter.
Restoration of commodity production and Capitalism gave birth
to national bourgeoisie in all republics of FSU that claimed their
«rights» to the socialized wealth of «their” republics, to «their»
markets and caused growth of bourgeois nationalism and murderous
clashes between nations. All this was portrayed as «a movement
towards human democratic Socialism», that was in fact yet another
verbal smoke screen for the destructors of Socialism.
Communist, i.e. genuine patriotic forces within the party and the
people not only realized the fatal consequences of the course taken,
they also resisted it in practice: they demanded the so-called
«architects» of Perestroika and other turncoats on all levels should
be expelled from the party, they set up such organizations of
resistance as the United front of working people, Communist Initiative
Movement and Marxist Platform within CPSU.
Communist forces confronted the «reformers at the XXVIII
Congress of the CPSU when they warned both the party and the
people in their «Statement of minority». They claimed that the
course towards market would lead to heavy suffering of the people
and to downfall of the party itself. Nevertheless, the «reformers”
supported by opportunists managed to gain the majority.
After the XXVIII Congress the ruling clique continued their antipopular
course, the Constitution of the USSR being actually thrown
away. The crisis intensified and gave birth to a number of conflicts:
those were the conflict between central government and the
republic, between legislative and executive authorities, within the
executive bodies themselves till all those conflicts culminated in a
generalized conflict in the form of the so called GKCHP (State
commission on the introduction of the state of emergency).
Nevertheless incompetent and irresolute actions of the said
committee that basically followed the same market course only
provoked the fit of anticommunist hysteria. The events of August
1991 allowed bourgeois forces to follow the course to Capitalism
openly, they signed the infamous treaty on disbanding the USSR and
exchanged the Red banner for the one of the old Russia, that was
once used by the Nazi collaborator general Vlasov.
By the beginning of nineties Socialism had been temporarily
defeated not only in the USSR but also in many other countries of
the world. The Council of Economic Cooperation as well as the
Warsaw Treaty were both disbanded, whereas the forces of bourgeois
counterrevolution that had come to power started to reconstruct
Capitalism in all former socialist European countries.
The final dissolution of the remnants of Soviet power and the
socialist character of ownership in Russia was connected with the
events of October 1993. After those events Soviets as a symbol of
people’s power seized to exist even formally, whereas the state
officials started openly calling the social order in Russia Capitalism.
There were other mistakes. These were mistakes committed in the
course of struggling, mistakes of pioneers, the mistakes that could be
and were corrected. Still, the above theoretical, political and economic
mistakes pertaining to the main issue of Leninism, the mistakes made
by the leadership that turned into revisionism and apostasy and, in certain
cases, into conscious though disguised betrayal of the workers’ cause
led Soviet communists to a temporary – we are sure of that – defeat.
IV. Present-day communist wings of our time
and literature. Anti-science and pseudocommunistic
ideological streams of our time
In the «Manifesto of the Communist Party» the whole Chapter III
«Socialist and communist literature» is dedicated to the analysis of
65 Marx K., Engels F. Manifesto of the Communist Party. – Moscow, 2007, pp. 83-84.
various forms of bourgeois ideological wings that tried to hide
themselves behind the name Socialism. There are described
reactionary (feudal) Socialism, petty bourgeois, conservative bourgeois,
utopian and religious Socialisms. All features of these wings described
by the classics are still topical as in one way or another all modern
theories, wings and perversions of scientific Communism can be
reduced to them. All of them were gradually reduced to the bourgeois
Socialism with the development of Capitalism. In the Manifesto there
is demonstrated less systematic at that time but a more practical variety
that in various forms has been adhered to by the overwhelming
majority of opportunists and right wing deviators: «A second, and more
practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate
every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by
showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material
conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any
advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence,
this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of
the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected
only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued
existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect
the relations between capital and labor, but, at the best, lessen the
cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government.
Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression when, and only
when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.
Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties:
for the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of
the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant
word of bourgeois socialism.
It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois – for
the benefit of the working class»65. Modern varieties of bourgeois
Socialism fit perfectly to this description.
4.1. Eurocommunism is not Communism.
Eurocommunism is a right wing deviation in the Communist
movement, a policy and theoretical foundation of a set of biggest
communist parties of the Western Europe in the second half of the
XX century. Opportunists abandoned the proletarian dictatorship,
they practically tackled an improvement of capitalism, thus refusing
from their main goal – from the socialist revolution. Gradually on
the basis of Eurocommunism there appeared a party of Euroleft,
which includes a number of parties, that still go on to call themselves
Communist, with some of such parties even from the former Soviet
republics – the Communist Party of Moldavia. All these parties adhere
to the position of Anti-Stalinism. It is these parties, who claim, that
Stalinism and fascism are equally totalitarian systems. I.e. they have
ambiguously anti-Soviet direction. Many of these parties refused
from proletarian symbols of Hammer and Sickle as if they have been
outdated. Others have only their historical tradition and Communist
Choice (like that of Gorbachev) as the only revolutionary theory
positions left. They are preoccupied by the protection of sexual
minorities’ rights rather than organize the struggle of the working
class. Today these parties are inscribed into the legal system of the
EU, among other things they are political subjects, registered by the
EU laws and financed from the EU budget. Reactionary character of
this direction, actually up to anti-communism is evident.
4.2. Market socialism is a reverse traffic from
socialism towards capitalism. Gorbachev’s dream:
to move towards capitalism under the Red Banner.
The way of the Communist party of China and the
Communist Party of Russian Federation.
Allegiance to the market socialism theory in the economy and
proclamation of a parliament as a body of people’s power in politics
are two characteristic features of today’s opportunism, revisionism
and relegation in the Communist Movement, and a consequence of
this is the removal of masses from the real political struggle and the
limitation of the working people by the role of an electorate, giving
its votes to the party leaders. The victory strategy of these
opportunistic parties is reduced to the promises of success in the
forthcoming elections and to the limitation of the whole social and
political struggle to the campaigning for «honest elections». Such
parties receive good financing from the state budget for such
parliamentary limitation. Any other non-parliamentary forms of class
struggle with the bourgeois political system are not applied by these
parties, and even if such struggles are declared in words, they are
terminated in practice.
In Russia, the role of a successor of the opportunistic Gorbachev’s
line is now played by the CPRF headed by Gennady Zyuganov.
Substantial features of their relegation policy are as follows:
– its proclamation that the limitation for revolutions in Russia is
– their renunciation of the proletarian dictatorship as well as any
practical organization of class struggle;
– their confession and proclamation of parliamentarism as
– their allegiance to the model of market socialism;
– their support of the Russian Orthodox Church and declaration
of its all edged positive role in the development of morality
(spirituality) in the society, and so on.
Just to be clear let us remind, that since the beginning of the
new bourgeois parliament of Russia (the State Duma, that started in
1993) the CPRF had among its parliamentarians several tens of
traitors (defectors), who left their party faction and sided with the
bourgeois regime, and among them two former chairmen of
parliament (Rybkin and Seleznev). With all that in their parliamentary
faction among tens of their deputies they have (and had) no leaders
of a real workers’ movement.
The CPRF at least three times saved the bourgeois regime headed
by Yieltsin. First time in 1993 during the confrontation between of
President Yieltsin and the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation in
the most critical moment Zyuganov in his TV statement called on people
to refrain from participation in the political struggle, and to stay at home.
Next day the House of Soviets was bombarded by tanks. Right after the
CPRF took part in the subsequent elections, left the common front of
boycott and thus helped to Yieltsin to get the referendum approval for
his bourgeois constitution, took the place of opposition with the
Communist name in the first State Duma (Russian Parliament).
Second time it was during the 1996 presidential elections, when
Zyuganov as a candidate for presidency got to the second tour and
then turned of his activity, but, nevertheless, as it is well known now,
he got a majority of votes, however he refused from struggling, and
recognizing the electoral falsification he was the among the first to
congratulate Yieltsin with his victory.
And third time after the 1998 crisis and default after the
resignation of Premier Kirienko, the CPRF and Zyuganov personally
supported the government of Primakov-Maslyukov, which devaluated
the Russian rouble by about 4 times and paid up to the Russian
workers multibillion salary and wages debts by these devaluated
roubles and thus turned of the wave of popular manifestations
against the authorities. This «popular government» existed for only
5 months, and after the situation got quite, it was resigned.
But comrades from the CPRF liked the role of capitalism saviors so
much, that they raised this slogan of Popular Confidence Government
to the level of their Party Program. Frankly speaking, today the CPRF
exercises the function of a damper of the capitalist regime, diverting
the protest energy of popular masses to the route of parliamentary
illusions and endless, fruitless campaigning for «honest elections». As
the result of electoral success they just promise to set up a Popular
Confidence Government. Thus we can see an original way of survival
of the «nomenklatura» leadership of this party (elite decision-makers
and administrators), who long ago had nothing to do with Communism,
enjoyed good financial support from the state budget (for the last ten
years the financial support of parliamentary parties from the state
budget increased by 304 times). One can say, that outspoken renegades
and true opportunists are employed with the bourgeois authorities as
their staff «protectors of people».
In the world, a special role in the promotion of market socialism
belongs to the Communist Party of China, which formally did not
abandon the proletarian dictatorship, has a very negative assessment
of Gorbachev’s perestroika experience, expels from its leadership its
own Chinese gorbachevites, but now is pursuing the co-called all
edged New Economic Policy (NEP). The CPC consistently and beyond
any measure implements capitalist elements not only in this country’s
economy, but also in its political system. Communism for China more
and more turns into a product of inside consumption for
management and control of working people masses. In spite of all
the success of the Chinese economy as well as theoretical foundation
of this line by references to Lenin’s NEP, we should note a substantial
difference, that Bolsheviks admitted capitalist elements in the
economy calling it «a retreat» and being well aware of its serious
danger. We enter into a mortally dangerous skirmish in the field of
ideology, – Lenin said. With all that Bolsheviks used the NEP and
were taking necessary measures to strengthen the state sector, the
centralized foundation in management and planned economy.
Chinese comrades, in our view, are moving in the opposite direction.
With all that they call this movement «an offensive» and at the same
time they introduce changes in their party’s constitution as well as
in their country’s laws, recognizing businessmen as their new, at least
on the level of the working people, social basis. Indeed we see in
reality the implementation of Gorbachev’s dream: a movement into
capitalism under the red flag.
Economic achievements of China, certainly, impress and deserve
most of respect, but they do not necessarily mean success in the
construction of Socialism. Such a satisfaction, as Lenin said, can be
provided by capitalism too. Today the People’s Republic of China is
the World’s second in the amount of billionaires, and Russia is the
third. Both countries are sure to be rather far from the construction
of classless society – Communism.
Chinese comrades many times referred to the example of Dan Sao
Pin’s wisdom and his saying, that: «It does not matter which color is
the cat, the main thing is that it catches mice». Today the time has
come to respond to Chinese comrades in their spirit: «Mice do not
care what color is the cat that will eat them». Chinese working people
suffer not just from the highest level of exploitation, that is proved by
high density of their presence in hardest (black) jobs in Russia, but the
ever harder oppression of purely capitalist elements, and almost
complete impossibility of struggle of the working people against this
capitalism. And plans of construction of the foundation of socialism,
prolonged by the CPC for one hundred years, pose the question about
any advantages of such a socialism over ordinary capitalism.
With all that the Chinese capitalism plays a very active role in the
World: on one hand, being a business partner of the American
imperialism, on the other hand, actively integrating it self into the
economies of many other countries and participating in the
intensification of exploitation of their workers. For example, Chinese
companies take part in privatization of seaports in Greece, that is
actively defied by the Communist Party of Greece and the Greek
working people. Chinese companies are particularly famous for their
exploitation of oilfield workers and miners in Kazakhstan. The
shooting of workers in Zhanauzen in 2011 is known to the proletarians
of the whole World. One should also note, that unlike the Soviet
Union and the CPSU, the CPC provides no practical support to the
world Communist and revolutionary movement. And in as far as their
forums of the parties sympathizers of the socialist idea is concerned,
they look more like assemblages of scholars-quacks of social71
democracy, distorting the ideas of Scientific Socialism.
I have to say, though it hurts, that we predict a sad repetition of
the CPSU fate by the Chinese comrades.
Thus, we can note, that opportunism is not simply leading the
Communist movement in the wrong direction; moreover, in alliance
with the bourgeois authorities, it stands up against the orthodox,
that is, revolutionary Marxism. This fact was noted yet by Vladimir I.
Lenin, when he said, that bourgeoisie always supports the
opportunistic party, which in its name and political language is closer,
is more like a real revolutionary party. The right deviation, revisionism
and apostasy did not stop with gorbachevism – the destruction of
the CPSU and the USSR in 1991, it is still in action.
4.3. Socialism of the 21st century: a sort of
improved capitalism in Latin America and other
Proceeding with our review, let us note, that it is fashionable today
to speak of a certain 21st century socialism. But what else it can be?
Perhaps not that of the 20th or 19th century. For those living there is
only this century – the 21st one. Certainly, good wishes and progressive
measures stand behind this slogan. But questions of general laws,
necessary and obligatory signs of socialism depart on the second and
third plan, that is, there is a departure from the theory of scientific
communism as a science. It is also opportunism, even if today it brings
some temporary success. This success is not a reliable one, it is not
fixed in the political system. With some minor change of outside
political conjuncture (current state of affairs) or of the inside situation
reactionary forces quickly return the given positions. The example of
heroic Venezuela right after the death of Ugo Chaves until nowadays
is very characteristic for back-and-oscillating motion of their socialism.
Life has proved the truth of the founders of Marxism, that
Communism is a science, and it should be treated accordingly. The
Communist theory may be summed up in the single sentence:
«Abolition of private property». In order to put this position into reality,
communists should be guided by the theory of Scientific Communism.
In the 20th century, the parties standing on the platform of the
Orthodox Marxism, united in the Communist (third) International.
The Twenty-one Conditions of admission to the Comintern held tasks
of communist parties, i.e. their obligations, and the main among them
was the struggle for party’s revolutionary character, struggle with
opportunism. And today there are not few parties in the World, which
stand on the positions of revolutionary Marxism. The theoretical
thought has not being dying down, and research work of scholars,
standing on Marxist and Leninist positions, is going on.
The time has come to return to our origins. There is no other way.
Long live to Marxism and Leninism, the teaching about
revolutionary struggle of proletarians of all countries.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
V. Our perspective is a struggle for
the revival of Soviet power and socialism.
Should we long for socialism, once capitalism can provide rather
high level of welfare to people? Apologists of capitalism respond to
this question by their call to refrain from revolutions and to follow
the road of evolution. As if one should try to obtain social justice
and protection in the framework of existing social system, and avoid
upheavals, perturbations and cataclysms, that are pregnant with civil
wars. Here in Russia they got frighten with new «maidans» and with
the danger of Russia’s disintegration. Shortly speaking, they call for
the national unity and struggle for the prosperous fatherland: for
Russia, for the Ukraine, for Greece or any other country headed by
its native national bourgeoisie.
Is it so? Does the struggle for a replete life cover all tasks of
struggle for the workers’ cause? What does the experience of our
socialism, that was perhaps not so replete, but real? What was there,
that was better than civilized and corpulent capitalism?
We, the Soviet communists, who had been living and fighting in
the Soviet age, responding to the question: «What was better under
socialism?», remind first of all even not the protection of people from
the market, not the absence of unemployment, and not free preschool,
school and high education, free medical treatment and even not our
open free housing. We say, that most important were the relations
among people. They were much more honest, more pure, more just.
They were more human. We used to say: our factory, our house, our
pioneer camp, our country, our people. The Soviet People was a real
and available community, and not a fable of propagandists. We did
not bow from the waist and called one another comrades. It is not by
nothing that the counterrevolution in the period of Gorbachev, when
inside themselves counterrevolutionaries frankly discussed their
purposes to restore capitalism, in public, outside, for a long time they
had being coming up under socialist slogans: they were constructing a
socialism with human face, restored Lenin’s norms of party life, sought
for the transference of power from the party to the Soviets and the
like. During elections of USSR people’s deputies (MPs) in 1989, Boris
Yieltsin in his answer to the question of «who is the ideal of a human
being and a politician for you» – stated at once and without any doubts:
«LENIN!» Referring to the Lenin’s methodology of the NEP, they longed
for an open market and created bearing spot dots for capitalism. We
know, that the economic policy in the state is not just gross output
indications, the consumption level, and percentage of growth and so
on. First of all new relations among the people were constructed. We
are very well aware, that it worth fighting for such a human relations.
We organize and call for struggle those, who do not want to be masters,
but will never be a lacquer as well!
We all know Lenin’s saying: «Give us an organization of
revolutionaries, and we will overturn Russia!»66. Let us remind, that
66 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 127.
these words were written in his work «What is to be done?» in 1902,
i.e. in the situation, that was hardly any better than that of ours
today. These words were written with pain and suffering from the
feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness among revolutionaries
then: «I used to work in a study circle that set itself very broad, allembracing
tasks; and all of us, members of that circle, suffered
painfully and acutely from the realization that we were acting as
amateurs at a moment in history when we might have been able to
say, varying a well-known statement: «Give us an organization of
revolutionaries, and we will overturn Russia!» Lenin finished his
work with the following words: «But we firmly believe that the fourth
period will lead to the consolidation of militant Marxism, that Russian
Social-Democracy will emerge from the crisis in the full flower of
manhood, that the opportunist rearguard will be «replaced» by the
genuine vanguard of the most revolutionary class.
In the sense of calling for such a «replacement» and by way of
summing up what has been expounded above, we may meet the
question «What is to be done?» with a brief reply: «Put an end to the
third period»67. Today’s Communist movement also needs to put an
end to confusion and vacillation in our ranks and come back to the
road of militant Marxism.
5.1. Modern instruments of bourgeoisie in their
fight against the communist movement.
Today in many countries of the world imperialists ban the activity
of communist parties (for instance, in the Baltic states and in Ukraine).
They ban communist symbols, they do not admit communists to take
part in elections, and the like (bourgeoisie are acting in the same
way in Ukraine, as well as in the popular republics of the Donets
Basin). Everywhere they are lashing anti-communist propaganda that
varies only in the degree of its aggression. However, the main method
67 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 183.
today is not a ban, but misleading, diluting of the Communist
movement. The Russian Communist Workers’ Party claims, that today
opportunism and revisionism have turned from natural (common)
deviations in the Communist movement into well-supervised arms
of bourgeoisie. The most famous example of such a degeneration is
the above-mentioned current of Eurocommunism, that has
transformed into the Euroleft party. It is clear, that such parties are
not dangerous for bourgeoisie and they are supported by this social
In Russia this role is played by alleged opposition: the CPRF, who
have their quota for revolutions exhausted: the socialists, and
recently yet another artificially created party called Communists of
Russia was added to them. The latter party is involved in open
apologetics of the bourgeois leadership and is even proud of being
called «a Kremlin Project». This party was created as a hindrance for
the real Communist movement in election campaigns, as well as for
the weakening of the CPRF itself, and for gradual elimination of the
very name of Communists from the public political arena. All these
parties are seeking for a good, civilized and even popular capitalism,
very much like the CPRF, promising the People’s Confidence
Government under the bourgeois system. Recent elections in
Kazakhstan on the 20th of March 2016 is a good example how the
bourgeois regime applies this tactics of inducement of «hand-feed
communists». Having banned the CP of Kazakhstan, Nursultan
Nazarbaev’s political engineers brought to the elections and led to
parliament the so-called Communist Popular Party of Kazakhstan (the
CPPK). Their electoral program flows a stream of distorted Marxism
as well as a simple and open laudation of Elbasy ideas, a renegade
from the former Soviet CPSU leadership, a chief of the bourgeois
counterrevolution and a permanent president of Kazakhstan. Here
are some short extracts:
«The CPPK is a reliable partner of the state…», «Communists
actively support the political course of the country…», «the Party
supports the strategic priorities of the actual social policy of the state»,
«one of the main tasks of our political activity the party considers a
total support in implementation of the state initiatives…».
In Russia the bourgeoisie is more subtle, but the essence is the
same: these misters, as we have already mentioned, are employed
as protectors of the people, getting a good award for this from the
A general common feature of such false parties of the working
people is their political rhetoric from the name of the working people,
allegedly for the interests of the working people, but with isolation
of the working people themselves from the struggle and even more
from the participation in power and in posing the question of
conquering political power. It is a cause of professional elite, according
to these opportunistic and renegade misters.
5.2. Lenin’s views on the methods of the bourgeois
struggle against the forthcoming revolution.
Those who more or less carefully studied Lenin know, that Lenin
warned about such methods of the bourgeois struggle against
revolutionary forces. First of all, one should note, that bourgeoisie
relies on objectively available difficulties and disorder inside workers’
movement itself, and above all on opportunists:
Lenin noted: «The opportunist does not betray his party, he does
not act as a traitor, he does not desert it. He continues to serve it
sincerely and zealously. But his typical and characteristic trait is that
he yields to the mood of the moment, he is unable to resist what is
fashionable, he is politically short sighted and spineless. Opportunism
means sacrificing the permanent and essential interests of the party
to momentary, transient and minor interests»68.
This bourgeois influence is more effective, when it is not disunited,
68 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 14, p. 35.
but organized opportunists, who act, sometimes organized in parties,
so yet Lenin noted, that bourgeoisie always support the political party,
that in its name and language is most similar to a real revolutionary
one. With all that bourgeoisie does not let opportunists utterly shift
to the right, including the change of their name, because in this case
in their place there may appear a real organization dangerous for
the bourgeoisie. Today this method has been developed to perfect.
The struggle of bourgeoisie against Communism always relied
on the institution of provocateurs. V.I. Lenin in his «Infantile Disorder
in the Communist Movement» wrote: «In many countries, including
the most advanced, the bourgeoisie are undoubtedly sending agents
provocateurs into the Communist parties and will continue to do so»69.
One should understand, that today’s agents provocateur have
got more experienced for the last hundred years and they are now
more skillful and perfect, then under Czarism and Zubatov. And it is
well proved by the examples of the Communists of Russia and the
Communist Party of the Social Justice .
However, the main attack is certainly held through the brainwash,
through the distortion of ideas. In his fundamental work «the
Revolution and the State» Lenin started his first chapter by
explanation of this danger: «What is now happening to Marx’s theory
has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of
revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for
emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the
oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories
with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most
unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death,
attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize
them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the
«consolation» of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping
the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory
69 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 29.
of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it
(highlighted be the ed.). Today, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists
within the labor movement concur in this doctoring of Marxism. They
omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its
revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or
seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie»70.
5.3. Today’s methods of the bourgeois attack on
Communists in Russia.
As I mentioned above, in Russia today (and all over the world), the
instrument of diluting the revolutionary teaching is applied directly
and openly. Back in 1999, Vladimir Putin, not yet a President,
elaborated his position on this question in his interview quoted in his
book «First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s»:
«… There was always a cooperation with communists in our Duma.
There was no law accepted without the support of communists. And
there was no conspiracy, aif we speak seriously. It seems to me, that
there are two ways in relations with communists. They have all chance
to become a modern parliamentary party in the European sense of
the word. …Communists are the only large, really large party with a
social basis, but with ideological «cockroach».
– Call these «cockroaches» by their names.
– For instance, their demand of confiscation and nationalization.
(the more the class struggle, the course toward the socialist revolution,
the dictatorship of the proletariat… – Author’s note)
– It won’t be?
– Just these will never be. Communists will either alter their
programmatic positions, and then they will be a big left party, I repeat,
of European type, or they won’t be able to do this and lose their social
basis at the extent of its natural being out and they will gradually
descend from the scene.
70 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 33, p. 5.
– They hardly consider so themselves?
– Their leaders, oddly enough, understand all that. And they are
getting prepared, in my view, for the alteration. They cannot do this
today, they are afraid, that their electorate will take it for betrayal.
And here it is very important not to miss a moment – when, how
much and to what extent they need to alter in themselves.
One has to recognize that the parliamentary communists had
thoroughly accepted this presidential position and implement it in a very
subtle and skillful way in the European stile, becoming in fact a variety of
a bourgeois party. And we again and again get sure in how right was Lenin,
who warned, that real communists withstand all bourgeois parties at once.
Towards the party of a New type –
along the Leninist path.
Is there such a party in Russia? A new type party, Leninist party?
The claim «there is such a party» was thrown by V.I. Lenin in the
first all-Russian congress of Soviets in June 1917. (There was more
than one thousand deputies, of which 822 had the right to vote. The
Bolshevik delegation had only 105 seats, yielding to the Socialist
Revolutionaries (285 seats), так and to Mensheviks (248 seats). So
Lenin responded to the statement of a men shevik, the chairman of
Petrograd Soviet, I.G. Ceretelli, who claimed, that no one can call
the party, which would risk to take power in its hands and to take
responsibility for everything happening in Russia. Bolsheviks, is
known, both took power and demonstrated with their further activity,
that the Working Class Party can govern the state of the working
people. The USSR achievements are well known.
Bourgeoisie in all countries of the World from the very origin of
the Communist movement had being fighting against the parties of
their grave-digger in the most wicked way. They tried to suffocate
the young Soviet Russia with their intervention – failed. Then in 1936
anti-Comintern Pact was constructed headed by Hitlerite Germany.
Fascism was defeated by the forces of anti-hitlerite coalition headed
by the Soviet Union, who made the main imperialist countries
participate in the struggle with fascism. The fighters of the Workersand-
Peasants Red Army raised their red flag with hammer and sickle
on it over the fascist couch. The authority of communists was growing,
but even more grew the bourgeois hatred to communists.
So how today one can understand various parties in the World
and in Russia, who call themselves communist, and yet issue a party
card number one to Vladimir I. Lenin? In our view, in the world
Communist movement it is necessary to return to the Lenin’s idea of
a New Type Party and to the main criteria of constructing a party,
capable to lead people to socialism.
The first is a confession in theory and work in practice for the
setting of the proletarian dictatorship.
The second is the beginning of implementation of the first,
through the organization of the party as a vanguard of the working
class, organizing the struggle of the class itself and leading this class
by the road of conquering political power by the proletariat. Such a
party applies all forms and methods of struggle, famous in theory
and practice of the workers’ movement, including parliamentary
forms, but a Communist Party use them for the development of the
broadest class struggle, involves into this struggle advanced workers
themselves, and not shift it onto professional politicians, even if they
are from the party nomenklatura.
Recalling famous saying of V.I. Lenin «the awakening of the man in
«the beast of burden», an awakening of such enormous and epochmaking
significance that all sacrifices made to achieve it are legitimate»71,
one can cay, that the party of Lenin’s type goes on to fight for such an
awakening, while other parties followed the way only for the increase
of the norm of the oats distribution to the «beast burden».
71 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 1, p. 403.
So, is there in Russia a party of the working class, does it express
interests of all working people, are there real communists? In as far
as our understanding of this task and the choice of the movement
direction to this task is concerned there is such a party. Just so
understanding the task and having chosen this direction of
movement, the Russian Communist Workers’ Party is seeking to
become such a party, necessary for the working people, a party
devoted to their interests, working in close conjunction with the
political block of forces standing on working class positions – the
Russian United Workers’ Front (Rot Front). Our program is based on
the development of struggle of workers themselves. Only by such a
struggle, and not by begging, one can achieve something. And with
corresponding development of the scales and organization of the
struggle one can pose the question about the power of the working
people – about the Soviet Power.
A wonderful Soviet poet Evgeny Dolmatovsky in his poem «Hands
of Gevara» expressed the following idea:
«There are defeats, inside of which in the very bottom
The powder of future victory is poignantly clutched
It must break out in tomorrow’s fire!»
Today we are feeling a strongest reactionary pressure, but one
should in dure it and fight for to bring the spark of the revolutionary
knowledge and revolutionary fire to the powder of people’s energy
at the right moment. Lenin said: «Whether or not there will be a
revolution does not depend on us alone. But we shall do our work,
and this work will never be in vain»72. Let us in our thoughts and in
our deeds follow the example of Lenin, and the Bolshevik party.
German comrades told us, that workers wrote on a stele to Marx
and Engels: «Not bad, next time it will be better!»
We are also certain of that!
72 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 1, p. 403.
100 years have passed since from «Avrora» gunshot
ushered in a new era of New Life of humanity. The World
did not forget, can’t but forget this great event, because
since that moment the World has changed. The World
marks This Day. And people of labor are looking at
communists and at the working class of Russia with the
hope, that their experience of struggle, their experience
of making a great revolution and construction of socialism,
the experience of success and analysis of mistakes will
help to the working people of the whole World to defend
their interests and come to the road of progress – the road
The working people in the world also hope, that
communists and the workers in Russia will again became
initiators in preparation and shaping up of a new stage of
the socialist revolution. And we, communists of the RCWPCPSU,
consider it our historical obligation.
Let us not falter in heart and will along our way!
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