First Published: In Struggle No. 70, September 16, 1976
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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It is with the desire to avoid at all costs letting the debate on the struggle for unity degenerate into sectarianism and bad faith that we publish this clarification to the fracas in The Forge, the central organ of the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), concerning the supposed under-the-table circulation of a document on the unity of Marxist-Leninists that IN STRUGGLE is said to have done among Quebec groups.
1 – There was, in fact, one of our internal texts that was given out to one cell of militants, a cell which called itself “A Cell of Independent Militants”. This cell was made up chiefly of militants formerly linked to the RCT and APLQ; certain of them rallied to the League, while others rallied to IN STRUGGLE. Giving them this text was an error that was acknowledge by the comrades from IN STRUGGLE who committed it, and it was also criticized by the group.
2 – As the investigation within our group was not finished when our reply appeared in No. 66 of IN STRUGGLE, we were wrong to have so quickly asserted that the League lied on all points when it said that this document had been given out to “several groups and individuals.” The fact remains it was clearly lying when it spoke of the text having been given to several groups because it knew that this internal document had been passed to a few militants only.
The essential point in our reply to The Forge remains correct, and unfortunately, is being confirmed.
For, the Canadian Communist League (M-L) has made a lot of noise around our “unification platform” (these are its words) when what we talk about in this text is an “outline of criteria” allowing for the identification in our country of who is Marxist-Leninist and who isn’t.” Furthermore, in a note of introduction, we took the trouble of mentioning this text was a “working paper” and announced the future publication in the journal of an article showing our position and our plan of struggle for unity. This is called falsifying reality, this is called shifting the debate onto secondary aspects by making a song and dance of it and thus misleading the masses.
We are thus forced, and justified, to address to the League the same criticisms that we addressed to it in our reply in No. 66. Is it acceptable that Marxist-Leninists persist in leading the struggle for unity with this sectarian spirit that results in deforming, on the basis of quotes, some texts not known by the masses? Is it acceptable to polarize the debate on “interpreted” positions, when these same Marxist-Leninists knew perfectly well that a journal clearly explaining these positions would soon be published? This journal will permit the masses to verify the deformations that the League made of our position in the showy way it was “the first” to discuss them.
It is the masses of our country that judge now and in the future these inadmissible methods, that we qualify as being sectarian. We believe that today this is the main threat to the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.
We call upon the revolutionary consciousness of the League and of all its members to break away from sectarianism and join in the struggle for unity on the correct basis of unity-criticism-unity and with a sincere desire to achieve the unity of Canadian communists.
As for us, it’s in this spirit that we publish in this same issue a criticisism of the political line of the CCL(M-L) regarding international questions.