90th Anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution
Introductory Report of the Promoter Committee
Dear comrades, we are here to recall and celebrate the greatest event of last century, the October Socialist Revolution; we are here to re-launch its reasons and make its meaning up-to-date, engaging ourselves again in the struggle for proletarian socialism.
The historical importance of the Soviet October would need much more time than we have to honour the heroic efforts of Soviet workers, peasants and soldiers, to whom we and the next generations must be grateful.
Ninety years ago they opened a new era, creating a new contradiction: that between socialism and imperialism. For the first time the proletarian class became the ruling class for about half a century with the purpose to abolish any form of exploitation of man over man, to make socialism victorious in all the countries and to abolish completely the division of classes of society, arousing with its example the liking and support of workers all over the world.
The revolution, the destruction of the old state apparatus and the contemporary establishment of a new kind of state power never seen in history, the victory against the internal and international reaction, the solution of the national problems, the foundation of the Third Communist International, the socialist industrialization, the land collectivization, the defeat of the nazi-fascist beast and the construction of the socialist field were, and still are, victories of the world proletariat and popular masses.
Each of these moments has marked a deep, positive change in culture, traditions, mentality, means of struggle and forms of organization of the working class.
Each of these moments was the outcome of the initiative, participation, creative genius of large masses. In fact, all the revolution development was based on the mobilization of tens of millions workers of town and country, united by fundamental objectives and demands of the communists.
It was the masses organized in the Soviets and guided by the communist party of Lenin and Stalin who undertook the task to solve the problems connected to production, transport, supply, culture, daily life, defence of the new order and repression of the counter-revolutionary activities. It was these masses who broke the state machine of the proprietary classes and took part in the formation of the new power apparatus, made by the majority on behalf of the majority.
Unfortunately, today the country of Soviets doesn’t exist any longer, being destroyed by the restoration of the capitalist production and exchange relations begun by the renegade Krusciov, continued by Breznev and completed by the Judas Gorbaciov. We know that it was the revisionist world that collapsed at the end of the 80s of last century: it maintained exterior socialist forms but hadn’t anything in common, except for the past, with proletariat struggle for communism.
Imperialists and reactionaries have taken advantage of this to declare
the death of communism, the “end of history” and the extinction of ideologies. With the
fall of the
For almost twenty years the imperialist bourgeoisie has been claiming to cancel the necessity of emancipation and freedom of the working class and peoples with demagogy and the promise of a “new era”.
But what are we witnessing today? Instead of the promised freedom, the dictatorship of a group of imperialist countries and financial monopolies has been reinforced, resulting in an even fiercer neo-colonialist domination to which hundreds of dependent countries and nations are submitted.
Instead of bringing peace and democracy, the imperialist powers have set off a series of aggressive wars and acts of pure terrorism which have already made more than half a million victims, while there is an increase of the contradictions and the struggle between the great imperialist countries and the monopolist groups for a new distribution of markets and spheres of influence, which increases the danger of a new world conflict.
Instead of equality and social justice, the rich have become richer and the poor poorer, on one side privileges and on the other social and racial discrimination have spread; the abyss dug between the classes is well represented by the fact that the two hundred richest bourgeois people in the world are the owners of a wealth larger than that made in one year by two thousand and a half millions workers.
Instead of economic growth we witness, in the capitalist world, an enormous increase of parasitism and decomposition; financial paroxysms follow one after the other and will give rise to new attacks to the living conditions of proletariat and peoples and will push capitalism even more into instability and chaos.
Instead of the proclaimed decrease of state oppression, we witness capitalism of today inextricably connected with the bourgeois state, but also all the oppressive and repressive functions against the subaltern classes are reinforced, establishing more and more authoritarian gendarme-states
Instead of the working conditions improvement which could be guaranteed by technical-scientific development, we witness an unprecedented increase of surplus value extorted from workers and
the dismantling of all the achievements gained during decades of hard struggles.
Instead of the guarantee of social services, we witness infancy, old age, health, sport, social relations transformed into ready money.
Instead of adequate and urgent measures for the protection of nature, we witness the search for maximum profit devastating the ecosystem, showing that capitalism with its predatory logic is incompatible with the very existence of mankind.
Instead of an advanced and progressive culture, there is a spreading of religious obscurantism, racism, fascism, xenophobia, being the effect of the moral and cultural impoverishment of the ruling class and of its increasing corruption.
Can a system like this be defined “victorious”? Is this a way of production which suffers only of some “imperfections”, which can be reformed at its basis? Is it possible that the state of present things can last for long?
In order to give an answer we must at first understand that the changes made in the world haven’t changed anything essential in the nature of imperialism, which Lenin correctly defined “the last stage of capitalism”.Ours is still the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. There isn’t a “third stage”, another phase of intermediate development of mankind between imperialism and socialism.
All the events since the glorious October Revolution onwards - the Second World War, the defeat of fascism, the liberation of colonial countries, the Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese revolutions, etc, the improvement made in the construction of socialism, the new imperialist offensive and the present situation of the struggle of peoples - prove the Leninist theses on the era we are living in.
In fact the fundamental contradictions of our world (between proletariat and bourgeoisie; between oppressed peoples and nation and imperialism; between imperialists powers; between socialism and imperialism, considered today as a contradiction kept open by forces, groups, parties and peoples who are struggling against capitalism and for socialist aims), are the same and are becoming worse.
We must understand that since 1917 capitalism as a system has not become stable any longer and its general and permanent crisis has begun and is going on and growing worse in spite of the temporary defeat of socialism.
We must understand that just the developing contradictions are making the conditions for revolution ripe all over the world and the many problems of present society as aspects of one only problem to be solved: by the seizing of political power and the organization of proletariat as a ruling class even in one only country in order to get the maximum obtainable in this country and support revolution in other countries.
Therefore we are still in the historical era opened ninety years ago with the passing of political power in the hands of Soviets. An era not short, characterized by the transition of mankind from capitalism to socialism, which is the society of transition to communism. An era with many stages in which there have been many failures of capitalism and achievements of the working class and peoples, subsequent setbacks and restorations of the old social system, victories and defeats from which it is essential to get important lessons. On the whole it is an era of sharp class struggle between the proletariat aiming at the radical transformation of the whole society, and the bourgeoisie which doesn’t want to lose its power and privileges.
This struggle between classes, which represents the drive of history up to communism, will be solved with the victory of proletariat because the material premises of socialist revolution have become more solid.
Let’s give a look at some irrefutable facts. First of all, the productive forces have developed so much that have become so powerful and advanced, have taken a social character so marked that not only their conflict with the obsolete bourgeois relations of production irremediably breaks society (showing itself with overproduction, starvation wages, temporary employment, wars for the division of the world and so many other “joys” typical of this system), but makes it so full of revolution, so ready to a qualitative rise which will allow the passage to a new civilization.
Moreover, the "army” of proletariat, even if it has undergone some reduction in the most advanced countries, has continued to become stronger and is developing worldwide. At present it has more than a thousand million women and men who have already entered the struggle front and go on with more and more resolution. At their side we find – as their natural allies- a large number of outcast masses, whole peoples enslaved by imperialism who demand changes, who knock at the doors of the imperialist citadels. The most numerous new generation ever appeared on earth is pressing. In the metropolises, key places of the “global market”, millions and millions of exploited, unemployed, emarginated people gather around the financial institutions.
All this while the rapport of capitalist exploitation comes, without any
decency, to its most savage form even in the most “advanced” countries. While the
restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union, in the European western countries and in
In the meantime the imperialist bourgeoisie has entered a course of deterioration and loss of its social alliances. This because the monopolistic capital encounters more and more difficulty to increase in value and will not be able to go back to a new “golden age”, because its attempts to raise the rate and mass of profit ruin the middle classes, too.
These are facts which also explain the reasons why in the bourgeois
field there grows the temptation to prohibit the activities of parties and organizations which proclaim themselves
communist, to prevent with any means
that the aim of the construction of a free socialist community becomes an
actual proposal in the arena of political struggle. These reactionary pushes
will come out in
But the anticommunist hatred of the bourgeoisie and its servants -which is the basis of all the reactionary and fascist movements- actually shows the weakness of this class in historical decline.
The bourgeoisie knows very well the validity of the communist analysis of the present world; it realizes that in front of enormous crises and robbing wars, new “assaults to the sky” are inevitable. Therefore it must denigrate and criminalize the communists because it fears that workers, young people, can again turn to their ideas and proposals and carry on the work begun with the Soviet October. It must attack resolutely the “dead” socialism because it is the only “other possible world” to let popular masses get out from the abyss of poverty, ignorance, war in which imperialism continuously puts them.
In fact only socialism is able to solve the contradictions which have produced the regimes of exploitation: class contradictions, those between manual and intellectual work, between country and town, the contradictions between race, peoples, nations and nationalities, the contradictions between human activity and nature of which we are part.
Comrades, we have seen that capitalism general crisis is growing worse, but we cannot foresee the way in which it will develop, the form which the elements of a generalized revolt will take, where and when the future revolutionary breaches will take place.
Yet we know some of the things. We know that the hatred of the working masses and the peoples against imperialism is bound to increase. We know that thanks to the experiences and the knowledge built up since the October Revolution up to today, the working class, in its struggle for hegemony, starts again from a higher step than in the past. We know that because of the economic interdependence and the development of the means of communication, the closer connection of the proletariat of many national sections, the revolutionary process - started in one country only - will have closer consequences with the forward movement of revolution at world level. We know also that rational planning – antithetical to capitalist anarchy - will show up more and more as a matter of life and death facing the planet ecological disaster.
Then the consequences of the next surges of the revolutionary movement will be even higher and stronger than the last surge, will spread in a wider deeper way and with a swifter rhythm than in the past.
Therefore we are living in an agitated period which indicates new and deeper outburst, economic instability and social conflicts which, even in the old continent, will overthrow the social contract wanted by the imperialist bourgeoisie and social democrats in order to avoid revolution and reject the communists.
The relatively stable historical period of social peace and quiet electoral calmness, corporatism and consumerism, welfare state and reformist utopias, is behind us. So, the specific conditions of the precedent compromise can’t occur again.
A new evidence of this is that the main ingredients of the balance achieved in the West because of the existence of the Soviet Union and the working class movement pressure (welfare state, income redistribution, public enterprises, agricultural subsidies, the formation of a large middle class), have been eliminated one after the other.
Therefore, present time entrusts us with new tasks both for the daily battles against the employers and for the great revolutionary struggles waiting for us.
In order to face these tasks we must take some teachings, always valid and relevant, from the October Socialist Revolution, which contains in itself many general principles which are applicable to the revolutionary struggle.
The first teaching tells us that the proletariat has the force and the organic capacity to break the chain of world imperialism at its weaker links. In 1917 the Russian proletariat wasn’t very extensive, yet its role in society, the function it carries out, makes it - yesterday as today - the most revolutionary of all social classes, the only one capable to go to the bottom in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, the social class more interested in the complete liberation of mankind from capitalism.
The victorious Revolution of 1917 has undertaken to prove that the working class allied with the other workers can defeat exploiters, can rule a very large country without and against the bourgeoisie, with a system of power which acts in favour of the great majority of population.
Against all those who maintain that the working class has lost its decisive role, and proclaim that this role can be taken by “other actors” or by “civil society”, we state that the working class - whose nucleus is constituted by the industrial proletariat, but includes, besides the agricultural wage-earners, large masses of wage-earners in the service sector- is the vanguard class because it is the class which increases the capital with its unpaid work; because its revolutionary role, which results from the place it has in production, from the relation it has with the means of production, represents the reference point, indispensable on the ideological, political, organizational level, in order to defeat capitalism, seize power and build a planned society of producers.
In spite of all the attempts to suppress it, the fundamental antagonism in present society, the one between capital and wagework, persists and can be solved only with a revolution aimed at the abolishment of the private propriety of the means of production and exchange. Therefore, under any form it is presented, the refusal of the working class dominant role, which constitutes the decisive force of social development, always leads to the most vulgar reformism. Just as they end up in the quagmire of subjectivity those who deny that the working class liberation must be the work of the working class itself, which must base itself on its own initiatives, capacity, energies and possibility because it doesn’t exist another social class, another social force or group which can carry out this task “in the name and on behalf” of the proletariat.
The second teaching concerns the contrast and the struggle between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy. The October Revolution destroyed – with the armed insurrection and the subsequent dissolution of the Constituent Assembly - the bourgeois state apparatus, replacing the empty and false bourgeois parliamentary democracy with a new form of democracy, based on the Soviets of workers and soldiers, who, after being - in the course of the revolutionary process- at first organisms of struggle and then embryos of proletarian power, became, after the final victory of revolution, the institutional bodies of the new State of proletarian dictatorship.
The proletarian dictatorship represents the primary contents of the October, its essential instrument, its most important achievement, without which it wouldn’t have been possible to advance of one step only in the conquest of hegemony and the construction of socialism. In fact the seize of power is only the first act of the dialectic between breaking and construction, it is the beginning of a revolution which leads to communism.
The proletarian dictatorship puts at its centre the vital interests of the largest majority of the working people carrying out, completely and in real terms, their liberation from exploitation and assuring their full freedom; but, it is definitely coercive against all the exploiting classes which it has dispossessed and which aim at restoring the previous class oppression.
The facts of history teach us that capitalists are capable of the worst crimes to save their own interests and their existence as a class. Therefore it is the task of the new socialist State to continue the class struggle under new conditions. Without the army of the proletarian dictatorship, the door would be wide open to the bourgeoisie sabotage and then to counter-revolution. So we must not be surprised if, on the matter of the proletariat dictatorship which shakes from its foundation the basis of the capitalist system, the greatest efforts have been directed on the part of the dominant class and its intellectuals to twist its meaning, decree its falseness or impracticability.
The third teaching is the one we consider the most relevant and we must dwell on it a little
longer. The victory of revolution in
The Bolshevik party which led the proletariat to the victory of October was always a consistent revolutionary party. Not a “party of struggle and government” (according to Togliatti’s opportunistic formula, reawakened by the leaders - even more opportunistic - of «Rifondazione Comunista» and of would-be PdCI), but a party which, during the long years of preparation for revolution, strengthened the revolutionary conscience of Russian proletarians in the unremitting struggle against the Mensheviks and liquidators, and – in the decisive months from April to October 1917 - led an intransigent struggle against the bourgeoisie “provisional government” in order to overthrow it, up to armed insurrection.
According to us, not only the victory but the defeat
of socialism in the
This means that the proletarian, in order to defeat the bourgeoisie must be organized, must have its own vanguard detachment, its staff capable to express an adequate strategic and tactical leadership. This means that the task of primary importance for us communists is to construct a strong Communist Party of the proletariat, opposed to all the bourgeois and reformist parties, a party which accomplishes the union of the socialist movement with the working class movement.
Not a mass party with a cadres policy, but a party of cadres with strong ties with the masses. Not an electoralistic party, but a party capable of combining the working class many forms of struggle. Not a heterogeneous party, but a party which takes as its vision of the world the dialectic and historical materialism, a party which has the scientific socialism as a foundation of its line and political programme, a party united by democratic centralism and firmly based on the working class. A party which struggles and works as a detachment of the international communist and working class movement.
Without such a party the workers and peasants couldn’t have seized power in 1917 and take it for long. Without such a party the popular and working class movement would go on along uncertain roads and reformism would take this movement towards the road of “agreements” or lower middle-class populism. Without such a party the labourers and other exploited workers can’t even defend themselves adequately from the capitalist offensive.
On their part, imperialism and reaction have never tolerated that the working class could organize its revolutionary party. The central point of the struggle of capital against workers has always been to hit the working class ideas and practice in order to prevent the making of an independent party. The forms of this activity are several: from persecution to open violence against the communists and class vanguards, to subsidizing the collaborationist and opportunist currents; from manoeuvres of ideological and political dispersion to liquidating attempts inside the same communist parties.
Today in particular the dominant class wants to show that political activity is immoral and evil, accuses in general all political parties and movements, without any class distinction, of being responsible of the crisis, tries to distract the working masses with the charlatans on duty, with its great and small mediatic brothers.
Its aim is to “depoliticize” the activity of the dependent classes, to exclude completely the working class from the political scenario, deterring it from any revolutionary turmoil. Every solution for change must be found within a system dominated by parties which are in agreement on the fundamental issues; to safeguard the bourgeois relations of production, to apply neo liberalist policies which are of use to the bourgeoisie in order to maximize profits and reduce the expenses of its domination, set off criminal aggressions in order to subjugate peoples, to prevent with every means the affirmation of working class and popular interests.
In the meantime the revisionist and reformist parties and currents do their best to deny the necessity of the working class party and to present their deceptive and bankruptcy policy of a “decent and controlled capitalism” as the only answer to “wild” capitalism.
Well, in order to go forward again we must call the advanced members of the working class, revolutionary young people, anti-fascists, true democrats and progressives, to part definitely and resolutely from social democracy and opportunism, and support communists; we must answer back to bourgeois and middle class anti party system with proletarian party system, pointing out the key issue of the party as an absolutely necessary instrument for victory, as a guarantee for the development of exploited and oppressed people organized and conscious struggle.
In order to build a strong working class communist party, which pushes the struggle movements to their union on a revolutionary line, we need communist unity on right positions.
For this, today’s meeting is a little but important step forward.
Its preparation on the basis of a common platform- appeal, with clear contents and principles, its organization prepared together, the reciprocal commitment, cooperation and understanding between comrades, based on loyalty, frankness and mutual respect, show with facts the communists’ ability to work together on meaningful targets, to develop a front policy. All this shows a positive tendency which must be encouraged.
Then we are obliged to go on along this road, committing ourselves to work together on new political and cultural aims, to strengthen our unity in the practice of political and social struggle, to analyse and debate in front of the proletariat all the old and new problems of revolution and socialism, going on with the open struggle against revisionism and opportunism and advancing towards a higher level of ideological, political and practical unity.
Comrades, as you have certainly understood, we are not here to celebrate rhetorically the past victories. As we look at the October Revolution to get the due teachings, we look with the same attention and confidence at the restarting of the communist and working class movement.
At present there is an increase of the conditions to accumulate and prepare revolutionary forces. Imperialism is compelled by its own crisis to strengthen and enlarge its offensive. But recent history shows that working class and peoples do not submit and don’t want to take endlessly the burden bourgeoisie puts on them. On many levels there is a development of a class struggle which is rising for wideness, intensity and quality, following a parallel rhythm with that of the aggressions.
In dependent countries the struggle of workers, peasants, students, native movements is giving birth to fighting actions against the neo liberalist policies and impositions of imperialism and its local puppets.
Together with particular demands, in many countries there wave anti imperialist flags which intertwine with the pursuit of a deep and radical social transformation, for anew life. Wide sectors of working masses, whole peoples, are becoming convinced that bourgeois democracy as a political system is only the expression of economic oligarchies and never of popular interests.
The winds which are rising in many countries of the world foretell
revolutionary storms. Let’s look at
In front of imperialist barbarism and policy of extermination, inside these countries distinct and meaningful manifestations of class struggle are developing. The communist and revolutionary left parties are active in this background, working in conformity with the actual situations and the stages of revolution in each country.
They are present, and in some cases lead the organization of the working class, peasants, students, general strikes and mass revolts, democratic actions and anti imperialist resistance, national liberation and popular wars, political struggle and revolutionary mobilization.. They make them their own and put together all the forms of struggle which hit the class enemy and strengthen the front of revolution, taking the masses to more advanced positions. They break away from social democratic, reformist and opportunistic proposals which preach the possibility to build a society of workers without putting an end to capitalism, keeping very steady the strategic aim of seizing political power for the world proletarian revolution.
While the struggle goes on in dependent countries, in capitalist countries strikes, mobilizations, riots develop against monopolies and their governments – guided both by bourgeois right and left wings - which are responsible for the economic and social aggressions, reactionary policy, militarization and wars for the division of markets and sphere of influence. These are struggle of a great importance, in which communists and their organizations have an important role. Just as the struggles that, during the last few months, the working class and many popular sectors are carrying out here in Italy in order to face the offensive of the capital and its present committee of business interests, Mr Prodi government.
The answer to this attack has become daily practice for large masses. Because of this keen experience, increase in poverty, social insecurity, dreadful abuse which are imposed on us by financial monopolies, working class and social struggle is taking heart again and reflux has reached its bottom.
The bourgeois left wing galloping crisis opens scope which, if we can take advantage of it, will be useful to make us stronger, make use of the movement possibilities and dynamics, in order to make more advanced political proposals.
Everything tells us that nothing can remain as before, the world must be changed, the situation asks for a revolutionary option to the crisis. Future belongs to us but we must conquer it. For us communists, the key to advance is in the guidance daily work among the working class and the masses, ideological education and practice of cadres capable of exercising this guidance, entering inside the struggle movements, the country’s political and social life, the activity to form the unity of the social and political forces interested in revolution, the development of an adequate initiative aimed at transforming passivity into turmoil, organization, determined and practical action.
This will allow us to accrue and prepare the forces of the next revolutionary wave in Italy and in the world, forces which will break again the imperialist chain, which will make the XXI century the century of workers and peoples, which will make again socialism a living and actual option. This is, dear comrades, the best tribute we can pay to the October Revolution!