A Single Spark Can Light a Candle: Maoism in Canada Today

A Single Spark Can Light a Candle: Maoism in Canada Today

by Joseph Mackenzie, Revolutionary Initiative

Perhaps it is true that history moves in spirals, because it seems our present looks down on the era preceding the Paris Commune. The great revolutionary arch of the late 19th and 20th centuries has ended in objective and subjective conditions somewhat similar to its beginning. Nowhere does a revolutionary Communist movement hold state power. We have no International. The working classes and oppressed around the world are restive, but the number of genuine revolutionary Parties is dwarfed by the number of opportunists. The bourgeoisie are firmly entrenched in state power, yet nervous, haunted by specters, and adopting new forms of repression. On the other hand, we are at a higher level. We have the benefit of the experience of revolutionary movements that smashed bourgeois and semi-colonial semi-feudal state powers, built socialism, and fought the restoration of capitalism and the profound revolutionary theories that emerged from those experiences. The absolute and relative size of the proletariat is much larger and their consciousness higher: almost nowhere is open colonialism or dictatorships (even so-called nationalist ones) acceptable to the people. It is a time of rebellions and Peoples’ Wars. Both nightmares and optimism are justified.

A basic method to find our way: the North star is always there.

Let’s state it plainly: if we are going to make a revolution in Canada then we need a qualitative leap in our revolutionary theory and practice. We need to build a conscious revolutionary vanguard capable of functioning as the militant representative of all oppressed peoples, establish a project of universal liberation that sinks deep roots into our society, and develop the strategy and tactics necessary to shatter the existing social order.

For that it happen, we need the insights found in Maoism. It’s not that Mao was a prophet or an individual of such super human intellect that he created a perfect theory for all places and all times that we just need to take up and apply to our local conditions. It would make our jobs much easier if that were the case (“here’s the Red Book, memorize it!”) but that would be a departure from the reality of history and materialist dialectics. Rather, it’s that Maoism represents a radical development of Marxism, a vital contribution to a living science of revolution, that we need to engage with if we are to understand where we are in relation to our monumental tasks and how to move forward.

This article will not be a general overview of the historical development of Marxism or introduction to Maoism, as there is already the overall useful (if rather linear and non-contradictory) introductions from India: “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Basic Course” and “Marxism – Leninism – Maoism Study Notes” or some of the material in RI’s How To Study, How To Think study guide. Rather, this article will focus on the certain aspects Maoism that are distinct (but not separate) from Marxism-Leninism and that are particularly important to grasp at the current stage of the Canadian revolution. Continue reading “A Single Spark Can Light a Candle: Maoism in Canada Today”

From India: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Basic Course

From India: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Basic Course

[See also Marxism-Leninism-Maoism: Study Notes, another overview of the development of revolutionary theory by the Indian movement – Ed.]


 1.    Introduction

2.    What is Marxism-Leninism Maoism

3.    Socio-economic Conditions Leading to the Birth of Marxism

4.    Early Life of Marx and Engels Until They Became Marxists

5.    The Three Sources of Marxism

6.    The Basic Foundations of Marxist Philosophy – Dialectical and Historical Materialism

7.    Struggle Against Utopian Socialism and the Establishment of Scientific Socialism

8.    Marxist Political Economy

9.    Marxism Fuses Its Links with the Working Class

10.  The Lessons of the Paris Commune

11.  Spread of Marxism and Rise of Opportunism

12.  Marxism in Russia – Early Life of Lenin

13.  Lenin and the Proletarian Party of a New Type

14.  Russian Bourgeois Revolution of 1905 – Development of Proletarian Tactics

15.  World War I – Opportunism v/s Revolutionary Tactics

16.  Lenin’s Analysis of Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

17.  The Great October Socialist Revolution

18.  The Formation of the Third International

19.  The National and Colonial Question

20.  Early Life and Revolutionary Contributions of Stalin upto the 1917 Revolution

21.  Socialist Construction – the Russian Experience

22.  Fight against Trotskyism and Other Opportunist Trends

23.  Tactics During World War II

24.  Mao’s Early Years

25.  Mao’s Fight Against Right and ‘Left’ Lines and Victory of the Chinese Revolution

26.  The Path of Revolution for the Colonies and Semi-Colonies

27.  Mao on Philosophy

28.  Mao on The Party

29.  Socialist Construction – The Chinese Experience

30.  The Great Debate – Mao’s Fight Against Kruschev’s Modern Revisionism

31.  The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

32.  After The Death of Mao Continue reading “From India: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Basic Course”