Our readers have been able to learn about certain aspects of IN STRUGGLE!’s work on the international scene through the paper. The most known of our activities arc the support given to the revolutionary struggle of the Salvadoran people and the call for an international conference on the unity of Marxist Leninists.
However, there is a lot of other work that we have been doing that is less well known and yet is very essential. We have been trying to deepen our knowledge of the reality of the international communist movement and to exchange our positions with the different organizations that compose it.
Compared to the situation four years ago, our understanding and our links are much more developed today. We currently have links at different levels with 130 organizations in 60 different countries, both in the imperialist countries and in the underdeveloped countries such as in Latin America where we have contacts with at least 20 different organizations.
We first turned to the organizations that had already demarcated from trends such as social democracy, Trotskyism, and Soviet revisionism, and which were beginning to question the revisionism of the current leaders in China.
However, from the start, we had an attitude of openers, a non-sectarian attitude in our inquiry. We refused the “tradition” which limited contacts to a single organization in each country or to the organizations and parties which were part of the same diplomatic circle of organizations “recognized” either by the Party of Labour of Albania or by the Communist Party of China. On the contrary, we were always concerned with knowing about all the organizations involved in the revolutionary struggle of their people which were open to debates on the questions of unity and a programme.
Different means were used to develop our knowledge and our links with these organizations. We began to exchange literature, which we still do today, with at least a hundred organizations around the world.
We also put much energy into going to visit foreign comrades in their country or elsewhere. Other than the trips by journalists to Iran and El Salvador, we also were able to meet with the representatives from 60 organizations from 35 countries over the past four years. With at least half of them we have been able to organize more than one meeting so as to have a deeper discussion of our views on the international situation and on the revolutionary strategy in our countries.
As well, our Organization took specific initiatives within the international movement. The journal International Forum was created to promote the circulation of the different points of view among the various organizations and the debate on these positions. We sent various kinds of letters to our contacts to present our general positions on the unity of the movement (like the Appeal for the political and organizational unity of the international communist movement), to propose specific methods to achieve it (like the letter calling for an international conference to debate the question of unity) or to propose unified support to a revolutionary struggle like the struggle in El Salvador.
How were these activities received by the Marxist-Leninist organizations? There were three types of reactions: first, there were a minority of organizations, around a dozen, which refused outright to meet with us. There was another minority which agreed with our positions on unity and which are working to spread these positions. Some of these organizations even agreed to work at organizing the international conference. Finally, the majority of organizations while maintaining some basic disagreements with, some of our positions, were open to debate and ready to meet and discuss with us.
These exchanges made our analysis of the world situation and the political forces which exist considerably richer. They also provided us with much varied information which greatly improved the content of our press. For many organizations, our press has become a point of reference for information on the hottest revolutionary struggles in the world and for the analyses which are presented.
We can also say that our Organization’s positions are now relatively known in the international communist and revolutionary movement. Our press is known, read, and taken seriously. This can be explained by the ideological and political positions which we present and the way we tackle the various problems without relying on stereotyped formulas. As well, our practice in the struggles in Canada and in international support to the revolutionary struggles of the peoples is also known and taken into consideration.
On the basis of our contacts and exchanges, our Organization has developed a certain understanding of the international movement. Our inquiry confirmed several of the facts presented in the Appeal for Unity which we put out after our Third Congress. The international movement is indeed weak, divided and in several cases cut off from the mass revolutionary movement. The links which the organizations have amongst themselves are often superficial and diplomatic. However, some groups are starting to put this into question, are daring to take a stand on questions such as unity and are open to debates.
We also learned many things through our inquiry. We discovered that the disagreements which exist between the organizations struggling against the three worlds theory and Chinese revisionism have blown up and are even the main aspect in their relations. Even if they agreed to denounce the three worlds theory, these forces quickly made the question of Mao Zedong a line of demarcation. On the other hand, their demarcation with revisionism in their own countries has not been very developed and these forces claim to resolve their problems by adopting positions of principle.
Our inquiry also led us to discover many Marxist-Leninist organizations throughout the world which are willing to debate and develop their ties with other organizations, but which, until now, were isolated from the traditional diplomatic circle of the international movement. This is the case for organizations like the Peykar in Iran, Ech Choola in Tunisia and the Popular Action Movement in Nicaragua.
At the same time, we were able to remark on the importance of the revolutionary forces in current struggles which do not have a narrow definition of the international movement (that is a definition based on the classic demarcations which have historically developed), but which base themselves on Marxism, recognize the leading role of the working class in the struggle for socialism and are developing a revolutionary orientation and means in the struggle of their people. This is notably the case of national liberation organizations like the Black Consciousness Movement in Azania, the Popular Forces of Liberation in El Salvador and the Irish Republican Socialist Party in Ireland.
Finally, we discovered that the crisis shaking up the international communist movement is deeper that we suspected. This crisis is developing at full speed today so that we are not dealing with a static situation, but rather a situation which is constantly evolving. Organizations continue to develop splits, and even in quite informal groupings, the question of the defence or rejection of Mao Zedong is still causing differences to exist. These are particularly evident when we examine current events like those in Iran, El Salvador or Poland where forces who are in agreement on the question of Mao adopt opposed positions.
Our inquiry has confirmed that the basic position found in the Appeal for Unity is still correct. Unity must be built on the basis of a communist programme. Many organizations have already shown their willingness to contribute to this struggle. Our Organization intends to continue putting energy into this struggle and to continue playing the role it has begun to play.
On the other hand, the reality of the international communist and revolutionary movement is more complex than we had thought at the beginning and there are many obstacles to overcome before we will be able to achieve greater unity, We have to continue deepening our knowledge of this reality, in the same way that, in the light of these new elements, we have to re-evaluate the methods and tactics which, in this context, are likely to advance the struggle for unity.
We will come back to this point in the third article.