The national question is a key question for the proletarian revolution in Canada. Oppressed nationalities make up over one third of the country’s population.
At this point in time, however, the Quebec national question is the most burning one. It is at the root of the political crisis presently rocking the country. Five million strong, the Quebec nation is a strategic reserve for the revolutionary struggle in our country.
How does IS see the national question? What positions does it defend? This is what we will examine.
We will see that IS, despite its pretentions, completely abandons the struggle against the oppression of the Quebec nation. Their line is clearly chauvinist.
Capitulating to the dominant bourgeois ideology, IS works, in English Canada, to reinforce great nation chauvinism. In Quebec it obviously cannot spread its chauvinist line for fear of losing its popularity, so it resorts to the basest conciliation with narrow nationalism.
Great nation chauvinism in the dominant nation, narrow nationalism in the oppressed nation, these are two sides of the same opportunist coin, shameful capitulation to the bourgeoisie in each nation.
To begin with, IS abandons the struggle to make the Quebec nation play its full revolutionary role; it abandons the struggle to mobilize the Quebec nation as a reserve for socialist revolution.
In fact, it rejects the fundamental Marxist-Leninist principle that in the era of imperialism, oppressed nations are a reserve for world proletarian revolution.
According to IS, the Quebec nation is not a reserve for the proletarian revolution. Attacking the League, IS says: “The concept of “nation as a reserve for revolution” has nothing to do with the strategy of the Canadian proletariat which is struggling to achieve socialist revolution.” (IS pamphlet entitled Uphold the Revolutionary Unity of the Workers of All Nations and National Minorities in Canada, p. 50)
There you have it!
But this concept was not invented by the League. It is a Marxist-Leninist principle, developed by Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung during the Russian and Chinese revolutions.,/p>
What does this principle mean?
First of all, it means that in our era, the era of imperialism, of the expansion of capitalism across the globe, the national question is part of the world proletarian revolution.
Ever since the October Revolution the world proletarian revolution has been composed of two great currents: socialist revolution and national liberation struggles. That is why, as Stalin explains:
The fight for the emancipation of the oppressed nationalities could not help becoming a fight to win particular reserves of capital, the deepest of them. (The October Revolution and the Question of the Middle Strata, in Marxism and the National-Colonial Question, Proletarian Publishers, p. 279)
Oppressed nationalities are therefore allies of proletarian revolution. In Canada a large part of the population comes from oppressed nationalities and has a double interest in overthrowing imperialism, first, as a people, but also as a nationality. In addition to capitalist exploitation and oppression weighing down on the whole Canadian working class and people, these people are also subjected to oppression as a nationality. Stalin sums up the question:
Oppressed nationalities are usually oppressed not only as peasants and as urban working people, but also as nationalities, i.e., as the toilers of a definite nationality, language, culture, manner of life, habits and customs. The double oppression cannot help revolutionising the labouring masses of the oppressed nationalities, cannot help impelling them to fight the principal force of oppression – capital. (ibid)
So the oppressed nationalities in Canada are a potential supplementary force in the fight against the Canadian bourgeoisie. To deny this, as IS does, is to reject all the revolutionary potential of the fight against national oppression. The working class must adopt the following attitude toward these reserves: to rally them in order to increase its own forces and guarantee its victory.
IS and revisionists in general cut off the national question from the struggle for socialism
It is characteristic of revisionists to do this. They always reduce the national question to a phenomenon by itself. They thus eliminate the proletarian point of view in the national question, and consequently refuse to deal with it on the terrain of the fight for socialism. Stalin sums up the problem this way:
Formerly, the national question was regarded from a reformist point of view, as an independent question having no connection with the general question of the power of capital, of the overthrow of imperialism, of the proletarian revolution.
He goes on to say, “Leninism has proved, and the imperialist war and the revolution in Russia have confirmed, that the national question can be solved only in connection with and on the basis of the proletarian revolution...” (The Foundations of Leninism, op cit, p. 284-285)
But the revisionists of both the “C”PC and IS betray these teachings. Take the “C”PC for example. In February, 1977 a document from their Central Committee proposed establishing “a bi-national state based on an equal, voluntary partnership of the two nations – English and French Canadian – and the adoption of a made-in-Canada constitution...” (Supplement to Canadian Tribune, February 21, 1977, p.7) No mention at all of the overthrow of the bourgeois dictatorship, no mention of socialism. For the “C”PC the national question is a separate issue and has nothing to do with the struggle for socialism. A few constitutional changes within the framework of bourgeois democracy and the problem would be solved.
IS follows the same path. They say the proletariat should demand “... a general and universal law guaranteeing the equality of languages and the suppression of all national or linguistic privileges, whatever they may be. Much more than a declaration of principle, this law would permit any citizen to demand the repeal of any discriminatory measure and to prosecute offenders. We should put forward this demand of the Canadian proletariat across the country and even demand that it be written into the Canadian constitution.” (IS, no. 89, p. 7)
IS and the “C”PC’s proposals are like two peas in a pod. The fight against national oppression is reduced to a simple demand for a law. There is no link to the fight to put an end to capitalism, and the question is not posed in terms of proletarian revolution. This is the worst kind of reformist deceit.
Never under capitalism will a law guarantee the end of national oppression. Even if the working class makes headway in the fight against national oppression, even if it wins the right to self-determination for the Quebec nation and other national rights, there will never be a guarantee, as long as the bourgeoisie holds power, that these rights will always be respected. The bourgeoisie will never give up its oppression of nations, because one third of our country’s population belongs to oppressed nationalities and the bourgeoisie squeezes huge profits out of it.
It will take a lot more than a “general” law and the “universal” pious wishes of the revisionists to win for all time the equality of nationalities as a right and in practice. This is why we say only socialism, only the proletariat’s dictatorship over these exploiters, safeguarded by the people in arms, will guarantee these rights.
To cover up its revisionism, IS sets Marxist-Leninist principles in opposition
But IS is not happy with simple outright rejection of principles. In order to create total confusion, and with all sorts of finagling, it manages to set one principle in opposition to another.
For example, they use the pretext that within a nation there are capitalists, to conclude that a nation cannot be a reserve of the proletariat. “How could capitalists like Maclean, Bombardier and De Grandpre, who participate in the exploitation of the proletariat of Canada and of other countries, ever transform themselves into a reserve for the Revolution?” (Uphold the Revolutionary Unity... p. 50)
What principles is IS setting in opposition here?
First of all, there is the principle that in the epoch of imperialism oppressed nations are a reserve of the world socialist revolution.
Secondly, there is the principle that nations are composed of classes. Of course, Marxist-Leninists look at the national question from the point of view of the proletariat. But having a proletarian class viewpoint does not mean repeating endlessly, the way IS does, that there is a bourgeoisie and a proletariat in an oppressed nation. Everyone already knows that. What is needed is an analysis of the attitude of different classes within the oppressed nation toward socialist revolution, linked to their attitude toward the fight against national oppression.
For the League the issue is clear: “Only the proletariat can give the fightback movement against national oppression a consistent character by making it a part of the fight for socialist revolution in Canada.” (Resolution on the Quebec National Question, in October, Nos. 2,3, p. 76). The League is clear that “some elements” within the petty-bourgeoisie “like small producers and intellectuals, are opposed to the oppression of the Quebec people by the Canadian bourgeoisie.” “These elements can be an important ally of the proletariat.” (ibid, p. 75); and finally we identify the bourgeoisie, which is definitely the enemy of the socialist revolution. This is the small handful of capitalists who desire above all to carry on their exploitation of the working class and to continue to profit from national oppression.
That is where we place the Peladeaus and the like. They are the sworn enemies of the working class and of socialism, always after a bigger piece of the cake in the exploitation of workers.
When the Quebec nationalist bourgeoisie fights for Quebec’s separation it is only serving its own interests, those of an exploiter; it couldn’t care less about national oppression.
This reactionary class cannot be considered an ally nor a reserve of the socialist revolution – quite the contrary, it sits squarely in the camp of the proletariat’s main target: the Canadian bourgeoisie. It will be smashed by the Canadian revolutionary struggle.
This is the position the League has firmly defended since its formation, despite the noises from the IS peanut gallery clamouring the opposite. On the other hand, if we take a look at what IS itself says, we see that, “The PQ is not the enemy,” that we cannot attack it because “the masses are not ready,” and so on. (We will come back to this question later when we discuss IS’s narrow nationalism.)
The presence of a handful of exploiters is not going to make the working class give up the struggle to bring the national movement into the socialist revolution. As a matter of fact, the job is to tear this movement away from the bourgeoisie’s influence. This is part of the proletariat’s struggle to build the broadest possible revolutionary united front in order to overthrow capitalism.
It is important to understand, too, that national oppression radicalizes the struggle of workers of oppressed nations. The stronger the oppression, the fiercer the resistance. For example, in Quebec in the course of the last eight years, labour conflicts have been among the most militant and frequent in all of Canada. Quebec was the birthplace of inter-union common fronts, such as the Common Front of 200,000 public service workers in 1971, or that of asbestos miners in 1975. Often such struggles in Quebec contain an element of resistance to national oppression, including just demands like “the right to work in French.”
The working class must lead the national movement
Yes but, IS will say, “In our epoch, the national movement in our country has nothing revolutionary about it.” (Uphold... op. cit., p. 50)
What IS refuses to see is that the working class must put itself at the head of the national movement, which at present is dominated in Quebec by nationalist bourgeois elements, that is by the PQ. The working class must seize the leadership of the national movement from the hands of the nationalist bourgeoisie, and impart it with a revolutionary orientation and content. If it follows IS’s lead and refuses to do this, it is courting disaster.
Take the example of the Russian revolution. More than 40% of the czarist empire was made up of oppressed nationalities, living on three quarters of the land area. The oppressed nations made up a formidable reserve. After the October 1917 uprising, a terrible civil war, fomented by the reactionaries, raged for two years, while foreign imperialists attempted to occupy the country. But the oppressed nationalities lent their support to the Russian proletariat, and in this war played a decisive role in defeating the enemies of the young Soviet power. This is the way Stalin described their role:
Do not forget, comrades, that if we were able to march against Kerensky with flying colours and overthrow the Provisional Government it was because, among other things, we were backed by the confidence of the oppressed peoples that were expecting liberation at the hands of the Russian proletarians. Do not forget such reserves as the oppressed peoples (...) While we were marching against them (the reactionary generals – Ed.), disintegration began in their rear. Why? (...) They held out to the oppressed peoples the prospect of further oppression, and the oppressed peoples were therefore pushed into our arms, while we unfurled the banner of the liberation of these oppressed peoples. (Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, in Marxism and the National-Colonial Question, Proletarian Publishers, p. 226)
What would have happened if the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin had rejected these reserves on the pretext that there were a handful of reactionaries and traitors within these oppressed nationalities? The Bolshevik revolution would have failed. Russia would not have been the bastion of socialism that it was for over 25 years.
Today the new czars have seized power in the Soviet Union. Along with their restoration of capitalism they have brought back national oppression. But there is growing evidence of resistance to this oppression. Just recently the Georgian people organized great protest demonstrations against Brezhnev and his local henchmen’s scheme to impose the Russian language on them through the constitution. Brezhnev was forced to give in.
There is only one conclusion we can draw from this resistance: the oppressed nationalities in the USSR are already digging their masters’ graves. Tomorrow they will be a powerful reserve – they will sweep away the new czars!
Marxist-Leninists should put forward a program of just demands
In Canada Marxist-Leninists must rally the peoples of the oppressed nationalities to the proletarian revolution. This is impossible without a concrete program of concrete demands.
However, since IS denies “on principle” that the oppressed nationalities can play a revolutionary role, and turns up its nose at the Quebec nations’s fight for its rights, we should not be surprised that it has nothing to propose for the struggle.
Take, for example, their much-touted “draft program.” With enough careful perusal you can discover on page 27 the following paragraph, wedged in between freedom of expression and cost-of-living indexation of wages: “the recognition in practice of the national rights of the Quebec nation, including the right to secession, and of the national rights of the Inuit, Amerindian, and francophone minorities; the abolition of all forms of discrimination against the minorities and the immigrants (.) ”
If you have greater patience you can check through the section entitled “Commentary.” Unfortunately, there’s no more to be had there. IS says so itself (p. 102). By this point most people want to know why there is no more detail than this; what you find out here is, “It is up to the party and its organizations to define precisely the particular demands and slogans according to the situation.”
This is the choice old argument that the only fight fit for Marxist-Leninists is the fight to build the party – which, it seems, is built somewhere in the clouds, away from class struggle.
IS even tries a new explanation: “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.” (p. 102, our emphasis)
Fine, let us take IS at its word. Let’s leave the party aside for a moment and see what they have to say when they find themselves in just such a “particular, variable and regional” situation.
It is well known that in Hull, Quebec, national oppression is keenly felt. The federal government (through its National Capital Commission) is taking over vast amounts of Quebec territory and laying waste throughout. Working people are affected particularly severely. Factories close, whole working-class neighbourhoods are demolished, whole communities are pushed out to make way for tall office buildings, and so on. The region is going through a rapid process of anglicization due to the huge influx of English Canadian civil servants. All of this is being done under the cover of building a magnificent “national capital region.”
In Hull wages are lower than those across the river in Ottawa, there are less health services available, and the housing problem is acute. Hull is a vivid example of what national oppression of the Quebec nation can mean and how workers are hardest hit.
But Charles Gagnon will tell you himself that this has nothing to do with national oppression! This is what he had to say at an IS meeting held in Hull in May 1978. He justified this nonsense by saying that factory shut-downs and the like can be found “all over Canada.”
Party or no party, for IS even a situation as “particular” and “regional” as that of Hull has nothing to do with the national question. Logical conclusion: there is no need to wage a struggle against national oppression there, either.
It is evident that basically all the justifications IS can come up with for refusing to take up the fight against oppression right now (wait till the, party is created, national oppression is a “particular” or “regional” problem, etc.), are only excuses for sabotaging this struggle.
Ultimately, what do their practical proposals for fighting national oppression come down to? In Uphold the Revolutionary Unity of the Workers of All Nations and National Minorities in Canada, a 56-page pamphlet dealing entirely with the Quebec national question, the practical program amounts to 16 lines on page 55. After pages and pages of ultra-“revolutionary” verbiage, we finally end up with the declaration that the proletariat must “struggle for the equality in law and in practice of languages and nations.” The elephant has given birth to a mouse.
Stalin shows us how to judge IS’s empty words.
Leninism brought the national question down from the lofty heights of high-sounding declarations (here Stalin is talking about the old revisionists of the II International – Ed.) to solid ground, and declared that pronouncements about the “equality of nations” not backed by the direct support of the proletarian parties for the liberation struggle of the oppressed nations are meaningless and false. (Problems of Leninism, Peking, p. 69)
The revolutionary unity of the working class will be built through the recognition in practice of the rights of the oppressed nationalities. This is why the League advances a program of clear demands, contained in its Resolution on the National Question adopted at its Second Congress.
While IS sits and twiddles its thumbs, the League is working all over Canada against the bourgeoisie’s oppressive measures. The League was a motive force in getting some union conventions to pass resolutions in favour of the Quebec nation’s right to self-determination. In the summer of 1978 it mobilized working men and women, Quebecois, English-Canadians and immigrants to take part in outdoor festivities organized for June 24th – national holiday of the Quebecois people. This was an opportunity to emphasize the struggle against national oppression and to build unity of the multinational working class. The League fights chauvinism and narrow nationalism and supports the just demands of the oppressed nationalities.
This is indispensable for the victory of the socialist revolution in Canada.
To sum up: IS begins by denying that the Quebec nation – as well as the other oppressed nationalities – constitutes a reserve of the socialist revolution in Canada. Therefore it refuses to involve the Quebec people as a reserve. As a result, IS puts forward no concrete demands, no program for the struggle.
IS rejects the struggle and liquidates the national question. As far as the Quebecois nationalist bourgeoisie is concerned, this is just fine. The Peladeaus and the Levesques, who pose as the best fighters for national rights, are nothing short of gleeful at the clear field left to them.
The policy of revisionists is always one of glossing over contradictions, not of resolving them in a just way. This is precisely IS’s policy. One characteristic of its revisionist line is that it wipes out any distinction between oppressor and oppressed.
Self-determination for both nations
To begin with, IS defends a so-called “right of all nations to self-determination, including the right to separation.” (Uphold the Revolutionary Unity... p. 55) When IS speaks of the right of self-determination for “all” nations (with no distinction between dominant and dominated nations), it denies the inequality imposed by the Canadian bourgeoisie between the English-Canadian nation, which already has the right to self-determination, and which is not oppressed, and the oppressed Quebec nation, which is refused this right. The just, Marxist-Leninist position is to fight for the rights of the oppressed nationalities.
IS is not alone in defending this absurd demand. William Kashtan, leader of the “Communist” Party of Canada demanded the “right of both nations to self-determination” last year in British Columbia! And again recently Val Bjarnason, one of the revisionists’ chief hacks in the labour movement revealed more than he realized at the CLC convention in April, 1978, when he called for recognition “of the right to self-determination of Quebec and English Canada.” In Struggle and the “C”PC are a fine pair!
The Fusion of Nations
IS reaches the ultimate logical conclusion of its position with its “fusion of nations” thesis: applauding the forced assimilation of oppressed nations and nationalities. This line was advanced in its paper in May, 1977, during a period when IS was on a downhill slide towards revisionism.
IS starts out by submitting its brilliant “general and universal” law.
There follows a long tirade on the application of the provisions of this law, all of which winds up as follows: “And then, if the movement of history came to mean the assimilation of one or the other of the nations or national minorities, that would not correspond in the slightest to national oppression, but rather to the objective tendency of economic development to dissolve national frontiers by creating a world-wide network of increasingly closer economic, social and cultural relations.”  (IS, No. 89, p. 7)
To talk about the “fusion of nations” under capitalism, under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie the way IS does, is to preach the forced assimilation of the oppressed nationalities in Canada. Under imperialist domination, the “movement of history” consists of oppressing, assimilating and eradicating the dominated nationalities. Under these conditions the “fusion of nations” is simply a reactionary slogan.
Once again we have an example of how IS takes Marxist concepts and uses them to oppose Marxism. To be sure, Lenin talks about, “the development and growing frequency of international intercourse in every form, the breakdown of national barriers, the creation of the international unity of capital (and here we emphasize, of capital – Ed.), of economic life in general, of politics, science, etc.” (Critical Remarks on the National Question, Collected Works, Vol. 20, p. 27) But this in no way means that Marxists advocate the fusion of nations in general, in the abstract.
Under capitalism the “fusion of nations” can be nothing other than the assimilation of oppressed nationalities by dominant nations. This is why Marxists are against the forced fusion of nations under imperialism. Fusion of nations in the era of communism will have nothing in common with national oppression, because there can no longer be any question of anything but a fusion freely agreed to.
Lenin also explains,
By transforming capitalism into socialism the proletariat creates the possibility of abolishing national oppression; the possibility becomes reality “only” – “only”! – with the establishment of full democracy in all spheres, including the delineation of state frontiers in accordance with the “sympathies” of the population, including complete freedom to secede. And this, in turn, will serve as a basis for developing the practical elimination of even the slightest national friction and the least national mistrust, for an accelerated drawing together and fusion of nations that will be completed when the state withers away. This is the Marxist theory,... (The Discussion on Self-determination Summed Up, Collected Works, Vol. 22, p. 325)
Here we see in black and white just how Lenin envisaged that the fusion of nations would come about – through the long process of the passage from capitalism to communism – and just how grossly IS distorts Lenin.
IS is only able to make this distortion by continually keeping the national question separate from the class struggle for socialism and communism. It refuses to see even the fusion of nations in the perspective of the struggle for communism. This is why it says that forced assimilation is “not national oppression.”
So which side is IS on? It is on the side of the bourgeoisie, which couldn’t hope for anything better than to have the national question “resolved” in this radical fashion.
Of course, there is one country which practises the “fusion of nations” in the name of “socialism”. That country is the social-fascist USSR, great model of modern revisionists. Brezhnev and company boast in their new constitution of having created, by means of this “fusion,” a “nation of the new type.”
In fact, the revisionists are engaged in the forced russification of all nationalities (the Russian nation is the dominant nation in the USSR). Since Khrushchev came to power 20 years ago many nationalities have been driven closer and closer to being wiped out.
IS denies that the Quebec nation is a strategic reserve for the Canadian revolution and rejects the class viewpoint on the national question. It does not want the working class to lead the national movement and make it a movement fighting for socialist revolution. IS always tries to blur all distinction between oppressors and oppressed to justify oppression (just like the “C”PC). It even goes so far as to preach forced assimilation (like the revisionists in power in the USSR). This is revisionism plain and simple. IS is a worthy scion of the renegade family, together with the “C”PC and Brezhnev.
With greater and greater facility IS is hitching the grossest narrow nationalism to its vulgar chauvinism – none of which is very surprising. IS’s revisionism leads it to defend bourgeois ideology within either nation. Within the dominant English-Canadian nation it defends great-nation chauvinism; within the oppressed Quebec nation, narrow nationalism. The two are opposite sides of the same coin!
For a long time in the period between the publication of Charles Gagnon’s pamphlet, Pour le parti proletarlen (For the Proletarian Party) in 1972, and December, 1974, the group supported the bourgeois nationalist line that the fight for the revolution was only to be waged in Quebec. IS even talked about “the struggle for national liberation” in Quebec!
This means that during this whole period IS helped divide workers of the two nations and weaken their common struggle against the main enemy, the Canadian bourgeoisie.
Again today, particularly since the PQ was elected in November, 1976, IS hasn’t lifted a finger to fight the PQ’s narrow nationalism.
Quite the contrary, they invent all sorts of theories to justify their positions. For example, in a text aimed at a Quebec community group, SOS Daycare, an IS member stated, “The main enemy is not the PQ, not the MCSC (Montreal Catholic School Commission-Ed.) but the Canadian bourgeoisie, organized behind its state” (see The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 21). How many times have we heard this one?! It seems, then, that the PQ is not a bourgeois party, and that it doesn’t work in the interests of this reactionary class.
In IS No. 101 we can also read:
Many might wonder who is this enemy the welfare recipients must attack relentlessly? (in Quebec, according to the League – Ed.) ... It’s the Parti Quebecois! But, to our knowledge, the League’s “theoretical” analysis and its “principal contradiction” have not changed! The Canadian bourgeoisie remains the main enemy of the Canadian working class and people, and to be consistent, of the welfare recipients!” (p. 12)
Here is IS once again telling us that the PQ is not a bourgeois party, and that the Quebec bourgeoisie is not part of our main enemy.
IS not only says so, but it plainly puts this line into practice.
Here are a few examples of its most recent exploits.
At a meeting of Montreal food co-ops  in early May, 1978, IS members again stated that “the PQ is not our main enemy, the Canadian bourgeoisie is.”
At this same meeting they hastened to put this line into practice by agreeing to invite the PQ to a regional conference where food co-ops would look at what attitude to take towards the Federation des magasins Co-op (Federation of Co-op Stores – a capitalist business supported by the PQ, which has 4% of the market now and is aiming for 20%) which is attempting to devour the co-ops in order to expand. Their excuse for the invitation, of course, was “to let the masses see the PQ at work.”
This is nothing short of complete betrayal. It is like proposing to organized workers that they invite their boss to a meeting to discuss their upcoming contract, the meeting in which they want to build unity in order to confront this same boss.
The conference mentioned was finally held. The PQ was completely discredited, and in the process so was IS. A great majority of the participants agreed that the discussion with the PQ had been a colossal waste of time.
In another working-class neighbourhood in Montreal, at a meeting of community groups to prepare a neighbourhood May 1st demonstration, IS militants opposed having the demonstration march past the offices of the local PQ member, cabinet minister Robert Burns, on the excuse that, “the masses are not ready” to denounce the PQ. Once again nothing but contempt and capitulation.
 The struggle waged around this chauvinist resolution (see The Forge, Vol. 3, No. 7) put both the IS and the “C”PC revisionists in the same camp. The “C”PC, in its newspaper, the Canadian Tribune, said that the resolution was “buried in vague rhetoric,” had “several weaknesses,” etc. (No. 2091, April 10, p. 1). IS talked about it being “ambiguous and dangerous” (IS, No. 112, April 13, p. 8). But neither of these two renegade groups dared to clearly and unequivocally denounce this resolution which was formulated expressly to hide chauvinism and deny the Quebec nation its right to self-determination.
 This unbelievable declaration is from an article called “Support the absolute equality of languages and nations!” (IS, No. 89, pp. 1, 6 and 7) This is one of the basic positions that IS holds on the national question. Following criticisms of the article, IS tried in private to retract some of the blatantly opportunist positions in this article. This is the usual manoeuvre of these snakes: put forward positions then retract them as soon as the criticisms become a little strong. Of course, all this is done without any hint of a self-criticism, in the hopes that no one will notice.
 Food co-ops are mass organizations created to fight the crisis, the high cost of living and particularly the non-stop price hikes in food. The PQ is trying everything to stifle this movement. It is trying to integrate the co-ops into the traditional cooperative movement so they will serve the Quebec nationalist bourgeoisie and its separation plans.