Akdeniz: Dünya devriminin yeni havzası!

The Mediterranean: new basin of world revolution!

البحر الأبيض: الحوض الجديد للثورة العالمية

مدیترانه: حوزه جدید انقلاب جهانی

Il Mediterraneo: nuovo bacino della rivoluzione mondiale!

Μεσόγειος: Νέα λεκάνη της παγκόσμιας επανάστασης!

Derya Sıpî: Deşta nû a şoreşa cihânê

Միջերկրական ծով: նոր ավազանում համաշխարհային հեղափոխության.

El Mediterráneo: Nueva cuenca de la revolución mundial!

La Méditerranée: nouveau bassin la révolution mondiale!

Mediterrâneo: bacia nova da revolução mundial!

USSR: After the 1991 disaster is a Soviet Renaissance possible and/or necessary?


On 30 December 1922, the First Congress of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics convened and ratified the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and the Declaration on the Creation of the USSR, two documents that had been signed two days earlier by delegations from the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and its counterparts in Ukraine, Belarus, and Transcaucasia. This was the act of formation of the USSR, a very special state that existed for close seven decades until 1991 and became exemplary for other workers’ states of the twentieth century.

We are commemorating the centenary of the birth of the USSR by publishing, after the statement of the Association “Soviet Union”, two articles by our comrades Savas Mikhail-Matsas and Sungur Savran, both based on their reports to a conference in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) held in honour of the Centenary of the foundation of the USSR.

Comrade Savas, whose article we are publishing today, discusses the possibility and/or necessity of a Soviet Renaissance three decades after the destruction of the Soyuz. Comrade Sungur, for his part, in the article to be published tomorrow, tries to situate the Soviet Union in the history of the modern world and assess its worth. –RedMed



       World history is indelibly marked by the central role played by the Soviet Union in interacting and shaping global developments, from its revolutionary inception, following the world shaking 1917 October Socialist Revolution, to its disastrous collapse in 1991- and even beyond it.

       Humankind still lives with the shock and implications of the disintegration of the USSR. The shadow of 1991, of what the French philosopher Alain Badiou had called “un désastre obscure”- an obscur disaster, still falls on world developments and prospects.. It has produced a generalized “disorientation of the world” until now, as the same philosopher rightly remarked.  More the world is torn apart by its own contradictions and spreading conflicts in late 20th and as we advance in the 21st century, more confusing becomes.

       For those who do not want to remain blind in their minds, it can bee seen today, more than three decades after the demise of the USSR, that the collapse was not a momentary, one shot incident, an already, fully accomplished fact, as superficial impressionists and apologists of capitalism had prematurely celebrated as” the end of history”. 1991 unleashed a turbulent, protracted,  not yet finished process with a global dynamics,  escalating today by a NATO provoked proxy war in Ukraine against post-Soviet Russia, bringing the world and humanity as a whole on the brink of the abyss of a Third World War.

       In a paradoxical way,  in this military conflagration entering already its ninth month,  the specter of the Soviet Union, of its revolutionary achievements, of its epic and tragic past, up to the catastrophe of its fall, occupies a central place.

        1991 itself becomes the apple of discord of both clashing camps.

      The US led NATO Western imperialism drives to complete what started in 1991 by imposing manu militari the colonization and fragmentation of the former Soviet space and its Russian heartland itself.

      Russia resists what it perceives as the climax of the 1991 disaster. The vast majority of the peoples of Russia rightly sees in the imperialist war drive an existential threat, a brutal return to the nightmare and humiliation of the chaotic 1990s in a more horrendous form. Memories of Hitler’s 1941 Nazi invasion and of the “Great Patriotic War” revive with the re-appearance of Bandera’s armed Nazi criminal gangs and the struggle against them. It is not an accident that in the battlefields of Donbass the Russian troops demolish Stepan Bandera’s statues, which were established by the Kiev regime at the place of Lenin’s statues of the Soviet period, they restore the monuments of the Bolshevik leader, and raise the Red Flag of the Soviet Union. These acts are not just a manifestation of remembrance and nostalgia for an irreversible past. Despite official State denials and nationalist conservative discourse, they are expressions of a deeper historical demand, well embedded for a century from the founding of the USSR in social consciousness and rooted in historically formed social life relations.

       As the imperialist war campaign of colonization tries to complete the 1991 disaster,out of the existential threat of a total collapse the urgent need emerges: not only to resist and postpone the threatening catastrophe or to keep an impossible status quo butto overcome and reverse the 1991 disaster.

      To complete or to reverse the 1991 disaster?That’s the question.

    What of the two is possible and/or necessary?  Who, possibly, among the opponents would be defeated and who will be the victor? Who whom? Кто кого? The future not only of post Soviet Russia or of the imperialist West but of humankind depends from the answer – not simply in theory but actually in historical praxis.


2.   Let us inquire both opposed directions at the present historical crossroads.

   First, let us start from the still global hegemonic power,  US imperialism: why it needs to complete the 1991 disaster, the collapse of Soviet Union?  

      This long existing need of imperialism was manifested without delay immediately after the announcement of the end of the USSR in December 1991.  A few weeks later, on January 2, 1992, it was introduced the IMF imposed so called “shock therapy” to destroy brutally and rapidly the Soviet economy establishing the bases of a capitalist market economy. A month alter, in February 1992, the US Pentagon has issued a new Strategic Defense Guidance, supervised by Paul Wolfowitz (later, one of the main neoconservative architects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), focusing on one central strategic task: “Prevent post-Soviet Russia to rise again as a systemic threatening rival to the United States”. 

      Both actions,  the US/IMF economic “shock therapy” and the new military strategy of US Pentagon, were inherently interrelated. The material social economic bases of the Soviet Union had to be destroyed, and a US/NATO military straitjacket imposed on the vast former Soviet space, and Russia, to prevent a reversal of the 1991 disaster, and consequently, the re-emergence of “a systemic threatening rival to the United States”.

      The continuous expansion eastward of NATO to the borders of Russia from the 1990s to today, imperialist aggression, interventions, and wars in its underbelly and around it, from the Balkans(former Yugoslavia) to Central Asia and the Middle East(Afghanistan, Iraq), from Eastern Mediterranean(Libya, Syria) to the countries around the Black Sea and Caucasus, “color” counter-revolutions and coups(Georgia, Ukraine), and now the NATO proxy war until the last drop of Ukrainian and Russian blood are successive steps serving the same strategic goal: to complete and make irreversible the 1991 disaster by implementing the infamous Brzezinski Doctrine to reduce the former Soviet Union with its Russian heartland into a fragmented space of semi-colonies of the US led imperialist West.

       A restoration of capitalism in post Soviet Russia could not be an impossible return to pre-1917 Russian capitalism, without or with a Czar. Incorporation into global capitalism necessitates its fragmentation and colonization, as Lev D. Trotsky had warned already in 1929[1].  What it was true then, it becomes dramatically truer in today’s turbulent global conditions of the 21st century.


3.  What historical necessity, if any, pushes US imperialism in a world wide military conflagration? Why this escalating imperialist war drive,  which now puts in peril not only post-Soviet Russia(together with the People’s Republic of China, the other “main systemic strategic rival of the US” according to the recently published official US document 2022 National Security Strategy) but humanity as a whole?

      The Hubris of the much celebrated “uni-polar moment”| of an everlasting world dominance of an “American Empire” at the end of the 20th century was short lived. The Nemesis came in early 21st century. While the 1991 implosion of the Soviet Union was considered as the highest triumphal point of capitalist globalization, the same finance capital globalization imploded in the 2008 Crash, the Global Financial Crisis followed by a Long Depression and successive devastating shocks up to now. The war expeditions of the US global hegemon with its “Willing Allies” in the early years of the 2000s led, two decades later, to the humiliating US defeat in Afghanistan, the worst American defeat after Vietnam in 1975,  and its chaotic debacle in Iraq. The arrogant transatlantic self-crowned “world Emperor” cannot any more hide his nakedness- in other words America’shistoric decline.

       Although still the hegemonic power in the capitalist world, the crisis and decline of American imperialist capitalism in all aspects- social, economic, political, geopolitical- is no secret anymore. Its imperialist aggressiveness and war drive in the world scene manifest a desperate effort to overcome the decline, to ‘Make America Great Again”(Trump), to “re-establish America’s leading role in the world”(Biden). To restore its inner equilibrium, America needs to re-establish a world equilibrium, which has broken down in crisis[2]. For this reason, the vicious campaign primarily against Russia and China as principal strategic rivals, even as existential threat.   

       It would be wrong to see America’s decline within the global environment as a nationally limited phenomenon expecting another rising country or multiple national centers to take its place within the changing but still capitalist world historical environment. America represents the highest point reached by the historical development of capitalism as a social system and mode of production world wide. Its decline manifests in the most explosive ways the historical decline not of a national but of globalcapitalism.

       The spiraling crisis of capital globalization from 2008 onward, having as its center the United States, does not initiates a “de-globalization”[3] and a return back to national fragmentation. It is a global crisis precisely because the world integration advanced by capital is clashing with the external and internal limits of capital itself as a social metabolic order in relations between nature and society[4].  The global pandemic shock and the growing threat of a climate catastrophe are disastrous manifestations of this clash[5]. But, at the same time the crisis of capital globalization demonstrates that it existsboththe objective necessity as well asthe potential of modern social productive forcesto move beyond capital.

       Hegel had the dialectical insight to remark that a period of decline and fall in history “manifests in it the appearance of a higher principle with the simple form of negation of its own principle”. The historical decline of globalized capitalism is the negative form of appearance of the emergence of a higher principle of social metabolic order- world Socialism.


4.   Our epoch of imperialist decline of capitalism, an “epoch of wars and revolutions”, according to Lenin’s definition, is precisely thisepoch of transition not only towards a “higher principle” or social metabolic order or anew mode of production as in the past but of the most crucial, most difficult, and most dramatic transition: from the last antagonistic form of class society, capitalism,  to a classless world communist society based on the social potential to liberate living human energy as an end in itself. In difference from all previous historical periods of transition, it is, in Marx’s terms, the transition from prehistory to the first real human History[6], the true realm of freedom[7].

        The first moments of our transitional epoch, the first signs of emergence and actualization of the possibility and necessity of universal human emancipation appeared from the beginnings of the 20th century, in an uneven ad combined development, by the revolutionary awakening of the colonial peoples, and above all the social revolution in Russia, beginning of the world socialist revolution, the rise of the Soviets in 1905, the taking of power by the Soviets led by the Bolsheviks in 1917, the foundation by the Soviet power of the Soviet Union in 1922.

       Not accidentally, Dmitri Shostakovitch, in his Symphony No12 dedicated to the October 1917 Revolution, gave to its last movement the title “Dawn of Humanity”. 

       Soviets and Soviet power cannot be separated  from their roots in the transitional character of the epoch.

       The rise of Soviets, first in the 1905 Revolution, the “dress rehearsal of 1917”, were an original, spontaneous creation of the revolutionary workers but not at all an artificial construct; it was an epochal expression of the deepest demands of new historic social conditions. They were born as “new forms of public life beyond the limits of any legal definition”,as Trotsky, the chairman of the first Soviet in History, stated in his trial front of the czarist judges[8]

         Soviets are not just another form of organs of struggle and consequently of organs of power. Soviet power is not just another form of State institutions as in previous social formations with their specific State. The genuine revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, as Marx had wrote to Joseph Weydemeyer[9] constitutes  “the transition to the abolition of all classes”.Later, in his texts on the 1871 Paris Commune, sees in the Commune a revolution against the State, and a necessary form in the transition to communism, in a classless society beyond the State. The workers State of Soviets, as Lenin had stressed, writing in clandestine, in a most critical moment of the 1917 Revolution, is “a semi-State of the Paris Commune type”,  a transitional form in the process of “withering away of the State”. These are the political bases and prospects for the foundation of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics on December 30, 1922

         The transition is neither an instantaneous or automatic change nor a linear evolution but a non linear, contradictory, i.e. dialectical process whose outcome is not predetermined but it depends from the struggle between living forces, nationally and internationally, in ever changing objective conditions.

       During the transitional period, Soviets (together with other organs of workers democracy such as trade unions, cooperatives etc) are necessary to mediate contradictions between the advance of socialist construction and the pressures of commodity-money relations and market forces, both internally and internationally, while world economy remains still dominated by the law of value and the highest modern productive forces are under the control of the metropolitan capitalist centers in the Global North.[10]

         The fundamental contradiction in transitional post-capitalist societies is between the world character of modern productive forces and the national character of the socialist construction, which starts and develops first in a country or a group of countries. Out of this contradiction derive all the others(between the sectors of the economy, between production and distribution, production and consumption, between State bureaucracy and society. etc). While working to mediate these contradictions under Soviet power by constant transformations strengthening the socialist tendencies, the fundamental contradiction can be solved only by the extension of the world revolutionary process until its victory in the metropolitan centers of global capitalism.

         Lenin addressing the Second All Russia Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East rightly outlined the historical perspective of the combined and uneven development of the world socialist revolution in what are called now the Global North and Global South: “It is self-evident that final victory can be won only by the proletariat of all the advanced countries of the world, and we, the Russians, are beginning the work which the British, French, or German proletariat will consolidate. But we see that they will not be victorious without the aid of the working people of all the oppressed colonial peoples- first and foremost of the peoples of the East. We must realize that the transition to communism cannot be accomplished by the vanguard alone. The task is to arouse the working masses to revolutionary activity, to independent action and to organization, regardless of the level they have reached; to translate the true communist doctrine, which was intended for the communists of the more advanced countries into the language of every people; to carry out these practical tasks which must be carried out immediately, and to join the proletarians of other countries in a common struggle.[11]

       This address was made in 1919 but remain actual and vital throughout the century that has passed up to the present. The defeats and zigzags of the world revolution that have followed, including the 1991 disaster of the demise of the Soviet Union did not cancel their truth content. On the contrary, zigzags, defeats, disasters as well as achievements, and victories of the past century and prospects of the future could be analyzed and understood from Lenin’s historical vantage point- the perspective and heritage of the October Revolution, the “dawn of humanity”.


5.      The last hundred years, the entire humanity- and particularly the Soviet peoples- payed a gigantic price for the defeats and protracted delay of the socialist revolution in the West, the rise of fascism, the Second World War, the (not so) “Cold War” imperialist aggression, coups, dictatorships, plunders and horrendous crimes against the peoples of the Global South.

       But the historic decline of capitalism did not vanish. On the contrary, it has been exacerbated and it became abysmal in the 21st century as the on-going, yet insoluble and spiraling global crisis of capital globalization demonstrates, threatening humanity not simply with barbarism but with life extinction by a climate catastrophe and/or a Third World War driven by and marking its systemic impasse.

       The transitional character of the epoch did not vanish either. It is demonstrated by the current global crisis and irreversible capitalist decline itself, interconnected and interacting with popular upheavals of the exploited and oppressed all over the world, revolutionary class struggles, as in the ‘Red Years’ of the 1960s-70s, and national liberation movements leading to the dismantlement of the European colonial empires.

      The world revolution has not dissipated into thin air.

      The demise of the Soviet Union has not proved at all any illusory “superiority” of senile capitalism. Defeats of the world revolution and a protracted isolation under conditions of imperialist encirclement and permanent pressure led to an overgrowth of bureaucracy. The bureaucratic apparatus, separated from the masses and repressing them, emptied the Soviets from their emancipatory content and real mediating function, and abandoned any perspective of world revolution seeking accommodation to the pressures of imperialism. Accumulating errors and crimes,  bureaucracy became a braking mechanism for socialist development. The long stagnation and the impasse, which pushed the nomenclature to turn to capitalist restoration, were not the product of an overgrowth of capitalist tendencies in the transitional post-capitalist economy and society but, on the contrary, of bureaucratic suffocation and strangulation of socialist tendencies. Abandonment of revolutionary proletarian internationalism and accommodation to Western imperialism ended with a complete capitulation – profitable to those few privileged becoming oligarchs and enormous sufferings for the Soviet peoples and humanity as a whole.

      During the Soviet period, despite bureaucratic blunders, repression and deformation, the superiority of socialist construction over declining capitalism permitted gigantic social and economic achievements in a short time never seen  before, a vast historic experience for the masses, both heroic and tragic, which has never been erased from the consciousness of hundreds of millions of Soviet people. The shocking contrast with the miseries and humiliations of capitalist restoration is a constant reminder for its victims -and the revival of a Soviet power a constant fear among imperialists in a West in decay as well as among their comprador oligarchs in the East..


6.       As we have pointed out in a previous occasion and article[12], the process of a late restoration of a social system which is in advanced historical decline, crisis and impasse on a global scale cannot but reach an impasse. It is clear that the 2008 global financial Crash and Long Depression was accompanied, in an uneven and combined development, with a Long Stagnation in post Soviet Russia, escalation of NATO expansion and provocations, and the end of the post-Cold War period. As matter of fact, the conflagration n Ukraine, at the heart of Europe marks the intersection of a double impasse: the impasse of US led imperialist capitalism in the so called “collective West” as well as the impasse of the process of capitalist restoration in the former Soviet space in the East.    

          The US/NATO imperialism tries to break its deadlock by taking the path of war against Russia and China, declaring and extending globally a new “Monroe Doctrine”, where not only Latin America should be the “backyard of the USA”, but also Europe its vassal, Africa “the South flank of NATO”(J. Stoltenberg dixit), the “Indo-Pacific” an “American lake”  and Asia a vast sphere of semi-colonies.

       It is not an accident that in its warpath to re-establish its declining world hegemony, Us imperialism is targeting first of all Russia and China as its principal strategic enemies. These are the two countries where, in the 20th century, the world socialist revolution knew its greatest victories. The 1917 Soviet October, its first act, was followed by the 1949 Chinese October that, as it is rightly said, it has terminated a hundred years of national humiliation, of fragmentation and colonization of China, creating indispensable material conditions, which, through a very tortuous and turbulent, yet unfinished process succeeded to raise this former poor agrarian country into a second power in world economy, challenging US supremacy.  

        To defeat the imperialist onslaught and to break the dangerous impasse in which is trapped, former Soviet Russia has only one strategic way out:a Soviet Renaissance. The raising of the Red Flag of the USSR in the battlefields in Donbass was not a transient sentimental outburst of romantic nostalgia. It expressed deepest demands of historical development.


7.     “But such a Soviet Renaissance is possible or/and necessary?” skeptics could ask.

       It is true that a formal copy of the past, a replica, which will reproduce also all the unsolved contradictions that led to the collapse in 1991, is impossible.  Marx, following Hegel,  had distinguished betweenabstract possibility, a construct of fantasy from “its direct antipodes”, real possibility: “Real possibility seeks to explain the necessity and reality of its object; abstract possibility is not interested in the object which is explained but in the subject,  which does the explaining[13].The answer to the question posed should be searched into the existing objective material conditions, at this specific inflection point of history, and then to respond subjectively testing the possibility into decisive, transformative practice. 

          The real possibility exists now within the reality of an on-going crisis of capital globalization, driving imperialism to global war. The demands of development of today’s global modern productive forces clash with the limits of capital as social relation. The already existing potential needs to supersede these limits, to move beyond capital.

      The world transition beyond capital has already started in October 1917, with the victory of the Soviets in Russia, founding in 1922 the USSR. Despite its great strides, the transition remained incomplete, even blocked, plunging in crisis, where neither a progression forward is possible nor a return to the past nor even a stationary state stagnating at the same place. This crisis of transition led to the collapse of the USSR in 1991. But it was not ended there. Through new convulsions and forms it expanded and deepened on a global scale. The “double impasse” mentioned above dramatically escalated in 2022 into the current military conflagration at the heart of Europe posing an existential threat not only to Russia, Europe or the “collective West”  but to humanity as a whole. To repel the threat to humanity the crisis of transition has to be solved- in other words the transition beyond capital has to be renewed.

       The urgency is obvious, the potential exists. For the real possibility to be realized it is needed to unleash and organize the independent political action of the working class and popular masses internationally and nationally, starting from the urgent need to resist and defeat the imperialist war drive and all the disasters brought by the global capitalist crisis, and opening the road to a socialist way out from the global crisis..

     In this historic perspective, indeed,a Soviet Renaissance is both possible and necessary. Not as a mechanical replica of the pastbut superseding it, without historical amnesia, preserving the richness of its experience and creatively moving in the present to the future.

         There is no Soviet Union without Soviet power and there is no real Soviet power without real Soviets performing freely their international and national tasks. Soviets are the necessary vehicle of the transition beyond capital and, as the Hungarian Marxist Istvan Mészáros stressedbeyond the Leviathan-State[14], to the realm of freedom.

      A Soviet Renaissance in the 21st century is necessary and possible by building a new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics without bureaucrats, oligarchs or capitalists from Lisbon to Vladivostok!  



                                                                                      November -December 2022





[1]Leon Trotsky, Writings 1929, Pathfinder Press 1975 p.55

[2]See L. Trotsky, Europe and America1926

[3]Savvas Michael-Matsas‘Deglobalization or capitalist globalization in crisis?

[4]see Istvan Mészáros, Beyond Capital

[5]Savvas Michael-Matsas, Pandemic and Crisis, Nea Prooptiki, June 2020

[6]K. Marx, Critique of Political Economy- Introduction of 1859.

[7]K. Marx, Capital, vol III, Moscow: Progress 1977 p.820

[8]L. Trotsky, 1905,  Eneken (in Greek) p.368

[9]Karl Marx to Joseph Weydemeyer, March 5, 1852 Marx/Engels Internet Archive

10. Marx on the Paris Commune , Progress Publishers 1976

[10]Leon Trotsky, Towards Socialism or Capitalism?

[11]V. I. Lenin,Address to the Second All Russia Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East, November 22, 1919, in Collected Works, Moscow: Progress 1972 vol.30 p162

[12]See Savvas Michael-Matsas, Ukraine: imperialist war and a threatening catastrophe, October 5, 2022 redmed.org, and in Russian in Kommunist Leningrada No5/2022(149)

[13]K. Marx, Doctoral Dissertation 1841, Marx Engels Collected Works, Moscow: Progress 1974,  1, p.44

[14]Istvan Mészáros, Beyond Leviathan-Critique of the State, Monthly Review Press 2022