November 7, 2017 was the 100th Anniversary ("new," Gregorian, Calendar) of the Russian Revolution. According to the "old," Julian calendar still in use in the Russia of the time, the Revolution occurred on October 25, 2017, which is why, in many quarters it is still referred to as the -- da, da! -- "October Revolution." (It is interesting to note that the "Julian" calendar was named after Julius Caesar, whose government introduced it in what would come to be known as 45 B.C [or B.C.E.. depending upon your religious/calendrical point-of-view]. The "modern," Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.) The current calendar date was celebrated, noted upon, denigrated, around the world. It was also ignored in certain quarters, although most of those persons-to-institutions that did, like the government of Vladimir Putin, which did for the most part ignore it, made it clear that they were ignoring it .
Outside of Russia, it has been widely noted that the Soviet Union, which was established as a result of the October Revolution, lasted only 75 years. Many observers, capitalist or socialist or other, have taken some satisfaction in this occurrence. Many Marxist-Leninists, including myself, took and have taken the demise of the Soviet Union with sadness. However, some of us, at least, recognize that among Lenin's many great contributions to the understanding of human history and how it works is the concept of "two steps forward/one step back."
Indeed, what can be considered as the first capitalist revolution against the then predominant feudal order (or a variant of it) can be said to have been the Cromwellian Revolution in England, 1640-61. To be sure, it did not represent industrial capitalists, for the industrial revolution would not get underway until the mid-18th century. But it did represent the rising mercantile capitalists --- and it failed. Now one could have said at the time, "see, capitalism will never work; feudalism and royal primacy in government will always be the systems of state control." And one would have been wrong. In judging what happened in the Soviet Union, one should certainly take the Cromwellian lesson intro account.
Now Lenin for the most part applied his "two steps forward/one step back" formula to what was happening in the early development of the Soviet Union that occurred during his lifetime that was cut short so tragically. But in my view (and perhaps Lenin's too) the concept can be applied, not simplistically of course, but applied never-the-less to the overall development of socialist revolution (as happened in the development of capitalism). And let us hope that that is the case. For if socialist revolution does not begin to develop around the world, fairly soon, our species and many others will be gathered up in what I have termed "The Suicide of Capitalism."
There is another model for what some see as a road to socialism and that is the Chinese hybrid socialist-capitalist system. But the Soviet approach, at least until it became corrupted (in the literal sense of the word), was at least intended to build a purely socialist state, at the time. Which failed, as is well-known. But it did not fail on its own. For, for the entire 75 years of its existence it was confronted by what will someday come to be known as "The 75 Years War Against the Soviet Union."
In this series of two columns I will VERY briefly review/list the major events in that major war that was waged by Western Capitalist/Imperialism against the Soviet Union. It was mainly non-military (with the exception of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-45). But nevertheless, it was a war which had the very definite aim of overthrowing the Soviet system. I list below its major elements. In Part 2 of this column, I will discuss each one in a bit of detail. Of course, a full treatment would require much more space than we have on OpEdNews. Indeed, a book could well be written on the subject. But this can be considered to be a start on a subject which has been widely ignored. In my view, however, it has to be taken into account in any accounting of what happened in and to that great socio-historical experiment known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Major Elements of the 75 Years War:
1. "The Intervention," on the side of the "White Russian" resistance to the Red Revolution, began almost immediately after its initial success in overthrowing the Provisional Government.
2. After the end of the Russian Civil War in 1921, the Western Powers were slow to recognize the Soviet government. The United States was the last to do so, in 1933.
3. During the rise of Nazi German militarism, the two major Western powers, France and Great Britain refused to negotiate any joint defense pacts with the Soviet Union.
4. The "non-intervention" policy of the Western Democracies" (including the United States) in the Spanish Civil War made the continuing anti-Soviet policy clear.
6. 1941-45, Anglo-American cooperation with the SU.
7. But the delayed opening of the Second Front in France was interpreted by some as confirming this approach.