Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Bolshevik Union

The Party of Labor of Albania Came to Canada Under a Stolen Flag

The Proletariat Has Only One Banner, the Banner of Socialist Revolution

Proletarian Revolution, vol. 1 no.8, Editorial, December 1978.

Capitalists are fond of comparing their behaviour to animals so as to imply that it is “natural” to exploit the world. One such metaphor of the capitalists is the “pecking order” that exists in barnyards where there is an order of dominance that allows certain chickens to peck the grain, first getting the most and best and leaving the rest to the next in order.

There exists among the imperialist powers a “pecking order” that determines the position of the “peckers” in exploiting the world. Of course, the barnyard of capitalism is complicated by a few factors not facing chickens. In the capitalist barnyard there are two gangs of imperialist chickens, one headed by the US and the other headed by the USSR. Each “superchicken” competes with the other and allies with smaller imperialist chickens to help in the struggle. But the smaller chickens are out to get as much as they can for themselves, and they seek to change the pecking order in order to advance in position. Of course, periodically this competition breaks out into all-out war which is the way to fundamentally shift positions in the pecking order.

In the US-led imperialist bloc there have been important conferences, such as the recent one in Bonn where only the seven most important chickens were invited to plot the reuivision of the world. The seven participants were the US, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan and CANADA. Those that think that Canada is just some kind of “neo-colony” of US imperialism might ponder why Canada would be the only “neo-colony” of US imperialism present.

The fact is that Canada is among the top seven imperialist powers in the Western bloc. And when Trudeau goes to these summits, he is not going there simply to carry Carter’s attache case – he is there to represent the interests of monopoly capitalism in Canada.

Canada is a country, on the other hand, that is very much dominated by US imperialism. This is why Canada was invited to the economic summit in Bonn but is not being invited to the summit in Guadeloupe in early January. But Canada is not the only country that is not being invited to Guadeloupe. Neither are Japan and Italy. The conference in Guadeloupe is being referred to as a “Big 4” summit.

An aide to Trudeau said that the reason this was only a conference of the “Big 4” is because, unlike the Bonn summit which was an economic summit, this was a political summit! In fact he said the meeting of the “Big 4” was “a political international”!

This situation graphically illustrates the fact that countries like Canada, Italy and Japan are important imperialist powers from an economic point of view but are weak from a political point of view. This is because US imperialism is particularly strong in these countries. They are not “independent” imperialist powers but in fact have a very dependent relationship to US imperialism.

Lenin described this reality of the imperialist camp in the following way:

Finance capital and its foreign policy, which is the struggle of the great powers for the economic and political division of the world, give rise to a number of TRANSITIONAL forms of state dependence. Not only are the two main groups of countries, those owning colonies, and the colonies themselves, but also the diverse forms of dependent countries which, politically, are formally independent, but in fact, are enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence, are typical of this epoch. (“Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, LCW 22:263)

All of the countries in the US bloc are to one degree or another “enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence” of US imperialism. But the facts are that Canada, Japan and Italy are enmeshed to a greater degree than are Germany, France and England, to the point that they are excluded from the highest level of discussions in the US bloc. They are of course imperialist countries in their own right and have their own imperialist interests to defend, interests which often come into contradiction with other imperialist countries, including the US.

As Stalin said in 1952:

Outwardly, everything would seem to be ’going well.’ The USA has put Western Europe, Japan and other capitalist countries on rations; Germany (Western), Britain, France, Italy and Japan have fallen into the clutches of the USA and are meekly obeying its commands. But it would be mistaken to think that things can continue to ’go well’ for ’all eternity,’ that these countries will tolerate the domination and oppression of the United States endlessly, that they will not endeavour to tear loose from American bondage and take the path of independent development. (Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, FLP. p. 33)

The last 26 years have confirmed Stalin’s predictions. The European countries have banded together in the Common Market, and Japan and even Canada have struggled against US imperialism. But this in no way has been an anti-imperialist struggle. It is a contradiction among imperialists over the division of the spoils in the exploitation of the world. The US, however, has remained a superpower and continues to enmesh even the most “independent” of these countries in its net.

In all of the struggles between the chickens to change position in the pecking order, the worm has no interest in who wins. It only takes advantage of their quarrel to get away. Likewise, the proletariat has no interest in which imperialist chicken occupies which position. The proletariat takes advantage of these contradictions in order to prepare for a chicken dinner in the future.

In these battles among the imperialists, they often try to infect the proletariat with bourgeois nationalist prejudices, trying to convince the proletariat that it has something to gain by helping the little chickens struggle against the big ones or in the little ones uniting to oppose the “superchicken.” And in order to confuse the revolutionary proletariat, which wants socialism, not imperialism, the imperialists put forward “Marxist-Leninist groups” that try to convince the proletariat that by struggling for “national independence” they will be struggling for socialism. Some go so far as to demand the hegemony of the proletariat in the struggle to carry out the defense of the bourgeoisie, thinking that they can trick the proletariat into the struggle for bourgeois tasks if it is offered these as “their own.”

But the task of the proletariat in Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada, as well as other imperialist countries, is to overthrow their own imperialist bourgeoisie and expulse US imperialism from their countries through proletarian socialist revolution. The proletariat has no interest in strengthening the “national independence” of these countries, because any real independence will come only as the result of socialist revolution.

The proletariat in Canada and other imperialist countries has only one banner, the banner of socialist revolution. Those that wish the proletariat to carry the banner of “national independence” or “independence and socialism” only want the proletariat to carry the banner of the bourgeoisie, the banner of international imperialism.