First Published: In Struggle! No. 288, June 22, 1982
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The debate on the perspectives for IN STRUGGLE! was well under way before the Congress. Various tendencies which had come together had already written in the newspaper. The Collective of 30 and militants from B.C. proposed the suspension of the Programme in favour of a new revolutionary basis of unity. The “Majority Consensus” proposed to reject the Programme and Constitution of IN STRUGGLE! while maintaining an organization with an elected leadership and more flexible organizational forms. The Democracy Collective also proposed to reject the Programme but to wait until the fall when a 5th Congress could adopt a new political platform. Other individuals (some close to the position in the “cahiers brouillons”) who were not organized in a tendency proposed the dissolution of the organization.
The discussion on the perspective started off with a resolution presented by two members from B.C. and some from Quebec, which proposed anew basis of unity. This resolution, divided into two parts, “The world in which we live” and “What we want”, with a preface criticizing the old Programme was finally voted down (133 votes against, 91 for and 19 abstentions).
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1. Unemployment, starvation and brutal repression are the daily reality for millions of people around the world today as capitalism sinks into its most serious crisis since the 1930’s. While conditions in the industrialised countries are not so severe, the effects of the crisis are intensifying. In Canada close to a quarter of the population lives in relative poverty (for the most part women and their dependants). Unemployment has reached the highest level in 40 years and the cost of living continues to outpace wages. The federal government has enacted a new constitution which eliminates Quebec’s traditional veto and seriously threatens aboriginal rights. While pretending to expand democratic rights in this same constitution, the government is in the process of establishing internment camps for use in a ’domestic emergency’. The right with its ideology of God, nation and the family attracts new recruits each day while the Klan’s racist attacks become part of the reality for national minorities.
2. At the same time opposition to the actions of world imperialism is on the rise – whether it be the fight of the people of Central America against fascist repression, the struggles of Polish workers for a decent living standard and more democracy, the demand of women for control over their bodies and their lives, or the millions who march for nuclear disarmament and peace.
3. In the context of the deepening crisis of imperialism the revolutionary left, especially in the imperialist countries, finds itself incapable of providing a viable political alternative. In fact, revolutionary organisations around the world are in crisis themselves due to among other factors: a) setbacks in the struggle for socialism internationally (eg. China); b) their failure to make significant inroads in the working class movements; and c) the effects of the crisis on the members of these organisations themselves.
4. A consequence of this crisis is not just a questioning of tactics and organisational forms but also of theoretical perspectives. For communist organisations this means reassessing what for the past 60 years have been considered the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism. Many have come to the realisation that a lot of these so-called principles were created as measures to deal with the specific conditions faced by the Soviet Union: for example a particular conception of the vanguard party and of the relationship between the party and the masses. The application of this ’ossified Marxism-Leninism’ has often turned the living science of historical materialism into a collection of idealist recipes for social change.
5. While many of the fundamental conceptions in IN STRUGGLE!’s program remain valuable and are inspired by a communist view of present society, it contains many serious weaknesses and errors:
a) The program presents very incomplete or partially erroneous conclusions about the contemporary world. For instance, the program reflects a real lack of understanding of women’s oppression, which is in practice reduced to a mere question of “sexual discrimination”. The whole area of reproduction, the family, “personal life”, is one of the aspects totally ignored.
The program conveys an idealistic and moralistic evaluation of the so-called socialist societies when it says that these countries “adopted the path of capitalist restoration” because they did not have a “firm application of Marxism-Leninism”. Formulas that render the action of the communist parties solely responsible for the development of socialist societies are used in place of a concrete analysis of these societies, their social formations and the nature of the contradictions that explain both their current stale and their past development.
The program presents a fairly superficial critique of capitalism as the dominant economic system on a world scale. The reference to the “four main contradictions (that) govern the contemporary world” and a perhaps excessive use of the notion of imperialism to explain everything that happens in the world replace any real critical analysis of developments in the capitalist mode of production and more especially the concrete effects of its introduction in many countries where other modes of production exist.
Lastly, the program neglects major characteristics of contemporary bourgeois societies, and in particular the field of politics and ideology, it thus loses sight at least partially of the bourgeoisie’s specific forms of power, the extremely powerful means by which the bourgeoisie maintains its ideological and political control of the masses: the State, church, family, school, mass media...
b) The program’s vision of socialism is marked by idealism and considerably secondarises the class contradictions that will characterise socialist society for an indefinite period of time and the unpredictable nature of the development of these contradictions in the foreseeable future. Such a vision leads to voluntarism, namely the idea that after the revolution (the taking of power) the popular masses will be more or less unanimous in their desire to build socialism and about how to go about it: the only social contradictions that would then remain would be those between the (socialist) people and bourgeois reaction.
c) The programmes vision of revolution is also marked by idealism. It suggests that the working class and popular masses, and more especially the communists, can “make revolution” as they wish. It also contains elements of strategy and tactics that deserve to be challenged at least in the light of historical experience and, perhaps even more, in the light of a more thorough comprehension of the contradictions in contemporary society and its dynamics. These elements include the single party and the relationship between the party and the other organisations of the working class.
6. The members of IN STRUGGLE!, like those in other communist organisations around the world, are reacting to this ideological crisis in a variety of ways. For some this means a renewed interests in social democracy and anarchism. This takes the form of challenging the analysis of the nature of imperialism, the role of the State, and the strategic importance of reforms and democracy. This substitution of one form of idealism for another is not new but is the historical response of the petty-bourgeoisie in crisis. For others, this means trying to restore a materialist approach to the science of social change and recognising that there are no quick or easy solutions. We have to come to grips with questions that have haunted the communist movement for decades – questions like the emancipation of women, the relationship of the party to the masses, and the role of reforms. But we must do it from a scientific class perspective. We should not be afraid to ask the ’unaskable’i there are no wrong questions, just hard ones.
7. So, what is to be done? Some say that the program is the source of all our problems and must be rejected. We disagree. There are serious errors that permeate the program – which mean that the program cannot be patched up with a few amendments. What we need however, is a thoroughgoing critique of our program and practice – using the science of historical materialism. As this will be an extended process we call for suspension of the program. In the interim we must unite around what we do know about the world, while maintaining the flexibility to develop in a comprehensive way the analysis of the class struggle and the strategy and tactics for achieving socialism in Canada. We must have a basis of unity because the kind of program we need cannot be developed in isolation from the class struggle and no political organisation can function without a common political perspective.
8. The proposed basis of unity which follows is one which we hope can be a framework for uniting not just the members and supporters of IN STRUGGLE! but also many of the thousands of Canadian and Quebecois revolutionaries outside our ranks. In the course of the coming years we must examine thoroughly the many questions which remain partially, incorrectly or totally unanswered: the analysis of capitalism as the dominant system on a world scale; the women’s question; a better understanding of socialism and its setbacks; a class analysis, and in particular an analysis of the working class, the labour aristocracy and the petty bourgeoisie; the role of politics and ideology in our societies, and notably the study of the role of the state and unions; the relationship between world revolution and revolution in Canada; an understanding of the forms taken by national oppression today; the role of the party.
But these questions should not all be taken up at the same time. There should be a specific plan that sets priorities in dealing with themes. This plan should allow for the inclusion of new questions that emerge from our practice in the class struggle.
1. We live in a world where the capitalist mode of production predominates. Capitalism has reached the stage of imperialism and cannot “progress” further; its internal contradictions will ultimately lead to its own collapse. Even if, as some say, imperialism had a progressive aspect, this is no longer the case as capitalism has supplanted feudalism and petty commodity production on a world scale. Imperialism is a thoroughly reactionary system. While imperialism at certain times wears a democratic face (usually in wealthy and more stable countries – like Canada) it continually subjects people around the globe to the most extreme forms of exploitation and oppression. And as history has shown, when imperialism is threatened, democratic gains can be quickly reversed and replaced with mass arrest, torture, and fascism. As the crisis develops in countries like Canada and real democratic gains are threatened and taken away, the question of democracy and its strategic importance will become of increasing concern to the working class and revolutionary movement. This underlines the necessity of deepening our point of view on this question.
2. The world we live in it characterised by the systematic oppression of women as well. While patriarchy predates capitalism, it has refined and integrated patriarchy into the capitalist/imperialist order. Production and reproduction (reproduction of children and bringing them up, reproduction of labour power, reproduction of social relations) are interrelated and constitute the material base of our society and its organisation. The family in all its forms is part of production and capitalist social relations. This kind of society inevitably violates the right to free sexual orientation, and gays and lesbians in particular are victims of many forms of oppression, discrimination and repression.
In our society, women’s oppression cuts across class divisions. This means there are issues and demands that are common to women of all social classes, nationalities and races. However, women are not all oppressed or exploited equally. Class is a fundamental factor in determining women’s work, life expectancy and what the important issues are for them. Race and nationality are also significant factors.
3. Imperialism is marked by recurring crises which are becoming sharper. Growing inter-imperialist rivalries, especially between the ’western bloc’ and the Soviet-led Warsaw pact are taking the world closer and closer to world war – a war which unlike previous wars, threatens the very existence of humanity.
4. While the State is increasingly complex and touches on more and more aspects of people’s lives, its essential nature remains unchanged. Among other things it succeeds in gaining the relative consent of the people for the maintenance of the capitalist system. But the state is the instrument for the dictatorship of one class over the others. The State’s repressive apparatus (army, police, judicial system, etc.) remains the ultimate weapon for both external and internal control.
5. Canada is an imperialist country which, in a relatively stable alliance with U.S. imperialism and more generally the ’western bloc’ (although contradictions are sharpening within this bloc), exploits and oppresses the underdevdoped world. In our country the State is controlled by the Canadian bourgeoisie and rules in its interests as a class. In its struggle the Canada proletariat is also confronted by American imperialism which would not hesitate to intervene as soon as its interests are threatened.
6. The international working class is made up of men and women who sell their labour power or are dependent on the sale of labour power (housewives, children, unemployed, etc.). The working class is neither static nor homogeneous. The division of labour both internationally and within each country and discrimination based on sex, race, and nationality mean that there are varying levels of privilege and oppression within the class. This is counterposed to the daily reality of working class women and men which shows them that it is only through united action as workers that they can be successful in their struggles.
7. The relative privilege of a significant part of the working class in imperialist countries means that this fraction has a stake in maintaining the capitalist system. Despite the existence of these privileged strata, it is working class women and men who have been and continue to be in the forefront of struggles against oppression and exploitation in all countries of the world.
8. The history of the world has been a history of the protracted and violent struggles of classes of people to change the economic and social relations of production and reproduction of their lives. The central object of this struggle is political power, and therefore the control of society. As communists our ultimate goal is communism; a world without class, without patriarchy, rid of all forms of division, inequality and oppression which characterizes preceding societies. Our immediate aim is to change this society to one which is controlled by the working class. This necessitates the seizing and smashing of the state power controlled by the bourgeoisie, and constructing in its place the rule of the majority of people – the dictatorship of the proletariat – socialism.
9. Socialism is a protracted period of transition in which the means of production and reproduction are brought increasingly under popular control, and in which the productive forces are developed and transformed to:
1) increase the control of individuals over production and reproduction.
2) increasingly meet the needs of the population as a whole.
3) contribute to the defeat of imperialism and the construction of socialism throughout the world.
10. Socialism is the contradictory period where on the one hand the bourgeoisie (and all those who want to reestablish capitalism) are suppressed, but on the other hand the collective and individual rights of the working class are expanded and the process of the freeing up of the development of human potential is begun.
11. Socialism does not guarantee the emancipation of women or the elimination of other forms of inequality and oppression. The possibility of the success of the struggles in this period is mainly dependent on the autonomous organisation of oppressed groups (eg. nations, national minorities, races, women, etc.).
12. Communist influence as an organised political force, on the socialist transformation, cannot be guaranteed through any formal or constitutional measures. The relation of communists to the revolutionary forces as a whole remains essentially the same under socialism as it was preceding the seizure of state power, but their influence is directly related to their ability to play a leading role in the construction of socialism.
13. We do not attempt to lay out a blue print for socialism, because the conditions existing at the time of the seizure of state power will determine the specific path of socialist construction. History has shown that attempts to impose preconceived strategies for socialist construction can result in a dictatorship over the proletariat.
14. As in previous struggles to change modes of production, the struggle for socialism will be:
1) an act of class struggle: the multinational Canadian working class is the product of capitalist development, and its single largest enemy.
2) a protracted struggle: revolutionary struggles have taken many years to succeed, and have taken many forms as the conditions faced have changed.
3) an act of violence: this is a protracted struggle where violence of many forms is a daily aspect of the lives of many working class women and men. What changes is the level of violence and its intensity, depending on the degree of threat to the social control or rule of the bourgeoisie. The working class has likewise always used a component of violence in their struggles for their rights and against attacks. It is clear that no class has or will give up their control voluntarily. The struggle for the control of state power is the highest level of class struggle and will therefore necessarily involve violence.
15. The interests of the working class women and men around the world are in the final analysis the same. To weaken imperialism in one location is a contribution to the struggle of working class women and men to control their societies and nations around the world. This means that the interests of the working class has a crucial internationalist aspect requiring solidarity and mutual respect and support for all our struggles.
16. We hold that revolution is inevitable, but the winning of power and the construction of socialism (and the successful struggle to build a society without classes or patriarchy) depends upon the working class being organised around a revolutionary program and fighting for this program in revolutionary organisations.
17. In Canada, as in other imperialist countries, the working class is the only class in whose fundamental interests it is to get rid of the present economic and social relations of production and reproduction. This does not mean that strata of other classes (or oppressed groups as a whole – e.g. women, races etc.) have no interest in different aspects of the struggle for revolutionary change, but rather that no other class has a material interest in carrying these struggles to a complete and enduring resolution, in the form of a new economic and social order, The working class is therefore the heart and soul of the camp of progress and revolution in Canada.
18. Canada is composod or a number of nations and national minorities which have historically resisted national oppression. We stand opposed to national oppression and to all forms of discrimination on the basis of nationality or races, and for the absolute equality of nations. This means in practice supporting the right to self-determination of nations.
19. Within the camp of progress and revolution there are many diverse and conflicting interests. These are principally a function of certain forms of privilege or specific types of oppression (eg. male privilege, national oppression, racism, heterosexism, etc.) These interests will have material and political expression in the form of various organisations, some more and some less revolutionary. The specific forms that the organization of the revolutionary forces will take will be developed in the course of the struggle, by working class women and men and the rest of the camp of revolution. Historically, these organizations have taken many forms: political parties, armies, revolutionary social cultural and defense organisations – like trade unions. While we recognize the central role of the working class we also recognize that there are certain struggles which cut across class lines, like the struggle against patriarchy (and for the emancipation of women), and the struggle against war, to name two examples.
20. The process of building the revolutionary forces and consciousness is not the property of communists, even if we have a specific and important role to play. We are participants. We see our role as utilising the scientific method of historical materialism to make a distinct contribution to this process. We aim to determine and argue for the interests of the working class as a whole, always keeping in mind the interests of the least privileged strata. To do this most effectively, we aim to create a distinct organisation (and eventually party) which works for the interests of a single class – the working class. This party will be a communist party: pan-canadian, multi-national, and internationalist in its composition and scope. The unity of working class men and women (and other progressive people) will be our most fundamental tool and objective. Revolutionary consciousness is not simply a spontaneous product of action but rather a combination of this and of attempts to understand the interrelationship between material conditions and social forces –whether this be done by communists, workers, or other revolutionaries.
21. In the fact of the development of the class struggle we must have a clearer understanding of who the working class is, and whose interests specific demands and organisations serve. On the basis of this analysis we have to draw out those tactics and elements that can serve to aid the development of class consciousness, build the strength of the revolutionary forces, and contribute to a dialogue around the question of program. It is the responsibility of all revolutionaries to put forward clearly and concisely their programmatic views. It is also the responsibility of revolutionaries to listen and engage in the collective struggle to articulate a constantly developing program which best represents the interests and aspirations of the working class as a whole. There will always be a need for a communist organisation or party, but its ability to play a leading role and relation to the revolutionary forces ai a whole will be determined as a result of our ability to analyse the conditions faced and our ability to make our program be the program of the working class.
22. We recognize and support the fact that working class women and men will organize to fight the various forms of oppression they face regardless of the presence of communists. It is by recognizing and taking into account the differences within the class (gender, nationality, race, etc.) that the greatest unity can be built We respect the right of these organisations to autonomy. Communists participate in these struggles to better the living and working conditions of the working class and people and to win these reforms.
23. In immediate struggles we bring both an understanding of the importance of the interests of and unity of the class as a whole, and an awareness of the limitations placed on our ability to win and retain reforms. (We do this both by proposing tactics and by using the opportunity of these struggles to explain and discuss the communist program as it has been developed to that stage.) Recognizing that these limitations are a function of the system is not ail excuse for refusing to support struggles but rather a factor that can contribute to a better understanding of how to fight, who are our friends and enemies, and how specific struggles fit into the overall struggle of the working class. What we have to learn from these struggles is the aspirations of the people involved and the lessons they have drawn from their experience. These lessons will contribute on both a programmatic and tactical level, and will be crucial to the success of any revolution. The struggle and exchange on all levels is a collective one amongst participants. As communists we see this as a dialectical process of both winning people to take up the struggle for socialism now, and of continuing the development of a better program based on the points of view of working class women and men.
24. The methods we use to organise ourselves is different depending upon the conditions, but the principles we use are constant. We want to help change the world, and therefore approach situations from the perspective of building as much unity of action as possible. The historical experience of revolutionaries shows that the more democratic the process of deciding on and applying strategy and tactics the greater the political unity. And the greater the political unity the greater the ability to build and sustain unity of action.
25. Our organisation (or party) must work so that it not only works for the interests of the working class, but is also representative of it. It must do this both by involving working class women and men at all levels of its structures, and by being the best fighters for the demands put forward by the class itself.
26. For our organisation to be viable we must constantly develop methods of work which both allow and encourage working class women and men, and women in particular, to make this organisation one which they control. This question is not one of simple organisation, but one of politics. This means that the contradictions between the interests of those people who are working for social change (eg. women and men, intellectuals and non-intellectuals, workers and petty-bourgeois, various nations, etc.) must be seen as material and not merely subjective problems. Neither the demands nor the ability to participate of the least privileged can be sacrificed in the name of either expediency or efficiency.
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The proposers and defenders of the new basis of unity proposed to keep in this platform the aspects essential to Marxism linked to the lessons from the old IN STRUGGLE! programme.
In the first part of their proposal “The world we live in”, imperialism is seen “as a thoroughly reactionary system”. A reactionary system because it maintains the majority of humankind in the most extreme forms of oppression, but also because it is based on the systematic oppression of women. This system, greatly shaken by periodic economic crises, is leading humanity towards a new world war. Canada is seen as an imperialist country in the western bloc where the State, even if complex, fundamentally remains as a tool controlled by the Canadian bourgeoisie. As for the international working class, it has an interest in developing unity despite the different levels of oppression and the relatively privileged situation of a sizable proportion of the working class in imperialist countries.
In the second part of the resolution “What we want” it is clearly said the main objective of the struggle must be the taking of power, defined as the control of the society by the working class. “This entails the taking of State power and the destruction of the bourgeois State, and building in its place the power of the majority of the people – the dictatorship of the proletariat – socialism”.
This struggle for socialism will be: 1) “an act of class struggle” 2) “a protracted struggle”, and 3) “an act violence”, “The struggle for State power is the highest stage in the class struggle and it will therefore necessarily ”involve violence”.
The working class is defined as the main force in this struggle as its fundamental interest is to overthrow capitalism. Other social forces can, however, play a positive role. This victorious struggle by the working class depends on its organization on an revolutionary programme and on their struggle to defend this program in revolutionary organizations. It is here where communists have an important role to play, a leading role in order to achieve socialism. Therefore it is essential to construct a communist party which will defend the interests of the working class, and support the struggle for reforms. This party will also learn to better understand listen to the hopes of the workers. This is how unity can be built, a unity which is indispensable for victory.
Socialism is defined in this proposal as a “society in transition” towards communism, towards a world without classes, without patriarchy, rid of all forms of divisiveness, inequality and oppression which characterized former societies. Under socialism the means of production are progressively brought under popular control and the productive forces are developed and tranformed in such a way as to:
1) increase the control of individuals over production and reproduction;
2) to increasingly meet the needs of the population as a whole;
3) to contribute to the downfall of imperialism and the building of socialism around the world.”
The resolution also clarified that socialism is that “contradictory period in which on one hand the bourgeoisie (and all those who want to restore capitalism) is suppressed, but on the other hand the collective and individual rights of the working class are expanded and the process of freeing human potential is undertaken.” Socialism does not guarantee women’s liberation. The resolution puts forward that the victory of oppressed groups depends on their organization in autonomous groups.
The militants who defended the proposal raised two points: first, that the basis of unity proposed should not be considered as a bible, and secondly that the discussions could lead to amendments to certain sections of the platform. These militants also specified that they were trying to preserve what they considered to be the lessons from the Programme and to include experiences from the past on various questions: the womens’ question, the relation of the party to the masses, internal democracy, socialism, imperialism and an internationalist view of class struggle.
A majority of the militants intervened against this resolution explaining that they did not feel ready at this Congress to adopt a new basis of unity. The resolution still was too much based on the principles in the old Programme to be able to adopt it. Here is what some speakers said:
– “I will vote against this resolution even if only six months ago l would have voted for it. I have questions about Marxism-Leninism. I want to be free to study it befoie taking a position. But I want to reject this traditional approach to reality which has blinders and which stops me from listening to people. I want to listen to people in the union movement who do not believe in socialism. We characterize people who do not believe in Marxism-Leninism as social-democrats. I do not want to be a social-democrat but I want to see the world without blinders.”
– “This proposal does not break with the past. It is a traditional marxist analysis, speaks of the vanguard and elitism is perpetuated.”
– “ This resolution says that the working class leads everything. But I look at the women’ movement, the national liberation struggles, the anti-nuke movement... and there there are other social forces who lead those movements.”
– “The proposal only takes into account the Marxist point of view. There are other approaches which are essential: psychological, pedagogical... if we want to understand and act on the world.”
– “It is significant to see how the people who defend this basis of unity develop their arguments: in the beginning they defended the programme, then they talked of amending it and finally they want to suspend it. This shows a desire to defend a body of abstract principles against the storm. The disappointments of ML organizations, the reality in so-called socialist countries, the difficulties of various currents coming out of Marxism to explain events as important as the Iranian revolution, the problems of nuclear war, the women’s movement, and that of youth... demonstrate that there are fundamental problems.”
Other interventions were more radical in their rejection of the proposal:
– “I am against the resolution as it does not resolve my questions as a woman and lesbian. We’ve lived in a capitalist world for two centuries but the patriarchy has existed for thousands of years. Doesn’t struggling against the patriarchy involve struggling against capitalism in a more profound and efficient way?”
– “It is difficult to support the resolution, to support Marxism-Leninism, Marxism, socialism and the revolution if we base ourselves on what has been socialism in practice. All socialist revolutions have ended up with a sole party and the denial of democratic rights. This leads us to question Marxism-Leninism because it is in fact the historical forms that Marxism has taken in the Twentieth Century. We must also raise questions about socialism because socialism is what exists in Poland. Democratic socialism exists only in our heads. We can also raise questions about private property when we look at the extent to which planning leads to stagnation in a country like Canada, the population has more to win by working to increase the existing democracy than to make a revolution as has been done elsewhere”.
After having defeated the previous resolution by a two-thirds majority, the delegates also adopted the proposal which aimed to reject IN STRUGGLE!’s Programme.
The Congress then voted on the dissolution of the Organization itself. After having rejected the resolution on women, after rejecting the Constitution and the Programme, the disbanding (with 80% for) seemed the logical outcome of the Congress.
One of the founders of IN STRUGGLE! summed up the feelings of many participants, “I accept the disbanding of IN STRUGGLE! I am one of those who started IN STRUGGLE! I was an agitator, organizer and propagandist. I am one of those who believed the most in and doubted the most IN STRUGGLE!’s project.
“Presently there are two main organized tendencies at the Congress. One reaffirms the Leninist perspective while dropping the Stalinist theses. There is another tendency which is united around the global rejection of IN STRUGGLE!’s project and preaches opening up to fundamental questioning. Among the latter some are looking for a revolutionary alternative between Leninism and social-democracy. There are others who have fallen by the wayside and who no longer believe m Marxism or in socialism.
But as for myself, I am convinced that a revolutionary alternative will emerge with other groups, a revolutionary alternative which remains a necessity and even more important in the face of the present crisis. What will come out of the present crisis will not necessarily be the revolution but we must act to stop the bourgeoisie from exploiting more and to support the working class in its struggle to keep its acquired rights. This revolutionary alternative is necessary and the sooner the better!”
The programme should be more than just a list of principles which members have in common. First and foremost the programme should be a guide to making revolution in our own country. It should be grounded in a concrete analysis of the situation in the world and in Canada. It should reflect a genuine comprehension of the struggles waged by the masses and of the forces which support those struggles. It should describe what kind of socialism we want and what the strategy is for getting there. We believe that the positions on these matters contained in the programme are erroneous.
1. The programme does not contain a correct analysis of the objective and subjective conditions which exist in the struggle for socialism in Canada and around the world. For example: the programme dots not distinguish between the situation in the advanced capitalist countries and the underdeveloped countries; it describes the present world situation as if imperialism were on the verge of being overthrown on a world scale; it puts forward a completely idealist vision of the working class in Canada; it’ makes an idealist analysis of the setbacks in the struggle for socialism; etc.
2. The programme puts forward a mistaken view of the strategy for taking power. It is a strategy which fails to see the immediate struggles of the masses as an integral part of the revolutionary process. It is a strategy which focuses everything on the building of a vanguard party rather than on the consolidation of the organizations of working people and the conscious participation of working people in taking power.
3. The programme has an essentially “economist” approach to the women’s struggle. That approach subordinates women’s struggles to the economic struggles ’of the proletariat.