This communique was issued by the newly-created branch of the Revolutionary Student Movement in Vancouver. Congratulations to the revolutionary students for their success in organizing a militant and revolutionary current among the student movement across the country!
– The Political Information Bureau
The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) is a new attempt to build a Canada-wide revolutionary, combative, militant, and anti-capitalist student movement that organises students in the interests of the broader working class. We aim to be anti-reformist, independent of the bourgeois state, and internationalist in our politics. We struggle for a broad-based education system that is scientific in nature and put in the service of the working class.
In advancing the idea that it is possible to transform the student movement, we believe it is very possible – and necessary – to deploy a revolutionary political activity at the heart of the student movement. To achieve this, we must overcome several obstacles at the ideological level. Student activism, even in it’s strictly unionist form, politicizes those who are involved. It acts like a wake-up call for social consciousness. Very soon, however, the ideological weapons (concepts, principles, strategies and tactical notions, etc) deployed by this militancy will turn up insufficient, lacking the ability to confront broader political tasks that are required to advance the path of revolution.
We must therefore address the relative poverty of the political and theoretical benchmarks spontaneously transmitted by student activism. Indeed, there is a rich revolutionary tradition, where we’ve accumulated hard fought lessons acquired over the past two centuries of non-stop class struggles against capitalist domination, and which synthesizes from that tradition the most advanced revolutionary experiences. To make an abstraction of this historical heritage is to make a spectacular retreat in the struggle against bourgeois domination as well as to liquidate the costly lessons paid by the exploited and oppressed the world over. It is imperative that we evaluate the student movement in light of these lessons.
Struggling to transform the social system also requires that we organize differently. To have a qualitatively different movement than the currently existing one, the question is not really about building a new organization, but rather to consciously unite on the bases of common principles and objectives from a revolutionary perspective and aspiration for revolution. For far too long, this movement has been trapped in the overwhelming ideological tendency of the current student movement, i.e. reformism (whether radical or not), and class reconciliation.
The aim of the revolutionary students is not to do away with student associations and unions. The aim of revolutionary students is to struggle against reformist currents that imprison the student movement and frankly, to organize and develop a vast movement engaged in ideological struggle within the student movement. It is from this starting point that we hope students develop a new way of understanding their involvement in student activism, in their manner of organizing, in their manner of struggling.
The traditional or “combative” unions that others wish to be large and democratic bring nothing if their foundations are based on reformism. In the name of strictly student interests, this ideological barrier of isolated practices and ideas particularizes students and confer on them a specificity of a group apart from others. There follows two movements in opposition, two movements that do not wage the same struggle. The first, a reformist one, fixes as the objective more improvements for those already in a privileged position. The other, a revolutionary movement, fixes as its objective to lead the student movement into the most general struggle to abolish capitalism, which means abolishing the very privileges conferred by this system. Briefly, we must resolutely deploy the spirit of revolt that animates the exploited masses, specifically among the youth, as already demonstrated in several historical moments, in uniting with the general struggle of the proletariat to advance the revolutionary struggle. In organizing youth, we need to unite them around a revolutionary program, to ensure this movement bases itself on the conscious mobilization of the youth and students, to establish why we need to fight and how to fight. The movement we want will be built in places where we find young proletarians: at the technical schools, highschools, and colleges, as well as universities; in the popular neighbourhoods; and in solidarity with the people. We affirm the necessary of working for a student movement that unites a diverse range of the existing student democratic and anti-imperialist organizations; not to unite hypocritically and without principles, but through discussion and practice in the determination of what is correct and what is wrong; to firmly place revolutionary politics in command. Ultimately, this will help build a student movement with correct politics that serves the people in its fight against the capitalist system.