THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION
This year 2017 marks the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution. On October 25, 1917 (Nov. 7 in the Gregorian calendar), the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers led by the Bolsheviks and organized into Soviets seized power from the Russian big bourgeoisie after the earlier overthrow of Tsarism in February.
The founding of the first socialist state inspired the next generations of socialists, anti-imperialists and democrats, and entire working-class and liberation movements, to lead their own people in waging revolution and winning victories.
Since January 2017, the People’s Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Mobilization (PRISM) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) have been co-organizing a yearlong commemoration of the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
In this effort, we seek cooperation and coordination with various Marxist-Leninist, socialist and anti-imperialist organizations. We are conducting a series of conferences, forums and seminar-workshops in different global regions from May to October 2017, in which these various groups and individual authors may present papers and lead discussions on the historical and continuing legacy of the October Revolution. The presentations and proceedings will be published as a book by end-2017.
We are also getting ready to join the rest of the global socialist and anti-imperialist communities in holding simultaneous or globally coordinated actions right before or on November 7 to cap the centennial celebration.
Despite the restoration of capitalism after a long period of revisionism in the Soviet Union and other socialist states, the October Revolution continues to inspire generations of the working class to fight for socialism and unite with the peasantry in the struggle for democracy and against all forms of oppression in many parts of the world.
The basic contradictions in the world today remain as those that confronted the proletariat and the peoples of the world a century ago. The fundamental truths expounded in Lenin’s State and Revolution and Imperialism: the Highest State of Capitalism, two works that will mark their 100th anniversary of publication also in 2017, alongside Marx’s Das Kapital (vol. 1) which will mark its 150th anniversary, remain valid as ever.
The global capitalist system faces worsening crises and threats of new financial meltdowns, with deep-going impact on economies and social classes. The failure of the neoliberal project has generated various compelling critique of capitalism. The imperialist drumbeats of war rumble in various parts of the globe where US imperialist hegemony is
challenged by rising economic and military powers. Regional and proxy wars are intensifying, and fascist movements and state terrorism are on the rise.
Social discontent and mass struggles are intensifying across the world, and proletarian-led national liberation movements are persevering in several countries. There is renewed and growing public interest in socialism and in the Marxist-Leninist critique of capitalism and imperialism.
In this context, among the various Marxist groups and mass movements, there will be an upswell of voices about the October Revolution and the movements it generated. Even the most reactionary ideologists, including reformists and revisionists of all colors are expected to harp on the usual themes on “the failures of socialism”. These conditions offer all socialist and anti-imperialist forces a great opportunity, and a daunting challenge as well, to redouble efforts in raising public awareness of the October Revolution’s continuing legacy and validity and in raising the level of unity against monopoly capitalism and for socialism.
Our call is therefore directed to all Marxist-Leninist and other progressive forces to organize, co-organize, and coordinate such kinds of centennial activities in relevant and popular ways under the common global theme:
“Let us celebrate the historic gains and continuing validity of the Great October Socialist Revolution for the proletariat and people. Let us draw and share lessons from its revisionist reversal, continue its legacy, persevere in leading the masses, and advance the struggle for democracy and socialism against imperialism and all reaction!”
All participating forces are encouraged to produce and disseminate papers, study guides, essays, news and feature articles, short videos and dramatic works, songs, poems, commemorative items (posters, banners, postcards, buttons, pins, etc.) relevant to the centenary, and to commission progressive writers, researchers, artists, multimedia workers, and grassroots activists to help out in producing, compiling, publishing, and disseminating such work.