J. V. Stalin

Synopsis of the Article "The International Character of the October Revolution"

October 1927

Source : Works, Vol. 10, August - December, 1927
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2009
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.

The October Revolution is not merely a revolution "within national bounds," but, primarily, a revolution of an international, world order; for it signifies a radical turn in the world history of mankind from the old to the new.

Revolutions in the past usually ended by one group of exploiters at the helm of government being replaced by another group of exploiters. The exploiters changed, exploitation remained. Such was the case during the revolutions of the slaves, the revolutions of the serfs, the revolutions of the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie. The October Revolution differs from these revolutions in principle. Its aim is not to replace one form of exploitation by another form of exploitation, one group of exploiters by another group of exploiters, but to abolish all exploitation of man by man, to overthrow all groups of exploiters.

The establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the most revolutionary and most organised of all exploited classes.

Precisely for this reason the victory of the October Revolution signifies a radical turn in economics and politics, in the manner of life, customs, habits and traditions, in the culture and in the whole spiritual complexion of the exploited masses throughout the world.

That is the basic reason why the oppressed classes in all countries entertain the greatest sympathy for the October Revolution, which they regard as the pledge of their own emancipation.

Four main features.

1) The centres of imperialism (the "metropolises"). October as the turn from the rule of capitalism in the advanced countries to communism. We often say that the October Revolution is a breach of the world imperialist front. But what does that mean? It means that it ushered in the era of proletarian revolutions and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Formerly, the point of departure was the French Revolution of the eighteenth century; its traditions were utilised and its order was implanted.

Now the October Revolution is the point of departure.

Formerly, France.

Now, the U.S.S. R.

Formerly, the "Jacobin" was the bogy of the entire bourgeoisie.

Now, the Bolshevik is the bogy of the bourgeoisie.

The era of "ordinary" bourgeois revolutions, when the proletariat was merely the shock force, while the exploiters reaped the fruits of revolution, has passed away.

The era of proletarian revolutions in the capitalist countries has begun.

2) The periphery of imperialism. October ushered in the era of liberating revolutions in the colonial and dependent countries.

The proletariat cannot emancipate itself unless it emancipates the peoples oppressed by imperialism. The united front of proletarian revolutions in the metropolises and colonial revolutions in the dependent countries.

The era of tranquil exploitation of the colonies and dependent countries has passed away.

The era of liberating revolutions in the colonies, the era of the awakening of the proletariat in those countries, the era of its hegemony, has begun.

3) The centres and periphery—together. Thereby, October struck world imperialism a mortal blow from which it will never recover.

Imperialism will never recover the "equilibrium" and "stability" that it possessed before October.

The era of the "stability" of capitalism has passed away.

The era of the decline of capitalism has begun.

4) October signifies the ideological victory of communism over Social-Democratism, of Marxism over reformism.

Formerly, before the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the U.S.S. R., the Social-Democrats and reformists could flaunt the banner of Marxism, could coquet with Marx and Engels, etc., for that was not dangerous for the bourgeoisie, and people did not yet know what the victory of Marxism could lead to.

Now, after the victory of the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R., when everybody realises what Marxism leads to and what its victory may signify, the Social-Democrats and reformists, sensing the danger to the bourgeoisie of such flaunting and coquetting with Marxism, have preferred to dissociate themselves from Marxism.

Henceforth, communism is the only shelter and bulwark of Marxism.

Henceforth, the spirit of Marxism is abandoning Social-Democracy, just as Social-Democracy earlier abandoned Marxism.

Now, after the victory of the October Revolution, only those can be Marxists who resolutely and devotedly support the first proletarian dictatorship in the world.

What does supporting the first proletarian dictatorship in the world mean? It means taking the stand of direct struggle against one' s own bourgeoisie. As, however, the Social-Democrats do not want to fight their own bourgeoisie but prefer to adapt themselves to it, they, naturally, take the stand of fighting the first proletarian dictatorship in the world, the stand of restoring capitalism in the U.S.S.R. That is the twilight of Social-Democracy.

October ushered in the era of the triumph of world communism, which is the era of the twilight of Social-Democracy, of its final desertion to the camp of the bourgeoisie.

October is the victory of Marxism in ideology.