Since its inception the Partisan has served as a free newspaper intended to popularize a general revolutionary communist narrative and, in doing so, pull activists and organizers into the sphere of a broad communist movement. Although it has accomplished some of its aims—consolidating various activists into mass organizations, providing free anti-capitalist news, and placing activists in contact with the people while disseminating the paper—it has also, in its current incarnation, reached the limits of its possibilities.
Overproduction of papers, a failure to develop more activists after a certain point, the limit of how far a small paper funded by a small but growing organization could be distributed, and the cost of producing and shipping the Partisan… These are all signs that the paper needs to end or become something else.
Furthermore, although the Partisan was not intended to be the official organ of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada [PCR-RCP], the fact that it was launched, encouraged, and funded by the PCR-RCP has often produced the mistaken perception that every article is an official party line or the extent of the party’s analysis about a given topic. And since the party, due to the practicalities of organizing and growing has produced very little new theory in the time since the Partisan was launched (and since Partisan articles have traditionally been hosted on the party website), it made sense to mistake this small newspaper as the PCR-RCP’s voice and mind when this was not the case. Add to this the limitation of two pages of original articles (a limitation necessitated by the fact that we wanted the paper to be free) and we ended up with the a situation where only a small number of articles were printed»—a paper that did not always reflect the struggles happening in the particular cities and towns where Partisan was being distributed.
Hence, as the PCR-RCP and its sponsored mass organizations reach an exciting turning point in their development and growth, we are concluding the current incarnation of Partisan. Rather than produce a uniform free tabloid to be disseminated nationally, we are working towards launching local Partisan news outlets that—though connected with the name, banner, and some articles that will be of national/international importance for every city—will differ from region to region based on what struggles and events are happening locally. It will be printed as needed, decentralized in print while being centralized online.
Also, so as to deal with the confusion caused by mistaking Partisan articles as the party line, there will also be a broader transformation in the PCR-RCP’s propaganda:
1) the transformed Partisan will remain as free (when it is locally printed) general communist news that does not necessarily reflect the party’s line;
2) a quarterly with a more limited print run and circulation, will become the PCR-RCP’s “Maoist Macleans” (irony intended) and provide a broader analysis of Canadian society and class struggle that makes a clear distinction between party positions and articles by guest anti-capitalist authors;
3) a book-sized journal, bearing the name of our old party political organ, Arsenal, will be printed yearly and contain theoretical work by party committees, cadre, and some invited authors/groups in the Maoist camp.
Our hope is that this new approach to news, analysis, and theory will clear up some of the confusion regarding the Partisan as well as transforming this paper into locally decentralized communist “brand” that will reflect the work of those still writing its articles and disseminating it in their cities and townships.
It’s been a great four years! The Partisan is dead, long live the Partisan!