EU and the delusion of peaceful capitalist development
Liberals and their leftwing variations seasoned with Marxism are very keen to present EU imperialism as an alternative of democracy and peace against U.S. imperialism. These empty dreams spread by the media feed illusions entertained by the masses. Yet, there can be nothing as erroneous as to envisage that humanity’s need for a real peace can be brought by some imperialist alliance. The argument that the European Union is, or can be, a power protecting world peace against the aggressive USA is one of the empty dreams liked by those who seek to escape from disturbing realities of capitalist system such as destructive crises and imperialist wars. And history of imperialism, as if to tear apart this curtain of dream, subjected peoples of the world to realities such as the great depression and wars of re-divide. In fact, this is a well-known fact by all Marxists. However, in the beginning of twenty first century when an imperialist war of re-divide is in progress, as in the beginning of twentieth century, the masses are again being exposed to “peace” dreams. Such attitudes mean nothing but reviving the evil of Kautskyism.
The social chauvinists of the Second International who took side with “their own” bourgeois governments during the first imperialist war and voted for war expenditures had created democratic and peaceful illusions in the masses before the war. That is why the working masses were pushed into a position of passive waiting while imperialist powers were in feverish preparations for war. And the illusions were still alive when the war broke out. All social-pacifists tried to prevent workers from using the class struggle weapon against imperialist war of re-divide. Millions of people who experienced the horrors of the First World War were made believe that that war was the last one. But with the second imperialist war of re-divide, the world was once again covered with the blood of millions of workers. But the bad memories of the past seemed to have been forgotten in the long years that followed the world war. In those years when the world workers’ movement was in decline there was a big political void. And in many regional wars, in Yugoslavia, Somali, Rwanda, and Palestine, where imperialist powers settled their accounts, it was those peoples living there who were deeply affected as the saying goes: “An ember burns where it falls”.
As present day developments strikingly vindicate once more, no period in the history of imperialism justified reformists disseminating peace illusions. In only those periods of long-term economic upswing there were relative peaceful alliances among great capitalist powers. However, a worldwide economic stagnation has inevitably aggravated contradictions and sparked new wars. Therefore, relatively “peaceful” periods are in the last analysis nothing but “breathing spaces” between wars. As Lenin put it, imperialist unions that were taken by those like Kautsky as embryos of a post-imperialism period of peace are in fact means of transition from peaceful division of the world to non-peaceful division, and vice-versa.
In capitalism, once relations of power changed, there is no other means but force to resolve contradictions. The most characteristic feature of imperialism is the competition for hegemony among a few great powers. If the strife for hegemony and re-devision of spheres of influence among imperialist powers somehow set some imperialist countries against one another, the parties would have to settle their accounts and set a new balance of power according to their real strengths. This is in the nature of capitalism. Capitalism cannot exist without competition and conflicts among nation-states, including imperialist era. This does not only concern the world in general but also the European continent in particular. If tension rises as a consequence of heated competition and bring two European countries -say Britain and Germany- against each other, then the ruling bourgeois of these countries will never heed those social priests preaching “European Union”.
What form the tensions among countries can take is of secondary importance compared to the main factor, i.e. economic competition. Keep in mind that at some point speeches and diplomacy in the struggle among striving capitalist powers come to an end and guns start to talk both in the era of capitalist colonialism and in the era of imperialist expansion. The idea that the process of internationalisation of capital can lessen the conflicts among nation-states, or even usher in a new era that transcends nation-states is utterly unfounded. As Trotsky put, “So long, however, as the main productive forces of society are held by trusts, i.e., isolated capitalist cliques, and so long as the national state remains a pliant tool in the hands of these cliques, the struggle for markets, for sources of raw materials, for domination of the world, must inevitably assume a more and more destructive character.” 
With the new millennium imperialist system has plunged into such a deep and acute crisis different from the previous periodic crises that even bourgeois strategists cannot predict the time when it will end. This is the reason lying beneath the determination of the US to drive the whole world into hysteria of war in the new period started in the aftermath of the 11th of September.
EU and the dream of a stable democracy
We know that with the beginning of the 20th century our world became the stage for the highest stage of capitalism, the rise of the international rule of finance capital. With capitalist production reaching greater dimensions the era of free competition was replaced by the era of monopoly capitalism. The economic essence of imperialism means giant monopolies on a national and international level. These monopolies find expression in the formation of various unions on a national and international level, in the rise of power of giant banks transcending national boundaries, centralisation in the hands of a few of capital concentrated enormously.
With the development of monopolism, political superstructure of capitalism changes from democracy to political reaction. Lenin said, “imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of monopolies, which introduce everywhere the striving for domination, not for freedom. Whatever the political system, the result of these tendencies is everywhere reaction and an extreme intensification of antagonisms in this field.” This assessment is essentially correct and is a reply to those arguments that imperialist era has created an expansion in democracy compared to the previous era of capitalism. But as Lenin pointed out, this fact does not mean that differences in political regimes in bourgeois order are removed.
As can be seen throughout all history of capitalism, also within the imperialist stage there can be differences in political structuring of the bourgeois order depending on the country and time. For example, in European countries there have been, for a long time, relatively bourgeois democratic regimes compared to countries like Turkey. No doubt that in the last analysis certain economic realities underlie this difference. In those countries like Turkey that frequently fall into the grip of crises the bourgeois order has proved that it has been short of breath for a western European type bourgeois democracy. In any case, to avoid any misunderstandings, we must clearly state that the democracy in Europe is a class democracy; the democracy of the ruling bourgeois class, i.e. parliamentary form of its class dictatorship.
Although this fact is so clear for the Marxists, the “democratic” framework of the European Union might look appealing for the working masses of those countries that have failed to achieve even this level of democratic life. This is understandable. But, to tell the truth, the bourgeois democratic framework that is presently possessed by the European Union is in fact not a lasting and stable one at all. This framework is a consequence of a long period of economic upswing that stretches from the aftermath of the Second World War to recent times. One should not forget that before this period, big imperialist power Germany which leads the European Union at present was suffering under Hitler fascism. Some people argued that the relatively peaceful and democratic period in the aftermath of the Second World War is a new phase which has been built on the lessons of world war and fascism and which will never be lost again. For them, political and legal unity in Europe would usher in an era of democracy and set an example for other parts of the world.
These kinds of mindless ideas that have been propagated among the masses are nothing new. At a time when European continent was convulsed by the rule of fascism and a second world war, petty-bourgeois pacifism took comfort in a dream of “democracy” that was to be brought by the Allied imperialist powers. Against these kinds of delusions Trotsky said that the pledge that a democratic European federation would be created was the most vulgar one of all pacifist lies. State was not an abstraction but an instrument of monopoly capitalism. As long as capitalist property was maintained a “democratic federation” in Europe would be a very bad repetition of League of Nations at most.
The dream of an ideal and enduring “European democracy” stems from a mindset which cannot or does not want to grasp the essential features of imperialism. And although it has been popular for a long time, it seems that it cannot stand the burning realities of the day. The European continent is not immune to consequences of the great crisis that has shaken the USA, the hegemonic power of imperialist system, to its foundations and brought down the Twin Towers that have been the symbol of the capitalist American dream. Accordingly, with the stumbling in economy in recent years the first targets to come under attack in Europe have been the democratic and social rights of the working class. The US’s declaration of war against the world and the rising workers’ movement in European countries toll the bells for the European bourgeoisie. In the new period we have entered, the ruling bourgeois will attempt to restrict the bourgeois democratic framework at the cost of damaging the veneer of “historical-cultural superiority of Europe”.
It is not the job of Marxists to sow illusions about bourgeois democracy among the working class by exaggerating the relatively broader aspects of the bourgeois democratic regime in Europe in comparison to Turkey. This is what the liberal lefts are doing. Our task is to erect the alternative of workers’ democracy vis-à-vis bourgeois democracy which has a limited significance in its essential character, even in its broadest form, for the working class and which, in fact, veils exploitation. However revolutionary struggle is a long-running one. One cannot attain the goal at once. It is a “childhood disorder” to assume that the realities that can be grasped easily by revolutionary cadres can be grasped by the masses immediately and easily. We know what bourgeois democracy in European countries mean in the last analysis. At a time when workers’ democracy is a burning need, bourgeois democracy, even in its “European form,” cannot be regarded as a remedy as it is indeed the rule of the bourgeois class. It is this bourgeois democracy that fuels xenophobia, and uses the conditions it brings immigrant workers in as a threat to cut down the rights of the European working class. Consequently, the pledge that EU membership will bring all members an ever-widening wealth and democracy is a hollow pledge.
For us it is not a justifiable thing to tie the hope for a better future to an imperialist union instead of relying on the organised power and struggle of the working class. But we must employ a very careful language in our propaganda towards the masses. One cannot do away with the illusions of the masses at one blow. Most of the working masses in Turkey and Northern Cyprus look at their own plight and nurture aspirations for a democratic regime at least on the level of European democracy. In European countries, however, we see developments in the opposite direction. The most powerful factor to end these illusions of the masses in Turkey and Northern Cyprus that have a sympathetic attitude towards EU membership in relation to expanding democratic rights will in the last analysis be their own experience in real life. Moreover the present realities of capitalist system surface in a more striking and quicker way than in the past.
To make up liberal tales that Turkey will be a heaven of democracy should it join the EU is something genuine Marxists cannot do. But the alternative is not to argue for a despotic-repressive statism in the name of nationalist leftism which is neither fish nor fowl. In other words, not to tail-end EU-loving liberals does not justify at all the kind of opposition to EU that is reduced to the level of nationalist bourgeois. In fact, the latter are much more an obstacle than the former to the progress of the working class. And they force the working class into the old repressive framework. For example, it is not a bad thing at all, with respect to a state of general inaction, that for the working class of Turkey to demand a broader democratic regime in the example of European countries and embark on a struggle for more advanced demands. But one thing should never be forgotten! Advanced demands can be won and preserved by having confidence in and relying on one’s own organised strength, not by relying on the organisations of the bourgeois such as the EU.
Petty-bourgeois opposition is a dead end
Capitalist unions are no charity institutions. It is contrary to the logic of capitalism that all partners gain equally. For example, relatively less developed countries and regions are put in a disadvantageous position due to the common agriculture and price policy within the European Union. Likewise, common customs policy works in the same way. These consequences result in an opposition in the European Union countries, members and candidates alike, of farmers and the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois sections whose interests are damaged. However, while opposing to joining capitalist unions, these opposition currents that do not aim at the foundations of capitalism, wallow in a defence of “national capitalism” which is incompatible with the economic realities of the day.
The main feature of petty-bourgeois opposition, with all its tendencies, left, right, reformist or revolutionary, against imperialism is that they detach existing problems from the dominant tendency of capitalist development. For example, when Turkey applied for membership to the European Common Market in 1963, Turkish left objected with the slogan: “they are common/partners we are the market.” While this slogan is an expression of unequal relations within imperialist-capitalist unions, the extent of reaction was in general on the level of a so-called anti-imperialism detached from a genuine struggle against capitalism. And this slogan, given the conditions of that period, even meant defence of national capitalism against Europe.
Petty-bourgeois leftism opposes defence of “national independence” against the historical tendency of capitalism towards unity. This attitude is not revolutionary but nationalist in essence. Since national independence in reality means achievement of political independence, that is establishment of nation-state. In all countries where political independence has been achieved and a bourgeois rule has been established, the urge to carry on the struggle against imperialism with the aim of “national independence” but not of socialism is essentially to subscribe to “national capitalism.” And this, in the last analysis, means to advocate an impossible and retrogressive goal, that is, national isolation. When it comes to opposing EU we have to remember this reality. We should fight the kind of opposition to EU which is based on petty-bourgeois nationalist hysteria as it leads to serving bourgeois nationalism. What is needed is a kind of opposition to EU which is based on anti-capitalism in order the working class struggle to be placed in an internationalist revolutionary path and to be strengthened. This and only this attitude can clear the minds of the workers and toilers who require satisfactory answers.
In imperialist stage of capitalism a “national capitalism” isolated from outside is never possible. Since capitalist system rests on mutual dependence relations with unequal workings. Therefore, the fact that weaker capitalist countries with respect to powerful imperialist countries have a tendency towards economic convergence and partnership/collaboration on an international level with this or that advanced capitalist country or countries cannot be regarded as a mere question of political choice. This tendency flows from a need imposed by inner workings of capitalist system. Although in certain periods some bourgeois governments appear to take a reverse path under the pretext of “national interests” the end result remains more or less the same. No bourgeois government has ever managed to turn back the wheels of the economy with simultaneously talking about “economic independence” and remaining in capitalist system. While all those bourgeois governments that have undergone economic regression and collapse under talk of “economic independence” could turn their backs on an imperialist power, they have not, or cannot, come up with an outcome other than going into the orbit of another imperialist power.
When we dig in the petty-bourgeois left circles’ discourse covered with revolutionary guise we will see not a future that represent a transcending of capitalist system towards socialism but an aspiration for “a country that gives the highest priority to fully independent and national interests.” The petty-bourgeois left groups in Turkey or north Cypru s that have swung to nationalist line reveal in a striking way what this aspiration really means. These circles cover their propaganda with revolutionary words that they borrow from Marxism as long as they speak in the abstract. However, when it comes to a serious and concrete problem they do not shrink away from offering their direct or indirect support to their bourgeois under the pretext of “national interests.” Who are they? No need to count their names here, but you can arrive at right addresses if you follow, for example in Turkey, the nationalist attitudes (oppressor nation nationalism) on the Kurdish question. Or, it is quite instructive, for example, that the communist party of Greek Cyprus, i.e. AKEL, tail-ended their nationalist bourgeois and supported nationalist Papadopulous in the last elections. In fact it is quite common to come across such attitudes on the question of EU among so-called “communist” parties and petty-bourgeois left circles in Turkey.
A genuine revolutionary, a genuine Marxist stands against EU or a likewise imperialist union not from the standpoint of defending the “national interests” of his own ruling bourgeoisie, but of the aims of the revolutionary working class struggle. To content oneself with saying “no” to imperialist unions and institutions and not to make the necessity of ending capitalism the major axis is petty-bourgeois leftism. All those petty-bourgeois left currents that take struggle against imperialism as only a defence of “national economy-national state,” seek to direct the attention of the working class not towards a future transcending capitalist system but towards the past, i.e. founding period of nation-states.
Capitalist mode of production is a global system that creates a world market and connects the destinies of different nations. In the course of capitalist development different nations’ achievement of independence has not been simultaneous with the capitalist development of domestic market. But all countries advancing on capitalist foundations have faced at a certain stage the need to become incorporated into the imperialist system and went on advancing in this direction. In imperialist age, salvation of the proletariat, and toilers at large, in those countries which have established their nation-states and achieved national independence (to the extent it is possible under capitalism) requires not turning backwards but moving forward. The only way for salvation is to overthrow the unfair “globalisation” created by capitalism and build an egalitarian and exploitation-less globalisation in its place, that is, universal socialism. Therefore, a genuine and revolutionary struggle against the globalisation of the imperialist stage of capitalism bringing so much suffering to workers, can only be waged under the internationalist flag of socialism, and not under the flag of “national independence.”
The debate on accession to the EU is an internal question of the bourgeoisie
The way that Marx handled the debate between free trade and protectionism in his time is worth remembering as an historical example. Since replacing the title of the subject with “Joining the EU or Staying out of It?” will not change the essence. Marx pointed out how the pro-free trade faction of the bourgeoisie, advocating the change for its self interest, tried to present this change as though it was also for the good of the working class. He unmasked the true intentions of bourgeois layers that acted as liberals or progressives, in order that the working class was not deluded by them. In terms of economic workings of the bourgeois rule, there is no policy that can work to the mutual benefit of the bourgeoisie and the working class, neither free trade nor protectionism. In reality, whether under protectionism or free trade, workers will still remain to be the exploited class that produces the surplus value.
Nothing, then, can be a more self-derogatory attitude for a wage-slave than to take sides in the dispute as to which one of the bourgeois alternatives is more favourable to remain a slave. Marxists do not preach to the working class on taking this or that side of a debate within the bourgeoisie. However, such questions have historical and social backgrounds and this is precisely the point where it is essential to enlighten the working class.
As is known, as long as capitalism is not overthrown, it has to proceed in such a way as to strengthen economic ties and commercial relations on a world scale. Some bourgeois groups benefit from this trend whereas others’ interests are harmed. Thus, economic and political preferences are shaped in this context. For instance, the bourgeois elements that are highly dependent on the domestic market would insist on ‘‘protectionism’’ for their self-interests and base its propaganda on slogans such as “defend national interests!” As for pro-free traders, they would stand up for opening up to foreign markets and becoming well-known trade-marks etc. in the world arena as they cover their propaganda with a discourse in which they say that the best way to protect and develop “the national interests” is to take their way.
So, this was the essence of the debate over “free trade” that occurred within the bourgeoisie in Marx’s day. The fundamental tendency of capitalist development was in many points in accord with the arguments of pro-free traders. Pro-protectionists were representing nationalism and conservatism which were by no means compatible with the long-term interests of the working class. The leftists who confined themselves to shouting “No!” to the change offered by pro-free trade layers of the bourgeoisie were not actually opposing the bourgeois rule. Such a stance did not amount to anything more than offering support to one of the bourgeois alternatives, and what’s more, to an alternative that would strengthen the nationalist, conservative and oppressive bourgeois layers. On the other side, even though those who wore themselves out for “Yes!” to free trade took a relatively progressive stance, their “progressivism” was not going beyond approving a bourgeois alternative and offering support to capitalist trend. The only aspect of the question that is of particular concern to the working class was the foundations laid by capitalist development for the future. For such foundations were indicating the developments that were accelerating the social revolution of the proletariat.
In his speech delivered before the Democratic Association of Brussels on 9 January 1848, Marx was saying “Do not imagine, gentlemen, that in criticizing freedom of commerce we have the least intention of defending Protection.” Marx pointed out that the system of free trade was generally destructive to the old equilibrium whereas the system of protectionism in operation was conservative. The system of free trade was going to break up old nations and push the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme. To sum up in one sentence, the system of free trade was going to be the catalyst of the social revolution. And this was the only aspect of this debate that could be associated with the revolutionary interests of the proletariat. It was for this reason that Marx ended his speech with the following words: “It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favour of free trade.”
Marx’s approach should set an example for us. For revolutionary Marxists, wearing oneself out for “No!” like nationalist bourgeois or petty-bourgeois leftists who try to roll back the wheel of history can by no means be seen as the correct attitude towards debates on EU that take place in Turkey, Cyprus, and elsewhere. But neither is it a right attitude to hail the “Yes!” camp of bourgeois elements that side with imperialism. The mindset that can be outlined as, “Imperialism is the modern capitalism. The development of capitalism is inevitable and progressive. This means imperialism is progressive too. Therefore, one must kneel down before it and praise it,” befits to modern Cunows, which Lenin illustrated when he exposed Cunow who supported German Imperialism. The progress of capitalism, as Marx pointed out, concerns us only to the extent that it paves the way for the workers’ revolution that will overthrow this system, thus for the socialist future.
The debates and confrontations over EU accession that take place in Turkey and elsewhere are basically internal questions of the bourgeoisie. We are not obliged to take sides, to say “yes” or “no”, in this debate. We must keep in mind that, regardless of the question, a correct attitude that is based on a Marxist point of view, reflecting the interests of the working class, can never be constrained within the framework of capitalism. The solution does not lie in capitalism either with or without EU. The road to liberation of the working class and toiling masses from the conditions of oppression and exploitation lies in the social revolution that will overthrow capitalist order.
Let us also note that if the bourgeois are to form alliances such as the EU due to the necessities imposed by capitalist system and in order to overcome the obstacles posed by national borders in accordance with its self-interests, so be it! We are sure that all the steps to be taken in this direction (apart from the fact that it is uncertain whether they will take these steps or not or whether the EU will disintegrate or not) will serve, in the final analysis, as catalysts for the social revolution of the working class. In other words, no matter what all the bourgeois of the world do, they will not be able to free themselves from the laws of history!
Bourgeois alternatives cannot be the solution!
The interests of the working class do not require favouring one of the bourgeois alternatives against the other. But unfortunately, as seen in the cases of Turkey and Cyprus, whilst they are not yet convinced of the necessity of the revolutionary solution, the masses are confined within a double-sided bourgeois framework where one side is occupied by liberals and the other by nationalists. Unless this bourgeois framework is abandoned, the liberal attitude stands out as a more reasonable alternative than the nationalistic one which represents isolation from the world for the sake of so-called “national interests” and intensification of domestic oppression and exploitation.
Those bourgeois alternatives that promise some reforms always sound appealing to the masses who suffer from oppressive and reactionary bourgeois alternatives. As long as they do not adopt revolutionary solutions, the working masses are doomed to be gripped by illusions in every major question. One must sense the mood of the masses under such illusions. However, sensing their mood does not mean to abandon the effort to show them these illusions. Marxist attitude has never had, and must never have, anything in common with tendencies that support the illusions of the masses for the sake of standing by them and that regard tail-ending them as virtue.
There is an old saying, “All roads lead to Baghdad.” In today’s world, the solutions of all major social problems lie in the social revolution. If the masses do not find this convincing enough due to the incapacity of the forces and preparations of the revolution, then twisting the facts for the sake of impressing them will not help.
The question regarding debates on the EU is very clear for revolutionary Marxists: capitalism with or without EU cannot bring any solution to problems of the working class. It is the shortest way to self-deception to expect a solution from “the lesser of two evils”, whilst remaining within the capitalist system in its period of decay. As seen in the cases of Turkish, Kurdish, Cypriot, Palestinian or Iraqi peoples, “the solution plans” of imperialist alliances such as the EU or the UN, to which the working masses cling as a hope of getting rid of existing conditions, are nothing but trickeries. Such plans are nothing but roadblocks put in the way of revolutionary solution which is, for today, considered impossible by workers and toilers. Therefore, unless the working class and toiling masses organise and mobilise themselves in order to implement a revolutionary plan that will represent their own interests, they will not be able to liberate themselves from being stuck in bourgeois alternatives and losing time. As long as they deceive themselves supporting bourgeois plans that are expected to change the poor conditions they live in, they will waste both today and the future in conflicts of interest between imperialist powers. The truth is that simple. But, it would be naive to expect masses to discover this in a trice. The task that lies ahead of revolutionary internationalist forces of the proletariat is to keep up the struggle tirelessly until the real solution is realised by the masses.
The solution lies in the revolutionary struggle of the working class
The imperialist stage of capitalism boosts concentration and centralisation of capital as well as monopolist mergers. This deepens the contradiction between two tendencies, economic centralisation and a fragmented political system composed of nation-states. Globalised capitalism imposes a globalisation in politics, that is, a central structure under control of hegemonic powers in the world arena. As distinct from the nationalist petty-bourgeois leftism, Marxism does not oppose a globalising, economically integrating world. Fragmentation of the world into small nation-states is also at variance with broader interests of the working class. However, what accompanies this political centralisation under capitalism is not the expansion of democracy, but rather the rise of militarism and oppressive policies.
Having created a world system, capitalist mode of production makes it inevitable that there will be multifaceted relations and alliances at different levels rather than national isolation. Yet, what this inevitability really indicates is not to consent to the presence of the capitalist system as if it is an unchangeable reality, to comply with or even advocate its rules, but to transcend this rotten and degenerated capitalist order. In order to be able to offer solutions to today’s burning problems in favour of the working masses, it is indispensable to build a revolutionary alternative that goes beyond the existing order. And the alternative that must be advocated in today’s world can be nothing else than a workers’ power matching a globalised world.
When it comes to the unity of Europe, the solution is clear. At the current level of productive forces, the interests of all humanity entail integration on the basis of a classless and non-exploitative order. Only a union under workers’ power can prevent the fragmentation of Europe due to confrontations between imperialist powers and national conflicts they provoke. Therefore, against “the European Union” of capitalists, internationalist communists support the programme of unity of the working class and raise the slogan “United Workers’ Soviets of Europe”. It is clear that, as the age of revolutionary upheavals gradually engulfs the world, revolutionary solutions proposed by the working class will find increasing echo in the hearts of the masses.
Whenever it was shaken by imperialist wars and dragged into chaos, the world always was on the verge of revolutions. Today, this objective reality is as valid as, or even more valid than, it was yesterday. However, the objective reality will not change the world by itself, as long as the question of subjective factor, which is indispensible in mobilising the millions of working women and men of the world in a conscious and organised way, that is, the question of revolutionary leadership, remains unsolved. But, we can never deny the influence of objective realities on the revolutionary struggle. During the decades of growth of the capitalist economy, the revolutionary potential of the working class remained latent like the potential energy of a sleeping giant. Now the giant is waking up as the ground begins to be shaken by footsteps of workers in many countries of the world. Revolutionary forces of the proletariat have now left behind the dark period of swimming against the current. Consequently, the need for revolutionary internationalist organisation of the proletariat in every corner of the world has gained a much more decisive importance now.
Let us remember that even in a very difficult period of history, during the days when the first imperialist war broke out and the Second International collapsed, Lenin did not abandon the historical optimism of Marxism. As Krupskaya recalled in her memoirs, he was saying, “It does not matter that we now number only a few individuals, millions will be with us!” The Great October Revolution proved Lenin right. As new generations of workers and toilers begin to mobilise all over the world today, we no longer “number only a few individuals”!
 Trotsky, Imperialist War And The Proletarian World Revolution, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/fi/1938-1949/emergconf/fi...
 Lenin, “Imperialism”, LCW, vol.22, p.297
 Karl Marx, Selected Writings, Oxford University Press, 2000, p.295.
 Karl Marx, ibid, p.296.