Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Documents of the 3rd Conference of Canadian Marxist-Leninists on the International Situation

Montreal, September 9, 10, 11, 1977

Introduction: Another Step Forward In the Unity of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist Movement

The Third Conference of Canadian Marxist-Leninists was held at a moment which was important for the peoples of the world and the international Marxist-Leninist movement. In fact, it was at a moment when the crisis of capitalism was increasingly worsening in all countries, including Canada, bringing with it the threat of an imperialist war and the increased exploitation of the working class. This has always been the peoples’ lot in times of crisis. But more important, the conference was held at a time when the international communist movement was divided on the line to follow to combat imperialism, and in particular the two imperialist superpowers, the United States and the USSR.

On one hand, there are those who, in the face of the current situation, speak of supporting their own bourgeoisie, those for whom the path of the proletarian revolution consists of supporting one imperialist power to combat another. On the other hand, there are those who say frankly to the peoples of the world that the struggle against the superpowers is inseparable from the struggle against our own bourgeoisie, and that the war threats which today hang over the heads of the international proletariat can only be combated by the socialist Revolution. These differences do not only exist in the international communist movement, they exist in our movement, in Canada as well. And we were able to measure their importance during the Third Conference of Marxist-Leninists, particularly in the struggle which opposed the Red Star Collective and IN STRUGGLE! throughout the entire conference. They were also manifested by the multiple criticisms which were addressed to the social-chauvinist line of the Canadian Communist League (ML), which is a group whose main method of waging line struggle seems to have become the boycotting of IN STRUGGLE!’s conferences.

Throughout the conference, the numerous interventions coming from the 1,000 or so participants in the plenary and the workshops, as well as the interventions of the anti-imperialist groups at the opening of the conference, showed that the great majority of participants were conscious of what’s at stake in the current debates on this question. That is also why, all the participants vigorously fought attempts to use the debates to divisive ends. Here we are talking about the “Bolshevik” Union, which throughout the weekend supplied the proof that there was no longer anything Marxist-Leninist about it, other than its name. Division! Division! Division! That’s a resume of the content of all of “Bolshevik” Union’s interventions at this conference. Moreover, it is for this reason that the “Bolshevik” Union claims to denounce the three worlds theory – it’s an occasion for this group to give its divisiveness, international scope. Furthermore, it was the only group which refused to sign the common hommage of the participating groups on the occasion of the 1st anniversary of the death of Mao Tse Tung.

Given all of this, we could wonder if the unity of Marxist-Leninists has really taken a step forward in the past year. But we have only to think back to the First Conference of Marxist-Leninists held on October 9, 1976. That conference brought together more than 10 participating groups from all over Canada. Since that time, things have evolved, to such an extent that only 4 groups were invited to the last conference, since the majority of the other groups had already achieved unity with IN STRUGGLE! or with the League. We should rejoice at these developments which show to what extent the conferences organized by IN STRUGGLE! were able to advance us towards our objective, even if we still have a long way to go.

This is the third time we present you with the documents of the National Conferences of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist Movement, and each time we have told you that the unity of Marxist-Leninists is taking great strides forward, and this is true. In a short time we will be able to see the concrete results, in the debate around the draft programme, which will be submitted by IN STRUGGLE! to the criticism of the Marxist-Leninist movement and the Canadian masses.

October, 1977