Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, November 5, 2023
On 7th November, 1917 (which was 25th October in the Russian calendar at that time), workers, peasants and soldiers, led by the Bolshevik Party with Lenin at its head, overthrew the rule of the bourgeoisie in Russia. The revolution established the rule of the working class in alliance with all other working people.
The Great October Revolution took place at a time when the imperialist powers had dragged human society into the First World War. It played a decisive role in bringing that war to a conclusion.
An alliance of Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan was pitted against Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. The USA joined the former alliance. These rival imperialist powers were fighting against each other for the redivision of the world. In order to fulfil the imperialist aims of the bourgeoisie, millions of workers and peasants were killing each other, including those of colonies such as India.
The ruling bourgeoisie in every imperialist state had mobilised the working people of their countries for the war in the name of defending the fatherland. The Bolshevik Party, with Lenin at its head, exposed the real aims of the imperialists even before the war broke out. It called on workers, peasants and soldiers of every capitalist country to turn their guns against their respective bourgeois oppressors.
Following the victory of the revolution, one of the first steps of the Soviet state was to pull Russia out of the inter-imperialist war. It publicly exposed the secret agreements of the imperialist powers to partition the world among themselves after the war.
The political system of workers’ and peasants’ rule stood in stark contrast to the systems which existed in the leading capitalist countries, where only a wealthy minority exercised decision-making power. In Russia following the October Revolution, workers, peasants and soldiers exercised decision-making power through their mass organisations called ‘Soviets’. Members of every Soviet enjoyed the right to elect and be elected, as well as the right to recall their elected deputy at any time.
Getting rid of the remnants of feudalism was among the first steps following the revolutionary seizure of power. The Soviet state deprived the landlords of hundreds of crores of acres of cultivable land and turned them over to peasant committees, thus freeing them of serfdom.
The Soviet state paid first rate attention to the emancipation of women from all forms of discrimination and oppression. Far reaching measures were taken to enable women to participate in productive work and in all the affairs of society.
Elimination of national oppression was among the highlights of the achievements of proletarian democracy. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established as a voluntary union of peoples, with each constituent nation enjoying the right to self-determination, including separation. It was an outstanding example which inspired the oppressed peoples all over the world who were fighting for national liberation.
During the first few months following the October Revolution, the Soviet state expropriated the big capitalists and converted large-scale industry, transport, banking and trade into social enterprises under public ownership. During the decade of the 1920s, it inspired the poor peasants to voluntarily pool their land and create large-scale collective farms. The production and distribution of all goods and services were brought under one single plan to fulfil the needs of all the working people. A new economic system emerged, in which there was no unemployment and no inflation. The standard of living of the masses of working people improved steadily year after year.
While the economies of the United States, Britain, France and other capitalist countries suffered the consequences of the Great Depression, starting in 1929, the socialist economy in the Soviet Union experienced uninterrupted all-round development at a rapid pace.
The advance of socialism in the Soviet Union inspired the working class and oppressed peoples of all countries in the world. It showed them that it is possible to build a social system in which there are no capitalists and landlords. It opened the path for the liberation of all the peoples from colonial rule, from imperialism and all forms of exploitation.
The proletarian revolution in Russia led to a big part of the world market dropping out of the sphere of influence and control of the imperialist powers. This led to further intensification of the worldwide crisis of capitalism. It led to more intense inter-imperialist rivalry, creating the conditions for the Second World War.
The Second World War began in 1939 as another inter-imperialist war for redividing the world. The imperialist bourgeoisie of newly emerging powers such as Germany, Japan and Italy relied on armed aggression to capture new territories at the expense of the older colonial powers such as Britain and France.
The Anglo-American imperialists systematically armed Nazi Germany and egged it on to attack the Soviet Union. The Communist Party of Soviet Union (Bolshevik) mobilised and led the peoples of the Soviet Union to fight the fascist aggressors and defend the socialist homeland. In all the countries occupied by the Nazi fascists, the communists led the peoples in a heroic struggle against the occupation forces. The inter-imperialist war was converted into an anti-fascist people’s war. The people of the Soviet Union and its Red Army, together with the peoples of other countries played a decisive role in defeating fascism and bringing the world war to an end.
Even though the Soviet Union no longer exists today, the life and death struggle between capitalism and socialism remains the fundamental contradiction on the world scale. It appears in the form of the contradiction between the social character of production and the private profit motive that drives all economic decisions. It appears in the form of the clash between the exploiters and the exploited within capitalist countries, and between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples. The clash between the opposing social systems of capitalism and socialism lies at the heart of the conflict between the drive towards destructive wars and the striving for peace.
Capitalism is unable to carry on without giving rise to destructive wars driven by imperialist aims. The bourgeois ruling classes are unable to prevent recurring economic crises. They are unable to prevent unemployment, inflation and ever intensifying exploitation of human labour. Blatant violation of democratic and human rights is the trend in almost all capitalist countries. The replacement of bourgeois rule by proletarian rule and the transition from capitalism to socialism remains the only way to put an end to exploitation, guarantee people’s rights and ensure lasting peace.
The 21st century has witnessed the development of productive forces to a hitherto unimaginable degree. Modern technology has created the possibility to ensure prosperity and protection for all of humanity. But for this to happen, it is necessary for the working class to rise up in revolution against the capitalist system, take power into its own hands, and reorient the economy from fulfilling capitalist greed towards the fulfilment of human needs.
The path shown by the October Revolution remains the only way to liberate human society from the dangerous and destructive course on which it is headed.