Nikita Khrushchev’s speech in 1956 after the death of Stalin, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences” many Canadian communists leaders (Hardial Bains (1) and Fred Rose (2) ) rejected his speech as “revisionist” an were part of the anti-divisions movement.
The speech was shocking in its day. There are reports that the audience reacted with applause and laughter at several points. There are also reports that some of those present suffered heart attacks, (BBC correspondant’s actual report) and others later committed suicide.
“After Stalin’s death, the Central Committee began to implement a policy of explaining concisely and consistently that it is impermissible and foreign to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism to elevate one person, to transform him into a superman possessing supernatural characteristics, akin to those of a god. Such a man supposedly knows everything, sees everything, thinks for everyone, can do anything, is infallible in his behavior…..
Because not all as yet realize fully the practical consequences resulting from the cult of the individual…..”
– Nikita Khrushchev. Speech, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Conssequences.” 1956
Cult of the individual- leadership yet no Hero’s but Stalin
While ascribing great importance to the role of the leaders and organizers of the masses, Lenin at the same time mercilessly stigmatized every manifestation of the cult of the individual, inexorably combated [any] foreign-to-Marxism views about a “hero” and a “crowd,” and countered all efforts to oppose a “hero” to the masses and to the people.
– Nikita Khrushchev. Speesck, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Conssequences.” 1956
Excessively Rude – Sounds like progressives labeling style conversation in the West.
“Lenin made a completely correct characterization of Stalin. He pointed out that it was necessary to consider transferring Stalin from the position of [Party] General Secretary because Stalin was excessively rude, did not have a proper attitude toward his comrades, and was capricious and abused his power. ”
– Nikita Khrushchev. Speech, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Conssequences.” 1956
Power is a seductive thing that few control well.
In December 1922, in a letter to the Party Congress, Vladimir Ilyich wrote: “After taking over the position of General Secretary, comrade Stalin accumulated immeasurable power in his hands and I am not certain whether he will be always able to use this power with the required care.”
– Nikita Khrushchev, Speech, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Conssequences.” 1956
Eliminate the opposition ruthlessly.
“We have to consider seriously and analyze correctly this matter in order that we may preclude any possibility of a repetition in any form whatever of what took place during the life of Stalin, who absolutely did not tolerate collegiality in leadership and in work, and who practiced brutal violence, not only toward everything which opposed him, but also toward that which seemed, to his capricious and despotic character, contrary to his concepts.
Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation and patient cooperation with people, but by imposing his concepts and demanding absolute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed these concepts or tried to prove his [own] viewpoint and the correctness of his [own] position was doomed to removal from the leadership collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation.” – Nikita Khrushchev. Speech, “On the Cult of Personality and Its Conssequences.” 1956
Torture Confessions and “Enemies of the People”
“Stalin originated the concept “enemy of the people.” This term automatically made it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven. It made possible the use of the cruelest repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations…. The concept “enemy of the people” actually eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight or the making of one’s views known on this or that issue, even [issues] of a practical nature. On the whole, the only proof of guilt actually used, against all norms of current legal science, was the “confession” of the accused himself. As subsequent probing has proven, “confessions” were acquired through physical pressures against the accused. This led to glaring violations of revolutionary legality and to the fact that many entirely innocent individuals – [persons] who in the past had defended the Party line – became victims.
We must assert that, in regard to those persons who in their time had opposed the Party line, there were often no sufficiently serious reasons for their physical annihilation. The formula “enemy of the people” was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals.
“It is clear that here Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality and his abuse of power. Instead of proving his political correctness and mobilizing the masses, he often chose the path of repression and physical annihilation, not only against actual enemies, but also against individuals who had not committed any crimes against the Party and the Soviet Government. Here we see no wisdom but only a demonstration of the brutal force which had once so alarmed V. I. Lenin.”
Socialist or Communist Groups In Canada.
1. Socialiste Action (CA)
“The objective of the organization is to build a mass working class revolutionary party capable of leading the working class to power, dismantling the capitalist Canadian state, and replacing it with a voluntary alliance of independent workers’ republics based on democratically elected workers’ councils, for all nations wishing to join it.”
“Abolish Capitalism: To build a society organized to meet human needs, capitalism and its patriarchal institutions must be abolished. Poverty, exploitation, sexism, oppression, and war are rooted in international capitalism (imperialism). Imperialism has led to barbaric wars, nuclear weapons which can annihilate the human race and ecological destruction which threatens our future survival.”
Goodbye private ownership…. “Socialist society is based on collective ownership and democratic control of the means of production.”
“We welcome popular, democratic uprisings in Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia against the remnants of Stalinist bureaucracy and against the emerging mafia capitalist ruling class. We oppose the restoration of capitalism, and call for a workers’ revolution leading to the re-establishment of social ownership and the creation of a genuine socialist democracy.”
“Against Canadian Imperialism & For Self-Determination for the Quebecois and Aboriginal Peoples: We believe that Canada is an imperialist state….. The Canadian state was founded on the national oppression of native peoples and the Quebecois. The Quebecois have been subject to 200 years of economic, social, cultural and linguistic oppression, and denied the right to national self-determination, that is, the right to form their own independent state. We defend the right of the Quebecois and aboriginal peoples to self-determination. Within Quebec we support independence but we oppose the bourgeois nationalist Parti Quebecois and Bloc Quebecois. We support the formation of an independent mass workers’ party.”
“In English Canada, the New Democratic Party is the only mass party based on organized labour. It is a liberal reformist party committed to a slightly more humane version of capitalism. We fully support struggles to win reforms but believe the NDP leadership has a pro-capitalist program that goes against the genuine interests of the party’s working class membership and its voters.”
“Build Movements, Build a Revolutionary Party: We support and participate in the day to day struggles of trade unions, the autonomous women’s movement, the lesbian and gay movements, international solidarity groups, anti-racist groups, student and community organizations, environmental groups and all those acting for progressive social change.
Building movements is necessary but it is not enough. These struggles will not lead to the overthrow of capitalism by themselves. The victory of the socialist revolution requires a conscious leadership based on a revolutionary program.”
“We are fighting for a world fit for human beings, and for a mass revolutionary party to lead the struggle to victory.”
“1.4 SA is in political solidarity with the Fourth International, the world Trotskyist movement. See (A)”
Is the Canadian Socialist Action promoting Like a global state?
“Trotskyism is not a new movement, a new doctrine, but the restoration, the revival of genuine Marxism as it was expounded and practiced in the Russian revolution and in the early days of the Communist International” – American Trotskyist James P. Cannon History of American Trotskyism (1942)
“Permanent revolution is a term within Marxist theory, coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels by at least 1850 but which has since become most closely associated with Leon Trotsky. The use of the term by different theorists is not identical….. Trotsky put forward his conception of “permanent revolution” as an explanation of how socialist revolutions could occur in societies that had not achieved advanced capitalism.” (Wikipedia)
“Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolutions as being part of a single global class struggle rather than separate localized events. It is based on the theory that capitalism is an international system, and therefore the working classes of all nations must act in concert if they are to replace it with communism…. (Wikipedia)
The youth wing, Youth for Socialist Action (YSA), battements…
“The dismantaling of Canada as a soverign nation of law and government. “We are supporters of self-government for First Nations, and sovereignty for the Quebecois. We defend the right to self-determination for all oppressed nations around the world.”
“Our speaker at the rally noted that the early Soviet Republic was the first state in the world to decriminalize homosexuality and abortion. Sadly these gains were reversed in the 1930’s
…” (Queer Liberation through Socialist Revolution!
June 28, 2015)
2. Communist Party Of Canada
“Capitalism in Canada and the world today is a crisis-ridden and decaying system. But, it is pregnant with its opposite – socialism.
The first heroic wave of the working class movement against capitalism, the Paris Commune of 1871, was crushed by brute force. The next major wave began with the Russian Revolution of 1917, when the vast majority, the workers and their allies, took and held state power for the first time in human history. The victories of socialism particularly in the USSR, China and Cuba inspired workers and peoples around the world in their struggles for liberation. Much of this wave however was rolled back by the combined economic and military might of imperialism and the socialist countries’ own serious defects.
Socialism remains the necessary next step in our country’s historical development. Only socialism makes the needs and aspirations of the people its highest priority. Only socialism can put people before profit. And only socialism can use the benefits of the scientific and technological revolution for the well-being of all Canadians, not for the enrichment of a few and for waging war. There is no alternative to socialism, no “third road.’ …….
“The aim of the Communist Party of Canada is to establish a socialist and, ultimately, a communist society in Canada. The party stands for the victory of socialism throughout the world.”
“Canada is an imperialist country – a highly developed monopoly capitalist state. Canada has the highest level of foreign ownership amongst the imperialist countries, but it is neither a colony nor a semi-colony. Canadian-based transnationals participate in the exploitation of working people in other countries, and Canada is subject to the intrinsic contradictions of global capitalism.”
Hardial Bains (1)- 1939-1997, founder of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist) (CPC (ML. And was instrumental in communist movements not only in Canada, but also in USA, Ireland, London, Trinidad and Tobago, and India.
To add insult to injury….
After his death, a memorial was erected in the honour of Bains and other CPC (ML) “fallen comrades” in Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery which is also the national cemetery of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Poet George Elliot Clarke published a poem titled “Homage to Hardial Bains” in 2000 in the Oyster Boy Review. (Wikipedia)
I am including some of Gains words written in the forward of his book, referenced below.
“A Communist Party, if it is to realise its tasks in a mature, professional and on-going manner, must develop revolutionary culture in ideological form, on the one hand, and the revolutionisation of culture in social form, on the other….
For over thirty years, the main task of these revolutionary organisations was to create the subjective conditions for revolution….
The capitalist class claims that capitalism is the highest form of human society. Naturally, if this is the highest, then there are no history-making tasks. History has come to an end. People can indulge themselves within the existing possibilities of a society split into classes with the tendency of the rich becoming richer and poor poorer. But there is a higher form of human society, socialism, which is the transition between capitalism and communism. The NFC analysis calls upon people to take up the transformation from capitalism to socialism as their main task….
In a society where bourgeois individualism is presented as the highest development of humankind, the individual really has no place. This society curtails any individual initiative within the framework of the aim of the working class to emancipate itself. …
Internationalists smashed the prevailing bankrupt notion of placing understanding as the prelude, a precondition to action. If an individual, collective, or both is to have any understanding, action is its precondition. This action is considered not merely a thing-in-itself divorced from everything else but “an act of conscious participation,” “an act of finding out.” …..
Change analysis places the human being, in this instance, the working class, at the centre stage of all developments. The capitalist class places “I” in the first place and declares that this “I” can have whatever ideas it wishes. In the real world, this is not the case. “I” can be transcended but not the world…..
(Necessity for Change — Author’s Preface to the 1998 Edition – Hardial Bains -)
Fred Rose (December 7, 1907 – March 16, 1983), was the first communist Member of Parlement (MP) in Canada. With the Labor-Progressive Party (LPP) for Montréal. (The new name for the communist party becuse of WW2)
was accused of being a Soviet spy. Rose was expelled from parliament, arrested for four years, and then followed at every job site by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). He eventually left for Poland with the intention of returning to clear his name, but had his Canadian citizenship revoked in 1957.
“best known as the only member of the Canadian Parliament ever convicted of spying for a foreign country.” – Wikipedia
Alexander Albert MacLeod. (1902 – 1970) MP of provincial government in Ontario 1943-51. A prominent member of Communist Party of Canada and, later, of its legal group, the Labor-Progressive Party.
Born in Black Rock, Nova Scotia but family moved, and was raised in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton
In the late 1920s, MacLeod moved to New York City to work on the staff of The World Tomorrow, a prominent socialist-pacifist magazine. While in New York, he married Virginia MacLean, who was originally from North Sydney and educated at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The couple were both pacifists and supporters of the Socialist Party of America. They moved further to the left as a result of the Scottsboro Boys case, joining the Defense League for the Scottsboro Boys (nine African American teenagers, ages 13 to 19, accused in Alabama of raping two White American women on a train in 1931) with which the Communist Party USA was heavily involved. The MacLeods were also radicalized by the poverty of the Great Depression and by their opposition to the growing threat of fascism. In 1933, the couple returned to Nova Scotia, possibly with plans of taking up permanent residence there. While in Nova Scotia, they campaigned in the 1933 provincial election for J.B. McLachlan, the veteran union leader and Communist who was running as a “Workers’ United Front” candidate. The MacLeods joined the Communist Party during this period. ( Wikipedia)