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    Default 100th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution(by

    100th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution

    November 7th marks the 100-year anniversary of the October Revolution which transformed Russia into the world’s first socialist country. On this day the Bolsheviks successfully overthrew the Provisional government to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. This tremendous victory allowed the new workers’ government to abolish private ownership of the land and give workers control over production. The old machinery of the bourgeois state was dismantled giving rise to the democratically-controlled workers state. This is clearly a remarkable achievement and many lessons can be drawn from this historic event.

    However, rather than solely focusing on the past, we must take a sober view of the current economic, political and social conditions in the United States. Our union organizations have been systematically dismantled. Anti-Communist propaganda dominates the mainstream media and has distorted the perception of socialists and workers unions. We have abandoned the science of dialectical materialism and are unable to defend against the weakest reactionary arguments. This has been a conscious effort by the bourgeois class to suppress the working class and inhibit class consciousness. Only through the conscious organization of the working class can we overcome these obstacles and achieve democracy, equality and fraternity. Only through work, organization, and commitment to Marxist principles can we achieve socialism. We must get to work, comrades!
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    Part of taking a sober view of the current economic, political and social conditions is asking ourselves what the method, if not the form, of organization should be.

    In any scientific pursuit and any aspirations for building a better world, setbacks are not signals to give up. They're lessons to learn from. The sooner people come to realize the fate of the USSR as not the "end of history" for socialism but the first step, the sooner the long march can begin.

    How do we build a class-conscious movement in the midst of propaganda and control over education, media and law by the capitalist class? How do we reorganize a workers' movement which today is atomized and timid, using the tools we have?

    Socialism won't come about through a segment of the working class, or self-styled organic intellectuals, storming Congress or Parliament the way the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace. Nor will it come about through socialists entering those same halls via official channels.

    Yet, the Bolshevik Revolution teaches us an invaluable lesson about the commitment necessary for building socialism out of a hitherto backward society. It shows that the fatalistic attitude of letting economic developments in the market build class consciousness for us is not good enough.

    Liberals portray the victory of the most reactionary elements as evidence of the need for the disaffected to "do their civic duty" and re-engage with the system. If revolution is ever to even enter the discussion, we must encourage workers to instead engage in an alternative.

    This cannot be limited to ad-hoc demonstrations or counter-demonstrations, though these can be useful. While action spurs reaction in the dialectical tug-of-war of class conflict, a workers' movement can still take initiative by building collective bodies for those who fall through the cracks of bourgeois state and private capitalist institutions. We can be bold, and while many understandably don't feel safe openly identifying as communists, it's still imperative to openly question ideological assumptions driven into those around us. We can pick our battles and not shy away from them when it matters.

    Often, we run into the same tired phrases and rehashed arguments, and we need to find ways to move the discussion beyond them, whether "It's a nice idea in theory, but can't work in practice" or "People are inherently greedy." Trying to proselytize with party papers or chant slogans in the streets won't change this. Instead, the more examples we can build to challenge them, the more we can undermine these assumptions.

    In concrete terms: Join a party, build a "People's Library", organize in non-profits trying to operate within the capitalist system and help them find ways to rely less and less on private business donations. Challenge the wasteful closures of factories or other productive workplaces, and the reliance on bureaucracy for union activity. These are a few first steps.
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

    "If he did advocate revolutionary change, such advocacy could not, of course, receive constitutional protection, since it would be by definition anti-constitutional."
    - J.A. MacGuigan in Roach v. Canada, 1994
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    La lucha continua. Socialism in our own lifetimes!
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    Education is the beginning of any kind of mass scale revolutionary movement, whatever its theoretical bent, but this kind of education is not simply of a 'master-student' kind, there is no clearly defined hierarchy, instead one allows oneself to be taught by others and educated in their material conditions, which enables progress in revolutionary theory, so that the theory becomes changed and redefined as it is being taught to the 'masses' and thus an engagement in theory is enabled, which is of course of paramount importance in spreading revolutionary principles, to take a revolution from a mere idea, simple and pure, into an endlessly complicated kind entangled web of action, action with a single purpose, namely, destruction of the present order. Those are some of my brief thoughts on the what ant kind of revolutionary action now must presuppose.

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