The present work is a part of investigation about the international communist movement. In the plan of this work, we've written:
- The goal is: 1) to study the International Communist movement, 2) development of a plan of action (“a program”) on international scale, 3) creation of an International Revolutionary party.
- This study can also be called “a theory of revolutionary party”.
So, we're dealing with a subject called "a theory of a revolutionary party". This seems to be a legitimate subject of study, just like "a theory of the wing" is necessary before we build a flying airplane. Or, rather, developing the theory of flight must proceed simultaneously with developing its several parts.
Tasks before a revolutionary organization are self-evident:
- to overthrow capitalism as the dominant system of relations in the global society;
- to remove the deformations which have developed in the states which have started the socialist revolution in XX century, i.e. the former USSR, China, the former Yugoslavia, etc.
History of the international communist movement can be broken into 4 stages, each of which is marked by an International. 1860's were marked by the First International. The peak of the socialist movement of the times was the Paris Commune of 1871; the International was not directly involved in it, but many of its members were also members of the Paris Commune. After defeat of the Commune, struggle between Marxists and Bakuninists has split the organization and the Marxist wing of the organization terminated its existence.
The Second International was founded in 1889, on the ruins of the First International. Freidrich Engels, who participated in the First International, was also a member of the Second. The leading party of the movement was the German Social-democratic party (SPD). The Second International has effectively ceased existing in 1914 due to nationalist, patriotic tendencies of most of its member parties at the beginning of World War One.
On the ruins of the Second International, the Third International has risen. Lenin, who was one of the participants in the Second, has become one of the founders of the Third. The key moments in the history of the International are represented by the party of Lenin and the revolution in Russia. Understanding the dynamics of the revolution in Russia is the key to understanding the Third International. Although the organization has been formally dissolved, the revolution in Russia has not gone away. We're now living through the period of its disintergration.
When did that revolution originate? In this essay, we show that the revolution has originated back in the times of the Kiev Russia. From the very founding of the Russian state, the struggle for freedom has taken various forms: first, it was robbing the princes; then, it was running away to live in the caves, as hermits; then, it was running away to live as "Cossacks ". Accumulation of the Cossack strength and mounting problems of the peasants, living under tsar and the landlords, have given rise to several peasant-Cossack rebellions. These were followed by theoretical search of revolutionaries originating from aristocracy, the Decembrists' uprising, and finally the "Narodnik" movement. In struggle against the Narodnik movement, the Russian Marxism appeared. From this moment the history of the Bolshevik party starts.
Our long-term view of the revolution in Russia allows us to say that since it has taken centuries to be born, it couldn't perish in a short period of time, for example, in 1991. "Perestroika" and the break-up of the Soviet Union certainly represent a crisis of that revolution, but not its "end". Each revolution passes through certain stages on its downward slope. These are "Thermidor", "Bonapartism" and "Restoration", if we're to use the terms borrowed from the French revolution. We're now living in the period of restoration of capitalism within socialist revolutions all over the world. This is very dialectical.
Trotsky, who was one of the participants of the Second International (see his "My Life "), was one of the founders of the Third International. After his struggle against Stalinism has convinced him that reforming the Third International was futile, he has founded the Fourth International. However, this revolutionary attempt has been cut short, first by the murder of Trotsky (in 1940), second by the start of the Second World War, and third by the opportunism of the leaders of the Fourth International.
The Fourth International will be analyzed in a separate investigation. Here, we have attempted to take the first stage of appearance of Lenin's party - from the founding of Kiev Russia (IX-X centuries) up to the "narodniks" (late XIX century), and look at how the party has been forming over the centuries. A masterpiece is not be created at the first try. The Bolshevik party was the tip of an iceberg, the underwater part of which is most often invisible to those who ask the question: "Whence did the Russian revolution come from, and where is it heading?"
For those who do not want to read the entire account and want to hear only the main conclusion of this investigation, it is the following: investigation of the modern revolution ultimately involves investigation of the modern knowledge. What is it? An attempt to explain knowledge in Russia in XIX century we have made in our essay on Narodniks, the last section of this work. An analogous, but more systematic approach must be taken when it comes the modern revolution. The scale of the problem is very big. The fashionable economists like to talk about "the knowledge economy", but they don't think on the question of "what is knowledge?" Hence, it appears they don't know what they are talking about.
12 January, 2010
18 August, 2012
10 November, 2015