V.I. Lenin, and his famous book “What is to Be Done?”, are hated by the entire political establishment. Even scholars who consider themselves Marxists are uncomfortable with Lenin. Why? Because Lenin built a party that led a socialist revolution. He proved that workers could overthrow capitalism.
It is important to emphasize the context in which the Canadian communist movement arose. The launch occurred at a tiny convention held in secret on a farm near Guelph, Ontario on May 23, 1921. The new party was inspired by the Russian Revolution, and its militants did many great things in the early years. But the young Soviet Union was besieged by hostile imperialist armies. Russia suffered enormously from its isolation and economic backwardness. A bureaucratic party elite, represented by Joseph Stalin, seized control. It curtailed workers’ democracy, crushed socialist opposition and adopted a new programme that over-adapted to capitalist rule outside the USSR. The perspective of world revolution was replaced with the false utopia of ‘socialism in one country’. Permanent revolution (that is, the need for a workers’-led revolution to lead the social transformation, especially in the poor countries) was supplanted by the old, discredited Menshevik notion of revolution by stages. The ‘stages theory’ relies on an alliance with the liberal or nationalist bourgeoisie. Under Stalin, socialist democracy was replaced by bureaucratic tyranny, accompanied by elite privilege, false propaganda, show trials, torture and the assassination of political opponents.
In great detail the unfolding Palestinian freedom struggle against the racist, Zionist, colonial, apartheid settler capitalist state of Israel has captured headlines worldwide and won the solidarity of humanity’s finest democratic and human rights fighters. That apartheid Israel receives $3.8 billion annually in U.S. military aid – exceeding all other countries – has been roundly condemned as has Israel’s role as the U.S. gendarme/imperial enforcer in the Middle East. I use the five adjectives – racist, Zionist, colonial, apartheid and settler – capitalist state advisedly, that is, to accurately describe the reality of Israel, yesterday and today. The horror of that reality, coupled with the heroic resistance to it by the beleaguered Palestinian people, has inspired tens and hundreds of thousands to mobilize in solidarity demonstrations around the world today. Several major U.S. cities have witnessed mobilizations of 10,000 or more, including New York and Los Angeles, with similar numbers in the streets in San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere. 10,000 mobilized in Toronto; 20,000 in Montreal and thousands more across Canada. The mass protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people are not dissimilar to last summer’s anti-racist, anti-police brutality Black Lives Matter mobilizations. They have been markedly multi-racial and youthful. 100,000 took to the streets in London.
Thursday, May 13 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. EST, "The 100th Anniversary of the Communist Movement in Canada" John Riddell, socialist activist and historian. Host: Elizabeth Byce. Discussants: Barry Weisleder, federal secretary of Socialist Action.