It has been more than two years since the Second Congress of our Organization, held in November 1976. In the intervening period, there have been considerable changes in the situation in the world, in Canada and in our Organization, as well as in the ranks of the international communist movement. The purpose of this Report is to take stock of the situation, evaluate the work done in these various fields and outline the orientations that should underlie our work in the coming months and years.
The work done cannot be correctly appraised unless we refer to the decisions made previously and verify whether or not they have been carried out. In evaluating our work over the last two years, it should be remembered that our Second Congress decided that the question of the programme should be our central concern and gave the new leadership a specific mandate for dealing with it. The Second Congress also issued a call to turn the Organization towards the masses and pursue the struggle for the unity of communists in Canada.
We believe we have made substantial progress in all these fundamental areas of our work, even if we have also made some mistakes. IN STRUGGLE! does not pretend to have a monopoly on the “correct line”, nor on the qualities of honesty, dedication, determination and steadfastness that characterize communists. We even find it rather disquieting when communists, whoever they are and whatever their history, affirm that they have always had, still have and will always have a perfectly correct line. History has amply shown that such pretentions are utterly devoid of any materialist basis; we are wary of this form of misleading idealism.
It is not easy to apply Marxism-Leninism correctly; even the best parties and the most dedicated communists can make mistakes. We must be modest and honest enough to recognize this and point it out to the masses, including the opportunists. Anyone who can read and write can copy sentences and paragraphs from the Marxist-Leninist classics, but this has nothing to do with applying Marxism-Leninism. Applying Marxism-Leninism, developing a correct point of view on any question, necessitates, in the words of Lenin, “a concrete analysis of the concrete situation”.
This is why the analysis of the situation in Canada and in the world, of our work and of the international communist movement constitutes a substantial part of this Report. This is also why history is of such importance in it, and why we have paid special attention to restating and emphasizing the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism concerning the crises of capitalism in the stage of imperialism.
A knowledge of the history of class struggle is indispensable in understanding correctly the situation today. The history of the communist movement, in particular, should be more fully explored. It is rich in fundamental lessons that the proletariat urgently needs to master at the present time, when new revolutionary storms are brewing in different regions of the world and when the crisis, which gets steadily worse, spawns renewed dangers of fascism and another world war.
Finally, the Marxist-Leninist theory of capitalist crises is necessary if we are to understand why the economies of imperialist countries are headed towards a hopeless dead-end and why socialism is the only possible solution to the current crisis. The setbacks encountered by the proletariat in recent years have made some people wonder whether socialism is really possible. They should be reminded that it is the survival of capitalism that it impossible, that its destruction is not only possible but inevitable.
The revolutionary enthusiasm of communists is not founded on illusions, either old or new. It is founded first and foremost on a scientific conclusion: capitalism, like all the other modes of production based on class society, is doomed to perish.