Red Flag №2

A Party for Waging People’s War

People who call themselves communists are fewer. Yet it is this aspiration to a more egalitarian society that has guided the actions of many revolutionaries. Here in Canada, there are several organizations, like the old “Communist Party of Canada,” that claim to be communist; but most of them don’t do more than support bourgeois politics or a section of the ruling class. Others are even hiding their adherence to communism by practicing “entryism” in social-democratic parties, believing it is possible to create a kind of “workers party” within the frame of bourgeois politics.

An important ideological task for genuine communists is to ensure that people make this link between communism and revolution. What may seem obvious to us is not necessarily for others. When we speak of communism, many spontaneously think of a police state that used to discipline and limit people’s initiative. In fact, bureaucratic routine, a discipline of unconscious robots and lack of initiative represent a barrier to communism and revolution. Communism is the end of class society. To achieve this goal, we must work hard to transform social relations. A Communist is necessarily an all-the-way revolutionary.

The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP Canada) was officially launched in 2007. At this time, the then RCP(OC) (“OC” was standing for “Organizing Committees”) was the only organization trying to build such a party in Canada. Besides us, there were of course some individuals who were agreeing with the idea of a building a revolutionary communist party; however, they were not organized.

People might say that our organization is not a real party yet, because it misses one or another of the “criteria” we need for having a party. But what matters for the masses is the fact that there is an organization that actually works for revolution. Mao teaches us that the party must command the gun; if there were no party but only the gun, we would not be consistent with our long-term objective.

Our vision of the revolution is not a romantic, a spontaneous or a militaristic one; we want to put proletarian politics in command. By founding the party in 2007, we delivered a clear message that we want to occupy and lead the political field.

The question whether we are at a pre-party or a party stage is not at all relevant to the masses. This distinction was perhaps valid in the 1970s when there were several Marxist-Leninist collectives who aspired to create the party. Individuals then had already made an effort to consider the revolutionary strategy and organized themselves. If any of these groups had prematurely declared itself as being the party, that would have cut short the necessary debate that should have existed between all those revolutionary forces.

The question of building the party is not a technical but a political one. Let’s think about the significance of the word “party.” When this word was used in the nineteenth century, it meant a fraction of the population who had a different interest from other segments. In Lower Canada for example, we had the Parti Patriote and the British Party: the first representing those who wanted to end British rule and the second the others who wanted to remain submitted. There were no institutionalized parties like the ones we have today.

Marx introduced the concept of a proletarian party by evoking the necessity for the proletariat of becoming a class “for itself” instead of a class “in itself.” When the proletariat becomes conscious of his historical role, it acts as a separate party from the rest of the population; it becomes a party. Let’s be honest: we are still far from that, but by making a step forward and launching the RCP, we expressed loudly and clearly our will to succeed.

Having maintained the then RCP(OC) as a pre-party organization would have been mere opportunism. That would have meant forgetting politics and putting emphasis on pure organizational questions or techniques.

Today, the political camp of the capitalists is very strong. Of course it is based on money, police, courts, media and so on. But it also relies on the general inertia of the masses that do their daily routine and fight for their individual needs, often forgetting that the solution must be collective. The people’s camp, the one of the proletariat and the oppressed masses, should free itself from the bourgeois thinking and fight for its distinct interests; that is to act as a party.

If we really want to put proletarian politics in command, we must organize to achieve this goal; the organizational forms must correspond to our political objectives. Maoists favour a democratic centralist organization that stimulates a lively discussion, in order for the vanguard viewpoints to prevail. Different lines should express as freely as possible, without compromising organizational cohesion. The interests of the masses and the objective of social change are what should lead the discussion—not the egos, frustrations, short-term interests or political opportunities of the moment. By debating sometimes hardly, our objective must be the emergence of a viewpoint that will help us politically move forward.

There are not 36 ways to verify the correctness of a viewpoint. We must carry a political activity within the masses—a practice that must mobilize them in transforming social relations. We must be constantly looking for correct ideas from the masses, that the party must synthesized. This synthesis will then help mobilize the masses to achieve their goals. If our practice is flawed, we must re-evaluate the accuracy of the synthesis we’ve done. It may also be that it is our practice that is failing. At all times, we must take care of the connection between theory and practice. For us, theory can only have meaning if it is put into practice.

For years, the various communist parties in Western countries were accustomed to a certain routine that no longer fits with what the masses are in dire need. Whether a party commits a momentary mistake, this could certainly be understood. But when errors are perpetuated over several years or even decades, this means that some trends have found interest in keeping them. The errors made by the old communist parties were right ones and their perpetuation meant that they have come to abandon the revolution; these once revolutionary parties became revisionists and enemies of the revolution.

If massively concentrating our forces in trade unions made sense at one time, now we must analyze seriously what the unions have come. Quoting Marx or Lenin when they encouraged communists to go within the trade unions is not enough to convince us. Such a tactic may have been correct in a certain context, but not necessarily in another. This is not that we have to completely abandon union work; but if it is, it should be revolutionary. Otherwise, this will be economism, that means not to raise the masses to a revolutionary consciousness.

Taking part in the bourgeois electoral circus is another serious error. Everyone sees that the social and political issues are no longer determined during the elections. Election campaigns are now more like a reality show, where you vote for the one who looks the best without asking any serious questions about the issues that really concern us.

There are more subtle forms of opportunism. One can criticize everyone else and accuse them of not having the correct line, not being genuine Communists. One can produce countless papers discussing socialism and the need for “hastening, while awaiting a revolutionary situation” while confining itself to the sale of a newspaper promoting its so-called “special leader.” One can wage a campaign against a hated politician like George W. Bush that will only end in reinforcing another section of the ruling class. Will this help the revolutionary line to prevail and effectively organize the camp of the revolution? Certainly not.

The bourgeoisie has refined its methods of ruling. For their part, the Communists have been successful in some countries. The most advanced experience for us—even if it did not succeed in the end—was Maoist China. There, Communists have linked the revolutionary strategy (Protracted People’s War) with the building of a new society. In the areas liberated by the People’s Liberation Army, the feudal lords were evicted and the land given back to peasants. New social relations anticipating the establishment of a communist society were implemented.

The Chinese example was replicated elsewhere, in one way or another. The Nepali Maoists applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to their concrete conditions, and they are in the process of liquidating the remaining reaction in their country. In the Philippines, the New People’s Army is faced with geographical conditions pretty different from China, that make it difficult to establish liberated areas. Nevertheless, the Filipino Communists are leading several organizations and production units that will be the backbone of a new revolutionary political economy. In parts of India, there are sufficiently large geographical areas where the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is exercising its leadership.

Comrades from these parties are waging heroic struggles. These are courageous people who fully deserve our respect. The sacrifices they are making, like those of previous generations of revolutionaries, should not be in vain. They should inspire us in our struggle to be waged here in the heart of the imperialist beast. It would be morally unacceptable that these struggles have no impact here and that we only give them a passive support.

The Revolutionary Communist Party has duties to the world revolution. This is also true for revolutionaries of all the imperialist countries who must prepare to wage Protracted People’s War.

It’s easy to be a revolutionary in its living room (or on the Internet). It’s easy to criticize the weaknesses of the revolutionary experiences elsewhere. It’s easy not to take any risks against the forces of repression. It’s easy not to nibble all his time apart from work to devote to the revolution. It’s easy to go to the bar and talk of revolution. It’s easy to be a small community of “social revolutionaries.”

History teaches us that we must concentrate all our energies on building a strong revolutionary communist party dedicated to the waging of People’s War. The outcome of the People’s War in Canada, we do not know. The road may be sinuous but we don’t know what may happen elsewhere at the same time. There can be such a decisive victory in another country that the bourgeoisie of all countries will fear for the survival of their system.

We can’t speculate as to where the decisive victory will happen. It may be in India. It could be in France or South America. But it is the task of all revolutionaries to prepare for waging People’s War in their respective countries.

Without political power, without the People’s War, nothing can make sense for the proletarian vanguard. All proletarian revolutionaries in Canada must work to build the Party of the People’s War. We humbly but strongly believe that the Revolutionary Communist Party is such a party. We must arm ourselves ideologically and politically and help the RCP to develop. This is certainly not easy but as vanguard elements, we must move forward against the destructive wind of bourgeois reaction, without fearing the difficulties. Capitalism has done enough damages to the world; we must destroy it once and for all.

Long live the world revolution! Long live the RCP! Prepare for the decisive battle against the bourgeois system!

A RCP supporter
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