From the Posadiststoday.com
We produce this document in homage to Lenin who died 100 years ago. The way Lenin and the Bolsheviks marked those 100 years shows that humanity is absorbing the lessons of the Russian Revolution. Capitalism has so completely exhausted its capacity to answer to human need that it now turns against humankind with a sadistic wish to destroy its demand for the right to life. Humanity witnessed that it was the USSR that defeated the nazism of capitalism in WW2. Because as long as capitalism exists, nazism will raise its ugly head again, the world’s populations observe that it is Russia now – in spite of set backs – that continues the struggle against nazism, as in Ukraine today. Russia’s victory against the pro-nazi Zelensky leadership in the town of Henichesk in the Kherson oblast, created the conditions for the people to re-erect Lenin’s statue there in April 2022. In November 2022, the people of Melitopol returned Lenin’s statue to its plinth.
Historically speaking, one hundred years is very short. What is called ‘the new cold war’ represents the fear of the capitalist regime of the lessons that Lenin taught in the building of the Workers State. The world war that capitalism prepares today against humanity is already arousing the masses of the entire world. This is the significance of the hundreds of thousands who defend the Palestinians everywhere. In this beginning of 2024, the conditions are favourable to the building of a functioning International of Humanity inspired by the first few Congresses of the Third International when Lenin lived.
After WW2, it is not true that the Soviet Union created ‘an empire’, or that COMECON was “a Soviet political instrument” to eventually invade other countries, “export revolution” and “threaten the security of the world” – as capitalism pretends. What Lenin and the Bolsheviks created with the USSR and the other Workers States, was a bastion that enabled the successful colonial revolution, and for capitalism, the irreversible loss of their colonies. This is what capitalism cannot accept and dreads about the communist revolution and the building of Workers States. Because without exploitation, be it of the workers or of distant countries, capitalism simply cannot survive.
The creation of a new International of Humanity is likely to start nowadays from initiatives emanating from Russia, China and other Workers States – along with the Revolutionary States constantly forming as they defeat the imperialist troops of France, UK and US in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
The growing reconciliation and collaboration between Russia and China augur well for the construction, or reconstruction of an International. In front of the staggering war preparations of world capitalism, with nuclear weapons unashamedly included, any new International has to prepare to retake the lessons taught by Lenin and Trotsky regarding the need and feasibility to win the anti-imperialist soldiers of the capitalist armies; and to quickly create the anti-imperialist soldiers of the working class of humanity.
The huge military budgets now being built in Germany and Japan, the enormous Nato exercises that coordinate the United States military with that of the whole of Europe and AUKUS, are all aimed at Russia and evidently China. They all point to high levels of capitalist worldwar preparations, and in short order.
With the social organs that he helped to build – like the Party and the International – Lenin inspired the world, and ourselves, for the task of today. We are no longer just learning how to build a Workers State, but how to have them uniting between themselves, towards grades of world mobilisation and socialist construction immensely superior to what could be done when there was only one Workers State, when Lenin lived. There are the conditions today for Russia and China to come closer together, draw the many Revolutionary States behind them, the Trade Unions of the world, and most of all the revolutionary soldiers who come from capitalism but who leave the capitalist camp, as in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Posadists Today publish the document below as a contribution to all the homages to Lenin, and as part of a document in several parts to be published in the coming months.
Homage to Lenin
On the occasion of the centenary of Lenin’s death
21 January 2024
from the Posadiststoday.com
To reclaim Lenin today is to reclaim the significance of the first seven years of the Russian Revolution. To honour Lenin’s high calibre and function in history is to understand the importance of the construction of the Party for the struggle for power, to build the Workers State.
Lenin’s texts, books, articles, congresses aimed at developing the best qualities in the militants. The aim was to impart confidence. It meant to transmit these qualities to the working class and draw it in the direction of the objective: socialism.
In every historic moment there are processes, policies and programs to be determined, along with the instruments necessary to do so. Marx and Engels dedicated themselves to the elaboration of dialectical thought, curious to know about the process of nature, and that of history, for social transformation; their grasp that history is the process of the class struggle made of Marxism not just a means to understand events, but to organise the forces to overthrow capitalism too, and build socialism.
This is why Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto and organized the First International. He wrote Capital to impart confidence that socialism is possible. From this achievement, Lenin understood that in the implementation of the principles and perspectives of Marxism, what was necessary was the Party.
The political parties had been combative in Russia until then – but without the programme for power. The struggles had been based not on the historic function of the working class but on the yearning to stave off the conditions of oppression and repression under the tsarist regime.
The Russian Social Democratic Party developed in that historic context. And although its organizer Plekhanov had rested on Marxism, the leadership of the Party had not taken account of the debate, the activity and the political participation of the working class. Because overthrowing tsarism had not been in its plans, a revolutionary policy had become necessary to build the party. And this was the task that Lenin was going to take on board.
As J. Posadas says, “Lenin’s historical function lies in him as the builder of the Party: The Party as the centre capable of organizing the will of millions and millions to change society; and through the Party, to unify the millions in the determination to take power, and build the Workers state through the Soviets”.
It is not possible therefore to analyse Lenin’s activity separately from the Party and the Soviets. The Soviets represented the socialist democracy through which the proletariat intervened as ruling class, passing on to the masses its own confidence in the Workers State and in the socialist future. The Soviet was the instrument for debate, for discussion and exchange of ideas, where the intervention of the advanced workers influenced and elevated politically the whole of society.
This is how the Soviet became organ of deliberation and of united front between all the sectors in the population. What the Soviet debated and agreed upon, the Soviet implemented. But for this to operate, be agile and encompassing, there had to be the Party. There had to be the communist cadres to take up the proposals, the revolutionary policies, attract the masses as a whole.
Lenin dedicated himself to building the Bolshevik Party, to educating the cadres to understand the structure of capitalism and its internal crises; understand the level of confrontation, the level of participation of the labour movement, and society as a whole. The militants had to acquire confidence and security. They had to be prepared for the contingencies. The only previous experience of the struggle for power had been the Paris Commune whose life had been very ephemeral and un-followed by any process of dual power of comparable depth.
Had Lenin not prepared the Party, the defeat of the 1905 revolution would have dis-animated the Bolshevik Party. The setback had been very serious, but after having learned from its causes, the Bolsheviks concentrated on the organization of the Worker-Peasant Front. They focused on the construction of a revolutionary leadership. And so, the proletariat did not lose its confidence as a class; and from the defeat, it learned how to coordinate its struggle with the peasantry.
After 1905 the Party had to make changes in tactics and revolutionary action. Due to the ebbing in the struggle and to the repression of the tsarist police, the Party prepared itself to face new challenges. Lenin organized the debate in the party. He made the Party share in the experiences. The militants communicated their conclusions to the working class. They transmitted lessons learnt to the class. This contributed to the workers’ maturation, and it raised the capacity of the Party’s leadership to motivate the peasant movement, the intellectuals, the petty bourgeoisie.
In response to previous debates in the revolutionary movement, and to polemics between tendencies in the Social Democratic Party, Lenin had written fundamental texts such as “What is to Be Done?” (1902) and “One step Forward, two Steps Back” (1904), amongst others.
With Marx, it had been the aim of the First International to make the working class secure in its capacity to organise and lead the entire exploited population. But due to its prompt disappearance, that International had not been able to spread much influence. The Second International was a reformist organization which dropped the experiences of Marx, Engels, the Paris Commune and the struggles of the proletariat that had occurred up to the time of its creation (1889).
The First World War brought out the contradictions of the capitalist system, its weakness and its lack of authority over the population. With it, conditions arose favourable to confronting capitalism. But the depth of the crisis of the system had to be understood, and with the need for a Party to take advantage of these circumstances.
The Bolshevik Party had prepared itself in the ability to use all its forces and organise these around one objective: Overthrow the tsarist regime, build the Workers State. Led by Lenin and Trotsky, and through the intervention of the workers’ movement, the Bolsheviks won the peasantry over with the rallying cry: “bread, peace and land.”
The seizure of power and the construction of the Soviet Union opened a stage of profound democracy in the Workers State. The Soviets formed the base that attracted the entire population and guaranteed the installation of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Through the functioning of the Workers State and the construction of the Third International, the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik Party dedicated themselves to educating a very important sector of the world proletarian vanguard. Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik vanguard trusted that the masses of the world welcomed the program of the Workers State. The duty of the latter was to develop itself therefore, look for points of support, see to its expansion.
The fundamental role of the Third International was to coordinate and organise the world’s communist parties and the exploited masses for the struggle for power. It viewed itself as based on the experiences and organizational conclusions of the First International of Marx and Engels. It sought to transmit the activity of the Bolshevik Party and of the Soviets to the entire world communist and revolutionary movement.
The paralysis of the Third International after Lenin’s death in 1924, along with the expulsion of Trotsky and other leaders, increased the isolation of the USSR. The usurpation of political power was stimulated by a bureaucracy risen from the historical conditions (like the defeat of the revolution in Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and China in 1927), leading to the development of a conciliatory and opportunistic policy.
We pay homage to Lenin because he represents the most complete revolutionary leader. In him, thought and action reached a perfect balance. The Party – his realisation – made him the standard bearer of the world proletariat.
Trotsky has this to say about Lenin on 2.9.1918 (*):
“For nature produced a masterpiece when she created in a single individual an embodiment of the revolutionary thought and the unbending energy of the working class”. “Relying on the young revolutionary proletariat of Russia, utilizing the rich experience of the world working class movement, transforming its ideology into a lever for action, this figure has today risen in its full stature on the political horizon. It is the figure of Lenin, the greatest man of our revolutionary epoch”.
Thus did Trotsky characterise Lenin in his article “Lenin Wounded”, 1918 (*).
Posadiststoday.com – 18.1.2024.
(*) The full text of Trotsky ‘Lenin Wounded’ can be obtained on this link:
*. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *.
The “Arsenal of Marxism” has this to say in reference to the quote in the above document:
“Leon Trotsky: Lenin Wounded”
This is extracted from the speech made by Leon Trotsky on September 2, 1918, at a session of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets. The attempt on Lenin’s life took place on August 30. Trotsky was at the front at the time and received the news only on September1, when, as he relates in his autobiography, a code telegram arrived from Moscow: “Come at once. Vladimir Ilyich wounded, how dangerously not yet known … Sverdlov.” Trotsky left at once and, as is apparent from the dates, delivered his speech on the day of his arrival in Moscow, i.e., on the third day after the attempt. Lenin remained on his sick-bed […] August 30 to September 16, 1918.
Trotsky’s speeches on Lenin are of added interest because of Lenin’s own attitude toward them. After Lenin’s death on January 21, 1924, N.K. Krupskaya sent a letter to Trotsky. This is how it read:
“Dear Lev Davidovich,
“I write to tell you that about a month before his death, as he was looking through your book, Vladimir Ilyich stopped at the place where you sum up Marx and Lenin, and asked me to read it over again to him; he listened very attentively, and then looked it over again himself. And here is another thing I want to tell you. The attitude of V.I. toward you at the time from when you came to us in London from Siberia has not changed until his death. I wish you, Lev Davidovich, strength and health, and I embrace you warmly. “N. Krupskaya.”
The Arsenal of Marxism – https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1925/lenin/11b.htm