The Draft Program for the Canadian Proletarian Party proposed by IN STRUGGLE! is divided into three major sections.
The first section, which includes Articles 1 through 7, describes the fundamental characteristics of the situation in Canada and in the world, the characteristics of our era, and the role played by the working class in society. Imperialism and capitalism, as well as the forces at work in our country and in the world, are dealt with in this section. This section of the Draft Program is, in away, a general description of the principles and analyses on which the other two are based.
The second section, which includes Articles 8 through 12, sets forth the goals of the proletariat’s class struggle. It describes socialist revolution, socialist society, and the working class’s ultimate goal, communism.
The third section, Articles 13 through 16, describes the path the working class must follow to reach its goal. We speak of the friends and enemies of the socialist revolution in Canada; we set forth the means necessary for making revolution as well as the essential immediate demands that must be fought for to move the revolutionary struggle in Canada forward.
The first Article of the Draft Program briefly describes the present world situation. It describes the conditions in which the majority of the globe’s inhabitants are forced to live.
World history since the beginning of the century shows that we live in a situation where devastating wars, aggressive manoeuvrings of the more powerful countries, and exploitation and oppression of the peoples have become a permanent fact of life. Many peoples have long been subjected to the colonial yoke, to the military occupation of their country by foreign powers in complete denial of their national and democratic rights. This savage domination has also taken the form of neocolonialism, i.e. a less direct form where foreign imperialists rely on local reactionary classes to oppress and exploit the people; in a neocolony, the “national army” is the watchdog of these foreign interests.
In the space of a few decades, humanity has gone through the two most savage and bloody wars of its history. For a hundred years the world has known no rest, war has continued to wreak destruction. Tens of millions of men and women perished in the last world war alone. And since then war has continued to spread destruction everywhere – in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America. The threat of a new world war hangs over our heads permanently.
In many countries, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and all kinds of degradations make the lives of hundreds of millions of men, women, and children scarcely tolerable. Every year, at least ten million people, i.e. the equivalent of half of Canada’s population, starve to death.
In our world, injustice and the denial of the most elementary rights have become common practice. More and more peoples are under the fascist heel of military regimes and police states. The number of victims of world reaction has increased to such an extent that they can no longer be counted. Billions of dollars are spent to perfect methods of repression and torture. The systematic elimination of entire populations, as in many regions of Latin America, is planned.
Humanity’s resources are wasted in senseless adventures while people’s basic needs remain unsatisfied, land is spoiled, misery increases, and poverty spreads. The gap between rich countries and poor ones, far from diminishing, is increasing. There is an increasingly evident imbalance between humanity’s capacity for progress and the wretched reality that hundreds of millions of people must live under daily.
In the vast majority of countries, moral and cultural decay, crime, alcoholism, drugs, and prostitution are spreading like a cancer. Prisons are being built at an unprecedented rate. Factories are closed down. The limitation of industrial and agricultural production is planned. Unemployment has become an incurable social disease. And great nation chauvinism, racism, and national oppression are developing at an alarming rate.
Faced with this, we ask: why is it that we have to put up with these conditions? Who is responsible? What economic, political, and social system creates and perpetuates this situation? How can things be changed? Representatives of the bourgeoisie often respond that this situation is inevitable, that oppression and exploitation and economic, political, and sociai inequalities have always existed and will always exist. They invoke the laws of nature, divine laws, and all kinds of things over which people have no control. Reality, however, is quite different. It shows that these are the explanations of those who profit from this misery and whose power depends on maintaining the present conditions.
The reality is that, despite diversity in political regimes, in language, and in culture and beyond differences in race and nationality, the vast majority of the people of the globe share a common condition: that of living in a society where the owners of the means of production impose their will over those who possess nothing or little. In other words, the vast majority of people live in a society divided into social classes where the propertied classes, the capitalists and landowners, dominate the classes who have little or no property, the working class and the small farmers. The economic base of this social regime is the capitalist system.
In the course of its evolution, humanity has gone through many stages of development: from the primitive communal society, without social classes, to the slave society, from it to feudalism, from feudalism to capitalism... Since the slave society, all social systems have had the common characteristic of division of society into classes of opposing interests based on the position that each one occupies in the system of ownership of the means of production.
In the past few hundred years, capitalism has become the dominant form of production and of division of society into classes, i.e. the dominant mode of production. Its distinguishing characteristic is to have simplified class antagonisms by increasingly reducing them to the one opposing the proletariat (or working class) to the bourgeoisie, to capitalism.
The key to the economic and political power of the bourgeoisie is the private ownership of the means of production and exchange (land, buildings, factories, machines, stores, transportation, etc.) and the exploitation of the labour-power of the working class. The bourgeoisie is a class whose reason for existence is the accumulation of capital, i.e. the continual growth of its economic power; a capitalist who does not grow is, as a general rule, a capitalist condemned to disappear. On the other hand, the capitalist has nothing if he cannot find in society a large number of people who have no other means of subsistence but the sale of their labour-power in exchange for a wage equivalent to the strict minimum for survival. The secret of capitalist exploitation lies precisely in the fact that what the capitalist buys from the worker is not his work but rather his labour-power. If the capitalist had to pay for the work furnished, he would not be able to make the profit he does. Let’s look at an example to illustrate this.
Suppose that a worker produces 10 pairs of shoes a week which sell for $25.00, thus making a total value of $250.00 per week on the market. This worker receives a weekly wage of $100.00. Where does the value of the shoes come from? The raw materials – the leather, thread, and glue – along with the other means of production such as electricity, the machines, etc. alone account for $75.00 to which is added the value added by the worker’s labour, i.e. $250.00 less $75.00 or $175.00. This sum represents the amount that the worker added by his work to the value of the materials that he was given at the beginning. If the capitalist paid the worker according to the value of his labour, he would have to give him $175.00. However, this is not what happens because the wages paid to the worker do not correspond to the value of the work he furnishes; rather, they correspond, on the average, to what it costs the worker to reproduce this labour-power or, in other words, to recuperate his energies and ensure his subsistence given the cost of living and the living conditions at a given time.
There lies the essence of capitalist exploitation: the worker gives a certain value of work to the capitalist but his wages do not correspond to this value but to only a fraction of it. The value of the non-paid work is called the surplus-value; the capitalist appropriates this non-paid fraction which constitutes the source of his profit, the source of capital. Here lies the key to the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, the key to the enrichment of the bourgeoisie on the backs of workers.
But we say in the Draft Program that the majority of people still live under the rule of imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism. Does this mean that capitalism is a bygone thing and that we now live under a new social system, imperialism?
No, imperialism is not a new mode of production; it is a stage in the evolution of capitalism. In fact, imperialism is the capitalism of monopolies, capitalism where the concentration of capital in the hands of giant monopolies and trusts is so great that they dominate all the economic life of the capitalist world and countries.
First developed within national states, capitalism quickly spread beyond these boundaries in the conquest of new markets and new sources of profits. The first phase of this development consisted in a race for the division of the world, i.e. ; for the conquest of vast regions of the globe and their transformation into colonies. Capitalism was then only beginning and merchants dominated this expansion. But progressively the entire world was divided among a handful of rich countries. From the beginning of the 20th century, the situation was such that in order to expand, the imperialist powers had undertaken a struggle for the re-division of the world, i.e. a struggle to take away from others their spheres of influence and their colonies. From that time on, humanity had entered the era of imperialist world wars for the redivision of the world. In effect, imperialism can only lead to war for this is the only means it has for resolving the problems of world-wide competition, the problem of redividing the world, between imperialist blocs and powers.
The Draft Program states that this situation is not limited to the capitalist countries like the United States, Canada, and France, but that it also characterizes the Soviet Union which calls itself a socialist, and even a communist, country. The Draft Program thus states that, since the fifties, capitalism has been restored in the Soviet Union, that state power has been usurped by bourgeois elements, and that capitalist exploitation has been reintroduced. Today, what is dominant in Russia is not the power of the working class but rather the interests of the big bosses of the State. Thus some people enjoy political and economic privileges while the masses of the people experience growing poverty. Instead of diminishing, the difference between the lower and higher levels of wages is increasing. The State ’ monopolies work on the same model as those in the traditional capitalist countries; there as well the 36 time-keeper’s watch replaces the collective will of the workers; there as well, exploitation is pushed to the limit with no regard to workers’ safety and health; there as well police repression strikes the masses. In fact, fascism characterizes the political regime in the Soviet Union.
Moreover, the USSR has become an imperialist country that seeks to subjugate other peoples, that oppresses nations and national minorities in the Soviet State, and that spreads its economic, political, and military tentacles throughout the world in the aim of extending its zones of influence.
Because of its force, the USSR has become a very big imperialist power whose voracious appetite is greatly contributing to the preparation of a new world war. It is a superpower that threatens the peace, the security, and the revolutionary struggles in the world. It is called a social-imperialist power because it is the imperialism of a formerly socialist country which continues to use a socialist mask to better deceive the peoples. But behind this mak hides the hideous face of imperialism.
Thus the era of imperialism is that of the exploitation of the proletariat and of the oppression of the peoples and nations in the colonies, semi-colonies, and weak countries; it is also the epoch of inter-imperialist conflicts and devastating world wars.
But imperialism is more than that. Not only is it a stage of capitalism, it is its highest stage, i.e. its last stage. Imperialism has pushed the contradictions of capitalism to their limit. In particular, it has considerably developed the contradiction between the socialization of work and the private ownership of the means of production and of the products of work.
The development of capitalism leads it continually to socialize work further. This means that the production of a consumer item, a stove for example, is no longer the work of an individual metal-worker and his apprentice, but of hundreds of individuals. Thus work takes on an increasingly collective form requiring a great many workers. This division of labour takes on gigantic proportions under monopoly capitalism. In these conditions, the contradiction between this cooperation of a great number of workers in production and the fact that the means of production (the factories, machines, etc.) and the product of labour are the private property of a very small number of persons becomes sharper. The gap between the large number of producers and the very small number of idle owners provokes increasing conflicts and unrest.
This is why we say that imperialism, the capitalism of monopolies, has created the conditions that prepare the passage to socialism. It has reduced the number of owners of the means of production to a handful of individuals and has considerably socialized production. From this perspective, imperialism is the eve of socialism. As we shall see later, imperialism also creates the political conditions for the radical transformation of the economic base of society. Because of the ever increasing exploitation and oppression to which it subjects peoples and oppressed nations, it sets in motion the social forces that aspire to overthrow it. Where there is oppression, there is resistance.
The history of humanity shows that the exploiting classes are eventually overthrown by those whom they oppress. Capitalism is no exception. It also is condemned as the slave society and feudalism before it.
We have seen that imperialism is the stage of capitalism where the number of exploiters decreases while the number of workers increases. Imperialism creates the conditions for the overthrow of capitalism; it is the eve of proletarian revolution.
The Draft Program states that capitalism is undermined by its own contradictions. This means that, with the development of capitalism, the working class whose historic mission is to dig the grave of capitalism, develops and is strengthened. This also means that capitalism can no longer ensure humanity’s progress; on the contrary, it slows down this progress. It has thus become a reactionary mode of production.
There was a time when capitalism played a progressive and revolutionary role. By breaking the ideological and political holds with which feudalism held back the material progress of human society, capitalism considerably developed the productive forces, i.e. the means to satisfy the material needs of people. In combining science and technology for the production of goods.it increased production quantitatively and qualitatively. But capitalism, whose fundamental law is the search for individual profit, has reached the point where the development of the productive forces is incompatible with the search for profit.
The big trusts and monopolies prevent the utilization of a large number of technical and scientific innovations which although they would benefit the majority of people, would not be good for profits; this is the well known case of the oil monopolies who for years have held back the design and production of less costly vehicles. The system of capitalist property has become a straitjacket holding back progress. Land speculation and the law of profit have had disastrous effects on agriculture which goes from the under-utilization of arable land to the massive destruction of agricultural products. The quality of goods diminishes constantly; it is reduced on purpose to a level that limits the life of goods and thus ensures a constant market for new ones... of poor quality. To sum up, while the productive potential is enormous, capitalism slows down its development. It has become fundamentally reactionary.
It is a law of human society that its intellectual, moral, political, and cultural development is determined by the material conditions in which people live. Capitalism is reactionary in all fields. Moral decay, crime, alcoholism, and drug abuse are prevalent throughout all capitalist and imperialist countries. The longer it lasts, the more capitalism degrades life, increases misery, and provokes huge ecological disasters. In these conditions, the bourgeoisie can retain its power only by increasingly resorting to repression. Corresponding to exploitation on the economic level is political reaction, i.e. the use of force to block the political and social progress of society.
But at the same time that this decay of the capitalist system develops, we see a growth of the class which, alone, is capable of destroying capitalism and thus of leading humanity to a superior stage of its history.
With the setting up of monopolies in the imperialist stage, this process has become even more evident. The unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of an ever decreasing number of capitalists tends to increase the number of proletarians. Small scale production is continually destroyed by the large scale production which decreases the importance of the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie in society. As the proletariat develops under capitalism, so the other classes totter and tend to disappear.
Furthermore, the proletariat is the only class which has nothing to lose and everything to gain by the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the destruction of capitalism. The small scale urban and rural producers, the craftsmen, the fishermen, the farmers, and the small merchants remain linked to capitalism insofar as their existence is based on their ownership of their means of production. This explains why they have some interests in maintaining the capitalist system even though they are often pushed around by big capital. They often try to take capitalism backwards, to the time before the monopolies, when small enterprises flourished; this is a reactionary point of view, one that goes in the opposite direction of humanity’s progress.
The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains. This is why we say that it is the only class whose interests are fundamentally opposed to those of the capitalists. This is also why it is the only class capable of leading the revolutionary transformation of society right to the end; the other classes, even though they want improvements to the present situation, limit their demands to partial changes which don’t put into question the present economic base – the private ownership of the means of production and the exploitation of wage labour.
Far from being pure speculation, these characteristics of capitalism and the inevitability of its revolutionary overthrow by the proletariat have already been proven in practice. Capitalism has been repeatedly attacked, and often victoriously, by the working class. Since the Paris Commune in 1871 when, for the first time, the proletariat attacked the capitalist system on the political level, since the glorious October Revolution in Russia in 1917, and since the Chinese and Albanian Revolutions, it has been demonstrated that the capitalist and imperialist system can and must be overthrown. These revolutions have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the proletariat is the only class capable of leading the oppressed masses in the struggle against capitalism and imperialism. These revolutions have proven that the capitalist and imperialist system is condemned by history and must be thrown out. They have proven that the bourgeoisie cannot long resist a united and organized working class.
These proletarian revolutions have also shown that the bourgeoisie will continue to cling to all of its privileges and that it will continue for a long time to try to re-establish its power. The negative example of the return to capitalism in the USSR (which we spoke of in Article 2) clearly demonstrates this. From this set-back in the revolution of the first proletarian State in history, we must draw the following lesson: the revolution is not a one-day affair, it does not go forward in a straight line; it goes in a zigzag, and temporary setbacks are not impossible. Indeed, this has been the case in all past revolutions where numerous attempts to restore the overthrown regime have been made. Thus the victory of capitalism over feudalism in Europe and Great Britain was final only after more than a century of struggle. During this period, the bourgeoisie’s power was often threatened, and even temporarily overthrown, by the landed aristocracy which restored royalty. All revolutionary epochs are a succession of combats and conflicts during which time the conditions for the definitive replacement of the old order by the new are progressively attained.
But if we look at the revolutionary process as a whole, we see that the future inevitably belongs to the revolution and that, in the final analysis, the exploiting classes are doomed. This is a law of history that the revolutionary struggles of the past hundred years have confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Today, despite the return to capitalism in the USSR and other countries, the movement towards socialism is a universal phenomenon which has made real and durable progress in many regions of the world. With the examples of China and Albania, it has been proven that socialism is infinitely superior to capitalism and that it alone can ensure the social progress of humanity. With the struggle of the peoples of Asia, of Africa and of Latin America and with the struggle of the proletariat in all the countries of the capitalist world, it is clear that the revolutionary struggle for socialism is developing rapidly. Everywhere in the world, revolution is the order of the day.
What we have just seen shows that we live in the epoch of imperialism and of the proletarian revolution. Imperialism and revolution are world-wide realities affecting all countries and linking them all in a single chain. All the upheavals in the world today are based on the struggle between two paths, the only two paths open to the peoples: the capitalist path and the socialist one.
Thus, two camps confront each other on a world-wide scale, two camps of irreconcilably opposed interests: the camp of imperialism and reaction, on one hand, and that of revolution and progress on the other.
The camp of reaction includes the imperialist powers such as Japan, Canada, France, Britain, and Germany, and in particular those called the superpowers – the USA and the USSR or Soviet social imperialism – who, because of their strength, are even able to impose their views on their respective allies and bully a great number of peoples throughout the world. It also includes those countries dominated by reactionary classes, the landowners, the feudal lords, the bourgeois. Even if these classes can have and do have opposing interests with those of the imperialist powers, they nevertheless all collaborate with one or the other of the imperialist countries. Their opposition to the proletariat and the working masses is generally greater than their opposition to foreign imperialism. To sum up, the composition of the camp of the reaction is more an affair of social classes than countries. It includes all the reactionary classes of the world in all the countries, whether or not they hold power and irrespective of the strength of these countries on a world scale.
The camp of the revolution and of progress includes the international proletariat, the socialist countries, i.e. the countries where the dictatorship of the proletariat is exercized, and the peoples and oppressed nations struggling for their emancipation.
In the era of imperialism, the proletarian revolution is not limited to the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist and imperialist countries. The revolution is a worldwide phenomenon which includes a great number of struggles which attack imperialism in one way or another. In effect, imperialism, being a system whereby entire peoples are subjected to its domination, we see bitter struggles of whole nations and peoples to liberate themselves from the yoke of imperialist powers. This was the case with the anticolonial upsurge of national liberation struggles in Africa, Asia, and Latin America since the beginning of the century. It has thus happened – and it can happen again – that the proletariat, the peasantry and sections of the national bourgeoisie were united in the struggle against a foreign imperialism. But, in such cases, the true liberation of oppressed peoples and nations will not be possible unless the proletariat continues its struggle against all imperialists and internal reaction.
From then on four contradictions, or four great conflicts, govern the relations between countries, peoples, nations, and social classes in the world:
a) the contradiction opposing the proletariat to the bourgeoisie;
b) the contradiction between the socialist countries and the capitalist and imperialist ones;
c) the contradiction between the oppressed peoples and nations, and imperialism;
d) the contradiction among imperialist countries themselves.
In our epoch, the situation of all the peoples of the globe is determined by the evolution of these four contradictions.
The development of each of these contradictions and the relationships between them affect the course of contemporary history in one way or another. For the past 50 years, the struggles of the peoples and nations to liberate themselves from the colonial and neocolonial yoke have played a primary role on the world scale. In effect, it is the struggles of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America which have dealt the most decisive blows to imperialism. It is these peoples who, arms in hand, were on the front line of the revolutionary war against imperialism and world reaction. Their historic combat roused the sympathy and solidarity of the labouring masses throughout the world.
In this historic combat of the revolutionary forces against the camp of reaction, the proletariat plays the leading role. In the countries where it has overthrown the exploiters and set up its own power, it is a beacon, a guide, and a support for all those who fight the exploiting classes in the world. In the countries dominated by the bourgeoisie, it is the most revolutionary class, the only one that can guide the labouring masses of the city and countryside and which, by its daily struggle, deals the most decisive blows to capital. In the countries where colonial and neocolonial domination exist, the proletariat has shown that it is the most consistent defender of independence and democracy; in China and in Albania, it has proven that it is not only the class most able to lead the national liberation struggle to the end but also to then ensure the country’s independence in the face of the manoeuvers of imperialism and reaction to impose their economic and political hegemony. With the glorious October Revolution in Russia, with the creation of the first proletarian State, the course of history was changed Since this major event of contemporary history, the image of the world has changed, for, a new force appeared on the scene – socialist power in one country and then in a series of countries. The relations between countries have also undergone profound modifications: the capitalist world was then directly confronted with the force of the working class in power. This new contradiction on the world scale became sharper as countries moved away from the capitalist world to link with the socialist one.
Since the October Revolution, the capitalist countries have tried by all kinds of means to destroy socialism. By economic blockades, the imperialist powers and alliances try to stifle the economic progress of socialist countries. Through military encirclement, espionage, and subversion, they try to strangle the socialist countries over which they brandish the threat of war. Through open war, they try to smash the successes of the revolution as they did in Russia in 1918-19, and in China and in Albania in the 40’s. But victorious socialist revolution is not easily intimidated. Its example stimulates and strengthens the working class’s struggle against capital. This is why the bourgeoisie attempts by all kinds of means to destroy this influence by lies, sarcasm, and silence on what is really happening in socialist countries like China and Albania. But this influence is growing and for over a half a century it has been a guide and support for all the authentic revolutionaries in the world.
The capitalist and imperialist countries of the world are in continual struggle. Most are trying to submit the others to their will. Each country and each group of allies wants more space for developing its investments, for selling its goods, for raw materials, and to control regions where wages are lower. This battle of greed leads to ever more violent confrontations in all spheres: economic, political, diplomatic, and military. From the point of view of the revolution, these inter-imperialist struggles have a positive effect insofar as they weaken the enemy. When things aren’t going well for the enemy, the proletariat and the labouring masses of the world rejoice. Thus, when a weaker imperialist power succeeds in counteracting the manoeuvers of a more powerful one, this works in favour of revolution because it is against the interests of the stronger exploiters, who, because of their strength, are the most dangerous enemies of socialist revolution. But these contradictions are contradictions in the camp of the enemy. Indirectly, they work in favour of revolution but they cannot on this account be the basis of revolutionary strategy. What is decisive for the revolution is the unity and consolidation of its forces on a world scale, which can only be done if it is consolidated in each country, first of all by a constant struggle against the local reaction.
We will now deal with Canada, the principal ground for the revolutionary struggle of the Canadian proletariat. Article 5 shows how Canada was formed into an independent country, how capitalism developed here, and how the Canadian bourgeoisie obtained power.
The history of Canada as we know it today began with the arrival of the French and British colonialists in the 17th and 18th centuries. This was the era when the European colonial powers contended for the division of the world in the search for gold, slaves, raw materials, and markets. Vast colonial empires were built where many peoples were subjected to brutal domination, which, in some cases, went as far as genocide, as was the case with the Incas and Aztecs of Latin America at the hands of the very Catholic Spain.
The first act of the European colonialists on the territory that is now Canada was the destruction of the primitive communal and slave societies of the Native peoples, the Inuit and the Amerindians. In spite of their heroic resistance, these peoples were driven from their land and decimated by bullets and disease. Those who survived these massacres were forced to submit to colonial rule. The French and British colonialists used soldiers and preachers, bullets and Bibles, to dominate them and thus to rob them ruthlessly of their land and riches and destroy their way of life.
Throughout the entire colonial period, the Canadian territory was a source of wealth for the merchants of the metropolis. Furs, lumber, fish, and other goods necessary for the development of the colonialist countries were sent to the metropolis. At the beginning, there were very few colonists, i.e. those small farmers, craftsmen, and small traders who did not come to Canada for a short period but rather to establish themselves and their families. But their numbers grew and they established roots in the country and developed a particular style of life and economic relations. In other words, this population developed its own national character, different from that of its nation of origin.
Conflicts of interest grew up between the metropolis and the colony. For example, at the economic level, the colonists wanted to produce more goods in the colony, but this was in contradiction to interests of the big merchants who made huge fortunes with the trade of raw materials from the colony and manufactured goods from the metropolis. On the political level, the colonists increasingly opposed the high-handedness of the colonial administrators named by the King and who completely served the interests of the big merchants. This situation was the same in all the colonies of North America, both British and French. Thus, for a long time, the economic and political masters of the colonies were the representatives of the ruling classes of the metropolis, the aristocracy and the mercantile bourgeoisie. These people only came to the colonies for a limited period of time and, their fortune made, they went back to Europe. The people in the colonies had no power; they were subjected to the absolute power of the King’s representatives.
With the conquest of New France by the British Empire in 1760 began the national oppression of the French-speaking people of Lower Canada, which is now Quebec, and of Acadia, a French colony in what is now New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The British colonialists did their utmost to destroy this national home by force, but in vain. On the contrary, the national character of the French Canadians was strengthened in the face of this oppression and this in spite of the attacks against their culture and language and the economic ruin of many of them. From this moment onwards, two distinct nations developed in Canada, one of French, the other of British origin, one dominant, the other dominated.
As the Draft Program states, a bourgeoisie developed in Canada, whose interests lay in the production of goods in the country as a source for the accumulation of capital. Gradually, this local bourgeoisie identified its interests with those of the local population and they came into opposition with the British metropolis. Thus an anti-colonial movement developed whose class base was the local bourgeoisie of the colonies, the farmers, the craftsmen, and the newly developping proletariat which demanded responsible government, i.e. a government whose leaders are elected locally. In Lower Canada, this movement was further stimulated by the resistance of the French-Canadian nation to British oppression.
This anti-colonial movement led to the armed rebellion of 1837-38 which was violently suppressed by the British army. But this did not eiiminate the struggle for independence and progress; although the rebellion was defeated, its goals were not. In the following decades, the local bourgeoisie became sufficiently strong to take the leadership of the democratic struggle which it used to conquer political power and to gradually become the dominant class in Canadian society. This process was concluded in 1867 with the creation of the federal Canadian State and the establishment of parliamentary democracy as the form of government for the new State. Thus the essential part of the anti-colonial democratic revolution was completed in the second half of the 19th century.
The creation of the Canadian State allowed the consolidation of the Canadian market and its control by the Canadian banking and industrial bourgeoisie; this created the conditions for the rapid development of capitalism in industry and agriculture. Canadian workers had won the right to a limited parliamentary democracy and they were freed from the colonial yoke, but they were subjected to growing exploitation from the new ruling class. The oppression of the Native peoples and the Metis increased, women did not have the right to vote, and the national oppression of the French-speaking population, included in the new State without being consulted, was intensified. The oppression of poor farmers and the exploitation of a growing number of industrial workers also intensified; trade union organizations were illegal.
The newly formed Canadian bourgeoisie, being economically weak, used the State as a means of accumulating more capital in Canada. Through the State it negotiated huge loans on the British money market to construct railroads which it then appropriated leaving the people to pay the debt through all kinds of taxes.
However, the Canadian bourgeoisie long retained colonial-type ties with Great Britain. For example, even after Confederation in 1867, Canada’s foreign and military policies remained in the hands of the former colonial masters – until the Statute of Westminster in 1931. This, of course, limited the national sovereignty of the Canadian people. But for the Canadian bourgeoisie it was an important political advantage, because the fact that the British army could always intervene on its behalf, for example, against the permanent threat of the US or against the resistance of the French-Canadians, gave it security that it would have had difficulty in obtaining by its own means.
These are the broad outlines of the conditions of Canada’s achievement of independence and the establishment of the Canadian bourgeoisie as the ruling class.
Four characteristics should draw our attention here.
First of all, there is the important fact that the national revolution, during which bourgeois democracy was established in Canada, is indeed part of our country’s past. From that time onwards, the principal contradiction that was to determine Canada’s history was the one opposing the working class to the bourgeoisie. This is demonstrated by the growing numbers of the proletariat and the importance of its economic and political demands since the beginning of the century; for example, from 1900 to 1913 alone, the number of unionized workers went from 50,000 to 175,799 and 377,234 workers were involved in 1,519 strikes. This occured to such an extent that the bourgeoisie felt obliged to examine the phenomenon and in 1889 it established a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the relations between capital and labour.
The second characteristic is that Canada is a multinational State in which national division, the oppression of the Quebec nation and the Native minorities has played and continues to play a very important role. The political life of Canada is still largely conditioned by these divisions and the working class has always had to confront them.
The third important characteristic is the relative weakness of the Canadian bourgeoisie and the historical conditions of its development have led it to conclude alliances with foreign powers. These alliances have had a two-fold effect; on the one hand, they facilitated the penetration of foreign capital into the country and, on the other, they contributed to the development of the Canadian bourgeoisie both at home and abroad. For the Canadian people, this meant adding the exploitation, bullying, and threats by foreign powers over and above their oppression by the Canadian bourgeoisie. In other words, the Canadian bourgeoisie has always been willing to compromise the people’s national sovereignty in order to make a profit.
The fourth important characteristic is the essential role played by the Canadian State in the economic sphere. The State was the principal means of the economic development and consolidation of the new Canadian bourgeoisie; it took on huge debts from British capitalists while the Canadian banks and capitalists raked in the profits.
We have now established that Canada is an independent capitalist country where the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is principal, a country where the class of those who own the means of production exploits wage labour, and thus a country where the socialist revolution is the order of the day. This is all the more true today now that Canadian capitalism has attained the stage of domination by monopolies – the stage of imperialism, its highest stage.
But, one may ask, how can we call Canada, which has no colonies, which has no foreign military bases, which does not invade other countries to force them to accept its control, and which has always been subjected to the will of imperialist powers like Great Britain and the United States, an imperialist country?
To answer these questions, we must examine Canadian capitalism’s degree of development. We have to examine the internal and external policy of the Canadian bourgeoisie. We have to examine the nature of the imperialist alliances that have characterized its development.
At the economic level, imperialism means that the monopolies are all-powerful in the economic life of a country, where the merger of banking and industrial capital creates finance capital. A country where capital has reached this level of development, irrespective of the extent of this capital, is an imperialist one.
Anyone who looks at the evolution of Canadian capitalism between the two world wars with the slightest bit of objectivity will quickly realize that a major change occurred during this period. Profiting from its participation in World War l, the Canadian bourgeoisie used State power to realize an unprecedented concentration of capital among a handful of financiers. The banks funded the “war effort” of the country which became highly indebted. The bourgeoisie monopolized the sale of wheat, thus trapping the small producers in an ever tightening net of dependence. It was also during this period that there were a great many absorptions of enterprises by Canadian firms, thus increasing Canadian capitalism’s capacity to resist the massive thrust of US capital in Canada.
Here are some figures to illustrate this phenomenon of the concentration of capital. In 1890 there were 75,964 manufacturing establishments in Canada which employed 369,595 workers and produced goods of a net value of $219 million. In 1930, 22,618 establishments alone employed 614,696 workers and produced a net value of $1,522 million. In other words, three times less factories employed twice as many workers and produced 7 times as much. Between 1900 and 1948, 43 giant corporations, of which half were Canadian, were responsible for the integration of 718 enterprises out of a total of 1535 i.e. 50% of all the enterprises absorbed during this period. In the same period, the concentration of banking capital reached huge proportions; indeed, in 1900 there were 36 Canadian banks, by 1925 there remained only 11, and by 1937, 3 banks alone controlled 60% of all the banking assets in Canada. We may add to that that at the end of WWI, Canada became, for the first time in its history, a net exporter of capital. Today the Canadian imperialist bourgeoisie has investments of many tens of billions of dollars in numerous regions of the world.
All these facts explain the transformation of Canadian capitalism into monopoly capitalism where the closely linked banks and big firms dominate economic and social life. Moreover, throughout this period, Canada was closely associated to British imperialism through the political, economic, and military mechanisms of the Commonwealth. Although it only played second fiddle and did not itself possess colonies, the Canadian bourgeoisie profited from this alliance and participated in it as an imperialist bourgeoisie. In this way, it expanded its capital which it was able to export; it was able to export more goods and collaborate in the exploitation and oppression of the colonial peoples then under the heel of the British Empire. It was as an ally of Britain that it became deeply engaged in World War I, an imperialist war for the redivision of the globe. And it was as an imperialist bourgeoisie that it got away without a scratch in using this bloody war as a political and economic lever to strengthen itself on the backs of the people who were slaughtered on the battle fields and ruthlessly exploited in the war factories. These are certainly not the characteristics of a half-starved bourgeoisie, powerless and puny. No, these are the characteristics of an aggressive, relentless imperialist bourgeoisie, linked by thousands of threads to a world imperialist sytem and which uses its alliance with a more powerful imperialist power to extend its influence in the world and to strengthen its dictatorship over the Canadian people.
It was just about the same scenario that was repeated during the Second World War and which continues even today when the Canadian bourgeoisie is allied to US imperialism. The role of second fiddle that it played in the framework of the Commonwealth, it played again perfectly to the tune of the US Marshall Plan. From that moment onwards, it became the most faithful ally of the dominant imperialist power. Its economic, internal, and foreign policies were modeled on those of the US. It accompanied the US in their aggression in Korea. It followed US imperialism in the world, profitting from its hegemonic role to spread its tentacles to Africa, Latin America, and Asia. At home, it practiced reactionary and anti-communist policies which led to the control of the Canadian labour movement by US unions and to the savage repression of the communist movement.
This is how and in what conditions the Canadian bourgeoisie was transformed into an imperialist bourgeoisie; this is how it was able to form imperialist alliances which, given its relative weakness, contributed greatly to its growth.
As an imperialist bourgeoisie in the full meaning of the term, the Canadian bourgeoisie incurs all the effects of the general crisis of imperialism. Faced with the upsurge in the peoples’ struggles for liberation, faced with their resistance to imperialism of all kinds and importance, the Canadian bourgeoisie has no choice but to tighten the screws and try to increase the exploitation of the Canadian working class and extend its influence in regions of the world such as Latin America, Africa, and Europe. But as world competition become increasingly sharper, the bourgeoisie takes an increasingly tough stand towards the Canadian proletariat. It is looking for “increased productivity”; it wants to be more “competitive” on the world market. And it doesn’t have a thousand ways to achieve this: it lowers the wages of the Canadian working class through legislation limiting wage increases; it introduces speed-ups; it lengthens the work day by generalizing compulsory overtime. The result is an increased exploitation of the workers, a deterioration in their working conditions, an increase in the number of accidents, massive unemployment,and an increase in the number of the poor. Moreover, through its state organisms, such as the Export Development Corporation (EDC), the bourgeoisie directly finances the expansion of Canadian imperialism using the taxes taken out of workers’ pockets. Thus it finances the suffering of the people with the people’s money. In other words, the Canadian bourgeoisie makes the working class pay for its imperialist adventures; it throws the crisis on its shoulders.
It is important to see that the means the bourgeoisie is using today to increase the exploitation of the working class are designed to re-introduce, in a new form, mechanisms that the workers’ movement had successfully and efficiently fought in the past. For example, the working class obtained the 8 hour work day. To get around this legal obstacle, the capitalists do two things:
a) they speed up the work to obtain more products in the same time, and
b) they institute compulsory overtime.
With this second method, the capitalists considerably increase the proportion of surplus labour, i.e. the unpaid labour that they appropriate. By making the same worker work longer, they avoid the costs involved in hiring another worker. This, of course, increases unemployment at the same time that it increases profits. Through legislation limiting the increase in wages below the increase in the cost of living, the bourgeoisie does not reduce the actual amount of money received by each 56 worker as it did in the past but the result is the same: a drop in the real wages of the working class and a rise in the profits of the capitalist class.
But to attain their ends, the Canadian capitalists have to weaken the means of resistance of the working class and of the people in general. And to achieve this goal, there are no methods they won’t resort to.
On the whole, the bourgeoisie combines two types of tactics to check the workers’ movement: on the one hand, minor concessions, crumbs, and superficial reforms, the carrot, and, on the other hand, political and economic repression, police brutality, intimidation, etc., the stick. In periods of relative prosperity for Canadian capitalism (which are increasingly rare and increasingly short) when the bourgeoisie has the economic possibilities of making concessions, the carrot is used more willingly. In periods of crisis, however, it quickly reneges on what it had given and frantically tries to smash all pockets of mass resistance and especially that of the working class. In the case of the latter, it attempts to gain control of the trade union movement through its infiltrated agents; its aim is to put the unions into the confines of the State apparatus and to limit their action by a thousand and one laws and regulations. Thus even if the working class has the formal right to strike and to negotiate wage increases with the capitalists, the bourgeoisie can always deny this right in practice through injunctions limiting picketing to practically zero (allowing truckloads of scabs to go in), through laws which limit wage increases, through regulations allowing the government to interfere in the internal affairs of unions, and through many other means. And it’s the same thing for the right to unionization which the capitalists are constantly getting around scot-free breaking the struggle of conscious and militant workers who are trying to form unions. It’s the same thing as far as the freedom of speech is concerned. The bourgeoisie is constantly restricting this right through methods like various sorts of municipal regulations, forbidding the entry of union and communist newspapers into factories, etc.
Thus the bourgeoisie, which likes to boast about being the defender of democratic rights and is even ready to make all kinds of these rights into law, will use any means to deny them in practice. The more that imperialism decays, the more this contradiction between formal liberties and real dictatorship becomes evident, and the more it becomes insupportable for the workers.
Imperialism is, indeed, reaction right down the line. We have already seen that this is because capitalism has become essentially reactionary for it can no longer be a factor of progress in society; this explains the generalization of reaction at all levels. The working class is not the only victim of this reaction. The decadent and parasitical bourgeoisie has to attack all oppressed strata of the people, which results in an increase of the number of those who are ready to fight for a radical change in the situation. This also creates conditions favourable to the rise of fascism as an extreme solution for monopoly capital to maintain its dictatorship over the labouring masses.
The development of Canadian capitalism at its imperialist stage has sharpened the different forms of national oppression rooted in the history of Canadian capitalist society. National oppression, in different forms and to varying degrees, affects the Quebecois, the Acadians and the other French-speaking minorities of English Canada, the Amerindian and Inuit peoples, the Metis, and certain concentrations of immigrant workers. All these people are subjected to cultural and linguistic discrimination and to economic superexploitation through lower wages and higher unemployment.
The most important form of national oppression in Canada today is that of the Quebec nation because it touches over a quarter of the total Ca-58 nadian population. Quebec is a distinct nation: a stable, historically constituted community on the basis of a same language, territory, and economic life, and having psychological affinities expressed in a distinct culture. It has the fundamental democratic right to choose its destiny and the type of State that it wants, a right that it is denied in the British North America Act which is still Canada’s constitution. The national oppression of Quebec has been used by the Canadian bourgeoisie and by foreign investors to justify the super-exploitation of the Quebec proletariat. The capitalists and their agents constantly resort to it to spread division in the ranks of the Canadian proletariat and its allies. The oppression and the superexploitation of Quebec workers have historically given rise to big mass struggles for the defence of their national rights. Today, the non-monopoly and petty bourgeois Quebec capitalists are trying to direct the struggle for these rights in their own class interests under the reactionary banner of bourgeois nationalism with the aim of establishing monopoly State capitalism free from the political control of the Canadian federal State.
The Native peoples, the Amerindians and Inuit, are victims of the most extreme forms of national oppression. The Canadian bourgeoisie has subjected the Native peoples to its racist laws and its racist “justice”; it has controlled them with an army of federal and provincial agencies and departments; it has deprived them of equal rights to work, housing, health, and education; it has legally divided them into “status” and “non-status” groups - those who leave the North or the “reservations” lose their native “status” permanently and all the rights attached to it. The bourgeoisie has also prevented them from protecting their language and culture.
The Native peoples of Canada do not form a homogenous entity. Instead, they include a certain number of national minorities divided into hundreds of bands and tribes across the country, speaking more than 50 native languages. They share the common history of being the most ferociously oppressed victims of capitalism today and their common struggles have allowed them to reach a high level of unity in their resistance to the oppressor and to the pillage of their land.
The oppression of women is a fundamental characteristic of contemporary Canadian capitalism. The origin of the specific oppression of Canadian women is found in the historical exclusion of women from social production which exists in all class societies. It Is manifested in innumerable laws and accepted social customs which still prevent the complete participation of women in economic, political, and social life. The great majority of Canadian women are also subjected to a specific oppression. In their role as domestic slaves they shoulder in isolation the essential tasks of taking care of the family and raising children and the social value of this essential work is not recognized. Women (and they represent an ever growing proportion of the labour force) are super-exploited as workers. This shows up as discrimination in hiring, lower wages for equal work, and the absence of maternity leaves and daycare. Canadian capitalism has also created a special reserve of poor women, chained to the welfare system and part of the exploiters’ permanent industrial reserve army.
As in all imperialist countries, immigrant workers in Canada are subjected to oppressive economic, social, and political conditions. Imported by the Canadian bourgeoisie when it so pleases, they are subjected to the high-handedness of State bureaucrats and used as cheap labour by Canadian capitalists. They do not have the same rights as other workers in Canada and are thus constantly threatened with deportation to keep them docile and to ensure that they don’t get involved in the struggles of the Canadian working class. The bourgeoisie uses this situation to limit the wages of the Canadian proletariat and, at the same time, to spread racism in the workers’ movement. In Quebec, immigrant workers as well as the Native peoples are used by various factions of the bourgeoisie as pawns in the language conflicts. Immigrant workers have historically played a very important role in Canada through their contribution to the growth of the Canadian working class, througn their leading role in setting up the first unions, and through the influence of many of them in the evolution of the socialist consciousness of the Canadian proletariat. In periods of crisis, the immigrant workers are among the most severely affected by both economic and political repression and notably by repressive laws like the Immigration Act (Bill C-24).
The Canadian bourgeoisie is reactionary and repressive in its internal policies; consequently, it is the same in its external policy. The latter is only the continuation of the former; there can be no important differences between the two.
The basic principle of Canada’s foreign policy has always been the defence of imperialism. The democratic and pacifist image of the Canadian bourgeosie has always been nothing but a smokescreen to conceal its imperialist role. On the military level, it has always been faithful to imperialist interests. Its participation in the two world wars, its role in NATO – that aggressive military pact – its support of the aggressive policy of the US in Vietnam, and the fact that Canada is, in relation to its popualtion, the biggest arms dealer in the world all show that imperialist Canada is involved up to its neck in the underhanded military dealings of imperialism and that it is an active agent in the preparations for world war. This is why the Canadian bourgeoisie is consolidating, modernizing, and enlarging its army whose role is to contribute to its world wide expansion and to maintain its dictatorship at home. The events of October 1970 in Quebec clearly illustrate the facility with which the Canadian bourgeoisie can, at any time, turn the army loose against the people.
As Article 7 of the Draft Program states, the history of the Canadian working class demonstrates how it is the most faithful defender of the people’s rights, how it is at the vanguard of battles to improve the living conditions of the labouring masses, and how it is the most authentic representative of the fundamental interests of all those who are victims, in one way or another, of the oppression and exploitation of the bourgeoisie. The Canadian proletariat has proven that it is the leading force capable of guiding Canada on the path to socialism.
It was the heroic battles of the first trade union organizations like the Knights of Labour towards the end of the 19th century that forced the bourgeoisie to grant the right of unionization and to put this right into the lawbooks of the country. Operating under very difficult conditions, hunted down and denounced by the press, Parliament, and the clergy, the labour movement long had to work in secrecy. Its victory represented a major step forward in the field of the freedom of association not only for factory workers but also for the entire working people.
Long before this period, Canadian labourers had proven their progressive and revolutionary character. The Canadian working class played a very important role in the anti-colonial uprisings of 1837-38. Although it did not have the capacity to lead this democratic and anti-colonial insurrection, it participated actively in it as one of its most important contingents leaving its mark on the struggle. Thus the preamble to a declaration of the Patriots states: “Our people depends almost entirely for its subsistence on manual and Intellectual work. We have contempt for the lazy who only consume what others produce.”
This working class aspect of the 1837 rebellion is confirmed in the social origins of those who were imprisoned. In a list of 50 prisoners from Lower Canada, 43 are from the working class and only 7 from the bourgeoisie, a working class participation of 86%. The situation was similar in Upper Canada where workers and farmers formed the vast majority of political prisoners of which the working class formed the greatest number.
It was through the struggle of the working class that the right to vote changed from an elitist system favouring the bosses to one of universal suffrage whereby all citizens could vote irrespective of their wealth. It was the working class that forced the bourgeoisie to regulate child labour and it was also it that led the struggle against the super-exploitation of immigrant workers, for the 8 hour work day, for the abolition of forced prison labour, and for many other benefits for the people.
The Canadian working class has played a primary role in the support to peoples and nations of the world in their revolutionary struggles. Among the 5 basic demands of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, two concerned the Russian Revolution of 1917. They demanded: “the immediate withdrawal of the allied troops in Russia” and “the abandoning of the allied attempts to overthrow the Soviet administration in Russia and Germany”. In 1927, the working class movement energetically opposed breaking off relations with revolutionary Russia. The same year, 5,000 Glace Bay miners in Nova Scotia struck in protest of the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two militant immigrant workers in the United States. At the convention of the Canadian Trades and Labour Congress in 1927, the workers adopted a resolution of support to the Chinese revolution and demanded the withdrawal of the imperialists and their armed forces from Chinese territory, the cancellation of military treaties, and the revocation of the rights of extra-territoriality that certain imperialist countries had* in China. The list of the acts of the Canadian working class in support of the struggles of the peoples, nations, and proletariat of the world goes on and on.
Thus the workers’ movement developed into a daily struggle against the forces of Canadian and international capital. This struggle, at first limited to skirmishes with single bosses, developed into a mass movement of the working class against the capitalist class. The level of consciousness and of organization was progressively raised. The struggle was not limited to the economic level but was increasingly waged at the political level to demand that the government adopt laws designed to protect the working class. This consciousness of o the necessity of waging the struggle at the political level led to the creation of numerous workers’ parties in the cities, provinces, and at the federal level. Through this process, the revolutionary consciousness of the most advanced elements of the proletariat matured and they increasingly understood that the actions of the working class could only lead to a truly better future if they attacked the foundations of the capitalist system, if, in other words, they seized State power, expropriated the bourgeoisie, and built a society for workers, a socialist society where the private ownership of the means of production were abolished and where the exploitation of wage labour ceased to exist.
This is the way in which the class consciousness of Canadian workers developed, i.e. the consciousness that to im prove the condition of workers, the struggle must be waged against the capitalist class; the consciousness that the interests of all workers are the same and that they form a class distinct from the other classes of society; the consciousness that, in order to reach their goals, workers must wage a political struggle whose aim can only be the abolition of capitalism itself.
We have seen that, in the course of this evolution, workers have created political parties. In 1872, the first workers’ party was created in London, Ontario – the Workingmen’s Progressive Political Party. Following this, numerous parties were formed such as the Social Democratic Workers Party of North America, the Canadian Socialist Party, and a great number of municipal and provincial parties. The great majority of these parties perceived the goal of the working class only in a confused way. Those who, on the other hand, claimed to fight for socialism did not understand that reaching this goal required revolution; most of them were reformist parties.
In October, 1917, in Russia, the first proletarian State was created, an event of capital importance that was to change the course of history. This thunderbolt was the October Revolution which, by its example, was to have decisive influence on the proletariat’s struggle throughout the entire world. The October Revolution showed that, in order for the working class to be emancipated, it had to seize State power, it had to overthrow the bourgeoisie by force, and that to overthrow it, it needed a revolutionary party which had to base its action and organization on the principles formulated by Marx and Lenin.
The assimilation of this experience by conscious workers in Canada led to the creation, in 1921, of the Communist Party of Canada (CP). With this history act, an important segment of the Canadian workers’ movement broke with social-democratic reformism – the reformism of those who, revising the revolutionary principles drawn up by Karl Marx, had abandoned the revolutionary struggle in favour of the struggle for a few crumbs. It is because of this revision of the principles of Marxism that the Draft Program speaks of revisionism in describing social democracy. It was Lenin, leader of the Russian Bolshevik Party, who led the struggle against social democratic revisionism and mapped out the path for the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat in the era of imperialism. This is why the Draft Program says that in creating the Communist Party in 1921, the conscious workers of our country adopted the Marxist-Leninist point of view. For about 20 years, the CP was at the heart of the class struggle of the Canadian proletariat. Through its action in the unions and among farmers and immigrant workers, this party was the first to take up the banner of socialist revolution and to rally a large section of the Canadian working class around it. During the Depression of the 1930’s, it was the defender of the thousands of unemployed that the capitalists had thrown into the street; it was at the vanguard of the anti-fascist struggle in Canada and in the world and even sent a batallion, composed mainly of communists, to fight Franco in Spain.
But the Communist Party of Canada sank into revisionism in the forties. It began adopting reformist and conciliating points of view; instead of preserving the political independence of the working class, it urged it to tail behind the policies of various bourgeois parties. This progressive liquidation of the proletariat’s class struggle led to the liquidation of the CP itself and to the creation, in 1943, of the Labour Progressive Party which had nothing revolutionary about it. Its subsequent “reconstruction” under the name of the Communist Party is a caricature of the real communist party that the working class needs to emancipate itself from the capitalist and imperialist yoke. In the fifties, this revisionist party placed itself under the leadership of those who had usurped the working class’s power in the Soviet Union and, since that time, it has been the zealous defender of the reactionary and imperialist policies of the Soviet revisionists.
It has totally given up the struggle for the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat; this is the essential reason why it is revisionist and is not really distinguishable from social democracy.
The revisionist degeneration of the Communist Party in Canada, as in France and in many other countries, was the result of the decay of Imperialism. The objective basis for this degeneration was the corruption of a segment of the working class by the superprofits of the imperialist monopolies; this segment of corrupted workers in the workers’ movement is called the labour aristocracy and it is the faithful servant of imperialism and reaction. The degeneration of the CP cannot be separated from this other characteristic of capitalism at its imperialist stage: the fact that ever growing numbers of the petty bourgeoisie are driven into the proletariat by the action of monopoly capitalism. As a consequence of this.the workers’ movement is constantly being contaminated with the reformist and conciliatory ideas of elements coming from the petty bourgeoisie. These elements often take posts in unions and their level of education helps them to move up to the head of working class organizations and to impose the petty bourgeois point of view, the point of view of accomodation with capitalism.
The negative example of the CP shows that a party that does not stick firmly to Marxist-Leninist principles, that does not constantly remain on its guard to preserve the proletarian nature of its organization, and which lets the petty bourgeois phrase mongers impose their point of view will be incapable of standing up to the conditions of the revolutionary struggle under capitalism and will inevitably degenerate.
With Article 8 we begin the second major section of the Draft Program. Having described the essential characteristics of the situation in the world and in Canada, the Draft Program now sets forth the proletariat’s goal – socialist revolution.
Contrary to the other revolutionary classes of humanity’s history, the historic mission of the proletariat is not to substitute one exploiting class for another but rather to rid humanity of all exploitation. When the bourgeoisie drove out the feudal nobles and kings, it did so, of course, in the name of all the people; but, in fact, it only replaced the old oppressors with new ones. It couldn’t have been otherwise because the bourgeoisie was itself a class whose existence was based on the private ownership of the means of production and the exploitation of the labour of others. Thus it only substituted a new form of class exploitation for an old one.
What characterizes the working ciass, on the other hand, is that it does not own the means of production and that it is the object of exploitation. As a class, it has no other future but the total elimination of exploitation of man by man. This is why we can say that the movement for the emancipation of workers has to lead to the liberation of all of humanity.
In attacking the foundation of the capitalist system – the private ownership of the means of production and wage labour – the proletariat undertakes at the same time the elimination of classes themselves. In effect, to eliminate the private ownership of the means of production is to destroy the material basis on which all exploiting classes are founded. Consequently, it is also to eliminate classes themselves. This is why we say that “the ultimate aim of the proletariat’s struggle is the classless society, i.e. the communist society, a community in which no person exploits the labour of another.
To sum up, contrary to the bourgeoisie which ousted the feudal sytem in the aim of exploiting the working class more “freely”, the proletariat has no one to exploit because it is the most deprived class in society. After the proletariat, there are no classes to serve as the object of exploitation. To eliminate the exploitation of the proletariat is to eliminate all exploitation!
The historic importance of the liberating task of the proletariat also comes from the fact that in order to carry it out fully, it has to attack the conditions which, historically, have made class exploitation possible. Among these, most important are the State, the division between city and countryside, and the division between manual and intellectual work.
These two forms of division appeared historically as social forms of the division of labour. Historically, people came to divide work up in the aim of increasing the production of the goods necessary for survival. Thus, some were devoted to agriculture and raising livestock, while others were devoted to the fabrication of tools, clothing, bricks, etc. In this way, the volume and the quality of production increased, thus better meeting the needs of society whose population was increasing. Those devoted to agriculture became better farmers, and those devoted to crafts became better craftsmen.
The same thing occurred for manual work and intellectual work. Progressively, individuals devoted themsleves to intellectual tasks like writing, bookkeeping, science, and so on. The result was an increased division between those involved in these tasks and manual labourers.
Gradually, villages were transformed into towns and cities where craftsmen and a great variety of tasks unrelated to agricultural production were concentrated. At the same time classes were formed which, on the basis of these primitive forms of the division of labour, secured the surplus of production for themselves and used it to submit others to their will. Thus, as a result of the objective necessity to better meet the material needs of people, the division of labour has served as the means for class oppression for thousands of years.
The bourgeoisie has not only maintained these conditions, but has further developed them. Under its rule, the division of labour has developed to a level never before attained. This has occurred to such an extent that the vast majority of manual labourers have become mere accessories to machines and their work has been reduced to a sequence of motions simplified to the limit.
The proletariat also attacks all of this when it undertakes to transform class society into classless society.
But there is more. Article 8 of the Draft Program states that the goal of the proletariat is a Stateless society, for the State has never been anything but the instrument of dictatorship of one class over another. Since time immemorial, the State has been the means with which an exploiting class maintains its domination over the other classes. The State is the monopoly of violence, the army, the police, the legal apparatus, the laws, the judges, the prisons, the control of the educational system... In the capitalist system, the State is the means whereby the capitalists ensure their domination over the proletariat.
All States so far have been built as mechanisms for controlling and regulating class antogonisms with the aim of maintaining the power of one of them. The very existence of the State is an expression of the fact that society is divided into classes and that it is necessary to fix the relations between the classes. This is why the State monopolized violence by depriving the exploited and oppressed classes of the weapons necessary for their liberation. This is why the State seals in law the rules of the ownership system.
Thus, to say that the struggle of the working class leads to a classless society is to say that it leads to a stateless society.
The first act, the decisive act on the road leading to the total emancipation of workers, is the socialist revolution.
By the socialist revolution, the proletariat suppresses the private ownership of the means of production. It thus suppresses the material basis which allows the exploitation of labour by capital. By the socialist revolution, the proletariat puts in the hands of society the necessary means for the subsistence and development of its members. While under capitalism, production is done solely in order to make profits for those who own the factories, the railroads, the big chainstores, etc., in socialist society, production is planned according to the needs of all workers.
Thus, under socialism, factories won’t shut down because “their lordships, the investors” don’t think they’re making enough money from them. Neither will we see the economy of a country collapse because “their lordships, the investors” don’t have enough “confidence” in the social climate. Under socialism, it is the workers who dictate the rules of the game and their fundamental rule is the material and cultural well-being of the vast majority of the people. No more will working class houses be demolished to build luxury towers for a tiny minority of the population. And no more of capitalist anarchy which provokes crises of overproduction in some sectors while the essential needs of the labouring masses are not satisfied.
For the capitalists, the capacity to absorb markets is conditioned by the capacity of consumers to pay for the goods. But the capacity of consumers to buy the goods drops regularly because each capitalist is always trying to decrease wages to make more profit. Thus, the capitalists produce more to sell more while, on the other hand, they diminish the purchasing power of the buyers. This situation leads to crises of overproduction, to the periodic collapse of the capitalist economy.
All this is eliminated under socialism, because the production is planned. Production will no longer depend upon the wishes of a handful of capitalists whose only goal is maximum profits, but on the collective will of all of the workers.
It is in this sense that the Draft Program speaks of replacing the capitalist production of goods by the socialist organization of production. While the capitalist is interested in the product of labour only insofar that it makes him a personnal profit, the workers have, above all, a collective interest in that the product be the best possible and that it be adapted to the needs of the labouring masses. Under socialism, the private accumulation of capital, the profit system itself, will not be the motor of the economy.
But then we often hear, there will be no more incentive? There will no longer be any interest if, in the end, there is no profit motive! It will mean monotony, the end of dynamism and creativity in production, the end of the “entrepreneurial spirit”.
Yes, indeed, it will be the end of the “entrepreneurial spirit” for a small minority, but it will unleash the initiative and the creative spirit of many millions of workers. Imagine the results that Canadian workers could attain if they controled the means of production. Workers could today, in many cases, improve the means of production and the work process. But they don’t because this would give new wealth and new means of exploitation to those who oppress them. But suppose that Canadian workers controlled the entire economy; suppose that they were in a position where all improvements to the means of production and to the work process had the direct effect of increasing their well-being. This would produce a considerable leap forward in the quality of work and of the products of work. Thus technical improvements that workers made to machines would result in neither layoffs nor increased exploitation but in a greater quantity of goods at their disposal and the possibility of progressively reducing the working time of the entire working class.
These are only a few examples of what replacing the capitalist production of goods with the socialist organization of production means. A transformation of such magnitude of the economic base of society can only be accomplished by revolution, by socialist revolution.
Socialist society is a period of transition between capitalism and communism, the classless and stateless society. We have just seen what socialism consists of from an economic point of view. Let us now look at, on the basis of Article 10, what the socialist revolution means from the political point of view.
We have stated that workers suppress the private ownership of the means of production by the socialist revolution. This means, simply, that they strip the bourgeoisie of the very basis of its power. It’s easy to imagine that it will never accept this willingly and that force will be necessary to do it. This force is the revolutionary power of the working class united with the masses exploited and oppressed by the bourgeoisie.
In other words, in order to radically transform the economic base of society, political power must first be seized. To strip the bourgeoisie of the means of production, we must first take away the means with which it ensures its economic domination: State power.
The Draft Program expresses this when it states that the State of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie must be utterly destroyed and the dictatorship of the proletariat over the exploiters set up. Of course, we hear the bourgeoisie whining: “See, the communists want to destroy democracy and set up a dictatorship! They want to destroy the State! They want anarchy!” It’s with such scare tactics that the bourgeoisie tries to frighten people. But let’s look at things from the point of view of the workers’ interests.
What do the words “dictatorship of the proletariat” mean? In essence, simply the dictatorship of the overwhelming majority of the population over a minute minority. It means the broadest democracy for the workers and the restriction of freedom for the exploiters. Why use the word dictatorship? Because under socialism, the exploiters will be deprived of the freedom to exploit the working class and oppress the people. And the power to deny this “freedom” is a dictatorial power. The freedom of the workers, however, will be a thousand times greater than it is under capitalism because they will have the complete freedom to direct the economy according to their needs, they will have the complete freedom to enact laws that protect their power, and they will have the complete freedom to throw all the bourgeosie’s means of oppression into the garbage.
But for this, is it absolutely necessary to smash the bourgeois State? Yes, absolutely, because the bourgeois State was the one erected to guarantee the bourgeoisie’s domination. Proletarian power will require another kind of State. We will better understand this central question if we understand what “smashing the bourgeois State” means concretely. Fundamentally, this means dismantling the political, military, police, legal, and ideological means erected by the bourgeoisie. This means, for example, the elimination of specialized armed forces, such as the police and the professional army, and their replacement by the people in arms; this also means revoking the constitution and all the laws sanctioning the private ownership of the means of production; this means dismantling the present judicial and penitentiary system. Far from creating “chaos” as the bourgeoisie says, the destruction of the bourgeois State means replacing the present rotten bourgeois order by the proletarian, socialist order.
Thus, socialism is not yet the classless society because the State continues to exist! In effect, the class struggle continues under socialism. The difference is that the dominant class in society is the proletariat, a class which doesn’t exploit any other and which represents the majority of the people. The State is necessary under socialism because the bourgeoisie will relentlessly attempt by all kinds of means to retake power. Thus the necessity of constant vigilance to preserve the dictatorship of the proletariat against internal subversion and external attacks originating in countries where the exploiting classes are still in power. The example of the return to capitalism in the USSR demonstrates to what point this is important.
This shows how socialism is a transition period between capitalism and communism. This is also why communism cannot be built without a socialist period, a period during which the State can be nothing other than the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie.
What precedes can be summed up by saying that socialist society is a period during which the ideological and material bases of bourgeois power are destroyed and those of socialism, the workers’ society, are built.
The experience of the socialist revolutions in Russia, China, and Albania have shown that to undertake this task, the proletariat, as soon as it seizes power, must take special economic, social, and political measures. These fundamental measures will be no different in Canada, although their form and the details concerning their application may vary according to the historical, cultural, and economic particularities of the country and according to the concrete situation at that time.
In the course of socialist construction, the principle of dictatorship over the exploiters and democracy for the prople is concretized by the different way of settling contradictions with enemies of the revolution and contradictions within the people. The Draft Program states that the latter will be settled by persuasion whereas contradictions with enemies of the revolution are settled by force, i.e. by repression and coercion. Examples of contradictions within the people are, the contradiction between men and women, the contradiction between intellectual workers and manual workers, the contradiction between the individual and the collectivity, the contradiction between the proletariat and small individual producers such as craftsmen, fishermen, small farmers, etc. All these contradictions will not disappear by magic by virtue of the sole fact that the proletariat has taken power. They will have to be settled peacefully, by persuasion and ideological struggle. Socialism will, of course, create the material conditions for the progressive elimination of these contradictions inherited from capitalism but the fact remains that during the socialist period a conscious struggle will have to be waged to resolve them; in return, this struggle will entail the accelerated construction of the material bases of the new society.
On the other hand, the proletariat in power will adopt quite a different attitude towards the enemies of the revolution. In their case, the principal aspect of its policy will be to force them to respect the new socialist power. This is an indispensable condition to ensure the full blooming of the new society, of the overwhelming majority of the people. The tragic example of Chile is there as proof. Because the so-called socialists in power did not destroy the weapons of the reaction, because they did not mobilize the labouring masses against it to impose the people’s power on it by force, the revolution was smashed in a bloodbath. Towards the enemies of the revolution, the proletariat in power must be unrelenting.
a.) The abolition of the private ownership of the means of production begins with the expropriation of the big capitalist enterprises in the fields of resources (mines, forests), agriculture (big farms belonging to capitalists), manufacturing, commerce, transportation, and banks; this also includes the land and real estate belonging to capitalists and financiers. The Draft Program makes it clear that all capitalists be they Canadian or foreign, will be affected by these expropriations. This means, for example, that all the means of production under the control of US interests, will be taken over by the socialist power. All these expropriations will be accomplished with no compensation. By this act, the Canadian proletariat will only be appropriating what it built with its won hands at the price of much suffering, accidents, deaths, disease, and miseries of all kinds.
To say that the abolition of the private ownership of the means of production begins with the above-mentioned expropriations means that the small producers will not necessarily be affected by these measures at the beginning. This does mean, however, that small production will sooner or later be integrated into the economy and into the system of ownership in effect under socialism. The difference is that in this case, in general, force will not be required.
This point in the Draft Program makes clear that in the socialist system, there are two types of property: socialist property and collective property. The difference between the two is that socialist property belongs to the whole society of workers through the intermediary of their State whereas collective property belongs to those who work in a given place. We could compare the latter to cooperative property. These two forms of the ownership. of the means of production are thus different degrees of a single process: the socialization of economic property. Thus, in the countryside, the proletarian State will take over the big capitalist farms and capitalist real estate and set up State farms; alongside these State farms, collective farms or cooperatives could exist which, in many cases, would be the product of the voluntary merger of small family farms.
At the base of the proletarian power’s expropriation policy is the necessity to expropriate the capitalists and the financiers and not individual private property such as workers’ houses, their automobiles,their savings, or the tools and the land belonging to poor farmers.
b) The socialist character of a society is measured by, on the one hand, the real power of the working masses in all economic, political, and social affairs, and on the other hand, by the effective elimination of exploitation of man by man.
The abolition of the exploitation of man by man means first and foremost the total ban of the exploitation of the work of another person, i.e. the appropriation for personal ends of the product of another’s work. Thus it will be impossible for individuals to enrich themselves from the work of others. In this area, socialist society applies the following principle: to each according to his work, from each according to his capacities. If this principle is correctly applied, it will be impossible to re-introduce exploitation in a disguised form, such as by paying State leaders and managers astronomical salaries in relation to the average income of the masses. This is one of the forms by which the bourgeoisie has re-introduced capitalist exploitation in Russia. In this so-called communist country, in effect, we find situations as gross and contrary to socialist principles as managers of State enterprises earning 300 times as much as a worker in the same factory! Socialism does not level income overnight, because the basic criterion for remuneration is to each according to his work. But socialism means and must mean the elimination of the exploitation of one person by another in any form.
The active and direct participation of the labouring masses in all affairs of society is an indispensable condition for successful socialist construction. Whether it be in a factory, a hospital, an office, in a village, town, or region, be it a question of material production or of culture,the workers must exercise their power everywhere. It is they who must determine what is to be done in school, the length of schooling, its relations to social labour, etc.
So that this power be real and not an illusion, the workers must have the control of arms; to this end they will establish workers’ and people’s militias in the factories, in neighborhoods, in villages. A people in arms is not easily intimidated by reaction.
On the political level, workers must have full control over State institutions. They must also directly control their elected representatives at various levels. In practice, this means that they can, at any time, remove an elected leader from his functions if he has acted against the interests of his electors. This is very different from the bourgeois system where the voters have practically no possibility of revoking the elected. Thus, instead of the formal democracy of the bourgeoisie, under socialism there is the direct democracy of the masses, a democracy a thousand times freer and a thousand times more just than that found in the most democratic bourgeois State.
c) The proletarian State will adopt a constitution and laws incorporating the guiding principles and rules of socialist society.
The constitution of the Canadian socialist State will guarantee the complete equality of nations, of national minorities, and of languages. Although the aim of socialism and of communism is the merger of nations into a single community of workers, there can be no question of accomplishing this by force. The unity of Canadian workers will not be possible uniess nationalities and national minorities enjoy full equality in law and in fact, unless they have the total freedom of association in the same State. This unity must be voluntary, involving no coercion. To this end, the constitution of the Canadian socialist State will recognize the right of the Quebec nation to self-determination, up to and including secession; it will thus provide for an egalitarian association of the Quebec nation in the framework of the Canadian socialist State, for a free association in which the national rights of the Quebec nation are fully recognized and protected. It will guarantee the use and the instruction of the mother tongue for nations and national minorities. It will also guarantee the right of Native minorities to regional autonomy in forms appropriate to their cultural and economic characteristics and according to the democratic choice of the populations concerned.
Without this freedom, it would be impossible to construct a socialist Canada of all workers, whatever their nationality, race, or ethnic origins.
The Canadian socialist State will also attack the inequality between men and women. By abolishing the private ownership of the means of production, socialism will eliminate the fundamental cause that makes women inferior and oppressed in class society. In effect, women’s oppression appeared in history with the division of society into classes. Consequently, only classless society can completely eliminate their oppression. And even though socialist society does not eliminate classes overnight, it develops the material and ideological conditions for their suppression. It is the same thing in the case of women’s oppression. In a socialist Canada, women will enjoy complete equality with men in all fields: political, legal, economic, cultural. Special attention will be paid to the participation of women in productive work, because this is an essential condition to their full and complete participation in social and political life. In this way, women will acquire economic equality with men.
The constitution and the laws of the Canadian proletarian State will limit the freedom of the exploiting classes. Thus they will no longer be able to transmit from generation to generation by inheritance what they appropriated from the work of others. They will no longer be free to bear arms. Neither will they be free not to work. It is in this sense that the Draft Program speaks of a constitution and laws to ensure the dictatorship over the bourgeoisie and democracy for the people.
The seizure of political power by the Canadian proletariat will be a victory not only over the Canadian bourgeoisie but it will also be a victory over the world bourgeoisie. It will break a link in the world chain of imperialism. The entire chain will thus be weakened.
National in form, the socialist revolution is international in essence. The interests of Canadian workers are no different from those of US, French, British, Italian, or Japanese workers. All the workers of the world are in struggle against the same enemy: the capitalist and imperialist system. And each time that the bourgeoisie is defeated in one country, it is a victory for the working class of the entire world.
This internationalist character of the proletarian revolution requires a definite attitude and definite tasks of the victorious proletariat: the support of revolution in the world, the support for the revolutionary forces of the world. For the future of the revolution in each country is inseparable from the future of the revolution in the world. This is not a moral question, but first and foremost an objective and eminently practical necessity of the socialist revolution in each country and in the world.
This is why socialist Canada will actively support socialist construction in other countries. It will encourage economic and cultural exchanges with these countries. It will learn from their experiences and share its successes with them.
The working class of the capitalist and imperialist countries, as well as oppressed peoples and nations, will find in Canada a consistent defender, a support and refuge in the case of repression. Canadian workers will make the greatest sacrifices to aid the struggle for emancipation of their brothers and sisters in other countries. This is a question of extreme importance for the future of socialism in our country and in the world.
The proletariat in power has no interest in stationing troops on foreign soil. Its army will be exclusively used for the defence of the country. Having no hegemonic ambitions, it will nevertheless be a firm defender of the homeland of Canadian workers, the socialist homeland.
These are absolutely essential conditions for moving forward on the road to socialism and communism in Canada. The Draft Program expresses this very clearly when it states that the final objective of the revolution, communism, will only be possible in a world totally rid of imperialist domination, of capitalist exploitation, and of all bourgeois ideology. In effect, as long as the imperialists dominate the world or a part of it, they can, through all sorts of schemes, damage socialist countries by economic blockades, by arming the reactionary forces, by sending spies and professional counter-revolutionaries, or even by open war. So long as these conditions remain, the struggle against the bourgeoisie cannot be led to its conclusion – to communism – at the world level nor in the various countries. This is why the Draft Program states that communism cannot be attained until the victory over the bourgeoisie is complete throughout the entire world.
The Draft Program has thus far set forth the conditions in which the proletariat’s struggle will be waged as well as the objectives of this struggle. In the articles that follow, Articles 13 to 16, it identifies the enemies that will have to be fought, the friends that will have to be united, the tasks that will have to be carried out, and the practical demands that will have to be struggled for to reach these objectives.
The principal obstacle on the road to the Canadian socialist revolution is the class power of the Canadian bourgeoisie. All significant progress of the struggle of the working class requires weakening this obstacle. This is true of the struggle waged today by workers; it is especially true for the decisive battle without which socialist construction will be impossible, the seizure of State power which is in the hands of the Canadian bourgeoisie.
But, some may say, there are many other capitalists, foreign capitalists, in Canada. Some even control a major part of the Canadian economy and have a lot of influence in the affairs of State! So how can you say that the principal enemy is the Canadian bourgeoisie?
For example, it is true that the United States occupies a very important position in the economy of our country. It is also true that, because of this, it has considerable influence on the political life of the country, through the corruption of politicians and civil servants and through all kinds of pressure tactics on the Canadian government. But we can say as much for most countries of the capitalist world. The possibility for monopolies, trusts, and big financiers to corrupt foreign governments is well known. The example of the Japanese Prime Minister, Tanaka, who was forced to resign in 1976 because of this type of scandal shows this quite clearly. This, however, did not put into question the control of the Japanese State by the Japanese bourgeoisie nor the necessity for the Japanese working class to overthrow the bourgeoisie of its country for its emancipation.
What is central in Canada is the Canadian bourgeoisie’s control over the social, economic, and political life of the country.
But the Draft Program clearly states that the Canadian revolution will have to confront the combined forces of imperialism and world reaction, especially the allies of the Canadian bourgeoisie. If we examine the history of Canada, and more precisely its history over the last 50 years, we will see that the term “its allies” refers first and foremost to US imperialism. Unless there were to be profound changes in the relations between Canada and the United States.changes in the internal situation and in the position they hold in the capitalist world, the eventuality of a US intervention, including military intervention, in the Canadian revolution is more than probable. It is also more than probable that this intervention receive the blessing of the Canadian bourgeoisie.
This intervention has already occurred in the past, for example, in the case of the control by US unions of the Canadian labour movement and it continues today by various means: by the presence of the CIA on Canadian territory, by the control of Canada’s national defense by a strategic organism, NORAD, under the direction of US headquarters, by pressure and blackmail of the Canadian and provincial governments for them to repress the struggle of the working class even more, by the massive injection of the reactionary ideology of US imperialism through the movies, TV, radio, and schools in Canada, and by many other means. Thus, the threat posed by US imperialism for the Canadian revolution is very real and the Canadian proletariat will have to confront it in many fields today.
This is the type of battle that the Canadian proletariat has to prepare for. It also has to prepare to confront other imperialist powers who, like the USSR, try to profit from the contradictions in various countries in order to fulfil their hegemonic ambitions.
The Draft Program clearly states that the preparation of the revolution consists of firmly upholding the following principle: weaken the enemy and strengthen the camp of the revolution. Weakening the enemy means using all means to undermine its power in all spheres: ideological, organizational, political, and military. It means unmasking it in the eyes of the people, denouncing its manoeuvers. It also means rousing the working class against all forms of consolidation of the repressive organizations of the bourgeoisie and harassing it by constant agitation on the political level, even within the “sanctuary” of Parliament, with the aim of discrediting it in the eyes of the working class. Weakening the bourgeoisie means rousing the people against its war preparations and the training of troops for repressing the people. It is in this daily battle that the camp of revolution is strengthened, that it becomes tempered in the class struggle, that it gains the organizational experience and the ideological firmness that will enable it to go onto the assault of bourgeois power as soon as favorable conditions appear. These conditions will exist when the bourgeoisie is no longer capable of assuming the political leadership of the country, when the masses no longer have any confidence in bourgeois institutions,and when they have the organizational means to overthrow the bourgeois state and set up their own power.
Thus the process of revolution includes two determining factors: the inevitable sharpening of the contradictions of capitalism and the growth in number and in consciousness of the revolutionary forces. Together these two factors lead-to the bankruptcy of bourgeois power and its overthrow by socialist revolution. In the first case, that of the sharpening of the contradictions of capitalism, it is an objective factor, that is, something that occurs inevitably without conscious intervention; this inevitable sharpening of the contradictions of capitalism means that the laws governing the capitalist mode of production lead to a dead end and that from that moment onwards, it can no longer progress, it stagnates, it begins to rot. In the case of the growth of the camp of the revolution, it is primarily a subjective factor, that is, inseparable from the consciousness of the people.
We say that it is from the combination of these two factors, objective and subjective, that the revolutionary situation appears that makes the overthow of the bourgeoisie possible. No matter how decadent and rotten bourgeois power may be, it will not crumble by itself. For this it is necessary that when the bourgeoisie is weakened by the weight of the capitalist crisis and by the blows of the labouring masses – when the contradictions of the capitalist system have reached their maximum intensity – the revolutionary forces be ready to go onto the general assault of bourgeois power by the means of insurrection. The task of revolutionaries consists precisely in carrying out the work of preparing the camp of revolution for the seizure of power.
It has been amply demonstrated that it is up to the proletariat to lead the struggle for the socialist revolution.
Article 14 of the Draft Program states that It Is up to the Canadian proletariat of all nations and minorities, men and women, and of the various sectors to lead this struggle. In affirming this, the Draft Program insists on a fundamental characteristic of the proletarian struggle, that it can only be victorious if it is based on the unity of the forces of the working class. This unity does not come about by magic. It must be built in the struggle. Capitalism creates all kinds of divisions in the working class: between men and women, between Canadian workers and immigrant workers, between people of different color, between office workers and factory workers, between the workers of different regions, between those who have a job and those who don’t, between unionized and non-unionized workers, between different unions, etc. Without a constant struggle against these factors of division, neither the immediate struggles against capitalist exploitation nor the struggles leading to the final victory over capitalism will progress. This has been the experience of the working class since its origin. In effect, by creating the first unions, the working class realized in practice that the unity of all is necessary for the well-being of each, that the interests of each individual worker are inseparable from the collective interests of all the workers in a factory or industrial sector. By creating its first political organizations, the working class raised this unity to a higher level, that of the unity of the class of workers against the class of capitalists. It is in a large measure in this struggle for proletarian unity that the force is built that will one day lead the broad masses of Canadian workers in the struggle for socialism.
To wage this struggle to victory, Article 14 of the Draft Program adds that the proletariat must unite in a single current all those that it can unite, all its potential allies.
In general, the working class can count on the lower strata of the rural and urban petty bourgeoisie to the extent that it is able to offer them a solid political leadership and concrete support in difficult periods.
In the countryside it could win the support of the semi-proletariat, those small poor farmers who have to sell their labour power for part of the year to make ends meet. It could also win the support of small farmers and fishermen who are pushed around in all kinds of ways by big capital. The proletariat will win these allies if it is able to come to their defence, if it is able to join with them in their struggles against the reactionary policies of the State and against the oppression they are victims of from big agro-business, banks and the capitalist bourgeoisie in the countryside.
To properly carry out its policy of alliance, the working class will in some cases have to seek the neutrality of certain strata of the petty bourgeoisie, those who are too instable and cannot contribute to the struggle for socialism but who are not ready either to serve the counter-revolution. It could even happen that, in seeking this neutrality, the working class be obliged to make certain minor practical concessions which would compromise neither the 88 revolution nor socialist construction.
The neutralization of these strata means, then, that the revolutionary proletariat can and must take measures so that in certain critical situations those who hesitate do not squarely place themselves on the side of the counter-revolution.
Besides these strata and segments of classes, the proletariat can count on the popular forces engaged in struggles against national oppression, that of women, of progressive youth, and in democratic struggles in general. The tendency towards the restriction of democratic liberties, the tendency towards greater oppression of national minorities puts evergrowing segments of the people into motion. It is up to the proletariat to direct this discontent towards the principal source of these problems: the Canadian bourgeoisie. It is up to the proletariat to champion the defence of democratic rights. In a period where the danger of fascism looms ever larger, this struggle takes on growing importance; it is inseparable from the battle for socialism.
The Canadian proletariat must support the struggle of Quebec workers against national oppression. It must be at the vanguard of the struggle for the absolute equality of languages and nations and for the recognition of the right of the Quebec nation to self-determination, up to and including the right to secession – the right to decide democratically, without blackmail or political and military pressure, if it wishes to remain in the framework of the Canadian State. The Canadian working class must also come to the defence of the Inuit and Amerindian national minorities. It must support their just struggles against the pillage of their land by Canadian imperialism and US imperialism, against the arbitrary administration through which the Canadian State controls them, isolates them, and denies them their most basic rights. On all national questions, the proletariat has to indicate the principal cause of oppression, the capitalist and imperialist system. In other words, while being the most consistent defender of national rights, the proletariat doesn’t adopt the viewpoint of bourgeois nationalism, but rather the viewpoint of the interests of all Canadian workers, the viewpoint of the socialist revolution, the only real solution to national oppression in all its forms. Thus Canadian workers must not let themselves be trapped by the divisive tactics of various factions of the bourgeoisie. They must oppose the class interests of the bourgeoisie in the national question and not tail behind its reactionary and chauvinist slogans. In language questions, for example, the class viewpoint of the proletariat is that of the absolute equality of languages for nations and national minorities. To adopt this point of view means to be opposed to all force or coercive law in the language question, such as Bill 101 in Quebec and the federal Official Languages Act.
Women suffer specific oppression in the capitalist system. Women account for half of the forces in all the battles against the power of the exploiters and oppressors in Canada. Thus.they constitute an important contingent in the struggle for the Canadian socialist revolution. It is with the aim of channelling this revolutionary potential of Canadian women against the enemies of the revolution that the proletariat fights against sexual discrimination at work, as in all fields. It is also with this aim that it must support the struggle of women for free daycare, for equal pay for equal work, for equal opportunity in hiring, etc. The proletariat must adopt a class viewpoint in this area as well. It is thus opposed to those bourgeois currents like feminism which tend to isolate the struggle of women, to cut them off from the struggle for the emancipation of all workers.
Under the capitalist system, youth is confronted with numerous problems. Its future is uncertain, because the system is less and less able to offer them an adequate education and work. The working class must see in youth a huge militant reserve that can be mobilized against the enemies of the revolution. For this it must support young people’s just democratic struggles, their struggles for a free and democratic educational system, their aspirations for progress and a more just society, and above all the struggles of unemployed youth that the capitalist crisis increases greatly.
The Draft Program states that among the potential allies of the proletariat are found popular forces engaged in the struggles for democratic rights in general. In so stating, the Draft Program indicates that these struggles are an aspect of the battle for socialism and that those who wage these struggles are potential allies of the working class, whatever class they come from. These allies are found among those who oppose racism and racial discrimination, those who oppose the limitation of the freedoms of organization, expression, and thought, those who oppose police aggression and pressure, those who oppose the use of force in the national and language questions, and in many other areas where the reactionary policies of the bourgeoisie are denounced and fought. In all these struggles, the proletariat is the firm defender of democratic rights and freedoms and points out that only socialism will allow them to be completely realized. Here it differentiates itself from the policy of the bourgeoisie for whom the struggle for democratic rights is, by definition, a struggle confined to legal forms and reforms of the existing system. For the proletariat, on the other hand, these struggles lead to putting into question the very bases of the present system in which all rights are always conditional and limited in practice.
Allies of the proletariat are also found on the international level. These are the world proletariat the socialist countries.and the oppressed nations and peoples, especially in the cases where the Canadian bourgeoisie is involved. The Canadian proletariat must seek the greatest unity of action with the proletariat of other countries. To take only one example, think of the considerable support that the US working class can give to the struggle of the Canadian proletariat. The socialist countries are the surest ally of the Canadian proletariat, the most consistent ally, free of any self-interests.
A people that oppresses another cannot be free. It is in this spirit that the Canadian working class must be a firm defender of the interests of the peoples and nations exploited and oppressed by Canadian imperialist capital. It must support them because these struggles contribute to weakening world imperialism and especially Canadian imperialism, the principal enemy of the proletariat of our country.
In the interests of the revolution in Canada and in the world, the working class struggles against imperialist wars. It opposes the preparations for a third world war by the Canadian bourgeoisie and all implicated powers. For this it has to combine its voice and actions with those of all peace-loving peoples. But knowing that Imperialism is war, and that so long as imperialism exists, wars and threats of wars are inevitable, the working class has no better means of preparing peace than by preparing revolution in its own country. Thus, in the context of preparations for a world war, it prepares revolution with the aim of preventing war. If war breaks out, its task is to transform it into revolutionary civil war against the bourgeoisie. In doing so the proletariat will turn against its enemy the weapons that the bourgeoisie manufactured to protect and extend its pillage and transform these weapons of oppression into their contrary, into arms of liberation.
The proletariat must wage within its own ranks a ruthless and relentless struggle against opportunists, reformists, and conciliators with the bourgeoisie, in particular revisionists of all kinds, Trotskyists, social democrats, revisionists of the CP and the like. Without this constant struggle against opportunists in the workers’ movement, the struggle of the proletariat runs the risk of being deviated from its revolutionary objective, to sink into revisionism, thus making the proletariat tail behind the bourgeoisie. There is no designated time for beginning this struggle; it must be permanent and relentless. The success or failure of the Canadian revolution depends on it.
In our commentary of Article 13 of the Draft Program, we touched upon the question of preparing the revolutionary forces, i.e. of the conscious factor in the struggle to smash the capitalist system. Article 14 of the Draft Program defines what forces we’re talking about and the attitude of the proletariat towards them. Article 15 of the Draft Program deals with the fundamental tasks that must be undertaken and waged to the end to prepare the Canadian socialist revolution and ensure its victory.
a) Build the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Canadian proletariat. A hundred and fifty years of struggle have shown that the only weapon the working class has against its enemies is that of its organization. In the course of this battle workers have created all kinds of organizations: secret societies, unions, defence groups, cooperatives, workers’ councils, people’s militias, political parties, etc... But of all these organizations only one has shown itself capable of leading the working class to power: the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party. What kind of party is this? How does it play this role? What are its characteristic ?
The Draft Program states that in the first place the Marxist-Leninist party is composed above all of the best elements of the proletariat. This means two things. The party is first and foremost the party of a precise class: the working class. It also means that this party is a vanguard detachment of the working class formed by the most conscious workers, the most devoted to the interests of their class. As a class party, the Marxist-Leninist party does not reject individuals coming from other classes or social strata, but it only admits them into its ranks if they have abandoned the viewpoint and the interests of their class to adopt the viewpoint and defend the interests of the working class. As a vanguard detachment of the proletariat, the Marxist-Leninist party is a political leader and the battle headquarters. As a political leader, its role is not to follow blindly the spontaneous struggle of workers, but rather to place itself at the head of the proletariat’s class struggle, to guide this struggle, to indicate the goal that must be aimed at, and the means that must be taken to win. It is the headquarters which concretely directs the progress of the class war, which is deeply involved in this war and analyzes all its details and stays on the front line. In this way, the Marxist-Leninist Party is inseparable from the working class and is intimately linked to it through all its roots, by all its activity, by its program, its ideology, and its work-style.
The Draft Program then states that the party of the proletariat bases itself firmly on Marxism-Leninism. This means that to be really able to lead, to be a vanguard detachment, the party must be armed with revolutionary theory, with the knowledge of the laws governing the development of human society, with the knowledge of the laws governing revolution. Without this theory and this knowledge, the party would be unable to raise the masses to the level of understanding the class interests of the proletariat; without this theory.the party could not turn the proletariat away from the path of reformism and transform it into a political force independent of the bourgeoisie and its ideology. Only Marxist-Leninist theory has shown that it is capable of this task, that it is the only true theory of the proletariat’s class struggle.
In effect, the Marxist-Leninist theory is based on the 150 year-old experience of the working class struggle. This theory of proletarian class struggle was not discovered and developed by isolated thinkers, cut off from the struggle of the proletariat, but by leaders and fighters directly involved in the struggle, men like Karl Marx, Friendrich Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Enver Hoxha. Marxist-Leninist theory is the only proven guide of the proletarian struggle for socialism, for it alone has enabled the working class to overthrew the bourgeoisie and establish socialism in numerous countries since the beginning of the century. Marxism-Leninism affirms that the value and validity of a theory is measured by the results obtained with it in practice. By applying this to Marxism-Leninism itself, we can see why it is the most solid theoretical base to guide the action of the working class and lead the revolution to victory.
The Draft Program states that the Marxist-Leninist party applies democratic centralism and bases its action in factories. These two characteristics define the proletarian party as the organized detachment of the working class. In effect, to be able to lead the struggle of the proletariat in extremely complex and difficult conditions, the party must be the personification of discipline and organization. For this it must be a united and solid organization. It is only in this way that it will be ab|e, by its example, to instil in the innumerable masses of unorganized workers outside of the party a spirit of discipline and method in the struggle, a spirit of organization and firmness.
Democratic centralism is the organizational method that allows the unity of action of the party and democratic discussion, the broadest confrontation of points of view. Revolutionary discipline is incompatible with servility and tailism; it is only proletarian if it is consciously and freely accepted. But discipline is incompatible with individualism; it must be based on total adherence to decisions taken. Thus, in action, the lower levels are subordinate to the higher levels,the individuals to the cell, the minority to the majority. Such unity of action cannot tolerate factions in the party, that is small groups of plotters who act against its constitution to oppose the majority.
The organization of the party, and this is its second aspect as the organized detachment of the working class, is based on factory cells. Each factory has to be a fortress of the revolutionary organization of the proletariat. This is what the Draft Program expresses when it states that the party bases its organization in the factories to extend it to the neighborhoods and rural regions. It is in this way that the party ensures the proletarian composition of its organization and bases its action in the midst of the working class.
The Draft Program also states that the Marxist-Leninist party is the supreme and sole leadership of the revolution. This doesn’t mean that it is the only organization of the working class nor that it should aspire to become so. The proletariat has given itself a whole series of organizations to fight capital: unions, cooperatives, factory organizations, community groups for the defence of the rights of various strata of the people, etc. All these organizations are necessary. Through the struggles they wage, they steel the proletariat in various spheres of activity where it confronts capital. But left to themselves, they cannot take a single direction. For this they need an organization which, by its nature, is able to exercise a unifying action on the direction these particular organizations take; this organization is the Marxist-Leninist party which alone can draw up the political line capable of ideologically and politically uniting the various organizations of the working class. This is why the Draft Program states that the Marxist-Leninist party is the supreme and sole leadership of the revolution.
The Draft Program terminates this point with the following sentence: The action of the party applies the principle that the masses make the revolution and the party makes them conscious.
With this statement, the Draft Program recognizes that the Marxist-Leninist party is not an end in itself, but a means. It is the decisive instrument in the emancipating struggle of the proletariat. It is a class instrument in the service of this class. It is a tool to reach a goal and not a goal in itself. It is the innumerable toiling masses that make history and not a particular group of people, however necessary and decisive the organisation of the party might be. A party that forgets this will only cut itself off from the masses, become self-satisfied, and degenerate into class collaboration or adventurism, i.e. the isolated action of a small minority that substitutes itself for the masses and pretends to make the revolution in their place.
b) The second great task that the Draft Program deals with is uniting the proletariat and its allies in the struggle against capitalist exploitation and against the reactionary policies of the bourgeois State. All past revolutionary struggles have shown that the revolution’s success depends on the degree of unity of the proletariat in the struggle, the degree of unity of its allies around it, and the party’s capacity to win the mass organizations, particularly the unions, to its point of view.
It is for this reason that the Draft Program speaks first of the unity of the proletariat. It bases itself here on the rich revolutionary experience of the working class which teaches us that the unity of the proletariat is the indispensable condition for uniting all those who can contribute to the struggle for socialism. It is on the solidity and unity of action of the proletariat that hinges the solidity of the entire camp of the revolution at different stages of the battle. We have seen previously that the proletariat realizes its supreme form of unity in its class party. However, this higher unity is insufficient to launch the assault on bourgeois power. A greater unity of the entire working class is required for this. This unity is built daily in action, in forms of struggle aimed at rallying the broadest masses of the proletariat. Everywhere, we must be constantly working to build this militant unity, starting at the base and uniting all workers whatever their ideological, political, or even religious convictions, on the basis of precise, concrete, immediate struggles. It is because authentic communists are the most firm defenders of this unity of action that they can demonstrate in practice, within the broad masses, the betrayal of the opportunists who are scared to death of the united and militant action of the proletariat. Here, in this country where national and ethnic divisions have historically always greatly hindered the struggle of the proletariat, achieving this unity of action takes on even greater importance.
This task is of utmost concern to the Canadian labour movement because thus far unions have been the best organized and the broadest organizations of the working class. Thus trade union unity is an objective of the highest importance in the struggle for the unity of the proletariat. In all cases, authentic communists build proletarian unity with a precise goal: channelling the struggle of workers against the principal enemy in order to smash it. Communists don’t propose unity for unity’s sake, solidarity for solidarity’s sake. On the contrary they start from the class interests of the entire Canadian proletariat and conceive proletarian unity as a political force with one definite aim: socialist revolution.
We have previously seen that the proletariat is not the only one to suffer exploitation and oppression under the capitalist regime. Numerous strata of the people are also its victims. To overthrow the bourgeoisie the proletariat must unite these strata under its leadership. It will do so by participating actively in all the major struggles involving its allies and will give them active support. It will do so by being the champion of the defence of democratic rights, by waging a consistent struggle against all the reactionary and fascistic policies of the imperialist bourgeoisie. Through this action the revolutionary proletariat will build the camp of the revolution, this unified front that bourgeois power will be incapable of standing up to.
On its path the revolutionary proletariat will have to come to terms with the various economic and political organizations of the classes and social strata involved. In some cases, it will be possible and desirable to unite with them for particular actions. In these circumstances, the Marxist-Leninist party, firmly maintaining its principles, must wage a struggle to unmask the opportunists and reformists who are often at the head of these organizations and who sap united action. The unity of the proletariat and other strata of the people is above all the unity of the masses themselves in action; it is sometimes also unity with economic and political organizations representing the interests of a class other than the proletariat; however, it is never the unity of action drawn up in the back rooms with the leaders of these organizations, away from the active participation of the masses.
Third, point b) of Article 15 speaks of the necessity of winning the masses and their organizations, in particular the unions, to the party’s leadership. This does not mean, of course, that these organizations have to be formally subordinated to the party’s leadership. Only infantile people, only false communists think that this is the way to win the masses to the party’s leadership. In fact, there are no better means to drive them away from the party. The real task is for party members and supporters belonging to these organizations to carry out a patient work of persuasion through discussion and example. It is only in this way that communists will develop their influence in these organizatiions and wage an effective struggle to throw out the opportunists. It is in this way and in this way alone that they will bring these organizations closer to the party of the proletariat and to voluntarily accept its political leadership because this leadership will have proven itself in struggle.
c) The third major task that must be accomplished to make revolution is the development of the capacity of the masses to wage armed struggle against the bourgeoisie.
There is no country in the world where the bourgeoisie has not resorted to reactionary violence to smash the workers. There is no country in the world where the bourgeoisie has not generalized this violence, including systematic terror, to prevent the proletariat from taking state power.
The Draft Program of the proletariat clearly states that it will do its utmost to prepare the masses to confront this reactionary violence, both now and at the time of the seizure of power. Today this bourgeois violence is manifested in multiple ways: by police aggression in strikes and demonstrations, by attacks of fascist groups against immigrant workers and communists, by provocation and aggression from the private police of the bosses. This reactionary violence must be met with revolutionary violence, the legitimate violence of the people.
The proletarian party has to develop open, legal forms of organization and action as well as clandestine forms. This double character of the party’s organization is dictated by the practical necessities of the revolutionary struggle. Experience has shown that periods of “social peace” are never anything but more or less long pauses between revolutionary conflict. The party of the proletariat must be ready at all times to go into clandestine forms of struggle. If it isn’t, it is inevitably condemned to be destroyed.
In a revolutionary situation, when the bourgeoisie is no longer capable of keeping power, and when the proletariat has brought together the forces necessary to seize power, the conditions then exist to launch the insurrectional struggle.
However, armed insurrection of the masses and self-defence of the masses in the face of reactionary violence mustn’t be confused with terrorist action of isolated individuals and small groups. The Marxist-Leninist party is totally opposed to the tactic of terrorism, to the adventurist actions of isolated individuals.
We will now deal with the last article of the Draft Program, the one that sets forth the immediate demands that the party fights for in its march towards socialism.
The first paragraph of Article 16 formulates the principles that guide the choice of these demands. The first sentence states that in its struggle for the conquest of political power, the proletariat does not neglect any means of struggle. This means that the proletariat wages the struggle on many fronts using many means. Sometimes its struggle is violent, sometimes it is peaceful; in some aspects, it is clandestine, in others, it is public. In a situation where the masses still have confidence in the institutions of bourgeois democracy, the proletariat must not hesitate to struggle within these institutions, including Parliament. Thus, although it is not an electoral party, the proletarian party may participate in elections and then use Parliament as a tribune to spread the communist point of view as widely as possible with the aim of winning the masses away from the influence of bourgeois reformism and parliamentarism. But the proletarian party must never give the principal place to parliamentary activities. What is principal for the Party is the action of the working masses themselves, their organization, and their revolutionary struggle against capital.
As a whole, the essential immediate demands are those which advance the struggle of the proletariat towards its strategic objective. In this respect, they are those demands designed to weaken the enemies of the revolution, to strengthen the fighting capacity of the working class, and to bring the great majority of the labouring masses of the city and the countryside under the leadership of the party. Thus these demands touch all the essential areas of the class struggle on the economic and political levels.
They are, moreover, essential demands and are not developed in detail. It is up to the party and its organizations to define precisely the particular demands and slogans according to the situation. Take for example the right to free expression and the independence of working class organizations which is the first demand dealt with. According to the situation, the struggle to preserve and extend the freedom of expression could involve the struggle against a municipal by-law banning posters and the free circulation of newspapers and flyers; it could involve the struggle against a ban on bringing certain newspapers into a factory, office, or hospital. Concerning the independence of the organizations of the working class, this could mean the struggle against a federal or provincial law interfering in the internal affairs of unions and dictating to the working class how it should organize and take strike votes, etc. In short, the Draft Program should not enumerate all the particular demands that can vary according to the stages of the struggle and according to the regions of the country.
The struggle for these demands will weaken the enemies of the revolution in that they aim at limiting, and even eliminating, the means by which the bourgeoisie tries to slow down or suppress the struggle of the revolutionary class. This is the function, for example, of the first demand concerning the freedom of expression, of association, of organization, and of independence of mass organizations in relation to the bourgeois State. This is what is put forward in the demand dealing with the right to strike. These political demands are essential insofar as they aim at ensuring the freest and most complete development of the class struggle of the proletariat. To strengthen the fighting capacity of the working class is also to directly weaken bourgeois power.
Strengthening the fighting capacity of the working class also means struggling against economic, political, and social factors of division which weaken it. It means demanding the end of regional, sexual, and ethnic inequality in salaries. It means demanding the equality in law and in fact of men and women at work as in all other domains. It means demanding that the rights of the oppressed Quebec nation be recognized and respected, in particular its right to decide for itself if it is to remain or not in the federal State. It means demanding the abolition of all forms of discrimination towards national minorities and immigrant workers.
To strengthen the fighting capacity of the working class is to demand its greater material well-being from the point of view of wages and all other forms of income and from the point of view of health and safety at work.
By the demands concerning nations, national minorities, immigrants, and women as well as those concerning political and social rights, the proletariat makes itself the defender of all oppressed people. It thus favors the constitution of the camp of the revolution.
By demanding Canada’s withdrawal from military imperialist alliances and the development of relations with socialist countries, the proletariat acts in accordance with the principles of proletarian internationalism. It thus aids the development of revolutionary forces in the world and weakens the camp of the reaction in Canada and in the world. When it demands the right for political asylum for its brothers and sisters in struggle in the world, it also acts in favour of this goal.
Given the broad character of these economic and political demands and the fact that they do not concern only the proletariat, it is possible that other classes or social strata and their organizations will also struggle for them. The proletarian party will support without hesitation all those who struggle for these demands. But in doing to it will maintain its ideological, political, and organizational autonomy and will reject all reformist projects whose aim is always to submit the working class even further to the control and domination of the bourgeois State.
In its introduction to the demands, the Draft Program states that they can only be fully satisfied under socialism. Does this mean that these are things impossible to obtain right now? We must first emphasize the fact the Draft Program uses the expression “fully satisfied”. The Draft Program thus expresses the fact that under capitalism any reform, even important, is always conditional, is always being put into question by the bourgeoisie. To pretend otherwise would be a reformist absurdity. Thus the Draft Program fully takes into account the character of reforms in the capitalist system.
In effect, all these demands are, to one degree or another, compatible with the existing system, even if only partially. The degree to which they can be achieved depends on the relative forces between the proletariat and its allies on one side and the bourgeoisie on the other. This is why the Draft Program states that the party must link the immediate demands of the proletariat and the masses to the struggle for socialism. Thus the Draft Program expresses the idea that the struggle for these demands alone is insufficent for the complete emancipation of the workers. It also expresses the idea that in the course of the struggle for realizing these demands, the party educates the working class on the only demand that can really lead to its emancipation: the abolition of the private ownership of the means of production, the abolition of the exploitation of Man by Man, and the construction of a socialist society. But that is not a demand in the precise sense of the term. It is the fundamental task of the socialist revolution.