A historical and practical resource for everyone interested in Canadian socialist politics.
Ross Dowson was the leading figure in the development of Canadian Trotskyism from his entry
in the movement at age 15 in 1932 until 1989. During these 57 years he devoted his energies and creative force to the building of what became the mainstream Marxist left current in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1974 he withdrew from the movement he had built for 30 years with a group of comrades to build another,
in order to continue and develop their traditional politics.
Two New Documents Of Interest To Canadian Social Activists
Both published in 1974, these pamphlets address the old but still current problem which remains before those activists in Canada now seized with the problem of what political vehicle is required to make real and permanent changes in this country — our country, which it turns out, has a favorable feature unique in North America in its political landscape.
That premier reality is that, alone in North America, Canada possesses a single dominant mass independent labor-based political party, the reformist New Democratic Party.
Instead of ignoring this central fact —the elephant in the activist living-room — these pamphlets lay the groundwork for a dynamic approach to the problem of winning the only force capable of genuine social change in Canada — it's working class — first over to independent labor politics via the NDP — entailing a giant stride, the huge break from capitalist party politics — and through this experience, on the road to the construction of a political party capable of leading the class to a socialist Canada.
We think you will find these sometimes detailed polemics on a very technical (Leninist, we believe) level interesting — like wine that is over 35 years old but perhaps now more than ever ready to imbibe.
Ross Dowson - Speeches to the LSA
When Ross Dowson spoke at public forums of the League for Socialist Action, or to closed sessions of comrades and guests, his urgent and creative style demanded close attention for as long as he spoke. His rapport with his audiences was derived from his desire to communicate and convince, to win us over to his ideas and views, as well, of course, to the actions he saw as necessary for the movement to take.
1966 - Fidel Castro's attack on Trotskyism - and the Cuban Revolution
1967 May Day Speech 50th Anniversary of Russian Revolution
The History of Canadian Trotskyist Movement - Pre-1921 to 1939
(Ross Dowson joined the Workers Party of Canada in the 1934-1935 period, becoming a member of the Spartacus Youth League, a year or two after his older brother Murray. The purpose of this selection of early "The Vanguard is not to present an overall view of world politics and WPC policies but is limited to providing a sense of the milieu that radical youth of this period encountered. )
Ross was active in the editing of five publications over the period between 1945 and 1989.
|1938 to 1942
First published as a mimeographed bulletin, the pre-war "Socialist Action" opposed Canada's entry into the imperialist slaughter as a printed journal, until it's seventh issue, when it was banned under the War Measure's Act in September 1939, becoming an underground resistance journal.
The journal of the Revolutionary Workers Party (RWP), edited by Murray and Ross Dowson, the first major Trotskyist paper in Canada since the 1930s, launched in anticipation that the post-World War 2 strike wave and establishment of the major industrial unions in Canada would lead to a massive political maturing of the working class in this country.
These are only links to indexes (without links to articles)
Taking up after a break of 3 years of post-war boom, witch-hunts and class quiescence, the new Canadian Trotskyist journal edited by Ross Dowson documents the re-birth of the movement, the Ban the Bomb and US Black civil rights movements, the Cuban Revolution, the launching of the NDP and the spectacular growth of the LSA-LSO reflecting the youth radicalization of the 1960s highlighted by France in 1968.
98%, of indexes have active links to articles, errors are in the process of correction)
Re-born in a popular, expanded format and edited by three youth newly recruited to the movement, it documents the leading role of the Trotskyist movement in the such struggles as opposing Canadian complicity in the war against Vietnam, pioneering the demand for women's choice on abortion as well as identifying with the upsurge of the Québécois for a French and independent Quebec.
These are only links to indexes (without links to articles)
With the sudden profound political collapse of the cadre of the LSA-LSO, the forces around Ross Dowson continued the long-established politics of Canadian Trotskyism in a new organization and with a new journal, edited by W.R. and Ross Dowson, with a longterm orientation toward building a left wing in the NDP, and documenting the progressive thrust of growing Canadian nationalist sentiment, as well as the victorious struggles against Stalinism in Poland and finally the Dowson vs. RCMP battle which made Canadian civil rights history.
1978, 1980 and 1984 have active index links to articles other years will, by end of Sept 2007)
With the widespread scattering of left forces, the Forward Group participated in a broad-based caucus within the Ontario NDP, championing socialist policies and opposing the growing conservativism of its leadership under the Rae government, by campaigning against the extension of public funding to Catholic schools, NDP anti-labor wage legislation and the failure to uphold the party program in and out of power.
All index and articles are on line, and errors will be corrected by end of Nov. 2008)
— HTML of articles started, Links are in progress, —as of September 2nd working on 1982, expect to be finished all by middle of September 2008
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