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Monday, November 09, 2020, 08:14 (GMT+7)
A preposterous allegation about the Russian October Revolution

The October Revolution in Russia has become a great revolution of historical dimension and social impact in the world over the past 100 years. Nevertheless, some people ceaselessly use tricks to deny the history and value of this Revolution. It is a preposterous allegation which needs to be resolutely criticised and rejected.

First, victory of the October Revolution in Russia was in line with laws of development of ideology and historical development of the working class and people. The widely advertised “historical mistake” of the October Revolution is that it was inconsistent with Marx and Engels’s theory right from the beginning. This was shown through awareness of Vladimir I. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party. Thus, it was a freak of the historical process of Russia and the world. Both theory and practice reject this allegation.

Marching to celebrate the Russian October Revolution in the Stavropol City (Photo: VNA)

Theoretically, any successful revolutions must soundly deal with the relationship between objective conditions and subjective elements as well as between situations and occasions for revolution. On studying the evolution and development of capitalist societies during free competition, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that the proletarian revolution would occur concurrently in all civilised countries, or at least in Britain, the United States, France, and Germany. When capitalism was transformed into imperialism, V. I. Lenin analysed the nature of imperialism, discovered the law of uneven development of capitalism, and predicted the possible victory of socialism in some capitalist countries or even in one capitalist country. In fact, the October Revolution in Russia occurred in conditions unlike those which had been predicted by Karl Marx, but took place in places where Russian working class and the Bolshevik Party had prepared enough forces and the situations had been ripe for revolution. This does not contradict theory of Marxism but represents a development of Marxism in a new historical condition.

Empirically, the October Revolution in Russia evolved in accordance with a natural development of history. However, situations and windows of opportunity for the occurrence and success of revolution were extremely short, from late October 24th to early October 25th, 1917. This was an extremely important and sensitive time in political and legal terms because there were two governments coexisting in Russia after the Bourgeois Democratic Revolution in February 1917, namely the Bourgeois Provisional Government and Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies headed by the Petrograd Soviet. The Bourgeois Provisional Government declared to resort to any measures to suppress the uprising in Petrograd on October 24th. It was within this prompt and grave context that Vladimir I. Lenin advocated staging an uprising right in the night of October 24th to overthrow the Bourgeois Provisional Government and defend Soviets’s Representatives. Victory of the uprising proved the creative application and development of Marx’s theory on proletarian revolution by Vladimir I. Lenin and the Russian Bolshevik Party to realities in Russia then – in other words, it was Vladimir I. Lenin’s and the Russian Bolshevik Party’s art of seizing opportunities.

Second, the October Revolution in Russia ushered in a new page in the history of Russia and a new era transitioning from capitalism to socialism throughout the world. On class aspect, the October Revolution in Russia is categorised as a proletarian revolution, led by the working-class ideology. Victory of the October Revolution in Russia is the victory of the working-class ideology in the international communist workers’ movement. The victory led to the birth of Soviet state – the first workers’ and peasants’ state in the world, which brought Russian people from slavery to mastery and ushered in a new era in the history of Russia – an era of independence, freedom, and socialist building. Additionally, it commenced a transitional period from capitalism to socialism on the international scale and encouraged countries around the world to advance on the path to proletarian revolution. The working class emerged into the political arena in status of the core class of the times and the “nucleus” of the world revolutionary movement.

On the national scale, the October Revolution in Russia ushered in and created robust drivers of national liberation movements and socialism on the global scale; freed countries under colonial rule of Russian imperialism and turned Russia of the Tsars from “a prison of nations” into a union whose states were equal and cooperated for mutual progress. The October Revolution in Russia was not only a dynamic of colonies’ struggle for their own independence and freedom, but also promoted the struggle for peace, progress, as well as the international communist workers’ movement. Following the spirit of the October Revolution in Russia, many countries in the world rose in revolt against the monarchist, fascist, colonial, imperial regimes, which led to the destruction and complete collapse of the colonial system established by colonialists and imperialists, and the emergence of new social regimes ruled by working people. Thanks to the October Revolution in Russia, the right of peoples to self-determination was observed for the first time in human history.

On international scale, the October Revolution in Russia transcended Russian borders and “shook the whole world.” Vladimir I. Lenin affirmed that what had happened in Russia made all nations realise their inevitable and recent future. The fundamental characteristics of our revolution were not of local signicance, national significance for Russia itself but of international significance. The historical inevitability of the revolution was that it would reoccur in the world. Victory of the October Revolution in Russia and rise of the Soviet Union served to break the unique position of capitalism, which was no longer the only system in the world. In particular, the establishment of the socialist system after the second world war basically changed the context of the world and ushered in a new period of struggling for peace, national independence, democracy, and socialism. A bipolar world order characterised by Soviet-led socialist countries and imperialist countries came into being, putting an end to imperialists’ role of ruling the roost in the world.

Obviously, the October Revolution is not a purely Russian symbol. It is also not a product of some individuals’ enthusiasm like what is usually shouted from the rooftops by hostile forces with a view to distorting history and abolishing the great influence and dimension of this revolution. It is just what was written by Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Sergei Mironov for the Russia on 31 October 2007: “on assessing the October Revolution in Russia, it would be incorrect if we omitted the word ‘great’ because the October Revolution in Russia is a great revolution in terms of its scale and influence on the course of the world developemnt”.

Third, despite today’s upheavals and changes, value of the October Revolution in Russia as a line of the times remains intact. It is still an encouragement to people with aspiration for a wonderful world. Human history in the 20th century witnessed two world-shaking in Russia, which related directly to socialism, namely the October Revolution and collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, disintegration of the Soviet Union. The more joyful we feel about the former the sadder we feel about the latter.

In his address to the Federal Assembly in 2005 Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the gravest political incident in the 20th century. It was a real tragedy for Russian people. Hostile forces took advantage of this incident and tragedy to deny the narrative of October Revolution by means of announcing the “historical end” of Marxism-Leninism and “knell” of real socialism; deny content and nature of the times from capitalism to socialism; advocate that capitalism was the ultimate development of history. However, the October Revolution in Russia is still bursting with vitality and value. This value and vitality are further demonstrated through reform processes and development in some developing countries, including China, Viet Nam, Laos, and Cuba, as well as through the restoration and operation of international communist movement, most notably the left-wing movements in Latin America, the area referred to as the US’s “backyard.” These movements have shown their determination to “bypass capitalism” and develop their countries according to the model of “socialism in the 21st Century.”

The October Revolution in Russia is of historical importance and enormous value that guides the operationalisation of communist ideals in the world. Accordingly, “all peoples will reach socialism but via different paths. Each country may put their characteristics into this form of democracy or another.” Currently, “despite numerous difficulties and challenges, people’s struggle for peace, national independence, democracy, development, and social progress will witness new developments. According to historical evolution law, the humankind will definitely advance towards socialism”. These scientific grounds contribute to the rejection of wrong allegations about the “eternity” of capitalism and denial of the October Revolution in Russia.

Associate Professor, Doctor Phan Trong Hao, Central Theoretical Council

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