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Four main issues
The two main teachings of the October Revolution
Speech by (new)ICP’s Central Committee for the October Revolution Centennial Conference
Amsterdam (23-24 September 2017)
first of all, we thank the comrades of Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN), of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) and of the People's Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Mobilization (PRISMM) for giving us the opportunity to explain the theses of our Party on the teachings of the October Revolution to the comrades who participate in this Conference.
We can draw many teachings from the victory of socialist revolution in October, from the construction of socialism done in USSR after the seize of power in 1917, and from the wave of revolutions and struggles that the activity of the Bolshevik Party raised all over the world in the first part of the last century. We also can and must draw many important teachings from the decline of the first wave of proletarian revolution in the second part of the last century, after the modern revisionists prevailed in the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU). We believe that the most important of those teachings for us Communists of an imperialist country are the two following ones:
1. The socialist revolution has the form of a revolutionary people’s war promoted by the Communist Party. During this war the Party uses as levers the spontaneous struggles of the working class and other classes exploited and oppressed by the bourgeoisie. The Party mobilizes, organizes and leads those classes until the establishment of socialism (dictatorship of proletariat, public and planned management of economic activity, participation of the working class and of the other exploited and oppressed classes in the management of social life). Socialist revolution is not an event that breaks out because the condition of the popular masses worsens, and because their intolerance and discontent grow. It is not an insurrection of the popular masses during which the communist party takes control of the government of the country. It is not a spontaneous event. Least of all it is a “world revolution” breaking out at the same time all over the world because of the catastrophic course of things that the bourgeoisie imposes on human kind. The will to fight of the popular masses grows step by step as they verify by experience that the communist party is able to lead them. If the communist party persists in leading them wrongly for long, also the will to fight of the popular masses runs out progressively and the communist party loses his hegemony, it breaks up or changes color.
2. The Communist Party is able to give a right direction to the working class and to the other classes of the popular masses only if it has assimilated Marxism, only if it applies it in the concrete conditions of its country and of the international context and develops it. The most important quality of the Communist Party, the main foundation of its unity and the main factor that makes successful its activity is the communist conception of the world, the science of the activities by which human beings make their history. This is the science founded by Marx and Engels and developed by the greatest leaders of the communist movement. They verified it in the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution, in the first half of the last century. The Communist Party is not only the heroic struggling organization, the organization of the vanguard workers that promotes the claiming struggles of the working class and of the other classes of the popular masses. It is mainly the Staff that promotes and leads the revolutionary people’s war aimed to establish the dictatorship of proletariat in its country and that cooperates with the communist parties promoting socialist revolution or revolution of new democracy in other countries.
These two theses are presented more in detail in our pamphlet The four main issues to be debated in the international communist movement and in our Manifesto Program. We do not expect to convince, here, by few words, the comrades who still have not come to understand these two theses themselves by their experience. We only say that anyone who will pursue with perseverance and without reservation the new birth of the communist movement will necessarily come to the conclusions we have come to, and then we shall cooperate in applying them.
Surely some comrades will think that it is strange that we draw just these two teachings from the October Revolution and more generally from the successful experience of Lenin and Stalin’s Party. For some comrades will be strange that we synthesize these two teachings in Marxism Leninism Maoism, the experimental science by which we lead our activity. Obviously, other teachings can be drawn. Anyway, these are the two main ones. The comrades who consider the nature and history of human society and the nature of socialist revolution on the solid foundation of Marxist theory will easily understand their necessity and importance. In fact, these two teachings in particular continue and develop the teachings about the nature of the communist party and of the socialist revolution in the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) and in the Introduction written by Engels in 1895 to the Marx’s pamphlet Class Struggles in France 1848-1850, but with the authority that the victories got by Bolsheviks in Russia give them.
These are also the teachings that Lenin clearly indicates and describes in Left-wing Communism - An Infantile Disorder (May-April 1920). In order to describe the universal teachings of Russian revolution to the communist parties, he starts not from the insurrection of October in 1917, but from 1903, when Bolshevism rose “on a very firm foundation of Marxist theory”, that the Communists have to bring to the working class because it is outside its immediate experience (What has to be done? 1902). Actually, Lenin refers also to the previous years of the class struggle in Russia. So, Lenin talks about a protracted revolutionary people’s war, even if he does not use this expression. Lenin indicates as indispensable these teachings of the Russian revolution to the communist parties of the European countries and of the USA. He did so because they then were forming coming from the 2nd International: that is to say that they were coming from parties that for decades had limited themselves to promote claims and to participate in the political struggle within the bourgeois institutions, though with heroic dedication and sacrifices. When the First World War broke out they showed their impotence as revolutionary parties. In Left-wing Communism - An Infantile Disorder and in other occasions Lenin criticizes repeatedly the exponents of the left wing of the 2nd International, from where many exponents of those communist parties were coming. He said that they were professing and applying a caricature of Marxism, and that they were not using the dialectical materialism as a method of analysis and as a method of action to promote the socialist revolution in their countries.
The two teachings we draw are the fundamental qualities that Lenin indicated to the communist parties of the European countries and of the USA as “something - and something highly significant - of their near and inevitable future”. Lenin would continue to repeat these teachings until the 4th Congress of the Communist International in 1922. Stalin resumed them in his name, but uselessly. No one of the European communist parties of the Communist International, most of them heroic struggling organizations, assimilated these teachings. Antonio Gramsci tried to do it, when the Communist International in 1923 Autumn made him leader of the Communist Party of Italy. Anyway, the case of Gramsci was completely isolated and his work was cut off by Fascism that since 1926 imprisoned him until he died. The communist parties of the imperialist countries did not assimilate these fundamental teachings and therefore they had not been able to carry out the revolution until the establishment of socialism in their respective countries during the long revolutionary situation of the first part of the last century. Hence they did not overcome the limits of the socialist parties of the 2nd International, that neither had been able to establish socialism in some imperialist country. Therefore, this allowed the modern revisionists, to prevail, and Togliatti was the first of all them. This is the counterevidence that these two teachings are true.
In these years, we Communists are facing up to the task of the new birth of the communist movement, each one in its country and on the international level. The International Community of the European, American and Zionist imperialist groups imposes a catastrophic course of things in every field all over the world. This confirms that the establishment of socialism is necessary. Marxism makes us able to see the premises that make it possible. Since more than 150 years the history of human kind no more depends mainly on the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is reduced to try to prolong its social system suffocating, repressing, desegregating and corrupting the communist parties. The history of human kind depends mainly on the working class and on its communist parties. So, the limits of the conscious and organized communist movement are the main reason of the problems that today are tormenting the human kind. The task of each one of us is to assimilate and apply the teachings of the first great successful revolution, the October Revolution mainly in each one country of ours.
So let’s go forward, comrades! Future is in our hands!!
Ulisse, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the (n)ICP