The Communist Party of Canada was subject to a vicious attack on social media, in the lead up to our 40th Convention in early July and afterwards. This attack has not stopped the Party’s recruiting and activities, including the publication of our press. But a false narrative widely amplified on twitter and other platforms continues. This message is to encourage interested people to examine this situation with a critical analysis.
A handful of members attempted to derail the Convention and scuttle the 3 months of Party-wide discussion and elections that preceded it, using an 8 month old case of sexual misconduct to smear the Party and its 100 year history of struggle for peace, social progress and socialism. Their goal according to their own statements, was to make big changes in the Party and its leadership.
However, the changes they sought were never shared with the membership or put forward in the ongoing party-wide Convention discussion process that began in early April.
Nor were their proposed new leaders selected by any nominating convention. Their attack on the leadership, and the issues which they proposed justified their demand for the ousting of an experienced and democratically elected leadership has all the hallmarks of an ultra-leftist and anarchist approach to politics and organization. Likewise, their efforts to redirect the Party’s focus from class oriented politics and socialism to identity politics smacks of reformism.
It was clear from the outset that the Party membership and delegates to the Convention would never agree to scuttle the Party’s Marxist Leninist class orientation, and so they used a case of sexual misconduct as a pretext to attack the Party, its leadership, and finally the Convention itself.
When the Convention met July 1-3, delegates overwhelmingly passed motions rejecting the slanderous attacks on the Party and confirming the expulsion of four individuals leading the attack. The 46 delegates who were elected at membership meetings across Canada and in Quebec, also supported a proposal from the out-going leadership that a specific and detailed policy on sexual misconduct be developed to elaborate what is already in the Party’s Constitution.
Most of the Convention’s time was spent discussing the international situation, NATO’s global expansion, US imperialism’s drive to war and reaction at home and abroad, and the urgent need to build the peace and solidarity movements in Canada.
The Convention also discussed the political situation in Canada, the growth of the far-right, the growing danger of a new recession stoked by the Bank of Canada’s monetary policies and government austerity, and the urgent need for a broad-based campaign of organized resistance with the working class and organized labour at its core. And the role and responsibility of the Party to help build it.
In the weeks since the Convention, the social media attacks on the Party have shifted to declarations that the Communist Party is dead, abandoned by its members, permanently incapacitated and unable to function. But this is wishful thinking by a tiny group whose unity was based on its anti-communism and its desire to take over or destroy the Communist Party. In this respect, it is no different from the many other attacks on the Party in its 101 year history of militant leadership in the class struggle in Canada.
From the beginning, it was clear that the attacks on social media by some members were not going to improve and build the Communist Party but instead would only serve to weaken and isolate the Communist movement.
Then as now, it’s essential to ask: who benefits from attacking and weakening the Communist Party? It doesn’t matter if those who launched these attacks were conscious agents of reaction, or of the state, they nonetheless served their purposes. Who benefits from anti-communism? Is it workers struggling against the trans-nationals and right-wing governments? Is it women, or Indigenous or racialized people fighting racism, misogyny and genocide? Or is it the corporations and the wealthy, the ruling class and the capitalist state? The answer is obvious.
History shows that a strong Communist Party means a strong working class movement, a militant fightback, and strong support for fundamental social change and for socialism – conditions that threaten capitalist profits and are therefore intolerable to the ruling class. That’s who benefits from a weakened Communist Party and a weakened working class struggle.
While some, mostly new members, have resigned, the Communist Party continues to grow, to campaign for important reforms, to fight for working class and peoples’ unity and solidarity, and to struggle for socialism, for peace, and for climate justice in Canada and globally. So long as capitalism exists, the Communist Party and socialism will continue to attract new members and supporters because capitalism is the problem. And socialism is the solution.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada