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The first issue of Focus on Marxism-Leninism appears at a moment of deepening economic and political crisis in the entire capitalist world.

Spokesmen for big business are unable to conceal their fears. Lately a number of capitalist financial publications have been asking whether or not a repeat of the 1929 stock market crash is inevitable. Their articles are written with the aim of keeping their spirits up in the deepening gloom.

The growing crisis of capitalism is both a -challenge and an opportunity for the Communist Movement in Canada, as well as for the entire political Left.    It is a crisis which calls for leadership and action.

Our special attention will be fixed on the 24th Convention of the Com­munist Party of Canada because it is from there that the real leadership of the working-class must come. As Communists and workers we exercise our right to take part in the pre-convention discussion now going on.

Our main concern isn't with that which is manifestly good in the draft political resolution. Our chief concern is with the sense of complacency which runs through the resolution like a thread, with the distinct lack of urgency. As some have said: The draft political resolution leaves you with the impression that all one has to do is to sit back and wait for all the good things to happen, it lacks militancy and is short on Communist partisan­ship.

However, it isn't enough to be dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction alone won't change things. What is required is struggle – the exercise of criticism and self-criticism – a process which will enable us to not only understand the nature of the problems facing the Communist party of Canada but also which will show the way to overcome them so that the Communist Party becomes a powerful and leading factor in Canadian political life.

A serious block to the exercise of that critical faculty stands in the way. It comes about as a result of deliberate processes still going on inside the Communist Party, expressed mainly in the Party leadership's violations of democratic centralism, which have resulted in a distinct loss of the Communist character of the Party.

A recent article in the theoretical journal Socialism, Theory and Prac­tice (August. 1979) Number 8, sums up the problem in these words:

"Democratic centralism has two aspects, namely, centralism and democracy, taken in unity.

"Without centralism democracy would have inevitably turned the Party into an association devoid of internal unity, integrity and organiza­tion. Such an association would have been incapable of guiding the working people in the struggle against the exploiters, in tackling the complicated tasks of building socialism and communism.

"On the other hand, a party based on the principle of centralism alone takes the risk of degenerating into a bureaucratic, sectarian organization, remote from the interests of the masses. In such conditions party members become unthinking executors, deprived of the possibility to actively influ­ence the state of affairs. They cease to be responsible for these affairs and actually cease to be communists.

"In other words, both anarchic lack of discipline and bureaucratic cen­tralization are equally injurious to the Marxist-Leninist party."

As long as this problem exists it is impossible to adequately develop Marxist-Leninist theory and its creative application: it is impossible to overcome problems which stand in the way of making the Communist Party of Canada a mass party of the working-class.

W.C. Beeching


By: William Beeching, Chair CCC, September 1979


The draft political resolution (July, 1979), for pre-convention discussion, places before the Party members the profound analyses about the contem­porary world made by the International Communist Movement. Without a fundamental analysis it would be impossible to make an adequate Leninist analysis of the problems facing the Canadian people.

It is the performance of that task which is the vital necessity facing the Communist Movement in Canada today.

For many conventions past it has been customary for the Central Com­mittee to place similar political resolutions before the party membership.  Time and again the delegates to the convention have returned home inspired by their examination of the awe-inspiring achievements of world socialism, and with the very real prospects for advancing the cause of democracy, peace, independence and socialism in Canada.

It is in this area where a problem emerges – a contradiction which has often been spoken about by party members, but which continues to be a pro­blem begging for critical examination.


For the rich promise inherent in the draft political resolution to be rea­lised in practice demands a critical and self-critical examination of the gap between the new and varied possibilities for the political advance of the Left. in particular the Communist Party and the Party's actual performance between conventions.

Such an examination requires Communist courage and conviction. It demands the exercise of our critical faculties. To even begin to open up such a discussion a number of questions need to be extracted for special attention. For example, a few such questions, although by no means all of them, would be:

1.       What does a small Communist Party do to overcome its isolation, de­clining membership and the shrinking readership of its journals?

2.       How does the Communist Party express its vanguard role in indust­rial concentration, in the building of the anti-monopoly united front, in many mass fields, including work among women, youth and oppressed nat­ionalities and minorities?

3.      What programs are required in the anti-monopoly united front? What slogans? What is the role and place of the Communist Party? Where do we begin?

4.      What steps can be taken to influence the direction of farm struggles and to contribute to the welding of worker-farmer unity?

5.      What are the key tasks facing the people of Canada today, that is, which problems selected from the growing and almost limitless list of problems, best of all reflect the sum total of all the problems the people face? How does a small Communist Party develop a national campaign on those key issues?

6.      What are the Party's special tasks with respect to the New Democrat­ic Party whose members lead the trade union movement in the main?

7.      Why does the Party leadership oppose so-called direct work with the rank-and-file of the trade union movement?  Why is 'rank-and-file' a dirty word? What are the new streams in the trade union movement?

8.      The struggle for peace and the working-class?

The Communist Party will become stronger, emerging as a Party enjoying great prestige and authority among the working masses, only if we act as the true representatives of the most powerful movement for social change ever to appear in the world, using the science of Marxism-Leninism to unite the people in a struggle against monopoly and for socialism.

Marxism-Leninism is no arm chair philosophy, but is a guide to practical revolutionary action. It is the theoretical foundation upon which the Communist Parties build their strategy and tactics in the struggle for socialism.


Lenin had something to say about this very question. He said;

"[I]t is possible that even a small party... after it has thoroughly studied the course of political development and become acquainted with the life and customs of the non-party masses, will at a favourable moment, evoke a revolutionary movement..." (Coll. works, vol. 32. page 476)

To say that we are a small party cannot be a theoretical justification for sitting back and waiting until, we somehow or another, no one knows how, overcome our problems and become stronger.

History provides us with many examples of Communist Parties ably presenting policies and struggling for them, arousing the people in their countries, and emerging as strong movements with great authority among the working masses. On the other hand, theoretical, tactical and political miscalculations can lead to set-backs – and will certainly not advance the cause of socialism and the political leadership of the Communist Party.

Correct party leadership, boldness, confidence, the advancement of a program and policy well-substantiated by Marxism-Leninism, consistent work in the working-class – both ideological and organizational – 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 – 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.


We live in a new epoch of mankind's development–an epoch in which a new kind of leadership has emerged: the leadership of the working-class. The working-class has established a new kind of party: the Communist Party, a revolutionary party armed with the science of Marxism-Leninism.

The Canadian working-class is waging a struggle against the intensification of capitalist exploitation and has assumed responsibility to keep plants open, to reduce the work week, to end wage controls, and for many other demands which are highly political in character.

If the working-class is not to be disarmed, it is the party's task to overcome ideological weaknesses in the labour movement, the exaggeration of this or that temporary problem and, above all, to defeat reformism within the trade union and general labour movement. It means engaging in a sharp struggle with bourgeois ideology, with the influence of reformism, to win the working-class to support, to fight and to vote for the programs and propositions of the Communist Party.

The major weakness of the Communist Party is its underestimation of the possibilities for action. The present crisis challenges us to have a really effective influence on the course of struggle because of our Marxist prevision of what will take place.

It is essential that the Party learns to use all ways and means of mass struggle possible in this new situation; that it has a strategic orientation which devises forms and methods of struggle at the various stages of development, always seeking ways of transformation from one stage of the struggle to another, higher one.

The Communist Party of Canada has singled out a special anti-monopoly phase of the revolutionary process in its program, in which it says there can be the formation of a popular government. But, we are not on the verge of forming such a government. The problem is to find slogans and programs which will reflect the intermediate strategic goals to achieve that aim, and to initiate actions on them.

The key to progress in Canada will be measured by our success in building people's unity in the struggle against inflation and for people's needs. An anti-monopoly coalition, led by the working-class, means that the policies the Party puts forward in election campaigns must be actively fought for by the workers and farmers in between election campaigns.

General proclamations, guesses; the substitution of wishes for reality – none of these will help in that process.

It is in the performance of this task that the Party and the YCL will overcome smallness and lack of influence. It will be through the expansion of links with the working-class, through the elaboration and implementation of programs and policies, through initiatives down below, by single-mindedly establishing the fact that the Party and the YCL are the best defenders of the working-class that progress will come.

The aggravation of the general crisis of capitalism is intertwined with every social, economic and political task we face. The economic crisis of the early Seventies coincided with the gravest crisis experienced by the entire political superstructure of bourgeois society, with a concomitant crisis in its ideology and ethics. Social upheavals are growing in every capitalist country, including our own, expressed in a crisis of energy, raw materials, transportation, a growth of crime, deep shifts in world politics, and a positive growth of the world Communist movement and its influence on world affairs.

New "Marxist" theories are being hatched almost daily, to divert and confuse the working-class.  Revisionism and opportunism is rampant and feeds on these spurious ideas in our Party, greatly weakening it.

The Communist Party is the best educated and the most politically conscious detachment of the anti-imperialist front. It is the only party equipped with the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism.  Thus, it is the only party capable of formulating a complete and all-round program for the working-class in its struggle against imperialism.  How well the party has and will perform this task is what should come under close critical scrutiny at this up-coming convention.


All delegates to the convention – every party member – should be well aware of the charges levelled against those party members who have supported the publication of Tim Buck's memoirs. The charge is that those who support Tim Buck advocate the substitution of the party for other anti-imperialist forces in the united front, propose to do the work that other forces should be doing, and make party ideology the condition for admission to the united front, and so on.

Even though these allegations are unfounded, they provide a basis for a discussion of the anti-monopoly activities of the party.

Problems of united fronts and class alliances are pivotal questions in the strategy of the Communist Party. Participation in such fronts requires certain deliberate concessions on the part of all participants, including the party.

But the one single, particular difference between the Communist Party and all other political parties is that the Communist Party is the party of the science of Marxism-Leninism; and the Communist Party represents the interests of the leading social class in society, the working-class; the class which is the most influential and which leads the work of the anti-monopoly front.

If we conclude that, because we are in the stage of class struggle often referred to by members of the CEC as the "democratic stage" that we forego the use of that science, and that place, then we will have taken the revolutionary heart out of our movement.

No member of the dissolved Saskatchewan Provincial Committee — not comrades W. Beeching, D. Currie or C. McFadden - ever proposed, obliquely or directly, that we make the ideology of the party the basis of the party's united front positions as the party leadership claimed in 1970.

But this idea is not just a mere concoction by the CEC. It is a deliberate ploy used as justification for the CEC's own willingness to make concessions which infringe on party principles.


All the talk by the CEC in this direction is a way of attacking the leading role of the Communist party in the united front. CEC members make the error of equating "domination" with "vanguard". It is true that no party should dominate a united front; but exercising the vanguard role is not domination.

Because we are in the "democratic stage" does not mean that we are no longer engaged in the struggle for socialism, but only in a struggle for wider democracy, which has an iron wall between it and socialist tasks. This flows from another mistake made by the CEC, that is, that the main contradiction in society is no longer the contradiction between the capitalists and the working-class but is, at this "democratic stage", a contradiction between the monopolies and all of the non-monopoly forces.

Such an approach is mechanical and violates the science of Marxism.

Comrades on the CEC have said you do not argue with those with whom you wish to unite; and other leading comrades say that even the nature of the party club has changed at this time from one expressing the interests of the basic class struggle of the working-class to one of expressing the anti-monopoly struggle. Such a theory diminishes and even denies the historic mission of the working-class.

When it comes to anti-monopoly unity, the Communists are not beggars knocking at the door begging for entry. The Communists are its inspirers and initiators, its best organizer and its best defender.

The Communist Party plays the role of vanguard in the struggle against imperialism and is the chief initiator in building world-wide solidarity. The Communists never substitute themselves for other anti-imperialist forces but try to get every conscious person, every political organization, and every group capable of fighting against imperialism, to join in a united struggle. The Communist party plays the role of a uniting factor.

The cohesion of the ranks of the Communist Party is a vital condition for the success of the struggle for broad unity. The party guards against being dissolved in the ranks of different parties and movements, always fighting to preserve the positions of class principle. It is impermissible to sacrifice the revolutionary principles of the Party to win a single ally, or another 1,000 votes in an election.

The Communist Party does not stuff socialism and the historic struggle for it in the back of the cupboard because we are at an early stage in building the anti-monopoly coalition, but seeks to actively win more and more to understand that unity is the only answer to their needs, and to see that the pathway to socialism lies through anti-monopoly struggle and the involvement of the widest numbers of working people for democratic reforms.

The Party helps mass movements to come into existence.  In every major city, because of the enormous structural changes which have taken place and all the consequences flowing there from, there is a need to organize new civic organizations, not mechanically following our experiences of the Thirties, but providing organizational forms which meet the needs of the Eighties. One such organization is COPE in Vancouver, which has become a civic vehicle drawing the most progressive and wide sections of Vancouver people into an alliance tackling the solution of the crises which beset all cities. By this time there should have been a country-wide system of civic organizations modeled along COPE lines.

The essential job is to work to get the trade union movement to place itself at the head of the democratic movement to put monopoly under control, to help draw the masses of working people, including the unorganized into political struggle against monopoly.  The trade union movement should and can co-operate with all non-proletarian forces to put monopoly under control without retreating from workers' demands on wages, the shorter work week, controls over technology, and for wider powers for the trade union movement.

Co-operation with diverse political elements, flexibility, compromises on programmatic questions are all purposefully taken to advance the cause of the working-class and should not be confused with the disastrous readiness of some to make compromises of the basic interests of the people in the name of so-called unity of action.


Unfortunately, too often the Party speaks of the anti-monopoly coalition with vagueness, as the scholarly academic giving a lecture. Where do you begin? Is it realistic? Or do we just say it because its the thing to say, hoping that it will materialise from somewhere, God knows where or when? The CEC is very good at presenting the anti-monopoly coalition as a key political proposition, and in justifying its historical necessity and even the possibilities of its formation. The CEC engages in learned discussions about stages, composition and tasks of the anti-monopoly front - all necessary. But where is it? When will we get it? Who will lead the fight for it? Will it be born a fully formed baby, complete with representation from the NDP, the Communist Party, the trade unions and all others? Will it be by formal agreement and arrangements by leading bureaucrats behind closed doors? Or by the day-to-day struggles in the factories, mines, mills and offices of the rank-and-file supporting and directing the leadership? What is the balance of building the united front from below and from above?

It has to be fought for. It has to be organized. The Communist Party has to answer the question: what are the first steps? How will the Party initiate discussions and take actions to bring it into existence? Where are we at? And what are the next steps? In what forms will the anti-monopoly coalition begin to emerge?

The Communist Party is the political organizer of the working-class, expressing its class self-awareness, its revolutionary class conscience and is the vanguard and leader of its class struggles. To the Communist Party falls the complicated task of pushing forward revolutionary practice, as well as developing the scientific theory of the class struggle in Canada. The Communist Party helps the working-class to become aware of its place in society, of its relationships with other classes and of its true class interests.

The anti-monopoly front is a tested form of class struggle against monopoly capitalism, and has nothing to do with passivity, class collaboration or political procrastination. No struggle = no front.

The class consciousness of the workers who help to form such an alliance with other classes is strengthened by fighting against bourgeois anti-Communism as well as the corrupting influence of petty-bourgeois elements, the illusions nourished by reformism and syndicalism.  Contrary to what the CEC tried to establish as Party theory and practice in Canada in its document criticising comrades W. Beeching, D. Currie and C. McFadden in November, 1970, the Communist Party does not abandon the ideological struggle when participating in a united front.

There are those who claim that the aspirations of the Communists to play the role of political vanguard of the working-class is incompatible with the principle of equitable co-operation between parties and obstructs the unification of the working-class.  Therefore, they say, Communists have to renounce their concept of the vanguard role of the Party.  This was the theoretical concept which led to the CEC's repudiation of the Lenin Centennial recruiting leaflet written by comrade D. Currie when he was national organizer.

This was the substance of the attacks on comrades W. Beeching, D. Currie and C. McFadden at the November, 1970, plenum of the CC.  In essence the propositions in the main document of indictment at that time could only lead to dissolving the Communist Party in the united front, supposedly because of concern for unity.  Instead of strengthening unity, it disarmed the party ideologically, serving to eliminate the most militant section of the anti-monopoly alliance.

Communists never claim superiority over other political parties. The vanguard role of the Communist Party is determined by the Party's actual role in the working-class movement and the role of the working-class in the anti-monopoly struggle.

Within this, the important question is the preservation of the ideological, political and organizational independence (integrity) of the Communist Party.  It is this question which stands at the centre of the attacks by the CEC on Tim Buck and on all those who have supported him.

It is far from being a question related to whether or not some individuals have violated democratic centralism.

Of course it is a matter of great skill to select the tasks and issues of emphasis, and the main line of struggle, when participating in united movements. Flexibility, understanding, staunchness and audacity are the order of the day.

If the working-class is to perform its historic role, the problem presents itself of raising the class-consciousness of the working-class, which involves a resolute struggle against all forms of revisionism, opportunism and Maoism.

Left-wing unity is not a simple accumulation of forces in the class struggle.  It is not an end in itself, that is, it is not a goal for which all revolutionary perspectives are renounced. Left-wing democratic unity is a means of promoting the cause of the socialist revolution, demanding a correct balance between unity and ideological struggle within the frame work of the anti-imperialist movement. In the process, Communists deliberately pursue a course of compromise, observing democratic principles, and energetically struggle to free working people from the influence of reformist ideology.


In the name of healing the rift in the working-class there can be no neutrality with respect to reformist ideology. Such a conception is dangerous and harmful to the cause of socialism. It serves to bring the party's slogans down to the level of rank reformism.

Correctly combined actions from above and below (yes, that dratted word "rank-and-file") is a key principle in building the democratic front. The setting up of such fronts is, above all, a question of inter-party relationships, of contacts, agreements and discussions between leading political bodies. But it can only be successful if these agreements have roots among the rank-and-file, if they draw their strength from the masses of the working-people. Therefore, the attacks made by the CEC on the concept of organizing the rank-and-file have, essentially, been attacks on the concept of organizing anti-monopoly unity from below as well as from above.

The problem is to secure a real superiority of the revolutionary forces over the class enemy and to solve the problem of people's power, because there is always the danger of a bourgeois restoration, which we see in a crude form in the wiping out of NDP reforms in BC and Manitoba by the reactionary conservative governments which replaced them.


The working-class has nothing to lose through democratic progress. But the working-class needs to consistently fight for its interests in the democratic stage of the anti-monopoly struggle so that the bourgeoisie doesn't assume the leadership of it.  In fighting for the immediate needs of the working-class within the framework of the anti-monopoly struggle we seek to create the conditions which will make possible the future victory of socialism.  At one stage or another, the bourgeois elements in the coalition will recoil and become counter-revolutionary.

To sum up: for the successful building of the anti-monopoly united front the Communist Party must establish itself as the leader of the working-class, its political organizer. The strategy and tactics of the Communist Party are based on the achievement of working-class unity as a decisive condition for the defeat of capitalism.  To accomplish the foregoing the Communist Party has to prove the fallacy of right wing opportunism as a means of preserving the revolutionary content of the party and maintaining party unity.

While rejecting opportunism and the revisionist ideas of social democracy, the Communist Party seeks contacts with them on a mutually acceptable basis of joint struggle against reaction.  The party sets itself the task of fighting for trade union unity, and unity of the trade union movement with all sectors of the working people. It seeks to make the Leninist Party a mass party of the working-class. It organizes the rank-and-file for limited objectives.  It works for a united youth front. The struggle for unity has to be consistent and all-sided around a broad anti-monopoly platform.

The party's work with the rank-and-file involves setting up committees and organizations of all sorts, it involves joint candidates, work in mass organizations of the people, the spreading of socialist ideas – the constant struggle to raise higher the aims and objectives for which the working-class fights.

And the anti-monopoly alliance will be strong if it is led by the Communist Party.


Among the impediments to establishing the leading role of the Party are sectarian conceits, narrowness of policy, absence of flexibility, inability to make prompt decisions in line with changes in the situation, failure to offer a daily guide to action. While we say the Communists should always be in the forefront, paving the road to the future, always struggling, we cannot be satisfied that this is the case now.

Is it because we lack the enthusiasm, the inspiration, through our failure to subordinate all our activity to the prime objective of socialism, because we fail to use all ways and means available, fail to devise forms and methods of struggle at this stage, to find ways to transform the situation from one stage to a higher one?

Can we say that the opportunity to do these things doesn't exist? Of course it does!

The strength of the program of the Communist Party is its optimism - an optimism which flows from its ability to answer the needs of the working-people.  It is a solid plus for us. It can provide the way a small party influences events and helps to stabilise and give direction to the activities of the trade union movement.

Our task isn't to shout Hurrah' when a Dennis McDermott, a Broadbent, or someone else says something which is in the interests of the working-people. Of course we welcome it as evidence of the possibility of unity against the monopolies, and as a plus for the working people. But we don't relegate ourselves to the role of a cheering team on a social democratic football field.

Our task isn't to persuade workers to become good NDPers. To the contrary, we oppose those who would wipe out Marxism and its influence on the trade union movement if they could. We fight for centre-left unity, seeking to build united actions. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with the rank-and-file in the shops for a program in the interests of the working-class.   We constantly struggle to win working people to understand, to accept and to become fighters for the positions of the Communist Party.

The growing crisis of capitalism expressed in stagnating growth rates, rising unemployment, accelerated rates of inflation, the growth of creeping to galloping inflation, growing currency and financial instability, the raw materials and energy crisis – all these have compelled the imperialist states to revise some of their previously unrealistic policies towards the USSR and the states of the socialist community.

The conditions in which the monopoly bourgeoisie operates are much less favourable to them than it was in the Sixties and early Seventies. The biggest factor is that capitalist governments have lost control over creeping inflation which is now limiting the possibilities of growth for them.

Inflation, which has assumed threatening proportions since 1973, threatens even more severe and rude shocks to the economy of the western capitalist countries – shocks not only of an economic character but also of a socio-political character. That is why spokesmen for the capitalists term it as enemy number one. That is why both the Liberals and Conservatives emphasize the necessity of prompt and energetic measures to tame the rate of inflation.

Inflation threatens the functioning of the monopolist's means of securing maximum profits.

The sharp rise in inflation in recent years has led to a reduction in the real incomes of the working people, to a deterioration of living standards. If this trend continues it will seriously harm the working people, and will limit the possibility of the monopolists to maintain social stability and class peace. In fact, up to now, relatively speaking, it has been possible to establish somewhat stable conditions in class relationships - a fact which has given the bourgeoisie opportunities to exploit labour with limited challenges to its right to do so. Inflation is gnawing away at the foundations of this system.

The Globe & Mail reported on August 9, this year, that the 1978 gain for wages averaged 7%, while the consumer price index rose by 9% – a clear indication that insofar as the workers are concerned, things are slipping.

The method used by the bourgeoisie to "cool" the economy in order to bring inflation under control no longer work, and the measures they take to "heat up" the economy to overcome stagnation and unemployment worsens those problems. Hence the twists and turns taken by the Trudeaus and Clarks are sporadic, sudden, uncoordinated – even measures of desperation. No doubt we shall witness further twists and turns in the economic policies of the central government of Canada.


Most of these questions were factors in the last general election.

"Parliamentary action not only enables the Communists to carry on magnificent propaganda, it also may be used as a means to press the opposition in a position which demonstrates their futility... The function of our theories is to guide us in our revolutionary activities. The place to test our theories is in the battleground of action. The real test of a Communist is to know where and when to translate his Marxism into action." (Lenin, Interviews given to Foreign Correspondents, page 43)

The propaganda conducted by the capitalist media in the election campaign was designed to distract the attention of the people away from the important questions of the day. They sought to drag the average citizen into a discussion of how the individual capitalist can get a bigger slice of the pie. They attempted to involve the working people in their squabbling over markets and profits, and their control over the country's natural resources.

The monopoly media tried to tie us up in a discussion about whether a Joe Clark is better for Canada than a Pierre Trudeau. They wanted to work out an industrial strategy for Canada in the interests of monopoly, and to spread the idea that people are to blame for the energy crisis, that problems can be solved in the "free market" place, that there must be increased profits so as to enable companies to serve the people!

Their aim was to create the climate, or the most favourable conditions for realizing maximum profits. It is a continuation of the Trudeau policies of stagflation and wage controls which lowers real wages for increased profit


In 1976 the 20 biggest companies in the capitalist world had a turnover of $415,000,300,000,000 (double the GNP of Britain, or 230 times the GNP of Bolivia).  In 1976, the 50 biggest companies in the capitalist world made more than $46,000 million in profits in a single year. It amounts to $5,735 per worker employed each year.

An expression of the source of high food costs is shown in retail mark-ups of beef. Retail mark-ups on beef have increased from 210 a pound to 680 a pound over the past two years, and this mark up accounts for 40% of the beef price increases for shoppers. In 1977, when beef was selling for $1.17 a pound, the supermarkets' mark-up was 210 a pound. In 1978, the price was $1.45 a pound, and the margin was 33V. So far in 1979, the average price for beef has been $2.35, and the margin has been 680. Thus retail prices have increased by 103%, but retail margins have increased by 224%. No, obviously the poor farmer is not getting the benefit of the increased retail price for beef.


"Modern imperialism also makes use of the possibilities opening up before it as a result of the increasing merger of the monopolies with the state apparatus. Production programming and forecasting, financing of technical progress and scientific research on the part of the state and measures aimed at restricting somewhat market fluctuations in the interests of the big monopolies are increasingly gaining ground. In a number of countries it, has led to a certain increase in production efficiency." (L.I. Brezhnev, International Conference of Communist and Workers Parties, Moscow, 1969)

This process turns the state into a substantial owner of capital goods, a contractor and consumer of production, into an investor and banker, into a direct participant in the whole reproduction process. Notwithstanding all the talk about "big" government and the need to cut the civil service, the fact is that this new role directly contributes to a bigger civil service. The state becomes one of the basic parts of the economic foundation of capitalist society, a coordinating centre which defines, elaborates and tries to apply in life a long-term economic strategy for the financial oligarchy. It takes a position against one or another monopoly, or even whole groups of monopolies, on behalf of other groups of monopolies.

It is accompanied by an intensification of social conflicts and a deepening of the general crisis of capitalism. It aims to have economic growth – hence all the talk of a "new" industrial strategy and the hope that the Clark government will enunciate one. It leads to a further exploitation of labour, because its maximizing of profits is expressed in the outstripping of wages, which leads to a relative increase in profits at the expense of the working-class.

The Achilles’ heel of the monopolists is that they are unable to forego the grab for maximum profits. The oil companies are a good illustration. They press for a rapid escalation in prices to the world price, and a rapid increase in the costs of energy to the consumer. Because of their greed they create a groundswell of anti-monopoly antagonism which, sooner or later, will deal with the big energy corporations.

At the same time the monopolists are compelled to reckon with the organized demands of the working-class, a testimony to the great strength of the organized labour movement in Canada.  The labour movement defeated Trudeau's wage controls and compelled the Liberal government to retreat on that question.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives take into account the need to reform the mechanism of state monopoly regulation and for increasing state interference into economic life as a means of putting Canada's stagnating economy into gear. Their ineptitude shown in dealing with the pressing problems of the day indicates the capitalist state's impotence in dealing with economic crises and the inability of bourgeois political leaders to honour their pre-election programs and commitments.

The let-down creates apathy among the masses and passiveness at election time – all of which plays into the hands of the bourgeoisie while reducing confidence in it by the masses and the support it obtains from the masses.

In the case of both the Liberals and Conservatives, policy-making is in the hands of their leadership, in the hands of their back-stage advisers, expressing the struggle between various groups of monopolists and capitalists. It is a policy struggle often isolated from reality and unable to answer the needs of the people.

Conservative and Right-wing scholars suggest healing capitalism's political system by further restricting democracy and returning to the days of political "elitism," by trying to reduce the political activity of the masses of people to the lowest possible level.

All of these factors were features of the recent election campaign. The capitalists are unable to overlook the fact that capitalism is becoming increasingly discredited in the eyes of people, that there is a growing loss of confidence in the old-line political parties. The function of capitalist ideology is the performance of the class task of selling capitalism to the people. It can no longer do this without a never-ending struggle against the successes of socialism.


Capitalist ideology aims to refute Marxism, to discredit it, by any means. It advances a regular circus of differing concepts, schools and trends, all of which are anti-Communist and anti-Marxist in essence, all of which distort Marxist ideas respecting the struggle for peace and social progress. Capitalist ideologues resort to the grossest falsifications, distortions and slanders of socialism in their efforts to discredit existing socialism and to refute the universal character of Leninism.

We are approaching a time when the economic potential of the socialist countries begins to equal that of the imperialist states – and then will surpass them. In 1950, socialism accounted for 17.5% of world industrial output. By 1974 that share 'had risen to 37.5%. The U.S.A.'s share was 43.6% in 1950 and it dropped to 25.4% in 1974.  The rates of growth of production under socialism are superior to those under capitalism.  Socialism has not yet surpassed the capitalist countries respecting material living standards but already it is a potent factor in the winning of progressive change in the world today.

However, imperialism's potential for struggle and fight back remains very great. Imperialism is angered by its set backs and looks for social revenge for its defeats. Nevertheless, the new change in the balance of world forces in favour of progress also influences the balance of forces in each capitalist country in favour of the working-class.


The industrial strategy monopoly capital wants is based on the betrayal of Canada's interests, for which Canadian workers and farmers have paid a terrible price in lost job opportunities, lost markets for farmers, restricted development and lower living standards. Canadian wages in manufacturing stand 12th in the capitalist world. U.S.-owned oil companies dictate energy policies and energy programs to Canadians. The U.S.A. maintains a tariff system which encourages the export of raw materials from Canada to that country, but which discourages the export of Canadian manufactured goods to it.

The socio-economic tremors that shook the capitalist world at the close of the Sixties and during the early Seventies have had dual repercussions in the political sphere in Canada. The traditional strike struggle has obviously become more political in its character. Many demands put forward by the trade union movement for the improvement of the lives of working people have clearly a political content, since they are addressed to the bourgeois state and touch upon the foundations of its policies in the sphere of programs for full employment, to prevent the closure of factories, to maintain full employment, to put an end to runaway companies, along with components of the peace struggle and elements of solidarity with peoples struggling against repressive and racist regimes.

The question of democracy has become a big question for us. It is related to the role of the Canadian state as the chief instrument regulating social relations in class society and its role of protecting the foundations of the capitalist system.

In contrast, the socialist countries have created a new socialist democracy the success of which is becoming a factor influencing the outlook of Canadians. It forces itself into the arena of the ideological struggle compelling capitalist ideologists to attempt to denigrate socialist democracy. in recent times by espousing the cause of the dissidents and so-called human rights in the Soviet Union.


These questions pose new tasks for the Communist Party. There is much room for improvement in the party's performance on this front. There is a pressing need to explain the achievements of real socialist democracy to Canadians by presenting convincing facts and showing workers their special role in a socialist society as compared to a capitalist one – showing the differences in the labour and social activity of the masses, man's real status and prospects in life, the limitations of capitalist democracy, man's alienation under capitalism - hence crime and violence, a scourge of today) - the growth of gangsterism, drug addiction, man's degradation, prostitution, the constant tension, deteriorating food, the growth of unemployment - in short the class character of bourgeois democracy and its social results, its formal character concerning the working people's rights and reality - always proving that the basic demands and needs of the masses of people cannot be satisfied by any form of bourgeois democracy whatsoever.

The clashes and zig-zags in the struggle between various power groupings in Canada, and between classes, has its effect in shaping Canada's foreign policy. Right-wing political elements, Zionists, Ukrainian reactionary nationalists - all defame detente and claim that it is a disadvantage to the free world. They see themselves losing the preferred positions they gained in the Cold war. They want to continue the arms race.

These forces comprise not an inconsequential reactionary force in our country, merging as they do with the most right-wing elements which pose difficult but necessary tasks before the Communist movement.


At the same time the shaping of Canada's foreign policy isn't free from the imperatives of peaceful co-existence and the influence of the new correlation of forces in the world. The new positive changes in the world have become the centre of a sharp struggle within all western capitalist circles. The positive changes which have taken place in world relationships are an objective reality of our time.  To go against them, means missing favourable opportunities, as the U.S.A. has discovered, in lost trade with the Soviet Union.

This struggle between trends also finds an expression in Canada with the ex-Trudeau government tending to vacillate between one option and another, with a noticeable tendency to go along with detente. The Trudeau government's policies reflected very real contradictions. It welcomed detente, began some withdrawal of forces from NATO, and increased the country's military budget, engaged in much anti-Soviet propaganda.  While proposing to have a better way of dealing with dissidents it went along with the idea of the "human rights” campaign initiated by the U.S. State Department.

The struggle over policy is always most acute when there is a turn in international affairs. Today it is significant that the tough line approach is being opposed by a significant number of the more sober minded bourgeoisie.

The monopoly bourgeoisie is seriously concerned about the crisis affecting the economy and are aware of their limitations in resolving those problems because of the nature of monopoly capitalism, and the growth of acute inner-imperialist rivalries.

The whole question of peace is a single complex of problems from which the most varied and opposite conclusions are being drawn. On our part we cannot ignore that school which seeks a way out of the capitalist crisis through creating more tensions and by accelerating the arms race.

Inconsistency is a feature of bourgeois politics today, while conditions are emerging to impart to detente a great scope and the concrete, material content for the radical restructuring of international relations. This is the challenge to our party.

In general there will be no automatic turn to realism. It will take a fight.


Positive change is the main tendency in the world today. That the Canadian bourgeoisie recognizes this fact is revealed, for example, by the government's publication CANADA COMMERCE (June/July, 1976) in an article entitled, Trading with Eastern Europe, It says in part:

"At first glance it might appear that Canada has been keeping up with the growth of the East European market. However, it is relevant to note two points. First of all, grains still account for a high percentage of our exports to the area... Secondly, competitors are doing considerably better in supplying machinery and equipment to the market ... most imports from the West consist of machinery and equipment and Canadian business should aim for a greater share of the large market for finished products...Simply put, the major objective of Canadian trade policy vis-à-vis Eastern Europe – while maintaining our traditional role as a supplier of grains and industrial raw materials – is to increase the semi and fully manufactured component in our sales. We have enjoyed some successes in this field. To the Soviet Union we have supplied off-highway vehicles, oil drilling equipment, boilers, valves and compressors; to Poland, log skidders and pulp and paper equipment: to Hungary and Bulgaria agricultural equipment. We look forward to increasing successes by Canadian firms in selling manufactured goods to Eastern Europe over the next two years."

It is clear that Canadian businessmen want to do business with the Soviet Union – and this is a plus for peaceful co-existence. International co-operation with the socialist countries would significantly assist the pressing problems of development, the gaining of Canadian independence from U.S. monopoly domination, the all-round industrial development of Canada. as well as contributing to good neighbourly relations between Canada and the socialist world.

Our struggle today takes on new dimensions and is at a higher plane. We participate in the restructuring of international relations by campaigns which compel Canada to trade with socialism. It is a conscious struggle –part of the struggle for peace – which is part of the constant struggle against imperialism because it contains the democratic demands to curb imperialist aggression and expansion.


In the struggle for better relationships with socialism we operate on the second of two factors which are in simultaneous operation. The first factor is that imperialism is united in its opposition to socialism. The second factor is that the growing rivalry between the imperialist powers has given rise to a certain understanding that better relationships with the Soviet Union can buttress the struggle for independence from U.S. domination.

The serious trade imbalance between Canada and the U.S.A. restricts the development of Canadian-Soviet trade – even if the cold war wasn't a factor – and makes it difficult for Soviet foreign trade organizations to increase their purchases of Canadian commodities, machinery and equipment.

Proportion of Canadian exports going to the U.S.A.

1974-65.6%       1975 – 65.0%    1978 – 70.20%

Proportion Canadian imports from the U.S.A.

67%        68%       70.5%

Until fairly recently Soviet exports to Canada consisted mostly of raw materials and semi-finished products, primarily chromium and manganese ores, plywood, graphite, oil and chemical products and furs. Since 1973 the export of Soviet machinery and equipment to Canada has increased. The Soviet Union sells tractors, farm machines, turbines, generators, metal-cutting instruments and cars.

Mixed Soviet-Canadian companies are promoting the sale of Soviet machinery in Canada. Belarus Equipment of Canada is a mixed company which sells Soviet tractors. Another mixed company is Stan-Canada Machinery Co., which sells lathes and forging and pressing equipment, and the Electrical Machinery and Equipment trading sells turbines and generators. Hydro turbines and generators have been sold in B.C., Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Soviet licenses are also sold in Canada. The Canadian Steel Company and the U.S. Andco Inc. have bought them. Canadian Steel Company adopted the Soviet system of vapour cooling of blast furnaces on a sub-license arrangement. In late 1974, on the Soviet process of coal mining.

There is no doubt that a program for developing trade between Canada and the socialist countries, and the fact that it would mean jobs, could become part of the legislative program fought for by Canada's trade union movement. The policy of industrial concentration demands it. The thread that runs through every idea about industrial concentration is the need to help the trade union movement take up the big, democratic demands of the day.

Because many intellectuals, as a result of their position in society and special training, are sometimes quicker to see the consequences of war and its effect on the economy they appear to act on peace ahead of the working-class. But the peace movement needs the full support of that class which represents the interests of the majority of the people - the working-class - in order to succeed. The fact that our progress sometimes seems slow should not deter us one bit, but should spur us on to greater efforts.

So that the rich opportunities for Canadians to live a happy and more prosperous life become a reality it is necessary to win the peace on which the further progress of mankind depends. Peace makes possible large-scale international co-operation, the essential requirement for rapid progress in the social, economic, cultural and scientific fields.

We cannot afford to waste enormous proportions of our economic, scientific and technical capabilities on the arms race. The nature and scope of the problems mankind faces are such we should come to grips with them now in order to avert serious consequences for the future. The need to solve the energy crisis, to solve the crisis of the cities, to solve the problem of sufficient food, to bring inflation under control, to tackle immense ecological problems and to bring disease under man's control – all these demand international co-operation of the highest order, plus huge sums of money which are now wastefully spent in the arms race.

The prevention of world war is the most important of all global problems, basic to the very survival of the human race and to the possibility of solving other problems. With the present stockpiles of mass destruction it is an indispensable pre-condition for the further development of civilisation and, indeed, of all social progress.

The arms race limits jobs and fuels inflation. In campaigning for the things people need, let us say for housing" it is possible to show how the same money now spent on arms could bring enormous benefits, plus an increase in jobs, to people who now need homes.

In the realm of international relations the pursuit of peace requires a patient and determined search for mutually acceptable agreements leading progressively to world disarmament and which do not diminish the security of any country.


There isn't a consensus on detente among the Canadian bourgeoisie. For example, the theory that Canada and the U.S.A. are "natural" allies and have need for a mutual defence policy persists. It was summed up a number of years ago, when detente wasn't the order of the day, by L.B. Pearson, who said, "If defence is to be considered on a continental basis then material resources for continental defence must be considered on a continental basis" and he then proposed setting up a joint U.S.-Canadian board which would allocate Canadian resources to the United States.

Such statements clearly reveal the consequences of that kind of thinking for the working people of Canada.

There is no doubt that the U.S.A. puts enormous pressure on Canada to increase its arms spending and to expand its role in NATO. When Canada (under Trudeau) was discussing joining the EEC some years ago, James Schlesinger said something like this to Canada : if you want into the EEC buy tanks, increase your army, get active in NATO, because the U.S.A. is restructuring its nuclear complex to a first strike basis and is returning to the preventative attack theories of earlier years.

Cold war myths have helped to bankrupt tens of thousands of Canadian farmers by limiting their export markets and through handing domination of the Canadian economy over to United States monopoly interests.

The possibility of winning peace is very real. It requires, first of all, a break through in military detente. Ending the arms race is a major task facing all of mankind without which there will be no end to the threat of war. One could add that the first step taken by any government designed to halt inflation would be to cut military expenditures.

For the working people of Canada the fight for economic development and trade, the fight for jobs, is also a fight for disarmament and peace. It implies a break from U.S. political domination. The fight for detente is a class fight.


There is talk of a new industrial strategy by the politicians of the old-line parties and in Canadian financial circles. Trudeau's actions when in government were predicated upon the need for a reform of the mechanism of state monopoly regulation of the Canadian economy, for increasing interference in Canada's economic life, as a means of putting a stagnating economy into gear. He made a country-wide TV appearance on it, and it was widely discussed in the media. Free market conditions had disappeared, he said, and Canadians would have to get used to increasing state regulation.

Clark, on the other hand, opposes the increase of state intervention in the economy, maintaining that it will lead to nationalization and socialism. He opposes reforms in the social field.

Intensified inflation contributed to Clark's electoral victory, plus a decline in the economy and a worsening of some of the crisis phenomena.

It is this increased instability which compels an increase in the regulative functions of the state and, if the Clark government's performance is not attuned to the long-term interests of the big monopolies they will, in the final outcome, turn from him.

The monopolists are quick to remove from the political scene those representatives of the capitalist class who are not able to react to the changed internal and external conditions quickly enough and who do not propose more viable options. Trudeau emerged on the political scene as the darling of monopoly, but he is no longer their darling.

There is a difference when we charge the Trudeau government with, having been inefficient and when the bourgeois press charges him with, having been inefficient; inefficient for whom?  His policies were unable to,' cope with the serious problems of inflation and the economy in spite of his brave "New Society" and his statement that his policies were more than just medicine. When ushering in wage and price controls he said,;'

"It's a massive intervention into the decision-making power of the economic groups and its telling Canadians we haven't been able to make it work, the free enterprise system ... We can't destroy the big unions and we can't destroy the multi-nationals. There's no longer a belief in the absolutel, liberal state. Its an interventionist state, which intervenes to make sure that the strong and powerful don't abuse their strength... rather than let the big people control the economy the government is stepping in. I think there, is a return now to what you can call the Right, but what I prefer to call greater individualism, a belief that we have gone too far too fast."

While there are almost as many different theories as there are individual capitalist economists, two main economic theories compete. One is based on the theory of "controlled capitalism" by John M. Keynes; the other is the 'neo-Liberal school" which adopts a different stance.

There are really no basic distinctions between them. Both are for the capitalists and against the workers. Both talk about capitalism as though it will last forever. Both exalt competition in the market place. They do not accept the idea of central planning as in the Communist countries. The Keynseians talk as though capitalism can have a planned economy just like socialism does through state control of the economy.

The neo-Liberal school calls capitalism a free market economy and criticises the idea of state-monopoly control, arguing against any state interference in the economy which exceeds the rules of the so-called "free market" economy. They oppose state planning of any kind, call for a more intense struggle against real socialism, and take more "extreme" positions for solutions. Calling themselves the champions of freedom, they often elaborate policies to continue the Cold War which has had such disastrous consequences for the Canadian people.

Whatever the mix we will be getting from the Clark government in the immediate future, Canadian politics reflect increasing social contradictions, increased frictions and conflicts within ruling circles on major issues, including long-term development. The defeat of the Trudeau government heralds a sharper clash in the political arena.

While they may be confused as to how to get what they want, they want to have in the state apparatus and in government offices those people who have shown skill and knowledge in the economic field.

Some of the changes in Canadian foreign policy flow directly from the weakened position of the United States in the international arena which is causing concern and even alarm in U.S. ruling circles. The growing might of West Europe and. Japan is also drawing Canadian capitalists to eye them differently. Market struggles over agricultural products and fishing with United States have become sharper. All of these have led to some changes in Canadian foreign policy.

What is absolute for us, however, is the need for the labour movement to have its own industrial strategy, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence for which it fights, a perspective for the future which it places before Canadian workers.


Bourgeois democracy's limited nature and class essence was succinctly revealed by Lenin, who said:

"Compared to feudalism, capitalism was an historical advance along the road of 'liberty', 'equality', 'democracy' and 'civilisation'. Nevertheless, capitalism was, and remains, a system of wage slavery... Bourgeois democracy, as compared to feudalism, has changed the form of this economic slavery, has created a brilliant screen for it but has not, and could not, change its essence. Capitalism and bourgeois democracy are wage-slavery." (Coll. works, vol. 29, page 517)

Too many workers still take a non-class position, still think that they must take actions in the interests of "the country as a whole" rather than in the interests of the working people. What is needed is a basic, working-class program for which the labour movement struggles, and which is in the interests of the majority of all the people.

This is the challenge, not only to the labour movement, but first and foremost to the Communist Party – the need to draw into action the greatest number of all working people for positive people's programs, for programs which give hope in the future, standing in vivid contrast to the grey pessimism of capitalism.  We say we must always be in the forefront, paving .the way into the future, leading the struggle and drawing greater numbers of people into that struggle.

Surely we have something to say about that in a most practical way?


With the rate of economic growth slumping to around 2.5% a year, with manufacturing operating below capacity, with a growth of unemployment, labour needs to advance its program.

The cornerstone of labour's struggle for a people's industrial strategy should be the building of the economic potential of Canada. It is a task involving far-reaching, comprehensive economic programs providing for a more rational distribution of the productive forces and the development of new areas rich in fuel and raw materials to provide the basis for further industrialisation. Along with such a program must be the creation of a unified and balance transportation system, and the balanced development of Canada's fuel and power economy – all under public ownership.

Canada possesses enormous natural wealth. It is important to use it sensibly and with an eye to the future; to make it serve the people profitably, making full economic use of the colossal material values we possess.

Big business wants to do as it wishes: to keep wages down and to reduce services, to charge what the market will bear, to make unlimited profits, to have underemployment to keep pressure on wages, and to maintain slums and limited housing to keep rents and property values up.

The sharpening contradictions between the provinces and the central government over natural resources and prices isn't so much a question of the actual wording of the BNA Act as it is of who has the political strength to control those resources.

That's what they're fighting over. On some questions the provincial governments tend to unite against the central government. On the other hand we witness (August 17, 1979) at the meeting of senior ministers a sharp clash between Tory William Davis of Ontario and Tory Peter Lougheed of Alberta over the question of the price of energy, and whether or not certain basic resources, such as energy, will benefit the whole country or just one province, or several provinces.

It’s a big question and it’s going to get bigger. Constantly reiterating our position for a two-price system for energy isn't enough.


The industrial strategy monopoly capital wants is based on the betrayal of Canadian national interests, for which Canadian workers and farmers have paid a terrible price in lost job opportunities, lost markets, restricted development, lower living standards.

The volume of Canadian trade has expanded but it has done so on the narrow base of the U.S. market. It has turned us into a satellite of the United States. The commanding heights of the Canadian economy are owned by U.S. monopoly interests. Canadian capitalists have made substantial profits through this unnatural wedding, while powerful U.S. imperialism continues to expand its ownership and exercise its domination over every aspect of Canadian life.

Canadians need to insist on the inalienable Canadian ownership of all natural resources as part of the campaign for a new Canadian constitution.

The working people need a program to rebuild the cities, to eliminate slums, to build houses and provide jobs, to end racism. It should be a big program, comparable to the gigantic effort undertaken during the Second World War.

Such a program would envisage overcoming regional disparities which are often counter posed by provincial premiers to the just demands of the French-Canadian people.

For example, 80% of all the new values added to raw materials or partially finished goods that are worked up into finished products is added in Ontario alone. Ontario accounts for 52.9% of all the manufacturing activ¬ity in Canada, and Quebec for 27.5% for a total of 80.4% of all Canadian manufacturing activity.

The prairies only account for 7% of Canada's manufacturing activity, and B.C. accounts for another 9.1%. This pattern of development is historical and was made worse by the control of U.S. monopoly over Canadian resources. The planned development of Canada combined with expanding trade with the U.S.S.R. and other socialist countries, with the countries of the third world, would break that atrophied situation. It would he a victory of the working-class over the bourgeoisie.

The demands for nationalization of big monopoly today, the demands for independent, publicly-owned development, all contain new elements: the elements of the struggle for Canadian independence and peace.


We cannot leave the question of an industrial strategy without discussing the serious energy crisis.

If labour is to win new policies then first attention has to be given to the development of a source of cheap, abundant power, rapid and efficient transportation, abundant water, and so on.

Abundant, cheap energy is an absolute necessity for further industrial development. But, to the extent that energy and water exist both are threatened because the United States has very real power and water problems. They eye Canadian and Mexican water and power sources with the aim of securing access to them for their own needs. Much of the new big energy development in Canada is being built not for the purpose of industrializing Canada and providing jobs for Canadians, but for the purpose of exporting energy to the United States. This includes the new power station at Coronach now under construction in Saskatchewan.

Because of Canada's lop-sided economic development, mainly concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, monopoly has been anxious to destroy the transportation system on the prairies as part of its policy of maintaining regional underdevelopment for the benefit of those vested interests now concentrated in the central provinces. It testifies to the fact that the monopoly bourgeoisie never did. and still do not, have plans to overcome underdevelopment.

The question of a privately-owned versus a publicly-owned Petrocan by itself will do nothing to solve the energy problems and growing costs of utilities to the people.  At the same time, we support the idea of government participation in energy development – so much so that we believe that all energy and all sources of energy should be publicly - owned and developed as a public utility in the interests of the whole country. For that reason we oppose the Tory attack on Petrocan.

Until the question of energy is resolved that way we will continue to have a struggle between provinces and the central government over who is going to get the biggest rake off out of increasing oil prices and the energy shortage. The central government is not fighting with the Lougheed government to get the Lougheed government to spend the $5 billion slush fund it has accumulated out of oil on the people of Canada. There is taking place a naked power struggle between vested interests as to who among them will get the major benefits. and how quickly.


The trade union movement – the CLC – should come forward with a proposal for a publicly-owned Petrocan as part of the total nationalisation of all energy resources and facilities, to be run in the interests of the Canadian people rather than as a means of providing funds for the giant private energy corporations.

Labour's advocacy of programs to resolve energy problems in the interests of the working people is long overdue.  It should begin with the rejection of the outlook and proposals which have come from the political spokesmen of monopoly — both the Tories and the Liberals — and, instead, should call for a comprehensive energy program which would be a people's energy program in every respect.

The rapid increases in oil supplies expected from the development of the Alberta Tar Sands hasn't materialized- Ex-minister of finance, MacDonald, stated that, while he was opposed to the "continentalist" approach to energy development, he would like to see a joint U.S.A.-Canada development of the tar sands.

Threats of an oil and natural gas shortage have been used to justify actions to jack up the price of the cost of fuel to the customers.


Not very long ago the well head price for a thousand cubic feet of natural gas was 140. It sells for well over a dollar today. The Globe and Mail (December 1. 1975) stated that the Canadian Public Petroleum Association of Canada had stated that the cost of exploration for natural gas was 80 for every 1.000 cubic feet of gas produced up to 1975. By allowing the companies to increase their prices from 140 the companies jumped their take from 60 to well over a dollar per thousand cubic feet - very nice for the companies.

The Alberta Gas Pipeline hasn't got started on work on the Alaska pipeline to the U.S.A. The estimated cost already has gone up from 10 billion to $14 billion, and there the matter sits.

With all the talk by the government and the oil companies that we are running out of oil, oil exports from Canada rose from $104 million in 1960 to $2.387 million in 1977, and imports rose for the same years from $396 million to $3,486 million - for a deficit in 1977 of $1,099 million.

This was compensated for by an increased export of natural gas to the United States. Exports rose from $18 million in 1960 to $2,028 million in 1.977 - nice tidy profits for the oil companies - and imports for the same period dropped from $2 million to nil. Thus a $2.028 million surplus on natural gas exports more than compensated for the $1.099 million deficit on oil imports. During the same period electrical energy exports rose from $16 million to $377 million per year.

All this extra export of energy takes place while Ottawa talks about shortages, the need to turn down thermostats and to wear sweaters all winter. etc.

Along with that, is the fact that higher technology goods imported into Canada related to the energy industry rose from $2,319 million to $7,196 million a year — another example of the need for the independent development of a machine-tool and manufacturing industry. One could point to the fact that while there is an actual decline in manufacturing activity in Canada, there has been a regular haemorrhage of raw materials exported. In the period from 1960 to 1974, exports of raw materials rose from $.5 billion to $5 billion.

These are the real problems and real questions which were not discussed during the election campaign just over.

People are blamed by the government and the energy companies for being wasteful. Signs were painted on panel trucks and other places saying `Waste not, want not". We were begged to turn out the lights we didn't need and to keep the thermostat below seventy.

The fact is that people use much less energy than industry. For example, residences use122 million barrels of oil per year as compared to 518 million barrels a year used by commerce, transport and industry. The government engaged itself in a massive campaign to beg the people who use 20% of the oil used in the country to affect the major savings to save the country!!  It would be laughable were it not for the fact that the majority of the Canadian people accepted it as being true.

And, while this political charade goes on, NATO military exercises waste oceans of valuable fuel. A cut in the military waste of fuels would be a major step in the defence of the true interests of the Canadian people.


No thoughtful person would want to minimize the seriousness of the energy problem. But obviously the government has not come up with a program to resolve it. The big oil companies and it is they for whom the Tories and Liberals speak, want cuts and even an end to taxes, an end to all price restrictions on oil and energy charges, an end to all anti-monopoly talk, and an immediate increase in the price of fuel to the customers.

To achieve these ends, they follow a policy of frightening the people out of their wits.


A famous American scientist, Isaac Asimov, was commissioned to write a special article for Time Magazine called, THE NIGHTMARE OF LIFE WITHOUT FUEL.  In that article he says all people walk to work; the railways break down and are crowded; cars have disappeared, people ride bicycles instead; buildings are being torn down and parts of the old buildings and old machinery are reused; but, he says, the air is cleaner, electricity is turned off after supper, people rarely take baths because no hot water, and food is rationed, movies and TV are restricted to a few hours a week.

That is the grey future capitalism offers the people.


The Canadian people need a people's energy policy. It has become a very big, central question. It is the Achilles heel of capitalism.  Just imagine what life will be like in America if the cars come to a stop.  A people's energy policy demands the all-round, balanced development of all sources of energy, the pubic ownership of all energy, both its production and distribution, the prohibition of the export of surpluses anywhere over and above strict contractual limits based on Canada's foreseeable requirements.


In a popular way, Tim Buck presented the essential issue of a cheap power base in Canada in a December. 1963, tract called POWER.  He stated that, first and foremost, it was necessary to develop an all-Canadian power grid - which would do much to resolve the power problems of the Maritimes, counter posing an east-west power grid to the north-south links by which American imperialism gains access to power generated in Canada.

The Liberal government of that time refused to develop such a cross-country power grid because it - had a policy permitting the development of sites in Canada for the express purpose of exporting power to the United States.

Tim Buck said that the contracts under which power export was granted almost had the character of an international treaty, and that there was no way that Canada could cut off the flow without precipitating a major incident between the U.S.A. and Canada of serious consequences.

Thus the whole question of Canadian sovereignty is involved, with a much greater importance than was given it by Chief Justice Berger. U.S. monopoly schemed to head off the adoption of a Canadian policy for industrial development.

The energy crisis threatens a way of life which workers adopted under advanced capitalism. They were sold the idea of a new, easy and advanced way of existence - in many cases workers abandoned lunch pails to drive home at noon hour. Suburbia wasn't served by cheap, efficient and fast public transportation, and still is not. In fact public transportation was deliberately destroyed, and some of the liberal reformers of that day helped to do it.

Our oil shouldn't go to satisfy U.S. needs only. The role of the working-class is to insist that it becomes part of the structure of national development. Natural resources must be the property of all the people used for their benefit.


The CEC should spend more time discussing these questions and less time in a fruitless search for a non-existent second line in Saskatchewan.

In 1975 a delegation of provincial leaders went to Siberia to view the "Siberian wonder" as it is called. On their return they delivered a special report to the CEC, and at that meeting it was agreed that a tract on energy would be written. How timely and inspiring it could have been! We are still waiting!


What could such a tract have accomplished?

It could have advanced a comprehensive solution for the energy crisis, calling for the proportional development of all branches of the fuel and energy complex. Parallel oil, gas and high energy transmission lines directing supplies to where energy need is the greatest at the given moment, and delivering supplies right across Canada. There are no real engineering barriers to such a development, and no lack of funds.


Canada has much to learn from the Siberian miracle – and it was a necessary part of our internationalist duty to tell the Canadian working-class about it. There, in Siberia, arise huge electrical generation projects. There hydro power development is the largest on earth – all of it providing the basis for enterprises producing aluminium, chemicals, high grade steel, Ferro alloys, phosphates, and much more.

It is important for us to look at the Soviet approach to the problem. Professor Sergei Yatrov, the Director of the Fuel and Energy Institute states that the USSR plans to use less oil and gas, and more water power, atomic fuel and cheap coal as the main trends in developing the power industry in the next five years.

Oil and gas comprises two-thirds of all Soviet energy consumption today. Oil output will go up by 30% and gas by 50% in the next few years. But these two substances will increasingly be withdrawn as sources of generating energy and, instead. will be used as a raw materials substance for manufacturing. To make this possible, the Soviet government will build large coal-fired generating stations.

The Siberian oil era began in 1960. Western capitalist newspapers at that time declared that they doubted whether Siberian oil would ever be used in the future, and it was too inaccessible to the industrial areas of the USSR. But in 1966, Siberia was already producing 30 million tons of oil a year –now the average annual increase in oil production alone equals that amount.  In 1975, Siberia produced 148 million tons of oil and 38,000 million cubic meters of natural gas.


What should be the ingredients of an energy policy for Canada?

1. The all-round development, in balance, of all sources of energy, including atomic energy under strict safety controls and only under public ownership and management.

2.  Declare energy a national utility, nationalize all energy sources and develop energy plants and means of distribution. No sale of energy surpluses over and above strict contractual limits based on Canada's foreseeable requirements.

3.  An east-west grid.

4. Use the funds accumulated from energy profits to reduce prices to the consumer and to develop Canada's energy resources.

5.  Electrify the railroads.

6.  nstitute a broad and comprehensive system of central heating to end the waste in energy.

7.  Development of all natural sources of energy.

8. An extensive program of Soviet-Canadian cooperation in developing Canadian energy resources.


We cannot leave this topic without discussing those movements dedicated to the non-development of nuclear energy, some sections of which call for zero industrial growth. It is essential to have the most positive approach to such people while, at the same time, pointing out that supposing all electrical generating atomic plants were closed, there would still exist the capacity to wage thermo-nuclear war, that is, their concern for the safety of mankind is too narrow and restricted.

They are motivated by fears of harm to humanity and have drawn the ideological conclusion that industrial growth itself is harmful, particularly that which is connected with the fortunes of the multinationals to whom they are opposed. But their general approach is grey and pessimistic.

While it seems logical to us to demand adequate safeguards and protection, they consider these demands to be an unprincipled compromise. They consider our proposals for the all-Canadian, publicly-owned development of our resources to be a betrayal of principle.

Their zero growth positions are not truly anti-monopoly, and often aid the monopolies in raising prices. The anti-pollutionists think a high price for gasoline will get vehicles off the road (ask a worker what he thinks of that!) and the monopolists are sure that a high price will swell their bank accounts.

Our experience is that we can work with such individuals and organizations for limited objectives, but that we are in conflict with their over-all position, and the ideological conclusions they have drawn. The positions of zero growth are petit-bourgeois and anti-people.


Which leads us up to the question of; who are the Leftists and who are the Rightists in this whole big complex struggle?

We cannot cope with the ideological problems without a careful examination of what are the real expressions of Leftism and Rightism in the class struggle in Canada today.

The CEC has declared that the Saskatchewan Committee (dismissed) followed a left-opportunist line, a line elaborated by Comrades W. Beeching, D. Currie and C. McFadden in 1970. The fact that the CEC kept it a secret, not even discussing it with the Saskatchewan Committee, for almost nine years (yes, nine years!) while very revealing of how the CEC plays the game of bourgeois politics, is incidental to this discussion.

But, unfortunately, every time an official party document is issued warning that we must beware of the ideological pit-falls of ultra-Leftism, many comrades draw the conclusion that the Saskatchewan section of the party is up to something, because the CEC has carefully cultivated that tilt in the party, disarming the party membership as to who the real enemy is.

However, for Communists to properly perform their, service to the working-class, it is necessary to go beyond the narrow, subjectivist approach of the CEC.

Leftists are people who underestimate the capacity of the monopolies and the bourgeois state to infect the working-class with reformist dreams and illusions. They exaggerate the level of consciousness of the working-class.

Right opportunists over-exaggerate the effectiveness of many state monopoly undertakings, and so-called "reforms" and "concessions" made by monopoly to the working-class, often depicting these concessions as big victories for the working-class.

Leftists ignore the determining role of objective socio-historical conditions, and exaggerate the role of the subjective factor in history to the point of reducing the socialist revolution to the level of the work of a few chosen personalities and revolutionary minorities who imagine they, themselves, can make the revolution wherever, whenever and however they please.

Rightists ignore or belittle the role of the subjective factor and the conscious activities of the revolutionary masses, absolutizing the role of the objective laws governing the historical development of society, maintaining that capitalism will spontaneously and automatically evolve into socialism and, therefore, they say class struggle is superfluous.

Both theories eliminate the people from decisive participation.

Marxist theory combines the concept of socialist revolution as an objective necessity which can only be realised by the conscious, organized and purposeful activities of those social classes and forces which are interested in it and have become aware of its character as an objective historic necessity.

Events in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968 indicate that the Right-wing danger is capable of jeopardizing the fate of one or another Communist party or even of a socialist state.

Revisionism has its roots in imperialism and in bourgeois thinking.  It is also fomented by adverse phenomena in the Communist Movement, such as the personality cult and dogmatic tenets and methods that go along with it. It results from errors made as a result of the failure to fully substantiate policies in Leninist theory.


Revisionism is fomented by internal and external forces.

The bourgeoisie supports revisionism as part of its own front against Communism. It conducts a form of infiltration of Communism. It banks on the disintegration of the Communist Movement from within. That's why it talks of building bridges. It seeks to undermine Marxism-Leninism and distract it from coping with its revolutionary tasks. It seeks to have a Communist movement that is inoffensive to capitalism.

Revisionism is an important component of the class political strategy of imperialism.

Revisionism is distortion of Marxist theory, ideology and practice. It is a meeting with bourgeois ideology.  It accepts and actively promotes anti-Sovietism and opposition to socialism. It restricts class struggle to what is admissible from the bourgeois point of view while often disguising itself as a trend of Marxism-Leninism.

Right wing opportunism and social reformism are identical in essence, regardless of outward differences. They are identical in the type of ideas they advance, in the origin of those ideas. Both have the same petty-bourgeois social base, that is, the worker's aristocracy and the new strata in the working-class.

Its function doesn't shift the Left in the NDP towards us, but gravitates towards the Right in the NDP against real socialism - for a sort of mixed society which preserves private ownership.


The ultra-left says that the Soviet Union has lost its revolutionary spirit, and that there is collusion between it and the U.S.A.

Anti-Sovietism counts on using bourgeois nationalism to serve its purposes. It fiercely slanders the U.S.S.R., it indulges in subtle insinuations designed to undermine confidence in the U.S.S.R.  It is part of the sometimes hidden, sneaky, but real campaign against such publications as Northern Neighbours.

The adoption of anti-Sovietism, secretly or openly, by the Right and Left revisionists is an indicator of how far they have retreated from the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Utter inconsistency, except for anti-Communism, is their hall mark and, therefore, they are difficult to cope with. Maoism is an outstanding example.

The battleground of anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism is a big problem for us - which is reflected in the low vote Communist candidates get in elections.

It is a foremost task of the Communist Movement.  Here the intelligentsia and the cultural workers can play an important role, as can our press and our publications.  The challenge to Communist and Left-wing intellectuals is that the universities in Canada are hot-beds of anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism.

That is why the attacks on Northern Neighbours which emanate from the CEC and the negative attitudes towards mass organizations whose purpose is to promote friendship with socialism, are an indicator of serious problems of revisionism within the leadership of the Party.

The U.S.S.R. is the main revolutionary factor on the international scene. To damage the name of the U.S.S.R. means to damage the supreme and most outstanding manifestation of the advantages of the socialist system.


It underlines the importance of the ideological struggle. Lenin said, "free the masses from ideological influence" of reaction. (Coll. works, vol. 11, page 382)

The growth of the strength of the international Communist movement can be our gain only if the party sees it as an important and essential assistance in the performance of OUR REVOLUTIONARY activity in Canada, not as a SUBSTITUTE for that activity.

Socialism is motivated by its interest in man. It aims to make man's life better. Socialism provides enormous advantages to accomplish that purpose, providing free medical treatment, social benefits which are guaranteed, expanded and improved, full employment, stable prices, constantly improved living and social conditions, and an end to exhausting and debilitating work, an end to criminality and anti-human behaviour, and so on

Socialism's achievements have a profound affect on the class struggle in Canada, and can have an even more profound effect provided we purposely bring those achievements to the working people. Anti-Communism actively sets itself the task of frustrating that.


The problem of Right and Left opportunism cannot be left without discussing one of the major expressions of opportunism in the labour movement in Canada: the NDP. The NDP, Canada's social democratic party, commands much political influence, is the third largest political party in the country, and many important unions are led by its representatives. Many of the most conscious and politically active trade unionists support the NDP. The most significant break with NDP policy in recent years came when the fight-back against price controls was mounted by the CLC.

There is a certain distinct radicalisation of the trade union movement taking place, a growing dissatisfaction, shown by its rejection of new contracts by the rank-and-file, a challenge of the NDP governments of B.C., Manitoba and Saskatchewan when the NDP was in office in all of those provinces.

Much of it arose spontaneously and contained elements of political negativity particularly because the Communist Party has not been able to give sufficient guidance to trade union struggles owing to weaknesses in the party's policy of industrial concentration. Where the party was able to play a positive role in the struggle, much of the political negativity was overcome, and debates and actions of a higher order were undertaken by the unions.

Nonetheless, the Party's policies suffer from inconsistency arising from an overemphasis on uncritical support for the NDP, expressed in the CEC's November, 1970, document which indicted comrades W. Beeching, D. Currie and C. McFadden.  The CEC's document in effect guaranteed the NDP and reflected a lack of confidence in its own policy of industrial concentration and in the rank-and-file of the working-class.


We are compelled to deal with complex and difficult tactics when it comes to working with the NDP. We are, first of all, in competition with the NDP in a struggle to overcome the opportunism, the anti-Communism, the anti-mass-action positions of the NDP.  At the same time, because the NDP is a political party which gives voice to and receives support from significant sections of the peace movement and those who sincerely desire reforms, we constantly seek areas of co-operation behind anti-monopoly demands.

Many of our comrades who are on the front line of class battle have gained much practical experience in working against ultra-Leftism and extreme reaction, co-operating with the centre and left of the NDP, while simultaneously attacking official NDP policies.  During the strike of the Saskatchewan government employees, for example, one of our young comrades in Saskatchewan headed up the provincial strike committee.  In a struggle against the ultra-Left he was able to gather around his committee many NDPers.  These same NDPers, some of them anti-Communist and anti-Soviet, also agreed with his well-considered and carefully presented criticisms of the Blakeney NDP government's support of wage and price controls, as well as on the fact that the Blakeney government followed the pattern of all provincial governments of keeping the wages of public employees down as a means of accomplishing what the wage controls bill aimed at.  As a result, the strike won many of the demands the workers set themselves.

This kind of experience could be multiplied many times over.  Very often when you attend party conventions you are struck by the inspiring and positive reports delivered by comrades who daily lead working-class struggles in the plants.

The tragedy is that these comrades command little authority in the Party and very often - so much so it is the general rule - are not represented on Party committees, especially the leading ones. Tim Buck made proposals as to how to get at this problem, to which we shall refer later on in this article.


What had to be settled in the Party during the Sixties, and which culminated in a sharp clash in November, 1970, was that the NDP itself is not a united front; but that it represents opportunism in the labour movement.  The Right-wing leaders of social democracy reject unity of all sorts and reject mass actions by the working-class. So what do we have to do to heal the rift in the working-class?

The answer to that rests in our interpretation of what we do as a vanguard party, particularly under the circumstances now prevailing.

Right-wing social democratic leaders, thanks to their influence in the trade union movement, help ensure social stability in the process of the exploitation of labour.

The changes in the balance of class forces in the world to the detriment of the bourgeoisie enhances the value of social democracy to them, and they often turn to social democracy to head off more radical solutions to socio-economic problems. At the same time, there are major differences between the parties of big business and the social reformist party on a number of problems of economic and social development. That is why big business always prefers "its own" political parties.

Today, more and more, the success of a monopoly political party, or a social reformist party, at the elections, depends on its ability to workout broad, well grounded and well argued programs for solving the problems of the day, and it is in this area that a Communist Party has very much to contribute.

We cannot claim that we have won unity in the ranks of the working-class or the general democratic movement. The fact is that the NDP usually stands on the side of bourgeois economic conceptions –always denying the necessity of radical, revolutionary transformations in the structure of bourgeois society.


The CLC's programs often fit into the idea of involving people in government. Sometimes such ideas have a democratic content but are often used by Right-wing NDPers to give the workers the idea of some sort of social engineering, of bringing some sort of stabilisation to the existing order.

The CLC Manifesto was such a program.  On the one hand, running throughout the document, is the positive idea that labour can continue to make gains that labour has a big responsibility and that labour must not be satisfied only with working for immediate needs.

On the other hand there is a distinct tilt towards a liberal-type corporatism in which labour, the bosses and the government sit down as so-called equals. Ronald Lang, CLC director of Legislation, said that the CLC viewed tripartism as its route to power in all economic affairs of Canada, and that labour was making sure that it would have the strongest voice at the table when tripartism arrived.

The secret about the talk about "common interests" between labour, government and management, is that the capitalists are trying to involve the unions in the development of measures for intensifying the exploitation of labour on a voluntary basis.


It is not enough just to oppose such a policy.

Communists are called upon to put forward demands for worker's democratic control, for people's nationalization of the monopolies, for reforms which will really improve the lives of the working people.

Communists work for fixing in law the right of workers to participate in the economic activity of the enterprise at every level; to raise the authority of the unions so that they are directly represented in administration and management, so that they actively participate in establishing plans for development and output and take part in making the decisions in the financial and economic spheres on questions of safety and labour productivity and on the renewal and expansion of fixed capital.

The idea of any sort of social partnership which does not contain all of the foregoing conditions is against the interests of the workers.

Spokesmen for the NDP not only go for the "equality of sacrifice" myth, but also are active champions of it. Our position is that the democratic alternative to the crisis is the anti-monopoly struggle which will lead to a new social situation and a change in the balance of social forces in favour of the working people.

We always advance the proposition that scientific socialism is the answer to all the working people's problems.

The NDP proclaims the democratic, parliamentary way as the high road to socialism, rejecting the dictatorship of the proletariat and the idea of the working-class gaining political power. For us the parliamentary, peaceful path, is only valid if it is the dictatorship of the proletariat.


We often speak of a crisis in NDP policies. What do we mean? It is caused by the gap between the desires of the people and what they are prepared to fight for, between the growing political experience of the masses, and the tendency of Right-wing social democratic leaders to continue to play their traditional role. The changed balance in the relationship of forces in the world in favour of peace, progress and socialism also creates problems for social democracy.

The NDP leadership wants a sort of division of labour, that is, they want the workers to take a direct part in the struggle to satisfy their every day demands only, but they want to limit the role of the workers in the struggle for political power to voting at election time and generally supporting the programs and actions taken by the parliamentary wing of the NDP.

The NDP leadership never raises the idea of handing political power to the masses. It limits its demands to reforms of capitalism.


In turn, we Communists assign the leading role to the activities of the masses. We use existing political freedoms, parliament and other bourgeois democratic situations to defend the interests of the working class and to advance them. We organize the masses to struggle for power from below, and fight for new forms for the political reorganization of society as a step to socialism.

In contrast to the NDP position for "equality of sacrifice" we advance the anti-monopoly struggle as the alternative which leads to a change in the balance of social forces in favour of the working people.

Thus, left-centre unity, and healing the split in the working-class, doesn't mean that it is the task of Communists to "sell" NDP ideas to the working-class, or to give gilt-edged guarantees of the reliability of the NDP in solving people's problems. That is the sign of opportunism in our own party, and was at the heart of the attack on the anniversary recruiting leaflet prepared by comrades D. Currie and Tim Buck, conducted by the CEC in November, 1970.

As Tim Buck said in a paper delivered at an international study conference in Berlin in 1964:

"The task of exposing and combating opportunism in the labour movement, of correcting reformist illusions and exposing reformist misleadership, of showing the workers the blind alley futility of reforms is a key feature of the battle for men's minds..."


By: William Beeching, Chair CCC, September 1979


Revisionism has taken the arena on many occasions in Party history. In 1977 it emerged in its sharpest form in recent years in an attack by the CEC on Tim Buck's political legacy to the Party.  The CEC attempted to disguise it as an attack on the group of comrades who were responsible for the publication of Yours In The Struggle, Tim Buck's memoirs. But its central thrust was against the basic fundamentals of Leninism as Tim Buck had fought for them during his fifty years as Canada's outstanding Marxist-Leninist.

The problem is to get the essence of that question out into the open for discussion.

While the pre-convention political resolution mentions it, the CEC resorts to the idea that the question boils down to a simple need to enforce democratic centralism in the party. What a colossal distortion!!

Mass expulsions, mass suspensions, the holding up of party transfers, violations of the party constitution by the CEC on an extensive scale, the destruction of the party organization in Saskatchewan, fear of open discussion, rejection of contributions to pre-convention discussion – all this in the name of democratic centralism – all aimed at suppressing any open support of Tim Buck and his Leninist political legacy to the modern-day Communist movement.

Driven by subjectivity, motivated by revenge, increasingly compelled, to justify their actions, the CEC finally resorted to linking Tim Buck's personal memoirs with the so-called Leftist line allegedly advocated by comrades W. Beeching. D. Currie and C. McFadden, which the party was forbidden to discuss.  The CC has played the role of a passive rubber stamping machine in the whole process.

The inner-Party fight foisted on the Party by the CEC saps the revolutionary élan of the party.  The existence of many factions, mainly as a result of the weaknesses of the CEC, contributes to this process of weakening the Party.

We say that we must solve this problem so that the Party is the winner.

We mean that ways must be found to carry out the tasks of the Communist Party, to avoid open rifts and divisions, to restore Leninist norms.  Nothing should be done to worsen relationships.  Each one should be conscious of the need to avoid splits and to overcome existing suspicions.  This can only be done by exercising the utmost frankness and well-considered criticism.


The fact is that the CEC seriously misjudged the situation and, as a result, the party is the loser.  It need not have happened, and it need not continue. There are more appropriate ways than the overbearing, dictatorial and administrative methods the CEC has adopted.

The principles of democratic centralism are not violated when someone reveals a difference of opinion with the leadership during a debate to decide policy, nor is it violated when one casts a vote against some aspect of that policy or even all of it.  It becomes a violation only when someone, or a group, defies the majority of the membership and continues as an organized opposition. For instance, there never was a decision by a convention not to publish Tim Buck's memoirs.  To the contrary, there was a decision by a convention to publish his memoirs, later upset by the CEC on its own, a decision typically endorsed by the CC later on.

Another aspect of democratic centralism is one's Communist ethics, one's Communist principles.  If a Party decision violates those principles, then there is a crisis for all those whose principles are outraged by the decision.  For example, it sometimes happens that Party decisions, such as the adoption of the un-Marxist and harmful Kiev Report (which, in general terms was opposed by the Party rank-and-file membership and fought for by the Party leadership), violates Marxist truth - and then what does a disciplined Leninist do?  The fact is that, in practice, those comrades who disagreed with it, said so, and continued to say so. So much so that the decision had to be reversed – and then the CEC managed to keep the decision from being an active discussion in the Party.

It has happened, for particular historical reasons, that revisionists have secured majorities on leading Party bodies in some countries: such as in Hungary in the Fifties and in Czechoslovakia in the Sixties, and the situation in some parties over the erroneous notions of Euro-Communism. What does the Leninist minority do under such circumstances? These are clear-cut cases of where democratic centralism is used to impose non-Leninist norms and principles. Do Leninists wait for things to correct themselves?


A Party full-time cadre who opposes a particular policy or decision, always has to ask himself or herself: can I carry the policy with which I disagree in life, can I fight for it, can I fulfil it? If the answer to those questions is in the negative then such a cadre is duty bound to tell the Party that he cannot fulfil his obligations. However, such a cadre has no right to overlook the decision (usually the case in the party now) and to forget about it, to let it die on the vine in the hope that the whole matter will be forgotten.

But the CEC wants to pretend that this sort of situation never occurs: It tries to sully the names of a number of comrades, suggesting that they kept their differences hidden. Sheer nonsense! And the members of the CEC know they are not telling the truth.

Anyone who paid any attention, whatsoever to debates in the plenums of the CC, is well aware that differences with policy were voiced by a number of comrades, sometimes resulting in a silent change in the final position, and sometimes not.  Sometimes at the end of a plenary session when matters were not settled to everyone's satisfaction, those comrades with continuing differences had to say to themselves; in general the policy of the Party allows me to continue to work even though I have some differences - life will help us to resolve those differences if we are patient.

One could point to innumerable instances of decisions being taken to do something which have never been done, and the CEC not only hasn't done anything about it, but has, in fact, helped the matter to be buried.

The CEC is quite exercised about this alleged violation of democratic centralism and, although the charge has been made that the CEC, itself, violated democratic centralism regarding the publication of Tim Buck's memoirs, it is able to sweep such a charge under the rug and prevent discussion on it in the Party.


What is it that really needs attention in the Communist Party of Canada?

One has to observe, first of all, that the CEC has encroached on all the rights of all committees in the Party. Not only is there a cult of the individual around the person of the general secretary, but there is a cult of the individual around the Central Executive Committee. A situation exists which is diametrically opposed to the sound practice of democratic centralism.


Tim Buck dealt with it in a special report he made to the Central Committee. December 6-13. 1956. He said.

"No less serious than the cult of the individual that has developed around me, is the fact that under my leadership there has developed the cult of the National Executive Committee (today known as the CEC)...There's no doubt that over a period of time the absolutely correct tenet of democratic centralism has become changed in our NEC into a fetish of unity. What the bourgeoisie call 'cabinet solidarity': that is to say, the rule that once a decision is made no member of the cabinet shall speak against it, became vulgarized to a fetish of NEC unity. The result was that we fumbled and bumbled and argued with each other, seeking unity or seeking a formula which would give the appearance of unity in the NEC while the party members became more and more frustrated and sometimes confused. We have ignored the fact that the principle of democratic centralism, that is, the subordination of the minority to the majority, is not a concept of mechanical unity. On the contrary, its proper practice includes bringing essential differences out into the open and submitting them to the membership...

"Along with this cult of the NEC there has developed a practice in our party which has distorted Lenin's splendid conception of the professional revolutionary. Our full time functionaries have come to dominate the party, including its elected committees. Comrades who work in industry may devote their lives to the struggle to build the party but their voices count rather little when it comes to making decisions, because we have distorted the splendid concept of the professional revolutionary from self-dedication to the party into a concept of leadership of the party by functionaries.

"In short: in the Executive we have behaved for all the world as if WE were the National Committee of the party. We've made policies, we've even decided sometimes on doctrinal questions. In my opinion it is necessary for us to re-emphasize that the supreme authority of our party is the convention and the supreme authority between conventions is the National Committee. The functions of the Executive elected by this Committee is to administer the party, to carry out the policy adopted by the convention, to organize campaigns, to develop party education, to popularize the program of the party...

"We've even decided what's good for the national plenum to hear..."

Every word could be said today to describe the present situation in the party. No wonder the CEC is in such a frenzy to suppress Tim Buck.


In the critique of Yours In the Struggle, published in February, 1978, in the Canadian Tribune, signed by Alfred Dewhurst, but actually the CEC's official critique of Tim Buck's book, comrade Dewhurst calls Tim Buck a liar and one who made a series of blunders on all the major fundamentals of Leninism.  But, after obviously making a new political appraisal of Tim Buck's work, the CEC has forever refused to explain it to the membership, although the results of that political reappraisal are fraught with decisive consequences for the future of the Communist Party of Canada.

We are talking about a distortion of democratic centralism far more serious than the one allegedly committed in publishing Tim Buck's memoirs here. It is the reasons for this distortion and its harmful consequences which have led to the most monstrous and irresponsible actions taken by the CEC. The CEC went so far as to begin a process of deliberately destroying a section of the party. of instructing comrades as to what they may or may not read, demanding endorsation of policies which the membership have not discussed and were not familiar with, to try to give the appearance of party unity behind the CEC's actions — and even going to the extent of expelling comrade W. Beeching forever, denying him the right to appeal his expulsion. And, if you please, we are asked to accept the idea that the CEC did all of this in order to uphold democratic centralism!

So what has happened? The CC puts forward elaborate political resolutions for pre-convention discussion. But the political resolution does not say anything about the glaring weakness of the party in the class struggle—its failure to actively campaign across Canada on key issues. its lack of national cohesiveness as a single party, the growing disunity in the party along with the existence of a large number of factions, all of which are the subject of whisperings and gossip. The differences that give rise to some of these negative results are kept hidden from the membership, as if history could be written to suit the particular writer.

As a substitute for activity and campaigning, the Canadian Tribune prints letters of appeal addressed to various political parties and trade union leaders asking them to take action on these questions — and there the case rests. That is no way for the leaders of the Communist Party to behave. Fleeting visits to the provinces by the General Secretary, during which he gives press interviews, and then moves on, isn't the answer.

Direct, personal leadership down below is what is required right now.


The fact is that not a single party task can be carried out without the existence of a country-wide network of clubs and regional and provincial committees. It is these which provide the strong links between the party, its CC. and the working masses. Basically, it is through the clubs that the political, organizational, ideological and educational work is done among the work force every day, and it is in this area where critical examination of the failure of the CEC to strengthen its apparatus comes to the fore.

Party clubs must be authoritative, political organizations, enhancing the vanguard role of every party member. The state of affairs in the party club should always be the major topic of discussion of higher party bodies.

How to help the club be politically active is a cardinal task. It is from the activity down below where the initiative springs in solving basic problems of the Party and of politics. The strengthening of party clubs will strengthen the party as a whole.

That is the challenge the leadership of the party is avoiding. What about the club meeting''

Club meetings should be viewed as an effective school for the education and mobilization of Communists, and for their full participation in shaping and implementing Party policy.  Club meetings should be a source of creative enquiry y and in the search for new forms of work. Club meetings should strengthen the membership, raise the vanguard role of the members of the Party, and improve work with newly admitted members. Club meetings are the place for report-backs - including report-backs by leaders- cementing continuity and a strong link with our goal: socialism.

This is where the real Party control rests - in the Party club, not through the CEC and its imaginary world. The club gives voice to front-rank experiences in the class struggle, are responsible for the financing of the party, where comrades make their pledges.


Great attention must be paid to the party's social composition. The party is always concerned about both the quantitative and qualitative composition of the Party. It is a matter of vital concern to ensure priority of growth of the Party to workers. Workers should form a nucleus in every Party club, because the Party is a party of the working-class.

In that fateful report of his to the December. 1956. Plenum of the CC. Tim Buck said.

"...We should have been taking actions to solve the problems to surge rahead. to rewrite our program. taking the issues and the questions to the membership."

' Instead. a country-wide campaign against Tim Buck and the things he wrote in his memoirs.


Buck went on.

“Comrades. I think this stage of my report calls for emphasis upon the fact that this Plenum is confronted with the problem of insisting upon the re-establishment of collective leadership in all our committees and in a new way. We've GOT to find ways by which our collective authority will be an expression of the personal responsibility of each person on the committee.  Collectivity must be a synthesis of varying points of view, but its got to be the synthesis of critical opinions. It must not be reduced to some sort of mechanical, sometimes even artificial unity.

“When you realise that we achieved collectivity by minimising or excluding differences you can realise how easy it is to transform collectivity into the opposite of what it should be. Rather than an expression of personal responsibility and criticism, it can become the expression of timidity, or perhaps even worse, complacency and an acceptance of one-man leadership...”

Tim Buck, deeply concerned about the state of affairs in the Party, thought about a number of propositions he could put before the Party which might help to resolve it. They are worth repeating.

“Our executive committees from the smallest town and the smallest club up to the National Executive Committee have got to include more comrades who are not party functionaries, more members from industry and. proportionately at least, fewer functionaries than has been our practice. And this has got to go all the way through the party...If we are going to strengthen inner-Party democracy we've got to break the stranglehold which so many of our comrades unconsciously have come to establish the Party by virtue of the fact that being functionaries, and feeling completely responsible for what happens and what is done, they tend to devote all their time to solving the problems of the leadership and administration and the rank-and-file members have very little to say in the matter…”

Tim Buck's propositions were made on the basis that the party is the party of the working-class. They were designed to raise the quality of our output, to strengthen party unity and party leadership of Canada. and they were designed to get at the need to enhance the role and importance of party meetings at the club level.


Much has been said about criticism and self-criticism. Often, unfortunately, much of it has been lip service. Criticism and self-criticism does not come about as a positive practice unless it is encouraged. Without any shadow of doubt the resolution on Saskatchewan passed by the last plenum of the CC deals a death blow to the practice of criticism and self-criticism in the Party.

Criticism and self-criticism are at the lowest level in the life and activity of the Communist Party. Leading members of the CEC not only react sensitively to criticism. they react violently against it. Party leaders do not take measures to remove weaknesses and shortcomings. so why criticise if it doesn't bring results? All sorts of problems are brought to 24 Cecil Street and not acted upon.

Criticism and self-criticism goes hand-in-glove with concrete help, on-the-spot assistance, and in helping individual comrades to raise their sights. It is part of the process of overcoming stagnation and primitivism in work, and in finding new methods of work. It is part of strengthening the Party to withstand fashionable fads which abound today. It helps every club member to become imbued with the importance of the club and its work, to take pride in it. It raises to a higher level the standard of check-up on performance, it enhances the competence of party leadership, and makes the role of conscious discipline the main pillar of party strength.

Criticism and self-criticism is a way of dealing with the violation of Party ethics by some leading comrades and takes the place of the behind-the-scenes gossip about the behaviour of some party leaders.

Criticism and self-criticism puts a halt to the unduly liberal attitude that you can't do anything about these things at this time.

Criticism and self-criticism will bolster the understanding of the need to study Marxism-Leninism. it will help in the education of party members.


What autonomy does the local party organization have? One certainly gets an impression from the CEC that everything a club does must, first of all, be given permission to by the CEC and, if the CEC deems it wise, the experience will be passed on - usually as a CEC experience, not as a club experience. There is to be no intercommunication in the Party other than through the CEC.

Instead of this mechanically rigid structure, the CEC should be encouraging the spirit of creative initiative.  But it attacks local initiatives as expressions of "provincialism" and with violations of CEC prerogatives and authority. Thus CEC members become the only writers, the only innovators, and the only spokesmen for the Party and in the Party.


Cadre selection has been a sore and troublesome point for a long time. Cadre selection is not the winning of a popularity contest. Rather too often it expresses the power struggle between various factions in the Party rather than the selection of that comrade most likely to develop and who is equipped to give the best leadership in a given field.

These are by no means all. but are some of the points which need discussion at the coming convention. They should have been the subject of a lively debate before the convention.


The party should undertake to inculcate party spirit and revolutionaryness in the membership, to develop an irreconcilable attitude towards any form of exploitation and oppression, calling forth angry condemnation of the reformist renunciation of revolution (instead of finding excuses for it) and to develop our scientific and theoretical thinking.

It should be undertaken to bring the party (the party leadership in particular) closer to life. The main road to build party strength is by establishing a close link with the basic problems of economics, politics and social life, culture and foreign affairs in Canada. The party should be engaged in helping all working people, all Communists, to form a scientific world outlook, to find their bearings, to understand the growing problems of capitalist society, to form correct views and criteria about facts and events. We try to help every party member to become a convinced, enterprising and steadfast participant in the struggle to fulfil the party's policy – not leaving it to the members of the CEC to write everything, to say everything, and to be everything.

This is the only way to be seen, heard and read.


The present crisis in Canada has no precedent in history.

Some of the phenomena connected with the general crisis of capitalism carries an important message for all of us. Only yesterday there was talk, even inside the party, of crisis-free capitalism.  Today slumps, stagflation, and so on, is taken as the ordinary course of events.  Class struggle is assuming a new sharpness. The bourgeoisie resort to new restrictions and take repressive measures against the unions.

The entire progressive movement is the object of an ugly propaganda offensive.

The newly elected Clark government already talks of a new wage control bill as part of its new economic strategy because that's what monopoly is looking for.

The attack on trade union rights is spearheaded by the multi-national corporations, in Liberal and Conservative garb, as they use the crisis to deliver what they hope are death-dealing blows to the working-class. Rightist elements are becoming more active. Reaction is placing much hope on the vacillation, half-heartedness and contradictions of the petit-bourgeois and middle strata, seeking to keep them divided from the working-class. to use them as a spearhead against the interests of the people.

Left-wing adventurers play an openly provocatory role and create all sorts of serious problems for the party and the left in general.

On one hand the Clarks and Trudeaus put the blame for all today's problems on the people, trying to put over the idea that the workers and the bosses are equals, calling for a national consensus, assiduously cultivating a consumer mentality, pragmatically using new ways of manipulation and exploitation, and always, of course, worshiping fixed capital.

On the other hand they cannot fit the scientific and technological revolution into capitalism's framework. The new productive forces in Canada are in conflict with historically obsolete production relations. Capitalism is unable to cope with the negative effects of the scientific and technological revolution, so that socio-economic problems become sharper.


Thus the party is engaged in a struggle to end the private ownership of the means of production: to assure the best possible future for all working people by ending all oppression: and in seeking to establish links between Quebec and Canada on a purely voluntary basis. The unity of the French-Canadian and English-Canadian working-class is the key to the success of the struggles of the working-class in Canada.

How to win the hegemony of the working-class in the anti-monopoly struggle?  The solution of this task is linked with the solution of problems of relations between the radical sections of the petit-bourgeoisie, and the working-class. Because of significant structural changes in the composition of the working-class, because of changes in agriculture, the forms and ways of achieving hegemony rests on all the new phenomena in society, which involves the necessity to untie people from the consumer ideology, to free them in order to fight for their social rights and democratic freedoms.

All these changes and the necessary adjustments that need to be made, should have been the subject of a deep and ongoing analysis long before this convention.

As Tim Buck said in Berlin, September, 1964:

“The radical change in the relationship of class forces on a world scale makes it incumbent upon Communists to restudy their tactics and forms of struggle in the light of the political realities of the new epoch: and the increasing interweaving of the influence of external and internal factors...”