Irish communists to celebrate 90th anniversary of 1917 Revolution in Russia
Irish, German and Cuban communists, as well as the many communists from abroad now living and working in Ireland, will come together this week to celebrate the 1917 October Revolution in Russia.
While many in the political establishment and in national and international academic circles have proudly proclaimed the “end of history” and the complete victory of capitalism over socialism, the very experience of working people around the globe points in the opposite direction.
The October Revolution heralded the dawn of a new era, when the exploitation of one person by another ended and a new mode of social development burst forth. The October Revolution gave concrete expression to the long-held aspirations and demands of workers around the world, including Ireland.
The October Revolution laid the basis for the securing of such demands as the eight-hour working day, forty-hour working week, equality between men and women, universal free health care and free education at all levels, child-care facilities, affordable housing, and the ending of illiteracy for millions of people.
Today many workers throughout the developed capitalist world who secured the long-cherished demands of the labour movement because of the very existence of the Soviet Union are now experiencing renewed attacks on those gains.
Since the counter-revolution and the dismantling of socialism in the Soviet Union, workers throughout the developed capitalist countries are now seeing their own gains under sustained attack, including the eight-hour day, forty-hour week, job security, retirement at sixty-five and security in old age, as well shelter and many other social provisions.
One of the main speakers at the celebrations will be a survivor of German fascist concentration camps, the world-renowned philosopher Hans Heinz Holz, one of whose books, The Downfall and Future of Socialism, has been translated into many languages. He is flying from Zürich to Dublin to join the celebrations.
Noel Carrillo, the Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, will also address the meetings in Dublin and Belfast on the continuing relevance of the Russian Revolution for Cuba and for the revolutionary process now under way in Latin America.
Eugene McCartan, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, will outline the impact of the October Revolution in Ireland, with the establishment of the Limerick Soviet and the occupation of creameries and buildings around the country by workers. He will also deal with the lessons that the Irish labour movement needs to take from the struggle to build socialism and the consequences of the defeat of the Soviet Union.
The celebration events will take place in Liberty Hall, Dublin, on Friday 26 October from 8 p.m. There will also be a celebration event in Belfast on Thursday 25 October.