The 12th issue of the “International Communist Review” (ICR), which you are holding in your hands, is dedicated to the first workers’ state in history, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The USSR or Soviet Union was founded on 30 December 1922 and was a fruit of the victorious Great October Socialist Revolution. Our 12th issue coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the USSR that brought to the forefront a superior form of organization of the society, which was radically different from all the systems that historically preceded it and shared the common feature of the exploitation of man by man. In the Soviet Union, new institutions of workers’ power were formed and operated, the means of production were socialized and their central planning was implemented.
The right to work in practice was established for the first time in the USSR, by eradicating unemployment as a social phenomenon. The foundation was laid for the abolition of multifaceted economic, political–ideological, and social discrimination against women. Science, free Education at all levels, and free Health of high quality for all people developed rapidly; universal accessibility and the possibility to contribute to culture and sports was guaranteed.
The gains in the USSR were achieved in conditions of active undermining of production, constant threat of armed external intervention, and assassinations of Bolsheviks and other vanguard workers and farmers.
Workers’ power managed to repel imperialist interventions, to crash the attack of fascism, which was given rise to by capitalism, and to shape positive processes in states of Central and Eastern Europe, which after the Second World War proceeded to build socialism, as well as in many other regions where the colonial regime was overthrown and popular uprisings and social revolutions broke out.
For almost 7 decades, until December 1991, when it dissolved, the USSR constituted a mainstay for the people’s struggle for peace, political and social rights, and the cause of socialism.
The history of the USSR demonstrates what the workers can achieve when they take possession of the means of production and social wealth when they seize political power. The erroneous economic, social, and political choices made in the course of socialist construction, which ultimately led to the dissolution of the USSR and capitalist restoration, cannot erase the importance of the achievements, despite the fact that they have plunged the peoples into the negative consequences of this setback.
The articles included in the 12th issue of the ICR examine the factors shaping the state of the USSR as well as its function. The international importance of the socialist state is highlighted through its internationalist contribution to the struggle of the peoples of the world, together with the influence that the theoretical elaborations of the CPSU had on the strategy of the International Communist Movement. Lastly, the articles of this issue examine aspects of the causes that led to the overthrow of socialism and the dissolution of the USSR, as well as the impact of the counter-revolution on the international labour and communist movement, which continues 30 years later.
The articles of the 12th issue approach the aspects mentioned above as well as a number of related topics. Thus, in the 12th issue of the ICR the reader will be introduced to the following articles:
The article of the Union of Communists of Ukraine under the title “V.I. Lenin’s development of the dialectics of theory and practice in the process of formation and activities of the Soviet proletarian state”. This article presents important aspects of the Leninist contribution to the emergence and formation of the workers’ state as well as the tackling of unprecedented issues. It is noted that “It was V. I. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party led by him who provided invaluable experience in the dialectics of theory and practice in the revolutionary solution of these questions in Russia. This experience clearly demonstrates the non-dogmatic attitude to the theory of Marxism and allows one to discover the methodological significance of the Marxist-Leninist dialectics in resolving the issues of power and the state in the modern environment”.
The article of the Russian Communist Workers’ Party (RCWP) under the title “The state of proletarian dictatorship: Soviet experience of realisation. Lessons for the future” follows right after. This article is about the superstructure of the socialist society, particularly the state of the USSR and the action of the subjective factor, the CP of the Soviet Union, and focuses on their role during the period of socialist construction. It refers to the experience that the international communist movement can draw from the achievements of socialist construction as well as the mistakes that led to the overthrow of socialism. It particularly highlights that “The Soviet experience of the proletarian dictatorship realization may be useful in the next turn of the socialist construction in the capacity of lessons, that must be perfectly learnt. Both achievements and mistakes, made by the Communist Party and the Soviet people, must be taken into account in order to avoid the difficulties, that had been standing in the way of socialist newcomers or to overcome these difficulties with the knowledge of how it was done before”.
The article of the Socialist Party of Latvia bears the title “The Socialist State in Latvia: From the revolutionary triumph to the drama of dissolution”. This article deals with the course of socialist construction in the region of Latvia until the counter-revolution and helps the reader understand the process of counter-revolution, particularly the way that the latter was shaped in the Baltic, in Latvia, which was a case of later accession to the Soviet Union. Of particular importance is the reference to erroneous choices made by the Soviet leadership, as the lack of a corresponding level of de-Nazification. It is noted that “the causes that led to the destruction of the first socialist state and the factors that contributed to the victory of the counter-revolution in 1991 are no less important for the development of the international communist movement than the causes and factors for the achievement of the socialist revolution”.
The article of the Communist Party of Turkey under the title “The speech of Khrushchev at the 20th Congress of the CPSU: Socialism rendered defenseless” examines the 20th Congress of the CPSU, its framework, and its impact on the USSR and the International Communist Movement. It is particularly highlighted that “the 20th Congress gained importance as it was a historical blow to the communist character of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Without a doubt, the Soviet Union did not lose its socialist character with this congress, but we can say that the 20th Congress should be examined specifically when it comes to the process that led to its dissolution (1991)”.
The article of the Communist Party of Greece under the title “The internationalist contribution of the USSR. A critical examination of aspects of its foreign policy” provides information regarding the foreign policy followed by the first workers’ state. It underscores that “the foreign policy followed by the Soviet Union was qualitatively different from that of capitalist countries since its criterion was not the satisfaction of the interests of the capitalist monopolies and the bourgeois exploitative classes but of the working class, which had seized power by overthrowing the power of capital. For the first time in history, the workers across the world found a firm ally in the Soviet Union and its foreign policy in their struggle against imperialist war, for workers’ and social rights, in the struggle for socialism”.
The article of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan under the title “Open conflict between the USSR and the PRC of the 50–70s” focuses on the course of the relationship between the USSR and the PRC as well as the factors that led to the rupture between them. It notes that “it is important to analyze these differences and what they eventually led the socialist camp to. Without an assessment of those events, it is impossible to characterize the social and political nature of modern China, since the foundations for turning towards market reforms were laid back in that period”.
The article of the Communist Party of Mexico under the title “Questions of ideology and strategy in the communist movement of Latin America in the framework of the counterrevolution” refers to the reflection of the developments in the USSR and the political choices of the CPSU to the strategy of the communist movement in Latin America, which still plays a role to this day. It particularly notes that “it is not an exaggeration to assure that after the opportunist platform in the XX to XXII Congress of the Soviet Communist Party decreased the international communist reflexes in front of the perestroika platform, openly counterrevolutionary (…) All that mined the character of class and the revolutionary positions, letting open the field to reformists deviations, which we are studying. Is for that very instructive the elaboration of terms in strategy and tactics of the Latin-American communist parties in the time of the perestroika, and it continues nowadays”.
The article of the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain under the title “The dismantling of the Soviet Union, a hard blow for the world working class” presents the impact of the counter-revolution on the international labour and communist movement today “In this article, we are trying to address some effects of the 1989-1991 counter-revolutionary events that deepened the dire crisis the International Communist Movement was being suffering from way back. Disorientation reigned in those lean years... Many chose to join the anti-sovietism (anti-communism) promoted by the imperialist centers and the most varied diversionist schools. Others chose to undertake the study of what had happened and extracted conclusions based on Marxism-Leninism to illustrate and continue class struggle. To these last ones, the ones who held high the red banner in those difficult days, we thankfully dedicate this article”.