Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Letter to Alive from Cathy Lauzon

First Published: Alive Magazine No. 143, July 14, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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March 15, 1979


Two years ago this month the first issue of New Foundations was published. Publication ceased after the fourth issue because the staff joined with members of the APC and former members of the Guelph Committee for Working Class Rule in Canada to reactivate the Guelph Committee which was to produce a new paper called Resist! Only one issue of Resist! was produced. The Guelph Committee soon became a dormant organization. The understanding at the time the Guelph Committee was reactivated was that I, the editor of New Foundations, would retain the right to publish New Foundations. At the present time New Foundations is not thinking seriously of resuming publication; its very existence has a rather abstract quality. Nevertheless, I believe that New Foundations has an obligation to make a statement regarding its stand on the recent split that took place in the APC.

New Foundations does not in any way support the Trotskyite activities of Edward Pickersgill. The record will bear me out that I waged many one-on-one struggles against Edward Pickersgill’s misleadership during the summer and fall of 1977. EP did his utmost to get me to leave town (see pp. 39, 40 of Alive 125). He was unsuccessful.

When Edward Pickersgill split, my first reaction was to believe that I could at last unite with real friends to oppose real enemies. Unfortunately, however, Alive 125 makes it clear that there are ideological differences between us that are of such a serious nature that further unity between the APC and New Foundations is out of the question.

I am referring to two statements in particular, both of which appear on page 57 of Alive 125:

1. “...It came as a real shock to members of the Collective early in 1978 when Edward Pickersgill wrote an article for the magazine calling for proletarian revolution in Canada.” The Canadian state serves the joint interests of the U.S. imperialists and the Canadian bourgeoisie as a whole. For that reason anti-imperialist revolution must at the same time be a proletarian revolution. In a separate document I have explained my position in greater detail.

2. “...It is not a good tactic in building the anti-imperialist united front to constantly announce that dictatorship of the proletariat is just around the corner. Any such proclamation is bound to alienate the patriotic elements of the national bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie and disunify the ranks of the united front.” In any united front work it constitutes a right wing error to downplay the distinctive aims and policies of the working class organization. To oppose proletarian revolution, to call for unity with the bourgeoisie, and to hush up any references to the dictatorship of the proletariat out of fear of offending the sensibilities of the bourgeoisie is to espouse revisionism. I am not using the term as a personal insult. I am reluctantly pointing out that the APC’s present political position must be referred to scientifically as revisionist.

The APC says that its policies have not changed. This may be true, although the one issue of Resist! that was produced did call for the dictatorship of the proletariat and it referred to the Canadian bourgeoisie “as a whole” as lackeys of U.S. imperialism. In any case, the policies promoted in Alive 125 are not the view of New Foundations and never have been. The very first issue of New Foundations had on the front cover a picture depicting the proclamation of the Paris Commune. In the picture thousands of people are cheering the establishment of the world’s first workers’ government. Under the picture appears the following quotation from the writings of Frederick Engels: “Of late, the Social Democrat philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this government looks like? Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”

The position of New Foundations could hardly be more clear. It is the same position that was taken by the Guelph Committee for Working Class Rule in Canada before it was liquidated. It is the only position on which future unity between the APC and New Foundations is possible.

Yours truly,
Cathie Lauzon
New Foundations