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Proletarian issue 27 (December 2008)
Uphold the banner of October!
The CPGB-ML celebrated the 91st anniversary of the October Revolution in Southall on Saturday 8 November with a packed meeting and inspiring speeches, supplemented by many solidarity messages from representatives of socialist countries in Britain.

We reproduce a few brief highlights from the speeches and greetings below. Read the full text of the speeches here

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Achievements of the USSR
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The October Revolution created a country where there was no person exploiting another person, where there was no nation oppressing or exploiting another one. It changed the world in a way that cannot be undone, notwithstanding the reverses that we have undoubtedly suffered ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The October Revolution, for the first time, taught the working class that it could not only destroy the old society, but it could also build a new one. Within a very short space of time, a socialist industry was built, agriculture was collectivised, the culture of the people, their level of scientific attainment, was raised to unprecedented levels.

As well as increased income, the Soviet people had social facilities – free child care, free nurseries, free education, a free health system and very cheap housing. Unemployment, homelessness, destitution, prostitution, gangsterism and drug trafficking were all eliminated in the USSR.

The Soviet Union provided the facilities necessary for the elimination of discrimination against women. And it put huge amounts of resources into developing backward areas and the former colonies of Tsarist Russia in order to bring them to the same level of development as important centres like Moscow and Leningrad.

We have no reason, despite the reverses, to feel sad; we have no reason to feel downhearted, because the future is ours. No matter how much the removal of this horrible system is delayed – 10 years, 20 years, 50 years – humanity will see this present system fall and a new society being born on the basis of the road of the October Revolution.

Harpal Brar, CPGB-ML Chair

Cuban message
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On November 7th, 1917, the Russian working class shook the conscience of workers all over the world, who, for the first time, understood that it was possible to overcome the bourgeois regime and build a more dignified future for the oppressed masses. This turning point opened up a new alternative for all the Russian people and the world and signified the beginning of a new era of changes and transformations in the political, economic, social and spiritual life of humankind.

Without the Great October Socialist Revolution, the end of colonialism and the liberation of many peoples in all continents would not have been possible.

Luis Marron Oroza, Cuban Embassy

Korean greetings
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The great October Revolution proved that the working class, when guided by correct and just ideology, and the wise leadership of their outstanding leader, could defeat the reactionaries of history – anti-revolutionaries – and thus build a new society and a new world.

The Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK have always safeguarded the spirit and the principles of the October Revolution, through ups and downs, and will continue to do so in the future.

Song Chol Jang, DPRK Embassy

Vietnamese greetings
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The October Revolution was a unique revolution in the world. It opened a new era for the working class. Every year in our country, we always organise celebrations of the October Revolution and working people join in, in order to remember that very special revolution that opened a new era for our time; that opened the way for the working class to grow up and take the power and to build up an ideal society all over the world.

Nguyen Chinh Phong, Vietnamese Embassy

MLKP greetings
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The bourgeoisie has a wide propaganda about the violence of the October Revolution and Soviet socialism. But the violence October used against its class enemies looks very tiny when opposed to the violence used by the USA against black people in history.

If we are to talk about brutality, we should see the 150 wars that have been caused by the bourgeoisie in the 20th century, which have killed more than 250 million people. Unless we take into account the budget put into arms and relate this to the budget put into health and education, we will not be able to understand the real barbarism of the bourgeoisie.

Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan

What does October mean to me?
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The aim of the barrage of anti-communist propaganda my generation was subjected to was to teach us that revolution is pointless; that, no matter what your intentions, if you try to change society, it will go wrong; and to negate the real building of socialism in the Soviet Union by slandering the leader of that building process.

People can say ‘It’s never been done, socialism’s never been built’ because we’ve been taught all these lies about the Soviet Union and about Stalin’s leadership of the Soviet Union.

Joti Brar, Proletarian Ed Board

Socialist economics
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What happened in the Soviet Union, with the rise of revisionism after Stalin’s death, was that the really important aspects of a socialist planned economy were thrown overboard. Instead, in their place was introduced the notion that every individual enterprise, not the economy as a whole but every individual enterprise, must run at a profit. This caused a slow-down in the rate of growth that was then used to justify further capitalist measures and slander socialism.

Taimur Rahman, Communist and Workers Party of Pakistan (CMKP)

The national question
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The Soviet Union had a huge number of different nationalities. The Tsar, Russian imperialism and colonialism had abused and colonised, killed, eliminated, destroyed a lot of colonised nationalities within the Russian empire. But the Soviet Union could build and solve, for the first time in the history of humanity, the equality, the fraternity of all nationalities to live in one home under a new civilisation.

Mohammed Hassan, Workers Party of Belgium (PTB)

Celebrating Bolshevism
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There can be no better way to celebrate the proletarian revolution of October 1917 than to study for ourselves the real lessons of October, the heroism of the revolutionary masses and the revolutionary maturity of the Bolshevik party that led them.

Giles Shorter, CPGB-ML

Solidarity messages were also delivered by Comrades Jack Shapiro and Mohamed Arif, and messages of greeting were sent to by the Xinhua news agency and the Chinese embassy.

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