First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 2, January 20, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
In Struggle recently announced the holding of its Second Congress. Hidden in the middle of their article in their December 22 issue on the Congress was the curt statement that, “Of all the contradictions in Canadian society, the principal contradiction is the one opposing the Canadian proletariat to the Canadian bourgeoisie.”
One would think at first glance that this crucial change in In Struggle’s position would merit a vigorous self-criticism. But no! Not a word of self-criticism for the fact that for over two years now In Struggle (I.S.) has been actively spreading a totally erroneous position – on this the most important strategic question for the Canadian revolution. In Struggle’s old position claimed that the principal contradiction was between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie linked to American imperialism. Not a word even to announce that I.S. had even adopted a new position is to be found in the entire article.
But deciding upon the principal contradiction is not an academic exercise – it is a burning question which can determine the success or failure of the struggle for socialism in our country. Answering this question shows us who is our main enemy, against whom we must direct our main blows and who is the main revolutionary force in our country?
The League has always maintained since its beginning that the principal contradiction in our country is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. We have right from our creation undertaken to criticize openly and resolutely In Struggle’s position as a manifestation of right-opportunism. In Struggle on the other hand has never really answered our criticisms.
We consider their new tactic of slipping in a fundamental change in their position without a profound self-criticism to be a totally opportunist manoeuvre, which smacks of revisionism. For it is aimed at covering up and abandoning all frank and open debate over ideological and political line – the only road to the unity of Marxist-Leninists in our country.
What Lenin said about the attitude of parties towards their errors has many lessons for Marxist-Leninist groups here.
The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it in practice fulfills its obligations towards its class and the toiling masses. Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions which led to it and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it – that is the earmark of a serious party: that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class and then the masses. By failing to fulfill this duty, by falling to give the utmost attention, care and consideration to the study of their obvious mistake, the’Lefts’ in Germany (and in Holland) have proved that they are not a party of the class but a circle, not a party of the masses, but a group of intellectuals and a few workers who imitate the worst features of inteilectualism. (Left-Wing Communism)
In Struggle’s attitude does nothing to further the struggle for the unity of Marxist-Leninists and for the creation of a genuine communist party in our country. Their attitude towards the principal contradiction is only the tip of the iceberg of a series of other erroneous positions they have recently come out with.
For example, their position on the most important secondary contradiction identifies American imperialism as the most dangerous superpower for our revolution, but continues to ignore the threat to the Canadian revolution posed by the rising superpower, the social-imperialist Soviet Union.
The Congress article states, “The other imperialist states, including Soviet social-imperialism, should equally be considered enemies of the Canadian revolution”. It’s completely opportunist to lump together in this manner the USSR, a social-fascist superpower and main danger for the new world war, with, say, Belgian imperialism. Because by doing this I.S. liquidates the real and actual menace of Soviet social-imperialists for the Canadian people. We will deal with this and other questions in coming issues of The Forge.
These latest moves of In Struggle only confirm our position about its right-opportunist politics in its strategic line, in the struggle for unity and in its work amongst the working class. They will only strengthen our resolve to continue the struggle against In Struggle’s opportunism and to intensify the battle for unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists which can only be based around a correct ideological and political line.