The following are references to works on the party programme, and the organizational principles of the party.
Draft and Explanation of a Programme for the Social-Democratic Party, LCW, vol. 2.
Our Programme, LCW, vo. 4. Our Immediate Tasks, LCW, vol. 4.
A Draft Programme of Our Party, LCW, vol. 4.
Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra, LCW, vol. 4
Draft Declaration of Iskra and Zarya, LCW, vol. 4
Notes on Plehkanov’s Second Draft Programme, LCW, vo. 6
Opinion on Plekhanov’s Second Draft, LCW, vol. 6
A Letter to the Northern League, LCW, vol. 6
The National Question in Our Programme, LCW, vol. 6
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, LCW, vol. 7
Materials Relating to the Revision of the Party Programme, LCW, vol. 24
Draft Programme of the RCP, LCW, vol. 29
The Terms of Admission into the Communist International, LCW, vol. 31
History of the CPSU(B), Short Course
On Organization (Proletarian Publishers)
Lenin on the Revolutionary Proletarian Party of a New Type (Proletarian Publishers)
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We present here the stated positions of other groups in the movement to show that we are not alone in seeing our present Marxist-Leninist movement of struggle for the party as a very recent phenomenon and to show that it developed out of another movement which was not in itself Marxist-Leninist.,/p>
In “Let Us Construct. ..”, In Struggle! explains:
We said above that the M-L movement In Quebec took form In the struggle against social-democratic opportunism and bourgeois nationalism. In this struggle, an important place must be assigned to the period of rupture of M-L elements from the “political action front” (FRAP) of Montreal in 1970-71. (FRAP was social-democratic and trotskyite. . .)
This break . . . was the sign of an important step forward in the M-L movement in Quebec. However, it would be incorrect to consider this break, in itself, as the founding act of the M-L movement here. Rather, it was the ideological struggle that took place after the break. (Our translation from “Creons . . . p. 4)
And, more recently, in “Fight the Sectarianism . . .”, we learn that the nucleus of In Struggle!
. . . did not intend to achieve the project of building the newspaper alone, nor did it intend to achieve it outside of the PROGRESSIVE FORCES EXISTING AT THE TIME, a great portion of which (but not all – BU) were already struggling to guide their actions with Marxist-Leninist principles.
And, going back right to the beginning, we find in “Document de presentation du projet de ’l’equipe du journal” (Presentation of the Project of the Newspaper Nucleus – the group which preceded In Struggle!) we learn of their early efforts to inform ”militants and progressive groups” of their efforts and that they wanted to “progressively guarantee a greater ideological unity within different vanguard groups and militant unions.” The pamphlet uses the word “Marxism-Leninism” only once! (quotations are from page 1 and 2 – our translation),/p>
From the League we learn:
With the gradual disintegration of the CAPS and the creation of groups which sincerely tried to base themselves on Marxism-Leninism and apply it to the concrete situation (during 1973 and 1974) we can date the birth of the Marxist-Leninist movement in Quebec. (“The Struggle for the Creation of the Canadian Communist League (M-L), p. 8)
Finally, according to Workers’ Unity in “Workers’ Unity Rallies to the CCL(ML)”:
The last few years have seen the birth of a new Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada. This movement has arisen in opposition to the petit-bourgeois leftism of the youth and student movements. .. . Specifically, we developed out of a reaction to a past line ... the line of Red Morning, a youth-culture-oriented, petit-bourgeois leftist organization. . . .
In short, despite all the “good intentions” in the world, we did not advance a proletarian line.
Up to and including this time (fall/winter 1974) there was as yet no public organized activity by us or any Marxist-Leninists in Toronto. The “new Marxist-Leninist movement” that we claimed to be a part of, existed only in our self-conceptions and in our knowledge of the existence of other groupings. To progressive militants and the working class generally in Toronto, the new communist movement was virtually non-existent.
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In respect to the League’s objective denial of the dictatorship of the proletariat, we will do a “spot check” by examining one issue of The Forge which has a center piece on this subject.
As we know from Stalin’s Foundations of Leninism, an important feature of Leninism is the unity of theory and practice. Conversely, discrepancies between theory and practice are a hallmark of opportunism.
While it is true that the League in theory recognizes the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is difficult to affirm this from its practice.
The center page of issue no. 9 of The Forge (the “theoretical section”, it would appear) is devoted to the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and yet in the same newspaper, articles which highlight the “practice” of the League consistently obscure this question.
Thus on page 3 we have an account of an “Evening for The Forge” (“tool to create the party”). Typical is the following: “A worker from heavy industry spoke of the need to build a communist organization to direct our struggles in our factories and to link them together.” From this article, and presumably from this event, we would know that we need a party to consolidate the economic struggle of the workers, but not that we need a party to overthrow (not merely defensively resist) the bourgeoisie.
On page 5 is an article on how to render “concrete” the slogan “Prepare for a General Strike”. We learn that it is necessary to “point out the need for socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat.” This would be fine except for how this is defined in the next sentences: First of all, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not defined at all. The “fight for socialism” is defined as breaking the “bourgeoisie’s resistance and imposing our will.” This follows on the heels, again, of references only to the economic struggle. We do not learn from this that the “fight for socialism” is the fight to politically overthrow the bourgeoisie. “Impose our will” in the economic struggle is a poor shadow of imposing our dictatorship in the political struggle.
Then, in response to a letter on page 15, we learn again that a party is necessary to “make ail our struggles successful” (economic struggles – plural – as opposed to the political class struggle – singular). It is, we learn, necessary to link “the ideological and practical preparations for a general strike with the call to forge our party.” But no mention of linking the economic struggle, or the struggle for the party, with the ultimate aim, that of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and establishing a proletarian dictatorship.
Now it seems possible that in certain cases because of the context, the League would omit to make reference to the key aim of the party, of socialism, and of proletarian revolution. But there is a consistent pattern here. Theoretical “sections” aside, the party for the League always appears as the instrument for greater “successes” in the economic struggle which it represents as the equivalent to the one and only real success of the proletariat: socialist revolution. The party is presented as the solution itself to workers’ immediate problems, not as an instrument in making this revolution.
We will be showing in our article “Right-Opportunism is Dead! Long Live Right-Opportunism!” and in other articles about the League that their entire political line hinges on the representation of the defensive struggle for reforms as “revolutionary” and “the class struggle.” In their recent position in Canadian Revolution no. 6 (Reply to May First), they make it extensively clear that “Today . . . the struggle for state power. . . is primary” and then proceed to represent the “struggle for state power” as the struggle for political power within the bourgeois state apparatus, e.g., the struggle for democratic rights c»!d militant trade unions. They make it clear that this is not contingent upon the development of the consciousness of the proletariat as a class-for-itself. These points we will develop in full in the near future. These politics are a denial of the dictatorship of the proletariat.