IN his ‘Letter to American Workers’, published in Pravda on August 22 1918, after the victorious Russian revolution, Lenin wrote, ‘We are now, as it were, in a besieged fortress, waiting for the other detachments of the world socialist revolution to come to our relief.’
Lenin fought for the world socialist revolution, and did not have the slightest illusion that ‘socialism could be built in a single country’ or that there could be ‘peaceful coexistence’ or even ‘peaceful competition’ between the working class and the ruling class, or between workers’ states and world imperialism.
Lenin was correct on all counts. The German naval mutiny in November 1918 when sailors raised the red flag above their fleet and arrested their officers ended the First World War, and all attempts by Churchill and other imperialists to intervene militarily in Russia to restore Tsarism and capitalism were defeated by the massive movement of the working class worldwide in support of the Russian workers’ revolution.
Capitalism today after the great crash in 2008, is skating on the thinnest of ices, with a new world economic and political crisis emerging rapidly and with regimes like that of May in the UK, presiding over a working class that is livid with anger at the destruction of its living standards and the planned destruction of its NHS. In the EU, the working class in France and Italy are on the march against attacks on their living standards, with the Italian workers dumping all of the old parties, while in Spain a revolution is emerging with the state using Franco tactics to prevent the people of Catalonia getting their independence.
In the USA, the emergence of Trump is out of the need to ‘make the US great again’ to prevent an American workers’ revolution. He has already declared a trade war against China, while giving the UK and the EU a temporary amnesty.
The ‘natural rulers’ of the UK, the Tories, have already made two big mistakes that have brought the British workers onto the scene of history, and deposited their party onto the rocks. One, they called a referendum on the EU that they lost, and two, the appointed PM called a snap election, thinking that she would have a huge majority – instead her party lost its majority and its right to rule.
Now they have lost their heads. They are so terrified that they cannot stop a Labour government being elected – which would be the signal for the working class to win back all that it has lost – that they are campaigning that Labour leader Corbyn is an anti-semite and a Stalinist and that Russia is about to take over the UK. May has launched a war drive hysteria against Russia, while Trump and the US ruling class have lept on board to lead it, with Russia and China the enemies.
The US and the UK and their supporters have sent over 100 Russian diplomats back home, and Trump is now being transformed from a ‘clown’ to a ‘great leader’. However, such bandwagons once rolling are difficult to halt, especially since the bosses make no secret that they thirst to hold the riches of Russia and China in their hands, and see it as a way out of their crisis.
As well, sections of the ruling class see a war with Russia, or miniwars with Russia as a preferable alternative to a new world crisis that would usher in anti-capitalist revolutions worldwide. This rapidly emerging world crisis has stunned Putin and the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy which finds itself as the new ‘besieged fortress’.
Putin and Lavrov have been so disturbed by the savage attacks of the imperialists that they have not been able to adopt counter-measures in case they lead to further escalations. However, this crisis cannot be solved diplomatically or even by sucking Russia into wealth-draining regional conflicts as the US did in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The essence of the situation is that the worldwide crisis of capitalism and imperialism is driving it to wars abroad and counter-revolutions at home. There is only a Leninist way out of the developing crisis. This is that the working class of the world must build the Fourth International to disarm and destroy the imperialist powers through the victory of the world socialist revolution.