On the Centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution — by Kevin B. Anderson

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Summary: Discussion of 1917 in terms of Lenin’s concepts of state and revolution, imperialism/national liberation, and the need to uproot capitalism. Also looks at Lenin’s and Trotsky’s differences with Luxemburg and the relevance of the experience of 1917 for today, in the era since Occupy and the Arab revolutions.  Originally appeared as part of an international symposium, “The Bolshevik Revolution, One Hundred Years After,” Crisis & Critique 4:2, Nov. 7, 2017 — Editors

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2 comments


    Randy Erb

    December 1, 2017

    Excellent comments! I could not agree more.

    Randy Erb

    December 1, 2017

    Just a problem with the term dictatorship of the proletariat. I think it should always be referred to as the democratic dictatorship,rather than the truncated term. The “dictatorship” only refers to the fact that the workers control the means of production and distribution, not the lack of political freedom. All capitalist nations are a dictatorship of capitalists, and can be parliamentarian democracies or dictatorships. The Bolsheviks found themselves as the only party by accident rather than by design when their main partner at the beginning, the Left SRs declared war on them after the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. They then compounded the problem by banning all organized factions in the party during the critical times of the Civil War. Stalin of course, did not dissolve his personal faction, which had only the politics of support for Stalin. I can understand the valid reason for this ban, since party members were fighting more among themselves than against the White forces. As Trotsky noted later, this was only a temporary expedient rather than being permanent.

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