April 22 marks the 142nd birth anniversary of V.I. Lenin, the great revolutionary leader and teacher of the working class.
All the unfolding developments in India and around the world reaffirm the Leninist analysis of the present epoch—the epoch which he characterized as that of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. They reaffirm that capitalism will keep hurtling humankind into one crisis after another, it will continue to unleash bloody wars of destruction, unless the working class leads all the exploited and oppressed in overthrowing this man-eating system and replaces it with socialism. They reaffirm that only by strictly and unwaveringly building and strengthening our party as a party of the Leninist type can our Party lead the working class in alliance with the toiling peasantry in the successful fulfillment of this historic mission of emancipating itself and all of society.
In his major work of theory, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Lenin showed that capitalism had entered its last stage, that of imperialism, or moribund capitalism. The founders of scientific socialism, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels had established through the scientific analysis of the development of human society on the basis of historical and dialectical materialism that the working class will be the class that would lead society to its next higher stage of development — socialism. It has the mission to be the grave digger of capitalism and to usher in socialism and communism, a class less society. Defending these teachings, Lenin applied them and further developed the theory of Marxism, in the conditions wherein capitalism had reached the stage of imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century.
Under imperialism, the contradictions between the exploiters and exploited in the capitalist countries, and between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples had intensified. Lenin discovered the law of uneven economic and political development of capitalist states and concluded that the inter-imperialist contradictions would inevitably sharpen, leading to imperialist wars and the weakening of the world imperialist system as a whole. The intensification of these three contradictions makes it possible for proletarian revolution to succeed where the chain of imperialism is the weakest. Lenin drew the conclusion that imperialism was the eve of the proletarian revolution. The fundamental contradiction of this epoch is between capitalism and socialism.
Lenin elaborated the thesis of Karl Marx that for the proletarian revolution to lead to socialism, it is essential to establish the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the principal instrument for the working class to lead society on the path of socialism and communism.
The victory of the proletarian revolution in Russia in 1917 heralded a new epoch in world history. For the first time, the political power of the exploiting class was eliminated and replaced, not by that of another exploiting class, but by the power of the toiling masses – the dictatorship of the proletariat. The successful construction of socialism under Lenin and Stalin’s leadership is powerful vindication of Lenin’s teachings. This was carried out while successfully leading the fight against the combined attempts of the major imperialist powers and overthrown reactionaries to crush the revolution through armed intervention as well as through subversion. The new state of the dictatorship of the proletariat became the bastion of revolution and socialism on the world scale.
JV Stalin defined Leninism as the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, and the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.
Lenin and the experience of the October revolution showed that the key to the victory of the proletarian revolution, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and construction of socialism was the leadership of the party of the working class, the Leninist party with monolithic unity in its ranks, based on the science of Marxism-Leninism. Lenin played a decisive role in establishing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) as such a party. In his work, “What Is To Be Done?” Lenin opposed those who were bowing to the lowest level of consciousness prevailing in the working class. He established the ideological foundations of a vanguard party that would be the leading contingent of the class, the instrument for imbuing the advanced elements of the class with revolutionary theory and outlook. He waged a stern ideological struggle against those who wanted the party to be a loose association of like-minded members. He pointed out that it was not enough for party members to agree with the party program and pay regular dues; they would also have to work under the discipline of a party organisation. Without that, the party could never achieve the monolithic unity needed to lead the class to defeat the bourgeoisie.
Lenin established democratic centralism – collective decision making and individual responsibility – as the organisational principle of the communist party, which would allow for maximum participation and initiative of the individual members while strengthening the unity of the party.
In building the Leninist party, carrying out the revolution and establishing socialism, Lenin had to wage a fierce struggle to defend and uphold the fundamental principles of Marxism against the distortions and falsifications which threatened to weaken the revolutionary movement. In his profound work “The State and Revolution”, Lenin upheld the fundamental theses of Marx and Engels that it is necessary for the proletariat to smash the bourgeois state apparatus and replace it with an entirely new state apparatus that would be in the service of the working class. In his work “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky”, he smashed the attempts to create illusions in the working class movement about bourgeois democracy and brilliantly contrasted bourgeois democracy with proletarian democracy under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Ever since the October revolution triumphed, and socialism began to be constructed in the Soviet Union, world imperialism launched a multi prolonged offensive against the first socialist state, against communist parties, and against the scientific theory of Marxism Leninism. The imperialists incited German fascism to attack the Soviet Union, but the heroic Soviet people led by JV Stalin inflicted a crushing defeat on the Nazi fascists, and assisted in the liberation of many countries of Asia and Europe.
Imperialism got its big breakthrough when the Khruschevites seized power in the Bolshevik party following the death of Stalin. The Khruschevites slandered and vilified the historic contribution of JV Stalin in order to abandon the path of construction of socialism charted by Stalin. They began to revise the teachings of Lenin on the Party, on imperialism, on the proletarian revolution, on the dictatorship of the proletariat, and on the construction of socialism, amongst other things. Under the guise that conditions had changed, they preached that it was possible to go over from capitalism to socialism through peaceful and parliamentary means. They destroyed the dictatorship of the proletariat and replaced it with the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. They converted the Bolshevik Party from a party of the working class to a party of the new emerging revisionist bourgeoisie. They restored capitalism in the Soviet Union and transformed the Soviet Union from a bastion of revolution and socialism worldwide, into a social imperialist state colluding and contending with US imperialism for world domination. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and open restoration of capitalism was a culmination of the anti Marxist Leninist counter revolutionary course pursued by the Khruschev and those who followed him.
We continue to live in the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. Within this epoch, we are in a period of retreat of revolution, which began with the end of the Cold War. In this period, imperialism has the initiative temporarily. But this does not invalidate the fundamental teachings and conclusions of Leninism. The contradictions between the exploiters and exploited in capitalist countries, between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and nations, as well as inter imperialist contradictions are sharpening. It remains the task of Communist Parties in all countries to prepare the working class to carry out the proletarian revolution in their countries, and carryout the transformation from capitalism to socialism.
Our Party has steadfastly defended Leninism from the attempts to distort it and present it as harmless for the bourgeoisie, by various forces that call themselves ‘communist’. This includes the struggle we have waged and continue to wage against the ‘peaceful and parliamentary road to socialism’, and all attempts to create illusions in the working class that proletarian revolution is either not possible or not necessary at this time, to promote compromise between the proletariat and some so-called progressive section of the bourgeoisie and other similar trends that have held back the proletarian revolution in India for so long.
The CGPI has taken up as its immediate task preparing the working class to establish its own rule in alliance with the toiling peasantry, as the essential condition for ending this parasitic rule of the monopoly bourgeoisie and ushering a bright future for the toiling masses by replacing capitalism with socialism. Our Party is committed to defending the fundamental principles and conclusions of Marxism-Leninism, and developing the theory of liberation of the Indian people consistent with these principles and conclusions.