A new book published by the IIRE brings together classic writings on the Russian revolution together with introductions by D Rayner O'Connor Lysaght, a veteran supporter of the Fourth International in Ireland and a noted revolutionary historian. Titled "October Readings: the development of the concept of Permanent Revolution", the volume is the latest book in our series "Notebooks for Study and Research".
The Russian revolution in October 1917 gave the workers', soldiers' and peasants' soviets full state power. It swept away the bourgeois state. Subsequent successful seizures of power in the name of the workers have involved either peasant armies led by working class political nuclei or, disastrously, the occupation of countries by the forces of the Russian workers' state. The bureaucratic leaders of European workers thwarted the spread of the revolution. The isolated Stalinist bureaucracy produced a consolatory myth: that Russia did not need such foreign victories because it would achieve 'Socialism in one Country'.
To defy this myth, this book brings together documents by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky illustrating the real history of the strategy that won the Russian revolution and can win future working class seizures of power. Inside, readers will find Marx and Engels' "Address to the Communist League", Lenin's "April Theses" and "The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution", Trotsky's "The Character of the Russian Revolution" and Mandel's "What is Trotskyism?".