ONE hundred years ago next week, one of the most influential events in modern history took place.

While we have been, rightly, commemorating the centenary of the First World War, in the meantime we have forgotten to look east, for the 100-year anniversary of a hugely defining event.

While the Great War shaped much of modern Europe, not least being instrumental in eventually securing suffrage for women, the October Revolution in Russia caused a softening of politics across the rest of the continent, creating a fear that the working classes, the labourers, needed to be noticed, appreciated, and taken care of. It flipped the old system almost upside-down across Europe.

There were actually two revolutions in Russia in 1917 — the first, the February revolution (actually in March by the modern calendar), toppled the Tsarist regime, and the second, the October Revolution (on November 8), saw the radical Bolsheviks seize power, Vladimir Lenin at the helm with the help of his wing men Stalin and Trotsky.

From the start, the regime was brutal.

Lenin was determined that to impose a communist state, power had to be held on to, at any cost. He set up the feared Gulag, which administered the forced labour camps, a favourite tactic of Stalin’s, which went on to see anywhere between eight and 61m Russians killed - even at the lower end, inconceivable.

However, the influence of the communist ideal and, possibly, the fear of revolution, did create something of a golden age in politics elsewhere, with the inception of the NHS, the welfare state, and workers’ rights, from the Second World War up until the 1970s.

By that time the unions had become too powerful, and the 1980s dismantled their rights, fostered competition and greed, privatised previously nationalised institutions.

Now more of our progress is being dismantled.

Our welfare state is being cut to the bone, child hunger is higher than it has ever been, wage growth is measuring up to inflation.

For the first time in perhaps 60 or 70 years, people who work, and work hard, but are on lower wages, can’t afford to live. Theresa May called them JAMs, Just About Managing, before the election – now they’re more like NAAMs – Not At All Managing.

Police officers, teachers, nurses, are going to food banks because they can’t afford to feed their families.

You judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable – think PIP payments and you can see our great strides in civilisation in the 20th century are being reversed in the 21st.

Karl Marx said capitalism would destroy itself in the end. Twentieth century politics might have delayed its demise but greed and debt can only prevail for so long.

Only the BBC, and Marxist groups, have really marked the centenary of the revolution.

Putin, torn between glorifying Stalin and Russian identity but afraid of praising revolution and Lenin in case his citizens get any ideas, has done little to mark the event.

But we would do well to remember what can happen when the welfare of hard working people is discounted by the privileged.