Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Towards the unity of the Canadian Marxist-Leninists

Fight the Sectarianism of the CCL (ML)

Conclusion: A danger inherent in the League’s sectarianism: the “self-proclamation” of the party, without the unity of all Marxist-Leninists

IN STRUGGLE! does not consider that the struggle for the unity of Canadian Communists (Marxist-Leninists) is a horse race, a fashion show or a beauty contest. Therefore, that the League takes credit for its success is just fine. That it criticizes the errors in the movement, including its own and IN STRUGGLE!’s, is also fine. But, when the League, in a most blatant effort to promote its “correct political line” attacks most particularly IN STRUGGLE! by constantly distorting reality, and basing its criticism of our group on partial facts and gossip, it has nothing to do with the defense of correct ideas, nor with the polemic which must exist within the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

We have put off – probably too long – answering the League’s insinuations and its attacks below the belt. We were a little naive, and considered that the errors were committed in good faith, and were but of a secondary nature, without any influence on the course of events. But quantity leads to qualitative change. What appeared to be many fleeting errors are in the process of being erected into a system... if the League soon declares that IN STRUGGLE! is no longer in the Marxist-Leninist movement, or that Marxist-Leninists who do not recognize all the points of its “correct political line” are now out of the movement, we would not be the least bit surprised; this conviction becomes clearer and clearer in the League’s latest writings.

To fail to consider reality, to fall back into a continuous and mechanical repetition of principles when facing any problem whose solution must result from a concrete analysis, is an important error for a Marxist-Leninist. For it is contrary to the essence of dialectical and historical materialism. It leads to the development of subjective, one-sided point of view, points of view which do not consider all aspects of reality; points of view which are erroneous. Finally, as Mao says, dogmatics are ”lazy”. They think that the repetition of principles exempts them from the concrete analysis of a concrete situation.[1]

The proclamation of the League in November 1975 as the Canadian organization of struggle for the party was a serious political error, for it did not take into account the Marxist-Leninist movement. We have seen that the denials of the League on this question are but pure formalism. The League today still considers itself more than ever as the Canadian center of struggle for the party!

We can’t criticize the League on the sole basis of its name. Except that the name it chose is significant of a style and of methods full of pretention and self-promotion that are very typical of the League and are illustrated by the pretentious statements present in its literature.

The League’s position, to go directly to the crux of the matter, is a denial of the existence of a Canada-wide Marxist-Leninist movement, from Vancouver to Halifax, a movement composed of various groups, cells and circles involved in some way or other in the struggle to create the proletariat’s revolutionary party. To fail to recognize the facts, even worse to deny the facts, is anti-Marxist.

Ever since the Marxist-Leninist movement made its existence felt throughout Canada, and this occurred mainly in the course of 1975, the problem all Canadian Marxist-Leninists have to solve in order to achieve political and organizational unity is not mainly whether this or that group is sufficiently advanced or developed to give itself a new status, that of a group or of an organization! Nor is it mainly to decide whether three groups agreeing on essential questions must unite or not and create the Canadian organization, thus splitting the movement in two and leaving the majority aside. No! The most important problem Marxist-Leninists must face and solve is to determine how to act in order to achieve the political and organizational unity of the entire movement.

But the League looks at the problem from the wrong end, from its point of view and not from the movement’s. As it says, the three founding groups of the League issued a call for unity one year before they joined forces. Well, well, well! But has the League ever wondered about the evolution of the movement from autumn 1974 when its founding groups issued their call, until November 1975 when the League was created? All indications are that the founders of the League paid no attention to this question and acted in November 1975 according to the conditions of the movement as they perceived them in 1974.

For the last year or so, the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement has shown new vitality on a national scale. This is demonstrated by the appearance of hitherto unknown groups, the creation of new groups, the fact that groups until now dominated by economism are actually breaking away from their past deviations. The League would like us to believe that in such a situation, where there still is a lot of confusion, it was correct that three groups joined forces and, after each of them distributed a pamphlet, declared, the Canadian organization of struggle for the party now exists: those who want to contribute to the building of the party must do their “complete self-criticism”, recognize the League’s “correct political line” and rally to its ranks. For, it is well known, the League has the “correct political line” on all questions!

As far as the struggle for unity, the struggle for the party is concerned, the League has embarked on a dangerous path. As the “May 1st Collective” from Vancouver says: “If it takes the unity of three groups in Quebec to form the Marxist-Leninist Organization, one can only suppose that the addition of three more groups in English Canada would justify the creation of the Party.”[2]

It would be tragic for the future of the socialist revolution in our country if the League were to continue along the path of “sectarian logic” on which it is currently embarked in regards to the unity of Communists. For if the creation of the party is – for the second time – the act of only a fraction of the movement, it will inevitably retard the unity of all Communists and the rallying of the proletariat to Communism.


[1] On Contradiction, Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1972, page 102

[2] Canadian Revolution Vol. 1, No. 5 April-May 1976, p.11.