Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Charles Gagnon

For the Proletarian Party

Chapter 2: The need for working-class leadership

The “hegemony of the working class” in the stage of anti-imperialist struggle means that the leadership of the liberation struggle, the struggle for independence and socialism can only be taken up by the working class, more exactly by the workers’ revolutionary party, the proletarian party. This conclusion derives from the analysis of the fundamental contradiction of our epoch, which Foto Cami, a leader of the Party of Labour of Albania, expresses in these terms:

“Under capitalism the working class is the only class which has nothing to lose from revolution. It has more interest than any other class in overthrowing the old relations of exploitation in production. As a class it possesses nothing apart from its labour power; as a class linked to large-scale modern production, which today has reached a high degree of concentration, as a class with great potential for education and organization, and in possession of its scientific theory and its own political general staff, the working class is not only the most revolutionary class but also the only class capable of playing the leading role in the struggle for socialism. ”[11]

Thus, the historical task of bringing about socialist revolution in Quebec and thereby providing the real solution to the question of self-determination, requires the leadership of an organised Quebec working class. The Vietnamese revolutionary Le Duan writes:

“The movement for national independence will only become a truly revolutionary movement if it joins up with the socialist movement and develops along a non-capitalist path.” (Speaking of new national states, the author continues:)“If these countries were to stop at national independence, they would inevitably fall under the domination of one or another imperialism, or in the best situation, would strike out on the path of bourgeois reformism. It is only by taking the path of non-capitalist development that these countries will be able to win true and total independence. The condition sine qua non to achieve this goal is the establishment of the revolutionary hegemony of the working class and a truly national and democratic state. Establishing the revolutionary hegemony of the working class is the primary question for the revolution on the international as well national scale.”[12]

The historical experience of the international workers’ movement is without doubt the most striking confirmation of the remarks of Le Duan especially in the USSR, China, Albania and Vietnam itself.

Contrary to the claims of the nationalists, according to which the workers have no choice but to join the ranks of the Parti Quebecois (a party which is bourgeois because it is pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist), the next qualitative leap for the workers’ movement will come in Quebec with the creation of the revolutionary party of the working class, the proletarian party. The principal contradiction to be resolved at this time in the Quebec workers’ movement is that of the creation of the class party of the proletariat.

On the subject of the party, Foto Cami writes:

“Without its Party the working class, no matter in what conditions it lives and acts, cannot by itself develop class consciousness. For want of a political party with a clear program, a strategy and scientific tactics, the struggle will either stop halfway or will fail. The leading role of the party of the working class in the struggle for socialism, be there one or several parties, is an objective law, which derives from the fact that the struggle for socialism has as its theoretical basis the ideology of the working class, Marxism-Leninism, and that only the communist party of the proletariat is the bearer of this ideology, it alone can elaborate it and put it into practice.”[13]

In conclusion, the creation of the workers’ party is the primary objective within the workers’ movement. An objective has priority when all tasks and political forms of organisation are subordinated to it. However, this does not mean that the party should be created tomorrow or even in the coming months. Above all this does not mean that its creation consists in gathering together as quickly as possible the greatest possible number of working people. The proletarian party is not just any party.


[11] “The Working class and its World Historic Mission”, in Albania Today (French edition) No. 2 (3), Tirana, March-April 1972, pp. 5-5

[12] Le Duan, op cit., pp. 19-20 (French edition) – (my emphasis C.G.)

[13] Albanian Today, March-April 1972, p. 10.