- Created: Thursday, 09 December 2010 13:04
- Written by Michael McGregor
In 1916, John MacLean in Scotland and Karl Leibknecht in Germany were imprisoned for their opposition to imperialist war. That year Lenin identified these fighters as representing ‘a trend of revolutionary internationalism...To this trend belong the Bolsheviks of Russia’.
War and revolution
Within a year this revolutionary internationalist trend had become an unstoppable current in Russia. The Bolsheviks were to lead the working class to power in a torrent of revolution which altered the course of world history. From the cities and glens of Ireland to the steppes of Russia, oppressed nations and the working class served final notice on imperialism and capitalism. War had inevitably sharpened the economic, social and political contradictions within the system to breaking point. Such a general observation was incontestable amongst revolutionaries. However Lenin’s genius lay in recognising the particular significance of actual material developments in the imperialist heartlands and the oppressed nations.