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Statement of political agreement for the creation of the CANADIAN COMMUNIST LEAGUE (MARXIST-LENINIST)

III. Canada: an Imperialist Country of the Second World

Canada is a second world country. It is at one and the same time an imperialist country where a monopoly bourgeoisie controls the state and bases its power on the exploitation of the Canadian working class; and a country subjected to the control, interference and domination of the two superpowers, especially American imperialism.

In a capitalist society, the fundamental contradiction is between the social character of production and its private appropriation. In terms of class relations, this is manifested in the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. It is this fundamental contradiction which determines the character of the revolution.

In Canada, the Canadian proletariat, led by its vanguard party, will make proletarian revolution – a one-stage revolution to bring about the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism.

We can correctly determine the strategical and tactical road of the Canadian revolution by examining the contradictions in the world today and those in Canadian society (the principal and secondary contradictions as well as the principal and secondary aspects of each one of these contradictions). Society is a complex phenomenon and the revolution is a prolonged struggle which follows a twisting path to final victory.

The definition of the principal contradiction is indispensable because its resolution determines or influences the resolution or development of the secondary contradictions. We need more than this definition, however, to determine a correct strategy.

It is not sufficient to determine the main blow of the proletariat; one must elaborate ”a corresponding plan for the disposition of (the revolutionary forces (main and secondary reserves).”[1] The proletariat, indeed, cannot defeat the bourgeoisie unless it uses all the contradictions between the bourgeoisie and other classes, social strata and social groups to weaken the bourgeoisie and win over even the most temporary and vacillating allies. The proletariat also has to make the most of international conflicts, especially imperialist wars. For all these reasons it is important to analyse not only the principal contradiction but also the secondary contradictions and their relationship to the principal one.

A systematic analysis of the international situation determines the external conditions, enemies and allies of the revolution. In the era of imperialism, the analysis of the international situation and of the development of the world proletarian revolution are vitally important to making revolution in one country. As Lenin indicated, imperialism forms a chain, which as a general rule, will be broken at its weakest link. Hence the importance of studying this chain in depth to bring about the revolution in our country. “The strategy and tactics of the Communist Party of any country can be correct only if they are not confined to the interests of ’their own’ country, but on the contrary, if, while taking into account the conditions and situation in their own country, they make the interests of the international proletariat, the interests of the revolution in other countries, the corner-stone, i.e. if in essence they are internationalist.” (Stalin, Political Strategy and Tactics of the Russian Communists, Vol. 5).

In short, while the proletarian revolution takes on a national form, its essence and implications are international. Our revolution is part of the world proletarian revolutionary process.

We can trace the history of Canada in order to extract what is essential, determine the character of the Canadian revolution and define the major contradictions in our society. Such an historical analysis will show that today, these contradictions are, in order of importance:

–the principal contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie;
–the contradiction between the Canadian people and the two superpowers, especially American imperialism; the most important secondary contradiction;
–the Quebec national question, which is also very important.

1. Canada: The Development of an Imperialist Country

To understand Canada’s position today as a second world country, we have to briefly review its history.

The history of a country like Canada is the history of struggle between different classes, particularly the violent struggle between the two basic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It is above all the history of the struggle of the working class for its fundamental rights and its complete emancipation. It is the history of proletarian resistance against the bourgeoisie and its state: Winnipeg 1919, Regina 1935, Asbestos, 1949 – these are some of the heroic examples of the battle. The working class built this country with its blood, sweat and tears. And it wasn’t thrift, hard work and intelligence which made the capitalists wealthy; the bourgeoisie accumulated its riches through exploitation, robbery and corruption. Marx said, “Capital, right from its birth, sweats mud and blood from all its pores.”

In this text, we will try and look at the essential characteristics of one aspect of Canadian history: the development of an imperialist Canadian bourgeoisie. A more complete history of the working class remains to be done.

A) The Origins

Originally, Canada belonged to the native peoples, the Indians and Inuit. French and British colonization gave rise to the plunder, exploitation and oppression of these peoples. In the beginning, the French set up a settler colony in Quebec and the Maritimes, while the British, via the Hudsonís Bay Company established a commercial colony in northern Canada. It was principally in this settler colony of New France, later to become Quebec, that we see the development of semi-feudal relations of production. However, these relations of production were not widespread enough to pose a serious obstacle to the later development of the capitalist mode of production.

English control over the northern part of the North American continent was completed with its conquest of New France in 1760. The Conquest marked the beginning of the oppression of the Quebec nation and of the francophone minorities outside Quebec.

B) The Accumulation of Capital

Primitive accumulation of capital in Canada essentially took place in the first part of the 19th century with the appropriation and monopolization by capital of the land belonging to small farmers, the native peoples (the expropriation was particularly violent in this case) and the seigneurs. At the same time, enormous fortunes were amassed by the commercial bourgeoisie, mainly through the fur and wood trades.

From that time on, capitalist forces and relations of production witnessed an autonomous, if limited development.

On the political level, the rebellions in 1837-8 in Upper and Lower Canada led by certain bourgeois elements against British colonialism resulted in ”responsible government” and marked the first step towards Confederation.

By mid-century, free trade between the British North American colonies, the construction of the railroads and the abolition of the remnants of feudalism in Quebec favored the development of the internal market. Capitalist industry, and with it, the working class, took a first leap forward with the development of mills, sugar refineries, distilleries as well as wood, and iron and steel industries in Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton. The Canadian proletariat was strong enough to obtain the right of free association in 1872 after a long struggle for the 9-hour day.

With Confederation, in 1867, the still weak Canadian bourgeoisie gained a formal political independence, starting the process which would end in complete independence, confirmed by the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

Confederation spurred on the development of capitalism in Canada and consolidation of the Canadian bourgeoisie. As it developed, the bourgeoisie brought about a political centralization of the Canadian state, and its expansion continued rapidly. This growth was considerably accelerated by an external factor, American expansionism. At the same time the bourgeoisie used the bureaucratic apparatus and the repressive apparatus (army, militia, police) of its state to keep down the working class and the labouring masses in general.

Confederation was based on the oppression of one nation (the Quebec nation) by another (the English-Canadian nation). The proclamation of the British North America (BNA) Act legally enshrined the negation of the Quebec nation’s fundamental right to self-determination. To further subdue the Quebec people and strengthen its oppressive role, the Canadian bourgeoisie used its state and the army, Catholic clergymen and certain “leading figures” ready to sell out the Quebec nation. For the Quebec people, all this has meant lower-level jobs, a higher rate of unemployment, lower salaries, an inferior educational system and no protection or guarantee for French language and culture.

The development of the Canadian bourgeoisie, then, is based not only on the exploitation of the working class but also on the oppression of the Quebec nation, of French minorities outside Quebec and of the native peoples.

C) The development of Finance Capital

After 1867, the country moved rapidly toward the stage of monopoly capitalism or imperialism. As Lenin defined it, “Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself: in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance, in which the division of the world among international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.” (Lenin – Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism).

It is important to point out that the imperialist Canadian bourgeoisie has been a weak, second-rank bourgeoisie, subjected to a large degree in its initial stage of development to British imperialism and, later on, to American imperialism.

The following is a brief overview of the development of Canadian imperialism using Lenin’s five characteristics of imperialism.

(I) Concentration of Production and Capital – the Development of Monopolies

Between 1890 and 1920, total capital invested in manufacturing enterprises rose from $353 million to $2,923 million (multiplying by eight) while the value of production increased from $219 minion to $1,621 million.[2]

During the same period, huge Canadian monopolies were formed through the fusion of different companies: Dominion Textile is one of these. Large trusts such as Canada Cement (1908) and Stelco (1910) were created.

This was the “great era” of “our” magnates of high finance. These big-whigs owed their millions not to any abstract financial wizardry but to their concrete, pitiless exploitation of Canadian workers.

With the development of this concentration of capital, certain Canadian monopolies today are among the largest in the world: Weston, Canadian Pacific, and Noranda, for example.

The sales of Weston are larger than those of companies such as Dunlop, Peugeot or Fiat (Business Week 14/7/75)

Among the 300 largest companies in the world outside the US, Fortune magazine puts Alcan in 79th spot, Massey Ferguson 111, International Nickel 115, Canada Packers 134, MacMillan Bloedel 138, Noranda 167, Stelco 170, Moore Corp. 189, Seagram 225, Cominco 244, Consolidated Bathurst 268, Dofasco, 270.[3]

(II) Finance Capital and the Financial Oligarchy

The Canadian bourgeoisie controls 93 per cent of the total capital in the banking sector; American capital stands at a tiny 2.2 per cent.[4] Concentration was very rapid in this sector, the five largest banks controlling 64 per cent in 1910 and 93 per cent in 1969.[5] As always, the banks gained control of a large part of the capital of large and small Canadian capitalists.

The fusion of banking and industrial capital and the development of an all powerful Canadian financial oligarchy is very advanced. The concentration of banks has always been more developed in Canada, than, for example, in the US where there exist, alongside the large banks, many small local banks. In Canada today, there are 11 chartered banks, 4 of which are among the fifty largest non-American banks in the world: Royal Bank23rd, Bank of Commerce (CIBC) 27, Bank of Montreal 32, Bank of Nova Scotia45. (Fortune, 1975)

“At the same time a personal union, so to speak, is established between the banks and the biggest industrial and commercial enterprises.” (Lenin – Imperialism).

The four giants, playing a determining role in the Canadian economy, have realized this “personal union”. From the start of the century a financial bloc existed tying the Bank of Montreal with Royal Trust, the CPR, Stelco and Sun Life. Another financial group was constituted by the Royal Bank, Montreal Trust, Ogilvie Flour Mill, Shawinigan Water and Power etc.[6] In 1946, 16 directors of these four banks held 266 directorships, 116 presidencies and vice-presidencies of different Canadian companies. An examination of the boards of the large Canadian banks today shows that this financial oligarchy, if anything, has increased its power.

For example, a large number of Royal Bank directors are linked to important Canadian companies such as Abitibi Paper, Noranda, Maritime Steel, Simpsons, Melchers, Algoma Steel, Mannix, Comstock International, Canadian Pacific, Power Corporation and Argus Corporation. Of course, there are a certain number of American companies represented on the board; but these are in a minority.

The close relationship between Argus Corporation, the second largest holding company in Canada, and the Bank of Commerce is well known. Argus controls Massey Ferguson, Dom-tar, BC Forest Products and Dominion Stores. Its president, Bud McDougald, is a director of the Bank of Commerce. Power, the largest Canadian holding company, which controls, among others, Consolidated Bathurst, Canada Steamship Lines, Dominion Glass, Davie Ship Building, and Metropolitan Gas has very close ties through interlocking directorships with the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank.

There are many other examples of this “personal and individual” union: Hartland Molson of Molson’s Ltd. is Vice President and a director of the Bank of Montreal. George Richardson of Richardson Securities and Husky Oil, a director of the Hudson’s Bay Company; one of the largest stockholders of Inco is also vice-president of the Bank of Commerce.[7]

To sum up, Canadian industrial capital (made up of capital in the metallurgic, manufacturing, mining, and transportation sectors, etc.) fused with Canadian banking capital to form Canadian finance capital.

The presence of representatives of American finance capital on the boards of directors of Canadian banks doesn’t change this basic reality.

(III) Export of Capital

From the beginning of the century, the export of capital from Canada has been a major characteristic of Canadian finance capital. Mexican Light and Power was started by financial magnates from Montreal and Toronto; Brazilian Power and Traction (now Brascan) was formed during the same period. By 1914, the Royal Bank already had 22 branches in Cuba, 5 in Puerto Rico and 6 in the British Antilles. In 1913 Sun Life sold more than two-thirds of its policies abroad with branches in 18 countries. In 1930 Canada had $1.6 billion invested outside the country. In 1970, there was $6.06 billion of Canadian direct investment abroad, with Canadian-owned companies responsible for 55 per cent of this direct investment.[8] Of this $3.12 billion was in the US, $1.07 billion in Europe, $3.02 billion in Latin America, $134 million in Africa and $400 million in Asia and Oceania. That half of these investments are in the US does not alter their imperialist nature.

Canadian capital exports remain small, nonetheless, compared to those of other second world countries like France or Germany.

Large Canadian transnational[9] companies own factories and companies all over the globe, especially in the third world. In the Third World, Canadian imperialism is particularly evident in Latin America (Brascan in Brazil) and in Southern Africa (Bata, Hudson’s Bay). Massey Ferguson has even succeeded in penetrating the market in revisionist countries (it is in the process of selling a factory to Poland). Canadian companies are also increasing their investments in the US. Recently for example, Dominion Textile acquired D.H.J., one of the largest American textile manufacturers. In Europe, CAST, a Canadian company, has obtained control of Furness Withy, the second largest English maritime shipping company and Manchester Lines, another shipping company.

(IV) The Division of the World Among Capitalist Combines

For some time now, Canadian banks have participated in international banking combines. One example was the Orion Group – a joint venture of the Royal Bank of Canada, Chase Manhattan, Cretito Italiano, National Westminster (London) West Deutche Landesbank (Germany) and the Mitsutishi Bank (Japan).

Massey Ferguson, as well as other Canadian companies, have for a number of years participated in the division of the agricultural machinery market. Another Canadian company, Weston, is so strong that it has divided the world market between itself, with one branch of the company run by Galen Weston, taking care of North America, while the other, directed by Gary Weston, takes care of Europe, Africa and Asia. In the aluminum business, Alcan (over 50 per cent Canadian-owned) and Alcoa (100 per cent American-owned) which were split by anti-trust legislation have now divided up the North American market on the basis of their respective strength.

(V) The Division of the World Among the Great Powers

Some people believe that because Canada has no colonies, the Canadian bourgeoisie cannot be considered imperialist. Possession of colonies, however, is not the essential criterion for judging whether a country is imperialist or not. Canada’s lack of colonies can be explained by its late arrival on the world scene and by the weakness of the Canadian bourgeoisie.

Nonetheless – and this is the essential point – very early on, Canada did participate indirectly in the imperialist division of the world. Economically it was able to penetrate British colonies (Caribbean, Africa) as a member of the British Empire (the “Commonwealth”). On a number of other occasions it sent armies alongside other imperialist powers. These expeditions took place either to preserve existing zones of influence or to bring about a new division of the world and Canada was present in a supportive role either to British imperialism or, later on, to American imperialism.

The Boer War, the First World War, the abortive attempt to suppress the October Revolution in Russia, the Second World War in the period when it was imperialist[10], the Korean War – all these testify to the imperialist, if weak, nature of the Canadian bourgeoisie.

2. Canada’s Evolution as a Second World Country

In these last few pages we have presented a brief analysis of the development of the Canadian bourgeoisie up until its imperialist stage in order to show the nature of Canadian society. It must not be forgotten that while Canada has become an imperialist country, it is a weak imperialist power, subjected in different ways to British imperialism and then to American imperialism. Today, Canada is a second world country, imperialist in its own right yet subjected to the control and bullying of the two superpowers, particularly the US.

The development of Canadian finance capital was the determining factor in the consolidation of the country’s independence.

From the beginning of the century to the end of the First World War, Canada, in foreign affairs, was a weak country, subject to the domination of Great Britain. British capitalists were the most important foreign investors in Canada. Canada plunged into the First World War to help Great Britain while the US waited on the sidelines until 1917.

After the war, Canada began to break away more and more from Great Britain. Beginning in 1910, but especially after the war, the Canadian bourgeoisie took steps to establish its sovereignty. In 1910 Canada passed a law limiting immigration from Great Britain. In 1922 Canada refused to participate in the military expedition to the Dardanelles to defend the interests of British imperialism, because of no perceived gain for itself. In 1923 at the Lausanne Conference, Canada refused to be bound by treaties signed by Great Britain on its behalf; that same year, for the first time Canada signed an international treaty (on fishing rights with the US). Finally, the Treaty of Westminster in 1931 gave Canada full control over foreign policy.

Nevertheless, Canada remained tied to British imperialism until the Second World War. In 1939,for example, it entered the war to help Great Britain, while again the US stayed out for a while. On the economic front, US imperialism benefited from the decline of British imperialism to become the most important source of foreign investment in Canada. US capital was pumped into key areas of the economy, especially in manufacturing industries.

The period from 1918 to 1945 marked Canada’s transition from the British sphere of influence to the American one. After World War II, Canada was part of the imperialist camp, headed by the US. The US attraction to Canada lay in its proximity and rich natural resources. The weakness of its bourgeoisie and its relatively weak industrial development made Canada easy prey for American imperialism. This corresponds to the tendency of imperialism “to annex not only agrarian territories, but even most highly industrialized regions.” (Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism).

The Abbot Plan in 1947 was a concrete manifestation of the policy of submission of the Canadian bourgeoisie to US imperialism. This plan limited the production of the Canadian manufacturing industry, favoured the importing of American machinery and consumer goods and the exporting of Canadian raw materials needed to pay tor these goods.

In the political sphere, Canada participated in NATO, the US-led military block. It also participated in the Korean War, blindly following the “cold war” policies of the US.

Some people see in the heavy penetration of American capital, the negation of the very existence of Canadian imperialism. They say that Canadian banking capital fused not with Canadian industrial capital (which never existed according to them) but with US industrial capital. This thesis doesn’t correspond to the real world and completely misconstrues the nature of inter-imperialist alliances. For an alliance between two imperialist bourgeoisies is exactly what we are dealing with – an alliance between what was at the time, the greatest imperialist power, and a weak bourgeoisie just breaking away from British imperialist entanglement.

In fact, it has been historically in the interest of the Canadian bourgeoisie, to have an “open door” policy towards foreign investment (principally American). Nurtured and developed under the domination of British colonialism and imperialism, the Canadian bourgeoisie for a long time had too small an internal market and too weak a source of accumulation to permit it to fully tap the country’s natural resources. “Better to split the pie, than not to have any pie at all” has been the watchword of the Canadian bourgeoisie.

The trend of increased American presence continued through the fifties and into the early part of the sixties. With developments in the international situation which led to the formation of the three worlds as we now know them, Canada became a second world country, subject to the influence and domination of the American superpower above all.

Canada, nevertheless, is an independent country. The Canadian bourgeoisie has used the state to safeguard and develop its hold on the country. Despite strong foreign (mainly American) economic penetration and political and military alliances with Great Britain or the US, the Canadian bourgeoisie has always controlled the country through its control of the state.

To maintain its dictatorship, the bourgeoisie has also developed and perfected the repressive mechanisms of the state and used them to maintain its exploitation of the working class and working people and its oppression of the Quebec nation and native peoples. The violent repression of working class strikes state (La Presse, United Aircraft, etc.). The War Measures Act of 1970 show that the bourgeoisie still firmly opposes the fundamental right of the Quebec nation to self-determination. And the state practices a policy of destitution towards the native peoples, robbing them of their ancestral lands for “prestige” projects like James Bay and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

3. The Canadian Bourgeoisie Today

The Canadian bourgeoisie controls the economic development through its domination of key sectors (particularly banks and many important industries like iron metallurgy) and control over the Canadian state used as a tool for economic development.[11] Almost the totality of the finance sector (banks and insurance) is in the hands of the Canadian bourgeoisie. Under monopoly capitalism this sector plays a leading role.

It is a sector over which the Canadian ruling class jealously guards its control against attempts of American takeover. A recent example of the importance attributed to this control is the forced reduction by law of American ownership in the Mercantile Bank to 25 per cent.

The state which the Canadian bourgeoisie uses also has a crucial economic role: for example, it controls certain large companies like CNR, Air Canada and the hydro-electric and nuclear industries. Its economic role is destined to grow in the future (e.g. the Crown corporation Canadian Development Corporation runs Polymer, Texas Gulf Sulphur, formerly an American concern.)

In 1973, the Canadian bourgeoisie controlled 66 percent of the following sectors taken as a whole: manufacturing, petroleum, natural gas, refineries, mines, railroads, public service, commerce and construction (this excludes the banks and the insurance companies which are under much heavier Canadian control). The US controls 26 percent of these sectors and 8 percent is controlled by other countries.[12] This gives a different statistical impression that the one offered by those who claim that the Canadian economy is almost entirely controlled by American imperialism.

Even in the manufacturing sector, the Canadian bourgeoisie controls an important part of the following industries: 74 percent of textiles, 99 percent of steel, 60 percent or beverages. In the pulp and paper industry, with the recent purchase of Price by Abitibi Paper, the Canadian bourgeoisie controls more than 50 percent of the total capital.

The recent purchase of the American company Montreal Locomotive Works by Bombardier and the blocking of some important sales contracts by the Canadian government indicate that the Canadian bourgeoisie is slowly increasing its presence in sectors traditionally dominated by foreign (usually American) imperialism. (The de Havilland purchase is another example). American investment, which proportionately increased steadily since 1930 and stabilized in 1963 is now in the process of decline.

In the manufacturing sector, American capital has declined slightly from 46 percent in 1963 to 44 percent in 1974. The same is true in oil and natural gas where American capital has gone from 62 to 58 percent. It is in the area of mining and refineries, however, that the Canadian bourgeoisie has most benefited from the American decline – from 56 percent in 1967 to 43 percent in 1974.[13]

4. American Influence over the Canadian Economy

During the sixties, American imperialism suffered successive setbacks all over the world, and is currently embroiled in a bitter battle with the USSR for world hegemony. In Canada, a traditional American stamping ground, its position has also been somewhat weakened because of the assertion within the Canadian bourgeoisie of the tendency which favours more independence. Nonetheless, American imperialism remains a very strong force in Canada despite the limited attempts to control its penetration (such as laws to assert banking control and the foreign investment review board).

American imperialism controls a number of important areas of the Canadian economy. In 1973, the US controlled 26 percent of certain areas taken as a whole and a larger percentage of the profits.[14]

This 26 percent is especially concentrated in the manufacturing sector where the US controls 44 percent of the total (and not 70 percent as some people have said). In the manufacturing sector, this control is concentrated in key areas, such as the rubber industry, automobiles, chemical products, electrical appliances and petroleum resources.

American companies are among the largest in Canada: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler dominate the automobile industry, Imperial Oil (EXXON), Gulf, Texaco, and Sunoco the petroleum industry. Some of these companies like Imperial Oil allow for minor participation of Canadian capital while others like GM are 100 per cent owned in the US.

This look at the American influence over the Canadian economy is brief for it is the strength of the Canadian bourgeoisie which has been ignored in most economic analyses today. We do not presume, however, that the American presence is a negligible factor; on the contrary, Canada is one of the countries where American influence is most substantial in the world.

5. The Two Superpowers, especially the US, threaten the Canadian People

This large American presence in Canada makes Canada quantitatively different from other second world capitalist countries, such as Britain or France; but there is no qualitative difference. Like all second world countries, Canada finds its national independence infringed upon by the superpowers. No account of the current history of Canada would be complete without this perspective.

In the particular case of our country, it is clearly the American superpower which poses the greatest threat to our national independence. Be it economically (with a third of its foreign investments here and its control of certain key sectors), politically, militarily or culturally, American imperialism is constantly sticking its nose into the affairs of our people as it seeks to pillage our country of its resources and wealth.

This should not blind us, though, to the ominous infiltration of the Soviet Union into Canada as well. Here too, economically, militarily, and politically (with the help of its revisionist “CPC” agents) the Soviet Union is making all kinds of maneuvers in order to gain a foothold in its rival’s back door.

And most importantly, these two warring giants threaten to drag our people and other peoples of the world into another imperialist world war.

We’ll see in the next section how this contradiction between the two superpowers, particularly the US, and the Canadian people, is key for the future of the Canadian proletarian revolution.

No one would deny that Canada is a capitalist country our history and the present-day reality proves that. It is indisputable, then, that the fundamental contradiction in such a country is between the social character of production and the private character of ownership; in class relations, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

To go beyond that point, to determine what the principal and major secondary contradictions in Canada are – on these points there is a lot less unanimity among Canadian Marxist-Leninists.

We feel that an examination of Canada’s past and present, such as we Wave sketched in this section, also points to the answers to these questions. It shows that Canada is not only capitalist, but also imperialist, that a monopoly capitalist bourgeoisie controls the state and the economic development of the country, and that this ruling class is the main enemy of the Canadian proletariat.

It also shows that Canada is a second world country, and that its people are in contradiction with the two superpowers, especially US imperialism.

It reveals, finally, that the Canadian bourgeoisie maintains the oppression of the Quebec nation within our country.


[1] “Strategy is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat at a given stage of the revolution, the elaboration of a corresponding plan for the disposition of the revolutionary forces (main and secondary reserves), the fight to carry out this plan throughout the given stage of the revolution. Tactical leadership is a part of strategic leadership, subordinated to the tasks and requirements of the latter. The task of tactical leadership is to master the forms of struggle and organization of the proletariat and to ensure that they are used properly so as to achieve, wht the given relation of forces, the maximum results necessary to preapre for strategic success.” (Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism)

[2] Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Reports, 1941-2.

[3] More than 50% of Alcan and Inco are Canadian owned. Although we cannot affirm that they are both Canadian-controlled, the importance of indigenous capital in these companies remains a significant phenomenon for the analysis of Canadian imperialism.

[4] E. P. Neufield, The Financial System of Canada, Macmillan of Canada, 1972.

[5] Financial Post, March 3, 1972.

[6] G. Piedalue, Etude preliminaire sur les groupes d’interets economiques au Canada, 1900-1930, photocopy, 1974.

[7] A common error among bourgeois economists, which is also made by some Marxist-Leninists is to consider these and other leadig Canadian bourgeois as merchant capitalists. This conception is based on a very extensive definition of merchant capital (which includes capitali invested in banks, transport, etc.) and ignores, it seems, monopolism. Marx long ago warned against such a bourgeois notion:

“...mining, agriculture, cattle-raising, manufacturing, transport...are sidelines of industrial capital occasioned by the division of labor, and hence, different spheres of investment.” Capital, Vol. III

Marx thus clearly indicated that capital invested in railroads, maritime transport and mining is industrial not merchant capital. Even at the time of Confederation, merchant’s capital was on the way out as the dominant form of capital – around the world and in Canada too To say that today, more than a century after imperialist development, that merchant capital is still dominant in Canada flies in the face of reality and the laws of capitalist development.

[8] Canada’s International Investment Position, 1926-7. Statistics Canada.

[9] The word “transnational” is a term used to describe the imperialist monopolies. the term “multinational” currently in vogue with bourgeois economists gives the false impression that ownership and control of the company in question is shared by different nations, some of which are the very victims of the pillage and exploitation prepetuated by the companies. The expression “transnational” more clearly shows that these imperialist monopolies penetrate different countries to extend their area of exploitation.

[10] The war of 1939-45had a dual character. In the first stage, it was an imperialist war. It was transformed into an anti-fascist war, however, when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union.

[11] Just a warming should be made against an erroneous conception of the economy: a conception which reduces the economy to merely industrial production rather than considering all the forces of production involved in the areas of production, exchange, and distribution. This conception considers production to be the the unique factor rather than the determining factor. According to this conception, American imperialism dominantes the whole Canadian economy.

[12] Statistics Canada Daily Bulletin, No. 11-001F, March 29, 1974, p. 6. These percentages are reached by taking the totla proportion of capital owned by each nationality in each sector and averaging them out. This does not mean that we can say that the Canadian bourgeoisie controls such-and-such a percentage of the Canadian economy (as is frequently said about the US, which supposedly “controls three-quarters of the Canadian economy.”) Economies cannot be divided up and reduced to simple percentages in this way. What these statistics do tell us, however, is that to find out who controls the Canadian economy in general, we have to look way beyond just industrial production. See note 11 above.

[13] Ibid., April 21, 1975.

[14] See note 12 above.