Problems of the Revolution in Latin America

The October Revolution, its lessons for workers and peoples

One hundred years ago the Russian proletariat showed the way by which the workers and peoples of the world must pass to win their emancipation. Their footprints are indelible, in spite of all those who have tried in every way to eliminate from memory the day when the workers discovered the sun in the middle of the night.

The socialist revolution of 1917 was the historic response of the revolutionary proletariat to capitalism and to any society based on regimes of exploitation and oppression, it converted a social aspiration, a political prediction into reality; it was the practical confirmation of the validity of the theory of scientific socialism, Marxism, elaborated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, of their analysis of the inevitability of the decadence and collapse of capitalism, of the role that the working class fulfills for that decline and for the flourishing of a society characterized by social equality, progress and welfare for the working classes: socialism, the first step towards communism.

October 1917 gave birth to a new era, the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolutions. Therein lies its international historical character. Since then capitalism has undergone many changes, there has been a huge technological, scientific development, there have been innovations in the productive processes, but none of this has changed its nature, its fundamental contradictions, the exploitation of one human being by another; moreover, the contradictions have been constantly sharpened, as have the inter-imperialist contradictions and those between imperialism and the dependent countries and nations, factors which were present when the Russian workers defeated a monarchical regime and then a bourgeois one.

The Bolsheviks, under the brilliant leadership of Lenin and Stalin, left a great lesson for history. They showed that the proletarian revolution is organized using tactical flexibility and looking toward the strategic objective; providing creative responses to the concrete situations that arise in society; relying on the initiative of the masses; combating all manifestations of opportunism and revisionism; using all forms of organization and struggle, but understanding that it is only possible to eliminate the power of the class enemies by use of organized revolutionary violence of the masses. In turn, they showed that for all this it is imperative that the proletariat have its independent class party: the communist party of a new type.

This revolution, understood as the process prior to the seizure of power and the period in which socialism was built, gave significant theoretical contributions to Marxism, developed it according to the new era. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin raised Marxism to a new stage, Marxism-Leninism, which has since become the guide for the proletariat and peoples in the struggle for revolution and socialism; together with Joseph Stalin, the strategists of revolution and the construction of socialism, gave an invaluable theoretical and practical contribution to the doctrine of scientific socialism.

During the years in which Marxist-Leninist principles guided the process of building socialism, it showed its superiority to capitalism in all fields: economic, social, scientific, cultural, sports. Socialism showed its ability to attend to and resolve the needs of the workers, for them to become the ruling class; it provided access to the land to millions of peasants; it emancipated women from patriarchal oppression and bourgeois feudal exploitation; it liberated the nationalities from national oppression through the exercise of the right to self-determination; it recognized the collective rights of peoples, rights that were hitherto non-existent on the planet; it freed the repressed potential of youth; it brought science, letters, arts, culture, to those who previously lived in ignorance; with the planned economy it established the rational use of the productive forces and natural resources; it awakened a whole people who felt themselves creators of a new world; it took a great leap forward in the process of emancipation of humanity.

In World War II, with the glorious Red Army led by Stalin, it crushed the Nazi-fascist beast, an expression of the most reactionary policy of the international bourgeoisie. In this context, various peoples from all continents undertook the revolutionary processes of social and national liberation that strengthened the socialist camp.

After Stalin’s death in 1953, socialism suffered a temporary political defeat in the former Soviet Union. At the 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956), a revisionist clique that had been hiding for several years inside the party took control of the state, reversed the power of the workers and began a process of capitalist restoration that led to the collapse of the USSR in December 1990, when capitalism was totally dominant. This fact in no way means the failure of socialism, as claimed by the defenders of capitalism, it is a setback that will be overcome by the workers, revolutionaries and communists of the world; it is the confirmation that if the revolutionary party of the proletariat departs from Marxism-Leninism it weakens the pillars of socialist construction.

One hundred years after the triumph of the revolution of the soviets, we revolutionaries and communists of the world do not look at this event with nostalgia, we commemorate it with our eyes toward the future, toward the struggle that lies ahead, that we will wage in our countries against the ruling classes and foreign powers. We celebrate it with optimism, because we know that history does not stop, because on all continents the workers, youth, women and peoples are fighting. They are fighting for their rights, for their welfare, for freedom, for democracy, for social change, for peace. These struggles will grow and be improved, they will fight against the system of exploitation and its supporters, against imperialist domination, they will open a new wave of social revolutions, in which the legacy of the Russian workers of Lenin and Stalin will be present.

Socialism is the future, that future was sown a hundred years ago and there are winds across the planet that will make it bloom again. The workers, the peoples, the communists struggle with the banners of Marxism Leninism unfurled to make it so.

Quito, July 28, 2017