SEP-ISSE meeting in Sri Lanka: the lessons of the Russian Revolution

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a public meeting in Colombo on November 25 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

On October 25 (November 7 by the Western calendar), the Russian working class, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, took power supported by the multi-millioned peasant masses and established a socialist alternative to the capitalist order that was mired in the first imperialist world war. It was without doubt the greatest political event of the twentieth century.

In emphasising the need to study the lessons of the October Revolution, Leon Trotsky, its co-leader alongside Lenin, wrote in his monumental work The History of the Russian Revolution: “During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history—especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people.”

The 1917 Revolution was possible only because of the decades-long painstaking theoretical and political work carried out by the Marxist movement, particularly by the Russian Marxists, for the development of the socialist culture in the working class. The lessons of Russian Revolution as well as the protracted Stalinist degeneration and final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 have a profound significance for workers and youth today.

None of the fundamental contradictions of world capitalism that produced war and revolution at the start of the twentieth century have been resolved. The attempt by the United States to establish its global hegemony through military means is pushing the world towards another conflagration. The only alternative is to abolish the social order that is once again threatening barbarism. That is the revolutionary challenge that confronts the present generation of workers and youth.

Main speaker: Wije Dias, SEP general secretary and WSWS international editorial board member.

Venue: Public Services sports club hall (PSC), Awissawella.

Time: 3.30 p.m., Sunday, November 25