Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Red Star Collective

The International Situation: World United Front & Proletarian Revolution

The League’s Position

We find we have more basic agreement with the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) (CCL) on certain aspects of analysis of the international situation than we do with IS!. In particular, we agree with the League’s understanding of the general concept of the three worlds and the necessity to build a world wide united front against the two superpowers, who are the main enemies of the world’s peoples. We also agree that of the two superpowers, the Soviet Union is the more aggressive. Also the League has given extensive political support to the liberation struggles of Third World peoples and has correctly analyzed the various roles that Third World peoples and countries can play in the united front. (See articles in The Forge, Vol.2, #3,page 12 and Vol.2, #4, page 6) These things are positive in helping Third World peoples and also help to advance the revolutionary struggle in Canada.

However, there are many aspects of the League analysis of the international situation with which we disagree. In particular there are the questions of the role of the Second World countries in the world wide united front against the superpowers and of how Canada is affected by the international situation.

Basically the League sees no difference between Second World countries and treats them all as imperialist. Although they would deny this and say their position is that the Second World countries are imperialist only “for the most part”, the truth occasionally slips out. In The Forge, Vol.1, #21, page 15, we find the following quote:

”The Second World consists of developed countries. They are capitalist and imperialist countries like France, Great Britain, Canada, and Czeckoslovakia.” In seeing all Second World countries as imperialist and therefore fundamentally in contention with the superpowers the League took the position that all Second World countries (not just peoples but countries including the bourgeois classes) could be brought into the struggle against the superpowers.

“Second World countries and peoples have an objective interest in joining with the Third World in the global struggle against superpower war plans and hegemonic actions.“ (The Forge, Vol.2, #5, p.8) Or again:

Second World countries are a wavering and unstable force in the united front against imperialism and the two superpowers. As imperialist countries, they are a target of the united front, but as countries which are pushed around by the superpowers they have a tendency to oppose them. We support these countries when they oppose the superpowers and the struggle to defend their national interests. (ibid)

So far the position of the League is clear. All Second World countries can be part of the world wide united front. Applying this to Canada they called on the proletariat to force the Canadian bourgeoisie to struggle against the US and stated they were “trying to get the bourgeoisie to enter into the united front against hegemonism ...” (The Forge Vol.21 , page!5) In not recognizing that some Second World countries are dominated by one or the other superpower to the extent that the bourgeois class would not take up an active struggle against it, the League downplayed the strength of the superpower forces giving them no allies whatsoever.

But then, later, recognizing as they did, the fact that the Canadian bourgeoisie would not fight against US imperialism, the League changed its whole analysis regarding all Second World countries and stated that only the people of the Second World could be part of the united front.

”We must join with the peoples of the First and Second Worlds and the peoples and countries of the Third in a united front to crush forever, imperialism, colonialism, and the hegemonism of the two superpowers (The Forge, Vol.2 #10, page 14. Emphasis ours) At this point the League is overstating the strength of the superpowers, making all Second World bourgeois classes into their allies and not recognizing the very great contention between, for example, the United States and France. (France is strengthening its military defences, both nuclear and conventional, in a way calculated to defend against both superpowers. See Peking Review #9, 1977, page 25)

We add to our criticism of both these wrong positions the fact that the League jumped from one to the other without self-criticism.

As to the role of the two superpowers in Canada, in spite of the fact that the League has recently come to recognize that US imperialism is basically in alliance with the Canadian bourgeoisie with regard to military affairs, they still downplay the depth of this alliance in the economic and political spheres. Since Vol.2, #2 of The Forge, when the League published its changed position on the role of the Canadian bourgeoisie in the struggle against US imperialism, they have published several articles on supposed trouble spots in the relations between the Canadian bourgeoisie and US imperialism.[1] They stated that the Canadian bourgeoisie is “giving concessions” to the Americans in order to smooth out these trouble spots. This position negates the fundamental alliance between the two bourgeoisies (each with its own interests.) The League still sees the relationship as one of contention and even goes so far as to state that Canada would be invaded by the United States (first) in the event of war. (Why? We are not told.)

An example of the kind of trouble the League gets into with this approach is shown in their articles on the Mackenzie pipeline. Having already stated that the Canadian bourgeoisie will definitely capitulate to the American bourgeoisie on this question (The Forge, Vol.2, #7, page 4), the League then published another article about the fact that the Canadian government may choose the Alcan route. Here (The Forge, Vol.2, #11, page 4) we are told that the two different proposals represent the interests of the two different bourgeoisies and the “showdown”will be “a rough one”. Once again the League changed positions without self-criticism.

During the last six months when these confused articles dealing with the contention between the US and Canadian bourgeoisies were published, The League has published not one article with the exploitation of the Canadian proletariat by US imperialism as its main theme. The subject has been mentioned only two or three times in passing. Soviet imperialism continues to get prominent coverage.

This misplacing of emphasis would lead us to believe that it would be Soviet and not American military interference that would occur in the case of a revolutionary situation in Canada.

All CCL’s errors on these questions stem from the same source; failure to analyze the particularities of the situation. Instead of investigating the fact regarding Soviet and US penetration into Canada, the League takes the general truth that the Soviet Union is the more dangerous of the superpowers and apples it to Canada. Instead of trying to analyze the situation in various Second World countries (which they have done in the case of Third World countries) the League tries to find an easy answer that will apply to them all. The League would do well to apply the scientific principle of concrete analysis of concrete conditions instead of taking such confusing, contradictory and erroneous positions which, if applies could only lead the revolutionary forces to defeat.


[1] The Forge, Vol. 2 #5, p. 4; Vol. 2 #9, . 10; Vol.2 #8, pps. 7, 12.