First Published: In Struggle No. 152, April 3, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The Consultative Conference and Revolutionary Rally organized by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), (CPC(M-L)), went on for over twelve hours. Twelve hours in which 800 listeners from all parts of Canada and even the United States were treated to massive doses of speechifying from “Chairman Bains” followed by a long string of speeches from foreign parties invited for the occasion. Notable among those present was the Party of Labour of Albania. Also in attendance were parties from Italy, France, Iran, India, Great Britain, Portugal, the United States, Venezuela and Chile. Some of these groups were nothing more than branch plants set up by Bains himself.
The CPC(M-L) has thus accomplished its objective: to be proclaimed the “party of the Canadian proletariat”, as one of the parties at the rally put it, and in this way obtain the international sanction that it desperately needs. The Party of Labour of Albania (PLA), for example, termed CPC(M-L) a “serious party” for its self-criticism on the question of Mao Tse-tung Thought. All the other parties made statements of a similar nature.
However, while the rally might appear to have strengthened CPC(M-L)’s position in one way, it certainly did not mark any deepening of the struggle against the revisionist program upon which it bases all its actions. Quite the contrary. Everything served simply to cover it up.
It is quite clear that this struggle is not going to be waged through publicity gimmicks like the CPC(M-L) hosted rally. The word gimmick is no exaggeration: the people in the audience were originally spread out all over the hall, with large numbers of seats left empty; this problem was soon rectified by having everyone bunch up in the front rows to create the illusion for the cameras recording the event that a large, dense crowd had responded to the call of the ’party“.
More than anything else, the rally demonstrates that the struggle against revisionism cannot be conducted by making sweeping general declarations purporting to “demolish” revisionism and uphold the “purity of Marxism-Leninism”. There is nobody who climbs higher onto his high horse to denounce revisionism “of all hues” than Hardial Bains. But that does not stop him from conscientiously putting into practice exactly what he has just finished denouncing.
Bains speech to the Conference managed to place him in the position of great champion of the struggle against the three worlds theory. Most notably, he declared that the bourgeoisie, in all parts of the world, is today a thoroughly reactionary class. Hence, it cannot in any way be counted among the forces which are opposed to imperialism.
However, just a few minutes later, the same man, Bains, self-proclaimed giant-killer taking on the bourgeoisie everywhere in the world, elaborated the following position taken by his “party” on the middle bourgeoisie in Canada: “the middle bourgeoisie is a reserve that the proletariat must win to its side in the struggle”. What happened to CPC(M-L)’s uncompromising opposition to the bourgeoisie?
That is just one example, albeit a very significant one, of how CPC(M-L) is quite capable of paying lip service to Marxism Leninism. It has no difficulty either in proclaiming its undying hatred for Mao Tse-tung Thought, hailing the dictatorship of the proletariat and the armed struggle, or criticizing Tito and all the revisionists. All of that is but the price CPC(M-L) is obliged to pay to keep the wrapping on its thoroughly revisionist program. It is simply the latest version of the same line of class collaboration that IN STRUGGLE! has been working assiduously to expose for many years now.
The CPC(M-L) has got the international recognition it has been seeking. But that will do nothing to gain for CPC(M-L) the recognition and support of the Canadian proletariat which has already rejected it.