First Published: Progressive Worker Vol. 5, No. 5, December 1968
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Many changes have taken place within the Progressive Workers Movement during the five years of its existence. Some of the most important and profound changes have been recent ones. For this reason we would like to present to our readers a brief description of the Movement’s present situation, and our views on the development of a Marxist-Leninist Party in Canada.
An important reason for making a preliminary statement at this time is that the Toronto-based section of PWM has left because of differences with the Movement’s position on Vietnam. Toronto’s position, while not clearly stated by them, echoes the line of the Progressive Labour Party in the United States. (For a criticism of this position, see “The PLP and Vietnam” p. 9 of this issue.) The Progressive Workers Movement’s position on Vietnam has been spelled out consistently in our paper and is the subject of a forthcoming pamphlet.
While disagreement on the Vietnam question was the immediate cause of the Toronto section leaving, there are also other unresolved questions. The problem of communications in a sparsely populated country such as Canada aggrevated the situation by making it difficult to carry on consistent and sharp ideological struggle on all fundamental questions at issue.
This situation has temporarily impeded the growth of the Movement numerically. However, we believe we have learned some lessons from our experiences and can forsee in a general way how a Marxist-Leninist Party will develop in the Canadian conditions.
The PWM does not consider itself to be a Party in the sense of being a nation-wide democratic-centralist organization. We do, however, believe that we are moving in that direction and will ultimately reach our objective of a Marxist-Leninist Party in Canada together with the many groups already showing signs of development across the nation.
We are a relatively small group of Marxist-Leninists based mainly in the province of British Columbia, and we have neither the funds nor the forces at our disposal to accept the responsibility for organization on a national scale. We do, however, consider ourselves to be a very important part of the developing nationwide movement. For more than four years, we have consistently published and maintained the only national Marxist-Leninist journal in Canada. In carrying out this important task, we have had the help of our many subscribers – help which we trust will continue and increase in the difficult period which lies ahead.
This task of publishing a newspaper is the number one responsibility of any Marxist-Leninist movement. The necessity of a central organ was one often stressed by Lenin and other great Marxists. It is our present intention to continue the publication and circulation of Progressive Worker as part of our contribution to the building and leadership of a Marxist-Leninist Party in Canada.
We repeat here what we have said before: Progressive Worker is at the disposal of all true Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries in Canada. We will strive, through the columns of our paper, to promote and prepare the ground for the calling of a national conference with the aim of establishing a party based on Marxism-Leninism and operating as a democratic-centralist organization. However, calling a conference before the necessary groundwork has been done would be premature and produce more difficulties rather than solving present problems. We invite discussion from our readers on all questions relating to the building of a Marxist-Leninist Party for Canada.