Fourth International, July-August 1951


James P. Cannon

The Trend of the Twentieth Century

(July 1951)

Source: Fourth International, Vol.12 No.4, July-August 1951, pp.101-106.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan.

The stream of history became a torrential flood in the first half of the 20th Century and rages and flows even higher toward the second half. Never have events moved so fast. Never have social convulsions been so deep and so destructive of old and apparently fixed conditions. The first half of the 20th Century is already behind us. Our concern now turns to the second half. But if we want to see what this second half of our century has in store for humanity, we must first look back into the fifty years now expiring – and even into the century which preceded them – and mark out their most important events and developments. From the examination of these events and developments we can best ascertain the course and the direction which will determine the shape of things to come in the years which lie ahead of us.


The 19th Century was that brief space in the vast history of mankind which was especially assigned to the triumph and development of the capitalist system of production, and the social and political institutions based upon it. Under the mighty impulse of the great French Revolution, which freed the productive forces from the constricting fetters of the outlived feudal society, capitalism flourished and expanded and developed the productive forces of society – the true foundation of all social progress – with a speed and efficiency unknown before, and even undreamed of in all the centuries since men had begun to make their history and to record it. All the past achievements in this field put together were dwarfed beside the accomplishments of capitalism in a single century. The whole of the 19th Century stands out now in history as an unprecedented march of triumph of the capitalist class, which had overthrown feudalism by revolution and cleared a path for the development of a new and progressive system of production.

To be sure, the expansive productivity of capitalism, even in the century of its heyday, was interrupted by periodic economic crises which the capitalists themselves could neither foresee nor understand. But these economic crises, which paralyzed the forces of production at approximately ten-year intervals, turned out every time to be new starting points from which the productivity of labor was intensified and raised to new heights. In the periods of prosperity which emerged from every crisis the capitalist machine of production expanded, and the products of labor flooded the world in unprecedented volume. This gave rise to a vast illusion, a blind confidence, in the camp of the triumphant capitalist class and their ideologists, in a continuing progressive development of the forces of production under capitalism, without limit and without foreseeable end.

Marx’s and Engels’ Dissenting Opinion

But right in the middle of capitalism’s “19th Century of Progress,” with the publication of the Communist Manifesto of 1848, Marx and Engcls challenged the prevailing opinion. Analyzing the economic laws by which capitalism operates, and placing the epoch of capitalism in its historic context, Marx and Engels declared: Capitalism is not the fixed and final form of human society, but only a stage in its evolution. The contradictions which represent the dynamics of its development will eventually, and historically speaking, rapidly, bring it to a blind alley from which no exit and no further development will be possible for the social system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their confinement within the outlived borders of the national states.

Capitalism, said Marx and Engels, produces the modern proletariat, the wage workers, who are alienated from any stake in the ownership of the vast machinery of production which they operate, and have nothing to lose but their chains. At the same time, the capitalist owners are completely alienated from any necessary part in production and have become a parasitic obstruction to its further development. The wage workers, the useful producers, are condemned to accumulating misery and poverty, while the parasitic capitalists accumulate wealth and riches beyond the dreams of avarice. Capitalism will be broken and destroyed by this contradiction. In the modern working class, said Marx and Engels, capitalism is producing its gravedigger. The workers will be driven inexorably, by the very conditions of their existence, to revolt against capitalism, to overthrow it, and to replace it by a socialist order, which will plan and develop economy for the benefit of all. The downfall of capitalism and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

So said the voices crying in the wilderness, the farseeing prophets, Marx and Engels, in 1848.

Events Appear to Refute Marxist View

When the two great geniuses of the working class formulated their theory and confidently uttered their prediction capitalism had not yet reached the apex of its development. On the contrary, it was then only really beginning its most spectacular expansion and development. The fifty-odd years which followed the publication of the Communist Manifesto saw world capitalism attain ever-greater stability, ever-wider scope of increasing productivity, and ever-greater confidence in its thousand-year destiny. This is the way matters stood at the beginning of the 20th Century, which opened with the great fireworks of capitalist progress in the field of production and in scientific achievements.


Capitalism ruled the world securely and confidently. Everything appeared to be fixed and final; and the ideologists of triumphant capitalism had a field day celebrating the refutation of the Marxist prophecy. The watchword of the ruling circles was progress, ever more progress, along the same line. In the prevailing psychology of the time, optimism was uppermost. The belief in gradual, uninterrupted, peaceful and harmonious improvement, within the framework of things as they were, took possession of the masters of society and all their retinue like a smug religion revealed to the chosen few. There was no room in their outlook for the social convulsions, wars, and revolutions which had been the motive forces of the previous history of mankind.

The socialist and labor movements, which had grown up in Europe on the revolutionary teachings of Marx and Engels, began to succumb to the prevailing atmosphere. A stratum of privileged workers, who had shared in the crumbs of capitalist prosperity at the expense of the great mass of the unskilled workers’ and the colonial slaves, began to adapt themselves to the prevailing state of affairs.

They traded off their vision and hope of the socialist future for a few privileges and comforts of the present. A conservative bureaucracy, likewise sharing in the crumbs of prosperity and privilege, imposed on the workers’ organizations the opportunist theory of a gradual, peaceful transition to socialism along the road of social reform. The conquest of the world labor and socialist movement by theories of reformist gradualism was well under way.

Marxist Ideas Upheld by Few

Against this whole tide of things as they seemed to be in the first years of the 20th Century; and against all the theories and beliefs founded on this apparent reality, a small minority in the labor movement – Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Trotsky, Luxemburg, Liebknecht, a small left-wing in various countries – contended that the basic analysis and prognosis of Marx and Engels retained all their validity. They held that the period of the peaceful expansion of capitalism was approaching its culmination. They proclaimed that the accumulating contradictions of ascending capitalism were destined to explode in a mighty series of social convulsions, wars, and revolutions, which could have no outcome short of the revolutionary transformation of society and the replacement of capitalism by a new social order.

In the tumultuous developments which were to unfold in the first quarter of the 20th Century, these conflicting theories confronted each other like armies in battle. They influenced the course of developments, for social theories are not merely views of history, but also active forces in shaping the course of its development. Men make their own history, as Marx and Engels said, even if they don’t make it out of the whole cloth; and ideas are active forces in this making of history – for progress if they read social reality aright, or for derailment and temporary regression if they read it falsely.


Events did not wait long to pass their judgment on this great conflict of theories. In the first quarter of the 20th Century, the contradictions of capitalism, which had been pointed out by the Marxists and overlooked by their opponents, began to assert themselves and to take their revenge on the high priests of bourgeois optimism and socialist reformism.

Test of Theories Begins in Earnest

The private ownership of the means of production, and the exploitation of the wage laborers, led to an enormous over-production of goods and capital in all the countries of the great powers. This anomaly irresistibly drove each of them to seek new markets and fields of investment. But since there were no new continents to discover and exploit; and since the world market did not and could not expand with the expansion of the productive powers of modern industry; and moreover, since this geographically limited world was already divided up by the dominant and competing powers – none of them could expand its markets and dispose of its surpluses, except at the expense of others. The modern capitalist states, which had been consolidated by smashing feudal provincialism to provide a broader arena for the unrestricted development of the capitalist productive process, were already becoming too small to permit any further development within their restricted borders.

Expansion is the law of life for the capitalist system of production; and the separate national states could no longer provide the field for it. The forces of production, in Trotsky’s winged phrase, began to revolt against their national barriers. The tension between the great powers in the struggle for markets and fields of investment, in a world already divided up, increased and mounted from year to year. Behind an imposing facade of pacifist talk and diplomatic hypocrisy, a feverish armaments race got underway; and the accumulating contradictions finally exploded in the great World War of 1914-18. Bourgeois optimism in regard to the prospects of uninterrupted peaceful and harmonious development of the productive forces crashed up against the greatest orgy of destruction of human life and material culture in the war. The pernicious theory of reformist gradualism, which had taken possession of the aristocracy and bureaucracy of the labor movement, paralyzed the workers in each of the warring countries and drove them into the slaughter against each other in the interest of their exploiters. The downfall of international socialism was widely celebrated. Marxism was subjected to ridicule in the camp of the imperialists and the renegades who had joined them.

Premature Refutations of Marxism

But this celebration of the death of Marxism and the refutation of its revolutionary theory was premature. The revolutionary Marxists, reduced to a small handful, carried on their work in all countries – under the most onerous conditions. Meanwhile, the drawn-out war, bringing death and destruction on every side, was doing its work of sapping the economy of the contending powers, and undermining the confidence of the people in the social system which had brought this calamity upon them. By the very fact of the war, conducted on such a scale and at such a cost, capitalism branded itself as a reactionary obstacle to the aspirations of the people to live secure and prosperous lives. The revolutionary storm which the war was preparing was first heralded by sheet lightning when the Russian Czar was overthrown in February 1917. And then, eight months later, the storm itself broke in all its magnificent fury with the Bolshevik Revolution which put the Russian working class in power.

This was the great turning point. November 7, 1917 is the moment in history from which the new age begins. Never before in the history of the human race was such a gigantic leap forward taken. Never before was there Such a beneficent promise and assurance of the good future of mankind written into deed as on that day 34 years ago, when the Russian workers took power into their own hands and declared an end to the old things and the beginning of the new.

The Russian Revolution abolished the private ownership of the industries and the land, and demonstrated in practice that neither capitalists nor landlords are necessary to modern production, but are rather parasitic obstacles to it.

Russian Revolution’s Irrefutable Proof

The Russian Revolution demonstrated that the working class, even in a backward country, is capable of taking power from the palsied hands of outlived exploiters; and is capable likewise of forging out of its own ranks a vanguard party capable of leading the struggle. The Russian Revolution awakened tens of millions of colonial slaves to political life and aspiration for political independence for the first time. It released the pent-up rage and hatred of the betrayed workers of Europe, and inspired them with the will to follow the Russian example by Russian methods.

The revolutionary will of the masses, especially of Europe, was so strong, and bourgeois economy and self-confidence had been so weakened and shaken by the war, that successful revolutions in one country after another, sweeping the whole of Europe, were undoubtedly possible in the years immediately following the termination of the war of 1914-18. The situation was there, the opportunity was there, but the revolutionary party capable of organizing and leading the revolutionary struggle was lacking. Reformist social democracy still controlling the apparatus of the workers’ organizations, although greatly discredited and weakened by their treachery in the war, was still strong enough to paralyze and defeat the revolutionary struggle of the masses. In those few sentences are stated the main reason, one might even say the only reason, why the Russian Revolution was not extended and consolidated over the continent of Europe in the five or six years which followed the victory of 1917.

The failure of the European workers to take the power, for the reasons already stated, enabled the European bourgeoisie to regain a certain measure of their self-confidence, and to reestablish a shaky stabilization of their economy and their rule. On the other hand, the Russian Revolution consolidated its victory, prevailed in the Civil War against the bourgeois counter-revolution, and defeated the numerous military interventions of the capitalist powers. A great bridgehead had been established, so to speak, and the revolutionary workers had the opportunity and the space to dig in, to entrench themselves, and to prepare for the next assault. The working class on a world scale was immeasurably stronger than it had been at the beginning of the century, and the capitalist class was weaker. The capitalist system, on a world scale, had irrevocably entered the period of its decline and decay.

New Illusions in Midst of Struggle

This is the way matters stood at the end of the first quarter of the 20th Century. One great battle in the worldwide struggle between socialism and capitalism had been decided in favor of the workers. Other, still greater, battles remained undecided.


The inconclusive stalemate in the great historic conflict between socialism and capitalism, which marked the beginning of the second quarter of the 20th Century, gave rise to a new set of illusions, misconceptions, and improvised theories as ill-founded as those which had dominated mass thinking at the beginning of the century. These misconceptions and false theories penetrated deeply into the revolutionary labor movement. They disoriented and demoralized it, and thus had their effect on social developments.

The isolation of the Soviet Union, combined with the harsh poverty of the country, inherited from Czarism and aggravated by the heavy costs of the Civil War and the interventions, created the conditions for the rise of a privileged bureaucracy. This bureaucracy, like all privileged strata of society, grew conservative. They sought to protect their privileges at all costs. The Soviet bureaucrats developed the mentality of all privileged bureaucrats in the labor movement in all countries, which is summed up in the fervent desire to “let well enough alone.” Looking at the world with the myopia of immediate self-interest, they imagined those things which appeared momentarily under their eyes to be the only reality.

“Socialism in One Country” or ...

The Soviet bureaucrats saw the temporary recovery of capitalist economy, enormously exaggerated its stability, and endowed it with the quality of permanence. They saw the stagnation of the European Communist movement, after the great post-war revolutionary wave had subsided, and lost faith in its potentiality to expand and grow again with a new revolutionary revival. In the service of these moods and sentiments, in order to justify and try to maintain the status quo, which had brought a limited prosperity at least to the bureaucrats, the leaders of the conservative bureaucracy began to tinker with theory. The crowning monstrosity of this irresponsible theoretical tinkering was the Stalinist theory of “Socialism in one Country.”

This theory, which the Stalinist faction passed off as an extension and development of revolutionary Marxism, was in fact blood brother to the revisionism of the Social Democratic reformists which had wrought such havoc in the labor movement in the first quarter of the century. The theory of Socialism in one Country signified an expression of the overpowering desire of the privileged bureaucracy to preserve their privileges within the borders of the Soviet Union and let the rest of the world labor movement go hang. It signified a renunciation of the perspective of international revolution; the recognition and expectation of the permanent existence of capitalism in five-sixths of the world, and the willingness of the Soviet bureaucracy to adapt themselves to it and live with it.

... Permanent Revolution?

Trotsky denounced the new improvisation. The theory of Socialism in one Country, and a backward country at that, is Utopian, he said. The construction of a harmonious socialist order of society requires the highest productivity of labor, with international collaboration and a division of labor between associated countries to produce plenty and abundance for all. This theory of socialism in a single country is also reactionary, he said, and downright false in its international perspectives. The stabilization of world capitalism is only limited and temporary. Conditions are maturing for a devastating crisis and new revolutionary explosions in various parts of the world. That is the underlying reality. There will be no lack of revolutionary situations, said Trotsky; and there is no reason to change our course, which has had as its central aim the extension of the Russian Revolution to other countries, and eventually to unite the whole world in one socialist federation.

To the Stalinist theory of “Socialism in one Country” Trotsky counterposed the Marxist theory of the Permanent Revolution. The second quarter of the 20th Century was dominated by this conflict of theories.


Again, as in the first quarter of the 20th Century, events did not wait long to pass judgment on the contending theories. The conservative international outlook of Stalinism completely misjudged great events in the making, and at the same time, worked mightily to influence their unfavorable outcome.

Events Refute Stalinist “Theory”

The Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, which had every reasonable chance of success, was a great demonstration and warning that the days of imperialist domination of the Orient were numbered. The British General Strike of 1927, fraught with enormous revolutionary potentialities, was a startling revelation of the shakiness of bourgeois rule in the most conservative of bourgeois countries. The devastating world-wide economic crisis, touched off by the stock market crash in New York in 1929, served notice that the supposedly permanent stabilization of the capitalist economic system had already run its brief course and could never be fully restored. The Spanish civil war; the French sit-down strikes of June 1936; the breath-taking rise and sweep of industrial unionism in the United States under the banner of the CIO – all gave powerful testimony against the illusion that the struggle of the classes could be suspended, and the status quo between the Soviet Union and the capitalist countries permanently maintained.

In this great complex of world-shaking events, all crowded together within the brief space of a dozen years in the second quarter of the century, there was undoubtedly the making of a world revolutionary movement of such power that nothing could have stopped it. The uncontrollable crisis wracking the capitalist system through those fateful years cried aloud for a revolutionary solution. But the revolutionary road was blocked by the Stalinist leadership which had demoralized and corrupted the communist movement with the theory of “Socialism in one Country,” and all the unbridled practices of class collaboration which flowed from this reactionary theory. Humanity had to pay for the crimes of Stalinism with the unspeakable horrors of fascism and another World War.


The terrible experiences of Stalinism and Fascism, and the Second World War, and all that led to them and followed from them, changed many things, disappointed many expectations, and raised new problems for theoretical investigation. Once again new phenomena, unforeseen by people who notice only what is immediately before their eyes, and always imagine that it will last forever, produced its crop of superficial impressions masquerading as worked-out theories.

The rise of fascism in Germany strengthened and reinforced, the fascist regime of Mussolini in Italy, and contributed heavily to the fascist victory in Spain. A section of the bourgeoisie, imagining that the class struggle, the real driving force of history, had been eliminated because it had been pressed down under the iron lid of police-state terror, began to indulge themselves in a new theory of fascism as “the Wave of the Future,” wherein social tranquility and profits would both be permanently assured. Others in the socialist and labor movement, or on its fringes, bowing before the terrifying fact of the present and taking fright from it, likewise endowed fascism with a vitality and longevity that it by no means deserved and could not live up to.

“Retrogressionist” View of Fascism

Out of the dark pool of their own fears and terrors, these panic-mongers fished up the so-called theory of “retrogressionism.” They announced that the historic process is definitely moving backward toward barbarism, not forward toward socialism. But this capitulatory pessimism was just as worthless as the delighted optimism of a section of the capitalists, in providing a real appraisal of the role and prospects of fascism.

The Trotskyists maintained – and events have already proved – that fascism is not a new social order, but the diseased expression of a dying one. Fascism, in fact, is latent in decadent capitalism; the specific form of its rule in times of the highest social tension and crisis. If decaying capitalism is not overthrown in time, and replaced by a socialist order, fascism will appear again in one part of the v/orld after another, including the United States. But even in that case, the rule of neo-fascism will not last longer, nor will its fate be different, than that of the fascist regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. The very fact that capitalism in one country or another is forced to resort to the desperate expedient of fascism is the most convincing sign of its instability, of its unviability, and of its imminent downfall.

Hitler and Mussolini, in their boasts and pretensions, and also in their ultimate fate, stand out in history as representative symbols of all fascist dictators who may yet make their brief appearance in one country or another. Hitler, at the height of his madness, boasted that his Nazi regime would last for a thousand years. But he had to settle for a mere twelve years, and then throw his own head into the bargain with the ignominious collapse of his regime. Mussolini, strutting on the Roman balcony, impressed many people as an impervious superman. But his regime fell apart “like a rotten apple” after a mere twenty years. And Mussolini himself ended upside down, hanging by his heels in the public square like a slaughtered pig in a butcher shop. There was poetic justice, as well as prophecy, in the ignominious end of the two fascist supermen.

Equally False Concept of Stalinism

The fate of the Stalinist criminals will be no more glorious. The world-conquering historical mission ascribed to Stalinism by frightened philistines and professional pessimists, is no less chimerical than that formerly attributed to fascism. At the moment of its apparently greatest triumph of expansion, Stalinism has been overtaken by a mortal crisis. The revolt of Yugoslavia, which is already spreading like a virulent infection throughout the Stalinist domain in Eastern Europe, and tomorrow will spread to China – heralds the death sentence of history on the right of Stalinism to expand, or even to survive as anything but a horrible interlude in the march of humanity.

Humanity is marching forward to socialism and freedom, not backward to barbarism and slavery. Neither fascism nor Stalinism has any historical right to stand in the way. Fascism is the degenerate product of dying capitalism, a social system which remains too long on the scene after it has exhausted all its progressive potentialities and has become reactionary through and through. Stalinism is a degenerate growth on the labor movement – the product of undue retardation and delay of the proletarian revolution, after all the conditions for it have become rotten ripe. Neither fascism nor Stalinism represent “the Wave of the Future.” Both are reactionary and transitory phenomena. Neither fascism nor Stalinism represent the main line of historic development. On the contrary, they are deviations from it, which must and will be obliterated in the next tidal wave of colonial uprisings and proletarian revolutions.


In order to form a correct appraisal of everything that has happened, it is necessary first of all, to get a clear view of the most important and decisive factors and to subordinate those which are secondary and incidental. The most important fact revealed by the Second World War, and the insane preparations for a Third, is its demonstration of the crisis and death agony of the capitalist system of production; of its complete inability to operate any longer on a basis of social stability and peace. The Second World War did not culminate in a series of successful revolutions in the advanced countries as the Marxists expected and hoped. But it is completely false to say that revolutionary situations did not arise; that the working class was definitively defeated; and that the bourgeoisie emerged with a secure and stable victory. Nothing could be a greater misrepresentation of reality than that.

True Aspect of Reality Today

The end of the war released such a tremendous revolutionary movement of the workers in Italy and France, as well as in Eastern Europe, that the capitalists were nowhere able to rule in their own name. In Italy, after more than 20 years of fascist suppression, during which all independent working class action and propaganda had been suppressed, the workers emerged from the war with an almost unanimous cry for communism or socialism. The Italian example is the most striking and reassuring proof of the indestructibility of the proletariat, and of its socialist consciousness. The overwhelming majority of the French working class at the end of the war followed the Communist Party only because of the mistaken belief that it could lead them to a French version of the great Russian Revolution.

The unparalleled upsurges of the colonial masses, which came in the wake of the war, have revealed the startling weakness of the western imperialist powers, and their inability to maintain and secure their colonial domination any more. The doom of western imperialism is clearly written in the flaming skies of the Orient. Outlived capitalism has no secure future anywhere.

The workers of Europe had their second chance for revolution in the immediate post-war period, and in the main they were ready for it. They failed of this objective once again only because they still lacked a sufficiently influential revolutionary party to organize and lead the struggle. The conclusion to be drawn from this is not to write off the revolution, but to build a revolutionary party to organize it and lead it. That’s what we are here for.

Barometer Reads: Storms Ahead

The perspective of the coming years, as we read it in the course of events as they have transpired in the half-century behind us, is that of a continuing crisis and increasing weakness of bankrupt capitalism; of new colonial uprisings on an ever-vaster scale; of more strikes and class battles in the main countries of capitalism. In the course of these struggles the workers will learn the most necessary lessons from their own experiences. They will settle accounts with perfidious Stalinism and social democracy and drive them out of the workers’ movement. They will forge revolutionary parties worthy of the century of blood and iron. And these parties will organize their struggles and lead them to their revolutionary goal.


The years of the first half of the 20th Century have been years of storm and strife. And the barometer reads: more storms to come. Those who want peace and security, without fighting or taking any risks, have simply chosen the wrong time to be born. But those who are not afraid of storm and strife, who see social progress riding with the storm – for them matters stand differently. For those who are in tune with this century; who understand the laws of its development; who see the course and direction in which it is moving and must move – for us, this is a great century to be alive in. This is our century.

Many people have been overwhelmed by great events which they could not foresee and do not yet understand. They have seen their theories and beliefs refuted and swept away by reality and have not been able to find new ones. For such people this is a time of great confusion and discouragement, and despair of their own fate, and even of the fate of humanity. The pacifist optimism, which presided over the inauguration of the 20th Century, has given way to a profound pessimism. Those people who look only at the surface of events and refuse to see the social reality which underlies them, wake up in the morning with pessimism and go to bed at night with despair.

A Balanced Perspective

We Marxists have no part of this nightmare world. We see the course of development for the next 50 years already foreshadowed by the main course it has taken in the 50 years now behind us. The course has not been straight. There have been zig-zags and even regressions. There have been frightful catastrophes. But the general direction toward social transformation has been clearly delineated. Hitler’s gas chambers, Truman’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Stalin’s prisons and forced labor camps – they are all part of the terrible reality of our time. But they are not the whole of it. They are not even the most important part of it. They represent horrible aberrations from the main course of history, as revealed in the first half of the 20th Century. The Russian Revolution of 1917 is the great signpost, showing the real course of development and pointing the way to the future; to the final emancipation of humanity from the oppression of outlived capitalism, and from all fear of poverty, insecurity and war, which are its evil progeny.

We Marxists face the struggle for this future with full confidence. And we bring to this struggle faith in men and good will to work for the common good of all. Faith in man, and his capacity to survive and improve his lot, is not a religious superstition, as the skeptics and snivellers say. It is the recognition of reality, the most important and decisive reality there is. Faith in man and his communist future is at the core of Marxism, the central element of its unshakable optimism. The gloomy prophets of the eclipse of civilization and, perhaps, even the obliteration of human society, ignore the history and the evolution of man, which demonstrates above all else his unconquerable will and capacity to survive arid go forward.

Marxists Face Future Confidently

Shall man, who came down out of the trees, and learned to stand on his feet and look the world in the face; shall man who has come so far and done so much, fall victim now to his own inventions and achievements? Shall he cease now to do and dare and aspire and achieve, and even to exist? We do not think so. The great men who taught us and inspired us never thought so. All the great revolutionaries and leaders of the people have believed in men and their better future. They never doubted, never stood aside, never yielded to pessimistic despair, no matter how dark the situation might be at the moment. We should remember that, and turn to the great men of the people for inspiration and guidance, so that we too may be imbued with their spirit; that we may see light ahead at the end of our difficult and heavy struggle, and go bravely forward to meet it.

It is true that the human race, threatened with another war of atomic bombs and bacterial poisons, is indeed confronted with a problem of survival on this planet. But the human race will survive. And in order to survive, it will do away with the social system which threatens its survival.

That is the supreme task assigned by history to the 20th Century, and it will be accomplished. The work is in progress, and the goal is in sight: The first half of the 20th Century saw the beginning of the necessary social transformation of the world. The second half of the 20th Century will see it carried through to a triumphant conclusion. Socialism will win the world and change the world, and make it safe for peace and freedom.

Last updated on: 17.6.2006