Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The whole is equal to the sum of the parts

Positions of Workers’ Unity

First Position Paper

In Canada presently there is no national Marxist-Leninist organization. As Marxist-Leninists we realise the need for such an organization and in fact see the need to create such an organization as the central task for Marxist-Leninists in this period.

The Journal is a specific vehicle to carry out this task. There can be no Marxist-Leninist organization without national debate of important questions and concrete analysis which can be the basis for developing clear political lines. We all agree that the Journal has a limited function and will exist only during the formative stages in the development of Marxist-Leninist organization. As a national organization is consolidated the Journal would be transformed from an independent, multi-line, organ into the organ of an M-L organization and its political line (or alternately it may cease to exist altogether).

Until that time however the Journal must reflect the debate and struggle within the Marxist-Leninist movement. It must consolidate and demarcate lines in the movement and further educate Canadian communists to the science and principles of Marxism-Leninism, It must not reflect only one line or tendency in the movement, but present articles that put forward clear lines often in opposition to one another. We must present a national forum for the preliminary debate and struggle that must go on in the formation of nation-wide organization and ultimately a Marxist-Leninist party. By reflecting democratic principles and that any responsible bodies that are established (i.e., Edit. Board) reflect different trends and groupings within the Journal. The Journal will remain an “Independent Journal of Marxism-Leninism” as long as it is representative and not controlled by one tendency or another. The Journal is not aiming to become a democratic-centralist organization, as its tasks are specific and defined for a given period. This position is not in opposition to us furthering our political unity, as Marxist-Leninists in general and the Journal in particular. In fact it is increasingly important that the Journal take positions on “burning” questions and that political struggle intensify. This is for the two-fold purpose of advancing our unity as M-Ls in the movement and in developing the leading role of the Journal in consolidating and demarcating lines in the movement. In many ways how we begin to organize political struggle and advance our unity is much more the question, than the structure of the Journal. Hopefully it will be these questions which can be cleared up and elaborated further in the meeting. A final point about the Editorial Board and the structure of the Journal. We feel the present Editorial Board should continue its work for a period of six months or 3 issues of the Journal, both for continuity and because it is already a fairly representative structure. At the end of this period, based on the Journal’s development and an appraisal of the work and development of the Edit. Board, changes or additions to the board would be made. It is conceivable that no additions or changes would be made at this time or, depending on the relationship between the E.B. and the working group as a whole, that a number of debates and discussions across the country we can build the unity of Marxist-Leninists, break down “localism”, and broaden the movement.

As a coalition of groups and individuals, we are united on a basis of unity sufficient to carry out the historical functions of the Journal. As Marxist-Leninists working in the Journal we have the responsibility however to be constantly developing and strengthening our unity in relation to the tasks of the Journal in the development of the movement. Our unity must enable us to point out the most important questions facing M-Ls and sum up the progress of the two-line struggle on these questions. Furthermore we should be developing our unity on major questions, such as the principal task of communists in this period and the principal contradiction in Canada, so that the Journal takes a leading role in defining and guiding the struggle and does not lag behind the debates or play a neutral role.

The structures of the journal flow out of its historical function as an organizer of ideological and political struggle in the M-L movement. Ours is a democratic structure reflecting different trends and positions in the movement and as such the Journal working group is the highest decision-making body, with responsibility for determining the overall direction. The Editorial Board, which has important responsibilities in relation to content, is also a representative body and is subordinate to the working group as a whole. It is our position that for the duration of the Journal (until its tasks are completed and we in the Marxist-Leninist movement advance to a different period) it remain a representative structure based on additions would be made, reflecting the changing composition of the Journal working group, This would allow for the continued growth of the Journal working group and provide everyone with control and a voice in the direction of the Journal; allow for the work of the Edit. Board to develop over an extended period of time without additions or deletions which would interfere with the development of disciplined methods of work and struggle and provide also for bi-yearly evaluation and, if necessary, expansion.

Second Position Paper

There has been much discussion in the Journal about the need to develop the basis of unity. As yet this discussion has not been concrete. We agreed some time ago that we must continually develop our unity in order to carry out the tasks of the Journal at this particular point in the history of the Marxist-Leninist movement.

We must discuss and agree upon the unity that must be built in order for the work of the Journal to proceed. At this point we are producing the Journal with some difficulty and have been unable to implement the establishment of regional meetings of Marxist-Leninists to discuss important questions, something we consider to be very important for the Journal to be organizing; in fact essential to the development of political struggle on a local basis.

What is the unity we must build? A Marxist-Leninist organization or collective must build unity step-by-step on questions of ideological and political line. Our task is not the same. The Journal must provide a vehicle for this process across the country.

Firstly we must formally agree that the central task facing Marxist-Leninists in this period is the creation of a new Communist Party, the first step being the building of a national Marxist-Leninist organization. This can give us clear direction to our work. This means our primary responsibility is to promote discussion and debate among Marxist-Leninists in order to build unity and develop struggle around important questions that can facilitate the founding of such an organization. This means we would clearly take a position that CPC(M-L) is outside the Marxist-Leninist movement and is in fact a counter-revolutionary force.

In order for Marxist-Leninist national organization to be built It must be formed on the basis of political line and a common ideological outlook. In order for the Journal to play a role in this process we must define the political basis on which this unity must be built so that we can promote struggle and discussion in these areas.

We would argue that a Marxist-Leninist organization must be founded on

(a) agreement that Marxism-Leninism is the revolutionary theory which must guide the working class in its struggle to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism.
(b) a general analysis of the world situation and Canada’s position in a world context.
(c) analysis of the main contradictions in Canada and of these which is principal.
(d) agreement on the necessity to build a new Communist Party in Canada and the actual tasks involved in creating that party.
  – a tactical line to govern Communist work in the working class, i.e., the role of agitation and propaganda, how to conduct it, the role of implantation, etc. Generally Communist methods of work.
(e) agreement to a line on the woman question.

We argue that the Journal should collectively agree that political lines on these questions are the basis for the founding of a Marxist-Leninist organization. This will allow us to give clear direction to the content of the Journal and the type of debate and discussion we want to give leadership to in regional meetings. We must sum up the two-line struggle on these questions and define the parameters of the struggle. This means serious political struggle around the questions of which lines fall inside and outside the Marxist-Leninist movement. This on-going struggle will further the political unity we need to carry out our task.

We think it would be a serious error to confuse the basis of unity needed for a Marxist-Leninist organization with the unity necessary to produce a journal such as Canadian Revolution. As Marxist-Leninists we must be struggling to forge political unity and engage in principled struggle around the key political questions involved in developing organization both among ourselves and with other Marxist-Leninists in this region and across the country.

The Journal can best facilitate this process by clearly understanding its historic role and adopting a basis of unity which guides the work of the Journal and develops the unity of genuine Marxist-Leninists.

Concretely we would propose: (1) That the Journal come to an agreement on the central task facing Communists in Canada, and the areas of ideological and political struggle in which lines must be developed as the minimum principled basis for national Marxist-Leninist organization, and (2) That two comrades from the group as a whole be assigned to coordinate, develop and otherwise plan and prepare a series of regional meetings for Marxist-Leninists in Ontario. Their direction in this work should come from the opinions and decisions of the group as a whole and the plan for these meetings should be approved by the Journal collective before the actual organizing begins.

Election Platform

Canadian Revolution is a national theoretical journal of the young, Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada. Its initial role was defined as providing a vehicle for debate and struggle nationally, among Marxist-Leninists, towards the development of higher ideological, organizational and political unity. Both initially and presently this role for the journal is essentially correct. Its effect across the country has been to open up debate on the most important problems facing communists, i.e., the building of a new Communist Party, the main contradictions in Canada, etc., and to break down the localism and fragmentation existing in the movement.

We feel the Journal should continue to play the role it has in promoting struggle and debate within the movement, and leading as a force in defining and directing the two-line struggle towards the development of a Communist Party. Decisions which we have recently taken regarding the nature of further unity needed within the Journal, i.e., the discussions of the central task and principled basis of national Marxist-Leninist organization, will serve to guide our work in relation to the movement as a whole. In particular the role of the Editorial Board will be much more sharply defined by our determining the essential points for struggle within the movement.

In our view the Journal should develop struggle, and clarify positions in the following areas:

1) The science and principles of Marxism-Leninism; aid in the demarcation of Marxism-Leninism from right and left opportunism; and sharpen the struggle against spontaneism, economism and bourgeois nationalism in the movement.

2) Concrete analysis of the world situation: the main contradictions shaping today’s world, i.e., the struggle against the Superpowers; development of Social-Imperialism, division of the world into three worlds, and Canada’s role as a “developed country of the Second World”.

3) Promoting dialectical and historical materialist anlaysis of the main contradictions and the principal contradiction in Canadian society.

4) The developing two-line struggle on the basis, method and plan for the creation of a new Communist Party; the relationship between the tasks involved at the initial stages of such work i.e., the role of agitation and propaganda, implantation and questions of tactical line in Communist work, a line for work in other classes, and the relation between the tasks of the organization and the tasks of the Party.

5) Methods of leadership, work and struggle; democratic centralism and principles of Marxist-Leninist organization,

The Journal must concentrate struggle in these areas in relation to the development of the Marxist-Leninist organization and the tasks of creating a genuine Communist Party in Canada; it is in these areas that unity will be forged and the ideological and political basis of the organization developed.

We feel that the Editorial Board should be generally directed by the group as a whole, which remains the highest body within Canadian Revolution. The editorial board’s recommendations for contents for each journal should be thoroughly discussed by the group as a whole. Too often the group has operated as a rubber stamp to editorial decisions. Initiative must be taken to guide the overall growth of struggle and debate by the whole collective We should also firmly establish the principle of unity in action and majority decisions guiding our work. Oui methods of work must be considerably improved and strengthened. Individuals holding a minority position must abide by decisions of the majority or leave the group. It is well time to resolve contradictions as they arise and proceed with our work.

As well as putting ourselves forward for elections we will support (the two members of TCG and one individual) for the editorial board. We feel that (the one individual’s) practice since joining the journal has been very principled and helpful to the development of CR. We also agree with his platform. We will also support TCG representation on the editorial board. We agree with their general view on the Journal presently and think their practice in relation to the goals of the Journal is good. This is not without reservations about some points in the TCG election statement which need some clarification, i.e., the role of concrete analysis in the Journal’s priorities; present range of two-line struggle for a pre-party formation in Canada.

We have decided not to support the BT candidates at this time. We have always felt that the editorial board should reflect the political composition of the collective. However, we feel the BT has played an obstructionist role in the group and in practise does not operate from our basis of unity, This is a serious criticism. We feel expecially that recent decisions, adopted as our working policy, on methods of work in the journal in handling contradictions among its members have been ignored. Therefore we feel that we cannot support them at this time.