World Socialist History

ROBERT GRIFFITHS IN RUSSIA - Communist Party general secretary speech to the international meeting in St Petersburg (Leningrad), 2 November 2017.

Russian revolution centenary Leningrad
2017 Russian Revolution Centenary in Leningrad with international delegates from Communist Parties


When we Communists urge people to overthrow capitalism because it is unfair, unstable, wasteful, belligerent, exploitative and oppressive, many agree with us that capitalism is indeed most—if not all—of these things.

But what do we propose to put in its place?

General Secretary Rob Griffiths

Before the Great October Socialist Revolution, we could only offer people a set of values—liberty, equality, cooperation, comradeship, freedom—and the hope that a new type of society could be created in which these would be the ruling values.

Marx did not provide any model for the future communist society, although he pointed to the Paris Commune as an example of how power can be exercised by the mass of people through a system of direct democracy.

But he was reluctant to provide a blueprint because, as the very first rule of the International Working Men's Association put it, the emancipation of the working classes must be achieved by the working classes themselves'.

After 1917, Communists could point to the achievements of the Soviet Union in the teeth of civil war, imperialist intervention, sabotage and fascist invasion. It transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of workers and their families for the better. It played the leading role in rescuing Europe from Nazi-fascist barbarism. It proclaimed the equality of women, all races and nationalities and assisted the struggle for peace, progress, socialism and national liberation across the world.

Yet there were weaknesses, failures and severe violations of socialist democracy that eroded popular support for the Soviet Union, outside and within.

This does not mean that Communists should cease defending and promoting all that was liberating and transformational about the October Revolution and its outcome.

But how can we inspire workers and the mass of people today with the ideals of socialism and communism?

Marxism and the Asian Experience with Kenny Coyle. This meeting marks the publication of the new Communist pamphlet called "Asia, Imperialism and Resistance", written by Kenny who is resident in China.

The pamphlet covers south east and north east Asia (not the whole of the asian continent). The lessons learned there could be applied elsewhere.

Development and adaption of Marxism by Asian comrades has been very important. Marxism has been important in Asia and has been applied there. The British left is particularly ignorant of the struggle in Asia, particularly the sectarian (ultra) Left which looks down its nose at it. The Communists are the ones who try not to under estimate the contribution of Asian Marxists and their contribution to Marxism as a whole.

Discussion of Marx's investigations into why capitalism emerged in Western society and not in the East with 1,000's of years of civilisation. Historical Materialism. Asiatic mode of production (AMP) debate.

Rising China - run by a Party that is Communist, is dedicated to the building of Marxism Leninism. Martin Jacques and co predicted 20 years ago that class struggle was over, the Capitalist "West" had won. Fundamental shift. balance of forces world wide. Communists previous shift was the collapse of Socialist countries in 1989 - "End of history". Now documentaries on decline of the "West". A realignment, time to reassess our understanding of Asia.

Mohammad Odivar, from the Central Committee of the Iranian Tudeh Communist Party. Recorded October 2007 on the very 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution to the day in October 2007, in Croydon Communist Party of Britain.

Kate Clark was Moscow Correspondent of the Morning Star - the world's only English-language Socialist daily newspaper. Previous the Daily Worker, which was the organ of the Communist Party in Britain 1930 onwards.

This was recorded on the very day 90th anniversary of the Great Socialist Russian Revolution of 1917, at the annual British Communist University run by the Communist Party of Britain and its International sister Parties.

Prof John Foster on the 90th anniversary of the first successful Socialist revolution, and his part in an International Delegation to Belarus which brought comrades together from all over the world.
There is much here in this report back on how much Capitalism had taken grip, but also the resistance to it's domination beginning to emerge.

Main report back

Further Discussion