J.R. Johnson

>Russia: 29th Anniversary of Its Great Revolution

(18 November 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 46, 18 November 1946, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The anniversary of the Russian Revolution can never pass unnoticed or uncelebrated by the revolutionary movement. On that day the Russian working class overthrew not only the Russian landlords and bourgeoisie but established the first Workers’ State in history. If today the Workers Party calls upon the Russian workers and peasants to look upon Stalin’s government as its enemy, it is not because the great Revolution of October 1917 is no longer the world-shaking event we once hailed it to be. Nothing of the kind.

For us the Russian Revolution is still the greatest and most significant event in human history. But it is precisely for that reason that we are the mortal enemies of those who have betrayed and degraded the first great example of the proletariat emancipated.

In the disgusting spectacle of totalitarian tyranny, greed, barbarous looting of subjected peoples, social and political corruption sewn either directly or through its agents, the Stalinist parties, Stalinist Russia is today as deadly an enemy to civilization and human progress as exists anywhere on the face of the globe.

Determination to mobilize all forces for resistance to it, and to overthrow it, can only be Strengthened by always bearing in mind what were the actual achievements of the Russian Revolution.

Its Great Achievements in History

The workers and peasants of Russia in 1917, beginning with a country backward and ruined, created a new type of state. They tore down the old Czarist ruins and built a workers’ state from the foundations up.

Using the workers’ councils as a basis they organized production in a new way and constructed organs of government, law, justice, administration, on a pattern never before seen.

Workers control of production; an end to all types of discrimination against women; destruction of national privileges; respect for all types of labor; liberty, equality, and fraternity such as the French Revolution had dreamed of but never known; courageous liberation in questions of education, sexual relations, religion and artistic life, – these things the Workers’ State proclaimed in theory and decree and strove with all its might to carry out. If it failed it was because backwardness and isolation dragged down these splendid beginnings. But they are a landmark in human history and an imperishable monument to the aspirations and possibilities of the socialist society.

Great Possibilities for the Future

In every field the October Revolution demonstrated the possibilities of workers’ liberation. Attacked on all sides it created an army of millions of men which fought on thousands of miles of front and astonished friends and foes alike by the splendor of its achievements in comparison with the limitations of its means.

The Workers’ State established the Communist International, in those days a fraternal organization embracing millions of workers, the greatest international organization Europe and the modern world had seen for five hundred years. These were some of the achievements of the Russian Revolution.

Today the great achievements have been destroyed, betrayed, corrupted. Such strength as Russia gained by the cleansing of feudalism from all aspects of Russian life, this strength has been usurped by a gang of bureaucrats who misuse the new power for their own profit and advancement. The Fourth Internationalists, the Trotskyists, are as they have always been, in the vanguard of the struggle for the great aims of the October Revolution. And for this very reason we are irreconcilable in our enmity to those usurpers of its traditions, the Kremlin bureaucracy in Russia and its Stalinist satellites and agents abroad.

With this celebration, our revolutionary celebration of the October Revolution, we link the name of Leon Trotsky, collaborator of Lenin in all the great achievements of October. November 7 was his birthday. To the day of his murder by Stalin he fought for the principles of October. It is to those principles that the Workers’ Party is dedicated and which it renews on every anniversary of October.

Last updated on 8 July 2019