J. V. Stalin

Remarks on a Summary of the Manual of the Modern History

9 August 1934

Source: Works, Vol. 14
Publisher: Red Star Press Ltd., London, 1978
Transcription/HTML Markup: Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. P lease credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.

As modern history is the most rich in achievements and as it is this which is the most important thing in the modern history of bourgeois countries, if one considers the period preceding the October Revolution in Russia, it is the victory of the French Revolution and the affirmation of capitalism in Europe and America which should be emphasized and so we believe that it would be more valuable to have a manual of modern history beginning with a chapter on the French Revolution.

The biggest failure of the summary seems to be that it does not emphasize clearly enough the great difference between the French Revolution (bourgeois revolution) and the October Revolution in Russia (socialist revolution). The central theme of a manual of modern history must be precisely the theme of the opposition between the bourgeois revolution and the socialist revolution. To show that the bourgeois revolution in France (as in all other countries) in liberating the people from the chains of feudalism and absolutism, imposes on them instead, the chains of capitalism and bourgeois democracy, whilst socialist revolution in Russia broke all chains and liberated the people from all forms of exploitation and that is what must be the thread running through a manual of modern history.

One cannot claim that the French Revolution was complete. It is still necessary to recognize it as a bourgeois revolution and treat it as such.

In the same way, one cannot give to our socialist revolution in Russia, only the name October Revolution.

It is necessary to qualify it with the term socialist revolution, and to treat it as such.