The coming century will be decisive for human history. If capitalism continues to rule the planet, then before 2100 society will be plunged into such barbarism that it will make the 20th century look like a minor headache and either reduce human-kind to the stone-age, or destroy it altogether. If humanity does have a future, then it is wholly in the hands of the world proletariat, whose worldwide revolution alone can overthrow the domination of the capitalist mode of production whose historic crisis is responsible for today’s barbarity. But to do so, the proletariat must find in the future the strength to carry out its task, which has been lacking up to now.
In the first part of this article, we tried to understand why the proletariat’s past revolutionary endeavours failed, and above all its greatest, the revolution that began in Russia in 1917. We showed that the terrible defeat it suffered at the end of this attempt caused it to miss the appointment with history that followed: capitalism’s great crisis in the 1930s, and World War II. In particular, we showed that at the end of the last war, “The proletariat had reached rock bottom. What it was told, what it thought, was its greatest victory – the triumph of democracy over fascism – was in fact its most utter historic defeat. Capitalist order was guaranteed by the workers’ euphoric belief in their “victory”, and their resulting belief in the “sacred virtues” of bourgeois democracy: the same democracy which had led them twice into imperialist butchery and crushed their revolution in 1920“.