In October, 1917, in the middle of World War I, one hundred years ago, Vladimir Lenin and the communist party led millions of people in Russia, one of the world bulwarks of political reaction, superstition, and feudalism, to rise up in an insurrection. This revolution established the first long-lasting socialist state in history: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the Soviet Union). For the first time since the emergence of class society, society was not organized around exploitation by a ruling class of one kind or another. This shook the whole world!
Millions of Russian people were wounded and killed during World War 1. This imperialist war brought to the surface the underlying antagonisms in Russian society... and a revolutionary climate took hold. Workers rioted and struck. Women took the streets. Soldiers mutinied. The Tsar was overthrown and the government that replaced the Tsar was itself overthrown by the October Revolution. This epochal revolution changed the course of the whole 20th century and beyond.
Communism was eventually defeated in the Soviet Union in 1956. But the lessons learned from both the tremendous achievements and the shortcomings and sometimes serious errors -- along with the later richer lessons from the Chinese revolution, led by Mao -- laid the foundation to go forward to new heights. These lessons were distilled by Bob Avakian and concretized into a new communism. This new communism is a leap beyond, and in some important ways a rupture with, what has gone before.
This program will address:
• What was the Russian revolution all about?
• How did it change the lives of the people?
• What are the essential lessons to draw from this experience for
the emancipation of humanity?