Contribution of CP of Denmark [En]
by Henrik Stamer Hedin
The Great October Socialist Revolution brought hope and optimism to the peoples of the world. A bright new future had dawned with promises of peace, prosperity and freedom after years of war, misery and tyranny. These prospects and the bold way in which they were brougt about inspired men and women all over the world.
As the October Revolution was looked upon with hope and admiration by ordinary people, in the same degree was it loathed and hated by the global bourgeoisie and other representatives of the old world – and that from the very beginning. The reason is obvious. We talk of the ”general crisis” of capitalism: The Revolution had questioned the unavoidability of capitalism end thereby its very existence, demonstrating that ordinary people were able to take their destiny in their own hands. This was a danger that had to be countered.
However, the capitalism of the time was unable to counter this threat because it was divided into rivalling empires, being themselves divided by rivalling interests. The War of Intervention against the young Soviet republic led to nothing. Instead, after a few years, imperialism itself was thrown into a new, self-inflicted and global war, which proved disastrous and enhanced the threat even more: Now, a third of the world was exempted from imperialist rule and from capitalism, and soon after the war the colonial empires began to crumble. Something had to be done.
The leading imperialist power emerging from the Second World War was the United States of America, and US strategists saw what was necessary: Imperialist Europe had to be united, its rivalries to be overcome, and capitalism unified under US leadership.
At that time, in the immediate post-war years, capitalism had been utterly discredited, especially in Europe, which saw the rise of strong Communist parties in several countries. A Danish Conservative leader said in Parliament, ”We are all Socialists.” There was no confidence in a system responsible for two world wars and a devastating world economic crisis. Capitalism had to prove itself capable of peace and progress. And behind this guise a new offensive against socialism and the Soviet Union had to be waged.
As we all know, this operation succeeded, albeit by other means than previous attempts. Imperialism gloated: Capitalism had won the world-historic contest, history was at its end.
But capitalism had not changed. It continued to be ridden by its internal contradictions as analyzed by Marx, and soon ruptures began to form in what came to be called the European Union. Conflicting interests became more and more visible, leading to acts of oppression of weaker member states by the stronger ones and to acts of aggression against the neighbours of the Union; we saw the latter in Yougoslavia and are seing it now in Ukraine. Even between the EU and its maker, the USA, differences are beginning to show. For the EU is outgrowing its tutor both in population and in economic strength; and two equal imperialist centres cannot coexist forever.
Nevertheless, the EU is continuing to promote itself as the project of peace, of democracy, and of prosperity. It is no such thing. It is a project of peace only in the sense that it ended the rivalries between the old empires of Europe. Bringing the forces of war together does not spell peace. The democracy of the EU is a joke; and as for prosperity, well, ask the Greeks...
But many, even among the Left forces, are still allowing themselves to be fooled: to regard the EU as a guardian of peace and label resistance against the EU, strivings to break with the Union, as the British just did it, as nationalism and reaction. It is not.
Today, capitalism is characterized by transnational monopolies of a size exceeding that of many states and striving to exert their dominance over these states. In Europe, no single state is powerful enough to resist these monopolies. And the Union was not built to do so. On the contrary – the rule of the monopolies is channeled through the institutions of the Union, just as class rule generally is channeled through the state institutions.
This is important to understand: The EU is not a defense against global monopolies, on the contrary. Just as the Revolution had to crush the old state in order to liberate workers oppressed by national capital, so the new supranational superstate has to be crushed in order to liberate working humanity oppressed by supranational monopolies.
Thus, for the modern European working class, resistance against the EU is necessary, progressive, and revolutionary. Labour parties of varying denomimnations are ignoring this, and as a result, workers are increasingly turning their backs on them to support instead the nationalists, appearing to defy the EU, or abstain altogether. We saw it in France as earlier in Greece and Spain, we saw it in Germany, and we saw it again recently in Austria. In Denmark, we are seing it too on a less desastrous scale.
The October Revolution raised the banner of national sovereignty and self-determination. It highlighted the dialectics of proletarian internationalism and patriotism. Its heritage will live. Слава памяти Великой Октябрской Революции! Да стравствует Новый Октябрь!