The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka are holding a series of public meetings to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The first event will be on Sunday, November 12 at Colombo’s New Town Hall. It will feature a screening of Tsar to Lenin, the authoritative documentary of the 1917 October Revolution.
The conditions which propelled the Russian working class to overthrow capitalism, take political power and begin the reorganisation of society along socialist lines have re-emerged. Imperialist war and the threat of a global conflict, poverty, staggering social inequality, and a turn to authoritarian forms of rule by governments in every country, dominate the world situation today. Mass social struggles are on the agenda everywhere, as opposition grows among workers to capitalism, a social order that offers a future only of misery and barbarism.
The deepening crisis has spurred a growing interest in socialism, and the Russian Revolution, as workers and young people look for a solution to the many problems they confront. Under these conditions, the historical lessons of the October Revolution acquire burning contemporary relevance. It is necessary for the working class to learn about the objective conditions out of which the revolution emerged, and above all, how it was politically and theoretically prepared. Only in this way can the working class be politically armed for the approaching revolution struggles.
Like their counterparts internationally, the pseudo-left organisations in Sri Lanka are denigrating these great historical experiences, and seeking to prevent any examination of their political lessons.
The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), for instance, has presented the October Revolution as a “failed experiment,” echoing the widely discredited triumphalism that prevailed in bourgeois circles after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the same time, the pseudo-left are seeking to exploit interest in the upheavals of 1917 to advance the need for a “broad front,” tying workers to the capitalist parties prosecuting war and austerity. In this, they are promoting the very conceptions against which Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and the Bolshevik Party fought in 1917.
The SEP/IYSSE meetings alone will review and defend the political perspectives upon which the October Revolution was carried out. These include an unrelenting fight for the political independence of the working class from all sections of the bourgeoisie, through a continuous struggle against every form of national-opportunism, the elaboration of an international socialist program, and the theory of permanent revolution, advanced by Leon Trotsky.
We urge workers, students, young people, intellectuals and readers of the World Socialist Web Site to attend our public meeting in Colombo and take part in this important discussion on the greatest event of the 20th century, in order to prepare for the struggles of the 21st century.
Sunday, November 12, 3.00 p.m.
New Town Hall, Green Path, Colombo
More meetings to be announced