In honor of the 90th anniversary of the great socialist revolution in Russia on Nov. 7, we offer a short excerpt from a document by Workers World Secretariat member Fred Goldstein, submitted in preparation for Workers World Party’s Nov. 17-18 conference. The entire document can be viewed at workersworld.net.
“Prior to [the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe], world imperialism’s political control over the geography and economic spheres of exploitation in the world had been contracting for 74 years, since the Russian Revolution of 1917.
“With the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, one sixth of the globe had been lost to capitalism. In the period after World War II, socialism spread to Korea and Eastern Europe. One fourth of the human race was added with the Chinese Revolution in 1949, followed by Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Imperialism was being challenged from Nicaragua to El Salvador to Palestine. The revolutions in Iraq and later Iran freed those countries from the grip of the oil companies.
“In addition to the expansion of socialism as well as the national liberation struggles, the various bourgeois nationalist regimes seeking to sustain political independence and to reduce their vulnerability to economic penetration by transnational corporations and banks were able to lean on the socialist camp for support to counteract the overbearing influence of the imperialist camp.
“The world became divided into two class camps: the socialist camp allied with the formerly colonial countries versus the imperialist camp and its puppets, clients and agents around the world. However, with the collapse of the USSR imperialism reversed the historic trend of its contraction and began a rapid expansion not seen since the ‘scramble for Africa’ at the end of the 19th century. ... The removal of the economic and political force of the socialist camp as one able to retard the advance of the corporate ruling class into the so-called Third World paved the way for an escalation of the neo-liberalist offensive.”
This offensive is being felt by workers everywhere, including in the United States. But many throughout the world are fighting back, building alliances and struggling towards a worldwide socialist future. In this current period of political and economic crises for imperialism, the lessons of the Russian Revolution hold as true as ever.
Let’s follow the Bolshevik strategy of international solidarity, of using the current crises to speed an end to the capitalist system of oppression and exploitation!
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