In an electric atmosphere, nearly 400 communists gathered in Montreal from across Canada and Québec and officially founded the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)!

Our goal: to be the generation to overthrow capitalism in our lifetime, and lay the foundations for building a society free of exploitation, violence and oppression.

All participants came away energized, ready to do everything in their power to build the party in time for the revolutionary events to come. We have a world to win!

A world on fire

The RCP is not a national organization. We are first and foremost members of the Revolutionary Communist International (RCI)—of which we are merely the Canadian section.

So it was fitting to open the congress with a discussion on the situation on a global scale, introduced by Fred Weston of the RCI’s international secretariat.

The backdrop to the congress was the Palestine solidarity encampment movement, the largest international student mobilization since the Vietnam War. This inspiring movement is a glimpse of the great events to come.

War is a fundamental element of the current situation. And it’s not just Ukraine and Gaza; as Fred explained, more than 30 countries are affected by war and civil war in one way or another.

In a world already afflicted by inflation, rising cost of living, environmental catastrophe and the growing distrust in all political parties, the genocide in Gaza has aroused mass anger everywhere. Instinctively, millions of workers and young people sympathize with the Palestinian people. The Western imperialists are discrediting themselves with every day of the genocide.

As Fred summarized: “That war was a catalyst of the process of radicalization. It is part of the class struggle globally. In every country there is a divide—those who stand with Gaza, and those who stand with Israel: it’s a class division.”

@canadamarxists Fred Weston on World Perspectives #pcrrcp #RCPcongress #communism ♬ original sound – Communist Revolution

We’re building the RCI to organize the millions of workers and youth around the world who are fed up with the horrors of capitalism.

Decline of Canadian capitalism

A separate session dealt with the perspectives for revolution in Canada. Here as elsewhere, the situation is going from bad to worse. Every warning sign is flashing: standards of living are falling, big cities are completely unaffordable to live in, productivity is declining. And we are on the cusp of another summer of devastation from uncontrolled forest fires. Canada was once a capitalist success story, but not anymore.

But the “left” and trade union leaders have failed to fight back. We have commented numerous times on how the NDP is making itself completely irrelevant, tied that they are to the Liberals. 

A new element is the crisis in Québec solidaire, where the leadership around Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is now completely transparent about making the party a run of the mill social democratic party. And this precisely at a time where capitalism is leaving less space for reforms than ever.

While the class struggle in Canada is lagging behind the U.S., Britain and other countries, it won’t be long before the simmering anger boils over into a mighty outburst. We are founding the RCP to be prepared for these events. The field is wide open and the ground has never been so fertile for the growth of the communist movement!

Exceptional growth

The RCP is not starting from scratch. All comrades can feel that we are launching the party on solid foundations.

Since La Riposte Socialiste/Fightback’s last congress in May 2023, the organization has grown from around 400 to over 800 members today, active in almost a hundred cells. We’ve never experienced such growth.

Throughout the congress, sessions were interspersed with thunderous applause as comrades reported on their work. The enthusiasm was palpable from start to finish. Discussions continued unabated throughout the breaks.

But the most electrifying session was certainly the Saturday night fund-raising. Going into the congress, we were well short of our goal, having raised $116,000 of the $250,000 or so we were aiming for.

But in an exceptional session where we reviewed our successes over the past year, comrades raised funds that helped us reach more than $255,000!

This session demonstrated that RCP members don’t just pay lip service to revolution, but are prepared to smash through every obstacle for a cause greater than any of us.

The rock of Marxist theory

Though they are important, strength in numbers, financial resources and enthusiasm is not enough.

Without a fundamental ingredient, we could build the biggest party, the biggest apparatus, have an exceptional number of militants, and still everything could fall apart. That ingredient is Marxist theory.

Many left-wing groups are in perpetual crisis and difficulty. Many groups before us have collapsed without a trace. Everywhere, their problems boil down to one thing: an absence of a theoretical foundation, or even a contempt for theory and ideas.

We need an organization where everyone is rowing in the same direction, which can only be achieved through common understanding.

The need for theoretical education was a recurring theme at the congress. Everyone must aspire to become a Marxist cadre: an educated member, constantly striving to develop their understanding of Marxism, able to answer the questions put to us, capable of educating other members and turning them into Marxists too.

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This message did not fall on deaf ears. We sold no less than $13,000 worth of Marxist literature over the weekend! The best seller was Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, which is probably the best Marxist book on tactics and which answers the question: how can communists win the masses? No less than one hundred comrades left with a copy of the book!

Every party cell, and every individual comrade, must put theoretical education at the heart of its work, and ensure a constant series of high-quality educational activities. This is the only guarantee of our success.

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A new stage

This congress marks a new stage in the history of the communist movement in Canada. In a country where communists have long been a tiny minority, the tide has begun to turn.

Comrades closed the convention with a march through the streets of Montreal. We passed the pro-Palestinian encampment at McGill, before going on to express our solidarity with the UQAM encampment that had been savagely attacked by riot police that same day.

Our solidarity with Palestine is unwavering. But we won’t stop at solidarity. Everywhere, we will do everything in our power to strengthen the movement. We will continue to fight to overthrow our own imperialist ruling class at home. The Zionist state could not wage its genocidal war without the support of our rulers in the West. It is our duty to build the party capable of leading the working class to power and put an end to the endless suffering caused by imperialism.

To quote the closing remarks of Joel Bergman, editor of Communist Revolution/Révolution communiste:

“The stream of history will turn to a flood. The bourgeoisie and the reformists in the labour movement will be unable to hold it back. They cannot stop the march of events. They cannot stop the working class […]. We stand on the precipice of great historical events and we are rising to meet these events. Let’s build the Revolutionary Communist Party! Let’s build the Revolutionary Communist International!”