"CANADIAN CLASS STRUGGLE"
Issue 1; January 1998. Price
This humble first issue is a small
beginning. We are aware of its limitations. But we are also aware of the
need for a new journal that takes as its starting point : Marx, Engels,
Lenin and Stalin. Initially, we will publish only once every 6-8 weeks.
We aim to publish more frequently.
WHY THERE NEEDS TO BE A NEW PAPER OF WORKING
PEOPLE. . . . page 1
THE TEACHERS STRIKE ONTARIO
OCTOBER 1997 . . . . page 2
LIES ABOUT THE OCTOBER RUSSIAN
REVOLUTION. . . .page 4
FROM STATS CANADA: WIDER GAP
RICH & POOR. . . . .page 7
WHAT HAPPENS TO EX-MINISTERS
& EX-PM’s?. . . . . . . .page 8
ADDRESSES FOR CANADIAN CLASS
STRUGGLE. . . . . . . page 8
WHY THERE NEEDS TO BE A NEW
PAPER OF WORKING PEOPLE
We believe that there is no Marxist-Leninist
working class party in Canada today. But the leadership of a party based
in Marxist-Leninist theory and practice, is essential for a successful
revolutionary struggle to take state power for the working class. The parties
in Canada currently, that aim their appeal towards the progressive and
socialist minded sections of the Canadian working class, all consist of
various forms of revisionism. To win over the best elements of those in
revisionist parties, a new "Collective Organizer" - (Lenin’s view of a
working class paper) must be printed. It should aim to provide the highest
level of analysis, and viewpoints for the rights of ordinary Canadians,
on day-to-day issues of the Canadian working class. Our intent is to establish
a Marxist-Leninist Party that is free from revisionist influence.
What is Revisionism?
are aimed at diverting the most progressive Canadians and Workers. This
can only be done by giving them a false history and a false ideology. Revisionism
attempts to mislead the most battle ready sections of the workers, into
one of many fruitless byways. As such, even though revisionist parties
have some honest elements, they are often led by consciously dis-honest
elements. The honest elements are used by the capitalist and ruling class
to provide a bulwark against the potential activity of the working class
led by a consistent Marxist-Leninist and honest leadership.
The various revisionist parties
can be grouped as :
1) The Communist Party Of Canada;
This is the oldest
party, that previously supported the USSR, when it was socialist under
Stalin. After the death of Stalin the state reintroduced private property
relations and denigrated the achievements of the Bolsheviks under Stalin.
The CPC did not correctly withdraw support from Khrushchev, but became
slavish in its support of him. That this party is not Marxist-Leninist
is shown by :
i) Its rejection of the demarcation
line of Stalin;
But the CPC still
contains some of the best of the older generations, who still have much
that can enlighten the youth. It is important to try to win these honest
2) Its rejection of a clear debate
on why Socialism fell in the former USSR;
3)Its rejection of the revolutionary
road to socialism as opposed to the ‘peaceful’;
4) Its lack of self-criticism regarding
its previous support for the 20th Congress of the CPSU, and
all subsequent anti-socialist leaders, right up to and including Gorbachev.
2) Various Groups that call
a) Have been consistently
pro-Stalin, often antedating the rise to power of Gorbachev;
accept the demarcation line of Stalin as important. But these groups are,
often divided about issues other than Stalin. Despite being often small,
they are also often unwilling to engage in practical united fronts.
They are divided
between those that support Mao
Tse Tung, and those that
support Enver Hoxha;
yet many refuse to engage in clear and constructive debate on the issues
that underlie the debate between Hoxha and Mao. These groups often :
b) Take a consistently militant
It is important
to engage and draw all these groups into a common debate, and activity.
But this is difficult to do, unless there is a paper for engaging them
in activity and theoretical clarification. Thus far no paper is in a position
to do this.
3) Trotskyite and New Left Groups
of all groups that call themselves "communist", these are probably the
largest in Canada today. This group forms yet another ideological bulwark
for capitalism. Because Trotsky fought against Lenin and the construction
of Socialism, his theories are dangerous for the working class and in under-developed
countries, for the peasantry. Members of this groups are by and large,
militants who have "seen through " social democracy. They often harbor
honest individuals whose understanding is held back, by the lack of exposure
of good Marxist-Leninist role models that could attract them.
4) Social Democracy : The New Democratic party
This is a party
whose appeal is pitched at the lowest level of politically aware progressives,
often consciously anti-communist in their views. There is a need to engage
these people in activity and discussion, that in a principled way, exposes
further how social democracy only helps capitalism. Only a new paper can
effectively do this.
THE TEACHERS STRIKE ONTARIO
The strike began
on Monday October 27th 1997. When the Ontario Government sought a court
order to force teachers back to work, they failed. But by using the tactics
of divide and rule, the five teacher unions were splintered. This did force
a return to work, against the wishes of a large number of the rank-and-file.
The Principal Causes of the Strike.
The key issue
was the direction and control of the educational system. Even the Globe
and Mail agreed that:
"For the provinces’ teachers, the
sweeping changes proposed in the Education Quality Improvement Act represent
the provincial cabinet's centralization of control of the $14.4 billion
education system,". Globe p. A7; 27.10.97.
Against a background
of a climate of cost-cutting, and erosion of the significant reforms won
by working class militancy over the past decades, the strike was a key
point in the rising class battles of Ontario and Canada. Ontario has 2.1
million students & 126,000 teachers. The strike affected 800,00 families.
In a week, there were ripple effects, with 1300 kitchen workers laid off;
Laidlaw Transit (school bus operators) took 5,500 buses off; and crossing
guards laid off. Public support for the teachers was high. Government tried
to argue that education was well financed despite a proposed stripping
of $1 billion, but the people of Ontario knew better. Government argued
that parents do not see this "rich funding", because the teachers receive
the cash into their own pension fund, and this money is not in class-rooms:
Says Minister of Finance Ernie Eves:
President of the Ontario Teachers
Federation Eileen Lennon put it:
" this is a political protest..
not.. taken lightly about an issue which teachers feel very strongly about."
Globe; 29.10.97; p. A1.
Public Support of the Teachers
"Too much of Ontario’s spending
on education is going to the teachers’ pension plan... Yet the taxpayers
are forced to continue to make cash payment to the plan as though it had
an $8.4 billion deficit. Total payments amount to more than $1.1 billion
a year of taxpayers money. That is more than twice what we would. pay if
the plan was regarded as fully funded." (Globe; 30.10.97. P. A8. ).
of abundant funding to education are false:
In reality the teachers
unions had in negotiations conceded this position a long time ago - the
teachers had agreed to markedly reduce pension plan contributions (Globe
30.10.97. P. A8). It is difficult not to agree with Eileen Lennon, labeling
this continued raising of the pension plan a "red herring. If so, what
are the real issues behind the provoking Bill and the subsequent strike?
The teachers pension funds was blamed
by government as "responsible" for the shortfall in finances:
"Some savings in education spending
could be achieved by reducing the government's contribution to the teachers’
pension plan, which is valued at more than $50 billion. ..Ernie Eves complained
last week, this is education spending that does not go to class rooms."
(Globe; p. A4.; 3.1.97).
Union Versus Government Accounting
The View of the Tory Paper the
Globe and Mail Editors
The "Globe and Mail"
- is of course a very open agent of the capitalist class. It took
the line that the provoking bill 160 was for the "National good". It revealed
that the ground work for this bill was already laid by the social democrats,
the previous labour busting New Democratic party government of Bob Rae
"Mike Harris is .. fixing an enormous
financial mess left by previous Liberal and New Democratic governments.
And even after the cut (of 700 million from the 14.4 billion budget) Ontario
spending on schools is higher than it was 10 years ago when the budget
stood at $11.4 billion.. The return .. is not what it should be. In international
student tests, Canada falls behind many countries that spend less.... The
Ontario government has introduced a new.. province wide curriculum, regular
province wide testing and a standardized report card. Bill 160... would
: Give the government the right to cap class size; Reduce to the national
average the amount of time high-school teacher are allowed to prepare classes;
allow schools to use non-certified teachers; lengthen the school year..
These proposals.. spring directly from the first report of the Education
Improvement Commission , a non-partisan group whose co-chair was the education
minister in the previous NDP government".
The Globe states
it hinges on "governmental control":
The Government has acknowledged that it will cut at least $700 million
(Editorial 3.11.97; p. A14.).
So what was the strike about?
"Metro Toronto will lose as much
as $500 million a year (.. Almost $1,500 a student)..Under promised spending
cuts ... of Bill 160", says Ontario Alternative Budget Group... Premier
Mike Harris (acknowledges) the government will take out up to $700 million
out of the education system". Globe; 31.10.97; p. A16;
cutting is the real reason to reduce preparation
"The government has conceded that
changes to preparation time could mean that loss of labour 4,400 jobs and
a savings of $200 million a year. The teachers Union has argued that up
to 10,000 jobs could be lost, at a saving of $400 million a year to the
government." Globe; p. A7; 27.10.97.
save the Government further money :
"Sums of that money will go to
ensure the viability of the province of Ontario, said Mr.Johnson...
Mr Johnson conceded that proposed legislation that is the focus of the
strike will help the
government siphon money from the education system to use it for other purposes
including balancing the budget and
cutting taxes.." Globe; p.A1; 29.10. 97.
There Are Even
Bigger Issues than 'Merely' Education at Stake
around local versus ‘central’ democracy. It entails erosion of locally
school boards is more responsive to local pressure than is the education
ministry. This has implications for taxing and for local government :
"At present local school boards
set property tax rates for education.. Bill 160 gives the government power
to set a province wide tax rate for education without room for local property
tax increases.. in this respect the education legislation becomes a cornerstone
for other government changes, including the shifting of an increased share
of social services spending to the municipalities." Globe; p. A7; 27.10.97.
the ruling class will try to divide and rule. This makes it imperative
that the case of the teachers is widely understood that the motives for
the strike are to ensure high quality education for the children of Ontario.
Bill 160 was forced through after the teachers went back to work. Mr Justice
James Macpherson, who ruled against the government when it tried to declare
the strike illegal, said that "The number and sweep of fundamental issues
in Bill 160 puts it on a plane very close to the Charter of Rights &
Freedoms". He warned that further court battle lies ahead. The teachers
are determined to fight on in other ways.
COMMON LIES ABOUT THE OCTOBER
Marxism-Leninism will always have
to defend its history against ruling class lies. That class uses "revisionists"
- who "revise" Marxism-Leninism to serve the ruling class- to spread confusion
and sow doubt among those close to socialism. We focus on three of these
"revisions", on the Great Russian Revolution. On the 80th Anniversary
it is important to remember what the truth is.
1. Revisionists Allege The ARussian
revolution failed because Russia was backward@;
and AMarx and Engels are contradicted
by October, which they had not predicted it@.
This claim is that
Marx and Engels called for revolution in the West, and not in the Abackward@
Eastern state of Russia. This is true of their earlier hopes and writings.
The Communist Manifesto in 1847 says:
Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany..on the eve of a bourgeois
revolution .. under more advanced conditions of European civilisation,
and with a much more developed proletariat,.. the bourgeois revolution
will be the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.@
Marx & Engels : Manifesto Of the Communist Party, >Works@
Vol 6; Moscow; 1976; p. 519.
But as good scientists,
they accepted their error in the light of the evidence - evidence of history:
has proved us, and all who thought like us wrong...the state of economic
development.. was not, by a long way, ripe for the removal of capitalist
production: it has proved this by the economic revolution which since 1848
has seized the whole of the Continent, has really caused big industry for
the first time to take root in France, Austria, Hungary, Poland and recently
in Russia, while it has made Germany positively an industrial country of
the first rank- all on a capitalist basis which in the year 1848, therefore,
still had great capacity for expansion.@
Engels :@Preface to Marx: AClass
struggles in France@; written
in March 1895.
They proclaimed as evidence mounted,
that the revolutionary wave would hit Russia early on:
"In Russia the revolution has
begun...We cannot deny that bourgeois society has experienced its 16th
century a second time.. The specific task of bourgeois society is the establishment
of the world market... the difficult question for us is this: On the continent
the revolution is imminent and will also immediately assume a socialist
character. Is it not bound to be crushed in this little corner, considering
that in far greater territory the movement of bourgeois society is still
in the ascendant?" Marx : Letter to Engels, London, October 8, 1858; p.
time the revolution will begin in the East, hitherto the unbroken bulwark
and reserve army of the counter-revolution.@
Marx Letter to Sorge, Sep 27, 1877; In Marx & Engels; ASelected
Correspondence@; Moscow 1955
now Russia! During the revolutions of 1848-49 not only the European princes,
but the European bourgeoisie as well, found their only salvation from the
proletariat, just beginning to awaken, in Russian intervention. The tsar
was proclaimed the chief of European reaction. Today he is a prisoner of
war of the revolution, in Gatchina, and Russia forms the vanguard of revolutionary
action in Europe.@ Marx &
Engels, 1882 Preface to the Russian edition of the Communist manifesto.@
Cited in Dutt R.P. >Problems
of Contemporary History=; London;
almost looks like the next dance is going to start in Russia. And if this
happens while the inevitable war between the German-Prussian empire and
Russia are in progress- which is very likely- repercussions in Germany
are also inevitable." Engels To Bebel; October 15th, 1875. In
Selected Correspondence@ Ibid;
I know or believe I know about the situation in Russia makes me think the
Russian are approaching their 1789. The revolution must
break out any day.. The country is like a charged mine.... To me .. impulse
in Russia should be given, that the revolution should break out.. If it
were a palace conspiracy it would be swept away tomorrow. In a country
where the revolutionary elements have accumulated to such a degree, where
the economic conditions of the enormous mass of the people become daily
more impossible, where every stage of social development is represented,
from the primitive commune to modern large scale industry and high finance,
and where all these contradictions are arbitrarily held in check by an
unexampled despotism, a despotism which is becoming more and more unbearable
to a youth in whom the dignity and intelligence of the nation are united-
when 1789 has once been launched in such a country, 1793 will not be far
away.@ Engels to Vera Zasulich;
April 1885;@Selected Correspondence@
Ibid; p. 362-3.
We must conclude,
that far from viewing the revolution as likely to break out first in the
West, the mature Marx and Engels viewed it as breaking out first
in Russia, and they encouraged that.
2. Revisionism alleges ALenin
agreed with Trotsky, that as the revolution started in Russia, a Abackward
country@, socialism was impossible
to build without revolutions in the West@
Of course this Trotskyite
view, states that it was Aimpossible
to build socialism in one country@,
and it is linked to the first Arevisionist
allegation@, above. In reality,
Lenin and Stalin were in full agreement that it was possible to build socialism
in one country, but that ultimately it was not possible to maintain
socialism indefinitely without the world revolution breaking out. This
is very different to the view of Trotsky. Stalin points out that Lenin
economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence
the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist
country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having
expropriated the capitalists and organised socialist production, would
stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting
to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts
in those countries against the capitalists, and in the event of necessity
coming out with armed force against the exploiting classes, and their states.@
Lenin; From Volume XVIII pp 232-33. Cited by Stalin AConcerning
Questions of Leninism@; In AProblems
of Leninism@ Moscow; 1954; p.
a matter of fact, state power over all large scale means of production,
state power in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat
with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership
of the peasantry by the proletariat etc; - is not this all that is necessary
for building a complete socialist society from the cooperatives, from the
cooperatives alone, which we formerly looked down upon.. Is this not all
that is necessary for building a complete socialist society? This is not
yet the building of socialist society, but it is all that is necessary
and sufficient for this building.@
Lenin; >On Cooperation=;
Vol XXVII p.382; Cited by Stalin Ibid; p. 196.
In accordance with
this, Stalin went on to lead the USSR to socialism which was declared established
by a new constitution in 1936.
IN CONCLUSION there was no divergence
between Lenin and Stalin on the possibility of building socialism in one
3. Revisionism alleges : AThat
the need for revolutionary violence in the Russian revolution was special,
and will not be necessary for other revolutions.@
This is the basis
of the so called "Parliamentary Road to Socialism", the especial feature
of Khruschevite revisionism. This is still heard from social democrats,
but even more concerning, it is still heard from those who call themselves
Unfortunately, the bitter lessons of Chile have still not yet been fully
learnt. It is as well that Lenin pointed out explicitly that :
is rule based directly upon force and unrestricted by any laws. The revolutionary
dictatorship of the proletariat is rule won and maintained by the use of
violence by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, rule that is unrestricted
by any laws.@ Lenin:@The
Proletarian revolution & The Renegade Kautsky@;
ASelected Works in 3 Vols@
Moscow; 1964; Vol 3. p.75.
To those who pointed
out that Marx had allowed that in Britain and possibly America, it might
be possible to have a peaceable revolution, Lenin replied :
"This was understandable in 1871
when Britain was still the model of a purely capitalist country, but without
a militarist clique, without a bureaucracy. Marx therefore excluded Britain
where a revolution even a peoples=
revolution, then seemed possible.. Without the precondition of destroying
the Aready made state machinery@.
Today in 1917, at the time of the first great imperialist war this restriction
made by Marx is no longer valid. Both Britain and America.. Have completely
sunk .. into the filthy, bloody morass of bureaucratic-military institution..
Today in Britain and America, too, AThe
precondition for every people=s
revolution@ is the smashing,
the destruction of the Aready
made state machinery@. Lenin
The State & Revolution; Volume 2 Selected Works; 1963; p. 264.
Even more today, is Marx=s
exemption of violent revolution, in any country outdated.
FROM STATS CANADA : JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
: GAP BETWEEN RICH &
POOR GETS BIGGER.
"Oh Dear me,
(Figures Only in hard copy)
An Old Folk Song from the 1800’s,
Days Of The Industrial Revolution Goes:
The World’s ill divided;
Them that works the hardest,
are the least provided."
Well nothing has really changed.
In 1997, there was a good growth
of the Canadian economy. Yet in that year, a survey by Statistics
Canada (Statscan) : "Incomes
Distributions in Canada"
found that of 35,000 households in April,
the poorest one-fifth were actually getting worse off.
"The percentage of the country’s
real income that found its way into the hands of the poorest fifth of Canadian
families fell to 6.1% in 1996, lower than at any time in the 1980's and
1990's. At the same time the richest fifth captured 40.6% of the country’s
total income, the highest recorded over the two decades." Globe And Mail;
December 23rd, 1997; pp.A1, A10.
Remember the huge profits that the
banks made out of us in Canada? Remember that, and listen to this, also
from Statscan. This is the amount Statscan thinks would have been enough
to raise Canadians out of the poverty level :
"Statscan estimated that 5.3 million
Canadians were below the agency’s low-income cutoffs last year. Since 1989,
the number of poor people has risen by 40.4 %. And the depth of their poverty
has worsened dramatically. Statscan estimates that it would have taken
$19.3 billion to lift all the poor families above the low-income cut-off
line in 1996."
Cited in Globe & Mail; December
23rd, 1997; p A10. _________________________________________________________
families, the poorest one fifth of people, had lost 3.1% of their total
family income in 1996. And their average income fell from $17,882.00 the
year previously to $17,334.00. Where did that lost income gone to? It was
lost from both a loss of income and a loss of government subsidies. And
what about the richest families? Well, they got even richer. Their
average income rose from $112,882.00 to $114,874.00. It is not just a blip
in the figures - a chance event. Because since 1993, the average income
rose 4.3% since 1993.
Looked at in another way :
WHAT HAPPENS TO EX-MINISTERS
AND EX-PRIME MINISTERS?
From Business Section Globe & Mail, March 2nd
PICTURE "The Hon. David R.Peterson
PC, QC. Smiling & Bold. (Pictures only in hard copy)
M Bhayana Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Office specialty Inc,
is pleased to announce the election of The Honorable David R Peterson PC,
QC, to the Company’s Board of Directors. Following a distinguished career
in politics which included serving as Premier of the Proven of Ontario
between 1985 and 1990, the Hone David Peterson became a senior partner
in the Toronto law firm of Cassels, Braock & Blackwell. He currently
practices corporate/commercial law as well as international law trade with
the. He is Chairman of Chapters Inc, and Founding Chairman of the Toronto
Raptors Basketball Club Inc. He is also a director of a number of major
corporations and is active on the Boards of several cultural, environmental
and sports foundation. "
PICTURE OF "Frank McKenna" –
"Mr. Andre Leroux Chairman & CEO
of Leroux Steel takes great please in welcoming Mr. Frank McKenna as a
director of the company. Mr. McKenna recently ended a ten year tenure as
Premier of the province of New Brunswisk during which he played a leading
role in promoting his province in the international business community.
His political legacy includes the creation of countless new jobs and sweeping
reforms of the Province’s health, education & social programs. A lawyer
by profession, Mr. McKenna is now a member of the law firm of McInnes Coop
& Robertson in Moncton New Brunswick …. Mr. McKenna also serves the
Board of Directors of Bruncor, Major Drilling Grover International &
the Bank of Montreal and is a member of the Team Canada Inc. Advisory Board.
Leroux Steel is on of the largest steel distributor in Canada and a growing
presence.." Business sections &G&M; March 5th; 1998.
TEXTIf you read the above news item
on poverty in Canada, you might be interested to read this snippet
from the Globe And mail’s Business News. So someone again try to tell us,
that those in Government are not part of Big Business and share their interests.
Every time there is a change in government, if you watch the business news,
sooner or later - the weasels will appear - stuffed with company directorships
and the like. There is only one way to change all this - and that is the
Canadian Class Struggle Issue