First Published: The Forge, Vol. 1, No. 21, November 4, 1976
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In its September 16 issue, In Struggle published the second of a series of articles which criticize the political line of the League. This article deals with our positions on the question of the defense of national independence.
As we stressed in issue No. 19 of The Forge, their response is a positive step. At last, after over a year, In Struggle is making attempts to engage in political debate. The stakes of this debate are high. For the deepening of ideological struggle over the major points of political line is the only way we will obtain the rock solid unity of Marxist-Leninists, which we need to forge out party and to lead the proletariat to complete victory over the bourgeoisie.
But In Struggle’s article “Subordinate the struggle for national independence to the struggle for socialist revolution” is a deception. It promises a lot but offers nothing. As usual, In Struggle charges about blindly and grossly distorts our positions.
But there is more: It shows a complete lack of understanding of the international situation. In Struggle still has not drawn the practical lessons from the division of the world in three and covers its eyes to the growing danger of war, which the superpowers rivals will surely provoke.
A correct analysis of the international situation is essential in order to develop the” strategy of the revolution in our country. The Canadian proletariat not only has internal enemies but it also has external ones. To neglect this is equal to leading the proletarian revolution to defeat.
The era in which we are living is the era of Imperialism and proletarian revolution. Lenin showed that all countries make up the numerous links in the imperialist chain. We can no longer describe capitalism as being formed by a bunch of countries completly isolated from each other, with remote links between them.
It is impossible to conceive, in a clear and precise fashion, the tasks of the revolutionary proletariat by basing ourselves exclusively on the situation which exists inside one country.
On the contrary we must also take into account the situation in all countries.
Stalin, puts us on guard against a narrow perspective of the tasks of revolutionaries in our times:
Formerly, we usually treated the analysis of the conditions necessary for proletarian revolution from the point of view of the economic situation of this country or that taken separately. Now, this method of treating the question is not sufficient. We must now envisage it from the point of view of the economic state of all or most countries, from the point of view of the world economy...
Formerly, we were accustomed to talking of proletarian revolution in this or that developed country, as being of a certain absolute magnitude... Now, this point of view is no longer sufficient. We now have to talk of world proletarian revolution... Problem of Leninism, our translation from the French).
It is this inadequate position that In Struggle has adopted. They set up a barrier between the international situation and what’s going on inside the country. They don’t situate the question of the defence of national independence in the context of the division of the world into three and the increasing danger of war.
We have here two questions of primary importance. But, on the one hand, In Struggle talks about the three worlds in passing, but denies its existence in practice; on the other hand it liquidates the question of the inevitability of war.
In Struggle considers that there exists an “imperialist camp” which is falling to pieces because of the very contradictions that exist between imperialists”. This “imperialist camp”, which In Struggle puts modestly in brackets is still supposedly dominated by the USA. (In Struggle, Sept. 2 1976).
Must we tell our In Struggle comrades that they are a good fifteen years behind the times. That things have changed since the time that American imperialism could abuse the imperialist countries like France and Canada, as it liked.
This is what Chairman Mao’s analysis of the three worlds teaches us. Since the world has been divided in three, we can no longer speak of an “imperialist camp” with or without brackets.
Since the end of the 1950’s, when the USSR changed from a socialist country to a social-imperialist power, the world was divided into three groups of countries. The first world is made up of the superpowers, the USA and the USSR. These two imperialist countries are the greatest enemies and oppressors of the people at the present time. They are the two pillars of reaction in the world and are the only two who are now in a position to be able to set off a world war. Both are seeking hegemony. Both want to conquer and rule the world.
However, the USSR is the most dangerous of the two at the present time, for it hides its ambitions for world control behind the great red flag of revolution. The USSR is on the offensive; it is stubbornly fighting over spheres of influence with its rival and is trying to force a new distribution of the world in its favor. This is why its military budget is increasing from year to year and why it is arming itself to the teeth.
When In Struggle reproaches us of “moralizing” to the bourgeoisie and of supporting certain aspects of its foreign policy all it succeeds in doing is proving that it is not able to understand the analysis.
In Struggle does not see that there are real contradictions between the countries of the first and second world and that these are getting sharper. It does not understand that these contradictions must be used fully in order to weaken and isolate the superpowers.
When the Canadian bourgeoisie makes agreements with third world countries and when it is forced by the powerful rise ol these countries which are playing an increasingly important role in the international situation to establish a relationship based on an more equal partership, this has a positive side to it. Of course it will see this as an opportunity to enrich Itself. And for sure it will try to intensify its exploitation and pillage. And we must fight this resolutely. But objectively, these activities weaken the superpowers hold, undermines the basis of their hegemony and helps to isolate them.
The peoples of the world all have a common interest in seeing The superpowers, who will eventually confront each other in war, as isolated as possible. They will be all tne more weakened, which will prevent considerable suffering to the peoples of the world.
Because we are trying to get the bourgeoisie to enter into the united front against hegemonlsm doesn’t mean we are giving up the struggle against our principal enemy, nor that we should ever ally and make a pact with it internally. When the Bolchevik party supported the bourgeois liberal party’s program, It was not falling into opportunism. It was taking advantage of the contradictions among the Russian upper class in order to strengthen the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle.
We all very well know that when Saudi Arabia or Iran increase the price of oil, they don’t do it with the objective of bettering the welfare of the masses of those countries. But that doesn’t change the basic situation. Objectively this act weakens the superpowers and sharpens the inter-imperialist contradictions. Recognizing this fact does not keep revolutionaries in these countries from struggling harder than ever and with every possible means in order to overthrow and put a final end to all these reactionary regimes.
To do this is simply to take advantage of the conflicts in the enemy camp, it is the mark of a good Marxist. We must take advantage of the inter-imperialist contradictions between the countries of the first and second worlds. The isolation of the superpowers will facilitate the work of revolutionaries, for they are the pillars of world reaction, for they crush the masses everywhere they are to be found.
These are the lessons which we must draw from the history of the international communist movement. As Lenin said “Political activity is not the pavement of the Nevsky Prospect”, a pavement which is clear wide even and straight. No the struggle against the bourgeoisie is a long, complicated and strenuous fight which demands thousands of detours. “The more powerful enemy can be vanquish only by exerting the utmost effort, and without fail, most thouroughly, carefully attentively and skillfully using every, even the smallest, “rift” among the enemies, of every antagonism of interest among the various groups of types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism, or of scientific, modern Socialism in general.”
On the question of tnt inevitability of war, In Struggle again prefers to stick its head in the sand, it has the nerve to say “For the moment, let us drop the question of the inevitability of an imperialist world war”.
It thus turns its back to reality and to Marxist-Leninist principles. Lenin has already proved the fact that imperialism is war. And as long as private property exists, as long as imperialism exists, war will be inevitable. Today, giving the present world situation only the superpowers can set off that war. For “The continued fierce rivalry between’the two superpowers is bound to lead to war someday.” (Chiao Kuan-Hua, Speech at the 31st Session of the Un General Assembly)
It is not enough to mention the danger of war in passing, nor to spread uncertainty about the inevitability of war as In Struggle does. Chlao Kuan-Hua does not say that the rivalry could lead to war but that it will lead to war.
The ideological root of these errors is revisionism. Revisionists are always trying to cut corners, hide contradictions. Such right opportunist errors are all the more serious when a Marxist-Leninist group makes them. That’s why we must be uncomprimlslng.
Due to the lack of space we cannot answer to all of In Struggle’s distortions and lies. For example we have never said that the two principal enemies of the Canadian people are the two superpowers. Quite the contrary, we have always identified the Canadian bourgeoisie as the principal enemy of the Canadian proletariat and people. Rather it is In Struggle that lumps one superpower and the Canadian bourgeoisie together as the “principal” enemies of the Canadian proletariat!
We have always specified that only the proletariat guided by its Marxist-Leninist party, will be able to lead the people in its defense of Canadian independence. No comrades from In Struggle, we do not confuse the bourgeoisie and the proletariat’s interest in terms of defending the country’s independence.
In Struggle’s analysis is completely incorrect. It not only liquidates these two vital questions, but It also over-estimates the strength of American imperialism which is declining throughout the world. Correspondingly they underestimate social-imperialism which is “the most dangerous source of war of our time.” (Chlao Kuan-Hua) Ibid.)
Is it then surprising that IS is incapable of defining the enemies of the Canadian revolution and more precisely its external enemies in a clear and precise manner?
In Struggle blurs contradictions. First of all the contradictions between the superpowers and that between first and second world countries. In fact it has not even bothered to mention that there is a second world and what role its countries would play in the world front vs. the superpowers.
Its underestimation of the danger of social-imperialism is a conciliating attitude. It blurs the contradictions which oppose the people to their enemies.
We don’t “forget” that Canada is an imperialist country either. If anyone forgets it certainly isn’t the League. All we have to do is look at the October 28 edition of In Struggle, to be convinced. One of the first things that In Struggle dropped in its “October 14 Common Declaration” is precisely the characterization of Canada as an imperialist country, for the simple reason that the complete proof “has not been brought before the “Marxist-Leninist movement”. This is what you could call throwing your principles to the wind, on a vital question of the revolution In our country, that is who are our friends and who are our enemies. This is how In Struggle intends to wage its fight against right opportunism in the Marxist-Leninist movement.
This is just another example of how In Struggle abandons the two line struggle against right opportunism. It is another manifestation of its tendency to put organizational unity before political unity.
In Struggle is renouncing the revolutionary proletariat’s internationalist duties and Is liquidating the fight for a united front against colonialism, imperialism and particularly hegemonlsm.
Comrades from In Struggle, your reply leaves us wanting. There is not enough there to keep a flea alive. We find indignation, big words, “hard and honest” sentences, and half truths if not obvious lies. But as for the political content, the scientific explanation, we are still waiting for it.