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Socialist Party on
Canadian Bolsheviks Meeting

The following is reprinted, with permission, from the December 1, 2004 "Monthly Report Newsletter" sent by John Ayers, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of Canada, to the party's members.

"Red & Black" refers to "Red and Black Notes," a publication that criticized the SPC and is mentioned elsewhere in Ayers' report. "Adam Buick's reply" refers to an article entitled "Bolshevik Bullshit" that has circulated by e-mail and is to be published in a future SPC newsletter; it criticizes Ian Angus's essay What Socialists Learned from the Winnipeg General Strike.

On Thursday, November 25th. I attended a meeting of the Canadian Bolsheviks to promote another edition of the book similarly titled.

Ian Angus (author) gave historical perspectives from the book with mention of the SPC and its influence in the early part of the century. He characterized us as “abstract” and “doctrinaire”. To me, his abstract meant a strong commitment to actually studying and learning Marxist principles, something of which the Bolsheviks, Trotskyists and Communist Parties could never be accused! Doctrinaire, I believe, means applying those principles in a consistent manner to arrive at the logical answer.

The night was replete with the words “leaders” and “vanguard”. Thus I conclude these groups require followers and believe in a minority capturing power. To consider this is to misunderstand the democratic nature of socialist revolution and to rely on armed insurrection against vastly superior forces. They apparently believe that the Russian Revolution was a genuine socialist one that would have succeeded if only Trotsky had won the struggle for power against Stalin and, in so doing, completely ignore the lack of conditions present in Russia for a true socialist revolution. Even Lenin had the good sense to state that capitalism had to be established. Now, if Red & Black notes wrote that these people are 100 years out of date, I would agree.

Ian did give an accurate assessment of the communist parties as dupes of Stalin after the “golden period” of the 1920s. Many of the groups present, as is their wont, to attract new members, proclaimed their support for any rally for systemic reforms, the best one being one that threw its weight behind a rally to promote the lies of the current Liberal Provincial government! Probably organized by the Conservative Party of Ontario. Finally, as a measure of their understanding of Marx’s works, Cuba was held up as an example of socialism! Adam Buick’s reply to Ian’s criticism of our role in the Winnipeg general strike was presented and a promise of a reply was given.

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