When in 1917 the Russian proletariat made the first socialist revolution in human history and then defeated the exploiting classes in the civil war it set out to build a workers' state, or the dictatorship of the proletariat as a vehicle for socialist transition toward a classless society. Today, seventy nine years later, Russian workers remain a distinct social class and may seem to be farther away than ever before from the world that the workers of 1917 dreamed of. They have suffered a defeat of world-historical significance. The bureaucracy-led counterrevolution has triumphed. Its consequences for the Soviet working class have been disastrous.
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