This morning we heard the tragic news of the death of comrade Ted Grant, just a few days after his 93rd birthday. The news was a great shock to all of us. Despite his age and the obvious deterioration of his condition in the last period, we had grown used to the idea that he would always be there, a permanent fixture amidst all the turbulence and change.
On the 58th anniversary of the Russian Revolution Ted Grant wrote this article in which he compared the revolutionary ideas and tactics of the Bolsheviks in 1917 to the class collaborationist and reformist policies of the leaders of the Socialist and Communist parties in the 1970s. He explains how the Bolsheviks were able to lead the workers to successfully take power in 1917. He also stressed the historical significance of the Russian revolution by quoting Trotsky who said that, "The Soviet system wishes to bring aim and plan into the very basis of society, where up to now only accumulated consequences have reigned." Unfortunately the isolation of the revolution to one country prepared the ground for its degeneration and the coming to power of a bureaucratic elite. However, the experience of Hungary in 1956, and later in Poland and Czechoslovakia, revealed the enormous potential for class struggle and the desire of the workers in Eastern Europe for genuine socialism as envisaged by Lenin and Trotsky. (November 7, 2002)
This article was written to commemorate the Russian Revolution on its 57th anniversary in 1974, when Brezhnev was in power. At a time when many of the Communist Parties around the world were still defining the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China as countries where socialism had been "realised", Ted Grant explains clearly the deformed nature of these regimes where power was in the hands of a privileged elite.
We reprint this article by Ted Grant, first published in the July 1948 edition of Socialist Appeal which analyses the real reasons behind the split between Tito and Stalin.