Thirty-one years after the collapse of Stalinism, communism is the only horizon for humanity
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Thirty-one years ago, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall, the symbol of Stalinism, collapsed. The biggest TV channels, such as CNN and the BBC, broadcast live for three days and nights to share in this celebration of victory. In the early days, there was no need for propaganda and excitement; the images themselves illustrated the triumph of democracy. In the following weeks and months, we were bombarded with propaganda, proclaiming the glorious “end of the class struggle” and the immortality of the class system and capitalism. They announced that a new order had begun, where, from the north to the south and from the west to the east of this planet, according to George W. Bush’s father, among others, we would live in “prosperity, peace and balance”.
First, let’s see what collapsed. Stalinism was not part of the evolutionary trend of the October Revolution, but its gravedigger. Stalinism celebrated its victory on the ruins of the October Revolution and on the bones of communists whom it had beaten to death. In the name of communism, Stalin threw to the ground the most honourable and the most cherished communists, the creators of the October Revolution. No single dictator has trod the communists into the soil as much as Stalin. Only after a generation of communists had their blood spilled was the counterrevolution able to stabilize itself. One of the most prominent of these was Avetis Mikaelian (Sultanzadeh) whose views and thoughts were also the source of inspiration for the proletariat and internationalist communists.
The October Revolution was the greatest event of the 20th century. The proletariat, for the first time since the Paris Commune, overthrew capitalism and showed that communist revolution was not only necessary and possible, but the only alternative to capitalist barbarism. The dormant giant had awakened; the Russian proletariat had given new horizons to the class struggle and the wave of world revolution took on a global scale. The working class around the world sought to generalize the experience of the October Revolution in order to overthrow the bourgeois state and for the proletariat to seize power and establish their dictatorship through councils. Thanks to the victory of the October Revolution, World War I ended.
The wave of world revolution which was moving forward shook the bourgeoisie and, in Germany, this stronghold of capitalism was confronted with hard resistance. On the one hand, the German bourgeoisie learned from the experience of the October Revolution, while the German proletariat faced more difficult circumstances. On the other hand, the German proletariat and the party of the working class were not as prepared as the Bolsheviks.
Internationalists have stated that the advance of the October Revolution as part of world revolution necessitated the German Revolution, not due to the significant growth in productive forces in Russia, but because of the universal nature of communist revolution. In other words, if the revolution had not taken shape in Russia, but on an advanced island such as Britain, then, as part of a world revolution, victory would have been necessary in other countries.
In contrast to the degeneration of the Third International and the rise of Stalinism, the internationalist communists (communist left), since the very beginning of the rise of Stalinism, from England to Mexico, from Russia to Italy, and so on, defended Marxism. Nevertheless, first of all, we must acknowledge the leading role of the Dutch and German communist left. In turn, this honour, this great responsibility, of defending Marxism against the counter-revolution, and defending the achievements of the proletariat, the real defence of the October Revolution, was given to the Italian communist left. No wonder that all internationalist communists either come from or regard themselves as belonging to this tradition.
Soon the bitter truths revealed the promises and lies of the leaders and ideologists of democracy. The new order and democracy showed their violent face. It was not until eight months after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the bloodbath of the Gulf War (the First Iraq War) began, in which between 300,000 and 500,000 Iraqi workers in military uniforms lost their lives. Bloodbath followed bloodbath. At the heart of Europe, the democratic imperialists plunged a knife into Yugoslavia. The genocides of the former Yugoslavia were the result of rivalry between the great imperialist powers, especially the US, Germany and Russia. America supported the Bosnians, the Germans supported the Croats and the Russians supported the Serbs.
Due to the competition between the cradle of bourgeois civilization, France, on the one hand, and Britain and America, on the other hand, 800,000 Rwandans were massacred, with no slight discomfort felt in the conscience of democrats and civilizations. This is because conscience is also a class phenomenon. The blood spilled in the genocides was still shining at the heart of Europe as the US launched a campaign to consolidate its hegemony in the new order. The US waged the Second Iraq War to weaken its rivals. In turn, the savagery and barbarism of Syria were launched. Tens of other small wars, such as the those in Ukraine, East Timor and Chechnya have to be added to this list. The genocides and massacres that have taken place over the past 30 years are not comparable to the 44 years of the Cold War.
The prosperity (dream paradise) that had been promised the day after the victory of democracy was not only a lie, but the level of the working class’s livelihood worldwide was targeted by the daily attacks inflicted by the bourgeoisie. Welfare states were turned into bonds, one after another. Public insurance, unemployment rights etc. were targeted. Unemployment became a terrible nightmare for the working class. Organized crime and mafia gangs are now on the rise. All of this points to the recent bankruptcy in capitalism. Economists and ideologues of capital, who once used the term “recession” for capitalist crises, today admit to capitalist bankruptcy.
The fact that Stalinism was not overthrown by the working class, but rather collapsed in its competition with democracy, has both exacerbated democratic illusions in the working class and, in some ways, led to the disturbance of class consciousness among the working class. The result has been a reversal or even a decline in the class struggle over the last three decades. The rise of populism and the retrogression of neo-liberalism have also signalled the global withdrawal of the working class from its class identity. The political and economic hegemony of national capital and the poisoning of the working class through the ideology of democracy are the main reasons for the rise of populism worldwide. At the same time, the burden of the national capital crisis manifests itself in the form of austerity which the working class is burdened with. For us, capitalist democracy and capitalist dictatorship are two sides of the same coin: capitalist barbarism.
Capitalism smells of blood, filth and sludge; capitalism is the source of all misery and troubles, not only for the working class, but for the whole of humanity. As long as wage slavery exists, upside-down capitalism and its barbarity across the globe will be part of our daily lives. The barbarism of capitalism is not only seen in world war; but world war is only one of its forms and can take on other forms, such as environmental catastrophe or the collapse of humanity.
The class struggle is not over; rather, it remains our only means of defending of our standard of living and our struggle for communist revolution. Once again, a spectre is haunting us: the spectre of communist revolution. Let the bourgeoisie once again tremble before the spectre of communist revolution. We have nothing to lose but our chains and the world we can gain in return. Communism, a society in which human exploitation has no meaning for man, is the only horizon for humanity.
Long Live the Communist Revolution!
Long Live Communism!
9 November 2019