In the avalanche of propaganda against “Communism” an idea is often peddled that while preaching equality, the Communist leaders make sure their own personal position is well catered for. What this propaganda is based on is the horrible bureaucratically degenerate Soviet Union under Stalin. Not happy with attacking Stalin, however, they attempt to show that Lenin was no different.

As the ferocious crisis of Pakistani capitalism devastates society, we hear frantic cries of “revolution” from mainly the right-wing politicians and intellectuals. This reflects their utter desperation and impotent rage at the historical failure of their system to run society.

Ted Sprague looks back at the period into which Lenin was born, the kind of society it was, and the key events that marked the young Lenin. He looks at the way Lenin discovered Marxism and made it his own, using it in later life to lead the Bolshevik party.

The enemies of socialism try to maintain that the collapse of the USSR was the result of the failure of the nationalised planned economy, and that the latter is inseparable from a bureaucratic regime. This was answered by Trotsky well in advance in The Revolution Betrayed. He explained that a nationalised planned economy needs democracy as the human body needs oxygen. In this introduction to the Indonesian edition of Trotsky’s classic work Alan Woods explains why the Soviet Union collapsed and what the situation is today.

To this day anarchists hold up Makhno as the true champion of the workers and peasants of Russia after the 1917 revolution. This myth ignores the real nature of the Makhnovite army and the social layers that it represented. Because Makhno did not base himself on the working class but on certain layers within the peasantry, he ended up with what amounted to a reactionary position.

Alan Woods was interviewed by Sudestada, an Argentine arts, culture and news monthly magazine, on the Russian Revolution and its subsequent degeneration. As Alan has explained, what failed in Russia was not socialism, but a bureaucratic caricature of socialism.

On October 1, Boris Yefimov, Stalin’s loyal cartoonist, died. In his works he followed all the twists and turns of the Stalinist regime. He was particularly vicious in his portrayal of oppositionists and the Trotskyists in particular.

Today is the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution. In an attempt to bury the memory of that revolution, bourgeois writers and commentators have poured mountains of filth over it. The truth is that the world is pregnant with revolution and the bourgeoisie fears that the lessons of October 1917 can be used by the workers and youth of today to put an end to this rotten system once and for all.

The July days in Russia in 1917 were crucial. Without the Bolshevik Party the outcome could have been a devastating defeat. The reaction could have gained more ground. Thanks to the Bolsheviks the events after the July days illustrated the weakness of the reaction and the role of the reformists and prepared the ground for the events up to October

Four years after the death of Leon Trotsky, Ted Grant wrote the following: "Leon Trotsky has been more vilified and slandered by the hired pen men of Stalin than any man in the whole of history. But in spite of all the lies and perversions, in the long run the truth will make its way. The liars serve reactionary ends but those who died for the cause of the working class have always been restored to a position of honour in the memory of mankind."

Leon Trotsky's murder was no accident or spontaneous action by the dictator Stalin, but a monstrous preconceived act that was the culmination of a murder campaign against the whole of the old Bolshevik leadership of the revolution and those who stood by the genuine ideas of Marxism. We republish this article published in Militant in 1985.