You have in your hands the 7th issue of the "International Communist Review", which was published in 2017 and is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
The lessons of October guide the struggle of the communists all over the world even today, because communists see in the glory of October the realization of the historic mission of the working class.
October reveals the irreplaceable role of the Communist Party, relative to the preexisting social-democratic parties that were pillars of support for the bourgeois classes of their countries and relative to their political descendants, the contemporary social-democratic parties that are at the head of the bourgeois offensive against the working class and popular strata.
It reveals the strength of proletarian internationalism.
We stand with great emotion before the millions who gave their lives for the world communist movement, the unwavering revolutionaries of the heroic proletarian history, before the uprisings of working men and women and poor farmers, the masses-the creators of history. Their example vindicates human existence; it educates and constitutes the invaluable heritage of communists and of the peoples.
The October revolution was an event of historic proportions, the greatest event in the 20th century, which set its seal for decades on the course of humankind. The “ghost of Communism”, which a few decades earlier had haunted Europe, took on concrete meaning as a form of power. The victorious outcome of the October revolution meant that the way was paved for mankind to pass “from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.”
“We have made the start. When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown.", as Lenin wrote.
The October revolution was the spark that ignited the progressive growth of the international Communist Movement. Its flame accelerated the formation of a number of Communist Parties. It led to the creation of the Third Communist International (1919-1943), whose necessity arose from the fact that capital is an international power, but also from the fact that the Second International had betrayed the interests of the workers.
Since 1917, international capitalism was obliged to take into consideration the existence of a countervailing force as the first determinant of its policy.
Thanks to the October socialist revolution, the conditions were created to establish rights, unprecedented up to that point for the working people, even in the most developed capitalist countries.
The gains of the workers and farmers under Soviet power functioned in favour of the working people in the capitalist countries as well. They were a basic factor that obliged the bourgeois governmental parties, liberals and social democrats to make concessions to the working class.
The shock of the October Revolution to the foundations of the old world had an immediate positive reflection in the movements against colonialism. It was from this moment that this inhuman regime essentially began to crumble.
The liberating power of October was expressed in the global culture as well, in the arts and letters. Some major artists aligned the revolutionary labour movement, and later many more were inspired by the messages of the October Revolution, and placed their work at the service of its ideals, at the service of the international working class.
Historical developments have refuted the claim that the nature of the socialist-communist undertaking was utopian. No socio-economic system has ever been consolidated once and for all in the history of mankind, not even capitalism in its battle with feudalism. Contrary to the ideological and political representatives of the bourgeois class, who claim that the end of history has arrived, socialism remains necessary and timely.
The necessity and timeliness of socialism arise from the contradictions in the capitalist system. They stem from the fact that capitalism has created the material preconditions required for humanity’s transition to a superior socio-economic system, however long this may be delayed today by the adverse correlation of forces, which makes capitalist aggressiveness appear invincible.
The necessity for the transition to socialism is generated by capitalism itself, in which, although labour and production have been socialised on an unprecedented scale, the products of socially organised labour constitute private, capitalist property.
This contradiction is the womb of all the crisis phenomena in contemporary capitalist societies, but it is also the beacon pointing to the way out and to the need for: bringing relations of production in correspondence to the level of development of the productive forces, for private ownership of the concentrated means of production to be abolished, and for them to be socialised, for their planned use in social production by the socialist power that expresses the interests of the producers of social wealth.
The fact that the foundations of socialism were actually built constitutes an unprecedented historical feat given the conditions. It is not accidental that it is treated with such rabid rage by the bourgeoisie and opportunists. To this day, the flag of the “anti-Stalinist” crusade is being raised to discredit the communist struggle and prospects as a whole.
The activity of the Bolshevik party was based on the theoretically consolidated view regarding the possibility of building socialism in one country, especially one of the size of Russia, in opposition to the Trotskyist view of the “permanent revolution”. It was based on the unity of the working class and its alliance with the poor strata of the peasantry. In the absence of these conditions, socialist industrial development and collectivisation of agricultural production could not have been accomplished.
The role of the Soviet Union in the antifascist victory of the peoples in World War II was decisive. The USSR decimated the military machine of Germany and its allies that had invaded its territory. It liberated a number of European countries from German occupation forces. It is for this socialist homeland that more than 20 million Soviet citizens gave their lives and another 10 million or so were left injured or disabled. The victories of the Red Army gave considerable impetus to the development of national liberation and anti-fascist movements, in which the Communist Parties were in the front ranks.
The Soviet Union supported the struggle of the peoples all over the world.
The social, political and cultural gains of the peoples of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries demonstrate the superiority of the socialist mode of production over the capitalist mode of production. They acquire an even greater value, if we take into consideration the heritage of capitalist unevenness and backwardness at the time of the revolution, in comparison with other economically developed capitalist countries.
Soviet Power’s handling, to various extents, of so many popular problems proves that the constant improvement of life and the development of the working people’s personality lie in the nature and the inherent potential of socialism-communism. It can only be achieved, however, through the correct political line on the part of the Communist Parties. Deviations and violations of principles, the opportunist corrosion of the CP become factors that foster delay, stagnation and even counter-revolutionary backsliding. Today the communist and workers parties ought to better study the contemporary elaborations of the parties that support the effort of the ICR and draw useful conclusions for the future regarding the economic changes that were implemented in the USSR and the other socialist states, mainly after the 20th and 22nd Congresses of the CPSU, with the return of market "tools", like profit, and the more general strengthening of commodity-money relations in the conditions of the socialist economy. The changes that took place in the political superstructure of the USSR need to be studied, such as, e.g. the political line regarding an "All-people's State", as well as the strategy of the USSR in international relations (e.g. the "peaceful coexistence" and "competition" of the two socio-economic systems) as well as the strategy of the international communist movement (e.g. dissolution of the 3rd International, strategy of stages to socialism).More generally, the causes of the overthrow of the socialist system must be more deeply studied. This was a counterrevolution because it brought social regression. The absolute domination of capitalism has piled up great sufferings for millions of people, inside and outside the socialist countries that we knew. The peoples have been temporarily deprived of their great support, their sincere ally.
The counter-revolutionary reversals of the years 1989-1991 do not negate the character of our times as the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism, which was symbolically inaugurated by the October Revolution. Today, more than ever before, it can be proven that the class struggle cannot be mainly defensive, for the safeguarding of certain gains. Immediate, and particularly long-term, results can only be achieved by politicising action, by putting forward demands that clash with the strategy of capital, that claim the wealth that is being produced for the benefit of its direct producers, while at the same time preparing for the subjective factor for the conquest of power. Such struggles can create correlations of forces in favour of the working class and its potential allies, the popular strata.
Amongst the most important tasks of the communist ideological front is to restore the workers' knowledge about the truth of socialism in the 20th century, without idealizations, objectively and free of the slanders of the bourgeoisie, through the defense of the laws of the revolution and socialism. The historical developments with the positive and negative experience that was accumulated in the 20th century fully confirmed the necessity for the state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat for the transition from the capitalist to the communist society.
On the basis of these common positions of ours, we today present a series of multifaceted articles concerning issues related to the October Revolution and the lessons that emerge from its history and contribution for the international communist movement.