Poland: May School ‘In defence of Lenin’ – Leninism lives!

This year's May School, an annual theoretical school organized by the Polish section of IMT, Czerwony Front, was held under the slogan ‘In Defence of Lenin’, and proved to be a great success! It gathered more than 40 people, and was full of lively discussions, both during the sessions and in the breaks between them.

For many of our members it was the first opportunity for meeting with comrades from other cities. In a sea of opportunism and ideological disorientation, we boldly raised the banner of Leninism, and openly defended our ideas against the attacks of reaction. At the May Day march, and at the School itself which followed, we showed our revolutionary dedication and theoretical preparation. We can boldly proclaim that Leninism lives – and we are the Leninists in Poland!

On 1 May, the long-awaited May School took place in Warsaw, which our comrades had been preparing for the past weeks by putting up hundreds of posters, promoting the event on the internet, preparing to make this a living lesson in theory and the biggest communist event of recent years. This year’s school was held under the slogan ‘In Defence of Lenin’, as part of our International’s campaign to mark the centenary of the death of this great revolutionary, with the aim of reclaiming his legacy for today’s revolutionaries.

IMG 3220We can boldly proclaim that Leninism lives – and we are the Leninists in Poland / Image: Czerwony Front


What distinguished our school from all other events was that it was not a mere intellectual exercise, or one of many empty discussions about an interesting idea – but a school for understanding and action. The May Day School is a means for the future cadres of the revolutionary communist party.

At the opening of the school, comrade Laura began by explaining the period we are living through – a period of terminal crisis of capitalism, which is radicalising millions of people, with increasing numbers looking to the events of the October Revolution and to their leaders – Lenin and Trotsky – for inspiration. All revolutionaries must study Lenin's legacy, which the capitalists are trying so hard to bury.

The session ‘In Defence of Lenin’ was opened by comrade Baranowski, who described Lenin’s life and struggle, showing why the reactionaries and capitalists of the whole world still burn with such hatred and fear for him. It was thanks to his profound understanding of Marxism that he was able to lead the first victorious revolution of the oppressed classes in the history of all mankind. Today, as the spectre of October again looms over the world, the bourgeoisie and their faithful lackeys, like the head of the rabidly reactionary Institute of National Remembrance, who threatened us with imprisonment. They are throwing heaps of lies and slander over the head of this great revolutionary with redoubled force. Lenin’s ideas – Marxism – are alive precisely because they allow us to understand the world and to change it, as opposed to dry impotent academic theories.

speech Image Czerwony FrontJust as Lenin fought against the latest fashionable cries among the intelligentsia a hundred years ago, so today we must fight against ideological attacks / Image: Czerwony Front

The session was rounded off by comrade Hans, who talked about the most common myths about Lenin: the accusations of him being a German agent or dictator, repeated ad nauseum for over 100 years, and showed the revolutionary gains of the early years of the Soviet Union.

The second day began with comrade Filip’s talk on the Leninist concept of the vanguard party, which has repeatedly been presented as the source of Stalinist dictatorship and an attempt to impose the ideas of a narrow layer of intellectuals on the workers. But what characterises a Leninist party is workers’ discipline – freedom of discussion and unity in action – and the organisation of the most advanced elements of the working class. Building such a party is our goal, which is why this session was particularly valuable for anyone wanting to know how to effectively change the world.

In the next session, comrade Romski talked about the Leninist concept of the self-determination of nations: how it emerged as part of the discussions within the Russian Marxism, the concept of Rosa Luxemburg with whom Lenin polemicised, and why it was ultimately Lenin’s approach that proved correct – the recognition of the right of nations to self-determination was fundamental in convincing oppressed minorities to join the revolution. In the second part, comrade Jakub spoke about today’s examples of the national question – using Palestine, Ireland and Ukraine as examples, showing that the Leninist approach is still a timely lesson for communists around the world.

Comrade Marcel then spoke on Marxist philosophy. In today’s universities, Marxism is looked upon with disdain – after all, it was created over a hundred years ago, and we need ‘new theories’! But if we look at these ‘new’ theories, we see that underneath the new words lies all the old rubbish. Just as Lenin fought against the latest fashionable cries among the intelligentsia a hundred years ago – in the form of Machism – so today we must fight against ideological attacks on the very foundations not only of Marxism, but of the whole materialist, scientific understanding of reality – which, according to some of these ‘new’ philosophers, does not exist at all! We will put aside the ‘wisdom’ of Bishop Berkeley and bury them beside him – to change reality, we need the Marxist method.

Lastly, Comrade Dawid presented the Leninist perspective on the state and imperialism. At a time when we are swamped with moralistic appeals to support the ‘lesser evil’, whether in the form of one faction of the bourgeoisie against another, or of ‘our’ bourgeoisie against a foreign one, the entire veil of sanctity around the state is exposed by Marxist analysis, masterfully drawn to its conclusion by Vladimir Lenin. Capitalist domination of society, imperialist wars, genocides – these are not questions of capitalism being mismanaged or of the immorality of those in power. They are the natural state of capitalism, especially in its senile decay. Lenin’s lessons on this subject are therefore as relevant today as they were over a century ago.

flags Image Czerwony FrontLenin’s lessons are as relevant today as they were over a century ago / Image: Czerwony Front

However, the last lecture was not the end of our School. In order to maintain its class independence, the workers’ party must finance itself on the money of the workers – its members and sympathisers. That’s why the concluding section began with a fund-raising and auction, where several comrades pledged contributions of 500 zloty (about €115). Together, we managed to raise more than 3,000 zloty, which more than covered the costs of organising the School and demonstrates the revolutionary dedication of our organisation – we are not only talking about revolution, but we are ready to make personal sacrifices for the cause! Two of our contacts were so impressed by this year’s School that they joined the organisation on the spot, and several more people have pledged to come to our local branch meetings.

This year’s May Day School was definitely a success – both organisationally and politically, it showed that we are able to achieve what no other organisation in Poland is capable of. But at the same time it is only one of many steps on our road to building a Revolutionary Communist Party in Poland. We are confident that next year’s school will be even bigger and better than this one. If you want to contribute to this and join the fight against capitalism, don’t waste anymore time – join the communists today!

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