Bandillo: The October Revolution


The Russian October Revolution ranks among the determining seminal events of the 20th century. The victory of the Bolshevik Party and the establishment of the Soviet Union not only abolished capitalism in the largest country on earth, it also politically radicalized the working class throughout the world, inspiring the masses with the possibility of an alternative to the parasitic and moribund capitalism/imperialism.

1917 Russian Revolution actually featured two revolutions – one in February and another in October. On February 1917, Russia’s Tsar (the Romanov dynasty in Russia) was overthrown and replaced with a Kerensky-led Provisional Government dominated by Liberal and Social Revolutionaries.

Several months after, on October 25, 1917, Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik Communist Party organized a victorious popular insurrection that ended the Provisional Government. Bolshevik armed forces stormed the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and established the first socialist workers’ state in history.

In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the propagandists of the ruling order declared that this represented the decisive triumph of capitalism. They proclaimed it as the end of history.

However, as capitalism confronts its greatest crisis since the 1930s, the events of 1917 once again acquire immense relevance. As class conflict intensifies locally and internationally, the need for renewed study of the greatest revolution of the twentieth century becomes ever more urgent.

After the restoration of capitalism in Soviet Russia, the events of 1917 have an ambiguous status in today’s Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution is not officially marked as holiday by the Putin government.  However, among many revolutionary parties inside Russia and elsewhere, the Great October Socialist Revolution shall be greatly remembered and celebrated.

In the Philippines, I was witness to the global launch of October Revolution Centennial Celebration (ORCC) kicked off on May 5 at UP Diliman.  It is led by the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS), in cooperation with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and People’s Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Mobilization (PRISMM).

“We need to celebrate the 100th year of the October Revolution because this gave birth to the first socialist nation…after Russia’s establishment of a socialist state saw the power of the people, the workers and peasant who ran the government.” explained BAYAN Secretary-General Renato Reyes, Jr. in his opening speech at the global launch. 

Indeed. The people had the political power, they hold the means of production, they run the economy. This broke the idea that only the bourgeois and landlords can hold the power and they were able to serve the interest of the majority and not only a small group.

The launch was highlighted by the keynote address by ILPS Chairperson and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson Prof. Jose Maria Sison via a recorded video where he emphasized the importance of the October Revolution to the world.

“The Great October Socialist Revolution has come to signify all the great revolutionary achievements of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin in the socialist revolution and construction,” said Prof Jose Maria Sison.

Sison furthered that the Russian Socialist Revolution “verified the revolutionary principle that proletarian class dictatorship is a requisite for defeating the bourgeoisie and guaranteeing the socialist revolution, overcoming civil war and foreign military intervention, reviving the economy through transition measures, building the socialist economy, developing the educational and cultural system of the working class, promoting the international communist movement, fighting and defeating fascism and further pursuing socialist revolution and construction in the face of the threats of US imperialism after World War II.”

In another message read by National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Adelberto Silva, NDFP peace panel and consultant Benito and Wilma Tiamzon emphasized that the October Revolution has guided the Filipino proletariat in launching their own struggle.

“The victory of the national democratic revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and the continuation to socialist revolution, will be the greatest contribution of the revolutionary movement of the Philippines to the international proletariat revolution,” concluded the Tiamzons.

The singing of the Internationale by a 100-member ORCC Chorale and the People’s Chorale officially closed the day one of the launch. The next day saw the commencement of the International Conference on the October Centennial Celebration at the UP College of La Malcolm Theater which featured papers from the Philippines, India, Manipur, Australia, and China. The ORCC will also be launched in the US, Europe, China, Latin America and elsewhere.

As Prof Jose Maria Sison has put it succinctly, “the great achievements in socialist revolution and construction have the force of example in inspiring the oppressed and exploited masses to fight for a bright and better world in socialism.”

Long live the Great October Socialist Revolution! #


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