Monday, 22 January 2018

Lenin and the Permanent Revolution

Tomorrow it will be the ninety-fourth death anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. I am writing this:
1) For the long life of his theory, which will certainly help the proletariat to win the world.
2) To point out one of the Stalinist counter-revolutionary attempts which have always obstructed the world revolution.

It is often misinterpreted by the Stalinists that Lenin was "strictly against the theory of the Permanent Revolution". These counter-revolutionaries of the world revolution can often be found highlighting the quote of Lenin of 1914, in which he called the theory of the permanent revolution "absurdly left". But, the same counter-revolutionaries do not want to discuss what Lenin said in the following years.
In 1915, right after one year of calling the "Permanent Revolution" absurd, Lenin wrote: "Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world."
This is one of the quotes of Lenin, used by Stalin to work on his absurd, illogical and counter-revolutionary theory, Socialism in One Country. But here, by using the words "the victorious proletariat ... will arise against the rest of the world", Lenin refers to a world revolution.
“The first role occupied by the proletariat of Russia in the world labour movement is explained not by the industrial development of the country – just the opposite, by the backwardness of Russia ... The Russian proletariat is clearly aware that the necessary condition and fundamental premise of its victory is the united action of the workers of the whole world, or of several countries advanced in capitalist relations.” (Lenin, July 23, 1918)
Here, Lenin clearly talks about the unity of the workers of the whole world, and by the term "united action", Lenin means a revolution.
“The complete victory of the socialist revolution is unthinkable in one country, but demands the most active co-operation at least of several advanced countries...” (Lenin, November 8, 1918)
Again, in this quote, we can find Lenin, talking about the "active cooperation" of the workers of the "advanced countries" toward a world proletarian revolution".
By saying, “our revolution will conquer when the workers of all countries support it,” Lenin, in November 1920, again reminds the workers to work towards a world revolution.
“Did any one of the Bolsheviks at any time ever deny that the revolution can conquer in a final form only when it comprises all or at least several of the more advanced countries!” (Lenin, May 19, 1921)
“We have not completed even the foundation of a socialist economy. This can still be taken back by the hostile forces of a dying capitalism. We must be clearly aware of this, and openly acknowledge it. For there is nothing more dangerous than illusions and turned heads, especially in high places. And there is absolutely nothing ‘terrible,’ nothing offering a legitimate cause for the slightest discouragement, in recognising this bitter truth; for we always have taught and repeated this ABC truth of Marxism, that for the victory of socialism the combined efforts of the workers of several advanced countries are necessary.” (Lenin, 1922)
By saying this in 1922, Lenin emphasises that one socialist country cannot survive alone. For victory of socialism, even in one country, "the combined efforts of the workers of several advanced countries are necessary".
By reading the above mentioned quotes of V.I. Lenin, one can come to a conclusion that Lenin had always called for a world proletarian revolution. So, only the counter-revolutionaries of the world revolution advocate the theory of the "permanent revolution", which Lenin clearly advocated.
But the same counter-revolutionaries refuse to accept the truth that Lenin clearly opposed the theory of "Socialism in One Country". Lenin said at the third Congress of Soviets in January 1918, “Of course the final victory of socialism in one country is impossible, but something else is possible: a living example, a getting to work – somewhere in one country – that is what will set fire to the toiling masses in all countries.”
So, it is clear that Lenin always advocated a world proletarian revolution, rather than the establishment of socialism in one country alone, which, as called by Lenin himself, is "impossible".
The same counter-revolutionaries, when told about the views of Lenin toward a world revolution, call us "Trotskyites". Trotsky really did a great favour to the communists by bringing the views of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin toward a world proletarian revolution.
In the words of Saumyendranath Tagore, “Lenin was just as much a champion of permanent revolution as Trotsky was... Trotsky certainly had done a great service to revolutionary communism by drawing out attention over and over again to the theory of permanent revolution since Lenin died in 1924 and the sinister anti-revolutionary regime of Stalin started.”
Lenin had rightly grasped what Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had taught for the victory of socialism not just one country, but in all the countries of the world, that is, the theory of the Permanent Revolution, that of a World Revolution.

Date: 20/01/2018
Place: Moran, Dibrugarh, Assam, India

Sunday, 19 November 2017

No difference between Scientific Socialism and Communism

I can notice many people who claim that socialism is a bridge between capitalism and communism. Several attempts have been made to distinguish the two terms from each other. I can even find some mass organisations of some communist parties, who claim, "our ideology is not communism, but scientific socialism." It is a statement contradicting itself, because there is no difference between "communism" and "scientific socialism".

The reasons why I claim that socialism and communism are same, are mentioned here:

1. Marx, in his "Critique of the Gotha Programme", writes: "a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges."
Here, Marx defines the communist society as just emerging from the communist society. But, there are some people who claim that socialism succeeds capitalism, and that communism succeeds socialism. So, those who say so, are "wrong".

2. In the Preface to the 1888 English Edition of The Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels writes, "...we could not have called it a socialist manifesto. In 1847, two kinds of people were considered socialists."
At that time there were two kinds of socialists: utopian and scientific. By the term "socialism", some would think of Utopian Socialism. This is the only reason why Marx and Engels could not call it a "socialist manifesto".

3. We have always been taught by those who claim a difference between the two, that in socialism, there will be the existence of the state, but in the communist state, there will be no state.
Let's see what Lenin wrote in The State and Revolution: "It follows that under communism there remains for a time not only bourgeois law, but even the bourgeois state, without the bourgeoisie!"
If there is really any difference between socialism and communism, then why did Lenin say that the state will "remain for a time" under communism?

4. Moreover, Friedrich Engels, in his letter to August Bebel, written in London between March 18-28, 1875, writes: "The people’s state has been flung in our teeth ad nauseam by the anarchists, although Marx’s anti-Proudhon piece and after it the Communist Manifesto declare outright that, with the introduction of the socialist order of society, the state will dissolve of itself and disappear." Here, Engels says about the withering away of the state in the socialist society.

So, we can come to a conclusion that Marx, Engels and Lenin always used the terms "socialism" and "communism" interchangeably.

They called the two stages of the communist society as the "first or lower phase of the communist society" and the "highest phase of the communist society".

Many people are still misguided by this attempt of distinction between the two terms: "socialism" and "communism".

So, why was it necessary to make the distinction between the two terms? To build up the revisionist theory, which is known as "Socialism in one country", which absolutely contradicts the Marxist theory of "Permanent Revolution"!

I oppose the Stalinist theory of "Socialism in one country". But this doesn't mean I am a Trotskyist, but it means I am a Marxist. Marx clearly called for a "Permanent Revolution" in the First Address of the Central Committee of the Communist League to it's members in Germany in March, 1850:

"While the democratic petty bourgeois want to bring the revolution to an end as quickly as possible, achieving at most the aims already mentioned, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent until all the more or less propertied classes have been driven from their ruling positions, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far – not only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world – that competition between the proletarians of these countries ceases and at least the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers... Although the German workers cannot come to power and achieve the realization of their class interests without passing through a protracted revolutionary development, this time they can at least be certain that the first act of the approaching revolutionary drama will coincide with the direct victory of their own class in France and will thereby be accelerated. But they themselves must contribute most to their final victory, by informing themselves of their own class interests, by taking up their independent political position as soon as possible, by not allowing themselves to be misled by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic petty bourgeoisie into doubting for one minute the necessity of an independently organized party of the proletariat. Their battle-cry must be: The Permanent Revolution."

Stalin thought that building the country capable of fighting against the military intervention of the capitalist countries would make "Socialism in one country" possible. But what if the capitalist countries attack one socialist country peacefully? Peaceful economic intervention of world capitalism is enough to demolish the establishment of socialism in one country. Because the state will have to depend upon capitalist sources for the raw materials which are mostly controlled by capitalist states. For that, the socialist state will have to produce goods for foreign trade, and under the laws of the capitalist market.

* Socialism: (here) Scientific Socialism, not Democratic Socialism or any other form of socialism.

~ Moyoor Sharma.