James P. Cannon

Fortress Of The World Revolution

Written: November 1928
First Published: The Militant, New York, Volume 1, No. 1, November 15, 1928
Source: Microfilm collection and original bound volumes for The Militant provided by the Holt Labor Library, San Francisco, California.
Transcription\HTML Markup: D. Walters
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Eleven years have gone by since the Russian workers took the hammer of revolution in their hands and broke the chain of world imperialism at its weakest link. The history of the whole interve-ning period represents on the one hand the efforts of the imperialists to forge that chain together again and bind it tighter around the enslaved masses and, on the other hand, the struggle of the proletariat to tear it apart from the whole of humanity.

The Russian revolution was not merely a national event-it was the beginning of and signal for the international proletarian revolution. Herein lies its true meaning, its great historic signifi-cance. From this standpoint the revolutionary workers of the world hail the cause of Soviet Russia as their cause on the eleventh anniversary of her October.

The Russian revolution broke forever the unity of the world and divided it into two hostile camps-the camp of imperialist exploitation and the camp of social revolution. At one polar extreme stands America, the strongest imperialist world power. At the other stands the USSR, the land of the workers’ rule. The antagonism between them, and the systems they represent, is irreconcilable. They cannot live together permanently side by side. The victory of the Soviet system on a world scale means the liberation of enslaved humanity and its ascent to heights of culture and achievement beyond our dreams-to socialism and beyond that to communism. The victory of imperialism would hurl civilization into the abyss. Such is the issue of the epoch of wars and revolutions in which we live and fight.

The Russian revolution revivified the revolutionary movement of the world and inspired the proletarian masses with new confidence and hope. It lifted up the banner of socialism, trampled in the mud of social patriotism by the traitor leaders of the Socialist parties, and made it again synonymous with internationalism. Lenin, the leader of the Russian revolution, was also the leader of the Communist International, which arose out of the ruins brought about by social treason in the war. Eleven years of the dictatorship of the proletariat has confirmed every-thing that Lenin taught about the international significance of the revolution and the indissoluble bonds between it and the world proletariat.

Soviet Russia is the fortress of the world revolution. While it stands, the imperialist system shakes on its foundations. Every attempt at stabilization brings greater insecurity and deeper contradictions. The example and the brotherly help of Soviet Russia inspires and strengthens the movement of the workers and oppressed peoples throughout the world. The flag of our socialist fatherland is the flag of our hope. On this eleventh anniversary we again hail it as our own.

Between the Soviet republics united in the USSR and the international revolutionary proletariat there is an organic con-nection. They are bound together spiritually and politically. They are united by ties of mutual solidarity which no power on earth can break. Just as the Soviet republics constitute an impregnable fortress of the world revolution, so is the international proletariat the protector of the Soviet republics. The revolutionary workers see in every blow aimed at Soviet Russia a blow aimed at their own cause, and react against it as such. The defense of the Soviet Union is our own fight. It is and will be a central rallying slogan of the labor militants of the entire world. “Defend the Soviet Union!” is a slogan leading the workers to follow the example of the Russian revolution. So they must conceive it. So will the victory of socialism in Russia and throughout the world be finally secured.

The victory of the Russian proletariat grew out of the World War. The establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia and the organization of the Communist International-two vast achievements historically linked together-are the plus signs against the slaughter of the millions and the collapse of the Second International. The imperialist warmakers and their “Socialist” lackeys unleashed forces which they could not control.

The imperialist masters of the world want to take back these gains of the workers wrested out of the bloody pit of war and revolution. Armaments are being multiplied on an unprecedented scale. War clouds darken the skies. War plans grow apace. They are aimed primarily at Soviet Russia and through it at the entire international labor movement.

The celebrations of the workers throughout the world on this eleventh anniversary of the Russian revolution must therefore be dominated above all by the solemn realization of the war danger and the steel resolve to meet it by revolutionary means; by the resolve to put all our weight and all our sacrifice in the scale for the cause of Soviet Russia, which is the cause of the oppressed and exploited.