“Basis of Unity” – Origins of Revolutionary Initiative

[The following document was drafted in the mid-2000s by the group that gave rise to Revolutionary Initiative. While it is a rather rudimentary document and by no means a program for the revolution, its significance stems from the fact that, for a period of time, its formulations provided sufficient ideological and political unity amongst a small core of proletarian revolutionaries to kick-start a Party-building process in Canada.

Through further study, experience in the mass struggle, and criticism and self-criticism, this “Basis of Unity” would come to be replaced by our “Theses on the Party Building Movement in Canada” and a series of more refined ideological, political, organizational, and historical documents to carry forward the party-building process.

However, this short ideological-political document demonstrates that not every question must or can be resolved before a group of proletarian revolutionaries begins carrying forward the practical work of rebuilding a genuine communist party.

For a French translation of this document, click here. – Ed.]

“Basis of Unity”

To eventually form a genuine communist party of Canada, proletarian revolutionaries in Canada must unify around the following points:

INTERNATIONAL

Recognition that imperialism is in strategic decline. Such recognition includes recognition of:

a) The creation of a handful of secondary capitalist countries with remaining countries in some form of semi-feudalism. This implies both the relative and absolute increase in the size of the proletariat internationally and of the tightening of relations between the non-proletarian working-classes and the proletariat;

b) The spread of national liberation movements and formal decolonization since the second inter-imperialist war, i.e., of the impossibility of formal colonies existing except perhaps in the smallest countries;

c) Imperialism’s need to undertake active measures to stabilize monopoly capitalism such as:

  • The fusion of the state and finance capital including state planning and systematic intervention in all significant areas of the economy;
  • The perfection of the use of science in production, Taylorism, Fordism, and “post-Fordism”;
  • The creation of the mass market in the imperialist homelands and the crucial place of marketing; and
  • The financialization of most areas of the economy through the stock and bond markets.

d) That we are in the 4th, maybe transitioning to a 5th stage of imperialism characterized by:

  • The dominance of one imperialist power and the beginning of its imperial overstretch
  • The increased contradictions between it and the other imperialist powers
  • The assault on the “great compromise” in the imperialist countries beginning to reach its limits
  • The forced integration of “Third World” and “Second World” countries into the imperialist world market under the slogans of “trade and investment liberalization, deregulation and privatization” beginning to reach its limits
  • The beginning of the reinvigoration of the working class movement in the imperialist countries
  • The beginning of the reinvigoration of the national liberation movements in “Third World” and “Second World” countries.

DOMESTIC

Recognition that Canada is an imperialist country and the Canadian state is an imperialist state. This implies:

a) That the socialist revolution is the current stage of the Canadian revolution;

b) That the proletariat is the leading and main force of the Canadian revolution;

c) That upon seizure of power, the proletariat must establish the dictatorship of the proletariat;

d) That during socialism, the continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat must be waged until communism is reached; and

e) Recognition of the split in the Canadian working-class and the necessity of repudiation of the labour aristocracy.

Recognition that Canada is a multinational country within which are some oppressed nations. This implies recognition of the right of oppressed nations to self-determination including secession.

STRATEGY AND TACTICS

Recognition that in the current period, the principal form of struggle is revolutionary mass struggle, secondarily electoral struggle to prepare for armed struggle as the decisive form of struggle.

To create a mass movement under the leadership of the proletarian revolutionary organization. This implies:

a) Extensive and intensive mass work by proletarian revolutionaries among the masses.

b) The creation and multiplication of whatever mass organizations are appropriate to be the link between the proletarian revolutionary organization and the working class masses.

c) The winning over of spontaneous working class organizations to the leadership of the proletarian vanguard.

d) The eventual winning over to the leadership of the proletarian vanguard of the vast bulk of the proletariat from social-democratic leadership.

e) The use of whatever form of struggle is effective.

f) The creation and spread of genuinely proletarian culture.

To wield as a weapon of the proletariat the united front along the revolutionary class line with the proletariat as the main and basic force, and the  non-imperialist middle bourgeoisie as a positive force, while using all contradictions to split the imperialist bourgeoisie in order to mainly target that faction currently wielding state power. This should be distinguished from coalitions between mass organizations and the like.

To practice proletarian internationalism:

a) Principally to wage the Canadian revolution.

b) Secondarily to build anti-imperialist solidarity with national liberation struggles around the world, especially those led by MLM parties. This includes:

  • Forging bilateral and multilateral links with all Marxist-Leninist, especially Maoist parties and organizations.
  • Extending all possible political and material support to national liberation struggles abroad, and especially promoting those led by MLM parties.

Recognition of the necessity for resolute ideological struggle against all forms of opportunism, especially social democracy, modern revisionism, Trotskyism, Anarchism and Canadian nationalism.

Forging step-by-step unity with all MLM forces in Canada and the basis of the scientific application of MLM to Canadian conditions.

METHODS OF WORK

To practice democratic centralism.

To practice the mass line within and outside the proletarian revolutionary organization.

To regularly practice criticism and self-criticism in the spirit of improving work.

These 12 points summarize Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as applied to Canadian conditions.

The immediate tasks of proletarian revolutionaries include:

The summing up of the past experience of the Canadian revolutionary movement in order to draw lessons and overcome weaknesses.

Planting the seeds of mass work by proletarian revolutionaries among the masses using correct proletarian methods of work.

Analysis of Canadian class forces in order to develop a program for the Canadian revolution.

Discussion with all MLM forces in Canada to systematically build unity on a step-by-step basis in order to build one genuine communist party in Canada.

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