A Revolution Summed Up: The Great Lessons of October 1917

An assessment of the impact of the Russian revolution, written 50 years later (in 1967-68), reasserting the international nature of the movement that made it possible and refuting the Stalinist doctrine, still prevalent at the time, that socialism can be built in one country.

The study unpicks the various false interpretations of the revolution (conservative-liberal, social democratic, anarchist and Trotskyist). In the second half it analyses the evolution of the Soviet economy through war communism, the New Economic Policy, the debates within the Party after the death of Lenin and the triumph of the counter revolution under the influence of Ustryalovism; the horrors of “dekulakization” and forced industrialization, the sham socialism of the “collective farms”, followed by the liberalization and steady adjustment to capitalist norms in the Khruschev era. Already, in 1967, the post-Stalinist reforms and the growth of foreign trade pointed to the so-called “fall of communism” in 1991, made inevitable by the USSR’s inability to keep up with the USA.

The Communist Left was the only current that made such a thorough materialist analysis of the degeneration of the USSR, starting with its intervention at the Enlarged Executive Committee of the Communist International in 1926.

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