Italy: Lenin lives! The IMT’s ‘Year of Lenin’ successfully launched in Naples!

On 16 February in Naples, the comrades of the Italian section of the IMT, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione (SCR) held a successful launch event at the Sala del Capitolo of the Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico Maggiore, in the city’s historic centre, for the Lenin lives! Campaign – an initiative to reclaim the real revolutionary legacy of Lenin in this, the centenary year of his death.

The assembly was attended by around a hundred people, mostly young people including very young high school students, confirming the growing interest in Lenin and Bolshevism among a new generation.

The meeting was themed around the campaign that the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) is conducting in Italy and all around the world to commemorate the centenary of Lenin's death. This campaign is designed to build upon the important theoretical and political contribution that this great Russian revolutionary made to the revolutionary cause.

Postering Image SCRLenin occupies very little space in the official history books of high schools and universities / Image: SCR

Lenin occupies very little space in the official history books of high schools and universities, and where he does figure, he is often subject to distortions by both his critics in bourgeois academia, and by Stalinist falsifiers that illegitimately claim his legacy. We organised this assembly, therefore, with the aim of shedding light on the real Lenin, debunking the myths and simplifications, and restoring the real relevance of his ideas for today’s struggles.

In prompting this important campaign, we covered the streets of the city with posters, and went on a social media blitz, with regular reels and posts. The latter not only got the word out about our campaign to a wide layer, but also served to promote the books and material about and by Lenin that we’ve published, as well as the T-shirts and memorabilia produced for the centenary.

In his introduction to the assembly, Claudio Bellotti covered the breadth of Lenin’s ideas and methods in the course of the events in which the Bolshevik Party was developed in the run up to the October Revolution. Claudio reiterated the need to apply these same methods in the present.

Lenin put into practice the revolutionary conclusions formulated by Karl Marx, correctly orienting the party from its early years until shortly before his death, not through coercion but through a crystal-clear political struggle, sometimes even directed against his own party comrades.

Talks then followed on various topics relevant to Lenin’s life and ideas: from imperialism, to the concept of the revolutionary party, to Lenin’s final struggle against the bureaucratic degeneration of the Russian Revolution that would lead to the rise of Stalin. In all of these, the aim was precisely to build upon Lenin’s theoretical contribution and bring out the relevance of his thought today, so as to analyse events unfolding from the war in Ukraine to the clash between the US and China.

Many young comrades intervened in the debate to address crucial questions, such as Lenin’s important theory of the state, as expressed in his classic book State and Revolution; and Lenin’s sharp writings on the national question, which are fundamental to understanding what is happening in Palestine today. As we always emphasise, the purpose of our meetings is not to discuss the past in a dry, academic manner, but to use the enormous wealth of ideas and experience crystalised in Marxist theory as a weapon to change society.

 Banner Image SCRThe event was a great success, and filled comrades with optimism that these ideas are meeting a fertile ground / Image: SCR

After these excellent discussions, which raised the political understanding of the comrades, informal discussions continued long after the end of the meeting around the literature stall, where comrades were bombarded with requests for guidance to further study and reading suggestions. €90 was raised for the fighting fund through the sale of books, and €200 of solidarity donations were collected for financing our revolutionary work. Many new attendees left their contact details with a view to joining the IMT, and some joined us on the spot at the end of the meeting.

After the meeting, we went to the IMT offices in Vico SS. Filippo e Giacomo, a short distance away, where comrades continued to socialise, collecting another €160, which will be used to finance the costs of our headquarters.

The event was a great success, and filled comrades with optimism that these ideas are meeting a fertile ground, with huge potential for our organisation to grow and organise further initiatives like this one. The Year of Lenin has just begun. In the spring, with the return of students, we will relaunch our work with assemblies at the university.

In the wake of our Are you a Communist? campaign, our organisation has grown significantly. New comrades have joined our ranks and are bringing their wealth of talents and the enthusiasm needed for this important revolutionary work. Only the involvement of all comrades in the propagating and building for this initiative has ensured its success. From these successes, the conclusion naturally flows that through collective work and political clarity, we can go from strength to strength, building to further heights in order to become a point of reference for all those who want to fight against this system.

Follow this link for more information on the upcoming programme of events that our comrades are preparing across Italy this year.

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