These are excerpts from the speech Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, member, Polit Bureau, SUCI(C) delivered at a meeting in Guwahati District Library Auditorium on 9 November, 2017 to mark the closing ceremony of the year-long programme of observance of the centenary of the great November Revolution. Comrade Chandralekha Das, Secretary, Assam State Committee presided over the meeting.
Comrade Asit Bhattacharya said: This meeting is organized by the Assam State Committee to mark the closing function of the year-long programme for celebrating the centenary of the great November Revolution. The objective of observing this centenary is to determine our tasks today on the basis of the teachings of the November Revolution and realization of its significance.
Distinctiveness of November Revolution in the history of mankind
He stressed: November Revolution is a unique and great event in the history of human civilization. There is a distinct and definite difference between the November Revolution and all the other revolutions in the world that preceded it, principally the French Revolution, the American War of Independence, the democratic revolutions in the different European countries — they all played very important roles in the process of development of society, in social progress. The French Revolution unseated feudalism and monarchy from power and established bourgeois democracy. The fundamental difference between the November Revolution and all these other revolutions is that though they played determining roles in the then societies, they could not put an end to exploitation of man by man. November Revolution accomplished this for the first time in history, and therein lies the profound significance of the November Revolution. Secondly, in the French Revolution, the American War of Independence or the other bourgeois democratic revolutions following them, spontaneity played a big role, though assuredly they were organized through the awakening of new consciousness and new thinking. The November Revolution was the first revolution which, though there was spontaneity in it, was based on a correct scientific theory. This revolution was organized through concretizing the abstract general theory and philosophy of Marx’s dialectical materialism, by giving it a concrete form, by particularizing it, by making the entire mass of exploited people conscious, by organizing them and giving birth to theoretical knowledge in the workers and peasants and the common people. Great Marx, on the basis of dialectical materialism enunciated historical materialism, developed the world of knowledge and formulated the laws of social change. The top intellectuals subservient to the capitalist class could not nullify these laws in spite of their earnest efforts. They had to bite the dust. November Revolution actualized the application of the theory of Marx. Marx showed that the ever-acting contradiction between productive force and production relation is the determining factor for bringing about social change. The correct scientific idea for bringing about social change is to give birth to new production relations which are in consonance with the growing needs of the productive forces. Marx said that leaving aside the miniscule number of the highly rich people, the owners, the vast masses of the exploited people have to be organized and made class conscious. It has to be explained to them that the capitalist class, the rich people, the oppressors and the exploiters constitute less than 10 % of the population, and that the emancipation of the working class from all forms of exploitation can only come through ousting this class from power through revolution, and thereby smash the productive system under their control, and establish social ownership over the means of production in the production system. Basing on this theory of Marx, great Lenin set out to organize revolution, and it was under his leadership that the great Russian Revolution was accomplished in 1917. As a matter of fact November revolution and Lenin are one and indivisible, they are completely identified. He described this revolution as the beginning of world revolution. This revolution has a long history.
Lenin, architect of November Revolution
Comrade Asit Bhattacharya said : because of lack of time in this meeting I can not discuss in detail the struggle of building up the true revolutionary party in Russia under Lenin’s leadership, the process of making the people class conscious under the party’s leadership, the process of building up the party organization and other such questions. But of course it is very necessary to know the detailed history of the Russian revolution. In the process of bringing about this historic proletarian revolution in Russia on the basis of correct application of Marxism, Lenin created a vast store-house of knowledge, and developed Marxism to a new height. What a vast amount of knowledge is stored in his speeches, in every line of his writings. It is the bounden duty of revolutionaries of all countries to regularly and thoroughly cultivate this store of knowledge. Because of time factor I shall confine myself simply to a few of Lenin’s invaluable teachings. Karl Marx the great teacher and leader of the proletariat, the exponent of Marxism and communist philosophy, conveyed the quintessence of communism through a beautiful expression, ‘communism is humanism minus private property.’ While building up communist movement and the communist party in Russia, as well as the international communist movement, the architect of Russian revolution, great Lenin took all the necessary steps to follow this fundamental guiding concept. He lucidly explained the necessity and revolutionary significance of getting declassed, whose essence is to free oneself from all the thoughts and ideas of the capitalist class and be imbued with the revolutionary thinking of the working class. Following the thoughts of Marx he propounded the theory of building up the true communist party of the working class being freed from the private property mental complex, and gave birth to the concept of professional revolutionaries. On the question of building up the revolutionary party of the working class he further said that only those who, in relative sense, have not much attachment to private property and are relatively free from private property sense truly belong to the class of the proletariat and for that they have the potentiality of acquiring communist character and building up the revolutionary communist party. Class conscious individuals will come from this class through a definite process of struggle for being freed from capitalist class thoughts and imbibing the revolutionary thoughts of the working class, that is being declassed. It is they who would build up the revolutionary party. They would lead and accomplish revolution forging unity with all other oppressed classes. Lenin said that even among the working class, bourgeois thoughts exist as a pollutant. So those who want to build up a revolutionary party must release an intense struggle to be free from such thoughts. He said that they would be the leaders of revolution in whom, through the process of struggle to be declassed, the realization has become firmly rooted that there is no life outside revolution. About the membership of a revolutionary party Lenin said that this membership cannot be given to all and sundry. Anyone aspiring to be eligible for membership must go through tests and trials and be engaged in a struggle. It needs to be mentioned that on this question Lenin had strong differences with Plekhanov, Martov and others. These persons including Plekhanov considered themselves to be Marxists. But they failed to grasp the essence of Marxism. Their view was that intellectuals, doctors, engineers, so-called scholars need not go through the process of starting to work at the lowest level. They can be given immediate membership. Lenin vehemently opposed it. He said that if this is done, the party, instead of being a revolutionary party, would be an agglomeration of some windbags devoid of class consciousness. There was a division in the party on this issue, and this was one of the reasons of the split of RSDLP into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
Question of revolution is linked with the question of correctly determining the character of state power
To explain from another angle, what is the correct understanding of revolution, Lenin said that the basic question of revolution is the question of state power. Elaborating this further, Stalin said – what does it mean? It means to correctly determine – which class is in state power and therefore which class is to be overthrown by which class, in alliance with which classes to take power – such is the main question of every revolution. That is why correct understanding of the character of the state is vital for accomplishing revolution Marxists are aware that, in the ultimate analysis, the existence of the state depends on the military. The ruling class enjoys power based on its military strength and it uses the military to counter any attempt to unseat it from power. The ruling class uses the military in its attempt to smash revolution. And for revolution to be successful, the organized revolutionary proletariats must effectively counter the military onslaughts. On this question, another aspect is very important – every state has a class character. In the contemporary world, there are two types of state, one is the state of the capitalist class, the other is the state of the working class, that is, the socialist state.
Conditions to be fulfilled for revolution
Continuing further, Comrade Bhattacharya said that Lenin discussed many aspects of the state; without correctly comprehending all these we cannot form a correct and comprehensive idea of revolution. Lenin said that in class divided society the state is an instrument of coercion in the hands of the ruling class. In a bourgeois state it is a routine for the state to suppress and oppress 95 % of the people. Herein lies the unjust and illegitimate nature of the capitalist state. On the other hand, the socialist state exists to protect the interest of 90 to 95% of the people and to hit back at the counter-revolutionary activities of the capitalist class, a miniscule proportion of the population. So the basis of the socialist state exists on the foundation of justice and legitimacy. In all capitalist-imperialist states 95 % of the people lead a wretched life because of ruthless exploitation by the capitalist class. They die helplessly or choose death over life. Hence there is a natural anger among the exploited people against the rich class, the capitalist class. In this sense in a class-divided society the objective situation for revolution is extant, and in a class-divided society revolution is inevitable and inexorable. But in spite of that, revolution will not come by itself. Hence Lenin emphasized again and again that revolution will not come by automatically. Based on spontaneity no revolution can be accomplished. To bring about revolution what is necessary is a revolutionary party founded on the correct revolutionary theory. The party has to tirelessly work in villages and towns, in all localities near and far among the toiling people, making them conscious more particularly about class position so that they can realize the correct revolutionary theory. The party needs to establish the leadership of the revolutionary party over them. Hence, one essential precondition for revolution is the objective condition, that is, the real situation, the other is subjective, that is, that is, the situation in the realm of idea, pertaining to thinking and consciousness. Both the objective condition and subjective condition must mature – only then revolution can be brought about. In a precise, scientific and lucid way Lenin stressed: “Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary party.” And further, to deepen our realization regarding the issue of revolution, he cogently expressed, “socialist consciousness comes from without.” Stated simply this means realization of theory of socialism is not born by itself in the exploited class. This thinking has go be brought to them from outside. Herein lies the indispensible necessity of a revolutionary theory and a revolutionary party. On the question of the right way to imbibing the people Lenin explained ‘Go to the people’; ‘learn from the people’, ‘people are the sole judges.’ Through this process the people will gradually become conscious; they would critically judge the stands of the revolutionary party and through experiments and practice accept them. One cannot predict beforehand when revolution will take place in a country, on which precise date it will happen. To explain this point Lenin expressed it beautifully, ‘when the ruling class feels they cannot rule and the ruled people feel they cannot be ruled’ – that is precisely the exact moment for bringing about revolution. Though not exactly the same, a similar situation did develop in India at the final stages of the freedom struggle. With the glorious march of the Azad Hind Fauj, 1942 ‘quit India’ movement and the naval mutiny, the mental state of the Indian people had reached the stage described by Lenin. They were not in the mood to tolerate the imperialist exploitation and occupation for a day longer. Then British Prime Minister Robert Attlee was forced to admit in Parliament that the condition in India was such that it was impossible to rule it from Britain. Not only among the people, even among the armed forces there was revolt. He declared that therefore by July 1948 the British would leave India. Actually that was the situation after the glorious armed struggle of the Azad Hind Fauj, and the militant 1942 ‘Quit India’ movement. What I want to stress is that such revolutionary situation does not necessarily culminate in a revolution. How soon revolution would come about would depend on how effectively the leadership of the revolutionary party has worked to generate revolutionary consciousness among the masses.
Adventurism is not revolutionism
Another important teaching of Lenin in the context of accomplishing revolution is that any sort of adventurism will not bring about revolution. The cause of revolution is immensely harmed by the politics of individual assassination or any adventurist action. What the Naxalites in India did through armed actions or what currently the so-called Maoists are doing – individual killings or sporadic armed actions – will not succeed in dislodging the capitalist state structure. If an individual oppressor is eliminated immediately another person of the same oppreesor class would take his place, and in reality this is what is happening. Revolution cannot be accomplished unless two pronged struggle-one through incessant struggles in the fields of ideas, thoughts and ideology, at the same time conducting democratic movements and class struggle, to deepen their class consciousness thereby to attain mighty power to strike at the foundation of the exploitative system. Many of you would know that before the revolution there was a movement called Narodism whose contention main thesis was that the Russsian people’s emancipation from exploitation would come through killing the Czar and his henchmen. Even Lenin’s elder brother was greatly influenced by Narodist ideas. Because of his involvement he was hanged by the czarist administration. It has come to light that young Lenin was very shocked at the hanging of his patriotic brother. At the same time, while paying proper respect to their patriotism he also said that their path was not correct. Through individual assassination an atmosphere of tension and excitement may be created for the moment, but this would not bring about revolution. Comrade Bhattacharya mentioned that the product of Lenin’s deep philosophical thought on this issue is the celebrated work, ‘Leftwing Communism – An Infantile Disorder’. It is important for all of us to deeply study and comprehend this book rich in philosophical thought.
From united front of democratic movement to class front of revolution
Explaining another important Leninist teaching, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, founder General Secretary, SUCI(C), and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era, said that through conduction of long-standing democratic movements with a class content, condition will be created to switch over from the united front of the left-democrtic forces to the phase of class front. In this way through the intensification of class struggle, condition for launching last offensive against the bourgeois state will be created and in this way the unjust order — the bourgeois state — will collapse. Explaining further the Leninist concept, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, our great leader, teacher and guide said that during the phase of conduction of democratic movement i.e. the stage preceding the final stage of seizure of power, all attempts will have to be made to forge unity with all parties which are known as left and democratic parties on the basis of agreed common demands. The people who are under the influence of such parties have to be drawn into the vortex of these movements. We should not harbour any rigid and fixed ideas about whom we should form alliance with to conduct the united movements, try to draw into the movement all of those parties and forces who support the demands, are willing to participate in movements, at least to some extent, and who have influence over a section of the masses. Our approach should be to move jointly as far as we can with this party or that. It should be borne in mind when the revolutionary party moves with the principle of unity-struggle-unity the character of the parties would soon become clear as a result of these two pronged approach. The people would soon come to realize the character of those who are trying to misguide the movement to unjust compromises. We need not worry too much on this point. With this dialectical materialist outlook we should exhaust whatever influence they might wield over the people. Herein lies the pertinence and indispensability of united movement.
Revolutionary party must have wisdom to work in diverse ways
About the path to be followed, Lenin further said that a revolutionary party must acquire the ability to work in diverse ways and with wisdom. It has to acquire the skill to conduct the struggle in many ways, open and underground, legal and illegal, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary. We marvel that while conducting the revolutionary struggle in Russia into what details he went and in what depth he discussed this. He said revolutionary movement is an uncompromising movement – it is a struggle by the proletariat to oust the exploiting capitalist class. There is no compromise on this point. But from a tactical point of view, if necessary, we most certainly have to follow the policy of ‘one step forward, two steps back’. If such a necessity arises such action cannot be called unethical or weakness. On this point there is an excellent example before us. After the revolution Lenin said that the peasants constitute the majority of the Russian people, and they would be in alliance with the working class in the revolution led by the working class. But they were somewhat lagging behind in the context of the acquiring working class revolutionary thoughts. In this situation, before the revolution they had to be assured that after the revolution the policy of ‘land to the tiller’ would be implemented. So, after the revolution, while maintaining the overall ownership of land by the socialist state, land was distributed among the peasants. Hence in order to encourage the peasants, they were allowed to sell their agricultural products to a limited extent, under the overall supervision of the socialist state. At the same time to abolish private property and eradicate the private property mental complex, an intense cultural- ideological struggle was launched among the peasants and all sections of the general people. The party and the revolutionary government had to keep in mind that on this issue everyone did not have the same position. The poor, oppressed peasants still had strong attachment to land. Ruthless czarist oppression and torture and the definite promise to get land drove the Russian peasants to form alliance with the working class in the revolutionary struggle and the worker-peasants’ unity accomplished the revolution. Lenin was fully aware that in this situation unless the peasants get the minimum quantity of essential items and consumer goods, the dethroned and vanquished capitalist class would take advantage and hit back at the newly born socialist state. He was also equally aware that at that particular time it was not possible to meet the needs of essential gods of the peasant population by depending upon on socialist industrial sector. In this situation he showed the way by framing the New Economic Policy. Under this policy, the deposed capitalist class was granted limited permission for a limited period to produce some essential commodities, subject to some definite conditions and under the overall control of the socialist state. Calling it a temporary retreat, Lenin stressed that there was no other way. He said that there was no cause for anxiety; within a short period they would be able to revert to the previous system. This is what actually happened. NEP was withdrawn within three to four years. To tackle a very difficult problem with astounding realism Lenin delved deep into the issue, and provided important teaching for us and made us conscious. His correct realization shines through every line of his writing. Even in socialist economy that there is a special category of state-controlled business principles, accountancy, etc., which truly constitute the principles and methods of socialist economy. Lenin called our attention to these steps and policies and strongly emphasized the importance of correctly comprehending them.
Lenin exposed the character of bourgeois parliamentary election
Comrade Bhattacharyya then drew attention to another important issue. He pointed out that dealing with another very crucial issue – the issue of periodic elections in bourgeois system—which take place in capitalist countries at some time intervals. He said that Lenin explained the true character of bourgeois parliamentary elections and said that these elections are instruments to delude and dupe the people and to perpetuate the capitalist class rule. He further said that the elections that take place every four or five years in capitalist countries in reality means which bourgeois party would exploit the people during coming years. Comrade Bhattacharya pointed out further that when Lenin exposed the deceiving character of the bourgeois elections, then in the elections, though not so universal in those days, the malpractices and hypocrisy were not so rampant as today. Yet he correctly realized the grave danger inherent in the sense of illusion about bourgeois elections prevailing amongst the common people. Today the elections are a despicable farce. Therefore, Lenin clearly exposed the true class character of bourgeois elections and called upon the exploited people to free themselves from the illusion of bourgeois elections. Comrade Bhattacharya highlighted an important guidance from Lenin on the question of elections. In pre-revolution Russia there was an institution called Duma, which was not exactly a parliament; it had no power to make any legislation or in formation of the government. It was a house for discussions and deliberations. There were only very few representatives from the working class, and most of the members belonged to parties who were protectors of the Czar. Under Lenin’s directive the revolutionaries took part in the Dum election, and some were elected. Then in 1905 when a strong possibility for revolution materialized Lenin called for a boycott of the Duma. Again, when that revolution did not materialize, Lenin directed the revolutionaries to take part in the election to Duma and other bodies wherever there were opportunities. Why was such a directive given? Lenin said that because the revolution failed, a sense of despair was working among the people. To get over this state of affairs, for exposing the true nature of the czarist oppressive regime and for bringing back the people to the track of revolution, these institutions must be utilized and revolutionaries must take part in the elections to these bodies. Applying dialectical materialist approach in explaining this policy and its true purpose Lenin wrote in his beautiful language, “Our decision to boycott Duma at the growing tide of revolution, and our decision to enter into Duma during the receding tide of revolution are both correct.” In other words, in 1905, when there was a rising tide of revolution and people were eager to take revolution forward, the decision was to boycott Duma, and when the revolution failed, when the people were engulfed in a feeling of hopelessness and despair, the need was to launch movements inside the Duma also to lift the people out from despair and to start the preparation for revolution anew, the decision was to get inside the Duma. Both the decisions were correct.
Right of Nations to Self-determination
Another great theoretical contribution of Lenin is on question of the right of nations for self-determination. Explaining the real purport of self-determination Lenin stressed that this does not mean separatism or secessionism. Its real significance is the emancipation of an oppressed nation from an oppressor nation in the domain of a big state. Explaining this difficult but important topic he said that when within a country one nationality is exploited and oppressed by another majority nationality, only then would the former have the right to secede, and that would be legitimate. Except in this case the proletariat class can never support separatism or secessionism. Lenin has further showed that a big state even if stricken with exploitation has some useful aspects.
Communists alone are torch-bearers of real democracy
In this moribund stage of capitalism nationalism has taken the form of decadent and reactionary bourgeois nationalism. In the present era, in all countries, revolutionary movements have to be built up and struggles are to be conducted on the basis of proletarian internationalism. Then again on the question of democracy, Lenin correctly observed that in all countries, the ruling bourgeois class and their henchmen have been attempting to weaken the revolutionary movement of the working class by clamouring about democracy. They are propagating the slander that communists are anti-democracy. Exposing their true character Lenin explained the correct concept of democracy. He said that in a class-divided society, we have to examine democracy for which class. When society is divided into exploiter class and exploited class, and two mutually antagonistic class thoughts exist in the society, every thought and idea necessarily has a class character. In this situation the exploiting class tries to maximize exploitation and the exploited class tries to oust the other class. Hence the concept of democracy cannot be the same for both the classes; because the fundamental point in democracy is democratic right. And if talking of democratic right we have to talk about democratic right for which class and against which class. Lenin firmly averred that instead of talking in this specific manner those who simply go on clamouring about democracy are clever rogues or fools.
Exposure of social democracy as a compromising force
Another important contribution of Lenin in world communist movement is exposing the true character of social democrats. Starting from the days of Marx and Engels, two opposing thoughts were reflected within the working class movements more particularly with the trade union movements based on legitimate demands. One trend was to ultimately compromise with the capitalist class creating confusion among the people while talking of movements, struggles, etc. The other trend was to continue the uncompromising fight till the demands are met. This division within the working class movement was present at Lenin’s time also. Understanding the antagonistic contradiction between labour and capital, that one is trying to oust the other, an individual has to decide on his position in the struggle. But the compromising forces, though they talk about socialism, and at times even of Marxism, ultimately, with their thought process protect the interest of the bourgeois class. They are the social democrats who do not want to accept that revolution will come through mass insurrection, and vehemently oppose this idea. They are of the view that socialism can be brought through elections. Marx himself had to fight against this trend. When such ideological confusions permeated the First International Marx dissolved the First International Afterwards Engels built up the 2nd International. Later Kautsky and others brought in the thesis in the 2nd International that mass insurrection is not necessary, it is possible to establish socialism through elections. Lenin strongly opposed this and in this context said, “acceptance of class struggle is not enough, acceptance of class struggle must end in the acceptance of dictatorship of the proletariat.” Lenin exposed the treacherous role of the social democrats, the compromising force between labour and capital within the working class movement, and said that true trade union movement is not economism, it is not a movement just for getting some monetary benefits for the workers. Revolutionary trade union movement is a ‘school of communism’. The real meaning of this is that it is a movement for winning the legitimate demands of the workers and at the same time it is a movement for instilling revolutionary consciousness, communist consciousness.
Revolutionary organization and activities
Comrade Asit Bhattacharya also highlighted a few other profound contributions of Lenin and his teachings. Masterly applying dialectical materialism, Lenin made path-breaking discussions on revolutionary organizational matters and directing the organizational activities. He said, ‘Do not lag behind the people, also do not go much ahead of the people’. About the cadres of the communist party he said, “better fewer, but better”. Again he said, “We communists are the descendants of all national heroes”. His guideline was, “concrete analysis of the concrete situation”. He said that we must not forget that though capitalism has reached the moribund stage, its striking capacity remains intact. Great Marx gave a call for holding high the banner of proletarian internationalism, forsaking all forms of separatism based on race, religion, language, etc. Basing on this thought of Marx, Lenin directed his revolutionary activities. In strong words he criticized separatism, secessionism and parochialism – he also severely criticized big Russian chauvinism. He called upon all the leaders and cadres to free themselves from these tendencies. He drew attention of all the communist fighters to the fact that the capitalist class has under its control a strong propaganda machinery. He stressed that they have to effectively counter it. So a communist must be a good propagandist, which means the communists must be very skillful in uncovering the truth in their propaganda. Further, Comrade Asit Bhattacharya pointed out that on these questions there are many more guidelines and teachings from Lenin, and that it is necessary to study and cultivate them, but because of lack of time he could not go into these. He hoped that while celebrating the centenary of the November Revolution the comrades would resolve to deeply study all these invaluable teachings.
What caused debacle of socialism
Mentioning a few more points about Soviet socialism, Comrade Bhattacharya said that after the revolution in 1917, its powerful influence spread all over the world. The working class all over the world was jubilant at the establishment of the first working class state. The message that Soviet Russia has put an end to exploitation of man by man spread to all corners of the world. Communist parties began to be set up in different countries, the working class movement got a strong fillip, and the anti-imperialist movements in colonial countries attained a new dimension. In Lenin’s lifetime Soviet socialism mightily shook the world. However, within a few years after revolution Lenin expired, and his worthy disciple and comrade-in-arms, Comrade Stalin took the helm and the responsibility fell on him of guiding the Soviet state. The onerous responsibility of carrying forward the task of socialist construction of the Soviet Union on the firm foundation of advanced understanding of Marxism that started under Lenin’s leadership fell on the shoulders of great Stalin. The progress of socialist economy under Stalin’s leadership electrified the whole world, and the progress of Soviet Union went on unhindered. The progress astounded not only the people of the Soviet Union, but of the whole world. The socialist state not only provided livelihood to all citizens, but the people’s right to work was ensured. Food, clothing, housing, education and medical care were free or were offered at nominal cost. While this signal progress was going on, a danger loomed on the horizon. The imperialist powers combined and propped up fascist Hitler as an anti-communist bulwark against Soviet Russia and thus Hitler eventually attacked Soviet Union. How the patriotic people of Soviet Union under the leadership of great Stalin defeated fascist Germany is a stirring episode in history. The Soviet victory against Nazi fascism was a wonder to the world. Love and respect of the people of the whole world was showered on Soviet Union. The appeal of socialism became sky-high. In this situation was the 19th Congress of the Soviet Communist party held in 1952. The Report to the Party Congress, prepared under Stalin’s leadership, showed that the spectacular material progress of Soviet Union and the phenomenal increase in production in the 35 years since revolution surpassed that in the advanced capitalist countries, even that of the topmost capitalist country, USA. Because of all this, inside Soviet Union and outside, an idea became prevalent among the people that communist system is not far off. When highlighting this spectacular material progress, Stalin also mentioned with great concern that in the theoretical, ideological and cultural fields the struggles inside the party and outside, involving the people, that needed to be conducted with all seriousness it deserved, were not undertaken with the desired intensity, vigour and reach. As a result some harmful ideas, capitalist thoughts, individualism, private property sense etc. were raising their heads in the Soviet society. Stalin firmly declared that cultivation of proletarian culture was to be seriously conducted inside and outside the party, intense uncompromising struggle against capitalist thoughts and ideas has to be carried out and thereby the ideological consciousness has to be enriched to meet the demands of the time. From this warning note of Stalin it is clear, that in spite of the phenomenal economic development and the glory of the victory over fascism he correctly identified the serious problems. It is apparent that he identified the true nature of the problems of the Soviet Union, and probing deeply into them he felt the urgent necessity to tackle these. Going through the Report at the 19th Congress, one gets the impression that Stalin was going to launch an all-embracing cultural movement. But soon after, in 1953, Stalin suddenly passed away, and it could not materialize. After Stalin’s demise, modern revisionists under the leadership of Khrushchev usurped control of the party and thereafter the state power also. After coming to power they systematically and in a planned way started to encourage capitalist thinking, the mindset for individual gain and for enhancing individual income under the cloak of socialist verbiage in the arena of directing the activities of the state, in the domain of economy, in the field of education and culture. When the urgent necessity was to correctly grasp the essence of communism and on this basis to promote and to take deep inside the party and the society the ideal of identifying the individual interest and the social interest, what we witness was just the opposite. As against collective thinking, they encouraged individual-centred thinking and the mindset for individual gains and benefits. As a result, the individual started to nakedly demand greater affluence, more money, more pay, greater comfort, and such narrow self-centered bourgeois thoughts raised their heads.
The heinous conspirators stoked up vile capitalist thoughts and ideas stamping on them the label of socialism. Because of this conspiracy ethics, idealism, sense of duty were all thrown to the wind; consumerism became rampant in the society. The worst type of capitalist culture, all forms of decadent culture, pornography, sex and perversion made deep inroads into the society. The culminating effect was that socialism, which once attracted universal admiration and wonder, could not be saved. Capitalist counter-revolution destroyed it.
Bringing about all-round progress of civilization and society and the sky-high achievements of the Soviet Union astounded the world – its downfall in spite of all these and the sad consequence of that has come as a great shock to the people inside and outside Soviet Union. But the proposition of science is that nothing happens without a cause. We hold that it is pursuance of modern revisionism that has brought about the downfall of socialism first in Soviet Union, then in the East European countries and China, and capitalism has been restored in these countries.
Forewarning of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh
Ever since the Khrushchevite revisionists came to power inside the party and in the state, our beloved leader and teacher, the great Marxist thinker of this era, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has stressed the point again and again that modern revisionism is nothing but infiltration of bourgeois thoughts and ideas with a cloak of socialism and is the protector and bearer of capitalism. He said that revisionism takes root in socialist society as a result of relatively low ideological standard, low standard of thinking. Comrade Bhattacharya said that for long 35 years modern revisionism deluded the people, talking of ‘new socialism’ ‘socialism with a human face’ and adopting such other dirty tricks did everything to bring back capitalism in the economic domain, in the social and political arena, in the cultural sphere. This type of revisionist activities were not confined to Soviet Union, in China also modern revisionism raised its head with full force. The harmful effects stalled the communist movement of the whole world. Mao Zedong was still alive. Taking lesson from the degradation of Soviet Union, and to save China from this fate he launched the historic Great Cultural Revolution. The great Cultural Revolution under the leadership of Mao Zedong conducted struggles against revisionism in the sphere of ideology and thought process and this influenced the whole world. The Cultural Revolution of China considerably helped to make the people of the world understand what is modern revisionism, what is its true nature. This Cultural Revolution continued for six years, and ‘the capitalist roaders’ like Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were completely defeated and stripped of all powers.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s pointer towards menace of ‘socialist individualism’
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh hailed the Cultural Revolution of China and said that the Chinese struggle against infiltration of capitalist ideas and thoughts within the socialist system was extraordinary and magnificent. At the same time he pointed out some of its weaknesses. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said that this great Cultural Revolution had many novel aspects. And the Cultural Revolution was successful in ousting the modern revisionists from power. However, to totally eradicate all the roots of modern revisionism it was necessary to evolve the necessary new theory. Though Mao Zedong leadership went very near to evolving the theory, ultimately it did not succeed. In a socialist state, after relative economic stability is attained, there arises the danger of appearance of a new type of opportunism. Unless there exists a current of intense ideological-cultural movement, the working class movement becomes a victim of a ‘new form of economism’, and a new type of individualism which Comrade Shibdas Ghosh termed as ‘socialist individualism’. During Lenin’s time when economic opportunism raised its head in the European working class movement, Lenin strongly condemned it and said that workers’ movements are not an arena for practising economism. Workers’ movements have to be schools of communism. Elaborating this thought, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said that after exhausting bourgeois humanism, the communist consciousness of today needs to reach such a stage where individual interest and social interest become one and the same. Within the party and within the society we must strive to give birth to the concept, to the realization, that there is no antagonistic contradiction between individual interest and social interest. Going beyond individual gratification of wants the individual needs to realize that the all-round development of the individual will be ensured only through all-embracing advancement of the society. Comrade Ghosh boldly declared that if this theoretical understanding is established in the international communist movement through powerful ideological struggles, if it penetrates as deep as it can, only then would it be possible to give defeat to modern revisionism. Comrade Ghosh mentioned that though the Chinese Cultural Revolution went a long way it, however, could not offer a precise theoretical formulation. With great concern he remarked that in this situation, even if revisionism is temporarily defeated, it would again raise its head in future. And this is exactly what happened after the demise of Comrade Mao Zedong. Modern revisionism reappeared in China under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership and in its course in 2004 capitalism was restored through counter-revolution. This disaster has saddened the toiling people of the whole world and dealt severe blow to the cause of worldwide working class revolutionary movement.
Temporary setback of socialism does not negate Marxism-Leninism
Obviously capitalism-imperialism has tried to take advantage of the temporary setback of socialism and the world communist movement. It has tried to malign Marxism-Leninism in every possible way. But Comrade Asit Bhattacharya stressed that whatever be the attack there is no reason for despair for anybody. In this world and in the universe incidents happen, so also accidents – both have causes for their occurrence, nothing happens without a cause. Science has demonstrated that the universe is law governed; its exists obeying certain laws. It can never be forgotten that in the realm of science and scientific outlook, the governing theory is that we can only move forward through experiments and observations. Science does not talk of only success or only failure; at any particular moment, if there is apparent failure or incompleteness to know what ought to be known or achieve what ought to be achieved, science exhorts to strive tirelessly to arrive at that goal through more advanced experiments and observations. We must be steadfast in this belief. The downfall of socialism in the Soviet Union, China and other countries has to be judged with this scientific outlook on the basis of the correct understanding of Marxist scientific and philosophy. The world-shaking 1917 socialist revolution of Russia was not the manoeuvre of a person or a group, it was not a trickery and not an event which happened accidentally. It was made possible through correctly following science and strictly following laws of social development. It was a magnificent historic uprising based on correct realization of philosophy and science, and making all people, except the handful of exploiters and their lackeys, stand firm on the foundation of truth and making them conscious.
Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought illumines the path
So, whatever attempts may be there, this great truth, this sunrise cannot be dimmed or eclipsed. Viewed from another angle, the downfall of socialism, inspite of being a negative and destructive one, is also a reality. It is an event which happened following the law of causality. So we have to follow scientific method to find out its main cause, the real cause and determine the correct way to come out of it, and thereby philosophically demolish the counter-revolutionary ideas and thoughts. Giving birth to new man, to new thought, we have to cross over this counter-revolutionary stage on the basis of Marx’s thoughts and raise the banner of scientific socialism. Lenin’s historic teachings and exhortations — “Turn your disadvantage into advantage”. Then again “Turn your grief into determination.” — these are our guiding stars. In pursuit of knowledge there is no place for skepticism, anxiety or worry. The truth of the science of Marxism is unchallengeable and in that sense it is invincible. No obstacle can block its victorious march. The antagonistic contradiction between labour and capital exist in the capitalist system and would exist so long this system would be there. The capitalist system can never get rid of that and it can never escape from the consequences resulting from it. This contradiction will have its expression in the ideological sphere which in turn will surely give birth to newer, higher and adequately powerful anti-capitalist thoughts and ideas ushering in development of very powerful revolutionary movements that will ultimately lead to the downfall of capitalism. In this way. this contradiction will be resolved through abolition of the capitalist system. Marxism will shine brighter with the glow of newer understanding, newer realization only. The idea of new MAN to whom “labour is the prime want of the life” as envisaged by Great Marx will become a reality through newer and newer realization and relentless struggle. Following Marxist concept, scientific socialist society will make rapid strides towards communism. It is very precisely here that the vital path breaking teachings and exhortations of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh become very very pertinent. Indeed he has illumined the path for revitalizing the revolutionary movement in the whole world, including Russia and China by providing the new and correct theory of identification of social interest and individual interest — and based on that guidance, and on that alone, we have to march forward with determination. This is the call of the centenary of great November Revolution.
Long live great November Revolution!
Red Salute to Lenin, the great leader of the proletariat!
Red Salute to Stalin, the great leader of the proletariat!
Red Salute to Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat!