ON THE SIXTEENTH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
10 November 1933
November 1933 Rundschau, ii, 42, p. 1625
The capitalist world is approaching this anniversary in a state of unusual disorder and anxiety. The great achievements of October, the mighty victories of socialism in the Soviet Union, are inspiring the workers of the whole world in their struggle
against the exploiters and oppressors. Like an impregnable rock the Soviet country stands in the midst of the capitalist countries in which chaos, destruction, and decay reign. To save their rule the bourgeoisie are resorting to the weapons of fascism and imperialist slaughter.
We are on the eve of a new world war.
In the East Japanese imperialism is acting the part of pacemaker in the anti-Soviet war, the part of instigator of the new imperialist world war. In the West fascist Germany offers its services to the entire imperialist world as counter-revolutionary mercenary. British imperialism is taking the part of chief organizer of the counterrevolutionary war against the Soviet Union. French imperialism is rallying its forces to defend the Versailles robber peace. The frantic armaments competition between the United States, Japan, and England, between France and Germany, is accelerating the development of the extremely acute imperialist contradictions into the outbreak of war. The danger of a new war is growing from the Geneva 'disarmament' conference itself.
Sixteen years of proletarian dictatorship in the Soviet Union—these were sixteen years of the gigantic struggle of millions of workers and peasants for socialism. The balance sheet of this struggle is now being drawn before the judgment seat of history.
. . .
International social-democracy promised you a peaceful and bloodless road to socialism through democracy. In the name of this democracy they helped the bourgeoisie to defeat with blood and iron the revolutionary struggle of the workers for the proletarian dictatorship. In Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Finland, it wrought vengeance on the revolutionary workers, cleared the road for the fascist dictatorship, and brought hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants under the guillotine of the fascist executioners.
In the Soviet Union the workers and working peasants hold power fast in their hands. In the Soviet Union there are no unemployed. The workers and collective peasants have no painful anxiety about tomorrow, do not fear to be out on the street, workless and homeless.
In the capitalist world there are tens of millions of unemployed and tens of millions on part time; there are millions of young workers who have never had a job. In the Soviet Union the welfare of the workers is rising uninterruptedly. Together with rising wages social insurance is being improved year after year. In all the capitalist countries the theft of wages and benefits has taken on the most cynical forms.
. . .
The end of the world economic crisis is not in sight. The attempts of the big bourgeoisie of the imperialist countries to find a capitalist way out of the crisis at the expense of the working people and of foreign nations, by plundering the national treasury, by arms contracts and inflation, are making the internal and external contradictions of the capitalist system still more acute. In all capitalist countries, more than ever before, the workers are becoming galley-slaves of capitalist labour. In Germany and the other fascist countries their most elementary rights are being stolen from them. The trade unions are shattered, the workers' press forbidden, the communist parties driven into illegality. In the so-called democratic countries, too, the bourgeoisie are making their State fascist.
Year after year hundreds of millions of small and mediumsized
farms in the capitalist and colonial world are falling into ruin. The peasant is losing his last bit of property, plundered by the landlord, the moneylender, the banker, and the tax collector. The agrarian crisis is raging throughout the capitalist world. The rising anger of the peasant is answered with unparalleled terror and the despatch of punitive expeditions manned by fascist gangs.
. . .
Sixteen years ago the October revolution dealt an annihilating blow to the world war. In those sixteen years the imperialists have tried hundreds of times to provoke the Soviet Union into war. A new imperialist slaughter, a counter-revolutionary war
against the Soviet Union, would have broken out long ago if the Soviet Union had not stood steadily on guard for peace. The Soviet Union has exposed the war plans of the imperialists and more than once frustrated them. More than once fear of the
revolutionary defence of the Soviet Union by the proletariat of their own countries has bridled the imperialists, thirsting for war. The Soviet Union has become the strongest centre of peace and the protector of the oppressed nations and colonial
Fascism is hastening the opening of imperialist war and provoking intervention against the Soviet Union. Supported by the League of Nations and socialdemocracy, the Japanese fascist military camarilla is already in occupation of large
parts of China. Every day it thinks up new provocations of the Soviet Union. It is
exploiting the chaos created by the crisis and hurrying forward war on the Soviet
Union in the hope of drawing the other imperialist countries into the war. In the West, German fascism is increasing the danger of war. The Hitler Government, the chief incendiary in Europe, is offering the international bourgeoisie the services of
German mercenaries against the Soviet Union. Stricken British imperialism is inciting the nations to a bloodbath, mobilizing counterrevolutionary forces everywhere against the Soviet Union. The League of Nations was from the first a league for preparing war. The Second International was always a faithful servant of the League of Nations.
. . .
Revolutionary defence of the Soviet Union by the workers of the whole world is the best answer to fascism and to the Second International, which is becoming more and more fascist.
Proletarians! Working people! Colonial peoples! For several years the Soviet banner has been waving victoriously over the vast area of the Chinese Soviet districts. It is arousing the entire colonial world, mobilizin tens of millions of colonial slaves for the revolutionary struggle against imperialism.
Covered in glory, and with unshakeable confidence in victory, the Chinese Red Army is meeting the sixth Kuomintang campaign, organized with the help of American, Japanese, English, and other imperialists.
. . .
The German proletariat has not bowed and will not bow its head before fascism.
It is putting up a heroic resistance. Out of fear of communism, Hitler arranged the provocative Reichstag fire, to divert the anger of the hungry masses; he is flourishing the axe over the heads of the communist leaders. But communism is growing in Germany from day to day. By its selfless struggle the KPD serves as an example to the workers of all capitalist countries. Only the communist party can lead the revolutionary united front against fascism. Only the communist party, with the active support of the entire world proletariat, can free the German proletariat from the clutches of fascism and lead it on the road to October.
More than ever before the fate of the proletariat, the fate of socialism, depends on the degree of class organization, and the revolutionary solidarity of the working class.
Criminal social-democracy is perpetuating the split in the working class in order to continue its reactionary united front with the capitalists. The Paris conference of the Second International once more forbade social-democratic workers to fight together with their class brothers, the communists, against fascism and imperialist war. It intensified the struggle of counter-revolutionary social-democracy against communism and the proletarian dictatorship. Under Lobe's leadership the German social-democrats voted as one on 17 May for the Hitler Government.
. . .
The socialdemocratic leaders tell the workers—as Otto Bauer did—that the struggle now is not for proletarian dictatorship, but for an alliance with bourgeois democracy. They defend Dollfuss's clerical fascism in Austria as a 'lesser evil' than the fascism of Hitler's national-socialism. They say openly that on the day when the structure of fascism breaks down under the assault of the working masses, the proletarian revolution must at all costs be prevented.
Only over the heads of the social-democratic leaders, only by uniting its forces under the banner of proletarian revolution, will the proletariat destroy fascism and imperialist reaction and bury the capitalist system.
Proletarians and working people of all countries! In your hands lies the fate of entire working humanity. Your only road is the road of Lenin, of the October revolution. That is the road to which the Communist International untiringly calls all the exploited and oppressed, for only the conquest of power by the proletariat is able to bring all working people work, bread, freedom, and peace, the complete victory of socialism.