WAPE 2017 Forum statement

2018-01-25 15:16:17   Source:   Review:0   Click:


The October Revolution: Promoting the Development of
World Economy and Improvement of People’s
Livelihood——A Statement of the 12th Forum of the World
Association for Political Economy

  From November 2 to 4, 2017 more than 300 Marxist economists from 23 countries, including China, Russia, Japan, India, USA, Canada, Brazil, Germany, UK, Italy, France, Austria, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Senegal, Egypt, Australia, and Finland, gathered together in Moscow University of Finance and Law and engaged in discussions centering on the theme of “The October Revolution: Promoting the Development of World Economy and Improvement of People’s Livelihood.” As the result of these discussions, the following consensus was reached:

  1. The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. As the first successful proletarian revolution, it broke up the capitalist world system, established the first socialist state and opened up a new era in human history. It represents the beginning of the transition of human society from capitalism to socialism, and is therefore worthy of special commemoration. It is true that dramatic changes took place in the 1990s in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, as capitalist restoration took place in the first socialist country, i.e., the Soviet Union, and that socialism has experienced setbacks around the world. However, we should not renounce the October Revolution on that basis, since the replacement of capitalism by socialism and the ultimate transition of human society towards socialism and communism is a scientific conclusion that Marx draws based upon the analysis of the movement of the contradictions in capitalist society. Such a transition is the general trend in the development of human society.

  2. Great achievements were once made in the Soviet Union as a socialist country. The brand new socialist system in the Soviet Union, as newly born and immature as it was, and in spite of the serious political mistake of the large-scale “elimination of counter-revolutionaries,” had advantages in its basic institutions, as could be seen from its great achievements. The Soviet Union attracted the attention of the world with its great achievements in economy, science and technologies, education, health care, sports, livelihood and national defense, and became the second advanced country in the world. By the mid-1970s, the rapid economic development of the Soviet Union based on public ownership and central planning was on a trajectory to overtake the economic level of the United States, a prospect that was greatly feared by the rulers of the United States. Without the important role played by the socialist country and its victory against fascism, the final success of the world anti-fascism struggle would have been put off for years. Generally speaking, the road of socialist construction as opened up by the October Revolution has had great achievements despite the mistakes. The Soviet Union established an economic system and development model of socialism, with the key features of public ownership, distribution according to labor, and central planning. As an active exploration of socialist construction with no previous examples to refer to, it demonstrated effects and features that were superior to the capitalist system.  However, big flaws did exist in its specific institutions, mechanisms and mode of development, which required reform in the direction of scientific socialism, but what was needed was a reform of the socialist system, not the step backward of replacing it with capitalism.

  3. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the dramatic changes in Eastern Europe were a betrayal of the road of the October Revolution. It was the result of abandoning the principle of scientific socialism, rather than its failure as such. The socialist road as opened up by the October Revolution has experienced reversals and zigzags, which does not mean that it runs into a dead end. The bourgeois revolution in which capitalism replaced feudalism experienced a similarly difficult and tortuous process, to the extent that restoration kept being repeated in the duration of a century, and that the backward and decayed feudalism still has not completely vanished even today. Can we conclude on this basis that the bourgeois revolution is completely a mistake, and that the replacement of feudalism by capitalism is not the direction of human development? The bourgeois revolution is difficult enough while only replacing one type of private ownership with another. It should not be surprising that socialism, with the goal of replacing private ownership with public ownership, has received even fiercer opposition and experienced a more tortuous path. With that in mind, we should not accept the assertion that the October Revolution, socialism and Marxism are all wrong on the basis of the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the serious setbacks of the world socialism?

  4. Each and every global problem today, including regional conflicts, racial struggle, spiritual crisis, terrorism, North-South discrepancy, poverty, hunger, deteriorated health, ecological destruction, environmental pollution, and resource exhaustion, is a catastrophe incurred by the irrational expansion of trans-national capital. The personification of global capital at the current stage is neo-imperialism, which in essence is plundering, destruction, and war, things that keep human beings from a dignified life. This is so because the neo-imperialists’ goal of global hegemony exceeds their ability and signs of their decline are becoming visible; because they have attempted to dominate other countries based on the so called “soft power,” “smart power,” and “strong power”; and most importantly, because the majority of the developing countries are experiencing further awakening and development. The current international situation shows that peace and development are still the major issues of our epoch, and neither of them has been achieved so far. We must maintain sharp vigilance about the neo-imperialists’ attempt to provoke new wars in the process of their further decline. From the broad perspective of world history, we are still in the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism. The major forces and strategic groups in the world will remain in the process of cooperation and competition, a process that is the measuring of each other’s strength. In general, world socialism is at low ebb, but nonetheless creating new tides. The sign of the revival of socialist trend of thoughts and world socialist movement is appearing on the horizon.

  5. The eventual victory of the socialist and communist economic system is the general trend of the development of human society. The prosperous development of the economy and the entire course of socialist countries such as China and Vietnam demonstrate the fact that the restoration of capitalism does not necessarily take place in socialist countries. After the proletariat takes state power, the great advance of productive forces will inevitably result in partial transformation of the relations of production under socialism, which will move through the transitional, primary, intermediate and advanced stages, and ultimately reach the stage of communism. While Marx and Engels turned socialism from the utopian one into the scientific one, it was the October Revolution that turned socialism from theory into practice. Today, Marxists and leftists around the world commemorate the October Revolution. The most important thing is to firmly continue the march along the socialist road that it opened up, with perseverance in the difficult and tortuous path, and with continuous exploration in revolution and reform. We must experiment with various ways to transform the capitalist system, innovate and improve the socialist system, develop and achieve a prosperous socialist economy, and fight for the establishment of the communist community and stateless world for mankind.