May 20, 2013

Force and the peaceful transistion to a socialist Canada

This article is part of an seven-part series of short quotes Rebel Youth is issuing about class struggle, revolution, civil-war, and parliamentary democracy. See also: Lenin on elections; the Communist Party of Canada on a counter-offensive against capitalismEngels on voting and street fightingLenin on Democracy and Class struggleCommunist and Worker's parties on the struggle for socialism; and Lenin on tactics and guerilla war; theCommunist Party of Canada on force, and a peaceful transition to socialism.

Ample historical evidence testifies to the fact that reactionary capitalist forces will not give up their power and privilege voluntarily. They will try to halt the democratic process. The danger will inevitably arise of capitalist violence against the socialist state and the expressed will of the majority of the people. This cannot be overlooked except at severe cost. The working class and its allies, when they achieve socialist power, will be justified in using the power and authority of the state to protect the democratic will of the majority against the minority, who will strive to restore their lost positions. The nature of the laws and measures enacted to protect working class power will depend on the amount of resistance that the reactionary capitalist elements offer to socialist law and order.

The peaceful transition to socialism, which is desirable, depends not only on the wishes of the people but on the relationship of forces at the time. The maximum unity and single-minded purpose of the people, the united participation of the widest masses of the working class in political struggle and the forging of unity with the small producers (farmers, fishers and artisans) and with the middle strata of the population will be crucial to withstand and paralyze capitalist violence and political reaction. The working class must be ready to use all forms of struggle to combat capital’s inevitable resistance to social progress.

For the first time in Canada’s history, however, the majority of the people will rule the country and establish a genuine democracy. The dictatorship of capital over labour – the rule of the minority over the majority – will be abolished and replaced by a socialist democracy in which political power will reside with the working class and its allies. For the first time, the interests of the Canadian people will be the prime determinant of our economic, political and cultural life.

Irrespective of the form it will take, the socialist state, from the point of view of its class essence, will represent working class rule. Marx referred to this as “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” In practical terms, state power will be exercised by the great majority of the Canadian population – over the former capitalist minority.

From Chapter 7 of the Programme of the Communist Party of Canada

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