Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sivananda Yoga Cookbook w. Lentil Burgers, Potato Moussaka, Samosas & more - Vintage Cookbook TBT

Vintage Cookbook: Sivananda Yoga Cookbook

Publication Details: Self-published, 1988

Published in 1988 this cookbook emphasized vegetarianism, Indian food and yoga when it was far less common to do so.

It opens with several pages of text and illustrations regarding the yogic diet, fasting and various dietetic rules. It then has over 100 pages of vegetarian recipes divided into sections such as "soups", "Indian" and "Italian". There is also an extensive section on desserts and baked goods. This gives it a very broad appeal to people interested not just in yoga, but in vegetarian recipes of different kinds more generally.

There are various illustrations throughout some of which are rather tongue in cheek as in the case of the one below showing a yoga pose for eating pasta to avoid staining your shirt!

(Click on scans to enlarge)

See also: Eastern Vegetarian Cooking w. Lime Pickle, Dashi, Millet & more -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Souvenir Views of Toronto, Canada - Vintage Postcard Illustrations from the 1940s

As any follower of The Left Chapter knows we love vintage postcards, especially postcard sets and folders. While generally these sets are photographic, some of them are sets of illustrations such as the very atmospheric one we featured of the Thousand Islands in New York and the fascinating colour and black and white set from Soviet era Moscow. 

The one we are featuring today is of late 1940s Toronto. I love these illustrations which are very vivid and give a real sense of the time and place. Especially notable are the almost pastoral Humber Valley, the streetscapes and the looks at the pool and boardwalk of Sunnyside.

(Click on images to enlarge)

See also: Moscow 1971 - 32 illustrated postcard images in colour and black-and-white

See also: Souvenir Folder of Thousand Islands N.Y. -- 1950 Style

See also: 20 Vintage Streetscapes of Toronto, Hamilton, Scarborough, Ontario Place & More

Sunday, November 19, 2017

From Franken to Assange to Clinton, there can be no ideological exceptions for sexual assault

If you have been fortunate enough to have not yet seen the photograph here take a good look at it.

It is a picture of future US Senator -- then well-known comedian -- Al Franken molesting and sexually humiliating a female soldier named  Leeann Tweeden. In Canada this would legally qualify as sexual assault. In my opinion it morally and ethically does no matter where you are in the world, though sadly not all jurisdictions in the United States share this opinion.

Regardless, it is a sick, grotesque, petty and ugly act by a man who really can make no excuse for it.

He thought it was funny enough that he had someone snap a shot of it.

Think about that.

It takes a particular type of mind to want to photograph a sexual assault or humiliation as a laugh and that mind would be a disgracefully misogynist one.

It is also rare that an assault is 100% proven in advance of all the attempts to discredit the woman claiming it but here it is. The photo really speaks for itself unless you are delusional. It makes it impossibly hard not to believe her assertion that Franken also pushed her to engage in an aggressive kiss pretending it was a "rehearsal".

And yet many "liberals" and "leftists" on Facebook and twitter are rushing to his defense. People who generally claim to care about sexual assault and women's issues. People who would never excuse this behaviour if it had been done by a Republican or right-winger of any kind.

Sadly, there is nothing at all new about this. Liberals and lefties have done this before with figures like Bill Clinton and Julian Assange. And it has to stop.

Yes, Donald Trump is awful and a vicious misogynist.

Yes Roy Moore is a shameful rapist of young women.

That does not make what Franken did ok, it does not lessen its ugliness and it does not absolve him in anyway.

The "left" hypocrisy towards men like this is not just tiresome it is wrong on every level. We need to expose and be rid of folks on the left whose opposition to sexual assault and whose version of believing women is based on the ideology of the offender.

The violence and viciousness of sexual assault, domestic abuse and the sexual humiliation and objectification of women is intrinsic to patriarchy and the systemic oppression that activists and politicians on the left purport to oppose.

It is time for that to apply just as fully within what is broadly seen as our own ranks as it does when it happens on the right.

Further Readings:

No exception for Assange: Rape apologetics and the left

Polish Nationalist Marches, the Tar Sands, Libya and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 12-19

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of  November 12 - 19. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) 90% of Polish Jews Died in the Holocaust. So Why Are Poland's Nationalists Chanting 'Get the Jews Out of Power'?

Maya Vinokour, Haaretz

Poland's anti-Semitic far right marches to the tune of recent nationalist myths pushed by their government, including years of official denial of Polish complicity in the death of Jews in WWII - and with a little help from Donald Trump.

Read the full article.

2) Poles Cry for ‘Pure Blood’ Again

Jan T. Gross, The New York Times

If you want a sense of where Poland could be heading, look no further than the events last Saturday in Warsaw.

Tens of thousands of people — many of them young men with crew cuts, but some parents with children, too — flocked to the Polish capital to celebrate Independence Day in a march organized in part by two neo-fascist organizations. They waved white and red Polish flags, they brandished burning torches, and they wore “white power” symbols. They carried banners declaring, “Death to enemies of the homeland,” and screamed, “Sieg Heil!” and “Ku Klux Klan!”

Read the full article.

3) “Knees Together” Judge Accompanied Ezra Levant On Trip To Train UK Rebel Staff

Graeme Gordon, Canadaland

Disgraced former Federal Court Justice Robin Camp — who infamously asked a 19-year-old homeless woman why she didn’t keep her “knees together” in a 2014 rape trial — did unpaid work for Rebel Media earlier this year, CANADALAND has learned. Camp’s work included accompanying founder Ezra Levant on an overseas trip to train new UK hires, shortly after leaving the bench.

Read the full article.

4) It’s time to call the housing crisis what it really is: the largest transfer of wealth in living memory

Laurie Macfarlane, Open Democracy

One of the basic claims of capitalism is that people are rewarded in line with their effort and productivity. Another is that the economy is not a zero sum game. The beauty of a capitalist economy, we are told, is that people who work hard can get rich without making others poorer.

Read the full article.

5) Canada's most shameful environmental secret must not remain hidden

Tzeporah Berman, The Guardian

Tar sands have been dubbed the largest – and most destructive – industrial project in human history. And Canada is on the forefront of their exploitation.

Read the full article.

6) Petition: We Support TDSB Trustees to Vote for the Full Removal of the SRO Program on November 22!

We fully support the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to vote for the removal of the SRO program from all TDSB Schools. We thank and congratulate the TDSB Staff and School Trustees that have practiced equity by listening to the voices and lived experiences of their most vulnerable and marginalized students and youth through the SRO consultation process and beyond.

Sign the petition.


David Dayen, The Intercept

BIPARTISANSHIP, LONG LEFT for dead in Washington, has struck again. And Wall Street looks to be the winner.

In the wake of the Equifax scandal, Congress has been under pressure to act. But the price of modest reforms in Washington is often much larger giveaways elsewhere, and that pattern holds true in the agreement announced Monday between nine Senate Democrats and the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.

Read the full article.

8) Police watchdog orders Thunder Bay police to reinvestigate Ojibway man's wrongful arrest

Jorge Barrera, CBC News

Samuel Pervais was in a "good mood" that January Saturday morning. Early for a medical appointment, he bought himself a coffee from Robin's Donuts and was strolling down the sidewalk when a Thunder Bay police cruiser suddenly pulled up and blocked his path.

Read the full article.

9) Why do people care more about benefit ‘scroungers’ than billions lost to the rich?

Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves, The Guardian

Despite the Paradise Papers’ revelations, most British people prefer to focus on the perceived crimes of the poor. We must show how tax avoidance harms us all.

Read the full article.

10) ‘Unsafe and Just Plain Dirty’: Women Accuse Vice of ‘Toxic’ Sexual-Harassment Culture

Brandy Zadrozny, Daily Beast

The Daily Beast talked to more than a dozen former and current employees about the culture for women inside Vice Media. They spoke of harassing behavior and company indifference.

Read the full article.

11) Your Ward News editor, publisher charged with promoting hatred against women and Jews, police say

CBC News

The editor and publisher of Toronto-based newspaper Your Ward News have been charged with the wilful promotion of hatred against women and Jews, according to Toronto police. 

Read the full article.

12) Julian Fantino, who once compared weed to murder, defends opening medical marijuana business

As It Happens, CBC Radio

The former police chief and politician who once compared legalizing weed to legalizing murder is defending his decision to open a company connects patients with medical marijuana.

Listen to the full interview.

13) Montreal Against the Far Right

Alain Savard, New Socialist

The streets of Montreal were taken over by more than 5,000 demonstrators on November 12 in a powerful protest against the far right. The march was festive and colourful, with two banners leading the way that read “United against hate and racism” and “Montreal Antifascist.”

Read the full article.

14) Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It

Leeann Tweeden, 790 KABC

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

Read the full article.

15) 'It Was Clearly Intended to Be Funny but Wasn't'

David Sims, The Atlantic

Al Franken’s apology—in response to the accusation that he groped a woman—deployed, in part, a "joke" defense often used to explain misbehavior.

Read the full article.

16) Al Franken Should Resign Immediately

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

On Thursday morning, Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote a disturbing article alleging that Sen. Al Franken sexually harassed her on a 2006 USO tour. According to Tweeden, Franken coerced her into “rehearsing” a kiss for a skit, then forcefully stuck his tongue in her mouth. She also provided a photograph of Franken appearing to grope her while she slept.

Read the full article.

17) The Guardian view on Yemen: a catastrophe that shames Britain

The Guardian Editorial Board

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is deteriorating as a Saudi blockade prevents desperately needed food, fuel and medicine from entering the country. London’s unstinting support for Riyadh makes the UK complicit.

Read the full article.

18) Starved, 'mutilated' and blackmailed migrants auctioned off as slaves by smugglers in Libya

Lara Rebello, International Business Times

Slave markets are springing up across Libya trading impoverished African migrants who have arrived on the Mediterranean coast dreaming of a new life in Europe. A new investigation has revealed people are being sold as modern-day slaves for as little as £300 ($400).

Read the full article.

19) Richard Leonard wins Scottish Labour leadership in decisive victory

Severin Carrell, The Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn has strengthened his grip on the Labour party after Scottish members elected a leftwing trade unionist, Richard Leonard, as their seventh leader in the past decade.

Read the full article.

20) TED talks conferences plagued with sexual harassment complaints

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Danielle Paquette, The Toronto Star

When Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who now campaigns against sexual harassment, took the stage at a TED event this month, she described 2017 as a tipping point in the fight against workplace misconduct.

Read the full article.

See also: Paradise Papers, Texas Massacre, Catalonia and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 5 - 12

See also: Weinstein Aftermath, Catalonia Crackdown, the USSR and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List October 29-November 5

Saturday, November 18, 2017

so I have to tell you something

she laughed head tilted right or maybe left looking over across the pitted table music loud wondering why we came here no good food but lots of drunks

we were drunks though she said if it is around five in the am or pm who knows if you are using Jim Beam as mouthwash then I suppose it must be true though that is not what we were down for surely desperate and empty afternoons in that small apartment you were always flaming out of jobs I could never even get

cigarette addictions and daydreams play like nightmares in the backseats of taxi cabs asking to go to bars you don't even want to sit in to pick fights with the locals or the bouncer knowing you will lose but whatever the violence is like an end in itself perhaps

that is not really you is it you are not really that guy at the end of the night cornered and futilely furious you are not really that empty seat at the family table that no one wants filled you are not really that golem and you are not really mud or clay you are man aren't you man but a reflection man but angry

she loved you but do you care nothing right moving away

anyway, sitting out on the porch with Alexander and he is trying to understand me but I am like a hollow shell he thinks so I tell him to fuck off even if it is funny

he didn't mean it to be funny though that hollow shell thing

stranded in 1996 I am I think or do I think it because I am who knows the spinning goes on either way no one cares what you think or is that what I think how can we know Sam looks sad she always looks sad but she is stronger than anyone I know even though no one can really know anyone right

so I have to tell you something I have wanted to tell you for years through all the haze of work and life and kids and factory and home there is something I have wanted to say as the cradles went to kindergartens went to junior schools went to well you know the rest there was something I always wanted to tell you but never did

there is this sinking feeling of the unresolved the unrequited not in love but life yet you tell me that is crazy and in the convertible on the road to the lake I can almost think you must be right

until we get to that beach the sun is too bright and too hot and it burns away the last of the things we had to say

photo by Natalie Lochwin

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bread and Garlic Soup

Today we are going to make a soup that is absolutely perfect for the season and that is inspired by similar soups made in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere.

It uses very basic ingredients that most people have lying around at any given time and is also an excellent way to not let stale bread go to waste.

While many recipes for this style of soup use chicken stock, I like to use beef stock as I like the flavour and find that it makes the soup more hearty.


Loaf or part of a loaf of stale rye / French / country style bread
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 eggs lightly beaten
6 cups beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
3 tbsp. paprika
1-3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you want it. Traditionally this is a fairly spicy dish.
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste, though the dish benefits from the liberal use of both
chopped fresh parsley

To make this it is best to use a slightly stale loaf of rye, french or country style bread. First you want to lightly toast slices of the bread and then rip them apart into pieces.

Next heat up 1/2 a cup of olive oil in a large saucepan or pot. Be sure to use this much oil even though it is more than you will need to saute the garlic.

When the oil is hot add the 10 cloves of sliced and garlic and saute for around 3-5 minutes.

Then add the bread, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Saute the seasoned bread in the oil (adding more olive oil if needed as it is absorbed) for around 5-8 minutes until the pieces are nicely browned. Then add the white wine and continue to saute until the wine is absorbed by the bread, around 2 minutes more.

After the wine is absorbed add the 6 cups of beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil and let boil for two minutes and then slowly add the beaten eggs stirring as you go. Let the broth with the eggs boil for two minutes more.

Serve topped with freshly chopped parsley as a garnish.

Great on a cold fall night.

See also: Taco Soup

See also: Pepper Goat Soup

The Meaning of October on its Centenary

By Marko Velimir Kobak 

The Great October Socialist Revolution marked the first successful socialist revolution in world history. On November 7, 2017, we marked the 100th anniversary of this revolution which profoundly changed the world.  It marks the first time, under the leadership of the great Vladmir Lenin, that the workers, peasants, and oppressed peoples the world over, would be given more power than the rich. To this day, it remains influential in the minds of many wishing for a better world. There are, however, its detractors -- obviously from bourgeois historians who lament the overthrow of Tsarist Russia, while even a few may grudgingly admit that the Bolsheviks were the only group capable of leading Russia out of the turmoil of 1917. But more appalling are those on the left who see this Revolution, much like the Great French Revolution before it, as an authoritarian nightmare collapsing into the tyranny of the masses. This is meant to address those on the left who ask, “What is the point of debating about and studying the history of the USSR?”

It is an important question to ask. Especially for those of us who were born and have lived in the West, we are generally bombarded by bourgeois history depicting the Soviet Union as the most evil regime to have ever existed, a state of never-ending toiling for the people. We are told of mass poverty and lack of food. We are told repeatedly that we should be grateful for our lives in the West, that we uphold the values of freedom and democracy, compared to the ruthless authoritarianism of the Soviet Union and the rest of the former socialist states which existed until the fall of the Iron Curtain. This leads us to the question about the point of studying the history of the USSR. It is a not only a matter of studying history, but a matter of historiography, that is, how we are presented with history.

As an example, we are told of the widespread destruction said to have occurred throughout the former socialist states. But let us consider one instance of this destruction – the Russian Civil War of 1917 to 1923. This had occurred almost immediately between the nascent socialist Russian state led by the Bolshevik Party, against the White Army which sought to restore the Tsarist monarchy. Not only did the Tsarists try to seize back power, they were given military and financial aid by the world powers of the time, led by the United Kingdom (which also included Canada and Australia at the time), the United States, and France. As Georgi Dimitrov noted on the third anniversary of the October Revolution:
      ...The imperialists of the Entente resorted to military intervention against the free and self-governing Russian people by financing the counter-revolutionary armies of Kolchak, Yudenich, and Denikin and organizing an economic blockade of Soviet Russia. 
The imperialists were exultant, expecting the early destruction of this nest of the world proletarian revolution which was so dangerous for them. Their agents and their lavishly subsidized press were proclaiming to the whole world the forthcoming erasing of Bolshevik Russia from the face of the earth.” (1)
How is it that the Bolsheviks could solely be blamed for the destruction of Soviet land when it was attacked from all sides by the world powers? This destruction led to the massive famine of 1921-22 which claimed the lives of millions of people. But that blame should not be put at the feet of the Bolsheviks, who wished for peace, bread, and land, (2) but rather the interventionist aims of the world imperialists who wished to restore a brutal monarchy. In essence, socialism was not allowed to peacefully develop on its own, leading to drastic measures being taken by the nascent socialist government.  These interventions have been a regular tactic of the imperialists ever since, of which the most infamous examples include the still current economic blockade of Cuba by the United States, and the coup d'état in Chile which ousted the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Not only did the Great October Socialist Revolution mark the beginning of the greatest achievement of the proletariat, it went on to inspire a great many other revolutions and anti-imperialist movements around the world throughout the rest of the 20th century. These included the failed German Revolution of 1918-19, which ended in catastrophe and led to the infamous murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg by the German Social-Democratic-supported Freikorps, and the failed Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. While these ended in failure, there were tremendous successes later, famously in China with the proclamation of the People's Republic by Mao Zedong, and in Cuba led by Fidel Castro.  In the aftermath of World War II, many socialist republics sprung up in Eastern Europe, culminating in the people's republics of Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania, the establishment of a socialist state in Yugoslavia, and ultimately the establishment of socialist states in Hungary and East Germany that were not able to do so in the aftermath of 1917. Outside of China and Cuba, the anti-imperialist movements in the aftermath of World War II led to Ho Chi Minh's Vietnam, Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana, Thomas Sankara's Burkina Faso, among many others. Indonesia's Communist Party was the most popular non-ruling Communist Party until its brutal suppression by the Indonesian reactionaries led by Suharto and supported by the United States. These are just a few examples of the profound influence the October Revolution had throughout the globe.

In classical Marxist theory, revolutions and the establishment of socialist states should never have occurred in these places first, but rather in the advanced industrial societies of the West.  The societies where the vast majority of socialist governments came to power  have all been in poor, undeveloped, agrarian societies whose populations were generally impoverished and illiterate. This is perhaps where Lenin can answer this:
...the Social-Democrat’s ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat. (3)
Many of these societies, including Russia, did not have a majority proletarian base, a requirement in classical Marxist theory for socialist revolution to occur. However, Lenin recognised that if the Bolsheviks were to come to power, they must stand stand in solidarity with the rest of the toiling masses, those who were also oppressed not only on the basis of their class, but of their race, their nationality and their religion (Lenin's speech regarding pogroms which had been commonplace in Russia before the Bolsheviks came to power is an example of this) (4). It is no surprise that the October Revolution was then more successful in the colonised world which had its resources pillaged by the colonial powers for multiple centuries. It is no wonder that the great Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh once proclaimed, “If you do not condemn colonialism, if you do not side with the colonial people, what kind of revolution are you waging?”(5)

It needs to be said, and reiterated, that it is our duty to combat the anti-communist lies and myths which are accepted as fact in the West. The legacy of the Soviet Union is one in which the workers of the world were finally treated with dignity and respect -- as outlined in their constitutions -- among which social rights like the right to employment, education, and healthcare were enshrined. The legacy of the Soviet Union is its rapid industrialisation under Stalin, in which the famous and monumentally historic first Five-Year Plan established the foundations for its future conflicts with the world and its progresses in technology and innovation. The world owes all of its gratitude to the brave Red Army, which not only defended itself against the fascist Nazi menace, but beat them back and rolled them all the way to Berlin to end the war in the European Theatre. Despite quips and jokes about its relative technological backwardness, the Soviets were the first to send an artificial satellite into space with Sputnik, to send the first living beings into space in the form of the dog Laika (who tragically did not return back to Earth alive, but missions after this one returned animals safely back home), and in 1961 its most glorious achievement in sending the first human into space in Yuri Gagarin. The Soviets still remain the only people to have sent rovers to Venus. While the Americans were the first and only people to send humans to the Moon, it was the initial launching of Sputnik which scared the Americans so much with socialist development appearing more technologically advanced -- the so-called Sputnik Crisis -- that ultimately led the United States to create NASA.

Despite the claims that socialism cannot innovate, it is quite clear just from their achievements in the Soviet space program that such a statement is a lie.

The so-called “civilised”, liberal-democratic West celebrated the fall of the USSR and the rest of the socialist states in Eastern Europe. Some went on to proclaim that with this collapse, it was the “end of history”, that meaning that liberal democracy is the only way for a society to be stable and prosperous. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would quip that “there is no alternative” to the free market. But what has happened in the aftermath of the dissolution of the USSR and the other socialist states? Michael Parenti lists off the tremendous setbacks which affected the masses of peoples of the former socialist states, ranging from a significant rise in the unemployment rate, with that leading to corresponding increased levels of poverty, hunger, lack of trade union power, the cultural degradation of the former socialist societies, and the destruction and restriction of women's rights. (6) In an attack on anarchist philosopher Noam Chomsky, Parenti concludes:

According to Noam Chomsky, communism “was a monstrosity,”, and “the collapse of tyranny” in Eastern Europe and Russia is “an occasion for rejoicing for anyone who values freedom and human dignity. I treasure freedom and human dignity yet find no occasion for rejoicing. The postcommunist societies do not represent a net gain for such values. If anything, the breakup of the communist states has brought a colossal victory for global capitalism and imperialism, with its correlative increase in human misery, and a historic setback for revolutionary liberation struggles everywhere... The breakup also means a net loss of global pluralism and a more intensive socio-economic inequality throughout the world. (7)

This includes cases like the former socialist Yugoslavia, brought to a catastrophic end in a brutal civil war which former republics are still trying to recover from, in which Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina specifically deal with high rates of unemployment and the legacy of the war leaving many unexploded mines littered throughout its territories. Bulgaria, after achieving a peak in its population has had a steady decline since the fall of socialism, a decline which some experts have projected to the current population of seven million being almost half of that by 2100. (8) The current legacy of liberal democracy in the former socialist states is thus not one of immense freedom and prosperity for the masses, but a return to the toiling, misery, and poverty that they had once known under centuries of colonialism from various empires, of the oppression from their own capitalist ruling classes.

Those of us who believe in communism then must make it their absolute duty to take to task the lies that the bourgeois media spreads about the history of communism, and point to its successes and we must continue to struggle to achieve the world we wish to see. As French socialist Jean Jaures once said of the Great French Revolution:
The France of the Revolution required a century, countless trials, backslidings into monarchy, reawakenings of the Republic, invasions, dismemberments, coups d'état, and civil wars before it finally arrived at the organization of the Republic, at the establishing of equal liberty through universal suffrage. The great workers of revolution and democracy who labored and fought more than a century ago are not accountable to us for a labor that required several generations to be accomplished. To judge them as if they should have brought the drama to a close, as if history was not going to continue after them, is both childish and unjust. Their work was necessarily limited, but it was great. They affirmed the idea of democracy to its fullest extent. They provided the world with the first example of a great country governing and saving itself through the power of the entire people. They gave the Revolution the magnificent prestige of the idea and the indispensible prestige of victory. And they gave France and the world so prodigious an impetus towards freedom that, despite reaction and eclipses, the new rights they established took definitive possession of history. (9)
It is no wonder then that the Bolsheviks themselves took up the legacy of the French revolutionaries of the late 18th century and compared themselves to the Jacobins in their writings, and created and planned temporary monuments to its leaders (only those of Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton were completed). While the Soviet Union has met its demise, it does not mean that the goal to achieve communism is over. It is up to us to complete what the Jacobins and Bolsheviks could not complete themselves during their time, to establish what the Jacobins proclaimed libérté, égalité, fraternité, and the Bolshevik rallying cry echoing from Karl Marx, “workers of the world, unite!” It is our duty to carry on the legacy of Lenin and the Great October Socialist Revolution and see to it that we will be the ones to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat which leads to the world communist society in the future.

Long live Great October on its Centenary! Long live Lenin, the leader of the world proletariat! Long live the socialist revolution!


1) Dimitrov, Georgi, “Third Anniversary of the Russian Revolution”, “Selected Works of Georgi Dimitrov, Volume 1”, pp. 80-81, 1972, Sofia Press

2) Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, “Lessons of the Revolution”, Collected Works of Lenin, Vol. 25, p. 225, Progress Publishers, 1964 

3) Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, “What is to be Done?”, Collected Works of Lenin, Vol. 5, p. 423, Progress Publishers, 1961

4) Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, “On Anti-Jewish Pogroms”, Collected Works of Lenin, Vol 29, pp. 252-253, Progress Publishers, 1965

5) Ho, Chi Minh, “The Path Which Led Me to Leninism”,

6) Parenti, Michael, “Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism”, Chapter 7: “The Free-Market Paradise Goes East (II)”, pp. 105-120, City Lights Press, 1997

7) Ibid, p. 120

8) Alexander, Ruth, “Why is Bulgaria's population falling off a cliff?”, British Broadcasting Corporation, September 7, 2017,

9) Jaurès, Jean, “A Socialist History of the French Revolution”, pp. 249-250, Pluto Press, 2015

Marko Velimir Kobak is a worker based in Ontario. He is currently on an indefinite hiatus from studying at the University of Toronto, where he studies political science.

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See also: In the shadow of October -- Reflecting on the USSR and Soviet power