June 17, 2013

Force and the struggle for 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 capitalism; Engels on voting and street fighting; Lenin on Democracy and Class struggle; Communist and Worker's parties on the struggle for socialism; and Lenin on tactics and guerilla war; the Communist Party of Canada on force, and a peaceful transition to socialism.

A democratic, anti-monopoly, anti-imperialist alliance will have as its objective the democratic restructuring of Canadian society so that the interests of the majority of Canadians come first, and the stranglehold of finance capital on every aspect of life is broken. It will seek to advance the working people’s interests through all available avenues of struggle, based on massive and united extra-parliamentary action.

The alliance will strive to score electoral advances, and the winning of power by a people’s government dedicated to carrying out sweeping measures to democratize society and transform economic relations in the interests of the working class and the Canadian people as a whole.

Such a breakthrough will be difficult to accomplish given the sophisticated means at the disposal of the ruling class to manipulate public opinion, discourage political activism and otherwise influence the outcome of bourgeois elections. A crucial task for the alliance will be to defend and expand democracy and to fight against corporate and governmental attacks on the electoral process.

A democratic, anti-monopoly government, based on a parliamentary majority, and acting in concert with the united and militant extra-parliamentary movements of the people, would signal a qualitative shift in the balance of class forces in Canadian society, and open the door to the revolutionary transformation to socialism. It would involve the people in a truly meaningful way.

The people’s government would be committed to a program of action geared to serve people before profit. That program would arise in the course of the social, economic and political struggles of the working class and its democratic allies, and be subject to the widest discussion and approval among all of the forces of the alliance.

Communists will struggle to win support for the most advanced program of political, economic and social transformation possible in line with the changing conditions. The program must aim: (1) to confront and restrict the power of finance capital (both foreign and domestic), and to extend public ownership of key sectors of the economy; (2) to redistribute wealth and raise the living standards and conditions of life for the vast majority of the people; and (3) to introduce sweeping democratic reforms to enhance popular control and administration of the Canadian state at all levels of government. (...)

Although such measures would not constitute socialism, the victory of a people’s government devoted to carrying out such a broad program would mark a significant step in the struggle for fundamental change and socialist transformation.

To succeed, a people’s government would require the full and conscious mobilization of the working class and its allies outside Parliament. With each meaningful reform enacted, with each democratic measure secured, with each encroachment on the power and privilege of capital, the ruling class and its imperialist international partners would stiffen their resistance by all means at their disposal. But, at the same time, such measures can help to galvanize the masses, and promote working class actions in support of the people’s government.

This would be a period of intensified class struggle on all fronts – political, economic and ideological.

The successful implementation of the people’s program, and the pace with which it is carried out will depend on the unity and militancy of the working class and its revolutionary vanguard, and on the enduring unity of the entire democratic, anti-monopoly, anti-imperialist alliance. Prevailing regional and international conditions will also affect the pace of social transformations.

Throughout this process there will be social and political mobilization of the working class and people’s forces to support and implement the program of the people’s government – through electoral and workplace struggles, street demonstrations and other actions. At the same time, the threatened ruling class will attempt to shake the confidence and unity of the people’s forces and to frustrate their ability to carry out the people’s program.

To preserve its class privileges and re-establish its supremacy, the capitalist class will be inclined to resort to economic blackmail and sabotage, subversion from within those sections of the state apparatus it still influences and controls, political violence and terrorism, and even open rebellion and foreign intervention. The people’s government, with the full support of the working class, will be fully within its rights to counter any such anti-democratic and illegal assaults on people’s power

From Chapter 6 of the Programme of the Communist Party of Canada

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