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 Chapter  VI

The Third Period : 1905 - 1917

Political Background

The Russian Bourgeois Revolution of 1905

Two Tactics — the political preparation of the Party

Revolutions in the East

Second International on Colonialism and War

Fight against Revisionist Theories

World War I and Social Chauvinism

Bolshevik Position on the War

Analysis of Imperialism

Marxism and the National Question

February Bourgeois Revolution in Russia

Onwards to the Socialist Revolution

The State and Revolution


Political Background

This third period was once again a period of ‘storms and revolutions’. The period starts at a time "when a new source of great world storms opened up in Asia. The Russian bourgeois revolution [of 1905] was followed by the Turkish, the Persian and the Chinese bourgeois revolutions." 15 These Asian revolutions also served to doubly reassert the correctness of the Marxist principles of class struggle established during the earlier revolutions in Europe. As Lenin then said in 1913, "After the experience both of Europe and Asia, whoever now speaks of non-class politics and of non-class socialism deserves to be simply put in a cage and exhibited alongside of some Australian kangaroo." 16

This was also the period of the dawn of imperialism, when the imperialist powers entered into a series of regional wars to capture and expand markets. The first such war was the Russo-Japanese imperialist war for the re-division of Northern China (Manchuria) in 1904-05. This was followed by the Spanish Moroccan war of 1909, the Italo-Turkish war in1911 over Tripoli, and the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 involving Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro. The participants in the Balkan wars were actually the satellites of the great European imperialist powers, who were then preparing themselves for the devastating World War I (1914-18), for the re-division of the world. During this tumultuous period Marxism fought all forms of opportunism and continued its advance. With its strong scientific foundations laid by Marx and Engels, it was the best equipped to provide the answers to the innumerable questions thrown up by the complexities of the class struggle of this time. While waging the class battles and solving the problems of the new era of imperialism, Marxism advanced to the new stage of Leninism. And under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, the proletariat, in this period, seized power through the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 and established its dictatorship over a country covering one-sixth of the globe.

The Russo-Japanese war, which started on February 8, 1904, ended in defeat for the tsar, and a humiliating peace treaty on August 23, 1905. The Bolshevik’s approach during the war was that the defeat of the tsarist government in this predatory war would be useful, as it would weaken tsardom and strengthen the revolution. The economic crisis of 1900-03 had already aggravated the hardships of the toiling masses; the war intensified them still further. The war defeats added fuel to the hatred of the masses for tsardom. They reacted with the great revolution of 1905.

The Russian Bourgeois Revolution of 1905

This historic movement started with a big Bolshevik-led strike of the oil workers of Baku in December 1904. This was the ‘signal’ for a wave of strikes and revolutionary actions throughout Russia. In particular, the revolutionary storm broke with the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre of a demonstration of unarmed workers on January 22, 1905. The tsar’s attempt to crush the workers in blood only invoked a still more fierce response from the toiling masses. The whole of 1905 was a period of a rising wave of militant political strikes by workers, seizure of land and landlord’s grain by peasants, and even a revolt by the sailors of the battleship ‘Potemkin’. Twice the tsar, in a bid to divert the struggle, offered first a ‘consultative’ and then a ‘legislative’ Duma. The Bolsheviks rejected both Dumas whereas the Mensheviks saw fit to participate. The high tide of the revolution was between October and December 1905. During this period, the proletariat, for the first time in world history, set up the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies-which were assemblies of delegates from all mills and factories. These, the Bolsheviks regarded as the embryo of revolutionary power, which became the prototype of the Soviet power set up in 1917. Starting with an all-Russia political strike in October, the revolutionary struggles went on rising until the Bolshevik-led armed uprisings, in December, in Moscow, and various other cities and nationalities throughout the country. These were brutally crushed and after that the tide of the revolution started to recede. The revolution was however not yet crushed and the workers and revolutionary peasants retreated slowly, putting up a fight. Over a million workers took part in strikes in 1906, and 740,000 in 1907. The peasant movement embraced about half of the districts of tsarist Russia in the first half of 1906, and about one-fifth in the second half of the year. The crest of the revolution had however passed. On June 3, 1907, the tsar effected a coup, dissolved the Duma he had created, and withdrew even the limited rights he had been forced to grant during the revolution. A period of intense repression under the tsarist Premier, Stolypin, called the Stolypin reaction, set in. It was to last till the next wave of strikes and political struggles in 1912.

Two Tactics – the political preparation of the party

The anti-tsarist revolutionary struggles and the struggles against the opportunism of the Mensheviks, led to an immense development in the Marxist understanding of the strategy and tactics of revolution. In April 1905, in the midst of the revolution, two congresses of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks respectively, met. Though formally there was only one party, in reality there were two. These two congresses came out with two diametrically opposite sets of strategy and tactics for the revolution then in progress.

The Mensheviks understood the struggles, simply as a bourgeois revolution of the old style. Thus, according to them, the leadership was to be in the hands of the bourgeoisie, the working class was to support the bourgeoisie in overthrowing the tsarist autocracy, but was not to engage in revolutionary activities which would frighten the bourgeoisie into the arms of feudal ultra-reaction, the peasantry was a non-revolutionary class which could not be allied with, and a State Duma was to be the centre of the ‘revolutionary forces’ in the country.

"The Bolsheviks took as their course the extension of the revolution, the overthrow of tsardom by armed uprising, the hegemony of the working class, the isolation of the Constitutional-Democratic [liberal] bourgeoisie, an alliance with the peasantry, the formation of a provisional revolutionary government consisting of representatives of the workers and peasants, the victorious completion of the revolution." 17

Two months after the Congress, in July 1905, Lenin, in his historic book, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, while criticising the tactics of the Mensheviks gave a brilliant substantiation of the Bolshevik tactics. This work by laying down the basic political line of the Russian Revolution gave the orientation for the political preparation of the Bolshevik Party. Lenin’s revolutionary line, based fundamentally upon principles laid down long before by Marx, represented in the conditions of modern Imperialism a new programme. It was basically opposed to the general theories and policies prevalent throughout the Second International, of which the Menshevik programme was typically representative. Thus Lenin’s battle against the Mensheviks was simultaneously a battle against international opportunism and revisionism, by then quite entrenched in the Second International.

The Revolution developed a host of urgent lessons for the international movement. It made clear many vital questions - the application of the armed insurrection under modern conditions, the methods and results of the mass political strike, the relation between the bourgeois and the socialist revolutions, the role of Soviets as the base of the future society, the indispensability of a solid, disciplined proletarian party, the treacherous role of the Mensheviks, the Anarchists, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries.

Though it was essential that these lessons be carried to the workers of all countries, besides Lenin, only a few left wing leaders like Rosa Luxemburg attempted to propagate them. The majority right opportunist leadership of the Second International in fact tried their best to prevent the spread of these ideas. They tried to belittle the importance of the workers taking up arms by either supporting Plekhanov’s statement, "They should not have taken to arms", or by writing it off as a condition peculiar to Russia’s backward and undemocratic conditions. As regards the weapon of the political mass strike, they felt all the more threatened because the mass strikes in Russia had immediately inspired a mass strike in Vienna and all over the Austrian Empire. The German party in particular faced serious dissensions where the trade union convention immediately passed a resolution denouncing the mass strike as anarchist. It was only under the pressure of Rosa Luxembourg and others on the Left that the party finally passed a weak and compromising resolution in favour of the mass political strike.

Revolutions in the East

The revolutionary struggles led by the Bolsheviks were deeply influenced and became a source of inspiration for the oppressed peoples of the Middle and Far East, as the national liberation revolutions in China, Persia and Turkey were soon to make clear.

Persian revolutionaries were the first to be influenced by the victory of Japan, a constitutional monarchy, over Russia as well as the advance of the Russian revolutionaries. The temporary weakening of one of their oppressors, the Tsar, also helped their struggle in 1906 to win an elected assembly and constitution. However in the face of the joint suppression of two imperialist powers - Britain and Russia - the revolutionary period only lasted till 1911.

The Turkish revolution of 1908 was also inspired by the Russian Revolution and was a seizure of power by an organisation known as Young Turks who planned to unite the Turkish nation on a modern bourgeois liberal pattern of constitutional monarchy. This too failed in achieving its objectives and the regime suffered severe losses after siding with Germany in the World War. This aided the abolition of the empire after the war and the actual fulfilment of the aims of the 1908 Young Turk constitution through the completion of the Turkish Revolution under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk in 1918

In China the revolution took place, in 1911, under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen’s Three principles.17a Here too the impact of the revolution in Russia was unmistakable.

Second International on Colonialism and War

With the consolidation of imperialism and the growing war danger, the question of the correct approach to colonialism and war were of central importance to the international revolutionary proletarian movement. On these questions strong revisionist trends existed in the Second International. At the 1907 Congress of the International, the Congress commission in fact even adopted a resolution approving of colonial policy, which was outvoted by the Congress by a narrow margin of only 127 to108. It had stated: "The Congress declares that the usefulness or the necessity of the colonies in general – and particularly to the working class – is greatly exaggerated. It does not, however, reject colonial policy in principle and for all time, for under a socialist regime it may work in the interests of civilisation."

On the question of war, the International ‘left’ leader, Bebel, proposed an vague and ambiguous resolution which did not give any specific direction or course of action. It was only an amendment introduced by Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg, calling for utilising the imperialist war ‘to hasten the abolition of capitalist class rule’, that gave this ambiguous resolution a clear revolutionary character. The amendment paragraphs stated:

"If a war threatens to break out, it is the duty of the working class and of its parliamentary representatives in the country involved, supported by the consolidating activity of the International [Socialist] Bureau, to exert every effort to prevent the outbreak of war by means they consider most effective, which naturally vary according to the accentuation of the class struggle and of the general political situation.

"Should war break out none the less, it is their duty to intervene in favour of its speedy termination and to do all in their power to utilise the economic and political crisis caused by the war to rouse the peoples and thereby to hasten the abolition of capitalist class rule." 18

In the debates on the war question the revisionist chieftains could not counter the arguments of the revolutionaries. They thus were forced to agree to the Lenin-Luxembourg amendment paragraphs which became the basis of anti-war resolutions even at the 1910 Congress and 1912 Conference of the Second International. However, as later events proved, these revisionists and the so-called centrists, like Kautsky and Bebel, had absolutely no intention of implementing a revolutionary understanding either on the question of colonial policy or on the question of imperialist war.

Fight against Revisionist Theories

In the intervening period before the War, Marxism faced another attack from a section of the Party intelligentsia within the Russian party. These intellectuals unnerved by the retreat of the revolution in the Stolypin reaction period, embarked on an attempt to ‘improve’ Marxism. Four books attacking dialectical materialism appeared in the name of authors all claiming to be Marxists. Lenin replied to them in his famous book, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, written in 1908, and published in 1909. While primarily exposing the reactionary philosophy of the modern idealists, it also proved useful in providing "an acquaintance with the philosophy of Marxism, dialectical materialism, as well as with the philosophical conclusions from the recent discoveries in natural science." 19 It fortified the theoretical foundations of the Bolshevik party. It raised Marxist philosophy to a higher level in the light of new scientific discoveries.

Another debate in 1909-10, which was indicative of the extent of the hold of revisionism on the Second International, concerned Marx’s theory of the absolute impoverishment of the working class. This theory was challenged in a book by Legien, head of the German trade union movement and secretary of the International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centres. It was representative of the view of the trade union bureaucracy and labour aristocracy who had been much corrupted by imperialism. This view was countered by Karl Kautsky, ‘orthodox’ Marxist, and recognised since Engels’ death as the International’s leading theoretician. His reply – in the book ‘Road to Power’– was an example of the manner of all centrists, to whom, according to Lenin, the revolutionary word was everything and the revolutionary deed nothing. Thus while Kautsky made a proper statement of Marxist principles, he leaned totally to the right in his practical measures. In a period when the danger of right revisionism was the greatest, he ignored this and warned repeatedly against the danger of leftists throwing the party into premature and disastrous conflict with the forces of German reaction. Thus with both Kautsky and Legien basically on the right the apparent conflict was much of a sham. It would not be long before the World War and the October Revolution would strip Kautsky of all centrist sham and stand him up as true revisionist renegade.

World War I and Social-Chauvinism

From the period of the rise of imperialism the sharpening contradictions had heightened the preparations for war. Due to uneven development Britain was seriously challenged by the other industrial powers, particularly the United States and Germany. The United States had become the leading industrial power but due to its concentration on the American continent was not then that immediate a threat to Britain. German goods were however constantly pushing out British goods from various world markets. Further it being a European power it proved more of a direct threat to Britain. Thus when from the turn of the century the arms race speeded up the main contenders were Britain and Germany. While overall military expenditure galloped ahead, that of the navy, then the most high tech wing of the armed forces and the most essential for the control of trade routes, multiplied exponentially. British annual navy expenditure which had remained at 11 million pounds between 1860 and 1885 jumped by over four times by 1913-14; Germany which spent 90 million marks in the mid-90s reached 400 million marks before the war.

The hostile blocs too were well formed. The Triple Alliance of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian empire and Italy had been formed in 1882 itself opposing at that time France and Russia. As the German-British contradiction sharpened, Britain joined up with France and Russia to form the Triple Entente in 1907. These were the basic belligerent forces though there were some changes in the alliances just before and during the war. Italy switched sides, Bulgaria and Turkey sided with the Alliance, while the United States and Japan joined the Entente. Each of the main imperialist powers had their eye on some colonies, markets or raw material sources and were waiting for an opportunity to strike.

In the middle of 1914 the imperialist powers got the excuse for war that they had been searching for. The Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, was assassinated by a Serb nationalist on June 28, 1914. Immediately the Austro-German Alliance made this the reason for declaring war on the territories they had been eyeing. Austria attacked Serbia on July 28, Russia replied by mobilising its armed forces, Germany immediately declared war on Russia on August 1, France joined the war on August 3 and Britain on August 4.

The World War provided the opportunity for the Second International Parties to implement the resolutions they had been passing all these years and convert the war into a fight for socialism. But in this crisis, the thin veneer of internationalism in the opportunist-controlled Second International dissolved into a swamp of bourgeois nationalism. The German Social-Democratic Party, the leading party of the Second International, led the way. In the party caucus meeting before the parliamentary vote on war credits, the overwhelming majority, led by the trade union bureaucrats, supported the war – in fact they had already on August 2nd worked out a no-strike agreement with the employers. Only a handful led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg opposed; Kautsky, the opportunist, voted to abstain. For the revolutionary proletariat, the Second International ceased to exist from August 4, 1914, the date that the German Social-Democrats betrayed all pious anti-war resolutions and voted unanimously in parliament for the war credits; they voted to support the imperialist war. They were immediately followed by the majority of the socialists in France, Britain, Belgium and other countries. The Second International broke up into separate social-chauvinist parties which warred against each other.

Bolshevik Position on the War

It was thus left to Lenin and the Bolsheviks to uphold and develop the correct Marxist position regarding the World War. Almost within a month of the start of the war, on September 6, 1914, Lenin brought out his theses on the war, The Tasks of Revolutionary Social-Democracy in the European War. In this he clearly stated that, "The European and world war has the clearly defined character of a bourgeois, imperialist and dynastic war. A struggle for markets and for freedom to loot foreign countries, a striving to suppress the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and democracy in the individual countries, a desire to deceive, disunite, and slaughter the proletarians of all countries by setting the wage slaves of one nation against those of another so as to benefit the bourgeoisie – these are the only real content and significance of the war." 20 He also simultaneously condemned the social-chauvinists of the various member parties of the International who had sided with their imperialist bourgeoisies in the war.

On November 1, 1914, the Central Committee of the RSDLP, under the guidance of Lenin, issued a manifesto on the war, giving the call for ‘turning the imperialist war into civil war’, and called for the formation of the Third International in place of the Second International which had suffered disgraceful bankruptcy. Lenin simultaneously made all efforts to give direction to the leftist anti-war elements of International Social-Democracy who had started from 1915 rallying around what came to be known as the Zimmerwald conferences. For this he had to do immense theoretical work to clear the mound of confusion that the revisionist Second International leaders had created on the subject.

His first work was a pamphlet, Socialism and War ( The Attitude of the R.S.D.L.P. Towards the War), which he prepared along with Zinoviev for circulation among the delegates of the First Zimmerwald Conference in September, 1915. This pamphlet while presenting the principles of socialism in relation to the War, also clearly outlined the tasks of the revolutionary social-democrats in Russia as well as at the international level. In it he launched a biting attack against ‘Kautskyism’ and their distortions of the teachings of Marx and Engels regarding war.

Analysis of Imperialism

In 1916, Lenin produced his great book, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, which was a major contribution to Marxist theory, which enabled the world proletariat to grasp the economic essence of imperialism. This was absolutely necessary, particularly at that time, because, as Lenin himself put it, "Unless the economic roots of this phenomenon are understood and its political and social significance is appreciated, not a step can be taken toward the solution of the practical problems of the Communist movement and of the impending social revolution." 21 This work also exposed Kautskyism and Kautsky’s anti-Marxist theories presented in his 1915 book, National State, Imperialist State and Union of States where he had argued that it was possible to foresee the world economic system passing into a phase of ‘ultra-imperialism’ in which the great powers and the great international cartels would stabilise the partition of the world and thus eliminate the risk of war. This argument, similar to some analyses of present day globalisation, has been proved drastically wrong by the events of the twentieth century. However at that time considering Kautsky’s stature as Marxism’s most recognised theorist, Lenin’s work was absolutely necessary to refute these ideas.

Marxism and the National Question

Meanwhile in Russia there had been a new rise of the revolution between 1912 and 1914. Ably combining illegal work with legal work, the Party was able to gain leadership of all forms of the legal movement and turn the legally existing organisations into bases of revolutionary work.

During this period the revolutionary movement in the border regions of Russia demanded a clear program on the national question. The R.S.D.L.P. had in the 1903 Congress itself, on the insistence of Lenin, included in its programme, a clause on recognising the right of nations to self-determination. The theoretical understanding behind this clear-cut stand and its practical implementation in Russia were laid out during this period in three articles on the question :– 1) Stalin’s article Marxism and the National Question, written in January, 1913. 2) Lenin’s article Critical Remarks on the National Question in October-December 1913. 3) Lenin’s article The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, February-May 1914. These works, represented a significant theoretical development on the question, from the times of Marx and Engels. They were further developed in 1916, by Lenin, when he, in his pamphlet , The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination (Theses), gave a detailed theoretical presentation in the light of a clear-cut understanding of imperialism.

February Bourgeois Revolution in Russia

With the outbreak of war, the revolutionary situation further ripened. The Bolsheviks did extensive propaganda among the workers against the war and for the overthrow of tsardom. Nuclei were also formed in the army and the navy, at the front and in the rear, and leaflets distributed calling for a fight against the war. At the front, after the Party’s intensive agitation for fraternisation between the warring armies’ soldiers, there were increasing instances of refusal of army units to take the offensive in 1915 and 1916. The bourgeoisie and landlords were making fortunes out of the war, but the workers and peasants were suffering increasing hardships. Millions had died directly of wounds or due to epidemics caused by war conditions. In January and February 1917, the situation became particularly acute. Hatred and anger against the tsarist government spread.

Even the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie, were wary of the tsar, whose advisers like Rasputin were working for a separate peace with Germany. They too, with the backing of the British and French governments, planned to replace the tsar through a palace coup. However the people acted first.

From January 1917 a strong revolutionary strike movement started in Moscow, Petrograd, Baku and other industrial centres. The Bolsheviks organised big street demonstrations in favour of a general strike. As the strike movement gained momentum, on March 8, International Women’s Day, the working women of Petrograd were called out by the Bolsheviks to demonstrate against starvation, war and tsardom. The workers supported the working women with strikes and by March 11, the strikes and demonstrations had taken on the character of an armed uprising. The Bureau of the Central Committee on March 11, issued a call for continuation of the armed uprising to overthrow the tsar and establish a provisional revolutionary government. On March 12, 60,000 soldiers came over to the side of the revolution, fought the police and helped the workers overthrow the tsar. As the news spread, workers and soldiers everywhere began to depose the tsarist officials. The February bourgeois-democratic revolution had won.

As soon as Tsardom was overthrown, on the initiative of the Bolsheviks, there arose Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. However, while the Bolsheviks were directly leading the struggle of the masses in the streets, the compromising parties, the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, were seizing the seats in the Soviets, and building up a majority there. Thus they headed the Soviets in Petrograd, Moscow and a number of other cities. Meanwhile the liberal bourgeois members of the Duma did a backdoor deal with the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and formed a Provisional Government. The result was an interlocking of two dictatorships: the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, represented by the Provisional Government, and the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, represented by the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. The result was dual power.

Onwards to the Socialist Revolution

Immediately after the bourgeois revolution Lenin whiled still in Switzerland, wrote his famous Letters from Afar, where he analysed this dual power. He called the Soviets the embryo of the workers’ government, which had to go ahead and win victory in the second stage of the revolution – the socialist revolution. Their allies in this would be the broad semi-proletarian and small peasant masses and the proletariat of all countries.

On April 16, 1917, Lenin arrived in Petrograd after a long period of exile, and the very next day presented his famous April Theses before a meeting of Bolsheviks. He called for opposing the Provisional Government and working for a Bolshevik majority in the Soviets and transferring state power to the Soviets. He presented the programme for ensuring peace, land, and bread. Lastly, he called for a new party Congress with a new party name, the Communist Party, and for building a new International, the Third International. The Mensheviks immediately attacked Lenin’s Theses and gave a warning that ‘the revolution is in danger’. However within three weeks, the first openly held All-Russia Conference (Seventh Conference) of the Bolshevik Party, approved Lenin’s report based on the same Theses. It gave the slogan, ‘All Power to the Soviets!’ It also approved a very important resolution, moved by Stalin, declaring the right of nations to self-determination, including secession.

In the following months, the Bolsheviks worked energetically according to the Conference line, convincing the masses of workers, soldiers and peasants of the correctness of their position. The Sixth Party Congress was also held in August 1917 after a gap of ten years. Due to the danger of attack from the Provisional Government, the Congress had to be held in secret in Petrograd, without the presence of Lenin. Stalin presented the main political reports, which called for the preparation for armed uprising. The Congress also adopted new Party Rules which provided that all Party organisations shall be built on the principles of Democratic Centralism. It also admitted the group led by Trotsky into the Party.

Soon after the Congress, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, Gen. Kornilov, organised a revolt of the army in order to crush the Bolsheviks and the Soviets. However the soldiers of many divisions were convinced by the Bolsheviks not to obey orders and the revolt failed. After the failure of this revolt the masses realised that the Bolsheviks and the Soviets were the only guarantee for achieving peace, land, and bread, which were their urgent demands. Rapid Bolshevisation of the Soviets took place, the tide of the revolution was rising, and the Party started preparing for armed uprising.

The State and Revolution

In this period, Lenin, for security reasons, was forced to stay in Finland, away from the main arena of battle. During this period, he completed his book, The State and Revolution, which defended and developed the teachings of Marx and Engels on the question of the state. While particularly exposing the distortions on this question by opportunists like Kautsky, Lenin’s work then had tremendous theoretical and practical significance at the international level. This was because, as Lenin saw clearly at that time itself, the Russian February bourgeois revolution could "only be understood as a link in a chain of socialist proletarian revolutions being caused by the imperialist war. The question of the relation of the socialist proletarian revolution to the state, therefore, [was] acquiring not only practical political importance, but also the significance of a most urgent problem of the day, the problem of explaining to the masses what they will have to do before long to free themselves from capitalist tyranny."  22

As the revolutionary tide rose Lenin again landed in Petrograd on October 20, 1917. Within three days of his arrival, a historic Central Committee meeting decided to launch the armed uprising within a few days. Immediately representatives were sent to all parts of the country and particularly to the army units. On becoming aware of the plan for the uprising, the Kerensky government started an attack on the Bolsheviks, on November 6, 1917, the eve of the holding of the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets. The Red Guards and revolutionary units of the army retaliated and by November 7, 1917, state power had passed into the hands of the Soviets.

Immediately the next day the Congress of Soviets passed the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land. It formed the first Soviet government – the Council of People’s Commissars – of which Lenin was elected the first Chairman. The Great October Socialist Revolution had established the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Thus Marxist theory, during this short period (1905-1917), had seen tremendous development in all fields ; it had advanced to the stage of Marxism-Leninism, and had, under its guidance, established the first revolutionary proletarian state.



15. Lenin, Marx-Engels-Marxism, p. 78.

16. same as above, p. 79.

17. History of the CPSU(B), p. 95.

17a The Three People’s Principles were the principles and the programme put forward by Sun Yat-sen on the question of nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood in China’s bourgeois-democratic revolution. In 1924 Sun restated the three principles: Nationalism as opposed to imperialism and pro-peasants and workers’ movement; alliance with Russia and co- operation with communist party.

18. Foster William Z., History of the Three Internationals, p. 223.

19. Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, p. 9.

20. Lenin, On Just and Unjust Wars, p. 15. ( from Tasks of Revolutionary Social-Democracy in the European War )

21. Lenin, Selected Works in two Volumes, Vol. I, Part 2, p.441.( from Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism )

22. Lenin, The State and Revolution, p. 8.



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