This Saturday some of the world's greatest experts on the Russian Revolution are coming to London to discuss its significance today
The Russian revolution was the greatest anti-capitalist uprising the world has so far seen, but its hundredth anniversary has so far been met by virtual silence in the mainstream.
On Saturday 25 February, some of the world's leading writers and experts on the Russian Revolution are coming to London to join activists to discuss the meaning of the revolution today.
Establishment silence on the great history of the revolution is not surprising. In February 1917, a two week popular upsurge sparked by women marching for international women's day brought down the Tsarist regime.
What followed was eight months of struggle in which the Russian people rejected the timid reformism of the Provisional Government and siezed power for themselves through workers, soldiers and peasants councils.
The revolution ended Russia's involvement in the First World War, established workers' control in industry and gave the land to the peasants. It immediately brought massive gains for women and other oppressed groups, and led to the break-up of the Russian empire.
No other political event in history has won such radical freedoms. The capitalist powers sent armies into Russia and managed to smother this great experiment in people power, allowing Stalin to finally crush it.
But the experience of those early revolutionary years is acutely relevant today. Trump maybe a buffoon, but he is also the incarnation of an exhausted and poisonous system.
Neoliberal capitalism has brought us spiralling inequality, growing threats of war and toxic levels of racism. All minorities are under attack and an assault on workers' rights is central to the whole project.
The response of the mass movements to Trump in the US and around the world has been inspiring. But as well as strengthening the resistance, it is obvious the movement needs to be discussing how we get fundamental change from below.
The experience of the Russian revolution is a neccessary reference point for this discussion. Don't miss Revolution, this Saturday February 25 at the Rich Mix.
Event: Revolution - Russia 1917: One Hundred Years on
25 Feb, Rich Mix London
With Tariq Ali, Paul Le Blanc, Lindsey German, Lucia Pradella and many more.
Storming heaven: the achievements of 1917Paul Le Blanc, August Nimtz, Lindsey German
Democracy and the RevolutionAugust Nimtz, Judy Cox
War, nationalism and revolutionMaria Nikolakaki, Chris Bambery, Alastair Stephens
Lenin and LeninismTariq Ali, Paul le Blanc, and Kate Connelly
Revolution in the 21 CenturyJohn Rees, Stathis Kouvelakis, Tamas Krausz, Lucia Pradella
August Nimtz is Professor in the Political Science department at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis. He is a leading thinker and writer on socialist strategy, race in the United States and politics in Africa as well as an internationally recognised expert on Marx.
Lucia Pradella is an activist and writer who has written two acclaimed books on Marx's Capital.
Paul Le Blanc is a world renowned writer on revolutionary history and the Russian revolution in particular. Currently Professor of History at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, since the 1960s he has been active in struggles for human rights and economic justice.
Lindsey German is a socialist activist and writer. As convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey was a key organiser of the largest demonstration, and one of the largest mass movements, in British history.
Tariq Ali is a socialist writer and broadcaster. A lifelong leader in anti-imperialist and socialist campaigns, he has been at the forefront of protests against war from Vietnam to the Middle East. His new book on Lenin is out in March.
Maria Nikolakaki is a Greek intellectual and activist. She is a founding member of the Cooperative Institute for Transnational Studies.
Tamasz Kraus is a well know radical intellectual in Hungary and on of the editiors of Marxist journal Eszmélet, he published the award winning Reconstructing Lenin: an intellectual biography in 2015.
Judy Cox is a lifelong socialist writer and speaker. Now a teacher in East London, Judy was on the editorial board of International Socialism and has written amongst other things on Marx’s theory of alienation, Rosa Luxemburg’s economic theory, William Blake and Robin Hood.
More articles from this author
- Class and community: backing the Evonik workers
- Brighton bins win: GMB victory helps set the stage - News from the Frontline
- Making saving life a crime: the brutality of the Nationality and Borders Bill
- The billionaires and the race to the bottom: why Sage care workers are fighting on
- ‘Striketober’: the new militancy sweeping the US
- Welfare that makes you ill: the cruelty of the DWP
- Antigone: a shining example of disability-inclusive arts and thought-provoking theatre - review