First Published:The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 5, March 5, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In February 1978, the Canadian Communist League (Marxist Leninist) held its Second Congress with delegates attending from across Canada. The Second Congress marked a significant step forward for the League and for the struggle for the socialist revolution in Canada. With a great spirit of unity and revolutionary enthusiasm, the Congress opened a new and last decisive stage in the League’s work – the final drive towards the creation of the Marxist-Leninist party, the vanguard of the Canadian working class.
The Congress adopted the Political(Report of the Central Committee elected at the First Congress in May 1976, adopted important resolutions on the Quebec national question and the party, modified the League’s statutes, and elected the new Central Committee.
In the unanimous adoption of the resolution on the party, the Congress confirmed the role of the League as the leading centre in the struggle to forge the party, a party based on Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-tung Thought. It defined the League’s orientation in the next period as being the fulfillment of all the conditions necessary for the creation of the party and, after that, of preparing for the holding of the party’s founding congress.
The Political Report underlined the supreme urgency of this task in the present conditions. “Comrades, with the aggravation of the economic and political crisis in our country, with the approach of the great political battle around the Quebec referendum and with the growing danger of world war, the Canadian working class more than ever needs its political general staff, its organized vanguard. This historic responsibility rests now on the CCL(ML).”
The Congress clearly put forward that the only solution to exploitation and oppression is the proletarian revolution. This can only be achieved by the armed overthrow of the bourgeoisie by the working masses and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. As the Report stated:
To accomplish this task, we must build the widest united front against the bourgeoisie, our main enemy, under the direction of the proletariat allied to the people and to all oppressed nationalities. The masses of our country will rise up and smash the brutal and cruel exploiters of the capitalist class. Our future is socialism. We don’t have to ask ourselves if the revolution is possible as do the opportunists of In Struggle. We know that it is inevitable. It appears on the horizon as the only possible solution. But we must work to realize this goal. We must be ready to lay down our lives for this struggle.
The Report emphasized that the party can only be forged in the heat of the class struggle by taking full advantage of the crisis and participating in the political and economic struggles of the working class.
The League reaffirmed its total support for the brilliant strategic concept of the division of the world in three, formulated by Chairman Mao Tsetung. This theory is the proletarian class position on the international situation today.It is a powerful weapon which permits the world proletariat to distinguish between its friends and its enemies and to build up the widest united front of all peoples and countries of the world against the two superpowers, the main enemies of humanity The Report denounced the virulent attacks by the modern revisionists with the Soviet Union as ring-leader, and by opportunists of all kinds, on the three-worlds theory. All these attacks serve only one purpose, to sabotage the struggle of the world proletariat against imperialism and reaction.
The League is working for the unity of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. This unity is based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism Mao Testung Thought. It is built in the struggle against the main danger, modern revisionism, as well as in the fight against all forms of opportunism which seek to divide and splinter the growing unity between fraternal parties and organizations.
The Report underlined our firm and unshakeable support for socialist China and the Communist Party of China under the wise leadership of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng and saluted the accomplishments of the 11th Congress of the CPC and the smashing of the counter-revolutionary “gang of four.”
The Report affirmed our support for all socialist countries like China and Albania and particularly hailed the emergence of Democratic Kampuchea as a new socialist country.
We must Intensify our support for the world proletariat and oppressed peoples and nations in their struggle against the superpowers, imperialism and all reaction, for national liberation, new democracy and socialism. The peoples and countries of the third world are the main force in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism. Canadian Marxist-Leninists have the particular task of supporting people engaged in the battle against Canadian imperialism.
The Report stated the need to prepare and educate the Canadian people on the growing danger of world war. The next world war caused by the frenetic rivalry between the two superpowers, of which Soviet social-imperialism is the most aggressive and the main source of war, is inevitable. But the war is not imminent, it can be delayed by the concerted actions of the world’s peopled in the united front against the superpowers’ war preparations. The final elimination of all wars will only come with the elimination of imperialism and the victory of socialism the world over.
In Canada we must fight the domination and threats of both superpowers, particularly US imperialism, and struggle to safeguard Canada’s independence. These tasks are subordinated to and are part and parcel of the struggle for socialist revolution in Canada. They can only be carried out under the leadership of the proletariat. The Report condemned any possibility of allying with or counting on the Canadian bourgeoisie, the main enemy of the proletarian revolution.
The Report reaffirmed that the principal contradiction in Canada is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
The Report underlined the very serious nature of the current capitalist crisis in Canada, which is part of the general crisis of the world imperialist system. But in addition, the economic crisis has aggravated national oppression and produced a political crisis inside the Canadian bourgeoisie around the Quebec national question.
The Report emphasized that it is essential that the League take the lead in the class against class fightback of the working class and the masses against all the effects of the crisis. It pointed out the need to intensify the battle against the wage freeze, repression, the deterioration of health and safety, inflation, price hikes and budget cuts.
Because of its burning impor tance, the Report stated the tasks of the proletariat around the Quebec national question in order to build the steel-like unity of the working class. It emphasized that great-nation chauvinism is the main danger in the country as a whole. In English Canada the working class has the particular task of struggling for the recognition of the democratic rights of the Quebec nation, particularly the right to self-determination up to and including the right to form a separate Quebec state. In Quebec the working class has the particular task of struggling against narrow nationalism and against the Parti Quebecois government and its separation project which will only divide the working class, open Canada up to increased superpower domination and hold back the struggle for a socialist Canada.
As part of the struggle against capitalist oppression we must take up the struggle for the rights of the Indian, Metis and Inuit peoples, the Acadian and francophone minorities and all other oppressed nationalities. We must build the unity of the working class and small producers like small fishermen and small farmers, close allies of the proletariat. We must win over working class youth, the masses of working women, immigrant workers and revolutionary students.
The report brought out the need to combat all the bourgeois political formations and stated that particular emphasis must be put on fighting parties that have a strong influence in the workers’ movement, like the PQ in Quebec, the reformist NDP in English Canada and the revisionist party, agent of the bourgeoisie and of Soviet social-imperialism. And we must fight against all those counter revolutionary and opportunist forces like the “CPCML”, In Struggle and the various Trotskyist groups.
The Report presented an analysis of the workers’ and union movement.
It put forward clearly the tasks for the coming year:
1) to carry out education in the workers’ movement by fusing Marxism-Leninism with the workers’ movement and winning workers to communism;
2) to oppose the line of class collaboration in our unions and fight for class struggle unions;
3) to build the fightback of the working people and oppressed nationalities against the bourgeoisie.
The Report presented a detailed analysis of the development of the League during the period since its last Congress. It underlined the great victories won in the class struggle, in the political campaigns of the League, in establishing roots in the working class and the masses and in its development from an essentially Montreal-based organization to one working across Quebec, in Ontario, British Columbia, the Prairies and the Maritimes.
An important factor in the League’s development has been its resolute struggle against opportunism and for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist movement. The Political Report underlined the correct stand of the League in unmasking the revisionist group In Struggle.
The Report emphasized again the three conditions necessary to carry out the building of the party and set the tasks for the coming period as:
1) On the question of line
– producing the draft program for the party, in which the line of the League will be developed and completed on important questions, and assure a clear demarcation with all opportunist and revisionist formations.
2) On the question of unity
– Pursuing the struggle to unite with all Marxist-Leninists who are still outside the League’s ranks.
3) The most important condition was fixed as the rallying of advanced workers to communism.
Our task on this question is to improve in general our rallying of workers, particularly to the industrial proletariat,transforming factories into bastions of communism by building factory cells, and extending the organization in the industrial centres of English Canada.
The Report emphasized the need the lead a resolute struggle against right opportunism, in the form of economism and primitive work methods, and also to develop a correct communist work style linking theory with practice, applying the mass line and using the Bolshevik weapon of criticism and self-criticism. In this way the League will be able to fully play its role as the leading centre in the battle for the party.
The Congress elected the new Central Committee of the CCL(ML) through secret ballot. The Congress expressed its fullestsupport, and united around the new Central Committee.
The Second Congress of the CCL(ML) was marked by the greatest degree of participation and democracy. Before the Congress the members of the organization discussed the preparatory documents submitted by the First Central Committee and expressed their comments and criticisms. The delegates to the Congress were elected by democratic vote in the base units and structures of the League. The composition of the delegates at the Congress showed a strong working class composition, a very large increase from its first Congress, as well as an important representation of women delegates. Delegates came from all five regions of the country with delegates from the oppressed Quebec nation in very strong presence. Proceedings were conducted in French and English with simultaneous translation provided for the delegates.
At the Congress itself there was an enthusiastic participation by delegates in workshops and plenary sessions where comments and amendments were brought to strengthen the documents. The unity of the class viewpoint was shown by the unanimous adoption of the Political Report, the resolutions and the modified statutes.
The Congress was held in secrecy. This is an important victory over the bourgeoisie and its agents who have every interest in attacking and repressing the League. The important political decisions and developments of theSecond Congress will be published in future issues of The Forge and in the theoretical journal October.
As the new statutes state, the League is a detachment of the international communist movement. The spirit of proletarian internationalism, of unity and solidarity with Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations, the international proletariat,socialist countries and all oppressed peoples and nations was a constant theme throughout the Congress.
The Congress opened with a solemn one-minute silence for Mao Tsetung, the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era, showing the League’s determination to uphold the principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought. The Congress closed with the singing of the Internationale in a great show of solidarity as English-speaking and French-speaking delegates sang the militant strains of the proletariat’s great hymn of liberation.
With the chant of “To defeat the bourgeoisie, forge our Party,” the delegates left the Congress with fresh resolve and vigour, fully determined to engage in this central task of creating the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of the working class and to take up the class struggle for a socialist Canada.
Long live the Second Congress of the CCL(ML)!
Forward to the Marxist-Leninist Party!
Long live Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought!
Canadian workers, rally to your vanguard organization, the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist)!
Central Committee of the CCL(ML)