Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The Militant, 3 March 1945

Pioneer Paragraphs

James P. Cannon

What Russian Revolution Taught World Proletariat


From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 9, 3 March 1945, p. 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Russian revolution proved three things for all time. Two of them have been mentioned. First, it can be proved that the party and the leadership necessary for victory can be created by the proletariat, as they have been created by the Russian proletariat.

Second, the Russian revolution proved – I am now repeating what I said before – that the system of nationalized industry and planned economy, introduced by a Soviet revolution, is superior, more progressive, more productive, than any device of capitalism whether democratic or fascist.

And the third thing which we can say is demonstrated by the revolution, and proved now in the test of war, is that only one class is capable of solving the great social problems of our epoch. That class is the proletariat.

The Fourth International with its program and its tactics anchored to these three propositions, has been proven correct by the whole test of events. Therefore, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the revolution, we do not change our course. We see not only the terrible weakness of the Soviet regime which derives from the bureaucratic mismanagement and control. We see also the strength and the power which derives from the revolutionary origin of the Soviet Union and its basic conquests.

I think it is quite clear that Hitler made a mortal error in attacking the Soviet Union. Fascist thinking was far too superficial for the complicated problem involved in the attempt to destroy the Soviet Union and its Red Army and its economic system. Hitler made a very common mistake. He saw only the bureaucracy which is weak, inefficient and cowardly, and he did not see, and did not understand, the vitality of the still living revolution, and, the mighty sources of achievement and heroism that this revolution could call forth in time of war. All the petty bourgeois political thinkers overlook this point – the difference between the Soviet Union, which is the product of a great revolution, and the usurping bureaucracy, which is a parasitic tumor on the Soviet Union.

(From The Russian Revolution by James P. Cannon, pp. 10–11. Published by Pioneer Publishers, 1944; 30pp. 10 cents. Order from Pioneer Publishers, 116 University Place, New York 3, N.Y.)

Top of page

Main Militant Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 7 November 2018