First Published: North American News, No. 2, January 16, 1972
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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We have come from all parts of Canada and Quebec to participate in the FIRST NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CANADA (MARXIST-LENINIST) and we have with us several observers from the U.S. and close supporters of the Party from across Canada and Quebec. Our main motive for getting together is to advance the revolutionary struggle against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys in Canada and Quebec. It is a very good thing that we have joined together in this CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE. When Comrades and friends get together it means that there are many experiences to be shared, many lessons to be learnt from the work we have been engaged in and many tasks to be agreed upon to carry our struggle through to the end. I am convinced that it is the resolute spirit of unity which has brought us together. LET THIS FIRST CONFERENCE BE A CONFERENCE OF UNITY!
Just over a year ago, the National Executive of the Party issued a call to wage class struggle in the Party against the ultra-left. A few months later, in the TWENTY-FIRST CONVENTION OF THE PARTY HELD IN MAY, 1971 IN GUELPH, that call became the basic programme of inner-Party building. After the Twenty-First Convention, the main focus of the struggle shifted from ultra-left to rightists – those who were engaged in corroding the Party from within. Today we have gotten together to sum up that experience. We call this conference CONSULTATIVE because we have a deep desire to hear the news of all our comrades and even of our close supporters and we wish to involve them in STRENGTHENING THE PARTY LEADERSHIP.
Ultra-leftists and rightists never consult the genuine Marxist-Leninists or the revolutionary masses. Their ideas are “their” ideas and not those of the Party. They are alien to the Party spirit. It is for this reason they spread their venom from dark corners. They will never bring their ideas to be tested and confronted in daylight amongst the masses. Not only do we adhere to the FORMAL PARTY DISCIPLINE and take every decision in the DEMOCRATIC CENTRALIST basis but we also bring ideas into the open and consider CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCES AS THE MOST IMPORTANT WAY OF ESTABLISHING PARTY AUTHORITY AND THE PARTY’S DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM. We have a long tradition of such conferences. The Montreal Conference of December 1968 was such a conference. The Regina Conference of May 1969, the Vancouver Conference of December I969, the Patriots Conference of March 1970 and various local and regional conferences are all of this type. IT IS VERY NECESSARY TO HAVE SUCH CONFERENCES. THESE CONFERENCES SUM UP EXPERIENCE, MAKE COMRADES CONSCIOUS OF THE PARTY’S TASKS AND MOST IMPORTANT, STRENGTHEN INNER-PARTY BUILDING. Now that we have a Central Committee and its National Executive, we also have a FIRST FORMAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE.
The main content of the CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE is to strengthen the Proletarian revolutionary line, that is integrating theory with practice which for us Canadians means leading the Canadian working class and people to victory over U.S. imperialism and all their lackeys and to bring about proletarian revolution. In fact, it is a well-known fact that without a proletarian revolution there can be no overthrow of U.S. imperialism, further, overthrow of U.S. imperialism is the first step of proletarian revolution and not the last step. The working class is the main as well as the leading force of revolution. The Canadian proletariat is a modern proletariat most advanced and very numerous. Together with the proletariat of Quebec and the U.S., the Canadian proletariat is the most revolutionary class and is entrusted with the sacred task of overthrowing the most decadent imperialism of all times, the U.S. imperialists and its most servile tools. There are comrades amongst us who are paying lip-service to this analysis but refrain from both popularising revolutionary ideas amongst the workers and mobilising workers as the main force of revolution.
We have the instruments of working class propaganda. We have cadres. We have experience. We know our country. Then let us take up the TASK OF LEADING and MOBILISING THE MAIN FORCE OF revolution. Let us organise the Canadian working class and oppressed people into one revolutionary class with its own revolutionary Party capable of overthrowing its class enemies. THIS IS A CHALLENGE TO ALL OF US. We must BUILD THE PARTY and AROUSE THE MASSES.
We can achieve this and we will certainly do so in the not too distant future. We need CENTRALISED LEADERSHIP and localised actions. Short-range actions, on-the-ground actions, actions big and small taken in the context of developing the over-all revolutionary struggle and directed towards achieving our strategic goals. Everyone can have big dreams. In fact, the more bourgeois an individual is, the bigger his dreams. Only a proletarian and for that matter only a true proletarian is not a dreamer because he is engaged in overthrowing everything other-worldly in practice. We must be proletarians of this type. We have a problem. The problem of BUILDING THE PARTY and AROUSING THE MASSES. LET US GET ON WITH DEALING WITH IT. The CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE IS CALLED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO NOT BECOME DREAMERS, BUT INSTEAD GET ON WITH THE TASK AT HAND.
We have worked hard in the past year. We have eliminated several weaknesses. We have friends all over Canada and Quebec and in many other countries. The result of this work has borne fruit. We are on the threshold of making another leap forward. COMRADES, LET US MAKE THAT LEAP. THE CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE IS A SURE GUARANTEE THTT THIS LEAP WILL TAKE PLACE. THE CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE IS TO BEGIN AN ERA OF PARTY BUILDING IN WHICH COMRADES DO EVERYTHING TO STRENGTHEN AND BUILD THE PARTY’S CENTRALISED LEADERSHIP – THE CENTRAL ORGANS AND THE CENTRAL OFFICE. WE ARE NO METAPHYSICIANS. WE KNOW THAT FIRST WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE PROBLEM. THEN WE HAVE TACKLE IT. IN THE PROCESS OF TACKLING IT WE FIND OUT WHAT IS REQUIRED of all of us.
To depend on the actual support amongst the local people for local work and to use party cadres for strengthening and building the centralised party leadership means that a comrade or a basic unit is dealing with the question of strengthening the leading force and mobilising the main force, that is building the Party and Arousing the masses.
Comrades, those who no not follow Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line in BUILDING THE PARTY and AROUSING THE MASSES are the ones who have attempted in the past TO VIOLATE FORMAL PARTY DISCIPLINE, SUBSTITUTE PARTY POLICY WITH “THEIR” POLICY, SUPPORT COMMUNALISM, LIBERALISM AND NAZISM, OPPOSE REVOLUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND HARM THE REAL INTERESTS OF THE WORKING AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE. These counter-revolutionary elements can be defeated if we ourselves persist in STRENGTHENING THE PARTY LEADERSHIP AND AROUSING THE MASSES.
Finally, I am very happy to announce that the Party’s correct policy of SEEKING THE UNITY OF OLD COMRADES WITH NEW ONES and LEARNING FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF THE OLD COMRADES TO STRENGTHEN THE WORK AT THIS PRESENT TIME has been successful and we are pleased to have amongst us comrades who have served the Canadian proletariat for a long period of time and have never given up their faith in eventual victory of communism. I particularly call upon all comrades to engage in discussions with them on relevant matters and learn from their experience. With these remarks, Comrades, I warmly welcome you to this Conference and declare the Conference open.