Front de Libération du Québec 1964
Written: by Louis Nadeau;
Source: La Cognee, no 7, March 15, 1964;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2005.
Such was the title of a recent editorial in the Montreal Star. We find there this amusing paragraph:
“If Quebec is complacent, the other provinces are not. They get the impression that an armed rising is planned in Quebec, that the authorities are powerless to stop it and, most alarming of all, that a great many people in Quebec would be sympathetic to a rising of some kind or, alternatively, would adopt a neutral attitude if one should develop.”
We have already explained that in relation to a revolution the population is divided into three groups: friendly, neutral, and hostile. What do we now find in Quebec? “Sympathy, when it was expressed at all, was expressed for the terrorists.” We thus conclude, along with the Montreal Star, that the proportion of the population that is friendly is much larger than generally believed.
As for an armed uprising, we are preparing it, and have been doing so for quite a while. For once the English are right! But what are we waiting for to set it off? In order to set off a revolution it’s necessary that the objective and subjective conditions be in place. By objective conditions we mean that the social structures in place must be sufficiently rotten that a good part of the population wants them to be replaced. By subjective conditions we mean that there must be trained revolutionaries ready to carry out this change by all means necessary, at the risk of their very lives.
Let us see what the objective conditions are for revolution in Quebec. The Québécois are increasingly sensitive to colonialism (as proof witness the outcry provoked by the affair of federal loans to students. Several other examples could be cited: the youth chambers, the eventual visit of the Queen, etc.). Our farmers live under disastrous economic conditions. Agricultural revenue has gone from $200,278,000 in 1962 to $188,237,000 in 1963. The government whores of Quebec reacted by reducing the budget of the ministry of Agriculture and Colonisation (from $60,228,300 to $59, 317,400). A fine way to fix the problem! We could also add the well-known statistics comparing the living standard of Quebec to that of the Canadians of Ontario. The scandals in which our elites are involved have been brought to broad daylight: the Salvas Commission, the Bouchard Commission, etc. The situation will soon lend itself to an armed uprising. All the conditions will be in place. In any event, it’s not necessary to wait for all the objective conditions to be prepared in order to set off the armed uprising. In fact, the armed uprising itself accentuates the rotting of the social structures that are to be changed.
Let us now study the subjective conditions of the revolution in Quebec. We note in the first place that the revolutionary tradition is non-existent here; we must create it from whole cloth. We are confronted with much good will but little training. Certain of our members are already more adventurers than revolutionaries. Many don’t yet understand the need for very strict personal and collective discipline for revolutionaries; or if they intellectually understand the need for discipline they don’t apply it. Certain of our members still give in to the temptation to play to the gallery with their knowledge of our current and future activities.
We all want to set off the armed uprising as quickly as possible because we can no longer put up with these colonial social structures that suffocate our people. We must remember that every indiscretion, every instant that we don’t consecrate to preparing ourselves, every distraction we grant ourselves, etc, pushes back the hour of liberation. It is time that we all put self-criticism into practice: we would be criminally irresponsible towards our people if we weren’t to do it. It is time that each of us takes the necessary measures for his own revolutionary formation; that we cease to be amateurs.
Patriots, the D-day of national liberation approaches! The objective conditions of the revolution are almost in place. The structures of the Movement are ceaselessly improving. We already have some arms and materiel, as you have heard in the newspapers. We have infiltrated ourselves everywhere, including the Canadian army, the provincial (and municipal) police, and the RCMP. Do we bring more than just good will? Do we understand that the fate of our liberation struggle is in our hands?
Patriots, the Revolution awaits us!
— Louis Nadeau