First Published: The Forge Vol. 5, No. 29, September 5, 1980
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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MONTREAL – After a closing ceremony and farewell party last week some 80 participants in the party’s first central cadre school left here for their homes across the country.
The four-week long course schooled party leaders and future party leaders in the basic methods of communist agitation and propaganda, such as political campaigns, and in the principles of trade union work.
As well members took courses on Marxist-Leninist theory, dialectical and historical materialism, political economy, socialism and the history of the international communist movement given by leading party members.
These theoretical courses helped to raise cadres’ understanding of the basic Marxist philosophical method of investigation, dialectical materialism. They were particularly important to strengthen the party’s overall theoretical level for the difficult period we have ahead in building the party and in the struggle against modern revisionism and all those who seek to attack Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.
In this sense the party’s first cadre school put much more emphasis on theoretical training than did past cadre schools organized by the League and in this and other aspects represented a big step forward. Students studied such classics as Socialism: Utopian and Scientific and Ludwig Fueurbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy by Frederick Engels as well as Mao’s work On Contradiction.
The cadres studied for 3-4 hours each day before the evening courses and workshops. As well students exchanged experiences in their particular fields of work through hundreds of informal meetings organized throughout the school period.
The students were chosen from among the membership from each region in the country and from all seven provinces where the Party is active. Many working members sacrificed vacations to come to the school while many Montreal members attending came right from work.
One comrade from Vancouver who had attended the last cadre school in Jan. 79 explained how this school demonstrated the growth of the Party since that time and the way it had expanded into many new sectors of work. “I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the students and have renewed confidence knowing that comrades in other parts of the country are doing such good work,” he said.
The serious study of Marxism-Leninism and the high level of the debates was stressed by a comrade from Montreal; he was impressed by the number of women cadres attending.
A hard working team of organization specialists ensured that all aspects of the school went smoothly including such tasks as lodging and feeding some 80 students.
Simultaneous translation handled by the party’s own translation specialists ensured not only full translation of lectures but also allowed workshops after the lectures to function in both English and French. It helped all to share in the multinational work of our party and its cross-Canada experience.
Of course, students still had time for extra-curricular sports activity, and the final cultural evening with its highly satirical sketches and songs was prepared by the students from across the land.
Of course, schooling and courses for cadres is only one part of their training. It’s on the job so to speak, in the class struggle, that new party leaders will really get most of their training. And it’s here too that the ideas and concepts learned at the cadre school will be tested and applied in practice.
It was Georgi Dimitrov, a leader of the Communist International, who outlined the basic method of training cadres as follows:
Theoretical training in which mastering the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism is based on a practical study by the student of the key problems of the struggle of the proletariat in his own country. On returning to his practical work the student will then be able to find his bearings independently and become an independent practical organizer and leader capable of leading the masses in battle against the class enemy. (7th Congress)
The first cadre school of the WCP is a major step in preparing the strong contingent of cadres the party needs to develop communist work in the factories and workplaces across Canada.
With their confidence in Marxism-Leninism strengthened, students vowed to return to their regions to raise the political and ideological level of members and sympathizers and to make sure that the lessons learned at the school are passed on to the hundreds of members who weren’t able to attend.