First Published: In Struggle, No. 107, February 2, 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The Vancouver regional conference was organized by five groups – March 8th Collective, the Red Wind Collective, the Red Star Collective, Vancouver Red Collective and IN STRUGGLE! Only the last three gave firm and clearcut presentations of their positions.
The Red Star Collective explained why it sees the necessity of applying the “three worlds theory” as a strategic concept. It reaffirmed its belief in the need to build a united front against the superpowers and expressed its support for the armament of countries like France, the strengthening of the European Common Market, etc., because “Europe is opposed to the superpowers”.
But such positions crumbled under the weight of the arguments based on fact put forward by other friends and comrades. For example, a representative of the Canadian-Arab Federation pointed out that ten times more Palestinian combatants have been massacred by reactionary “third world” regimes like Jordan and Lebanon than by the superpowers. It was pointed out that France, whose arms build-up the RSC supports, is at this very moment involved in a colonial war in Africa against the people of Chad. Support for the arms build-up of French imperialism is support for crushing the struggle of Chad. It is support for crushing the struggle of the French proletariat itself. In fact support for a strong Europe opposed to the superpowers is support for the formation of a new superpower. After all, the Gross National Product of West Germany was greater than the GNP of the Soviet Union and the military budget of that superpower was lower than that of West Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy taken together.
The RSC has already said in writing that such a strategy could indeed favour the emergence of a European superpower. Yet it feels it can get around the inevitable logic of its argument by adding that anyway this doesn’t apply to Canada. According to the RSC, Canada is an “economic colony” of the United States, so the Canadian bourgeoisie would never fight this superpower and therefore cannot be part of the world united front. With this erronious analysis of the character of the Canadian bourgeoisie, RSC thinks it can cancel out the “unfortunate”, embarrassing consequences of the “three worlds strategy” on the path of the revolution in Canada.
Unforunately for it, it doesn’t work. As our comrades pointed out at the conference, the reason the Canadian bourgeoisie isn’t part of the united front against imperialism is that it itself is completely and utterly imperialist and recactionary, just like the Western European bourgeoisies, and that it is a solid ally of the USA within NATO and NORAD. To say that Canada is a colony of the United States only reinforces RSC nationalist position on international questions. On the domestic front as well, the overthrow of the Canadian bourgeoisie is put off for the benefit of the the struggle for “national independence”.
Comrades, a second error isn’t going to cross out the first error, for both have the basic source: nationalist positions, the nationalist positions inherited for the Progressive Workers Movement which you seem intent on holding onto.