Multiple Revolutions (1953)

1: The communist left clearly differentiates itself not only from eclectic party tacticians but also from the crude superficiality of those who reduce the entire struggle to a always and everywhere repeated dualism of two classes acting alone. The strategy of the modern proletarian movement provides firm and precise guidelines for future struggles in various historical situations which are applied in relation to different geographical “zones” into which the inhabited earth is divided and different [historical] cycles.

2: England was the first and classic zone whose social force relations first made it possible to assemble the irrevocable theory of the progress of the socialist revolution. In 1688 feudal power was defeated by the bourgeois revolution and feudal production relations were rapidly eliminated;
In 1840 it was possible to see the development of the Marxist conception of three major classes; Bourgeois landed property-industrial-commercial and finance capital-both of them set against the combatant proletariat.

3: In the West-European zone (France, Germany, Italy, other small countries) the bourgeois anti-feudal struggle extends through the period between 1789 and 1871; The proletariat and the bourgeois were allied in the revolutionary situations of this phase, fighting with weapons in hand for the overthrow of feudal power-at the same time the worker’s parties had already rejected any confusion with the economic and political apologetics of bourgeois society.

4: With the elimination of incompletely capitalist forms through the victory of the North over slavery in the agrarian Southern states, the US was in the same situation after 1866 as West Europe after 1871. After 1871 the radical Marxists of the entire Euro-American zone reject any alliance or formation of blocs with bourgeois parties on whatever grounds.

5: The situation prevailing before 1871, covered in section three of this speech, lasts till 1917 in Russia and other East-European countries-here the question is posed as it had been in Germany in 1848: To initiate two revolutions-and hence to also struggle for the objectives of the capitalist revolution.
The condition for a direct transition to the second, the proletarian revolution was the political revolution in the West, which however failed to appear. Despite this the proletarian class in Russia conquers political power alone and is able to hold it a few years.

6: While currently the replacement of the feudal by the capitalist mode of production can be seen as completed in the East European zone, the Asiatic zone still finds itself in the middle of revolutions against feudalism and still older social forms; They are waged by a revolutionary block of the bourgeois, petty-bourgeois and working classes.

7: The full development of our investigation now indicates that the attempts at double revolution proceeded in historically different ways: Partial victory and total victory; Failure on the level of insurrection accompanied by victory on the socio-economic level and the reverse.
The lessons of the half-victorious and counter-revolutions are of fundamental significance for the proletariat. Here we take two classic examples. In Germany after 1848, a double (bourgeois and proletarian) failure on the level of insurrection, social victory of the capitalist social formation and gradual consolidation of bourgeois power.
In Russia after 1917: a double (bourgeois and proletarian) victory on the level of insurrection (February and October), social failure of the socialist social formation, social victory of the capitalist form.

8: At least in the European part of Russia there exists today a completely capitalist mechanism of production and distribution, whose social function is reflected on the political level in a party and regime which has mobilized all possible strategies of alliance with the bourgeois parties and states of the West. The Russian political system is a direct enemy of the proletariat and an alliance with it of some sort is unthinkable.
This does not however affect the fact that the victory of the capitalist mode of production in Russia was a revolutionary achievement.

9: In the Asian countries in which there still prevail local agrarian economies of a patriarchal and feudal character the struggle (including the political struggle) of the “four classes” is a factor for the victory of the international communist struggle-even when its immediate result is at first only the emergence of national and bourgeois powers-because it also opens up new zones able to come to an understanding of socialist objectives, and because trans-national imperialism is dislocated by the impact of these insurrections and revolts.

„Le rivoluzioni multiple”, „Sul filo del tempo”, May 1953.

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