At the present time, two different positions exist within the communist movement on the way to look at the question of the proletarian revolution in the world. During the last few months, the line struggle between the defenders of each of these two lines has considerably developed and it has become an open and public struggle in which a great number of parties, organizations and groups have taken more or less clear stands... not to mention that the blood suckers of the movement, such as the CPC(ML) in Canada, who are nothing but a bunch of careerists, and their victims, seized the occasion to try to gain recognition abroad due to a lack of recognition in their own country.
The importance of what’s at stake in the present debate, its international character, the fact that the most experienced parties are actively involved in it, all these circumstances lead us to the conclusion that we cannot remain silent, without betraying our duties towards the masses, towards the proletariat, and towards the Canadian as well as the international communist movement.
We therefore intend to take part in the debate to the extent of our very limited means, but with complete independence. There is no longer an International as was the case in the twenties, thirties and forties; no party has a monopoly on Marxism-Leninism, even if the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania, contrarily to the others, have proven by their practice, their capacity to lead the proletarian revolution in their respective countries, and despite the fact that they have both brought an important and decisive contribution to the struggle against modern revisionism. We believe that in last resort the communists of each country are the ones that should establish their line of conduct in matters concerning the orientation of the revolutionary struggle in their countries. The supreme guide of every communist is Marxism-Leninism.
We engage in this struggle in a spirit of unity and not in a spirit of division. This means that we will criticize, with all the strength necessary, the erroneous positions we discover within the movement. But we will abstain altogether from putting any party on a pedestal because of its correct line or from spontaneously rejecting any party into the “swamp” on the sole basis of differences, even important ones, on one point or the other.
On this level, there exist within the Canadian and international movement, as well as within its periphery, behaviours and attitudes that we consider to be completely divisive and from which we totally demarcate.
Let’s start with the periphery, mainly the CPC(ML). For nearly 10 years, this gang of terrorists of quotes and 2X4’s paid tribute to Mao Tse Tung and the CPC. Chairman Mao was our chairman, and in Canada, chairman Bains was his prophet, a prophet who defended with well-known ardour the “three worlds theory”. Chairman Mao is dead, chairman Bains has taken a new master. The dead, who were unable to recognize the merits of their faithful followers before dying, are not as useful as the living when it comes down to succeeding in one’s career. Changing master of thought, chairman Bains changed his thoughts, for chairman Bains thoughts, like his poetry, always had but one aim: to ensure his court’s flatteries.
The CPC(ML)’s attitude is extremist; it has nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism. We must thoroughly condemn it. Certain organizations in our country, without going quite as far, are nonetheless starting down a similar path and manifesting comparable tailism, tailism that always ends up leading to opportunism. The League and Bolshevik Union are these tailists.
According to the League, we should follow the CPC and defend the “3 worlds theory”. To act otherwise is to fall into the deep swamps of revisionism. As for BU, it maintains that Marxist-Leninists have only one choice, that of “following the correct political leadership of comrade Hoxha and the PLA”.
We totally reject these summons to follow this one or that one. Consistent communists do not act in such a way. The CPC(M-L) called on us to follow the CPC and chairman Mao for 10 years – for before the CPC(ML) there was the Student Movement – but this never made it into a communist party. Supposedly today it is falling in behind the PLA’s banner. This will not change a thing, on the contrary.
Our point of view on the question is simply that of firmly basing ourselves on Marxism-Leninism, on the lessons drawn from the struggle against opportunism and revisionism that was led by the PLA and the CPC in the 50’s and 60’s, by fiercely struggling against erroneous ideas and preserving our complete independence from other parties and organizations that are in no way authorized to dictate their own line of conduct to others. There we have, we believe, a correct communist attitude. Only this attitude can keep us from transforming line struggle into clan struggle, into a struggle to pit this or that great communist leader one against the other.
Let those who prefer keeping silent, acting as if the contradictions don’t exist because, in practice, they exclude all those who don’t think like they do from the movement by simple decree, let those who only know how to declare, “Our line is correct, it’s the line of so and so”, let them know that they are not working for the unity of the movement and that the only result of their actions is the formation of clans, or even “fan-clubs”.
Communists have responsibilities to the proletariat, to the masses, to the communist movement, responsibilities which consist of defending Marxism-Leninism, at all times and without any compromises; of relentlessly struggling to achieve unity and not division. It’s only by fully assuming these responsibilities that they really work for the proletarian revolution and genuinely serve the interests of the working class and masses.
We live in the epoch of imperialism and of the proletarian revolution – on a world scale, of course – but particularly in our country. Agonizing capitalism is destined to experience increasingly sharp crisis, thus producing unemployment, inflation, repression, rivalries among countries, confrontations and war. The proletariat has as its historic mission to transform the masse’s into a powerful revolutionary movement capable of chasing the bourgeoisie from power and of establishing socialism.
The history of the last 75 years clearly illustrates these two fundamental characteristics of our epoch. On one hand, the contradictions of imperialism have already led to two world wars, not to speak of the many more limited wars. And on the other hand, the socialist revolution has already seen very great successes in China and Albania, in particular. Even today the inter-imperialist rivalries are developing in such a way that a third world war opposing the two superpowers is a real and growing danger. However, on the other hand, the struggle of the oppressed peoples and nations is intensifying, the resistance of the world proletariat is being reinforced and socialist construction is being pursued in the countries of the dictatorship of the proletariat such as China and Albania.
It is within this context which is particularly favorable to new revolutionary victories that the communists of the entire world must answer the question, “What position should we adopt? What attitude should we take? How do we correctly apply Marxism-Leninism?” A correct reply to this question will lead to new victories, such as those won in the Soviet Union in 1917, in Albania in 1944 and in China in 1949. As for an erroneous reply, it could only lead to a repetition of the defeats of the social democrats and the European communists after the First as well as the Second World War.
There are two ways of approaching this question. One consists of saying: there are three kinds of countries in the world according to their economic development and their capacity, or lack of capacity, to oppress others: there is the world of the less developed countries dominated by foreign powers; there is the world of advanced capitalist and imperialist powers which oppress others but which remain relatively weak and are themselves threatened by the superpowers; these two latter countries constitute a world apart and, because of their rivalry, are a danger for all countries and peoples of the world due to the war of conquest that they could wage on a world-wide scale.
This way of looking at things leads to a precise conclusion: the greatest danger threatening the peoples of the world is a world war between the two superpowers, a war which could cause many countries, particularly in Europe, to lose their independence in favor of one or another of the superpowers or both of them... as it is already partly the case today. From this comes the call: unite all those who can be united to resist the superpowers and denounce their war preparations: this is how we succeed in safeguarding the independence of European and other countries threatened today.
The other way of approaching the question is to say: our objective is proletarian revolution and for this, the overthrow of imperialism. Things being as they are, what should we do? On the scale of each country, just like on the world scale, imperialism is going through a major crisis where inter-imperialist rivalries, on the one hand, and the development of the peoples’ and proletariat’s struggles, on the other, can only grow. On the scale of most countries, just like on the world scale, the revolutionary movement, resulting from the junction of the spontaneous struggles of the proletariat and peoples, and the Marxist-Leninist movement, is developing. To see the growing danger of a world war must not prevent us from recognizing the rise of the revolutionary movement. The duty of communists in such a situation is quite easy to define: it is to build up the camp of the revolution in each country and on a world scale; this means building the party, uniting the proletariat and the people and arming them so that they are ready to victoriously confront any revolutionary situation including foreign invasion; this also means uniting the world’s communists and the oppressed peoples and nations under the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat and the socialist countries in the broadest support of anti-imperialist struggles and in the denunciation of the superpowers and the threats of hegemony and war that they make to the world. That is a tactic based on both strengthening the camp of the revolution and on weakening the camp of reaction; a tactic which promotes revolution and is not only a stopgap measure for the greatest danger of the moment.
Comrades, we must not judge a political line simply on the basis of what it puts forward but also and especially on the basis of the acts it leads those who hold it to make. The first aim of communists is not the most refined understanding of the world but it’s transformation.
Certain people attack our line because it is dogmatic: we quote Lenin too much and do not take reality into account; the RSC even goes as far as to suggest that the League’s concrete analysis on certain international questions is more developed than IN STRUGGLE!’s. Others accuse us with disarming insistence of having fallen into the swamp of revisionism because we have not denounced the gang of four in China, because we do not recognize the three worlds theory as a strategic concept, because we invite the RSC and BU to Marxist-Leninist conferences; they continue by saying that we support social-imperialism, that we insist on struggling over a question which does not interest the working class, i.e. the wage controls, that we are not nationalistic enough and that we should go as far as to almost support the banning of the English language in Quebec. Others and often the same persons also say that our line on unity is opportunist to the core, that we crush other groups and deprive them of their freedom of speech. Others still, the BU and the CPC(ML) in particular, accuse us of advocating debate in the movement on questions of political line.
Comrades, we ask you to judge on the facts and not only the words, ours and those of others. We advocate proletarian revolution in Canada by the overthrow of the Canadian bourgeoisie, its principal enemy; we denounce nationalism in Quebec and chauvinism in Canada; we take into account the present conjuncture and, within this conjuncture, the bourgeoisie is attempting to divide the proletariat (anglophone and francophone) and attempting to bring the labour movement to its knees mainly by the Wage Control Act which affects all the country’s workers whatever their language or their colour.
Moreover, in our work and our publications, we struggle in practice for the equality of the French and English languages, which is a very concrete part of the struggle for the unity of communists and workers in our country.
We maintain that our central task at the present time is the creation of the Party of the revolution, through the unity of the communists and the rallying of workers around a communist programme. Furthermore, in our journal, pamphlets and newspaper, we raise questions concerning the programme and call upon the workers to struggle on a communist basis. We don’t content ourselves with simply supporting struggles that are in vogue and putting forward popular slogans. To favour the unity of communists, we encourage an awareness of the movement across the country by selling other group’s publications, by publishing other group’s texts, and by organizing conferences like this one today. Nobody can seriously question the fact that all these factors have greatly contributed to the awareness which communists in our country have of each other’s respective lines, and to their ability to begin to demarcate on this basis. We will soon publish our draft programme, which will be a systematic and concise presentation of the line that we propose as a basis of unity.
Those who end all their criticisms of us with the magic word, “opportunism”, and those others who consider us dogmatic and cut off from reality, should compare our acts and our words. They should go to the trouble of relating our acts to the concrete situation in our country and in the world, in the light of the goal of the proletarian revolution, a goal which is very much the order of the day. They should do this rather than taking bits and pieces of sentences here and there and adding up quotations there. And after that they can pass judgement – and that is also known as making the concrete analysis of a concrete situation.
And for those like the CAPT who think that our action opposes the liberation of oppressed peoples and nations – they should prove it. They will see that even if we don’t support France’s arms sales to the Shah of Iran, we do support the Iranian people’s struggle and denounce the Shah’s repression in Iran and the surrounding region.
They will see that although we do not support Duvalier and the exploitation of Haiti by the Canadian imperialist bourgeoisie, we unconditionally support the struggle at the Haitian revolutionaries. They will realize that while we have nothing good to say about such agents of American imperialism as president-dictator Marcos, we are concerned with making known the struggle of the Filipino people and call for its unconditional support.
This is what we call “adopting a class point of view”, the point of view which promotes revolution in our country and in the world. The class point of view is the one which answers the following question: “how to advance the cause of the proletarian revolution in the present day situation?” On the other hand, the opportunist point of view only reacts to conjunctural situations and forgets, all the while, the main objective of revolution; the opportunist point of view only reacts to the academic analysis of the situation, to the analysis of scholars, rather than to the analysis of revolutionaries.
It is in answer to the question of “how to advance the cause of revolution in Canada and in the world?” that we declare: Comrades, let us unite on the basis of a communist programme and let us rally workers to this programme In order to build the party which will lead the revolution.
Comrades, let us unite the Canadian proletariat of both nations and the national minorities, men and women, all the masses of the country In the final struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie that we must kick out of State power and against Its Yankee ally. Comrades, let us unite to denounce the imperialist alms of the Canadian bourgeoisie and to support the struggles of our brothers and sisters It oppresses.
Comrades, let us unite with the world proletariat, with the socialist countries, with oppressed nations and peoples to put an end to imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism, to be vigilant; for should the superpowers and other imperialists set off another slaughter, we must be prepared to deal them mortal blows and thus advance towards our common goal, socialist revolution!