First Published: In Struggle! No. 142, January 30, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Editor’s note: We received the following letter from the Regroupement des ex-militants du “PCC(m-l)” (a group of former “CPC(M-L)” members). The letter gives a good idea of some of the methods used by Bolshevik Union (BU), which is nothing but a handful of provocateurs out to sabotage the struggle to rebuild the proletarian party. The letter clearly proves that when it comes to undemocratic behaviour and double-faced dealings, BU comes second to no one.
Our own comments on the Regroupement and the latest developments will appear in a later issue.
* * *
Comrades, we are writing this letter to give the formal position of the Regroupoment des ex-militants du “PCC(m-l)” on the booklet published in our name called A bas Hardial Bains at son flux “PCC(m-l)” (Down with Hardial Bains and his phoney “CPC(M-L)”). We have major disagreements with the booklet.
1) The booklet was not the work of the whole Regroupement and does not represent the collective viewpoint of the majority of comrades in the Regroupement.
2) Bolshevik Union’s line is taken up in the booklet.
3) The booklet denies that a struggle has been undertaken to rebuild the Party and to unite Canadian Marxist-Leninists (we recognize that IN STRUGGLE! has participated in this struggle and played an important role in it).
4) The denunciation of IN STRUGGLE!.
5) The denunciation of the “CPC(M-L)” is one-sided, subjective and incomplete, although the booklet makes some good points – for example on the three worlds theory and on organizational questions (i .e. the substitution of bureaucratic centralism for democratic centralism, etc.).
The result of this has been to sidetrack the criticism and repudiation of the “CPC(M-L)” as a neo-revisionist, radical petty-bourgeois organization.
Our Regroupement is made up of comrades who left or were “expelled” from the “CPC(M-L)”. Our basis of unity is:
1) the recognition that the “CPC(M-L)” is not the party of the proletariat;
2) participation in the process of uniting Marxist-Leninists to rebuild the party;
3) the refutation of the three worlds theory, whose main representatives in Canada are the “CCL(M-L)” and, in a convoluted way, the “CPC(M-L)”.
One of the tasks that the Regroupement set for itself was to study the lines and work of BU and IN STRUGGLE!, on the basis that these groups claimed to adhere to Marxism-Leninism, opposed the three worlds theory, and set themselves the task of rebuilding the party. It was in this context that the Regroupement contacted BU and IN STRUGGLE!.
When we first met with BU, they said, “Go see IN STRUGGLE!, study their documents and ours,” etc. Meanwhile, BU established special relations with one of our comrades.
Following this, BU exercised “ideo-political leadership” (i.e. manipulated) over the comrade. BU started to pressure us into basing all study and inquiry on BU’s line alone. This was also to apply to the study of IN STRUGGLE! documents, before any examination, even superficial, of IN STRUGGLE!’s line and documents. Some comrades denounced BU’s action. BU, using tactics dear to the “CPC(M-L)”, quickly denounced them in turn as “intellectuals” and “conciliators with IN STRUGGLE!’s opportunism”. In other words, if you didn’t agree with BU’s line, you were holding up the work already started. To prepare the groundwork and to justify its behaviour, BU started a word-of-mouth propaganda campaign, saying that it would be idealist to try to raise the ideo-political level of all the comrades. (BU wanted us to adopt the policy “Down with the ’CPC(M-L)’! Long live BU!” That sounds suspiciously like “The king is dead! Long live the king!”)
Instead of educating our comrades as a genuine Marxist-Leninist organization would have, BU took advantage of the confidence of some comrades. It resorted to underhanded manoeuvres, playing off some comrades against others, in an attempt to isolate all those who opposed its line. Such tactics have nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism, and have much more in common with the opportunism of Hardial Bains. The booklet is a result of this sabotage. It was imposed on comrades without their collective participation and agreement, in violation of the aims of the Regroupement. it is clear that the booklet is not the work of the Regroupement. It was only published because of the confusion that reigned and violation of the Regroupement’s goals. (We self-criticize on this aspect). When we asked BU why we hadn’t got the paper back before the booklet was published, we were told, “You know very well that it couldn’t wait and that we had no time to lose.”
We know now why BU was in such a hurry. It wanted to distribute the booklet at the fifth anniversary celebration of IN STRUGGLE!The aim of the booklet was undoubtedly to consolidate the BU tendency within the Regroupement, to attack IN STRUGGLE! and to eliminate all opposition to BU’s line.
All of BU’s activities smelled of the purest opportunism. Later on, in an attempt to put comrades off their guard, they praised our split with the CPC(M-L) to the skies, saying that it was in the great Bolshevik tradition. They then urged us to set up a “committee for the unity of Marxist-Leninists” which would be under BU’s leadership, since it had “the most advanced line in Canada”. At the founding meeting of the committee, they proposed to put organizational unity on the agenda, even though our Regroupement had not studied and debated their document. This reminded us of the “CPC(M-L)’”s phoney congresses, where the documents were never distributed in advance for discussion.
When some comrades objected to BU’s manoeuvres and the booklet, BU singled out one comrade for special attacks. What was the aim of these attacks? The aim was to break up the Regroupement and to eventually rally a so-called “revolutionary tendency” within the Regroupement to BU.
Following these incidents, the Regroupement decided to suspend discussions with BU and take organizational measures so that the representative of BU’s line could not inform BU of the Regroupement’s internal life. However, with the help of BU, this person continued his activities and published (to the best of our knowledge) a flyer and a letter to the “CPC(M-L)” in the name of the Regroupement, although no other comrade was informed. The Regroupement did everything it could so that the comrade could explain and defend his point of view and activities. The comrade wrote out his positions. He was invited to present them to the comrades. instead, he resigned from the Regroupement and withdrew from all political activities.
After all this, what were we to conclude about the practice and nature of BU? We now firmly believe that BU’s mission is to spread confusion and to put off till doomsday the tasks of rebuilding a genuine communist party in Canada. The evidence is irrefutable: BU’s only concern was to break up the Regroupement and to use our split with the “CPC(M-L)” to make political capital for itself in the international communist movement, which it tried to do. We believe that BU set out to create collective distrust among our comrades, to sabotage our struggle and to attack the Marxist-Leninist group IN STRUGGLE!. That has nothing to do with Marxist-Leninist practice. On the basis of our experience and investigation with other comrades, we have came to the conclusion that BU is not a Marxist-Leninist organization, but rather an opportunist organization whose methods are very similar to those used by agents provocateurs.
We hope that we will attain.the objectives we have set and that we will achieve unity with Marxist-Leninists to rebuild the party and work for proletarian revolution.
Regroupement des ex-militants du “PCC(m-l)”