INTERNAL BULLETIN

May 6, 1968

C O N T E N T S

DRAFT POLITICAL RESOLUTION

--submitted by the Political Committee

Published by the League for Socialist Action - Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière

Index

Canada and the World Socialist Revolution
The Roots of Working Class Militancy
The National Struggle in Quebec
The Crisis of the Bourgeois Parties
The New Democratic Party
The Need for a Socialist Leadership
The League for Socialist Action - Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière

The rulers of Canada face today a series of mounting challenges, which more and more call into question the future of the capitalist system in this country. Their calls for "national unity" are rebuffed by the rising protests of the Québécois against the national inequality and injustice they suffer. The growing national consciousness of French Canadians puts a question mark around even the continued existence of confederation. Official calls for class unity are countered by mounting labor struggles which reveal the deeply-rooted discontent as well as the power of the working class, and call forth in their turn new government interventions against the labor movement.

The growing disaffection, revealed in working class militancy, in the national ferment in Quebec, in the unrest of youth, acquires an explosive potential when placed in the context of the world crisis of capitalism. The war in Vietnam has been only the most revealing aspect of this crisis, evidence of which is seen in the guerrilla struggles of Latin America, the ghetto uprisings within the United States, and the growing instability of the international capitalist economic structure.

What does the next century hold in store for Canada? No country of the capitalist world, least of all Canada, today escapes the tremors of the developing world crisis of capitalism. All around us we see deepening social contradictions which cry out for fundamental solutions - those posed by socialism. The next great step forward for Canada, now visibly in preparation, will see the working people join in the world revolutionary process by taking economic and political power out of the hands of the capitalist class, establishing a workers and farmers government, and setting about the construction of a new socialist society.

Canada and the World Socialist Revolution

The victory of the socialist revolution in Russia in 1917 ushered in an era of continuing crisis and overall decline of capitalism as a world system, a period of world socialist revolution which challenges the stability of capitalism in every country. The workers state (a term used by the Trotskyist movement to describe all countries with a planned socialist-type economy: achieved by revolution in Russia, China , Cuba, North Vietnam, North Korea; or by Red Army conquest in East Germany and the Eastern European and Baltic ''satellite countries'' -ed.) established by the October Revolution has survived its encirclement and attack by hostile powers, and the bureaucratic degeneration of the revolution under Stalin and his heirs. Socialist revolution has extended into new lands. A third of the world's peoples have now broken free of capitalism, and established workers' states, laying the groundwork for building a socialist society.

The growing strength of the workers states makes it evident to increasingly wider layers of workers that the capitalist exploitation they endure is neither necessary nor eternal. At the same time, the anti-Stalinist movement in the workers states undermines the prejudices of millions of workers who have been led to identify socialism with its Stalinist perversion. Moreover, while the anti-bureaucratic struggle now gathering force across the post-capitalist world mobilizes new forces to settle accounts with the Stalinist bureaucracy which has betrayed socialist revolutions around the world and formed a major barrier to the advance of the world socialist movement, the revolutionary internationalism of' Cuba and the intransigent struggle of the Vietnamese provide inspiration and example for a new generation of revolutionaries. A new realignment of world revolutionary forces is taking shape around the independent revolutionary and principled position of North Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba on the Vietnam (War.)

Since the second imperialist war, the anti-capitalist struggle has assumed its most dynamic expression in the colonial world. The Vietnamese revolution has resisted all attempts of U.S. imperialism to crush it, and has shown the vulnerability of imperialism today. The imperialist economies of North America and Western Europe are deeply dependent on the super-profits, cheap sources of raw materials, and prospects for future expansion presented by the colonial world. They can never concede colonial people the right, through socialist revolution, to take their futures into their own hands, and free themselves from the grip of imperialism. Yet despite certain setbacks, the general forward march of this revolution continues on. If U.S. imperialism cannot crush the revolution of a small and economically backward people in Vietnam, all the less can it stand astride the path of a movement whose direction is to encompass and unite the millions of the colonial and semi-colonial world.

Even the last bastion of capitalism, the United States, now the policeman and chief exploiting power of the world imperialist system, cannot escape the effects of this growing world crisis. Behind its apparent stability and power, profound social contradictions are heating up. The great backwaters of' poverty, racism, alienation, are giving rise to social movements whose potential power is enormous. The black power movement has shown its gathering force in the ghetto uprisings, which raise the spectre that Che Guevara's call for "Two, three, many Vietnams" will be realized in the very heartland of imperialism. The anti-war movement has shown the narrow limits of Washington's ability to mobilize the home front for counter-revolutionary war abroad. The social crisis of the U.S. and the imperialist countries in general, can only gather force with the increasing dilemmas of imperialism on the world scale.

Canada is a component part of the world capitalist system, tightly bound to it by ties of trade, investment and by the whole mechanism of the world market. Canada is an imperialist power in its own right. The English-Canadian bourgeoisie has compensated for its relatively small capital by high a degree of concentration and monopolization, and has built corporate empires capable of competing for profits on the world scale. Far from being neutral in the confrontation between imperialist and colonial countries, or as some suggest constituting itself as an economic colony of U.S. imperialism, Canada is ruled by a bourgeoisie with a heavy stake in imperialism. Through the subjugation and exploitation of French Canada, it has deve1oped what in many respects is an internal colony. Restricted by the relatively small home market, it is highly dependent on exports. It is relatively more committed to foreign investment than U.S. capital, and a portion of this investment is in the colonial and semi-colonial world.

Canadian capital is even more tightly bound to the fate of world imperialism by its special relationship to the super-power of capitalism, the United States. The industrialization of Canada proceeded later and on a weaker economic base than that of the United States. The national economy which the framers of confederation hoped to build never developed fully as a harmonious, integrated economic organism with a widely diversified base. Instead the Canadian economy has flowed into that of the U.S. along the natural north-south lines of' trade. Always highly dependent on foreign trade, Canada now conducts the overwhelming bulk of that trade with the United States. Interpenetrating investment across the border has today given U.S. investors control of vital sectors of' the Canadian economy which, combined with the preponderant weight of U.S. imperialism on a world scale, gives it a dominant position vis-à-vis Canadian capital. Conversely, Canadian capitalists have invested so heavily in the U.S. that they can no longer be expected to disentangle whatever ''national'' interests they might have from those of the U.S. economy. Washington has shown its benevolent understanding of its special relationship with Canadian capital through exemptions from measures it has taken to strengthen its position against its competitors, and by special agreements like the defense production sharing plan. Despite episodic friction and shows of independence Canadian capitalism has, under pressure of necessity, oriented fully for interdependency on the continental scale.

Foreign policy has reflected this commitment. Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have firmly stood by the side of the U.S. against all challenges to the power of imperialism. While directly tied to Washington through the NATO-NORAD system of alliances, the Canadian imperialists have made a pretense of neutrality to play their most sinister role, intervening militarily to block revolutions, or safeguard imperialist interests, as part of United Nations or other international peace forces, most notably in Korea, the Congo, and Cyprus. Non-military intervention, as in the International Control Commission in Vietnam, is only another side of capitalist complicity in the aggression of U.S. imperialism.

Canadian capitalism is highly vulnerable because of its place in the world system. As an imperialist power, part of the increasingly integrated North American economy, it must share the impact of all the shocks and crises which befall U.S. imperialism. As a smaller power highly dependent on world trade, Canada is already extremely susceptible to international economic disturbances. If the Canadian economy is today protected in part by the special concern of its U.S. guardians, it is certain that the growing pressure of world events on Washington will force the latter to cut back its commitments to bolster up the Canadian economy, just as it is already cutting back efforts to rehabilitate the backward and abandoned areas within its borders. Internationally, capitalist expansion is based on most unstable foundations, and can quickly dissolve into profound economic crises, which would affect Canadian capitalism with utmost severity, aggravating the existing social conflicts to white-hot intensity.

Whatever increased advantages imperialist super-profits have given the Canadian bourgeoisie, they have not gone to increase the standard of living of Canadian workers. Workers have sustained or in some areas raised it only at a snail's pace, and only as the result of the most tenacious struggles of the labor movement. They suffer directly from the chronic inflation, job insecurity and war danger bred by imperialism, while Quebec workers can more clearly see the direct parallel between the national oppression they suffer and the imperialist subjugation of the colonial peop1es. There is a long and rich anti-imperialist tradition in this country, demonstrated in this century particularly in Quebec, in the opposition to the two great imperialist wars. Anti-imperialism is now again becoming a significant component of the broad movement of opposition to Canadian capitalism. Anti-war movements such as that emerging against the Vietnam War will acquire mounting significance as Canada is drawn more directly into the crisis of declining imperialism. Directed in first instance against Wall Street and Washington, anti-imperialist sentiment will find no significant allies in any ``progressive`` or "national" wing of the Canadian bourgeoisie. It (the anti-imperialist sentiment in Canada -ed.) will necessarily turn against the Canadian allies of the U.S. in the exploitation of the colonial world and Quebec - the imperialist ruling class of Canada.

The Roots of Working Class Militancy

Canada is notable among industrialized capitalist countries for the extreme monopolization and tightly interknit character of its capitalist ruling class. Monopolies like the CPR complex, the great banks, the Weston and Taylor empires, rank among the giants or the world, and operate with all the more decisive weight on the relatively smaller economic base of Canada. The entire economy, and with it, the state power, is in the grip of a tiny and remarkably homogeneous and united group whose decisive core has been estimated at less than 100 men. The ruling class is a closed group of tightly-knit interests nearly totally Anglo- Saxon in origin. The French-Canadian bourgeoisie forms only a small and relatively powerless appendage of the Anglo-Canadian giants. The existence of a ruling class is posed with great clarity, a class which operates with unity, using brutal force where necessary in defense of' its day-to-day interests, and all the more against any fundamental challenge to its power.

The development of capitalism has brought about a great social polarization. Only a few decades ago the bulk of the working population was farmers or otherwise independently employed. This petty-bourgeoisie has been progressively ruined and absorbed, and the rural areas partially depopulated or depressed into backwaters of poverty. Canada now ranks among the few nations where a quarter of the population resides in the three largest cities. Urbanization has greatly accelerated the growth of the working class, and has provided the base of great potential strength for the labor movement.

The pattern of centralization is repeated in Canada's economic geography. Industrial growth has been concentrated in a few provinces, in a very few urban centers, while whole regions like the Maritimes and the Prairies have been shoved aside to survive as largely stagnant backwaters or low-wage areas. Urbanization in these regions has been largely due to the centralization of services formerly spread over the countryside, while particularly in the Maritimes the development of new industry, heavily subsidized from public funds, has only reinforced the character of the region as a low-wage area.

The period since the outset of World War II has been one of uneven but general expansion for Canadian capitalism. Yet, twenty years after the war (1966-67) strike struggles have reached their highest peak ever - strong evidence of the inability of capitalism to satisfy the most basic aspirations of the workers who produce its wealth. The profit economy has generated and regenerated inequality, instability, and insecurity on the widest scale. Unemployment and personal indebtedness have continued, and have become more menacing with the successive economic cycles, so that few workers today can call their jobs truly secure. The price fixing power of the monopolies, reinforced by the effect of the war economy, has generated a permanent tendency to inflation, continually robbing the workers of the fruit of their hard-fought wage struggles. As the tax burden has mounted, it has become more clearly a means of class oppression, bearing down most heavily on the consumer goods and housing which figure most heavily in workers' budgets. The gross national product statistics may reflect a growing production of goods and services but the tremendous productive efficiency of the economy is not organized to serve the needs of working people. Thus in the middle of economic boom, workers face an intensification of the housing crisis, which has become a permanent feature of capitalism for which even the most optimistic bourgeois economists see no solution. Higher education remains a costly privilege denied most workers' families. The quality of life is assailed by the effect of the drive for profits - most noticeable in the pollution of country and city.

The drive for wage parity with U.S. workers, which has achieved victory in the auto industry, poses a severe challenge as it spreads into new industries, across the economy, cutting across the capitalists' attempts to maintain whole regions and industrial sectors as chronic low-wage cesspools. The enthusiasm with which Canadian unionists have picked up the demand reflects their refusal to settle for what the Canadian bosses pass off as a decent wage. Capitalism has been unable to deliver the goods for Canadian workers, and they are responding with far- reaching economic demands which have provoked fear and angry resistance from the Canadian bourgeoisie.

If organized and skilled workers have great difficulty maintaining their positions under the pressure of the profit system, a vast number have been consigned to the most abject poverty. The Indian and Eskimo population have been excluded from even formal equality and maintained in islands of misery rightly compared by Indian leaders to concentration camps.

Theirs is only the most poignant example of the wide layers of the Canadian population who are eking out a marginal existence, subsisting if not in outright poverty, only a step away from it. This strata embraces not merely the infirm, elderly or those trapped in rural backwaters, but millions of low-paid members of the working class. Growing centralization and the technological revolution are swelling their ranks, even in periods of economic boom. Moreover, the racism of all capitalist society, expressed most viciously against the Indian and Eskimo populations, is directed against a variety of minority groups, including the growing black population.

The widespread spirit of unrest and ferment among youth has aroused much attention. It has found expression in struggles for student power in the schools, in the anti-war movement, and - in another form - in the militancy of young trade unionists. The ferment among student youth is sometimes expressed in immediate and limited issues, ranging from cafeteria prices to long hair styles. But its direction is very radical, as the student-based movement against the Vietnam War demonstrates. Students are more and more in revolt against the whole inhumanity and hypocrisy of this society. The spirit of total rejection of this system can pass over into a mass response to the revolutionary alternative of socialism among Canadian youth.

The struggles of Canadian working people can take on an explosive character even in the framework of the present relative stability. Canadian workers have won meager improvements in their standard of living through the most tenacious and difficult struggles, yet these gains are coming under attack in preparation for the inevitable economic declines which will affect Canada even more severely than most industrialized countries. With the growing problems of world imperialism, the economic dilemma of capitalism will grow more pronounced, the recessions more menacing. The labor struggle, the protests of youth, the national struggle of the Québécois, can quickly gather strength under such circumstances, pressed forward by the force of all the accumulated grievances of the working people of Canada.

The National Struggle in Quebec

The ``constitutiona1 crisis`` rising out of the national demands of the Québécois has called into question the unity of the Canadian state as it is presently constituted. But the constitutional wrangling is only a pale and very distorted expression of the revolutionary potential which flows from the existence and growing national consciousness of an oppressed French Canadian nation centered in Quebec.

The Québécois are an oppressed nation, subordinated politically to the federal regime, and economically to English Canadian and American capitalist interests. The French Canadian nation's subordinate status is manifested in the lower wages and living standards of Quebec, in the pattern of discrimination against the French language and those who speak it, in the predominance of the English language and the English ruling class on all the upper levels of Canadian business and government. The source of this national consciousness lies in French Canada's subordination to imperialism - the fact that ownership and control of its economy is vested not only in a tiny handful of capitalists but foreign capitalists, Anglo-Canadians and U.S. capital.

The French-Canadian bourgeoisie's interests are indissolubly linked with those of the English Canadian capitalist class, and it lacks the economic base, the means and the hope to put the control and ownership of the Quebec economy into French Canadian hands. The language question, the wage differentials, and the other expressions of the national oppression of French Canada flow from the imperialist control of the economy which can only be resolved through the action of the working class, in bringing to power a workers' government, in nationalizing the industry and placing it under workers control, and in the subsequent construction of a socialist Quebec.

Already it is clear that only the labor movement has shown the militancy and organized strength capable of giving leadership to the struggle for the national and social liberation of Quebec. Quebec workers, including wide layers of white-collar and professional workers, have flooded into the union movement, carrying out militant struggles often directed against French-Canadian employers or in defiance of court injunctions and the government's anti-labor drive. Quebec workers have as yet no political arm on the provincial level, yet their direction to the building of a mass labor party formation is clear. From the outset, this party will reflect the deep consciousness of injustice and the militancy of the Quebec working class, and thus offer the socialists a great opportunity to win it to a revolutionary perspective. At the same time, it will be pressed to collaboration with the English-Canadian New Democratic Party against the central state power. The national oppression of Quebec workers is pressing them forward into a vanguard position in the struggle of the Canadian working class as a whole.

Will the mounting national consciousness in Quebec take the road of separatism? So far the various brands of separatism, including Lévesque's ``sovereignty,`` have been confined in their program and their appeal to the petty-bourgeois gallery. Their program, posing a political separation without a settling of accounts with imperialism, without ending foreign control of the economy, does not meet the needs of the working masses or pose any solution to the national oppression of the Québécois.

There is no evidence as yet that the Quebec struggle is taking a separatist direction or that the working masses of Quebec are opting for separation. The socialist-separatist current is a tiny one. But the recognition of the right of self-determination of French Canada - the right of the Québécois to determine freely their relationship to English Canada, including the right of separation - is a basic democratic right, vital to the establishment of a working solidarity in action of French and English Canadian labor, so important to the success of the common struggle.

The Crisis of the Bourgeois Parties

The cohesion of the Canadian ruling class, and its narrowing area for maneuver; are both revealed in the present crisis of the political parties it has created. The Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties are equally tools of big business, and have progressively lost any significant differentiation in their programs and policies. The parties have no strong roots in religious or ethnic divisions in the population, nor do they (with the exception of the CNTU) (Conseil des Syndicats nationaux - CSN, independent of the English-Canadian trade union federation, the CLC - ed.) have any significant following in the top or secondary layers of the trade union leadership.

In recent years, these parties have become increasingly divided and discredited. Both have been wracked by internal dissension. The repeated attempts at reform and modernization, far from giving them a more popular character, have only led in the direction of a firmer identity with big business. Their governments have moved more openly into the field of anti-labor legislation, the defense of U.S. imperialism, and a host of measures directed against the working class. All their attempts to present a new ``image" cannot conceal the fact that the leading capitalist politicians of this country are men of the elite, propelled into power by circles closest to big business, on sharply defined right wing programs.

The class question is posed very clearly in Canadian political life. The traditional popular ties to the bourgeois parties, never very strong, are becoming weaker. The possibility is great for a labor party to break through and rapidly achieve power in the next period, opening the door to the possibility of a fundamental change in the system.

The New Democratic Party

The working class now rapidly growing in the great urban centers has given substantial evidence in recent years of its strength and potential power. Record years of strikes have confounded theories that Labor is a spent force, or has been integrated into the establishment. Many have spoken of the "new militancy`` of these struggles, outgrowth of the mass of young workers entering the labor force in recent years, who do not bear the demoralizing burden of past failures and have no patience with the injustice of existing living standards and working conditions. There have been impressive demonstrations, particularly in Quebec, that layers of white collar workers are moving towards the union movement.

The organized labor movement, with almost two million members, is the most powerful instrument yet created by working people in this country to defend and advance their interests. The working class it rests on has no stake in the maintenance of capitalism. It is in the decisive position, through the weight of its numbers, its strategic position in the economy, it's repeatedly proven ability to organize and struggle with the greatest militancy to break through all the barriers set up by employers and government and build a new socialist society, based on a fundamental change in property relations.

Yet this great social force has been more and more paralyzed by the intervention of the State in trade unions. A wide network of anti-labor measures has been erected, ranging from such open union-busting laws as B.C.'s Bill 33, which empowers the Cabinet to impose compulsory arbitration on any group of striking workers, to the forest of restrictions and regulations, largely accepted as part of unionism by the labor leadership. As a result, the effective power of the labor movement to meet the needs of the rank and file has been more and more crippled. For some years, the overall tendency has been for the proportion of the work force organized in unions to decline. Periodic upsurges of militancy in the union movement have not broken out of the restrictive net.

This dilemma of the trade union movement may be blamed in the first instance on the conservatism of the trade union leadership, fearful of mobilizing their own rank and file. To break out of the restrictions posed by the growing intervention of the state, labor's response must be to supplement a new strategy of militant on-the-job action with a generalization of this strategy in the form of class struggle political action.

The most significant political development of this century has been Labor's creation of the New Democratic Party. Conceived originally by the CCF and CLC leadership as a multi-class liberal-labor party, the NDP has taken roots and grown as a class party, based in the industrial urban centers, on the votes, organizing muscle and financial strength of the trade unions. The NDP presents a class alternative to the capitalist parties, as a party independent of big business and rooted in the organizations of the working people. It poses the possibility of replacing the present dictatorship of big business with a workers and farmers government, and proceeding to the socialist transformation of society. In Quebec, where the NDP lacks a strong labor base organizationally and has not yet participated in the key provincial arena, the direction of the labor movement towards the creation of a labor party formation is already clear. In view of the continuing crisis of the bourgeois parties, an NDP government federally and in the strategic provinces is a practical possibility in the coming period.

The program and structure of the NDP have been shaped from the outset by a leadership thoroughly reformist in outlook, sharing the program and bureaucratic methods of the trade union leadership on which it rests. The NDP leadership sees its task as one of modest reform, putting a new content into the capitalist state structure, when the task is profoundly revolutionary, the demolition of the power of the capitalist state and the construction of a new state - a workers' state, based on common ownership of the means of production. The NDP leadership has aimed to infuse this decaying social system, unjust and exploitative in every aspect of its existence, with aims of social justice and equality through a simple act of parliament, when all experience show these aims are realizable only through the most far-reaching transformation of relationships of power and property. As if in recognition of this, it has limited its demands to those which appear most possible within the capitalist framework, when the crying need is to raise demands which project the workers into struggle against the capitalist system.

The reformist policies of the NDP leadership do not meet even the most immediate needs of the working people, and the immediate problems entailed in propelling the party towards power. In a period of political crisis of the capitalist parties, the NDP leadership's policy is to deny or minimize its fundamental class difference from them, and to play down even the minimal demands of its formal program in favor of electoral gimmicks and personality campaigns. While for the most part giving voice to the cause of labor in parliament, the NDP has not carried a militant campaign against the anti-labor laws either inside or outside the electoral campaigns. Its economic policy, hinged on the concept of planning, contains no measures such as nationalization which would actually be required to assert workers' power over the monopolies. In foreign policy, the NDP leadership has maintained its loyalty to capitalism by continuing its support of the U.S. alliance system. Where it has expressed opposition to aspects of the system, as in the case of the NORAD alliance or the Vietnam War, the criticisms have been limited to those consistent with overall support to Canada's alliance with U.S. imperialism.

While correctly stressing the need for the NDP to fight for power in the provincial and federal elections, the right wing leadership has emasculated the party by shaping it into an electoral machine, and playing down or suppressing all aspects of party activity which could make the NDP a living mass movement - from active constituency clubs, to educational programs to any form of action outside the parliamentary framework. Conventions have tended towards becoming stage-managed publicity rallies, while party publications are on the whole mere mouthpieces of the leadership, devoid of genuine and open debate on the great questions before the party. The socialist left has been subjected to repeated purges and expulsions.

The Wilson Labor government of Britain has given Canadian workers an ugly insight into the disasters that will follow from the reformist policies practiced by the NDP leadership if those policies and that leadership are not rejected by the NDP membership. Elected, as is usual for left governments, during a period of acute social problems, its fundamentally pro-capitalist orientation has led it to undertake the most reactionary anti-labor measures to salvage the interests of British capital. Like the British Labor Party, the NDP is a product of labor's ceaseless conflict with the power of capital. Yet its present reformist leadership, far from leading the workers towards power, towards victory in this struggle, has led the party in the same direction as the BLP brass, placing the first NDP government in the greatest peril of becoming a similar pliant instrument of capital in preserving its supremacy.

The policies of the NDP leadership cannot be explained merely through inexperience or naiveté. The present leadership has a long experience reaching back into the early days of the CCF, and are generally aware of the experience in Britain and elsewhere. The NDP's direction will not be fundamentally changed by shuffles among the leading figures, or by isolated convention resolutions. The right wing positions of the leadership flow from the power and privileges of' the labor bureaucracy on which they chiefly rest, privileges which have over the decades separated them from the needs and aspirations of their own rank and file and given them a considerable stake in the status quo. In addition, the NDP leadership has fallen victim to its own propaganda about the supremacy of parliament, and has become integrated into the parliamentary aspect of the state apparatus as a "loyal opposition.``

From their isolated position, the labor bureaucrats are overawed by the power of capital arrayed against them, and have little confidence in the great power of the movements they head up - a power which if mobilized could involve them in confrontations endangering their positions as moderators between labor and capital. They are well aware that an activated rank and file would inevitably throw up a new militant leadership from its own ranks. While the leadership is no monolithic bloc, and must remain sensitive to the moods of the organizations on which its power is based, experience has shown that the driving force in bringing the union movement and NDP out of their present quandary must come from quite another source - the energy and militancy of the rank and file of these organizations. And it must be based on a programmatic alternative to their reformist policies - the alternative of class struggle socialism, and a new leadership to implement that program.

The Need for a Socialist Leadership

Where will this alternative come from, and what road will the working class take to achieve a socialist Canada?

The Communist Party of Canada, founded with such promise and enthusiasm fifty years ago on the program of the October Revolution, is today a rotten hulk without revolutionary potential, which has betrayed its name and the ideals of its founders. Today, rapidly losing its last bases of support in the labor movement, it remains as the servile instrument of the Soviet bureaucracy, wedded to the strategy of peaceful coexistence which marks off Canada, in the foreseeable future, as part of the capitalist realm, and decrees a strategy of alliance of the working class with ``progressive'' bourgeois forces in an anti-monopoly coalition. ``Socialism is not on the agenda`` the CP leaders say, and continue their fruitless search for a progressive wing of the bourgeoisie to join them in reforming capitalism.

The Communist Party today has all the vices of' the NDP, including its narrow reformist program, without its great virtue of a mass labor base, and the concept it represents of a labor government. Its program of peaceful transition to socialism following on the achievements of a peoples' anti-monopoly coalition is just as illusory as the NDP brass's hopes that their ``just society`` will be achieved merely by decree of a parliamentary majority. The capitalist ruling class is well provided with the means of defending its position through its army, police, courts and its stranglehold on economic and political sources of power, and has shown its brutal determination to defend its interests at all costs. Will this class, which supports the United States' genocide in Vietnam, which has sent Canadian troops to fight for its interests in such far-flung locales as Korea and the Congo, which has acted with the greatest ruthlessness in employing violence against workers' struggles in Canada, shrink from using the resources it commands in an attempt to frustrate the democratic will of the majority? Even in relatively small matters - e.g. their continual stalling on medicare - they show their arrogant contempt for the sentiments of the vast majority of the Canadian people.

The preachers of the exclusively peaceful road to socialism are sowing the greatest illusion among the masses, and in effect disarming them in advance before the onslaught of capital. The working class can only win victory through the resolute action of the broadest and most powerful movement of the working masses, prepared for the desperate resistance of the capitalist class, and led by a firm and united socialist party which consciously sets itself the goal of leading and carrying through the revolutionary transformation of this society. The more resolute, the more prepared the leadership is to see the struggle through to the end, the less costly this transformation will be.

The Maoist Progressive Workers Movement broke away from the Communist Party, scoring its blatant class collaborationist program based on the reformist concept of the ``peaceful path to socialism". However this current has proven unable to clear itself of the insidious heritage of Stalinist theory and practice. Their view of Canada's road to socialism continues to center on a ``national liberation`` struggle which, as a stage for a whole period ahead, does not break out of the framework of capitalism. On the other hand, their work in the anti-war movement and other broader arenas has been marked by sectarianism and adventurism. While advocating the formation of a Leninist party, a revolutionary party, they reject the New Democratic Party as ``bourgeois`` and the international unions as pawns of U.S. imperialism, and thus cut themselves off from the living process of' the labor movement, and the possibility of building the Leninist party.

Another tendency among certain layers of' radical students has come to be called the ``new left". The only developed "new left" organization, the Student Union for Peace Action, after a meteoric rise, disintegrated due to its programmatic inadequacy. Many in this current now give lip service to the role of the working class in the revolutionary process, but reject the New Democratic Party and substitute their tiny forces for the class. One recent expression of' this tendency is the ``Canadians for the National Liberation Front,`` which in seeking to build an anti-imperialist movement counterposes a program of explicit support for the FNL (the Vietnamese National Liberation Front resistance forces - ed.) to the developing anti-war movement. The ``new left" currently offers little more than revolutionary phrases, devoid of the analysis or strategy required to build the revolutionary movement.

The League for Socialist Action/ Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière

While independent of the NDP, the League for Socialist Action/Ligue Socialiste Ouvrière is an integral part of the New Democratic Party. It is an organization of socialists who firmly support the NDP and thus form part of the broad range of working class forces which the NDP, as the mass political expression of the labor movement encompasses. The New Democratic Party is the present of the labor movement, the expression of the present general level of development and experiences of the Canadian working class. It is the vehicle through which the labor movement has entered the political arena, and is the focus around which the growing militancy of the working class is finding political expression.

The LSA/LSO is the future of the working class movement, fighting to win the NDP to a class struggle policy and a socialist perspective, in Quebec promoting a labor party formation with a revolutionary dynamic.

The LSA/LSO's roots are in the forces that under the inspiration and guidance of the lessons of the October Revolution came together to form the early Communist Party and who subsequently rallied to the banner raised by Leon Trotsky, co-founder with Lenin of the Communist International, to preserve and develop the program and example against Stalinist degeneration.

It is the nucleus for the vanguard party designed to overcome the heterogeneity of the working class and to realize the high degree of consciousness and organization necessary to triumph over the skill and determination of the capitalist class to retain their power no matter the circumstances and the costs.

The LSA/LSO's organizational independence and its press provide it with the necessary means and flexibility to take advantage of every possible opportunity to advance its views. Its close fraternal association with the Fourth International provides it with the world outlook that is essential for the development of a program for a socialist Canada. Its capacity to root itself in the struggles of the Canadian working class and develop and apply a series of demands that stem from today's consciousness of the workers and lead them forward to struggle against capitalism is the assurance of its victory.

May 6, 1968

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