First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 18, September 30, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In Struggle is no longer part of the Marxist-Leninist movement.
IS’s leadership has abandoned the basic principles of Marxism-Leninist-Mao Tsetung Thought one after another and dragged the group into the swamp of opportunism and revisionism. In Struggle has engaged in a practice of systematic sabotage which is leading it deeper and deeper down the road of counter-revolution.
Their recent attacks against socialist China and their splittist attitude towards the international communist movement are only the most recent illustrations of In Struggle’s degeneration. IS’s entire line is characterized by opportunism, revisionism and capitulation to modern revisionism led by Soviet social-imperialism.
IS’s leadership has rejected the principles of Marxism-Leninism on all basic questions.
IS has always conciliated with revisionism and Soviet social-imperialism. Articles in their newspaper hid the social-fascist character of the USSR and spread doubt as to whether capitalism had been fully restored in the USSR. IS even went as far as to propose tactical alliances with the social-imperialists (the situation in Palestine and IS’s support of the revisionist mayor of Nazareth, The Forge, Vol. 2. no. 13-14).
The IS leadership’s recent revisionist rejection of the strategic concept of the division of the world into three, developed by Chairman Mao Tsetung, is simply the continuation of their conciliation with revisionism.
IS refuses to identify the two superpowers as the main enemies of the world’s peoples and to make every effort to isolate these two imperialist giants. They don’t recognize the USSR, the rising superpower, as the most dangerous, thus denying Lenin’s theory of the uneven development of capitalism. They also deny that a new world war between the two superpowers is now inevitable.
IS denies the great role of the peoples and countries of the third world as the principal force in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and particularly the hegemonism of the two superpowers. IS denies the dual role of the countries of the second world as both oppressors and countries subject to the domination of the superpowers.
In short they sabotage the world united front aimed at the main enemy, the two superpowers, and leave the people disarmed in face of the growing danger of war.
In Struggle’s leadership has thrown proletarian internationalism on the scrapheap. The touchstone on this question is the determined defence of the unity of the international communist movement and the socialist countries. IS now attacks socialist China and the Communist Party of China. IS’s leadership refuses to denounce the “gang of four” or to express its support for Comrade Hua Kuo-feng. Chairman of the CPC. IS didn’t even send a message to mark the 11th Congress of the CPC.
By so doing IS joins the ranks of the bourgeoisie, the opportunists and counter-revolutionaries around the world who are profiting from the death of Mao Tsetung to attack Chins. IS’s leaders, just like the revisionists of the “C”PC and the Bains gang, the “CPCML”, spread lies, slanders and doubts about China to attempt to discourage the proletariat.
IS also attacks other Marxist-Leninist parties like the PC(ML)F in France and spreads splittism by playing up differences between certain communist parties. (The Forge, Vol. 2, no. 16)
IS adopts a 100% revisionist point of view on the international situation; It throws proletarian internationalism in the trash can, splits the world communist movement and compromises with Soviet social-imperialism.
IS has always held an opportunist line on the principal contradiction in Canada. It identifies two main enemies – the Canadian bourgeoisie and US imperialism. They adopt the same line revisionists in Canada have always taken by confusing the character and the principal enemy of the revolution and by refusing to take class struggle as the key link.
They do not identify the Canadian bourgeoisie as the working class’s main enemy, thus weakening our main blow. They do not see that the whole Canadian people can be mobilized against US imperialist intervention in our country. And IS, as usual, totally ignores the danger of Soviet social-imperialism to Canada, placing it on a par with secondary imperialist powers like Sweden or Austria.
To arrive at this revisionist hodgepodge IS’s leadership negated fundamental Marxist-Leninist principles: the analysis of the role of the principal contradiction as developed by Mao Tsetung and the nature of the state and of imperialism developed by Marx and Lenin. (October, Vol. 1, no 1)
For anyone who doubts that IS’s “two enemies” line is revisionist, look at what the “C”PC says in its programme: “Thus workers’ struggles...are actually struggles against the fierce domination of Canadian monopoly and US imperialism.”
Nor it does recognize the need to fight to preserve the independence of Canada in the face of the two superpowers. It ignores the danger from Soviet social-imperialism completely. Recently IS went as far as to declare it would be social-chauvinist to defend our country against superpower aggression. This Trotskyist line shows how far IS’s leadership has proceeded in their abandonment of Marxism-Leninism.
And as for the Quebec national question, IS’s leadership simply liquidates it completely. Just as the revisionists have always done, IS capitulates to great-nation chauvinism.
They weaken our forces by refusing to consider the Quebecois nation as a reserve of the Canadian revolution.
On all strategic questions IS succumbs to revisionism. It liquidates the struggle for the world revolution, casting aside the struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie and the two superpowers. At the same time, it capitulates before great-nation chauvinism.
In workers struggles it does absolutely nothing. Even the shooting of our class brothers at Robin Hood didn’t succeed in bringing IS’s leadership up out of their armchairs.
In the unions when IS decides to do something, it’s only to support the reformists, to cuddle up to the bureaucrats, the Trotskyists and the revisionists and to display economism that would make even the defunct RCT jealous!
Instead of struggling against the bourgeois line in the unions, fighting class against class against the crisis and doing communist education among the workers, IS prefers to put forward as most important the “Canadianization” and “democratization” of the unions, continually repeating everywhere that there are “honest reformist bureaucrats” and opposing our slogan, “struggle for class struggle unions”.
Like all revisionists, the leadership of IS tries to justify this by completely distorting Marxist-Leninist theory. IS falsified Stalin’s teaching on the stages of party building, claiming that the first stage is not the time to get involved in struggles and to combat reformist union bureaucrats. IS thus denies the basic principle that the party is built in the heat of class struggle.
Following the same logic, it has reached the point of abandoning communist principles of organization – particularly the necessity of basing our work on factory cells – only to take up social-democratic methods (territorial cells, and all sorts of committees, etc).
Instead of educating workers about the crisis and its causes, about the decadence and rot of capitalism and about the necessity for socialist revolution, IS prefers to blame everything on Trudeau’s wage controls. The leadership of IS has been talking about nothing else for months. As it stands now, according to IS unemployment, factory shutdowns and work accidents are all due to wage controls. This is the lowest type of reformism – as if getting rid of the wage controls will solve everything. “Set up committees to fight Bill C-73” – this is what the practical direction given by IS to its members and sympathizers boils down to. How, Why? With whom? On what basis? are all a mystery. All we know is that these committees are open to revisionists and that they may fight against anything and everything.
And what is IS doing in community groups? It is siding with the reformists and counter-revolutionaries to fight against the League, against communists, and is actively sabotaging the struggle for democratic rights. At SOS Daycare, in ADDS (a Quebec welfare rights association) and in food coops they are doing the same counter-revolutionary work they do everywhere else. (The Forge, Vol. 2. no 6)
Instead of combating anti-communism, IS prefers to join up with Jacques Benoit and company to denounce communists from the League and accuse them of wanting to “control everything”, of practising “ideological terrorism”, of using “police methods” and other such bourgeois hogwash. (The Forge, Vol. 2. no 12)
IS has gone as far as to defend counter-revolutionaries against communists. It has accused the League of “molesting Trotskyists”, of not letting revisionists have their say, of not considering the “Bolshevik Union” clique Marxist-Leninist, etc.
What’s more, IS has engaged in common practice with the C“C”P revisionists, as we’ve seen in the Bill C-24 committee in Halifax. (The Forge, Vol. 2, no. 15)
We can sum up IS’s practice today very easily: attacking communists (its main activity), making alliances with opportunists and counter-revolutionaries, and sabotaging workers’ and the people’s struggles. All of it is done behind a mask of Marxism-Leninism, which has been grotesquely deformed by the IS leadership.
As for the question of unity among Marxist-Leninists, IS has thrown aside all principles.
The IS leadership launched a big campaign against the League’s so called “sectarianism and dogmatism.” It tried to include all kinds of opportunists as part of the Marxist-Leninist movement, including the “family of five” and counter-revolutionaries like Bolshevik Union by inviting them to what it called its “conferences on the unity of Marxist-Leninists”. It organized these “conferences” with the sole aim of avoiding two line struggle with the League and of extending its own influence.
IS’s leadership never showed the least desire for unity with the league, nor did it display the least bit of concern for criticism and self-criticism or for debating on the basis of principles. But it did do everything it could to try to unite communists with opportunists. Guided solely by its own careerism and small-group mentality, the leadership of IS ended up openly refuting principles firmly defended by Lenin on the question of unity among communists. (See our pamphlet For The Unity of Marxist-Leninists)
IS no longer meets the three criteria which permit as to determine whether or not a group is Marxist-Leninist: IS does not defend Marxist-Leninist principles. On the contrary, it deforms and revises them. IS does not fight opportunism; on the contrary, it spreads opportunism. IS does not have a revolutionary practice; on the contrary, it works hand in hand with the bourgeoisie and its agents.
IS is no longer a Marxist-Leninist group.
IS is an opportunist group.
IS’s leadership has adopted revisionist positions on all questions: its line is therefore revisionist.
By spreading its revisionist thesis IS is objectively strengthening the traitors of the “C”PC.
On the international level, IS betrays the world proletariat and the peoples and oppressed nations by conciliating with social-imperialism, the chieftain of modern revisionism.
Thus In Struggle has become a support for modern revisionism.
IS was once a part of the Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada and made some contributions to the development of the revolutionary movement, despite the fact that the group was seriously marked by right opportunism. In the initial period IS put forward the struggle for the creation of the party and upheld the importance of agitation and propaganda to win workers to communism. At a time when opportunism and economism were rampant these were positive contributions.
The League has always waged a firm struggle to expose IS’s opportunist errors and to try to achieve unity with IS on the basis of a correct Marxist-Leninist line.
But the leaders of IS refused to listen to our criticisms, persisted in their errors and raised opportunism to the level of the general line of the group.
In the same way that Khrushchev acted towards the Chinese comrades, the leadership of IS has called for a struggle against the League’s supposed “dogmatism and sectarianism” in order to hide their own abandonment of principles.
It is now clear that IS’s second congress consolidated the opportunist line on all the major questions and was used by the revisionist leaders to try to eliminate all opposition.
The visible degeneration of IS since this event, culminating in their vicious attacks against socialist China, is ample proof of the domination of the bourgeois line within the group.
There is now no question of unity with the revisionist leaders of IS. The contradiction between us has changed in nature. Our present task is to destroy IS, ideologically, politically, and organizationally.
But of course there remain many genuine Marxist-Leninists and honest elements among the members and sympathizers of IS who have been misled by the opportunist leadership.
Towards them our attitude is different.
Comrades from IS who wish to remain faithful to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought:
– we call on you to denounce and abandon the opportunist clique which is leading you into revisionism and counter revolution. Positions taken by IS’s leadership are now similar on several questions to those of the “CPCML”. The danger that IS leadership will move closer to this group and drag you along with it is a real one.
– to seriously consider the criticism we advance here and have developed in many other articles.
– consider why IS has refused to correct such a bankrupt line. Consider why IS’s leadership can give you no practical guidance for your work among the proletariat; why your criticisms are not accepted and have never produced results; why democratic centralism does not function and why the work goes in circles, and why there is no serious study of Marxist-Leninist theory.
These are not technical or isolated questions. They are simply the reflection of the revisionist line of IS’s leadership.
For those who sincerely wish to struggle for revolution in Canada it is time to consider your course of action. Either abandon the revisionist clique that to leading you or be dragged by it into sabotage and counter-revolution.
Sure, struggle is the harder choice. But it is the correct one. If you do not want to sabotage the revolutionary struggle of the Canadian working class, if you don’t wish to become an isolated clique like the “CPCML”, break with the revisionist leadership, and join the genuine Marxist-Leninists of the League in the struggle for the party.