The 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

The deepening systemic crisis of capitalism

The tasks of Communists in defence of sovereignty, deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the struggle for peace, progress and Socialism

An Open Letter to the Members and Supporters of Canadians for Peace and Socialism (CPS) and the Communist Party of Canada (CPC)

By: Don Currie
Chair Canadians for Peace and Socialism
Editor Focus on Socialism

November 28, 2010

Canadians for Peace & Socialism

Box 168 Slocan BC

V0G 2C0

1 250 355 2669

November 28, 2010

Dear Comrades and Friends

The theme of the December 3-5th 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP) is “The deepening systemic crisis of capitalism. The tasks of the Communists in the defence of sovereignty, deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the struggle for peace, progress and socialism” sums up the objective reality of the present time and the tasks of our international movement now and into the future.

The theme adopted by the IMCWP imposes on every member and supporter of CPS and CPC without exception, the duty to soberly consider its meaning for our country.

If such analytical work is undertaken unconditionally and with vigour it can be a decisive step forward for the Communist Party of Canada and all of the progressive forces that provide support thereby strengthening all of the movements of the people.

The Effects of the Deepening Systemic Crisis on the Canadian People

Canada, a G7-NATO state tightly integrated into the global system of imperialism has not escaped the consequences of the global crisis of capitalism.  There has been both short term and systemic damage to the Canadian economy and the welfare and standards of living of our people.  All of the disparities in capitalist society affecting the social needs of the people resulting from the anarchic development of the economy for maximum profit have been made worse.

State monopoly capitalism has used the current crisis as a pretext to recklessly appropriate all of the resources and wealth created by the people of Canada.  The state treasury, fiscal and monetary policy, government income and expenditure and links with international finance capital, have all been mobilized to protect a small class of wealth and privilege from the effects of capitalist cyclical crisis.  The short and long term needs of the people have been abandoned.

The minority Conservative Government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the support of right wing Liberals seeks to make the massive shift in wealth from the people to monopoly permanent.

The consequences of the policies of the state to protect the profits of big investors is to impose a massive federal debt, the underfunding of universal health, education, pension and welfare benefits, a wage freeze and mass unemployment on the working class.  Those burdens will continue even if the economy begins an expansionist phase of the cyclical crisis.

Senior government policies governing the movement of the export and import of foreign and domestic capital has worsened regional underdevelopment, intensified interprovincial competition, worsened parasitism and government and corporate corruption and destroyed many viable manufacturing industries.

The deindustrialization of Canada is a direct consequence of government policy that gives free reign to the investment decisions of domestic capital to invest in low wage countries and maximize profit on imported goods sold to Canadian consumers.  The result is higher prices, and loss of jobs for the working class.

The government has given carte blanche to the domination of foreign finance capital over key sectors of the economy, both at a national and regional level.  The consequence has been unemployment for Canadian workers, restructuring of otherwise successful Canadian industries to suit the profit interests of global investment oligarchies at the expense of whole communities and traditional ways of life of Canadian workers and their families.

The Federal minority conservative Government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has relieved the banks of all responsibility for bad investor mortgage debt by shifting that burden from bank ledgers to such government agencies as Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC).  The Bank of Canada has acted in consultation with the big banks, to maintain the spread between interest paid to the millions of small depositors and the interest charges to small and medium business to ensure massive bank profit.  The result has been a staggering increase in the personal indebtedness of the average Canadian family where debt burdens exceed wage income by an increasingly large margin.  Small and medium business working farmers and artisans are chronically starved for low cost financing.

The banks are not an industry as is oft stated in the corporate controlled media.  The banks manage the entire financial traffic domestically in and out of the country, on behalf of its biggest private investors and the coterie of parasitical staffers that become rich through intimate knowledge of the complex systems of corporate finance.

The banks are protected by the state as the instruments of big capital investments in the rich resources of Canada.  The banks, integrated with the state through the Bank of Canada are present at the cabinet table for every major fiscal and monetary decision that is made by government.  The banks are a secret oligarchy appropriating to itself the right to decide the fate of millions.

The banks brazenly declare their first responsibility is not to Canada but to its shareholders.  By that they mean their principal shareholders.  The banks make a mockery of democracy and the public demand for the banks to be compelled to invest in the economic interests of all Canadians.  The defiance of the banks to the public and national interest urgently requires their nationalization, public ownership and control.

The banks were consulted by the Harper Government prior to its enactment of the Federal Government Stimulus Funding.  The stimulus funding was financed by borrowing and has flowed to the profit interests of firms that will be beholden to the government in the next election.  The circuit that the stimulus capital will take, typical of the operation of state monopoly capital will ultimately find its way back to the banks.

The necessary improvements in public infrastructure that should have been undertaken by the federal government and that were urgently needed such as urban mass transit, capital investment in public schools and hospitals, low cost housing, were all sacrificed to political expediency of the government and the profit interests of the big banks. 

The minority Conservative Government has diverted billions of dollars to the wasteful Winter Olympic Games, to the G7/G20 meetings, and to a seemingly bottomless squandering of funds on airport security and the monitoring of the peaceful activities of Canadians as they go about their daily affairs.  The government has plans for massive investments in jails while abandoning its responsibilities to the youth for a life with a future and to provide urgently needed low cost housing for young families, seniors and working mothers.

Energy, Militarism and Bank Capital - Canadian Finance Capital Reaches for a Bigger Voice at the Global Imperialist Table 

The current global crisis has been the convenient pretext for Canadian finance capital, flush with profits, much of it from the plunder of the federal treasury, to seek a bigger more influential presence at the tables of the IMF, the WTO, and above all NATO.

Canadian finance capital brings oil profits, bank capital and bloated military budgets as bargaining chips at the poker table of international high finance. 

Bloodied in the Afghan War by sacrificing the lives of Canadian soldiers, Canadian finance capital is riding high and has cast aside any pretence of being an international peacekeeper to its preferred role as a war maker.   Canada’s participation through the Canadian Defense Institute (CDI) was a major contributor to the theories of a new NATO Strategic Concept.  The Harper Government has indicated its preparedness to commit Canadian armed forces to new NATO wars.

Only days after the Lisbon NATO meeting, the media is reporting on Canadian government obligations extending from Canada’s participation with the United Nations Command (UNC) in 1953 that could be used as a legal fig leaf to embroil Canada in any new hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.  Wiki Leaks has exposed the contempt of US imperialism for the Canadian people.  By their abject support for US imperialism the Harper Government and the Liberals are responsible for the demeaning of our people, their rational desire for peace.  The Conservative government will absorb US disparagement of our country and its people.  What is important to Canadian finance capital is to ensure that Canada participates in NATO’s next dirty war.  War profiteering and militarism is now a permanent and major factor in Canadian state monopoly economic planning. 

The minority Conservative Government has been successful with the support of the Liberal Party of Canada to assign billions to a 20 year buildup of the Canadian Armed Forces.  Federal Government shills, as a sop to the unemployed youth, openly boast of military expenditures as a stimulus to job growth.  In practice most of the military funding is allocated to government procurement of foreign manufactured weapons and weapons systems from private mainly US war industries.

The boast of Prime Minister Harper that Canada is an energy superpower has meant in practice that big foreign and domestic oil investors have seized the most lucrative and accessible energy resources of the country and in collaboration with the state is in the midst of massive profit taking derived at each step of the energy production process, discovery, exploitation, processing and transportation.

Canada’s transportation corridors, with the approval and support of the federal government and the Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia governments are now largely determined by the profit interests of big oil, gas and mining.

Canada’s surviving industrial capacity, as a manufacturer and fabricator of pipe, drill stem, vessels, compressors, cement, structural steel, electrical wire, and a host of electronic monitoring equipment is now largely dependent on supplying the energy sector with such materials and the technology and above all the skilled labour to make it all workable.

These massive expenditures are invested to exploit and export Canada’s energy resources to its primary market the USA, and increasingly to Asia.  

The export of energy surpluses to supply the energy resource needs of other countries is not unusual for a great exporting country such as Canada.  When it is done at the expense of the requirements of the Canadian people, its industries, its manufacturing sector and its public institutions and the need to provide cheap reliable and clean energy to Canadian consumers, it constitutes a national corporate crime of historical proportions.

The corporate sell-out of Canadian energy resources increasingly involves the integration of clean hydro electrical generation systems with those of the USA.  The patch work provincial anarchic competition for US market share has driven up the cost of hydro electric energy to Canadian consumers and become a bonanza of unearned profit for wealthy investors.

The Communists for decades have campaigned for the public ownership and control of all Canadian energy resources, its production and sale.  Successive Conservative and Liberal Party governments have permitted not only the sale of clean and cheap Canadian energy to satisfy US needs. These governments have permitted Canada’s energy resources to be dedicated, not integrated, which means in practice that it may be impossible in the future to repatriate these resources to meet Canadian needs.

Canada’s greatest Communist patriot and proletarian leader, Tim Buck, warned Canadians not to permit their energy resources to be dedicated to US industrial development as it would make it impossible to repatriate such energy to satisfy Canadian needs.

That criminal abandonment by state monopoly capitalism of the long term energy needs of Canadians was made legal by provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that requires Canada to satisfy the energy needs of the USA even if Canadian needs are not met.

Sovereignty of the People of Canada and Quebec and All First Nations Indigenous and Aboriginal People’s – This Land is Our Land

Canada is a federal, bi-national state monopoly capitalist country.  As Lenin observed in September 1917, “Everybody talks about imperialism. But imperialism is merely monopoly capitalism”.

Canada is an imperialist state ruled by finance capital everywhere in this land trampling the aspirations of all peoples who have been denied their rights by reason of colonial oppression, racist practices and legislation.  The resolution of all of the unresolved national injustices of all of our people depends on restoring the sovereignty of all of the people of Canada over deciding these issues.  These issues cannot be resolved by state monopoly capitalism.  The Canadian people will resolve these matters to the satisfaction of all under socialism.

The basis for unity today of all the forces seeking resolution of outstanding and unresolved issues of people’s sovereignty is to recognize that the root cause of our unresolved national injustices arise from the governing of the country in the political and economic interests of state monopoly capitalism.

The trend in Canada, under the oppressive rule of state monopoly capitalism, has been to divide Canadians and render the sovereignty of the people over our country largely formal.  The de-facto loss of sovereignty is accompanied with a weakening of the powers of the federal state over the unity of the country as it acts primarily and more openly for the narrow profit interests of finance capital.  That process is underway at the federal and provincial levels and at the expense of all of the peoples of our country who strive for justice and full recognition of national rights.

The process by which Canadian capitalism established its dominance over all of the territory of what is now called Canada and established a home market for the goods and services provided by the labour of Canadians, has now gone full circle where now, in its imperialist stage, finance capital has declared open season on the home market and abandon its function to the biggest investors under the provisions of NAFTA.

The protection of the home market in Canada and Quebec including on the traditional lands and territories of the indigenous people, has been largely abandoned by finance capital and turned into a vast no man’s land where everything is for sale including the greatest achievements of our people in all realms of the economy, political freedom, democratic governance, nation building, culture art, science, technology and planning and the unity of our people.

That is also true for the development of Canadian agriculture where food self sufficiency has been threatened by the corporate takeover of food production.  The profit interests of a handful of big agricultural corporations seeks domination over all aspects of agricultural production, including land rent, control of the production practices of farmers, the attempt through the ownership of new genome technologies that compel farmers to give up their independence, ownership and control of farming practices in exchange for a declining profit share in corporate agriculture.

Finance capital invested in agric-corp demands the break-up of working farmer control over single desk marketing and in particular farmer control of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

Today the defence of the independence of Canadian agriculture from corporate domination and control extends to the whole of rural Canada, its communities and all segments of the population that are directly and indirectly dependent on the agricultural sector of the economy.  Such industries as large abattoirs, farm implement manufacturers, farm machinery suppliers, marketers of seed, fertilizers and farm supplies are all under corporate pressure to give up more and more of their profit margins to corporate investors and shareholders.

The consumers of Canadian agricultural production are Canadian workers and their families.  The basis for worker farmer unity is the struggle for rising incomes of both working farmers and Canadian workers that are jointly exploited by finance capital.

The protection of the productive land base of Canada is an issue involving the sovereignty of the Canadian people over all of the resources of the country, including the future of its agriculture sector.

The Communists and Canadian Sovereignty

The Communist Party of Canada was the first party in Canadian politics to raise the banner of Canadian Independence over our own economic destiny and to challenge the betrayal of our own monopoly bourgeoisie in collaboration with US imperialism to turn Canada into a vast raw material reserve for US imperialist plans for a war with the USSR and the European socialist system of states during the early stages of the Cold War.

The fundamental challenge presented by the Communists to the sell out of our country must be revisited and renewed today in the light of the changes that have taken place in Canadian-US relations and what is now apparent a more aggressive and belligerent drive by Canadian finance capital for a bigger role at the imperialist table of the G7.

The majority of Canadian people have never been attracted to jingoism and chauvinism.  Their adherence to rational solutions is a remarkable fact attesting to something that is of great value in the character and beliefs of our people.  It has been reinforced by waves of immigration that has been largely absorbed into the working class where people from everywhere work together and share concerns about the future of the country.

The shills of state monopoly capitalism shamelessly attempt to lay hands on that legacy and claim it for its own narrow class interests.  That cannot be allowed to happen.  The Communists are patriots and stand together with all Canadians who labour in the defence of our country and against those who would appropriate its wealth and achievements for its own enrichment.

The Communist Party is called upon to revisit its traditions of patriotism and partisanship for the political independence of our country, because without it the masses will not be won for the struggle for socialism.

For a Higher Level of Communist Activity

The political slogans of the IMCWP call for a higher level of ideological partisanship and theoretical exactingness, renovation of program, refinement of policy, strategy and tactics to enable Canadian Communists to fulfill the rising political expectations of the working class and its allies now and in the future.

Above all, the call of the 12th IMCWP underlines the urgency of the need for audacious political action to bring the Communist vision of the anti-monopoly economic future of our country to all of the Canadian movements of labour, peace, social advance, environmental responsibility and people’s democracy. 

The way to begin that work is in public meetings and conferences opened to all of the progressive left where reporting back from Johannesburg is not perfunctory, but is well planned well publicized and becomes the platform for a process of ideological and theoretical invigoration of our movement.  Such work should culminate in the establishment of a theoretical pole around which further discussions can unfold in an organized way, with no other purpose than to strengthen the struggle for peace and socialism.

Communist Parties of the World Taking Up the Banner of Leadership

The severity  of the current economic crisis is sweeping off the table of all Communist Parties, all notions of leadership infallibility, all tendencies to passivity and contentment, all illusions that theoretical and programmatic problems for working class advance are now solved and all that remains for us to do is wait upon events and our efforts will be vindicated.  CPS considers such weaknesses to be the form that revisionist passivity and opportunism takes in our time.

The 12th IMCWP meeting without doubt will demonstrate once again, the power of the Communist methodology of criticism and self criticism, the practical working tools of Marxism-Leninism applied to the task of making the international program, line, strategy and tactics of the IMCWP the most powerful force for unity among the global international working class and anti-imperialist movements.

For A Self Critical Review of Program and Mass Work

Canadian Communists confront the task of once again taking up the tools of criticism and self criticism by undertaking a critical review of program, mass work, and party fitness of purpose.  Those problems were discussed and proclaimed as requiring rectification at the 36th Central Convention of the Communist Party of Canada and remain as good intentions.

The Communist Party of Canada is at a critical juncture of its development as it approaches its 90th Anniversary.  The leadership must begin to speak critically about what must be done to make a turn in its mass work and to improve its influence in the country as a whole and specifically among the advanced and militant workers.

The conscious efforts leading to the successes of many Communist Parties in countries comparable to ours have invariably started with an exacting critical review of past mistakes.

The KKE, the Communist Party of Greece is exemplary in this work.  Their experience needs to be studied and emulated as a correct Leninist approach to improving the work of Parties struggling for socialism in advanced capitalist countries ruled by state monopoly capitalism.

That crucial process is well underway in many other capitalist countries where state monopoly capitalism dominates all political and economic processes.   That crucial process has led to the establishment in struggle, of Communist inspired independent forms of organization around which the most advanced militant and revolutionary minded working class forces striving for economic gains, peace and socialism can unite.

Such Communist inspired organizations express their internationalism concretely by striving to be at the forefront of the resistance to imperialism.  That task must be taken up deliberately and with vigour in our country, even if the initial attempts are modest.  The Communist Party of Canada is late in addressing that problem.

As a starting point, we Canadian Communists are called upon to openly declare and demonstrate concretely our affiliation to and participation in the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the World Peace Council (WPC) the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF).  These organizations regardless of where they are presently at in the renewal process of our international revolutionary movement, represent the future and are forces Canadian Communists must affiliate with and openly promote.  This task is not answered adequately by perfunctory and intermittent acknowledgement that such organizations exist, but in regular publication of their work and activities, such as is done well by the Young Communist League in its collaborative work with the WFDY.  That must also be done in all of the aforementioned organizations.

The failure to do that adequately is apparent.  The absence in the Communist press of timely declarations of solidarity with the recent World Peace Council led mass demonstrations in Lisbon Portugal against NATO, the absence of statements by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Canada addressed to Canadian Labour Movement and Peace Movement about the threat to the Canadian people of the Harper Government’s commitment to NATO, the absence of a timely Communist response to Canadian Government support for US imperialist war plans against Iran and the DPRK, the absence of the Communist Party from the day to day, week to week, year to year attention to mass Parliamentary politics, the decline and in most cases the absence of the active public involvement of provincial party organizations in the big issues affecting the working class and farmers in provincial and municipal politics are symptoms of the urgency of the need for a critical review of Communist mass public work.

Mass work means the strengthening of the decisive fronts of struggle with the assignment of forces, the issuing of statements, the publication of newsletters, and the creative application and use of the new technology of mass communication.  It cannot be done all at once but it will never be done if there is not acknowledgement that a serious problem exists.

CPS has said on many occasions and repeats it now, that these problems are not resolved because they have been mentioned in omnibus resolutions at Conventions and Central Committee meetings.   Workers do not carry a copy of the adopted resolutions of the Communist Party of Canada in their back pocket and lunch bucket for quick reference as they confront the effects of the attacks by state monopoly capitalism on their vital economic and political interests.

Resolutions are important and indispensible guides to action that must be not only be proclaimed but actively fought for.

What CPS is addressing is the matter of timeliness.  The CPC is deficient in its responses to events and lacking in imagination and creativity in the fight for its line.  That needs to be addressed and urgently.

What needs to be done is done, inch by inch, day to day, week to week that gives confidence to the organized labour and peace movements of Canada that the Communists not only record events, but anticipate them and provide the slogans and policies that in a timely way clarify and strengthen the struggles of our people.

There are innumerable geniuses everywhere on the internet accomplished in the art of being wise after the fact which we Communists call tailism, a form of opportunism posing as leadership.

The deepening of social alliances in Canada depends as it does in all countries, on the strengthening of the leadership role that only Communists provide and that require the presence, however modest, however small in numbers, of those time tested Communist inspired independent formations enabling the Communists to fulfill their unifying role without becoming dissolved in social reformist and petty bourgeois trends.

As a start, the CPC must revive its Labour, Peace and Women’s Commissions and discuss how to give them the spokespersons and organizational form that will strengthen the presence and ideas of our movement in struggles of the Canadian people.

Communists – A Force for Unity in Mass Movements of the People

Communists reject the opportunist suggestion that organizations they inspire, organize and actively participate in have a narrowing affect on broad social alliances.  One can only ask who and what is it that we are offending by aspiring to lead millions.  Where Communists do lead the masses is where imperialism is compelled to retreat.

CPS believes that the coalition politics of the 1980’s dominated by petty bourgeois radicalism continues to influence the mass work of the Communist Party today and must be critically reappraised.  In our opinion it is the lingering effects of that experience two and three decades ago that in 2010 hobbles the mass work of the Communist Party today.

The mass movements that are arising today have created a crisis of theory and practice for petty bourgeois radicalism that can no longer embrace the breadth and depth and momentum of the anti-monopoly movements that have arisen in the present decade and that are certain to develop in the years ahead.  The theories of petty bourgeois radicalism lead to an accommodation with state monopoly capitalism.  There are no examples with the exception of the Solidaire movement in Quebec where a serious critical reappraisal of the failures of petty bourgeois radicalism has been undertaken.

The Communist Party of Canada confronts the need to review all of the manifestations of the influence of petty bourgeois radicalism in its mass work. 

The Crisis of the Accommodation Theories of Social Reformism

The Communist Party of Canada has subjected the accommodation theories of social reformism to severe criticism.  The policy of the leaderships of the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates to limit independent political action to tacit support for the NDP remains the status quo default position for most of the leadership of the organized labour movement.  That will not likely change in the near future.

Where the CLC leads, as it is now doing in the struggle for pension reform that serves the needs of millions of workers, it is commanding some important support.  The CLC is currently the main obstacle to the campaign of the private insurance providers to gut the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), extend the retirement age of Canadian workers, absolve employers of their pension responsibilities and to divert more of the CPP to fund the CPPI (Investment fund) and other none pension functions.

The Communist Party has been absent from this struggle.  CPS four years ago called attention to the attempt of the extreme right wing to collapse the CPP into a form of RRSP fund.  A year ago a member of CPS authored an important article on the corporate assault on the universality principle of pensions and warned of attempt at current federal-provincial discussions to weaken the CPP and the OAS.

The CLC is performing a useful service to its members and all Canadian workers in campaigning for doubling pensions, increasing contributions and opposing extending the age of entitlement.

CPS is not in favour of confining that campaign to pleading with the Ontario and other provincial authorities to accept the CLC proposals.  The CLC campaign is largely unknown outside of its ranks.  The campaign needs to be taken directly to the Canadian people and in particular to those working Canadians who have no pension benefits whatsoever.

The Communist Party is called upon to be in the thick of such struggles, and if it had a functioning rank and file trade union committee, openly affiliated with the WFTU and speaking independently to the rank and file it could be.

That is an important challenge to the Party has it approaches its 90th Anniversary.

CPS made up as it is of former members of the CPC, is fully aware of all of the problems associated with making a turn in the mass work of the Party.  It is not a problem only for the CPC.  It is a problem for many parties in advanced capitalist countries.

For small Communist Parties not yet commanding the attention of millions, the task remains to have a mass outlook and even though small, to create organizations that enable communists to speak independently as social alliances develop.  In particular this becomes an urgent necessity in the struggle for peace, for trade union militancy and for needs of the youth and for the economic equality of women.  

The Role of Real Socialism Today

The IMCWP has made important advances in analyzing and understanding the causes of the counter-revolutionary defeats of Soviet and European socialism.  That advance has enabled our entire movement to counter-attack new forms of anti-communism and the attempts of some capitalist states to make the struggle for socialism illegal. 

The IMCWP has rejected the theory that 21st Century Socialism must be distinguished from so-called “first wave” socialism.  That was a serious error of historical estimation by the current leadership of the Communist Party of Canada and became embodied in its program in 2000 and proclaimed as the position of the CPC at international meetings in Athens Greece in 2006.  That estimation must be revisited, reviewed and corrected.

The IMCWP has made important headway in correctly exposing and formulating the harmful effects of anti-Sovietism including the distortions by right wing extremists of the historical role of Joseph Stalin and other prominent leaders of the USSR.  In particular the IMCWP has dealt important theoretical blows at the attempt of Trotskyist, reformist, historical revisionists of all types to conflate communism and fascism.

The IMCWP in the presentations of many of its leading parties has rejected the invitation of revisionist interpretations of our history, to absolve imperialism of its crimes against the socialist masses and their heroic efforts under the leadership of the CPSU to build real socialism and defeat fascism in WW2. 

Not only has the historical affirmation of real socialism strengthened our movement it has even compelled some bourgeois historians to recast their assumptions about the historic role of the Soviet Union.

The Guardian, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia, reports at length about a remarkable book by English University Don, George Roberts, relying on declassified Soviet archives to repudiate the slanders against Joseph Stalin and his wartime leadership of the Soviet Union.  The book “Stalin’s Wars” is published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Canadian workers are not asking why socialism failed.  That is something that excites academia but has little resonance in the lunch rooms, union halls, on the picket line and in mass demonstrations for pension rights, minimum wages, child care and public housing.

The Failures and Distortions of Capitalism

The critical review that is now required in our country begins by posing to all of the progressive forces of the left the very question Canadian workers are posing themselves that arises from their own experience in the current economic crisis.

The question heard everywhere and posed in a multitude of ways by the labouring masses is:

“Can capitalism develop further and in the interests of wage earners and all those who must labour to live?”

More and more Canadians are doubtful it can.  Questions about capitalism and its failures are becoming the slogans of youth activists.  The questioning of the future of capitalism is actively discussed among serious academics.  It is beginning to be tentatively discussed in such respected journals as the CCPA Monitor and hinted at in the publications the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Peace Alliance.

The failures and distortions of capitalism is the question studiously avoided by pundits and apologists of state monopoly capitalism.  The entire coterie of corporate think tanks works feverishly each and every day to attempt to cover up the failures and distortions of its system.  They will fail.

The present generation of workers will not know that the Communists answered that question of whether or not capitalism has a future with a resounding no from the birth of their party in 1921.  The Communist repeated that view in the 20th Century and continues to do so today.  The disconnect  between what the Communists know and millions of workers suspect, can be overcome, but only as a result of a complete and conscious critical review of Communist mass work which does not as yet measure up to what needs to be done in particular how to propagandize and fight for the socialist future of our country. 

That process begins with finding all of the opportunities to reiterate to all Canadians that there can be no progressive future for our country except by the struggle for socialism.  The idea of a reformed imperialism, or any of the theories of a less oppressive more benign capitalism, is a social democratic reformist illusion, harmful to the struggles of our people for a better life and an enduring peace.

It is ludicrous and un-Marxist to erect theoretical barriers between the mass struggles to defend gains, to win wage demands, to preserve and expand health care, to broaden pension coverage to expand the principle of universality to child care and public housing etc. and the struggle for socialism.  It is precisely in these struggles of the people, that the Communists see the approaches to revolution that Lenin spoke of in his day.  That is particularly true today where struggles are taking place around issues that have attached to them great principles Canadians have come to consider their own.  It is important to respect and not trivialize what the people consider as important and to seek the progressive content in those beliefs.  Canadians by and large have developed ideas about what principles they believe should guide the nation.  Such principles include:

  • the universality and entitlement to social benefits;
  • foreign policies based on actions for peace not on preparations for war;
  • non-negotiable sovereignty of the Canadian people over their own natural resources;
  • democratic right of the majority to impose controls on finance capital and compel it to conform to the interests of Canadians first;
  • the wealth produced by collective labour of the workers of Canada belongs to the people.

One can go on.

What is important is to understand what the masses of Canadians consider fundamental to Canada and by and large what they believe is progressive and make that a starting point in our campaign for socialism.

Communists accord importance to principles.  Great principles proclaimed and not fought for is the stuff of bourgeois politics not working class politics.  We accord to the struggles for lofty principles the greatest of importance.  It is in the struggle for such ideals that the people will discard what is trivial and retain what is decisive.

The Communist and Other Parties

The trend in capitalist politics in Canada is to the extreme right, affecting both parties of the profit system the ruling minority Conservative government and the opposition Liberal Party.  Both uphold the supremacy of finance capital and militarism over Parliamentary democracy.  Both uphold the merger of the state and finance capital in determining all of the decisive questions of economic and political development of the country.  Both promote more openly oppressive actions by the state to suppress the rising anti-monopoly struggles of the people.  Neither can be relied upon to prevent, the open dictatorial rule of monopoly in some contemporary form of fascism.

The working class makes its own history in struggle for its vital interests.  It rarely undertakes those struggles under its true leaders.  The path of the working class to the full understanding and acceptance of its revolutionary historical role and the abandonment of parties of the profit system is only possible with a conscious, active, united and theoretically rigorous Marxist-Leninist vanguard.  There are no historical precedents to prove otherwise. 

The 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of Canada and the Program of the CPC

The Communist Party of Canada marks the 90th Anniversary of its founding in 2011.  From its founding the Communists proclaimed their internationalism, declaring their contribution to the international communist and working class and anti-imperialist movements of the peoples to be the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist state on the territory of Canada.  Every program adopted by the Party, openly and proudly restated that goal revising only the means of achieving it to bring it in line with changes in the objective reality of capitalist development in our country.

CPS argues strenuously, that the Communist movement in Canada is once more at another stage in its development where a discussion is urgently needed to bring our program, strategy and tactics in line with the changes in the objective reality of global and domestic state monopoly capitalist development resulting from the global economic crisis of capitalism and the more aggressive militarist stance of Canadian finance capital at home and abroad. 

The program must revisit the changes in US-Canadian relations since 2000.  It must revisit the issue of independent Canadian economic development.  In this context the Communists must develop their views on the future of the Arctic.  The Communist program must revisit and reassess the trends to deindustrialization and its effect on the struggle for socialism.  It must consider refocusing its attention to energy development as critical to Canada’s future.  It must with more attention to Lenin’s teachings on imperialism describe state monopoly capitalism as having created all of the prerequisites for socialism.  There is an urgent need to describe and warn more succinctly of the dangers of fascism.  There is need to revisit and articulate a Communist standpoint on the matter of global warming and environmental degradation.  There is the urgent necessity to restate more exactingly the Communist standpoint on nuclear disarmament.  There is need to have a programmatic stand on the issues of the impact of the internet on mass psychology in particular among the youth.  It is urgent that the Communist program clearly enunciate its stand on morals, ethics as it impacts the youth, women’s rights and the defence of the rights of children.  The Communist program must address the unity of the North American anti-imperialist movements of the people in particular the matter of the attempt of US imperialism to dominate the resources, investment and labour mobility of Mexico and Canada.  A program update must include a re-examination of the Communist standpoint on deepening social alliances in the 21st Century.

Confidence, Audacity, Patient and Purposeful Communist Initiative

Why are we Communists confident of the future in spite of all of the crimes of imperialism, its massive military power and its capacity for imposing more war and oppression on the people and more mindless abuse of the planet?

We are confident because we Communists recognize that we are living in the final stage of capitalist development that is incapable of further progressive development and beyond which there is only socialism.

Lenin helped us to understand that truth in the midst of imperialist war and socialist revolution. The following quotes are from his great work; “The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It” as published in Volume 25 Progress Publishers 1965.

Lenin observed:

“For socialism is merely the next step forward from state capitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly.”

Lenin in the midst of imperialist war:

“Imperialist war is the eve of socialist revolution. And this is not only because of the horrors of the war give rise to proletarian revolt – no revolt can bring about socialism unless the economic conditions for socialism are ripe – but because state-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are not intermediate rungs.”

Canadian workers will not support the destruction of the great industrial monopolies that provide them work.

Canadian workers will not embrace petty bourgeois theories that advocate a halt to economic development.

Canadian workers will oppose the destruction of the great industries and manufacturing sectors that provide them work.

And so they should.  These are the perquisites for the economic transition to socialism.

Communists answer the question of the tyranny of state monopoly capitalism over the destiny of our country – as Lenin did in his time…make it serve the interests of the whole people and it will cease to be capitalist state monopoly, it will become socialism.

Left Turn Canada!