Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

On Unity of Marxist-Leninists

Joint Statement by Two Political Activists Denouncing Counter-Revolutionary Lines Peddled by the Bourgeoisie’s Agents Among the People and Calling On All Progressive and Democratic People to unite Behind the Proletarian Revolutionary Line Advanced by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

15 January 1974

The basic struggle in Canadian society rages between the working class and the monopoly capitalist class, who are the main enemy of the people. The present form of the proletarian revolutionary line of the working class is to split with revisionism in order to unite with the Marxist-Leninists, thereby contributing to the forward movement of the Canadian people’s struggle. The bourgeois reactionary line of the monopoly capitalist class is to unite a Holy Alliance of the “left” in order to attack the Marxist-Leninists and leave the people defenceless and without leadership to carry their struggle through to the end. In this contradiction, first of these lines forms the principal aspect, providing the source for progressive movement in the society at this time.

This main trend has taken organisational form in the growth of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), and the spread of its influence across Canada. This is the real content of the decision by the Partisan Organisation of Vancouver to unite with the Party, by the Guelph News Service and by the Halifax New Morning Collective to go forward in the class struggle under CPC(M-L) leadership. We also form part of this trend, coming forward to unite with the Party on the basis of its Marxist-Leninist political line.

Our unity with the Marxist-Leninists did not fall from the skies. We had extremely negative experiences with the revisionist and trotskyist political lines inside the New Brunswick Waffle in 1971; and with neo-revisionism, in 1972, among the “left-wing” remnants of the New Brunswick Waffle. With this joint statement, we are trying to make a positive contribution to the ongoing class struggle against these anti-people, counter-revolutionary trends. Our experience in the Maritimes only confirms the experience of revolutionary minded people across the country: it is only when we split decisively with revisionism, trotskyism and neo-revisionism in order to unite with the Marxist-Leninists on the basis of political line that the people’s struggle to overthrow the monopoly capitalist system itself can move forward.

Marxism-Leninism teaches that political line exists in concrete form in the real world. In our own experience, revisionism and trotskyism exercised rabid dictatorship over our behaviour in the New Brunswick NDP. One of us, for example, wrote the “New Brunswick Waffle Manifesto” (as a documentary statement of political line); but refused to defend it or speak for it in public. The Waffle executive “intrigued and conspired” to make major decisions without reference to the members or the broad masses. Our struggle to usurp, by “constitutional means”, control of the New Brunswick NDP for the Waffle was the only One in Canada that “succeeded”. To carry off this “coup”, we hunted down and rounded up supporters on the theory that “numbers are more important than political principle”, a bourgeois democratic line much touted by revisionists and trotskyists everywhere. Trotskyists both inside and outside the group worked arduously to give currency to their liquidationist line that “the NDP can and should be moved leftward”. Our subjective discomfort with this line could not and did not bring us to wage principled struggle against it. We applied the revisionist opportunism of the “Chilean model” to argue that Waffle politics could play a genuinely progressive role in the Canadian working class. The trotskyists’ reflection of this line was that “the struggle for social reforms through the NDP is a ’transitional struggle on the road to proletarian dictatorship’.” This line coexisted enthusiastically with revisionism because of their fundamental unity of interest in stopping revolution. One day, the NDP Federal Council finally excercised their bourgeois dictatorship to suspend the constitutional existence of the New Brunswick NDP. Together, these conditions combined to liquidate the New Brunswick Waffle. During its disintegration, we split with it and the troskyists.

The main damage done by these counter-revolutionary ideological twins was to weaken our resolve to firmly uphold political principle. (This was not repaired by merely severing bureaucratic connections.) In this connection, Comrade Bains, setting forth the Marxist-Leninist political line on the class struggle in the BC NDP over anti-labour Bill 11, recently pointed out that the main thing inside or outside the NDP is to uphold and fight for revolutionary political principles. He applies this as follows:

The division in the NDP as reflected in the NDP convention in BC provides a great opportunity for the Marxist-Leninists to escalate their work and lead the working class to overthrow the monopoly capitalist system itself. In the late 1960’s also, there were times when, locally and nationally, such opportunity arose butthe genuine Marxist-Leninists missed these opportunities and genuine opposition to the social-democratic policies of the NDP leadership was diverted into another social-democratic trend without bringing about any qualitative change. The Waffle was the result of the last struggle against social-democratic leadership.

The focal point of attention at this time in the working class movement in BC is Bill 11. Many trade unionists have voiced their opposition to it as have many social-democrats and militant workers. Most importantly, this Bill 11 brings the working class into open collision with the NDP government. It is this open collision which must be strengthened – its militancy developed and expanded. This is where the genuine Marxist-Leninists have their opportunity.

A month after we left the NDP, we began to form “informal”, “friendly” but very definite links with the East Coast “Socialist” Movement, a now defunct organisation of revisionists’ children and old “New Left”-ists. This was a Halifax centre for the neo-revisionist line that “it is ultra-’left’ to build the revolutionary Party right now, but it is just fine to build ’pre-Party’ collectives”. This was the only “realistic” method for the present, we were told, since “the Party will emerge from the mass movement in the future under special conditions”. Despite our “theoretical reservations”, we capitulated to this line in practice. This line is the bailing-wire which the Holy Alliance of the “left” uses to help prop up their crumbling house of ideological cards, in the face of increasing encirclement and intensified attacks by the genuine Marxist-Leninists. This anti-Party version of the “ ’pre-Party’ collective” line was propagated throughout left-wing circles in New Brunswick early in 1972. Successive attempts to actually organise on the basis – beginnig with the “Organisation of New Brunswick Socialists” and ending with the “New Brunswick Labour Research Group” – were successively liquidated. In the real world, revolutionary forces were exacting fresh and extremely punishing defeats on the U.S. imperialists in South east Asia. Inter-capitalist “unity” was crumbling as fast as the U.S. imperialist dollar. In Canada, the Marxist-Leninists were participating in national political affairs more visibly than ever before, by fielding candidates in the Federal elections. All the Holy Alliance agents could do was spread pessimism to prop up the bourgeois reactionaries. “Ordinary people have no interest in making revolution”, they yelped; “ ’the System’ (i.e., monopoly capitalism) isn’t really in crisis!” Occasionally they would even get up the courage to deliver their “ultimate despair” line: “Canada just doesn’t have the ’stuff from which proletarian revolutionaries (and proletarian revolution) are made.” Increasingly, we found ourselves in deepening disagreement with these lines.

As the victories won by the proletarian revolutionary line were being consolidated across the globe (e.g., the decisive smashing of the Lin Piao anti-Party clique inside the Communist Party of China, the growing trend of unity among Canadian Marxist-Leninists), the counter-revolutionary essence of the neo-revisionist lines advanced by the Holy Alliance became much clearer to us. We overthrew our neo-revisionist “independent observer status” with respect to CPC(M-L), coming forward to unite with the Party on the basis of its political line. Typically, just as we were uniting with this trend, who did we observe but the Holy Alliance neo-revisionists, raising their heads once again to oppose Marxism-Leninism under the banner of “Marxism-Leninism”. Here they had been promising us that they would go away and die; now out they popped to perform a death bed act for the bourgeoisie, creating sideline disturbances over Chile, over individual Marxist-Leninists who they thought were “pretty weird”, over personal visits to the People’s Republic of China, etc. Their negative example only served to confirm our belief in the correctness and necessity of unity with the Party. We overthrew and split with revisionism, trotskyism and neo-revisionism in order to unite with the Marxist-Leninists. This is a stunning confirmation of the analysis given in the Political Report of the 2nd Congress of CPC(M-L), and a great victory for the Marxist-Leninist political line on the absolute character of class struggle. Those who refuse to build the Party cannot but oppose proletarian revolution. The neo-revisionists’ CIA inspired line on “ ’pre-Party’ collectives” is just another attempt to renew currency for the same basic line of the NDP social-fascists, of the revisionists and of the trotskyists. These gentlemen liquidate proletarian revolution, and wish to substitute in its place an inconclusive fight for “reforms” under the continued dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. We call on all progressive and democratic people to overthrow the counter-revolutionary political line peddled by the bourgeoisie and its agents. Currently, its most vicious version has to be the neo-revisionists’ twaddle that “the Party will emerge from the mass movement”. This is a sham bourgeois trick! The Party is already being built and is actually leading the progressive movement in our country forward to proletarian revolution!


(This article first appeared in People’s Canada Daily News, Vol. 3 No. 353, January 24, 1974.)