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Issue #1801      November 1, 2017

Celebrate the Revolution

In the coming days Communist Parties around the world including in Australia will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Under the leadership of the great revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, the working class took power. In 1917 on November 8 (our calendar) the Melbourne Age reported: “As a result of the conflict between the Russian Government and the Soviets’ Revolutionary Committee regarding the control of the Petrograd military headquarters it is reported that the Soviet Committee has proclaimed itself a new Provisional Government.”

The news reverberated around the world, capitalists shaking in their shoes and workers expressing jubilance. The Red Flag was flown from trade union halls to mark the revolution. The NSW Labor Council declared, “We rejoice in the revolution in Russia and congratulate the people of that country on their efforts to abolish despotic power and class privilege, and urge the workers of other lands where similar conditions exist to follow their example with the same magnificent courage and determination”.

The federal conference of the Australian Labor Party congratulated the Russian people. The Russian revolution inspired workers to form communist parties. In Australia, the various socialist groupings came together to form a Communist Party in 1920.

The Russian people withstood and overcame every obstacle put in its path, including war, military intervention by foreign forces, trade embargoes and other forms of sabotage. They endured great hardship and sacrifice to build key infrastructure and a modern society based on people’s needs and an end to exploitation.

The Soviet Union had many fine achievements that no capitalist country can boast of. These include: full employment, free universal health care services and medicines, free education, paid maternity leave, legalised abortion, equal pay and working conditions for women and additional state services and benefits to support mothers.

Many lessons can also be learnt from the experiences of the first attempt to build a socialist state. The 100th anniversary is a time to reflect on these and how best to take the struggle forward. No doubt the path will be uneven with advances and also setbacks in the future.

Workers and Union members in Australia face an unprecedented attack on civil and democratic rights by the ferocious Coalition government. Its fascist-like legislation can only be defeated by a united and organised struggle.

In this issue of the Guardian there is the first part of a series on Lenin’s seminal work, “Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. Although written in 1916 it still has great relevance to the working class struggle today.

Also there is “Impressions of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution”, the first part of a series on the struggle in Venezuela and attempts by US imperialism to overthrow a popular socialist government. This article illustrates how people will never give up fighting for peace and justice and how imperialism will only stop when it has been resoundingly buried for ever.

Next article – Editorial – Globalisation, labour and jobs

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