In our address to the October 9 “Unity” conference in Montreal we said: “Comrades, it is not sectarianism to struggle against In Struggle!ís path to unity – it is our revolutionary duty.” And after identifying In Struggle! and the League as opportunist centres we said: . . the Marxist-Leninist movement needs an authentic Marxist-Leninist center to counter the two opportunist centres.”
The two roads that lie before us are not two perfectly good roads to follow in arriving at one goal. One is an opportunist road which will divert us from our goal, which will divert us from the proletarian revolution. The course that In Struggle! and the League are following cannot culminate in the formation of a proletarian party. No minor adjustments or the correction of “theoretical errors” here and there is going to change this substantially.
To their road we have presented a clear alternative, We have done this by systematically outlining the tasks that must be accomplished in the first stage of building the party, particularly the struggle for the programme; by identifying the key link, a leading centre in the form of an Iskra-type newspaper, and by explaining what the contents of such a newspaper must be and the pivotal role it plays in rallying the vanguard; and by proceeding in practice to undertake the theoretical and practical tasks necessary to lay the base for such an Iskra-type newspaper.
At the same time as we have outlined “what is to be done”, to a certain degree, by beginning to chart the course of the correct road and taking the first immediate steps in that direction, we have tried to locate what must be undone, by laying bare the past history and the present workings of the Marxist-Leninist movement. This has been necessary because demarcation from the opportunist tendencies which are in a majority in our movement can only be based on an objective analysis of the errors of the movement to this point in time. The past history of our present Marxist-Leninist movement of struggle for an authentic communist party must not be glossed over or romanticized. It has not been that glorious; it arose out of opportunist theories and practices and it continues to be opportunist in a majority.
In this article we have emphasized an exposure of In Struggle! This does not mean that In Struggle! is necessarily the most dangerous of the two de facto leading centres in the movement. We must remember that the League was produced out of the most vulgar and blatant forms of Economism and does not even have, like In Struggle!, some positive anti-opportunist aspects to its history.
But at this time we can only use Lenin’s expression, “both are worse.” Both are aiming at the same thing: the silencing of the ideological struggle in the Marxist-Leninist movement and their own unprincipled hegemony over it. We have emphasized an exposure of In Struggle! because their opportunism has been more subtle, amorphous and late-blooming, and because In Struggle! has won the ear of many sincere elements on the basis of its now-abandoned struggle against Economism.
In exposing the right-opportunism of In Struggle!, we have (here and in “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Political Leadership of In Struggle!”) picked apart one aspect after another of its political line and practice.
In our movement of those who “call themselves” Marxist-Leninists, those who are truly striving to become authentic Marxist-Leninists will proceed, on the basis of our criticisms of In Struggle!, to go from perceptual or partial knowledge (our criticisms taken one by one) to conceptual knowledge and, as a consequence, will understand that In Struggle! is not just doing the wrong things, it is the wrong thing. In Struggle! is not just failing to develop a correct strategy for revolution; it is sabotaging the development of a correct strategy for revolution. In Struggle! is not just seeking unity incorrectly in the Marxist-Leninist movement; In Struggle! is sacrificing the Marxist-Leninist movement to its hegemony-seeking and is therefore trying to destroy the Marxist-Leninist movement.
Against the opportunism of these “wrong things”, of these opportunist centres, a third centre must be built which will proceed to correctly accomplish the tasks of the first stage of building the party –including the complete exposure and defeat of the inevitable opportunism of In Struggle’s ”organization of struggle for the party”. In doing so, that centre must become the leading centre. All those who recognize this necessity must consciously and openly demarcate from the two de facto “leading” centres in our movement, must go against the tide, and identify themselves as part of a third trend. This third trend in the Marxist-Leninist movement must consist of all those who understand that In Struggle! and The Forge are not, and are not becoming, Iskra-type newspapers, of all those who reject the dummy political line of the League which cannot rally the vanguard of the proletariat, and of all those who reject the cheap unity of In Struggle!, which can only create an organization which is a trojan horse for opportunism and neo-revisionism.
On the basis of this third trend and the consolidation of a third centre, and in their struggle against the right-opportunism of In Struggle! and the League, the principal contradiction in the Marxist-Leninist movement between Marxism-Leninism and right-opportunism must be resolved. The lines of demarcation that are drawn in this struggle must be formulated in the programme of the proletarian party.
Marxist-Leninists in this country are aiming to accomplish the break with right-opportunism, the elaboration of the programme, the rallying of the vanguard of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution in a very complicated situation.
The situation in the Second World in between the two is a complicated one. Some countries in it still retain in one form or another colonialist relations with Third World countries. At the same time, all the Second World countries, controlled, threatened or bullied in varying degrees by one superpower or the other, also are inclined to oppose superpower hegemonism. (Peking Review, Nov. 1, 1974, p. 7)
Canada is a Second World country which is both imperialist and dominated by another imperialism, American imperialism. It has three nations within its state boundaries: English Canada, an oppressor nation; Quebec, an oppressed but developed nation of the Second World; and the Native nation, best described as a nation of the Third World, a colony of Canadian imperialism, and a victim of American imperialism. Geographically, we are situated between the two First World countries, the two superpowers, the United States and the USSR. In addition, these two powers are inevitably moving towards confrontation in a world war.
The next 50 to 100 years or so, beginning from now, will be a great era of radical change in the social system throughout the world, an earth-shaking era without equal in any previous historical period. Living in such an era, we must be prepared to engage in great struggle which will have many features different from those of the past. (Mao)
Only the most rigourous application of Marxism-Leninism as a science to the concrete conditions of Canada, and the most resolute struggle against revisionism and right-opportunism, will permit us to formulate a programme and a strategy to guide us through the difficulties and complexities of this era wherein we must make proletarian revolution and contribute to the defeat of the superpowers as one part of the international proletarian revolution.
ACCOMPLISH THE TASKS OF THE FIRST STAGE OF THE PARTY!
TAKE UP MARXISM-LENINISM! STRUGGLE FOR THE PARTY PROGRAMME! STRUGGLE FOR AN ISKRA-TYPE NEWSPAPER!
GO AGAINST THE TIDE!
MASTER MARXISM-LENINISM! BREAK WITH RIGHT-OPPORTUNISM!