First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 13, June 27, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The Regina Marxist-Leninist Collective is a communist group which bases itself firmly on the principles of Marxism-Leninism and is carrying forward the struggle to found a new communist party in Canada. The militants of the RMLC are active in Regina and over the last few months the group has held a number of communist meetings in the city, including one to celebrate May Day.
The RMLC has just published an important document containing a denunciation of the reactionary Saskatchewan Waffle and a self-criticism for the right opportunist line previously followed by some of the founders of the RMLC.
This self-criticism shows the firm resolve of the militants of the RMLC to break with opportunism. Here we shall reprint a few excerpts.
The document explains that the Saskatchewan Waffle (SW) was originally founded as a left-social democratic split from the NDP in October 1973. While the Waffle criticized some of the more blatant capitalist policies of the leadership of the , NDP it remained a bourgeois party – refusing to recognize the need for an armed revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie, the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat or a vanguard Marxist-Leninist party to lead the working class to victory.
Over the next few years various opportunist currents battled for the control of the Waffle. A number of militants (some of whom later went on the form the RMLC), considered themselves to be Marxist-Leninist, and joined the Waffle in order to “transform” it. The self-criticism exposes this opportunist line.
Guided by the opportunist attitude that it would be better to go into an existing group to “transform” it rather than embarking on an independent communist practice, this group joined the SW in the fall of 1973... For three years – from fall 1973 to fall of 1976 – there were thus individuals calling themselves “Marxist-Leninists” active within the Waffle. Throughout this period, individuals from this original study group provided leadership in many different forms within the organization, with some even rising to important leadership positions, in the opportunist belief that the Saskatchewan Waffle could be transformed into a communist organization...
That this study group made the choice of entering the Waffle proves it was an opportunist study group. If everybody now in the Marxist-Leninist movement had made this choice in 1973, where would the movement be today? There is no doubt that it would be nowhere near as advanced as it is now.
The dangerous effects of this opportunist line are also exposed.
It was the opportunism represented by a continuous tendency within the Waffle, a tendency which claimed to be Marxist-Leninist, a tendency that thought it was struggling to transform the Waffle into a communist organization... In the course of struggle over the three years, this tendency served the revisionist manipulators now in control of the Waffle by building the Waffle and giving a militant and “Marxist-Leninist” cover to an anti-communist organization.
After some time, by drawing lessons from the struggles within the Waffle and the development of the communist movement in other parts of the country, some militants began to understand that they were following an opportunist line. After some study of Marxism-Leninism they issued a call to liquidate the Waffle and form a Marxist-Leninist group in Saskatchewan. The result was their immediate expulsion from the Waffle.
Today these militants, united in the RMLC, are continuing to expose their past opportunist line and to denounce the reactionary Waffle.
The Waffle for its part has increasingly attempted to camouflage itself. Its line has evolved from left-social democratic to an increasingly clear revisionist position.
The SW is now firmly controlled by revisionists. We were slow to recognize this revisionism because it is not the variety that openly kow-tows to the social-imperialist Soviet Union. It even claims support for socialist China. But like all revisionism it uses Marxist-Leninist phrases occasionally, pretends to do Marxist-Leninist analysis, but REJECTS certain fundamental communist principles such as the need for a Marxist-Leninist party and the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat.
The SW now more and more often claims to be “Marxist-Leninist.” But in reality it is just a revisionist snake putting on a new skin to combat the great advances made by the Marxist-Leninist movement.
The creation of the RMLC and the publication of their recent self-criticism are positive developments for the Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada. They show that our movement is still growing and that it is becoming stronger in the struggle against opportunism.
One paragraph from this document sums up the situation well.
...we can only repeat that we should never have been there in the first place. For three years of work, there is nothing to show but a consolidated counter-revolutionary organization against which we must now struggle at every turn... The principal danger to the Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada is right opportunism. Any compromise, and our activities were not just a compromise but a marriage, with right opportunism leads only to unmitigated disaster. The RMLC, which came into being after its members had found the correct path out of the swamp, must struggle to liquidate all opportunism and build the new communist party.