Europe is pregnant with revolution. The monstrous horrors of…war, the suffering caused by the high cost of living everywhere engender a revolutionary mood; and the ruling classes, the bourgeoisie, and its servitors, the governments, are more and more moving into a blind alley from which they can never extricate themselves without tremendous upheavals.” - VI Lenin
It was our good friend VIadimir Lenin who said: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
Who could argue with this now ? All around the world, after years of political defeat and retreat, we are witnessing an explosion of political dissent and activism that, again, tells us that we can defeat the vampires of capitalism and win this world.
With revolution again on the agenda where are the pompous proponents of incremental reform now? The social democratic parties have surrendered to neoliberalism and the leaders like Britain's Ed Miliband and our own Phil Goff splutter that there is 'no alternative' to the free market, all the while cosying up to the rich and the powerful.
The ideology of tepid reformism was, in the end, always a suffocating and sterile ideology because it always assumed stability and inertia. When capitalism couldn't even provide it with that it simply collapsed.
But Marx told us all this many years ago. He reminded us that the status quo is built on sand and can quickly fall when we least expect it. We should never fall into the trap that takes the status quo as a given - leave that dismal mode of thinking to the discredited heirs of Eduard Bernstein and his 'parliamentary road to socialism'.
Even in December 1916, only two months before the outbreak of the Russian revolution, Lenin himself despondently wrote : “The revolutionary movement grows extremely slowly and with difficulty.” But in January 1917, he wrote, “We of the older generation may not live to see the decisive battles of this coming revolution.”
The great events that we are witnessing today began in Spain, arrived in the Middle East, spread to Europe and then landed in the United States, the centre of global capitalism. And it all occurred in a short space of time.
We should always remember the Marxist concept of dialectics. It reminds us that social and political upheaval is a constant possibility, rather than a rare exception.
There are weeks where decades happen.