Towards the party of the New type – along the Leninist path.
The Great October Socialist Revolution – is the best known revolution in the world, whereas its influence over the development of mankind it is the greatest among all revolutions known. Whatever the attitude to the Russian Revolution might be, any more or less literate human in the world has at least an idea of what happened in Russia in 1917 and who Lenin was.
There is a popular joke that the gun shot from «Avrora» battleship was the most powerful artillery shots ever produced in the world. There was only one discharge of the ship’s rear gun in the direction of the Tsars’ palace where the bourgeois Provisional Government held its meeting. Though it was a dry shot, the whole world of capitalism has been still flinching when recalling this event.
In accordance with the law of social development discovered and described by K. Marx and F. Engels, the replacement of the declining capitalist social order by a new one that is more progressive – socialist – should inevitably take place. In Russia it happened exactly in 1917 and exactly as a result of October Revolution. The October Revolution is a continuation of the Paris Commune. This was the first successful establishing of the dictatorship of proletariat. This was the first state of workers and peasants that has so far demonstrated the highest stability among the rest of known socialist states. Seventy years of the Soviet Power and great achievements of the USSR are the proof to that as they are.
Nevertheless, today communists are facing the jubilee of October not on the rise, but suffering temporary defeat of the October Revolution’s cause in the land of October, i.e. in the state of retreat. The best way of celebrating the Great October’s jubilee would be to focus upon the tasks yet unresolved. To do this, communists should with utter honesty review and reconsider the results of their movement in the last century. Such analysis should be started with the recognition of the fact that in their struggle for masses communists were not always victorious and appeared to be defeated by counterrevolution in the land of October. We have to answer the questions: Who or what defeated communists? Why did it happen? Was it a final and irreversible defeat or a temporary one, whereas the struggle continues? To answer these questions one has to «check the route against the map»; to match practical experience against the basic concepts of revolutionary Marxism’s theory; to pinpoint the drawbacks of the theory applied in case the practice necessitates this; to make some theoretical corrections if necessary. Or we should make conclusions on our own mistakes. That’s why in the remaining before the jubilee months, communists from across the world should undertake joint steps to wave off the counterrevolutionary heritage and celebrate the anniversary with an open heart.
In order to make sure that communist cause is true and proved by practice, and to show again that it is worth fighting for it, let us start with the analysis of the preparation for the revolution and the merits of the October.
I. October 1917 –
the first victorious proletarian revolution
in world history and a proof of the Marxist
theory and scientific foresight of Marxism.
The Great October Socialist Revolution was the first revolution that had been theoretically predicted by Marxism as a natural and inevitable transition from the capitalist social formation to a more progressive, to the communist one. This revolution was not only predicted but also planned, prepared and carried out under the leadership of Bolsheviks.
Сertainly, one should not understand «getting ready for the revolution» verbally, as if Bolsheviks had appointed and performed the revolution. It’s well known that revolutions cannot be ordered. Still, Bolsheviks paved the way to the revolution by means of all their activities, first of all by getting ready for the revolution themselves. Lenin used to teach: «Whether or not there will be a revolution does not depend on us alone. But we shall do our work, and this work will never be in vain».
Revolution was foreseen and prepared by way of ingenious and titanic theoretical work of V.I. Lenin, by way of the most purposeful political activities of Bolsheviks and heroic struggle of the Russian working class.
Lenin’s work «Imperialism as the highest stage of Capitalism» in which he analyzed the development of Capitalism in its highest, monopolistic stage is undoubtedly of special importance for the theoretical preparation of the revolution. In this work he elaborated the theory of Imperialism while revealing its main features and the direction of its development as a parasitic and decaying Capitalism on the verge of socialist revolution.
By the words «on the verge» Lenin proved that there is no new phase of progressive development of capitalism following the stage of imperialism. Lenin determined the historical place of Imperialism exactly this way despite all opportunistic interpretations of Marxism like those of Kautsky, Plekhanov and others, who believed that imperialism should be followed by ultraimperialism and that revolutionary social-democrats should not exceed the limits of the bourgeois-democratic revolution.
Lenin proved that socialist revolution in Russia was possible and that the country was ready for it at that historical moment.
Of course, Lenin was not the first to discover Imperialism itself, but it was he who formulated and explored it as the highest stage of capitalism.
In his analysis of objective reality he was the first to point out at the dialectic contradiction arising with the essence of capitalism at the stage of imperialism. «… Some its fundamental characteristics began to change into their opposites, – wrote Marx, – Economically, the main thing in this process is the displacement of capitalist free competition by capitalist monopoly. Free competition is the basic feature of capitalism and commodity production in general. <…> Monopolies, which have grown out of free competition, do not eliminate the latter, but exist above it and alongside it, and thereby give rise to a number of very acute, intense antagonisms, frictions and conflicts. Monopoly is the transition from capitalism to a higher system».
It was absolutely clear to Lenin that the question regarding «whether it is possible to reform the basis of imperialism, whether to go forward to the further intensification and deepening of the antagonisms which it engenders or backward, towards allaying these antagonisms, are fundamental issues in the critique of imperialism. Since the specific political features of imperialism are overall reaction and increased national oppression due to the establishing of the colonial system and oppression on part of the financial oligarchy and the elimination of free competition, a petty-bourgeois-democratic opposition to imperialism arose at the beginning of the twentieth century in nearly all imperialist countries. Kautsky neither cared nor was able to oppose this petty-bourgeois reformist opposition, which is really reactionary in its economic basis, on the contrary, he became merged with it in practice; and this is precisely where Kautsky and the broad international Kautskian trend deserted Marxism».
In particular Lenin remarked that Imperialism significantly changes the relations between bourgeoisie and working class. Some of the working class’ strata, sometimes considerable ones, move over to the side of bourgeoisie because the latter improves their state at the expense of millions of people in dependent countries and colonies. A part of working class adopt bourgeois ideology. In politics, the interests of the above strata are represented by «bourgeois workers parties».
Within workers movement, the struggle between revolutionary and reformist wings is getting sharper. In Russia, this struggle was shaped as a confrontation between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
Lenin predicted and demonstrated how economic crises of capitalism bring about revolutionary situations. He formulated the concept of revolutionary situation and described the main objective and subjective characteristic of the crisis situation developing on the eve of revolution:
– The upper strata cannot rule as they did in the past.
– The lower strata don’t want to live as they lived in the past.
– The inevitable increase of the activities of masses above theusual level.
Meanwhile long before the revolution Lenin mentioned that it was far from sure that any crisis or revolutionary situation would turn into revolution. He wrote: «Neither the oppression of the lower classes nor a crisis among the upper classes can cause a revolution; they can only cause the decay of a country, unless that country has a revolutionary class capable of transforming the passive state of oppression into an active state of revolt and insurrection».
There is yet another condition necessary for the revolution – the presence of such a subjective factor as vanguard proletarian party that arms itself with advanced theory and is capable of leading the insurrection of this revolutionary class. V.I. Lenin developed the theory of proletarian party, the party of new type and created the party of Bolsheviks. While setting up the task of enabling proletariat to perform its great historical mission, communist party organizes proletariat into independent political force, that confronts all bourgeois parties simultaneously, directs all manifestations of its class struggle, reveals to proletariat implacable contradiction of interests existing between exploiters and exploited and clarifies the historical meaning and the conditions of the forthcoming socialist revolution.
On the assumption of the law of uneven economic and political development in the epoch of imperialism Lenin saw in the Russian Empire a weak link that could be torn. He substantiated the possibility of the revolution’s initial victory in a separate country; put forward a thesis of turning imperialistic war into civil one. Hence, the party of Bolsheviks set forth towards practical preparation of the revolution. This way the October Revolution was theoretically substantiated, predicted, prepared and practically implemented.
The Great October Socialist Revolution did not establish a sort of long-awaited «genuine power of people» or a sort of «real democracy», it established Proletarian Dictatorship per se in the form of Soviets.
II. Worldwide and historical significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
When discussing the Great October Socialist Revolution one should use both wider and narrower perspective. Wider perspective describes how the revolution and USSR have influenced other countries and the developments in the world, in particular what Soviet achievements gave an example to the rest of the world, what influence our country affected over the whole world by way of its politics and achievements.
In the narrowest sense as Lenin put it: «…taking international significance 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 that significance». That is the narrow perspective presumes that we should consider the practice of our struggle, the methods and ways used by Bolsheviks and the first socialist country of the world. We should reveal these patterns, which will have to be followed by all other peoples in the process of constructing Socialism. In particular, we should analyze the mistakes of Soviet communists to avoid them whenever possible, to prevent neglecting theory, and moreover, developing revisionism and apostasy. It is of special importance for the present day.
In 1921 Lenin wrote his most topical his most topical work «LeftWing» Communism: An Infantile Disorder» that has been of great importance for communists of all times. This assay attacked the above issues of narrower perspective that had been revealed in the course of preparations for the revolution and in the first years of Soviet power. We should mention that these days the book is addressed not so much to ultra leftists and too eager ultra revolutionaries, but rather to parties and comrades suffering from syndromes of senile malady of opportunistic rightism. It wasn’t for nothing that wise people used to call the «Left-Wing» Communism: An Infantile Disorder» an Encyclopedia of Bolshevism! It is really so.
2.1. Great achievements of the Soviet power and their influence on the world development.
World Imperialism undertook tremendous efforts to strangle the first state of proletarian dictatorship. Fourteen foreign states supported internal counterrevolution and took part in military intervention thus unleashing the most severe civil war. Nevertheless, the Soviet power withstood the onslaught and won. It won due to the widest support from working masses within the country and due to no less important sincere and extensive solidarity of proletariat worldwide. The Dictatorship of proletariat had performed one of its first and most important functions – it had suppressed an open resistance of the overthrown classes and their allies.
The tasks of the state construction became the main focus of attention after the end of the civil war. Soviet power acted first of all in the interests of working class, while strengthening its union with working peasantry and in particular while adopting the New Economic Policy. Communist party of Bolsheviks that remained faithful to Marxism-Leninism and managed economic development in its entirety. Following this teaching and overcoming the negative bourgeois tendencies in the country, the party and people performed cultural revolution, industrialization and collectivization of agriculture. They eliminated exploitation, unemployment, deprivation and future-induced fear. The working week was shortened, free healthcare and education were introduced. The national issue was being successfully resolved on the grounds of uniting working people under the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. The country was developing very quickly, and by the beginning of 40s, it ranks second in the world by its industrial output as against the fifth place it had occupied before the revolution. Planned provision of industry with advanced equipment laid a basis for ever-growing wellbeing of people and reliable defense potential of the country.
It would be senseless to deny the achievements of Soviet Union in economy, science and technology, culture, social welfare and other fields. These achievements are obvious and well known. Hardly anybody would deny them, that is why the enemies of Socialism usually criticize them, claiming that that all those achievements were obtained due to a terrible dictatorship of Stalin at the expense of indescribable sacrifices, and so on. Many of such critics in their antisoviet zeal even claim that these achievements were gained by people despite the Soviet power and the Party’s dictatorship. Even now, especially in Russia and pro-Nazi Ukraine, anticommunists demagogically speculate on the horrors of Stalin’s dictatorship, thus denigrating the achievements of Socialism.
In his report «Results of the First Five-Year Plan» I.V. Stalin informed on convincing and impressive facts, which are widely known today. These facts testified to that under the leadership of the Communist Party, the Soviet people achieved outstanding victories in building a powerful national economy. As Comrade Stalin said: «Not only did we achieve, but we did more than we ourselves expected, than the most ardent heads in our party could have expected. Even enemies are not denying this now».
Indeed, even such an irreconcilable opponent of the practice of socialist construction in the Soviet Union and Stalin personally as Leo Trotsky, commenting on the same facts, admitted: «There is nothing more to argue about with bourgeois economists: socialism has proved its right to win not on the pages of Capital, but on the economic arena which makes up the sixth part of the earth’s surface. Not by the language of dialectics, but by the language of iron, cement and electricity». Further he said: «Only thanks to the proletarian revolution, a backward country accomplished the unprecedented successes in history within less than two decades.
Thus, the dispute with the reformists in the labour movement is over. Can we at least for a moment compare their rat race with the titanic work that the people, awakened by the revolution to a new life, are committing?».
It should be emphasized that from the very beginning Bolsheviks never understood revolution as characteristic of Russia only. Both before and after the October Bolsheviks did not consider Russian revolution as an even limited to Russia only. Both before and after the October they assumed, as expressed by Lenin, that «singlehanded, the Russian proletariat cannot bring the socialist revolution to a victorious conclusion. But it can give the Russian revolution a mighty sweep that would create the most favourable conditions for a socialist revolution, and would, in a sense, start it». That’s why the efforts of their party were aimed at creating these «best conditions» for the development of the world socialist revolution.
As early as in 1919, on Lenin’s initiative the third, Communist International – Comintern was founded. The conditions for admission to the Comintern were based on the thesis by Lenin: «The fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism». Since then communists had their own clearly defined and organizationally established trend in the workers movement as represented by the Comintern. Meanwhile Social-Democrats actually turned into assistants of Imperialism busy stabilizing and improving it, softening and humanizing it, treating its sores and saving it at times of crises.
The third, the Communist International performed considerable theoretical work, in particular they predicted Fascism and gave it a scientific definition. The definition of Fascism presented in the resolution of the XIII Plenary Meeting of Executive Committee and repeated by Georgy Dimitrov at the VII Congress of the Comintern (known as «definition of Dimitrov») is the most scientific, classical Marxist definition: «Fascism in power is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of financial capital… Fascism is neither the government beyond classes nor the government of the petty bourgeois or the lumpenproletariat over the financial capital. Fascism is the government of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples».
In order to prevent the spreading of communist ideology in the world Fascists whose actions fully confirmed the above definition created the Anticomintern Pact while pursuing their class interests. First in 1936 it was bourgeoisie of Germany and Japan, next it was bourgeoisie of Italy in 1937, even later there followed a number of states where there came to power governments that shared the ideology of German Nazism and Italian Fascism or the governments that had extremely negative attitudes towards USSR and Communism in general: Hungary, Manchukuo and Spain of General Franco.
On November 25 1941, the Anticomintern Pact was extended to a 5 year-term and joined by bourgeois Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as by puppet governments of Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia and the government of Wang Jingwei created by Japanese on the occupied territories of China.
The Comintern started fighting Fascism as early as the Browns began comming to power in Spain and Germany. It developed the tactics of popular fronts, and together with the Soviet Union became actually the main adversaries of Hitler and his Anticomintern Pact in the WWII. Communists ensured the decisive contribution to the victory over Fascism and over its German vanguard – Nazism. CPSU(b) alone sacrificed more than three millions of its best fighters for the sake of victory over Fascism, whereas there had fallen five million young heroes from Lenin’s Komsomol. Communists from most of the countries were leaders of partisan warfare and the resistance movements.
The issue of the Comintern’s dissolution requires a separate consideration, nevertheless it is absolutely clear, that the main result of its activities was the defeat of Fascism and the creation of the world system of Socialism with the powerful organizational nucleus – USSR and the countries of CMEA.
The Soviet Union has saved the world civilization by its decisive contribution to the victory over German Nazism. The main point is that this victory has demonstrated unequivocal superiority of
Socialism over Capitalism, the advantage of socialized property by working people of means of production over the private property of bourgeoisie. On having restored the destroyed domestic economy in the shortest possible terms, in the period that followed the war Soviet people could implement a number of big socialist development projects. In the 50-ies the country had become one the most educated in the world and possessed advanced science and culture. In just 10 years the USSR based on socialist production mode moved from the fifth to the third place in the industrial productivity rating list of world’s biggest powers. That’s why the leading positions of USSR in space research was only natural. The first man to flight into space on the spaceship «Vostok» was a Soviet pilot, a former workermolder, communist Yuri Gagarin.
People’s welfare used to steadily grow, prices used to go down, whereas salaries used to increase and the working week in industry was cut by 18 hours in the period of 1917-1961. The conditions for self development of working people were improving. Thus the communist nature of Socialism was revealed, working people could see by themselves that Socialism was entering their daily lives and that it wasn’t just an ideal or prospect any longer. As it is stressed in the program of RCWP the Soviet people achieved its most significant progress in the period of the second program of the party of Lenin under the leadership of I. Stalin, as in that period the party was consequently following the laws of socialist development as revealed by Marxism-Leninism.
The USSR has had a huge influence over the whole course of human history. This fact is recognized both by friends and by enemies. It was Socialism, both in the Soviet Union and allied countries, and its achievements that made capitalists give concessions and provide working people in their countries more extended and more clearly determined social guarantees.
The Great October Socialist Revolution opened the era of proletarian revolutions, led to the creation of communist parties in many countries. At the same time, it intensified anti-colonial, antifeudal and anti-imperialist revolutions. If, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the colonial possessions of the imperialist powers encompassed 55 percent of the world’s territory and 35 percent of the world’s population, after October 1917, the colonial system of imperialism faced a recurring crisis. The national liberation movement spread almost over all Asia, the countries of North Africa and other regions. The peoples who had been earlier oppressed by the Russian monarchy broke out colonial oppression; Iran, Egypt, Nepal and some other countries gained recognition of their state independence. Nevertheless, large masses of enslaved peoples continued suffering from direct colonial oppression (more than 30% of the world’s population and 31.2% of the world’s area). After the defeat of fascism in the WWII, with the decisive role the Soviet Union in ensuring the victory of socialism, the latter crossed the borders of one country, formed its world system, and pushed the colonial system toward an accelerated disintegration. From the mid-1950s it became obvious, that disintegration of the colonial system entered the phase of its collapse and actual completion of the political liberation of colonies and intensification of the struggle for economic independence. Thus, it was the October Socialist Revolution in Russia that awakened the peoples of the colonies to the struggle for the abolition of imperialist oppression and the conquest of freedom. The USSR rendered allround support to the national liberation movement of the peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and all others, contributed to the almost total elimination of the colonial system of imperialism.
2.2. The importance of the experience of socialist construction in the USSR for the working class, working people across the globe and peoples of the world, and the role of the socialist state.
The need of proletariat to have its own state from the very beginning is determined by the necessity to suppress its class adversaries. Thus revolution is finished only with reaching the final goals of communists: with the construction of classless society, with withering away of the state, with finalization of socialist construction and with transition to the highest stage of communism, with the disappearance of capitalist aggression not only from within, but also from outside. The advance of society along the road of communist construction is ensured by prevalence of positive proletarian wings in establishing directly socialized production, in particular by way of ensuring universal participation of people in political life. Ensuring such participation is the most important function of proletarian dictatorship.
(а) Soviets – the most resilient organizational form of the proletarian dictatorship
The Great Socialist October Revolution established in Russia the Soviet power as an organizational form of the proletarian dictatorship. As early as on the second day following the revolutionary uprising and the downturn of the Provisional government the 2nd Congress of Soviets of workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ deputies declared the power of working people, i.e. proletarian dictatorship, because it is a special form of a class unity under the leadership of the working class. These were Soviets that earlier, under the Tsarist Russia, appeared as the bodies of the workers’ struggle, initially as economic and then political one – struggle for power and establishing proletarian dictatorship. After the revolution, Soviets became the organizational form for putting proletarian dictatorship in action.
Soviets are the most strong form of proletarian dictatorship known in history. It is not only because they lasted longer than any other forms or due to their great achievements. Their stability and the best suitability for performing proletarian dictatorship’s functions is determined by the fact that Soviets are based on objective reality which shared by all working people, i.e. the way they are organized in the process of material production. Bourgeois parliamentarism is also rooted in objective reality, but this reality is expressed as almighty power of money in the world of total commodity production, as a cult of capital and the spirit of profit. It was for the first time in history when in Soviets working people were granted the right to use their organization acquired in the process of production to manage the issues of society and to take political decision, to elect deputies in their working collectives as well as to call them back whenever necessary, to control government institutions thus ensuring submission of the state to their interests. In 1917 established was the highest, the most progressive form of democracy – proletarian democracy of the working people and for the working people – the Soviet power.
To understand objective, quite material basis of the Soviet power one should consider such important fact, that Soviets sprang to life, long before the October Revolution as early as in 1905 in the course of the First Russian revolution as apparatus of workers’ struggle for their economic and political rights. Soviets, as Lenin pointed out are not an invention of Bolsheviks; Soviets represent a form of struggle discovered by the working class themselves, in the course of economic and subsequent political strike in Ivanovo-Voznesensk. They were constructed basing on the industrial representation principle as delegations of workers from different factories and plants. Only later they merged into a whole, up to the level of state power. We should mention that the owners of the industrial enterprises, local capitalists in Ivanovo from the very beginning of the Soviet were ready to negotiate with workers’ deputies, but first of all they demanded that each owner should negotiate with «their own» workers’ deputies. Workers stubbornly adhered to the principle «Together against all» while understanding that this was not only but indispensable condition
The objective basis of Soviet power determined historical chain of events: first without any discussions and agreement of Tsarism and bourgeoisie there appeared Soviets, next socialist revolution was performed – there took place establishment of Soviet power, creation of the Soviet state and only after all that the Soviet Constitution was adopted and Soviet Union created. This historical sequence of events is determined by the logic of class struggle and cannot be different. Thus the role of Soviets is very important already at the stage of struggle for power. No parliaments or «governments of people’s trust» are capable of turning into Soviet power, of adopting Soviet Constitution and of leading working people to Socialism.
Such Soviets do not represent a workers’ parliament, as certain theoreticians try to describe them, while even introducing the formula of «moving towards democracy in the form of parliamentary republic of the Soviet type». Soviets are combat detachments of proletariat for waging class struggle. V.I. Lenin wrote: «The Soviet of Workers Deputies is not a labor parliament and not an organ of proletarian self-government, nor an organ of self-government at all but a fighting organization for the achievement of definite aims».
Soviets never gave the power immediately to those who were not ready to administrate – unprepared workers and cooks, as adherents of Capitalism like to tell. Quite the opposite, in his work «Can the Bolsheviks retain state power” he wrote: «We are not utopians. We know that an unskilled laborer or a cook cannot immediately get on with the job of state administration. In this we agree with the Cadets, Breshkovskaya, and Tsereteli. We differ, however, from these citizens in that we demand an immediate break with the prejudiced view that only the rich, or officials chosen from rich families, are capable of administering the state, of performing the ordinary, everyday work of administration. We demand that training in the work of state administration be conducted by class-conscious workers and soldiers and that this training be begun at once, i.e., that a beginning be made at once in training all the working people, all the poor, for this work».
When studying the origin of Soviets and working on the second program of RKP(b) Lenin pinpointed essential principles for construction of the Soviet power.
These principles are as follows:
– United and organized workers and masses exploited byCapitalism and only them, i.e. the classes of exploiters should not be considered;
– organization of the most active and conscientious part of theexploited classes, their vanguard – workers class that should educate and urge all working population to take part in the management of state not in theory only but in practice as well;
– disposal of parliament as a method of division of power. Joining legislative and executive branches of power in one body. They adopt the law themselves and organize its implementation and control also themselves.
– Provision of close and direct ties with manufacturing economicunits. Working staff of a plant, enterprise (industrial or agricultural), i.e. MANUFACTURING unit (plant, factory) turn into the main cell of state construction (in particular of elections). For those strata of populations that are not involved in these form of manufacturing activities there exist TERRITORIAL CONSTITUENCIES;
– the most close ties between masses and the whole apparatusof state power and state control if compared with all previous forms of democracy ever.
– a possibility to gradually dispose of red tape in the apparatus ofgovernmental control;
– more democracy in organization of state power bodies due toless formal procedures, simplicity of choice and calling the deputies back by working teams at any time it’s necessary;
– the main issue of democracy is not a formal provision of formalequality between poor and wealthy, but ensuring practical accessibility of freedom and democracy for working masses that is based on socialized property;
– building up military forces that are part and parcel of workingpeople. Bourgeoisie should be disarmed if necessary;
– Further preplanned extensive development of Soviet power in orderto gradually involve the whole population in control of social issues;
Temporary defeat of Soviets can be largely explained by mistakes of the party in implementation of the communist theory and abandoning the above principles, in particular by way of actual revisionism and by way of subconscious but still real apostasy in the post-Stalin period. This led to the degradation of Soviets to a sort of bourgeois parliaments, though the issue will be discussed later.
The task of Socialism is not limited to proclamation of working people’s power. Socialism should ensure that working people has real, practical possibility to perform this power. Soviets are the most adequate form that enables working people to perform power, they are organizational form of proletarian dictatorship.
(b) Economic politics: directly socialized production is economic basis of the Soviet power.
The experience of USSR has cogently proved that the economic basis of performing, strengthening and development of Soviet power as form of proletarian dictatorship are socialized property on means of production, planned directly socialized Production – production of customer value aimed at provision of complete well-being and free and comprehensive development of each member of society.
The goal of socialist production is not self increasing of value, is not additional value but the provision of complete well-being and free and comprehensive development of each member of society. Rejection of this goal, the course towards market leads to degradation and destruction of Socialism as commodity-market economy cannot serve as economic basis of proletarian dictatorship. Overall market economy means Capitalism, the basis for future bourgeois dictatorship.
Work in communist production is represented by directly socialized work and it’s not performed by way of exchange, whereas communist production can be characterized as directly social and is as such both in its highest, i.e. communist phase as well as in its lowest, i.e. socialist phase.
Dialectical approach to historical experience of Socialist Revolution in Russia, to the experience of socialist construction and development of in the USSR allows observing how the mode of production was changing at the time of transition to Communism and in the period of the development of Socialism as the first phase of Communism.
The transition of power to workers class and establishing proletarian dictatorship do not change the mode of production by themselves. It was only after nationalization campaign that the communist (socialist) mode was established. Under this mode production has an overtly social character, whereas this mode co-exists with other modes of production over a transitory period. In Russia, those were state capitalist, private capitalist, petty-commodity and patriarchal modes.
The transition of power to workers class and establishing proletarian dictatorship do not change the mode of production by themselves. It was only after nationalization campaign that the communist (socialist) mode was established. Under this mode production has an overtly social character, whereas this mode coexists with other modes of production over a transitory period. In Russia, those were state capitalist, private capitalist, petty-commodity and patriarchal modes.
Patriarchal mode means production for personal needs and is of natural character.
Petty-commodity production is a production for exchange and means production of commodities.
Private capitalist production that presumes creation of value (additional) can be apparently also characterized as commodity production by its nature.
We should pay special attention to state Capitalism, that existed in the period of New Economic Policy in Russia and is still in wide use now, eg. in the People’s Republic of China in Cuba and Vietnam. The matter is that over a certain period following nationalization only a part of nationalized enterprises can be used to directly meet the needs of society. It is exactly this part – and only this one – that comprises socialist mode of production. All other nationalized enterprises though are owned by the state, are still not governed by the plan, but function in accordance with the basic law of any type of commodity production, i.e. capitalist production – the Law of Value. Consequently, the production in state capitalist segment of economy is a commodity production.
Communist (socialist) mode of production, while developing and extending, generally replaces all other modes within transitory period. Directly socialized socialist production that is preplanned and organized, turns, first, from a mode into a dominating form and, on a later stage, into the only form of production. In the USSR it happened exactly the way it was predicted by V.I. Lenin in his speech at Plenum of the Moscow Soviet on December 20th 1922: «Russia of NEP will turn into socialist Russia».
The ousting of non-socialist modes taking place within the transitory period can be described by the phrase of Lenin: «More Socialism!» Nevertheless this phrase is not applicable to Socialism itself as the first phase of Communism, because after socialist production becomes not only dominating, but also the only form of production there cannot be more Socialism and we can have only more or less developed Socialism. The development cannot be limited to increase or decrease, it is performed by way of unity and conflict of opposites. This is true in respect of the development of socialist production where there is a conflict between its directly socialized character and the negative influence of remnants of commoditization due to its origins in Capitalism. In planned economics this struggle is directly dependant on theoretical positions and political strategies of the state and the ruling party.
It was not for nothing that V.I. Lenin in his remarks on the Bukharin’s book «Economy of the transitory period» (XIth collection of Lenin’s works) stressed that under Socialism product goes to consumer not by way of market. In his «Order of STO to local Soviet institutions» he clarified that state product, the product of socialist plant exchanged for food stuffs produced by peasants is not a commodity in political-economic sense, anyway it is not only a commodity, it’s already not a commodity, it ceases to be a commodity.
After collectivization of agriculture in the USSR there appeared not two types of property, but two forms of one type – the socialized property. In accordance with the plan the essence of production started to steadily develop in the direction that was the opposite to the one of commodity production. The socialized property became directly social and regardless the various forms showing signs of commodity it might have borrowed from its commodity past, the production as whole cannot be characterized but directly social, where both product and labor have nothing to do with market, but are directly social from the very beginning.
Counterrevolutionary events in the USSR have confirmed that we have two options only: we either construct and develop Socialism as directly socialized production – the production of consumer values that is done in accordance with the law of consumer value, or we go in the direction of increasing the share of value production, i.e. commodity production which naturally leads to commodity-capitalist production. One can always say that even under Socialism there is commodity production when individually produced foodstuffs are sold at agricultural markets. This is so. Still the prices at agricultural market are determined first of all not by the law of value but by the level of prices for goods manufactured in state owned enterprises, whereas these prices are determined in planned economy in accordance with the amount of work spent on production while taking into account the consumer value of the directly socialized goods.
The attempts to construct socialist commodity economics will inevitably lead to the destruction of Socialism. It is now not only scientifically established fact, but unfortunately, it was also proved in the course of historical experiment.
Thus Socialism is directly socialized economics. What does it mean in regards to Soviet power? It means that as far as the goal of socialist production is provision of complete well-being and free comprehensive development of each member of society, the development of working people as members of society is part of the production’s goal.
When capitalist commodity production presuming generation of added values requires that free time and other conditions for free development should be taken away from working people, socialist direct socialized production demands that the working time saved as a result of scientific development should not only be turned into additional material benefits for workers, but it should also be used as additional free time for their comprehensive development, in particular for their participation in the life of the state and the work of the government. It’s a pity, but exactly this didn’t happen in the last decades of the USSR.
The history of revolution and counterrevolution in the USSR has shown that the progress in development of production forces, the increase of productivity should be accompanied not by decreasing the number of direct manufacturers and by the corresponding increase of the number of non-manufacturing employees, but rather by providing more free time to workers and peasants, in particular to be used for the management of state.
It’s possible not to decrease the number of workers and peasants till total destruction of classes, till complete communism is reached. What matters more is that with the development of production there grows not only the material prosperity of society, but free time of all working people should be also increased to ensure their free comprehensive development. As soon as the share of free time exceeds the one allocated for work, it wouldn’t matter what a person does in his/her working hours, but more important would be his occupation in his/her free time. This would actually mean the movement towards total destruction of class system, i.e. the system of division of people in accordance with the place they occupy in production.
Thus to develop Socialism and to strengthen Soviet power we don’t require such production that would consume the free time of workers, we need such production that in the course of its development would help to save working time and turn the time saved into free time of workers. The goal of such production is complete well-being and free comprehensive development of each member of society. It’s not a coincidence that such goal of socialist production was recorded in both first and second Program of Lenin’s Bolshevik party.
(c) The USSR as the first socialist state in the world: what type of Socialism was built in the USSR.
Various theoreticians both supporting socialist idea and even more its adversaries, elaborated many characteristics of Soviet Socialism. There were so many definitions of our Soviet order, like: early, underdeveloped, of total socialization, deformed, barrack Socialism, with bureaucratic perversions etc.
There is a wide spread point of view that is shared in particular by leading theoreticians from CPRF, that it was the model of early Socialism that was defeated, the model that suited well to the conditions of the first half of the 20th Century, but that ceased to correspond to the changed conditions of scientific-technical progress and less rigid democratic society.
We base our consideration on the thesis by Lenin that Socialism is incomplete Communism, the lowest stage of communist formation. In all respects it still bears imprints of the old, capitalist order where it originates. Here each person is still interested both in the growth of common wealth as well as in the increase of his/her personal share in it.
Taking this opportunity opportunists in communist movement
try to theoretically tear Socialism apart from Communism, to construct models of Socialism with naturally built in things like private property, unemployment, political and economic pluralism.
Nevertheless there is no other form of scientific Socialism that is not the first stage of Communism. Meanwhile the basis of genuine Communism is relations that are common for Communism in general and pass through (it’s obvious that the degree of maturity may differ) transitory period from Capitalism to Socialism and through both phases of Communism. Such relations that are characteristic for Communism in general and that develop along with the movement to complete Communism include as follows: socialized property on earth and all main means of production and turnover, planned development of people’s economy and other spheres of social life, complete employment of population, society looks after these who cannot yet work (children) and these that already cannot work (elderly and incapacitated people), society ensures equal conditions for revealing and development of each member of society’s capabilities (free and accessible for everybody education and healthcare), management of production and social life on all levels through the system of working people’s Soviets.
In the course of socialist society’s development there will gradually vanish the differences between manual labor and intellectual work, between the work in cities and work in rural areas etc. As soon as the ability to create is the main requirement of men, work will turn from social obligation that is stimulated by material interest into creativity and thus will become remuneration by itself. The main principle of Socialism: «From each according to his ability, to each according to his work» turns into the principle of Communism: «From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs».
In the process of development Socialism (the 1st stage of Communism, incomplete Communism) disposes of the traces of Capitalism in the fields of economics, moral and intellect and goes over to its highest phase – the phase of complete Communism.
Movement towards Communism is natural and the whole mankind is about to go this way.
The more conscientious, more organized are the struggle and historical creativity of working class and its allies, the more successful is the movement towards Communism. Socialist revolution becomes possible only when real political majority of organized workers that is capable of calling to struggle and leading masses of working people, realize its necessity. Revolutions are performed not by parties, not by plotters, they are performed by masses led by revolutionary class. Revolution in people’s consciousness precedes the revolutionary change of social-political order. Communist party’s obligation is to equip proletariat with ideological weapon, to focus its struggle correctly in order to avoid unnecessary victims and illusions. Communist idea only turns into acting material force, when it gets hold of workers’ masses.
Marxist-Leninist theory doesn’t prescribe detailed road-maps and ideal models for the future society. Marx and Engels wrote that Communism was not a state that should be introduced, it was not ideal in accordance with which the reality should be transformed. They consider Communism as a real movement that was intended to destroy the unjust state that put breaks on the development of society.
Socialism is determined by its origins in Capitalism. It can be severe and harsh, hungry and bloody. Class struggle doesn’t discontinue under Socialism, it just takes other forms and goes on as the struggle between proletarian creative trend and petty-bourgeois, private property oriented trend. The power performing proletarian dictatorship and ensuring the victory of the positive communist trend is an essential feature of Socialism.
Socialism’s features read as follows:
In the field of politics Socialism according to Lenin means eliminating class system. That is the movement towards overcoming class distinctions, the differences between manual and intellectual work etc. V.I. Lenin clarified that «The abolition of classes requires a long, difficult and stubborn class struggle, which, after the overthrow of capitalist rule, after the destruction of the bourgeois state, after the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, does not disappear (as the vulgar representatives of the old socialism and the old Social-Democracy imagine), but merely changes its forms and in many respects becomes fiercer».
Socialism in economics means overcoming commoditization in directly socialized production.
In the field of moral Socialism provides ever greater opportunities for free development of all and each person.
Did Soviet leadership and the party commit mistakes in the course of socialist construction? Sure they did. When people are the first to pave an unknown way under conditions that are not only unfamiliar, but also extremely difficult, when there is rabid resistance from the whole old bourgeois world, to think that it is possible to avoid any mistakes, to say that one «should have done otherwise» would mean political hypocrisy and conceit. We differentiate between mistakes, apostasy and petty tyranny. Our predecessors – communistsbolsheviks under the guidance of Lenin and Stalin have decently passed their stretch of the road. Bolsheviks were revolutionary orthodox Marxists. In their practice theory they didn’t adhere to certain dogma, but unwaveringly followed basic principles of Marxism, first of all those pertaining to class struggle. That’s the reason why despite all mistakes there was retained the direction of «forward and up». The inertia of movement used to remain even after them for quite a while, but the slowdown could be felt more and more.
2.3. Importance of Soviet experience: its validity, necessity and inevitability for parties of workers’ class in other countries.
In his work «Left-Wing» Communism: An Infantile Disorder» Lenin pointed out that other parties and peoples that started their movement to Socialism would inevitably face many features of October Revolution: «Experience has proved that, on certain very important questions of the proletarian revolution, all countries will inevitably have to do what Russia has done».
The analysis of Russian revolution and the conclusions made by
Lenin have unequivocally proved to be correct over more than almost 100 years. Now we can and we have to add to these conclusions similar ones that we’ve obtained in the course of subsequent socialist construction in the USSR. We should pay special attention to the mistakes committed and to the revisionist perversions that led to temporary defeat of Socialism in the USSR and in Eastern Europe.
Lenin listed the lessons that revolutionary Marxists must learn from experience of October Revolution as follows:
(a) Importance to have a proletarian party of the New type andnecessity to struggle with opportunism and revisionism.
All communists know well the following expression of Lenin: «there cannot be revolutionary movement without revolutionary party». Bolsheviks were capable to lead the arisen people of Russia not because they united all opposition forces and joined Mensheviks themselves, but because they could theoretically and politically defeat Mensheviks. V.I. Lenin wrote: «Overcoming unprecedented difficulties, the Bolsheviks thrust back the Mensheviks, whose role as bourgeois agents in the working-class movement was clearly realized by the entire bourgeoisie after 1905, and whom the bourgeoisie therefore supported in a thousand ways against the Bolsheviks. But the Bolsheviks would never have succeeded in doing this had they not followed the correct tactics of combining illegal work with the utilization of «legal opportunities», which they made a point of doing».
Lenin pointed out that the history of Bolshevism starts in 1903 (II Congress of RSDRP) and asked himself: what were the wings that Bolshevism struggled with, this struggle to determine its shape? He answered this question himself: this was first of all the struggle with opportunism, i.e. the struggle with the right bias. Modern experience has shown that opportunism still poses mortal threat to communist parties in power. Any more or less qualified Marxist knows the famous phrase of Lenin: «the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism».
History shows us that instead of being a right bias of a part of communist movement opportunism can start prevailing in such movements and even become the dominant trend. The requirement to fight opportunism became the main condition for admission to Comintern; it still remains a basic feature of proletarian party now.
(b) Combination of legal and underground methods of work. Getting ready for the revolution under any circumstances, at any moment; first of all this applies to a revolutionary himself.
This thesis looks so much essential for political struggle tactics. Nevertheless, nowadays under the conditions of increasing reaction in all countries it acquires new significance both for the parties that are accustomed to legal, “civilized”, law abiding, and predominantly parliamentary existence as well as for all sorts of radical leftists and somewhat of leftists, who avoid taking part in legal public politics that are under total control of power. V.I. Lenin taught that «Revolutionaries who are unable to combine legal forms of struggle with all sorts of underground activities are pretty bad revolutionaries». There is yet another saying of Lenin that would come in handy for these comrades that se no possibility for a new revolutionary situation under conditions of contemporary relative capitalist well-being: «It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate, when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. After its victory, the proletariat has to make most strenuous efforts, even the most painful, so as to “liberate” itself from such pseudorevolutionaries. It is far more difficult – and far more precious – to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist, to be able to champion the interests of the revolution (by propaganda, agitation and organization) in non-revolutionary bodies, and quite often in downright reactionary bodies, in a non-revolutionary situation, among the masses who are incapable of immediately appreciating the need for revolutionary methods of action».
(c) Continuation of class struggle in the epoch of proletarian dictatorship. Correct dialectical understanding of the relations between leaders, party, class and masses. Strictest discipline in the party for everybody, including the leaders of proletariat.
Revolutionary party of proletariat is the highest form of proletarian class unification that wouldn’t deserve its title unless it comes to know how to unify its leaders with the class and with the masses into something indissoluble. Based on such understanding of the party Lenin wrote: «The dictatorship of the proletariat means a persistent struggle – bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative – against the forces and traditions of the old society. The force of habit in millions and tens of millions is a most formidable force. Without a party of iron that has been tempered in the struggle, a party enjoying the confidence of all honest people in the class in question, a party capable of watching and influencing the mood of the masses, such a struggle cannot be waged successfully. It is a thousand times easier to vanquish the centralized big bourgeoisie than to «vanquish” the millions upon millions of petty proprietors; however, through their ordinary, everyday, imperceptible, elusive and demoralizing activities, they produce the very results which the bourgeoisie need and which tend to restore the bourgeoisie. Whoever brings about even the slightest weakening of the iron discipline of the party of the proletariat (especially during its dictatorship), is actually aiding the bourgeoisie against the proletariat».
(d) International nature of Soviets as the form of proletarian dictatorship. The struggle of each party with its own Menshevism is a must.
Lenin wrote about it as follows: «The revolutions of February and October 1917 led to the all-round development of the Soviets on a nation-wide scale and to their victory in the proletarian socialist revolution. In less than two years, the international character of the Soviets, the spread of this form of struggle and organization to the world working-class movement and the historical mission of the Soviets as the grave-digger, heir and successor of bourgeois parliamentarianism and of bourgeois democracy in general, all became clear.
But that is not all. The history of the working-class movement now shows that, in all countries, it is about to go through (and is already going through) a struggle waged by communism – emergent, gaining strength and advancing towards victory – against, primarily, Menshevism, i.e., opportunism and social-chauvinism (the home brand in each particular country), and then as a complement, so to say, Left-wing communism».
«But while the working-class movement is everywhere going through what is actually the same kind of preparatory school for victory over the bourgeoisie, it is achieving that development in its own way in each country».
«As long as national and state distinctions exist among peoples and countries – and these will continue to exist for a very long time to come, even after the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established on a world-wide scale – the unity of the international tactics of the communist working-class movement in all countries demands, not the elimination of variety or the suppression of national distinctions (which is a pipe dream at present), but an application of the fundamental principles of communism (Soviet power and the dictatorship of the proletariat), which will correctly modify these principles in certain particulars, correctly adapt and apply them to national and nationalstate distinctions. To seek out, investigate, predict, and grasp that which is nationally specific and nationally distinctive, in the concrete manner in which each country should tackle a single international task: victory over opportunism and Left doctrinarism within the working-class movement; the overthrow of the bourgeoisie; the establishment of a Soviet republic and a proletarian dictatorship – such is the basic task in the historical period that all the advanced countries (and not they alone) are going through».
The relevance of this thought of Lenin has been proved many times.
(e) Necessity to work in a wide assortment of workers’ organizations, including reactionary ones.
Lenin taught that communist work should be carried out everywhere, where there are corresponding conditions and even there where such conditions are not sufficient: «These men, the «leaders» of opportunism, will no doubt resort to every device of bourgeois diplomacy and to the aid of bourgeois governments, the clergy, the police and the courts, to keep Communists out of the trade unions, oust them by every means, make their work in the trade unions as unpleasant as possible, and insult, bait and persecute them. We must be able to stand up to all this, agree to make any sacrifice, and even – if need be – to resort to various stratagems, artifices and illegal methods, to evasions and subterfuges, as long as we get into the trade unions, remain in them, and carry on communist work within them at all costs».
(f) On allies and companions of workers’ class in proletarian revolution and after it is completed.
We believe that it’s especially important to understand the ideas of Lenin not only on the necessity of allies in the course of revolution, but also the importance class unions in socialist construction:
«The proletarian vanguard has been won over ideologically. That is the main thing. Without this, not even the first step towards victory can be made. But that is still quite a long way from victory. Victory cannot be won with a vanguard alone. To throw only the vanguard into the decisive battle, before the entire class, the broad masses, have taken up a position either of direct support for the vanguard, or at least of sympathetic neutrality towards it and of precluded support for the enemy, would be, not merely foolish but criminal».
«After the first socialist revolution of the proletariat, and the overthrow of the bourgeoisie in some country, the proletariat of that country remains for a long time weaker than the bourgeoisie, simply because of the latter’s extensive international links, and also because of the spontaneous and continuous restoration and regeneration of capitalism and the bourgeoisie by the small commodity producers of the country which has overthrown the bourgeoisie. The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. He who fails to understand this, fails to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general. Those who have not proved in practice, over a fairly considerable period of time and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to help the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has won political power».
(g) The skill of tactics of compromises and the unacceptability of compromises in the field of ideology.
The main thought of Lenin is addressed to the fans of recipes and ready made solutions: «It would be absurd to formulate a recipe or general rule («No compromises!») to suit all cases. One must use one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular instance. It is, in fact, one of the functions of a party organization and of party leaders worthy of the name, to acquire, through the prolonged, persistent, variegated and comprehensive efforts of all thinking representatives of a given class, the knowledge, experience and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems».
There is no doubt among Marxists that V.I. Lenin was a clever man, still he and Bolsheviks used to make mistakes in the issues of tactics, whereas they were not shy to recognize those mistakes. One should remember that basic rule in establishing tactics under given conditions is «…the absolute necessity, for the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, its class-conscious section, to resort to changes of tack, to conciliation and compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and small masters». … «… knowing how to apply these tactics in order to raise – not lower – the general level of proletarian class-consciousness, revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win».
It implies that communists are always focused on the extension and development of class struggle.
(h) The necessity and tactics in using possibilities provided by bourgeois parliament for in order to promote class struggle.
This issue of participating in bourgeois parliaments seems to be elaborated in theory and studied in the course of communist movement’s practice better than any other. V.I. Lenin insisted on necessity to use the possibilities of parliament to develop class struggle: «Whilst you lack the strength to do away with bourgeois parliaments and every other type of reactionary institution, you must work within them because it is there that you will still find workers who are duped by the priests and stultified by the conditions of rural life; otherwise you risk turning into nothing but windbags».
Meanwhile Lenin marked the justified aversion of advanced proletarians to bourgeois parliaments and to the MPs: «…it is difficult to imagine anything more infamous, vile or treacherous than the behavior of the vast majority of socialist and Social-Democratic parliamentary deputies during and after the war».
Bolsheviks have elaborated the tactics of communist work in parliaments, of using election campaigns and parliament seats for the sake of class struggle: «Communists, adherents of the Third
International in all countries, exist for the purpose of changing – all along the line, in all spheres of life – the old socialist, trade unionist, syndicalist, and parliamentary type of work into a new type of work, the communist».
«In Western Europe and in America, the Communist must learn to create a new, uncustomary, non-opportunist, and non-careerist parliamentarianism; the Communist parties must issue their slogans; true proletarians, with the help of the unorganized and downtrodden poor, should distribute leaflets, canvass workers’ houses and cottages of the rural proletarians and peasants in the remote villages (fortunately there are many times fewer remote villages in Europe than in Russia, and in Britain the number is very small); they should go into the public houses, penetrate into unions, societies and chance gatherings of the common people, and speak to the people, not in learned (or very parliamentary) language, they should not at all strive to «get seats» in parliament, but should everywhere try to get people to think, and draw the masses into the struggle, to take the bourgeoisie at its word and utilize the machinery it has set up, the elections it has appointed, and the appeals it has made to the people; they should try to explain to the people what Bolshevism is, in a way that was never possible (under bourgeois rule) outside of election times (exclusive, of course, of times of big strikes, when in Russia a similar apparatus for widespread popular agitation worked even more intensively)».
We should admit, that many parties in Western Europe and other countries have been suffering from parliamentary cretinism and seriously promise to improve their citizens’ lives by way of victory of some left forces in the course of elections. We are going to analyze this issue later, meanwhile we should mention that Lenin expressed his opinion regarding this question very categorically: «Only scoundrels or simpletons can think that the proletariat must first win a majority in elections carried out under the yoke of the bourgeoisie, under the yoke of wage-slavery, and must then win power. This is the height of stupidity or hypocrisy; it is substituting elections, under the old system and with the old power, for class struggle and revolution».
Lenin carried out for us the analysis of the above tactics and mistakes as early as in 1920. After his death Soviet Union under the guidance of CPSU(b) went along lengthy and difficult road of achievements and victories. Fascism was defeated, the country went up to the second place in the world rating list of industrial production, Soviet man was the first to go out in outer Space. Still there were many mistakes committed. Revisionist transformation of CPSU leadership took place that expressed itself as temporary defeat of Socialism and disintegration of USSR. The analysis of these occurrences and the conclusions for future struggle is now our obligation where we follow Lenin’s directive: «Communists should know, that in any case, the future belongs to them; therefore, in the great revolutionary struggle, we can (and must) combine the most intense passion with the coolest and most sober appraisal of the frenzied ravings of the bourgeoisie».
III. Lessons learned from defeats for our future victories.
Lenin kept saying that the best way to celebrate an anniversary is to focus on problems unresolved. To do this both contemporary and future communists should first realize what theoretical and practical mistakes committed by party and people have prevented us from solving the issues of socialist and communist construction and have thrown us back to the previous stage of social development – to Capitalism.
There are a considerable variety of opinions, both personal and from political parties, regarding the reasons for the defeat of Socialism in the USSR. Of course we are going to consider only the opinions of the adherents of Socialism, as the point of view by the adversaries of Socialism on alleged utopian character of Socialism as a way of humankind’s development proved to be false due to the practice of October and the experience of the USSR.
The theory that sees the main reason of our defeat in betrayal of the socialist cause by certain personalities in the ruling circles of the party and the government is quite popular. There are mentioned names of Gorbachev, Yeltsyn, Yakovlev and many other their colleagues in CC and the government. The speculations on the plot by the West are also popular. They bring some proof starting with the mythical «Dulles’ plan” and ending with the theories of recruiting of top ranking officials to serve as western special services’ agents of influence. They mention sums of trillions of USD spent on the struggle against the USSR, these money not having been wasted. Some of the events described in these theories are not only of some interest, but they indeed took place in real life. Nevertheless we should stress that from our point of view the main reason for the temporary defeat of Socialism in the USSR were our own, internal mistakes, revisionism and apostasy of the top leaders of the party.
Lenin didn’t say for nothing that: «Nothing can ruin us but our own mistakes». And further specified: «We know that the failure and decline of political parties have very often been preceded by a state of affairs in which a swelled head is possible».
If we try to give a very brief answer to the question why the Soviet power and CPSU had been defeated whereas the majority of the working people remained indifferent to the counterrevolutionary coup of 1991, our answer would be as follows: because the power wasn’t the Soviet one any longer and the party wasn’t a communist one.
OUR OWN MISTAKES
3.1. Theoretical issues: retreat from the major Marxist foundations.
RCWP adheres to the main thesis of Lenin that «If we translate the Latin, scientific, historic-philosophical term «dictatorship of the proletariat» into simpler language, it means just the following:
Only a definite class, namely, the urban workers and the factory, industrial workers in general, is able to lead the whole mass of the working and exploited people in the struggle to throw off the yoke of capital, in actually carrying it out, in the struggle to maintain and consolidate the victory, in the work of creating the new, socialist social system and in the entire struggle for the complete abolition of classes». (Let us make a remark in parenthesis, that the only scientific distinction between socialism and communism is that the first term implies the first stage of a new society arising out of capitalism, while the second implies the next and higher stage).
The mistake the «Berne» yellow International makes is that its leaders accept the class struggle and the leading role of the proletariat only in word and are afraid to think it out to its logical conclusion. They are afraid of- that inevitable conclusion which particularly terrifies the bourgeoisie, and which is absolutely unacceptable to them. They are afraid to admit that the dictatorship of the proletariat is also a period of class struggle, which is inevitable as long as classes have not been abolished, and which changes in form, being particularly fierce and particularly peculiar in the period immediately following the overthrow of capital. The proletariat does not cease the class struggle after it has captured political power, but continues it until classes are abolished – of course, under different circumstances, in different form and by different means».
Correspondingly Lenin believed that recognition of proletarian dictatorship is the main issue of Marxism: «Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat».
«But the essence of proletarian dictatorship is not in force alone, or even mainly in force. Its chief feature is the organization and discipline of the advanced contingent of the working people, of their vanguard; of their sole leader, the proletariat, whose object is to build socialism, abolish the division of society into classes, make all members of society working people, and remove the basis for all exploitation of man by man». Class struggle goes on under Socialism in other forms, in particular it goes on within the class and the party themselves.
For how long should we practice the proletarian dictatorship? In the theses on RKP tactics for the III Congress of Comintern V.I. Lenin answers this issue as follows: «The dictatorship of the proletariat does not signify a cessation of the class struggle, but its continuation in a new form and with new weapons. This dictatorship is essential as long as classes exist, as long as the bourgeoisie, overthrown in one country, intensifies tenfold its attacks on socialism on an international scale». Thus as «the task of Socialism is to destroy class system» as it was stressed in the report on RKP on the same III Congress of Comintern, the period of proletarian dictatorship is extended over the whole first stage of Communism, i.e. throughout the whole period of Socialism.
It’s interesting to recall such fact that when elaborating the second program of RKP(b) Lenin considered possible retreat from the form of Soviets as a part of general retreat under the impact of general offensive of the enemy, nevertheless he never considered that as a movement towards the development of democracy of working people, proletarian or workers’ democracy. In the resolution of the VII Congress of RKP(b) on the party program Lenin wrote: «the change in the political part of our Program must consist in the most accurate and comprehensive definition possible of the new type of state, the Soviet Republic, as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat and as a continuation of those achievements of the world working-class revolution which the Paris Commune began. The Program must show that our Party does not reject the use even of bourgeois parliamentarism, should the course of the struggle push us back, for a time, to this historical stage which our revolution has now passed. But in any case and under all circumstances the Party will strive for a Soviet Republic as the highest, from the standpoint of democracy, type of state, as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of abolition of the exploiters’ yoke and of suppression of their resistance».
It might look strange but the main mistake of Soviet communists,
i.e. the rejection of the main issue of Marxism was the first one.
The rejection of proletarian dictatorship means the rejection of Marxism.
After the death of Stalin and coming to power in the party of N.S. Khrushchev they carried out a sort of «preliminary bombardment” at the XX Congress of CPSU before the all out offensive on the main issue of Marxism – the concept of dictatorship of proletariat.
The revisionist group of Khrushchev unleashed the campaign of slander in order to denigrate those achievements that had been obtained under the leadership of Stalin and they initiated reconsidering the key Marxist issues of class struggle and proletarian dictatorship. Nevertheless, the Lenin’s program of RKP(b) were still in effect then, that’s why khrushchevites started to get ready a new one in order to remove the essence of Marxism from the program. In the report of the First Secretary of CPSU CC N.S. Khrushchev at the XXII Congress of CPSU «On the Program of CPSU» there was put forward the thesis on the final victory of Socialism in USSR where it was claimed that the class struggle is limited to the transitory period to Socialism44. Throughout the report Socialism was understood not as a separate part of Communism, but as a separate formation. Consequently the main goal of Socialism, the complete destruction of the class system in the first stage of the classless society was replaced with the task of yet creating the classless society only, whereas along with that there was proclaimed a sheer revisionist and anti-marxist goal of coming over from the state of proletarian dictatorship to the nationwide state. It was claimed that allegedly «the working class of Soviet Union on its own initiative and based on the goal of the construction of Communism has transformed the state of its dictatorship into nationwide state …It’s the first time that we have a state that doesn’t represent a dictatorship of any particular class… Proletarian dictatorship сeased to be necessary». The party was also proclaimed to be the party of the whole people and not the party of workers’ class only, all this contrary to the definition of the party by Lenin, where he claimed that a party is the vanguard of the class.
These revisionist ideas didn’t meet any resistance at the Congress and the Congress unanimously adopted a revisionist, essentially antiLenin’s anti-Marx program. In that program there was stipulated that allegedly «proletarian dictatorship has completed its historical mission and ceased being indispensable in USSR for the goals of internal development. The state that sprang to life as a state of proletarian dictatorship has turned into a nationwide state at the present stage… The party proceeds from the thesis that the dictatorship ceases to be necessary before the state dies off». Of course one shouldn’t think that all the delegates of the XX Congress were renegades and traitors of the cause of Socialism. It would be more correct to describe the theoretical level of the majority of the multimillion party as extremely low. They took the majority of program and theoretical concepts for granted while relying on the authority of the leadership. They pretty easily accepted the calls of the then leadership to develop allegedly classless, nationwide democracy, these trust being due to the atmosphere of moral uplift bordering on euphoria caused by the recent victory over Nazism. They really believed that the classes of exploiters had been finally suppressed in USSR and were not likely to be ever resurrected, they accepted for granted the new arising unity of the Soviet people as a unity of non-antagonized classes and that the victory of Socialism was complete and final. Rank and file communists committed a tremendous mistake then whereas on the part of the party’s theoreticians and leaders this was, without a doubt, an act of revisionism and uncovered apostasy. To consider this position in more detail let’s look into Lenin’s works.
In his fundamental work «The State and the Revolution» V.I. Lenin stressed the class nature of any state, that’s why till it exists it is necessary to destroy the old apparatus and to create a new one that is capable of solving the issues of proletarian dictatorship to ensure the victory of proletarian revolution. He elaborated a number of conditions that should be followed in order to prevent turning the state as a tool of workers’ class, as a means to ensure its political dominance into a force that dominate over the workers’ class itself. In this book as well as in his notebook «Marxism on the State» V.I. Lenin absolutely clear and unequivocally stipulates that the state dies off only with the complete destruction of classes, and as soon as there remain classes there remain a state that represent a tool of politically dominant class. He cites and further elaborates the idea of Engels: «When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary». Let’s repeat again as if answering to all doubtful that Lenin stressed as follows: «Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested». In his work «On the State» (Lecture in the Sverdlovsk University of July 11 1919) V.I. Lenin points out that exactly capitalist state «proclaims liberty for the whole people as its slogan, which declares that it expresses the will of the whole people and denies that it is a class state».
Socialist state contrariwise always stresses its class nature. Thus, the group of khrushchevite revisionists misled, actually deceived the party and the people as to regards the issue of proletarian dictatorship, as without proletarian dictatorship it’s not possible to transform Socialism into complete Communism. Next they substituted also the goals of the movement of production and society. Here we should dwell in more detail.
The essence of history and the progress of society lie in the movement to complete well-being and comprehensive development of each member society.
It is interesting to follow the history of how the main law of Socialism was reflected in the party program of Bolsheviks. In the draft of the Party the program prepared by special commission for the II Congress of RSDRP the goal of socialist production was determined as planned organization of socialized manufacturing process «in order to fulfill the needs of both the whole society as well as the needs of its members». V.I. Lenin objected to this definition as follows: «Not accurate. Such «satisfaction» is «given» by capitalism as well, but not to all members of society and not in equal degree». In the end of the day V.I. Lenin insisted that in the Party program adopted at the II Congress of RSDRP it was written: «On having replaced private property on means of production and turnover with socialized one and on having introduced planned socialized manufacturing process to satisfy well-being and comprehensive development of all members of society, social revolution of proletariat shall destroy the division of society into classes and thus shall liberate the oppressed mankind».
This scientifically correct, i.e. actual goal of communist production set before workers class as the creator of communist society was written in the party’s program till the party remained the party of workers’ class in control over performing proletarian dictatorship. In the third, the revisionist program adopted at XXII Congress of CPSU this goal wasn’t there any longer. It was replaced with «satisfaction of ever growing needs», though it’s known that either people’s well-being or their development, even less so comprehensive development cannot be limited to the above. Satisfaction of needs by itself doesn’t lead to elimination of social inequality, or to destruction of class system. In fact it was written in the third program that under Communism «there is reached the highest degree of planed organization of the whole people’s economics, there is and ensured the most effective and sensible utilization of material wealth and labor resources for satisfaction of growing needs of society’s members». Working members of society whose development is the goal by itself turned into «labor resources» that were to be effectively used to fulfill the needs not of all but of certain chosen members of society that would later turn into oligarchs. Skipping the goal of development of all members of society from the list of production’s goals turned this clause into hiding the actual abandoning of the true aim of Socialism. In the revisionist third program it was written that «the goal of Socialism is ever complete satisfaction of growing material and cultural needs of people». At first look this seems a beautiful aim, but there is rooted a grave mistake as the goal of Socialism as determined by the founders of scientific Communism is the destruction of class system. Of course, such destruction presumes also the satisfaction of needs, but not any satisfaction and not of all needs. Here are meant first of all the satisfaction of such needs that leads to the provision of complete wellbeing and free comprehensive development of all members of society, to the destruction of any inequality.
Abandoning dictatorship of proletariat and the goal of socialism changed the class essence of the state. The state became incapable of acting in the interests of workers class, these interests being the interests of society during proletarian dictatorship. It’s indicative to point out that the revisionist program of the nationwide party was adopted by the XXII Congress of CPSU in the autumn of 1961, whereas in June 1962 in the city Novocherkassk of Rostov Region there were applied troops against workers that expressed their protest against rising prices, falling wages and boorishness of the officials. The protesters were shot at. Thus we can say that dozens of victims among workers served as the first evidence of the so called nationwide state and the party led by N.S. Khrushchev in the making. The state property was gradually ceasing to be a form of socialized property and by the end of 80-ies it was essentially acquired features of a peculiar form of private property of those who had actual control over it, i.e. of the party and government top officials. This way the nomenclature of the party and the government managed to essentially appropriate the right to hold the balance of the society’s property and to create the conditions to divide it among separate persons to appropriate and to privatize it while legalizing all this within the legal framework of the «nationwide» state. This was initiated by Gorbachev and occurred in the time of Eltsyn. At the beginning. it started under a revisionist slogan of «Move towards market» that was later followed by an openly anti-communist slogan «Let’s have privatization». This process was accompanied by introduction of a revisionist concept of «developed Socialism» which included and enshrined the notorious revisionist concept of a «nationwide state».
The abandoning by the CPSU the main principles issues of Marxism – the issue of proletarian dictatorship, the goal of socialist production and the goal of Socialism – could not help but led to the growth of pro-private property sentiments that finally led to the destruction of the party, the government and the state, all this despite active resistance from communist minority. As it was already mentioned, this rejection was not only fault of the renegade leadership of the CPSU, we should also blame those party members that instead of studying and understanding Marxism-Leninism used to learn citations and slogans and took for granted the words of the party’s revisionist leadership. That was the reason why consequently communist forces couldn’t overcome opportunists, revisionists and renegade traitors of Socialism. This is a lesson not only for the communists of former Soviet Union and present Russia; this is a lesson for the whole international workers and communist movement.
3.2. Economic mistakes: commodity elements in social production and sliding towards capitalism.
The relevance of this issue is determined by the final goals of the struggle that communists lead to get power for their class. This is the issue of what they are going to do in case the workers class comes to power now. What conclusions have been drawn from the mistakes of communists and the betrayal of workers class by CPSU, from the whole practice of socialist construction in USSR? What has to be constructed in the area of economy and why?
This issue still divides international communist movement Russia included. We are not going to consider undisguised adherents of «Swede Socialism» as well as other improvers of Capitalism. We are going to discuss only these who keep calling themselves Marxists and Communists. Here we can see many adherents of the so called «market Socialism» that’s often accompanied by the definition «Chinese style». On the other hand we keep hearing people calling themselves pragmatists and realists. They consider communists that discuss non-commodity nature of socialist production loony. The say – look around there is market everywhere, that’s why there is no way out and one has to start from market economy all over again.
It is true that market is all around us nowadays. That’s why we believe it’s high time to determine what is commodity under Capitalism and Socialism, what happens with it or should be done with it in the course of socialist construction and development of Socialism into complete Communism.
Even as early as in the first and the second programs of Bolsheviks (as well as in the program of RCWP) the nature of Capitalism and bourgeois society was described as follows: «The principal specific feature of this society is commodity production based on capitalist production relations, under which the most important and major part of the means of production and exchange of commodities belongs to a numerically small class of persons while the vast majority of the population is made up of proletarians and semiproletarians, who, owing to their economic position, are compelled permanently or periodically to sell their labour power, i.e., to hire themselves out to the capitalists and to create by their labour the incomes of the upper classes of society».
That is Capitalism means first of all commodity production. V.I. Lenin in his remarks to the second draft of the program by Plekhanov wrote about this issue as follows: «That is rather incongruous. Of course, fully developed commodity production is possible only in capitalist society, but «commodity production» in general is both logically and historically prius to capitalism».
Here V.I. Lenin clarified that Capitalism itself is a result of commodity production development and kept pointing out in many of his works that the commodity production inevitably produces Capitalism.
Nevertheless, under Socialism one can formally find money and a number of the so called commodity-financial relations, though such concepts are nowhere to be found in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Does it mean that the use of terminology pertaining to commodities makes socialist production essentially commodity production? No, of course it doesn’t. The banknotes used in socialist society are not money in the political-economical sense. They represent an additional indirect index characterizing the volume of production and the quantity of labour required and spent, an accounting unit for calculation and planning, they provide for the functions of control and accounting of directly social; production and distribution that are indispensable for Socialism. It’s not for nothing that in the first program of Comintern adopted in 1928 it was said that: «The relations externally associated with the market ones, outwardly capitalist forms and methods of economy (value accounting, wages paid in money, purchases and sales, credits, banks etc.) play the role of levers for the socialist takeover, as these levers gradually serve more and more enterprises of consequently socialist type, i.e. the socialist sector of economy».
Supporters of the so called market Socialism usually recall the New Economic Politics (NEP) stressing that Lenin himself told that it was a radical reconsideration of our view of Socialism, it was serious and for a long time. New Economic Politics in the beginning of transitory period from Capitalism to Socialism did envisage a temporary retreat to the freedom of commodity production and turnover, first of all the relations between the government owned sector and the peasantry. Meanwhile Lenin understood perfectly well that there was fight between capitalist and socialist trend. In the book of Bukharin «Economics of transitory period» there was the following thesis «dictatorship of proletariat is inevitably accompanied by undercover and more or less open struggle between the organizational trend of proletariat and the commodity-anarchic trend of peasantry». Lenin replied to this thesis as follows: «I had to say: between the socialist tendency of the proletariat and the commodity-capitalist tendency of the peasantry». Lenin also approves here of the following analysis of Bukharin: «In the cities the main struggle over the type of economy [after the takeover of the power – Ed.] is finished after the victory of proletariat. In rural areas it is finished as far as we are talking about the victory over big capital. Still, the struggle resumes in different forms as the struggle between the state plan by proletariat that embodies socialized work and the anarchy of commodities, the profit seeking dissoluteness of peasantry that embodies fragmented property and market spontaneity». Lenin marks this thought with a brief approval «This is exactly so!» Lenin also supported the following statement that could be found further in Bukharin’s text «As simple commodity production represents nothing else but an embryo of capitalist economy, the struggle between the above wings is essentially the continuation of the struggle between Communism and Capitalism» He wrote «Exactly. And it’s better than «anarchy».
Let’s mention that Lenin never suggested that the commoditization of production should be immediately cancelled. He always stressed that we talk about overcoming commoditization, walking away from commodities, negation of commodities in socialist socialized production.
Supporters of market usually present NEP as a turning point for Lenin in his understanding of Socialism as commodity production, as return to market not as a temporary necessity, but as goal and prospect. The most quirky among them even invented a sort of Lenin’s methodology of NEP and socialist market. Nevertheless we should mention that NEP is not a method, but politics, and that Lenin and Bolsheviks when introducing NEP never called a development of properties characteristic of socialist production, they considered allowing elements of Capitalism as their retreat. Second at the same time there were created the most powerful levers to overcome the elements of commoditization of economics transitory to Socialism. There were created Gosplan, Gossnab, big industry, the plan for electrification GOELRO was being developed etc. Thus along with the increase of the physical volume of products described as commodities (though essentially already non-commodities) the directly social character of the socialist production intensified and the conditions for the future overcoming of commoditization were also prepared.
Stalin consequently followed in practice the trend of Lenin aimed at overcoming commoditization in the production of the period transitory to Socialism and turning the production into directly social. His basic thoughts regarding this issue could be found in his work «Economical problems of Socialism in USSR». In particular Stalin describes the goal of socialist economy as follows: «Is there a basic law of Socialism? Yes, there is. What are essential features and requirements of this law? Essential features and requirements of the basic economical law of Socialism could be approximately summarized as follows: ensuring of the highest possible satisfaction of ever growing material and cultural needs of the whole society by way of constant growth and improvement of socialist production based on advanced equipment». Thus Stalin clearly stressed that the interests of the whole society are of unequivocally highest priority in the system of Socialism.
Meanwhile Stalin built his analysis not only on the basis of Marxist views, but he performed the analysis of objective reality given. Stalin analyses the guarantees provided by proletarian state in order to prevent the restoration of capitalist elements in economy.
In socialist economy commoditization exist only as a negation of its directly social nature and belongs to these imprints that are to be overcome in the process of development of Socialism as incomplete Communism to the complete one. Thus we have all reasons to stipulate that the development of socialist economy means intensification of its directly social character and overcoming of commoditization. The aim of communists should be always the same, i.e. the transition to socialist directly social production, regardless the state of pre revolutionary development, or the retreats and compromises they have to undertake. The advance of socialist economy was ensured as far as the state provided for the organization of production as directly social one. Plan and centralizations are as high achievements of civilization as differential calculus or evolution theory by C. Darwin. Nevertheless this achievements can serve the interests of working people only under conditions of proletarian dictatorship in the conditions of directly social production.
The decision to abandon the political basis of Socialism, i.e. dictatorship of proletariat taken in 1961 by khrushchevites authorities and the economic reforms of 1965 gave birth to the process of gradual accumulation of negative wings in socialist economy and social relations. The strengthening trend favoring private property had disastrous effects on people’s economy. The reform presumed that enterprises should estimate their output in rubles and profit and that led to such negative consequences as growing group egoism, deficit and inflation. Manufacturers were interested to release less products at higher prices, the inequality of exchange between cities and rural areas increased, the share of luxury items and socially harmful products in the range of products produced for personal consumption had sharply increased. Under the conditions of blooming shadow economics bourgeois transformation of leadership of the party and the government veiled by hypocritical phrases about fidelity to Communism took place.
That was the start of Gorbachev’s Perestroika, as the process of changing standing social order.
Economics in Soviet Union was of direct social nature whatever the objections of modern apologists of Capitalism. It’s felt even more now – in comparison with modern life, more than half of Soviet people’s consumptions (as calculated in modern prices) was channeled through special social consumption funds, whereas a number of most important requirements of people were satisfied almost in accordance with the principle «as much as needed». Thus free of charge housing was provided, though one had to wait in long queues. Cold and warm water, electric energy, bread, healthcare and education, public transportation and many other things were also provided for free or at symbolic prices.
Unfortunately the abandoning of socialist course both in politics and economics was performed by the party that kept calling itself communist. At the XXII Congress of the CPSU they adopted new program that excluded from its basic principles the dictatorship of proletariat, whereas at the XXVIII Congress of the CPSU there was adopted the plan of transition to market, i.e. to Capitalism.
One shouldn’t believe the version promoted by some critics of Socialism that communists in the CPSU gave up their positions without a fight and that they didn’t understand the fatal consequences of Gorbachev’s course. The slogans like «We need market economy», the arguments like «there is no alternative to market», «no other solution is possible» were met with a pretty serious resistance both in the party and among professionals in economy. In the end of 80-ies a number of public initiative aiming at resisting supporters of Capitalism and defending working people were found. These were, to take an example, «United Front of Working People» and all-union society «Unity – for Leninism and communist ideals». Scientists from the Scientific Communism Society intensified their activities. Within the CPSU itself the Movement of Communist Initiative (DKI), Bolshevist and Marxist platforms in the CPSU were launched. Many activists were working to the establishing of a separate republican organization of Russian communists – RSFSR.
We should specially mention the efforts of scientists that opposed market (N. Hessin, E. Ilienkov, R. Kosolapov, A. Eremin, V. Elmeev, A. Kashchenko, N. Moiseenko, A. Pokrytan, M. Popov, V. Dolgov, A. Sergeev, D. Mutagirov, V. Ogorodnikov and a number of others). One of the best Soviet philosophers E. Ilienkov wrote: «…Those economists that consciously spoiled Marxist theory of value rendered disservice to both our theory and practice… These are the economists that spent a lot of effort to prove something that cannot be proved,…that socialist production as a whole represent commodity production» and went on: «Yes, at the «socialist stage» of its evolution Communism keeps retaining («drags behind it») money-commodity relations. More than that its own immanent forms of relationships between people are veiled here by money-commodity relations and even find in them their formal, legally established expression.
Thus these genuine contours of our economy that we have to reveal through our analysis, look outwardly in the form that is not adequate to them – in the form of value. This form has nothing to do with communist organization of social labor but rather represents its antagonist and competitor».
The participants of those economic discussions claim that the Gorbachev’s adherents of market were unable to win a single open theoretical discussion or a single economic argument in public. That’s why the supporters of market had to act under cover while using their huge advantages in administration and mass media.
On having decided the issue on the highest party-governmental level behind the closed doors and under the influence of international Imperialism’s representatives (Gorbachev had met both Thatcher and Reagan by that time whereas they perceived him with admiring optimism), they actually imposed their decision upon the party and the people and presented the issue as if the movement towards market had been inevitable, that science, international experience and even Marxist-Leninist theory had confirmed it. To prove the last statement they introduced into circulation the concept of «NEP’s methodology». Those who refused to accept this pro-market course were labeled as retrogrades, dogmatists and backward elements.
At the XXVIII of the CPSU the communist elements attempted to give a battle to Gorbachev, to warn the party and the people of the looming danger. In his contribution professor A.A. Sergeev, a member of Communist Movement Initiative, said: «Apart from the market of commodities there are yet two markets. There is a market of private capitals as represented by stock exchanges and the market of labor. These two markets combined inevitably give us classical capitalist market, even if it’s called a regulated market, and there is no way out… Our people will not be able to withstand such Perestroika, the party will fall apart and cease to exist as a communist party because of it».
The position of communists was expressed in the statement of minority of the XXVIII Congress that was prepared by Communist Initiative Movement and the left wing of Marxist platform. 1259 delegates of the congress voted for this statement that was recorded as a party document. In accordance with the Party Chart such document should be reconsidered to assess whose forecast was correct: «We believe it to be essential to warn all communists of the country: unreasoned transition to market as a universal system that includes both the market of capitals and the market of labor will mean inevitable sliding down to the growth of capitalist relations. A forced treatment of Socialism by means of Capitalism that is contrary to objective processes will not lead to the increase of productivity and higher level of life, it will lead to their inevitable fall, will cause extensive social protests and grave suffering of people. …The party cannot survive Perstroika leading to serious deterioration of the people’s lives.
As far as Communist party is concerned, it just will not survive such shock, and nobody will stand for the final goals of the movement».
As we can see, scientific forecasts proved to be true and we have to start all over again, as if to say «What is to be done?», the question V.I. Lenin discussed in his book with the same title.
The concept of constructing Socialism by way of developing market, commoditization, commodity-money relations, i.e. capitalist relations, so as the well-wishing plans to construct different forms of socially oriented market economy, even under the guidance of the most patriotic government of people’s trust is the way of Gorbachev and his adherents. In the end of the day there will be only Capitalism. Both revisionism and opportunism can invent as many variants of such models of Capitalism as the justifications for them. Practice has shown us, that if a party calling itself communist speculates within a coherent theoretical paradigm though tears economy apart from political superstructure and considers it as an abstract issue which is beyond politics and classes, this party makes a mistake, moreover, a crime committed against the workers class.In the last years of the USSR they built Capitalism under the guidance of CPSU. Together with the CPSU they were marching towards Capitalism under the Red Banner.
Slightly restating Lenin’s phrase, we could say that without struggling against this catching market bourgeois disease, any oaths in one’s adherence to Socialism and communist choice would be nothing else but loud and deceptive phrases.
Let’s check our course against Lenin, against the science of Communism!
3.3. Political mistakes in Socialist construction: departure from the Leninist principles of the development of the Soviet Power and deviation from the party program.
RKWP believes that some political mistakes, oddly enough, were made even on the rise of the USSR’s movement towards Socialism. In 1936, when international situation was escalating and the threat of war was growing, contrary to the RCP (b.) acting program provision, the adoption of a new constitution resulted in a largely forced departure from the elections of government bodies through labor collectives. Though many of the characteristics of the Soviets were preserved (the nomination of candidates for deputies by labor collectives, the high proportion of workers and peasants in the deputy corps, periodic reports of deputies to voters, and the combination of legislative and executive functions in the councils), the election rules that enabled the working class to take advantage of being organized in the process of labor were revoked. These were prerequisites for a parliamentary system divorced from labor collectives and allowing deputies, especially those elected on the highest levels and from the territory, to ignore the will of the working people with little or no risk of being revoked. The lack of control of state power by labor collectives, and its relative independence from them, contributed to the diminished role of workers in social management and bureaucratization of the whole system of state power. The socialist character of Soviet power was preserved, and the power continued to act in the interests of the working class to the extent that the leadership of the Communist Party remained faithful to Marxism-Leninism.
The rejection of the basic Soviet principle to elect deputies from labor collectives in factories and industrial plants and transition to elections from territories were formally substantiated as the general expansion of democracy, though in fact it was a step toward the transition from the soviet, proletariat democracy to the parliament, bourgeois democracy, implying formal equality and ignoring actual inequality. Such single formal extension of the equal right to vote to all citizens without exception, including representatives of the former exploiter classes, could not lead to any true expansion of democracy.
We think, we can offer the following explanation of this decision. As it has been already mentioned, in 1936, the dramatically escalating international situation – the strengthening of fascism and the growing threat of war – made it essential, on the one hand, to formulate political arguments for the international communists in exposing the slander of the allegedly dictatorial, antidemocratic power in the USSR, and on the other hand, to strengthen the centralization of state administration for this period of preparation and conduct of war. So, this decision can be understood, as in many respects it was dictated by the situation. With the leading role of the CPSU (b), the new approach allowed to regulate the formation of power bodies by the party apparatus (and also attracted to the Soviet system some of the so-called disenfranchised (nonvoters), which was not at all superfluous in view of the approaching war). However, the mistake was that after the war ended and the root cause of, it was not decided to return to these principles.
However, after the war ended and the root cause of such a rejection Program guidelines for proletarian democracy was eliminated, no decision to return to these principles was taken. It was a mistake. As already mentioned, in 1961 the 22nd Congress of the CPSU adopted a revisionist, anti-Marxist program affirming that the dictatorship of proletariat had fulfilled its historical mission and, from the point of view of internal development, ceased to be necessary in the USSR. With the abandonment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the road to a change in the class essence of the state was opened.
The decision of the Khrushchevite leadership to abandon the dictatorship of proletariat in 1961 as well as the economic reform of 1965 which strengthened the role of market mechanisms in the economy, naturally led to the strengthening of private property tendencies that were destructive for the socialist national economy, led to the degeneration of the Party and state leadership and pettybourgeois decaying of a large part of the working people.
Many years later, when the actions of the revisionist leadership of the CPSU headed by Gorbachev created the appropriate conditions, the rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat, elections in the territories and metamorphosis of the leading cadres facilitated the counterrevolutionary seizure of power.
The developments were as follows. Soon after the XXVIII Congress under the influence of petty bourgeois and bourgeois elements in the party, its leadership under the guidance of Gorbachev completely abandoned communist strategy and replaced it with the so called common reason and the course towards Perestroika, to actual transition to the other, bourgeois social order – Capitalism. The introduction of the term «perestroika» itself ignored Lenin’ warning that: «…we don’t need to rebuild, on the contrary, we must help correct many faults present in the Soviet system and in the whole system of management, so as to help tens of millions of people». Such situation can be explained both by basic theoretical ignorance of some and conscious anti-communism of others.
Revisionist, mutated to anti-communist leadership of the CPSU who contributed to growing bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties under the slogan of political pluralism (some of them even in the form of platforms within the CPSU) allowed finalizing anticonstitutional setting up of parliamentary system as a ready instrument to perform the dictatorship of bourgeoisie.
With a blessing from anti-communist leadership of the CPSU the state power that didn’t have any control from working masses started antinational politics of increasing prices, privatization, encouraging of local and transnational capital. Foreign politics were also subordinated to the latter.
Restoration of commodity production and Capitalism gave birth to national bourgeoisie in all republics of FSU that claimed their «rights» to the socialized wealth of «their” republics, to «their» markets and caused growth of bourgeois nationalism and murderous clashes between nations. All this was portrayed as «a movement towards human democratic Socialism», that was in fact yet another verbal smoke screen for the destructors of Socialism.
Communist, i.e. genuine patriotic forces within the party and the people not only realized the fatal consequences of the course taken, they also resisted it in practice: they demanded the so-called «architects» of Perestroika and other turncoats on all levels should be expelled from the party, they set up such organizations of resistance as the United front of working people, Communist Initiative Movement and Marxist Platform within CPSU.
Communist forces confronted the «reformers at the XXVIII Congress of the CPSU when they warned both the party and the people in their «Statement of minority». They claimed that the course towards market would lead to heavy suffering of the people and to downfall of the party itself. Nevertheless, the «reformers” supported by opportunists managed to gain the majority.
After the XXVIII Congress the ruling clique continued their antipopular course, the Constitution of the USSR being actually thrown away. The crisis intensified and gave birth to a number of conflicts: those were the conflict between central government and the republic, between legislative and executive authorities, within the executive bodies themselves till all those conflicts culminated in a generalized conflict in the form of the so called GKCHP (State commission on the introduction of the state of emergency). Nevertheless incompetent and irresolute actions of the said committee that basically followed the same market course only provoked the fit of anticommunist hysteria. The events of August 1991 allowed bourgeois forces to follow the course to Capitalism openly, they signed the infamous treaty on disbanding the USSR and exchanged the Red banner for the one of the old Russia, that was once used by the Nazi collaborator general Vlasov.
By the beginning of nineties Socialism had been temporarily defeated not only in the USSR but also in many other countries of the world. The Council of Economic Cooperation as well as the Warsaw Treaty were both disbanded, whereas the forces of bourgeois counterrevolution that had come to power started to reconstruct Capitalism in all former socialist European countries.
The final dissolution of the remnants of Soviet power and the socialist character of ownership in Russia was connected with the events of October 1993. After those events Soviets as a symbol of people’s power seized to exist even formally, whereas the state officials started openly calling the social order in Russia Capitalism.
There were other mistakes. These were mistakes committed in the course of struggling, mistakes of pioneers, the mistakes that could be and were corrected. Still, the above theoretical, political and economic mistakes pertaining to the main issue of Leninism, the mistakes made by the leadership that turned into revisionism and apostasy and, in certain cases, into conscious though disguised betrayal of the workers’ cause led Soviet communists to a temporary – we are sure of that – defeat.
IV. Present-day communist wings of our time and literature. Anti-science and pseudo-
communistic ideological streams of our time
In the «Manifesto of the Communist Party» the whole Chapter III
«Socialist and communist literature» is dedicated to the analysis of various forms of bourgeois ideological wings that tried to hide themselves behind the name Socialism. There are described reactionary (feudal) Socialism, petty bourgeois, conservative bourgeois, utopian and religious Socialisms. All features of these wings described by the classics are still topical as in one way or another all modern theories, wings and perversions of scientific Communism can be reduced to them. All of them were gradually reduced to the bourgeois Socialism with the development of Capitalism. In the Manifesto there is demonstrated less systematic at that time but a more practical variety that in various forms has been adhered to by the overwhelming majority of opportunists and right wing deviators: «A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labor, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government.
Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.
Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois socialism.
It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois – for the benefit of the working class». Modern varieties of bourgeois Socialism fit perfectly to this description.
4.1. Eurocommunism is not Communism.
Eurocommunism is a right wing deviation in the Communist movement, a policy and theoretical foundation of a set of biggest communist parties of the Western Europe in the second half of the XX century. Opportunists abandoned the proletarian dictatorship, they practically tackled an improvement of capitalism, thus refusing from their main goal – from the socialist revolution. Gradually on the basis of Eurocommunism there appeared a party of Euroleft, which includes a number of parties, that still go on to call themselves Communist, with some of such parties even from the former Soviet republics – the Communist Party of Moldavia. All these parties adhere to the position of Anti-Stalinism. It is these parties, who claim, that Stalinism and fascism are equally totalitarian systems. I.e. they have ambiguously anti-Soviet direction. Many of these parties refused from proletarian symbols of Hammer and Sickle as if they have been outdated. Others have only their historical tradition and Communist Choice (like that of Gorbachev) as the only revolutionary theory positions left. They are preoccupied by the protection of sexual minorities’ rights rather than organize the struggle of the working class. Today these parties are inscribed into the legal system of the EU, among other things they are political subjects, registered by the EU laws and financed from the EU budget. Reactionary character of this direction, actually up to anti-communism is evident.
4.2. Market socialism is a reverse traffic from socialism towards capitalism. Gorbachev’s dream: to move towards capitalism under the Red Banner. The way of the Communist party of China and the Communist Party of Russian Federation.
Allegiance to the market socialism theory in the economy and proclamation of a parliament as a body of people’s power in politics are two characteristic features of today’s opportunism, revisionism and relegation in the Communist Movement, and a consequence of this is the removal of masses from the real political struggle and the limitation of the working people by the role of an electorate, giving its votes to the party leaders. The victory strategy of these opportunistic parties is reduced to the promises of success in the forthcoming elections and to the limitation of the whole social and political struggle to the campaigning for «honest elections». Such parties receive good financing from the state budget for such parliamentary limitation. Any other non-parliamentary forms of class struggle with the bourgeois political system are not applied by these parties, and even if such struggles are declared in words, they are terminated in practice.
In Russia, the role of a successor of the opportunistic Gorbachev’s line is now played by the CPRF headed by Gennady Zyuganov. Substantial features of their relegation policy are as follows:
– its proclamation that the limitation for revolutions in Russia isnow of;
– their renunciation of the proletarian dictatorship as well as anypractical organization of class struggle;
– their confession and proclamation of parliamentarism aspeople’s power;
– their allegiance to the model of market socialism;
– their support of the Russian Orthodox Church and declarationof its all edged positive role in the development of morality (spirituality) in the society, and so on.
Just to be clear let us remind, that since the beginning of the new bourgeois parliament of Russia (the State Duma, that started in 1993) the CPRF had among its parliamentarians several tens of traitors (defectors), who left their party faction and sided with the bourgeois regime, and among them two former chairmen of parliament (Rybkin and Seleznev). With all that in their parliamentary faction among tens of their deputies they have (and had) no leaders of a real workers’ movement.
The CPRF at least three times saved the bourgeois regime headed by Yieltsin. First time in 1993 during the confrontation between of President Yieltsin and the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation in the most critical moment Zyuganov in his TV statement called on people to refrain from participation in the political struggle, and to stay at home. Next day the House of Soviets was bombarded by tanks. Right after the CPRF took part in the subsequent elections, left the common front of boycott and thus helped to Yieltsin to get the referendum approval for his bourgeois constitution, took the place of opposition with the Communist name in the first State Duma (Russian Parliament). Second time it was during the 1996 presidential elections, when Zyuganov as a candidate for presidency got to the second tour and then turned of his activity, but, nevertheless, as it is well known now, he got a majority of votes, however he refused from struggling, and recognizing the electoral falsification he was the among the first to congratulate Yieltsin with his victory.
And third time after the 1998 crisis and default after the resignation of Premier Kirienko, the CPRF and Zyuganov personally supported the government of Primakov-Maslyukov, which devaluated the Russian rouble by about 4 times and paid up to the Russian workers multibillion salary and wages debts by these devaluated roubles and thus turned of the wave of popular manifestations against the authorities. This «popular government» existed for only 5 months, and after the situation got quite, it was resigned.
But comrades from the CPRF liked the role of capitalism saviors so much, that they raised this slogan of Popular Confidence Government to the level of their Party Program. Frankly speaking, today the CPRF exercises the function of a damper of the capitalist regime, diverting the protest energy of popular masses to the route of parliamentary illusions and endless, fruitless campaigning for «honest elections». As the result of electoral success they just promise to set up a Popular Confidence Government. Thus we can see an original way of survival of the «nomenklatura» leadership of this party (elite decision-makers and administrators), who long ago had nothing to do with Communism, enjoyed good financial support from the state budget (for the last ten years the financial support of parliamentary parties from the state budget increased by 304 times). One can say, that outspoken renegades and true opportunists are employed with the bourgeois authorities as their staff «protectors of people».
In the world, a special role in the promotion of market socialism belongs to the Communist Party of China, which formally did not abandon the proletarian dictatorship, has a very negative assessment of Gorbachev’s perestroika experience, expels from its leadership its own Chinese gorbachevites, but now is pursuing the co-called all edged New Economic Policy (NEP). The CPC consistently and beyond any measure implements capitalist elements not only in this country’s economy, but also in its political system. Communism for China more and more turns into a product of inside consumption for management and control of working people masses. In spite of all the success of the Chinese economy as well as theoretical foundation of this line by references to Lenin’s NEP, we should note a substantial difference, that Bolsheviks admitted capitalist elements in the economy calling it «a retreat» and being well aware of its serious danger. We enter into a mortally dangerous skirmish in the field of ideology, – Lenin said. With all that Bolsheviks used the NEP and were taking necessary measures to strengthen the state sector, the centralized foundation in management and planned economy. Chinese comrades, in our view, are moving in the opposite direction. With all that they call this movement «an offensive» and at the same time they introduce changes in their party’s constitution as well as in their country’s laws, recognizing businessmen as their new, at least on the level of the working people, social basis. Indeed we see in reality the implementation of Gorbachev’s dream: a movement into capitalism under the red flag.
Economic achievements of China, certainly, impress and deserve most of respect, but they do not necessarily mean success in the construction of Socialism. Such a satisfaction, as Lenin said, can be provided by capitalism too. Today the People’s Republic of China is the World’s second in the amount of billionaires, and Russia is the third. Both countries are sure to be rather far from the construction of classless society – Communism.
Chinese comrades many times referred to the example of Dan Sao Pin’s wisdom and his saying, that: «It does not matter which color is the cat, the main thing is that it catches mice». Today the time has come to respond to Chinese comrades in their spirit: «Mice do not care what color is the cat that will eat them». Chinese working people suffer not just from the highest level of exploitation, that is proved by high density of their presence in hardest (black) jobs in Russia, but the ever harder oppression of purely capitalist elements, and almost complete impossibility of struggle of the working people against this capitalism. And plans of construction of the foundation of socialism, prolonged by the CPC for one hundred years, pose the question about any advantages of such a socialism over ordinary capitalism.
With all that the Chinese capitalism plays a very active role in the World: on one hand, being a business partner of the American imperialism, on the other hand, actively integrating it self into the economies of many other countries and participating in the intensification of exploitation of their workers. For example, Chinese companies take part in privatization of seaports in Greece, that is actively defied by the Communist Party of Greece and the Greek working people. Chinese companies are particularly famous for their exploitation of oilfield workers and miners in Kazakhstan. The shooting of workers in Zhanauzen in 2011 is known to the proletarians of the whole World. One should also note, that unlike the Soviet Union and the CPSU, the CPC provides no practical support to the world Communist and revolutionary movement. And in as far as their forums of the parties sympathizers of the socialist idea is concerned, they look more like assemblages of scholars-quacks of socialdemocracy, distorting the ideas of Scientific Socialism.
I have to say, though it hurts, that we predict a sad repetition of the CPSU fate by the Chinese comrades.
Thus, we can note, that opportunism is not simply leading the Communist movement in the wrong direction; moreover, in alliance with the bourgeois authorities, it stands up against the orthodox, that is, revolutionary Marxism. This fact was noted yet by Vladimir I. Lenin, when he said, that bourgeoisie always supports the opportunistic party, which in its name and political language is closer, is more like a real revolutionary party. The right deviation, revisionism and apostasy did not stop with gorbachevism – the destruction of the CPSU and the USSR in 1991, it is still in action.
4.3. Socialism of the 21st century: a sort of improved capitalism in Latin America and other countries.
Proceeding with our review, let us note, that it is fashionable today to speak of a certain 21st century socialism. But what else it can be? Perhaps not that of the 20th or 19th century. For those living there is only this century – the 21st one. Certainly, good wishes and progressive measures stand behind this slogan. But questions of general laws, necessary and obligatory signs of socialism depart on the second and third plan, that is, there is a departure from the theory of scientific communism as a science. It is also opportunism, even if today it brings some temporary success. This success is not a reliable one, it is not fixed in the political system. With some minor change of outside political conjuncture (current state of affairs) or of the inside situation reactionary forces quickly return the given positions. The example of heroic Venezuela right after the death of Ugo Chaves until nowadays is very characteristic for back-and-oscillating motion of their socialism. Life has proved the truth of the founders of Marxism, that
Communism is a science, and it should be treated accordingly. The Communist theory may be summed up in the single sentence: «Abolition of private property». In order to put this position into reality, communists should be guided by the theory of Scientific Communism. In the 20th century, the parties standing on the platform of the
Orthodox Marxism, united in the Communist (third) International. The Twenty-one Conditions of admission to the Comintern held tasks of communist parties, i.e. their obligations, and the main among them was the struggle for party’s revolutionary character, struggle with opportunism. And today there are not few parties in the World, which stand on the positions of revolutionary Marxism. The theoretical thought has not being dying down, and research work of scholars, standing on Marxist and Leninist positions, is going on.
The time has come to return to our origins. There is no other way.
Long live to Marxism and Leninism, the teaching about revolutionary struggle of proletarians of all countries.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
V. Our perspective is a struggle for the revival of Soviet power and socialism.
Should we long for socialism, once capitalism can provide rather high level of welfare to people? Apologists of capitalism respond to this question by their call to refrain from revolutions and to follow the road of evolution. As if one should try to obtain social justice and protection in the framework of existing social system, and avoid upheavals, perturbations and cataclysms, that are pregnant with civil wars. Here in Russia they got frighten with new «maidans» and with the danger of Russia’s disintegration. Shortly speaking, they call for the national unity and struggle for the prosperous fatherland: for Russia, for the Ukraine, for Greece or any other country headed by its native national bourgeoisie.
Is it so? Does the struggle for a replete life cover all tasks of struggle for the workers’ cause? What does the experience of our socialism, that was perhaps not so replete, but real? What was there, that was better than civilized and corpulent capitalism?
We, the Soviet communists, who had been living and fighting in the Soviet age, responding to the question: «What was better under socialism?», remind first of all even not the protection of people from the market, not the absence of unemployment, and not free preschool, school and high education, free medical treatment and even not our open free housing. We say, that most important were the relations among people. They were much more honest, more pure, more just. They were more human. We used to say: our factory, our house, our pioneer camp, our country, our people. The Soviet People was a real and available community, and not a fable of propagandists. We did not bow from the waist and called one another comrades. It is not by nothing that the counterrevolution in the period of Gorbachev, when inside themselves counterrevolutionaries frankly discussed their purposes to restore capitalism, in public, outside, for a long time they had being coming up under socialist slogans: they were constructing a socialism with human face, restored Lenin’s norms of party life, sought for the transference of power from the party to the Soviets and the like. During elections of USSR people’s deputies (MPs) in 1989, Boris Yieltsin in his answer to the question of «who is the ideal of a human being and a politician for you» – stated at once and without any doubts: «LENIN!» Referring to the Lenin’s methodology of the NEP, they longed for an open market and created bearing spot dots for capitalism. We know, that the economic policy in the state is not just gross output indications, the consumption level, and percentage of growth and so on. First of all new relations among the people were constructed. We are very well aware, that it worth fighting for such a human relations. We organize and call for struggle those, who do not want to be masters, but will never be a lacquer as well!
We all know Lenin’s saying: «Give us an organization of revolutionaries, and we will overturn Russia!». Let us remind, that these words were written in his work «What is to be done?» in 1902, i.e. in the situation, that was hardly any better than that of ours today. These words were written with pain and suffering from the feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness among revolutionaries then: «I used to work in a study circle that set itself very broad, allembracing tasks; and all of us, members of that circle, suffered painfully and acutely from the realization that we were acting as amateurs at a moment in history when we might have been able to say, varying a well-known statement: «Give us an organization of revolutionaries, and we will overturn Russia!» Lenin finished his work with the following words: «But we firmly believe that the fourth period will lead to the consolidation of militant Marxism, that Russian Social-Democracy will emerge from the crisis in the full flower of manhood, that the opportunist rearguard will be «replaced» by the genuine vanguard of the most revolutionary class.
In the sense of calling for such a «replacement» and by way of summing up what has been expounded above, we may meet the question «What is to be done?» with a brief reply: «Put an end to the third period». Today’s Communist movement also needs to put an end to confusion and vacillation in our ranks and come back to the road of militant Marxism.
5.1. Modern instruments of bourgeoisie in their fight against the communist movement.
Today in many countries of the world imperialists ban the activity of communist parties (for instance, in the Baltic states and in Ukraine). They ban communist symbols, they do not admit communists to take part in elections, and the like (bourgeoisie are acting in the same way in Ukraine, as well as in the popular republics of the Donets Basin). Everywhere they are lashing anti-communist propaganda that varies only in the degree of its aggression. However, the main method today is not a ban, but misleading, diluting of the Communist movement. The Russian Communist Workers’ Party claims, that today opportunism and revisionism have turned from natural (common) deviations in the Communist movement into well-supervised arms of bourgeoisie. The most famous example of such a degeneration is the above-mentioned current of Eurocommunism, that has transformed into the Euroleft party. It is clear, that such parties are not dangerous for bourgeoisie and they are supported by this social class.
In Russia this role is played by alleged opposition: the CPRF, who have their quota for revolutions exhausted: the socialists, and recently yet another artificially created party called Communists of Russia was added to them. The latter party is involved in open apologetics of the bourgeois leadership and is even proud of being called «a Kremlin Project». This party was created as a hindrance for the real Communist movement in election campaigns, as well as for the weakening of the CPRF itself, and for gradual elimination of the very name of Communists from the public political arena. All these parties are seeking for a good, civilized and even popular capitalism, very much like the CPRF, promising the People’s Confidence Government under the bourgeois system. Recent elections in Kazakhstan on the 20th of March 2016 is a good example how the bourgeois regime applies this tactics of inducement of «hand-feed communists». Having banned the CP of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev’s political engineers brought to the elections and led to parliament the so-called Communist Popular Party of Kazakhstan (the CPPK). Their electoral program flows a stream of distorted Marxism as well as a simple and open laudation of Elbasy ideas, a renegade from the former Soviet CPSU leadership, a chief of the bourgeois counterrevolution and a permanent president of Kazakhstan. Here are some short extracts:
«The CPPK is a reliable partner of the state…», «Communists
actively support the political course of the country…», «the Party supports the strategic priorities of the actual social policy of the state», «one of the main tasks of our political activity the party considers a total support in implementation of the state initiatives…».
In Russia the bourgeoisie is more subtle, but the essence is the same: these misters, as we have already mentioned, are employed as protectors of the people, getting a good award for this from the bourgeois authorities.
A general common feature of such false parties of the working people is their political rhetoric from the name of the working people, allegedly for the interests of the working people, but with isolation of the working people themselves from the struggle and even more from the participation in power and in posing the question of conquering political power. It is a cause of professional elite, according to these opportunistic and renegade misters.
5.2. Lenin’s views on the methods of the bourgeois struggle against the forthcoming revolution.
Those who more or less carefully studied Lenin know, that Lenin warned about such methods of the bourgeois struggle against revolutionary forces. First of all, one should note, that bourgeoisie relies on objectively available difficulties and disorder inside workers’ movement itself, and above all on opportunists:
Lenin noted: «The opportunist does not betray his party, he does not act as a traitor, he does not desert it. He continues to serve it sincerely and zealously. But his typical and characteristic trait is that he yields to the mood of the moment, he is unable to resist what is fashionable, he is politically short sighted and spineless. Opportunism means sacrificing the permanent and essential interests of the party to momentary, transient and minor interests»68.
This bourgeois influence is more effective, when it is not disunited,
68 14, p. 35.
but organized opportunists, who act, sometimes organized in parties, so yet Lenin noted, that bourgeoisie always support the political party, that in its name and language is most similar to a real revolutionary one. With all that bourgeoisie does not let opportunists utterly shift to the right, including the change of their name, because in this case in their place there may appear a real organization dangerous for the bourgeoisie. Today this method has been developed to perfect.
The struggle of bourgeoisie against Communism always relied on the institution of provocateurs. V.I. Lenin in his «Infantile Disorder in the Communist Movement» wrote: «In many countries, including the most advanced, the bourgeoisie are undoubtedly sending agents provocateurs into the Communist parties and will continue to do so».
One should understand, that today’s agents provocateur have got more experienced for the last hundred years and they are now more skillful and perfect, then under Czarism and Zubatov. And it is well proved by the examples of the Communists of Russia and the Communist Party of the Social Justice .
However, the main attack is certainly held through the brainwash, through the distortion of ideas. In his fundamental work «the Revolution and the State» Lenin started his first chapter by explanation of this danger: «What is now happening to Marx’s theory has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the «consolation» of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it (highlighted be the ed.). Today, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the labor movement concur in this doctoring of Marxism. They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie»70.
5.3. Today’s methods of the bourgeois attack on Communists in Russia.
As I mentioned above, in Russia today (and all over the world), the instrument of diluting the revolutionary teaching is applied directly and openly. Back in 1999, Vladimir Putin, not yet a President, elaborated his position on this question in his interview quoted in his book «First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s»:
«… There was always a cooperation with communists in our Duma. There was no law accepted without the support of communists. And there was no conspiracy, aif we speak seriously. It seems to me, that there are two ways in relations with communists. They have all chance to become a modern parliamentary party in the European sense of the word. …Communists are the only large, really large party with a social basis, but with ideological «cockroach».
– Call these «cockroaches» by their names.
– For instance, their demand of confiscation and nationalization.(the more the class struggle, the course toward the socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat… – Author’s note) – It won’t be?
– Just these will never be. Communists will either alter theirprogrammatic positions, and then they will be a big left party, I repeat, of European type, or they won’t be able to do this and lose their social basis at the extent of its natural being out and they will gradually descend from the scene.
70 33, p. 5.
– They hardly consider so themselves?
– Their leaders, oddly enough, understand all that. And they aregetting prepared, in my view, for the alteration. They cannot do this today, they are afraid, that their electorate will take it for betrayal. And here it is very important not to miss a moment – when, how much and to what extent they need to alter in themselves.
One has to recognize that the parliamentary communists had thoroughly accepted this presidential position and implement it in a very subtle and skillful way in the European stile, becoming in fact a variety of a bourgeois party. And we again and again get sure in how right was Lenin, who warned, that real communists withstand all bourgeois parties at once.
Towards the party of a New type – along the Leninist path.
Is there such a party in Russia? A new type party, Leninist party?
The claim «there is such a party» was thrown by V.I. Lenin in the first all-Russian congress of Soviets in June 1917. (There was more than one thousand deputies, of which 822 had the right to vote. The Bolshevik delegation had only 105 seats, yielding to the Socialist Revolutionaries (285 seats), так and to Mensheviks (248 seats). So Lenin responded to the statement of a men shevik, the chairman of Petrograd Soviet, I.G. Ceretelli, who claimed, that no one can call the party, which would risk to take power in its hands and to take responsibility for everything happening in Russia. Bolsheviks, is known, both took power and demonstrated with their further activity, that the Working Class Party can govern the state of the working people. The USSR achievements are well known.
Bourgeoisie in all countries of the World from the very origin of the Communist movement had being fighting against the parties of their grave-digger in the most wicked way. They tried to suffocate the young Soviet Russia with their intervention – failed. Then in 1936 anti-Comintern Pact was constructed headed by Hitlerite Germany. Fascism was defeated by the forces of anti-hitlerite coalition headed by the Soviet Union, who made the main imperialist countries participate in the struggle with fascism. The fighters of the Workersand-Peasants Red Army raised their red flag with hammer and sickle on it over the fascist couch. The authority of communists was growing, but even more grew the bourgeois hatred to communists.
So how today one can understand various parties in the World and in Russia, who call themselves communist, and yet issue a party card number one to Vladimir I. Lenin? In our view, in the world Communist movement it is necessary to return to the Lenin’s idea of a New Type Party and to the main criteria of constructing a party, capable to lead people to socialism.
The first is a confession in theory and work in practice for the setting of the proletarian dictatorship.
The second is the beginning of implementation of the first, through the organization of the party as a vanguard of the working class, organizing the struggle of the class itself and leading this class by the road of conquering political power by the proletariat. Such a party applies all forms and methods of struggle, famous in theory and practice of the workers’ movement, including parliamentary forms, but a Communist Party use them for the development of the broadest class struggle, involves into this struggle advanced workers themselves, and not shift it onto professional politicians, even if they are from the party nomenklatura.
Recalling famous saying of V.I. Lenin «the awakening of the man in «the beast of burden», an awakening of such enormous and epochmaking significance that all sacrifices made to achieve it are legitimate»71, one can cay, that the party of Lenin’s type goes on to fight for such an awakening, while other parties followed the way only for the increase of the norm of the oats distribution to the «beast burden».
71 1, p. 403.
So, is there in Russia a party of the working class, does it express interests of all working people, are there real communists? In as far as our understanding of this task and the choice of the movement direction to this task is concerned there is such a party. Just so understanding the task and having chosen this direction of movement, the Russian Communist Workers’ Party is seeking to become such a party, necessary for the working people, a party devoted to their interests, working in close conjunction with the political block of forces standing on working class positions – the Russian United Workers’ Front (Rot Front). Our program is based on the development of struggle of workers themselves. Only by such a struggle, and not by begging, one can achieve something. And with corresponding development of the scales and organization of the struggle one can pose the question about the power of the working people – about the Soviet Power.
A wonderful Soviet poet Evgeny Dolmatovsky in his poem «Hands of Gevara» expressed the following idea:
«There are defeats, inside of which in the very bottom
The powder of future victory is poignantly clutched
It must break out in tomorrow’s fire!»
Today we are feeling a strongest reactionary pressure, but one should in dure it and fight for to bring the spark of the revolutionary knowledge and revolutionary fire to the powder of people’s energy at the right moment. Lenin said: «Whether or not there will be a revolution does not depend on us alone. But we shall do our work, and this work will never be in vain». Let us in our thoughts and in our deeds follow the example of Lenin, and the Bolshevik party.
German comrades told us, that workers wrote on a stele to Marx and Engels: «Not bad, next time it will be better!» We are also certain of that!
100 years have passed since from «Avrora» gunshot ushered in a new era of New Life of humanity. The World did not forget, can’t but forget this great event, because since that moment the World has changed. The World marks This Day. And people of labor are looking at communists and at the working class of Russia with the hope, that their experience of struggle, their experience of making a great revolution and construction of socialism, the experience of success and analysis of mistakes will help to the working people of the whole World to defend their interests and come to the road of progress – the road of socialism.
The working people in the world also hope, that communists and the workers in Russia will again became initiators in preparation and shaping up of a new stage of the socialist revolution. And we, communists of the RCWPCPSU, consider it our historical obligation.
Let us not falter in heart and will along our way!
Printed by the JSC «Tyumen Publishing House», Shishkova St. 6, 625031, Tyumen.
Commercial order . Circulation – 400 copies.
 Lenin V.I. Full Coll. CIT., vol. 22, p. 173. (Hereinafter, quoting V.I. Lenin, we refer to Full Collection of Lenin’s Works (ПСС in Russian), 5th edition – M.: Izdatelstvo politicheskoy literatury, 1967 (PDF). All quotes are translated by publishers).
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 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October, 17th – 31st 1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.I, p.151 44 Ibid, p. 166.
 Ibid, p. 209.
 Ibid, pp. 210-211, 212.
 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October, 17th – 31st 1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol. III, p. 303.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 33, p. 16.
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 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 39, p. 78.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 248.
 Program of Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party adopted at the II Congress of the party. July-August 1903. Protocols. Moscow. 1959. p. 419.
 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October,17th – 31st 1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.III, p. 274.
 The XXII Congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October,17th – 31st 1961. – Verbatum. – Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1962. Vol.III,, p. 238.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 38, p. 417-418.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 221.
 The Communist international in documents, 1919-1932. – Моscow, 1933. p. 24.
 Lenin’s collection, vol. XI, 1931. – 2nd edition – p. 36.
 Lenin’s collection, vol. XI, 1931. – 2nd edition – p. 370.
 Stalin I.V. Economic problems of Socialism in the USSR. – S.-Petersburg, 2010, p. 32.
 Ilienkov E. On address to ecomonists 24.II.65.- URL: http://caute.ru/ilyenkov/texts/daik/ econ.html
 XXVIII Congress of CPSU, July 2-13, 1990. – Verbatim. – Vol. I. – Мoscow: Politizdat, 1991, p. 504.
 XXVIII Congress of CPSU, July 2-13, 1990. – Verbatim. – Vol. I. – Мoscow: Politizdat, 1991, p. 605.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 44, p. 326-327.
 Marx K., Engels F. Manifesto of the Communist Party. – Moscow, 2007, pp. 83-84.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 127.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 6, p. 183.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 41, p. 29.
 Full Coll. CIT., vol. 1, p. 403.