First Published: The Forge, Vol. 4, No. 5, February 9, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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League militants from across the country made their way home last December 23, after spending ten days together at a League cadre school for regional leaders. Spirits were high at the party which marked the and of the school and everyone joined in singing songs, exchanging impressions and talking of future plans.
One comrade echoed the general enthusiasm when she said, “I’m in a hurry to get home. I feel really strengthened and I’m anxious to put the things we learned into practice.”
Training communist leaders is particularly important as the League advances towards its goal of creating the new communist party by the end of the year.
The school was an intense learning experience. Discussions and courses given by leading League cadres covered a wide range of topics like the history of the Marxist-Leninist movement, of the labour movement, communist tactics in the trade unions, principles of agitation and propaganda, principles of organizing, dialectical materialism, etc. The political situation of the country as a whole and of the different regions was discussed, along with the international situation.
Communist cadres must have a good grasp of all these questions to play their leadership role. For they must be able to apply the general line and orientation of the organization to the concrete conditions that exist in their particular region.
A typical day at the cadre school began with study of Marxist-Leninist texts and other documents in the morning, then a course and discussion workshops in the afternoon. Simultaneous translation was provided to permit full participation and exchange between French and English-speaking comrades.
There were many League members from the Quebec nation as well as from other oppressed nationalities like Acadians. Women made up almost half of the students. The participants referred constantly to their practical experiences and drew many lessons from them. The comrades from Saskatchewan described their work during the provincial elections and at the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour convention to expose the capitalist nature and dead-end solutions of the NPD. Comrades from Toronto spoke of their work during the Buddy Evans campaign to denounce racism and discrimination against national minorities and immigrants.
“This really helped me to understand the League’s work across the country,” said one comrade. Evenings were spent studying or working on practical projects, like writing articles of analysis for The Forge, preparing work plans, etc.
Between courses and the workshops the participants joined in organizing sports activities and other exercise. The students themselves played an important role in organizing the school. All participants were divided into teams, where projects were discussed, comments and criticisms prepared so that the school would be of as much benefit as possible.
The League puts great store in these cadre schools, which are organized at all levels, from leading cadres to cell secretaries. While communist education of all members and sympathizers is important, forming a strong core of leaders is also essential for the party and for the battles ahead.
Stalin pointed out that having a correct political analysis is not enough to ensure victory.
In order to carry a political line into effect, we must have cadres, people who understand the political line of the Party, who accept it as their own line, who are prepared to carry it into effect, who able to put it into practice and are capable of answering for it, defending it and fighting for it. (On Organization)
And the cadres formed at this school will help train new contingents of cadres in their regions. But the most important form of training for communists remains learning through practice, through day-to-day participation in the class struggle.
And shortly after the participants returned home, they had the occasion to put what they had learned into practice, by taking up the League’s cross-country campaign to support Kampuchea and developing regional struggles and campaigns.