Joti Brar: The essential lessons of October

Socialism proved that workers really can do without capitalists and that the needs of the masses can be taken care of.

The speech above was delivered at our recent meeting celebrating the 106th anniversary of the October Revolution at Bolivar Hall in central London.


In this brief speech, Comrade Joti Brar sums up some of the essential lessons of October, highlighting the fact that it changed the world forever by opening a new historical era – the era of the end of imperialism and the birth of socialism. This is the era in which we are still living today.

By establishing the world’s first state, which did away with all forms of exploitation and oppression, the October Revolution disproved once and for all the prevailing imperialist propaganda about the subject races’ inherent backwardness.

The socialist Soviet Union disproved millennia of class society propaganda regarding women’s inherent inferiority and demonstrated in practice that people of different nationalities really can live and work together in harmony.

Socialism in practice proved that workers really can do without capitalists and that the needs of the masses really can be taken care of.

In the imperialist countries after WW2, the healthcare, education, housing, even legal aid and cultural access that the working people enjoyed for a brief period were the result of workers’ demands following the Soviet example. They were most emphatically not the result of the kindness or benevolence of our imperialist ruling class or a reflection of British or western ‘civilised values’ – merely a reflection of the fear of the motivated and armed masses who were threatening to overturn their rule entirely!

October founded a movement in its image

By their great victory, the Bolsheviks demonstrated what kind of organisation is capable of carrying out a revolution, and inspired the building of Leninist parties all over the world.

Most of the parties that made up the Communist international were small and new. Some of them were splinters of existing parties that had become rotten in the peaceful period before WW1 and been exposed during the course of that war.

These parties emerged in a period of crisis and revolutionary turmoil. They grew quickly because they worked together and followed a strongly-unified and scientific line. They were helped by the living example of the USSR, which shone like a beacon to the poor and oppressed all over the world.

During the time of Stalin, the Soviet Union faced and overcame every kind of difficulty, and its prestige grew steadily. With Stalin and the Bolsheviks at their head, the world communist movement was strong, and attracted the best and brightest not only of the working class but even from the propertied classes, who were able to see which way history was going and wanted to play their part in building a bright future for humanity.

This is another message we need to take to heart. It is not the size of an organisation or its age that determines its usefulness to the working class, but the substance of its activity – the line it follows, the message it brings to the working class, and the nature of the international bonds that it forges.

On this last point, it is our belief that the litmus test today for cooperation and joint work, whether at home or abroad, is the attitude an individual or organisation takes to the imperialist drive to war, and to the fronts in Ukraine, Palestine, the Sahel, Korea and Taiwan in particular.

We are working hard to amplify the voice of those who are prepared to stand up to imperialist propaganda and tell the truth about these things.

Our message to workers about the imperialist war drive is this:

  • Russia and China are not our enemies but the cornerstones of today’s growing anti-imperialist camp.
  • The war drive of the imperialists has nothing to do with defending freedom and democracy and everything to do with trying to escape the deepest ever crisis of overproduction.
  • Our role in Britain is to oppose this war drive and expose the media lies that accompany it.
  • Our demands are for a mass movement of non-cooperation with every aspect of the Nato and zionist war machines, from making and transporting munitions and troops, to logistical support, to creating, printing or broadcasting the pro-war propaganda.

Here’s a case in point: where were the print and media unions when the most recent deluge of lies about massacred babies was being unleashed on the British public? Where were the supermarket workers’ unions refusing to put such lies onto the shelves in their stores? Where are the transport unions refusing to transport British weapons towards Ukraine or Palestine?

Like our revolutionary forebears, we have chosen a side and we will not be intimidated from putting forward our views clearly to as many people as we can reach

We will continue to call for the victory of the resistance forces in all these wars, because only through their victory can their peoples be free of the endless threats from imperialism, and only by defeating imperialist aggression all along the line can we advance once again on the road towards socialism.

That is why our slogan is not Ceasefire now, but
Victory to the Resistance!