Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Documents of the National Conference on the Unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists

Montreal, October 9, 1976

Speech Of The Group For The Proletarian Revolution (GPR)


The G.R.P. enthusiastically salutes the first large public conference, organized by IN STRUGGLE!, which aims to unify the Canadian Marxist-Leninists.

The time has come to constitute the leading force of the revolutionary movement. All Marxist-Leninists: individuals, cells, small groups, and large ones, everyone should rid themselves of small-group mentality, their group individualism, and resolutely and honestly engage themselves on the path of unity. We must realize once and for all that the interests of the working class aren’t defended by endless quarreling, but rather by a resolute action to set up the organization of struggle for the party.

This will be understood by advanced workers before Marxist-Leninists if we continue to quibble over all the hairs to split, instead of starting from what unites us in reality in order to develop an even greater unity.If we lose sight of this, instead of obtaining one party, a Marxist-Leninist party, of Canadian workers, we will end up with many parties. And we know that if the Canadian proletariat is to be victorious in its struggle to abolish the Canadian bourgeois state, it needs to reach unity behind a unified leadership; ONE Marxist-Leninist party, its Marxist-Leninist party. We must thus put ourselves resolutely under the leadership of the great theoreticians of the proletariat who teach us that the working class has only its class consciousness and organizational force to oppose the force of oppression and exploitation of the bourgeoisie.

The division of Marxist-Leninists spreads confusion among the masses and the advanced elements of the working class. Let’s not hide our heads in the sand like an ostrich. We should choose the interests of the working class, i.e. work sincerely for ideological, political, and organizational unity of all the Canadian Marxist-Leninists. We should reject small-group mentality, which weakens us in face of the force of oppression and exploitation of the bourgeoisie, our enemy.

But how to arrive at organizational unity?

How to work so that the unity of the organization of struggle for the Party in a unity of steel?

According to the G.R.P., in order to avoid sinking into opportunism, and to avoid equally, group individualism, small-group mentality and sectarianism, we must seize the following two great principles:
–  “The political line determines everything”.
–  “The capacity of a party to make the revolution depends on the correctness of its political line and the solidity of its organization”.

In order to correctly apply these principles, we must exploit the “natural” qualities of communists: modesty and honesty.

We must start from what unites us presently and aim at developing our ideological and political unity without forgetting that we want to arrive at organizational unity.

In order that our organization have a unity of steel, we should debate openly and draw lines of demarcation. All cells and groups should criticize what they find erroneous, bourgeois in the positions put forward by the movement. In the same way all cells and groups should self-criticize their own errors as soon as they become conscious of them.

Only if the Marxist-Leninists demonstrate this FIRMNESS and proletarian MODESTY will they be able to correct the errors in the movement. A QUALITATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOVEMENT’S LINE will come out of this demarcation if it is done with honesty, a DEVELOPMENT of our IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL UNITY which will permit us to procede concretely to the ORGANIZATIONAL UNITY IN THE RESPECT OF MARXIST-LENINIST PRINCIPLES. We will have therefore our organization of struggle for the party UNITY – CRITICISM – SELF-CRITICISM – UNITY.

Consequently we must reject the affirmation according to which one of the groups in the movement has presently THE correct 1ine, while all the others are opportunists the moment they “have differences” on one point or another.

To make such an affirmation denotes group individualism, small-group mentality to the point of sectarianism. It’s like the frog which bloats, and bloats and bloats... On the contrary we should be modest and recognize the REAL limits of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

The Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement is young. The first projects of political line were published only in the fall of 1974 and these 4 projects were the result of the work of small groups who had only partially mastered proletarian ideology. Their study of proletarian ideology was only in its first stages. The same for the analysis of the concrete situation of the society and of the Canadian revolution. The organizational weakness of EVERYONE, of cells and small groups ESPECIALLY but also of large groups prevented us from verifying the correctness of our line among the masses, in a satisfying way. It prevented us from sufficiently developing our force.

We should recognize, in practice our weak political development, and especially our weak organizational development.

This weak organizational development prevents us from correctly and sufficiently assuming our revolutionary tasks on all levels. If this is true for large groups it is even more so for cells and small groups like our own.

A small group like ours, the G.R.P. is incapable of undertaking all the tasks which it affirms should be accomplished by Marxist-Leninists, our organizational weakness, translates in reality by very weak agitation and propaganda work, even if we affirm that this is the principal activity to be accomplished among the masse. The same for the organization of our work of educating the elements of the working class with whom we have undertaken to merge. Because of this organizational weakness it was very difficult for us – all along our practice – to correctly articulate the various essential tasks to be accomplished. When we have colossal tasks to accomplish and we are QUANTITATIVELY very weak, this diminishes, to a great degree, the possibility of our having good QUALITY in practice. This said, we don’t want to deny that small groups have important lessons to bring to the edification of the movement, Indeed, their practice, even limited, permits them to develop correct analyses on a certain number of issues. For this reason they should participate in the debates in the demarcation phase. All the groups should bring their real lessons to the movement, and this no matter what their quantitative development.

Be Dialectical Materialists In Our Struggle For Unity

When the time comes to evaluate whether the ideological and political unity which we have obtained is sufficient to permit organizational unity, we must keep the weaknesses of our group in mind. To do otherwise is to founder into idealism and to retard, consequently, the development of the revolutionary forces in Canada.

To do otherwise is to founder into dogmatism by being incapable of analysing in a materialist and dialectical way the principles: “The political line determines everything” and “The capacity of a party to make the revolution depends on the CORRECTNESS OF ITS POLITICAL LINE and the SOLIDITY OF ITS ORGANIZATION”.

What we have just explained is the G.R.P.’s point of view on unity, in the present state of the development of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

The major lines of this point of view were explained in our pamphlet CONTRIBUTION A LA CREATION DU PARTI OUVRIER RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE (Contribution to the creation of the revolutionary worker’s party), Nevertheless this point of view has developed during the past year, to the extent that our group practice has developed and it is at that point that we’ve today!

Is what we have just said merely words to be distributed on several pretty well bound sheets? Certainly not! We have worked to concretely apply these principles in our practice on unity.

According to our revolutionary consciousness and our desire to join with the advanced elements of the working class and of the masses, the first step we took was to systematize and publish our political line. In this political line we state that our principal task is unity in the form of our INTEGRATION into a larger group, more capable than we to accomplish the main task of unity, from this moment on, and to apply the entire political line among the masses.

We couldn’t and shouldn’t await the setting-up of the organization to proceed towards unification. In effect, our organizational development as much QUALITATIVE as QUANTITATIVE didn’t permit us to correctly assume our tasks. When we made the effort, which we always did, to assume our tasks at all levels and as largely as possible, we always fell into activism. Only major divergences could prevent us from integrating as rapidly as possible.

It’s one or the other, we seek to defend the interests of the working class and therefore sincerely work at unity with the comrades who are closest to us on the ideological and political level. Or we let small-group mentality triumph, and on our own basis we develop our own group even in the absence of major divergences. We equip ourselves with a newspaper which would throw confusion in the working class and more so would fall into sectarianism. We have therefore preferred the first choice.

That is why we have, at a second stage, deepened our study of the most developed groups in the movement. We have studied their political line and their practice. This brought us to the conclusion that the group with which we have the greatest political unity is the group IN STRUGGLE! It’s for this reason that we have engaged in the struggle for unity with them since January 1976. All along these debates by criticism and self-criticism we have developed our ideological and political unity with them, a unity which was already very great on the entire political line even before these debates began.

We are very confident of the outcome of this struggle for unity with IN STRUGGLE! The G.R.P. believes that it is certainly leading towards integration with IN STRUGGLE!, and its to this objective that our group is consecrating its major efforts at this moment.