Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist)

’In Struggle’ – latest addition to the revisionist family in Canada

is programme cartoon

A Proletarian Party or a Revisionist Party?

The creation of the communist party will be a historic day for the Canadian working class, which will finally see the rebirth of its general staff, its leadership in the struggle for socialism.

The very idea strikes fear in the heart of the bourgeoisie, which does everything it can to turn advanced workers away from the fight to accomplish this mission.

But IS furnishes the bourgeoisie with one more trump. IS is making frenzied efforts to create a revisionist party with a Marxist-Leninist mask, whose sole aim is sabotaging the building of an authentic revolutionary party.

1) In Struggle opens its doors to opportunists and rejects unity with Marxist-Leninists

For a long time, IS’s opportunist line on the question of unity was an important obstacle in the struggle for the party.

During a long period IS made the unity of Marxist-Leninists the essential condition for the creation of an organization of struggle for the party. But this was nothing but unprincipled unity, unity at any price, opportunist unity.

IS came up with lots of ways to get there: the “Ad hoc” committee, Project “A”, “Comite de solidarite aux luttes ouvrieres” (CSLO – Committee of Solidarity with Workers’ Struggles) [1], and a year later, its famous plan for “unity” conferences.

All these tactics aimed to bring together the largest possible number of groups, both Marxist-Leninists and the most crass opportunists, on a vague basis that had nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism.

With time it became clear that there was only one reason for all of this: to allow IS’s leadership to gain control of all these groups and ensure the triumph of its line, a line moving further and further away from Marxism-Leninism.

At this point we will not go over all the ins and outs of IS’s attempts to accomplish its opportunist unity plans. Rather, we invite the reader to look at the League’s pamphlet, For the Unity of Marxist-Leninists, published in November, 1976. In this pamphlet we criticize IS’s positions, and present the CCL(ML)’s general line on the struggle for the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists.

However, let us look back at certain key facts from this period, when IS put unity ahead of all else. Afterwards we will deal with the question of IS’s celebrated conferences.

A) From refusing to unite with Marxist-Leninists...

It is clear that the great hue and cry IS raised for years about the unity of Marxist-Leninists served only to hide its refusal to seriously debate the ideological and political line.

But such debate is an essential condition if we are to achieve iron-clad unity between Marxist-Leninists.

From its very creation in 1972, IS never fulfilled this condition. IS wasn’t founded on the basis of a clear political line on the international and national situations. It based itself on the idea that there was a need for a “fighting newspaper of the working class.” The political line could come later!

In December 1974, IS (at last) published its first statement of political line, Build the Marxist-Leninist Organization of Struggle for the Party. Here was a good opportunity to debate questions of line with other Marxist-Leninist groups. But IS wasn’t interested.

With the groups that would later form the League, IS found all sorts of ways to avoid debate.

The creation of the League in the autumn of 1975 did not warrant the slightest comment from IS’s leadership.

When, from January 1976 on, the League began to criticize IS’s positions on the principal contradiction in Canada and on the international situation, IS didn’t respond to that either.

Instead IS launched a widespread and hysterical campaign against “the League’s sectarianism and dogmatism,” since it was incapable of answering the CCL(ML)’s increasingly sharp criticisms.

This campaign reached its height in July, 1976 with the publication of Fight the sectarianism of the CCL(ML). This pamphlet does not contain a single criticism of the League’s political line.

In the summer of 1976, the League denounced IS’s new plan for the creation of an organization based on discussions around an opportunist unity platform.

August 26, we proposed to IS that debates be held on questions of line. IS didn’t answer, but instead started up its circus of “conferences for the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists” to create its organization, which never did see the light of day.

This is how IS waged “ideological struggle” for the unity of Marxist-Leninists. But it never reached this unity, because IS always fled from open debate and struggle with the League, more than with any other group.

B) To unity with counter-revolutionaries and opportunists

IS’s goal was to assemble as many groups as possible under its leadership. It wanted organizational unity before political unity. This is why it always refused to take any principled position on who was Marxist-Leninist and who was not.

In Struggle must (...) a priori consider other groups in the movement as what they claim to be, i.e. Marxist-Leninist groups, which, barring clear indications to the contrary, desire the unity of Marxist-Leninists and apply the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism. (Create the organization..., Western Voice, November 1976, p. 56, our emphasis)

IS thus rejected any real demarcation between authentic Marxist-Leninists and the movement’s enemies who hide their treason behind one mask or another. At one time or another IS has included in the Canadian communist movement: “CPCML”, “Bolshevik Union”, Quebec’s “family of five” opportunist groups, and a whole gamut of other groups, all equally rotten, from one end of the country to the other.


For a long time, IS said that “CPCML”, which is nothing but a gang of counter-revolutionaries, was a Marxist-Leninist group. It said that the Bains gang was a “neo-revisionist group” which “is indeed one of us” (the communist movement-Ed.).

“CPCML”’s creation was just a “political error” according to IS. So says its supplement on “CPCML” published in June 1975 and reprinted in July 1976.

This conciliatory attitude had already led IS to have private discussions with “CPCML” in August 1974.

But in fact one thing is clear: “CPCML” has never been part of the Canadian communist movement. Bains’ fascist gang work as police agents of the bourgeoisie, agents disguised as communists. Recognized and hated for their physical attacks on progressive militants and communists, “CPCML” is nothing but a caricature of Marxism-Leninism, specialists in every sort of sabotage.

After years of hysterically broadcasting their “support” for China and Chairman Mao so as to mislead the Canadian working class, these agents are now slurring Mao Tsetung, socialist China, and Chairman Hua Kuo-feng. This gang of imposters stop at nothing. On December 26, 1978 the Central Committee of the “CPCML” stated: “that ”Mao Tsetung Thought” is neither Marxist nor Leninist but is the most reactionary, pragmatist and counter-revolutionary ideology and political line of the Chinese revisionists.”

IS has always refused to draw a clear distinction between themselves and this gang of fascists and open saboteurs of the revolution. Today we can see where this leads. In both line and practice, IS is getting ever-closer to “CPCML”.

We were given proof of this in IS’s issue No. 119, August 8,1978.

The issue ran a smail, but significant, article on the “Internationalist Rally” held by “CPCML” in Montreal April 30, 1978. This counter-revolutionary mascarade was nothing but a series of slanders against socialist China, Mao Tsetung Thought, the three worlds theory and the world communist movement. (See The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 10)

IS, however, applauded. They had only one complaint – all the glory heaped on “CPCML” chairman Hardial Bains.

“The fact that this event was, in fact, nothing but a fantastic put-on organized by the “CPCML” to promote itself and Chairman Bains, has eliminated any possible joy we could have felt about the news of an internationalist rally in Montreal.”

Obviously! IS’s leaders would have loved to be there in Bains’ place!

IS also presents the parties and organizations who spoke at the rally or sent messages as being “authentic communists.” But six out of the 13 supposed communist organizations present were nothing but cliques Bains put together in various countries. They are “CPCML”’s baby brothers and just as rotten as it is.

Little counter-revolutionary groups who have tried to divide the international communist movement were also there: Spain’s PCE(ML),“ which has publicly attacked the League, and Germany’s “KPD(ML).” And don’t forget that the Albanian Party of Labour, head of this splittist movement, sent a message to the rally and widely reported the meeting afterwards.

In Canada nobody but IS could have rejoiced at such a meeting.

Now IS may well try to draw a dividing line between itself and “CPCML” with its June, ’78 pamphlet The CPC(ML): a Revisionist Organization of Agent-Provocateurs, but who does it think it is fooling?

Bolshevik Union

Along the same lines, IS set out to court other counter-revolutionaries, like Bolshevik Union (BU), inviting them to its “unity” conferences.

BU is another little clique, also a specialist in anti-communist attacks, which has done nothing but try to split the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement. The League denounced this gang of saboteurs from the beginning.

But IS took BU under its wing, promoting it from one end of the country to another. It was IS that helped BU grow.

When it was formed BU was less than nothing, made up of three (yes three!) isolated individuals in Toronto. But IS generously set about distributing BU’s publications all over the country, allowing the group to “join” the Canadian communist movement and providing it with a soapbox in Vancouver and Montreal. To top it all off, IS even “gave” BU some of its members.

In its own words, IS’s attitude to BU was one of “camaraderie that tries, through candid debates, to assure the victory of correct ideas over erroneous ones...” (IS, No. 98, p. 13).

IS claimed that BU represented a “third tendency” in the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement alongside IS and the League. During the period when IS was claiming that the Canadian proletariat had “two enemies”, it used a BU article on the principal contradiction in Canada in order to attack the League. (BU considers the Canadian state to be an “intermediary state” controlled by both the Canadian bourgeoisie and US imperialism at the same time.)

Of course things became a bit embarassing when IS changed its “formulation” on the principal contradiction.

Especially since BU began attacking IS’s positions, sabotaging its “unity” conferences, and stealing its militants.

Faced with a little monster of its own creation, and with less and less likelihood of winning it over, IS was forced to change its position. At IS’s third conference BU was still on the guest list of participants aiming at the “unity” of Canadian Marxist-Leninists. Things changed right after...

IS began the attack against BU. “Unmask the Imposters! Denounce the Bolshevik Union!”, it wrote. (IS, No. 98, p. 13)

But it was too late! BU was on its way. Thanks to all the help IS had given it for months, it could continue its anti-communist sabotage all by itself!

Quebec’s “family of five”

When the opportunists known as Quebec’s “family of five” (Mobilisation, Agence de presse libre du Quebec, the “Cercle communiste m-l”, the Groupe d’action socialiste, and the Regroupement des comites de travailleurs) were at work leading the workers into a dead-end, and when IS still had a possibility of winning them over, it called them “Marxist-Leninist” at every turn. IS even criticized the League because of its firm denunciation of the opportunism of these groups.

It is true the League never shrank from criticizing the line of these groups. And all along it encouraged their honest members to put an end to their harmful activities, dissolve their groups and join with the League.

When the groups dissolved, the League re-educated their honest members, those who sincerely wanted to work for the revolution, helping them learn through practice.

Curiously enough, the only members of these groups who joined IS were the ones who refused to make a self-criticism! In the case of the “CCML”, for instance, IS rallied those who refused to recognize that their group was opportunist.

To top it all off, for months afterwards and even today IS spread the slander that the League is opportunist because it “rallied” opportunist groups. This is a total lie. These groups dissolved first of all, and afterwards the majority of their former members joined with the League.

But IS went further than that. It began to build organizational unity with opportunist groups, like Vancouver’s May First Collective. Each time it claimed this was a “great victory” for Marxist-Leninist unity.

To sum up, IS has laughed at Lenin’s famous remark:

Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism. (Unity, in Collected Works, Vol. 20, p. 232)

But for IS, the question of who is Marxist-Leninist and who is not is answered solely according to its careerist and opportunist goals: Marxist-Leninists are those likely to inflate its ranks without too much trouble.

So IS declared that “CPCML” and “BU” were counter-revolutionaries only when it became clear that they intended to make their own way and not unite with IS. It was the same thing with the “family of five”. IS hoped to unite all opportunists under its leadership.

C) The conferences

IS’s conferences are an important episode; they are a turning point in IS’s actions to sabotage Marxist-Leninist unity. Many readers probably don’t remember or don’t know how or why they began. So we will go through some history.

To begin with, in the summer of 1976, The Forge revealed an IS plan to create a Marxist-Leninist organization on the basis of a minimal platform. IS invited all kinds of groups, both Marxist-Leninist and opportunist, to attend a conference. The conference would debate and decide on a platform for a Marxist-Leninist organization.

We denounced this plan as a “shortcut” that aimed to hide the serious differences of political line obviously existing between the League and IS. Its goal was to create an opportunist organization with an opportunist political line. (see The Forge, Vol. 1, No. 14, p. 11)

At first IS indignantly denied that this plan ever existed, but faced with the evidence presented by some groups and individuals who had seen it, IS was forced to admit that the plan was its idea. (see The Forge Vol. 1, No. 16, pp. 6-7)

Soon after it started its series of conferences, which was nothing but a slightly altered version of its first plan.

In its speech to the first conference, IS stated:“At the end of this process to determine the contours of the Marxist-Leninist movement and the demarcation even within the movement, the groups who have been verified as belonging to the movement in the course of the line struggle joined together at the Congress (sic), will have to democratically adopt the program and the statutes of the organization of struggle for the party.” (Documents of the National Conference, published by IS, p. 15, our emphasis)

IS constantly talked about “line struggle” and “demarcation”, but at the base of it all was the same thing: “On the subject of unity... it is not sufficient to fix an objective. It is necessary to establish a plan and a method.” (ibid, p. 14)

Always the excuse of plans and methods in order to confuse the line struggle, to avoid the fight between the two most developed lines in the country, IS’s and the League’s.

IS didn’t want unity with the League, at least not firm, communist unity, unity of steel. IS wanted to build up its ranks at any cost. It didn’t want to trouble itself with a serious ideological and political struggle and risk embarrassing its leaders.

That’s why it continued to reject our proposals to debate, claiming that they were “unclear.”

Given IS’s obstinate refusal to debate, the League boycotted subsequent conferences. There was also another reason: we refused to take part in a circus where opportunists and open counter-revolutionaries (like BU) would be on centre stage.

Today the truth is clear for all to see: IS never had the slightest intention of debating with the League. Charles Gagnon, IS’s Secretary-General, himself admits it in a June 23, 1978 letter to the Canadian Trotskyist League, a small Toronto group, in answer to their proposal of a public debate with IS.

You are, by the way, the fifth so-called left organization to try this trick in the last few years, that is to try to get some credit through some kind of public association with IN STRUGGLE! You come after the “CPCML” which asked for electoral support in 1975, after the Bolchevik Union which sticked (sic) to us for many months pretending to have a right to speak everywhere we were, after the CCL(ml) which wanted to debated publicly with In Struggle! and nobody else, after the Revolutionary Workers League which, in Quebec at least, would like – as yourselves – to debate publicly with us.

We rejected all those past invitations as we reject yours for the same reason: it is not our task to encourage the dissemination of reactionary and counter-revolutionary positions. (IS’s answer, textually reproduced, as published in Spartacist Canada magazine, No. 29, Sept. 1978. Our emphasis.)

IS’s house of cards has collapsed, exposing the hypocrisy of its leaders.

And what do we see today? IS’s conferences never resulted in communist unity, nor did they create a new communist organization. In fact, what did come out of them was not very pretty to see. IS’s conciliation with opportunism has reached such proportions that IS has decayed completely and sunk into revisionism.

Along the line it has rallied a dozen opportunist groups across the country, to the point where its 4th conference, in February 1978, marked a turning point:
– its plan to create a communist organization was officially abandoned; the conference discussed “the creation of the proletarian party in Canada;”
– IS was the only participant;
– it had just published its 100% revisionist “draft program.”

Lenin said about the opportunist point of view on unity:

The identity of their views on Party work, on the policy of that work, is a secondary matter. One should try to keep silent about differences of opinion and not elucidate their causes, their significance, their objective conditions. The chief thing is to “reconcile” persons and groups. If they do not agree on carrying out a common policy, that policy must be interpreted in such a way as to be acceptable to all... This is philistine “conciliation.” (Collected Works, Vol. 16, p. 212)

It is also a perfect description of IS.

The IS that organizes conferences to “reconcile persons and groups” on the basis of a vague line, rotten with opportunism. The IS that winks at “CPCML”, flatters the “family of five” and promotes BU into the Marxist-Leninist movement.

The IS that won’t debate face-to-face with the League, while one by one, the League demolishes its positions on the principal contradiction in Canada, the international situation, work in the unions and mass organizations, and organizational questions.

The IS that finally comes out with its “draft program” which it wants to be “acceptable to all,” that is, acceptable to all revisionists and renegades like itself.

This is a repelling picture of cowardice and fear of struggle. It is clear that the Marxist-Leninist movement could never have put up with such charlatans for very long.

2) A program made-to-order for revisionists

IS’s opportunist line is expressed on the question of unity by its total conciliation with opportunists and its rejection of principled struggle with Marxist-Leninists. Since it has failed in dragging the League into its opportunist schemes, IS has now abandoned its idea of creating an organization of struggle for the party and is heading straight towards the creation of a revisionist party, program in hand.

IS’s “draft program” seals its treason and its desertion of Marxism-Leninism. On all strategic questions the program, like the “commentary”, rehashes and concentrates the same revisionist line, liquidating the revolutionary struggle in Canada and around the world.

A) The program rejects all the lessons of the last 60 years of the world communist movement’s struggle against opportunism

IS has eliminated all reference to Mao Tsetung Thought as well as to the five great leaders of the world proletariat: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung. [2]

It refuses to expose the USSR, ringleader of the modern revisionists, and the other revisionist cliques.

IS also liquidates any attack against the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States.

It sabotages the world united front against the two superpowers. IS attacks particularly all the third-world countries, denying the role they play in the struggle against the superpowers. All it says is that “those countries dominated by reactionary classes, the landowners, the feudal lords, the bourgeoisie” are reactionary (p. 44).

It has withdrawn any mention of, therefore any support to, authentic socialist countries like China.

It renounces revolutionary armed struggle, the assault by the working class and the armed people led by the Marxist-Leninist party, as the only way to overthrow the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in Canada. The parrallel with the program of the “Communist” Party of Canada on this point is striking.

IS talks only about “arming the masses to face reactionary violence and to guarantee the victory of the revolution in any insurrectional situation.” Further on, they say, “In its struggle to capture political power, the proletariat must conduct a relentless battle using every possible method of struggle” (p. 27).

A call this vague in a program that claims to be communist is the worst kind of deception of the Canadian working class.

What authentic communists must make clear, and what IS hides, is that without revolutionary violence the proletariat’s victory over the bourgeoisie is impossible; that the working class, led by its communist party, must use armed struggle to tear power away from the bourgeoisie and must maintain this power through force.

IS is criminally misleading the working class, trying to make it believe that the bourgeoisie will not violently react to any attack on its system of exploitation. The example of Allende in Chile has shown clearly where these kinds of illusions lead: to the massacre by the bourgeoisie, feudal landlords and imperialism, of thousands of workers and peasants who had been disarmed by these revisionist traitors.

IS’s program also rejects the lines of demarcation already drawn by the young Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

It spreads total confusion on the principal contradiction in our country, thus sabotaging the proletariat’s struggle against the Canadian bourgeoisie.

It rejects any struggle the Canadian people wage against one or the other of the two superpowers, any struggle to safeguard and defend our national independence.

And it totally denies the strategic role played by the struggle against the oppression of the Quebec nation in Canada. At one and the same time, it spreads great nation chauvinism and narrow nationalism.

B) For those who find the betrayal a bit too blatant... the commentary

We say that IS’s betrayal is complete, that it has totally abandoned the principles. But it keeps trying to disguise its sabotage behind a heap of “revolutionary” verbiage.

So when it brought out its “draft program,” it included a section of “commentaries.” Just in case someone should really question the whole basis of IS’s line, or should find its revisionism too crass, the IS leadership could send him off to get lost in the dozens of pages of commentaries. It’s the same line but with a little flesh on the ugly skeleton.

But, despite the “commentary”, it would appear that IS has not succeeded in stifling the doubts and questions the program has raised in the masses and among IS sympathizers, because it feels obliged to respond:

Perhaps certain people will have idealized the program, perceiving it as a sort of catalogue of different tactics and proposals (IS is talking, here, about the political line! – Ed). But by rereading the Draft Program for a second time, and by reading the commentaries which accompany the Draft Program and the many articles in the newspaper and the journal which develop and justify each of the points of the program, we are persuaded that these workers and friends of the Marxist-Leninist movement, these comrades, will see that each sentence of the program reflects the fundamental demarcation between the interests of the proletariat and those of the bourgeoisie. (Proletarian Unity, No 8, p. 42, our emphasis)

But we have something to say to these workers and friends of the Marxist-Leninist movement who are still questioning IS’s political line: you needn’t worry about not being able to read between IS’s empty lines.

The point is precisely that there is no fundamental demarcation with the interests of the bourgeoisie. And you are right to ask: why, if there is a demarcation, as IS claims, is it only “reflected,” and not in all those sentences?[3]

This is exactly, as Lenin explains, a characteristic of opportunism:

... We must never forget a characteristic feature of present-day opportunism in every sphere, namely, its vagueness, amorphousness, elusiveness. An opportunist, by his very nature, will always evade taking a clear and decisive stand (One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Collected Works Vol. 7, p. 402)

The draft program is intentionally vague. IS had to avoid all reference to the five great leaders of the international proletariat, to the socialist countries, and to the social-imperialist USSR, so as to remove all obstacles between itself and the opportunists it wants to rally. And these range from petit-bourgeois intellectuals, isolated from the proletariat, armchair revolutionaries, to some union bureaucrats looking to get themselves a militant image or even make a career in the “left”.

Thus it was necessary for IS to develop a program that would satisfy all these fine people that it has already allied with in practice everywhere, in unions and mass organizations.

Thanks to its program, IS will be able to give a more organized form to its counter-revolutionary activities and rally all these saboteurs into the same revisionist party.

IS is now totally devoted to the bourgeoisie, and the party it will create will be one more instrument in its hands. It expressed this wish in its own slogan: “The revolution is not for tomorrow, let’s take up the struggle for the reconstruction of the proletarian party.” (our translation) (Believe it or not, it was a closing slogan for the 4th conference.)

You can be sure that the revolution won’t happen tomorrow if it’s left in the hands of IS’s proposed party. But we will move rapidly towards the revolution precisely if we fight against these traitors and the party they want to create.

C) Revisionism in organizational questions

In a long article dated June 22, 1978 which claimed to deal with the question of factory cells, IS makes the following conclusion:

Cells based on a clearly defined territory are more likely to promote the accomplishment of this task (build factory cells – Ed.) since they touch a greater number.of factories... (IS, No. 117, p. 11)

What an admission! We have been criticizing IS since May 26, 1977 (see Vol. 2, No. 11 of The Forge) because it rejected the communist principal of organization on the basis of factory cells. During all that time, IS blocked its ears and on several occasions attacked the League’s factory cells.

But this shouldn’t surprise anyone. After they revised the Marxist-Leninist ideological and political line, they were bound to attack the organizational line.

The debate on factory cells is not an academic question. It goes far back in the history of the international communist movement. Making territorially-based (street) cells the basic unit is a revisionist form of organization that communists have been denouncing for 50 years.

The Fifth Congress of the Communist International, held in 1924, adopted a resolution on factory cells:

The essential difference existing in the role and activity of Communist and social-democratic parties is also evident in their organizational forms. (Les questions d’organisation au Ve Congres de l’IC, published by the CMO, p. 47 – our translation)

The International clearly affirmed:

Under no condition can we consider factory cells and street cells as the two foundations of the party. The factory cell alone is the foundation of the party; the street cell is an outgrowth of it. The centre of gravity is in the factory cell. (ibid, p. 50, our translation)

What is the significance of this question? It is a question of whether or not we recognize that the industrial proletariat is the most revolutionary part of the working class and whether or not we want it to play its leading role; whether or not we want to organize the struggle there where the working class is best organized, in the factories.

But since few will be convinced that by concentrating on street cells we can make each factory into a “fortress of communism,” IS throws in an old recipe it got from the Russian economists at the turn of the century. To “gather workers in appropriate organizational frameworks...,” “one need only think of the caucuses within unions and mass organizations... one can think of those committees that are in particular struggles and unite all those who, in the circumstances, accept communist leadership...” (IS, No. 85, p. 12)

Instead of factory cells, “caucuses” and “committees”! And what is most ironic of all, this economist hash shows up again in the preface to the second edition of IS’s pamphlet, Against Economism.

Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks waged a merciless struggle against narrow opportunist conceptions on organizational questions. Like those of IS, these conceptions reduce communist organization to caucuses and unstable committes that are neither fish nor fowl, made up of members and non-members who “accept” communists under certain “circumstances.”

Now about the factory circles. These are particularly important to us: the main strength of the movement lies in the organization of the workers at the large factories, for the large factories (and mills) contain not only the predominant part of the working class as regards numbers, but even more as regards influence, development, and fighting capacity. Every factory must be our fortress. (Letter to a Comrade, Collected Works, Vol. 6, p. 241)

It certainly won’t be by adding together street cells, caucuses and “all these committees” that we will build a solid communist party.

Of course IS throws its old argument at the League: IS is for factory cells, but not right away, only once the party is created. To which we answer: why drag our feet in setting them up? We know that they are essential if the communist party is to be solidly established in the heart of the working class. We also know how to build them.

What does IS say in order to extricate itself from this mess? We must take “into account the contradictions that exist within the Canadian working class movement which is not ready to adhere to communism tomorrow.” (IS, No. 85) What does this mean? Since the labour movement isn’t communist, let’s trail behind it, let’s propose caucuses and committees (perhaps they’ll “accept” communists in them), but above all, we must not put ourselves at its head, or to try to rally its best fighters in the course of struggle. We must not play the role of vanguard.

This is essentially what IS preaches.


[1] The Ad Hoc Committee (fall 1973) as well as project “A” (summer 1974) were schemes developed by IS to secretly form a “Marxist-Leninist organization.” This organization would unite the leadership of several groups, with no clear political basis for unity and without the consent of the members of each of the groups involved. (See For the Unity of Marxist-Leninists, pp. 73-75)

The Comite de solidarite aux luttes ouvrieres (Solidarity Committee with Workers’ Struggles-CSLO) was also set up on IS’s initiative. It was composed of several groups (including founding groups of the League) and its purpose was to support workers’ struggles. The committee’s political basis and its practice were marked by vulgar economism. IS’s plan was to use the CSLO as a framework for “joint practice” through which it could secretly work towards “uniting Marxist-Leninists.”

[2] In order to create a better mask, IS included a reference to each of these great leaders in the presentation of its draft program. But, as IS itself made sure to tell us, only the text of the program and not the commentary (never mind the presentation) serves as a basis for rallying members to its “party.”

[3] Note: In the French version the sentence reads, “... ces camarades verront se dresser derriere chaque phrase du programme la demarcation fondamentale...” - “these comrades will see behind each sentence of the program the fundamental demarcation...” (our emphasis). Not even a reflection in this version, the elusive fundamental demarcation in IS’s program is everywhde but in the print. -Ed.