Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada
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"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." -Margaret Thatcher
The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, or RCP Canada, is a revolutionary communist party oriented around Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The creation of the organizational stage of the Party was adopted at what was called the Revolutionary Communist Conference, which was held in Montreal, Quebec in November 2000 by activists and former members of the labour union movements and youth organizations of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, who felt that the revolutionary situation in Canada warranted the creation of a Party dedicated to a communist revolution. The party was initially called the Revolutionary Communist Party (Organizing Committees) (RCP(OC)). At this conference, participants adopted the Party's first Draft Programme. Because of the location of the conference, the majority of the founding members were French-speaking Quebecers, and the Party began an extensive effort to reach out to the rest of Canada, starting with the Canadian Revolutionary Congress held in November 2006 in Toronto. It is not recognized as a political party by Elections Canada, because the party rejects what it calls the "bourgeois electoral system" and doesn't seek recognition by the State.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, like the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, denounces the traditional electoral system of Canada, claiming that it serves no other purpose than to further the agenda of what it calls bourgeois democracy. This has led the Party to be highly critical of what it calls reformist and revisionist electoral communist parties such as the Communist Party of Canada and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). They maintain that these electoral parties help prop up the system of ruling-class domination of Canadian politics. Instead, the RCP has claimed the need for a revolutionary movement in Canada to forcibly remove the ruling class from power and replace it with a socialist transitional system, and eventually a communist system, which will dissolve the apparatus of the state. The Party believes this can be done by following the ideology and examples of communist figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong. According to the Party's programme, Canada must be liberated from oppression through various violent and non-violent means, including civil insurrection and protracted people's war, though they stress the need for the creation of a strong vanguard Party and the gathering of support of the masses before this can occur. This differs from the tactics developed by other groups in the past as well as by similar movements, such as the Cuban 26th of July Movement and the Front de libération du Québec, in that those movements believed in propaganda of the deed, which stipulates that a movement need only a small nucleus of radical supporters willing to partake in dangerous and illegal activities in hopes of sparking the population into supporting their cause. The RCP disagrees with this tactic, regarding it as premature, preferring instead to operate only after sufficient time and effort has been placed in strengthening the Party.
Despite the similarities of the Canadian RCP and the RCP USA, there are also some notable differences. Most obvious is the lack of any high-profile leader in the Canadian RCP. Whether this is due to a more carefully orchestrated public image, or due to the lack of such a leader, is not known.
Although their ideological affiliation remains with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the RCP urges that one must take a critical and non-biased view of past revolutionary movements and socialist governments. Although they believe strongly that Mao was the most ideologically advanced of all Communist writers, they do not hesitate to criticize some of his actions and motives. In addition, like most Maoist organizations, the RCP is highly critical of modern Communist China, claiming that that country abandoned socialism with the death of Mao and has since adopted a policy of state capitalism.
Though the majority of the RCP's current supporters and members are French Quebecers, the RCP does not support the Quebec separatist movement like most other Communist organizations in Quebec. They view the separatist movement as a ploy by the Québécois ruling class, who wish to strengthen their position internationally by removing Canadian ruling class influence from Quebec. As such, they have been highly critical of other Communist parties, such as the Communist Party of Canada (and its offshoot, the Communist Party of Quebec) and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), alleging that their support of the Quebec separatist movement is paramount to supporting pseudo-nationalism, and that the creation of yet another capitalist state goes against the principles of Marxism.
An in-depth explanation of the RCP's political ideology can be found in the Party's official Programme.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada is affiliated with several other organizations and publications. They maintain a publication called The Red Flag, or Le Drapeau Rouge, which is the Party's official newspaper. The Red Flag is printed monthly.
The Party is also linked with the Committee for a Canadian Red Aid Organization.
Internationally, the Party has close ties with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and its member organizations, although to date the Party is not a member. The Party also has contact with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
Canadian Revolutionary Congress
In late November 2006 the Revolutionary Communist Party (Organizing Committees) held a national congress which saw nearly 100 members and supporters from across Canada participate. This congress is seen as a critically important milestone for the Party. Several supporting committees and organizations made speeches at the congress, including activists from as far west as Manitoba. In addition, a variety of international organizations and parties sent messages of solidarity, including the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (CoRIM), the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan, the Communist Workers Union of Colombia, Marxist-Leninist Revolutionaries of Iraq, the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), and the Communist Party of the Philippines. All were messages of support, urging the RCP to develop the revolutionary situation in Canada while maintaining a proper critical outlook on the historical conditions of past and present communist movements.
In addition to the various messages received from external organizations, the RCP(OC) introduced several resolutions for popular vote on the assembly floor. The four resolutions were:
- Resolution to support the founding of the Revolutionary Communist Party
- Resolution to support the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
- Resolution to support the revolutionary struggle in Nepal
- Resolution to hold a second Canadian Revolutionary Congress in Toronto
All resolutions were passed unanimously.
Creation of the Revolutionary Communist Party
One of the most immediate consequences of the Canadian Revolutionary Congress was the creation of the Revolutionary Communist Party proper and the dropping of the Organizing Committees tag from the Party's name.