The 7th of November 2013 marked the 96th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, a turning point in the 20th century and one of the most important events in the history of humankind.
The YCL laments the destruction of the USSR as one of the greatest tragedies of the previous century. Despite the faults of socialist system in the USSR it was unlike any society before it, a society of full employment, free education and health care, with full public provision of transport and housing for all. These achievements cannot be disregarded, overlooked or diminished.
They stand as evidence of the effectiveness of planned economy and offer a vision of a world and society which capitalism can never offer. They must continue to be a source of pride for all people dedicated to the cause of the working class, and a demonstration of the correctness of Marxism Leninism. The superiority of the socialist system is plainly demonstrated by the disastrous effects of the restoration of capitalism:
“Public economic property has passed into the hands of Western TNCs, state bureaucrats and home-grown gangsters. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, pensions and trade union rights. Public and welfare services have collapsed. The peoples of the former Soviet Union experienced the biggest reductions in life expectancy ever recorded. National and ethnic differences have exploded into terrorism and war. In some countries, the brutal trafficking and sexual exploitation of women is widespread. ” Britain’s Road to Socialism
During their existence the USSR and other socialist countries of Eastern Europe contributed immensely both in terms of solidarity and material aid to the working class and national liberation movement the world over. Its would not be unreasonable to say that the struggle for national liberation amongst colonised and oppressed peoples would not have progressed to the extent we know today without the political and logistical aid of the USSR. Many of the front line socialist states would have been isolated and crushed without the presence of the USSR as an international anti imperialist bulwark.
For those communist movements in the developed capitalist countries the USSR provided developed analysis on the nature of modern imperialism and also lessons in what was the first attempt to build a socialist society. Drawing the lessons from the USSR and indeed from it’s destruction must be the task of the international communist movement. We must take pride in the legacy of the USSR and the international working class movement but an uncritical attitude and analysis can only make defeats of this nature more likely to reoccur.
As communists we recognise the fall of the Soviet Union was only a temporary reversal. Capitalism has shown time and time again it can never deliver for the working class and humanity. The balance of power once again begins to turn in favour of progressive forces and against imperialism across the globe. It is only with the advanced Marxist Leninist analysis of communists that we can not only smash this rotten system, but construct in its place one based on common ownership, peace and humanity. History has not ended comrades, the USSR and the current socialist countries have shown us another world is possible! Forward the working class and communist youth for peace, jobs and socialism!
More analysis: Britain’s Road to Socialism – The Case for Socialism – The Lessons so far:
“During its near 70-year existence, the Soviet Union showed how socialist state power, planning and public ownership could transform society in the interests of the mass of the population . . . “