reactionary war a revolutionary class cannot but desire the defeat of
axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless
satellites of the social-chauvinists. Among the former, for instance,
is Semkovsky of the Organising Committee (No. 2 of its Izvestia),
and among the latter, Trotsky and Bukvoyed, and
Kautsky in Germany. To desire Russia’s defeat, Trotsky writes, is
“an uncalled-for and absolutely unjustifiable concession to the
political methodology of social-patriotism, which would replace the
revolutionary struggle against the war and the conditions causing it,
with an orientation—highly arbitrary in the present
conditions—towards the lesser evil” (Nashe
after Kamenev's comprehensive report there is little left for me to
say. I shall therefore confine myself to exposing certain legends
that are being spread by Trotsky and his supporters about the October
uprising, about Trotsky's role in the uprising, about the Party and
the preparation for October, and so forth. I shall also touch upon
Trotskyism as a peculiar ideology that is incompatible with Leninism,
and upon the Party's tasks in connection with Trotsky's latest
Dedicated to the Leningrad Organisation of the C.P.S.U (B).
I. THE DEFINITION OF LENINISM
The pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism contains a definition of Leninism which seems to have received general recognition. It runs as follows:
“Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. To be more exact, Leninism is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.”1
Marxism-Leninism Today is co-organizing a panel commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution at the Left Forum in New York City.
Jointly co-sponsored with the Party of Communists USA, the panel is entitled: “The Russian Revolution and its Indelible Stamp on the Course of World History”
The event will take place on Sunday, June 4th at 10:00 AM. Room 1.124 John Jay College, 899 10th ave (between 58 & 59th Sts.).
Featured panelists include Zoltan Zigedy and Joseph Jamison both members of the Editorial Board of Marxism-Leninism Today; George Gruenthal an officer of the PCUSA; and Grover Furr Professor at Montclair State University and author of several volumes , including "Khrushchev Lied"; "Yezhov vs Stalin" and "Trotsky’s Amalgams".
The importance and timeliness of Lenin's work on the state.
100 years ago, a few months before the Great October Socialist Revolution and in particularly difficult and complex political conditions, V.I. Lenin wrote a fundamentally important work, "The State and Revolution", which, of course, was published for the first time after the October Revolution in 1918.
In this work, Lenin highlighted the essence and analyzed the class nature of the state: “The state is a product and a manifestation of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms. The state arises where, when and insofar as class antagonisms objectively cannot be reconciled. And, conversely, the existence of the state proves that the class antagonisms are irreconcilable.”
did not arrive in Petrograd until the night of April 3, and therefore
at the meeting on April 4, I could, of course, deliver the report on
the tasks of the revolutionary proletariat only
on my own behalf, and with reservations as to insufficient
only thing I could do to make things easier for myself—and
for honest opponents—was
to prepare the theses in
I read them out, and gave the text to Comrade Tsereteli.
I read them twice very
slowly: first at a meeting of Bolsheviks and
then at a meeting of both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
publish these personal theses of mine with only the briefest
explanatory notes, which were developed in far greater detail in the
the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the
greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for
scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his
armchair, peacefully gone to sleep-but forever”.
With these words, Friedrich Engels had opened his speech during Karl
Marx's funeral at London's Highgate cemetery. This year marks the
anniversary since the death of the greatest thinker in the history of
mankind; the man who tried not only to interpret the world but to
change it. And, indeed, Marx's theoretical work became the basis for
social change, highlighting the scientific perception of the class
struggle as the driving force of History.
genius of Marx”,
Lenin wrote, "lies
in his having been the first to deduce from the lesson world history
teaches and to apply that lesson consistently. The deduction he made
is the doctribe of the class struggle”(V.I.Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism).
Marx's thought and work consists a milestone in the history of
philosophy, political economy and social sciences. As Lenin wrote,
the Marxist theory “is
the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the
nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English
political economy and French socialism”.
The Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) was founded on May Day 2014. Formed out of the ashes of the Communist Party USA, the PCUSA aspires to become the base for a new beginning for the communist movement in the United States. On the occasion of Donald Trump's rise to power, we asked from the PCUSA to share with us the party's views on some topics.
Below we publish the response we exclusively received by the PCUSA's Council of Secretaries.
On the occasion of the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency and the recent anti-Trump demonstrations throughout the United States, we asked from the US-based blogger and activist Zoltan Zigedy* to share his views.
It was in the dawn of January 21, 1924, 93 years ago, when the heart of the greatest revolutionary in history, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, stopped beating. Lenin, the leader of the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution and architect of the first socialist state in the world, was 54 years old.
The name of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is
identified with two dialectically connected issues. On the one hand,
there is his revolutionary activity and practice as the leader of the
20th century's most significant event- the 1917 Great
October Socialist Revolution. On the other hand, there is his
theoretical work which is the development of the revolutionary theory
of Marx and Engels in the era of Imperialism. That extraordinary
combination of revolutionary theory and practice makes Lenin a unique
personality in history who, 93 years after his death, remains “alive”
in the collective memory and hearts of the working class people
across the world.
V. I. Lenin,Selected Works, English edition, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 2.
IN WHAT SENSE CAN WE SPEAK
OF THE INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION ?
In the first months following the conquest of political power by the proletariat in Russia (October 25 [November 7], 1917), it might have seemed that the tremendous difference between backward Russia and the advanced countries of Western Europe would cause the proletarian revolution in these latter countries to have very little resemblance to ours. Now we already have very considerable international experience which most definitely shows that certain fundamental features of our revolution have a significance which is not local, not peculiarly national, not Russian only, but international. I speak here of international significance not in the broad sense of the term: not some, but all the fundamental and many of the secondary features of our revolution are of international significance in the sense that the revolution influences all countries. No, taking it in the narrowest sense, i.e., understanding international signifcance to mean the international validity or the historical inevitability of a repetition on an international scale of what has taken place in our country, it must be admitted that certain fundamental features of our revolution do possess such a significance.
The following is the Resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE (held on February 2009), containing assessments and conclusions on socialist construction during the 20th century, focusing on the USSR.
The 18th Congress of KKE, fulfilling the task set forward by the 17th Congress four years ago, dwelled deeper into the causes of the victory of the counterrevolution and of capitalist restoration. This has been an imperative and timely obligation for our Party, as it is for every Communist Party. It was thus that we faced this task during all the years that have elapsed since the 14th Congress and the National Conference of 1995. It is a task interlinked with the revival of consciousness and of faith in socialism.
For more than a century now, bourgeois polemics against the communist movement, often assuming the form of an intellectual elitism, concentrate their fire on the revolutionary core of the workers’ movement; they struggle, in general, against the necessity of revolution and its political offspring, the dictatorship of the proletariat that is the revolutionary working class power. In particular, they fight against the outcome of the first victorious revolution, of the October Revolution in Russia, fiercely opposing every phase where the Revolution exposed and repelled counterrevolutionary activities and opportunist barriers, which, in the final analysis, were weakening, directly or indirectly, the Revolution at a social and political level.
The text is the transcript of a Questions & Answers session between Fidel Castro and students at the University of Concepción, Chile, on November 18 1971.
I was the son of a landowner—that was one reason for me to be a reactionary. I was educated in religious schools that were attended by the sons of the rich—another reason for being a reactionary. I lived in Cuba, where all the films, publications, and mass media were “Made in USA”—a third reason for being a reactionary. I studied in a university where out of fifteen thousand students, only thirty were anti-imperialists, and I was one of those thirty at the end. When I entered the university, it was as the son of a landowner—and to make matters worse, as a political illiterate!
99 years ago, 7 November 1917, the Great October Socialist Revolution triumphed. We honor the memory of the Paris Commune. We honor and we are inspired by Marx, Engels, Lenin who guided the workers´ struggle for the socialist future documenting scientifically how to reach that goal.
What does the Great October mean for us, living in the 21st century?
circumstances of an external nature determined the comparative ease
with which the proletarian revolution in Russia succeeded in breaking
the chains of imperialism and thus overthrowing the rule of the
the circumstance that the October Revolution began in a period of
desperate struggle between the two principal imperialist groups, the
Anglo-French and the Austro-German; at a time when, engaged in mortal
struggle between themselves, these two groups had neither the time
nor the means to devote serious attention to the struggle against the
October Revolution. This circumstance was of tremendous importance
for the October Revolution; for it enabled it to take advantage of
the fierce conflicts within the imperialist world to strengthen and
organize its own forces.
Ashley Smith recently wrote an essay (Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution) ostensibly about Syria and imperialism but more properly understood as a rekindling and re-statement of anti-Communist “leftism.”
Smith, an ideologue of the International Socialist Organization, unveils his true target when he inveighs against the “Stalinists”: “Stalinist groups like the Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization…”
Not content with these examples, Smith, in McCarthy-like fashion, feels the necessity to name further names. He sees the UK’s Stop the War coalition as also duped by the Stalinists, along with the US United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). Jill Stein of the Green Party and her Vice Presidential partner, Ajamu Baraka, are similarly infected with the “Stalinist” virus.
The question of the relation of the state to the social revolution, and of the social revolution to the state, like the question of revolution generally, was given very little attention by the leading theoreticians and publicists of the Second International (1889-1914). But the most characteristic thing about the process of the gradual growth of opportunism that led to the collapse of the Second International in 1914 is the fact that even when these people were squarely faced with this question they tried to evade it or ignored it.
In general, it may be said that evasiveness over the question of the relation of the proletarian revolution to the state--an evasiveness which benefited and fostered opportunism--resulted in the distortion of Marxism and in its complete vulgarization.
To characterize this lamentable process, if only briefly, we shall take the most prominent theoreticians of Marxism: Plekhanov and Kautsky.
Marx explains this question most thoroughly in his Critique of the Gotha Programme (letter to Bracke, May 5, 1875, which was not published until 1891 when it was printed in Neue Zeit, vol. IX, 1, and which has appeared in Russian in a special edition). The polemical part of this remarkable work, which contains a criticism of Lassalleanism, has, so to speak, overshadowed its positive part, namely, the analysis of the connection between the development of communism and the withering away of the state.
1. Presentation of the Question by Marx
From a superficial comparison of Marx's letter to Bracke of May 5, 1875, with Engels' letter to Bebel of March 28, 1875, which we examined above, it might appear that Marx was much more of a "champion of the state" than Engels, and that the difference of opinion between the two writers on the question of the state was very considerable.
Marx gave the fundamentals concerning the significance of the experience of the Commune. Engels returned to the same subject time and again, and explained Marx's analysis and conclusions, sometimes elucidating other aspects of the question with such power and vividness that it is necessary to deal with his explanations specially.
1. The Housing Question
In his work, The Housing Question (1872), Engels already took into account the experience of the Commune, and dealt several times with the tasks of the revolution in relation to the state. It is interesting to note that the treatment of this specific subject clearly revealed, on the one hand, points of similarity between the proletarian state and the present state--points that warrant speaking of the state in both cases--and, on the other hand, points of difference between them, or the transition to the destruction of the state.