June 11, 2016 - No. 24

20th Anniversary of the Publication of Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by Hardial Bains

 The Study and Discussion of
Modern Communism Are Part of
the Historic Initiative to Turn Things
Around in Canada

Hardial Bains speaks at meeting launching discussion on Modern Communism, Communist
Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
in Toronto shortly after its publication.

Elaboration of Modern Communism Is the Key to Victory
Modern Communism Information Project Part of the Historic Initiative to Turn Things Around in Canada
Opposition to the Dogmatic Rendering of Life

20th Anniversary of the Publication of Modern Communism,
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by Hardial Bains

Elaboration of Modern Communism Is
the Key to Victory

The book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by Hardial Bains, National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), was published 20 years ago in June 1996. Its sale, study and discussion were subsequently taken up as a concrete practical task in the current period. In fact, the study and discussion of Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) taken up since then by CPC(M-L) have proven to be decisive for all those who have made headway in fighting the anti-social offensive of the rich and opposing liquidationism and nation-wrecking. The Party pointed out 20 years ago that the key thing in the elaboration of modern communism is not to take up what constitutes the "right-wing" and the "left-wing" but to provide the problems that history gives rise to with solutions which open society's path to progress. This is why the key thing in modern communism is the sharpening of the struggle between the New and Old. It is the struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie -- between the epoch of the working class, socialism and communism, which is still coming into being, and the epoch of the bourgeoisie, which is passing away.

The study and discussion of the book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by the organizations of the Party at all levels was inaugurated by Comrade Bains in Ottawa on June 22, 1996. The aim of this study and discussion was to elaborate the key features of modern communism and to involve everyone -- workers, women, youth and students -- in the discussion. Beginning such a study and discussion will make it possible for the organizations of CPC(M-L) to elaborate their opinions on the matter and take these to all sections of the society, Comrade Bains pointed out.

This program was an integral part of the Modern Communism Information Project to establish modern communism as something important that people should study and discuss, as something crucial in the political life of the country. Comrade Bains said that the insistence that everyone must study and discuss the book was one of the most important practical problems at this historical juncture. Appropriate tactics must be developed to ensure that this study and discussion are taken to all sections of the society. He also pointed out that the sale of the book was an important part of this work. Elaborating the reasons why this is the case, Comrade Bains pointed out that as the working class and the broad masses of the people fight the anti-communist and anti-social offensive, they need a theoretical and ideological basis on which they can develop their struggle. Just to have a number of demands, objections or complaints against this or that policy will not do. To demand that the governments must change their policies is the old way of doing things.

Work for the creation of a new system through which people can exercise control over their lives has to be developed. The starting point, in this respect, is the aim -- the goal of creating a new system. All demands, all protests, all complaints must be raised within the framework of creating a new system. The study and discussion of the book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) will enable people to begin thinking about creating the new system, Comrade Bains pointed out.

Since this task was taken up in 1996, the world has entered the new millennium weighed down by the Old, and the first 16 years of the 21st century have experienced heinous crimes committed to preserve it. The capitalist system and the bourgeoisie are the Old. All the measures taken by this moribund class through their governments and the state, or via the economic institutions are decidedly self-serving and contribute to the deepening of the crisis. This class is well aware that its epoch has come to an end. It wants desperately to prolong its existence and presents itself in various garb to fool the gullible, even that of a "radical reformer" posing as if it has something to offer to change the situation. This "radical reform" is merely to prolong its own life by blocking the opening of the path for the progress of society. Workers, women, youth and students are becoming increasingly conscious of what this Old is up to in the different spheres of life and want to take the collective measures required to defeat it.

The Old's greatest claim to fame is that it has won victory over socialism and communism but this is also the reflection of its greatest bankruptcy, Comrade Bains explained.

What is New is the socialist system and the working class. Neither the socialist system nor the role of the working class at this time are a matter of following a dogma. It is a matter of drawing conclusions from the concrete conditions, analyzing in which direction society is heading and the direction to which it must go.

By the turn of the 20th century, it had already become amply clear that the working class spontaneously gravitates towards socialism. The socialist system actually came into being by combating the prevailing bourgeois ideas and prejudices which attempt to divert this gravitation from achieving its goal. However, Comrade Bains pointed out, the victory of socialism and the subsequent colossal developments were followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. This has proven that there are elements within the working class whose mission is to use the working class as the material weapon against socialism and communism. In other words, Comrade Bains said, right in the midst of the working class, the struggle has erupted between the Old and the New, between champions of the capitalist status quo and the forces of socialism and communism.

Comrade Bains said that it has become quite self-evident that there is a concerted effort to completely de-ideologize the working class. It is a program to ensure that the capitalist status quo is defended by fair or foul means. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the rise of the anti-social offensive in the capitalist countries is teaching the working class that the capitalist status quo is no solution. But where is the working class to go now? What is the working class to do?

As with the publication of the book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) twenty years ago, today the study and discussion of modern communism are a starting point to providing these questions with answers. After serious study and discussion of what exactly modern communism is, workers and youth have started going further, discussing what kind of system they want and taking practical measures to work out and elaborate the kind of system that enables people to exercise control over their lives.

CPC(M-L) does not take a sectarian approach to this vital question. The working class must exercise its own initiative to establish a new system for its emancipation as the condition for the emancipation of all humanity. The role of the Party is to do everything in its power to contribute to its success.

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Modern Communism Information Project Part of Historic Initiative to Turn Things Around in Canada

The study and discussion of modern communism called for by CPC(M-L) as part of its Historic Initiative to turn things in Canada around got underway on June 12, 1996 in Ottawa at a meeting sponsored by the University of Ottawa Marxist-Leninist Party Club. The meeting was presided over by Comrade Hardial Bains, National Leader of CPC(M-L) with the participation of other members of the CPC(M-L) leadership. Local party activists, youth and students participated in elaborating the views presented and their own opinions. The event initiated the next phase of the work of CPC(M-L) to involve Canadian workers, youth and students, women and progressive forces in real discussion of the concrete reality as it presents itself in Canada and internationally. Comrade Bains presented the two-fold aim of the discussion:

"In the first place, it is to raise the level of politics in Canada which have been brought down to the lowest level ever by the bourgeoisie and its political and social props. In the second place, it is to sort out the problem of how the working class and people can govern their own lives, so as to effect the conditions of their own living and march into the twenty-first century on a new basis" he said. He explained that raising the level of political discussion itself lays a basis for sorting out the problem of the affirmation of the people's sovereignty -- their ability to participate in making the decisions which affect their lives.

"This means that the aim of CPC(M-L) in launching the study and discussion on modern communism is to open the path for the creation of those mechanisms which will empower the people themselves to set political agendas and gain the strength required to realize those agendas," Comrade Bains said.

Hardial Bains
Founder and Leader of CPC(M-L)

The first discussion addressed precisely what it means to study and discuss modern communism and laid the groundwork for how this discussion would be carried out in the future. As a starting point, the meeting militantly rejected the notion of "study and discussion" which is spontaneously engendered by the society, on the basis of the bourgeois notion of what it means to be "progressive," which takes the form of suggesting that the aim of "progressive discussion" is to "raise the awareness" of the participants about modern communism by presenting a list of conclusions which describe what modern communism is. The role of the "participants" in such a discussion would be to be "enlightened," and perhaps ask questions for their own clarification, or express disagreement on the basis of some other conclusions about what they think modern communism is. The proposal to "discuss" the book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) from this perspective, was rejected with all the contempt it deserved. Such an approach to "discussion" is based on the medieval conception which the bourgeoisie is pushing which refuses to recognize any field of knowledge as a body of science, and pretends that the acquisition of knowledge is not partisan, but devoid of any aim. It is sterile and accomplishes nothing.

The aim taken up by CPC(M-L) in engaging the working class, youth and students, women and progressive forces in the study and discussion of modern communism is a profound one. This aim was taken up by CPC(M-L) in the current period on January 1, 1995 with its Historic Initiative to turn things around in Canada. To accomplish this aim, CPC(M-L) has the heavy responsibility of ensuring that the working class takes up its leading role in society, so that it constitutes the nation and builds the conditions of life in Canada and contributes to the same internationally on a new basis, which will be that of getting rid of the exploitation of persons by persons and all the fetters on life which this entails. CPC(M-L) will only be able to accomplish this if it is able to get the working class to make a radical break with what is holding it back and chaining it to the status quo which is bringing Canada down. Everything has to be put at the disposal of the working class so that its role can be brought into play, so that solutions are put forward for the problems Canada is facing in the economic, political, social and cultural domains. This requires bringing into play the creative energies of all Canadians willing to contribute.

What are these solutions that come out of the concrete conditions of Canada and the world at this time and to which CPC(M-L) is calling on all Canadians to pay attention so that they can contribute to turning things around? One of the main elements of CPC(M-L)'s Historic Initiative is to make sure that these solutions are brought forward in a practical way. It is not a matter of putting forward ready-made conclusions and demanding that people take up these conclusions. Study and discussion are not a matter of explaining these conclusions in the belief that if only people understand them, they will take them up as their own.

This was the main issue sorted out by that first meeting held in June 1996 to launch the study and discussion of modern communism. Its significance lies in the defence of the view that unless the dogmatic rendering of life itself is smashed by the working class and people themselves, their road to progress will remain firmly closed. The dogmatic rendering of life itself is the very condition which keeps the people marginalized, which makes it impossible for them to bring the human factor/social consciousness into play so that human beings and their creative energies can become the key ingredient, the very soul of life itself. Without putting themselves at the centre-stage of life itself by smashing the dogmatic rendering of that life in all its expressions and manifestations, the quality of being human will remain negated. This quality is to create an environment which is, at each historical stage, made fit for human beings, an environment both natural and social which continuously affirms the human factor/social consciousness in the act of creation. Unless this is done the very core of life itself will continue to be frittered away at their own expense.

The significance of the current phase of work on which CPC(M-L) has embarked -- the Historic Initiative it has taken up -- is to empower Canadians, with the working class at the head, to turn things around in Canada and internationally. In order to accomplish this, CPC(M-L) must engage the broadest masses of the people, Canadians in their hundreds and thousands, in the study and discussion of modern communism so as to smash that which is blocking them from participating in changing their current conditions of life. Unless the all-sided activity of the bourgeoisie to maintain itself in power and maintain the status quo is boldly confronted by smashing the dogmatic rendering of life itself, the road to progress will elude us. In this way, the very essence of modern communism is to smash the dogmatic rendering of life itself by taking life itself as the starting point of study and discussion and acting upon what it reveals.

The role of CPC(M-L) is to transform itself into the kind of political party that is capable of leading the working class and people of Canada to accomplish this historical feat. By playing this role, CPC(M-L) will transform itself into a mass Communist Party, a political party worthy of a Canadian proletariat which will have become worthy of leading Canada in the 21st century.

This program to engage the broadest sections of the Canadian people in the study and discussion of modern communism is one of the key tasks that CPC(M-L) set for itself in the 1990s. It was considered a precondition for achieving success in the work to consolidate the Party's publications TML Daily and TML Weekly, build the Groups of Writers and Disseminators at the places of work, in educational institutions and wherever the collectives of the people carry out their living and work and to transform itself into a mass Communist Party, all of which are at the disposal of its Historic Initiative. The National Office of CPC(M-L) established a Modern Communism Information Project as an important initiative in this direction, while the publication of the book Modern Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and other pamphlets published by CPC(M-L) as part of a New Historical Basis Series were important contributions as well.

The first meeting sponsored by the Marxist-Leninist Party Club at the University of Ottawa laid the groundwork for the study and discussion of modern communism by successfully tackling the issue of what is at stake in this study and discussion.

What is the study and discussion of modern communism that is commensurate with the current and future historical needs of the Canadian working class? How should this study and discussion be carried out so as to bring about the radical rupture with the status quo?

To answer these questions, the first thing which has to be recognized is the need to oppose the deadly notion which exists in Canada of what it means to be political and what is the political struggle. According to the bourgeoisie, the struggle in society is between "right and left." What is "right" is portrayed as being a "right wing corporate agenda" and some political parties which push that agenda, along with some political commentators, media personalities, professors and others who push that agenda. What is left wing is portrayed as being all that opposes that "right wing corporate agenda" and espouses a vision of a just society of some sort, claiming that it can be accomplished through a fairer distribution of the wealth and laws which enforce equitable treatment of the members of society. This "left-wing" is portrayed as existing in the form of parties in parliament and parties outside of parliament, both of which are discriminated against because of electoral laws and the unfair distribution of wealth. It also exists in the form of an extra-parliamentary opposition comprised of social activists and trade union interests. In this manner, what comprises the political side of life in Canada has been rendered by life itself in an extremely dogmatic manner. Politics are not rendered in their profundity, as being comprised of everything that pertains to the body politic. How the body politic is governed and the kind of state it is endowed with and the fundamental law which constitutes it affects all members of society. These issues concern them, like it or not. In other words, it is not a matter of individual likes and dislikes, of personal choice, of whether to be political or not. All members of society, on the basis of being born to society, are members of a body politic and their lives are determined by how that society is governed. Whether a person considers themselves political or not or as "politically active," as members of the body politic, how the body politic is organized, how it is governed and the agenda of government institutions at all levels, all profoundly affect their lives.

If one keeps this point of view in mind, then it necessarily follows that "everything is political" -- everything has its political dimension which determines the fate of that body politic. Because the political domain affects everyone, it necessarily follows that to affirm themselves as human beings, people play an objective role which determines how life unfolds within the political domain that affects their lives. The issue facing Canadians is that this role is currently negative. It is to give the bourgeoisie a free hand to perpetuate the status quo and this goes against their interests.

The notion that political struggle is between the "left and right wings of society" has no meaning today when the definition of "left wing" has itself lost all significance in terms of representing what is New against the Old. The role of pushing the study and discussion of modern communism is to once again render the political struggle in society meaningful, so that the people can be effective. It is to enable the struggle of the new society to gain ground over the struggle of the old society to remain in place.

Bourgeois society presents the field of politics as a specialized domain which pertains to what are called politicians and political parties. In the hands of the bourgeoisie it has become a discredited field, self-serving, corrupt, privileged and contemptible in very sense of the word. Even in 1996, polls confirmed that the prestige of the House of Commons, political parties and politicians had never been so low. These institutions depend for their functioning on their credibility but the credibility crisis is one of the main features of the political crisis which plagues Canadian life. Politicians are those who are called Members of Parliament or of the provincial legislatures or even those elected on the municipal level, as well as those professionals who are either leaders or professional members of the political parties whose aim is to come to power. Within this context, communism too is reduced to merely x number of positions. How is it possible to have the study and discussion of modern communism if what is to be studied and discussed is reduced to merely these positions? What will the discussion be? "Yes, I agree. No, I disagree," followed by a brawl "to define the real positions?" While all of this is taking place, real life both within the country and internationally, is unfolding with a vengeance and the people are left disarmed in the face of the situation.

Despite the fact that a very volatile situation exists all over the world, the developments are presented as if they are merely a matter of a struggle for power between some individuals, to be settled by negotiations if possible, or civil war if it is not. These developments need to be presented in their profundity, in their significance and importance, Comrade Bains said. It is necessary to determine the role the working class and people can play in order to guarantee their interests within the situation, or they can be turned into their opposite. For instance, the collapse of the former Soviet Union created a vacuum and who filled this vacuum? A mafia comprised of criminal elements from within the country and representatives of the international financial oligarchy from various countries filled the vacuum, but they have had trouble stabilizing a bourgeois state. Even the old constitution and parliament had to be set on fire, in the manner in which Hitler burned the Reichstag in order to impose his own regime. The bloodiest contradictions were played out in Russia, as was also the case in India and other countries. Comrade Bains pointed out that even in Canada the contradictions over changes required by the Canadian Constitution are extremely sharp. He referred to a First Ministers Meeting held at that time pointing out that it was one of the greatest deceptions against the people. Under the hoax that changing the Constitution by debating big issues was divisive they said they would do it "bit by bit." They are manoeuvring in every way they know how so as to maintain the status quo, Comrade Bains pointed out. Their "bit by bit" approach is to reach agreement amongst themselves and restructure the state so as to make it serve them under the current conditions. In India what was called a left/centre coalition government was installed comprised of thirteen parties. On one hand, it was said that India was moving to the "left." On the other, it was said that this coalition would be the most militant in implementing reforms to change the situation and that this was a "right wing agenda." In Italy, the news agencies reported that after all the fight to eliminate corrupt government and bring the Mafia in line, corruption was more rampant than ever. It could not be otherwise, Comrade Bains pointed out. "All of these are countries where it is claimed that changes are being brought about through reform. ...[W]hat are these changes? Which country has enacted changes through reform?" he asked.

The situation, Comrade Bains pointed out, is extremely volatile and dangerous. "The bourgeoisie cannot reestablish either its international order, its new world order, nor can it change the situation within its own countries. Unless political life is rendered in all its profundity, it is not possible for the peoples to grasp what is taking place so as to arm themselves to intervene effectively and bring about the real changes which will favour them."

Modern communism is synonymous with the most advanced consciousness. It is not a matter of reaching consensus or convincing people how good it is, Comrade Bains pointed out. He gave the example of the government of France which issued a decree outlining the role to be played by France's universities. By law, the French government declared, all universities have to follow pragmatic policies. Similar reforms were underway in the United States. If in the light of such developments modern communism is also rendered in a dogmatic way, then there is no future for that communism and there will be nothing modern about it, Comrade Bains said. Modern communism has, first and foremost, solutions to offer in different important aspects of people's lives. It has its theory in the economy sphere, in the political sphere, in terms of outlook. This theory shows that the bourgeois class in power has become bankrupt, moribund and that it cannot reorder its system. But the bourgeoisie keeps on promising that it can do so and its political and social props are conduits of this illusion in the ranks of the working class and broad masses of the people.

This discussion at the meeting of the Marxist-Leninist Club at the University of Ottawa developed by giving examples of the situation in various countries. Unless the level of development is established within each situation, Comrade Bains pointed out, you cannot identify what communism is because as a starting point, communism is that explanation. For instance, in the sphere of the economy, there is a jobless recovery. This is a symptom of capitalism and everyone admits that the situation is not going to change. But they hide that another feature of the situation is the recurrence of periodic crises. With each periodic crisis, unemployment has increased. What then will the added feature of a jobless recovery do to the situation? The bourgeoisie likes to claim that it overcame the situation as it existed in the 1930s which caused the Great Depression and such high levels of unemployment. But how is it overcome? Unemployment today is much higher than it was even at that time. The bourgeoisie can only manage to create much greater disasters elsewhere.

It is urgent, Comrade Bains stressed, to engage people in discussion by taking where things are at as the starting point, not what is called the elaboration of some conclusions written in a pamphlet or some books or policy statements. When the discussion takes place the views of everyone are as valid as anybody else's. Opinions can be given and people can be asked to deliberate on these opinions. In this manner, discussion will remain and develop, not end. Controversies will arise and debates will take place and the level of politics will be raised as the discussion develops and is invigorated.

Unless the starting point of discussion is views about the current situation, whether it is the local situation, regional, national or international, it can only develop on the basis of presenting views and then engaging people to present their views as well. Unless the topic being studied and discussed is the situation which everyone engaged in the study and discussion faces, then on what basis will people give their views?

For instance, there are many views in the society on which is the biggest problem it faces at this time. Some say it is the deficit, some say it is the distribution of wealth, some say that it is the danger of Canada's being split up. Which is it? Perhaps it is all three? Or perhaps it is the betrayal of the working class by the labour aristocracy, which has joined forces with big business and the governments at all levels in order to stop progress? Unless this block is ended, Canada cannot make any headway. People have to present serious arguments about the situation. There is no place for sectarianism or standing on the side. Party representatives will have to forcefully argue, by starting from the present and dealing with real developments, that the cooperation between the unions, big business and government is anachronistic. It cannot resolve the problems facing the economy, the political system, or those which appear in social and cultural life. Through this cooperation, those who are self-serving are able to vie for position, but this eliminates all discussion about the real issues and what should be done about them. Will the restructuring of the state to make the same cooperation more effective sort the problems out? How will this sort out the problems people face?

The kind of cooperation which is needed by Canadians is to have the working class constitute the nation. It has to provide the people with something they can fight for. Why would anyone defend something they do not see as their own? What can the working class present to itself and the people of Canada which they will see the need to defend? That has to be brought forward, studied, discussed, elaborated and debated, Comrade Bains pointed out. The natural outcome of the study and discussion of the current situation will be to pose the question about what to do about the situation. If CPC(M-L) is able to solve the problem of raising the level of discussion in society, nine-tenths of the battle will be won, he said.

The bourgeois world is deadly afraid of discussion breaking out. This is because it will seal its fate. This is why it expends tremendous resources and energy to render all of life as dogmatically as possible. Dogma is the antithesis of life. In the final analysis, it is to submit to the anti-human factor, anti-consciousness. Either real life, in its development and motion -- that is, the human factor/social consciousness -- is brought into play or dogmas -- that is the anti-human factor/anti-consciousness -- are preserved. This is how matters stand at this time. There is simply no relationship between the two, except one of antagonism. The starting point of discussion can only be real life, the human factor/social consciousness and not dogmas. The essence of the study and discussion on modern communism is the recognition of real life. This is the starting point for everything -- for any kind of action, including study and discussion.

(Based on an article published by TML Daily, June 21, 1996)

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Opposition to the Dogmatic Rendering of Life

Another meeting on the study and discussion of modern communism was sponsored by the University of Ottawa Marxist-Leninist Party Club on June 19, 1996. It was presided over by Comrade Hardial Bains, and other leading comrades, and local party activists, youth and students participated in elaborating their views. Vigorous discussion took place on the aim. One of the comrades pointed out that there are two important points to keep in mind. The first is that one of the things we are fighting by bringing forward what is modern communism is the dogmatic rendering of not just communism itself, but of all of life. It is by rendering life in a dogmatic manner that the bourgeoisie has reduced everything to self-serving propaganda to justify themselves and present pretexts which enable them to pursue nefarious aims. The bourgeoisie has an extremely powerful media, think-tanks, universities and all the institutions at its disposal to falsify reality and what is at stake and to disseminate disinformation, while it gets on with sorting out the problems it faces to maximize its profits at the expense of the peoples at home and abroad.

From this, the meeting drew the conclusion that the starting point for the study and discussion of modern communism is the study and discussion of the real situation which exists before everyone's eyes. Everyone is living this reality. It follows that they are able to give their opinions based on what they know. Only when this is the case can meaningful discussion and debate take place. Starting the discussion on the world and the problems it poses for solution is what raises the level of politics in society. It is the condition which enables the people to make themselves part of the equation and end their marginalization from the affairs of the polity. It is the most crucial ingredient required to prepare the conditions to turn things around in Canada and all over the world.

If the most precious thing about modern communism is precisely not to have a dogmatic rendering of the problems facing humankind, then any study and discussion of modern communism requires the study and discussion of real life as its starting point. It is a matter of launching the program of study and discussion of modern communism in the manner in which the Party does anything else -- as an action based on analysis.

The Party has provided the analysis of what the society needs and it goes into action on the basis of this analysis. The Party has analyzed that what the society needs at this time is concrete discussion of the concrete conditions -- local, national and international. The working class and broad masses of the people have to be drawn into this discussion so as to establish themselves what needs to be done about the problems that exist and take the appropriate decisions. Unless this is done, the human factor/social consciousness will remain marginalized and the block that is keeping society in check will continue in place. Eliminating this block is the target of the discussion as well as its leading edge. If this is not kept in mind, if the study and discussion is deprived of its aim, if this aim is not reflected in the content of the study and discussion itself, it will be sterile, deprived of its life-giving force.

The Party has spoken about how the bourgeoisie has lowered the level of all aspects of life to the lowest possible level. It has reduced politics to a series of pretexts to justify self-serving actions which is why the people themselves need to become political in order to sort out the problem of exercising control over their lives. All of it comes down to this: the need to activate the human factor/social consciousness so as to oppose the dogmatic rendering of all of life. Doing so unleashes the creative energies of the people. Once that is accomplished, things can be turned around by the people themselves. The people do not lack activism; they do not lack awareness about what is going on around them. But the dogmatic rendering of all of life keeps the people's initiative in check, channeling it along lines which do not serve them.

At this time there is a tendency to reduce politics to blaming this or that political party in power for the problems -- such as unemployment, the mess which has been made of the economy, the destruction of manufacturing, the desecration of the environment and all the other ills plaguing society and its collectives. This leaves people and their collectives non-plussed. A dogma is thrown at them. How are they supposed to respond? All they can do is agree. "Yes, the Liberals or the PCs or the NDP have made a mess of things. Let us remember that and when the next election comes around, we will vote for somebody else." Others hold onto their hatred of a political party but then don't know what to replace it with. They are left vulnerable and open to the kind of manipulations of which the bourgeois politicians, labour aristocrats and their fellow-travellers are past-masters. One of the main diversions pushed when life is rendered dogmatically is what are called good policy objectives. The very foundation of the society, its constitution, its economy, its aim, are left in the shade. This is the very root of the disinformation that prevails about the society itself. So long as this persists, the dogmatic rendering of life is inevitable.

This is why, in launching the study and discussion of modern communism, it is not a matter of pretending that there is no body of knowledge about society and all its features. Discussion does not start from a position of claiming ignorance, as if people have no knowledge, no views and no experience. Far from it, action with analysis means that, based on the analysis of what is taking place, the aim of the study and discussion is to involve everyone in the discussion on action, the work of CPC(M-L) and all political forces in action so as to transform the human factor and social consciousness, the material and spiritual factors into a vital transformative revolutionary force. This can only be achieved if posturing on the basis of dogmas is replaced with the study and discussion of political work and life itself, as a way of life.

The whole purpose of the dogmatic rendering of life is to sideline people as individuals, as human beings, as members of the body politic and as members of their collectives. Everything is done to make people inactive ingredients in the equation. Even if they are in action, their action is rendered ineffective. Once human thought and human action are an inactive ingredient, how can people arrive at solutions to any problem? In other words, through the dogmatic rendering of the situation life itself is being snuffed out. Even treading water has a conscious aim, which is to keep afloat, but the dogmatic rendering of life eclipses the role of the human factor/social consciousness. It leads to desperation, anarchy and chaos.

The other important consideration in launching the study and discussion of modern communism is that communism is the system that belongs to the twentieth century. Modern communism belongs to the new historical basis which has been ushered in as a result of the class struggle waged throughout the twentieth century, bringing us to where we are today. The communism consistent with the prior historical basis accomplished great feats, ushered in an entirely new historical epoch at the beginning of the twentieth century, the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution. This epoch remains the same but a historical shift has taken place which requires modern communism consistent with it.

When communism was brought in as a system to solve the problem facing humanity during the twentieth century, it meant that the sharpest class struggle took place between the Old and the New. This class struggle was of worldwide proportions between the forces of the Old and the forces of the New. It took the form of the October Revolution; the establishment of the U.S.S.R.and, subsequently, the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union and the great anti-fascist war during World War Two. It established the people's democracies in the countries of eastern Europe; led to the establishment of the People's Republic of China and other independent, sovereign socialist countries and to the upsurge and victory of national liberation struggles and the formation of modern Africa and Asia, amongst other things. It also raised the consciousness of the entire world's people, placing it on a modern footing. This class struggle can also be seen in the sharpening of the contradictions to the maximum in the camp of the Old as it continues to strive for domination all over the world, using all the weapons at its disposal -- aggression, war, coups d'etat and regime change or what are called its democratic institutions and deal-making when it thinks it can accomplish its aims in that manner.

When all is said and done life is class struggle between the forces of the Old and the forces of the New. What stage that struggle is at, how it is going and how to intervene in a manner favourable to the forces of the New is the problem facing all of humankind.

When communism was brought forth as a system to replace the old moribund relations of production on the world scale, it was the champion of the New and continues to be so in every sense of the word. All attempts to reduce communism to a dogmatic rendering of the New is an integral part of the attempt of the Old World to make it ineffective, to maintain the Old and defeat the New from coming into being. This is why opposing the dogmatic rendering of real life, no matter what pretext is given for such a rendering, is a precondition for the New World to come into being. The starting point is therefore, the need to pinpoint the sharp edge of this class struggle today. And the sharp edge of the class struggle today is to target that which is blocking society's forward march, the anti-human factor/anti-consciousness. Launching the study and discussion of modern communism by opposing the dogmatic rendering of all of life and discussing the real situation as it presents itself to people at the local, national and international level, is what creates the conditions which will turn things around.

The main aim of the dogmatic rendering of all of life is to dull the class struggle, give free rein to the bourgeoisie to carry on, make it possible for the bourgeoisie to reach agreements amongst themselves at the expense of the people and sideline the people. The class struggle is getting ever sharper. This is the case within the ranks of the bourgeoisie itself as it seeks to restructure all its arrangements, from redefining the role of nations to all its institutions and the national and international bodies at its disposal. It is also the case between the bourgeoisie and the working class and broad masses of the people as they too express their demands for solutions to the problems they face. As the class struggle sharpens and the bourgeoisie attempts to preserve the status quo, far from being able to resolve the problem of giving its institutions credibility, the credibility crisis is one of the main forms the political crisis takes.

In Canada, the filth that exists in not just the deployment of all the democratic institutions to pay the rich and criminalize the resistance of the peoples. The entire policy of the bourgeoisie of putting the Canadian armed forces at the disposal of imperialist aggression and war abroad in the name of peacekeeping is as dangerous as it is criminal. Meanwhile, the constitutional crisis continues to deepen in the face of the bourgeoisie's attempts to restructure Canada on the basis of aims which conflict with the aims of the people of Canada, Quebec and the Indigenous nations and the world. In the end, all the bourgeoisie has at its disposal is the medieval notion that "Might Makes Right" which is in contempt of the modern definition of a Right and the need to bring the human factor/social consciousness into play as the basis of modern institutions and Rule of Law. Rule by Decree and coups d'etat and "regime change" on the basis of this medieval notion that "Might Makes Right" cannot have a future today, any more than was the case at the time when the bourgeoisie overthrew feudalism and its institutions which were based on this notion.

By the end of the 20th century, events started taking place rapidly. The former Soviet Union had become a colossus with feet of clay. It was overthrown literally overnight but despite this the Anglo-American imperialist bourgeoisie was not able to establish in its place a bourgeois dictatorship to its liking, as exists in the United States, Europe, Canada and other countries. This is because they too are colossuses with feet of clay. Life experience has proven time and time again that the weight and modus operandi of the old institutions constitute deep layers of rot which makes it impossible for the human factor/social consciousness to express itself.

By bringing real life to the fore, the study and discussion of modern communism contributes to preparing the conditions for the social factor/human consciousness to express itself by putting itself at the centre of life. In this regard, one of the salient features of the new historical basis is that all the arrangements which the Old World gave rise to are anachronistic in the extreme, simply incapable of meeting the needs of the present. This, coupled with the fact that the new arrangements are lagging behind, buried under the weight of the Old, is causing a dangerous situation throughout the world. This means that the time is not for discussions up in the air, in the sense of whether communism or capitalism, whether dogmatic rendering or not, whether this or that dogma is correct or incorrect.

The essence of modern communism is that it represents enlightenment in all fields. Only people acting on the basis of modern communism can lead the working class and people out of the present cul-de-sac. This is why the study and discussion of modern communism has as its aim to engage the people who are oppressed in the discussion of real life, of the situation which they face, so that they can participate in solving the problems they face and activate themselves in the class struggle so as to advance their own interests.

Those who organize the discussions have to be political animators, in a manner of speaking. Their preoccupation has to be how to involve people in the discussion of political affairs, so as to unleash the human factor/social consciousness of society and turn things around.

The time is for action. The study and discussion of modern communism is one kind of action which is crucial at this time. It is a form of intervention in the situation, to lift the weight of the old society on life and open a path for the new one to take its place.

(Based on an article published by TML Daily, June 24, 1996)

Modern Communism: Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

by Hardial Bains

CPC(M-L) presents itself to the workers, women, youth and students, Indigenous peoples and national minorities, calling on them to come to know what CPC(M-L) is. It calls on them to look into the conditions of life in order to establish the truth of what CPC(M-L) stands for and draw warranted conclusions on that basis.
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