Focus On Socialism

Focus On Socialism (FOS) Editorial Board Public Statement

Focus On Socialism is the political journal of Canadians for Peace and Socialism (CPS)

Focus On Socialism (FOS) Editorial Board response to Darrel Rankin, Manitoba Provincial Leader of the Communist Party of Canada, objecting to FOS editor Don Currie charging Darrel Rankin with ‚Äúplagiarism‚ÄĚ in the May 5, 2010 ‚ÄúThe Way I See It‚ÄĚ editorial entitled ‚ÄúThe 65th Anniversary of the Allied Victory Over Nazi Germany‚ÄĚ[i]

November 28, 2010


The editorial board of Focus On Socialism (FOS) is issuing this public statement as a response to Darrel Rankin, Manitoba Provincial Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC), objecting to FOS editor Don Currie stating that Darrel Rankin ‚Äúplagiarized‚ÄĚ Don Currie‚Äôs March 27, 2005 article entitled ‚ÄúThe 60th Anniversary of V.E. Day‚ÄĚ[1].¬†

Don Currie was notified by Darrel Rankin of his objection to Currie‚Äôs editorial comments by email to Currie on November 15, 2010[ii]. ¬†Rankin stipulated in his email that Currie ‚Äúprove‚ÄĚ Rankin‚Äôs article was ‚Äúplagiarized‚ÄĚ within a specified period of time.¬† No consequences were identified by Rankin if the demand was not met.¬† Currie immediately notified the FOS editorial board of Rankin‚Äôs objection to Currie‚Äôs editorial.

The offending passage which Rankin has taken issue with appeared in the May 5th 2010 ‚ÄúThe Way I See It‚ÄĚ editorial entitled ‚ÄúThe 65th Anniversary of the Allied Victory Over Nazi Germany‚ÄĚ.

Rankin has identified the following 2 sentences from the article:

‚ÄúBoth People‚Äôs Voice and Spark apparently did not consider it (The March 2005 article by Don Currie ‚Äď ed.) worthy of publication.¬† In its place a plagiarized version quoting some obscure sources, was authored by Darrell Rankin, Provincial Leader of the Communist Party in Manitoba and subsequently published in People‚Äôs Voice‚ÄĚ

Focus On Socialism concedes that the concept of plagiarism from the standpoint of bourgeois civil or criminal law does not exist and as such is recognized only within the realm of academia and journalism as a term that when applied is employed to cite or bring attention to the appropriation of ideas, concepts or language of another author and passed off as ones original work. 

From a bourgeois cultural perspective plagiarism is defined as ‚Äúliterary theft‚ÄĚ.¬† The American Heritage¬ģ New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy says of plagiarism:

‚ÄúPlagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote.‚ÄĚ[2]

Protection of an author‚Äôs work under Canadian bourgeois law is covered by general ‚Äúintellectual property‚ÄĚ law, specifically copyright infringement.¬† Canadalegal.info defines plagiarism as:

"Appropriation of the literary composition of another and passing off as one's own the product of the mind and language of another… An example of the offence of plagiarism in the law is INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT, which comes into being when the work allegedly copied is protected by copyright."[3]

Focus On Socialism‚Äôs editorial board regret s characterizing Darrel Rankin‚Äôs May 16, 2005 article entitled ‚ÄúSixtieth anniversary of victory over fascism in Europe‚ÄĚ[4] as a ‚Äúplagiarized version‚ÄĚ of Don Currie‚Äôs March 27, 2005 article.¬†

The Rankin article was published in the May 16-31, 2005 issue of People’s Voice, the Communist Party of Canada’s national paper, a week after the anniversary of VE Day and followed Currie’s article by six (6) weeks containing similar views and ideas.  Rankin’s article opened with the exact same and oft-used Harry S. Truman quote[iii] as Currie referenced and used in his article over a month and a half earlier.

The FOS editorial board accepts the responsibility for not vetting the Currie article as closely as is demanded and required by minimum journalistic standards and as such allowed the article to be published with the offending passage.

Focus On Socialism retracts the charge of ‚Äúplagiarism‚ÄĚ published in the May 5, 2010 ‚ÄúThe Way I See It‚ÄĚ editorial revising the article posted on www.FocusOnSocialism.ca on November 16, 2010 to now read:

‚ÄúBoth People‚Äôs Voice and Spark apparently did not consider it worthy of publication.¬† In its place a similar version quoting some obscure sources, was authored by Darrell Rankin, Provincial Leader of the Communist Party in Manitoba and subsequently published in People‚Äôs Voice‚ÄĚ

Focus On Socialism acknowledges the action taken above defining Darrel Rankin‚Äôs May 16, 2005 article as ‚Äėsimilar‚Äô is taken after fully reviewing the content and has been undertaken to ensure, in the event of any enactment of bourgeois law by Rankin, that FOS, www.FocusOnSocialism and the FOS editorial board has publically clarified our position.¬†

As well, FOS takes these actions based on the necessity to provide clarity to our readers and subscribers of the continued and persistent struggle of Canadians for Peace and Socialism (CPS) to combat the infection of revisionism, opportunism and centrism within the leadership of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) of which ‚Äútailism‚ÄĚ is one symptom.¬†

Canadians for Peace and Socialism have provided critical support to the CPC for over 32 years since the expulsion of William (Bill) Beeching (Editor of the Canadian Tribune), Don Currie (National Organizer) and Chuck McFadden (Young Communist League General Secretary) from the Communist Party of Canada which was orchestrated and carried out under the leadership of William Kashtan under the pretext of the publication of Tim Buck‚Äôs memoirs in the book ‚ÄúReminiscences of Tim Buck‚ÄĚ.¬† These actions eventually led to the liquidation of the Provincial Committee of Saskatchewan, its office and political work.

Canadians for Peace and Socialism are the continuation of the political line which was publically stated under the leadership of Bill Beeching Volume 1 Number 1 September 1979 issue of Focus On Marxism-Leninism (FOML).[5]

Beeching said in the first issue of FOML:

‚ÄúCorrect party leadership, boldness, confidence, the advancement of a program and policy well-substantiated by Marxism-Leninism, consistent work in the working-class ‚Äď both ideological and organizational ‚Äď combined with a deep understanding of the essence of the problems which make up the totality of class political struggles in Canada, and their connection with international developments ‚Äď a correct approach to all these will ensure that the working masses will follow the lead of the Communist Party. It is part of the process of strengthening and readying the masses for revolutionary struggle. There is no other way.‚ÄĚ

It is with this in mind that Canadians for Peace and Socialism struggle for a consistent and partisan Leninist line to be more clearly and vocally articulated within the propaganda, publications and statements of the Communist Party of Canada.  FOS continues to articulate and attempts to deepen the political line and vision of Tim Buck and William Beeching for a socialist Canada under the revolutionary leadership of the Communist Party of Canada.  FOS defends the contributions of Soviet Union and accepts the central and pivotal leadership role in the defence of Lenin’s Soviet Worker’s State power by Joseph Stalin.

The weakness of Darrel Rankin’s May 16, 2005 article is an example of the abandonment of the defence of the Soviet Union and the Socialist community of nations and a persistent and deepening tailism within the entrenched centrism of the CPC Central Executive Committee and the weakness shown within the Central Committee to publically combat and challenge the manifestations of revisionism within the executive leadership.

Don Currie has consistently and without apology taken up this struggle.  FOS fully intends to continue this struggle and as such these actions taken in regard to Rankin’s objection to Currie’s plagiarism charge should not be viewed as any form of acceptance, capitulation or subordination to the centrist line of the leadership of the CPC.

Focus On Socialism will continue to publish and provide critical support to the Communist Party of Canada in the struggle to reclaim the party for the working class of Canada from the weakness and timidity of revisionism, opportunism and centrism.

Background

On March 27, 2005 Focus on Socialism (FOS) published an article by the editor and chair of Canadians for Peace and Socialism (CPS) on the 60th anniversary of V.E. Day.[6]¬† It was a contribution to the approaching 60th anniversary of the allied victory over Hitler Germany and a public response to Canadian historian Margaret McMillan‚Äôs article in the Globe and Mail February 11, 2005 entitled Yalta‚Äôs shadow still darkens our lives‚ÄĚ.¬† McMillan was the provost of Trinity College at University of Toronto at the time[7].

Currie authored a detailed and uncompromising defence of the decisive role and contribution of the USSR and the Soviet People under the leadership J.V. Stalin in the defeat of Hitler Germany during WWII.  As Currie said in his opening remarks of the March 2005 article:

‚ÄúAs the people of the world approach the 60th Anniversary of the Allied Victory in Europe, (V.E. Day), on May 8th 2005, the media is releasing a flood of commentary designed to diminish the legacy and achievement of the anti-Nazi coalition of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America and Great Britain. Dishonouring the USSR's contribution to the defeat of Hitler Germany and its post-war role in framing the UN Charter is the goal. ¬†Distortion of history the means.‚ÄĚ

Currie challenged McMillan’s subjective anti-Soviet account of Yalta.  Currie detailed the timelines and the outcomes of the Yalta conference.  Currie then went on to outline the historical significance and crucial results of the Soviet defeat of Hitler Fascism with the allied powers.

Five years later on the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Hitler Germany, Don Currie authored another article entitled ‚ÄúThe 65th Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany‚ÄĚ[8].¬† Currie once again took on the corrupt mass media and attacked the anti-communist Tribute to Liberty and former Globe and Mail columnist Heather Mallick for her slide into the ‚Äúswamp of unsubstantiated slurs against Stalin‚ÄĚ.¬†

Currie’s May 2010 editorial took aim at those anti-Soviet commentators diminishing and hiding the decisive Soviet contributions to the defeat of the Nazi’s in WWII saying:

‚ÄúA quick read of the propaganda of the corporate controlled mass media about the impending May 8th 65TH Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany, the uninformed ¬†are invited to believe that the military forces of every country involved in WW2 defeated Hitler‚Äôs Armies except the Soviet Union[9].‚ÄĚ

As part of that assault in the May 2010 article Currie recounted his 2005 article which FOS distributed widely to the left progressive and Communist movement including the Communist Party of Canada and its national organ People’s Voice.  Currie says:

“On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Unconditional Surrender of the Nazi Germany to the Allied Forces in Europe and in response to the distortions of a leading Canadian historian about the role of Stalin and the Soviet Union leading up to the defeat of Hitler Germany, I authored an article at the time about those events and circulated it to the Communist Party of Canada, progressive organizations and the progressive press.  The article is re-reprinted on our website on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany.

‚ÄúThe 2005 article was suppressed by the Canadian left progressive press.‚ÄĚ

Today these views are becoming challenged more publically and gaining greater acceptance even among ¬†bourgeois historians and writers.¬† The Communist Party of Australia‚Äôs latest issue of its political online paper, The Guardian Roundup, published a review of bourgeois author Geoffrey Roberts‚Äô book, ‚ÄúStalin‚Äôs Wars‚ÄĚ.[10]¬† The review concluded with:

‚ÄúGeoffrey Roberts concludes that Stalin was, in fact, ‚Äú‚Ķthe greatest military leader of the twentieth century‚Ķ‚ÄĚ. Revisionist historians will continue to diminish his role, and that of socialism and its many adherents, but it is our duty, particularly in this era of ‚Äúspin‚ÄĚ, phoney mythologising and ‚Äúdumbed down‚ÄĚ history, to ensure that the truth is never forgotten.‚ÄĚ

Currie‚Äôs consistent and uncompromising stance against all those who peddle distortions, lies and anti-communist slurs is fully on the record and in the public domain.¬† The FOS editorial board fully concurs with Currie‚Äôs characterization of the suppression by ‚ÄúCanadian left progressive press‚ÄĚ of the March 2005 article.¬† In particular FOS acknowledges the stand that was seemingly taken by People‚Äôs Voice to Currie‚Äôs March 2005 article.

Focus On Socialism questions why an inferior article by Darrel Rankin was published by People’s Voice after the Currie article and after the 60th anniversary date of VE Day?  It would seem that either the Currie article was not up to the journalistic standards of People’s Voice or People’s Voice editorial committee does not subscribe to the views expressed in Don Currie’s March 2005 article or there is a deliberate and silent policy of suppressing material that originates from the CPS.  FOS would conclude that it is in all probability a deliberate policy of suppression in view of the critical support that it provides to the CPC.

Of course FOS concedes that People’s Voice has the editorial right to publish whom ever they view as supporting the line of People’s Voice and the CEC.  This policy can also be inferred as supporting a revisionist position when viewed in the frame work of the Communist Party of Canada’s program characterizing the period of Socialist construction after WW2.  The CPC program says:

‚ÄúThe Soviet working class itself was battered and massively decimated by the two brutally destructive wars fought on Soviet soil, with the places of the fallen and the administratively promoted being taken by inexperienced new workers recruited from the countryside. ¬†This partly explains, but does not justify, way that the operations of the Party increasingly merged with the functions of the state, in particular with the administrative-bureaucratic apparatus which necessarily arose to centralize and tightly control the country's scarce and depleted resources. Nor do these difficult conditions justify the serious violations of socialist legality, purges, and serious crimes against innocent people.‚ÄĚ[11]

This assessment was further elaborated upon by General Secretary Miguel Figueroa in his remarks at the November 10- 12, 2006 Lisbon Conference of the International Meeting of Communist and Worker’s Parties.  Comrade Figueroa said:

‚ÄúConcerning the prospects for socialism, we are confident that the socialism of the 21st Century will distinguish itself from the ‚Äúfirst wave‚ÄĚ of socialist construction insofar as the revolutionary forces are drawing the appropriate lessons from both the achievements as well as the failures and distortions of those previous experiences. In this sense, the ‚Äúnew socialism‚ÄĚ will be better, stronger, and more enduring than the previous wave of socialist construction.

‚ÄúBut we also know that in some quarters, the expression ‚Äúnew socialism‚ÄĚ is advanced to differentiate it in an opportunist was from the ‚Äúold‚ÄĚ, to disassociate itself not only from the errors and failings, but indeed to negate all that was attempted and achieved in the past, and to present in its place a denunded, vulgarized and impoverished conception of socialism, stripped of its essential content. We must categorically reject such an approach.‚ÄĚ[12]

CPS believes these formulations are wrong, lacking in partisanship and lending comfort to the anti-Soviet detractors of our time. It is against such tortured centrist theorizing that CPS calls for a re-evaluation of the current stance of the Communist Party of Canada’s program on the historic achievements of real socialism.

The Struggle Against Anti-Sovietism and Anti-Communism

Focus On Socialism further points out that Currie’s continued and unwavering defence of the Soviet Union, the Socialist Community of States and real socialism has ensured the full censure of his work within the Canadian left progressive, peace and communist press.  Currie has taken up the struggle against all forms of anti-Sovietism wherever it arises. 

In April 2010 Currie challenged NDP BC Southern MP Alex Atamanenko for his support of the Tribute to Liberty Project.¬† FOS published an open letter[13] to the NDP Member of Parliament where Currie stated his ‚Äúprofound disagreement‚ÄĚ with Atamanenko‚Äôs support for the anti-communist, anti-Soviet organization.

The challenge to Atamanenko sparked a broader discussion that eventually resulted in a vicious attack on Don Currie by Communist Party of Canada Central Committee member Jason Devine[14]. 

This attack was sparked by Currie‚Äôs August 8th, 2010 ‚ÄúThe Way I See It‚ÄĚ editorial entitled, ‚ÄúFalsifications of Historical Role of Stalin: Anti-Communists Unite‚ÄĚ.[15]¬† Currie challenged the anti-communist Howard Zinn and John Case and those forces who claim revolutionary status and credentials yet publish such anti-communist trash under the cloak of ‚Äúfreedom of interpretation‚ÄĚ.[16]¬† ¬†Devine; taking up the anti-Soviet banner attacking Stalin under the guise of ‚Äúfreedom of criticism‚ÄĚ was trapped in the swamp of anti-communism, alone with those same forces who hold similar views of Stalin and the ‚Äúcrimes of Soviet socialism‚ÄĚ at the Tribute to Liberty Project and who countamong its supporters:

  • Stephen Harper, Prime Minister (Conservative, Calgary Southwest, AB)
  • Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Conservative, Pontiac, QB);
  • Peter Van Loan, Minister of the Interior (Conservative, York-Simcoe, ON);
  • Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism (Conservative, Calgary Southeast, AB);
  • Peter Kent, Minister of State (Americas) (Conservative, Thornhill, ON);
  • Irwin Cotler, MP (Liberal, Mount Royal, QB);
  • Marlene Jennings, MP (Liberal, Notre-Dame-de-Gr√Ęce-Lachine, QB);
  • Raynell Andreychuk, Senator (Conservative, SK, appointed on the advice of Brian Mulroney);
  • Bob Rae, MP (Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic, Toronto Centre, ON).

Recently Jason Devine and his family were viciously attacked inside their Calgary home by neo-fascist skinhead thugs who physically assaulted and beat Jason Devine with hammers and bats.  These are the same types that the Tribute to Liberty incites into action.  Don Currie immediately took up the defence of the young communists and issued a public statement immediately after the news broke.[17]

Currie’s political record of struggle has been publically stated.  Currie responded to Devine’s public and personal attack outlining Currie’s political record.[18]  The record of Canadians for Peace and Socialism is in the public domain and fully on record with over 30 years of publications, activity and struggle.

Focus On Socialism fully defends its record and that of FOS Editor Don Currie to be one of unwavering partisan defence of the decisive historical role that the first workers state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, has been and continues to be in the fight against imperialism, imperialist wars and for peace and socialism. 

Darrel Rankin‚Äôs objection to Currie‚Äôs charge of ‚Äúplagiarism‚ÄĚ is one of hyper-sensitivity over decades of the abandonment of struggle in the defence of the Soviet Union‚Äôs historical legacy by the central leadership of the Communist Party of Canada.¬† Focus On Socialism remains committed to that defence.


End Notes


[1] Don Currie, ‚ÄúThe 60th Anniversary of V.E. Day‚ÄĚ, March 27, 2005, http://focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=441

[2] Modern Language Association (MLA): "plagiarism." The American Heritage¬ģ New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 21 Nov. 2010. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/plagiarism>

[3] Canadalegal.info, http://www.canadalegal.info/ref-intellectual-property/ip-it-law.html#plagiarism-definition [quote p.170 Canadian law Dictionary, 2nd ed., by John A. Yogis, Q.C. (adapted fr. Law Dictionary by Steven H. Gifis), © 1990 Barron's Educational Series, Inc.; ISBN #-0-8120-4308-1; Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 90-34213]

[4] Darrell Rankin, ‚ÄúSixtieth anniversary of victory over fascism in Europe‚ÄĚ, People‚Äôs Voice, May 16-31, 2005, http://www.peoplesvoice.ca/Pv16ma05.html#fascismEurope¬†

[5] William Beeching, Focus On Marxism-Leninism, Volume 1, Issue 1, September 1979, http://www.focusonsocialism.ca/upload/FOS-CCCFocusOnMarxismLeninism%20Vol%201%20Iss%201Rev1.pdf

[6] Don Currie, ‚ÄúThe 60th Anniversary of V.E. Day‚ÄĚ, March 27, 2005, http://focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=441

[8] Don Currie, ‚ÄúThe 65h Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany‚ÄĚ, May 5, 2010, http://focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=442

[9] CBC News, ‚ÄúRemembering Canada's role in WW II‚ÄĚ, May 5, 2010, http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/04/26/f-canada-second-world-war.html

[10] Bob Treasure, ‚ÄúStalin and Operation Barbarossa‚ÄĚ, Guardian Roundup, November 23, 2010, http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2010/1482/09-stalin.html

[11] Canada's Future is Socialism!, Program of the Communist Party of Canada, Chapter 7 Building Socialism, 9/6/2002, http://www.communist-party.ca/pdf/party_program.pdf

[12] Miguel Figueroa, ‚ÄúOpening the Door to a Socialist Alternative‚ÄĚ, Communist Party of Canada, November 2006, Lisbon, Volume 2 Information Bulletin, Page 19.¬† Documents of the Communist and Worker‚Äôs Parties, November 10-12 2006, Publisher Synchroni Epochi, 130 Solonos str. 106¬† 81 Athens, Greece, http://www.sep.gr

[13] Don Currie, ‚ÄúOpen Letter to Alex Atamamenko Re: Your Public Support of the Tribute to Liberty Project‚ÄĚ, April 7, 2010, http://www.focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=415

[15] Don Currie, ‚ÄúFalsifications of Historical Role of Stalin: Anti-Communists Unite‚ÄĚ, August 8, 2010, http://www.scribd.com/doc/37384081/The-Way-I-See-It-Falsifications-of-Historical-Role-of-Stalin-Anti-Communists-Unite

[16] ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs Rethink Socialism‚ÄĚ,http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progressivesforobama/message/4847

[17] Don Currie, ‚ÄúStatement Canadians for Peace & Socialism: On the Violent Anti-Communist Hate Attack on the Devine Family in Calgary‚ÄĚ, November 9, 2010, http://www.scribd.com/doc/41795180/CPS-Statement-On-the-Violent-Anti-Communist-Hate-Attack-on-the-Devine-Family-in-Calgary

[18] Don Currie, Letter to Richard Collier Facilitator Revolutionary Bulletin Board Over Posted Attacks Personally and Against the CPS by CPC Member, September 2, 2010,  http://www.scribd.com/doc/37385001/Letter-to-Richard-Collier-Facilitator-Revolutionary-Bulletin-Board


 

[i] Don Currie, ‚ÄúThe 65h Anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany‚ÄĚ, May 5, 2010, http://focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=442

[ii] Email From Darrel Rankin to Don Currie

From: Darrell Rankin [mailto:rnknfile@mts.net]

Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 2:22 PM

To: Don Currie

Subject: Dear Don,

Dear Don,

When I search ""Darrell Rankin" plagiarism," the only article that surfaces on google is one dated May 5, 2010 by you at http://www.focusonsocialism.ca/random.asp?ID=442

It has the following two sentences.

Both People’s Voice and Spark apparently did not consider it worthy of publication.  In its place a plagiarized version quoting some obscure sources, was authored by Darrell Rankin, Provincial Leader of the Communist Party in Manitoba and subsequently published in People’s Voice[5].

I would like to ask that you prove that this article is plagiarized. Please reply within two weeks.

Thank you,

Darrell Rankin

bcc CEC, CPC

[iii] Harry S. Truman ,"If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them kill as many as possible", (New York Times June 24, 1941)