Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

“Not with Whom to Go, But Where to Go”

Section 5: Revolutionary Theory, the Party Programme and Demarcation

The Principal Role of Revolutionary Theory

Both the League and In Struggle! have succeeded in liquidating the question of elaborating the party programme as one of the direct and immediate tasks in the Marxist-Leninist movement as a whole. The League has assigned itself this task for some vague future and meanwhile operates in the Marxist-Leninist movement and in the working class movement on the basis of its “Statement of Political Agreement . . .” as a finished product.

In Struggle!, too, assigns the elaboration of the party programme to some point in the future to be handled by its “organization of struggle” rather than by the present movement. Meanwhile our task is to struggle over something very much comparable to the League’s statement of political line.

In both cases, the elaboration of the programme ends up being accomplished secretly rather than in the form of polemics open to public criticism.

The Bolshevik Union takes a position directly opposed to this.[1] In doing so we consider that we are going against the tide and represent a distinctly different trend in the movement.

We consider that the resolution of the principal contradiction in the movement between Marxism-Leninism and opportunism must be the basis for the foundation of the party.[2] The sign and result of the resolution of this contradiction must be the programme for revolution in Canada, the party programme. A higher level of organizational unity in the movement, as a principle,[3] must correspond to this qualitative leap in the theoretical and political development of the movement.

In Struggle! and the League, on the other hand, base their theory and practice of the unity of Marxist-Leninists on a tactics-as-process model and consider that with each political advance there must be a corresponding organizational advance, and that the organizational advance leads to the next political advance. Not surprisingly, as such is the nature of organizational opportunism, they both reach (the League presently. In Struggle! in its future organization) the organizational level that corresponds to the party before they have reached the political and theoretical level (the party programme) that corresponds to the party.

What is the critical difference?

We consider that “without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.” We consider that revolutionary theory in Canada for a revolutionary movement in Canada is quite simply the theory of the Canadian revolution, the programme for revolution, not a series of abstractions taken as a dogma.

As Lenin said:

There can be no strong socialist party in the absence of a revolutionary theory uniting all the socialists, from which they draw all their convictions and which they apply in their modes of struggle and methods of activity.... We do not by any means look upon the theory of Marx as something final and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it only laid the cornerstones of the science which socialism must advance in all directions, if they do not want to lag behind events. We think that the independent elaboration of Marx’s theory is especially necessary for Russian socialists since this theory provides ONLY THE GENERAL GUIDING PRINCIPALS WHICH IN DETAIL must be applied in England in a manner different from that applied in France, in France in a manner different from that applied in Germany and in Germany in a manner different from that applied in Russia. (“Our Programme”, LCW 4:211-12)

(Let us note, in respect to the relationship between the theory and the programme, that in What Is To Be Done Lenin introduces his famous dictum “Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement” directly after a polemic against those who spoke against the need for a programme. (Peking ed., p. 28)

We consider that revolutionary theory in the sense of a programme for revolution, the party programme, is the necessary condition for (and our principal task in) the broadening of the revolutionary movement in Canada. This broadening of the revolutionary movement is the same thing as accomplishment of the fusion of Marxism-Leninism with the working class movement, i.e., the rallying of the vanguard.

Thus, unlike In Struggle! and the League, we do not see an “organic” relationship between the level of organization (note: we say level not degree) in the movement and the level of theory, such that they are two separate equal things, two components of one object we are trying to construct (the party) and we build one for a while, then concentrate on the other, and then return to the first like the successive layers of icing and cake in a layer cake. (And it happens that both propose that organization is the bottom layer and the programme is the icing....)

Before we have the programme for revolution, the ideological struggle and the elaboration of revolutionary theory are principal. The two tasks Are not equal.

Let us examine the question in terms of two propositions:

Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.
Without a greater level of organization there can be no revolutionary movement.

The second proposition is true only insofar as it does not impede the first, only insofar as it is greater organization primarily for the first, and only secondarily as a preparation for the tasks of the second phase in the development of the party.

Organization must serve the principal task of developing the theory of revolution in Canada and rallying the vanguard around it. It must not be accomplished mainly in order to serve the tasks of the second stage of development of the party, i.e., we must not imagine – and this is the tendency – that by adopting the organizational forms appropriate to the mature party we are necessarily accomplishing the tasks of the first stage. Our level of organizational unity is derived from, serves and is subordinate to our level of political unity and our task of building our unity and rallying the proletariat on this level. Instead, in our movement, we have political unity serving and being subordinated to our organizational unity.

Could we be accused of wanting to hold up the development of the movement? No doubt we will be. Lenin said of the Economists:

... the views of the so-called “Economist” trend . .. – an effort to keep the movement at its lower level, to push into the background the task of forming a revolutionary party that heads the struggle of the entire people.... that narrow practicalism, detached from the theoretical clarification of the movement as a whole, threatens to divert the movement to a false path. (“Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra”, LCW 4:352)

What is happening in our movement with the kind of organizational opportunism (which takes the form of a reversal of the kind Lenin knew) of which we have written? It is such that the need for a higher level is recognized but is conceived primarily as a higher organizational form to carry out the “narrow practicalism” of Economism. They do not see that what is principal and a precondition for higher organizational form is the “theoretical clarification of the movement as a whole”. And, indeed, their view “threatens to divert the movement to a false path.”

We consider that there are two levels of organization.

1) The organizational level of a movement such as ours before it can produce the party. Here there exist various circles. These circles will tend to be bigger or smaller and more or less generalized or specialised in their functions. They will organize internally depending on their needs. If they are large enough and diverse enough they may have a level of discipline internally which reproduces some or all of the characteristics of democratic centralism within a mature party. But this internal organization is based on the level and nature of their political development, not on the application of democratic centralism because this is “more communist”. Nor is their political development measured by their organizational development towards democratic centralism, but rather by their level of theoretical development.

2) The level of organization that corresponds to the party. This level of organization is the next and final step for the movement and it is based, not on some organic organizational growth from the lower forms of organization, but on the basis of a qualitative leap in the political development of the movement: the theory of the Canadian revolution as scientifically formulated in the party programme.

Consider what Lenin had to say about organization and unity.

In its struggle for power the proletariat has no other weapon but organisation. Disunited by the rule of anarchic competition in the bourgeois world, ground down by forced labour for capital, constantly thrust back to the “lower depths” of utter destitution, savagery, and degeneration, the proletariat can, and inevitably will, become an invincible force only through its IDEOLOGICAL UNIFICATION ON THE PRINCIPLES OF MARXISM BEING REINFORCED BY THE MATERIAL UNITY OF ORGANISATION, which welds millions of toilers into an army of the working class. (“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, LCW 7:413)

In the “Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra”, Lenin makes it clear that “this ideological unity must be consolidated by a party programme.”

What we must understand here is that the first stage of the development of the party is not principally “the struggle for power.” It is, rather, the preparation of the theoretical basis (the programme for revolution) and material basis (the rallying of the proletariat) for mobilizing the masses in this struggle for power. At this stage, before the organization of the proletariat (in the sense of the party) is possible, since the necessary ideological and political unification has not been accomplished, the only weapon of the proletariat is the ideological struggle for revolutionary theory. At this stage organization serves this task and we must not confuse it with the organization necessary to the struggle for power itself in the second stage of the development of the party. In Section 6 we will show that this was, in fact, the organizational assumption of the newspaper Iskra and the Iskra organization; that it was first and foremost an organization serving as a propaganda network at the service of the ideological struggle and the rallying of the proletariat and that it did not strive to duplicate the organizational characteristics of a party. We will also draw out the practical implications of this for our movement.

The Party Programme

Our movement is going through a period of theoretical confusion and organizational diversity. In very similar circumstances in Russia – a period of ideological struggle and confusion, a period when the movement was growing dissatisfied with dispersed amateurish activity and recognized the need for unity in a party – not once did Lenin call for unity of Russian Social-Democrats around anything less than the party programme, the programme for revolution. According to him, in the ideological struggle:

... If the polemic is not to be fruitless, if it is not to degenerate into personal rivalry, if it is not to lead to a confusion of views, to a confounding of enemies and friends, IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT THE QUESTION OF THE PROGRAM BE INTRODUCED INTO THE POLEMIC. ONLY the introduction of the program question into the polemic, only a definite statement by the two polemicising parties on their programmatic views, can provide an answer to all these questions, questions that insistently demand an answer. (“A Draft Programme of Our Party,” LCW 4:231)

And, in a quote which In Struggle! is fond of using in its beginning segment but from which they always eliminate the rest:

To establish and consolidate the Party MEANS to establish and consolidate unity among all Russian Social Democrats, and, for the reasons indicated above, such unity cannot be decreed, it cannot be brought about by a decision, say, of a meeting of representatives; it must be WORKED FOR. In the first place, it is necessary to work for SOLID IDEOLOGICAL UNITY which should eliminate discordance and confusion that – LET US BE FRANK! – reign among Russian Social-Democrats at the present time. THIS IDEOLOGICAL UNITY MUST BE CONSOLIDATED BY A PARTY PROGRAMME. (“Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra”, LCW 4:354)

Lenin spoke against those who considered that it was premature or that it would be divisive:

The objection may be raised, further, THAT THE PRESENT MOMENT IS INOPPORTUNE FOR THE ELABORATION OF A PROGRAMME BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION THAT GIVE RISE TO POLEMICS among the Social-Democrats themselves. I believe the contrary to be true – THIS IS ANOTHER ARGUMENT IN FA VOUR OF THE NECESSITY FOR A PROGRAMME. On the one hand, since the polemic has begun, IT IS TO BE HOPED that in the discussion of the draft programme ALL VIEWS AND ALL SHADES OF VIEWS will be afforded expression, THAT THE DISCUSSION WILL BE COMPREHENSIVE. (“A Draft Programme of Our Party,” LCW 4:230)

Indeed, we regard one of the drawbacks of the present-day movement to be the absence of open polemics between avowedly differing views, the effort to conceal differences on fundamental questions. (“Draft Declaration of Iskra and Zarya”, LCW 4:328)

He spoke against those who wanted to unite before accomplishing this task:

What plan of activity must we adopt to revive the Party on the firmest possible basis? Some comrades (even some groups and organizations) are of the opinion that in order to achieve this we must resume the practice of electing the central Party body and instruct it to resume the publication of the Party organ. We consider such a plan to be a false one or, at all events, a hazardous one. To establish and consolidate the Party means to establish and consolidate unity among all Russian Social-Democrats; such unity cannot be decreed, it cannot be brought about by a decision, say, of a meeting of representatives; it must be worked for. (“Draft Declaration of Iskra and Zarya”, LCW 4:323)

... Did not Iskra in its very first editorial declare itself against organizational unity prior to the demarcation of ideological boundaries ... without a common ideological basis[4] there can be no question of unity. (“The ’Unity’ Conference”, LCW 5:227)

and he related this struggle of “all views and all shades of views” to the concrete tasks of rallying the vanguard (another reason why we must not postpone this task):

It goes without saying that questions of general theory are INSEPARABLY connected with the need to supply information about the history and the present state of the working-class movement in the West. Furthermore, we propose systematically to discuss ALL POLITICAL QUESTIONS – the Social Democratic Labour Party (at that point really a movement – BU) must respond to ALL QUESTIONS that arise in all spheres of our daily life, TO ALL QUESTIONS OF HOME AND FOREIGN POLITICS, and WE MUST SEE TO IT THAT EVERY SOCIAL DEMOCRAT AND EVERY CLASS-CONSCIOUS WORKER HAS DEFINITE VIEWS ON ALL IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. Unless this condition is fulfilled, it will be impossible to carry on wide and systematic propaganda and agitation. The discussion of questions of theory and policy will be connected with the drafting of a Party programme.... (“Draft Declaration of Iskra and Zarya”, LCW 4:324)

The Fetish of Unity and In Struggle!

Why is it “absolutely essential that the question of the programme be introduced into the polemic”? And why will “only the introduction of the programme question” solve our problems? Because only this approach centralizes not “unity” itself, but what we unite around.

In Struggle! writes in Proletarian Unity no. 1, “As soon as we pose the question of the party we pose the question of unity.” (p. 18) How did such a sentence, which makes a fetish of unity, come to sound normal? When did the question of the party become one thing and the question of “unity” another thing? ”Unity” can never be abstracted from what we unite around and so we must never speak of “unity” in the abstract, but always of what we unite around. We are treated by In Struggle! as if we were a bunch of children who have trouble keeping in our heads what we are doing.

The most advanced workers will see through this. They will understand why unity is necessary and not allow it to be abstracted from this “why”, and that is to say, the revolution. And not the revolution in abstract (that the petty-bourgeoisie sees shining on the horizon like a heaven or a Utopia) but the strategy for the Canadian revolution. In making a fetish of “unity”, In Struggle! has abandoned the principal task of Marxist-Leninists: the struggle for the party. The struggle for “unity” has become the principal task for In Struggle![5] and once this has been accomplished the organization will create the party as the next task.

We say on the other hand that the key to accomplishing the principal task is the drawing of lines of demarcation in the party programme, and this, of course, cannot be separated from the party itself.

Does this mean we recognize no validity to the concept of an “organization” before we have the mature party? No, but we consider that such an organization would merely be the party in its early stage of formation and it is distinguished from the mature party by the fact that it has not fully rallied the vanguard and taken leadership in mass struggles. But it does put forward the strategy for revolution as derived from the party programme because it needs this in order to accomplish the other tasks and become the mature party. We affirm, against In Struggle!, that the principal task is to struggle for the party by struggling for the party programme and rallying the vanguard of the proletariat to us on the basis of this struggle and its product, not to struggle for the struggle for the party, i.e., struggle for the unity so that we may “unitedly” begin to struggle for the party. We are already struggling for the party. This is the fundamental definition of the Marxist-Leninist movement, “a movement of struggle for an authentic communist party.”

Again, in terms of what we must unite around, why did Lenin, in contrast to In Struggle!, try to push the polemic to its limits? Because this was necessary for a revolutionary unity. Because he saw that we can only settle our disputes around the objective conditions of the world, and if our unity is not a qualitative leap in our understanding of the objective conditions of the world such that we can proceed to the revolutionary practice of changing the world (which necessitates a programme for revolution), if our unity is around something less than this, it will be a unity realized only in the subjective sphere. Magic formulas, mutual esteem, the “spirit of unity”, innate Marxism-Leninism, recognition of a common enemy and majority vote over certain components of a revolutionary strategy abstracted from a programmatic context – all these are not enough to demand the unity of all Marxist-Leninists in one organization as a principle. None of these amounts to a revolutionary unity.

There is, of course, a certain amount of confusion generated by In Struggle! by the fact that it speaks of a “programme” for its “organization of struggle for the party” and in their writing about this they speak of demarcation and general discussion throughout the movement in a language that often duplicates Lenin’s on the party programme. Let us be clear about this. Lenin said:

Before we can unite, and in order that we may unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of demarcation. OTHERWISE, our unity will be PURELY FICTITIOUS, it will conceal the prevailing confusion and HINDER ITS RADICAL ELIMINATION. (“Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra”, LCW 4:354)

It is a matter of historical record that for Lenin the product of drawing lines of demarcation had to be the party programme. We know that Lenin wanted to press the polemic to its limits because he wanted a revolutionary unity – a unity which would minimize the chances of major splits deriving from what appear to the careless to only be minor differences at an earlier point. Thus:

... what at first sight appears to be an “unimportant” mistake MAY LEAD TO MOST DEPLORABLE CONSEQUENCES, and only shortsighted people can consider factional disputes and a STRICT DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN SHADES inopportune or superfluous. (What Is To Be Done, Peking, p. 28)

In Struggle!’s project for an intermediate programme for its intermediate organization runs directly counter to the tasks of ideological struggle that are before us. Either we struggle for the party programme or “otherwise, our unity will be PURELY FICTITIOUS”. Rather than the clarification of ideological confusion. In Struggle!’s plan can only – in fact seems specifically constructed to – “conceal the prevailing confusion” and its only effect will be to “hinder its radical elimination.”

The Burning Questions of Our Movement

In this article we will not go into the technical aspects of what a programme is and what our programme should contain. We will give here a few brief definitions which highlight the purpose of a programme and we have included an appendix with references to Lenin’s writings on the programme. At this point in our movement a discussion of what the burning questions are and in what areas we must demarcate is sufficient, leaving for later the question of the scientific formulation of the demarcations in a concise party program.

A programme is a brief, clear and precise statement of all the things a party is striving and fighting for.... a clear and precise programme for all the people to know and see, and for the party to consist only of people who really want to fight for the emancipation of all the working people from the yoke of the bourgeoisie, and who properly understand who must unite for this fight and how the fight must be conducted (“To the Rural Poor,” LCW 6:398)

At the present time the urgent question of our movement is no longer that of developing the former scattered “amateur” activities, but of uniting – of organization. THIS IS A STEP FOR WHICH A PROGRAMME IS A NECESSITY. The programme must formulate our basic views; precisely establish our immediate political tasks; point out the immediate demands that must show the area of agitational activity; give unity to the agitational work, expand and deepen it, thus raising it from fragmentary partial agitation for petty, isolated demands to the status of agitation for the sum total of Social-Democratic demands. (“A Draft Programme of Our Party”, LCW 4:230)

... the three conditions essential for the elaboration of a consistent socialist programme: a clear idea of the ultimate aim; a correct understanding of the path leading to that aim; an accurate conception of the true state of affairs at the given moment or of the immediate tasks of that moment. (“Revolutionary Adventurism”, LCW 6:206)

Lastly, a programme is urgently necessary because Russian public opinion is very often most profoundly mistaken in respect of the real tasks and methods of action of the Russian Social-Democrats: these mistaken views in some cases grow naturally in the morass of political putrefaction that is our real life, in others they are artificially nurtured by the opponents of Social-Democracy. (“A Draft Programme of Our Party”, LCW 4:230)

We must take as our point of departure the universally recognized Marxist thesis that a programme must be built on a scientific foundation. It must explain to the people how the communist revolution arose, why it is inevitable, what its significance, nature and power are, and what problems it must solve. Our programme must be a summary for agitational purposes.... Every clause of our programme is something that every working man or woman must known, assimilate and understand. (“Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B)”, LCW 29:190)

... The first task of every party of the future is to convince the majority of the people that its programme and tactics are correct.. . (“Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government”, LCW 27:241)

What are the burning questions of our movement?

We consider that these can be broken down into three areas where demarcation must take place.

1) The re-establishment of orthodox Marxism-Leninism, of scientific socialism, which has been undermined, distorted and obscured by modern revisionism internationally and internally, by the historic rupture between Marxism-Leninism and the proletariat for more than two decades, and the predominance of phony Marxist-Leninist currents and right-opportunist currents in Canada and elsewhere in the period of this rupture.
2) questions of the strategy of the Canadian revolution.
3) questions of the international proletarian revolution, i.e., earlier we said that the revolutionary theory which is the sine qua non of a revolutionary movement in Canada had to be the theory of the Canadian revolution. But the question is still more complicated than this since the Canadian proletariat is but a national detachment of the international proletarian revolution and in the final analysis the theory of the Canadian revolution cannot be disconnected from the theory of the international proletarian revolution.

Let us consider each of these more closely.

1) The re-establishment of orthodox Marxism-Leninism

In our opinion, the crisis of socialism makes it incumbent upon any in the least serious socialists to devote redoubled attention to theory – to adopt more resolutely a strictly definite stand, TO DRAW A SHARPER LINE OF DEMARCATION between themselves and wavering and unreliable elements. (“Revolutionary Adventurism”, LCW 6:188)

Lenin was referring here to the crisis of Marxism produced by the rise of the first historically consolidated form of revisionism – Bernsteinism and its attendant Economism.

Again, in 1910, in “Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism”, Lenin makes note that certain social changes had once again led to a crisis of Marxism.

It is precisely because Marxism is not a lifeless dogma, not a completed, ready-made, immutable doctrine, but a living guide to action, that it was bound to reflect the astonishingly abrupt change in the conditions of social life. That change was reflected in profound disintegration and disunity, in every manner of vacillation, in short, in a very serious internal crisis of Marxism. Resolute resistance to this disintegration, a resolute and persistent struggle to uphold the fundamentals of Marxism, was placed again on the order of the day. (“Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism”, LCW 17:42)


Nothing is more important than to rally all Marxists who have realised the profundity of the crisis and the necessity of combatting it, for defence of the theoretical basis of Marxism and its fundamental propositions, that are being distorted from diametrically opposite sides by the spread of bourgeois influence to the various “fellow-travellers” of Marxism. (Ibid., p. 43)

In our movement we must understand too that we are living in a period of crisis of Marxism. And this is not just that orthodox Marxism is being attacked internationally (i.e., “revisionism is the main danger”) but it is also because of the historical rupture between the proletariat and Marxism-Leninism in most countries where the fundamental contradiction is between the socialized nature of production and its private ownership, that we are in the position of having to assimilate and disseminate Marxism-Leninism anew.

This is not meant to downplay the struggle on behalf of orthodox Marxism-Leninism waged by the Party of Labour of Albania and the Communist Party of China. But our crisis is internal and derives from objective internal conditions. Consequently in the attempts to use the lessons of the PLA and the CCP in their struggle against revisionism in elaborating the theory of the Canadian revolution, neo-revisionism is constantly rising up. We have the CPC(M-L) as a lesson for this – an organization which is 100% neo-revisionist on the one hand but superficially reproduces the line of the CCP and the PLA on Soviet revisionism with dogmatic fidelity on the other.

The level of real theory (theory being used as a guide to action as opposed to the appearance of theory) is abysmally low in our movement. There is far too much parroting of phrases from the international communist movement. These formulas are correct, but they must be understood. We do not become scientists by learning only the conclusions of a science.

Mastering the Marxist-Leninist theory does not at all mean learning all its formulas and conclusions by heart and clinging to their every letter. To master the Marxist-Leninist theory we must first of all learn to distinguish between its letter and its substance.

Mastering the Marxist-Leninist theory means assimilating the substance of this theory and learning to use it in the solution of the practical problems of the revolutionary movement under the varying conditions of the class struggle of the proletariat. (History of the CPSU(B), Short Course, 1939, p. 355)

Devoid of an intimate understanding of (understanding of, not merely position on) Canada as a capitalist imperialist country and as a country threatened and dominated by imperialism (i.e., as a second world country), the conclusions of Marxism-Leninism become metaphysical categories tossed into all situations in a way that is the opposite of scientific. (We would say tossed arbitrarily, except that opportunism does not function arbitrarily.)

Connected to this primitive appropriation and misappropriation of the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism is the inability to distinguish them from the inheritance in our movement of all sorts of assumptions derived from the theory and practice of revisionism, the theory and practice of the petit-bourgeois anti-imperialist student movement, and the theory and practice of the liquidationist-Economist current which was the direct antecedent to our movement of struggle for the party.

So we have whole areas within which we must demarcate, aside from the basic questions of the Canadian revolution proper. We have already seen that the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks agreed on one party programme at the Second Congress of the RSDLP, and yet differences over other matters reflected profound differences of class interests. Even with agreement on these questions there are differences that will inevitably arise when we attempt to implement our strategy. These are fundamental differences that relate to the principles of Marx-ism-Leninism. What are some of the “fronts” of the struggle?

First of all, the Bolshevik Union considers that the Marxist-Leninist conception of the class struggle as an essentially political phenomenon – that is, the revolutionary as opposed to the reformist view of the class struggle – is a matter of principle. Connected with this, the struggle against Economism in all of its theoretical, strategic and tactical implications is a matter of principle.

A second front is the nature of the communist party and the nature of the tasks of communists at the different stages of development of the party.

A third is Lenin’s theory of benefit and the labour aristocracy – a matter of principle in that (a) it is an integral part of the ideological line of the international communist movement and (b) it is a question of immediate and concrete importance in our movement and in all movements that exist in what have historically been oppressor nations. Concretely it relates to the social basis of opportunism and to the national question as well.

A fourth is the principal of self-determination of oppressed nations. An examination of the last point will allow us to explain concretely what the importance of demarcation in this area is.

In our struggle in the movement in general and in our struggle for unity with In Struggle! we have put forward that our position on the right of self-determination for Native Canada was a principle, and as such could not be compromised. Many people in the movement felt confused by what we meant by a “principle” and In Struggle! could not understand why we would not join or remain in an organization that took a position to the contrary. Yet these same people have no trouble understanding why the right to self-determination of the oppressed nation Quebec is a matter of principle.

By the exposure of this difference we learned that although there is an understanding of the importance of the right to self-determination in the specific case of Quebec there is no understanding of the importance of the right to self-determination of nations in general and consequently the understanding of the very nature of imperialism is thrown into question in our movement (i.e., whether it is an authentic Marxist-Leninist understanding of imperialism or a revisionist understanding of imperialism).

In “Nationhood or Genocide” (CR #1:4, p. 53) we wrote:

A correct understanding of the Native question is incompatible with all forms of bourgeois-nationalism, economism, revisionism and opportunist hegemony-seeking. For that reason an incorrect line on the Native question may prove to be a good acid test of right-opportunism in our movement.

Likewise, all questions of principle are doors to an understanding of how profound our differences and agreements are and whether or not we are using Marxism-Leninism consistently as a science rather than as a grab bag of formulas which are used only conditionally.

For those who are confused about questions of principle we have the view of the PLA and Stalin.

In the struggle against modern revisionism, as in all other problems, the only correct stand is the principled stand. There is no room for bargaining in matters of principle, in defending principles one most not stop half-way; must never adopt a wavering opportunist stand. The struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism is an expression of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between socialism and capitalism. There is no middle road in this struggle....

J. V. Stalin has strongly stressed: “There is not and cannot be any middle course in matters of principle. One or the other set of principles must be the foundation of the Party activity. The ’middle’ course in matters of principle is ’the line’ that benumbs the brain, the ’line’ that covers up the differences, the ’line’ which leads to the ideological degeneration of the Party, the ’line’ which leads to the ideological death of the Party.” (J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 9, p. 4, Albanian editions. In p. 227, The Party of Labour of Albania in Battle with Modern Revisionism)

And, in contrast to In Struggle!’s concern over the immediate aim of what we need to unite around “at this time” we have Lenin saying

... we won through because we kept in mind not only our aims but also our principles, and did not tolerate in our Party those who kept silent about principles but talked of aims, “dynamic tendencies” and the “transition from passivity to activity” (“Third Congress of the Communist International,” LCW 32:475)

But the specific questions we have mentioned are far from the whole of the matter. We must demarcate, as necessary, around all of the principles of Marxism-Leninism even if they seem to have no direct application to our movement. At this point, in talks with other Marxist-Leninists, we are asked if we have ”a whole list of things” as if to show up the palpable absurdity of this position. But what we have said here is nothing more than that we must uphold Marxism-Leninism and that Marxism-Leninism is not just two points, Marxism and then Leninism. Subsumed under the expression is the whole history of the international communist movement and the principles derived from it.[6]

Thus we have, for example, the question of Stalin and of socialism in the Soviet Union before the victory of revisionism. Our movement has inherited from its past and from its environment a great deal of anti-Stalinist baggage. Also, many have taken up Marxism-Leninism with only the example of the Chinese revolution before them and retain vague bourgeois misconceptions about the Russian revolution under Stalin. And yet to defend Stalin and consistently affirm that the Soviet Union was a truly socialist country are principles of Marxism-Leninism.

Consequently, in spite of agreements in other areas, we would not unite with any group or individual or in any organization or Party which held positions to the contrary or refused to affirm these principles in practice when appropriate.

We raise this question for two reasons. One is to drive home the point that we cannot demand the unity of all authentic Marxist-Leninists around points x, y and z abstracted from Marxism-Leninism as a science complete to the point to which it has been developed at this time in world history (as we consider In Struggle! is doing).

The other reason is that it has some practical implications for our movement. The Bolshevik Union, for example, would not unite with Jack Scott or Al Birnie without having struggled out to the point of a formal statement of self-criticism the views put forward by those two persons in the book. Two Roads.[7] And this book has had a very large circulation; we have no idea how many people have been influenced by it.

What are the practical implications of this view? Does this mean that everybody has to know everything and agree on everything when it comes to Marxist-Leninist principles? Obviously not.

The Bolshevik Union will unite with those who have a general understanding of Marxism-Leninism and the burning questions of our movement as they have so far been raised, and a readiness to adopt a scientific attitude as new questions come up or as old questions reappear on matters of principle. But we would not unite with anyone who had a stated position that went against any aspect of Marxism-Leninism or with someone who, before (s)he is able to investigate more deeply, by her/himself, takes as a starting point the bourgeois view or revisionist view rather than the view put forward by the international communist movement.[8]

Furthermore, since we do not have a “list” of principles we must demarcate around, the rule of thumb must be what becomes or is made an issue in the movement. When a question of principle becomes an issue in the movement it must be seen as an opportunity to deepen our struggle and the unity that it must produce. This is just the opposite of the attitude encouraged by In Struggle!, which is concerned not with “strict differentiation of shades” and “all views and all shades of views” but with what we need to struggle over for “unity” “at this time” so that we may proceed to “conceal the prevailing confusion” in a period of a crisis of Marxism.

Finally, in demarcating in this area we must understand that lines of demarcation must be drawn on the basis of an examination of practice as well as theory. For example, the League’s theory – a self-criticism for Economism – is one thing and its practice – its continuing Economism – is another.

2) Questions of the Strategy of the Canadian Revolution

In The Political Strategy and Tactics of the Russian Communists, Stalin explains the relationship between theory, programme and strategy.

The Marxist theory, which primarily studies objective processes in their development and decline, defines the trend of development and points to the class or classes which are inevitably rising to power, or are inevitably falling, which must fall.

The Marxist programme, based on deductions from the theory, defines the aim of the movement of the rising classes, in the present case the proletariat, during a certain period in the development of capitalism, or during the whole of the capitalist period (the minimum programme and the maximum programme).

Strategy[9] guided by the programme, and based on a calculation of the contending forces, internal (national) and international, defines the general route, the general direction, in which the revolutionary proletarian movement must be guided with a view to achieving the greatest results under the incipient and developing relation of forces. In conformity with this it outlines a plan of the disposition of the forces of the proletariat and of its allies on the social front (general disposition). (Collected Works, vol. 5, pp. 63-4)

These should not be seen as three separate things. Theory is elaborated for the purpose of formulating the programme and strategy, rather than something separate from the programme, is embodied in it. (All of the specific points mentioned by Stalin under strategy must be dealt with in the programme.)

In addition to this we also have the framework, best formulated by Mao in On Contradiction, of distinguishing the principal contradiction from secondary contradictions in a complex political process. In our movement a certain amount of progress has been made in demarcating around the principal contradiction.

But there the question stops.

The main reason that we have not really progressed very far in demarcating around secondary contradictions, their interrelationship, and their relationship to the principal contradiction (and this includes the question of who our allies are, and the nature of our alliance with them) is that these questions have not been approached from the point of view of strategy. We have not dealt with these questions from the point of view of the contention of all social forces and the identification and disposition of the forces of the proletariat. Thus instead of a perspective in understanding a complex process, the principal contradiction has become a simplification.

One could easily get the impression (especially from In Struggle!) that, as a consequence of their positions on the principal contradiction, wherein both In Struggle! and the CCL(ML) draw a line of demarcation against the two-stage theory of revolution in Canada and situate the overthrow of the Canadian state as their immediate objective, they therefore both have the same “strategy”. But there are forces which have to be taken into account which more or less predictably will come into play at the point of the delivery of the “main blow”, and here we must have an extensive understanding of the secondary contradictions which is part and parcel of the understanding of the difference between the two predominant positions on the principal contradiction.

In our movement this cavalier attitude to strategy has led to two major weakness. One is the underestimation of the need to understand and be prepared to make use of contradictions in the enemy camp. This inadequacy is reflected with nauseous regularity in our movement every two weeks when The Forge and In Struggle! are distributed and we are treated to the usual cliches about how the bourgeoisie is the bourgeoisie and American imperialism is lurking there somewhere!

It is clear that neither In Struggle! nor the League have been able to explain why their differences on the principal contradiction are significant, and so the contention on both their parts that this is an important line of demarcation to draw is unconvincing.[10]

We will never be able to deliver the main blow of the revolution without a clear understanding that there are contradictions in the camp of the bourgeoisie, what form they presently take and what form they are likely to take in the future. And in the period of preparing to deliver the main blow we must be able to show how these contradictions have an effect throughout all layers of society.

The second major weakness is the question of “reserves”, as Stalin calls them, or our allies. We will touch on two things in particular here. First we have hardly even begun the work of understanding the social strata intermediate between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Without this there is no question of understanding the forms of opportunism that are likely to become prevalent in the working-class movement because of the proximity of these strata to the working class and no question of knowing how to bring them under the leadership of the proletariat as allies in the revolution.

Thirdly there is, of course, the Native question which we have already dealt with at some length. Those who are thinking in terms of strategy will at least realize the importance of settling this question, of knowing whether the national struggle of Native people is a reserve of the proletarian revolution (and vice versa) or whether such a national struggle by Native people is divisive and reactionary. (This would follow as a consequence of the “national minority” line.)

3) Questions of the International Proletarian Revolution

In Proletarian Unity, In Struggle! lists “the internationalist tasks-of Marxist-Leninists” as one of the three things that must be demarcated around in the struggle for the “organization of struggle for the party” with its “programme” for the evolution of the party programme. We have no idea what this means but it is clear from the phrasing that they have something minimal in mind.

In demarcating for the revolutionary unity of all authentic Marxist-Leninists around the party programme we must have a full understanding of not just the “internationalist tasks” of x number of Marxist-Leninists in Canada at this point in time but of the place of the whole proletariat, the whole Canadian revolution, in the international proletarian revolution. And, however much the theoretical framework has been provided for this by the CCP, it is up to the many and varied Second World countries themselves to deepen this in terms of their particular relationship to the two superpowers and the Third World nations.

It is not surprising that In Struggle!, which in effect has called for unity around the common practice of building the party (that is, unity in an “organization of struggle to build the party” based primarily on the fact that we are all engaged in the practice of building the party), should also call for unity around the common “internationalist tasks” which face us as Marxist-Leninists rather than for unit/ around a political line on questions of international importance.

In this respect, some of the points we must demarcate around are the following:

– The correct position on the defence of Canadian independence in the face of the two superpowers.
– correct positions to adopt in the face of the inevitable world war being instigated by the two superpowers and especially the fascist USSR, (e.g., the question of Canadian participation in NATO)
– The nature of Canadian relations with Second and Third World countries and the propaganda tasks of Marxist-Leninists in this respect.
– In general, the balance of forces in the world today and the contradictions between the contending forces in the three worlds.

Unity of Views, “Partial Questions” and the Party Programme

In order to understand the difference between fundamental questions and ”partial questions” in demarcating, let us return to the question of unity of views or “identity” of views, as In Struggle! says to make the proposition seem more absurd.

According to Lenin:

Our Party is a Social-Democratic Party. This means that it has its own programme (the immediate and the ultimate aims of the movement), its own tactics (methods of struggle), and its own organizational principle (form of association). Unity of programme, tactical and organizational views is the basis on which our Party is built. Only the unity of these views can unite the Party members in one centralized party.

For In Struggle!, however, this is an “idealist’s dream” and it is perfectly natural for fundamental differences to co-exist in the same party and therefore fundamental differences should not be an obstacle to unity “now”. They take this position in a concealed fashion, however, by maintaining that there exist no fundamental differences in the Marxist-Leninist movement. Therefore unite, and majority rule and democratic centralism will take care of the rest!

In contrast the Bolshevik Union, and we feel we are with Lenin in this, considers that we must demarcate around all fundamental questions, that it is quite within the capacities of authentic, scientific, Marxist-Leninists to do this, and that these fundamental questions are all the questions of principle that arise in the movement; and all questions of party’ programme and the international situation.

However, In Struggle! is quite right in maintaining that there will be differences after unity. It is just that they exaggerate the scope of these differences.

Lenin makes the correct distinction:

The elaboration of a common programme for the Party should not, of course, put an end to all polemics; it will firmly establish those basic views on the character, the aims, and the tasks of our movement which must serve as the banner of a fighting party, a party that remains consolidated and united despite PARTIAL DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AMONG ITS MEMBERS ON PARTIAL QUESTIONS. (“A Draft Programme of Our Party”, LCW 4:231)

In addition to this there are of course fundamental differences that rise up in a party, but we do not unite knowingly if they exist beforehand, and afterwards we deal with them as determinedly as possible, rather than accepting their existence. This has certainly been the experience of the international communist movement under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The struggle against Trotsky and the struggle against Liu Shao-chi are two outstanding examples. Let us summarize a few things at this point: The drawing of lines of demarcation against opportunism must be as complete as possible. Even here we will not escape the presence of opportunists:

... Once again Parvus’s apt observation that it was difficult to catch an opportunist with a formula was proved correct. An opportunist will put his name to any formula and as readily abandon it, because opportunism is precisely a lack of definite and firm principles. (What Is To Be Done, Peking, p. 231)

But it is precisely for this reason that we must have firm lines of demarcation – in order to have them to appeal to, in order to limit the influence of opportunism.

Also, even with demarcations around the strategy for revolution, this is not the end of the matter:

... correct revolutionary theory, which, in its turn, is not a dogma, but assumes final shape only in close connection with the practical activity of a truly mass and truly revolutionary movement. (“Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder, Peking, p. 7)

In general, then, the Bolshevik Union’s position is that it is the demarcation between different groups in the movement over all fundamental questions that will produce the basis for the unity of all authentic Marxist-Leninists around the correct political line for the Canadian revolution. It will not be produced by a majority vote at a congress of all of those who “call themselves” Marxist-Leninists or by democratic centralism itself in an organization produced by such a congress. As this correct political line is established (or to the degree that it is established at any given point) authentic Marxist-Leninists and advanced workers will rally to this revolutionary theory. Then, the lines of demarcation having been drawn against opportunism in the programme of the revolution (the party; programme), “partial questions” will be decided by majority vote, tactics to a large degree will be decided by majority vote, and the evaluation and alteration of strategy and tactics as the result of learning from revolutionary practice and as a result of objective changes in the world will be decided by majority vote. It should be obvious that such voting will always be preceded by as thorough an internal struggle as possible.

And, at this point in time, a period of demarcation, there is only one way to speak of democratic centralism in the movement at large, and that is in the very broadest sense: the struggle to demarcate AS the democracy, the party programme will be the centralism.

Demarcation Inside and Outside of the Movement

Is the drawing of lines of demarcation inside or outside of the Marxist-Leninist movement principal?

According to In Struggle!:

. . .the position that the League puts forward is to give as much importance, if not more, to the divergences in the m-l movement, than the contradictions that oppose this one to the political bourgeois forces, revisionists, trotskyists, and reformists in general in the workers’ movement. (Digest, Special Issue, March 1976, pp. 7-8)

Our position is the opposite to the one implicit in In Struggle!’s statement. For us the drawing of lines of demarcation within the movement is principal. This is because the struggle to build the party is principal, and we are not struggling with the revisionists and the trotskyites to build the party. Drawing finer lines of demarcation than lines already drawn historically (in terms of the history of the international communist movement) against our enemies in the mass movement is secondary. What is principal is the building of the party and it is the contention over different lines within the movement that the ideological and political base for the party will be laid.,/p>

Furthermore, our relationship to the mass movement is secondary at this point. The movement relates principally to the vanguard of the proletariat in accomplishing the task of laying the base for the party. It is with the achievement of the party itself that the relationship of communists to the mass movement becomes principal and it is here that these tendencies will be finally defeated by our concrete exposure of their inability to provide anything but dead-end and counter-revolutionary alternatives and our ability to do otherwise. From this perspective it becomes even clearer that In Struggle! is confusing the tasks of the two separate stages of building the party in that it is elevating a task of mass action by communists to the principal level at this time.

Furthermore, it is on the basis of what we have learned from the struggle within the movement that we will have the theoretical capacity to draw finer lines of demarcation than have been drawn historically in Canada against these tendencies. For example, it is on the basis of the correct Marxist positions derived from struggle within the movement over the peculiarities of our contemporary era and the concrete conditions of Canada that we will be able to supplement the historical lines of demarcation drawn against our enemies in the working class movement in a concrete and immediate fashion. All that In Struggle! has been able to offer us in the way of its “ruthless” struggle against revisionism and trotskyism is to go before the masses and call “shame, shame!” and present Marxist-Leninists as mere competitors of these tendencies. More important, without having carried the struggle within our movement down to its particular level, we will inevitably end up reproducing the strategy and tactics of these very same opportunists.

Therefore, drawing lines of demarcation against our enemies outside of the movement, although part of our general propaganda tasks in rallying the vanguard, cannot be compared to the role of ideological struggle within the movement. Let us go more deeply into one of the points we have just made.

Right-opportunism and incorrect political lines rise up in our movement because of objective conditions; they have a social and economic base. The political lines of revisionism, reformism, neo-revisionism and trotskyism, etc., serve and are derived from the same social and economic base. Why then should we be surprised if opportunism in the Marxist-Leninist movement reproduces the same lines as the revisionists, reformists, neo-revisionists and trotskyites on the strategy and tactics of the Canadian revolution? It would be surprising if it were otherwise. And this is why we must see no qualitative difference between opportunism within the movement and outside of the movement. A very good example of this phenomenon is the document of the Toronto Communist Group which criticized the first draft of “Nationhood or Genocide”. In that document the political line of the CPSU attacking China’s position on national liberation struggles of the Third World was replicated almost verbatim. It was our struggle against this document within the movement that enabled us to deepen our criticism not only of neo-revisionism within our movement but of the essence of revisionism, and to understand that the struggle against revisionism is not abstract and vague but can only be conducted by counterposing the correct alternative: that is, the right of Native Canada to self-determination. It was in struggle against this document, too, that we have been able to show that even the most open of revisionist lines can and do exist within the Marxist-Leninist movement and that therefore fundamental differences exist within the Marxist-Leninist movement itself.

Another case in point is the range of positions on the principal contradiction. How can we expect to decisively demarcate ourselves from trotskyism and neo-revisionism when the range of positions on this question within the movement is substantially the same as the range of positions outside of the movement?

We have three “versions” of the principal contradiction which have been put forward in the movement: (1) between American imperialism and the Canadian people; (2) between the Canadian proletariat and both American imperialism and the Canadian bourgeoisie; and (3) between the Canadian proletariat and the Canadian bourgeoisie. The first of these is basically the same as the analyses of the “bourgeois nationalists” and the neo-revisionist CPC(M-L);the third is basically the same as the trotskyite and revisionist analysis.

Within our movement In Struggle! and the Bolshevik Union put forward the second and the Bolshevik Union considers that in defeating once and for all the position we consider to be “bourgeois nationalist” within the movement, having exposed it in its trickiest and most subtle form, we will be best able to accomplish our propaganda tasks in defeating it in the mass movement. In Struggle! claims that CPC(M-L) is counter-revolutionary because, among other reasons, it has put forward this bourgeois nationalist line; yet, by failing to struggle against the same line within the movement, In Struggle! has not taken us that step forward to decisively defeat the line put forward by the CPC(M-L). Likewise with the third position. Having defeated it in the movement, we will be in a much better position to go further than recount the counter-revolutionary history of the trotskyites and explain concretely why their line represents real or imagined interests of strata other than the proletariat on the subject of the Canadian revolution. In Struggle! has written much vague material about how we must all oppose trotskyism; but in LD no. 1 we were able to deepen our analysis of the trotskyite position on the principal contradiction in its specific applications to Canada, because we showed that this position was being replicated by a major group within our movement – again, almost verbatim. Through examples such as these we can see more clearly that there is no objective reason to assume that there is a qualitative difference between opportunism within the movement and outside of it on major questions which confront Canadian Marxist-Leninists; we can see, too, the folly of In Struggle!’s liberalism, which in waving the red flag of “defeat trotskyism, revisionism” etc., only succeeds in undermining the only real weapons which we have to deal decisive blows to these tendencies in the context of Canada.

On the other hand, if it can be shown in a scientific fashion that either the first or third positions on the principal contradiction are correct, then it will be much easier to draw a line of demarcation between us and those outside the movement who only apparently hold to the same analysis.


We have seen how Lenin approached the question of demarcation and the party programme. As a final example we have Lenin explaining why they were not hasty In convening the Second Congress:

We were, in fact, guided by the maxim: measure your cloth seven times before you cut it.... (One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, LCW 7:208)

And we have seen how In Struggle! seeks to interpret demarcation in a liberal fashion, using it as a tool to cover up differences rather than as a tool to measure the profundity of our differences. In Struggle! usually justifies this by reference to the proliferation of Marxist-Leninist groups and parties in Canada and the rest of the world as if to say that the problem is how we go about uniting. But this “crisis of socialism”, this diversity, is a reflection of objective conditions, the strivings of the social and economic base of opportunism, and if there are concrete differences between our movement and the movement Lenin knew, they are such that more than ever we must follow Lenin’s way, that we must be more, not less, rigorous in how we demarcate. The source of the diversity is opportunism. Therefore, to lower criteria for unity is to cater to opportunism, it is to ensure that the door is open to opportunism.

Whoever insists on a conciliatory attitude towards opportunists is bound to sink to opportunism himself. (History of the CPSU(B), 1939, p. 45)

In addition to the reasons we have already given for adopting an irreconcilable attitude in the struggle against right-opportunism and being rigorous in demarcating we will add a final one relating to the rallying of the vanguard and our contention that the application of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the period of preparation for the dictatorship of the proletariat is the struggle against right-opportunism.

As a result of the theory and practice of the Communist Party of China we are in a position, more than ever before, of understanding how the struggle against the bourgeoisie goes on within the ranks of the communists.

Marxism-Leninism holds that inner-Party struggle is the reflection within the party of class struggle in society. (Documents, The Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, p. 10)

And, according to Mao,

You are making the socialist revolution, and yet don’t know where the bourgeoisie is. It is right in the Communist Party – those in power taking the capitalist road. (Mao, as quoted in “Teng Hsiao-ping’s Total Betrayal of Marxism”, Peking Review 23, June 4, 1976, p. 13-14)

How does this relate to rallying the vanguard? According to Lenin:

The only Marxist line in the world labour movement is to explain to the masses the inevitability and necessity of breaking against opportunism TO EDUCATE THEM FOR REVOLUTION BY WAGING A RELENTLESS STRUG GLE AGAINST OPPORTUNISM (“Imperialism and the Split in Socialism”, LCW 23:120)

The fact that the legal Social-Democratic press of 1905, 1906, and 1907 was a press of two trends, of two groups, can only be accounted for by the different lines in the working-class movement at the time – the petit-bourgeois and the proletarian. .. .

ONLY by studying the history of Marxism’s struggle against opportunism, ONLY by making a thorough and detailed study of the manner in which independent proletarian democracy emerged from the petit-bourgeois hodgepodge CAN THE ADVANCED WORKERS DECISIVELY STRENGTHEN THEIR OWN CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS. ... (“Clarity Has Been Achieved”, LCW 20:251-3)

Advanced workers, as part of becoming communists, as part of becoming the vanguard of the proletariat, must learn that rigour in demarcating and the struggle against opportunism are an integral part of the proletarian struggle, that they are not merely superficial differences, a lack of “unity” or intellectualism. And their understanding of this must be linked up with an understanding of conditions after the seizure of power. More than ever before we are in a position to lay the groundwork right now for the struggle against the bourgeoisie in the Party after the revolution. Advanced workers, all communists, must train themselves to see the seeds of the restoration of capitalism in all differences, not just after the revolution, but before as well.


[1] Another group in the movement, the Cercle Communiste (ML), has laid much stress on struggle over the party programme. We are uncertain to what degree they consider their position as being directly opposed to that of In Struggle! and the League.

[2] Note that we say “for the foundation”, not “for the proclamation”. It is not the Party programme that makes the party the party. It is the rallying of the vanguard of the proletariat that confirms that a political organization is the proletarian party. “We must bear in mind that a revolutionary party is worthy of its name only when it guides in deed the movement of a revolutionary class.” (“Revolutionary Adventurism” LCW 6:194)

[3] ln Struggle! has presented their unity project as a principle (Proletarian Unity no. 1, p. 16, 19)

[4] Let us note that when Lenin speaks of “ideological” unity and “ideological struggle” he is not referring to ideology abstracted from politics. For him ideology was never something taken as a dogma, but always as guide to action in the formulation of the political line of the Russian revolution. “.. . ideological unity must be consolidated by a party programme.”

[5] That is, the principal task for the intelligentsia. In our article en¬titled “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Political Leadership of In Struggle!”, we put forward that their principal task for the working class in practice is “building the class consciousness and fighting capacity of the Canadian working class”, i.e., building trade-union militancy.

[6] “Many great socialists worked to create the doctrine of Social-Democracy, which was completed by Marx and Engels; the workers of all countries went through a great deal to acquire the experience that we want to utilise and make the basis of our program.” (Lenin, “To the Rural Poor,” LCW 6:430-31)

[7] “We consider that this book contains direct attacks on the Russian revolution, going against the Marxist-Leninist view of that revolution which forms an integral part of the ideological line of the international communist movement. It is therefore a matter of principle. We will be taking up this matter in future issues of LD.

[8] In this regard, we might add that we consider that the TCG was not fit for unity with any self-respecting Marxist-Leninist group and put forward our reasons why in “The Whole Is Equal to the Sum Of Its Parts.” This is now part of the record of the movement. The self-criticism incorporated into one In Struggle! article on the unity of these two groups does nothing to change our minds. It does, however, give another indication of the carelessness with which In Struggle! treats not only questions of Marxist-Leninist principle but also its responsibilities to the Marxist-Leninist movement to relate to the con¬crete struggles which arise in that movement.

[9] We suggest that readers refer to Chapter 7 on Strategy and Tactics in Foundations of Leninism for a more thorough discussion of strategy by Stalin.

[10] We will be showing in our article entitled “The Native National Question and the Marxist-Leninist Movement” that one very important implication of the line of both groups on the principal contradiction is in the area of the Native question. The complete lack of interest of both groups in debating this question since it has been raised is good evidence that their positions on the principal contradiction are so far not much more than formality.