May 1, 2014
Our struggle for the future
Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada
This May Day 2014, more than five years have passed since the US housing bubble burst and quickly spread to a global financial crisis, the most acute and dangerous since the 1930s. The neo‑liberal agenda of the main imperialist powers had exported a global movement of unregulated and unrestrained capital, free trade agreements, a gluttony of super exploitation, theft of public property and privatization of public services, provoking a crisis so acute in its scale and breadth that it threatened collapse.
The managers of imperialism could not repair their own damage so they bought themselves a temporary reprieve by plundering public property, expropriating public funds to rebuild bankrupted enterprises, transferring funding for social programs and superstructure from the public purse into their investment houses. They richly rewarded themselves, increasing military budgets, and corrupting markets to the extent that it has created a world unemployment crisis, terrible privation, hunger, disease and war.
Imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, is in an incurable stagnancy marked by declining rates of profit which in turn brought on the crisis, a crisis which is not just cyclical but also structural in nature. If the rate of profit has declined, the absolute volume of profit has not.
Never in the history of humanity has been so much wealth expropriated by so few, from so many. This grisly achievement rests on the shoulders of impoverishment, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and war. Political leaders who refuse, or even hesitate, to deliver their nations into the gristmill of unrestricted capital are targeted.
Yet the people resist and create new leaders because the opposite of exploitation is struggle, resistance, socialism. The flashpoints of resistance in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia on the front lines of anti‑imperialism are a living phenomenon that represents the global undercurrent of massive and developing fightback. The imperialist response is destruction of civil liberties, the corruption of democracy and the development of militarism and war as domestic and foreign policy.
In Canada the Harper Tories represent the most rapacious elements of capital, that section of the ruling class that enriches itself at the expense of our social programs, that seeks to fill their bank accounts with the proceeds of privatization, the sell-off of our natural resources, the stolen dreams of our precariously existing youth and the continuing plunder of the indigenous peoples.
According to David Macdonald, Senior Economist at The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, "Canada's wealthiest 86 people represent only 0.002% of the population but they're so flush they could buy absolutely everything owned by every person in New Brunswick, they could buy up all of New Brunswickers' cars, all of their houses, all of their undeveloped land, all of their stocks, bonds, pension funds and RRSPs, all of their jewelry, all of their furniture‑everything‑and still have billions to spare."
Yet they tell us we cannot afford denticare, pharmacare, childcare, universal tuition‑free education, or anything that gives us a modicum of democracy and social security. The truth is that we, the working people of Canada, cannot afford them.
The Harper Tories and the people they represent seek a larger share in the global plunder of imperialism, and a bigger role in the military subjugation of peoples. They seek to shed the cloak of junior partners and dream of full partnership in the imperialist camp. They offer our young people the choice between the military, the food banks, or the part‑time existence of the fast food services. Every month they engineer figures to show unemployment is decreasing and every month there are more unemployed.
They manufacture the lie of labour and skill shortages so they can use the "Temporary Foreign Worker Program" to hold down wages and super‑exploit trafficked "guest‑workers" from other countries, while maintaining high levels of unemployment to keep our young people desperate and vulnerable. The "guest workers" are our brothers and sisters who they seek to use and then discard. But we are not deceived, we will embrace them and fight for them because they are of our class, of our family.
There is a growing ripple of unrest in our country that has not yet found reflection in the trade union leadership, has not found its conscious realization of what precisely is wrong, has not resulted in the articulation of class struggle expressed in program and ideology. It is part of the undercurrent of global unrest, the potential of developing struggle, and it exists in thousands of minor skirmishes every day wherever people labour, in the proud struggle of indigenous nations, in the struggle of students.
It is just as natural for working people to struggle and organize as it is to live and work. The brave people who demonstrated at the G20 in Toronto, the proud Six Nations people who still refuse to give up the Douglas Creek Land, the Idle No More movement, the Occupy movement, the Quebec students and many, many other struggles ‑ all these demonstrate the beginnings of what is coming, demonstrate what consciousness and organization can accomplish.
May Day is a time of reflection of past struggles, a time to remember martyrs and fighters, landmarks of our history, international solidarity and awareness of self, class consciousness. The most important thing that International May Day brings is the realization that all our culture, our martyrs and our struggles are for the future, for a vision of a future free from exploitation, war and greed. A future of peace and prosperity. That is why the concept of May Day must be on the streets, in the workplaces, in internationalist solidarity and in the unbreakable expression of the people's will, unshakeable, anti‑imperialist and visionary.
That vision is socialism, and that is the vision of the Communist Party.
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