October Socialist Revolution:
Creating the Subjective Conditions for Revolution Is the Task of the Times
June 22, 2016
In our 2/5/16 issue we discussed the objective conditions which led to the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917.
The October Revolution broke out when capitalism had reached the stage of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, bringing the contradictions inherent in capitalism to the bursting point. In particular, the rise of monopoly capitalism intensified 1) the contradiction between the socialized character of the productive forces and the system of private capitalist appropriation, which can only be resolved through the proletarian, socialist revolution. 2) the contradiction between imperialist states and the oppressed nations and peoples, which gives rise to national liberation movements against imperialism and 3) the contradictions between rival monopoly groups and capitalist states, which inexorably lead to imperialist wars for the division and redivision of the world.
It is precisely because these three fundamental contradictions not only continue to exist and develop but can only be resolved through the revolution and socialism, that the October Socialist Revolution marked the great watershed in human history, the beginning of the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism on a world scale. The whole history of this century is the history of one attempt after another by the working class and oppressed peoples to storm the citadels of capital and establish the new socialist system. Despite all the various twists and turns in world history, the ebbs and flow of the revolution, the basic contradictions which gave rise to the October Revolution are even sharper today. Humankind faces only two perspectives: either the perpetuation of the moribund, rotting capitalist system which in its inevitable decay and decline is imposing continuous wars, massive economic dislocations, exploitation and misery on a world scale, or the successful construction of socialism which alone can open the path for progress, enlightenment and the emancipation of the peoples. In the U.S. and on a worldscale, the objective conditions are rotten ripe for the revolution and socialism. This remains the practical problem which is taken up for solution – the objective task which the working class, the oppressed people and all who stand for progress must face up to.
But while objective conditions demand fundamental change and the peoples have repeatedly risen in the attempt to win their emancipation, the October Revolution, as well as the experience of all the successes and failures of the revolution, teaches that victory can only be won when the workers and people have created the necessary subjective conditions. Only through its own self-conscious movement and organization, can the working class constitute itself as the leading force in society, win the battle for political power and carry through the necessary social transformations.
The lessons of the October Revolution as well as the demands of the contemporary class struggle show that in order to create the subjective conditions necessary for the victory of the revolution and socialism, the U.S. working class must, amongst other things: 1) build and continually strengthen its own Marxist-Leninist Party, a party linked to the working class with every fiber of its being, a party capable of leading the workers on the path of political independence and winning the struggle for political power. 2) place itself in the forefront of the struggle against the anti-social agenda and mobilize the whole people around a positive, forward-looking program which opens the path for progress; 3) strengthen its unity through an unremitting struggle against liberalism, social-democracy and all forces undermining the class independence and revolutionary mission of the working class.
1. Only the workers own independent political party, a party based on contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory, can inspire and mobilize the whole class to carry through its revolutionary mission to overthrow capitalism and build the new socialist society without the exploitation of human beings. Contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory shows, in the first place, the decisive role of the working class as the grave-digger of capitalism and the builder of the new socialist society. The working class is not only the productive class – the class whose labor produces all the material blessings – but in its very conditions of existence, the working class represents the advanced, socialized productive forces of society and the new relations amongst human beings which will be created under socialism. The working class deprived of all private property in the means of production can only emancipate itself by eliminating all forms of exploitation and oppression of the people. Only socialism can create the conditions for the renewed advance and all-around progress of human society. With tremendous productive forces at the disposal of humankind, we are ready to enter a period in which economic necessities no longer dominate human activities, an era characterized by the all-around development of the humanity of every individual and society as a whole. It is precisely the capitalist system, based on private ownership of the socialized means of production and the political rule of a few, which is blocking this development and it is precisely the working class, which has no stake in the present system, which must lead the way in ushering in the new society. Only by explaining and popularizing, far and wide, the class aims of the workers and by organizing on this basis, can the Party organize the working class as a class for itself.
On the basis of the revolutionary mission of the working class, contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory works out the immediate and long-range program which enables the workers to come into the political arena as a class for itself and contend with the monopoly capitalists over the fundamental direction of society. The Workers Party has worked out the general program of economic rights, democratic renewal, a democratic foreign policy and socialism. This program corresponds with the contemporary stage of social development and the burning concerns of the masses and shows the workers how to fight in the political arena under the present conditions.
Through one political battle after another, the Party not only advances the interests of the working class and people in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital but assists the workers in accumulating experience and organizing themselves. The goal of the workers’ independent political movement is to thoroughly defeat and uproot the state power of the capitalist class and create a new political power which empowers the workers and people as the real, sovereign decision-makers. Gaining the political power is the decisive step in empowering the workers to carry through the socialist transformation of society.
In order to place itself at the head of the whole class and lead it in the struggle for political power, the party of the working class must be linked with the workers with every fiber of its being. The workers’ struggle against the bourgeoisie is all-sided and the workers create many kinds of organizations and initiate many movements to advance their immediate and long-term interests, including trade unions, cultural groups, community organizations, etc. In addition to digging in in definite areas and leading the class struggle there on an all-sided basis, the Party works to provide militancy and organization to all the manifold organizations and struggles of the people. This work is necessary to oppose the splitting and liquidationist pressure exerted by the capitalists against the movement. At the same time, the Party also works to develop an ever-more organized and conscious section of the workers which shoulders responsibility for the immediate struggle and also informs these movements with consciousness of the general aims of the workers’ movement.
2. The working class must take the lead in mobilizing the whole people against the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital and in putting forward real solutions to the pressing problems facing our country.
Today the whole people face the necessity to mobilize themselves in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital. In these conditions, the working class must offer a concrete alternative.
The struggle for socialism is not merely a propaganda battle through which the workers counterpose their vision of socialism to capitalism. Far from it. The struggle for socialism unfolds through a continuous battle between the working class, led by its political party, and the capitalist class, over the burning problems of the day. The workers must contend with the bourgeoisie over the fundamental direction of society in order to come to the fore as the leading force in society and rally the whole people around a program which opens the path for progress. In fact, it is only through such concrete political battles that the workers give definition and content to the concrete social, economic, political and other problems which must be solved by the proletarian revolution and socialism.
Today the whole people face the necessity to mobilize themselves in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital. On every front, capitalism, in all-sided crisis and decay, is pushing our country backwards.
In these conditions, the working class and the Workers Party must not only unite the broadest sections of people in struggle against the anti-social agenda but offer a concrete alternative. The program of economic rights, democratic renewal and a democratic foreign policy aims both at maximizing the opposition to the offensive of big capital and at mobilizing people to fight for a pro-social agenda which can lead our country back onto the high road of civilization and progress.
The program of economic rights at once asserts the claims that all human beings have on society and constitutes a direct challenge to the prerogatives of private property in the means of production. The program of economic rights asserts that every human being, simply by virtue of his/her humanity, has the inalienable right to a job or a livelihood commensurate with society’s degree of development, that everyone has a right to free, comprehensive health care, to the best education and so forth. This program which includes such immediate demands as “Stop Paying the Rich” and “Increase Social Investments” puts the workers in the center of political developments with a real alternative to the capitalist offensive.
The program of democratic renewal gives content and direction to the widespread disillusionment of the people with the political process and political system, showing the workers and people how to truly humanize society by empowering the people themselves as the decision-makers and the real sovereign power over their own affairs. The program of democratic renewal aims at breaking the monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. It includes such demands as the demand that every member of society enjoy, in practice, equal rights to nominate candidates and run for office, that mechanisms be created which guarantee the people a direct role in government and the ability to hold elected officials accountable and subordinate to the electorate. The program of democratic renewal includes the struggle for minority rights and demands equal social, political and economic rights for all human beings.
The program for a democratic foreign policy goes directly against the militarism and interventionist program of monopoly capital and aims at bringing into being that world of peace and friendship amongst which the peoples have always aspired to and fought for. The program for a democratic foreign policy demands an end to imperialist aggression and intervention, an end to Big Power military blocks. It demands a world system based on the sovereign equality of all nations and peoples and the right of every people to develop their economic, political and social life in accord with their own sovereign decisions.