100 years ago today, for the first time in human history, the working class was able to seize and hold onto state power. What would follow was an entirely new kind of society; a socialist society where state power was wielded by the majority, the masses of workers and peasants, against the exploiting, owning minority. A society not based on private profit for an owning class but on use and utility for the people. A society where production went “from each according to their ability, to each according to their work”. A society for the workers, for the people. A society as fought for but never realized in their lifetimes by Marx and Engels.
In the following years the revolutions would face tremendous obstacles; brutal civil war, mass shortages and the hardships that entailed, and literal invasion from the imperial powers. The revolution emerged victorious however, and this resulted in the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the great workers state that, led by the working class of what as formerly imperial Russia, helped lead the international working class movement for more than half a century.
The achievements of the revolution are remarkable. Working class power led to drastic, overwhelming increases in living standards and quality of life for the people. Working class power led to the most rapid industrialization in human history, by any country, before or since. Working class power led to tremendous advancements in woman’s liberation and the fight against patriarchy. Working class power led to the defeat of world fascism in the second world war.
The USSR would also prove to be a friend to workers and anti-imperial and anti-colonial movements the world over. Subsequent workers revolutions owe themselves to the October Revolution both through their use of theory and the experience of October, but also through direct support from the USSR.
Today the USSR is gone; the workers state destroyed against the wishes of the people by a combination of factors, including bourgeois reactionary elements in the party, as well as American encirclement and infiltration. That’s a huge topic for another day, but it amounted to the greatest setback in the history of the working class and anti-imperialist struggle. Despite the tremendous setback, several socialist countries remained and workers and and anti-imperialist movements would regain strength. Today communists gather all over the world and once again, the bourgeoisie is worried.
Now, it’s time for another 100 years. The October revolution has shown us that it’s possible to create a better world. That it’s possible for oppressed people to take power into their own hands, and for them to build a society organized for the benefit of the masses of working people and not a tiny owning minority. In the future, armed with the experiences and theory of Marx, October and subsequent people’s revolutions and struggles (together this is called Marxism-Leninism), the oppressed people of the world must create many more Octobers; Octobers suited to their specific conditions and environment
It’s only through those revolutionary movements, informed by our understanding of the October Revolution and the past 100 years that we can create the conditions for the abolition of class society altogether.
Workers of the world unite!