Librairie Alternative

Long live the dictatorship of the proletariat

In our March edition, we told you about the ban of Internationalist Notes from Montreal's Librairie Alternative. This “collective” act by the bookstore included other publications claiming to come out of Left Communism, under the pretext that these groups defend the perspective of worker's power as a transitional phase towards communism, in other words, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Should we see foul play at work here, and look for hidden motives, or simply put it down to the legendary incompetence of the bookstore's members? For, while they censured an important historical current of the workers' movement, the bookstore kept a place on their tables and shelves for Trotskyist publications (New Socialist), Stalinist literature (Grapo-Spain, CCC-Belgium, etc.) and bloody nationalists (ETA, PKK et FPLP-Palestine)! All of that of course in addition to the usual social democratic junk...

This decision and our critique of it created some waves in the small Canadian milieu. A good number of individuals complained at the bookstore's counter. A few members of the bookstore's “collective” had their disagreements as well. And several groups wrote letters criticizing the decision. Among them were those from Le Mortier (an anarchist class struggle publication), La Sociale CDL (distributing notably the “Editions Spartacus” in Quebec), Poing d'Exclamation! (mostly anarchist) and Red & Black Notes (an Ontario councilist publication). Following this, a bookstore meeting was held where a member of Internationalist Notes was permitted to speak. Our intervention, rather than invoking some right to the freedom of expression, affirmed the censured position's revolutionary class character. This meeting finally revoked the previous censorship motion and decided to put the blacklisted publications back on the shelves.

So the publications of the International Communist Group, of the International Communist Current, as well as our own, are available once again at this address - at least for now. (1)

Knowing the history, the practice and the middle class politics of this shop, though, we realize that this new decision could be overturned at any time. So, should the case arise, (which would not surprise us in the least), we invite our readers to subscribe to be sure to obtain our publications and as well as those of the International Bureau for a Revolutionary Party.

(1) Librairie Alternative Bookshop, 2035 St-Laurent, Montreal.