Letter of Solidarity to Peterborough Students

This letter was written by PRAC-RSM upon learning of a planned walk-out and potential sit-in, by Peterborough students, on Dec 11, 2012. This walk-out is in support of Ontario teachers fighting for better work conditions, as well as for the reinstatement of extra-curricular activities. The Peterborough students correctly recognized that the blame for the teacher’s work-to-rule action is on the government and the bourgeoisie, and not their teachers. We laud the initiative taken up by the students. We hope that this protest movement will strengthen into a movement against the privatization of education, and eventually against the ongoing crisis of capitalism itself.

Fellow students,

We were excited to learn about the stand you’re taking today, and we wish to extend our congratulations, our enthusiasm and our solidarity.

You all know as well as anyone that with a loss of school activities comes a loss of hope, a world where only those with the money to pay have a chance to develop into the whole, fulfilled people they have the potential to become while the rest of us face boredom, stagnation and isolation.

You also know that the blame for this situation falls not on the teachers, who in their work-to-rule action against the provincial government are exercising what little power they have over a power structure that wants to deprive them of a good job and a good life.

But yours is a struggle not just for extra-curriculars or for a fair contract for your teachers. It’s a struggle against a system that can no longer provide us with what we need.

Ours is a bleak future – one of debt, poverty, unemployment and imprisonment. Everywhere we look, the promises of prosperity and peace made to us by those who run the whole show are coming unraveled. Pensions are being cut, the cost of living keeps rising, and wages keep falling by comparison. How many of us will have a higher standard of living than our parents? Fewer and fewer all the time.

Broken promises, hardship, and exploitation: that’s all the system has to offer us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You haven’t asked for our advice, but if you want it, it’s this: the power structure is your enemy. If you oppose them, they’ll never respect you and the only way they’ll ever listen is if they’re afraid – afraid that the spirit of rebellion you embody will escalate and spread, threatening the whole system of exploitation that makes them rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us.

The spirit of rebellion you’re showing today can be nurtured and can grow into a force for revolution that will change the face of the planet. You can help make a world where we, the masses – the working class and oppressed people – are in control, where all the potential we hold together can be used to better ourselves and each other, where we reject domination and embrace empowerment, where everyone has everything they need.

We’re doing what we can to build this force for revolution, and we want to work with you in doing the same.

It is with great pride we count you within our ranks as students.

In Solidarity,

The Revolutionary Student Movement, Toronto

Report-Back from the Anti-Corporatization, Anti-Imperialism Rally

Report-Back from the Anti-Corporatization, Anti-Imperialism Rally

Recently, PRAC/RSM participated in an anti-corporatization, anti-imperialism rally organized by a coalition, headed by a student organization at UofT. The rally was by-and-large successful, despite the fact that one of the coalition groups threatened to back out after seeing the previous post.

This experience led RSM to make a post about right-wing sectarianism and opportunism.

Background info:

The deal-breaker, as it came to light, was the fact that PRAC/RSM supported the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan–the C(M)PA . Confusion and abdication of responsibility momentarily took hold of the coalition, as the coalition organizers tried to decide whether to capitulate to the withdraw-ees by changing the overall tone of the event, or moving forward without the withdraw-ees.

This turn of events makes a good teaching moment about one of the dominant tendencies within the mainstream Left: sectarianism.


Sectarianism is sometimes disguised behind anti-sectarian appearances, as MLM Mayhem recently writes. For instance, the broad “‘anything goes’ ideology” that infects the Left fosters the exclusion of groups and ideas that are deemed too radical.

Moreover, sectarianism is complicated by its indulgence in right-wing opportunism, which is the:

“Adaptation of the policy and ideology of the working-class movement to the interests and needs of nonproletarian (bourgeois and petty– bourgeois) strata”. Opportunism is usually associated with revisionism (q.v.) or dogmatism (q.v.). It can be right-wing or ‘left’-wing.”

“Right-wing opportunism comes into being together with the organised working-class movement (trade-unionism, Lassalleanism, “Economism”, [and in this case petty-bourgeois student activism–ed.] etc. ). It manifests itself in the rejection of revolutionary methods of struggle, conciliation with the bourgeoisie and, in the final analysis, abandonment of the struggle for socialism.”

From our recent experience, for instance, we were able to cooperate with the various coalition groups with whom we attended the rally, but only through reaching a disunited kind of unity, and a lowest-common-denominator kind of cooperation, where the coalition prematurely degenerated into a group of ad hoc parties.

Of course, there are time restraints, as the coalition organizers were all working to put together an action at the top possible speed. However, this does not detract from the fact that we all need to be better organized, and rely less on the spontaneity of the moment to stage a successful rally.

RSM learned from this experience that sectarianism is the opposite of unity.

For coalition-building, MLM-Mayhem suggests a number of principles that provide guidelines for maintaining unity. RSM thought it worthwhile to reiterate these principles.

The coalition organization/organizer:

“a) will work in coalitions without trying to force the entire coalition to liquidate itself into its ranks; b) will maintain its parallel principles in this organization without apology, but with humility; c) will not intentionally engage in asinine and internecine left-wing turf wars and member poaching; d) will maintain that their principles will be proved in the class struggle rather than in name-calling.”

Unity is of vital importance, especially in the face of the enemy. Without criticism and self-criticism, there can be no unity. To quote Mao, “that means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle, and arriving at a new unity on a new basis.”In the case discussed in this article, the rally could have been better had there been more unity to start with, and better criticism and self-criticism along the way.

Click  here to read the RSM speech from the rally.

Thoughts on the Upcoming Elections

Thoughts on the Upcoming Elections


With provincial elections on its way, we the proletariat see the usual string of promises. These promises have no other purpose but to diffuse people’s rage at the bourgeois Canadian state.

All the candidates have adopted rhetoric that addresses the working class, but it is all a sham! All the candidates are simply slight variations of each other. All of them are only interested in protecting the interests of the rich from the disaster the rich has wrought for itself. None of them, or their party platforms, truly analyzes the heart of the proletarians’ problems.

We, whether youth, proletarian, or both, face mounting and unpayable debt. We must work non-stop just the make ends meet, and yet we come nowhere near it. When we try to search for jobs, we find ourselves amidst increasingly bigger seas of jobless people similarly looking for work. We cannot get adequate housing free from overcrowding. These, among other issues, define our generation.

Yet all the bourgeois parties can offer us are meaningless promises that don’t address the root cause of our misery.

The NDP party, a prime example of a party that is left in word and right in form, is dangerous because it works hard to deceive the masses by projecting a so-called working class agenda. It says it will raise people’s standard of living, but it shamefacedly represses people’s knowledge of the sources of the wealth that fills its coffers. Like the Conservatives and the Liberals, the NDP will just as gladly plunder third world countries. Its ultimate interest is the maintenance and growth of the capitalist system.

The Liberals, for its own part, is trying to funnel disaffected young people into NGOs, hoping that these young people will waste their youth working for reforms, as the representatives of endless myriads of identity groups. At the same time, the Liberals are trying to paint itself as the “immigrant-friendly” party by appeasing businesses and professional people of color. Meanwhile, poor migrants are kept outside of borders, and poor workers, working for minimum wages and less, languor inside of the borders, unable to benefit from a policy that only promotes the interests of the businesses and the bourgeois class of immigrants.

While the NDP and the Liberals are busy deceiving the proletarians, the Conservatives, similarly despicable, are working to fan an anti-immigration wildfire: by pitting the immigrants and non-immigrants against each other, the Conservatives hope to distract the masses from the dismal state of the economy. As the economic conditions get worse, the Conservatives will have nothing for the masses but increasingly bold hatespeak.

At wits end about who to exploit next, the capitalists cut down funding in order to maintain profits, and people are starting to mobilize against cuts. Our jobs, though, as students, proletarians, and revolutionaries, is to place the misery of our lives within the larger context of capitalism and crisis. We must have the courage to hold the glaring inequalities and contradictions in front of us to heart; we must address the problem at its root; we must take hold of our attachment to parliamentary democracy, at least as it exists now, and uproot it!

Under the present circumstances, voting simply works to legitimize a fundamentally unjust system. We must opt for the more drastic, the more truthful, solution. We must mobilize the masses to act in its own interest.

We must boldly shout: “revolution is the only solution!”

4 Things Students Face under Capitalism

4 Things Students Face under Capitalism



Capitalism is a socio-economic system in which the poor majority toils in misery to maintain the wealth of the rich bourgeoisie. These are four conditions that proletarian (working-class) students and youth face under capitalism:

1. The overwhelming majority of working class students will never get to go to university, or even college because education is not free—state-run education systems starts streaming youth from day one. Where youth end up is entirely dependent upon their class background.

2. Those who do, incur back-breaking debt. There are no jobs out there other than minimum wage jobs, precarious jobs based on fleeting contracts. These jobs offer no end in sight for repaying student loans, forcing working-class students into decades of wage slavery.

3. Social democracy as opposed to radical change—youth movements, including campus movements, are forced to stay within the constraints of bourgeois (i.e. electoral) politics, which serve the rich.  Parliamentary democracy has not, and will not, radically change conditions for the working class.

4. So-called student representatives on campus have no interest in the working class—Student leaders whose aims are cushy jobs with unions and federations are only interested in pushing an NDP (social democratic) agenda and furthering their own careers. We oppose careerism.

It is time for us to realize that our future under capitalism is intolerable. Proletarian youth should not be forced to succumb to the misery of working for minimum wage, struggling to balance two or three part-time jobs just to pay our rent and feed ourselves, waiting for welfare checks or being broke at the end of every month. As struggling youth we must recognize that it is this misery that is the foundation of the capitalist system. It is a joke to blame our social positions on our lack of motivation- it is clearly the proletariat who works the hardest! It is also the proletariat who must surrender the fruits of their labor!

With this said, the rich will not let go of their power and wealth without a fight! We know very well that it will not work to aim for reform, or simply replace the individuals in power with others who appear to have a working-class agenda. We must instead take down the bourgeois state! Historically, we have seen the people power of proletarian students, youth and workers mobilize to abolish capitalism. We see proletariat students, youth and workers from Nepal, India and beyond rising up and resisting capitalist oppression. We must learn from history and from people’s struggles across the globe and take the steps to make revolution a possibility now, right here in the heartland of capitalism and imperialism–Canada!

To learn more, visit rsmtoronto.wordpress.com

To join us, e-mail revolutionary.studentsTO@gmail.com

RSM’s Statement on Jack Layton’s Death

Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party, passed away earlier this month. Indeed, this death was regrettable, as friends, families, and supporters mourned their loss. A blog post on MLM Mayhem criticizes the state sanctioned fanfare around the funeral, but more importantly–criticizes  the general radical left in Toronto, who, while identifying as anti-capitalist and anti-statist, took part in the state-sanctioned mass mourning, all the while moralizing against those with other views and opinions on the matter.

Although there are some who agree with the position put forth by the author of MLM Mayhem, this post on Layton, like the post on boycotting the Federal 2011 elections, became the subject of derision and defensive hatred on reddit and rabble.ca. Some have even went as far as to call for censorship on one the critical threads.

Members of the Revolutionary Student Movement stand firmly behind MLM Mayhem’s analysis and position on the NDP. We are in agreement  about the default opportunism appearing in the “movement.” Our comrade’s blog exposes that Layton was as much a running-dog of imperialism and, given the constraints of the capitalo-parliamentary structure, could not but have assumed this role, even as leader of the official opposition.

NATO bombs have been raining down on Libya since the NDP scored official opposition status, without any word of resistance.

We believe that young people have something much better to work for. What we ought to build  is our own movement, a project that doesn’t not yet exist within the comforting limits of accepted bourgeois legalisms or within the cozy offices of student unions, the university counterparts to these parliamentary cretins. Our project is to help create revolution with the people. The masses are that elemental force necessary for root change. That’s why we are, in part, Maoist.

Our task is to find the correct expression for the rage, felt by  those of us who have to toil daily just for a roof over our heads, 3 square meals, and clothing. This rage is all around us.  We strive to work with our peers and with proletarian youths to target and shape that rage–to give it expression.