Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Documents of the 4th Conference of Canadian Marxist-Leninists on the Tasks Involved in Rebuilding the Canadian Proletarian Party

February 4 and 5, 1978


The reconstruction of the revolutionary party of the proletariat is not an abstract or remote question. In Enver Hoxha’s words, “It is a question that is raised and to be solved”. The fact is that the socialist revolution is on the agenda today in our country. It has been there ever since the Canadian bourgeoisie acquired State power and began to exercise its dictatorship over the Canadian masses. The proletarian revolution requires the leadership of the party of the proletariat, of the working class.

But there is more than that. The present crisis situation cannot be solved in favour of the working-class movement unless the rotten leadership provided by the reformists, revisionists and class collaborators, is disloged by a leadership utterly-devoted to the interests of the proletariat, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist leadership. This task is not to be accomplished in the distant future; it is today that we must confront it. This is why the question of a proletarian party is so important now for the success of the struggle for socialism. The struggle for socialism cannot be put off until after the third or fourth world war; it must be taken in hand today.

Even a brief glance at the situation in our country – a situation comparable to that of a good many other imperialist countries – reveals without doubt that the bourgeoisie is committed to increasing and developing the exploitation, and consequently the repression of the masses.

On the economic level, there are the wage controls, compulsory overtime in many large factories, speedups and the ensuing accidents, when it is not simply the out-right murder of a good number of workers (just think about what happens in the construction industry, for example). Economic conditions mean unemployment, the degradation of living conditions for the masses and social miseries of all kinds.

If we look at the gestures of the bourgeois State, we see an increase in the powers of repression: the police can do anything it wants; what was formerly illegal will become legal; reactionary violence goes unpunished; the bosses’ watchdogs can shoot at workers – they’re defending private property... We could also mention the constant surveillance of all those who do not agree with the system; tapped telephone lines; opened mail; personal files, and even medical files, circulate between companies, government departments and security services. There is unwarranted meddling in trade unions, in their finances and their decisions to strike or to end a strike and controls on the voting process within the union are being instituted. In addition, there is the advanced corruption of trade-union bosses ready, in exchange for appointments and subsidies, to join the companies in urging the working class to tighten its belt and accept the bourgeoisie’s crisis measures. Repression also manifests itself in the impressive increase in police and military budgets; the development of para-military or para-constabulary agencies; and the development of various secret services. Nor should the development of sophisticated electronic equipment and massive purchases of weapons of all sorts – small tanks, large tanks and fighter planes – be over looked. And to top it all off, we have the recruiting of young soldiers for “the real life”!

At the same time, an ever-increasing contempt of the national rights of the Quebecois and the Native peoples is developing. The entire territory of Canada is the private property of the bourgeoisie, which settles in wherever it pleases. We saw what happened at James Bay: one day the Court acknowledged the Inuit’s rights, and the next day the Court of Appeal overturned the decision. And the construction of the James Bay dam is not the slightest bit affected. In the North West, the Berger Commission was set up to study the situation in the Mackenzie Valley, but the decision to build the pipeline was made before the report was published. Take it or leave it!

At the same time, discrimination against women is increasing instead of disappearing. In several sectors, the wage gap between men and women is growing larger rather than smaller. And the token nominations of a few women as ministers in the last few years hasn’t really changed anything.

As for the immigrants, they are being treated like cattle, imported and exported according to the needs of capitalist production.

This is the “just society” proclaimed by Trudeau the democrat and pacifist – because it should be remembered that in the 1950’s Trudeau was a democrat and a pacifist. He participated in Cite Libre [1] with his friend Gerard Pelletier to denounce Duplessis’ reactionary regime, among other things. Of course, under Duplessis there was the tragedy of Murdochville in the Gaspe region, where workers on strike at the Noranda mine were savagely attacked, as were the strikers at Thetford Mines, where asbestos is extracted. Under Bourassa, even though the democrat Trudeau was in power in Ottawa, there was the Common Front of 1972 and the ensuing repression. There was also the bludgeoning of workers at United Aircraft. Trudeau and Bourassa were also responsible for the War Measures Act in 1970. And they would like us to believe that the “just society” is just around the corner, that democracy is developing and that Canada is even one of the most democratic countries in the world, a country in which there is not really anything to complain about.

Sure, we officially paid that clown Jean-Luc Pepin $50,000 a year to convince workers to tighten their belts; and moreover, in all provinces measures have been applied to limit the right of workers to strike and to impose State control over the trade unions. All this is the development of democracy!

Sure, but some will say that in Quebec, as in provinces where the NDP is in power, the government is ruled by a party that is biased in favour of workers. Nevertheless, it was under the PQ that the flourmill workers were shot down in Montreal last summer and it was under the PQ that workers at Commonwealth Plywood were imprisoned because they were picketing outside while scabs were working inside. Such is the PQ’s prejudice in favour of workers!

No, it isn’t democracy that is making progress in Canada at the present time; instead, it’s reaction and the reactionary forces, busy working to consolidate their power. It is not the “just society” that awaits us, but a fascist regime. Fascism is a pretty big word that makes the right-thinking people smile. For them, fascism means Germany, Italy and Japan in the Thirties and Forties before the Allied victory. But there are those who like illusions and prefer dreams to reality. There are those like Ivan lllitch, who talk of “creative unemployment” and whose views have been widely-publicized in the last fifteen days on the radio: it seems we will be able to be unemployed – and creative, too! I don’t know what Ivan lllitch would think if he lived in Montreal and all the longshoremen, garbagemen, radio and TV producers decided to go into “creative unemployment”. Other “enlightened” individuals want to put everybody on bicycles [2] to get rid of polution. They are the same people who preach rearing chickens and goats in the country to start the “leisure society”!

It’s not really fashionable for those people to talk about fascism. Those twentieth century Franciscans might like the fragrance of flowers and the twittering of birds, but that doesn’t change a great deal about the capitalist system of exploitation. Our medieval poets of today, our “leisure society” dreamers are forgetting one thing: fascism is not only the Germany of the war years; it is the ultimate form of reaction and savage repression in the imperialist era.

Fascism is the political regime the bourgeoisie installs when it cannot maintain power other than by open and direct violence through massive and daily repression. Fascism appears when the crisis of capitalism becomes acute to such a point that even the most minimal democratic liberties, so bitterly acquired, jeopardize the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie on the masses.

Just look at what is happening in the world, if you want to see what point the crisis of imperialism has reached. What do you think wage controls were for? What was their purpose? As the cabinet Minister John Turner said in 1975, wage controls are designed to allow the Canadian bourgeoisie to remain competitive on an international scale; to reduce the costs of production and to increase productivity, in other words, to produce as much merchandise with the least possible work and, more important, paying the lowest possible wages. Why does the bourgeoisie want to remain competitive? Simply because it wants to develop its markets, accumulate profits and invest them everywhere in the world. Is it only the Canadian bourgeoisie that wants to remain competitive? Not in the least!

All imperialist bourgeoisies want as much. That’s why wage controls and collaboration between the bourgeoisie and corrupt trade-union leadership have been used in many countries. For example, in England, France, Belgium and Germany we have seen the development of restrictions on democratic rights.

Everywhere, reactionary forces are strengthening themselves, starting in the Soviet Union, a social-fascist country amply endowed with “insane” asylums, as we know; moving on, Latin America with its colonels trained by the CIA; and on to racist Rhodesia, fascist Iran, the Phillipines and dozens of more or less developed countries where essentially reactionary regimes serve the interests of imperialism. Is it really to prepare the just society, the leisure society, the society of flowers and birds, that countries in the Middle-East like Iran are devouring billions of dollars in military equipment; that India, Brazil, Israel, Pakistan, South Korea and Argentina are equipping themselves with nuclear technology; or that the countries of NATO, including Canada, are refurbishing their most sophisticated stock of weapons, including, one day soon, no doubt the neutron bomb? Are democracy and justice the motivating forces behind the USSR’s unending increase in military spending; and its tightening hold on Eastern Europe and some African countries?

Remaining competitive, as Trudeau declared, is the desire of all imperialist bourgeoisies. They all want to monopolize international markets as well as the areas open to investment around the world. But rivalry has its limits...When facing more competitive adversaries, the less competitive imperialists generally find no better strategy than to trigger-off a war in order to eliminate the most bothersome competitors and thereby expand their own international spheres of influence. There is only one way to answer the mounting tide of reaction here in Canada and the danger of a new world wide butchery – one answer, one banner, one slogan: Down with reaction! Down with imperialism! Join the battle for the socialist revolution!

The current crisis of imperialism is not a new phenomenon. In fact, capitalism has been in a state of crisis ever since it reached the stage of imperialism at the beginning of this century; that is, the stage of the development of great monopolies that operate on an international scale and that inevitably enter in contradiction with each other in their unceasing attempts to enlarge their stock of supplies, their markets and their outlets for investing their ever increasing profits.

It is precisely this type of situation of general crisis that provoked the two World Wars as well as many of the localized confrontations of the last sixty years. What essentially characterizes the present situation is that again, the crisis of capitalism has entered an acute phase of its development with the confrontation between two superpowers over world hegemony. In addition, many other imperialist and capitalist countries are searching for ways to extend their power beyond their national boundaries. Canada is a small power included in that group of countries for which war might either signify defeat or the consolidation of its imperialist activities throughout the world.

But then how do we get out of this vicious circle of crises, wars and more crises? The one and only way to put an end to imperialism’s crises and its wars is proletarian revolution. This is the way adopted by the October Revolution in the Soviet Union and by the Chinese and Albanian Revolutions. Capitalism will not disappear by itself, the imperialists have proven time and time again they will never voluntarily give up power. We know from experience that they have not hesitated in the past and will not hesitate in the future to destroy entire regions of the world, as they have done in the past, to reach their ends.

A crisis situation always entails political upheavals. It is no surprise that in this country the number of socialists and even communists has grown over the past few months and years. In fact, the number of people in the working-class movement who assert that socialism must take over from capitalism is greater and greater. We could name dozens: Theo Gagne, for example, a Steelworker in Rouyn Noranda, northwestern Quebec, whom everybody knows has been a great “socialist” for ever so long, someone who entered the PQ by accident while waiting for things to ripen. Michel Chartrand, president of the CNTU’s Montreal labour council, is another one of those “socialists” who, for many years now, has been calling workers to revolution. So has Hardial Bains, chairman of the CPC(ML). And we musn’t forget the NDP’er, Dave Barret, in British Columbia. Although Barret is resting for now, he plans to come back more “socialist” than ever. But the list doesn’t stop there. It would be incomplete if we didn’t mention Blakeney, the Premier of Saskatchewan. There’s also the PQ’s left wing where we find Pierre Vallieres [3] and Gerald Godin [4] as well as Henri Gagnon [5] who, though we’re not sure if he is in the PQ, would certainly like to be and clearly agrees with Quebec independence. There is also Kashtan’s CP of historic renown and Jack Scott of the Red Star Collective in Vancouver. And the list goes on... The trotskyists of the Ligue Ouvriere Revolutionnaire (LOR – Revolutionary Workers League), formely of the Ligue Socialiste Ouvriere (LSO – Socialist Workers League) and the Groupe Marxiste Revolutionnaire (GMR – Revolutionary Marxist Group), as well as those of the Groupe socialiste des travailleurs quebecois (GSTQ – Socialist Group of Quebec Workers), also known as the Regroupement des militants syndicaux (RMS – Group of Union Militants). Then there’s the Saskatchewan Waffle, the left wing of the NDP but now separated from the party and the Socialist Organizing Committee of Vancouver. Nor can we leave out Bolshevik Union which as everyone knows, has no members here [6] or the Communist League formely known as the RCT [7]. And we could go on and on, adding hundreds more. Quite a lot of supporters of socialism!

But at least we have one thing to console us: the main reason why we find ourselves today with so many socialists and communists, or at least people who call themselves so, is that socialism has become the preoccupation of the Canadian working people and that this preoccupation is growing every day. The political and economic crisis we are going through is directly responsible for this development, and so-called socialist organizations are springing up everywhere to answer the people’s aspirations. Unfortunately many of these “fighters for socialism”, if not the majority, are demagogues, fanatics or simple liars and agents of the ruling class. This situation inevitably confuses people, maintains division and delays the creation of a strong, unified revolutionary movement on a national scale. To clear up all ambiguities, we must demarcate, we must establish a distinct difference between sham socialists and true supporters of proletarian revolution.

How can this be accomplished? The answer to this question underlines the essential character of the program for the proletarian revolution, for the program is the basis, the only basis, for demarcation between the socialist path and all the other side roads put forward by the opportunists who are stepping over themselves to win Canadian workers to their ’cause“.

According to the Red Star Collective (RSC), not only could IN STRUGGLEI’s Draft Program have been written 10 or 15 years ago, but it could also have been written in several other countries. The question that comes to mind when hearing such a statement is: in the last 15 years in Canada, has the fundamental program for proletarian revolution changed? We know that the Liberal Party’s program has changed as has the NDP’s. But the program of the revolutionary proletariat remains the same: overthrow the dictatorship of the ruling class and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat over the ruling class. It should be noted, RSC comrades, that the essential tasks pertaining to the revolution do not change as years go by, nor is the proletarian revolution in one country essentially different from that in another country. As for the League, if states that IN STRUGGLE! has eliminated from its Draft Program everything that could demarcate it from the revisionists. For the benefit of the comrades from the League and the RSC, we say that IN STRUGGLEi’s Draft Program is sufficiently developped and clear to prove how, on many fundamental questions their two groups, among others, have not broken with revisionism.

The communist program’s primary aim is to clearly indicate the road to revolution and, in doing so, to expose revisionism – i.e. all the different methods used to distort Marxism-Leninism and sabotage the socialist revolution.

There isn’t enough time to go over the programs or lines of all the so-called socialist groups or parties of the country. In fact, it isn’t really necessary to do so for, essentially, they all put forward the same things. Just take a look at the statements of the revisionist CP, the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL), the GSTQ, the Saskatchewan Waffle, the Socialist Organizing Committee, the PQ’s left wing and the great majority of so-called socialists, and you will find that they share certain views that are found time and time again as essential elements of their lines. For example, the struggle against American monopolies that must be nationalized; the CP and the RWL are quite clear on this question. Another example is the struggle for combative and democratic Canadian unions, or “class struggle” unions as some call them. Last but not least comes the necessity to radicalize immediate struggles, struggles waged for economic demands. Those that put this line forward today have not invented anything. Everyone remembers that a few years back, the call was to create 10, 20, 30 United Aircrafts. The GMR launched the call in order to radicalize immediate struggles, without any revolutionary perspectives. Today, all these “fine” people now stand under the banner of the slogan made famous by the Progressive Workers Movement at the beginning of the 1960’s: “Independence and socialism”. Most of them claim that these two things go together and that the struggle for independence and socialism must be waged simultaneously.

But if they speak so often of independence it’s because, according to their logic, independence is essential to socialism and in fact, ranks high above socialism. Take the trotskyists in Quebec for example. In the lasi few months, they’ve all become independentists. One of the characteristics of trotskyists is that, though they are forever dividing, they always end up uniting to... divide the working class movement. Trotskyist positions are the same as those of the PQ’s “left wing”. As a matter of fact, trotskyist papers recommend that their readers take a look at Vallieres’ works, that are not yet selected I presume. The trotskyists are 100% opportunist. They’ve become in favour of Quebec independence because this point of view is currently quite popular among Quebec workers and also because they believe that it is the only way they can come in through the side door incognito, a favoured technique of taking control of organizations that they have been developing since the early 60’s. It might be important to recall that in 1964-1965, the newly created Ligue Socialiste Ouvriere (LSO – Socialist Workers League) used this same method to infiltrate the Mouvement de liberation populaire (MLP – Popular Liberation Movement) created by Parti-Pris and, later, the Parti socialiste du Quebec (PSQ – Quebec Socialist Party). The two groups never survived the infiltration. The trotskyists want to “radicalize” the movement for independence in Quebec. One of their present tools is the RMS. The RMS is for the masses , while the more advanced elements can turn to the GSTQ. What do the trotskyists propose with the RMS? With all their might, all the strength they can muster, they call on the labour unions to create a party. It’s as if they think that we’ve never heard of the NDP, of the British Labour Party, of all the so-called worker’s parties and socialist parties created by trade unions. They are actually trying to make us believe that the corrupt union bosses (that they themselves sometimes condemn) are going to create a revolutionary party. It certainly doesn’t take a genius to come up with this method to try to fool the working people. But this is part of the trotskyist tactic, of their transitional program.

As far as they are concerned the working class is too retarded to take up the revolutionary struggle. It needs a transitional program. And this is what their transitional program looks like: if we succeed in applying all the measures of the transitional program, i.e. nationalize all the monopolies, create worker councils, and finally share power with the ruling class, if all these measures are sucessfully applied, then we will have succeeded in upsetting the capitalist system to the point that it will find itself in a crisis situation that will favour the seizure of power by the working class. But, some countries have already applied these supposedly radical yet transitory demands. We should tell these people, who believe in the importance of reforms under capitalism and who do not concern themselves with attacking State power, to take a close look at what happened in the USSR. In the USSR today, many of the elements in the trotskyist transitional program are applied, but this has not kept the capitalist class from remaining in power. Since the day they were born, nothing good could be expected from the trotskyists.

The trotskyists, who are busy serenading the independentists in Quebec, aren’t the only nationalists to hide under the cover of socialism. We also find the CP and all the revisionists who are not all necessarily members of the CP. But it should be mentioned that when we speak of revisionism, and in the case of modern revisionism, we address ourselves specifically to the pro-Moscow Communist Party of Canada. Though they are not the only revisionists, the only ones to reject and abandon the teachings of Marxism-Leninism (even though they say they are still true to them) the revisionists of the CP are picking up speed again. The decay of the NDP, that “Canadian workers’ party” which never made the grade in Quebec and that some are now trying to replace with a “Quebec workers’ party”, is in good part responsible for the CP’s new popularity. But the revisionists aren’t just picking up speed as a party but also as a trend. Let’s take a look at what they have to say. To do this, I would like to draw your attention to a very instructive acticle written by Kashtan, the present Secretary of the Communist Party of Canada. This article, published in the New International Journal in October 1976, contains things that make your hair stand on ends, and I quote:

We communists are doing our best to influence the orientation of the struggle against the crisis so that it isn’t limited to economic demands. We are striving to have it pose broader political objectives that would encompass the demand to modify the legislature and the government’s whole social-economic policy.

In other words: Dear Mr. Trudeau, could you please modify your legislation and the whole of your political orientation? Kashtan doesn’t stop at that: “The struggle is just beginning”, says he, “ and through this struggle we will be able to forge a coalition of democratic forces”. At last, the CP strategy: a democratic coalition. But let’s keep going.

In a series of articles the Communist Party has tried to make its ideas more concrete on the way to realize the demand of the working class’s participation in defining a political and social policy as well as one of economic investments.

Maybe Kashtan could start off by intervening on the way labour unions invest. Just like Laberge who, in Quebec, had a fit over Sunlife’s investments leaving the province, Kashtan should ask himself what happens to all the union dues that are sent to the U.S. and invested in Ford and General Motors. The CP’s broad political goal is quite simple: share power with the ruling class. A little further on, Kashtan calls this goal “radical demands for social change”. What is Kashtan actually trying to cover up with words like: “We have to lead the growing anti-monopolist movement”? As far as the CP is concerned, all problems stem from the monopolies and from the “necessity that the Canadian people decide its own future, be master in its own land”. And there we have the heart of the revisionists’ line. They are also nationalists. Kashtan isn’t afraid of showing it: “Since the multinationals’ plunder has already given rise to many conflicts and contradictions with Canadian capital, especially its non-monopolist fraction, our demands are taken up more and more by the working class, by democratic movements and bourgeois circles that haven’t yet forgotten the sense of patriotism”. We’ve often wondered who Bains of the CPC(M-L) draws his inspiration from, well now we know. Kashtan continues by saying: “To be quite frank, the reason why we do not openly support the NDP, even when it is right, is because we believe that it is more useful to criticize it. Our criticism helps them more than our support would. This may seem somewhat strange, but such is the reality of the political situation in Canada today”. All this says a lot on the “communists” of the Communist Party of Canada I So, what does their line amount to finally? It isn’t all that different from that of the Quebec nationalists whom it is quite correct to denounce and who also try to fool workers by blaming the monopolies. This line, this movement isn’t to be found only in Quebec, it is also Canadian and we could even say that it is international. In the name of the struggle for socialism, the revisionists direct the proletariat’s attention to the struggle against foreign monopolies, and to that struggle alone. This only leads to abandoning Marxism-Leninism, abandoning the struggle for State power, to repeating the same old revisionist and social-democratic errors. The trotskyists are also repeating these errors today. Such errors always consist of the same thing: turn the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle away from its central and main objective, the seizure of State power.

To conclude, we can say that basically there is no real difference between the line defended by the PQ’s “left wing” nationalists and the one defended by the revisionists of the CP and all those other people who, though they may call themselves something else, all end up defending the same line. All that these people seek is to struggle against foreign interference in Canada. They end up playing right into the bourgeoisie’s hands. When they recommend the nationalization of monopolies in today’s context, they only aim to pass a capitalist tool of exploitation from the hands of a foreign bourgeoisie to those of the Canadian bourgeoisie. There is nothing revolutionary in that; there is only nationalism and chauvinism.

I was saying that this line is not exclusive to the CP and to the “independentist” trotskyists in Quebec. Everyone here is conscious that the slogan independence and Socialism has had an impact since the day it was put forward and that is still very much alive today both at home and abroad. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the struggle that Marxist-Leninists are carrying on against the three worlds theory, a theory which is, basically, the formulation of this nationalist point of view in today’s situation. In a period of imperialist crisis, to put the struggle for national independence in the forefront is to fall into our own bourgeoisie’s hands, it is to play its game. It is, at another level, to follow what Pierre Vallieres puts forward in his recent book An impossible Quebec (a very interesting title, especially if you match it up with the title of his previous book, “Choose”. Together, they give you a summary of the Vallieres line: “Choose... An impossible Quebec”). What Vallieres is trying to do is to radicalize the PQ and the whole independence movement, urging the unions to take part in the game; a very good idea, according to the trotskyists. Fundamentally, even if they present themselves as Marxist-Leninists or not, the point of view of all these groups leads to the same result: in the name of the struggle against the superpowers or the danger of war, they end up – sometimes even explicitly saying so in black and white – supporting their own nationalist and imperialist bourgeoisie which is fighting not for national independence but against other imperialist countries for hegemony.

But the question of nationalism is not the only characteristic of these so-called socialists. As well, all of them liquidate the question of the proletarian Party and its leading and central place. Trotskyists want “transitional parties”, parties with “transitional programs” which are “supposed” to form a chain. If we examine the case of the GSTQ we see it created the RMS, which, in turn, has the task of creating the workers Party. The workers Party is for the broad masses who do not understand too much about socialism. The RMS is for those who are more advanced. It will have the role of giving some form of leadership to the new Party. And at the top you have the leading cell, the brain, the GSTQ. This is how these people liquidate the question of the proletarian Party while spewing forth contempt for the masses. Instead of putting forward the necessity of the Party, of the revolutionary struggle, of the revolutionary seizure of power and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, they prefer, they say, to deal with less dangerous subjects, less likely to create fear and hesitation among the masses, because the masses are too backwards to understand. Meanwhile, all their energy is thrown into the radicalization of working class struggles. In the final analysis, what is the difference between trotskyists, characters like Kashtan who put forward support for the NDP, “even if it must be kept secret”, and those who, for appearance’s sake, add a footnote about the question of the need for a Party in small type at the bottom of a page while on this page the focus is mainly on the support and co-ordination of working class struggles? Fundamentally, there is no difference. Like the trotskyists, they put the question of the Party on ice. They shelve the question of the communist vanguard of the proletariat building this Party, and replace it with immediate struggles, demands for reforms and the radicalization of unions and mass organizations. Another characteristic of all these socialists, trotskyists, revisionists and reformists is their liquidation of the question of the revolutionary party on any possible pretext.

What do they do instead? According to some of them, we have to build a labour party, to the CP we have to hide ourselves behind anti-monopolist and democratic coalitions or behind a mass federated party. To others, we have to create class-struggle daycare centres and unions... The list is familiar even if it’s not up to date.

Such a line is basically the same as the NDP’s which, in its full sense, means the negation of the revolution and a divided worker’s movement outside of its revolutionary party.

We will build socialism in our country by relying on the action of the masses under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party. There is no other way! Just look at the history of this country and of other countries. Learn from the victories and defeats of the proletariat since the beginning of this century in its struggle for socialism. They show this is the only way. The Communist Marxist-Leninist party is not just another party. And it certainly isn’t the CPC(M-L). It is the party of the vanguard of the working class, it is the General Staff of the conscious class struggle of the revolutionary masses. It is the leading instrument in overthrowing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, because to have socialism, bourgeois State power must be overthrown. Today, the most important and pressing task for the Canadian working class and its most conscious workers is to undertake the job of constructing the party, constructing a genuine revolutionary leadership for the Canadian working masses. The struggle for this revolutionary party must be focused on three important tasks. As mentioned early by a comrade, the struggle for the party and the struggle for the unity of Marxist-Leninists have made great steps forward during past months and the struggle to strengthen Marxist-Leninists forces has also made important progress in the last years. Just compare today’s situation with what existed in 1970. But all the conditions for the creation of the party have not yet been realized. We must carry on our work in three major fields.

The first, and I would say the most important, is the question of the communist program. Furthermore, it is no coincidence that the history of the communist movement began with the Manifesto of the communist party of Marx and Engels, which was the first program of the revolutionary proletariat in the world. The program is the fundamental guide of the revolutionary vanguard, it is the instrument of demarcation from revisionism and opportunism and what was said earlier shows us how important it is to be able, in all circumstances, to demarcate from revisionism and opportunism in order not to be the victim of opportunist serenades. The program is the instrument of the unity and cohesion of the party on all basic questions. The program is a practical guide in the immediate struggles of the proletariat and masses. It is also the instrument for the unification of the Marxist-Leninists in order to create the party; and it will be, as it has already begun to be, an instrument for the unification of the masses around aims which serve their short-term and long-term interests.

I would like to say something else about IN STRUGGLEI’s program. I said that the League claims that our program demarcates in no way from revisionism. For its part, the Red Star Collective said that this program could have been written fifteen years-ago – which is perhaps what they should have done instead of what they’ve been doing – and that it applies to any of a number of countries. But let’s look at four points in IN STRUGGLEI’s program.

First of all, the revolution necessitates the seizure of State power and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Second, the principal enemy of the revolution in Canada is the Canadian bourgeoisie. Third, the leadership in the revolutionary struggle comes from the proletarian Party. Fourth, a pre-requisite for victory of the revolution is the ever-greater unity of the proletariat. These are four elements from the Draft Program. With these four alone, we can demonstrate how many groups – like the obvious, the trotskyists and the modern revisionists of the CP, but also like the less obvious, those who claim to be Marxist-Leninist – have, in practice, abandoned these four central elements of any communist program.

The League will come and say that ours is a program which even revisionists could agree with. After what I read to you from Kashtan, the opposite is evident. If, however, Marxist-Leninists recognize that the principal enemy of the Canadian revolution is the Canadian bourgeoisie, this must have practical consequences. Maybe they should put a little less effort into searching for radioactive debris and a little more into developing the struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie which is, at the moment, actively engaged in transforming our country into a reactionary prison.

The second front we must struggle on is that of unity. The communist party is neither an anti-monopolist federation, nor a federation of unions, nor a gathering of labour bosses. We have seen that a communist party is the single organization of communists in one country. How can you recognize who is communist and who isn’t? By their agreement with the communist program, and their struggle for its application. Ultimately, unity resides in adherence to the communist program and all those who adhere to it, defend it, and apply it, are Marxist-Leninists. As for those who deviate from it, do not apply it and even attack it, they deviate from and attack Marxism-Leninism itself. The unity of communists has progressed enormously in the past year, precisely because the demarcation between Marxism-Leninism and opportunism has deepened. This may appear contradictory, but another lesson from the history of the international communist movement teaches as that communists develop precisely in their demarcation with opportunism, by unmasking opportunists and expelling them from what will constitue, once created, the party of the revolution in a given country. And when the demarcation with opportunism develops in a country, the possibility of uniting authentic communists on the basis of a Marxist-Leninist program also develops. The Draft Program that IN STRUGGLE! has published will allow the level of the struggle for unity to be raised qualitatively in the coming months.

The third area in which we must wage struggle is in rallying advanced workers. The party is not a sect of students and intellectuals which remains on the fringes of the workers movement, even if some think that it is sufficient to send lots of intellectuals into factories to transform the working class. The party is a detachment of the working class, its vanguard detachment. In order for this not to remain mere words, the creation of the party demands the rallying of the advanced elements of the working class. This process has already begun, but it must increasingly develop. We could say, “Let’s hurry and create the party just in case others create it before us”. This is not the question. Other parties have already been created; there has been the CPC(M-L), the CPC, the PTQ, the CPL. We might even get another PTQ. In the last twenty years in our country, many parses have been created. The last on the list I think is Reggie Chartrand’s [8] party of liberation. The problem is not to hurry to create the party . The problem is to fulfill the fundamental conditions that make this party the General Staff of the working class and the labouring masses in their struggle for socialism. And to establish unbreakable links between the party and the masses, the most advanced elements of the working class and labouring masses must be united together in the Party. They who will weld the unity, and the indestructability of this vanguard party, this revolutionary leadership in our country.

The socialist revolution in this country will not happen overnight. But it is a question on the agenda and one to be solved. The Canadian bourgeoisie, like other bourgeoisies around the world, is heading without a shadow of a doubt towards a more systematic repression, towards an increasingly repressive state, precisely because it needs to exploit the working class even more, and it senses the danger of the workers revolt, the danger of being thrown out of power. The Canadian bourgeoisie is following the same path as many other bourgeoisies, and we must not be fooled, it has all kinds of ways to do this. It has at its disposal violent repression, armed and direct, and it uses it: shotguns, riot sticks, and tear gas, are already in its arsenal. Today, it’s turning more and more to one technique – the corruption of the labour bosses. It’s hope is to nip the movement of revolt in the bud, lest this movement become a revolutionary movement of the Canadian masses. The bourgeoisie is using class collaboration to buy off the leaders of the unions. They tried with the Wage and Price Controls, and more recently with millions of dollars in grants to the CLC for union education. It seems that with Morris and certain others, collaboration is well under way.

The workers movement cannot accept such a situation. It must not accept repression and it must not accept the treason of the labour bosses, because they both end up in the same result: the muzzling of the labour and working-class movement and all democratic forces, as well as, the entrenchment of a regime of repression. On a world scale, the proletariat and the people are rising up against imperialism and its exploitation, its struggle for hegemony, and its present movement towards world war. In this country, as in others, only the proletarian Party will be capable of guiding the Canadian masses on the path, not of reformism and nationalism; not of the radicalization and coordination of immediate struggles; but on the path of socialist revolution which leads to the seizure of state power and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In this framework, the task of the hour is the construction of the party in the very heat of the struggle to unmask the bourgeoisie and its agents within the workers movement, to destroy its present hegemony and put the working class in power acting in solidarity with the international proletarian and popular movement. This is a task which requires all the energies of all consicous elements of the proletariat and all those who support the just cause of the Canadian proletariat and labouring masses.

Forward in our involvement in the struggle for the reconstruction of the Canadian proletarian Party!


[1] A Journal published In Quebec In the late 1950’s and early 1960s that was a focal point for many who opposed the Duplessis regime.

[2] In the Montreal region for instance, there is a movement known as “Citizens on Cycles” whose objective is to fight against pollution caused by automobiles.

[3] P. Vallieres: ex-FLQ member, today part of the PQ’s left wing and firm defender of the ecology movement.

[4] G. Godin: former director of the journal Parti-Pris which defended the “socialism and Independence” thesis. Today, he is a PQ MNA.

[5] H. Gagnon: ex-member of the CP. A revisionist and left-wing critic of the PQ.

[6] During the Conference BU members intervened and tried to hide their affiliation with BU.

[7] Regroupement des comites de travailleurs (Worker Committees Group), a revisionist group created in Quebec in 1974. Many of its members rallied to the CCL(ML).

[8] A Quebec nationalist, a boxer-turned-reactlonary nationalist.