Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Guelph’s Own Revisionists


First Published: Alive Magazine No. 168, July 1980
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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A friend was telling me recently about a “Party party” he went to in the early 1970s. What’s a “Party party” you ask? It’s a party ... well, actually, it’s supposed to be a branch meeting ... well, actually these things aren’t actually called “branches”, they’re called “clubs” ... so, it’s a club meeting ... naw, it’s a party sponsored by the Revisionist Party of Canada.

Anyways, this “Party party” was put on by the Guelph club of the Revisionists. In the course of the drinking, the matter of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 came up. Now, some of the younger partying Party members had had a little bit to drink by that time. Also, not all their independent thinking faculties had been bought out yet, and, on occasion, they weren’t afraid to mildly disagree with the Revisionist Party’s official positions. Thus, a few of the younger Party partyers expressed their doubts about the correctness of the Soviet invasion. Mind you, not strong opposition to the Soviet war machine overrunning an independent country. Just doubts. Into the discussion stepped the old venerable revisionist, tempered over many years of being a mindless hack. He stated (and this is a quote): “Our Party is proud of the intervention of the great Soviet Party in Czechoslovakia. We look at this intervention as one of mankind’s proudest moments.”

And that, in one incident, tells the story of what a good revisionist is all about – an apologist for Soviet aggression and a master at making a mockery out of lofty humanitarian values.

Interestingly, most of those young and doubting Guelph Party partyers have learned their lessons over the past decade. They too have become unwavering apologists for the Soviets and their war-promoting activities. I mean, you’ve got to toe the line if you want to get ahead in the Revisionist Party. One of those young Guelph Partyers was given a nice plum – he became the Revisionists’ newspaper correspondent in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Now, he couldn’t very well denounce the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia while holding that position, could he? He’s now back in Canada working as a “labour” reporter for the Canadian Tribune – the Revisionist’s weekly rag sheet. You may not have heard about the Tribune before, but there’s a reason for that – more copies are distributed in Eastern Europe than in Canada. All those subscriptions abroad aren’t much help in getting anything done in this country, but they sure do help in paying the salaries of all the Soviet mouthpieces.

Another of the Guelph Party partyers has moved to Toronto where he managed the Revisionists’ bookshop for a while. The story is that he has made his way onto the Party’s Central Committee. You’ve certainly got to set your doubts aside to make career advancements like that!

Another of the Partyers has taken up the election colours of the Revisionist Party in Guelph and also regularly writes articles for the Tribune. Because of his nervous habits, he’s known as “Twitch for the Trib”.

Some of the others haven’t done quite so well. One scruffy looking guy can’t seem to get ahead (but he has a great big fat body) –I guess he just hasn’t learned. He should know by now that the long hair and beard don’t go in Parties, even though he thinks he wears them “cooly”. The best one woman could do is get part time secretarial jobs with local revisionist union leaders in Guelph and Kitchener. I guess that tells you something about the Revisionists’ attitude towards women! Something is told about their attitude to other nationalities given that she is a Chinese-American from the U.S. and the Revisionists themselves actually refer to her as “Madame Chiang Kai-shek”!

Apologizing for Soviet aggression in Czechoslovakia, Kampuchea, Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere is the dominant thing by which people identify the Revisionists. Oh, by the way, the Revisionists don’t call themselves “The Revisionist Party of Canada”. They refer to themselves as members of the “Communist Party of Canada”. By that, we can understand the current Soviet Revisionist interpretation of “communism” which means aggressively overrunning the whole world.

There are quite a few other stories about local revisionist Partyers which give a concrete picture of what the Revisionist Party is all about.

What’s their attitude towards the police? Well, back in the early 1970s the Guelph club ran a bookshop on Carden Street. One summer day, a 6-foot, 200-pound stranger with a mod haircut, hip clothes but polished black shoes on came into the store and asked the “comrade” tending the counter, who just happened to be the local Revisionist theoretician, later to sit on their Central Committee, where a certain person lived. The individual who was being asked about was a U.S. citizen and had been involved in the U.S. anti-war activist movement in the late 1960s. Without batting an eyelash, the theoretician answered the stranger’s question and was even so considerate as to draw the gentleman a map. Within an hour, a joint FBI-RCMP team raided the home of the U.S. citizen, thanks to the considerate help of the revisionist.

Speaking of the bookshop, some of you might have visited it. It was called the “Norman Bethune Centre” – quite a deceitful choice of name. The local Revisionist club picked the name in order to associate their activities with the fine reputation of Dr. Norman Bethune. They were trying to cash in on some of the esteem with which people hold Bethune. In doing so, they glossed over the fact that Norman Bethune is not in good favour with the Revisionist Party. The Revisionists hold all his writings in trust and refuse to release most of them to the public. They are known to edit the works of Bethune which they do publish. To top it off, the current leader of the Revisionists, Trashcan, was the Party hack who was sent to call Bethune back from making his invaluable contribution to the Spanish civil war because the Party didn’t approve of him. Eventually the local Partyers were told by the Central Committee to close the store and bury the store’s name, never to be revived.

At the Norman Bethune Centre, these young and naive Revisionists at first carried works by such hated enemies of the Revisionist Party as Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. After a while, though, the Partying Centre convinced them of the wrongness of their ways. It was decided to give away all their books by Mao and Stalin in order to clear out the store of such “trash”! A few local residents picked up a pretty good library out of the deal – and also a healthy contempt for the political judgement of the Revisionists.

When the local Partyer got promoted to the position of manager of the Revisionists’ Toronto bookstore, he bought with him his giveaway experience in Guelph. In Toronto, he discovered that storage space was severely limited by a backlog of books by Stalin. You see, when Khrushchov took control of the Soviet Communist Party, he banned the revolutionary writings of Stalin. The Revisionist Party in Canada followed suit and ordered all Party members to hand in their books by Stalin. The result was a real stockpile of old books, which had been in storage for a couple of decades.

So, our up and coming store manager from Guelph decided to sell off all the old Stalin books to make a little profit and to clear the storage area. Was he selling to his own Party members? Certainly not! The sale was geared to people who disagreed with the Revisionists’ policy on banning Stalin’s books. Anything for profit! If you can make money from your opponents – that’s great! The books were sold complete with the names of the Party members who originally owned the books written inside the front cover. The bookstore manager even threw in a number of books from his own collection which weren’t banned by the Revisionists. He said he didn’t need them anymore since he had made it to the Partying Centre’s headquarters and he couldn’t let the chance to sell them pass by.

The way the bookstore manager left Guelph is also revealing of the Revisionists’ general attitude towards activism. At the time of his departure he was on the Guelph Labour Council and held a number of positions. One of his more important positions was head of the Labour Council’s Grape and Lettuce Boycott Committee. But, when this Revisionist left town, he just quietly slipped away, without going through the procedures necessary to ensure his Labour Council work carried on. As a result, the Grape and Lettuce Boycott Committee of the Labour Council floundered.

Some of the stories of the personal lives of local revisionists are too gross to tell here. That alone gives you the idea that these people are quite consistent in applying their self-serving politics to personal matters. Two examples of attitudes towards personal relationships illustrate the point.

The first story is about our friendly bookstore manager. In the early 1970s he had 2 girlfriends who were quite aware that they shared this revisionist’s affection. In fact, all three used to go on camping trips together, taking along two tents. The revisionist male used to spend one night with one girlfriend and the next with the other. In town they worked the same arrangement with one added wrinkle. The younger brother of the bookstore manager used to take the alternate nights with one girlfriend. The other girlfriend is the woman who alternates between two union offices for her jobs – I wonder if it’s the same trend? One thing for sure, one of the trade unionists she works for is the older brother of the Revisionist bookstore manager!

So, that’s the “free-love-lack-of-principle” of the revisionists. The other side of the coin is to raise personal relationships to the level of the first point of principle. One of the local revisionists was asked: If faced with a situation where there is an opportunity to concretely move the overall revolutionary work ahead, but that might involve breaking up your family or jeopardizing their lives, what would you do? The revisionist answered, “Without doubt, I’d definitely protect my family.” The irony of his answer is that a mere two years later his family did break up – his wife took up with another man. So much for that being a principle to stand on!

Today, the local Revisionists are pretty depleted in numbers. Out at General Electric a Partying hack toils in a certain caged-in stock room – isolated from the workforce. He lost his union presidency a couple of years ago but maintains a seat on the Revisionist Central Committee. A few other revisionists kick around. But even those wackoes, the Bob Cruise Marxist-Leninist Party, polled more votes than the Revisionists in the last election. It’s clear that the Revisionist Party exists mainly for the pleasure of its members and the propaganda purposes of its Soviet masters.