[Marxism] Day of the People: Gracchus Babeuf and the Communist Idea
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Wed Feb 20 09:35:22 MST 2013
Day of the People: Gracchus Babeuf and the Communist Idea
>“We Communists, united in the Third International, consider ourselves the direct continuators of the heroic endeavors and martyrdom of a long line of revolutionary generations from Babeuf – to Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.”
The above words were spoken by Leon Trotsky during the opening session of the Third International in Moscow in March 1919. While Trotsky was speaking, the young Soviet Republic was fighting desperately for its life against counter-revolutionary White Armies and foreign intervention. The Soviet Republic was also struggling to maintain itself in the midst of economic breakdown and famine.
Despite this, the workers and peasants of Russia were showing great heroism in their defense of the Revolution, a matter of great importance beyond the Soviets themselves. The Russian Revolution had provided a light of hope to the oppressed masses of Europe and the world of a future that was free of capitalism.
Yet Trotsky acknowledged in his opening remarks to the Third International, that the Russian Revolution was building upon the efforts of many others, including those who had been killed without ever glimpsing the accomplishment of actual revolution. One of those who Trotsky named was Francois-Noel “Gracchus” Babeuf, a pioneer who opened the horizon to the possibility of communist revolution. For Babeuf, a communist operating in the midst of France's bourgeois revolution of 1789, saw a future beyond capitalism. For Babeuf, there were many roads that had been opened by the French Revolution, some of which led to a society dominated by competition, or social democracy while Babeuf wanted to push the revolution to its ultimate limit in order to realize 'the common happiness.'
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