October Revolution and Today’s World

The Soviet Union, the product of the October Revolution, no longer exists. But, irrespective of the USSR not existing today, the distinctive heritage of the October Revolution consists of at least four aspects and these remain as the axis of humanity’s transition from capitalism to socialism.

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  • Sitaram Yechury

The year 2017 marks the centenary of the triumph of the great October Socialist Revolution.[1] This event deeply influenced the course of world history in the 20th century, qualitatively shifting the trajectory of human civilisational advance. It was an epoch-making event that resoundingly vindicated the creative science of Marxism and its assertion of the inevitable march of human civilization towards the establishment of a social order free from human exploitation. In this lies its eternal relevance.

Soon after the death of Karl Marx, in a moving Preface to the German edition of the Communist Manifesto, in 1883, Friedrich Engels notes: “The basic thought running through the Manifesto – that economic production and the structure of society of every historical epoch necessarily arising therefrom constitute the foundation for the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently (ever since the dissolution of the primeval communal ownership of land) all history has been a history of class struggles, of struggles between exploited and exploiting, between dominated and dominating classes at various stages of social development; that this struggle, however, has now reached a stage where the exploited and oppressed class (the proletariat) can no longer emancipate itself from the class which exploits and oppresses it (the bourgeoisie), without at the same time for ever freeing the whole of society from exploitation, oppression and class struggles – this basic thought belongs solely and exclusively to Marx.” (Emphasis added).

This is precisely what the October Revolution achieved: “freeing the whole of society from exploitation.”

The success of the October Revolution resoundingly vindicates every single postulate that Marx and Marxism advance. It showed that the direction of human civilisational advance was to move from a social order based on “from each according to his ability”, i.e., capitalism to an order dominated by “to each according to his work”, i.e., socialism moving eventually towards “to each according to his needs”, i.e., a classless Communist society. Further, this revolution demonstrated that human beings are the ultimate masters of their destiny and a decisive intervention by the exploited classes can change the course of history.

Naturally, the forces of international reaction pounced upon Marxism denouncing its conclusions as an unrealizable dream. The Russian Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union validated, in an emphatic manner, that Marxism is a creative science based on scientific truth.

The significance of the October Revolution lies precisely in this: The realisability of a non-exploitative social order which, at the same time, releases human creativity in hitherto unknown dimensions. The rapid strides made by socialism, the transformation of a once backward economy into a mighty economic and military bulwark confronting imperialism has confirmed the superiority of the socialist system. The building of socialism in the Soviet Union is an epic saga of human endeavour.

The history of the 20th century has, in the main, been determined by the establishment of socialism following the October Revolution. The decisive role played by the USSR in the defeat of fascism and the consequent emergence of the East European socialist countries had a profound impact on world developments. The victory over fascism in Second World War, achieved mainly due to the decisive role played by the Soviet Red Army, provided the impetus to the process of decolonisation that saw the liberation of countries from colonial exploitation. The historical triumph of the Chinese revolution, the heroic Vietnamese people’s struggle, the Korean people’s struggle and the triumph of the Cuban revolution made a tremendous influence on world developments.

The achievements of the socialist countries – the eradication of poverty and illiteracy, the elimination of unemployment, the vast network of social security in the fields of education, health, housing, etc. – provided a powerful source of confidence and inspiration to the working people all over the world in their struggles.

World capitalism met socialism’s challenge to its order, partly by adopting welfare measures and granting rights that it never conceded to the working people before. The entire conception of a welfare state and the social security network created in the post-second world war capitalist countries was a result of the struggles of the working people in these countries inspired by the achievements of socialism in the USSR. The democratic rights and civil liberties that are today considered as inalienable from human civilisation are the product of the people’s struggle for social transformation and not the charity of bourgeois class rule.

These revolutionary transformations brought about qualitative leaps in human civilisation and left an indelible imprint on modern civilisation. This was reflected in all fields of culture, aesthetics, science, etc. While Eisenstein revolutionised the grammar of cinematography, the sputnik extended the frontiers of modern science to outer space.

Reverses to Socialism

Despite such tremendous advances and the inerasable imprint on the advance of human civilization in the 20th century, the mighty Soviet Union disintegrated leading to the demise of socialism there.

It was erroneously assumed that once socialism was established, then the future is a linear, non-reversible path. Though one-third of the world came under socialism, post-Second World War, most of these countries were, from the capitalist development point of view, generally backward. Two-thirds of the world being led by advanced capitalism meant that world socialism continued to remain encircled by world capitalism, which relentlessly pursued the objective of regaining control over the lost one-third of the world. Socialism marked the overthrow of capitalism, but it is the transitory stage in the movement from a class exploitation based capitalism to a classless society of communism. The period of this transition of socialism is, hence, the theatre of intense class struggles with capitalism seeking to overthrow socialism and socialism seeking to consolidate itself and mounting the assault on the Rule of Capital globally. Hence, in this period of transition, the correlation of class forces can shift depending on the successes of socialist consolidation.

If incorrect estimations about the relative strengths of the correlation of class forces are made, then, naturally, this affects the nature of the onward march of socialism. Following the defeat of fascism and the triumph of other socialist revolutions noted above, there was an erroneous tendency to overestimate the strength of socialism and underestimate the strength and capacities of capitalism. Capitalism remaining in the advanced capitalist countries and in two-third in the world meant that its control over production forces remained intact. Adapting itself to the changed global order, capitalism continued to consolidate itself while mounting a relentless offensive – militarily, politically, economically and in terms of propaganda – against socialism. This post-Second World War period is usually referred to as the Cold War global bipolarity.

Major shortcomings in socialist construction

While USSR and world socialism met this challenge of imperialism, its internal strength was weakened by certain mistakes and shortcomings in the process of socialist construction in the Soviet Union. There were basically four areas where major shortcomings can be seen in retrospect. It needs to be underlined that socialism was embarking on an uncharted path of human advance. There were no blueprints or specific formulae for socialist construction. These four areas were: (a) class character of the State under socialism, (b) socialist democracy, (c) socialist economic construction, and (d) neglect of ideological consciousness. The 14th Congress of the CPI(M), held soon after the dismantling of socialism, analysed in detail these shortcomings and weaknesses.

Due to these shortcomings, a situation arose where counter revolutionary forces, both external and internal, acted in concert to dismantle socialism.

These reverses to socialism, therefore, have occurred not because of any inadequacies in the basic postulates of Marxism-Leninism. On the contrary, they have occurred primarily due to departures from the scientific and revolutionary content of Marxism-Leninism; incorrect estimations of the relative strengths of world capitalism and socialism; a dogmatic and mechanical interpretation of the creative science of Marxism; and also due to major shortcomings during the course of socialist construction.

Therefore, one can conclude with certainty that these reverses to socialism have occurred not because of any inadequacies in the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism. On the contrary, they have occurred primarily due to the departure from the scientific and revolutionary content of Marxism-Leninism. Hence, these reverses do not constitute either a negation of Marxism-Leninism or of the socialist ideal.

Abiding Relevance of the October Revolution

The Soviet Union, the product of the October Revolution, no longer exists. But, irrespective of the USSR not existing today, the distinctive heritage of the October Revolution consists of at least four aspects and these remain as the axis of humanity’s transition from capitalism to socialism. A contemporary reading of the October Revolution, in our present times, must underline these aspects.

(a) Lenin, by developing the Marxist understanding of the contemporary world situation on the basis of the laws of capitalist development as laid bare by Marx, noticed that the law of concentration and centralization of capital led to the creation of monopoly capitalism, eventually reaching the stage of imperialism. Amidst all its ramifications, the one issue that stands out is that imperialism brings the whole world into the orbit of capitalist exploitation and, at the same time, releases a ferocious contradiction between imperialist centres for controlling the world’s resources. Lenin advanced theoretically the possibility of breaking the imperialist chain at its weakest link. That weakest link during the first two decades of the 20th century when the First World War was raging and ending was Russia. This provided the opportunity for the Russian working class to convert an inter-imperialist war into a civil war for liberation. Clearly, in the present times, no revolutionary advance in any country of the world can take place without a steadfast opposition to imperialism.

In today’s world of imperialist globalisation, this aspect of the October Revolution continues to remain valid. The political attack on the class Rule of Capital that constitute the weakest links in the chain of imperialist globalisation must be mounted.

(b) The October Revolution broke the imperialist chain in Russia which was a relatively backward capitalistically developed country. The till then held proposition that the transition to socialism will begin from the advanced capitalist centres did not happen with the defeat of the German Revolution and the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Lenin was hoping that the advanced German working class will lead the backward Russian working class on the path of social transformation. With its failure, the survival of socialism in Russia became a very arduous challenge. With the conception of socialism in one country, Lenin advanced the theory of stages of revolution to prepare a backward economy in the transition towards socialism. The democratic stage of the revolution and its transition to the socialist stage that emerged from the October Revolution experience continues to remain relevant to us in the present context.

(c) The success of the revolution in a backward country can be achieved only by forging and strengthening the worker-peasant alliance to achieve this objective. Learning from the Paris Commune where the peasantry was successfully mobilised by the ruling classes against the communards, Lenin clearly elucidated that the exploited classes in the agricultural sector need to be firmed up as allies of the revolution. The worker-peasant alliance, under the leadership of the working class, is a potent weapon in the hands of the present-day revolutionaries for social transformation.

(d) Lenin’s ‘Theses on National and Colonial Questions’ sharply brought out the need for integration of the struggles of the colonial people for freedom with the global struggle for emancipation against imperialism. So powerful was this understanding on the national liberation movements across the world, that Ho Chi Minh, who was then living in France, organizing protests against French occupation of Vietnam, was to recollect on a later day its impact:

. . . a comrade gave me Lenin’s “Thesis on the national and colonial questions” published by l’Humanite to read. There were political terms difficult to understand in this thesis. But by dint of reading it again and again, finally I could grasp the main part of it. What emotion, enthusiasm, clear-sightedness and confidence it instilled into me! I was overjoyed to tears. Though sitting alone in my room, I shouted out aloud as if addressing large crowds: “Dear martyrs compatriots! This is what we need, this is the path to our liberation!”[2]

In today’s world conjuncture, the strengthening of the global struggle against imperialism remains an important task for all revolutionaries. The struggles going on in various countries, particularly in Latin America, against the miseries imposed by imperialist globalisation, on the one hand, and the struggles emerging against imperialist military interventions and atrocities, on the other, need to be forged into a unified struggle, both at the global and domestic levels, against imperialism. The strength of this global struggle will determine both the pace and content of humanity’s transition towards liberation – socialism.

Current Imperialist Globalisation – Neo-Liberalism

Post-Second World War decades of peaceful development of global capitalism, through the period of the Cold War, led to gigantic levels of capital accumulation. This was further augmented in the last decade of the 20th century following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the return of the former USSR and East European socialist countries into the orbit of capitalism. This gigantic accumulation led to the emergence and consolidation of international finance capital propelling accumulation and centralization of capital to even higher levels.

The current phase of globalisation, within the stage of imperialism, is leading to further higher levels of capital accumulation led by international finance capital. This international finance capital is, today, enmeshed with industrial and other forms of capital in its pursuit of profit maximisation. The international finance capital now leads the commonality of purpose to unleash fresh attacks to vastly increase the levels of capital accumulation and profit maximization even further.

Such reordering of the world for profit maximisation, as analysed in the Ideological Resolution of the CPI(M)’s 20th Congress, under the dictates of international finance capital, defines neo-liberalism. It operates, firstly, through policies that remove restrictions on the movement of goods and capital across borders. Trade liberalisation displaces domestic producers engendering domestic deindustrialization, particularly in developing countries. This also happens in the developed countries due to relocation of production and business operations outside their countries. So also liberalisation of capital flows allows multinational corporations to acquire domestic productive assets abroad (like our public sector), vastly enlarging capital accumulation.

Other ways of consolidating capital accumulation are through the imposition of deflationary policies like restrictions on government expenditures in the name of fiscal discipline (making available larger quantum of liquidity to international finance capital to multiply speculative profits) which leads to the lowering of the level of aggregate demand in the world economy; a shift in the terms of trade against the peasantry in the developing countries; a rolling back of the State sector in providing social services globally, more pronounced in the developing countries, which increasingly become privatised and the opening up of huge new areas of public utilities for profit maximisation. Intellectual property rights and other forms of monopoly control over knowledge generates massive profits through the control over the production and reproduction of knowledge. Thus, a new feature of contemporary imperialism is the coercive prising open of new and hitherto non-existent avenues for profit maximisation.

All through the history of capitalism, accumulation takes place in two ways: one is through the normal dynamics of capital expansion (appropriation) through the unfolding of its production process and the other is through coercion and outright loot (forcible expropriation), whose brutality Marx defines as the primitive accumulation of capital. Primitive accumulation is often erroneously interpreted as a historical category – primitive vs. modern. For Marx and therefore Marxists, primitive accumulation is an analytical category that historically continues to co-exist with the normal dynamics of capitalism. The process of primitive accumulation has taken various forms in the past, including direct colonisation. The aggressiveness of primitive accumulation, at any point of time, is directly dependent on the balance of international correlation of class forces which either permit or inhibit the manifestation of such capitalist brutality. In the current phase of contemporary imperialism, the intensification of such a process of a brutal primitive accumulation is assaulting a vast majority of the people of the world’s population, both in the developing as well as the developed countries.

It is this predatory capitalist character for constant profit maximization that is sharply widening the economic inequalities globally and domestically in every country, while, at the same time, imposing greater miseries on the vast majority of global working people and the poor. Every effort to emerge from one phase of the current systemic crisis is, naturally, leading to a newer phase of a deeper crisis because of the very nature of the laws of capitalist development.

Capitalism, therefore, requires to be overthrown which decisively depends on the strengthening of that material force in society led by the working class which can mount, through popular struggles, the intensification of the class struggle to launch the political offensive against the Rule of Capital. The building of this material force and its strength is the ‘subjective factor’, the strengthening of which is the essential imperative. The objective factor – the concrete situation of the crisis – however conducive it may be for a revolutionary advance, cannot be transformed into a revolutionary assault against the Rule of Capital without the strengthening of this ‘subjective factor’.

Various intermediary slogans, measures and tactics will have to be employed by the working class, based on a concrete analysis of concrete conditions in each country, to sharpen class struggles and to meet the challenges of these real conditions in order to strengthen the ‘subjective factor’ and, thus, advance the process of revolutionary transformation in their respective countries.

The Current International Situation: Main Features

The global capitalist crisis propelled by the 2008 financial meltdown continues to plunge the capitalist system into one crisis after another. Global capitalism has not been able to recover to the levels of growth rate achieved in the last decade of the 20th century.

In many countries, there are largescale protests of the working class and the working people against the new economic burdens being imposed by this crisis and the intensification of economic exploitation. These struggles, however, as we noted in the 21st Congress are mainly defensive in character; defensive in the sense that they are mainly to protect existing livelihood status and the democratic rights from further attacks. These struggles, however, are the foundations on the basis of which future struggles against the rule of capital itself need to be strengthened and mounted.

In the background of the global capitalist economic crisis imperialist aggressiveness led by the USA has grown. US military interventions or US-led NATO led military interventions continue in various parts of the world particularly in central Asia/North Africa and Latin America. The US-Israel nexus has strengthened its grip over the developments in the middle East. NATO has been further strengthened with its military forces being deployed in the Baltic states and Poland for the first time. It has deployed its combat battalions in the Baltic states and is actively intervening in Ukraine. All these developments are rightly being seen by Russia as targeting it. It continues to aggressively pursue its strategic objective of “containment of China”.

Since the last Party Congress, USA has vastly increased its military expenditure. During this period, world military expenditure rose by 1 per cent in real terms. In 2015 the world military expenditure was USD 1,676 billion. This is equivalent to 2.3 per cent of the global GDP. Between 2011 and 2014, global military expenditure declined as a result of the global financial meltdown, but it has since then picked up. It has been continuously on the rise.

Data released by the NATO in July 2016 show an increase of military expenditure by all the alliance partners put together. The spending by the alliance in 2016 is targeted to reach USD 918, up from USD 892 billion in 2015. In 2015, USA alone accounted for 72.2 per cent of NATO defence expenditure.

Serious confrontation is taking place in countries in Latin America against the US’s political and military interventions. The situation in Venezuela is very serious with a virtual civil war going on. Likewise, in Brazil, Bolivia and other countries US interventions are sharpening to seek to defeat the rise of the Latin American Left and to restore the former US control over the economy and politics of these countries. Socialist Cuba continues to remain a principle target in the region for US imperialism.

Prolonged economic crisis has resulted in an alarming widening of economic inequalities both globally and in individual countries. This is accompanied by a high inflation rate. During the years of this crisis, the rich have become richer while the poor are getting squeezed in various ways. The significant discontent among the people is the terrain for the political contest between the Left and the Right.

Political Rightward Shift: The Central Committee at its January 2017 meeting noted that “in the absence of strong Left forces it is the right wing political forces that marshal the people’s discontent” and are growing against intensified exploitation in the wake of the global capitalist economic crisis. The victory of Donald Trump in US elections, the growth of the far right and neo-fascist forces in some of the European countries indicates such a political rightward shift globally. Historical experience informs us that in times of intense global economic crisis the political right seeks to grow exploiting and mobilising people’s discontent leading even to the rise of fascism in the wake of the 1929-30 ‘Great Depression’.

In many countries, there is also a growing resistance against the ascendancy of the far right and neo-fascist forces. However, the main trend in global politics is the growing rightward shift.

Socialist Countries: During the period since the last Party Congress, China, Vietnam, Cuba have achieved a reasonable and stable rate of growth of its economies. In the DPRK, the main issue focussed is its missile deployment that have earned the ire of USA and world imperialism. DPRK is battling sanctions imposed upon it that is impacting the livelihood conditions of the people adversely.

International Communist Movement: The International meeting of Communist & Workers parties continues to be held annually. The forthcoming 2017 event in Russia to commemorate the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution will be an important occasion. There are growing popular protests led by the Communist Parties. As noted earlier it is clear that unless the political alternative to capitalism is strengthened by the communist parties and the Left parties marshalling the people’s growing discontent and sharpening class struggles in mounting the working class-led assault against the rule of capital, this merciless exploitation cannot be overcome.

Overall, these developments in the world only confirm the fact that international finance capital led globalisation with its neo-liberal agenda continues to impose greater and greater burdens on the working people all across the world. US imperialist efforts to further consolidate its global hegemony in its efforts to overcome the current economic slowdown is having the natural effect of destabilizing the various regions in the world. US efforts to strengthen its hegemony basically rest on countering Russian influence in Europe and containing the growth of China as a potential counter to US dominance in the world.

As a contingent of the international communist movement, the CPI(M) has to make its contribution to this global struggle by strengthening itself in India and vastly increasing our capabilities to widen and strengthen the popular struggles of the Indian people against the economic, political and other manifestations of this onslaught.

Combat Ideological Offensive

Following the shift in favour of imperialism in the international correlation of class forces, post dismantling of socialism in USSR, imperialism has embarked to consolidate its global hegemony by mounting an ideological offensive against Marxism and its revolutionary potential.

Imperialism’s imposition of a unipolar world order is buttressed by a powerful ideological offensive. Imperialism equates democracy with a free market. Under this garb and in the name of upholding its conception of democracy, it intervenes politically and militarily against regimes which oppose its hegemony, challenge neo-liberal economic reforms and the imposition of ‘free markets’.

Imperialism, in the name of upholding so-called ‘human rights’ and ‘universal values’, militarily intervenes against independent sovereign nations. It violates ‘human rights’ by masking its brazen human right violations through military interventions. The rising bourgeoisie of the advanced capitalist countries, in order to consolidate their class rule, had, in the early days of capitalism’s consolidation, championed national sovereignty as being sacrosanct. Today, imperialism is militarily intervening to subvert and negate national sovereignty of independent countries in the name of protecting ‘human rights’.

Imperialism has unleashed a vitriolic anti-Communist propaganda and has equated Communism with totalitarianism and fascism. The European Parliament is seeking to enact laws and taking measures equating Communism with fascism. In many East European countries, Communist symbols and activities are legally banned, like in the Czech Republic, Poland, etc.

During these two decades, such trends have further intensified. These essentially attempt to reason that with the collapse of the USSR, there is a need to transcend Marxism. Hence, the theories of ‘revisiting’, ‘reassessing’ or ‘reconstructing’ Marxism have surfaced and are circulating in fashionable intellectual circles, influencing and confusing sections of the people.

Post-Modernism

Imperialist-driven globalisation fuelled by global finance capital has spawned a whole new range of anti-Marxist ideologies and theories which are marked by the negation of all progressive, universalist ideologies. Theories of class convergence, disappearance of class struggle and the negation of the revolutionary role of the working class have been part of the bourgeois ideological armoury since the emergence of the socialist alternative. To these is now added the current anti-Marxist theory of post-modernism.

Post-modernism is a bourgeois philosophical outlook which arose out of the success of the late 20th century capitalism and the reverses to socialism. It rejects any philosophy or politics which is universal and dismisses them as “totalizing” theories, Marxism included. Post-modernism does not recognize capitalism or socialism as a structure or a system. Thus, it is a philosophy suited for global finance capital as it negates the existence of classes and, hence, class and class struggle. It is a philosophy that is best suited for promoting identity politics and the depoliticisation of the people.

Cultural Hegemony

The ideological war to establish the intellectual and cultural hegemony of imperialism and neo-liberalism has been on the offensive during this period. Aided by this very process of globalisation and the vastly elevated levels of technologies, there is a convergence of information, communications and entertainment (ICE) technologies into mega corporations. This monopolisation of the sphere of human intellectual activity and the control over dissemination of information through the corporate media is a salient feature of this period that seeks to continuously mount an ideological offensive against any critique or alternative to capitalism. The cultural hegemony that such a globalisation process seeks is expressed in the need to create a homogenisation of public taste. The more homogenous the taste the easier it is to develop technologies for the mechanical reproduction of ‘cultural products’ for large masses. Commercialisation of culture is a natural corollary of such globalisation. Viewed in terms of class hegemony, the culture of globalisation seeks to divorce people from their actual realities of day to day life. Culture here acts not as an appeal to the aesthetic, but as a distraction, diversion from pressing problems of poverty and misery.

The development of ICE technologies and the control over them, also allows imperialism to develop and maintain sophisticated surveillance technologies. Such technologies are being increasingly used to monitor, influence and sabotage a large variety of popular movements that challenge the hegemony of imperialism.

Post-Truth

The latest in the ideological armoury of imperialist attacks against Marxism and socialism is what is currently called ‘post-truth’. The Oxford Dictionary has declared this term as its 2016 ‘Word of the Year’ and defines it as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

In the age of Donald Trump and Narendra Modi, it is easy to understand that this term means literally that the truth is left behind and the world is being told to live in some false constructs. In this sense, this term appeared in early ‘90s following the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf war. In a 1992 essay, a Serbian American playwright Steve Tesich introduced this conception lamenting, “We, as free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world”.

The lies created by the Bush administration to justify the war and subsequent military occupation of Iraq and the lies that are now generated to justify imperialist political and military aggressiveness are examples of this.

At home, the emotional appeals and the building up of a personality cult continuously bombard us with propaganda that India is prospering in a hitherto unheard-of manner and the only obstacle for creating an Indian Eldorado are the Muslims, Christians and the Communists. This is buttressed by the intense campaigns for communal polarization and murderous attacks against Dalits and Muslims by the private armies of gau rakshaks and moral policing.

In a sense, post-truth is not something that was unknown in human history. Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Goebbels, advanced his famous dictum: “Tell a big enough lie, frequently enough; it becomes the truth”. This was the essence of the Nazi fascist propaganda machine and remains the backbone of the current Hindutva propaganda machine of the RSS. Remember, it was Goebbels that introduced what is today known as ‘canned applause’ to play on the Radio to ‘demonstrate’ the enthusiasm with which Hitler’s speeches were received by the people! So, clearly, PM Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ is no indigenous creative innovation.

Post-truth aims at creating a make believe world in which the people are forced to live and battle on issues based on emotional appeals totally divorced from the miseries of their day-to-day existence. Post-truth, hence, seeks to divert people’s attention away from struggles against intensified exploitation and oppression.

The battle against post-truth must be conducted by restoring to centre stage agenda, the day-to-day issues of people’s livelihood and the realities of the class struggles today.

This ideological offensive unleashed by imperialism as a part of its overall efforts to strengthen its hegemony needs to be resolutely combated in order to achieve humanity’s revolutionary advance.

Marxism is unique in the sense that it can be transcended only when its agenda is realized – the agenda of realizing a classless Communist social order. Specifically under capitalism, its understanding of capitalism is alone thorough enough for it to comprehend the historical possibilities that lie beyond it. Hence Marxism can never be, under capitalism, rendered superfluous until capitalism is itself superseded. Post capitalism, Marxist philosophy and world view will continue to be the basis and the scientific guide, for socialist construction and the transition to Communism.

Marxism is not a dogma but a ‘creative science’. It is based on, amongst others, “a concrete analysis of concrete conditions”. Marxism is an approach to the analysis of history in general, and of capitalism in particular. It is on this basis, building on the foundation provided by Marx, that we continuously enrich our theory for understanding the present conjuncture and the possibilities it holds for the future. Far from being a closed theoretical system, Marxism represents a process of continuous theoretical enrichment.

 

 

[1]       Note prepared for the West Bengal State Committee Study Class in September 2017.

 

[2]       ‘The Path Which Led Me to Leninism’, Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh, Vol. IV, 1960.

( Marxist, XXXIII, 3, July-September 2017)

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