Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Alive magazine

On Anti-Imperialism and Unity

First Published: Alive, No. 143, July 14, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Introduction: This is the text of a speech delivered on July 2, 1979 by a member of the Alive Production Collective.

We wanted to give a speech on the occasion of “Canada Day”. “Canada Day” is a holiday across the country. It’s a difficult one to come to terms with. We’re so proud of Canada, yet it’s actually a bourgeois holiday. So we have proclaimed it “Anti-Imperialist Canada Day”. And on this day we discuss revolutionary concepts to make it as appropriate a holiday as possible.

Some of the concepts we wanted to discuss at this meeting on the topic of the United Front are hard concepts. They’re concepts that we ourselves have taken a long time to learn, which, all in all, probably means you could learn them in a much shorter time – we’re kind of slow learners. We were wondering how to get some of these hard concepts about the United Front across in a short speech.

We thought it appropriate to start with two anecdotes. Both stories are from China. The first is one that was told by one of the leaders of the Chinese revolution – a man named Zhu De, who was the commander of the People’s Liberation Army in China and who was Mao Zedong’s close comrade-in-arms.

Before the Long March, in the south of China there was a liberated base area, which was on a plateau and the revolutionaries were in the habit of coming down the mountain at night to do damage to the enemy troops. In the course of this they would have to carry back their own soldiers who would be wounded or killed. They would take back prisoners also. Further, they had a policy of taking the wounded of the enemy back to the liberated base area with them as well as other prisoners. They would care for their wounds and so on, to build support for their own movement amongst the enemy’s troops, so that it would become known that they treated the enemy well and fairly on fair ground. Zhu De tells a story about what happened when they tried to teach this to the peasants who they were organizing. Some of the peasants found this a difficult concept because they so much hated the enemy. This was the enemy which was burning their crops, destroying their homes, stealing their land, and these were the representatives of the class which had exploited them for so many hundreds of years. Zhu De speaks about one night when they were coming back up to the liberated base area and he saw some of these peasants who were carrying one of the wounded enemy soldiers on a stretcher. After a while they got angry at the guy and they dropped the stretcher. (Laughter) They started beating him up. They took a stick and beat him with it. (Laughter) Then, they both stopped, saying to one another, ”Oh, no. No. That’s not the policy. That’s incorrect.” (Laughter) So they stopped beating him and they picked up the stretcher again – sort of apologized to the guy, and carried on. They went about twenty yards, couldn’t contain themselves any more, (Laughter) dropped the stretcher, jumped on him and starting beating him again. (Laughter) Then, they said, “No. No. That’s incorrect. We shouldn’t do that. That’s not the policy.”

This story serves to illustrate a bit, one of the difficulties we have with the United Front. It is an anti-imperialist United Front that we propose to solve the problem of making revolution in Canada. Whenever we propose a United Front in which different classes get together, in which the proletariat gets together with, amongst others, certain sections of the bourgeoisie, we are proposing unity with people who are less than appealing. However, as in Zhu De’s story, we have to follow the policy, no matter how distasteful we find the people we may have to unite with in the United Front context.

The second story serves to illustrate the dilemma that the bourgeoisie faces if they join the United Front. This story takes place later in the history of the Chinese revolution, after the Communists had made great advances. Around the end of the 1940s the People’s Liberation Army were liberating all parts of the country and they were marching on Shanghai, which is situated on the banks of a river. The Red Army arrived quite late one night and camped just on the other side of the river from the city. Apparently, the bourgeoisie in Shanghai were having a big party that night; all the bourgeoisie were gathered at a banquet which was hosted by a big Shanghai banker. Midway through the party this banker was faced with the dilemma of having to announce the “bad” news. So, he stood up and said, “I have the latest reports. The Communists have just arrived on the other side of the river. Tomorrow morning they’re coming into the city. They sent ahead a request to all the capitalists in Shanghai that you should make a list of all your holdings, to be released to the Communists so that they can take stock of the situation.” Then this Shanghai banker added one final thing. He said, ”And I suggest that in preparing your lists you make sure you tell the whole truth because I’m your banker, I know exactly what you all own and I’ve been a secret member of the Communist Party all these years.” (Laughter)

So there’s a dilemma for the proletariat and there’s a dilemma for the bourgeoisie. (Laughter)

What is this difficult proposition – the United Front? Often, the United Front is thought of as quite a specific thing. Actually, it’s quite a general concept. It means getting together – uniting a group of people – in order to achieve a goal. Uniting people who have differences is the main feature of the United Front. If you have a goal and you don’t have other, significant differences with someone you unite with them in a single political organization, in a Party. A United Front isn’t the same as such a political organization. In waging the Chinese revolution, they had the Communist Party and they had the United Front, of which that Party, itself, was only a part.

United Fronts are big. They’re small. They’re very temporary. They last for long times. They’re organized around various sorts of issues. Basically it’s a question of getting people who have differences together to achieve a goal. Thus, the most fundamental problem in organizing a United Front is how do you unite people who have differences, how do you unite with people with whom you have differences? This is a question which faces us quite concretely.

Whenever we put forward that we should organize the United Front against U.S. imperialism in Canada, the response from other Leftists is that this is a bad proposal, this means uniting with the bourgeoisie, it means compromise with the bourgeoisie. To unite with the bourgeoisie necessarily means to compromise with the bourgeoisie, according to these people. To unite with the petit bourgeoisie means compromising, to unite with any of what they call alien classes means compromising with that class. Is unity in a United Front the same thing as putting your stamp of approval on those people you’re uniting with? When you and some sections of the bourgeoisie both join a United Front does that mean you have put your stamp of approval on the bourgeoisie’s policies?

We have to pay attention to dialectics, to the theories on the question of contradictions – the importance of identifying primary contradictions and secondary contradictions. What are contradictions? Mao Zedong says, contradiction is difference. If you comb your hair one way and I comb my hair another way that’s a contradiction. However, it’s not an important contradiction. It’s not a contradiction which we should dwell on for a long time or fight a war over.

Contradictions can be large and small. It’s in realizing this that we formulate the United Front theory. Whenever we come up against a contradiction we have to begin to assess is this an important contradiction or is this a contradiction of secondary importance? This is what we assess in Canada at this time: the contradiction with certain sections of the Canadian bourgeoisie is not the most important contradiction. We don’t relegate this contradiction to the lack of importance entailed, for example, in the difference between you combing your hair one way and me combing my hair another way. It’s more important than that! However, it’s less important than other contradictions that exist. Another contradiction exists which is of greater importance. There is another contradiction which is having the greatest effect in retarding the development of Canadian society. It is the contradiction, not with the bourgeoisie of Canada but with the imperialist bourgeoisie of the United States. The U.S. domination of Canada is the most important problem. The primary contradiction in Canadian society is the contradiction between the U.S. monopoly capitalist class, on the one hand, and the Canadian people – including various classes and strata of Canadian society – on the other hand.

When we say this, other Leftists who have a different analysis, respond, “You’re soft-soaping the Canadian bourgeoisie. You’re letting the Canadian bourgeoisie off the hook.” We don’t have any particular desire to let the Canadian bourgeoisie off the hook. All we’re really proposing is that they should be put ”on the hook” later. What we’re saying is: if we resolve the primary contradiction first, if we resolve the contradiction between the Canadian people and U.S. imperialism in the first place, the contradiction with the Canadian bourgeoisie, which at present is relatively of secondary importance, later will take on greater relative importance and can definitely be resolved in the second place.

An important tenet in the United Front is that it is established to achieve a goal. It is maintained for the specific period of time until that goal is achieved; it’s not established forever. If we propose unity with certain sections of the bourgeoisie today so as to achieve the goal of overthrowing the U.S. domination of Canada, this proposal doesn’t mean that we will be united with the Canadian bourgeoisie forever. It doesn’t mean that those Canadian factory owners who exploit Canadian workers will get our stamp of approval, even now. It doesn’t mean we’ll say, ”Oh yes, you’re a different type of bourgeoisie. By all means you should exploit the working class.” It just means that we should unite with whoever we can in order to achieve the goal at hand.

Obviously, if the goal we have at hand is to overthrow U.S. imperialism in Canada, one group of people who we can’t unite with is the U.S. imperialists. Their very nature leaves them out or the United Front against U.S. imperialism. Then, we have to ask who else can’t we unite with and who else can we unite with. This is a fundamental question. If you seriously want to effect change, if you seriously want to make a different social system in this country, these are the questions you have to answer very carefully. Not only to answer but to put the answers into practice.

So, we look at these questions. For our part, we say there is a certain section of the Canadian bourgeoisie which cannot be united with. We identify that the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie is the enemy, so we’re not going to unite with them and, when we put the U.S. imperialists outside the United Front, we also put out those sections of the Canadian bourgeoisie which serve U.S. imperialism directly. They serve U.S. imperialism in two ways. One, they serve U.S. imperialism by performing a managerial function. In other words, they are the overseers of the interests of the U.S. imperialists in Canada. Two, they serve U.S. imperialism by owning such things as Canada’s industry and natural resources, and selling them to the U.S. bourgeoisie. We call them sell-out capitalists.

Thus, there is no doubt that the United Front is based on definite principles. It’s not a question of soft-soaping the enemy. It’s not a question of wanting to avoid a fight. It’s a question of wanting to get into a fight and to win. Further, it’s a question of wanting to get into a fight with someone who deserves to be fought.

This question is the pivot of the main difference amongst Leftists in Canada at this time. Who deserves to be fought? Who deserves to be fought now? Who deserves to be fought later? These are all questions that Leftists debate. It may seem like a funny debate.

Who do we fight against is one question. Who do we fight alongside is actually the question on which most of the Left in Canada is split. This is where we find ourselves distinguished from other Leftists in Canada. People often say, “There’re so many different groups, so many different sects, so many tiny organizations, so many people holding separate meetings. Why can’t they all get together? They could hold great big meetings. They could have one great big movement.” This is a question we very seriously ask ourselves.

One strong reason is: there’s no use getting together with somebody if they’re going to be fighting someone who you don’t think should be fought or if they’re going to be letting someone off the hook who you don’t think should be let off the hook. We’re left out by other Leftists because they consider we’re letting an enemy off the hook who shouldn’t be. We leave other Leftists out because they’re proposing to fight an enemy that we don’t think the main focus should be on at this time and they’re letting off the enemy we think should be on the hook. That’s U.S. imperialism. We say the U.S. imperialists need to be fought at this stage. They say Canada’s bourgeoisie as a whole in itself and separate from U.S. imperialism deserves to be fought at this stage. Some of them go so far as to say Canada’s bourgeoisie is itself an imperialist bourgeoisie.

Seeing the primary contradiction in Canada as we do, we propose the United Front. The United Front has existed as a concept and in practice for a considerable length of time. It is a quite well understood concept amongst various Leftists who have studied history and classical teachings of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Other Leftists know what the United Front is. They understand what we are putting forward when we propose the United Front; they know what they are rejecting when they discount our proposals.

When we are accused of soft-soaping the bourgeoisie, we have to assess the charge very seriously. For any Leftist, this is quite an insult. Every Leftist has as a basic tenet of his or her outlook to do something to the bourgeoisie other than soft-soap them. (Laughter) Taken in a certain way it’s quite an insult then. We propose unity with certain sections of the bourgeoisie, not the whole capitalist class and, because of the charges, we have to ask ourselves: in doing so, are we soft-soaping them or not?

This brings us to another point important to the United Front. In building the United Front, it must be recognized that the different sections of society that join do so for their own varied reasons. We think it is the lack of understanding on this point that makes other Leftists reject the idea of the United Front. It is because we understand this point that we think that we are not soft-soaping the bourgeoisie.

Take, for example, the sections of the bourgeoisie that would join the United Front. Would they join because they attend a revolutionary meeting like this and all of a sudden they “see the light”? In joining they are not saying, “That’s exactly correct. Revolution is exactly what we need to put on the agenda. We should build a powerful revolutionary movement to overthrow the oppression of man by man. Death to the man-eating system!” You shouldn’t hold your breath waiting to hear any bourgeois say that.

The national bourgeoisie in Canada, the section of the bourgeoisie that would join the United Front, has its own reason for joining the fight against U.S. imperialism. The simple reason is not explained, cannot be discovered by asking the question: do they want to give up exploiting the people? Rather, it is explained by acknowledging that they want to continue exploiting the people. They want to exploit the people more effectively. They want to exploit the proletariat. Any sections of the national bourgeoisie which join the United Front do so because they see that their biggest competitors, the U.S. bourgeoisie will be put off the Canadian economic scene and they have the idealistic notion that they will be able to take these overthrown exploiters’ place. They hope to be the biggest exploiters in the country in future.

Of course, we join the United Front with the very practical notion that once the struggle against U.S. imperialism is successful, we will change the social system itself. The second step on the agenda will be to create a new social system. Unity with the bourgeoisie will stop at that stage. Such unity will not carry on beyond the overthrow of U.S. imperialism. At that stage, the bourgeoisie may realize there’s no hope anywhere. “We thought we had hope for more profit after the United Front’s success and now we don’t seem to have any chance of realizing that hope.” Unless they do realize that and behave themselves, there really will be no hope for them. (Laughter)

The issue is not one of capitulating to the bourgeoisie. The issue is not one of giving up to the bourgeoisie, not one of letting them off the hook. The question is not: do we want the working class to stop struggling against the bourgeoisie? We definitely do want the working class to struggle against the bourgeoisie! Some Leftists tell us, “When you build your United Front you’re soft-soaping the bourgeoisie,” “you’re shaking the hand of an alien class,” “you’re laying down in front of the enemy,” “you’re allowing the capitalists to dominate the working class in the revolutionary movement”. These Leftists deny the history of the world revolutionary movement and the experience of the Chinese revolution.

In China, the Communists suffered very, very gravely at the hands of the country’s own bourgeoisie. They suffered almost equally as grievous losses from these reactionaries as at the hands of the Japanese imperialists who invaded China with its standing army and imposed foreign domination on the country by force of arms. Yet, the Communists proposed a United Front against the Japanese aggression. Mao Zedong and the revolutionary forces joined a United Front with other sections of the society, including capitalists. Apparently, the Communist Party of China also soft-soaped the bourgeoisie. (Laughter) Not really. In the late 1920s, the Chinese revolutionaries went through something known as “the White Terror”. The Kuomintang, the political party representing the Chinese ruling classes, wiped out many of the Communist forces. Of 100,000 committed revolutionary people, the number killed was 90,000 people. Where the Communists had 100,000 people prior to “the White Terror”, they had 10,000 people after it.

It was after “the White Terror” that the Japanese imperialists invaded China and the Communists said, “We should have a United Front against Japanese aggression”. Can anybody seriously say that Mao Zedong would have forgotten 90,000 of his comrades – and that’s no small number, 90,000 – would have forgotten that these comrades were wiped out by the bourgeoisie? Can anybody say that the Communists joined the United Front with their eyes closed? Who can claim that they were soft-soaping the bourgeoisie? Who can claim that the Communists hoped that this alien class would, as Mao Zedong puts it, turn from butchers into buddhas, lay down their knives and treat the people well? No. They did not think that.

Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party proposed the United Front fully knowing these facts. Still, they said, “When foreign imperialism dominates our country, this becomes the primary contradiction, this becomes the main obstacle to the forward movement of our people. So, we should unite with whoever will unite to remove that obstacle, to defeat the primary enemy. When the next enemy has to be dealt with, if it happens to be the same enemy we had to deal with in an earlier stage, that’s fine. No problem. If it’s the same enemy that wiped out 90,000 of our comrades, all the better – we can get back at them.” (Laughter)

Do we actually soft-soap the bourgeoisie by proposing a United Front? No, we don’t! Important principles in the United Front are the principles of independence and initiative. This means that every political organization which joins the United Front does so as a part of its program, not as their whole program. The United Front becomes a part of the organization’s activity, not all of its activity. For a proletarian party, for the Communist Party, for the revolutionary vanguard, the rest and majority part of the program is their existing program to advance the cause of the proletariat, to advance the cause of the oppressed masses of whatever country they are working in.

During a United Front period, the proletarian vanguard fights on behalf of the proletariat and fights on behalf of the people as a whole. This is why Georgi Dimitrov, in the selection which was previously read aloud[1], makes such a mockery of those people in 1935 who tried to counterpose the building of the proletarian front to the building of the people’s front, treating them as two separate things. Those people in 1936 were, in essence, doing the same thing as these people today who say we shouldn’t build the United Front against U.S. imperialism in Canada. They, too, are saying, “You have to do everything in quite a cut and dried fashion, you have to do everything according to the books.” Marx and Engels say that the revolutionary movement is motivated by the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. By applying this simple classical formula for revolution, these people look for the bourgeoisie, they look for the proletariat and they declare that they have the solution to the problem of making revolution in the country.

We say it’s not so simple. If you spend your time fighting the Canadian bourgeoisie as the primary enemy then you’ll never get anywhere because they are not the force which is retarding the forward motion of the people of Canada. The retarding force is U.S. imperialism which dominates Canada and dominates the Canadian bourgeoisie – without the nod of direct or indirect approval from this foreign power no section of the Canadian bourgeoisie can make a move.

These other Leftists, who disagree with us, say that in proposing unity with the national bourgeoisie, we are proposing unity with a stratum of Canadian society which doesn’t exist. It must be understood, of course, that we do not propose unity only with the national bourgeoisie. This just happens to be the section of the whole proposal that they make the biggest beef over. We propose unity between the proletariat and small farmers and they all say, “Oh yes, of course, that has to be.” We propose unity between the proletariat and the urban petit bourgeoisie and they say, “Oh yes, of course”. We propose unity with the intellectuals and they say, “Oh yes, of course”. We propose unity with the national minorities and they say, “Yes”. We propose unity with the Native people. They say, “Yes”. We propose unity with the Quebecois. They say, “Yes”. We propose unity with immigrants. They say, “Yes”. We propose to organize women, youth, soldiers, cultural workers, etc. They say, “Yes, by all means”.

We propose to include certain sections of the bourgeoisie in the United Front. They say, “No. No, we can’t do that! That would render us impure.” It seems that if you even so much as cross paths with the bourgeoisie, it somehow drains all your revolutionary fervour, all your revolutionary analysis. As a revolutionary you can no longer hold your head up in public. (Laughter) We should definitely avoid at all costs even so much as crossing paths with the bourgeoisie.

Some of these other Leftists say that this stratum of society doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as the national bourgeoisie in Canada, they say. Either there is an imperialist bourgeoisie and that’s all there is to it, or, the bourgeoisie is 100% a sellout bourgeoisie and that’s all there is to it. We say we should apply the slogans, unite all those who can be united to defeat the main enemy, and, unite the many to defeat the few.

If it so happens that no members of the bourgeoisie can be united in order to defeat the enemy, U.S. imperialism, it’s fine with us. We’re not particularly going out seeking any section of the bourgeoisie. All we’re saying is if this stratum exists – and we think it does – then we should unite with it in order to fully develop the United Front. If it doesn’t exist, we’re not going to cry any tears because we don’t get to unite with some sections of the bourgeoisie. Even the national bourgeoisie that does exist contains those who have a very reactionary mentality and who would refuse to unite. We’re not going to cry about that either.

We enter the United Front with our eyes open. We don’t forget who the bourgeoisie are, what they do. We know exactly where the bourgeoisie is in the United Front’s ranks. If we’re fighting an armed anti-imperialist war and we have to arrange the ranks, we make sure we put the proletarian forces here and the forces of the national bourgeoisie over there at the side, rather than asking the bourgeoisie to bring up the rear. It’s just as likely they won’t guard you but shoot you in the back. (Laughter) That doesn’t mean that no United Front can exist.

As long as we maintain our proletarian principles, it is good to participate in a United Front. As long as we maintain our basic program of mobilizing the proletariat for revolution, mobilizing the proletariat to change the actual social system, it is good to participate in a United Front. As long as we maintain our basic proletarian principles and program, which is the guarantee that after the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie is thrown out of Canada its place will not be taken by the Canadian bourgeoisie, then what’s to fear in uniting with some sections of the bourgeoisie?

Remember the two anecdotes related at the beginning of this speech. That’s what it comes down to. If they’re stupid enough to unite with us, that’s their problem. If it’s stupid for us to unite with them, that’s our problem. We go into the United Front with our eyes open to history. Past experience tells us that it is our line that is correct, it is our forces that are eventually victorious. We don’t have anything to fear in joining a United Front. They have everything to worry about in joining a United Front.

Those who say we shouldn’t build the United Front against U.S. imperialism in Canada treat what we are putting forward as a programmatic proposal, as though we are proposing to let the program of mobilizing the proletariat go by the board, while we spend all our time seeking favours from and cultivating friendships with the bourgeoisie. This isn’t the case. What our proposal is in political terms is a strategic proposal or a tactical proposal. We don’t propose that people take the United Front as their program but as their strategy to achieve a certain stage from which the goals of the proletarian program can actually be achieved. We say: you can’t actually build socialism, which is what all these Leftists are supposed to be after, you can’t actually build a different social system, you can’t actually eliminate the oppression of man by man in this country, unless you go step by step, unless you take a piecemeal approach. We must take at least two steps. We must resolve the primary contradiction first, that is eliminate the U.S. domination of Canada. Second, we will take up the most pressing secondary contradiction for resolution since it will then become the primary contradiction. The most pressing secondary contradiction is, and probably will still be at that later stage, the Canadian bourgeoisie’s domination of the Canadian proletariat.

People are aware of this debate on the Left about the United Front. You people may not be aware of all its specifics in Canada but we’re sure you are aware of its manifestations on the world scale. There is a major debate having ramifications all over the world. Everybody read in the established newspapers that somehow last summer Albania went at China’s throat and these two old chums had quite a falling out. The bourgeoisie made a big play of that. They really liked to be able to claim, “China has no friends.” They like anything of this sort.

This contradiction that is presently showing itself on the world scale, between all the Marxist-Leninist Parties which support China and all the parties which support Albania, between the two sides of a split in some parties, has at its core a United Front theory, a practical proposal to unite the many to defeat the few. The United Front against hegemonism is the proposal the Communist Party of China has put to the world revolutionary movement which is the root cause of this debate.

On a world scale, Soviet social-imperialism is the primary source of the threat of a new world war. On the same scale, the two superpowers, the two largest and most powerful imperialists on the face of the earth today, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. are in contradiction with the world’s people and that is the primary contradiction in international politics. The contention between these superpowers, their collusion, their relations with one another and with other countries is the main material that threatens a new world war. Further, in that contradiction, it is Soviet social-imperialism that takes the main part, that is the most abrasive, that is actually pushing for world war.

Based on these facts, the Communist Party of China has said that a policy of all the revolutionary organizations should be to oppose the threat of a new world war and to oppose the hegemonism of these two imperialist superpowers which is creating the inflammatory material that will feed the intensity of that world conflict.

When it is put in these terms, it seems funny that there are some Leftists on the face of the earth who would say, “Oh no, we oppose that.” It’s like saying, “Yeah. We’re all for world war. We think it would be excellent. No need to pay attention to Soviet social-imperialism because if a world war takes place it’ll be great.” This is what these people are saying objectively but it is not what they are saying in so many words. What they actually say is that they don’t believe the Soviet Union constitutes the main threat for world war. They are saying that they believe that the Soviet Union and the United States pose an equal threat, neither one of them is coming up in strength, neither one of them is falling off in strength. From this idea of two exactly equal superpowers they conclude that there isn’t a threat for a new world war, preparations for a new world war are not of paramount importance in world politics. They say the equal strength of these, the two biggest powers on earth, will exactly balance one another off. So, there’s no worry about one overcoming the other, about one feeling that it has such an edge of strength that it would be to its advantage to launch a world war. The advantage to be gained is, of course, in controlling and in opening up greater markets.

Here the selection from Stalin that was previously read aloud[2] has relevance. It is important to have markets for your goods. However, the imperialists don’t accept such a reasonable, cooperative system as Stalin proposed, a system of give and take, of interdependence. The imperialists propose an arrangement of take and take, of going into countries and taking and taking and taking. They do this by force of arms, as they must. Any imperialist country that feels it has the power will go into other countries and take, take, take, feeling that if opposition comes up amongst those countries’ people or from anywhere else, they’ll just settle it by force of arms. They figure they’ll pay a price to the opposition but they’ll win in the long run and that’s the important thing. They’ll control the markets, the natural resources, the means of production in that country. All these things are the basis of profits. With imperialists the profits are very large, being reaped from other countries. With the imperialist superpowers it is a case of super profits, huge even by the measure of imperialist profits.

The other Leftists who are saying the Soviet Union isn’t the greatest threat for world war are saying that there is no single superpower going around being the bully on the world scene. We find that analysis hard to swallow. Just look around you. Everywhere you turn .there’s some sort of trouble spot in the world. Studying history you know these “hot spots” are the inflammatory material that could be the spark to ignite a world war. In every region of the world there’s some kind of contention over some country.

In the Far East, this contention is taking place in a very big way. Just a couple of months ago, many people were getting excited about the possibility of a world war being sparked when Viet Nam and China had this border incident. Viet Nam was making incursions over China’s border and so China went back over the border to answer this aggression, to teach them a lesson. It was said that China shouldn’t fool around with answering Viet Nam because that’s the Soviet Union’s baby brother. It was predicted that the Soviet Union would come pouring across China’s borders and this would be the material of a new world war. People spoke about the U.S. having to make a decision about what side it would go on. Every day in the press one could read about Carter saying, “Well, I’m not sure if we would intervene.” Then he said, “Well, Deng Xiaoping was just here to visit last month so maybe I should say we would intervene.” They said he was going back and forth trying to make up his mind. Everybody knew this was the material of world conflict.

The same for these Vietnamese boat people which are being talked about so much, who should be called Chinese boat people. They are, in fact, the Chinese national minority from Viet Nam being shipped abroad wholesale by the Vietnamese authorities. There are concrete reasons why this is so constantly reported. All these countries are having contention over these people. They’re saying Viet Nam should stop shipping these people out. It’s making a burden on the countries all around Viet Nam which have poor economies. They’re saying, “We can’t take an influx of one hundred thousand people here and one hundred thousand people there.” They’re appealing for funds and assistance to provide for these refugees. They are being refused funds. These reactionary cliques in Southeast Asia are saying to their big brothers like the United States, “You’re a rich country. Why don’t you take a hundred thousand refugees. We can’t take them all.”

The United States and the others are saying, “No thanks. That’s not how you maintain your riches, by giving them away. You feed the refugees and we’ll continue to take your material resources on top of it.” This is creating great tensions in that area of the world. Everybody knows this. Isn’t this the material of world war? Isn’t this inflammatory material in world politics? We say yes.

We are answered, “Okay but that’s regional contention.” They say, “So that’s what Viet Nam is doing, but Viet Nam isn’t even identified as one of the imperialist superpowers.” People are still confused about whether it’s a socialist country or not. People are confused because so many supported Viet Nam in its national liberation war and it was entirely just to do so. Now, how do you turn on your old friend which meant so much to you ten years ago? Then we were all saying that the United States shouldn’t be in Viet Nam. Now it seems we’re called on to speak the other side. We’re called on to say, “Viet Nam shouldn’t be in Kampuchea. Viet Nam shouldn’t be making armed incursions into China. Viet Nam shouldn’t be in Laos. Viet Nam shouldn’t be threatening Thailand.” These words come hard. We know they come hard. They come hard to us.

However, the main question is: Is it Viet Nam which is at the heart of the question? We say no. We say it is the Soviet Union. We say the Vietnamese authorities are acting as henchmen for Soviet social-imperialism. As the Chinese put it, Viet Nam is the USSR’s cat’s paw. It is the limb that makes the feint before the actual attack. That’s what we say, too. We say if Viet Nam takes over Kampuchea, all it means is that the Soviet Union has widened its sphere of influence to include the country of Kampuchea. The same for Laos. The same for Thailand, if this Vietnamese proposal to invade that country actually takes place. The same for any section of China’s border territory which Viet Nam takes over. Even if it’s only a quarter of a mile across the border, this is widening the Soviet social-imperialists’ sphere of influence.

What does this mean? People ask, “Isn’t this just a phrase – widening the sphere of influence?” However, it’s not just a phrase, it’s a concrete reality in the world. It means one of the two superpowers is getting stronger and there is nothing in the present rulers of the Soviet Union like there was in Stalin, as reflected in the selection from his writing read previously.[3] There is no sentiment for cooperation. There is no sentiment for reason, for a reasoned approach towards resolving contradictions between countries, amongst peoples. The Soviet social-imperialists only have sentiment to resolve every contradiction in favour of their own current whim. They want everything to go their way and the stronger they get the more they’ll be able to have everything go their way. This is why we pay attention to the widening sphere of the USSR’s influence.

At the same time as the Vietnamese armed incursions over China’s border, there was much news about the Shah of Iran being overthrown. Since then, there has been lots of news about the new regime in Iran. We should ask: What does this mean in terms of the USSR gaining strength? Is the Ayatollah, either wittingly or unwittingly, serving Soviet social-imperialism? If this important question is answered, “no”, there are more questions to be asked. How long will the Ayatollah stay in power? Who will take power after him? Who are the forces standing in the shadows around the Ayatollah ready to take over anytime?

Look at Afghanistan. Look at the two Yemens. Last year the KGB assassinated the leaders of both north and south Yemen. This year there is a proposal that both Yemens should become one country. We would say that such a proposal is good because in general we stand for the reunification of the countries which have been falsely divided during hundreds of years of colonial rule. In this particular case we can’t be so sure that it is good. If it means one consolidated country which as a whole falls into the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, it is quite bad. It would be bad in terms of international politics and in terms of the people of Yemen themselves.

Look at other “hot spots”. Look at Nicaragua. Everybody says, “Sandinistas. Sandinistas.” Who had heard of these anti-Somoza fighters before nine months ago? Anybody who knows revolutionary politics asks where they came from. However, when we ask the question, other Leftists say, “Ah so, going soft on Somoza now?” We answer, “No. Overthrow Somoza by all means. Just kick him out. Don’t give it a second thought. He’s an absolute reactionary. He’s a fascist. Sure, throw him out.”

What we’re asking is: Then what happens? Is this more fuel thrown on the inflammatory material of world politics? Is the threat of world war greater? Is there a widening of the sphere of influence of the Soviet social-imperialists?

We don’t know the answer for sure when we ask the question. In asking, we are not saying, ”Yes, this is what the Sandinistas are all about.” However, we must ask the question. This is how we must examine world politics. The analysis that promotes an international United Front against Hegemonism says this is the key to understanding present world politics.

Some people say, “You support China and China supports Chile’s Pinochet. Hua Guofeng’s best friend is Pinochet.” They say, “Hua Guofeng’s best friend is the Shah. Didn’t he pay him a visit in Iran? Didn’t the Shah give Hua a carpet?” (Laughter) This is not the way to examine world politics. This is too simplistic. The key to understanding present world politics is not, “Who gives a carpet to whom?” We think that world politics moves according to a more complex pattern.

Any government, say, Marcos in the Philippines, that actually contains the growth of the USSR’s influence to any degree, is to that same degree doing good. This serves the overall movement against hegemony. We also have the material that makes such a matter a complex question. Marcos is an absolute lackey of U.S. imperialism. He’s adding to the strength of the other superpower. That’s significant but it is not the most important factor. U.S. imperialism is on the decline, weakening as a superpower. That doesn’t mean that it is like a little baby and it’ll let anybody steal its candy. We’re not saying it is weak. We’re saying it is weaker than it has been relative to other major powers. U.S. imperialism is faced for the first time in a long period with a stronger power on the international scene than itself. For a long time the U.S. has been the richest and most powerful country in the world. Now the Soviet Union is becoming the most powerful country in the world in terms of its sphere of influence, in terms of the size of its standing army, in terms of overall military strength, in terms of the willingness it has to bully the world’s people.

So when we say this is the important material in world politics, people say, “You support Marcos, Pinochet and the Shah of Iran. You’re all crying since the Shah was overthrown, probably.” No, it didn’t bother us at all. Even when we heard an assassination squad almost killed him the other day, we didn’t cry a tear. They make it seem like the first thing we want to do is to jump on a jet, fly down to Santiago and shake Pinochet’s hand. No thank you. We know lots of Chilean people who were in the Left, whose families suffer repression, whose friends were killed, who were tortured themselves. We have no interest in soft-soaping Pinochet. We have no interest in soft-soaping Marcos. We have relations with the Filipino revolutionaries, who are dying daily in the struggle to overthrow Marcos and the U.S. domination of their country. With our friends dedicating their lives to his overthrow, we’re not in any position to soft-soap Marcos.

The United Front is a complex question. We can be sure of that. Thus if we propose a United Front in Canada only to have some Leftists reject it out of hand, we say that’s wrong. If someone rejects it, fully considering all its complexities, perhaps that’s okay. If someone can put forward a good argument that these complex conditions do not exist in this country, that this strategy does not apply, that the tactics of the United Front are not the best way to implement the revolutionary program in Canada, then well listen to the objections. We’re not interested as long as it is, “Oh, association with the bourgeoisie, wouldn’t that sully our hands? Wouldn’t that make us feel less than pure?”

There are potential dangers that exist in the application of the United Front theory. We are very well aware of them. A previous time when the United Front was proposed on a world scale was when the United Front against Fascism and War was put forward in 1935. Georgi Dimitrov formulated this policy with Stalin’s assistance for the Communist International, a coordinating body for the world revolutionary movement which existed at that time. The United Front against Fascism and War was accepted as the strategic policy of all these revolutionaries at that time. The Communist Party of Canada, which today is not revolutionary, was still a revolutionary party in 1935 but it had renegades and revisionists in its leadership who were guilty of soft-soaping the bourgeoisie. They were guilty of pursuing their own personal interests above the interests of the class they were supposed to represent, above the interests of the proletarian vanguard they were supposed to lead. These guys disbanded the Canadian revolutionary organizations.

We had a revolutionary trade union movement in Canada which was quite powerful. It was called the Workers’ Unity League and had as its President a great revolutionary named J.B. McLachlan There were many workers who were members of other mainstream unions, more of the type we are aware of today, as well as being members of the Workers’ Unity League. However, it was the trade union of 20,000 workers in Canada. It was the only union these workers had. The 20,000 were mainly textile workers and mainly located in Montreal. The leaders of the Communist Party of Canada just disbanded the organization. With a snap of these revisionists’ fingers, 20,000 workers were left with no economic defence organization whatsoever. This crime was perpetuated these revisionists claimed, in the application of the United Front theory.

These leaders, better called misleaders, claimed that the disbanding of the revolutionary organizations was the necessary means of creating the conditions for the United Front. Now, it should be understood that the Communist International was also disbanded and that it was correct to do so. It was disbanded to alleviate the fear such a coordinating body of the world’s revolutionaries created in the hearts of some of those who should have participated, and who eventually did participate in the United Front against Fascism and War.

In order to more effectively build the United Front, the Communist International was disbanded but only after World War II was actually underway. There had been full awareness long before, as early as 1935, years before the war against the fascist axis actually broke out, that such a disbanding of the International would be a possible step in building the United Front. The Canadian revisionists longed to destroy the revolutionary organizations so much that they couldn’t wait. They outstripped the necessary moment by at least five years! Even then, though, in other countries the revolutionaries managed to participate in the United Front as well as to leave their own organizations intact.

Earlier a selection from Dimitrov was read aloud,[4] mocking the attitude that either the United Front would be developed or the proletarian movement would be developed. This is precisely the error that was made in Canada, “Either we develop the Workers’ Unity League or we develop the United Front against Fascism and War, and we have to develop the United Front – it’s the official policy.” So, they disbanded the Workers’ Unity League and other existing revolutionary organizations. They saw the proletarian front and the people’s front as being mutually exclusive, rather than complementary.

When anyone says that in proposing the United Front against U.S. imperialism in Canada today, we are somehow soft-soaping the bourgeoisie, they are saying we missed that important lesson in Canadian revolutionary history. We have not overlooked the mistakes made by characters like Tim Buck, who was the General Secretary of the CP. for so long. We well know what the present leaders of the CP. were doing after 1935. William Kashtan is notorious for one of the tasks he did in those years – he went to Spain to tell Norman Bethune to stop his work there! (Laughter) He went to tell Bethune he was being bad and had to come home. Kashtan went to Spain to stop Bethune. Kashtan is the hack who is the leader of the revisionist party in Canada today. Norman Bethune is the great Canadian Communist who is known all over the world – never mind the most famous Canadian Communist, Bethune is probably the most famous Canadian in the world.

We’re not interested in making the same mistakes as these revisionist hacks who wrongly applied the United Front in Canada before. Nevertheless, we are interested in developing the United Front. We consider the inordinate fear of making the same mistake to be the product of a simplistic approach. It doesn’t even reflect everyday materialist analysis. If a little kid is riding a bicycle and falls off, getting hurt, we never say, “No kids should ride bicycles. They could fall off and get hurt. It’s a part of historical experience. I saw it with my own eyes. It happened right here on this street!” Nobody says that. People still say people should ride bicycles. Kids should ride bicycles. Even the kid who fell off should get back on and ride the bicycle again, to overcome the new fear that comes with the fall. A bicycle can be ridden. A bicycle is a useful vehicle. Applied properly it’s very useful. You should stop falling off it but you shouldn’t stop using it. This is what we say about the United Front.

There are questions of unity in Canada which are quite pressing. One of the questions concerns the need for greater unity amongst the proletariat in Canada. In other countries this is not as pressing a question as it is in this country. People from other countries are surprised at the disunity amongst the proletariat in Canada, at how little enthusiasm there is even for the trade unions. A lot of Canadian workers belong to trade unions but there are more who don’t. The ones that do have little enthusiasm for them. The popular consciousness in Canada is to say, “Nobody goes to union meetings. We can’t even get quorum to hold the regular meetings.”

People say the same thing about the Left. “There’s no unity on the Left in Canada. There’s so many groups. Why can’t we do what’s done in other countries? Why are there so many separate meetings and all of them so small?” We can relate to them talking about small meetings like this one is, eh? We’re not exactly sure what other Left groups say when people come to them to ask these questions that people ask of us. We can tell you what they say when we go to them to ask these questions – it’s profane, usually. (Laughter) We should have a larger Left movement. We should have a stronger Left movement. We should have a more united Left movement.

We, the Alive Production Collective, do actually go to other groups, it’s not just a joke we make in this speech. We have approached other Leftists to ask, ”Why don’t we have unity ?” Many respond, “Well, if you want to have unity, what you need to do is to come under our organization’s discipline, you need to uphold our program, you need to write a statement that states: such-and-such (you know, fill in the blank) is the glorious vanguard of the Canadian proletariat.” However, we consider that no matter which group you name in Canada, including our own, this isn’t true.

The Left is not in practice the vanguard of the proletariat in Canada. The Left should be the vanguard of the proletariat in Canada but it is not. Concretely, the Left is not leading the strike struggles of Canadian workers. The Left is not leading the movement for democratic rights in Canada. The Left isn’t even leading these consumer associations which are complaining about high food prices, exploding pop bottles and so on. Leftists participate, certainly, but where is the Left taking the leading role in any of these movements which are the concrete popular mass movements that exist in the country? The Left doesn’t lead these movements.

There is no real Left women’s movement in Canada worthy of the name. There is no real youth movement in Canada to talk about. Why not? These are facts we have to frankly acknowledge, questions we have to ask of ourselves. When you sit with only a small group of people in a meeting like this, the immediate question that comes to mind is: Why not more people? Why not more unity?

So, we’ve said to those other Leftists, “No. We will not say you are the glorious vanguard. When the actual revolutionary vanguard is created and appears on the stage of history, well be the first to write just such a statement. You’re not it. You are an organization of Leftists, however. We are a Left organization. Between us we have various points in common. Why can’t we have unity on some points, even while maintaining our differences on other points?”

Pretty much the most sharp difference we have with other Leftists is on our disagreement with some that Canada’s capitalist class is an imperialist bourgeoisie. Even with these Leftists, we have said, “Actually there are contradictions, more pressing in practice, on which we stand on the same side.” There are people who have an interest in beating up Leftists, in beating us up and in beating these others up. Sectarian brawling is a phenomenon facing Leftists in Canada. Leftists hold a meeting, another group comes and punches out everybody at the activity – it’s a lot of “fun” if you’re there as an “innocent”, interested observer. We’ve had this experience at our own meetings. These thugs exist in this city as well as elsewhere in the country. They falsely portray themselves as “Leftists”. They are very, very thuggish. They’re the kind of people who like to catch people late at night, in a back alley, when their numbers are about six and the opposition has numbers of one, in order to settle “debates on the Left”, by beating people up.

So, we have actually made the following proposal to other Leftists, “This is something concrete. Whether Leftists say Canada is an imperialist power or Leftists call for a United Front against U.S. imperialism, we are all subject to this thuggishness. Why don’t we simply coordinate our response to this? We could do one of two things. One, coordinate action to oppose these thugs. When they attack members of any of our organizations we all publish articles against it, prepare popular opinion against it. More, when they physically attack your organization well help defend your members, you help defend our members when they’re attacked. If there is an upsurge of these thuggish attacks in one area where they are trying to wipe out a Left group here or a Left group there, why not create a large force to meet them head on and actually put a stop to this thuggish activity? If that’s too much unity in practice, if you can’t stand that, take the other option. Two, let’s simply coordinate information about these thuggish attacks. You exist in Montreal. You exist in Halifax. You exist in Toronto. You exist in Edmonton. You exist in Vancouver. We exist in Guelph.

We should just tell one another when there’s an upsurge of these thugs punching the shit out of Leftists in Halifax at a certain time, when six people get an individual on the street in Montreal, when somebody is attacked going to a Toronto meeting, when somebody else has them knock at their house in Vancouver only to be beaten up when they answer the door. Then, after we’ve all got the same, well-rounded information, each group can set up its own physical defence.”

What these Left groups said to us, literally, was, “What’s the matter? Scared? Can’t handle it?” With quite some contempt and disappointment we had to answer, “No. That’s not the issue.” The fact is we’ve never had a fight with these thugs that we haven’t won. Every time they come to punch us out, they get a big surprise – we give them a thorough beating. We’re not scared of them. We have no concrete reason to be scared of them.

We simply saw an objective problem and had the hope for unity in facing it since it was common to a number of groups. Sure we can handle it by ourselves but it would be better all around to handle it by uniting. Our perception is that we were quite magnanimous in making this proposal because the other Left groups have more problems with them and lose more fights to them then we do. We thought this simple unity could easily be taken up. They refused to take it up. That’s only one example. We’ve made other proposals. Another example comes from the fact that a number of groups in Canada have respect for the People’s Republic of China. They acknowledge that China is a socialist country, China’s revolutionary experience should be emulated, the Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist Party not a revisionist party, Hua Guofeng didn’t betray Mao Zedong etc. Other groups speak opposite to all these statements. We went to the groups that uphold China and we said, “You want friendship with China and you work in Montreal, same for you in Vancouver and you in Edmonton. We want friendship with China and we work in Guelph. We show films about China and they’re well liked, bigger crowds come out for those activities than for our political meetings. Same for all of you. Why don’t we coordinate that activity? Never mind this and that difference on the Left, can’t we cooperate to create a national movement for friendship with China?”

Good idea, eh? Many other countries have national organizations for friendship with China – Belgium-China Friendship Society, France-China Friendship Society, Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, U.S.-China People’s Friendship Society. Each of these is a country-wide organization with branches in every city. In Canada you have an organization in every city. So, we made this proposal. They all laughed and said, ”You just want to vamp off 16 the experience of the society in Montreal which is so much bigger than any little motion for China friendship in Guelph. You want to steal some of the prestige of the association in Toronto which is so well established and so well liked. You just want to worm your way in to get benefit for yourselves.”

That’s not what we want. What we want is a national Canada-China friendship organization. We have been asked, “What can you contribute towards a national association?” We produce a magazine, so we could produce a journal and we’d do it at no charge. So, they say, “Ah so, you want to dominate the propaganda of the national association!” We again treat that petty response with contempt and disappointment. It should be made clear that these are the Left groups’ answers, not the responses of the official friendship groups themselves. However, these are the answers we’ve been given.

Why is there no unity on the Left in Canada? Our answer is: It’s not because we haven’t been trying to build it. If there’s no unity in future, it won’t be because we have not continued to try to build it. We will continue to try to build unity. It’s very hard going. There is a lot of petty sectarianism. People tell us that because we have a small group that only exists in one small city in Canada, we are the most sectarian organization. This is quite a charge given the sectarianism that actually exists in some other places in the country, to be the most is quite a badge to wear. “Why do you have only a small group? Why do you exist only in one small city?” they ask, taking umbrage. It’s not because we refuse to exist in some other places, it’s simply that we don’t. It’s not because we want to be small. We don’t, we want to be big. We want a big, strong, many membered revolutionary movement in Canada.

We say to others, “Let’s begin to get there somehow. Let’s begin to develop this movement.” However, this unity in practice we propose doesn’t come about. There is a difference in our approach to unity and the approach of other Canadian Leftists. The other Leftists say, “Unity on theory must be built first. You must have unity on the theoretical line before you can have unity on anything else.” Before you can have unity on throwing some thug out the door, (Laughter) before you can have unity on protesting that some cop hit some striker on a picket line, they say, you have to have full blown theoretical unity. You have to say this is the solution to the problem of how to wage revolution in Canada, this is the vanguard organization, you have to answer all the questions the same way as one another, you have to fill out your Revolutionary Matriculation exam form and to get all the answers “correct”. It’s not even a multiple choice exam, you have to crib and memorize the “correct line” by rote. (Laughter)

We take a different approach, an approach which is not yet popular on the Left in Canada. We know for a fact, though, that it is popular in the Left movement in other countries and we are convinced it is going to be popular in Canada. It is going to be the solution to the disunity on the Canadian Left. It is unity in practice. Never mind the unity on every picayune point that some academic can pick out of some obscure classic of Marx, Engels or the other great teachers. What are the concrete conditions of our country? What should be the approach to those conditions?

Whoever can answer the problems the Canadian proletariat faces will unite the Canadian proletariat. If it is suggested that it will take a number of small Left groups getting together to come up with that answer because we are all so limited in our intelligence, we can fully believe that. We know our own organization is somewhat limited in intelligence, strength, resources and so on. That’s fine. So, well get together with other Leftists, if we can. However, we can’t if they refuse.

That’s the problem we face. They propose unity on theoretical line. We answer, “We can’t achieve unity on theory presently. You’ve tried amongst yourselves. You’ve held great debates. You’ve held the great public ’unity’ meetings. They’ve all failed. You’ve had splits, which is something that plagues the Left.”

Fine. Let’s have unity in practice, then. Let’s take a different approach. Let’s say, “Yeah. We can support that strike and we can support it together. Let’s not have you over there with your banner and us over here with our banner and never the twain shall meet. If we do meet, it’s only when we take our picket signs, rip off the cardboard and beat one another over the head with the sticks.” This isn’t what picket signs are made for. Picket signs are made to protest the oppression of the bourgeoisie, not to use in beating fellow Leftists over the head.

We say we need unity in practice on the Left. This is what we need amongst the proletariat, we need unity in practice. This is what we say about certain sections of the national bourgeoisie. If we can achieve unity in practice even with some part of such an alien class to oppose the main enemy, why not? If that unity falls apart a little later on because we then have a different primary contradiction to resolve, that’s fine. For that matter, if the unity we achieve on the Left falls apart to some extent later on because of some split or something, that’s fine also. It’s nothing unusual in world history. Splits on the Left are a common thing in history, unfortunately. There’s not enough unity.

Every time there is a split on the Left, you all know about it because you can read about it in the bourgeois press. Deng Xiaoping got removed from his posts – that was reported as a split. When he got reinstated to his posts, that was a split, too. (Laughter) Hua Guofeng overthrowing the Gang of Four was a split, apparently. Mao Zedong in the Cultural Revolution, he was supposedly splitting with everybody who had fought with him through the years long liberation struggle. And there’s more of these reports and, as well, other actual splits on the Left.

Is this important? Well, it’s somewhat important and of interest to people like us. However, what is really important – the key lessons in the Chinese and other revolutions for the Canadian proletariat – is the unity that was achieved amongst the oppressed peoples themselves. The oppressed national minorities united with the proletariat. The peasantry united with the proletariat. All the sections of the society united and they achieved a goal.

What was the goal? The very thing that we are talking about and that every other Leftist is talking about – revolution. A fundamental change in the social system so people do not any longer live under oppression. If it takes unity to get that – and it does – then let’s have unity. Let’s not stop in face of making the first step. If it takes unity on the Left, let’s have unity on the Left. Let’s stop talking about it and get it. If it takes unity in the proletariat, let’s have unity in the proletariat. If it takes unity amongst broad sections of the society, including sections of the national bourgeoisie, then by all means, let’s unite with them. If it means paying attention to the world wide United Front against hegemonism, by all means, let’s pay very close attention. If it means monitoring the development of Soviet social-imperialism because it threatens the most oppressive situation in the world, by all means, let’s pay attention to that.

Let’s get that unity. Let’s achieve that goal. Let’s actually make revolution. Let’s make anti-imperialist revolution. Let’s make socialist revolution. Let’s build a communist society. Whatever the various elements of the United Front want beyond the success of the anti-imperialist revolution, we say, matters then, not now. The national bourgeoisie will not want a socialist system, will not want a communist society. We guarantee that. However, a certain number of them will fight for anti-imperialist revolution because they think that it is in their interest. We know it is in the interest of the vast majority of the Canadian people to fight for anti-imperialist revolution and so they will. Let’s mobilize for that. Let’s have the unity. (Applause)


[1] “The United Proletarian Front and the Anti-Fascist People’s Front,” Georgi Dimitrov, Report to the 7th Congress of the Communist International, 1935, Red Star Press, England, pp. 120-3.

[2] “Question of Building Socialism in the USSR” (1926), J.V. Stalin, On The Opposition, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, China, pp. 638-40.

[3] Same as Footnote 2.

[4] Same as Footnote 1.