A reply to Tim Buck

The Western Socialist
June 1938

Your leaflet on recent issue inviting all to join the Communist Party is before me, and a microscopic examination fails to disclose the slightest revolutionary content. In fact, as a call to the workers it is as harmless to the present system as was my late lamented Aunt Matilda’s tomcat.

In your first paragraph you announce that “Our country is facing grave times”. Since when, may we ask, have the working class owned anything more than their labor power, that this land in which we live should be designated as ours? And for what reason should the workers sing, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee”, as the Winnipeg Communist Party did during its recent travesty on May Day?

You condemn the conditions which face the workers today, but why do you choose to ignore the cause of those conditions? Are you not aware, Tim, that we are living under capitalism and that capitalism, so long as it exists, can mean nothing other than extremes of wealth on the one hand and poverty on the other, and all those miserable conditions to which you refer?

You become pugnacious over the anti-Democratic actions of the Governments of Ontario and Quebec. This pugnacity is hardly consistent with your party’s whole-hearted approval of the savagery and mass slaughter in Russia over the past several months. How do you account for it, Tim?

We find you, as the head of the one-time self-proclaimed vanguard of the revolution, informing us that

“The progressive Canadian people in the Trade Unions, Farmers’ Organizations, C.C.F., Communist Party, Liberal and even Conservative Party, must unite into a force able to achieve a peace policy based on collective security, unemployment insurance, irrigation, outlawry of Fascist gangs and the extension of the Democratic rights of the Canadian people.”

Seeing that you would have all the other unwavering upholders of capitalism in your united front, aren’t you just a little bit petulant in leaving out the cream of the crop – the Fascist gangs? There is good reason why they, too, should be included. ’Fess up now, Tim, haven’t you taken time off occasionally from your arduous gymnastics to spend a quiet moment in restful contemplation of that great land beyond the seas, where, as the Daily Clarion has assured us, the highest attainable degree of Democracy has been reached. You want our own Democratic rights to be extended. Wouldn’t you like them to reach the level enjoyed by the Russian workers? Of course, you would. Well, aren’t the Fascist gangs just the boys who are best qualified to assist you in this direction? Certainly they are. So an extension of the bounds of your united front is imperative.

All in all, Tim, your leaflet is an indication of the ambition of the Communist Party to become a full-fledged capitalist party. The workers will be well advised to stay away from it – unless they are anxious to add to their present problems.

Quo Vadis