Discussion on Matters of Concern to the Polity

New Laws and Regulations Purporting to Oppose Hate Propaganda and Violence by "Extremist Entities"

On February 21, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) hosted a zoom meeting to discuss new laws and regulations which purport to oppose hate propaganda and the promotion of violence by "extremist entities." In the opinion of CPC(M-L), this is an important discussion. At issue is not whether the state is behind terrorist violence or racism or anti-communism or whether its definition of extremism is per se self-serving. They are. States such as that of Canada, created according to Hobbesian Covenant Thesis, are ruled by police powers -- that is to say by arbitrary discretionary powers in the hands of the executive and judiciary as well as intelligence agencies, police and armed and special forces. Not only that, these entities swear an oath of allegiance to the person of state, a fiction created for the purpose of providing a raison d'état, a reason for the state. This fictional person of state wields a sword in one hand, representing power over all matters to do with war and peace, and a bishop's staff in the other, representing all matters to do with accepted values, crime and punishment. Since the creation of this model of nation-state after the English Civil War in the 1660s, these values have been those of the ruling class whose propertied interests and rule it defends.

Under this model, legislatures were created that were said to represent the sovereignty of the people, even though all representatives swear allegiance not to the people but to the sovereign. In Canada, the "sovereign" is the Queen of England declared to also be the Queen of Canada. Even though this is said to be a ceremonial position only, the sovereign wields powers that are not at all ceremonial, Prerogative Powers, directly and through the ministries, judiciary, top civil servants and all those whose main mission is to perpetuate the sovereign's rule. This is where the political police also play a key covert function to eliminate any threat to this rule using any means fair or foul. No matter what reforms take place, they are fundamentally imbued with anti-worker, anti-people and racist ideology as a matter of course and, since the onset of the Cold War in the 20th century, with anti-communism as well.

Recognizing the role of the state, constituted to establish the kind of rule which presently exists, is all the more important at a time the fight of the people for the affirmation of their rights takes centre stage. Canada forms part of the imperialist system of states with the U.S., Britain, France and its integral parts such as Canada are the main teachers by negative example. They are mired in crises and the times demand equality and that the rights of all be provided with a guarantee.

The times also demand that problems within a country and between countries be settled peacefully, and honourably, in a manner which benefits the peoples of the world. Far from being guided by the interests of the peoples, the countries which are based on serving imperialist interests are using all the tools in their arsenal to establish their own hegemony over rival powers. To even question who they serve is taboo. All of this inflames passions and even rage which is precisely why such taboos must be questioned and such matters of concern must not be kept outside the purview of thought and speech.

All of it is to make sure that today the struggle of the New against the Old is derailed into attacks on individuals, and the criminalization of opinion, speech, thought and conscience as well as organization. The claim of the rulers is not to be contested: they get to decide both the crime and the punishment. In the name of national security and the national interest, the criteria used to determine who is "legitimate" and who is "illegitimate," what thought is "legitimate" and what thought is "illegitimate," are secret, arbitrary and self-serving. To even question who they serve is taboo. It is precisely such taboos which must be questioned and not allowed to be kept outside the purview of thought and speech. If what are called Reasonable Limits on rights are not seen to be reasonable, the polity is in trouble. Unity can only be built on the basis of an informed public opinion, not by disinforming public opinion so as to make sure no opposition can contest the anti-national and anti-people rule which is being established at an increasingly rapid rate.

All of this is taking place at a time the consequences of the neo-liberal anti-social agenda have shown themselves to be disastrous in the form of increased poverty, hunger, disease, drought and harm to the natural and social environment. When we see within the U.S. Senate itself accusations and counter-accusations of sedition, treason and who is and who is not a patriot, the effect is to provide a justification for the police powers to take charge, as took place when the Pentagon took charge of the Capitol for the inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington, DC in January. This was as much a threat to Biden to toe the line as to anyone else.

And now we see the response of the federal police on the occasion of the trial of the killer of George Floyd due to take place on March 8. Minneapolis has been turned into an armed fortress even greater than the one established for Biden's inauguration. This is the response to the people's movement in the U.S. for equality and to end police impunity and to defund the police. It is supposed to send a clear message to those demanding police accountability and an end to the use of violence against the people, to the workers fighting for their rights, and the people fighting for proper medical attention, jobs, food and housing to support Biden, "or else." And, of course, opposition to the impunity is made the target of attack under the guise that it poses a threat to national security and the national interest. All of it is presented in terms of the need to protect the constitutional order which is why the people insist on holding political discussion on how matters can be dealt with in a manner which realizes their aims, not those of the rulers. 

There is no doubt that in the U.S., as in all countries of the world where the regime is not constituted by the people, the working class and people of all origins together with the Indigenous nations will learn how to deal with the new situations they are facing as they persist in their fight for equality and a form of rule which ensures that justice for the people prevails.

The response can only be to fight in a manner that permits the emergence of a modern political personality that takes the form of political arrangements which involve the people in taking the decisions which affect their lives. The real issue is to recognize equality conferred by membership and affirm the right to speech, conscience and organization so as to work out together what that means today, in the form of interventions which uphold the interests of the people.

CPC(M-L) is participating in this discussion so as to engage everyone in working out what it means to be political within the situation by analyzing how this issue called domestic terrorism poses itself, along with ideological extremism and who decides. We will follow up with discussion on the significance of the impeachment charges against Trump. The likelihood of losing was ever-present so what was that all about? Our approach is based on the fundamental question that this topic poses, which is how to engage in and affirm the human right to speak and the right to organize under the current circumstances in a manner which defends the rights of the people and their claims on society, claims they are entitled to make by virtue of being human.

We want to start by reiterating clearly that CPC(M-L) is today and has always been opposed to terrorist attacks in all their forms, whether individual or collective. The Party has successfully opposed all attempts in the past to eliminate CPC(M-L) by claiming it was violent or advocates violence or that it is not a legitimate political force. The imprisonment of its activists and defamation of its leaders so as to isolate the Party and defeat it all failed to achieve their goal because CPC(M-L) is a political entity which responds to the needs of the times. Under all conditions and circumstances the members of CPC(M-L) organize to give the striving of the people for empowerment courage and conviction. The aim of defeating CPC(M-L) was and has always been to make sure the people do not become political themselves.

Today too we will continue to champion the defence of the rights of the workers, women, youth, national minorities, Indigenous peoples and Quebec, and of the fighting peoples of the world and the right to be of sovereign nation-states. Attacks against them based on declaring them illegitimate, sponsors of state terrorism, genocide, and not fit to live if they refuse to be enslaved and do the bidding of the ruling elites, will not pass. To try to rescue what are called the liberal democratic institutions by falling back on methods that have been shown always to have recourse to crimes of various sorts conducted by political police and Prerogative Powers is not what people expect of a modern democracy. The people reject the creation by rulers at all levels of spectres of dangers to haunt them. They face enough real dangers. Long ago, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels proclaimed to the world -- let us put the bourgeoisie's spectre of communism used to haunt Europe to rest with a Manifesto of Our Own -- Workers of All Countries Unite!

The political movement of the people for the New is the very antithesis of what constitutes a conspiracy or conspiracy theories. A political program is not a conspiracy! It does not submit to the self-serving limitations the ruling class sees fit to impose on rights to speech, conscience and action in the name of national security and interest. To speak is a human right, necessary to humanize the natural and social environment. CPC(M-L) calls on everyone to speak out on this matter of serious concern to the polity.

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 6 - February 28, 2021

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