This is the speech delivered by Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), in Bengali at the meeting held in Kolkata on 17 November in conclusion of the observance of Great November Revolution, edited by Comrade Ghosh himself. Translation error or inadequacy of expression, if any, lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era.
Comrade President, Comrade Mobinul Haider Chowdhury, our close friend and General Secretary of BASAD (Marxist) of Bangladesh who is an invited honoured guest and Friends,
You are aware that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, worthy continuer of great Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era, had founded the SUCI(C) through hard painstaking struggle with the objective of accomplishing socialist revolution in our country by overthrowing capitalism and proudly holding aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism following the path of Great November Revolution. So, observance of November Revolution and its centenary is of so much of emotion, so much of significance and importance to us. Our Party adopted a yearlong programme of centenary observance which had commenced with an inauguration programme organized at Mavlankar Hall, Delhi, on 7 November, 2016. Throughout this year, thousands of our comrades had explained the significance of November Revolution to the workers-peasants-middle class people-students-youths-women by organizing innumerable meetings and group sittings in various states, villages, towns, mills, institutions, factories and localities throughout the length and breadth of the country. Because, November Revolution had created a new higher civilization. It continued for 70 years. The very word ‘November Revolution’ sends shiver down the spine of the imperialists-capitalists, makes them panicky. So they have made every attempt to wipe out the great November Revolution from the pages of history and tarnish its glorious image. Many of the present generation do not know the facts of this historic social revolution. Despite such a sinister ploy on the part of the vested interest, we found while campaigning among the masses round the country that the message of November Revolution is invincible, irresistible. This mammoth gathering of today also confirms that. I join all on the dais to convey our revolutionary greetings to all of you who have assembled here from various states of the country, from the state of West Bengal as well as from neighbouring Bangladesh braving all odds and ignoring the inclement weather.
November Revolution proved that exploitation of man by man can be abolished
Comrades, for thousands of years in different eras of human society—right from the day society in the post-primitive age was class-divided, first into slave-master system, afterwards at the stage of feudalism followed by capitalism—the exploited, oppressed downtrodden people had asked again and again with tears whether there would be an end to their plight and misery, whether there would be abolition of the exploitation and repression and change of the oppressive social order. Great Lenin and his worthy revolutionary comrade-in-arms great Stalin provided the answer by accomplishment of November Revolution using Marxism as the weapon. Yes, it is possible to abolish class exploitation and class rule from the society forever if oppressed people are organized based on revolutionary ideology, firmly raise their heads and steadfastly build up revolutionary movement under the leadership of correct revolutionary party. November Revolution has proved that objectively.
Luminaries of the world hailed November Revolution
November Revolution had stirred the entire human civilization in the twentieth century. It inspired the oppressed people in various countries. At the same time, November Revolution had terrified the imperialists-capitalists round the world. November Revolution had been the greatest and epoch-making incident of the last century. In the twentieth century, November Revolution had not only overthrown the exploitative system in Russia and inspired the oppressed working class in different countries, socialism ushered in by this Revolution also played determining role in delineating the future course of human civilization. As you know, entire Asia, Africa and Latin America were hunting grounds of the imperialist powers including US imperialism. Most of the countries were their colonies and semi-colonies. Russian socialism established as a result of November Revolution had been the source of inspiration to the national liberation struggles in these colonies and semi-colonies. Because of this, nationalist leaders like Dr Sun Yat-sen of China, Sukarno of Indonesia and Nelson Mandela of South Africa had all repeatedly greeted socialism. After being elected the President of the Congress party for the first time, Netaji Subhaschandra, revolutionary leader of Indian freedom struggle, had categorically stated in the Haripura conference that ‘the world is divided into two camps—socialist and imperialist-capitalist. This socialism is of inspiration to us’. All the revolutionaries of this country shared the same opinion. Soviet socialism had helped and backed all the freedom struggles against the imperialist colonial regimes. Otherwise, the imperialists would not have retreated so easily. It was only because of socialism that the national liberation movements could become victorious in various countries.
Soviet Union led by Stalin saved mankind from fascism
It is true that after the Second World War, British imperialist rule was considerably weakened in India. The news of advancement of Azad Hind army, naval mutiny of Bombay had broken out and before that the August revolt of 1942 had created a favourable situation. Moreover, the British imperialist rulers were visibly shaken by the victory march of socialism in East Europe and China as well as liberation struggle of Vietnam. So, they hurriedly entered into a compromise with the Indian national bourgeoisie for transfer of power. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara of Cuba were also inspired by November Revolution. Patrice Lumumba of Africa, who was assassinated by the US imperialists also drew inspiration from November Revolution. On the other hand, the imperialists wanted that these colonies and semi-colonies after liberation should not so develop as to stand high independently. At that time, the socialist camp liberally extended economic assistance to these resurgent national countries. India too received all kinds of help and assistance from the socialist camp to grow and develop as an independent sovereign country. There was a time when these resurgent national countries wanted to remain out of the clutches of imperialist powers. So, they built up Non-aligned movement (NAM) with the help of the socialist camp. When the Second World War broke out, the fascist axis of Germany-Italy-Japan was out to destroy the whole world. It occupied most part of Europe including France and was about to overpower England. Japanese Army advanced upto Myanmar (then Burma) and captured China. Thus, when the entire world was on the verge of ruination, it was Soviet Union and Soviet Red Army led by great Stalin who played the role of the saviour. I want to remind you that during that period, all revered personalities of the world like Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, Einstein as well as the luminaries of our country were looking at the Soviet Union to forestall the impending danger. Rabindranath was then on his deathbed. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the well-known scientist who was looking after him wrote that every day he used to seek information about advancement of the Red Army. The day he was told that Red Army was not moving forward, he was so upset that he threw away the newspaper. When Mahalanobis informed him on the day he was operated upon that the Red Army was marching ahead, immediately his face was lighted up. He said, ‘they would be able to do it. Only they would be able to thwart the evil force and emerge victorious’. That indeed was the truth. Had not there been the Soviet Union and Soviet socialism, had not there been an undaunted battle under the leadership of great Stalin, the history of the world would have been different. This is not just a claim of ours. The helmsmen of imperialism like Churchill and Roosevelt had also been compelled to admit this glorious role of Soviet Union. This is how November Revolution played a determinant role in human history.
Renowned personalities of our country also supported Soviet socialism
You have heard and read in our Party publications that November Revolution was hailed by the front-ranking litterateurs of our country starting from Rabindranath-Saratchandra-Premchand-Nazrul-Subramania Bharati-Jotiprosad to Mulkraj Anand, Kishenchand and Iqbal. Saratchandra wrote Pather Dabi (Demand of the Road) giving call of working class revolution. This novel was proscribed by the British rulers as propagator of Bolshevik thoughts. Nazrul wrote poems glorifying communism and proletarian internationalism. At the same time, revered leaders of Indian freedom movement like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai also profusely praised socialism. Netaji Subhas greeted socialism. Jawaharlal Nehru paid respect to November Revolution. Even Gandhiji extolled socialism. None of them was a communist. Why were Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw and Einstein effusive in praise for socialism? Because, they found that French Revolution overthrew feudalist monarchical rule to establish bourgeois democracy. The bourgeois democratic revolution which the serfs accomplished under the leadership of the rising bourgeoisie had raised the slogan of equality- liberty –fraternity and secular humanism. Demand was for democracy as against feudal autocracy. American War of Independence had raised the slogan of ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’. A new wave swept across the world. But later following the inexorable course of development of capitalist economy, small capital was transformed into big capital and then into monopoly capital; the progressive role which the bourgeoisie played during the rising period of capitalism by overthrowing obsolete feudal order was exhausted. As a result, capitalism became reactionary and the bourgeoisie threw away the flag of equality, fraternity, liberty, democracy and humanism. Thus, the bourgeoisie itself trampled underfoot the ideal of bourgeois democracy. Today, we find a huge gap between a few rich and millions of poor in the imperialist-capitalist countries. Discrimination and deprivation are rising alarmingly. According to BBC, wealth of richest 1% is equal to rest 99%. Only 8 families in the world own wealth equivalent to what 300 crores of people possess. 70% wealth of our country is concentrated in the hands of only 57 families. On the one hand, huge wealth has been accumulated in the hands of a few rich by depriving the working class of their legitimate dues. So, the handful of super-rich is leading a princely luxurious life. On the other hand, millions of unemployed, hungry and retrenched workers are dying of starvation and without medical treatment. Can such an unequal society be called egalitarian by any figment of imagination? So, capitalism could not establish equality. Rather, it is based on inequality. Let alone developing fraternity among the people, capitalism is destroying it in all possible ways. It is destroying fraternity by fomenting national-religious-casteist-ethnic hatreds, conflicts as well as war. Today, by liberty capitalism means reckless freedom to loot and exploit—unbridled right of the monopolists to plunder and oppress. And the people have liberty to die in starvation, unattended, uncared; liberty to commit suicide. There is no scope for protest or resistance because immediately the despotic coercive machinery would be swung into action to suppress it brutally.
Degeneration of bourgeois democracy
As against ‘for the people, by the people and for the people’, it is now a regime of ‘for the money power, by the money power and of the money power’. Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh has just concluded. Gujarat assembly poll is on the anvil. There will be elections in many states thereafter. Who decides the results of these elections? Does people’s verdict get reflected in the results? From the outside, it appears as if the people are exercising their franchisee. But in reality, it is the ruling bourgeoisie who decides the results. The monopolists only determine who would win. Enormous sum of money, both black and white, is spent in the elections. The bourgeois parties use this black and white funding by the monopolists to brighten their electoral prospects. And the monopoly-controlled media create swing in favour of a particular party or combination. Bureaucracy under command of the ruling bourgeoisie also acts accordingly. Politically unconscious and unorganized masses become confused and misdirected. Vote is manipulated by money-muscle-media-administrative power. Vote has become a purchasable commodity. Millions and millions of unemployed youths are purchased for working in the election. This is what bourgeois democracy is today. Such kind of ‘democratic election’ takes place in all the imperialist-capitalist countries including USA. The bourgeois statesmen of all countries including India are hypocrites, cheats and liars. They only deceive people; make promises only to violate these. They adopt all kinds of tricks and ploys to hoodwink people. So, vote has been reduced to nothing but a big deception. The bourgeoisie is bluffing the people in the name of election. When bourgeois democracy was setting in the West and the entire region was shrouding in darkness, dawn of proletarian democracy in the East highly attracted the renowned personalities of the world. They wholeheartedly greeted the banner of real equality-fraternity-liberty held aloft by the Russian proletariat. In 1930 Rabindranath had said that “had I not come to Russia, my life’s pilgrimage would have remained incomplete…what has astonished me most is the tremendous task that is being carried out here…I can see that they are determined to raise a new world”. Later in 1939, he wrote to Amiya Chakraborty that “I see the shape of a new era for mankind in that hermitage (Socialist Russia) and so I became full of joy and hope…nowhere else in the history of mankind did I observe such a permanent cause of joy and hope…Let…their struggle be victorious.” Netaji Subhaschandra said, “In the nineteenth century, Germany made the most remarkable contribution through her Marxian Philosophy. In the twentieth century, Russia has enriched the culture and civilization of the world through her achievement in proletarian revolution, proletarian government and proletarian culture”. (Speeches at the Indian political conference in London, 1933) “The countless currents and counter-currents in the present world system can be divided into two main forces—the imperialist forces and as their counter-current the surging forces of communism. So, the defeat of Hitlerism means the establishment of communism.”(Crossroads) Why did he say so? He said so on seeing the phenomenal progress of Soviet socialism created by November Revolution. (At this point, it began raining torrentially. Comrade Provash Ghosh asked the vast gathering whether he should continue his speech. All present in the meeting enthusiastically requested him to continue).
Adoption of Socialist Constitution in USSR
Who had drafted the constitution of our country? Who had drafted the constitutions of the imperialist-capitalist countries like the USA and England? That had been done by a few legal experts who were guided by bourgeois thoughts. Constitution decides the structure of the state. Constitution tells how the government and administration would function, how new laws are to be enacted and old laws changed or removed. Based on constitution are declared the rights of the people. In Russia, a temporary Constitution was framed after revolution. But then the permanent Constitution was adopted in 1936. You will be astonished to know that the draft of that Constitution was first distributed among the millions of workers and peasants who organized thousands of meetings to collectively read the draft, exchange views and then gave their opinions. Based on those opinions was authored the final Constitution. This is what is truly meant by ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’. It was the workers and peasants who were nominated as candidates in the election of Soviet Union. Who are the people contesting elections in our country? Though being the majority of the country’s population, the poor people cannot think of contesting. It is the nominees of the bourgeois parties or some people sponsored by such parties on the strength of their money power who fight in the elections. And these parties create a few stooges among the poorer strata who are given nomination. In the Soviet Constitution, it was the workers and peasants who had the right to contest election. They were to elect and be elected. Nowhere else was such a system. Once again I say, this is the actualization of the principle of ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’.
Fifteen Soviet republics united voluntarily to create Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Soviet Constitution granted equal rights to all nationalities. Right was also granted to any nationality to secede from Soviet Union, if they so desired, and form their own separate state. Within the broader framework of the Soviet Constitution, every nationality had the right to have their own Constitution in keeping with the specific features and national characteristics of their land. This right is not granted in any of the multi-nationality bourgeois states. Only Soviet socialist state provided that right. Those who were elected by people’s vote in Russia were bound to submit regular reports of their performance. This was compulsory. There is no such system in any of the imperialist-capitalist countries. In our country, people do not get to see the faces of the elected candidates for five years after election. If the Soviet people felt that the elected person was not functioning properly, they had the right to recall him or her. This right too is not available to the people of any imperialist-capitalist country. So, true people’s democracy was established in Soviet Union.
Growing plight and penury of Indian people
Today there are billions of unemployed in the world. You are aware of the condition of our country. People are desperately running for a job just to eke out a bare living. Few are getting jobs. But these jobs are also not of any permanent nature with fixed salary. These are mostly casual contractual jobs at very low wages. The paltry wage also is not paid regularly. Many a time, it is not fully paid either. The workers are bound to accept any wage that the owner capitalists may unilaterally decide to pay. The employers have right to retrench the workers any time. The jobless rural poor are migrating en masse to the urban areas in search of jobs. This is no unique feature of our country. It is common in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar and such other bourgeois states. Even USA, the most powerful among the imperialist countries, is also in the grip of growing unemployment. The US President admits that there is scarcity of jobs in his country. He is telling the US monopolists that since they are hiring cheap labour from abroad, the American youths are facing unemployment. This cannot be allowed. In the aggregate interest of American capitalism, the US President is dictating the multi-national corporations that they would not be allowed to outsource jobs or recruit non-Americans from outside. Only American workers should be employed. Such is the acute unemployment problem there. US imperialism which was the chief protagonist of globalization is now at sea. US President says that globalization has caused immense harm to them. Now capitalist China is their main contender. US President is complaining of economic aggression of his country because of forays by China and others in American domestic market and saying that the sovereignty of his country is at threat. Who is saying so? No one else but the US imperialists who have hitherto been endangering sovereignty of other countries. The US market is flooded with Chinese consumer goods. So, shutters are downed in the US industries. American workers are losing jobs. So, the US imperialists are raising the slogan of “America first” and refusing to honour the agreements and treaties of globalization. On the other hand, the President of capitalist China in the interest of grabbing markets of other countries is preaching globalization.
Soviet Socialism solved almost all basic problems of life
Russian revolution had occurred in 1917. It took ten years to rebuild the country ravaged by First World War. In 1930, Soviet Union declared that no one would remain unemployed there. Everyone would get a job. According to Soviet Constitution, everyone had the right to work. It was announced that unless one worked, one would not get food. In other words, no one would be able to stay without working. There was no unemployment problem, no economic recession, no inflation and no fluctuation of market in 70 years of Soviet socialism. You all know that just after revolution, great Lenin had given call of total disarmament in the League of Nations. He said that there was no need of arms. Let there be an end to war forever. But the imperialists-capitalists did not agree to that. Same call was renewed by great Stalin after Second World War. He appealed for destruction of all weapons including nuclear weapons. War causes immense harm to the society. Millions of people lose their lives. Many countries are devastated. Hence, there should be no more war. Did any other country give such a call? Only Soviet Union did because socialism does not need to grab others’ market for economic development. Hence socialism does not need war. Rather, Soviet Union always worked for establishing global peace. But the imperialists-capitalists did not respond to its call for peace. They could not, because imperialism needs war. When the purchasing power of the country’s people falls because of ruthless capitalist exploitation, domestic markets of the imperialist-capitalist countries get squeezed in. At that time, the monopolists need to grab foreign market. If there is resistance in grabbing of foreign market, in their loot and plunder of others’ market, they resort to war. Both the First and the Second World Wars were engineered by the imperialists for grabbing market. They need war even today for the same purpose.
Indian capitalism has acquired imperialist character
In this connection, I want to say another thing. In every imperialist-capitalist country, unemployment and job loss are wreaking havoc in people’s life. Many are dying of hunger and for want of medical care. But military budgets are soaring. Recently, the Indian Prime Minister has entered into a defence pact with the US President. Earlier also, there were defence agreements and joint treaties between the two. Now from the US White House, it has been declared that the two largest democracies should also be the two largest military powers. In other words, the ruling monopolists of both the countries consider theirs to be the two largest democracies. So, they should join hands to become the largest military powers. Indian capitalism has given birth to monopoly capital as well as finance capital. India is now an imperialist power. It wants to establish dominance over other countries including neighbouring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Indian monopolists are setting up industries in the various countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and even in England and USA. Of late, it came in the media that the industries which the Indian monopolists have established in the USA have given employment to 1, 12,000 Americans. Indian finance capital is now operating in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle-East. This shows the imperialist character of Indian national capital. While India has assumed imperialist character, the CPI (M) and CPI continue to brand Indian national bourgeoisie as progressive and chew the cud of people’s democratic revolution. But, though in pre-revolution Russia, there was marked influence of feudalism in agriculture and capitalism was considerably weak, Lenin said that Russia was in the stage of anti-capitalist socialist revolution since the Russian bourgeoisie had assumed state power after February Revolution of 1917. Accordingly, he gave a call of socialist revolution and accomplished it. Because of their non-Marxist anti-revolution theory, the CPI (M) and CPI had sometimes forged unity with the Jan Sangh and later the BJP in the name of opposing autocracy, and sometimes held the hands of the Congress on the plea of fighting communalism. Please bear in mind that the Indian monopolists in their own imperialist interest have been entering into alliance with the US imperialists. The US imperialists are trying to form an economic-military alliance of US, India, Japan and Australia to counter China. This is dangerous. Lenin had shown that imperialism is born out of capitalism. And imperialism generates war. This war-oriented economy is needed because the consumer goods market is shrunk due to continuous fall in the purchasing power of the people. So, an alternate market of selling arms is warranted by the imperialists. USA is selling arms to India, Japan and other countries. It means USA is trying to artificially stimulate its sagging economy by boosting military industry. This is what Stalin called militarization of economy after Second World War. The ruling monopolists of our country are also doing the same thing. That means they are also resorting to militarization of economy at the cost of the people, putting the interest of the people at risk. This crisis of capitalism is inevitable.
Some features of Soviet socialism
As against this oppressive imperialism-capitalism is the socialist system. The law of capitalist economy is generation of profit, earning of maximum profit, continuous maximization of profit. Maximum profit is earned by maximum exploitation of the working class. On the contrary, the law of socialist economy is to increase production continuously to meet the growing material and socio-cultural needs of the people. There is no question of earning profit by exploiting the labour. So, the workers and peasants get more and more jobs. So, there was no market crisis in socialism, no recession, no retrenchment and no unemployment. Continuously, it progressed and was strengthened. There were two kinds of wages in Soviet Union. One was economic wage and the other social wage. The quantum of wage in the factories was decided together by the factory committee and the labour representatives. The workers used to take one part of the wage themselves and donated the other part to the socialist state. Why did the state use to receive a part of the wage? It was not for profit of any individual. Money so collected from the voluntary subscription by the workers was used for discovering newer means and technology for increasing production, running administration and developing military might to preserve world peace by thwarting the war threat from the imperialist powers. Above all, there was the programme for social welfare. Russian workers used to have houses at minimal rent, received food and other essential items at the least price. The workers used to get electricity, fuel, water, transport and factory uniform free of cost. Russia had implemented universal education. Primary education was given in 80 mother tongues. Earlier, there was no alphabet of 30 languages. The linguists created those alphabets. Right from the primary stage to higher stage, education was totally free. The college and university students used to get stipend from the state. Can you even think of such facilities? In all the imperialist-capitalist countries including ours, education is a commodity. Only those who have money have access to education. In socialist Russia, healthcare was totally free. The doors of the hospitals were open to all. The number of doctors and nurses increased regularly. Many new medicines were discovered there. Who else in the world could provide such healthcare? In the entire capitalist world, healthcare is also a commodity of the market. So many people are dying in absence of necessary medical treatment. But in Soviet socialism, appropriate medical care was available free of cost. You get to see so many beggars in our country. Once darkness descends, so many hapless women stand on the streets to earn a pittance from flesh trade. This is the spectacle of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and even Europe and America. Russia had completely abolished prostitution. Those connected with this hurting profession in the pre-revolution period were all rehabilitated. I do not to like to use the word prostitutes. This is a derogatory term. There were many women engaged in flesh trade in Tsarist Russia. In socialism, they were all rescued, rehabilitated and groomed with proper training and educated so that they could lead an honourable life. In all capitalist countries, so many stray children and beggars are found on the streets. In Soviet Union, there was no child or adult beggar. All such abandoned vagabond children and beggars were rehabilitated. In capitalist countries including ours, the women, in the main, are still confined within the four walls of the house. They cannot make it to the broader field of activities. They do not get scope of being really educated either. They are captive in the patriarchal society. Soviet socialism had opened up the door of emancipation for them. Equal rights of men and women were granted. Equal pay for equal work irrespective of men and women was guaranteed. In order to ensure that the women do not remain busy in cooking, washing clothes and other household activities, co-operative kitchen, co-operative dining and co-operative laundries involving 10/15 families were arranged. Pregnant mothers were granted leave with full pay from 12 weeks before delivery to 12 weeks after delivery. Thereafter also, leave with full pay was available for one year. Then when the mother had to resume duties, the child was kept in the crèche. The socialist state took full responsibility of feeding and clothing of the child. There were innumerable kinder-gardens, nurseries for rearing the children. Soviet socialism provided 15 days of additional leave with full pay to all workers and peasants in each year. The workers-peasants used to go to the seaside or sanatoriums in the hills for rest, recreation and recovery of health. Initially, the workers had to work 6 days a week and 8 hours per day. Then the working hours were reduced to 7 per day. Stalin subsequently proposed to bring it down to 6 and then 5 hours a day. The state bore the responsibility of the old and physically challenged people who had no one to look after them. In Russian socialism anyone seeking justice in the court did not have to bear any expenses. The state bore all the expenses including that of engaging advocates. The teachers, doctors, scientists, artistes and litterateurs did not have to earn separately for their livelihood. It was the responsibility of the state to look after them. There were thousands of libraries in the villages and the cities where one could study any subject, read any book or publication from any country. Likewise there were number of theatres and cinema halls where one could entertain oneself. All these were free of cost. There were state-run free sports training schools and health centres. As a result, Soviet Union had achieved the top position in the Olympics. There was so much advancement in science that the Nobel Committee controlled by the capitalists was compelled to award Nobel Prize to 12 Soviet scientists. Soviet Union was first to send cosmonauts in the space. I have mentioned only a few features and achievements of Soviet socialism. To anyone, it would appear to be description of a dreamland. But this was actualized by Soviet socialism by way of correct application of Marxism under the leadership of great Lenin and Stalin. How could this be possible?
Soviet Revolution proved infallibility of Marxian science
Revolution and socialism were no subjective formulations of Lenin. He applied the teachings of Marxism to the given objective reality. Marxism was no fancied imagination of Marx either. Marx used science to search for and arrive at truth. During the time of the philosophers and thinkers before Marx, the science had not advanced so much. At that time, the subjective realization of a philosopher was accepted as truth. How far it is correct to presume that any subjective thinking or conclusion of an individual or a thinker or the writings of a book are reflective of objective truth? Is it the correct way to know truth? Then how could everyone arrive at a uniform understanding about electron, electricity, hydrogen, oxygen, causes behind cloud formation and rain, truth behind alternative cycle of ebb and tide? On each of these questions, different thinkers have given different opinions. There are different answers in different books. So, a uniform as well as correct understanding can only develop based on scientific experimentation-verification and proven truth. Each branch of science studies a particular field or domain and discovers particular laws governing that particular field or domain. Marx discovered the generalized laws or universal laws of governance of this material world by dialectically co-ordinating, co-relating and integrating the particular truths of each of the domains — just like wreathing a garland with different flowers. These are the general principles of Dialectical Materialism. He showed that nature, the animal kingdom, human life—everything is in motion and changing. And this motion is governed by a few general laws. As the general laws governing the changes in nature and the material world can be known using science as a tool, the laws of changes and development of human society can also be understood by applying science.
Marxist view in regard to religion
I would like to say one more thing. The very thought of emancipation arose in the slave-master society out of the social necessity of freeing the slaves. Oppressed slaves yearned for freedom. Their tears one day gave rise to the thought of religion. This was told by great Marx and later further elaborated by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Many say that we, the Marxists, disrespect religion. This is not correct. It is the Marxists thinkers who have explained and given recognition to the progressive role that religion had once played at a given period of history. On the contrary, the bourgeois thinkers like Bacon, Locke, Hobbs, Spinoza, Hume, Kant and Feuerbach had all called religion an “aberration of history”. It is true that religious thoughts did not exist in the primitive stage of development of human society. If you go to the Andamans and see the aboriginal tribes like the Jaroas staying there, you would find they have no private property, no concept of ownership of property or rich-poor divide. So, there is no thought of any supernatural entity or god among them. Religion arose in the slave-master society. That is why Marx had said that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions”. (Critique of Hegel’s philosophy of Right) What Engels said about Christianity is applicable to all religions. He said, “Both Christianity and the workers’ socialism preach forthcoming salvation from bondage and misery; Christianity places this salvation in a life beyond, after death in heaven; socialism places it in this world, in a transformation of society”. (On the History of Early Christianity) Elaborating further, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that, “When did the idea of god appear? It appeared at a time when society had become class divided, stable property had appeared, and a kind of administrative system under a ruling circle had been established. This stage of social development with a ruler heading the administration and laying down laws as he willed, which had to be obeyed by all, and the society being run in a more or less organized, disciplined manner, seized man with an idea. He observed that the world around him was governed by some laws. Sunrise and sunset, the day and night followed one after another, seasons changed—winter, then summer, then the rainy season—each coming periodically; ebbs and tides, the new moon and full moon alternating—everything followed a regular order, obeying certain laws. So the thought struck man that if society could not be in an orderly way without a law-giver ruler who was the master, how could the vast universe run so orderly unless it had a lord or master? That is, having observed the role of the ruler in maintaining discipline in society, when man sought to investigate why nature and universe was law-governed, the similarity of order and discipline between the two struck him and on that ground he got the idea of a super master—the god…You should bear in mind that it was religion at a particular stage of social development that helped in furthering the concept of morals and ethics, the sense of values, the concept of right and wrong, the spirit of service to others and not despising anyone. As a result, a sense of discipline grew which helped to bring about consolidation and cohesion in society. From this angle too, religion played a role in social progress.” (Some Aspects of Marxism and Dialectical Materialism) The thought which developed in the minds of the religious preachers of that time in a natural way was that god was the creator and both the slaves and slave-masters were his children.Whatever they honestly presumed to be the solution of all the problems of the then society, they honestly thought to be the gospels of religion. While propagating these religious thoughts, the religious preachers were oppressed and persecuted by the slave-masters. Many of them were killed. Many others died of starvation. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that in the struggle against the slave system, religion provided the society with an ethical-moral base, contributed in fostering a sense of social responsibility and obligation. Thus, it did do immense good to the society at that point of time. This is the history. At the same time, it is also true that subsequently, this progressive role of religion became exhausted following inexorable course of history. So, religion became obsolete. For example, no discussion on the present day problems or indications towards solving those problems would be available in any of the religious texts. Rather, the bourgeoisie who during its rising period had fought religion in order to establish bourgeois democracy is now misusing religion to misdirect the oppressed people. It is seeking to impress upon the people that all their misery and penury are due to the sins they had committed in the previous birth. Capitalist exploitation is not responsible for that. In their previous birth, the capitalist owners, the big businessmen had accumulated so much of religious merits and virtuosity that they have now earned the right to indiscriminately oppress and repress the poor and suck out their blood. As if this is the decree of fate and is hence unchangeable. That is why, capitalism needs religion today. At the same time, capitalism needs to rake up religious blindness and fanaticism to destroy rational scientific mind and use that for reaching out electoral benefits to its political agents. The ‘religious faith” of the shrewd oppressive ruling capitalist class and its servitors is nothing but devilry. Another section is doing business with religion and amassing fabulous wealth. But, it is also a fact that many common religious people, if properly convinced, do take part in the struggle against injustice and oppression. Though this is how religion has lost its relevance, become obsolete and been transformed into a tool in the hands of the reactionary capitalist class, Marxism has shown that religion once emerged with the call of freeing the slaves and doing good to the society. You also know that when feudalism-monarchical rule was established based on religion, that very religion became a prop in the hands of the feudal lords and monarchy in bringing down oppression and repression on the serfs. Out of the social urge for emancipation from the feudal oppression, bourgeois democratic revolution was accomplished based on the then development of democratic and scientific mind fighting religious thoughts. That time the bourgeoisie raised the slogan of equality-fraternity-liberty which it could not ultimately fulfil. I have already discussed this earlier. It was Marx who had first shown why the bourgeoisie could never do it. He explained how capitalism produces surplus value by depriving the labour of its legitimate dues. No other bourgeois economist could show that earlier. So, going by the continuity, the urge for emancipation of the oppressed slaves manifested in their sigh and tears could not be fulfilled either in feudalism or capitalism. That urge was incarnate in Marx. Based on science, Marx showed that the yearned for and cherished emancipation is possible. He elaborated how the human society is also undergoing change just like the changing nature and the material world. The transition from primitive society to slave society to feudalism and then to capitalism is no accidental a phenomenon nor has it been because of anyone’s whims or fancy. This has been governed by definite laws. He also pointed out that after the society became class-divided, class struggle has been the main driving force behind social change. By conducting class struggle, the slaves toppled the slave system and then the serfs under the leadership of the rising bourgeoisie overthrew the feudal monarchy. Similarly, the working class by way of intensifying class struggle would extirpate the capitalist order, and establish socialism. Then would come communism and in sequence a still higher society. This is the historically-determined scientific law. Herein lies the role of the outlook of scientific socialism provided by great Marx.
Leninist model of building up a genuine communist party
It is this Marxism which great Lenin had successfully applied in the extremely adverse post-First World War situation in Russia. Please keep in mind that the question as to how to build up a genuine communist party did not arise that much in Marx’s time. Marx only determined the course of revolution. The next era has been, as shown by Lenin, that of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Lenin had further provided detailed guideline in regard to the process of developing a Marxist party in any country. We call this Leninist model of party formation. Lenin clearly said that a Marxist party cannot be formed simply by holding a conference or issuing a decree. For that is needed an ideological struggle, a unity of Marxist ideas and Marxist outlook. The old RSDLP (Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party) was also known as a Marxist party in Russia. But it was not a genuine Marxist party. Lenin first fought from within the RSDLP, conducted arduous struggle for nine long years to build up the necessary unity of Marxist outlook and founded the Bolshevik party. The undivided CPI had not undertaken that task in India. Bypassing the struggle for developing unity of ideas or uniformity of thinking, several groups flocked together to build a party overnight. Though the CPI leaders then were honest, they did not follow the Leninist process of party building. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh drew necessary lessons from Lenin. Then based on Lenin’s teachings he further enriched, developed and contemporized Leninist process of party formation. Lenin had said that Marx and Engels had provided the foundation of Marxian science. Those who would apply this science in a concrete situation would have to develop and enrich this science more and more in keeping with the changing life. Lenin himself had done that. So did Stalin and Mao Zedong. But no so called communist leader of India undertook this task. This task was shouldered by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. He developed and enriched Marxism. Lenin had taught that the line of international proletarian revolution would apply differently in the different conditions of different countries. In his words, “Marx’s theory …provides only general guiding principles, which, in particular, are applied in England differently than in France, in France differently than in Germany, and in Germany differently than in Russia.”(Quoted in ‘Foundations of Leninism’ by Stalin)The general line has to be concretely applied in a concrete situation. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh did exactly the same thing in India and in course of that brought out the specific characteristics of the given condition and concrete process of materialization of the general line in the given concrete situation. Neither undivided CPI nor later the CPI (M) had done any of these works. Lenin had taught that without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolution. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh pointed out that by theory, Lenin had meant the entire gamut of economic-political-social-cultural spheres including and covering all aspects of life. So, Marxism has to be applied in each and every sphere to develop the revolutionary theory. Thus Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had implemented Lenin’s teachings. The CPI or CPI (M) did not do that. So, they could not develop collective leadership and democratic centralism. As a result, they could not grow as genuine Marxist parties. So, wearing a cloak of Marxism, they have remained as petty-bourgeois parties like the social-democratic parties of Europe. Besides that, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had contributed many more things to the treasure house of Marxism-Leninism which are not the subject matter of discussion in this meeting.
How Stalin protected and developed socialism
Lenin built up the Communist Party of Soviet Union (Bolshevik) as a genuine revolutionary party. By developing Marxism, he brought its understanding to a new height. Stalin correctly showed that Leninism is the Marxism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Lenin deduced the line of Russian revolution and showed that it would be brought about based on the unity of the workers and peasants under the leadership of the working class. There was a lot of debate over this. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin opposed Lenin by saying that socialism could not be established in one country. Neither could revolution be accomplished in a backward capitalist country nor could there be unity between the workers and the peasants. They raised all such questions and controversies. Lenin had to answer all these questions, rebut and refute all the fallacious arguments. Immediately after revolution, Russia was in a precarious condition. The country was war-ravaged and plagued by famine. On the other side, eighteen powerful imperialist countries encircled and attacked it without any prior declaration. These attacking countries talked of democracy. But the way they brought down military assault on Russia showed that they were determined not to allow socialism to blossom. Because, they knew that Soviet socialism would cast its influence on their countries as well. In that event, the working class of their countries would also struggle to achieve revolution. So they attacked nascent Soviet Union with a view to crushing it. Just think of the predicament of socialist Russia then. Internally, it was devastated by war and famine.The class enemies within the country had been continuing civil war. Externally, it was faced with the unprovoked combined military assault by the imperialist sharks. In such a situation, there was attempt to assassinate Lenin. He was bullet-ridden. In 1924, he breathed his last. Russia still was quite underdeveloped. That time, the Bolshevik party elected Stalin, his worthy disciple, as the supreme leader. Under Stalin’s leadership, Soviet Union undertook a five year plan in 1927 for speedy development of Soviet socialism. The five year plan you hear so much about was also pioneered by Soviet Union. It did not require five years. Within three years, Soviet Russia was free from unemployment. Everyone got a job. After completion of the second five year plan, Soviet Union became the second largest economic power in the world. Such a unique feat was achieved under the leadership of great Stalin. It was no easy a task. There was no help from outside. Economic sanctions imposed on the country were also continuing. Inside the party, the Trotsky-Bukharin-Kamenev-Zinoviev clique was carrying out anti-party activities, vulgarizing Lenin’s teachings and trying to confuse the cadres and the people. Comrade Stalin had to provide theoretical answers to combat all the questions raised by the renegades. This was an ideological struggle that he conducted with immense grit and firm conviction. At the same time, he had to fight the external aggressions. At the call of Stalin, the workers and peasants of Soviet Union virtually worked 24 hours a day to save socialism. In this way, Soviet Union became the second largest economic power.
Over and above the ongoing ploys within the country and external attacks, another conspiracy was hatched to crush socialism. That attack was deadly. Kirov, a front-ranking leader of the party was shot to death inside the party headquarter in Leningrad. After the assassin was arrested, it could be known by questioning him that a dangerous conspiracy was going on. Many leaders of the party were involved in it. These conspirators had created a network even within the military and the administration to succeed in their sinister attempt. On the one hand, the imperialist superpowers like England, France and USA were backing Hitler and Mussolini to destroy Soviet Union. You might not know what Netaji Subhas had said in the Tripuri conference of the Congress party. Let me state it before you. He said: “So called democratic powers, Great Britain, France with the backing of America, are conspiring to destroy socialism in Soviet Union.” (Crossroads) He said this with great concern. At the initial stage, these imperialist powers backed Hitler and Mussolini so that the latter could destroy Russia. And the followers of Trotsky like Bukharin-Kamenev-Zinoviev had become part of Hitler’s conspiracy to demolish Russia. They had planted agents in the military and administration. The plan was that after Kirov, Stalin would be killed and then Hitler would launch attack. In the meanwhile, they would revolt from within and bring down the Soviet government so that Germany could occupy Russia. Then they would be saddled in power. This was the grave conspiracy to destroy Soviet Union. Thus, the overthrown bourgeoisie of Russia had launched a deadly attack to dislodge Soviet socialist government. This was the ploy for a counter-revolutionary upsurge to restore capitalism in Russia. This was the backdrop in which was organized the famous Moscow Trial centered on which Stalin has been vilified so much.
Historic Moscow trial
A trial of persons charged of plotting for bringing down a state did not take place secretly. Soviet Union held an open trial for such accused persons. It invited the ambassadors of all countries as well as renowned lawyers to witness the trial. There was nothing to hide. Based on the deposition of the witnesses, the accused persons admitted their guilt. I would like to mention the name of only one person who was present during the entire proceedings. He was Joseph Davis, the US ambassador in Moscow. He wrote in his book ‘Mission to Moscow’ that such an impartial, legitimate and absolutely legal trial had not taken place in any other country. In the face of conclusive evidence, witness accounts and cross examinations, the accused were compelled to admit their crimes one by one. Davis also said that there was no sign of torture or coercion in the bearing of the accused. D. N. Pritt, an eminent lawyer of Great Britain turned into an admirer of communism after witnessing the trial. Such was Moscow trial. After the trial, those who were agents of this conspiracy in the military and administration were arrested. Those who were proved to have committed serious crime were sentenced to death. Based on this, the bourgeois media still run a vilification campaign against Stalin calling him as a killer, slayer and so forth. But this trial was then hailed by Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, Einstein and such other eminent personalities. Neither Rabindranath nor any other renowned persons of India said anything against the trial. Because, they understood the legitimacy of the trial. They could not support any conspiracy to destroy Soviet socialism.
It is imperialism which generates war and indulges in war-mongering
I want to ask: Who had engineered the First World War in which millions of people lost their life, thousands of towns and villages were razed to the ground? Was it socialism or capitalism? Who triggered the Second World War which also sniffed out so many millions of innocent lives and caused so much of destruction? It was imperialism who was responsible for both. I want to ask who had plundered the colonies of Asia, Africa and Latin America and killed the freedom fighters there. Who hanged them? It is imperialism. I want to ask further who had dropped atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima killing lakhs of people and crippled many more for generations when Japan was on the verge of surrender. It was US imperialism. Why? Because, the Red Army after liberating China and then Korea was advancing towards Japan. Hence, that advance needed to be halted so that Japan could surrender to US imperialism and not the Soviet Red Army. There was no need for it. Einstein was very much shocked at the consequence of this nuclear bombing on Japan. With immense pain, he said, ‘Let me not be born as a scientist in my rebirth, if it is there. Let me be a carpenter’.’ What an abuse of science! Who had orchestrated this brutal mass killing? It was imperialism-capitalism. Fascist Hitler had executed millions of innocent Jews and communists. Do the bourgeois media and the intellectuals on the pay roll of the bourgeoisie discuss all these things? Raise any question on this? The people of Vietnam fought first against French imperialism and then Japanese imperialism to free their country. Thereafter, US imperialism recklessly used lethal Napalm bomb in order to crush liberation struggle of Vietnam. What could be a more heinous crime than this? Recently, who has destroyed Iraq on the fraudulent pretext of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction? Now it is proved that this was an utterly false accusation. Who has destroyed Libya and Afghanistan? Who is the creator of the Talibanis, Al Quada and IS? Who is providing arms to them? It is once again US imperialism. US imperialists are the generators of religious terrorism. They are now conducting a proxy war against Syria. Why do the so called ‘neutral’ media and paid columnists of our country as well as round the world maintain an eerie silence over all such ghastly acts of US imperialists? But they now and often raise false accusations against Stalin and malign him. History will not pardon them. During the Second World War, the whole world looked at Stalin and Soviet Union with the hope that only Stalin would be able to save the world from the fascist attack of Hitler and Mussolini. Soviet Union led by Stalin had fulfilled their hope. The Red Army had liberated the entire East Europe where socialism was established. At that point of time, Soviet Union gave call for total disarmament and abrogation of all military treaties which I mentioned earlier. It said it was ready for that. Let the world be free from the holocaust of war. This was the call of Stalin. He was developing militant peace movement. But then the imperialists began creating military alliances like NATO and CEATO to encircle Soviet Union. Under such circumstances, Soviet Union had to sign Warsaw pact in self-defence. This is the history.
Stalin, a worthy student of Lenin
Stalin used to conduct the party and run the state in accordance with the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin. All the foreigners who saw him and met him were all highly attracted. He was very unassuming and humble. Always, he called himself a student of Lenin. If anyone said that he was a student of Stalin, he immediately protested. He said since he was himself a student of Lenin, how could one be a student of another student? He always maintained that. He used to say: I am the product of the party, of Marxism-Leninism. If there is any credit of mine, then that belongs to Marxism-Leninism, to the Soviet Communist Party. Churchill had gone to meet him. He was astonished to find that Stalin was staying in a room which was exactly the same like the one meant for a class IV staff in Britain. The British Prime Minister could not believe his eyes. Davis, the US ambassador to Soviet Union wrote to his daughter: “If you can picture a personality that is exactly opposite to what the most rabid anti-Stalinists propagate, then you might picture this man (Stalin)…. A child would like to sit in his lap”. (Mission to Moscow) John Gunther, a well-known journalist of that time had remarked: “Associates worship Hitler, fear Mussolini and respect Stalin; this seems to be the gist of it.” (Stalin — an article published in Harper Magazine) Bernard Shaw once asked in which country he thought had existed real freedom. He replied: ‘‘There is only one country in the world where you can enjoy real freedom — it is Russia where great Stalin is still alive.”(New Statesman and nations, December, 1934). Romain Rolland had said that so long he would live, he would work for the Soviet Union. “Stalin, as it were, opens a new chapter of classical age in the annals of Russia and the people of the world”, said this great humanist in his famous book “Moscow Diary”. When the Azad Hind Army was defeated in the war in 1945, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with deep respect and full confidence said in his speech broadcast from Singapore radio that, “In postwar Europe, there is only one power that has a plan which is worth trial, and that power is Soviet Union. If there is one man in Europe today who holds in his hands the destinies of the European nations for the next few decades, that man is Marshal Stalin.” None of these luminaries who admired Soviet Union and Stalin was a communist.
Stalin used to lead a very simple life. Alexi Ribin, his bodyguard had written in his reminiscence that Stalin did not have more than three or four dresses. If his coat was torn, he would get it stitched. A statesman and leader of his stature had such a plain living. He was the son of a worker and continued to lead the life of a worker. When we were school students, there was discussion about Stalin even in remote villages. There were two names pronounced with deep reverence in every household—Netaji Subhas and Stalin.
You know that Bhagat Singh just before his hanging had raised slogans – “Long Live Marxism”, “Inquilab Zindabad’, “ long live Proletarian Internationalism”. He embraced Marxism. Netaji Subhas wrote to Barin Ghosh, a revolutionary leader that the future objective of India is to establish communism. They were all attracted towards communism by seeing the spectacular achievements of Soviet Union and a great communist leader like Stalin. The spate of attacks launched by the bourgeoisie against Stalin is actually an attack on Marxism-Leninism, proletarian revolution and social progress. Because, Stalin continues to be a living embodiment of all these. We know that falsehood can confuse people for some time but not for long. Already it is learnt that Stalin is regaining his place of honour in Russia as well as in the whole world.
Socialism is poised to end exploitation of man by man forever
By correctly and creatively applying Marxism on Russian soil, Soviet socialism had added a new glorious chapter to the history of mankind. It is also true that because of counter-revolutionary upsurge, Soviet socialist society is no more in existence. We are pained but we are not frustrated. From the teachings of history, I would like to draw attention to one fact. In order to achieve ultimate victory, every new ideal or movement had to go through a cycle of defeats and victories, successes and failures. Religious movements claimed that their strength lies in divine power. But no religious movement scored victory at one stroke. It was true for Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and even Buddhism. Buddha, however, did not believe in god. He only propagated an ideology. Buddha’s ideology, propagation of Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism and all religions needed hundreds of years of a cycle of victory and defeat to get acceptance among people. This is the history. Same is the case with what we call bourgeois democracy or parliamentary democracy. Renaissance started in the fifteenth century and parliamentary democracy finally firmed its root in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. For final victory, it needed three hundred to three hundred fifty years. After passing the period of renaissance, sometimes parliamentary system was established and then once again monarchy was reinstalled. Again parliamentary system came back. If you go through the history of France and England, you will come to know about vicissitude of history of establishment of parliamentary democracy.
Religious movements were not movements for abolishing oppression. One form of oppression was replaced by another. Monarchy replaced slave system. Then feudal-monarchical system was overthrown to establish bourgeois parliamentary system which is also based on capitalist exploitation. But socialism is poised to end forever the exploitation of man by man continuing for thousands of years. It means that socialism has to fight against thousands of years of oppressive rule. Compared to thousands of years, 70 years is nothing. You ought to understand this.
All Marxist stalwarts forewarned about possibility of counter-revolution
In this connection, I would like to place before you some of the invaluable teachings of great teachers and guides of World Communist Movement. Describing socialism as the first stage of communism, Great Marx had said: “What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.” (Critique of the Gotha programme) According to this teaching of Marx, economic, moral and intellectual influence of capitalism remains in socialism. He further taught: “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly — only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” (ibid) That means, so long the aforesaid changes do not take place in socialism, the concept of bourgeois right does remain. This was Marx’s warning. Marx further said: “Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other.” (ibid) Marx called this revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. As per this historical statement, if correct revolutionary path is followed in this period i.e. socialism, communism would be attained. If there is deviation from the revolutionary path, capitalism would be restored.
Great Lenin sounded caution about this after revolution in 1919. In his language, “Theoretically, there can be no doubt that between capitalism and communism there lies a definite transition period which must combine the features and properties of both these forms of social economy. This transition period has to be a period of struggle between dying capitalism and nascent communism — or, in other words, between capitalism which has been defeated but not destroyed and communism which has been born but is still very feeble… And classes still remain and will remain in the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (Economics and Politics in the Era of Dictatorship of the Proletariat) He further added: “The exploiters have been smashed, but not destroyed. They still have an international base in the form of international capital, of which they are a branch. They still retain certain means of production in part, they still have money and they still have vast social connections. Because they have been defeated, the energy of their resistance has increased a hundred and a thousandfold. The ‘art’ of state, military and economic administration gives them superiority, and a very great superiority, so that their importance is incomparably greater than their numerical proportion of the population. The class struggle waged by the overthrown exploiters against the victorious vanguard of the exploited, i.e., the proletariat, has become incomparably more bitter.’’ (ibid) He also said in 1920 that, “the bourgeoisie, whose resistance is increased tenfold by its overthrow (even if only in one country), and whose power lies not only in the strength of international capital, in the strength and durability of the international connections of the bourgeoisie, but also in the force of habit, in the strength of small production. ….The dictatorship of the proletariat is 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 of millions and tens of millions is a most terrible force.” (Left-wing Communism—an Infantile Disorder) It is pertinent to mention here that the defeated bourgeoisie apart, what Lenin meant by forces of habit and tradition of the old society among the tens of million is the power of bourgeois, petty-bourgeois and feudal mentalities, culture and habits among the masses and held this power to be a dangerous one supportive of capitalism. It is to be understood that so long as the oppressed masses are not well educated about Marxist and communist thoughts, they, in spite of being on the side of revolution driven by the urge for emancipation from exploitation, would be under poisonous influence of all these pernicious thoughts in the form of forces of habit. The leadership ought to remain vigilant and conduct fierce ideological-cultural struggle against all such harmful thoughts. Among the leaders and cadres of communist party also, there is difference of standard. These forces subtly work among those who lag behind in struggle. So, it is imperative to conduct conscious struggle to remove all these vestiges of bourgeois and feudal thoughts and culture.
Great Stalin also said in the 17th Congress of CPSU that more advanced is socialism, more intensified is class struggle. Repeatedly he pointed out with concern that many of the leaders and workers were not giving due importance to the ideological struggle. After Second World War, when Stalin was hailed all over the world, people were jubilant about socialism, and war-ravaged Soviet economy again became powerful through reconstruction, Stalin had voiced much of concern in the 19th Congress of the CPSU held just before his demise. Never had he expressed so much of anxiety before even in the face of so many severe crises. He stated: “…with the victorious conclusion of the war and our big achievements in the economic field since the war…has bred in the ranks of our Party a tendency of self-satisfaction…a spirit of smug complacency…quite a number of responsible workers…are inclined to think we can do everything, nothing is beyond us, …all is going well and there is no need for them to worry for themselves… turn meetings, gatherings…plenary meetings and conferences into vainglorious displays, into occasion of self-laudation… there are ugly features of bureaucracy and degeneration… some of our executives …base their selection of personnel …on kinship, friendship and hometown ties…(there) is concealment …of the true state of affairs…and depicting of the results …in too rosy a light… most dangerous and vicious violations of Party and state discipline. (Report of 19th Congress of CPSU) He also stated with grave anxiety that, “…we still have vestiges of bourgeois ideology, relics of private property mentality and morality. These relics do not die away of themselves; they are very tenacious and may strengthen their hold…. The ideological work of the party must play an important part in purging the minds of people of survivals of the capitalist mentality, of prejudices and pernicious traditions inherited from the old society.” (ibid) We are to understand that the forces of habit and tradition about which Lenin had warned in 1919-20 featured dangerously even after so much of progress of socialism. Noticing that even as late as in 1952, Stalin gave call for intensifying ideological struggle. We also need to understand that forces of habit, tradition, sense of ownership inherited from the old society do not go away that easily. The advent of patriarchal society with slave system, with caste division, feature since ancient time. Even today, those are carried forward. Similarly, sense of private ownership over property originated in the slave society and was strengthened further by feudalism and then capitalism. So to wipe out thoughts and mentalities prevailing for thousands of years are not that easy. But, this very arduous task can be accomplished if class struggles are intensified in the sphere of ideology and culture following correct Marxist outlook. Stalin further said, “It is because of inadequate guidance of ideological work and lack of control of its content that we often find serious errors and distortions in books, newspapers and magazines and in the activities of scientific and other ideological institutions…If there are sectors of ideological work which for any reason fall out of the purview of party organizations, if there are sectors in which party leadership and its influence have slackened, alien elements, the remains of anti-Leninist groups smashed by the party, will try to get hold of these sectors and utilize them for the promotion of their own line, for the revival and spread of all sorts of un-Marxist ‘opinions’ and ‘conceptions’….Some of our Party organizations tend to devote all their attention to economic affairs and…forget ideological matters ’’(ibid) Then he sounded the caution that, “Nor are we guaranteed against the infiltration of alien views, ideas and sentiments from outside, from the capitalist countries or from inside, from the relics of groups hostile to the Soviet state which have not been completely demolished by the party.” (ibid) We must always remember that if the influence of socialist ideology is weakened, the effect would be strengthening of bourgeois ideology. Expressing grave concern, he warned further: “Ideological work is a prime duty of the party and underestimation of its importance may do irreparable damage to the interests of the party and state.” (ibid) Exactly what Stalin warned about had happened. An irreparable damage had been caused to the Soviet Party and state. The quotations of Stalin we have referred above, show that he was aware of the danger of attack, both from within and outside, against the Soviet state. He was visibly worried about private property mentality, vestiges of old morality gaining strength, influence of the relics of old bourgeois reformist thoughts and tradition, conspiracy of the anti-Leninist groups and above all, prevalence of bourgeois ideology. How considerable was the influence of bourgeois ideology at the time that he had to caution about irreparable damage to be caused to the state and party and increased spread of bourgeois thoughts in case there was compromise on the question of accentuating ideological struggle. He understood that these internal anti-socialist forces in connivance with external imperialism could endanger socialism. So, he referred to all these crises with a view to preparing the Party for another great struggle. But very soon thereafter, he passed away. So this struggle remained unfulfilled. It is clear that Khrushchev usurped the leadership of the state and party as the representative of these anti-socialism forces which emerged in the then Soviet Union and against all of which Stalin gave a call to release struggle. After being saddled in power, Khrushchev unleashed the process of revisionism as a prelude to restoration of capitalism and released a smear campaign against Stalin with a view to giving up the revolutionary line pursued by Lenin and Stalin, and in the words of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, “opened the floodgate of revisionism”. As a result, slowly socialism was degenerated to pave way for bourgeois counter-revolution. Rightly said Comrade Shibdas Ghosh that “……clearing the path for revisionism, liberalism and infiltration of all sorts of perverted reactionary concepts of bourgeois counter-revolution into the party. This is what the revisionist Soviet leadership has done.” (Soviet Military Intervention in Czechoslovakia and Revisionism) Exposing the real objective behind the ploy to malign Stalin, he said: “…like his precursors Marx, Engels and Lenin, Stalin also is an authority on Marxism-Leninism. To black out Stalin would have the inevitable result of disowning his authority and consequently of rejecting his interpretation of Leninism, which is the present-day understanding of Marxism-Leninism…. It would mean invitation to all sorts of counter-revolutionary ideas to pass for Marxism-Leninism and the ideological foundation of the communist movement would suffer a setback. (On the Steps taken by the CPSU against Stalin) Khrushchev and his associates, extremely shrewd as they were, realized that unless Stalin’s authority was undermined, they would not succeed in their ulterior mission. Because, to the Soviet people, the name of Stalin was synonymous with socialism, revolution and Marxism-Leninism. They had immense trust and confidence in him and possessed high regard about him. However, this was not based on relatively higher ideological standard. So the Khrushchevite clique got their ploy materialized by confusing the people with slogans of Marxism-Leninism and socialism and ushering in one-sided vilification campaign against Stalin. What danger can be caused if the ideological standard of the cadres and members of a communist party as well as the people at large is lowered was pointed out by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh citing the example of Soviet Union. He said: ‘‘If backwardness continues to persist in the fields of epistemology and culture, then the entire party and the working class may, being misled, tread the revisionist-reformist path and bring about restoration of capitalism while waving the banner of Marxism-Leninism and chanting socialist slogans.’’ (Cultural Revolution of China) In this connection, I would like to remind you that way back in 1948 when the world communist movement was in full glory, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had warned that “So far, the communists of different countries mostly stressed one-sided routine work of organization without showing any regard to co-ordinating it with questions of ideology…. that has virtually led to the negation of the Marxian science, accepted through test of the historical experiences regarding the dialectical process of emergence and formation of the revolutionary communist leadership through interaction of ideas.” (Self-criticism of the Communist Camp) After a few days, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said by pointing out another shortcoming that, “…the philosophical development of Marxism-Leninism which ought to have been made in the face of multiplicity of newer problems of life and class struggles and in keeping with the spectacular progress of natural sciences that marked the post-Lenin period, was not made.” (On the Steps taken by the CPSU against Stalin) Stalin had also admitted this shortcoming in his report to the 19th Congress of CPSU. After Lenin’s death, Stalin had to spend almost entire time in handling the serious crisis which cropped up within the party, discharging the task of ensuring fast progress of socialist reconstruction, thwarting counter-revolutionary upsurge before Second World War and conducting a life and death struggle against the fascist axis in the Second World War. So, he could not give that attention to the task of contributing to philosophical development of Marxism-Leninism. However, just before his death, he undertook this task and wrote two invaluable books on Socialist economy and the problem of linguistics. But because of his sudden death, similar contributions in other fields could not be made.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh defined the new standard of higher communist character
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had also drawn attention to two more important aspects. First of all, he said that, “…in Russia as well as in China, the number of people adapted to Marxist-Leninist way of thinking are very few in comparison to the vast population. Those who have some idea about Marxism-Leninism have just a superficial impact of this ideology on them. Again, the party workers who work and think in accordance with the Marxist-Leninist methodology and outlook have been found to suffer from bourgeois ideological confusions and are influenced by modern revisionism.” (Cultural Revolution of China) Secondly, he further added: “The Chinese revolution was an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, democratic — a people’s democratic revolution under the leadership of the working class, with the national bourgeoisie an ally of this revolution. Up to a certain stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution in Russia, the bourgeoisie there had advanced a few steps along the path of revolution and stayed in alliance with the communists. After that, before the bourgeoisie seated in power could provide stability to the bourgeois class rule, the proletariat in Russia rapidly overthrew the bourgeois class from state power and made socialist revolution successful, and thereafter, it is under the leadership of the working class that they accomplished the unfinished tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution. For this reason individualism there had a relatively progressive role at the time.” (Science of Marxism is the Scientific Dialectical Methodology) He thus had shown that during revolution and even for some period after that individualism had a relative progressive role. But, noticing that influence of bourgeois individualism was persisting even thereafter, he pointed out that, “…This is precisely that growing trend aimed at reducing the sense of individual freedom and liberty, individuality and emancipation of the individual to individual privileges and vulgar individualism with the attainment of more and more stability in economic and political spheres in the socialist society, which I have already termed as ‘socialist individualism’, meaning a new kind of individualism in socialist society.” (Cultural Revolution of China) Then he added: “Up till now, the highest standard of communist moral values was considered to have been reflected in this, and only they were considered to be the real communists who were able to surrender unconditionally and happily the individual interest to social interest, place the cause of revolution and party above all and subordinate individual interest to the cause of revolution and party. And in Communist Education by Kalinin, this was considered to be the highest standard of communist consciousness…. But this cannot be considered as the adequate standard for the leading communists in the context of newer complexities of present-day life…the individual’s struggle for emancipation has reached a new and complex height and has assumed a new character in the socialist society where to resolve this problem, a more intense and arduous struggle is to be conducted for complete identification of the self-interest with the interest of society through unflagging dedication and constant vigil. Hence, it is a new standard of ethics and human values, a level that is completely and basically different from and higher than the level of the bourgeois humanist values which so long have been applied in practice to inspire and attract the workers and cadres in the communist movement.” (ibid) I want to remind you of another warning by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. He said: “The contradiction that exists between the individual interest and the social interest is antagonistic in nature… so long as the state exists as a reflection of this antagonistic contradiction, even in socialism the individual must have to submit to the social interest, and the trend of revolt against the repressive character of the socialist state would appear repeatedly in individuals and, for this, the social objective would suffer time and again… indifferent attitude towards social problems would grow more and more. As a result, the appeal of the nobility of communist ideology and the power of communist dedication would lose their attraction, or it would lead to the trend of liberalization. In other words, more and more demands for greater individual freedom and rights would be raised. And if this process continues, then this would give birth to revisionism and that would only help in the restoration of capitalism.” (ibid)
Pointing out the reasons for which revisionism could raise its ugly head in Soviet Union, he said: “For instance, the system of collective farming is there and also production of commodities and commodity circulation and the existence of individual property like houses, money, bank deposits, etc. The law of value is operative there. All this shows that the seeds of private property have not been destroyed there. And so long as these seeds remain, the tendency of capitalist restoration in the economy would also be there…But the more the consolidation and victories of socialism, the more this tendency loses its strength, the more cornered it becomes in the economic sphere and loses its power to attack, resist and bring about counter-revolution, although the class struggle becomes more intense and acute and assumes a more subtle form in the superstructure, that is, in the ideological and cultural spheres…In order to prevent this, it was necessary to maintain a high and adequate ideological and cultural standard of consciousness by conducting cultural revolution and ideological struggle ceaselessly within the party, on the one hand, while on the other, it was necessary to develop and enrich Marxism continually, not only in the economic and political sphere but also for confronting the newer and newer problems arising in the changed condition in human life.” (Soviet Military Intervention in Czechoslovakia)
Already the thought that a handful of people as owners would amass huge wealth and majority of the populace would remain oppressed and deprived had been inculcated in people’s mind during the exploitative slave-society, feudalism and capitalism. Similarly, one more thought was indoctrinated that only a few talented and intelligent people would be entitled to knowledge and the majority of the masses would provide physical labour and would not cultivate knowledge. Everyone does not have talent. Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Shibdas Ghosh had fought not only for economic emancipation, they had fought for opening up the scope for cultivation of knowledge to all. But the problem is that the members of the communist party and the proletariat are prepared to bear the pain and difficulties, undertake any hard task and even embrace death for accomplishing revolution. But they are not that eager to cultivate knowledge because of inheritance of a conventional, if not superstitious, mindset built up over so many hundreds of years. A sense of indifference works in them. That is why Stalin said that ‘‘Ideological work is a prime duty of the party and underestimation of its importance may do irreparable damage to the interests of the party and state.” (Report of 19th Congress) Though the party workers and the people at large had immense respect for him, they did not respond to this appeal. What immense harm has been caused on account of that. We need to draw appropriate lesson from this.
Great Mao Zedong had said during his call for cultural revolution to thwart counter-revolution in China that, “Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds and endeavour to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do the exact opposite: it must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and overthrow those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road…” (Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution)
So long, I have tried to show by quoting from Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong-Shibdas Ghosh that they all had taught one thing. By imbuing people with the revolutionary ideology by way of conducting fierce ideological struggle, even after establishment of socialism as well as progress of socialism, the bourgeois factors which remain as hangover are to be eradicated for preventing counter-revolution. But that does not mean that since the bourgeois features and factors are in existence in socialism, counter-revolution would be inevitable. It depends on whether the party and people are correctly struggling by way of elevating their ideological-cultural standard to thwart counter-revolution. Whether they, after strengthening socialist economic structure by almost eliminating the bourgeois elements and features in the economy, are simultaneously conducting intense ideological struggle along right track in the superstructure to eradicate all traces of bourgeois thoughts, ideas, private property mental complex, culture, forces of habits and tradition inherited from the past societies. Otherwise, from superstructure, counter-revolutionary attack destroys the socio-economic base also. We are to draw appropriate lesson about this from the teachings of the Marxist authorities referred to above.
Dismantling of socialism has been disastrous for the world
What serious harm would be caused to mankind if Soviet socialism faced debacle was pointed out by Romain Rolland long back. He said: “If it (Soviet Union) is crushed it would no longer be the proletariat of the world alone who would be enslaved, but all liberty, social or individual will be destroyed…the world will be thrown several ages behind.” (I will not rest) Exactly that has happened. So long as the powerful socialist bloc was in existence, not only revolutionary movements as well as anti-imperialist movements in various countries, but also anti-war peace movements as well as progressive democratic movements were strengthened. There was a cultivation of values. Everything has been harmed considerably. The frenzy of national-casteist-communal-ethnic hatred, religious fundamentalism, religious terrorism and ghastly killings bred by imperialism-capitalism coupled with absence of democratic consciousness and values has created serious crises in all countries. Had there been socialist bloc, US imperialism could have never been able to destroy Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan nor could it launch attack on Syria. For example, in 1956, England and France backed by US mounted attack on Egypt centring on domination over Suez Canal. But the moment Soviet Union gave an ultimatum, they beat retreat in no time.
In view of all these, it is indeed extremely painful that this very socialism has been dismantled because of counter-revolutionary clique. But there is no reason to be in despair for that. I have already said that religious movements as well as bourgeois democratic revolution had only replaced one oppressive system by another. Yet they needed hundreds of years to score final victory. Compared to those hundreds of years, 70 years are too short a time for final victory of a movement for abolishing oppression for good. So, we have to draw appropriate lessons as to what have been the causes behind dismantling of socialism and accomplish proletarian revolution in the days to come. In 1871, duration of the Paris Commune was only for three months. Thereafter, the bourgeoisie demolished it. Marx derived necessary education from this debacle and said that unless bourgeois state machine is smashed, working class revolution would not be victorious. Lenin had implemented that teaching. Similarly, in the coming days, drawing lessons from the debacle of Soviet socialism, the communists would protect socialism from counter-revolutionary attack and take it forward. They would not allow socialism to be in danger any more. So, what is our task today? There are two options before us. Should we allow imperialism-capitalism to last and oppression-repression to continue unabated, remain passive onlookers to spurt in unemployment, retrenchment, starvation deaths, suicides, flesh trade, rape and gang rape, rape of tiny children and old women, destruction of human qualities and essence, abolition of values, annihilation of conscience, or we should strive for emancipation from all these menaces and aberrations? What is the roadmap to this cherished emancipation? The roadmap has been laid by Great November Revolution.
We are to save human civilization from the brink of ruination
Today, human civilization is on the brink of ruination. The existing capitalist system has turned into a rotten stinking corpse. Society has turned so inhuman that old parents are strangulated to death by children for property. Husband is murdering or selling wife. This is the endowment of capitalism. There is no human feeling, no human essence, no values or culture. The bourgeois parties are after pelf and power. Their sole objective is to serve the multi-nationals, corporate houses and monopolists. And after riding to power with the backing of the money bags, they are also making huge fortunes, amassing black wealth. Just a few days back, the Panama Papers scam has come to the fore. Recently, the Paradise Papers scam has also been unfolded. Both are mega-scams involving black money. It is reported that as many as 417 political leaders, ministers and industrialists are involved in these scams. Also featuring on the list are the names of many leaders-ministers-industrialists of various other countries. A Swiss Bank has furnished names of about 1000 black money holders of India. What step has been taken by the government? The ruling party leaders and ministers are only playing to the gallery with a surfeit of counterfeit promises and hollow claims. More they speak against corruption, more rises corruption. They themselves are sunk in corruption. Should we allow this to continue? Then, what would be the future? Only remedial course is establishment of socialism traversing the path of November Revolution. It is heartening to note that oppressed people are often raising their heads and bursting in spontaneous protests. Movements like the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ of America would surge forth again and again. This movement had shaken the US imperialist regime. Spate of workers’ strikes on legitimate demands are swamping entire Europe particularly in Britain, Germany, Italy and France. In our country also, the workers, peasants, students, women and all other sections of the toiling masses are building up struggles, bravely facing bullets. Flame of agitation is aglow. They want change, remedy, emancipation. But they do not know how this change or emancipation would come by. Only Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought can provide the path. Only November revolution can provide the beacon. The history has adjured that task to us. We have taken all out initiative to fulfil this task. We have not observed this November Revolution in a ritualistic manner by organizing just a hall meeting. We undertook a year -long campaign to spread the message of November Revolution throughout the country. It is a great pleasure that people have been highly inspired by our campaign. They have extended support to us and generously contributed to our fighting fund. We have also been inspired by that.
So I want to reiterate that imperialism-capitalism is on the death pyre. Only the conscious working class can light the fire if they are imbued with Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought and organize themselves; if they can build up first people’s struggle committees and later revolutionary committees and volunteer corps on the edifice of higher ethics and morality. First, they have to develop united democratic movement with other social democratic parties based on common minimum programme, isolate such parties from the masses in the process, establish revolutionary leadership on the people and thus move ahead. We are to undertake this responsibility in India. Our task is to develop class and mass struggles as well as class organizations. Lenin had taught that revolutionaries need to participate in the elections and try to win seats so long as people are not positively disillusioned about the bourgeois parliamentary system, with the definite revolutionary objective of reflecting the voice of people’s movement inside the house and simultaneously build up extra-parliamentary movements based on burning problems of life and intensify class struggle. Election would not bring about revolution. This is the teaching of Lenin. But the CPI (M) and CPI have not been moving that way. That is why, based on the teaching of Lenin, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had said at the time of first United Front government in West Bengal in 1967 that we, the leftists, should run the government not in the bourgeois way but for strengthening class and mass struggles. In Lenin’s time, there did not arise any opportunity for the leftists to form government in a bourgeois set up. So, Lenin had not provided any guideline on this. By developing Lenin’s teachings, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said that even if the leftists formed government, that government also should work for the same objective of intensifying class struggle. On this question, there was serious difference between us and the CPI (M). After 34 years of CPI (M) rule conducted with bourgeois outlook and approach, you can very well see how much this state of West Bengal, once known as the citadel of left-democratic movement and class struggle, has been degenerated in every respect. The leaders and workers of the CPI (M) present in this meeting should understand this.
We shall firmly hold aloft the banner of November Revolution
We shall go on organizing democratic movements on the pressing demands of the people. We shall also build up class and mass struggles of the poor workers and peasants and fight election with that clear revolutionary objective. If any other social democratic party wants to join us, we shall develop joint movement with them. Guided by the outlook of proletarian internationalism and revolutionary fraternity, we shall help and support the revolutionary movement of Bangladesh. Similarly, from the same obligation to proletarian internationalism, we shall help the initiatives for developing communist movement in various countries. I shall conclude by saying that All Roads Lead To November Revolution. Carry forward this message of November Revolution.
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought!
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!
Long Live SUCI(Communist)
Red Salute to Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Marxbadi)
Red Salute to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Shibdas Ghosh