Friday, November 11, 2011

Revolution as a Process: Learning the Lessons of Our Rich History

I was reminded by the great leader of the Cuban revolution Comrade Fidel Castro in his recent reflections that the other day, “marked the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Unforgettable pages in history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers and the name of Lenin shall always be shining among men and women who dream of a just future for humankind”. Under the slogan of “all power to the Soviets” Lenin and the Bolsheviks paved the way for the first successful workers revolution in human history, when on November 7, 1917 they declared the triumph of the revolution.

In making the distinction between political revolution and social revolution, Lenin described revolution as a process. Lenin wrote that “political revolution can under no circumstances whatsoever either obscure or weaken the slogan of a socialist revolution … which should not be regarded as a single act, but as a period of turbulent political and economic upheavals, the most intense class struggle, civil war, revolutions and counter-revolutions.” (Lenin, “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”)

The “revolution as a process” is what we see unfolding in Latin America today as the revolutionary governments of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia rebuild their societies for socialism of the 21st century. In Venezuela “all power to the soviets” takes the form of the struggle of the communal councils to establish themselves as centres of the class power of those who have been exploited and oppressed – the class power of the ‘wretched of the earth’.

The Russian Revolution was a daring attempt by the working class to win and wield power. Against all odds, Lenin and the Bolsheviks dared to put forward a revolutionary socialist alternative, which won them the support of the masa and the transfer of all power to the ‘soviets’ – the working class and the rural poor.

Today we see an intensification of the class struggle on an international scale, from the Arab uprisings to the working class in the bastions of imperialist power – Europe and the United States. Today we must dare to put forward and campaign for bold alternatives, as Die Linke in Germany, the land of Marx and Rosa Luxemburg are attempting to do, when they put forward demands counterposing public property in the hands of the people against capitalist private property.

We have the responsibility in educating the new forces and new generations that are now in the forefront of the class struggle in the lessons of the Russian Revolution, and as Comrade Fidel points out, “such efforts will never suffice”. The Partido Lakas ng Masa will do exactly this at the Manila Socialism Conference.