October Revolution continues to light up our path
25/1/2017 9:21' Send story Print story

After the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), hostile forces against socialism intensively distorted the significance of October Revolution. They said October Revolution was a tragic mistake of the history! Is it really true?

Of course we cannot expect any other attitude. The concern is that, there are some wonders among those who love October Revolution: Does the practice of nearly 100 years demonstrate the historical inevitability of  October Revolution? Is it true that October Revolution opened a new era which was a transition from capitalism to socialism? Does October Revolution continue to light up the path of human revolutionary development?

V.I.Lenin, who successfully led the Russian October Revolution

President Ho Chi Minh used to evaluate: "Like the brilliant sun,  October Revolution lights up all over the world, awakening millions and millions of the oppressed and the exploited people on Earth. There has never been such a significant and profound revolution in the history of mankind before.”

Under the leadership of a new of political party, it was the first time on November 7, 1917 when workers, peasants, working class stood up against oppression of despotic landlords and capitalists. They seized power by themselves and built a communist society whose first phase was socialism. Unlike the bourgeois revolution that replaced feudalism, October Revolution carried out the mission of liberating working class from all types of oppression, upgrading them from being slaves onto position of social owners.

Thanks to October Revolution, peoples on parts of the planet enjoyed their self-determination for the first time in history. It brought factories for workers; land for peasants; peace and friendship for all nations; equality, freedom and happiness for everyone.

October Revolution not only declared lofty ideals but also acted for the most urgent interests of people. As soon as the uprising in St. Petersburg had succeeded, the Soviet government immediately declared its edicts of peace and land.

Some slandered October Revolution as violence. Is it true? The bourgeoisie, landlords who were not willing to give up their leadership frantically used violence to oppress people. In such condition, if there had been no revolutionary fighting from public, it would not have been successful. To protect the achievements of their revolution, Soviet Union’s workers-peasants class resolutely responded against intervention and counter-revolutionary violence from the landlords, capitalists and imperialists. However, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party advocated for limited bloodshed and tried their best to avoid it. The slogan "The entire government in the hands of the Soviet!" represented a peaceful development of revolution which was likely to achieve in April, May and June. Until early July 1917, when the government was in the hands of authoritarian stratocracy, this slogan was no longer appropriate so Lenin replaced it with another "Prepare for armed insurrection". By early September 1917, when there was a new move from the Socialist Revolutionary Party and Mensheviks there was a possibility of return to the slogan "The entire government in the hands of the Soviet!", which represented peaceful revolution. According to Lenin, this was "extremely rare in history and considerably valuable”,  “even though there is only one percent of hope, it is worth clinging to". Lenin wrote a short article for workers’ newspaper, stating that “I wrote the above lines last Friday, Septemer 1st but I could not send it to the editors on the same day due to some circumstances. After reading Saturday and Sunday papers, I now said to myself that days when we can get peaceful development probably have already gone. Yes, it has been clear that the days when people are capable of going on a peaceful path of development have passed. I resort to sending these lines to the editors wishing it to be published under the heading "The afterthoughts ...". Sometimes belated thoughts also bring certain benefit. Until the armed uprising was inevitable, the revolution made all effort to protect cultural works of the Soviet Union and humanity. A very typical example showed that the USS Dawn when shelling at the Winter Palace still tried to preserve this well-known cultural historic building.

So, from its aims to actions, October Revolution is truly humanitarian, cultural and civilized. Nobody can defame its honor!

Considered as the cause of the people, by the people, and for the people, October Revolution highly promoted heroism, spirit of sacrifice, courage, extraordinary revolutionary power, creativity and talent of the working class and the public in the struggle to seize and protect government and to build a new society. For the first time in history, the oppressed workers stood up to be owners in society and to master their own destiny. This is the largest and the most authentic human value of October Revolution.

"Ten days shaking the world" opened a new era that changed the fate of hundreds of millions of people. October Revolution gave birth to a new kind of state, a new social regime existing nearly a century with countless victories and achievements not only in self-protection but also in their creative cause, a new society which possesses complete new qualities compared to the old one. This revolution resulted in fundamental changes of world history for up to 100 years. How can they say that such  a revolution was a random event or a misguided step of history? The revolution indeed followed the laws of social development and resulted from a mature revolutionary situation, so it has great historical necessity. It was a product of world conflicts and internal disputes inside Soviet Union,  a result from the growth of revolutionary forces in which the working class was the most enlightened and the most organized among international workers' movements at the time.

The proletarian revolution could not succeed in the pre-imperialism period, although available contradictions of capitalism had clearly been revealed. Heroic Paris Commune existed only 72 days. Lenin proved capitalism had developed to its highest level of imperialism in the late 19th century and early 20th century. He analyzed the state monopoly of capitalism which had extremely reactionary nature, but it created the most complete premise for proletarian revolution and for building socialism. Imperialism’s corruption was condemned by history because after dividing the world, the imperialist countries and capitalist corporations pushed humanity into the most devastating war ever that claimed lives of tens of millions of people and made hundreds of millions of others fall into misery. Being the focus of imperialism’s intense contradictions, capitalism combined with feudal autocracy-  the Czar – which became the weakest link in the chain of imperialism. Brutal oppression of the landlords, capitalists, and two accomplices of Tsarist government and bourgeois governments brought disaster to the country. They forced over 100 million of proletarian and half-proletarian class as well as peasant to have no other choice than following revolutionary path. A Soviet Union of imperialists, landlords and capitalists ought to be replaced by a democratic and revolutionary one that brought peace and self-determination for peoples, land for farmers, empowerment for workers, peasants and soldiers.

According to V.I.Lenin, due to unequal development of politics and economy, especially in the period of imperialism, proletarian revolution broke out and gained first victories in some countries which were highly developed capitalist ones but showed weaknesses in the system of international imperialism. It is deliberately distorted if someone contrasted  V.I.Lenin, the genius leader of October Revolution with Marx. Actually, V.I.Lenin prominently proved to be the greatest, the most faithful Marxist and a shining example of creative Marxism.

With the victory of October Revolution, capitalism was pierced a large array, no longer keeping the role of worldwide domination. A new era of transition from capitalism to socialism began.

Soviet Union faced up with an urgent historical and vital task of implementing industrialization in a short time to turn a huge but the most backward European country into an industrial power. They found it extremely difficult to be isolated and restricted by the whole world of capitalism, so they had to choose between moving forward or being crushed by imperialism. They encountered so many obstacles but fulfilled the historical mission within about 15 years! The world witnessed a Soviet miracle, reflecting that socialism, not capitalism, had successfully solved the task of eliminating chronic backwardness in Russia. Economic development created conditions for boosting culture and raising living standards. A western intellectual such as Albert Einstein admitted that no social system other than the Soviet regime had done so much for the benefit of all people in such a short time and in such difficult circumstances. Did any society before insure security for all people including normal workers to live in prosperity, to enjoy high quality education and healthcare, to be provided with homes and jobs, to feel secured about tomorrow? We were saddened by the fact that, after becoming a great power with potentials of economy, military, culture, science and technology, the first socialist in the world collapsed unexpectedly in a serious yet able-to-overcome crisis, which did not derive from the nature of socialism regime.

Despite this failure, the achievements of socialism over decades still showed to the working class and all the peoples that human beings cannot endure capitalism characterized by oppression and injustice; that the future will still belong to socialism, and that people are fully capable of building that model.

Socialism with the history of over 20 years passed an extreme challenge- the Second World War ignited by fascism- imperialism. This was a harsh challenge not only in terms of military but also politics, economy, society and culture for a social regime. Finally, the new regime won. The Soviet Union, not the Western powers, played a decisive role in getting rid of neo-fascism, saving European civilization and all mankinds from being destroyed, creating favourable conditions for socialism to reach beyond the scope of a country and become the world system.

The existence and development of socialist system in half a century has had a major impact on the entire process of human history. At least, its presence did not allow imperialist powers or one certain superpower to rearrange world order or to do anything as they please on this planet.

October Revolution opened an era for the oppressed to liberate themselves. National liberation revolution became a huge waterfall, changing the image of world politics. The oppressed peoples found in October Revolution a new path for liberation, found in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries a solid backing for the struggle for independence and civil protection. The destruction of colonial system was an achievement of people’s struggle, but it would be impossible without the leading role of October Revolution. After October Revolution, the collapse of imperialism’s colonial system was the second-biggest historic event in the 20th century.

October Revolution, along with achievements of socialism, the development of workers' movement, the national liberation movement, the peace movement and democracy, forced capitalism to change and remodel its face to "adapt" to the era. But however "refurbished" it was, internal contradictions of capitalism do not disappear and even become deeper than ever.

Today mankind has never seen such a clear paradox that capitalism is holding huge resources of economy, finance, science, engineering, and technology etc. but it is powerless in resolving issues related to its own destiny. Problems include social inequality, bigger rich-poor gap in each capitalist country and between the "center" and "periphery" capitalists, regular turmoils and economic crisis ... Capitalism cannot overcome severe global problems and risks such as: environment pollution, depletion of natural resources, poverty in developing countries. How can it overcome the threats burdened on the “third world” and the “fourth world” inside developed capitalists when those threats derive from capitalism itself?

Modern capitalism, despite its potentials to boost production forces for maximum profits, is sinking deeper and deeper in inextricable internal contradictions between growth and development, between economy and society. It increasingly turns to self-negation and gets closer to its end in history, meanwhile creating objective prerequisites for socialism. That is the current dialectical movement of world history. The fact that one important part of socialism completely collapsed does not demonstrate the "eternity" of capitalism. It neither proves that socialism is an unrealistic dream nor rejects an objective law that capitalism will be replaced soon by a higher socio-economic model, which is socialism.

The era opened by October Revolution has not ended but is just the initial step. The appropriate goals of October Revolution are still the basic objectives of the era, moving forward a society without oppression and human exploitation, without ethnic oppression and ethnic hatred. In fact, those objectives are related to national independence and socialism, which is a highly developed society that brings into play achievements of entire world history. It is also a fair and civilized society in which full conditions are created for human’s  freedom and comprehensive development. The road to those goals is long, bumpy, very tortuous and complicated. During the renovation, we continue to move forward on the path of national independence and socialism, which is completely consistent with the laws of the era.

When Russian people succeeded in their proletarian revolution, Vietnam was engulfed in the long night of slavery. The name Vietnam disappeared from the world map. There was no way out for the country.

With the tradition of patriotism, our people have never stopped the fight against imperialism and their lackeys. However, the patriotic movements following feudal or bourgeois tendencies all failed because they did not meet the basic requirements of workers and peasants class that accounted for over 90% of the population. That way was also inconsistent with the country's situation and the trend at that time when Nguyen Ai Quoc, an outstanding national hero, reached Marxism – Leninism and  the light of October Revolution after 10 years finding ways to save the country. In his work entitled Duong Cach Menh (Revolutionary Road), he wrote: "The Russian revolution teaches us that we can only succeed if we rely on public (workers and peasants). There should be a strong party and people need to have strong will, sacrifice and unity. In other words, we have to follow Marxism and Leninism”. While reading the first draft of Lenin’s thesis on ethnic and colony problems, Nguyen Ai Quoc soon captured the essence of Lenin's idea "Proletarian class in all oppressed countries must unite!". He discovered the truth about Vietnam liberation, saying: "There is no other way to save the country and to liberate a nation rather than a proletarian revolution". That way is a the combination between the targets of national independence and socialism, between Vietnam revolution with the contemporary trend. Ho Chi Minh and his Communist Party have developed and creatively applied common truths of Marxism and Leninism, the lessons of October Revolution into his country's specific conditions, enabling Vietnam's revolution to overcome all challenges to gain victory like today.

The meeting between the requirements of national liberation, traditional patriotism and Marxism and Leninism, which is a revolutionary doctrine of the times and the pinnacle of human social ideology, is inevitable and typical. It is like a "beautifully historic appointment" (quoted by the late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong) between ethnicity and times, between the two major revolutionary movements: proletarian revolution and national liberation revolution. Marxism and Leninism, ideologies of October Revolution came into Vietnam via Nguyen Ai Quoc-Ho Chi Minh absolutely not as a "grafted scion" like someone deliberately distorted.

Although October Revolution took place almost a century ago, its great ideologies are still lights to illuminate our people to win new victories on the path towards the lofty goal of building a democratic, equitable, civilized society with  prosperous and happy people who can self-manage their destiny.

Over the past nearly 100 years since October Revolution, the revolutionary cause of working class and of the oppressed nations has experienced many periods with great victories and achievements, but there have also been mistakes and serious losses. The whole reality has shown as exactly as Lenin had stated that it would be unscientific and undialectical if the world went on a smooth path without any bumps and lumps or large temporary setbacks. In fact, it was difficult to seize a government but much more difficult to maintain that government. Therefore we need to review and study the complicated revolution situation thoroughly.

A big question arises: The first world socialist country kept stable and continued to grow even though it was young and had to cope with extremely heavy challenges on politics, military and economy in the 20s and 40s of the 20th century. Why did it collapse so easily and quickly in a possible-to-overcome crisis when it became a superpower?

There have been so many studies on Soviet Union collapse. The noteworthy thing is, all communists, scholars and bourgeois politicians agreed that the collapse was a big surprise. No one had ever thought of such a quick collapse!

Historically, a new rising social regime was likely to fall into a crisis for many reasons. Theoretically, the crisis, which related to development and revealed its maturity, unnecessarily led to any collapse. Instead, it even pushed a new social development forward a higher stage in quality if addressed properly and in time. Socialism in the Soviet Union was affirmed by historical reality as a lively social mode with endless potential for decades. But later, the method of building socialism committed serious subjective mistakes that degraded and eliminated public creativity which was a motivation of socialism development.

Karl Marx, Engels, and V.I.Lenin resolutely rejected the notion that socialism was invariable. Continuous innovation was the essence of socialism, the law of existence and development, as well as the self-protection principle of socialism. Only with proper and regular renewal could socialism gain victory over capitalism, especially in the most important area of labor productivity.

Karl Marx and Engels once pointed out, Communism was neither a state to create nor an ideal that reality had to follow. Immediately after October Revolution, Lenin stressed that "Lively creativity of the public is the basic element of a new society" and "Socialism is not the result of top-down edicts. Mechanical administration and bureaucracy is not suitable with the spirit of socialism. Lively and creative socialism is the cause of the public themselves". Socialists have not fully grasped the aforementioned Marxist viewpoints.

Lenin set the brightest example on spirit of innovation and creativity in practical activities as well as in theoretical thinking. His very outstanding quality was attached to real life and never going far off reality.

Meeting the needs of "all for the front, all for victory", communist wartime policies were applied in the fight against white army and foreign interveners (1918-1921). Those policies were incompatible with economic rules so they brought the economy to the brink. Lenin promptly and resolutely put an end to communist wartime policies, switching to the new economic policies. From the initial practice of socialist construction, from new conditions of the times, Lenin came to the very important conclusion that had never raised by Marx and Engels. He thought the road to socialism in Russia with small-farming economy had to go through a special type of capitalism which was submissive to and controlled by proletarian state to reach socialism. This conclusion showed a crucial new development in theories and practice of socialist construction.

After Lenin's death, his scientific and revolutionary ideologies continued to be applied in the cause of building socialism and defend the socialist fatherland, bringing undeniable achievements. Nevertheless, there appeared dominant symptoms of dogmatic thinking which was inconsistent with the spirit of dialectic socialism, affecting methods of constructing socialism. Those measures which were effective during industrialization, during the patriotic War and during the post-war economic recovery turned out to become barriers for development since 1950s. Socialism needed a new dynamic mechanism to meet urgent demands of world revolution in science and technology. When the old mechanism proved increasingly unsuitable to the requirements of economic development, manifested in prolonged stagnation, it was necessary to reform. The crisis broke out when the requirement became more urgent.

But how to reform? Aimed at socialism or capitalism? Maintaining Marxism and Leninism or switching to bourgeois ideology? Maintaining the leading role of the Communist Party or removing it? Keeping national independence or depending on the West? The destiny of socialism depends much on the answers to those questions. In other words, there are more general questions: Are we determined to innovate?  In which ways should we innovate? That's a vital issue in the revolutionary cause.

Our party advocates innovation within principles. It does not mean to abandon socialism but aims at reaching the goals of socialism with more appropriate and effective steps, forms and methods. To reform successfully for the benefit of the people, the premise is to maintain political stability, to remain loyal to socialism ideologies, to keep the leadership role of the Party, to consolidate the people's government and to develop democratic socialism.

Revolution should always know how to protect itself. This principle is especially important in the turning point of history. Obviously socialism cannot self-protect without proper self-renewal. Conversely, there is nothing to renovate if the revolutionary does not know how to self-protect, how to be persistent with their principles, how to preserve all revolutionary achievements gained by people's sweat and blood. There is also nothing to renovate if there appears exhaustion and loss of fighting motivation from authorities and mass organizations who might feel helpless when faced with the enemy's attacks.

Self-protected revolution means that the Party must protect its politics, ideologies and organization and resolutely attempt to get rid of enemies’ "peaceful evolution" at least in terms of ideology system. Experiences from Soviet Union in the late 1980s reveal that if the ideology disintegrates, the Party though in existence is just like a body without the soul. To protect socialism and the Party, the most fundamental issue and the root of all problems is that the party must constantly self-renew, self-regulate on the principles of Marxism and Leninism. We should be determined to fight against corruption, bureaucracy at all levels.

There is a precious lesson of socialist revolution: Only when a party has moral qualities both in organization and ideology can it become a strong, transparent and disinterested party with the right political direction. That party should be closely attached to people, trusted by the people and is capable of organizing people and nations to overcome all challenges and move forward.

On the anniversary of October Revolution, our Party and people have been increasingly putting much confidence in Marxism, Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thoughts on the innovation road to socialism. To achieve the objective of enabling people’s prosperity, building a strong country and a democratic, fair and civilized society, we must continue to incorporate two strategic tasks: building socialism and national defense, in which the central task of the transitional period is to build the material and technical basis of socialism through industrialization and modernization.

October Revolution continues to light up our path!

Translator: Nguyen Thi Viet Nga/ Proofreader: Vu Thanh Van

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