Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

On Unity of Marxist-Leninists

Document No. 4 The Working Class is the Leading Force of Revolution

The working class is the main force, as well as the leading force of revolution. It is the advanced contingent of the working class, the political party of the proletariat based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought which forms the core of the leading force of revolution. Without such a revolutionary Party, the proletariat will fail in its mission of overthrowing the rule of the monopoly capitalist class.

An analysis of the agenda as well as of the speeches given during the Congress and the general political report accepted as the basic guide, shows that the 2nd Congress put tremendous emphasis on the need to build the political party of the proletariat. The building of the political party of the proletariat means that this political party must lead the entire working class onto the road of proletarian revolution and that without such a Party no proletarian revolution can take place. The 2nd Congress basically adopted the position that in all the political work, the leadership of the Party is absolutely essential and that without this leadership no task can be completed.

Alongside the core of the leading force are the mass organisations which form part of the leading force. These mass organisations cannot accomplish anything unless they are led by the proletarian party. Because the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) is relatively weak, there are no mass organisations of the working class that can be named which stand on the side of the proletariat as opposed to the side of the bourgeoisie. The entire emphasis of the 2nd Congress was to change this situation. Beginning from having no real mass organisations of the working class (there are only mass organisations of the working class which are totally under the sway of social democracy and revisionism), the Party will strive to influence the mass organisations of the working class in key areas, as well as build new mass organisations of the working class under its own direct leadership.

The holy alliance of the “left” opposes the leading role of the Party over the mass organisations of the working class. They advocate that the working class can win victory through a manoeuvre without coming under the leadership of the Party. This will never happen. These elements are against revolutionary transformation, so it is natural for them to advocate that the workers’ organisations should not come under the leadership of the proletariat. This means that the workers’ organisations will lack leadership and that, at the crucial points, their struggles will be betrayed and liquidated. The question of the leading role of the Party has been discussed many many times. The opportunists claim that the role of the Party is subordinate to the mass movement. They claim that the mass movement is is everything while the Party is nothing. While historically, it has been proven that without a political party ot the proletariat to lead the mass movement, there can be no mass movement, according to these opportunists the mass movement is a-class. Because the mass movement is a-class, then there should be no political leadership over it #8211; that is, there should be opportunist leadership as opposed to the Marxist-Leninist leadership. The mass movement is the physical expression of class struggle. It is either for something or against something. Without the leadership of the Party, the mass movement with correct sentiment gropes in the dark and liquidates itself. This was the case with the mass movemnt against U.S. aggression in Indochina, the struggles of the youth and students against the decadent bourgeois educational system, the struggles of the working women against exploitation, and the economic struggles of the workers. All these mass movements temporarily came to an end precisely because there was opportunist leadership at their helm which opposed the Marxist-Leninist political line. The party of the proletariat must constantly strive to lead these struggles.

The composition of the 2nd Congress showed that much progress has been made in this respect. The entire delegation has come out of one struggle or the other. All have seen the necessity of building the Party as the decisive factor in moving the struggles of the working class forward. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s we had the glorious history of always striving to take over the leadership of the mass movement and to lead it. We did this in Quebec on the question of the national liberation struggle; we did it in the universities on the question of the decadent bourgeois educational system; we did it Canada-wise on the question of the U.S. imperialist domination of Canada. We took up the task of disseminating Marxist-Leninist literature on a large scale. Throughout these struggles, at no time did we separate ourselves from the masses. We were right in the middle, opposing the opportunists for their rightist capitulations and ultra-left adventurism. We attempted to move the revolutionary struggle forward. It was our work which created ample material conditions for the general upsurge of the anti-imperialist sentiment amongst the youth and students. All these activities which we undertook would have been impossible without the leadership of the proletarian Party.

For example, without closely implementing the revolutionary line that our work must be part and parcel of the proletarian revolution, we would have made no progress. In August, 1968, we organised a conference in Montreal in which we boldly presented the thesis that without the leadership of the working class all the youth and student struggles would come to no good end. What did this mean? It meant that in order for our political work in the universities to have a direction, the students must not be satisfied with engaging in struggles in the universities alone, the advanced force must leave the universities and must integrate with the working class. This integration, however, has to be concrete and not abstract. Only our organisation was capable of leading the students on to the revolutionary path. We neither misled them into adventurism, nor led them into reformism. We raised the slogan: Develop the instruments of working class propaganda. This call was taken up by many revolutionary youth and students. Within a short period of time, bookstores selling the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and of Chairman Mao were opened in the main cities across Canada, with several bookstores in Montreal alone. Revolutionary journals dealing with various universities, as well as dealing with the place of work, came into being. Large scale dissemination of Marxist-Leninist literature took place. Alongside it, the resistance movement against the attacks of the fascists, social fascists and lackey police developed. This entire process was begun by the Internationalists. It was new, vigorous and daring. It was against the revisionist cowardice and spinelessness. Without this process, nothing much could have been accomplished. The areas and cities where this process did not come into being, nothing was accomplished.

After the period of developing the instruments of working class propaganda, the Party gave the call: Build the centralised organs of the Party. Again, this was a concrete call. Again, it opposed adventurism and reformism. Again it generated lots of enthusiasm amongst the revolutionary people. A lot was accomplished during this period. Now we are going through the period of strengthening the Party by actively supporting the struggles of the masses.

This entire motion based on the slogans: Develop the instruments of working class propaganda/Build the centralised organs of the Party/Come under the centralised leadership of the Party/Use the Party as the decisive factor in leading the struggles of the masses, is not considered by the opportunists and revisionists as a mass movement. They say that this is not a mass movement in spite of the fact that large masses of revolutionaries have participated in these activities, have contributed immensely to the developemnt of the revolutionary movement and in spite of the fact that it reflected the deep sentiment of the masses and fulfilled their revolutionary need for revolutionary literature and for the Party. For the opportunists and revisionists every reformist struggle is a mass movement. True, there are masses involved in these struggles also, but how do these struggles assist the basic struggles of the masses? Instead of learning from history and building the revolutionary movement on our own resources, the opportunists and revisionists depend on the spontaneity of the movement, ride on it for a time to parasitise off it, and then, once the movement is at a low ebb, they denounce it. The revolutionary mass movement, because it is new and is struggling to become all-pervasive and widespread against all odds, and because the bourgeoisie attempts to supress it as fast as it can, remains weak and inconsequential for the time being (speaking, of course, in comparison with the mass movement at the time of insurrection). Because it remains weak, the opportunists and the revisionists refuse to work for it. For them, everything has to be ready-made and they will then appear on the horizon to parasitise off it.

A revolutionary mass movement which our Party attempted to develop is not everything but it is decisive in leading the revolutionary struggle. There are spontaneous movements and ripples in the society. The Party sympathises with these and encourages these to develop and grow but, at no time, does the Party give up its central task for the sake of serving these spontaneous struggles. For the revisionists and opportunists, reform is everything and spontaneity of the movement is decisive. It is for this reason that they tail behind the masses. They pick up the worst slogans of the mass movement and try to woo some backward elements with it.

Without the Party being the core of the leading force of revolution, there can be no revolutionary movement. The 2nd Congress affirmed this basic thesis. The entire composition of the 2nd Congress showed that because the correct line of building the Party was followed on the basis of political line, the Party could become the rallying and the focal point of all the advanced sections of the spontaneous mass movement. The 2nd Congress launched a further campaign to strengthen the Party and gave a call to lead the actual struggles of the masses. This means that some struggles will be directly led by the Party and will be scientifically organised, while in other cases the spontaneity of the movement will be supported, advanced elements from it will be mobilised, and Marxist-Leninist political line and analysis will be disseminated in the midst of the movement.

At this time the leading force, that is the working class with its advanced contingent of communist revolutionaries and its mass organisations, only exists in the form of its core, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). This core, which constitutes the leadership of the working class, must be strengthened. There is no possibility of building any mass organisations and there is no possibility of building any united front except by doing propaganda for them. This does not mean that we must not strive to build the mass organisations and the united fronts in an embyonic form. For us the question of building the united front and the mass organisations in embryonic form, is the question of planting communist revolutionaries at definite places of work, as well as in the universities, and the question of the united front comes up in the form of striving to mobilise support around the Party’s basic Marxist-Leninist political line. There can be no other mass organisations and no other united front. Those who are advocating that the mass organisations can be built at this time have not learned any lessons from history, nor have they learned much from theirown revolutionary experience. Those who think that the united front can be built at this time also suffer from the same disease. The composition of the 2nd Congress showed that there were no “mass mobilisers” in our midst, and the majority of the delegates were straight forward cadres of the Party who were engaged in executing definite political tasks. The 2nd Congress reflected the results of repeated learn from people campaigns and the policy of divide the forces to arouse the masses. There were many delegates who had experience of working in various big cities as well as had close information as to the politics there.

Thus the leading force constitutes at this point merely a small contingent of communist revolutionaries, while it still lacks the flesh and blood of the working class. The basic form of the core, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), has now been established as a viable political force all over Canada and in the region of Quebec. The Party is now entering the next phase, but at a slow speed and only in certain areas.

This is the phase of concentrating the forces to hit at the enemy. This phase is the subordinate trend, while the main trend still remains to divide the forces to arouse the masses. The subordinate phase will take our cadres into key work places and other definite areas, and the trend to actually lead the struggles of the masses will begin in all earnestness. Without having gone through all the other phases on a disciplined basis, we would not have been able to arrive at this phase, and we would have.been liquidated. The 2nd Congress began the work of establishing the subordinate trend. For the first time in our history, we have some extra force in certain units. Normally, our units are mobilised to the maximum in order to put into practice Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line of aim high. By having extra forces in certain areas we are further undertaking the task of aiming high. The 2nd Congress took action against the line of not mobilising the working class as the leading force of revolution. An erroneous view is held that the Party is the only leading force, while the rest of the worker’s organisations, and the working class as a whole has no role to play. This is considered as dangerous and gravely misleading. The working class is the leading force of the proletarian revolution, which means millions upon millions of workers put together as one by the social conditions to face the onslaught of the monopoly capitalists, on a daily and continuous basis. It is these workers who form the leading force. But to say that the working class is the leading force of the revolution and leave it at that is wrong. It is the organisations of the workers which comprise the leading force, the most advanced contingent of which is the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Those who considered only the Party as the leading force, and not the entire class, and in fact, shied away from the organisations which had a majority of workers but were still backward, had not yet grasped the laws of class struggle and of proletarian revolution. No doubt, the organised contingent of the advanced sections of the proletariat is the core, but the entire working class with its manifold organisations comprise the leading force. It is the responsibility of the Party to influence these organisations and to do constant propaganda in their midst. Without this revolutionary propaganda in their midst, we will not be able to arouse our class.

The 2nd Congress worked out detailed guidelines as to how to develop working class politics, not merely in the sense of doing propaganda on behalf of the working class, but also carrying it out right amongst the working class; serving that class and forging connections and relations with that class. Without carrying the vigorous revolutionary politics right into the working class, the revolution will not advance much. While it is counter-revolutionary to deprive the working class of its proletarian revolutionary line by presenting the working class on the basis of economic determinism totally subordinate to bourgeois ideas and politics, it is equally wrong to deprive the proletarian revolutionary line of its class. This detaches the line from its working class base making it into a general form of political struggle against the bourgeoisie, without basing it right in the class and developing it there. The holy alliance of the “left” is guilty of pursuing both the counter-revolutionary lines. They are economic determinists and their class base is the petty bourgeoisie. We are proletarian revolutionaries, coming out of the petty-bourgeoisie, but our class base is the working class. Over the short period of a few years, we have built many invaluable ties in the working class. The 2nd Congress took firm action against the line which holds that the proletarian revolutionary line is everything while mobilising the working class is nothing. While it was previously correct to deal with various other questions concerning Party building and not being that much entrenched in the class, now there is no reason why we should not take further steps to base ourselves more and more in the working class.

We have been told by some intellectuals that the Communist Party of Canada came out of the working class struggles. By using this historical fact, they are attempting to suggest that the Communist Party today is not the revisionist, reformist and totally class-collaborationist Party. We are also told that we came out of the youth and student movement. This fact is also being used to obscure our Marxist-Leninist political line and our line of active class struggle against the monopoly capitalist class. To those who take this question lightly, we must remind them that the great revolutionary leaders like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Chairman Mao did not’come out of the working class. What was decisive was that they took up the mission of the working class and oppressed people, integrated with them, built their political parties and led their revolution. Meanwhile, there have been many many agents of the bourgeoisie whose origin is the working class. Khrushchov came out of the working class and so did many other renegades and traitors. Those who are taken in by the revisionist propaganda about comingout of the working class movement should think about the matter seriously. The Revisionist Party today is not the representative of the working class but is, instead, the representative of the bourgeoisie in the working class. It is by their politics that they must be judged and not by their point of origin. It is true that the Communist Party of Canada was born out of the working class struggles and that the workers gave birth to it but it is not the Revisionist Party which is that Communist Party and is carrying on those traditions. The inheritor and defender of the great tradition of the communist movement which the working class gave rise to is the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). The revisionists are mere renegades and traitors to those who gave birth to this glorious Party. Those individuals who are being taken in by the revisionist propaganda are mixing things up. They take the relative weakness and inexperience and immaturity of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) as its deadly sin and are damning it, while they are glossing over the counter-revolutionary political line of the revisionists and erroneously suggesting that they are the “working class” Party.

The 2nd Congress not only clarified that confusion, but it also took to task those who did not see the necessity of mobilising the working class and building the Party on this basis. On this front also the composition of the 2nd Congress explained some basic points. Over eighty percent of the delegates, alternates delegates and observers were actual workers. Because such a large majority were actual workers, they brought with them the desires and sentiments of the working class and made sure that CPC(M-L) bases its program on the backs of the workers. In this respect, the 2nd Congress made definite progress.

The entire question of the leading force is a class question. The bourgeoisie damn the workers as “backward”. They do so on the basis of their view of the entire class. They denounce the working people as “capable of nothing” and slander them profusely. The working class has utter contempt for this view of the bourgeoisie. They rightly consider the bourgeoisie capable of nothing. The bourgeoisie can neither build bridges, nor erect buildings, nor pave roads and they are not capable of tilling the soil, or digging up the minerals or transporting goods to and fro. We, the communist revolutionaries, deeply share this sentiment of our class and we concentrate and idealise their contempt for the bourgeoisie and, on a daily and continuous basis, and spread this sentiment. Similarly, we have nothing but praise for our class and we, again, proudly hail this modern class of proletarians as the grave-diggers of the entire old society. Not to consider the working class as the leading force is to make a serious mistake. But it does not follow that every worker is a class conscious worker, or that bourgeois ideology and politics have no influence amongst the workers. On the contrary, what it means is that the working class, by dint of its social condition, is revolutionary as a class and that it is struggling to overthrow the capitalist class and its system. It is for this reason the working class gives birth to its advanced contingent, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), as well as to its mass organisations, while it constantly strives to purge itself of its alien elements. Over and over again, workers rise up against the bourgeois leadership of their organisations and the advanced elements of the proletariat have repeatedly emerged out of the working class to fulfill its historic mission. The 2nd Congress firmly established the basic concept that the working class is the leading force of the revolution.