First Published: The Forge Vol. 2, No. 3, February 3, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The Groupe Abitibi-Temiscamingue (marxiste-leniniste) has rallied to the ranks of the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist). This is the result of the struggle for unity begun several months ago by the two groups. All during their development, the relationship between the two groups was based on the struggle against opportunism – on the level of line and of practice. The League made open and firm criticism of the errors which marked the political line of the GAT(ml). It played an educational role with these comrades to support them in rectifying their practice, especially by encouraging their involvement in widespread communist agitation and propaganda activities.
This group was created and developed in the heart of Quebec’s northwest, an agricultural, mining, and forest region hard hit by the present crisis. Its rallying to the League will give added vigour to the communist work of the League within the Quebec nation. The influence of the League is spreading from the north coast to the Ottawa Valley, from the St. Maurice River region to Temiscaming and is becoming more and more deep-rooted. This is a victory for the Canadian proletariat. The growing influence of communist ideas in industrial and mining centers like Thetford Mines and Rouyn in Quebec and in the huge centers of English Canada is living proof that the working class of our country can and will break down the national barriers used by the bourgeoisie to weaken it and that it will build a strong communist Marxist-Leninist party to lead the socialist revolution in Canada.
“After less than a year of existence and several months of struggle with the CCL(ML) on ideological and political line, it is with much enthusiasm that the GAT(ml) announces its dissolution and rallying to the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist).
Our struggle for unity was not an easy one. Our group was influenced by bourgeois ideology and we made several errors in line (for example on the national question) and in our practice (economism). We have learned to recognize right-opportunism, the main danger within the young Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada.”
“Basing ourselves on the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism we started by evaluating and criticizing the various forms of practice we had before we formed the GAT(ml). Then we developed a basis of political agreement which would enable us to create the Groupe Abitibi-Temiscamingue. It is this agreement which enabled us to lead a more systematic struggle against the bourgeois line and our own deviations (from a clear class viewpoint.)
Based on our political agreement, and with correct criticism from the CCL(ML) we proceeded in a concrete and consistent manner, to take a position on the question of the unity of Marxist-Leninists. From the very beginning when our group was founded, we have always rejected the idea of unprincipled unity. In spite of this, we had to struggle against the most common manifestation of right opportunism on the question of unity – seeking the easiest way to unity without struggle and without principle or reducing the level of agreement on line.
In the beginning, we made a serious right-opportunist and localist error on the question of unity. Under the pretext of “not dividing Marxist-Leninist forces on a regional level”, we sought an agreement with the members of In Struggle in the Rouyn-Noranda region, in spite of our major differences in line. We thus delayed the struggle to rally to the organization with which we had a real basis for agreement – the CCL(ML).
We finally identified our mistake, and after a self-criticism we took up the struggle to rally to the League.
But our struggle against opportunism was not to be limited to the question of the unity of Marxist-Leninists. With the RMS (a Trotskyist group) trying to penetrate the unions in our region, we strengthened our understanding of different anti-Marxist trends and took up the struggle against Trotskyism.
All these struggles against opportunism confirmed the absolute need for a correct ideological and political line tested in class struggle.”
During the discussion for unity we debated the important questions of ideological and political line. These debates enabled us to see the weaknesses and errors in our line, but they especially encouraged us to deepen our study of Marxism-Leninism. Each time we recognized the correctness of the CCL(ML)’s positions on questions of ideological and political line.”
“...The struggle for unity with the League made us realize the extent to which we were marked by primitivism, amateurishness and localism. We came to under stand the need for democratic centralism.”
“From the founding of our group, the GAT(ml), our entire political evolution demonstrates, and confirms that ideological and political line determines everything. The mistakes and the successes in all our work and activities have their source in the errors and correct points of our political line.
For a while, we believed that our differences with In Struggle (who have been present in our region for a long time) were differences in terms, in work methods, and in style and that our likeness to the League came from its good style of work. But we know now that our differences with In Struggle were based on its line and that our likeness to the League was also a question of line.
We have forged a steel-like unity with the League. We wish to stress the correctness of the CCL(ML)’s attitude in the struggle for unity with our group. On the basis of sound political criteria, the League was able to evaluate us and to deal with us in a just manner. The CCL(ML) recognized us as a young Marxist-Leninist group, founded on Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought, a group leading the struggle against opportunism and taking on the tasks for the building of the Party. The discussions between the league and the GAT(ml) were founded on equality and mutual respect. The CCL(ML) played its vanguard role consciously and justly by identifying the correct orientation for our debates and by educating us when we did not realize the importance or the content of a particular question.
Today, we are rallying to the ranks of the League. This is a great leap forward for us. It also represents a further step in the strengthening of the unity of the Marxist Leninist movement as a whole, based on correct ideological and political line. We are that many more in the ranks of the League fighting against the Canadian bourgeoisie and for the building of the Party.
...Comrades of all groups, collectives or organizations, we must draw the lessons from the experience of this small group. We must lead the struggle firmly against right-opportunism within our ranks and in the masses. We must not hesitate to take up a firm ideological struggle to achieve the greatest possible unity.”
Long live the unity of Marxist-Leninists!
Smash right-opportunism, the principal danger in the Marxist-Leninist movement!
On with the struggle for socialism in Canada!
Forge our Party!