Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Bolshevik Union

Unmask In Struggle! Denounce Gagnonism!

In Struggle Has Split And Wrecked The Marxist-Leninist Movement By Its Own Admission

In Struggle’s stupid “demarcation” against the Bolshevik Union was not a “demarcation” at all, but a splitting and wrecking tactic of a panicking petty-bourgeoisie. In Struggle’s article of September 29, 1977 “definitively demarcating” against the Bolshevik Union made so little mention of our political line that even the most lobotomized robots of the League will be able to perceive what nonsense In Struggle has put forward as an excuse for getting rid of the Bolshevik Union, which has long been a thorn in In Struggle’s economist side.

In “demarcating”, In Struggle paints the Bolshevik Union as sticking out like a sore thumb thumb in the movement for clinging to the conception of the Marxist-Leninist movement appropriate to the period of Canadian Revolution. Says In Struggle:

BU’s adherence to the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement – movement at that point divided into small groups isolated from each other – was related to its involvement in the journal Canadian Revolution. Published in Toronto by a collective, this journal helped launch the struggle in English Canada for the unity of Marxist-Leninists and the creation of the proletarian Party. Since then, however, much has happened in our movement: Canadian Revolution has ceased to exist, and one of the groups involved in the journal has rallied to the League and another to In Struggle. Furthermore, the conferences of Canadian Marxist-Leninists convened by In Struggle stimulated the line struggle all across Canada and encouraged the unification of Marxist-Leninist small groups around one or another of the tendencies that characterize our movement at the present time. Thus, for instance, seven groups from English Canada have rallied to IN STRUGGLE’S ranks in this period.(p. 13)

CR, if we are to use In Struggle as our main source of information, arose out of the dust one fine day independent of human will. The Bolshevik Union was merely “involved” in the CR “collective”. Then, after a few healthy exchanges of views, CR “ceased to exist”, also independent of human will. It passed out of the movement without allowing the movement the dignity of an explanation, and without any accounting of what happened within it or of its historical role in the Canadian movement. For the careerists from In Struggle, who are quite accustomed to wandering in and out of political situations as if from one soiree to another, this is a perfectly normal and acceptable way of explaining to the masses the history of Canadian Revolution.

The Bolshevik Union has some different things to say about Canadian Revolution.

Canadian Revolution as a forum for debate was, by the admission of all groups within the Marxist-Leninist movement, a major step forward for the Marxist-Leninist movement as a whole and toward the struggle for the Party. It was a break with localism and small group mentality and it set ahead the line struggle on serveral fundamental questions, including the principal contradiction, the struggle against Economism, the struggle to build the party, and the Native question.

CR was initiated by members of the Bolshevik Union and collapsed, for all practical purposes, upon the exit of the Bolshevik Union (then the Bolshevik Tendency). CR was stabbed in the back by In Struggle’s cronies the Toronto Communist Group, that band of bureaucrat careerists who were the first in English Canada to rally to In Struggle. The TCG fought the creation of the journal, contributed nothing to the line struggles in the movement through the journal, and destroyed the journal as their principal political activity within it. (See “The Whole is Equal to the Sum of its Parts”)

In Struggle told the Bolshevik Tendency that the TCG submitted a secret self-criticism to In Struggle for their activity in CR. Such “self-criticism” was one of the prices the TCG had to pay to further their careers in the movement by rallying to In Struggle. But the movement at large, including the journal coalition, never saw any such “self-criticism”. The TCG’s position on CR (that it was a Marxist-Leninist group with the right of censorship over political positions in the movement, rather than being a coalition existing to foster the widest possible debate in the movement) was in essence adopted by those who remained in it. Predictably, and as specifically predicted by the Bolshevik Tendency, the TCG position immediately led to the death of CR. After the exit of the Bolshevik Tendency, CR was to publish only one article which could justify its existence as a forum for debate in the movement.[1]

In Struggle is proud of the death of CR. Because for In Struggle, the need for a “wide, permanent and open debate”[2] was merely a brief puff of smoke in the life of the panicking petty-bourgeoisie seeking its hegemony over the working class. For In Struggle the development of itself and the League into bi-national organizations was sufficient reason to put an end to the kind of debate fostered by CR. For In Struggle, the founding of these two groups as bi-national groups is a great step forward toward “the unification of Marxist-Leninist small groups around one or another of the tendencies that characterize our movement at the present time.” For In Struggle, how ever, the founding of the Bolshevik Union as a third bi-national group is a clear act of sabotage, of splitting and wrecking the Marxist-Leninist movement – that is, splitting and wrecking the monopoly which In Struggle and the League have struggled so hard to establish in the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement. Why, shouldn’t two groups be enough for any grateful, appreciative class-conscious worker to choose from?

From the beginning In Struggle was opposed to the existence of LINES OF DEMARCATION and considered that the continuation of such debates as took place within the pages of CR would only be a way to split its movement. And we say “its” most advisedly. In Struggle substituted for CR a series of conferences under their own tight organizational control, conferences where each group could, at five to fifteen minute stretches, take potshots at other groups or deliver monotonous testimonials to the great In Struggle.

To substantiate one’s position by means of the classics or concrete statistics at this conferences was attacked as intellectualism and jeered at and hissed. These conferences could at best supplement in-depth positions by groups. But by supporting the collapse of CR and perceiving CR’s role as the perpetuation of small-group mentality, In Struggle is shown to have been in opposition to the development of these positions in depth by groups with resources too small to publish on their own.

Instead of an open, wide, and in-depth debate, In Struggle rallied the most backward and opportunist groups in Canada, by encouraging their silence as a manifestation of comradeliness and a desire for unity. Having rallied these groups on the lowest possible political basis, In Struggle then turned them in its most viscious and venemous attack against the one group which has struggled the most consistently in the movement for an open, wide and continuing debate on all the burning questions confronting Canadian Marxist-Leninists.

The Bolshevik Union’s independent elaboration of positions, and our exposure of In Struggle’s Economism and careerism, is the most mortal danger to In Struggles’s persistent campaign to destroy and silence the Marxist-Leninist movement and replace it with one big circle and big circle spirit. What In Struggle has worked for is an amorphous grouping of elements trained to worship backwardness and to hiss at the mention of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao and Hoxha.

In Struggle has split and wrecked the Marxist-Leninist movement by collecting into one big group all who are pleased to remain silent and to worship backwardness as a principle, and by turning all of these silent and backward forces like a mad dog against those in the movement who have consistently raised the level of politics in Canada, who have consistently led the struggle for the party.

In Struggle has “demarcated” agains the Bolshevik Union for sticking out like a sore thumb in the movement by being the only group stubborn enough to insist that the needs for which CR was founded have not yet been satisfied.


[1]“ldeological Struggle is Class Struggle”, May First Collective, CR no 5.

[2] from its letter to CR no 2, p. 57.