The Four Categories of Contradictions

The Four Categories of Contradictions

How should revolutionaries engage with the various contradictions operating in the world?

[From M-L-M Mayhem.]

Recently, a close comrade of mine was recounting a story where he told a younger activist that, although he supported Tamil self-determination he did not whole-heartedly support the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) because their cultural-nationalist project resulted in the liquidation of numerous leftist Tamil groups (such as supporters of the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)).  Unfortunately, the younger activist misunderstood the critique, taking it to mean that my comrade was somehow anti-Tamil self-determination and was incapable of understanding what he was trying to argue.  Conversely, when many of us leftists argue that we support, for example, Hezbollah’s resistance to Israeli imperialism we are often misunderstood as supporting Hezbollah’s political project itself when this is often not the case.

Oft-times many of us still have difficulties thinking through these problems: we understand that imperialism is wrong but we also understand that certain groups also veiled as anti-imperialist possess a political dimension that we, as people against oppression, cannot rightly support.  I want to suggest that the trick of understanding how to understand these problems, however, lies in understanding the four major categories of contradictions that determine the structure of global capitalism.  And so, in my typically blaise manner, I have attempted to simplify and describe these categories.

1.  Contradictions between imperialisms

Although the imperialists want you to believe that every “democratic” country is united in a war against barbarous “terrorism” there is not that much unity.  The favourite corporations of each national market are still competing, especially in this rush to export as much capital into the recently reconquered peripheries.  Blair might have shaken hands with Bush back during the War of Terror glory days, but behind those smiles were neo-colonial considerations that made the handshake more an “enemy-of-my-enemy” kind of thing.  While the other imperialist countries currently have to kiss the ass of the most powerful imperialist country––and the latter is happy that it controls the IMF and WTO––it is not like they’re all BFFs who have sleep overs and text each other every day.

Both World Wars also demonstrated this contradiction category, the realignment of imperialist power happening in both post-war periods: the first much more clearly than the second, but it was the second that assured America’s ascendance as the primary global imperialist power.

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Thoughts on the RCP Program

Statement of Revolutionary Initiative


This document is a summation of our current assessment of the program of the Revolutionary Communist Party. It arises out of a series of discussions carried out within Revolutionary Initiative and with comrades from the RCP.

Our assessment must begin with the recognition that the purpose of Revolutionary Initiative is the formation of a single genuine Communist Party in Canada and that the RCP is currently the most advanced Party-building project in this country. It is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, is sincerely committed to the revolutionary transformation of Canadian society and has overall made a positive contribution to the movement for revolution in Canada. As Maoists, we must analyse their program carefully, clearly assess it’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, and identify where our understanding of Canadian society and the path to revolution differs. Only in this way may we develop a better understanding of our own line, potential barriers to unity that must be overcome, and areas of study that require greater investigation. We must do this in the spirit of comradeship and revolutionary humility, with the understanding that in the end it will be the masses who decide which line is correct.

This assessment will take the form of a section by section analysis of the RCP program.

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On The United Front in Canada

Statement of Revolutionary Initiative


If we are to create a new society, we must ask a fundamental question: who are our friends and who are our enemies?.  We must understand which class forces can lead the revolution and which will play a supporting or vacillating role.  We must also identify the class forces that are irredeemably opposed to revolution and will fight tooth and nail to defend the current system of exploitation and domination.  The former must be rallied into a powerful United Front to struggle against the latter and it is critical that we draw the correct the line between the two camps.  Too far to one side would water down the revolutionary movement and create a false unity with forces that are actually opposed to revolution.  Too far to the other would alienate class forces that would have otherwise supported the revolution, strengthening the enemy and weakening the forces for revolution.

What is Canadian Society?

Canadian society has reached the highest stage of development under capitalism, the stage of imperialism.  Capital has been concentrated in the hands of gigantic monopolies that control nearly the entire economy and dominate the political and cultural superstructure of society.  Finance capital is also highly centralized and forms the dominant faction of the monopoly capitalist class and is tightly connected with every other section of the economy.  On the world stage, Canadian imperialism uses the export of capital and political and military intervention to exploit and dominate the semi-colonial Third World nations. Continue reading “On The United Front in Canada”