The second issue of the International Communist Review is published in a particularly crucial period of a deep capitalist economic crisis, in a period when the bourgeois attack on people’s rights escalates, the competition between monopolies and the inter-imperialist contradictions intensify. Under these conditions the discussion about socialism published in the following pages becomes particularly significant.
The historical era of transition from capitalism to socialism which was signaled by the great October Revolution in 1917 has not come to an end with the temporary defeat in the USSR and the other former socialist states in Europe. The October Socialist Revolution realised by the working class of Russia, under the guidance of the Bolshevik party, which was headed by Lenin, has been the greatest event in the 20th century and marked its beginning.
Capitalism in its imperialist stage, despite the immense wealth it accumulates in the hands of a small minority, cannot solve even a single problem of humanity. The necessity of socialism emerges from the very irreconcilable contradictions of the capitalist system, as a product of social development.
This revolutionary transition, which is necessary for the abolition of capitalist exploitation, cannot be accomplished through a series of reforms but though the revolutionary overthrow of capital’s power and the conquest of power by the working class in alliance with other popular strata; through the socialization of the concentrated means of production which are in the hands of monopolies. That is to say with the abolition of the private ownership of the concentrated means of production, the extension of socialist relations of production and of central planning in all the sectors of the economy begins, in this way the boundaries which capitalism imposed on the forces of production are successfully overcome.
Thus, the ground is prepared for a social development which meets the interests of the workers, who are the majority in society and for the scientific-technical achievements to serve the majority of the people. The construction of the new society will be based on the mobilization of the masses through the organs of the people’s state power and their various organizations. The vanguard action of the Communist Party will contribute to this direction. This historical process will pave the way for the full abolition of classes through the final elimination of the exploitation of man by man, the elimination of every form of social inequality and contradiction in the advanced communist society.
The Great October revolution and the socialist construction inspired the formation and development of the international communist movement. It accelerated the foundation of communist parties in many countries and led to the foundation of Third Communist International. It was the power that inspired and supported the struggles of the peoples for a future with freedom and social justice without exploitation. The October revolution created the conditions for the establishment of unprecedented rights to full and stable employment, education, healthcare and social security. It exerted a positive influence on the gains of the working people in the capitalist world. We underline the decisive contribution of the USSR and the Bolsheviks to the defeat of Nazism-fascism, its inestimable contribution to women’s emancipation and to the collapse of colonialism. Furthermore, the influence of the ideas of the October revolution reinforced the struggle for peace and forged internationalist solidarity.
The counterrevolution which broke out in 1989-1991 does not negate the historical importance of the October revolution, the contribution of the USSR, of socialism and the communist movement. The deep, critical, objective investigation of the course of socialism in the 20th century has nothing in common with the political and ideological downgrading of this historical period by the class enemy that seeks to rewrite history.
The analysis and recognition of revisionist views, which led to deviations during socialist construction in the USSR, is necessary for the correct and scientifically documented assessment of the causes that led to counterrevolution. It is essential for the strengthening of the ideological political struggle against opportunism which under the current conditions hides behind the slogan about the humanisation of capitalism arguing about “socialism with democracy” or about the “socialism of the 21st century”.
The capitalist economic crisis and the fear of the bourgeoisie about the upsurge of the class struggle and the revolutionary movement are the reasons that lead to the anticommunist campaign against the ideas and the important historical experience that began in October. Despite the retreat of the communist movement, due to the unpredicted victory of the counterrevolution and the capitalist restoration in Eastern, Central Europe and the territory of the former USSR, the contrived notions about the “end of History and the communist movement“, about the “exhaustible possibilities of capitalism” were soon discredited. The ideas of socialism are being revived as the material, intellectual and social impoverishment of a large part of the peoples in the countries of the former socialist states was proved in practice but also because light was shed on the causes of the counterrevolution. Socialism becomes the point of reference for the organisation of the struggle for the emancipation of the world working class from the capitalist domination and its most violent expression that is the imperialist war.
The material of this issue was formed on the basis of the assessment that nowadays it is particularly important to exchange views, to continue the theoretical discussion about the socialist revolution and the socialist construction, as well as the research about the causes that led to the temporary defeat. Based on the re-examination of the events of the last years we conclude that there are new possibilities to project, especially among the youth, the values and the ideals of the workers’ revolutionary movement so as to repel the anticommunist plans for the distortion of historical truth.
The aim of this issue is to defend socialism through the further study of the historical experience as well as to repel aspects of the anti-communist attack. In our opinion, this effort can strengthen the ideological and political weapons of the communist parties in their struggle against bourgeois and opportunist positions.