First Published: The Forge, Vol. 6, No. 31, September 18, 1981
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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This issue of The Forge has a new column on party life and a new masthead.
These improvements are part of a much larger transformation of the newspaper that The Forge editorial board is undertaking over the coming months.
We have set out to make The Forge more interesting and readable so that it will be a better instrement in the struggle for socialism in Canada.
The newspaper has made a lot of progress over the past few years, becoming a 16-page weekly that brings news and analysis to working people across the country. But we think there is lots of room for improvement and want to take this opportunity to share some of the plans with Forge readers.
There are a number of proposals to better the paper’s content.
The Forge intends to develop the Theory and Revolution column and to improve the quality of the propaganda articles in the newspaper. With the worsening economic crisis, workers are looking for an alternative to capitalism.
But with all the attacks on socialism as well as the real problems in the communist movement and in socialist countries many working people have questions as to whether socialism is really superior to capitalism and how workers’ rule could come about in a country like Canada.
The Forge will be making a greater effort to deal with such issues in a greater number of in-depth and analytical articles.
We want to build up the Party Life column. Many working people and supporters of the WCP have questions about how our party works, about the rights and responsibilities of members or about how decisions are taken within the organization.
This column will allow The Forge to answer some of these questions and to improve its coverage of the activities of the Workers Communist Party, its meetings as well as debates and study going on within the party.
The Forge wants to expand its coverage of many subjects of everyday life which concern working people. While coverage of the labour movement and Canadian and international political scenes has always been a strong point in The Forge, there are many issues that have been neglected.
The housing crisis, education, consumer issues, the environment, sports, culture, science and various social problems are all questions to which The Forge will devote more attention in the future. They are obviously subjects, which interest and affect the lives of all working people.
We wish to encourage more debates on issues of concern to working people within the pages of The Forge. While The Forge is the central organ of the WCP and reflects the Party’s viewpoint, we want to stimulate more debates and exchanges of opinion with our readers who are for the most part not party members.
Improving the paper’s style and eliminating boring and repetitive articles will also be a concern of The Forge editorial staff and its journalists. While progress has beeh made over the past few years, there is still a long way to go to banish stereotypical writing, stock-phrases and clichés from the pages of The Forge.
To better the presentation of the paper, special attention will be paid to the front page and to increasing the size of headlines, photos and to decreasing the amount of text.
As our readers can see from the first page of this issue, we have also changed the newspapers masthead. Besides adopting a more modern and streamlined lettering, the principal transformation is the removal of the profiles of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong from the masthead.
We want to emphasize that this change in no way reflects any modification of the basic line of The Forge or the WCP, of our adherence to Marxism-Leninism or of our evaluation of the contributions of these five great communist leaders.
Our party has been and will remain active in Canada and in the international movement in upholding the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought against various opportunist attacks.
The decision to remove the portraits of these five leaders was not taken because of any change of line but because we no longer believe it is necessary or appropriate to keep their profiles on the masthead of The Forge.
Instead, the portrait of these five great communists will appear in the headline of the newspapers theoretical column Theory and Revolution.
When we began to publish The Forge in October 1975, with the foundation of the Canadian Communist League (M.L.), Marxism-Leninism was not well known among progressive circles. At that time a fierce debate raged around the need to found a party and on what basis it should be set up.
Literally dozens of left groups existed, most of which have since disappeared or have been absorbed by others.
By putting the five portraits on the front page of The Forge, we clearly indicated our ideological line and demarcated from various opportunist groups in a very public manner.
Through our work we were gradually able to win many honest progressive militants over to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Today, after six years of work we have a party and the ideological demarcation is generally clear in progressive circles.
Thus, we feel it is no longer essential to keep the five portraits on The Forge masthead. Further, we think the party has now reached a stage of maturity where it is important to have its own party symbol for all its various activities.
The five portraits are a symbol of the international communist movement which is too general to represent the needs of the party today.
This is why we have modified The Forge masthead and have transferred the five portraits to the inside of the paper on the theoretical column.
We are also launching a competition to come up with an emblem for the WCP which can be used in all campaigns, elections and on party literature. Forge readers are invited to send in their suggestions for such a symbol and the best entries will be published in the paper later this fall.
These are the main changes we will be bringing to The Forge in the coming months. While some are already evident in this issue, others will require a more determined effort and a longer period of time to be fully realized.
The aim is to strengthen The Forge, make it more interesting and useful for our regular readership and to help us win new readers to the paper.
We invite all our readers to send us contributions, comments, criticisms and suggestions as well as to support the paper financially. This will help us transform The Forge so that it more truly reflects the needs of Canadian workers and better serves the revolutionary struggle.