International Communist Movement
‘We are out to rebuild the world. We are out to put an end to the imperialist world war into which hundreds of millions of people have been drawn … a war which cannot end in a truly democratic peace without the greatest proletarian revolution in the history of mankind. (V.I. Lenin, April, 1917)
The Great October Revolution awoke the enthusiasm and hope of the proletarians and working people of the world, and also the great hatred of the capitalist classes and reaction against the Bolshevik Party and its great leaders. It was a revolution unprecedented in the history of humanity, a revolution that ‘shook the world.’
In Russia the revolution led to the formation not only of a State and different governments, but also of a genuine civilisation, a higher form of life (socialisation and collectivisation), a organisation of nations based on equality and freedom of the peoples, and a cultural and scientific flourishing that astounded the world.
For decades the USSR was a decisive factor in human history; it managed to consolidate an iron popular unity that allowed it to successfully overcome the harsh tests that it had to confront: civil war, imperialist intervention, collectivisation and industrialisation, the war of extermination and invasion perpetrated by the Hitlerite hordes instigated by the so-called western democracies; the spectacular reconstruction of the country after the war, etc.
One of the many experiences and lessons that the October Revolution offers us, of the activities of the first socialist State in history, is putting proletarian internationalism into practice, summed up in the famous and correct slogan formulated in the Manifesto of the Communist Party: ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ An active internationalism, not mere hot air as that of the social-democrats and others. Soviet Power, applied in Russia in clear and powerful form, transformed the czarist empire into a union of Republics with voluntary adhesion of the peoples of its many nationalities.
The USSR itself received the same internationalism in its struggles against the imperialist coalition, aligned with the Kerenskyists, which in the first months of the Revolution tried to strangle it and unleashed a cruel civil war. The sailors of the French fleet in the Black Sea who, headed by the Communist Marty, refused to attack the USSR were an example of that internationalism. Proletarian internationalism should govern the relations among the fraternal parties, on the basis of equality, keeping in mind the uneven development, both on the organisational level as well as on the political level.
Internationalism has not only more or less great periodic manifestations, such as when the International Brigades went to Spain to fight against Nazi fascism, but also has organisational forms. Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and all the great revolutionaries understood this. After the October Revolution, Lenin and the Bolsheviks organised the Third International, which had among other responsibilities the formation of Bolshevik parties, Marxist-Leninist parties as we say today, in all countries. Today this is also a task that must be carried out. The International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations, ICMLPO, is an expression of that need, but it is still far from being a new International. Proletarian internationalism that Lenin, Stalin, Dimitrov and others arduously defended is the international solidarity of the proletarians of the world, and just as the Bolsheviks did, it must be one of the principles and components of true Marxist-Leninist parties.
In the same manner, and following the example of the great leaders of the building of socialism in the USSR, we state that revolutionary violence is indispensable to oust the bourgeoisie and other capitalist forces that act against the proletariat and peoples of the world. Revolutionary violence, at a certain stage of the class struggle, is inherent in this. Revolutionary violence, whose highest expression is the dictatorship of the proletariat, ‘the organisation of the vanguard of the oppressed into the ruling class to crush the oppressors,’ is one of the principles most vilified by the social-democrats, revisionists and other opportunists. Khrushchev, in the infamous 20th Congress, launched a whole series of calumnies and attacks against Stalin, against revolutionary violence and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Stalin, the great continuator of the work of Lenin, carried out an iron struggle for the application of that principle, which will long remain in the minds of all communists. We defend the work of Stalin and we say with Lenin: ‘Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois.’
In the course of the great achievements of Soviet Power, its vicissitudes and problems, arose the great treason of Khrushchev and his followers, which undermined the foundations of the socialist State in the USSR and unleashed the enthusiasm of the bourgeoisie and reactionaries of the world. Among these must be included the modern revisionists who, although with different forms and manifestations, form part of the same opportunist and anti-Marxist-Leninist bloc. The reactionaries predicted the end of communist ideas, of the decisive role of the proletariat, of the working class, and therefore, the uselessness of the communist parties.
We, the member parties and organisations of the ICMLPO maintain, state that the communist party is the indispensable motive force, which gives consciousness, organisation and leadership to the proletariat, as the main force in alliance with the poor peasantry where it exists, and the popular classes in their revolutionary struggle. The development of imperialism, the great advances in technology, the discoveries of all kinds that have taken place have not and can not liquidate the class struggle. All the achievements of the October uprising, led by Lenin and Stalin, continue to be applicable today; the class struggle continues to be the motive force of history, and the communist party the main motive force, with the responsibility of making this statement of Marx understood: ‘Man cannot be freed other than by his own action, not by the whim of a messiah or the will of a clear-sighted dictator.’
The thesis of the weak link, that is, where the fundamental contradictions are sharpest, particularly where the proletariat confronts the bourgeoisie, is also applicable today and should be kept in mind tactically in the international struggle of the communists. However, for the imperialist chain to break at the weak link or links, and lead to the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, will only be possible if the struggle is led by a genuine communist party, as the Revolution of 1917 showed. Russia was a weak link in the capitalist system, but it was not the only one. It was the communist party, under correct leadership, at the head of the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, who made that link break into pieces, who seized the Winter Palace and who took All Power for the Soviets. This is another of the great lessons and experiences of that heroic uprising, that will long remain in the annals of the revolution and that orients and inspires us.
It can be stated that without a Marxist-Leninist party, steeled in struggle and with a solid ideology, with organisational firmness and boldness and with experienced leaders who can foresee and sometimes take action before certain events, without such a Party, the popular masses will be able to obtain temporary successes, partial victories, but they never will be able to carry out the revolution in the most profound sense because ‘only a Party led by a vanguard theory can fulfill the mission of vanguard fighter.’
In commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution, led by Lenin, Stalin and other great Bolshevik leaders, the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations underscores and emphasises the applicability and validity today of Marxism-Leninism for the working class and peoples of the world, faced with the multitude of pseudo-Marxist theories, such as anarchism, social-democracy, Euro-communism, Trotskyism, utopias, etc. which are now trying to penetrate into the working class and the progressive sectors. Many of those theories, concocted by the bourgeoisie and their army of intellectual ‘critics,’ are no more than patchworks of old ideas, disguised as new ones, which always end up doing the work of reaction. They are new philosophers who discover nothing new, theoreticians who theorise and despise and ignore the force of action, of practice; their analyses are not to draw conclusions, but they theorise to explain pre-established conclusions. They are the ones who state that Marxism is obsolete, that Leninism is opposed to Marxism, etc., and they pull out of their hats theories that go ‘beyond Capital.’ For us Marxism, as well as the enormous and brilliant contributions of Lenin (Marxism-Leninism) not only is valid today, but the progress of the proletarian revolutionary forces, their taking root among the popular masses, the impulse of the vital struggle to overthrow and eradicate capitalism, to lead to the building of socialism depends on their correct application.
We recall the already classical formulation: ‘Marxism-Leninism is the science of the laws of nature and society, of the revolution of the exploited masses. […] It is the ideology of the working class and of its communist party.’ It is a living science, in movement; in the hands of communists it is not and never will be a catechism, a dogma, but a guide to action and dialectical analysis. As Lenin emphasised: ‘Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.’ Finally, we recall the words of Lenin: ‘The great honour of beginning the revolution has fallen to the Russian proletariat. But the Russian proletariat must not forget that its movement and revolution are only part of a world revolutionary proletarian movement.”Long Live the Great October Revolution!
International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations (ICMLPO), October 2007
Click here to return to the April 2008 index.