The Road to Revolution by Ho Chi Minh, translated by VietAnon
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\section{History of the American revolution}
\subsection{What is American history?}
In the 14th century, no one knew where the American continent was. In 1492, a merchant named Christopher Colombus went on a trade ship to India, but lost his way, but fortunately landed in the Americas. The people of that land are Indians, hunters and gatherers who do not know the ways of commerce and doing business.
Since Colombus discovered the Americas, people from European countries have flooded there to do business. The whites wanted to make the Indians slaves, but they wouldn’t bow down, so they killed all the Indians and then forced the blacks in Africa to work for them. Every country has Europeans coming to America, but the largest number is British (3,000,000 people). So Britain took America as a colony.
\subsection{Why did America stage their revolution?}
The Americas are very rich with resources, copper, iron, coal, cotton, wheat, cattle, etc… everything is abundant. The British were greedy and wanted to collect all of it for themselves, so they set up 3 policies as follows:
\item All natural resources, America must supply to the British, cannot be sold to other countries.
\item Americans are not allowed to set up factories and trade associations.
\item Countries are not allowed to trade with America, only the British can trade.
Because of these 3 policies, plus heavy taxes, making the American economy very miserable. Therefore in the 1770, the American people were agitated and a movement \enquote{boycotting} Britain was born.
\subsection{What was the result of that movement?}
The \enquote{boycott} movement lasted for up to 5 years. The British brought soldiers over, and arrested the leaders of the movement. Each time a leader was arrested, this further agitated the people. In 1775, when the British soldiers arrested more leaders, the people pulled together to resist, but the British soldiers killed 9 people at a result. This is the spark that ignited the powder keg, the people errupted in anger, live or die, they needed to expel the British Government.
A year later, on July 4, 1776, the revolution was achieved and the United States declared its independence, and it became a republic.
Now America has 48 states and 110,000,000 inhabitants.
\subsection{What does the American revolution mean to the Annam revolution?}
1. The French policy towards Annam is now worse than the British towards America, because the French have plundered all our people's wealth and barred our people from doing anything and everything; they forces our people to smoke opium and drink alcohol. The British only wanted American money, France was greedy for money and wanted to destroy our people, for us to lose our Annamese likeness. Yet the people of Annam have not learnt from the United States' example to stage a revolution of their own!
2. In the American declaration of independence, there is a saying that: \enquote{We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government}.
But now the US Government does not want anyone to talk about the revolution, or anyone to change the Government!
3. The US, although the revolution has been successful for more than 150 years, but the workers and peasants are still suffering, still worrying about staging a second one.
That's because the American revolution is the capitalist revolution, but the capitalist revolution is a revolution not yet there.
If we must sacrifice for the revolution, we should do it until the end, that is, after the revolution, the power should be given to the masses, not in the hands of a few. Only then will the people be happy without sacrificing many times.
\section{The French Revolution}
\subsection{Why did France have a revolutionary movement? }
In the 18th century, the king was arrogant and decadent, the aristocrats and priests were rampant; heavy taxes compunded the misery to the people.
Partly, Canada and India, formerly French colonies, were now taken by Britain.
On the other hand, educated men like Montesquieu (1755), Voltaire and Rousseau (1778) propagated liberal egalitarianism.
Partly, the movement was affected by the English revolutionary movement (Where Sir Cromwell executed the English king and established a Republic in 1653) still new in the minds of people, and the recent American democratic movement (1776).
And especially because capital was hindered by the feudalists, while the people were oppressed by kings, nobles, and priesthoods. Therefore, the capitalist formed an alliance with students, farmers and workers to break feudalism.
\subsection{When did the French Revolution begin?}
When the king saw that the people were upset, he persecuted the propagandists and organizers. Witnessing this, the people were so angry that on July 14, 1789, they stormed the Bastille. The king brought soldiers to guard the capital; the people organized revolutionary militias to fight back. In the end, the king retreated to the province of Versailles.
On October 5 of that year, the workers and women of Paris, went to Versailles to arrest the king for his crimes, and signed the declaration:
\item To abolish feudalism and liberate the serfs.
\item To nationalize properties of religious institutions.
\item To free people to make newspapers, organize, and so on.
\item To form a constitution, in which the king cannot be autocratic.
In 1792, because the king sought help from foreigners and communicated with the counter\-/revolutionaries, the people deposed the king and founded a republic.
On January 21, 1973, the king and his wife were convicted of treason, and then executed.
\subsection{How did other European countries react to the French revolution?}
People from all over the world were secretly overjoyed and in solidarity. But the monarchs and aristocrats of other countries were afraid that their people would imitate the French, so outside they joined forces in a coaltion to crush the revolution while helping the counter - revolutionaries inside France.
Although the French people had little food and lack of guns, it was only thanks to their courage to fight with their lives on the line that they suppressed the internal rebellion and destroyed the foreign coaltions. At that time, the soldiers were called \enquote{Sans-culottes} or soldiers without breeches, who are without hats, people without shoes, torn shirts and tassels, thin faces and hungry stomachs. But wherever the soldiers went, the foreign soldiers lost, because they were so daring to sacrifice, no one could fought back with equal fevor.
Then know: one revolutionary having guts is more than a thousand people with no will.
\subsection{How many revolutions did the French have?}
From 1792 to 1804 it was the 1st Republic. In 1804 counter\-/revolutionary Napoleon crowned himself emperor.
In 1814, the countries defeated Napoleon and brought the old king line to the throne until 1848.
In 1848 there was the second revolution.
In 1852, Napoleon's nephew became Emperor again.
In 1870, when he lost to Germany, Napoleon III fled, and France established the 3rd Republic.
\subsection{What was the Paris Commune (Commune de Paris)?}
In 1871, with the French king lost and fled, the Germans came to besiege the French capital, Paris. French capitalists sold off two provinces as offering to appease for peace with Germany. Because of the war, many people died and a lot of livelihood was lost. People lacking bread, workers losing jobs. On March 18, the Parisian workers revolted in a communist revolution (Communalism).
Because the workers were immature, poorly organized, and Germany helped the French capitalists fight the workers, so by the end of May, the revolution failed.
\subsection{What was the purpose of the Commune?}
As soon as Paris was liberated, the Commune set up a People's Government and announced that the Commune would practice the following:
\item How many private enterprises are taken over as public property.
\item All children in the country, whether boys or girls, must go to school. Tuition fees must be given by the state.
\item People have the right to freely organize, make newspapers, open associations, go abroad, etc.
\item Any man or woman, anyone has the right to political, to vote and to stand for election.
\item The government is elected by the people, and the people have the right to change the government.
\subsection{What was the outcome of the Commune?}
French capital at that time was like a house on fire on both sides. On one side, Germany started to encroach, on the other side, the revolution was arising before their eyes. French capitalists swear to rather suffer humiliation with Germany, than to reconcile with the revolution. Germany was also afraid of the revolution, so they wholeheartedly helped French capitalists in their fight. When the French had just surrendered, the Germans forced France to disband all their soldiers, keeping only 40,000 culottes. When the revolution emerged, Germany allowed the French capitalist to add 100,000 soldiers to suppress the revolution.
Seeing this, we can understand that: \enquote{Capital has no Fatherland}.
Once the revolution is over, capital took revenge on the people by terror. It killed 30,000 people including men, women, elders and children. It exiled 28,000 people. It imprisoned 650 children, 850 women, 37,000 men.
\subsection{What does the French revolution mean to the Annam revolution?}
\item In the three revolutions, 1789, 1848, 1870, all because the people had a lot of courage, but few intellectuals, so they got taken advantage of by the capitalists.
\item The Paris Commune failed because of its poor organization and lack of contact with the peasants.
\item Capitalism uses the words Liberté, égalité, fraternité to deceive the people and incite the people to overthrow feudalism. After the people overthrew feudalism, it replaced feudalism as the oppressor.
\item The French Revolution was like the American Revolution, that is to say, the revolution of capitalism, the revolution where the final goal had not been reached. They called themselves a republic and a democracy, but in fact, it exploits the workers and peasants inside and oppresses the colonies outside. The revolution has already occurred 4 times, but now French workers and peasants still have to plan the revolution again to escape the cycle of oppression. The revolution of Annam should remember these things.
\subsection{What did the French Revolution set an example for?}
The French Revolution taught us:
\item The workers and peasants are the root of the revolution, capital only support it at first, when it can no longer take advantage of the people, it is counter\-/revolutionary.
\item Revolution requires a very stable organization to succeed.
\item Women and children also took a large part of the revolution.
\item With a strong civilian population, no soldier or gun will be able to supress it.
\item The French Revolution sacrificed many people without fear. If we want to stage a Revolution, we shouldn't be afraid to make sacrifices.
\section{History of the Russian revolution}
\subsection{Where did the Russian Revolution come from?}
Russia is a very large country, half located in Asia, half in Europe. More than 90 percent of Russians were peasants, less than ten were workers. In the past, the system was serfdom, meaning that much of the land and peasants were under the power of landlords. Landlords treated serfs like animals, only lived as the lords allowed, and died if they forced it. When they needed money, they sold their serfs like cattle. Peasants were not allowed to leave from one region to another.
By the first half of the 19th century, capital was marginally prosperous, they had just opened factories and needed workers. Because of this they mobilized to abolish serfdom and let peasants work for them. Only in 1861, the regime finally abolished serfdom.
The new capitalist and the landlords from this have since generated a great deal of animosity, and from there the worker - peasant revolutionary movement also sprang up.
\subsection{Once the serfs were liberated, what then?}
After being liberated, some people went to the cities to work, others stayed behind to work in the fields.
Working in factories, they got get little pay, the hours were long, the people had to be slaves to capital. Staying in the fields, the farmlands were small, the cattle lacking, they had to endure explotation from the kulaks. Although the people were called free, they were actually slaves: the workers were miserable, and the peasants were not happier.
Revolutionaries formed a party to unite the peasants, but did not pay attention to the workers.
In 1875, there was a revolutionary party called the \enquote{Narodniks} (the people’s party). In 1878 there was a new party called \enquote{Narodnaya Volya} (the people’s will).
But those two parties, with little strength and members, were persecuted by the Government, turning them into fierce violence, only worried about assassinating the tsars and other state officials.
\subsection{What were the results of those two parties?}
Assassinations were risky, and gained few results. Because killing one villain another would take their place, and you can’t kill them all? The revolution must unite the oppressed people to overthrow their oppressive class, not just by killing 5, 7 people, 2, 3 kings, 9, and 10 officials alone. Although these two parties sacrificed many people and made many heroic assassinations, because they went on the wrong way of the revolution and did not have the people's power as a basis, so they were repressed by the Government until dissolution.
In 1883, Mr. Plekhanov founded the party \enquote{Emancipation of Labour}. This party organized according to the way Marx taught, that is, to unite both peasants and workers to do both economic and political revolution.
\subsection{How did this party conduct revolutionary activities?}
This party took the workers as the core of the revolution, and the peasants supplemented it.
They worked in secret.
In Russia, there were too many police and secret agents, so Party organizations had to be set up abroad (London).
In 1894, Mr. Lenin joined the Party.
In 1898, the Party opened a congress once in the country, unfortunately it was discovered by the Government and many party members were arrested. Even with their arrests, the Party's manifesto was spread throughout the country, further heightening the revolutionary movement. Those who had escaped arrest continued very secretive propaganda and organizing.
After a while, the name was changed to \enquote{Social Democratic Labour Party}, then changed to \enquote{Communist Party}.
In 1904 - 1905, Russia and Japan fought, taking advantage of the turmoil, the Party tried to mobilize the revolution.
\subsection{How do you know that people are agitated for campaigning?}
\item Before fighting the Japanese, the Tsar tricked the capitalists into printing money, luring them with a prosperous economy if they won, and capital would gain great benefits. After the defeat, the capital lost a lot of money but gained nothing, so they resented the king.
\item The workers who already hated the Tsar, with the defeat, they were more oppressed, further cementing the resentment.
\item The peasants had hated the king since the begining, then they were consripted to the army to die, and with the heavier taxes, and their abhorrance for the Tsar was made worse.
These three classes had different goals, but the hatred for the Tsar is the same. The Party knew that, then mobilized the revolution to oust the Tsar.
\subsection{At that time, how did the Tsar react?}
Knowning that the workers were the most revolutionary, the Tsar set up a way to separate the capitalists, the peasants, and the workers. It instigated a religious leader to organize a trade union, both to distract the workers and arrest anyone who was enthusiastic for it.
On January 9, 1905, a religious (whose name was Gapon) marched the workers to the the Tsar’s pallace to petition. But he forgot to warn beforehand. The Tsar seeing the gathering crowd, fearful of riots, sent his soldiers to suppress them, shooting and killing many people. Gapon fled abroad. The workers of other provinces heard the news, they went on strike and riot, and set up a workers' conference.
The revolution fought against the Tsar and the government from January to October. The Tsar used his soldiers to suppress the revolution, while on the other hand, pretended to establish a parliament for the people's representatives to discuss the country's affairs.
\subsection{Why did the 1905 revolution fail?}
\item Because at first, the capitalists wanted to take advantage of workers to overthrow the Tsar; but when they saw that the workers were so enthusiastic, that they became afraid to see workers overthrown them and the Tsar, so the capitalists betrayed the workers and helped the Tsar.
\item Because workers and peasants did not agree with one another. When the workers emerged, the peasants did not immediately follow. The workers lost. Only by then the peasants emerged, giving the Tsar the chance to suppress both, one after the other.
\item The workers weren’t very experienced, and the organization wasn’t complete.
\item The soldiers were not mobilized and the people's guns and weapons were too few.
\subsection{When the 1905 Revolution failed, were the workers and the Party discouraged?}
No. Experiencing that failure, the Party researched and re-criticized, where did it go wrong, and why did it fail?
Knowing clearly the shortcomings to fix is half the battle. Just like forging a knife, only when cutting do you know where it is sharp and where it is blunt; then continue to sharpen the dull places, so that a new sharp knife is made.
Thanks to the failed movements in 1905, the workers understood that: firstly, they had to be well organized, second, they had to contact the peasants, third, they had to mobilize soldiers, fourth, they couldn't believe in the moderates, and fifth, they knew capital and the tsar is the same league, if you want to expel the tsar, you must also expel the capital.
The failed 1905 Revolution laid the foundation for the successful 1917 Revolution.
\subsection{What was the historical context of the 1917 Revolution?}
The Revolution of 1917 had the following reasonings:
\item During the European war, the British and French imperialists took advantage of the Russian Tsar to fight Germany. But the Russian Tsar was messy, spent a lot of money, killed a lot of soldiers, sure to be defeated by Germany. These imperialists were angered by this and helped capital to oust the Tsar.
\item Capitalists were outrage due to the Tsar only favoring the aristocrats by giving them military power, yet the aristocrats were incompetent, losing wherever they fought. And capital in Russia was mostly in league with English and French capital; if Russia lost to Germany, then not only Russian capital, but English and French capital were also in danger; and if they kept the Tsar, they would certainly face defeat. That’s why the capitalists also wanted to depose the Tsar.
\item Workers and peasants already treated the Tsar as if they were enemies.
\item The Trudoviks took advantage of that opportunity, they made use of these two groups to expel the Tsar for the Russian capitalists and the British and French imperialists. In turn, capitalists and imperialists supported these Trudoviks.
\subsection{How had the Trudoviks control the government?}
Using the pretence of the massive deaths of soldiers, the starving and miserable people, the unemployed workers, the government in disarray; the Trudoviks proclaimed that if people now was to drive the Tsar away, the land would go to the peasants, the factories would go to the workers, the people would get government power, and the war would end in peace.
Unexpectedly, in February, when the Tsar was chased away, the Trudoviks and the capitalists took over the government, how many promises they had made were quickly forgotten. They kept taking soldiers to fight the war; the land remained in the hands of the landlords, the factories remained in the hands of the rich; workers and peasants were also not allowed to participate in the Government.
\subsection{Why didn't the Communist Party take action?}
When the revolution kicked out the king, the Communist Party was still the vanguard of the people. But at that time the party members were still few, and the opportunities had not yet come, so they did not seize the government.
The revolution ended in February. From February to April, many people still thought that the new provisional government had not yet implemented the policiess that benefit the people, because there was no time for them to do so.
In April, Mr. Lenin and many comrades from abroad returned. From April to November, the new provisional government had further revealed its anti\-/revolutionary nature on a day by day basis. As for the communist party members, they went to propagate to the people, saying: \enquote{There, you see! The first revolution are the masters and servants of capitalism and imperialism, they are no better than the Tsar...}, making everyone resent the provisional government, while part of them were involved in the peasantry, workers, soldiers, and secret organizations to practice revolutionary communism.
\subsection{When did the communist revolution succeed?}
At the end of October, there are organizations everywhere, everyone wants to act. But Mr. Lenin said: \enquote{Wait! Wait a few more days for everyone to oppose the Government, then we will act out our plans.} On November 5, the Government opened an association to promulgate new laws, which benefited capital but harmed workers and farmers. Mr. Lenin told Party members that the 6th day of the election was too early, because the people did not know all these policies, and if they did not know the policies, they would not be agited at the provisional government very much. On the 8th, the election was too late because at that time, the Government would know that the people were resentful and take strict precautions.
Sure enough, on the 7th of the Communist Party's revolutionary order, the workers rushed to surround the Government, and the peasants rushed to chase the landlords. The government sent soldiers to break them up, but those soldiers then followed the workers and turned to fight the Government.
From that day on, the initial government fled, the Communist Party took power, organized a government of workers, peasants and soldiers, distributed land to the peasants, assigned factories to workers, did not force the people to die for the capitalists and imperialism powers, trying to organize a new economy to practice egalitarianism.
\subsection{How does the Russian Revolution relate to the Annamese Revolution?}
In today's world, only the Russian revolution has succeeded, and it has succeeded to the final destination. That is, for the people enjoy the true happiness of freedom, true equality, not the false freedom and equality like the not the false freedom and equality of the imperialist empires that the French often brags about in Annam. Not only has the Russian Revolution already driven out the kings, capitalists, and landlords, it continues to work hard for the workers and peasants of other countries and oppressed peoples of the colonies to stage revolutions overthrowing all imperialism and capitalism from the world.
The Russian Revolution teaches us that in order for the revolution to succeed, the people (the workers and peasants) must be the base, the party must be strong, the party must be persistent, the sacrifices must be made, and the unity must be achieved. In short, we must follow Marxism and Leninism.