Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Review of “The Movement for the Party”

This new work by the Organization of Communist Workers (ML) of Canada will be of immediate interest to readers in the US, as well as to the emerging Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada and Quebec. The OCW(ML) is to our knowledge the only Marxist-Leninist group in Canada that has taken a decisive stand against the current attempts to turn the Party-building process into a vehicle for the ’fusion’ of the interests of the petty bourgeoisie with those of the working class. American readers, with our own half-dozen Menshevik parties and pre-parties, will fully appreciate the problems our Canadian comrades face. In terms of overall development, the emergence of the communist movements in the US and Canada has been nearly identical, Both have their origins in the 1960’s petty bourgeois rebellion, and have been characterized by the dominance of several large opportunist trends. And both have produced, by the consolidation of those trends, “ML” parties and pre-parties that advance the narrow strivings of various strata of the petty bourgeoisie. The main distinction between the two movements is that Canada and Quebec have, because of thinner population, a less massive petty bourgeoisie, and the Canadian movement has therefore lacked the wherewithal! to produce such a wide range of opportunist trends as we ’enjoy’ here. But as THE MOVEMENT FOR THE PARTY shows, what the “ML” opportunists in Canada have lacked in numbers, they have fully compensated for with frantic self-esteem and ’militant’ dedication to ’palpable results.’ Thus the reader will find many familiar formulations in the lines of the Canadian “ML” groups which should, given the sparse arrangement of their movement help to put the more complex development of our own movement in perspective.

The work is divided into two main parts. The first covers the general principles of Marxism-Leninism on Party-building. The relation between the communist and workers’ movements, the content of the fusion of the two, the various stages of Party-building in the first period of the Party’s life, the definition of what constitutes a communist movement, and the general tasks of communists at this time, are presented with unusual precision and should be a valuable reference to Marxist-Leninists in our movement. The second section is a polemic against the main deviations on Party-building in the Canadian movement and covers the CPC(ML) the Bolshevik Union, the MREQ, the MREQ’s pre-party formation: the Canadian Communist League (ML), and En Lutte!. These organizations follow lines similar to the various trends that have exited our movement, but have many unique opportunist positions due to Canada’s status as a secondary imperialist power. There is no real equivalent in the US to the CPC(ML), except perhaps the CLP USNA and the CPC(ML)’s American outlet, the Central Organization of US Marxist-Leninists (COUSML). it represents a truly fanatical neo-Trotskyite trend that declared itself the ’party’ early on in the Canadian movement’s development. The Bolshevik Union is roughly equivalent to our own ’Revolutionary Wing’, both in its ability to Mink’ one stupid catch-phrase to another and its “Left” attack on Marxist-Leninist principles. The MREQ’s development from a purely student ’anti-imperialist’ base into a student “ML” organization on the verge of declaring itself a ’proletarian party’, is similar to the development of both the RCP USA and OL out of the old SDS. The MREQ’s declaration of the CCL(ML) exactly one year ago has brought it to the forefront of the ’two-line struggle’ within the Canadian movement and promises yet another “ML” Menshevik party in the near future. The CCL(ML) shares the same social-chauvinist position on the international situation as the OL, and is linked to the OL through ’comradely’ fraternal ties. The En Lutte! organization, based primarily in Quebec, is the CCL(ML)1s main opponent in the present ’party’ maneuvers. Its distinctive feature is its Centrism and opportunist calls for ’unity’ apart from principled resolution of political differences. En Lutte! began, as has the RCPUSA with a Centrist stand on the international situation, but has, under the pressure of the CCL(ML), elaborated a fully social-chauvinist line in recent months. Failing a merger with the CCL(ML), En Lutte! will no doubt proceed to declare a party of its own. THE MOVEMENT FOR THE PARTY deals with the history and development of line of each of these organizations in extensive detail, demonstrates in principle the class basis and opportunist striving that has given rise to them, and urges the Canadian Marxist-Leninists to lay a firm foundation of Marxist-Leninist principles as the basis for a consistent Party-building effort.

At a time when “ML” opportunists are attempting, in effect, to so badly scramble the workers8 minds that they will simply give up thinking about socialism, our movement should truly appreciate a work of substance such as the OCW(ML) has produced. For those who are unable to find THE MOVEMENT FOR THE PARTY in movement bookstores, it can be ordered from: Workers’ Books PO Box-1332 Kitchner, Ontario N2G 4G8 Canada 245 pages, $2.50.