Communists in Quebec and in many countries are mourning the death of Comrade Adélard Paquin, founder of the French edition of Northstar Compass, editor for ten years of the newsletter (today called «L'Étoile du Nord») and a member of the International Council for Friendship and Solidarity with the Soviet people.
Comrade Adélard Paquin died on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 3:30 a.m. at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal, at the age of 93, after a long and courageous battle against bone cancer.
Adélard was born on February 20, 1919. He studied dentistry at the University of Montreal. In 1944, he joined the Army, and was sent to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to serve as a dentist in the Army and the Air Force.
In 1943, under the influence of U.S. revisionist leader Earl Browder, the CP U.S.A. and the CP of Canada adopted revisionist positions. Other forms of revisionism would develop: in Yugoslavia, under Tito (1948) and in the Soviet Union, under Khrushchev (1953-1956).
His son Roger and other members of his family described him as a man who enjoyed being with people. He was simple, humble, polite, patient, rigorous, disciplined, full of energy, enthusiasm and hope, healthy in mind and body, always in a good mood. He was ‘an exemplary father and a marvelous grandfather’, a balanced man, who enjoyed physical exercises, camping, fishing, skiing and snowshoes, who travelled constantly to the Soviet Union, to Cuba and to other countries. He had friends all over the world, he knew Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and other people who carried the destiny of their people.
He was constantly doing research on health, food, philosophy, political economy, history and political theories and practice. As a dentist, he served the people by working for free in a clinic for low income people in Canada and in Cuba.
In 1958, the Quebec-USSR Friendship Society was founded, and in 1961, as its leader, Comrade Paquin campaigned, for many years, for the friendship and solidarity between the people of Quebec and the Soviet people.
Later, Comrade Paquin would acknowledge that, around that time, he had become revisionist and anti-Stalinist as had many members of the Communist Parties, such as the French philosopher Lucien Sève. Because of that, Comrade Paquin refused to talk about his life. On the contrary, I thought that his testimony would be a very positive one, for showing the dialectic evolution of reality and of ideas. After the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991, many persons, in the former Soviet Union and around the world also got active again, returning to more correct Marxist-Leninist positions. The deterioration of conditions in the Soviet Union caused the dialectic revival of the whole communist movement in the Soviet Union, with all its weaknesses.
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, in Toronto, Comrade Michael Lucas started publishing Northstar Compass. Comrade Paquin began re-studying what is socialism, and finally came back to correct Marxist-Leninist positions. In 2002, he began publishing the French language edition of Northstar Compass, and would be its Editor-in-Chief for around ten years. He started contacting communists from around the world, from India, France, the United States, Belgium, and other countries.
Comrade Adélard Paquin was more than 90 when he started corresponding with an exceptional young communist theoretician from France, Vincent Gouysse, aged almost 30, who had published three remarkable books: ‘Impérialisme et anti-impérialisme’ (on what is exactly socialism – May 2007), ‘Crise du système impérialiste mondial’ (on the huge world crisis in preparation – July 2009), and ‘Le réveil du dragon’ (‘The Awakening of the Dragon’, which describes the development of imperialist China – 2010). When I met Comrade Adélard, I told him that for the last 40 years I had been following Mao Zedong thought. He flatly asked me to read Gouysse’s book on Imperialism. After reading it, I understood why Mao had abandoned Marxism-Leninism.
A disciple of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, Comrade Adélard Paquin continued to study Marxism-Leninism and to follow events in the present world situation, to discuss with me, to write and to struggle with determination, passion and enthusiasm against revisionism, until he had no more strength.
Although he was more than 90, he was full of enthusiasm, vitality and energy when we discussed. And when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, although he became gradually more tired, when we met he was as passionate as a child. Comrade Adélard, at the beginning of our work together, was against my too ambitious project to create a pre-Party organisation that would contribute to the rebuilding of the Communist Party in Canada and of the International Communist Movement. I had not assimilated enough Marxism-Leninism and we had to concentrate on our goal to help rebuild the Soviet Union and socialism. But gradually he began to agree with the project, without participating in it because he only had enough energy to continue publishing the magazine. We discussed a lot, with enthusiasm, on many subjects: the United Front, the principles of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin concerning (1) the revolutionary way to socialism, (2) the dictatorship of the proletariat; and (3) the confiscation of the means of production and the edification of the socialist economy.
We lost a great comrade, a researcher and organiser, a totally dedicated proletarian revolutionary.
Comrade Adélard Paquin will remain in the history of the communist reconstruction movement, in Canada and around the world.Antonio Artuso,
Vijay Singh writes:
Comrade Adélard Paquin entered the communist movement in the revolutionary period of the Soviet Union under Stalin which was marked by the destruction of the rural bourgeoisie and the creation of the agrarian producers’ co-operatives on the lines outlined by Marx, and rapid industrialisation which led the backward Soviet Union to become the second great economic power on the planet. These extraordinary achievements enabled it to defeat Nazi Germany through a series of titanic battles such as that at Stalingrad though at the cost of some twenty-even million dead. Soviet military victories laid the basis for the creation of the band of democratic countries in central and eastern Europe and, by the defeat of the Japanese Fourth Army in Manchuria, enabled the PLA to begin its victorious march which led to the national liberation of China. The rapid reestablishment of the Soviet economy and the surpassing of pre-war production levels once again posed the agenda of the transition being laid of the basis of communist society. The post-Stalin reversals were marked by the rise of the domination of the market in the economy which in combination with destruction of Marxism in the CPSU and its replacement by Bogdanovism-Bukharinism created the pre-conditions of the end of the Soviet Union. Adélard Paquin thence returned to his Marxist roots, began to contest modern revisionism, and engaged with Marxism-Leninism in the last two decades of his life. Comrade Adélard Paquin was a major moral support to this journal in these years as is evident from his translation into French of many materials published in India in our journal: (http://revolutionarydemocracy.org/French/index.htm).
Revolution Democracy dips the red banner in his honour.
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