Long Live the Lessons of the Great October Revolution! Let us create the conditions for the victory of the Indian Revolution!

Submitted by cgpiadmin on Wed, 15/11/2017 - 17:09

Keynote Speech by Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary, Communist Ghadar Party of India, 4th November 2017

Comrades!

On this day, the 4th of November 100 years ago, energetic preparations were taking place in factories and army units all over Russia for the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist class. It was on 6th November, 1917, that Comrade Lenin arrived at Smolny, the headquarters of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Bolshevik) in the capital city of Petrograd. All through that night, revolutionary units of the army and detachments of the Red Guard kept arriving there. The Bolshevik Party directed them to the centre of the city, to surround the Winter Palace, where the Provisional Government had entrenched itself.

On 7th November, 1917, the working class captured political power in Russia. It shook the entire world. It struck terror in the hearts of the capitalists of all countries.

On 7th November, which was 25th October in the Russian calendar of that time, the revolutionary workers, soldiers and sailors stormed the Winter Palace and arrested the representatives of the Provisional Government. They occupied the Ministries, the State Bank as well as the railway stations, post and telegraph offices. Led by the Bolshevik Party, the working class captured political power in Russia. It shook the entire world. It struck terror in the hearts of the capitalists of all countries.

The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies began its proceedings at 10:40 pm on 7th November, coinciding with the storming of the Winter Palace. At 5 am on 8th November, the Congress approved an Appeal to Workers, Soldiers and Peasants, written by Lenin, declaring that the Congress of Soviets has taken political power into its hands. At its second sitting, which began at 9 pm on 8th November, the Congress adopted a Decree on Peace, bringing to an end Russia’s participation in the First World War. It adopted a Decree on Land, which deprived the landlords of hundreds of crores of acres of cultivable land and turned them over to peasant committees. It set up the first Soviet government headed by Comrade Lenin, who was elected as Chairman of the Council of Peoples’ Commissars.

Even though the Soviet Union does not exist today, the path blazed by the October Revolution continues to guide the struggle for the progress of society.

As many as 14 capitalist countries tried to overthrow the Soviet power through armed intervention. They got thoroughly routed. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established in 1922, bringing together the numerous nations of the former Russian Empire in a voluntary union.

The new Soviet state expropriated the big capitalists and converted large-scale industry, transport, banking and trade into social enterprises under public ownership. It inspired the poor peasants to voluntarily pool their land and create large-scale collective farms. The production and distribution of all goods and services were brought under one single plan to fulfill the needs of all the working people. A new socialist economic system emerged, in which there was no unemployment, no inflation and no crises of any kind.

The Soviet power created the conditions for women to achieve freedom from all forms of discrimination and enjoy equal status in all spheres of social life.

In 1936, the Soviet people adopted what came to be known as the Stalin Constitution, which is the most democratic and modern constitution that the world has seen. And by 1945, the Soviet Union had earned the love and respect of the peoples of all countries by the heroic role it played in defeating the fascist axis of German, Italian and Japanese imperialism during the Second World War.

These are among the reasons why the Great October Socialist Revolution became an event of colossal historic significance. Even though the Soviet Union does not exist today, the path blazed by that revolution and the new State and system it gave rise to continue to guide all those who are engaged in the struggle for the progress of society today.

Comrades!

The October Revolution was a stunning demonstration of the validity of the Marxist theory of scientific socialism.

The October Revolution was a stunning demonstration of the validity of the Marxist theory of scientific socialism. It shattered to its very foundation the machinery of the bourgeois state.

Marxism emerged in the 19th century at a time when the productive forces had experienced tremendous growth in many European countries, following the introduction of modern machinery in large-scale industrial production. It was a time when the old feudal order was crumbling. Scientific knowledge advanced in numerous fields. It was also a time when the capitalist economic system was going through periodic crises, leading to widespread destruction of productive forces. Tens of thousands of workers were thrown out of work every few years. Unemployment emerged as a permanent disease in society.

It was Karl Marx who discovered that the root cause of the recurring crises was the contradiction between the social process of production and the private ownership of the means of production. He concluded that the capitalist system is also a transient system. It will be replaced by communism, through the replacement of private by social ownership of the means of production.

While scientists before him had already recognized the existence of classes and the class struggle, Karl Marx drew the conclusion that the class struggle will lead to the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the condition for resolving the contradictions of capitalism and ushering in classless communist society.

Lenin argued for the creation of a revolutionary party that would be an integral part of the working class, and at the same time, its most advanced detachment.

The spokesmen of the bourgeoisie ridiculed the conclusions of Marx. They claimed that society cannot do without private property and the capitalist class. They declared that the proletariat is not capable of ruling society. The October Revolution in Russia smashed these claims and declarations of the bourgeoisie.

The Paris Commune of 1871, which lasted for 73 days, had been the first attempt of the proletariat to become the ruling class. Marx and Engels drew an important lesson from that heroic attempt of the French workers. They drew the lesson that the proletariat cannot simply take hold of the ready-made state machinery and use it for its own ends. The machinery of the bourgeois state, that mechanism for suppressing the toiling people and imposing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, has to be destroyed. It has to be replaced by a state which would be an organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The October Revolution in Russia translated this thesis into reality.

The October Revolution shattered to its very foundation the machinery of the bourgeois state. It erected in its place a new state – a Soviet state that was an organ to ensure the dominance of the working class.

A Soviet of Workers’ Deputies was a form of popular political organisation of industrial workers, which had emerged initially in Russia during the uprising of 1905. A soviet of workers’ deputies was a council of tried and tested fighters of the working class, selected and elected by the workers themselves from among their peers. The idea of Soviets lived in the minds of the workers and they put it into effect in February 1917, during the revolutionary uprising that overthrew the Tsar. Soviets of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies were formed in major cities and soviets of peasants’ deputies emerged in many rural districts.

It was the Bolshevik Party which succeeded in creating the revolutionary consciousness and organization with which the working class could become the ruling class in Russia.

By transferring all power into the hands of the soviets, the October Revolution laid the foundation of an entirely new state, the Soviet state. The privileged and highly paid bureaucrats were replaced by civil servants who were subject to recall and paid nothing more than skilled workers. The parasitic Tsarist army was replaced by the Red Army, which had emerged and grown in the course of the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the exploiters. The civil servants and soldiers were all under the command of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. The Soviet state emerged as a specific form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, an organ to crush the resistance of the exploiters and do away with all forms of exploitation.

Comrades!

The prevalent belief among Marxists in the 19th century was that a socialist revolution could win victory only where capitalism was highly developed and where the proletariat had become the most numerous social class. It was therefore considered impossible for a socialist revolution to succeed in Tsarist Russia, which was far behind Britain, France and many other European countries in terms of capitalist development. The proletariat was a minority within Russian society. Peasants engaged in cultivating small plots of land made up the most numerous class. There were many Marxists who argued that only a bourgeois democratic revolution can take place in such conditions. They preached that the aim of the revolution can only be to replace the Tsarist autocracy by a capitalist democracy.

Lenin refuted these arguments and put forward the necessity for the proletariat to become the ruling class in Russia. He applied the Marxist theory of scientific socialism to analyze the concrete conditions that prevailed in the opening years of the 20th century, when capitalism had developed into a global system of exploitation and plunder. He assessed that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, when the contradictions inherent to this system are brought to the point of resolution. He discovered the law of uneven development of capitalist countries and predicted that the imperialist chain will break at its weakest link. He concluded that proletarian revolution can win victory even in a country where capitalism is less developed than others.

Today, there are clear signs that point to the possibility of the tide of revolution turning … Much depends on whether the communists of today act like the Bolsheviks did a century ago.

For the proletariat to become the ruling class, it has to be led by a vanguard revolutionary party. The parties which were part of the Second International were adapted for the parliamentary struggle. They were not parties capable of leading the working class to seize political power by force. Lenin argued for the creation of a revolutionary party that would be an integral part of the working class, and at the same time, its most advanced detachment. It must be a party of professional revolutionaries, recruiting the most militant and class-conscious workers as its members. It must be guided in all its work by the most advanced theory. It must never deviate from the goal of leading the working class to seize political power in its hands.

There were numerous parties, groups and trends within the Russian revolutionaries at that time. Prominent among them were the Narodniks, who believed that the principal revolutionary force was not the working class but the peasantry. They believed that Tsarism could be overthrown by a few heroes carrying out the assassination of individual members of the ruling elite. There were many Marxist groups which believed that there was no need to unite in one single party. There were organisations which promoted the idea that the struggle of workers for their immediate economic demands would by itself spontaneously lead to socialism. It is by waging persistent and uncompromising struggle against all such erroneous and harmful lines of thought and action that Comrade Lenin led the effort to unite all Russian communists in one revolutionary party at the head of the working class.

A crucial issue over which intense struggle took place was the question of the rules for party membership. Comrade Lenin insisted that it is not enough for a member to support the program of the party and pay regular membership dues. It is also essential for every member to work under the discipline of one of the party organisations. Only then will all party members come under one uniform discipline and act as one unified force.

The restoration of unity of Indian communists requires that we step up our struggle against all ideas which are harmful for the proletariat and to the cause of the revolution.

The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, formed in 1898, was characterised by conflicting lines of thought and action within it until 1911. The majority group called the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, were for the overthrow of the tsarist monarchy by an armed mass uprising and establishment of the rule of the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry. The minority faction, called the Mensheviks, were for an alliance with the constitutional-democratic party so as to replace the monarchy by a bourgeois democracy. At a conference of the Party in January 1912, all the revolutionary elements united around the Bolshevik line and the diehard followers of the Menshevik line left and started functioning as a separate party.

The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Bolshevik), later renamed the Communist Party of Soviet Union (Bolshevik), developed as the model of a revolutionary party that is united like steel on the basis of democratic centralism. Armed with a splendid mass workers’ paper called Pravda, the Party recruited and trained a new generation of revolutionary workers. It knew both how to advance when the tide of revolution was rising and how to retreat in an orderly way when the wind was blowing against the revolutionary forces. It combined both legal and illegal work. By the year 1917, it had emerged as the most advanced and the most organized detachment of the working class, with steel like unity in its ranks around the revolutionary line of march.

When the February Revolution overthrew the Tsar, the Bolsheviks did not have majority support within the Soviets. As a result, the Soviets were not prepared to take power into their hands. An unusual situation was created, which Lenin called dual power.

On one side was the provisional government led by the capitalist class, which wanted to prolong Russia’s involvement in the inter-imperialist war. On the other side stood the workers, peasants and soldiers, organised in their Soviets of Deputies, striving for peace, land and bread. The Soviets were under the influence of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the Mensheviks, who were spreading illusions about the bourgeois provisional government.

Workers and peasants are escalating their struggles against the capitalist offensive today. There are favourable conditions for communists to build the political unity of the working class and its alliance with the peasantry.

The First All-Russian Congress of Soviets was convened on 16th June, 1917. It was attended by 1090 delegates from more than 300 soviets of workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ deputies. Of these, only 105 delegates were from the Bolshevik Party. The Congress adopted a resolution pledging support to the Provisional Government.

Throughout the following months, the Bolshevik Party carried out the painstaking and patient work of convincing the politically active elements among the workers, peasants and soldiers that the Provisional Government was bourgeois and imperialist in character. It would not fulfil the demands for peace, land and bread. Hence all power had to pass into the hands of the Soviets. It was by persisting in such work that the Bolshevik Party succeeded in defeating the influence of the line of class compromise.

By the beginning of September, the masses of workers and peasants were convinced, in the light of their own experience, that the Provisional Government was not going to fulfil their demands. Support for the Bolshevik Party and its line of transferring all power to the Soviets started to grow rapidly.

At the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets convened on 7th November, there were 670 delegates who signed the registration forms, of which 472 were from the Bolshevik Party. As many as 505 delegates supported the proposal to transfer all power to the Soviets.

Thus, the most critical factor responsible for the triumph of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie in Russia was the painstaking work that the Bolshevik Party had carried out to establish its leadership over the majority of toiling people.

It was the Bolshevik Party which succeeded in creating the revolutionary consciousness and organization with which the working class could overthrow the exploiters and become the ruling class in Russia. It is because the masses of working people acted as one mighty force along the line indicated by the Party, that they succeeded in taking their exploiters by the throat and overthrowing their rule. To hail the Great October Socialist Revolution therefore means to hail Comrade Lenin and the party he headed.

Comrades!

Let us honour the memory of the Great October Revolution by creating the subjective conditions for the victory of proletarian revolution in our country!

We have gathered here on the occasion of the centenary of the October Revolution not just to hail that historic event and its heroic leaders.

We are a political party of communist leaders of India. We look at history from a political perspective. We want to learn those things, draw those lessons, which will help us create the conditions for the victory of revolution in India at the present time.

What must we do to make the workers and toiling peasants the rulers of India? What must we do to create a State of the dictatorship of the proletariat on Indian soil, a power representing the toiling majority that will pass decrees to take over the properties of the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis, Adanis and other capitalist monopolies? That is the problem we have to take up for solution.

It is with great concern for the present that we look at the past. We must learn from the past so as to deal with the present terrible situation, in a way that will open the path to a bright future for our people and for the workers and oppressed of all lands. We must do today what the Bolsheviks succeeded in doing 100 years ago.

The present situation on the world scale is in some ways similar to the conditions that prevailed 100 years ago, while there are also big differences. At that time, rival imperialist blocs had dragged the world into a terrible destructive war in which workers and peasants of different nations were ordered to kill each other. Today the US imperialists and their allies have already created a situation of permanent local wars and drone strikes. There is a looming threat of a third world war which would be much more destructive than the previous two.

The drive of US imperialism to establish a unipolar world under its dictate is facing increasing opposition, both on the part of threatened nations and peoples and on the part of the American working class and people. It is also coming increasingly into conflict with rival imperialist powers. The American ruling class is itself deeply divided. All these are signs of weakness and instability of the existing world order.

When the Soviet Union disintegrated more than 25 years ago, the tide of world revolution turned to ebb. The working class got pushed out of the centre-stage of world politics. Various communist parties changed their names. Some continued to call themselves communist but abandoned the aim of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. Those who were conciliating with social-democracy went further down the road of compromise. They even succumbed to the slogan that there is no alternative to liberalisation and privatisation. Workers in various countries got mobilised to act against their own class interest and call for the downfall of socialism. The intermediate strata went over to the side of the big bourgeoisie.

Today, in 2017, there are clear signs that the working class is not prepared to put up with further intensification of capitalist exploitation. The intermediate strata are fast losing faith in the big bourgeoisie and its promises. There is growing interest among the youth in socialism and communism. All the major contradictions of the imperialist system are becoming more and more intense. All these point to the possibility of the tide of revolution turning from ebb to flow. Much depends on whether the communists of today act like the Bolsheviks did a century ago.

Looking at the conditions in our country today, we see that lakhs of workers, peasants and other oppressed people are waging numerous struggles. The working class is coming out on the streets in ever larger numbers against the privatisation program and anti-worker reforms in labour laws. There is growing unrest and mass agitations of peasants demanding that the State must provide them with secure livelihood. Broad masses of people are demanding an end to state terrorism and the increasing communalisation of the polity. What is lacking is the revolutionary consciousness and organisation needed for the toiling majority to overthrow the rule of the exploiting minority.

The victory of revolution requires that the workers and peasants wage their struggles with the consciousness that it is both necessary and possible to take political power in their own hands and overthrow the power of the capitalist class. Creation of such consciousness is one of the most essential subjective conditions for revolution. Only a revolutionary communist party of the Leninist type can fulfil this condition.

Comrades!

The Communist Ghadar Party of India was founded in December 1980 precisely in order to create the subjective conditions for revolution. The communist movement in our country had been fragmented by different parties that had conciliated with social-democracy and become integrated into the existing State and system of parliamentary democracy. Those who had rebelled against the “parliamentary path to socialism” had split into numerous factions. In such conditions, we decided to establish and build a party of the Leninist type, a vanguard party of the Indian working class in which all Indian communists would militate.

All of us knew that it is an extremely difficult task to establish a single vanguard party of the Indian working class, in which all Indian communists militate. However, it is not an impossible task. Think of the conditions that prevailed in Russia in the late 19th century. The communists there were also divided into numerous groups and factions. It is the persistent and uncompromising struggle waged by the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin, which ultimately led to the unity of all the revolutionary elements around a single line of thought and action.

We have achieved significant success in building a revolutionary party based on the theoretical thinking of Marxism-Leninism. We have persistently fought against the illusion of a “parliamentary path to socialism”, by exposing the existing State and political process as an organ and mechanism of bourgeois dictatorship and a legacy of British colonialism. We have also carried out uncompromising struggle against the line of “encircling the cities from the countryside”, which is an expression of distrust in the working class.

Our party is neither an electoral machine that is integrated into bourgeois democracy, nor is it an underground military machine that is delinked from the working class. Following the teachings of Leninism, we have maintained strict secrecy in organisational matters while ensuring that our politics is open and our propaganda reaches the broad masses of people. Sticking to the principles of democratic centralism and Leninist rules of party membership, we have built a party that is united like steel, free of factions.

We have achieved initial success in building party basic organisations among workers employed in large-scale industry and services. We must relentlessly advance this work in the course of leading the united resistance of workers to the capitalist offensive, with the perspective of building the worker-peasant alliance and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat on Indian soil.

In spite of the advances that our party has made, the communist movement still remains fragmented. That is the main reason why the class struggle continues to be diverted from the revolutionary aim of overthrowing the rule of the exploiters. The restoration of unity of Indian communists requires that we step up our struggle against all ideas which are harmful for the proletariat and to the cause of the revolution.

Those in the communist movement who conciliate with social-democracy present revolution as a distant policy objective, while the immediate aim is allegedly to find a “secular” alternative to the BJP. Such class conciliators spread illusions about the existing State and about secular bourgeois parties. They are acting like the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionary parties in Russia, who spread illusions about the Constitutional-Democratic Party and the bourgeois Provisional Government. We need to dispel all such illusions.

It is a harmful illusion that parliamentary democracy can be used in the interest of workers and peasants. Those who promote such an illusion add to the confusion that is spread by the bourgeoisie and all its ideologues about democracy and its relationship with dictatorship. They talk as if the existing democracy can serve any class interest and as if dictatorship is the opposite of democracy.

The truth is that in a society which is divided into classes with opposing interests, democracy for one class requires dictatorship over its class enemies. The bourgeois state ensures freedom for the exploiters to accumulate wealth by exercising a brutal dictatorship over the exploited masses. The proletarian state will ensure freedom from exploitation for the toiling majority of people by exercising an iron dictatorship over the exploiting minority.

Lenin clearly brought home the truth that parliamentary democracy is a form of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. He pointed out that it is the preferred form of bourgeois dictatorship. Once parliamentary democracy is established, then no matter which party forms the government and which individuals become ministers, the rule of the bourgeoisie is secure.

The October Revolution succeeded because the Bolshevik Party cleared all illusions about parliamentary democracy in the minds of the workers, peasants and soldiers. It led the working class to spearhead the establishment of Soviet democracy, a form of proletarian democracy.

It is not enough to just condemn the wrong lines of thought and action which prevail in the movement. We must explain why they are wrong and harmful for the cause of emancipation of the working class. We must wage this struggle with the confidence that all those who are for the revolution and communism will ultimately unite in one single vanguard party at the head of the Indian working class.

There are numerous groups and individuals within the communist movement who still believe that the road to revolution lies in encircling the cities from the countryside by creating liberated areas in various remote places. They think that since an armed agrarian revolution succeeded in China, it can do so in India as well. As far back as in 1951, Comrade Stalin explained to a delegation of Indian communists why this path is doomed to fail in our conditions. He explained that the Communist Party of China succeeded in creating liberated areas only after it led the “Long March” and moved its base to a region adjacent to the border with the Soviet Union. There is no such friendly socialist country neighbouring India. He concluded that only an alliance of the proletariat and peasantry can bring about revolution in our country.

The workers and peasants of India are escalating their struggles against the capitalist offensive today. There are favourable conditions for communists to build and strengthen the political unity of the working class and its alliance with the peasantry. Workers’ unity committees have emerged in many industrial areas and cities, as organs of united struggle against the capitalist offensive. Worker-peasant committees have emerged in some rural areas. Committees for people’s empowerment are being built in several local areas. It is the task of the communists to lead these organs of struggle and develop them into the future organs of proletarian state power, like the Bolsheviks did with the Soviets in their country.

Comrades!

The entire course of world developments over the past 100 years has proved the scientific validity of Marxist-Leninist thought. The tide of world revolution has gone through successive periods of flow and ebb. However, the nature of the epoch has remained exactly as Lenin characterized it. Two opposing social systems are in contention with one another on a world scale. Capitalism, which has reached its highest stage of imperialism, is fighting till death against the birth and advance of socialism, the first phase of communism.

Before the October revolution, the imperialist bourgeoisie did not imagine that the working class could overthrow them and establish its rule. Since the victory of the October Revolution, they have resorted to every cunning and criminal method possible to destroy socialism where it has emerged, and to prevent it from coming into being everywhere else.

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, our Party recognized that the world has entered a new period, a period of ebb in the tide of world revolution. It is a period when the wind has been blowing against the working class and socialism. Today, the intensification of all the major contradictions of the imperialist system suggests that the tide of world revolution is poised to turn from ebb to flow. Within the global situation of sharpening contradictions, we in India face a heightened threat from both external and internal forces. The situation calls upon us to accelerate the preparation of subjective conditions for revolution.

Come, let us build and strengthen our party and restore the unity of the Indian communist movement, at the head of a politically united working class!

Let us honour the memory of the Great October Revolution by creating the subjective conditions for the victory of proletarian revolution in our country!

Inquilab Zindabad!

Tag:    October Revolution    Soviet Union    Socialism    Nov 16-30 2017    Voice of the Party    History    2017   

PARTY DOCUMENTS

Click to Download PDFThe first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.

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These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

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Click to Download PDFInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India

by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

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History of Ghadar PartyA Presentation of Communist Ghadar Party of India

100 years ago Ghadar Party was formed by Indians in the US.It was historic milestone in our anti-colonial struggle.

The goal of this party was to organise a revolution to liberate our motherland from British servitude and establish a free and independent India with equal rights for all. It believed this to be the necessary condition for our people to hold their heads high anywhere in the world.

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Call of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 30th August, 2012

Working class representatives from all over the country are gathering on 4th September, at a time when a titanic struggle is going on in our country. The struggle is between the majority of toiling and exploited people and a minority of exploiters. It is between the majority whose labour expands wealth and the minority who enjoy the fruits of wealth creation on the basis of their private property and positions of power.

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Call to the Working ClassDefeat the program of privatisation and liberalisation!

Fight with the aim of establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule!

Call of the Central Committee, Communist Ghadar Party, 23 February, 2012

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