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League for Socialist Action Formed (1961)

One month before the New Party’s founding convention, the Workers Vanguard (June 1961) announced formation of the LSA.

Form League for Socialist Action

The merging of the forces of the Socialist Information Center of Vancouver and the Socialist Educational League of Toronto into a new national organization, The League for Socialist Action, marks a mighty stride forward in the struggle to win the New Party to a socialist policy and thus establish a socialist society here in Canada.

The road to jobs for all, to prosperity, to peace, is the road to socialism. There is no other. The capitalist system is irreparable, and any program that is based on any illusions on this score or has this in mind is bankrupt and will only lead to the demoralization, disillusionment and open betrayal of those who count on it. Canada, the world, needs a new system geared to the atomic age, to the age of space exploration. The New Party has no perspective without a socialist program. The winning of the new party to such a program is the crying need of the moment. Such is the aim, the purpose, the intention of the League for Socialist Action.

The society of human brotherhood, freedom, peace, that is socialism, is the noblest aim that man has ever aspired to. It has reason and truth on its side. It will eliminate all the pettiness, narrowness, conflict that now saps man’s potentialities. All will gain. But the way ahead will not be easy. Athwart it stands vested interest, fear, conservatism. The capitalist opponents of the new party, when not attempting to frontally destroy the new party, are making a big effort to corrupt it and divert it from its purpose. In the new party itself, on the right, is a formidable combination, the self-proclaimed leadership of old time CCFers who have abandoned any socialist ideas that they ever had, and the arrogant trade union brass hats who never did have any concept of seriously fighting for workers demands, let alone a socialist outlook. On the left are the relatively small forces of the newly formed League for Socialist Action, plus many scattered individual socialists and trade union militants.

One might say this is a case of a David against a Goliath. The Goliath-like combination of CCF trade union right wingers appears to have everything in its favour. The power they possess is obvious. It would be foolish to underestimate their influence and their power, or to think that they will not use them against their socialist opponents in the New Party.

However this Goliath-like monster is being undermined by the changing economic and political situation throughout the world, and in Canada in particular. Growing unemployment, the increasing threat of nuclear war and the fierce “cut the costs” attacks of the bosses on the unions, are driving home to an increasing number the utter incapacity and total bankruptcy of the old style leadership that wrecked the CCF and has undermined much of the fighting capacity of organized labor.

This situation means that increasingly large numbers of new party supporters, unionists etc. will be more receptive to and will be looking for, a real alternative policy to that being offered by the self-proclaimed leadership of the New Party.

This does not mean that all that socialists have to do is sit back and wait for these leftward moving people to come to them. It means that those socialists who seriously organize and fight for the correct policies are in a position to make great gains towards the objective of making the New Party really a “new party”.

The program drawn up and adopted by the SEL and the SIC, and published in this issue of the Vanguard, develops the ideas around which the effort to give the new party a class struggle program and a socialist perspective can take on flesh and blood. The LSA provides the form around which these forces can be gathered, steeled, mobilized.

The editors of the Vanguard hail the formation of the League for Socialist Action. We hope that our readers will seriously study its program and join forces with it in perfecting it and promoting it.

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