This document is devoted to the episode of crisis that affected the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) towards the end of last winter. It is a follow-up on the first statement published on our website (pcr-rcp.ca), in which the Quebec District reinstated the four members expelled by the Party’s Central Committee and called for the defence of the integrity of the RCP and its program. We intend herewith to shed light on all of the disagreements between us and the opportunists that led to this expulsion, but most of all, to take all of the dispositions necessary for ensuring the continuity of the practice of the RCP, a practice forged through three decades of relentless struggles and work to build a genuine workers’ Party in Canada, founded on a keen grasp of Maoism. Following our definitive split with the opportunistic fringe of the Party, politics were put back in command. The Party accordingly experienced important developments in Quebec. We began prioritizing organizational work and engaging ourselves in a series of initiatives, of which the strongest was without a doubt the first edition of the “Month of the Working Class: Towards a Revolutionary Mayday”. This sequence, coupled with our determination to halt the putting to death of the perspective of seizure of power by the proletariat in Canada, resulted in a strong participation of members in spring demonstrations before and after the month, namely at March 8th and revolutionary Mayday itself.
First and foremost, let us backtrack to the origins of the opportunist clique that today comprises the Central Committee of a Party that has nothing to do with the RCP, and who nonetheless shamelessly lays claim to the name. The clique is composed of a group of activists who rallied the Party in 2010, amid the G20 in Toronto and the Canadian Revolutionary Conference of the same year, in the same city. Their now defunct organization, the “Social Revolution Party” (sorev.wordpress.com), worked as a tumor, developing within half a decade into a particularly damaging cancer for our Party. Indeed, the followers of the SRP had feigned an adhesion to the RCP. It is with great displeasure that looking back on this we have come to realise how, early on in their short history with the RCP, they undertook to assimilate Protracted People’s War (PPW) – the most complete and verified revolutionary strategy in the history of the world proletariat – to a grotesque concept of their own invention, the “Popular Action Movement (PAM)”, enough to cause any revolutionary worthy of the name to vomit. The PAM is in fact an eclectic collage of the vilest economistic and reformistic practices, glazed with lip service to a distant and hypothetical armed struggle. From its very first days onward in the RCP, the clique implemented its opportunistic mechanism in order to liquidate our proletarian and revolutionary bearings. To accomplish this, it used the notoriety of the Quebec District activists’ combative militancy to boost its own reputation publicly and grow recruitment. Meanwhile, within its own ranks, it stigmatized and discredited the same activists.
The territorial division followed throughout the whole affair by the fracture in the Party is unimportant. Indeed, the fracture is above all a political one. The revolutionary line in the RCP is embraced by its Maoist and proletarian fraction, mainly concentrated in the Quebec district, whereas the opportunist line is principally embodied by the clique at the helm of the Central Committee, a group of academics heavily influenced by the post-Marxist ideas fashionable on campuses. The idea here is not to insist on the petty-bourgeois origin of these activists, but rather to make very clear their persistence in petty-bourgeois thought, a class position unfit for revolutionaries. Furthermore, at first the opportunist clique asserted itself externally to the Party, through the RSM (Revolutionary Student Movement), the only sector of political activity where the clique went fully unhindered in the exercise of its influence. Afterwards, it used the membership of the RSM to build itself a delegation for the latest Congress of the RCP. As a result, to our great surprise, we suddenly had a large number of members hailing from certain regions where our presence had previously been only minimal or fairly recent.
These people, who now fancy themselves leaders of the RCP, are in fact leaders of nothing but a league of elements that have nothing to do neither with our organization, nor with the achievements of our history, nor with Maoism. By attacking the living center of the Party’s theoretical and organizational activity, this clique is trying to “break” the revolutionary core of the RCP, at the very place where the fundamental line of the RCP was forged. In these conditions, it became imperative for the Maoist revolutionary line to retaliate, blow by blow until victory, to the slander spread by the opponents of revolutionary Maoism in Canada.
As opposed to the opportunist clique, whose predominant mode of action is to cheat and to disseminate phony stories regarding us, we are bound to the duty of offering an honest, simple, and precise explanation and clarification to the activists, supporters, and friends of the Party here and elsewhere in the world. As opposed to the opportunist clique who shamefully chose to lead the debate in the ruts and style of bourgeois politics, we prefer to remain determinedly steadfast on the terrain of MLM principles and on a correct analysis of the situation.
Firstly, we will refute the totality of the accusations formulated by the opportunist clique. Secondly, we will illustrate how they reject the RCP’s strategic perspectives and program, which is the real reason of the split that took place in our Party. In all accounts, we will aim to situate the struggle against opportunism in the current historical period and in the context of an advanced capitalist country such as Canada.
Lies and petty-bourgeois maneuvers
Last spring, the Revolutionary Communist Party experienced considerable upheavals, which led to a split between the Quebec district and the rest of the organization. However, from the outside, it was difficult to evaluate the nature of this crisis and to understand all of its aspects. On March 4th 2017, elements hostile to the Party were ejected from the Maison Norman Bethune bookstore (the public space of the RCP in Montreal). We consider this ejection to have been fully justified. The following day, the opportunist clique, who were serving on the Central Committee, reacted by openly defending these hostile elements, and expelled four Party members involved in the ejection, members known for their firm adherence to MLM and for their exemplary activism. We consider this expulsion to be a political attack of utmost importance against the development of the RCP in Quebec and in the rest of Canada. This profoundly illegitimate decision joined a list of political ruses employed by the opportunist clique, aiming by any means necessary to conquer leadership over the entire Party. It is in this pursuit that they seized the opportunity of the March 4th event to disqualify Montreal comrades.
Since then, we ceased recognizing the legitimacy of the Central Committee of the RCP − a leadership that we correctly qualify as opportunist. We made this decision public in a statement on the 11th of March 2017. We are therefore indeed the initiators of the split (which was disguised in an expulsion of two Quebec cells in the opportunists’ statement published following Mayday 2017).
It became clear to us that the opportunist clique’s underhandedness and activities aimed to render inoperative the nucleus of revolutionary Maoists in Canada. This is why we split with them. Since then, our activity has no relation to that of the spoof RCP, who lays claim to a name that it has dirtied for far too long. The RCP was founded in Montreal in 2007. All throughout its history, the Quebec District has defended Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) in every manner from the petty-bourgeois subjectivism that threatens the communist movement in imperialist countries and which has also started parasitizing our Party. It is in the name of this defence that the opportunist clique expelled the Quebec District and it is in this name of this defence that the latter turned its back to the opportunist clique.
The opportunist clique were so absorbed in their quest to liquidate the revolution that when they expelled the Quebec District, they unintentionally omitted cells which they were not even aware existed. This only illustrates how uninterested they were in the deployment of the Party on Quebec territory, a deployment only led by the historical leadership of the RCP, and therefore, not part of the revisionist plans of the new Central Committee. Over the past years, the opportunist clique aimed a plethora of offensives against the comrades of the Quebec District. If we chose to concentrate only on the expulsion statement published on their website (pcrrcp.wordpress.com), it is not for a lack of other insults of this category, but rather because it combines the near entirety of accusations launched at us by the opportunist clique. Nevertheless, the statement in question is to be considered the final puzzle piece of what was nothing more than the endeavour of defamation by a handful of petty-bourgeois against the proletarian orientation of the RCP in Quebec. The publication of the statement sought nothing else than to put the finishing touch on their attempt to do away with authentic communism in Canada. Know that this attempt was in vain, and that it will remain so.
The opportunist clique, who today steer the Central Committee of the spoof RCP, expelled the near entirety of the Quebec District, which is to say the great majority of the province’s members, and incidently more or less 50 percent of the total Party membership. The clique justified these expulsions not as a result of the line struggle underway in the Party, but as “organizational and procedural infractions”. Their statement lists the so-called infractions that supposedly were committed by Quebec District members, and among which we can read: 1) a failure to initiate a rectification campaign mandated by the CC; 2) the use of violence to solve political disagreements; 3) a pattern of unwillingness to struggle politically; 4) the interference with an investigation into sexual assault allegations; 5) conveying transphobic ideas; 6) committing theft; 7) rejection of democratic centralism.
All those who do activist work, who struggle and take risks for the revolution, everywhere in the world, be it in India, the Philippines or right here in Canada, would agree: voluntarily seeking to annihilate the living forces of a Party requires having, in one’s hands, a minimum of serious justifications. All of the allegations cast by the opportunist clique are profound distortions of reality; worse, some of them are pure and simple lies. In fact, these allegations are nothing less than the premises of the deployment of a line intended to call into question the advances of Maoism. Concretely, an opportunist clique based in a cohort of academics, newcomers to Maoism and to activism within our ranks, took control of the RCP’s central committee during our latest Congress. Even if Congress elected them, our rejection of this Central Committee and its supporters was in no way a transgression, but rather a duty to which we were bound. True communists are aware they emerge from a line struggle throughout the international communist movement, a struggle against revisionism and reformism. This is to say that being “right” politically does not bestow on us a free ticket to the victory of revolution, but rather compels us to a daunting challenge.
This clique thus sought to enforce a change in the Party’s positioning, namely by raising doubt on the program and its perspectives, fruits of the unrelenting struggle to establish an actual proletarian and Maoist core group in Canada. Concretely, the opportunist clique wants to replace the RCP’s revolutionary line by its own “pragmatic-opportunist” posture. Such is the content of their rupture with the supposedly “old ideas”. As we will see, far from being advocates of “new ideas”, the opportunist clique’s munitions are cheap, long since hackneyed rubbish, constituted of a reification of the difficulties encountered by the communist movement at different periods: backwards conception of the role of communists in unions; backwards conception of the role of the Party in an advanced-capitalist country; inability to understand the essence of the political confrontation central to the advance of communism; etc.
The opportunists always aim to hide the line of demarcation between them and revolutionaries under the facade of false unity. It is undeniably easy to say that we are all in agreement with RCP’s program or with certain general perspectives, but validating this in action is another thing. This is namely why the opportunist clique sought to deliberately elude the principal issues behind the split.
The opportunist clique alleges that the Quebec District’s activists are refusing to initiate a rectification campaign. Further, the opportunists affirm that, in Montreal, there persists an incorrect understanding of MLM (sic!). It goes without saying that this rectification campaign and the criticism of the conceptions conveyed by Montreal comrades are nothing other than an attempt to stifle line debate; to divide partisans; to create a climate of denunciation and intimidation; above all, to systematically humiliate the proletarian elements of our organization. This rectification campaign is reminiscent of the one that the same traitors, serving on the Coordination Committee of the RSM, led in the name of the struggle against supposed Montreal transphobia. Ultimately, it was only a crusade against the proletarian women of the RCP in Quebec: inspections, investigations, interrogations and policing moved forward daily for several months. In a word, all of this is simply the materialization of the profound class contempt possessing the opportunists we drove out of the Party.
In its expulsion statement, the opportunist clique infers that the Quebec District’s activity is stagnating. This is far from being the case. The Party’s work in the Quebec District has greatly developed in the past two years. Moreover, it is the results of the unremitting efforts carried out in the greater Montreal area that stimulated the expansion of the Party in the rest of Canada. In addition, this activity led to the formation of a totally new generation of Maoist organizers, capable of assuming all of the tasks of leadership. Today, the presence of the Party in the territory of the District is strong and its apparatuses, the RWM, the RSM, the RPFF, and the RYF, under the local leadership of the Party, organize more and more members every day.
The “rectification campaign” sought out by the opportunist clique aimed not to correct Montreal work, but to coerce us in to a change of course, specially by casting doubt on the viewpoints defended by the Quebec District and by criticising revolutionary activists based on the fact that these maintain a strong allegiance to the perspectives and plans adopted by the Party.
Since it has nothing consistent to propose, opportunism can content itself with backseat-driving; looking on and criticizing everyone’s shortfalls. Its fundamental position in no way engages itself to innovate, but simply to mimic others’ activity without truly understanding it. Opportunism’s failure to master the experience of the international communist movement prevents itself from overcoming the limits of the said movement and, consequently, causes it to repeat the same mistakes and wind up at the same failures. This is why, for lack of a will to assume the conclusions emerging from the perspectives adopted by the RCP, the opportunist clique prefers to elevate the difficulties that exist (and that will continue to exist) at a practical level into a criticism of the alignments historically defended by the Party, alignments that make up the backbone of revolutionary initiative in Canada.
The opportunist clique alleges that the activists of the Party in Quebec use violence to resolve political disagreements. Actually, the only violence used by the Party is against the bourgeoisie and the enemies of the revolution… Communists conceive violence as constitutive of class struggle. The criticism received by the activists of Quebec is nothing other than the opportunist clique’s verbalization of the faintheartedness induced in them by the use of revolutionary violence to fight capitalism.
Let us revisit this episode of “violence” which took place during a book launch at the Maison Norman Bethune, since important details were missing from the statement, voluntarily omitted by the opportunist clique: For example, the fact that the ejected people form a group of elements hostile to the Party and that they have long been engaged in a wrecking campaign against the RCP’s activity in Montreal. Far from being Party supporters, despite what the opportunist clique may say, this core group of provocateurs, among other things, had formulated calls to physical violence against comrades and had harassed Montreal members. Above all, the provocateurs circulated slanderous documents in which they delighted in defaming Party activists as well as spinning serious allegations against activists, allegations that were entirely fabricated. Furthermore, it is brazen to qualify a jostle as violent abuse, when every day, the world over, the exploited confront the bourgeoisie at the risk of their life. The anti-Party elements are arrogant enough to neglect to acknowledge that they deliberately initiated the altercation by showing up at our space after all of the villainy they had undertaken in prior months. Secretly, they are fully aware that they emerged unscathed and that had we given free rein to our indignation, they could have suffered actual blows to their physical integrity.
One of the slanderous documents evoked contains a serious allegation of sexual abuse supposedly committed by a Montreal member against a former activist of the RCP in Quebec. It is important to specify that the said accusation was not formulated by the former activist in question. The same allegation was then repeated in the opportunist clique’s statement. According to the latter, Quebec District activists voluntarily plotted to obstruct the clique’s investigation on this affair. In fact it is precisely the opposite. The opportunist clique, supported and encouraged by the Ottawa cell (the most populous cell of the opposing camp to which the anti-Party who authored the allegation in question had annexed itself), circulated an unverified allegation internally in all of the cells except those of Quebec. This situation could have continued to worsen for a long time if it were not for the prompt reaction of the leadership of the Quebec District, who, when they finally got wind of the said document, undertook to get to the bottom of this story. They did the only responsible thing in the circumstances, which was to contact the alleged victim in order to obtain the truth. This person wrote us a letter which refutes the allegation, stating “[that she] has nothing to reproach this comrade”, and who asks “that he be absolved from every suspicion and that her name and life no longer be used in contexts without logical relation”. She adds that “this constitutes indecency” and that “[the] relationship [referred to by the anti-Party] has nothing to do with her defection”. For their part, the opportunist clique preferred to let things last, knowing perfectly well that this would contribute to foster a climate of hostility and suspicion towards the Party’s activists in Montreal, stigmatising and isolating the latter and fulfilling the objectives of the former.
According to the opportunist clique, the Party’s activists in Quebec demonstrated an unwillingness to struggle politically. They accuse the activists of proving themselves guilty of this at the latest Congress by voting en bloc against any possibility of internal debate on contentious questions. This last allegation is frankly far from representing the truth. Indeed, leading up to the Congress, the Party’s activists in Quebec produced individually or collectively the near entirety of documents to be distributed beforehand. The content of most of these documents concerned important questions, of which some were indeed contentious, namely the question of labour unions, the question of proletarian feminism, the question of prostitution, etc. All of these contributions were decentralized within the expected time-frame in order to encourage internal debate. With this taken into account, it now appears that the same opportunist clique, who accuse us of preferring intrigues to political debates, are the only ones to have gone about fomenting plots and intrigues. The activists from outside of Quebec also voted en bloc. Furthermore, while they had nearly nothing of their own to propose at Congress, the bloc led by the opportunist clique rejected every perspective brought forth by the revolutionary activists. The members of the Central Committee at the time, who also make up the core of the opportunist clique, were unreachable in the weeks prior to the Congress. Therefore, instead of acting as leaders for everybody in order to help resolve inner-Party contradictions, they retreated to the forces they had under their responsibility and, from there onwards, orchestrated their sordid cabal against the Party. Ultimately, two Parties came out of the latest Congress. The first, the RCP, built itself through political debate by unifying activists around political clarifications. The second, the opportunist RCP, for its part built itself through a ghastly opportunist alliance between a revisionist fraction preaching stageism, and a postmodern fraction preaching anti-oppressive struggle. In fact, the opportunist RCP is a dubious combination of Marx-leaning activists and of activists embracing, without having fully mastered them, postmodern and post-political ideas, ideas uninterested in the actual proletariat. The actions of the opportunist clique are moreover propelled by class interests that are not proletarian.
The opportunist clique ably succeeded in dominating the new Central Committee by openly exposing its anti-Marxist ideas and by rejecting several propositions and ideas we submitted at the latest Congress. This rejection was minutious and in detail, going as far as the censorship of certain words, including “prostitution”. Thus, when it was voted in that there would be an open period of discussion in the following months (namely on the program), it was evident that the dice were already loaded. Opportunism is open to discuss anything, so long as its own propositions are the subject, and so long they are guaranteed adoption.
As far as the accusation of transphobia is concerned, it was levelled because of the Quebec District activists’ defence of the perspectives produced in the document titled “On the RPFF and the Oppression of Women”. Yet, the orientation of this text is correct, since it distances itself both from queer and radical feminism, particularly by putting forward a relevant class analysis and takes substantial care to draw on dialectical and historical materialism. It provides vital criticism of non-Marxist conceptions, and not the criticism of individuals themselves. Nevertheless, the Congress pronounced itself as a majority against the conceptions contained in this text and the opportunists took liberties with an array of condescending comments towards the proletarian women of the RCP, thus revealing their class contempt.
Of all the accusations put forth in the statement, the most insulting accusation is probably that of theft. Indeed, the opportunist clique know very well they never levied, in a serious manner respectful of the effort of contribution by Quebec Party members, the dues in the cells under their responsibility. This goes to say that even if the opportunists and their supporters composed a little more than half of the RCP’s pre-split forces, over a period of more than a year, they paid in only a tenth of the money given by Quebec comrades. Yet, the latter are, for the most part, low-income, retired or unemployed, while certain opportunists are grantees, paid to study social sciences in university. There is no other reason for this disproportion of monetary inflow than the blatant laxism of the opportunist clique. In short, the near totality of the sums and resources accumulated by the Party originate in the cumulative dues and income of Quebec District members throughout the years. What this also means is that the near entirety of the Congress expenses as well as the money spent by the opportunist clique were paid for by the sums accumulated by the Quebec membership. We did not steal anything; we simply took back control over our resources… and for a good reason, since it would be criminal to fund the propagation of the opportunist line!
We will not contest the opportunist clique’s reproach concerning our circumstantial refusal to respect democratic centralism, but we will point back at them: They are the first to have impeded democratic centralism in order to arrive at their ends, and this, well before the latest Congress. However, Marxists, unlike the Marx-leaning, have the principled understanding that democratic centralism is only a tool for the waging class struggle until victory, and it is not an abstract imperative. Consequently, when an organization turns its back to the proletariat, the revolutionary fraction that is left will put class struggle before democratic centralism. Now that we no longer obey the opportunist clique and that we have operationalized the necessary split, we have resumed a democratic centralism in the RCP which has nothing to envy of the one fetishized by liquidatory elements. On the contrary, it functions in service of the struggle for proletarian power.
The true reason of the split: Reformism with a little red tail
The Quebec District separated itself from the disgraceful rest of the RCP in order to defend the struggle for communism against the extinction that threatens it in Canada. In the same breath, we have taken up the task of rebuilding the Party throughout the whole country on clear revolutionary bases. The inability to reach an adequate synthesis of the historical experience of the international communist movement, coupled with an essentially reformist practice results in what we could characterize as a form of revisionist-Maoism: A Maoism fusing the worst practices of the history of the communist movement (economism, stageism, opportunism, social-democracy) together with postmodernism, in other words the entanglement in ideological struggle separated from any kind of revolutionary practice directed towards the proletariat, which makes space for “post-political” ideas in tune with left libertarianism, as well as for petty-bourgeois social practices. The tenuous relationship between the propagators of revisionist-Maoism and proletarian reality favours a tendency to theorize upon the working class based on academic resources. This brings them also to exaggerate the importance of the progressive petty-bourgeois viewpoint (namely circulated by the “left” intelligentsia that dominates social media). But more often than not, it causes them to mimic the historical experience of others instead of mastering it themselves (if only to determine what is of current interest and what is bygone, etc.). Though, as it was underlined in broad strokes in one of the Congress documents, our conception of the manner of building the Party “conceals a portion of specificity and of innovation”. Simply put, we could have said the following: the struggle for the Party and revolution is entirely demarcated by the imperative of mastering the fundamental teachings of the international revolutionary movement, as well as of innovating at the practical and theoretical level based in the reality of class struggle here in Canada.
Revisionist-Maoism encourages abandoning fundamental concepts of Maoism, such as “Party”, “proletariat”, “mode of production”, etc. and adopting in their lieu vague concepts such as “Partisan war machine”, “gender-oppressed people”, “systems of oppression”, etc. This perspective results in an exaggeration of the importance accorded to certain hyper-marginalised sections of society, who are mistakenly appraised as the hard core of the proletariat. Our critics betray a strong tendency to camouflage their abandonment of the proletariat’s centrality to the revolutionary process by abusing the concept of “masses”: In theory they pretend to defend the idea that the proletariat is the principal force within the masses, but in practice this centrality is denied. The rejection of the proletariat as the main revolutionary subject is representative of several “Maoist” organisations in North America. In developed capitalist countries, where exploitation is more diffuse than in dominated countries, petty-bourgeois elements who are enraged against the injustices of capitalist society will invest themselves in the organizations of the exploited and the oppressed, in which they spontaneously import their understanding of the world, an eclectic one made of a mix of bourgeois and proletarian ideas. A solid proletarian political leadership is therefore necessary to counter this tendency towards diluting Maoism. What is more, given their abilities and their availabilities, they come to rapidly transform the organizations in which they operate in a fundamental way. Petty-bourgeois ideas and methods exist objectively, they dominate the public sphere, and they thus spontaneously hold sway over the activity of many activists. The anti-oppressive and ideological rereading of Maoism carried out by the petty-bourgeois elements that are laying siege to the North American communist movement represents an abandonment of class struggle as a path to the transformation of relations of production. Building the Party as well as its revolutionary leadership requires going against the current of the spontaneous petty-bourgeois movement. In the case of our Party, to not go against the current would have meant being stuck between the opportunists on one hand, and the postmodernists on the other, which ultimately would have had the effect of completely erasing the revolutionary leadership of the Canadian proletariat.
In addition to the massive incorporation of Marxism-dissolvent elements borrowed from postmodernism, revisionist-Maoism, a genuine tampering of communism in imperialist countries, is characterised by the upholding of Maoism as an element of rupture with the history of the international communist movement. Furthermore, it puts forward a rejection of Leninism and of the leading role of the Party, elevating itself thus to a historically unequalled level of opportunism. It is an observation of ours that there are too many opportunist activists in imperialist countries who don’t have an authentic will to orchestrate the seizure of power by workers.
The rejection of revolutionary action
Since its founding, the RCP builds itself through revolutionary action. Without the persistence and the deployment of the latter, the Party would not have progressed. Consequently, very early in the history of the RCP, we knew that our progression, attributable to the revolutionary action we led, would inevitably import a right wing into our ranks. Furthermore, we were aware that our will to progress and our progression in the fight against the Canadian bourgeoisie would cause a right wing to emerge: cowardly activists who turn their back to the exploited. This mechanism of validation of cumulative forces and of exposition of the opportunists, was summed up by us in the slogan “Fight and confront the enemy”. The opportunist RCP is one of the incarnations of this right wing whose development we predicted.
According to the opportunists, the Quebec District displayed bad faith concerning the inner-Party struggle when it claimed the line struggle concerned, among other things, the questions of revolutionary action in an imperialist country, and of the strategy of Protracted People’s War. On their side, before proceeding to expel the Quebec cells, the clique untruthfully pretended the entire Party was united around the strategy of Protracted People’s War and that the struggle only pertained to divergent conceptions “over the question of the mass line and specifically on the subject of proletarian feminism, trans liberation, sex work and the Party’s position towards labour unions”.
As we mentioned earlier, since the beginning of their pitiful public relations campaign, the opportunists have been trying to divert attention and to avoid touching on the most fundamental questions regarding the strategic conceptions of the RCP. To do this, the opportunists wrapped themselves up in gossiping and in their aim to reduce the issue of the split to “organizational and procedural” questions.
There currently exist two Parties who claim the same name. There is but one that is genuinely the RCP and it is ours. We and the opportunists can no longer co-exist in the same organization. We assume our intention to wage an intransigent struggle against the opportunist clique who, despite purporting to be Maoist and to be the RCP, never adhered to the conceptions our Party historically developed. Most of all, the opportunist clique never undertook a frankly revolutionary activity, the only kind of activity which would have allowed to forge the invaluable unity between what we say and what we do. They preferred to adopt the forms of struggle that are economism and petty-bourgeois social practices.
In order to take control of the Party and to impose its line, the opportunist clique needed, first off, to identify and neutralise the revolutionary base of the RCP, which found itself to be, in this case, in Quebec. Tactically, to succeed, the clique needed to compromise with its own supporters, essentially academics, and accept postmodernism. This makes for a compromise covered up by a vocabulary borrowing from Maoism, a vocabulary which is completely diluted and built on “slogans”, of which the foremost effect is precisely to allow for the divorce of saying from doing. Thus relieved of the constraints arising from the materialization of the revolutionary line, and since “ideological” struggle ends up being prioritized at the expense of veritable political struggle, it is possible for opportunism to accommodate at once radicalism in words with reformism in actions. Let us underline that this “phrase” communism, which Marx already criticized in his time, goes well side by side with liberal and postmodern ideas.
In Quebec, the RCP historically developed by aiming to emancipate itself from the discipline imposed by bourgeois democracy. Our Party distinguishes four forms of revolutionary action that appeared in the history of class struggle and that are objectified by the said history. These four forms of revolutionary action totalize the cumulative experience of the international proletariat. They are classic propaganda, armed propaganda, revolutionary action among the masses, and Protracted People’s War − the last is the ultimate form, the one that subsumes all the others. These forms are objectively necessary to the seizure of power by the working class. On the other hand, despite what one may think or say, the forms of struggle adopted by the opportunists push us away from reaching this goal. It is the very objectivity of the forms that determine the content of the revolutionary Party’s action, namely the acquiring of experience in struggle so as to master them. The objective forms of revolutionary action are therefore at the center of the activity of revolutionary Parties. They are those that the bourgeoisie will always seek to repress with the greatest intensity. The conceptualization of the four objective forms of revolutionary action is the greatest contribution of the RCP to the communist movement, spanning it and carrying it further. It is the context of the current political struggle which brought us to make these conceptions public. Most importantly, this conceptualization is the product of our will to make People’s War in Canada. The RCP that is ours is an organization that seeks militarily disarm the Canadian army, and by force of arms, to seize the power held by the country’s bourgeoisie.
In order to truly assume the four objective forms of revolutionary action, they must be materialized in practice. One may pretend all one wants to struggle for communism, it does not mean a thing if one does not try to embrace the objective forms of action that take us there. Also, the dressing-up in revolutionary garb of a practice that is in no way distinguishable from that of reformist groups is a betrayal of the people. The opportunist clique are historically champions in the art of dissociating saying and doing by confining themselves to that which is authorized by the bourgeoisie, and meanwhile by rejecting revolutionary action.
The opportunist clique portray the line of the RCP as a line built on “old ideas”. As a matter of fact, by qualifying the revolutionary line of the RCP as an expired one, they make their rubbish look new. That said, the supposed “new ideas” revealed themselves to be nothing more than the infinite ability of opportunism to enlign empty phrases and to present them as a loyal application of MLM. The ideas put forward by the opportunist clique depart from the world of concrete political struggle for the ethereal spheres of the ideological. When revolutionary action cedes all of its terrain to abstract revolutionary thought, the renewal of revolutionary communist parties is hindered. Communism, punctuated by periods of ebb, runs the risk of becoming nothing more than a theoretical speculation on the future while remaining practically inexistent at the level of political struggle. The Canadian Maoists of the RCP(oc) and the founders of the RCP never accepted the inertia and the wait-and-see attitude of periods of ebb. They formulated a conception of the struggle as it is objectively induced by class struggle and they rejected non-scientific and idealistic conceptions. They set to work in the objective period of political preparation and of great political initiatives leading from the establishment of a Party nucleus all the way to the initiation of People’s War. In Quebec, we carry these orientations forward.
Now, let us exemplify our divergences with the opportunist clique as far as action is concerned. While we favour mobility − to be everywhere so as to diffuse our program and our perspectives everywhere! −, the opportunist clique favour fixity − to concentrate oneself in a given place so as to lead an exemplary protest movement with a small group of people. As such, our RWM is conceived of as a Party apparatus aiming to intervene within the workers’ movement. Its mandate is to visit as many factories as possible, with emphasis on those where the number of workers is greatest. On the contrary, in the debates around the role of the RWM, the opportunists affirmed they wanted to create a red labour union, aiming first to unionize the employees of small bosses, as they were inspired by the campaign of the Montreal IWW in a Frites Alors restaurant. It is essentially to this sort of activity − which they call mass work − that the opportunists would devote themselves. This would allow them to accomplish a primordial task, in their opinion, of the current period, that of “immediately improving the conditions of the masses”, which would give the masses “a true material reason” to take us seriously. No matter if, other than the discourse accompanying it, their work is in fact identical to that of reformist organizations confined to legal protest action, they will claim it is not reformism or economism since it is consciously linked to the revolution:
“It is only by consciously connecting the struggle for a reform to the broader revolutionary struggle, and subordinating the immediate reform to the revolutionary process in an open way, that the struggle for immediate reforms does not lapse into economism.” (“Communist Methods of Mass Work”, Arsenal No. 9)
As such, for the opportunists, avoiding economism is a subjective endeavour. In other words, no matter the form of the struggle and the means employed − it could be a telephone campaign! −, no matter if it is or is not the type of activity that has the potential to weaken the bourgeois regime, what counts is adding a little red tail at the end, for example, adding the words revolution and communism. According to such open criteria, it is enough to believe it is revolutionary and… we could even imagine a revolutionary way to collect signatures for a petition!
To such a type of practice, we oppose that which we call revolutionary action among the masses. This is the active presence of communists through which the masses are brought to depart from the limits of legal protest action by their being led into a sustained and repeated confrontation with the bourgeoisie, thus favouring the elevation of their class consciousness, the expression of their rage and the liberation of their destructive potential. Organization, agitation and mobilization in view of combative street demonstrations, wildcat strikes, sabotage, and so on, are part of this category. Revolutionary action among the masses allows for organizing and leading the masses so as to turn them into a material force with the potential of attacking and weakening the ruling class.
Revolutionary action among the masses, this metabolization of the Party’s ability to lead, represents an immense danger for the bourgeoisie as well as for opportunism, since it allows at once to reveal the reactionary character of the first (through its confrontation with the bourgeoisie the proletariat unifies itself as a class) as well as the bankruptcy of the second (for by limiting itself to mimicking the spontaneous activity of the masses, opportunism contributes in no way to the class consolidation of the proletariat). The only valid perspective of revolutionary work is the one which sees the Party’s activists seizing the conjuncture and using it in favour of the revolution with a keen sense of initiative and of the political struggle for power.
The bourgeoisie does not fight only, nor even principally, on the terrain of ideas. The struggle for power is a struggle between two material forces who collide and of which each one aims to annihilate the other. This is to say that violence is at the heart of the political struggle. To organize the revolution is to organize forces who confront the bourgeoisie, to regularly put them into action, to accumulate these forces until they achieve sufficient quantity and quality for the destruction of the bourgeois State. The organization of revolutionary forces is necessarily born from confrontation: it is solely by facing off with the enemy that we develop the abilities necessary to triumph. Potential forces whose abilities have not been put to the test of action can simply not be considered cumulative revolutionary forces for the simple reason that one cannot evaluate what they are capable of and because they accumulate no experience.
At our last Congress, the opportunists boasted having managed to considerably increase Party membership and branded this as proof of the exactness of their positions and of the quality of their “mass line”. Mysteriously, it was impossible for us to have an idea of what exactly all of these good people had managed to produce in terms of revolutionary action; impossible to know what new abilities the Party had gained with this surge of new members. All this seemed of no importance to our opportunists, who, blinded by their pragmatism, only had eyes for the number of people sitting in the room. In reality, how many of these new recruits were actually engaged in the process of learning to fight the bourgeoisie by fighting it? How many had actually braved, even minimally, the slightest violence of the political struggle (the one that unfolds in real life, not only online and in school)? Surely enough it seems these questions are of no consequence to the opportunists, for whom the will to struggle and to fight is only one approach among others (!), the important part being to make the greatest number of people possible participate around a “politically and organizationally correct line” (which, once we decode their stereotyped language, means gathering as many people as possible in one room to adhere in words to communism):
“Militancy means, simply put, the willingness to struggle and be confrontational. It can sometimes mean willingness to engage in physical altercations with police or reactionaries, but this is not the most important aspect of militancy. […] Militancy is sometimes necessary, and is sometimes not necessary: it is one approach among many. Specific tactics, insofar as the mass-line is being employed, should primarily be aimed at organizing and engaging the largest possible section of the masses around a correct political and organizational line.” (“Communist Methods of Mass Work”)
We only need to observe the difference between the outcome of this year’s Mayday demonstration in Montreal and the result of the demonstrations organized by the opportunist RCP to realize to what extent there is an abyss, in deeds, between us and the opportunists. Here is the only place where we organize for genuine disruption and for physical altercation with the police. Elsewhere in Canada, Mayday demonstrations take shape in predictable, insignificant parades − when they are not simply invisible or inexistent due to the weakness of our former comrades’ agitation and mobilization. When the opportunists are not busy openly condemning these experiences as “adventuristic”, they explain the difference between our activity and theirs as originating in a difference in the objective conditions in our respective cities. For them, combativity is not the result of organizational work: it is principally ensured by external factors that we do not control! It is in this fashion that they relieve themselves of the duty to produce results, and justify their refusal to organize confrontation with the bourgeoisie as well as to assume the violence that comes with it. This refusal also manifests itself in the laxism and liberalism regularly displayed by the opportunists as far as are concerned the elementary security measures that would be expected to be implemented in a revolutionary organization: disclosure of secret information online (location of cells, number of people on the CC, public revelations on the internal structure of the Party, etc.), holding a CC meeting in a known activist space, sharing of internal documents online, cellphones brought to the last Congress, etc. It would appear that when one is not truly working to make revolution, one fears repression a little less.
Let us pursue in raising the question of classical propaganda. Classical propaganda cements all of our activity, providing it with ideological and political leadership. But what is propaganda? It is work we do within the masses in order to propagate communist perspectives and to make known the existence of a revolutionary initiative. Propaganda allows in this way to elevate the proletariat’s class consciousness by conveying, in the form of ideas and by journalistic means, the experience of the international working class. It reveals to proletarians the possibility of revolution. This is why we regularly distribute our newspapers and leaflets, of which the content is openly Maoist, at the entrances of factories, in working class neighbourhoods, in public transit, etc. This is why we don’t hesitate to propagate our revolutionary propaganda as massively as possible, in all the sections of the people. It is also for this reason that we recently relaunched the Partisan newspaper, a decision for which, as bewildering as it may seem, the opportunists criticized us in their expulsion statement. One can legitimately question himself as to why communists would be opposed to the release and printing of a communist newspaper. But as always, opportunism leaves visible traces. Here is what one of the opportunist leaders wrote, in 2010, on the site of the Social Revolution Party:
“We know the old strategy of standing on a corner hocking newspapers is bankrupt. There are enough groups doing that already, and if that were the way forward, the revolution would already have happened. The reality is that it isn’t 1917 anymore, and our base has to be built on the personal relationships we build in a sea of atomization.”
The opportunist clique visibly still adheres to these mediocre ideas. This explains why, during a recent tour in the Canadian West, organized by the opportunist clique, no leafletting among the masses was planned − being that the tour aimed exclusively to meet a handful of contacts made on the internet.
The opportunists believe the masses cannot be receptive to revolutionary propaganda. In the current period, according to them, the masses should be spoken to of their immediate needs and have reform campaigns proposed to them. This is precisely what another opportunist leader affirmed in the text Communist Methods of Mass Work in the latest edition of the Arsenal magazine, writing: “Revolutionaries need to speak to the masses where they are at in ways that directly influence their day-to-day lives, i.e. on the concrete level of their daily experiences, which at this historical conjuncture largely takes the form of specific reforms or campaigns.”
This is a spontaneistic and economistic manner of understanding the link we should have to the masses. To bind oneself to this policy of mirroring, in other words to speak of poverty to the poor, of bad working conditions to workers, of racism to immigrants, etc., to limit oneself to the particularities and differences between sectors of the masses, is a practice that arises from petty-bourgeois anti-oppressive postulates and that reinforces the spontaneous state of disunity of the working class. However the proletariat does not constitute itself as a class otherwise than by struggling against the bourgeoisie in the common interest of its members. The strength and the size of class unity then depends on the content and the degree of universality of the struggle. Consequently, the more the objectives of the struggle manifest themselves as those of the whole class, the more they will reveal themselves to be vital, the greater will be the unity of the class and the stronger will be the antagonism with the class enemy. One cannot limit oneself to the daily life of the masses: one must bring about the perspective of revolutionary change.
The opportunist cliques’ partial comprehension of the role of communists and of their mass propaganda is the reason they opposed the Party’s undertaking of an intensive effort of propaganda in 2017 to underline the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, their pretext being that we are not a collective of historians and that the October Revolution did not interest workers. While we strive to elevate revolutionary propaganda, by connecting the historical experience of the international proletariat to the direct and current experience of the Canadian proletariat, the opportunists prefer to lower propaganda to the level of the reality lived by masses, something the media and reformist organizations already do quite well.
A mistaken conception of the role of the Party
The second-latest Congress of the Party − a special Congress which principally sought to correct certain weaknesses, namely those of propaganda and of the renewal of a part of the leading group − invited all members to recognize that the RCP built itself in a perspective which is quite a singular one in the Canadian context, and probably even in North America, since it tends to “develop as a complete revolutionary Party”. Indeed, our conception of the Party is that of the complete Party, in other words a workers’ organ which leads proletarian revolution and which seizes power. To get there, it must obligatorily occupy the entirety of the political, ideological, and tactical spectrum. The basics of Leninism stipulate that the Party must assume all forms of revolutionary action. It must also break all of the middlemen between itself and the masses in order to elevate revolutionary consciousness. The complete Party is, in sum, the one that leads the proletariat towards PPW as well as being the one that leads PPW.
Already at the second-latest Congress, the opportunist clique disdained the ideas and practice arising from this conception of the Party. Paradoxally, these are the very ideas and practices which allowed the opportunist clique to have visibility. Today, all they do is unabashedly formulate their disdain for the conception of the complete communist party, despite the fact that this conception is what allowed for the expansion of the RCP in the rest of Canada in the first place.
Our Party built itself upon a comprehension of the dialectics between small and broad movements. This is the reply it found to the inevitable question of great numbers: How to organize the relationship between a small group of organized revolutionaries and the vast basin of the proletariat, and therefore, how to, one day, pull a large segment of the population into the camp of revolution? The dialectics between small and broad movements dictates a methodical fashion of building up and of intervening within the masses. It makes no room for useless detours such as the attempt to build an alternative workers’ movement. That which the Party names small-movements (RWM, RSM, RPFF, RYF, etc.) are a major component of this method of construction. They participate in the Party’s visibility and influence within the proletariat, and the Party must constantly aim to multiply their number. In this order of ideas it is impossible for the RCP to neglect fully leading the structures it puts in place. The Communist Party must lead that which it creates, and that which it does not create, it must aim to lead it. Otherwise it hands over its weapons to the bourgeoisie to be liquidated.
The opportunist clique’s line turns the Party into the weak link, since according to its conception, it is mass organizations that lead the Party. This equally translates its vision according to which it is impossible to build a revolutionary communist Party in Canada at the current time. On this subject, one of the opportunist clique’s main members wrote the following in the ninth edition of the Arsenal:
“In our current Canadian context intermediate organizations are especially important: while there are a number of parties that have set themselves the task of becoming the vanguard of the Canadian proletariat, no party (including our Party) has yet achieved this.”
At the heart of the initiating of small-movements are to be found undeniable problems that the Party tries to resolve by building itself within the living movement (not beside it!). First of all, the communist vanguard is, in a country such as Canada, restricted and weak. It is thus essential to train new communists. Further, intellectuals were historically one of the spontaneous components of the vanguard (ex., young Marx, young Lenin), but today they are forces that work against the communist movement and against the idea of the Party: Bourgeois democracy domesticated them and fully integrated them in its bosom by granting them all of the liberty they aspired to. Also, in an advanced state of capitalism, everything is ripe for socialism. Fires burn everywhere in the working class. We must therefore, without stalling, deploy the Party and prepare People’s War for the seizure of power in a close future. The problems we listed are proper to the period that is ours. To make revolution today in Canada as a small revolutionary group, in other words to assume the four objective forms of revolutionary action, sets challenges foreign to the communist movement of the beginning of the last century, a period during which all the Communist Parties in the world had thousands upon thousands of people in their ranks immediately upon foundation.
This understanding is rejected by the opportunists. The opportunist line conceives of small-movements as intermediate or mass organizations, that is to say, organizations whose political orientation and mode of operation is more vague than that of the Party, but who are situated in the orbit of the Party. According to the opportunists, the aim of these intermediate organizations is to substitute themselves to the organizations already existing in the masses.
In practical terms, for the opportunists, small-movements must operate according to their own democratic regime and are independent of the RCP’s leadership. The Party’s leadership would thus be exerted by means of its activists’ influence upon these organizations, in other words the small-movements are partially or totally unaffected by the Party’s leadership. According to the opportunists, to aim for the Party to lead the structures that it initiates in order to link up to the masses would be a “bureaucratic” error, or a way of seeking bureaucratic solutions to political problems.
The opportunist clique are the ones that are mistaken when they seek to substitute our apparatuses to the existing organizations of the masses. By conceiving our small-movements as substitutes to the broad movement (red labour/student union to replace the existing labour/student unions, etc.), one restricts the direct influence of the Party within broad movements by adding the middlemen that are substitute-organizations between the Party and the masses. This is an erroneous conception of the mass work that must be led by a revolutionary organization at a stage where all of communists’ activity must be devoted to the penetration of revolutionary ideas and practice in the working class and the proletarian masses. The main problem with the organizational conceptions upheld by the opportunist clique is that they cause a separation between us and the masses (initiating substitute-organizations) on the pretext of linking us up with the masses: more confusion is difficult to imagine. Ever since the Communist Manifesto, we know that communists distinguish themselves from the masses on two points: they always put forward the independent and common interests of the proletariat and they always represent the interests of the proletarian movement in its totality. Consequently, to carry out the revolutionary task correctly described by Lenin in What Is To Be Done?, namely to operationalize the fusion between scientific socialism and the workers’ movement, communists engaged in the struggle for revolution need not replace existing labour and student unions and other mass organizations in order to render struggles more combative. It is rather through intervention on a communist basis within these struggles that they will truly succeed in making these struggles not only more combative, but revolutionary. By building the RWM, the RPFF, the RSM and the RYF, we do not require of workers, proletarian women and youth, to make a choice between their labour or student union, etc. and our own movements. We instead use our small-movements to organize proletarian men, women and youth won over to communist ideas so that they may introduce communist ideas and practices in labour/student unions, women’s groups, etc. To link up with the masses, we must meet them where they are at.
The erroneous conception of the Party’s role that is defended by the opportunist clique reveals itself in a particularly scandalous manner when we come to the ineluctable subject of Protracted People’s War (PPW), and it is even more manifest with regards to the question of initiation of PPW. The latter is the greatest exhibition of the Party’s leadership. It is a conscious political-military initiative inaugurating a sustained military confrontation with the bourgeoisie. Without initiation, there can be no PPW.
The positions defended by the opportunist clique, whether it be in the documents, interventions or else in declarations online, reveal conceptions that are contrary to those of the RCP concerning Protracted People’s War, raising doubt on certain universal and basic principles to a point where the perspectives actually endorsed by them correspond very closely to the insurrectionalist strategy of the RCP-USA.
The outlook advanced in the document Communist Methods of Mass Work, according to which Party-building must be performed by the starting of a profusion of autonomous mass or intermediate organizations aiming to lead campaigns for reform, is the fruit of a mistaken strategic conception. According to this conception, progressing towards revolution presupposes a long phase of economic struggle (mysteriously enough recalling the long period of legal work of the classic insurrectionalist conception), followed by a more or less long period of armed defence of mass organizations against the repression that the bourgeois State will have begun to wield against them owing to their growth and expanding success. This second period is meant to correspond to the first phase of People’s War, namely strategic defensive (the word “defensive” has been taken quite literally!). This is what we find resumed in this eloquent excerpt:
“As our mass work becomes more successful and our party and mass organizations grow, we will inevitably come under increased state repression. The defense of revolutionary mass organizations will become a necessary part of our mass work, ensuring that it can continue. This defense may result in violent confrontation with the state. The forceful defense of mass organizations and their activities against state repres¬sion can constitute the opening stages of the strategic defensive in an urban setting. In turn, insofar as mass organizations constitute the embryo of what will become the institutions of socialism, the ability to defend mass organiza¬tions is the basis for the establishment of dual power.”
Decidedly, in keeping with this outlook, the initiation of People’s War (if we can still call it People’s War) depends on factors out of our control: it occurs at the moment when the bourgeois State decides to attack us − the moment where “violent confrontation” begins.
The outlook we defend is situated at the complete opposite of this point of view. At the heart of People’s War strategy is the struggle against the aleatory and the contingent. Strategic advance towards the seizure of power must be principally conditioned by the development of our own revolutionary activity, or else we end up dominated by external circumstances. Thus, for us, the initiation of People’s War can only be a political-military initiative of the Party. Leaving all the initiative to the bourgeoisie is equivalent to signing the death certificate of revolution. The whole period preceding initiation serves to accumulate forces and develop the abilities necessary to initiate People’s War. Accumulation of forces is the process with which the Party builds itself by gradually assuming the three first objective forms of revolutionary action, up until developing enough competency to move to the fourth form, which summates the first three. During this period, it is important not to limit oneself to legal work but to accommodate an ever wider space to illegal work. It is also of primordial importance to contest the bourgeoisie’s monopoly on violence by progressively intensifying the level of revolutionary violence. When reading the following excerpt of the document Protracted People’s War is the Only Way to Make Revolution (People’s War Digest No. 1) published by the RCP(PC) in 2002, it is clear that the achievement of our goals in the preparatory period is that which determines whether we step up to strategic defensive, not conditions external to our own activity:
“Protracted people’s war will hence go through a preparatory stage: that of armed propaganda, consisting of the combination of the building of a Revolutionary Communist Party, the development of the embryo of the Red Army and mass struggle. This step (the military tactic relies on the level of military technique: it is Engels that pointed out this truth) goes through a transition leading to the next step − strategic defensive − in which the demands and political nature of mass movement will transform themselves, as well as their revolutionary political and combative activity. To sum up, this period is strategically defensive, but tactically offensive.”
We thus understand from this excerpt that the first phase of People’s War is tactically offensive. What this means is that strategic defensive is nearly entirely composed of offensive military operations. At first, partisan units operate in urban guerilla zones and wage a war of attrition against the armed forces of the bourgeoisie. No specific territory is to be defended at all costs, no new revolutionary power to be protected.
On the contrary, the opportunists see strategic defensive as a tactically defensive period. For them, this period would be distinguished by a vast effervescence of the masses. Economic struggles would begin to have an armed aspect, but the actions of the Red Army would be mainly defensive, with the objective of protecting the struggling masses: defence of strikes, of land occupations, etc. from the bourgeois State’s repression. This is in lieu of a guerrilla war, of a sustained military conflict aiming to progressively disarm the bourgeoisie and the arm the camp of the people, to preserve our forces and wipe out those of the enemy.
In the above excerpt, we also learn that armed propaganda is an indispensable component of the period preparing for the initiation of PPW. Our Party conceives of armed propaganda as the utilization of armed means against the assets, the offices, the organized apparatuses, the means and devices of the bourgeoisie, causing their partial or total destruction, as the expedient or vehicle of a revolutionary message fundamentally serving the building of the Party. Armed propaganda allows for the demonstration of the possibility of combatting and defeating (even on a small scale), arms in hand, the bourgeoisie and its forces of defence. It is a form of propaganda that is designed to be directed at the entire nation, at society in its totality.
In all of the important documents of the RCP regarding Protracted People’s War (The Communist Party Must Lead the Revolutionary War in the Imperialist Countries, More on the Question of Waging Revolutionary War in the Imperialist Countries, Protracted People’s War is the Only Way to Make Revolution), it is asserted that armed propaganda must be used in all of the phases of the development of the Party and of revolution, including in the period of accumulation of forces preceding the initiation of People’s War. This seems to not have been grasped by the opportunist clique, of whom one mouthpiece affirmed not long ago in the Facebook group Communism 101 − their preferred vehicle of propaganda − that the armed aspect of the revolutionary process only appears with the initiation of People’s War:
“Revolution advances broadly through the following phases : gathering of forces, strategic defensive (opening of the armed aspect), strategic equilibrium (establishment of base areas), and strategic offensive (expansion of base areas).”
In fact, the opportunist clique refuse to distinguish between armed propaganda − which is essentially, let us recall, a form of propaganda − and the military operations of partisan detachments during Protracted People’s War. Thus, the exercise of armed means is for them indissociable from the existence of a People’s Army and therefore unthinkable in the period of accumulation of forces in which we live.
The same mouthpiece of the opportunist clique affirmed, multiple times, on the same platform, that passing to strategic offensive would be very quick (a question of hours!), and that the last phase of the People’s War would likewise be very short.
“The period of dual power will be protracted (strategic defensive), the strategic equilibrium may very well last a couple of hours and will look like something akin to an insurrection, but the strategic offensive will have to be achieved quite quickly.”
Still this same mouthpiece, on the same platform, affirmed multiple times that the constitution of base areas in an urban setting, in the context of an imperialist country such as Canada, was impossible, as we can observe in the following excerpt where he wrote: “I don’t think urban base areas are possible in any meaningful sense, and I think that the transition from strategic defensive to strategic equilibrium will be short in imperialist countries.” This contradicts the historical experience of the armed proletariat. This contradicts the RCP’s program in which we can read that “building base areas to be used for the beginning of gradual social transformation even before the seizure of power” is one of the universal principles, valid everywhere, of Protracted People’s War. Likewise, the document More on the Question of Waging Revolutionary War in the Imperialist Countries brings up the perspective of base areas while integrating it in a dialectical process: “At the beginning, the guerilla units will probably act in guerrilla zones. It is only after the capture of some towns that temporary base areas could appear before we could see stable ones. The experience of the communist movement teaches us that it is possible to create such bases. To do so, the revolutionaries must resolutely rely on the masses and proceed by setting the political conditions that will allow the creation of stable base areas, according to the line: from having not/to have, from small/to large, from imperfect/to more than perfect.”
A Protracted People’s War in which one does not create base areas is not one. Recalling Gonzalo’s expression, base areas make up the backbone of Protracted People’s War. Indeed, at the heart of this strategy is the principle according to which new power builds itself gradually in time and space, “from small to large, from imperfect to more than perfect”, as we can read in the excerpt above. This principle is the opposite of the insurrectionalistic postulate according to which revolutionary power establishes itself rapidly on a significant portion of the territory after a determinant large-scale military offensive launched when objective conditions are considered favorable.
It is precisely this second postulate that is defended by the opportunist clique when they affirm that passing from the strategic equilibrium to the offensive will be very fast, and when they pretend that the creation of base areas is impossible in Canada.
The strategic notions of the opportunists lead to the same wait-and-seeism and the same passiveness as those induced by the classical insurrection schema. For them, People’s War is a distant horizon rather than something to be built starting today. This is illustrated by their refusal to immediately set upon organizing the face-off with the bourgeoisie, in their rejection of revolutionary action.
A fight for the defence of communism
From the SRP to the opportunist clique: a true cancer
on the Canadian revolutionary movement
The clique of activists originating in the SRP who falsely rallied the RCP amidst the G20 and the Toronto CRC, developed as a gangrene within our organization.
Given that they never genuinely recognized Protracted People’s War as the Party’s revolutionary strategy, this clique sought, all throughout its history, to distort its foundations in order to put forth its own agenda: a collage of the worst opportunist and reformist practices glued together with lip service to an eventual conflict with the bourgeois State. This imaginary eventual conflict is a dilettante’s amusement and true petty-bourgeois subjectivism. It is a pure and simple construction aiming to justify the entirety of its current practices anchored in bourgeois democracy. The opportunists want us to believe that all of its current reformist practices operate on a credit card: a redeeming moment where everything will suddenly make sense is supposed to occur in a hypothetical future. After thirty years of obscene, opportunist swamps, the bourgeois State is expected to attack a house of cards. For the opportunists, it is only then that it will be possible to deal with the strategic and military questions of revolution… what is more, only if they are dealt with in the perspective of a defence proportional to the average level of class consciousness of the masses! Until then, all attempts to do this would be adventurism.
Each rejection of the objective forms of revolutionary action is an initiative left to the enemy. The entirety of the corpus of the opportunist clique is a total abandonment of the leading role of the Party, Party that however is supposed to come to fruition in its ability to initiate and lead People’s War. An amateurism as outrageous as that of the opportunist clique does not deserve attention, but it remains that the petty-bourgeois maneuvers and lies had an impact:
• The SRP’s activists implanted themselves in our organization and systematically displayed their revisionist position and their version of the RCP program to their recruits. They created a Party in a Party;
• They organized and consolidated through the exploiting of the RCP’s theoretical contributions and the sum of the practical work put forward by the Party in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, and by doing so they managed to develop far quicker than if they had continued their laughable work in the SRP. True parasites, they used the radical aspect of adherence in words to People’s War in order to mask their opportunism and, on the other hand, as their influence grew they gradually came to discredit the Party’s revolutionary work by qualifying it as adventurist, by accusing it of abandoning the mass line and outpacing the general state of consciousness of the proletariat;
• They made use of maneuvers and employed an abundance of petty-bourgeois lies towards launching anti-Party campaigns, sometimes even defaming Montreal RCP members. They used intimidation to divide the camp of the proletariat and to try to silence the Party’s revolutionaries. They maneuvered and used wreckers at will who went as far as threatening to breach the physical integrity of our comrades. They proceeded to systematically stigmatize the proletarian elements of our organization, particularly women, so that each and every disagreement with a petty-bourgeois line on gender or the role of women in the revolution would be countered with a public humiliation;
• They slowly gathered and placed pawns in order to ultimately play their cards at the latest Congress and to finally attempt to put their own positions, their own program, their own strategic perspectives and their liquidation of revolution on the agenda. It is at the latest Congress that the anti-Party movement took on its open, unabashed shape. This cabal ended in the complete and definitive rupture between us and the opportunists. The new period of rebuilding of the Revolutionary Communist Party opened with the amputation of the gangrenous limb that was the opportunist clique;
• The possibility of seeing these perspectives strengthen themselves, worse to see them spread, forces to us to struggle against them to the death. The fight the RCP intends to wage is one for the defence of communism, blow by blow, struggle by struggle, until the whole of the country becomes a hostile territory for opportunists.
The fusion of two toxic movements
Throughout our struggle against Canadian opportunists, we encountered a direct manifestation of a new form of historical revisionism. The force the opportunist clique originating in the SRP managed to set in motion was generated by the fusion of two toxic movements:
• On the one hand, the opportunist clique gathered itself around the worst reformist and opportunist conceptions to have ever been rejected by the international communist movement, around economism, around the integration into bourgeois democracy and the discipline it imposes, around strategical confusion and around the relinquishment of the struggle for seizure of power.
• On the other hand, the Canadian opportunists fused with postmodernists and their ideas that are foreign to Marxism. This fusion was provoked by a specialization in academic sectors leading to the massive integration of petty-bourgeois elements. This fusion was also catalyzed by the permeability to anti-proletarian ideology inherent to the superstructure of imperialist countries where the capitalist mode of production is undergoing long-term crisis. This fusion with a basin of academics was operated by the setting up of the RSM. One of the most toxic products to result from this is the rejection of the proletariat as a revolutionary subject. The RCP program was systematically presented to these academic elements as incomplete and largely mistaken. In the same breath, the opportunists promised their recruits that the program would be modified in the future in order to ensure the recruitment of a basin that would be hostile towards the Party’s historical program.
They used false accusations, lies and petty-bourgeois maneuvers in order to direct the attention of this academic base towards false accusations, but also in order to focus the whole of the academic members’ confusion on one criticism towards us, that of not having accepted and understood the ideas and practices put forward by them.
A revision of the history of the communist movement
As it developed, this political force, tolerable for the bourgeoisie (and intolerable for us!), aimed to obtain legitimacy among other Left forces in imperialist countries. The union of two toxic movements, as presented precedently, sought to consolidate itself of the basis of its own rereading of the experience of the international communist movement:
• By finding experiences to repudiate so as to demarcate itself from other Left forces and so as to justify the integration of concepts as foreign to Marxism as “gender identity”, “system of oppression”, etc.;
• By revisiting, according to its petty-bourgeois subjectivism, and with right-wing fetishism, past experiences so as to demarcate Maoism among Left forces in imperialist countries;
• By systematically tarnishing Leninism, the leading role of the Party and the whole of the historical epoch of struggles against economism and opportunism that served as a material basis to the emergence of Leninism;
• By inventing an inexistent Maoism it situates as a rupture with the entirety of the international communist movement, a Maoism pretending to rectify the shortfalls and mistakes of the previous period by allowing the communist movement to start anew; by defending a copy-paste of the worst deviations of the social-democrats, of the right-wings of the Communist Parties of the 3rd International, narrow insurrectionalist viewpoints, and the worst practices of the ML movement;
• By neglecting to master a single military question or dimension; by absorbing itself in accusations of adventurism before even grasping the ABC of the military experience of the international proletariat; by hiding the important distinction between armed propaganda and armed struggle.
The five components of the Canadian opportunists
and of revisionist Maoism
We distinguish within revisionist-Maoism, as we understand and fight it today, five main components:
1. The positioning of Maoism as an element of rupture with the experience of the international communist movement;
2. The climb to a qualitatively superior level of historical opportunism in imperialist countries by the rejection of Leninism and the leading role of the Party;
3. The rejection of the proletariat as the revolutionary subject and the total submission to bourgeois perspectives by the massive interposition of Marxism-dissolvent elements;
4. The confinement of the great majority of Maoism in an ahistorical recounting of the Cultural Revolution and the swapping-in of an anti-oppressive and ideological rereading in place of class struggle for the transformation of relations of production;
5. The refusal of People’s War as the totalizing element of Maoism unifying and prolonging the entirety of the international experience of the revolutionary proletariat.
A Party, a program, a strategy and organizations that are not ours!
• A Party where the opportunist clique struggling for control over the CC voluntarily sabotage the preparation for Congress by refusing to meet revolutionary comrades, preferring to better prepare their offensive at Congress; where cells under its leadership translate secret anti-Party documents instead of the preparatory documents for the Congress; where swindles and anti-proletarian attacks reign!
• A Party where the totality of the program is rewritten in order to please the postmodern academic fraction, to guarantee the conquest of Party leadership by sacrificing the gains of revolutionaries and to guarantee the fusion of the two toxic movements!
• A Party where the continuation of the PAM is embodied in an opportunistic version of People’s War and where the sum of opportunist and reformist practices go hidden behind lip service to the revolution!
• A Party where the opportunist clique have waged open struggle (particularly during the last two years) against each step forward and each acquisition in the strategic advance towards initiation of People’s War, by denouncing and stigmatizing them as adventurism!
• A Party building itself thanks to the comeback of the opportunist line of intermediate organizations historically rejected by the ML movement in Quebec!
• A Party building itself principally through the conception according to which the mass line is none other than reformist work under the cover of the designation of “mass work”, and according to which one must not under any circumstances rush the proletariat’s consciousness with anything other than the worst opportunist clichés regarding the immediate demands of the masses!
• A Party where the only ability for initiative is to mimic the ups and downs of the spontaneous movement and of other Left forces and to tail the latter (“FuckThe150th”, “Opportunism Against Fascism”, etc.)!
• A Party that is not ours and that has nothing to do with the RCP!
We are the continuators!
• Whether in the struggle waged by Marx and Engels against petty-bourgeois conceptions, that set the foundations of scientific socialism;
• Whether in the struggles that Lenin and the Bolsheviks waged against the economists, the opportunists, and the mensheviks;
• Whether in the epic line struggle that culminated in the bankruptcy of the Second International and in the historic betrayal of social-democracy and that was the genesis of the communist movement as we know it;
• Whether in the rupture that Mao and the Communist Party of China operated with the revisionist USSR, thus causing a genuine wave of anti-revisionist activists and organisations the world over;
• Whether in the struggle following the death of Mao and the restauration of capitalism in China to continue the fight, struggle that led to the foundation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) and the new wave of People’s Wars;
… it must be acknowledged that having the right political and theoretical ideas has never in practice given revolutionary communists any free ride, any guest ticket, or any divine right to take up space and wage politics. The only truth for them has been the duty to continue the struggle despite the obstacles; the obligation to continue no matter the betrayals, the defeats nor the hardships. And the history of the Canadian revolutionary movement makes no exception to this imperative, be it:
• When the oldest comrades of the RCP continued the struggle to build the Party and to erect the defence of communism by refusing its putting-to-death that had been announced by the historic betrayal of the Quebec ML movement’s leadership who, faint of heart, had refused to advance towards revolution by liquidating its own organizations;
• When the comrades making up the historical direction of the RCP founded Action Socialiste, the first Canadian organization to recognize Maoism as the third superior stage of the science of revolution, to struggle against the slow death of communism in Canada;
• When we struggled against the international rightist tendencies who refused the universality of People’s War and its possibility in an advanced-capitalist country;
• When our organization formed the RCP(oc) to fight the outrageous wait-and-seeism of the period of ebb and against the reduction of communism to a simple theoretical option for the future;
• When our organization formed a Party, going against the current of the entirety of the Left in imperialist countries and when it set itself forward into a living practice of preparation of People’s War by concentrating on the continuity and perseverence of revolutionary action;
• When our organisation broke with the Canadian opportunists and revisionist-Maoism in order to defend the integrity of the Party, of its program, of its strategy and its conceptions.
We were, we are and we will be the continuators of this struggle for communism; of the struggle against all liquidators, betrayals, lies and petty-bourgeois maneuvers; of the struggle against all of the puttings-to-death, all of the revisions and all of the efforts to imprison revolution.
We call on all Maoist Parties and organizations in the world to struggle against deviations, manifestations of right-opportunism and liquidatory positions within the Maoist movement; to struggle against all forces, be they embryonic, rampant, or amassed in consolidated organizations such as those of the Canadian opportunists; to struggle with all of their strength against revisionism and to hold high the red flag of revolution despite the attacks from its enemies on all sides!
In continuity with all the struggles waged by communists against the revisionists, the opportunists and the liquidators that tried to sabotage the revolutionary movement and betray the world proletariat!
In continuity with the Party program, its plans and its strategic perspectives for the building of an authentically proletarian centre capable of leading the entire Canadian people in People’s War against the bourgeoisie and the Canadian bourgeois State!
For the defence of communism, of the Party, of Maoism and of People’s War,
Let us organize the struggle to the death against revisionism and opportunism!
Let us rebuild the Revolutionary Communist Party freed from revisionism!
We are the continuators!