In Honor Of Russian Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s Birthday (April 1870-Janaury 1924)-The Struggle Continues
From The Pen Of Frank Jackman
For a number of years I have been honoring various revolutionary forbears, including the subject of this birthday tribute, the Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin architect (along with fellow revolutionary Leon Trotsky) of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 in each January under the headline-Honor The Three L’s –Lenin, Luxemburg , Liebknecht. My purpose then was (and still is) to continue the traditions established by the Communist International in the early post-World War I period in honoring revolutionary forbears. That month has special significance since every January
Leftists honor those three leading revolutionaries who died in that month, V.I. Lenin of Russia in his sleep after a long illness in 1924, and Karl Liebknecht of Germany and Rosa Luxemburg of Poland in 1919 murdered in separate incidents after leading the defeated Spartacist uprising in Berlin.
I have made my political points about the heroic Karl Liebknecht and his parliamentary fight against the German war budget in World War I in which he eventually wound up in prison only to be released when the Kaiser abdicated (correctly went to jail when it came down to it once the government pulled the hammer down on his opposition), on some previous occasions. The key point to be taken away today, still applicable today as in America we are in the age of endless war, endless war appropriations and seemingly endless desires to racket up another war out of whole cloth every change some ill-begotten administration decides it needs to “show the colors”, one hundred years later in that still lonely and frustrating struggle to get politicians to oppose war budgets, to risk prison to choke off the flow of war materials.
I have also made some special point in previous years about the life of Rosa Luxemburg, the “rose of the revolution.” About her always opposing the tendencies in her adopted party, the German Social-Democracy, toward reform and accommodation, her struggle to make her Polish party ready for revolutionary opportunities, her important contributions to Marxist theory and her willing to face and go to jail when she opposed the first World War.
This month, the month of his birth, it is appropriate, at a time when the young needs to find, and are in desperate need of a few good heroes, a few revolutionaries who contributed to both our theoretical understandings about the tasks of the international working class in the age of imperialism (the age, unfortunately, that we are still mired in) and to the importance of the organization question in the struggle for revolutionary power, to highlight the early struggles of Vladimir Lenin, the third L, in order to define himself politically. It is rather a truism that nobody is born a revolutionary and that was the case with Lenin as well although the hagiography surrounding his name by the Stalinists later would attempt to make one believe that was the case. But, Lenin, not unlike many of us who took part in the 1960s political upheavals and had gone pillar to post from one political perspective to another before understanding that Marxism held some promise about creating that “world turned upside down,” that search for the newer world” that animated many of us, also when through various strategies before coming to that same conclusion. One of the best ways to show this development is to look at one of his seminal works, a work which speaks volumes to today’s tepid one-sided class struggle situation in which we of the international working class are taking it on the chin: