First Published: The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 7, March 31, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In Struggle’s latest exploit consists of a big publicity campaign to spread its chauvinist line on the Quebec national question. and to markit its new product: a revisionist party.
The group’s secretary-general, Charles Gagnon, is travelling across the country on a speaking tour on the Quebec question. It’s not the only performer in the show What he’s got going is a veritable travelling circus which puts on “debates” replete with the participation of a series of spokesmen from bourgeois parties like the Liberals, the Parti Quebecois, etc. Since it can’t gain any recognition among the masses, IS is bending over backwards to get its share of the capitalists’ spotlight, trying to win credibility among bourgeois parties and he added on to the list of parties and organizations of all stripes that the bourgeois media gives air time to.
This is the “new” strategy for building its party – one that fits In Struggle’s revisionist line like a glove!
What do these performances consist of? A concert of bourgeois speeches on the national question, starring, (you guessed it) IS!
What IS is spreading far and wide is pure chauvinism, in “revolutionary” wrapping. Its newspaper already endorsed assimilation for the Quebec nation. In issue No. 89 it asserted that if there were a “law guaranteeing the equality of Languages” and nations “then, if the movement of history came to mean the assimilation of one or the other of the nations or national minorities, that would not correspond in the slightest to national oppression...”
There’s nothing surprising about a position like this. The very heart of IS’s line on the Quebec national question is to openly deny a fundamental principle of Marxism-Leninism: that oppressed peoples and nations are important reserves for the revolution. In other words, that oppressed nationalities are great revolutionary forces which the proletariat must rally to its side in its struggle for socialism. The Quebec people can and must play an important role in the socialist revolution in Canada. In its fight against national oppression the Quebec nation is confronting the same enemy as the proletariat: the Canadian bourgeoise.
IS denies the revolutionary potential of the fight against national oppression. It liquidates this fight and thus sabotages the socialist revolution by depriving it of one of its essential forces.
It also prevents the working class from fighting narrow nationalism and chauvinism. At it meeting organized on the national question by the Quebec Teachers’ Central (CEQ) in Quebec City on March 18, Gagnon said “unions at the present time in Canada must limit themselves to defending the immediate interests of workers.” Keep politics out of unions. That was the slogan IS put forward for the occasion (to please the bureaucrats present, no doubt), a slogan aimed at encouraging bourgeois politics, like nationalism and chauvinism, in unions.
But IS isn’t only addressing itself to union bureaucrats and bourgeois parties. IS also decided to go see what the Trotskyists were up to, to see if there was some way of bolstering IS ranks.
Recently IS went to a meeting of the Regroupement des Militants Syndicaux (Group of Union Activists), a group controlled by a Trotskyist sect, the GSTQ (Socialist Group of Quebec Workers).They no doubt needed a change of scenery from their “Anti-Bill C-73 Committee” meetings which no one ever comes to. The GSTQ was discussing the creation of a so-called “workers’ party.” IS showed up with a batch of amendments to the Trotskyist proposals which amounted to things like replacing “workers’party” with “revolutionary workers’ party.” The IS revisionists are now trying to spruce up the Trotskyists’ image.
As we can see, any old scum is choice pickings for IS. This gives us a pretty good idea of what their “party” will be like.