First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 5, March 3, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In previous issues of THE FORGE we have commented on In Struggle’s various opportunist methods for achieving unity. It is time to do so again.
In Struggle has just announced the rallying of four groups: the Halifax Communist Group, the Groupe pour la Revolution Proletarienne, the Regina Communist Group, and the Vancouver Communist Group.
The question is: on what basis was this unity achieved?
The Halifax Communist Group was a Marxist-Leninist group, at least it had begun to develop some aspects of its line and begun a certain practice. Nevertheless since it did not have public positions on most of the major questions of political line we can only guess on the basis it rallied to In Struggle.
The Groupe pour la Revolution Proletarienne is another story. A group which has always had a special relationship with In Struggle, the GRFs practice over the past two years has been mainly limited to tactical unity with In Struggle. For a time it practically disappeared; it seemed to have rallied to In Struggle. It re-appeared again for In Struggle’s tactical unity on the 14th, only to go out again in a blaze of glory by finally rallying to In Struggle. Again we can only wonder on what basis unity was realized.
But things get progressively worse when it comes to the groups in Vancouver and Regina.
The Vancouver Communist Group never took one position on any important question of political line. It had no practice whatsoever. In the seven-page announcement of its rallying to In Struggle there is not even a reference to questions as essential to communist unity as the international situation, the principal contradiction, the Quebec national question, etc. What kind of principled communist unity can take place like this?
The Regina Communist Group hardly even existed. It had no practice in making revolution, no political line. Its only basis of unity was agreement that In Struggle was correct. In fact the members stated that the group was only formed in order to rally to In Struggle. This is opportunism. A long shot from the firm but principled struggle over the key questions of ideological and political line, using the method of unity-criticism-unity, which In Struggle verbally recognizes.
No, this is opportunist unity. The same method that In Struggle has always used, from the Project A through to the present day. Despite all of In Struggle’s fine talk of struggle over line and the fancy “unity” conferences, their work is actually done by conciliation and compromise.
Of course the rallying of these groups will not really strengthen In Struggle. Opportunist unity only brings weakness and division. Every time In Struggle conciliates with opportunism and allows opportunists into its ranks it becomes weaker.
Marxist-Leninists who relax their vigilance and capitulate to opportunism are bound one day to be in for a very rude awakening.
Let us remember one of the great lessons drawn from the history of the Communist Party ol the Soviet Union (Bolshevik); “whoever insists on a conciliatory attitude towards opportunists is bound to sink into opportunism himself”. (History of the CPSU(B) p 45.)