First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 5, March 3, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Six months ago the League explained that In Struggle and the League, the two principal formations within the Marxist-Leninist movement represented, in their most concentrated form, the two lines that exist on the major questions of political line that face revolutionaries in Canada.
We stated that the other communist groups across the country related in one way or another to these two formations. Therefore to further the struggle for unity we had to confront these two lines. The ideological struggle between them will push forward the understanding of the entire communist movement.
It is for this reason that we proposed to In Struggle a series of public debates to be organized in different cities. In Struggle refused this proposition and instead organized its “unity conference”.
In Struggle’s conference project is a clear expression of their opportunist line on Marxist-Leninist unity. The League opposes it because In Struggle mixes up communists and opportunists and has invited practically anyone who calls themselves a Marxist-Leninist to attend. Nor does it focus on the line struggle between the two formations, but rather diffuses it under the pretext of allowing every group a chance to express themselves. (For a more detailed criticism of In Struggle’s unity conferences see The Forge. Vol. 1, no. 20 and Vol. 2. no. 2)
Nevertheless, despite In Struggle’s wishes, the correctness of the League’s analysis of the situation in the communist movement is becoming more and more evident every day. Like it or not, it is the struggle between In Struggle and the League that is pushing forward the Marxist-Leninist move mcnl across the country. It is mainly how the struggle between these two organizations develops that in fact will determine how communist unity is achieved.
Proof can be seen in the preparations for In Struggle’s second “unity conference”. Look at what has happened to that long list of groups that In Struggle so haughtily announced had been invited. One half either no longer exist or have refused to participate in this project. Of eighteen groups only nine might attend. (See the list below).
Eight groups have disappeared over the last few months – due precisely to the struggle the League and In Struggle have waged. And already there are clear signs that among the nine remaining groups some will not participate in the next sham unity conference.
And of course this is leaving aside the question that of these nine groups some are clearly not communists, like the Bolshevik Union for example, and also many of the groups in Vancouver which have no practice and no published positions. What basis are we to judge them as Marxist-Leninist groups?
In Struggle’s method will not achieve the unity of communists in Canada. It will not favour the intense struggle between the two lines on the major questions that confront us and allow differences to be resolved. It will not build that solid unity based on principles and a correct political line which is essential if we are to move forward towards the construction of the party.
The league will not support In Struggle’s conferences. We repeat our call to other groups across the country to also boycott these conferences. It is the responsibility of all to take a clear stand on In Struggle’s plan for achieving “unity”.
Again we shall repeat the League’s proposition:
1. That In Struggle! and the CCL(ML) initiate a series of public meetings, to be held in the principal centres across the country. These public debates would allow the clarification of the lines, of points of agreement and disagreement, of our two organizations.
To be discussed at these meetings we would suggest:
The precise format could be worked out later.
2. That our two formations continue to develop the polemic that has begun in our newspapers and publications.
3 That in the near future we hold private discussions between In Struggle! and the CCL (ML) to help clarify certain points of agreement and disagreement and about the ideological struggle for unity. (For the Unity of Marxist-Leninists. CCL(ML). p. 103)
Comrades, unity is not built by fancy shows, endless talk, and opportunist conciliation. It can only be built through struggle. We are not afraid of struggle – for it is through the struggle against opportunism that Marxism-Leninism develops.
|Where do the invited groups stand?|
|Canadian Communist League (ML)||boycotting organization of the conference|
|Halifax Communist Group||rallied to In Struggle|
|Groupe Abitibi-Temiscamingue (ML) (N.W. of Quebec)||rallied to the League|
|Cercle Communiste (ML) (Montreal)||dissolved and placed under direction of League for self-criticism|
|Groupe pour la Revolution Proletarienne (Montreal)||rallied to In Struggle|
|Mobilisation (Montreal)||dissolved and placed under direction of League for self-criticism|
|Black Study Group (Toronto)||–|
|Bolshevik Union (Toronto)||–|
|Regina ML Collective||–|
|Regina Communist Group||rallied to In Struggle|
|Edmonton Workers’ Unity||–|
|Long March Collective (Vancouver)||–|
|May First Collective (Vancouver)||–|
|October Study Group (Vancouver)||–|
|Red Star Collective (Vancouver)||–|
|Vancouver Communist Group||rallied to In Struggle|
|Vancouver Socialist Group||dissolved and placed under direction of League for self-criticism|
|Wednesday Night Study Group (Vancouver)||–|